New & Forthcoming
Directions & Parking
Shipping & Returns
The Nothing That Is: A Natural History of Zero (New)
by Kaplan, Robert
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Book ID: 9780195142372, 0195142373
Usually available in 3-5 days
A symbol for what is not there, an emptiness that increases any number it's added to, an inexhaustible and indispensable paradox. As we enter the year 2000, zero is once again making its presence felt. Nothing itself, it makes possible a myriad of calculations. Indeed, without zero mathematics as we know it would not exist. And without mathematics our understanding of the universe would be vastly impoverished. But where did this nothing, this hollow circle, come from? Who created it? And what, exactly, does it mean?
Robert Kaplan's The Nothing That Is: A Natural History of Zero begins as a mystery story, taking us back to Sumerian times, and then to Greece and India, piecing together the way the idea of a symbol for nothing evolved. Kaplan shows us just how handicapped our ancestors were in trying to figure large sums without the aid of the zero. (Try multiplying CLXIV by XXIV). Remarkably, even the Greeks, mathematically brilliant as they were, didn't have a zero--or did they? We follow the trail to the East where, a millennium or two ago, Indian mathematicians took another crucial step. By treating zero for the first time like any other number, instead of a unique symbol, they allowed huge new leaps forward in computation, and also in our understanding of how mathematics itself works.
In the Middle Ages, this mathematical knowledge swept across western Europe via Arab traders. At first it was called "dangerous Saracen magic" and considered the Devil's work, but it wasn't long before merchants and bankers saw how handy this magic was, and used it to develop tools like double-entry bookkeeping. Zero quickly became an essential part of increasingly sophisticated equations, and with the invention of calculus, one could say it was a linchpin of the scientific revolution. And now even deeper layers of this thing that is nothing are coming to light: our computers speak only in zeros and ones, and modern mathematics shows that zero alone can be made to generate everything.
Robert Kaplan serves up all this history with immense zest and humor; his writing is full of anecdotes and asides, and quotations from Shakespeare to Wallace Stevens extend the book's context far beyond the scope of scientific specialists. For Kaplan, the history of zero is a lens for looking not only into the evolution of mathematics but into very nature of human thought. He points out how the history of mathematics is a process of recursive abstraction: how once a symbol is created to represent an idea, that symbol itself gives rise to new operations that in turn lead to new ideas. The beauty of mathematics is that even though we invent it, we seem to be discovering something that already exists.
The joy of that discovery shines from Kaplan's pages, as he ranges from Archimedes to Einstein, making fascinating connections between mathematical insights from every age and culture. A tour de force of science history, The Nothing That Is takes us through the hollow circle that leads to infinity.
The Sworn Book of Honorius: Liber Iuratus Honorii
Honorius of Thebes
Ibis Press / Nicolas-Hayes
As the title testifies, students were sworn to secrecy before being given access to this magic text, and only a few manuscripts have survived. Bits of its teachings, such as the use of the magic whistle for summoning spirits, are alluded to in other texts. Another key element of its ritual, the elaborate Seal of God, has been found in texts and amulets throughout Europe.
Interest in The Sworn Book of Honorius has grown in recent years, yet no modern translations have been attemptedunt...
The House of Owls
Yale University Press
For a quarter century, Tony Angell and his family shared the remarkable experience of closely observing pairs of western screech owls that occupied a nesting box outside their forest home. The journals the author recorded his observations in, and the captivating drawings he created, form the heart of this compelling book a personal account of an artist-naturalist s life with owls. Angell s extensive illustrations show owls engaged in what owls do hunting, courting, raising families, and exercisi...More
The Blazing Dew of Stars
Smith, David Chaim
London: Fulgur Limited, 2013. Limited to 1001 copies only. Square landscape folio. For those who have had the joy of handling and experiencing The Sacrificial Universe
released last year, this new book will continue that fine tradition. The Blazing Dew of Stars
is a complex mystical text which speaks with many voices to introduce the practice of Kabbalistic contemplative alchemy. The volume offers glimpses of a rare view of direct application and immersion into the Real, intertwini...More
Beyond the Mauve Zone. Enhanced Edition.
London: Starfire Publishing, 2016. Limited Edition. A new, enhanced edition of BEYOND THE MAUVE ZONE, fully corrected by Michael Staley using Kenneth Grant's personal copy with his annotations. The volume has also been re-set, and includes a new index that should prove most useful. A FINE CLOTH COPY in illustrated dust jacket. Custom end papers. Colored frontispiece, and twenty-four page plate section with the majority of the images being in color. 324 pages, indexed. Octavo. This is the eighth,...More
Jailbreaking the Goddess: A Radical Revisioning of Feminist Spirituality
Allen, Lasara Firefox
Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
"Jailbreaking the Goddess
is an important contribution to the writings on Goddess tradition and feminist spirituality. . . . I love her political savvy, her sensitivity around issues of diversity and cultural awareness and appropriation, and her unabashed celebration of pleasure, sensuality, and life!" -- Starhawk
Jailbreaking the Goddess is a revolutionary revisioning of the feminine divine. Where the maiden, mother, crone archetypal system is tied to female biology and physic...