Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘lies and lying liars

Weekend Links!

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610temp.new_7.gif.CROP.promovar-mediumlarge.new_7* Nice treat: my LARoB piece got namechecked in an Unexpected Stories review at NPR.

* If you want a vision of the future, imagine the polar vortex making it unseasonably cold, forever.

New Data Says Huge West Virginia Chemical Spill May Have Been More Toxic Than Reported. But don’t worry: Freedom Industries has been fined a whopping $11,000.

* The OECD says the party’s over.

These are that growth will slow to around two-thirds its current rate; that inequality will increase massively; and that there is a big risk that climate change will make things worse.

* Here’s what the world would look like if we took global warming seriously.

A Brief History of the Humanities Postdoc.

* On the huge screwed-uppedness of “studies show.”

* An oral history of LucasArts.

* A feature of oligarchy is the dynastic ascension of new leaders, children who rise to positions of power and wealth simply by the luck of birth. We welcome Chelsea Clinton to the club.

* What disapproving friends don’t understand about cesarean births.

If A Man Takes Paternity Leave, His Coworkers Will Probably Take It Too.

* For years we’ve been telling kids to sit still and pay attention. That’s all wrong.

Analysis: Over Half of All Statements Made on Fox News Are False. I sincerely hope they included statements like “I’m Bill O’Reilly” and “You’re watching Fox.”

* Five Thirty Eight and screwing up predictions.

The measurement error in the World Cup case was simple: FiveThirtyEight and other sites had marked Brazil as having a strong defense, and a solid offense anchored by its star, Neymar, as measured by a statistical amalgamation called Soccer Power Index. In reality, Brazil had been aggressively fouling its way as a means of defense, elbowing and kicking its way, and not getting called for it by referees. I’m not just making this up as a day-after-big-loss armchair analysis: pretty much most punditry on soccer had been clear on this before the game.

In other words, the statistics were overestimating how good a team Brazil really was, and the expert punditry was fairly unified on this point.

In other words, this time, the hedgehogs knew something the fox didn’t. But this fox is often too committed to methodological singularity and fighting pundits, sometimes for the sake of fighting them, so it often doesn’t like to listen to non-statistical data. In reality, methodological triangulation is almost always stronger, though harder to pull-offs.

* What happened to the super-rich of yesteryear?

If today’s corporate kvetchers are more concerned with the state of their egos than with the state of the nation, it’s in part because their own fortunes aren’t tied to those of the nation the way they once were. In the postwar years, American companies depended largely on American consumers. Globalization has changed that—foreign sales account for almost half the revenue of the S&P 500—as has the rise of financial services (where the most important clients are the wealthy and other corporations). The well-being of the American middle class just doesn’t matter as much to companies’ bottom lines. And there’s another change. Early in the past century, there was a true socialist movement in the United States, and in the postwar years the Soviet Union seemed to offer the possibility of a meaningful alternative to capitalism. Small wonder that the tycoons of those days were so eager to channel populist agitation into reform. Today, by contrast, corporate chieftains have little to fear, other than mildly higher taxes and the complaints of people who have read Thomas Piketty. Moguls complain about their feelings because that’s all anyone can really threaten.

Let this AskMe post from an academic spouse ruin your morning!

* College Graduates and the Great Recession by The Numbers.

* Over Duke U.’s Protests, Estate of ‘the Duke’ Asks Court to Approve Use of ‘Duke.’

* The next-generation F-35, the most expensive plane ever built, may be too dangerous to fly. Why is Congress keeping it alive? What could possibly explain it!

* “Superhero stories are really about immigrants.”

* Who Does Your College Think Its Peers Are?

* Change.org petition inviting Department of Labor investigation into adjunct labor. I’m very skeptical there’s anything actionable here, unfortunately.

* Having Your Sleep Interrupted May Be As Bad As Not Getting Any at All.

Losing to Germany Wasn’t Actually the Worst Thing to Happen to Brazil This World Cup.

* Colorado’s legal pot market is bigger than anyone anticipated. First person to legally purchase pot in WA fired after being seen on local news buying it.

* DEA Officials Responsible For Nearly Killing College Student, DOJ Watchdog Finds. Daniel Chong is the entirely predictable result of dehumanizing drug offenders.

In ‘sexting’ case Manassas City police want to photograph teen in sexually explicit manner, lawyers say. You’ll be glad to know police have withdrawn the request.

Two hundred years into the social experiment of modern imprisonment, and 40 years into the expansion of what is frequently called “mass incarceration,” America’s system of jails and prisons arguably constitutes the most prodigious system of torture the world has ever seen.

* …while Swartz’s death was a mistake, destroying him as a lesson to all of us wasn’t a mistake. It was policy.

* Tough Louisiana Catholic Church case goes to the heart of mandatory reporting law.

* The Atlantic has a challenging piece on helping intersex children, albeit with an absolutely terrible headline.

* What the Potato Salad Kickstarter Campaign Says About Tech, Silicon Valley, and Modern Life.

* On giving Title IX teeth. It does surprise me that no school has ever received a Title IX sanction for its approach sexual violence.

* SMBC on kind aliens. XKCD on a wraith called Timeghost. The adventures of Process Man.

* Predicting the end of Game of Thrones from George R. R. Martin’s repeated requests for a big-budget epic finale.

* Ideology at its purest is ripe for disruption: “Inside tech’s latest management craze.” Meanwhile: Silicon Valley wage fixing: Disney, Lucas, Dreamworks and Pixar implicated.

* Westerners are so convinced China is a dystopian hellscape they’ll share anything that confirms it.

16-Year-Old’s Rape Goes Viral Because Human Beings Are Terrible. Awful story.

* Close magnet schools?

* Syfy orders a pilot for its adaptation of Lev Grossman’s The Magicians.

* The wisdom of markets: Social Network With No Revenue or Assets Somehow Worth $4.75 Billion.

When asked whether it was possible to think too much upon the Holocaust, Sebald said, “No serious person thinks of anything else.” On still trying to come to terms with the Holocaust.

* Trigger warning: breakfast. A confessional comic about the night after the artist’s rape.

A Webcomic About A Time Traveler Trying To Comprehend Terminal Illness.

A Field Guide To Unusual (And Hilarious) Harry Potter Patronuses.

The Emmys Don’t Matter But Hypothetically If They Mattered They Should Not Have Snubbed Orphan Black.

* Mail-Order Mysteries: Exploring the Outlandish Gizmos Advertised in the Back of Comic Books During the 1960s-1970s.

* And Ian McKellan just won’t leave any franchise un-awesomed. He simply won’t!

Written by gerrycanavan

July 11, 2014 at 9:42 am

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Sunday Links for the Sunday Reader

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* This president delivers compassion with a kind face and from a decorous and understated height. And that seems to be the role he prefers to play in the world too. It was doubtless the posture from which he would have liked to address the Arab Spring, and for that matter the civil war in Syria, if only Assad had obeyed when Obama said he must go. Obama has a larger-spirited wish to help people than any of his predecessors since Jimmy Carter; though caution bordering on timidity has kept him from speaking with Carter even once in the last five years. Obama roots for the good cause but often ends up endorsing the acceptable evil on which the political class or the satisfied classes in society have agreed. He watches the world as its most important spectator.

* Meanwhile: Obama Steps Up Efforts To Deport Unaccompanied Children Crossing The Border. And all at the low, low cost of just $2 billion!

* Local news:  Wisconsin second only to Alabama in cuts to education funding, study shows.

* On college debate, race, and the very idea of rules.

* You show me a highly unequal society, and I will show you a police state. Or an uprising. There are no counterexamples. None. It’s not if, it’s when.

* …the only definitive statement I can make about Game of Thrones has less to do with what was happening on screen, and more with the popular and critical reaction to it, the fact that the fourth season was the one in which a critical mass of people suddenly noticed just how rapey this show is.

The point is that Godzilla is not an external menace. Godzilla is built into the system. Godzilla is our way of life.

* Whoa if true.

* The secret world of oil.

* Academia and disability: Why Are Huge Numbers of Disabled Students Dropping Out of College?

* The New York Times has a followup Q&A on its controversial piece about student debt from last week.

* “Far from being complacent about higher education, America is the site of a perpetual crisis narrative about our colleges.”

* In November 2012, when Kamel’s lawyers showed the video evidence to the assistant district attorney handling his case, the prosecutor dropped the charges immediately, motioning for a dismissal. The case was built on police testimony that was clearly false. But though Perez’s untrue statement had forced Kamel to endure months of anxiety and trial preparation, and sent prosecutors most of the way towards trying him, the officer suffered no consequence for his actions. On police perjury.

* Arizona State Universities takes the side of a cop abusing one of its own professors on video. Arizona Professor Body Slammed By Police During Jaywalking Stop, Now Charged With Assaulting Officer.

* Today, the UCPD is, as the university told me in a statement, “a highly professional police force,” and one of the largest private security forces in the country. Hyde Park “remains one of the safest neighborhoods in the city,” according to the statement sent to me by the University, and, “All of the neighborhoods patrolled by the University of Chicago benefit from the extra service.”

* Three Ways (Two Good, One Bad) to Fight Campus Rape.

* It Took Studying 25,782,500 Kids To Begin To Undo The Damage Caused By 1 Doctor.

* An illustrated history of Westeros.

* Independent Weekly catches Counting Crows phoning it in in Raleigh.

* Poor whites and the left.

* Advocacy in the Age of Colorblindness.

* This is a land of peace, love, justice, and no mercy: Hate Crimes Against The Homeless Jumped 24 Percent Last Year.

U.S. Pledges To Stop Producing New Landmines. The dream of the 1990s is alive.

* Mexico tried giving poor people cash instead of food. It worked.

* How Sci Fi Visionary Octavia Butler Influenced This Detroit Revolutionary.

* Britain’s Nuke-Proof Underground City.

* When the Amish get rich.

* “Can anyone say no to this?”

* The Golden Gate Bridge will get suicide nets.

* Against the Fermi Paradox.

Psychologists Find that Nice People Are More Likely to Hurt You. I knew those dicks were hiding something.

* On Facebook science: The real scandal, then, is what’s considered “ethical.”

* Why Are All the Cartoon Mothers Dead?

* Ripped from the pages of the Colbert Report: NC General Assembly Allows Possum Drop Exception.

* And Martin Freeman says no more new Sherlock until December 2015.

Wednesday!

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wglix3anizobjgyyidd1A bounce house flew away with three children inside. Unreal.

* Also unreal: Homeless Football Player Can’t Receive Fans’ Aid Due To Criminal Cartel’s Insane, Abusive Rules. Here are the salaries the administrative staff of Boise State athletics will be making while their unpaid employee is homeless.

* Think of the NCAA as a cheering squad, that gets all up into your personal life. Former Oklahoma center Gabe Ikard is a courtside fixture at Thunder games with his girlfriend. He stated in a radio interview with WWLS’ the Morning Animals that Oklahoma’s Compliance Dept. made his girlfriend sign an affidavit their relationship was legitimate and was not a ruse to provide extra benefits to an Oklahoma football player. Ikard was one of the players embroiled in “Pastagate,” where Oklahoma self-reported a secondary violation and ordered him to pay $3.83 to charity for excessive pasta consumption.

* I didn’t realize until I spoke to Rebecca Schuman about her Amherst-banning-frats piece how misguided it was. Without explicit exceptions for emergencies and assault-reporting this kind of blanket ban is obviously unworkable, and almost certainly not Title IX compliant.

 Hey, fellow educators! It’s your cousin, Gerry. You know that consolation you’ve been taking that at least your life’s work is meaningful? Well, listen to this!

* Vigilante feminism at Columbia.

* The Washington Post assigns five reporters to chase down a lie Karl Rove just made up on the spot.

Sandy Hook ‘Truther’ Tells Victim’s Mother Her Daughter Never Existed.

Arguing that school closures in cities across the country disproportionately affect African American students, community activists filed three federal civil rights complaints Tuesday challenging closures in Newark, New Orleans and Chicago and called on the Obama administration to halt similar efforts elsewhere.

Boosting school funding 20 percent erased the graduation gap between rich and poor students.

Cell Phone Video Shows Police Choking, Kicking 6th Graders.

* Fox greenlights “last man on Earth” premise it must know will get canceled immediately. They must know.

* io9: The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan.

* Game of Mushrooms.

“I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions, and that the return of this information to the public marks my end. I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon, and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed for even an instant. If you seek to help, join the open source community and fight to keep the spirit of the press alive and the internet free. I have been to the darkest corners of government, and what they fear is light.

“You mention in your book that Snowden’s moral universe was first informed by video games.”

* Today in academic journals: Board Game Studies.

* Spurious Correlations. The truth is out there!

* Back to the top of the order: How artificial intelligence is about to disrupt higher education.

* And the Pope gets deep into my wheelhouse, says the Church would baptize aliens.

Speaking during the homily at his daily morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta inside Vatican City where he lives on Monday, he told his mostly clerical audience that they should keep an open mind to anyone—or anything—seeking God. “If—for example—tomorrow an expedition of Martians came, and some of them came to us, here… Martians, right? Green, with that long nose and big ears, just like children paint them… And one says, ‘But I want to be baptized!’ What would happen?” he asked parishioners. “When the Lord shows us the way, who are we to say, ‘No, Lord, it is not prudent! No, let’s do it this way…’”

Today Is Tuesday!

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* Gasp.

Worker’s Comp Lessons From an Injured Adjunct.

* Progressive nonprofits that don’t pay their interns.

* At the beginning of April, one of the most important labor unions in U.S. higher education staged an unexpected two-day strike. It wasn’t the American Association of University Professors — the left-leaning professors’ union — or a chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, representing service workers; it was United Auto Workers Local 2865. Auto workers might appear to be an odd group to strike across American university campuses, but Local 2865 represents 12,000 teaching assistants, associate instructors and undergraduate tutors at University of California campuses.

* The Minimum Wage Worker Strikes Back.

Kavanagh is referring to the lowered rate-per-bed the GEO Group offered Arizona as the national economy cratered in 2008. The rate applied to emergency “temporary” beds  at two of its facilities to house an overflow of prisoners. In exchange for the discount, the state agreed to meet a 100% occupancy rate for all non-emergency beds at both prisons.

* The Hogwarts MOOC is here.

* On the trail of the phantom women who changed American music and then vanished without a trace.

* Carcetti 2016.

* Big Data: A Statistical Analysis of the Work of Bob Ross.

* Coming soon: Approaches to Teaching the Works of Octavia E. Butler, edited by Tarshia L. Stanley.

* DC says it’s finally publishing Grant Morrison’s Multiversity.

Avoiding Climate Catastrophe Is Super Cheap — But Only If We Act Now. I have some terrible news.

* How to Lie with Data Visualization.

* Casino Says World-Famous Gambler Cheated It Out of $10 Million.

* Zero tolerance watch: Police charge high school student with disorderly conduct for using iPad to prove he’s being bullied.

* KFC Selling Fried Chicken Prom Corsages as World Falls Into Darkness.

* Walt Disney presents: Firefly.

* Science has officially proven the exact age that men get grumpy. Still so many years for me to go.

* Fingers crossed! Wisconsin Republicans To Vote On Secession.

* Uh oh, better cut taxes.

* BREAKING: The Grand Budapest Hotel is a huge hit for Wes Anderson.

* And happy (belated) 80th birthday, Fredric Jameson.

Monday Night Links!

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Dr. Nancy E. Snow, professor of philosophy in Marquette University’s Klingler College of Arts and Sciences, is the recipient of a $2.6 million grant that will fund interdisciplinary research on virtue, character and the development of the moral self.

* How do professors spend their time? Additional facts.

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* The American Association of University Professors is out with its latest annual report on the economic health of its members’ profession. Executive summary: It’s pretty weak. But this year, the AAUP has added a fun little wrinkle by comparing the growth of academic and sports spending. Fun! The AAUP report. The Chronicle’s interactive graph. Meanwhile, associate professors see their earning power drop compared with their colleagues above and below.

screen_shot_20140407_at_9.34.07_am.png.CROP.promovar-mediumlarge.34.07_am

UConn Star: College Athletes ‘Have Hungry Nights That We Don’t Have Enough Money To Get Food.’ UConn basketball’s dirty secret.

Community colleges rely on part-time, “contingent” instructors to teach 58 percent of their courses, according to a new report from the Center for Community College Student Engagement. Part-time faculty teach more than half (53 percent) of students at two-year institutions.

* Mass expulsions from jobs, houses, farms, pensions, health care, citizenship, the welfare state, large-scale disappearances of species, arable land, clean water, open ocean—it’s a shrinking world. On the brighter side, as Sassen also documents, corporate profits in the last few decades have soared.

* Only 15% of US firms offer paid paternity leave to their employees.

* Delaware Art Museum’s Deaccession Debacle. Scenes from Mississippi’s new state-run civil rights museum (the first state-run civil rights museum in the country).

* Archaeology, Human Dignity, and the Fascination of Death.

Death used to be a spiritual ordeal; now it’s a technological flailing.

 

* For years, the state had greeted visitors with billboards that said “Wild Wonderful West Virginia.” In 2006, it adopted a new slogan: “Open for Business.”

* By the time they reach high school, nearly 20 percent of all American boys will be diagnosed with ADHD. Millions of those boys will be prescribed a powerful stimulant to “normalize” them. A great many of those boys will suffer serious side effects from those drugs. The shocking truth is that many of those diagnoses are wrong, and that most of those boys are being drugged for no good reason—simply for being boys. It’s time we recognize this as a crisis. The Drugging of the American Boy.

The Game I Played When I Was Scared To Death of Being Deported. White House defends soaring number of deportations for minor crimes.

“When You Meet a Lesbian: Hints for the Heterosexual Women.” Struck again by way white supremacy is willing, even eager, to argue white people are inferior — just as long as African Americans are worse.

* Affirmative-Action Foe Plans Campaigns Against 3 Universities.

State Department Not Totally Sure Where it Spent Six Billion Dollars. I’m sure it’ll turn up.

* Linking to this sickening story, someone on Twitter reminded me that they would sell postcards of lynchings.

* Chicago decriminalized marijuana possession—but not for everyone.

* This is weird: Al Sharpton Was Previously FBI Informant.

* Vox is SEO as journalism. When Ezra Klein left the Washington Post.

* Better than straight-up bald-faced lies as journalism I guess.

* Has Any President Done More to Damage HBCUs Than Barack Obama?

* The High Priestess of Fraudulent Finance.

* TNI has put up the egg donation story I was touting a few linkdumps back.

* Recession Spurred Enrollments in STEM Fields, Study Finds.

* Could Westeros build a car?

* I worry sometimes my classes are the literature version of this comic.

* And the Milwaukee Art Museum, as it was always meant to be seen: in LEGOs.

Wednesday! Night! Links!

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* Jonathan Senchyne on Breaking Bad, cancer, and Indian Country. I like the way he teased this on Facebook: “Walter White has lung cancer, but doesn’t smoke…”

You know that newfound Van Gogh painting has the TARDIS in it, right?

* From the archives, just in time for application season: Should I Go to Grad School in the Humanities? I wrote that a year ago. If I wrote it today I think I’d write basically the same thing, just be more emphatic about every part. In particular — with all the necessary caveats about the falseness of meritocracy fantasy — going to a highly ranked program with strong recent placement rate is absolutely crucial. If you don’t hit that, and you want to go, work on your writing sample for a year and apply again. Your grad school’s reputation becomes instant proxy for your reputation. It’s not something you should plan to make up for by working hard.

* Also with all the usual anti-meritocracy caveats: On selling yourself on the academic job market.

* From the Washington Post archives: This amazing George Will there-are-too-many-states-nowdays rant against denim crossed my stream today.

The Inside Story Of How A Fake PhD Hijacked The Syria Debate.

Go Play This 8-Bit Version of Game of Thrones Immediately.

* Thinking through The World’s End: Part One, Part Two.

* Rich people are freaked out about Bill de Blasio. Sounds like a good start.

Nate Silver vs. Public Policy Polling. I’m amazed anyone is taking PPP’s side on this. If you don’t like a poll, run it again and release both; otherwise you’re introducing a massive bias into your process and destroying the credibility of your brand.

Medical Examiner In Zimmerman Trial Sues For $100M, Claims Prosecution Threw Case.

Long Lives Made Humans Human.

* An oral history of The Shield.

The New Yorker on Truman Show Delusion. Subscription required, alas.

* Years later, everyone remembered the Cheese Winter: The city’s Department of Public Works will go ahead this winter with a pilot program to determine whether cheese brine — a liquid waste product left over from cheesemaking — can be added to rock salt and applied directly to the street.

* Life imitates the Onion, as always in the worst possible way.

* And Salon interviews the great Margaret Atwood.

And A Few More for Friday

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Tuesday Afternoon!

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* PSA from Charlie Stross: Ignore the news.

Just a brief reminder that news is bad for you. No, seriously: publicly available news media in the 21st century exist solely to get eyeballs on advertisements. That is its only real purpose. The real news consists of dull but informative reports circulated by consultancies giving in-depth insight into what’s going on. The sort of stuff you find digested in the inside pages of The Economist. All else is comics. As there’s an arms race going on between advertising sales departments, the major news outlets are constantly trying to make their product more addictive. And like most other addictive substance, news is a depressant, one fine-tuned to make you keep coming back for more.

* As if you needed a reason: Tetris may treat PTSD.

* Inequality and the New York City subway.

* Why you can’t have nice things: pro-austerity economicists are liars or incompetents (take your pick).  How Much Unemployment Was Caused by Reinhart and Rogoff’s Arithmetic Mistake? It’s great that when challenged they retreat to the more defensible claim that their work is actually irrelevant, but many policymakers and pundits seem to feel otherwise.

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“What companies like is just-in-time learning that gives somebody a skill they need at the time they need it,” says Mark Allen, a Pepperdine University business professor and author of The Next Generation of Corporate Universities. “What traditional universities do to a large extent is just-in-case learning.”

B8i8G.AuSt.156* Our bubble-headed, zombie-creating reliance on high-stakes testing.

And contrary to the claims of test-makers, the tests aren’t getting better. Despite hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer funds, they’re getting worse.

Universities Need to Innovate, But Put Down the Sledgehammer.

The birth of critical university studies.

* The Chronicle profiles David Graeber as academic in exile.

Software to detect student plagiarism is faced with renewed criticism from the faculty members who may confront more plagiarism than do most of their colleagues – college writing professors.

* Lost Generation: The Terrifying Reality of Long-Term Unemployment.

* Is nothing sacred? NC governor takes aim at addiction on campus.

New App Prevents Icelanders from Sleeping With their Relatives.

* And your 2012 tax receipt. Enjoy those fighter jets!

Correlation/Causation

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 20, 2012 at 9:03 am

Our Noses Work In Interesting Ways

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Written by gerrycanavan

November 26, 2012 at 9:46 pm

Three More for Saturday Night

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Thursday Night Links

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* Sandy moves the needle: Michael Bloomberg Endorses Obama, Citing Climate Change As Main Reason.

* Without prior approval from his higher-ups, KHON2 morning show co-anchor Jai Cunningham, a victim of domestic violence himself, responds to the alleged murder of a friend at the hands of her husband by vowing to shave his head on the air every time a woman or child dies as a direct result of domestic abuse.

* Without Electricity, New Yorkers on Food Stamps Can’t Pay for Food. The Hideous Inequality Exposed by Hurricane Sandy. It Will Only Cost $7 Billion To Build A Storm Surge Barrier For New York. Photos Before and after Sandy. Green Party Candidate Jill Stein Arrested Protesting Keystone XL Pipeline: ‘I’m Here To Connect The Dots.’

* My expectation of control over my body is something that children do not have—from the second they wake up until the second they go to bed, children’s bodies are subject to the authorities around them. Of course David is pissed.

* David Graeber: This essay is not, however, primarily about bureaucracy—or even about the reasons for its neglect in anthropology and related disciplines. It is really about violence. What I would like to argue is that situations created by violence—particularly structural violence, by which I mean forms of pervasive social inequality that are ultimately backed up by the threat of physical harm—invariably tend to create the kinds of willful blindness we normally associate with bureaucratic procedures. To put it crudely: it is not so much that bureaucratic procedures are inherently stupid, or even that they tend to produce behavior that they themselves define as stupid, but rather, that are invariably ways of managing social situations that are already stupid because they are founded on structural violence.

* In the face of this situation — as much as it pains me to say this — you are failing. Your so-called “objectivity,” your bloodless impartiality, are nothing but a convenient excuse for what amounts to an inexcusable failure to tell the most urgent truth we’ve ever faced.

* Gurenica talks Lord of the Rings and This Is How You Lose Her with board-certified genius Junot Díaz.

* 7 polling models that predict an Obama victory. Obama’s Electoral College ‘Firewall’ Holding in Polls.

* Psychological research using the D&D Monster Manual.

* Another shoe drops at Penn State.

* Romney gets away with it.

* There was no one out when I was in high school, either. Class of 1998.

* The world’s last Nazi hunter.

Monday Night

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Wednesday Links

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* There’s an Earthlike planet in Alpha Centauri. This is the best news I’ve ever heard and I’m halfway to my space victory already I just have to research Fusion and Ecology.

* Compared to this the discovery of a planet with four suns and another all-diamond planet just seems boring.

* The other day they drove the Space Shuttle through Los Angeles.

* University of Phoenix to close 115 locations.

* Like Lee Bessette I’m pretty skeptical of this move towards a “teaching track.” Has establishing multiple tiers like this ever improved labor conditions?

* World’s biggest geoengineering experiment ‘violates’ UN rules. I’ve been fascinated for years that large-scale geoengineering projects are now within the reach not just of nations, but of individuals. Things are going to get interesting, in the “ancient Chinese curse” sense.

* Title suggestions for Future Die Hard Movies.

* The Problem with Presidential Precedent.

* Will California end the death penalty this year? They should.

* Firefly animated spinoff? I really think at this point I’d rather just be happy with what we got than ride a bad version of the thing I love into the ground. #geekheresy

* The Strange Death of Alfalfa.

* Debt Collector Illegally Seizes Disabled Vet’s Savings, Tells Him ‘You Should Have Died.’

* How Buffy Predicted Geek Misogyny. I’m not sure predicted is really the right tense here. What an Academic Who Wrote Her Dissertation on Trolls Thinks of Violentacrez. Michael Brutsch, ViolentAcrez, and Online Pseudonyms. On Ruining Violentacrez’ Life. I’m told r/creepshots is already back, masquerading as a “fashion police” subreddit.

* Gallup and Josh Marshall teases crisis as a real divergence seems possible between the popular and the electoral vote.

* Some debate highlights: a brutal on-the-spot fact-check that will be part of presidential debate prep for years to come. How epistemic closure hurts a candidate. The binder story that launched a thousand memes wasn’t even true. Leaked Debate Agreement Shows Both Obama and Romney are Sniveling Cowards. And whoever is elected, the planet loses. What an embarrassing spectacle for the people of the future to witness. Not that it’s anything new.

* Trove of Kafka Documents Must Be Released, Israeli Judge Rules. You can pick them up at the Castle…

Monday Morning Links

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* Bérubé: Why I Resigned the Paterno Chair. I saw some snark about this on Twitter, but I found it an interesting take on the current situation at Penn State, and was personally scandalized to learn that the NCAA punted on the UNC scandal. If they have jurisdiction over wide-ranging criminal conspiracies, actual academic malfeasance seems like a no-brainer…

* EU flexes that Nobel Peace Prize muscle.

Memory is not such a cure-all. On the contrary, many of the great political crimes of recent history were committed in large part in the name of memory. The difference between memory and grudge is not always clean. Memories can hold you back, they can be a terrible burden, even an illness. Yes, memory—hallowed memory—can be a kind of disease. Via MeFi.

In interviews, however, consultants to both campaigns said they had bought demographic data from companies that study details like voters’ shopping histories, gambling tendencies, interest in get-rich-quick schemes, dating preferences and financial problems. The campaigns themselves, according to campaign employees, have examined voters’ online exchanges and social networks to see what they care about and whom they know. They have also authorized tests to see if, say, a phone call from a distant cousin or a new friend would be more likely to prompt the urge to cast a ballot. Maybe you guys could just try being good at governing for a while and see if that gets you any votes.

G.O.P. Fighting Libertarian’s Spot on the Ballot. Or you could just try being good at governing for a while…

* Obama winning the all-important babysitter index.

* How to debate a liar. My expectation is that Obama will take up something very much like this strategy in tomorrow’s debate, perhaps beginning with an opening statement that recalls the lies advanced in the last one.

* And it looks to me like David Cameron is flirting with breaking up the UK for short-term partisan advantage. Really makes the American right look like a bunch of amateurs…

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