What people are saying…
Provocative and persuasive … Mr. Deutsch’s previous tome, The Fabric of Reality, took a broad-ranging sweep … The Beginning of Infinity is equally bold, addressing subjects from artificial intelligence to the evolution of culture and of creativity; its conclusions are just as profound.
Only rarely do I read a book and feel that I am in the presence of true brilliance. I had that feeling throughout the physicist David Deutsch’s exploration of the nature of knowledge, reality, beauty, progress, and culture. Deutsch avoids intellectual cliches and scientific conventional wisdom, reasoning everything out from first principles, usually persuasively, always provocatively.
Both philosophically and scientifically, it is incredibly deep, while also being extremely accessible. … I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a more hopeful statement of our potential to make progress.
A remarkable argument for the power of knowledge—as not just a human capability but as a force that shapes the universe.
Building upward and outward from the foundation laid in The Fabric of Reality, Deutsch tells a coherent and compelling story about topics as diverse as why flowers (and faces) are beautiful, the mathematical impossibility of fairly apportioning seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, why it's harder to be a conformist than you think, and which cultures can and cannot sustain themselves (hint: the conformists are doomed). Once you have been exposed to his extraordinarily original worldview—or perhaps multiverse view—it's impossible to see these and many other topics in quite the same way again.
[Deutsch] makes the case for infinite progress with such passion, imagination, and quirky brilliance that I couldn’t help enjoying his argument. … [He] mounts a compelling challenge to scientific reductionism.
Science has never had an advocate quite like David Deutsch. He is a computational physicist on a par with his touchstones Alan Turing and Richard Feynman, and also a philosopher in the line of his greatest hero, Karl Popper. His arguments are so clear that to read him is to experience the thrill of the highest level of discourse available on this planet and to understand it.
provocative and excellent
Brilliant and exhilarating … Deutsch is so smart, and so strange, and so creative, and so inexhaustibly curious, and so vividly intellectually alive, that it is a distinct privilege to spend time in his head.
My favorite recent discovery … resist the urge to go through it too quickly.
Deutsch has an important message … that our destiny is to be explainers of the world around us, and explaining is the key to our mastery. … He writes clearly and thinks wisely. His book could help the world toward better ways of dealing with its problems.
What a great book.
Reading The Beginning of Infinity is as fun as reading Philip K. Dick and as illuminating as reading Bertrand Russell. Deutsch teaches us how to understand that what is counterintuitive may be true; he teaches us this so well that it may even become intuitive. This book is truly marvelous.
This is Deutsch at his most ambitious, seeking to understand the implications of our scientific explanations of the world … I enthusiastically recommend this rich, wide-ranging and elegantly written exposition of the unique insights of one of our most original intellectuals.
David Deutsch does something astonishing in this book: he explains the nature of explanation itself. In doing so, he illuminates how strange and remarkable it is that the universe can be explained at all. Deutsch tells us that the creation of knowledge changes the very structure of the universe, and this book is as good an example as any of that idea. I almost cannot believe this book exists.
David Deutsch … may well go down in history as one of the great scientists of our age.