“Must have facts,” said Lord Peter, “facts. When I was a small boy I always hated facts. Thought of ’em as nasty, hard things, all knobs. Uncompromisin’.” (from Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers)
My latest post over at Galileo’s Pendulum explains why I won’t be writing a book called “1,001 Mind-Blowing Facts About the Universe” any time soon, even when offered money to do so. Bonus: contains “yo momma” jokes.
Style aside, there’s another reason I’m not a big fan of omnibus fact lists: that’s not a very scientific way to organize knowledge. Facts are some of the least useful things in science, so just dumping a list of them on readers will not generally result in much gain in understanding. [Read more….]