Book Club

Be Inspired:  Have a Book on us.

Finding inspiration or even reference points for CongRegation submissions can be difficult.  This year is no exception except the theme of ‘Reality’ forces us to really think a big deeper.  This is not something that is easy to instantly activate and my own experience is that in devouring books on the topic I am not only enriched but also leave with new and unexpected questions or mental ‘itches’ on aspects I would like to explore further.

With this in mind I have curated recommended books on the ‘Reality’ and will add more as we inch closer to CongRegation in November.  I am offering these books on loan to anyone who would like to read them.  The rules are simple and self explanatory but I am happy to post them to you.

Simply fill out the form for the book that strikes your fancy.   I will be adding new books over the next few weeks but would love to hear suggestions.

Simplified Rules:

  1. Only request a book if you really intend to read and can attend #cong23
  2. Please set yourself a tight deadline of 2/3 weeks.
  3. Request only one book at a time.
  4. Be willing to forward on to another person if requested.
  5. Please add notations and notes to future readers – just don’t tear out pages or redact words.
  6. Enjoy.

The Reality Bubble by Ziya Tong

From one of the world’s most engaging science journalists, a groundbreaking and wonder-filled look at the hidden things that shape our lives in unexpected and sometimes dangerous ways.

Our naked eyes see only a thin sliver of reality.

We are blind in comparison to the X-rays that peer through skin, the mass spectrometers that detect the dead inside the living, or the high-tech surveillance systems that see with artificial intelligence.

And we are blind compared to the animals that can see in infrared, or ultraviolet, or in 360-degree vision. These animals live in the same world we do, but they see something quite different when they look around.

With all of the curiosity and flair that drives her broadcasting, Ziya Tong illuminates this hidden world, and takes us on a journey to examine ten of humanity’s biggest blind spots.

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    Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

    What makes us brilliant? What makes us deadly? What makes us Sapiens?

    Yuval Noah Harari challenges everything we know about being human.

    Earth is 4.5 billion years old. In just a fraction of that time, one species among countless others has conquered it: us.

    In this bold and provocative audiobook, Yuval Noah Harari explores who we are, how we got here and where we’re going.

    One of the Guardian’s 100 best books of the 21st century.

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      Reality is Not What it Seems by Carlo Rovelli

      ‘The physicist transforming how we see the universe’ (Financial Times ) ‘An utter joy’ (Adam Rutherford) ‘A hugely engaging book… Rovelli is a charming, thought-provoking tour guide’ (Manjit Kumar Prospect )

      Do space and time truly exist? What is reality made of? Can we understand its deep texture? Scientist Carlo Rovelli has spent his whole life exploring these questions and pushing the boundaries of what we know. In this mind-expanding book, he shows how our understanding of reality has changed throughout centuries, from Democritus to loop quantum gravity. Taking us on a wondrous journey, he invites us to imagine a whole new world where black holes are waiting to explode, spacetime is made up of grains, and infinity does not exist — a vast universe still largely undiscovered.

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        The Fabric of Reality by David Deutsch.

        The Fabric of Reality encompasses everything from how evolution affects the universe as a whole to how time travel is possible, to the very nature of a “theory” and how quantum computing could affect our future.

        Deutsch uses a four-strand Theory of Everything (TOE) to explain emergent phenomenon. The four strands are Hugh Everett’s many-worlds interpretation of quantum physics, Karl Popper’s epistemology, Alan Turing’s theory of computation, and Richard Dawkins’s refinement of Darwinian evolutionary theory. The multiverse hypothesis, according to Deutsch, turns out to be the key to achieving a new worldview, one which synthesizes the theories of evolution, computation, and knowledge with quantum physics.

        Deutsch writes about universal Turing machines, replicators, memes, free will, the Grand Father Paradox, and time travel machines, weaving it all together with a Popperian problem-solving epistemology.

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          The Experience Machine by Andy Clarke.

          A grand new vision of cognitive science that explains how our minds build our worlds For as long as we’ve studied the mind, we’ve believed that information flowing from our senses determines what our mind perceives.

          But as our understanding has advanced in the last few decades, a hugely powerful new view has flipped this assumption on its head. The brain is not a passive receiver, but an ever-active predictor. At the forefront of this cognitive revolution is widely acclaimed philosopher and cognitive scientist Andy Clark, who has synthesized his ground-breaking work on the predictive brain to explore its fascinating mechanics and implications.

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            Endgame: The Problem of Civilization by Derrick Jensen.

            Accepting the increasingly widespread belief that industrialized culture inevitably erodes the natural world, Endgame sets out to explore how this relationship impels us towards a revolutionary and as-yet undiscovered shift in strategy.  Building on a series of simple but increasingly provocative premises, Jensen leaves us hoping for what may be inevitable: a return to agrarian communal life via the disintegration of civilization itself.

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              Parallel Worlds by Michio Kaku

              From the bestselling author of Physics of the Impossible , Michio Kaku’s Parallel Worlds takes us to the frontiers of scientific knowledge to explain the extraordinary nature – and future – of our universe.

              Imagine a future where we are not alone – where our universe is just one of countless parallel worlds, some strangely familiar, some almost unimaginable. And that, when planet earth finally runs down to a cold, dark wasteland, we will be able to escape into these new worlds and start again. Michio Kaku’s thrilling guide to the galaxy shows us how it could happen sooner than we think – and the future for intelligent life is one of endless possibilities.

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                The Hidden Reality by Brian Greene

                Brian Greene’s The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos explores our most current scientific understanding of the universe, the ‘string theory’ that might hold the key to unifying nature’s laws, and our continuing quest to know more.

                There was a time when ‘universe’ meant all there is. Everything. Yet, as physicist Brian Greene’s extraordinary book shows, ours may be just one universe among many, like endless reflections in a mirror. He takes us on a captivating exploration of parallel worlds – from a multiverse where an infinite number of your doppelgangers are reading this sentence, to vast oceans of bubble universes and even multiverses made of mathematics – showing just how much of reality’s true nature may be hidden within them

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