Because the Communications of the ACM has so much surprisingly good writing, it has become one of my favorite periodicals. (I say surprisingly because CACM is a technical journal.) Though the journal is aimed primarily at computer scientists, much of the content is accessible to a wider audience. Take, for example, “Mightier than the pen.” Communications of the ACM 52, no. 12 (12, 2009): 112. [closed access, alas], Joe Haldeman’s essay on how the complex relationship he has as a writer with both the computer and pen and paper. I got such a kick out of the essay that I was moved to submit the following comment to the piece:
I identify very much with Joe Haldeman’s “collaboration between pen and computer”. I had to think twice about whether I’d make the same hard decision of computer over pen if one had to choose one and concluded that yes, I’d do the same. I would have wanted to read more about what Mr. Haldeman thinks a world of computers without “a fountain pen [writing] into a bound blank book” would be like. It was only after a family member gave me my first Moleskine journal that I rediscovered what I had lost when I wrote almost exclusively on a computer.