Posts Tagged ‘surrealism’
* Star Wars Uncut: the last great surrealist masterpiece. I think a friend on Facebook really nailed the appeal of this when he pointed out the importance of this sort of “careful reenactment” in childhood consumption of media. In a sense Star Wars Uncut is what we were doing all along.
* Despite their important implications for interpersonal behaviors and relations, cognitive abilities have been largely ignored as explanations of prejudice. We proposed and tested mediation models in which lower cognitive ability predicts greater prejudice, an effect mediated through the endorsement of right-wing ideologies (social conservatism, right-wing authoritarianism) and low levels of contact with out-groups. In an analysis of two large-scale, nationally representative United Kingdom data sets (N = 15,874), we found that lower general intelligence (g) in childhood predicts greater racism in adulthood, and this effect was largely mediated via conservative ideology. A secondary analysis of a U.S. data set confirmed a predictive effect of poor abstract-reasoning skills on antihomosexual prejudice, a relation partially mediated by both authoritarianism and low levels of intergroup contact. All analyses controlled for education and socioeconomic status. Our results suggest that cognitive abilities play a critical, albeit underappreciated, role in prejudice. Consequently, we recommend a heightened focus on cognitive ability in research on prejudice and a better integration of cognitive ability into prejudice models.
* And I think someone in Parliament has been watching Dark Angel.
On the possibility of a nuclear missile being fired into space and exploded, he said: “I personally believe that it’s quite likely to happen. It’s a comparatively easy way of using a small number of nuclear weapons to cause devastating damage.
“The consequences if it did happen would be so devastating that we really ought to start protecting against it now, and our vulnerabilities are huge.”
* Rest in peace, David Markson. Though I could never make it through This Is Not a Novel, let me second David Foster Wallace; Wittgenstein’s Mistress really is “pretty much the high point of experimental fiction in this country.”
* Peter Singer vs. the future: Should This Be the Last Generation? He comes down on the “no” side, though he doesn’t seem quite convinced:
I do think it would be wrong to choose the non-sentient universe. In my judgment, for most people, life is worth living. Even if that is not yet the case, I am enough of an optimist to believe that, should humans survive for another century or two, we will learn from our past mistakes and bring about a world in which there is far less suffering than there is now. But justifying that choice forces us to reconsider the deep issues with which I began. Is life worth living? Are the interests of a future child a reason for bringing that child into existence? And is the continuance of our species justifiable in the face of our knowledge that it will certainly bring suffering to innocent future human beings?
* Ending the university: Under a program announced Thursday, employees of Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club will be able to receive college credit for performing their jobs, including such tasks as loading trucks and ringing up purchases. Workers could earn as much as 45 percent of the credits needed for an associate or bachelor’s degree while on the job.
The credits are earned through the Internet-based American Public University, with headquarters in Charles Town, W.Va., and administrative offices in Manassas.
Obama now faces some of the most difficult challenges of his young presidency: the ongoing oil spill, the Gaza flotilla disaster, and revelations about possibly inappropriate conversations between the White House and candidates for federal office. But while these narratives may affect fleeting public perceptions, Americans will ultimately judge Obama on the crude economic fundamentals of jobs numbers and GDP.
Chief among the criticisms of Obama was his response to the spill. Pundits argued that he needed to show more emotion. Their analysis, however, should be viewed in light of the economic pressures on the journalism industry combined with a 24-hour news environment and a lack of new information about the spill itself.
Republicans, meanwhile, complained that the administration has not been sufficiently involved in the day-to-day cleanup. Their analysis, of course, is colored by their minority status in America’s two-party system, which creates a strong structural incentive to criticize the party in power, whatever the merits…
Reading Kafka makes you smarter, says a headline at Science Daily. Does this mean English departments matter again?
This post is for your eyes.
* Andy Kehoe’s “Psycho World,” a slightly more surreal Where the Wild Things Are (and I can only imagine he’s completely sick of hearing that).
Tonight’s sci-fi Surrealist: Aaron Jasinski. Below: “I Wish I Could Eat Ice Cream.”
* This week’s blog icon is one of my favorite pieces from Eric Joyner, whose website is a virtual treasure trove of robots and donuts. Eric, of course, is the artist who provided the cover image for Backwards City #3.
* I enjoyed watching The King of Kong, the recent documentary about intense rivalries in the arcade community, but it’s now obligatory to follow up that admission with a link to the criticism of the film on both factual and aesthetic levels.
* And xkcd explains how it works.
I’m not usually all that impressed with Improv Everywhere, but I have to admit this Grand Central Station prank is pretty good.