Category Archives: articles

A Vindication of Bobby Fischer in the Age of Computer Chess

fischer 5


In 1992, a 49-year-old Bobby Fischer emerged from a 20-year seclusion to play for a $5 million prize against Borris Spassky in Sveti Stefan, Yugoslavia. One of the spectators that showed up to watch the match was an 81-year-old Russian grandmaster whom Fischer had never met named Andrei Lilienthal, who was living across the border in Budapest. Fischer’s words of greeting:

“Hastings, 1934/35: the queen sacrifice against Capablanca. Brilliant!”

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Meg in Debt


This is not Meg. This is a model.

Meet Meg. She’s a fan of Ben Folds Five and The Handmaid’s Tale. She has a master’s degree in lit . She posted this information on a public blog a couple of years ago. The blog has a total of two posts and no followers. It was last updated in October 2011, and its creation is apparently one in a series of plans that didn’t work out for Meg. In it, she gripes about her “$100,000 McChickens”-worth of student loan debt and her part-time job that pays $7.14 an hour. (She tells Typewriter People that she has since gotten a job as a teaching assistant, but this is temporary, and she anticipates going “back to the drawing board” soon.)

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How (Some) Airlines Profit from Tragedy

airlineOn March 1, 2010, I received a phone call that changed my life forever. My dad, on government contract in South Carolina, was in the hospital. It was not clear what the issue was, but it was urgent. The evening of March 1 was spent online, trying to find an affordable airline ticket for the next day. Simply put, they were not available. I ended up spending seven hundred dollars on a two connection flight from Milwaukee to Columbia, South Carolina. One connection flights and even direct flights from Milwaukee to Columbia are available, but they were at least a hundred dollars more expensive. Continue reading

Seneca’s Advice to Millenials


Lucius Annaeus Seneca 4 BC – 65 AD

There have always been badasses around, and the Stoic philosophers have a reputation as being some of the original ones (think Russell Crowe in Gladiator). As part of the research for my next book project, I have been reading Seneca’s Letters From a Stoic for the first time. Seneca was a Roman philosopher and statesman, roughly a contemporary of Christ, and a tutor and advisor to the emperor Nero, at whose hands Seneca was ultimately killed.

In Letter XV, Seneca quotes Epicurus:

The life of folly is empty of gratitude, full of anxiety: it is focused wholly on the future.

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The Prison Economy: Not Just Cigarettes for …


You really can go home again if you want, but be prepared for weirdness.  A typewriter fetishist blog reviewed the still-being-produced Royal Scrittore II portable manual typewriter earlier this year, with author “Richard P” noting that he ordered the machine because he wanted a typewriter fresh off one of the few remaining assembly lines before they shut down for good. The review is not flattering, nor are the images of sample type impressive. Continue reading