Is deliberately bad writing advisable?

Some people are stupid.  They don’t have a good vocabulary.  They don’t speak “proper” English. But in writing, and other forms of media, cinema, and television, dialogue is snappy, it’s vivacious, people use withering comebacks and adroit insults, they quote scripture or famous plays or books and other characters know the quote. People engage in … Read more

Living in a post-truth era

In attempting to define the sort of capitalist economies that grew after the industrial revolution, and especially in the post-post-WWII era, the idea of an information economy arose.  The 1980s and 1990s saw enormous gains in productivity from computerization, and there arose a need to understand what was going on.  How could the United States, … Read more

The enduring pseudanonymity of the internet

A long time ago, in a zeitgeist far away, the internet was a dangerous place full of strangers who couldn’t be trusted.  Since then it’s become an even more dangerous place, full of strange ideas and algorithms that act like medieval ensorcelments, beguilements, and gaeas, entrapping the unwary into strange vistas via machine learning and … Read more

Covid Time

2020 seems like it has lasted something like 40 years so far.  Every month, every week, sometimes even every day seems to bring some new nightmare.  My home, Oregon, is virtually on fire, and the Air Quality rating through most of Portland has been staying at levels marked dangerous or hazardous or avoid for days, … Read more

What’s in a (pen) name?

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Writers, artists, and creatives have a rich history of choosing Nom De Plumes. Famous works have been published anonymously, ranging from Publius, writing the Federalist papers which have a guiding role in United States Jurisprudence, to Voltaire and Johnathon Swift, chosen to protect the identity of writers satirizing those in power. Will you work smell … Read more

You should want to be Criticized

The idea that you’ll write a perfect book is simply absurd. Even so, I’ve seen and heard other writers fret about being criticized. But here’s the thing. You should want criticism. You should crave feedback. You need to hear other’s reactions because your writing doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Writing that exists in a vacuum … Read more