05 July 2005

Alan Lightman in Cambodia!


In today's New York Times (props to my dad for pointing me to the article), Alan Lightman writes about a Muslim Cham village near Phnom Penh and their efforts, which Lightman aided, to get a school and educate their populace.

This is all very great stuff, and kudos to them all.

And for those of you who don't know who Alan Lightman is, he is, unusually, both a professional physicist and a professional novelist. The work of his I know best is Einstein's Dreams, an exploration of various ways that time could be structured, and the implications they would have for the way we live. Here's a bit of one section:
Consider a world in which cause and effect are erratic. Sometimes the first precedes the second, sometimes the second the first... A young woman sits near a fountain ... Suddenly her heart soars, she blushes, she paces anxiously, she becomes happy for no reason. Days later, she meets a young man and is smitten with love. Are the two events not connected? But by what bizarre connection, by what twist in time, by what reversed logic?
Highly recommended.