Eclipse Week: Not Even Looking Up

So, LWON is eclipsing, on into next week.  And if the internet is to be believed, half the country will be pulled north and the other half south and they’ll converge in the middle, on the path of totality.  It’s charming, how a population that normally lives at arm’s length from earthly reality — milk […]

Conversation with Adam Rogers: DARPians and the Social Science Problem

Ann:  Please meet Adam Rogers. He wrote a story about DARPA looking for solutions to the credibility problems of social science, only what I’m calling “solutions to credibility problems,” he called bullshit detection. First, social science’s credibility problems.  Here’s the way I said it in 2015: Start with any question involving human behavior or motivation and […]

Redux: Helen and I Smack Down Unhappiness

This ran not that long ago, August 23, 2016.  But I feel it should be run again because it has an important update. Recently, Helen and I made mint lemonade again, this time with Jenny.  As the post suggests, we blended-and-spigoted at the same time, and instead of demarara sugar, we used white.  The pond scum […]

The Atreides vs the Ancient Greeks

I’d been reading a book by Colm Tóibín called House of Names.  The house is the House of Atreus; Tóibín explained through a character why he substituted “names,” but I didn’t understand it.  He took the story pretty faithfully from the plays of Sophocles, Aeschylus, and Euripedes about one or all members of the family.  […]

Redux: Honest to God, DARPA & Jet Packs

My friend and colleague, Sharon Weinberger, has a new book out called The Imagineers of War.  It’s a history of DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Agency, an agency with which she has had, as a journalist, a long and storied history.  One of DARPA’s proposals was for a wearable jet pack.  Just let that sink […]

The Fall Line

I have a mild case of fatal familial obsessive-compulsive disorder. (At least, if that were real I’d have it.) Today’s obsession is the Fall Line. It’s the line that runs through the big east coast cities — New York City, Trenton, Philadelphia, Wilmington, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Richmond, all the way down to Columbia SC and […]

Redux Because This Is Better Than What I Was Going to Write

I had dinner the other night with, among others, a graphic designer.  He said he liked looking at contemporary photographs but to be honest, he didn’t know why he liked looking at them.  He knew they were better than snapshots, he said, but he didn’t know why they were. I’m certainly the last person to […]

Redux: Falling

Back in 2012, I wrote about falling and gravity’s terrible vengeance when we don’t perfectly obey and how, if we’d just learned our physics, all this wouldn’t be so surprising.  Re-reading the post now, it seems also to be a nice science metaphor. That is, physics says the best way to not let gravity hurt […]