I’ve followed and appreciated from “day 1” what Crash Course has done to educate people. Anyone with internet access can get access to entertaining, thought-provoking introductions to various subjects, getting a quick survey of topics.
The downside, of course, is that these speedy courses can reduce or misrepresent complex and nuanced understandings of the world. Continue reading →
You’re Moses, and you want your people freed. After decades of oppression by this ugly empire you were brought up in but fail to accept, you want your people to be delivered. Yet Pharaoh, the self-claimed ruler and “god” of Egypt, refuses the gesture. You don’t get it. Ten plagues later, he doesn’t get it. You don’t get that he doesn’t get it. Is he even human? Well, he thinks he’s above human. Continue reading →
I get it. I very much do. In my youth I gained a general distrust of authority figures of all types, from clergy to cops, from politicians to privateers, from bureaucrats to bad parents. I didn’t get into scuffles with authorities or break the law. I wasn’t much of a rebel. But I wasn’t a fan of people having too much power. I was not a fan of being told what to do when I have no idea why I am told to do it the way I am told to. I didn’t like unnecessary pressure to conform. I didn’t like to hear “because I said so,” “I’m in charge, that’s why,” or even “by the power invested in me by the state of ________.” But here’s the thing: I still maintained respect. Continue reading →
In his novel The Circle Dave Eggers branches out into dystopian fiction. You’d think a writer like Eggers wouldn’t bother with a genre many contemporary literary writers might find too cliche, commercialized, and predictable. “Society looks perfect, but it all goes downhill. Seen it before.” But Eggers doesn’t go for a distant, war-torn future. He takes us back to the roots of modern dystopian masterpieces: 1984 and Brave New World. What we get is a glimpse of the near future that is—I’ll admit—more relevant than one of my favorites, The Hunger Games. Continue reading →