Clarity and Modesty. There is a common style of understated scientific writing to which I was once a devoted subscriber. But at some point I discovered that more significant results are usually incomprehensible if presented in this style. For unless one has a realistic understanding of how important something is, it is very difficult to place or absorb it. And so in writing this book I have chosen to explain straightforwardly the importance I believe my various results to have. Perhaps I might avoid some criticism by a greater display of modesty, but the cost would be a drastic reduction in clarity.Can you believe that? "My work is so incredibly important that to present it in an objective way would be confusing." Don't get me wrong, there is some really great stuff in here. It must have taken at least ten years to write this. The whole concept is meaningful and thought-provoking. But the presentation is such that it is hard not to roll one's eyes and say, "Oh, come on..." half the time. I mean, even the title! The book is the picture of a privileged, self-important monomaniac who looks down on, well, everyone. I hate to say something so unflattering about someone I don't really know, but that's how he comes across. And frankly, it ticks me off a bit, because I feel like if he had presented his work in a more collaborative, inclusive, humble manner, I think it would have served as 100x the inspiration, and moved the field forward significantly. But, as it stands, here it is, eight years later, and no "algorithmic revolution" has taken place, I think partly because it is a little embarrassing to be associated with this arrogant book.
Maybe I've got it all wrong, but I think the amazon reviews tell the story.