Prime Obsession and the Strangeness of the Author

I spent most of last weekend pleasureably engrossed in John Derbyshire’s new book, Prime Obsession. It is a historical and mathematical exploration of the Riemann hypothesis. The book is very good and when I finish it I may return to it here. But what this weblog entry is about are the strange assumptions we often make about authors we know nothing about. The dust jacket copy mentioned that Derbyshire writes an online column, so on Monday I decided to look it up via Google.