This is only a reminder that I’ve browsed it. I wanted to see how brilliant Gell-Mann is after reading Feynman’s Rainbow, and this book seems to prove his comprehensive brilliance and my comprehensive ignorance: I absolutely didn’t get anything from it. An Amazon reviewer says it well:
The problem is that this book has little focus and apparently does not know what it wants to be. It’s difficult to tell if Gell-Mann is writing a biography of his own personal research history, or if he’s attempting to draw large conclusions from his highly varied works.
If anyone can figure out the Theory of Everything, it has to be someone like Gell-Mann and Stephen Wolfram. But I suspect we’re not there yet, given the lack of somewhat complete scientific understanding of such fundamental things as how brain works and how life started on earth.
Abstraction and generalization are what sets human apart, but that still doesn’t enable us to lift ourselves off ground by pulling our own hair.