John was not a scientist. He never pretended to be one. I think that gave him a certain clarity of vision. I always respected his views on science, because he approached it as an interested outsider. This may be the shortest of his topical collections, but one of my favorites. This is an area where I had read most of the books before John reviewed them, but I did manage to learn a few things from John.
His review of a biography of Kurt Gödel is one of his more popular items he wrote, and it was influential in my own views of strong AI. John also was a bit sceptical of Stephen Jay Gould and Malcolm Gladwell, which increased my respect for him. Although I do feel a bit bad for Gladwell now that he isn't a media darling anymore. I guess I just don't like kicking a man while he is down.
I suppose it is hard to have a broader interest than "cosmology." For some reason, I have always believed it to be a virtue to resist limiting my curiosity to things I might actually be able to understand. In any event, here are some pieces I have done about really, really big questions.
2011Being and Time (Martin Heidegger explains the world in terms of Death and Equipment.)2007An Army of Davids (Glenn Reynolds argues for homebrewed beer and transhumanism.)2006Two Scientists (Some thoughts on biographies of Albert Einstein and Marie Curie.)