This is my Friday catch-up post. April 9, 2021.
The Innovators by Walter Isaacson
The full title of the book is The Innovators how a group of hackers, geniuses, and geeks created the digital revolution. Isaacson is an amazing writer and probably best known for his book on Steve Jobs. His premise in The Innovators is that the greatest innovators are not sole adventurers, they are team players. The book is more than an inch thick, so I haven’t finished it yet. I read the first quarter and then started skimming because the information is dense. I am thoroughly enjoying it, though. He starts the book with the story of Ada, Countess of Lovelace, who is the only legitimate child of Lord Byron. Yes, the poet. The Romantic poet who wrote, “She walks in beauty, like the night. Of cloudless climes and starry skies. All that’s best of dark and bright …” Anyway, Isaacson says innovations result from a combination of science and the humanities. Ada’s sensibilities enabled her to imagine a computer.
Like many aspects of the digital age, this idea that innovation resides where art and science connect is not new. Leonardo da Vinci was the exemplar of the creativity that flourishes when the humanities and sciences. interact. When Einstein was stymied while working out General Relativity, he would pull out his violin and play Mozart until he could reconnect to what he called the harmony of the spheres.” (p.5)
I listened to an amazing podcast on dialogue, Writing Dialogue and Character Voice with Jeff Elkins (Joanna Penn’s podcast, 543). Yeah, Yeah … I knew dialogue was important, but Elkins’s comments nailed, just how important it is. As he said, “…the plot is just a skeleton …The dialogue is the muscle that moves those bones around, and it’s the dialogue that our readers actually connect to.” He “I was shocked to find that most best-selling fiction books are 60%, 70%, 80% dialogue.” Needless to say I am tearing apart my current work in progress focusing specifically on the voice of each character. It’s fun.
We have a great, habitual fear inside ourselves. We’re afraid of many things — of our own death, of losing our loved ones, of change, of being alone. The practice of mindfulness helps us to touch nonfear. It’s only here and now that we can experience total relief, total happiness…” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
I ran across this in Maria Konnikova’s blog post, The Four Buddhist Mantras for Turning Fear into Love.
Wishing you and yours, all the best,
P.S. I’ve got a vaccine appointment. It’s weeks away, but knowing I have one, makes me very happy.