Monday, November 30, 2020

Let The Shopping Begin

 Usually toward the end of the year I do some sort of review of popular math books from the year gone by, including choosing a “Book of the Year.”  That tradition ends this year as I have read no math books (and very few books at all) since last March, having been so distracted by covid and the insane politics of America… moreover that rascal Ben Orlin didn’t put out a book this year, so what is the point of naming a book-of-the-year!  Just kidding, there were once again many fabulous books out in 2020 for the dedicated math fan. The four I did look at, and absolutely loved (and recommend), early in the year were, in no special order:

Mathematics for Human Flourishing

Humble Pi

Sleight of Mind

Do Dice Play God

Five more recent volumes that have definitely caught my eye are:


  Cut the Knot

  Best Writing On Mathematics 2020

  Games For Your Mind

  Why Study Mathematics

…. but many other math volumes appeared in the course of this year and if math books are part of your holiday shopping list you ought have no trouble finding several to select from. Indeed, this almost seems like a Renaissance period of math exposition, with the problem being over-choice, not scarcity!

ADDENDUM:  will go ahead and add this volume I just learned of today:

Frank Ramsey: A Sheer Excess of Powers

Friday, November 27, 2020

Friday ASMR

 I shouldn't let November get by without an ASMR post, so without further adieu...:

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Benford & Biden, etc.....

ICYMI, in a timely video, Matt Parker has taken on Benford's Law as it relates to elections:

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Continuum Hypothesis via Scott Aaronson


Bored with the headlines, folks?... Is election news getting you down?... Or the blitz of political ads scraping on your last nerve?... Is that what's buggin' you, kiddies??? 

Well, OK, this won’t be everyone’s cup-a-tea, or fun distraction, but in a longish post (first of multiple) Scott Aaronson tackles the independence of the Continuum Hypothesis:

I knew it would be a great read when he started off with this quote from Bertrand Russell:


“in adolescence, I hated life and was continually on the verge of suicide, from which, however, I was restrained by the desire to know more mathematics.”