MoneyBall: The Art of Winning and Unfair Game by Michael Lewis (2003)

Moneyball is not what I expected it to be. I expected it to be a depressing account of how math and machines are slowly going to stamp out our individuality, but the narrative I read was quite different. It was about merit triumphing over appearance, about strategy outdoing wealth, about brain beating brawn, about overlooked young rookies finally being given a chance. It’s one of those untold, hope-inspiring stories of a quiet revolution happening right under our noses. … More MoneyBall: The Art of Winning and Unfair Game by Michael Lewis (2003)

Why Are People Ashamed to Watch Kids’ Shows?

I hear lots of complaints about bronies.

For those of you who don’t know, a “brony” is a male who enjoys the hit show, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, currently in its 6th season on Discovery Family. For a 4-minute introductory video on the topic (in the form of song, of course), see this YouTube AMV: Let’s Go and Meet the Bronies (Note: AMV stands for “Animated Music Video”).

Despite the amazing, original songs (personal favorite: “Don’t Mine at Night”), shorts, animations, and artwork that bronies have contributed to the online community, they get a bad reputation. Why? Two reasons:

1. Rule 34, which we shall not go into

2. There’s “something wrong with a grown man watching a show meant for little girls.” <— THIS is the statement we will be debunking today. … More Why Are People Ashamed to Watch Kids’ Shows?

Experiencing Architecture by Steen Eiler Rasmussen (1962)

This semester, I’m taking a course called Architecture and Society (ARC 308). The professor, Dr. Larry Speck, has a reputation for causing students to switch their major to architecture. So far, I can certainly agree that the class has been important to my intellectual development, so to speak, and has opened my eyes to several interesting … More Experiencing Architecture by Steen Eiler Rasmussen (1962)

Motivation: Fun vs. Fear

When I was in the sixth grade, my English teacher told us a story about the best persuasive essay she’d ever read from one of her students. The argument of the essay? Everything we do in life is motivated by fear.
 
Why do we go to work? To get money. Why money? So we can buy food. So we don’t starve. Fear of death = motivation of everything.
 
I accepted this as fact for a while, listing different examples in my mind. Students taking extracurricular for fear of not getting into college, giving into peer pressure for fear of being an outsider, dieting for fear of ridicule or health problems…
 
And then I got to roller coasters. Why do we ride roller coasters? For fear of…not having fun?  … More Motivation: Fun vs. Fear

How can fiction be more useful than reality?

“How can fiction be more real than reality? It makes no sense. Nothing is more real than reality.” —random commenter on Reddit.

I don’t take issue with this statement. I take issue what the implication behind it. 

Fiction that takes place in alternative societies or worlds, likewise, show us things about our own reality that we normally take for granted. … More How can fiction be more useful than reality?