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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Why Does the World Exist : Jim Holt - Review

The central theme of the book being "Why is there something rather than nothing", made an attractive start up. The author has interviewed about 50-60 illustrious personalities like John Updike, David Deutsch, Adolf Gr├╝nbaum, John Leslie, Derek Parfit, Roger Penrose, Richard Swinburne and Steven Weinberg (has missed mentioning Abuds Salam for the theory both were credited). A few have taken the question seriously and a few sarcastically. The answers are not objective and have run into descriptive pages which are interesting. After a few chapters (like 5 or 6 out of 25), the interest wanes as some philosophical points diffuses into unnecessarily drifted topics (away from the central theme). There is mention about Buddha, Imam Ghazali and the 'invention of zero' by 'Hindu' as Shunya.  Platonic World and Multiverse are a few new things I learnt here. 

A few 'questions' have been the answer for his questions; for the Big Bang : What banged? and Why did it Bang? What is Life without numbers? Where do all roads lead to? "What is it that breathes fire into equations and makes a universe for them to describe?  Why does the universe go through all the bother of existing?" etc.

For those who would like to go in search of understanding Universe (and no one has so far understood), this book may prove to be an ontological sojourn of refreshment for brain. Quite a few books have come out good on theory of Universal existence, but no one has ever touched on the topic "mother". His narration of how he sees his mother facing cancer and later death makes an interesting reading. Her mother had even won a local Tennis tournament a few years before her death and his love for the mother is reflective in his last part of the book where he does not say she died, but was transferred!

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