A Zen monastery isn’t the kind of destination you’d typically think of taking the family on vacation, but that’s what we did this summer. I got up very early one morning in late June, shoveled the 18 year old and the 12 year old into the car, along with some basic camping gear, and drove south for approximately 8 hours, until we arrived at the gates of Deer Park, a Zen monastery in the Plum Village tradition, founded by Thich Nhat Hanh.… Read the rest
I’ve been blogging since 1999, when we still called these things “weblogs.”
For most of that time, this blog and my professional life overlapped a lot: They were both mostly about technology. They were both from the perspective of a journalist, first in the tech trades (InfoWorld, PC World), then consumer magazines (Mobile PC, WIRED), then the startup/VC blogosphere (VentureBeat).… Read the rest
Laws is a talented illustrator, a gifted naturalist, and an engaging speaker.… Read the rest
When I crossed the road I had been on the trail for about a mile and a half, starting with over 700 stairs straight up out of Mill Valley into the forest above the town. I asked the ranger directing cars which way to the Dipsea Trail, and he told me to cross the parking lot and turn right.… Read the rest
The 17 y.o. came to me this morning full of outrage about something one of my friends had posted on Facebook.
Here’s what I told her: That outrage you’re feeling? That’s what Facebook is designed to produce.
What my friend posted was just her venting.… Read the rest
I was under the weather the entire first week of July, so I spent July 4 in bed, reading this book by Mitch Horowitz. Published in 2009, Occult America is an entertaining survey of a variety of “occult” religious trends that blossomed over three centuries of American history.… Read the rest
According to the Marathon Swimmers Federation, the minimum distance to qualify a swim as a “marathon swim” is 10 kilometers. By that definition, I guess I’m now a marathon swimmer.
Yesterday I joined about 20 others in a 10km (6.2 mile) swim from the Capitola pier to the Santa Cruz pier, by way of a rather arbitrary point about 2 miles due south from Capitola.… Read the rest
It’s Spring, since yesterday, and I’m swimming again. The familiar soreness of the arm and shoulder muscles, the cup of the middle ear sometimes retaining water until midmorning, the occasional feelings of wavelike or boatlike “floating” when I’m at my desk, working, hours after emerging from the water — all remind me that I’m back at it.… Read the rest
I was reluctant at first: A friend had taken the ModPo poetry course — twice — and she’s now pursuing an MFA at Columbia, living in a 4th-floor walkup while her wife remains here in San Francisco. I don’t need that kind of hassle in my life.… Read the rest
To sum up: there is a lot of research showing that Facebook makes people feel like shit. So maybe, one day, people will stop using it.
John Lanchester’s long essay about Facebook in the London Review of Books has been getting shared a lot in my circles; Wired editor in chief Nicholas Thompson called it “the most intense, critical essay on Facebook that I’ve ever read.”
While it covers a lot of familiar ground (tl;dr: “If you’re not paying for it, you’re not the customer, you’re the product”) Lanchester makes a couple of points that have been troubling me.… Read the rest