Posts Tagged ‘books’

Volume One: Not For Turning

April 28, 2013

Charles Moore discussed his authorised biography of Margaret Thatcher at LSE on 25th April.

This eagearly anticipated authorised biography, Not For Turning, is a ‘notable landmark’ according to the FT (27th April).

And, yes, Charles Moore, said on Thursday that he Iron Lady ‘did actually care about society’!!!!

(Re)order Marxism

January 30, 2011

In these days that we certainly have moved ‘from the triumph of global capitalism to its crisis in barely a decade’, I am so looking forward to reading the book I just ordered: How to Change the World: Tales of Marx and Marxism by Eric Hobsbawn. Does he make a case for the need to read or re-read Karl Marx now? Let’s see……

The Grand Design

September 13, 2010

‘A Brief History of Time’ by Steven Hawking some years earlier had given me the impression that I am ready to study Physics! I just loved it. Back then it was probably more the simple/attractive language the British cosmologist used rather than the theories themselves that made me enjoy the book. (Now I think that I certainly understood less than I believed at that time…).

This month Hawking and Leornard Mlodinow promise ‘new answers to the ultimate questions of life’. This is the subtitle of their recently published book: The Grand Design (Bantam Press). The authors adopt an approach which they call ‘model-dependent approach’ in order to provide a model of the world, both how and why the universe was created. They suggest that the ‘M-theory’, a series of theories, can provide an answer to the question of creation.

Some articles appeared last week commenting on Hawking’s transition from Agnosticism to Atheism. The reason probably is found in chapter 1 where the authors state: ‘..M-Theory predicts that a great many universes were created out of nothing. Their creation does not require the intervention of some supernatural being or god’. (p.8).

I have only read the first chapter , ‘The Mystery of Being’, so there is more discussion and observations to follow. Some points from the first chapter:

  • …philosophy is dead. Philosophy has not kept up with modern developments in science, particularly physics. Scientists have become the bearers of the torch of discovery in our quest for knowledge…’ (p.5)
  • ‘Why is there something rather than nothing? Why do we exist? Why this particular set of laws and not some other?’

Is that just me or are the above points a bit contradictory? If the quest for knowledge is the ultimate aim of the scientists, then, in what they really differ from the philosophers? In that they use different tools?

P.S. I just realised that I chose to put this post in the Arts category…..By accident? Probably because Hawking makes me perceive Science as Arts…..Or, because the mystery of Cosmos is still concealed both artfully and scientifically… To be continued….

Tony Blair: Difficult to embark on a ‘Journey’?

September 13, 2010

The autobiography of Tony Blair has been published. I purchased the book as soon as it became available. A series of  launch parties though -to mark this publication- were cancelled anti-war campaigners who had organise to protest against the ‘memoirs’ of a man who still needs to be labelled by history…

Is it difficult for Tony Blair to embark on a post-leadership Journey? On a lunch with FT (September 11/12 2010) he asks us to ‘….to understand that they [politicians] are human beings and to understand things from their point of view’…‘.

A master in framing an argument he also adds: ‘…..a lot of what I’m saying [in the book] … about where we are now and where we need to be…

I chose some lines from the Postscript referring to the West: ‘…For almost twenty years after 1989, the West set the agenda to which others reacted. Some supported us and some opposed us, but the direction of the globe, the destination to which history appeared to march, seemed chosen by us.‘ (Chapter 22, p. 664). True or false? I leave it to the reader to decide….

Reading Arthur Miller

June 30, 2010

From Arthur Miller, All My Sons (A Drama in Three Acts):

FRANK:   The trouble with you is, you don’t believe in anything.

JIM:         And your trouble is that you believe in anything.