Sunday, August 01, 2021

Logic is indeed sexy

"I will submit to you today that logic is indeed sexy. Logic is fact in a world of fiction, truth in a society of lies, and light in the shadows. Logic will never betray you, deceive you, or disappoint you. It will guide you and illuminate your path ahead. Logic provides the loyalty, security, and friendship that many of you hope to find in a spouse someday. What could be sexier than that?"

The Tree of Knowledge, by Daniel G. Miller, is not about eating the forbidden fruit. Rather it maps the exciting intricacy of decision trees onto a world peopled by math professors and corrupt politicians. (And it's also a love story. [Isn't everything?])

I admire this thriller's ambition, and I loved the the idea of the puzzles (though they were rather simplistic, and would not realistically pose a challenge to students of logic), but the premise was a stretch. The characters were thin — there were a few I couldn't keep straight, many of them were interchangeable — and not believable.

Useful life lesson reminders: Break everything down into discrete challenges; it makes overwhelming goals manageable, reachable. Clear your mind of assumptions, images, emotions; focus on pure information. [But, I remind myself: Sometimes the emotion is the information.]

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