Lisa Gold, an extraodinary researcher with deep ties to science fiction (she conducted research for Neal Stephenson's Baroque Trilogy
and is married to the wonderful comedic sf/f writer Matt Ruff, author of the newly paperback-published Bad Monkeys
) has launched a public blog where she's keeping track of her research notes. I have a love-hate relationship with book research, so it's amazing to see someone really good
at it at work.
“The next best thing to knowing something is knowing where to find it.” – Samuel Johnson
Lisa Gold: Research Maven
I thought this famous Samuel Johnson quote would be an appropriate way to begin my blog. The problem is that Johnson never actually said this, despite the fact that you’ll find this attributed to him on a number of different quotation websites. None of these websites identified the original source of the Johnson quote, so I decided to dig a little deeper. The Apocrypha section of Frank Lynch’s Samuel Johnson Sound Bite Page identifies this quote as a corruption of something Johnson did say, which was recorded by James Boswell in his Life of Johnson. The actual Johnson quote is: “Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it.” I confirmed this by searching the text of Boswell’s Life of Johnson online.
In the late 1960s and 1970s, the mind-expanding modus operandi of the counterculture spread into the realm of science, and shit got wonderfully weird. Neurophysiologist John Lilly tried to talk with dolphins. Physicist Peter Phillips launched a parapsychology lab at Washington University. Princeton physicist Gerard O’Neill became an evangelist for space colonies. Groovy Science: Knowledge, […]
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