The Hinternet. It’s the internet, aspirated.

Here’s what some people are saying about Justin Smith-Ruiu’s Hinternet:  

“Hugely enjoyable” —Neil Gaiman

“Delightful.” —Galen Strawson

“I really love the newsletter.” —Ezra Klein

“[T]o be called well-read by you is like a lady-bug being congratulated on their spots by a leopard.” —Stephen Fry

“I think you are cracking something open… that the entire culture is bashing its head against right now trying to solve. Thank you for this and please keep going.” —Kristen Roupenian

“I love [your writing]. It's smart, witty, careful, lively, and persuasive — and deeply humanistic.” —Leon Wieseltier

“Bracing.” —Anna Khachiyan

“So glad H*** tipped me off to your Substack. I will become a devoted reader.” —Chris Hedges

“[R]eally and truly great.” —Jamaica Kincaid (on my work in Cabinet Magazine)


Born in the high desert of Nevada, I am currently professor of philosophy in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the Université Paris Cité. In 2019-20, I was the John and Constance Birkelund Fellow at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers of the New York Public Library.

I write literary non-fiction, poetry, and fiction, and I also translate poetry.

My most recent quasi-scholarly book, The Internet Is Not What You Think It Is, appeared in 2022 from Princeton University Press.

I am currently writing two books. One is entitled The Philosopher and the Tsar: Leibniz, Science, and the Birth of Modern Russia. The other is a fictional translation of the Voynich Manuscript.

In collaboration with Liubomira Romanova I am currently translating a volume of Olonkho, the Siberian oral-epic tradition, for University of California Press.

I am co-author, with D. Graham Burnett and Catherine Hansen, of In Search of the Third Bird: Exemplary Essays from The Proceedings of ESTAR(SER), 2001-2021, a work of historiographical metafiction, which appeared in 2021 from MIT/Strange Attractor Press.

For 15 years, from 2005 to 2020, I regularly posted long-form essays at my website, I also frequently wrote for various print and online media, but like many people who are moving to the newsletter format I grew tired of being forced by editors, and by the economic and political forces that constrain editors in turn, to use words that were not my own. Substack solves that problem. I sincerely hope you will join me here, and I am very grateful for your readership.

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Justin Smith-Ruiu 

“For my topic now is the world as a whole.” —Pliny the Elder