Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Today I learned

On the evil website Reddit there is a subreddit called "Today I learned" in which people talk about surprising things they've just learned. It sounds very wholesome, and it would be if it were on The Amateur Internet, but it's not. It's on the Professional Internet so it's tainted by commerce, glory hunting, rigid rules, and hierarchical systems. Which is why I am going to tell you something I learned today, but I'm going to tell you here instead, on The Amateur Internet, where everything is fun, and innocent, and pure, and almost unusably disheveled, and where if someone wants any money they have to go somewhere else entirely and shelve books or help find a couple more tables for the irritating and demanding group using the library meeting room, just for example.

Today, during a nice discussion with my wife, I learned that Anise, Licorice, and Fennel are three different plants that merely happen to have really similar flavor profiles, almost like if oranges, oranges, and oranges were three different plants that happened to taste a lot alike.

No, oranges, oranges, and oranges are actually the same plant, which is fortunate, because they are all spelled so similarly.


But that's not what I was going to tell you!

How did that get in there? I actually had no intention of talking about anise, licorice, and fennel. I was going to talk about authors.

Get a load of this:

One of my favorite authors was instrumental in getting another of my favorite authors to write!

Today I learned that C.S. Forester, who wrote the thrilling Captain Horatio Hornblower novels (some of which I am currently rereading yet again!), was instrumental in the beginning of the writing career of Roald Dahl. Apparently Forester, a famous author already, went to get a story from Dahl about his flying in the RAF. Dahl thought it would be easier just to write down. Forester thought the written account so good he just left it as is, and a literary career was born.

It's very interesting. I mean. If you're me.

It would have been a lot better on Reddit, read by more people, less meandering, better organized, and neater.

But it would have been a product, and so would you.

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