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Old 02-08-2012, 01:24 AM   #176
Zeno
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

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Originally Posted by Ryanb9 View Post
Hey guys I have a request. I'm looking for a gem of a book on geology. I want to learn about the geologic time scale of the earth. I have been reading a decent amount of wiki on the topic recently but I think I would like to read a good book on the topic. Should I find a used text-book? or is there a book that is to geology like Dawkins selfish gene is to biology? Thanks xD
An excellent book is Understanding Earth, you should be able to pick this up used as it is used extensively as a college text for introduction to Geology. Very well written and informative.

http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-.../dp/0716796171

-Zeno
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Old 03-27-2012, 12:07 PM   #177
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

I'm a big fan of the recent release The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt. In terms of descriptive morality, I think it seems very on point. There is very little in there that is prescriptive, which I think is probably the weakest point of the book in some sense. But, then again, perhaps one of the takeaways from it is the difficulty of coming up with a useful prescriptive morality.
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:48 PM   #178
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

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I'm a big fan of the recent release The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt. In terms of descriptive morality, I think it seems very on point. There is very little in there that is prescriptive, which I think is probably the weakest point of the book in some sense. But, then again, perhaps one of the takeaways from it is the difficulty of coming up with a useful prescriptive morality.
Haidt's model of morality describes people pretty darn well.* Very good read for those that want to figure out exactly how silly they are. Can be misread to figure out how silly other people are if you ignore that you are one of them.

*It isn't the end-all-be-all as the research is young and furthering the understanding should be expected as the data comes in.
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Old 04-24-2012, 03:59 PM   #179
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

I am looking for a good book or two on Origins of the Universe. I want to be able to explain and discuss the Big Bang theory and other relevant theories (like the Big Crunch theory). Thanks.
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:30 PM   #180
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

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I am looking for a good book or two on Origins of the Universe. I want to be able to explain and discuss the Big Bang theory and other relevant theories (like the Big Crunch theory). Thanks.
This would certainly be a useful read:

The Fabric of the Comos, by Brian Greene (a leading physicist):

http://www.amazon.com/The-Fabric-Cos.../dp/0375412883
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Old 08-31-2012, 12:24 PM   #181
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

Thinking Fast and Slow by Kahneman is very good. Lots of thoroughly researched concepts and ways in which our brains work and how we make mistakes because of them, better than that, filled with small ways demonstrating its effects on the reader. This makes it easy to read and convinces besides just informing.
5/5 imo.
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:54 PM   #182
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

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Thinking Fast and Slow by Kahneman is very good. Lots of thoroughly researched concepts and ways in which our brains work and how we make mistakes because of them, better than that, filled with small ways demonstrating its effects on the reader. This makes it easy to read and convinces besides just informing.
5/5 imo.
I would, if I were inclined to heartily recommend anything, heartily recommend this book.

Thank you, Tao.
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Old 09-09-2012, 03:03 PM   #183
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

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For an excellent history of math and a good 2 weeks of straight reading, get The World of Mathematics by James R, Newman. Many of the essays were written when mathematicians were still struggling with the implications of the early 20th century discoveries in foundations of their science and you really get a sense of the excitement this was causing. Don't be put off by the date of publication. If you pick up one of these volumes, you won't be able to stop yourself from reading all four!*

*offer only valid for SMP
The first volume of The World of Mathematics is primarily biographical in nature and I'm about half of the way through it. I've started working into the second volume which is on Mathematics and the Physical World. To give everyone an idea of the contents of this collection, the first five topics in the second volume are as follows:

1. Mathematics of Motion by Galileo Galilei
2. Kinetic Theory of Gases by Daniel Bernoulli
3. The Longitude by Lloyd D. Brown
4. The Discovery of Neptune by Sir Harold Spencer Jones
5. Atomic Numbers by HGJ Moseley

I'm pretty excited to get into these. Anyone with an interest in the foundational mathematics of physics and science should seriously consider looking at this second volume.
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:55 AM   #184
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

The Book of Dead Philosophers, by Simon Critchley.


From the poignant and also mundane eye of how many philosophers met their death, from ancient time to modern, the author explores each philosopher’s attitude toward death and also death itself and the human reactions and relationships to death. This is a very well written exposition on humanities relationship with their mortality. The book is scholarly (in a good way) witty, funny, deep, and a very interesting read. Each philosopher explored has a section in the book from a few short sentences to 4-5 pages.

To philosophize is to learn how to die – Cicero: assassinated by order of Mark Anthony.

A recommended read. Which means it is not a waste of your time.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Book-Dead-...mion+Critchley
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Old 09-28-2012, 01:34 AM   #185
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

I just finished reading Sex at Dawn by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá. Wow, what an eye-opener. www.sexatdawn.com
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Old 09-28-2012, 11:41 PM   #186
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

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I just finished reading Sex at Dawn by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá. Wow, what an eye-opener. www.sexatdawn.com
Here is a very encouraging review: http://chronicle.com/blogs/brainstor...t-dusk-2/50099
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:07 PM   #187
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

can anyone help me with a college level textbook on probability and statistics? i'd prefer one that explains things as clearly as possible since it's for self studies.
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:03 PM   #188
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

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can anyone help me with a college level textbook on probability and statistics? i'd prefer one that explains things as clearly as possible since it's for self studies.
You should probably try posting in the homework thread and asking there. When you do that, you can maybe also expand a bit on what you want. E.g. which college level (undergrad/grad) and what your background in the subject is.
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:22 PM   #189
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

Anyone read Riding Rockets by Mike Mullane (http://www.amazon.com/Riding-Rockets.../dp/0743276833)

or

My Dream of Stars by Anousheh Ansari (http://www.amazon.com/My-Dream-Stars.../dp/0230112218)

they seem like the two most promising books in the space section at the local library. any other suggestions on the same topic?
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Old 10-11-2012, 06:39 AM   #190
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

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Originally Posted by klonpucko View Post
can anyone help me with a college level textbook on probability and statistics? i'd prefer one that explains things as clearly as possible since it's for self studies.

Schaum's Outline of Probability and Statistics is very good for problem solving. It doesn't go into details theory wise. It explains how to solve different kinds of problems without providing proves.
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Old 10-13-2012, 06:52 PM   #191
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

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Originally Posted by housenuts View Post
Anyone read Riding Rockets by Mike Mullane (http://www.amazon.com/Riding-Rockets.../dp/0743276833)

or

My Dream of Stars by Anousheh Ansari (http://www.amazon.com/My-Dream-Stars.../dp/0230112218)

they seem like the two most promising books in the space section at the local library. any other suggestions on the same topic?
I've read Mullane's Riding Rockets and thought it was very well written and funny. I don't know the one from Ansari but I can also recommend Carrying the Fire by Michael Collins and A Man on the Moon by Andrew Chaikin. The 1998 TV Show by Tom Hanks 'From the Earth to the Moon' is in part based on Chaikin's book.
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Old 11-01-2012, 02:07 PM   #192
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

Almost done with Prime Obsession. Might be the best pop-math book I've read so far.
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Old 11-01-2012, 02:15 PM   #193
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

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Almost done with Prime Obsession. Might be the best pop-math book I've read so far.
I am about to order some books from Amazon and reviews for Prime Obsession look very good. I think I'll add it to cart. Thanks.
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Old 11-07-2012, 01:33 AM   #194
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

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I am about to order some books from Amazon and reviews for Prime Obsession look very good. I think I'll add it to cart. Thanks.
I'm 75% of the through Unknown Quantity: A Real And Imaginary History of Algebra, also by John Derbyshire, the author or Prime Obsession. Very similar type of book. If you have enjoyed or think you might enjoy Prime Obsession, I'd also recommend Unknown Quantity.
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Old 05-06-2013, 05:03 PM   #195
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

Douglas Hofstadter has a new book out, about how learning and discovery take place through the medium of analogy. Cant think of a book I've been more excited to read in the last 5 years.
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Old 05-15-2013, 03:28 PM   #196
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

Finding the oxford companion to philosophy ed Honderich an invaluable guide to following some of the discussions
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:44 AM   #197
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

Daniel Dennett's new book "Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking" has been a very enjoyable read so far.

As someone who is very familiar with all of his previous work, nothing which he presents is new to me, but nonetheless it's very entertaining, well written, and quite a novel concept as a whole.
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:34 PM   #198
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

Yeah the only reason I didnt buy that was because I've read most of his other stuff, and the reviews made it seem like it was just a more accessible rehash.
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Old 09-18-2013, 09:35 PM   #199
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

I'm extremely surprised no one has mentioned "The Drunkard's Walk- How Randomness Rules Our Lives' by Leonard Mlodinow
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Old 04-26-2014, 05:37 PM   #200
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

I Am a Strange Loop by Douglas Hofstadter

You should read GEB first though

Logicomix, a graphic novel about Bertrand Russells's life, focusing a great deal on his development of principia mathematica
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