Author: Marcelo Gleiser
Publisher: University Press of New England
Release Date: 2016-06-07
Marcelo Gleiser has had a passion for science and fishing since he was a boy growing up on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro. Now a world-famous theoretical physicist with hundreds of scientific articles and several books of popular science to his credit, he felt it was time to connect with nature in less theoretical ways. After seeing a fly-fishing class on the Dartmouth College green, he decided to learn to fly-fish, a hobby, he says, that teaches humility. In The Simple Beauty of the Unexpected, Gleiser travels the world to scientific conferences, fishing wherever he goes. At each stop, he ponders how in the myriad ways physics informs the act of fishing; how, in its turn, fishing serves as a lens into nature's inner workings; and how science engages with questions of meaning and spirituality, inspiring a sense of mystery and awe of the not yet known. Personal and engaging, The Simple Beauty of the Unexpected is a scientist's tribute to nature, an affirmation of humanity's deep connection with and debt to Earth, and an exploration of the meaning of existence, from atom to trout to cosmos.
A natural philosophy expert who is also a physics and astronomy professor discusses the limits of scientific explanations and how our knowledge of the universe and its nature will always remain necessarily incomplete. 15,000 first printing.
Author: Marcelo Gleiser
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2010-04-06
For millennia, shamans and philosophers, believers and nonbelievers, artists and scientists have tried to make sense of our existence by suggesting that everything is connected, that a mysterious Oneness binds us to everything else. People go to temples, churches, mosques, and synagogues to pray to their divine incarnation of Oneness. Following a surprisingly similar notion, scientists have long asserted that under Nature’s apparent complexity there is a simpler underlying reality. In its modern incarnation, this Theory of Everything would unite the physical laws governing very large bodies (Einstein’s theory of relativity) and those governing tiny ones (quantum mechanics) into a single framework. But despite the brave efforts of many powerful minds, the Theory of Everything remains elusive. It turns out that the universe is not elegant. It is gloriously messy. Overturning more than twenty-five centuries of scientific thought, award-winning physicist Marcelo Gleiser argues that this quest for a Theory of Everything is fundamentally misguided, and he explains the volcanic implications this ideological shift has for humankind. All the evidence points to a scenario in which everything emerges from fundamental imperfections, primordial asymmetries in matter and time, cataclysmic accidents in Earth’s early life, and duplication errors in the genetic code. Imbalance spurs creation. Without asymmetries and imperfections, the universe would be filled with nothing but smooth radiation. A Tear at the Edge of Creation calls for nothing less than a new "humancentrism" to reflect our position in the universal order. All life, but intelligent life in particular, is a rare and precious accident. Our presence here has no meaning outside of itself, but it does have meaning. The unplanned complexity of humankind is all the more beautiful for its improbability. It’s time for science to let go of the old aesthetic that labels perfection beautiful and holds that "beauty is truth." It’s time to look at the evidence without centuries of monotheistic baggage. In this lucid, down-to-earth narrative, Gleiser walks us through the basic and cutting-edge science that fueled his own transformation from unifier to doubter—a fascinating scientific quest that led him to a new understanding of what it is to be human.
Available again, with a new preface, a physicist's "exceptionally clear summary of 2,500 years of science and a fascinating account of the ways in which it often does intersect with spiritual beliefs" --Kirkus Reviews
Author: Geraint F. Lewis
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2016-10-06
Over the last forty years, scientists have uncovered evidence that if the Universe had been forged with even slightly different properties, life as we know it - and life as we can imagine it - would be impossible. Join us on a journey through how we understand the Universe, from its most basic particles and forces, to planets, stars and galaxies, and back through cosmic history to the birth of the cosmos. Conflicting notions about our place in the Universe are defined, defended and critiqued from scientific, philosophical and religious viewpoints. The authors' engaging and witty style addresses what fine-tuning might mean for the future of physics and the search for the ultimate laws of nature. Tackling difficult questions and providing thought-provoking answers, this volumes challenges us to consider our place in the cosmos, regardless of our initial convictions.
Author: Suzanne Mustacich
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Release Date: 2015-11-10
Genre: Business & Economics
An inside view of China's quest to become a global wine power and Bordeaux's attempt to master the thirsty dragon it helped create The wine merchants of Bordeaux and the rising entrepreneurs of China would seem to have little in common—old world versus new, tradition versus disruption, loyalty versus efficiency. And yet these two communities have found their destinies intertwined in the conquest of new markets, as Suzanne Mustacich shows in this provocative account of how China is reshaping the French wine business and how Bordeaux is making its mark on China. Thirsty Dragon lays bare the untold story of how an influx of Chinese money rescued France's most venerable wine region from economic collapse, and how the result was a series of misunderstandings and crises that threatened the delicate infrastructure of Bordeaux's insular wine trade. The Bordelais and the Chinese do business according to different and often incompatible sets of rules, and Mustacich uncovers the competing agendas and little-known actors who are transforming the economics and culture of Bordeaux, even as its wines are finding new markets—and ever higher prices—in Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong, with Hong Kong and London traders playing a pivotal role. At once a tale of business skullduggery and fierce cultural clashes, adventure, and ambition, Thirsty Dragon offers a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges facing the world's most famous and prestigious wines.
To behave more productively in complex business situations, we need to understand and alter the inner workings of our brain. With insight from applied neuroscience, behavioural economics and psychology, the brain can be retrained and become our most valuable asset. Neuroscience for Leaders takes a practical approach and offers an easy-to-implement framework for making the behavioural changes to become a more effective leader. Drawing on research and practical experience, the authors present a flexible framework for fine-tuning the leadership brain. The Brain Adaptive Leadership approach is a step-by-step guide to enhancing the way you think, understanding and nurturing emotions, shaping automated brain responses, and developing dynamic relations. Neuroscience for Leaders explains both the underlying science and how to apply its findings in business, demonstrating why and how you can become a better leader through brain-based learning. With tools, managerial tips and clear actions to implement the method straight away, Neuroscience for Leaders is an invaluable companion to managers and leaders who want to gain the brain edge.
Author: Roger Wagner
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2016-02-25
When young children first begin to ask 'why?' they embark on a journey with no final destination. The need to make sense of the world as a whole is an ultimate curiosity that lies at the root of all human religions. It has, in many cultures, shaped and motivated a more down to earth scientific interest in the physical world, which could therefore be described as penultimate curiosity. These two manifestations of curiosity have a history of connection that goes back deep into the human past. Tracing that history all the way from cave painting to quantum physics, this book (a collaboration between a painter and a physical scientist that uses illustrations throughout the narrative) sets out to explain the nature of the long entanglement between religion and science: the ultimate and the penultimate curiosity.
Author: Bill Hayes
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Release Date: 2017-02-14
Genre: Literary Collections
Amazon's Best Biographies and Memoirs of 2017 List A moving celebration of what Bill Hayes calls "the evanescent, the eavesdropped, the unexpected" of life in New York City, and an intimate glimpse of his relationship with the late Oliver Sacks. "A beautifully written once-in-a-lifetime book, about love, about life, soul, and the wonderful loving genius Oliver Sacks, and New York, and laughter and all of creation."--Anne Lamott Bill Hayes came to New York City in 2009 with a one-way ticket and only the vaguest idea of how he would get by. But, at forty-eight years old, having spent decades in San Francisco, he craved change. Grieving over the death of his partner, he quickly discovered the profound consolations of the city's incessant rhythms, the sight of the Empire State Building against the night sky, and New Yorkers themselves, kindred souls that Hayes, a lifelong insomniac, encountered on late-night strolls with his camera. And he unexpectedly fell in love again, with his friend and neighbor, the writer and neurologist Oliver Sacks, whose exuberance--"I don't so much fear death as I do wasting life," he tells Hayes early on--is captured in funny and touching vignettes throughout. What emerges is a portrait of Sacks at his most personal and endearing, from falling in love for the first time at age seventy-five to facing illness and death (Sacks died of cancer in August 2015). Insomniac City is both a meditation on grief and a celebration of life. Filled with Hayes's distinctive street photos of everyday New Yorkers, the book is a love song to the city and to all who have felt the particular magic and solace it offers.
Author: William C. Wimsatt
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Release Date: 2007
Analytic philosophers once pantomimed physics, trying to understand the world by breaking it down. Thinkers from the Darwinian sciences now pose alternatives to this simplistic reductionism. In a tour of essays spanning thirty years, Wimsatt argues that scientists seek to atomize phenomena only when necessary to understand how entities, events, and processes articulate at different levels. This book offers a philosophy for error-prone humans trying to understand messy systems in the real world.
Author: Susanne K. Langer
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Release Date: 2009-06-01
Modern theories of meaning usually culminate in a critique of science. This book presents a study of human intelligence beginning with a semantic theory and leading into a critique of music. By implication it sets up a theory of all the arts; the transference of its basic concepts to other arts than music is not developed, but it is sketched, mainly in the chapter on artistic import. Thoughtful readers of the original edition discovered these far-reaching ideas quickly enough as the career of the book shows: it is as applicable to literature, art and music as to the field of philosophy itself. The topics it deals with are many: language, sacrament, myth, music, abstraction, fact, knowledge--to name only the main ones. But through them all goes the principal theme, symbolic transformation as the essential activity of human minds. This central idea, emphasizing as it does the notion of symbolism, brings Mrs. Langer's book into line with the prevailing interest in semantics. All profound issues of our age seem to center around the basic concepts of symbolism and meaning. The formative, creative, articulating power of symbols is the tonic chord which thinkers of all schools and many diverse fields are unmistakably striking; the surprising, far-reaching implications of this new fundamental conception constitute what Mrs. Langer has called "philosophy in a new key." Mrs. Langer's book brings the discussion of symbolism into a wider general use than criticism of word meaning. Her volume is vigorous, effective, and well written and will appeal to everyone interested in the contemporary problems of philosophy.
Author: Dana Todorovic
Publisher: Peter Owen Publishers
Release Date: 2018-04-01
A chain of unlikely events puts a violin back in the hands of ex-punk rocker and down-at-out Mortiz Toth.Tobias Keller—a Moral Issues Advisor and assistant to the Great Overseer—is under investigation for his role in the affair. To escape his certain fate, he will need to make a compelling case for the moral necessity of interfering in Moritz's life.Full of riddles and the Kafkaesque, Todorovic's debut novel is a charming and original tale of divine bureaucracy and the restorative power of Puccini.Part of the Peter Owen World Series: Serbia, in association with Istros Books.
“Vonnegut is George Orwell, Dr. Caligari and Flash Gordon compounded into one writer . . . a zany but moral mad scientist.”—Time Mother Night is a daring challenge to our moral sense. American Howard W. Campbell, Jr., a spy during World War II, is now on trial in Israel as a Nazi war criminal. But is he really guilty? In this brilliant book rife with true gallows humor, Vonnegut turns black and white into a chilling shade of gray with a verdict that will haunt us all. “A great artist.”—Cincinnati Enquirer “A shaking up in the kaleidoscope of laughter . . . Reading Vonnegut is addictive!”—Commonweal