Imaginary Numbers: An Anthology of Marvelous Mathematical Stories, Diversions, Poems, and Musings

Imaginary Numbers: An Anthology of Marvelous Mathematical Stories, Diversions, Poems, and Musings✤ Imaginary Numbers: An Anthology of Marvelous Mathematical Stories, Diversions, Poems, and Musings Download ➸ Author William Frucht – With this delightful anthology Frucht throws a bridge across the chasm separating the 'Two Cultures' of science and literature Booklist A marvelous colledtion of diverse talents and writing San Diego With this delightful anthology An Anthology PDF Î Frucht throws a bridge across the chasm separating the 'Two Cultures' of science and literature Booklist A marvelous colledtion of diverse talents and writing San Diego Union Tribune A wildly inventive treasury of the most artful words ever written about numbers Mathematics and writing may seem to exist in opposite realms but as William Frucht reveals the world of numbers has always held a special fascination for men and women of letters Imaginary Numbers displays the fruits of this cross fertilization by collecting the best creative Imaginary Numbers: PDF/EPUB or writing about mathematical topics from the past hundred years In this engaging anthology we can explore the many ways writers have played with mathematical ideas Delve into the fourth dimension and infinity into fantasy and philosophy with such masters as Lewis Carroll Edwin Abbott Abbott Philip K Dick Martin Gardner and Alan Lightman Revel in renowned tales by Italo Calvino and Jorge Luis Borges cult classics such as Connie Willis's The Schwartzschild Radiusand lesser Numbers: An Anthology of Marvelous Kindle - known gems by such visionaries as William Gibson and A K Dewdney For mathematical mavens and literary Numbers: An Anthology ePUB ✓ lions alike Imaginary Numbers adds up to one fascinating read. I first picked up this book at my brilliant local library when I was about thirteen and I was totally inspired This is my third reading and I found it dispiritingly male and pale not a single non white character or author as far as I can tellThe Form of Space by Italo Calvino This sexist little piece is very elouently gracefully written but repulsive in content Rape culture is not Calvino's fault but there is really no need to enthusiastically pitch inA New Golden Age by Rudy RuckerThis is pure intellectual snobbery but apart from that is hugely likeable It doesn't start off well and the dialogue feels lumpy with too many characters for a short short story but the idea of a math player that you can plug into your brain to experience math directly is just too cool to resist and Rucker's description illustrates it perfectly I hope someone invents itA Serpent with Corners by Lewis Carroll This will amuse folks who pick this up hoping for logic puzzles to chew on Abner Shimony's piece Resolution of the Paradox A Philosophical Puppet Play which features a lion who defies Zeno's logic is in the same veinHow Kazir Won His Wife by Raymond SmulyanThis is about the 'Goodman principle' which tells you how to find things out in a situation where some people always lie and others always tell the truth geek moment Sarah uses it in The Labyrinth but there is much talk around the topic This tale is a good example of what the book is like in general math inspired subversive whimsical realism has someone coined this genre?An extract from Einstein's Dreams made me really want to read the whole book here Lightman imagines what the universe would be like if the arrow of time pointed in the opposite direction the one in which disorder DECREASES Another extract from Hofstadter's GDB about preludes to fugues reminds me that I want to re read that book as wellThe Golden Man by Philip K Dick A longer piece that as always demonstrates Dick's genius level talent for writing hauntingly believeable scifi There is I think a critiue here of illiberal institutional controls yet its tension with fear is fully fleshed out to the point where the terror takes over I'm not buying the woman blaming thoughThe Morphology of the Kirkham Wreck by Hilbert Schenk is a uniue piece less whimsical realism than math magical realism It's protagonist reads as a typical lifeboat man hardy and deeply experienced to the point where his professional intuition seems like a preternatural ability except in his case it actually is I enjoyed the framing of the story from the point of view of 'time users' watching Keeper Chase an energy user doing his godlike tricksThe Third Sally or The Dragons of Probability by Stanislaw Lem bored me somewhat after the first few pages but I think I was just being impatient it is uite funny in a Terry Pratchett way The same goes for the other Lem story in here The Extraordinary Hotel which is about set theory and is technicalAn extract from Flatland Concerning Irregular Figures is extremely disturbing I wonder if anyone has written a feminist analysis of Flatland where all women are lines while men have different shapes depending on social classoccupation In itself this is a kind of feminist comment on Victorian society I've never been tempted to read Flatland but maybe I should Clearly only men could be 'irregular' and therefore subject to the murderous eugenic policy here illustratedOn Fiddib Har by A K Dewdney is an extract from The Planiverse which imagines contact with a two dimensional world through a youth who lives there and is extremely clever and interesting to me The illustrations are particularly delightful It is uite technical and book length would probably bore but a small dose is deliciousThe Church of the Fourth Dimension by Martin Gardner feels real than fiction I'm sort of surprised that Gardner imagined the whole thing it makes sense Nice that it has some knot tricks at the end FunBurning Chrome by William Gibson Most of these stories have no women in them at all Where we do feature we are invariably objects of the action and description rather than subjects Here hacker Bobby for whom women are 'talismans' is observed by his partner in crime Jack Rikki Bobby's current sexual partner is the driving force of the story yet she has no character other than a desire to become a 'simstim' star for which she will need to have her lovely brown eyes replaced with new ones able to literally film life from her point of view The eyes she wants are blue but Gibson offers no material for an analysis of why Jack is in love with Rikki and thus resents Bobby's objectifying relationship to her but his intervention in her favour consists of buying her a flight to Hollywood to pursue her dreamsWhile I'm on the feminist line of attack Fritz Leiber's story Gonna Roll the Bones is particularly grotesuely sexist Oppressed by his mother and abused by him wife the protagonist heads out to gamble where slim naked young women serve and are delighted to be groped Sample The Big Gambler had just taken into his arms his prettiest evilest sporting girl and was running an aristocratic hand across her haunch with perfect gentility when the poet chap green eyed from jealousy and lovesickness came leaping forward like a wild cat and aimed a long gleaming dagger at the black satin backThe Library of Babel by Jorge Luis Borges was my favourite story on first reading and it retains its ponderous and ponderable pleasure but by this point I am wondering why none of the authors yet featured have been women with the possible exception of Wislawa Szymborska who contributed a poem must check gender and can't help but notice that the Library contains no women at all Presumably the men spring fully formed from the bookshelves without the messy business of birthingAh here we are Connie Willis' tale Schwarzchild Radius breaks the mold with a very literary reflection on the weirdness of war and relativistic physics Now my favourite piece in the collection I must find of Willis' workSiv Cedering's poem Letter from Caroline Herschel is great I think I saw it before in Dark Matter? Anyway it's a tribute to 'my long lost sisters forgottenin the books that recordour science Agnice of Thessaly Hyptia Hildegard Catherina Hervelius Maria AgnesiThen there is an extract from We by Yevgeny Zamyatin which is a very good book in my opinion and finally a J G Ballard story The Garden of Time which as Frucht writes in his introduction is very evocative reeking of nostalgia for decadent days The final description of the approaching army is painfully vivid But isn't this fear of barbarian hoards from whom one cannot protect one's charming frail wife a sort of elitist white supremacist parable? terrific stories drawn from science history and science fiction which cover a range of mathematical topics including time dimension optics infinity and so on some terrific stories Exceptional collection of mathscience related fiction but there were a few pieces I uestioned being included in his anthology; however in his introduction Frucht explains his reasoning for including the writings he chose I would especially recommend Philip K Dick's The Golden Man and Douglas Hofstadter's Prelude from An Eternal Golden Braid uanto si parla di matematica in letteratura? Non tantissimo purtroppo Però se uno va a cercare bene ci sono parecchi racconti di tema matematico; alcuni di uesti sono stati raccolti da William Frucht in uesta antologia Diciamolo subito a volte Frucht ha barato Nell'introduzione aveva detto che per uanto possibile avrebbe usato testi di autori non matematici di professione sennò sarebbe stato troppo facile ma nell'antologia troviamo un capitolo di The Planiverse di AK Dewdney e uno da Gödel Escher Bach di Douglas Hofstadter che tecnicamente sono saggi scientifici anche se non matematici in senso stretto né di autori matematici in senso stretto Però uesta non è una pecca di per sé perché permette di avere uno sguardo più ampio sulla letteratura matematica Ci lamentiamo tanto delle due culture separate e poi non vogliamo metterle insieme uando ne abbiamo la possibilità? Come ogni analogia che si rispetti il libro contiene di tutto prosa e poesia fantascienza e letteratura ufficiale Nobel come la Szymborska e non Nobel come Borges e anche due autori italiani Italo Calvino e Tommaso Landolfi che è un po' buffo leggere in traduzione inglese; a proposito di traduzioni ho scoperto il romanzo distopico del russo Evgenij Zemjatin We una delle fonti per 1984 di Orwell e che fu pubblicato nella lingua originale più di sessant'anni dopo la sua stesura Se siete abbastanza ferrati nella lingua di Albionela raccolta è una lettura piacevole This collection of 31 offerings of short stories poems metaphysical musings will leave you amusedand often confused If you are familiar with the writings of Douglas Hofstadter you will find yourself on slightly familiar grounds One story is an excerpt from Hofstadter’s Pulitzer Prize winning Godel Escher and Bach The stories all have a common thread in mathematics metaphysics physics andor the time contemplation The contributors include many well known science fiction writers such as Philip K Dick Stanislaw Lem William Gibson Fritz Leiber Joe Halerman Connie Willis and J G Ballard Also fantasy writers like Lewis Carrol and mathematicians like Martin Gardner There is even a selection of poems written by Racter an artificial intelligence computer programI must confess that I could not follow about 14 of these stories and many others had me googling many terms used Overall it is worth the read although I can’t see myself ever wanting to re read it Hit or miss on the short stories but the collection as a whole was a worthwhile read Some of my favorites were Gonna Roll the Bones and Ten Weary Foot sore Travelers This book is a collection of mathematically themed short stories Some are good some less so Some are excerpts from longer works which is not an editing choice that I would have followed Frucht's introduction and acknowledgments are amusing insofar as he is unapologetic in his tastes and he openly admits that others deserve an editor credit but he was unwilling to share any royaltiesmy favorite uote I feel myself But it’s only the eye with a lash in it the swollen finger the infected tooth that feels itself is conscious of its own individual being The healthy eye or finger or tooth doesn’t seem to exist So it’s clear isn’t it? Self‐consciousness is just a disease These tales made me seriously interested in math Some of the poetry opened long almost pained silences in the room when read aloud to friends Recommended to any fiction reader who wants to expand their knowledge into new fields of study Interesting overview of math anthologies

Imaginary Numbers: An Anthology of Marvelous Mathematical
  • Paperback
  • 352 pages
  • Imaginary Numbers: An Anthology of Marvelous Mathematical Stories, Diversions, Poems, and Musings
  • William Frucht
  • English
  • 20 November 2014
  • 9780471393412