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I ve been wondering if the un discipline of physics has suffered the fate that so commonly befalls victims that is, to become the bully In the jostle for space and acceptance today by religion and science, may one speculate that this is what has happened I keep meeting physicists who don t even seem to realise that they are acting in ways which are not dissimilar to the methods of the administration of Christianity and some other religions against which they fought for so long If only all s I ve been wondering if the un discipline of physics has suffered the fate that so commonly befalls victims that is, to become the bully In the jostle for space and acceptance today by religion and science, may one speculate that this is what has happened I keep meeting physicists who don t even seem to realise that they are acting in ways which are not dissimilar to the methods of the administration of Christianity and some other religions against which they fought for so long If only all scientists were forced to do some study of ethics, philosophy, sociology, etc They don t seem to understand that just as suspicious, ignorant Christians might once have seen this thing called science as bewitched hokery pokery, they now appear in that position themselves, unwilling unable to understand anything past their tiny area and therefore rejecting its possible legitimacy.There are those like Rees who, in contrast to the Dawkins type not a physicist, but a spokesman for thebelligerent of them , modestly see areas such as religion and philosophy as outside their purview Then again, there must be some who are capable in a modern Renaissance way to reflect upon both in an illuminating way and Lightman is one of these This collection begins with thoughts on the relationship of science to philosophy Lightman, being both a novelist of note as well as physicist, is entirely comfortable with discussing the nature of words, the differentiated notion of concept for the novelist and the scientist I don t know that I altogether agree with his ideas here, but they are thought provoking His loving, caring sketches of various eminent men in the field of physics are followed by his laments about his life, his chosen fields, the changed nature of life I was utterly happy to be up at 5am today engrossed in his lovely prose, his easy way of making me feel like I had half a clue about physics and maths nothing I ve been reading lately has come close to giving me an idea about these things If only I could get across what an accomplishment that is Five star Reading another by him now [[ FREE DOWNLOAD ]] ✙ A Sense of the Mysterious: Science and the Human Spirit ⇨ From the bestselling author of Einstein s Dreams comes this lyrical and insightful collection of science writing that delves into the mysteries of the scientific process physics, astronomy, mathamatics and exposes its beauty and intrigueIn these brilliant essays, Lightman explores the emotional life of science, the power of imagination, the creative moment, and the alternate ways in which scientists and humanists think about the world Along the way, he provides in depth portraits of some of the great geniuses of our time, including Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, Edward Teller, and astronomer Vera Rubin Thoughtful, beautifully written, and wonderfully original, A Sense of the Mysterious confirms Alan Lightman s unique position at the crossroads of science and art Hah, is there any way I can give Alan Lightman neutron stars rather than just normal stars His writing shines like a supernova, attracts like a black hole and flows smoothly like liquid helium Ok, enough for my experiment with physicsy hyperbole But of course, I m no Lightman He is a rare talent with both an impressive physics background and an elegant style of writing If you believe physics and literary prose are two parallel lines that never meet, Lightman proves you wrong, life isn t bor Hah, is there any way I can give Alan Lightman neutron stars rather than just normal stars His writing shines like a supernova, attracts like a black hole and flows smoothly like liquid helium Ok, enough for my experiment with physicsy hyperbole But of course, I m no Lightman He is a rare talent with both an impressive physics background and an elegant style of writing If you believe physics and literary prose are two parallel lines that never meet, Lightman proves you wrong, life isn t boring Euclidean geometry This is a collection of essays on science Lightman has penned over the course ofthan twenty years He starts off by recounting his fascination with science as a child and later, as a physics major He captures the ineffable charmingly with his accounts of his personal discoveries and the euphoria and obsession physics brought him But science never sufficed to satisfy his enriched spirit, on arts he writes Mathematics contrasted strongly with the ambiguities and contradictions in people The world of people had no certainty or logic The ambiguities and complexities of the human mind are what give fiction and perhaps all art its power A good novel gets under our skin, provokes us and haunts us long after the first reading, because we never fully understand the characters The arts and humanities require experience with life and the awkward contradictions of people, experience that accumulates and deepens with age Science brims with colorful personalities, but the most important thing about a scientific result is not the scientist who found it but the result itself For me, this impersonal, disembodied character of science is both its great strength and its great weakness I loved the grandeur, the power, the beauty, the logic and precision of science, but i also ached to express something of myself, my individuality, the particular way that I saw the world Many have accused scientists of taking away the beauty and the mysteries of the universe, but I believe otherwise science has added the richness in our appreciation of nature and pushed back the boundaries of ignorance, revealing the world with all its splendid simplicity and structure This whole book is about the very human side of science science is not just the cold, amoral, objective laws of nature but the practice of it is a human affair, complicated by all the bedraggled but marvelous psychology that makes us human The last part of the book brings a nostalgic vibe to me as Lightman reflects on his life as a scientist I miss the purity Theoretical physicists, and many other kinds of scientists, work in a world of the mind It is a mathematical world without bodies, without people, without the vagaries of human emotion The equations have a precision and elegance, a magnificent serenity, an indisputable rightness When in the throes of a new problem, i was driven night and day, compelled because I knew there was a definite answer That certainty and power and the intensity of the effort it causes i dearly miss Sometimes I wonder if what i really miss is my youth Purity, exhilaration, intensity these are aspects of the young It is not possible at age fifty for me to look back on myself in my twenties and early thirties and understand anythingthan the delicious feeling of immortality, the clarity of youth, the feeling that everything was possible But it is not the usual nostalgia of a middle aged man, what he has lost is not just his youth or its blitheness, but the tranquility of the mind and the patience to simply sit down and calmly look back That is not just his personal tragedy, but the tragedy of a society, of an era, fully wired but loosely connected, that connection of nature and man, man and man, man and his inner self Sometimes I picture America as a person and think that our entire nation has an inner self If so, does our nation recognize that it has an inner self, does it nourish that inner self, listen to its breathing in order to know who America is and what it believes in and where it is going If our nation cannot listen to its inner self, how can it listen to others If our nation cannot itself true inner freedom, then how can it allow freedom for others How can it bring itself into a respectful understanding and harmonious coexistence with other nations and cultures, so that we might truly contribute to peace in the world Science and technology are not the culprit, but in many ways, our technology has progressed so much that it barely takes into account the improvement of human life Embellishment, perhaps Technology in the service of humanity is no longer the ultimate goal Despite increasing affluence, we work longer and faster, forever plugged in a frenzied world, hopelessly belittled by the dizzying pace of technology and overflowing commodities Lightman renders exactly what I have been feeling about our modern world, with amazing clarity and insight It made me sit for hours thinking about how i ve been living my life, exactly the way he s been living his always busy, unable to waste a single minute, and too impatient to allow myself simple enjoyments But isn t it never too late to sit back, and think, and start a revolution with yourself Alan Lightman is one of theinsecure white boy scientists I ve read, and he likes to write about insecure white boy scientists, too including, as all name droppers do, himself This essay collection is largely an exercize in I missed my physics prime whining, while trying to hop on the kk I ll just be a novelist humanist, then train It s infuriating, because Lightman claims again and again that the humanities are so necessary and important, but so SO clearly prefers the pure science Alan Lightman is one of theinsecure white boy scientists I ve read, and he likes to write about insecure white boy scientists, too including, as all name droppers do, himself This essay collection is largely an exercize in I missed my physics prime whining, while trying to hop on the kk I ll just be a novelist humanist, then train It s infuriating, because Lightman claims again and again that the humanities are so necessary and important, but so SO clearly prefers the pure sciences that he undermines all his points and comes off as an utterly pretentious douchebag Listen at least you can admit you didn t excel at physics You also haven t excelled at fiction, buddy Einstein s Dreams was a one off, and the rest of your work is cliched at best, outright bad at neutral So stop using literature as your saving grace it ain t, and you don t understand it, either.Physics and the humanities, particularly literature and the arts, dovetail beautifully They just do Which is why it s so wildly frustrating when a physicist trying to defend the humanities just comes off bratty, uninformed, and wistful Lightman gets at the very very surface of everything the comparison of science and art has to offer there s nothing else here Except, I guess, some biographies of famous scientists you could also read on Wikipedia I am giving him two stars for his intent, but tbh it s one for execution stop protesting too much, start writing about literature instead of how science and literature are kind of alike, maybe , and then the humanities people you re trying to reach will have an actual foothold then you ll maybe have something to actually say.Also of note this collection is so dated I hate that the early aughts have become dated but like, here we are He writes a praise me, mommy essay about a female scientist groan and then whinges poetic about how technology is moving too quickly and his 2002 university students WITHOUT EXCEPTION all accept progress as their defining virtue, and expect and desire things to movequickly Motherfucker I started university in 2005 and was both praising bitching about technology s side effects from then on But oh wait I majored in literature I guess we should all take a page from the humanities, h u hp.s i m kidding, most people in my age range all had the same nuance and complexity of thought around technology and how it profoundly affected our generation, it was just a fun way to end the review ok guys There are many point that I do not agree in this book He and many others say The zillions of electrons in the universe are identical There is only single kind of electron To me it is same to say there is only single kind of human, yes, we are in same species, but we are all different from each other Every being has its own being This should be in effect for all being.He is writing also that perhaps the material universe is pure mathematics, an extreme version of Plato s ideal forms, matte There are many point that I do not agree in this book He and many others say The zillions of electrons in the universe are identical There is only single kind of electron To me it is same to say there is only single kind of human, yes, we are in same species, but we are all different from each other Every being has its own being This should be in effect for all being.He is writing also that perhaps the material universe is pure mathematics, an extreme version of Plato s ideal forms, matter is the abstract rules of the game, and perhaps there is no way the universe could have been put together except by pure mathematics So I am asking where is the point in nature, where is the line in the universe Instead of against nature , I would say in, side of, one within the other , this is important, because there is no opposition, there is complementary universe This book was published in 2006, so some of the information is a little out of date For example, gravitational waves had been theorized, but not yet measured This did little to dampen my enthusiasm for the book, though, and I especially liked the profiles of such luminaries as Albert Einstein the family housekeeper thought him stupid , Richard Feynman the Michael Jordan of physics and Edward Teller his life slogan, Trust nobody , and discovered things that I did not know about each L This book was published in 2006, so some of the information is a little out of date For example, gravitational waves had been theorized, but not yet measured This did little to dampen my enthusiasm for the book, though, and I especially liked the profiles of such luminaries as Albert Einstein the family housekeeper thought him stupid , Richard Feynman the Michael Jordan of physics and Edward Teller his life slogan, Trust nobody , and discovered things that I did not know about each Lightman writes with such a sense of awe, it is easy to be captivated and carried away with him as he describes black holes, dark matter and other mysteries of the universe We even learn a bit about Lightman himself I read Einstein s dreams in Jr High Loved it Always said I wanted to readAlan Lightman I love his use of words Here s the thing I have never been interested in science But I am now married to a man who loves it So we ve been watching cosmos and listen to SGU I love cosmos but only somewhat enjoy SGU Anyways, what I have realized is that the reason I always thought I didn t like science was because of how it was taught to me My teachers insisted I needed whatever it was they were I read Einstein s dreams in Jr High Loved it Always said I wanted to readAlan Lightman I love his use of words Here s the thing I have never been interested in science But I am now married to a man who loves it So we ve been watching cosmos and listen to SGU I love cosmos but only somewhat enjoy SGU Anyways, what I have realized is that the reason I always thought I didn t like science was because of how it was taught to me My teachers insisted I needed whatever it was they were teaching me but I don t remember a bit of it and have never once felt the lack of it I know a few friends who thoroughly enjoyed the formulas and stayed in the field or my husband who doesn t work in the field but enjoys the topic but for the most part I find people who don t remember whatever it was that came up in the classroom and don t have a reason to believe they are missing out I wish there were options for us My science classes dragged down my GPA and filled me with a loathing for the subject And yet as an adult I ve found that there are areas of science that I am interested in I wish I had learned about them before I was done with school I would have enjoyed studying food science Given the rate of Type II Diabetes I think everyone would benefit from a basic nutrition course Or even a science history class because I m grateful for the people who have brought us scientific advances, I just don t want to recreate them And so books like this are bittersweet for me On the one hand, I enjoy the book Lightman s biographies of scientists are a great blend of their personal and professional lives He only hits the highlights but they are meant to be snapshots not full length bios He leaves me wanting to learnOn the other hand, I can t help but be reminded that this is a subject that should be handled better in schools This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here Interesting bio sketches of important physicists, less interesting reflections on his own career, and a good final chapter of the perils of capitalism and modern technology to the self Uneven.From the bestselling author of Einstein s Dreams comes this lyrical and insightful collection of science writing that delves into the mysteries of the scientific process and exposes its beauty and intrigue.In these brilliant essays, Lightman explores the emotional life of science, the power of imagination Interesting bio sketches of important physicists, less interesting reflections on his own career, and a good final chapter of the perils of capitalism and modern technology to the self Uneven.From the bestselling author of Einstein s Dreams comes this lyrical and insightful collection of science writing that delves into the mysteries of the scientific process and exposes its beauty and intrigue.In these brilliant essays, Lightman explores the emotional life of science, the power of imagination, the creative moment, and the alternate ways in which scientists and humanists think about the world Along the way, he provides in depth portraits of some of the great geniuses of our time, including Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, Edward Teller, and astronomer Vera Rubin Thoughtful, beautifully written, and wonderfully original, A Sense of the Mysterious confirms Alan Lightman s unique position at the crossroads of science and art less This is both Alan Lightman s historical memoir of scientific development as he sees it progressing, and a glimpse into the relationship with the inner self, science, the humanities, and society in general He reviews his own experience with mathematics, physics, and writing in addition to the relationship between all these subjects and his personal and academic life Some of the time, Lightman refers to the lives of other well known scientists to get a point across He elegantly feeds readers in This is both Alan Lightman s historical memoir of scientific development as he sees it progressing, and a glimpse into the relationship with the inner self, science, the humanities, and society in general He reviews his own experience with mathematics, physics, and writing in addition to the relationship between all these subjects and his personal and academic life Some of the time, Lightman refers to the lives of other well known scientists to get a point across He elegantly feeds readers information subconsciously No wonder this book is so enjoyable he s a writer The author challenges political viewpoints within science Further, he describes a harsh reality that seeped into the lives of students and academics alike He poses questions that are deep not philosophically, but just because society rejects to actually put thought into these questions take action when they know there s something wrong with the way we re doing things The final chapter was truly golden the internet does have flaws we have to acknowledge WE, and science, have flaws that need to be seen If we hide it from ourselves, there is not chance for self societal improvement The topics discussed can easily be applied to the lives of scientists and people seeking to better themselves in general Loved this short book of essays by the writer of Einstein s Dreams The essays range from philosophy of science, bio sketches of scientists, and what I especially enjoyed stuff on art science Lightman was a scientist, then that ended in his mid 30 s and he s been a writer novelist ever since So there are explorations into how science and art differ as vocations, how science and art use names words differently, and other essays on creativity ideation in art science as well as looking at th Loved this short book of essays by the writer of Einstein s Dreams The essays range from philosophy of science, bio sketches of scientists, and what I especially enjoyed stuff on art science Lightman was a scientist, then that ended in his mid 30 s and he s been a writer novelist ever since So there are explorations into how science and art differ as vocations, how science and art use names words differently, and other essays on creativity ideation in art science as well as looking at the various creative working modes of different scientists In his short career as a scientist in the 70s 80s, he worked with or came into contact with lots of big characters in science like Feynman , so he had some great first hand accounts.I listened to the audiobook, need to grab the physical book make some notes highlights The reader was good, but slow, first book I bumped up to 2x speed occasionally