I saw Atonement this afternoon. It was way too long, but I liked it. A romance got in the way of an author’s coming of age story in which she discovers the power, both good and evil, of story telling. Its set during World War II and the small clips of BBC propaganda were a nice touch.

If you see it, count how many times you find yourself wishing the girl would just break down and tell a damn story already.

Lately I’ve been working on a little cognitive dissonance. On the one hand, science is a form of story telling. This is how I teach my classes. I figure if I can get a really good story in about “how things work” I can *really* teach my students economics. Otherwise, they memorize theorems, stylized facts and definitions in order to pass exams. By telling stories, I can fool myself in to thinking I’m doing something more than just pushing them further down the conveyor belt.

On the other hand, science is anti-story telling. Its about the truth, not about drama and gathering a bunch of facts together to move the plot along is antithetical to data-driven science. Story telling is just data mining.

I saw Once last week. If I wanted to see two hours of music videos for crappy love songs, I’d Tivo three days of MTV and skip through the commercials. On Friday, I saw Cloverfield. I can’t add much more to the discussion over at MR; I just wish they would have been able to make this movie under the Godzilla franchise. Also, my brother’s reaction, paraphrasing, “Except for the monster, the movie pretty realistically portrayed my life in New York City when I lived there.”

1 thought on “Atone”

  1. Funny… I just saw Cloverfield too. Through the whole beginning of the movie, I was thinking: “Huh, I bet that’s how Will’s brother lives.”

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