With errata slip: Page 20,line 8: at a fixed location should read at one of the poles Page 20,line 11: anticlockwise should read clockwise Page 30, figuWith errata slip: Page 20,line 8: at a fixed location should read at one of the poles Page 20,line 11: anticlockwise should read clockwise Page 30, figure caption: Paul's journey takes 11.56 seconds each way, not 10. Page 144, line 21: uranium has 92 protons, not 96....more
Far more speculation than science, but enough science to maintain interest. I also appreciated the ethical issues were not ignored, though they were gFar more speculation than science, but enough science to maintain interest. I also appreciated the ethical issues were not ignored, though they were glossed over rather perfunctorily. About par for the course of popular science and futurism, which I generally find to be overly optimistic and oddly naïve....more
One of the better popular-science books I've ever read, and certainly the best I've read recently. Well written, engaging, and well-referenced, it notOne of the better popular-science books I've ever read, and certainly the best I've read recently. Well written, engaging, and well-referenced, it not only improved my understanding of General Relativity, but made the very concept of time—both in terms of the experience of its flow and it's scientific sense as a dimension of unified spacetime—both clearer and more diffuse: what is time after all? How can it even be defined in any meaningful way? These questions may seem ridiculous on their face, as time is measured by every clock. But what exactly is that clock measuring, and how? Once you start scratching at that surface understanding, one finds rather little substance holding it up.
Naturally, I will go on to use this as a further justification of my habit of procrastination. Eventually....more
I found this to be the most well-balanced book on "paranormal" phenomena I've ever come across: true skepticism in the sense of reserving judgment andI found this to be the most well-balanced book on "paranormal" phenomena I've ever come across: true skepticism in the sense of reserving judgment and maintaining an attitude of open inquiry, rather than leaving one's mind so open that one's brains fall out on one side or demanding ever-increasing degrees of proof to overcome the closed mind ever running ahead of the continually sliding goal posts on the other. It should thus, in my opinion, be of great interest to anyone who adopts the position of "The Method of Science; the Aim of Religion," which is to say any Thelemite and nearly any Western ceremonialist.
Accordingly, it also provides a very good look at the (scant, but real) scientific examinations being made of claims that many dismiss out of hand or swallow whole, based solely on their existing unexamined prejudices. As the author puts it, "If we've learned one thing in this book already, people don't like the unknown very much. And so, if we believe we're being visited by other civilizations, we read the piles of books and articles on unexplained lights in the sky, then fill in the massive gaps—with wild tales of alien races, interstellar technology, and government conspiracies. If we don't believe, we hear someone saw an unexplained light in the sky and assume, first, that he's claiming to have seen E.T. Then we figure what he really saw was an airplane, Venus, swamp gas, or a helicopter, and he must be a bit foolish—maybe even a UFO nut. Then we laugh."
My only possible gripe is that the endnotes are in a very loose, bibliographic style: I would rather have had full-on numbered citations, but I can see why he opted out of that academic format, given that he's writing more conversationally for a general audience. That said, the notes are quite interesting in themselves, fairly thorough, and led me to several sources for further investigation of topics of interest in greater depth.
Finally, I am amused to discover that this is the 666th book added to my Read shelf here on Goodreads. ...more