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Infinite in All Directions

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  258 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Infinite in All Directions is a popularized science at its best. In Dyson's view, science and religion are two windows through which we can look out at the world around us.

The book is a revised version of a series of the Gifford Lectures under the title "In Praise of Diversity" given at Aberdeen, Scotland. They allowed Dyson the license to express everything in the unive
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Paperback, 321 pages
Published August 3rd 2004 by Harper Perennial (first published 1988)
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Community Reviews

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John
Jan 15, 2014 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I checked out a hardback edition of this book from the library at the same time I checked out Dyson's Disturbing the Universe. After I had begun Infinite in All Directions, I was one day looking over the books in my library and, to my great surprise, saw this paperback edition of Infinite in All Directions tucked between Brown's Foundations of Modern Physics and Kleinberg and Argersinger's Inorganic Chemistry, two textbooks from my days at BYU. I can't recall for the life of me when or why I pur ...more
Peter
Aug 18, 2015 Peter rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is dated in some ways. For example, Dyson talks about Reagan's Star Wars Initiative and the impact it will have in the USSR. He also talks about the possibility of landing on asteroids; ESA landed Rosetta on a comet in November 2014. Enormous strides have also been made in AI and genetic engineering since this book was written. He has an acknowledged soft spot for religious/spiritual yearnings that seem unusual for someone in the hard sciences. Still, it was interesting to read this ve ...more
Erik Graff
Apr 21, 2013 Erik Graff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dyson fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sciences
Having much of Freeman Dyson in old copies of The New York Review of Books and knowing him to be an engaging writer, I snapped this up upon finding it in a local bookstore.

Contained are a series of lectures delivered in 1985 on a variety of topics. Since the lecture series was ostensibly about natural theology, Dyson makes efforts to address philosophical and theological themes such as eschatology, freedom of the will, ethics, and the origins and purposes of life and consciousness.

The position t
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Moshe Zioni
Dyson is amongst the few who not only walked side by side with giants, he is considered one of them - his theories about the universe are well structured usually, his interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, for example, is one of the few that is not mainstream but isn't defunct by the community.
Anyhow, Dyson is a great lecturer and knows how to deliver his message very well - a thing that made this book very good and solid, but I got the feeling that he is a bit pretentious while considering big is
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Keith
Jan 02, 2014 Keith rated it liked it
The book is a bit dated as the man reflects upon faith versus science in 1987. He believes in technology and that we will be served by it without conflict with religious beliefs. He tries predicting some trends in 1987 which is interesting reading for today. He isn't bad, but he doesn't come close the cell phone/computer that we have in our hands today and how it impacts all of our society.

The book is an interesting read, but I wouldn't recommend it as it really doesn't have much current value o
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Jim
Jun 10, 2009 Jim rated it really liked it
Very interesting global perspective on science and its role in changing eras. Covers the micro to the macro and is lucid to even non-scientists like myself. Closest comparison would be to Hawking's books but less technical with a Sagan-like emphasis placed on teaching complex concepts to the masses. Even beyond the science, it's interesting as an abstract biographical account of how brilliant and pervasive Dyson's mind truly is.
Mark
Feb 22, 2016 Mark rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
albin james
Dec 29, 2012 albin james rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-best
There's Chloe who drowned
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Based on Dyson's Gifford Lectures, this book is a wonderful collection of serious wisdom and good science. It's amazing to see his breadth and width of knowledge and appreciation for nature and its diversity (which forms a major theme of this book). The book has some very interesting anecdotes from physicists, writers, politicians, biologists and bits of apt poetry as well. It's a fun read. He discusses a lot of brilliant ideas.
Ira Brodsky
May 19, 2012 Ira Brodsky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Freeman Dyson is an independent thinker at a time when, suprisingly, many scientists are slaves to the science establishment's orthodoxy. However, he doesn't just take contrarian positions--he shows why there is more to most issues than first meets the eye and the importance of not letting preconceptions get in the way of innovative solutions.
Vallari Talapatra
Jan 17, 2013 Vallari Talapatra rated it it was amazing
This is a must ad for physics fans, amateur and pros. The simplicity of language makes it a easier read than Green or Hawkins. The lucid way of stringing the macro to the micro has stayed with me over two decades, which is when I had read the book. It is one that I have chosen to reread because every time you are gripped in Dyson's artful way of depicting science.
Voss
Dec 17, 2014 Voss rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interessante.
Non sono d'accordo su gran parte delle tesi sostenute, ma l'impianto di base è eccellente!
Uno scienziato deve poter parlare di quello che viene influenzato dalla scienza e di ciò che a sua volta la influenza.
Filosofia e religione senza la scienza non hanno alcun senso.
Lisa
Oct 22, 2009 Lisa rated it really liked it
Still reading this. It's nice. He's brilliant, and being so, writes about everything. But, as he says, writes about both scientific and human problems "from the point of view of a lover of diversity." Along for the ride.
Kelly
Jan 15, 2015 Kelly rated it liked it
A little dated, and very dense, but very well written and thought provoking. Based on a series of lectures given in 1985, this has a more recent prologue updating some of the things that he was right and wrong about, but still definitely worth the read.
Ryan
Aug 03, 2013 Ryan rated it liked it
Started off wonderfully, strayed from the path, came back together at the end.
Alec Myres
Feb 19, 2013 Alec Myres rated it really liked it
Goes far beyond "just" physics. This is a great read for those of us who look for the best science has to offer humanity, and when it comes to giving meaning to science, Dyson is one of the best.
Kadri
May 09, 2015 Kadri rated it liked it
Some parts are of course kind of out-of-date, but reads like a historical account :)
Michael
Feb 02, 2013 Michael rated it really liked it
Freeman Dyson's presents a series of profound ideas that ground the reader in a reality few know exists... One of my favorites.
Brendan  McAuliffe
Jun 29, 2010 Brendan McAuliffe rated it liked it
Part two somewhat dated as Soviets collapsed the next year after publication
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