Thread: What are you currently reading?

  1. #1176
    Member Rick Robson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taped Rugs View Post
    I took Capra's class on the Tao Of Physics right after he published the book (UC Berkeley, 1970's). Very interesting guy, a lot of his physics analogies came from his skiing experiences. He basically required students to take the class on a Pass/Not Pass basis (rather than for an A-F grade). I did an extra-credit report on sound waves created by tape loops for the class, featuring my own version of a Frippertronics demonstration.

    Oh, and my current bit of reading literature is Dee Brown's "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee." Seems appropriate right now, considering all the troubles going on up in North Dakota with the Bakken Oil Pipeline. The dark side of USA history is revealed quite dramatically in this book, and right now that dark history is repeating itself.
    Hey thnaks for your reply! I appreciate so much your comments about him , and congratulate you for your interesting report.
    It would be such a pleasure for me to meet Fritjof Capra one day, I admire very much his thoughts. And very interesting what you mentiined about Capra's way of taking the students class, I wonder if it has to do with his deep admiration for the Oriental way of life and philosophy? , if I'm not wrong our occidental culture is very much based on the competition.

    That book you mentioned is on my purchase list too, I found interesting (as well as astounding) what I just checked out about it - indeed such a dark USA history, and I wouldn't ever imagine the west natives still bearing resistance over the government appropriations.
    "Beethoven can write music, thank God, but he can do nothing else on earth. ". Ludwig van Beethoven

  2. #1177
    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Robson View Post
    I'm definitely looking forward to this too. Reading some 'sinopsis' of it in the web I come to realise that this book and the book by Fritjof Capra that I mentioned above share common evidences -
    I'd also highly recommend the recent biography by Peter Bryne, The Many Worlds of Hugh Everett III. While a biography of the physicist who came up with the Multiverse interpretation of quantum mechanics, Bryne who says he failed algebra, wrote an excellent account of the development of this theory while Hugh Everett was at Princeton in the mid 1950s with John Wheeler as his adviser. (Richard Feynman also had Wheeler for an adviser.) Bryne explains the general quantum ideas including the division that arose between young Everett and elderly Niels Bohr and how an ignored Everett never taught at a university but instead started his own companies that made software during the Cold War.

    I thought Bryne wrote too much on some aspects of the Cold War including a couple of mini essays on MAD, etc that should have been much shorter during the latter half of the book but the last quarter picks up again describing the physics community seriously examining Everett's splitting universe theory from the 1970s and how later physicsts like David Deutch and the "Oxford school" started to embrace it while others defended Bohr's Copenhagen interpretation . I took a quantum mechanics course in 1988 and saw a couple of years ago that it wasn't taught until the early 1990s. Still one of several quantum mechanics interpretations.

    Also toward the end, the biography discusses more of his home life including what his son "E" from the Eels thought of his father, mother and sister while growing up. "I never knew my father was some physics genius" he explained on the hour documentary "Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives" that is on youtube.
    I really liked that documentary but the book goes into much more detail and was usually fun to read. If you skip the book, I'd still read this bio:

    http://space.mit.edu/home/tegmark/everett/everett.html

  3. #1178
    Member Rick Robson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yamishogun View Post
    I'd also highly recommend the recent biography by Peter Bryne, The Many Worlds of Hugh Everett III. While a biography of the physicist who came up with the Multiverse interpretation of quantum mechanics, Bryne who says he failed algebra, wrote an excellent account of the development of this theory while Hugh Everett was at Princeton in the mid 1950s with John Wheeler as his adviser. (Richard Feynman also had Wheeler for an adviser.)
    Yours is also a very interesting recommendation indeed, thanks.

    And as you mentioned John Archibald Wheeler again, I have to tell you that I'm just now getting aware of his essential importance for the development of modern physics in USA, thanks to the book that I'm actually reading in the first place these days - 'Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space' by the American Janna Levin, who is physics and astronomy teacher at the Columbia University, as well as science director of the Pioneer Works in Brooklyn, NYC.

    I was not yet going to mention the Janna's book , as I'm just at the third chapter, even though it's been turning out more and more exciting to me at each page read!
    And I've just stumbled upon Janna's brief Bio (five pages) about John Wheeler. I'm stunned to know he was the teacher on the very first course about relativity, in Princeton, in 1952. He's known as the "grandfather of the american relativity", producing the first great generation of American relativists, advising and teaching 46 ph.Ds. in Physics, among them Richard Feynman and Kip Thorne* (protagonist of Janna's book, along with Rai Weiss and Ron Drever.)
    More than ten years earlier he was a member of Germany's Physics Society, and Einstein's friend in Princeton. Afterwards he felt gradually disappointed about his wrong thoughts that the German occupation would give stability to Europe, deciding then to joining the American nuclear weapons program staff during the World War II. His experience with Nuclear Energy was decisive for his farther scientific interests.

    * P.S.: John Wheeler started Kip Thorne on the revolutionary Black Holes and Quantum Mechanics era, Kip belonged in the first generation of physics grown in that era.
    Last edited by Rick Robson; 12-18-2016 at 03:26 PM.
    "Beethoven can write music, thank God, but he can do nothing else on earth. ". Ludwig van Beethoven

  4. #1179
    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Robson View Post
    More than ten years earlier he was a member of Germany's Physics Society, and Einstein's friend in Princeton. Afterwards he felt gradually disappointed about his wrong thoughts that the German occupation would give stability to Europe, deciding then to joining the American nuclear weapons program staff during the World War II. His experience with Nuclear Energy was decisive for his farther scientific interests.

    * P.S.: John Wheeler started Kip Thorne on the revolutionary Black Holes and Quantum Mechanics era, Kip belonged in the first generation of physics grown in that era.

    Based on the above, it seems you'd really like the Hugh Everett III book. I'd check out the table of contents at Amazon - it is divided into 10 "books" with sub chapters. Here is the organization though not the titles:

    1. Hugh's Everett's early life , including his poet mother and later his wife who edited for him
    2. Mathematicians and game theory during the Cold War with a chapter on Von Neuman
    3. Quantum World - studying at Princeton, the meauerment problem, wave collapse and philosophy
    4. Everett and Wheeler
    5. World War III possibility (OK, but a distraction)
    6. Crossroads - leaving acadmics and forming his software company
    7. Assured Destruction - more Cold War
    8. Transitions
    9. The Death of Lambda (company in trouble)
    10. Many Worlds Reborn
    11. The final years - (not so great! but sastisfied at age 51...)
    12. Everett's Legacy

    The excellent chapters are in bold so there are some detours but are at least worth skimming if you read it.

  5. #1180
    Member Rick Robson's Avatar
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    ^^ Indeed appreciated your detailed information about the book, thanks yamishogun, I'm looking forward to it too.
    "Beethoven can write music, thank God, but he can do nothing else on earth. ". Ludwig van Beethoven

  6. #1181
    Progga mogrooves's Avatar
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    Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer by economist Dean Baker.

    We are f*cked. Happy New Year!
    Michael: "Harold, don't you have any other music, you know, from [last] century?"
    Harold: "There is no other music....."

  7. #1182
    Member Lopez's Avatar
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    After watching scads of pre-Code movies (a tip of the old chapeau to PhilSunset for many suggestions; thanks, Bob) and some internet hunting, I found at the Boston Public Library, the only biography of actor Warren William; Warren William, Magnificent Scoundrel of Pre-Code Hollywood by John Stangeland (2011). He resembled John Barrymore and often played cads, shyster lawyers, and villains (kind of like what Vincent Price specialized in in the 40s and 50s). I'm about half-way through. The book details his early days in small-town Minnesota and rise as a stage actor there and on Broadway before becoming a contract player for Warner Brothers in post-silent pictures. A bit academic but packed with info on early talkies and this long-forgotten actor.
    Lou

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  8. #1183
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    I put away Red Mars for now and I started Jonathan Coe's Expo 58... I'm about 1/3 of the way through, and it's probably Coe's funniest novel so far.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from heroin-addicts to crazy ones

  9. #1184
    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    ... now and I started Jonathan Coe's Expo 58... I'm about 1/3 of the way through, and it's probably Coe's funniest novel so far.
    Must be even more funny for someone from Brussels I guess. But you're right, there's less drama in this one.

  10. #1185
    Pikachupacabra spellbound's Avatar
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    Spider From Mars by Woody Woodmansey
    'Please don't tear this world asunder
    Please take back this fear we're under
    I demand a better future' - David Bowie

  11. #1186
    Member Lou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Bails View Post
    Sounds like a great read. Added to the list.

    This one from Cutter also sounds pretty good, too.
    Hey Scott, I just finished The Deep. Knowing your love of science fiction, I think this may be a better starting point for you.
    I'm more old school horror, so I liked The Troop a bit better, but The Deep is still an excellent read.
    A Comfort Zone is not a Life Sentence

  12. #1187
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    Quote Originally Posted by spellbound View Post
    Spider From Mars by Woody Woodmansey
    I purchased this one, but have not had the time to read it yet. What do you think of it?

  13. #1188
    Member Lopez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spellbound View Post
    Spider From Mars by Woody Woodmansey
    Just put a hold request on it at my local library. Saw DB and the Spiders in early 1973 in Philly. One of the best shows ever.
    Lou

    Awarded the Krusty Brand Seal of Approval. It's not just good, it's good enough.

  14. #1189
    Studmuffin Scott Bails's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lou View Post
    Hey Scott, I just finished The Deep. Knowing your love of science fiction, I think this may be a better starting point for you.
    I'm more old school horror, so I liked The Troop a bit better, but The Deep is still an excellent read.
    Thanks, Lou. They both sound pretty cool.
    Music isn't about chops, or even about talent - it's about sound and the way that sound communicates to people. Mike Keneally

  15. #1190
    Pikachupacabra spellbound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevesly
    What do you think of it (Woody's book)?
    I'm about halfway through and enjoying it a lot so far. I'm reading The Troop at the same time. In between dealing with local flooding.
    'Please don't tear this world asunder
    Please take back this fear we're under
    I demand a better future' - David Bowie

  16. #1191
    After 30 years I'm currently rereading H.F. Saint's Memoirs Of An Invisible Man. Great human SF with humor, but also with the less practical issues an invisible man has to deal with. Once saw John Carpenter's movie which was made from this novel, featuring Chevy Chase and Daryl Hannah, but Carpenter changed it into a comedy.

  17. #1192
    Member hippypants's Avatar
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    I, Goldstein: My Screwed Life

    703287.jpg

  18. #1193
    Progga mogrooves's Avatar
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    Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, Jeffrey St. Clair

    Adios, Barry......
    Michael: "Harold, don't you have any other music, you know, from [last] century?"
    Harold: "There is no other music....."

  19. #1194
    Member Digital_Man's Avatar
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    I'm currently reading the Time magazine issue I got about the inevitable voyage to mars(among other things).

  20. #1195
    Member Lopez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveSly View Post
    I purchased this one, but have not had the time to read it yet. What do you think of it?
    Steve, if you haven't started Woody's book yet, you are in for a good time. I'm more than half way through and will probably finish it this weekend. It's an interesting story of how Woody started out playing drums in a farming community in northern England and eventually lands the drum spot in the Spiders from Mars. Besides talking about himself he speaks about Bowie and his rise and fall as Ziggy Stardust. He heaps lots of praise on Mick Ronson and Trevor Bolder, but Trev remains a mystery character. He doesn't say much about him as a person. I kind of wish there were a bit more detail in the book, but then it would be 600 pages instead of 300 and it might get tedious, I suppose. Lots of interesting stuff about touring and the weird Bowie hanger-oners. Having seen the Ziggy tour and been a huge Bowie fan in the early 70s, I'm loving this book.
    Lou

    Awarded the Krusty Brand Seal of Approval. It's not just good, it's good enough.

  21. #1196
    Jefferson James
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    Sissy Spacek, My Extraordinary Ordinary Life. She's cool.

  22. #1197
    Pikachupacabra spellbound's Avatar
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    On deck: Last Year by Robert Charles Wilson. I have read most of the other books by this very good sci-fi author. In Last Year, he tries his hand at time travel.
    'Please don't tear this world asunder
    Please take back this fear we're under
    I demand a better future' - David Bowie

  23. #1198
    Started reading "The Last Days Of Night" by Graham Moore about Edison VS Westinghouse.

  24. #1199
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    Been on a bit of a musician auto-bio kick lately. Just finished in succession the Springsteen and Brian Wilson books, now about 1/4 of the way through Robbie Robertson. As a NJ native just a little younger than Bruce, it was interesting reading about his early years playing places that I spent a lot of time in just a few years later. The Wilson book was very interesting but took a little time to understand the jumps back and forth in time. Both books were obviously written by the artist, not ghosted, as their "voices" came through clearly in each. So far I'm enjoying "Testimony" most of the three. Robertson's style is more straightforward than Wilson's, less preachy than Bruce. And what a life! Only 25% through the story and he's already met Buddy Holly, Bo Diddley, Conway Twitty, Ray Charles, Roy Buchanan, Sonny Boy Williamson, Lieber & Stoller and Doc Pomus.
    No matter how corrupt, greedy, and heartless our government, our corporations, our media, and our religious and charitable institutions may become, the music will still be wonderful. - Kurt Vonnegut

  25. #1200
    Boo! walt's Avatar
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    Capitalist Realism--Is There No Alternative? by Mark Fisher.

    I hope so.
    "please do not understand me too quickly"-andre gide

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