‘Gina Says’

‘Gina Says’: Adventures in the Blogosphere String War

Update (November 2017): I received an advanced copy. How exciting!


Update (October 2017): The much edited version of the book with beautiful drawing by my daughter Neta Kalai is soon to appear in print. It is published by World Scientific. Here is its Amazon page.

I wrote a book: “‘Gina Says’: Adventures in the Blogosphere String War.”

It is a sort of a popular science book and it is also about blogging and debating.

For the original post describing the book click here. Praise for the book: click here.


In the summer of 2006 two books attacking string theory, a prominent theory in physics, appeared. One by Peter Woit called Not even wrong” and the other by Lee Smolin called “The trouble with Physics.” A fierce public debate, much of it on weblogs, ensued.

Gina is very curious about science blogs.  Can they be useful for learning about, or discussing science? What happens in these blogs and who participates in them? Gina is eager to learn the issues and to form her own opinion about the string theory controversy. She is equipped with some academic background, even in mathematics, and has some familiarity with academic life. Her knowledge of physics is derived mainly from popular accounts. Gina likes to debate and to argue and to be carried by her associations. She is fascinated by questions about rationality and philosophy, and was exposed to various other scientific controversies in the past.

This book uses the blog string theory debate to tell about blogs, science, and mathematics. Meandering over various topics from children’s dyscalculia to Chomskian linguistics, the reader may get some sense of the chaotic and often confused scientific experience.  The book tries to show the immense difficulty involved in getting the factual matters right and interpreting fragmented and partial information.

9 Responses to ‘Gina Says’

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  3. Nice thanks for the links to the book.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hello Gil,

    I read Gina says a while ago, and the following experience brought it to my mind again.
    I ran across a Math professor named Norman Wildberger while searching for lectures on projective geometry. He has many youtube videos on Math, it’s foundations, it’s history and some videos that seem to promote a personal agenda or view that is not mainstream:
    My own math background is that of undergraduate studies, but I judge his videos ( I saw several of his Math history series ) to be very enlightening and accurate. He certainly seems to know what he is talking about.
    The issue is that he inserts some provocative messages from time to time, ranting about flaws in the foundations of math. He also runs a blog:

    My questions are:
    Have you heard of him?
    How serious are his claims?
    How frequent is “crack pottery” in Math where things should be more clear cut than other sciences?
    How “dangerous” do you think it is for outrageous ( and possibly false) claims to get such a stage? ( coming from credentialed scientists which gain popular attention)

    Thank you,

  5. M Benesi says:

    Gil, that image on the front of your book looks really M-set like to me. You do that on purpose?

  6. Pingback: To cheer you up in difficult times 16: Optimism, two quotes | Combinatorics and more

  7. Pingback: To cheer you up in difficult times 18: Drawings by Neta Kalai for my book: “Gina Says” | Combinatorics and more

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