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Member: psiloiordinary

CollectionsYour library (1,486), Currently reading (1), All collections (1,486)

Reviews161 reviews

Tagschildrens (428), science fiction (348), reference (121), popular science (109), fantasy (86), humour (56), crime thriller (50), Historical Fiction (39), Fantasy Humour (38), novel (32) — see all tags

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About me43 yrs old - happily married for 22 yrs - 3 kids 21,18,13.

Grew up on Sci-Fi - discovered classics in my twenties. Slowly adding them to my shelves.

About my libraryLoads of older sci-fi Clarke, Asimov, Heinlein etc.

Try to play guitar so plenty of teach yourself music type stuff.

Three kids so loads of children's books - no, of course I don't read them ;-)

I care about science and in particular the evolution/ID debacle.

Fav author probably Patrick O'Brian - characters, wit, life.
Pratchetts a Peach, Going for Gaiman, Dotty on Dawkins etcetc sorry

GroupsAll Things Discworldian - The Guild of Pratchett Fans, Astronomy & Astrophysics, Atheists review books, Crime, Thriller & Mystery, Evolution, Evolve!, Faith and Reason, Happy Heathens, HMS Surprise, Mac Users at LibraryThingshow all groups

Favorite authorsRichard Dawkins, Patrick O'Brian, Terry Pratchett, Carl Sagan (Shared favorites)

Homepagehttp://cogitatute.blogspot.co.uk

Real nameMark

LocationWest Yorkshire, England

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/psiloiordinary (profile)
/catalog/psiloiordinary (library)

Member sinceSep 3, 2006

Currently readingRobin Ince's Bad Book Club: One Man's Quest to Uncover the Books That Taste Forgot by Robin Ince

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Comments

Hi,
Just wanted to say I enjoyed your review of The Origin of Species.
Best,
Ash
Thanks for your comments. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is one of the few books that made me laugh out loud.
Hi there,

Enjoyed your review of Master & Commander. I've come so close to purchasing that book so many times but for whatever reason some other title at the time would draw me away. I'm going to get my hands on a copy based on your excellent proselytizing.

Warmly,
EF
Thank you, (comment about ID-evolution etc.) really I am being some what of a troll; I have not been back to that thread in a while. But that doesn't mean that I don't want to think and debate about it. Anyway thanks again.
Thanks Mark - it was a weird time, growing out of childhood and into adulthood - shedding my parents' religious upbringing was part of it. Despite that break, we still get along and are good friends.

cheers,

Kris
Thanks Mark. I've also been wanting to read Dawkins' The Selfish Gene. I'll start there. Best, adamallen
Thanks psiloiordinary for your recommendations on the chaos and string theories. They sound like excellent options. In reading your reviews, I enjoyed your comments on The God Delusion. I recently picked that up and I'm looking forward to reading it. I've heard a lot of praise around Dawkins and I've never read one of his books so your review was very helpful. I also chuckled as I read your review of The Catcher in the Rye as I made a similar review not so long ago.

Cheers,

adamallen
I just got your comment about the Randi book and psychics--sorry but I can't figure out how to answer at the comment itself.

No, I'm not absolutely sure about the psychics; the point I was trying to make was more along the lines of "There may be real psychic talent out there, but so little and so difficult to prove that Randi probably won't have to pay out."
Not Even Wrong is on my wish list as well, though I read Woit's blog from time to time. Since I've been studying science in Massachusetts for several years, creationists of whatever stripe have been a definite minority, though there have been a few around, even among physics students.
Computational physics? Well, most physicists use computers quite a bit nowadays, but those who specialize in computer programming are the ones considered computational physicists. Some treat computational physics as a subfield of theoretical physics, others as a third branch of physics "in between" experimental and theoretical physics.

Really, computing is just a tool to explore problems that can't be exactly -- or even approximately -- solved by hand. One of the main computational projects today (and the one I'll most likely do my doctoral work on) is lattice quantum chromodynamics (lQCD), which uses computer simulations to study quarks, gluons, and the "strong nuclear force" that holds them together. There are also computational projects in condensed matter physics, which study fluid dynamics, phase transitions, and high-temperature superconductivity. Studying protein folding is an example of computational biology or biophysics.

One of the things I like best about focusing on computational physics is that I'll master techniques that should be applicable to many problems in many different fields. (Many computational physicists go into finance, it seems, though I have no plans to do so.) Oh, and I also get to play with Linux clusters and supercomputers.
It's not just you. For example, there's the story (which I read in Slavoj Zizek's recent article) in the New York Times) that "During the Seventh Crusade, led by St. Louis, Yves le Breton reported how he once encountered an old woman who wandered down the street with a dish full of fire in her right hand and a bowl full of water in her left hand. Asked why she carried the two bowls, she answered that with the fire she would burn up Paradise until nothing remained of it, and with the water she would put out the fires of Hell until nothing remained of them: 'Because I want no one to do good in order to receive the reward of Paradise, or from fear of Hell; but solely out of love for God.'"
Thanks for my first comment esta ;-)
It is in response to a conversation I had with a religious house caller who said I had a closed mind because I wanted evidence before believing something.

Often the difference between faith and morality can confuse the faithful.

I think that to do something because it is right is somehow "healthier" than to do it or else your god will burn you in a lake of fire for all eternity.

If my children are behaving only because I'm watching them and not because they are good I'm not such a happy dad.

Is it just me?
My favorite moment from a similar conversation: "You REALLY don't believe that everything you do is being recorded---that you will be judged?" My answer, "No." The baffled response, "Then why don't you rob banks?" My answer, "Because that money belongs to someone else" didn't satisfy!! Esta 1923
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