Welcome to Haider, a Bollywood version of Hamlet set for a controversial, much anticipated release this autumn. Vishal Bhardwaj's latest Shakespearian adaptation turns the Prince of Denmark into a philosophy student from Kashmir, the former Himalayan princedom, who returns home from university after hearing that his doctor father has disappeared and his mother is in a new relationship. View the trailer here - captions available. [more inside]
A few months ago there was a list of links to classic video game emulators posted. Very recently, I'm pleased to report, those links all came true. The Internet Archive bespoke upon aforementioned consoles, computers, and mileposts on our way to the tech utopia of today, (seriously, where's my flying car?) and they asked us to do something: Imagine every computer that ever existed, literally, in your browser. And it was so. I have absolutely no affiliation with jscott, btw. Thought I should disclose that.
A recent XKCD comic charted the difficulty of various games for computers, from Tic Tac Toe and Nim being solved for all positions, to computers mastering the physical game of Beirut and mental game of chess (the 2006 Deep Fritz vs Vladimir Kramnikin games, previously). There are other games that are basic on the face, but whose potentials for move combinations is so vast as to be beyond the scope of computers. Marion Tinsley was the last great human checkers player, matching off against Chinook in the last 6 games of his life, each ending in a draw (previously). Checkers was finally solved in 2007 (Google quickview; original PDF), and is largest game that has been solved to date, at 8x8. Solving Othello might be possible, if the decision tree were truncated, as the 10x10 board game tree complexity is very huge. The 19x19 Go board is is often noted as one of the primary reasons why a strong program is hard to create, though some programs are getting better at optimizing move evaluations. More: computerized gaming solutions previously, and the Wikipedia page for solved games.
Datamining Shakespeare --- Othello is a Shakespearean tragedy: when the hero makes a terrible mistake of judgment, his once promising world is led into ruin. Computer analysis of the play, however, suggests that the play is a comedy or, at least, that it does the same things with words that comedies usually do. On October 26, 2011, Folger Shakespeare Library Director Michael Witmore discussed his recent work in Shakespeare studies which combines computer analysis of texts, linguistics, and traditional literary history. Taking the case of Shakespeare's genres as a starting point, Witmore shows how subtle human judgments about the kinds of plays Shakespeare wrote — were they comedies, histories or tragedies? — are connected to frequent, widely distributed features in the playwright's syntax, vocabulary, and diction. (approx. 30 minute lecture.) [more inside]
When a top black entertainer reaches 50, of course he's going to want to add The Moor to his repertoire... [more inside]
Martha Nussbaum reviews three recent books on Shakespeare and philosophy. The essay offers an excellent analysis of love in Antony and Cleopatra and Othello, and an excellent discussion of the interaction between philosophy and literature. [more inside]