by Tyler Cowen
on September 6, 2006 at 10:40 am
1. The history and economics of pie, in a few simple pictures.
2. A very good blog: DesignSponge.com.
3. The complete Mozart, $120 for 170 discs.
4. Does quantum mechanics make sense after all?
I stumbled on the subheadline in the quantum mechanics article: “When the complicated mathematics is left aside, valuable insights are gained.” I usually see that as a warning sign that the reader is about to be completely b.s.’ed.
This particular article didn’t turn out to be as bad as I feared, but, it is pretty close to “If you leave out all the complexity in any subject, what remains makes a lot more sense but is not necessarily 100% accurate.”
From a review at Amazon.com
“Not to start any inter-EU rivalry, but Amazon.fr is offering it at 90 euro, and the price drops to 75 euro if you’re shipping to the US (no VAT). That pretty much pays for shipping. It’s a wonderful collection, even if–as to be expected–the quality of the performances varies from disk to disk.”
Even better would be: The History of The Economic Pie.
I’m tired of “hey, isn’t quantum physics weird” pieces, so this one was a nice change. It does miss a couple of things though:
– the article is hinting that by using the action principle you can displace some weirdness into classical physics, but there is a big difference. In classical physics, a system travels along a path of stationary action. In quantum physics, a system travels along all paths, but these paths interfere.
– the article does not mention that the interference among paths (the surveyor’s wheel) is determined by probability amplitude. It should, as probability amplitude is the absolute fundamental thing.
Feynman’s QED is a magnificent book, as you would expect. It came out just after I finished a graduate-level course on QED, and I wished it had come out six months earlier to explain what all the math I had just stuggled through was really about – it would have been an ideal complement.
The QM article seems silly and brushes off the problems of QM without seriously tackling them. But Feynman’s QED (referenced) is very short and worth a read (and a re-read). In fact it’s the only book that tells you so much about quantum physics in so little space.
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