BKFVGLDR.RVW 961011
"Five Golden Rules", John L. Casti, 1996, 0-471-00261-5,
U$24.95/C$34.95/UK#16.99
%A John L. Casti casti@santafe.edu
%C 5353 Dundas Street West, 4th Floor, Etobicoke, ON M9B 6H8
%D 1996
%G 0-471-00261-5
%I Wiley
%O U$24.95/C$34.95/UK#16.99 416-236-4433 fax: 416-236-4448
%P 235
%T "Five Golden Rules"
Casti's book is readable and enjoyable. In most ways he has done a good job of
taking complex mathematical ideas and making them accessible to his target
audience of the intelligent and somewhat informed layperson. In most ways, but
not all. Casti gives us, here, a kind of "Hale's Tour", complete with the
excitement and imagery of the trip, the rattling and shaking that makes us
think we are on the trolley through Mathmagicland, but in the end--we haven't
gone anywhere.
Take the chapter on the Halting Theorem and the Turing machine. We are told
that every Turing machine can do what every other Turning machine can do, but
not why, that the introduction of internal states does not change what a Turing
machine can do, but not why, and the Halting Theorem--but not how it was
proved. We then move to Godel's Theorem, and prove it (sort of). But while
there are "obvious" similarities between the two theorems, proof of the Halting
Theorem is left incomplete.
copyright Robert M. Slade, 1996 BKFVGLDR.RVW 961011
======================
roberts@decus.ca rslade@vcn.bc.ca slade@freenet.victoria.bc.ca
link to virus, book info at http://www.freenet.victoria.bc.ca/techrev/rms.html
Author "Robert Slade's Guide to Computer Viruses" 0-387-94663-2 (800-SPRINGER)