Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘humanitarianism

Saturday Night Links!

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* I’ve had a nice bit of professional good news: I’ve been asked to join Extrapolation as an editor beginning with their Spring 2015 issue.

“Crutzen, who is not a geologist, but one of the modern great scientists, essentially launched a small hand grenade into the world of geological time scales,” Jan Zalasiewicz, chair of the ICS’s anthropocene working group, told the Guardian. “The word began to be used widely, well before geologists ever got involved.”

* That old-time religion: Now that science fiction is respectable, it’s lost almost all of the conceptual craziness and dubious sexual politics that made it both fanboy bait and of genuine interest.

* From AfricaIsACountry: Ebola and neo-imperialism. And from Jacobin: The Political Economy of Ebola.

* The arsenal of, well, let’s say democracy: The U.S. sold $66.3 billion in weapons last year –- more than three-fourths of the entire global arms market.

* Richest 1% of people own nearly half of global wealth, says report.

* Climate change: how to make the big polluters really pay.

Of Collaborators and Careerists.

* Whites are more supportive of voter ID laws when shown photos of black people voting.

* Meritocracy watch: Poor kids who do everything right don’t do better than rich kids who do everything wrong.

* The 21st century university: women’s only colleges and trans identity.

Since the sinking of the Titanic, there has been a widespread belief that the social norm of “women and children first” (WCF) gives women a survival advantage over men in maritime disasters, and that captains and crew members give priority to passengers. We analyze a database of 18 maritime disasters spanning three centuries, covering the fate of over 15,000 individuals of more than 30 nationalities. Our results provide a unique picture of maritime disasters. Women have a distinct survival disadvantage compared with men. Captains and crew survive at a significantly higher rate than passengers.

The Milwaukee police officer who killed Dontre Hamilton in Red Arrow Park is believed to be the first officer in the city fired as a result of a fatal on-duty shooting in at least 45 years.

* “Weird hobby.”

* More back-and-forth on carceral feminism from Amber A’Lee Frost and Freddie deBoer.

* Pieces like this are enough to make you nostalgic for the quietly understated narcissism of “job creators.”

* An oral history of The Wonder Years.

New Scrabble Dictionary Disrepects The Game.

* Stop worrying about mastermind hackers. Start worrying about the IT guy.

* And just for fun: How to die in the 18th century. Watch for for evil, and for the purples…

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Monday Night Links!

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* CFP for every online academic I know but me: Race, Gender, and the Politics of Representation in Scandal.

* I think this problem goes beyond just academia, though academic life is a particularly hypertrophic version of it. Basically every professional career left in America requires you to completely reboot your life at least three times between high school and your first job.

* Dana Carvey on Harmontown is an amazing episode, but honestly I’d turn it off after Carvey leaves unless you’re a real Harmontown diehard. It’s a pretty big bummer of an episode otherwise.

* BREAKING: Coca-Cola is delicious poison.

* This is what Pangaea would look like with modern borders.

This article takes as its starting point the observation that neoliberalism is a concept thatis ‘oft-invoked but ill-defined’. It provides a taxonomy of uses of the term neoliberalismto include: (1) an all-purpose denunciatory category; (2) ‘the way things are’; (3) an insti-tutional framework characterizing particular forms of national capitalism, most notablythe Anglo-American ones; (4) a dominant ideology of global capitalism; (5) a form of gov-ernmentality and hegemony; and (6) a variant within the broad framework of liberalismas both theory and policy discourse. It is argued that this sprawling set of definitions arenot mutually compatible, and that uses of the term need to bedramatically narrowed fromits current association with anything and everything that a particular author may findobjectionable.

* Is our bloated, monstrous prison system failing its teenage inmates? The New York Times is on it.

* Could a Single Marine Unit Destroy the Roman Empire? Popular Mechanics is on it.

The American Studies Association’s executive committee has called on the United States government to withdraw all support from the state of Israel, citing attacks on Palestinian universities, including a recent strike on the Islamic University in Gaza City.

* Too much power for any one man: Scientists reconstruct speech through soundproof glass by watching a bag of potato chips.

* First, they came for consumers of child pornography, and I said nothing because a Google bot passively uncovering child pornography on its email server didn’t seem like all that serious a privacy violation to me…

* Obama administration happily screwing up the legitimacy of humanitarian aid for absolutely no reason.

* Are fish far more intelligent than we realize?

* Who’s the richest person in your state?

What Real-Life Plants Could Groot Have Evolved From?

In fact, modern text-speak bears a striking resemblance to the system of abbreviations and shorthand present in medieval manuscripts, what I’ve termed here “quill speak.”

* There Is A “Bomb Gaza” Game On The Google Play Store And It’s Pretty Awful.

* Athletics Is Said to Drive Culture of Rape, Drug Use at Air Force Academy.

* They’re trying so hard to ruin the new Spider-Man franchise but test audiences keep saving us.

* 5000 words have been added to the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, because ours is an age of weaklings.

* They Benghazi’d the Benghazi inquiry, now we’ll never know who Benghazied the Benghazi at Benghazi.

* Getting a bit ahead of ourselves, perhaps.

* But what was the Mad Hatter doing before he met Alice?

* Cruel optimism.

* Cruel optimism, part two: Chronicle scribe Max Landis to bring Douglas Adams’ Dirk Gently novels to TV.

* Kickstarter: Designers & Dragons is a four volume book series of RPG industry awesomeness, meticulously researched and prettily packaged. Author Shannon Appelcline guides you company by company through the history of tabletop starting in the 1970s all the way up to present day. This series is chock full of fascinating insider tidbits, company profiles, and yes—enough drama to fuel a hundred campaigns.

* This computer program can predict 7 out of 10 Supreme Court decisions. Sadly, the model still can’t identify who has more money in the remaining 30% of cases.

* And my thinkpiece on Guardians of the Galaxy has been scooped. Alas.

Tuesday Morning Links

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* From the archives: The university is no longer primarily a site of production (of a national labor force or national culture) as it was in the 1970s and 80s, but has become primarily a site of capital investment and accumulation. The historical process through which this transformation was implemented is long and complicated, and we cannot give a detailed account of it here. Instead, we want to describe the general shape of this new model and the consequences it might have for political action in a university setting. We take as paradigmatic the case of the University of Michigan, where this model has been worked out in its most developed form and from which it is spreading across the United States, as university administrators across the country look to and emulate what they glowingly call the “Michigan model.” In this new university, instruction is secondary to ensuring the free flow of capital. Bodies in classrooms are important only to the extent that money continues to flow through the system. It is a university that in a global sense has ceased to be a university—its primary purpose is no longer education but circulation. This is the new logic of the university. If we want to fight it, we have to understand it.

Merit, Diversity and Grad Admissions.

* Big Data and Graduation Rates.

* Teaching the controversy in California, Holocaust edition.

* Another absolutely botched college investigation of a sexual assault.

* Violent Abuse of the Mentally Ill Is Routine, Widespread at Rikers Island.

* Bullshitting about Gaza.

* Malcolm Harris on redheads and playacting racist.

* Why it’s time we talked about the sex lives of humanitarians.

* Shouting About Diving, but Shrugging About Concussions. How to stop FIFA from being such a parasite. Could the World Cup Champion Beat the Best Club Team in the World? Stadiums and/as prisons. Another World Cup Is Possible.

* That’s… ominous. Parts of Yellowstone National Park closed after massive supervolcano beneath it melts roads.

* Buzzfeed has a longread about the behavior of a long-term predator in an elite California private school.

* Meanwhile, Pope Francis’s back-of-the-envelope calculation of the number of predators in the clergy is utterly horrifying.

* Demolition unearths legacy of toxic pollution at Milwaukee plant.

* Is Milwaukee the No. 1 city for tech? Not so fast.

* The July effect is real: new doctors really do make hospitals more dangerous.

* Joss Whedon has written more Buffy the Vampire Slayer. True fact!

Behind-The-Scenes Footage Of Buffy Stunts Is the Ultimate Time Suck.

On the legacy of Dungeons & Dragons.

* Against natural gas as a “transition fuel.”

* If you pretend precedent is meaningful and the rule of law is an operative concept in America, and squint real hard, here’s a way Hobby Lobby could be good news for liberals.

There is, Steve estimates, room enough on the ark for 23 people to live comfortably. And Australians are welcome. Singles, couples, families, believers. All that’s required is a $300 one way ticket from Brisbane to Luganville and a commitment that means forever.

* A bit on the nose, don’t you think? Two Fruitland Park, Fla. cops have lost their jobs after an FBI source named the two as members of the Ku Klux Klan.

* Uber and rape: Seattle Police Clear Uber Driver of Rape Charge, But Not Sexual Assault.

* When Park Middle School cheated on a high-stakes test.

* The goal of ethics is to maximize human flourishing.

* And the new Doctor Who trailer fills me with a little bit of sadness: I was really hoping the Capaldi era would be more swashbuckling than brooding. I guess I’m looking forward to Moffat moving on.

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Weekend Links!

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* Malcolm Harris reviews Ivory Tower.

Speaking for the elite private liberal arts school is Wesleyan President Michael Roth, who argues for small classes, a balanced education and a lot of contact with professors. “Ivory Tower” gives Roth a fair hearing, but he can’t avoid coming off like a huckster of humanities when pitching the $60,000-plus annual price tag to the parents of potential students. (Hell, for 60 grand you could rent an apartment in Brooklyn and your own post-grad fellow.) The cost of this kind of education makes it both a model of learning for learning’s sake — yes, a high cost but a priceless reward — and totally inaccessible to most young people.

* Euclid: The Game!

* Massive data dump on academic employment.

* Vladimir Nabokov’s Unpublished Screenplay Notes For Stanley Kubrick’s ‘Lolita.’

Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra. Ian Bogost, when the walls fell.

Let’s pretend that we want to start an organization to defend the rights of people across the globe that has no affiliation to any government or corporate interest. No More Imperial Crusades.

* Prosecutors closing in on Chris Christie and Scott Walker. How the State of Wisconsin alleges Scott Walker aides violated the law, in 1 chart.

* Aren’t You A Little Short To Be A Stormtrooper? The Passing of the Armor to A Bullied Little Girl. Fighting bullies with stormtroopers.

* The golden age of girls’ running.

Higher Ed Pays a High Price for Mediocrity.

* James Madison University Punished Sexual Assault With ‘Expulsion After Graduation.’ Department of Education Offers Proposed Campus Sexual Assault Regulations. Rape Victims At Fundamentalist Christian College Say They Were Told To Repent For Their Sins.

* “Turn Detroit into Drone Valley.” Sigh.

* “The death of a great American city: why does anyone still live in Detroit?”

* “By denying water service to thousands, Detroit is violating the human right to water.”

* The death of the mall.

* What we Yo about when we Yo about Yo.

* In celebration of Juneteenth.

* I’m losing hope for Episode 7, but Episodes 8 and 9 have promise.

* One more on LouieThis isn’t a model for romance. It’s a blueprint for abuse.

Labor and the Locavore shows that our society’s tendency to idealize local food allows small farmers to pay workers substandard wages, house them in shoddy labor camps, and quash their ability to unionize to demand better working conditions.

* “It’s a much bigger, more powerful question to ask, If today we are using management techniques that were also used on slave plantations,” she says, “how much more careful do we need to be? How much more do we need to think about our responsibility to people?”

* The secret history of Chief Wahoo.

* When drones crash.

Pennsylvania Instructed Its Employees To Ignore Residents Sickened By Drilling. Duke Energy Was Warned About Potential For Dan River Spill Decades Ago, Documents Show.

* The Lost Generation.

* Marriage, kids, college, and class.

* Great moments in governance.

In Kansas, 9-year-old Spencer Collins has been told by authorities that he must stop sharing books with his neighbors, and close the little free library–honestly, it’s just a bookshelf–in his yard.

* The “good” Anthropocene?

* The sixth season of The Twilight Zone we almost had.

* And Better Call Saul already has a second season. We just have to wait to see if that’s a good thing or a bad thing…

Elsewhere in Your Saturday Morning Bummerwatch

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Tuesday Night Links

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tumblr_mqj262vmle1qbgo38o1_500* Superman, neoliberal.

In light of increased pressure on President Obama to order a military strike on Syria, leading historians and military experts on Tuesday simply pointed to the United States’ longstanding and absolutely impeccable record of successful bombing campaigns over the past 60 years.

How to Treat the Freshmen, 1495.

“Statute Forbidding Any One to Annoy or Unduly Injure the Freshmen. Each and every one attached to this university is forbidden to offend with insult, torment, harass, drench with water or urine, throw on or defile with dust or any filth, mock by whistling, cry at them with a terrifying voice, or dare to molest in any way whatsoever physically or severely, any, who are called freshmen, in the market, streets, courts, colleges and living houses, or any place whatsoever, and particularly in the present college, when they have entered in order to matriculate or are leaving after matriculation.”

Leipzig University Statute (1495)

Slavery should be seen not as a sure sign of economic backwardness, but as a technically refined system for coordinating abstract knowledge and bodily violence: intelligence and torture, free trade and imperial war, financial data and brutal physical toil—all adding up to booming world trade, accumulating wealth, and ecological degradation. In this picture, the Cotton Kingdom looks like nothing less than the homeland of neoliberalism, and master and slave, the origin story of contemporary America.

Let Me Explain Why Miley Cyrus’ VMA Performance Was Our Top Story This Morning.

Family Sues NCAA After Concussion-Related Football Death.

Jerry Brown proposes $315 million to lease private prison cells rather than release inmates.

When Your (Brown) Body is a (White) Wonderland.

* What rape culture: teacher gets 30 days in jail for raping a 14-year-old student who later killed herself, on grounds that the girl (“older than her chronological age”) was “as much in control of the situation” as him.

* And Dean Norris spoils the end of Breaking Bad. Shocking.

Sunday!

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* The rich are different: Fremont police to offer pay-to-stay jail program.

“It’s still a jail; there’s no special treatment,” Devine said. “They get the same cot, blanket and food as anybody in the county jail, except that our jail is smaller, quieter and away from the county jail population.”

More Evidence That Colleges Are Giving Money to Those Who Need It Least.

* Run it like a business watch: MSG management has paid almost a billion dollars to renovate an arena they don’t own and which the city is tearing down in ten years.

* America as world-historical blip. Not nearly enough attention to energy here.

The Charitable-Industrial Complex.

And with more business-minded folks getting into the act, business principles are trumpeted as an important element to add to the philanthropic sector. I now hear people ask, “what’s the R.O.I.?” when it comes to alleviating human suffering, as if return on investment were the only measure of success. Microlending and financial literacy (now I’m going to upset people who are wonderful folks and a few dear friends) — what is this really about? People will certainly learn how to integrate into our system of debt and repayment with interest. People will rise above making $2 a day to enter our world of goods and services so they can buy more. But doesn’t all this just feed the beast?

* The fact is that Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft are all integral components of the US cyber-surveillance system. Nothing, but nothing, that is stored in their “cloud” services can be guaranteed to be safe from surveillance or from illicit downloading by employees of the consultancies employed by the NSA.

Katee Sackhoff, Maggie Q, Tatiana Maslany, Danai Gurira, and Michelle Rodriguez talk misogyny, at Comic-Con.

* Notes on the Detroit Bankruptcy.

* How derivatives helped bankrupt Detroit.

New $444 million hockey arena is still a go in Detroit. Detroit’s budget deficit is only $380 million.

So why has Detroit suffered unlike any other major city? Planning, or the lack thereof for more than a century, is why Detroit stands out. While cities like Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles (don’t laugh – Detroit and LA essentially boomed at the same time) put a premium on creating pleasant built environments for their residents, Detroit was unique in putting all its eggs in the corporate caretaker basket. Once the auto industry became established in Detroit, political and business leaders abdicated their responsibility on sound urban planning and design, and elected to let the booming economy do the work for them.

So, to sum it all up:  we have the Lords of MOOC creation, afloat for now on some misguided venture captial (and lots of sunshine blown up the skirts of university presidents), who are giving away a product that no one seems to want to pay even $89 for, probably because only 10% of users come away with much of anything.  And yet, we’re assured that this is completely”disruptive” “for good or ill” and, more importantly, “inevitable.”

 

* To minimize the risk of collision between spacecraft and space junk, the U.S. Space Surveillance Network tracks all debris larger than 10 centimeters. These images represent all man-made objects, both functioning and useful objects and debris, currently being tracked.

* Women At Merrill Lynch Were Instructed To Seduce Their Way To The Top, Lawsuit Alleges.

* Loyalty oaths at the ACLU. I mean really.

* #overlyhonestmethods.

The order of authorship was determined by  a twenty-five-game croquet series held at Imperial College Field Station during summer 1973.

* And Maria Bamford has a new web series. You’re welcome.

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