Tweeting the Universe

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 29 January, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 29 January, 2012, 12:00am


Tweeting the Universe
by Marcus Chown and Govert Schilling
Faber and Faber (e-book)

'Big Bang 4-dimensional (3 space, 1 time) & so fundamentally unvisualisable to 3D beings like us.' If more books with sentences like that are published, soon no one will be able to spell. Neither will we know when to use particles or articles, or which words are in the dictionary. Its authors may argue that Tweeting the Universe, which explains big concepts in under 140 words, serves that part of the population who require, or will tolerate, only succinct explanations written in a way people communicate today. But it's obviously a gimmick, and one that cheats to meet its self-imposed word-length rule. One of 140 (geddit?) topics: 'What was the Big Bang', may impress readers until they realise that it's followed by entries on 'Where did the Big Bang happen?', 'How do we know there was a Big Bang?' and finally 'What happened before the Big Bang?' So the subject of the Big Bang is actually explained in a total of about 560 words. Good that some readers will learn something new in this book. Bad b/c there's no need 4 such subjects 2B tweeted.