Knuth versus Email

For some time now Donald Knuth is no longer doing email. But did you read his reason? He has a great online explanation where he writes:

Email is a wonderful thing for people whose role in life is to be on top of things. But not for me; my role is to be on the bottom of things. What I do takes long hours of studying and uninterruptible concentration. I try to learn certain areas of computer science exhaustively; then I try to digest that knowledge into a form that is accessible to people who don’t have time for such study.

On the same page he also quotes Umberto Eco “I don’t even have an e-mail address. I have reached an age where my main purpose is not to receive messages.”

Knuth wrote this almost 17 years ago. It’s still right. It is very impressive. I am particularly impressed today since I spent a great deal of time yesterday cleaning out my inbox dealing with over 200 little tasks which had piled up there.
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PS. For those of you who do not know who Knuth is: Before you even start to think about attempting to call Knuth anti-technology or using complex words like Luddite make sure you read up, why not try wikipedia?

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