Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Review of Wallace's Everything and More

David Foster Wallace is obviously a very smart and tallented guy. His book Everything and More: A Compact History of Infinity is just that, it is a very good history of infinity from Zeno's paradoxes to Cantor, and even through continuum hypothesis. He presents all the metaphysical issues,a nd all the discussions of infinitesmals, and everything else you always wanted to know about infinity but were too afraid that you weren't math-savvy enough to handle.

The book is not for the math-phobic. There are going to be times you might have to take it a bit slow, or read something twice, but it'll be worth it.

Wallace's style is quirky and idiosyncratic, but it works. It does not read like any other book I've ever read, but it gets the point across, and does it with a sense of humor. I loved the book, and would recommend it to anyone, x, who: has some tiny bit of mathematical competence < x < is a professional mathematician.

No comments: