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Customer Review

38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time For A Drink, January 10, 2001
This review is from: Time's Arrow and Archimedes' Point: New Directions for the Physics of Time (Hardcover)
This is heady stuff-Perhaps if you're a theoretical physics professor at CalTech it might make for light postprandial enjoyment.-But for the rest of us...Beware!...Part of the problem is terminology(micro) or (mu) innocence for example....Oddly, I read this book for the same reason I read Proust-I'm fascinated with Time!-But be forewarned that, though this book has far less than Proust's 3,000 pages, unless you are the aforementioned professor, you have an extremely tougher row to hoe in reading this book, even though the author goes out of his way to make things understandable to the lay reader. -The basic idea isn't that hard to understand: we are captives of our position in time and that captivity affects our observations of physical (particle, wavicle, whatever) behavior. What the author eventually advances (after ploughing through many other concepts and alternative explanations) is something called "advanced action theory." This theory entails, as far as I can make out, very simply, that there is a "common future" as well a "common past" that influences what we call the present but that we are unable to perceive this common future because our nature as AGENTS (he uses this term over and over)precludes us from perceiving this common future.-I kept on thinking of a spatial analogy of a person tied to the back of the caboose of a train facing backward. He can see where the train has gone, but not the vista ahead, which is certainly just as real. But if he has been in this position his entire life, he would have no idea what you meant by saying "See that mountain up ahead!" How could you know? It's as if one of us were to state, "See that assassination attempt tomorrow!"- Archimedes' Point for Mr. Price would entail an observer standing by as the train passes observing both where it's been and where it's going.-This is the simplest way I know to explain what this book is about, though it may just make more of a muddle of things for all I know....But the physicists Mr. Price describes seem to have done a pretty good job of that already.-Anyhow, that's enough explanation for a review like this one. If you are intrigued, go ahead and buy it.-But be prepared for hard, hard work.-Unless, of course, you've already figured all this out.-In the former case, a pint down at your local pub is the fit epilogue to this mindbending work!
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 21, 2009 8:58:55 AM PST
A reviewer says:
I love macroparagraphs.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 22, 2009 6:30:02 AM PST
Daniel Myers says:
Funny that - It would seem from your "reviews" that nanoparagraphs are more to your fancy.
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