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Do You Think You're Clever?: The Oxford and Cambridge Questions (英語) ペーパーバック – 2010/9/21
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"Brings together the toughest, most esoteric examples of the genre and . . . sketches out winning responses to each."Daily TelegraphIs nature natural? What books are bad for you? What percentage of the world's water is contained in a cow? Deftly exploring the twisting paths your mind can take when really made to think, John Farndon provides a sparkling tour de force through lateral thinking from philosophy to physics and literature to logarithms.John Farndon is a best-selling author and Cambridge graduate.Libby Purves, OBE, is a BBC radio presenter, Times journalist, novelist, and Oxford graduate."
'As well as putting your smug relatives to the test, this book is an entertaining way of encouraging unusual thought and debate.' -- Oldie 'A great book to dip into... you can hardly stop yourself wanting to see the next question.' -- Evan Davis, BBC Radio 4, Today 'John Farndon has compiled one of the most thought-provoking and unique quiz books from the very questions posed in Oxbridge interviews in recent years. The questions will challenge even the most ardent of QI fans as we find ourselves on the receiving end.' -- Burton Mail 'Light-hearted and informative quiz book.' -- Woman and Home Magazine 'A fascinating little book.' -- Lizzy Siddal, Lizzy's Literary Life blog商品の説明をすべて表示する
the other thing is that the way the author answers is amazing as well as he covers different aspects in different fields as in what happenes if u drill earth pole to pole and jump will u reach the other pole? so he covers what happens in the whole thing going through physics to biology to solving the question in an imaginary way and see if still works....
basically this book throws u the strange questions and makes ur mind twist and think how u go bout solving it, there is no right no wrong, coz of the question's nature, but its fun to think it out.....
For instance, there are musings over whether consciousness is specifically human, or if it may also be extended to animals. A thorny topic, as one cannot even 'prove' that one's spouse or neighbor has consciousness- this is well explained. But then there is a piece on Descartes, with his shaky 'cogito ergo sum'. He was clearly unaware of phantom limbs- if the brain can make you believe you still have a lost arm, with an itching finger, then what else can it fake? The 'Cartesian theatre' isn't going to help us explain how the mind works- biologists work under the assumption that this is a serpent that bites its own tail. But, surprisingly, the author then confidently states that machines will never feel guilty, or feel at all. Well... we also thought that machines could not play a decent game of chess... Such confidence reminds me of people who believe fish don't suffer because they cannot scream.
Then there is an initially good piece on 'back-of-the-envelope' estimates. A few good examples are given but then comes, of all formulas, the Drake equation, confidently presented as yielding the number of intelligent civilizations in the Universe. Sorry, but we don't have the slightest clue as what the probability of life emerging is, given ideal circumstances (such as our cozy Earth). This probability may be infinitesimal small, such that we are the only example in the entire Universe, for no-one has come even close to recreating life from scratch. Or it may at the other extreme, equal to 1. And the argument there is that Life arose really quickly after the young Earth cooled. All we know is that this p is non-zero, and this huge uncertainty makes that the Drake formula, while formally correct, is basically useless.
At other points the science is just sloppy: "..there are some 100 billion separate cells in the human brain (..), with each of those 100 billion cells making 1,000 or more separate connections with other cells". Sorry, not true. To quote Wikipedia: "..there are about 86 billion neurons and 85 billion "nonneuronal" (glial) cells in the human male brain." The latter are for support only.