Sunday, April 29, 2007

Further notes from The Great Simplification

While in graduate school, I took a course that required me to read the first two chapters of Andrew Pickering's Constructing Quarks. I know this because the boxes and boxes of files I have in my closets contain a xeroxed copy of the first two chapters of Pickering's contribution to the science wars of the 90s. On the front I have written "TTD: 1-Ask about NSF." and "Soren thinks that everything is analogous to everything else." TTD is an abbreviation for "thinks to do", apparently I didn't get far with that list. Soren is a person I went to grad school with. I have also underlined heavily throughout the xerox.

The 90s science wars are over. Pickering wrote a book which disavowed the strong position he took in those wars. I am not about to do any research on the sociology of particle physics any time soon. Also, I own a copy of the whole book.

There is no reason I should hang on to these xeroxed pages. I can throw them out. It would be neurotic of me to transfer my underlining in the xerox over to the book, in case I some day need to skim the book, with only a little time to spare, and need to know the gist of the first two chapters. I can throw this away. I can.

Also, Soren really did think everything was analogous to everything else. He was like Greil Marcus that way.

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