MENTAL MODELS

My purchase evaluation method

As I get older and more established in my finances and working life, I find my purchasing decisions are driven less and less by cost.

That is, I can ‘afford’ pretty much anything I might reasonably want — which for me basically means using mortgage-derived debt to fund middle-class lifestyle…

WRITING

The story of Neal Stephenson’s typewriter

So we all know the story of William Gibson’s typewriter, right?

The legend of how he wrote Neuromancer on a manual typewriter, before he’d even used a personal computer?

The concept of cyberspace was invented on a Hermes 2000.

Neal Stephenson also has a great typewriter story in his past.

Business writing

Good business writing focuses on what the reader needs

What is ‘good writing’ in a work context?

Is there a formula you can use? A benchmark you can apply?

Sadly, there’s no universal standard for what makes good professional writing.

Instead, it’s entirely about the context of your intended audience.

For example, we’re often told to avoid jargon.

But…

Recorded music

Review of Scott Tennent’s Slint’s Spiderland

Spiderland is one of those records that blew the lid off what I thought was possible within rock music.

It also hit me at a time and place where I was ripe for its influence, a post-adolescent pupae still forming an identity and an…

PRODUCTIVITY AND PERSEVERANCE

The Tao of Doom

Working without effort

I recently started dipping in to the Tao Te Ching again.

I first encountered it in my 20s, and it had a really powerful effect on me. All those seeming paradoxes somehow speak to the truth of being an effective human.

One paradox in particular that puzzled me the first…

Environment and climate change

Feeling homesick even though you’re already at home

Diving in Tasmania

The weather was good yesterday, so I went for a dive off my local beach.

We’re still in the Derwent estuary here, and the visibility varies from reasonable to pretty poor.

On Saturday, it was a bit murky. There’s plenty of life down there, though.

I saw a couple of…

The daylight is so fleeting these days. Sometimes it feels as if I’ll miss the day entirely if I blink.

The sun rides low in the northern sky. The frosts turn the ground white and colour leeches out of everything.

But in those still moments when the light returns briefly…

Andrew Macrae

Freelance writer and editor. Sign up for my newsletter about writing, freelancing and whatever is worrying me https://tinyletter.com/Andrew_Macrae

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