Book Review: Brief Interviews with Hideous Men

Brief Interviews with Hideous Men

Brief Interviews with Hideous Men: Stories by David Foster Wallace (New York: Back Bay Books, 2007. 336 pp) Born in Ithaca, New York, David Foster Wallace was a regionally ranked junior tennis player in his youth. He earned a degree in English and Philosophy from Amherst College, winning the Gail Kennedy Memorial Prize. Later, he earned a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Arizona. Wallace taught literature at Emerson College, Illinois State University, and later became the Roy E. Disney Professor of Creative Writing and Professor of English at Pomona College. Over the course of his career, he earned a MacArthur Fellowship, the Aga Khan Prize for Fiction, and the Lannan Literary Award. Wallace died… Read More →

Properly Introduced: “Self-Interpreting Animals”

Human Agency and Language by Charles Taylor

“Self-Interpreting Animals” by Charles Taylor 1. Some of our emotions involve import-ascriptions; 2. Some of these imports are subject-referring; 3. Our subject-referring feelings are the basis of our understanding of what it is to be human; 4. These feelings are constituted by the articulations we come to accept of them; and 5. These articulations, which we can think of as interpretations, require language

Television Show Review: Sharp Objects

Sharp Objects

Sharp Objects created by Marti Noxon (HBO, Crazyrose, Fourth Born, Blumhouse Television) Starring Amy Adams, Patricia Clarkson, Eliza Scanlen, Chris Messina, Matt Craven, and Henry Czerny. Seeing My Parents in Me I often wonder how much of my parents are in me. Stated differently, when I react to certain stimuli, where do I end and where do my parents, grandparents, and beyond begin? Am I determined to repeat the same mistakes? Take the same paths? When I look at my kids, I can see certain tendencies and traits straight out of my playbook. Life almost feels like and endless loop at a photocopier, each reproduction a repetition of the one before it. I share more than a last name with… Read More →

Film Review: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri written and directed by Martin McDonagh (Blueprint Pictures, Film 4, Fox Searchlight Pictures, R, 115 min) Starring Frances McDormand, Caleb Landry Jones, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Abbie Cornish, and Peter Dinklage. On Magnetism The term magnetic paints an evocative picture about a personality. From a young age, magnetism draws puerile fascination. Magnets make scientists out of us all. We place them farther and farther apart hoping to see where the magical pull finally loses its sway. We change dimension, trying to understand how a magnet can pull against gravity as an equal and opposite force. We add velocity to magnets, hoping to understand whether inertia holds more influence than the force clamping the magnets together…. Read More →

Book Review: Conversational Design

Conversational Design by Erika Hall

Conversational Design by Erika Hall (New York: A Book Apart, 2018. 134 pp) Erika Hall has been working in web design and development since the late twentieth century. In 2001, she cofounded Mule Design Studio, where she leads the strategy consulting practice. Her enthusiasm for evidence-based decision-making led her to write Just Enough Research. She speaks frequently to international audiences on topics ranging from collaboration and design research to effective interface language. Her current talks explore the limits of using quantitative data to make design decisions. Computer Talk It feels like a couple of years ago society hit a fulcrum, and conversation shifted dramatically. Where communication between people often occurred verbally, communication with machines happened largely through code or writing…. Read More →