Sunday, November 23, 2003

Good Stories: I have been reading Pattern Recognition by William Gibson; an entry in a literary genre called cyber-punk -- wickedly fast paced prose with lots of internet culture/technical references. It’s a rather compelling mystery, a certain insightfulness, and lots of references to the world of the web that I suspect most people wouldn’t identify with, but I do since I spend an unwarranted amount of time in that world (that means I am either way cooler or way more geeky than you -- your call). I may review it in the fullness of time. For now let me recommend a trio of articles that I have found interesting.

First, from Wired, we have a well done story about savants, the Rain Man types who are horrible maladjusted but have ungodly skills in certain areas, usually math or music. They are also remarkably useful to neuroscientists.

Speaking of neuroscience, I happened on this old (1996-ish) Tom Wolfe article about the philosophical implications of neuroscience and the fatalistic world it seems portend. Wolfe puts it all in a thoughtful historical context that makes it more than a little scary, but still ultimately positive, I think.

Lastly, a beautiful article about a monumental 6-man football game in rural Montana. 6-man is played out in the smallest and remotest of high schools where the population doesn’t support full-sized teams. The story interlinks the football game with life in the dying, small farming community. Written with exceptional sensitivity – should get a sports writing award of some kind.