Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Tuesday Morning Links!

leave a comment »

On April 10th-12th, 2015, UF will be hosting its 11th annual Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels, “Comics Read but Seldom Seen: Diversity and Representation in Comics and Related Media.”

The Review of Capital as Power (RECASP) announces an annual essay prize of $1,000 for the best paper on the subject of capital as power. Open to anyone who does not currently hold a Ph.D. (including current graduate students).

* Happy belated Labor Day: The True Story Of How One Man Shut Down American Commerce To Avoid Paying His Workers A Fair Wage. Labor Day against Work.

* Non-published, non-peer-reviewed study concludes that college football coaches must be worth the money because otherwise they wouldn’t be paid that much. Glad that’s sorted.

So what happened to the GOP, from the time of Nixon to the present, to turn an environmental leader into an environmental retrograde? According to a new study in the journal Social Science Research, the key change actually began around the year 1991—when the Soviet Union fell. “The conservative movement replaced the ‘Red Scare’ with a new ‘Green Scare’ and became increasingly hostile to environmental protection at that time,” argues sociologist Aaron McCright of Michigan State University and two colleagues.

* UIUC will forward Salaita’s appointment to the Board of Trustees after all. Sadly I suspect this is a CYA maneuver after realizing they were in material breach of their contract — though I suppose it’s for the lawyers to decide if they have take-backs on that issue or not.

* From the archives: How Higher Education in the US Was Destroyed in 5 Basic Steps.

* The Darren Wilson fundraiser mystery.

* Guantanamo Defense Lawyer Resigns, Says U.S. Case Is ‘Stacked.’

* The terrifying true story of the garbage that could kill the whole human race.

Man Nearly Dies In Ice Bucket Challenge After Plane Drops Water On Him.

* Are domestic airlines making money by fleecing consumers? No! That’s not true! That’s impossible!

Archaeologists Confirm That Stonehenge Was Once A Complete Circle.

* The A.V. Club reviews David Mitchell’s latest, The Bone Clocks.

* I’ll give you this: Censoring the books your kid reads does seem pretty dystopian. “Divergent” and “Hunger Games” as capitalist agitprop. Utopia and Anti-Utopia.

* How to ruin a protest.

* And Did Stan Lee Confirm a Black Panther Movie? Please?

20140901

Sunday! 2! Sunday! 2! Sunday! 2!

leave a comment »

* Chinese students aren’t the only ones sought by American colleges looking for students who can afford to pay. Another target: lacrosse players.

But because the sport is popular in prep schools and well-off suburbs, the odds are that many of those lacrosse players are able to afford college on their own. And while lacrosse is growing in popularity for men and women alike, the population of male “full pay” students is in short supply at many liberal arts colleges — and that’s part of why you are seeing more teams in different parts of the country.

* The eternal September of the no laptop policy.

Can we imagine a liberal arts degree where one of the goals is to graduate students who can work collaboratively with information/media technologies and networks? Of course we can. It’s called English. It’s just that the information/media technologies and networks take the form of books and other print media. Is a book a distraction? Of course. Ever try to talk to someone who is reading a book? What would you think of a student sitting in a classroom reading a magazine, doodling in a notebook or doing a crossword puzzle? However, we insist that students bring their books to class and strongly encourage them to write. We spend years teaching them how to use these technologies in college, and that’s following even more years in K-12. We teach them highly specialized ways of reading and writing so that they are able to do this. But we complain when they walk in, wholly untrained, and fail to make productive use of their laptops? When we give them no teaching on the subject? And we offer little or no opportunity for those laptops to be productive because our pedagogy is hinged on pretending they don’t exist?

* The professoriate is not the only aspect of the academy that has become adjunctified. Facilities and food services have long been privatized on many campuses, with the result being lower wages. In addition, lower levels of administration are on their way to adjunctification as well.

* Gregory Orr remembers the hunting accident that killed his brother, when he was 12.

* These police seemed to see this man as a citizen not an enemy and saw their job as trying to keep the peace and ensure public safety, not fight a war. It makes a big difference.

* Will Darren Wilson go to jail for killing Michael Brown?

* GEO, Boeing, Halliburton, Lockheed Martin—not to mention McDonalds, Monsanto, PepsiCo—these are the growth stocks that pay dividends every quarter, the companies so profitable even the Gates Foundation cannot resist them. Guns, sugar, prisons, war: the DOW Jones has worked around the death of Michael Brown. Ferguson exposes an economy where kids are commodities, whether dead or in jail.

* Civil forfeiture watch: Philly family lost house over $40 drug purchase.

From 2002 through 2012, law enforcement in Philadelphia seized more than 1,000 homes, 3,200 vehicles and $44 million in cash, according to data obtained by the Institute for Justice through an open records request.

Those assets provided more than $64 million in revenue to the Philadelphia DA’s office, because Pennsylvania law allows local law enforcement to keep the proceeds from forfeited property after it is seized and resold.

* The end of nuns.

* The end of baseball.

* The end of college football.

* We Are On The Verge Of An Electric Car Battery Breakthrough.

* The Myth Of The Absent Black Father.

* Pretending to Understand What Babies Say Can Make Them Smarter.

* Red Dawn: Port of Call: Juneau: Fearing a Russian invasion and occupation of Alaska, the U.S. government in the early Cold War years recruited and trained fishermen, bush pilots, trappers and other private citizens across Alaska for a covert network to feed wartime intelligence to the military, newly declassified Air Force and FBI documents show.

How the Apocalypse would happen if Heaven were a small non-profit. Or an academic department…

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!

with 3 comments

9781107052468* The Cambridge Companion to American Science Fiction has a pre-order page! Open your wallets! Contact your local librarian! Get your Hugo nomination ballots ready!

* It’s a shame about Joan Rivers. The documentary about her is great. She was good on the Nerdist podcast too.

* Amazing, astounding: The Eaton Collection just got a $3.5 million gift.

Through its increasing corporatization in the last two decades, the university in the United States has implemented an organizational ideology that has created a climate unfavorable for women faculty. By overvaluing and intensifying managerial principles, the university in the United States has strengthened discursive masculinity and has worsened women faculty’s likelihood of professional advancement. Consequently, the adoption and implementation of managerialism in higher education in the United States is a question of gender equity for the academic profession. Feminist educational scholars have been relatively quiet on the growth of managerialism in the university and its impact on gender equity. In particular, feminist scrutiny of managerialism’s discursive masculinity and its effects on gender equity in the university has been lacking. This conceptual article presents a feminist analysis of managerialism and its implications for women faculty in the United States; it examines how managerial culture and practices adopted by universities have revived, reinforced, and deepened the discourse of masculinity.

* inconsequential research kills don’t inconsequential research today

* The future’s just a little bit janky: Awesome Home-Built Elysium Exoskeleton Lifts 170 Pounds Like Nothing.

* The Freedom to Starve: The New Job Economy.

California is the state of sunshine, movie stars— and Supermax prisons.

* This 3D-rendered Spider-Woman will haunt your dreams.

* People don’t like Spider-Woman’s butt because of Islam, says illustrator.

* The coming student debt apocalypse.

student-loans-per-recipient

* The arc of history is long, but: Rams Cut Sam, First Drafted Openly Gay Player.

In four federal lawsuits, including one that is on appeal, and more than a half-dozen investigations over the past decade, colleagues of Darren Wilson’s have separately contested a variety of allegations, including killing a mentally ill man with a Taser, pistol-whipping a child, choking and hog-tying a child and beating a man who was later charged with destroying city property because his blood spilled on officers’ clothes.

When police catch “contagious shooting.” Even When Police Do Wear Cameras, Don’t Count on Seeing the Footage. Police Body Cameras Don’t Address the Real Problem: Police.

Cop Charged With Sexually Assaulting Eight Women Under Threat of Arrest.

* All about how airlines cancel flights. Okay, but listen, I’m still mad.

* Headlines from the Anthropocene: Drought-Stricken California Makes Historic Move To Regulate Underground Water For The First Time. Are You Ready for a 35-Year Drought?

* Cataclysm in suburbia: The dark, twisted history of America’s oil-addicted middle class.

The Moon Landing Went Far Better Than the Practice Landing.

* A previously unpublished chapter of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Astronomers Discover A Planetary Impact Outside Our Own Solar System.

* And a radical communist provocation to shake your delicate sensibilities to the core: Shaking Down the Elderly for Student Loan Debt Should Not Be Allowed.

Saturday Morning Links, Just Like When We Were Kids

leave a comment »

* The Department of English invites applications for an entry-level, tenure-track Assistant Professor position in medieval literature, language, and culture, primarily British, before 1500. Marquette English is hiring!

* Maybe my new favorite page on the Internet: r/DaystromInstitute’s list of long-running Star Trek what-ifs and what-abouts.

* I think I’ve linked this thread before, at least a different version of it: “I want to see a sci fi universe where we’re actually considered one of the more hideous and terrifying species.”

* Syllabus as Manifesto: A Critical Approach to Classroom Culture.

* Creative Destruction: Tech and the evolution of the desk, 1985-2014.

* Bousquet breathes some fire: This change in appointment types is not accidental or caused by outside forces. The adjunctification of faculty appointment has been an intentional shock treatment by campus administrations. Of course, there may be some claims regarding saving money; however, most critical observers note that “saving” on $70,000 faculty salaries generates a vast, expensive need for $80,000- to $120,000-per-year accountants, IT staff members, and HR specialists, plus a few $270,000 associate provosts. Not to mention the $500,000 bonus awarded to the president for meeting the board’s permatemping target and successfully hiding the consequences from students, parents, and the public. It should be obvious to most of us that any money left over from bloating the administration is generally directed to consultants, construction, and business partnerships.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers conducted a recent survey that questioned the correlation between internships and full employment upon graduation.The findings were astonishing. Hiring rates for those who had chosen to complete an unpaid internship (37%) were almost the same for those who had not completed any internship at all (35%). Students who had any history of a paid internship, on the other hand, were far more likely (63%) to secure employment.

“It’s a horrible irony that at the very moment the world has become more complex, we’re encouraging our young people to be highly specialized in one task.”

* What’s wrong with college? Plenty. What’s wrong with journalism about college? Everything.

* Casinos are the autoimmune disease of city planning. They destroy everything else in the area, then die when the host is dead.

* From nuclear bombs to killer robots: how amoral technologies become immoral weapons.

Preliminary Studies Show Potential Health Risk For Babies Born Near Fracking Sites.

* …white rage carries an aura of respectability and has access to the courts, police, legislatures and governors, who cast its efforts as noble, though they are actually driven by the most ignoble motivations.

* AAUP writes Chancellor Phyllis Wise over the Salaita firing.

* BREAKING: Elizabeth Warren won’t save us.

* Will Zephyr Teachout save us?

* Unskew the polls! Democratic Senate edition.

* Today in climate change neologisms: “Megadroughts.”

* California, before and after drought.

* The arc of history is long, but: “Doctor Who ‘lesbian-lizard’ kiss will not face investigation.”

A unique experiment at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory has started collecting data that will answer some mind-bending questions about our universe—including whether we live in a hologram.

Asst. Principal Fined for Changing His Son’s Failing Grades 11 Times. This story has everything:

According to the New York Daily News, Ali has been reassigned away from Bread and Roses, but has not been placed at a new school. He remains on the Department of Education’s payroll with a $104,437 annual salary.

The school, the Daily News reports, is expected to close by 2016 for poor performance.

* Study suggests autism rates have plateaued since 1990.

* ALS Foundation floats trademarking the concept of an “ice bucket challenge,” but immediately gets talked out of it.

* Thoughtcrime watch: Dorchester County discovers one of its teachers is a novelist, completely flips its wig.

* Fox developing a drama about a world without sleep.

* The inexorable march of progress: This Cheap Exoskeleton Lets You Sit Wherever You Want Without a Chair.

* The way we die now.

* Adam Gopnik in the New Yorker: What’s the point of studying history?

The Politics Of Every Major U.S. Religion, In One Chart. Way to claim the vital center, Catholics!

* It sounds like you just selected easily measured metrics and increased them, rather than trying to make the experience good.

​The 12 Most Obnoxious Dungeons & Dragons Monsters.

* Suddenly I’m up on top of the world: They’re rebooting Greatest American Hero.

* An Annotated Reading Of Multiversity #1.

* How the growing generation gap is changing the face of fandom.

* A eulogy for Twitter. Twitter as misery factory.

Give me a child until he is seven, and I will give you the man.

* If you want a vision of the future, imagine Mitt Romney running for president, forever.

Why Aren’t Women Advancing At Work? Ask a Transgender Person.

* And just this once, everybody lives: Family Cleans House, Finds Pet Tortoise Missing Since 1982.

ideologies1-638x600

Thursday Morning Links

leave a comment »

* There’s Literally No Evidence That Restricting Where Sex Offenders Can Live Accomplishes Anything. The article goes on to suggest these kinds of laws may actually be worse than useless by increasing recidivism.

According to the Cato Institute, more than 9 percent of reports of police misconduct in 2010 involved sexual abuse, making it the second-most reported form of misconduct, after the use of excessive force. Comparing that data to FBI crime statistics indicates that “sexual assault rates are significantly higher for police when compared to the general population.”

* After Ferguson.

* Bill for Ferguson enforcement coming due.

“All this workforce out there has to be fed,” he said. “We used up all of our tear gas and pepper spray.”

When you factor in the coming police brutality lawsuits I don’t know that Ferguson will be able to survive as a municipality at all.

* After Scott Walker?

* Against a leftist Hamilton. Almost makes you feel Founding Fatherless. We’re Founding Orphans.

* Trolls drive Anita Sarkeesian out of her house to prove misogyny doesn’t exist.

* DNA tests show that much-praised Chicago cop stuck gun barrel in suspect’s mouth.

* There’s (still!) hope for a Deadwood revival.

* Sprung from the pages of Harmontown, Schrabbing hits the mainstream.

* Through the looking glass: A Nevada gun range today defended having children fire automatic weapons despite the fatal accident at a nearby shooting range that occurred when a 9-year-old girl was unable to control the powerful recoil of an Uzi she was shooting.

* Vox issues a classic non-retraction retraction on its controversial David Chase story.

* I’d always wondered why I often have the urge to take a nap immediately after ingesting caffeine. It turns out I’m just really in touch with my body.

* And on the local art beat: Whenever there is a discussion about public art in Milwaukee, it often begins and ends with bellyaching over Mark di Suvero’s “The Calling.”

b99333280z.1_20140827121630_000_gmg7kc1n.1-1

Wednesday Links: Part 2: The Return

leave a comment »

* Someone needs to check their Save the Cat: Video shows CEO kicking puppy in elevator.

Elites spent months arguing we should attack Syria to dislodge Assad. Now these same elites want to intervene in the war on his behalf. “What’s the harm of bombing them at least for a few weeks and seeing what happens?”

* Poverty Capitalism. Campus Safety Capitalism.

* The 14 Best National Universities According To Washington Monthly has Case at #9 and UC Riverside at #2. Arbitrary college ranking systems forever!

* How to Game the College Rankings.

* Brian Leiter on the Salaita case: 1, 2, 3.

In addition to his constitutional claims, Salaita has an almost textbook version of a contract law claim under the doctrine of “promissory estoppel” (the classic case on the subject is Red Owl).  The basic idea is simple:  even if there is no formal contract between two parties (my expectation, as noted, is the court will find no contract between Salaita and Illinois), if one party reasonably relies on the promises and representations of the other, and then the other reneges, the injured party is entitled to compensation to the extent of his reasonable reliance.  It was clearly reasonable for Salaita to rely on an offer letter from the Dean–an offer letter that specifically mentioned the academic freedom protections the University of Illinois affords faculty!–even with a clause saying the appointment was subject to approval by the Board of Trustees (after all, there does not appear to be a case in the last half-century in which the Board failed to approve a tenured appointment that went through the normal university channels, as Salaita’s did).  Indeed, the reasonableness of Salaita’s reliance is enhanced by the fact that the University scheduled his classes this fall and even referred to him in public as a faculty member.

The harder question will be Salaita’s damages.  At a minimum, he should recover for the costs of relocation, his housing costs this year (since he rented his prior home), the cost of insurance and related expenses, and his salary for this academic year; but he has a strong claim for asking for compensation for having relinquished tenure and his job and salary at Virginia Tech, i.e., for several decades worth of salary and benefits.  In other words, I would expect Salaita’s lawyers to ask for several million dollars in lost wages and benefits extending over a career.  Now there is always a duty in contract cases to “mitigate” damages–to take steps to prevent the unnecessary growth of damages–which here would mean seeking other academic employment.  If Salaita can not secure such appointment–and given the smear campaign against him, aided and abetted now by the University of Illinois, it is hard to see a public university, vulnerable to the same political pressures, being able to hire him–then he has a claim for his lost wages and benefits as a professor for the next (roughly) thirty-plus years.

* I was on the front lines of the violence in Ferguson. Militarized police caused the chaos.

* The Parable of the Unjust Judge.

That respectability politics is the narrative of the oppressor digested and regurgitated by the oppressed is obvious. But we shouldn’t dismiss it without understanding its allure and durability: it reframes the terms of power, restoring agency into black hands. For the black upper class, it is the parable that allows them to rationalize their privilege as a sign of their own worthiness, while simultaneously giving them cover to righteously withdraw concern from the plight of the less fortunate of their race. It’s no coincidence that the black people advocating for blacks to somehow be cleansed of their blackness by bathing in the waters of post-racial healing are many of the same complaining that “we” don’t pay attention to “black on black crime”. For the black middle class, respectability becomes an aspirational fable, a promise that they, too can be free of racism if they become successful enough to transcend their race. For the black underclass, it becomes a morality tale that explains their own destruction. Respectability politics is a false narrative, but it maintains its power because, like so many powerful lies, it sits adjacent to the truth and set slightly askew: they are looking for a way to turn you into a nigger, and if necessary, they will find one. You will never leave a body pure enough to not be judged complicit in its own destruction.

MA Police Apologize After Accusing Man Of Faking Photo Of Trooper’s Racist Bumper Sticker. Police trampled the makeshift memorial built by Michael Brown’s mom. That is to say: Police Drove Over Michael Brown Memorial, Let Dog Piss on It.

* Meanwhile: Ben Stein has awful opinions and should be ashamed.

* Bring down Big Sugar.

* There is no way this is true: Milwaukee, Madison drivers among the nation’s safest. Real talk: Milwaukee drivers are some of the absolute worst drivers I have ever encountered.

* More scenes from the struggle between Uber and Lyft.

* Obscure Words and Phrases Everyone Suddenly Becomes Very Familiar With, 1995-2040.

* Did Tony die at the end of The Sopranos? Yes, and David Chase knows it.

* Elsewhere on the front lines of culture: Is Hello Kitty a cat? How dare you. How dare you.

* LEGO really, really letting down its fans. I knew I should have loaded up on the female scientist sets when I had the chance.

* Why we can’t have nice things: Americans strongly agree: You shouldn’t stop people from reclining on planes.

* New Discovery Cuts Brainwashing Time in Half.

Ohio lawmakers want to limit the teaching of the scientific process.

* When J.J. Abrams set out to make the absolute worst Superman movie possible. It would have been amazing.

* And/but/so Warner Brothers simply does not understand the superhero business at all.

Wednesday Links!

leave a comment »

* CFP: Imaginaries of the Future. The Futures Industry.

* The Center for 21st Century Studies calendar for the fall looks amazing; I’m especially excited for the visits from Paul Jay, Wendy Brown, and the MLA Subconference organizing committee. Tom Gunning’s talk on “Title Forthcoming” should also be really illuminating.

Who’s Getting Tenure-Track Jobs? It’s Time to Find Out.

* The Right Things to Do vs. the State of Florida.

* The most and least under-employed majors.

washingtonpost_2014-Aug-26

Occupations of College Humanities Majors Who Earned an Advanced Degree.

* Ferguson: The Syllabus. Eighty Years Of Fergusons. The economics of Ferguson. Two Ferguson Cops Accused of Hitting, Hog-Tying Children. “The City of Ferguson has more warrants than residents.”

Here is the NYT description of Michael Brown compared with NYT description of Unabomber. With the Boston Marathon bomber. “No Angel.”

* Police often provoke protest violence, UC researchers find.

* As soon as Prosecutors saw this video, they dismissed all of the charges against Jeter. Interesting to note, an investigation by Bloomfield PD’s scandal plagued internal affairs division had found no wrongdoing by officers.

* Perhaps it will always be a mystery: According to a coroner’s report obtained by NBC News, Victor White, a 22-year-old black man, committed suicide in the back of a police car by shooting himself in the chest while his hands were cuffed behind his back. The report contradicts the official police account, which said White shot himself in the back.

* Tenth Circle Added To Rapidly Growing Hell.

* Attack on Kiska: Untouched Relics from a Baffling WWII Battle.

* Animal personhood watch: Oregon Supreme Court Rules Animals Can Be Considered Victims.

Just Six Months After the Olympics, Sochi Looks Like a Ghost Town.

* Can’t we, as a society, come together and finally end seat reclining on planes?

* “He thought David Sedaris was just okay.”

* Selfcare as warfare.

The Rise of Neoliberal Feminism.

American teenagers, rejoice! The American Academy of Pediatrics wants all US schools attended by children aged 10 to 18 to delay their opening times to 8.30 am or later. It’s crazy that more school districts won’t make this switch.

* Christian Parenti in Jacobin proposes we rethink Alexander Hamilton.

* The Washington Post says war today, war tomorrow, war forever. The Fun of Empire: Fighting on All Sides of a War in Syria.

* Wisconsin’s nightmare spiders could be coming to your town.

* Gasp! Faulty red light cameras produced thousands of bogus traffic tickets.

* “The Cold War mode of knowledge production was so pervasive that, for a short while, it was literally invisible.”

* Prepare yourself for a dark, gritty Full House sequel. Only the literal end of the entire damn world can save us.

* Such a sad story: Plane Crash Claims Lives of 4 Students at Case Western Reserve U.

* And there’s never been anything that showed what the inside of my brain is like as closely as this xkcd. My blessing; my curse…

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,289 other followers