Writing (wikipedia.org)

Writing is a cognitive and social activity involving neuropsychological and physical processes and the use of writing systems to structure and translate human thoughts into persistent representations of human language. A system of writing relies on many of the same semantic structures as the language it represents, such as lexicon and syntax, with the added dependency of a system of symbols representing that language's phonology and morphology. Nevertheless, written language may take on characteristics distinctive from any available in spoken language.

The outcome of this activity, also called "writing", and sometimes a "text", is a series of physically inscribed, mechanically transferred, or digitally represented linguistic symbols. The interpreter or activator of a text is called a "reader".

Writing systems do not themselves constitute languages (with the debatable exception of computer languages); they are a means of rendering language into a form that can be read and reconstructed by other humans separated by time and/or space. While not all languages use a writing system, those that do can complement and extend the capacities of spoken language by creating durable forms of language that can be transmitted across space (e.g. written correspondence) and stored over time (e.g. libraries or other public records). Writing can also have knowledge-transforming effects, since it allows humans to externalize their thinking in forms that are easier to reflect on, elaborate on, reconsider, and revise.

Source: Writing (wikipedia.org)

Woodward and Bernstein: Watergate reporters warn of the limitations of AI

US reporter Carl Bernstein has warned that artificial intelligence (AI) is a "huge force" which poses challenges for the future of journalism. Bernstein and his colleague Bob Woodward were the reporters at the heart of the Watergate scandal and the fall of President Nixon in 1972.

New York City's eight best literary venues

New York City has been the US' undisputed literary capital since the days when Herman Melville and Edith Wharton were scribbling away. In the generations since, the city has steadily lured wordsmiths from around the world seeking inspiration amid the city's "high growths of iron...

Tom Hanks' debut novel lifts lid on movie industry, and his on-set behaviour

Tom Hanks says he has written his first novel as a "release from the never-ending pressure" of making movies. The two-time Oscar winner is publishing The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece, inspired by his own screen career.

Why do some people 'mirror-write'?

As a child, I thought all left-handed people could mirror-write. As a left-hander myself, I occasionally tried it, starting on the right-hand side of the page and letting the letters flow leftwards.

The mysterious doodles hidden in a 1,300-year-old book

Around 1,300 years ago, a woman leant over a precious book, and etched some letters into the margin, along with some cartoonish drawings. She didn't use ink – she scratched them in, so they were almost invisible to the naked eye. Until last year, no-one knew they were there.

The Rosetta Stone: The real ancient codebreakers

Jean-François Champollion had been struggling over the hieroglyphs on the Rosetta Stone for years when, one September afternoon in 1822, he believed he had finally cracked it.

The messages that survived civilisation's collapse

More than 2,000 years ago, in a temple in the city of Borsippa in ancient Mesopotamia, in what is now modern-day Iraq, a student was doing his homework. His name was Nabu-kusurshu, and he was training to be a temple brewer.

Stephen King testifies against merger of publishing giants

American horror novelist Stephen King is taking on a new monster: corporate consolidation. The author was the star witness in an anti-trust trial to block the two biggest US publishers' $2.2bn merger.

'How to murder your husband' writer sentenced for murdering husband

Murder, she wrote - and for murder, she is going to jail. An Oregon judge has sentenced Nancy Crampton Brophy, a romance author who apparently foretold of her crime in an essay titled "How to murder your husband", to life in prison for the shooting death of her late spouse.

For sale: baby shoes, never worn

The claim of Hemingway's authorship originates in an unsubstantiated anecdote about a wager among him and other writers. In a 1991 letter to Canadian humorist John Robert Colombo, science fiction writer Arthur C.

Eight-year-old's handwritten novel takes Idaho town by storm

Good things come to those who wait - but with a bit of hustle, success can come sooner than you think. That is the lesson learned by eight-year-old Dillon Helbig, whose first book has become a surprise hit in his Idaho town of Boise.

Gilgamesh Dream Tablet: Iraq puts looted artefact on display

The 3,500-year-old Gilgamesh Dream Tablet has gone on display in Iraq for the first time in three decades. The clay artefact bears part of the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the world's oldest surviving works of literature.

Isaac Asimov on The David Letterman Show, October 21, 1980

Isaac Asimov's only appearance on any of Dave's shows.

Essay mills: 'Contract cheating' to be made illegal in England

Offering essay-writing services to students for a fee will become a criminal offence under plans to tackle cheating by "essay mills". The government says the move will protect students from the "deceptive marketing techniques of contract cheating services".

JK Rowling table saved from cafe gutted by fire

A cafe table where JK Rowling wrote sections of her Harry Potter books has been salvaged from a huge fire, which devastated the building.The blaze on Edinburgh's George IV Bridge last month badly damaged flats and businesses including The Elephant House cafe.

Would Plato tweet? The Ancient Greek guide to social media

When I'm on my social media, I sometimes feel like I'm in a modern, virtual version of the agora of ancient Greek city-states. This was the centre of town, physically, but also economically and socially – the place where business was conducted, goods were bought and sold, and ideas were exchanged.

The epic adventures of the Gilgamesh Dream tablet

An ancient clay tablet displaying part of the story of a superhuman king has been formally handed over to Iraq by the US. Known as the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet, the 3,600-year-old religious text shows a section of a Sumerian poem from the Epic of Gilgamesh.

SCIgen - An Automatic CS Paper Generator

SCIgen is a program that generates random Computer Science research papers, including graphs, figures, and citations. It uses a hand-written context-free grammar to form all elements of the papers. Our aim here is to maximize amusement, rather than coherence.

The world 'traveller' who never left home

Havana may be Cuba's most famous city, but tiny Trinidad is its most enchanting. With its cobblestone streets, pastel-coloured 18th- and 19th-Century palaces, and manicured Baroque plazas, the 500-year-old Unesco-inscribed marvel is one of the finest colonial towns in the Americas.

The origin of the world’s first travel blog

Outside Havana’s Hotel Nacional, the city is jubilant: this Spanish-founded port is in the midst of celebrating its 500th anniversary. Vintage Bel-Airs and Buick convertibles ply the roads, painted in gumdrop colours.

Microsoft 'to replace journalists with robots'

Microsoft is to replace dozens of contract journalists on its MSN website and use automated systems to select news stories, US and UK media report. The curating of stories from news organisations and selection of headlines and pictures for the MSN site is currently done by journalists.

Writer Arthur C Clarke dies at 90

British science fiction writer Sir Arthur C Clarke has died in his adopted home of Sri Lanka at the age of 90. The Somerset-born author achieved his greatest fame in 1968 when his short story The Sentinel was turned into the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.