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Manny Rayner's book reviews

I love reviewing books - have been doing it at Goodreads, but considering moving here.

Currently reading

The Greatest Show On Earth: The Evidence For Evolution
Richard Dawkins
R in Action
Robert Kabacoff
Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies
Douglas R. Hofstadter
McGee on Food and Cooking: An Encyclopedia of Kitchen Science, History and Culture
Harold McGee
Epistemic Dimensions of Personhood
Simon Evnine
Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning (Information Science and Statistics)
Christopher M. Bishop
Relativity, Thermodynamics and Cosmology
Richard C. Tolman
The Cambridge Handbook of Second Language Acquisition
Julia Herschensohn, Martha Young-Scholten
Marcel Duchamp (World of Art) - Dawn Ades, Neil Cox, David  Hopkins Yesterday, and rather against our better judgement, we visited the Tate Gallery in Saint Ives, where they had just opened an exhibition called The Indiscipline of Painting. It was pretty much what you would expect from the title. As usual in these things, the name Marcel Duchamp came up a few times.

Duchamp was not just an artist but also a strong chess player. (He once beat Koltanowski as Black in 15 moves). I started to wonder, however, what his chess games would have looked like if he had followed the same principles at the chessboard as he did when composing his most famous works of art. Here's an attempt at a reconstruction:

NN - Duchamp

1. e4?

Banal and tired, without a shred of originality. White conventionally attempts to develop his pieces and control the center.

1... a5!!?


The rest of this review is in my book If Research Were Romance and Other Implausible Conjectures