Book Report: A Question of Accuracy by Arthur G. Razzell and K.G.O. Watts (1964)

Book coverBack in December, I was talking to an engineer, and I said that my FitBit was precise, but not necessarily accurate, when it gave me 250 steps’ credit for sitting on a bar stool and speaking expressively. The engineer was impressed that I knew the difference being that I have an English degree and all. So when I saw this book on the sale cart or in the sale room at Hooked on Books in January, I bought it, even though I figured it might be a kid’s book. As a matter of fact, it is a kid’s book, but it’s a discussion of the philosophical aspects of accuracy.

That is, the book talks about the different aspects of what sorts of measurements are “good enough” for the task at hand and how you can always improve accuracy with better instruments. It also talks a little about the challenges of accurately representing measurements (the problem with maps, for example, which are flat representations of a sphere). And the book also mentioned the Mackinac Bridge, which was fitting since we were vacationing in Michigan at the time and I drove over that very bridge a couple days later.

So, yeah, the book reading has been kind of light this year; I’ve been starting a lot of long books and not finishing even the short books I’ve started. I’m not even at forty books and the year is almost half over, but you can see I’m taking drastic steps. Namely, reading a bunch of children’s books (see also Crosshairs) on vacation. It’s just as well that I read a couple short children’s books because the remainder of my vacation was taken up with a fitting title.