Book of Why

Boastful! Preachy! Angry! And featuring far too many exclamation marks!

Perhaps The Book of Why should have been titled The Book of Why Not? When a scientist and a science writer get together the ideal result is fine prose that clearly explains a difficult topic in ways that a smart nonspecialist reader can understand and apply. Humorous personal anecdotes and an objective history of the field are bonuses. Alas, the opposite can occur: pedestrian language, impenetrable technical content, arcane-irrelevant examples, vengeful attacks on rivals and their work, poor graphics that contribute little to the audience's understanding, and disorganized-repetitive negative comments on past research. UCLA Professor Judea Pearl is widely recognized as a brilliant computer scientist. Dana Mackenzie is an accomplished writer. Their topic — causal analysis of models using statistical data — is important. The Book of Why could have been much better.

(cf Causal Inference in Statistics (2018-09-16), ...) - ^z - 2018-12-05