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The Golden Ratio by Mario Livio

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Review by TopamaxSurvivor posted 10-24-2013 05:30 AM 1895 views 0 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch
The Golden Ratio by Mario Livio No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

This is definitely a 5 star book on the subject. The author leaves no stone un-turned. The book is fascinating, informative, thorough, very interesting and sometimes, a bit boring. The author shows where many of the Golden Ratio enthusiasts take great liberty with the dimensions they use to “prove” their point of view.

I highly recommend this book to anyone with any interest in the subject. The author explains things so a layman can understand it. However, a bit of math background will be helpful.

http://www.amazon.com/Golden-Ratio-Worlds-Astonishing-Number/dp/0767908163/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1382592467&sr=1-1&keywords=golden+ratio+mario+livio

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence




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TopamaxSurvivor

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20 comments so far

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stefang

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#1 posted 10-24-2013 08:08 AM

Sounds good Bob, thanks for posting.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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RogerBean

1250 posts in 1673 days


#2 posted 10-24-2013 11:46 AM

Bob,
Thanks for the heads up. As a box maker, I’m always aware of proportions, and the golden ratio is the key to making things come out looking right. I’m going to order a copy for my library.
Roger

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

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Lenny

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#3 posted 10-24-2013 12:14 PM

Thanks for the review Bob.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

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CharlesA

1909 posts in 517 days


#4 posted 10-24-2013 02:16 PM

Interesting take from one of the Amazon reviews: “Livio also makes a good case that phi may be the most overrated of all numbers. Although it has a wonderfully golden name, it actually doesn’t live up to its reputation; Livio shows that phi’s presence in art and architecture is more fictional than real and that there is nothing about phi that automatically confers aesthetic beauty. A good portion of the book is dedicated to debunking these golden myths.”

This quotation alone may cause me to buy it.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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HillbillyShooter

4826 posts in 1012 days


#5 posted 10-24-2013 02:45 PM

Thanks for the review and link. I definitely intend to look into this reference source.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

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helluvawreck

15983 posts in 1586 days


#6 posted 10-24-2013 03:43 PM

It sounds like an interesting book, Bob. Thanks for the post.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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Kaleb the Swede

1241 posts in 689 days


#7 posted 10-24-2013 06:30 PM

This is really interesting. I studied this in college in regards to music. It works there also. It’s an interesting subject to think about

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

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TopamaxSurvivor

15005 posts in 2395 days


#8 posted 10-24-2013 08:55 PM

You are all welcome.

Livio does debunk many of the claims that the Golden Ratio was used by everyone for centuries. The basic ratio for aesthetically pleasing design is near the Golden Ratio but not necessarily exactly phi. Where phi falls short of its reputation is the claim that everyone since the ancient Greeks used it. Golden Ratio advocate’s claims that many of the artists, musicians and architects used phi in their work is definitely debunked in this book. Generally speaking, aesthetically pleasing work will be near phi whether it is consciously used or not.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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Dark_Lightning

1796 posts in 1828 days


#9 posted 10-25-2013 01:15 AM

I have that book and enjoyed it. His premise that the tendency is toward the golden ratio is one I agree with. It’s like an average (or a “mean”, really, in the mathematical sense) of what is appealing to the eye.

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Rick M.

4322 posts in 1100 days


#10 posted 10-25-2013 04:53 AM

The Golden Mean is something I’ve been aware of since high school but I’m not studied enough to know how popular it was through the centuries so debunking those claims mean little to me. However I am interested in the subject.

As for the reviews, rarely do you see an item where both positive and negative reviews are well received.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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TopamaxSurvivor

15005 posts in 2395 days


#11 posted 10-25-2013 05:36 AM

Livio shows most of the claims by Golden Ratio advocates are faulty. He claims the majority of the grand masters were unaware of it and it was not popular through the centuries. What he debunks are the clams that is was popular and points out the errors in the demonstrations of were it was used. For example, he points out the inconsistencies and liberties taken with the measurements showing it was used in the design of the Parthenon. (page 73-75)

This is really a great book for anyone with any interest in the subject to read.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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oldnovice

3845 posts in 2087 days


#12 posted 10-25-2013 05:43 AM

I like math!

Need to check if it is available for Nook, Kindle, or Google books!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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TopamaxSurvivor

15005 posts in 2395 days


#13 posted 10-25-2013 07:00 AM

Don’t know. Mine’s paperback.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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oldnovice

3845 posts in 2087 days


#14 posted 10-25-2013 05:21 PM

Topa, checked on Amazon and it is available for the Kindle for $11.97!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

4322 posts in 1100 days


#15 posted 10-25-2013 07:53 PM

Does he really debunk the claims or just posit they aren’t true? I read reviews both positive and negative reviews which suggest he shied away from math and did not provide proofs. Whether or not the buildings in question are true to the ratio should be relatively simple to determine. Proving the architect’s intention seems a very difficult task.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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