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Science in the Looking Glass by E. Brian Davies

  1. Dec 13, 2004 #1
    Some people must get to write books simply because someone owes them a favor. I'm pretty sure if I went to a publisher and said, "I'm writting a book about high level math, without resorting to actually using math, for people who aren't all that interested in math." My publisher would place it in the same pile as my book of poetry, "What rhymes with Bum."
    Maybe someone more interested in math than me would enjoy this book, but I don't think so. It is just full of things I find irritating:
    1)He'll mention formulas by name, without giving the actual formula in the text. You have to go to the footnotes.
    2)Several times he mentions a subject, then says he's not going to explain it because it has already been explained in other books.
    3)Says things like, "It is easy to find examples of this." Then doesn't find any examples.
    4)Picks the most BORING historical quotes.
    5)It is written like a text book, only without the drama.
    6)He writes like Narcissus, constantly referring to "I did this," and "I did that." I..I..I. This bothers me and is not something I think I would ever resort to because I am more secure in the way I write, I am.

    Basically this book's starting theme is whether numbers actually exist or if they are just an invention of ours. He then moves on to many different areas of math and science. These subjects' common theme seems to be areas the author can find something to disagree with.

    One reason to get the book is to see someone take topics like, "optical illusions, quantum theory and theories of the mind" (you know, cool stuff) and turn in into sleep inducing discussions about Turing Machines. "And if we could build an infinite Turing Machine that didn't collapse into a black hole we would be able calculate the square root of 5 blah blah blah"
    If I had to give this book a rating I would probably say "73" but I have to give it an extra 1 1/2 stars for the cool optical illusion on page 8. So my final score is 7 out of B.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2004
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 14, 2004 #2


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    So, you're saying it should be sold in the self-help section as a way to cure insomnia? :biggrin:
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