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Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality

Max Tegmark has an unusual idea: reality is just a mathematical structure. This is a bold claim about reality, so to get those of us there, he walks through a journey of what we know about our universe and how we know it. More importantly, he builds to focus on what the same mathematical underpinnings we use in our universe predict about things we can't directly observe.

To get anywhere close to explaining his ultimate theory, he spends sufficient time explaining the cosmos, with successes and failures of previous theories, so even a non-academic can understand where multiverses came about.

Part "introduction to the cosmos", part memoir, part philosophy, Tegmark's journey is brilliant and enjoyable. The most meaningful portion for me was a metaphor he offered for life. I'll write more about this later.


These are entirely subjective, and roughly try to capture my personal enjoyment and usefulness, and how likely I'd recommend it to others. Don't read too much into this unless you love my judgement. Rough guidelines:

A: Top quartile. Changed the way I think about something.

B: Worthwhile. I took away something useful.

C: Didn't hit, wouldn't directly recommend. Likely won't revisit.

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