One night when I was in college, a group of friends were thinking about going to a movie, and someone said, “No, I don’t want to go to a movie where you have to think.” It bothered me that someone could ever feel that way. I thought those were the best types of movies. What’s the point of watching a movie if it doesn’t make you think?
I was reminiscing about that night from college recently while contemplating the purpose of stories. They’ve been around for the entirety of human history. Storytelling is what makes humans human; it’s what separates us from other species. No other animal can tell stories to each other and pass on wisdom and knowledge through language. Continue reading →
Whether it’s zombie outbreaks, nuclear wastelands, or climate change, people love post-apocalyptic stories. Examples include books like The Road and A Canticle for Leibowitz, TV shows like The Walking Dead and Jericho, video games like Fallout and The Last of Us, comics like Y: The Last Man, and movies like Mad Max, I am Legend, World War Z, Book of Eli, and The Postman. The causes and effects differ, but what these stories share is the setting of a world after civilization has fallen, with people living in brutal conditions where everyday survival is a struggle. The themes are dark and dour, yet these stories are extremely popular. The question is: why are people so drawn to post-apocalyptic stories? Continue reading →
At all times, I am reading at least one fiction book and one nonfiction book. The nonfiction subjects vary: science, history, philosophy, psychology, and writing. There’s so much I want to learn about the world and so little time to do it. The nonfiction books I read often inspire and influence the fiction I write, though really I’m just hoping to learn something new from each book I read, and I learned a lot from those I read this past year. Continue reading →
It was the sixth grade, and we were on the bus ride home from our class trip. I was sitting in the back with my best friend, Gary. The other kids were joking around, making fun of him in a cruel way. He was not taking it well. I felt bad, but as an extremely shy person, I was too afraid to speak up. The teasing got worse and worse, then, as the bus arrived at my apartment complex, Gary pulled out a gun and shot himself in the head. He died instantly.
Then I woke up. I was not in the sixth grade—I was 31 years old. Gary was alive and well. It was all a dream. Continue reading →
Over the past couple of years, I have become obsessed with artificial intelligence (AI). If you’re not also obsessed with AI then you probably don’t know enough about AI. To remedy that, read Tim Urban’s massive 2-part post about AI on his blog Wait But Why. Continue reading →
News is literally making people sick. The media mostly reports negative events because that’s what gets ratings. But constant negativity will lead to nothing but fear, hatred, anxiety, and depression in those who consume it. Continue reading →