Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘dystopia

Sunday Night Links!

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* Kenya sci-fi series imagines European immigrants fleeing to Africa. A very different premise, but it reminds me a bit of some of what happens in Abdourahman A. Waberi’s excellent short novel The United States of Africa.

* Map of the week: 57% of languages do not have gendered pronouns.

* How comics portray psychological illness.

* New Analysis Shows Problematic Boom In Higher Ed Administrators. With searchable database so you can see how your school has changed since the 80s.

UCLA spends 2% of its budget on sports, while UO spends 13%. 13%!

The Council of UC Faculty Associations did the math, and showed to get tuition back down to 2000-01 levels $5300 in today’s dollars), and state funding back up to spend 20001 amounts per student, would cost to the median individual California taxpayer, each year, a total of $50.  Restoring full quality and affordability for the state’s 1.6 million public college and university students would cost the state median taxpayer about the same as a holiday bottle of single malt scotch.  That would get us halfway back to a Free UC

Grad school’s mental health problem. When education brings depression.

* “Teachers can’t strike, so we’ll strike for them.”

* Functioning democracy watch: The rise of the blank-slate candidate.

* Lawrence Lessig: Only the super-rich can save us now.

But when it comes to the narcissism of war, as the example of Christopher Hitchens reminds us, no one has quite the self-deluding capacity of the intellectual.

* Friends, it gets worse: California aquifers contaminated with billions of gallons of fracking wastewater.

U.S. Emergency Rooms Are Bracing For An Ebola Panic. The nightmare Ebola scenario that keeps scientists up at night. ‘Breach of Protocol’ Led to 2nd Ebola Infection. Cuba leads fight against Ebola in Africa as west frets about border security. But don’t worry, we’re tweaking all our incentives: US government offers $1m for best hazmat suit design as demand surges.

* Prison to Table: The Other Side of the Whole Foods Experience. Pennsylvania’s addiction to prison-building a moral, economic disaster.

* BREAKING: White people are radically misinformed about just about every salient question in American politics.

Yes, they are killing young black males. Documents Show NYPD Has Paid $428 Million in Settlements Since 2009. Asset seizures fuel police spending.

* Why is the recovery so weak? It’s the austerity, stupid.

They did, however, find the case significant enough to notify their sergeant — “due to the fact that it was an F.S.U. football player,” the report said. The sergeant, a Florida State University sports fan, signed off on it and the complaint was filed away as “unfounded.” It was hardly the first time that the towering presence of Florida State football had cast a shadow over justice in Tallahassee.

* Cultural preservation watch: There Is A Nine-Foot Tall Statue Of Edward Snowden In New York City.

“When the story broke about Edward Snowden, I was thinking a lot about surveillance and monumentality and how we remember things,” Dessicino told BuzzFeed News on Friday. “How public space is used and how people in history are remembered.

“And I got the idea that maybe people who are major actants upon history aren’t always represented properly, and those people could be written out of history by not having something more permanent made of them.”

* Elsewhere in Snowdenmania: news that he has apparently inspired a second leaker, still at the agency, as well as a nice button on the love story that dominated so much of the early coverage.

* I’ve been a Moffat-skeptic and didn’t like Twelve’s introduction or first few episodes at all, but I have to admit the new Doctor Who is probably as good as it’s ever been. Each of the last few episodes has been better than the last. Sid & Nancy on the TARDIS.

* Nielsen: still the absolute worst.

* The oldest struggle: Hawk v. drone.

Yet, there is something incomprehensible and inconsistent about this brand of “evil.” Mordor presents these characters in incredibly high fidelity—and I mean that both aesthetically and narratively. Some of the Orcs wear visible jewelry. One dev pointed out during a video preview that “some of them are poets.” But we’re told again and again that these Orcs want to destroy beautiful things. It just doesn’t hold up, and this tension extends to every element of their narrative and systemic characterizations. These Orcs have fears, interests, values, rivalry and friendships. Some Orcs are lovingly protective of their bosses or underlings. But they are “savage creatures” that “hate beauty,” so go ahead and enslave them.

* Matt Yglesias is making sense: The real problem with Nate Silver’s model is the hazy metaphysics of probability.

* The LEGO Batman Movie is the moment reboot culture begins to learn at an algorithmic rate. In a panic, they try to pull the plug.

* “He soon resigned.” A chess column had run in the New York Times since 1855, until today.

* Here come the self-driving cars.

* Tech jobs: Minorities have degrees, but don’t get hired.

* This Is How Judges Humiliate Pregnant Teens Who Want Abortions.

* Marissa Alexander will have a new trial.

* Unpopular opinion watch: This is not a perfect article, but the proposition that universities are not equipped to be courts and shouldn’t try to be seems basically right to me. I can’t imagine how people are looking at the last few decades of Title IX implementation and saying the answer is to give schools a larger role in this.

* Dystopian road signs.

* Understanding Homestuck.

* Understanding the Great Zucchini, DC’s most in-demand clown.

* Well, that explains it. Hitler was ‘a regular user of crystal meth’, American Military Intelligence dossier reveals.

* The age of miracles: cure for type-one diabetes imminent.

* And I’m so old I can remember when “full of bees” seemed like the worst possible thing.

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Written by gerrycanavan

October 12, 2014 at 6:13 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Monday Morning Links!

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* David Mitchell on how to write: “Neglect Everything Else.” I’m already doing it!

* Capitalism turned California into a desert. You’ll never believe what happened next.

* Will the Pacific Northwest be a Climate Refuge Under Global Warming?

The rise of bottled water here in the States shows how a public institution can be demonized and replaced by a much more expensive privatized solution.

* Mistakes Parents Make With Financial Aid.

* In between the time Shane Morris suffered what seemed to be an obvious concussion and the time he was carted off the field, Brady Hoke made him play football.

* But the broader problem with these optimistic, utopian tales is that they rationalise the pathologies of the current political and economic system, presenting them as our conscious lifestyle choices. Against the Sharing Economy.

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* BREAKING: The American health care system is the absolute worst.

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* Education Gibberish Generator.

We will triangulate innovative paradigms in data-driven schools.
We will mesh hands-on methodologies for our 21st Century learners.
We will aggregate intuitive guiding coalitions through the use of centers.

* Inside the Starbucks at Langley.

* Brooklyn Postal Worker Hoarded 40,000 Pieces of Undelivered Mail. The kicker: “Brucato admitted to hoarding the mail since 2005 and has been suspended with pay until the case is settled.”

* The Golden Age of Television Is the Golden Age of American Divorce.

* The PEN Panel on Sex and Violence in Children’s Literature.

* David Simon’s Next.

* Hobbit 419.

In view of this, I received your contact through a friend and counselor, an ingenious wizard, who noted you as a Burglar who wants a good job, plenty of Excitement and reasonable Reward. And I and my twelve companions have agreed to give you 10% of the total gold and jewels that the dragon Smaug now rests upon if you can join us on our long journey. When you have agreed please tell us the place where you dwell and send one hundred pence so that we might travel to you.

* Google Derek Jeter Truth. Wake up sheeple!

* What went wrong on Alien3.

Some thoughts on Harry Potter as a dystopia.

* And lots of smart people didn’t like this piece, but I thought it was bracing: How to abolish labor within 5 years in five simple steps. I think it helps that I read so much SF.

Thursday Night Links!

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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.

* Athletics forever! New Rutgers report reveals subsidies for athletics are not declining as originally forecasted.

* 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.

* All in all it’s a good time to be rich.

* 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?

* CCSF Accreditation Case Will Proceed to Trial.

* Inside the Koch Brothers’ Toxic Empire.

H.P. Lovecraft Stories Retold As Goofy One-Page Comics.

* F.B.I. Confirms a Sharp Rise in Mass Shootings Since 2000.

* I don’t know that the state really needs to fight every case: Pennsylvania Attorney General Blames Woman For Her Own Rape.

* U. of North Texas Took $75-Million Extra From State, Auditor Finds.

* 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!

Tuesday Morning Links!

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On April 10th-12th, 2015, UF will be hosting its 11th annual Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels, “Comics Read but Seldom Seen: Diversity and Representation in Comics and Related Media.”

The Review of Capital as Power (RECASP) announces an annual essay prize of $1,000 for the best paper on the subject of capital as power. Open to anyone who does not currently hold a Ph.D. (including current graduate students).

* Happy belated Labor Day: The True Story Of How One Man Shut Down American Commerce To Avoid Paying His Workers A Fair Wage. Labor Day against Work.

* Non-published, non-peer-reviewed study concludes that college football coaches must be worth the money because otherwise they wouldn’t be paid that much. Glad that’s sorted.

So what happened to the GOP, from the time of Nixon to the present, to turn an environmental leader into an environmental retrograde? According to a new study in the journal Social Science Research, the key change actually began around the year 1991—when the Soviet Union fell. “The conservative movement replaced the ‘Red Scare’ with a new ‘Green Scare’ and became increasingly hostile to environmental protection at that time,” argues sociologist Aaron McCright of Michigan State University and two colleagues.

* UIUC will forward Salaita’s appointment to the Board of Trustees after all. Sadly I suspect this is a CYA maneuver after realizing they were in material breach of their contract — though I suppose it’s for the lawyers to decide if they have take-backs on that issue or not.

* From the archives: How Higher Education in the US Was Destroyed in 5 Basic Steps.

* The Darren Wilson fundraiser mystery.

* Guantanamo Defense Lawyer Resigns, Says U.S. Case Is ‘Stacked.’

* The terrifying true story of the garbage that could kill the whole human race.

Man Nearly Dies In Ice Bucket Challenge After Plane Drops Water On Him.

* Are domestic airlines making money by fleecing consumers? No! That’s not true! That’s impossible!

Archaeologists Confirm That Stonehenge Was Once A Complete Circle.

* The A.V. Club reviews David Mitchell’s latest, The Bone Clocks.

* I’ll give you this: Censoring the books your kid reads does seem pretty dystopian. “Divergent” and “Hunger Games” as capitalist agitprop. Utopia and Anti-Utopia.

* How to ruin a protest.

* And Did Stan Lee Confirm a Black Panther Movie? Please?

20140901

Annus Horribilis

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Written by gerrycanavan

August 21, 2014 at 5:00 pm

I Guess That’s Why They Call It Jet Lag Links

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* “Fantastic Breasts and Where To Find Them.” NSFW, and probably deserves a trigger warning for imagery of sexual violence too.

Academics, Public Work, And Labor.

Kids Returned To Honduras, Killed.

* California drought: 17 communities could run out of water within 60 to 120 days, state says. More at MetaFilter.

* Recent Glacial Melt Mostly Caused By Man-Made Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Study Finds.

Mr. Holder and top Justice Department officials were weighing whether to open a broader civil rights investigation to look at Ferguson’s police practices at large, according to law enforcement officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal talks. The issue came up after news reports revealed a 2009 case in which a man said that four police officers beat him, then charged him with damaging government property — by getting blood on their uniforms.

Half of black men in the US have been arrested by age 23.

Who is an “Outside Agitator”? Unethical journalism can make Ferguson more dangerous. Police in Ferguson Are Firing Tear Gas Canisters Manufactured During the Cold War Era. Tear Gas Is an Abortifacient. Why Won’t the Anti-Abortion Movement Oppose It? Why hasn’t Darren Wilson been arrested yet? Police are operating with total impunity in Ferguson. A local public defender on the deeply dysfunctional Ferguson court system.

Nobody Knows How Many Americans The Police Kill Each Year.

* Saying the quiet part loud: Even though it might sound harsh and impolitic, here is the bottom line: if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you.

* Another edition of Aaron Bady Movie Corner.

* I thought this @nerdist interview with Matthew Weiner was great.

* Trustees agree! Trustees need more power.

* Islamic militants execute journalist, MU grad James Foley. His letter to the alumni magazine from 2011.

* The Pressure to Breast-Feed Is Hurting New Moms With Postpartum Depression.

* It’s not all bad news: This Oxford professor thinks artificial intelligence will destroy us all.

* And the Democratic candidate for governor of Wisconsin says we should prioritize road work based on what would create the most jobs. My gosh. It’s like an Adam Kotsko rant come to life.

Friday Links!

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* Ferguson, Missouri, is still the most important story in the country right now; I put up a bunch of links related to the crisis there last night. A letter from David Simon.

* I had a feeling there was more to Robin Williams’s suicide than the initial flurry around depression. It turns out he was suffering from the onset of Parkinson’s disease.

* Nick Kristof defends the humanities. I want to save the humanities more than anyone, but the price is too high. THE PRICE IS TOO HIGH.

Over 1500 Scholars to University of Illinois: We Will Not Engage With You! The case for dismissing Cary Nelson, from the co-chair of the search committee that hired Salaita.

* Denying tenure to game college rankings. Well, that’s cheery.

* “Stop Writing Dystopian Sci-Fi—It’s Making Us All Fear Technology,” says venture capitalist.

* Zombie narrative as teaching tool, at LARoB.

* It Turns Out Colleges Aren’t Actually Atheist Factories.

* Wherever there’s a professor worrying over whether their student really deserves an A- or a B+ — that’s where I’ll be. The Professorate and The Grapes of Wrath.

* You come at the Scrabble King, you best not miss.

* Amy Acker, Fran Kranz, Settlers of Catan. I’m sold.

* Starbucks–with a human face.

* And a mother has been arrested for dropping f-bomb in front of her kids. I think I’d better start my legal defense fund now….

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