Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Monday Night Links!

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Dr. Nancy E. Snow, professor of philosophy in Marquette University’s Klingler College of Arts and Sciences, is the recipient of a $2.6 million grant that will fund interdisciplinary research on virtue, character and the development of the moral self.

* How do professors spend their time? Additional facts.

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* The American Association of University Professors is out with its latest annual report on the economic health of its members’ profession. Executive summary: It’s pretty weak. But this year, the AAUP has added a fun little wrinkle by comparing the growth of academic and sports spending. Fun! The AAUP report. The Chronicle’s interactive graph. Meanwhile, associate professors see their earning power drop compared with their colleagues above and below.

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UConn Star: College Athletes ‘Have Hungry Nights That We Don’t Have Enough Money To Get Food.’ UConn basketball’s dirty secret.

Community colleges rely on part-time, “contingent” instructors to teach 58 percent of their courses, according to a new report from the Center for Community College Student Engagement. Part-time faculty teach more than half (53 percent) of students at two-year institutions.

* Mass expulsions from jobs, houses, farms, pensions, health care, citizenship, the welfare state, large-scale disappearances of species, arable land, clean water, open ocean—it’s a shrinking world. On the brighter side, as Sassen also documents, corporate profits in the last few decades have soared.

* Only 15% of US firms offer paid paternity leave to their employees.

* Delaware Art Museum’s Deaccession Debacle. Scenes from Mississippi’s new state-run civil rights museum (the first state-run civil rights museum in the country).

* Archaeology, Human Dignity, and the Fascination of Death.

Death used to be a spiritual ordeal; now it’s a technological flailing.

 

* For years, the state had greeted visitors with billboards that said “Wild Wonderful West Virginia.” In 2006, it adopted a new slogan: “Open for Business.”

* By the time they reach high school, nearly 20 percent of all American boys will be diagnosed with ADHD. Millions of those boys will be prescribed a powerful stimulant to “normalize” them. A great many of those boys will suffer serious side effects from those drugs. The shocking truth is that many of those diagnoses are wrong, and that most of those boys are being drugged for no good reason—simply for being boys. It’s time we recognize this as a crisis. The Drugging of the American Boy.

The Game I Played When I Was Scared To Death of Being Deported. White House defends soaring number of deportations for minor crimes.

“When You Meet a Lesbian: Hints for the Heterosexual Women.” Struck again by way white supremacy is willing, even eager, to argue white people are inferior — just as long as African Americans are worse.

* Affirmative-Action Foe Plans Campaigns Against 3 Universities.

State Department Not Totally Sure Where it Spent Six Billion Dollars. I’m sure it’ll turn up.

* Linking to this sickening story, someone on Twitter reminded me that they would sell postcards of lynchings.

* Chicago decriminalized marijuana possession—but not for everyone.

* This is weird: Al Sharpton Was Previously FBI Informant.

* Vox is SEO as journalism. When Ezra Klein left the Washington Post.

* Better than straight-up bald-faced lies as journalism I guess.

* Has Any President Done More to Damage HBCUs Than Barack Obama?

* The High Priestess of Fraudulent Finance.

* TNI has put up the egg donation story I was touting a few linkdumps back.

* Recession Spurred Enrollments in STEM Fields, Study Finds.

* Could Westeros build a car?

* I worry sometimes my classes are the literature version of this comic.

* And the Milwaukee Art Museum, as it was always meant to be seen: in LEGOs.

Sunday Links

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* CFP: Far Eastern Worlds: Racial Representations of Asia in Science Fiction.

* Great research opportunity for people working in SF studies: 2014-15 Le Guin Feminist Science Fiction Fellowship.

* Teachers refuse to administer standardized tests.

* The despair of solitary confinement.

* The Afterlife of the Humanities.

* Transgender Children in Antebellum America.

* The Impossible Dream of Jodorowsky’s Dune.

* The Impossible Dream of a Second Season of The Comeback.

* Erotica Written By An Alien Pretending Not To Be Horrified By The Human Body.

* On the un-witness.

* Great moments in Big Data: Math proves Hollywood shouldn’t be sexist.

* ESPN profiles the cheerleader at the heart of the Raiders wage theft case.

* Scenes from the heroin crisis in Vermont.

* The end of journalism in New Jersey.

Anadarko Agrees To Record $5 Billion Fine For ’85 Years Of Poisoning The Earth.’ Anadarko’s revenues are 14 billion annually, with assets of 52 billion, so it seems clear the fine doesn’t go nearly far enough.

* Women in tech.

How Soviet Artists Imagined Communist Life in Space.

We’ve Found A Hidden Ocean On Enceladus That May Harbor Life.

* Radically unnecessary TV adaptation of perfect film goes to series.

If the first wave provided a machine for fighting misery, and the second wave a machine for fighting boredom, what we now need is a machine for fighting anxiety – and this is something we do not yet have.

* Never say die: Goonies Director Teases Sequel Featuring Original Cast.​

* Kazuo Ishiguro Readies First Novel in 10 Years.

* The world is now largely a population of scared confused people ruled by atavistic sociopaths with no sense of history, ethics, science, beauty, or truth. But then you already knew that.

* If you want a vision of the future, imagine being vaguely disappointed by one Marvel Cinematic Universe film a year, forever.

* And Marquette will send a team to the only sporting event that really matters, the Robot World Cup.

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Almost Too Many Thursday Links, Really, If You Ask Me

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* Extrapolation is seeking essays for a special issue on Indigenous Futurism, edited by Grace L. Dillon, Michael Levy and John Rieder.

* Designing for The Grand Budapest Hotel.

* No state worse than Wisconsin for black children, says new national study. The Fight for Wisconsin’s Soul. Other People’s Pathologies.

* Why UWM Matters.

* Life and debt.

* Coffee pods and ecology.

* University of California graduate students explain why they’re striking. Students Occupy Dartmouth President’s Office. Coaches Make $358,000 In Bonuses For Reaching NCAA Tournament Final Four. Emory University Eradicates its Visual Arts Department. Dear Harvard: You Win.

* A Brief Report from the University of Southern Maine. Armed guards at faculty meetings.

Major attack on academic freedom in Michigan.

* Academia Under the Influence.

* Surveillance, Dissent, and Imperialism. NSA Surveillance and the Male Gaze.

* The secret history of Cuban Twitter. If this tweet gets 1000 favorites Castro’s beard falls out.

Kingdom Prep is one of dozens of basketball academies that have popped up in recent years to cater to “postgrad” players—recent high-school graduates who need to improve their standardized-test scores to meet the NCAA’s academic requirements.

* Just when I thought I was out: Marquette hires Duke associate head coach Steve Wojciechowski.

* The really rich are different from the rich, who are different from you and me.

* An heir to the du Pont fortune has been given probation for raping his three-year-old daughter because you know damn well why.

* What Can You Do With a Humanities Ph.D., Anyway?

* Documents filed with the Department of Labor and dated December 2012—three months after the company’s owners filed their lawsuit—show that the Hobby Lobby 401(k) employee retirement plan held more than $73 million in mutual funds with investments in companies that produce emergency contraceptive pills, intrauterine devices, and drugs commonly used in abortions. Hobby Lobby makes large matching contributions to this company-sponsored 401(k).

* Libertarian Police Department. Koch Brothers Quietly Seek To Ban New Mass Transit In Tennessee.

* Detroit: Then and Now.

* A new study shows how Lake Tahoe might serve as a mammoth reservoir that could significantly mitigate California’s chronic water shortages without tarnishing the lake’s world-renowned beauty. What could possibly go wrong?

* The geographic sublime, from the Rural Assistance Center.

* How to Think About the Risk of Autism.

* Sepinwall vs. How I Met Your Mother.

* How To Negotiate With People Around The World.

* Gasp! CIA misled on interrogation program, Senate report says.

* Gasp! Torture Didn’t Lead to Bin Laden.

* New G.O.P. Bid to Limit Voting in Swing States.

* Who’s afraid of Suey Park?

* You once said: “I’m part-android.” Has that revelation haunted you?

* The kids are all right: Talking With 13-Year-Old Leggings Activist Sophie Hasty.

* Bourbon and Girl Scout Cookie Pairings.

* How to Improve Aquaman.

* The Definitive Ranking Of Robin’s 359 Exclamations From ‘Batman.’ 25 Weird Batman Comic-Book Covers.

* Fan work: Labor, worth, and participation in fandom’s gift economy.

* Norman Lear, Archie Bunker, and the rRise of the BBbad Fan.

Original Star Trek II: Wrath Of Khan VFX Storyboards Are A Visual Feast.

* The greatest, richest, freest country in the history of the world.

* The wisdom of markets: Walmart Realizes It’s Losing Billions Of Dollars By Denying Workers More Hours.

* Classic good news / bad news situation: Television Without Pity Archives Will Stay Online. Panel’s Warning on Climate Risk: Worst Is Yet to Come.

* Weird science: Gunshot victims to be suspended between life and death.

* On Moretti-ism: Knowing is not reading.

* The New Inquiry’s “Money” issue is out with some great pieces, including one on China that really highlights a key contradiction in American ideology, which simultaneously holds that capitalism is the only possible economic system and that the future belongs to China. And Rortybomb’s piece on human capital is super chilling: basically dystopian literature, and it’s pretty much already real. And then the freedom piece! And the egg donation one! Great issue all around.

A person may be free because she can choose among a broad range of possibilities, or she may be free while she undertakes some action about which she has no choice at all, but whose compulsion she deems legitimate. Or she may be free when she faces a range of options, one of which is clearly superior to the alternatives, so that her behavior is perfectly predictable despite a formal freedom to choose. Freedom is not, at bottom, about the range of possibilities one faces but about the degree of consent one offers for the action to be taken or the circumstance to be endured.

Japan Ordered To Stop Killing Antarctic Whales For “Science.”

* Teen Wins $70,000 Settlement After School Demanded Her Facebook Password.

* Is being thin more deadly than being obese? Take that, skinnies!

*  I’ve had this dream: Student claims college instructor spent months teaching class the ‘wrong’ course.

* I dream of the day that Seattle and Portland can get along.

* And please don’t make me say it again.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 3, 2014 at 7:00 am

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GREEN PLANETS Is Out Today!

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GPThe essays in Green Planets are predicated on the proposition that two hundred years of SF can help us collectively “think” this leap into futurity in the context of the epochal mass-extinction event called the Anthropocene (which the literary theorists more simply call “modernity”). SF is our culture’s vast, shared, polyvocal archive of the possible; from techno-utopias to apocalypses to ecotopian fortunate falls, it is thetransmedia genre of SF that has first attempted to articulate the sorts of systemic global changes that are imminent, or already happening, and begins to imagine what our transformed planet might eventually be like for those who will come to live on it. Especially taken in the context of escalating ecological catastrophe, in which each new season seems to bring with it some new and heretofore-unseen spectacular disaster, my coeditor’s well-known declaration that in the contemporary moment “the world has become a science fiction novel” has never seemed more true or more frightening. Indeed, such a notion suggests both politics and “realism” are now always “inside” science fiction, insofar as the world, as we experience its vertiginous technological and ecological flux, now more closely resembles SF than it does any historical realism…

Out today! Buy it at Amazon in paperback and Kindle! Here’s a table of contents.

Wes Anderson Movies Power Ranking 2014

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1. Rushmore (1998)
2. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)
3. The Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
4. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
5. “Hotel Chevalier” & The Darjeeling Limited (2007)
6. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
7. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
8. Bottle Rocket (1996)

In general I would say that Anderson’s career seems to me to be divided between two clear periods: films about failed genius (Bottle Rocket through Darjeelingand about fairy-tale genius (Fantastic through Hotel.) That is: in the first period we find characters whose attempts to realize their creative potential are hamstrung by their inability to move past sadness, with the arc of the movie generally allowing them to expiate that sadness and move on (Max finds love and can write again; Royal’s children forgive him; Zissou grieves; the brothers literally abandon the baggage they’ve been carrying around the entire film). But the films of the second period, unlike the first, are dominated by characters who cannot lose: Mr. Fox is temporarily troubled but ultimately unflappable, always fantastic; Suzy and Sam are able to bend the unforgiving adult world to the service of their love; M. Gustave’s poise, control, and total mastery over social convention never fail him except in the face of maximum fascism in the moment of his heroic death. The all-pervading sadness of the first films persists in the fairy tale films, but only in the background, in the side characters who threaten to, but never quite, take over the main narrative: F. Murray Abraham’s adult Zero; The Bishops and Captain Sharp; Fox’s less-than-fantastic son. My gloss on Anderson’s recent “fairy tale” films is that they feel, generally, like the stories the characters from the “failed genius” period attempted, but failed, to craft about themselves. Moonrise Kingdom feels very strongly like one of Max’s or Margot’s plays; the story the Reader reads of the Author’s recounting of Zero’s telling of M. Gustave’s life feels like a cut from one of the films from the heroic era of Zissou Society, and is quite literally the lie Royal gets engraved on his tombstone: “Died tragically rescuing his [friend] from the wreckage of a [country sinking into fascism].” The ironic cruel-optimism gap between potential and reality that dominated the early films, that crucial space of failure, is strongly pushed off center stage in the later ones — and I think that’s why, while I love them all, I think the later ones are generally a bit worse.

But I wonder if The Grand Budapest Hotel won’t improve a bit, in my estimation, upon subsequent viewings; while a strong sense of entropic breakdown runs throughout the setting, especially in the subtle architectural sublime of the Budapest itself as it falls into ruin, the anti-climatic “shock” of the abrupt ending permanently hurls us out of the fairy tale back to a world structured by failure and loss. Unlike Fox and Moonrise, which never deviate from the inner logic of a children’s story, The Grand Budapest Hotel can really only be viewed that way once. When M. Gustave’s magic finally fails at the end of the film, as it always had to, the fairy tale dispells and only the elegy is left; we’re actually left at the end of Hotel in a world darker and sadder than any found in the earlier films, a world where we seem to have neither the compensations of art nor friendship, where grief never fades, where the intricately constructed dollhouse becomes instead a tomb.

All This Weekend’s Links at Half the Price

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* Michael Lovell, Marquette, and Milwaukee. MU’s students are on board.

* Turns out academic freedom isn’t free: Michigan State University could risk losing $500,000 if it does not stop offering courses that allegedly promote unionization.

* “They call us professors, but they’re paying us at poverty levels,” she said. “I just want to make a living from a skill I’ve spent 30 years developing.”

NCAA in Turmoil: Why UNC Can’t Get Past Its Fake Classes Scandal.

In Silicon Valley there really is a class war going on, a wage-fixing cartel that’s pitting the one percent against everyone else.

LAX Baggage Handlers Took Whatever They Wanted From Bags for Months. I’m actually pretty sure they stole our camera, which we haven’t seen since we left California.

* The typographical sublime: Switching from Times New Roman to Garamond could save the government almost half a billion dollars.

* End of an Internet Era: Television Without Pity Gets Shuttered. It’s Hard To Imagine The Internet Without Television Without Pity. Raised on Television without Pity. MetaFilter mourns. The real tragedy here is the absolutely unnecessary closing of the forums; there’s a valuable decade of Internet TV writing and fan commentary, lost overnight.

* Dialectics of Stephen Colbert: We Want To #CancelColbert. What We Can Learn From the Embarrassing #CancelColbert Shitstorm. A profile of Suey Park.

* Who Needs a Boss?

* In Praise of Odd Children’s Books.

* Facebook Is About to Lose 80% of Its Users, Study Says.

If You Support The Death Penalty, You Are Probably White.

* Rebecca Schuman on The Most Important University in St Louis. More from the new, Serious™ Schuman: Save Fulbright!

The Case for Making Revenge Porn a Federal Crime.

* Free speech having a tough time tonight: Arrest Climate-Change Deniers.

* io9 has a visual history of prosthetics.

Unpaid Interns In New York City Are Now Protected From Sexual Harassment. Well, obviously, of course they would be, what could be more obvious — wait, now?

* Oh, America empire, you’re incorrigible! As our troops pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan, we’re abandoning fixers and translators to the dangerous countrymen who view them as traitors. Asylum in the U.S. could be their last hope. If only we’d let them in.

* Presidents gotta president.

Scott Walker Signs Early Voting Restrictions Making It Harder For Low-Income Voters To Vote.

* Wisconsin also having a tough time tonight: BP Admits To Spilling Even More Oil In Lake Michigan.

* Come back here, we’re not done getting bummed out yet: The Pacific Ocean Is Turning Sour Much Faster Than Expected, Study Shows. Texas Oil Spill Is Killing Birds, Threatening Fishing Industry.

How The Justice System Is Rigged Against These Cheerleaders Suing The Raiders For Wage Theft. Federal Judge Tells Women Lawyers Not To Dress Like ‘An Ignorant Slut.’ Virtually the entire judiciary is made up of former prosecutors and corporate lawyers.

* Tumblr of the weekend: Shit Settlers Said.

* The 1897 Petition Against Annexation That More Than Half of All Native Hawaiians Signed.

* The ASA is now asking for $100,000 in donations to defend itself from attacks resulting in its decision about how to spend a few hundred. Well done, everyone!

* So old I can remember when teaching was a career. Standing Up to Testing. New York Schools Are the Nation’s Most Racially Segregated. And if you only count the best-performing schools, charter schools are doing great!

* This is a land of peace, love, justice, and no mercy: Shanesha Taylor, Homeless Single Mom, Arrested After Leaving Kids In Car While On Job Interview.

* A year to make a game, a weekend to rip it off.

* This is a generic brand video.

* And at least it’s almost all over for humanity: Crazy Stone computer Go program defeats Ishida Yoshio 9 dan with 4 stones.

A Few for Thursday

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* The apparatus of free will in medieval theology allowed for a world not unlike our own. Free choice condemned the vast majority of human beings to a hopeless fate, while a privileged elite gained rewards — in both cases, despite the fact that God had predetermined everything, theologians were confident that everyone had gotten what they deserved. God’s justice was vindicated, and his glory assured. Our version is less grandiose. We want to vindicate something called “the market,” which always makes the right choices if only we allow it to, and in place of the glory of God we have the shifting numbers in various market indices and economic indicators. We are also content to let people waste the one life they have in this world, rather than imagine them suffering beyond death through all eternity. Another essential micro-essay from the great Adam Kotsko.

* “TFA recruits based on a social justice and community service message,” says Van Tol. “We think that’s deceptive and doesn’t get at what TFA is really about,” which is about dismantling democratic institutions of public education with market-driven education reform.

* Nate Silver, Ezra Klein, and the rise of “Actually…” Journalism. More Nate Silver bashing from CJR. From my perspective the fight between journalists and wonks is shaping up to be something of an Alien vs. Predator situation. Whoever wins, we lose…

* Tyler Cowen attacked during class. Unreal.

* Misremembering Kitty Genovese.

* The Hugo Schwyzer longread no one wanted is finally here.

* Your yearly reminder that your taxes could be much simpler than they are.

* And this reasonably good list of 50 essential SF texts is making the rounds, with ten or so I’ve yet to get to. But a list like this without any Octavia Butler does the work of debunking itself, alas.

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