What science book are you reading?

Discussion in 'science, nature and environment' started by J77, Feb 21, 2007.

  1. J77

    J77 residing

    Every now and then, I like to pick up a popular science book.

    So this thread's worth a shot...

    Maybe I'll list some past reads a bit later but at the moment I'm reading:

    Fabric of the Cosmos by Brian Greene.

    Which talks about space and time, and all that jazz. Haven't got to it yet, but I believe it ends with some string theory. Nice intro to the usual history of relativity - tho' the frequent references to things like the Simpsons are a tad annoying.

    The last book I read was:

    Emporer's New Mind by Roger Penrose.

    Well, I reread it. The first time didn't go down too well; I got bored with all the bits about computation. Enjoyed it the second time round - again, it contains the stuff about relativity but in a more technical way than Greene - plus I enjoyed Penrose's descriptions of entropy, leading onto black holes :)
     
  2. chilango

    chilango Neither Westminster nor Brussels....

    Currently reading "Natural Enemies" ed. John Knight: Human - Animal Conflicts from an Anthropological perspective.

    Will probably re-read "Rewilding North America" by Dave Foreman within the week or so.
     
  3. Mrs Magpie

    Mrs Magpie On a bit of break...

    Pluto's Republic by Peter Medawar.
    Nice review of it here.
    www.the-rathouse.com/Medawar_PlutoRepublic.html
    I've also got Medawar's 'Memoir of a Thinking Radish' and 'Aristotle To Zoos'. I love his stuff. Funny and erudite. Great combo in any writer.
     
  4. Stanley Edwards

    Stanley Edwards 1967 Maserati Mistral. R.I.P.

    Latest edition of Language and Mind - Chomsky. Given as a gift. Not a great read on the subject for me. But, I'll read it proper and enjoy it anyway.


    Anyone got good recommendations on reading about visual perception theories?
     
  5. stavros

    stavros Well-Known Member

    Currently George Monbiot's Heat. I'm about two thirds of the way through it.
     
  6. rich!

    rich! stalin tache

    I've just run off the pre-fascicles of Knuth's Art of Computer Programming, 7.1.1-7.1.3. Boolean algebra, bit fields, ... fine stuff.

    And I'm meant to be reading Jared Diamond's Collapse.
     
  7. Dr Jon

    Dr Jon so many beers, too little time Banned

    "Hearing Aids" by Harvey Dillon.
     
  8. quimcunx

    quimcunx protestant traybake

    I got my ex this for his birthday in November, I've flown 3 times since and he keeps frowning at me.

    I've recently read Unweaving The Rainbow by Richard Dawkins. I understood most of it and found several bits fascinating.

    I'm not sure what visual perception theories are but this book does have stuff about vision. Sounds like you may be looking for more advanced/specialist stuff
     
  9. Red Horse

    Red Horse Yo! Tickle My Nuts

    Am reading Bill Bryson's 'The Short History of Just About Everything'. Not very high-brow but well interesting nonetheless and full of stuff i never had a clue about
     
    chasbo zelena and Jon-of-arc like this.
  10. dash

    dash New Member

    Visual Intelligence by Donald Hoffman is a good introduction to the subject. Details on Amazon.
     
  11. golightly

    golightly I've been gentrified. - :(

    I read that a number of years ago and really enjoyed it. I've been lent the God Delusion to read, which I will do as soon as I finish 'For Whom the Bell Tolls'. I hate reading more than one book at a time.
     
  12. Structaural

    Structaural in Chatsubo

    Straw Dogs by John Gray (again) not sure if it could be classified as Science though...
     
  13. Mrs Magpie

    Mrs Magpie On a bit of break...

    I cannot recommend this book highly enough and I've only just started Chapter 3!

    Phantoms In The Brain by Sandra Blakeslee & V. S. Ramachandran
     
  14. fogbat

    fogbat The Talibum

    Oh god. I tried reading that a few years ago.

    Didn't he build the foundations of his argument on Gaia theory and then build a whole tower of bullshit on it?
     
  15. littlebabyjesus

    littlebabyjesus one of Maxwell's demons

    Probably my favourite science book. Very well thumbed.

    I've been reading his latest, Cycles of Time. The maths in it is hard, but I'm struggling through it. The basic idea is that there are cycles of Big Bangs, and that the far future will provide the conditions for the next Big Bang. He speaks at length again about entropy, and he makes a good point, I think: If, instead of Heat Death, the universe were destined for a 'Big Crunch', at the time of the Crunch, there would be high entropy, not low entropy as there must have been at the start of this universe. He then takes this insight and runs with it.

    I do love that about Penrose – he attacks received wisdoms (he's dead against the idea of cosmic inflation, for instance), and he isn't afraid to take his own ideas to their logical conclusions.
     
  16. Geri

    Geri wasn't born to follow

    Whatever happened to J77?
     
  17. ferrelhadley

    ferrelhadley These violent delights have violent ends.

    He mixes the Gaia theory with clatherate releases. Clatherate releases are well documented in the paleo records and easy to explain, Gaia far more problematic and Gray goes for a strong Gaia.

    We have loaded the clatherate gun and pointed it at our own heads, Gaia or none. Its a waiting game now and the sooner we get serious with CO2 reductions the less barrels we have loaded as we repeatedly click the revolver we are playing Russian roulette with.
     
  18. littlebabyjesus

    littlebabyjesus one of Maxwell's demons

    Hmmm. Really?

    Gray overplays his hand, imo. The Urban75 equivalent of John Gray would be LLETSA. Nothing he says is in itself wrong, but taken as an entirety, it is presupposing the worst of all possible worlds. There is in fact no good reason to believe that he is right.
     
  19. dessiato

    dessiato Life is a lemon, and I want my money back

    A good light science book. If you like it try 'Can Reindeer Fly?' By Roger Highfield.
     
  20. Mrs Magpie

    Mrs Magpie On a bit of break...

    I've had problems with popular science this week. The distributor didn't send any New Scientist mags to my newsagent this week and he advised me to pick it up somewhere else. I tried a large W.H. Smiths on my way home. I couldn't find it in the vast array of wall-to-wall magazines. I asked a shop assistant and was told 'Mens Lifestyle' :mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:
     
    _angel_ likes this.
  21. FaradayCaged

    FaradayCaged I like pancakes, do you like pancakes?

    "Physics of the impossible" - Michio Kaku
     
  22. Mrs Magpie

    Mrs Magpie On a bit of break...

    Inside of a Dog, Alexandra Horowitz.
    Really good, and not only because the title is part of a favourite Groucho Marx quote (Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read).
    Sort of domestic ethology.
     
  23. Kuso

    Kuso drinking like george best, gettin less women

    struggling through 'Infinity and the Mind' by Rudy Rucker at the moment, also reading some molecular modelling text book thing for uni
     
  24. Dr Jon

    Dr Jon so many beers, too little time Banned

    Fractals in Farming by Strange O'Tractor
     
  25. Mikey77

    Mikey77 Banned Banned

    GCSE chemistry. I was trying to figure out some shizzle cos people on here ain't all that. I don't know shit about science - innit.
     
  26. Yuwipi Woman

    Yuwipi Woman Whack-A-Mole Queen

    I'm not certain it's a "science" book and I have serious doubts about the sourcing, but I'm reading "The Vegetarian Myth" by Lierre Kieth. It's an extremely Malthusian book if I've ever seen one. On the other hand, I got it out of the free box in front of a used bookstore.
     
  27. fractionMan

    fractionMan Custom Title

    I recently read
    Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos

    Which was excellent. An introduction to the subject via the history of complexity science. Nowhere near as dry as you might imagine. You can get it for a few quid second hand.
     
  28. Macabre

    Macabre digiratti

    Handbook of Thiophene-Based Materials: Applications in Organic Electronics and Photonics

    Fucking thesis wont write its self unfortunately.
     
  29. FaradayCaged

    FaradayCaged I like pancakes, do you like pancakes?

    The Grand Design - Stephen Hawking & Leonard Mlodinow

    Just got it from the library today, going to start it tomorrow :cool:. I love M-Theory.
     
  30. emanymton

    emanymton A cat politely sat on the flaming gardener.

    In theory I'm reading the trouble with physics by Lee Smolin, in practice I read the introduction a couple of weeks ago and haven't got any further. Im so lazy sometimes :facepalm:
    Last one I read was the man who mistook his wife for a hat by Oliver Sacks, which is a great book.
     

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