What: Writing

56 Notes from the Notebooks of Anton Chekhov #

Anthony Madrid:

When teachers wish to nurture expressiveness in young people, they (the teachers) should make a point of sharing with the kiddeos selections from writers’ notebooks. These show the beginner that a master’s seedlings don’t look that different from her own. Then teach the beginner to keep such a notebook! Excellent phrases overheard, witty lists, ideas for stories…. The front side of one sheet of paper might be enough to undo the damage of having heard that you either got it or you don’t.

This brought back a childhood memory:

N., a teacher, on her way home in the evening was told by her friend that X. had fallen in love with her, N., and wanted to propose. N., ungainly, who had never before thought of marriage, when she got home, sat for a long time trembling with fear, could not sleep, cried, and towards morning fell in love with X.; next day she heard that the whole thing was a supposition on the part of her friend and that X. was going to marry not her but Y.


Just over a year ago we arrived in NYC during a cold night and used wifi at a McDonald’s at 3am in order to contact the person responsible for the place we would stay at for the first month near 137th street. Amber immersed indoors to work and I outside despite the weather. After the first month we moved further up Harlem to 145th street with Gianni and Maude. I got my first job by walking around the Columbia campus and finding a notice looking for a graphic design student in the History department.

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Geoff Dyer, Nikil Saval and Jenny Davidson at Strand Books, New York City, March 2015

One of my favorite contemporary writers, Geoff Dyer, in a Strand Books panel discussion with Nikil Saval and Jenny Davidson surrounding society’s impact on literature through Raymond Williams’ interviews in a new edition of Politics and Letters which includes an updated introduction by Dyer.

Dyer signed my copy of his book about photography, The Ongoing Moment that I warmly recommend along with his book about life on an aircraft carrier, Another Great Day at Sea: Life Aboard the USS George HW Bush, which includes pictures by Chris Steele-Perkins.

Write the Docs #

Write the Docs is a place where the art and science of documentation can be practiced and appreciated. There are a lot of people out there who write docs, but there isn’t a good place to go to find information, ask questions, and generally be a member of a community of documenters.

Is the Universe a Simulation? #

But there is one area of human endeavor that comes close to exemplifying the maxim “manuscripts don’t burn.” That area is mathematics. If Pythagoras had not lived, or if his work had been destroyed, someone else eventually would have discovered the same Pythagorean theorem.