Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea

by Charles Seife | Nonfiction |
ISBN: 0285635867 Global Overview for this book
Registered by gwilk of Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on 5/3/2008
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This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!
3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by gwilk from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Saturday, May 03, 2008
Picked up at the Rotary Club Bookarama Book Sale at Burnside High School.

"The Babylonians invented it, the Greeks banned it, the Hindus worshipped it, and the Christian Church used it to fend off heretics. Today it is a time bomb ticking in the heart of astrophysics.

"Zero follows the number zero from its birth as an Eastern philosophical concept to its struggle for acceptance in Europe and its apotheosis as the mystery of a black hole. Here are the legendary thinkers who battled over the meaning of this mysterious number - scholars and mystics, cosmologists and clergymen whose clashes over zero shook the very foundations of philosophy, science, mathematics and religion. Under every revolution of the last millennium lay a zero."

" is a concise tour of a universe of ideas bound up in the simple notion of nothing."

Journal Entry 2 by gwilk from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Saturday, May 17, 2008
This is an interesting and informative book on the history of mathematics and a bit of physics, linked back to the significance of zero. I like popular science books and this is a good one. At times the drama of the zero seemed a little overhyped (the whole fabric of the universe is at risk kind of thing) but it certainly translated into an amusing read for me. Another bonus is that I learned something which is always nice when you are also having fun.

One little note: the book is definitely written from a western perspective. For a lot of eastern cultures, zero was a far less dramatic concept, a point which is made in the book but it dwells on the drama.

Journal Entry 3 by gwilk from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Saturday, May 17, 2008
This book is being offered as a bookray. Usual bookray protocol applies, please don't take too long to read it (one month max preferred), PM the next person on the list to pass it on. I will try and sort the participants by geography:

FutureCat (Christchurch)
SherlockFan (Wellington)
Awhina (Christchurch) - after 9-June, please

Journal Entry 4 by gwilk from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Given to futurecat to kick off the bookray.

Journal Entry 5 by futurecat from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Found in my letterbox. I'll try and read it before Sherlockfan comes down at Queen's Birthday, so I can pass it on to her in person.

^ ^

Journal Entry 6 by futurecat from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Saturday, May 24, 2008
Fascinating stuff, well presented. Some of the physics is less clearly explained than the maths (understandable, as the author is a mathematician), and there were a couple of points where I felt like he left out some important steps in the logic, but otherwise a great introduction to some fun concepts.

I'll pass it on to Sherlock fan next weekend.

^ ^

Journal Entry 7 by futurecat at Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Saturday, May 31, 2008

Released 12 yrs ago (5/31/2008 UTC) at Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand



Passed on to Sherlockfan.

^ ^

Journal Entry 8 by wingSherlockfanwing from Upper Hutt, Wellington Province New Zealand on Tuesday, June 03, 2008
During an enjoyable gathering chez FutureCat and MrPloppy this book was passed carefully to me and I'm now looking forward to reading it. Will be interesting to see how much of my High School physics will come back when I need to interpret the ideas herein. Several decades later when I went to University after many years of breeding and rearing I found the science of mathematics had moved well outside my comfort zone. The notion of an 'absolute' nearly had me withdrawing from the class and I had to keep getting help from young tutors who could certainly be my sons and even perhaps grandsons. Quite a struggle. Still I made it through and shall with this book I am sure.
Thanks for letting this book loose Gwilk, and thanks FC & MP for a very pleasant evening.

Journal Entry 9 by wingSherlockfanwing from Upper Hutt, Wellington Province New Zealand on Saturday, July 12, 2008
Well, alas time has flown and I'd temporarily mislaid this. Now I'm about to depart overseas and will be away until 20 Sept. MrFan is keen to read it also so unless I hear screams of protest from either Gwilk, or Awhina, who I will let know about this situation, I'll delay its forward passage. Need to know before about mid-day Tuesday if I am to send it on immediately to Awhina.

Journal Entry 10 by wingSherlockfanwing at Upper Hutt, Wellington Province New Zealand on Tuesday, May 07, 2013
I was unable to get response from Awhina, nor did gwilk respond when I asked whether, as it is officially a book Ray I could release it.
For too long it has been mouldering on my shelves and it is time for others to have the opportunity to read what is a really interesting and informative book.

Released 7 yrs ago (5/8/2013 UTC) at Fig Tree Cafe & Delicatessen in Upper Hutt, Wellington Province New Zealand


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