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Comments on: Interview with Leonard Mlodinow (part 4)



Personal Science, Self-Experimentation, Scientific Method



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By: Interview with Leonard Mlodinow (part 3) | the Justin Owings page

Mon, 25 Jul 2011 15:53:17 +0000

[...] part 4 [...]



By: Seth’s blog » Blog Archive » Leonard Mlodinow Interview Directory

Tue, 03 Feb 2009 17:54:53 +0000

[...] Interview with Leonard Mlodinow (part 4) [...]



By: seth

Mon, 02 Feb 2009 07:47:47 +0000

"Everybody wants to make their writing interesting and readable" and "It's not like people are writing badly on purpose!" Thorstein Veblen wrote a whole chapter in The Theory of the Leisure Class saying the opposite: Academics write badly on purpose to show how important they are. Other writers must grovel and try to please others; they need not, is the subtext of their awful prose. Just as certain women had really long fingernails to advertise how useless they were. Hood ornaments were yet another example of "conspicuous waste".



By: Andrew Gelman

Sun, 01 Feb 2009 22:36:45 +0000

Seth, I hate to keep bugging you on this, but . . . when you say, "Your books give the impression that they want to be entertaining–the author, you, is trying to meet the reader halfway. . . . A lot of people who are very serious about their topic have a hard time seeing why you need to make it interesting," I think you're completely missing the point. Everybody wants to make their writing interesting and readable; it's just hard to do! As you and Mlodinow discuss, practice is important, talent is important, putting in the time is important. But it's not like people are writing badly on purpose!