Entropy and the Magic Flute

Harold J. Morowitz, Author Oxford University Press, USA $55 (240p) ISBN 978-0-19-508199-2
In this uneven compilation of essays culled from his column for Hospital Practice , biologist and popular essayist Morowitz ( The Thermodynamics of Pizza ) examines the hazards of eating cheese and smoking cigarettes, analyzes class and caste in a Palo Alto coffee shop and attacks animal rights activists as narrow-minded ideologues. In his socio-political pieces, Morowitz blames the housing shortage on wealthy elitist greed and rails at ``grossly overpaid'' lawyers. Along with homages to physicists such as Murray Gell-Mann and Ludwig Boltzmann, there are travel sketches about Japan, Hawaii and Africa, where Morowitz meets paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey, communes with hippopotami and observes the widespread practice of female circumcision. One of the weightier essays explores ``the myth of Platonic completeness''--the misperception by some scientists that a few simple rules can predict the behavior of complex systems. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/07/1993
Release date: 06/01/1993
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-0-19-511134-7
Open Ebook - 239 pages - 978-1-4294-0771-7
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