- Taschenbuch: 368 Seiten
- Verlag: Ebury Press; Auflage: Revised edition. (28. Mai 2013)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0091951712
- ISBN-13: 978-0091951719
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 12,7 x 2,2 x 19,6 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 101.618 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
The Science of Discworld II: The Globe (Science of Discworld 2, Band 2) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 28. Mai 2013
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Like its predecessor, The Science of Discworld II contains a short Discworld fantasy by Terry Pratchett whose chapters alternate with popular science commentary from Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen.
In the Discworld strand, the bickering Unseen University wizards revisit their accidental creation Roundworld--that astonishing place where there's no magic. Our world, in fact. But it's being influenced by elves (bad news in the Pratchett cosmos), who bring superstition and irrational terrors to evolving humanity. They feed on fear.
This is the cue for Stewart and Cohen to develop their ideas of stories as a shaping power in the evolution of human intelligence. Whether they're called spells, memes, creeds, theorems, artworks or lies, satisfying stories are Roundworld's equivalent of Discworld magic. It's just that it all happens in our heads: "headology" as top witch Granny Weatherwax puts it.
Struggling to make Roundworld history come out right despite elvish interference, the wizards entangle themselves in complications of time travel and must eventually beg advice from Granny. To encourage a rational attitude to facts, it seems, Roundworld needs transcendent fictions--represented, in narrative shorthand, by the works of one William Shakespeare. The trick is to make sure he gets born...
The racy exposition of the non-fiction chapters covers plenty of ground, including astrology, cargo cults, phase spaces, information theory, and the evolution of species, art, science and religion, all reflecting the human tendency not to let facts spoil a good story. Meanwhile the Discworld chapters--though sometimes disappointingly short--are fast and funny, climaxing with much unscripted action at the first night of a famous play. The Science of Discworld II is ultimately entertaining and genuinely thought-provoking, as expected from this team. Laugh and learn! --David Langford -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.
• "A book in which the hard science is as gripping as the fiction." --The TimesAlle Produktbeschreibungen
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Wurde im ersten Teil noch die Entwicklung vom Urknall bis zum Ende des Universums beschrieben, entdecken die Zauberer diesmal eine Zivilisation, die sie vorher übersehen hatten, die Unserige.
Die Reise vom Affen zum sogenannten Homo Sapiens liest sich gewohnt flüssig und wissenschaftliche Themen werden mit Humor erläutert. Wer den ersten Teil mochte wird auch diese Fortsetzung lieben. Neueinsteigern kann der eigenständige 2. Teil vorbehaltlos empfohlen werden.
Deshalb nur zwei Sterne.
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Like many assimilated Jews, they regard Judaism with an intense and deeply irrational paranoia. Before I continue, I should point out that I am in not way related to Jews or an adherent to Judaism. I just think that many Jews fail to understand Judaism in its intellectual and historical context.
As fascinating as a short story about a scientist using logic circuits to evolve a more advanced means of replicating a signal, the section on Pan Narrans deviated from a discussion of humans advancing by telling stories (an idea I am intrigued by as a student of History) and into a lengthy and frequently absurd complaint against Judaism. I think much if has to do with Mr. Cohen. I seriously doubt any similar complaints would be issued against Bhaal, Marduk, or Jupiter. The general gist of the complaints were that Judaism:"stiffled creativity", repressed people's spirits, was horribly legalistic, and led to religious wars. Given that the authors, like Mr. Pratchett, are atheists, these are likely key elements of their generalized view of all religion.
As a student of History (as I do not have a PhD or a specialized job, I cannot call myself a historian), I know that the various religions in the past (not to mention present) were very different. Not least of these differences was human sacrifice. Almost every society in human history has practiced human sacrifice as a legitimate means of honoring or bartering with the "gods". Judaism (and the Romans for different reasons) was radically different. People have supposed that Abraham was confused why God told him to sacrifice his son. He couldn't have been because that was NORMAL procedure among neighboring peoples. Given that Judaism prohibited human sacrifice, prostitution, and sexual slavery, I consider Judaism to have been a most favorable development in human history.
Nonetheless, Mr. Cohen seemed infuriated when an Israeli asked what it must have been like to be a descendant of the Cohens (an ancient religious caste in Hebrew society that still provided most of the rabbis and religious leaders even in the 1800's). Mr. Cohen's response was one of great shame at what his ancestors must have done in condemning other people and generally being repressive. The only real grounds I can find for such a view exist not in classical history (when the Cohens really existed as a religious office) but in the sometimes insular world of the polish shtetl where some Jewish communities were dominated by charismatic rabbis with more influence that sense. Even still, others shtetles had more reasonable rabbis who did not threaten to cast people out for disagreeing. I suspect that Mr. Cohen is unreasonably conflating the two periods in his mind and fails to understand the moral philosophy of Judaism. One of the excellent points made in the book (or is it the earlier book?) is that under polytheism, you needed a theopsychologist to understand the weather. Monotheists just needed a regular observation of the weather because they assumed some continuity in natural laws.
There are wonderful elements in the book. The idea of Pan Narrans is interesting (although like many people excited by their ideas, they go too far and assume it explains everything) and is worth considering. Many smaller lessons such as the process of evolution and the nature of life is portrayed in a wonderfully simple and easy to understand manner. The book outside of Pan Narrans and Mr. Cohen's rant is a good and worthwhile read. I would have given it four stars had it not been for the repetitiveness of their Pan Narrans idea and the historically absurd accusations against Judaism.
The concept of humans requiring 'narrativium' (or a story-structure into which they can fit the wilder excesses of their ambitions) had long been a subliminal conviction for me and here I found it artfully described. If you happen to have an unshakably conventional world-view then perhaps this book won't have the same impact.
Some readers might find the discussion of faith topics sacrilegious; all I can say to this is that I am sure your god (or gods) will probably commend your curiosity and might take your enhanced sense of wonder at the universe into mitigation.
Buy the entire 'Science of Discworld' series. Read them, think about them, read them again. Ask questions... Never stop asking questions.
Ordering a used book for the second time with less anxiety I was thrilled to receive a very good hard cover edition.
I'm a big fan of both authors and will get the third Science of Discworld book somehow. If you have a copy ...:)
the science of the discworld series are truly amazing and mind altering. a must read :)
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