Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Rebel and Heretic

Freeman Dyson; The Scientist as Rebel (New York Review of Books; 2006; ISBN 978-1-59017-216-2; cover by CERN).

It is very interesting to read Freeman Dyson, whether it be these essays or his other works. Not only do you see that he is one dang intelligent person (most of us are not fit to carry his pencil case, let alone his slide rule), but those that criticize his position on issues such as "global warming" make it clear they do not know the man or read his materials. They would benefit from doing so!

An interesting mix of book reviews, excerpts from out-of-print works, and essays such as Dyson's expansion upon J.D. Bernal's The World, The Flesh and The Devil. Highly recommended. Not beach reading, but maybe if more people read stuff like this on the beach, we'd have more intelligent discourse and less panic in the media.

Made up of: Preface; The Scientist as Rebel; Can Science Be Ethical?; A Modern Heretic; The Future Needs Us; What a World!; Witness to a Tragedy; Bombs and Potatoes; Generals; Russians; The Race Is Over; The Force of Reason; The Bitter End; Two Kinds of History; Edward Teller's "Memoirs"; In Praise of Amateurs; A New Newton; Clockwork Science; The World on a String; Oppenheimer as Scientist, Administrator, and Poet; Seeing the Unseen; The Tragic Tale of a Genius; Wise Man; The World, The Flesh, and the Devil; Is God in the Lab?; This Side Idolatry; One in a Million; Many Worlds; Religion from the Outside.

Counts as 29 entries in the 2009 Year in Shorts.

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