The Strange Uniformity of Madness

After coming across some references to Posadism, I recently got sucked into the art and philosophy of the ectocultures (my term). I don’t mean the Occupy movement or Anonymous, but the real deviants, people who either were (or maybe should have been) institutionalized. There is almost no coherent categorization, except that they’re all highly conspiratorial, anti-rational, and often invoke alien or demonic powers (or both). … Continue reading The Strange Uniformity of Madness

A Case Study in Post-Factualism

In case you haven’t heard, The History Channel recently aired a documentary suggesting that Amelia Earhart survived her trek across the Pacific. The evidence was based mostly on a photograph, recently discovered in the National Archives (where it had apparently been misfiled), showing a woman with an appearance similar to Earhart’s sitting on a dock watching a boat haul a plane that also looked a … Continue reading A Case Study in Post-Factualism

Your Brain is Not a Computer

This is a wonderful, lucid, and short essay on the fundamental flaw of contemporary cognitive science written by a preeminent psychologist. The empty brain: Your brain does not process information, retrieve knowledge or store memories. In short: your brain is not a computer Philosophy of mind, particularly human judgment and decision-making, is a big interest of mine. I’ve said repeatedly, as the author does, that … Continue reading Your Brain is Not a Computer

Can We Escape Genre?

Like branding, genre is an extended phenotype of our genetics. Humans need to be able to make sense of the world, so the brain developed a small armamentarium of “noise-reduction” shortcuts, almost none of which are aiming at what is really out there since “what is really out there” includes the rigidly uncertain and indeterminably cross-categorizable. At some point in our evolution, the brain hit … Continue reading Can We Escape Genre?

Zombies, Werewolves, and One Bad Apple: How societies reflect fear

Just as chefs innovate for a repetition-weary palate, so too I try to offer today’s sophisticated readers something novel for their money. Turns out entertaining you all is hard when everything’s been done. When inspiration fails — which is most of the time (don’t wait for it) — my weapon of choice is INVERSION. I take something you know and turn it on its head. … Continue reading Zombies, Werewolves, and One Bad Apple: How societies reflect fear

Fetishism and History

the pulitzer prize-winning historian david hackett fischer once lampooned pop history writers and even some of his colleagues with the title of a paper on historical fallacies called ‘Dear Diary, the Hundred Years’ War Started Today…’ (if you don’t get the joke, you are not qualified to speak on any historical subject. ever.) people love to opine. i’m doing it right now! and when their … Continue reading Fetishism and History