2017. Paradigm Shift Knuckle Sandwich & other examples of P.N.T (Perverse Number Theory)

The above-mentioned magazine that I was hoping would print a small part of this book in was the late lamented RAMPIKE. Here're the pages I submitted:

When I 1st wrote the book & had an electronic copy of it I listed it online on Goodreads as one of my books & provided this description/review/promotion:


2008.02.01 Paradigm Shift review


Given that this is my bk, this is more of a promotional statement than a review.

The 1st paragraph reads:

"When I was a child, I was a very good mathematician. I was also good at drawing. I remember thinking, when I was 9 yrs old, something to the effect that a mathematician's life was probably too socially isolated & not much fun & I decided that, therefore, it might be better for me to be an artist."

40 yrs passed & while I still played w/ the math that most interested me, such as set theory & imaginary numbers, my math skills largely waned. Then, in 2003, at age 49, I decided to read Simon Singh's bk "Fermat's Enigma" as an experiment in determining what was left of my ability to understand math. That lead to reading more math bks aimed at lay readers.

5 yrs later I thought I might as well try to WRITE a math bk - as an experiment to see if I cd actually do it. I envisioned it as around 160pp. 6 wks later, it was done - 408pp! I was very, very pleased. In some sense, this bk became my most articulated philosophical statement.

The next step was to send out the ms to 2 friends, poet/scholar Bruce Stater & musician/conceptualist 'Charles Boyd' (aka John Berndt), for them to add MARGINALIA to it. It was a part of my design plan to have the marginalia be referred to in the original text & for the 'marginalia' to be printed in the original bk - thusly possibly making this one of the 1st & only bks to be so designed.

The basic idea of the bk is that certain concepts create PARADIGM SHIFTS - thusly getting away from (somewhat) the notion that only technology (such as the printing press & the telescope) produce paradigm shifts. Various turning point mathematical concepts are then explored as examples of this.

The cover of the bk shows a knuckle tattoo that I have that consists of the following variation on a famous equation of Leonard Euler's (expressed here in so-called 'natural language'):

e to the power of pi times i + one to the power of infinity is approximately equal to zero.

"e" & "pi" are both transcendental numbers that serve as constants.

"i" is the symbol for "imaginary numbers" generally represented as the square root of negative one.

The whole shebang is meant to be representative of multiple paradigm shift concepts culminating in an indeterminate form. A "knuckle sandwich" is a punch. I like to think of this knuckle tattoo as a symbol for the punches to worldviews that concepts like "infinity" have brought w/ them.


In the fall of 2008 I gave a reading from it at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City:


The relevant section starts at 32:15.


The years passed & I finally self-published it in the beginning of 2017. My favorite bookstore bought 2 copies. All the other bookstores would only take it on consignment (or not at all). I'll never get paid for those even if they sell.


Here's the link for Amazon in the US:


Here it is on Barnes & Noble:


Here's a link for Amazon in the UK:


Here's one for sale in Australia on e-Bay:


Here's another bookseller in the US:


Here's one in India!:


It's also available in Rotterdam:


Some of those links might not be any good anymore. I know it's available in South Africa & at Target & Sears. Really.

On March 8, 2017 I gave a short reading from it at Té Café in Pittsburgh. There's a movie from that here:


& here're the YouTube notes for it:

"Paradigm Shift Knuckle Sandwich: March 8, 2017E.V.": I wrote my 'Pataphysics / Math / Humor / Cognitive Dissidence book entltled "Paradigm Shift Knuckle Sandwich & other examples of P.N.T. (Perverse Number Theory)" in the 1st six weeks of 2008 after doing five years of research. For various reasons, I abandoned all hope of publishing it. Nine years later, in the beginning of 2017, I decided to publish it myself & was then aided by a generous donation from my old friend Trevor Blake. I'd read from the manuscript once before at Bowery Poetry Club on November 1, 2008. In honor of finally having a proof copy of the book, I decided to read a short section at the Open Poetry/Prose Mic night at Té Café in Pittsburgh. This is the documentation from that reading. I think this is some of my best writing. As a person who prefers originality & intensity but who rarely or never finds anyone else who does, it's hard for me to say how this brief reading was received. I'm inclined to think that most of my work is outside genre & this book would most likely be hated by most mathematicians & by most poets. Its probable readership is a small group of eccentric hyper-intellectual 'patanational 'pataphysicists & neoists that's scattered all over the world. - March 10, 2017 notes from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE.

Tags: tENTATIVELY a cONVENIENCE, 'pataphysics, math, humor, cognitive dissidence, Paradigm Shifts, Knuckle Sandwiches, Paradigm Shift Knuckle Sandwich, PNT, Perverse Number Theory, Té Café, Open Poetry/Prose Mic

On April 1, 2017 (exactly a year ago from when I'm making this webpage!), I premiered the book at the Glitter Box Theater. 3 people came, one 5 minutes before the reading was over. Here's the movie from that:


& here're the YouTube notes for it:

"Is this a Black Theorem?": I was a mathematician as a child. I lost interest as an adult. At age 49, I started reading pop math books that centered around what I considered to be paradigm shifting concepts: zero, negative numbers, transcendental numbers, imaginary numbers, & the like. After 5 years of this I decided to write a book springing off from this research, a book extolling the virtues of heretical paradigm shift outlaws. A part of the idea is that, contrary to the conventional notions, paradigm shifts don't just center around the introduction of technologies such as the printing press & the cell-phone but can also center around IDEAS, 'pure' & 'simple' (anything but). A "Black Theorem" is what mathematicians jokingly call a theorem that exposure to causes a person to go insane. Given that the book being read here, my "Paradigm Shift Knuckle Sandwich & other examples of P.N.T. (Perverse Number Theory)", is meant to humorously challenge taking underlying concepts of 'reality' for granted, one could imagine that, for some sensitive types, it might really 'drive someone insane'. Perhaps it was fear of that that made it so that there was only ONE audience member there at the beginning of the reading, another one added halfway through, & a 3rd, & last, toward the end. Sounds like a math problem, eh?! - March 11, 2017 notes from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

Tags: tENTATIVELY a cONVENIENCE, reading, math, 'pataphysics, Glitter Box Theater, April 1 2017, humor, cognitive dissidence

& here're stills from that:

Bill O'Driscoll of the Pittsburgh City Paper, someone who's supported my work for more or less the entire 22 years I've lived in Pittsburgh, read the 1st 50 page or less & wrote this review which was published on August 30, 2017:

2017.08.30 Pittsburgh City Paper review of "Paradigm Shift Knuckle Sandwich" by Bill O'Driscoll


Paradigm Shift Knuckle Sandwich, by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

By Bill O'Driscoll

PARADIGM SHIFT KNUCKLE SANDWICH. Tapping inspirations including absurdist playwright Alfred Jarry, and Douglas Hofstadter's classic book Godel Escher Bach, local art imp tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE offers this good-humored, self-published 407-page journey into mathy thought experiments, number games, logical conundrums and the nature of language. The general idea is that what we call "reality" can be improved upon, and that "paradigm shifts in consciousness can occur from 'violent' conceptual shocks to the (consensus reality?) system" that induce changes in the physical world. In Tent's view, games where the rules change continuously are not only legit, but preferable to games with consistent rules. Obscure? A bit. But you don't have to understand much math to be engaged by his wide-ranging intellectual curiosity and irrepressible sense of play. As Tent himself writes, "I don't know where I am, but I won't let that stop me from navigating thru the chaos of believing in nothing at the same time I believe in everything."

Paradigm Shift ($20) is available on Amazon and at Caliban Books, Copacetic Comics, and White Whale Bookstore.

& I sayeth unto YOU: Buy the damned book so that I MAY LIVE!!

- tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE note, April 1, 2018E.V.








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