Yes, the doggy dialogue gets unbearable quite quickly, but all the same I'm not sure how successful the book would be without it. It's silly and it'sYes, the doggy dialogue gets unbearable quite quickly, but all the same I'm not sure how successful the book would be without it. It's silly and it's full of jokes that completely misfire. It's repetitive and often completely unnecessary. But perhaps it's these moments of levity--towards which we can easily be so condescending--that make the difficult and dense stuff swallowable?
Aside from the exhausting dog conversations, the dog analogies--baskets full of squirming puppies, zigzagging squirrels, hidden treats--are very effective. In fact, I'm quite surprised to see how many fellow commentators were baffled by Orzel's lessons on quantum mechanics. I'm no scientist myself--and I'm most certainly no mathematician--but I found his explanations to be extremely accessible. Sometimes I had to reread sections in order to pick up on some of the finer details, and the science certainly isn't something that you can just breeze through without putting in the effort of actively trying to follow and picture what's going on, but I really can't imagine how it could be any more lucidly explained.
In fact, my mind was so thoroughly blown by the quantum eraser experiment, that I immediately drew out some diagrams and explained it to my husband. Being able to teach something new to somebody else? That's a sign that you've been taught well.
I would've liked to have seen a bit more time spent detailing some of the current and potential applications of quantum science. He briefly mentions quantum computing and quantum encryption, for instance, but not in any detailed way. His final chapter debunking quantum healing and other pseudoscientific applications is quite great, though.
Overall, I'd highly recommend this book. It's important stuff, and I can't imagine it being explained in any clearer or more engaging way.
This pulpy adventure story, with its short paragraphs, gratuitous violence, and three--count em, three!--mutiny plots, is basically a eugenicist thougThis pulpy adventure story, with its short paragraphs, gratuitous violence, and three--count em, three!--mutiny plots, is basically a eugenicist thought experiment. Tarzan, aka Lord Greystoke, is the most civilized and noble creature on earth because he possesses the blood of the Anglo-Saxon aristocracy inside of a body untainted by modern civilization's effeminizing influences. He comes across an African village complete with permanent structures, sophisticated hunting technology, and a religious and political hierarchy, but Tarzan--despite being raised by animals--is more civilized than any of these black savages. You know, because he's white. In fact, the apes and other predators are more civilized than the Africans, too. You know, because they're not black. The Africans are basically just there to be buffoons that Tarzan can play endless tricks on. Hil-arious.
The beginning of this novel is actually pretty promising. Tarzan's birth mother is actually something of a badass, thinking more quickly and rationally than her husband during an emergency and not cowering from the violence she's exposed to. But then the book just becomes pretty obnoxious, with rape fantasies, classist and racist and anthropocentric assumptions, and repetitive thrills.
One final, nitpicky question: how does Tarzan know how to spell his name when the book makes it clear that he knows nothing about English phonetics?...more