Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Francis Galton Reading Recommendations [feedly]

More from Joel Schneider...he is on a huge roll at his web page since the first of the year

Francis Galton Reading Recommendations
// Assessing Psyche, Engaging Gauss, Seeking Sophia

Here are some sources that begin to explain the positive side of my ambivalence about Galton:

Selected publication Comments
Hereditary genius (Galton, 1869) Galton attempts to show that talent is hereditary. The methods are crude but entertaining. Hundreds of mini-biographies, strange details, and curious asides (One of many: William Pitt's talented niece, Lady Hester Stanhope ended her days in Syria, dressing as a man and claiming supernatural powers.). Sarah Austen is given credit for Jane's novels.
Inquiries into human faculty and its development (Galton, 1883) This book is a romp through every weird place the human mind can go. If you like that sort of thing, you will like this very much.
"Regression towards mediocrity in hereditary stature" (Galton, 1886) It is amusing how much detail about statistics needed to be explained explicitly in 1886. The glorious scatterplot alone makes this article worth a look.
Memories of my life (Galton, 1908) Galton's mind was sharp right up to the end of his life. Filled with anecdotes, gossip, and rich humor. Fun story about the aftermath of the Sarah/Jane Austen fiasco. Googling the quotations that Galton inserts without sourcing makes for hours of entertainment. There is also much pathos here as well.

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