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Another side of Samuel Beckett | Culture | The Guardian
As a writer uniquely troubled by man’s fate, Beckett’s earliest dramatic fragments had been experimental disappointments. Now, to break free from the oppressive influence of modernism, he wrote in French. After many vicissitudes, his “tragicomedy in two acts” received its premiere in Paris at the Théâtre de Babylone, on 5 January 1953. There’s a common view that it flopped. Actually, produced on a shoestring, it did quite well, with some favourable reviews. When the script of Waiting for Godot, in Beckett’s English translation, crossed the Channel it landed on the desk of a young director, Peter Hall, who, admitting that he hadn’t “the foggiest idea” what it meant, produced it at the Arts theatre, London in August 1955.
writing  beckett  fren  french  english  translation 
24 days ago by juliusbeezer
Old notebooks | Notes from a Room
‘I wake up tired of waking up. Lured into another endless day, the last day begun again. There’s something I’ve missed, some fatal flaw in my reasoning that prevents me moving from here to the real vantage point, to real life. I see no path to take. What would it look like? Where would it go? It would end up back here, in dead time.

‘Nothing to say and the guilt of not filling time, that makes you speak to yourself in their words. “Stop inventing little hardships to make yourself look interesting. Get a proper job. Get a life. Get laid.”...
Leafing through another notebook the other day – rarely a good idea – I found this, written a decade ago:

‘Endless work. What’s your real work? You ask the question so often the question itself becomes a form of work. You tunnel through a mountain of other people’s words and smuggle out your own dubious hoard with no destination in sight. Always halfway between your origin and your end.’
writing  blog 
february 2019 by juliusbeezer
This Space: On the death of book blogging (nothing unhappy)
My own luck or misfortune has been to discover that I am intellectually not up to exploring the questions that have presented themselves to me, so I am happily stuck with the amateur hobbyism of blogging about extraordinary books like The Imperative to Write and the profoundly irrationalist literary apocalypse of Maurice Blanchot. But then I wonder how much it has to do with intellect than with luck or misfortune.
blogs  literature  writing 
february 2019 by juliusbeezer | TRANsparency in Scholarly Publishing for Open Scholarship Evolution
TRANSPOSE is a grassroots initiative to build a crowdsourced database of journal policies. We’re focusing on three areas: open peer review, co-reviewing, and detailed preprinting policies. We welcome contributions from anyone, but seek verification from journals and publishers. Our goal is to foster new practices while increasing awareness among authors, editors, and other stakeholders, and we seek to provide resources to assist journals in setting, sharing, and clarifying their policies.
editing  writing  sciencepublishing 
december 2018 by juliusbeezer
Scientists struggle with confusing journal guidelines
Globally, more than two-thirds of researchers find it difficult to prepare manuscripts and to respond to peer-review comments, finds a survey of nearly 7,000 researchers from over 100 countries.

The issues may stem largely from language barriers, the report suggests (see ‘English-language barrier’). The online survey was designed to find out what issues researchers in non-English-speaking nations face when publishing in international journals to identify where more support or resources are needed.

Most respondents spoke English as a second language: only 11% had English as a first language and 45% said that they found it difficult to write in English.
editing  writing  sciencepublishing  english 
december 2018 by juliusbeezer
Pretentious, impenetrable, hard work ... better? Why we need difficult books | Books | The Guardian
It’s sometimes fuzzily said that literary fiction gives you more on rereading, or that it stays with you, or that it’s “more profound”. That may be true, some of the time – but these things are more likely to be symptoms than necessary features. I’d suggest that the main identifying feature – and in this respect literary writing can and does compass and mingle with any number of other genres – is to do with complexity and depth of attention. That can be moral or psychological complexity – crudely, the goodies and baddies are less clearly delineated – but it can also be, and tends to be in the best work, allied to a greater attention to the form and to the sentence-by-sentence language itself. And where I say that it mingles with other genres, the point I mean to make is that (just like hats, or nanobots) its features can be found in any genre. You could make the case that Iain M Banks’s Culture novels are literary SF, that Sarah Waters has written literary historical thrillers, that Joseph Kanon or John le Carré write literary spy novels, that the metafictional quality of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is a literary quality, and so on. The examples are numberless.

A publishing acquaintance suggests an analogy with music: jazz is more complex than blues. It’s harder to play and harder to appreciate. That doesn’t mean there isn’t lots of good blues and lots of bad jazz. It doesn’t mean that jazz is an innately superior artform. It simply describes a formal difference between the two. Likewise, when we talk about a “literary novel” we usually mean something that demands and rewards close attention – though, as ever, there will be exceptions.
writing  literature 
november 2018 by juliusbeezer
Dr. Behooving is creating Essays in Bicycle Urbanism | Patreon

per month
Since 2009 my essays and blog posts have amused and empowered the bicycle advocacy community. I have been motivated by the fact that there simply hasn't been anyone else with a PhD in architecture and urbanism (let alone anyone with my good breeding and literary flare), who shares my conviction that cities should not be designed for enormous machines. Cars and trams in cities, I hope you appreciate, are like chocolate fountains and electric bread knives in kitchens: more trouble than they are worth. In the same way that our kitchens work better when designed around tight rations of tools—our chopping boards and knives, for example—so too our cities would be more efficient if they were designed around bicycles... and not a lot more.
cycling  business  writing  urban 
november 2018 by juliusbeezer
David Foster Wallace was right – even in paradise we will need the internet | Brigid Delaney | Opinion | The Guardian
Although Facebook and Google did not exist in 1996, Foster Wallace predicted that algorithms or some sort of sorting mechanism would materialise. He called it the Interlace.

“That Interlace will be this enormous gatekeeper. It will [be] sort of like the one publishing house from hell. They decide what you get and what you don’t. Because this idea that the internet’s gonna become incredibly democratic? I mean if you’ve spent any time on the web, you know that it’s not gonna be, because that’s completely overwhelming. There are four trillion bits coming at you, 99% of them are shit, and it’s too much work to do triage to decide.
internet  writing  future 
september 2018 by juliusbeezer
how to write a paper (one possible answer) : New York Blog
a student recently asked me how to write a paper. here’s an algorithm i’d suggest, with plenty of room for an individual to deviate.
sciencepublishing  writing 
august 2018 by juliusbeezer
Interestingly: the sentence adverbs of PubMed Central | What You're Doing Is Rather Desperate
Scientific writing – by which I mean journal articles – is a strange business, full of arcane rules and conventions with origins that no-one remembers but to which everyone adheres.

I’ve always been amused by one particular convention: the sentence adverb. Used with a comma to make a point at the start of a sentence, as in these examples...
It seems that the most popular use of the sentence adverb is to draw a close to the proceedings, with finally. The next most common uses: to indicate further points of interest (additionally), label results as interesting (interestingly) or important (importantly) and show that the authors are up to date with their reading (recently).
data  scholarly  sciencepublishing  funny  writing  corpus 
july 2018 by juliusbeezer
Ten simple rules for structuring papers
Because you are the world’s leading expert at exactly what you are doing, you are also the world’s least qualified person to judge your writing from the perspective of the naïve reader. The majority of writing mistakes stem from this predicament. Think like a designer—for each element, determine the impact that you want to have on people and then strive to achieve that objective [4]. Try to think through the paper like a naïve reader who must first be made to care about the problem you are addressing (see Rule 6) and then will want to understand your answer with minimal effort.
writing  editing  scholarly 
june 2018 by juliusbeezer
Steps to writing a scientific paper based on model results – @KenCaldeira
10. Before submission, double check that the main story of the paper can be obtained by reading (1) the abstract, (2) the first paragraph, (3) the last paragraph, and (4) the figure captions. This is already more than what most ‘readers’ of your paper will actually read. Only experts will read the entire paper. Most readers will just want the idea of the paper and the basic results.
sciencepublishing  writing  editing  scholarly 
june 2018 by juliusbeezer
Fat outlines help you write without anxiety (Ask Dr. Wobs) - without bullshit
A fat outline is a rough but meaty document that you use to organize your content before writing. In contrast to a regular outline, which includes only headings, a fat outline includes as many of the following as you can assemble, all in rough and unfinished form:

Potential text of titles, subtitles, and headings. You can include alternate versions of these if you want.
Possible opening sentences of sections.
Turns of phrase that have occurred to you.
Names and key bits of information from interviews or case studies.
Anything else you feel like throwing in.

You can think of it as the “zeroth draft” — a draft you do before the first actual draft of what you write.
writing  sciencepublishing  editing 
january 2018 by juliusbeezer
Authentic or graded? Is there a middle way? | elt-resourceful
It’s also important that students are exposed to different genres of texts, and, especially for the teacher creating materials for their own class, authentic texts provide a relatively easy way to bring something up to date and topical into the classroom. They can provide us with the opportunity to look at the same topic reported in different ways, or give students a starting point from which to follow the news topic as it unfolds, in their own time.

However, in recent years I have been moving away from using unadapted authentic texts. The most obvious problem is the level of the language. When I was first trained, we were taught, ‘grade the task not the text’, but, while this is usually possible, I’m no longer sure that it’s always in the students’ best interests.

Taking this kind of approach is intended to help students develop strategies to deal with texts where a lot of the language is unknown. There is certainly a value in this, but is it as valuable as giving them a text from which they can get so much more? Hu and Nation (2000) concluded that most learners needed to comprehend 98% of words in a text in order to gain ‘adequate comprehension’
language  learning  writing  teaching  text 
december 2017 by juliusbeezer
Announcing OpenCon2017 London Blog Competition   
How to submit

Step 1: Sign up to create an account with Authorea.
Step 2: Join the OpenConLondon group . You can join OpenConLondon during on-boarding or from your profile settings. An email will be sent to the group manager to verify you as a member. Once verified, you can now share/publish your work via the OpenConLondon group.
Step 3: Create a new article and then insert your text (or write it directly on the platform!).
Step 4: Once your post is complete and ready for publication, you can publish your text by selecting "share" from the toolbar. Select the group (OpenConLondon) you wish to publish to. Make sure your document is public and please select "comment" then "update". Double check to make sure your document is public first and that group members can comment but not edit.
Step 5: Once you're satisfied with your document, you may issue a DOI for it. To do so, select Publish from the toolbar and hit Create to issue a DOI to your post.
writing  openness  translation 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
How to write English
Remember to never split an infinitive. The passive voice should never be used. Do not put statements in the negative form. Don't use contractions in formal writing, and don't use no double negatives. It is incumbent on one to avoid archaisms. Proofread carefully to see if you words out or incorect speling. It has come to our considered attention that in a large majority of cases, far too many people use a great deal more words than is absolutely necessary when engaged in the practice of writing sentences. If you reread your work, you can find on rereading a great deal of redundant repetition can be removed and eliminated by rereading and editing.
writing  funny 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
Language Log » Worthless grammar edicts from Harvard
Harvard econ students, rise up: ignore everything Greg Mankiw says about grammar and throw your copy of The Elements of Style away. I don't mean you should write wordy waffle or violate his style requirements; but I am saying that this nonsense about avoid the passive construction and staying away from adverbs is junk. Check out Greg's own writing if you don't believe me.

I couldn't summon enough interest or time to do more research than download the first paper on his Harvard website (a presidential address called "Spreading the Wealth Around: Reflections Inspired by Joe the Plumber"), and check for passives and adverbs. The first passive clause is in the second half of his title; the second is in the third sentence of the abstract ("how the tax system should be designed); the third paragraph of the main text has the next passive clause ("tax cuts signed into law by President Bush"); I won't go on. His third paragraph has the first adverb ("I fully expect the issue to remain at the center of political debate"), and the fourth paragraph brings a bunch more ("perhaps more important"; "slowly and steadily continue to rise"; "suddenly read Milton Friedman's book")… It is pointless to spend more time on this. Greg Mankiw can't tell how many passives or adverbs he is using. He uses them whenever he thinks they feel right. So should you.
writing  editing  grammar  funny 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
24 Rules for Writing Short Stories | The Flight of Pigeons from the Palace
15. Aphorism: plot is the engine that drives your short story, character is the oil that knocks the nail in.

16. Remember that certain objects have more symbolic weight in fiction than they do in real life. The list includes fruit, chairs, briefcases, women, snow, helicopters and precocious children. Where possible these objects should be replaced with safer alternatives. For example, fruit can be substituted with vegetables, precocious children with sassy older ladies etc.
writing  funny 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
René Barjavel — Wikipédia
Et c'est un peu a posteriori que l'on rattache les premiers romans de Barjavel (Le Voyageur imprudent et Ravage), au genre de la science-fiction : le terme n'est pas encore utilisé en France ; on parle plutôt de « roman scientifique » chez Jules Verne, de « roman d'anticipation » pour J.-H. Rosny aîné ou Albert Robida ou encore de « roman extraordinaire » chez Barjavel, mais pas encore de science-fiction : ce terme, anglo-saxon, ne s'imposera que plus tard. Et de surcroît, dans ses deux romans écrits et publiés dans un Hexagone alors coupé du monde anglophone, Barjavel ne fait intervenir ni extra-terrestres répugnants, ni robots psychopathes, ni voyages spatiaux, ni mutants. Mais il y développe déjà des idées typiques du déferlement des années 1950 : apocalypse, fin du monde, voyage dans le temps, retour à la barbarie et autres catastrophes imputables à une technologie aliénante ou malicieusement utilisée.

[global warming, cars, metropoles, Europe, et cet]
writing  france  français  philosophy  literature 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
Anatoli Sirota. Neo-Marxism. An Attempt at Reformation. Karl Marx, Engels, evolutionary marxism, historical materialism, precapitalist economic formations.
In January 1889, V.I. Vernadskii wrote to his wife from Munich about the '"great truth'' that "Duerer's powerful mind" had expressed in his painting The Four Apostles. '"The dreamer. ... the profound philosopher seeks ... the truth and gives rise to a less profound pupil as an intermediary," who "cannot understand the full essence," but "is closer to life, . . . explains in concrete terms what the other has said,... distorts him, but that is precisely why the masses will understand him: because he will grasp a small piece of the new and combine it with age-old popular beliefs." Beside them stand two figures with the severe countenances not of thinkers but of politicians...

On the other hand, Marx's revolutionary temperament at times overshadowed the scientist's theoretical thinking. Moreover, the revolutionary character of Marx's views was exaggerated in later arbitrary interpretations that arose from the popularization of his works on Engels's insistence. (Yet another splendid confirmation of the "Duerer-Vernadskii law": the pupil is easier to understand, but only because he distorts his teacher.) In order to change, not merely interpret, the world slogans comprehensible to the masses were required. Marx sometimes set out his thoughts in difficult language, Engels tactfully pointed out in his letters to Marx. He called the tone of some of Marx's works "abstractly dialectical."13 remarking sadly that "now the public, even the scholarly public, is completely unaccustomed to this kind of thinking and it is necessary to do whatever is possible to make things easier for it."16
politics  history  writing  funny  art  criticism  marxism 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
Lexical Complexity
Web-based Lexical complexity analyzer - Single Mode

The Single Mode of the web-based Lexical Complexity Analyzer takes an English text as input and computes 25 indices of lexical complexity of the text. You may choose to see the results of any or all of the 25 indices, and the system will create a graphical representation to visualize the results. Additionally, you may enter another text in order to compare their lexical complexity. Please note that each text should have a minimum of 50 words and a maximum of 10,000 words. If you have multiple files to be analyzed, please use the Batch Mode.
tools  grammar  writing  english 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
Le blog Droit administratif | Demande d’abrogation de la norme contenue dans la décision du Conseil d’Etat rendue le 13 juillet 2016
« le principe de sécurité juridique, qui implique que ne puissent être remises en cause sans condition de délai des situations consolidées par l’effet du temps, fait obstacle à ce que puisse être contestée indéfiniment une décision administrative individuelle qui a été notifiée à son destinataire, ou dont il est établi, à défaut d’une telle notification, que celui-ci a eu connaissance ; qu’en une telle hypothèse, si le non-respect de l’obligation d’informer l’intéressé sur les voies et les délais de recours, ou l’absence de preuve qu’une telle information a bien été fournie, ne permet pas que lui soient opposés les délais de recours fixés par le code de justice administrative, le destinataire de la décision ne peut exercer de recours juridictionnel au-delà d’un délai raisonnable ; qu’en règle générale et sauf circonstances particulières dont se prévaudrait le requérant, ce délai ne saurait, sous réserve de l’exercice de recours administratifs pour lesquels les textes prévoient des délais particuliers, excéder un an à compter de la date à laquelle une décision expresse lui a été notifiée ou de la date à laquelle il est établi qu’il en a eu connaissance ».

Nous publions ici la demande d’abrogation de cette norme, adressée au Président de la République par le Professeur Frédéric Rolin, qui permet de discuter tant du bien fondé du principe ainsi dégagé que du statut de la jurisprudence.

[when you're banging your head on a brick wall, it might be a good idea to stop. See also bullshit, truthiness, and the unbearable verbosity of academic rebuttal]
france  law  writing  funny  attention 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
The Rule of Law (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
[top stuff from the Californie jurisprudence -rs]
The best known are the eight formal principles of Lon Fuller’s “inner morality of law”: (1964; see also the lists in Finnis 1980: 270–1; Rawls 1999: 208–10; and Raz 1979 [1977]: 214–18) generality; publicity; prospectivity; intelligibility; consistency; practicability; stability; and congruence. These principles are formal, because they concern the form of the norms that are applied to our conduct.

So for example, the requirement that laws be general in character, rather than aimed at particular individuals, is purely a matter of form.
law  writing  philosophy 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
Quotation Marks and Direct Quotations : Quotations
Which view should we prefer? I certainly prefer the logical view, and, in a perfect world, I would simply advise you to stick to this view. However, it is a fact that very many people have been taught the conventional view and adhere to it rigorously. Many of these people occupy influential positions — for example, quite a few of them are copy-editors for major publishers. Consequently, if you try to adhere to the logical view, you are likely to encounter a good deal of resistance. The linguist Geoff Pullum, a fervent advocate of the logical view, once got so angry at copy-editors who insisted on reshuffling his carefully placed punctuation that he wrote an article called `Punctuation and human freedom' (Pullum 1984). Here is one of his examples, first with logical punctuation:
english  grammar  editing  language  writing 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
I’m the Irish guy who writes for ‘Charlie Hebdo’
It was at this point that I got involved with Charlie Hebdo. Among the writers and artists who came to the magazine’s aid was the novelist Marie Darrieussecq. Mobilised by rage and dismay, she gathered some French writers and brought a posse with her. She kept a horse for me, and I will never stop being grateful to her.

Without hesitation I accepted her offer that I write for them. Without hesitation? I nearly bit her hand off.

Not everyone accepted. I can understand someone not doing it out of safety concerns, for themselves or their families. There were also those who refused for other reasons: to wait to see how the wind of opinion blew or to gauge the level of public support. I understand them, too, but I don’t much love them.
Don’t care

I got on board in late January and my first article appeared on February 20th. I share a column with Marie Darrieussecq and Yannick Haenel, and my work appears every two or three weeks.

What do I write about in Charlie? Typically and terrifyingly, they don’t really care. They’ll spike bullshit, and they’re total bastards about length, but apart from that it’s very much, “Go on. Knock yourself out. Take it out for a spin and see what it can do.”
CharlieHebdo  writing  editing  journalism 
september 2017 by juliusbeezer
Didier Lestrade: Le feu
Après tout, je dois commencer un livre sur le porno dont j'ai signé le contrat quelques mois auparavant. Je me dis que si j'arrive à écrire pendant 15 jours non stop, quelque chose de positif sortira de tout ça. Et je me mets au travail. Il y a un truc formidable dans l'écriture, c'est qu'on peut le faire partout. Au bout de trois jours, j'ai toujours des visions de feu et je sais que je devrais consulter un psy. Mais avant, j'arrive à me convaincre que si j'arrive à bien écrire, je pourrai ainsi évaluer ma résistance. Si je parviens à produire 2 articles drôles, pour Slate ou pour Brain, à un moment où mes idées sont suicidaires, alors je pourrai me considérer comme en bonne voie.

Et j'écris bien. L'immobilisation stimule l'écriture. J'écris d'un trait, je vois que j'avance.
writing  français 
august 2017 by juliusbeezer
This 10-Minute Routine Will Increase Your Clarity And Creativity
It’s common practice for many of the world’s most successful people to intentionally direct the workings of their subconscious mind while they’re sleeping.


Take a few moments before you go to bed to meditate on and write down the things you’re trying to accomplish.

Ask yourself loads of questions related to that thing. In Edison’s words, make some “requests.” Write those questions and thoughts down on paper. The more specific the questions, the more clear will be your answers.

While you’re sleeping, your subconscious mind will get to work on those things.
sleep  creativity  writing  psychology 
june 2017 by juliusbeezer
Jill Lepore on the Challenge of Explaining Things | Public Books
But I’ve always been interested in the history of technology and arguments about progress. Much of my scholarship lies at the intersection of political history and the field known as the history of the book, a field whose very subjects—which include literacy and the printing press—are technologies. I have always been especially interested in technologies of evidence, communication, and surveillance, which would encompass everything from writing systems to lie detectors...
To be fair, it’s difficult not to be susceptible to technological determinism. We measure the very moments of our lives by computer-driven clocks and calendars that we keep in our pockets. I get why people think this way. Still, it’s a pernicious fallacy. To believe that change is driven by technology, when technology is driven by humans, renders force and power invisible...
I once wrote a piece about the history of the breast pump. I was using a breast pump at the time and every time I hooked myself up to that monstrosity I felt like I was in a Mary Shelley story and I wondered, “For God’s sake, how on earth did it come to this?” So I looked into it. And do you know why we have breast pumps in the United States? Because we don’t have maternity leave. Pumps are a very cheap and crappy substitute. Freeze your eggs, freeze your milk, work like a man. Phooey...
Here’s a way to think about that: what percentage of everything “published” in, say, 1952—that is, every radio and television broadcast, every magazine, newspaper, newsletter, book—was edited, in the sense that it passed through the hands of at least one person whose entire job was to consider the judiciousness and reasonableness of the argument and the quality of the evidence? Let’s say—wild guess—more than 98 percent. And how much of everything “published” in 2017—every post, comment, clip—is edited? Who knows, but let’s say, less than 2 percent. Doesn’t that explain a lot about the pickle we’re in?
editing  attention  history  breastfeeding  work  politics  authoritarianism  writing 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
Laura Wilder Books - Biography and List of Works - Author of 'By the Shores Of Silver Lake'
In 1930, Laura asked her daughter's opinion about a biographical manuscript she had written about her pioneering childhood. The Great Depression, coupled with the recent deaths of her mother and her sister Mary, seem to have prompted her to preserve her memories in a "life story" called "Pioneer Girl". She had also renewed her interest in writing in the hope of generating some income. Little did either of them realize that Laura Ingalls Wilder, 63, was about to embark on an entirely new career: writer of books for children.

Controversy surrounds Rose's exact role in what became her mother's famous "Little House" series of books. Some argue that Laura was an "untutored genius," relying on her daughter mainly for some early encouragement and her connections with publishers and literary agents. Others contend that Rose basically took each of her mother's unpolished rough drafts in hand and completely (and silently) transformed them into the series of books we know today. The truth most likely lies somewhere between these two positions — Laura's writing career as a rural journalist and credible essayist began more than two decades before the "Little House" series, and Rose's formidable skills as an editor and ghostwriter, are well-documented.
writing  literature  editing  journalism 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
Appel à contributions (n° 35) : Infrastructures – Tracés
Axe 1 : Épistémologie des infrastructures

Quels théories et cadres d’analyse pour l’objet politique que constituent les infrastructures techniques ? Ce premier axe invite tout d’abord à réfléchir sur les infrastructures en tant qu’objet de recherche pour les sciences humaines et sociales, et en particulier la manière dont leurs effets structurels sont étudiés ou au contraire mis à distance ou encore tout simplement oubliés.
pqpc  writing  geography  theory 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
The Masters Review | “How To Shit” by Ottessa Moshfegh
I don’t like talking about “how to write fiction.” I don’t like “craft” terms. Discussions about craft reinforce what feels to me to be an institutionalized paradigm for fiction dictated by the publishing industry...

Boredom is a symptom of denial, I thought. A bored person is a coward, essentially. So I conceived of a character trapped by social mores, who plumbs the depths of her own delusions and does something incredibly brave; I thought that would be fun for the kind of audience I was writing to. Thus Eileen was born...

you could say that I participated in the paradigm I’m so critical of. I drank the Kool-Aid. I ate the shit. But my aim was to shit out new shit. And so in writing, I think a lot about how to shit. What kind of stink do I want to make in the world? My new shit becomes the shit I eat. I learn by digesting my own delusions. It’s often very disgusting. The process requires as much self-awareness and honesty as I’m capable of having. It requires the courage to be hostile and contradictory. My creativity seems to gain traction out of this relationship with reality: I hate you, I hate myself, I love myself, you love me, I love you, I hate you, ad infinitum. I am interested in my own hypocrisy. It provides the turbulence for me to change.
writing  literature  reading 
january 2017 by juliusbeezer
TLSSensationally stupid – TheTLS
The fairest review that any novel of mine ever received was one I wrote myself. At least I had read the book and knew it pretty thoroughly, so I was able to discuss its faults and virtues with some confidence. But I was widely condemned for this, and I found it difficult for some time after to get work as a reviewer, the implication presumably being that names like V. S. Naipaul and Iris Murdoch and Paul Scott were conceivably pseudonyms of mine, and I could not be trusted to review fairly books which had those names on the title-page. I think that no harm would be done if, for one issue only, the TLS tried the experiment of asking authors to review their own books.
reviews  writing  funny 
january 2017 by juliusbeezer
Cesare Pavese’s Slang
I’m befuddled, all in a daze, with your titanic kindness. I’m now seeing the world only through a veil of pink sheets, all bristling with slang-phrases which are meddling together, re-echoing and staring at me from everywhere. I’ve got now I can no more take a pull out of a bottle together with my gang, without thinking I’m going on the grand sneak. And how flip I get sometimes! My whole existence has got a slang drift now. You could almost say I’m a slang-slinger. (Ha!)
translation  english  italian  funny  writing 
january 2017 by juliusbeezer
HTML Typescript – redistributing labor – Adam Hyde
Small design changes can have huge consequences for publishing workflows to the point of redefining roles. With the introduction of the word processor came the ability to change copy easily and consequently the author assumed more of this role and the copy editors role was redefined.
writing  editing  tools  html5  publishing 
january 2017 by juliusbeezer
Ambition Condition | Bitch Media
There’s no simple gender indicator for the weird fusion of insecurity and ambition, of feigned nonchalance and quiet competitiveness that’s common in writers of all sorts. But these traits are complicated by the cultural caricatures of ambitious women and the uneven historical patterns that have dictated whose talent is rewarded and whose isn’t...
Furthermore, to even say that you want to write lasting novels, garner hundreds of thousands of blog hits, or handmake a chapbook is to expose yourself to the “who are you to think you have anything to say?” sort of pummeling that Gould received. It can be tempting, then, for women in particular to write quietly and hope that the work will speak for itself. But by not owning up to her ambitions—whether they’re in the public or private realms—a writer feeds the machine that discounts the aspirations and talents of all women writers.
writing  attention  feminism 
december 2016 by juliusbeezer
Are You There Netizens? It's Me, Dana. | The Huffington Post
Douglas Carnall - translator, editor and the 185th winner of The Listerve lottery - said he feels beholden to his readers as an author. He included his personal email address with a piece on the semantics of the phrase, ‘Scout’s pace,” and received about 30 replies.

“Responding took up most of my free time for the next few days; it was an absolute pleasure to do so,” he said.

Carnall compared the experience of writing to an audience of 20,000 strangers to “a secular prayer.”
walking  cycling  writing  email  internet  religion 
december 2016 by juliusbeezer
How To Prevent Your Next Productivity Boost From Eventually Losing Steam | Fast Company | Business + Innovation
In these cases, you may actually need the opposite strategy: Rather than add smaller goals on your path toward the big one, stop thinking of your work in terms of goals altogether. Instead, reimagine what you do in terms of the processes you follow to do it, with the goals as mere side effects. This process orientation can be valuable, because it helps you focus on the habits that contribute to your success—consistently.

Successful writers don’t just start writing when they have a certain story or book to work on. They write regularly. Often, the most innovative people are expert generalists who are constantly seeking opportunities to learn new things. Those habits are actually a productivity strategy in disguise.
december 2016 by juliusbeezer
Michael Lewis and the Narrative Nonfiction Formula - Los Angeles Review of Books
The scientific narrative nonfiction formula, as Lewis and Gladwell use it, consists of depicting a character or small cadre of characters who embody a counterintuitive claim — especially counterintuitive for a behavioral or psychological subject (so that readers feel as though it might have application to their own lives). The scientific narrative nonfiction author then moves the reader from his or her original perception of the status quo to the counterintuitive truism through a winding road of anecdotes and eccentricities provided by the character or characters, all the while shearing and honing these stories for salience and readability. “You think that ‘experts’ have a solid grasp on something? Actually, here are some relatively unknown people who can prove otherwise.” This is the crux of the formula.

Importantly, the reader must be somewhat educated (and thus interested in the subject at hand), but not too knowledgeable in the specific field being discussed. Someone who knows Kahneman and Tversky’s history well may find little new in The Undoing Project. The most important skill for the likes of Lewis and Gladwell comes mostly at the outset: identifying the character or characters who can provide the kind of stories and perspectives to take the reader from what he thinks he knows to what he should know.
writing  finance  journalism 
december 2016 by juliusbeezer
I Went to the Bad Sex Awards and They Were Posher and Meaner Than You Could Even Imagine | VICE | United Kingdom
It doesn't feel mean to me in that moment, it feels quite natural to laugh at someone being so earnest about something ridiculous. What occurs to me then is that the idea of highlighting bad writing is not the problem; it's just that there's no reason we should stop at sex. Where are the awards for the Worst Sensitive Young Man Portrayal? Or Worst Coming of Age Cliches? Any objections I have with these awards is not based in the belief that writers should be treated more kindly, but that we should all be roundly mocked more often for our terrible ideas and lazy prose, and that needn't necessarily take place in protected buildings in central London.

It's only at the end, when the prize itself is awarded, that I feel really dirty.
writing  literature  criticism  funny 
december 2016 by juliusbeezer
Authors : Keller, David H, M D : SFE : Science Fiction Encyclopedia
"The Revolt of the Pedestrians" may be the most remarkable of Keller's stories for Gernsback; it is certainly one of the strangest. It is one of the relatively few sf tales before around 1970 to treat the hypertrophy of automobile culture in the twentieth century as Dystopian (see Prediction; Transportation); after centuries, "automobilists" have become almost organically tied to their Pollution-emitting cars, have lost the use of their legs, and have made pedestrianism a fatal offence. After the leader of a band of pedestrians turns off all electricity, legless automobilists die helplessly in their millions; the description of the death of twenty million New Yorkers attempting to flee Manhattan is extremely vivid (see New York). In the end, two elite pedestrians (see Adam and Eve) meet and prepare to breed, far from any despicable City (see Survivalist Fiction).
driving  walking  writing  literature 
december 2016 by juliusbeezer
13 Things Mentally Strong Writers Don’t Do | Kristen Lamb's Blog
Mental toughness is a key component to being successful. Yes, even for writers.

So I figured I would tinker with this and make it more directly apply to writers and what we must do (or not do) if we long to do well in this career. Thus, today we are going to discuss 13 Things Mentally Strong Writers Don’t Do...

If your writing isn’t working? Take classes, get feedback from experts on your areas of weakness. Pros in ALL fields do this yet we writers are notorious for believing if we need help or take classes we aren’t “talented”. That is bunk. Pro athletes have coaches and trainers. Pro musicians go study in conservatories. Pros learn where they can do better and get to work.
writing  blogs  bookselling 
december 2016 by juliusbeezer
WikiLeaks specializes in publishing, curating, and ensuring easy access to full online archives of information that has been censored or suppressed, or is likely to be lost. An understanding of our historical record enables self-determination; publishing and ensuring easy access to full archives, rather than just individual documents, is central to preserving this historical record. Since publishing Cablegate, WikiLeaks has continued to work to make PlusD the most complete online archive of US Department of State documents, adding to the library each year with newly available cables and other documents from the State Department communications system. It can be accessed through a set of specially developed search interfaces at
reading  research  writing  wikileaks  agnotology  attention  journalism  history  archiving 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
Why journalistic 'balance' is failing the public
And even truth-seeking journalists could easily be pressured into inadvertently or even intentionally covering stories in order to satisfy a false or imaginary sense of balance. You can’t blame them. The concept of “balance” – or as its critics refer to it “false equivalence” – has long been a key precept of journalism. It epitomises the idealistic notion that journalists ought to be fair to all so that, whenever they write a story, they give equal weight to both sides of the argument.

But, especially in our new “post-truth” era, this doesn’t always work to the benefit of the public good. Here are some examples of where balance doesn’t necessarily work...

But you can’t help but have some sympathy for Jacob Weisberg of Slate magazine, quoted in Spayd’s article, who said that journalists used to covering candidates who were like “apples and oranges” were presented with a candidate, Trump, who was like “rancid meat”.
journalism  writing  science  agnotology 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
Writing for an academic audience | OUPblog
Completing multitudinous years of education presumably encourages people to juxtapose one esoteric word after another in order to fabricate convoluted paragraphs formulated of impressively, extensively elongated and erudite sentences. To put it another way: completing many years of education encourages people to write complex paragraphs full of long sentences composed of long words.

What we may not do is consider whether the audiences for our writing will be willing and able to read and understand what we write. In other words, aim for readability. The first step is to identify what your audience needs to know. The next step is to incorporate principles that enable you to tell your audience what they need to know clearly, simply, and concisely.

In reality, most of us are both creators and recipients of needlessly complicated prose.
reading  writing  editing 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
What you read matters more than you might think — Quartz
what students read in college directly affects the level of writing they achieve. In fact, researchers found that reading content and frequency may exert more significant impacts on students’ writing ability than writing instruction and writing frequency. Students who read academic journals, literary fiction, or general nonfiction wrote with greater syntactic sophistication (more complex sentences) than those who read fiction (mysteries, fantasy, or science fiction) or exclusively web-based aggregators like Reddit, Tumblr, and BuzzFeed. The highest scores went to those who read academic journals; the lowest scores went to those who relied solely on web-based content.
reading  writing  psychology 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
Will Self: Are humans evolving beyond the need to tell stories? | Books | The Guardian
I began writing my books on a manual typewriter at around the same time wireless broadband became ubiquitous, sensing it was inimical not only to the act of writing, but that of reading as well: a novel should be a self-contained and self-explanatory world (at least, that’s how the form has evolved), and it needs to be created in the same cognitive mode as it’s consumed: the writer hunkering down into his own episodic memories, and using his own canonical knowledge, while imagining all the things he’s describing, rather than Googling them to see what someone else thinks they look like. I also sense the decline in committed reading among the young that these studies claim: true, the number of those who’ve ever been inclined “to get up in the morning in the fullness of youth”, as Nietzsche so eloquently put it, “and open a book” has always been small; but then it’s worth recalling the sting in the tail of his remark: “now that’s what I call vicious”.
writing  philosophy 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
Help Us, Academia, You Are Our Only Hope. |
the rot in scholarly communication runs much deeper. “People of this country have had enough of experts”, opined Michael Gove just before Brexit. At that moment, scholarly communication was handed the bill for failing spectacularly at making itself understood, relevant, and persuasive. This is not just due to pay walls or too many facts to make a convincing case; the bitter truth is that an increasingly incomprehensible ivory tower – and the academic publishing industry is part of it – has utterly disconnected from the wider public.

The thing is, good writers are incredibly rare in academia and editors are by now seen as a luxury most publishers cannot afford. Both exist almost in spite of a system that on the one hand is insatiable when it comes to new content but on the other considers rhetorical skills and the craft of writing to be a given. Yes, there are writing programs here and there, additional courses offered by graduate academies and the like, but the fundamental skills of communication have not really been at the core of our education for a long time. And now it shows. We get lost in technicalities, unable to clearly convey the bigger picture and relevance of what we do. We cannot thrill, excite, and stimulate a wider audience with our discoveries because we never really learned how to formulate and produce a good story. Our tales are boring, disjointed, and more often than not a stylistic nightmare. Who wants to read this stuff?
scholarly  writing  editing  publishing  politics 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
Grammar Girl : Sentence Length :: Quick and Dirty Tips ™
Plan your excursion carefully and plot out a manageable route. Your trip’s core should consist mostly of medium-sized sentences. Budget for a few windy detours that point out some fascinating facts, and make a couple quick stops in the sentence fragment department to keep participants alert. Whatever you do, don’t fall into a monotonous medium-sized rhythm that anesthetizes your readers.

“Medium-sized” means minuscule by Proust’s standards. Most sentences should contain no more than 30 or 40 words.
writing  editing  grammar 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
Get Your Eagle Eye On: 10 Tips for Proofreading Your Own Work | WTD
3. Forget the content or story. Analyze sentence by sentence; don’t read in your usual way. Focus on spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Work backwards, if that helps, or say the words and sentences out loud. Concentrate.

4. Make several passes for different types of errors. Try checking spelling and end punctuation on one pass, grammar and internal punctuation on another, and links or format on yet another pass. Develop a system.

5. Take notes. If you notice a format issue while checking spelling or if you need to look something up, make a quick note and come back to it so you don’t lose your focus.

6. If you do make a last-minute change to a few words, be sure to check the entire sentence or even paragraph over again. Many errors are the result of changes made without adjusting other, related words.
editing  learning  writing 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
“You have to keep track of your changes”: The Version Variants and Publishing History of David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas
However, I have identified that there have been at least two English-language editions of Cloud Atlas in widespread circulation, from the very first day of its publication, from which other translated texts and the film script have been derived (see Fig. 1). As well as exhibiting many minor linguistic variations and copy-edits throughout (accidentals), these different editions also contain sections of narrative unique to each version that must change any close reading of the text. Given that so much literary criticism has now been produced on the subject of Mitchell’s novel, twelve years after its publication, these version variants are potentially problematic as they have not previously been noted.1 Using a combination of computational, textual-scholarly and more traditional hermeneutic methods, I here set out the substantial differences between the editions of Cloud Atlas and point to the future work that must be done to understand the effects of the heavy rewritings that occur across the different versions of the text. I also, below, outline the publishing history of the novel that resulted in these variations, as detailed to me by David Mitchell himself.
writing  editing  publishing  censorship  internet  memory 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
Academia, Love Me Back – TIFFANY MARTÍNEZ
This morning, my professor handed me back a paper (a literature review) in front of my entire class and exclaimed “this is not your language.” On the top of the page they wrote in blue ink: “Please go back and indicate where you cut and paste.” The period was included. They assumed that the work I turned in was not my own. My professor did not ask me if it was my language, instead they immediately blamed me in front of peers. On the second page the professor circled the word “hence” and wrote in between the typed lines “This is not your word.” The word “not” was underlined. Twice. My professor assumed someone like me would never use language like that. As I stood in the front of the class while a professor challenged my intelligence I could just imagine them reading my paper in their home thinking could someone like her write something like this?

In this interaction, my undergraduate career was both challenged and critiqued. It is worth repeating how my professor assumed I could not use the word “hence,” a simple transitory word that connected two relating statements.
scholarly  writing  plagiarism 
october 2016 by juliusbeezer
What is substantive editing? | Technical Editors' Eyrie
In substantive editing (also known as developmental editing and comprehensive editing), the editor considers a document’s concept and intended use, content, organization, design, and style. The purpose is to make the document functional for its readers, not just to make it correct and consistent.

Substantive editing is almost entirely analysis-based, whether at the document level or at the paragraph, sentence, or word level. Decisions require judgement, not just the application of rules, and therefore should be negotiable with the writer.

Contrast this work with copyediting, most of which is rules-based and concerned with grammar, spelling, punctuation, and other mechanics of style and the internal consistency of facts and presentation. Both types of edit are essential; they just focus on different issues. (See also my article on classifying editorial tasks.)
editing  writing 
october 2016 by juliusbeezer
Here's How You Actually Write a Book
publishing isn’t the hardest part of writing a book. Not even close. It’s the writing.

Here's How You Actually Write a Book
1. Choose a topic

2. Develop a premise

3. Think about your reader

4. Create an outline

5. Read, read, read

6. Set a due date

7. Create a writing schedule

8. Write, don’t edit
september 2016 by juliusbeezer
Pete Wells Has His Knives Out - The New Yorker
Although Wells, following his paper’s tradition, won’t file a review before he’s eaten somewhere at least three times, he’ll sometimes make one or two visits and then put the place aside, for reasons that are, essentially, literary. Wells mentioned Luksus, a restaurant in Greenpoint with Nordic touches, which has a Michelin star but left him a little cold. “I can’t figure out what to say about it,” he said.
food  writing 
september 2016 by juliusbeezer
My best writing tip by William Boyd, Jeanette Winterson, Amit Chaudhuri and more | Books | The Guardian
My suggestion is this: we stop ourselves from writing what we have to write by pausing to fret over details and risks, and by filtering ourselves through subconscious juries. Sparkles of gold can appear if we just get enough words written, which means write like the wind, don’t look down. Make a pact never to show anyone, build a mound of dirt, skim it later for anything that excites you. Skimming is a different job, sober and honest, of an archaeologist crumbling dirt in her hands. Separate any glimmers into a new document and build on them, connect them, repeat the process. Those glimmers are also evidence that things can work out, making them power pills for the will; use them to press on. We might start by sifting crap but a couple of passes can lure out real pipe-puffing linen-wearing tennis-playing vigour.
september 2016 by juliusbeezer
Cardinal Sins of Translation #1: Reading While Translating (and Not Before!) - Intralingo
a colleague in my PhD program questioned this so-called rule. (I should say that she has a lot of experience in technical translation but was new to literary translation upon entering the program, so she hadn’t been indoctrinated with semesters of literary translation advice.) Her argument went something like this: If you read the entire book before you start translating, your knowledge of what happens in the book could “leak” into your translation. On the other hand, if you read the book while translating it, this readerly sense of suspense, including false assumptions and uncertain interpretations, comes through in your translation, and thus makes your translation more “true” to the reading experience.

I have to admit, I didn’t take her argument seriously until I read an in-depth interview with Lydia Davis, in which she described taking this exact approach to translating novels.
translation  literature  writing  dccomment 
july 2016 by juliusbeezer
E.W.Dijkstra Archive: Home page
Like most of us, Dijkstra always believed it a scientist’s duty to maintain a lively correspondence with his scientific colleagues. To a greater extent than most of us, he put that conviction into practice. For over four decades, he mailed copies of his consecutively numbered technical notes, trip reports, insightful observations, and pungent commentaries, known collectively as “EWDs”, to several dozen recipients in academia and industry. Thanks to the ubiquity of the photocopier and the wide interest in Dijkstra’s writings, the informal circulation of many of the EWDs eventually reached into the thousands.

Although most of Dijkstra’s publications began life as EWD manuscripts, the great majority of his manuscripts remain unpublished. They have been inaccessible to many potential readers, and those who have received copies have been unable to cite them in their own work. To alleviate both of these problems, the department has collected over a thousand of the manuscripts in this permanent web site, in the form of PDF bitmap documents
writing  publishing  programming 
july 2016 by juliusbeezer
George Plimpton on Muhammad Ali (The Poet)
A pen was produced. Ali was given a menu on which to write. He started off with half the first line—“After we defeat”—and asked Miss Moore to write in Ernie Terrell (which she misspelled “Ernie Tyrell” in her spidery script) just to get her “warmed up.” He wrote most of the second line—“He will catch nothing”—handing the pen over and expecting Miss Moore to fill in the obvious rhyme, and he was quite surprised when she did not.
writing  poetry  sport 
july 2016 by juliusbeezer
Medical Writing
Medical Writing is a quarterly publication that aims to educate and inform medical writers in Europe and beyond. Each issue focuses on a specific theme, and all issues include feature articles and regular columns on topics relevant to the practice of medical writing. We welcome articles providing practical advice to medical writers; guidelines and reviews/summaries/updates of guidelines published elsewhere; original research; opinion pieces; interviews; and review articles.
writing  editing  sciencepublishing 
april 2016 by juliusbeezer
Jenny Diski's brave scepticism | New Humanist
Novels, non-fiction, diary, memoir, essay; Diski’s writing seems as if it might belong to different genres but it also breaks down the idea of genre itself. It is sometimes argued that a writer may be “unclassifiable” but you have to put a book somewhere in a bookshop (why not a table marked “unclassifiable”?). This idea applies to Diski’s work, a little. But all the writing is recognisably the work of a single author. In this respect only, it has a lot in common with the work of Iain Sinclair; here is another genre-crossing writer. His work is surprisingly popular, and his backlist surprisingly available, given that his sentences, unlike Diski’s, can be inelegant and the plots of the books labelled “fiction” – Downriver for instance – are often impenetrable. (See the Winter 2013 New Humanist for a discussion of Iain Sinclair’s work.)

The books by Diski that can be labelled “fiction” are the most disconcerting for anyone who is used to the first-person voice that appears in the LRB, Harper’s and Göteborgs-Posten. In the essay “A diagnosis” (11 September 2014), Diski states: “I write fiction and non-fiction, but it’s almost always personal. I start with me, and often enough end with me. I’ve never been apologetic about that, or had a sense that my writing is ‘confessional’.”
writing  editing 
april 2016 by juliusbeezer
Type Slowly: Word Processing and Literary Composition - The Los Angeles Review of Books
The phrase “word processing” wasn’t coined with literary elegance in mind. It originally applied to a range of technologies and practices, including typewriters, that allowed for delayed inscription, a shift from oral to recorded dictation, copiers, and a restructuring of office domains. As Kirschenbaum explains, research and consulting outfits such as the Word Processing Institute and the American Management Association, as well as manufacturers such as IBM, promoted the adaptation of new products and operations to stanch the proliferation of paperwork and, more pressingly, to cure a “social disease” stemming from secretarial mobility and versatility. Secretaries made up a large percentage of office personnel, and their duties were a hodgepodge: taking letters, typing, filing, making coffee, scheduling meetings, answering phones, booking flights, stocking supplies, buying gifts, and so on. Accordingly, they were hardly bound to their desks, which raised inefficiency flags for management consultants.
writing  text_tools  text 
april 2016 by juliusbeezer
Editing Guide - Brevy
Brevy is a wiki for summaries of peer-reviewed research. Here we seek to make research more open, accessible, and understandable for the general public while providing tools to communicate and engage with academic works. Brevy does this by providing a platform to easily create, browse, organize, and discuss these summaries...

Having trouble getting your quick summary down to 140 characters? Here are some helpful tips and examples:

Dealing with excessively long words - Try replacing these with ones more broadly characterizing the item. A couple of examples:
For the discovery of "Pikachurin," an "EGF-like, fibronectin type-III and laminin G-like domain-containing protein," you might write the protein's suggested role (a "dystroglycan-interacting protein") instead of its long title.
For a long chemical name such as "2,2-Bis-(4-(2-methacryloxyethoxy)phenyl)propane," you might instead consider it's category (a "(Meth)acrylate"), it's CAS number (or similar identifying number), or its intended purpose
Give the bottom line only - Focus on the results and conclusions rather than how the research was done unless novel techniques are a key point in the work
It doesn't have to be a full sentence - If you're grammar is a bit off, we won't complain, but keep it readable!
More to come!

We welcome suggestions for tips here. Please post them on this page's talk page, and we will consider migrating them here.
writing  sciencepublishing  editing  attention  arxiv  overlay 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
[no title]
1. It provides insight into an important issue – for example, by explaining a wide variance when numbers are spread out from the mean or expected value, or by shedding light on an unsolved problem that affects a lot of people.

2. The insight is useful to people who make decisions, particularly long-term organizational decisions or, in our particular field, family decisions.

3. The insight is used to develop a framework or theory, either a new theory or advancing an existing one.

4. The insight stimulates new, important questions.

5. The methods used to explore the issue are appropriate (for example, data collection and analysis of data).

6. The methods used are applied rigorously and explain why and how the data support the conclusions.

7. Connections to prior work in the field or from other fields are made and serve to make the article's arguments clear.

8. The article tells a good story, meaning it is well written and easy to understand, the arguments are logical and not internally contradictory.

"Ideally, we would like to see articles perform well on all eight points, and that the author strives for a good balance amongst these criteria," said Dr. Pieper said.
publishing  learning  writing  sciencepublishing  scholarly 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
Academics can change the world – if they stop talking only to their peers
Learning to write

There is a third factor holding academics back from writing for broader lay audiences: even if they’d like to, they may not know where to start and how to do it.

Writing an article for an academic journal is a very different process to penning one for those outside the academy. Naomi Wolf and Sacha Kopp, in an article examining the issue, wrote:

Academic writing has the benefit of scholarly rigour, full documentation and original thinking. But the transmission of our ideas is routinely hampered … by a great deal of peer-oriented jargon.

Universities have a role to play here by offering workshops and courses to their academics and students. This can help develop creative non-fiction writing skills.
writing  scholarly  education  coaching 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
Escape From Pretoria [HTML]
How did three political prisoners break out of one of South Africa`s top security prisons? Angry and embarrassed by the escape, the apartheid Security Branch forced one of the warders to say he had been bribed to help them. But the truth was quite different.

Escape from Pretoria shows how patience, singlemindedness and meticulous attention to detail got the prisoners out of their cells and through 14 locked freedom.

It is, however, much more than just an escape story. It is an account of how a white South Afican became conscious of the injustice on which his privileged life was based and chose to throw in his lot with the oppressed black majority of South Africa by joining the liberation struggle. (Cover description from the original book).
prison  south-africa  writing 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
The Plain Person’s Guide to Plain Text Social Science
I recommend you write prose and code using a good text editor; analyze quantitative data with R or Stata; minimize error by storing your work in a simple format (plain text is best), and make a habit of documenting what you’ve done. For data analysis, consider using a format like RMarkdown and tools like Knitr to make your work more easily reproducible for your future self. Use Pandoc to turn your plain-text documents into PDF, HTML, or Word files to share with others. Keep your projects in a version control system. Back everything up regularly. Make your computer work for you by automating as many of these steps as you can.

To help you get started, I provide a drop-in set of useful defaults to get started with Emacs (a powerful, free text-editor). I share some templates and style files that can get you quickly from plain text to various output formats. And I point to several alternatives, because no humane person should recommend Emacs without presenting some other options as well.
Two ongoing computing revolutions are tending to pull in opposite directions. On one side, the mobile, cloud-centered, touch-screen, phone-or-tablet model has brought powerful computing to more people than ever before. This revolution is the one everyone is talking about, because it is happening on a huge scale and is where all the money is. In practice it puts single-purpose applications in the foreground and hides from the user both the workings of the operating system and (especially) the structure of the file system where items are stored and moved around.

On the other side, open-source tools for plain-text coding, data analysis, and writing are also better and more accessible than they have ever been. This has happened on a smaller scale than the first revolution, of course. But still, these tools really have revolutionized the availability and practice of data analysis and scientific computing generally. They continue to do so, too, as people work to make them better at everything from slurping up data on the web to presenting it there. These tools mostly work by gluing together separate, specialized widgets into a reproducible workflow. They are “bitty” or granular because the process of data analysis is that way as well. They do much less to hide the operating system layer—instead they often directly mesh with it—and they also presuppose a working knowledge of the file system underpinning the organization of the things the researcher is using or creating, from data files to code to figures and final papers.
writing  tools  text_tools  sciencepublishing  scholarly  opensource  coding  git 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
Undergraduate Essay | Stanford Humanities
Because IHUM is a required course, we meet students who would not normally wander into a literature course, and who are often destined for majors in engineering, human biology, or computer science. Typically, the students who have the most difficulty with their essays were educated in Asian countries (mostly Singapore, China, and Korea). They tend to be among the brightest students in the class; but they find our writing exercises baffling. We are supposed to come up with an original thesis, they ask? How are we meant to do that? Never before had they been asked to think about a text for themselves.

In high school they had only been required to show they had absorbed what their instructors had said in class. Devising an original argument seems almost heretical to them. It is a largely foreign concept in their school cultures. American culture and economy, on the other hand, place an almost unrivaled premium on originality. Rarely do we consider, however, how originality gets taught. To be sure, universities such as Stanford offer classes in, say, mechanical engineering, in which students are called upon to invent new designs and products. But these courses tend to be reserved for upper-level students. The purpose of most basic math or science classes is not to encourage original thinking.
education  writing  humanities  research  china 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
‘It is all a bit of a mess’ – observations from Researcher to Reader conference | Unlocking Research
Journals are dead – the publishing future is the platform
Journals are not dead – but we don’t need issues any more as they are entirely redundant in an online environment
Publishing in a journal benefits the author not the reader
Dissemination is no longer the value added offered by publishers. Anyone can have a blog. The value-add is branding
The drivers for choosing research areas are what has been recently published, not what is needed by society
All research is generated from what was published the year before – and we can prove it
Why don’t we disaggregate the APC model and charge for sections of the service separately?
You need to provide good service to the free users if you want to build a premium product
The most valuable commodity as an editor is your reviewer time
Peer review is inconsistent and systematically biased.
The greater the novelty of the work the greater likelihood it is to have a negative review
Poor academic writing is rewarded
sciencepublishing  scholarly  reading  writing  journals 
february 2016 by juliusbeezer
Semiotician and novelist Umberto Eco dead at 84 | Arts & Ent , Culture | THE DAILY STAR
The Italian author and academic who became one of Italy's best-known cultural exports and keenest cultural critics, died at home in Milan Friday evening after a battle with cancer, according to a family member who asked not to be identified.
French President Francois Hollande remembered Eco as "an immense humanist," adding that "libraries have lost an insatiable reader, universities a dazzling professor and literature a passionate writer."
writing  literature  deaths 
february 2016 by juliusbeezer
Punctuation in novels — Medium
, Absalom! is wild; moreover, one might say, it is statements, within statements, within statements: who doesn’t love that?

Here is a comparison of some other books — notice how large a break A Farewell To Arms was from the past. There almost no commas, just sentences, dialogue. How refreshing and wild that must have been! Look at how spartan Blood Meridian is compared to everything. Pay attention to the semicolons which seem to have disappeared from writing.

Punctuation does more than simply carve out a space for words. It separates them. Clearly, some authors are more okay with long rambling sentences than others. William Faulkner looks at your short sentences and says nothing less than fuck you.
english  grammar  writing  cool 
february 2016 by juliusbeezer
Let's face it, in this age of crowd-funding and internet print-on-demand, any lunatic can pump out any old rubbish and call themselves an author or games journalist...
Plenty of self-published works are great - and to find out, why not become one of our Patreon donors, to get yourself a copy of our own Man's Daddy Joke Book? - but some of them... well... they're beyond parody.
writing  funny  publishing  literature 
february 2016 by juliusbeezer
The 3 Types of People Who Fail At Freelance Writing
There is no list of English-language websites that offer great rates to writers who don’t understand basic English grammar. I’m not aware of any site that pays well for work they’d have to substantially rewrite and re-edit to make publishable, much less enough sites to make a list!
Changing SEO tides

You’d think it would be obvious that you can’t get great pay for writing a language you don’t know well.

So why the confusion? There was a moment in time where you could make good money writing in English, even if you didn’t really know English and your sentences barely made sense. So a lot of Third World writers hopped on the train.

It was the heyday of short, SEO keyword stuffing posts to drive website traffic. Think 2006 or so. These were posts designed for search-engine robots to read, rather than people to read. So the grammar, expressiveness, and creativity of the writing didn’t matter.
writing  internet  business 
february 2016 by juliusbeezer
Reading Madame Bovary in the Provinces - The Los Angeles Review of Books
What is Madame Bovary to me? Haven’t we had enough of her already?

Such, in any case, seems to be the general sentiment in France where the novel, although still widely known, has largely disappeared from national school curricula and has gradually acquired the status of a period piece. Neither has its depiction of adultery, which might still give some North American principals pause, retained any of its original shock value in a country where promiscuity and infidelities — “et alors?” the French president François Mitterrand is said to have replied when asked by a journalist about his extramarital daughter — have long since become socially acceptable realities (even if not always sanctioned in equal measure across the gender divide). Rather than sparking moral outrage, Emma Bovary’s adulterous travails are now as likely to inspire boredom and irritation in contemporary readers who have long flocked to more glamorous desperate housewives, in more glamorously desperate media, such as the California belles of Wisteria Lane. Indeed, Emma’s very immersion in books — a solitary endeavor, like masturbation — may well be what turns off today’s sexting readers...
Madame Bovary, with its tireless search for le mot juste (“the right word”), its meticulous parsing out of linguistic nuances and deictic feel, the gradual ripening of its sentences in the laboratory of the “gueuloir,” the idiosyncratic compositional practice whereby the author would yell out (or gueuler in French) newly written sentences at the top of his lungs so as to make sure that they sounded right...
français  literature  flaubert  writing 
february 2016 by juliusbeezer
American aphanisis: in search of Donald Trump | Idiot Joy Showland
Sometimes people will try to defend Trump from accusations of fascism by pointing out that he doesn’t have any consistent politics, he’s only saying whatever will appease his reactionary base and whatever will provoke the media into giving him attention. Actually, they’ve just unwittingly stumbled on a fairly decent definition of what fascism actually is. All he does is gather up what’s already there, below the surface of things, and what’s below the surface is fascist ideology. As Ishay Landa and others have pointed out, it’s not heterogeneous to liberalism, but forms one of liberalism’s defence mechanisms, something that prickles up when class society finds itself under threat. Before the death camps there had to be colonial genocide and the Fordist assembly line; none of these things are intelligible without the others. We’re already living under fascism: all that violence and horror is a byproduct of the production process, it’s always been and always is latent to the capitalist order. Latent, in the full Freudian sense of the word: as in the latency period in psychosexual development, the false pause in which the same oedipalised energies of the initial stages are redirected outwards into the world, the repressive repression of that which is itself repressive – and as the latent content, the hidden content masked by the dream-work. And we are not awake.
writing  authoritarianism  politics  us 
january 2016 by juliusbeezer
10 Ways to Drive More Traffic from Twitter - SumoMe
Share genuinely interesting thoughts, ideas and stories.
Be specific.
Curate — i.e. retweet — smart tweets from smart people.
Respond to other people’s tweets.
Follow people who follow your industry’s influencers.
Use hashtags (in moderation).
Stay active by tweeting at least 5-10 times per day.
Ask your newsletter subscribers to follow you.
Ask your LinkedIn and Facebook fans to follow you.
Ask your blog readers to follow you.
twitter  socialmedia  socialnetworking  writing 
january 2016 by juliusbeezer
From Pickup Artist to Pariah -- The Cut
That night, C., a redheaded woman in her late 20s, saw the link to the blog. She glanced at it long enough to understand that it had something to do with Waking Life Espresso, a popular West Asheville coffee shop owned by Jared Rutledge and Jacob Owens. C. and Jared had had a six-month fling in 2012; she’d just gotten out of an abusive relationship, and Jared, with his brown curls and his philosophy major’s curiosity, seemed like the perfect candidate for some strings-free fun. Her experience with him had been such a refreshing example of no-drama casual sex that when several friends asked her about Jared after matching with him on Tinder, she told them to go for it. Her friends went on to sleep with him, too.

The next morning, C. scrolled through the blog on her phone, trying to make sense of what she was reading. It seemed that Jared, with Jacob as his wingman and sidekick, had a secret online life as a member of the pickup-artist community. The pickup artist’s most familiar incarnation is Neil Strauss, author of the 2005 best seller The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists. But since The Game’s publication a decade ago, it’s evolved into a thriving constellation of blogs and sub-Reddits offering obsessive overanalysis of dates, economics-inflected gender theory, and men’s-rights rants. The sites are known, collectively, as the “manosphere.”
sex  internet  writing  commenting 
january 2016 by juliusbeezer
6 tips for taking creative criticism | Education | Creative Bloq
He shared some important advice on using criticism as fuel for your creative process. Here are some of Deakin's top tips...

01. Get opinions early
02. Listen hard
03. Don't take it personally
04. Don't take it as gospel
05. Adjust and repeat
creativity  writing 
january 2016 by juliusbeezer
writing workflow | On dance, art and things
Markdown is, quite simply, brilliant to write in. It is simple to learn, flexible, and doesn’t require any special software (just a text editor). There are lots of resources online for learning Markdown but David Sparks and Eddie Smith’s The MacSparky Markdown Field Guide is very fine indeed.
writing  editing  tools  text_tools 
january 2016 by juliusbeezer
What Orwell can teach us about the language of terror and war | Books | The Guardian
In an essay on Camus, whom he, like Orwell, admired greatly, Merton says that the writer’s task “is not suddenly to burst out into the dazzle of utter unadulterated truth but laboriously to reshape an accurate and honest language that will permit communication … instead of multiplying a Babel of esoteric and technical tongues”. Against the language of power, which seeks to establish a perfect self-referentiality, the writer opposes a language of “laborious” honesty. Instead of public speech being the long echo of absolute and unchallengeable definitions supplied by authority – definitions that tell you once and for all how to understand the world’s phenomena – the good writer attempts to speak in a way that is open to the potential challenge of a reality she or he does not own and control.
writing  orwell  camus 
december 2015 by juliusbeezer
For the first time! | Journal of Cell Science
here is the thing that bothers me. Often, I begin a paper with an observation that someone has previously described, and show that it applies to the problem we have undertaken. And most of the time either the editors or the reviewers tell me to take that out, as ‘it has already been shown.’ It isn't new. Okay, we have established why new is important, so this makes sense.

Except it doesn't. If you've been paying attention to the front matter in many journals, and to the popular press, you may have noticed that there is a growing concern that research results are not reproducible.
sciencepublishing  peerreview  writing  editing 
december 2015 by juliusbeezer
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