Dumbed-Down-Science Squared: "String Theory for Dummies" by Andrew Zimmerman Jones

String Theory For Dummies - Andrew Zimmerman Jones, Daniel Robbins

My criticism of these kind of books, from what I have read from other stuff, is that the writers tend to spout all the standard or classic theories as tablets of stone and rarely introduce new ideas (presentation-wise). Imagine you were able to generate a video clip of a science book where a whole gallery of core concepts flashed by in say 60 minutes. Are we sure we’d be able to learn something from the process? Is it likely that some of the images would leave a deep impression on you? My two cents: in fact, you are seeing it, but not understanding it. It is probably similar with these dummy series of books; you get an impression, maybe even learn something, but it is unlikely to have a significant effect on your understanding of the subject at hand. I suppose it depends on the reason one attempts the book in the first place. Snobbery? (Yes, of course I have read a String Theory book.) To enter a pub quiz? (Answer to Q69: The twin at the edge of the galaxy ages more quickly.) To search for understanding about how and why the world works as it does, and how we came to understand it? (Say what?) In this age of everything-available-at-your-fingertips, aren't we all a little guilty of wanting answers to pub quiz questions without doing the work of understanding how the answer was derived? I had a physics teacher at college who kept insisting for me to "show my working". Seeking facts without understanding limits our horizons; reduces us to consumers of other people's work; makes us lazy; leads eventually to the (sorry, folks) copy-and-paste unchecked stories about the EU, the bite-size propaganda of referendum campaigns, the swallowing hook-line-and-sinker of stories that serve as confirmation bias, the decrying of experts simply because they are experts, the loss of critical reading skills.


Which is where we are today.



If you're into Fake Science, read on.