I’m enjoying Steven Johnson’s Where Good Ideas Come From, and already thinking about which chunks I will cannibalize for my history of science and technology class next semester. Good Ideas brings together themes that Johnson has been developing for years: the networked nature of innovation, the ingenuity of cities, the power of thinking across disciplines and scales. It’s [...]
Entries Tagged as 'What I’m Reading'
November 12th, 2010 · 4 Comments
September 30th, 2010 · 32 Comments
Gary Provost, quoted in Roy Peter Clark’s (terrific) Writing Tools: This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety. Now [...]
Tags: What I'm Reading
September 27th, 2010 · 2 Comments
Victoria Nelson, The Secret Life of Puppets: Our culture’s post-Reformation, post-Enlightenment prohibition on the supernatural and exclusion of a transcendent, nonmaterialist level of reality from the allowable universe has created the ontological equivalent of a perversion caused by repression. … The displaced religious impulse surfaces … as an overvaluing of the object beyond its intrinsic [...]
Tags: What I'm Reading
January 4th, 2010 · 10 Comments
Métis grooviness, hard working brackets, and my beef with John Ralston Saul’s “A Fair Country.”
September 4th, 2008 · Comments Off
Emanuel Haldeman-Julius, the huckster visionary whose mail-order superhighway paved the way for civil rights, feminism, the sexual revolution and the information age. Also, he may have been murdered by the FBI.
May 30th, 2008 · Comments Off
Excerpt from Benjamin Nugent’s new book of the same name. If you date a writer/star of The Office are you still really a nerd?
December 28th, 2006 · 1 Comment
John Hodgman, the primal scene of American historiography, The Muppet Movie, and how history judges a dream-thief.
December 23rd, 2006 · Comments Off
The great American elevator inspector novel and other memorable reads.
June 22nd, 2006 · 12 Comments
Saucer-Men from Saturn, the WPA Guide to Smallville, everybody loves robots.
March 15th, 2006 · 7 Comments
What Batman, beefcake, birth control, and bootleg liquor have in common. Plus: Spicy Man!