Want to know what books James Owen Weatherall recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of James Owen Weatherall's favorite book recommendations of all time.

1

In this groundbreaking book, the renowned theoretical physicist Lee Smolin argues that physics — the basis for all other sciences — has lost its way. For more than two centuries, our understanding of the laws of nature expanded rapidly. But today, despite our best efforts, we know nothing more about these laws than we knew in the 1970s. Why is physics suddenly in trouble? And what can we do about it?

One of the major problems, according to Smolin, is string theory: an ambitious attempt to formulate a “theory of everything” that explains all the particles and forces of nature and... more In this groundbreaking book, the renowned theoretical physicist Lee Smolin argues that physics — the basis for all other sciences — has lost its way. For more than two centuries, our understanding of the laws of nature expanded rapidly. But today, despite our best efforts, we know nothing more about these laws than we knew in the 1970s. Why is physics suddenly in trouble? And what can we do about it?

One of the major problems, according to Smolin, is string theory: an ambitious attempt to formulate a “theory of everything” that explains all the particles and forces of nature and how the universe came to be. With its exotic new particles and parallel universes, string theory has captured the public’s imagination and seduced many physicists.

But as Smolin reveals, there’s a deep flaw in the theory: no part of it has been tested, and no one knows how to test it. In fact, the theory appears to come in an infinite number of versions, meaning that no experiment will ever be able to prove it false. As a scientific theory, it fails. And because it has soaked up the lion’s share of funding, attracted some of the best minds, and effectively penalized young physicists for pursuing other avenues, it is dragging the rest of physics down with it.

With clarity, passion, and authority, Smolin charts the rise and fall of string theory and takes a fascinating look at what will replace it. A group of young theorists has begun to develop exciting ideas that, unlike string theory, are testable. Smolin not only tells us who and what to watch for in the coming years, he offers novel solutions for seeking out and nurturing the best new talent—giving us a chance, at long last, of finding the next Einstein. less See more recommendations for this book...

3

Although his classic work has gone through many reprintings and translations, only now has Paul A. Samuelson added new material to his 1947 treatise. A new introduction portrays the genesis of the book and analyzes how its contributions fit into theoretical developments of the last thirty-five years. A new and lengthy mathematical appendix gives a survey of the following post-1947 breakthroughs in political economy, in relation to the methodology of *Foundations* linear programming and comparative statics; nonlinear programming, dynamic and stochastic; modern duality theory; the testable... more Although his classic work has gone through many reprintings and translations, only now has Paul A. Samuelson added new material to his 1947 treatise. A new introduction portrays the genesis of the book and analyzes how its contributions fit into theoretical developments of the last thirty-five years. A new and lengthy mathematical appendix gives a survey of the following post-1947 breakthroughs in political economy, in relation to the methodology of *Foundations* linear programming and comparative statics; nonlinear programming, dynamic and stochastic; modern duality theory; the testable content of the neoclassical money model; probabilistic decision making, with new slants on the dogma of Expected-Utility maximizing; and portfolio and liquidity preference analysis by general methods that transcend mean-variance approximations. less See more recommendations for this book...

4

The scientific study of complex systems has transformed a wide range of disciplines in recent years, enabling researchers in both the natural and social sciences to model and predict phenomena as diverse as earthquakes, global warming, demographic patterns, financial crises, and the failure of materials. In this book, Didier Sornette boldly applies his varied experience in these areas to propose a simple, powerful, and general theory of how, why, and when stock markets crash.

Most attempts to explain market failures seek to pinpoint triggering mechanisms that occur hours, days, or... more

The scientific study of complex systems has transformed a wide range of disciplines in recent years, enabling researchers in both the natural and social sciences to model and predict phenomena as diverse as earthquakes, global warming, demographic patterns, financial crises, and the failure of materials. In this book, Didier Sornette boldly applies his varied experience in these areas to propose a simple, powerful, and general theory of how, why, and when stock markets crash.

Most attempts to explain market failures seek to pinpoint triggering mechanisms that occur hours, days, or weeks before the collapse. Sornette proposes a radically different view: the underlying cause can be sought months and even years before the abrupt, catastrophic event in the build-up of cooperative speculation, which often translates into an accelerating rise of the market price, otherwise known as a "bubble." Anchoring his sophisticated, step-by-step analysis in leading-edge physical and statistical modeling techniques, he unearths remarkable insights and some predictions--among them, that the "end of the growth era" will occur around 2050.

Sornette probes major historical precedents, from the decades-long "tulip mania" in the Netherlands that wilted suddenly in 1637 to the South Sea Bubble that ended with the first huge market crash in England in 1720, to the Great Crash of October 1929 and Black Monday in 1987, to cite just a few. He concludes that most explanations other than cooperative self-organization fail to account for the subtle bubbles by which the markets lay the groundwork for catastrophe.

Any investor or investment professional who seeks a genuine understanding of looming financial disasters should read this book. Physicists, geologists, biologists, economists, and others will welcome "Why Stock Markets Crash" as a highly original "scientific tale," as Sornette aptly puts it, of the exciting and sometimes fearsome--but no longer quite so unfathomable--world of stock markets.

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5

From the world-famous inventor of fractal geometry, a revolutionary new theory that turns on its head our understanding of how markets work. Fractal geometry is the mathematics of roughness: how to reduce the outline of a jagged leaf, a rocky coastline or static in a computer connection to a few simple mathematical properties - to make the complex simple. With his fractal tools, Benoit Mandelbrot has got to the bottom of how financial markets really work. He finds they have a shifting sense of time, a unique dimension and a wild kind of behaviour that makes them volatile, dangerous - and also... more From the world-famous inventor of fractal geometry, a revolutionary new theory that turns on its head our understanding of how markets work. Fractal geometry is the mathematics of roughness: how to reduce the outline of a jagged leaf, a rocky coastline or static in a computer connection to a few simple mathematical properties - to make the complex simple. With his fractal tools, Benoit Mandelbrot has got to the bottom of how financial markets really work. He finds they have a shifting sense of time, a unique dimension and a wild kind of behaviour that makes them volatile, dangerous - and also beautiful. In Mandelbrot's fractal models, the complex gyrations of IBM's stock price, the FTSE 100, cotton trading and exchange rates can be reduced to straightforward formulae that yield a much more accurate description of the risks involved. less James Owen WeatherallWhat Mandelbrot realised early on, at the start of the 1960s, was that the kind of assumptions about statistics that everyone was making were wrong. (Source)

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