I aspire to be like George Orwell, alternating between essays on writing and essays on politics, and dying before the age of fifty. It seems I’ve been a bit heavy on the politics essays lately, so I thought it might be time to write another writing advice article.
After asking my editor for suggestions on how to write writing advice, he gave a good suggestion that I’d never have thought of on my own.
It was fantastic advice—only, halfway through writing this, I realized that making bespoke examples meant implying they were objectively good writing.
Not a good feeling, lemme tell you. In my desire to be helpful, I’m afraid that might come across as arrogant. Not my intention at all.
In 2013, the Supreme Court came down with a decision on Bowman vs Monsanto. Bowman was convicted of growing what he thought was his own crops, using seeds from the soy he’d planted the previous year. Monsanto sued, claiming a violation of their intellectual property: He’d bought their Roundup Ready brand genetically modified seeds, and so the second crop was a violation of their copyright in the same way torrenting a game off of Pirate Bay is.
Also in 2013, activist Aaron Swartz – the man who shut down the internet for the SOPA protests – was facing charges by prosecutors of up to $1 million, and facing up to 35 cumulative years of prison, for the crime of illegally downloading academic journals from MIT servers. He committed suicide, and was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame that same year.
In 2018 the John Deere corporation said that farmers didn’t really own their tractors: They owned an “implied license… to operate the vehicle”. This is currently being fought by the Right to Repair movement, but if it goes the way of Bowman Vs Monsanto, it means that farmers will not legally have the right to repair their own tractors, because they don’t really own them.
To drop the solemn tone for a moment: What the hell is going on?
Batman and Daredevil are extremely similar characters. But Batman is an icon, and Daredevil is maybe a B-lister on a good run.
There’s some differences. Daredevil has his blind-sense, sure, and Batman has working eyes. Daredevil has God and the Church, and Batman has more money than both.
Otherwise they’re incredibly similar.