Links, 8/21/12

It’s been a while and I don’t feel like writing anything today. A few articles of note:

  • Tom Bissell, “13 Ways of Looking at a Shooter” (h/t Ricky McAlister) – Bissell’s argument against Skyrim‘s story & dialogue was maddening. He didn’t bother to ask if there are any meaningful or interesting questions the plot explores. As far as I’m concerned, this is a mortal sin for a critic and it resulted in a poor essay. This meditation on video games and violence is very finely crafted and asks the big questions. Not surprisingly, it involves a lot of serious self-reflection as opposed to shallow comments on style.
  • Jay Cost, “Are the Polls Skewed Toward Obama?” – from the article: “Using registered voter polls might cut down on variability, but they also create statistical bias. That is, the polls tend to oversample Democrats in a systematic fashion. And because partisan support is so strong – with 90 percent of Republicans supporting GOP candidates and 90 percent of Democrats supporting Democratic candidates – you regularly see the Democratic candidates’ margins overstated in polls of registered voters.”
  • Daniel Carlson, “The Dark Knight Rises: The Hero We Need” – don’t agree with everything here, but an observant piece that makes the details significant in their own right.
  • David Weigel, “Akin, Abortion and Prohibition” – forget abortion or prohibition. The virtue of what’s written here is that it starts making a lot of sense how a small but active minority can impose its view on everyone else.
  • Lia Bulaong, “Use that energy!” – don’t often think about writers on writing, but this is practical advice that can lead to a greater discussion. When do we produce our best work?
  • via Neil Gaiman – a bunch of comics about Neil Gaiman. Colleen Doran‘s had me in stitches.

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