Category: What Ya Readin ?


What is an ocean but a multitude of drops

Fall in love with me and save my life

History admits no rules only outcomes

This isn’t an interrogation or a trial. Your version of the truth is the only thing that matters.

Truth is singular. It’s ‘versions’ are mistruths

By each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.

To get the crowd to cry Hosanna, you must first ride to town on an ass.

Writing is such a damn lonely sickness

―    David Mitchell,    Cloud Atlas

” The answers are there, We are Immortal, We will always be together”

This quote is but one of many I underlined from this compelling read. I admit I’m skeptical, but my goodness……. What a great message of hope and inspiration.

Dr. Brian Weiss : a traditional psychotherapist , was astonished and skeptical when one of his patients began recalling past life traumas. When she began to channel messages from the space between lives that contained remarkable information about Dr. Weiss’ family , he was convinced he tapped into some different level of cosmic consciousness . ‘ “Many Lives, Many Masters”  is a journey into a different dimension and Weiss is a credible guide.

books

Greetings from the library room. Todays installment highlights Bill Bryson’s fabulous book, A Short History Of Nearly Everything.

Bill Bryson realized one day that he didn’t know much. He had never (until then) considered the how and why of our world and set about to do just that. This book is that entertaining expedition. Traveling through the subjects of chemistry, physics,geology,paleontology ,astronomy and elsewhere. From the big bang to the rise of civilization, Bryson presents us with the great stories of the sciences and the people making the sciences.  This book is a delight for the inquiring mind, entertaining and thought-provoking. It’s a great addition to any autodiadact’s library.

Some quotes:

“There are three stages in scientific discovery.  First, people deny that it is true, then they deny that it is important; finally they credit the wrong person.”

“Tune your television to any channel it doesn’t receive and about 1 percent of the dancing static you see is accounted for by this ancient remnant of the Big Bang. The next time you complain that there is nothing on, remember that you can always watch the birth of the universe.”

“Protons give an atom its identity, electrons its personality.”

“It is a curious feature of our existence that we come from a planet that is very good at promoting life but even better at extinguishing it.”

“Your pillow alone may be home to 40 million bed mites. (To them your head is just one large oily bon-bon). And don’t think a clean pillow-case will make a difference… Indeed, if your pillow is six years old–which is apparently about the average age for a pillow–it has been estimated that one-tenth of its weight will be made up of sloughed skin, living mites, dead mites and mite dung.”

“even with the most conservative inputs the number of advanced civilizations just in the Milky Way always works out to be somewhere in the millions”.

The writer explains the things he discovered-

Hey Bop, what ya readin ?

I admit it. I am a geek. I like  history and politics and mechanics and physics and theology and cosmology, etc, etc,etc.  I listen to a variety of geeky podcast about these things and read about these things. I confess one of my favorite weekend rituals is to cut my grass while I listen to a fella pretending to be the 3rd President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson. (http://www.jeffersonhour.com/) It’s awesome !!

Another weekend ritual we enjoy is soaking up the sun,” hanging on the hook” in our skiff. Reading and chillin.  Typically the question comes,

“Hey Bop, what ya readin?”……..My answer is  Usually received with  eyes rolling , false dyspepsia and the finger down the throat gesture by my boats’ crew.

Their responses are so rejective, it  naturally  occurs to me to add a book review of my weekly reads in a  recurring post , to share their pain.

THIS WEEK WE PRESENT:

Steven Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow ask basic questions like….. Why do we exist ? Why is there something instead of nothing ? Why does this particular set of laws govern our universe and not some other set?

It starts with a history of scientific Knowledge from the Ionian Greeks to modern cosmology. Goes into quantum mechanics and special relativity with a treatment not overly  scientific and very understandable. It may take a second read of a concept at times but that’s the reward in reading such information. It educates the reader.

The bombshell in this book is an elegant explanation of how  theories about quantum mechanics and relativity came together to shape an understanding of how our universe and possibly other universes formed……….. out of nothing.

Their best explanation of this event is their  M-theory, which predicts not just the universe we live in, but many others. Of all the possible universes, some must have laws that allow the appearance of life. Others dont. Other space-time dimensions exist and operate under laws specific to that particular universe.

Some deeper thinkers have claimed the motivation of the authors is to advance their atheism. That the book is  trying to “prove” the universe needs no creator. I’m not so sure Hawking and Mlodinow were  saying that  . Actually, some of the treatment of the very coincidental combination of factors that has to be in alignment for life to survive seem to argue just the opposite. They dont say it but  A good analogy is that of a great watchmaker.

Throughout recorded history, science has demystified the physical world and thereby demystifying “god” in the process. Things that were attributed to god by earlier civilizations are now explained by science. Thats a good thing. If there is a great watchmaker, i would like to think such intelligence would be encouraged in how far we have demystified our universe and uncovered the rational operation of nature.

Heady stuff, indeed. All packed into 198 pages..