The Arrow

There are no answers; only choices.

Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

New Yorker Overload

Posted by thearrow on February 13, 2009

Help! The New Yorker is taking over my life! I can now see that the gift subscription I got from Alt.L and Ctrl.Alt.L was a plot to get control over my time, mind, and soul. To the rest of my friends, if you guys love me, please DO NOT give me a gift subscription to The Economist, too. All I need to stop going to work are two heady weeklies. Thank God Time has a more manageable size, but I’ve been neglecting it lately. As for poor Fast Company and Wired, I’m two or three months behind on each… My apartment’s floor is littered with magazines, books are waiting patiently in ever-growing piles, and I only have two or three weeks left until I can no longer count on my bus commute for reading time. Because, in case I haven’t told you a thousand times yet, I’ll be biking to work. Yaay for cardio, sigh for my brain.

May I ask, again, why the day is not 36-hour long? I could easily continue to read, work, do stuff for 4-6 hours after I come home, but then I’d also like to sleep for 8. A back-of-the-envelope calculation shows that I’d go to sleep at 1 or 2 am, which means I’d be in the office at noon. Well, that wouldn’t work for me. I’d like it to be dawn when I get to work, so that I can enjoy that one extra hour of peace and organize my day with a freshly rested brain. I’m a morning person but once in a while I’d like to be a night owl. Why, oh, why can’t I have the cake and eat it, too?


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Offline but Wired

Posted by thearrow on August 23, 2008

I read newspapers only online just because I don’t have time to flip through the paper versions, even if they’re under my nose. I know the print version would attract my attention to articles I’m probably missing online, but time is unforgiving.

I can’t do the same with magazines, though. I really think that print is here to stay and that good pubs (see The New York Times) have understood that web and print have their own feel but they need to complement each other. There has to be some coherence, but they’re different and each has its own strengths. Online is probably a better medium for newspapers because of the constant churning of news, whereas with magazines, which focus on analysis, you get in that print mood: At the end of the week, you slouch in a comfy chair sipping your coffee, pondering on how the writers are connecting the dots, and wishing you were as brilliant as they are :).

I subscribe to Wired, Fast Company, and Time. I’d subscribe to more (at least the The Economist) if I had more time and money. I have to say I was very impressed by Fast Company’s recent six-part special report, “China in Africa“; one of the best pieces of investigative journalism I’ve seen.

When thinking about this online vs. print rivalry-cum-complementarity, I realized that Wired, with all its focus on tech and Internet culture, offers a much more exciting experience in print than online. Their website is really nice, too, but boy, those print graphs! I simply can’t imagine not reading it in print. And if the design is dazzling, the writing is crackling with energy. It’s easily among the best writing around. I love the Economist’s superbly concise style, too, but Wired is somethin’ else. I feel like I have to read it cover to cover, that I can’t miss one snippet of it. I am constantly in awe as to how much research is behind every sentence that sounds casual but is packed with food for thought. And I can’t read it before going to bed because my brain goes in overdrive; it’s like drinking a double espresso at 10 p.m. I did that a few times until I realized I couldn’t calm down the turbines for a couple of hours after I put it down.

So when I pick it up on weekends, I see the brilliant design and flaming colors, read a few intense lines jam-packed with information, and I feel fired up for the rest of the day.

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Reading and Writing Online

Posted by thearrow on June 17, 2008

I’m no expert on this, but I’m trying to learn. Here’s a helpful and appropriately short article on the dos and don’ts from Slate:

I’ll get back with more substantive postings at the end of the week, when I return home. Just wanted to show I wasn’t ignoring my three readers :). Also, I’m being brief, just like Slate advises.

Posted in Writing | Tagged: , | 9 Comments »