Archive for February 3rd, 2023

February 3, 2023

Hawking Index

A Brief History of Time

The Hawking Index (HI) is a mock mathematical measure of how far people will read through a book before giving up. The index is named after physicist Stephen Hawking’s ‘A Brief History of Time,’ which was dubbed ‘the most unread book of all time.’ It was invented by American mathematician Jordan Ellenberg, who created it in a blog for the ‘Wall Street Journal’ in 2014.

Ellenberg relied on data from Kindle users for his model. ‘A Brief History of Time’ scored 6.6% on the HI, meaning Ellenberg estimated that only 6.6% of readers finished the book.

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