Which books do you take?

  • #1
Kevin_Axion
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You have been chosen by aliens to build a new human civilization on another planet in an adjacent solar system and you are allowed to take 3 books on your shelf right now, which ones do you take?

1. The Road to Reality

2. The Princeton Companion to Mathematics

3. Cosmos
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Pengwuino
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I'd bring a Kindle.
 
  • #3
khemist
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The bible.

Key to power
 
  • #4
Kevin_Axion
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I'd bring a Kindle.

So which three books on your kindle?
 
  • #5
Pengwuino
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So which three books on your kindle?

I'd hide the kindle inside 1 hollowed out book storing 1/3 of all the books ever written. I would proceed to buy 2 more kindles and do similar things for the other 2 books.
 
  • #6
I like Serena
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1. Physicsforums
2. Google
3. Wikipedia

Oh darn! These aren't books!
My intelligence is going to suffer!
 
  • #7
Jimmy Snyder
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1. Pimsleur Alienian.
2. Swiss Navy Survival Guide.
3. To Serve Aliens.
 
  • #8
Bible, King Lear, and the Encyclopedia Britannica

Sorry, it's more than a "book," but I can fit it on a thumb drive. As I'm bringing it, you'll just have to cope. :)
 
  • #9
wuliheron
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"Steal This Book", Abbie Hoffman
"The Secrets Of Houdini" by J. C. Cannell
"Alien Abduction Escape" by Steve Schultz
 
  • #10
qspeechc
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"Steal This Book", Abbie Hoffman
"The Secrets Of Houdini" by J. C. Cannell
"Alien Abduction Escape" by Steve Schultz

Hahahaha!
 
  • #11
Jobrag
551
28
If I look at the shelf now they would be
The River Cottage Year
Nigel Slater's Real Food \
Katie Stewart Times Cookery Book
It's a bummer to read PF on a laptop in the kitchen.

In a better room
Complete Shakespear
King James Bible
Other Men's Flowers
 
  • #13
micromass
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1) Feynman lectures on physics
2) Biology - Campbell
3) Introduction to psychology - Atkinson
 
Last edited:
  • #14
I like Serena
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1) Feynman lectures on physics

What's this?
Are you working through the Feynman lectures?
Good! I definitely recommend them! :smile:
 
  • #15
SW VandeCarr
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It's said that Abraham Lincoln had just three books available to him in his formative years: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, the King James Bible and an arithmetic textbook. (Of course, he grew up to be a lawyer.)
 
Last edited:
  • #16
Brandon_R
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1) Feynman lectures on physics
2) Biology - Campbell
3) Introduction to psychology - Atkinson

I'm suprised it took 12 replies to say the Feynman lectures. That's one book that i will definitely take.
 
  • #17
I like Serena
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I'm suprised it took 12 replies to say the Feynman lectures. That's one book that i will definitely take.

And that from a mathematician! :biggrin:
 
  • #18
Saitama
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Textbooks, Textbooks and Textbooks. :biggrin:

What else do i have to study? :rofl:
 
  • #19
I like Serena
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Textbooks, Textbooks and Textbooks.

What else do i have to study?

Oh, you need the book that explains how to study books!
 
  • #20
Saitama
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Oh, you need the book that explains how to study books!

Where can i find this book? :rofl:
 
  • #21
enigma
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If I'm going to start a new human civilization, then the only book I'd need to bring is the Kama Sutra
 
  • #22
Dembadon
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The following will be required reading for every single person in my new civilization:

1. How to Solve It - Polya

2. The Feynman Lectures on Physics - Duh

3. Calculus - Spivak

The inability to reason and solve problems will not be tolerated in my new civilization. If one is found to lack these skills by the age of 18, then they will either be given to the aliens to be used in experiments, or fed to the animals.
 
  • #23
eumyang
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Hmm...

1) Bible (NABRE)
2) Encyclopedia Brittanica (on DVD, which means I'll need my laptop too :biggrin:)
3) a portable hard drive with PDF's containing all the musical scores that I can find, and as many MP3's as I can fit (I like classical music)
 
  • #24
I like Serena
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3. Calculus - Spivak

The inability to reason and solve problems will not be tolerated in my new civilization. If one is found to lack these skills by the age of 18, then they will either be given to the aliens to be used in experiments, or fed to the animals.

Urkel... I never had Spivak... and I'm already over 18! :eek:
 
  • #25
micromass
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The inability to reason and solve problems will not be tolerated in my new civilization. If one is found to lack these skills by the age of 18, then they will either be given to the aliens to be used in experiments, or fed to the animals.

Hmmm, I don't think I want to live in your civilization then :bugeye:
 
  • #26
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Hmmm, I don't think I want to live in your civilization then

In that case, you're stuck with me! :shy:
 
  • #27
Pythagorean
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Molecular Biology of the Cell
CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (88th edition)
Communication Systems Engineering
 
  • #29
Dembadon
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Hmmm, I don't think I want to live in your civilization then :bugeye:

In that case, you're stuck with me! :shy:

I don't know what you two are worried about; both of you possesses the skills I require.
 
  • #30
Mororvia
264
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Oh, it has to be on my shelf?

Rocket Propulsion Elements
Classical Mechanics
Chemistry & Chemical Reactivity
 
  • #31
SW VandeCarr
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I'm suprised it took 12 replies to say the Feynman lectures. That's one book that i will definitely take.

If you were going to start a new human civilization on a presumably habitable planet, why would you start with a set of lectures on theoretical physics?
 
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  • #32
rootX
465
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I wouldn't take any books. Our books are written based on our experiences on the planet Earth bit useless to live on other planet.

I would just let the cultural evolution take care of everything.
 
  • #33
Proton Soup
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i don't think my shelf is up to the task. but i'd want books to help me survive.

some type of practical medical book
a book for living off the land
a mathematics compendium of some type

starting over would require a survivalist mode of thinking and living. you'd need the basics and work up from there, with hopefully a headstart on exploiting minerals for energy, metals, etc.
 
  • #34
Dembadon
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If you were going to start a new human civilization on a presumably habitable planet, why would you start with a set of lectures on theoretical physics?
To develop sharp minds!
I wouldn't take any books. Our books are written based on our experiences on the planet Earth bit useless to live on other planet.

I would just let the cultural evolution take care of everything.

We don't know whether they will be useless, so it wouldn't hurt to take them. If you end up not needing them, then you've lost nothing. Also, I'd argue that logical thinking and the scientific method would be useful no matter where you ended up.
 
  • #35
SW VandeCarr
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I wouldn't take any books. Our books are written based on our experiences on the planet Earth bit useless to live on other planet.

I would just let the cultural evolution take care of everything.

If the planet was habitable, sources regarding engineering, biology, chemistry, medicine, etc would be useful, not to mention human legal and cultural references. However, theoretical physics might be delayed a bit. I don't think the first project would be to build a supercollider.
 

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