Not an easy read, but for those with at least some background in quantum mechanics and relativity, it should prove both...


Authors Bach and Belardo use Einstein’s Theories of Relativity and quantum physics to establish a philosophical paradigm they say will lead to hope and happiness for mankind.

The book opens with a rather perplexing prologue, preface and introduction. These sections confound, in part, because of an inherent paradox. They continually use the terms “unthinkable” and “unspeakable,” without explaining what, precisely, is unimaginable or unsayable. Fortunately, clarity rules once the science begins—no small task considering the subject matter. It turns out that the unthinkable, unspeakable things are the implications of the Theories of Relativity, constructs that thwart our brains and mouths. This is dense stuff, but basically, quantum experiments have demonstrated that two particles can confer information instantaneously across any distance and time frame. Since this violates Einstein’s Theories of Relativity by exceeding the speed of light, scientists, including Einstein, began a debate that rages to the present. Without getting into that argument, which is not really covered in the book, the authors posit that relativity is not being violated. Einstein’s famous equation, E=mc2, they say, demonstrates that at the speed of light, all of space-time equals zero and in fact all information of the past, present and future, equals infinite and, therefore, exists as a single inseparable point, a realm they call nospacetime, nonlocality and an information singularity. Since all things are one in nospacetime, the information has not traveled any distance at all. The authors then attempt to make the leap to philosophy by postulating that somehow the knowledge of this oneness of all things on the nonlocal level will in itself change mankind’s wicked ways. As with most leaps from science to values and beliefs, their assumptions are not necessarily on a par with their scientific ones.

Not an easy read, but for those with at least some background in quantum mechanics and relativity, it should prove both fascinating and enlightening on a scientific level, even if the promised salvation of the human race falls somewhat short.

Pub Date: Aug. 10, 2012

ISBN: 978-1470026134

Page Count: 150

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 2012

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Gates offers a persuasive, 30,000-foot view of a global problem that, he insists, can be prevented given will and money.


The tech mogul recounts the health care–related dimensions of his foundation in what amounts to a long policy paper.

“Outbreaks are inevitable, but pandemics are optional.” Thus states the epidemiologist Larry Brilliant, a Gates adviser, who hits on a critically important point: Disease is a fact of nature, but a pandemic is a political creation of a kind. Therefore, there are political as well as medical solutions that can enlist governments as well as scientists to contain outbreaks and make sure they don’t explode into global disasters. One critical element, Gates writes, is to alleviate the gap between high- and low-income countries, the latter of which suffer disproportionately from outbreaks. Another is to convince governments to ramp up production of vaccines that are “universal”—i.e., applicable to an existing range of disease agents, especially respiratory pathogens such as coronaviruses and flus—to prepare the world’s populations for the inevitable. “Doing the right thing early pays huge dividends later,” writes Gates. Even though doing the right thing is often expensive, the author urges that it’s a wise investment and one that has never been attempted—e.g., developing a “global corps” of scientists and aid workers “whose job is to wake up every day thinking about diseases that could kill huge numbers of people.” To those who object that such things are easier said than done, Gates counters that the development of the current range of Covid vaccines was improbably fast, taking a third of the time that would normally have been required. At the same time, the author examines some of the social changes that came about through the pandemic, including the “new normal” of distance working and learning—both of which, he urges, stand to be improved but need not be abandoned.

Gates offers a persuasive, 30,000-foot view of a global problem that, he insists, can be prevented given will and money.

Pub Date: May 3, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-53448-9

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2022

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A quirky wonder of a book.



A Peabody Award–winning NPR science reporter chronicles the life of a turn-of-the-century scientist and how her quest led to significant revelations about the meaning of order, chaos, and her own existence.

Miller began doing research on David Starr Jordan (1851-1931) to understand how he had managed to carry on after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake destroyed his work. A taxonomist who is credited with discovering “a full fifth of fish known to man in his day,” Jordan had amassed an unparalleled collection of ichthyological specimens. Gathering up all the fish he could save, Jordan sewed the nameplates that had been on the destroyed jars directly onto the fish. His perseverance intrigued the author, who also discusses the struggles she underwent after her affair with a woman ended a heterosexual relationship. Born into an upstate New York farm family, Jordan attended Cornell and then became an itinerant scholar and field researcher until he landed at Indiana University, where his first ichthyological collection was destroyed by lightning. In between this catastrophe and others involving family members’ deaths, he reconstructed his collection. Later, he was appointed as the founding president of Stanford, where he evolved into a Machiavellian figure who trampled on colleagues and sang the praises of eugenics. Miller concludes that Jordan displayed the characteristics of someone who relied on “positive illusions” to rebound from disaster and that his stand on eugenics came from a belief in “a divine hierarchy from bacteria to humans that point[ed]…toward better.” Considering recent research that negates biological hierarchies, the author then suggests that Jordan’s beloved taxonomic category—fish—does not exist. Part biography, part science report, and part meditation on how the chaos that caused Miller’s existential misery could also bring self-acceptance and a loving wife, this unique book is an ingenious celebration of diversity and the mysterious order that underlies all existence.

A quirky wonder of a book.

Pub Date: April 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5011-6027-1

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 2, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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