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A New Book – Bits of Complexity

Bits of Complexity

I’ve helped bring a new book into the world and thought I’d take a moment to talk about the book and the process.

Do you remember that old problem about dividing a number by two if it’s even, and multiplying it by three and adding one if it’s odd? If you repeat that enough for any number, it always gets to 1. But nobody has ever proved that it does for all numbers. (we just had no example where it didn’t work)

Well, that’s changing…

I’ve got a proof

The short story helps the reader understand more about the problem, think in ways that line up with what’s going on, and then shares the proof in a reasonably easy to understand format.

Well – I tried;-)

Here’s a promise – if it doesn’t line up for you, I’ll do my best to help explain it.

But getting the book out was a bit of an effort…


Putting your name out there under the proof of a rather difficult math problem is a bit daunting. Happily I’m doing it anyway, and actually feel comfortable that the proof, story, and book itself don’t suck.

Up from there…

And given that lofty starting point, I’m hopeful readers at least agree with me on that.

The Long Process

People might ask – well, how long did it take to write that book?

The real answer is four months shy of 54 years…

Sure – technically you could say the book “started” when I had the proof, didn’t see a way to realistically publish it traditionally, and came up with the notion of sharing it through a story in the way that Edwin Abbott created Flatland.

That process got bogged down with thinking, designing, and life.

Even after I had the story reasonably complete, I realized I wanted the imagery, and that took another effort.

The nuts and bolts of putting the book together was straight forward – except that life kept getting in the way.

A lifetime

So really, in order to come up with the proof, I needed a lifetime of experiences to provide the foundational knowledge and interdisciplinary experience to blend ideas together.

Who am I to lose patience when life continues to evolve…