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The Numerati

I think it's time for a moratorium on books "about math that won’t cause liberal-arts majors to heave it across the room. The slender volume contains not a single esoteric Greek letter or mystifying equation." Really, come on. A little bit of well-explained math never hurt anybody, and DFW's Everything and more recently taught me just how possible it is. As a liberal arts major myself, I appreciate being reminded of things I once had to learn, shown their relevance in new ways, and being trusted that my intelligence can handle it. [go!]

2 comments on “The Numerati

  1. Hey Nathan, read the book and let me know what you think. I do describe some technical things, like machine learning and mathematical modeling, and I even take a dip into support vector machines. That said, it is not a book about math, and the most disappointed reviewers are those who pick it up expecting math and don’t get it.

  2. Wonderful to hear from you; thanks for taking the time to comment. I’d love to read the book—actually I thought of trying to review it when it first came out but didn’t get my stuff together.

    I didn’t mean my remarks to reflect on the book itself so much as the way that reviewer happened to advertise it. I realize (and should have noted) that your book, unlike DFW’s for instance, is not so much about mathematics specifically as about what mathematics is doing in society. I hope for the day when “liberal arts majors” (such as myself) don’t automatically think of Greek letters and equations with “mystifying.” From what I gather, your book is a step in the right direction in that regard.

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