printer’s error

Fellow compositors and pressworkers!

I, Chief Printer Frank Steinman, having worked fifty-seven years at my trade, and served five years as president of the Holliston Printer’s Council, being of sound mind though near death, leave this testimonial concerning the nature of printers’ errors.


I hold that all books and all printed matter have errors, obvious or no, and that these are their most significant moments, not to be tampered with by the vanity and folly of ignorant, academic textual editors.


I hold that there are three types of errors, in ascending order of importance:

1. chance errors of the printer’s trembling hand not to be corrected incautiously by foolish professors and other such rabble because trembling is part of divine creation itself.

2. silent, cool sabotage by the printer, the manual laborer whose protests have at times taken this historical form, covert interferences not to be corrected censoriously by the hand of the second and far more ignorant saboteur, the textual editor.

3. errors from the touch of God, divine and often obscure corrections of whole books by nearly unnoticed changes of single letters sometime meaningful but about which the less said by preemptive commentary the better.


I hold that all three sorts of error, errors by chance, errors by workers’ protest, and errors by God’s touch, are in practice the same and indistinguishable.

Therefore I, Frank Steinman, typographer for thirty-seven years, and cooperative Master of the Holliston Guild eight years, being of sound mind and body though near death urge the abolition of all editorial work whatsoever and manumission from all textual editing to leave what was as it was, and as it became, except insofar as editing is itself an error, and therefore also divine.

—Aaron Fogel, “The Printer’s Error”

first 8 weeks

This is it. Sort of. This is the last week, the last few days, of my first concurrent eight-week classes in the doctoral program. Yes, it is only the close of one set of classes in a very long series...of a three-year program. But, I feel like I have learned a lot about the mindset of a scholar-researcher. These two classes have pushed me harder than I had anticipated. 

The closing assignments of these two classes, Scholarly Writing: Identity & The Ethical Educator, require reflective essays (with reference to the required readings!). As I looked back on the organization work I did, all of the analyzing, the synthesizing, and the crystallizing of thoughts, I realized that my pocket notebook carried me through this process. 

Sure, having a Google Drive and other digital tools helped keep my classwork organized. I have color-coded folders in Drive, and I have a series of tags on Diigo for marking up required online readings and PDFs. Digital tools are fun, and they're handy! But, as much as I enjoy the ability to work in a digital arena at the graduate level, I still love analog. 

As I was reviewing my handwritten notes, outlines, to-do lists, and scribbles, I received an email from Field Notes about a new series, a collaboration with Graduate Hotels. A pack of notebooks with a collegiate feel? Perfect. The timing was spot-on. And, I'm hoping to fill one with my next series of classes...that start Monday. 


This diagram sums up my week. But according to Strike, I possess a "special character." At least I have that going for me, which is nice. 

The ignorance of the person just beginning the study of a subject has a special character. It is not just that the novice is ignorant of the facts and theories of the subject matter; the student is also ignorant of the principles that govern thought about the subject matter. He does not know what the problems of the field are, he does not know what approaches to take to solve a field's problems, and he does not know how to identify a reasonable solution to the problem.

⁠—from Chap 3 of Liberty and Learning by Kenneth Strike

summer reading

Summer reading: several books on ethics, books on writing, & one dark crime novel by Norwegian novelist Jo Nesbø (for fun!).  

Not pictured: two more ebooks on researching and writing a doctoral thesis, along with one spiral-bound APA Publication Manual, 6th edition. 

#alwayslearning #nevernottired

Did I mention this is only the first half of the summer reading list‽ Here is a partial list of books I will be reading in the 2nd half of the summer:


I will also be reading one of the following books as part of a 5-week book study group:

But, wait...there's more! 

I'm sure there will be countless PDF articles, several ebooks, and videos with transcripts! I'll update this post once the syllabi for the next two classes become available later this month: Transformational Learning & Scholarly Writing/Style