Book Review of Dark Matters
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Book Review of: Dark Matters

Unifying Matter, Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Universal Grid

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Review of Dark Matters, by Author (Softcover, 2008)

(You can print this review in landscape mode, if you want a hardcopy)

Reviewer: 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, briefly.

Positives

  • 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 mathematical exercises.
  • 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.

Shortcomings

  • 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 largely moot.

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 suspect.

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 review.

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 review.

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.

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