Re: The Grand Design

Despite the marquee name of Stephen Hawking (and Leonard Mlodinow) on the cover, The Grand Design reads at best like a sketchy version of a cosmology book. The lack of bibliography should have been a warning. It begins with quite a salvo: On the first page, it declares that philosophy is dead as a means […]

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Re: Anathem

If you read cosmology books for fun, you’ll have plenty of fun reading Anathem, by Neil Stephenson. It also helps if you like wordplay, language, and philosophy. I liked this book so much I was actually a bit relieved that I didn’t fall in love with it, because a 900 page book could mean some […]

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Re: The Self-Aware Universe

Like Programming the Universe, I got one key idea from The Self-Aware Universe, by Amit Goswami: that the probabilistic realm of quantum potentia is the same thing as the unitive consciousness of mystic experience. Unlike the Dancing Wu-Li Masters, this book conveys a good introduction to both quantum mechanics and the unitive consciousness. I just […]

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GTFH: The universe

The most interesting parts of God: The Failed Hypothesis is not what the book has to say about god, but about science and morality (which I’ll save for a post next week.) In chapters four and five, the book tackles why there is something rather than nothing, and why our something is the way it […]

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God: The Failed Hypothesis

I like messing around with God, or gods, or Cosmic Muffins, but that doesn’t mean I believe in any sort of god. So I was interested in seeing how God: The Failed Hypothesis, by Victor J. Stenger would apply the methods of science to the hypothesis that God exists. Like The Fabric of Reality, it […]

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Re: Cosmic Jackpot

A good book you might wish you had read before tackling “The House Beyond Your Sky,” is Cosmic Jackpot. In clear, entertaining arguments, Paul Davies works his way through the various flavors of theories attempting to explain the “Goldilocks” problem. That is, there are a small set of critical constants that have to be within […]

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Re: The House Beyond Your Sky

Some science fiction reads like popular science writing dressed up in story. “The House Beyond Your Sky,” by Benjamin Rosenbaum, is a story you really can’t understand unless you already know some science. The references to cosmology–like simulated universes and critical constants–go completely unexplained. And you know what? I like being treated as an adult.

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