Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘ideology

Almost Too Many Thursday Links, Really, If You Ask Me

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* Extrapolation is seeking essays for a special issue on Indigenous Futurism, edited by Grace L. Dillon, Michael Levy and John Rieder.

* Designing for The Grand Budapest Hotel.

* No state worse than Wisconsin for black children, says new national study. The Fight for Wisconsin’s Soul. Other People’s Pathologies.

* Why UWM Matters.

* Life and debt.

* Coffee pods and ecology.

* University of California graduate students explain why they’re striking. Students Occupy Dartmouth President’s Office. Coaches Make $358,000 In Bonuses For Reaching NCAA Tournament Final Four. Emory University Eradicates its Visual Arts Department. Dear Harvard: You Win.

* A Brief Report from the University of Southern Maine. Armed guards at faculty meetings.

Major attack on academic freedom in Michigan.

* Academia Under the Influence.

* Surveillance, Dissent, and Imperialism. NSA Surveillance and the Male Gaze.

* The secret history of Cuban Twitter. If this tweet gets 1000 favorites Castro’s beard falls out.

Kingdom Prep is one of dozens of basketball academies that have popped up in recent years to cater to “postgrad” players—recent high-school graduates who need to improve their standardized-test scores to meet the NCAA’s academic requirements.

* Just when I thought I was out: Marquette hires Duke associate head coach Steve Wojciechowski.

* The really rich are different from the rich, who are different from you and me.

* An heir to the du Pont fortune has been given probation for raping his three-year-old daughter because you know damn well why.

* What Can You Do With a Humanities Ph.D., Anyway?

* Documents filed with the Department of Labor and dated December 2012—three months after the company’s owners filed their lawsuit—show that the Hobby Lobby 401(k) employee retirement plan held more than $73 million in mutual funds with investments in companies that produce emergency contraceptive pills, intrauterine devices, and drugs commonly used in abortions. Hobby Lobby makes large matching contributions to this company-sponsored 401(k).

* Libertarian Police Department. Koch Brothers Quietly Seek To Ban New Mass Transit In Tennessee.

* Detroit: Then and Now.

* A new study shows how Lake Tahoe might serve as a mammoth reservoir that could significantly mitigate California’s chronic water shortages without tarnishing the lake’s world-renowned beauty. What could possibly go wrong?

* The geographic sublime, from the Rural Assistance Center.

* How to Think About the Risk of Autism.

* Sepinwall vs. How I Met Your Mother.

* How To Negotiate With People Around The World.

* Gasp! CIA misled on interrogation program, Senate report says.

* Gasp! Torture Didn’t Lead to Bin Laden.

* New G.O.P. Bid to Limit Voting in Swing States.

* Who’s afraid of Suey Park?

* You once said: “I’m part-android.” Has that revelation haunted you?

* The kids are all right: Talking With 13-Year-Old Leggings Activist Sophie Hasty.

* Bourbon and Girl Scout Cookie Pairings.

* How to Improve Aquaman.

* The Definitive Ranking Of Robin’s 359 Exclamations From ‘Batman.’ 25 Weird Batman Comic-Book Covers.

* Fan work: Labor, worth, and participation in fandom’s gift economy.

* Norman Lear, Archie Bunker, and the rRise of the BBbad Fan.

Original Star Trek II: Wrath Of Khan VFX Storyboards Are A Visual Feast.

* The greatest, richest, freest country in the history of the world.

* The wisdom of markets: Walmart Realizes It’s Losing Billions Of Dollars By Denying Workers More Hours.

* Classic good news / bad news situation: Television Without Pity Archives Will Stay Online. Panel’s Warning on Climate Risk: Worst Is Yet to Come.

* Weird science: Gunshot victims to be suspended between life and death.

* On Moretti-ism: Knowing is not reading.

* The New Inquiry’s “Money” issue is out with some great pieces, including one on China that really highlights a key contradiction in American ideology, which simultaneously holds that capitalism is the only possible economic system and that the future belongs to China. And Rortybomb’s piece on human capital is super chilling: basically dystopian literature, and it’s pretty much already real. And then the freedom piece! And the egg donation one! Great issue all around.

A person may be free because she can choose among a broad range of possibilities, or she may be free while she undertakes some action about which she has no choice at all, but whose compulsion she deems legitimate. Or she may be free when she faces a range of options, one of which is clearly superior to the alternatives, so that her behavior is perfectly predictable despite a formal freedom to choose. Freedom is not, at bottom, about the range of possibilities one faces but about the degree of consent one offers for the action to be taken or the circumstance to be endured.

Japan Ordered To Stop Killing Antarctic Whales For “Science.”

* Teen Wins $70,000 Settlement After School Demanded Her Facebook Password.

* Is being thin more deadly than being obese? Take that, skinnies!

*  I’ve had this dream: Student claims college instructor spent months teaching class the ‘wrong’ course.

* I dream of the day that Seattle and Portland can get along.

* And please don’t make me say it again.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 3, 2014 at 7:00 am

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Sunday Reading at 10,000 Feet

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* Someone put Istvan Csicsery-Ronay’s keynote from ICFA this weekend on YouTube. The “Empire” ad Istvan plays from Computer Associates is amazing.

* Highest-ranking administrator at Marquette abruptly resigns.

* No! No! I won’t believe it! It’s impossible! Bottom line shows humanities really do make money.

* The other college debt. Revenue at Any Cost: Institutional Debt and the Crisis of U.S. Higher Education. And from the archives: “The University and the Undercommons: Seven Theses.”

* The first issue of Porn Studies is available online.

* Re-Imagining the Place and Time of Communism Today: Between Hardt’s “New Love” and Jameson’s “Citizen Army.”

* Kim Stanley Robinson will be in Madison the first week in April for “Imagining Possible Worlds.”

* Hobbit hole playlet, a steal at a mere $3000.

* Marching on: marriage equality in Michigan.

* Police officers in Hawaii are lobbying lawmakers not to repeal a statute that allows them to …. wait for it … have sex with prostitutes during the course of legitimate investigations. Repeating my joke from Twitter, “legitimate” in that sentence is working so far it should be allowed to have sex with prostitutes while on duty…

* Race, cash, and the drug war in Florida.

* Black Preschoolers Face An Epidemic Of Suspensions.

* Autopsy shows Texas cop fired fatal shot from close range into sarcastic student’s back. The officer is currently on administrative leave.

* It should be no surprise that when law enforcement agencies investigate themselves, they find no wrongdoing—especially since a study of the FBI’s internal investigations found that they cleared themselves of wrongdoing in 150 out of 150 fatal shootings. With that track record, the public can’t be confident in the integrity of an investigation with this predictable outcome.

* Duke Energy Caught Intentionally Dumping 61 Million Gallons Of Coal Waste Into North Carolina Water.

* The comforts of dystopia.

* HBO In Talks with Lisa Kudrow to Bring ‘The Comeback’ Back for Season Two. I want to see that.

* I’m addicted to my job.

* CNN, still the absolute worst of all time.

* Ideology at its purest? Why not just believe the things bisexuals say about themselves?

* The Town That Turned Poverty Into a Prison Sentence.

* My dementia.

* “Plot idea: 97% of the world’s scientists contrive an environmental crisis, but are exposed by a plucky band of billionaires & oil companies.”

* And killjoy scientists strike again.

Wednesday Links!

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* America’s Lawless, Unaccountable Shadow Government: Opinions Differ.

Q. and A. on the Disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. The latest.

* Ghostbusters and the New York Public Library.

* Huge, interactive map of objects police have mistaken for guns.

The Civil Rights Act Was Not as Important as You Think.

* The greatest trick the devil ever pulled.

How a seemingly simple message 
to students brought digital-age disaster for a Wisconsin professor.

Why Cosmos Can’t Save Public Support for Science.

* The Department of Education’s scoring system for ranking the financial health of universities makes no sense.

* College admissions as socio-economic sorting.

* The Great Cost Shift.

* MOOCtastic: Harvard students told: No questions, please, we’re filming.

Should you lose your job for failing to raise 80 percent of your salary in outside grants?

* Graduate Students at Cornell Push for Workers’ Compensation. The only question is: why don’t they already have this?

* Jacob Remes introduces the CLASSE Manifesto.

* Patrick Iber on life as a long-term adjunct.

* Dialectics of whether you should let your students call you by your first name.

* If the Founding Fathers were alive today, what do you think they would say?

* There’s ideology at its purest, and then there’s Barack Obama being interviewed by Zach Galifianakis on Between Two Ferns.

Guantánamo forever, I guess.

* During the first month of recreational marijuana sales, Colorado’s licensed dispensaries generated a total of more than $14 million, putting about $2 million of tax revenue into state coffers in the process.

* Vulture profiles Benjamin Kunkel.

* Two sentence horror stories.

Public Transit Use In U.S. Is At a 57-Year High, Report Finds. Spraying Toxic Coal Ash Is A Cheap And Popular Way To De-Ice Roads. Bitcoin is Not a Currency.

* What’s making you so fat today: antibiotics.

“You can’t mourn for the little boy he once was. You can’t fool yourself.”

* Dan Harmon: The Rolling Stone Interview. Mystery project!

* A Game Is Being Beaten.

* Ten Years of Deadwood.

* Next year on SyFy: Man Calls 911 After “Hostile” 22-Pound Cat Traps Family in Bedroom.

* Space Opera on the TV.

BBC America gathers HUGE all-star cast for history of sci-fi documentary.

* That’s cheery: Drones will cause an upheaval of society like we haven’t seen in 700 years.

* Study: Nuclear Reactors Are Toxic to Surrounding Areas, Especially With Age. No one could have predicted!

* Now human activity makes it rain on the weekends. God, we’re the worst.

* Gasp! Center For American Progress Takes Direction From Obama White House.

* The Supreme Court: as always, why we can’t have nice things.

Milwaukee homicides rose 15% last year.

The Almighty Star Trek Lit-verse Reading Order Flowchart.

The Exquisite Wistfulness of 19th-Century Vegetarian Personal Ads.

* And they say there’s never any good news, but Sbarro’s has filed for bankruptcy.

Exactly One (1) Ton of Midweek Links

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Join us at the Science Fiction/Fantasy Now Conference at the University of Warwick this August!

* 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.

* MLA Subconference Wrap-Up (and teaser for 2015).

Contingent Mother: The Role Gender Plays in the Lives of Adjunct Faculty.

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.

* Matt Bruenig pushes back against framing all NTT labor as adjunct labor.

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. 

“These peace officers were doing their jobs…they did what they were trained to do.”

* What could possibly go wrong?

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.

* Legal challenges to the death penalty.

* Pannapacker: Shared Governance, Tenure, and Academic Freedom Are Worth the Trouble.

* …when his salary depends upon his not understanding it: Speakers at MLA generally are skeptical of idea of shrinking Ph.D. programs.

Why does the man behind ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘Sherlock’ still have a job?

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.

Man Poses as Woman on Online Dating Site; Barely Lasts Two Hours.

* 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.

* Legalizing murder maybe not the absolute best idea Florida ever had.

Decades-Old Underground Jet Fuel Leak In New Mexico Still Decades From Being Cleaned Up.

North Carolina Just Gave Millionaires A Tax Cut, Raised Taxes On The Poorest 900,000 Working Families.

* 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.

How administrators defeat student campaigns.

* Breaking: It Is Expensive to Be Poor.

* Does sex make you smarter?

* 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.

* Outrageous fraud at CUNY.

* Weather, man, I dunno.

* And we’ll finally know what Bruce Wayne was like as a twelve-year-old. Because you demanded it!

First Day of the Semester Links!

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* CFP for this year’s meeting of the Science Fiction Research Association, which will be meeting at feminist science fiction convention WisCon in Madison this year.

MLA Delegates Narrowly Approve Controversial Resolution on Israel. Can all-out war be far behind?

The question is: Is such a life and such a career available now? In the Age of Adjuncts? When graduate students refer to themselves as ‘the pre-unemployed’?

*A reason FT and PT should organize together: Part-time professors at UNB are obliged by contract to continue teaching even if full-time faculty strike unless UNB administration decides otherwise. UNB professors on strike starting Monday. Some relevant video.

* David Gordon on discovering he’s huge in Japan.

* Wages for Facebook.

Beginning in January, approximately 1,600 all-electric vehicles registered in North Carolina and newly-registered all-electrics are required to pay a $100 annual fee in addition to other required registration fees because Republicans literally just straight-out hate the planet that’s why.

All December Job Gains Went to Women.

7-Year-Old Girl Asks Scientists To Breed Her a Dragon.

NBA to Pay $500 Million to ABA’s Spirits of St. Louis to Get Out of 38-Year-Old Deal.

UNC Professor Receiving Death Threats For Revealing Athletes’ Low Reading Levels.

* Disney totally screwing up Star Wars watch.

* I missed this profile of Mia Farrow depicting her daughters’ allegations of child molestation against Woody Allen in November, but how utterly horrifying. Was there not time for the Golden Globes to rethink that “lifetime achievement” award?

* And paging Louis Althusser: school uses drone surveillance to stop students from cheating in exams.

Christmas Hangover Links

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* I knew there was a loophole! Pope says atheists are OK with Jesus, so long as they “do good.”

Why bother? On family obligation. On institutional breakdown.

* Folks, we need to talk: The Creepy Surveillance of Elf on a Shelf.

* Canada issues Santa Claus a passport.

Chinese State Media: China’s Air is Too Polluted for Santa to Fly.

* Why NORAD tracks Santa.

The Work of Christmas in the Age of TBS’ “24 Hours of A Christmas Story.

* Christmas and the socialist objective.

* Was Scrooge a neoliberal?

The FBI considered “It’s a Wonderful Life” to be Communist propaganda.

* That Christmas Spirit: US emergency food providers brace as $5bn food stamp cuts set in.

A Map That Reveals the Most Popular TV Show Set in Your Home State.

* We are creating Walmarts of higher education—convenient, cheap, and second-rate.

We’re Constantly in Fear: The life of a part-time professor.

* Bullying in Academia More Prevalent Than Thought.

* College watchdog groups sharpening their teeth.

* Adjunct Nate Silver has been studying the academic job market in German since 2007: who posts jobs, and who gets jobs. Part 1.

* The Year of the Crush: How the Radically Unfair Candy Crush Saga Took Over Our Lives.

* Why we’re doomed: what Obama reads.

Obama does reserve a certain respect for opinion writers such as Tom Friedman and David Brooks of The New York Times, Jerry Seib of The Wall Street Journal, E. J. Dionne of The Washington Post, and Joe Klein of Time. “My impression is that he reads a lot of columnists,” says Brooks, “and therefore he sort of cares about what they say.”

* And then Amazon ate everything, Someday it might even make a profit!

* The Tumblr of forever: sffworthy.tumblr.com.

* Gasp! Judge: Detroit’s Debt Deal Too Generous To Wall Street.

North Carolina’s bad plan to take lawyers away from poor people.

* Trying to learn Arabic is now officially probable cause.

* …even though the Obama administration has called on Western buyers to use their purchasing power to push for improved industry working conditions after several workplace disasters over the last 14 months, the American government has done little to adjust its own shopping habits.

“Choice” is the illusion of power.  Vouchers were not dreamed up to provide choice, but to deny it. We need to avoid confusing a justification with an explanation.

eBay removes anti-Zimmerman artwork the same day Zimmerman’s painting sells for $100k.

Book bannings on the rise in US schools, says anti-censorship group.

More proof that America’s prison epidemic is a complete disaster.

* Why MLB Hitters Can’t Hit Jennie Finch and the Science of Reaction Time.

* Carbon Footprint Of Best Conserving Americans Is Still Double Global Average. Inevitable Milwaukee-based “wait, maybe this isn’t so bad” joke.

* Inevitable “well, there’s always Mars” joke.

The selective disappearance of large animals marks this period out from other extinction episodes, and was the start of what Estes and his fellow authors suggested “is arguably humankind’s most pervasive influence on the natural world”. For Estes, it was the beginning of the sixth mass extinction.

Does the ASA Boycott Violate Academic Freedom? A Roundtable. The ASA, scholarly responsibility and the call for academic boycott of Israel. Why I changed my mind about the ASA boycott.

Billionaire’s role in hiring decisions at Florida State University raises questions.

* Nightmare watch: Teen Girl Shot, Killed by Stepdad While Trying to Sneak Back Into House. Texas School Retaliated Against Student For ‘Public Lewdness’ After She Reported Rape.

* An Oral History of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s ‘Baby Got Back’ Video.

* Merry Paul F. Tompkins.

* Democrats are over (if you want it): Democrats desperately want war with Iran.

* And the BBC has a Sherlock season three minisode. God bless us, every one!

Thanksgiving!

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Even More Sunday Links!

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* Unleash the unschools: How a Radical New Teaching Method Could Unleash a Generation of Geniuses.

Whether intentionally or not, At Berkeley not only toes the administration’s line but faithfully brings to life the administration’s way of seeing. Students and workers are rendered (if, that is, they appear at all) as anonymous data points, the personification of tasks (e.g. mowing the lawns) and economic flows (e.g. scientific research), and occasionally inconvenient, illegible, and irrational obstructions.

* On Chronic Illness, Disclosure, and Impostor Syndrome.

In The Real World, Revenge Porn Is Far Worse Than Making It Illegal. But the abstract principle at stake…

An army of robot baristas could mean the end of Starbucks as we know it.

* The Royal Mounted Police send snipers to an anti-fracking protest.

* Stop worrying: Hungry Animals Would Take Down a Zombie Invasion.

To use Steven Teles’s preferred term, our new health care system is a kludge, meaning it is an inelegant, improvised, and complex solution to a problem that could be solved better and more simply.

* And Henry Louis Gates pitches a Django Unchained / 12 Years a Slave double feature. Sounds good to me.

Sunday Links

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map* Maps that will change the way you see the world.

* Report Suggests Nearly Half of U.S. Jobs Are Vulnerable to Computerization.

Free Time: The Forgotten American Dream.

* Ideology at its purest: State bans rehab of orphaned wildlife.

* Devaji Tofa, community leader from Mendha Lekha, told Down To Earth that the traditions of the Gond tribal community to which the villagers belong, do not see land as property or something to be owned by individuals. “It is seen as a community resource.” The modern concept of private ownership has done a lot of damage to communities, said he. “With private ownership, people tend to get selfish and isolated.”

* Judge Throws Out Officers’ Convictions in Killings After Hurricane Katrina.

The Arctic is on course for an ice-free summer within the next few decades, as scientists on Friday declared that sea ice in the region had fallen to one of the lowest annual minimums on record.

* Corey Robin: “Voldemort Comes to CUNY.”

So that’s where we stand. The delicate flowers of academic freedom at CUNY wilt before the jeers and jibes of a few students but warm to the blazing sun of the state. A four-star general who led two brutal counterinsurgency campaigns in Eurasia, a former head of the CIA whose hazing rituals at West Point alone probably outstrip anything the NYPD did to these students, requires the fulsome support of chancellors, senates, and deans. But six students of color beaten by cops, locked up in prison for a day, and now facing a full array of charges from the state, deserve nothing but the cold silence of their university. So much tender solicitude for a man so wealthy and powerful that he can afford to teach two courses at CUNY for a dollar; so little for these students, whose education is the university’s true and only charge.

* Just a tiny sample of the radical incoherence the right gets away with. These statements are days apart.

* And A Philosophy of Tickling.

Six More for Monday Night

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* Breaking Bad, That Phone Call, and Bad Fans.

But what was truly fascinating about that phone call was that if it was trolling the Bad Fan, it was also trolling me: the sort of feminist-minded sucker who took the speech at face value, for nearly an hour, until I suddenly realized, in a flash of clarity, that it was a fake-out for the police. (Skyler realized long before I did.) Once my analytical skills flared back into being, I was stunned by the moment’s effectiveness. I mean, on one level, that speech was just what it looked like: Walt venting every toxic feeling he’d ever had about his wife. On another level, it was the opposite: it was Walt pretending to be an abusive husband, as a gift to Skyler. It was an apology to her, as well as an attempt to get her off the hook legally, to honor Holly saying “Mama.” Walt’s language was pretty much a PowerPoint presentation of abuser behavior, designed to make Skyler’s case in court proceedings. And yet it still had the sting of catharsis, letting Walt say what he felt: that Skyler is a whiner, a nag, a drag, responsible for anything that happened to her…

Blattman, who is known for his frank approach to decoding college and graduate school for students on his blog (he once wrote a “how-to” post on e-mailing professors), outlines protocol for would-be advisees in a new post called “If you want to be my student.” Described as “advice on how to manage [me],” it links to a page on Blattman’s website for Ph.D. students.

* Ideology at its purest: Glen James, the homeless man who returned a backpack of $2,400 in cash and $39,500 in traveler’s checks, was honored today by the Boston Police Department.

* David Souter: Fund the humanities or face national extinction.

On Game Day, Dallas Cowboys Stadium Uses More Energy Than Liberia.

* And the CDC officially wants you to be terrified: “We Will Soon Be in a Post-Antibiotic Era.”

Tuesday Links – 2!

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* When Compared to Other Military Cases, How Long is Bradley Manning Likely to Be Sentenced to Prison? Just two examples of people who received lighter sentences:

US Army Specialist Albert Sombolay, in 1991, was sentenced to thirty-four years in prison for agreeing to spy for Iraq during the Gulf War for $1,300. Sombolay served 12 years of a 34-year sentence for “selling military information to foreign agents.” He was “convicted of aiding the enemy” (a charge which Manning faced but was acquitted) and committing espionage.As the Cold War was winding down, in 1989, Army Specialist 4 Michael Peri was sentenced to thirty years in prison for “passing sophisticated defense secrets to communist East Germany.” He served as an “electronic signal interceptor in the S-2 intelligence section of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Fulda” and “crossed the border into East Germany with a small computer and discs containing classified information.” He pled guilty to espionage charges and could have been sentenced to life in prison.

John Walker Lindh, of course, received only twenty years for fighting alongside the Taliban.

* When I saw the headline “Isolated Peruvian tribe attempts to make contact, asks for food,” I knew only one man could help me.

* Average faculty salaries (2012-2013).

The “Shadow Resume”: A Career Tip for Grad Students.

* Breaking: Incomes haven’t risen since 2000.

* Federal Court To Michigan: Stop Tossing Homeless People In Jail For Begging. But what about locking them up in special camps?

* Today in psychology: Adults still suffer the effects of childhood bullying. How Being Rich Increases Narcissism.

* Steve Martin and Kermit The Frog perform “Dueling Banjos.”

* Mike Tyson plays Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out! for the first time.

* And today’s headlines are yesterday’s dumb science fictions: A dentist wants to clone John Lennon from his rotten tooth.

Failing My Saving Throw against Egomania – 2

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I have a few pieces out in a couple of new books:

* “Debt, Theft, Permaculture: Justice and Ecological Scale” is in Debt: Ethics, the Environment, and the Economy, which is based on a conference the Center for 21st Century Studies at UWM held a few years ago. This one is a little bit more political economy than the usual stuff I write, extending what Lisa and Ryan and I tried to do in the Polygraph introduction, though I did manage to sneak in some Kim Stanley Robinson near the end.

* “Life Without Hope? Huntington’s Disease and Genetic Futurity” is in Disability in Science Fiction: Representations of Technology as Cure, out in hardcover today. The piece takes up a bunch of different pop-culture figurations of Huntington’s disease, but the focus is on Kurt Vonnegut’s Galapagos, Ian McEwan’s Saturday, Robert J. Sawyer’s Frameshift, and Octavia Butler’s Xenogenesis trilogy and “The Evening and the Morning and the Night.” No Kindle or paperback yet, but call your library!

I was also recently invited on the Old Mole Variety Hour out of Portland to talk a little bit about utopia, which you can find as a podcast here. As you can see at the link, I appeared as my famously inarticulate character “Jerry” Canavan, which explains why I begin every answer with “absolutely” and end every answer with “right?”

Monday Afternoon

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Class-14-05-patch-My-Little-Pilot* How CGI birds explain Hollywood ideology.

* The War Machine is Magic.

If, instead, we begin to look at the geek as someone who allots space for media interest alongside or in place of class, race, or gender identity, then a more meaningful pattern emerges. The geek gives primacy to media consumption, using it as both identifier and lens with which to view the world; what that media happens to look like is irrelevant. The tie that binds geeks of a given strain together is what they choose to buy. On Geek Culture, at Jacobin.

* Two young children in Pennsylvania were banned from talking about fracking for the rest of their lives under a gag order imposed under a settlement reached by their parents with a leading oil and gas company.

* Henry Kissinger once told Richard Nixon, “Once we’ve broken the war, no one will care about war crimes.” And as the US turned the bulk of the war over to its South Vietnamese government allies to lose, Kissinger proved right. In the tremendous research effort that produced this book (including many interviews of Vietnamese and American soldiers), Turse finds that, “The scale of the suffering becomes almost unimaginable,” but not as “unimaginable as the fact that somehow, in the United States it was more or less ignored as it happened, and then written out of history even more thoroughly in the decades since.”

Five or Six for Friday

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* Games that combine both compelling narrative and dissonance are a rare find, and to our great fortune, one of the most respected publishers in the field is about to release a new, revised edition of interactive literature’s lost masterpiece. A game that offers profound storytelling, and a tension of opposing narrative and gameplay that threatens to tear the entire game asunder. It shows us greed, fear and familial neglect, and studies the horror of capitalism taken to logical extreme. I speak, of course, of Capcom’s tour-de-force: DuckTales. A footnote, perhaps, to Dorfman and Mattelart’s classic How to Read Donald Duck.

Chimes of Freedom: How Springsteen Helped Tear Down the Wall.

* IRS scandal, still bogus.

* We Coke drinkers have known it for years: Pepsi causes cancer.

* Jet stream sure acting funning. Eh, it’s probably nothing.

* And TPM has your Sainthood Update.

Six for Friday

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* The dark side of dual enrollment. There’s some interesting stuff here on how testing practices deform learning, too:

We talked a little bit about the class, her performance, and where she should go next. The student explained that my class is not compatible with her “learning method.” She said that she prefers “that multiplying method, you know, where there are letters, A, B, C.”

I said, “You mean, multiple choice?”

“Yes, that’s the one,” she said. “That’s the method where I learn best. I’m good at figuring out which letters aren’t the right ones.”

She said she was good at multiple choice because she has learned to eliminate wrong answers and get the choices down to one or two and then make a good guess. She has transferred into Sam Houston State University with 65 credit hours (two years!) of “college” classes, all earned at a nearby community college. With possibly one exception (part of a math class), all her community-college classes used multiple choice. She said she didn’t learn well with my “method.”

This student spent 15 years of standardized tests learning how to discriminate between pre-presented choices — an utterly useless skill.

* Ideology vs. how random number generators work.

Hollywood misogyny is somehow getting worse.

* Via Facebook: Genocide in South Dakota?

* Perry Anderson in New Left Review with a nice history of the two-party system in America.

* And Business Week has a capitalism-with-a-human-face profile of CostCo.

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