Sotto Voce’s First Derivative of Clarke’s Third Law:
“Any sufficiently complex system is indistinguishable from randomness.”
Sotto Voce is the quieter side of Active Voice Editorial Consulting, which, in turn, is Paul Lagasse. Here is where I express my non-professional writing self, and play with ideas that move me, that affect my perception, that change my approach to life and living — or that otherwise just momentarily distract me. Think of Sotto Voce as the very messy workbench of a fellow who writes.
Hey, didja know I wrote a book? And a novella? I also finally came out of the speculative fiction closet and started an online sf zine with my friend Gary Lester. I also published my first completed Channel 37 serial, which has a blimp in it.
For the best period of my professional life, I was a beat reporter at a local paper. After I left the paper, I ran a news blog for a year before moving away. This kind of sums it up for me:
“A person whose financial requirements are modest and whose curiosity, skepticism, and indifference to reputation are outsized is a person at risk of becoming a journalist.” — Louis Menand.
The Birthplace of “Typecasting”
Inspired by the blog Papercasting.net 2.0 (motto: “Dead Trees Delivered Digitally”), Paul Lagasse of Sotto Voce coined the term “typecasting” back in September 2005 in this post as a tongue-in-cheek way to describe the art of blogging with scanned typescript. Originally, typecasting was just a way to play around with written forms (Sotto Voce had also previously featured scans of handwritten text), but it quickly became the preferred method for putting up new content on the site.
Richard Polt of the Classic Typewriter Page included the term in his link to Sotto Voce. The following year, he mentioned typecasting by name in an NPR feature story about the lost art of typewriter repair. Since then, the term has since gradually caught on among bloggers who use typewriters. Recently, the Classic Typewriter Page’s links page even broke out typecasting as a separate category, calling it “an increasingly popular form of blogging.” And now it’s listed on Wikipedia, which I guess makes it official.
Sotto Voce was certainly not the first blog to do scanned typed text, and it sure isn’t (by any stretch) the best site out there using it — just look at the great links to the right for example — but I just thought it worth commemorating here that Sotto Voce did contribute in that one small way to the paper revolution. (And many thanks to Welcome to the Typosphere for kindly posting a historical marker on the spot alongside the information superhighway to commemorate it!)
Public Pool Rules Apply
In an effort to discourage the propagation of what John E. McIntyre calls “. . . that characteristic feature of the Internet, the combination of ignorance with effrontery,” Sotto Voce has adopted a commenting policy based (with kind permission) on the policy developed by Nerdy Feminist. The policy is pretty simple and is designed to support a safe space for discussion and idea exchange.