Textbook Selection

Here’s a link I pulled from the Interesting People mailing list, in the context of discussions about the current evangelical mania sweeping the Texas school curriculum. It’s all about Feynman’s brief stint evaluating math textbooks for the State of California, and it’s depressingly comedic.

5 Responses to “Textbook Selection”

  1. matt says:

    Another article, more funny and more sad, on the same sort of topic:


  2. Pitt says:


    Add the temperature of two stars?? WTF???

    By that logic, if I have one cup of water a 50 degrees C, and another cup of water at 50 degrees C, when I pour them together they should boil!

  3. matt says:

    I almost wish that the poor dead bastard had taken the job as a reviewer for Physics textbooks. That would have been worth the trauma just for the stories.

  4. Pitt says:

    As part of my job, I occassionally have to review technical documentation that comes across my desk for various equipment that we manufacture, sell, and have to support. Normally, a technical writer would be expected to be both proficient in the English language and have at least a passing knowledge of the technology. Somehow, ours seem to have neither. Its become a bit of a sad joke whenever I get a new manual to review, that its time to open up my red pen and dump ink all over the pages. I quite frequently feel like a high school teacher must feel while grading essays on, say, American History, obviously written at the eleventh hour.

  5. matt says:


    It’s a sad fact that nobody wants to write documentation, especially not documentation intended for external use. It’s _always_ written at the eleventh hour, when something needs to get out the door and you send the secretary out for a case of laser printer paper and a cheap binder to put all of your cleaned-up notes into.

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