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The Journal of Possible Things Posts

Genius at Play: A Brilliant Mathematician on Tinkering, Thinkering, and the Art of Being a Professional Nonunderstander – Brain Pickings

“A fine addition to the best science books of the year, Genius at Play: The Curious Mind of John Horton Conway (public library) by Siobhan Roberts is noteworthy for many reasons, among them the non-negligible fact of being a biography of a living subject — a task generally self-defeating (Susan Sontag famously proclaimed that “no biography makes sense that isn’t written after its subject is dead”) and rarely approached with as much tenacious graciousness as Roberts’s. That the subject is a man of enormous complexity and contradiction, with Richard Feynman’s charisma and Slavoj Žižek’s contrarian edge, only adds to the feat.”

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