Sunday, June 3, 2012
A confession and cautionary tale
On my most recent excursion to Powell's City of Books—a store so densely packed with books that it threatens to turn into a neutron star—I chanced across Raghavan Iyer's 660 Curries. This number immediately struck me as altogether too many curries, and I am ashamed to say that I inwardly laughed at the book. But if my studies in science, philosophy, and math have taught me anything, it is that even our strongest intuitions often turn out to be false. And sure enough, on more careful reflection, I realized that in fact I had no good reason to believe that 660 curries was not after all a perfectly good number of curries, or even far too few curries. Thus were exposed, with humiliating finality, all of my fashionable, sophisticated pretensions about curries.