Thursday, May 22, 2014

Nerding it up - Book review!

It's been a while since I've written a book review! Time to remedy that with a review of: 

I started reading this over a year ago. I found it absorbing although I had to pace myself by only reading about half a chapter at a time. This gave me the chance to mull it over and do research in between. I was picking it up every two or three days though and thought I'd finish it within a month.

But I made a terrible mistake. I read to the middle of one of the chapters and got busy. So busy I didn't read it for several weeks.

This is not the sort of book where you can leave off in the middle and just pop back in. When I picked it up again I was utterly confused. I'd lost the thread and so abandoned it until recently. To remedy the situation I went back to the start of the chapter I'd been half way through and kept myself on a strict regime of a full chapter at a time.

I love this book. I love it because it asks us to be curious - to explore the universe and look at what is, rather than what we expect or hope. Hawking himself admits being wrong on different accounts because he'd rather learn something new than be 'right'.

My favourite chapter was about the third law of thermodynamics - that everything is falling into chaos. As a Buddhist I love when I'm reading about scientific discoveries and I can find a parallel in the teachings I study and the discoveries of the world we live in. The third law of thermodynamics is akin to the teaching that change is inevitable and constant. Our cells are being born, dying and growing meaning nothing is without constant flux.

For me this knowledge is exhilarating and reading this book has fuelled me to read more, to increase my curiosity and to seek more questions than answers.

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