22 September 2008

After working a few years in the CIA, someone wants to write a non-fiction memoir on her experience in Vienna and elsewhere. I agreed with the reporter that this would probably be a terrible book. But why?

The answer is as follows. Certain topics -- for whatever contingent or necessary reasons -- are too particular to express a universal appeal. The details obscure the message. They alienate the ignorant.

Why are there no mathematical thrillers?