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  • The Beginning of Infinity

  • Explanations That Transform the World
  • By: David Deutsch
  • Narrated by: Walter Dixon
  • Length: 20 hrs
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (120 ratings)

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The Beginning of Infinity

By: David Deutsch
Narrated by: Walter Dixon
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Publisher's Summary

A bold and all-embracing exploration of the nature and progress of knowledge from one of today's great thinkers. Throughout history, mankind has struggled to understand life's mysteries, from the mundane to the seemingly miraculous. In this important new book, David Deutsch, an award-winning pioneer in the field of quantum computation, argues that explanations have a fundamental place in the universe. They have unlimited scope and power to cause change, and the quest to improve them is the basic regulating principle not only of science but of all successful human endeavor. This stream of ever improving explanations has infinite reach, according to Deutsch: we are subject only to the laws of physics, and they impose no upper boundary to what we can eventually understand, control, and achieve. In his previous book, The Fabric of Reality, Deutsch describe the four deepest strands of existing knowledge-the theories of evolution, quantum physics, knowledge, and computation-arguing jointly they reveal a unified fabric of reality. In this new book, he applies that worldview to a wide range of issues and unsolved problems, from creativity and free will to the origin and future of the human species.

Filled with startling new conclusions about human choice, optimism, scientific explanation, and the evolution of culture, The Beginning of Infinity is a groundbreaking audio book that will become a classic of its kind.

©2011 David Deutsch (P)2011 Gildan Media Corp
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

“Provocative and persuasive…Mr. Deutsch’s previous tome, The Fabric of Reality, took a broad-ranging sweep… The Beginning of Infinity is equally bold, addressing subjects from artificial intelligence to the evolution of culture and of creativity; its conclusions are just as profound." ( The Economist)

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What listeners say about The Beginning of Infinity

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Inspiring

Any additional comments?

I came to this book after listening to D. in conversation with another great communicator, Sam Harris. This book brings nuance to certain words and concepts, enriching your language and hence your thinking. I find myself using 'having reach' for example instead of the more cumbersome 'has extent to universalise'. I like his observation that good science needs to be 'explanatory' and how creativity has the capacity to create new 'explanations'.

Excellent book, I had to listen to it twice, the second time much easier since I had become accustomed to the new language.

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2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Mind-blowing tour de force

What made the experience of listening to The Beginning of Infinity the most enjoyable?

The sheer force of Deutsch's arguments.

What did you like best about this story?

The number of times the author produced a brilliant, original, and convincing explanation for some important physical / human phenomenon.

Which character – as performed by Walter Dixon – was your favourite?

David Deutsch

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes. Although I skipped some chapters that weren't as important as others.

Any additional comments?

This book is breathtaking in its scope, originality and humanist spirit. It was fantastic to listen to so many ground-breaking ideas that I, already an scientifically-minded atheist, had never conceived before.

The underlying message — that there IS an objective reality and that modern society is fortunate enough to find itself at the "beginning of infinity" towards exploring it — is beautifully optimistic and highly convincing. There is no shortage of rebellious but rigorous thinking in this book and Deutsch explains most of his ideas deeply and openly. Each chapter has a "gotcha" moment (although some chapters have several and some only have one or two).

A perfectly understated narrator, as well. An essential read for all intelligent agents.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fascinating

Incredibly broad in scope but still (mostly) accessible and easy to follow. That said, I never thought I'd hear the word "parochial" so many times in one lifetime.

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A beautiful, epic experience

This book was an absolute joy to read! Touches on a vast array of concepts and elegantly links together physics, philosophy, mathematics, history, art, biology and more. Will definitely give you something to think about

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excellent

a book like no other for me. such an interesting discussion of knowledge (amongst other interesting topics) and the opportunity that new knowledge presents us with. highly recommend

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May be the most profound and insightful book I have ever read

May be the most profound and insightful book I have ever read… highly recommended. Read slowly, pause and think a lot…

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    4 out of 5 stars

Good maybe even Excellent - I’m not smart enough to know.

Had to listen twice - still terms and “isms” I did not fully understand.
Will listen 3 times I think - it is very much a revolution of conventional thought - one unbounded by constraints of present day knowledge or imagination.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Pretty meh

I enjoy a good philosophical, physics based book. However, I don’t feel like this book drove home it’s point very well and I was left wondering how he’d come to the conclusions he had. A lot of the time he’d give one or two examples of bad explanations and then say “therefore this one must be it” and I don’t feel like all his theories were incredibly backed up within the book.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Scattered

I thought it was going to be about physics. was a mix of physics and weird philosophical ramblings. some interesting points but a real mishmash of stuff.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Insightful

Amazing book that changed the way I view the world. Covers many topics in great depth, presenting a new take on human knowledge.

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