Wednesday, August 04, 2004


More unpacking

Just moving a couple of old posts over from DA


About 1/2 hour before I have to run off, but as I cannot access the mailbox at my website (I'm in a scientific institution at present, and it doesn't like the certificate) and as my fave forum is currently home to a discussion about the current sitch in Iraq that I would rather not be party to any longer, and which is making me somewhat ill (thus I am not working on the forum rules, which would be the other way I might kill this half-hour off), I'm here instead. I had thought to share a passage out of the book I just finished reading, but I don't have the book with me, so that'll have to wait until next entry. However, in prep, the book is entitled 'The Language Instinct,' and is written by one Steven Pinker--he recently made the Time magazine top 100 of scientists and thinkers, and there's a brief write-up on him at CNN --yes, I read CNN, though it is but one of many news sources I check out...perhaps I'll share a few others later, though I'm sure many community members already have their faves in that regard. Anyway, the CNN article is a gross oversimplification of what Pinker has posited regarding the structure of the human mind, and there are several passages in 'The Language Instinct' in which Pinker expresses his disdain for the whole Nature/Nurture debate--his own website provides a better rundown of some of his central ideas, and is more fun to boot. There's a passage from this book that basically gives me all the ammo I need for flouting the old rule, in writing, in which the pronoun 'they' must be written 'he' (masculine generic)--and if nothing else, I'm glad I read the book simply because it gave me this ammo. The masculine generic is a pet peeve of mine, and having the go-ahead for using 'they' instead from a Harvard linguist makes me pretty happy.

Other news: last night, I checked the old hotmail account for my website (it's supposed to be being phased out, but people still write to it, so I have to check it from time to time) to learn that our latest Spotlight poet (Terese Coe ) has passed the address to our website to none other than Bob Holman--Holman is a bit of a personal hero of mine, host of the Nuyorican Poetry Cafe (the link to the Nuyorican page is on the sidebar, along with link to Homan's venue in NYC, Bowery Poetry) and the mind behind the PBS series The United States of Poetry--and to be honest, the thought that he might be reading what I've written is a bit intimidating, if exciting. He's also one of the minds behind the poetry page--which 'can be' a good resource for online poets, but is a bit heavy with adverts. I have to say, though, that I appreciate their including our website in recent times, so...

Anyway, that's about the extent of my allotted time, off to watch children play. More on Pinker, and some of the issues he raises, soon.


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