Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Neal Stephenson's Email Practices

...I'm a wannabe Neal Stephenson (but, or course, I want to be able not just to WRITE like Neal Stephenson - s i g h - but also to be able to turn those crafted gems into MOVIES or CARTOONS!)...

The following is from Neal's Website.

E-mail

Linda Stone, formerly of Apple and Microsoft, has coined the term "continuous partial attention" to describe life in the era of e-mail, instant messaging, cellphones, and other distractions. This curious feature of modern life poses a problem for a someone like me. Every thing that I do that’s worth doing requires ALL my attention.

I cannot put it any better than Donald Knuth, who writes on his website, "Email is a wonderful thing for people whose role in life is to be on top of things. But not for me; my role is to be on the bottom of things. What I do takes long hours of studying and uninterruptible concentration. "

Knuth also provides the following quote from Umberto Eco: "I don't even have an e-mail address. I have reached an age where my main purpose is not to receive messages."

In a recent review of one of my novels, I was described as "Umberto Eco without the charm" and so it should be pretty clear in what direction I am going.