Fritjof Capra, Crackpot?

  • Thread starter Gold Barz
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  • #1
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I just want to know what the general consensus is on this guy before I really get into his stuff? Reading little excerpts on his stuff seems kind of borderline to me but maybe I am just over-thinking it?

PS: If this isn't the right forum to post this question then please feel free to move it to the appropriate section, thanks.
 

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  • #2
FlexGunship
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I just want to know what the general consensus is on this guy before I really get into his stuff? Reading little excerpts on his stuff seems kind of borderline to me but maybe I am just over-thinking it?

PS: If this isn't the right forum to post this question then please feel free to move it to the appropriate section, thanks.

Meh, I don't know much about him. Sounds like a smart guy who got a little kooky from thinking too hard. While maybe not an actual "crackpot" per se, I would be more inclined to read something by Sagan (or re-read it, as the case may be).
 
  • #3
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The "Tao of Physics" is ancient history by physics standards and the philosophy isn't exactly a show stopper. You can do much better with other books.

However "The Turning Point" is more philosophical and considered by many a must read for left wing politics. It has some interesting theories about western civilization.
 
  • #4
OmCheeto
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I just want to know what the general consensus is on this guy before I really get into his stuff? Reading little excerpts on his stuff seems kind of borderline to me but maybe I am just over-thinking it?

PS: If this isn't the right forum to post this question then please feel free to move it to the appropriate section, thanks.

I've never read any of his books, but I watched his movie a couple of times. I would characterize him, based on the movie, as a crackpot.

But I mean that in a good way of course. He's a crackpot in the sense that he's incomprehensible to the average human. He hangs around some website call http://www.ecoliteracy.org/" [Broken], whatever that means.

eco..economy... economy car... chevette.
liter.. stuff on the ground
racy.. opossite of chevette.

My guess is that it's a web site about a junk yard where people collect stuff and make race cars out of them.
 
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  • #5
apeiron
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Having read all his books, he is not a crackpot but a rational populariser of systems science. Tao of Physics is the weakest even though it was a commercial hit. I like the Web of Life best because it is simply a potted history of systems science. Hidden Connections was good for its green arguments.
 
  • #6
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Having read all his books, he is not a crackpot but a rational populariser of systems science. Tao of Physics is the weakest even though it was a commercial hit. I like the Web of Life best because it is simply a potted history of systems science. Hidden Connections was good for its green arguments.

Thanks for the info, I've never heard of these books.
 
  • #7
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The Web Of Life was probably the best book I've read this year. Capra brilliantly lays out the holistic view of the word, the systems science, and the scientists who advanced those fields.
 
  • #8
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Generally speaking, Capra promotes quantum mysticism, which is more or less a bastardization of quantum mechanics. This is clearly visibly in books such as The Tao of Physics, where he appeals to accidental commonalities in language as if these where profound similarities or connections between reductionist science and eastern mysticism.
 
  • #9
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What Capra try to do is Transdisciplinarity and I think represents the future for wise people...
 
  • #10
FlexGunship
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Generally speaking, Capra promotes quantum mysticism, which is more or less a bastardization of quantum mechanics. This is clearly visibly in books such as The Tao of Physics, where he appeals to accidental commonalities in language as if these where profound similarities or connections between reductionist science and eastern mysticism.

Seconded.
 
  • #11
Ivan Seeking
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  • #12
FlexGunship
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I thought you didn't know much about him. :confused:

Rarely, when an individual realizes he knows nothing about something, that individual will learn. I got the The Hidden Connections at a used book store near work (I work near a college campus). I didn't get much farther than the 2nd chapter. Very "mushy" thinking; wishy-washy words. Lots of appeals to "reason."

I had to look at my poster of Carl Sagan to recover.

EDIT: Incidentally, I also got an awesome book on pre-Apollo era missile tests for like three bucks. There are some good stories/pictures in there. Can't recall the name, sadly. I'm at work.

DOUBLE EDIT: Capra lost me at his desire to push sciences towards "qualities" instead of "quantities." And when he started downplaying our understanding of biology as bringing us no closer to understanding life.
 
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  • #13
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I just want to know what the general consensus is on this guy before I really get into his stuff? Reading little excerpts on his stuff seems kind of borderline to me but maybe I am just over-thinking it?

PS: If this isn't the right forum to post this question then please feel free to move it to the appropriate section, thanks.
My interest in quantum physics also began with popularizations of it. What I've learned is that if you really want to understand it (qm) and how it's been developed, then you will have to learn the mathematical/physical bases of it. This entails going back to Planck and working forward. This will take some time, but it will be time well spent if you're intent on actually understanding how and why qm has evolved as it has.

I don't know if Fritjof Capra is a crackpot or not. I've read only a little bit of his stuff. But there is a tried and true method wrt learning and understanding the development of the quantum theory, and I don't think it has anything to do with Capra's stuff.

Read the original papers by Jordan, Heisenberg, etc.

Then read a good textbook on it.

Then ask some questions.
 
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