7 Quick Takes (5/10/13)

electric wires warning

--- 1 --- If I kept a gratitude journal, I'd start every day's entry with "I am grateful I'm not in law school."  (I hear all the cool parts from my law schools friends or Law and the Multiverse, anyway).  But, after seeing beckwithmw's visualization of thesis length by subject, I'm prepared to add my non-attendance at a lot more grad schools to a daily litany of thanks. --- 2 --- The tails and travails of my friends were enough to keep me safe from these grad schools, but, if I noticed my w … [Read more...]

The Self-Inflicted Wound of the Torturer

mideval rack

In C.S. Lewis's Of Other Worlds, most of the selections in the book are critical essays, but there a few pieces of fiction included, one of which is a never completed novel that C.S. Lewis meant to write about Menelaus and Helen during and after the Trojan War.  In the excerpt below, Menelaus stops fantasizing about torturing Helen if he regains her. [H]e wouldn't torture her.  He saw that was nonsense.  Torture was all very well for getting information; it was no real use for revenge.  All peop … [Read more...]

A new forum for Catholic/Atheist dialogue

strange notions

Brandon Vogt, author of The Church and New Media has opened a new site called Strange Notions, that's meant to be a forum for debate and discussion between Catholics and atheists.  For some reason, it seemed like the readers of this blog might be interested.  Here's how Brandon describes the site (and explains the name): StrangeNotions.com is designed to be the central place of dialogue between Catholics and atheists. The implicit goal is to bring non-Catholics to faith, especially followers of … [Read more...]

Highly Speculative Love Affairs

zero gravity wedding

In the collection of C.S. Lewis essays I finished recently(Of Other Worlds), one of the selections ("Unreal Estates") is the transcript of a discussion between Lewis, Kingsley Amis, and Brian Aldiss on genre literature, among other topics.  At one point in the conversation, the following exchange appears: Lewis: By the way, has any science fiction writer succeeded in inventing a third sex? Apart from the third sex we all know. Amis: Clifford Simak invented a set-up where there were seven … [Read more...]

7 Quick Takes (5/13/13)

malificent stand in

--- 1 --- The theme for the week is technology solving problems you didn't know you had.  For example, did you realize you needed a site that could rerhythmatize songs to a swing beat?  Now your friends can listen to songs they already like while you teach them the basic and underarm turns. --- 2 --- And this interactive illustration of different search algorithms is also a nice way to give novices a user-friendly intro to a delightful subject. --- 3 --- I don't have any friends who are any … [Read more...]

An Apologia for Tentavism

hold lightly

I tend to rag on postmodernism leading to relativism, so, to see a much more charitable description, you should pop over to Christian H's blog to read his apologia. [O]ne of the recurrent complaints my peers and I had about some of our English Masters classes was that, at the end of it all, we were afraid of making any positive statements. All we were doing was problematizing. But when all positive statements seem to do damage (to women, to Asian Canadian populations, to First Nations p … [Read more...]

Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast

amazing stories cover

There's always been more fiction than explicit philosophy on this blog and, in C.S. Lewis's Of Other Worlds: Essays and Stories, he puts his finger on why I like sidling up on meaning of life questions in this way.  Lewis is discussing various subtypes of science fiction -- starting with the ones where plot and character take a back seat to the author showing you a clever engineering problem and ending up here: In all these the impossibility is, as I have said, a postulate. Something to be g … [Read more...]


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