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Mind Tools: The Five Levels of Mathematical Reality
Now available in paperback, Mind Tools connects mathematics to the world around us. Reveals mathematics' great power as an alternative language for understanding things and explores such concepts as logic as a computing tool, digital versus analog processes and communication as information transmission.
Paperback, 328 pages
Published February 1st 1988 by Mariner Books
(first published 1987)
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I found this book disappointing. The author makes a promise at the very beginning. The promise is that he will show how information theory connects to the four main branches of maths, numbers, space, infinity and logic. The result is quite chaotic, results are presented one after the other with the same logic used for showing items for sale in a charity shop, i.e. little if any. The promise is broken and the book ends quite comically with the author trying to explain in three sentences what the ...more
In my reading, something happened between considering a tetrahedron’s vertices labeled Disease, Death, Loneliness, and Struggle and the passage: “The symbol 0 seems egg-like, female, while 1 is spermlike and male. Can this really be an accident? …An egg is round, and a sperm is skinny. …Formally speaking, both zero and one are undefinable.” I began to wonder why Dover reprinted this peculiar work. Into “Number”, after a discourse on Pythagorean metaphysics heading toward numerology, the book tak ...more
I read this in high school, so this is my recollection years later. I found it interesting to divide math into different approaches. I was already deeply interested in math. Anyhow, this is more a beginners intro to the conceptual issues in math: whets the appetite, but isn't the final word (of course!).
A really excellent work in this field. I'm by no means a math whiz but this explained the topic well for those who aren't whizzes. If my grade school math teacher had told me just a few of these things I might have grown up loving math.
Math nerds unite! This will thrill any math-o-phile. Me, not so much. I'm really good at geometry and I love algebra, but this book was way out of my league . . . and interest level. While I admire Prof. Rucker's obviously brilliant mind (although I couldn't tell you if the book were or were not fraught with errors as I barely could understand a word of it . . .), the subject didn't do much for me. From fractals to googols to caustic nephroids to polynomial quartic space . . . get the picture? A ...more
Rudy Rucker links mathematics to reality and explains 5 ways we can look at it: in terms of number, space, logic, infinity and information. The concepts explained are rather simple to understand and I'm pretty sure everyone will find some things they didn't know before. Later in a book he argues that "reality as information" may be the most correct view and our universe can indeed be a computational process.
I suggest people whose interest touches corners of math read the book, otherwise you may ...more
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Rudolf von Bitter Rucker is an American mathematician, computer scientist, science fiction author, and one of the founders of the cyberpunk genre. He is best known for his Ware Tetralogy, the first two of which won Philip K. Dick awards. Presently, Rudy Rucker edits the science fiction webzine Flurb.
For more than a decade, Neil deGrasse Tyson, the world-renowned astrophysicist and host of the popular radio and Emmy-nominated...
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