shane baker recommends...

Here is a book to add to your list -- Bloom, H., The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition into the Forces of History, The Atlantic Monthly Press, New York, 1995.

Bloom illustrates here a kind of "life eats life" scenario, incorporating the far-reaching concepts of memes, the social "superorganism," self-organizing systems (autopoeisis, as applied to the social forces that guide history), and the pecking order to put together "the big picture" of how biology and sociology interact.

"Lucifer is the dark side of cosmic fecundity, the cutting blade of the sculptor's knife. Nature does not abhor evil; she embraces it... One result: from our best qualities come our worst." Very good stuff here -- Genocide and murder are merely tools for creation, bloody creation. You may have already run into this peice of work, but if not, i think it'd be worth your time to consume it.

Ant Allan recommends...

So let me recommend a book which is perhaps a little leftfield, but will I think be of much interest to many Virions, not least because it demonstrates the virtues of Reason and Vision! The book is David Deutsch's The Fabric of Reality (Penguin 1998, ISBN 0-14-014690-3). To quote from the blurb: DD presents "a startlingly integrated, rational and optimistic world view that combines four strands: quantum physics and the theories of knowledge, computation and evolution". It could thus fit in many categories in the list! This is a truly enlightening book: I have a Ph.D. in particle physics, but despite six years of university study it was only when I read DD's book that I really understood the fundamental reality described by quantum physics!

Another interesting book (but which may be less relevant) is Brian Greene's The Elegant Universe (Vintage 2000, ISBN 0-099-28992-X) which deals with superstrings and M-theory. I mention it because it speaks to the parenthetical comments in Answers to Big Questions :: What is out there? i.e., that quarks are systems of superstrings; that our universe is one of many in a multiverse, each created by collisions between membranes in an 11-dimensional space!

Also see InterestingBooks.

Last edited on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 2:31:10 pm.