How a New Understanding of the World Can Help Answer Age-Old Questions of Existence
Check out the User Manual on Page xv to find the best way to access the book's contents.
Reviewed in the United States on October 12, 2020:
Remarkable depth and breadth (5 out of 5 stars)
The scope of this book is enormous. It is ultimately a book about philosophy. However it is anchored in physics, mathematics, information theory and ontology, computer science, finance, political economy. The book starts with 'The first book of Nature' - a refresher on classical and modern physics - from Newton to Quantum mechanics. The author then provides some cliff notes on more recent scientific and mathematical revelations in what he calls 'The second book of Nature' - complex systems, network graphs, feedback and adaptation - the 'software' that connects us, that enables all distributed systems, including life itself. This introduction provides the foundation for a fascinating discourse on economics and financial systems. The author is a physicist by education, but a practicing financial quantitative analyst, or quant. His two areas of experience make him uniquely qualified to critique the state of economics, including some nobel prize winning economists. IMO this section is a must read for anyone who is concerned about the current state of the global economy.
In Part 2 of the book Glattfelder presents a compelling argument that humanity itself is heading for a Minsky Moment - Like a game of Jenga we are close to an inevitable fall. Glattfelder assesses the limits of mathematics, of the scientific process, and indeed of human understanding. Part 3 asks how we can put Humpty Dumpty together again. We haven't got there yet, so the analysis is more open ended. IMO there are no simple answers. Glattfelder's attempts at gazing into the mist of possibilities are interesting, but generate more questions than answers. The book does not say anything that has not already been said elsewhere. It is more a thoroughly researched literature survey, complete with extensive bibliographies, than a book that breaks new ground.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. For critical thinkers I am confident that you too will find value in everyone of the more than 1000 pages in this book. What's not too like? It's free on Kindle, with free pdf and ePub versions available elsewhere.
December 14, 2020:
Evolution of the ideas (2011-2019):
Making of (2013 - 2018):
Information is physical.
Information is the driver of any type of interaction.
At the essence of reality we find networks of information.
Objective reality and subjective consciousness are two sides of the same (information theoretic) coin.