Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Midweek Links!

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* 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!

* How Not to Defend the Liberal Arts.

* Higher Education and the New Brutalism.

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.

When I was a black woman, I was hated. Now, as a black man, I’m feared.

Priscilla Wald on Media Treatment of Ebola. How Unscientific Ebola Steps in U.S. Could Help Spread Virus Elsewhere.

* Any grad student could have told you: drunk people are better at philosophy.

* Tufts and Unionized Adjuncts.

* Scenes from the competency-based education scam. And the for-profit scam.

* …and the Uber scam.

* UNC-Chapel Hill Should Lose Accreditation.

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!

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* Watch a New York Woman Get Catcalled 108 Times in Less Than One Day.

* You Can Buy This Abandoned CT Town For Less Than A Brooklyn Apartment.

* 30 Philip K Dick Stories That Should Be Movies.

* Voight-Kampff test for college admissions.

* ‘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.

* Yosemite Lifehacks. Recommended.

* There’s no anti-college nonsense so aggressively silly that the Washington Post won’t push it.

* Cura personalis.

* How the culture of assessment fuels academic dishonesty.

US currency reimagined to celebrate ideas, not the dead. Still more links below!

Allbills_SubverseA_verge_super_wideAllbills_ObverseA_verge_super_wide* Reparations for women.

The Race to Nowhere In Youth Sports.

You Can Still Eat This Corgi In Pennsylvania, Thanks To The NRA.

Krypton TV Series In The Works. The CW Is Making A Young Shakespeare Vs. Witches TV Show.

* But it’s not all terrible ideas: I’m cautiously optimistic about Marvel Phase III. Black Panther! Captain Marvel!

* Halfway through this review of William Gibson’s The Peripheral I broke my no-buying-books rule and bought the book.

* Milwaukee hosts first Fantasticon comic convention.

* A brief history of ridiculous things we’ve been asked to believe after famous men were accused of rape.

* The NFL Concussion Settlement Is Pure Evil.

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?

* Could you patent the sun?

* The Dartmouth (America’s Oldest College Newspaper) issues a rare correction.

* Damning every damnable river on Earth: what could possibly go wrong?

* When Russell Brand Met David Graeber.

* Glenn Beck, billionaire.

* 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.

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Written by gerrycanavan

October 29, 2014 at 7:02 am

Monday Morning!

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330740_v1* Vote all you want. The secret government won’t change.

* Notes on “Stop Hillary.”

* 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.

* Different Bodies & Different Lives In Academia: Why The Rules Aren’t The Same For Everyone.

* Teacher spends two days as a student and is shocked at what she learns.

6 Brilliant Art Projects That Ruin Classic Kids’ Characters.

* Turn Your Princess-Obsessed Toddler Into a Feminist in Eight Easy Steps.

* All The Wealth The Middle Class Accumulated After 1940 Is Gone.

Top Health Official Warns That Ebola Quarantines Could Backfire. And yet.

* 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.

* Yes, Mass Shootings Are Occurring More Often.

* Elon Musk: Developing artificial intelligence would be as dangerous as ‘summoning a demon.’

The “Southern Belle” Is a Racist Fiction.

* 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 city’s new budget includes $25,000 to buy one-way bus tickets for homeless people.” “Hawaii even passed a measure that offers paid flights off the state to homeless people.” (via)

* Law Lets I.R.S. Seize Accounts on Suspicion, No Crime Required.

* Building a Better Panopticon: The Wire as melodrama.

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.

* Hackers of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

* 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…

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All the Weekend Links You’ll Ever Need

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Key Findings in Chapel Hill’s Academic-Fraud Investigation. I find the scale of this thing totally amazing; that the NCAA is still claiming it has no jurisdiction here is also amazing. It’ll be interesting to see UNC’s next accreditation report.

* Another sportsball-related disaster that the NCAA, alas, just can’t do anything about: Many Athletes Receive Little Education on Concussion.

Lawsuit Alleges College Athletes Should Be Paid at Least Minimum Wage. The NCAA wishes it could act.

S’More Inequality: The Neoliberal Marshmallow and the Corporate Reform of Education.

* Miami University gave George Will four adjuncts’ yearly salary for this nonsense. But presidents of higher ed nonprofits say that’s chump change.

* Study: we should probably just abolish men.

* Law Will Allow Employers to Fire Women for Using Birth Control. So old I can remember when giving employers direct veto power over health care was the reductio ad absurdum of the Hobby Lobby case.

* Surfers of the nightmare Internet: The Laborers Who Keep Dick Pics and Beheadings Out of Your Facebook Feed.

The Anti-Socialist Origins of Big Data.

* African Writers in a New World. The interviews in this series will lead up to the Symposium of African Writers at the University of Texas at Austin. The event, which will take place December 2-3, 2014, will feature conversations with Laila Lalami, Maaza Mengiste, Nnedi Okorafor, Sofia Samatar, and Taiye Selasi. “African Writers in a New World” will conclude with a conference report from the Symposium. 

* It became necessary to destroy Detroit in order to save it. And Chicago. And pretty much everywhere.

* Rio has used mega-events like the World Cup and the Olympics as a “state of exception” to push through private development projects and neoliberal reforms. The Jock Doctrine.

* America’s perpetual state of emergency.

* I said on Twitter that this “13th grade” pilot program in Oregon seems like an example of Goodhart’s Law, though I think I could probably be convinced otherwise.

* Republicans increasingly saying the quiet part loud.

* And that’s not even a link to this utterly bizarre video from AEI about roofies.

* Infidels defile the sacrament: I suspect some of the irrationality around voter ID laws might be linked to Stephen Keating’s notion of voting as religious ritual.

* Speaking of saying the quiet part loud: Seattle Cops Bring Lawsuit Claiming They Have A Constitutional Right To Use Excessive Force.

* At about 4 a.m., officers were dispatched to 3779 W. 5300 South to check on a man who had called a suicide hotline, according to Detective Matt Gwynn, the public information officer for Roy Police Department. A negotiator from the SWAT team was then brought in, and Gwynn says a 6- to 6 ½-hour standoff ensued. “At some point those negotiations failed and unfortunately the SWAT team was involved in a shooting, and the subject is now deceased,” Gwynn said.

Cops Use Action-Movie Arsenal to Catch Teen Who Stole Cigarettes. I just thank god they caught the guy.

* CHP officer says stealing nude photos from female arrestees ‘game’ for cops.

* Cash damages for woman duped into having undercover spy’s child.

Climate Change Is Causing Mountain Goats To Shrink. Will you act now, America?

Methane Leaks Wipe Out Any Climate Benefit Of Fracking, Satellite Observations Confirm.

* By pretending climate change isn’t real we develop the tax base to deal with climate change. With a plan this solid, what could go wrong?

* I’m sure Miami seceding from the rest of Florida would solve it. Of course Republicans have a better idea.

* No one trusts Buzzfeed.

* The United States of Reddit.

* It’s nearly impossible to fire a tech millionaire.

* I mean really, we need to figure out how to fire some of these guys.

* On the Internet, Men Are Called Names. Women Are Stalked and Sexually Harassed. Cassandra among the creeps.

Matt Yglesias Entirely Misunderstands Why [Anything] Exists.

* Your daily running total.

* Peter Jackson vows Battle of the Fire Armies will be literally unwatchable.

* J.K. Rowling releasing new Harry Potter story about Dolores Umbridge.

* If you call slipstream “transrealism” it sounds like a new thing.

* You’re finally getting (another) dark, gritty Archie reboot.

* What’s my risk of catching Ebola? But that’s no reason not to panic.

* Kim Stanley Robinson on “Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

* Science proves I listen to Counting Crows because I’m just that smart. So it’s not my fault and no one can blame me. I’m as much a victim as anyone.

* And io9 has your Top 100 Science Fiction-Themed Songs Of All Time. That they left off “Nothing But Flowers” is a crime against all time and space.

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Written by gerrycanavan

October 25, 2014 at 8:21 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Wednesday Morning Links!

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* CFP: Octavia E. Butler Society American Literature Association 26th Annual Conference May 21-24, 2015.

* Rob Nixon reviews Diane Ackerman’s The Human Age and the “good Anthropocene.”

* To Save the Humanities, Change the Narrative.

* Teaching evaluations and student buy-in.

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.

* The Federation and cultural decay.

* 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.

* Speaking of patriarchy.

* …there’s no evidence that electing Democrats stops Ferguson-like situations from happening.

* 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.

‘It Will Never Be The Same’: North Dakota’s 840,000-Gallon Oil Spill One Year Later.

* If you want a vision of the future, imagine Max Landis’s 436-page script for a Super Mario movie, forever.

* Trailer for the return of The Comeback, which is all I can think about.

* Probably the most Reddit thing that has ever happened.

* The Annotated MST3K.

* And because it’s not all bleakness and horror: Photos of children playing around the world.

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What I Learned at My MFA

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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.”

Indicting Higher Education in the Arts and Beyond. Full report here.

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Written by gerrycanavan

October 20, 2014 at 9:19 pm

SFFTV Invites DVD Reviewers

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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:

Snowpiercer
The Rover
Rick & Morty
Orphan Black
Zero Theorem
Under the Skin
The Signal
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 (gerrycanavan@gmail.com, mark.bould@gmail.com or sherryl.vint@gmail.com). If you have not written for us before, please send your cv when you get in touch.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 20, 2014 at 9:05 am

Monday Morning Links!

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* I have an essay in Oil Culture, out this week, on “Retrofutures and Petrofutures.” It’s about science fiction framings of fossil fuel use and its eventual supersession. Amazon link!

* Fascinating survey of budget cuts in academia even at colleges that are making more money than ever before.

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.

* In academia, conferences matter.

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.

With Voter ID On Hold, Here’s What Wisconsin Republicans Have Planned For Election Day.

* New York as I remember it from day trips growing up: A City Covered in Graffiti.

Ursula K. Le Guin on Being a Man.

* Reduce the deficit, use only female astronauts.

* Maps of the end of the world.

* Ebola in Perspective. Also at Cultural Anthropology: “Ecologies of Empire: On the New Uses of the Honeybee.”

* Pentagon gearing up to bring their famous competence to the war on Ebola (in the US).

* Paul Farmer’s Ebola diary.

* That Time The Reagan White House Press Briefing Erupted With Laughter Over AIDS 13 Times.

* The Dark Market for Personal Data. An interview with Frank Pasquale on his book The Black Box Society.

* 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.

* Biocapital watch: How a doctor, a trader, and the billionaire Steven A. Cohen got entangled in a vast financial scandal.

* 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…

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