From Charlotte Gordon’s introduction to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: The 1818 Text:
…Ultimately, the absence of strong women holds the key to Frankenstein’s main themes. When women are not allowed to have a voice, or to play important roles in society, Mary implies, loss ensues. Unchecked male ambition will lead to destruction, injustice, and devastation.
Frankenstein is the story of one man’s obsession with the creation of life, and his subsequent abandonment of his creation. It is a study of guilt and innocence, creativity and destruction. But it is also a cautionary tale. By fearing the stranger, by abusing the vulnerable and the outcast, society creates its own monsters.
Comment by “AmIFirstToThink” in the Hacker News discussion of the article:
It gives you a chance to put yourself on the shrink couch in the privacy of your room. You get to know yourself little bit more. You know how flimsy the safeguards are for you to not do the wrong thing. Laws, religious ethics are flimsy to stop you from doing the wrong thing. You realize that at the end of the day, it is up to you as the individual, to do the right thing in a situation.
Mitchel Resnick’s overview of the ideas underlying the work in the MIT Media Lab’s Lifelong Kindergarten research group.
We want people to learn by work on projects, not just responding and filling out a worksheet, but work on projects where they design something and work on things that are meaningful to them.
The should do it with peers — we know that the best learning happens when we learn with and from other people around us, not just staying by ourselves.
Fascinating talk by Kenneth Stanley on our society’s obsession with setting objectives and how this stunts our creativity. Some points:
You can only discover new things by not looking for them. The path to success is through not trying to succeed. To achieve our highest goals we must be willing to abandon them. It is in your interest that others do not follow the path you think is right (they will lay the stepping stones for your greatest discoveries).
What is it about numbers that made you want to figure them out?
It’s just like asking, “Why does a violinist like to play the violin?” I had this skill with mathematical tools, and I played these tools as well as I could just because it was beautiful, rather in the same way a musician plays the violin, not expecting to change the world but just because he loves the instrument.
Studies show that even short exposures to nature can help recharge the mind’s creative potential. You’ve been sitting behind the artificially polarized light of your monitor for days on end. A walk through the woods in the brisk Autumn air will do you some good and with any luck, will help you arrive at an ideal solution to your problem.
The great oaks that line the trail have always appealed to you.