Category Archives: Writing

Academic Time

If you have never attended the MLA or any other conference in the humanities, then you may not be aware that the traditional mode of presentations at these affairs is “slow reading.” That is, people sit at a skirted table … Continue reading

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Trouble With Length

A friend pointed out that the most effective posts on this blog are the shortest.

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Tree of Smoke

I’ve just finished reading a book. One line—”Now James felt as if his head had been chopped off and thrown in boiling water.”—made me burst out laughing. Another two—”Courage is action. Thought is cowardice.”—made me burst into tears. There is … Continue reading

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Taking Refuge in Gravity’s Rainbow

“Um über die nachträgliche Abspannung der Nerven hinwegzukommen habe ich leider wieder zum Chloroform meine Zuflucht genommen. Die Wirkung war furchtbar.” – Georg Trakl, 1905 I’ve begun to re-immerse myself in the intricate and densely overwrought sprawl of Pynchon’s masterwork. … Continue reading

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A List of Science Fiction Books for Phil Johnson

Phil Johnson has an ad agency (PJA) and also likes to read books. One day I asked him if he ever read science fiction and he said he didn’t. He asked me then to assemble a list of science fiction … Continue reading

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In Case You Missed These Tweets

I spend more time tending my Twitter garden than I do planting bulbs here in my own backyard. To remedy this, I’m attempting a little cross-pollination and invite you, dear reader, to drink deep from my Twitter well. Just look … Continue reading

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Publish and Perish

There are many reasons why my academic career didn’t pan out, but among them is undoubtedly the fact that I didn’t publish very much. For example, I never turned my dissertation on the Baader-Meinhof Gang into a book (though part … Continue reading

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Vot Are You Voorking On?

I’m in the middle of a bunch of projects right now. One project has me writing about security in the cloud. Apparently, security concerns are one major obstacle to adoption of the cloud, in spite of the many advantages this … Continue reading

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Similes That Make Me Smile

Reading two NYT articles today reminded me of how much fun with similes writers over there can have. First, in “The Great Unalignment,” writer Matt Bai says that, in the aftermath of Scott Brown’s Senate victory here in Masschusetts, Democratic … Continue reading

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Underwhelmed

I saw Avatar yesterday and, well, you know. I thought it would have been so much better if they had discovered that the All-mother, Eywa, was actually an evil AI and the Na’vi people were really her slaves or her … Continue reading

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