H.P. Lovecraft, Author, Is Dead →
longformorg: On the 75th anniversary of the writer’s death, a look at his influence. While the Cthulhu Mythos never featured prominently in King’s novels, It is generally regarded as his most Lovecraftian work. King’s declaration of Lovecraft as “the twentieth century’s greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale” is found on the jacket of nearly every compendium of Lovecraft “best of”...
As I’ve been mulling over science’s role in our lives as a mediator between us and nature, and how it fails in that role in a post-apocalyptic setting, I am struck by this comment by David Hume: We are placed in this world, as in a great theatre, where the true springs and causes of every event are entirely concealed from us; nor have we either sufficient wisdom to foresee, or power...
My latest sci-fi review: Bernard Wolfe’s 1952 behemoth, Limbo, over at the Finch and Pea. A teaser: It’s the post-apocalyptic 1990’s, thanks to a late 70’s nuclear third world war brought on by the giant computers that had been delegated by humans to handle geopolitics. (They sound a little like the micro-trading computers that now handle the much of high finance.) It turns out...
Academic freedom looking good in Virginia, more at the Finch and Pea.
Looking out the window of Starbucks, I see the best company slogan ever: Irish Plastering and Tuckpointing - “Get plastered with Irish”
Motherhood versus the Lab at the Finch and Pea.
Santorum’s Arrested Development by Garry Wills |... →
A massive case of projection: Santorum believes college is about brain-washing because that’s how he educates his children.
I’m sure this one won’t be controversial - science proves rich people are dishonest jerks: Higher social class predicts increased unethical behavior, PNAS: Seven studies using experimental and naturalistic methods reveal that upper-class individuals behave more unethically than lower-class individuals. In studies 1 and 2, upper-class individuals were more likely to break the law...
In the New Yorker, James Wood on Santorum’s bizarre views on environmental conservation: Put aside theology for a moment. Just intellectually, there are many peculiarities here. According to Santorum, environmentalists and leftists believe in serving the earth, while proper Christians “should have dominion over it, and should be good stewards of it.” The distinction Santorum is working...
The Dalkey Archive has just released a reprint of The Recognitions. Now read about William Gaddis, over at the New Yorker: William Gaddis, in the closing pages of his colossal 1955 novel “The Recognitions,” inserts a brief scene that manages to be at once rancorously funny, brazenly self-referential, and spookily prescient about the critical fate that lay in store for his work. A book reviewer...
A Pulitzer-prize winning novelist visits a genetics lab, and none of the scientists can remember the visit.
The Two Apes of Brueghel (1957), Wisława Szymborska (1923-2011) So appears my big graduation exam dream: In a window sit two monkeys fixed by chains, Beyond the window the sky flies And the sea splashes. —————————- The subject is the history of mankind. I stammer and flail. ...
This ought to make a nice pairing with The Voyage of the Beagle: Thoreau, The Journal 1837-1861. Damion Searls, editor of this volume, writes: Thoreau may have discovered a species of bream, perfected the technology of manufacturing pencils, and anticipated modern techniques of cranberry farming, but his most lasting discoveries were about the interactions of different systems: how one growth...
Selling your soul is may actually be a good deal: In December, the New York Times’ Catherine Rampell asked Harvard, Yale and Princeton for data on the professions their graduates were entering. As of 2011, finance remained the most popular career for Harvard graduates, sucking up 17 percent of those who went from college to a full-time job. At Yale, 14 percent of the 2010 graduating class, and at...