By Martin Gardner
"Gardner's Whys and Wherefores contains articles at the puzzles in James Joyce's Ulysses and at the fantasies of Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, Lord Dunsany, Gilbert Chesterton, and H. G. Wells. Gardner expresses powerful critiques concerning the "anthropic principle," laptop video games able to researching medical legislation, the philosophy of W. V. Quine, Marvin Minsky's view of the workings of the brain, the idiosyncracies of social theorist Allan Bloom, the truth of unknown digits that "sleep" in pi, and even if physicists are particularly at the verge of getting to know Everything."--BOOK JACKET.
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Extra info for Gardner's Whys & Wherefores
Santa'ana, Persons and Places (Scribners, 1943), page 197. Santayana's failure to mention Casey may be accounted for, in part, by the fact that he greatly preferred football to baseball. 35 ESSAYS thoughts on paper. Then it was too late. "9 But posterity's judgments are hard to anticipate. Thayer's writing career was no strike out. He swatted one magnificent home run, Casey at the Bat; and as long as baseball is played on this old earth, on Mudville, the air will be shattered over and over again by the force of Casey's blow.
The results of their sensory readings are transmitted to the computer, where they are systematically searched for patterns that confirm or falsify old conjectures and suggest new ones. On the basis of this analysis, more instructions are issued to the robots. The scientist has become an outsider. His job is to see that the lab operates smoothly and to make sure that its discoveries are promptly reported to other research centers around the world and translated into new technology. Recent research on what are called computer "induction programs" suggests that this picture may not be as visionary as it seems.
It set off flares, mortar shells, and bazookas. It shouted at the birds through loudspeakers. It hoisted scarecrows. The friendly gooney birds (as they are called by the local sailors) seemed to enjoy watching these antics. The Navy destroyed the nests. The goonies made new ones. Finally, more drastic steps had to be taken. The birds show no fear of man, so it was easy to capture them, put them in sealed chambers, and kill them with carbon monoxide from Navy truck exhausts. Quite apart from all this, about one hundred albatrosses are killed each week by flying into a huge antenna of guy wires on Eastern Island.