A Good Read for a Mathematician Caught in a Pandemic

Before I talk about today’s topic, here is today’s Santa Clara county Coronavirus update:

The 5-day moving average of daily new cases remains about 1.5%.


During the shelter-in-place hours at home, I have been catching up on reading. In order to perk up my spirits I’ve been doing more light reading than I usually do. I’m currently reading Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar… by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein. It’s a highly entertaining exposition of topics in philosophy exemplified through jokes. Philosophy topics often overlap with mathematics. I have been interested in not only the common areas of philosophy and math, but in philosophy in general. Although I haven’t studied philosophy to any great depth, I enjoy reading about philosophy and pondering its many questions and answers. For me, this book’s light approach to philosophy make it the perfect read during these uncertain times.

One of my favorite jokes in the book comes in the discussion of free will versus determinism. I finish today’s post with the joke (taken verbatim from Cathcart and Klein) and hope it brings some cheer to your day:

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