Winter

“Winter” by Jason Felix I have two files labeled “Characters” and “Settings” where I dump a lot of the art I find. Flipping through those images later is great inspiration. Sometimes I take bit and pieces directly (and without shame — see Austin Kleon’s “Steal Like an Artist”), but many times the images spark a tangential idea. For example, while I do’t expect this is … Continue reading Winter

What do you call the end of the end? (the world since the Cold War)

I think a lot of the angst in the English-speaking world, from Trump to Brexit and everything in between, comes from the disillusionment that inevitably followed the unwarranted optimism of the early 21st century, by which I mean since 1989. For those who don’t follow history, generally scholars divide the modern era into a long 19th century, stretching from the French Revolution to the end … Continue reading What do you call the end of the end? (the world since the Cold War)

I’m in love with Schrödinger’s cat

While this is taken from the philosophy of G.W. Leibniz, it represents a kind of late-medieval/early-modern periodic table, with the four elements at the cardinal directions, and the four states between, along with their relations. What’s interesting is that we still believe in binary relations (attract or repel) and four fundamental states of matter; we just call them liquid, solid, gas, and plasma rather than … Continue reading I’m in love with Schrödinger’s cat

Why I don’t argue on the internet

Here the women met them, swords and axes in their hands, and with hideous shrieks of rage tried to drive back fugitives and pursuers alike, the fugitives as traitors, and the pursuers as foes; they mixed themselves up with the combatants, with bare hands tore away the shields of the Romans or grasped their swords, and endured wounds and mutilations… I recently discovered this quote … Continue reading Why I don’t argue on the internet

Why is there nothing to watch?

Most of us have had the experience, probably quite recently, of scrolling through literally hundreds of movies on Netflix and not being able to find a single thing. Last night I ended up switching to my cable company’s On Demand section and still came up empty. But then something interesting happened. On social media, a friend posted about an old B-movie he was watching, a … Continue reading Why is there nothing to watch?

Captain America & the Privilege of Compromise

The movieplex near my house employs a “voice of the theater,” who gives a series of announcements (in a pleasing tenor) before each feature. It being a holiday weekend, the Voice played a segment of the Gettysburg Address as I sat with my family waiting for Captain America: Civil War to start. I’ll admit, I felt a little stirring in the breast. And why shouldn’t … Continue reading Captain America & the Privilege of Compromise

In which I ramble about art & criticism

I feel like it should be kind of taboo for a writer to talk about the beta reading experience, except in very general ways. I mean, beta readers are giving up their free time — which I am certainly stingy with myself — to offer free criticism on a manuscript. And it’s absolutely vital, especially for people serious about achieving excellence. Given how reticent almost … Continue reading In which I ramble about art & criticism

How to Think About: Monogamy (and not be an idiot)

When we complain that people are generally bad at something, often we’re not saying they don’t understand it, as in they don’t understand it at all. What we’re saying is that they have missed (what appears to us as) a clear application, which is the mark of true understanding. Take stats. Most reasonably educated people understand what correlation is, or variance. They might be able … Continue reading How to Think About: Monogamy (and not be an idiot)