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All books are interesting

It's true. All books are interesting. And I can prove it.

As you know, one standard method of proof is "Proof by contradiction" - i.e. postulate the opposite of what you're setting out to prove, and then demonstrate that this leads to a contradiction.

Now, what I'm setting out to prove is "All books are interesting". The opposite to that is "There exists a set of books that aren't interesting".

Then, either:

(i) The set contains only one book; if so, then that one book must be interesting, as it's the only book in this set, and that itself is a point of interest. Therefore this book cannot belong to this set ... Hence, we have a contradiction.

(ii) The set contains several books; if so, the book in this set that was written earliest is interesting, because its point of interest is "This is the earliest written book in this set". Since it is interesting, we must eliminate it from this set. We may then eliminate the next earliest written book from the set by similar reasoning, and continue in this manner until there is only one member left in this set. And then, the argument given in (i) applies, and once again, we have a contradiction.

Therefore, all books are interesting.

Laughing Well all books are of interest even if they only prompt a discussion on "Why did they bother to waste their time writing/publishing such rubbish?

Himadri, have you been reading Bertrand Russell on Set Theory again?  Wink Who shaves the barber? and all that...


By the same logic, all message board posts are interesting. Although this one certainly isn't.

Hector, there's no point saying your post isn't interesting when I can mathematically prove that it is! Very Happy

But can mathematics really *prove* anything?   Evil or Very Mad

Absolutely. For example, it can prove that in any rectangle, the length of the diagonal will always be the square root of the sum of the square of the short edge and the square of the long edge. And it's so clever, it can prove it entirely using pictures.  Smile

(Don't let's get into non-Euclidian geometries).

Given that I got a B in maths in the days of proper 'O' levels, right angled triangles were one of the few things that made sense to me. And seemed to have some practical use afterwards.

Excluding the mathematical argument, every book must be interesting to someone, whether it's on Dickens, football grounds, beer bottle labels of Europe or varieties of nail and screw in a catalogue. Even self published books of poetry. I picked one up for pennies at a coffee morning once, the author must have given it to friends/relatives but it's not a name I have ever heard of.

I am talking from a total disadvantage here considering all I achieved was CSE ungraded in maths  (and yes I mean CSE and I sometimes wonder why I bothered even taking the exam) but taking everything into consideration all books are interesting if only because the person who wrote them in the first place seemed think the subject matter was an interesting topic to write about and the publishers who they took their work to also must have considered it an interesting book to publish or they wouldn't have bothered.

Apple, I got an Ungraded in English Lit! But I know my understanding of English is better than that, and am sure your Maths is too.
Gul Darr

And even if I did find a book that isn't interesting then it would be interesting because its point of interest is that it isn't interesting. Ah, so it doesn't exist. Interesting. Nice one, Himadri.

As Mike intimated, my argument is really just an interesting variation of Russellís paradox. (And I can prove that thereís no uninteresting variation on it!)

Very Happy and the other interesting thing about it is the interest it has caused - enough people were interested to post a response and offer their own take on it which takes the original point of no books are uninteresting to a new level and widens it and therefore makes it interesting.

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