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The Film "Her" and Interspecies Romance
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 2/1/2014
The opening scene of the film "Her" unfolds in a brightly lit, pastel colored den of iniquity where scribes compose letters surreptitiously written on behalf of lovers, parents, and children. The missives are touching, funny - and utterly fake. The protagonist is one such surrogate communicator, giving forced birth to the aborted or stifled emotions of his clients. His building blocks are words but he sees no merit in either his vocation or in his vocabulary. His apartment is denuded of books and he wastes away his evening immersed in infantile virtual reality games. He is a mere verbal techni...
Media Imbalance on the Massacres in Kenya and Pakistan
Paul Austin Murphy - 10/13/2013
After 75 Christians were killed by jihadists outside a Church in Pakistan the other week, you might have wondered why the main news (by far) was the killing of 68 people in Nairobi (Kenya) - also by jihadists. (The UK's 'Islamophobic' Daily Mail didn't feature it at all so far and the 'right wing' Telegraph only featured it in its 'World' section.)
Britannica Online, Britannica DVD 2014
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 10/7/2013
The Britannica’s rich online content adds context and dollops of information to the already unsurpassed DVD (see below). It has been completely re-designed and is now Google-like in its simplicity, clutter-free and user-friendly as never before. Indeed, buyers of any of the Britannica’s physical products enjoy 30-180 days of free access to this cornucopian resource (they merely need to register their products online). Admittedly, at 30-50 USD annually the Britannica Online is not cheap and thus more suited to institutions, universities, schools, and libraries than to i...
The Pears Cyclopedia 2013-4 Edition
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 8/30/2013
I keep being astounded by the extent to which this one volume cyclopaedia is maintained meticulously up to date by a dedicated team of scholar-contributors, headed by the indefatigable polymath, Dr. Chris Cook. Hundreds of entries in dozens of sections reflect the latest developments and knowledge in numerous areas of life.
"INVESTMENT POLITICS" is LOOKING FOR AUTHORS
GP Interviews - 3/28/2013
Are you an expert on the nexus between international affairs, domestic politics, and economics and finance? If so, we would like to publish your work: articles, essays, analyses, observations, vignettes, travelogues, and memoires.
REVIEW Pears Cyclopedia 2012-2013
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/29/2012
The 2012-2013 edition of Pears Cyclopaedia is the first major revision in some time. It adds considerable heft to veteran chapters as well as re-introduces categories of knowledge from previous editions.
Off to Sweden? Assange and his Anti-Politics
Binoy Kampmark - 6/4/2012
Confused, perhaps a tad neurotic, unhinged and overall an unstable mix, Julian Assange now faces a ratcheted assault on his badge as ‘freedom fighter’. His loss in the British Supreme Court has imperilled him, though he does, unusually, have a fortnight to appeal that decision to extradite him to Sweden.
Question of the limits of ‘Freedom of Expression’
Tanveer Jafri - 2/14/2012
International Human Rights organisations are the biggest advocates of the Freedom of Speech and Expression. Everyone should have the right to freely put forward his/her views and opinions. But every other day, the reports suggest that in one country or the other, an attempt is being made to suppress the Freedom of Expression. It was in the practice of the same ‘Freedom of Expression’ when a Danish newspaper Jilland Posten published a controversial cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad. It met with violent reactions in many Muslim countries. If the publication of that cartoon was an example of the so called Freedom of Expression of the cartoonist, what would we call the violence that ensued?
Maltin's Movie Guides Keep Giving
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 1/11/2012
Maltin’s Movie Guide requires no booting, minimal “surfing”, and no software, or special hardware. It is always on and it is authoritative in the best sense of the word: implying erudition, not bullying. It is updated sufficiently frequently to remain relevant in its field, though, admittedly, a web presence with real-time capsule reviews, peer-reviewed content, and user-generated commentary would have leveraged the Maltin brand to good use. An iPhone/iPad app of the Guide is a step in the right direction, hopefully to be followed by a comparable Android offering.
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 10/11/2011
Encyclopedia Britannica 2011-2012 Ultimate Editions
Britannica Guides and CD-ROMs
The Encyclopedia Britannica has long been much more than a venerable print reference work. A decade ago it pioneered a freemium website (some content free, other content behind a pay wall). This has now flourished into a comprehensive walled garden of knowledge. Additionally, the Britannica publishes books and CD-ROMs about specific topics and issues. These are the best primers and introductions available to a host of fields and areas, from hi...
Modern Hagiography: Steven Jobs and Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 10/8/2011
Steven Jobs had one important insight in his entire life: that people are imbeciles and should be treated as such. Prior to this epiphany, this college dropout had failed in everything he had done and touched, to the point of being ousted by a soft-drinks executive from the very company he had founded. By 1985, his products had been roundly rejected by both the robust business market and the fledgling home market.
‘Ideological terrorism’ is the biggest threat to mankind
Tanveer Jafri - 8/22/2011
Terrorism is considered to be the biggest challenge facing the world today. The pattern emerging out of it clearly shows that most of the perpetrators of terrorist violence are either influenced by or owe their allegiance to one or another extreme ideology.
The Case of Maltin's Movie Guides: The Expert and the Crowd
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 8/2/2011
In an age of crowdsourcing and mob "wisdom" made available on every mobile device, why invest in a reference book? With dozens of user reviews available on websites such as imdb.com and rottentomatoes.com for each film ever shot, however obscure - why bother with Maltin's voluminous fine-print doorstopper movie guides? Because Maltin is the Britannica to imdb's Wikipedia: he offers expertise where laymen merely register opinions.