Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘history is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake

Wednesday Links!

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* Cura personalis: Whereas Arnold hoped culture would replace religion, Deresiewicz, though not religious himself, wonders if religion might rescue culture: Students are no longer “equipped to address the larger questions of meaning and purpose … that come so inevitably in young adulthood. Religious colleges, quite frankly—even obscure, regional schools that no one’s ever heard of on the coasts—often do a much better job in that respect.”

* Catholic Colleges Greet an Unchurched Generation.

* Alien vs. Predator: Harvard University says it can’t afford journal publishers’ prices.

Video Gamers Are Having A Bizarre Debate Over Whether Sending Death Threats To Women Is A Serious Issue Or Not. #Gamergate Trolls Aren’t Ethics Crusaders; They’re a Hate Group. The Future Of The Culture Wars Is Here, And It’s Gamergate. Anita Sarkeesian has canceled a planned talk at Utah State University after university officials refused to secure the venue following a mass shooting threat. In which gamers yell at a dumb chat bot from 1966 that someone wired up to twitter, because they think it’s a woman.

* Another Obama triumph: Since 2008, the District’s homeless population has increased 73%.

* The Americas in 1491. 9 reasons Christopher Columbus was a murderer, tyrant, and scoundrel. The Real Christopher Columbus. And it gets worse: The Sopranos only ever made one bad episode and it was all Christopher Columbus’s fault.

* It’s Columbus Day. Let’s talk about geography (and Ebola).

* Ebola threatens world chocolate supply.

What if Columbus had sailed off the edge of the world? How would that have affected U.S. history and economic growth?

* White People Are Unironically Talking About the White Experience in New PBS Documentary.

For Indigenous nations to live, capitalism must die. And for capitalism to die, we must actively participate in the construction of Indigenous alternatives to it.

Where Should We Bury the Dead Racist Literary Giants?

* Quick, everybody switch positions about civility and academic freedom.

* The Gates Foundation has a plan to save higher education through creating artificial enrollment crises exciting new efficiency metrics!

* The For-Profit College That’s Too Big to Fail.

George Mason Grad Students Release Adjunct Study.

* The National Science Foundation has awarded grants of $4.8 million to several prominent research universities to advance the use of Big Data in the schools. Your dystopian term of art is “LearnSphere.”

Uber Calls Woman’s 20-Mile Nightmare Abduction an “Inefficient Route.”

What Do We Do With All These Empty Prisons? Oh, I’m sure we’ll think of something.

Cops Charge 10-Year-Old Boy as Adult in Slaying of 90-Year-Old Woman. Accused of Stealing a Backpack, High School Student Jailed for Nearly Three Years Without Trial. South Carolina Prosecutors Say Stand Your Ground Doesn’t Apply To Victims Of Domestic Violence. Why Are Police Using Military-Grade Weapons in High Schools?

* There’s always money for murder and torture, but we need to crowdfund Ebola research.

* Jimmy John’s has noncompete clauses. Jimmy John’s.

Comic Books Are Still Made By Men, For Men And About Men.

* SF short of the night: Forever War.

* The Kids These Days Know More Than You Probably Think. The meat of the post is about a bogus “declining vocabulary” test that is used to fuel critics of schools.

* The nation’s largest union of flight attendants took the Federal Aviation Administration to court on Friday, arguing that the agency should have upheld a ban on the use of smartphones and tablets during takeoff and landing. Lawyers for the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA argued that the devices distracted passengers from safety instructions and could fly out of their hands, becoming dangerous projectiles, the Wall Street Journal reports.

* Freddie de Boer against carceral feminism: The burden of expanding the police state’s power to prosecute sex crimes will fall on the poor and the black.

* Meanwhile, in utterly inexplicable results that will probably always be a mystery: Income is more predictive than race for early college success.

* We don’t even know which way solar panels should be facing.

* Naughty Marvel: It’s Tragic and Disappointing That Marvel Is Canceling Fantastic Four.

* Nice Marvel: And with Robert Downey Jr. signing on it sounds like Captain America 3 will be Civil War. I’d never have guessed that the Captain America movies would be the ones that really connected with me, but here we go…

* David Lynch’s Los Angeles.

* We are become old.

* Milwaukee’s incredible shrinking art scene.

* Karen Russell on the greatness of The Martian Chronicles.

[Stephanie Palumbo]: How does Bradbury use human activity on Mars as a metaphor?

KR: He’s writing against patriotism during the Cold War. Humans land on Mars and then destroy it. Not much time elapses between landfall on Mars and the annihilation of all Martians.

SP: There’s a haunting image in one story, where a little boy is playing with a white xylophone that turns out to be a Martian ribcage.

KR: The planet is basically wiped clean of its indigenous people. I was shocked by the descriptions of these ancient, bone-white cities on Mars, and it took me an embarrassing length of time to recollect that people can visit ruins anywhere on our planet, too. It’s a case where sci-fi holds up a funhouse mirror to our own history. In case we have amnesia about the horror of the frontier, here we see another frontier and xenophobia, paranoia, aggression, madness. But we see people be really good to each other too. Bradbury seemed to be such a humanist at the same time that he is calling us out on our most despicable qualities.

* And being the indispensable shining city on the hill is confusing. If you ask me we should just let the biker gangs handle this.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 15, 2014 at 8:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Friday Friday

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This is the fourth installment of a continuing series in which American events are described using the tropes and tone normally employed by the American media to describe events in other countries: America’s Annual Pilgrimage Begins.

Massasoit was an adroit politician, but the dilemma he faced would have tested Machiavelli. About five years before, most of his subjects had fallen before a terrible calamity. Whole villages had been depopulated. It was all Massasoit could do to hold together the remnants of his people. Adding to his problems, the disaster had not touched the Wampanoag’s longtime enemies, the Narragansett alliance to the west. Soon, Massasoit feared, they would take advantage of the Wampanoag’s weakness and overrun them. And the only solution he could see was fraught with perils of its own, because it involved the foreigners—people from across the sea. The Indians who first feasted with the English colonists were far more sophisticated than you were taught in school. But that wasn’t enough to save them.

The National Security Agency has been gathering records of online sexual activity and evidence of visits to pornographic websites as part of a proposed plan to harm the reputations of those whom the agency believes are radicalizing others through incendiary speeches, according to a top-secret NSA document.

SeaTac $15 Minimum Wage Barely Passes In Final Vote Tally, Recount May Follow.

* Marissa Alexander has been released from jail.

* Self-censorship and repressive regimes.

* The horror of scale: What scared H. P. Lovecraft.

* And okay, I’ll check it out: As presidents leave office, they also leave a letter for their successors. In Oni Press’ new comic Letter 44, the newest president is taken aback when he reads the letter from the man who preceded him — a man who seemed to tank the economy and embroil the nation in needless wars — but was actually secretly preparing America for an imminent alien invasion.

A British Teacher’s Archive of Confiscated Toys.

* K Punk watches Catching Fire.

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about  the Hunger Games is the way it simply presupposes that revolution is necessary. The problems are logistical, not ethical, and the issue is simply how and when revolution can be made to happen, not if it should happen at all. Remember who the enemy is - a message, a hailing, an ethical demand that calls out through the screen to us …. that calls out to a collectivity that can only be built through class consciousness ….

* Judith Butler defends the humanities.

* And the New Yorker profiles David Graeber, “Robin Hood for the Debt Crisis.”

Monday Is Banality of Evil Day at gerrycanavan.wordpress.com

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Some funny replies to that bit on my timeline.

* Fourteen Caribbean countries prepare to sue Europe for slavery.

* An urban studies professor takes a job at a payday loan place.

* Oh, so now Napolitano loves undocumented immigrants.

The Constitution ought to play a prominent role in our politics. But I’d like to see McCarthy construct an argument for his favored policies without any mention of or recourse to the document. Perhaps that would make it clearer that suspending due process puts a country farther along the road to serfdom than old-age pensions.

* But the thing about the NSA revelations is that this isn’t exceptional illegality. It is routine, somehow justified by legal opinions written by John Yoo-style hacks. And worse, it is so routine that 29 y/o contractors have access to it. The issue isn’t so much that we’ve expanded the national security in response to perceived threats, but rather than doing so has become so unexceptional that it is routine, widely known, and the information widely (though not publicly) available. At the risk of Godwining the email, this is the essence of the “banality of evil” in the precise Arendtian sense of the term.

CIA made doctors torture suspected terrorists after 9/11, taskforce finds.

Memo on the Use of Screenshots in Game Studies Scholarship.

Modernist art haul, ‘looted by Nazis’, recovered by German police.

* Today’s portmanteau: brocialism.

90 Year Old Legendary Speaker of the House Jim Wright Denied Texas Voter ID Card.

A brief dispatch from Boston’s Adjunct Action Symposium.

* And Inside Higher Ed has a piece on Cathy Davidson’s history-of-higher-ed MOOC, which I’ve just signed up for.

Games Criticism We Can Believe In

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