Impostor by Philip K. Dick. Really nice short story.
We all know there are youthful prodigies in mathematics. Indeed, by the age of 30, most true mathematicians are over the hill. If they haven’t made their bones by then, they almost certainly never will.
There are near-infant prodigies in music. (At the age of two, so the story goes, little Mozart would toddle downstairs in the middle of the night and play an unresolved chord on the harpsichord, knowing that his father would have to get out of bed and come downstairs to resolve it.)
There are artistic prodigies such as Picasso. It’s reported that Andrew Wyeth was so proficient in drawing with charcoal when he was about seven that his instructor, his father N.C., banned him from drawing with it for at least a year so he wouldn’t fall behind in learning his skills with other media.
There are no novelist prodigies. None. Nada. Zero. Zip. Zilch.
This is an absolute must read for all writers.
Blurb: Publishing books yourself, seems interesting.
365 tomorrows is something that’ll stay on my must-read list for a long while. It’s a collection of really good short-stories and a wacky experiment in group writing.
Uncle Orson’s Writing Class: Orson Scott Card and lessons on writing
There was a seminar on Information Communication Technology recently at M.G. College, and my mom and DP attended. I helped DP with her presentation there, and in the process, learned something of the topic which I feel I should share.
ICT is another one of those interdisciplinary fields that I feel I can be passionate about. It’s about using technology for effective communication; the seminar dealt specifically with technology as a tool for learning, what you can do with it and its implications. I got a good description of the seminar from my mom (couldn’t attend because I still am driving myself to write a perfect SOP), but first I’d like to go off on a tangent, and share some thoughts on literature analysis that I’ve always had.
Literature appreciation, the kind that goes around in English departments out here, I’ve felt is most often fitting theories to your primary source. The theories themselves are assumptions made by generalizing a large number of texts, and there is nothing wrong with that: it follows the “hypothesize, theorize, correct” chain of scientific research. What is innately wrong though is that appreciation is about analyzing fiction, and that has an incredible level of dependence on the text in question. Fitting Freudian and Jungian themes into character’s drives and aspirations, and explaining them that way seems so incredibly pointless. DP explains this (although she admits its “invory tower research”) by saying that ultimately, since characters in books are based on real people, this appreciation is in effect a study of human life. It still seems an incredibly round-about way of going about it though 🙂
The kind of appreciation I like, is linguistic analysis of texts. I’ve read a thesis by one of my mom’s friends done on God of Small Things. I really liked the way the analysis moved about to point to the effectivness of language. Which brings us back to… ICT.
One of the other problems I believe, with the so-called-experts of this field around here is that while they are up-to-date with the latest of theories, they don’t experiment with them. No controlled experiments around here, folks, just talking and making mountains of debate. Research should always be with a practical goal in mind! Or, it must be to further a definitely stated goal. And it should always, always be supported by valid experiments. This time around, as my main project, I plan to do some usabililty field testing with people and how they use authentication mechanisms. Let’s see how well I practice what I preach 😉
HCI and ICT seem to be really related fields, and I’d like to do a course in linguistics/communication effectivness/etc. too sometime.