Thursday, March 01, 2007

Links ...


Austan Goolsbee on why, for the super-rich, too much is never enough.

The curious case of Joyce Hatto, a "prodigy of old age". Rahul has some more links; he is also upset with a bad statistical reasoning used by some commenters.

Julianne Delcanton on the damage done to physics students (and practitioners too) when they buy into theCult of Genius.

2 Comments:

  1. Sahodaran said...

    Abi:
    I remember something you've said on somewhat related stuff: http://nanopolitan.blogspot.com/2005/11/positive-agenda-for-p-sainath.html

    So how does the conflict get resolved? Has Ellison/ Buffet sold their shares in their companies?

    In any case, the Indian Billionaires can sell their shares and get some white money-ready to be spent- in their hands.

    Just felt like pointing this out.

    Thanks,
    Arun.

  2. gaddeswarup said...

    Abi,
    I found 'Cult of Genius' a bit strange. We study big scientists to see the scope and adventure of ideas and we do science because we are curious and find it fascinating. Because I read Shakespeare off and on does not mean that I want to be Shakespeare and should get frustrated. some mathematician said "Go to the masters not their students". Off and on I looked at some papers of Poincare. They take your breath away and rekindle my enthusiasm for mathes. (one set of papers gave Felix Klein a nervous breakdown). If we do not hitch our wagons to stars, and just take the attitude that it is just hard work to produce some goods, I do not see the difference from a 9-5 desk job.
    There is another fact about modern science. It is so cumulative that anybody is capable of making a fundamental contribution. I remember Kirby's solution of Annulus conjecture and soon of triangulation and hauptvermutung. When the first paper came out in 69, it looked like any ordinary paper showing some conjecture is equivalent to another. Then Seibenman who was around noticed that there was already enough technology, some unpublished, to handle the reduction. Both became famous.
    I remember Dirac saying somewhere that after Heisenberg's first paper on the 'new' quantum mechanics, even second rate physicists could do first rate work. I would say with Emerson "hitch your wagon to a star".