Wednesday, May 23, 2012

On bile in reviews art versus science

As a physicist I often gossip, bitch and complain about my place in the physics world. However, the humanities take bitterness to critics to a new level.  For example , Alain de Botton wrote to a critic,
"I will hate you till the day I die and wish you nothing but ill will in every career move you make. I will be watching with interest and schadenfreude."

Of course in physics the most important review is the referees report for a journal article. These are used to decide whether the article is published or not. However, these reports are anonymous so an author has to first guess who to complain to. 

This review on  Damien Hirst's recent of paintings is both polite and very rude at the same time. 
In contrast this old review in physics is very mild.