Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Guild

For anyone who has ever felt like they might be spending just a little too much time on the internet, check out this web series. It is hilarious.

From their website:
The Guild is a independent sitcom webisode about a group of online gamers. It is written for gamers, about gamers by a gamer. Episodes vary from 3-5 minutes and length, and follow the Guild members’ lives online and offline.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Then what is it about?

This is something that has long bugged me.
You're so vain, you probably think this song is about you
You're so vain, I'll bet you think this song is about you
Don't you? Don't You? is about him, isn't it?

Update: I wonder...maybe it is that the 'you' is plural. So she's singing about multiple guys and each one probably thinks the song is about him, when it is about all of them. Different terms for 3rd person singular and plural would help here.

Friday, March 07, 2008

A little bit older, a little bit wiser

George McGovern (yes, that McGovern) has an interesting piece in the WSJ today on freedom and responsibility. He argues against government paternalism and for protecting freedom of choice.

Hey, this guy should run for the Democratic nomination!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Harry Potter at Tufts

On Wednesday night, I spoke at Tufts University on Harry Potter. It was a great experience to be back at Tufts as an invited speaker. I think the talk was well received. I spoke with several students after the talk and they seemed to like it. My parents were there, and they liked it--but they have to be law.

The title of my talk was: Harry Potter and Humanity: Choice, Love, and Death. The essential idea of the talk is that HP has wide appeal because it deals with important parts of the human condition. I focus on two such points: the importance of one's choices and the acceptance of mortality. I argue that what makes Voldemort's evil possible, in part, is his refusal to accept his humanity and his mortality. I might post the talk here, but I may not--I think it needs more work. It is very different to give a speech than to post it in written form. If you are interested in seeing what I wrote, send me a request by email: sklein _at_

Here's the Tufts Daily newspaper article about the event. The article captures the event pretty well; though it misquotes me somewhat--but not in a meaningful way.

Some thoughts on being back at Tufts:
  • The students look the same. I swear, they looked the same when I was there.

  • The campus looks remarkably similar; yet, there are lots of differences. That is a testament to good design. They have upgraded many of the buildings and added some new ones without change the feel of the campus.

  • As I passed through the campus I was flooded with memories of different moments in time; many I haven't thought of since their occurrence. So strange to return to a place where there are pieces of your life every where you look.

Thanks to the Ex College and the Tufts Harry Potter Society for inviting me.