Rhetorical questions and rhetorical answers

History is only a catalog of the forgotten. (Henry Adams) I’m still a slow learner. But let’s talk about witches. James Wakelee’s first appearance in the documentary record is 18 February 1640/41 O.S., when he is noted as owning four acres of land at Hartford, Connecticut (1) [Love, p. 127]. The last record, a court […]

Continue reading →

Soundtrack I

Earphones are wonderful things, muffling the here-and-now of the acoustical world, and replacing it with some new distraction of one’s free choice. I don’t always work with earphones clamped to my head, but when I do, I need the new noise to be wordless, or in some language I can’t understand. Chamber music is best. […]

Continue reading →

Commonplace book I

But what have been thy answers, what but dark Ambiguous and with double sense deluding Which they who asked have seldom understood. MILTON   If one had studied the human spirit a little, one knows what power the marvelous has over it. FONTENELLE   Since inquiry is the beginning of philosophy, and wonder and uncertainty […]

Continue reading →

My favorite libraries

Libraries, any library, have always been to me a species of paradise. For example, my first visit to the Laurel branch of the Prince Georges County Memorial Library System. The slanted sidewalk up to the glass doors. The circulation desk to the left as you go in, with its mysterious hulking cameras and stacks of […]

Continue reading →

Hello world!

The traditional greeting of first-run code. Hello, hello. Greetings, Earthling! The world is large and lost and late, and almost entirely void. Why, just look at all that whitespace. Let’s fill it up. With words, naturally, what else?

Continue reading →