Link Deposit

A review of The Missing Ink: The Lost Art of Handwriting, “the book is an ode to a dying form: part lament, part obituary, part sentimental rallying cry.”

Amazon’s top sellers in the philosophy of logic and language, an interesting list.

Fine Points gives the verdict on Habana notebooks.

Still Working …

This blog is gestating and will probably really be born in a few months. Until then, it may kick a little.

Meanwhile, I’ve been enjoying Fine Points some more, especially the apparent love-hate relationship with Moleskine notebooks, and that has led me to inlovewithjournals, Notebook Stories, Ink Nouveau, and the stationery section of the Guardian, of all places. I eventually ended up at Economy Pens, where you get comparisons and reviews of inexpensive pens, like this, and then Does This Pen Make Me Look Fat?, where I enjoyed her discussion of her favorite pen, a Parker Vacumatic.

Gads, I can’t believe I’ve lived my life this far without realizing how many blogs there were devoted to pens, paper, notebooks, etc. All those years – wasted!

I also made the mistake of checking in with Londoner’s Musingsmistake because I always get lost in her writing. It’s beautiful. Check out the post Languages: Turning Enemies into Allies.

In the comments, she recommended Inky Fool, and I can tell I’ll have to spend some time there.

At this rate, I’ll never get this blog going!

Geography and Geopolitics

Right now I’m spending my blogging time writing up some introductory material for the blog and getting ready to launch (despite the fact that it’s already up, of course). However, this article was too good to pass up.

Robert D. Kaplan, chief geopolitical analyst for Stratfor, has an article in the WSJ on the importance of considering geography in thinking about geopolitics. It’s well worth a read.

One topic this blog is intended to explore in depth (for a blog) is public decision making. That is, how do we, the public, get trustworthy information, think about it, and make decisions based on it?

If you are at all interested in world politics, geography is one essential source of information.

The Knowledge Problem

Cassandra has a lovely post about the problem of not knowing, and not being able to know, and having to make decisions knowing that.

Just the topic for tea on a hot September afternoon under the watchful gaze of M. Sphinx.

I know for which presidential candidate I’m going to vote this November, and I feel quite strongly about it. Even so, when I talk to my friends who are voting for the other fellow, it becomes clear that the decision is not nearly so obvious as I take it to be. I cannot seem to convince them, and they cannot seem to convince me.

It would be mere hubris (sheer hubris?) to simply assume they are blind but my vision is perfect. So, how do we solve this conundrum?

Likely, we won’t. There is no neutral arbiter of knowledge to ask, very few people that both I and my friends trust to provide us with the relevant knowledge, and little else we can do without dropping everything and spending decades studying history, economics, sociology, etc., etc., etc., ourselves. And so, come the penultimate month of the year, we will vote for different men.

In the long duration, I don’t have the solution, but I think that if the government were required to be far more transparent, and if agencies such as the CBO were required simply to do a good job and not to follow the breadcrumb trails of devious politicians through labyrinthine mazes of questionable data, the problem wouldn’t be quite so severe.

P.S. Apropos the ‘Experiments in WordPress’ category, I should note that the reblog feature only seems to work with WordPress blogs, and the trackback feature doesn’t work for Villainous Company from here.

The Moleskine Confessions

I was keen on testing out this ‘reblog’ feature, and this seemed a good post to work with. The penmanship is lovely, and I imagine I’ll be reading more of this blog.

While we’re here, a post titled “The Delight of Hand Writing” has been causing waves in the Pressophere, one ripple of which is this reminiscence on pens and penmanship by the Literary Tiger.

For those who are interested, I have found Paperpenalia.com to be a good resource for penmanship.

Fine Points

From the journal entry (photo above) dated March 18, 2008 :

“…Now that the quest for the ideal notebook is over due to the discovery of Moleskine, the hunt has been reduced to finding the perfect pen…”

Thus was once my opinion of that popular little black notebook.  My relationship with Moleskine had sparked to life the month prior and with the coming of spring it blossomed and grew and much joy was to be had scribbling away.  Alas, happily ever after was not to be; the chill of disillusionment soon set in and the flame flickered, then grew dark.  Yet, curiously, a few embers remained, smoldering just enough to allow the occasional, brief reignition- this cycle of love/hate characterizes my relationship with Moleskine.

Even after the passage of four years and ample whoring about  experimentation with other notebooks lines, I am still occasionally drawn to Moleskine, despite telling myself…

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The Short, Episodic Biography of a Nearly-18-Year-Old

One Event from Each Year of My Life, at the statistically improbably-named blog, the titularly-verbose sesqui-recursive cyzaqthmi-dekxuvi cyber-alcove of the dotted six-and-eight-fourth note, is an interesting peek into another life, if you go for that sort of thing.

I would also like to take this opportunity to point out that WordPress has eliminated the ‘save draft’ option, so I either post this now or lose it, apparently.