All editing and no play makes Jack a very dull blogger. Sorry! Must do better. But I’ve promised to get the Gödel book off to CUP in ten days, so I’m doing a last read-through, mostly obsessing about minutiae, though I also have to sort a few minor bugs in the last chapters caught by sharp readers. And that is rather all-consuming.
Still, I can see light at the end of the tunnel. (Though it is probably a bit early for you all to form an orderly queue at the bookshop: publication about April, I think.) This last phase of writing has been a lot more enjoyable and less stressful than it might have been because of the input and warm encouragement I have had from over forty kind people in response to my invitation here and elsewhere to help proof-read chunks of the book. With most of the responses in, that has worked quite wonderfully well. Most chapters have now been looked at by three readers, with different readers bringing a different mix to the party. Some are particularly eagle-eyed at spotting typos, some very helpful about picking up sentences that don’t read well to non-native English speakers, some are good at finding nice ways of rephrasing to avoid possible misunderstanding, some have helpful suggestions about when yet-another-reference or yet-another-footnote would in fact be a good idea, some are stern about ‘that’ vs ‘which’, some have an enviably secure grasp of the True Difference Between a Colon and a Semi-colon, and so it goes. And everyone has evidently put a lot of care into their close-reading.
The proof-readers have been a very mixed bunch, lots of grad students of course, but also senior undergraduates, established professors, and a good sprinkling of ‘amateurs’ who have done some logic in the past and are now out of academia. And (perhaps useful info for anything thinking of emulating this exercise in crown-sourcing the fine-tuning of a logic text), there seems to have been zero correlation between official status and the giving of particularly valuable comments.
I’m really grateful to everyone. All shall have prizes. Or at least, have their name in lights in the book.