BookshelfJacob deGroot-Maggetti

Shape: The Hidden Geometry of Information, Biology, Strategy, Democracy, and Everything Else – Jordan Ellenberg

Thoughts: Quite enjoyed reading this one up until the last few chapters which, while covering interesting subject matter, became a bit plodding (or perhaps it’s just because I’d heard Ellenberg talk about those topics on a podcast before deciding to read the book). Loved all the small digressions where characters from throughout history are introduced with anecdotes about their lives.

(The notes below are not a summary of the book, but rather raw notes - whatever I thought, at the time, might be worth remembering. I read this as an e-book, so page numbers are as they appeared in the app I used, Libby.)

Ellenberg, Jordan. 2021. Shape: The Hidden Geometry of Information, Biology, Strategy, Democracy, and Everything Else. Penguin Press.

Introduction: Where Things Are and What They Look Like

Chapter 1: “I Vote for Euclid”

Chapter 2: How Many Holes Does a Straw Have?

Chapter 3: Giving the Same Name to Different Things

Chapter 4: A Fragment of the Sphinx

Chapter 5: “His Style Was Invincibility”

Chapter 6: The Mysterious Power of Trial and Error

Chapter 7: Artificial Intelligence as Mountaineering

Chapter 8: You Are Your Own Negative-First Cousin, and Other Maps

Chapter 9: Three Years of Sundays

Chapter 10: What Happened Today Will Happen Tomorrow

Chapter 11: The Terrible Law of Increase

Chapter 12: The Smoke in the Leaf

Chapter 13: A Rumple in Space

Chapter 14: How Math Broke Democracy (And Might Still Save It)

Conclusion: I Prove a Theorem and the House Expands

Posted: Jan 14, 2022. Last updated: Jan 14, 2022.