Decoding Reality

  • by Vlatko Vedral
  • Narrated by Jay Russell
  • 9 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

For a physicist, all the world is information. The universe and its workings are the ebb and flow of information. We are all transient patterns of information, passing on the recipe for our basic forms to future generations using a four-letter digital code called DNA.
In this engaging and mind-stretching account, Vlatko Vedral considers some of the deepest questions about the universe and considers the implications of interpreting it in terms of information. He explains the nature of information, the idea of entropy, and the roots of this thinking in thermodynamics.
He also describes the bizarre effects of quantum behaviour - effects such as "entanglement", which Einstein called "spooky action at a distance", and explores cutting-edge work on harnessing quantum effects in hyperfast quantum computers, and how recent evidence suggests that the weirdness of the quantum world, once thought limited to the tiniest scales, may reach into the macro world.
Vedral finishes by considering the answer to the ultimate question: where did all of the information in the universe come from? The answers he considers are exhilarating, drawing upon the work of distinguished physicist John Wheeler. The ideas challenge our concept of the nature of particles, of time, of determinism, and of reality itself.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

horrific narration

I'm quite a fan of popular science books and science fiction and somehow have never listened to anything quite like this. I'm about 10 minutes in and I'm trying to figure out a way to speed this audio up (which is proving difficult within iTunes and the AA format). I may have to put it on my iPod which at least allows me to change the playback speed.

So to review, the narrator is so slow in speaking it's infuriating, I really suggest listening to a sample first, something I neglected to do. If I can find a way to speed this up it might prove to be an interesting book, Amazon reviews seemed ok. Unfortunately speed won't give the narrator any intonation or emotion, although it might make the whole thing bearable. I'd rather have the computer's robot voice read it to me, or dare I say it, read it myself!

I've had probably 20 audio books from Audible and this is by far the worst. It's a shame since I'm very curious to see what the author has to say about the subject of information and the universe. I guess I'm spoilt by fantastic books like Death by Black Hole and The Short History of Nearly Everything, both of which I've listened to many times and would recommend highly.

Sorry for the rant, I just hope that having a review might help someone else avoid the same situation, I wish there was a review before I used MY credit on it!


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- James

Really Enjoyed This

Will be listening to this several times to fully grasp the concept better, the idea that information is really all there is. is intriguing but I feel that this is still not the complete picture of reality, but I guess time will tell!
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- Mike

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-04-2010
  • Publisher: Audible Studios