When Being a Cyborg Is Real Life Not Science Fiction…

Cyborgs United, the what who and where of cyborgs among us. Every night I turn into a cyborg. For me the metaphor and symbolism of science fiction cyborgs, in all their wild and unsettling glory, is a deeply personal set of ideas. Because I am one. I hook myself up to a computer-controlled machine that…

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What Makes a Painting Different Than a Photo?

If you make realistic paintings, and you’re good at it, people often comment that your paintings ‘look just like a photo!’ as if photography were the arbiter of everything true and real. Photo has a long history of being thought of as documentary; a fact that some types of photography use fully, such as photojournalism.…

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What Makes Snapshots Different Than Fine Art Photos?

Why do snapshots look different than fine art photos? What is a ‘snapshot aesthetic’? What do fine art photographers do differently than casual snapshot photographers? The short answer… the basic difference between the snapshot and the fine art photo is simple… to make it look like a snapshot: stop focusing everything perfectly, hold onto your…

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How to Save the World: Great Books on Critical Thinking

  H.G. Wells may have said it best: “Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.” (in his Outline of History, chapter 41, c.1920) Thus how to save the world: great books on basic scientific and critical thinking Writing isn’t just imagination. It’s also reasoning, extrapolating, analyzing. As a science fiction…

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The Real Difference Between Artist and Writer…

Have you ever been to a party, hanging around wondering what in the world to say? Happens to me all the time… pretty much in any social situation. Fortunately my spouse is a magician when it comes to chatting with people. And she does that amazing magic spell called ‘the introduction.’ And then that terrifying…

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College is a Scam? No, but let’s cut tuition and make it more accessible

Every year at the end of May and early June we see more and more articles about what a scam college is. These articles always seems to me to be perfectly timed for the graduation season, perfectly timed to play on the fears of recent college grads who are realizing real life is going to…

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Real Characters Have a Spectrum of Good and Evil Actions

You know, in writing, painting and movies there’s always a temptation to create decidedly evil characters, or obviously good ones. Such oversimplifications are the stuff of myth, as well as of predictable storytelling. Real life is never so simple. As a reminder or tough realities, I offer you two quotations from the always-interesting Alexander Solzhenitsyn, writing…

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Unbelievable Evidence that Doctor Who is NOT from Gallifrey

Just exactly where did Doctor Who come from? It wasn’t Gallifrey! Stories inspire each other. Earlier stories, especially popular ones, tend to inspire later stories. Early time travel stories gained popularity in the late 19th Century. Probably the most well-known is Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. (1889) But actually H.G. Wells…

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Ten Amazing Tricks for Survival Beyond the Art Degree

You earned the art degree. Well, now what? Do you need a job to earn the money while doing the art? Most do. Here’s some tips and ideas about how survive. I’ve written this for the artist, but it could apply to anyone who is an entrepreneur, or, who is seeking work while doing some…

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Ten Ways to Get Started and Make Creative Work More Likely

Sometimes it can be difficult to get a creative project started. In my experience delays are usually a bunch of old goo leftover from some other century’s odd preconceptions about what it means to be creative. Or just time-worn habits of procrastination. Either way, the excuses have got to go back into the storage locker…

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