Category Archives: Uncategorized

Blah Blah Blah Trump Blah Blah Trump Blah Blah Blah

[Author’s Note: I’m not sure I ever posted this little comment on the Trump era, which I wrote back in March, during the health care fight. It might be buried somewhere in my earlier slew of Trump-themed screeds. Whatever; it … Continue reading

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What Camille Paglia Understands about Camille Paglia

I was amused by this profile of Camille Paglia in The Cut. Amused because it so perfectly exemplifies the way mainstream culture misapprehends her talents. But who is Camille Paglia, really? Camille Paglia the scholar is a fairly unremarkable stooge … Continue reading

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Down with Geeks!

(Author note. I published this elsewhere once. Might as well republish it here.) For several years, now, lefty cultural critic and man about the webs Freddie de Boer has been—how should I put this?—lamenting the laments of geek culture. His … Continue reading

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Smartphonies

Tim Wu, who writes often about technology, once suggested this thought experiment: A well-educated time traveller from 1914 enters a room divided in half by a curtain. A scientist tells him that his task is to ascertain the intelligence of … Continue reading

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You Won’t Believe My Take on Clickbait

So I was looking at the Slate homepage, and I was thinking, everybody knows, or intuits, or has in some way internalized the basic compositional principles of clickbait headlines. Right? You’ve got your straightforward tease. “You won’t believe this wacky … Continue reading

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Worlduilding, Nerdbusting, Etc.

Every moment of a science fiction story must represent the triumph of writing over worldbuilding. Worldbuilding is dull. Worldbuilding literalises the urge to invent. Worldbuilding gives an unnecessary permission for acts of writing (indeed, for acts of reading). Worldbuilding numbs … Continue reading

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Anguish Acquisition

Having children certainly inflects your experience in interesting ways. Before I had my son, I naively believed two things to be true: That children pick up language much more easily than adults. That this happens automatically, through some mysterious interplay … Continue reading

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How the Web Went Bad

(Author’s Note: Excerpts from this essay were published by the Baffler on … oh, at some point in the distant past; I can’t remember when. I’m putting the whole essay here because no one told me not to, and honestly, … Continue reading

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The Sorrows of Young Weev

Here’s Ethan Mills sending an open letter to his fellow “white dudes”: In the last 10-15 years the internet has weaponized fragile white masculinity in anonymous toxic discussion boards and comment sections as well as directed hate campaigns such as … Continue reading

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Trending Tendencies: An Empirical Parable

You read one day in the paper that more women are now enrolling in college than men. Not only that, but the gap is widening. What, you wonder, could be driving this trend? You consider a few possibilities. It could … Continue reading

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