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Manny Rayner's book reviews

I love reviewing books - have been doing it at Goodreads, but considering moving here.

Currently reading

The Greatest Show On Earth: The Evidence For Evolution
Richard Dawkins
R in Action
Robert Kabacoff
Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies
Douglas R. Hofstadter
McGee on Food and Cooking: An Encyclopedia of Kitchen Science, History and Culture
Harold McGee
Epistemic Dimensions of Personhood
Simon Evnine
Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning (Information Science and Statistics)
Christopher M. Bishop
Relativity, Thermodynamics and Cosmology
Richard C. Tolman
The Cambridge Handbook of Second Language Acquisition
Julia Herschensohn, Martha Young-Scholten
The End of Time: The Next Revolution in Physics - Julian; Julian Barbour Barbour People who read pop science books will know by now that the physics world is rather like that of Star Wars. The dominant String Theorists are the Empire; led by the Vader-like Ed Witten, they control the corrupt funding agencies and rule science with an iron fist. Ranged against them, we have the eccentric and charismatic Rebels. Lee Smolin's Periphery Institute is clearly the main Rebel base, and Peter Woit comes across as a typical Han Solo figure. I rather fancy Roger Penrose as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Fotini Markopoulou as Princess Leia. Luke Skywalker, alas, does not yet appear to have turned up. But I've got no doubts about Julian Barbour: he can't be anyone but Yoda. Even something of a physical resemblance, wouldn't you say?

Julian Barbour


The rest of this review is in my book If Research Were Romance and Other Implausible Conjectures