Why I paid $100 for a Vonnegut quote

Publisher: “Before we go to print, we just wanted to make sure you got permissions for the epigraphs in your book.” Me: “What’s an epigraph?” As I was traveling through the final stages of publishing my book, I learned that there are two approaches to using a quote. One is to embed the quote inContinue reading “Why I paid $100 for a Vonnegut quote”

Newton: On whose shoulders did he stand?

No Newton, no Principia. That much is clear. But did Newton do it alone? He was naturally exposed to the ideas of such predecessors as Descartes and Galileo and such contemporaries as Leibniz and Huygens. That this collective influenced Newton is reflected in his own writing, “If I have seen further it is by standingContinue reading “Newton: On whose shoulders did he stand?”

How did Galileo measure time?

Galileo, perhaps more than any other single person, was responsible for the birth of modern science – Steven Hawking [1] Galileo was fascinated by motion and continually experimented with pendulums, cannons, and rolling balls to understand why bodies move the way they do. The arguable culmination of these efforts occurred in 1604 when he discoveredContinue reading “How did Galileo measure time?”

How to conduct powerful science? Check your ego at the door.

Observe nature, take measurements, and then propose as many hypotheses as you possibly can that are consistent with the data. In this way, you shift the focus from a negative conflict between scientists, each embracing their own individual hypothesis, to a positive, exciting, and team-based conflict between ideas in which technical debate among those with differing perspectives is encouraged in order to learn and not to win.