Stanford to offer new undergraduate majors integrating humanities, computer science

Training humanists who can code like a techie and engineers who can dream like a poet. Well played, Stanford! “We’re also seeing students who want to balance their academic passions with pragmatic considerations about their career development, and this kind of program addresses that need. The intellectual landscape is changing, and the workplace landscape is changing. We’re looking to help cultivate, and provide academic structure for, a new generation of…


Justin Bieber and the Beatles: They both liked to rhyme the same words.

A good example of a computer-native, data-driven news feature, which Slate calls an “interactive.” Apparently using the adjective “interactive” as a noun is now a thing, according to Slate. While most artists draw from a common bank of rhymes and use the same rhymes frequently, there are some artists who appear to go out of the way to avoid common couplets or rhyming in general. Queen only used do/you as…


Learn to code? No: Learn a real language

I don’t see learning to code as a substitute for learning another human language. True, computer programming is learning a “foreign language” in the sense that you are trying to map how you give instructions in your native tongue to how a digital recipient recognizes what you’re trying to say in its highly structured vocabulary and syntax. That’s great for honing logical thinking, accomplishing tasks and maybe even making a…


The Real Reason Why You Can’t Write

Have you ever stopped to think about what you believe about yourself as a writer? Have you ever considered what you believe about the work you produce? Your beliefs run the show, usually subconsciously. And if they’re limiting or negative beliefs, they’ll stop that show dead in its tracks. You believe certain theories about why you suffer from wanting desperately to write but are unable to. Each writer has their…

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Robots Are Coming for Our Poems

The robots are quickly and surely coming for our jobs, and we’ve comforted ourselves thus far with a palliative that goes something like this: They can’t do our creative work. They won’t do our journalism or make our art or write our poetry. Except that the startup Narrative Science has $6 million to execute its human-free reporting, I’ve seen firsthand an automated 3D printer artistically render the apocalypse, and now,…


Alice in Quantumland: A Charming Illustrated Allegory of Quantum Mechanics by a CERN Physicist

Alice in Quantumland: An Allegory of Quantum Physics is absolutely fantastic in its entirety, certain to engage the simultaneous states of entertainment and education with unequaled grace. Complement it with scientists’ answers to little kids’ questions about how the world works, then bend your mind by considering what it’s like to live in a universe of ten dimensions. For a look at how physicists’ understanding of the field has evolved…


International Studies Association proposes to bar editors from blogging

“I think it’s a really strange proposal in 2014,” said Stephen M. Saideman, a professor at Carleton University in Canada and one of many political science scholars who assailed the policy on social media. “I would have expected it in 2006.” Faculty members, several outside the field of international studies, said the proposal is simultaneously too broad and too narrow. Some pointed out that, as written, the proposal could be…