Margaret Wertheim – Pythagoras’ Trousers

Way behind on both reading and writing, but have read two great books I need to review / gut. Firstly, below, “Pythagoras’ Trousers” by Margaret Wertheim, subtitled “God, Physics and the Gender Wars“. The Pythagoras connection follows on from my read of Philip Goff, but I’m still not sure where I picked up the reference. My initial response in a short burst of tweets:

[The rest of this post is that “gutted” content for ongoing research. As a review it doesn’t do justice – but highly – Highly – recommended.]

The (hopefully) historical gender politics of science remains a fascinating read in its own right, but as I say in that last tweet:

The blind spot of orthodox science
re its god-like foundations
becomes a bigger obstacle to progress every day.

Very much the same premise as Philip Goff:

Galileo and Newton were successful with their physics precisely because they worked within a narrow range of purely physical properties … they did not hanker after mathematical formulations of sin and grace … quaint absurdities of a confused past.

The invention of feminism:

In opposition to Aristotle, Averroes held that men and women were essentially equal … As the deeply Aristotelian high middle-ages gave way to the first stirrings of renaissance humanism … academic misogyny was the target of a feminist attack by Christine of Pisan (1364 – 1430) … in her “Book of the City of Ladies”. “If it were the custom to put the little maidens to school … to learn the sciences as they do the man children … they should learn as perfectly.”

First of several significant mentions of Roger Boscovich

Wow. Only the second person besides myself to make this “standing on the shoulders of giants” statement about Einstein:

Whereas contemporary physicists who talk about the “mind of God” are following in Einstein’s footsteps, he in turn was following in Boscovich’s.

 

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