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Category Archives: book review

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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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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A short review of one of my famous books by Paul Hermite. It was published in The Unconventional Reader Magazine a few years ago.

The Book of Imaginary Drugs

You should have realized it by now, but I still feel the urge to say it. You have no cosmic significance! Therefore, there is only one sensible thing to do. Let me tell you how to do it.

These are the first sentences of  The Book of Real and Imaginary Drugs (BRID), a detailed and systematic study of  drugs and intoxication, written by one of the most original and obscure writers of our time. People who are familiar with the writings of Hede, usually know him as the writer of The Art of Intercourse With Intelligent Beings: A Case Study With Dolphins. BRID is very much in the same spirit. It is full of bold claims and irritating — or patently false– conclusions about the meaning of life. His style on the other hand, is quite different, being less sarcastic and more to the point than Intercourse.

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