After an active blogging (and reading) January, I have stalled in February. Partly due to a very exciting business trip to Moscow, where I had little time or access for either reading or blogging and work piling up as a result.
During the past week, I did complete Brian Boyd’s On The Origin Of Stories, on the bus to and from the office. As well as discovering that Dr Seuss was a phenomenon that had passed me by, ultimately a very satisfying read. A very good summary of enlightened Darwinian evolution of mind, where attention is probably the main driving force, attention being drawn to perceived value. Makes perfect sense. Art and the art of story-telling are part of the evolution of that attention to value, and economy of explanation, necessary for mind to evolve.
Having earlier read David Lindley’s Uncertainty, someone recommended Graham Farmelo’s The Strangest Man – The Hidden Life Of Paul Dirac, Quantum Genius. Finding it hard to put down – researched from correspondence, interviews and documentary records, the science, the competition, the philosophy, society and international politics and war of the first half of the 20th century. Fascinating. Obvious, but not seen mentioned before, the crossing in Cambridge of Dirac’s path with Wittgenstein’s – genius chalk with genius cheese. Clear also, as others have pointed out before, that Arthur Eddington was the contemporary writer to read for lay accounts of the new science as it developed.