Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Carlo Rovelli's Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

Physics was once my obsession. I even attempted to come up with an Inuktitut taxonomic scheme for the periodic table of the elements based on the Inuit legend of the grandmother/mother of the sun and the moon, and Buckminster Fuller's notions of existence as verb (I Seem to be a Verb, 1970). With the luxury of grateful hindsight of allthe work that's been done before the system could work beautifully.

I was travelling recently where I picked up a book by Carlo Rovelli called, Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, 2014. It is written by a poet (well, actually, he's a physicist). To wit:

Plain words can be utterly beautiful when they tell a thrilling story. Carlo Rovelli's words take us on a great adventure as the human mind reaches out to understand the universe. The book is a joy.
-ALAN ALDA, actor, director, and author of
Never Have Your Dog Stuffed

I'd highly recommend this little book to everyone who appreciates poetics, science and beautiful ideas even if only on a good day. This book is not a romanticized, mystical gibberish as some (if not most) popular science books tend to become. It is based on real scientific insights—plain and unadorned in all their glory.

It is not a confused mass of scientific/religious/mystical couching and massaging of disparately unrelated ideas into a chimera but a real briefing from a person who knows what they're talking about. Even having spent years thinking about and reveling in the scientific principles of physics, I found the book to reorganize and place these wonderful concepts onto a more solid grounding.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
John 1:1-4

Jay Arnakak

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