Posts Tagged ‘Doctor Who’
In journalism just one fact that is false prejudices the entire work. In contrast, in fiction one single fact that is true gives legitimacy to the entire work. That’s the only difference, and it lies in the commitment of the writer. A novelist can do anything he wants so long as he makes people believe in it.
* I asked William Pannapacker how to responsibly advise students who want to go to graduate school in the humanities. He said you can’t.
* UNC’s New Grading System Could Show What That ‘A’ Is Really Worth. Tentatively, this seems like a good improvement on the existing system, though I’m not in love with the administration’s “now we can finally catch unscrupulous faculty!” line.
* Supposedly we’re supposed to be outraged by Snowden not infiltrating the Putin government and leaking details about his massive surveillance state apparatus. Or something. I can’t make heads or tails of it to be honest.
* After comparing the average achievement of children whose parents regularly engage in each form of parental involvement to that of their counterparts whose parents do not, we found that most forms of parental involvement yielded no benefit to children’s test scores or grades, regardless of racial or ethnic background or socioeconomic standing. The zero point of most liberal (as opposed to leftist) interventions in poverty is that “merit” broadly defined is structured (a little) by genetic lottery and (a lot) by class position, which means that strategies for equality that are filtered through education and achievement will always just wind up replicating existing structures of power and existing privileges rather than disrupting them. I don’t see any answer for this problem beyond deliberate redistribution of wealth.
* The Nation reviews The Years of Living Dangerously.
In the moments that follow, both the Doctor and his companion ask River why she didn’t just say her wrist was broken, and she explains – in this horrible, horrible moment – that the Doctor must be protected from knowing how much it hurts people to be around him; that humans must hide their weakness from him so that he will not feel upset.
* Monsters walk among us: People who think they’re attractive tend to be more comfortable with economic inequality.
* They have come to the conclusion that God, / Requiring a heaven and a hell, didn’t need to / Plan two establishments: ‘X-Men’ Director Bryan Singer Accused of Sexually Assaulting Underage Boy. More details on the case at Boing Boing.
* I can’t remember where I heard this, but someone once said that defending a position by citing free speech is sort of the ultimate concession; you’re saying that the most compelling thing you can say for your position is that it’s not literally illegal to express.
* The arc of history is long, but it bends towards grandfather clauses that allow obscenities to continue for decades after they are banned.
* The New York Times profiles the great Tatiana Maslany of Orphan Black.
* Go home, 2014, you’re drunk: Man Admits Eating Landlord’s Heart at End of Year-Long Chess Game.
* The richest nation in the history of the world: Three Children Died During The Polar Vortex After Their Heat Was Cut Off.
* In masking the very exploitative mechanisms of labor that it fuels, DWYL is, in fact, the most perfect ideological tool of capitalism. It shunts aside the labor of others and disguises our own labor to ourselves. It hides the fact that if we acknowledged all of our work as work, we could set appropriate limits for it, demanding fair compensation and humane schedules that allow for family and leisure time.
* In 1998, a 20-something guy named Jesse Reklaw was doing some Dumpster diving on the campus of an Ivy League university that he’d rather not name when he came across a bunch discarded of Ph.D. applicant files from the mid-1960s through the mid-1970s. Each file included a photo of the applicant, along with assorted paperwork, including feedback from university officials.
* If the system of justice in the United States were fair, and if the 38 million black Americans were as prone to crime as the average ethnic group in the world (where an ethnic group is, for example, the 61 million Italians, or the 45 million Hindu Gujarati), you would expect that black Americans would also be about 9 percent of the 2013 estimated world population of 7.135 billion people.
* Every cop is a criminal: Any arrest in New York City can trigger a civil forfeiture case if money or property is found on or near a defendant, regardless of the reasons surrounding the arrest or its final disposition. In the past ten years, the NYPD has escalated the amount of civil forfeiture actions it pursues as public defense offices have been stretched thin by the huge amount of criminal cases across the city.
All these jobs are dangerous and involve carrying a deadly weapon. They entail giving a human being the power to detain another human being, and the benefit of the doubt if they should shoot one. And all the positions are unpaid.
* From the “Military & Defense” desk at Business Insider: The DEA Struck A Deal With Mexico’s Most Notorious Drug Cartel.
* …when his salary depends upon his not understanding it: Speakers at MLA generally are skeptical of idea of shrinking Ph.D. programs.
* Eighteen months after the law took effect, over three-fourths of employers reported that they were very supportive or somewhat supportive of the paid sick days law.
* Begun the Canon Wars have: Disney To Rip Out Star Wars EU Continuity “Like A Tumor.”
* Life is suffering: HBO renews ‘The Newsroom’ for third and final season.
* If the Supreme Court upholds this decision (or refuses to hear an appeal), net neutrality is dead unless the FCC or Congress decide to reclassify broadband internet as a telecom service regulated as a common carrier.
* The federal judge overseeing the concussion lawsuit brought by 4,500 former players against the National Football League denied a preliminary motion to approve the proposed settlement to the case Tuesday, saying that the agreement may not include enough money to compensate all players properly.
* Friends, they may say it’s a movement: Judge Rules Oklahoma Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional.
* Breaking: It Is Expensive to Be Poor.
* Chloe as Edward Snowden is actually a pretty great premise for a 24 movie. It seems like it’d be better without any involvement from Kiefer at all.
* The technology, which the agency has used since at least 2008, relies on a covert channel of radio waves that can be transmitted from tiny circuit boards and USB cards inserted surreptitiously into the computers. In some cases, they are sent to a briefcase-size relay station that intelligence agencies can set up miles away from the target.
* And it’s even worse than we thought: TEHRAN (FNA)- Former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden revealed documents providing incontrovertible proof that an alien/extraterrestrial intelligence agenda is driving US domestic and international policy, and has been doing so since at least 1945, some media reports said.
* And we’ll finally know what Bruce Wayne was like as a twelve-year-old. Because you demanded it!
* This gentleman violently inserted his finger into dozens of victims’ anuses. Sometimes his friends held guns to the victims’ heads to force them to comply. Why was he sentenced to just two years in prison? Because he was an officer with the Milwaukee police department! Officer who forced dozens of anal cavity searches for fun gets only 2 years in prison.
* I wonder if it worked: The Soviet Union spent $1 billion on mind-control program.
* Once you insist that lives that are worth respecting are the lives that are most devoted to pecuniary gain, you have reached a road that has no ending, and a particularly strange one for humanists to walk.
* The humanities are saved! Brain function ‘boosted for days after reading a novel.’
* Using detailed publication and citation data for over 50,000 articles from 30 major economics and finance journals, we investigate whether network proximity to an editor influences research productivity. During an editor’s tenure, his current university colleagues publish about 100% more papers in the editor’s journal, compared to years when he is not editor. In contrast to editorial nepotism, such “inside” articles have significantly higher ex post citation counts, even when same-journal and self-cites are excluded. Our results thus suggest that despite potential conflicts of interest faced by editors, personal associations are used to improve selection decisions.
* Woody Guthrie’s New Year’s Resolutions are the still the only ones you need. More links below!
* But it’s a lie. Winning does not scale. We may be free beings, but we are constrained by an economic system rigged against us. What ladders we have are being yanked away. Some of us will succeed. The possibility of success is used to call the majority of people failures.
* In this article, we develop and empirically test the theoretical argument that when an organizational culture promotes meritocracy (compared with when it does not), managers in that organization may ironically show greater bias in favor of men over equally performing women in translating employee performance evaluations into rewards and other key career outcomes; we call this the “paradox of meritocracy.”
* Huffington Post blogger argues just straight-up ripping off your babysitter because, I don’t know, freedom or something.
* And then we robbed all the pensions also because freedom I guess.
* If you thought Southern California mansions could hardly get more outlandish, consider the latest must-have feature: A moat encircling the property.
* One Weird Old Trick to Undermine the Patriarchy: My five-year-old insists that Bilbo Baggins is a girl..
* Worst people in the world watch: But over the past decade, the number of “hospice survivors” in the United States has risen dramatically, in part because hospice companies earn more by recruiting patients who aren’t actually dying, a Washington Post investigation has found. Healthier patients are more profitable because they require fewer visits and stay enrolled longer.
* Just kidding, the worst person in the world is Andrea Peyser.
* Are dolphins intelligent? Well, they get high.
* Previewing World Cup 2022: The Qatar Chronicles.
* Having already inaugurated full communism, radical De Blasio turns his pitiless mayoral gaze to horse-drawn carriages.
* Looking for a New Year’s Read? Magical realism/surreal books by women.
* A New Gallup Survey Will Measure the Value of a Degree, Beyond Salary. What possible value could exist “beyond salary”?
* The New Yorker profiles Pope Francis.
* Great moments in oversight: It Took The FDA Four Decades To Request Proof That Antibacterial Soap Is Safe.
* Charity is a game the rich play with themselves: Study Shows the Top 1% Mostly Gives to the Other 1% and Calls it Charity.
* Obamacare debacle-watch: Only the super-rich can save us now!
* The ACLU is accusing the lawyers defending Pennsylvania’s law banning same-sex marriage of stalling and making undue requests for information about the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. …according to the ACLU’s Witold Walczak, the lawyers Gov. Tom Corbett (R) hired at taxpayer expense want to know whether any of the plaintiffs previously had opposite-sex relationships or ever sought counseling.
* On March 17, 2012 – the six month anniversary of the beginning of OWS – the police savagely cleared the park and arrested 75 people peacefully occupying Liberty Square. In the process of my arrest, a cop grabbed my thumb and snapped it in place, not once, but twice. I used to have a full scholarship to NYU to study classical piano. My life was shattered forever. I’ll never play Beethoven again.
* The Financial Crisis: Why Have No High-Level Executives Been Prosecuted? Perhaps it will always be a mystery.
Demand that the Department of Labor crack down on illegal internships and other forms of wage theft. Demand that the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act get a fair vote on the Senate floor. Demand that Congress cap tuition-increase rates at universities receiving Pell Grant money. Demand a jobs program, legal marijuana, a guaranteed minimum income. Hell, demand a trillion dollars; it worked out great for the banks. Don’t sign up for “Obamacare” until they meet these demands and then some.
The only way to get our way in American politics is threaten to burn the whole house down. And when older adults inevitably chide us for taking irresponsible and selfish risks with the country’s future, we can always remind them who taught us how.
* vakarangi.blogspot.co.uk is blogging Star Trek: The Animated Series.
* The worst human beings alive: Paul Dini explains why execs don’t want girls watching their superhero shows.
DINI: “That’s the thing, you know I hate being Mr. Sour Grapes here, but I’ll just lay it on the line: that’s the thing that got us cancelled on Tower Prep, honest-to-God was, like, ‘we need boys, but we need girls right there, right one step behind the boys’ — this is the network talking — ‘one step behind the boys, not as smart as the boys, not as interesting as the boys, but right there.’
I guess I just always thought the patriarchy operated with a little more subtlety. Where’s the craft, fellas?
* And the future is weird: Severed hand kept alive on man’s ankle.
* “The Great Stratification” at CHE essentially argues that academia turn into the skid and establish an official multiple-tier levels of instruction, like the hierarchy of care that exists in medicine. I think this misunderstands the nature of medicine; it’s not that medicine has somehow escaped the logic of deprofessionalization so much as it’s simply the last “good career” to do so. Medicine is only starting to see the flexiblization that has already destroyed everybody else.
* Most History Ph.D.’s Have Jobs, in Academe and Other Solid Occupations. Lots of hand-waving and dedifferentiation here.
* Attacks on Obama over the rough rollout of the ACA hit the president where it hurts: his attempt to replace politics with expert management.
* On teaching outside your field: The Courage to be Ignorant.
* Shimizu, a Japanese architectural and engineering firm, has a solution for the climate crisis: Simply build a band of solar panels 400 kilometers (249 miles) wide (pdf) running all the way around the Moon’s 11,000-kilometer (6,835 mile) equator and beam the carbon-free energy back to Earth in the form of microwaves, which are converted into electricity at ground stations.
Bezos’ neat trick has knocked several real stories about Amazon out of the way. Last week’s Panorama investigation into Amazon’s working and hiring practices, suggesting that the site’s employees had an increased risk of mental illness, is the latest in a long line of pieces about the company’s working conditions – zero-hour contracts, short breaks, and employees’ every move tracked by internal systems. Amazon’s drone debacle also moved discussion of its tax bill – another long-running controversy, sparked by the Guardian’s revelation last year that the company had UK sales of £7bn but paid no UK corporation tax – to the margins. The technology giants – Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al – have have huge direct reach to audiences and customers, the money to hire swarms of PR and communications staff, and a technology press overwhelmingly happy to incredulously print almost every word, rather than to engage in the much harder task of actually holding them to account.
* Dozens of commuters missed connections Sunday night when Delta Airlines kicked them off their Gainesville-to-Atlanta flight to accommodate the University of Florida men’s hoops team.
* And paging Margaret Atwood: A chimp-pig hybrid origin for humans?
* Mother Jones on “the White House’s private outrage at former Secretary of Energy Steve Chu’s impromptu decision to talk about climate change while visiting an island nation uniquely threatened by it.” How dare he…
* Six women filed a federal complaint with the U.S. Department of Education on Thursday alleging that Vanderbilt University, a prestigious school in Nashville, has failed to adequately respond to incidences of sexual assault on campus.
* Here come the ACA scammers. Meanwhile, in Obamacare follies: the “administrative fix.” The shorthand explanation for what’s going on here is that everybody — the insurance companies, members of Congress, and Obama — is bullshitting.
* There is plenty of violence in the world of hunter-gatherers, though it is hardly illuminated by resorting to statistical comparisons between the mortality rates of a tiny tribal war in Kalimantan and the Battle of the Somme or the Holocaust. This violence, however, is almost entirely a state-effect. It simply cannot be understood historically from 4000 BC forward apart from the appetite of states for trade goods, slaves and precious ores, any more than the contemporary threat to remote indigenous groups can be understood apart from the appetite of capitalism and the modern state for rare minerals, hydroelectric sites, plantation crops and timber on the lands of these peoples. Papua New Guinea is today the scene of a particularly violent race for minerals, aided by states and their militias and, as Stuart Kirsch’s Mining Capitalism shows, its indigenous politics can be understood only in this context. Contemporary hunter-gatherer life can tell us a great deal about the world of states and empires but it can tell us nothing at all about our prehistory. We have virtually no credible evidence about the world until yesterday and, until we do, the only defensible intellectual position is to shut up.
* The Eighth Doctor finally gets his sendoff in a prequel to the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special.
* Malcolm Harris against the unpaid internship for credit. I think there’s still a place for educational internships, but at nothing like the rates we see today, and it should never be used to displace waged workers or make the company money.
* Shocked that Google Books is fair use. College and university administrators, take note!
* And I took so long posting this link dump the latest Andy-Kaufman-is-alive hoax has already fallen apart.
* Cooper Union Trustees Renege on Promise to Seat Student Trustee. Pretty amazing.
* Healthcare.gov Enrollments to Date a Pathetic < 50,000. That’s around 1% of existing uninsured, and almost certainly the sickest and most chronically ill from that pool. But if we just rationalize….
* Abolish Black Friday: Best Buy Joins Other Retailers In Denying Workers Their Thanksgiving Dinners.
* Despite claims by policymakers and some members of the news media indicating that public schools are by and large failing at the task of educating the nation’s children, the authors say that their analyses suggest that public schools are “actually providing a more effective education service relative to schools in the independent sector.”
* Slaves were allowed three day’s holiday at Christmas time, and so it was over Christmas that John Andrew Jackson decided to escape.
* And I didn’t link to this, but allons-y and all that: trailer for “The Day of the Doctor.”
* These kids today, and their games.
* The Post has a profile in motion of freshman House Republican Ted Yoho (FL). The focus is how he’s part of the faction who forced John Boehner to trigger the government shutdown and now wants to move along to default on the national debt. How bad will default be? “I think, personally, it would bring stability to the world markets,” Yoho told the Post.
Isn’t it terribly frightening to believe in the Devil?
You’re looking at me as though I’m weird. My God! Are you so out of touch with most of America, most of which believes in the Devil? I mean, Jesus Christ believed in the Devil! It’s in the Gospels! You travel in circles that are so, so removed from mainstream America that you are appalled that anybody would believe in the Devil! Most of mankind has believed in the Devil, for all of history. Many more intelligent people than you or me have believed in the Devil.
You know, Antonin, I believe in the Devil too — and I even know his secret identity!
* Open Letter to Everyone Who Secretly Controls the US Government: Are you okay? Do you need help?
* And over 100 long-lost Doctor Who episodes found by dedicated fans – in Ethiopia. Someone’s getting over 100 replica Daleks.
* It seems likely to me that at some point in the postwar era, the world had actually collectively created something like “the material conditions for full communism” — but powerful people made choices that led to a voluntary continuation of the logic of scarcity even when we were no longer physically constrained by actual-existing scarcity. The result has been a squandering of those resources in such a way as to set up environmental catastrophes that will almost certainly return us to a condition of real scarcity.
* What’s going on in Colorado is an outstanding case study in what happens when a black market becomes a legal one, and it’s something we probably won’t see again in any of our lifetimes.
* America’s three biggest jail systems, with more than 11,000 prisoners under treatment on any given day, represent by far the largest mental-health treatment facilities in the country.
* At the University of Toronto, students have created their own exchanges where they can pay students who are enrolled in a class which is full to drop out, thus opening space for themselves. In other words, a secondary market in class spaces has spontaneously emerged (as markets do).
* The 1998 Dystopian Novel That’s Eerily Relevant to 2013 Detroit. Related, via Twitter, the 8 Mile Wall.
* A comprehensive search has revealed a total of ten voter impersonation cases since 2000. Shouldn’t we tattoo people’s voter registration ID numbers on their faces, just to be safe?
* The headline reads, “37 Million Bees Found Dead In Ontario.”
* Also in that’s-the-whole-point news: Undocumented Worker Alleges Wage Theft, Ends Up In Deportation Proceedings.
* Living nightmares: I Got Raped, Then My Problems Started.
* Insurers Refuse To Cover Kansas Schools Where Teachers Carry Guns Because It’s Too Risky. Maybe my plan to force gun owners to carry liability insurance would have worked after all.
* The cause of the crash landing of a Boeing 777 in San Francisco is still unclear. But pilots say they had been worried about conditions at the West Coast airport for a while. An important flight control system had been out of service for weeks. No One’s Talking About the Flight Attendant Heroes in the SFO Crash.
* Great moments in neoliberalism: Chris Christie’s Boondoggle.
1. It is not pragmatic. The two most difficult challenges it raises are how to fund its initiation and how to collect on the money loaned. Nowhere do its proponents explain where Oregon will get the estimated $9 billion needed to start the program, or how the state will ensure that graduates repay.
Meeting first in their dreams, Laura and Carmilla are bound together in the original female vampire romance. What can Laura make of an ancestral portrait that resembles her mysterious new friend or the strange dreams she experiences as she is drawn ever closer to this beauty of the night?
* Holy @#$%, Michael Jackson almost starred in a Doctor Who movie. Second choice (the legend goes) was a little-known stand-up you may have heard of, Bill Cosby.
* Other Doctor Who ideas that seemingly make no sense at all: We almost got a live Doctor Who episode.
* A Detroit area school district has erupted in protest over the discarding of a historic book collection that is said to contain more than 10,000 black history volumes, included films, videos, and other artifacts. The blame, according to residents of Highland Park, a small city surrounded on nearly all sides by Detroit, belongs to Emergency Manager Donald Weatherspoon, who claims the collection was thrown out by mistake but that the district cannot afford to preserve it.
* And an important link for my particular demographic: Twelve Colorful Words That Start with Z.
* Aaron’s latest Sunday Reading has a special section devoted to what’s going on in Turkey, if like me you haven’t been following as closely as you’d like. There’s lots of other good links too, of course.
* It also reminds me that I never got around to linking to this massive map of Arrested Development running gags.
* It really seems to me that Detroit will declare bankruptcy either way. The role of the emergency manager is to facilitate bankers’ looting the city first.
* Ten Year Chicago Hotel Strike Ends in ‘Unconditional’ Defeat. Orbitz booked me at this hotel a few years ago and I was furious. I’d had no idea about the strike.
* Does the BBC want Moffat off Who? Well, then, I guess that’s pretty much everyone.
* The AV Club argues the American Office, to the end, was a great television show about how terrible love can be.
* But it’s not only the Globe. This failure is repeated across the mainstream media landscape — the product of a mindset in which climate change is simply another environmental problem, albeit a particularly complex one for which we’ll eventually find a technical fix, mainly by doing more or less the same things we’re doing now, only more efficiently and with better technology. It’s nothing to get too excited about. It’s certainly not anything to sacrifice your career over.
* Mark Fisher on affective labor. Warning: The ultimate imagistic reference is pornographic, if that’s unpleasant for you.
Being exploited is no longer enough. The nature of labour now is such that almost anyone, no matter how menial their position, is required to be seen (over)investing in their work. What we are forced into is not merely work, in the old sense of undertaking an activity we don’t want to perform; no, now we are forced to act as if we want to work. Even if we want to work in a burger franchise, we have to prove that, like reality TV contestants, we really want it. The notorious shift towards affective labour in the Global North means that it is no longer possible to just turn up at work and be miserable. Your misery has to be concealed – who wants to listen to a depressed call centre worker, to be served by a sad waiter, or be taught by an unhappy lecturer?
Yet that’s not quite right. The subjugatory libidinal forces that draw enjoyment from the current cult of work don’t want us to entirely conceal our misery. For what enjoyment is there to be had from exploiting a worker who actually delights in their work? In his sequel to Blade Runner, The Edge of Human, K W Jeter provides an insight into the libidinal economics of work and suffering. One of the novel’s characters answers the question of why, in Blade Runner‘s future world, the Tyrell Corporation bothered developing replicants (androids constructed so that only experts can distinguish them from humans). “Why should the off-world colonists want troublesome, humanlike slaves rather than nice, efficient machines? It’s simple. Machines don’t suffer. They aren’t capable of it. A machine doesn’t know when it’s being raped. There’s no power relationship between you and a machine. … For the replicant to suffer, to give its owners that whole master-slave energy, it has to have emotions. … . The replicant’s emotions aren’t a design flaw. The Tyrell Corporation put them there. Because that’s what our customers wanted.”
* And the only way to win is not to play: In part, this is how all solitaire games work. The solitaire aesthetic in general is about taking rational content and form — apparent in the effort to model the range of a T-37 turret gun in the game’s structure — and giving it metaphysical expression and feeling in a game-play design. It is a constructed channel of experience, with clearly defined player operations, yet completely undefined in terms of how the player experiences it. Even though you are rolling a die and consulting a results table, you see the battle in terms beyond paper and dice; your mind creates a narrative in which the enemy is repulsed or surges forth, where a battle-scarred unit makes the break-through or where defeat is quickly assured when a leader is cut down in the opening hellfire of bullets. A string of successful rolls translates into cosmic kismet, failed rolls into a series of punches putting you on the ropes.