Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bits and Pieces - February 10, 2010

Attitudes inside Iran toward their nuclear program.

I like this approach to science writing, not so much this one. It seems to me the first respects the reader and the second doesn't. What the second is trying to illustrate are some aspects of what is called number theory. There was a light hint in the first blog in this series that it would take on development of the natural numbers and other fascinating mathematics that I was first introduced to in high school. This is a development of some of the qualities of natural numbers, but scrambled together. OTOH, if the purpose is to make mathematics "fun," then there are any number of illustrative puzzles in some older books that I monopolized from my library from grade school up. There may be some more recent books, too, but I'm not acquainted with them. I'm wondering how it looks to someone who doesn't find the Peano postulates more fun than, well, lots of things.

I haven't seen this clear a statement of sexism in a very long time. Possession of the Y chromosome equals a love of snow shovels, whether in little kids or in teh gay. I hope all you Y-chromosome types are listening to Kathleen Parker's buildup so that she doesn't have to shovel snow!

Steven Pearlstein is making a lot of sense lately. Don't call them taxes!

Tony Judt, one of the most brilliant historians we have, is paralyzed from the neck down by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. He is writing a series of short memoirs, of which this is one. He retains his wit and good humor in his writing. I have enjoyed his work so much.


helmut said...

I second your remarks on Tony Judt.

MT said...

You don't want to become a practitioner of this "practitioners of history" construction, Cheryl. Maybe most won't notice, but I think the historians will.

Cheryl Rofer said...

Yeah, MT, that's been bothering me all day today. I think I'll change it.