Monday, 10 April 2017

Von Neumann

OK. Poul Anderson quotes Whitehead. I referred to Whitehead's student, Russell, and to Russell's student, Wittgenstein, because both seemed relevant. Now a fourth relevant name comes up in Logicomix: von Neumann. See here.

There are Dirac-von Neumann axioms. See here. Dirac is a name known to readers of James Blish's works. See here and here.

Thus, Blish and Anderson wrote not only science fiction but also science fiction: fiction that was based on knowledge of the work of the foremost scientists of the twentieth century. We appreciate Blish and Anderson much more by learning a little more about the theories and theoreticians that they mention and imaginatively elaborate.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

What little I know about von Neumann came from reading both some of Fred Saberhagen's BERSERKER collections and Poul Anderson's stories "Epilogue" and "Deathwomb" (his contribution to the Berserker series).