Q
Joy in the Merely Real


We humans are, after all, built out of inhuman parts. The world of atoms looks nothing like the world as we ordinarily think of it, and certainly looks nothing like the world’s conscious denizens as we ordinarily think of them. …

Mere Reality collects seven sequences of essays on this topic. The first three introduce the question of how the human world relates to the world revealed by physics: “Lawful Truth” (on the basic links between physics and human cognition), “Reductionism 101” (on the project of scientifically explaining phenomena), and “Joy in the Merely Real” [this sequence] (on the emotional, personal significance of the scientific world-view).


  1. Joy in the Merely Real
  2. Joy in Discovery
  3. Bind Yourself to Reality
  4. If You Demand Magic, Magic Won’t Help
  5. Mundane Magic
  6. The Beauty of Settled Science
  7. Amazing Breakthrough Day: April 1st
  8. Is Humanism a Religion Substitute?
  9. Scarcity
  10. The Sacred Mundane
  11. To Spread Science, Keep It Secret
  12. Initiation Ceremony