Friday, May 20, 2016


A short post while I continue to work on another longer post about intuitive engineering:

I go through phases where I focus on reading different types of books; sci-fi of all flavors, (embarrassingly) young adult dystopian trilogies, magical realism-infused latino writers, heavy hard-bound non-fiction treatises on the rise and fall of european monarchies, sociological studies on modern culture, etc etc.  But I always take breaks to come back to David Foster Wallace, particularly his collections of short-stories.  I've found that I can only read DFW in short bursts: his obsessive observational prose both invigorates and exhausts me.  -But I've noticed something really interesting recently.  I started working my way through Oblivion, a collection of short stories in the last week.  And consequently, I've noticed that I've also started paying more attention to the mundane.  It is almost as if reading DFW makes me refocus and causes me to be more detail-oriented in my own life.  I also think more about the small aspects of the every-day, and become better about tracking marginal information.  In short, it makes me more mindful.  Which, in turn, makes me a better engineer.

How interesting is that?  The idea that reading a particular author's works of literature and observational stories can make someone a better engineer...

I'll have to come back to this later when I've been able to give it some more thought.