Author Topic: Stephen Hawking - A Brief History of Time (1988)  (Read 3096 times)

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Offline Awesome220

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Stephen Hawking - A Brief History of Time (1988)
« on: October 16, 2008, 03:43:03 AM »
I thought it was pretty good.  Boy, does it put things in perspective sometimes, reading about the universe and all the crap what is associated with it.  Hawking is a great mind.  And I fear his computerized voice thing and the fact that he is in a wheelchair may lead some people to believe he is, I don't know, a crazy scientist or something.  But he is great.


Like Homer said in one episode of THE SIMPSONS, "I should have listened to that wheelchair guy."
« Last Edit: October 26, 2008, 08:48:50 AM by Apeiron »
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Offline spiney

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Re: I just read A Brief History Of Time
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2008, 06:32:48 AM »
Er, maybe Homer meant ...... Dr Strangelove? Ron Kovic? FDR?

Offline Jim

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Re: I just read A Brief History Of Time
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2008, 09:28:45 AM »
Yes it was a good read, the first this year for me as part of the 50 books for 2008 challenge :-)
Jim

Offline Awesome220

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Re: I just read A Brief History Of Time
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2008, 12:44:19 AM »
Reading that book really makes me space out.  I mean when I read some of the things in that book and I stop and just think about it, I literally float away in my mind.  I dont know, I cant describe it.  Hawking is an Allah among men.
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Offline MikeSmith

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Re: I just read A Brief History Of Time
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2008, 01:00:22 AM »
I just read its sequel, The Universe in A Nutshell, and I got to say that went right over my head.  Right over.

That book is for sure at the much-harder-to-comprehend end of the popular science book spectrum.  It's like: Great, Stephen, time is shaped like a cone.  But what does that even  mean?  How do I even picture that?  And how do you even know?
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Offline Ido

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Re: I just read A Brief History Of Time
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2008, 06:04:32 AM »
I was dying to read this book for a year now. You just made me buy it. :)
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Offline Frank

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Re: I just read A Brief History Of Time
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2008, 09:46:43 AM »
I think I read it 'by accident' when I was fifteen or sixteen. Well, it wasn't an accident, but anyway.

Really enjoyed it. Very much over my head, but I could see the underside of a lot of it. Lovely stuff. Nowadays I'm actually beginning to be able to understand some of this stuff. It's great. I think it really did shape my future. Saved me from Computer Science and catapulted me on into Theoretical Physics...

Getting the illustrated versions helps a lot, I'd say. Physics is so much easier when diagrams are involved.
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Offline MikeSmith

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Re: I just read A Brief History Of Time
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2008, 12:46:15 PM »
I think I read it 'by accident' when I was fifteen or sixteen. Well, it wasn't an accident, but anyway.

Really enjoyed it. Very much over my head, but I could see the underside of a lot of it. Lovely stuff. Nowadays I'm actually beginning to be able to understand some of this stuff. It's great. I think it really did shape my future. Saved me from Computer Science and catapulted me on into Theoretical Physics...

Getting the illustrated versions helps a lot, I'd say. Physics is so much easier when diagrams are involved.

Wow, there's an illustrated version?  I'm there.
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Offline stonesean

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Re: I just read A Brief History Of Time
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2008, 12:50:22 PM »
I found "The God Particle" by Leon Lederman much more easy to read.

Though it's possible that I am, in fact, a dummy.  So take it for what it's worth.
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Offline MikeSmith

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Re: I just read A Brief History Of Time
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2008, 12:53:09 PM »
I found "The God Particle" by Leon Lederman much more easy to read.

Though it's possible that I am, in fact, a dummy.  So take it for what it's worth.

I have that.  I'll move it further up my reading list because of your recommend.
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Offline Frank

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Re: I just read A Brief History Of Time
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2008, 07:24:11 PM »
Wow, there's an illustrated version?  I'm there.

Well, I'm being slightly dishonest. There's definitely an illustrated version of The Universe in a Nutshell (it's the one I read), and I'm pretty sure there must be one for Brief History (which I read in non-illustrated paperback).

Still, any sort of illustration would help. Even having a physicist (or more-understanding) friend to draw out diagrams would help. Or even taking a quick gander at Wolfram or Wikipedia regarding each topic you come across.

Anyhow, I'm pretty sure there must be an illustrated one.. There is indeed, but I couldn't find any currently in print (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Brief-History-Time-Illustrated/dp/0593040597/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1224631196&sr=1-1). If you liked it and want to better understand it, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend saving up the pennies and forking out for a nice copy of the illustrated version, at least 'at some point'.

It's all good stuff. 'A short history of nearly everything' by Bill Bryson was pretty decent too, for a physicist, in terms of getting to grips with a whole lot of other maddening ideas. Like evolution and the vast bulk of biology, geography, geology and chemistry that I hadn't even begun to have a 'proper' clue about!
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Offline MikeSmith

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Re: I just read A Brief History Of Time
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2008, 08:38:38 PM »
Wow, there's an illustrated version?  I'm there.

Well, I'm being slightly dishonest. There's definitely an illustrated version of The Universe in a Nutshell (it's the one I read), and I'm pretty sure there must be one for Brief History (which I read in non-illustrated paperback).

Still, any sort of illustration would help. Even having a physicist (or more-understanding) friend to draw out diagrams would help. Or even taking a quick gander at Wolfram or Wikipedia regarding each topic you come across.

Anyhow, I'm pretty sure there must be an illustrated one.. There is indeed, but I couldn't find any currently in print (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Brief-History-Time-Illustrated/dp/0593040597/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1224631196&sr=1-1). If you liked it and want to better understand it, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend saving up the pennies and forking out for a nice copy of the illustrated version, at least 'at some point'.

It's all good stuff. 'A short history of nearly everything' by Bill Bryson was pretty decent too, for a physicist, in terms of getting to grips with a whole lot of other maddening ideas. Like evolution and the vast bulk of biology, geography, geology and chemistry that I hadn't even begun to have a 'proper' clue about!

Sweet.  It's on my wish list now.

And I agree about Bryson's book.  It was definitely a good overview.
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Offline whitedevilbrewing

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Re: I just read A Brief History Of Time
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2008, 11:14:48 PM »
I think I'm alone in not really liking this book :P

Offline MikeSmith

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Re: I just read A Brief History Of Time
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2008, 11:15:18 PM »
I think I'm alone in not really liking this book :P

Why didn't you like it?  Tell us.
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Offline whitedevilbrewing

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Re: I just read A Brief History Of Time
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2008, 11:26:07 PM »
Well, I didn't dislike it, but there are better books on the subject.  A lesser-read contemporary is "The Whole Shebang" by Tim Ferris, which I like a lot better.  Hawking's writing gets dense and confusing when he gets into the deep stuff.  I think he goes too deep- you can understand the idea and stay a little more shallow, and the book would be much more readable.  Ferris succeeds in that aspect.  The book is a bit old and outdated, but worth a read if you keep that in mind.

 

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