Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Unknown Quantity

For those of you who didn't think I was absolutely insane to suddenly come upon a desire to refresh my knowledge of math, here's something interesting I stumbled across quite by accident at the library. John Derbyshire, the National Review regular, has a new book out titled Unknown Quantity: A Real And Imaginary History of Algebra. It's a history of the discipline from ancient through modern times, with readable yet not terribly dumbed-down refreshers on essential elements which the reader needs to understand in order to grasp the significance of the history.

While I have major differences with 'The Derb' on a number of topics, his science and especially his math writing tends to be both interesting and charming, so I'm looking forward to reading a bit of it before the library's two week loan policy on new releases snatches it back from me.

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