Archive for the ‘Big dumb doody-heads’ Category

This is why we can’t have nice things

August 5, 2012

This is what happens when you view the entire history of comics through the lens of one very small genre which has, thanks to various accidents of history, become the dominant entry-point for a particular type of reader. You get asinine questions like this, about Floyd Gottfredson’s Mickey Mouse:

One of the things that blew my mind was how those strips feel so much more modern than your average Golden Age super-hero comic, even though they started eight years before Action Comics #1.

That’s right, kids. We’re in a decade that had, inter alia, Prince Valiant, Krazy Kat, Terry and the Pirates, Popeye in Thimble Theatre, Wash Tubbs/Captain Easy, Alley Oop, Dick Tracy, Li’l Abner…and we’re asking why another canon-level comic strip seems modern compared with Action fucking Comics #1.

Comics!

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This post is flawed because it doesn’t contain several paragraphs on Norbert Weiner

December 19, 2011

So the great psychologist, and “Nobel” laureate, Daniel Kahneman has written a pop science book summing up his prodigious life of research — good for him. If he’d started his research career thirty years later, he would have written a dozen such books by now; so much of his research lends itself to the genre of  “Title/Subtitle: How One Half-Baked Idea Based on Other People’s Research Can Sell a Million Books”…except that Kahneman himself did all the research (with collaborators, of course), and his ideas are so very, very far from half-baked. We can only be grateful that we have the one pop book that he’s given us now. I hope he sells a zillion books.

Anyway, Freeman Dyson has a review of Kahneman’s book in the New York Review of Books, and his big criticism is…Kahneman never mentions Freud!

Not even in the footnotes!!!!!!

Shit, man, what about Skinner??? Does Kahneman have nothing to say about the humoral theory? Where my Robert Burton at, homeboy? I thought A Brief History of Time should have had at least two chapters on Ptolemy; The Selfish Gene, two on Georges Cuvier.

On the other hand, Dyson’s review doesn’t name-drop Malcolm Gladwell or David fucking Brooks, so there is that. (Speaking of “Title/Subtitle”…)

PS: Bonus points for Dyson for repeating the furphy that William James and Sigmund Freud were not scientists. Just because a lot of their theories were false, doesn’t mean they weren’t scientists — they were just unlucky!