Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Marxism

Happy Happy Monday Monday Links

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I just draw it for myself. I guess I have a gift for expressing pedestrian tastes. In a way, it’s kind of depressing. TCJ: The Bill Watterson Interview (1989).

* “Nada”: The comic adaptation of the short story that inspired They Live!

ScreenShot2013-10-10at4.58.38PM* The PhD Deluge.

Jared Diamond: We Could Be Living in a New Stone Age by 2114. Taking the “over” on whether there’ll still be human beings alive in a hundred years, I guess…

* Anthropocene or Capitalocene?

It was the final night of Uncivilization, an outdoor festival run by the Dark Mountain Project, a loose network of ecologically minded artists and writers, and he was standing with several dozen others waiting for the festival’s midnight ritual to begin.

* Terrible New York Times article on a fascinating topic: the “year zero” project of cultural destruction in Mali.

* Aboriginal rights a threat to Canada’s resource agenda, documents reveal.

After Holding Mentally Disabled Man Hostage for 34 Years, Texas Rules He Conspired to Keep Himself in Jail.

In order to pay for his son Cole’s life-saving surgery, he transported meth. But he got caught. Eighteen years later, his family, and the man who prosecuted him, are still working to set him free.

* Women prisoners sterilized to cut welfare costs in California. Of course it was illegal.

Half of New York City Teens Behind Bars Have A Brain Injury, Study Finds.

* Every once in a while Matt Yglesias still writes something good: The case for confiscatory taxation.

* Carceral leftism: jail time for wage theft?

* Piketty reviews from James K. Galbraith and Doug Henwood.

Synanon’s Sober Utopia: How a Drug Rehab Program Became a Violent Cult.

* Inside the “certified miracle” that will make Pope John Paul II a saint.

The Case for Drawing and Doodling in Class. Can’t we just medicate this impulse away?

* The liberal version of unskewing the polls is declaring victory in election cycles that are years away. We’ve got them right where we want them!

* College is probably cheaper than you think, though that’s not saying much.

I Ran the Pyongyang Marathon.

* Powdered alcohol: what could possibly go wrong?

* Your personal information is worth just $0.16.

* Coming out as a porn star. From Vox, the site dedicated to explaining the news with clarity and specificity traditional news outlets can’t afford.

* Meanwhile, at a traditional news outlet: Can the Klan rebrand? They’ve tried before. Kudos, CNN, you remain the absolute worst.

* Hugo nominees 2014. If you know who Vox Day is, you know how messed up things are about to get.

Criminal Cab Driver Mastermind (Allegedly) Evaded 3,000 Tolls.

* Antonin Scalia, Patriot.

* Abandon all hope watch: “The Democrats have a mega-donor problem.” Why can’t these naive billionaires see that Democrats who won’t support good policy are better than Republicans who oppose good policy!

On a crisp morning in late March, an elite group of 100 young philanthropists and heirs to billionaire family fortunes filed into a cozy auditorium at the White House, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

There’s A Hidden Timebomb In The Senate Rules That Will Go Off If A Supreme Court Justice Retires. But don’t you dare suggest anyone retire now to avoid disaster.

* Life is not a game. Neither is Candy Crush.

* Tumblr of the week: They Get It.

* This was the story of the Hurricane. Hurricane Carter’s dying wish. 

* Marek Edelman: Last surviving leader of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto uprising against the Nazis.

I told that student they are much better off being a B student in computer science than an A+ student in English because it signals a rigor in your thinking and a more challenging course load. If you can’t tell that an A+ student in anything is doing singularly impressive work I don’t think “rigor” is your strong suit.

* Beyond the quantum computer: temporal computing.

Nebraska School Gives Most Idiotic Advice Ever to Deal with Bullies. Don’t defend yourself, don’t ask for help…

* Paging Margaret Atwood: Drug that wipes out vultures may cause an EU eco-disaster.

* The Farscape movie is happening.

* Why did the TV version of Game of Thrones change Jaime Lannster into a rapist? More here. I’d gotten the impression that Jaime’s arc in the novels goes from “does the worst possible thing imaginable in very first appearance” to “kind of heroic?”’; last night’s episode makes that reading seem impossible.

All of which is build-up to pointing out that in the book, the reunion between Cersei and Jaime is seen from Jaime’s point of view. And once we consider that, those moments when Cersei has questions of propriety in the middle of their love making can take on a more sinister tone. What if we’re being kept from the true horror of what Jaime’s doing because we’re inside his head? 

The inventor of the American suburban shopping mall was a socialist. Could his creation have been saved?

* The politics of the liberal arts nanny.

* And the 26 Best Cities In The World To See Street Art. Below: Philadelpia.

o-ART-900

Written by gerrycanavan

April 21, 2014 at 7:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Sunday Reading at 10,000 Feet

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* Someone put Istvan Csicsery-Ronay’s keynote from ICFA this weekend on YouTube. The “Empire” ad Istvan plays from Computer Associates is amazing.

* Highest-ranking administrator at Marquette abruptly resigns.

* No! No! I won’t believe it! It’s impossible! Bottom line shows humanities really do make money.

* The other college debt. Revenue at Any Cost: Institutional Debt and the Crisis of U.S. Higher Education. And from the archives: “The University and the Undercommons: Seven Theses.”

* The first issue of Porn Studies is available online.

* Re-Imagining the Place and Time of Communism Today: Between Hardt’s “New Love” and Jameson’s “Citizen Army.”

* Kim Stanley Robinson will be in Madison the first week in April for “Imagining Possible Worlds.”

* Hobbit hole playlet, a steal at a mere $3000.

* Marching on: marriage equality in Michigan.

* Police officers in Hawaii are lobbying lawmakers not to repeal a statute that allows them to …. wait for it … have sex with prostitutes during the course of legitimate investigations. Repeating my joke from Twitter, “legitimate” in that sentence is working so far it should be allowed to have sex with prostitutes while on duty…

* Race, cash, and the drug war in Florida.

* Black Preschoolers Face An Epidemic Of Suspensions.

* Autopsy shows Texas cop fired fatal shot from close range into sarcastic student’s back. The officer is currently on administrative leave.

* It should be no surprise that when law enforcement agencies investigate themselves, they find no wrongdoing—especially since a study of the FBI’s internal investigations found that they cleared themselves of wrongdoing in 150 out of 150 fatal shootings. With that track record, the public can’t be confident in the integrity of an investigation with this predictable outcome.

* Duke Energy Caught Intentionally Dumping 61 Million Gallons Of Coal Waste Into North Carolina Water.

* The comforts of dystopia.

* HBO In Talks with Lisa Kudrow to Bring ‘The Comeback’ Back for Season Two. I want to see that.

* I’m addicted to my job.

* CNN, still the absolute worst of all time.

* Ideology at its purest? Why not just believe the things bisexuals say about themselves?

* The Town That Turned Poverty Into a Prison Sentence.

* My dementia.

* “Plot idea: 97% of the world’s scientists contrive an environmental crisis, but are exposed by a plucky band of billionaires & oil companies.”

* And killjoy scientists strike again.

Wednesday Links!

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* America’s Lawless, Unaccountable Shadow Government: Opinions Differ.

Q. and A. on the Disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. The latest.

* Ghostbusters and the New York Public Library.

* Huge, interactive map of objects police have mistaken for guns.

The Civil Rights Act Was Not as Important as You Think.

* The greatest trick the devil ever pulled.

How a seemingly simple message 
to students brought digital-age disaster for a Wisconsin professor.

Why Cosmos Can’t Save Public Support for Science.

* The Department of Education’s scoring system for ranking the financial health of universities makes no sense.

* College admissions as socio-economic sorting.

* The Great Cost Shift.

* MOOCtastic: Harvard students told: No questions, please, we’re filming.

Should you lose your job for failing to raise 80 percent of your salary in outside grants?

* Graduate Students at Cornell Push for Workers’ Compensation. The only question is: why don’t they already have this?

* Jacob Remes introduces the CLASSE Manifesto.

* Patrick Iber on life as a long-term adjunct.

* Dialectics of whether you should let your students call you by your first name.

* If the Founding Fathers were alive today, what do you think they would say?

* There’s ideology at its purest, and then there’s Barack Obama being interviewed by Zach Galifianakis on Between Two Ferns.

Guantánamo forever, I guess.

* During the first month of recreational marijuana sales, Colorado’s licensed dispensaries generated a total of more than $14 million, putting about $2 million of tax revenue into state coffers in the process.

* Vulture profiles Benjamin Kunkel.

* Two sentence horror stories.

Public Transit Use In U.S. Is At a 57-Year High, Report Finds. Spraying Toxic Coal Ash Is A Cheap And Popular Way To De-Ice Roads. Bitcoin is Not a Currency.

* What’s making you so fat today: antibiotics.

“You can’t mourn for the little boy he once was. You can’t fool yourself.”

* Dan Harmon: The Rolling Stone Interview. Mystery project!

* A Game Is Being Beaten.

* Ten Years of Deadwood.

* Next year on SyFy: Man Calls 911 After “Hostile” 22-Pound Cat Traps Family in Bedroom.

* Space Opera on the TV.

BBC America gathers HUGE all-star cast for history of sci-fi documentary.

* That’s cheery: Drones will cause an upheaval of society like we haven’t seen in 700 years.

* Study: Nuclear Reactors Are Toxic to Surrounding Areas, Especially With Age. No one could have predicted!

* Now human activity makes it rain on the weekends. God, we’re the worst.

* Gasp! Center For American Progress Takes Direction From Obama White House.

* The Supreme Court: as always, why we can’t have nice things.

Milwaukee homicides rose 15% last year.

The Almighty Star Trek Lit-verse Reading Order Flowchart.

The Exquisite Wistfulness of 19th-Century Vegetarian Personal Ads.

* And they say there’s never any good news, but Sbarro’s has filed for bankruptcy.

Spring Break So Close You Can Taste It Links

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* Sing to me, Muse, of Fredric Jameson. I’ve never understood the “worst writer” slam against Fred; alongside all the other good things I’d have to say about his work I think he’s actually very clear and precise.

* CFP for the 2014 Marxist Literary Group at the Banff Centre: Energy, Environment, Culture.”

* CFP: Bruce Springsteen Studies.

* Once upon a time in America this was called advocating for justice. But in today’s America, it’s deemed a miscarriage of justice.

* Meanwhile. My god. And my god. And my god. And my god. The US courts are just a bottomless nightmare.

Obama knew CIA secretly monitored intelligence committee, senator claims. Yes we can!

* Freddie deBoer on the unbearable lightness of always voting Democrat.

* The unbearable whiteness of Project X.

* 25 Years of Declining State Support for Public Colleges. Many Colleges ‘Hoard’ Endowments During Rough Economic Times. The Rising Cost of Not Going to College.

* Service, Sex Work, and the Profession.

* The SATs have been provably racist and classist for decades with no improvements; Canavan’s Razor would suggest that’s the entire point. But this time…

The “trigger warning” has spread from blogs to college classes. Can it be stopped? Content Warnings and College Classes. The Trigger Warned Syllabus. We’ve gone too far with ‘trigger warnings.’ I think this kind of “trigger warning” — and even offering alternative assignments when circumstances warrant — is very often good pedagogy on the level of the individual classroom; I did so this semester when teaching Lolita, somewhat reluctantly, but I’d come to feel it was necessary. I’m very skeptical it would ever be a good idea at the level of administration or policy.

An Elegy for Academic Freedom.

* 10 Unintentionally Horrifying Statues of Famous People.

* Tendrils of the invisible web: the undersea cables wiring the Earth.

“Wearing Google Glass automatically means that all social interaction you have must be not just on yours, but Google’s terms,” Adrian Chen wrote at Gawker almost a year ago, when we all first cringed in fear.

* You know every cop is a criminal: David Cameron’s porn-filter advisor arrested for possession of images of sexual abuse of children.

* Child in wet bathing suit made to stand in -5F weather because school policy forbade her from waiting in teacher’s car.

* The Civ V files: Never Move Your Settler?

The Fetishization of Lupita Nyong’o.

* Who owns the Oscar selfie?

* Zombie Studies in the WSJ.

Why Sweden has so few road deaths.

* Durham school board joins teacher tenure lawsuit.

According to a New Study, Nothing Can Change an Anti-Vaxxer’s Mind.

Activists Erect A Monument To Rape Survivors On The National Mall.

How Gun Violence is Devastating the Millennial Generation.

* Sea Level Rise Threatens The Statue Of Liberty And Hundreds Of Other Cultural Heritage Sites. Chipotle Warns It Might Stop Serving Guacamole If Climate Change Gets Worse. But don’t worry! President Obama’s New Budget Is Peppered With Efforts To Tackle Climate Change. Peppered!

Milwaukee shuts down Little Caesars for day over rodent droppings. A whole day! That’ll show ‘em.

Cheerleader Sues Parents for Refusing to Pay College Tuition. Gambler sues, says he lost $500,000 playing drunk. Having not heard any of the evidence or consulted any of the relevant laws, Canavan Court rules in favor of both plaintiffs!

* How do you remember a massacre?

* How did DC manage to cast anyone but Bryan Cranston as Lex Luthor — much less Jesse Eisenberg? It’s a crime.

* Pretty mediocre hoax. Everyone knows Mattel has had working hoverboards since the 80s anyway.

A Letter From Ray Jasper, Who Is About to Be Executed.

* And I try not to get sucked into the wingnut-said-something-crazy! scene anymore, but every once in a while: my god.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 5, 2014 at 10:12 pm

All the Links, Half the Calories

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* Fake Blood and Blanks: Schools Stage Active Shooter Drills. This is utterly horrific. The country has lost its mind.

Mass shootings in America, 1999 through 2013.

Arkansas man guns down 15-year-old girl for egging son’s car as a prank.

Nowhere in all this information is there any mention of the fact that more than one in four U.S. presidents were involved in human trafficking and slavery. These presidents bought, sold, and bred enslaved people for profit. Of the 12 presidents who were enslavers, more than half kept people in bondage at the White House.

Jefferson had a number of slaves who gained their freedom by various methods. He freed two slaves in his lifetime and five in his will. Three others ran away and were not pursued. (Still others successfully ran away despite pursuit.) All ten freed with Jefferson’s consent were members of the Hemings family; the seven he officially freed were all skilled tradesmen. About 200 slaves were sold at estate sales after Jefferson’s death.

* In a Mass Knife Fight to the Death Between Every American President, Who Would Win and Why?

* On the Killing of Jordan Davis by Michael Dunn: I insist that the irrelevance of black life has been drilled into this country since its infancy, and shall not be extricated through the latest innovations in Negro Finishing School. I insist that racism is our heritage, that Thomas Jefferson’s genius is no more important than his plundering of the body of Sally Hemmings, that George Washington’s abdication is no more significant than his wild pursuit of Oney Judge, that the G.I Bill’s accolades are somehow inseparable from its racist heritage. I will not respect the lie. I insist that racism must be properly understood as an Intelligence, as a sentience, as a default setting which, likely to the end of our days, we shall unerringly return. I had never heard Oney Judge’s story before. What a life. More, more.

Justifiable Homicides Up 200 Percent in Florida Post-Stand Your Ground. Just make sure you don’t get more than one DUI a year or you could miss out in the horrible war of all against all.

* Terrible news, everyone: Change In Jet Stream Is the Likely Cause of Brutal Winter. Arctic getting darker, making Earth warmer. Rise in malaria forecast for tropical highlands.

* 401-not-okays.

On Friday, the Department of Justice sent a letter to the Missoula County Attorney’s Office in Montana, alleging that it has found “substantial evidence” that prosecutors there systematically discriminate against female sexual-assault victims.

A Northwestern University student alleges in a federal lawsuit that the school mishandled her complaint that a professor sexually attacked her after getting her drunk in 2012.

But as journalist Kevin Cook details in his new book, “Kitty Genovese: The Murder, the Bystanders, the Crime that Changed America” (W.W. Nor­ton), some of the real thoughtlessness came from a police commissioner who lazily passed a falsehood to a journalist, and a media that fell so deeply in love with a story that it couldn’t be bothered to determine whether it was true.

8 Book Historians, Curators, Specialists, And Librarians Who Are Killing It Online. #4 with a bullet: Duke’s Own Mitch Fraas.

California police use taser on deaf man trying to communicate with them via sign language.

Facets of Hope for Adjunct Faculty.

Look Who Nick Kristof’s Saving Now.

Loyola Marymount U. Is Accused of Interfering With Adjuncts’ Union Election. Strike at UIC.

Vitruvian Man Had a Hernia.

PBS: Bought and Paid For.

* National recruitment sources have become necessary because most Black youth from our city who attend college outside of Milwaukee decide never to return. And you can’t blame them given the fact that several studies have shown Milwaukee to be among the worst cities in the country for African Americans.

* And it gets worse for the Cream City.

* The NFL wanted him… until he was named a Rhodes Scholar.

After Historic UAW Defeat at Tennessee Volkswagen Plant, Theories Abound. A Titanic Defeat.

Snake-handling star of ‘Snake Salvation’ reality show dies from snake bite.

* The Duke Chronicle profiles a first-year student who also works in the porn industry.

Behind Frank Underwood’s Medieval Senate Maneuver In ‘House Of Cards.’ * Political Drama Without Politics: The Nihlism of House of Cards.

Where do you go after you leave the cast of The Real World?

* Hoverboards or I walk.

20 Practical Uses for Coca-Cola That Prove That It Should Not Be In The Human Body. So good though.

* Event in NYC: All the Women in Capital.

* BDS as psychological warfare.

Apple working on heart attack prediction device.

* Previewing the coming disaster at Qatar World Cup 2022.

​The 24 Most Embarrassing Dungeons & Dragons Character Classes.

New Zealand Prime Minister publicly denies being a lizard person.

* A Pushing Daisies Stage Musical?

* And The Cast of The Grand Budapest Hotel Says Wes Anderson Is a Genius Hardass. Hurry up and get here, March!

Monday Morning Links

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* There’s always money in the banana stand: After closing 50 schools, Chicago Public Schools has proposals for 31 new Charter Schools. This is how much your kid’s school’s budget has been cut (state-by-state averages). “The United States is one of few advanced nations where schools serving better-off children usually have more educational resources than those serving poor students.”

* Fiduciary duty: Shareholder sues IBM for spying on China, wiping $12.9B off its market cap.

* Can Science Fiction Survive in Saudi Arabia?

Incarceration rate per 100,000 Black males in South Africa under apartheid (1993) 610: 851. Incarceration rate per 100,000 African-American males in the United States under George W. Bush (2001) 611: 4,848. The Bush tag is such a redding herring there. This is a bipartisan consensus.

What crimes did prisoners commit?

Almost two-thirds of court admissions to state prison are for property and drug offenses, including drug possession (16 percent), drug sales (15 percent), burglary (9 percent), and auto theft (6 percent).

Christmas in Prison.

Then, she says, the prosecutor began rattling off names and showing photographs of people, asking about their social contacts and political opinions. Olejnik guesses he asked “at least 50 questions” in that vein, compared to the four about May Day. That’s when she shut down, refused to answer, was found in contempt of court, and was sent to SeaTac FDC.

Texas Judge Who Resigned After Allegedly Colluding With Prosecutor Now Running For Prosecutor.

* If a Drone Strike Hit an American Wedding, We’d Ground Our Fleet. How NY Times Covers Yemen Drone Strikes.

A Tale of Two Cities: America’s Bipolar Climate Future. New York City and New Bern, North Carolina both face the same projected rise in sea levels, but while one is preparing for the worst, the other is doing nothing on principle.

Scientists Turn Their Gaze Toward Tiny Threats to Great Lakes.

* Iowa Republican’s 2-year investigation finds no statistically significant evidence of voter fraud.

* There’s always money in the banana stand, part two: Highest paid college presidents.

Two House Democrats Lead Effort to Protect For-Profit Colleges, Betraying Students and Vets.

* Son of a: A New Study Suggests That People Who Don’t Drink Alcohol Are More Likely To Die Young.

The Selling of Attention Deficit Disorder.

* Postscript on the Societies of Control, life insurance edition.

* I’ve been saying this for years: Online advertising has a fraud problem. Millions of ad impressions are being served to bots and non-human traffic, and ad tech companies are doing little to stop it.

The Kellers are caught up in a little-known horror of the U.S. housing bust: the zombie title. Six years in, thousands of homeowners are finding themselves legally liable for houses they didn’t know they still owned after banks decided it wasn’t worth their while to complete foreclosures on them.

* True crime: 100 cited in Wisconsin probe of illegal ginseng harvesting.

* The Walker miracle: The U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday that 4,420 people in Wisconsin filed initial unemployment claims during the last week of November. That is more claims than the next two highest states combined: Ohio with 2,597 and Kentucky with 1,538.

* Israel, BDS, and delegitimization. ASA Members Vote To Endorse Academic Boycott of Israel.

* The Pope: Not a Marxist!

What does it mean to be privileged? It means not having to think about any of this, ever.

Public Influence: The Immortalization of an Anonymous Death.

* And how Arthur C. Clarke responded to crackpots.

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Friday! Friday! Hooray!

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https://twitter.com/adamkotsko/status/396245623856300032

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China Miéville: Marxism and Halloween.

The Halloween candy to avoid if you don’t want orangutans to die. This is why consumerist approaches to struggle will never work. Horrors lurk everywhere.

Anti-Humanism and the Humanities in the Era of Capitalist Realism. A reminder.

That table reveals that in 1970-1971, 17.1% of students who received BAs in the United States majored in a humanities discipline. Three decades later, in the midst of the crisis in the humanities we hear so much about, that number had plummeted to 17%.

There is little talk in this view of higher education about the history and value of shared governance between faculty and administrators, nor of educating students as critical citizens rather than potential employees of Walmart.  There are few attempts to affirm faculty as scholars and public intellectuals who have both a measure of autonomy and power. Instead, faculty members are increasingly defined less as intellectuals than as technicians and grant writers. Students fare no better in this debased form of education and are treated as either clients or as restless children in need of high-energy entertainment – as was made clear in the 2012 Penn State scandal. Such modes of education do not foster a sense of organized responsibility fundamental to a democracy. Instead, they encourage what might be called a sense of organized irresponsibility – a practice that underlies the economic Darwinism and civic corruption at the heart of a debased politics.

The academic career path has been thoroughly destabilised by the precarious practices of the neoliberal university.

* A new study suggests interdisciplinary PhDs earn less than their colleagues.

* How to be a tenured ally.

* Scenes from the academics’ strike in the UK. Another report from the trenches.

Most Colleges Still Haven’t Implemented The Right Policies To Prevent Rape.

* A Marxist consideration of white privilege.

The women in magazines don’t look like the women in magazines.

Man buys $27 of bitcoin, forgets about them, finds they’re now worth $886k. Exactly how currencies are supposed to work!

Jane Austen: The Massively Multiplayer Role-Playing Game.

* America as Walter White.

The tragedy of Michelle Kosilek. A better treatment of the issue than the headline’s framing would suggest.

“Being condemned to death is unlike any other experience imaginable.”

Macy’s security has arrest quota, ‘race code system’ for nonwhite shoppers. An exemplary case, I think, of the phenomenon Adam Kotsko describes in “What if Zimmerman had been a cop?”

* And speaking of which: George Zimmerman’s Hometown Bans Guns For Neighborhood Watches.

Boy Who Shot Neo-Nazi Dad Sentenced to 10 Years in Juvenile Detention.

Appeals Court Gives NYPD Go Ahead to Restart Stop-and-Frisk.

* There’s something really revealing about how the Daily Show can’t process this story about an unaccountable shadow government running the national security apparatus, and so just punts to a random n-word joke instead. Liberalism, I think, characteristically flinches whenever the conclusion that the system is fundamentally broken is inescapable.

* Honorary vertebrates?

U.S. Teams Up With Operator of Online Courses to Plan a Global Network. MOOCtastic!

* And in honor of the last pop culture lunch of the semester, my favorite zombie short: “Cargo.”

Friday Links, Part Two!

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* Insert cheap infallibility joke here: Vatican Misspells ‘Jesus’ on Thousands of Commemorative Medals.

Dwarf Fortress: A Marxist Analysis.

* Rutgers rejects Pearson deal.

“There’s nothing about this online business model that saves students money,” said David M. Hughes, professor of anthropology. “This is not about Rutgers trying to increase the access and affordability of its offerings. In fact, it’s supposed to bring in a great deal of revenue for both Pearson and Rutgers.”

According the agreement, Pearson will receive half of the tuition revenue in the first academic year. The share drops as more students enroll; if Rutgers were to meet its 2019 enrollment goal, for example, Pearson would take 45 percent the next academic year. Hughes said a growth in enrollment and tuition revenue should be accompanied by more tenured faculty members, not corporate profits.

Breaking Away: Top Public Universities Push for ‘Autonomy’ From States.

* Here are the facts: Piedmont hasn’t turned away anything close to 100 applicants for nursing school. Even if it had, the college could not possibly squeeze the $400,000-a-year cost of instructing them out of its prison furniture purchases, which were below $100,000 last year. Piedmont is not even required to buy furniture from the state, though it must get a waiver to shop elsewhere. Great story though bro.

An Extended Government Shutdown Threatens To Halt Rape Kits In Washington, DC. Congressman: Workers Furloughed In Shutdown Should Not Get Backpay. North Carolina Reverses Course, Promises Nutrition Assistance For Moms And Babies.

Gun Groups Declare Newtown Massacre Anniversary “Guns Save Lives Day.

* Google crawls into bed with ALEC.

* Tom Hiddleston IS Owen Wilson AS Loki.

Fertilizer Plant That Exploded In West, Texas Faces $118,300 In Fines, Which You Can Basically Just Round Down to Zero.

And some beautiful LEGO.

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Tuesday Links!

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* In case you missed it / in case you’re interested: syllabi for my courses for this fall, Postmodern American Fiction and 21st Century Science Fiction.

* Stylish bulletproof whiteboards for today’s academic-on-the-go. Available in pink, blue, and green!

* Mothers are not ‘opting out’ – they are out of options.

* What would happen if, at long last, women and especially mothers were paid the market rate for their services? To begin with, it might buoy the baseline value of such work above zero, so that rank-and-file nurses, cleaners, and child care workers moiling in the waged economy wouldn’t get such lousy pay. Rosler and Federici belong to a generation of leftists largely suspicious of economic rationality, but to extend it, rather than battle to incrementally reduce its influence, could do women good. Put a price on women’s work, they say. If that work suddenly seems too expensive, it should. Perhaps men — increasingly the sex without work — might just do “women’s work” at lower pay, as women have done men’s since the Industrial Revolution. And perhaps women, as studies have shown they do, will use their wealth to improve the quality of life of entire households, entire societies.

tumblr_lzhczqOOaQ1qz9zmqo1_500* Coffee bad for you again. Stay safe, academics!

* Patriarchy by the numbers.

Big Smart Objects: Drone Culture and Elysium.

* Springsteen noir film series in Asbury Park.

* Simon Pegg, Marxist theorist.

Is it true that you wrote your undergraduate thesis on a Marxist overview of popular 1970s cinema and hegemonic discourses?

I did. The piece was actually called Base and Super Sucker which was a play on the phrase “Basic Super Structure”, which is a Marxist proposition, hegemony and consent in Star Wars and related works. Basically I was using Marxist modes of critical theory to address Star Wars. And the main thrust of it was that if you watch any kind of television or theatre or film that has certain kind of themes or opinions and you don’t critically recognize them, then you consent with them. So very simply put, if you watch a racist comedian and you laugh, then you are a racist. And there are various preoccupations and concerns that flow through popular cinema that reflect things that are going on in society, certain ideas and certain fears. The thesis suggested that by watching films like those you are participating in those fears and preoccupations.

He talked a little bit about this on WTF the other week.

* “In previous papers, ‘Financing the University – Parts 12-14’, I have demonstrated that there is a much larger constellation of management bureaucracy throughout UC, which has grown enormously over the past decade and is now estimated to waste some $600 million per year. The Senior Management Group, which you talk about here, is just the tip of that iceberg.”

Terry Eagleton, ‘Marxism as Theodicy’

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Via, of all things, Tumblr.

 

Written by gerrycanavan

December 23, 2012 at 9:09 am

Midweek Links

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* Erik Loomis is being targeted by prominent figures on the right in what has to be the most ludicriously unfair, bad-faith attack I have ever seen.

Walker declares state of emergency in Wisconsin due to snowstorm.

Guide to Answering Academic Job Interview Questions.

Argument Over Sandy Hook Shooting Ends in Gunfire. Why Won’t We Talk About Violence and Masculinity in America? Gun Violence In American Schools Is Nothing New. Top Conservative Publication: Shooting Occurred Because Women Ran The School. Weaponize the husky twelve-year-olds. Virginia Republican Legislator Actually Wants To Require Concealed Weapons In Schools. The Arms Race of Stupid.

I can’t help wondering if the bullets of Sandy Hook Elementary will be for Obama what the snarling dogs and high-pressure fire hoses of Birmingham, Alabama, were for John F. Kennedy in 1963: the human tragedy that will force him to take a political risk, simply because it is right.

Conservative Historian Warns Obama and Democrats are ‘Much More Radical’ than Marxists. So much more radical. So much more.

Best Astronomy Images of 2012. (Keep scrolling past the image for more links.)

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Wayne State faculty gives OK to union leadership to call strike if necessary.

* Terrible person to teach terrible class at terrible university.

* News from Nerdistan: What Frodo would have looked like as Gollum. Joss Whedon wanted the Wasp and an extra villain in The Avengers. Tolkien vs. technology. Someone at Disney is already trying to lay the groundwork for a second sequel trilogy after Star Wars 7-9. Nearby Tau Ceti may host two planets suited to life. Netflix Instant Adds a Bunch of Fake ‘Arrested Development’ Shows and MoviesLEGOs run the world now.

It’s time to start asking serious questions about the safety of lube.

Here: an exercise in choice. Your choice. One of these tales is true.

* Petraeus Scandal 2.0. Nothing about sex, so no one will care.

* Matt Yglesias has the most logical incoherent “think piece” you’ll read on Society Security today. Money doesn’t magically become not-money when it’s spent by retirees.

* Plans to avoid the fiscal cliff cut government more than the fiscal cliff. Why, it’s almost as if this whole debate is total bullshit!

Shale Oil Might Be Less Awesome Than We Think. From a personal perspective, I doubt that’s possible.

Top 20 most valuable college football programs all made at least $24 million in profit last year, according to Forbes. $200K Average Salary for Asst. Football Coaches in Major Programs. Bill Introduced for IRS to Collect Student Loan Payments.

Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, said he supported the bill, arguing it could “nearly eliminate student loan default.”

But the reinvention conversation has not produced the panacea that people seem to yearn for. “The whole MOOC thing is mass psychosis,” a case of people “just throwing spaghetti against the wall” to see what sticks, says Peter J. Stokes, executive director for postsecondary innovation at Northeastern’s College of Professional Studies. His job is to study the effectiveness of ideas that are emerging or already in practice.

The Wreckage of the Deepwater Horizon is Emitting a Mysterious Substance Into the Gulf of Mexico.

Quentin Tarantino Says Drug War, Justice System Are Modern Day Slavery.

Apocalypse and Revelation Are the Same Word.

* And life’s not all an endless series of miserable atrocities: Found: Whale Thought Extinct for 2 Million Years.

‘Not That the World Will No Longer Suck, But That It Will No Longer Suck in This Particular Way’

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These contradictions don’t show that ideology is “irrational” — the problem is exactly the opposite, that there are too many reasons supporting their views. Žižek argues that these piled-up rationalizations demonstrate that something else is going on.

A similar sense that something else is going on always strikes me when I read a review of Žižek’s work in the mainstream media. (A recent example is John Gray’s review of two of Žižek’s books in the New York Review of Books, to which Žižek has responded.) Now academics are always ill-used in the mainstream press, particularly if they deal in abstract concepts and refer to a lot of European philosophers. Yet there’s something special about the treatment of Žižek. In what has become a kind of ritual, the reader of a review of Žižek’s work always learns that Žižek is simultaneously hugely politically dangerous and a clown with no political program whatsoever, that he is an apologist for the worst excesses of twentieth-century Communism and a total right-wing reactionary, both a world-famous left-wing intellectual and an anti-Semite to rival Hitler himself.

The goal is not so much to give an account of Žižek’s arguments and weigh their merits as to inoculate readers against Žižek’s ideas so they feel comfortable dismissing them. To find left-wing thinkers and movements simultaneously laughable and dangerous, disorganized and totalitarian, overly idealistic and driven by a lust for power is to suggest: there is no alternative.

Adam Kotsko spins some recent blog and Twitter observations into review-essay gold in the Los Angeles Review of Books with “How to Read Žižek.”

Žižek does not hold out the utopian hope of eliminating all conflict — in fact, he believes our supposedly “post-ideological” era is blinded by the truly utopian hope that all genuine conflicts might be resolved, allowing the system of liberal-democratic capitalism to go on more or less forever. What Žižek hopes for, in tracking down the contradiction at the heart of our society and identifying with the class that embodies it, is not that the world will no longer suck, but that it will no longer suck in this particular way, that we will no longer be stuck in this particular vicious cycle, that we can somehow find a way to stop frantically grasping at rationalizations for our self-destructive fixations and do something else — in short, to jolt us into the realization that there is an alternative.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 2, 2012 at 8:57 am

Marxism and New Media Video Files!

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Better late than never, (most of the) video files from the Marxism and New Media 2012 conference we held at Duke this January are finally available at iTunesU.

Saturday!

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Today, Trina is one of approximately 470 prisoners in Pennsylvania serving life without parole for crimes they committed as teenagers. I was pretty cranky about this the other day on Twitter with respect to the Mitt Romney bullying story (on which subject fellow UNCG MFA alum Steve Almond gets biblical here).

Activists say Argentina now leads the world in transgender rights after giving people the freedom to change their legal and physical gender identity simply because they want to, without having to undergo judicial, psychiatric and medical procedures beforehand. Great!

Brazilian politicians and journalists were not placated. “We’re going to show this gang that they can’t come down here and create whatever environmental mess they want,” Carlos Minc, a co-founder of Brazil’s Green Party and environmental secretary of Rio state, told the newspaper O Globo. “I want to see the CEO of Chevron swim in that oil.” Great!

The free market as more efficient than central planning, case 751.

All of the current administrative solutions are perverse and/or unsustainable.  Public universities cannot solve their financial problems by raising tuition even more quickly in the face of the tuition bubble, the student debt bubble, public anger after decades of similar annual increases at 3-4 times inflation, a pro-education president who is campaigning to punish tuition increases with further funding cuts, and mounting damage to an entire academic generation symbolized by the recent tripling of the number of PhDs on food stamps. 

* Funny how this works: Saying he had no discretion under state law, a judge sentenced a Jacksonville, Florida, woman to 20 years in prison Friday for firing a warning shot in an effort to scare off her abusive husband.

Marissa Alexander unsuccessfully tried to use Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” law to derail the prosecution, but a jury in March convicted her of aggravated assault after just 12 minutes of deliberation.

* Taibbi: Obama versus Romney is the worst reality show on TV since the Tila Tequila days. The characters are terrible, there’s no suspense, and the biggest thing is, it lacks both spontaneity and a gross-out factor.

* A quick note from Jameson about base and superstructure.

* The Lego Lord of the Rings Videogame Is Really Happening. I’ll take one of each applicable video game system, please.

* Wes Anderson Tumblr blogs. It’s early going, but “Directed by Wes Anderson” may eventually be your winner here.

* And I’d have paid good money to see a Maurice Sendak Avengers.

Quote of the Day – 2

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[All] conservatism is based upon the idea that if you leave things alone you leave them as they are. But you do not. If you leave a thing alone you leave it to a torrent of change. If you leave a white post alone it will soon be a black post. If you particularly want it to be white you must always be painting it again; that is, you must be always having a revolution. Briefly, if you want the old white post you must have a new white post.

—G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

Written by gerrycanavan

May 6, 2012 at 4:18 pm

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