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Jon Cogburn
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Over Easter this year, it seemed like we were the only people not traveling. I hate traveling--not being able to write, work out, or cook, dealing with fussy children off their routines, dealing with a fussy husband off his routine, forgetting to pack something important, airplanes. Airplanes. And yet, much... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2015 at Emily's Pretty Cool Blog
I hated junior high and high school. Mostly junior high, which was a torture chamber of petty girls and nylon gym shorts. But, oddly enough, I loved John Hughes films and because I happened upon the extremely bad Wrinkle in Time movie, I am rereading Madeline L'Engle's books for perhaps... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2015 at Emily's Pretty Cool Blog
By Professor Gerbenfeister (note: pic is 320 pixels) Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Donec urna sapien, dictum eu semper non, elementum at tellus. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Cras blandit mattis pellentesque. Pellentesque quis enim blandit, tempor felis non,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2015 at Philosophical Percolations
Raison d'être We thought about using "Keep Philosophy Weird" as a tag-line but there was substantial disagreement about how well the same thing was working out for Austin, Texas, and we didn't want to hex ourselves. So we went with "All the philosophy that's not fit to print," with the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2015 at Philosophical Percolations
Justin Caouette Justin's webpage A Philosopher's Take Jon Cogburn Jon's webpage Jon Cogburn's Blog New APPS Tiffany Cvrkel T.T. Cvrkel: Philosophy and Bioethics Stephen C. Finley Stephen’s LSU Page Debbie Goldgaber Debbie’s LSU page hypios J. Edward Hackett The Horizon and the Fringe Tristan... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2015 at Philosophical Percolations
I'm very excited to reveal the cover for my forthcoming book Louisiana Saves the Library, to be published in February 2016 by Kensington Books. Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2015 at Emily's Pretty Cool Blog
As a freelance writer, I've worked with a lot of editors and most of them have been very good. It's a tough job. At the very least, they have to find typos and make sure all the articles they print are stylistically consistent, using Associated Press, Chicago Manual of Style... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2015 at Emily's Pretty Cool Blog
I grew up thinking that talent was the key to success. You can kind of blame the media for this one. Talent makes a better story. The small town kid who is "discovered;" Meg, the mathematical genius from A Wrinkle in Time; Luke Skywalker, the reluctant hero who couldn't escape... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2015 at Emily's Pretty Cool Blog
The thing is that in the early novels of the series , also NY Times Best Sellers, the tick isn't there. But then by the previous two or three before the finale I would estimate that there are over two hundred occurrences per book. The elven Goddess kept trying to kill Rachel. In their third boss battle the elven Goddess is so weakened that a female demon who is chaotic but well intentioned ascends to the role.
Well David Wallace, I have to say that I find myself shocked and more than a little disappointed. Maybe you *think* you mean well, but it takes willful blindness not to see how a sentence like the above ("Poincare symmetry," "Cartesian product," etc.) pretends a neutrality while not negotiating with traditions that it nevertheless repeats in insidious ways. Surely processes of patriarchy, racialization, economization and so on, are its conditions, too, and thus cannot be suspended so easily.
President Obama doesn't like to think about what he eats or wears. When you have one of the hardest jobs on the planet, it makes sense to eliminate anything that takes up extra time and brainpower. Since he's the president, he can just get people worry about all the little... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2015 at Emily's Pretty Cool Blog
I agree with most of what you write here and also find it interesting. I need to think about the issue of persistence. I don't think that the criticism sticks with respect to Tristan Garcia or Graham Harman's conception of objects, but that may be because the former's notion is so highly relational and the latter's is so far removed from a bundle theory conception. My worry with respect to individuation over time is that Garcia just doesn't get and that Harman gets it on the cheap (in the manner of bare particular theories). This makes both of them much less susceptible to your worry, but that may be as a result of bugs in the ontologies, not features. I think there's more positive to be said with respect to how each deals with the problem, but I'm going to think a lot more and hopefully have something tomorrow. One more thing, for what it's worth I don't think that the metaphysical is an autonomous realm from the political or normative . But for me that's because I'm the kind of moral realist that takes reality to be normative in a very strong sense.
Thanks tons. I'm going to listen to it a couple of times a day.
I don't really get writer's block. When you are using fiction writing as an excuse to avoid housework, the motivation is pretty good to find something to say. Some days, though, everything I write just looks terrible to me. It doesn't help if I've just received one of the hundreds... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2015 at Emily's Pretty Cool Blog
I admit that Bloodsugarsexmagic is musically brilliant, though I think "lyrical wit" is stretching it. In any case clearly ran out of melodies on that album. I've don't know how many songs since then have recycled the structure of the underneath the bridge song. At some point though it infects how you hear the underneath the bridge song. At least at UT in the late 80s, in the few years before grunge (this was Mothers' Milk and Bloodsugarsexmagic time) you really could tell with 100% accuracy whether a guy with long hair was a affable stoner or a sexist meathead by whether or not the Peppers were their favorite band. It was uncanny and I think reflects something essential about the band at that era.
One of the rules of novel writing is that the main character has to change by the end of the book (with the exception of some kinds of genre fiction.) To me, this is one of the hardest things about writing a story that's realistic for the simple reason that,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2015 at Emily's Pretty Cool Blog
There has been a lot of talk on the various internets lately about introverts, as though we're some kind of exotic species or something. But people are complicated in all sorts of ways and it's really not any weirder than being an extrovert. Most introverts don't want to sit in... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2015 at Emily's Pretty Cool Blog
Not sure I need to say this, but I should probably make this much clearer. My personal experience is a pretty strong rebuttal to the on-line vitriol about feminist philosophers and daily nous as pushing a kind of intolerance towards people who disagree with them about stuff. The people at Feminist Philosophers and Daily Nous have never treated me with anything other than respect (even when others haven't), when I've disagreed with them about something that people feel strongly about, when friends of theirs have been pretty furious with me, when I publicized the real feminist philosophers blog here, and when I kept commenting at PMMB long after I should have. In *all* of my dealings with them, I've found them to be model interlocutors who embody the traits that the study of philosophy is supposed to foster. I think that some reasonable people with unpopular views are frustrated because they feel excluded from the public conversation of philosophy. I also think that to the extent that they have been excluded, this is a very bad thing. But it's not a conspiracy of people who are feminists or agree with the norms articulated in Weinberg's new consensus post. As far as I can tell, it's just the result of overactive master spam algorithms. Hopefully this is as fixable for everyone else as it was for R. Scott Bakker. Moderators need the right to reject comments that detract from the conversation, but the result of this banning that person from commenting across a wide swath of blogs pretty radically diminishes the public conversation and also ends up being a driving force of philosophymetametablogism, which, even at it's worst, was getting around 3,000 hits a day.
I think that people caught up in the Akismet master spam list are such that their comments are not even going into individual blog's spam lists. I'm not 100% certain about this though, it's not clear form the wikipedia page ( Unfortunately, there are also other companies that do the same thing, so getting cleared by Akisment might not do the job for everyone. I'm now seeing if I'm caught up in the Akisment algorithm. If I am I'm going to get my name removed and then do test comments again at dailynous and feministphilosophers. I'll contact you and Jennifer Saul as soon as I do that. If it works I'll do a top level post about how to get one's name removed from the master spam list. If this is what's going on it explains a lot. In addition to explaining why my (ever since one of my comments was not approved at newapps; note that it was not marked spam) comments to wordpress blogs have not shown up and do not even go in their spam folders, and my comments to typepad blogs always go into spam folders if I'm not signed into typepad at the time. Very, very many people think that the most popular moderated blogs have much heavier moderation policies than they in fact do. And I also think that the effect of overzealous master spam lists have been pretty damaging to on-line philosophical speech as well. I'm cautiously optimistic that this is fixable, because what happened to me periodically happens to novelist and R. Scott Bakker and each time he's been able to get it fixed with Akismet.
Great issue. I'm going to do a top level post with respect to it either tomorrow or the next day. In addition to issues of optimal moderation. There are some technical issues concerning "master spam lists" shared across blogs that I think are working to significantly hindering conversation. I'm trying to work through it with respect to my own inability to get comments to show up at feminist philosophers, daily nous, leiter reports, etc. Until that's fixed up, any even minor moderation of anonymous comments ends up banning people for good. This ends up restricting speech a lot, because one comment that someone at a wordpress account doesn't want to accept ends up getting you banned from all sorts of accounts.
Tonight I will cover another city council meeting. I've been privileged to have the opportunity to write a lot of different kinds of articles in my freelance writing career--from the Angola prison rodeo to pieces about interior design to a comparison between the Miss America and Miss USA contests. But,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2015 at Emily's Pretty Cool Blog
I'm sorry, but in the context of what's happened in France (and all over the world to journalists and other accused blasphemers such as in Pakistan) what you write just seems like pointing out that a victim of sexual violence was wearing skimpy clothes. If all the left can offer is Milquetoast multiculturalism and calling critics of religious intolerance racists, then more and more people are going to vote for parties of the far right. This is in fact what's happening in Europe, and it's sickening.
Toggle Commented Jan 9, 2015 on Je suis Christopher Hitchens at Jon Cogburn's Blog
No, I haven't read those. Thanks, I'll check them out.
Fantastic! Thanks so much for the recommendations, I'll check them both out. In the OP I should have mentioned the canonical example of a series going south, Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles books. At some point, the vampire narrators become absolutely ludicrous, writing in this condescending way that infects some people when they read too much Nietzsche. But the stuff they intone about clearly reflect Rice's own pedestrian (nothing wrong with that) tastes. I forget which book it is where the centuries old vampire has a monologue about the superiority of Gary Oldman in the Beethoven flick Immortal Beloved. You just got a lot of this stuff in lieu of an interesting plot, which was really sad, because the first few books in the series had great plots and a pretty interesting exploration of the Vampire's psychology. And the contrast between the Vampire novels and her late period non-Vampire novels is pretty extreme. I remember one about a Violin, one about a castrati, and one about a family of witches (maybe that was a series) that were as good as anything she's written. I agree with you that the early Anita Blake are pretty fabulous. The character development over the first few books is just paced perfectly. You really want to find out what's going to happen next, and the way the various conflicts are resolved is always interesting. The treatment of sexism and polyamory would have been overly didactic in any lesser writer. I hate that I no longer care what is going to happen to Anita Blake or Meredith Nicessus. I wish HBO would pick them up and be willing to let their writers remake the material when necessary as they have with Martin's books. In 2009 the Anita Blake series was optioned by IFC, but it never went anywhere. I don't know if it's still stuck in option purgatory, or if someone else can pick it up. Anyhow, thanks again for sharing two series I haven't read yet.
This is very plausible, but if true I think it only explains why the books are still selling after the change. As far as marketing, at the time the rot began to set in with Laurel K. Hamilton and now Robin Hobb, each author had already penned over a dozen bestsellers, and I don't think the new ones are selling any better than their titles during the mainstay. Second, I'm not sure that the changes are close enough to what's really going on with Austen or Dostoevsky (or Sartre, for that matter). In all of these cases the content of the narration is in some sense part of the point the novel is getting at. With current Hamilton, this isn't happening. Third, Carey and Harrison are still doing a passable job at writing entertaining plots, it's just that the vast upswing in irritating tics betrays very strong evidence of lack of appropriate editing. In Steven King's recent Rolling Stone interview, he recounted a meeting with J.K. Rowling at some social event organized by their presses and she told him that these people had absolutely no idea what was involved with being a writer, and he concurred. I haven't found this to be the case with the people my wife deals with (at the literary agency and press), so I'm guessing that when you reach a certain level of success it gets worse. Maybe it's just knowing that a lot of people's jobs depend on you getting out at least a book a year that will reliably sell, which means sequels that didn't have enough time to germinate as far as plot goes or get edited properly, or that continue long past the point where good narrative norms dictate that things should have been wrapped up. Nonetheless, I think the issue you raise is really interesting. I'd love to look at sell numbers aggregated by gender and see what kind of generalizations hold.