Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Group minds": Review of The One True Platonic Heaven, by John L. Casti.Reviewed by Roy Herbert. NewScientist, 19 April 2003, page 45.

John Casti's latest book is a work of "science fiction", as he puts it---butaccording to this review, it is not science fiction in the usual sense of theterm. Rather, it is a story set at the Institute for Advanced Study inPrinceton, New Jersey, and features as characters scientists and mathematicianswho were on the faculty there, such as John von Neumann, Kurt Göaut;del,and Albert Einstein. The reviewer found some of the characters' discussions"fascinating" but also expressed some reservations. "There is a lot of valuehere, but the plan of the book is far from easy, and might be bewildering,"Herbert writes. "In spite of the people in it having existed, the paradox isthat they don't seem ever to come alive."

--- Allyn Jackson