Well, whaddya know? Turns out there are advantages to retreating from the frenzy of politics and pursuing beauty as an end in itself.
I review Michael Pollan's popular book on food production and going local, and reflect on the merits of his proposal.
What is the purpose of blogging? Should you get into it? In short: (1) it is better than social media and (2) one of the best ways for us to cultivate the Internet for future generations.
Traveling to the nearest star would require a generation ship. Can such a thing be done? As sci-fi author Kim Stanley Robinson explains with alacrity and precision, no, it can't.
Why is 'Frankenstein' considered the mother of the genre? How did we go from seeing so many utopian stories to dystopian ones? Where did the word "robot" come from? Will SF ever be recognized as "true" literature?
Social media taps into our common need to feel connected. But it also adds something unique: a metrics-driven design that can easily turn us inward rather than outward.
Best-selling author Yuval Harari recently claimed that free will is a myth, humans are more hackable than ever before, and religion has no place in addressing the scientific and technological challenges of the future. Here's why he's wrong.
Historian Yuval Noah Harari does not believe religion has anything relevant to say about the technological challenges of the future. His argument reminds me of a passage from an award-winning novel that suggests otherwise.
Recently I was reading about medieval privacy in Barbara Tuchman's 'A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century' when I began to see a series of privacy-related stories pop up in the news. Around the same time, I was starting a writing project at work related to the European Union General Data Protection Regulation, a new privacy law with wide-ranging implications for businesses and consumers. I started to wonder: how does medieval privacy compare to privacy today? Does the contrast between the two teach us anything interesting or valuable about modern privacy? Is what we have today really "better"?
Arbortext Editor is a software program that lets you do "structured writing"---a special kind of writing in which every piece of content you compose follows one or more predefined rules. In theory this helps writers to develop consistent, high-quality content. The problem is that the tool has a lot of serious shortcomings. Here's my wishlist of things to improve.