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Infinite in All Directions – tekijä:…
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Infinite in All Directions (vuoden 1989 painos)

– tekijä: Freeman Dyson (Tekijä)

Sarjat: Gifford Lectures (1985)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
503536,133 (3.85)3
Infinite in All Directions is a popularized science at its best. In Dyson's view, science and religion are two windows through which we can look out at the world around us. The book is a revised version of a series of the Gifford Lectures under the title "In Praise of Diversity" given at Aberdeen, Scotland. They allowed Dyson the license to express everything in the universe, which he divided into two parts in polished prose: focusing on the diversity of the natural world as the first, and the diversity of human reactions as the second half. Chapter 1 is a brief explanation of Dyson's attitudes toward religion and science. Chapter 2 is a one-hour tour of the universe that emphasizes the diversity of viewpoints from which the universe can be encountered as well as the diversity of objects which it contains. Chapter 3 is concerned with the history of science and describes two contrasting styles in science: one welcoming diversity and the other deploring it. He uses the cities of Manchester and Athens as symbols of these two ways of approaching science. Chapter 4, concerned with the origin of life, describes the ideas of six illustrious scientists who have struggled to understand the nature of life from various points of view. Chapter 5 continues the discussion of the nature and evolution of life. The question of why life characteristically tends toward extremes of diversity remains central in all attempts to understand life's place in the universe. Chapter 6 is an exercise in eschatology, trying to define possible futures for life and for the universe, from here to infinity. In this chapter, Dyson crosses the border between science and science fiction and he frames his speculations in a slightly theological context.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:briangreiner
Teoksen nimi:Infinite in All Directions
Kirjailijat:Freeman Dyson (Tekijä)
Info:Harpercollins (1989), 336 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
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Infinite in All Directions (tekijä: Freeman Dyson)

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näyttää 5/5
As infinity is, -1/12 is a rather odd notion I have come the conclusion that it is not space and time that is curved but numbers and mathematics. Space and time is actually straight when you take this into account.

Maybe that's why I love quantum physics; it challenges science with science to move beyond its arrogance that ‘this is what is’. What is is only what we think we understand at the moment. Is is always evolving, then, something new becomes what is. I believe it’s possible for layers of what is; I accept I don’t know and remain open to ideas. I love this idea that yes, on a macro level time moves forward and on a granular level other things may be going on. Fascinating!

And what we can say about nature is dictated by the conventions in which we choose in order to describe it. We have (for example) chosen to adopt a measure of time which dictates what is "cause" and what is "affect". Based on instinct. We feel that we are born before we die. Just reverse the direction of time, rewrite physics so that what we now regard is an "affect" is now the "cause", and everything is consistent. The choice is simply one of convention. Arguably, it doesn't matter one bit. What matters is that we understand what we mean by the "direction of time".

It's an epistemological debate. Is the direction of time a fundamental choice, or just an arbitrary one? If we were to choose another, it would change how we write the physical laws, but would it really change the universe as we observe it?

Physics is a model that "works". It isn't the truth. There isn't a "truth".

According to scientists from various specialties the experience of human consciousness is not real in different ways. These views are based on conclusions from theoretical constructs. The data used to verify scientific theories and the theories themselves are products of human consciousness. So if consciousness is inherently fallible, how can we trust conclusions ultimately derived from consciousness? Science like art and culture have enriched the world, for both good and bad - I'm not seeking to deny that, it is too obvious.

What I am saying is that when it comes to actual nature, actual reality, the factual state of things as they are, my abstractions about it, or yours, or anyone else's, no matter how noble or enlightened they might be, have no significance. The word is not the thing. The word "tree" is not the actual thing we call a tree. Our knowledge of the world is not the actual world, in the same way that a map is not the actual territory it describes, but is merely a convenient series of abstract marks that can guide a person in a conditional, limited and purely functional way. The map of the New Forest is not under any circumstances, now or in the everlasting future, the New Forest - it is a man-made construct which has come into existence for private and purely subjective, goal based ends. The map is a means to and end, like a description, like a word. The reality is an end in itself and is not man-made.

This is not philosophy, it is a matter of simple observation and discernment of which a child is capable. Words have become so important to us that we miss the actual fact: it is a kind of madness. When it comes to matters of truth and actuality, science, even the greatest science of Einstein or Planck, is only an approximation at a mental level, a conceptual level, of how/what reality is: it is not reality itself.

String Theory and the Kaluza-Klein (and Calabi-Yau Spaces) reflect the old conundrum between epistemology and ontology...Freeman Dyson has a book entitled "Infinite in All Directions.” If that is so, science could go on exploring for ever. On the other hand it may be circular in which case science will go round in circles for ever filling in more details. The current view is that intelligence and awareness somehow arose from the physical universe, but now it is conjecture that information inherently exist in the universe, however it is possible that by extending information to intelligence, intelligence might inherently exist in the universe. Science relies very on instrument to 'see' phenomena, various scopes, telemicro oscilloscopes, etc. So the development of scopes will presumably go on forever yielding evermore certain information. Dyson is not a Sphere... ( )
1 ääni antao | Apr 23, 2019 |
Part two somewhat dated as Soviets collapsed the next year after publication ( )
  Baku-X | Jan 10, 2017 |
Part two somewhat dated as Soviets collapsed the next year after publication ( )
  BakuDreamer | Sep 7, 2013 |
This is a fairly good collection of essays on science, which focuses on past, contemporary (in 1985), and future advances in science, and their consequences. I enjoyed the first half of the book, which is scientific and philosophic, more than the second part, which goes on a bit too much about nuclear weapons and politics.
The book was written in the eighties, and some of the predictions made in it have been a bit far out, especially the idea that we will create substitutes for engineered machines such as spacecraft, mainly organically, using genetic engineering. Most of the rest of the science is fairly sound though, and is good to read. One of the things the book does well is to put things into perspective, including our advances in science and technology, our place in history, and our place in the universe. The writing gives the impression that the author is trying to get a message across, in comparison to other similar authors, who write books just for the sake of writing them. In some places this makes the book more readable, but in others it doesn't help, especially with regard to nuclear weapons. ( )
  P_S_Patrick | Aug 15, 2011 |
My favorite genius. Tolle, lege!
  kencf0618 | Sep 26, 2005 |
näyttää 5/5
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu

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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (2)

Infinite in All Directions is a popularized science at its best. In Dyson's view, science and religion are two windows through which we can look out at the world around us. The book is a revised version of a series of the Gifford Lectures under the title "In Praise of Diversity" given at Aberdeen, Scotland. They allowed Dyson the license to express everything in the universe, which he divided into two parts in polished prose: focusing on the diversity of the natural world as the first, and the diversity of human reactions as the second half. Chapter 1 is a brief explanation of Dyson's attitudes toward religion and science. Chapter 2 is a one-hour tour of the universe that emphasizes the diversity of viewpoints from which the universe can be encountered as well as the diversity of objects which it contains. Chapter 3 is concerned with the history of science and describes two contrasting styles in science: one welcoming diversity and the other deploring it. He uses the cities of Manchester and Athens as symbols of these two ways of approaching science. Chapter 4, concerned with the origin of life, describes the ideas of six illustrious scientists who have struggled to understand the nature of life from various points of view. Chapter 5 continues the discussion of the nature and evolution of life. The question of why life characteristically tends toward extremes of diversity remains central in all attempts to understand life's place in the universe. Chapter 6 is an exercise in eschatology, trying to define possible futures for life and for the universe, from here to infinity. In this chapter, Dyson crosses the border between science and science fiction and he frames his speculations in a slightly theological context.

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