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- Our age is retrospective. It builds the sepulchres of the fathers. It writes biographies, histories, and criticism. The foregoing generations beheld God and nature face to face; we, through their eyes. Why should not we also enjoy an original relation to the universe? Why should not we have a poetry and philosophy of insight and not of tradition, and a religion by revelation to us, and not the history of theirs? Embosomed for a season in nature, whose floods of life stream around and through us, and invite us by the powers they supply, to action proportioned to nature, why should we grope among the dry bones of the past, or put the living generation into masquerade out of its faded wardrobe? The sun shines to-day also. There is more wool and flax in the fields. There are new lands, new men, new thoughts. Let us demand our own works and laws and worship.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature
Uh, that's New Hampshire...
I still really like the Gunslinger, even if the rest of the series kind of sucks.
School had me reading Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (yes, Stevenson left out the "the". I don't know why) and I actually enjoyed it a lot. The last school novel I read was The House of Seven Gables, and it was a total drag, so reading something short, sweet and to the point was nice. I'm a sucker for stories about identity, so I found Jekyll/Hyde pretty interesting.
I've also been slogging through Emerson's essays for another class. I like a lot of what the guy says, but damn he repeats himself a lot. I get it, nature is great, the past is overrated, whatever, can we move on now?
I was a bit bothered by what he had to say about charity in Self-Reliance, though. Being intellectually independent and following your own rationality and your own instincts is well and good, but I feel like it's kind of a stretch to apply that philosophy to the material world. It's not developed enough for me to make any kind of serious claims about Emerson's ethical system, but he's hinting at egoism in a way that I don't really agree with.
Not reading anything for pleasure, sadly, I just don't have the time right now. I've got an old copy of The Grapes of Wrath that's just waiting to be re-read, though. Maybe over Christmas.
Just because the British Empire ended slavery doesn't mean they weren't exploiting people for economic gain- they were and continued to do so for nearly another century. The worst abuses in colonial India happened after the abolition of the slave trade.
Would Americans let Britian abolish slavery anyway? The slave states revolted against even the idea of abolition in reality, and that wasn't being imposed by an imperial power across the sea.
I also find it hard to believe that native Americans would have been treated any better. The US was going to expand westwards regardless. The Louisiana purchase might not have happened, but we would probably have gotten that territory anyway after Napoleons defeat. Losing the revolution wouldn't make us any less likely to exploit the West.
So a Greek exit from the Euro is pretty much inevitable at this point right? I'm not sure that's a bad thing- if it frees Greece's hands wrt its currency and puts the country in the hands of its people rather than the bankers it might turn out to be a good thing.
You would really enjoy Twilight Struggle if you haven't played it already. "Controlled chaos" is a good way of describing how the game goes, especially in the early and late game (midgame can stagnate a bit). The start is always the same, but no two games play out the same way thanks to the event system.
Card driven event systems (like in Twilight Struggle) are a really cool way of allowing random events to influence the game.
Systems for both players moving simultaneously (Diplomacy, the Game of Thrones Boardgame) are cool too, they add a lot of uncertainty.
I also love games that encourage player interactions (Diplomacy, Monopoly to an extent), especially when there's a lot of people playing the game that you have to worry about.
/r/destructivereaders is basically for this, although they require you to critique others before submitting your own work.
I don't know of other sites that do this though. Maybe we could start a #writersworkshop tag over here?
I'm pretty sure this is the only way that the Greek people can move forward without surrendering their democracy to the EU and the IMF. I do think that greater European unity is a great thing (considering the continent's bloody history) but I'm growing more and more concerned about these undemocratic multinational organizations that are. What do the IMF, the EU and FIFA all have in common? They don't answer to voters. That's what concerns me most about the TTP as well.
I have two absolute favorites.
The first is film. Being able to move allows the artist to convey more meaning then they could with only one frame. Being able to add sound (and thus character, dialogue and plot) just adds to the layers of meaning that the director can create.
The other is Dutch 17th century landscape paintings. The way that they capture color and light just amazes me. There are a bunch of these paintings at the Getty Center, and I always find myself spending most of my time there admiring them.