Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday Quotations: "sightless worlds where y'limbs are given life and hate"

"Sh smiles. Her teeth aren't chattering because she is cold... they are moving about inside her mouth, her gums twisting as the teeth shift about. They rise and recede as you watch, chattering as they rattle against each other." --Planescape: Torment.

Planescape: Torment is one of my favorite games, and the quotation above is a reason why. One small subquest you can go on starts when you run into Ingress, a woman with a troubled past. Forty years ago, she was whistling a certain tune while she walked under an arch formed by two dead trees, and found herself in Sigil, the City at the center of existence. In Sigil, every enclosed space is potentially a portal that can lead you elsewhere when you cross its threshold, as long as you have the right key--and as Ingress learned, there's more than one definition of "key." She tried to get back home by opening portals, but couldn't find the right one--and some led her to places so warping that she herself isn't quite sane or human any more, as demonstrated by the quotation above. It's a nice moment--her teeth keep chattering during your whole conversation with her, and she slowly reveals more and more, until you're willing to dismiss her as insane, especially when she says that her fear of winding up somewhere worse has kept her from going indoors for the past thirty years, or even leaving the Square she's in--no crossing thresholds of any kind. And then she opens her mouth, and you realize she may have the right idea...

Good times.

Later Days.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

It Was Arrested Development

Expect a full review at a later date, but for now: I'll give it a B.  Some great ideas, some things that never pay off (ostriches?), and in the end, it doesn't quite stick the landing.

Also, quick story: I finished watching episode 15, and realized that I could still hear it. I go out into the living room, and I see my roommates, watching it. "You know you skipped to the final one, right?" I said.
"We couldn't wait," they said.
It was an odd choice, given that I knew they had watched the show for the first time a few days earlier, and only seen about four episodes from the first three seasons. And it was an odd choice given that they were jumping into the final episode of a season where each episode built pretty considerably on the last. But--to each their own. 
About thirty minutes later, I come back into the living room again, and ask how it was. They were confused. It turns out that when I said it was the final one, they thought I meant the final season. Since the season had just come out the day before, and everyone was talking about it, they thought they'd start by watching what was labelled online as "the latest episode"--which would have been the first of the season, following the general logic of season premieres. What they didn't know is that the whole season came out at once, so the latest episode was also the last one. And since each episode of the season covers the same time period, there was just enough information to let them think they were watching a rather confusing premiere of a continuing series rather than the cathartic ending of that same series. And so, in thinking they were watching the first episode, they were actually watching the last episode. And I thought they knew that, though if I had said "final episode" instead of "final one," I could have known that they did not know what I knew.
It was confusing. 

Later Days.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Ethical Blogging, and other potential oxymorons

In case it wasn't clear, I was suffering from a bit of a wine headache for yesterday's post. Apparently, a bottle of wine followed by a half hour evening run ISN'T a good idea for a body a hair's away from 30. Who knew?  But it's another day, and another blogpost. For those keeping track at home, I'm now ten episodes into the current Arrested Development series. I'm holding off on judgment till the end, but for now, three observations:
1) It's starting to come together at this point, and it's becoming increasingly clear that, whatever else you want to say about the format, this season is one of the more ambitious feats of broadcast media ever attempted. (I was going to say "of television," but that's not quite the right word for a Netflix-only series, is it?)
2) As a direct consequence of form, it's also perhaps the most postmodern TV-ish sort of thing I've ever seen.
3) The individual character focus has its weaknesses, but there's been some positives too. The original show was always very "Michael" oriented, but shining the spotlight on the other characters has created some good moments, especially the catharses of sorts that Lindsey and Lucille come to.

On a different note entirely, I'm presenting a project I've been working on tomorrow. The presentation's no big deal--it's set to take ten minutes (I'll be lucky to fit that whole thing, to be honest). But one of the talking points I've come up with is something that probably warrants more elaboration than the ten minutes will allow, so I thought I'd talk about it here. I think I've mentioned before that I've been thinking more and more about digital scholarship and ethics recently, and it's starting to shape my approach to the project. The basic idea behind it is is that it compiles interesting pieces of game criticism online. But there's been a turn in game-related blogging recently toward combining critical analysis with direct, personal experience. I think that type of writing creates some very interesting juxtapositions, and highlights how games don't exist in a vacuum. And some of my writing on this very blog arguably goes into that sphere. I don't write in that mode myself very often, largely because I think of myself as a mostly uninteresting person in that regard. Yes, I *could* go on in more detail about what it's like to be a white guy playing videogames, but the account would largely be what you expect. What's more an issue here is whether it's ethical to take what someone's written on games in a personal blog and appropriate it for academic purposes. It's not so much a question as whether it's legal--generally speaking, as long as you adhere to basic libel laws, I think you're okay with things you take from a publicly accessible site--but whether it's morally acceptable to do so, to take someone else's potentially private words and take them into another context.

A more clear example is that it is not particularly ethical to take something someone said on Facebook, and cite it in a paper without telling them. Facebook is set up as a quasi-private place, despite all the ways your employers can spy on you, friends can misinterpret you, and industries can mine your data. Twitter is something else. Is it ethical to take something someone tweeted out of its original context? One difference between Twitter and Facebook is that Twitter is meant to be transient--to take someone's tweets down is preserving forever something they may have intended as so much dust in the wind. I've seen the argument that using something like Storify to preserve a twitter conversation is ethically inappropriate, and I think I might agree. Likewise, a message board forum, even a public one, is often home to a very specific community, where the members communicate in a shared understanding and trust that discussions will stay in that forum. (Or it's a place where the members communicate in common mistrust and backstabbing. Or both. Communities are complicated.)  and the ethical researcher should think twice before violating that trust. Ideally, a researcher should attempt to contact someone before using their work--but given the nature of a project, that may not be possible. You may be able to guarantee how YOU use the data, but how can you account for how the person using the result of your project will use it?

It's complicated. My approach, so far, has been to largely sidestep the issue. I take posts that are on, or linked to from, well-established game criticism sites or posts from authors I'm familiar with. And when necessary, I try to use my best judgment. It's not a perfect method, but it's the one I'm comfortable with now. Ethics are tricky. There is no right or wrong answer.
Actually, there are wrong answers. There are a LOT of wrong answers. Especially if your unversity has ethical guidelines. Then, there are very specific wrong answers. Like everything, it pays for the dedicated scholar to educate themselves.

Holy Smitty, this is day seven of the week of blogging!  I'm free!  Freeeeeeee~!

Later Days.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

In Which Someone Should Take a Chill Pill

It's day 4 of the week of continuous blogging. What's today's highlights? Well, I went to see the new Star Trek movie, and I saw the first four--five now--episodes of the new Arrested Development season. And... I don't know. The whole thing's just a big ball of meta at this point. I'm blogging about my thoughts on watching a movie based on a movie based on an original series and a TV series about the original series that keeps referencing the series. Neither is as good as the original. Is that a surprise? Is there anything unexpected about adding layer after layer to the original foundation, only to have that original foundation crack and fall?

Sure, I wanted a great Star Trek movie. So what was I expecting for the basis of that? A TV franchise that bottomed out after the best idea they could come up with is casting the Vulcan role as a sexy bombshell? A movie franchise that used a relaunched time line as excuse to run up a queue of action sequences while at the same time appeasing the hardcore fans through obscure references to things that never already happened? An original series with such wonderful plots as "that planet with the Nazis," evil versions with goatees, and Lincoln vs. Genghis Khan?

And I wanted great Arrested Development episodes. And these were---well, better, frankly. But still. Let's look at these actors' post AD-careers: Buster in Chuck. George Michael in... a lot of things of middling quality, until no one would put him in other movies at all. Michael in Hancock. Maebe in Veronica Mars. Lucille in Archer. And so forth. I don't even remember what my point is here beyond, well, everyone moved on. The story was told. What's the point in moving things back? Nostalgia? Financial gain? Yes, and Yes, I guess. And so, you get a new version, which needs to be its own thing, but  needs to cling to the past, as it's the past that makes it what it is to begin with, and the past seems to be all that anyone cares about.   Echh. Maybe we should look for new stories. Maybe we should start telling new stories.

Maybe I should go to bed. 

That last one seems most likely.

Later Days.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

"Writes Blog Posts No One Cares About"

So this article.

For those unwilling to click a blind link, it's a Jezebel article, and a comedy-based one. Essentially, it's a list of traits that the author thinks should have warned her right off not to take up with particular gentlemen or lady, and invites readers to send in their own regrets, of either male or female persuasion.

I bring this up in part because it inspired one of my better comedy routines (apologies for those who already read it from my Facebook feed):
"Guy whose fantasy was to bone a girl on a washing machine wearing hockey gear." Well, that's just unclear. Who is wearing the hockey gear? Is it the guy? Is it the girl? Is it the washing machine? Is the Samsung 2008 Frontload decked out in jersey and pads? Is the stick laid out in front, or does it dangle outside the portal? Where do you put the cup and jockstrap?
Now I'm entirely distracted. I'm going to go home and start some major appliance cosplay sessions.

And I'm certainly going to use that joke yet again when I teach my class next, and instruct everyone on the importance of not leaving any dangling modifiers.

But at the moment, I'd like to talk about a different item on the list:

"There are certain male authors who, while their works are not bad per se, they, through maybe no fault of their own, attract a male fanbase that is disproportionately douchey. If a guy is obsessed with David Foster Wallace, Kurt Vonnegut, John Updike, Philip Roth, or Richard Brautigan, I consider that a red flag. Jonathan Franzen is borderline. Chuck Palahniuk is part of this group, only unlike the aforementioned, his writing is genuinely awful. (I wonder if this also works for women and female authors? If I were a guy I might not want to fuck a woman who was an obsessive fan of, I don't know, Jane Smiley?)"

I'm no fan of most of the authors listed there, and I don't even know who Richard Brautigan is. (Read his wikipedia page, and still don't recognize anything. It's the perils of having an English background but relatively no specialization in American lit.) I do, however, wear as a badge of pride the fact that I actually finished Wallace's Infinite Jest, and I did go through a very prolonged Vonnegut phase--albeit one that's now ten years old. But I wouldn't call the Wallace interest an obsession, and the Vonnegut stuff faded some time ago. But I still think I've been guilty of some of the excesses this list item is touching on: not the quasi-ideology that you can cobble together out of these novels (that's a different article) but the sort of literary snobbery you get when you focus on a degree that prepares you for such exciting careers as proofreader or tech writer. One of the reasons I read so much sci-fi and fantasy is to keep myself humble, to a degree. (Another is that space stuff and magic and elves and junk are really cool. No, they are.) Even then, though, some academic snobbery seeps in, even if the lit doesn't. The worst arguments I've ever had with my brother were over his efforts during his year of university, and it took me a long time to accept that he had a perfectly valid career without it. And even that statement displays some of the arrogance till in my stance, that his choice of career was something where my acceptance mattered.

But now I'm drifting now, without really reaching a point. I guess what I'm trying to say is that the point that seemed to resurface over and over in this list is that a certainty in one's beliefs can lead to unfounded arrogance. (Okay, you need to squint a bit to read that from "Wore a white beret." Work with me.) It's one thing to honor something that's been meaningful to your own identity, but when that honor becomes obsession, it's time to step back and re-evaluate what kind of person you want to be.

Or: my literary snobbiness isn't a good reason to object to me as a potential date. Not when there's my hygiene, my sartorial tastes, my eating habits, my choice in movies...

Later Days.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Stuff What Happened to Me

Today it's a 10:30 pm post, rather than 11:30, so... that's something, I guess.

One the problems with keeping a blog for five years is that, eventually, the story well gets a little dry. Especially if you're like me, and specialize more in watching other people's stories than making your own. What I'm saying is that I don't have a lot to talk about today. Hmmm....

 I went to a department meeting, but I can't talk about that, for confidentiality and professional reasons.

 I ate two peanut butter muffins, which is a pinnacle of gluttony and perfection, but there's not a lot else to be said about that. I had a stomach ache later, which was probably well-deserved.

 I tried out a new pedometer app on my phone. I've tried out pedometer devices before, but I've always found them disappointing, largely because the distance it says I've traveled is invariably less than the distance Google maps said I traveled, and the resulting mental downgrading is devastating to my running ego. This one worked well enough, in that it was actually spurring me on rather than depressing me.  I really wanted to do a run that it said was 5 km, rather than the run Google routing had set out. Sadly, I kept checking my progress, rather than locking the phone. That meant I kept accidentally touching the phone screen with my side as my arms moved up and down, which in turn meant that I hit *just* the right combination to reset my stats 40 minutes into the run. Kind of frustrating. Plus, I've misplaced my headphones (they're in my office, I think?) so it was just me lugging around a paperweight for the whole time.

I like watching videos from my computer on my PS3. Previously, I was using Windows Media Player, which had the sole advantage that it was already installed in my computer. The disadvantages were that it was a pain to get any new files synced up with both the player and the PS3, and that only avi files were automatically picked up--I had to do a cheat to get mp4 files working, and forget about mkv. Now, I've got TVersity, which syncs up much faster, is much easier to add new folders, can apparently stream Internet videos directly, and can play all three file types. So yeah, pretty much a big improvement all around. And I put off installing it for the longest time because I didn't want the hassle of learning to use a new program. There's a moral in there.

Got a little more fodder out of today than I thought I would.  That's nice.

Later Days.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Deep One Stirs. First Slowly, then quickly, to get the mixture right.

This whole "blog every day for a week" thing would go a lot easier if I remembered to do it before 11:30 pm at night. Okay, what happened today? Well, I finished reading Laird Barron's Imago Sequence, which is essentially a book of short stories riffing on the Lovecraft style. If that's not a familiar name to you, H. P. Lovecraft was a pulp fantasy writer in the early 20th century who specialized in writing stories around the basic of theme of "that which man was not meant to know." Building from the general tradition of Gothic horror, his stories generally had the same pattern to them: a man stumbles by accident onto some ancient ruin or otherworldly artifact and the mere contact with it starts to unhinge him. He gets more and more obsessed, and the more he uncovers, the more insane he becomes. Often, the whole thing revolves around a being beyond human understanding who doesn't even acknowledge our existence, but would drive us insane if we looked at it. It's that sort of thing, nine times, with variations. There's a mysterious photograph series, a sinister farm, a Wild West locale. Always something just different enough to keep it all fresh.

Essentially, the Lovecraft mold works because it's playing with our basic modern sensibilities. Where we, deep down, believe that all of our problems can be solved with sufficient knowledge, the Lovecraft story presents the deepest threat to that, something utterly beyond our comprehension, where the more we learn, the worse off we are. Now, I love a good genre story. Something that can create new movements while working with a known frame is like poetry, in my book. (Unless it's actually poetry, in which case, ugh.) That's why I've read romances, 18th century rake hero plays, and westerns--I like looking for the variations. And I think that's something people can relate to. We want to be surprised, but we still want a sense of the general frame of the story. We use what we know to guess what happens next.

The thing, that metaguessing should be the death knell of the Lovecraft story. Minor variation or not, you know how it's going to end. You've got a guy going from ignorance to knowledge, and he's going to go off the deep end in the process. (And it's almost always a guy--the only version I've ever heard with a female protagonist was Alan Moore's Neonomicon, and that went into a monstrous pregnancy direction--weird for a creature who barely acknowledges our existence.)  And because our knowledge of how the plot works gives us that advantage, it's contrary to the theme of the story. But it still happens. I suppose it's similar to the case as with regular horror--we know how a slasher flick works, but we still enjoy being surprised within that frame, even though knowing that frame is there damages the surprise. I think the explanation there is that there's a difference between the "art horror" we get from watching something we know isn't real and the actual experience of horror. I suppose that could apply for the Lovecraft story too, since it's a subset of horror, but... something seems off about that explanation to me. Meh. If I pursue it, and wind up stark raving insane, at least I'll be able to respect the poetic justice.  That's what you want in insanity, right?

Later Days.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Blog Odssey Day Two: Those who can't teach, blog.

Man, it's almost midnight, and I just about forgot I said I'd try the daily blogging thing. But remember I did, and here we are! The most significant thing that happened to me today is that I taught my Engl 109 course--and that's probably going to be the most significant thing that happens to me on a Wednesday for the immediate future, until the class is over at least. In previous terms, I've had a lot of trouble adjusting a course from a Monday/Wednesday/Friday schedule to a Tuesday/Thursday. It required a firm idea of what elements of a lesson plan to expand on, what to contract, and what to jettison entirely for something new. It wasn't quite as time-consuming as coming up with the course from scratch, but just making the switch was a bit stressful.

Well, we're three weeks into the 3 hour/ once a week schedule, and  I yearn for those simpler times.

Designing a three hour course is rough going. This was actually the first time I kept my students for the full class, and I think that may not have worked in my favor, especially since some of them were clearly starting to anticipate an early release as a regular thing. Their expectations aside, the big problem was that there was a definite point of diminishing returns around the two hour mark. Can't say I blame them to be honest--hour two is usually when I start to fade out in a seminar myself. Hitting the happy medium between letting them out too earlier and keeping them past their best before date is a tricky target.

That said, we probably came closer today than we have previously. I divided the time into three rough time slots. First, we spent forty-five minutes discussing a selection from their readers ("Abuses of the English Language" by George Orwell) and this guy's youtube rant.  And it was a pretty good discussion. One of the students caught me up in an error on Nineteen Eightyfour--the essay was published originally in 1946, which is before 1984's 1949 publication, not after, like I said--for which she gains a marked measure of respect. And other surprised me with a very thorough summary of the essay. (Granted, my instructions for the readings were that every student should come prepared to give a summary if called upon, but it was another thing to actually see them DO it.) I was uncertain about the discussion part of the classes, since it's been a long time since I've lead discussions on individual articles and pieces rather than abstract rhetorical methods, but it's shaping up nicely, I think.

Then there was the lecture portion, which was me giving a very long speech about the value of sentence clauses. I'm a firm believer that writing works best if you understand the basic units and build up, and so I usually spend a bit of time on the difference between complex, compound, complex-compound, and simple sentences. Granted, it usually bores AND confuses the students, but I still think it's worth knowing. This time, to reinforce the knowledge, I had them break into groups and construct two of each type, then turn in the result to me. I think that worked okay; like any group assignment, it took longer than if they had constructed it separately,  but it gives them a chance to talk out what they've learned. My second point concerning learning these sentence types is that it helps you analyze individual authors, and I drove that home by having them go through the passages of two writers with highly stylized methods. First, we went through a passage by Cormick McCarthy from The Road. McCarthy writes most of the novel in sentence fragments, simple sentences, and compound sentences: "The ash from the fire burned. Bright and hot. The boy took the ash and spread it and made it into a shape and the man gathered up their meager supplies and they huddled together under the blanket and they kept warm for the night."  The other passage was from Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time. It's a horrible book to inflict on first year undergraduates in ANY capacity, but the sentence structure is particularly nasty: Proust has a habit of constructing a single sentence the size of a paragraph. I'll cite the exact passage:

“I gazed at her, at first with that gaze which is not merely a messenger from the eyes, but in whose window all the senses assemble and lean out, petrified and anxious, that gaze which would fain reach, touch, capture, bear off in triumph the body at which it is aimed, and the soul with the body; then (so frightened was I lest at any moment my grandfather and father, catching sight of the girl, might tear me away from her, by making me run on in front of them) with another, an unconsciously appealing look, whose object was to force her to pay attention to me, to see me, to know me.”

Dense, right? And it's a single sentence. I had them guess at the number of clauses, and then I guessed too, and we worked through it together. We found nine.  How many can YOU spot?

Later Days.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

It's too hot today.

All right, it's time to admit it: it's been a bit of a slump, as far as blogging frequency goes. So I'll try to do a post every day for a week, and see how that works.

Today's subject: it's hot. By far, the biggest adjustment I've had to make since moving to Ontario way back in 2008 is the weather. Milder winters, fine; I never had a problem with the cold winters of Saskatchewan anyway. (That is, until I moved here--now, I go back for X-Mas, and the cold temperatures turn me into an ice cube. Go figure.) It's the humidity in the summer that kills me. Literally, I think the humidity is killing me. It certainly precipitated my asthma, and anyone who has to spend more than a little time around me knows that my periodic cough certainly sounds like I'm dying. Until recently, it hasn't been too bad, but the recent return to summer weather has meant that complicated things like movement create sticky, sweaty messes best left for other days. Right now, I'm sitting in front of a laptop (granted, not a great activity for producing less heat) at 11:30 pm at night, and it's still 20 degrees. Agh. The kicker is that the house I'm living in has air conditioning. I could turn it on. The roommates are out, and the landlord pays the utilities. No one would ever know. No one... would ever.. know. And yet, here I am. Is it masochism? Is it a desire to conserve energy? Deep down, do I feel like I deserve to be sweaty? Maybe, probably, you're thinking too much, go to bed.

Tune in next time, to find out what I can complain about tomorrow.

Later Days.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Bibliophile: Philosophical Phindings and Pheminism at Cape Breton University

“When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes.”
― Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus

This week: What books are new and hip at Cape Breton University, after the break.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Book Triad: Series of Fantasy

So it's been a while since I've done a Book Triad entry. As usual, it's not because I stopped reading. No, I think I could give up the television and the gaming before I gave up the reading. Rather, it's because I've fallen rather thoroughly off my 2 nonfiction / 1 fiction rule.  Eventually, though, you have to just go with the fall, and move on. So without further ado, here is an all fantasy book version of Book Triad. Reviews of

The Blinding Knife by Brent Weeks
Blood of Dragons by Robin Hobb
River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay

all after the break.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Bibliophile: Porn, Pleasure, and Pop Culture at Arcadia University

“In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.”
― Mark Twain

This week on Bibliophile: we look at the new books of New Brunswick's Acadia University.  After the break, of course.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday Quotations: The Marzipan Throne

Your mother rests in a vast cave of marzipan, the walls decorated with thousands of glimmering boiled sweets, forming elaborate patterns and detailing a tableau of her life as a gracious and wise Queen. She herself is huge, her hot pink body resting atop a clutch of jellybean eggs.

"My dear daughter, please come in. It is time we spoke about your future."

--Candy Ant Princess

I rule my candy ant minions with an iron fist.  Wait, ants don't have fists, do they? Check out the Twine game here.

Later Days.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Catch-up, sleepy edition

First class of the semester today.  I think I've got everything I want in place. The syllabus, minus a few of the later readings, is in place, and the lesson plan is prepared. The big issue is that it's going to be a 3 hour, once a week course; I've never taught one of those before, and I'm not sure how the pacing works yet. Still, you have to remember that the students are more afraid of you than you are of them.  Or am I thinking wolves?

A review I wrote on the book Dungeons, Dragons and Digital Denizens is up at First Person Scholar. It nearly killed me, largely because I hadn't suspected I needed to write up until a week beforehand. We originally had someone else lined up to do the review, but they fell through. To be honest, I'm starting to find the backing out rather annoying. If I can write a quality review in a week's time (and I stand by the quality of this review), then someone who's had at least a month lead-in time really shouldn't have any problem. I understand that life springs unexpected events on us, but my sympathy is wearing a bit thin. Still, I really did like the book. It's probably the best collection of essays I've seen on Bioware games especially to date.

Expect more here when I've gotten a bit of sleep. I've spent most of the last few days going through syllabi drafts and speed reading through 300+ pages of essays, and my nap time has been sorely affected.

Later Days.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Bibliophile: Machinima, Simpsons, and Radio Waves at The Memorial University of Newfoundland

“Do not read, as children do, to amuse yourself, or like the ambitious, for the purpose of instruction. No, read in order to live.”
― Gustave Flaubert

After a brief hiatus, we've back, with a discussion of the new books available at... what's this week's university? Well, it was going to be St. Thomas University, or New Brunswick University, but both of these libraries don't allow searching from anyone who is not a student or faculty member, which is a rather unfriendly, elitist thing to do. And Moncton University is a French school, and while I have nothing against the language, the nontrivial effort it would require me to translate the page prohibits me from picking it. So that's it for New Brunswick. Next, then: The Memorial University of Newfoundland, after the break.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Friday Quotations: And sometimes, you just pick the book closest to you, so you can write it down, and get back to work

"When one wants to study men, one must consider those around one. But to study man, one must extend the range of one's vision. One must first observe the differences in order to discover the properties." --Jean-Jacques Rousseau, On the Origin of Language.

Later Days.

A Word on Game of Thrones


Okay, more seriously, I'd like to start off by saying that this post isn't going to make much sense for people NOT at least watching Game of Thrones. So if that's you, well, I guess you'll have to content yourself with today's Friday Quotation instead. My apologies, and thanks for your understanding.

Is everyone left a GoT fan, then?  Good. (Warning: mild spoilers ahead for the Unsullied who haven't read the books.)