Disclaimer: Shout out to my friend Michelle who reminded me how badly I needed to do a blog post like this! 🙂
This year, I’ve become extraordinarily interested in the realm of mathematics, physics, relativity, and quantum mechanics. In fact, at the beginning of the year, I had pretty much “decided” that I wanted to be a political science major, and I planned to run for public office when I grew up. However, after some exposure to new world views and philosophies, for some reason, I couldn’t imagine what a university would teach me in political science courses. (Based on recent political happenings, I’d say that they would teach me how to lie, cheat, steal, commingle with ladies of the night in sleazy motels and Argentina(?), and manipulate people as a whole for greedy multinational corporations. In case you can’t tell, I’ve become rather cynical about politics.)
One day, I was at the Barnes & Noble Bookstore in Mankato, Minnesota, and I strolled past the science section. I saw such books as Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time and Leonard Susskind’s The Black Hole War. That day, I spent hundreds of dollars on nerdy books.
For some reason, I had came to the conclusion that what happens on the Earth is really pretty unimportant in the long-term, because, as Carl Sagan would put it, we’re basically just a “Pale Blue Dot” in the large picture of the universe. I’ve become convinced that a much more interesting field of study is mathematics and physics, especially relativity and quantum mechanics.
My bookshelf is now filled with such books, and my plan for this summer is to cram as much facts into my brain about astrophysics as I possibly can.
At any length, here’s my summer reading list (you may notice some fiction on there):
- Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan by Greg Mortenson
- The Waxman Report: How Congress Really Works by Henry Waxman
- The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman
- Bush at War by Bob Woodward
- Death by Black Hole, and Other Cosmic Quandaries by Neil DeGrasse Tyson
- The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power by Jeff Sharlet
- Quantum Man: Richard Feynmann’s Life in Science by Lawrence M. Krauss
- Neutrino by Frank Close
- The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory by Brian Greene
- The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos by Brian Greene
- C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy by Jeff Sharlet
- Quantum Theory by David Bohm
- The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics by Leonard Susskind
- Hiding in the Mirror: The Quest for Alternate Realities, from Plato to String Theory (by Way of Alice in Wonderland, Einstein, and the Twilight Zone) by Lawrence M. Krauss
- The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality by Brian Greene
- Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportaion, and Time Travel by Michio Kaku
- Hyperspace: a Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the 10th Dimension by Michio Kaku
- Parallel Worlds: a Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos by Michio Kaku
- Cosmos by Carl Sagan
- The Bible (again)
- The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
- Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (again)
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (again)
To be continued…
I know it’s a long list, but it’s good to be ambitious, right?