Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘corporations

Saturday Night Reading™

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* On September 27, TNI co-sponsored the one-day conference “Said is dead. Long live Said!” at City College that marked a decade since Edward Said’s passing. Collected here are some of the talks, graciously provided by the speakers and organizers.

* ‘Wounds of Waziristan': The Story of Drones As Told By the People Who Live Under Them.

* The Logic of Settler Accumulation in a Landscape of Perpetual Vanishing.

* Jacobin on the Grambling State football players’ strike and the BART strike.

* “Invention requires a long-term willingness to be misunderstood”: contemplating the sacred mysteries of Amazon.com.

Mr. Horton was only named CEO on November 29, 2011, the same day AMR Corp. entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. So for a mere sixteen months of toil, the entirety of which have been spent in Chapter 11 bankruptcy and the board wants to pay him $20 million.

* Support For Marijuana Legalization Reaches Historic High Of 58 Percent. Since we live in a responsive representative democracy, we’ll obviously see marijuana legalization any day now.

* Vladimir Nabokov: The Playboy Interview.

26 Slogans That Frankly Make More Sense Than the Real Ones.

* And Aziz Ansari explains marriage.

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‘The Walled Kindergarten’

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Is it hard to imagine a Coursera version of Apple’s now-infamous App Store restrictions that seem to limit the speech considered “valid” in app form? Here’s what it might look like:

We view MOOCs different than books or traditional courses, which we do not curate. If you want to criticize a business practice or industry, write a book. If you want to describe sex or capitalism, write an article or an op-ed, or pursue a research grant. It can get complicated, but we have decided to not allow certain kinds of content on Coursera.

Ian Bogost on the inevitability of corporate content controls on MOOCs.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 14, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Wednesday Night Links: 8,000 Barrels, 0.000025%, 3,387 Men, $100 Bills, and More

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Over a longer time span, say a decade, we would expect about 19 spill incidents with an aggregate spill volume of about 8,000 barrels, enough to fill about half of an Olympic-sized swimming pool.  We would expect about 1.3 of these spills to be “large,” which means that on average we would expect a “large” spill to occur about once every 8 years or so.  Clearly, based upon reported historical industry performance, spills in general and large spills in particular would not be a rare occurrence for the proposed pipeline.

* Elsevier’s behavior is so egregious that it has provoked a boycott from academics who refuse to write or review papers for its journals. But to focus on one malefactor elides a larger question: Why should academic knowledge — largely produced by academics at public and nonprofit universities and often with government grants — be turned into private property and kept from public dissemination?

Dartmouth College Cancels Classes After Sexual Assault Protesters Receive Rape Threats. More at Student Activism.

* Piranhas are a very tricky species: On Gift Horses and Trojan Horses: The Proposed Aquatics Center.

* Tumblr of the day: Little Girls Are Better at Designing Superheroes Than You.

Women Writers take heed, you are being erased on Wikipedia. It would appear that in order to make room for male writers, women novelists (such as Amy Tan, Harper Lee, Donna Tartt and 300 others) have been moved off the “American Novelists” page and into the “American Women Novelists” category. Not the back of the bus, or the kiddie table exactly–except of course–when you google “American Novelists” the list that appears is almost exclusively men (3,387 men).

“I love to paint. It is — painting has changed my life in an unbelievably positive way,” the unprosecuted war criminal said.

Mad Men’s Misery Problem And How TV Can Handle Characters Who Never Change.

Right Wing Media Exploit Boston Bombings To Attack Government Assistance Programs. West Virginia Republican: Make Kids Work As Janitors For School Lunches.

Feds spend at least $890,000 on fees for empty accounts. That’s a crushing 0.000025% of the federal budget going to WASTE.

Holding Corporations Responsible for Workplace Deaths. And then there’s Matt “Proud Neoliberal” Yglesias.

Rhode Island Becomes 10th State To Approve Marriage Equality.

* A Slavoj Žižek Text Adventure.

* Monster.com bans unpaid internships.

* You majored in STEM? And you thought you’d get a job after graduation? Why didn’t you major in something useful?

* And the new $100 is awful. Good thing I’ll never actually have one.

Even More Tuesday Links

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* “More toyetic”: The cast and crew of Batman and Robin explain what went wrong.

* Preposterously bad idea watch: Breaking Bad Spin-Off With Saul Goodman In The Works. Has to be a very dry joke on Vince Gilligan’s part.

* What is the political situation in the Mario universe? It is a never-ending condition of war within and war without, fraught and constantly changing as one faction or another vies for control, riven along racial and ideological fault-lines and held together only by the intervention of foreign interlopers, propping up the dominant superpower and whose ultimate motivations are shrouded in secrecy.

* Kim Stanley Robinson on postcapitalism.

A much larger revenue stream comes from federal student loans—$108,641,000 in 2011. In 2010, NYU had $659 million in total student debt, a figure bigger than the gross domestic product of twelve countries, and it is a national leader in the debt carried by its graduates, at 40 percent more than the national average. According a recent Newsweek ranking, NYU is now the fourth “Least Affordable School” in the United States. And in the latest Princeton Review college rankings, its financial aid and administration ranked first—for being the worst. The projected $5 billion expansion plan is certain to increase the student debt burden. Most of current student loans are federal money, so we can add these on to the public inputs received by this private university at a time when public universities are being put to the sword.

For Full-Time Instructors, Work Off the Tenure Track Has Become Its Own Career.

Reframing the statement “don’t go to graduate school” to one that fully addresses the attack on tenure helps us to see and recognize each other, and our labor. I think it also helps us to identify new partners who might be able and interested in challenging or modulating some of the forces at work in educational restructuring.

* Rebecca Schuman responds to her critics, and a critic responses to the response.

* North Carolina seeks to criminalize muckraking of animal abuse while doing nothing about animal abuse. Outstanding.

Guess Who Waits Longest to Vote? You’ll never guess!

Authorities are still investigating how the younger child obtained the .22-caliber rifle: New Jersey 4-year-old shoots 6-year-old neighbor in the head.

Ringling Bros. Elephant Shot in Mississippi Drive-By.

Rehtaeh Parsons’s story.

* Taxodus: the tax avoidance game.

Why Bitcoin “millionaires” could accidentally become tax felons.

* And I think I remember this movie: Lockheed Martin Harnesses Quantum Technology.

The Corporate Sublime

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Written by gerrycanavan

March 5, 2013 at 9:23 am

A Few More Tuesday Links While I Procrastinate

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* Penn Puts Hiring Ban on Smokers.

* A team of scientists led by chemist Richard Kaner had just finished devising an efficient method for producing high-quality sheets of the Nobel-prize winning supermaterial known as graphene — with a consumer-grade DVD drive. That was groundbreaking in and of itself, but the real surprise came when Maher El-Kady, a researcher in Kaner’s lab, wired a small square of their high quality carbon sheets up to a lightbulb.

* Talkin’ TNG at Grantland and An und für sich.

* Fraternities on the side of good. Cats and dogs living together. Mass hysteria.

* More massive profits for banks. I guess the crisis really is over!

* Tennant says he’s starting to ‘give up hope’ for Who 50th return. You bastards. This was a gimme.

* And a massive, massive LEGO Hogwarts.

Saturday Morning Links

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* Foreman Says These Jobs Are Going Boys, and They Ain’t Coming Back: Bob Dylan Lays Off 2,000 Workers From Songwriting Factory.

“This is a rapidly evolving industry, and frankly, there’s no way we can compete by relying on equipment and a manufacturing process that haven’t changed much since the 1970s,” said Valentine, noting that Watchtower’s board of directors had already broken ground on piano and Hammond organ facilities in Taiwan. “Despite our best efforts to continue assembling songs the old-fashioned way, we can’t overlook the increased efficiencies offered by fully automated symbolism generators and the use of mass-produced chorus components.”

* Toxic lies about culture are afoot in Silicon Valley. But I suspect other industries will recognize themselves in this discourse too.

We make sure to hire people who are a cultural fit
What your culture might actually be saying is… We have implemented a loosely coordinated social policy to ensure homogeneity in our workforce. We are able to reject qualified, diverse candidates on the grounds that they “aren’t a culture fit” while not having to examine what that means – and it might mean that we’re all white, mostly male, mostly college-educated, mostly young/unmarried, mostly binge drinkers, mostly from a similar work background. We tend to hire within our employees’ friend and social groups. Because everyone we work with is a great culture fit, which is code for “able to fit in without friction,” we are all friends and have an unhealthy blur between social and work life. Because everyone is a “great culture fit,” we don’t have to acknowledge employee alienation and friction between individuals or groups. The desire to continue being a “culture fit” means it is harder for employees to raise meaningful critique and criticism of the culture itself.

* Michelle Obama and the evolution of Mom dancing.

* A brief history of marketing, from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.

* Star Wars we can believe in: LucasArts rumored to be developing a Knights of the Old Republic film.

* And a Montana Bill Would Give Corporations The Right To Vote. Not an Onion link! Not an imaginary story!

Assuming They Pay Anything at All

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Written by gerrycanavan

February 6, 2013 at 8:45 pm

Tuesday!

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* Great research opportunity for any PhD student studying science fiction, fantasy, horror, and/or utopia: the R.D. Mullen Fellowship. I loved the time I spent in that archive.

* CFP: The cultural impact of Dr. Who, at DePaul University. Saturday, May 4.

* Sarah Jaffe on emotional labor and gendered employment.

On Getting a Ph.D. This is stirring, but all the same my unhappy advice hasn’t really changed since the last time a rebuttal to the just-don’t-go doomsayers was making the rounds.

* Now CUNY is pushing for a five-year Ph.D. I still feel the same way about this, too!

* “Skilled, Cheap, and Desperate”: Non-tenure-track Faculty and the Delusion of Meritocracy.

* …But the most unfortunate part is that not one of the expert-amateurs seems to have given much thought to what MOOCs imply: that teachers are unnecessary. MOOCs don’t use teachers; they have curriculum designers and they have video presenters. Actors are the best for that latter role, seriously.

The latest on Pat McCrory’s war with UNC.

“If you want to take gender studies that’s fine. Go to a private school, and take it,” McCrory said. “But I don’t want to subsidize that if that’s not going to get someone a job.”

Again, I’d personally be very surprised if those gender studies classes weren’t paying for themselves and more.

College majors, median earnings, and unemployment.

Yale Suing Former Students Shows Crisis in Loans to Poor.

* Where Girls Do Better Than Boys in Science.

girls-lead-in-science-exam-but-not-in-the-united-states

* The wisdom of the market, in all its glorious efficiency: Confessions of a corporate spy.

* On corporate apology.

* We’re a tour group from the future.

* California’s coming war over fracking.

* Over the last three months wind farms produced more electricity than any other power source in Spain for the first time ever, an industry group has said. To steal a line from Twitter: oh, if only we had wind!

Six media giants control 90% of popular culture.

* Veterans, Ron D. Moore, and Battlestar Galactica: 1, 2. A representative, evocative question:

ES: There’s a particular quote that I’ve seen as signatures in military forums or quoted, and for some reason military members identify it. That’s Tigh’s New Caprica silioquoy: “Which side are we on? We’re on the side of the demons, chief. We’re evil men in the gardens of paradise, sent by the forces of death to spread devastation and destruction wherever we go. I’m surprised you didn’t know that.” Why do you think that quote resonates with veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq in particular?

Parts 3 and 4 coming soon.

* The latest from Randall Munroe’s “What If?”: Will the Internet ever surpass FedEx’s bandwidth? What would happen if you tried to fly a normal Earth airplane above different Solar System bodies? What if I took a swim in a typical spent nuclear fuel pool?

“Attached hereto is a copy of Mr. Trump’s birth certificate, demonstrating that he is the son of Fred Trump, not an orangutan,” Balber wrote in the letter.

* Personal saint Woody Guthrie’s previously unpublished novel House of Earth is available for purchase.

* Special pleading watch: nearly all of the 600 recess appointments since the Reagan presidency would have been nullified if the hyperformalist interpretation applied to Barack Obama were applied universally.

* We should only work 25 hours a week, argues professor. Sold!

* Some local pride! Milwaukee in top ten list for best urban forests.

* And congrats to our friend Allison Seay for a great review of her new collection To See the Queen. Some excerpts.

Wednesday Links

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* Tips for the MLA interview.

* ‘Betrayal without remedy': Hostess bosses didn’t pay into the pension fund like they were supposed to, and it’s legal because rich people that’s why.

Newspapers Don’t Care When Notable Women Die.

* A eulogy for Occupy.

* LOL WARDROBE MALFUNCTION: “Well, it was obviously an unfortunate incident,” she began. “It kind of made me sad on two accounts. One was that I was very sad that we live in an age when someone takes a picture of another person in a vulnerable moment and rather than delete it, and do the decent thing, sells it. And I’m sorry that we live in a culture that commodifies sexuality of unwilling participants, which takes us back to Les Mis, because that’s what my character is.”

* In the wake of a devastating proof of global warming’s severity, 80% of New Jerseys say they are concerned about climate change. In other news, 20% of New Jerseyans are literally incapable of learning.

What Obama Can Do Right Now to End Outrageous Prison Sentences.

* How Homeland glamorizes torture.

* CFP: The Dark Side of the Digital. Milwaukee, WI, May 2-4.

* And you’ll get more Arrested Development than you thought. See? Christmas miracles do come true…

Number of the Day – 2

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Written by gerrycanavan

August 16, 2012 at 7:20 pm

Weekend Links

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It used to be that families first signed up for education loans when their child enrolled in college, but a growing number of parents are seeking tuition assistance as soon as kindergarten. Though data is scarce, private school experts and the small number of lenders who provide loans for kindergarten through 12th grade say pre-college loans are becoming more popular.

As for what may have driven her to do it, the prosecutor argued in her opening statement that whatever horrors Harris had endured at the hands of her father should have little bearing on the crime itself. A Daughter’s Revenge. Not for the faint of heart.

* More nightmares: Aleksander Hemon records the death of his young daughter.

* To conclude, a projection from 1981 for rising temperatures in a major science journal, at a time that the temperature rise was not yet obvious in the observations, has been found to agree well with the observations since then, underestimating the observed trend by about 30%, and easily beating naive predictions of no-change or a linear continuation of trends.

* A study concludes the recent earthquake spike in the U.S. is almost certainly manmade.

* Corporations Hoard Cash Overseas In Anticipation Of Congress Giving Them A Huge Tax Break. It’s like they can see the future!

* Olson noted that the IRS relied on computers to audit all but the highest-income brackets. “We’re getting to a situation where the only people who will get face-to-face audits are the 1 Percent,” she said. “For the majority of taxpayers, the IRS has become faceless, nameless, with no accountability and no liability.”

* Moorhead, MN, police steal $12,000 tip from waitress.

* Learning literally nothing from history: The Obama Administration has approved the expansion of a pilot program that allows poultry producers to hire their own regulators. Via LGM.

* And I may have done this one before, but why not again? The Collective Snapshot.

Thursday Links

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The State Department is infested with vegetarians. I have here in my hand a list of 205—a list of names that were made known to the Secretary of State as being vegetarians and who nevertheless are still working and shaping policy in the State Department.

The Committee on Climate Change report, with the hairy-sounding title “Statutory Advice on Inclusion of International Aviation and Shipping,” says that in 2050, the UK’s emissions reductions across the whole economy will cost 1-2 percent of the total GDP. THE PRICE IS TOO HIGH LET THE PLANET BURN

* It’s come to this: raising taxes and cutting defense spending are so unthinkable that they literally don’t even count as policy proposals.

In reality, there is nothing in any U.S. statute, federal or state, that requires corporations to maximize their profits.

* This op-ed on the difficulty of a career in academia honestly only scratches the surface of how bad it can get. In the U.S. academy, for instance, the heteronormative perspective that is usually taken up as exemplary deeply obscures the costs of the job search on gay and lesbian academics, for whom movement between states and between institutions can mean radical shifts in their basic rights.

Kathleen Lynch, professor of equality studies at University College Dublin, has argued that the idealised academic has no ties or responsibilities to limit their capacity to work. “To be a successful academic is to be unencumbered by caring,” she says.

It’s a terrible way to force people to live.

* Lukas Neville, a doctoral student at Queen’s University in Ontario, reports in the latest issue of Psychological Science that there’s more evidence of academic dishonesty in U.S. states with bigger gaps between the rich and the poor. Those gaps, he speculates, erode trust among people—something that’s been found by other researchers—and less trust means more cheating.

* Some lovely anti-education agitprop in the Atlantic that, as is typical, bears absolutely no relationship to how the academic job market actually works:

After finishing their dissertations, PhDs are hired by a college, based on publication records, the reputations of their references, and the name of their graduate programs. If they happen to have picked up a little classroom experience through a temporary position, it is rarely considered by hiring committees.

Right, that’s totally how it goes.

* Detroit photography beyond ruin porn: Dennis Maitland.

* From the archives: Vice Visits the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Via Longform.org.

* 15 writers’ bedrooms. They’re just like us!

* And 45 to go: Connecticut may be latest state to repeal death penalty.

Tomorrow’s Dystopia Today

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Written by gerrycanavan

February 29, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Chart of the NIght

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Written by gerrycanavan

February 11, 2012 at 11:38 pm

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