Hey traveler, I have that book. It is pretty good, but I have seen better astronomy texts. For anyone who is interested enough to buy a college astronomy text I recommend any of the ones written by William Kaufman. They turn up at used bookstores at good prices. The Chaisson/MacMillan book has a lot of errors in the graphs. I’ve used it the last two semesters in my college astronomy classes, and while it is a good textbook the Kaufmann books are much better.
I tried reading The Planets by Dava Sobel, but after wading through the chapter on Jupiter I put it back on the bookshelf. I had recommended this book to a few people after skimming through it, but after spending more time with the book I found a few fact errors in the early chapters, and the Jupiter chapter went completely off the deep end talking about Galileo’s astrological charts and how they could have predicted greatness for him. Then Sobel got even deeper by discussing the astrological implications of the date of the Galileo probe launch. I apologize to anyone who wasted money on that book due to my recommendation.
I just finished reading How I Killed Pluto and Why it Had it Coming by Mike Brown. An excellent read, and very informative on how his team discovered Eris and why the decision to demote Pluto was correct.
Thanks Darron! Are the errors in the 7th edition???
Yeah, I have the seventh edition. Our professor and I spotted one error in the chapter on solar system debris. There is a graphic that shows dinosaur killing meteorites hitting Earth every 10 million years. We know they don’t strike that often.
Could rising population be a cause of rising prosperity?
Yes. Economists’ central discovery about economic growth is that new ideas are more important than labor or capital. The main reason we’re richer than we used to be is that we know more than we used to know. We know how one man can grow food for hundreds. We know how to build flying machines. We know how to build iPhones. Best of all: Once one person discovers a new idea, billions can cheaply adopt it.
This is, as usual, not the place to continue the discussion and I will open a new tread on the topic once I get to Caplan’s book. But in the meantime, CC, organize your thoughts and get ready…
I took a break from Supersense (because a book I wanted to read more was available at the library ) and I’m now reading Packing for Mars by Mary Roach. It’s a fun and interesting read. However, it’s definitely put me off of ever wanting to go into space.
I started biography Pierre-Simon Laplace, 1749-1827: A Life in Exact Science by Charles Coulston Gillispie, Robert Fox, Ivor Grattan-Guinness. It caught my eye, and it was originally published as a part of the Dictionary of Scientific Biography - Vol 15, a more expensive copy. It looks like the authors are capable of handling Laplace’s works (math, physics, in French) well. Looks like a good one, if you appreciate Laplace’s works.