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From the Preface to the Second Edition:"This book will not take the casual reader to the cutting edge of research. Nor is it meant to. What I am after in Black Mischief is the moment in which various lines in an intellectual field of force collect themselves into a kind of dense knot...A number of otherwise sympathetic reviewers have suggested that my aim in Black Mischief was somehow to show the persistence of certain outmoded Newtonian forms of thought in economics, or psychology, or biology, or wherever. Not so. My intention has been to explore a tangle of connected concepts."Black Mischief is the cogent and absorbing story of an unusually fertile period in the contemporary science. Irreverent, witty, skeptical, and always informative, it is an anecdotal potpourri of scientific thought and the people who shaped it. Berlinski takes a protean look at the science establishment - as well as the personalities behind the scenes - in such fields as behavioral psychology, linguistics, and economics, and in so doing enlightens and entertains us beyond measure.
Hired by the accounting firm of Plumbeck and Ergenweiler to investigate the disappearance of the partner's shared mistress, San Francisco investigator Aaron Asherfeld finds himself embroiled in a sexual harassment suit and a drug dealer's pursuits.
When San Francisco private eye Aaron Asherfeld is hired to track down a missing businessman, his investigation takes on a kinky dimension as he meets a host of characters from the city's sleazy underside.
Militant atheism is on the rise. In recent years Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens have produced a steady stream of best-selling books denigrating religious belief. These authors are merely the leading edge of a larger movement that includes much of the scientific community. In response, mathematician David Berlinski, himself a secular Jew, delivers a biting defense of religious thought. The Devil's Delusionis a brilliant, incisive, and funny book that explores the limits of science and the pretensions of those who insist it is the ultimate touchstone for understanding our world.
Militant atheism is on the rise. In recent years Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens have produced a steady stream of best-selling books denigrating religious belief. These authors are merely the leading edge of a larger movement that includes much of the scientific community.In response, mathematician David Berlinski, himself a secular Jew, delivers a biting defense of religious thought. The Devil's Delusion is a brilliant, incisive, and funny book that explores the limits of science and the pretensions of those who insist it is the ultimate touchstone for understanding our world.
In Infinite Ascent, David Berlinski, the acclaimed author of The Advent of the Algorithm, A Tour of the Calculus, and Newton's Gift, tells the story of mathematics, bringing to life with wit, elegance, and deep insight a 2,500-year-long intellectual adventure.Berlinski focuses on the ten most important breakthroughs in mathematical history-and the men behind them. Here are Pythagoras, intoxicated by the mystical significance of numbers; Euclid, who gave the world the very idea of a proof; Leibniz and Newton, co-discoverers of the calculus; Cantor, master of the infinite; and Gödel, who in one magnificent proof placed everything in doubt. The elaboration of mathematical knowledge has meant nothing less than the unfolding of human consciousness itself. With his unmatched ability to make abstract ideas concrete and approachable, Berlinski both tells an engrossing tale and introduces us to the full power of what surely ranks as one of the greatest of all human endeavors.From the Hardcover edition.
Geometry defines the world around us, helping us make sense of everything from architecture to military science to fashion. And for over two thousand years, geometry has been equated with Euclid's Elements, arguably the most influential book in the history of mathematics In The King of Infinite Space, renowned mathematics writer David Berlinski provides a concise homage to this elusive mathematician and his staggering achievements. Berlinski shows that, for centuries, scientists and thinkers from Copernicus to Newton to Einstein have relied on Euclid's axiomatic system, a method of proof still taught in classrooms around the world. Euclid's use of elemental logic--and the mathematical statements he and others built from it--have dramatically expanded the frontiers of human knowledge.The King of Infinite Space presents a rich, accessible treatment of Euclid and his beautifully simple geometric system, which continues to shape the way we see the world.
Investigating the death of a philosophy professor at a fashionable northern California university, Aaron Asherfeld interrogates the radical racial, sexual, and intellectual factions at the college, each of which harbors a secret about the dead man.
From the acclaimed author of A Tour of the Calculus and The Advent of the Algorithm, here is a riveting look at mathematics that reveals a hidden world in some of its most fundamental concepts. In his latest foray into mathematics, David Berlinski takes on the simplest questions that can be asked: What is a number? How do addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division actually work? What are geometry and logic? As he delves into these subjects, he discovers and lucidly describes the beauty and complexity behind their seemingly simple exteriors, making clear how and why these mercurial, often slippery concepts are essential to who we are. Filled with illuminating historical anecdotes and asides on some of the most fascinating mathematicians through the ages, One, Two, Three is a captivating exploration of the foundation of mathematics: how it originated, who thought of it, and why it matters.From the Hardcover edition.
In its largest aspect, the calculus functions as a celestial measuring tape, able to order the infinite expanse of the universe. Time and space are given names, points, and limits; seemingly intractable problems of motion, growth, and form are reduced to answerable questions. Calculus was humanity's first attempt to represent the world and perhaps its greatest meditation on the theme of continuity. Charts and graphs throughout.From the Hardcover edition.
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