Book Review of Dark Matters
Book Review of: Dark Matters
Unifying Matter, Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the
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Dark Matters, by Author (Softcover, 2008)|
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Mark Lamendola, author of over 6,000 articles.
This book would be good for someone needing an introduction to, and
overview of, physics, astrophysics, and cosmology. The bulk of the text
covers those three disciplines. I don't know why the book has this
particular title, because the author barely addresses the subject of
dark matter. I'll address the positives and shortcomings of this book,
- Dr. Seymour does a great job of providing perspective on the general
field of physics. I especially like his insight into the difference
between those who think things out (as Einstein did to come up with his
early breakthroughs) and those who try to explore physics purely through
- String theory, while interesting, strikes me as patently absurd.
I've wondered how thinking people can come up with such a thing. From
Dr. Seymour's explanation of this theory, we see it's predicted purely
by mathematics. Ah, so that explains it!
- The historical information is a good refresher for us physics buffs,
but it's critical for students who wish to truly grasp the subject.
Simply memorizing current theories without understanding the development
of same is an intellectually futile exercise.
- The author's writing style isn't as clear as it should be. Some
of the passages didn't make sense to me. Possibly, that's due to
being separated by a common language (I'm in the USA, he's from
South Africa and the UK).
- The author gets some facts wrong. I know this, not because I'm
an original researcher in the field, but because I've digested
several dozen books (audio and paper) on astrophysics and cosmology.
- Some of his explanations don't make sense. It appears he's
digressed into topics he doesn't understand very well, so has
botched the explanations.
I think this book would make a good adjunct text for a high
school physics class or a college 101 physics class. I say that
because it provides a good overview without delving so deeply into
the subjects that it loses the reader. Yes, it does have errors. But
there's a correlation between the errors and the quality of the
explanations. A student who comes across an error is unlikely to
understand the stumbling explanation, thus rendering the error
This book consists of an introduction and eight
chapters in 206 pages, a bibliography, and an index. The chapters
are organized into two Parts. Part One consists of four chapters,
each dealing with a separate aspect of magnetism. In Part Two, the
chapter titles are Evidence for the Unseen, Relativity and Quantum
Theory, Theories on the Nature of Matter, and Modeling Reality.
About these reviews
You may be wondering why the reviews here are any different from the hundreds
of "reviews" posted online. Notice the quotation marks?
I've been reviewing books for sites like Amazon for many years now, and it
dismays me that Amazon found it necessary to post a minimum word count for
reviews. It further dismays me that it's only 20 words. If that's all you have
to say about a book, why bother?
And why waste everyone else's time with such drivel? As a reader of such
reviews, I feel like I am being told that I do not matter. The flippancy of
people who write these terse "reviews" is insulting to the authors also, I would
This sound bite blathering taking the place of any actual communication is increasingly a
problem in our mindless, blog-posting Webosphere. Sadly, Google rewards
such pointlessness as "content" so we just get more if this inanity.
The reviews I do will, contrary to emerging trends, actually tell you about
the book. I always got an "A" on a book review I did as a kid (that's how I
remember it anyhow, and it's my story so I'm sticking to it). A book review
contains certain elements and has a logical structure. It informs the reader
about the book.
A book review may also tell the reader whether the reviewer liked it, but
revealing a reviewer's personal taste is not necessary for an informative book
About your reviewer
- Books are a passion of mine. I read dozens of them each year, plus I
listen to audio books.
- Most of my "reading diet" consists of nonfiction. I think life is too
short to use your limited reading time on material that has little or not
substance. That leads into my next point...
- In 1990, I stopped watching television. I have not missed it. At all.
- I was first published as a preteen. I wrote an essay, and my teacher
submitted it to the local paper.
- For six years, I worked as an editor for a trade publication. I left
that job in 2002, and still do freelance editing and authoring for that
publication (and for other publications).
- No book has emerged from my mind onto the best-seller list. So maybe I'm
presumptuous in judging the work of others. Then again, I do more describing
than judging in my reviews. And I have so many articles now published that I
stopped counting them at 6,000. When did I stop? Probably another 6,000
articles ago! (It's been a while).
- I have an engineering degree undergrad and an MBA. That helps explain my
methodical approach toward reviews.
- You probably don't know anybody who has made a perfect or near perfect
score on a test of Standard Written English. I have. So, a credential for
whatever it's worth.
About reading style
No, I do not "speed read" through these. That said, I do read at a fast rate.
But, in contrast to speed reading, I read everything when I read a book for
Speed reading is a specialized type of reading that requires skipping text as
you go. Using this technique, I've been able to consistently "max out" a speed
reading machine at 2080 words per minute with 80% comprehension. This method is
great if you are out to show how fast you can read. But I didn't use it in
graduate school and I don't use it now. I think it takes the joy out of reading,
and that pleasure is a big part of why I read to begin with.