Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘lies and lying liars

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.

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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…

Simple Solutions to Big Problems

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Can something be done to prevent lying in Presidential debates? I have a simple suggestion that will greatly reduce the opportunity for lies, admitting that nothing can eradicate them completely: The moderator’s key questions on the issues should be released to the candidates and the public 48 hours in advance of the debates.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 7, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Friday Night Links

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* So the Romney campaign is imploding earlier than scheduled. Mitt Romney’s unnecessary lie. MeFi. Josh Marshall says we’ll know the story’s really turned when the former chair of the McCain campaign says release the tax records.

* The grammar news is that Dr. Elaine Stotko, from the School of Education at Johns Hopkins University, and her student, Margaret Troyer, have discovered that school children in Baltimore are using the slang word yo as a gender-neutral singular pronoun.

* Dan Harmon talks to Marc Maron on Attack of the Show about what the hell happened.

In Hell, “We Shall Be Free”: On Breaking Bad. 

At the heart of the social critique is a question of responsibility for “evil” and where to locate it (even though, of course, none of the series refer to “God” or any religious tradition at all). In The Wire, the responsibility lies with the “game” — the logic of the streets, the logic of politics, the “social facts” that weave an all-encompassing, interconnected web. The Sopranos suggests that the locus of responsibility lies in the unconscious of Tony Soprano; its explanation of “evil” is at heart Freudian. Mad Menlargely evades this question; its driving philosophy has little to do with “moralistic” questions of human responsibility but rather the individual’s abiding unhappiness, and how modern capitalism intensifies it. (That a group of libertarians recently threw a “Mad Men” themed party, unironically championing Don Draper as a hero of better times when corporations weren’t “ashamed” of themselves, only underscores the slippery-ness of Mad Men, the manipulability of its message. That, or these particular libertarians don’t know how to read.)

Within this quartet, Breaking Bad is most similar to The Wire, and indeed is its twin and mirror image. While The Wire explored how the drug trade decimated black urban America, Breaking Bad looks at how drugs infiltrate the other half: suburban white America. A unifying, coherent philosophy is possessed by each, and both execute it propulsively and faithfully. David Simon likened The Wire to a Greek tragedy, by which he meant that sociology is an omnipotent, merciless god that twirls with the fate of mortals. In Breaking Bad the villain is not sociology, but a human being; what destroys the mortals is not a system, but a fellow mortal. This is a human-centered vision of the origin of evil. It is Old Testament at its core.

Just Another Princess Movie.

What Terry Sullivan’s Reinstatement at U. Va Really Tells Us about the Future of Higher Ed.

* The headline reads, “Daniel Tosh Reportedly Scrambling to Find Non-Rape Joke Before New Show Premieres Today.” This story gets worse the deeper you go.

* World War Z fiasco watch: Brad Pitt refuses to speak to the director.

* Should the Nittany Lions get the NCAA “death penalty”? What a horrible mess.

* Is Amazon really going to launch same-day delivery? Sorry, Mom and Pop, but this doesn’t look good.

* And the “worst idea ever put forth by anyone, ever” contest has been reopened in light of the forthcoming Twins sequel.

Tuesday Night

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* The machine that runs the roulette tables in Vegas so you always lose is on the fritz.

* So it turns out Switzerland is rigged to explode if anything bad happens. The more you know!

* Elite New York publishing empire: no more elites!

In our pay-to-play society, many of those toward the bottom of the educational pyramid are getting fleeced; others, though, are getting a leg up. Because it’s callous and unreasonable to ask the disadvantaged to decline opportunities to advance, subverting credentialism must start at the top. What would happen to the price of a bachelor’s degree if the 42,000 high school valedictorians graduating this spring banded together and refused to go to college? And is it too much to ask the Democratic Party to refrain from running any candidate for national office who holds a degree from an Ivy League school?

Then there are our own credentials. Che Guevara once declared that the duty of intellectuals was to commit suicide as a class; a more modest suggestion along the same lines is for the credentialed to join the uncredentialed in shredding the diplomas that paper over the undemocratic infrastructure of American life. A master’s degree, we might find, burns brighter than a draft card.

Yeah, that’ll solve it.

The Romney 2012 campaign will be a big test for the national news media. Is it possible to stonewall and lie shamelessly throughout an entire presidential election campaign without being called on it in a significantly damaging way?

* To repeat: I resign. I want no part of this ongoing fiasco. More UVA here and here.

* A quick Fringe tease: John Noble told reporters that the final season will pretty much all take place in 2036 — with the occasional flashback or bit of “found footage” to fill in the tragic events of the present day.

* Don’t believe the hype! Arts Graduates Are Generally Satisfied, Employed.

* And In Focus goes to China.

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