I felt a throb of power the first time I wrote at a blackboard.

Same thing the first time I used LaTeX. Suddenly my words had this serious veneer, like—ouch! ouch! She blinded me with science!


Of course I could have written the same thing in MS Word, or blogged it and changed my CSS to a credible" typeface—you know, spending more time on the presentation than on the substance. I felt uncomfortable: I had unfairly earned an advantage.

I'm blinding you with science!

I think it’s part of the reason people like using whiteboards. Besides being public and conserving square-footage, standing up and writing feels authoritative.

school under bridge

This post had 10,000 likes when I picked it up from bucolicdreams. How many do you think read the equations?

free field Fourier series from the standard model

(Someone could conceivably check, so go Social Media for that.)

My point isn’t about ignorance; it’s about scientism. Any time the trappings of science proxy for thinking, those symbols can be exploited. Cue the actors wearing lab coats and selling Hypoprenazole (Lorbutramin).


Or in an uglier incarnation, the Milgram Experiment where an actor in a lab coat instructs you to hurt someone else.


I’ll end, ironically, with a quotation from a scientific authority:

via wnycradiolabpropaedeuticistbucolicdreams

(Source: propaedeuticist)

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