The Fractalist: Benoit B. Mandelbrot

The Fractalist: Benoit B. Mandelbrot is a memoir about the life of a highly gifted mathematician, who identified himself as a Maverick who didn’t agree with the current trends. He grew up Jewish in Poland before World War II and later left to France and then later the United States. It goes into a lot of his early life, growing up and the influences of hist parents, mathemetician uncle in Pre-War Poland that at the time had Elementary schools that were very well run with very bright teachers. In those days, there were few opportunities to work in academic research so many very talented people taught in the schools. His family was lucky and were spared the worst of the holocaust, but were lucky to have escaped, but experienced the discrimination that others felt. Those who are involved in math and computer graphics are probably familiar with his Mandelbrot Set, though influenced by his discovery that Fractals are what nature and much of life is made of, giving order to randomness.

Review on New York Times

Biography and other works

Arguably: Essays

¬†Arguably: Essays by Christopher Hitchens, is a book of Hitchen’s essays, that was published near the end of his life. It includes all the articles that he wrote for various publications such as Vanity Fair, Slate and The Atlantic, in addition to writing several books. The essays are well thought out and written. Hitchens was very sharp, thoughtful and a real intelligent critical thinker who didn’t suffer fools gladly. Although he is a self-avowed atheist to his death, the first article “The God of Our Fathers: The United States of Enlightenment” discusses very eloquently about how religious beliefs played out with the Founders of the United States. The subject is one that addressing in a more thoughtful, nuanced way benefits.