Scientific poetry

Sometimes beauty is in the detail. In a fifty-page erudite exposition on Mathematics, Measurement, and Psychophysics Stanley Stevens characterizes Fechner, the inventor of psychophysics and in many ways Stevens’ opposite, thus: “Fechner, like his fellow mystic Pythagoras, advanced a science by trying to prove a theology.” So true, and yet so completely beside the point. Being a historian of economics leaves me less and less time to read novels and poetry, but sometimes it’s there, right where you least expect it.

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