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The Fabric of Reality: Towards a Theory of Everything (Penguin Science) by [Deutsch, David]
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The Fabric of Reality: Towards a Theory of Everything (Penguin Science) Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Length: 404 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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About the Author

David Deutsch, internationally acclaimed for his seminal publications on quantum computation, is a member of the Quantum Computation and Cryptography Research Group at the Clarendon Laboratory, Oxford University.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2130 KB
  • Print Length: 404 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0140146903
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (14 April 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004YB9HVY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #126,555 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a well qualified scientist and in addition to my core interests I've read shed loads of books on cosmology, quantum theory, astronomy, string theory etc. I'm not going to repeat criticism of this book which other reviewers have done more eloquently and at length but I found this book boring boring boring. Quantum theory is weird but to invoke "shadow photons" to explain the single photon double slit effect is plain bonkers. There is a far more logical explanation for this.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Most people believe that a good philosopher is someone who agrees with them, but a good philosopher is someone who makes you think, which probably means they present a point of view you have not previously considered. Such is the case with David Deutsch. In The Fabric of Reality, Deutsch presents his `4 strands' of reality: quantum mechanics, epistemology (theory of knowledge), evolution and computation. In expanding on these themes, he explores topics such as virtual reality, Turing's principle, Godel's Incompleteness Theorem, quantum computers, DNA, the nature of time and even time travel. Deutsch has developed an entire world view on the premise that `reality' is not the `classical' physics of Einstein's `spacetime', but a quantum mechanical multiverse. Using the multiverse as the explanatory tool for everything from computation to time, Deutsch claims that our commonsensical view of the world is effectively an illusion. Whether you agree with him or not after reading his book, it's guaranteed to make you think. Elvene
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read innumerable books and science magazine articles on quantum theory, relativity, astrophysics, astrononmy, string theory, etc, as well as a great deal of more generally related science.
I am not a trained scientist, simple a well informed non-specialist with an interest in these areas, and I would have to say that this is the best written book of its type I have come across. It deals with extremely deep concepts across an enormous range of different but related areas of study, and I found myself at times almost shocked at the superb skill with which the author is able to deliver new concepts and arguments so cleanly and simply. The chapter that deals with quantum theory and the many-worlds hypothesis alone stands out as a masterpiece of elegance and simplicity when compared with many other works that attempt to deal with this issue.
Rather than delighting and wallowing in the apparent paradoxes that quantum theory implies for the macroscopic world (as so many authors do), Deutsch simply points out that irrespective of our inability to understand and resolve those paradoxes, the conclusions at least are clear and unarguable, and this is where he starts the real work of philosophical integration that is the books theme.
The rate at which new ideas in this book are delivered can leave one stunned at times, and I must recommend this book without any hesitation at all.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book after reading the author's article in a recent book "Many Worlds?--Everett, Quantum Theory, and Reality (2010)." The author's reference to the present book was the motivation of my reading.
The author seems to subscribe to most (but not all) of Karl Popper's philosophy of physics written in "The Logic of Scientific Discovery" and its "The Postscript." I appreciate that the author is trying to show his innovative idea for the understanding of the Fabric of Reality, but his idea is still very plastic and difficult to grasp a concrete image of it, at least for me. And, because of my being a non-materialist, my I say that he seems to be a typical reductionist materialist.
I would like to mention only a few points regarding the quantum multiverse, which is only one of the author's "four strands" which comprise the fabric of reality:
(1) The author spends many pages to criticize modern Idealism in defense of Realism. Karl Popper also criticized modern Idealism, referring to Dr. Samuel Johnson's alleged refutation (by kicking a rock) of Berkeley's Idealism. Dr. Johnson's name appears many times in the present book, which implies the author's uncomfortableness with the Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum mechanics. The author is an advocate of the Many-Worlds Interpretation or the idea of quantum multiverse. Karl Popper critically refers to Heisenberg's crying of "objective reality has evaporated" due to the advent of quantum mechanics.
(2) So Popper tried to exorcise "the Observer" from quantum mechanics (see Popper's "Quantum Theory and the Schism in Physics"). The present author Deutsch seems to solve this Observer problem accepting the idea of quantum multiverse, which includes the Observer in the quantum system.
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Format: Paperback
As a small child, David Deutsch wanted to learn everything. This does not mean that he wanted to know everything but that he wanted to understand everything that could be understood. To this end, Deutsch recognises four strands to a deep understanding of the fabric of reality: quantum physics, epistemology, computation and genetical evolution.

The particular theories Deutsch proposes in these subjects are: the parallel universes or many worlds interpretation; Karl Popper's hypothetico-deductive model; Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection, specifically in the gene-centric interpretation given it by Richard Dawkins (the selfish gene school); and, in regard to computation, the Church-Turing conjecture of universal computation, universal virtual reality based on universal computation, Deutsch's own theory of quantum computation and artificial intelligence.

A wilder application of computation to physical reality is Frank Tippler's theory of the omega point, a state reached in the last moments of the collapsing universe, where the minds of all previous people can be resurrected.

The Fabric of Reality is altogether an excellent book, marred only by David Deutsch's insistence that anyone who doubts the many worlds interpretation does not understand quantum theory properly (and his strong hint that we are retarded by lack of imagination or honesty).
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