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I Hate Olives (Meandering About Relativism, Preference, and Critique)

One of the stranger responses I get whenever I profess my own shrugging relativism is a snickering, “Oh, but that can’t possibly be true. You like things!” I think I’m meant to realize that literally liking anything precludes relativism. And recently, I have been introduced to this claim’s cousin: meaningful criticism is not possible within…

Intellectual Art, Popular Media, and Getting Away from Aesthetic Subjectivity

In the May 2012 issue of the Atlantic, writer Taylor Clark has an excellent profile of videogame developer Jonathan Blow. He’s misanthropic, severely thoughtful, and somewhat abrasive. But he’s also a brilliant creator and a near perfect example of what Clark thinks the medium needs more of: developers willing to make smart videogames. Because for Clark the…