Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Metaphors-R-Us: A New Book Explains How Math is Rooted in Metaphors, notDivine Inspiration," by John Allen Paulos., 1 February 2002.

Paulos contends that the film A Beautiful Mind perpetuates the beliefsthat "you're born with mathematical talent or you're not; one solves mathproblems instantaneously, and/or the source of mathematical insight isunfathomable." He happily reports that Where Mathematics Comes From, abook by linguist George Lakoff and psychologist Rafael Nunez, combats theseimpressions. But Paulos also concludes that both works "remind us of the warmbodies from which this beauty [of mathematics] arises."

--- Annette Emerson