Why The Hobbit is better than Lord of the Rings

This is something I’ve felt strongly about for a long time, but I don’t think I’ve ever laid out my arguments in detail. Spoilers ahead! (Not that I imagine this blog has many reads for whom Hobbit/LotR spoilers are an issue.) [Read more…]

Communication skills

When I was younger, people told me about the importance of communication skills, and I sorta didn’t believe them. They sounded like mushy BS and like they weren’t actually about communicating, but just making people feel better. Since then, I’ve learned better. Communication skill are very important. And they’re actually about asking questions like: “Do [Read More…]

Why Daenerys, Ned, and Robb are jerks, and George R. R. Martin is awesome

SPOILER ALERT: I’ve read all the Song of Ice and Fire books, but only seen the first season of the Game of Thrones TV series based on them. I know roughly where in the plot of the books the TV show is, and I’ll try not to spoil anything past that point. [Read more…]

How do we go back to having movies that aren’t just copying last year’s movies?

A year ago, when reviewing Joss Whedon’s Avengers, I wrote: “Hollywood is now stuck in the trap of always trying to copy last year’s summer blockbuster (contrast Star Wars, which copied from many different sources spread out over several decades, plus Joseph Campbell.)” More recently, my impressions of Hollywood today were confirmed when I read [Read More…]

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality puzzle-solving post

If you haven’t read Eliezer Yudkowsky’s Harry Potter fanfic Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, I strongly recommend it. If you still need to read it, don’t read this post, because I’m going to spoil everything up through the currently-posted chapter (chapter 95), but if you have read it, read on. [Read more…]

Review: Man of Steel

I went into Man of Steel a little apprehensive. A lot of people I knew said they loved it, but a lot of the critics, apparently, hated it. But now that I’ve seen it, you can put me down firmly in the “loved it” column. [Read more…]

Star Trek Into Darkness was about as mediocre as I expected

I expected Star Trek Into Darkness to be at least mildly enjoyable. And it was in fact mildly enjoyable. Unfortunately, it also ends up less being a movie than a series of action scenes strung together by references to Trek lore that will only make sense to fans. [Read more…]

Star Trek’s reactionary take on human enhancement

Reading transhumaist fiction makes Star Trek look as reactionary as Lord of the Rings. All of Trek’s greatest villains are enhanced, while enhanced heroes are relegated to Token Orc status. [Read more…]

Another anti-Batman post (or: why I like graphic violence in my superhero comics)

I realize my last anti-Batman post was less than a month ago (see also: the original “Batman sucks” post), but this interview with Sam Harris has reminded me of another huge problem I have with Batman. First, from the interview: [Read more…]