Zeno s Paradox

Author: Joseph Mazur
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9780452289178
Format: PDF, Kindle
Download Now
Traces the epic history of ancient Greek philosopher Zeno's yet-unsolved paradox of motion, citing the contributions of such top minds as Aristotle, Newton, and Hawking to furthering the scientific community's understanding of the elusive basic structure of time and space. Originally published as The Motion Paradox. Reprint.

What s Luck Got to Do with It

Author: Joseph Mazur
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400834457
Format: PDF
Download Now
Why do so many gamblers risk it all when they know the odds of winning are against them? Why do they believe dice are "hot" in a winning streak? Why do we expect heads on a coin toss after several flips have turned up tails? What's Luck Got to Do with It? takes a lively and eye-opening look at the mathematics, history, and psychology of gambling to reveal the most widely held misconceptions about luck. It exposes the hazards of feeling lucky, and uses the mathematics of predictable outcomes to show when our chances of winning are actually good. Mathematician Joseph Mazur traces the history of gambling from the earliest known archaeological evidence of dice playing among Neolithic peoples to the first systematic mathematical studies of games of chance during the Renaissance, from government-administered lotteries to the glittering seductions of grand casinos, and on to the global economic crisis brought on by financiers' trillion-dollar bets. Using plenty of engaging anecdotes, Mazur explains the mathematics behind gambling--including the laws of probability, statistics, betting against expectations, and the law of large numbers--and describes the psychological and emotional factors that entice people to put their faith in winning that ever-elusive jackpot despite its mathematical improbability. As entertaining as it is informative, What's Luck Got to Do with It? demonstrates the pervasive nature of our belief in luck and the deceptive psychology of winning and losing. Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.

Law in the Time of Oxymora

Author: Rostam J. Neuwirth
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 135117018X
Format: PDF, Kindle
Download Now
What do different concepts like true lie, bad luck, honest thief, old news, spacetime, glocalization, symplexity, sustainable development, constant change, soft law, substantive due process, pure law, bureaucratic efficiency and global justice have in common? What connections do they share with innumerable paradoxes, like the ones of happiness, time, globalization, sex, and of free will and fate? Law in the Time of Oxymora provides answers to these conundrums by critically comparing the apparent rise in recent years of the use of rhetorical figures called "essentially oxymoronic concepts" (i.e. oxymoron, enantiosis and paradoxes) in the areas of art, science and law. Albeit to varying degrees, these concepts share the quality of giving expression to apparent contradictions. Through this quality, they also challenge the scientific paradigm rooted in the dualistic thinking and binary logic that is traditionally used in the West, as opposed to the East, where a paradoxical mode of thinking and fuzzy logic is said to have been cultivated. Following a review of oxymora and paradoxes in art and various scientific writings, hundreds of "hard cases" featuring oxymora and a comprehensive review of the legal literature are discussed, revealing evidence suggesting that the present scientific paradigm of dualism alone will no longer be able to tackle the challenges arising from increasing diversity and complexity coupled with an apparent acceleration of change. Law in the Time of Oxymora reaches the surprising conclusion that essentially oxymoronic concepts may inaugurate a new era of cognition, involving the ways the senses interact and how we reason, think and make decisions in law and in life.

The Illusion of Will Self and Time

Author: Jonathan Bricklin
Publisher: SUNY Press
ISBN: 1438456271
Format: PDF, Mobi
Download Now
Discusses how William James’s work suggests a world without will, self, or time and how research supports this perspective. William James is often considered a scientist compromised by his advocacy of mysticism and parapsychology. Jonathan Bricklin argues James can also be viewed as a mystic compromised by his commitment to common sense. James wanted to believe in will, self, and time, but his deepest insights suggested otherwise. “Is consciousness already there waiting to be uncovered and is it a veridical revelation of reality?” James asked shortly before his death in 1910. A century after his death, research from neuroscience, physics, psychology, and parapsychology is making the case, both theoretically and experimentally, that answers James’s question in the affirmative. By separating what James passionately wanted to believe, based on common sense, from what his insights and researches led him to believe, Bricklin shows how James himself laid the groundwork for this more challenging view of existence. The non-reality of will, self, and time is consistent with James’s psychology of volition, his epistemology of self, and his belief that Newtonian, objective, even-flowing time does not exist.

Euclid in the Rainforest

Author: Joseph Mazur
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101664878
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
Like Douglas Hofstadter’s Gödel, Escher, Bach, and David Berlinski’s A Tour of the Calculus, Euclid in the Rainforest combines the literary with the mathematical to explore logic—the one indispensable tool in man’s quest to understand the world. Underpinning both math and science, it is the foundation of every major advancement in knowledge since the time of the ancient Greeks. Through adventure stories and historical narratives populated with a rich and quirky cast of characters, Mazur artfully reveals the less-than-airtight nature of logic and the muddled relationship between math and the real world. Ultimately, Mazur argues, logical reasoning is not purely robotic. At its most basic level, it is a creative process guided by our intuitions and beliefs about the world.

Enlightening Symbols

Author: Joseph Mazur
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400850118
Format: PDF, Kindle
Download Now
While all of us regularly use basic math symbols such as those for plus, minus, and equals, few of us know that many of these symbols weren't available before the sixteenth century. What did mathematicians rely on for their work before then? And how did mathematical notations evolve into what we know today? In Enlightening Symbols, popular math writer Joseph Mazur explains the fascinating history behind the development of our mathematical notation system. He shows how symbols were used initially, how one symbol replaced another over time, and how written math was conveyed before and after symbols became widely adopted. Traversing mathematical history and the foundations of numerals in different cultures, Mazur looks at how historians have disagreed over the origins of the numerical system for the past two centuries. He follows the transfigurations of algebra from a rhetorical style to a symbolic one, demonstrating that most algebra before the sixteenth century was written in prose or in verse employing the written names of numerals. Mazur also investigates the subconscious and psychological effects that mathematical symbols have had on mathematical thought, moods, meaning, communication, and comprehension. He considers how these symbols influence us (through similarity, association, identity, resemblance, and repeated imagery), how they lead to new ideas by subconscious associations, how they make connections between experience and the unknown, and how they contribute to the communication of basic mathematics. From words to abbreviations to symbols, this book shows how math evolved to the familiar forms we use today.

Fluke

Author: Joseph Mazur
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
ISBN: 1780749015
Format: PDF, ePub
Download Now
What are the chances?! This exclamation greets the scarcely believable coincidence – you’re picked up by the same taxi driver several years and thousands of miles apart or, in a second-hand bookshop far from home, you find your own childhood copy of Winnie-the-Pooh on the shelf. But the unlikely is more probable than you think. Against every fibre of common sense, the fact is that it’s quite likely that some squirrel, somewhere, will be struck by lightning as it crosses the road. The chaos and unpredictability of our lives is an illusion. There is a rational order to the universe, and it’s called mathematics. Fluke is a fascinating investigation into the true nature of chance, a must-read for maths enthusiasts and avid storytellers alike, it tears down the veil of improbability to reveal the wonderfully possible.