Blog (Ex Urbe)

On my blog, Ex Urbe, I write essays about history, philosophy, mythology, science fiction and fantasy, movies, comics, food, and other topics.  I often discuss my research travel, especially my times in European cities including Florence and Rome.  I also post travel photography, focusing on historic sights and art.  Many of my essays are more casual examinations of topics I have been teaching or researching, ways of sharing my work in a lighter and more public setting than the classroom or academic books.

A model of the heavens, made for the Medici, at the Florentine Museum of the History of Science.
Travel photos, like this Medici model of the heavens, are another blog feature.

 

Recommended Ex Urbe Entries:

I also regularly post historical photos & facts on twitter as Ada_Palmer tagged #historypix

 

I also sometimes blog for Tor.com.  There I write about fiction, the craft of writing, mythology, history, literature, television, and manga & anime.

 

RSS The Latest Posts

  • Stoicism’s Appeal to the Rich and Powerful March 27, 2019
    I was recently interviewed for a piece in the Times on why the philosophy of stoicism has become very popular in the Silicon Valley tech crowd. Only a sliver of my thoughts made it into the article, but the question from Nellie Bowles was very stimulating so I wanted to share more of my thoughts. […]
  • Milton’s Arguments Against EU Copyright Directive Article 11 and Article 13 March 24, 2019
    It’s spring 2019 and crises are coming thick and fast, but one of them which may have an extra deep, extra wide, extra lasting, and extra invisible impact is the new proposed EU Copyright Directive, whose Article 11 and Article 13 propose, among other things, to (A) radically and permanently change who owns news and […]
  • 2018 Campbell Speech, How New Authors Expand Fields (+Censorship, Manga) October 14, 2018
     This year I was honored to present the 2018 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer at Worldcon’s Hugo Awards Ceremony, and several people have asked me to post my presentation speech, in which I used Japanese examples to talk about the invaluable impact of new authors expanding the breadth of what gets explored […]
  • Censorship Project + A Brief History of Book Burning September 26, 2018
    Today I’m delighted to announce my big new project, a collaboration with Cory Doctorow and Adrian Johns: Censorship and Information Control during Information Revolutions  You can learn about it from the project website, and support it on Kickstarter. The idea: Revolutions in information technology always trigger innovations in censorship and information control, so we’re bringing […]
  • From Ada’s AMA: Minutiae Ignota February 24, 2018
    On 11th January 2018, Ada did a marathon “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit. This last post collects the questions and answers that are about the Terra Ignota world and don’t fit anywhere else. There may be minor spoilers, but I’m not reproducing the specific spoilers that were marked as such (partly because they’re impossible […]
  • From Ada’s AMA: Terra Ignota, Bash’es & Hives February 15, 2018
    On 11th January 2018, Ada did a marathon “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit. This post collects the questions and answers that are about Hives and bash’es in the Terra Ignota world. There may be minor spoilers, but I’m not reproducing the specific spoilers that were marked as such (partly because they’re impossible to cut […]
  • From Ada’a AMA: Terra Ignota, Language, Gender & Music February 8, 2018
    On 11th January 2018, Ada did a marathon “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit. This post collects the questions and answers that are about language, gender, and music in the Terra Ignota world. There may be minor spoilers, but I’m not reproducing the specific spoilers that were marked as such (partly because they’re impossible to […]
  • From Ada’s AMA: Life February 2, 2018
    On January 11th 2018, Ada did an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit, and I’m extracting the most interesting questions and answers and preserving them here. The ones in this post are about life, work, work-life balance, imposter syndrome etc. A Space-X engineer: I’ve been at SpaceX for about two years now. My actual, real-life experience since […]
  • From Ada’s AMA: Writing January 25, 2018
    On 11th January 2018, Ada did an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit. I’m preserving the most interesting parts of it here. In this post, questions about reading and writing. quite_vague: It’s amazing to me that Terra Ignota is your fiction debut; it’s so ambitious and accomplishes so much. How did you manage to write Terra Ignota […]
  • From Ada’s AMA: What’s the most effective way for someone today to encourage space exploration? January 11, 2018
    On 11th January 2018, Ada did a Reddit “Ask Me Anything”. I’m going to be extracting the most interesting of her answers and posting them here. Most of them I’ll be grouping thematically, but this one stands alone. Injygo: What’s the most effective way for someone today to encourage space exploration and colonization of other planets? […]