Eric Martin

Graphic Designer/Illustrator/Straight-Up-Artist

11

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Quicksilver, by Neal Stephenson

My favorite book is Quicksilver, by Neal Stephenson.

Basically, it has scientists, pirates, and Isaac Newton during the birth of science as we know it today. And there's banking theory. It's pretty awesome.

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From Wikipedia:

Frequent mention of alchemy indicates the shift from an earlier age to a newer transformative age. Newton was an alchemist, and one character compares finance to alchemy: "all goods—silk, coins, shares in mines—lose their hard dull gross forms and liquefy, and give up their true nature, as ores in an alchemist's furnace sweat mercury". The book focuses on a period of social and scientific transmutations, expanding upon the symbolism of the book's title, Quicksilver, because it is a period in which the "principles governing transformation" are investigated and established. A commerce of different goods rapidly changing from one into another is a recurrent theme throughout the book. Also, the title Quicksilver connects the book to the method alchemists used to distill quicksilver, "the pure living essence of God's power and presence in the world", from, as one character put it, "the base, dark, cold, essentially fecal matter of which the world was made." 

 

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