Posts filed under “Uncategorized”

Creative types: read this, avoid death.

A witty and profound meditation on why mental illness and death stalk the modern artist, and how to protect oneself while courting one’s genius. Even the ones who didn’t literally commit suicide seem to be really undone by their gifts, you know. Norman Mailer, just before he died, last interview, he said “Every one of […]

E. M. Forster: The Machine Stops

Dystopian techno-futurism from 1909!  Eerie and vivid.  Enjoy. http://www.tcnj.edu/~miranda/classes/topics/reading/forester.html “Beware of first- hand ideas!” exclaimed one of the most advanced of them. “First-hand ideas do not really exist. They are but the physical impressions produced by life and fear, and on this gross foundation who could erect a philosophy? Let your ideas be second-hand, and […]

Social Surplus

Is television a waste of time?  Yes… but, perhaps, a waste badly needed during the years it has taken for society to reinvent itself.  A steam-valve for the volcanic birth of the Information Age. In this insightful essay on social surplus, Clay Shirky argues that our the hours liberated by the microwave and the washing machine […]

The Best Software Writing…

…is poignant and involves cartoon foxes. If you’re interested in software (even abstractly) and you want to read something entertaining, I highly recommend the inexplicably delicious why’s (poignant) guide to ruby.  It reads like the bastard love child of a foxy graphic novel and a humorous hipster magazine. Besides, you’ll get to learn about Ruby, which […]

Games as Stories (via Tale of Tales)

We who love interactive fiction, story games, role-playing games, video games, and their myriad synonyms still have a lot of thinking – and, more to the point, talking; or, even better, creating – to do before we know what they’re about. The thought that games can also be stories, or should have anything to do […]

Ken Wilber on Science & Spirituality

I got tipped off to a concise, clever, and thought-provoking video by Ken Wilber, a scholar of “spiritual phenomena” (which, as he points out, is a loaded term). In this eight-minute segment, he explores the question of whether scientific methodology can be applied to non-physical experiences. Spirituality and the Three Strands of Deep Science I […]

Stop Being Creative

Did that headline get your attention? In our culture “creative” is very frequently a synonym for “good”. Okay, you probably don’t want the driver of the car beside yours driving creatively, and you’d likely acknowledge that burgeoning creativity wouldn’t be advisable for the structural engineer behind the Hoover Dam, or the accountants at Enron. But […]

A Passing Sunshine

Alarming, fascinating news concerning the persistence of memory: it doesn’t. Or rather, the mechanism appears to be different than we collectively assumed. This Ars Technica summary of the Science magazine article explains: Although transient memories are largely the product of chemical processes in the neurons of the brain, it has been thought that the long-term consolidation of memories involves […]

Neo-Victoria

The Gothamist describes a generation of “New Victorians” who are bringing long-lost habits of diligence, fidelity, and propriety to bear on their youths.  I wonder if they are also rediscovering Victorian sexual repression and colonialism. Regardless, I think this is fantastic news.  I’ve long predicted that America is on a bring of a neo-Victorian cultural revolution.  We […]

Writing for Fantasy Games

I recently attended a panel hosted by the International Game Developers Association on the topic of Writing for Fantasy Game Worlds.  It was an interesting event, with three very different perspectives on game writing: Daniel Greenberg, who has served as Creative Director for Turbine’s Lord of the Rings Online and whose Tolkein lore would best be […]