The blog is dead, long live the blog.

“I am not generally a bomb-thrower, but I wrote this piece in a deliberately provocative way. Blogs obviously aren’t dead and I acknowledged that much right from the title. I (obviously) think there’s a lot of value in the blog format, even apart from its massive influence on online media in general, but as someone who’s been doing it since 1998 and still does it every day, it’s difficult to ignore the blog’s diminished place in our informational diet.
“Through various blogrolls (remember those?) and RSS readers, I used to keep up with hundreds of blogs every day and over a thousand every week. Now I read just two blogs daily…”

Jason Kottke

I tried to use a blogroll on a site I read regularly and many of the links were dead (and they have gone unnoticed, unremoved). I noticed when another blog I read removed their blogroll that I regularly used, but that site can no longer really be called a blog, though it still has one as a component.

And as I looked up something online today that I knew very little about I found only one helpful source: wikipedia.

There was a time that you would find 5-10 sites of varying reliability and quality, but there was variety.

The internet is shrinking.


23 January 2014 at 10:42 Leave a comment

the present

“I had never done anything like this before. I was a reader and a good student, but I didn’t keep a commonplace book or anything like that. I didn’t have a journal. I wouldn’t even start keeping a more traditional writer’s notebook for another seven years. But I stuck this index card in the front pocket of my three-ring binder, and when I went to college the following year, I pinned it on the bulletin board over my desk, where it stayed all four years, fading in the sun.”

Jessica Francis Kane, on Marcus Aurelius, Book 8, #34.

“…remind yourself that it is not the future or what has passed that afflicts you, but always the present, and the power of this is much diminished if you take it in isolation and call your mind to task if it thinks that it cannot stand up to it when taken on its own.”

An interesting circumstance, an interesting quote, if it could help me deal with my impatiences it would love it dearly…

29 July 2013 at 09:49 Leave a comment

the horror…

Why do you write?

I wish I knew. Sometimes it feels so good that I am amazed that I get to feel this. At other times it is not like that at all, and I wish, with a sort of intensity that is hard to believe, that I had taken up something else. The truth is that if you are a surgeon, after 20 years, you will think like a surgeon. If you are a lawyer, after 20 years you will think like a lawyer. If you are a second-story man, after 20 years you will think like a second-story man. By now, I think like a novelist, which means, of course, that I am always looking for stories and, the deeper layer as Melville liked to say, a pattern underneath these stories. But, still, I write out of pleasure, which comes at the price of the horror that I have gotten myself into this.

Interview with Craig Nova on

17 July 2013 at 08:57 Leave a comment

A (sort of) discourse on writing

Italo Calvino, “Quickness,” from Six Memos for the Next Millennium, trans. Patrick Creagh:

‘Discoursing,’ or ‘discourse,’ for Galileo means reasoning, and very often deductive reasoning. ‘Discoursing is like coursing’: this statement could be Galileo’s declaration of faith – style as a method of thought and as literary taste. For him, good thinking means quickness, agility in reasoning, economy in argument, but also the use of imaginative examples.

How do you contend with the hubris of thinking anyone has or should have any interest in what you have to say about anything?

Aschenbrand: I don’t.

Waldman: There are so many books written by men that lovingly detail their male hero’s romantic and sexual exploits as he conquers the big city with his intellect. I can live with the hubris of wanting to write an alternate account of this scenario in which I examined the protagonist’s treatment of women a little more skeptically.

Bruni: Equal measures of narcissism and humility seem absolutely essential to the act of opening one’s mouth to say anything at all. Some days privileging telling stories that exist in my head over so many other ways of engaging with the world in a more meaningful way produces plenty of guilt. Other days I see storytelling as one tool for creating empathy and identification between people. Which is a small thing. But it’s something.

Nutting: Caffeine. Prozac. Elastic waistband pants. Dog hair.

24 June 2013 at 19:03 Leave a comment

writers and sociability

Alice Munro is retiring:

In 1994, she told the Paris Review: “It’s not the giving up of the writing that I fear. It’s the giving up of this excitement or whatever it is that you feel that makes you write. This is what I wonder: what do most people do once the necessity of working all the time is removed? Even the retired people who take courses and have hobbies are looking for something to fill this void, and I feel such horror of being like that and having that kind of life. The only thing that I’ve ever had to fill my life has been writing. So I haven’t learned how to live a life with a lot of diversity. The only other life I can imagine is a scholarly life, which I probably idealise.”

but now…

“I’m delighted. Not that I didn’t love writing, but I think you do get to a stage where you sort of think about your life in a different way. And perhaps, when you’re my age, you don’t wish to be alone as much as a writer has to be. It’s like, at the wrong end of life, sort of becoming very sociable,” she said.

21 June 2013 at 10:33 Leave a comment

“I couldn’t finish this…

…But you’ll probably like it”.

13 June 2013 at 11:41 Leave a comment

Overheard XXVI

Someone waving and yelling off their porch at someone pulling away in their car:

“Next week is Sloppy Joes!…  After swimming?  Probably after swimming!”

9 June 2013 at 09:10 Leave a comment

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T. Anderson Painter

I am a misanthrope. No one ever believes me, but this seems to prove my point.



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