Eve Tushnet’s Great New Novel On Forgiveness And Addiction


Eve Tushnet, the author of Gay and Catholic, just released her second book!  Amends is a novel about addiction and forgiveness (and how both aren't things you can finish dealing with).  I just finished it myself, and I can't wait to be back in D.C. to convene my friends to talk about it (and read aloud some to the passages that were particularly profound and/or hilarious).  Here's how I reviewed it on Amazon: Eve's first novel is excellent. I read it for the first time on a plane and was sorely … [Read more...]

7QT: Innovation in Gross Robots and Stock Photos

(WNYC / flickr)

--- 1 --- If folks don't want to wait til next year to play in another Ideological Turing Test, one of the posters on LessWrong is running one on vegitarianism. Format is a little different -- you're asked to rate your confidence using numbers, rather than the categorical variables I usually use.Let me know if you notice anything about the way he's running his that you'd like me to adapt for mine! --- 2 --- And. speaking of adaptations, this was my favorite show mentioned in a big Fringe … [Read more...]

7QT: The Odder Errors of Computers and Humans

camera hat

--- 1 --- My family tends to share thoughts on the New Yorker caption contest every week, over email, when the magazine arrives (no wins yet!). But I didn't know that our entries might be being winnowed out by a computer.  BloombergBusiness has a nice feature on the Microsoft team working with the New Yorker cartoon editor to see if they can build a program that can tell the difference between funny captions and ones that fall flat. For the study, Shahaf fed cartoons and captions from the New Y … [Read more...]

Is “Kindness-Adjacent” A Useful Category?

(Wikimedia Commons)

Catherine Addington wrote a great piece on police brutality for AmCon (that happened to riff on one of my posts about unadvisable, rape-adjacent sex): Bland’s death remains under investigation, but the dashboard camera footage of her interaction with Encinia shows the escalation of a warning for the failure to signal into the forceful detention of an epileptic woman. Surprisingly, much of what occurred between Encinia and Bland appears to have been legal, if imprudent. Encinia’s tactics could be … [Read more...]

Positive Parenting and Pick Up Artistry

(Curtis Perry / Flickr)

Libby Anne of the Patheos Atheist channel is one of my favorite people to read on parenting, and I really enjoyed her recent post "When Positive Parenting Doesn't 'Work'"  I'm pulling a longer quote and I still feel bad about chopping up her story, so just pop over and read the whole thing.Simply put, here is a situation where I very badly wanted Bobby to sleep, and not a one of my positive parenting techniques was able to achieve that. And I thought about this, too, as I laid there trying to … [Read more...]

The Exuberance of Quotidian Goodness

Mama, don't your babies grow up to be Straw Paladins

In Sunday's Book Review, the NYT asked authors whether virtuous characters can ever be interesting. The first author came down firmly on the side of the villains, saying, "No one has ever preferred Amelia to Becky in “Vanity Fair,” or Melanie to Scarlett in “Gone With the Wind.”  But Alice Gregory, the second writer, said you can't do better than a good person if what you want is conflict.  The trick is remembering that the antagonist is the world. But as anyone who has earnestly attempted it wi … [Read more...]

Seeing the World Through Tammet’s Joy

thinking in numbers

Sometimes, when I have a book out from the library, I wind up buying it, and Daniel Tammet's Thinking in Numbers: On Life, Learning, Love, and Math is one that I ordered before I had finished reading it.  Tammet is on the autism spectrum, and his book's title pays homage to Temple Grandin's Thinking in Pictures, and its spirit is very Math Curse.Tammet has mathematical synesthesia, and there's a fun part in his autobiography Born on a Blue Day (which I got out from the library but felt less u … [Read more...]