The Parable of the Superhero Movie

You’ve been bitten by a radioactive spider. Or, you come from a doomed planet in the far reaches of space. Maybe, you’re a god, or the child of a god-king. Perhaps you are just an incredibly rich billionaire, philanthropist, playboy or, heaven forbid, orphan. But, the crux of the story is - you have power. [...]

Why we read: the joy of books

There is an ubiquity of apps these days which condense books into snippets or short video/audio presentations. I like the idea. After all, time is the rarest ‘commodity’ in today’s world. (The self quarantine that many of us are currently going through has given us a new sense of the value of personal time.) However, [...]

The Habermas-Rawls Debate // Reviews // Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // University of Notre Dame

James Gordon Finlayson's book gives us a well-informed and detailed account of the exchange between Habermas and Rawls about questions of political justice and legitimacy. Finlayson discusses both the exchange which took place in the 1990s and the ensuing academic debate which continues today. He analyses both the exchange and the debate with lucidity and [...]

A Family Flees In ‘Story Boat’: ‘Here’ Is Home, But ‘Here’ Keeps Changing : NPR

The family in Story Boat is leaving an unspecified place and heading to an unknown destination. "It's a story about uncertainty. It's about dreaming," Maclear says. The family in the book is in the midst of an ongoing journey — "here" is home, but "here" keeps changing. Maclear says she tried to build a pattern [...]

Cathy Park Hong And The Complexities Of Asian American Consciousness | SSENSE

In her book, Hong moves between concepts of invisibility and erasure, dissecting moments in the culture, shifting between art, language, history and personal memory with a deft sensitivity, touching on events such as the disturbing 2017 video of a United Airlines passenger named David Dao being forcibly removed from an airplane to her education at [...]

Why we like a good robot story | OUPblog

We have been telling stories about machines with minds for almost three thousand years. In the Iliad, written around 800 BCE, Homer describes the oldest known AI: “golden handmaidens” created by Hephaestus, the disabled god of metalworking. They “seemed like living maidens” with “intelligence… voice and vigour”, and “bustled about supporting their master.” In the Odyssey, Homer [...]

Barbara Neely, Activist Turned Mystery Writer, Dies at 78 – The New York Times

Ms. Neely’s family announced her death through her publisher, Brash Books, without providing further details, except to say that she had been ill for a short time. Ms. Neely was not the first black female mystery writer. Nor was Blanche White the first fictional black sleuth. But Blanche was probably the first fictional black maid [...]

Seven books on the fascinating human brain [reading list] | OUPblog

The human brain is often described as the most complex object in the known universe – we know so much, and yet so little, about the way it works. It’s no wonder then that the study of brain today encompasses an enormous range of topics, from abstract understanding of consciousness to microscopic exploration of billions of neurons. [...]