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Entries Tagged as 'Language and Literature'

You Want Fries With That?

May 19th, 2009 · 22 Comments

Guesting over at Sully’s, Lane Wallace recounts how a crappy job taught him the value of a liberal arts education: In a flash, I grasped the true value of a college degree. It didn’t matter what I majored in. It didn’t even matter all that much what my grades were. What mattered was that I […]

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Tags: Academia · Art & Culture · Language and Literature

Morel’s Machine

April 24th, 2009 · 13 Comments

I recently discovered that one of my favorite films, Last Year at Marienbad, was inspired by Adolofo Bioy Casares’ novella The Invention of Morel. I use the term “inspired” here in the loosest possible sense, as the plots of the book and movie (to whatever extent it’s appropriate to describe the movie as having a […]

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Tags: General Philosophy · Language and Literature · Moral Philosophy

Inspiration

April 17th, 2009 · 6 Comments

Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee, 2002: You would like to place Zubaydah in a cramped confinement box with an insect. You have informed us that he appears to have a fear of insects. In particular, you would like to tell Zubaydah that you intend to place a stinging insect in the box with him. You […]

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Tags: Language and Literature · Obedience and Insubordination · War

A Quick Fringe Cipher Follow-Up

April 8th, 2009 · 35 Comments

At the end of the previous post, I mentioned a suspicion that merely deciphering the correspondences between the glyphs on Fringe and the letters they represent might not be the whole of the glyph puzzle. Being new to the show, I didn’t know a whole lot about it previously, but I did decide to poke […]

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Tags: Art & Culture · Journalism & the Media · Language and Literature

Solution to the Fringe Glyph Cipher

April 7th, 2009 · 277 Comments

Within the last week, two things happened: I finally got around to checking out the Fox show Fringe, the first season of which I noticed sitting tantalizingly in the Playstation Store, and my Ars colleague Erica Sadun wrote an article exploring all the delightful little Easter eggs sprinkled throughout the show. In particular she devotes […]

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Tags: Art & Culture · Language and Literature · Random Cool Link

Truth in Advertising

March 17th, 2009 · 4 Comments

Could he really have said this? Seriously? Here’s how George W. Bush recently explained his motivation for writing a book about his time in office, according to the AP: “I’m going to put people in my place, so when the history of this administration is written at least there’s an authoritarian voice saying exactly what […]

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Tags: Horse Race Politics · Language and Literature · Stupid Shit

Growing the Economy

February 11th, 2009 · 8 Comments

Earlier today, Americans for Tax Reform sent around a press release with some anti-“stimulus” talking points, and one bit of innocuous-looking phrasing jumped out at me: In fact, many economists – left, right, and center – believe that this spending package is wasteful and will not grow the economy. Years ago, when I worked at […]

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Tags: Economics · Language and Literature

Multimedia Dead Metaphors

December 24th, 2008 · 21 Comments

A thought stemming from a throwaway line in a post about something else over at Ars: Are we at the point yet of having developed multimedia dead metaphors? We’ve got tons of prose dead metaphors—expressions that started as evocative figures of speech but eventually lost any link to the original image they were supposed to […]

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Tags: Art & Culture · Language and Literature

Orwell in Bailoutland

December 15th, 2008 · 27 Comments

Oh, FireDogLake: Conservative ideologues looking to punish workers and the American middle class for auto industry failures are driven by an authoritarian worldview George Lakoff calls the strict parent model. Senate Republicans see their opposition to the rescue of Detroit as whipping the children. They are not that different from the failed father who thinks […]

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Tags: Economics · Language and Literature · Markets · Moral Philosophy

“The country is centrist”

November 1st, 2008 · 6 Comments

I feel like I’ve read that line a few times in the last week, as though it counted as some kind of empirical observation about the electorate. Isn’t it just, you know, a tautology?  France is “centrist” too, relative to the distribution of political opinion there. Update: A commenter suggests that “the country is centrist” […]

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Tags: Journalism & the Media · Language and Literature