Infinity expert A.W. Moore compares David Foster Wallace’s Everything and More against two other books specializing in the subject and concludes that DFW is wrong: “The sections on set theory, in particular, are a disaster. When he lists the standard axioms of set theory from which mathematicians derive theorems about the iterative conception of a set, he gets the very first one wrong. (It is not, as Wallace says, that if two sets have the same members, then they are the same size. It is that two sets never do have the same members.)…He goes on to discuss Cantor’s unsolved problem, which I mentioned at the end of the previous paragraph. There are many different, equivalent ways of formulating the problem; Wallace gives four. The first and fourth are fine. The second, about whether the real numbers ‘constitute’ the set of sets of rational numbers, does not, as it stands, make sense. And the third, about whether the cardinal that measures the size of the set of real numbers can be obtained by raising 2 to the power of the smallest infinite cardinal, is simply wrong: we know it can.”
Heather Havrilesky interviews David Callahan, author of The Cheating Culture: Why More Americans Are Doing Wrong to Get Ahead.
Bernard Goldberg’s Arrogance has sold considerably short of sales. Retailers will get a half-price credit. And to think that a little less than two years ago, Goldberg was the man of the hour. All demagogues fall. When Ann Coulter?
Dave Eggers may write the script for Where the Wild Things Are for Spike Jonze. Oh no. (via Maud)
And if you haven’t seen this end-of-the-year wrapup yet with the bookblog cabal, check it out.