Sci fi writer David Brin looks at J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings through the lens of Romanticism vs. the Enlightenment, nostalgia vs. optimism. And he finds Tolkien’s vision, not surprisingly, to be a surprisingly retrograde one. Why is this world, full of strict class and race divisions, kings and serfs, wizards and eternal orders, so appealing?… Read the rest
I’m a jaded tech journalist. It’s not often that a new Internet service can actually make me excited. But last week I discovered one that had me grinning all afternoon.
Jon Udell’s LibraryLookup is an unassuming-looking page: It lists about 900 libraries, all of which use an online catalog system from Innovative Interfaces.… Read the rest
I don’t use instant-messaging software as a rule, and one reason I don’t is that it only exacerbates this “interruptive” condition of online life. Email itself is distracting enough that I’ve had to take serious measures to control its impact (filters, schedules, spam guards, and more).… Read the rest
I’m relocating this weblog: As of today, I’m promoting it to the home page of my web site, https://dylan.tweney.com. Archives, RSS feeds, and everything will be moving. Please update your links — and if you have questions or comments, please let me know.… Read the rest
I was watching “A Beautiful Mind” recently and was struck how much the mathematician John Nash’s schizophrenia, as portrayed in the movie, was like my online life: Ethereal voices constantly impinging on my attention, demanding responses, distracting me from the work (and people) at hand.… Read the rest