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  • Existential Physics
  • by Sabine Hossenfelder
  • Read: May 29, 2023
Existential Physics book cover

I saw this book in my regular bookstore and the topic really interested me. So I started reading the book with no preconception or notion of who the author was. Only halfway through or so I found out she also has a somewhat popular YouTube channel.

Reading the book was a bit of a split for me. The author definitely does a good job (as far as I can tell) explaining physics concepts and theories in a way that is understandable and with the given topic in mind. And the fact that the book is structured as chapters where each answers a specific question also makes it a really quick and interesting read. However there have also been parts of the book where the tone bordered on obnoxious for me with the cliche undertone (or sometimes even explicit statement) that eventually everything can “just” be explained with physics and how - in the author’s view - many people (even other scientists) are incorrect in their assumptions and world views. Which I find more jarring than entertaining. But the core idea in the book that there are some views (e.g. the existence of a god) that are neither scientific nor un-scientific as they can’t be proven or disproven. But rather a-scientific as they are compatible with current science since nothing we currently know confirms or refutes them. I’ve found this to be a really good frame for thinking about the world. Overall I enjoyed the book with some caveats.