End of the World

In my last post I briefly mocked Harold Bloom for predicting the end of good literature. To some extent I just wanted to make a pun on his name (“Harold of the Apocalypse”), but I also think that doomsaying is fascinating phenomenon while simultaneously a sort of cognitive fallacy. Whether people predict the whole kit […]

The Quality of Writing

In 2003, a surprisingly short decade ago, the National Book Foundation gave the award for “distinguished contribution” to Stephen King. Harold Bloom, the well-known literary critic and professor, was so infuriated that he wrote a the column in the Boston Globe decrying the “Dumbing Down of American Readers.” Now its easy for me to call […]

Issues of Copyright

Copyright law is frustrating because it is both a space where government policy and current discourse fail to understand the realities of modern technology and also a space that is actively manipulated by large corporations. It’s ethically problematic, because its not clearly benign the way gay marriage is, but its also not harmful the way […]

Movie Review: Looper

[Spoiler Alert: I don’t actually describe the plot in detail, but I might give away some things] A couple years ago a movie came out called Priest. It was a crappy action movie that was at turns hilarious, fun, incoherent, and bizarre in a way that was sad, unpleasant, and fascinating, like a frog with six legs. […]

The Neurological Turn

There’s been a something of a neuroscience fad going around the popular science world. A reasonable example that I found recently is Why God Won’t Go Away: Brain Science and Biology of Belief, which claimed to show how the brain is set up to accept religion. This sounded compelling, but by the time I was a […]

Review: Coriolanus

I recently watched the curious movie adaptation of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus. The fascinating thing is that they attempt to keep to Shakespeare’s dialogue with a play set in a modern context. The truly remarkable thing is that it works. The dialogue actually fits with the modern setting. The setting chosen was a “country that called itself ‘Rome.’” […]