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science fact

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by thump326, Apr 25, 2006.

  1. thump326


    Apr 30, 2004
    Anyone know of some non-fiction books that read like science fiction? I love books that make my head spin. I'm looking for something explaining perception and consciousness, a "how the mind works" kinda thing.

    Good books I've recently read:

    Richard Dawkins - The Selfish Gene
    --this book is absolutely amazing! The process of evolution explained, and the introduction of "memes" as a means to cultural evolution.

    Stephen Hawking - Theory of Everything
    --The origin of the universe, different dimensions, string theory, blackholes, time travel, the works!

    MIcheal Pollan(?) - Botany of Desire
    --how plants and people are deeply connected. Who's domesticating whom?
  2. paulraphael


    Apr 13, 2006
    If you heard me play, you'd stop reading what I write.
    Do you like science fiction about post-industrial, post-appocalyptic nightmares (blade runner, mad max, etc. etc.)?

    Why not just read some history books that deal with the last 8 years or so? ;)
  3. justateenpoet

    justateenpoet Have you...killed the Venture brothers!?!?

    May 14, 2005
    String Theory is responsible for turning my brain into jello during my senior year in high school. We watched a NOVA program about it, and my head almost blew up. It's one of those things that fascinated me, even though I wasn't all that sure of what it was about.
  4. Diego


    Dec 9, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    Dawkins - The Blind Watchmaker
    Sapolsky- The trouble with testosterone (essays) (fantastic book!)
    Anything by Stephen Jay Gould
    Genome - Ridley
    The Red Queen - Ridley

    All are non fiction books in the line of what you are interested about. They do not tackle directly the issue of "how the mind works" but are superb examples of scientific writing for everybody.

    Feel free to PM me if you have any questions about these books or are interested in other "real" science topics.
  5. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    Well, this book is not about consciousness, but I got Kip Thorne's "Black Holes and Time Warps" from my Physics department when I was in the 3rd year of my undergrad. It was very well written and many parts read like a story rather than like speculation about theoretical physics.
  6. Toasted


    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    Kevin Warwick - March of the Machines
  7. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    You should read anything and everything Dawkins has written. Selfish Gene was a good start, keep going, you won't be disappointed. Best biology science writer by far.
  8. cat_s


    Apr 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    Loved The Theory of Everything.
    Have you read The Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra?
    How about Mickey Hart's Drumming on the Edge of Magic?
    Both good reading and explore questions of consciousness, etc.
    Joseph Campbell is another good choice for "how the mind works."
  9. Ericman197


    Feb 23, 2004
    Anything by Brian Greene (string theorist). Very easy reads, but are more informative. Ummm what happened
  10. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Well, if you decide to cross over into the dark realms of science fiction, you might be interested in "hard science fiction", which more rooted in science than the regular space operas you might be familiar with.

    If you head to your local Barnes and Noble or Borders, you can pick up a montly magazine called Analog, which deals with mostly hard science fiction as well as science articles. Its sister publication, Asimov, prints mostly more traditional sci-fi.

  11. Mikemike

    Mikemike Miscreant

    Jun 18, 2002
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
    I really love the book "Flatland" by Edwin Abbot. It's about theories of dimensional physics, in a fictional setting. (contemplating 3 dimensions from a 2 dimensional figure's point of view) It raises really good points about how there could be an infinite number of dimensions, but we can't know for sure. I actually read this book after seeing John Turner rave about it. It's a good one.
  12. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague In History by John Barry

    It will freak you out often, especially if you have any medical background at all. It backs up all the way to the mid 1800's to explain just how primitive medicine was in the early days of the US. Until the late 19th century, the only qualifying factor necessary to get into medical school was to be able to pay tuition. MD's only had to pass five of nine tests to finish.That wasn't a fraction, as in 5/9ths of the tests. There were only nine tests in all of medical school!

    The first time they ever saw a patient was their first patient, as a doctor! No prior education was required, not even a high school diploma.

    I felt pretty insulted to discover that I'm waaaaay more educated than an MD was back then.
  13. +1

    The Elegant Universe is mind-bending.

    Flatland is good too (although it's completely fiction), as is its "sequel" (by someone else). I can't remember its name though.

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