The Corner

UQ Review

There’s a long & critical review of Unknown Quantity in the current (June 9) issue of Science.  You can’t get at it without a subscription, so I’ve put it (intact, I swear) on my website here.

The reviewer is Prof. Victor Katz of the University of DC.  A lot of his criticisms strike me as nit-picky.  Even assuming he’s right (I’ll bet he is–he’s an expert in the field) about the Babylonians, I’m not sure I would have said anything other than what I said, for the readership I’m aiming for.  Similarly with his carping about Cartesian geometry.  Given the constraints of space I was working with, and my chosen style of presentation, I don’t think I’d have said anything more about Descartes than I did.  (I did in fact say a great deal more in my first draft; but that draft, said my editor, was 20 percent too long, and I cut the detailed Descartes stuff as not being, as starlets say, essential to the plot.  You can only include so much.)   I have an ugly feeling he has me dead to rights on Cardano, though–I shall check next time I’m around the Ars Magna.

Incidentally, I mention one of Prof. Katz’s books in UQ (page 330).  There’s gratitude for you.  But reviews are like a box of chocolates–you never know what you’re going to get.  Ask Ramesh.

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

Most Popular

Media

The Biden Protection Racket

Joe Biden is the most cosseted presidential candidate in memory. He’s run a minimalist campaign that’s avoided the press as much as possible, while the press hasn’t been braying for more access and answers, but eager to avoid anything that could be discomfiting to the campaign. Never before have the ... Read More
Media

The Biden Protection Racket

Joe Biden is the most cosseted presidential candidate in memory. He’s run a minimalist campaign that’s avoided the press as much as possible, while the press hasn’t been braying for more access and answers, but eager to avoid anything that could be discomfiting to the campaign. Never before have the ... Read More

A Few Cracks in the Progressive Wall

The contemporary progressive agenda — of, say, an Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, or Elizabeth Warren — has rarely appealed to 51 percent of the American electorate. Most polls show opposition to Court packing and the abolition of the Electoral College. Voters don’t seem to like ... Read More

A Few Cracks in the Progressive Wall

The contemporary progressive agenda — of, say, an Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, or Elizabeth Warren — has rarely appealed to 51 percent of the American electorate. Most polls show opposition to Court packing and the abolition of the Electoral College. Voters don’t seem to like ... Read More

Trump: No

Editor’s Note: The following is one of three essays, each from a different perspective, in the latest edition of National Review on the question of whether to vote for President Trump. The views below reflect those of the individual author, not of the NR editorial board as a whole. The other two essays can be ... Read More

Trump: No

Editor’s Note: The following is one of three essays, each from a different perspective, in the latest edition of National Review on the question of whether to vote for President Trump. The views below reflect those of the individual author, not of the NR editorial board as a whole. The other two essays can be ... Read More
Elections

Why Hunter?

Hunter Biden, Joe’s younger son, has become a fixture of the 2020 race. Since August 27, 2019, Donald Trump has tweeted about Hunter 59 separate times, making his colorful past one of the Trump campaign’s most important attacks on his rival. For many years, Hunter struggled with serious drug and alcohol ... Read More
Elections

Why Hunter?

Hunter Biden, Joe’s younger son, has become a fixture of the 2020 race. Since August 27, 2019, Donald Trump has tweeted about Hunter 59 separate times, making his colorful past one of the Trump campaign’s most important attacks on his rival. For many years, Hunter struggled with serious drug and alcohol ... Read More

Trump: Yes

Editor’s Note: The following is one of three essays, each from a different perspective, in the latest edition of National Review on the question of whether to vote for President Trump. The views below reflect those of the individual author, not of the NR editorial board as a whole. The other two essays can be ... Read More

Trump: Yes

Editor’s Note: The following is one of three essays, each from a different perspective, in the latest edition of National Review on the question of whether to vote for President Trump. The views below reflect those of the individual author, not of the NR editorial board as a whole. The other two essays can be ... Read More