Welcome to Dean’s List.

FEATURED : 2024, alchemy, altered states, analog, antiquity, architecture, artificial intelligence, artist in the machine, auto-bio, auto-fiction, capture, cartography, community, consciousness, culture, decentralization, deconstructed, delirious, editing, essay architecture, futurism, internet history, language, lessons from artists, mastery, music, nature, new york, religion, social media reform, synthesis, techno-selectivism, time, transitions, virtual reality, warped incentives, writing online.

Deconstructing words & worlds

From Charlie Becker’s Castles in the Sky

“Encountering Michael Dean’s writing is a mashup of experiences: it’s like reading Hunter S. Thompson the gonzo journalist, and Neal Stephenson the cyberpunk novelist (circa Snow Crash), combined with stumbling upon one of those long forum posts you encounter deep on the internet that almost seems like an alien intelligence because it is able to thread so many needles at once.”

Who’s Michael Dean? —

  • B A C K G R O U N D :: I’m an architect, turned virtual reality developer, turned half-pseudonymous writer and editor. After molting and meandering, I’m building a career online on my own terms.

  • E X P E R I E N C E :: In the last 3 years I’ve designed the curriculum for Write of Passage, given feedback on 1,000+ drafts, edited and structured the Ultimate Guide to Writing by David Perell, and published over 300k words.

  • K N O W N - F O R :: Visual analysis, logging my daily thoughts, Greek Orthodoxy, unorthodox theories, living in Queens, a family Christmas Tree farm business, my neighbor Wilbur Doyle, a 1956 typewriter, the Gibson ES-Les Paul in my Zoom background, wearing glasses with cameras in them, a thesis on psychedelic therapy, an obsession with Terence McKenna, and lists.

From Garrett Kincaid’s Get Schooled: The Ultimate Guide to Michael Dean

“He’s a semantic savant, a lexical technophile, a feedback fanatic, The Clarity King. He’s a sage of the craft … He was clearly curious, a proud polymath, and a self-proclaimed “niche-hobbyist.” And, like me, he was an editor and a language-lover, despite not studying English … I felt an intense familiarity, but it wasn’t because of what he wrote. It was because of how he wrote.”

Why Subscribe?

  • CRAFT : Learn patterns of essay structure & writing voice through visuals.

  • PROCESS : Get unstuck on your first draft through reverse outlining.

  • LESSONS : Understand history’s artists to defy the age of the algorithm.

  • LOGS : Read logloglog & get inspired to capture more of your life in writing.

  • ESSAYS : Enjoy long-form essays on technology, psychology, and the future.

  • AI : Follow along as I build an AI-powered text editor.

Some of my favorite comments on Dean’s List —

“Your newsletter is probably the most value adding thing in my inbox now! Love these pieces focused on deconstruction.” — Atom Go Tian

“This had me think and laugh so hard my head’s in pain.” — Silvio Castelletti

“World-class, cutting-edge thinking, Michael, matched by your pitch-perfect writing style. Thank you.” — Mike Goodenow Weber

“A giant brimming bowl of delicious turns of phrase :)” — Kevin Brennan

“No one has inspired me to smoke weed again more than you just did. And I've been to Amsterdam 5 times or so this past year.” — Yehudis Milchtein

Links —


Don’t hesitate to reach out for editing, coaching, diagnostics, collaborations, requests, rendezvous, praise, complaints, or AMA.

Start deconstructing.

Subscribe to Dean's List

Changing the way you think about the writing craft, creators, and culture.


Editor in Chief at Write of Passage