Reader reviews for The Dancing Wu Li Masters

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There is a joke exam question: "Do you understand Einstein's Theory of Relativity? Yes/No". After reading this book, I could answer "Yes". At least, temporarily. If I needed to, I would be confident that if I went back to this book, I could understand it again.
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VX says it's a great intro to quantum physics.
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Silly Drivel; Welcome to the world of pseudo scientists claiming that quantum physics can prove any theory. Deepak Chopra would be proud. If this book were what it claimed to be, a sort of physics for the layperson, I could get behind that. But its not- it's more about Zukav trying to use physics to prove his favorite flavor of eastern philosophy. Anyone who thinks by reading this book they can hold their own in an actual scientific conversation will be sorely embarrassed. You will be pegged as a new age nut job in the first 5 minutes.
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A classic that helped me understand some basic principles of quantum mechanics.
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This book was designed to help curious people with no scientific background to understand the new discoveries in physics that were affecting how we view our universe. From the review: “The Wu Li Master does not teach; he ‘dances’ with his student as he knows the universe dances with itself.... Still more amazingly, we find that we are able to dance too—that we have always been part of the dance….” I wonder if Martha Grimes read this book before she wrote The Old Wine Shades. The debate between Jury and Harry about Schrödinger’s Cat could come from Zukav. I love Zukav’s comment “quantum physics is stranger than science fiction.” I also loved this book when I read it in the early '80s.
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The negative reviews of this book make me wonder if the reviewers actually read it. I read the whole book in a week and loved it! It is a first rate introduction to the "new physics". The science is accurate if a little out of date (particularly the section on the" particle zoo"). The author has an enviable grasp of the difficult concepts of quantum mechanics which is surprising for someone not trained as a physicist. I agree that the references to eastern mysticism are misrepresented but they are few in number and easily skipped over.
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I've finally finished The Dancing Wu Li Masters after years of it sitting on my shelf and weeks of reflecting on what it is saying. It's an old book when considering present developments in the observation of quantum mechanics, but quantum theory itself is twice as old and since its inception has hardly changed. This book however is the first I've read that was capable of viscerally explaining the non-locality and non-linearity of space-time. Limited by "symbols" it acknowledges this limit and it dances with you within these confines so as to allow you, the reader, to experience the reality that the ambiguity of language prohibits. I've read books that describe the world in terms of eastern philosophy, relativity, string theory, quantum electrodynamics, probability functions, and from the historical perspective of the human perception of time itself, and yet none of them were able to convey what was on the tip of their brains, and the tip of mine as well. They all touch upon the fact that at the plank level no further observations are possible, or that energy and matter, waves and particles, are merely two different manifestations of the underlying fabric of space-time. That the linear passage of time is only a construct resulting from the methods with which the relativistic mind collects the information, while space-time itself is only motion, with no preference towards forward or backward. They all extol the words of Bohm, Bell and Schrödinger, but none of them ever try to conceptualize these precepts beyond the application of their useless symbolism, or then take so many angles in driving home the truth of the matter.Here's a mantra saved like a jewel in one of the very last pages.Reality is what we take to be true. What we take to be true is what we believe. What we believe is based upon our perceptions. What we perceive depends upon what we look for. What we look for depends upon what we think. What we think depends upon what we perceive. What we perceive determines what we believe. What we believe determines what we take to be true. What we take to be true is our reality.As far as information is concerned, this book pales in comparison to the likes of In Search of Schrödinger's Kittens or The Elegant Universe, but it's what this book leaves open to interpretation that brought me the most pleasure.
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Physics and philosophy; cultural crossover. Well worth reading.
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One of the earlier attempts to make modern physics comprehensible to the lay person. A very good read.
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I can't even dignify this book with an inclusion on my 'science' bookshelf. Surely, the most dangerous rhetoric is that which sounds plausible. 'Dancing Wu Li Masters' does the whole "Ancient Chinese Secret" treatment of particle physics that was so popular during the 1970s. Unfortunately, I worry that too many who read this bestseller were irrevocably taken with an esoteric, transcendental, and ultimately fallacious interpretation of contemporary science.
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