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The Physics Declare: The Reflections on Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

Yesterday I went on a hike on a local trail with my girlfriend and her cousin.  One of the things I have always liked about hiking is seeing the beauties of nature.  There is a beauty in the trees, the rivers, and the sky above you that is difficult to appreciate at any other time.  Perhaps, it is easier for me to appreciate natural beauty when it is right in front of me than when I just hear about it.

However, there is a beauty in nature that is impossible to see with the naked eye.  There just some things in our world that can only be seen or explained by the equations of science.  Gravity can only be explained through Albert Einstein's general and special theories of relativity.  Atoms and quarks can only be made out with the most sensitive scientific instruments.  But can there be found the same beauty in these equations as there are in looking at a beautiful sunset or a wild forest?

Carlo Rovelli seems to think so in this very short book, Seven Brief Lessons on Physics.  Thr…
Recent posts

"He Who Increases Knowledge Increases Sorrow": The Lesson of The Name of the Rose

I recently took one of those Buzzfeed quizzes to determine which one of America's Founding Fathers I am most like (for the curious, it was John Adams).  One of the 29 questions I was asked was what kind of a seeker I was.  There were answers for seekers of truth, seekers of the soul, etc.  But the answer I gravitated towards was a seeker of knowledge.  That should be very obvious to anyone who has been following this blog with any kind of regularity.

The pursuit of knowledge can be very rewarding.  Scientists and scholars are lauded for their ability to uncover the secrets of our world, our cosmos, and our very selves.  Our education system is premised on the idea that ignorance can be a kind of burden and that knowledge can set us free.  Wall Street traders try to get some "inside information" in order to make investments, even if that knowledge is considered by many to be unfair or illegal (see my previous blog post on the book Black Edge for more about that).  But th…

The Slump: Learning to Embrace Some Time Off

Anyone who is or has been a serious reader knows that dreaded period known as the reading slump.  For a reader, this can be a troubling and frustrating time.  It certainly has been for me.  But as I've been crawling out of my slump and getting back to my typical reading habits, I've had some time to reflect on this time and I hope that my perspective can help you out too.


Since I last left you with my thoughts on Les Misérables by Victor Hugo as well as some analysis on the North Korean situation, which hasn't gotten much better since I wrote about them, things have been changing in my world.  I was let go from my job and have begun looking for a new one (any suggestions?).  My girlfriend has graduated from college and on top of her starting a new job of her own, she has moved a little further away from me than she already was.  These are all things that have made it difficult to keep up a regular reading and blogging schedule like I have been doing.

My initial knee jerk …

News Analysis: To Engage North Korea or Not?

With all of the news coming out of Washington about the investigation into Russian interference in 2016's presidential election, alleged collusion by the Trump campaign with the Russians, former FBI Director James Comey's testimony about President Trump's possible obstruction of justice, and today's reveal of the U.S. Senate's healthcare bill, it's easy to forget that the world continues to spin beyond America's borders.  No where is spinning faster though than North Korea and there is one recent news article and two blog posts you should read now about it.
Since President Trump came into office, one of the most dangerous international crises has been North Korea's continuing nuclear and ballistic missile tests.  Tensions have been high and any misstep could lead to conflict with thousands, even millions, of people dead within the first few hours alone.  But there is some diplomatic movement on this front.  In yesterday's New York Times, there was …

Feel the Power of Love: The Lessons of Victor Hugo's "Les Misérables"

As long as through the workings of law and customs there exists a damnation-by-society artificially creating hell in the very midst of civilization and complicating destiny... as long as there are ignorance and poverty on earth, books of this kind may serve some purpose. - Victor HugoLes Misérables by Victor Hugo is rightly considered one of the great novels of the 19th century.  The reason why is because Hugo touches upon themes that are universal and transcend race, religion, politics, etc.   Indeed, there is a reason why this book is so beloved by people and spawned one the greatest Broadway musicals of all time.
Frankly, I am a little nervous to be adding my own provincial scribblings to this fine work of art, as if a mouse had anything of worth to say to a demigod.  Nevertheless, I am going to try to put into words some of the things that I have learned as I have struggled through this novel for the past 10 months(!) in the hopes that others will not be intimidated by this book&#…

The Non-Secular Struggle for Modernity: Lessons from Christopher De Bellaigue's "The Islamic Enlightenment"

For nearly three hundred years, the West has been militarily and economically triumphant around the world with only a few exceptions.  It has enjoyed the fruits of past empires and advanced democratic and bureaucratic practices developed over those centuries.  And when we look back at our history, we feel a certain sense of pride in our progress from intellectual and financial poverty during the Middle Ages to our current heights today.
It can be easy for the West to look at places like the Middle East and ask, "Why can they get it together?  Why can't they be more like us?  Where is Islam's Reformation?  Or the Middle East's Enlightenment?"  It's ignorant and hubristic questions like these that make books like The Islamic Enlightenment: The Struggle Between Faith and Reason, 1798 to Modern Times by Christopher De Bellaigue so important.  They teach us that not only have places like the Middle East tried to modernize their countries, but that the West is som…

Supplemental: The Rise of the Religious Left

Not long ago I wrote about the things I had learned from the book The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape Americaby Frances FitzGerald (you can read the original blog here).  Among one of the things I learned from that book was how the Gospel message in the 2000s became tarred when the Christian Right so closely allied itself with the failures of the George W. Bush administration.  That plus the death or retirement of so many leaders of the Christian Right with no leaders with enough credibility to replace them, the Christian Right no longer seems to have as much influence as it once did.
Ms. Fiztgerald  also talked about how evangelical members of the Christian Left began to assert themselves and their political goals during the Obama administration.  She didn't expand too much on that as it is such a recent political movement, but that is where a recent article in The New York Times, "Religious Liberals Sat Out of Politics for 40 Years. Now They Want in the Game,"is …