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Why Internet Comments Suck

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Wittgenstein explains why discourse on the Internet sucks. And it’s not just because of your crazy uncle.

So, language is quicksand—except it’s not. Unlike the parlor tricks of the deconstructionists who bloviate about différance and traces, there clearly are rules that shouldn’t be broken and clearly ways of speaking that are blatantly incorrect, even if they change over time and admit to flexible interpretations even on a daily basis.

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Humans Dream of an Electric Philip K. Dick

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Creepy robots were often at the heart of Philip K. Dick stories. The future is now: a company is building a realistic looking robot to haunt your dreams and it looks strikingly similar to the science fiction author. Electric Literature reports on the project from Hanson Robotics:

On their website, Hanson Robotics highlights their desire to “realize the dream of friendly machines who truly live and love, and co-invent the future of life.” Philip K.

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Famous Myths of the Golden Age feature

Paper Trumpets #26: Famous Myths of the Golden Age

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This is part of the mystery and sometimes frustration of doing collage—trying to remember where things came from. ...more

Scarlett Johannson Fails to Ban French Novel

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A French novel by Grégoire Delacourt featuring a character who looks like Scarlett Johannson will be translated and published in the UK next month. In The First Thing You See, a French mechanic meets a woman who he thinks is Scarlett Johansson, but she merely looks like the famous actress.

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Writing about Music, Dancing about Architecture

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Radio is undergoing the sort of DIY revolution that journalism faced with the advent of blogs. If ‘Out on the Wire’ helps convince the legions of amateur podcasters that good radio is far more than recording hour upon hour of unedited gabbing, it will be not only useful and fun but that much rarer thing: a public service.

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Books That Save Lives

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For the GuardianErwin James reflects on his experience reading while in prison, and how books like David Levering’s Prisoners of Honor reshaped his life:

I was without skills or abilities, but I could read. I’m sure the six books a week I was allowed from the prison library helped to keep me alive during that uncertain year, unlike the man in the cell above mine who hanged himself during my first Christmas inside.

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Can’t Read Italian? Ask Mom To Translate

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After reading the first two books in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan series, Sara Goldsmith enlisted her mother to translate the third book from Italian so that she didn’t have to wait another year for the English release. Now, for Slate, Goldsmith shares how the experience generated a new respect for the scope and craft of Ferrante’s novels, as well as how the project influenced her relationship with her mother:

For my mom and me—who, like all mothers and daughters, sometimes have a difficult relationship—the novels have given us a way to stay in closer touch and a subject to return to and discuss.

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The Other World

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This ain’t your grandma’s boozy brunch. Stephie Gorton Murphy joins dark deity Cthulu for breakfast at NecromiCon Providence:

The gathering had the buoyant atmosphere brought about when people who know each other as online avatars finally share a physical space—and the feeling of fellowship seemed intensified by the knowledge that soon they would have to rejoin the other world, one sadly stripped of mystery.

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