Posts Tagged ‘debt’
* Your poem of the day: Tracy K. Smith, “Sci-Fi.”
* If you want a vision of the future: Tenure-track jobs in YA lit and science fiction studies at the University of Calgary.
* This is not to diminish the exuberant commitment of the participants. At the same time, we must reckon with the fact that pop culture really likes to be agreeable along with its thrills. It likes to say yes, and makes endless conciliations to do so. It is safer to say yes. Yes can be deeply pleasurable. History is made by those who say no. Extinction Pop.
* David Graeber has published the piece comparing Rojava to the Spanish Civil War that he and I argued about on Twitter the other day. I have to say I find Richard Seymour’s take much more persuasive.
So if we have no way to make the slogan effective, what is it for? If it is genuinely intended to pressure imperialist states to “arm the Kurds”, then it is at best unthinking sentimentality. At its most sophisticated, though, the idea could be to ‘intervene’ in an argument taking place in imperialist countries around the region’s uprisings and military intervention, to attack the weak points in the dominant ideology and open a space in which a leftist argument can be made to a popular audience. In this view, Kobane represents both the most progressive front of struggle in the region at the moment, and the weakest point ideologically for imperialist ruling classes who have no desire to see the PYD/PKK prevail. In this sense, the demand to “arm the Kurds” is a sort of feint, akin to a ‘transitional demand’ in that it is both seemingly ‘reasonable’ in light of the dominant ideology and also impossible for the ruling class to deliver.
“Post-post-colonial” — and that’s just because I can’t think of something wittier right now — I think is a new generation of, well, new-ish generation of writers, where we’re not driven by our dialogue with the former mother country [the United Kingdom]. The hovering power for us when growing up in the ’70s and ’80s was not the U.K. It was the States, it was America. And it wasn’t an imperialistic power, it was just a cultural influence. I’m sure if this book was written in the ’70s or the ’60s, the characters would have ended up in London. They wouldn’t have ended up in the Bronx.
For us [as opposed to the post-colonial writers], for example, identity is not necessarily how to define ourselves in the relation of colonial power, colonial oppressor — so now it’s a matter of defining who you are as opposed to who you’re not.
* Remember: Obama cannot fail, he can only be failed.
* BREAKING: Wall Street is still looting the whole country.
* Big news for a small number of academic writers and artists: Judge Overturns IRS on Artist Tax Deductions.
* Here’s the plot, in a nutshell: Sinatoro follows a necronaut who is sent into the afterlife to save Earth from destruction. It draws influences from the western genre and the classic American highway Route 66. It’s something Morrison considers his magnum opus of sorts, and we’re glad he’ll finally get a chance to tell it.
* This is literally unbelievable: Fracking company teams up with Susan G. Komen, introduces pink drill bits “for the cure.” I find it difficult to even conceive of anything more absurd than this.
* And judging from the resounding crickets that followed this announcement this feels like a year that maybe I really could have won the Nobel Prize in Literature.
One thing I might add is that the game metaphor also helps us see the job market as something that could be improved. If we view the market as a system of pure luck, then there’s nothing we can do to fix it. And if we think of it as a meritocracy, then we don’t have any reason to. But if the job market is a game, structured, as Canavan says, by “a set of rules that may not make sense, much less be desirable, rational, or fair,” then those in positions of power in the academy (including people on hiring committees) could work to change the rules. In large and small ways they could work to make it a more rational and fair game.
I agree the game framing suggests change is possible in a way that neither merit nor lottery does. I’d hoped I made that point at the end (“make alliances, change the rules, overturn the table”) but perhaps I could have put more emphasis on it.
* I’ve always been really skeptical of Rolling Jubilee, so I’m a sucker for any time Naked Capitalism dumps on it.
So while it is impressive to hear of the large amounts of debt being forgiven, the fact is that the people who are finding their debts erased more than likely won’t care much because they are either no longer under any legal obligation to pay the note and have long since forgotten about it, or never intended to pay the note in the first place, and never would! So these borrowers won’t likely be gushing with praise and thanks, and frankly won’t be helped much if at all by the repurchase of the debt. I suspect that people learning of their debt being purchased and erased were, instead of relieved and grateful, were more perplexed as to why anyone would go to the trouble of clearing up debt that they themselves had forgotten about long ago! By far, the happiest participant in these transactions, are the banks/collection companies who are thrilled to get anything for the loans!
* But the elusive nomads who wander that desert say California was once a paradise.
* Run the university like a business, you know, have such radically lax oversight that one person can steal $700,000.
* When I was talking the other day about the similarities between my childhood plan to become a priest for the free housing and lifetime tenure and my current profession as a secular monk performing textual exegesis at a Catholic school, 1, 2, 3, 4, I guess I didn’t think you’d take it so literally.
* Capitalism in 2014: “Payment is on an unpaid basis.”
* At least they got to waste all that money first: MOOC fever has broken.
* Elsewhere in the-Scandinavian-kids-are-all-right: How Finland Keeps Kids Focused Through Free Play.
* Maps Of Modern Cities Drawn In The Style Of J.R.R. Tolkien. No Milwaukee, but he did do Cleveland, Boston, and DC. Many more links below the image; you’re not getting off that easy.
* I can’t figure out if Ascension is let’s-do-BSG-with-a-competent-showrunner or let’s-do-BSG-on-the-cheap. Mad Men in Space, though, so fine.
* Ideology watch: “Let. Her. Go.” movie supercut.
* America was founded as a white supremacist state. You’ll never believe what happened next.
* Here’s a lawsuit that seems deliberately calibrated to freak everybody out: Black sperm incorrectly delivered to white lesbian couple.
* People are saying Homeland might be good again, but don’t you believe it. That’s exactly what they want us to think.
* Elsewhere in ideology at its very very purest. Mad Men: Lady Cops.
* BREAKING: Startup Funding Is Given Almost Entirely To Men.
* Right-wingers tend to be less intelligent than left-wingers, and people with low childhood intelligence tend to grow up to have racist and anti-gay views, says a controversial new study. Controversial, really? Can’t imagine why.
* Freedom’s just another word for a $1200 machine that lets anyone manufacture a gun.
* Human civilization was founded as a human supremacist state. You’ll never believe what happened next.
* Paid leave watch: Florida cop placed on leave after using taser on 62-year-old woman.
* Today, former Chicago police commander Jon Burge, who was convicted of lying about torturing over 100 African-American men at stationhouses on Chicago’s South and West Sides, will walk out of the Butner Correctional Institution, having been granted an early release to a halfway house in Tampa, Florida.
* Please be advised: Jacobin 15/16 looks especially great.
* And a UF study suggests peanut allergies could soon be a thing of the past. That’d be pretty great news for a whole lot of people I know.
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!
* Qapla’ we can believe in: Klingon-Speaking Candidate Could Complicate NC Senate Race.
10 Unhappiest Metropolitan Areas With a Population Greater Than 1 Million1. New York, NY
2. Pittsburgh, PA
3. Louisville, KY
4. Milwaukee, WI
* “Persistent inequality”: America’s Racial Divide, Charted.
You don’t get $321 in fines and fees and 3 warrants per household from an about-average crime rate. You get numbers like this from bullshit arrests for jaywalking and constant “low level harassment involving traffic stops, court appearances, high fines, and the threat of jail for failure to pay.”
* Could you be seated on a jury? I was bounced because I was perceived as too sympathetic to the defense, which is… weird.
* And at last some real talk: Why academics really use Twitter.
* Police in Ferguson, Missouri, once charged a man with destruction of property for bleeding on their uniforms while four of them allegedly beat him. But cops agree: cops haven’t used excessive force in Ferguson. 40 FBI agents are in Ferguson to investigate the shooting of Michael Brown, and they already know who did it. ‘Let’s Be Cops,’ cop movies, and the shooting in Ferguson. Reparations for Ferguson. John Oliver: Let’s take their fucking toys back. A movement grows in Ferguson. Ferguson and white unflight. Michael Brown’s autopsy suggests he had his hands up. An upside flag indicates distress. More links from Crooked Timber.
* Rioting Mainly for Fun and Profit: The Neoconservative Origins of Our Police Problem. The Militarization of U.S. Police: Finally Dragged Into the Light by the Horrors of Ferguson. For blacks, the “war on terror” hasn’t come home. It’s always been here. Mapping the Spread of the Military’s Surplus Gear. A Militarized Police, a Less Violent Public. Even the liberal Kevin Drum agrees: We Created a Policing Monster By Mistake. “By mistake.” So close.
* Meanwhile: Detroit police chief James Craig – nicknamed “Hollywood” for his years spent in the LAPD and his seeming love of being in front of the camera – has repeatedly called on “good” and “law-abiding” Detroiters to arm themselves against criminals in the city.
* Law professor Robert A. Ferguson’s critique of the U.S. prison system misses the point that its purpose is not rehabilitation but civic death.
* A quarter century later, the median white wealth had jumped to $265,000, while median black wealth was just $28,500. The racial wealth gap among working-age families, in other words, is a stunning $236,500, and there is every reason to believe that figure has widened in the five years since
* Change we can believe in? CBS, Produce a new Star Trek Series Featuring Wil Wheaton as the Lead role/Captain of a federation Vessel. Any true fan would know that Wesley quit Starfleet to pursue his destiny with the Traveler, but perhaps I’ve said too much.
* Coming soon to the Smithsonian Galleries: Fantastic Worlds: Science and Fiction, 1780-1910.
* Yahoo really wants you to think Donald Glover is in the next season of Community. That “I am serious. I am Yahoo Serious.” tag is pretty gold, though.
* And while I’m on the subject: I know it’s not for everyone, but if you ask me this may have been the most quintessential Harmontown of all time: melancholy, silly, ranty, with some great improv D&D. Give it a listen if you like Dan Harmon.
* The twenty-first century gold rush: debt collection.
* No Child Left Behind achieves its destiny: virtually every school in the state of Washington is a “failing school.”
* The problem with self-driving cars: they’re still cars.
* Students who graduated in 2008 earned more credits in the humanities than in STEM, the study found. Humanities credits accounted for 17 percent of total credits earned by the typical graduate. In contrast, STEM credits accounted for 13 percent.
* Not only are men more likely than women to earn tenure, but in computer science and sociology, they are significantly more likely to earn tenure than are women who have the same research productivity. In English men are slightly (but not in a statistically significant way) more likely than women to earn tenure.
* Huge asteroid set to wipe out life on Earth – in 2880. 865 years, that’s all we’ve got…
* Mining Spill Near U.S. Border Closes 88 Schools, Leaves Thousands Of Mexicans Without Water. Meet The First Pacific Island Town To Relocate Thanks To Climate Change. The Longest River In The U.S. Is Being Altered By Climate Change.
* The venture capitalist are now weaponizing kids. Of course, when you find out how much raising a kid costs, child labor starts to make a lot of sense. Plainly parenting is a market ripe for disruption.
* Primary 2016 watch: Only Al Gore can save us now.
* And they’ve finally gone too far: Edible LEGO. Some lines man was just never meant to cross.
* Another piece on Octavia Butler’s Unexpected Stories at LARoB: Noah Berlatsky on Octavia Butler’s “Unexpected Stories” and Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone With the Wind.”
* Rutgers Athletics: Robbing Academics to Fund Big Sports. Libraries Receive Shrinking Share of University Expenditures. Historically Black Colleges and Universities Face Uncertain Future. Predictors of depression, stress, and anxiety among non-tenure track faculty.
* The Tech Utopia Nobody Wants. The Banality of Dystopia. Soak the Rich: An exchange on capital, debt, and the future. Ancient Apocalypse films use the past to project a reactionary present into the future.
* ThinkProgress on the latest bad-faith nonsense ruling against Obamacare. Don’t worry, the ruling against heath care subsidies is going to be reversed. What the D.C. Circuit Got Wrong About Obamacare.
* BREAKING: Pay It Forward Plans Make Everything Worse.
* BREAKING: The death penalty is an obscene horror show.
* The way we live now: One out of every 21 New Yorkers is a millionaire.
* Change we can believe in: The World Health Organization Wants to Legalize Sex Work and Drugs.
* What could possibly go wrong? DARPA Wants Wants to Fund Research into “Predatory” Bacteria.
* Parker Lewis Can’t Lose: Women And People Of Color Get Punished For Hiring To Increase Diversity, White Men Get Rewarded.
* They say time is the fire in which we burn: The Queen aging over time on bank-notes.
* ‘I withdraw’: A talk with climate defeatist Paul Kingsnorth. And it’s not all downside: Climate Change Could Threaten The Future Of Hockey.
* Wrapping up all the loose ends: Aliens Will Go To Hell So Let’s Stop Looking For Them.
* And someone in Congress edited the ‘Lizard People’ Wikipedia article. I knew. I always knew.