Keith's Reviews > The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World

The Beginning of Infinity by David Deutsch
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Mar 17, 2012

it was amazing

This is probably the most important book i have read over the last decade. Deutsch writes beautifully - this is a clear and coherent and it needs to be because he tackles a breathtaking number of subjects. The overall message is exciting and optimistic - since the industrial revolution and the enlightenment we have been improving at an exponential rate. this is due to the dominance of scientific thinking. His argues, convincingly that the human brain has limitless possibilities - it can see and reason beyond the restrictions of the senses and instruments.

The main influence on his thinking seems to be Karl Popper. IE that what science is really about is not making predictions, or finding facts and proving their veracity through experiment, rather it is to come up with explanations that demonstrate our deeper understanding of the world. the explanation comes first, all else follows from that.

He manages to make Quantum Mechanics intelligible and more importantly, he shows how it will shape human destiny. the laws of physics are the basis for everything in the universe. however, the one area that the laws of physics have not yet conquered is human creativity. On this score one of the more interesting sections relates to Qualia. i.e., you may be able to describe, in precise detail, whist the colour red consists of. you will know its bandwidth etc. but you still can describe, scientifically what it feels like to see the colour red.
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