Monthly Archives: April 2015

Idle musings on historical periods

My academic specialty is known among philosophers as “early modern” philosophy, and by that is typically meant a string of canonical figures extending from Descartes to Kant. Before Descartes, philosophy is all medieval (the story goes); after Kant, it is … Continue reading

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Comenius’s primer for learning Latin

I recently came across a 1685 English translation of Comenius’s “World of Pictures,” which was a primer aimed at helping children to learn Latin. (Comenius’s original was for German children, but this book was translated by Charles Hoole.) The idea … Continue reading

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Invented languages on Utah Public Radio

I recently had the joy of discussing perfect and invented language on Utah Public Radio with USU Folklorist Lynne McNeill, who, as it turns out, speaks some Klingon. If you are interested

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The Fermi Paradox, Mass Effect, and Transhumanism

The Fermi Paradox The story is that sometime in the early 1950s, four physicists were walking to lunch and discussing flying saucers. The place was Los Alamos, and the lunch group included Enrico Fermi, Edward Teller, Emil Konopinski, and Herbert … Continue reading

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“As One” – a chamber opera

Last night we had the wonderful experience of seeing “As One,” a chamber opera about a transgendered person’s voyage of self-discovery. As a chamber opera, the instrumental music was provided by a string quartet (our resident Fry Street Quartet), the … Continue reading

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For the love of words

James Turner, Philology (Princeton: Princeton UP, 2014). These days we think of “the Humanities” as a natural kind. There are the natural sciences, the social sciences, the creative arts, and the humanities (and then the grab bag of more vocationally-focused … Continue reading

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