Bumping into Franklin in the Theodore Roosevelt Papers

President Theodore Roosevelt (TR) arranged for the Library of Congress to have his papers. Joseph Bucklin Bishop, New York newspaperman and for a time apparently literary executor of the papers, was among the first to be given permission to view these documents. Shortly after publishing his work, Mr. Bishop was amazed at the volume of …

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Factfulness Lament

The late Hans Rosling, in his recent book Factfulness – Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World — and Why Things Are Better Than You Think, relates an experience that bumps into Franklin. Rosling gave lectures about statistics that prove the world is in better shape than people commonly believe. His lectures were enthusiastically received, …

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Sparking Joy: Are Fires Good or Bad?

Franklin wrote, in sentence 48 of The Way To Wealth: Three Removes is as bad as a Fire, with the word Removes meaning what we now call moves: the process of changing residences. Franklin’s immediate meaning is that changing residences, starting over someplace else, is costly: damages and losses ensue. Fair enough. In my family, …

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Yale Closure Visit 2018

The Closure Committee of the Friends of Franklin gathered in New Haven in November 2018 to donate the remaining funds of the Friends to the Papers of Benjamin Franklin in honor of Claude-Anne Lopez. Claude-Anne worked at the Papers for many years and started the Friends of Franklin as her “gift to the Papers.” We …

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Epitaph for a Printer – The New Colophon

The Papers cites an article in the New Colophon, A Book-Collectors Miscellany published in 1950: “For an exhaustive discussion of the sources, variations, and sequels of the Epitaph, see L. H. Butterfield, “B. Franklin’s Epitaph,” New Colophon, III (1950), 9–30, where eleven variants are considered. ” This New Colophon article is beautifully available online from …

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Reading Code

An excellent application by James Coppel of M.I.T. applying Franklin’s reading approach to software code: I would clarify to make a note of the general “drift” of the code, and later, from that synopsis, start filling in the details. The Benjamin Franklin Method of Reading Programming Books Thanks, Ben!