Here’s my favorite book title, ever. I always loved the power of the academic colon.
For more information on the author, Wikipedia has some details. (As an aside, if I had stayed in grad school, Silvanus was going to make an appearance in my dissertation.)
But the title is just the tip of the super awesome iceberg. You can read it on Scribd, but some of my favorite part so far is:
Prologue: Considering how many fools can calculate, it is surprising that it should be thought either a difficult or tedious task for any other fool to learn how to master the same tricks. Some calculus-tricks are quite easy. Some are enormously difficult. The fools who write the textbooks of advanced mathematics–and they are mostly clever fools–seldom take the trouble to show you how easy the calculations are. On the contrary, they seem to desire to impress you with their tremendous cleverness by going about it in the most difficult way.
And the first chapter is just two pages. Awesome.
This struck me especially deeply because… well, see some twitter posts I made earlier this week (read it from the bottom upwards):
After this brief burst of histrionics, I actually did decide that I wanted to change things a lot. In a follow up fit, I whipped up an email to my department head, pretty much begging that she would support my plea for a grant to work on revamping the curriculum in the summer.
(Turns out that revamping the calculus curriculum isn’t an immediate priority, sigh, so I will probably not get it.)
In any case, now that you’ve gone through this stream of consciousness, look back at my favorite book title and see how it all comes full circle.