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review 2020-09-13 00:13
Wäre doch nur der zähe Schreibstil des Autors nicht...
Im Unterland - Robert Macfarlane

In seinem Buch „Im Unterland“ beschäftigt sich Robert Macfarlane im wahrsten Sinne gemäß des Titels mit den unterschiedlichsten Unterwelten dieses Planeten. Er schreibt dabei recht tragend schwermütig und inszeniert eine erlebte Umgebung, die anschaulich schauerlich wird. Auf mich wirkte das Buch, das sicherlich viele interessante Ansätze bietet und inhaltlich auch nicht unbedingt langweilig wird, deshalb immer ein wenig zu „sehr gewollt“. Bedeutungsschwanger, mit viel Fingerzeig und gefühlt doch immer ein wenig von „oben herab“ gibt Robert Macfarlane hier seine Wahrnehmungen, Erlebnisse und Meinungen zum Thema wider, verpackt als Sachbuch. Und so schleicht man lesend durch eine von persönlichen Intentionen und Lektionen gefüllte Erzählung, die mir wiederum leider oftmals nicht zusagte. Ich fand das Lesen der Beiträge anstrengend, nicht wegen des Inhaltes an sich, sondern wegen des sehr individuellen Schreibstils des Autors. Leider hatte ich mir von diesem Buch etwas anderes versprochen und ich würde eher sagen, dass dieses Buch seine geneigten Leser finden muss. Meins war es eher nicht, deshalb 2 Sterne.

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review 2020-08-05 22:37
The chicken came along and laid the egg from which she hatched.
Beyond Biocentrism: Rethinking Time, Space, Consciousness, and the Illusion of Death - Robert Lanza,Bob Berman

In their first book, Lanza and Berman presented Biocentrism, a view that accounts for some of the anomalies of physics. This book takes the argument further. The science is solid, but I question the validity of the authors’ conclusions.

 

The scientific argument begins with with a hard nut that physicists have tried to crack for nearly one hundred years. Things are not as they seem. The model of an atom one first encountered in elementary school is not realistic. In reality, electrons don’t cross atomic nucleuses in neat orbits. In reality, they’re everywhere at once. Electrons exist in a superposition of all possible locations until interfered with. As soon as a measurement is taken, the electron’s “wave function” collapses and it shows itself. Since observation is required to determine an electron’s position, the role of consciousness plays a key part in how the universe operates. Hence, life itself, steers the universe’s unfolding.

 

While the authors’ argument is novel, the science is not. I don’t question that the authors are on to something. I only question that something’s implications. Let’s skip over the science and go directly to conclusions:

 

“What is not in doubt even in these early research stages is that the observer is correlative with the cosmos. That time does not exist. And perhaps the most cheerful takeaway from biocentrism: Since there’s no self-existing space-time matrix in which energy can dissipate, it’s impossible for you to ‘go’ anywhere.

 

In a nutshell, death is illusory. ... Consciousness and awareness never began, and will never end.”

 

And yet, when one sleeps can one be said to be conscious? For that matter, how can there be a “when” if time is illusory?

 

Backing up a bit, the authors note that logic and science are not the only methods of gaining knowledge. Intuitions arise from neither and are generally correct. Upon seeing a corpse, intuition tells us that the body’s former occupant has departed. But where did it go? Here’s the explanation:

 

“The feeling of “me,” of consciousness itself, could be considered a 23-watt energy cloud, which is the brain’s energy consumption in producing our sense of ‘being’ and its myriad sensory manifestations. Energy, as we learned in high school physics, is never lost. It can change form but it never dissipates or disappears. So what happens when those brain cells die?”

 

The answer is that death is an illusion. One can’t die because, “neither space nor time are real in any sense except as appearances or tools of the mind.”

 

In the first appendix we learn the difference between mind and brain. “The brain is a physical object occupying a specific location. It exists as a spatio-temporal construction ... .” Other objects like tables must also be constructions, yet you can’t crowd those constructions into brains. Paradoxical. Space isn’t real, but you still have to watch where you place things. Luckily we don’t have to worry about where one places one’s mind. “But the mind has no location. It is everywhere you observe, smell, or hear anything.”

 

I can’t quite wrap my own mind around this. Maybe with more explanation. The authors are releasing another book in November. I can barely wait.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2020-07-23 07:45
Mort(e) by Robert Repino
Morte - Robert Repino

TITLE: Mort(e)

 

AUTHOR: Robert Repino

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DESCRIPTION:

"After the “war with no name” a cat assassin searches for his lost love in Repino’s strange, moving sci-fi epic that channels both Homeward Bound and A Canticle for Leibowitz. The “war with no name” has begun, with human extinction as its goal. The instigator of this war is the Colony, a race of intelligent ants who, for thousands of years, have been silently building an army that would forever eradicate the destructive, oppressive humans. Under the Colony's watchful eye, this utopia will be free of the humans' penchant for violence, exploitation and religious superstition. As a final step in the war effort, the Colony uses its strange technology to transform the surface animals into high-functioning two-legged beings who rise up to kill their masters. Former housecat turned war hero, Mort(e) is famous for taking on the most dangerous missions and fighting the dreaded human bio-weapon EMSAH. But the true motivation behind his recklessness is his ongoing search for a pre-transformation friend—a dog named Sheba. When he receives a mysterious message from the dwindling human resistance claiming Sheba is alive, he begins a journey that will take him from the remaining human strongholds to the heart of the Colony, where he will discover the source of EMSAH and the ultimate fate of all of earth's creatures."

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REVIEW:

 

This is a book about a cat and a dog, ... and ants (giant vengeful ants!). Also friendship/love. This novel has an interesting and original concept but sometimes I wished for more plausibility (I'm not talking about the giant ants), and something more. Something was just missing. In the end I didn't really care that much about Mort(e).

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text 2020-07-09 10:22
Reading progress update: I've read 514 out of 683 pages.
The Iliad - Homer,Bernard Knox,Robert Fagles

Aeneas is saved from imminent death at the hands of Achilles by Poseidon - because he has to go on to lead the Trojans and found a new kingdom, elsewhere.

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text 2020-07-06 03:26
Reading progress update: I've read 512 out of 683 pages.
The Iliad - Homer,Bernard Knox,Robert Fagles Aeneas faces off against Achilles, but he can't just get on with it - he's got to spout off about his ancestry first...
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