"When an old and distinguished person speaks to you, listen to him carefully and with respect – but do not believe him. Never put your trust in anything but your own intellect. Your elder, no matter whether he has gray hair or lost his hair, no matter whether he is a Nobel Laureate, may be wrong... So you must always be skeptical – always think for yourself." --Linus Pauling


Stephenson in the hot, hot sun.

Very quickly:

Last weekend I went to LA Festival of Books. After going on to my friend the good doctor Aparna about how "I don't sunburn" I got sunburned all over my bald head. Serves me right I suppose.

Neal Stephenson was there on Sunday. He began with a Q & A session where people went out of their way to ask him the same questions he seems to get at every opportunity. Ugh. Also, the title of his book is pronounced CryptoNOmicon not CryptoNAHmicon. Even after he said the title twice and corrected someone, two questions later you have some jerk saying the word like he'd just flew in from the continent and missed the previous five minutes.

Stephenson's new novel The Confusion is out now. It's Volume Two of the Baroque Cycle and I'm reading it now. Salon has a great interview full of not the usual questions that you can find here.