I discuss seven overly ambitious projects I idly fantasize about being able to complete. Read more(20 min, 4900 words).
Why are supposedly serious and profound fiction often difficult and boring to read? Is there a necessary connection between the two? I argue yes, a bit, but it's hard to tell when the connection is illusory and fake.
Read more (23 min, 5700 words).
A tale on the nature of footnotes, writing in general, and other things, told almost entirely in footnotes. Read more (18 min, 5500 words).
I review the book Hit Makers and go on about how it loses its point in a sea of storytelling . Read more (10 min, 3300 words).
How a book about two late 20th century artists convinced me that they are the greatest in history. Read more (11 min, 2700 words).
"The Elephant in the Brain" had an interesting effect on me, which made me think up a typology of ways reading can change the structure of your mind. Read more (10 min, 2500 words).
I try to interpret a Google translation of someone quoting me in Tamil. Deep insights result. Read more (4 min, 1100 words)
Responding to a post on Suspended Reason, I talk about how underwhelming conceptual art is, why it's more subjective than other kinds and why it's highly regarded even though it shouldn't be. Read more (14 min, 3500 words)
Using the movie ”Arrival” as a jumping-off point, I rant about the ubiquity of personal drama in storytelling, defend ”flat” characters and positive emotions over negative, and criticize the ”figure it out yourself” ethos in fiction. Read more (15 min, 3700 words)
We pay lip service to the idea that people are different, but don't take it seriously enough. It needs to be something we keep in mind all the time. There are many ways people can be different and their thinking can be different, and we should learn to be aware of them all. Read more (5 min, 1300 words)