Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Neal Stephenson at /.

In order to set her straight, I had to let her know that the reason she’d never heard of me was because I was famous.

Mind you, much of the authority and seniority in that world is benevolent, or at least well-intentioned. If you are trying to become a writer by taking expensive classes in that subject, you want your teacher to know more about it than you and to behave like a teacher. And so you might hear advice along the lines of “I don’t think you’re ready to tackle Y yet, you need to spend a few more years honing your skills with X” and the like. All perfectly reasonable. But people on the Beowulf side may never have taken a writing class in their life. They just tend to lunge at whatever looks interesting to them, write whatever they please, and let the chips fall where they may.

Slowly I gained the upper hand, for, on defense, [William Gibson’s] Praying Mantis style was no match for my Flying Cloud technique.

Go read it.