Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Golden Section

The Golden Section, by Scott Olsen, is not worth your time. It's a book about Phi, the Golden Ratio, (1+√5)/2, 1.618033989ish, the "deepest mystery on earth." It explains none of the many properties of Phi that it presents, in the hopes of selling you on the mystery. Very little of what Olsen says is technically wrong, but it still leaves my with a kind of snake-oil salesman feeling. Of course, it does have pretty pictures, and it's over quick, so that's something. It also has a nice iridescent title.

If you want a small book full of pretty pictures and snake oil, along with some references to actual mathematics, then The Golden Section will do nicely. If you don't want that, then try anything else.

P.S. Man, if only someone would make like a cool series of videos explaining the properties of Phi so that it would seem less mysterious and people wouldn't fall for the snake oil. That would be neat.

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