Steven Pinker's 13 rules for writing better
The Harvard psychologist loves reading authors' rules for writing. Here are his own.
- Steven Pinker is many things: linguist, psychologist, optimist, Harvard professor, and author.
- When it comes to writing, he's a student and a teacher.
- Here's are his 13 rules for writing better, more simply, and more clearly.
1. Reverse-engineer what you read.
2. Prose is a window onto the world.
3. Don’t go meta.
4. Let verbs be verbs.
5. Beware of the Curse of Knowledge.
Interlude: Steven Pinker's take on human nature. Is it evil?
6. Omit needless words.
7. Avoid clichés like the plague.
8. Old information at the beginning, new information at the end.
9. Save the heaviest for last.
Interlude: Steven Pinker's take on libertarianism (at any age, it's marginal).
10. Prose must cohere.
11. Revise several times.
12. Read it aloud.
13. Find the best word.
Want to dig further into Pinker's writing style? Here's the book he wrote on the subject. Enjoy!
What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.
- Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
- Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
- Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
As Game of Thrones ends, a revealing resolution to its perplexing geography.
- The fantasy world of Game of Thrones was inspired by real places and events.
- But the map of Westeros is a good example of the perplexing relation between fantasy and reality.
- Like Britain, it has a Wall in the North, but the map only really clicks into place if you add Ireland.
- Alan Lightman, physicist and author of Einstein's Dreams, examined 30 great scientific discoveries of the 20th century.
- Here he explores the habits of mind that push innovators toward creative breakthroughs.
- His advice for reaching creative heights? Embrace stuck-ness and don't rely on inspiration.
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