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Superman Comic about Sympathy and Hope

Just in case someone out there could use it, here’s a powerful comic that emphasizes the power of sympathy (written by J. Michael Straczynski, creator of my second favorite TV show). No sunshine and rainbows, no victim-blaming, no finger-pointing — just humane compassion. (Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.) Superman on sympathy and hope

Chapbooks — the latest assignment in my “History and Future of the Book” class.

Students have already done a 400-word speech, a 400-word manuscript, and a 400-word typescript. I asked them to make multiple copies of their books. They wrote, cut, pasted, photocopied, folded, and bound. Our classroom today smelled cheerfully of glue.  Up next: A “Futuretext” (whatever that means).

2001: Stanley Kubrick’s Exasperating Masterpiece

Posting this mostly to prove that I can remain rational even when I encounter criticism of classic Star Trek, which certainly had its silly moments, but which offered many, many serious adult treatments of social issues. If you like your science fiction overlong and overserious, may I recommend Star Trek: The Motion Picture? 2001 is a completely different genre of science fiction. The docking waltz sequence is still striking and…

The Post-Coding Generation?

I knew the command line well, and very occasionally delved to snoop around at the level of machine code. My brother showed me how to hack a game by changing the last machine code the game executed before rejecting an incorrect password, creating a version of the program that only let you proceed if you guessed the password wrong. I wouldn’t have been able to do it by myself, but…

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What’s an environmental issue? — Gus Speth

I don’t know the provenance of this quote attributed to Gus Speth, which affirms the role of the humanities in a STEM-obsessed world, but I did find this interview, conducted by Steve Curwood. “You know, what’s an environmental issue?” And if the answer is air pollution, water pollution, climate change…then we’re really right where we’ve been. But what if an environmental issue is something that has a big effect on…