Piet Hein Meets John Gribbin

Piet Hein expressed it best in one of his Grooks:

I’d like to know
what this whole show
is all about
before it’s out.

That may well express the lifelong motivation of science writer, educator and occasional s/f novelist John Gribbin (site) (wiki), who has drawn me into his explorations of life, the universe and everything for decades, starting (for me) with his 1984 book In Search of Schrödinger’s Cat. More recent (but still not the newest book by this overwhelmingly prolific author!) is his 2010 work, In Search of the Multiverse: Parallel Worlds, Hidden Dimensions, and the Ultimate Quest for the Frontiers of Reality, which is occupying almost my full attention right now. If you have not kept up with cosmology in recent years, this book will make your head spin as it takes you forward, starting with Hugh Everett‘s many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics and moving through a dizzying array of concepts, some new, some longstanding, of the nature of the universe (multiverse, megaverse) that have become increasingly respectable in very recent years.

I was fortunate to find this rather expensive book at a local Half Price Books. But on a dollars-spent-per-material-learned basis, it is truly a cheap read! Forgive me if I don’t blog quite as much for a few days while I read this very enlightening work… twice through.

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  • MandT  On Tuesday February 28, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    Can’t wait to read Multiverse, but just can’t afford it now. Hopefully, E-Bay may come down in the months ahead.

    • Steve  On Tuesday February 28, 2012 at 11:08 pm

      MandT, I hate to send anyone to Amazon, but they and their associate dealers have Multiverse for some very respectable prices. Of course, there’s always shipping to pay… If I order online, it’s usually from Powells [sic] or Elliott Bay, both of which seem to have less predatory attitudes. Elliott Bay is a delightful store to visit in person. (As I think back, I believe I bought Schrödinger’s Cat at… of all places… City Lights!)

      Or maybe you have an equivalent of the wholly Texas-based Half Price Books (a used bookstore chain) in your region. I believe I paid either $6.99 or $7.99, which is considerably less than half price… and the bookstore is a 10-minute drive from my home, along a regular route.

      The book is proving to be every bit as good as I’d hoped. It’s still not light reading, but Gribbin really draws me in, and the subject is one of my favorites.

  • MandT  On Wednesday February 29, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Thanks Steve—-will check.

    • Steve  On Wednesday February 29, 2012 at 9:45 pm

      Also, MandT… how is your local public library about responding to requests? I’ve had the HPL purchase books I’ve been interested in, if they’re of sufficiently general interest. Of course, that was before the days when even local government budgets were being scraped off the bone…

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