conlang, Writing Process

Subordinate Clauses in Gnin El and Sasrâl

Talk about an exciting topic! But how a language encodes the connections between clauses can have far-reaching ramifications. As I explain here, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and English have very different assortments of complementizers. How scribes translated them gave rise to a huge variety of interpretations of the New Testament. But I'm sorry to say that I… Continue reading Subordinate Clauses in Gnin El and Sasrâl

Artificial Intelligence, Writing Process

Man vs. Machine: John Henry, Science Fiction, and the March of Progress

There are only two kinds of plots in true science fiction:  Science is a Hero, and Science is a Villain. In Science is a Hero, there is some problem or other -- an asteroid is going to hit the Earth, the Galactic Empire is falling, there's a Plague IN SPACE!! -- and the heroic characters… Continue reading Man vs. Machine: John Henry, Science Fiction, and the March of Progress

Artificial Intelligence

The Mind of a Rock: Animism and AI

For thousands of years, Western civilization has been living with a striking paradox. On the one hand, we are clearly physical beings living in a physical universe. And yet, we have these thoughts, feelings, dreams, and perceptions... They seem related to the physical universe, yet fundamentally different in character. We have an ‘inner’ life, which… Continue reading The Mind of a Rock: Animism and AI