In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

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The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures by Library Of Congress, Carla Hayden

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, index card, information retrieval, late fees

Jack Kerouac, On the Road. New York, Viking Press, 1957. Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird. Philadelphia & New York, J. B. Lippincott Co., 1960. Ezra Jack Keats, The Snowy Day. New York, Viking Press, 1962. Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are. New York, Harper & Row, 1963. James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time. New York, Dial Press, 1963. Truman Capote, In Cold Blood. New York, Random House, 1965. Truman Capote holding first edition, Bruce Davidson photographer, 1966. Dee Brown, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. New York, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1970. Acknowledgments Many of the talented people working at the Library of Congress helped me in the completion of this book. First and foremost I would like to thank my colleagues in the Library’s Publishing Office for their constant encouragement, steadfast support, and diligent editing: Becky Brasington Clark, Peggy Wagner, Susan Reyburn, Athena Angelos, Aimee Hess, and Jake Jacobs.

pages: 363 words: 123,076

The Gang That Wouldn't Write Straight: Wolfe, Thompson, Didion, Capote, and the New Journalism Revolution by Marc Weingarten


1960s counterculture, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, citizen journalism, cognitive dissonance, Donner party, East Village, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Haight Ashbury, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Menlo Park, New Journalism, non-fiction novel, Norman Mailer, pre–internet, rent control, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Stewart Brand, upwardly mobile, working poor, yellow journalism

Ross’s anecdote about Nicholas Schenck: Here but Not Here, 101-2. “It was as strange to me”: Jane Howard, “How the ‘Smart Rascal’ Brought It Off,”Life, January 7, 1966. “People who don’t understand the literary process”: Ibid. “It wasn’t a question of my liking”: Ibid. Using John Hersey’s Hiroshima as a model: Yagoda, About Town: 347. “My theory”: Howard, “‘Smart Rascal.’” “During this visit Dewey paused at an upstairs window”: Truman Capote, In Cold Blood (New York: Random House, 1965), 153. The New Yorker fact checker found Capote to be the most accurate writer: Yagoda, About Town, 347. 2. THE GREAT AMERICAN MAGAZINE “the publishing equivalent of a lemonade stand”: Robert J. Bliwise, “The Master of New York,”Duke Magazine, September-October 1996. One day Carl came home: Ibid. Background on Arnold Gingrich, the founding of Esquire, and the internecine battle between Hayes, Ginzburg, and Felker is taken from Arnold Gingrich, Nothing but People: The Early Days at Esquire (New York: Crown, 1971) and Carol Polsgrove, It Wasn’t Pretty, Folks, But Didn’t We Have Fun?

Witness Time’s and Newsweek’s clumsy mishandling of the hippie movement, or the embarrassing countercultural appropriations of broadcast journalism (Dan Rather reporting from Vietnam in a Nehru jacket, to name just one egregious example). Within a seven-year period, a group of writers emerged, seemingly out of nowhere—Tom Wolfe, Jimmy Breslin, Gay Talese, Hunter S. Thompson, Joan Didion, John Sack, Michael Herr—to impose some order on all of this American mayhem, each in his or her own distinctive manner (a few old hands, like Truman Capote and Norman Mailer, chipped in as well). They came to tell us stories about ourselves in ways that we couldn’t, stories about the way life was being lived in the sixties and seventies and what it all meant. The stakes were high; deep fissures were rending the social fabric, the world was out of order. So they became our master explainers, our town criers, even our moral conscience—the New Journalists.

When it was published in book form as Picture the following year, it was hailed as a breakthrough, a meticulously rendered chronicle of realpolitik within Hollywood’s corridors of power. Ernest Hemingway called it “much better than most novels.” It was the most novelistic book-length piece of journalism since Down and Out in Paris and London, leavened by Ross’s light and lucid prose, her elucidation of character through description, and the dialogue-heavy interactions between the main players. When novelist Truman Capote traveled to Garden City, Kansas, in November 1959 at the behest of The New Yorker to investigate the murder of Holcomb wheat farmer Herbert Clutter, his wife, and two of his children, he had to piece together a story that had only two living witnesses, as it turned out—the murderers themselves. Capote at first refused to camouflage himself within the local milieu, to meld seamlessly into the sleepy rhythms of the midwestern town.

pages: 329 words: 106,831

All Your Base Are Belong to Us: How Fifty Years of Video Games Conquered Pop Culture by Harold Goldberg


Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, Apple II, cellular automata, Columbine, Conway's Game of Life, game design, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Mars Rover, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Oldenburg, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Great Good Place, Thorstein Veblen, urban planning

You can go anywhere, and wherever you go, treading down whatever dark alley you choose, you are eventually funneled through the story to its conclusion. And once you hear the words spoken, watch the action that ensues, and then participate in the story, exploring Liberty City, San Andreas, or Vice City becomes more than a game. The rough, tough Bukowski-esque dialog sticks with you just like opening paragraphs of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, where shotgun blasts are heard as “somber explosions.” Therefore, you don’t play the game as much as you get to know a world and its people. And you feel as though you are the first to do so. You live it and you dream it. That’s what makes the game’s endings all the more satisfying and breathtaking. There is a sad joy in the final mission of Grand Theft Auto III. After hearing the venomous invectives of the harpy-voiced Catalina, the game’s antagonist and possibly a cannibal, you speed away and ultimately shoot down her helicopter over the sprawling Cochrane Dam in Cedar Grove, in an explosion one game character calls “better than the fireworks on the Fourth of July.”

These chapters are also based on conversations with others who have worked with Rockstar, and members of the Halo team and the original Doom team. 1 Sam Houser was right to be annoyed about State of Emergency. According to PSXextreme, the game did garner the most buzz and awards at E3, 2001. When it was released, however, it garnered middling reviews and was often returned to stores because of bugs. 2 Truman Capote, In Cold Blood (Random House, 1965), page 5. 3 Senator Lieberman’s quote is from Forbes via Reuters, “Lieberman Denounces ‘Grand Theft Auto’ Video Game,” January 25, 2004. 4 Senator Clinton announced her stance regarding the game on July 13, 2005. The words reverberated throughout the media and on videogame sites like GameSpot. 5 The Coke commercial is utterly brilliant and worth watching a few times.

pages: 160 words: 53,435

Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction by Tracy Kidder, Richard Todd


Atul Gawande, demand response, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, moral hazard, Norman Mailer, Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, Yogi Berra

And Malcolm makes no real attempt to see McGinniss’s side; her excuse, the lamest in the journalist’s arsenal, is that McGinniss wouldn’t talk to her. But whatever one makes of the merits of the lawsuit, Malcolm’s analysis has value—especially for journalists who wish that the matters she deals with had been left submerged. Few journalists would condone lying in their private lives. And yet many nonfiction writers venerate In Cold Blood, for which Truman Capote appears to have lied shamelessly to his subjects. Maybe the moral standing of the person matters. Is it okay to lie to a killer but not to, say, a Rotarian? Most writers feel uncomfortable at best with Capote’s methods, and condemn them even if they celebrate the book. And what about less dramatic cases? What about those little gray areas? How much candor is a subject owed? If for example your subject makes a racist remark, which you would in ordinary conversation object to, do you let it slide by?

Once, at a Christmas party that went on too long, he confronted Bob Manning and announced, “I’m the best damn journalist in the Western Hemisphere.” Hung over and contrite the next morning, he was comforted by Todd, who said, “At least you didn’t claim the whole world.” Each imagined himself forbearing of the other. Kidder wrote and rewrote many versions of his first Atlantic article, about a mass murder case in California. He had imagined the piece as a sequel to In Cold Blood. At some point Bob Manning sent the manuscript back to Todd, having scrawled on it, “Let’s face it, this fellow can’t write.” Todd kept this comment to himself and merely told Kidder that the piece still needed fixing, and the rewriting continued. A long association had begun. Todd knew only that he had a writer of boundless energy. For Kidder, to be allowed not just to rewrite but to rewrite ad infinitum was a privilege, preferable in every way to rejection slips.

The sentence is so well known that sometimes, cited out of context, it is understood as a magisterial command, a booming voice from the pulpit. It is more properly heard as an invitation, almost casual, and, given the complexity that follows, it is marvelously simple. If you try it aloud, you will probably find yourself saying it rather softly, conversationally. Many memorable essays, memoirs, and narratives reach dramatic heights from such calm beginnings. In Cold Blood is remembered for its transfixing and frightening account of two murderers and their victims, and it might have started in any number of dramatic ways. In fact, it starts with a measured descriptive passage: The village of Holcomb stands on the high wheat plains of western Kansas, a lonesome area that other Kansans call “out there.” Some seventy miles east of the Colorado border, the countryside, with its hard blue skies and desert-clear air, has an atmosphere that is rather more Far West than Middle West.

The Empathy Exams: Essays by Leslie Jamison


Atul Gawande, crowdsourcing, Hernando de Soto, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, land reform, Rubik’s Cube, Skype, Slavoj Žižek

Damien was given a sound track, probably the one he’d always heard anyway, but for reasons he’d never imagined—and it couldn’t comfort him during the days of his incarceration because he had no access to a stereo in prison. It couldn’t hold his emotions, deepen or soothe them—it can only do these things for us, now, as we watch a movie about his life. Surging chords of Metallica aren’t the sound track of Damien’s story so much as the sound track of our story of his story, which is to say: the story of our hearts breaking for him. The Reason One of the brilliant narrative betrayals of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, the grandfather of all highbrow true crime, is that the criminals at its center, the men who killed an entire family, ultimately emerge with no motive besides money. This feels like a second death: it makes the deaths feel meaningless by taking away the possibility of any affective frame that could explain them. The murderer at the center of the book, Perry Smith, is described as “capable of dealing, with or without motive, the coldest deathblows.”

I think the charges of cliché and performance offer our closed hearts too many alibis, and I want our hearts to be open. I just wrote that. I want our hearts to be open. I mean it. Works Consulted Books Agee, James, and Walker Evans. Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. Baxter, Charles. Burning Down the House: Essays on Fiction. Bidart, Frank. “Ellen West,” in The Book of the Body. Brooks, Peter. Troubling Confessions: Speaking Guilt in Law and Literature. Capote, Truman. In Cold Blood. Carson, Anne. “The Glass Essay” and “Teresa of God,” in Glass, Irony and God. D’Ambrosio, Charles. Orphans. De Beauvoir, Simone. The Second Sex. Dickens, Charles. David Copperfield. ——. Great Expectations. Didion, Joan. Salvador. ——. Slouching Towards Bethlehem. ——. The White Album. Dubus, Andre. Meditations from a Movable Chair. Flaubert, Gustave. Madame Bovary. Grealy, Lucy. Autobiography of a Face.

pages: 1,351 words: 404,177

Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America by Rick Perlstein


affirmative action, Alistair Cooke, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, cognitive dissonance, cuban missile crisis, delayed gratification, desegregation, East Village, European colonialism, full employment, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, immigration reform, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, index card, indoor plumbing, Kitchen Debate, liberal capitalism, Mahatma Gandhi, Marshall McLuhan, Monroe Doctrine, moral panic, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, Own Your Own Home, Paul Samuelson, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price mechanism, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, the medium is the message, traveling salesman, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, walking around money, War on Poverty, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog

Justice John Marshall Harlan pounded the table in dissent: Miranda v. State of Arizona meant “a gradual disappearance of confessions as a legitimate tool of law enforcement.” Justice Byron White said it “will return a killer, rapist, or other criminal to the streets to repeat his crime whenever it pleased him.” Even the New York Times found the decision “lacking either constitutional warrant or constructive effect.” Truman Capote, author of the new true-crime thriller In Cold Blood, testified at a Senate hearing, “This is almost like Alice in Wonderland.…While many in our society today are wailing about the rights of the criminal suspect, why do they seem to totally ignore the rights of the victims and potential victims?” Robert Byrd entered an editorial into the Congressional Record on Martin Luther King, “whose organization is studying the Buddhist use of street gangs in Saigon demonstrations, has put the Reverend A.

(She had a manifesto: “Life in this society being, at best, an utter bore and no aspect of society being at all relevant to women, there remains to civic-minded, responsible, thrill-seeking females only to overthrow the government, eliminate the money system, institute complete automation, and destroy the male sex.”) Three days after that, with Kennedy’s killer in custody—his name was Sirhan Sirhan, and he had acted out of some mysterious grievance involving Israel and Palestine—James Earl Ray was apprehended in London. Who were these loners who shot great men, who always seemed to succeed despite their manifest oafishness of character? Truman Capote went on NBC’s Tonight show and said they were patsies brainwashed by plotters determined to bring America to its knees. Time, which used to rush to debunk any JFK conspiracy theory, passed on Capote’s thoughts without criticism, noting that “a cheap crook with Ray’s dismal record of bargain-basement villainy could not have traveled so far without extensive help from experts.” In a cover essay in Life, a psychiatrist blamed it on a surfeit of images that “arouse susceptible people to violent acts.”

Cannato, The Ungovernable City: John Lindsay and the Battle to Save New York (New York: Basic Books, 2003), 120–25. At the Sherman House Hotel: Chicago’s American, July 22, 1966. In an ornate reception room: Cannato, Ungovernable City, 124–25. A nightclub in the Bohemian: Chicago’s American, July 23, 1966. In Cleveland, white vigilantes: “Rioting in Cleveland Follows Watts Script,” LAT, July 31, 1966. Miranda v. State of Arizona dissents: Patterson, Grand Expectations, 631. Truman Capote testimony: Chicago Sun-Times, July 22, 1966. “I was distressed a few days ago”: USNWR, August 8, 1966. “The housing program is too small”: “A Time for Candor,” WSJ, July 27, 1966. A Cuyahoga County grand jury: USNWR, August 22, 1966. North Amityville mob: “Police Attacked in Suburban L.I.,” NYT, July 29, 1966. “They didn’t need any Communists”: “Cleveland Study of Riot Deplored,” NYT, August 11, 1966.

pages: 309 words: 95,644

On Writing Well (30th Anniversary Edition) by William Zinsser


affirmative action, Alistair Cooke, Donald Trump, feminist movement, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, New Journalism, Norman Mailer, popular capitalism, telemarketer, Thomas L Friedman

Ninety percent of the magazine was now allotted to nonfiction articles, with just one short story by a three-named author to keep the faithful from feeling abandoned. It was the beginning of a golden era of nonfiction, especially in Life, which ran finely crafted articles every week; in The New Yorker, which elevated the form by originating such landmarks of modern American writing as Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood; and in Harper’s, which commissioned such remarkable pieces as Norman Mailer’s Armies of the Night. Nonfiction became the new American literature. Today there’s no area of life—present or past—that isn’t being made accessible to ordinary readers by men and women writing with high seriousness and grace. Add to this literature of fact all the disciplines that were once regarded as academic, like anthropology and economics and social history, that have become the domain of nonfiction writers and of broadly curious readers.

Streep, chameleon-like, undercuts this response by never staying in one place long enough for you to get a fix on her. Bette Davis, stretching the bounds of type, went in for costume (The Virgin Queen) and period (The Old Maid), but she was always Bette Davis, and no one would have thought to want it otherwise. Like Streep, she even dared to play unlikable, morally ambiguous heroines, her greatest being the wife of the plantation owner in The Letter who murders her treacherous lover in cold blood, then refuses to repent. The difference is that Davis fused with the role, poured her own passion and intensity into it. Her heroine is as icily proud and implacable as Medea—which may be why members of the Academy denied her the Oscar she deserved in favor of sweeter and tamer Ginger Rogers for Kitty Foyle—but Davis makes us respond to the fire within. It’s hard to imagine an actress like Streep, who remains at a safe distance from her roles, rising to such heights … or falling to such depths.

Edgar, 224–25 Houseman, John, 135 “How Iraq Reverse-Engineered the Bomb” (Zorpette), 160–64 “How the Savings and Loans Were Saved” (Keillor), 222–23 How-to writing, 83, 148–49 How to Survive in Your Native Land, (Herndon), 29–30 “Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu” (Updike), 182–83 Humanity in business writing, 166–67, 172 in science writing, 152 Humor, 207–27, 242–43 Hyman, Dick, 246 Hyperbole, 77 I.E.E.E. Spectrum, 160–64 Imagery, fresh, 179, 235, 267 Imitation, learning by, 218, 235–36 Immense Journey, The (Eiseley), 157 In Cold Blood (Capote), 98 Individuality, 132–34. See also Personality. Integrity, 108, 186, 260 Intention, 259–60 Interviews, 100–115 ethics with, 108, 111–15 with experts, 248–51 preparation for, 103–5 tape recorder for, 105–6 use of quotations, 108–9 Investigative reporting, 160, 259 Irony, 85–86, 208 Jackson, Jesse, 237 Jargon business, 173–75 education, 168–72 journalism, 32–34 sports, 178–79 vs. usage, 43–44 Johnson, Lewis P., 142–43 Johnson, Lyndon, 212 Johnson, Samuel, 41 Johnson, Walter, 58 Journalese, 32–34 Journalism first-person voice in, 21 investigative, 160, 259 jargon in, 32–34 literature and, 95–99 New, 114 paragraphing in, 79–80 Kamzic, Nick, 90 Kaplan, Janice, 189–90 Karr, Mary, 135, 287 Kaufman, George S., 194 Kazin, Alfred, 137–39 Keillor, Garrison, 207, 220, 221–23 Kelly, Walt, 212 Kennedy, John F., 237 Keyes, Robert W., 158–59 King, Billie Jean, 190 King Leopold’s Ghost (Hochschild), 98 King James Bible, 68, 239, 297 Kingston, Maxine Hong, 141–42 Kluger, Richard, 98 Kubrick, Stanley, 208 Lampoon, 208 Law & Order, 197 Lardner, Ring, 99, 207, 216, 218 Last Brother, The (McGinniss), 111 Latin words, 67 Lawrence, T.

pages: 603 words: 186,210

Appetite for America: Fred Harvey and the Business of Civilizing the Wild West--One Meal at a Time by Stephen Fried


Albert Einstein, British Empire, business intelligence, centralized clearinghouse, City Beautiful movement, estate planning, glass ceiling, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, indoor plumbing, Livingstone, I presume, new economy, Plutocrats, plutocrats, refrigerator car, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, young professional

Their XY range now spread over four thousand square miles, bounded in the north by the Arkansas River and the Santa Fe railroad near Lakin and Garden City, extending down through the Oklahoma Panhandle and into Texas, where it was bounded in the south by the Canadian River, not far from Amarillo. This made the XY ranch almost as big as the state of Connecticut. (It also meant that Fred Harvey owned what later became the town of Holcomb, the site of the infamous Clutter murders that inspired Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood.) During roundup time, there were often more than two hundred cowboys roaming Fred’s land, looking for XY cattle or others that had strayed from nearby herds. At night there would be huge campouts where cowboys would drink and share stories, some of which may have even been true. They howled over the yarn about young Eli “Romeo” Hall, who turned in two rustlers, “Longtoed Pete” and “Cross-Eyed Swiggett,” for stealing Fred Harvey’s cattle, and then turned down the $1,000 ($22,265) reward because Hall said he would rather just have a job on the Harvey ranch.

For this trip, however, we decide to stay on the train until morning and get out at Dodge City. You can’t rent a car at the Dodge City station (which is true at too many western train stations, unfortunately, and makes train travel more challenging than it ought to be). So we remain in our compartment until the next stop, Garden City, where you can arrange to have a rental car waiting: It’s the same little depot where Truman Capote and Harper Lee disembarked when they visited Holcomb while researching In Cold Blood. We get a car, take the long, flat drive back to Dodge, and realize we made a mistake. Everything in the charming little town is so close to the depot we probably could have done the visit on foot. Dodge City’s main street has been nicely preserved—a little touristy, but it has its charms. The Boot Hill Museum is a hoot. I’m not sure how authentic the cemetery is, with the toes of plaster boots sticking out of the ground, but it does cause all those old cowboy movie images to stir in our minds.

pages: 597 words: 119,204

Website Optimization by Andrew B. King


AltaVista, bounce rate, don't be evil,, Firefox, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, information retrieval, iterative process, medical malpractice, Network effects, performance metric, search engine result page, second-price auction, second-price sealed-bid, semantic web, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social graph, Steve Jobs, web application

Usually a very high bounce rate indicates that there is a loading problem with a server or script on a page, or a major keyword flaw. One client provided this example with the search word clutter. After looking into pages where clutter was a frequently sought-after term, we noticed traffic coming in from their paid campaigns using that word in the context of results for "Clutter Family Murders." The murders of the Clutter family were described in the book In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Random House). This was not exactly what they were looking for in traffic. Therefore, with the high bounce rate, we decided to flag family and murder as negative keywords, thus reducing the likelihood of getting inadvertent traffic. Using these negative keywords reduced our client's bounce rate on those pages, as well as their costs on those campaigns. Figure 10-9 illustrates the bounce rate per search engine referring visits to during a given time period.

pages: 588 words: 193,087

And Here's the Kicker: Conversations with 21 Top Humor Writers on Their Craft by Mike Sacks


Albert Einstein, Columbine, Donald Trump, Exxon Valdez, fear of failure, game design, illegal immigration, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, index card, Norman Mailer, out of africa, pre–internet, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, upwardly mobile

With that said, there are times when I can feel the rhythm of a cartoon more clearly than at other times. I work on deadline, and I have to do this whether I'm in the mood to work or not. But why I'm in the mood sometimes and not at other times is still a mystery. Do you have tricks you've taught yourself that have made the process less difficult? Getting away from work and coming back to it fresh really helps. Also, Truman Capote once said that if you have to leave a manuscript or a chapter, don't finish up the last little bit, because then, when you come back, you'll have to re-start from nothing. I've often used this approach. If I'm going downstairs for lunch, I leave something I'm excited to come back to — so I won't be starting from zero miles per hour. But it doesn't always work. Do you consider yourself as much a writer as a cartoonist?

It turns out Starkweather slaughtered a gas-station attendant about five blocks away. So your father took in Charles Starkweather like a stray puppy? I guess in a way he did — if a puppy can slit throats. My father had always said that Charles was a pitiful person, misled and kind of lost. You once pointed out that the Midwest has produced its fair share of serial killers; not just Charles Starkweather, but also the In Cold Blood murderers, Dick Hickock and Perry Smith. Have you ever figured out the connection? I don't know what it is. I really have no idea. But, you know, the Midwest has also produced its share of talk-show hosts. Johnny Carson grew up in Norfolk, Nebraska, which is not too far from where I grew up. As a kid in the forties, I saw Carson perform as “The Great Carsoni” — that's what his magic act was called — in a church basement in Lincoln, Nebraska.

pages: 846 words: 232,630

Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life by Daniel C. Dennett


Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anthropic principle, assortative mating, buy low sell high, cellular automata, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, computer age, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, Danny Hillis, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Drosophila, finite state, Gödel, Escher, Bach, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John von Neumann, Murray Gell-Mann, New Journalism, non-fiction novel, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, QWERTY keyboard, random walk, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Schrödinger's Cat, selection bias, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, strong AI, the scientific method, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, Turing machine, Turing test

Before Darwin, these controversies were fundamentally ill-formed, and could not yield a stable, well-motivated answer because there was no {38} background theory of why one classification scheme would count as getting the joints right — the way things really were. Today bookstores face the same sort of ill-formed problem: how should the following categories be cross-organized: bestsellers, science fiction, horror, garden, biography, novels, collections, sports, illustrated books? If horror is a genus of fiction, then true tales of horror present a problem. Must all novels be fiction? Then the bookseller cannot honor Truman Capote's own description of In Cold Blood (1965) as a nonfiction novel, but the book doesn't sit comfortably amid either the biographies or the history books. In what section of the bookstore should the book you are reading be shelved? Obviously there is no one Right Way to categorize books — nominal essences are all we will ever find in this domain. But many naturalists were convinced on general principles that there were real essences to be found among the categories of their Natural System of living things.

pages: 1,336 words: 415,037

The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder


affirmative action, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Bob Noyce, Bonfire of the Vanities, Brownian motion, capital asset pricing model, card file, centralized clearinghouse, collateralized debt obligation, computerized trading, corporate governance, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, desegregation, Donald Trump, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, global village, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute cuisine, Honoré de Balzac, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop - Herbert Stein's Law, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, index fund, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, interest rate swap, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, margin call, market bubble, Marshall McLuhan, medical malpractice, merger arbitrage, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, moral hazard, NetJets, new economy, New Journalism, North Sea oil, paper trading, passive investing, Paul Samuelson,, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Nader, random walk, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, shareholder value, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, telemarketer, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, War on Poverty, Works Progress Administration, Y2K, yellow journalism, zero-coupon bond

That was when she finally took action. Warren now spent much of his time elephant-bumping at black-tie events in New York and Washington with Graham, or staying at her house for her Kay Parties. Despite his residual awkwardness and cackling laugh, he was meeting a circle of powerful, celebrated friends and acquaintances of Kay’s that opened his eyes to a new world. “I met Truman Capote,” he says about the author of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood, who had thrown the legendary Black and White Ball in Graham’s honor at the Plaza Hotel in New York; the event became known as the “party of the century.” Capote had been a confidant of many rich international society women. “He would come down to her place and sit there, this little guy all kind of hunched down on the sofa, talking in this voice you couldn’t believe.