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Hussein Capture Unfairly Stigmatizes Holes, Say Hobbits

“A hole in the ground, like any other structurally engineered design, is just an artifact of human technology,” said Will Whitfoot, mayor of the town of Michel Delving and a spokesman for the hole-dwelling community of Hobbiton. “Like any tool or technological artifact, it has no moral imperative per se, but performs strictly according to the needs of its user.” –Hussein Capture Unfairly Stigmatizes Holes, Say Hobbits (Watley Review) Perfectly silly.

Autism and Interactive Fiction

Look at the room you’re in. Chances are it has thousands of objects in it. Imagine having to write a description of every single one of those objects and its relationship to every other. Eeeagh! Instead, you winnow it down to the objects you’ll actually need, plus a bit of scenery. In other words, the author does for the player what the autistic person is incapable of doing for himself.…

Animal magic of Rome's Colosseum underworld

Beneath the arena’s grandeur lay a netherworld of gladiatorial schools and storerooms, all linked by corridors filled with pulleys and levers, animal cages and gladiators. | The system was run by teams of slaves who faced being fed to the animals themselves if their timing went awry.-Michael Leidig –Animal magic of Rome’s Colosseum underworld (Sydney Morning Herald) Well, that’s one way to motivate your techies.

Danish writer cleared of 'scientific dishonesty'

Bjorn Lomborg, the author of a controversial book attacking the environment movement, was cleared yesterday of “scientific dishonesty” by the Danish science ministry. The ministry overturned a ruling in January by the Danish committee on scientific dishonesty (DCSD), part of the Danish Research Agency, that Mr Lomborg’s book The Skeptical Environmentalist was “clearly contrary to the standards of good scientific practice”. –Houlder and MacCarthy –Danish writer cleared of ‘scientific dishonesty’ (Financial…

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Signifyin' at the MLA

Thus we are pleased to announce the winners of The Chronicle’s First Annual Awards for Self-Consciously Provocative MLA Paper Titles (also known as the Provokies). All selections are cited as listed in the program for the 119th MLA Annual Convention, to be held this month in San Diego. (In other words, no paper titles were made up.)…[T]he judges quickly reached consensus on Most Provocative Panel Title: “Apertures and Orifices in…

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The Allegory of the Cave

But we have brought you into the world to be rulers of the hive, kings of yourselves and of the other citizens, and have educated you far better [520c] and more perfectly than they have been educated, and you are better able to share in the double duty. Wherefore each of you, when his turn comes, must go down to the general underground abode, and get the habit of seeing…

Let'sNaturalize Aesthetics

Evolutionary psychologists insist that wherever an intense pleasure is found in human life, there is likely some reproductive or survival advantage connected with it. Art has little practical value, but can deliver intense pleasure. Why? Aestheticians, please explain. –Denis Dutton –Let‘sNaturalize Aesthetics  (Aesthetics Online) Dutton is the creator of the monumental Arts & Letters Daily, which inspired me to blog shortly after I first encountered it in 1998.