Defeated by this book

The blurb on the back should have been a warning: “A stimulating book that perhaps leaves the reader with more questions than answers. That, in case you are wondering, is intended as praise.”

Well, I should have done more wondering. The Mathematics of the Gods and the Algorithms of Men: A Cultural History by Paolo Zellini looked promising. I found it in the Tate Modern bookshop when Christmas shopping; it’s a wonderful shop with an intriguing book selection. This is the joy of in-person shopping, isn’t it – the serendipity? I’m very interested in algorithms. The book’s published as a Penguin paperback so intended for a wide audience.

But no. No idea what it’s about. I turned over most of the pages. There is a lot about the ancient Greeks. Even when you get to Russell, Frege and the like toward the end – no idea. It also seemed rather too literal a translation from the original Italian. Perhaps a mathemician reader has read it and can explain. Not recommending this one though!

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