Thursday, May 26, 2011

New Book Alert

It's always fun to get new books in the mail.  It wasn't that long ago that such a thing was a very rare occurrence.  When we lived in Boston during graduate school years, I used to make a fairly regular trip the used bookshops in Cambridge.  At the time, it had the highest concentration of bookshops of anywhere in the world.  I wonder how many of those are still open?

It was also during graduate school that I first remember hearing about  Someone was handing out bookmarks in the library with advertisements for this new website.  I still remember a long river on the bookmark resembling the Amazon, and the catch phrase about the new as the world's largest book retailer.  I thought, "That is a really, really tenuous connection.  Surely they could have come up with a better name.  This one will never work."  So how much money have you contributed to the good folks at Amazon since then?

My latest purchases were two book on the multiverse--the latest conjecture of cosmologists that is a result of string theory and the inflationary universe.  Several papers in my Blackwell Companion discuss it, and I've been very interested.  So the latest edition to the Stump library are Michio Kaku's Parallel Worlds and Brian Greene's The Hidden Reality.  Kaku is the Japanese-American who is on just about every science show these days, and Greene is the new wunderkind of string theory from Columbia U.  Greene actually believes that there are an infinite number of worlds out there, and every variation of things that could possibly happen here are actually happening in one of them.  That means that there is really another planet out there where a middle-aged, balding philosophy professor writes a blog named Stump Speeches, but his has millions of followers.  I'm anxious to dive into his book--I suppose the me in another world has already finished it.  I'm sure I'll discuss it here in the future.

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