20 February 2008

Wow, X suck[s] at math.

See John Armstrong deconstruct Monday's XKCD, which he also talked about when it came out. (For those who haven't seen it: one student writes ∫ x2 = π on the board and a teacher says "Wow, you suck at math"; another student, with longer hair, writes the same thing and a teacher says "Wow, girls suck at math".)

Other people have responded to this as well: Ben Webster of Secret Blogging Seminar, Reasonable Deviations, ZeroDivides, and probably some others that I'm missing. It's not my intention to react here, just to point to other mathoblogospheric commentary on the matter. But you really should read John Armstrong's post, because it's funny. (John, I think you should try deconstructing some actual mathematics. I, for one, would be amused.)

Incidentally, is the correct way to cite a blog informally like this by author, or by blog-title? In other words, if you were writing a blog post and linking to me, would you refer to "God Plays Dice" or "Isabel Lugo"? (Secret Blogging Seminar is a group blog, so I had to put Ben Webster's name in.)

17 comments:

Mikael said...

For single author blogs, I almost exclusively use the blog name. Sometimes, the blog writer uses a pseudonym so consistently that it makes sense to include that as well.

For multiple author blogs, saying -who- in addition to -where- is significant and belongs in there.

And this principle is what I'm thinking this very moment. In reality, I do whatever I feel like at any given moment, so expect variations.

walt said...

I usually say "person name" at "blog name", I think.

Ben said...

First of all, it's the blagosphere. You can cite things any way you please.

From an aesthetic point of view, "Ben Webster at SBS" as a single link is pretty cludgy. I suspect if I had written the post, my name would have linked to a different site, like my webpage, a page of scurrilous rumors about me, or the Ben Webster disambiguation page that will soon be necessary on Wikipedia.

Isabel said...

Ben,

sure, I can cite things however I like -- but I suppose I want to go for what's not ugly, and what informs, and those goals might contradict each other. The best solution is probably to not have a solution, and do whatever I feel like.

Besides, we mathematicians barely have a uniform style for citing things in scholarly works.

unapologetic said...

I skew towards Walt's advice myself. Ben has a point though, that it's still a lawless frontier territory.

For links to me, though, I actually prefer the real name to be in there somewhere. Part of my raison de bloggre is to build up my name recognition in the vain hopes that it will eventually help in the job market.

Isabel said...

John,

I think the correct French would be raison de blogger... at least if my understanding of how French forms verbs when they're borrowing from other languages is correct. (The Academie Francaise probably has some horribly awkward circumlocution they expect people to use instead; I don't know what it is.

Jack said...

Well, no I see where "unapologetic" comes from.

Jack said...

no = now

unapologetic said...

You're probably right about the verb, Isabel, but English already has a word spelled "blogger". Jumping to the "-re" form gives it a certain, as the French say, "I don't know what".

jackv said...

I might say, Isabel on (or, if the name is in the URL, use an httpless URL in place of the name).

But it depends which seems to be well known, most of the time only one is and I'd just say that.

And I'd use the pseudonym as the author's name if that's how they were referred to on the place (unless they're well enough known you need to know both).

Blake Stacey said...

It looks like l'Academie prefers bloc-notes for "blog", but this is also the name for Notepad on the French version of MS Windows, and most everybody just says blog anyway.

Blake Stacey said...

It appears that I've cited this blog as "God Plays Dice" (1, 2, 3) and "Isabel" (1, 2, 3, 4 ) just about equally.

unapologetic said...

Blake: that seems to be a noun form. What's the verb, "to blog"?

Blake Stacey said...

I think the infinitive of the verb is bloguer (see here).

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