Notes on writing advice: longer is better

For unknown reasons, articles about writing frequently viral on Hacker News and other smart sites despite having nothing to do with computers or science. Here are two recent examples: The “Rules” of Writing Advice For Aspiring Writers Related to the wealth-individualism-intellectualism synthesis, writing combines individualism and intellectualism, which could explain the recent upsurge in popularity… Continue reading Notes on writing advice: longer is better

In Defense of the Journalistic Method

It’s easy to disparage journalists until you try to do it yourself and realize the difficulty of composing and conveying a generally cogent, thoughtful yet enticing argument in 1000-1500 words to an audience that has high expectations, that isn’t total crap or mean-spirited and abrasive. When you read a professionally-done article, you may leave disagreeing… Continue reading In Defense of the Journalistic Method

Do big words make you look dumb? How BS spreads on the internet

It’s well-established that the internet is a vector for bullshit. So how does such infectious stupidity spread? There are two ways: fast and slow. ‘Fast’ are hoaxes that are shared thousands of times on Facebook and Twitter until, long after the damage is already done, sites such as Snopes debunk them. ‘Slow’ is more pernicious… Continue reading Do big words make you look dumb? How BS spreads on the internet

Professional vs. Amateur Writing

Inspired by Vox Day’s post The IQ Delta Most writing guides focus on the writing process, such as developing a writing habit, not the quality of the writing itself. No amount of persistence, positive affirmations, or word counts will help if the writing itself is no good. The amateur is taken aback by criticism; the… Continue reading Professional vs. Amateur Writing

The Genius of Ross Douthat

Ross Douthat may be the most talented columnist alive, and by perusing some of his most recent articles, for instructional purposes, we can get a better understanding of his style and why it’s so effective. When reading a Douthat column, typically the first paragraph sets the scene, almost like a panorama, giving a bird’s-eye view… Continue reading The Genius of Ross Douthat

On Writing

These two stories are going viral: 13 Questions to Ask Before Submitting to a Literary Journal There Is No Handbook for Being a Writer Too many people want writing ‘hacks’ and ‘tips’, without understanding that writing is a market, which means that for writing to be read, it typically has to meet some sort of… Continue reading On Writing

The Stark Realities of Self-Publishing

A cold dose of reality on the fanciful world of self-publishing: I just self-published my first novel and am extremely disappointed Most people on here seem to be having flaming success in self-publishing field, but unfortunately I haven’t been graced with such luck – it’s been out for nearly two weeks on Amazon and I… Continue reading The Stark Realities of Self-Publishing

Defending ‘Academic’ Writing

What is wrong with ‘academic’ writing? Academics Stink at Writing – Steven Pinker Why Is Academic Writing So Unpleasant to Read?> Why Is Academic Writing So Academic? Believe it or not, academics actually know how to write, but some of this ‘jargon’ is for brevity. How should a scientist describe the concept of heritability without… Continue reading Defending ‘Academic’ Writing

Pencil Pushers and The Miracle of Capitalism

Although I often rail against collectivism, an exception is collectivism in the context of a firm. The miracle of capitalism and comparative advantage is that it gives a high standard of living to otherwise mediocre people. To go somewhat on a tangent, consider the somewhat grim prospects of self-publishing (indie) writing, a topic I have… Continue reading Pencil Pushers and The Miracle of Capitalism