Steven Weinberg 2000. Third Thoughts. The universe we still don’t know. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Bellknap Press of Harvard University Press, 223 pp.

Short essays, mostly derived from talks, newspaper articles or prefaces to books. A pleasure to read for at least the following reasons:

  • To be reminded that there are some American writers who can write concisely about interesting subjects.
  • To have a cogent summary of the reasons against manned space programs.
  • To have short, digestible summaries of what was learned when the Higgs Boson was discovered. It was a prediction of the Standard Model of the way in which elementary particles interact: symmetry of two of the forces needed to be broken (the Model predicts) otherwise the mathematics specifies that many elementary particles would be massless. Which they are not.
  • To see somone mount an argument that the history of science is progress towards a better understanding of nature, and should be judged as such (not simply in the context of the times at each step).
  • To know that not all Texans are right-wing Republicans.
  • To have someone celebrate science as something that allows one to know when something is wrong.
  • To have sound arguments for a bigger role for governments.
  • For a bit of Barack Obama commentary: perhaps the Trump era would have been avoided if Obama had gone harder when he was strongest (first elected) against the Republican ability to filibuster in the Senate.