Win a copy of TDD for a Shopping Website LiveProject this week in the Testing forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
programming forums Java Mobile Certification Databases Caching Books Engineering Micro Controllers OS Languages Paradigms IDEs Build Tools Frameworks Application Servers Open Source This Site Careers Other Pie Elite all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
Marshals:
  • Campbell Ritchie
  • Paul Clapham
  • Ron McLeod
  • Jeanne Boyarsky
  • Tim Cooke
Sheriffs:
  • Liutauras Vilda
  • paul wheaton
  • Henry Wong
Saloon Keepers:
  • Tim Moores
  • Tim Holloway
  • Stephan van Hulst
  • Carey Brown
  • Frits Walraven
Bartenders:
  • Piet Souris
  • Himai Minh

Best books on Philosophy,Science, Religion , Metaphysics etc

 
Greenhorn
Posts: 23
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My topics of interest range from Science, Philosophy, Religion, Metaphysics, Science Fiction(ya! todays fiction is tomorrows science), Chaos theory, Genetics, astrophysics etc etc.
As i noticed there are quite a few people who are interested in these areas.
All these topics have blurred edges and at the periphery tend to become indistinguishable.
I want a compilation of a good list of books to read. And if they are available in etext format all the better.
My personal favourites are
a) Books by micheal crichton (JurassicPark, Timeline, Congo, etc etc)
b) Books by Fridjof Capra (Tao of physics, Web of life)
c) "Minds I", "Godel Eshcer Bach" (havent read this fully yet) by Douglas holfsdatar
d) Alice in wonderland
e) Chariots of God (might not believe everything but awesome revelations)
I will add more as i remember.
Please participate enthusiastically. A brief summary of the books should do a lot of good.
happy hunting
[ July 01, 2002: Message edited by: seshu kumar ]
 
Bartender
Posts: 2205
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
For science, anything by Michio Kaku is great, especially Hyperspace and Visions.
http://www.mkaku.org/pubart.html
Another great one is "Elegant Universe" by Brian Greene.
I just finished "How to build a time Machine" by Paul Davies. It's a pretty honest, realistic approach to a favorite sci-fi theme. Basically, there's nothing in modern physics theories, or relativity, etc, that specifically prohibits time travel. At the quantum level, it's theorized that particles do it all the time. It's just not practical at the macro-level we live at. But theoretically, if we could harness enough energy to construct a stable wormhole big enough for a large mass to pass through without collapsing AND evolve long-range inter-stellar methods of transporting such a wormhole, we could eventually create a network of wormholes like a galactic subway system that would provide shortcuts through space, and as a consequence, time as well.
It's a cool read for a rainy Saturday!
[ July 01, 2002: Message edited by: Rob Ross ]
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 86
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
1984 and The Great Gatsby are my favourite books. I always like to look at commentry of books that I read (for classic books you can often find these online) so I can appreciate the book on more levels than I would normally do. These are great books for that (esp. TGG)
I also really liked :
Brave New World
Animal Farm
On The Road
Tom
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 264
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey
I dont know what kind of philosophy youre interested in .......but I would recommend
Ayn Rand's books in case youre interested. Her philosophy is called 'Objectivism'.
Read the following.
1) The Fountainhead
2) Atlas Shrugged.
Amazing books both of them.
Try not to emulate the characters though. Cause its not practical for most people.
I believe Ayn Rand committed suicide coz she was trying to emulate her characters and could not successfully do that.
 
Rob Ross
Bartender
Posts: 2205
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Objectivism was a product of the late 19th century thinking. Objectivism has no place in the modern era.
First, quantum mechanics has *proved* that "reality" can only be described when we are observing something; when we're not looking, it's not real. That's competely contrary to what Objectivism believes.
Second, all our perceptions about "reality" are *created* by our brains in response to stimuli received via our various sense receptors. We humans have evolved organs to sense photons, measure air pressure to an uncanny accuracy, and recognize air-born molecules as "scents", etc.
None of this was known to the objectivists at the time they developed their philosophy about the world.
Plus, she choose to ignore man's innate tendancy to group in packs for the *benefit* and *welfare* of the collective members of the group, ie - family units, local communities, city-states, etc.
I think she was just totally out of touch with reality.
 
Pranav Jaidka
Ranch Hand
Posts: 264
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Rob Ross:
Objectivism was a product of the late 19th century thinking. Objectivism has no place in the modern era.


Rob
WHOA!!! No place in the modern era ??? Why do we work this job ???
Youre kind of talking about philosophy as a science.Then yes quantum physics would come into picture. I thought Rand believed philosophy to be an ideology. Not science.

Yes its all about individuals . Its always been a 'Selfish Selfish Selfish' and 'Dont care about society' attitude. But its all working towards the betterment of society as and end result . Rand did not ignore society at any stage. Roark /Dagny Taggart/John Galt ....chose to ignore individuals .Not society. In atlas shrugged they do form a unique and different society dont they ??
Not read her ideas on capitalism ...maybe thats where Im not in sync with you .
 
"The Hood"
Posts: 8521
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
From the Ayn Rand Institute


Of what did Ayn Rand die? Where is she Buried?
Ayn Rand died on March 6, 1982, of heart failure. She was buried in Kenisco Cemetery in Valhalla, N.Y. next to her husband Frank O'Connor (who died in 1979). See also: "To the Reader" by Harry Binswanger, The Objectivist Forum Vol. 3, No. 1.


She was 77 and had been married for 50 years to the same man who died 2 years earlier.

Originally posted by Rob Ross:
Objectivism was a product of the late 19th century thinking. Objectivism has no place in the modern era.

Bologna (or some similar word )- Objectivism was developed during the 1930's, 40's and 50's mid-twentieth century. I has sort of been "retro-fitted" to earlier writings, such as Jefferson, after the fact. It is as revalent today as it was when it was developed. Of course in her writing Ayn Rand tended to create extreme examples to illustrate her point, but there is much to be learned from what she writes.

First, quantum mechanics has *proved* that "reality" can only be described when we are observing something; when we're not looking, it's not real. That's competely contrary to what Objectivism believes.

Hogwash - quantum mechanics has proved that we don't know diddly about how the universe works or what is "reality".
Objectivism deals with the human condition in the universe no MATTER how it works. However it works - it is there and exists whether we are there to be concious of it or not.
Of course, Ayn Rands version of Objectivism was strictly Atheist. But then she considered God as a "super-natural" event.
However if you believe that God is part and parcel with nature and the universe, and therefore a very "natural" part of reality, you can still relate to Objectivism.
objectivity; the belief that there is a reality which exists independently of consciousness


Second, all our perceptions about "reality" are *created* by our brains in response to stimuli received via our various sense receptors. We humans have evolved organs to sense photons, measure air pressure to an uncanny accuracy, and recognize air-born molecules as "scents", etc.

Yes . . . that statement supports objectivism.
the belief that it is the function of man's mind to perceive and understand reality--and the
confidence that the mind is capable of doing so.


None of this was known to the objectivists at the time they developed their philosophy about the world.

The mechanics of animal life are not the issue in Objectivism. It is a socialogical topic. About behaviors and interpersonal relationships and self-responsibility.
the belief that the only proper society is one
that is founded upon the non-aggression principle.



Plus, she choose to ignore man's innate tendancy to group in packs for the *benefit* and *welfare* of the collective members of the group, ie - family units, local communities, city-states, etc.

To the contrary she FOCUSed on that tendancy, and the tendancy of the leaches of the world to milk it for all it is worth. That does not mean that
"grouping together" is bad, or that helping those less fortunate is bad, just that it does not justify abdicating self-responsibility. Benefiting from man's social structure should be a blessing - not a RIGHT.
I think she was just totally out of touch with reality.
I think that she had a very good handle on reality and had a lot to share. Of course there is much that she says that I believe is too extreme. But that does not mean that I can not learn from it.
(Quotes in italics from A Guide to the Philosophy of Objectivism
)
[ July 01, 2002: Message edited by: Cindy Glass ]
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 1055
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator


I want a compilation of a good list of books to read. And if they are available in etext format all the better.


Try this list. Unfortunately, a lot of very good 20th century stuff like J.R.R. Tolkien, Isaac Asimov and Frank Herbert are not here.
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 4716
9
Scala Java
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
it's not exactly the latest thought on the subject since it was originally published in 1920, but i really liked "Space, Time and Gravitation" by Sir Arthur Eddington. don't ask me any questions though it was long ago that i read it.
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 664
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There's as many opinions about these subjects as books. Any list you'll get from other people can (and probably should) be examined objectively (or subjectively ) for bias (or personal preference ). Therefore unless you develop your personal objectives and believes, it will be hard to recommend anything.
First, I would decide wether I am looking for popular (populistic?) books or for serious science/theology research. You can do that by going to your local bookstore and looking through a bunch of books on a particular subject. Some of them will work for you, some won't. Some of them might be too advanced (or too easy) at this time, and will require to come back later...
Second, I would decide what basic concepts I feel comfortable with. Do you believe in God (or whatever "incarnation" of religion)? Do you believe that quantum mechanics has all the answers? And issues of similar matter. Once you find those, it is a lot easier to pick books that base their "story" on your common believes. This way, you might get ahead alot faster, and can pick up alternative opinions later...
Shura
[ July 01, 2002: Message edited by: Shura Balaganov ]
 
Rob Ross
Bartender
Posts: 2205
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Cindy Glass:


First, quantum mechanics has *proved* that "reality" can only be described when we are observing something; when we're not looking, it's not real. That's completely contrary to what Objectivism believes.

Hogwash - quantum mechanics has proved that we don't know diddly about how the universe works or what is "reality".
Objectivism deals with the human condition in the universe no MATTER how it works. However it works - it is there and exists whether we are there to be concious of it or not.


Actually that's not the way the universe works. For example, in the age-old question "Does tree falling in a forest make a sound when no one is there to hear it?" the answer is "no."
It's true we have much to learn about the universe, but what we do know can't be understood by "reason" or common sense, because it seems non-sensical. But it's been conclusively proven for example that virtual particles can momentarily spring into existence from nothing, and then disappear again. That is, the "vacuum" has the capacity to create something from nothing all on it's own. That is not something Aristotle or Ayn Rand would believe, yet it's fact.
The double-slit experiment is the classic proof that sub-atomic particles have no concrete existence until they are measured by a conscious mind!! I.e., if there's no consciousness around to measure it, it doesn't exist, just like the falling tree makes no sound if there are no ears to hear it.
Here's a good article: http://www.fortunecity.com/emachines/e11/86/qphil.html

Photons, neutrons and even whole atoms act sometimes like waves, sometimes like particles, but they actually have no definite form until they are measured. Measurements, once made, can also be erased, altering the outcome of an experiment that has already occurred. A measurement of one quantum entity can instantaneously influence another far away. This odd behavior can occur not only in the microscopic realm but also even in objects large enough to be seen with the naked eye.



and


The astronomers choice of how to observe photons from the quasar here in the present apparently determines whether each photon took both paths or just one path around the gravitational lens-billions of years ago. As they approached the galactic beam splitter the photons must have had something like a premonition telling them how to behave in order to satisfy a choice to be made by unborn beings on a still nonexistent planet.
The fallacy giving rise to such speculations,Wheeler explains, is the assumption that a photon had some physical form before the astronomer observed it. Either it was a wave or a particle; either it went both ways around the quasar or only one way. Actually Wheeler says quantum phenomena are neither waves nor particles but are intrinsically undefined until the moment they are measured. In a sense the British philosopher Bishop Berkeley was right when he asserted two centuries ago that "to be is to be perceived."



Objectivity; the belief that there is a reality which exists independently of consciousness


Second, all our perceptions about "reality" are *created* by our brains in response to stimuli received via our various sense receptors. We humans have evolved organs to sense photons, measure air pressure to an uncanny accuracy, and recognize air-born molecules as "scents", etc.

Yes . . . that statement supports objectivism.
It completely contradicts it! I'm saying that there is no "objective" reality; we create the universe as we perceive it with our minds.
the belief that it is the function of man's mind to perceive and understand reality--and the
confidence that the mind is capable of doing so.

There is no such thing. Consciousness creates reality. There is no spoon!
[ July 01, 2002: Message edited by: Rob Ross ]
 
seshu kumar
Greenhorn
Posts: 23
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Pranav Jaidka:
Hey
I dont know what kind of philosophy youre interested in .......but I would recommend
Ayn Rand's books in case youre interested. Her philosophy is called 'Objectivism'.
Read the following.
1) The Fountainhead
2) Atlas Shrugged.
Amazing books both of them.
Try not to emulate the characters though. Cause its not practical for most people.
I believe Ayn Rand committed suicide coz she was trying to emulate her characters and could not successfully do that.


Hey I read both of them. I forgot to put these in the original post.
Though it might be difficult to emulate the characters, they have always been inspirational to me. I think the plot is created in such a skewed manner(specially in Atlas Shrugged) to bring out the real principles of objectivism. They were not meant to be emulated in exactness.
But I feel the principles do apply. It is a good book which policy makers of any country should be reading, if not following word to word.
There is always a middle path somewhere.
 
seshu kumar
Greenhorn
Posts: 23
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My main motive for posting this topic was to get exposed to a variety of reading. Please do keep posting.


Originally by Sharu
Any list you'll get from other people can (and probably should) be examined objectively (or subjectively ) for bias (or personal preference ). Therefore unless you develop your personal objectives and believes, it will be hard to recommend anything.


Sharu,
One thing i have noticed many times, is I dont read a book based on what is written on the cover. I read it because of a nice review, or a push from a friend. See all these are prone to bias.
Please dont hold back. Go ahead and recommend.
After all books are a great pieces of creation (created out of nothing) by creative people.
Other books i just remembered,
1) Douglas Adams "Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy"
wow what a series that was. Mind boggling, Simply great creativity and great fun.
By the way I have all the etexts of douglas adams books.
[ July 01, 2002: Message edited by: seshu kumar ]
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 18944
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm participating enthusiastically. A summary about Alice in Wonderland would be stored in pictures in my mind which I see in picture books. Last of these are Alice growing big and growing small, with armies of cards of spades/clubs? whatever chasing after her? And the movie Matrix of Lawrence Fishburne telling Keanu Reeves if he takes the blue pill, he'll show him how deep the rabbit hole can get.
 
Anonymous
Ranch Hand
Posts: 18944
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
By the way, <Don>=cockanaden, yen na dur
 
Anonymous
Ranch Hand
Posts: 18944
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Nope I mean, Don in triangular brackets equals cockanaden
 
Hey, I'm supposed to be the guide! Wait up! No fair! You have the tiny ad!
free, earth-friendly heat - a kickstarter for putting coin in your pocket while saving the earth
https://coderanch.com/t/751654/free-earth-friendly-heat-kickstarter
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic