Has the pop-statistics nonfiction genre reached a tipping point? One where the need to package statistical studies as amazing counter-intuitive revelations has outpaced the scientific method itself? In Scientific American two statisticians say yes: “We and others have noted a discouraging tendency in the Freakonomics body of work to present speculative or even erroneous claims with an air of certainty,” write Andrew Gelman and Kaiser Fung, two fellow statisticians who have dabbled in nonfiction. “Considering such problems yields useful lessons for those who wish to popularize statistical ideas.” Read More
The literary criticism of art criticism in Geoff Dyer’s debut column in The New York Times Book Review made our head spin.
The genre-defying English writer mounted a meta-takedown of the art historian Michael Fried. We didn’t know the author of Absorption and Theatricality: Painting and Beholder in the Age of Diderot Read More