More Book Advice from a Nonexistent Bookstore

So, if last round was the Greatest Hits, this time’s for the album tracks and rarities—not everything here will be to everybody’s taste, some of these will be to almost nobody’s taste (well, except maybe yours, Asher), and at least a few of them should be loved by none. Continue reading

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Storytelling and Reality: Telling Lies Truly

I think I’ve mentioned two works of fiction on this blog so far more prominently than any others: David Foster Wallace’s The Broom of the System, and Tim O’Brian’s The Things They Carried.  Both deal with an odd notion that philosophers have been playing with for the last few decades—how is it that things that don’t exist in the ordinary sense can nevertheless be true?

“Everyone knows” what a unicorn is.  It’s a horse-like being with a horn.  Easy enough, right?  Okay, so pick the unicorns:

One of these things is not like the others . . .

Continue reading

I Read It for the Phenomenology

Tonight, it’s time for philosophy, bad journalism, and porn.

A while back (okay, about two weeks ago), Slate’s XX Factor blog put up a piece “explaining” why the stereotypical male porn actor is, well, not attractive to women.  According to Lowder’s interpretation of Amanda Hess, who wrote the profile his theorizing is based on, it’s because straight men are afraid that, if a man women are interested in were cast, they’d be attracted to him, and thus insecure about their masculinities.

I’m not buying it.  Well, okay.  I guess it could be a possible interpretation, but not a likely—or even good—one. Continue reading