Saturday reads

Started my morning in bed, finishing a galley copy of Mr g,, Alan Lightman’s next novel, about the creation. Lightman’s creator is not so creative as Milton’s, so vindictive as Dante’s nor so cruel as Melville’s. Lightman’s devil is sleek and backstabbing, but in some ways more engaged in the universe and more creative than Mr g himself. Lightman is of course a much better cosmologist than his forbears, and emotionally profound in his own way. Meaning comes from the atoms, inadvertently. I’ll be mulling this book for a while.

Palantir is a contradiction of a company: started by a diehard libertarian in order to sell software to governments that has the potential to undermine civil liberties, enticing bright engineers in Silicon Valley to take jobs that lack large financial returns, uses a demo and anonymous sources to highlight its potential. still, an interesting read in Business Week: Palantir, the War on Terror’s Secret Weapon.

Working my way through Best American Magazine Writing 2010. The latest update to the series reminds us just how good non-fiction writing can be. This morning was a feature writing finalist, Evan Ratliff’s Vanish, an engrossing, suspenseful story of his effort to disappear for a month. See also this: How We Caught Missing Wired Writer Evan Ratliff

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