Some fairy tales may be 6000 years old

Fairy tales are transmitted through language, and the shoots and branches of the Indo-European language tree are well-defined, so the scientists could trace a tale’s history back up the tree—and thus back in time. If both Slavic languages and Celtic languages had a version of Jack and the Beanstalk (and the analysis revealed they might), for example, chances are the story can be traced back to the “last common ancestor.”…

Facebook Finally Rolls Out ‘Disputed News’ Tag Everyone Will Dispute

Anybody seen a post tagged this way? If so, I’d welcome a screenshot. On Friday, Facebook debuted its new flagging system for fake news in America, tagging hoax stories as “disputed” for some users. First announced amid criticism of the company for its role in spreading misinformation during the 2016 election, the new feature uses non-partisan third parties to assess the factual accuracy of stories reported as fake by users.…

As CRT Supplies Vanish the Classic Arcade Machine is Virtually Dead

If you understand the environment in which medieval scholars created and used books, you can better appreciate why medieval books look and function the way they do. Understanding the cultural impact of computers requires us to study the development of both hardware and technology. Playing a text adventure game on an iOS device is convenient, but does not capture the physicality of the original games, with their instruction manuals (often…

1

“The Nightmare of Prince Prezelsky”

Leigh, Peter, Carolyn and I had fun recording “The Nightmare of Prince Prezelsky” for WAOB Audio Theatre’s “All for One Stories.” (Peter plays the prince, Carolyn narrates, and my wife and I are among the servants. The full 9-minute story is online.) Prince Prezelsky needs to fight a dragon to keep his kingdom safe. But he doesn’t want to! Find out how his servants convince him to take on the…

Why Shouting Down Speakers Is Absolutely Wrong

Wilson offers a good explanation of the position that shouting down speakers is not a form of constitutionally-protected speech. Such arguments are especially important on college campuses, where it’s the job of students to engage with new ideas — even uncomfortable ones; and the job of faculty members to equip students with the critical thinking skills they’ll need in order to recognize, and reject, fallacious arguments in the outside world…