My dad lent me this book, wanting me to read it. I never got around to reading the Mormon apologetic book he wanted me to read a few years ago, which I eventually moved back to his house in one the boxes full of my books that I’m storing in a closet upstairs. The black hole book was, at least, shorter (only 446 pages long, as opposed to the 1000+ page affair of the Mormon book, not to mention the cognitive dissonance that might’ve been involved in reading the latter, which normally I would make myself go for, but I just feel that this dissonance would be counterproductive to my mental and emotional welfare).
Anyway I did read this book (it’s been my bathroom book for the past three months). I learned some stuff, had some thoughts provoked, understood a lot, but not quite all, of the super theoretical quantum mechanical ideas. It’s about Leonard Susskind’s theoretical dissent with Stephen Hawking about whether or not information disappears in a black hole. But the most poignant part of the experience was really my struggle to decide how I felt about the fact that I was persisting in reading the book.
"Am I doing this for my dad? As in, so that he’d like me more? Be more proud of me? To expand my horizons and try to connect as many neurons as possible while I still can? Am I really enjoying this? Will it help me in the future? Is this shit connecting to the other ideas and stuff in my head in a way that’s swirling around and leads to better ideas? To new ideas? Isn’t the whole thing really just part of my narcissistic endeavor to be the most rounded and interesting person who ever lived so as to impress people so that they’ll like me?"
I suppose the answer is yes, to all of the above. Still, I hope my dad doesn’t lend me any more books any time soon.