This Book Is Nothing Like a Michael Connelly Novel
I am slowly making my way through Jim Holt's book Why Does the World Exist? An Existential Detective Story and while in a sense the subtitle is true, as Holt really is searching for clues to the answer to the biggest question of all-- why is there something, rather than nothing?-- but I have to tell you that this is nothing like proceeding through a Harry Bosch investigation; Holt interviews some strange characters (forcing me to learn some new words: Richard Swinburne, an Oxford philosopher who believes that the simplest hypothesis as to why there is something rather than nothing is that an omnipotent God created the universe, explains that he has a theodicy, which is a impossibly precise word that means he has a defense of why an omniscient, omnipotent and infinitely good being would allow evil in the universe . . . Holt calls his tone "almost homiletic," and I had to look up that word too-- it means speaking in the style of a homily . . . just before Holt interrogated Swinburne, he interviewed his "great cosmological adversary," a guy named Adolf Grumbaum who thought that the ultimate question was actually a pseudo-problem, and our problems with time and complexity and the Null hypothesis are all heuristic biases) and while Holt interrogates these folks to the best of his ability, I'm highly skeptical that he's going to wrap this thing up at the end of the book . . . I peeked at the name of the last chapter and it is called "Return to Nothingness" (I knew a teacher who always read the last few pages of a mystery novel first, so he could then go back and enjoy the story and not rush ahead simply to find out the solution to the plot).