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.


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.