Wednesday, April 08, 2009


I always wondered what academic research would be like if we brought the style and quality of literary reviews to our work, our papers, talks, punctuations, and all else. Here is an engaging review of Co., a pizzeria, by Lila Byock in the NYer:
In the world of pizza, debates over crust can resemble sectarian disputes. There are the ascetics, who demand pies as thin and brittle as Communion wafers, versus the libertines, who prefer something they can sink their teeth into. If anyone can persuade the quarrellers to break bread, it’s surely Jim Lahey, of Co. A rookie on the New York pizza scene, Lahey is an expert on crust....

Inside, long communal tables are ideally suited for diplomacy. ...

... - but it’s hard to quibble with the crust. Thin but not dry, crisp yet springy, it offers something for everyone—a middle way that doesn’t feel like triangulation. When the definitive history is written, Co. may be remembered as the site of the Chelsea Pizza Accords.
To those who need more on pizza, there is more. Me, I have been asked to keep away from these beasts. Doctor's orders.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my experience, when I have tried this kind of style in e.g. STOC/FOCS submissions, it has always been confused with "overselling." Essentially anything beyond the occasional flowery adjective is slapped with this accusation.

8:55 AM  
Blogger Sasho said...

I've gotten a pretty creative review, even with a reference to classical literature. Unfortunately it was creative in being nasty.

9:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sasho: sorry, I know how seething blind reviews can be. Having public review culture (not for conf submissions but for published papers) may be interesting.

Anon: Yes, anything that deviates from the template of a focs/stoc submission is slapped. It is surprising how in a creative area of research, people still feel safe only in a "form" discussion of results.

- metoo

11:55 AM  

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