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Has life in the age of casual magic made moviegoers numb to the amazing?

This is one of the reasons I’ve become more interested in local theater. The dropped lines, unexpected blackouts, and last-minute casting replacements are what makes it so much more engaging to me than a slick professional production. Avatar left me completely numb… yes the visuals were stunning, but I feel much more connected to fantasy characters in a BBC-TV video production from the 1980s. We are living in an age…


The Pointlessness of Unplugging

What sex was for the Puritans, technology has become for us. We’ve focussed our collective anxiety on digital excess, and reconnecting with the “real” world around us represents one effort to control it. | And yet the “real” world, like the “real” America, is an insidious idea. It suggests that the selves we are online aren’t authentic, and that the relationships that we forge in digital spaces aren’t meaningful. […]…

Raph Koster

Mailbag: breaking in again » Raph’s Website

Good advice from Raph Koster to someone who wants to break into the game design business. The advice goes for writers, performers, and anyone creative. The way to better your chances at landing a creative job is to create. See, the filter here that many employers will use is “motivation.” Games are hot now, and everyone says they want to be in the industry. But given that there’s no huge…


‘Snowplow parents’ may be trapping their children

The passing agonies of the everyday are shared quickly and easily — texts about a disappointing grade, photos of a roommate’s overflowing garbage, tweets about the heat in a dorm room. The instantaneous nature of the complaints can give the impression that only an immediate solution will do. And some students relying on their phones, with their parents at the other end, are losing the opportunity to stop and think,…


Remember Who The Enemy Is

Good article on Catching Fire. (I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I like this analysis.) The personal is political because there is no personal. There is no private realm to retreat into. Haymitch tells Katniss and Peeta that they will never get off the train – meaning that the reality TV parts they are required to play will continue until their deaths. It’s all an act, but there’s no…


Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming

Neil Gaiman tells us why books matter: When you watch TV or see a film, you are looking at things happening to other people. Prose fiction is something you build up from 26 letters and a handful of punctuation marks, and you, and you alone, using your imagination, create a world and people it and look out through other eyes. You get to feel things, visit places and worlds you…

Standardized Testing

An Opt Out Letter That Speaks to All Parents

One household notifies the authorities that their son will no longer be participating in state-mandated high-stakes testing, citing the impact it has on the child. Here is an excerpt from the letter, as published by Education Roundtable. Students – who mature at vastly different paces – should not ever be measured by a mass-produced blunt instrument. I will no longer allow our son to be a part of this mythological…