TITLE: Not Reading in the Wild
AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford
DATE: June 30, 2008 12:26 PM
on student evaluations brought to mind a few other
items on not reading that I've encountered recently.
I hope it's clear that at least this last example
is not serious at all.
- Michael Mitzenmacher writes about the
accessibility of scientific references,
whether on-line or in obscure journals. How much
effort should an author have to make to track down
related work to cite? Presumably, Mitzenmacher
holds authors responsible for reading works about
which they know, but it seems a short step from
asking whether authors must make extra effort to
find related work to asking, as Bayard did, whether
authors must make extra effort even to read
related work. (And, if you have ever seen academic
papers in computer science, you know that many of
them do require extra effort to read!)
- Steve Yegge never learned to read sheet music and
has survived by virtue of a prodigious memory. But
he tells us
that this is a bad thing:
Having a good memory is a serious impediment to
understanding. It lets you cheat your way through
So, Montaigne and I need not worry. Had we better
better memories, we might be skating through life as
easily as Yegge.
has a schtick in which he gives unbiased movie reviews.
How does he maintain his objectivity in a sea of personal
opinion? He doesn't watch the movies! Wouldn't watching
affect his reviews? Brilliant, and often quite funny.