• Science

Theories of Everything: Ideas in Profile


Author: Frank Close
Publisher: Profile Books
ISBN: 1782833099
Category: Science
Page: 103
View: 6913
Physicist Frank Close takes the reader to the frontiers of science in a vividly told investigation of revolutionary science and enterprise from the seventeenth century to the present. He looks at what has been meant by theories of everything, explores the scientific breakthroughs they have allowed, and shows the far-reaching effects they have had on crucial aspects of life and belief. Theories of everything, he argues, can be described as those which draw on all relevant branches of knowledge to explain everything known about the universe. Such accounts may reign supreme for centuries. Then, often as a result of the advances they themselves have enabled, a new discovery is made which the current theory cannot explain. A new theory is needed which inspiration, sometimes, supplies. Moving from Isaac Newton's work on gravity and motion in the seventeenth century to thermodynamics and James Clerk Maxwell's laws of electromagnetism in the nineteenth to Max Planck's and Paul Dirac's quantum physics in the twentieth, Professor Close turns finally to contemporary physics and the power and limitations of the current theory of everything. The cycle in which one theory of everything is first challenged and then replaced by another is continuing right now.

    • Music

Music: Ideas in Profile


Author: Andrew Gant
Publisher: Profile Books
ISBN: 1782832513
Category: Music
Page: 93
View: 2275
Ideas in Profile Series Is music a science or an art? It's both, as Andrew Gant reveals in this lively and accessible account of what music is and what it's for. Music has been central to life since the dawn of humankind and is intimately bound up with the origins of language. Andrew Gant introduces us to its long history and its many genres and manifestations. He explains how composers compose, players play and singers sing. He looks at how musical styles develop, the ways they fall in and out of fashion, and why certain kinds of music - dancing and love songs, for example - is a universal in human culture. He considers how music is composed, the nature of genius and the workings of inspiration. He shows how music can be composed and used to stir patriotism, instill courage, reinforce identity, sell a product, or make a political point. And he goes beyond humans to examine music in the natural world in the creativity of birdsong. This is, in short, the ideal introduction to a very big subject.

    • Philosophy

Social Theory: Ideas in Profile

Ideas in Profile
Author: William Outhwaite
Publisher: Profile Books
ISBN: 1782831754
Category: Philosophy
Page: 135
View: 6943
Ideas in Profile: Small Introductions to Big Topics In a world that is constantly changing, understanding the world has never been more important. But by thinking in neat segments, we miss the big picture. When economists think about globalisation, they often see trade; politicians see institutions and power; artists see a new global aesthetic. Social theory is what sees them all together. Renowned theorist William Outhwaite takes us on a journey through the major thinkers and topics of this often misunderstood discipline. We move from the the work of Rousseau to the still powerful insights of Marx and on to the great sociologists, Weber and Durkheim. We probe the big questions - why is religion powerful, where does capitalism come from - and move through the key ideas of the twentieth century thought from the Frankfurt School to Bourdieu and Giddens. Lastly Outhwaite questions the role of social theory today. Where does this vital discipline go next and how will its wide horizons help us stand up to the challenge of the twenty-first century?

    • Science

A Short History of Nearly Everything


Author: Bill Bryson
Publisher: Anchor Canada
ISBN: 0385674503
Category: Science
Page: 560
View: 3331
One of the world’s most beloved and bestselling writers takes his ultimate journey -- into the most intriguing and intractable questions that science seeks to answer. In A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson trekked the Appalachian Trail -- well, most of it. In In A Sunburned Country, he confronted some of the most lethal wildlife Australia has to offer. Now, in his biggest book, he confronts his greatest challenge: to understand -- and, if possible, answer -- the oldest, biggest questions we have posed about the universe and ourselves. Taking as territory everything from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization, Bryson seeks to understand how we got from there being nothing at all to there being us. To that end, he has attached himself to a host of the world’s most advanced (and often obsessed) archaeologists, anthropologists, and mathematicians, travelling to their offices, laboratories, and field camps. He has read (or tried to read) their books, pestered them with questions, apprenticed himself to their powerful minds. A Short History of Nearly Everything is the record of this quest, and it is a sometimes profound, sometimes funny, and always supremely clear and entertaining adventure in the realms of human knowledge, as only Bill Bryson can render it. Science has never been more involving or entertaining. From the Hardcover edition.

    • Education

Theories of Childhood, Second Edition

An Introduction to Dewey, Montessori, Erikson, Piaget & Vygotsky
Author: Carol Garhart Mooney
Publisher: Redleaf Press
ISBN: 1605542482
Category: Education
Page: 128
View: 6647
Examine the work of five groundbreaking education theorists—John Dewey, Maria Montessori, Erik Erikson, Jean Piaget, and Lev Vygotsky—in relation to early childhood. Theories of Childhood provides a basic introduction to each theorist and explains the relationship of theory to practice and its impact on real children, teachers, and classrooms. This edition reflects current academic learning standards and includes new understandings of Vygotsky's work. It is a popular guide to help early childhood professionals be aware of the theories behind good child care practices. It is also a widely-used text in undergraduate programs, community college courses, and training workshops that focus on early development and education. Carol Garhart Mooney has been an early childhood educator for more than forty years. She is also the author of Theories of Attachment, Use Your Words, and Swinging Pendulums.

    • Science

The Grand Design


Author: Stephen Hawking,Leonard Mlodinow
Publisher: Bantam
ISBN: 0553907077
Category: Science
Page: 208
View: 8031
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER When and how did the universe begin? Why are we here? What is the nature of reality? Is the apparent “grand design” of our universe evidence of a benevolent creator who set things in motion—or does science offer another explanation? In this startling and lavishly illustrated book, Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow present the most recent scientific thinking about these and other abiding mysteries of the universe, in nontechnical language marked by brilliance and simplicity. According to quantum theory, the cosmos does not have just a single existence or history. The authors explain that we ourselves are the product of quantum fluctuations in the early universe, and show how quantum theory predicts the “multiverse”—the idea that ours is just one of many universes that appeared spontaneously out of nothing, each with different laws of nature. They conclude with a riveting assessment of M-theory, an explanation of the laws governing our universe that is currently the only viable candidate for a “theory of everything”: the unified theory that Einstein was looking for, which, if confirmed, would represent the ultimate triumph of human reason.

    • Science

Physics on the Fringe

Smoke Rings, Circlons, and Alternative Theories of Everything
Author: Margaret Wertheim
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 0802778739
Category: Science
Page: 336
View: 6318
For the past fifteen years, acclaimed science writer Margaret Wertheim has been collecting the works of "outsider physicists," many without formal training and all convinced that they have found true alternative theories of the universe. Jim Carter, the Einstein of outsiders, has developed his own complete theory of matter and energy and gravity that he demonstrates with experiments in his backyard,-with garbage cans and a disco fog machine he makes smoke rings to test his ideas about atoms. Captivated by the imaginative power of his theories and his resolutely DIY attitude, Wertheim has been following Carter's progress for the past decade. Centuries ago, natural philosophers puzzled out the laws of nature using the tools of observation and experimentation. Today, theoretical physics has become mathematically inscrutable, accessible only to an elite few. In rejecting this abstraction, outsider theorists insist that nature speaks a language we can all understand. Through a profoundly human profile of Jim Carter, Wertheim's exploration of the bizarre world of fringe physics challenges our conception of what science is, how it works, and who it is for.

    • Psychology

The Psychology Book


Author: DK
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1465439293
Category: Psychology
Page: 352
View: 2433
The Psychology Book clearly and simply explains more than one hundred groundbreaking ideas of the great scientists and thinkers who contributed to the development of psychological thought. Using easy-to-follow graphics and artworks, succinct quotations, and thoroughly accessible text, The Psychology Book makes abstract concepts concrete. The Psychology Book includes innovative ideas from ancient and medieval thinkers ranging from Galen and René Descartes to the leaders of psychotherapy, such as Sigmund Freud and Abraham Maslow. The voices that continue to shape modern psychology, from Nico Fridja to David Rosenhan, are also included, giving anyone with an interest in psychology an essential resource to psychological thinking and history.

    • Science

Quantum Profiles


Author: Jeremy Bernstein
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 9780691087252
Category: Science
Page: 178
View: 4099
Profiles and conversations of three physicists invoking the tremendous intellectual excitement of the world of modern physics, especially the quantum revolution.

    • Business & Economics

The Evolution of Everything

How New Ideas Emerge
Author: Matt Ridley
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 0062296027
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 368
View: 1282
The New York Times bestselling author of The Rational Optimist and Genome returns with a fascinating argument for evolution that definitively dispels a dangerous, widespread myth: that we can command and control our world. Human society evolves. Change in technology, language, morality, and society is incremental, inexorable, gradual, and spontaneous. It follows a narrative, going from one stage to the next; it creeps rather than jumps; it has its own spontaneous momentum rather than being driven from outside; it has no goal or end in mind; and it largely happens by trial and error—a version of natural selection. Much of the human world is the result of human action but not of human design: it emerges from the interactions of millions, not from the plans of a few. Drawing on fascinating evidence from science, economics, history, politics, and philosophy, Matt Ridley demolishes conventional assumptions that the great events and trends of our day are dictated by those on high, whether in government, business, academia, or organized religion. On the contrary, our most important achievements develop from the bottom up. Just as skeins of geese form Vs in the sky without meaning to and ter-mites build mud cathedrals without architects, so brains take shape without brain-makers, learning happens without teaching, and morality changes for no reason other than the prevailing fashion. Although we neglect, defy, and ignore them, bottom-up trends shape the world. The Industrial Revolution, cell phones, the rise of Asia, and the Internet were never planned; they happened. Languages emerged and evolved by a form of natural selection, as did common law. Torture, racism, slavery, and pedophilia—all once widely regarded as acceptable—are now seen as immoral despite the decline of religion in recent decades. In this wide-ranging and erudite book, Ridley brilliantly makes the case for evolution, rather than design, as the force that has shaped much of our culture, our technology, our minds, and that even now is shaping our future. As compelling as it is controversial, as authoritative as it is ambitious, Ridley’s deeply thought-provoking book will change the way we think about the world and how it works.

    • Philosophy

The Philosophy Book


Author: DK
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1465441069
Category: Philosophy
Page: 352
View: 6297
The Philosophy Book explains more than one hundred of the greatest ideas in philosophy through clear, succinct text and easy-to-follow graphics. Using straightforward graphics and artworks, as well as thoroughly accessible text that elucidates more than two thousand years of philosophical thought, The Philosophy Book makes abstract concepts concrete. From moral ethics to the philosophies of religions, The Philosophy Book sheds a light on the famous ideas and thinkers from the ancient world through the present day. Including theories from Pythagoras to Voltaire and Mary Wollstonecraft to Noam Chomsky, The Philosophy Book offers anyone with an interest in philosophy an essential resource to the great philosophers and the views that have shaped our society.

    • Science

The Order of Time


Author: Carlo Rovelli
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0735216126
Category: Science
Page: 256
View: 7138
The perfect graduation gift "Meet the new Stephen Hawking . . . The Order of Time is a dazzling book." --The Sunday Times From the bestselling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, a concise, elegant exploration of time. Why do we remember the past and not the future? What does it mean for time to "flow"? Do we exist in time or does time exist in us? In lyric, accessible prose, Carlo Rovelli invites us to consider questions about the nature of time that continue to puzzle physicists and philosophers alike. For most readers this is unfamiliar terrain. We all experience time, but the more scientists learn about it, the more mysterious it remains. We think of it as uniform and universal, moving steadily from past to future, measured by clocks. Rovelli tears down these assumptions one by one, revealing a strange universe where at the most fundamental level time disappears. He explains how the theory of quantum gravity attempts to understand and give meaning to the resulting extreme landscape of this timeless world. Weaving together ideas from philosophy, science and literature, he suggests that our perception of the flow of time depends on our perspective, better understood starting from the structure of our brain and emotions than from the physical universe. Already a bestseller in Italy, and written with the poetic vitality that made Seven Brief Lessons on Physics so appealing, The Order of Time offers a profoundly intelligent, culturally rich, novel appreciation of the mysteries of time.

    • Business & Economics

Where Good Ideas Come From


Author: Steven Johnson
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101444207
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 336
View: 3027
Look out for Johnson’s new book, Wonderland, now on sale. The printing press, the pencil, the flush toilet, the battery--these are all great ideas. But where do they come from? What kind of environment breeds them? What sparks the flash of brilliance? How do we generate the breakthrough technologies that push forward our lives, our society, our culture? Steven Johnson's answers are revelatory as he identifies the seven key patterns behind genuine innovation, and traces them across time and disciplines. From Darwin and Freud to the halls of Google and Apple, Johnson investigates the innovation hubs throughout modern time and pulls out the approaches and commonalities that seem to appear at moments of originality.

    • Science

Origin Story

A Big History of Everything
Author: David Christian
Publisher: Little, Brown
ISBN: 0316392022
Category: Science
Page: 368
View: 2100
"I have long been a fan of David Christian. In Origin Story, he elegantly weaves evidence and insights from many scientific and historical disciplines into a single, accessible historical narrative." --Bill Gates A captivating history of the universe -- from before the dawn of time through the far reaches of the distant future. Most historians study the smallest slivers of time, emphasizing specific dates, individuals, and documents. But what would it look like to study the whole of history, from the big bang through the present day -- and even into the remote future? How would looking at the full span of time change the way we perceive the universe, the earth, and our very existence? These were the questions David Christian set out to answer when he created the field of "Big History," the most exciting new approach to understanding where we have been, where we are, and where we are going. In Origin Story, Christian takes readers on a wild ride through the entire 13.8 billion years we've come to know as "history." By focusing on defining events (thresholds), major trends, and profound questions about our origins, Christian exposes the hidden threads that tie everything together -- from the creation of the planet to the advent of agriculture, nuclear war, and beyond. With stunning insights into the origin of the universe, the beginning of life, the emergence of humans, and what the future might bring, Origin Story boldly reframes our place in the cosmos.

    • Science

The Infinity Puzzle

The Personalities, Politics, and Extraordinary Science Behind the Higgs Boson
Author: Frank Close
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0199673306
Category: Science
Page: 413
View: 3824
Forty years ago, three physicists - Peter Higgs, Gerard 't Hooft, and James Bjorken - made the spectacular breakthroughs that led to the world's largest experiment, CERN's Large Hadron Collider. Against a backdrop of high politics and billion dollar budgets, this is the story of their work, the quest for the Higgs boson, and its eventual discovery.

    • Science

The Beginning of Infinity

Explanations that Transform The World
Author: David Deutsch
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0141969695
Category: Science
Page: 496
View: 2828
A bold and all-embracing exploration of the nature and progress of knowledge from one of today's great thinkers. Throughout history, mankind has struggled to understand life's mysteries, from the mundane to the seemingly miraculous. In this important new book, David Deutsch, an award-winning pioneer in the field of quantum computation, argues that explanations have a fundamental place in the universe. They have unlimited scope and power to cause change, and the quest to improve them is the basic regulating principle not only of science but of all successful human endeavor. This stream of ever improving explanations has infinite reach, according to Deutsch: we are subject only to the laws of physics, and they impose no upper boundary to what we can eventually understand, control, and achieve. In his previous book, The Fabric of Reality, Deutsch describe the four deepest strands of existing knowledge-the theories of evolution, quantum physics, knowledge, and computation-arguing jointly they reveal a unified fabric of reality. In this new book, he applies that worldview to a wide range of issues and unsolved problems, from creativity and free will to the origin and future of the human species. Filled with startling new conclusions about human choice, optimism, scientific explanation, and the evolution of culture, The Beginning of Infinity is a groundbreaking book that will become a classic of its kind.

    • Language Arts & Disciplines

Is That a Fish in Your Ear?

Translation and the Meaning of Everything
Author: David Bellos
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 0865478724
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 384
View: 1509
A New York Times Notable Book for 2011 One of The Economist's 2011 Books of the Year People speak different languages, and always have. The Ancient Greeks took no notice of anything unless it was said in Greek; the Romans made everyone speak Latin; and in India, people learned their neighbors' languages—as did many ordinary Europeans in times past (Christopher Columbus knew Italian, Portuguese, and Castilian Spanish as well as the classical languages). But today, we all use translation to cope with the diversity of languages. Without translation there would be no world news, not much of a reading list in any subject at college, no repair manuals for cars or planes; we wouldn't even be able to put together flat-pack furniture. Is That a Fish in Your Ear? ranges across the whole of human experience, from foreign films to philosophy, to show why translation is at the heart of what we do and who we are. Among many other things, David Bellos asks: What's the difference between translating unprepared natural speech and translating Madame Bovary? How do you translate a joke? What's the difference between a native tongue and a learned one? Can you translate between any pair of languages, or only between some? What really goes on when world leaders speak at the UN? Can machines ever replace human translators, and if not, why? But the biggest question Bellos asks is this: How do we ever really know that we've understood what anybody else says—in our own language or in another? Surprising, witty, and written with great joie de vivre, this book is all about how we comprehend other people and shows us how, ultimately, translation is another name for the human condition.

    • Science

What Is Your Dangerous Idea?

Today’s Leading Thinkers on the Unthinkable
Author: Mr. John Brockman
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0061844802
Category: Science
Page: 336
View: 9711
The world's leading scientific thinkers explore bold, remarkable, perilous ideas that could change our lives—for better . . . or for worse . . . From Copernicus to Darwin, to current-day thinkers, scientists have always promoted theories and unveiled discoveries that challenge everything society holds dear; ideas with both positive and dire consequences. Many thoughts that resonate today are dangerous not because they are assumed to be false, but because they might turn out to be true. What do the world's leading scientists and thinkers consider to be their most dangerous idea? Through the leading online forum Edge (www.edge.org), the call went out, and this compelling and easily digestible volume collects the answers. From using medication to permanently alter our personalities to contemplating a universe in which we are utterly alone, to the idea that the universe might be fundamentally inexplicable, What Is Your Dangerous Idea? takes an unflinching look at the daring, breathtaking, sometimes terrifying thoughts that could forever alter our world and the way we live in it. Contributors include Daniel C. Dennett • Jared Diamond • Brian Greene • Matt Ridley • Howard Gardner and Freeman Dyson, among others

    • Business & Economics

Creativity, Inc.

Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
Author: Ed Catmull,Amy Wallace
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 0679644504
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 368
View: 1245
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Huffington Post • Financial Times • Success • Inc. • Library Journal From Ed Catmull, co-founder (with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter) of Pixar Animation Studios, the Academy Award–winning studio behind Inside Out and Toy Story, comes an incisive book about creativity in business and leadership—sure to appeal to readers of Daniel Pink, Tom Peters, and Chip and Dan Heath. Fast Company raves that Creativity, Inc. “just might be the most thoughtful management book ever.” Creativity, Inc. is a book for managers who want to lead their employees to new heights, a manual for anyone who strives for originality, and the first-ever, all-access trip into the nerve center of Pixar Animation—into the meetings, postmortems, and “Braintrust” sessions where some of the most successful films in history are made. It is, at heart, a book about how to build a creative culture—but it is also, as Pixar co-founder and president Ed Catmull writes, “an expression of the ideas that I believe make the best in us possible.” For nearly twenty years, Pixar has dominated the world of animation, producing such beloved films as the Toy Story trilogy, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Up, WALL-E, and Inside Out, which have gone on to set box-office records and garner thirty Academy Awards. The joyousness of the storytelling, the inventive plots, the emotional authenticity: In some ways, Pixar movies are an object lesson in what creativity really is. Here, in this book, Catmull reveals the ideals and techniques that have made Pixar so widely admired—and so profitable. As a young man, Ed Catmull had a dream: to make the first computer-animated movie. He nurtured that dream as a Ph.D. student at the University of Utah, where many computer science pioneers got their start, and then forged a partnership with George Lucas that led, indirectly, to his founding Pixar with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter in 1986. Nine years later, Toy Story was released, changing animation forever. The essential ingredient in that movie’s success—and in the thirteen movies that followed—was the unique environment that Catmull and his colleagues built at Pixar, based on leadership and management philosophies that protect the creative process and defy convention, such as: • Give a good idea to a mediocre team, and they will screw it up. But give a mediocre idea to a great team, and they will either fix it or come up with something better. • If you don’t strive to uncover what is unseen and understand its nature, you will be ill prepared to lead. • It’s not the manager’s job to prevent risks. It’s the manager’s job to make it safe for others to take them. • The cost of preventing errors is often far greater than the cost of fixing them. • A company’s communication structure should not mirror its organizational structure. Everybody should be able to talk to anybody. Praise for Creativity, Inc. “Over more than thirty years, Ed Catmull has developed methods to root out and destroy the barriers to creativity, to marry creativity to the pursuit of excellence, and, most impressive, to sustain a culture of disciplined creativity during setbacks and success.”—Jim Collins, co-author of Built to Last and author of Good to Great “Too often, we seek to keep the status quo working. This is a book about breaking it.”—Seth Godin From the Hardcover edition.

    • Juvenile Fiction

The Book of Everything


Author: Guus Kuijer
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
ISBN: 0545298989
Category: Juvenile Fiction
Page: 112
View: 4347
Faith is joy is love is hope in this novel of exquisite power and everyday miracles, reminiscent of Barbara Kingsolver's THE POISONWOOD BIBLE. Thomas can see things no one else can see. Tropical fish swimming in the canals. The magic of Mrs. Van Amersfoort, the Beethoven-loving witch next door. The fierce beauty of Eliza with her artificial leg. And the Lord Jesus, who tells him, "Just call me Jesus." Thomas records these visions in his "Book of Everything." They comfort him when his father beats him, when the angels weep for his mother's black eyes. And they give him the strength to finally confront his father and become what he wants to be when he grows up: "Happy."