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Mathematics

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  1. 10.8 hrs • 9/6/2016 • Unabridged

    The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space. Soon to be a major motion picture. Before John Glenn orbited Earth or Neil Armstrong walked on the Moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules, and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space. Among these problem-solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. Originally relegated to teaching math in the South’s segregated public schools, they were called into service during the labor shortages of World War II, when America’s aeronautics industry was in dire need of anyone who had the right stuff. Suddenly, these overlooked math whizzes had a shot at jobs worthy of their skills, and they answered Uncle Sam’s call, moving to Hampton, Virginia, and entering the fascinating, high-energy world of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory. Even as Virginia’s Jim Crow laws required them to be segregated from their white counterparts, the women of Langley’s all-black “West Computing” group helped America achieve one of the things it desired most: a decisive victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and complete domination of the heavens. Starting in World War II and moving through to the Cold War, the civil rights movement, and the space race, Hidden Figures follows the interwoven accounts of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden, four African American women who participated in some of NASA’s greatest successes. It chronicles their careers over nearly three decades as they faced challenges, forged alliances, and used their intellect to change their own lives and their country’s future.

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    Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

    Hidden Figures

    10.8 hrs • 9/6/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 0.4 hrs • 7/26/2016 • Unabridged

    The one hundred most important laws of formal logic are stated.

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  3. 14.6 hrs • 6/14/2016 • Unabridged

    A sweeping, in-depth history of NSA, whose famous “cult of silence” has left the agency shrouded in mystery for decades The National Security Agency was born out of the legendary codebreaking programs of World War II that cracked the famed Enigma machine and other German and Japanese codes, thereby turning the tide of Allied victory. In the postwar years, as the United States developed a new enemy in the Soviet Union, our intelligence community found itself targeting not soldiers on the battlefield, but suspected spies, foreign leaders, and even American citizens. Throughout the second half of the twentieth century, NSA played a vital, often fraught and controversial role in the major events of the Cold War, from the Korean War to the Cuban Missile Crisis to Vietnam and beyond. In Code Warriors, Stephen Budiansky—a longtime expert in cryptology—tells the fascinating story of how NSA came to be, from its roots in World War II through the fall of the Berlin Wall. Along the way, he guides us through the fascinating challenges faced by cryptanalysts, and how they broke some of the most complicated codes of the twentieth century. With access to new documents, Budiansky shows where the agency succeeded and failed during the Cold War, but his account also offers crucial perspective for assessing NSA today in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations. Budiansky shows how NSA’s obsession with recording every bit of data and decoding every signal is far from a new development; throughout its history the depth and breadth of the agency’s reach has resulted in both remarkable successes and destructive failures. Featuring a series of appendices that explain the technical details of Soviet codes and how they were broken, this is a rich and riveting history of the underbelly of the Cold War, and an essential and timely read for all who seek to understand the origins of the modern NSA.

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    Code Warriors

    14.6 hrs • 6/14/16 • Unabridged
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  4. 7.3 hrs • 6/1/2016 • Unabridged

    What are the chances? This is the question we ask ourselves when we encounter the strangest and most seemingly impossible coincidences, like the woman who won the lottery four times or the fact that Lincoln's dreams foreshadowed his own assassination. But, when we look at coincidences mathematically, the odds are a lot better than any of us would have thought. In Fluke, mathematician Joseph Mazur takes a second look at the seemingly improbable, sharing with us an entertaining guide to the most surprising moments in our lives. He takes us on a tour of the mathematical concepts of probability, such as the law of large numbers and the birthday paradox, and combines these concepts with lively anecdotes of flukes from around the world. How do you explain finding your college copy of Moby Dick in a used bookstore on the Seine on your first visit to Paris? How can a jury be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that DNA found at the scene of a heinous crime did not get there by some fluke? Should we be surprised if strangers named Maria and Francisco, seeking each other in a hotel lobby, accidentally meet the wrong Francisco and the wrong Maria, another pair of strangers also looking for each other? As Mazur reveals, if there is any likelihood that something could happen, no matter how small, it is bound to happen to someone at some time. In Fluke, Mazur offers us proof of the inevitability of the sublime and the unexpected. He has written a book that will appeal to anyone who has ever wondered how all of the tiny decisions that happen in our lives add up to improbable wholes. A must for math enthusiasts and storytellers alike, Fluke helps us to understand the true nature of chance.

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    Fluke

    Read by Tim Andres Pabon
    7.3 hrs • 6/1/16 • Unabridged
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  5. 0 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5
    9.3 hrs • 6/1/2016 • Unabridged

    Did you know that baseball players whose names begin with the letter D are more likely to die young? Or that Asian Americans are most susceptible to heart attacks on the fourth day of the month? Or that drinking a full pot of coffee every morning will add years to your life, but one cup a day increases the risk of pancreatic cancer? All of these “facts” have been argued with a straight face by credentialed researchers and backed up with reams of data and convincing statistics. As Nobel Prize–winning economist Ronald Coase once cynically observed, “If you torture data long enough, it will confess.” Lying with statistics is a time-honored con. In Standard Deviations, economics professor Gary Smith walks us through the various tricks and traps that people use to back up their own crackpot theories. Sometimes, the unscrupulous deliberately try to mislead us. Other times, the well-intentioned are blissfully unaware of the mischief they are committing. Today, data is so plentiful that researchers spend precious little time distinguishing between good, meaningful indicators and total rubbish. Not only do others use data to fool us, we fool ourselves. With the breakout success of Nate Silver’s The Signal and the Noise, the once humdrum subject of statistics has never been hotter. Drawing on breakthrough research in behavioral economics by luminaries like Daniel Kahneman and Dan Ariely and taking to task some of the conclusions of Freakonomics author Steven D. Levitt, Standard Deviations demystifies the science behind statistics and makes it easy to spot the fraud all around.

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    Standard Deviations

    9.3 hrs • 6/1/16 • Unabridged
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  6. 5.2 hrs • 4/5/2016 • Unabridged

    The tools you need to master the toughest negotiations you’ll ever face—those with your kids As every parent knows, kids are surprisingly clever negotiators. But how can we avoid those all-too-familiar wails, “That’s not fair!” and “You can’t make me!”? In The Game Theorist’s Guide to Parenting, journalist Paul Raeburn and game theorist Kevin Zollman pair up to highlight tactics from the worlds of economics and business that can help parents break the endless cycle of quarrels and ineffective solutions. They show that some of the same strategies successfully applied to big business deals and politics—such as the Prisoner’s Dilemma and the Ultimatum Game—can be used to solve such titanic, age-old parenting problems as dividing up toys, putting down those screens, and sticking to a bedtime. Raeburn and Zollman open each chapter with a common parenting dilemma, such as determining who started a fight or who gets a bedtime story first. Then they show how carefully concocted schemes involving bargains and fair incentives can save the day. Through smart case studies of game theory in action, Raeburn and Zollman reveal how parents and children devise strategies, where those strategies go wrong, and what we can do to help raise happy and savvy kids while keeping the rest of the family happy too. Delightfully witty, refreshingly irreverent, and just a bit Machiavellian, The Game Theorist’s Guide to Parenting looks past the fads to offer advice you can put into action today.

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    The Game Theorist’s Guide to Parenting by Paul Raeburn, Kevin Zollman
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  7. 3.0 hrs • 2/10/2016 • Unabridged

    Now available in audio for the first time! Darrell Huff’s celebrated classic How to Lie with Statistics is a straight-forward and engaging guide to understanding the manipulation and misrepresentation of information that could be lurking behind every graph, chart, and infographic. Originally published in 1954, it remains as relevant and necessary as ever in our digital world where information is king—and as easy to distort and manipulate as it is to access. A precursor to modern popular science books like Steven D. Levitt’s Freakonomics and Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, Huff runs the gamut of every popularly used type of statistic, probes such things as the sample study, the tabulation method, the interview technique, or the way the results are derived from the figures, and points up the countless number of dodges which are used to full rather than to inform. Critically acclaimed by media outlets like the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, How to Lie with Statistics stands as the go-to book for understanding the use of statistics by teachers and leaders everywhere.

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    How to Lie with Statistics

    3.0 hrs • 2/10/16 • Unabridged
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  8. 9.8 hrs • 1/19/2016 • Audio Theater

    Doctor Geek and friends return to continue their mission to investigate science inspired by fiction in the hope to encourage the exploration of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math). Season 2 Investigations: Episode 7 - Our Companion the Robot Investigation BeginsEpisode 8 - Cyber-WorldEpisode 9 - Karaoke ContestEpisode 9.5 - The Science of SantaEpisode 10 - 3D Printer Investigation BeginsEpisode 11 - Through the Looking GlassEpisode 12 - The SwarmEpisode 13 - Bionics Investigation BeginsEpisode 14 - Pedantic’s LabEpisode 15 - Night of the Working DeadSpecial Feature - Cast Interviews Science fiction meets real-world technology in Doctor Geek’s Laboratory, Season 2. It’s the twenty-first century—have you ever wondered what happened to all those inventions, conveniences, and other concepts the future was supposed to bring? Doctor Geek’s Laboratory, Season 2 explores all the realms of applied geekdom, examining the future that was, the future that is, and the future that has not yet come to pass. Dr. Scott Viguié created Doctor Geek’s Laboratory as an outreach to explore the exciting possibilities of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in the hope of bringing people closer to the scientists, inventors, entrepreneurs, tinkerers, and others who are attempting to bring about the world of tomorrow. Together we will help the future along—and give it a little push when needed. Viguié is an archaeologist and attorney who has done extensive research on myths and their impact on modern archaeology and storytelling. He is the creator of Dr. Geek’s Laboratory of Applied Geekdom, a website and podcast, where the audience is brought closer to those who are attempting to bring about the world of tomorrow. At the 2013 TimeGate science fiction convention Viguié was called the next Bill Nye. Doctor Geek’s Laboratory of Applied Geekdom is produced by Brazen Wench Productions, LLC, and distributed by Waterlogg Productions.

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    Doctor Geek’s Laboratory, Season 2 by Dr. Scott C. Viguié

    Doctor Geek’s Laboratory, Season 2

    Produced by Joe Bevilacqua
    Performed by a full cast
    9.8 hrs • 1/19/16 • Audio Theater
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  9. 6.8 hrs • 12/1/2015 • Unabridged

    Employing intuitive ideas from mathematics, this quirky “meta-memoir” raises questions about our lives that most of us don’t think to ask but arguably should: What part of memory is reliable fact, what part creative embellishment? Which favorite presuppositions are unfounded, which statistically biased? By conjoining two opposing mindsets—the suspension of disbelief required in storytelling and the skepticism inherent in the scientific method—bestselling mathematician John Allen Paulos has created an unusual hybrid, a composite of personal memories and mathematical approaches to reevaluating them. Entertaining vignettes from Paulos’ biography abound—ranging from a bullying math teacher and a fabulous collection of baseball cards to romantic crushes, a grandmother’s petty larceny, and his quite unintended role in getting George Bush elected president in 2000. These vignettes serve as springboards to many telling perspectives: simple arithmetic puts life-long habits in a dubious new light; higher dimensional geometry helps us see that we’re all rather peculiar; nonlinear dynamics explains the narcissism of small differences cascading into very different siblings; logarithms and exponentials yield insight on why we tend to become bored and jaded as we age; and there are tricks and jokes, probability and coincidences, and much more. For fans of Paulos or newcomers to his work, this witty commentary on his life—and yours—is fascinating listening.

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    A Numerate Life by John Allen Paulos

    A Numerate Life

    6.8 hrs • 12/1/15 • Unabridged
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  10. 8.3 hrs • 5/5/2015 • Unabridged

    What is math? How exactly does it work? And what do three siblings trying to share a cake have to do with it? In How to Bake Pi, math professor Eugenia Cheng provides an accessible introduction to the logic and beauty of mathematics, powered, unexpectedly, by insights from the kitchen: we learn, for example, how the béchamel in a lasagna can be a lot like the number five and why making a good custard proves that math is easy, but life is hard. Of course, it’s not all about cooking; we’ll also run the New York and Chicago marathons, take a closer look at St. Paul’s Cathedral, pay visits to Cinderella and Lewis Carroll, and even get to the bottom of why we think of a tomato as a vegetable. At the heart of it all is Cheng’s work on category theory, a cutting-edge “mathematics of mathematics,” which is about figuring out how math works. This is not the math of our high school classes: seen through category theory, mathematics becomes less about numbers and formulas and more about how we know, believe, and understand anything, including whether our brother took too much cake. Many of us think that math is hard, but, as Cheng makes clear, math is actually designed to make difficult things easier. Combined with her infectious enthusiasm for cooking and a true zest for life, Cheng’s perspective on math becomes this singular book: a funny, lively, and clear journey through a vast territory no popular book on math has explored before. How to Bake Pi offers a whole new way to think about a field all of us think we know; it will both dazzle the constant reader of popular mathematics and amuse and enlighten even the most hardened math-phobe. So, what is math? Let’s look for the answer in the kitchen.

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    How to Bake Pi

    8.3 hrs • 5/5/15 • Unabridged
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  11. 4.6 hrs • 4/1/2015 • Unabridged

    We weigh every significant decision based on how it will affect our future. But when it comes to figuring that out, we mostly make the process up as we go along. While financial professional Peter Neuwirth can’t help you actually predict the future, he can offer a simple, systematic way to make much better guesses about it—and so make better decisions. Neuwirth offers an accessible, step-by-step guide to using the powerful concept of Present Value—which allows you to determine the value today of something that might happen in the future—to evaluate all of the outcomes that might arise from choosing one path as opposed to another. Using examples that anyone can relate to, Neuwirth walks you through the process. Your old refrigerator doesn’t work as well as it used to—should you buy a new one right away or muddle through for a while? You’re offered a great discount on a service you don’t need at the moment but eventually will—buy the service now or wait? With just a little math and some common sense, you can compare future costs and benefits with present costs and benefits and make “apples to apples” comparisons. This book will be indispensable for anyone who has ever had to figure out whether to stick with an awful job or follow his or her bliss, fix that old car or buy a new one, increase 401(k) contributions or keep the same take-home pay, and a thousand other decisions.

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    What's Your Future Worth?

    4.6 hrs • 4/1/15 • Unabridged
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  12. 2.4 hrs • 2/3/2015 • Unabridged

    In this must-have for anyone who wants to better understand their love life, a mathematician pulls back the curtain and reveals the hidden patterns—from dating sites to divorce, sex to marriage—behind the rituals of love. The roller coaster of romance is hard to quantify; defining how lovers might feel from a set of simple equations is impossible. But that doesn’t mean that mathematics isn’t a crucial tool for understanding love.  Love, like most things in life, is full of patterns. And mathematics is ultimately the study of patterns—from predicting the weather to the fluctuations of the stock market, the movement of planets or the growth of cities. These patterns twist and turn and warp and evolve just as the rituals of love do. In The Mathematics of Love, Dr. Hannah Fry takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the patterns that define our love lives, applying mathematical formulas to the most common yet complex questions pertaining to love: What’s the chance of finding love? What’s the probability that it will last? How do online dating algorithms work, exactly? Can game theory help us decide who to approach in a bar? At what point in your dating life should you settle down? From evaluating the best strategies for online dating to defining the nebulous concept of beauty, Dr. Fry proves—with great insight, wit, and fun—that math is a surprisingly useful tool to negotiate the complicated, often baffling, sometimes infuriating, and always interesting mysteries of love.

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    The Mathematics of Love

    2.4 hrs • 2/3/15 • Unabridged
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  13. 5.9 hrs • 1/6/2015 • Unabridged

    The story of how we got our numbers—told through one mathematician’s journey to find zero The invention of numerals is perhaps the greatest abstraction the human mind has ever created. Virtually everything in our lives is digital, numerical, or quantified. The story of how and where we got these numerals, which we so depend on, has for thousands of years been shrouded in mystery. Finding Zero is an adventure-filled saga of Amir Aczel’s lifelong obsession: to find the original sources of our numerals. Aczel has doggedly crisscrossed the ancient world, scouring dusty, moldy texts, cross examining so-called scholars who offered wildly differing sets of facts, and ultimately penetrating deep into a Cambodian jungle to find a definitive proof. Here, he takes the reader along for the ride. The history begins with the early Babylonian cuneiform numbers, followed by the later Greek and Roman letter numerals. Then Aczel asks the key question: where do the numbers we use today, the so-called Hindu-Arabic numerals, come from? It is this search that leads him to explore uncharted territory, to go on a grand quest into India, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and ultimately into the wilds of Cambodia. There he is blown away to find the earliest zero—the keystone of our entire system of numbers—on a crumbling, vine-covered wall of a seventh-century temple adorned with eaten-away erotic sculptures. While on this odyssey, Aczel meets a host of fascinating characters: academics in search of truth, jungle trekkers looking for adventure, surprisingly honest politicians, shameless smugglers, and treacherous archaeological thieves—who finally reveal where our numbers come from.

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    Finding Zero by Amir D. Aczel

    Finding Zero

    Directed by Cassandra de Cuir
    5.9 hrs • 1/6/15 • Unabridged
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  14. 7.4 hrs • 12/1/2014 • Unabridged

    A fascinating guided tour of the complex, fast-moving, and influential world of algorithms—what they are, why they’re such powerful predictors of human behavior, and where they’re headed next Algorithms exert an extraordinary level of influence on our everyday lives, from dating websites and financial trading floors, through to online retailing and internet searches. Google’s search algorithm is now a more closely guarded commercial secret than the recipe for Coca-Cola. Algorithms follow a series of instructions to solve a problem and will include a strategy to produce the best outcome possible from the options and permutations available. Used by scientists for many years and applied in a very specialized way, they are now increasingly employed to process the vast amounts of data being generated, in investment banks, in the movie industry where they are used to predict success or failure at the box office, and by social scientists and policy makers. What if everything in life could be reduced to a simple formula? What if numbers were able to tell us which partners we were best matched with—not just in terms of attractiveness, but for a long-term committed marriage? Or if they could say which films would be the biggest hits at the box office, and what changes could be made to those films to make them even more successful? Or even who is likely to commit certain crimes, and when? This may sound like the world of science fiction, but in fact it is just the tip of the iceberg in a world that is increasingly ruled by complex algorithms and neural networks. In The Formula, Luke Dormehl takes readers inside the world of numbers, asking how we came to believe in the all-conquering power of algorithms; introducing the mathematicians, artificial intelligence experts, and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who are shaping this brave new world; and ultimately asking how we survive in an era where numbers can sometimes seem to create as many problems as they solve.

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    The Formula

    7.4 hrs • 12/1/14 • Unabridged
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  15. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    13.5 hrs • 6/3/2014 • Unabridged

    In How Not to Be Wrong, a math-world superstar unveils the hidden beauty and logic of the world and puts its power in our hands. The math we learn in school can seem like a dull set of rules, laid down by the ancients and not to be questioned. In How Not to Be Wrong, Jordan Ellenberg shows us how terribly limiting this view is. Math is not confined to abstract incidents that never occur in real life, but rather touches everything we do—the whole world is shot through with it. Math allows us to see the hidden structures underneath the messy and chaotic surface of our world. It’s a science of not being wrong, hammered out by centuries of hard work and argument. Armed with the tools of mathematics, we can see through to the true meaning of information we take for granted: How early should you get to the airport? What does “public opinion” really represent? Why do tall parents have shorter children? Who really won Florida in 2000? And how likely are you, really, to develop cancer? How Not to Be Wrong presents the surprising revelations behind all of these questions and many more, using the mathematician’s method of analyzing life and exposing the hard-won insights of the academic community to the layman—minus the jargon. Ellenberg chases mathematical threads through a vast range of time and space, from the everyday to the cosmic, encountering, among other things, baseball, Reaganomics, daring lottery schemes, Voltaire, the replication crisis in psychology, Italian Renaissance painting, artificial languages, the development of non-Euclidean geometry, the coming obesity apocalypse, Antonin Scalia’s views on crime and punishment, the psychology of slime molds, what Facebook can and can’t figure out about you, and the existence of God. Ellenberg pulls from history as well as from the latest theoretical developments to provide those not trained in math with the knowledge they need. Math, as Ellenberg says, is “an atomic-powered prosthesis that you attach to your common sense, vastly multiplying its reach and strength.” With the tools of mathematics in hand, you can understand the world in a deeper, more meaningful way. How Not to Be Wrong will show you how.

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    How Not to Be Wrong

    13.5 hrs • 6/3/14 • Unabridged
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  16. 9.2 hrs • 6/1/2014 • Unabridged

    A “skillful, literate” (New York Times Book Review) biography of the persecuted genius who helped create the modern computer To solve one of the great mathematical problems of his day, Alan Turing proposed an imaginary computer. Then, attempting to break a Nazi code during World War II, he successfully designed and built one, thus ensuring the Allied victory. Turing became a champion of artificial intelligence, but his work was cut short. As an openly gay man at a time when homosexuality was illegal in England, he was convicted and forced to undergo a humiliating “treatment” that may have led to his suicide. With a novelist’s sensitivity, David Leavitt portrays Turing in all his humanity—his eccentricities, his brilliance, his fatal candor—and elegantly explains his work and its implications.

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    The Man Who Knew Too Much by David Leavitt
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