One of my schoolmasters was fond of saying that there are only two worthwhile forms of worldly immortality: to get a poem in the Oxford Book of English Verse, or to have a mathematical theorem named after you. The British scholar Joseph Needham (1900-1995) was no better than a passable amateur poet, judging by the... Read More
Who can ever tire of learning about the great discoveries in physics during the first forty years of the twentieth century, and about the men and women who were responsible? The benchmark texts are the surveys and biographies written by the late physicist and historian Abraham Pais, though all the essentials are gathered in a... Read More
In his invaluable Reader's Manifesto, literary critic B.R. Myers, skewering current literary fads, offers a spoof list of rules for serious writers. Rule II is: I naturally had Myers' mock precept in mind when approaching Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle — three damned, thick, square books weighing in at a total of over 2,600 pages. My... Read More
————————— Jules Verne (1828-1905) is conventionally regarded as the father of science fiction. Some literary historians will give you an argument here, asserting that sci-fi goes all the way back to the ancients (via, of course, Bacon's New Atlantis … ), with the boldest spirits even claiming Homer's Odyssey for the genre. That seems to... Read More
About John Derbyshire
John Derbyshire writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him. He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. His most recent book, published by VDARE.com com is FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle).His writings are archived at JohnDerbyshire.com.