Monday, July 15, 2019

Book review: Tears of the Trufflepig, by Fernando A. Flores

This post was scheduled in advance to be published during my digital detox.

More on Fernando A. Flores: He "does not own a computer. Flores, 36, has decorated a wall of his Austin home office with an array of pages from manuscripts he’s typed up the old-fashioned way, with typos and excised lines crossed out with inky X’s. Below the display of papers is where the magic happens: a simple wooden desk, adorned with a lamp, which plugs into a power strip, and an Olivetti Underwood Lettera 32 typewriter, which does not." — Texas Monthly

On Denise Terriah

On the Austin Typewriter, Ink. podcast

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Analog tools

This post has been scheduled in advance to be published during my digital detox period.

Here are some analog tools I'm using during that time.

The watch and barometer were given to me by my father, and belonged to his father. The barometer was sold in Aussig an der Elbe, the town in Czechoslovakia where the Pollatschek (later Polt) family lived until 1938. It is now known as Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic.

I don't use the term "analog" as a general alternative to "digital." I think it strictly applies only to devices that represent reality through analogies, through similarities. The movement of the watch hands is analogous to the rotation of the earth. The position of the indicator on the barometer is analogous to the air pressure. The height of the mercury column is analogous to the temperature of the air.

Pens and typewriters aren't "analog" technology in this strict sense. I'm looking for a better term—a word that would express a contrast to the digital, while including some positive, illuminating conception of what these things are.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

The fate of the blogless

This post has been scheduled in advance to be published during my digital detox period. Don't worry, I probably won't be wailing ... I think. But as I was rereading this text, I couldn't resist posting it.

"The Buribunks" is a uncannily prescient satire about a world where everyone is required to publish diaries about everything they experience. They are perfectly free to write that they have nothing to write, or that they hate writing—but if they actually stop writing, they fall into social oblivion.

An English translation is in the works, and I plan on contributing an essay to an anthology of buribunkological studies.