To appreciate the living spirit rather than the dry bones of mathematics, it is necessary to inspect the work of a master at first hand. Textbooks and treatises are an unavoidable evil…The very crudities of the first attack on a significant problem by a master are more illuminating than all the pretty elegance of the standard texts which has been won at the cost of perhaps centuries of finicky polishing.
TOPICS: learning, textbooks, mastery
Unfortunately what is little recognized is that the most worthwhile scientific books are those in which the author clearly indicates what he does not know; for an author most hurts his readers by concealing difficulties.
TOPICS: writing, books