January 28, 2006

David Goodstein hits the Grim Meathook Lecture Circuit

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at January 28, 2006 2:22 PM

Doug Natelson (via Mixed States) comments on a talk by Caltech prof David Goodstein. Goodstein is mostly known for bad physics puns, but is now brandishing a meathook and predicting the imminent end of civilization. Apparently he's written a book, Out of Gas, on the increasingly frightening subject of peak oil. Anyone know if the book is any good? I'm tempted to check it out, assuming he's foregone the puns this time.

Tags: Apocalypse, Caltech, Energy, Science

My understanding is that the book has been well-received.

Goodstein has the cushiest office in Sloan Annex, but he's hardly ever in this building.

He gave a practice lecture this summer, which I thought was going to be for the oil stuff (to be given as a lecture on campus about a month after the practice), but as it turns out it was a practice for the last (or one of the last) lectures of fall term. (This practice lecture was during the summer, so the topic was not the expected one.) Talk about deja vu. The jokes (in fact, the entire script) felt exactly the same, and I wonder if there were any differences aside from the fact that he slipped up more (which, given that it was practice, is to be expected) and that he's really slowed down. I know it's been 11 years since I took Phys 1a, but Goodstein really looks a lot more than 11 years older than he was before. He seemed like a middle-aged guy then, but he definitely looks and acts old now. Anyway, this was just how I perceived the whole thing. I'm sure it would be different if there weren't such a long gap between my experiences.

Also, I saw Judith Goodstein give a talk at the Joint Math Meetings concerning the life of mathematician Vito Volterra.

Posted by: Mason | January 28, 2006 2:30 PM

i have the book. : )
it's good.
you can borrow it.

Posted by: phi | January 28, 2006 2:54 PM
Post a comment