Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Logic of Siri

Siri, of course, is the Apple product within the new iPhone that responds to voice commands, providing answers and solutions.

People now revel in the absurd questions asked of Siri, and Siri's insipid responses. Could give some examples, but don't have the time.

Suffice it to say that it is truly the mark of a successful product that when it makes a mistake, the customer responds, "How cute!"

We treat Apple products like they are our children.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Logic of Black Friday

This morning's Des Moines Register carries this Headline: "Stuffed!"
Below the Headline is large print: "Biggest newspaper of the year"

And big it looked. Until one separated the news from the paper. The news maybe equaled (or slightly exceeded) the size of a Tuesday edition, pretty skinny.

You know Black Friday has gone too far when the ad begins: Sale starts yesterday. Well that did not quite happen. But one second earlier for many ads would be yesterday (making it today - Thursday).

To top all this off, my niece's husband flew to New York for Black Friday sales. Sound extravagant? Well get this. My niece and her husband live near Jerusalem.

So on the day after much of the country gives thanks for what it has, it goes out and buys what it has not. As Yakov Smirnoff used to say, "What a country!"

Monday, October 3, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

New Reader Review

There is a new reader review of Abraham Lincoln and the Structure of Reason. It is of the Kindle edition (which is the same as the bound version word-wise). Like virtually all reader feedback, it is both helpful and gratifying. If you have read the book, and would like to post Amazon or Barnes and Noble reviews, please do not hesitate.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum

The online bookstore for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum in Springfield, Illinois, describes the book: "David Hirsch and Dan Van Haften delve into the logic, reason, and cognitive tools that fueled Lincoln's political and intellectual genius."

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Declaration of Independence

This evening Dan Van Haften is among a hundred cultural representatives in Grant Park (downtown Chicago) who will read the Declaration of Independence in its entirety. Dan has a portion of one of the complaints listed in the the Declaration's Construction. What is meant by the Declaration's Construction? Examine one of the several significant discoveries in Abraham Lincoln and the Structure of Reason.

The reading is an annual production of the Remy Bumppo Theatre Company.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Oral Argument

I argued an appeal in the Iowa Supreme Court this morning. Immediately got peppered with questions. No time to develop the six elements. But my brief was structured by Lincoln's/Euclid's six elements of a proposition. Not only did the six elements make for a better brief, it was easier (and quicker) to draft -- David Hirsch

Monday, June 13, 2011

What is this?

This is a picture of Iowa Governor Terry Branstad shaking hands with David Hirsch. All that appears of David is his hand, wrist, and a few inches of his arm. But the photographer did not miss the handshake. Rabbi Yossie Jacobson is in the background. It was at this meeting that the Governor was presented with a copy of Abraham Lincoln and the Structure of Reason. See May 17, 2011, posting below.

Conscious or Unconscious?

A reader, who is an attorney, emails: "At this point in time I have read the preface, foreword and introduction to your book. I have one question. Perhaps it is answered in the book, if it is, just tell me, it’s answered in the book. Did Abraham Lincoln consciously apply the elements of a geometric proposition to his writings and speeches or did it just happen subconsciously because of his study of Euclid? It is interesting to me that I never did truly grasp algebra, but I did grasp geometry."

Response: There is a big difference between geometry (not including analytical geometry) and algebra. Euclidean geometry is based on language. Algebra is based on equations. In Euclidean geometry you see the big picture. In algebra you see tiny steps. Your question (about whether Lincoln consciously used the elements of a proposition -- or whether it was subconscious) is pretty much answered in the book. If, after reading the book, you don't think so, ask again.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Blagojevich Trial

Jim Matsumoto mentions Dan Van Haften in another WTTW Blagojevich bog post:

"Lincoln author, Dan, told me a story concerning columnist/author Jimmy Breslin and the first Blagojevich trial. During a recess, Breslin asked Dan what he thought of the closing arguments. Dan replied that he wanted to hear the judge’s instructions before he made up his mind. Breslin replied sharply that in New York there wouldn’t have been a trial because this trial was about nothing. Dan has since named the current defense strategy as the Jimmy Breslin defense: 'It’s about nothing.'

"Another incident involving Dan happened Wednesday. As Dan was explaining to Jim and his sister about his book about Lincoln and giving them the full laminate, Euclidian, Lincoln’s speeches, Rod was nearby. With only a few minutes to spare before court convened, he started to converse with Dan about Dan’s book, Lincoln and his knowledge of Lincoln’s study of Euclid during his 'wilderness years.' The former governor’s knowledge of Lincoln lore impressed Dan very much."

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Blagojevich Trial

Jim Matsumoto, jury foreperson in first Blagojevich trial, comments on meeting Dan Van Haften at the second trial, and has has nice things to say about Abraham Lincoln and the Structure of Reason. Jim's post is on the WTTW Blagojevich blog.

Also, Dan is briefly interviewed by WLS-TV at the trial.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fifth Graders Interview Dan Van Haften

Illinois fifth graders interview co-author Dan Van Haften regarding Abraham Lincoln and the Structure of Reason. Read the full interview.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad Presented with Book

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad
Last month David Hirsch was privileged to present Iowa Governor Terry Branstad with a copy of Abraham Lincoln and the Structure of Reason. The book was inscribed, "To Governor Branstad, Thank you for returning to public service. May you govern like Lincoln, bringing people together." It was signed by both authors.

The Governor, who did not know he was going to receive the book, proceeded to give an impressive discourse on how Lincoln brought the country together not only North and South, but east and west (as a result of his push for rail). The Governor then brought up several of Lincoln's Iowa connections.