HEWN, No. 299

"Those who live by electronics, die by electronics. Sic semper tyrannis." - Kurt Vonnegut

Happy New Year. I hope that your 2019 is off to a good start, with the right balance of winding up and winding down, taking stock and letting go, wrapping up and starting off.

I started off writing, really writing, Teaching Machines on January 1, as I swore I’d do. I set a daily word count goal — set it intentionally a bit low, I won’t lie — and I’ve far surpassed that number of words in Word each day. They aren’t great words. They aren’t necessarily the right words. But words have been written. They can be edited later. The amount of words I still have to type and polish is overwhelming if I stop and think about it. But I can’t stop too long. If nothing else, the book seems a little more real today than it even did a week ago.

I like to read how other authors work, although I rarely take explanations of their particular writing practices as advice. I do quite like what SF writer John Scalzi wrote this week about “Wasting My Own Time.” And while I think most generational analysis is bunk, there are some elements in the latest article by Anne Helen Petersen that strike me as true, not just in terms of accomplishing writing projects, of course, but for getting (or not getting) all sorts of other tasks done: “How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation.” I’m not a millennial — I fall well outside the supposed age range. But I recognize and I experience a lot of this “condition” as she calls it. The psychological trauma of socioeconomic precarity hardly has an age limit.

This week’s pigeon is a Danish suabien:

(Image credits)

I don’t agree with the order of importance that Matt Novak gives “Technology, Ranked” but hey. At least he did not include a single piece of ed-tech. Speaking of ed-tech, historian Larry Cuban suggests that “The Virtue of Slow Software” might be “Fewer Fads in Schools.” We can only hope, I suppose. But I have this terrible feeling that while I spend the new year paying attention to the history of ed-tech and less to its current state, that all sorts of unscrupulous people are going to use the opportunity to make a run on the store.

Great. Just great. Related: “The Business of 'Ed-tech Trends' for 2018.”

Yours in struggle,