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deSitter
Still in Old School


Reged: 12/09/04

"Farewell to Reality" new
      #5927446 - 06/18/13 12:34 PM

http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=6002

-drl


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Ira
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/22/10

Loc: Mitzpe Ramon, Israel
Re: "Farewell to Reality" new [Re: deSitter]
      #5927501 - 06/18/13 01:04 PM

I shall read the book.

/Ira


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CounterWeight
Postmaster
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Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Palo alto, CA.
Re: "Farewell to Reality" new [Re: deSitter]
      #5927505 - 06/18/13 01:11 PM

Can't wait to read it - sounds fun!

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CounterWeight
Postmaster
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Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Palo alto, CA.
Re: "Farewell to Reality" new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5927515 - 06/18/13 01:16 PM

I wonder how well it will stack up against R. Penrose's "The Road To Reality", which I enjoyed a lot. Thanks for the link / heads up.

edit - just ordered a copy from across the pond, I see it's release date here in the states is August

.

Edited by CounterWeight (06/18/13 01:44 PM)


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CounterWeight
Postmaster
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Reged: 10/05/08

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Re: "Farewell to Reality" new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5929152 - 06/19/13 12:44 PM

It's on the way! woohoo

Though Penrose's 'survey' and attempted roadmap became the subject of a lot of criticism, he also tried to explain and refute or at least comment on many of the iterations the thinking has gone though. I especially enjoyed his thoughts on string and m theory... I was a bit taken by surprise by the venom and vigor of some of those who were critical. At the end of the day I would still recommend his book to anyone interested.

I hope I feel as enthusiastic after reading this one. Odd to me that so much has risen to the point that at least in the public press it get's called a 'theory' when IMO it's more a hypothesis or even just a mathematical 'idea'. Like a wild west of desperado's where Maxwell is the unfortunate sheriff.

Is anyone aware of any other text like this? I have many 'surveys' and collections, most of which are out on loan - but only one other I can think of that is modern and relatively up to date and it's entirely mathematical.


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Rudra
super member


Reged: 07/02/10

Re: "Farewell to Reality" new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5929166 - 06/19/13 12:55 PM

Quote:

It's on the way! woohoo




Excuse me, but isn't the book yet to be released? As per Amazon, the release date is August 1st 2013.

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CounterWeight
Postmaster
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Reged: 10/05/08

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Re: "Farewell to Reality" new [Re: Rudra]
      #5929368 - 06/19/13 02:14 PM

For the USA, correct. I found a copy for sale over in England and swooped on it. (edit-thought I mentioned that above, sorry if unclear)

Edited by CounterWeight (06/19/13 02:16 PM)


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deSitter
Still in Old School


Reged: 12/09/04

Re: "Farewell to Reality" [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5930958 - 06/20/13 09:59 AM

This book and Penrose's are not really comparable. The latter attempts a comprehensive overview of what is known, filtered through Penrose's personal experience. The current work is a reaction to the ever-more unphysical blather that passes as physics research. Apparently people are finally getting fed up. What I find most troubling is that feeding on these bad ideas makes people incapable of following a real physical argument. To give an example involving Penrose himself - he demonstrated in simple terms understandable by any physics undergraduate that inflation was incompatible with the laws of thermodynamics (as it must be, invoking negative energy densities). This argument was simply ignored, even coming from so lofty a figure as Sir Roger. I could give many examples. It has been a profoundly depressing several decades as mediocrities have reshaped the world in their own image.

-drl


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CounterWeight
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Re: "Farewell to Reality" new [Re: deSitter]
      #5953653 - 07/03/13 07:13 PM

Well, it arrived in the mail yesterday and I've started in. The chapter names in 'part2' are hilarious! For now I'll just say it starts out well and is fun, interesting, thoughtful.

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CounterWeight
Postmaster
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Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Palo alto, CA.
Re: "Farewell to Reality" new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #6035187 - 08/19/13 06:51 PM

I've been waiting - has anyone else read the book yet? I can't recommend it enough as it has much that applies to so many threads here.

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Ira
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 08/22/10

Loc: Mitzpe Ramon, Israel
Re: "Farewell to Reality" new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #6035217 - 08/19/13 07:11 PM

Available now on Kindle.

/Ira


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GregLee1
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/21/13

Loc: Waimanalo, HI
Re: "Farewell to Reality" new [Re: Ira]
      #6035945 - 08/20/13 07:49 AM

Quote:

I shall read the book.




Not me. Consider this from the review: "Hes well aware though that string theorists are losing badly in the court of science (with US physics departments now hiring virtually no string theorists)."

That's not science -- that's gossip.


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Pess
(Title)
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Reged: 09/12/07

Loc: Toledo, Ohio
Re: "Farewell to Reality" new [Re: deSitter]
      #6035959 - 08/20/13 07:57 AM

Quote:

The current work is a reaction to the ever-more unphysical blather that passes as physics research. Apparently people are finally getting fed up. What I find most troubling is that feeding on these bad ideas makes
-drl




Sorry for being so late to the party but I don't think much has changed at all in this regard. Scientists and quasi-scientists alike have always voraciously protected their 'turf'.

As a grand example consider Popular Opposition to the Theory of Relativity in the 1920s. There were many publications, notably Arthur Patschke and his ether particle theory, that attacked Einstein at a scientific and personal level. Even after prediction after prediction bore fruit.

In fact it took a new generation of scientists to really embrace the theory as it was difficult for the old guard to accept such revolutionary thinking and embrace the fact the physics as they had studied and understood it was totally turned on its head.

The same can be said for your beloved LENR research. Almost no one accepts this as real simply because it violates physics 'as most understand it'. However, should a working examinable example come to market it will revolutionize, not only the world, but be a big pointer towards investigation of 'new' physics.

Still, people in the scientific community tend to hear and see what they want to. No theory is perfect and rather than address the big part that seems to work, most antagonists will point to the little exceptions that don't.

There is an old scientific saying, 'The truth is hidden in the details'. The tiny things that a theory fails on is always the loud neon sign pointing to new science. Case in point: The Ptolemaic model of the solar system gave great predictions but failed to explain a few things such as retrograde planetary motion. This little quirk put Copernicus on the road to a 'more correct' theory of planetary motion.


Pesse (Such is the way of things) Mist


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Crow Haven
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/09/09

Loc: Oregon USA
Re: "Farewell to Reality" new [Re: Pess]
      #6036839 - 08/20/13 04:07 PM

Quote:

Sorry for being so late to the party but I don't think much has changed at all in this regard. Scientists and quasi-scientists alike have always voraciously protected their 'turf'.

As a grand example consider Popular Opposition to the Theory of Relativity in the 1920s. There were many publications, notably Arthur Patschke and his ether particle theory, that attacked Einstein at a scientific and personal level. Even after prediction after prediction bore fruit.

In fact it took a new generation of scientists to really embrace the theory as it was difficult for the old guard to accept such revolutionary thinking and embrace the fact the physics as they had studied and understood it was totally turned on its head.

The same can be said for your beloved LENR research. Almost no one accepts this as real simply because it violates physics 'as most understand it'. However, should a working examinable example come to market it will revolutionize, not only the world, but be a big pointer towards investigation of 'new' physics.

Still, people in the scientific community tend to hear and see what they want to. No theory is perfect and rather than address the big part that seems to work, most antagonists will point to the little exceptions that don't.

There is an old scientific saying, 'The truth is hidden in the details'. The tiny things that a theory fails on is always the loud neon sign pointing to new science. Case in point: The Ptolemaic model of the solar system gave great predictions but failed to explain a few things such as retrograde planetary motion. This little quirk put Copernicus on the road to a 'more correct' theory of planetary motion.


Pesse (Such is the way of things) Mist




+1
Perspective.

"I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of certainty about different things, but I'm not absolutely sure of anything and there are many things I don't know anything about.
-- Richard Feynman


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CounterWeight
Postmaster
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Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Palo alto, CA.
Re: "Farewell to Reality" new [Re: Crow Haven]
      #6039510 - 08/22/13 02:21 AM

Pesse, Maya - good points, still, I am curious about folks take on the perspective of the book and contents, topical choices and method(s) of expository and rhetorical (if applies).

Greg, Reviews and reviewers can be interesting to read, but I never let them do my reading or thinking for me.

I'd open that he covers a truly daunting number of ideas and topics in a historically linear way most of the time, though there is and I think must be some jumping about. The author takes far more pains to illuminate exactly 'what' more than the personalities of the who. This might make it seem dry / boring? But then how else could you get to frame dragging and say what needs in relatively little room, while trying to including relevant important developments that led to the experiments. (Missing IMO is the completely accidental discoveries that led to so many things back in the late 60's /70's having to do with high energy astrophysics and to a far less degree particle physics. There is much more not here, Feynman's using path integrals as opposed to... ?) In these pages you find no discussion of Hamiltonian or Lagrangian or space normalization, Noether...

There are some really nice pages about intensely mathmatistical / philosophical /logical ideas that use absolutely no math or symbolic or algebraic representations. I think this because he does NOT decouple math, philosophy, logic as some seem to feel a compelling need these days. He is pretty rigorous about traditional scientific method and where it fits and does not fit and why. If anything that is his compass in the topics covered.

The first maybe half of the book is his reason for writing the book and where his loyalties are, the extremely necessary historical review, maybe a bit selective out of necessity or brevity. But it is about 130 pages before he asks 'what is wrong with the picture' and the real fun begins for the next maybe 170 pages.

I read a lot. Mostly technical but not entirely. Though I would not call this a technical book in the traditional sense, it is very deep in ways and I found myself reading slowly and needing to put it down and think at many points.

There are maybe 50 pages of notes on the back pages. Bibliography, citations, and it is indexed!

I'll reserve any further thoughts or discussion until others here want to post in.


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