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Mar 23 2013

More Adventures in Publishing PR

I’ve written before about how amusing it is to get emails from PR agents for publishers and authors who are just sure that I’m going to love their latest book of Christian inspiration or some such rot. The latest is from Random House, offering me a book from their Deepak Chopra Books imprint. You’re gonna love this one:

Dear Dispatches from the Culture Wars,

I’m reaching out to offer you a review copy of the newest book by Deepak Chopra Books: INFINITE POTENTIAL: What Quantum Physics Reveals About How We Should Live by Lothar Schafer. I’d love to discuss ways to work together to feature Lothar’s book in some way as I’m sure your audience would really love it.

With a foreword from Deepak Chopra, INFINITE POTENTIAL is a welcome addition to Chopra’s canon of mind-expanding books, challenging readers to confront their most basic assumptions about science and spirituality. Schäfer’s controversial–but hopeful–view of the universe and human beings is based on the principles of quantum physics and offers readers a path to improving their lives and the world.

Schäfer is a respected physical chemist and university professor who draws on his own research, as well as the contributions of some of the most distinguished scientists of our time, to present a stunning new perspective on the world around us. For Schäfer, the universe is a single interconnected entity, bound together by the cosmic principles of cooperation and community.

In stark contrast to the established Darwinian principles of competition (“survival of the fittest”), Schäfer proposes that by tapping into the underlying spirit of cooperation, we can harness the power of this interconnected universe and surpass our own sense of what is possible. Humans then do not have a maximum potential–as the universe is infinite, so too is our potential.

Yes, I’m sure my audience would love it too — but not for the reasons you think.

20 comments

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  1. 1
    Modusoperandi

    Finally someone else noticed. If there’s one thing the universe is clearly bound together by, it’s cosmic principles like cooperation and community.

  2. 2
    slc1

    Schaefer, like Michael Behe, has a PhD from a respectable university (Un. of Munich) and had a faculty position at a respectable university (Un. of Arkansas). Just goes to show that scientific credentials are no guarantee of someones scientific credibility. It would appear that he’s an even bigger nutcase then Behe.

  3. 3
    kantalope

    Prof Emeritus University of Arkansas: http://chemistry.uark.edu/4861.php

    But what the hell is this? “In a second project the general quantum nature of molecules is explored as a basis to support the pre-Darwinian view of evolution by natural law. Pre-Darwinian biologists believed that life forms are necessary and not contingent, and they wanted to explain the diversity of life forms by natural law, not by natural selection. As described in a series of recent papers (Lothar Schäfer, Zygon, 41(3), (2006) 505-532; ibid. 573-582; ibid. ; ibid. 593-598.) these views have found new support in the quantum nature of molecules. ”

    Aristotle? Really? U Arkansas – you should be ashamed.

    Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science but Dr. Who fans know better.

  4. 4
    Loqi

    Humans then do not have a maximum potential

    What does this even mean? I’m having flashbacks to a youtube video of a guy screaming and straining into his webcam because he’s convinced he can go Super Saiyan.

  5. 5
    matty1

    emails from PR agents for publishers and authors who are just sure that I’m going to love their latest book of Christian inspiration or some such rot

    To be fair they are correct you’ve made it very clear that you love having nonsense to mock.

  6. 6
    matty1

    If there’s one thing the universe is clearly bound together by, it’s cosmic principles like cooperation and community.

    Take that electromagnetism!

  7. 7
    kantalope

    “If there’s one thing the universe is clearly bound together by, it’s cosmic principles like cooperation and community.”

    And gravity, take THAT gravity – never could forgive gravity after that skinned knee incident

    On the other hand – Ed, tell him you’d love a copy and then send it to me! I’ll report back.

  8. 8
    John Pieret

    mind-expanding books

    If the review copy comes with what they’re smoking, I’d take ‘em up on it.

  9. 9
    Artor

    Oh please Ed, take them up on the offer. I’d LOVE to read your review of this book!

  10. 10
    Doug Little

    What Quantum Physics Reveals About How We Should Live

    OK let me stop you right there!

  11. 11
    Taz

    What Quantum Physics Reveals About How We Should Live

    It’s either “keep your cat in a box” or “don’t keep your cat in a box” – I’m not sure which.

  12. 12
    Ichthyic

    In stark contrast to the established Darwinian principles of competition (“survival of the fittest”), Schäfer proposes that by tapping into the underlying spirit of cooperation, we can harness the power of this interconnected universe and surpass our own sense of what is possible. Humans then do not have a maximum potential–as the universe is infinite, so too is our potential.

    It’s like the author went back 100 years to find a bit of public misinformation about evolution, then projected that as the future.

    It’s cluelessness of a magnitude that is impressive by any standard.

  13. 13
    Ichthyic

    I’m having flashbacks to a youtube video of a guy screaming and straining into his webcam because he’s convinced he can go Super Saiyan.

    KAMEHAMEHA!

    *dammit, that target of W on the wall is still there.*

  14. 14
    peterh

    @ #2,

    In which it is shown, through the exemplary case of the gentlemen you name, that having a sheepskin to wave about proves only that somewhere there’s a dead sheep.

  15. 15
    cottonnero

    taz #11:

    Actually it’s both.

  16. 16
    democommie

    “With a foreword from Deepak Chopra, INFINITE POTENTIAL is a welcome addition to Chopra’s canon of wallet depleting books.”.

    TFTFY.

  17. 17
    rabbitscribe

    I usedto be a hard-nosed skeptic like you poor miserable close-minded bastards. Then I discovered Dr. Chopra’s work. Now I can talk to animals.

  18. 18
    Modusoperandi

    rabbitscribe yes, but your accents are terrible.

  19. 19
    corkscrew

    Seconded that you should absolutely get a review copy and review it for us. It would be hilarious.

    (I appreciate you might not feel the same, since it would probably lead to your brain dribbling out of your ears.)

  20. 20
    robb

    who wants to live in an infinite potential? if you are a particle in an infinite potential well, all your states are bound states. the transmission coefficients are zero, so you are doomed to stay forever in that well, cut off from everything else…like, say, reality.

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