Book Writing

Category archives for Book Writing

“Eureka!” and the Problems Thereof

I’m not talking about the tv show Eureka here, which was mostly silly fluff but not especially problematic. I’m talking about the famous anecdote about Archimedes of Syracuse, who supposedly realized the principle that bears his name when slipping into a bath, distracted by a problem he had been assigned by his king. On realizing…

TED@NYC: Impostor Syndrome, Activate!

As I alluded to a while back, I’ve been accepted to speak at TED@NYC, which serves as a “talent search” for TED– the top talks from the event a week from Monday in The City will get a spot talking at the 2014 TED conference in Vancouver. I’ve got six minutes to wow them with…

On the Interconnectedness of Science

I’ve finished a first pass through all the regular chapters of the book-in-progress (in addition to those in in this progress report, there’s one more in Section 1 about antiques, and three more in Section 4, two about statistics and one about teamwork). I’m starting to do section-level proofreading, looking at blocks of chapters together.…

A couple of months back, TED put out a call for auditions for a chance to speak at one of their events. They asked for a one-minute video, and I said “What the hell, I can do that. I need an ‘elevator pitch’ version of the book-in-progress anyway.” This is the result: So, if you’ve…

The stupid Steven Pinker business from a few weeks ago turned out to do one good thing after all. It led to this post at Making Science Public, which quoted some books by Jacob Bronowski that sounded relevant to my interests. And, indeed, on checking The Common Sense of Science out of the college library,…

The Science of Magic

I started out blogging about books, way back in 2001, but somewhat ironically, I rarely post anything about books any more. My free time has been whittled down to the point where book blogging is time taken away from other stuff, and it’s never been that popular here. I post reviews of science books that…

Wanted: The Hoosiers of Science

I’ve been revising a chapter on collaboration in science for the book-in-progress, making an analogy to team sports. And it occurred to me as I was trying to find a way to procrastinate, that while science is a highly collaborative endeavor, most of the popular stories that get told about science are not. There’s no…

How to Teach Physics to Your Thai Dog

The list of editions of my books in character sets I can’t read just got bigger: I got author copies of the Thai edition of How to Teach Physics to Your Dog. The cover is the “featured image” above (and I’ll copy it below for those on RSS), and I love the goofy tongue on…

Naming Names in QED

I’m doing edits on the QED chapter of the book-in-progress today, and I’m struck again by the apparent randomness of the way credit gets attached to things. QED is a rich source of examples of this, but two in particular stand out, one experimental and the other theoretical. On the experimental side, it’s interesting to…

One of the chapters of the book-in-progress, as mentioned previously, takes the widespread use of statistics in sports as a starting point, noting that a lot of the techniques stat geeks use in sports are similar to those scientists use to share and evaluate data. The claim is that anyone who can have a halfway…