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Thomas Marlow "Marlow" (UK)
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Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe
Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe
by Lee Smolin
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 13.60

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Provocative and brave, 24 May 2013
Lee Smolin has truly made a book that does make you think very differently about time. His arguments are provocative and perhaps controversial but that is a good thing. I love that his emphasis is always on making his theories as amenable to experiment as possible. Having read the book I am especially swayed by his arguments about trying to build a cosmological theory that is not based on what he calls the "physics in a box" theories which always involve boundary conditions. The most important thing about this book is that it is easy to read and engaging. Another reviewer was horrified that he was promoting a nonlocal hidden variables theory, but at least he has made a justification for it and his focus is always in trying to build such a justification for a new theory that will be experimentally falsifiable. I also rather like his ensemble-interpretation of quantum physics because it at least is trying to make the theory based on real-ensembles. Almost throughout the book this falsifiability is his main commitment, and if it was throughout the whole book then I would have given it 5 stars. However, he recapitulates in the epilogue and claims that there are things that are probably "intrinsic" and "essence-like" and seems to hark back to dualist and unfalsifiable theories of consciousness. Though this is a tiny section of the book it scares me that he would build such a wonderful relational justification for the universe and then discard it because he can't "see" how consciousness would fit into it. He drives a difficult path through the mire and then seems to jump on an easy one at the end for a bit of light relief! It is difficult to imagine a relational and heterophenomenological theory of consciousness, but just because it is difficult to imagine is no argument against it, and certainly should justify believing in essences! He was admittedly coy about even delving into this topic and I just wish he hadn't. It seemed to come out of nowhere. In the rest of the book he argues very well that people have been stuck in a rut and think about physical theories in a dubious way, and I think is argument is important and should be well-read. I also like his arguments for things having an actual history and evolving being a very important criteria in science - as else we are effectively presuming timelessness. His main thesis is certainly very palatable, and deserves serious attempts to falsify it. One of the most exciting sections of the book is the section on shape dynamics - theories which are equivalent to general relativity but in which size is not absolute, but relative, yet which also has a preferred time slicing. A wonderful idea. In summary: read this book, just be careful with the epilogue!


On the Origin of Tepees
On the Origin of Tepees
Price: 5.66

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A happy memeplex, 9 Mar 2013
I really enjoyed this book. It is a fantastic introduction to cultural evolution and is convincing as well in its appropriate and clever analogies. Even if you have read the Meme Machine or other classics in the field I still think you will enjoy it, and if you haven't then it really is the perfect introduction to memes and how and why memetics is an important theory (like Darwin's theory, it is almost impossible to argue against it in some form). The journey the author made through america and canada was clearly planned well and lays out the story of explanation very well. I wish I could write a popular science book of this clarity, which - as this one does - is so easy and enjoyable to read.


Solo Guitarra
Solo Guitarra
Price: 7.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, 8 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Solo Guitarra (MP3 Download)
I bought this after listening to the preview tracks. It hasn't disappointed. It is a very atmospheric and personal record and it has been on my repeat listens for the last few days.


The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations that Transform The World (Allen Lane Science)
The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations that Transform The World (Allen Lane Science)
by David Deutsch
Edition: Hardcover

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Certainly a beginning and hopefully an end to pessimism!, 17 April 2011
This was absolutely wonderful to read and it is a token to the reach and power of that humans have when they try to explain the world. I am recommending it to all my friends. It is such a powerful message, especially in regards to the distinction between static and dynamic societies and the category errors that we are all making in regards to trying to maintain stasis or be sustainable. The book is worth its money simply for the chapter on sustainability and the power (and reach) of the phrase "the only thing that is sustainable is progress"... I'll read it again very soon! And again and again until it sinks in and becomes second nature (or rather it should be first nature...)

Honestly this is a life-changing book. Even if you feel you know what science is and what it is about, this book really does show you the reach that knowledge can have in a way that is not simply blind optimism. It is a rational optimism which we will continue to develop and improve upon. Who knows where we will end up?


Eating Animals
Eating Animals
by Jonathan Safran Foer
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Convincing and worth reading, 13 May 2010
This review is from: Eating Animals (Hardcover)
I really enjoyed this and have recently changed my meat buying habits because of it! A very well written introduction to why the meat industry MUST change.


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