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Screenplay Subtext

Taken in isolation, NO always means NO. But in a conversation, there is always a surrounding context for the use of the word “No.” In a routine conversation, we extrapolate or infer a ton of non-verbal information and automatically apply it to attempt to determine the “real” meaning. For example, let’s say I offer you a sandwich. You say “No.” Now, in isolation you’re refusing the offer of a sandwich…

We Are the Web

“Look,” I said. “I happen to know that the address www.abc.com has not been registered. Go down to your basement, find your most technical computer guy, and have him register www.abc.com immediately. Don’t even think about it. It will be a good thing to do.” They thanked me vacantly. I checked a week later. The domain was still unregistered. –Kevin Kelley –We Are the Web  (Wired) Vannevar Bush actually started…

1

Looking Like a Professor

My brother, a political scientist at a Scottish university, has always worn a coat and tie to class. “Why do you dress up like that?” I asked him once. I knew it didn’t relate to his teaching; he runs a very interactive classroom, with plenty of discussion and argument. He’s also a nice, laid-back guy. “I don’t know, “he said. “I like dressing up.” Weirdo. –James M. Lang –Looking Like…

Rome Ending Cobblestone Era

Fazio said there are only eight people left trained to hammer the stones into place, a task that requires considerable skill and, he says, “no little muscle,” while supplies of the cobblestones themselves have been stretched in recent years as the last workshops producing them closed down. The stones were produced from deposits of volcanic rock that once spewed from the hills around Rome. Though sampietrini that are removed are…

United States of America: Geography — Level 6

–United States of America: Geography — Level 6 (Sheppard Software) This is a Flash game that asks you to place each of the states on a map. My average error was 14 miles. (Hint: look at the rivers.) If you put a state in the right location, it disappears — which means it’s not visible to help you place the next state. If you get a state wrong, the outline appears…

Types of Stories My Mother Tells

Thursday on Oprah they were talking to bereaved parents and they had a mother on whose son swallowed a nail when he was two, but no one saw him do it, and I guess the thing just ripped him up from the inside over the course of a few days, and by the time she realized something was wrong and took him to the hospital it was too late, and…

2005 Faux Faulkner Winner

?Hello Georgie,? Condi said. ?Did you come to see Condi?? Condi rubbed my hair and it tickled. ?Dont go messing up his hair,? Dick said. ?Hes got a press conference in a few minutes.? Condi wiped some spit on her hand and patted down my hair. Her hand was soft and she smelled like Xerox copies coming right out of the machine. ?He looks just fine,? Condi said.–Sam Apple –2005…

Cybercreeps Run Amok: Internet Libertarians Should Learn Civil Discourse

The happiest and most peaceful parts of the World Wide Web are the places where people are buying things. The nasty parts of the Web are where people are doing what the Founding Surfers intended: expressing themselves and forming communities. [...] Having spent a decade working at the devil Microsoft and then at a big “old media” institution, the Los Angeles Times, I am amazed by the hostility that greets…