For me, first there was Bertrand Russell. Then I discovered Fads and Fallacies… in the large private library of a family friend. I started reading it while baby sitting for him.
Martin Gardner made a difference
Martin Gardner’s obituary in the NYTimes: see it HERE. Important to recall that he was one of the founding members of CSICOP along with James Randi and Paul Kurtz, and wrote a column for many years for Skeptical Inquirer magazine, called “Notes of a Fringe Watcher”.
The radio show “Car Talk” gave their condolences and thanks to Gardner, they confessed that their Puzzler is actually Gardner’s idea. And they express their appreciation.
On the local NPR station, the 6/6/98 episode re-aired this past Sunday where Martin Gardner’s son called saying that Martin Gardner was not dead, as Car Talk had led everyone to believe. It confused me as I did not know it was a rerun, until I double checked my facts.
May I suggest we change the title of this thread to “Martin Gardner Appreciation Thread”? Though I’m happy to just create a new thread.
My point, really, is… I totally appreciate Martin Gardner!!!
I loved aha! when I was a little kid. It wasn’t until Gardner passed, and I read about him on a Metafilter post, that I knew he wrote all these other great books. I have been reading them in the months since.
Since I’m a newbie, I’m obviously coming in late to this party. I was saddened by Mr. Gardner’s passing having read his seminal Fads And Fallicies In The Name Of Science. It was an excellant work which blew the lid off of a lot of nonsense. What makes the work so evergreen is the fact that a lot of what he refuted and rebutted still persists in popular culture today.