First Page of the Journal

blank paper will not judge you

Roald Dahl's Matilda has been one of my favorite books since childhood. I pulled it out recently and re-read it. Favorite books have a way of revealing new things as the reader gets older, and this time I was in a position to notice just how many little details there are that reveal the book's English origins.

The words of the Internet were true: I have no space in my bookshelf whatsoever for Exalted: Third Edition. But everywhere I look on my shelf I see things that belong beside it.

A co-worker brought Thing Explainer to work the other day, and a different co-worker and I spent some time poring over it. It is essentially an entire book of diagrams like this, using only the 1000 most commonly-used words in English.

We all work in a data center (or, as the book calls it, a "computer building"), so we have the benefit of higher education and of actually being familiar with the technical terms that don't make the top-1000 cut. We observed that the thousand-word constraint lent itself well to some diagrams, but in other cases, it turned the diagram into a sort of page of riddles.