There’s something to be said for work stopping Friday at 5. Today feels like a weekend day. I’m sitting outside on our patio, cold beer nearby, while smoke drifts out of the barbecue pit. Inside is the second round of hamburgers that will feed us and our neighbor who is recovering from a hospital stay both today and part of next week. The last bit of cool from the morning lingers in the shade, and I have successfully hidden the sun behind the patio umbrella. After this, I plan to go inside, eat my hamburger with a helping of beans and try to watch a little bit of football.
After that, unfortunately, I will have to remember that this is the weekend before both the Board of Regents and the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities deadlines.
I like reading Paul Graham’s essays. I like reading them so much, that I bought his book and I still read them on-line. I think he’s re-inventing the essay, reviving it in a small way.* I’ve just spent some time catching up on some of his newer pieces. His essay on [“Six Principles for Making New Things”](http://paulgraham.com/newthings.html) has the following terrific nugget within it — it’s the essay in a nutshell:
>Here it is: I like to find (a) simple solutions (b) to overlooked problems (c) that actually need to be solved, and (d) deliver them as informally as possible, (e) starting with a very crude version 1, then (f) iterating rapidly.
*He’s doing it by drawing abstractions out of live lived actively, in the realms of business and technology no less, not in the passively reflexive domain of so many “essayists.” He abstracts from his direct observations and then, having played with ideas at the level of ideas, he tries to bring them back down to see how well they fit the world they left for a short time.