Culture

Category archives for Culture

On Multitasking

After chasing a bunch of kids with cell phones off of his lawn, Kevin Drum has kicked off a discussion of “multitasking”, specifically about whether it’s merely a threat, or a positive menace. He points to an interview with Clifford Nass, a researcher who says his experiments show that nobody is any good at doing…

Advertising Reveals Our Culture

I’ve been watching a lot of basketball lately, and between the channel-flipping and occasional single-game windows, it has not been possible to use the DVR to avoid seeing commercials. Which means I’ve seen a lot of the current paradigm of advertising in America, which seems to consist of two main modes: Smug and “dickish”: The…

Everybody Thinks Scientifically

Everybody’s favorite science blogger did a podcast with Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and has been posting highlights of it. One of these, on scientific thinking, has a bit that I don’t quite agree with. Tyson says: I think the, if it were natural to think scientifically, science as we currently practice it would have been going…

I’m taking some flak in the comments to yesterday’s book recommendation request post, so let me illustrate what I meant with an example. Lots of people recommended the Andrew Lang Fairy books, which are freely available online. I looked at the first story in the first book, which is plenty entertaining, but also has this…

People Dancing

I’ve been watching the Al Jazeera English livestream off and on this week to keep up with events in Egypt. At some point, SteelyKid came in while I had it on, saw shots of the cheering crowds from Tuesday, and said “People dancing!” Sometime on Wednesday, she marched over to me, and demanded to watch…

I’m about halfway through Jo Walton’s Among Others, a fantasy novel set in Britain in 1979, featuring an unhappy teenage girl who finds relief in reading science fiction and fantasy, and becoming involved with SF fandom. It’s getting rave reviews from a lot of the usual sources, and the concept sounded interesting, so I grabbed…

Winter Poll: “Bitter” Cold

A seasonally appropriate poll, brought to you by this morning’s frigid dog walk (15F/ -9C), and the memory of a newscast back when I was in Maryland that referred to an overnight low temperature of 22F/-6C as “Bitter, bitter cold”: The maximum (daytime high) temperature I would characterize as “bitter cold” would be:survey software For…

Bad Words and Great Books

There’s a new wrinkle in the endless controversy about Huckleberry Finn, with NewSouth Books preparing an expurgated edition replacing “nigger” with “slave” throughout. Sentiment in the parts of the Internet I frequent is mostly against the change, which has been made with the goal of getting it back on high school reading lists, which it…

Humor Matters

What with one thing and another, I forgot to tag anything for the links dump yesterday, which means no links dump this morning. But that’s all right, because Fred Clark’s post about humorless prigs deserves a more prominent link. The proximate cause is yet another story about a crazy religious group working themselves into a…

2010: The Year in Blog

Because I’m sure everybody is as fascinated by blog stats as I am, here’s the traffic to this blog for 2010, in graphical form: In case you can’t numerically integrate that in your head, I’ll tell you that the total number of pageviews represented there is a bit more than 908,000. We have yet to…