A couple times now I’ve been asked how I handle it, most recently yesterday. This is my answer. I don’t think there’s a thing called Writer’s Block. What we call Writer’s Block is a collection of many different psychological faults and phenomena, some real, some imagined, so don’t fall for it. In my experience, there’s a big problem and a little problem hidden in there. The … Continue reading Writer’s Block
I was talking with my buddy this week, and we decided I should probably write mysteries if anything. Mysteries have to present and solve a puzzle, so they’re very plot-centric, which I tend to be. Not that my characters are crap, but there’s a certain style of writing — which is the more popular one, I’m sure — that sort of lets characters run around … Continue reading Mystery!
Reading Dashiell Hammett is a lot like listening to the Beatles; you’ve heard them before even if you’ve never heard them before. Edgar Allen Poe invented detective fiction, but Hammett invented the detective that audiences since immediately associate with the genre. A former Pinkerton, Hammett abandoned the British gentleman-detective popularized by Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, characters who are never really in any danger from … Continue reading Review of Dashiell Hammett’s “The Glass Key”
One of the chief characteristics of simulations is low information density compared to the phenomenon being simulated. Very complex simulations may have relatively higher information density, in the sense that high definition images are noticeably closer to real life than standard definition images, but even those will still fall short of reality. The human eye, for example, has a discrete resolution. The width of the … Continue reading The Planck length as a “pixel” of our universe
Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned by Walter Mosley My rating: 4 of 5 stars Fans of Mr. Mosley’s “Easy” Rawlins novels might be disappointed that there’s no mystery to solve, but that doesn’t take away from the true strengths of this book, which is a series of vignettes about life in Watts: about poverty, about race, about violence. They read to me as modern Socratic dialogues, … Continue reading Review of Walter Mosley’s “Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned”
There is not, and probably never can be, a science of why we eat the things we do. While there are clear material influences — people in hot climates tend to eat spicy food because chiles and hot peppers grow in hot climates — ultimately there’s no accounting for human taste. It’s one of the reasons that, once culture evolved, a full assessment of the … Continue reading Why we eat what we do