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Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our…
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Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an… (original 2020; edition 2021)

by Brian Greene (Author)

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413753,110 (3.93)4
"From the world-renowned physicist, co-founder of the World Science Festival, and best-selling author of The Elegant Universe comes this utterly captivating exploration of deep time and humanity's search for purpose. Brian Greene takes readers on a breathtaking journey from the big bang to the end of time and invites us to ponder meaning in the face of this unimaginable expanse. He shows us how, from its original orderly state the universe has been moving inexorably toward chaos, and, still, remarkable structures have continually formed: the planets, stars, and galaxies that provide islands in a sea of disorder; biochemical mechanisms, including mutation and selection, animate life; neurons, information, and thought developed into complex consciousness which in turn gave rise to cultures and their timeless myths and creativity. And he describes, as well, how, in the deep reaches of the future, the nature of the universe will threaten the existence of matter itself. Through a series of nested stories Greene provides us with a clearer sense of how we came to be, a finer picture of where we are now, and a firmer understanding of where we are headed. Taken together, it is a completely new perspective on our place in the universe and on what it means to be human"--… (more)
Member:KaiHebberecht
Title:Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe
Authors:Brian Greene (Author)
Info:Penguin (2021), 448 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
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Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe by Brian Greene (2020)

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A remarkable book. Did you ever wish you could sit down with one of the top theoretical physicists, someone that was responsible for groundbreaking discoveries in superstring theory, and ask them about life, the universe, and everything? Well . . . wish granted.

Let’s start with a couple of warnings. If physics isn’t your thing, if you don’t find the double-slit experiment mind-blowing, or the relatively recent discovery of the Higgs Boson particle shocking, you may find this book - a bridge too far. But, if you’ve ever wondered why there is something instead of nothing, or how life or consciousness may have started, you’ll find this book entirely readable, although you may have to clear headspace to fully digest it. IMHO, Greene breaks through in this book, from being an excellent communicator and making the insanely complex understandable (his prior books), to an author that is profound and a great storyteller (this book).

A second warning, this book contains some truths that are disturbing and may create extreme existential dread. His explanations of the relentless march of entropy, the case for predestination, and the various terminations of Earth, life, and reality itself, can be difficult to accept. If you have strong religious sensitivities, you also may want to think twice about reading this book. However, I will add that Greene wrote this work with humility and empathy. The book is meticulously researched, he never asks you to take his word. It has 74 pages of footnotes and references. In addition, he shows compassion for the reader, recognizing the moments that cause anxiety and softening them with his stories of his own prior bias and fears.

If you still want to continue, you will be richly rewarded. Green tells a cohesive story which begins with the lure of eternity, then follows with the origin of the universe, life, and consciousness, recognizes the special nature of belief, language, and stories, and ends with an examination of the end of all things. It’s a compelling tale, supported by math, facts, and the continuous progress of physics. You’ll dive into the big bang, black holes, evolution, DNA, and consciousness. His prose is often as good as any master novelist and the story arc of the universe is the most majestic of all tales.

A masterwork by a brilliant scientist that has taken the time to share his life’s work with us in a breathtaking and compassionate way. A grand journey through matter and time, revealing difficult truths, but leaving space to appreciate beauty and meaning in our existence. Five stars going supernova one by one. ( )
1 vote Kevin_A_Kuhn | May 16, 2022 |
The best of non-fiction books teach us new things, expand upon what we already know, help us question assumptions, bring us to new understandings, and encourage our minds to form new and challenging questions. Each of us, regardless of age, has the capacity to learn new things. All we need are the opportunities to learn and the materials that help us learn.
Until the End of Time did all of this for me. In its pages, I found explanations of some of humanity's most baffling questions:

Why is there something instead of nothing?
How did life, the ability to reproduce, begin?
How did language begin?
What is consciousness, and how does it arise?
Do we have 'free will?'

Brian Green approaches each of these questions and more. The answers are neither easy nor easily understood. Green's extraordinary gift with language assists readers in understanding both the complex explanations and the concepts that produce them. He offers lucid analogies and vivid metaphors that make the explanations accessible and understandable.
I am not fully satisfied with some of the explanations. The explanation of consciousness particularly seems inadequate. Green explains the simple physics of consciousness, but physics isn't enough. There is far more to consciousness than the simple movement of atoms, nor are those movements pre-ordained to occur along the pathways they follow.
I appreciate his explanations of each of those vast and puzzling questions. I am impressed with his linguistic capacity to make his explanations comprehensible. I appreciate how well he led me to ask complex questions and learn entirely new concepts. I am just not sure the answers he offers are adequate.
( )
  PaulLoesch | Apr 2, 2022 |
This book covers in excruciating detail the future of the universe applying theoretical physics to vast periods of time. The author covers discussion of such topics as the Boltzmann brain, Higgs Fields and the variations in black holes. He ends with a nice discussion of meaning of life in respect to the eventual death of life and the universe. I concur and appreciate much of his discussion about the origin of the universe. He provides a clear and accurate discussion of the origin of the planets, life, and consciousness. I also think he is accurate in his contemplation regarding free will. Overall this is a good book with a wealth of information. It is evident that the author has given this much thought. This book is not for everyone. I have a PhD in engineering and have taught chemistry, physics, and electrical engineering. I found it interesting but most people probably would not like this book. ( )
  GlennBell | Jan 22, 2022 |
An attempt to grasp the meaning of time and the universe by exploring three running of time into the future and asking what that means in terms of the second law of thermodynamics and conscious existence. ( )
  waldhaus1 | Nov 6, 2020 |
"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana." - Groucho Marx



Have you ever seen an industrial vibratory feeder? In the lower level it does not matter if the motor goes back or forth because in the next level it is just vibration that makes the work. So, in the quantum level it does not matter which direction it has because in our physical level it is just change that makes time. Like a bow on a violin string it does not matter if it goes up or down it produces sound in every direction. Time is Change! Time itself is the momentum of homogeneous change for present Time throughout the universe. Rather like cause and effect, the consequences from one moment to the next are managed unto their resolutions, based on the evolutionary prescription for change. Ergo, each and every object in the universe changes once and at the same time via the same moment. The measure of the moment that is difficult to pin down. Similar to the notion of a wave versus a particle, the moment is the measure when it is observed. Therefore the measure is dependent on the observer's ability to detect change rather than on the change itself. Involving many observers, provides for a variety of disparate measurements. Human are born with the most wondrous facility - insatiable inquisitiveness. There are numerous approaches that give a common, indeterministic language for both classical and quantum physics. We have, at least: the generalized probability tradition, the Wigner function tradition, several stochastic dynamics traditions, and Koopman's Hilbert space formalism for classical mechanics, which naturally generalizes to include noncommutative algebras of measurements. For the latter approach, and for a smattering of references to all four, see "An algebraic approach to Koopman classical mechanics", in Annals of Physics. I do not yet see the idea that "In intuitionistic mathematics numbers are processes that develop in time" at all clearly reconciled with the continuous symmetries of special relativity: which time is to be used, and how do we transform between different choices? I worry that even moderate rigor will require a mathematics that will not be accessible except to specialists: engineers will want real numbers that do the same job. In that light, the idea that intuitionistic mathematics might give us a helpful approach to Quantum Gravity seems premature.

This is my third Greene, and it’s better than the other two: “The Fabric of the Cosmos” and “The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos”. ( )
  antao | Aug 14, 2020 |
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"From the world-renowned physicist, co-founder of the World Science Festival, and best-selling author of The Elegant Universe comes this utterly captivating exploration of deep time and humanity's search for purpose. Brian Greene takes readers on a breathtaking journey from the big bang to the end of time and invites us to ponder meaning in the face of this unimaginable expanse. He shows us how, from its original orderly state the universe has been moving inexorably toward chaos, and, still, remarkable structures have continually formed: the planets, stars, and galaxies that provide islands in a sea of disorder; biochemical mechanisms, including mutation and selection, animate life; neurons, information, and thought developed into complex consciousness which in turn gave rise to cultures and their timeless myths and creativity. And he describes, as well, how, in the deep reaches of the future, the nature of the universe will threaten the existence of matter itself. Through a series of nested stories Greene provides us with a clearer sense of how we came to be, a finer picture of where we are now, and a firmer understanding of where we are headed. Taken together, it is a completely new perspective on our place in the universe and on what it means to be human"--

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