Ghost in the Shell Receives a Diet Version and, Like Others, is Missing Something Crucial

It is entirely unfair to compare most adaptations to their original source material because it is an undeniable fact that things will always be lost in translation and the two products will ultimately be different things entirely, but in the case of 2017’s Ghost in the Shell, it is completely necessary to make the comparison so as to best understand what the original film did right and what seems to be missing from its most recent incarnation.

As always, please be advised: we’re about to enter heavy spoiler territory. Continue reading “Ghost in the Shell Receives a Diet Version and, Like Others, is Missing Something Crucial”

The Mathematics of the Library

This post serves as a companion piece to my essay Imagining the Unimaginable: How Borges’ “The Library of Babel” Relates to Multiverse Theory. It serves no other purpose than to host and explain all of the mathematics used in that essay. Also please note that all of the math present here (with the exception of Appendix IV: Sizable Collections) is not my own work, but is instead the work of William Goldbloom Bloch, who discusses the amazing mathematical properties of the library in his book The Unimaginable Mathematics of Borges’ Library of Babel. If you’re at all interested in mathematics, I highly recommend this book as it’s a profoundly interesting read. Continue reading “The Mathematics of the Library”

Imagining the Unimaginable: The Beauty of Borges’ “Library of Babel”

If you peruse the internet long enough, you might be fortunate enough to stumble across a particularly interesting experiment called the Library of Babel. It’s the pet project of one Jonathan Basile, who was driven to experiment and create his enigmatic library “by an interest in literature and iterability.” The website at which the library can be found is stark and monochromatic, so unassuming in its design. Browsing the library reveals that it’s organized into digital hexagons, with four of their six walls occupied by bookshelves. Clicking on a wall zooms in on its bookshelves, and clicking on a bookshelf zooms in on its books. Here is where one may click on a book to open it.

This is where a curious thing is discovered: the books are gibberish. Continue reading “Imagining the Unimaginable: The Beauty of Borges’ “Library of Babel””

Looper: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Paradox

Time travel: why do we bother? We’ve been fascinated with it for so long — hell, I published a story that discusses it — but we do it so poorly. There are some stories that break past the challenges of the topic. I just wrote an entire essay about one of them last week. But for every good example of time travel in fiction, there are a number of bad examples to accompany it. Continue reading “Looper: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Paradox”

House of Leaves: The Trials of the Labyrinth

Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves is a peculiar beast. Upon the completion of my very first read-through of the notorious novel, it was quickly and appropriately placed among my private collection of books, that is the ones which I am inclined to treat as some of my most prized possessions. In just over 500 pages, Danielewski succeeded in entrapping me in the labyrinthine structure of his triple-narrative tale that pulled me in and refused to let go, and that’s disregarding the nearly 200 pages of appendixes and extra content found at the back of the tome. Few books have ever captivated me in such an elegant manner as this. Continue reading “House of Leaves: The Trials of the Labyrinth”

Atmosfear: How Creativity Defies Limitation

One of my less publicized hobbies is tabletop gaming. I don’t often speak of it solely because those who aren’t in the know tend to think that I might be referring to one of the many mass-produced games that so often fill the closets of families across the country. Such games (including the likes of Trivial Pursuit, Monopoly, Clue, and many others) are cheap to produce and cheap to sell, and they too often come with cheap components, poorly executed mechanisms, and lackluster gameplay. There’s a very good reason why so many individuals might groan at the suggestion that a board game be played. Continue reading “Atmosfear: How Creativity Defies Limitation”