Additional Information In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: He makes his living penning obituaries for the New York Tribune, and in his spare time he labors over his latest writing project, an epic poem about Joseph Smith, founder of Mormonism. If he's not writing or indulging his passion for food, he's shyly courting Norma, a copy-editor at the paper. Norma likes him and wants to have sex with him, but asks him to lose a hundred pounds first—a goal shared by Burl, who despises his great weight.
It is, of course, an extraordinary example of that genre, thanks to the detailed analogies, careful contextualizing, and friendly, encouraging voice that Greene is known for. But The Hidden Reality, we begin to realize, is also a manifesto for a particular conception of science—one in which the possibility of other universes is worth investigating to the fullest, even if we can never experimentally detect, let alone visit, those realms.
Not everyone agrees, to put it mildly. Over decades, researchers in the theories of relativity, quantum mechanics, and superstrings have repeatedly found their calculations pointing toward a perhaps infinite number of universes.
There are other versions, each more jaw-dropping than the last. The Matrix though, one hopes, in a less gruesome form might just be real.
In fact, direct confirmation of some aspects may never be possible. Yet the mathematics tells us or tells Greene, who tells us that this mind-blowing notion is likely to be true.
All of which leads to a fundamental question: Is the notion of a multiverse testable or falsifiable? If the answer to these questions is no, as detractors insist is the case, then multiverse proponents are assuming an unusual stance.
Nontestable, nonfalsifiable proposals, invoking hidden realms beyond our capacity to access — these seem a far cry from what most of us would call science.
And therein lies the spark that makes passions flare. Greene, a professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia, is well versed in defending the scientific pursuit of the inaccessible.
Mathematically, it has succeeded in bringing together the previously inimical theories of relativity which governs the very large, e. This may well change with the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, which has had some famous problems of its own, but some predictions will still lie beyond its capacity.
Greene spends the rest of the central chapter answering specific objections to the multiverse as legitimate science. However, his overall point, here and throughout the book, is that you never know where the pursuit of any mystery is going to take you.
Breakthroughs generally answer some questions but then give rise to a host of others that previously could not even have been imagined. Questions that beget more questions, especially about the nature of science itself, are even better.
In doing so, Greene is obviously tweaking those who call his approach religious. And the most human endeavors of all are those in which our reach exceeds our grasp. Let me now say that by this definition, I am being very human in undertaking this review.
But this does qualify me, I think, to state that the humanity of The Hidden Reality is its most compelling aspect. In his book, The Fabric of the CosmosGreene describes a game he and his father played when he was little: One of us would look around, secretly fix on something that was happening—a bus rushing by, a pigeon landing on a windowsill, a man accidentally dropping a coin—and describe how it would look from an unusual perspective such as the wheel of the bus, the pigeon in flight, or the quarter falling earthward.
What a great game this is to play with a kid—or an adult, for that matter. It obviously affected Greene profoundly, encouraging him to consider the everyday world from radically different perspectives. It also, I suspect, helped make him a writer. The challenge he undertakes in all his books is to explain something very familiar to him—string theory, the probable existence of other universes—to someone completely unfamiliar with those concepts.
Greene never forgets that as writer and reader, we are in this thing together. It may turn out that the multiverse is the true story of reality.
As humanists know, great fiction builds new worlds that help us ask new questions. It shakes us up, making us rethink the world we build for ourselves every day—which is to say, our assumptions.Breathtaking in its scope, masterful in its command of historical events and its understanding of timeless human truths, the novel has been likened to a twentieth-century War and Peace, and it marks a bold .
William John Banville (born 8 December ), His novel The Book of Evidence was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and won the Guinness Peat Aviation award in Aksyonov, Vassily.
Generations of winter. Translated by John Glad and Christopher Morris. Random arteensevilla.com: 8 December (age 72), Wexford, Ireland.
Jul 08, · Vasily Aksyonov, a writer who symbolized both the cultural flowering of the period after Stalin’s death, known as Khrushchev’s Thaw, and the clampdown that followed it, died on Monday in. Vassily Aksyonov (Василий Аксёнов) has passed away; see the brief notices at RIA Novosti and AFP.
Quite a bit of his work is available in translation -- Generations of Winter (get your copy at arteensevilla.com) is probably your best bet to start off with now.
Aksyonov's book is a sprawling, multi-generational tale set between the years and It centers on the Gradov family, lively members of the Moscow elite whose lives are shattered by purges, torture and war. Generations of Winter is a historical novel at heart/5(16).
I had read "Generations of Winter" in the 90's close to when it came out. Many scenes from this book remained with me. Now I've read it the second time and enjoyed it again. I think its weakness is the use of the "saga format", and its strength is the environment of the story/5.