Monday, February 10, 2020

Humble Math…

OK, don’t waste your time reading Matt Parker’s latest book, "Humble Pi," from page 1 to page 314… complete waste of friggin’ effort; reads like gibberish and a crazy travesty of publishing. Who knows what kind of psilocybin Matt was on when he wrote the dang thing….

INSTEAD… read the volume from page 314 to page 1 and you will be thoroughly entertained by the range of uniquely-strewn-together topics Matt combines in this rollicking volume peppered with his usual droll-to-wacky humor… one can easily imagine Parker at his writing tablet, smirking as he composes the many lines that will beget a chortle from unsuspecting readers (unsuspecting that there be humor in math).

The book is full of gems… math gems, humor gems, and just thought gems, scattered throughout an unpredictable mix of math nuances and perversities, which will leave you earnestly hoping that Parker has agreed to donate his fertile brain to science (preferably after he passes). In fact, I’m no longer sure who makes me laugh more, Ben Orlin, Matt Parker, Ricky Gervais, or the Evangelicals who vote for Donald Trump while labeling themselves moral or patriotic (LOL, OMG).

Humble Pi” was already a big bestseller across the pond in Britain last year (perhaps explaining why the publisher actually sent it to America, lo-and-behold, absent-mindedly keeping the same title), so now it's time for Americans to show what they're made of, and buy it! — though admittedly, my Homeland, especially under the Trump Regime, is not characterized by a fondness for math/science matters (except, of course, as it may apply to money-laundering and tax evasion, two topics Matt can include when he does the sequel, “Humble Fourth Reich”). 
Indeed I’m always amazed when I venture into a Barnes and Noble and see some mathy volume on a front table display right alongside a John Grisham work or the latest 'how-to-live-to-be-200' effort (or some such) from Dr. Oz. In any event, here at the blog, I’m speaking to a choir of math enthusiasts who will hopefully prefer this volume over the latest schlock from Dan Brown. For all remaining Americans who aren't under the spell of Q-Anon, and who prefer fun to fascism, this is a fab read.

Computers, engineering, numbers, money, statistics, randomness, time, probability, algorithms, and more…. it’s all here for your delectation… and it ain’t always pretty… but then, that's sort of Matt’s point.

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