I recently picked up the newest book by James Gleick, which is titled The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood. This one caught my eye because I’ve been fascinated by information theory for a number of years, and also because I’ve read and enjoyed some of Gleick’s other books. (I’m keen to check out his biography of Newton, too.)
And then, on Monday, serendipity struck. Through sheer accident, I stumbled across a list of upcoming “public lectures” sponsored by the Santa Fe Institute. And right there, front and center, an advertisement for a talk by James Gleick: The Information: How We Came to be Deluged by Tweets.
So there was a free talk, given by the author of the book I was reading (and enjoying), just down the road from me. How could I not check that out? And did I mention it was free?
I finished the first draft of SOMETHING MORE THAN NIGHT this evening. Hooray!
It’s very exciting, typing up the final pages of a manuscript. Granted, this is only the fourth time I’ve done it. But it’s still a happy thrill. I hope it never loses its appeal.
There’s still so much work left to do on this thing…like make it coherent, and readable, and perhaps even find a way to make it not suck. But that’s rewriting. Rewriting is almost always less taxing than writing. At least now I have something to hammer on, rather than a blank page. But that’s a task to tackle another day.
I’m nearing the end of the first draft of Something More Than Night. I’ve just begun what will be, I think, the final scene. I’m very pleased. So now I’m at that phase where I look ahead to the second draft and think: ugh.
This book is very different from my other novels, not only in terms of story, characters, and world, but also in terms of how I’ve approached the writing. I outlined this one just as much as the others—the 4′ x 3′ corkboard in my office is completely covered with notecards—and yet this book lent itself to far more improvisation and in-the-moment reinvention along the way. Which sounds strange, when I hear myself say it, because I hewed more closely to the outline for this book than I did to any of the original outlines for the Milkweed books.
But the rewriting for this second draft will have a different focus, a different goal, than it did on any of the Milkweed books.
In the past, I’ve posted about current (heh) research into tDCS: transcranial Direct Current Stimulation. This is the practice of using electrical stimulation of the brain to improve one’s ability at certain tasks (and possibly to achieve the transcendence from Man to Overman through the total elimination of pain.) Note that this is direct current stimulation—effectively equivalent to connecting somebody’s brain to a battery.
It sounds crazy—like something out of a science fiction novel. I mean, what kind of weirdo would imagine that wiring a battery directly into somebody’s brain would give them heightened abilities? Well, DARPA does, for one.
(or, I Am A Visionary, Part 2)
A while back, I posted about DARPA experiments into the possibility of using cranial electrodes to enhance peoples’ performance at particular tasks. (Which is just slightly reminiscent of a particular book.)
Now reader Chris Bachmann just sent me — Thanks, Chris! — this link to a piece in Wired.