My name is Matthew Samuel Sweet. I self-published a collection of blog posts called Disconnected in 2016. In June 2020, I released my debut novel, Barker; check out the Prologue and the post-project review. My first short story, Stateless, was commissioned in June 2020 and is now part of a collection called Ss; read the afterword, Strength, and the post-project review. Right now:
- I’m working on a project entitled Elements & Components of Product Management. It’s a systematic exploration of business analysis, UI/UX, software development, project management and interfacing/integrating in the context of product management.
- I’m slowly outlining a novella. ETA unknown.
- I’m learning Python. The eventual aim is to build an agent-based simulation model that explores the dynamics of trust regeneration.
- I used to write daily, and then twice-weekly, about mastery, strategy and practical philosophy. Now, I write and publish with no particular schedule about no particular subject.
- My main body of work (1300+ posts since 2015) exists here at SwellandCut.com.
- My writing has featured in a few places (full list here) but what I’m most proud of is my second essay for Ribbonfarm; Near-Deathness represents a compression of a few years of my thinking, a definite shift in the semantic version of my self.
- I love text-based interviews. For example; Paris Review interviews, Playboy interviews like this Alex Haley classic, even podcast transcripts like these from Tim Ferriss. So I conducted my own. There’s six in total, and I’d like to do more in the future.
- Aside from reading, writing and working, I like to practice Brazilian jiu-jitsu, explore different styles of movement and playfight with my tiny four-legged friend.
The easiest way to contact me is via email: matt at swellandcut.com. I prefer to use email for correspondence instead of capture. Feedback, ideas and questions are encouraged, appreciated and considered. Keep in mind that I operate by Crocker’s Rules:
Declaring yourself to be operating by “Crocker’s Rules” means that other people are allowed to optimize their messages for information, not for being nice to you. Crocker’s Rules means that you have accepted full responsibility for the operation of your own mind – if you’re offended, it’s your fault. Anyone is allowed to call you a moron and claim to be doing you a favor. (Which, in point of fact, they would be. One of the big problems with this culture is that everyone’s afraid to tell you you’re wrong, or they think they have to dance around it.)
The name, “Swell and Cut”, is based on a drafting process mentioned in Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84. Tengo, the protagonist, is described as using an alternating process of adding and taking away from a manuscript, over and over, until the substance and style matches his expectations. The full excerpt:
“Once he had filled out this first block of text, Tengo’s next task was to eliminate from his bloated manuscript everything that was not sterictly necessary, to remove every extra bit of fat. Subtraction was a far simpler process than addition, and it reduced the volume of his text by some thirty percent. It was a kind of mind game. He would set a certain time period for expanding the text as much as possible, then set a certain time period for reducing the text as much as possible. As he alternated tenaciously between the two processes, the swings between them gradually shrank in size, until the volume of text naturally settled down where it belonged, arriving at a point where it could neither be expanded nor reduced. He excised any hint of ego, shook off all extraneous embellishments, and sent all transparent signs of imposed logic into the back room. Tengo had a gift for such work. He was a born technician, possessing both the intense concentration of a bird sailing through the air in search of prey and the patience of a donkey hauling water, playing always by the rules of the game.”
As a process “Swell and Cut” applies beautifully to writing and equally effectively to how we build our existence. A constant addition and subtraction; a never-ending attempt to balance and harmonise. Thus, I thought it a fitting name for my internet HQ.