Politics, Technology, and Language

If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought — George Orwell


This is where a blog starts to feel like an on-line dating service. Paul Dourish, a researcher at Parc, back when Parc was Xerox Parc and there were no blogs, once wrote on his personal web page, I prefer red wine to white, Lisp to C++, aisle seats to window seats, beer you can’t see through to beer you can, night to day, emacs to vi, “Babylon 5” to “Star Trek”, whisky to brandy, and San Francisco to most other places. The rest of this page is just a longer way of telling you this.

In my case, by day, I’m an editor for a technology magazine. By night, a memoirist and sometime fiction writer, having completed an M.F.A. in creative non-fiction at the New School in New York. By weekend, a rock climber, mostly at the Gunks. Married, two step-children, mostly grown.

[I can be e-mailed at my Gmail account: metaphor ]

Currently reading:

A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines, a novel by astrophysicist Janna Levin. Luminous writing, fascinating subject – a pairing of Turing and Godel, both their lives and their ideas.

New Grub Street by George Gissing. There’s just no keeping me away from 19c British literature for very long.

Recently read: Susan Bell’s The Artful Edit. She was my final workshop instructor and just finishing the book at the time. One of her “in my writing class” book anecdotes was about my class, fun and a little freaky to read.

Recently reread: Syd Field’s brilliant how-to book, Screenplay.

Wish I had time to read right now: Gilead, The Goldfish Went On Vacation

Last movies seen on a big screen: “Juno” – a very very good film that probably isn’t, as Roger Ebert seems to be saying, the best movie of the year. Also “Charlie Wilson’s War,” which is just a hoot. Surprisingly worth seeing. As was the other recent spook movie, “Michael Clayton.” (Not the hoot part, the “worth seeing.”) “No Country For Old Men,” bleak, great, bleakly great. “Atonement,” which might be the best picture of the year.

Best movies recently viewed on TV/DVD: “All Fall Down,” by William Inge,” directed by a young John Frankenheimer, and starring (besides Warren Beatty and Eva Marie Saint at their best) the forgotten Brandon De Wilde, who died way too young. The original Lawrence Olivier / Greer Garson “Pride and Prejudice.” Surprisingly faithful to the book and surprisingly excellent.

Most recent routes: Nothing. Back in November, a 5.7 variation on the Old Route at Millbrook, and one last attempt at Feast Of Fools.

Wish I could climb right now: “Bonnie’s Roof.” Or any of the routes below. Or anything.

Gunks, 2000

Yosemite, 2001

"The Gripper," Yosemite, 2001

Red Rocks, 2003

8 Responses to “About”

  1. Susan said

    Wow, that is impressive.

  2. I love your blog. Fascinating stuff! I saw “The Queen” ages ago. Very very good. Very very British film, and quite insightful. Helen Mirren was perfect.

    By the way, I think “The Departed” deserves higher than a “B-“!


  3. hannahb said

    Fiction almost always grabs me more than non-fiction, regardless of the topic, but your writing is genuinely captivating. Nicely done. I’m definitely glad I stumbled across your blog!


  4. jadepark said

    ah–I too, am a high techie in an MFA program! Good to see another. :)

  5. The Dourish quote is absolutely perfect!

    I not only love Syd Field’s Screenplay, I took classes from him back in the 1970s while he was writing it. His other books, problem solving and 4 screenplays, are every single bit as good and as exciting to read. His act-by-act discussion, for example, of Terminater 2 is priceless!

    –mac mccarthy

  6. Thanks Mac. It’s worth mentioning that I still use your semi-published guide to writing and formatting screenplays. It’s the best book of its kind.

  7. Jannette said

    Umm, that first picture on the 2nd pitch of Bonnie’s Roof – is not Joyce. That’s my picture, my name is Jannette, the picture was not from the late 1990s, and I’d like to know where you copied the picture of me from and where you got the information that it’s someone named Joyce. Please ask permission if you’re going to repost my picture, especially if you’re providing false information on the climber and the photo. Thanks.

    • I’m pretty sure I took the picture myself, so I’m not sure what permission is needed. But I’ve taken it down anyway, and if I’m wrong about it, I apologize for having it up.

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