CHRIS COOPER'S BLOG - infrequent forays into fun, freedom, fysics and filosophy...

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Blogosophical Investigations
Tuesday, March 15, 2005  

Some of my current reading:

  • Paradoxes From A to Z by Michael Clark. Can't recommend it. The discussions are often rushed and muddled.

  • Logic: A Very Short Introduction by Graham Priest. A cracker. It gallops through a lot of sophisticated stuff - modal logic, fuzzy logic, decision theory - in a small space.

I don't know why I was in such a logic-loving mood when I got these. Perhaps I was exhilarated by getting an honourable mention on Fallacy Files Weblog for the solutions I offered to a pair of problems called 'Untie the nots' Part 1 (Jan 22) and Part 2 (Feb 1). Solutions appear right under Part 2.

  • The Renegade Writer by Linda Formichelli and Diana Burrell. Haven't got into this yet, but it looks stimulating.

But one thing glares out from the pages: the twists writers get into when a cast-iron formula has been decided for a book. The back-cover blurb gives the prospectus:

Remember all those "rules" you were told about freelance writing? Forget 'em!

So inside you get this frenetic would-be bonfire of vanities:

BREAK THIS RULE: You need to research only the magazine and your assignment topic.

BREAK THIS RULE: Participate in freelance job boards and auctions.

BREAK THIS RULE: Never call an editor.

Only writers under orders to appear iconoclastic have ever pronounced such rules, and only to provide the spectacle of shooting them down.

Don't get me wrong, Diana and Linda, when you google for reviews and find this page: I feel for any writers who've got themselves trapped in a formula for the duration of a book - I've done it myself often enough. I'll be reading your book right through and making notes.

9:20 PM

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