Fall away from the Internet for a week or two and the Internet falls on you. Here’s some of what I saw when I succumbed to its gelatinous reach:
- Turn up your speakers and read Jan Swafford’s article in Slate about performing classical piano repertoire on classical pianos, which is full of audio comparisons that will make you wonder if the homogenized ideal of the modern Steinway grand is really a good thing.
- The Guardian asks a wide selection of novelists for their writing tips, which have a way of telling us more about the authors than about writing. Some of my favourites: Geoff Dyer (“Don’t be one of those writers who sentence themselves to a lifetime of sucking up to Nabokov”), Anne Enright (“The first 12 years are the worst”), Philip Pullman (“My main rule is to say no to things like this, which tempt me away from my proper work”).
- Ben Goldacre shows us how regulating alternative folk medicine through requiring certification is no use at all when we don’t know what’s being certified.
- From The New York Times: Canadians shoot left, Americans shoot right. The article is about hockey players but I think there’s something bigger in this.
- Teresa Nielsen Hayden remarks on the imaginative poverty of failed authors who think suing J.K. Rowling for plagiarism is a good idea.
- Civilization IV lead designer Soren Johnson talks about designing strategy games around our intuitions about probability (or lack thereof).
- Mark Chu-Carroll explains why computer simulations of biological phenomena will never replace animal testing.
- Joel Stickley’s explorations of bad writing by example finally catch on to my fatal flaw.