Author Archives: Doug

Artists Stand Naked

All these writing exercises, many under time constraints – “Please do a character development using dialogue and no description for the next 12 minutes” – become like unconstrained mini-therapy, without the benefit of professional interpretation.

“You are not the narrator…” Sure I’m not. I’m supposed to connect with my “conscious, make friends with it” and “take a stand in your work”. If I really took a stand everyone in the room would fall down.

I’m learning that artists stand naked. Perhaps that’s why they are hunched over all the time.

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If Mark Twain Had a Laptop

Are we better off with all the writer’s and researcher’s tools on our PCs?

I look down at my MacBook’s desktop, and staring back at me is a monster. A jumble of incomprehensible and expanding piles of electronic icons spill and shuffle around as if the sorter cubbies on top of a roll top desk had just collapsed. I think, if Mark Twain had a laptop this is what it would have looked like.

The nice thing about the physicality of books, printed pdfs, and paper journals is their hard edged presence and volume. Having them piled up around you reminds you of things; like how much you’ve done, and how much you need to do. That volume of paper communicates what you have to do, and more importantly, it gives you a gauge of what you can do.

So where does that leave Sente, Zotero, Pages, EndNote, OneNote, DEVONThink, Together and Journler…

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Agenda for America

Agenda for America: After Quantanamo lets make Jet travel safe again.

The LAT reported that 208 passengers have been convicted of felony terrorist activity under the Patriot Act over the past few years, often for raising their voices to Flight Attendants.

I’m surprised the number isn’t in the thousands…

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Finally a Tech Savvy White House

CNN Technology gets swamped on inauguration day, and isn’t sure what to do in “The Moment” with Photosynth. Perhaps they can take few lessons from the new tech savvy White House who is showing some chops in cyber space. PWND!

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The Speech

Leaders lead from the podium. Those who say otherwise do not understand how leadership works. Regardless of your political stripes, few dispute that somewhere along the path of the last eight years George W. Bush stopped leading the country, primarily because he failed at the podium of public opinion.

President Obama has been something of national Rorschach inkblot test. People see in him what they want. His (fabulous) inauguration speech today was no different. Many will see in it what they want.

Here are my picks of favorite quotes. What do they say about me, and what does all this say about us?

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The End Of Cynicism?

Is this the end of cynicism? Obama’s soaring victory speech in Chicago last night was an oratorical flourish of positivism, such as has been missing in public discourses in America for years.

But what does this victory mean to the future tone of discourse in America? Is this the end of cynicism, the tone of voice which has become the best way to identify one as an American? Now that the revolution is over how will we speak, casually and formally, without the ability to mock, snark or deride the archetypes built since the 1960’s?

Certainly the old rebellion is over, so what will replace its messenger, which has been the sound of sarcasm in our voice?

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