Posts Tagged ‘journalism’
* Northrop Frye by way of Adam Roberts: The basis of critical knowledge is the direct experience of literature, certainly, but experience as such is never adequate. We are always reading Paradise Lostwith a hangover or seeing King Lear with an incompetent Cordelia or disliking a novel because some scene in it connects with something suppressed in our memories, and our most deeply satisfying responses are often made in childhood, to be seen later as immature over-reacting… As a structure of knowledge, then, criticism, like other structures of knowledge, is in one sense a monument to a failure of experience, a tower of Babel or one of the “ruins of time” which, in Blake’s phrase, “build mansions in eternity.” Adam makes the same connection to SF I make:
I think this resonates so strongly with me partly because science fiction was something I fell in love with as a child-reader. I still love it; still write it and write about it. But I’m increasingly conscious of the ways in which the exercise is based upon a kind of structural hermeneutic inadequacy. ‘Our most deeply satisfying responses are often made in childhood, to be seen later as immature over-reacting’ is almost a too perfect thumbnail of the adult apprehension of SF; and SF criticism always a kind of running-to-catch-up uttering various post-facto justifications. What’s neat about this Frye quotation is the sense it conveys that, actually, all criticism is in the business of doing this.
* Lukewarm Obama scandals coming day-by-day now. Hello, second term!
* Peter Frase has more on Universal Basic Income as utopia.
* And let this be our culture’s epitaph. We could do worse.
* “More toyetic”: The cast and crew of Batman and Robin explain what went wrong.
* Preposterously bad idea watch: Breaking Bad Spin-Off With Saul Goodman In The Works. Has to be a very dry joke on Vince Gilligan’s part.
* What is the political situation in the Mario universe? It is a never-ending condition of war within and war without, fraught and constantly changing as one faction or another vies for control, riven along racial and ideological fault-lines and held together only by the intervention of foreign interlopers, propping up the dominant superpower and whose ultimate motivations are shrouded in secrecy.
* A much larger revenue stream comes from federal student loans—$108,641,000 in 2011. In 2010, NYU had $659 million in total student debt, a figure bigger than the gross domestic product of twelve countries, and it is a national leader in the debt carried by its graduates, at 40 percent more than the national average. According a recent Newsweek ranking, NYU is now the fourth “Least Affordable School” in the United States. And in the latest Princeton Review college rankings, its financial aid and administration ranked first—for being the worst. The projected $5 billion expansion plan is certain to increase the student debt burden. Most of current student loans are federal money, so we can add these on to the public inputs received by this private university at a time when public universities are being put to the sword.
* Reframing the statement “don’t go to graduate school” to one that fully addresses the attack on tenure helps us to see and recognize each other, and our labor. I think it also helps us to identify new partners who might be able and interested in challenging or modulating some of the forces at work in educational restructuring.
* Guess Who Waits Longest to Vote? You’ll never guess!
* Authorities are still investigating how the younger child obtained the .22-caliber rifle: New Jersey 4-year-old shoots 6-year-old neighbor in the head.
* And I think I remember this movie: Lockheed Martin Harnesses Quantum Technology.
* Also from Richard: What do asteroids, MOOCs, and medical records have in common? All are examples, currently in the news, of the way in which public policy in the US is driven not by the common good or professionals or expert knowledge, but by the generation of mediashock in the service of the entrepeneurial desire of cybercapitalism to monetize data.
All of us that use the internet are already practicing Drone Ethnography. Look at the features of drone technology: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Surveillance, Sousveillance. Networks of collected information, over land and in the sky. Now consider the “consumer” side of tech: mapping programs, location-aware pocket tech, public-sourced media databases, and the apps and algorithms by which we navigate these tools. We already study the world the way a drone sees it: from above, with a dozen unblinking eyes, recording everything with the cold indecision of algorithmic commands honed over time, affecting nothing—except, perhaps, a single, momentary touch, the momentary awareness and synchronicity of a piece of information discovered at precisely the right time. An arc connecting two points like the kiss from an air-to-surface missile. Our technological capacity for watching, recording, collecting, and archiving has never been wider, and has never been more automated. The way we look at the world—our basic ethnographic approach—is mimicking the technology of the drone.
* The ACLU on what Rand Paul achieved.
* “Defense attorneys believe the girl, who lived across the river in Weirton, W.Va., made a decision to excessively drink and — against her friends’ wishes — to leave with the boys. They assert that she consented to sex,” reports the Cleveland Plain-Dealer’s Rachel Dissell. Richmond’s attorney, Walter Madison, is getting specific, citing “an abundance of evidence here that she was making decisions, cognitive choices … She didn’t affirmatively say no.” She was unconscious at the time.
* The Herbalife war: Hedge-fund titan Bill Ackman has vowed to bring down Herbalife, the 33-year-old nutritional-supplement company, which he views as a pyramid scheme. With his massive shorting of Herbalife stock, the price plummeted, prompting two fellow billionaires—Ackman’s former friend Dan Loeb and activist investor Carl Icahn—to take the opposing bet on Herbalife. As the public brawl rivets Wall Street, William D. Cohan learns why, this time, it’s personal.
* The most influential songwriter of his time has become the first rock star voted into the elite, century-old American Academy of Arts and Letters, where artists range from Philip Roth to Jasper Johns and categories include music, literature and visual arts.
* Why Employers Won’t Fire People If We Raise The Minimum Wage To $9. But the picture isn’t all rosy:
1. Improving efficiency. An increase in the minimum wage may lead employers to encourage employees to work harder, since they’re now being paid more. Such an adjustment may be preferable to “cutting employment (or hours) because employer actions that reduce employment can ‘hurt morale and engender retaliation.’” A review of 81 fast-food restaurants in Georgia and Alabama found that “90 percent of managers indicated that they planned to respond to the minimum-wage increase with increased performance standards such as ‘requiring a better attendance and on-time record, faster and more proficient performance of job duties, taking on additional tasks, and faster termination of poor performers.’”
Only the brutal immiseration of low-wage workers can save us now!
* Facebook Paid No Corporate Income Tax Last Year, After Making More Than $1 Billion In Profits. I know, I know: Facebook makes money?
* FreedomWorks outdoes itself. Wow.
Test Results Indicate Nation’s Journalists Do Less Than One-Half the Basic Background Research They Ought To
In other words, these numbers in isolation don’t tell us anything at all about whether the vocabulary skills of our children are weak or strong. It’s like saying someone who scored 100 out of 200 on an IQ test must be a moron. Unfortunately, the reporter was flatly ignorant of all this, so she simply hauled out standard hysterical template No. 4 and decided that the test results represented “severe shortcomings in the nation’s reading education” even though they show no such thing.
The university that the $5.4 billion Emory trust operates for tax purposes announced today that in order “to create a financially sustainable path for traditional strengths in the arts and sciences” it’s turning out the lights on education, arts, journalism, Spanish, and economics. Tressie McMillan Cottom has more.
* Who’s going to be the lesser evil in 2012 2008 2004 2000 1996 1992 1988 1984 1980 1976 1972 1968?
* The unsuccessful self-treatment of a case of “writer’s block.” These results have since been confirmed.
* The real affirmative action: Researchers with access to closely guarded college admissions data have found that, on the whole, about 15 percent of freshmen enrolled at America’s highly selective colleges are white teens who failed to meet their institutions’ minimum admissions standards.
* How many people have died because Walter White got cancer? And a Breaking Bad Fermi problem: What is a good approximation of how much money Skyler had in the storage unit when she showed Walt how she stopped counting it?
* Report: Student Debt Is Holding Back The Housing Recovery. Are you interested in student debt now, old people?
* Getting spicy: Hacker Group Claims to Have Romney’s Tax Returns.
* BREAKING: Rachel Carson Didn’t Kill Millions of Africans.
* BREAKING: Social Security Administration to arm illegal immigrants with hollow-point bullets to murder taxpayers. Wake up, sheeple! The truth is out there.
* Police Tape is an Android app from the American Civil Liberties Union that is designed to allow citizens to covertly record the police. When activated, it hides itself from casual inspection, and it has a mode that causes it to send its recording to an ACLU-operated server, protecting against police seizure and deletion.
* Capitalism can turn anything into a miserable boondoggle: London Olympics edition.
* “I’ll be paying this forever,” said Chelsea Grove, 24, who dropped out of Bowling Green State University and owes $70,000 in student loans. She is working three jobs to pay her $510 monthly obligation and has no intention of going back.
“For me to finish it would mean borrowing more money,” she said. “It makes me puke to think about borrowing more money.”
* Journalists really should just refuse quote approval. That’s just not how this is supposed to work.
* And Nate Silver says voter suppression efforts probably won’t determine the results of the election. But digby and Ed Kilgore say light your hair back on fire.
* C21′s schedule for next year. Looks great.
* John Darnielle teases the Mountain Goats’s new album, Transcendent Youth.
* Maybe Christie has been listening to Springsteen’s lyrics: “The war on drugs, while well-intentioned, has been a failure. We’re warehousing addicted people everyday in state prisons in New Jersey, giving them no treatment.”
* Maybe if we write Obama a nice long love letter he’ll stop killing so many people all the time. Tom Junod investigates.
* Nullification watch: Texas tees up.
* That’ll solve it: According to an article in a Louisiana newspaper, the state will not require voucher-receiving schools to have certified teachers, to have modern technology or to accept students with disabilities.
* And the Internet has been perfected. You can all go home now. Superman’s strut will live forever.
Finally, Keynes’s essay challenges us to imagine what life after capitalism might look like (for an economic system in which capital no longer accumulates is not capitalism, whatever one might call it). Keynes thought that the motivational basis of capitalism was “an intense appeal to the money-making and money-loving instincts of individuals.” He thought that with the coming of plenty, this motivational drive would lose its social approbation; that is, that capitalism would abolish itself when its work was done. But so accustomed have we become to regarding scarcity as the norm that few of us think about what motives and principles of conduct would, or should, prevail in a world of plenty.
* The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel as a case study for local journalism today: I’ve been told by people in a position to know that the paper has decided that covering all the news is beyond their scope now, with its shadow staff and limited resources. So, they have decided to go all-in on what some at the paper call “Pulitzer Pursuit.” That’s where their best reporters are tasked and that’s where their resources go.
* “Weird” is perhaps the mildest way to describe the growing number of threats and acts of intimidation that climate scientists face. A climate modeler at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory answered a late-night knock to find a dead rat on his doorstep and a yellow Hummer speeding away. An MIT hurricane researcher found his inbox flooded daily for two weeks last January with hate mail and threats directed at him and his wife. And in Australia last year, officials relocated several climatologists to a secure facility after climate-change skeptics unleashed a barrage of vandalism, noose brandishing and threats of sexual attacks on the scientists’ children.
* The Scam Wall Street Learned From the Mafia.
* And science fiction, infinite science fiction, but not for us: scientists have discovered two exoplanets a scant million miles apart.
…I’d call using a false identity to get inside a diabolical organization “journalism.” It might not be respectable and won’t get you invited to fun corporate-sponsored events. But Gleick has thrown the curtain back. And of course, he’s at fault here. Even if he broke the law, is that the real issue here? What is worse, using a false identity or advocating for policies that will destroy the entire nation of Tonga? Using a false identity or lobbying the U.S. government to halt changes in mileage standards for cars so that we don’t become a bunch of hippie Europeans or something and continue to change the climate with ever-greater rapidity? I think I know which side contains the moral monsters here. And it ain’t Peter Gleick.
Erik Loomis, in defense of Peter Gleick.
* Although their etymologies are obscure and their meanings overlap, these are two distinct expressions. Something poorly built is “jerry-built.” Something rigged up temporarily in a makeshift manner with materials at hand, often in an ingenious manner, is “jury-rigged.” “Jerry-built” always has a negative connotation, whereas one can be impressed by the cleverness of a jury-rigged solution. Many people cross-pollinate these two expressions and mistakenly say “jerry-rigged” or “jury-built.” It’s hard not to take this personally.
* In Why Some Politicians Are More Dangerous than Others, Gilligan documents a striking statistical connection between changing rates of violent death in the United States over the past century and the party of the president. He concludes that Republican administrations are “risk factors for lethal violence,” and that the only reason they have not produced “disastrously high epidemic levels” of suicides and homicides is that Democrats have repeatedly undone their damage.
* Gingrich, true to form, takes right-wing attacks on the very idea of journalism itself all the way to the next level.
* Political religion: May you find the Ronald Reagan living inside each and everyone of you.
* I think I’ve linked this one before, but it’s a classic: Jourdan Anderson’s 1865 letter “To My Old Master.”
* A couple of years ago, Amanda Hocking needed to raise a few hundred dollars so, in desperation, made her unpublished novel available on the Kindle. She has since sold over 1.5m books and, in the process, changed publishing forever.
* And today in fandom: #BelieveInSherlock. Big spoilers for the end of the second season, if you’re not current yet.