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29 September 2007 @ 04:53 pm
Brian Greene, The Fabric of Cosmos  
I am currently eating my way through Brian Greene's The Fabric of the Cosmos, a rather unsuspicious-looking paperback with a dark, blue-ish cover, showing you starlit skies and the sea. Five-hundred pages, Penguin Popular Science. 'The new Hawking, only better,' The Times review says, more than just a little sensationalist. What it should say, however, to provide a more accurate description is: Beware folks! This one contains physics explained for tv addicts and philosophy geeks. Practically equationless but heavy on abstract wordiness and imaginative examples.

I cannot claim to understand physics, or for that matter anything else that Greene is talking about, on more than just a mere surface level, but it's fascinating to stretch my mind like this and have the workings of space, time or Newton's bucket illustrated with examples from tv land, like Itchy and Scratchy shooting each other with pistols on a fast driving train and Apu watching their duel from the trainstation's platform.

In his introduction to the problems of quantum mechanics, Greene treats his readers to a one and a half page long X-Files vignette about Mulder and Scully arguing over a set of blinking, alien boxes.

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