forall x marches on

Thu 02 Feb 2006 08:21 PM

A few random remarks about forall x:

(i) At the APA in December, I had a number of strange conversations about the book. People would say how great it was that I was making it available for free over the internet, but (they asked) what if someone used it as a course textbook? How did I plan on getting money from them?

I have tried to make the web page clearer on this point, but I fear that some people just don't quite get it. The book is available at no charge, which is to say that I'm not getting any money for it. There are too many logic textbooks already with an author, a publisher, a distributor, and a bookstore taking their cut at the expense of students who are basically a captive audience. Forall x is free because I think instructors should have the option of using a textbook that doesn't pass costs on to the students in that way.

(ii) Aaron Schiller is going to be using forall x at UCSD in the Spring. He prefers to use the squiggle for negation, the dot for conjunction, the horseshoe for conditional, and the triple bar for biconditional. No problem. Because all of the logical constants are defined in the style file, I only had to change four lines. I had an alternate version generated for him in a matter of minutes.

Actually, there was a complication... it was the dot. The default LaTeX bullet that I used the first time was a bit too big. Making an aesthetically satisfactory dot took some back and forth. Now that I know how to do it, it would be trivial to do again.

If you, the reader of this blog, are teaching a logic course and are looking for a textbook, note that forall x can be tailored to whatever symbols you like. (If you want to use the Staypuff Marshmellow Man as the symbol for disjunction, there might be some trademark issues.)

(iii) I ordered a copy from Lulu, a print-on-demand publisher. I was curious as to what their output looked like. It arrived this week, and the verdict is... cool.

At a cost of around ten bucks delivered, it comes as an immaculately printed, perfect-bound paperback. For an entire class, it makes more sense to take it to a local copy center-- but for a single copy, this is satisfactory.