A Universal Way of Life for the 2000s
Howard Bloom's God Problem Pluses and Minuses
A different version of this review is posted as a customer review at Amazon
I have completed this book on my Kindle.
As I read it I thought that this book
would have a conclusion
that would knock my socks off.
Unfortunately the conclusions of The God Problem
are revealed initially
and then repeated throughout a highly repetitive text.
I was encouraged as I inspected
the little line at the bottom of my Kindle.
Since I saw I was only approaching the halfway mark,
I figured there would be a big finale.
A truly new cosmology.
Maybe a philosophy.
A pattern language beyond Christopher Alexander. Something.
Yesterday I breached that 50 percent mark
and found that the text ended almost exactly there.
The rest was footnotes!
What some reviews described as a loooong book
was in fact a not-so-long and less-than-satisfying
effort to arrive at something genuinely new.
What in fact the book appears to be
is a mega TIME-style account
of what science and math biggies have thought forever,
with a cluster of suppositions
that are indeed provocative but which beg,
and I mean beg,
for more salient presentations than are offered here.
This quasi-TIME like text is
blended with an autobiographical apologia of sorts
which demonstrates the probable truth
that lies behind the text.
Here is an author who has thought
much the same thing forever
and had a life of massive intellectual stimulation
by indulging his passion to somehow imbibe
the cogitations and theories of anyone
who was anyone all the way up to Stephen Wolfram.
Sadly, he leaves out the most illustrative modern thinker
whose wisdom would have stood him in good stead.
That would be Charles Sanders Peirce,
the greatest thinker America has produced.
Yale scholar Harold Bloom also manages to ignore Peirce.
If one wanted to read material that
does amount to the basis for a new zeitgeist,
Peirce would be the one to read.
I should add that I find Howard Bloom
both personable and engaging.
I heard of The God Problem on
a quite remarkable CSPAN program which hooked me
as Howard Bloom has evidently himself
been hooked many times.
I think that the issues Howard Bloom deals with
are as much philosophical
as scientific or cosmological.
The advantage of philosophy is
that on rare occasions it can influence
how we think
and on a very few occasions
it can have an influence
Harold Bloom flags as history-making.
I sense this is the effect Howard Bloom
would like to have.
I would advise him to take his
cluster of suppositions
and craft them into a philosophy text,
My own effort to do this
while it may not move mountains
it does manage to say things
that are new and provocative in 100 crisp aphorisms,
the device Nietzsche used to good advantage.
Stephen's Remarkable Kindle Store
Stephen C. Rose
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The God Problem