For over twenty years, the National Security Agency had a technical journal for its employees called Cryptologs. The journal covered a wide rante of topics, from cryptography and cryptanalysis (obviously) to software systems and the value of language learning. All issues of the journal have been declassified and published here — though with judicious redactions, of course. It’s a fascinating look at both NSA concerns at the end of the Cold War and the state of desktop publishing Back In The Day.
(Thanks to Richard Gibson for calling my attention to this.)
When I think about the kind of teacher I would like to be, I often recall this passage from Saul Bellow’s novel Ravelstein:
You might tell me something of great importance, and I would understand it well enough, but refuse entirely to take it in. This was no ordinary stubbornness.
Now there are few people you can discuss such matters with. Too bad about that. Since we are so often called upon for judgments, we naturally coarsen them by constant use or abuse. Then of course you see nothing original, nothing new; you are, in the end, no longer moved by any face, or any person. Now this was where Ravelstein had come in. He turned your face again toward the original. He forced you to reopen what you had closed.
My buddy Austin Kleon has just released his new book Keep Going and it’s really, really wonderful. It has been a balm and an encouragement to me. You should buy it.
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