Category Archives: Bookworm

World Book Day – March 2nd

March 2nd is World Book Day in the UK and Ireland. World Book Day Ltd are a registered charity set up to promote reading, financed by literacy organisations, publishers and National Book Tokens Ltd. Continue reading

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The Quantum Universe: Everything That Can Happen Does Happen

I originally tried to read this stunning book back in 2011 when I received it as a present, but struggled from the outset. I have always been fascinated by Quantum Mechanics but found its abstract nature and sheer weirdness overwhelming when compared to classical mechanics. I have recently given the book another go but this time tried to obey the mantra that the world of the Quantum cannot be visualised or imagined in any meaningful way and that one has to really ‘give up’ and let oneself be carried along by abstract notions that are completely counter-intuitive and with the mathematics, which can be simplified into meaningful snippets for the lay-reader.

Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw have done an admirable job of explaining the Quantum world – partly in the early chapters, by replacing waves with ‘clocks’ that can be wound to visualise the states of waves, and that the concepts involved can be layered onto the concept of a clock as a model that does not refer to ‘time’ in sense that we usually mean it. Many of us have heard of the two-slit experiment but become baffled with the notion of a particle that can produce an interference pattern like a wave so that it behaves as both – with the devastating conclusion that the wave/particle can really be anywhere in the universe until the probabilities of it being somewhere are finally multiplied out and its position calculated – but not its momentum as this would conflict with Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. The latter part of the book puts Quantum Mechanics into more meaningful scenarios such as describing how it works in relation to the structure of stars, so that they remain as stable entities in the universe.

To really understand Quantum Mechanics a book such as this demands multiple readings in conjunction with other works, if one really wishes to have a grasp of a subject about which the genius Richard Feynman said: “I think I can safely say nobody understands Quantum Mechanics.”

– Your Joyful Benefactor


Filed under Bookworm, GeekDad, Science

100 Science fiction & Fantasy Books You Must Read

The editors at Amazon have got together and compiled the 100 Science Fiction & Fantasy Books to Read in a Lifetime.

I’m glad to see my personal favourites are on there:

The Lord of the Rings
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
I am Legend
Ready Player One
H. P. Lovecraft: Tales

– Your Joyful Benefactor

Image: Penguin Books


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Zero History by William Gibson

Zero History by William Gibson is one of the authors more mainstream novels that began with Pattern Recognition over ten years ago, and deals with the impact of the modern technological age on personal and business relationships, the impact of the “everything now” culture and how it can change people’s behaviours and identities, sometimes for the worst. Continue reading

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Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free by Cory Doctorow

“Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free”, is the new book by Cory Doctorow.

Doctorow argues that in order to make a living in the digital age, artisans must be prepared to give away content they produce in order to gather an audience, who will then empower them as creators and pay them back by other means.

In other words, give away the music track – but sell the T-shirt.

– Your Joyful Benefactor

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