I haven’t been able to write here in many months. I am not sure where the block resides, but it’s causes a lot of negative feelings. Recently Abe Greenspoon made a great post on medium. Abe is one of the few people whose posts on medium, I’m willing to watch, despite disliking the platform.
I liked the idea that I might be able to write about other people’s writing, even if I couldn’t write myself. So here we go:
Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities is an in-deth exploration of communities and the processes and situations that create them. Despite first being published in 1983, the tenets of this book hold just as true today. One of the points that hit me particularly hard and made me have to stop and sit with it was how language and the collapse of religious absolutism contributed heavily to nationalism. Sometimes his writing is a bit over-the-top for me. But for anyone interested in how human beings gather themselves and why, this is a great read.
The next quarantine book that I read was What to Think about Machines that Think by John Brockman. This is a collection of essays, most of them mediocre. Even the mediocre essays build a kind of infectious excitement about the future of artificial intelligence. The few great essays make me want to change fields to be closer to that world. Easy to read in small chunks and pretty well edited.
The last item I want to talk about is Lucas Cherkewski’s newsletter Hit and Miss. It’s fantastic. I love getting it on Sunday and getting to read through Lucas’ views on a <em>wide</em> variety of topics. It’s succinct, but the topics and thoughts are deep enough to get you thinking. I also love that it’s a newsletter. There’s something quaint about getting my weekly delivery.