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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
Grand Unification and the New Look of the Atom - L.N. Smith - Your Serenity! Your Serenity!

- What is it now, Brother Emmanuel?

- I've found another heretic sir.

- Another one?

- Yes sir.

- That's the third this week, isn't it?

- Yes sir. I think it must be the unseasonably warm weather sir.

- Well, what kind of heresy is this one spouting?

- He says there are only four dimensions sir.

- That's not so bad, Brother Emmanuel. The Blessed Penrose has said the same thing.

- But there's more to it sir. He denies spontaneous symmetry breaking. Claims there are equal amounts of matter and anti-matter in the universe.

- Hm, that sounds more serious. How does he explain the lack of mutual annihilation in the early moments of the Big Bang?

- He doesn't go into that sir.

- Well, all the same, I'm inclined to...

- Wait sir, I've saved the worst bit for last. He argues for the existence of a luminiferous aether.

- He does? What about the Revelation of Saint Michelson-Morley?

- He has some explanation involving the Earth carrying its aether along with it. Frankly, sir, I was a bit shocked. I didn't want to read it too carefully.

- I must admit that is rather blasphemous.

- And he denies the essentially probabilistic nature of quantum processes.

- Don't get carried away here, Brother Emmanuel. No need to complicate things. We have a solid case against him already.

- Yes sir. Can I burn him at the stake sir?

- Oh, alright. If you're sure you want to.

- Thank you sir! I'll go and do that immediately.

- Wait. I've changed my mind.

- But please sir...

- We've burned enough heretics for now. Think of something else.

- But sir, what am I supposed to do?

- Oh... I don't know. Use your initiative. Write an ironic review on Goodreads or something.

- But sir...

- That's enough, Brother Emmanuel. Dismissed.