While We Wait…

I had planned to drop a rather large post today on the thorny topic of collapse. But it’s important enough that I should not rush it and make sure it has all the key pieces I want to convey, and that no sloppiness on my part results in misinterpretations that I later regret.

So what shall we do instead? Hey, I know! Have I mentioned the free textbook I wrote? A few times? Are you getting tired of my plugs? Apologies if so, but what feedback I have received thus far encourages me to believe that it’s a valuable contribution to the world and not intrinsically a flop. People are loving the margin notes, somewhat to my surprise.

However, in order to have a meaningful impact, I would want to do substantially better than the (currently) 7,000 site visits and 3,000 PDF downloads. Sure, many textbook authors might jump for joy at such numbers in less than two months. But millions of people would likely appreciate the message and have enough background to get something out of reading it. From the statistics, it is clear that even most Do the Math visitors have themselves not checked it out yet. I get that it’s a textbook, so: ugh. Who wants to take on that kind of chore? But A) it’s free, B) people report being surprised at how readable it is, and C) the intro provides a graphic (below) that offers a few reading paths that may make it less daunting.

Suggested reading paths through the textbook

Also, no one has yet submitted a review on Lulu. Even if you have not ordered a print copy, the free PDF material is the same so that a review on Lulu based on the electronic version would be perfectly appropriate. Here is the corresponding to-do list to help encourage a larger readership:

  1. Check out the PDF online.
  2. Download a local copy for keeps (from same site).
  3. Tell others about it who you think could be interested (tweet, facebook, e-mail, etc.).
  4. Consider helping others appreciate the pros and cons of the book by reviewing it on Lulu.
  5. If using it in a classroom context, also consider reviewing for the Open Textbook Library.
  6. Leave feedback for me on any errors or suggested improvements so the next release is better.

Hopefully, you’ll have the bandwidth to do something on the list while waiting for the big post next Tuesday. Thanks so much for your support!

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