John K Clark (
Mon, 20 Jan 1997 09:48:35 -0800 (PST)


On Sun, 19 Jan 1997 Eliezer Yudkowsky <> Wrote:

>Sounds a lot like Raymond Smullyan's "The Tao Is Silent".
>(Note: Raymond Smullyan also wrote "First-Order Logic".)

There is no doubt that Smullyan is a mystic and I don't agree with everything
in "The Tao Is Silent" but it is an absolutely wonderful and brilliant book.
Before I read Smullyan I thought that all mystics were fools, now I know that
is not true, only most of them are. Other first rate books by Smullyan
everybody should read are "5000 BC", "Forever Undecided", "To Mock A
Mockingbird", and two of my favorite titles for books, "What Is The Name Of
This Book?" and "This Book Needs No Title". It's not often you can find
Philosophy books that have real depth but are full of humor and are such fun
to read. He also wrote a more technical book "Theory Of Formal Systems".
I try to read everything by Smullyan I can get my hands on, except for some
of his books on Chess.

On Mon, 20 Jan 1997 "Roderick A. Carder-Russell" <> Wrote:

>Another fun book to read on the subject of dimensions (and I
>believe this was mentioned in Rucker's book too) is "Flatland"
>by Edwin A. Abbott (check the spelling of the last name). It
>doesn't deal directly with the fourth dimension, but presents
>a very fun and lively debate on the problems and wonders of
>discovering higher dimensions, through the eyes of a character
>named a^2.

Yes,"Flatland" is a remarkable book, especially when you consider that Abbott
wrote it in 1880. About a hundred years later Dionys Burger wrote a sequel
called "Sphereland" to popularize some mathematical ideas Abbott didn't
mention. I think this is a rare case where the sequel is better than the
original. Your spelling is correct.

John K Clark

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