Posts Tagged ‘Doctor Who’
* “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.
* Thursday, April 18, 11:30 AM, in Lalumiere 114 – “Madman with a Box: Doctor Who.” The third and final (and much-anticipated) Pop Culture Lunch of the semester. We’re still taking suggestions for next year but it looks as if we’ll start with Game of Thrones, followed perhaps by Glee and Sherlock.
* Friday, April 19, all day – “Conversations across the Humanities,” an all-day interdisciplinary symposium. I’ll be speaking at 1 PM on the “Ab Ultra: Space Across Disciplines” panel with a talk titled ”Science Fiction in the Anthropocene.”
* An unnamed English teacher at Albany High School who wanted to “challenge” his/her students to “formulate a persuasive argument” tasked them with writing an essay about why “Jews are evil,” as if they were trying to convince a Nazi official of their loyalty.
* I’m afraid you’ll find the Daleks are already here.
* The actual rendezvous and lassoing of an asteroid, which NASA characterizes as the “most technically challenging aspect of the mission,” could begin as soon as 2019 and result in the asteroid arriving in the vicinity of the moon in 2021.
* Actually existing media bias: Al Gore is fat edition.
* The New Yorker remembers radical feminist Shulamith Firestone.
* After writing all of this I realize that I am not leaving my profession, in truth, it has left me. It no longer exists. I feel as though I have played some game halfway through its fourth quarter, a timeout has been called, my teammates’ hands have all been tied, the goal posts moved, all previously scored points and honors expunged and all of the rules altered. A teacher resigns.
* Academics have finally “started” to talk about capitalism? Inconceivable!
* Take the example of online education, for which excitement is rapidly building in California. Morozov notes in the book that it might very well produce more graduates per dollar spent, but it also might miss the very point of education.
* An outrage of the week right in my own backyard: Botched ATF sting in Milwaukee ensnares brain-damaged man.
“I have never heard of anything so ludicrous in my life,” said Greg Thiele, who spent 30 years working for the Milwaukee Police Department including on undercover stings with federal agents, including those with the ATF. “Something is very wrong here.”
* And when continuity collides: The new Doctor Who companion’s ten-second appearance in Captain America.
* Pay student athletes: Louisville’s Kevin Ware suffers gruesome leg injury. Will Ware be stuck with the bill?
Louisville sophomore Kevin Ware’s injury today in the Midwest Regional finals of the NCAA tournament will likely be remembered alongside Joe Theismann’s career-ender as one of the most tragically gruesome in sports history. But that’s not the only tragic and gruesome part of this episode, because unlike Theismann, who was working under a guaranteed contract, Ware was an NCAA athlete helping to generate millions of dollars for the NCAA, but not even guaranteed a four-year education scholarship. As in so many other similar cases, that means his injury in service to the NCAA’s multimillion-dollar machine could spell the end of his financial aid and massive healthcare bills to boot.
* From the comments on this New York Times piece on the forgotten legacy of slavery in American capitalism: During college at UNC I studied slavery often in my English major classes but it was never mentioned during an Economics course.
* The idea that men are naturally more interested in sex than women is ubiquitous that it’s difficult to imagine that people ever believed differently. And yet for most of Western history, from ancient Greece to beginning of the nineteenth century, women were assumed to be the sex-crazed porn fiends of their day.
* Is it fair to force low-income children to bear the burden of fiscal adjustment? According to data available on the economist Emmanuel Saez’s invaluable Web site, from 1993 to 2011, average real income for the bottom 99 percent of the population (by income) rose by 5.8 percent, while the top 1 percent experienced real income growth of 57.5 percent. The top 1% captured 62% of all income growth over this period, partly owing to a sharp rise in returns to higher education in recent decades. (On average, those with only a high school education or less have few good income prospects.)
* The angels have lost their desire for us: Hurricane Sandy has cost Ocean and Monmouth counties more than $5 billion in
property taxes tax ratables. (ED: Whoops.)
* BREAKING: Everything got worse in 1981.
* There’s got to be a better way! Scenes from infomercials.
* And just because: How to make a “Bells of St. John” wifi name.