Thursday, July 29, 2010

Dawkins & Hitchens Contrasted

From classfellow M.J.:
I thought you might enjoy this opinion article from the New York Times as I think it ties in nicely with our Dawkins - Eagleton essay pair.
A useful comparison between Dawkins & Christopher Hitchens qua atheist.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Islam and Superheroes

From classfellow F.P., this TED video on Islam and superheroes.
Relating to what we have been talking about in class. I have found this video talking about Islam/other religions and superheroes. The beginning of the presentation feels exactly like your lecture. I hope you find it interesting.
I enjoy TED in general, and except for its repetition of the canard about the swasika being a broken crucifix, this was quite good.
  • (TED = a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design.)

Final Examination Data

Our Final Examination is Tuesday August 17th 15:30-18:30 in Room B9201.

I'll ask your preference in lecture upcoming for closed book or open book format.
Relax and enjoy....

Friday, July 23, 2010

Reflection on "Kingdom Come"

From classfellow J.L, the following interesting reflections;
(Nb. (1.) My lecture claim is that Superman and Captain Marvel, in Kingdom Come, are formed together as a duality that amounts to a Christ-type. (2.) "Orion" is a son of "Darkseid" from the Silver-Age classic New Gods.)
Have you seen Italian sculptor Adrian Tranquilli's series on Superheroes? I find it very interesting how he decided to depict them as vulnerable beings when they're so commonly known as 'super'. I've also noticed that Superman's body language is quite Jesus-like, similar to the visual representation in Kingdom Come you pointed out in lecture.

.... a few questions regarding religion in Kingdom Come:

I know Superman is a representation of Jesus, but is it possible that the four groups (the Justice League, Batman's new league, the Mankind Liberation Front, and the meta-humans) each represent a different religion? They all have very different views on how to do things, and Superman even uses the word "converts".

Connecting back to Hey Nostradamus! and the states of mind (heaven, purgatory, limbo, hell), is there something like this present in Kingdom Come too? When I first read it, I immediately associated Apokolips with hell, but started questioning myself when I realized how calm and seemingly understanding Orion is.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Douglas Coupland on CBC

One recent and one slightly less recent video interview on the CBC website with Douglas Coupland, ahead of his delivery of this year's Massey Lectures.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Reminder: Essay Revision

The essay revision is due, as you know, in lecture this Wendesday, and a quick not to make sure all are aware that the essay is graded on the quality of revision in light of the marker's comments and analysis on the original, not simply on the quality of the second essay itself. Be sure to attach your original essay to your revised essay when submitted.

"Kingdom Come" and Current Events

The dialogue that Norman McCay as he walks the streets at the start of Kingdom Come between opposing attitudes to 'superhuman' power has, if one takes the superhero concept as a parable of government, pertinency to present responses to economic circumstances in the West, with the United States of America moving toward an increase in government involvement in society (e.g. State health care; State control of major automotive companies; etc.) and the United Kingdom, on the other side, moving in the opposite direction by (as this Guardian article explains) returning national government power to local authorities.
Cameron promises power for the 'man and woman on the street.'
Prime minister says 'big society' plans will create communities with 'oomph' and denies programme is a mask for public sector cuts.
So, once again, a dialogical representation allows us, the readers, to look at both alternatives and make up our own minds.

Christopher Hitchens' Cancer

A very useful--because of its dialectical character--article on our "New Atheist" exemplar Christopher Hitchens and religious responses to his recent unfortunate discovery that he is suffering from cancer.

The comments are likewise a dialectical trove.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Instructor's Copy-Editing Symbols

Follow this link, as well as this other link, for a legend of the standard copy-editing symbols.

Some of the more frequently-used are the following.
  • SYN: faulty syntax
  • GR: faulty grammar
  • AWK: awkward wording or awkward expression of idea.
  • SP: spelling error
  • PRON: missing or faulty pronoun.
  • AGR: faulty agreement (grammar.)
  • T: incorrect tense (grammar.)
  • M: incorrect mood (grammar.)
  • //: lack of correct parallelism
  • ¶ : faulty paragraph structure
  • CAP: capitalise
  • MM: mixed metaphor
  • NO CAP: don't capitalise
  • CAP: capitalise.
  • WDY: excessive, roundabout or unhelpful wording that obscures the argument.
  • ARG: argument required.
  • STET: ignore comment & leave as was.
  • DEV: faulty or missing development of the argument.
  • TRANS: weak or missing transition.
  • D: faulty diction (e.g. use of jargon or informal idiom.)
  • PASS: passive (usually adjectival rather than adverbial) form
  • WC: faulty word choice
  • WW: wrong word
  • M: choice of grammatical mood.
  • RELEV: irrelevant remark.
  • PETITIO: a petitio principii ('begging the question')—assuming as a conclusion that which needs to be established as a premis. Often in essay argument, a statement delivered as a proof which itself is as yet unproven.
  • UNCL: unclear expression of an idea
  • REP: repetitive wording or repetition of a previously-presented idea.
  • REL: faulty relation of idea or no clear relation to surrounding idea.
  • TRUISM: statement of the obvious: unnecessary.
  • P: faulty punctuation.
  • PL: pluralisation error.
  • ITAL: italicise this text.
  • DEL: delete text
  • PLEON: pleonasm
  • REPORT: book report--i.e. absence of argument. 
  • CIT: missing citation
  • DANGL: dangling modifier.
  • STR: faulty or missing argument structure.
  • R-O: run-on sentence(s).
  • FRAG: sentence fragment
  • CS: comma splice
  • THESIS: misplaced thesis-level sentence
  • X: false statement.
  • INROD: faulty introduction of character, idea, etc.
  • SS: faulty sentence structure
  • INDIR: indirect expression of idea--often by weak or padded syntax.