Archive for February 22nd, 2012

Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea

Thoughts    Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea by Charles Seife, Viking Penguin 2000, 248 pages.

Hardback; from the library. Nonfiction: Science genre.

FIRST Sentence: “Zero hit the USS Yorktown like a torpedo.”

I loved that this started with a story of how a computer program includes a zero where a zero should never be: in the denominator of a fraction; in a “CANNOT-HAPPEN” equation that attempts to divide something by zero. Program fails, engines seize, big boat stops. In this case, a billion-dollar missile cruiser stuck on the open seas.

The history was fascinating but a little over-bearing and repetitive that “zero was bad.” A few uninteresting tidbits that stopped the narrative for me and made me question why these tidbits were included. Sure, a fair share of complicated mathematical concepts that didn’t inspire me to think at all.

RECOMMENDED for math geeks and ‘odd subject’ historians; possibly for fans of the Big Bang Theory TV show.

FINAL Thought(s):  One of the more difficult to write reviews because I fail to find the words for why this didn’t captivate me as much as I had hoped.

RATING: Three slices of pie. Coconut pie because it seems you either love coconut or hate it. Infinity or zero.


OTHER Reviews:  Eva at A Striped Armchair mentions this in a lengthy post from 2009.


Copyright © 2007-2012. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

I prefer pi.


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,807 other followers

Twitter Updates

Just shopping at our favorite local beer store... #EstherFest #griffology #beer


February 2012
« Jan   Mar »

Copyright Notice

Creative Commons License
Care's Online Book Club text & images by Care is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,807 other followers