The Electric Typewriter

Great articles and essays by the world's best journalists and writers.
1st Sep


On Keeping a Notebook by Joan Didion - A great essay about making notes that gets to the very core of the writing process

Write Like a Motherfucker by Cheryl Strayed - Raw, emotional advice on the role of humility and surrender in the often tortured world of the writer

Thoughts on Writing by Elizabeth Gilbert  - On disicpline, hard work, rejection and why it’s never too late to start

Write Till You Drop by Annie Dillard - “Do you think I could be a writer?” “I don’t know… . Do you like sentences?”

Why I Write by George Orwell - On egoism, a love of beauty, the quest for truth and the desire to change the world — Orwell’s ‘four great motive for writing’.

Despite Tough Guys, Life Is Not the Only School for Real Novelists by Kurt Vonnegut - A beautifully argued defence of the role of teaching in developing writers.

That Crafty Feeling by Zadie Smith - A lecture by a great essayist and novelist on the craft of writing.

A Place You All Know Well by Michael Chabon - On the central role of exporation in writing.

The Nature of Fun by David Foster Wallace (excerpt) - DFW on what drives writers to write

Uncanny the Singing That Comes from Certain Husks by Joy Williams - “Who cares if the writer is not whole? Of course the writer is not whole, or even particularly well…”

28th Aug

The best writing from both sides of the college debate

The University Has No Clothes by Daniel B. Smith - A critical review of the spate of prominent attacks aimed at college education.

Learning by Degrees by Rebecca Mead - A strong argument against measuring the value of a degree in purely economic terms.

In the Basement of the Ivory Tower by Professor X - An anonymous instructor at a low-end college makes the case that university isn’t for everyone.

College for $99 a Month by Kevin Carey - How online education could be great for students - and catastrophic for universities.

Laptop U by Nathan Heller - Has the future of college moved online?

27th Aug

The Last Don by Devin Friedman - How the Sicilian mafia’s boss of bosses evaded capture for over 40 

How I Became a Con Artist by Jason Jellick - The slippery slope of amateur scams

The Dangers of Stash by Brendan I. Koerner - On building custom cars for serious drug smugglers

Uncatchable by Michael Finkel - The amazing story of the world’s most brazen fugitive

The Sicario by Charles Bowden - Inside the life of a Juárez asassin

26th Aug

The Sad, Beautiful Fact That We’re All Going To Miss Almost Everything by Linda Holmes - A mediation on the fact that we will never interact with most of the world’s ideas

Keep Your Identity Small by Paul Graham - How your identity can hijack your ideas

What Defines a Meme? by James Gleick - How ideas spread, multiply and evolve

The Crayola-fication of the World by Aatish Bhatia - How giving things names changes the way we perceive them

25th Aug

We’re All Gonna Die! by Gregg Easterbrook - But it probably won’t be because of biological weapons, runaway nanobots, or global warming. A skeptical guide to the apocalypse.

The Sky Is Falling by Gregg Easterbrook - The odds that we’ll be hit by a giant ball of space rock are 1 in 10. So why aren’t we doing anything about it?

Apocalypse Not by Matt Ridley - Is all this talk of an apocalypse a little alarmist?

Is Humanity Suicidal? by Edward O. Wilson - Are we about to go off a cliff, or does a glorious future await?

Outsmarting the CERNageddon by Erik Vance - Could the Large Hadron Collider suck us into a blakc hole?