Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘my media empire

Happy Halloween Links!

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* China Miéville: Marxism and Halloween. “Halloween, for a rigorous socialist, is worth defending.”

* A new issue of Science Fiction Film and Television has come out, a special issue on SF anime. This is the last one before I became an editor, but read it anyway!

* Submission guidelines for Hidden Youth: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History. A really interesting document of the new fandom.

* How much is revenge worth? The Life Aquatic: A Stanley Kubrick Film.

* William Gibson: The Future Will View Us “As a Joke.”

* SimCity isn’t a sandbox. Its rules reflect the neoliberal common sense of today’s urban planning.

* This Is What Happens When You Criticize Teach for America.

* How My Employer Put the “FML” in FMLA.

“Do you know about Jian?”

* Vowing to break “one of the only remaining public monopolies,” Gov. Cuomo on Monday said he’ll push for a new round of teacher evaluation standards if re-elected. Democrats! Catch the fever!

* Cops shows and the denial of death.

“My whole life has been affected by a fight that I was in when I was 14,” she says. “It’s not something that you can take back and not something that was premeditated, and I still have to deal with the consequences every day.” Racist policing of African-American kids in Minneapolis.

The implicit idea here is that our professional and financial growth depends on our spiritual merit, not on the presence or absence of social structures and biases. Spiritual meritocracy.

* Ebola and quarantine. The Grim Future if Ebola Goes Global.

* Hidden secrets of the MIT Science Fiction Society.

* Civility is truly an intricate riddle, friends.

* Mitch Hurwitz is so hurt that you didn’t like Arrested Development Season 4 that he’s going to waste his time reediting the whole thing his chronologically.

* If this catches on my daughter could be in some serious legal trouble: Court orders man to stop pretending to fall over.

* Hobby Lobby redux: Inmate Sues Prison Claiming His Religious Liberty Entitles Him To Dress Like A Pirate.

Report: Piece of Amelia Earhart’s Plane Found on Island Where She Died.

* Non-Violence In Gaming.

Incredibly, nearly half of North Americans say they’ve succumbed to mate poaching attempts at some point. One estimate suggests that 63% of men and 54% of women are in their current long-term relationships because their current partner stole them from a previous partner. I can’t work out the math on this but including the relationships that ended after a partner was “stolen” from a previous partner you’re dealing with an overwhelming supermajority of relationships beginning with cheating/”poaching.” That just doesn’t seem plausible to me on its face.

* Meanwhile, the film industry seems pretty worried that a man could fall in love with a computer.

Michael Showalter is developing a sci-fi comedy for FX. A dark, gritty reboot of The Bearded Men of Space Station 11 or I walk.

* Paying an exorbitant monthly fee to feel like you have friends can get expensive, and the New York Times is on it.

* So you want to troll an academic.

* Vote all you want. The secret government won’t change.

* Disney Princesses with realistic waistlines.

* Now we see the violence inherent in academia.

* Rest in peace, Galway Kinnell. A favorite:

She is leading her old father into the future
as far as they can go, and she is walking
him back into her childhood, where she stood
in bare feet on the toes of his shoes
and they foxtrotted on this same rug.
I watch them closely: she could be teaching him
the last steps that one day she may teach me.
At this moment, he glints and shines,
as if it will be only a small dislocation
for him to pass from this paradise into the next.

* And your SF short story of the day: “How to Get Back to the Forest.”

20141029

Saturday Night Links!

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* I’ve had a nice bit of professional good news: I’ve been asked to join Extrapolation as an editor beginning with their Spring 2015 issue.

“Crutzen, who is not a geologist, but one of the modern great scientists, essentially launched a small hand grenade into the world of geological time scales,” Jan Zalasiewicz, chair of the ICS’s anthropocene working group, told the Guardian. “The word began to be used widely, well before geologists ever got involved.”

* That old-time religion: Now that science fiction is respectable, it’s lost almost all of the conceptual craziness and dubious sexual politics that made it both fanboy bait and of genuine interest.

* From AfricaIsACountry: Ebola and neo-imperialism. And from Jacobin: The Political Economy of Ebola.

* The arsenal of, well, let’s say democracy: The U.S. sold $66.3 billion in weapons last year –- more than three-fourths of the entire global arms market.

* Richest 1% of people own nearly half of global wealth, says report.

* Climate change: how to make the big polluters really pay.

Of Collaborators and Careerists.

* Whites are more supportive of voter ID laws when shown photos of black people voting.

* Meritocracy watch: Poor kids who do everything right don’t do better than rich kids who do everything wrong.

* The 21st century university: women’s only colleges and trans identity.

Since the sinking of the Titanic, there has been a widespread belief that the social norm of “women and children first” (WCF) gives women a survival advantage over men in maritime disasters, and that captains and crew members give priority to passengers. We analyze a database of 18 maritime disasters spanning three centuries, covering the fate of over 15,000 individuals of more than 30 nationalities. Our results provide a unique picture of maritime disasters. Women have a distinct survival disadvantage compared with men. Captains and crew survive at a significantly higher rate than passengers.

The Milwaukee police officer who killed Dontre Hamilton in Red Arrow Park is believed to be the first officer in the city fired as a result of a fatal on-duty shooting in at least 45 years.

* “Weird hobby.”

* More back-and-forth on carceral feminism from Amber A’Lee Frost and Freddie deBoer.

* Pieces like this are enough to make you nostalgic for the quietly understated narcissism of “job creators.”

* An oral history of The Wonder Years.

New Scrabble Dictionary Disrepects The Game.

* Stop worrying about mastermind hackers. Start worrying about the IT guy.

* And just for fun: How to die in the 18th century. Watch for for evil, and for the purples…

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Sunday Links!

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* Did you notice my post last night? Isiah Lavender’s Black and Brown Planets is out! My essay in the book is on Samuel Delany.

* Sketching out a table of contents for Pink Planets: highlights from the history of feminist SF.

The US has killed hundreds of thousands of people in the name of fighting terrorism. The war is all too real. But it’s also fake. There is no clash of civilizations, no ideological battle, no grand effort on the part of the United States to defeat terrorism. As long as terrorism doesn’t threaten core US interests, American elites are content to allow it — and help it — flourish. They don’t want to win this war. It will go on forever, unless we make them end it.

* The United States and the “moderate Muslim.”

In each of these, I merely concede the Maher and Harris definition of moderation as a rhetorical act. That definition is of course loaded with assumptions and petty prejudice, and bends always in the direction of American interests. But I accept their definition here merely to demonstrate: even according to their own definition, American actions have undermined “moderation” at every turn.

* Fox News, asking the real questions. “What are the chances that illegal immigrants are going to come over our porous southern border with Ebola or that terrorists will purposely send someone here using Ebola as a bioterror weapon?”

* The Most Ambitious Environmental Lawsuit Ever.

* “Social Justice Warriors” and the New Culture War.

As selective colleges try to increase economic diversity among their undergraduates, the University of Chicago announced Wednesday that it’s embarking on an unusual effort to enroll more low-income students, including the elimination of loans in its aid packages.

* In search of an academic wife.

* Alt-ac jobs at the MLA.

* “Yes Means Yes” at campuses in California and New York.

* A model state law for banning revenge porn.

* Let the children play: Homework isn’t linked to education outcomes before age 12, and not really after age 12, either.

* Enslaved Ants Regularly Rise In Rebellion, Kill Their Slavers’ Children.

Ebola Vaccine Delay May Be Due To An Intellectual Property Dispute. This was a bit in Kim Stanle Robinson’s Science in the Capitol series: one company has the cure for cancer and the other company has the delivery mechanism, so both go out of business.

* Elsewhere in the famous efficiency of markets: Marvel will apparently cancel one of its longest-running series out of spite for Fox Studios.

This Is The First High-Frequency Trader To Be Criminally Charged With Rigging The Market.

* Prison bankers cash in on captive customers.

* The time Larry Niven suggested spreading rumors within the Latino community that emergency rooms are killing patients in order to harvest their organs in order to lower health care costs.

* Suicide, Unemployment Increasingly Linked, Paper Suggests.

* Perfectionism: Could There Be a Downside?

* I’d be really interested to see if this use of eminent domain would survive a legal challenge.

Data centers are wasting electricity so excessively that only “critical action” can prevent the pollution and rate hikes that some U.S. regions could eventually suffer as a result of power plant construction intended to ensure that the ravenous facilities are well-fed, a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council and Anthesis warns.

* From the archives: Lili Loofbourow on the incredible misogyny of The Social Network.

* Moral panic watch: ‘Back-up husbands,’ ‘emotional affairs’ and the rise of digital infidelity.

* Look, a shooting star! Make a wish! Also at Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal: Superman, why are you lying about your X-ray vision?

* Fantasy sports and the coming gambling boom.

* And this looks great for parents and kids: B.J. Novak’s The Book with No Pictures.

20141003

Several Colors of Planets Still Available for Edited Collections

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9781628461237My friend Isiah Lavender’s edited collection Black and Brown Planets: The Politics of Race in Science Fiction is available now at Amazon. $54 is a lot of money, but at least put in a request at your local library!

Here’s a table of contents:

Introduction: Isiah Lavender,”Coloring Science Fiction”

Part I: Black Planets
Lisa Yaszek, “The Bannekerade: Genius, Madness, and Magic in Black Science Fiction”
De Witt Douglas Kilgore, “‘The Best is Yet to Come': Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as Reform Afrofuturism”
Gerry Canavan, “Far Beyond the Star Pit: Samuel R. Delany”
Isiah Lavender, “Digging Deep: Ailments of Difference in Octavia Butler’s ‘The Evening and the Morning and the Night'”
Marleen S. Barr, “The Laugh of Anansi: Why Science Fiction Is Pertinent to Black Children’s Literature Pedagogy”

Part II: Brown Planets
Grace L. Dillon, “Haint Stories Rooted in Conjure Science: Indigenous Scientific Literacies in Andrea Hairston’s Redwood and Wildfire
Patrick B. Sharp, “Questing for an Indigenous Future: Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony as Indigenous SF”
M. Elizabeth Ginway, “Monteiro Lobato’s O presidente negro [The Black President]: Race and Gender in the Corporate State in Brazil”
Lysa M. Rivera, “Mestizaje and Heterotopia in Ernest Hogan’s High Aztech”
Matthew Goodwin, “Virtual Reality at the Border of Migration, Race and Labor”
Malisa Kurtz, “A Dis-(Orient)ation: Race, Technoscience, and The Windup Girl”
Edward James, “Reflections on ‘Yellow, Black, Metal, and Tentacled,’ Twenty-Two Years On”
Edward James, “Yellow, Black, Metal and Tentacled: the Race Question in American Science Fiction”

Coda
Robin Anne Reid, “‘The Wild Unicorn Herd Check-In': The Politics of Race in Science Fiction Fandom”

Wednesday Links!

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* In case you missed it, a Twitter conversation inspired a post with actual content on this blog yesterday: Meritocracy, Lottery, Game: Notes on the Academic Job Market. Of course, I wasn’t first:

* Elsewhere in the academic job market genre: Not Lottery/Not Meritocracy, What Is It? From 2013! The Top 5 Mistakes Women Make in Academic Settings. Twelve Steps to Being a “Good Enough” Professor.

* And elsewhere in my media empire:

The insightful tweet was this one:

One out of 63,000’s not bad!

* We were also riffing on Twitter yesterday about the possibility of TV shows about campus police, never stopping to realize that of course it’s all already happened years ago.

* Eight faculty members go on strike at the General Theological Seminary, which the administration says is tantamount to quitting. A big precedent could be set here if they get away with it.

* It will take nearly $34 million each year over a 20-year period to address deferred maintenance needs and capital improvements at four major Milwaukee cultural institutions and provide public financing for a new arena.

* Elon Musk explains how we’ll colonize Mars.

* A brief FAQ on Steven Salaita.

I have some other weird  idiosyncratic justification for why he was fired that avoids the plain reality that he was fired for holding controversial political views.

* A critique of the Gotham programme: Marxism and superheroes.

* Brain disease found in 76 of 79 NFL players examined in study.

* Muslim NFL player penalized for praying after touchdown.

* Pa. Official Admits Errors In Investigation Of Whether Fracking Waste Spoiled Drinking Water. “Errors” undersells what seems to be pretty deliberate omissions and lies.

* Here’s What Happened The One Time When The U.S. Had Universal Childcare.

* Decadence watch: “A ‘Tetris’ Movie Is in the Works.”

* Resource curse watch: This Month the U.S. Could Pass Saudi Arabia as the World’s Biggest Petroleum Producer.

* I think I already linked to this one, but why not: A long medium post on the moneyless, post-scarcity economics of Star Trek.

Netflix has reached a deal with The Weinstein Co. for its first original movie — a sequel to Ang Lee’s 2000 martial arts pic “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” — set to hit IMAX theaters and the streaming-video service simultaneously next summer. I am on board.

* And Community just can’t catch a break: now Yvette Nicole Brown is leaving, too.

Weekend Links! Some Especially Really Good Ones This Time I Promise

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* ICYMI, some single-serving posts from the last few days: How to Grad School and KSR’s The Lucky Strike. You may have also noticed that I’ve put a link to The Cambridge Companion to American Science Fiction pre-order page. Please alert all interested parties and institutional book-orderers!

* Hyping a project I have nothing to do with: you should also check out the Science Fiction BFI Film Classics series at Palgrave Macmillan, with monographs on Alien, Brazil, Solaris, Dr. Strangelove, and more.

* The final frontier of Star Trek fan canons: what if the Abramsverse universe is the Prime timeline? Read all the way to the end for some nice metacommentary on the project.

* According to a financial plan obtained by Crain’s Chicago Business, UChicago faces operating deficits of $5 to $30 million a year through 2018, and “ratings agencies could downgrade the university’s credit by as many as two notches.” In comparison, the pay increases detailed above would constitute 8 to 50 percent of the projected deficits, and the eight administrators’ overall pay would constitute 20 percent to 120 percent of the deficits.

* Unpacking the Myths of Financial Aid.

Why would the university award aid in this way? Couldn’t it just adjust the ratio of merit aid to need-based aid? Unfortunately, the “high tuition/high aid” model only “works” when it’s organized like this. That’s because, for many university administrators, financial aid is not so much a form of charity as it is an instrument for maximizing tuition revenue.

* The liberal discourse on gentrification has absolutely nothing to say about finance or prison, the two most salient institutions in urban life. Instead, it does what liberal discourse so often does: it buries the structural forces at work and choreographs a dance about individual choice to perform on the grave. We get tiny dramas over church parking lots and bike lanes and whether 7-11 will be able to serve chicken wings. Gentrification becomes a culture war, a battle over consumer choices: gourmet cupcake shop or fried chicken joint? Can we all live side by side, eating gourmet pickles with our fried fish sandwiches? Will blacks and whites hang out in the same bars? wonders Racialicious. Liberalism and Gentrification.

In Philadelphia, education reformers got everything they wanted. Look where the city’s schools are now. How to Destroy a Public-School System.

Democracy is not, to begin with, a form of State. It is, in the first place, the reality of the power of the people that can never coincide with the form of a State. There will always be tension between democracy as the exercise of a shared power of thinking and acting, and the State, whose very principle is to appropriate this power.

* Once more unto humanitarian intervention.

* …disaster relief and the “disaster narrative” is central to the development of the American welfare state.

* This is a very provocative critique of framing consent as a legal category: You Can Take It Back: Consent as a Felt Sense.

If you accept the premise that someone’s experience of sexual violation “counts” as rape, regardless of whether they granted verbal permission beforehand, then in order to avoid being accused of rape you’ll have to shift your mindset from, “I’d better make sure I was told it was okay to do this first,” to “I’d better make damn sure this person isn’t going to wake up tomorrow and feel like I raped them.” The latter is a standard requiring much more communication, understanding, and compassion from the people involved than the former, especially in situations with near-strangers like one-night stands, hook-ups, or play partners you might meet at a club.

I don’t know anything about the author, and I think from an argumentative perspective the writing of the piece could definitely be stronger, but all the same it’s an idea I’ll be thinking about a while. There’s a thought experiment in a later post that is illuminative: trying to identify the precise last moment that one can “withdraw” consent.

* “Presenteeism afflicts all business sectors, but some more than others.” The Case for Staying Home from Work.

* An evaluation of course evaluations. This is an above average meta-evaluation for sure; you could really tell how much he cared about the material.

* The women I pretend to be: on working in a male-dominated industry. #4, the Victim, is especially disheartening:

I remember one particularly bad day at a games conference. The event was, as is typical, about 10 percent female. At the start of the day, one of those “I’m just really touchy-feely” men put his hands where I had not invited them when we were crushed together in a crowded corridor. Then, in a talk, one dude took it upon himself to give a very detailed and enthusiastic account of a “rape game” he’d invented—where you had to stare deeply into the eyes of the “other player” while describing to them how you’re going to rape them, until they tell you to stop. It was genuinely traumatizing to hear the glee in his voice as he talked about it. Shaken, I went to sit in a quiet, empty room to regain my composure. A well-built man at least a foot taller than me came in, sat between me and the door and said: “You know, I messaged you on OKCupid but you never messaged me back.” By this point I genuinely felt too afraid to tell him to just fuck off. So I played nice and smiled and apologized.

* New Media watch: the rise of the podcast network.

* The case against the Supreme Court.

* Those benefitting most from the secure property rights might be forgiven for conceptual ignorance – introspection being a scarce commodity amongst the wealthy – but the vociferous and cynical denial of the asymmetric benefits of securing property rights, both intra- or inter-generationally, whether due to some combination of attribution bias, feigned religious belief, or simple greed is less excusable. In a new gilded age, the idea that the rule of law is vastly underpriced by those who benefit most should be anything but contentious.

* Corey Robin on the emerging “right to be forgotten.”

Mentally Ill Inmate In Solitary Confinement Died Of Thirst, Autopsy Finds.

* With Red Mars finally actually happening, Y: The Last Man is my new I-can’t-believe-they-haven’t-made-a-series-of-this-yet text.

* That’s they’re actually making The ExpendaBelles is the actual literal end of culture. Mark it down.

* Provocation: It’s not crazy for Mitt Romney to run for president again.

* Peace in our time: Marvel and the Kirby estate have settled.

* SMBC on proof by induction.

* The only link from this list you really need: There’s A Life-Size Game of Mouse Trap in Milwaukee.

* And has any social media network gone from hype to big backlash as quickly as (Vermont’s own!) Ello? Any faster and the entire social network would be goodbye-cruel-world manifestos…

20140927

Good Morning, It’s Monday Morning Links

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* Paradoxa has put up Mark Bould’s introduction to issue 25, on “Africa SF.” My article on Octavia Butler’s Patternist series is in this one.

* Discovering Cuban SF.

* “Sharing economy” companies like Uber shift risk from corporations to workers, weaken labor protections, and drive down wages. Against Sharing.

* Run the university like an insane person’s idea of a spa.

At Auburn University in Alabama, for example, students can soak in a 45-person paw-print-shaped hot tub or scale a 20-foot wet climbing wall before plunging into the pool. Designs for North Dakota State’s facility, on which construction is scheduled to begin next year, include a zip line that students can ride out over the water, a 36-foot-diameter vortex of swirling water and a recessed fireplace on an island in the middle of the pool that students can swim up to. A small “rain garden” is planned to mist lounging students.

* Meanwhile: The ruins of the latest horrible trend in academic misspending.

* Colleges’ Pursuit of Prestige and Revenue Is Hurting Low-Income Students. Why Neoliberal Labor Practices Harm Working Students. Professors on food stamps: The shocking true story of academia in 2014. edutech woowoo, now and forever.

* Marc Bousquet remembers when #altac was a trap.

* Trend Piece.

First, statistic plucked from academic journal where the writer didn’t pay to pass the paywall. Also, a biased survey from a company with countless vested interests. It’s official: the above trend is slightly more common than you thought.

* How to Tell if You’re in a MFA Workshop Story. How to Tell If You Are In an Indie Coming-of-Age Movie.

* 9 college freshmen dead in alcohol-related incidents in first weeks of new school year.

* Better Teachers Receive Worse Student Evaluations.

* King Richard III was probably hacked and stabbed to death in battle, according to a new study.

* What the 17th Century Can Teach Us About Vaginas.

* The second Harmoncountry tour will come through Chicago. November 1.

* When superheroes fight cancer.

* Where are animals in the history of sexuality?

Neoliberal Mothering and Vaccine Refusal.

* If Dataclysm has a central idea embedded in it, it’s that it’s okay for the tech industry to scrape your data off every last surface you touch.

* From what you have heard, was the shooting of an African-American teen by law enforcement in Ferguson, Missouri justified? 55% say yes.

* Cat performance review.

* And everyone is mad at Adam for making what seems to me to be the most obviously true observation about protest marches: they don’t work.

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