on writing

Via the ever-wonderful RMS at the Worst Horse, I have discovered, downloaded, installed, and am now using Ommwriter. As my long-time readers know, I have a complicated relationship with all things marketed as “Zen” or “Buddhist” or in any way a part of the spirituality business to the extent that it rubs my leftist leanings the wrong way, raising my quiet indignation against the system, the market-saturated culture of oppression in which we often find ourselves.

But. I digress.

I digress because I may be a convert here. The experience of actually using Ommwriter is, to put it bluntly, pretty freakin’ cool. I think part of the reason I’m enjoying it is because I was reminded yesterday about an article I read some years ago — one of those articles written by a linguist or a statistician at MIT back when the Internet was still called ARPANET, the kind of paper that gets shuffled from hard drive to hard drive before ending up in some dusty corner of the web to be found by the likes of me. I can’t now recall where I found that article, but I do recall that its author claimed that word processing programs are evil. They are evil because they force users to become two fundamentally different types of people simultaneously: typists and typesetters. The art of writing, of typing, is something that requires focus and dedication. And word processing programs, to the extent that they distract you with auto-spelling corrections and troubling you with type face and fonts and margins and so on, get in the way of writing. A good writer, the author suggested, should just write — and only once she’s finished, should she worry about Helvetica or Times New Roman, single or double space.

be thankful for what you’ve got

Rather than waxing on about the brotherhood of man, rather than saying, “whitey and the Indians got together, so can we!” in his 1863 establishment of the Thanksgiving holiday, he talks about, to be frank, being thankful for what you’ve got. He goes on and on about how screwed up the country is (we were, after all, in the middle of the Civil War), but despite how dire and terrible things are, the year “has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies.” And that we should be thankful for what we do have, and trust that the nation will be healed.

home again home again

And then right back outta here! We got back into town rather late yesterday. And I had grand plans this morning to Get Stuff Done, clean up around the house, call people, etc., etc. What did I do? I sat around all day trying to make the Institute of Buddhist Studies website that much better. […]

watch the sky

In case you don’t already know, Wil Wheaton has a blog. Yeah, that’s right. Wil Wheaton. The skinny kid from Star Trek and Stand By Me. And if you didn’t know he had a blog, you’re probably thinking something negative about the guy, but once you read the blog you’ll realize that he’s a far cry (and at once not that far at all) from the skinny kid on Star Trek. He’s insightful. Witty, even, and writes on everything from pop-culture to sci-fi to Suicide Girls. (That’s right, Suicide Girls.)