Robert Benson


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Smashwords book reviews by Robert Benson


    How should history be told? Historians know that there is no one correct way to do so because the world is a complex place. Different explanations, describing different processes at work, all contribute to an understanding of the past. Yet no one person can really adequately combine all these different threads. Indeed, it is likely that the human brain has difficulty in fully and properly understanding very complex processes: if we can't simplify it, we can't understand it. This not a truly impartial history; it has a viewpoint. It is well-written, and engaging. If one were a progressive one would find fault with some (perhaps many) of the statements made. They would say, "Where is the factual basis for that? It's an unproven assertion!" If one were a conservative one would generally agree with many of the comments made because it generally falls in line with many of the themes of modern conservatives. To what degree these are true or not is truly the question that this book doesn't answer. So, read this more for pleasure and a conservative viewpoint than an accurate and impartial rendering of facts. It should be noted in passing that modern science has determined that conservative and progressive brains actually function differently. And so the arguments that one side gives do not persuade the other; this book will likewise not persuade progressives. I've rated this in the middle. Conservatives will rate it high, progressive low.
  • Rediscovering the Universe : The beginning of the Final Revolution : Universal Theory of Relativity on July 31, 2016
    (no rating)
    This book presents a fascinating vision of an alternative to Einstein's General Theory of Relativity (GTR). It is not terribly difficult to read, although it does not explain his theory in an especially cogent way. In defense, there are a lot of different aspects and implications, and he discusses many of them. One especially beneficial aspect of this book is his discussion of failures and inadequacies of GTR explanations, and shows how his Universal Theory of Relativity better explains those issues. This is actually very powerfully suggestive of the value of the theory. One minor shortcoming of the book is that it is about 10 years out of date on experimental data references. This is not a critical shortcoming, but it would be better if more current references were included. A little better editing would also have been nice. There were two references to the age of the universe being 14 Million years old, when it should have been 14 Billion. Also the Copenhagen Interpretation in a few places was call the Copenhagen Interoperation. These are quibbles, though. On the whole, this is a fascinating theoretical variation on the leading cosmological model. The author is not a mathematician or physicist, but a very smart and erudite thinker. His model is well worth understanding, since it provides some very valuable insights. I am neither a mathematician or physicist myself, so I find myself in a similar situation. The book does not contain any specific empirical evidence proving his thesis that the universe is rotating at a very high speed (higher than speed of light speed). However, being able to empirically find two sections of the celestial sphere which are diametrically opposite on the sphere and have noticeably lower red shifts in the most distant objects would go a long way to validating his theory. I'm giving this a 5 star because of the subject matter and the fact that it is written for the non-mathematicians and non-physicists out there.
  • Rediscovering the Universe : The beginning of the Final Revolution : Universal Theory of Relativity on March 05, 2018

    After I wrote my review I had some further thoughts on the model of the universe in this book, the most important being that the model he proposes cannot be right. He postulates that the red shifts we see are due to the rotation of stars around us in a fixed-size spherical universe. However, we do NOT see blue-shifted galaxies (that is, galaxies that would be approaching us). In fact, his model would only work if we were at the exact center of the spherical universe. The closer we were to the edge, the more we should see blue shifts occurring. Since there are none, I conclude that the conventional model is right -- that all galaxies in the universe are flying apart from each other, and thus have red shifts.