* Truly, this is the best of all possible worlds: X-Wing, Tie Fighter Are FINALLY Getting Digital Re-Releases. I don’t meant to brag but I was the very very best in the world at this game, back when.
* CFP at the Midwest Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference at UWM. This year’s theme is “the unbearable.” Keynotes by Lauren Berlant and Lee Edelman!
We live in the age of a new brutalism marked not simply by an indifference to multiple social problems, but also defined by a kind of mad delight in the spectacle and exercise of violence and cruelty. The United States is sullied by a brutalism that is perfectly consistent with a new kind of barbaric power, one that puts millions of people in prison, subjects an entire generation to a form of indentured citizenship, and strips people of the material and symbolic resources they need to exercise their capacity to live with dignity and justice. Academics who speak out against corruption and injustice are publicly demeaned and often lose their jobs. At the same time, the Obama administration criminalizes public servants who expose unethical behavior, the violation of civil liberties and corruption.
* Elsewhere in the richest society in the history of the world: How many homeless S.F. schoolkids? Enough to fill 70 classrooms.
* Any grad student could have told you: drunk people are better at philosophy.
* Free education is not a crazy dream; some countries already have it. We should too, or we face a future where the study of literature or art becomes a luxury available to the rich alone.
* Some things mankind was never meant to see. More links below!
* ‘Wasting Time on the Internet’ Is Now an Actual College Class. I’d take that. I know I could teach it.fe
* Someone finally said it: I Don’t Support Feminism If It Means Murdering All Men.
* US currency reimagined to celebrate ideas, not the dead. Still more links below!
* But it’s not all terrible ideas: I’m cautiously optimistic about Marvel Phase III. Black Panther! Captain Marvel!
* The end result is always the same. You do all this work just to get money. So fuck it: Why not skip everything and just start making currency?“
* The Dartmouth (America’s Oldest College Newspaper) issues a rare correction.
* Damning every damnable river on Earth: what could possibly go wrong?
* Martin Jarvis, professor of music at Charles Darwin University in Australia, claims some of Johann Sebastian Bach’s best-loved works were actually written by his wife.
* And there’s nothing sweet in life: Soda May Age You as Much as Smoking, Study Says.
* Smartly realizing that nothing is going to change on the climate change beat, NPR guts its environmental reporting.
* Epigrams for my research agenda: That’s to say nothing of the fact that the people involved in GamerGate that Grieco defends are, in fact, not poor bullied kids. They are, overwhelmingly, employed, educated, privileged adult men, many of whom work for some of the most powerful and profitable industries in our economy. Their beloved sci fi and comic books and fantasy genres and media– those aren’t reviled and disrespected properties that people are ashamed to like. They’re economically dominant and critically lauded, and given the way the internet makes culture spread more broadly and intensely than ever before, are probably the most powerful force in the history of the arts.
* Spock was right: Concern for equality linked to logic, not emotion.
* National insanity watch: Students at a Nebraska High School Can Now Pose With Guns in Their Senior Portraits.
* I want to talk about how badly we’re failing the boys who can’t see their way out of a totally lethal, totally toxic distortion of masculinity — the kind that says that if boys aren’t manly, or gentlemanly, they can be gunmanly.
* Forty percent of mass shootings start with the gunman targeting his wife, girlfriend, or ex. And access to firearms makes it seven times more likely that a domestic abuser will kill his partner.
* LARoB interviews David Mitchell.
* Why Google wants to replace Gmail. They should have nationalized Google fifteen years ago.
* Now we see the violence, &c: Wisconsin cops deploy armored vehicle to collect fines from 75-year-old man for messy land.
The Wire extends and elaborates melodrama in remarkable ways. But, as Williams says, melodrama remains a broadly liberal medium — and as Williams doesn’t say, liberalism and neoliberalism are not especially distant cousins. Liberalism can critique neoliberalism for its inequities, its cruelties, and its callousness. But to neoliberalism’s call for data and surveillance, liberalism can only respond with a call for better data and more nuanced surveillance; to neoliberalism’s doctrine of individuality as sameness, liberalism can only offer a deeper individuality subsumed within a deeper sameness. The Wire is undoubtedly one of the greatest melodramas extant, and an object lesson in how powerful the form can be. Its limitations aren’t a failure on the part of its creators so much as an indication that melodrama, having gotten us to this particular liberal democratic impasse, is unlikely, on its own, to get us out.
* And I learned today that Star Trek secondary canon features a running subplot where an unfrozen Wall Street guy slowly takes over the Federation. This is going in the Khan essay for sure…
* Rob Nixon reviews Diane Ackerman’s The Human Age and the “good Anthropocene.”
If students know what they’re getting and know why it’s supposed to be beneficial, then education and satisfaction should go together. In a total vacuum of explicit pedagogical reflection, students will default to non-academic standards for satisfaction, because we’re giving them nothing else. If students don’t know how to evaluate whether we’re helping them to learn, it’s not because students are stupid and ignorant and we shouldn’t ask them anything — it’s because we’ve failed to teach them that. And the only way to lay the groundwork for actually teaching them that is to make focused discussion of pedagogical commitments, with both fellow faculty members and with students, a pervasive feature of the culture of a given school.
* Also from Adam Kotsko: Plagiarism and self-plagiarism: A defense of Žižek.
* Time to move on to the next boondoggle: Universities Rethinking Their Use of Massive Online Courses.
* And speaking of boondoggles: Just say no to Wisconsin transportation boondoggles.
* Another triumph for the left! Obama Could Reaffirm a Bush-Era Reading of a Treaty on Torture.
* Membership has its privileges: A former Kentucky correctional officer who admitted to sexually assaulting inmates where he worked will not be going to prison.
* Patriarchy may be down but it still has its sense of humor: The First Person Charged Under Virginia’s New ‘Revenge Porn’ Law Is A Woman.
* Could it be? Is The Stock Market Driven Mainly by Bullshit?
* The idea that the inventors of an actually working hoverboard would need Kickstarter to launch the project just seems totally self-refuting, but I guess 2015 is just around the corner and we’ve all decided we’re going to go with it.
* Don’t like cigarettes but this seems like it’s got to be illegal.
* If you want a vision of the future, imagine Max Landis’s 436-page script for a Super Mario movie, forever.
* And because it’s not all bleakness and horror: Photos of children playing around the world.
There’s one very clear take-away from the latest report released by the collective BFAMFAPhD: people who graduate with arts degrees regularly end up with a lot of debt and incredibly low prospects for earning a living as artists. Or, as they put it in the report, titled Artists Report Back: A National Study on the Lives of Arts Graduates and Working Artists, “the fantasy of future earnings in the arts cannot justify the high cost of degrees.”
Science Fiction Film and Television would like to invite reviews of current DVDs in SF/F, with possible selections including but not limited to such titles as:
Rick & Morty
Under the Skin
Edge of Tomorrow
We are reasonably successful at obtaining review copies from smaller arthouse and independent distributors. Although we are keen to expand our review coverage of mainstream sf film and television, obtaining review copies from major distributors is a lot harder – so if you have your own copy, and would like to review it, we would love to hear from you.
Our film and TV reviews (1000-2000 words) are intended to fill the gap that exists between popular/journalistic reviews and the fuller critical treatment only some films and tv shows will receive, often much later, in academic venues. Ideally, a review will situate the film/show within a broader critical and/or historical framework and sketch out a critical analysis which will prove useful to students and researchers. We are interested in reviews of films/shows (of whatever vintage) that are new to DVD/Blu-ray. If you would like to claim one of these options or propose a different film/show to review, please contact the editors (email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com). If you have not written for us before, please send your cv when you get in touch.
In other words, these universities unnecessarily reduced the pay of hard-working professionals, and for no other purpose than to say that they did so. The motto of so many university administrators was “leave no crisis behind,” as these administrators used the national economic situation as justification for unnecessary reductions in the compensation of the people who educate our students.
This paper provides evidence for the role of conferences in generating visibility for academic work, using a ‘natural experiment': the last-minute cancellation — due to ‘Hurricane Isaac’ — of the 2012 American Political Science Association (APSA) Annual Meeting. We assembled a dataset containing outcomes of 15,624 articles scheduled to be presented between 2009 and 2012 at the APSA meetings or at a comparator annual conference (that of the Midwest Political Science Association). Our estimates are quantified in difference-in-differences analyses: first using the comparator meetings as a control, then exploiting heterogeneity in a measure of session attendance, within the APSA meetings. We observe significant ‘conference effects': on average, articles gain 17-26 downloads in the 15 months after being presented in a conference. The effects are larger for papers authored by scholars affiliated to lower tier universities and scholars in the early stages of their career. Our findings are robust to several tests.
* New York as I remember it from day trips growing up: A City Covered in Graffiti.
* Ebola in Perspective. Also at Cultural Anthropology: “Ecologies of Empire: On the New Uses of the Honeybee.”
* Headlines from the apocalypse: NASA Confirms A 2,500-Square-Mile Cloud Of Methane Floating Over US Southwest.
* Something’s gone wrong in America: Police are looking for a group of men who opened fire after losing a game of beer pong.
* Why we can’t have nice things: a nice demonstration of how 12% of the U.S. population controls 60% of the Senate.
* And science has finally proved I’m not a baby: men really do have weaker immune systems. If anyone needs me I’ll be in bed…