Search found 137 matches

by caliban
Thu Jul 26, 2007 6:22 pm
Forum: The Poetry and Prose of Science and Science Fiction
Topic: Creationism, Intelligent Design, and Evolution
Replies: 33
Views: 127459

The resistance of humans to evidence never ceases to amaze and frighten me. In actuality, the "debate" over evolution and other non-controversies such as global warming usually have little to do with evidence. Instead they are really debates over colliding master narratives. In every case of creati...
by caliban
Tue Jul 24, 2007 1:03 am
Forum: Literature and Cinema
Topic: J K Rowling and the Cauldron of Critics
Replies: 18
Views: 76967

Harry Potter and the Parodic Titles

Half-way through, a bit punch-drunk from randomly scattered punctuations (but brush them away and there are occasional bits of beauty as well as truly surprising plot twists), I came up with a parlor game: make minor revision to the titles of the Harry Potter books that totally deflate them: Harry P...
by caliban
Sun Jul 22, 2007 11:18 am
Forum: Literature and Cinema
Topic: J K Rowling and the Cauldron of Critics
Replies: 18
Views: 76967

Re: Colonoscopy

I'll venture one guess... the ending leaves room for more books! Don't know yet. Haven't finished. I won't spoil it either. That's the fun of the books--the narrative drive. I think Rowling understands that. She doesn't seem to see herself as a Great Artist, but a writer of a Jolly Good Read, save ...
by caliban
Sat Jul 21, 2007 7:24 pm
Forum: Literature and Cinema
Topic: J K Rowling and the Cauldron of Critics
Replies: 18
Views: 76967

Colonoscopy

We've got the last book. We're reading it aloud. No spoilers here. And again there could be trimming. I notice Rowling frequently feels the need to dramatize each step of a journey when she could just cut to the chase by the Death-Eaters. But the most irritating thing is here punctuation. Almost eve...
by caliban
Fri Jul 20, 2007 12:10 pm
Forum: Musings and Chats
Topic: Is the web the solution or the problem?
Replies: 5
Views: 24380

Is the web the solution or the problem?

I just ran across this article which elucidates something which has bothered me for some time: the downside of the democritization of the internet, or, as one author puts it, "The Cult of the Amateur." Namely, is the explosion of blogs, on-line comments, and even, dear friends, discussion groups lik...
by caliban
Thu Jul 19, 2007 2:37 pm
Forum: Literature and Cinema
Topic: J K Rowling and the Cauldron of Critics
Replies: 18
Views: 76967

Harry Potter and the 10,000 page finale

Much of the problem lies in the geometric growth of the books. From the first three books alone I drew a curve and projected book 7 to be between ten and thirteen thousand pages in length. Of course, Amazon.com would have had to level to original Amazon forest to print such a text.... In retrospect,...
by caliban
Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:45 am
Forum: Literature and Cinema
Topic: J K Rowling and the Cauldron of Critics
Replies: 18
Views: 76967

J K Rowling and the Cauldron of Critics

J K. Rowling and the Cauldron of Criticism : An essay The last Harry Potter book is almost out—and so are the critics’ knives, such as this blog denouncing Rowling for “toxic” prose, following in the footsteps of A S Byatt who in 2003 declared adults who read the Potterverse as having “stunted imag...
by caliban
Sun Jun 17, 2007 12:15 am
Forum: Literature and Cinema
Topic: Fantasy universes and worlds
Replies: 40
Views: 134987

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov ...is a multi-layered saga influenced by Goethe's Faust that can be read as satire, myth, allegory, Bildungroman. The Devil is a central character . I certainly second Bulgakov. Recently it was made into a hugely successful miniseries on Russian TV; I wi...
by caliban
Fri Jun 01, 2007 4:01 pm
Forum: The Poetry and Prose of Science and Science Fiction
Topic: Creationism, Intelligent Design, and Evolution
Replies: 33
Views: 127459

I'm tempted to do a review of this book as I did for that other masterpiece of tautology and errors, Rare Earth. But I'm not sure I can keep my temper while reading it. I would encourage you to do it. It is useful and important to point out the flaws. Particularly useful are pointing out the basic ...
by caliban
Mon May 28, 2007 7:14 pm
Forum: The Poetry and Prose of Science and Science Fiction
Topic: Political Science
Replies: 9
Views: 43498

I think it's already out, in the July/August issue of Analog. I haven't confirmed it because the local mystery/sf bookstore doesn't carry Analog!
by caliban
Sun May 20, 2007 10:29 am
Forum: The Poetry and Prose of Science and Science Fiction
Topic: Creationism, Intelligent Design, and Evolution
Replies: 33
Views: 127459

Here are two links that briefly discuss the matter: http://www.csicop.org/sb/2005-09/reality-check.html http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-79794362.html The second is the most interesting and, perhaps, the most damning. I struggle with this, not because I am sympathetic to Gonzalez, but precisely ...
by caliban
Sun May 20, 2007 2:34 am
Forum: The Poetry and Prose of Science and Science Fiction
Topic: Creationism, Intelligent Design, and Evolution
Replies: 33
Views: 127459

There are even weirder ones out who DO have tenure. One example is Frank Tipler of Tulane, who wrote "The Physics of Immortality" and has a new one, "The Physics of Christianity," which I have not read but can fairly easily presume to be an embarrassment to both communities referenced in the title. ...
by caliban
Sat May 19, 2007 5:18 pm
Forum: The Poetry and Prose of Science and Science Fiction
Topic: Creationism, Intelligent Design, and Evolution
Replies: 33
Views: 127459

I have no idea whether or not Gonzalez was fairly denied tenure. Maybe his book has something to do with it--I was only vaguely aware of it--or maybe not. I refuse to be snarky about it, since I don't know any of the facts (and haven't even read his book) but neither will I feel terribly bad about i...
by caliban
Sun May 06, 2007 6:09 pm
Forum: The Poetry and Prose of Science and Science Fiction
Topic: Political Science
Replies: 9
Views: 43498

Political Science

Athena had encouraged me to announce this when the time came... I'm having a SF story come out in the July/August issue of Analog . I don't know when it will hit the bookshelves, but I just got the author's copy a couple of days ago. When I know for sure it is available, I will post that information...
by caliban
Wed May 02, 2007 1:27 pm
Forum: The Poetry and Prose of Science and Science Fiction
Topic: Space and Spirit
Replies: 38
Views: 137063

Everybody just wants to hang their hat on being right (dogma) and better (purity) than those who are different. Maybe they should get a hobby or something. I think the human desire to be right and better are very difficult to overcome. It's true not just in religion but in many other arenas--even i...