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24 June 1993
Dreams of a Final Theory 
by Steven Weinberg.
Radius, 260 pp., £16.99, January 1993, 0 09 177395 4
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... Until roughly the 20th century, physics was concerned with the realities of ordinary experience: light, heat and sound; motion, acceleration, falling bodies; gases, fluids, solids; electricity, magnetism and so on and so forth through the world of phenomena. Then in 1895, Wilhelm Roentgen discovered X-rays; in 1897, J ...
8 June 1995
Killing Time: The Autobiography of Paul Feyerabend 
Chicago, 192 pp., £18.25, June 1995, 0 226 24531 4Show More
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... Never before has so much been known about the world, and the time has long passed – if it ever existed – when one person could collect it all in a single consciousness. Science is the paradigmatic case of the accumulation of knowledge: it has given us knowledge in the truest, most certain and genuine sense, and has been fabulously successful at it ...

Thinking big

Peter Campbell

26 September 1991
Great Mambo Chicken and the Transhuman Condition 
by Ed Regis.
Viking, 308 pp., £16.99, September 1991, 0 670 83855 1
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... sense has a particularly bad track record as a check on what is possible. So Newton, who dabbled in alchemy, would understand the characters in Ed Regis’s history of fin-de-siècle scientific hubris – subtitled ‘Science Slightly over the ...


Ed Regis

26 May 1994
The Beat of a Different Drum: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman 
by Jagdish Mehra.
Oxford, 630 pp., £25, March 1994, 0 19 853948 7
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... was the world’s number-one physicist (after Einstein), a well-known genius, a self-described ‘curious character’ who was involved in some of the formative events of 20th-century science: the Manhattan Project, quantum mechanics, the birth of quantum electrodynamics. Feynman’s mind roam...


Peter Campbell

4 August 1988
Who got Einstein’s office? Eccentricity and Genius at the Institute for Advanced Study 
by Ed Regis.
Simon and Schuster, 316 pp., £12.95, April 1988, 0 671 69923 7
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by James Gleick.
Heinemann, 354 pp., £12.95, May 1988, 9780434295548
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The School of Genius 
by Anthony Storr.
Deutsch, 216 pp., £12.95, June 1988, 0 233 98010 5
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... I was in Los Angeles this spring on the day Richard Feynman died. The next morning I saw a banner lowered from the top of the tower block which stands in the middle of the Caltech campus. It read: ‘WE LOVE YOU DICK.’ The obituary of Feynman in the LA Times was awed and affectionate ...

The Vulgarity of Success

Murray Sayle: Everest and Empire

7 May 1998
Eric Shipton: Everest and Beyond 
by Peter Steele.
Constable, 290 pp., £18.99, March 1998, 0 09 478300 4
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... and Magdalen College, Oxford, artillery officer on the Western Front, faultless husband and devoted father of three, was on a lecture tour, trying to raise money for the forthcoming all-British attempt (his third) on Mount Everest. Mallory had given his lecture many times. At its end, regularly as snow falls on the Himalaya, someone would get up and ...

Unhappy Yemen

Tariq Ali: In Yemen

25 March 2010
... fully under government control’, after Senator Joseph Lieberman had cheerfully announced that it was a suitable target for war and occupation. The sad underwear bomber who tried to blow up the Amsterdam flight on Christmas Day had triggered a new interest in the country, and ...

On Complaining

Elif Batuman: How to Stay Sane

20 November 2008
Philosophy in Turbulent Times: Canguilhem, Sartre, Foucault, Althusser, Deleuze, Derrida 
by Elisabeth Roudinesco, translated by William McCuaig.
Columbia, 184 pp., £15.50, November 2008, 978 0 231 14300 4
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... pleasure seekers without faith or principles, or haven’t they? … The father has vanished, but why not the mother? Isn’t the mother really just a father, in the end, and the father a mother? Why do young people not think anything? Why are children so unbearable? Is it because of television, or pornography, or comic books? … And women: are ...
24 May 2018
... Would​ you say a few things about your family background. My family belonged to the Khattar tribe in the Attock District. It was a landed family. Genealogists traced its descent from the 11th-century Rajputs whose conversion to Islam began a hundred years later, boosted by intermarriage with the offspring of marauding Muslim adventurers from the North ...

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