August 29, 2006

Your subconscious is smarter than your stupid brain.


August 24, 2006

Awesome usb-powered bbq. I’m sure it’s designed for apt. dwellers.

August 22, 2006

If Chaucer had a blog today. My favorite entry so far: Serpentes on a Shippe!

August 22, 2006

When computers were human. Interesting book, but the title sounds like a 50s sci-fi movie.

August 22, 2006

Tips on preparing a public speech.

August 22, 2006

The art of subways.

August 21, 2006

When zombies attack, make sure you’re prepared.

August 18, 2006

Today’s quote, in an occasional series (from Bill Murray):

I’m basically lazy. I work really hard when I work, but I try to avoid work.

August 16, 2006

Pluto still a planet, though just barely: Astronomers have proposed changes to the international system that define a new category of planets known as plutons. There has been fierce debate over whether or not Pluto should retain its status ever since other similar objects have been discovered in the solar system. Astronomers will vote on the proposed changes.

Hey, ID people – this is an example of a real controversy in science, as trivial as it may seem. In other words, it’s a controversy that is actually debated within the scientific community because of the merits of the scientific arguments. IDers, of course, think they should have their non-scientific arguments debated on the same level.

August 16, 2006

Orwell’s motivations for writing:

1. Sheer egoism. Desire to seem clever, to be talked about, to be remembered after death, to get your own back on the grown-ups who snubbed you in childhood, etc., etc. It is humbug to pretend this is not a motive, and a strong one. Writers share this characteristic with scientists, artists, politicians, lawyers, soldiers, successful businessmen — in short, with the whole top crust of humanity. The great mass of human beings are not acutely selfish. After the age of about thirty they almost abandon the sense of being individuals at all — and live chiefly for others, or are simply smothered under drudgery. But there is also the minority of gifted, willful people who are determined to live their own lives to the end, and writers belong in this class. Serious writers, I should say, are on the whole more vain and self-centered than journalists, though less interested in money .
2. Aesthetic enthusiasm. Perception of beauty in the external world, or, on the other hand, in words and their right arrangement. Pleasure in the impact of one sound on another, in the firmness of good prose or the rhythm of a good story. Desire to share an experience which one feels is valuable and ought not to be missed. The aesthetic motive is very feeble in a lot of writers, but even a pamphleteer or writer of textbooks will have pet words and phrases which appeal to him for non-utilitarian reasons; or he may feel strongly about typography, width of margins, etc. Above the level of a railway guide, no book is quite free from aesthetic considerations.
3. Historical impulse. Desire to see things as they are, to find out true facts and store them up for the use of posterity.
4. Political purpose — using the word “political” in the widest possible sense. Desire to push the world in a certain direction, to alter other peoples’ idea of the kind of society that they should strive after. Once again, no book is genuinely free from political bias. The opinion that art should have nothing to do with politics is itself a political attitude.