"the paper could not have been refereed: its correctness is self-evident"
December 27, 2010 8:01 PM   Subscribe

The Line Between Science and Journalism is Getting Blurry….Again by Bora Zivkovic is an excellent, James Burke-ish, essay on science, journalism, and a hopeful future for science journalism.

Included are observations on the parallel evolutions of science and journalism and how the speed of human travel facilitated their divergence, how trust in channels of information are established through the mechanism of casual chit-chat, and how Albert Einstein reacted on learning that his submission for publication had been peer reviewed.
posted by ardgedee (4 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
"If born today, many of the old writers, like Montaigne, would be Natural Born Bloggers (‘NBBs’ – term coined by protoblogger Dave Winer). A lot of ship captains’ logs were essentially tweets with geolocation tags." -from linked article.

'Inspired by his consideration of the lives and ideals of the leading figures of his age, he finds the great variety and volatility of human nature to be its most basic features. He describes his own poor memory, his ability to solve problems and mediate conflicts without truly getting emotionally involved, his disdain for man's pursuit of lasting fame, and his attempts to detach himself from worldly things to prepare for his timely death. He writes about his disgust with the religious conflicts of his time, reflecting a spirit of skepticism and belief that humans are not able to attain true certainty. The longest of his essays, Apology for Raymond Sebond, contains his famous motto, "What do I know?"' -wikipage on Montaigne

He would be in his element.
posted by clavdivs at 8:52 PM on December 27, 2010

Bora Zivkovic has been an honored member of the Balkans Blogosphere for ages! He is a truely brilliant and good man.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 10:53 PM on December 27, 2010

Hilarious and accurate description of the style of scientific writing in the later 20th century:

And the personal was so carefully excised for the purpose of seeming unbiased by human beings that it sometimes seems like the laboratory equipment did all the experiments of its own volition.
posted by bobobox at 6:34 AM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

Possibly the best response to reviewers ever?

Dear Sir,We (Mr. Rosen and I) had sent you our manuscript for publication and had not authorized you to show it to specialists before it is printed. I see no reason to address the — in any case erroneous — comments of your anonymous expert. On the basis of this incident I prefer to publish the paper elsewhere.
Albert Einstein
posted by spaceviking at 7:20 AM on December 28, 2010 [2 favorites]

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