Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Kim Stanley Robinson

Thursday Links!

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* In case you missed it from the weekend: a CFP for a Science Fiction Film and Television special issue on “Star Trek at 50.”

* Call for submissions: Accessing the Future.

* Today’s twenty-first-century political weirdness is the Scotland referendum on independence. The Guardian. MetaFilter. The economic case. Schroedinger’s Kingdom. John Oliver. Why Scotland thinks it can survive as an independent country. I’m Guardian editor Matt Wells. Got questions on Scottish independence? Ask away!

* Alison Bechdel, certified genius. Some professors won too.

* Postdoc of the year: “The Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University invites applications for its 2015-2016 Postdoctoral Fellowship program. The successful candidates will couple their own research and publishing agenda with their contributions to the Center’s Collective Memory Project, a wide ranging oral history of the George W. Bush Presidency.” Friend, do I have a story for you.

* “Debates about the future of the humanities frequently revolve around the suspicion that the humanities might not have one.”

* Chris Ware is serializing a novella in the Guardian: “The Last Saturday.”

* Unpopular opinions watch: Carceral progressivism.

More Weird Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About The Original Star Trek.

Roddenberry believed there was no chest hair in the future.

The dream never dies.

* A day in the life of a data mined kid.

This Is What Happens To Transgender Kids Who Delay Puberty.

The Time I Spent On A Commercial Whaling Ship Totally Changed My Perspective On The World.

* World War II and the creation of the paperback industry.

* Cruel optimism watch: Are More MLA Faculty Jobs on the Way?

* Reporting rape at UNC.

* The madness of crowds: Wealthy L.A. Schools’ Vaccination Rates Are as Low as South Sudan’s.

* Despite all evidence to the contrary, blaming black culture for racial inequality remains politically dominant. And not only on the Right.

* Hamburg wants to be the best city in the world in 20 years.

* Burlington nipping on its heels.

* Calvinball in Wisconsin: the rules on voting just changed again.

* Lone Wolf returns!

* Study: 30 percent of former NFL players will get dementia or Alzheimer’s.

* Don’t look now, but the US prison population is growing again.

* The University of California is just literally a hedge fund now.

What Are the Real Odds That Your Birth Control Will Fail? Pretty frightening.

* A King Kong prequel, because we haven’t even come close to hitting bottom yet.

* Do Animals Cry?

* BREAKING: Naomi Klein Is Right, Unchecked Capitalism Will Destroy Civilization.

In decades of public debate about global warming, one assumption has been accepted by virtually all factions: that tackling it would necessarily be costly. But a new report casts doubt on that idea, declaring that the necessary fixes could wind up being effectively free. The price is too high!

* BREAKING: Immigrants aren’t stealing your jobs.

* A feminist history of Wonder Woman.

Every panel of Watchmen, sorted by average lightness, ascending.

* Understanding the Tortoise and the Hare.

* Because you demanded it: “Play It Again, Dick,” the weird quasi-Veronica-Mars nega-sequel, is finally here.

* Necrocapitalism in the Anthropocene: Govt may do away with tribal consent for cutting forests.

* Why we can’t have nice things: Thievery marring Little Free Libraries.

Anti-monuments in Milwaukee and beyond.

* May 2015 can’t come fast enough.

* And no one could have predicted: Apple releases U2 album removal tool.

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Green Planets in Hardcover, Only $12 Today

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I can’t imagine that it’s all that great news for sales, but the hardcover of Green Planets is only $12 today. Buy it! Paul Di Fillippo says it’s good!

UPDATE: As of early Sunday morning the hardcover is back to its usual price. Unannounced sale? Algorithm glitch? Perhaps it will always be a mystery.

In any event the huge Sales Rank swing tells me we sold a bunch of copies yesterday, so big thanks to everyone who bought one! The Kindle version is still $13 and the paperback still $20, if you missed it…

Written by gerrycanavan

August 23, 2014 at 9:13 am

If You Want a Vision of the Future: Weekend Links

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* CFP: Literature and Social Justice Graduate Conference.

* Dan Harmon’s advice for career happiness — imagine a job you could stand doing and then invent it — is more or less exactly how I describe what I do. I’m definitely getting away with something.

* Explains a lot: Long-Term Couples Develop Interconnected Memory Systems.

* Deafness and Hawkeye #19. How Hawkeye #19 Portrays The World Of A Deaf Superhero To A Hearing Audience, For Next Year’s Eisner Awards. I’m pretty sure this seals the deal on me using Fraction’s Hawkeye run the next time I do my comics class.

* An Astrobiologist Asks a Sci-fi Novelist How to Survive the Anthropocene.

KSR: I think we can make it through this current, calamitous time period. I envision a two-part process. First, we need to learn what to do in ecological terms. That sounds tricky, but the biosphere is robust and we know a lot about it, so really it’s a matter of refining our parameters; i.e. deciding how many of us constitutes a carrying capacity given our consumption, and then figuring out the technologies and lifestyles that would allow for that carrying capacity while also allowing ecosystems to thrive. We have a rough sense of these parameters now.

The second step is the political question: It’s a matter of self-governance. We’d need to act globally, and that’s obviously problematic. But the challenge is not really one of intellect. It’s the ability to enforce a set of laws that the majority would have to agree on and live by, and those who don’t agree would have to follow.

So this isn’t a question of reconciling gravity with quantum mechanics, or perceiving the strings of string theory. Instead it involves other aspects of intelligence, like sociability, long-range planning, law, and politics. Maybe these kinds of intelligence are even more difficult to develop, but in any case, they are well within our adaptive powers.

* Everyone knows the mass extinction of Earth’s animal life is an almost unfathomable evil. What this blog post presupposes is… maybe it isn’t?

* Fiction and climate change.

* The Pre-History of Firefly.

* The Pre-History of Halbig. Senate documents and interviews undercut ‘bombshell’ lawsuit against Obamacare. Wheeeeeee!

* Same-sex marriage in the 19th century.

In 1807, Charity and Sylvia moved in together in Vermont. A historian uncovers their story.

* Show your support! Agamben and empty political gestures.

* Wisconsin Supreme Court bumming everyone out today.

* Adjuncts Would Qualify for Loan Forgiveness Under Proposed Bill.

Under the terms of the proposed legislation, whose exact language has not been made public, colleges that don’t comply with its rules could face fines of up to 1 percent of their operating budgets.

* Postdocs as glass ceiling.

The open data movement might address some of these challenges but its greatest success to date has been getting governments to release data that is mostly of economic and social utility. The thorny political data is still closely guarded. There’s no “social physics” for the likes of Goldman Sachs or HSBC: we don’t know the connections between their subsidiaries and shell companies registered in tax havens. Nobody is running RCTs to see what would happen if we had fewer lobbyists. Who will nudge the US military to spend less money on drones and donate the savings to the poor?

* God, Democrats can’t even make Republicans eat their own shit right.

The researchers concluded that there was a great advantage to having a white-sounding name, so much so that having a white-sounding name is worth about eight years of work experience.

* The Kids Who Beat Autism.

* The Long, Sad Fall of Richard Dawkins.

* John Oliver vs. America’s Nuclear Command.

* The Catholic Church Makes A Fortune In The German Porn Business.

* US’s Oldest Private Black University Is in Trouble.

* One Year of Prison Costs More Than One Year at Princeton.

* Prisoners are getting paid $2 a day to fight California wildfires.

* The youngest prisoner at Guantánamo.

* Why Bad New York Cops Can Get Away With Abuse.

* Green groups too white and too male compared to other sectors – report.

* Death threats for MedievalPOC at Tumblr because Reddit is a cesspool.

David Frum’s Apology for His Nutty Theory Links to More Nutty Theories. Of course his credibility is now shot forever and we’ll never hear anything from him again…

* CIA Pisses on Rule of Law, Separation of Powers, No One Cares.

* The Case Against Cards Against Humanity.

Scientists Have Measured 16-Foot Waves In The Arctic Ocean.

* The world risks an “insurmountable” water crisis by 2040 without an immediate and significant overhaul of energy consumption and demand, a research team reported on Wednesday.

How Much Energy Would You Need To Replicate Elsa’s Powers In Frozen?

* Marvel might be doing something with Squirrel Girl.

* South Korean Robots Stand In For Real Baseball Fans.

A Map Of The U.S., If There Had Never Been A Mexican-American War.

The six-hour miniseries just greenlit by HBO is based on the book by Lisa Belkin and will be co-scripted by writer-producer David Simon okay I’ll watch.

* Abolish the MPAA.

* Postmodernism is the only explanation for black licorice.

* Tumblr of the minute: Michelle Foucault.

* A rare bit of good news: researchers whose last names begin with A, B, or C who are listed first as authors in articles in a variety of science journals receive, on average, one to two more citations than their peers whose names start with X, Y, or Z.

Blogger fired from language school over ‘homophonia.”

* When parachutes fail.

* This kid gets it.

* And I don’t care how this goes down: I will always consider it Marnie starring as Peter Pan.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 1, 2014 at 8:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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These Are Monday Links; There Are Many Like Them, But These Are Mine

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* If you’ve been following Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, there’s a new chapter out.

* A One-Item List For Tenure-Track Faculty: Do the job you were hired to do.

* The next wave of Afrofuturism.

* Kim Stanley Robinson: Science Fiction and the Realism of Our Time.

* Bring on the Snowpiercer thinkpieces! 1, 2, 3, 4.

* When we peer into the fog of the deep future what do we see – human extinction or a future among the stars?

* Even the liberal George Will: “We ought to say to these children, ‘Welcome to America, you’re going to go to school and get a job and become Americans,’” Will implored. “We have 3,141 counties in this country. That would be 20 per county. The idea that we can’t assimilate these eight-year-old criminals with their teddy bears is preposterous.”

* Identifying the bodies of those who tried to cross the border illegally.

* Halbig, King, and the Limits of Reasonable Legal Disagreement.

* There is a lizard sex satellite floating in space and Russia no longer has it under control. UPDATE: Russia Regains Control of Gecko Zero-G Sex Satellite.

* If you want to know how I do it. More links below the image!

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* Iron Man Should Move to Cleveland, Not San Francisco.

* A friend said it best: Ricky Gervais is scripting Congress now.

* Star Fleet uniforms: not OSHA-compliant.

* The mask slips: Tax agency says ‘preventing poverty’ not allowed as goal for charity.

* Slave Leia is a bummer.

* “Our bad!” It Turns Out Hamas Didn’t Kidnap and Kill the 3 Israeli Teens After All.

* Cupcake fascism.

* This is horrible: First case of ebola reported in Africa’s most populous city Lagos.

* When Tonga Was a Vast Empire.

* The Five Most Overrated Weapons of War.

* On “Bad Feminism.”

* Community colleges and the art of the hustle.

* A lawsuit may determine whether “Happy Birthday” is really still under copyright, which is a bananas notion to begin with.

* Scientists: Rich People, Poor People May Have Shared Common Ancestor.

* BuzzFeed Writer Resigns In Disgrace After Plagiarizing ‘10 Llamas Who Wish They Were Models.’

* Blastr teases Grant Morrison’s Multiversity.

* Giving up beef will reduce carbon footprint more than cars, says expert.

* If I major in philosophy, what are the career prospects?

* Ascension sounds… pretty good?

The deadliest Ebola outbreak in recorded history is happening right now. And now the Liberian government has confirmed that a senior doctor working to fight the disease, Samuel Brisbane, has died, the Associated Press reports. That makes him the first Liberian doctor to die of Ebola in the current outbreak.

In addition, an American doctor has been infected. Keith Brantly, a 33-year-old working for American aid organization Samaritan’s Purse, has been treated and is in stable condition, according to USA Today.

This news comes just days after an announcement that the top Ebola doctor in Sierra Leone, Sheik Umar Khan, had been infected.

* And before there was The State, there was You Wrote It, You Watch It.

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Closing All My Tabs Friday Morning Links!

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* The first review I’ve seen of Green Planets says “it was just okay for me dog.” Hopefully the praise in the next one will be a little less qualified…

* The “decent Left” was wrong: a blood soaked occupation did not lead to a promising post-Taliban future.

* How much does it cost to recruit a single college athlete?

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The results are readily apparent. The overwhelming number of retractions due to flawed methodology, flawed approach, and general misconduct over the last decade is staggering. Stories in almost every field have seen a rash of inaccuracies. The percentage of scientific articles retracted because of fraud has increased tenfold since 1975.

* When Samuel R. Delany wrote Wonder Woman.

* A brief history of a Title IX.

* Da Vinci’s CV.

* Ask An Elderly Black Woman As Depicted By A Sophomore Creative Writing Major.

* But the biggest fundamental problem with the administration’s proposed ratings system is that it presents market principles as the cure for an illness that is itself caused by the indiscriminate application of market-mad nostrums to a context (education) where they don’t belong.

* ‘There Will Be No World Cup': Brazil on the Brink.

* Norfolk, Virginia could be the first city we lose to climate change. Vox voxplains and revoxplains why we’re doomed, but never gets around to considering that flogging away uselessly in the same failed institutions might not be the answer.

* The coming grim death future has given us one gift, though: Darren Aronofsky Adapting Futuristic ‘MaddAddam’ Book Trilogy As HBO Series.

“Fixing” America’s schools “means changing America.”

* In other words, Louie is sketching out the psychology of an abuser by making us recognize abuse in someone we love. Someone thoughtful and shy, raising daughters of his own, doing his best. Someone totally cognizant of the issues that make him susceptible to the misogyny monster. Someone who thinks hard about women and men and still gets it badly wrong.

* Obama won’t take simple anti-corporate tax reform action he could institute unilaterally today. I suppose it’ll probably always be a mystery.

* Today in the rule of law: Attorney for teen set up by FBI in terror sting kicked out of courtroom while secret evidence is discussed. Judge Threatens, Allegedly Attacks Public Defender During Hearing. The public defender is very happy that cops are being sent to harass people who request public defenders.

* LAPD’s new air drone program will respect privacy. Well , that’s a relief!

Prosecutors say two 12-year-old southeastern Wisconsin girls stabbed their 12-year-old friend nearly to death in the woods to please a mythological creature they learned about online. The two girls will be tried as adults because they’re making such mature, clear-headed decisions.

* Elsewhere in Wisconsin justice: this twenty-five-year sentence for a woman who smothered her toddler will send a strong message of deterrence for any other mothers who want to murder their kids.

Toddler Burned by SWAT Grenade After Raid On Home.

* My beloved alma mater in the news! Judge Orders Case Western to Grant Diploma to Medical Student.

* The Secret Service wants to build a computer that can detect sarcasm. Maybe the computer could then explain it to Twitter users?

* Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino sues NFL over concussions.

* LEGO to launch female scientists series after online campaign.

* This seems so nutty to me. I think I probably spent half my childhood wandering around in the woods without supervision and the other half in the back seat of a locked car.

* Solving the Fermi paradox: Sufficiently Advanced Civilizations May Invariably Leave Our Universe. Or maybe they’re hacking reality and we can’t understand that’s what they’re doing.

* A Hong Kong VC fund has just appointed an algorithm to its board.

* “Ann B. Davis stood, walked over to the trash can, and emptied her tray. She walked out of the cafeteria and into a small, gray town near Pittsburgh. I wanted her to *be* Alice. I wanted her to smile as if she loved me. I wanted her to say, ‘Buck up, kiddo, everything’s going to be all right.’ And what I’m trying to tell you now is this: I grew up in a split-level ranch-style house outside a town that could have been anywhere. I grew up in front of a television. I would have believed her.” RIP, Ann B. Davis.

Steven Moffat hires zero female writers for Doctor Who — for the fourth season in a row.

Loaded Handgun Found in Target Toy Aisle.

(Even More) South African Genre Fiction.

* About 10% of them, yes.

* The government plans to fix the NSA scandal by making it all legal.

* What is even the payoff for shining a laser at a plane? That’s bananas.

* Europe has thought it over, and they’re sticking with kings.

* The kids are all right: Two sixth grade math classes lost an entire week’s worth of instruction taking a trial run of a new test and now they want payment for their time.

* On Sept. 13, 1848, at around 4:30 p.m., the time of day when the mind might start wandering, a railroad foreman named Phineas Gage filled a drill hole with gunpowder and turned his head to check on his men. It was the last normal moment of his life.

Cleveland Politician Proposes Tying Stadium Money To Wins.

* Life as a spousal hire.

* I can’t imagine how colleges could do mandatory mental health screenings right, but less how badly they’d screw it up by trying to do it on the cheap.

* There are dozens of us! The AV Club rediscovers The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

* A cultural history of time.

* And George R.R. Martin says Game of Thrones was always intended to be 3 5 7 8 12 books.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 6, 2014 at 8:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Bad Monkeys, Fallen, Wicked Souls

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What is the political charge of an eco-apocalypse like climate change, or ocean acidification, or Peak Oil? How are we to understand these visions of bad futures as they come to us from scientific projections and risk calculation spreadsheets? Is the coming catastrophe the dystopian clarion that warns us we must change-or is it the anti-utopian proof that we will refuse to change, even at the cost of civilization, or the planet itself?

I have a not-exactly-an-excerpt from Green Planets over at SF Signal, pontificating on the distinctions between utopia, anti-utopia, dystopia, and anti-dystopia…

utopia-anti-utopia

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