segunda-feira, 28 de dezembro de 2009


Na "New Scientist" de 16 de Dezembro, Melanie Bayley escreve sobre "Alice no País das Maravilhas" do clérigo e matemático Lewis Carrol, argumentando que é preciso saber a história da matemática no século XIX para compreender a ficção. Um excerto:
"Take the chapter "Advice from a caterpillar", for example. By this point, Alice has fallen down a rabbit hole and eaten a cake that has shrunk her to a height of just 3 inches. Enter the Caterpillar, smoking a hookah pipe, who shows Alice a mushroom that can restore her to her proper size. The snag, of course, is that one side of the mushroom stretches her neck, while another shrinks her torso. She must eat exactly the right balance to regain her proper size and proportions.

While some have argued that this scene, with its hookah and "magic mushroom", is about drugs, I believe it's actually about what Dodgson saw as the absurdity of symbolic algebra, which severed the link between algebra, arithmetic and his beloved geometry. "

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1 comentário:

  1. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

    " Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, 'and what is the use of a book,' thought Alice 'without pictures or conversation?'
    So she was considering in her own mind (as well as she could, for the hot day made her feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth the trouble of getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her.
    There was nothing so very remarkable in that; nor did Alice think it so very much out of the way to hear the Rabbit say to itself, 'Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!' (when she thought it over afterwards, it occurred to her that she ought to have wondered at this, but at the time it all seemed quite natural); but when the Rabbit actually took a watch out of its waistcoat-pocket, and looked at it, and then hurried on, Alice started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a watch to take out of it, and burning with curiosity, she ran across the field after it, and fortunately was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge.
    In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again. "

    Américo Tavares


1) Identifique-se com o seu verdadeiro nome.
2) Seja respeitoso e cordial, ainda que crítico. Argumente e pense com profundidade e seriedade e não como quem "manda bocas".
3) São bem-vindas objecções, correcções factuais, contra-exemplos e discordâncias.