am 14. September 2013
This is my first David Deutsch book. In it he explains that explanations have a fundamental palace in the universe. At first I was not sure where he was going with the beginning of infinity theme. Yet I found his arguments fascination. He looks at clouds from both sides now and can surprise you be telling you want you suspected all along but could not put it in words.
You need to have a good background in several disciplines or plan on doing a lot of side reading as I swear David peeked in my library and quoted from every author I ever read. I was really floored to find he know so much about Jacob Bronowski my hero from the 70's.
Occasionally he would light on a subject that I see different but it did not distract from the point he was trying to make. I had a different view of Persephone which included pomegranates. And when he went into base number systems he concentrated on zero not taking to time to see the beauty and simplicity of the base sixty stem that we use today for time and degrees and easy conversions in geometry.
The book itself is broken up into many text book style chapters. Each chaptere on a different subjedt leading to the same point of the meaning of infinity. Each chapter has a good summary. I also listened to the voice recorded book however you miss the diagrams.
As I dove through each chapter, some of them seemed to be making the point the hard way; I kept thinking when is he going to go off the deep; like so many people that want physics to look like old eastern religious clichés. But he never did. His argument kept getting stronger and clearer. He even pointed out bad explanations and why.
When you finish the book (and it ends too soon) you will look at the world differently. It is like the mechanic that looks at the car and does not see its glossy finish but the culmination of many tuned systems that came together for a purpose.
You of course will have to read this book again.
am 6. Juli 2012
Having reached almost 100 pages, I have yet no idea what this book is about.
I confess I bought it because of the 5 stars reviews I have read in here.
The book is page after page of long paragraphs with no apparent structure. Not only a thematic structure (sections, subsections, etc) but not even typographical cues: Apart from the occasional figure, it's all block of letters after block of letters with no "building to a point" in sight, a melange of cosmology, quantum physics, philosophy, all combining established knowledge with opinion.
Also, the overuse of the adjective "parochial" is irritating. It is present on almost every page. Did the editor not note that? Why talking about "parochial" things in every page, instead of using the space available in your book to talk about the transcendent, the important, the relevant?
I think this book is made with notes and loose articles; the size of his name and his photo in the cover make me think that it is aimed at selling the book's author instead of the content.