Finding a Computer Programmer Between the Text
Walter Mosley is the author of more than 34 critically acclaimed books, including the major bestselling mystery series featuring the character Easy Rawlins. His work has been translated into 21 languages and includes literary fiction, science fiction, political monographs, and a young adult novel. His short fiction has been widely published, and his nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times Magazine and The Nation, among other publications. He is the winner of numerous awards, including an O. Henry Award, a Grammy and PEN America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He became a writer in his thirties, after a decade-long career as a computer programmer. He lives in New York City.
Question: Do you feel your prior career as a computer programmer shows in your writing?
Walter Mosley: I think that computer programming shows in my writing. Often when I write about computer programmers I’ll write about the way that they see the world and they structure the world.
Question: And how is that?
Walter Mosley: In little discrete boxes of logic, you know, that the world makes sense through these little discrete boxes of logic and they kind of break down their world. Like, in that same story where the guy is talking about, you know: "What’s a boy dog gonna do without his bitch?" There’s another character who works on the 26th floor of a building. And he says, “Well, I work on the 26th floor of a building and I get an hour for lunch, but it takes five minutes for the elevator to come to my floor and its 26 floors, so it could stop on all the floors on the way down and then I have to walk across a concrete aisle to where they sell the food, but then there’s 26 floors of people so there’s a long line for food. Sometimes it takes up to 32 minutes before I get my food. And so then I sit down and eat, so how am I gonna get back to work in an hour when I’m on the 26th floor and I have all of these obstacles to go through.”
But it’s the kind of logical way that a programmer would think and explain his or her world. I don’t always do that, but often I do.
Recorded November 10, 2010
Interviewed by Andrew Dermont
Directed / Produced by Jonathan Fowler
Mosley thinks his background as a programmer is evident in his writing: "Often when I write about computer programmers I’ll write about the way that they see the world and they structure the world."
A guide to making difficult conversations possible—and peaceful—in an increasingly polarized nation.
- How can we reach out to people on the other side of the divide? Get to know the other person as a human being before you get to know them as a set of tribal political beliefs, says Sarah Ruger. Don't launch straight into the difficult topics—connect on a more basic level first.
- To bond, use icebreakers backed by neuroscience and psychology: Share a meal, watch some comedy, see awe-inspiring art, go on a tough hike together—sharing tribulation helps break down some of the mental barriers we have between us. Then, get down to talking, putting your humanity before your ideology.
- The Charles Koch Foundation is committed to understanding what drives intolerance and the best ways to cure it. The foundation supports interdisciplinary research to overcome intolerance, new models for peaceful interactions, and experiments that can heal fractured communities. For more information, visit charleskochfoundation.org/courageous-collaborations.
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.
- Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
- The judge described the ruling as narrow, and didn't rule one way or the other on violations of the First Amendment.
- The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.