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John Stachel's typographical errors

  1. Jul 30, 2005 #1

    marcus

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    John Stachel is at Boston U. department of Physics and Center for Einstein Studies. His field is the Philosophy of Science, or maybe history/philosophy.

    The Stachel paper I'm proposing we scan for typos is
    Structure, Individuality and Quantum Gravity
    http://arxiv.org/gr-qc/0507078

    I consider a good sign in a philosopher for his work to contain typographical errors---too many philosophers of the last century were obsessed with grammatical rectitude and, dare I say it?, even correct spelling! A philosopher should seek the truth and damn the typos.

    Therefore this thread is intended as a catchment for Stachel typos.
    I hope other PF posters will find some and add them in here.
    After we have found some we will email them to him. This will be doing Stachel a favor because he will have less work to do in revision.

    I have already found one place where he meant to say FIAT but the text (which may have been prepared by an assistant and not Stachel himself) says FLAT (like saying "by flat" instead of "by fiat")
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2005
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  3. Jul 30, 2005 #2

    marcus

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    BTW I think Stachel is tops and the paper is really interesting.

    but typos is the topic here

    that "imposed by FLAT" one is on page 15

    and on page 14 Poincaré is spelled Poincar.

    there is something terrible that happens to a long quote from Brian Greene, but I will have to find it (unless someone else does) when I get back.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2005
  4. Jul 30, 2005 #3

    marcus

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    yes, on page 16 there should be a margin change at this point I marked with an asterisk.

    <<............String theorist Brian Greene, recently presented an appealing vision of what a string theory without a background space-time might look like, but emphasized how far string theorists still are from realizing this vision: *Since we speak of the “fabric” of spacetime, maybe spacetime is stitched out of strings.......>>


    the wide-margin format, which is how Stachel shows something is a quotation, should continue all the way down page 16 and to here on page 17, again marked by asterisk.

    <<..........the development of a background-independent formulation to be the single greatest unsolved problem facing string theory ([22], pp. 487-488).* One of the main goals of the currently sought-for M-theory (see [22], Chap. 13, pp. 376-412) is to overcome this defect, but so far this goal has not been reached. >>

    The way it is now, you can't tell where Brian Greene starts talking and then where, after a page or so, he stops talking and Stachel takes over!

    The other quotations like that, from other people, have been handled fairly consistently by setting the quotation off with wide margins.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2005
  5. Jul 31, 2005 #4

    marcus

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    On page 20, Stachel has a number that is off by 100 orders of magnitude.
    He is quoting a short article by Fay Dowker in New Scientist and he says
    that the 4D planck spacetime volume is 10-42 cc-seconds
    and it is not. In the usual way that Planck quantities are defined, giving G hbar and c unit sizes, the 4D volume is, according to my calculation, about 2.3 times 10-142 cc-seconds.

    since one only cares about order of magnitude in these extreme-size quantities, the normal thing would be to say 10-142 cc-seconds,
    which is what I presume Fay Dowker said, and there was a transcription error somewhere along the line.

    Argh. I thought there would be just a few little typos and I pictured John Stachel welcoming them. But now I am worrying that he might be vexed.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2005
  6. Jul 31, 2005 #5

    Chronos

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    A dangerous suggestion, marcus. My inner technical writing child should not be awakened. It's for the public good.
     
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