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The Science of Discworld IV: Judgement Day [Format Kindle]

Ian Stewart , Jack Cohen , Terry Pratchett
2.5 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)

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Présentation de l'éditeur

The fourth book in the Science of Discworld series, and this time around dealing with THE REALLY BIG QUESTIONS, Terry Pratchett’s brilliant new Discworld story Judgement Day is annotated with very big footnotes (the interleaving chapters) by mathematician Ian Stewart and biologist Jack Cohen, to bring you a mind-mangling combination of fiction, cutting-edge science and philosophy.

Marjorie Daw is a librarian, and takes her job – and indeed the truth of words – very seriously. She doesn’t know it, but her world and ours – Roundworld – is in big trouble. On Discworld, a colossal row is brewing…

The Wizards of Unseen University feel responsible for Roundworld (as one would for a pet gerbil). After all, they brought it into existence by bungling an experiment in Quantum ThaumoDynamics. But legal action is being brought against them by Omnians, who say that the Wizards’ god-like actions make a mockery of their noble religion.

As the finest legal brains in Discworld (a zombie and a priest) gird their loins to do battle – and when the Great Big Thing in the High Energy Magic Laboratory is switched on – Marjorie Daw finds herself thrown across the multiverse and right in the middle of the whole explosive affair.

As God, the Universe and, frankly, Everything Else is investigated by the trio, you can expect world-bearing elephants, quantum gravity in the Escher-verse, evolutionary design, eternal inflation, dark matter, disbelief systems – and an in-depth study of how to invent a better mousetrap.

Quatrième de couverture

‘Ladies and gentlemen,’ began his Lordship, ‘I cannot conceive of a more interesting case than the one we have today.



‘The dispute is over a mere artefact: shiny, I grant you, attractive in its way; and I am given to believe by the wizards and natural scientists of Unseen University and elsewhere that reasonably small though it be, it is in fact larger by many orders of magnitude than all of Discworld.


‘I intend to seek evidence of this during the deliberations of this very unusual tribunal, which has been brought into being because there are two parties that both profess to believe that the artefact is theirs.’


Lord Vetinari sighed, and said, ‘I rather fear the term “quantum” will make an appearance, but these are after all, modern times.’

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1332 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 354 pages
  • Editeur : Ebury Digital (11 avril 2013)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0091949807
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091949808
  • ASIN: B00BFTSZUC
  • Synthèse vocale : Non activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 2.5 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°132.863 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Pratchett a encore frappé 28 juin 2014
Par WOGC
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
encore un bon livre lié à la série Science of Discworld, mais un peu moins bien que les 3 précédents
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0 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Easy to put down 10 juin 2013
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
The more the authors engage with anthropology and sociology, the more contentious their observations become. In this particular volume they seem to popularize the popularizers such as Steven Pinker or Jared Diamond.
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Amazon.com: 3.9 étoiles sur 5  24 commentaires
14 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Pretty good read, but not as good as the previous editions 6 mai 2013
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Terry Pratchett, Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen continue their joint effort on "The science of Discworld" with this fourth addition to the series. In this edition a new UU experiment causes an accidental crossover between Discworld and Roundworld through the extra-dimensional L-space, which results in the sudden abduction of Marjorie Daw from her Roundworld library to the halls of UU. Once there she becomes a witness and then a main character in a court case being brought by the Church of the Latter Day Omnians against the university for custody of Roundworld.

As usual in the Science series, the Discworld short story is used as backdrop for the chapters written by Stewart and Cohen covering physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology, evolution and philosophy in a popular-science fashion. In this case they cover the latest insights into the origins and shape of the universe, the patterns of thought and belief of the human mind, rational and systematic thinking in contrast with belief-based and snap decision thinking (including the evolutionary value of both) and the origins and value of religion.

The result is quite a nice read for those fans with a slightly more-than-passing interest in such topics. However, the book is not quite as good as the earlier editions: the scientific chapters are written more like essays with a "moral" than in earlier editions, which I find an irritating style. Also, the discussion of religion versus rationality and evolution seems less philosophical and more pushy than in previous editions, which is strange for a book that makes a big point of how science is about deriving models from observation rather than pushing the tenets of blind faith...
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Hilarious 28 octobre 2013
Par oldmanwinter - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Pratchett is one of the most successful science fiction writers in the world, and teams up with two scientists - a biologist and mathematician to produce a mixture of hard fact, and hilarious fiction, in another Discworld novel.
If you are a fan of his, this is, of course, another "must purchase" book. If you are not, you may want to delve into the waters a bit more gently and read another in the series which are all tied together loosely, but are great as stand alone books.
Regardless, well written by 3 people who really do look at the world from a different angle then most of us
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Science wins 13 juillet 2014
Par Vincent Poirier - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
The Omnian sect refuses to accept that the world is a disc resting on the back of four elephants who in turn rest on the back of a space turtle. In spite of all evidence, they stick to their outdated belief that the world is round. While experimenting with high energy magic, the wizards of Unseen University have accidently created such a world in a magicless bubble, which they call Roundworld. The Omnians want Roundworld and they want the Wizards to cease all their sacrilegious activities.

Science, as the Science of Discworld series presents it, is a means for understanding the world around us. We live in a causal world where everything happens for a reason (Science of Discworld 1) but those causes are behind us. Science is predictive it the sense that causes have effects, it is not predictive in the sense that it will predict the future.

From Science's point of view, the world has no purpose. Paradoxically, we human beings love stories, in fact we absolutely need stories (Science of Discworld 2) or else we will never understand the raw data the universe bombards towards us. We call these stories "models" and we build models of the universe that are simple enough for us to understand but complex enough to predict how the universe works. Simpler models might be useful even when they are wrong. We say the sun rises and sets, even though we know the earth is spinning on its axis. We need myths and legends and we need Shakespeare to give some sort of spiritual meaning to our lives. From the power of narrative, we get the energy to study the world.

But Science does not confuse these myths and legends with reality. When we impose a purpose or a direction to what the universe is doing, we aren't doing science anymore, we are doing theology (The Science of Discworld 3). When we set on the universe a purpose outside itself, while accepting that we can only study the universe as it presents itself, we are giving up on the quest for understanding. Whenever a puzzle seems too difficult, we just have to tell ourselves "Ah well, there's a reason for that but we'll never understand it".

It's one thing for the Omnian to believe in things, but it's quite another for them to insist they can impose their view on Science. They believe, without evidence, in a higher purpose and therefore any study of the world must comply with that higher purpose. And while science needs stories to jump start itself, it absolutely requires that these stories match reality and not the other way around.

Because the study of the world bothers them, Omnians want us to stop studying the world. Musn't we fight this? This is a battle Science never wanted to fight but for humanity to move forward, it is one Science must win. The Science of Discworld IV: Judgement Day brings the epic battle between Science and Superstition to its conclusion.

Vincent Poirier, Quebec City
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Lots of Science, not as much Discworld 11 février 2015
Par R. Bronsink - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
As much as I enjoy the Pratchett novels (and even the Science of Discworld set's previous three volumes), I have to say that a lot of the "interim" chapters (dealing with topics not necessarily germaine to the story....probably didn't spell that right but don't have a spell check!) are, in many respects, redundant and drag on quite a bit longer than necessary.
I'd like to have been able to read a bit more about the "real" story, and I think that more of that would have made the interim wanderings a bit more palatable. ("story" chapters average about 4-6 pages, and interim "science" chapters from 15-25 or so...not an exact count, but you get the idea)
Still and all, I do enjoy the time in Discworld, no matter how short it is.
We still love ya, Terry! (from a 65 year old fan...)
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Wizards Vs Priests 3 novembre 2013
Par Teresa Pietersen - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
I love Pratchett as a writer and have read just about anything he's written that I can get my hands on.
Having read the previous three Science of Discworld books I have to agree with some other reviews that this is not the best of the four.
Found it mired in too much technical data at times, learned more than I every wanted to about quantum indeterminacy, topology and particle or sparticles. Some of the science stopped being fun and turned into homework!
I also felt the whole thing would have benefited from larger chapters of the Discworld storyline that runs throughout the book.
Sorry Sir Terry but this one wasn't as much fun as the last three.
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