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Pop-math book publishing coincidence!

  1. Jun 16, 2012 #1
    ... amazing that they were published only two weeks apart (read the descriptions)!!

    In Pursuit of the Unknown: 17 Equations That Changed the World, by
    Ian Stewart
    https://www.amazon.com/Pursuit-Equa...=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1339867291&sr=1-1

    The Universe in Zero Words: The Story of Mathematics as Told through Equations, by
    Dana Mackenzie
    https://www.amazon.com/The-Universe-Zero-Words-Mathematics/dp/0691152829/ref=pd_sim_b_3

    ... are the respective authors gnashing their teeth?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 16, 2012 #2
    I don't know, but of the two I'd pick the first to read because the second author has embarked on the self-contradictory goal of describing a "universe in zero words" with pages and pages of words.

    From the book description:
    "At the same time, the book shows why these equations have something timeless to say about the universe, and how they do it with an economy (zero words) that no other form of human expression can match."

    If the equations authentically represent the economy of zero words, we shouldn't need anything but those equations. In fact, though, the explanation by words is vital and the equations, themselves, are always codified sentences. F=ma doesn't mean anything until you understand it to be the sentence, "Force equals mass times acceleration".
     
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