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> Why are formal papers so tedious to read? Imagine how much time we'd waste as a group if he written this as a paper.

This is a huge problem in the academic field. Papers are written in academese, not because it's a particularly good way of distributing information, but because it's expected. I absolutely agree that less formal language is both good for the discipline, the technical non-academic audience, and for the lay audience.

Steven Pinker recently wrote a book called "The Sense of Style" which talks about academese and writing well about complex subjects (something which he, indeed, has a lot of experience in!). I haven't read it yet, but I've heard it's quite good.

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