‘Belonging Is Stronger Than Facts’: The Age of Misinformation

As much as we like to think of ourselves as rational beings who put truth-seeking above all else, we are social animals wired for survival. In times of perceived conflict or social change, we seek security in groups. And that makes us eager to consume information, true or not, that lets us see the world as a conflict putting our righteous ingroup against a nefarious outgroup. […] Framing everything as…

Why do journalists use “allegedly” when they report on obvious crimes captured on video?

Look at this picture. A guy in a uniform obviously has his hands around a kid’s neck. Why would Business Insider use the word “allegedly” to describe what seems like a pretty obvious assault? If you are Young Sesame Chicken, what makes the Business Insider post worth sharing is the contrast between the mealy-mouthed headline and the powerful image. Why don’t journalists just call it abuse? Why soften the report…

Qpid (#ST:TNG Rewatch, Season 4, Episode 20) Q and Vash and Robin Hood, Somehow

Rewatching ST:TNG Who doesn’t like seeing stuffy Picard react to the quirky mayhem caused by the unpredictable Q? Who didn’t like seeing stuffy Picard react to the quirky mayhem caused by the unpredictable Vash? Certainly not the cigar-chomping network executive who burst into the TNG writers’ room and barked, “I want a Vash and Q mash-up script on my desk by 9am tomorrow or you’re all going back on the…

30 years later, Sierra’s Laura Bow mysteries are still a treasure

When I was in college and grad school, a couple of times of year I would stay with my sister in her apartment for a long weekend, and we would splurge on junk food (often Keebler Fudge Sticks) and video games (often the latest Sierra title). I remember playing The Colonel’s Bequest in my senior year in college, and The Dagger of Amon Ra while I was in Toronto getting…

Parchmap – Interactive Fiction with automapping, autocomplete, navigation, note taking, and more

Parchmap is a wonderful expansion to the interactive fiction player Parchment. It adds a visual auto-mapper to Infocom-style games, including those created with Inform 7. You can jot notes on the map, too! My own 2001 IF-Comp entry, “Fine-Tuned: An Auto-mated Romance,” is one of the 217 stories available on the Parchmap site.