Posts Tagged ‘longevity’
* Over the past year and a half, in the wake of Thomas Philippon and Ariel Resheff’s estimate that 2% of U.S. GDP was wasted in the pointless hypertrophy of the financial sector, evidence that our modern financial system is less a device for efficiently sharing risk and more a device for separating rich people from their money–a Las Vegas without the glitz–has mounted.
* How the University Works, 1965: Football Game Continues as School Burns. More links below the picture.
* I’m nursing a pet theory. Which is that there are actually four main political parties in Westminster: the Conservatives, Labour, the Liberal Democrats, and the Ruling Party.
The Ruling Party doesn’t represent the general electorate, but a special electorate: the Alien Invaders and their symbiotes, the consultants and contractors and think-tank intellectuals who smooth the path to acquisition of government contracts or outsourcing arrangements — the government being the consumer of last resort in late phase consumer capitalism — arrangements which are supported and made profitable by government subsidies extracted from taxpayer revenue and long-term bonds. The Ruling Party is under no pressure to conform to the expectations of the general electorate because whoever the electors vote for, representatives of the Ruling Party will win; the only question is which representatives, which is why they are at such pains to triangulate on a common core of policies that don’t risk differentiating them in a manner which might render them repugnant to some of the electorate.
* To make matters even worse for restaurant workers and diners, a spate of “preemption bills”—which bar localities from makings laws requiring paid sick leave—has been surging through state legislatures with the help of the American Legislative Exchange Council and the National Restaurant Association, one of ALEC’s members. The first of these bills was passed in May 2011 in Wisconsin. Last week, Gov. Rick Scott signed Florida’s version into law, making it the eighth state to preemptively block paid sick leave for its workers (and the 13th to try) in just two years.
* Everything old is new again: Female inmates sterilized in California prisons without approval.
* NSA Rejecting Every FOIA Request Made by U.S. Citizens. The innocent have nothing to fear…
* And another great Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. I could post one of these every day.
* Oregon will pilot a delayed-tuition scheme that will tax students in the university system a flat rate of 3% for the next 24 years of their earnings. From the details provided, this appears absolutely unworkable on every level.
* The report, however, also provides clear evidence that the the nation is splitting into two; only 47% of Americans have a full-time job and those who don’t are finding it increasingly out of reach.
I guess what I’m saying is that I worry that a more or less permanent depression could end up simply becoming accepted as the way things are, that we could suffer endless, gratuitous suffering, yet the political and policy elite would feel no need to change its ways.
* Wisconssippi: Scott Walker Quietly Signs Mandatory Ultrasound Bill Into Law.
* In Japan, hikikomori, a term that’s also used to describe the young people who withdraw, is a word that everyone knows. Why are so many Japanese men refusing to leave their rooms?
* And another great Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. Definitely don’t miss the red button bonus panel this time.
* ‘We Come from the Future’: a short piece on African SF.
As for her own next move, she says it will be a total departure: a science-fiction romp. She has been reading a lot of Ursula K Le Guin. ‘It’s a concept novel. It’s the only novel I’ve ever written that has a plot, which is thrilling. I don’t know if I can do it. Those books are incredibly hard to write.’
* I believe this is explicitly against the law governing the CIA: Four Central Intelligence Agency officers were embedded with the New York Police Department in the decade after Sept. 11, 2001, including one official who helped conduct surveillance operations in the United States, according to a newly disclosed C.I.A. inspector general’s report.
* A nation of temps: 15% of job growth since 2009, 40% or more in many urban areas.
Temp jobs accounted for whopping 116 percent of job growth in Memphis (that means that one sector added more jobs than all other industries together), 66 percent in Birmingham, 65 percent in Cincinnati, 58 percent in Hartford, 51 percent in Milwaukee, 46 percent in Kansas City, and 40 percent or more in Cleveland, Chicago, and Philadelphia.
* ‘Black Babies Cost Less’: The Racial Realities of Adoption in America. Can’t help trying to pair this with the Baby Veronica nightmare still making its way back and forth through the courts.
* More nightmares: Worker Sues Employer For The Death Of Her Baby.
Cleveland State University undergraduates will see a 2-percent tuition increase this fall but can get it back as a credit on the next year’s tuition through an innovative program approved Wednesday by university trustees.
Beginning in the fall, students who complete 30 course credits in an academic year in good standing can earn the rebate for the following year. Students also will receive $100 per semester in book credits.
Meritocracy! Catch the fever.
During his remarks, the Texas governor also described Davis’ filibuster as “hijacking of the Democratic process” and said of the pro-choice movement, “the louder they scream, the more we know that we are getting something done.”
* For a few hours on this Saturday afternoon, the incarcerated fathers will be allowed to take part in an American tradition, the father-daughter dance. “A Dance of Their Own,” thought to be the only event of its kind in the country, will be in the jail’s small, windowless multipurpose room.
* Gerontocracy watch: Will Old People Take Over the World? Oh, what would the world be like if old people ran it for their own benefit at the expense of the young! Truly chilling to think about.
* …they did not find households easily shifting up and down the inequality scale. Instead, they found “the advantaged becoming permanently better-off, while the disadvantaged becoming permanently worse-off.” For men, the added inequality was entirely of the permanent sort. For households, three-quarters was permanent.
* Twinsters is a project on Kickstarter by a pair of women who look very similar, were both born in South Korea, both born on November 19, 1987, both adopted three months after birth, and have never met. It’s the most compelling Facebook family reunion since last week’s aunt and niece.
So, if the far left can marginalize Santa and the Easter bunny, of they can tell the children those symbols are obsolete and unnecessary, they then set the stage for a totally secular society in the future.
Who told him our plan?
* Syllabus minute: I have W.H. Auden envy.
Some projections showed Athletics might not be able to make payments starting in the 2030s when the debt service balloons. The debt is structured so that for the next 20 years, Cal only needs to make interest payments on the debt. The principal kicks in in the early 2030s, resulting in payments between $24 million and $37 million per year.
Look, if it’s good enough for an idea man who settled out of court on securities fraud, it’s good enough for me.
* What If? on The Twitter Archive of Babel. The Twitter Archive of Babel contains the true story of your life, as well as all the stories of all the lives you didn’t lead….
* You and I are gonna live forever: 72 is the new 30.
* Settling nerd fights of the 1990s today: Is This the Smoking Gun Proving Deep Space Nine Ripped Off Babylon 5?
* The Star Wars Heresies: Star Wars and William Blake. Tim Morton’s essay in Green Planets has a similar impulse with respect to Avatar.
* And in even more insane mashup news: WWE Keeps Pressure On Glenn Beck.
Younger Americans die earlier and live in poorer health than their counterparts in other developed countries, with far higher rates of death from guns, car accidents and drug addiction, according to a new analysis of health and longevity in the United States.
“The purpose would not be to exterminate programs or keep students from pursuing them. There will always be a need for them,” said Dale Brill, who chairs the task force. “But you better really want to do it, because you may have to pay more.”
* But wait, there’s more! As unmanned aerial vehicles start crossing over from military to civilian use, Hinds Community College is starting Mississippi’s first program to train drone pilots and technicians.
* If you studied the liberal arts in an American college anytime after 1980, you were likely exposed to what is universally called Theory. Perhaps you still possess some recognizable talismans: that copy of The Foucault Reader, with the master’s bald head and piercing eyes emblematic of pure intellection; A Thousand Plateaus with its Escher-lite line-drawing promising the thrills of disorientation; the stark, sickly-gray spine of Adorno’s Negative Dialectics; a stack of little Semiotext(e) volumes bought over time from the now-defunct video rental place. Maybe they still carry a faint whiff of rebellion or awakening, or (at least) late-adolescent disaffection. Maybe they evoke shame (for having lost touch with them, or having never really read them); maybe they evoke disdain (for their preciousness, or their inability to solve tedious adult dilemmas); maybe they’re mute. But chances are that, of those studies, they are what remain. And you can walk into the homes of friends and experience the recognition, wanly amusing or embarrassing, of finding the very same books.
* Look, guys, I grew up in New Jersey. It always snow-hurricanes on Halloween there. Climate change is a myth.
* Rick Moody reviews Building Stories.
This book is a masterpiece. What would it mean for this book to be a masterpiece? First we would have to address on what basis, in a review of Building Stories, we would be able to use the word “book.” Chris Ware, as an artist of “comics” is not initially a maker of “books.” Not at first. In fact, Building Stories, having been assembled (or amassed, or compiled) from pieces made for Nest, The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, and elsewhere, would itself appear to be something quite different from a book. It would look, in fact, like something more ephemeral, more contemporary, perhaps like something closer to a “magazine” or a “comic strip” than to a book.
* Why Democrats probably won’t take back the House. Obama: The Rolling Stone Interview. Tina Fey Says She’s on the Verge of Losing Her Mind Over Ridiculous GOP Rape Remarks. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to End Political Endorsements.
* Science proves men and women can’t just be friends. Sorry, all my female friends! But science.
* Ladies and gentlemen, your headline of the year: Feds Charge NYPD Cop with Cannibal Conspiracy.
Hixon leads me through the cryonics process. Once your body has been safely transported to Alcor, it is perfused with antifreeze-like cryoprotectants, and you are cooled to -230 degrees Fahrenheit. In preparation for your long-term suspension, your temperature is gradually brought farther down, to that of liquid nitrogen, -320 degrees (chilled too quickly, you’d shatter like an NBA backboard). Finally, you are moved into one of Alcor’s dewars, the reinforced stainless-steel tanks named after Sir James Dewar of the scotch-producing dynasty. There you will wait out the years until the glorious flowering of science brings you back.
As I make my way to the stark white operating theater, I stumble upon a room with a large machine that bears a big saw-toothed wheel, the teeth pointing up and down in a fairly ragged and aggressive display of tear-apart force. Is this the decapitator, I wonder? No. It’s a huge mixer, a kind of gargantuan Hamilton Beach they use to blend the cryoprotectant. When I ask Hixon to show me the cephalic isolator, he smiles and sighs gently, used to the media’s fixation on the “yuck factor.” He takes me into a supply room, opens a cabinet and takes out an ordinary handsaw wrapped in blue surgical paper and labeled with a handwritten note: AMPUTATION SAW. It all comes down to this, after all. The back-and-forth motion of a preindustrial tool, powered by that most primitive of devices: the human arm.
“But a scalpel’s just as good,” he tells me
To be honest I’m having second thoughts.
* It isn’t the law that is struggling to catch up to drone technology; it’s us. Like it or not, the NextGen computerized autonomous national airspace is coming. It’s not a joke, and it’s not science fiction. Coming to terms with that is important. Disbelief won’t help at this point. The coming shift in our national airspace will push our boundaries. We’ll be able to mount legal challenges against particularly egregious uses of the technology — it’s unlikely that the sheriff of Montgomery County, Texas, will get much mileage out of his wet dream of a remote-controlled aircraft armed with tear gas and rubber bullets — but we won’t be able to imagine every permutation this technology will take. This is going to be some Minority Report–level shit.
* James Cameron: Avatar was always imagined as a six-picture hexalogy. Stick around for a fun Doctor Who spoiler/rumor if that’s your thing.
* Rethinking depression in teenage girls: “Depression? Really? How About Anger and Powerlessness?”
* No! No! I won’t believe it! Military expert says there’s no way Batman’s TDKR ‘Bat’ could fly.
* Battle Royale is an obvious can’t-miss hit for a post-Hunger-Games, post-Walking-Dead TV landscape. Just about the only way it could miss is if network executives changed it so the kids weren’t killing each other, just beating each other up…
* And you can take it to the bank: Human immortality could be possible by 2045, say Russian scientists. Guaranteed!
Last week: While genomic research on the super-old is in its very early stages, what’s fascinating is what the researchers are not finding. These people’s genomes are fundamentally the same as other people’s. They are clearly very special, but not in ways that are obvious.
A big post, catching up from most of last week:
* Science fiction on the BBC: A brief history of all-women societies.
* News from my childhood: Another new version of Dungeons & Dragons is on the way. MetaFilter agonizes.
* News from the Montana Supreme Court: “Corporations are not persons. Human beings are persons, and it is an affront to the inviolable dignity of our species that courts have created a legal fiction which forces people — human beings — to share fundamental, natural rights with soulless creatures of government…”
* News from
the future right now: Record Heat Floods America With Temperatures 40 Degrees Above Normal.
And what ends up happening there is that the candidate with the big stack of donor money always somehow manages to survive the inevitable scandals and tawdry revelations, while the one who’s depending on checks from grandma and $25 internet donations from college students always winds up mysteriously wiped out.
* While genomic research on the super-old is in its very early stages, what’s fascinating is what the researchers are not finding. These people’s genomes are fundamentally the same as other people’s. They are clearly very special, but not in ways that are obvious.
* What Could Have Entered the Public Domain on January 1, 2012? Under the law that existed until 1978 . . . Works from 1955.
* Pepsi Says Mountain Dew Can Dissolve Mouse Carcasses. Keep in mind: that’s their defense.
* Romney: Elected office is for the rich.
People who stop paying bills earn lousy credit ratings but eventually are freed of old debt under statutes of limitations that vary by state and range from three years to 10 years from the last loan payment.
But if a debtor agrees to make even a single payment on an expired debt, the clock starts anew on some part of the old obligation, a process called “re-aging.”
So if borrowers again fall behind on their payments, debt collectors can turn to their usual tools: letters, phone calls and lawsuits. By restarting a debt’s statute of limitations, the collectors have years to retrieve payments.
* Wells Tower: In Gold We Trust.
* And you probably already saw Paypal’s latest outrage, but man, it’s a doozy.