October, 2006

Oct 06

The Road, by Cormac McCarthy


That’s the word for this book. It’s a post-apocalypse story of a man and his child — they’re running away from the “bad guys” — all along the road — a desolate, barren, path through a worn out world — the road itself is the third character of the book. (None of the characters have names, interestingly.)

This guy is an absolutely incredible author. McCarthy’s prose is magic. He’s among the most forceful authors I’ve ever read, and there’s just no softness or give in his language. I won’t go so far as to say he’s the “best” or my “favorite”, in the sense that the world is just too big and styles of writing are so diverse — I like Murakami for some things, Vonnegut for some, David McCullough for others. I will say that McCarthy is one of the most muscular, most talented writers that I’ve ever read, and I want to read everything he’s ever penned. Not all at once, as it feels a little like watching back-to-back seasons of The Wire (great, great show — the single-best on television) but not incredibly optimistic, and a little brutal emotionally to watch).

This isn’t exactly a fun book to read, but is incredibly compelling. Hard to describe, but 100% worth reading.

update: in thinking more about this, the story of the commitment between the man & his boy is incredibly poignant and beautiful. it’s the singular ray of hope in the book. it’s really a beautiful, beautiful piece.

Oct 06

Stumbling on Happiness, by Daniel Gilbert

Interesting book — really worth reading. Goes into a lot of conventional wisdom and studies on how we perceive events, how we remember them, and how we ascribe feelings to them. Lots of great stuff there about how bad we (humans) are at predicting how we’ll feel when we get that new HDTV or new car or lose the big football game — in general, we don’t feel as happy or as bad as we expect to.

Anyway, fun to read — great insight & pretty good pacing for a sociology book.

Oct 06

lizard in the house

about the only under-reported thing about the Firefox 2 release is that in the minutes before launch, a lizard wandered onto our stairs outside. thought it was a funny omen for us on the big day — while some folks were hitting the big “launch” button, others were trying to figure out exactly what type of lizard this was, and whether it’s related to a gecko.

Oct 06


A couple of hours ago we launched Firefox 2 — something that I’m very proud of from an organization, Mozilla, which I’m very proud to be associated with. I was blown away by Mozilla long before I ever started working here (June 2005), was blown away when I got here (and found fewer than 20 people working furiously to support a user base of more than 20M (and growing fast), and am blown away today by the response we’re getting from the press, from Microsoft, and from the community. And, really, how well everything went here today. As an organization, we were incredibly “aw, shucks” today — like it was nothing. But I’ll tell you that to do a global launch in 37 languages of a product that more than 70M people use as their lifeline to the Internet (it’s a series of tubes) is no mean feat, and I count myself very lucky to have been part of it.

Oct 06


been watching a few series on showtime lately: brotherhood, weeds, and dexter. they’re all great. not quite the consistent level of amazing that hbo does (you should start watching The Wire, the best show on television), but still great. brotherhood has cinematic quality & tells the story of political & criminal life in rhode island. weeds is great.

and dexter is absolutely the creepiest show i’ve ever seen. gives me the willies every week, but is great.