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Physics Professor Disputes “Free”

A University of California at Berkeley physics professor disputed Chris Anderson‘s explanation of his publishing success, arguing that free web videos (embedded above) did not help him seal a book deal.

According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, Anderson’s “Free: The Future of a Radical Price” explains how professor Richard A. Muller secured a book deal with W.W. Norton for “Physics for Future Presidents” following a similarly-named set of YouTube lectures. The physics professor argued that “correlation is not causation,” and gave evidence that web celebrity did not sell more copies of his book.

Here’s more from the article: “‘That is wishful thinking from someone who is trying to conclude that Webcasts lead to money’…’Norton wasn’t really interested in my online popularity,’ Mr. Muller continued. ‘Best guess: they know that people who buy and read books are a very small population, and probably not the same as those who watch Webcasts of lectures.’” (via jafurtado)

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