Humanities

Category archives for Humanities

(This post is part of the new round of interviews of non-academic scientists, giving the responses of George Farrants, a freelance translator (and occasional marathon runner, as seen in the picture). The goal is to provide some additional information for science students thinking about their fiuture careers, describing options beyond the assumed default Ph.D.–post-doc–academic-job track.)…

One of the interesting things about reading David Kaiser’s How the Hippies Saved Physics was that it paints a very different picture of physics in the mid-1970’s than what you usually see. Kaiser describes it as a very dark time for young physicists, career-wise. He doesn’t go all that deeply into the facts and figures…

More on Divided by Infinity

I had intended last Wednesday’s post on the Many-Worlds variant in Robert Charles Wilson’s Divided by Infinity to be followed by a post on the other things I said when I did a guest lecture on it for an English class. What with one thing and another, though, I got a little distracted, and I’m…

Calendrical Innovation

Union operates on a trimester calendar, with three ten-week terms (September-November, January-March, April-June), rather than the two 14-15 week semesters used by most other colleges and universities. This has some advantages in terms of flexibility– even science and engineering students get to take terms abroad, which is harder to swing in a semester system– and…

You Will Never Die

If I ever decided to abandon any pretense of integrity or credibility, and just shoot for making a bazillion dollars peddling quantum hokum, the particular brand of quantum philosophy I would peddle has already been laid out, in Robert Charles Wilson’s Divided by Infinity. In the story, the narrator is given a copy of a…

Short Story Club 2: The Locussing

For both of the readers who enjoyed last fall’s Short Story Club, there’s another round starting up soon, this time run by Locus, featuring award-nominated works. I’m busier now than I was in the fall, so I’m not sure I’ll be able to participate in all of these, but then, I’ve already read two of…

One of the perils of book reviewing, or any other form of literary analysis is putting more thought into some aspect of a book than the author did. It’s one of the aspects of the humanities aide of academia that, from time to time, strains my ability to be respectful of the scholarly activities of…

Advancing by Subtracting

I’ve got draft versions of all the chapters of the book-in-progress now, which is great. Of course, when you add up all the words in those chapters, it comes to 92,000, when the contract calls for 70,000. Which means I’ve entered the part of the writing process where progress is measured not by how many…

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…

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…