12 posts tagged with essays and brokenlink.
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Dillard's How-To

Do you want to be a writer? "Write as if you were dying. At the same time, assume you write for an audience consisting solely of terminal patients. That is, after all, the case. What would you begin writing if you knew you would die soon?... Every book has an intrinsic impossibility, which its writer discovers as soon as his first excitement dwindles. The problem is structural; it is insoluble; it is why no one can ever write this book. Complex stories, essays and poems have this problem, too -- the prohibitive structural defect the writer wishes he had never noticed. He writes it in spite of that." Luminous and wise writing advice from Annie Dillard, author of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, one of the most beautiful books written in the last hundred years (published when Dillard was 29). As a writer myself, I am often asked by younger folk how to become one. Dillard says best what I would tell them.
posted by digaman on Jan 10, 2005 - 67 comments

Only geeks read on Friday nights

Nominations for the best software essays of 2004. There's lots of reading here, pardners, and much of it is great.
posted by bonaldi on Dec 3, 2004 - 3 comments

What Makes A Writer A Writer?

So You Think You Might Be A Writer? Just because you write? An astute essay by Joseph Epstein poses the uncomfortable question: are you weird enough? There's something very unnatural and unhealthy about writing (as opposed to reading, for instance) - but what is it? [Via Arts and Letters Daily.]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Apr 19, 2004 - 51 comments

Can't Get No Satisfaction

Can't Get No Satisfaction - This unassuming essay (it's in a state of half-decay with missing figures) is a fascinating (and accessible) overview of phase transitions in NP systems (it explains those terms). In other words: complex physical systems and difficult problems in computing are related. The seminal paper is here, and this is a list of other essays by the same author (links at foot of page).
posted by andrew cooke on Feb 5, 2004 - 4 comments

If You Take A Book With You, You Travel Twice Over

If You Take A Book With You, You Travel Twice Over This pleasant essay by Alain de Botton had me thinking what the perfect combination of a book, a destination and a way of travelling would be...
posted by MiguelCardoso on Jul 4, 2002 - 19 comments

The "duh" in Fundamentalism:

The "duh" in Fundamentalism: Jaime Wright's "The Philosophy Of The Bomb". Please scroll down to Essays, Rants, Etc...
posted by protocool on May 30, 2002 - 6 comments

How much freedom should we trade for our security?

How much freedom should we trade for our security? That is the title of this years Economist/Shell essay competition. The winner will receive $20,000 as well as inclusion in The Economist: The World in 2003. The closing date is August 15. Anyone feel like entering? If I can learn to write English in time I may submit an essay that takes the form of a discussion between a 68 year old Japanese American ex-internee and a 7 year old Israeli girl.
posted by RobertLoch on Apr 22, 2002 - 14 comments

Are people being rude?

Are people being rude? Is William F. Buckley turning into Andy Rooney?
posted by Ty Webb on Apr 7, 2002 - 12 comments

When you least expect it,

When you least expect it, a story from life.
posted by vanderwal on Aug 30, 2001 - 10 comments

"Every school has its story, every room its ghost."

"Every school has its story, every room its ghost."

Ian Dugay writes about the terrors of elementary school; his experience might be rather particular (if you read it, you'll understand that I don't mean that in a Columbine kind of way), but he can't be the only one with unpleasant memories -- how do you remember grade school?
posted by lia on Jan 21, 2001 - 17 comments

And then, suddenly, I was in love with Jason....

And then, suddenly, I was in love with Jason....
Maybe it's just telling about where I am on along my own E1 vector - but that little storylet just spoke directly to my soul.
posted by CrazyUncleJoe on Mar 13, 2000 - 4 comments

Paul Ford's Ftrain

Paul Ford's Ftrain has a great piece on Micrsoft Word, writing, and the web. His stream-of-consciousness essay has hilarious nuggets like the "computer science axiom 'all software expands until it can send mail.'" There's a couple illustrations worth noting: the first looks like Word with all the tool bar icons enabled, and the other is Word's paperclip assistant interfering with an especially private moment. Great stuff.
posted by mathowie on Feb 8, 2000 - 1 comment

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