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The Fabric of Reality

The Science of Parallel Universes - and Its Implications
Narrated by: Walter Dixon
Length: 14 hrs and 26 mins
5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Author of the New York Times best seller The Beginning of Infinity, David Deutsch, explores the four most fundamental strands of human knowledge: quantum physics, and the theories of knowledge, computation, and evolution - and their unexpected connections. Taken together, these four strands reveal a deeply integrated, rational, and optimistic worldview. It describes a unified fabric of reality that is objective and comprehensible, in which human action and thought are central. 

With new preface exclusive to the audiobook, read by the author.

©1997, 1998 David Deutsch (P)2018 David Deutsch

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  • Philip Cziao
  • 27-01-2019

Such a disappointment

If you happen to find the Many Worlds interpretation of quantum reality to be, shall we say, difficult to swallow, stay away. That is, unless you enjoy being insulted by the author for failing “to know better”, as he castigates most theoretical physicists for doing. I will spare your precious time and my thumbs and will not go into the full specifics of what you can expect, but in essence, after spending the first chapter going into great length to explain why instrumentalism and reductionism are poor approaches (which is a fair conclusion), David sadly then launches into a thought experiment whereby he (seriously) claims that the details of laser penumbras and multiple-slit experiments necessarily (yes, really) imply there are at least trillions of parallel universes all around us, apparently branching constantly from every possible particle into completely unexplained spaces, by unexplained means via completely unspecified power schemes, and if you doubt this, you are clearly a reductionist and he is disappointed in you. For extra credit, he actually implies that any other explanation of reality doesn’t actually explain anything at all. Only this one does.

Yes, he really does that. And the book only goes further down this path from there.

If this sounds like an enjoyable way to spend several dozen hours of your life, by all means, spend your credits and purchase this title. If, in the other hand, you prefer to hear actual proper valid arguments made, and if you expect grandiose statements to be supported by equally grand proof, look elsewhere. Here you will find little more than belittlement as basis, and an apparent inability to accept that we simply do not yet have a good explanation for QM just yet. Which makes David’s attempts to paint the MW interpretation as the brave truth all the more ironic.

Which, sadly, to me summarizes my view of this entire work. That, and the word “bitter”... though unfortunately in this case, it isn’t followed by the word “truth”. But that’s me; perhaps you’ll see it very differently. If you intend to purchase this, I sincerely hope so for your blood pressure’s sake.

PS - to be fair, it is narrated well.

28 of 31 people found this review helpful

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  • Darred
  • 27-12-2018

MUST FOR SERIOUS STUDENT OF DEUTSCH POPPER DAWKINS

Doesn't matter if you read Fabric of Reality first or afterwards. Both books are understably already historically important. Bonus: great narration!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Brian
  • 23-03-2019

One of the best books I’ve ever read but one of the worst readers

David Deutsch is a certified genius and this book is required reading for all of humanity. I didn’t realize until I read this book:
1) I was a “reductionist” for thinking of us as a Tegmark “atom heap” (Deutsch argues matter creates mind AND mind creates matter);
2) it’s explanatory not predictive power that makes theory valuable;
3) “many worlds” is the best explanation for quantum theory measurements;
4) when considered together, his “four strands” of Popperian Epistemology, Darwin/Dawkins evolution, Turing/quantum computation, and quantum theory all have more to say about each other than they do about reality alone;
5) there is no “foundation” and it’s fallibility all the way down;
6) the meat computers in our head are already “AI”;
And much more.
HOWEVER it would be hard to conceive a WORSE reader for this book. The “performance” was utterly robotic and fake sounding. The reader seemed to be able to mouth vocalizations that are understandable as “English language sounds” while simultaneously avoiding any kind of meta data (pauses in the correct spaces, emphasis, inflection, etc) that would convey MEANING and UNDERSTANDING of English as a language, much less this book. I seriously thought the joke at the end was going to be that it turned out to have been read by a computer. A bad computer...
David Deutsch has such a wonderful voice and sense of humor — I would so love it if he were to read this book himself. The other sad coda here — this SAME terrible reader reads David Deutch’s other book the “beginning of infinity.” Bummer.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 28-01-2019

Deutsch is ambitious

it was a great listen. it gave me amazing ideas about Evolution, Computation, Quantum Mechanics, Time travel, virtual reality and science broadly. A lot to digest from this rather short work, but well paced and entertaining enough that it cant be put down. It covers new ground for even well-learned students of any of the main disciplines he discusses. Truly novel and interesting work. Narration is well above average.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • levi
  • 29-05-2019

Fantastic read

Fantastic read. I highly recommend reading Beginning of Infinity first as it lays some philosophical groundwork that will clarify some things.

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  • Daniel G
  • 10-04-2019

Extremely speculative

My biggest issue with this book is that, even when the author presents an extremely speculative premise, he presents it in a way implying that it is hard, proven fact, even redefining known physical terms in the sense of his ideas.
Summary of the book: "I am right regardless of the lack of any evidence. if you don't accept that, you are an inductivist, and you should be ashamed of yourself"

I genuinely felt insulted by this book intellectually and personally. could not listen to it all.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 29-06-2019

Disappointing

90% of the book are trivial things and banalities the author spends too much time on, chewing on the same things over and over, making the book boring. There are some interesting and nontrivial ideas but they don’t get enough explanations and justification, so the most interesting parts remain dubious and controversial.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful