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Truth, Literature, and Learning

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Schizophrenia - Tall Guy Investigates. An eleven page chapter from my upcoming book Psychiatric Tales, which will be out from Blank Slate in early 2010. Feel free to point out any errors or make any other comments. Mind-Manual - Figuring Out Life Together. Jordan Peterson is one of three life changing profs at UofT as rated by the students. He’s very unconventional. For example he tells students not to take notes and just listen. If he did everything like other profs do, then he obviously wouldn’t change anyone’s life. Because of this, students have a tough time figuring out how to do well in his class because it’s different from other classes they’ve taken.

In particular, the Straight-A Method (LINK) doesn’t work as well for him. First, you have to understand that most classes are oriented towards cramming knowledge into your brains, a few are oriented towards helping you develop the skills of manipulating that knowledge and very few are oriented towards changing the very way you look at the world. Jordan Peterson falls into the third category. He’s more interested in giving you that moment of insight that changes the way you understand and interact with the world.

That’s why I have returned to his classes again and again. Harold Bloom Creates a Massive List of Works in The "Western Canon": Read Many of the Books Free Online. I have little desire to rehash the politics, but the facts are plain: by the time I arrived in college as an undergraduate English major in the mid-90s, the idea of the “Western Canon” as a container of—in the words of a famous hymn—“all that’s good, and great, and true” was seriously on the wane, to put it mildly. And in many quarters of academia, mention of the name of Yale literary critic Harold Bloom provoked, at the very least, a raised eyebrow and pointed silence.

Bloom’s reputation perhaps unfairly fell victim to the so-called “Canon Wars,” likely at times because of a misidentification with political philosopher Allan Bloom. That Bloom was himself no ideologue, writes Jim Sleeper; he was a close friend of Saul Bellow and “an eccentric interpreter of Enlightenment thought who led an Epicurean, quietly gay life.”

Nonetheless, his fiery attack on changing academic values, The Closing of the American Mind, became a textbook of the neoconservative right. A: “The Theocratic Age” Italy. Writers resources arts. 21 Writing Prompts for Setting a Scene in Your Novel. When you’re writing (or rewriting) a scene, do you ever get the feeling you just don’t have enough to say? Sure, there’s the action–but what about all the extra bits meant to flesh out your story? While I don’t encourage overwriting for the sake of word count, meaningful details can help you establish setting and atmosphere. Last week, I sat down with John Banville’s Booker Prize winning novel, The Sea–a book that features prose I admire–and took careful notes about how the author managed to effectively set certain scenes. Here’s just one of its many beautiful passages : I would not swim again, after that day.

The seabirds mewled and swooped, unnerved, it seemed, by the spectacle of that vast bowl of water bulging like a blister, lead-blue and malignantly agleam. They looked unnaturally white, that day, those birds. From this passage, I know the narrator is remembering something unpleasant from his past, and the imagery foreshadows what happens later in the story. Character Flaw Index. To make characters realistic and relatable they are given flaws, because if there is anything a writer can be sure of it is that no one in their audience will be perfect. Flaws are character traits that have a negative impact in the narrative, unless they are simply informed.

They can also be exploited. See Good Flaws, Bad Flaws for a scale of flaw acceptability. Compare Seven Deadly Sins, Ego Tropes. Abusive Parents: Habitually violent and cruel to their own children, often because that's how they themselves were raised. Afraid of Blood: Extreme fear of blood. Afraid of Doctors: Extreme fear of doctors. Fantasy Name Generator. By Samuel Stoddard - Version 1.5 One of the perks of creating fantasy stories -- whether by writing a story or game or by role-playing -- is you get to make up the names. Some people relish the task while others are frustrated by it. Some like it but can't seem to create names that are diverse enough. Fantasy Name Generator is a tool that can help you.

It can generate an endless number of random names (of people, places, or anything) that would be suitable for use in a fantasy setting. In addition, this tool can be fairly amusing to use even if you don't have any name creating to do. You can use the fantasy name generator below. 16 Observations About Real Dialogue. Famous Writers' Small Writing Sheds and Off-the-Grid Huts. Previous image Next image Roald Dahl's writing hut, The Gipsy House When I hear the phrase "writing hut" or "backyard shed" my imagination practically squeals with delight. A small, intimate space furnished with the essentials.

Low impact, high inspiration. This is probably why I love going to North Dakota and why I want to pull a Pollan and build my own little house. Roald Dahl "The whole of the inside was organised as a place for writing: so the old wing-back chair had part of the back burrowed out to make it more comfortable; he had a sleeping bag that he put his legs in when it was cold and a footstool to rest them on; he had a very characteristic Roald arrangement for a writing table with a bar across the arms of the chair and a cardboard tube that altered the angle of the board on which he wrote. Mark Twain George Bernard Shaw George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) worked for the last 20 years of his life in a remarkably sophisticated writer's hut on his property in St. Dylan Thomas. 8 Tips for Awesome Dialogue. Dialogue is one of the most important and also one of the most difficult aspects of a story. That is because dialogue is such a common occurrence in readers’ lives.

Just as badly done animation of people is creepy, badly written dialogue comes off as fake and vaguely menacing. There is nothing worse to read than a cliché-ridden, stilted, and obviously forced line of dialogue. From the dime store novels of the past to Harlequin romances of today, you can find examples of bad dialogue everywhere. But what is good dialogue? 1. The first thing a writer should do if they want to write realistic dialogue is to listen to real people talk. 2. No one blathers on for pages about the past or their history unless they have a really good reason. 3. Slang is a part of our everyday conversations. 4. Accents should not be overused either. 5. A pet peeve of mine is dialogue that switches between characters with little to no indication of who is saying what. 6. 7. 8. City and Town Name Generator for RPGs and Writers.

Setting: Using Scene To Enrich Your Writing. In both fiction and nonfiction, the setting is the general background against which your story takes place—the physical location and time period, both of which influence your characters and plot. So how can a creative writer use setting and scenery to further offset, augment, or reflect the action of the plot? Although we’re going to be exploring this issue in terms of fiction, these techniques work for nonfiction as well. These craft techniques work in all genres: poetry, stories, personal essays, memoir, and books. Suppose you’re writing a novel that is set in the Deep South in 1955 and your protagonist is an immigrant facing prejudice and roadblocks at every turn.

You’d have a completely different novel if your protagonist were a Texas cowboy who found himself in Mississippi at that particular time and place. Setting the stage for a short story or novel is a crucial part of engaging your reader. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. QUESTION: What was the setting of the last thing you wrote? How to Make Your Book Play Out Like a Movie. By Jody Hedlund, @JodyHedlund Recently I received a reader email that said this: "My friend gave me one of your books and I devoured it in two days . . . The scenes play out like a movie in my head, and I felt the characters were all real people!” The scenes play out like a movie. The comment was interesting and pushed me to analyze some of the techniques that I utilize to bring the book to the big screen of the reader’s mind. Because ultimately, we want to bring our story to life in such a way that the reader feels they are there experiencing the story right along with our characters.

So how do we make our books play out in the reader’s mind like a movie? 1. In the most recent book I wrote (which I recently turned in to my publisher), I had approximately 40-45 scenes. Part of the decision-making will have to do with genre expectations. I also try only to display scenes that move quickly and have the most tension, conflict, and action—scenes that could truly play out on a movie screen. 2. Dramatica - The Next Chapter in Story Development. Active Voice Versus Passive Voice. Today's topic is active voice versus passive voice. Here's a question from Brian in Iowa.

He writes, “It drives me crazy when people write in passive voice. How can I teach people how to tell the difference between passive and active voice and to stay away from passive voice?” Well, Brian is right, the first step is to help people understand the difference between active and passive voice, because many people believe they should avoid the passive voice, but fewer people can define it or recognize it.

What Is Active Voice? I'll start with active voice because it's simpler. Another example is the title of the Marvin Gaye song “I Heard It through the Grapevine.” What Is Passive Voice? In passive voice, the target of the action gets promoted to the subject position. If you wanted to make the title of the Marvin Gaye song passive, you would say “It was heard by me through the grapevine,” not such a catchy title anymore. Next: Is "To Be" a Sign of Passive Voice? Is Passive Voice Always Wrong? 1. Forgotten Books :: 1,000,000+ Free Books, World's Largest Online eBook Library.

Full text books free to read online in the full text archive. 31 Quotes That Will Give You Chills. I think quotes have a powerful way of conveying an attitude to you which sometimes resonates so much that you feel ‘chills’ inside. Here’s a list of the quotes which have given me the most of these “chills”. Enjoy! Some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75. —Benjamin FranklinMost people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions. Their lives a mimicry. "shuck" on Visuwords. Things I’ve quit doing at my desk. How To Write A Novel Using The Snowflake Method. 5 Ways to Get Rid of Your Damn Empty Modifiers. I discussed the need to get rid of empty emphatics when I gave you 8 words to seek and destroy in your writing, but just saying that you should get rid of a thing doesn't say much about the right way to do so.

Today I'm going to show you a few of my favorite ways to get rid of your empty modifiers. What exactly is an empty modifier? It's any word whose only role is to intensify the word it's modifying. The prime candidates here are "very" and "really," but "extremely," "intensely," "totally," "absolutely," "quite," and many other emphatic modifiers make the list. Further, many emphatics that shift meaning slightly or add some flavor (e.g., "just" or "damn") should be approached with skepticism, and it's easy to find flimsy "-ly" words that show us why the road to hell is paved with adverbs.

I'm not saying that empty modifiers should never be used. 1. Sylvia was very crazy. This is the easiest and often the best solution. 2. Bob was really ugly hideous. 3. Shane was really tall. 4. 5. Writing Empathetically vs. Sympathetically and Sentimentally. Several weeks ago, I read a story that had a passage like this: "My parents never really cared about me," Allie said. "All my life they saw me as a disappointment, a waste of space. I was always the butt of their jokes. And no one really noticed. And it went on like this for about a paragraph or two. I could see that the writer wanted to foster sympathy for the character, wanted to explain how the character felt about her upbringing.

But ultimately, it made her sound whiny--and I could tell that wasn't what the author intended. At first I was a little sympathetic to the character. . .then after several sentences, the writing just felt sentimental to me, meaning, I felt like the writer was trying to coax me to feel a certain way, like I was being controlled, rather than letting me feel for the situation myself. It's a good idea to want your readers to connect with your characters' hardships, but it can backfire if it's too sentimental or sometimes even when it's sympathetic. Remember, The Ultimate Guide to Writing Better Than You Normally Do. Writing is a muscle. Smaller than a hamstring and slightly bigger than a bicep, and it needs to be exercised to get stronger. Think of your words as reps, your paragraphs as sets, your pages as daily workouts.

Think of your laptop as a machine like the one at the gym where you open and close your inner thighs in front of everyone, exposing both your insecurities and your genitals. Because that is what writing is all about. Procrastination is an alluring siren taunting you to google the country where Balki from Perfect Strangers was from, and to arrange sticky notes on your dog in the shape of hilarious dog shorts. The blank white page. Mark Twain once said, “Show, don’t tell.” Finding a really good muse these days isn’t easy, so plan on going through quite a few before landing on a winner. There are two things more difficult than writing. It’s no secret that great writers are great readers, and that if you can’t read, your writing will often suffer. Hemingway. Nuts and Bolts: “Thought” Verbs. The problems with beliefs. The Dark Bible: Contents. Freethinkers) Share Your Writing - Free Publishing to Share Novels, Short Stories, Poems, and More.

Tree Story - Stories that Grow. 20 awesomely untranslatable words from around the world. 20 more awesomely untranslatable words from around the world. Travel Through Time by Riding the Sound. Human Eye Solar Earth Analogy as a Stonehenge Code Video -- By Dr. Emad Kayyam.flv. Human Eye Solar Earth Analogy as a Stonehenge Code. Human Eye Solar Earth Analogy as a Stonehenge Code. A-level Critical Thinking. Critical thinking web. Critical Reasoning for Beginners.

47 Mind-Blowing Psychology-Proven Facts You Should Know About Yourself. Writings. 30 Essential Reads for Philosophy Majors - Online College CoursesOnline College Courses. Psychogeography. Philosophy Experiments. General Philosophy. Ask a Philosopher: Questions and Answers 23 (1st series)

Great Thinkers & Great People - Deep Spirits. Plato's "The Allegory of the Cave". Full text of "THE TRAVEL DIARY OF A PHILOSOPHER VOLUME ONE" Strange Loops - Philosophy and Freethought. 12 Brain Rules -- illustrated. Descartes's Dualism. Changing minds and persuasion -- How we change what others think, believe, feel and do. Courses. Life Sciences. Flâneur. List of the Virtues. Embrace Truth.

PBS Closer to Truth | The far future of humans and intelligence in the universe — episodes with Ray Kurzweil. Who Runs The World? Watch Nature - Page 2 of 9 Documentaries Online Free. 40 websites that will make you cleverer right now.