Score: 94/100 (9.4 out of 10)
“Real-Time Earthquake Tracking and Localisation” by George R. Daglish and Iurii P. Sizov is possibly the book with the widest-reaching consequences that we've read this season. It definitely had our attention!
Let's preface this review by saying that this is not really a book in the traditional sense, this is a massive research paper on seismology expanded to 200+ pages. You are not “reading” this book so much as appreciating a groundbreaking, world-changing set of formulas that may be able to interpret and predict seismic activity (including activity that causes tsunamis), thereby saving innumerable lives.
Let's say this: if you hate math and physics, you probably won't be able to stand this book. If you have dyscalculia like one of us, this book will probably be akin to psychological torture. Seriously. If you locked someone with dyscalculia in a room and started “reading” this book to them, they would probably cry out to be waterboarded instead. The math and physics in here is relentless. The numbers and codes just don't stop. It's like staring at the Matrix coding script and trying to understand and appreciate if any of the codes represent Neo or Agent Smith.
Look at part of this section about longitudes and latitudes:
1 7.8278122e+001 2.9021651e+002 6.3743410e+006 1.1721878e+001
2 7.5084639e+001 2.0902961e+002 6.3743411e+006 1.4915361e+001
3 7.5846494e+001 3.3667444e+002 6.3743410e+006 1.4153506e+001
4 7.1903787e+001 3.0582870e+002 6.3743410e+006 1.8096213e+001
5 6.5131356e+001 2.5965593e+002 6.3743410e+006 2.4868644e+001
6 5.3717314e+001 1.2709943e+002 6.3743410e+006 3.6282686e+001
7 5.3804387e+001 3.5957617e+002 6.3743411e+006 3.6195613e+001
8 4.8352549e+001 3.0474889e+002 6.3743410e+006 4.1647451e+001
9 4.8940511e+001 2.4213507e+002 6.3743410e+006 4.1059489e+001
10 4.5379893e+001 2.3567745e+002 6.3743410e+006 4.4620107e+001
This is one-third of that section—a section that takes up half the page! There are pages upon pages of formulas and countless Greek symbols representing variables that we frankly lost track of most of the time.
This book is tragically barren of any substantive prose. There are very few explanations or interpretations. It's almost tragic how close this book could've been to a 9.6 (our highest score ever) if it had just said more about earthquakes as actual, real-life human beings experience them. Why not include some case studies that don't look like blocks of numbers? How about talking about the Tohoku (Japanese) earthquake and tsunami? How about instead of just briefly mentioning the massive Chilean earthquake, the authors actually discuss it to give the audience context? Even the most AP of AP textbooks will often give you a little story in the beginning of each chapter giving you an example of what they're talking about. There's really nothing like that here.
Still, if you love math and physics, you'll greatly appreciate the intricacies and shear effort that went into this book. This is truly a lifetime of research and work put onto paper. There's also a ton of graphs and charts to accurately document their findings. Seriously, it's really impressive how they were able to put that all together!
And what's more? This stuff is potent. It's substantive. And it seems to check out for the most part. So, if you're Michio Kaku, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, or Danica McKellar, you'll probably love this book.
Ultimately, we're enamored with the enormous potential that this book presents. Please, for the love of God and all humanity, support and fund this book and these peoples' research!
Check it out!