I mean: I like art! But I’ve found real satisfaction in this work, too, and I think a lot of people would—people who maybe don’t realize it; who got channeled early into things like law or science or tech. There’s a “full-spectrum-ness” to a small business that’s very satisfying; a real sense, as with books, of authorship.
– From Robin Sloan’s Year of the Meteor newsletter, installment 42
While I was in Hebden Bridge, I looked out of the window of a coffee shop one Friday at lunchtime, and saw a small crowd of schoolchildren on a climate protest. Sensitized by being in England, it dawned on me that what I was seeing was a rebellion of the natives against the colonizers – the inhabitants of the future marshaling resistance to the colonizing present and to the extraction of the resources that they will need to thrive.
– From Deb Chachra’s Metafoundry newsletter, installment 72
On the other hand, here’s the thing: it doesn’t matter whether I, as a biographer, drive to the civic library and hang out with the reference librarians all day—in the end, I’d end up with the same information that I’d have found here at home, online. Would the bricks-and-mortar research come with a pedigree? Would I need to show Chevron gas slips and document my mileage to score points? This throws the notion of “biography” into a new light. We can all hopscotch from link to link to link—it’s what most people do now, anyway. So Why write a biography? Maybe to get a sense of how it felt to be someone else in a different time. Maybe to cast new light on an old subject. Maybe to learn new ways of thinking. Maybe to try to enter an already vanishing mode of perceiving the past, the notion that a landscape is best viewed with a single source of light—the sun, one light bulb, a lone candle, a lone writer—so that all the shadows and highlights are true to each other.
– From Douglas Coupland’s Marshall McLuhan: You Know Nothing of My Work!