This week Strange Horizons reprints my favorite Kim Stanley Robinson story, “The Lucky Strike” (podcast), though for my money it’s really worth getting the PM Press edition that pairs it with his great “A Sensitive Dependence on Initial Conditions” essay.
Being a collection of things I may or may not have forgotten to include in today’s Thursday links.
* Postcolonial Catan. The English version of the piece starts about halfway down the page.
* A defense of Contemporaneanism. Typical tripe from the rearguard forces of retro-Contemporaneanism. Search my blog archives for a definitive rebuttal.
* In short, when institutions invest in pools and climbing walls, they are catering to the needs of their least motivated, and least needy, clients — good for the colleges’ bottom lines but the opposite of society’s priorities. I’d need a lot more evidence even to grant these were “good for the colleges’ bottom lines.”
* The sky was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel, and the clocks were striking thirteen: Ms. Bolender was three days behind on her monthly car payment. Her lender, C.A.G. Acceptance of Mesa, Ariz., remotely activated a device in her car’s dashboard that prevented her car from starting.
* Dialectics of Obamaism: Campaigners said the Pacific Remote Islands reserve – because of its sheer scale – would cement Obama’s conservation legacy. However, they noted that Obama had dramatically scaled back the reserve following opposition from the commercial tuna industry. I dunno, that seems to cement it pretty well.
* Making use of PSID data for 1984, 1989, and 1994, we examine race differences in patterns of asset accumulation. Our results indicate, as expected, that inheritances raise the rate of wealth accumulation of whites relative to that of African Americans. But, while whites devote a greater share of their income to saving, racial differences in saving rates are not significant, once we control for income. Though our results may be period-specific, we also do not find evidence that the rate of return to capital is greater for whites than for African Americans. Simulations suggest that African Americans would have gained significant ground relative to whites during the period if they had inherited similar amounts, saved at the same rate, had comparable income levels and, more speculatively, had portfolios closer in composition to those of whites. And thus.
* BREAKING: They looted the public pensions but good.
* What we need now, more than ever, are technologies and organizations that are not only equally useful, but also more desirable than the status quo. Too often, leftists engage in a strange kind of doublespeak—on the one hand, we describe an insidious marketing machine that can produce want-product binaries with ruthless efficiency and efficacy, and on the other offer up restricted diets and buggy open source software as alternatives. How do we expect to win the hearts and minds of future generations?
* I don’t know that the state really needs to fight every case: Pennsylvania Attorney General Blames Woman For Her Own Rape.
* And you think things are bad now: Venture Capitalists Are Poised to ‘Disrupt’ Everything About the Education Market.
* But it’s not all bad news: Bill and Ted live!
* Some seriously great news for my particular demographic: Kim Stanley Robinson’s acclaimed Mars Trilogy is colonizing TV.
* A brief history of mana: How an Austronesian Concept Became a Video Game Mechanic.
* Age discrimination and adjuncts. I still think this is a seriously underreported story considering how dramatically it would change the landscape of hiring in higher education if it were to prevail.
* While surely a simple economic determinism would be distorting, it should still be clear that the epistemic and cultural divide between the “hard” sciences and the humanities cannot be easily disentangled from a noticeable financial divide.
* Udacity has moved on to a new scam: nanodegrees.
* Head’s up, math geeks: big discovery about prime numbers.
* Listen, it’s about yardage: FiveThirtyEight provides the cheat sheet necessary for me to interact with other Wisconsinites.
* I think I’ve discovered a way to precrastinate my procrastination, which means I’m always so late I never bother to get off the couch.
* Science proves no one is allowed to have any fun: Researcher shows that black holes do not exist.
* And if you want a vision of the future, imagine Mitt Romney running for president, forever.
* Paradoxa has put up Mark Bould’s introduction to issue 25, on “Africa SF.” My article on Octavia Butler’s Patternist series is in this one.
* “Sharing economy” companies like Uber shift risk from corporations to workers, weaken labor protections, and drive down wages. Against Sharing.
At Auburn University in Alabama, for example, students can soak in a 45-person paw-print-shaped hot tub or scale a 20-foot wet climbing wall before plunging into the pool. Designs for North Dakota State’s facility, on which construction is scheduled to begin next year, include a zip line that students can ride out over the water, a 36-foot-diameter vortex of swirling water and a recessed fireplace on an island in the middle of the pool that students can swim up to. A small “rain garden” is planned to mist lounging students.
* Colleges’ Pursuit of Prestige and Revenue Is Hurting Low-Income Students. Why Neoliberal Labor Practices Harm Working Students. Professors on food stamps: The shocking true story of academia in 2014. edutech woowoo, now and forever.
First, statistic plucked from academic journal where the writer didn’t pay to pass the paywall. Also, a biased survey from a company with countless vested interests. It’s official: the above trend is slightly more common than you thought.
* The second Harmoncountry tour will come through Chicago. November 1.
* And everyone is mad at Adam for making what seems to me to be the most obviously true observation about protest marches: they don’t work.
* Some unexpectedly big news at President Lovell’s inauguration today: Marquette will be developing a new Center for the Advancement of the Humanities as a result of a multimillion dollar gift from an alumna.
* Cost of living map: What is $100 worth in your state?
* Does Louisiana have a future? Bobby Jindal says it’s an open question about which reasonable people can disagree.
* Nightmares: In 2010, a teacher’s aide and the assistant principal at Sparkman Middle School in Huntsville, Alabama carried out a plan to use a special needs student—a 14-year-old girl—as “bait” to catch another special needs student who was sexually violent. The plan failed, and the 14-year-old girl was raped in the school’s bathroom. Earlier this year, that assistant principal got promoted.
* More horrors: Fraternity Allegedly Used Color-Coded System to Roofie Girls.
* It’s been [hastily switches sign] 0 days since the last fact-free trend piece on paying for college through sex work.
* Meticulous Visual Recreation Of Moon Landing Shows It Wasn’t A Hoax. OR SO THEY WOULD HAVE US BELIEVE
* Why we can’t have nice things: Ohio Supreme Court: It’s OK To Strip Mine State Wildlife Areas.
* And 9/19/1984: Never forget.