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Arts and Literature Newsletter

Zero: Nothing from Nothing leaves Nothing

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I picked up my copy of Steven Brust’s Tiassa yesterday.  The dust jacket claims that Vlad and Khaavren meet.  I’m excited.

∞ Review of Zero: The biography of a dangerous idea by Charles Seife ∞

I am currently reading a book which, though written by an author I very much enjoy, is terrible.  My gratitude to Seife and Zero is immeasurable for the much needed respite they’ve offered me in the middle of this other book.  (I should note that I feel compelled to finish a book once I’ve begun it; I find myself inexplicably remiss to abandon a book unfinished.)  Zero is a fascinating exploration of the title number.  Seife offers not only a history of zero, but a well-rounded examination of its implications for religion, mathematics (as a field), and science.

I am an oddity: I deeply enjoy literature and mathematics and history and science, so this book, of course, appeals to me on most every level.  I would argue, however, that one need not feel an affinity for all of these categories; any one will suffice.  Seife is not only incredibly knowledgeable about his subject, but also a skilled wordsmith.  Zero, I believe, appeals to almost everyone, whether his interests are myriad, like mine, or much more finely honed.

Zero provides nearly infinite fodder for philosophical discourse and exploration and is a must for anyone who enjoys reading, nay anyone who enjoys anything… or nothing.

 

Written by Alex Kaulfuss

April 5th, 2011 at 3:02 pm

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