A couple of quick Friday links.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention this NYT front of the web story on MIT student bloggers as leaders of the pack.

Then there’s this nice bit of self-analysis by Carl Zimmer, debunking a false equivalence  between evolutionary polemic* (by Dawkins) and evolutionary persuasion/instruction (by Zimmer), as posited in a Nature review of new books by both men.

And last, at least in this quick start-of-the morning list, a fine bit of historical writing on the roots of the term and concept “algorithm” prompted,  I am pleased to say, by my own polemic on The Atlantic’s abuse of the term.

*Please note that the word “polemic” is used here as a descriptive term, not one of abuse.  It has the sense described in this etymological definition:  1638, “controversial argument or discussion,” from Gk. polemikos “warlike, belligerent,” from polemos “war.” Meaning “one who writes in opposition to another” is attested from 1680.

Image:  Press with chained book in the Library of Cesena, Italy

Explore posts in the same categories: blogospheric tail chasing, good books, History of Science

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One Comment on “A couple of quick Friday links.”

  1. Thony C. Says:

    When did polemic become a term of abuse? Galileo was always described as a great polemicist and this was usually meant as a compliment.


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