the serendipity of the web blows my mind…i love how hyperlinks take me places i could never imagine. so, for instance. i’ve just finished reading edmundo paz soldán’s Turing’s Delirium cuz Paz Soldán is giving a talk at UAH this thursday, and i’ve got two of his novels in english translation. and after i finished Turing’s Delirium, i kept thinking of neal stephenson and mostly of cryptonomicon, which i haven’t read but was pretty sure would be relevant…especially since paz soldán includes an epigraph from stephenson’s snow crash, which i have read. so i went to the novel’s website and read a good portion of the prologue and there’s a great section that includes alan turing as a character. but i also went to stephenson’s website (which has a well address…very cool [The WELL started as one of the earliest online internet communities — almost a decade before the world wide web]) where he links to “Why I am a Bad Correspondent,” a piece that explains why he doesn’t answer readers’ email or usually accept speaking engagments:
The quality of my e-mails and public speaking is, in my view, nowhere near that of my novels. So for me it comes down to the following choice: I can distribute material of bad-to-mediocre quality to a small number of people, or I can distribute material of higher quality to more people. But I can’t do both; the first one obliterates the second.
sage advice for writers — and on his website, stephenson also points to an article by jonathan rauch in The Atlantic Monthly Online that explains stephenson’s personality, that is, as an introvert. “Caring for Your Introvert: The Habits and Needs of a Little-understood Group” was published in march 2003 and still receives more hits than any other article. there’s a follow-up in a feb. 2006 issue (“Introverts of the World, Unite!“) that’s also worth reading. rauch suggests that internet could be re-coined intronet, since it’s such a perfect medium for introverts.
introversy is the term the atlantic monthly online uses for rauch’s article and the ensuing discussion (see the april 2006 piece “The Introversy Continues“).