Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘decadence

Wednesday Morning Links!

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* CFP: Octavia E. Butler Society American Literature Association 26th Annual Conference May 21-24, 2015.

* Rob Nixon reviews Diane Ackerman’s The Human Age and the “good Anthropocene.”

* To Save the Humanities, Change the Narrative.

* Teaching evaluations and student buy-in.

If students know what they’re getting and know why it’s supposed to be beneficial, then education and satisfaction should go together. In a total vacuum of explicit pedagogical reflection, students will default to non-academic standards for satisfaction, because we’re giving them nothing else. If students don’t know how to evaluate whether we’re helping them to learn, it’s not because students are stupid and ignorant and we shouldn’t ask them anything — it’s because we’ve failed to teach them that. And the only way to lay the groundwork for actually teaching them that is to make focused discussion of pedagogical commitments, with both fellow faculty members and with students, a pervasive feature of the culture of a given school.

 

* Also from Adam Kotsko: Plagiarism and self-plagiarism: A defense of Žižek.

* The Federation and cultural decay.

* Time to move on to the next boondoggle: Universities Rethinking Their Use of Massive Online Courses.

* And speaking of boondoggles: Just say no to Wisconsin transportation boondoggles.

* Another triumph for the left! Obama Could Reaffirm a Bush-Era Reading of a Treaty on Torture.

* Membership has its privileges: A former Kentucky correctional officer who admitted to sexually assaulting inmates where he worked will not be going to prison.

* Patriarchy may be down but it still has its sense of humor: The First Person Charged Under Virginia’s New ‘Revenge Porn’ Law Is A Woman.

* Speaking of patriarchy.

* …there’s no evidence that electing Democrats stops Ferguson-like situations from happening.

* Could it be? Is The Stock Market Driven Mainly by Bullshit?

* The idea that the inventors of an actually working hoverboard would need Kickstarter to launch the project just seems totally self-refuting, but I guess 2015 is just around the corner and we’ve all decided we’re going to go with it.

* Don’t like cigarettes but this seems like it’s got to be illegal.

‘It Will Never Be The Same’: North Dakota’s 840,000-Gallon Oil Spill One Year Later.

* If you want a vision of the future, imagine Max Landis’s 436-page script for a Super Mario movie, forever.

* Trailer for the return of The Comeback, which is all I can think about.

* Probably the most Reddit thing that has ever happened.

* The Annotated MST3K.

* And because it’s not all bleakness and horror: Photos of children playing around the world.

children-around-the-world-65

Wednesday Links!

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* In case you missed it, a Twitter conversation inspired a post with actual content on this blog yesterday: Meritocracy, Lottery, Game: Notes on the Academic Job Market. Of course, I wasn’t first:

* Elsewhere in the academic job market genre: Not Lottery/Not Meritocracy, What Is It? From 2013! The Top 5 Mistakes Women Make in Academic Settings. Twelve Steps to Being a “Good Enough” Professor.

* And elsewhere in my media empire:

The insightful tweet was this one:

One out of 63,000’s not bad!

* We were also riffing on Twitter yesterday about the possibility of TV shows about campus police, never stopping to realize that of course it’s all already happened years ago.

* Eight faculty members go on strike at the General Theological Seminary, which the administration says is tantamount to quitting. A big precedent could be set here if they get away with it.

* It will take nearly $34 million each year over a 20-year period to address deferred maintenance needs and capital improvements at four major Milwaukee cultural institutions and provide public financing for a new arena.

* Elon Musk explains how we’ll colonize Mars.

* A brief FAQ on Steven Salaita.

I have some other weird  idiosyncratic justification for why he was fired that avoids the plain reality that he was fired for holding controversial political views.

* A critique of the Gotham programme: Marxism and superheroes.

* Brain disease found in 76 of 79 NFL players examined in study.

* Muslim NFL player penalized for praying after touchdown.

* Pa. Official Admits Errors In Investigation Of Whether Fracking Waste Spoiled Drinking Water. “Errors” undersells what seems to be pretty deliberate omissions and lies.

* Here’s What Happened The One Time When The U.S. Had Universal Childcare.

* Decadence watch: “A ‘Tetris’ Movie Is in the Works.”

* Resource curse watch: This Month the U.S. Could Pass Saudi Arabia as the World’s Biggest Petroleum Producer.

* I think I already linked to this one, but why not: A long medium post on the moneyless, post-scarcity economics of Star Trek.

Netflix has reached a deal with The Weinstein Co. for its first original movie — a sequel to Ang Lee’s 2000 martial arts pic “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” — set to hit IMAX theaters and the streaming-video service simultaneously next summer. I am on board.

* And Community just can’t catch a break: now Yvette Nicole Brown is leaving, too.

Sunday Reading, Accept No Imitations

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Timeline of Science Fiction Ideas, Technology and Inventions (sorted by Publication Date).

* Ill-considered, disastrous dam project “has given biologists the opportunity to measure the speed of mammal extinctions.” Well, that’s certainly looking at the glass half-full.

* Decadence watch: Emory University Closes its Visual Arts Department.

* Decadence watch, part two: “The Price Is Right” Airs All-Plinko Episode.

‘We Felt Like We Were Above the Law': How the NCAA Endangers Women.

Don’t be that dude: Handy tips for the male academic.

Where Is The Place Of Anger In The University?

Everyday I walk past UC Berkeley’s newly renovated football stadium on my way to drop off my daughter at the Clark Kerr facility for toddlers, and everyday – after picking her up from school – I wait at a bus stop directly across from the same stadium.  The stadium, which has put the university 445 million dollars in debt, is just down the street from my daughter’s UC preschool, which is housed in a double-wide trailer and sits on a parking lot in the northwest corner of Clark Kerr Campus.  Its interior walls have been removed, and linoleum and carpet patchwork that are no longer contiguous with the layout of the room still show marks of these former walls – in some places adhesive still clings to the floor, marking where one of these walls once stood.  This is the facility that we were not granted a tour of – a facility that houses only subsidized children.  We do not know where the unsubsidized children receive their care.

* From the Daily Californian: School first, sports second.

* Austerity measures pushes Greek universities to point of collapse.

* America drunk-dials Iran, Iran picks up.

* LOVEINT: How NSA Spies Abused Their Powers to Snoop on Girlfriends, Lovers, and First Dates.

The women of the Pawnee, Indiana Parks Department have literally spent thousands of dollars on their clothes.

* How LucasArts fell apart.

* The update of the damned: Apple’s iOS 7 Causing Motion Sickness And Even Vomiting In Users. This in a device (the iPad) that was originally marketed in part as an accessibility breakthrough.

* The fundamental law of media graph construction.

* A brief history of the Muppets’ very brief stint on Saturday Night Live.

A Brief History of Slash.

* And a court orders same-sex marriage in my beloved home state of New Jersey. Meet me in a land of hope and dreams.

Saturday Roundup

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We condition the poor and the working class to go to war. We promise them honor, status, glory, and adventure. We promise boys they will become men. We hold these promises up against the dead-end jobs of small-town life, the financial dislocations, credit card debt, bad marriages, lack of health insurance, and dread of unemployment. The military is the call of the Sirens, the enticement that has for generations seduced young Americans working in fast food restaurants or behind the counters of Walmarts to fight and die for war profiteers and elites.

* But the strange fact is that often when you look into the history of spies what you discover is something very different. It is not the story of men and women who have a better and deeper understanding of the world than we do. In fact in many cases it is the story of weirdos who have created a completely mad version of the world that they then impose on the rest of us.

* How Dan Harmon breaks a story.

According to a new study, people can’t tell the difference between quotes from British “lad mags” and interviews with convicted rapists. And given the choice, men are actually more likely to agree with the rapists.

Unpaid Interns Aren’t Protected By Sexual Harassment Laws.

Pixar Changing Plot Of Finding Dory After Seeing SeaWorld-Slamming Documentary, Blackfish.

At the end of the movie, some marine mammals are sent to an aquatic park/rehab facility — a SeaWorld-type environment. After seeing Blackfish, they retooled the film so that the sea creatures now have the choice to leave that marine park. They told Gabriela they didn’t want to look back on this film in 50 years and have it be their Song of the South.

* And today’s death of culture watch: CBS orders a Wizard of Oz-themed medical drama. It’s the story that needed to be told!

Something Something Nero Something Fiddle Something Something

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The optics were already pretty bad: As an estimated 40,000 plus climate activists descended on D.C. last Sunday to pressure the president to make good on his promise to address climate change, Obama was in Florida golfing privately with Tiger Woods. It appears that it gets worse: The president was not only teeing off with the famed golfer and philanderer, he was also, according to HuffPo, joined by a “pair of Texans who are key oil, gas and pipeline players.”

Written by gerrycanavan

February 20, 2013 at 7:26 pm

Democracy ‘Has a Hidden Failure Mode, We’ve Landed in It, and We Probably Won’t Be Able to Vote Ourselves Out of It’

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The great Charlie Stross, elaborating on his sense that we are living in the aftermath of an alien invasion:

Overall, the nature of the problem seems to be that our representative democratic institutions have been captured by meta-institutions that implement the iron law of oligarchy by systematically reducing the risk of change. They have done so by converging on a common set of policies that do not serve the public interest, but minimize the risk of the parties losing the corporate funding they require in order to achieve re-election. And in so doing, they have broken the “peaceful succession when enough people get pissed off” mechanism that prevents revolutions…

So the future isn’t a boot stamping on a human face, forever. It’s a person in a beige business outfit advocating beige policies that nobody wants (but nobody can quite articulate a coherent alternative to) with a false mandate obtained by performing rituals of representative democracy that offer as much actual choice as a Stalinist one-party state. And resistance is futile, because if you succeed in overthrowing the beige dictatorship, you will become that which you opposed.

Via MeFi.

Some Sunday Links

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* Decadence watch: Please be advised we are between five and nine years away from President Tebow.

* The Non Sports Fan’s Guide to Maybe Enjoying the Super Bowl. A List of Things to Say to Sound as if You Understand the Super Bowl, Dummy. Go… Giants? I think I have that right.

* The set list from last night’s fantastic Mountain Goats show in Saxapahaw. And from Vu, an interesting New York Magazine read on Mountain Goats superfandom from 2009.

* The headline reads, “No kidney transplant for dying East Bay dad who is illegal immigrant.”

* Death, Debt and Climate Change.

There were 2900 temperature records set in the United States in January. Exxon Mobil reported yesterday that its quarterly profits had increased to $9.6 billion on revenues of over $70 billion. It’s 60 degrees on February 1 in New York City. These facts are connected. I continue to think that one reason Bloomberg evicted OWS was that he lost patience with waiting for it to get cold enough to drive the Occupiers out.

I have proposed that “debt is death.” It sounds a bit melodramatic. You can in fact map connections between the debt-financed globalized industries, direct violence caused by their expansion, and the indirect but nonetheless deadly violences of climate change.

* Ben Valentine considers statue porn. This and the last two via zunguuzungu’s always essential Sunday Reading.

* The strange case of Michael Swango, serial killing doctor. Via Neil.

* Then Republican governors saved the economy.

* SNL takes a visit to President Gingrinch’s Moon Utopia.

* And just for the Hunger Games fans: a speculative map of Panem. Via io9.

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