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A respectable amount of rhetoric is in fact a form of abstraction. After all, it is a part the trivium together with grammar and logic. As a consequence, even though the area of application of this ancient art of discourse is language, its main fundamental operations –adiectio (addition), detractio (substraction), transmutatio (transformation) and immutatio (permutation)– are general enough to be applied to pretty much anything.

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These two paragraphs are also from The Book of Real and Imaginary Drugs.

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Here is an auto-portrait of Anders Zorn.


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Yet another excerpt from The Book of Real and Imaginary Drugs. I achieved a new high in self promotion.

The Double Negator

If you are a geometer, you draw pictures. But what do you do if you are a logician? I guess you can still draw pictures, like proof trees and so on, but these wouldn’t be pictures of the objects you work on. Intuitively, this is obvious. We say “I can draw a triangle.” not “I can draw a triangle picture. ” On the other hand one cannot draw a tautology.

So we have a natural question here: In logic, what is the verb that corresponds to draw? I think it is easy to answer this question once we look at some standard terminology in mathematical logic: sentence, term, syntax, parsing, . . . As the reader has hopefully guessed, the verb I am talking about is write.

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A review of my book called Music as a Can Opener. It was written by Dieter Jung and published in Acoustics and Beyond.

Music as a Can Opener

Hyakujo wished to send a monk to open a new monastery. He told his pupils that whoever answered a question most ably would be appointed. Placing a water vase on the ground, he asked: “Who can say what this is without calling its name?” The chief monk said: “No one can call it a wooden shoe.” Isan, the cooking monk, tipped over the vase with his foot and went out. Hyakujo smiled and said: “The chief monk loses.” And Isan became the master of the new monastery.

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Ceci n'est pas une pipe, non plus

1. Ceci n’est pas une pipe, non plus. This is an equation whose solution set is a pipe. So the picture is coded by a description. In this sense, it is like a PS file.

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Another excerpt from my book The Book of Real and Imaginary Drugs.

The Magic Theremin

Today’s drug is a perfect vacuum cleaner, but without its brush roll –it gave me a headache last time. And my imaginary drug is a kind of hallucinogen: a magic theremin.
For those of you who don’t know what a regular theremin is, it is a musical instrument played only with hand gestures without touching it. So, somehow, it understands what it is supposed to do.

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A review of a book of mine called A Modest Collection of Impossibilities. It was written by Michio Sato and published in The Journal of Mathematics Education and Pedagogy.

A Modest Collection of Impossibilities

Karl Hede’s A Modest Collection of Impossibilities is a book written in the style of Euclid’s Elements, obviously inspired by Spinoza’s Ethica Ordinae Geometrico Demonstrata. Mathematical rigor is the main characteristic of the book, which gives it a rigid structure whose building blocks are formal definitions, theorems and proofs. But this doesn’t give A Modest Collection of Impossibilities the dull mood of a mathematics book at all. On the contrary, the witty style of Hede, combined with his highly original ideas, offers us an exiting reading experience.

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An excerpt from my book The Book of Real and Imaginary Drugs.

I will smell some glue while drinking a glass of absinth. It is called succession glue. But before saying anything about this drug, I need to tell you about the way we perceive the outside world. In fact, it is very simple. We do it instance by instance. And if the instances are close enough, that is, if we sample the outside world frequently enough, our mind fills the gaps between them, which makes us think that the sampling process is continuous. Movie screens use this principle. If you see twenty four pictures in one second, then you think that the pictures are actually moving.

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An excerpt from one of my books, The Art of Intercourse with Intelligent Beings.

From the Introduction

I wish Schopenhauer had written something on zoophilia in his Metaphysics of Sexual Love –it would make my job much easier. Unfortunately, the most socially unacceptable thing he mentioned was homosexuality, which is not a big deal nowadays. So I will have to defend my ideas and my way of living without the help of this great philosopher. It is not a big loss, though. Because defense is going to be a small part of my book.

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