download eBook The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations that Transform The World (Penguin Press Science) By David Deutsch –

In our search for truth, how far have we advanced This uniquely human quest for good explanations has driven amazing improvements in everything from scientific understanding and technology to politics, moral values and human welfare But will progress end, either in catastrophe or completion or will it continue indefinitely In this profound and seminal book, David Deutsch explores the furthest reaches of our current understanding, taking in the Infinity Hotel, supernovae and the nature of optimism, to instill in all of us a wonder at what we have achieved and the fact that this is only the beginning of humanity s infinite possibility.

6 thoughts on “The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations that Transform The World (Penguin Press Science)

  1. Enrique Campos Enrique Campos says:

    Dec a Ortega en la rebeli n de las masas que el cient fico era el prototipo de hombre masa Los casi 100 a os transcurridos desde entonces han dejado esta afirmaci n fuera de lugar Los incre bles descubrimientos cient ficos acaecidos en el siglo XX en las ciencias fundamentales cosmolog a y astrof sica, biolog a, f sica de part culas, etc nos han permitido una comprensi n de la realidad que dif cilmente pod amos haber so ado y que hace que un s lido conocimiento cient fico sea imprescindible al fil sofo de hoy d a, que en realidad es el hombre de ciencia Pertenece Deutsch sin lugar a dudas a ese grupo de hombres de ciencia cuyos libros son imprescindibles si queremos tener una comprensi n de la realidad que se ajuste precisamente a nuestras mejores explicaciones Yo lo incluyo en el selecto club formado por Hawkings, Dawkings, Penrose, Greene, etc..En resumen un libro para leer, releer y disfrutar.

  2. Cliente Cliente says:

    This is a great read Well written and entertaining.The author has some interesting explanations and he even makes the big mysteries of quantum physics readily accessible I enjoyed it very much.

  3. Vicen Alepuz Vicen Alepuz says:


  4. YP YP says:

    This is definitely an interesting book and I learned a lot from it But I suggest to look critically at it and not take it for granted as the truth Ok, I m no philosopher, but I see that the author makes assumptions about humans and human society which just don t hold up For example All evils are due to the lack of knowledge Really No, not all, far from it.Or the in the other chapter when it is stated that we always learn and absorb new ideas from conjecture and criticism Again, seems like a big oversimplification Yes, some ideas, in part, but our emotions, biases, psychological state play huge role i what we come to believe And if the idea fits into what we value we would not criticize or test it before absorbing it Maybe some people would, but most wouldn t.I understand that the author is a scientist and big proponent of Popper epistemology and that s how he looks at it And that s how science and rational inquiry should work, even though I m sure even in science biases a psychology still play a big role But I think the author is way too optimistic about the human nature.So, because I don t agree with the some of assumptions, the conclusions don t follow for me either But I believe you can learn from a book even if you don t agree with the author and this book has a lot of value and touches a lot of different topics So I recommend it, just be cautious and subject what the author says to criticism as he recommends.

  5. Gary Schroeder Gary Schroeder says:

    Feeling starved of intellectual engagement Is PBS failing to meet your craving for mental stimulation Is your spouse tired of listening to your pontifications on the origins of the universe Well, good news then David Deutsch is here to provide relief The Beginning of Infinity is a wide ranging book of ideas Hard to pin down precisely, It offers a sampling of what I d call 1 o clock discussions You know the ones they happen after the party guests have departed and only you and your best friend remain behind, staring at the ceiling, chatting as you finish the last drinks of the night.Deutsch, equal parts physicist his actual day job and philosopher, creates a carefully constructed argument designed to prove that there are no theoretical limits on human knowledge Can we stop the aging process Given enough knowledge, sure After all, the complexity of the problem is finite, and the biological processes underlying the aging process are relatively well understood Given enough time and resources for the necessary research, there s no reason that humans can t prevent aging from occurring The practical implications of such an outcome would be fascinating, but that s not the focus of the book Basically, Deutsch argues that any physical process that is not precluded by laws of nature like traveling faster than the speed of light, for example is achievable given sufficient knowledge and that if we don t have that knowledge right now, we can obtain it.The foundation of his proof rests on two basic truisms that in any endeavor problems are inevitable, and that all problems are soluble given sufficient knowledge.One of the many meanings of infinity which he carefully lays out at the end of each chapter s summary is that there are no limits on what can be known He says that suggesting that there are bounds on the domains in which reason is the proper arbiter of ideas is a belief in unreason or the supernatural He buttresses his argument by offering a brief tour of history and The Enlightenment Western civilization of the Pre enlightenment remained stagnant during the Dark Ages specifically because organized authority squelched free inquiry and the creation of original conjectures which could be tested to conclusively rule out false ideas Deutsch says that it is only through the creation of original conjectures that knowledge can be expanded All assertions must be tested, and proof sought Whatever is true withstands any degree of testing that one can muster, while that which is false crumbles With the Enlightenment, explanatory knowledge became the most important determinant of physical events, not superstition or human authority Once that occurred, the curve of charted knowledge growth became steep indeed with no end in sight.Accepting that humans have the theoretical power to become infinitely knowledgable, doesn t mean that getting there is easy Here, Deutsch delves into his theories of optimism Continuing to pursue knowledge through the solution of problems is fundamentally an exercise in optimism We believe that a solutions exist, even if we haven t yet found them If we try to improve things and fail it s because we did not know enough in time Civilizations that have collapsed did so because they had insufficient knowledge of how to save themselves or they ran out of time before a solution could be found The inhabitants of Easter Island are highlighted as an example as well as somewhat controversially our own current predicament as a civilization faced with the challenge of dramatic climate change Deutsch suggests that climate change is simply another example of a problem that needs sufficient knowledge with which to devise a solution.Arguments like this can cause Deutsch to come across as cold and rational to a fault While it s hard to argue with the logic of his carefully constructed propositions, it can leave one searching for a little humanity behind the words In this regard, The Beginning of Infinity can sometimes feel less like a late night conversation with a buddy and like a lecture from Mr Spock.But, just as that begins to happen, he manages to branch off into another fascinating exploration of Ideas writ large, covering topics such as quantum mechanics, the Multiverse, the mathematical impossibility of truly representational government, memes, beauty, creativity, sustainability, artificial intelligence, and the concept of mathematical infinity Each one of these explorations is tied to the basic premise of the infinite expansion of knowledge, though some less successfully than others For example, his exploration of beauty is completely devoid of the ineffable emotions that most of us associate with that quality This is perhaps one of the only realms where logic has less to offer than unjustifiable irrationality.While not all of these topics hold together as a completely coherent whole, each is utterly fascinating in its own way particularly his exploration of the multiverse, a concept so foreign to human experience, that the chapter calls for repeated readings to promote comprehension Everything is so carefully laid out that you re likely to be persuaded of Deutsch s position that given enough time, there s nothing that we can t learn and that there are no problems which are insoluble Overall, this book is a great source of brain food for anyone looking to sharpen their mental acuity, step out of the ordinary, and go for a walk with a brilliant mind.

  6. Herbert Gintis Herbert Gintis says:

    Deutch s chapter on mathematical proof are bizarre and ignorant of the basics of mathematical logic Proofs are mathematical objects whatever their ontological status, they are not physical objects.Deutch is famous for his obdurate and far fetched espousal of multiverse theory The theory itself is not scientific there can be no evidence against it and theoretically incoherent.Deutch s analysis of beauty is correct, I believe But I thought of this many years ago and I am sure I am not the first.Deutch s memetic theory of culture is extremely superficial he does not know the literature and his observations on when ideal thrive and fail is simplistic and untenable.