The murmur of the snarkmatrix…

August § The Common Test / 2016-02-16 21:04:46
Robin § Unforgotten / 2016-01-08 21:19:16
MsFitNZ § Towards A Theory of Secondary Literacy / 2015-11-03 21:23:21
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 18:39:56
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 16:32:50
Matt § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-05 01:49:12
Greg Linch § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 18:05:52
Robin § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 05:11:02
P. Renaud § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 04:13:09
Jay H § Matching cuts / 2014-10-02 02:41:13

Black start

More working in public from Matt Webb. These weeknotes of his could be a book some day. Must be.

Specifically though, look at this:

Over the week Matt Jones pointed me at a Wikipedia article about black start. A black start is (and let me quote from the article here) “the process of restoring a power station to operation without relying on the external electric power transmission network.”

Like, let’s say you have a hydroelectric plant. You need falling water to drive the turbines. But how do you open the sluices without a pre-existing supply of electricity?


I mean obviously this is the name of a novel, right? One of the big ones that tries to integrate everything—every system in our world, every feeling. It fails, but the very attempt is what generates yet another feeling—of density, complexity, hubris—without which the integration wouldn’t be complete. The novel would be about a literal black start—in a big city? on a lonely island?—but the writing of the novel would itself also constitute a black start, which would be chronicled. Probably some Cloud Atlas story-within-a-story sort of thing.

One comment

Every novel is a black start. Every novel attempts to begin ex nihilo, and grapples with the fact that this is impossible. Every act of writing is a





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