A black fountain pen on a journal page

Collected quotes, 2 of n

Things don’t have purposes, as if the universe were a machine, where every part has a useful function. What’s the function of a galaxy? I don’t know if our life has a purpose and I don’t see that it matters. What does matter is that we’re a part. Like a Read more…

Logged writing

Lately, there’s been some buzz about reviving the practice of blogging. Warren Ellis has posted about it, as has Chuck Wendig, and a bunch of other people, I’m sure. There seems to be a growing collective awareness of how ephemeral social media can be, and how devastating that can be Read more…

A black fountain pen on a journal page

Collected quotes, 1 of n

All these clocks, like the whole information industry today, run the risk of no longer communicating anything because they tell too much. But they also possess another characteristic of the information industry: they no longer speak of anything except themselves and their internal functioning. Eco, Umberto. “How Not to Know Read more…

Photo of a smartphone, Apple earphones, and a cup of coffee

Podcast notes: Broader implications

Listened to an illuminating episode of the Global Dispatches podcast recently. The featured guest was Dr. Angela Chang, who discussed a groundbreaking study on the links between vaccines and poverty prevention. This is the first study that looks closely at the non-health impact of vaccines. It’s impressive: the research uses Read more…

Home and the city

I’ve been working my way through Reportage on Crime, an anthology of Nick Joaquin’s true crime stories. One such piece, “The Lodger,” deals with the demographic shift in Manila brought on by the influx of laborers (and their families) from the provinces. I don’t have the same intimate understanding of Read more…

Starbucks cup

The Optimal Starbucks Breakfast

Optimization is the millennial affliction. (There was a trenchant Buzzfeed essay a while back that delved into how this impulse drives our generation to burnout.) Since seeing that insight articulated in plain, stark language, I’ve been more conscious of its truth in my own life. Take today’s breakfast stop at Read more…

Notes from “The Guns of August”

Here’s my first book for this year’s Read Harder Challenge! I first started reading The Guns of August two years ago. “Started,” because work quickly caught up with me, leading to a slow abandonment of the book around the halfway point. That was a shame, since this is–despite the heft and subject Read more…