Dava Sobel

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pages: 190 words: 52,570

The Planets by Dava Sobel

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Albert Einstein, Colonization of Mars, Dava Sobel, Edmond Halley, Eratosthenes, friendly fire, Isaac Newton, Kuiper Belt, music of the spheres, Norman Mailer

Cook, 2006 All rights reserved Some of the ideas expressed in chapter one appeared in slightly different format in “A Reporter at Large: Among Planets” by Dava Sobel, published in The New Yorker, December 9, 1996. Parts of chapter six appeared in a “Hers” column, called “Moon Dust,” by Dava Sobel, in The New York Times Magazine, October 1, 1995. Excerpt from The Cosmic Connection: An Extraterrestrial Perspective by Carl Sagan, produced by Jerome Agel. Used with permission. Excerpt from “The Literate Farmer and the Planet Venus” from The Poetry of Robert Frost, edited by Edward Connery Lathem. Copyright 1942 by Robert Frost. Copyright 1970 by Lesley Frost Ballantine. © 1969 by Henry Holt and Company, LLC. Excerpts from “The Planets: A Pastoral” by Diane Ackerman, used with permission of the poet. THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS HAS CATALOGED THE HARDCOVER EDITION AS FOLLOWS: Sobel, Dava. The Planets / by Dava Sobel p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index.

PENGUIN BOOKS THE PLANETS Dava Sobel, a former New York Times science reporter, is the author of Longitude, Galileo’s Daughter, and Letters to Father. In her thirty years as a science journalist, she has written for many magazines, including Audubon, Discover, Life, and The New Yorker, served as a contributing editor to Harvard Magazine and Omni, and coauthored six books, including Is Anyone Out There? with astronomer Frank Drake and The Illustrated Longitude with William J. H. Andrewes. For her efforts to increase the public understanding of science, Sobel has been awarded the National Science Board’s prestigious Individual Public Service Award, the Bradford Washburn Award from the Boston Museum of Science, and the Harrison Medal from the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers. In recognition of her writing about astronomy, asteroid 30935 has been named in her honor.

In recognition of her writing about astronomy, asteroid 30935 has been named in her honor. THE PLANETS DAVA SOBEL PENGUIN BOOKS Published by the Penguin Group Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, U.S.A. • Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4P 2Y3 (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) • Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England • Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd) • Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd) • Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi – 110 017, India • Penguin Group (NZ), cnr Airborne and Rosedale Roads, Albany, Auckland 1310, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd) • Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England First published in the United States of America by Viking Penguin, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. 2005 Published in Penguin Books 2006 Copyright © Byron Preiss Visual Publications, Inc., 2005 Illustrations copyright © Lynette R.

Longitude by Dava Sobel

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Albert Einstein, British Empire, clockwork universe, Copley Medal, Dava Sobel, Edmond Halley, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, Isaac Newton, John Harrison: Longitude, lone genius

“La Salle: Discovery of a Lost Explorer,” in American Historical Review, Vol. 89 (1984) pp. 294-323. Copyright © 1995 by Dava Sobel All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Publisher. First published in the United States of America in 1995 by Walker Publishing Company, Inc. Published simultaneously in Canada by Thomas Allen & Son Canada, Limited, Markham, Ontario Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Sobel, Dava. Longitude : the true story of a lone genius who solved the greatest scientific problem of his time / Dava Sobel. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references. eISBN: 978-0-802-77943-4 1.

LONGITUDE The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time DAVA SOBEL Contents 1. Imaginary Lines 2. The Sea Before Time 3. Adrift in a Clockwork Universe 4. Time in a Bottle 5. Powder of Sympathy 6. The Prize 7. Cogmaker’s Journal 8. The Grasshopper Goes to Sea 9. Hands on Heaven’s Clock 10. The Diamond Timekeeper 11. Trial by Fire and Water 12. A Tale of Two Portraits 13. The Second Voyage of Captain James Cook 14. The Mass Production of Genius 15. In the Meridian Courtyard Acknowledgments Sources For my mother, Betty Gruber Sobel, a four-star navigator who can sail by the heavens but always drives by way of Canarsie. 1. Imaginary Lines When I’m playful I use the meridians of longitude and parallels of latitude for a seine, drag the Atlantic Ocean for whales.

pages: 271 words: 68,440

More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionised the Cosmos by Dava Sobel

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Astronomia nova, Commentariolus, dark matter, Dava Sobel, Edmond Halley, invention of movable type, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres

The concept was also put forward by medieval philosopher Nicole Oresme and mentioned by the Ancient Greek playwright Aristophanes in his comedy The Frogs. 3 Against all odds, the entire handwritten, original manuscript of On the Revolutions survives to this day—a bound stack of yellowed paper two hundred sheets thick—in ultrasafe keeping at the Library of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. 4Theodoric of Reden, Copernicus’s fellow canon in Varmia, then served as the chapter’s representative to the papal court at Rome. 5While working together in Frauenburg, Rheticus and Copernicus observed a comet that they judged to be supralunar, just as Tycho later demonstrated to the world. Rheticus wrote to his friend Paul Eber about their discovery, and Eber in turn reported it to Melanchthon in a surviving letter of April 15, 1541. A Note on the Author Dava Sobel is the acclaimed author of the New York Times and international bestsellers Longitude, Galileo’s Daughter, and The Planets, and the coauthor of The Illustrated Longitude. She lives in East Hampton, New York. Also by Dava Sobel Longitude The Illustrated Longitude (with William J. H. Andrewes) Galileo’s Daughter The Planets Letters to Father (translated and annotated) Copyright © 2011 by Dava Sobel All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.

A More PERFECT HEAVEN How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos DAVA SOBEL Contents Cover Title Page Decdication “To the Reader, Concerning … This Work” Part One • Prelude Chapter 1 Moral, Rustic, and Amorous Epistles Chapter 2 The Brief Sketch Chapter 3 Leases of Abandoned Farmsteads Chapter 4 On the Method of Minting Money Chapter 5 The Letter Against Werner Chapter 6 The Bread Tariff Part Two • Interplay “And the Sun Stood Still”. ACT I “And the Sun Stood Still”. ACT II Part Three • Aftermath Chapter 7 The First Account Chapter 8 On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres Chapter 9 The Basel Edition Chapter 10 Epitome of Copernican Astronomy Chapter 11 Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief Systems of the World, Ptolemaic and Copernican Chapter 12 An Annotated Census of Copernicus’ De Revolutionibus Thanksgiving Copernican Chronology Notes on the Quotations Illustration Credits Maps Bibliography Footnotes A Note on the Author Also by Dava Sobel Imprint To my fair nieces, AMANDA SOBEL and CHIARA PEACOCK, with love in the Copernican tradition of nepotism.

ACT II Part Three • Aftermath Chapter 7 The First Account Chapter 8 On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres Chapter 9 The Basel Edition Chapter 10 Epitome of Copernican Astronomy Chapter 11 Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief Systems of the World, Ptolemaic and Copernican Chapter 12 An Annotated Census of Copernicus’ De Revolutionibus Thanksgiving Copernican Chronology Notes on the Quotations Illustration Credits Maps Bibliography Footnotes A Note on the Author Also by Dava Sobel Imprint To my fair nieces, AMANDA SOBEL and CHIARA PEACOCK, with love in the Copernican tradition of nepotism. “To the Reader, Concerning … This Work” Since 1973, when the five hundredth anniversary of his birth brought his unique story to my attention, I have wanted to dramatize the unlikely meeting between Nicolaus Copernicus and the uninvited visitor who convinced him to publish his crazy idea. Around the year 1510, near the age of forty, Copernicus reenvisioned the cosmos with the Sun, rather than the Earth, at its hub. Then he concealed the theory for thirty years, fearful of ridicule from his mathematician peers.

pages: 221 words: 61,146

The Crowded Universe: The Search for Living Planets by Alan Boss

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Albert Einstein, Dava Sobel, diversified portfolio, full employment, if you build it, they will come, Kuiper Belt, Mars Rover, Pluto: dwarf planet, Silicon Valley, wikimedia commons, zero-sum game

The IAU Executive Committee mulled over the Working Group’s final report for a few months and then, in April 2006, decided to appoint a new committee to waste its time in trying to seek a consensus definition. This time the committee was small: just five astronomers, popular science writer Dava Sobel, and the chair, astronomy historian Owen Gingrich of the Harvard-Smithsonsian Center for Astrophysics. Iwan Williams agreed to work again on this impossible task. The new Planet Definition Committee went to work, knowing that they had to come up with something in time for the upcoming IAU General Assembly in Prague. After meeting at the Paris Observatory on June 30-31, the seven-member group quickly decided on a definition they could all support: Stern’s roundness definition. They introduced their proposed resolution at the IAU’s Prague meeting on August 16, accompanied by an article by Dava Sobel published in the Washington Post that same day, buttressing their case. Clearly they had planned the release of their decision well ahead of time and had gathered supporters, such as Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City, who applauded their decision.

pages: 184 words: 53,625

Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked Age by Steven Johnson

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Airbus A320, airport security, algorithmic trading, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, dark matter, Dava Sobel, David Brooks, Donald Davies, future of journalism, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, Jane Jacobs, John Gruber, John Harrison: Longitude, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, mega-rich, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, Occupy movement, packet switching, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, pre–internet, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Tim Cook: Apple, urban planning, US Airways Flight 1549, WikiLeaks, William Langewiesche, working poor, X Prize, your tax dollars at work

The overall objectives were discussed and established by a casual network of diverse interests and professions: astronomers, artists, inventors, government officials, chemists, and much more. That diversity meant that the society was more likely to detect important problems that a more unified or specialized group might have missed. Once a premium had been established—and the reward publicly announced—the prize money created a much larger pool of minds working on the problem. John Harrison’s story, powerfully recounted in Dava Sobel’s bestselling Longitude, demonstrates how a prize-backed challenge extends and diversifies the network of potential solutions. Born in West Yorkshire, Harrison was the son of a carpenter, with almost no formal education, and notoriously poor writing skills. When he began working on his first iteration of the chronometer, his social connections to the elites of London were nonexistent. But the £20,000 offered by the Board of Longitude caught the attention of his brilliant mechanical mind.

For more on the Royal Society of Arts, see A History of the Royal Society of Arts, by Henry Trueman Wood, and Joseph Banks and the English Enlightenment: Useful Knowledge and Polite Culture, by John Gascoigne. On the innovation threat posed by intellectual property restrictions, see Lawrence Lessig’s The Future of Ideas, and my own Where Good Ideas Come From. Ayn Rand’s views on patents come from an essay, “Patents and Copyrights,” included in the collection Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal. John Harrison’s story is told in Dava Sobel’s popular Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time. Beth Noveck’s inspirational work with crowdsourced patent review, dubbed “peer to patent,” is described in her WikiGovernment. For more on Jon Schnur and the origin and implementation of the Race to the Top program, see Steve Brill’s entertaining Class Warfare: Inside the Fight to Fix America’s Schools.

pages: 459 words: 103,153

Adapt: Why Success Always Starts With Failure by Tim Harford

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Andrew Wiles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, car-free, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, charter city, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dava Sobel, Deep Water Horizon, Deng Xiaoping, double entry bookkeeping, Edmond Halley, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Fermat's Last Theorem, Firefox, food miles, Gerolamo Cardano, global supply chain, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, John Harrison: Longitude, knowledge worker, loose coupling, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Netflix Prize, New Urbanism, Nick Leeson, PageRank, Piper Alpha, profit motive, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, rolodex, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, the market place, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, trade route, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, web application, X Prize, zero-sum game

Chapter Six: Sophy Harford, James Reason, Charles Perrow, Gillian Tett, Philippe Jamet, Ed Crooks, Steve Mitchelhill, Peter Higginson, Andrew Haldane, Martin Wolf, Raghuram Rajan, Jeremy Bulow and Paul Klemperer. Chapter Seven: Sandie Kanthal and Peter Higginson. Chapter Eight: Richard Wiseman. Although I did not interview them for this book, at certain points I drew heavily on the writing or broadcasting of the following people: Loren Graham, Thomas Ricks, David Cloud, Greg Jaffe, George Packer, Leo McKinstry, Dava Sobel, Ian Parker, Sebastian Mallaby, Andrew Ross Sorkin, Jennifer Hughes, Gary Hamel, Peter Day, Michael Buerk, Twyla Tharp and Kathryn Schulz. I am indebted. I am also indebted for excellent research assistance to Elizabeth Baldwin, Kelly Chen, Bob Denham and Cosmina Dorobanu. My editors, Eric Chinski, Iain Hunt, Tim Rostron and Tim Whiting have been very supportive. So have my agents, Sally Holloway and Zoe Pagnamenta.

Global R&D spending was $1,100,000 million in 2009. See Gautam Naik, ‘R&D spending in U.S. expected to rebound’, wsj.com, 21 December 2009, sec. Economy, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703344704574610350092009062.html 104 ‘Firms are reluctant to risk their money’: McKinstry, Spitfire, pp. 34–5. 105 There is an inconvenient tale behind this: I have drawn much of this account from Dava Sobel’s Longitude (London: Fourth Estate, 1996). 106 Compared with the typical wage of the day: Officer, ‘Purchasing power of British pounds’, cited above, n. 10. 107 In 1810 Nicolas Appert: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicolas_Appert 107 Ultimately the Académie began to turn down: Maurice Crosland, ‘From prizes to grants in the support of scientific research in France in the nineteenth century: The Montyon legacy’, Minerva, 17(3) (1979), pp. 355–80, and Robin Hanson, ‘Patterns of patronage: why grants won over prizes in science’, University of California, Berkeley, working paper 1998, http://hanson.gmu.edu/whygrant.pdf 108 Innovation prizes were firmly supplanted: Hanson, ‘Patterns of patronage’. 109 The prize was eventually awarded in September 2009: a follow-up prize was announced and then cancelled following a lawsuit over privacy.

The cheap, easy-to-build and effective Hurricanes did indeed outnumber Spitfires in the early months of the war, but it was the Spitfire’s design that won the plaudits. * The Board of Longitude never gave Harrison his prize, but it did give him some development money. The British parliament, after Harrison petitioned the King himself, also awarded the inventor a substantial purse in lieu of the prize that never came. The sad story is superbly told by Dava Sobel in her book Longitude, although Sobel perhaps gives Harrison too much credit in one respect: it is arguable that by producing a seaworthy clock, albeit a masterpiece, he did not solve the longitude problem for the Royal Navy or society as a whole. To do that, he needed to produce a blueprint that a skilled craftsman could use to produce copies of the clock. * Van Helmont’s trial is not even the earliest recorded.

pages: 442 words: 110,704

The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars by Dava Sobel

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Albert Einstein, card file, Cepheid variable, crowdsourcing, dark matter, Dava Sobel, Edmond Halley, Edward Charles Pickering, Ernest Rutherford, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, index card, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, John Harrison: Longitude, luminiferous ether, Magellanic Cloud, pattern recognition, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Solar eclipse in 1919, V2 rocket

Also by Dava Sobel Longitude Galileo’s Daughter Letters to Father The Planets A More Perfect Heaven And the Sun Stood Still (a play) VIKING An imprint of Penguin Random House LLC 375 Hudson Street New York, New York 10014 penguin.com Copyright © 2016 by John Harrison and Daughter, Ltd. Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices,promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader. Here: Angelo Secchi, Le soleil, 1875–1877.

Here: Courtesy of Carbon County Museum, Rawlins, Wyoming Here: UAV 630.271 (E4116), Harvard University Archives Here: Courtesy of Harvard College Observatory Here: Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University; here: Courtesy of Hastings Historical Society, New York Here: Courtesy of Harvard College Observatory; here: Lindsay Smith, used with permission Here: HUGFP 125.82p, Box 2, Harvard University Archives; here: Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library Here: HUPSF Observatory (14), olvwork360662, Harvard University Archives; pages here: UAV 630.271 (391), olvwork432043, Harvard University Archives Here: Courtesy of Harvard College Observatory Here: HUGFP 125.82p, Box 2, Harvard University Archives; here: Courtesy of Harvard College Observatory Here: HUGFP 125.36 F, Box 1, Harvard University Archives; here: HUGFP 125.36 F, Box 1, Harvard University Archives Here and here: Courtesy of Katherine Haramundanis Here: Courtesy of the Harvard University Archives; here: Courtesy of Charles Reynes Here: Chart 1, Volume 105, Harvard College Observatory Annals Here: Courtesy of Hastings Historical Society, New York; here: Courtesy of Katherine Haramundanis Here: Lia Halloran, used with permission; here: Richard E. Schmidt, used with permission Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Sobel, Dava. Title: The glass universe : how the ladies of the Harvard Observatory took the measure of the stars / Dava Sobel. Description: New York : Viking, 2016. | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2016029496 (print) | LCCN 2016030208 (e-book) | ISBN 9780670016952 (hardcover) | ISBN 9780698148697 (e-book) Subjects: LCSH: Women in astronomy—Massachusetts—History. | Women mathematicians—Massachusetts—History. | Astronomy—History—19th century. | Astronomy—History—20th century. | Harvard College Observatory.

Classification: LCC QB34.5 .S63 2016 (print) | LCC QB34.5 (ebook) | DDC 522/.19744409252—dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2016029496 Printed in the United States of America Version_1 To the ladies who sustain me: Diane Ackerman, Jane Allen, KC Cole, Mary Giaquinto, Sara James, Joanne Julian, Zoë Klein, Celia Michaels, Lois Morris, Chiara Peacock, Sarah Pillow, Rita Reiswig, Lydia Salant, Amanda Sobel, Margaret Thompson, and Wendy Zomparelli, with love and thanks CONTENTS Also by Dava Sobel Title Page Copyright Dedication Preface PART ONE The Colors of Starlight CHAPTER ONE Mrs. Draper’s Intent CHAPTER TWO What Miss Maury Saw CHAPTER THREE Miss Bruce’s Largesse CHAPTER FOUR Stella Nova CHAPTER FIVE Bailey’s Pictures from Peru PART TWO Oh, Be A Fine Girl, Kiss Me! CHAPTER SIX Mrs. Fleming’s Title CHAPTER SEVEN Pickering’s “Harem” CHAPTER EIGHT Lingua Franca CHAPTER NINE Miss Leavitt’s Relationship CHAPTER TEN The Pickering Fellows PART THREE In the Depths Above CHAPTER ELEVEN Shapley’s “Kilo-Girl” Hours CHAPTER TWELVE Miss Payne’s Thesis CHAPTER THIRTEEN The Observatory Pinafore CHAPTER FOURTEEN Miss Cannon’s Prize CHAPTER FIFTEEN The Lifetimes of Stars Photographs Appreciation Sources Some Highlights in the History of the Harvard College Observatory Glossary A Catalogue of Harvard Astronomers, Assistants, and Associates Remarks Bibliography Index PREFACE A LITTLE PIECE OF HEAVEN.

pages: 363 words: 108,670

Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith and Love by Dava Sobel

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Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, cognitive dissonance, Dava Sobel, Defenestration of Prague, Edmond Halley, germ theory of disease, Hans Lippershey, Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, Murano, Venice glass, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, Peace of Westphalia, retrograde motion

All biblical passages are rendered from the King James Version and from the New American Catholic Edition of the Holy Bible. The translation of Galileo’s daughter’s letters from the original Italian are the author’s own. Copyright © 1999 by Dava Sobel All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Publisher. First published in the United States of America in 1999 by Walker Publishing Company, Inc. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Sobel, Dava. Galileo’s daughter: a historical memoir of science, faith, and love/Dava Sobel. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references. eISBN: 978-0-802-77747-8 1. Galilei, Galileo, 1564-1642 Correspondence. 2. Galilei, Maria Celeste, 1600-1634 Correspondence. 3.

DAVA SOBEL GALILEO’S DAUGHTER A Historical Memoir of Science, faith, and love CONTENTS PART ONE. TO FLORENCE [I] She who was so precious to you [II] This grand book the universe [III] Bright stars speak of your virtues [IV] To have the truth seen and recognized [V] In the very face of the sun [VI] Observant executrix of God’s commands [VII] The malice of my persecutors [VIII] Conjecture here among shadows PART TWO. ON BELLOSGUARDO [IX] How our father is favored [X] To busy myself in your service [XI] What we require above all else [XII] Because of our zeal [XIII] Through my memory of their eloquence [XIV] A small and trifling body [XV] On the right path, by the grace of god [XVI] The tempest of our many torments PART THREE. IN ROME [XVII] While seeking to immortalize your fame [XVIII] Since the lord chastises us with these whips [XIX] The hope of having you always near [XX] That I should be begged to publish such a work PART FOUR.

pages: 385 words: 103,561

Pinpoint: How GPS Is Changing Our World by Greg Milner

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Ayatollah Khomeini, British Empire, creative destruction, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, digital map, Edmond Halley, Eratosthenes, experimental subject, Flash crash, friendly fire, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, John Harrison: Longitude, Kevin Kelly, land tenure, lone genius, Mars Rover, Mercator projection, place-making, polynesian navigation, precision agriculture, race to the bottom, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, smart grid, the map is not the territory

Having tested it against the lunar distance method for calculating longitude, Cook offered rave reviews of the chronometer when he returned to England in July 1775, calling it “our trusty friend” and “our never failing guide.” The chronometer soon became standard. The longitude problem was solved. The significance of the chronometer cannot be overstated. Its effect on the world rivals that of any other invention, including the printing press and the microchip. Dava Sobel, in her definitive history of Harrison’s creation, Longitude, notes (without endorsing) the theory that the chronometer “facilitated England’s mastery over the oceans and thereby led to the creation of the British Empire, for it was by dint of the chronometer . . . that Britannia ruled the waves.” Through the historical lens of Cook’s voyages, the impact of the chronometer is conspicuous. Cook’s first Pacific voyage opened the region to European exploration, even if just by affirming that the ocean existed as something more than a shipping lane; but his second voyage held the door open for others to rush in.

David Lewis: “[N]o one seems to have asked [Tupaia] how he oriented himself, or what his actual concepts and methods were” (We, the Navigators, 9). Chapter 2: The When and the Where 24 the transit of Venus: Steven Cherry, Transit of Venus: The Other Half of the Longitude Story, Techwise Conversations, n.d., http://spectrum.ieee.org/podcast/geek-life/profiles/transit-of-venus-the-other-half-of-the-longitude-story. 26 “discovering the longitude”: Dava Sobel, Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time (New York: Walker and Co., 1995), 56. 27 In 1800, Chevalier de Lamarck: Walter Sullivan, “The IGY—Scientific Alliance In a Divided World,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 14, no. 2 (February 1958): 68–72. 28 first international organization: Ibid., 68. 28 “the largest organized intellectual enterprise”: John A.

pages: 350 words: 103,988

Reinventing the Bazaar: A Natural History of Markets by John McMillan

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, Albert Einstein, Alvin Roth, Andrei Shleifer, Anton Chekhov, Asian financial crisis, congestion charging, corporate governance, corporate raider, crony capitalism, Dava Sobel, Deng Xiaoping, experimental economics, experimental subject, fear of failure, first-price auction, frictionless, frictionless market, George Akerlof, George Gilder, global village, Hernando de Soto, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, income inequality, income per capita, informal economy, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job-hopping, John Harrison: Longitude, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, land reform, lone genius, manufacturing employment, market clearing, market design, market friction, market microstructure, means of production, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, ought to be enough for anybody, pez dispenser, pre–internet, price mechanism, profit maximization, profit motive, proxy bid, purchasing power parity, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, sealed-bid auction, second-price auction, Silicon Valley, spectrum auction, Stewart Brand, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, transaction costs, War on Poverty, Xiaogang Anhui farmers, yield management

The innovator would receive a lump-sum payment, and this would motivate innovation in place of the monopoly profits from a patent. Patented drugs would no longer be overpriced. With the technology freely available to all, the market would be competitive and the price would be driven down to manufacturing cost. An early precedent for a buyout is the prize the British Parliament offered in the eighteenth century for a method of determining longitude, as chronicled by Dava Sobel in her absorbing book Longitude. Untold lives had been lost in shipwrecks caused by navigation errors, so the prize offered was a rich £20,000. A host of inventors submitted ideas, most of them hare-brained. The problem of measuring longitude accurately was solved by a humble clockmaker, John Harrison, with his invention of the chronometer. Its design was made available “for the use of the public” and it came to be mass-produced and universally used aboard ships, making sea journeys far less hazardous.

Its design was made available “for the use of the public” and it came to be mass-produced and universally used aboard ships, making sea journeys far less hazardous. Could a buyout mechanism be as successful in generating innovation in pharmaceuticals as it was in begetting the chronometer? With the design of the market, as always, the devil is in the details. Two difficulties must be resolved. The promise to pay must be credible. Following the invention of the chronometer, according to Dava Sobel, the British government balked at paying Harrison the £20,000 prize, raising spurious objections. Harrison struggled the rest of his life for acknowledgment, receiving the full money he was due only after forty years. Buying out a newly developed drug would mean paying many millions of dollars to an already highly profitable pharmaceutical company. A government about to make such a lavish payment is likely to be subject to political pressure from those who see it as a misuse of the taxpayers’ funds.

pages: 88 words: 26,603

Asteroid Hunters (TED Books) by Carrie Nugent

Dava Sobel, John Harrison: Longitude, Kuiper Belt

He desperately wanted to calculate the orbit himself before releasing his observations to the world, as the orbit would confirm the discovery, adding weight to his claim. But pressure from the other astronomers was mounting (Rule #2: “Share your observations”). Everyone was itching to see this new planet for themselves. Not everyone was being nice about it. Britain’s Astronomer Royal, Nevil Maskelyne, has been remembered by history as a bit of a jerk. (If you have read Dava Sobel’s Longitude, you may remember Maskelyne as John Harrison’s nemesis). At this time, he wrote a particularly nasty passage: “There is great astronomical news: Mr. Piazzi, Astronomer to the King of the two Sicilies, at Palermo, discovered a new planet the beginning of this year, and was so covetous as to keep this delicious morsel to himself for six weeks; when he was punished for his illiberality by a fit of sickness . . .”

pages: 326 words: 97,089

Five Billion Years of Solitude: The Search for Life Among the Stars by Lee Billings

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Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, California gold rush, Colonization of Mars, cosmological principle, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, Dava Sobel, double helix, Edmond Halley, full employment, hydraulic fracturing, index card, Isaac Newton, Kuiper Belt, Magellanic Cloud, music of the spheres, out of africa, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, planetary scale, profit motive, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, random walk, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Searching for Interstellar Communications, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Solar eclipse in 1919, technological singularity, the scientific method, transcontinental railway

I owe the following sources many thanks for their time and expertise: Roger Angel, Guillem Anglada-Escudé, Mike Arthur, William Bains, Natalie Batalha, Charles Beichman, David Bennett, Michael Bolte, Xavier Bonfils, Alan Boss, John Casani, Webster Cash, John Chambers, Phil Chang, David Charbonneau, Nick Cowan, Paul Davies, Drake Deming, Frank Drake, Alan Dressler, Michael Endl, Debra Fischer, Kathryn Flanagan, Eric Ford, Colin Goldblatt, Mark Goughan, Jeff Greason, John Grunsfeld, Javiera Guedes, Olivier Guyon, Robin Hanson, Tori Hoehler, Andrew Howard, Jeremy Kasdin, Jim and Sharon Kasting, Heather Knutson, Antoine Labeyrie, David Latham, Greg Laughlin, Doug Lin, Jonathan Lunine, Kevin McCartney, Claudio Maccone, Bruce Macintosh, Geoff Marcy, John Mather, Greg Matloff, Michel Mayor, Vikki Meadows, Jon Morse, Matt Mountain, Phil Nutzman, Ben Oppenheimer, Bob Owen, Ron Polidan, Marc Postman, Sean Raymond, Dimitar Sasselov, Jean Schneider, Sara Seager, Michael Shao, Seth Shostak, Rudy Slingerland, Chris Smith, Rémi Soummer, David Spergel, Alan Stern, Peter Stockman, Jill Tarter, Philippe Thébault, Wes Traub, Michael Turner, Stéphane Udry, Steve Vogt, Jim Walker, Bernie Walp, Andrew Youdin, and Kevin Zahnle. CHAPTER 1: Looking for Longevity Ronald N. Bracewell, The Galactic Club: Intelligent Life in Outer Space (San Francisco: W. H. Freeman, 1974). Giuseppe Cocconi and Philip Morrison, “Searching for Interstellar Communications,” Nature, vol. 184 (1959), pp. 844–46. Frank Drake and Dava Sobel, Is Anyone Out There? The Scientific Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (New York: Delacorte Press, 1992). I quote Drake from page 27. Stanislaw Lem, Summa Technologiae (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2013; first edition, 1964). Translated by Joanna Zylinska, this is the first complete English translation of Lem’s prescient classic on cosmic evolution. J. P. T. Pearman, “Extraterrestrial Intelligent Life and Interstellar Communication: An Informal Discussion,” in Interstellar Communication, A.

Bernal, The World, the Flesh, and the Devil: An Enquiry into the Future of the Three Enemies of the Rational Soul (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner, 1929). Paul Davies, The Eerie Silence: Renewing Our Search for Alien Intelligence (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010). Frank Drake, “Stars as Gravitational Lenses,” in Bioastronomy—The Next Steps, G. Marx, ed., Astrophysics and Space Science Library, vol. 144 (Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1988), pp. 391–94. Frank Drake and Dava Sobel, Is Anyone Out There? The Scientific Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (New York: Delacorte Press, 1992). Drake’s calculation of how many boxes of corn flakes the Arecibo Observatory radio dish could hold appears on pages 73–74. Von R. Eshleman, “Gravitational Lens of the Sun: Its Potential for Observations and Communications Over Interstellar Distances,” Science, vol. 205 (1979), pp. 1133–35.

pages: 240 words: 75,304

Time Lord: Sir Sandford Fleming and the Creation of Standard Time by Clark Blaise

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British Empire, creative destruction, Dava Sobel, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, Khartoum Gordon, Robert Gordon, Silicon Valley, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, Upton Sinclair

But I, as Superintendent of the Greenwich Observatory, entirely repudiate the idea of founding any claim on this. Let Greenwich do her best to maintain her high position in administering to the longitude of the world, and Nautical Almanacs do their best, and we will unite our effort without special acclaim to the fictitious honour of a Prime Meridian. Airy’s conclusion strikes the scornful, above-the-battle stance to which astronomy often aspires. (One need only recall the arguments recorded in Dava Sobel’s Longitude, the contempt of an earlier astronomer-royal, Sir Nevil Meskalyne, for the provincial clock-maker John Harrison.) Airy’s recommendation to the Privy Council was to abstain from any “novelty” or “social usage,” on the principle that government intervention might prove more harmful than the recognized inconveniences enumerated in Fleming’s paper. He closed on a note of sheer condescension, suggesting that Fleming and the Canadian Institute would do better to petition the Dock Trustees of London, Liverpool, and Glasgow.

pages: 532 words: 133,143

To Explain the World: The Discovery of Modern Science by Steven Weinberg

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Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Astronomia nova, Brownian motion, Commentariolus, cosmological constant, dark matter, Dava Sobel, double helix, Edmond Halley, Eratosthenes, Ernest Rutherford, fudge factor, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, music of the spheres, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, Pierre-Simon Laplace, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, retrograde motion, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

A fuller translation is given in Stillman Drake, Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo (Anchor, New York, 1957), pp. 162–64. 25. A translation of the entire letter is given in Drake, Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo, pp. 175–216. 26. Quoted in Stillman Drake, Galileo (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1980), p. 64. 27. The letters of Maria Celeste to her father fortunately survive. Many are quoted in Dava Sobel, Galileo’s Daughter (Walker, New York, 1999). Alas, Galileo’s letters to his daughters are lost. 28. See Annibale Fantoli, Galileo—For Copernicanism and for the Church, 2nd ed., trans. G. V. Coyne (University of Notre Dame Press, South Bend, Ind., 1996); Maurice A. Finocchiaro, Retrying Galileo, 1633–1992 (University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, 2005). 29. Quoted in Drake, Galileo, p. 90. 30.

Rowland, Giordano Bruno—Philosopher and Heretic (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2008). George Sarton, Introduction to the History of Science, Volume 1, From Homer to Omar Khayyam (Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, D.C., 1927). Erwin Schrödinger, Nature and the Greeks (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1954). Steven Shapin, The Scientific Revolution (University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Ill., 1996). Dava Sobel, Galileo’s Daughter (Walker, New York, 1999). Merlin L. Swartz, Studies in Islam (Oxford University Press, Oxford 1981). N. M. Swerdlow and O. Neugebauer, Mathematical Astronomy in Copernicus’s De Revolutionibus (Springer-Verlag, New York, 1984). R. Taton and C. Wilson, eds., Planetary Astronomy from the Renaissance to the Rise of Astrophysics—Part A: Tycho Brahe to Newton (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1989).

pages: 456 words: 123,534

The Dawn of Innovation: The First American Industrial Revolution by Charles R. Morris

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air freight, British Empire, business process, California gold rush, clean water, colonial exploitation, computer age, Dava Sobel, en.wikipedia.org, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, if you build it, they will come, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, joint-stock company, lone genius, manufacturing employment, new economy, New Urbanism, old age dependency ratio, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, refrigerator car, Robert Gordon, spinning jenny, Stephen Hawking, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman

Schubert, “Iron and Steel,” in A History of Technology, vol. 4: The Industrial Revolution, c.1750-c.1850, Charles Singer et al., eds. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1958), 99–118, quote at 102. 10 K. C. Barraclough, Steelmaking Before Bessemer, vol. 2: Crucible Steel (London: The Metals Society, 1984), 102. 11 David S. Landes, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations (New York: Norton, 1998), 215–220. 12 N. A. M. Rodger, Command of the Sea: A Naval History of Britain, 1649–1815 (New York: W. W. Norton, 2005), 172. 13 Dava Sobel, Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Mystery of His Time (New York: Penguin Books, 1995); David S. Landes, Revolution in Time (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1983), 145–170. 14 K. R. Gilbert, “Machine-Tools,” in Singer, ed., The Industrial Revolution, 417–441; K. R. Gilbert, Henry Maudslay: Machine Builder (London: Science Museum, 1971); Joseph Wickham Roe, English and American Tool Builders (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1916), 33–49. 15 Maurice Damaus, “Precision Mechanics,” in Singer, ed., The Industrial Revolution, 379–416, quote at 414. 16 Gilbert, Henry Maudslay, 4. 17 James Nasmyth, An Autobiography, Samuel Smiles, ed.

Subsequent processing steps, like creating wrought iron or steel, also involve manipulating the carbon content of the product and are most easily accomplished by direct-contact heating. Great Britain made the shift to coke roughly a century before the rest of Europe and the United States. In part because of its greater heat potential, coke is the superior fuel for large-scale processing, so all serious competitor countries were eventually forced to follow the British lead. l Dava Sobel’s best-selling Longitude may be too hard on the astronomers. They certainly rallied against Harrison’s solutions, and several may have been motivated by personal animus toward Harrison (who was easy to dislike). But one could fairly argue that his clocks were not a true solution, despite their clear qualification under the rules. They were resounding proof that clock-based solutions were possible.

pages: 286 words: 90,530

Richard Dawkins: How a Scientist Changed the Way We Think by Alan Grafen; Mark Ridley

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Alfred Russel Wallace, Arthur Eddington, bioinformatics, cognitive bias, computer age, conceptual framework, Dava Sobel, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, epigenetics, Fellow of the Royal Society, Haight Ashbury, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John von Neumann, loose coupling, Murray Gell-Mann, Necker cube, phenotype, profit maximization, Ronald Reagan, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, theory of mind, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

But booms usually end in busts and the boom in popular science publishing was no exception. The deflation began after the debacle of Murray Gell-Mann’s The Quark and the Jaguar (1994), which Brockman sold for an advance of $550,000 for American rights alone. Gell-Mann returned much of the advance after failing to complete the book as promised, though it did eventually come out. The next year the phenomenon was Longitude by Dava Sobel and narrative non-fiction, rather than argument, became all the rage. Cod, tulips, salt, and zero were the themes of the moment, not to mention, on a grander and more analytical scale, guns, germs, and steel. In recent years, even as his imitators swarmed, the master continued to dominate the lists. A Devil’s Chaplain and The Ancestor’s Tale effortlessly climbed the charts. Others may aspire to his facility with words, or reach for his ease with literary allusion and metaphor, but they can only dream of his ability to change the way the scientific world thinks by means of a popular best-seller.

pages: 398 words: 100,679

The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World From Scratch by Lewis Dartnell

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agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, clean water, Dava Sobel, decarbonisation, discovery of penicillin, Dmitri Mendeleev, global village, Haber-Bosch Process, invention of movable type, invention of radio, invention of writing, iterative process, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, lone genius, mass immigration, nuclear winter, off grid, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, technology bubble, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, trade route

Leblanc process, early industrial pollution, Solvay processes: Deighton (1907), Reilly (1951), Mokyr (1990). William Crookes quote: Standage (2010). nitrogen gas is the least reactive diatomic substance: Schrock (2006). Haber-Bosch process: Standage (2010), Kean (2010), Perkins (1977), Edgerton (2007a). 12: TIME AND PLACE Adam Frank, About Time: Cosmology and Culture at the Twilight of the Big Bang. Eric Bruton, The History of Clocks & Watches. Dava Sobel, Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time. Epigraph: Denis Diderot as quoted by Goodman (1995). constancy of sand time (hourglass) compared to water clock: Bruton (2000). sundials: Oleson (2008). Manhattan as a city-size Stonehenge: Astronomy Picture of the Day, July 12, 2006, http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap060712.html. mechanical clocks: Usher (1982), Bruton (2000), Gribbin (2002), Frank (2011). 60 seconds, 60 minutes, 24 hours: Crump (2001), Frank (2011).

pages: 257 words: 13,443

Statistical Arbitrage: Algorithmic Trading Insights and Techniques by Andrew Pole

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algorithmic trading, Benoit Mandelbrot, Chance favours the prepared mind, constrained optimization, Dava Sobel, George Santayana, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, market clearing, market fundamentalism, merger arbitrage, pattern recognition, price discrimination, profit maximization, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, risk tolerance, Sharpe ratio, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, stochastic volatility, systematic trading, transaction costs

3 The first Astronomer Royal, John Flamsteed (1646–1719), systematically mapped the observable heavens from the newly established Royal Observatory at Greenwich, compiling 30,000 individual observations, each recorded and confirmed over 40 years of dedicated nightly effort. ‘‘The completed star catalogue tripled the number of entries in the sky atlas Tyco Brahe had compiled at Uraniborg in Denmark, and improved the precision of the census by several orders of magnitude.’’ In Longitude by Dava Sobel. Monte Carlo or Bust 7 The questions are unanswerable here. One cannot offer a philosophy or sociology of finance. But one can strive for scientific rigor in data analysis, hypothesis positing, model building, and testing. That rigor is the basis of any belief one can claim for the validity of understanding and coherent actions in exploiting emergent properties of components of the financial emporium.

The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea by Sebastian Junger

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Dava Sobel, North Sea oil, urban renewal

Like victims of a perfect crime, readers of The Perfect Storm are first seduced into caring for the book's doomed characters, then compelled to watch them carried into the maw of a meteorological hell. And all the while, Sebastian Junger's compassionate, intelligent voice instructs us effortlessly on the sea life of the sword-fisherman, the physics of a sinking steel ship, and the details of death by drowning." —Dava Sobel, author of Longitude "A journalistic triumph, the perfect meeting of the awesome power of a storm at sea and our own fascination with it." —Arizona Republic THE PERFECT STORM A TRUE STORY OF MEN AGAINST THE SEA SEBASTIAN JUNGER Insert credits: Pages 1 (bottom), 2, 3, 4 (bottom), 6, 8 © TEUN VOETEN/HH; pages 4 (top), 5 courtesy of the Crow's Nest; pages 1 (top), 7 courtesy of the Gloucester Daily Times.

pages: 580 words: 168,476

The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future by Joseph E. Stiglitz

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, Andrei Shleifer, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dava Sobel, declining real wages, deskilling, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Flash crash, framing effect, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, invisible hand, jobless men, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, London Interbank Offered Rate, lone genius, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, medical bankruptcy, microcredit, moral hazard, mortgage tax deduction, negative equity, obamacare, offshore financial centre, paper trading, Pareto efficiency, patent troll, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, price stability, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, uranium enrichment, very high income, We are the 99%, wealth creators, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

Providing better social protection can help create a more dynamic economy. The adverse effects of so-called incentive pay The Right, like many economists, tends to overestimate the benefits and underestimate the costs of incentive pay. There are certainly contexts in which monetary prizes have the potential to focus minds on a thorny problem and deliver a solution. A famous example is detailed in Dava Sobel’s Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time. As she reports, in the Longitude Act of 1714, the British Parliament set “a prize equal to a king’s ransom (several million dollars in today’s currency) for a ‘Practicable and Useful’ means of determining longitude.” This was critical to the success of transoceanic navigation. John Harrison, a watchmaker with no formal education but a mechanical genius, devoted his life to this quest and ultimately claimed the prize in 1773.55 However, it is a great leap from the power of monetary incentives to focus minds on a great quest to the idea that monetary incentives are the key to high performance in general.

Wealth in the form of collateral plays a kind of catalytic role rather than a role of input that gets used up in the process of producing output. See K. Hoff, “Market Failures and the Distribution of Wealth: A Perspective from the Economics of Information,” Politics and Society 24, no. 4 (1996): 411–32; and Hoff, “The Second Theorem of the Second Best,” Journal of Public Economics 25 (1994): 223–42. 55. The exciting story is told in the bestseller by Dava Sobel, Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time (New York: Walker, 1995). 56. Technically, the problems with incentive pay arise when there are information asymmetries. The employer doesn’t fully know the quality of the products produced by the worker (otherwise, he would specify that). In a trial, the judge and jury worry that the strength of an expert’s opinion might be affected if his compensation depended on the outcome of the trial. 57.

pages: 356 words: 102,224

Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space by Carl Sagan

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Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, cosmological principle, dark matter, Dava Sobel, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, germ theory of disease, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Kuiper Belt, linked data, nuclear winter, planetary scale, profit motive, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Stephen Hawking, telepresence

Ostro, "Long-Range Consequences of Interplanetary Collision Hazards," Issues in Science and Technology (Summer 1994), pp. 67-72. CHAPTER 19, REMAKING THE PLANETS J. D. Bernal, The World, the Flesh, and the Devil (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1969; first edition, 1929). James B. Pollack and Carl Sagan, "Planetary Engineering," in J. Lewis and M. Matthews, editors, Near-Earth Resources (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1992). 192 CHAPTER 20, DARKNESS Frank Drake and Dava Sobel, Is Anyone Out There? (New York: Delacorte, 1992). Paul Horowitz and Carl Sagan, "Project META: A Five-Year All-Sky Narrowband Radio Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence," Astrophysical Journal, vol. 415 (1992), pp. 218-235. Thomas R. McDonough, The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1987). Carl Sagan, Contact: A Novel (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1985) .

pages: 315 words: 93,628

Is God a Mathematician? by Mario Livio

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Albert Einstein, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, Brownian motion, cellular automata, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, cosmological constant, Dava Sobel, double helix, Edmond Halley, Eratosthenes, Georg Cantor, Gerolamo Cardano, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, music of the spheres, Myron Scholes, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, Russell's paradox, The Design of Experiments, the scientific method, traveling salesman

A superb discussion of Galileo’s physics can be found in Koyré 1978. Viviani created the popular image: A thorough discussion of Galileo’s methods and thought process can be found in Shea 1972, and in Machamer 1998. “was ignorant not only”: Galileo 1589–92. Galileo profusely criticizes Aristotle in De Motu. See Galilei 1600a, b. Virginia, Livia, and Vincenzio: The life story of Virginia, later known as Sister Maria Celeste, is beautifully told in Dava Sobel’s Galileo’s Daughter (Sobel 1999). “About 10 months ago”: Galilei 1610a, b. An excellent description of the work that led to the telescope can be found in is Reeves 2008. As the historian of science Noel Swerdlow: Swerdlow 1998. For a detailed description of Galileo’s discoveries with the telescope, see Shea 1972, Drake 1990. Turning his telescope to the Moon: A more popular and very engaging description of Galileo’s discoveries, as well as a general history of the telescope, can be found in Panek 1998.

pages: 261 words: 86,905

How to Speak Money: What the Money People Say--And What It Really Means by John Lanchester

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asset allocation, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, Black Swan, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, BRICs, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, commoditize, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, Dava Sobel, David Graeber, disintermediation, double entry bookkeeping, en.wikipedia.org, estate planning, financial innovation, Flash crash, forward guidance, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, high net worth, High speed trading, hindsight bias, income inequality, inflation targeting, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kodak vs Instagram, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, London Whale, loss aversion, margin call, McJob, means of production, microcredit, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, negative equity, neoliberal agenda, New Urbanism, Nick Leeson, Nikolai Kondratiev, Nixon shock, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, paradox of thrift, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, purchasing power parity, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, random walk, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Right to Buy, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, security theater, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, wealth creators, working poor, yield curve

The initial link between beer and scurvy was a correlation and not a cause. This would make a great story for a cute little nonfiction book if the Royal Navy had immediately acted on this information and caused a revolution in scurvy care; in fact, though, it took forty years before the navy made lime juice compulsory on long voyages. (Note that the story of scurvy is a sequel to the story of longitude, as told by Dava Sobel in a book of that name: the ability to determine longitude made it possible for ships to regularly go on much longer voyages, which made scurvy a bigger problem.) costs Everyone knows what costs are. In economics, though, the word is used as a euphemism for “people,” so when a company or government talks about “cutting costs,” what it really means is “sacking people.” Saving money by moving business to the Internet is one way of cutting costs, because for any consumer process, it’s about twenty times more expensive for a company to do something over the phone than over the Internet, simply because one involves people and the other doesn’t.

pages: 316 words: 90,165

You Are Here: From the Compass to GPS, the History and Future of How We Find Ourselves by Hiawatha Bray

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Albert Einstein, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, British Empire, call centre, crowdsourcing, Dava Sobel, digital map, don't be evil, Edmond Halley, Edward Snowden, Firefox, game design, Google Earth, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, Isaac Newton, job automation, John Harrison: Longitude, John Snow's cholera map, license plate recognition, lone genius, openstreetmap, polynesian navigation, popular electronics, RAND corporation, RFID, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, trade route, turn-by-turn navigation, uranium enrichment, urban planning, V2 rocket, Zipcar

Jonkers, Earth’s Magnetism in the Age of Sail (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003), 66. 12. Wilford, The Mapmakers, 64. 13. Ibid., 87–104. 14. Andrew D. Lambert, The Gates of Hell: Sir John Franklin’s Tragic Quest for the North West Passage (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2009), 74. 15. Frank Nothen Magill, Magill’s Survey of Science: Earth Science Series (Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, 1990), 2:541. 16. Dava Sobel, Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time (New York: Penguin Books, 1995), 24–27. 17. Wilford, The Mapmakers, 132–151. Chapter 2 1. Abigail Foerstner, James Van Allen: The First Eight Billion Miles (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2007), 50. 2. US Patent 716134, issued December 16, 1902. 3. Captain Linwood S. Howeth, USN (Retired), History of Communications-Electronics in the United States Navy (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1963). 4.

pages: 606 words: 157,120

To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism by Evgeny Morozov

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3D printing, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Automated Insights, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive bias, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, disintermediation, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, frictionless, future of journalism, game design, Gary Taubes, Google Glasses, illegal immigration, income inequality, invention of the printing press, Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, lifelogging, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, moral panic, Narrative Science, Nicholas Carr, packet switching, PageRank, Parag Khanna, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, pets.com, placebo effect, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, smart meter, social graph, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks

Sol Schwimmer is suing me”: Woody Allen, The Complete Prose of Woody Allen (New York: Wings Books, 1991), 105. 35 “when we think of information technology”: David Edgerton, Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History Since 1900 (London: Profile Books, 2011), xvi. 36 “the most wrenching cultural transformation since the Industrial Revolution”: “‘Antichrist of Silicon Valley,’ Andrew Keen Wary of Online Content Sharing,” Economic Times, May 29, 2012. 37 they don’t always capture the historical complexity: on the longitude problem, see Dava Sobel’s accessible history Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time, reprint ed. (New York: Walker & Company, 2007). On early crowdsourcing efforts by the Smithsonian, see “Smithsonian Crowd-sourcing since 1849!,” Smithsonian Institution Archives, April 14, 2011, http://siarchives.si.edu/blog/smithsonian-crowdsourcing-1849. I learned of Toyota’s efforts via this blog post on pre-Internet crowd-sourcing efforts: “Crowdsourcing Is Not New—the History of Crowdsourcing (1714 to 2010),” DesignCrowd, October 28, 2010, http://blog.designcrowd.com/article/202/crowdsourcing. 37 “Knowledge is taking on the shape of the Net”: David Weinberger, Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now that the Facts Aren’t the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room (New York: Basic Books, 2012), 17.

pages: 434 words: 135,226

The Music of the Primes by Marcus Du Sautoy

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Ada Lovelace, Andrew Wiles, Arthur Eddington, Augustin-Louis Cauchy, computer age, Dava Sobel, Dmitri Mendeleev, Eratosthenes, Erdős number, four colour theorem, Georg Cantor, German hyperinflation, global village, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, music of the spheres, New Journalism, Paul Erdős, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rubik’s Cube, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Simon Singh, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking, Turing machine, William of Occam, Wolfskehl Prize, Y2K

http://www.musicoftheprimes.com/ The website for this book contains a regularly updated news section and a huge amount of fascinating information related to prime numbers. BOOKSHOP Now you can buy any of these great paperbacks from Harper Perennial at 10% off recommended retail price. FREE postage and packing in the UK. Fermat’s Last Theorem Simon Singh 1 84115 791 0 £8.99 The Code Book Simon Singh 1 85702 889 9 £9.99 Longitude Dava Sobel 1 85702 5717 £6.99 Isaac Newton James GleickO 00 716318 5 £7.99 Nature via Nurture Matt Ridley 1 84115 746 5 £8.99 The Curious Life of Robert Hooke Lisajardine0007151756 £8.99 Total cost———— 10% discount———— Final total———— To purchase by Visa/Mastercard/Switch simply call08707871724orfaxon08707871725 To pay by cheque, send a copy of this form with a cheque made payable to ‘HarperCollins Publishers’ to: Mail Order Dept (Ref: BOM), HarperCollins Publishers, Westerhill Road, Bishopbriggs, G64 2QT, making sure to include your full name, postal address and phone number.

pages: 437 words: 113,173

Age of Discovery: Navigating the Risks and Rewards of Our New Renaissance by Ian Goldin, Chris Kutarna

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Bonfire of the Vanities, clean water, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Dava Sobel, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, double helix, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, experimental economics, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, full employment, Galaxy Zoo, global supply chain, Hyperloop, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial cluster, industrial robot, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, low cost carrier, low skilled workers, Lyft, Malacca Straits, mass immigration, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, Network effects, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, Occupy movement, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, open economy, Panamax, Pearl River Delta, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, post-Panamax, profit motive, rent-seeking, reshoring, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, Snapchat, special economic zone, spice trade, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, uranium enrichment, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, zero day

pages: 492 words: 149,259

Big Bang by Simon Singh

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Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, All science is either physics or stamp collecting, Andrew Wiles, anthropic principle, Arthur Eddington, Astronomia nova, Brownian motion, carbon-based life, Cepheid variable, Chance favours the prepared mind, Commentariolus, Copley Medal, cosmic abundance, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, dark matter, Dava Sobel, Defenestration of Prague, discovery of penicillin, Dmitri Mendeleev, Edmond Halley, Edward Charles Pickering, Eratosthenes, Ernest Rutherford, Erwin Freundlich, Fellow of the Royal Society, fudge factor, Hans Lippershey, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, Henri Poincaré, horn antenna, if you see hoof prints, think horses—not zebras, Index librorum prohibitorum, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Karl Jansky, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, luminiferous ether, Magellanic Cloud, Murray Gell-Mann, music of the spheres, Olbers’ paradox, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, Paul Erdős, retrograde motion, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, scientific mainstream, Simon Singh, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, unbiased observer, V2 rocket, Wilhelm Olbers, William of Occam

Arthur Koestler, The Sleepwalkers (Arkana, 1989) An account of the development of cosmology from ancient Greece through to the seventeenth century. Kitty Ferguson, The Nobleman and His Housedog (Review, 2002) A highly accessible account of the partnership between Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler. Martin Gorst, Aeons (Fourth Estate, 2001) A history of humankind’s attempts to measure the age of the universe, from Bishop Ussher to Hubble’s law. Dava Sobel, Galileo’s Daughter (Fourth Estate, 2000) An account of the life of Galileo, which includes letters sent to him by his daughter, who lived in a convent from the age of thirteen. Carl Sagan, Cosmos (Abacus, 1995) The book based on the famous television series, which must have been the inspiration for numerous careers in astronomy. Chapter 2 James Gleick, Isaac Newton (Fourth Estate, 2003) An accessible and concise account of the life of Isaac Newton.

pages: 1,088 words: 297,362

The London Compendium by Ed Glinert

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1960s counterculture, anti-communist, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Geldof, British Empire, Brixton riot, Corn Laws, Dava Sobel, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Exxon Valdez, hiring and firing, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, John Harrison: Longitude, John Snow's cholera map, Khartoum Gordon, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, Nick Leeson, price stability, Ronald Reagan, Sloane Ranger, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, the market place, trade route, union organizing, V2 rocket

Gilbert and George’s studio (1968–), No. 12 The well-known performance artists Gilbert Proesch and Flete George Charles Ernestine Passmore, better known as Gilbert and George, moved to Spitalfields in the late 1960s, when the area was at its lowest ebb and one of the least fashionable enclaves of the capital (‘it was like walking into a book in the nineteenth century: amazing light, and few people in the street, more like literature than reality’, according to Gilbert), but decades later found that their locale had become one of the most fashionable places in central London, thanks to the surrounding gentrification and the influx of artists into Spitalfields and Shoreditch. Nos. 4–6 Built as a silk merchant’s house by Marmaduke Smith in 1726, Nos. 4–6 – used in the late-twentieth-century television version of Dava Sobel’s Longitude – is grander than most of the other properties on the street and features a rusticated central doorway, carved surround, cantilevered canopy and full height Doric pilasters, as well as being decorated internally with much mahogany, used because the duty on the wood had been lifted only four years previously. By 1914 the property was part banana warehouse and part tenement residence, and in 1977 it was bought by the Spitalfields Trust, becoming the first local house to be saved from destruction at a time when Georgian properties were being bulldozed because they were unfashionable or uninhabitable.

The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology by Ray Kurzweil

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additive manufacturing, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, brain emulation, Brewster Kahle, Brownian motion, business intelligence, c2.com, call centre, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, David Brooks, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, factory automation, friendly AI, George Gilder, Gödel, Escher, Bach, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the telephone, invention of the telescope, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, lifelogging, linked data, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, Mikhail Gorbachev, mouse model, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, oil shale / tar sands, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, phenotype, premature optimization, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, remote working, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Rodney Brooks, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, selection bias, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Coming Technological Singularity, Thomas Bayes, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Y2K, Yogi Berra

Kingsley in The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence in the Optical Spectrum, vol. 2, S. A. Kingsley and G. A. Lemarchand, eds. (1996) Proc. WPIE 2704: 102–16. 67. N. S. Kardashev, "Transmission of Information by Extraterrestrial Civilizations," Soviet Astronomy 8.2 (1964): 217–20. Summarized in Guillermo A. Lemarchand, "Detectability of Extraterrestrial Technological Activities," SETIQuest 1:1, pp. 3–13, http://www.coseti.org/lemarch1.htm. 68. Frank Drake and Dava Sobel, Is Anyone Out There? (New York: Dell, 1994); Carl Sagan and Frank Drake, "The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence," Scientific American (May 1975): 80–89. A Drake-equation calculator can be found at http://www.activemind.com/Mysterious/Topics/SETI/drake_equation.html. 69. Many of the descriptions of the Drake equation express fL as the fraction of the planet's life during which radio transmission takes place, but this should properly be expressed as a fraction of the life of the universe, as we don't really care how long that planet has been around; rather, we care about the duration of the radio transmissions. 70.

pages: 859 words: 204,092

When China Rules the World: The End of the Western World and the Rise of the Middle Kingdom by Martin Jacques

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Admiral Zheng, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, Bob Geldof, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, credit crunch, Dava Sobel, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, discovery of the americas, Doha Development Round, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global reserve currency, global supply chain, illegal immigration, income per capita, invention of gunpowder, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, Kenneth Rogoff, land reform, land tenure, Malacca Straits, Martin Wolf, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Urbanism, one-China policy, open economy, Pearl River Delta, pension reform, price stability, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, special economic zone, spinning jenny, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, the scientific method, Thomas L Friedman, trade liberalization, urban planning, Washington Consensus, Westphalian system, Xiaogang Anhui farmers, zero-sum game

Geoff Wade, ‘Don’t Be Deceived: Our History Really is Under Serious Attack’, Canberra Times, 27 April 2006. 13 . Quoted in Chris Alden, China in Africa (London: Zed Books, 2007), p. 19. 14 . Patrick L. Smith, ‘Museum’s Display Links the Birth of Golf to China’, International Herald Tribune, 1 March 2006. 15 . Nicholas D. Kristof, ‘Glory is as Ephemeral as Smoke and Clouds’, International Herald Tribune, 23 May 2005. 16 . Dava Sobel, Longitude (London: Fourth Estate, 1998). 17 . Lucian W. Pye, The Spirit of Chinese Politics (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1992), p. 235. 18 . Suisheng Zhao, A Nation-State by Construction: Dynamics of Modern Chinese Nationalism (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004), pp. 147-9. 19 . David C. Kang, ‘Getting Asia Wrong: The Need for New Analytical Frameworks’, International Security, 27: 4 (Spring 2003), pp. 57, 61-5. 20 .

pages: 654 words: 204,260

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

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Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, Alfred Russel Wallace, All science is either physics or stamp collecting, Arthur Eddington, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Brownian motion, California gold rush, Cepheid variable, clean water, Copley Medal, cosmological constant, dark matter, Dava Sobel, David Attenborough, double helix, Drosophila, Edmond Halley, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, Kevin Kelly, Kuiper Belt, Louis Pasteur, luminiferous ether, Magellanic Cloud, Menlo Park, Murray Gell-Mann, out of africa, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Stephen Hawking, supervolcano, Thomas Malthus, Wilhelm Olbers

If you measured the deflection accurately and worked out the mass of the mountain, you could calculate the universal gravitational constant—that is, the basic value of gravity, known as G—and along with it the mass of the Earth. Bouguer and La Condamine had tried this on Peru's Mount Chimborazo, but had been defeated by both the technical difficulties and their own squabbling, and so the notion lay dormant for another thirty years until resurrected in England by Nevil Maskelyne, the astronomer royal. In Dava Sobel's popular book Longitude, Maskelyne is presented as a ninny and villain for failing to appreciate the brilliance of the clockmaker John Harrison, and this may be so, but we are indebted to him in other ways not mentioned in her book, not least for his successful scheme to weigh the Earth. Maskelyne realized that the nub of the problem lay with finding a mountain of sufficiently regular shape to judge its mass.

pages: 615 words: 189,720

Galileo's Dream by Kim Stanley Robinson

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clockwork universe, dark matter, Dava Sobel, gravity well, Murano, Venice glass, music of the spheres

I made some changes in these texts, and many elisions that I did not mark, but I was always relying on the translators who translated the source material from Italian or Latin or French into English. In particular I would like to acknowledge and thank Mary Allan-Olney, Mario Biagioli, Henry Crew and Alfonso de-Salvio, Giorgio de Santillana, Stillman Drake, John Joseph Fahie, Ludovico Geymonat, Maurice A. Finocchiaro, Pietro Redondi, James Reston, Jr., Rinaldina Russell, Dava Sobel, and Albert van Helden. Despite the work of these translators and many more, not all of Galileo’s writing has yet been translated into English. This is a real shame, not only for novelists writing novels about him, but for anyone who doesn’t speak Italian but does speak English, and wants to learn more about the history of science, or one of its greatest characters. His complete works were first edited by Antonio Favaro at the turn of the last century, then recently revised and updated by a communal effort.

pages: 778 words: 227,196

The Age of Wonder by Richard Holmes

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Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, British Empire, Copley Medal, Dava Sobel, double helix, Edmond Halley, Etonian, experimental subject, Fellow of the Royal Society, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Harrison: Longitude, music of the spheres, placebo effect, polynesian navigation, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, trade route, unbiased observer, University of East Anglia, éminence grise

Crowe, Modern Theories of the Universe from Herschel to Hubble, Chicago UP, 1994 Gale Christianson, Edwin Hubble: Mariner of the Nebulae, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1995 Peter Whitfield, The Mapping of the Heavens, The British Library, 1995 John Carey (editor), The Faber Book of Science, Faber, 1995 Janet Browne, Charles Darwin: Volume I: Voyaging, and Volume 2: The Power of Place, Pimlico, 1995 and 2000 Michael Shortland and Richard Yeo, Telling Lives in Science: Essays in Scientific Biography, CUP, 1996 Dava Sobel, Longitude, Fourth Estate, 1996 Roy Porter, The Greatest Benefit to Mankind: A Medical History of Humanity from Antiquity to the Present, HarperCollins, 1997 John Gascoigne, Science in the Service of Empire, CUP, 1998 Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder, Allen Lane, Penguin Press, 1998 Lisa Jardine, Ingenious Pursuits: Building the Scientific Revolution, Little, Brown, 1999 Jonathan Bate, The Song of the Earth, Picador, 2000 Ludmilla Jordanova, Defining Features: Scientific and Medical Portraits 1660-2000, National Portrait Gallery, London, 2000 Patricia Fara, Newton: The Making of Genius, Macmillan, 2000 Mary Midgley, Science and Poetry, Routledge, 2001 Thomas Crump, A Brief History of Science as Seen Through the Development of Scientific Instruments, Constable, 2001 Oliver Sacks, Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood, Picador, 2001 Carl Djerassi and Roald Hoffmann, Oxygen (a play in 2 acts), Wiley, New York, 2001 Anne Thwaite, Glimpses of the Wonderful: The Life of P.H.

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