art, language, literature, philosophy, writing

Maybe Infinite Jest is About Addiction

And so but I've been re-reading Infinite Jest in this strange, almost purely subconscious way, where I take on just a few pages (seriously, like 2-3 pages) every night right before sleeping. I've done the calculations, and so you don't have to tell me it will literally take years to finish it this way. I'm… Continue reading Maybe Infinite Jest is About Addiction

Advertisements
art, language, literature, philosophy

Literature is for the Other

I've decided to end my silence by responding to a recent Tor article by Liz Bourke entitled Sleeps With Monsters: On the Question of Quality. I have one main beef with it, and it comes as a fundamental misunderstanding of the importance of literature. But before I get to that, I want to address a… Continue reading Literature is for the Other

language, literature, philosophy

Critical Postmodern Readings, Part 3: Baudrillard

Jean Baudrillard is one of those postmodernist philosophers that people can name but probably don't know much about. He's most famous for his work Simulacra and Simulation, in which he argues we've replaced everything real in our society by symbols (more on this later). If you're thinking of the movie The Matrix, then you've understood. That movie gets… Continue reading Critical Postmodern Readings, Part 3: Baudrillard

ethics, language, literature, philosophy

Critical Postmodern Readings, Part 2: Finishing Lyotard

Last time we looked at the introduction to Lyotard's The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge. That introduction already contained much of what gets fleshed out in the rest of the short book, so I'm going to mostly summarize stuff until we hit anything that requires serious critical thought. The first chapter goes into how computers… Continue reading Critical Postmodern Readings, Part 2: Finishing Lyotard

art, language, literature, philosophy

Critical Postmodern Readings, Part 1: Lyotard

I'm over nine years into this blog, so I think most readers know my opinions and worldview on many issues in philosophy. I roughly subscribe to a Bayesian epistemology, and in practical terms this amounts to something like being a rational humanist and skeptic. I believe there is an objective world and science can get… Continue reading Critical Postmodern Readings, Part 1: Lyotard

ethics, literature, math, philosophy, statistics

The Infinite Cycle of Gladwell’s David and Goliath

I recently finished reading Malcolm Gladwell's David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants. The book is like most Gladwell books. It has a central thesis, and then interweaves studies and anecdotes to make the case. In this one, the thesis is fairly obvious: sometimes things we think of as disadvantages have hidden… Continue reading The Infinite Cycle of Gladwell’s David and Goliath

ethics

Five Predictions for a Trump Presidency

I thought I'd write this post so it's on the record. Here's five predictions for the Trump presidency. These are merely things he's been telling us he will do. I hope I eat my words in four years. The number of uninsured will skyrocket.  He has said he will repeal the Affordable Care Act on… Continue reading Five Predictions for a Trump Presidency