'…Siri, Google’s new Hummingbird algorithm and the rapid advances in IBM’s natural language processing all point to a time that may seem like a fantasy now but will just be the way “things” work in the years to come.'
Indian sports logos and nicknames may also have harked back to the Indian-only boarding schools, which excelled at collegiate sports. The Carlisle School’s football team, the Indians, was among the best in the nation. When Carlisle closed down in 1918, other (non-Indian) college programs were more inclined to use Indian names and symbols.
There’s a word for this new era we live in: the Anthropocene. This term, taken up by geologists, pondered by intellectuals…represents the idea that we have entered a new epoch in Earth’s geological history, one characterized by the arrival of the human species as a geological force. The Nobel-Prize-winning chemist Paul Crutzen coined the term in 2002, and it has steadily gained acceptance as evidence has increasingly mounted that the changes wrought by global warming will affect not just the world’s climate and biological diversity, but its very geology—and not just for a few centuries, but for millenniums.
…criticism…became a…guild, heavy on…jargon and dedicated to exclusion and self-protection. It became a way of credentialing an insider class and assuring its members of an income inside of the academy. As such, criticism took up a specialized vocabulary whose chief function…was to signal loyalty to the executive board of the approved critical class. There are all these words in contemporary criticism—’gendered,’ ‘hegemonic,’ ‘interrogate,’—that strike me as verbal secret handshakes. They might have been meaningful once, but more and more they feel like coded transmissions between the troops and their leaders. And they make for very ugly sentences. Critical prose of the type that includes them is singularly ugly prose, and I’m with Einstein and similar physicists in believing that elegance bears a close relation to truth.
Nadia Bolz-Weber represents a…Christianity…that merges the passion and life-changing fervor of evangelicalism with the commitment to inclusiveness and social justice of mainline Protestantism. She’s a tatted-up, foul-mouthed champion to people sick of being belittled as not Christian enough for the right or too Jesus-y for the left.
I suppose what I’m describing is a particular type of post-truth maneuver. It’s also related to one of my continuing themes, which is that the way that the GOP-aligned partisan press works has made Republican politicians incredibly lazy, since they know that Fox News and the rest of them will fully buy into whatever talking points they come up with…then the (‘neutral’) press covers this stuff…it needs better language…so that readers and viewers can actually be informed about what’s going on.
Baseball’s Atlanta Braves and Cleveland Indians, football’s Kansas City Chiefs and hockey franchises like the Chicago Blackhawks have likewise come in for criticism. But the Redskins have far and away drawn the most ire, and some question whether clinging to the name, rather than engaging the opposition in meaningful dialogue, will be possible much longer.
Often when you’re an immigrant writing in English, people think it’s primarily a commercial choice. But for many of us, it’s a choice that rises out of the circumstances of our lives. These are the tools I have at my disposal, based on my experiences. It’s a constant debate, not just in my community but in other communities…Where do you belong? You’re kind of one of us, but you now write in a different language. You’re told you don’t belong to American literature or you’re told you don’t belong to Haitian literature. Maybe there’s a place on the hyphen, as Julia Alvarez so brilliantly wrote in one of her essays. That middle generation, the people whose parents brought them to other countries as small children, or even people who were born to immigrant parents, maybe they can have their own literature too.