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Ted Castronova

Fun House | Castronova on Cat’s Cradle

Ted Castronova   Whatever anyone knows is known by no one. —Emerson Scott Boolard *** This does not reflect the actual opinions of its author. *** Stave I I am a professor. I had a thought to write an essay. It was to be about Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle. I was walking across campus thinking about my essay. Some students …

Vonnegut v. WWII | Castronova on Mother Night

Ted Castronova   In Mother Night Vonnegut finally unleashes a long-held rage directly at its target: The Second World War. Many people see WWII as horrible because of what Germans did. They tend to overlook what Russians, English, and Americans did. Vonnegut can’t, because he was witness to what American and British bombs did to German civilians. As an American POW, …

Rumfoord and Friends: Awful Game Masters; A Reflection on Vonnegut’s The Sirens of Titan | Castronova on The Sirens of Titan

Ted Castronova   Who’s in charge, anyway? We believe that we have free will, but perhaps we are under the control of a higher being. What if that being is under the control of another being? Who is under the control of another, and so on and so on? Andrew Dabrowski of Indiana University’s mathematics department has developed a metaphysical theory …

Proteus Dead Inside | Castronova on Player Piano

A reflection on Vonnegut’s Player Piano Ted Castronova   The Greek god Proteus changes like the sea. He can tell the future, but only if you can capture him. This is hard to do, because Proteus can change form at will, water to serpent to tree to lion to water. Changing with context: something we all do. Game researchers talk about …