Category Archives: Mathematics

Optimism about Science and Tech, Alternative Math, and Political Topics

Another optimistic take on part of current affairs (not politics). Plus: alternative math, and political items.

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Significance, and Links

More on yesterday’s post about intuitive morality; the idea of “significance”, and Alastair Reynolds’ new novel; and links and comments.

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G.H. Hardy, A MATHEMATICIAN’S APOLOGY (1940)

In perusing some of the earliest popular books I read about mathematics, including the ones I’ve blogged about here by George Gamow and Krasner & Newman, and then searching around for any other popular mathematical texts from the early 20th … Continue reading

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Kasner & Newman, MATHEMATICS AND THE IMAGINATION

Here is another older book out of my library, one to set alongside George Gamow’s One Two Three… Infinity, which I reviewed back in August. This book is even older. Published in 1940, this is Mathematics and the Imagination, by … Continue reading

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Surfing the Web, Friday Afternoon

No backlog of links from this morning or yesterday, so I’m sitting down right now (4:30pm PDT) and surfing all my favorite website to see what jumps out. …Posting at 5:20pm. Slate, Marissa Martinelli, 15 Sept 2022: Deep Space Whine, … Continue reading

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George Gamow: One Two Three… Infinity

Here’s an oldie, not just for first being published in 1947 (see Wikipedia) but also for being one of the first science nonfiction books I ever read, back when I bought this copy in 1969. (Seen here is the Bantam … Continue reading

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LQCs: Anti-Evolutionists’ Failures at Math

Skeptical Inquirer, Jason Rosenhouse, May/June 2022 issue: The Failures of Mathematical Anti-Evolutionism And commenting on it, Jerry Coyne, Why Evolution is True, 2 June 2022: The intellectual vacuity of mathematical arguments against evolution

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John Allen Paulos, ONCE UPON A NUMBER: The Hidden Mathematical Logic of Stories (1998)

Here’s another John Allen Paulos book, one from 1998, and one that I had not previously read. When I noticed it on the shelf a few weeks ago I realized this was now of particular interest, since in recent years … Continue reading

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John Allen Paulos, INNUMERACY: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences (1988)

This slender book was first published in 1988 (I have the 1990 paperback edition) and became a bestseller. It was one of the earliest books on the very general theme of how many people don’t understand the world around them, … Continue reading

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L&Qs&Cs: Innumeracy and Covid

Humans are intuitively not good at proportions and other statistical concepts, but those concepts can be taught. They are not, and politicians and partisan news sources use public misunderstanding of these concepts to their advantage.

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