Contributed by
"William E. Emba"
Clarke, one of the alltime biggest names in serious science
fiction, took time to write a series of humorous science
fiction tall tales. The stories are narrated by one Harry
Purvis, while drinking in the "White Hart", an obscure London
pub popular with a scientific crowd.
In "The Pacifist", Purvis tells about a mathematician turned
programming genius who designed the ultimate in military
computers, viewing battles as simply difficult operations
research problems. But because of difficulties with the
commanding general, the mathematician turns the computer into
the pacifist of the title.
The story contains numerous explicit allusions to mathematics,
including Diaphontine equations, the prime number theorem,
matrix algebra, and even John Nash's game of Hex.
