Category Archives: Veil One: Sophomore

A 1994 interview with John Linnell of They Might Be Giants

Much of my life has been driven by an unstoppable desire to see what I could get away with. When I was seventeen, and editor of my high-school literary magazine, I decided to see if I could get an interview with They Might Be Giants. At the time, TMBG were not yet the creators of […]

Notes on Linux: The Learning Curve and the Command Line

This is the third in a series of posts documenting my first month or so using Linux. The first one was on Macs as “shiny jewelry;” the second was on the difficulty of relying on Linux as your day-to-day work operating system (it doesn’t work). So, OK, maybe I’m not being totally fair by saying […]

Angry Birds Is No Super Artillery: or, What Kids These Days Don’t Learn From Technology

So I just started playing Angry Birds recently, seeing as I now have a smartphone which wasn’t built broken and can run it.(1) I’ve seen it around, of course, so I was able to dive right in and start playing without much explanation. And I’ve played other games with similar physics, so I was able […]

How we know what we know: A personal intellectual history

While I’ve been applying for faculty positions, I’ve frequently been leading by saying “I’m interested in how we know what we know.” I’ve tried calling this “epistemology,” but a number of people have made it clear to me that I really don’t know what philosophers mean when they use that term; I’m not familiar with […]

A thought about core curricula

The genetic biologist who has written an open letter to the head of SUNY Albany, on the occasion of his cutting of their French, Italian, Russian, theater, and classics departments, has gotten attention from a number of my friends today. He argues eloquently that science without the humanities becomes soulless and misguided; he illustrates with […]