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Chaos and order in NYC

Below is an excerpt from my book Train of Thought which you can read online for free. If you want to support my work, please snag a copy on Amazon. Paul tried to make every one of eighty-plus daily phone pickups count. The more he shot, the more photos he had to play with. The only challenge in […]

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Timeless lessons

Some books are timeless. This is because someone spent the time to aggregate all their notes and thoughts to tell a story or teach a lesson.  News, Instagrams, etc, all expire. Like fast food, we forget about them just as fast as we consume them. The difference between expiring and long-term knowledge is the educational […]

The 10 Best Kurt Vonnegut Books

“And so it goes,” to quote the American novelist. Below are 10 of the best Kurt Vonnegut books as rated by Publisher’s Weekly. [easyazon_link identifier=”0385333781″ locale=”US” tag=”wells01-20″]Player Piano[/easyazon_link] [easyazon_link identifier=”0385333498″ locale=”US” tag=”wells01-20″]The Sirens of Titan[/easyazon_link] [easyazon_link identifier=”0385334141″ locale=”US” tag=”wells01-20″]Mother Night[/easyazon_link] [easyazon_link identifier=”038533348X” locale=”US” tag=”wells01-20″]Cat’s Cradle[/easyazon_link] [easyazon_link identifier=”0385333471″ locale=”US” tag=”wells01-20″]God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater[/easyazon_link] [easyazon_link identifier=”0385333846″ […]

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, 1964

And after a long time the boy came back again. “I am sorry, Boy,” said the tree, “but I have nothing left to give you- My apples are gone.” “My teeth are too weak for apples,” said the boy. “My branches are gone,” said the tree. “You cannot swing on them-” “I am too old […]

What do we read next?

Algorithms resolve two things: Indecision fatigue and the wisdom of crowds. The elevator is programmed to manage simultaneous requests while picking up passengers in route on the way up and down. If runs on a series of complex “if and then” statements to influence its movements. What to read next bears a similar issue. We […]

Train of Thought: Reflections on the Coast Starlight

In celebration of World Book Day, I’m previewing a sample chapter from my forthcoming book Train of Thought: Reflections on the Coast Starlight. You can pre-order it now on Amazon.  The train represented that ‘third place’ between work and home, a space for both productivity and relaxation. It could hum with the ambient sounds of […]

“Every life is in many days, day after day.”

“Every life is in many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-love, but always meeting ourselves.” — James Joyce, Ulysses

Social media divides democracy 

Social media divides democracy by allowing people to filter their own world and ignore the stuff they don’t agree with. Disagreement is the pulse of an open society. The more ideas we throw out there and discuss, the more likely we are to land on the most advanced solution. Facebook killed openness and smothered curiosity […]

Knowing it all exists

The internet reintroduces lost objects. Everything from rare reggae recordings to out of print books finds its way online to be consumed for the first time. Only physical objects like pieces of art retain their scarcity, and therefore their value. But digitization means one copy makes infinite shelf life. Sharing bytes of knowledge amplifies the value of […]

What is doublethink?

“The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them… To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to […]

One page at a time

Reading a book, preferably a physical one, is a good way to get your attention back. The problem in reading on smartphones is distractibility. You’re a notification away from checking Instagram, email, or a text. If you’re going to read on a digital device, make it a Kindle. Its lack of functionality — just try […]

Reading into book statistics 

Back in the 1830s, ten thousand people bought Harriet Martineau’s book Illustrations of Political Economy. It’s a remarkable statistic that one hundred and forty thousand read it. Each family owned a copy and passed it around. Each of those one hundred forty thousand readers in 1950 went on to own their own copy. Fast-forward to […]