Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘our brains work in interesting ways

If You Want a Vision of the Future: Weekend Links

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* CFP: Literature and Social Justice Graduate Conference.

* Dan Harmon’s advice for career happiness — imagine a job you could stand doing and then invent it — is more or less exactly how I describe what I do. I’m definitely getting away with something.

* Explains a lot: Long-Term Couples Develop Interconnected Memory Systems.

* Deafness and Hawkeye #19. How Hawkeye #19 Portrays The World Of A Deaf Superhero To A Hearing Audience, For Next Year’s Eisner Awards. I’m pretty sure this seals the deal on me using Fraction’s Hawkeye run the next time I do my comics class.

* An Astrobiologist Asks a Sci-fi Novelist How to Survive the Anthropocene.

KSR: I think we can make it through this current, calamitous time period. I envision a two-part process. First, we need to learn what to do in ecological terms. That sounds tricky, but the biosphere is robust and we know a lot about it, so really it’s a matter of refining our parameters; i.e. deciding how many of us constitutes a carrying capacity given our consumption, and then figuring out the technologies and lifestyles that would allow for that carrying capacity while also allowing ecosystems to thrive. We have a rough sense of these parameters now.

The second step is the political question: It’s a matter of self-governance. We’d need to act globally, and that’s obviously problematic. But the challenge is not really one of intellect. It’s the ability to enforce a set of laws that the majority would have to agree on and live by, and those who don’t agree would have to follow.

So this isn’t a question of reconciling gravity with quantum mechanics, or perceiving the strings of string theory. Instead it involves other aspects of intelligence, like sociability, long-range planning, law, and politics. Maybe these kinds of intelligence are even more difficult to develop, but in any case, they are well within our adaptive powers.

* Everyone knows the mass extinction of Earth’s animal life is an almost unfathomable evil. What this blog post presupposes is… maybe it isn’t?

* Fiction and climate change.

* The Pre-History of Firefly.

* The Pre-History of Halbig. Senate documents and interviews undercut ‘bombshell’ lawsuit against Obamacare. Wheeeeeee!

* Same-sex marriage in the 19th century.

In 1807, Charity and Sylvia moved in together in Vermont. A historian uncovers their story.

* Show your support! Agamben and empty political gestures.

* Wisconsin Supreme Court bumming everyone out today.

* Adjuncts Would Qualify for Loan Forgiveness Under Proposed Bill.

Under the terms of the proposed legislation, whose exact language has not been made public, colleges that don’t comply with its rules could face fines of up to 1 percent of their operating budgets.

* Postdocs as glass ceiling.

The open data movement might address some of these challenges but its greatest success to date has been getting governments to release data that is mostly of economic and social utility. The thorny political data is still closely guarded. There’s no “social physics” for the likes of Goldman Sachs or HSBC: we don’t know the connections between their subsidiaries and shell companies registered in tax havens. Nobody is running RCTs to see what would happen if we had fewer lobbyists. Who will nudge the US military to spend less money on drones and donate the savings to the poor?

* God, Democrats can’t even make Republicans eat their own shit right.

The researchers concluded that there was a great advantage to having a white-sounding name, so much so that having a white-sounding name is worth about eight years of work experience.

* The Kids Who Beat Autism.

* The Long, Sad Fall of Richard Dawkins.

* John Oliver vs. America’s Nuclear Command.

* The Catholic Church Makes A Fortune In The German Porn Business.

* US’s Oldest Private Black University Is in Trouble.

* One Year of Prison Costs More Than One Year at Princeton.

* Prisoners are getting paid $2 a day to fight California wildfires.

* The youngest prisoner at Guantánamo.

* Why Bad New York Cops Can Get Away With Abuse.

* Green groups too white and too male compared to other sectors – report.

* Death threats for MedievalPOC at Tumblr because Reddit is a cesspool.

David Frum’s Apology for His Nutty Theory Links to More Nutty Theories. Of course his credibility is now shot forever and we’ll never hear anything from him again…

* CIA Pisses on Rule of Law, Separation of Powers, No One Cares.

* The Case Against Cards Against Humanity.

Scientists Have Measured 16-Foot Waves In The Arctic Ocean.

* The world risks an “insurmountable” water crisis by 2040 without an immediate and significant overhaul of energy consumption and demand, a research team reported on Wednesday.

How Much Energy Would You Need To Replicate Elsa’s Powers In Frozen?

* Marvel might be doing something with Squirrel Girl.

* South Korean Robots Stand In For Real Baseball Fans.

A Map Of The U.S., If There Had Never Been A Mexican-American War.

The six-hour miniseries just greenlit by HBO is based on the book by Lisa Belkin and will be co-scripted by writer-producer David Simon okay I’ll watch.

* Abolish the MPAA.

* Postmodernism is the only explanation for black licorice.

* Tumblr of the minute: Michelle Foucault.

* A rare bit of good news: researchers whose last names begin with A, B, or C who are listed first as authors in articles in a variety of science journals receive, on average, one to two more citations than their peers whose names start with X, Y, or Z.

Blogger fired from language school over ‘homophonia.”

* When parachutes fail.

* This kid gets it.

* And I don’t care how this goes down: I will always consider it Marnie starring as Peter Pan.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 1, 2014 at 8:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Closing All My Tabs Friday Morning Links!

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* The first review I’ve seen of Green Planets says “it was just okay for me dog.” Hopefully the praise in the next one will be a little less qualified…

* The “decent Left” was wrong: a blood soaked occupation did not lead to a promising post-Taliban future.

* How much does it cost to recruit a single college athlete?

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The results are readily apparent. The overwhelming number of retractions due to flawed methodology, flawed approach, and general misconduct over the last decade is staggering. Stories in almost every field have seen a rash of inaccuracies. The percentage of scientific articles retracted because of fraud has increased tenfold since 1975.

* When Samuel R. Delany wrote Wonder Woman.

* A brief history of a Title IX.

* Da Vinci’s CV.

* Ask An Elderly Black Woman As Depicted By A Sophomore Creative Writing Major.

* But the biggest fundamental problem with the administration’s proposed ratings system is that it presents market principles as the cure for an illness that is itself caused by the indiscriminate application of market-mad nostrums to a context (education) where they don’t belong.

* ‘There Will Be No World Cup': Brazil on the Brink.

* Norfolk, Virginia could be the first city we lose to climate change. Vox voxplains and revoxplains why we’re doomed, but never gets around to considering that flogging away uselessly in the same failed institutions might not be the answer.

* The coming grim death future has given us one gift, though: Darren Aronofsky Adapting Futuristic ‘MaddAddam’ Book Trilogy As HBO Series.

“Fixing” America’s schools “means changing America.”

* In other words, Louie is sketching out the psychology of an abuser by making us recognize abuse in someone we love. Someone thoughtful and shy, raising daughters of his own, doing his best. Someone totally cognizant of the issues that make him susceptible to the misogyny monster. Someone who thinks hard about women and men and still gets it badly wrong.

* Obama won’t take simple anti-corporate tax reform action he could institute unilaterally today. I suppose it’ll probably always be a mystery.

* Today in the rule of law: Attorney for teen set up by FBI in terror sting kicked out of courtroom while secret evidence is discussed. Judge Threatens, Allegedly Attacks Public Defender During Hearing. The public defender is very happy that cops are being sent to harass people who request public defenders.

* LAPD’s new air drone program will respect privacy. Well , that’s a relief!

Prosecutors say two 12-year-old southeastern Wisconsin girls stabbed their 12-year-old friend nearly to death in the woods to please a mythological creature they learned about online. The two girls will be tried as adults because they’re making such mature, clear-headed decisions.

* Elsewhere in Wisconsin justice: this twenty-five-year sentence for a woman who smothered her toddler will send a strong message of deterrence for any other mothers who want to murder their kids.

Toddler Burned by SWAT Grenade After Raid On Home.

* My beloved alma mater in the news! Judge Orders Case Western to Grant Diploma to Medical Student.

* The Secret Service wants to build a computer that can detect sarcasm. Maybe the computer could then explain it to Twitter users?

* Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino sues NFL over concussions.

* LEGO to launch female scientists series after online campaign.

* This seems so nutty to me. I think I probably spent half my childhood wandering around in the woods without supervision and the other half in the back seat of a locked car.

* Solving the Fermi paradox: Sufficiently Advanced Civilizations May Invariably Leave Our Universe. Or maybe they’re hacking reality and we can’t understand that’s what they’re doing.

* A Hong Kong VC fund has just appointed an algorithm to its board.

* “Ann B. Davis stood, walked over to the trash can, and emptied her tray. She walked out of the cafeteria and into a small, gray town near Pittsburgh. I wanted her to *be* Alice. I wanted her to smile as if she loved me. I wanted her to say, ‘Buck up, kiddo, everything’s going to be all right.’ And what I’m trying to tell you now is this: I grew up in a split-level ranch-style house outside a town that could have been anywhere. I grew up in front of a television. I would have believed her.” RIP, Ann B. Davis.

Steven Moffat hires zero female writers for Doctor Who — for the fourth season in a row.

Loaded Handgun Found in Target Toy Aisle.

(Even More) South African Genre Fiction.

* About 10% of them, yes.

* The government plans to fix the NSA scandal by making it all legal.

* What is even the payoff for shining a laser at a plane? That’s bananas.

* Europe has thought it over, and they’re sticking with kings.

* The kids are all right: Two sixth grade math classes lost an entire week’s worth of instruction taking a trial run of a new test and now they want payment for their time.

* On Sept. 13, 1848, at around 4:30 p.m., the time of day when the mind might start wandering, a railroad foreman named Phineas Gage filled a drill hole with gunpowder and turned his head to check on his men. It was the last normal moment of his life.

Cleveland Politician Proposes Tying Stadium Money To Wins.

* Life as a spousal hire.

* I can’t imagine how colleges could do mandatory mental health screenings right, but less how badly they’d screw it up by trying to do it on the cheap.

* There are dozens of us! The AV Club rediscovers The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

* A cultural history of time.

* And George R.R. Martin says Game of Thrones was always intended to be 3 5 7 8 12 books.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 6, 2014 at 8:00 am

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I Can’t Believe It’s June Links

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* CFPs: MLA Subconference 2015 and Society for Utopian Studies 2014.

* Rebecca Schuman has the best my-thoughts-exactly rundown of the MLA Task Force report I’ve seen.

Called psychylustro, German artist Katharina Grosse’s project is a large-scale work designed to distract Amtrak train riders from the dilapidated buildings and fallen factories of north Philadelphia.

* “But, Sergei,” I protested (I forget his actual name), “that didn’t happen because capitalists just decided to be nice. That happened because they were all afraid of you.” More Graeber:  I’m thinking of a labor movement, but one very different than the kind we’ve already seen. A labor movement that manages to finally ditch all traces of the ideology that says that work is a value in itself, but rather redefines labor as caring for other people.

* Is my high school, Lake Area New Tech, a prison or school?

School Guard Filmed Hitting Student, Dumping Him From Wheelchair.

* Translating Frozen into Arabic.

* The Anxieties of Big Data.

* Maya Angelou, Respectability Politics, and Sex Work.

* Revolution and American Indians: “Marxism is as Alien to My Culture as Capitalism.”

* The Way We Live Now: Faking Cultural Literacy.

* Just Following Orders: Thoughts on Agents of SHIELD‘s First Season.

In reality, after seven decades of growing into each other, it shouldn’t be so easy to separate out SHIELD from Hydra. On the one hand, Hydra should have so completely infested SHIELD as to taint all but the most minute of its good acts–as evidenced by the fact that even the good guys, who aren’t shooting at Captain America, were perfectly OK with SHIELD’s rampant trampling of privacy and civil rights before these escalated to mass murder. And on the other hand, SHIELD’s protocols and organizational culture are the ones that nearly all Hydra agents were trained in, which would shape their habits of thought even as they employ their training to evil ends. No matter who they swear allegiance too, SHIELD and Hydra agents should be pretty hard to tell apart, and the lofty or vile ideals that guide them should, in all but the most extreme cases of true believers, be less present in their psychological makeup than institutional culture.

* Ames notes the migration of rage massacres from the workplace (in the 80s) to the school (during the 1990s), a trajectory that followed the generalization of neoliberal principles into the US education system. In their suicide notes, school shooters also referenced prolonged bullying, as the entrepreneurial values of mainstream American culture found schoolyard expression in concentrated form, and the gulf between the school’s winners and its losers became more pronounced and more significant. Like the workplace gunman, the teenage killer embraced mass murder as a brutal and incoherent expression of social despair.

In Florida City With Rampant Stop-And-Frisks, 11-Year-Old Deemed ‘Suspicous’ For Baggy Pants And Hoodie. If You’re A West Virginia Inmate, You Can’t Read This Story. LAPD adds drones to arsenal, says they’ll be used sparingly.

Researchers Find Association Between Porn Viewing And Less Grey Matter In The Brain.

14 Bros Charged in Fraternity Hazing That Cost a Pledge One Testicle.

Lawrence actually defended his new brothers in a November interview, saying the ball-smashing was “not hazing.”

“It was a freak accident more than anything. It definitely wasn’t meant to happen, not hazing whatsoever,” Lawrence told WLWT.

* NC Senate amendment drops provision to close ECSU.

* AP History in the Less Magic Kingdom: “Snow White the False.” The Sea Witch Sets The Record Straight.

College football and basketball players have finalized a $40 million settlement with a video game manufacturer and the NCAA’s licensing arm for improperly using the likenesses of athletes, leaving the NCAA alone to defend itself in the upcoming Ed O’Bannon antitrust trial.

* Competitive yoga, because there’s nothing Americans can’t turn into a competition.

* A Brazilian Street Artist Has Created the World Cup’s First Viral Image.

* UC President Janet Napolitano said the university will lead research to develop an implantable device that will retrain the brains of the mentally ill. What could possibly go SARCASM OVERFLOW ABORT/RETRY/FAIL

* World ‘on the verge of next mass extinction': Humans have caused extinction rates to increase by up to 10,000 times.

* EPA rules may force Wisconsin utilities to reduce coal use. EPA Rule Will Cut Power Plant Emissions By 30 Percent By 2030. Well, that’ll fix it!

* And finally it can be told: What was Rogue’s missing plotline in Days of Future Past?

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gerrycanavan.com Is Pleased to Offer This Sunday Reading Experience

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* The schedule for the final third of my Cultural Preservation course. This has been one of the best teaching experiences I’ve ever had; I’m hoping things go as well next spring when I do it all again.

* Starting out with two strikes with this guy and he hasn’t even found out where I work yet.

The institution of the faculty wife is alive and well in academic culture. She’s an adjunct.

* Nietzsche was right: it turns out without forgetting it is quite impossible to live at all.

* “It seems to me that St. Patrick’s Day expresses the fundamental nihilism at the heart of American life.”

* Elsewhere in the American nihilism files: NASA study concludes it’s not just you, we really are doomed.

* Meanwhile, we can’t even agree on the incredible, undeniable, world-historical usefulness of vaccines. One map sums up the damage caused by the anti-vaccination movement.

* Surely we’ll start the school day later, when every bit of science backs this up… Oh.

* Unreal: Malaysian investigators conclude missing airliner hijacked. Could the Passengers Still Be Alive?

* Don’t be evil: Google’s anti-copyright stance is just a way to devalue content.

* There’s no escape from the corporate-NSA surveillance network.

* Five Cops Beat Innocent, Unarmed Father to Death Outside Cinema.

* No one could have predicted a completely unregulated peer-to-peer hotel network would lead to bad outcomes. Next up: Hey, Uber, your unregulated taxi was just some random creep’s unsafe car!

* Being Terry Gilliam.

* For the true believers: A Brief History of the Quidditch World Cup.

It’s not Mortal Kombat we should fear; it’s Candy Crush Saga and FarmVille.

50,000 Activists Demand Sexual Assault Reform At Dartmouth After Student Publishes A ‘Rape Guide.’

* On the spell-binding catastrophic collapse of the Juan Pablo season of The Bachelor.

* Thinking big: “I very well may be president of the United States in 2020, but for right now I am supporting some pro-White candidates from the American Freedom Party,” he said.

* If we make the world a paradise where everyone is immortal, will we still be able to have all these awesome jails? Aeon Magazine reports.

Car Dealers Are Terrified of Tesla’s Plan to Eliminate Oil Changes.

* Kim Stanley Robinson is all over the ASU “Thoughtful Optimism” project.

As of 2010-2011, the most recent year with available data, recent humanities and liberal arts majors had 9 percent unemployment. That’s right about on par with students in computer and math fields (9.1 percent), psychology and social work (8.8 percent), and the social sciences (10.3 percent). And it’s just a bit above the average across all majors of 7.9 percent. The larger problem, as always, is that there’s still not enough work for young people post-recession.

Pussy Riot launches a prisoners rights center in Russia, demands freedom in Wisconsin.

* Promisingly specific: Projecting ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ in Theaters Requires Special Instructions.

* Game of the Weekend: 2048, an addictive simplification of Threes!, in your browser.

* And good news for fans of medieval maps.

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Spring Break Monday Links

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Reaching My Autistic Son Through Disney. What a story. I bawled.

* Apocalyptic flooding scheduled for Wisconsin.

Hampton, Florida, the little town so corrupt even the rest of Florida thinks it’s gone too far.

* Women run just a quarter of the biggest art museums in the United States and Canada, and they earn about a third less than their male counterparts, according to a report released on Friday by the Association of Art Museum Directors, a professional organization.

* The greatest secret of American manhood is: We are afraid of other men. Masculinity as Homophobia.

Union research document says Obamacare will hasten income inequality. When job creators create lousy jobs.

At best, job creation is merely an inadequate palliative for years of deep recession. At worst, it’s an active strategy for redirecting wealth upwards and further immiserating the working class. Quantify that.

Not even climate change will kill off capitalism.

* Millennials in adulthood. Millennials and college degrees. The Self(ie) Generation. College Grads Taking Low-Wage Posts Displace Less Educated. Are Millennials different?

* “You stole the documents we were hiding from you which proved we were lying, so we spied on you to find out how you did that.”

* Annals of Obama negotiating with himself.

* A theory of neoliberalism: Wages versus Assets.

* Democrats are really starting in with the surrender-to-hopelessness blitz EARLY this cycle. Meanwhile.

A rare sociological analysis of Federal Reserve policy confirms what many economists already knew: top central bank officials missed the oncoming crisis because they failed to make the connection between housing, the banking industry and the economy. I don’t know; my rule is never attribute to incompetence what can be adequately explained by soulless millionaires cynically cashing out.

What happens to our financial safety net when we are already renting out our couches, giving rides after work, and running tasks on the weekends just to stay afloat?

If you pirate a digital copy of The Triple Package, use the find and replace function. Find “successful cultural group” replace with “bourgeoisie” and then the book will become a coherent and honest provocation, rather than the triple package of neurosis, projection, and obfuscation that it really is.

Maternal mortality rates are falling in every industrialised nation – except for the United States.

* The latest for the “every cop is a criminal” file.

* The latest for the “lolz you didn’t write the laws right” file.

* Do I read this right? An off-duty cop shot somebody and the other guy got charged with assault?

* The unrelenting gaze of the police never wavers in Milwaukee.

Detroit Scam City: How The Red Wings Took Hockeytown For All It Had.

Idaho Governor Poised To Sign Totally Insane, Obviously Disastrous Bill Allowing Concealed Guns On College Campuses.

* de Blasio vs charters in NYC. How charter schools get students they want. In the great efforts they are expending to exclude the students that are the most difficult to educate, charter schools are lending more credence to my argument about the arrow of causation in our perception of school quality than I could ever generate.

The real problem is that a very few, very wealthy individuals override the voices of thousands upon thousands of experienced educators and parents.

* Mother Canada? Is that a thing? Displays of Canadian nationalism always seem off to me. Letting down the side, Canada.

* South by Southwest’s unpaid labor problem: Why it’s risking a class action lawsuit.

* Cartoonist Chris Ware on outsider art, reading aloud and the Common Core.

* Climate change is the modern fully realized, the modern as tending towards undoing its own conditions of existence.

* I had no idea just disintegrating in midair was something that could just happen to planes. I wish I didn’t know it now.

* Wages for Sea World animals: Yes, California Can Really Ban Shamu, Legal Experts Say. Can’t they just argue exploiting whales and making their lives miserable is free speech? That’s how it works with humans.

* I was saying this weekend (1, 2, 3) that voting for Rand Paul is not as irrational as it might seem at first glance, given the unilateral powers the executive branch has in the U.S. and his stated opposition to the war on drugs and the war on terror. What’s interesting is that Rand Paul himself absolutely does not want me to hold this opinion.

* Can We Learn About Privacy From Porn Stars?

* 11 of the Weirdest Solutions to the Fermi Paradox.

* A brief history of nonsense.

* Too late! We already designed modern cities around it.

Great walls to end tornadoes in our time? What could possibly go wrong?

* Truth and reconciliation in Guatemala.

* Towards White History Month.

In 2007, Gary Younge (he is an ally) suggested that what we all needed is a White History Month. Gary reminded us: “So much of Black History Month takes place in the passive voice. Leaders ‘get assassinated,’ patrons ‘are refused’ service, women ‘are ejected’ from public transport. So the objects of racism are many but the subjects few. In removing the instigators, the historians remove the agency and, in the final reckoning, the historical responsibility … There is no month when we get to talk about [James] Blake [the white busdriver challenged by Rosa Parks]; no opportunity to learn the fates of J.W. Milam and Roy Bryant, who murdered Emmett Till; no time set aside to keep track of Victoria Price and Ruby Bates, whose false accusations of rape against the Scottsboro Boys sent five innocent young black men to jail. Wouldn’t everyone–particularly white people–benefit from becoming better acquainted with these histories?”

* And Rebecca Onion has a 1940s Board Game for French Kids Taught Tactics for Successful Colonialism.

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Written by gerrycanavan

March 10, 2014 at 8:00 am

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Thursday Links! Guaranteed* Not to Bum You Out!

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* Class Action: An Activist Teacher’s Handbook.

* I would have thought this was still a few years off: “Faculty object to plan to replace humanities requirement with self-help course.”

* The Marquette Tribune has an article on adjuncts at our university today.

Unraveling the response to this incident, and where it seemed to go wrong and why, offers a glimpse into the complexity of responding to cases of sexual assault in study abroad, the competing legal frameworks that study abroad programs exist within, and the tensions that can result when the best interests of the institution and the student are arguably not one and the same.

The flipped classroom as MOOC waste product.

* “You go to an Ivy League school. Then you either become an investment banker or a management consultant. After two-three years, you apply to law school or b-school. And if you fall off the path for even one year, you can’t get back on.”

Major League Baseball owners, despite earning more than $8 billion in revenue in 2013, voted in January to allow individual teams to slash or eliminate pension-plan offerings to their non-uniformed personnel.

* The Wolf of Sesame Street: Revealing the Secret Corruption Inside PBS’s News Division.

The NSA and Climate Change Spying: What We Know So Far.

All in all, the NEADA estimates that sequestration caused about 300,000 families to lose home energy assistance.

Simply saying we should improve the quality and reduce the duration of work doesn’t allow us to ask whether that work needs to exist at all.

BDS gaining steam within Israel itself.

Even a Stationery Logo Pits Palestinians Against Israel.

The Book of Revelation speaks of a great two-headed beast, paradoxically describing each head as providing worse cable service than the other.

* Oliver Sacks and the Mystery of Hallucinations.

Another woman speaks out over Bill Cosby sexual abuse allegations.

There Have Been At Least 44 School Shootings Since Newtown.

Barbie to Be a Featured “Model” in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Ugh.

The Millennium Falcon Owner’s Workshop Manual.

* Is Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. actually a show about interracial family? You may have seen me going back and forth with Scott a bit this morning about how to include the romance elements of the show here; if this is supposed to be about family, it seems like we have to deal with the fact that all the siblings are in love and Big Bro is sleeping with Mom.

* Anthology alert!  Wastelands 2: More Stories of the Apocalypse.

And here’s what a Martian space elevator might actually look like. Sold.

End of 2013 Mega Link Dump – All Links Must Go!

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This gentleman violently inserted his finger into dozens of victims’ anuses. Sometimes his friends held guns to the victims’ heads to force them to comply. Why was he sentenced to just two years in prison? Because he was an officer with the Milwaukee police department! Officer who forced dozens of anal cavity searches for fun gets only 2 years in prison.

* I wonder if it worked: The Soviet Union spent $1 billion on mind-control program.

* Utah solving homelessness problem by giving the homeless places to live. Madness!

* Once you insist that lives that are worth respecting are the lives that are most devoted to pecuniary gain, you have reached a road that has no ending, and a particularly strange one for humanists to walk.

* Against fraternities.

Rhetoric and Composition: Academic Capitalism and Cheap Teachers.

* The humanities are saved! Brain function ‘boosted for days after reading a novel.’

Using detailed publication and citation data for over 50,000 articles from 30 major economics and finance journals, we investigate whether network proximity to an editor influences research productivity. During an editor’s tenure, his current university colleagues publish about 100% more papers in the editor’s journal, compared to years when he is not editor. In contrast to editorial nepotism, such “inside” articles have significantly higher ex post citation counts, even when same-journal and self-cites are excluded. Our results thus suggest that despite potential conflicts of interest faced by editors, personal associations are used to improve selection decisions.

* Woody Guthrie’s New Year’s Resolutions are the still the only ones you need. More links below!

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* Skeleton thought to be Etruscan prince is actually a princess. Prehistoric cave prints show most early artists were women.

* A Gender-Neutral Pronoun (Re)emerges in China.

* Academia is a war zone.

* Towards critical humility.

* We still don’t really know how bicycles work.

* But it’s a lie. Winning does not scale. We may be free beings, but we are constrained by an economic system rigged against us. What ladders we have are being yanked away. Some of us will succeed. The possibility of success is used to call the majority of people failures.

* In this article, we develop and empirically test the theoretical argument that when an organizational culture promotes meritocracy (compared with when it does not), managers in that organization may ironically show greater bias in favor of men over equally performing women in translating employee performance evaluations into rewards and other key career outcomes; we call this the “paradox of meritocracy.”

* Gasp! California Attorney General: Legalizing Marijuana Would Save Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars A Year.

* Gasp! Benghazi was a nonsense story cynically hyped up by a flailing presidential candidate for cheap heat the whole time!

* Gasp! Some highly specialized, technical, non-outsourceable work is still well paid, and the New York Times is ON IT.

* Huffington Post blogger argues just straight-up ripping off your babysitter because, I don’t know, freedom or something.

* And then we robbed all the pensions also because freedom I guess.

* Cancel all the unemployment insurance because freedom! North Carolina Shows How to Crush the Unemployed.

10 Reasons That Long-Term Unemployment Is a National Catastrophe.

* The life of a fast food striker.

If you thought Southern California mansions could hardly get more outlandish, consider the latest must-have feature: A moat encircling the property.

* One Weird Old Trick to Undermine the Patriarchy: My five-year-old insists that Bilbo Baggins is a girl..

* It’s Kwanzaa everywhere but Paul Mulshine’s heart.

* Twee fascism. Cupcake fascism.

* I’m beginning to think some of these university presidents are not all that serious about defending academic freedom.

* Another scene from the war on education in Chicago. Subtract Teachers, Add Pupils: Math of Today’s Jammed Schools. Silicon Valley techno-wizards sending their kinds to a tech-free school.

* Worst people in the world watch: But over the past decade, the number of “hospice survivors” in the United States has risen dramatically, in part because hospice companies earn more by recruiting patients who aren’t actually dying, a Washington Post investigation has found. Healthier patients are more profitable because they require fewer visits and stay enrolled longer.

* Just kidding, the worst person in the world is Andrea Peyser.

*  How Doctor Who Betrayed Matt Smith.

* The death of the alt-weekly.

* lolmythesis.

* Are dolphins intelligent? Well, they get high.

* Previewing World Cup 2022: The Qatar Chronicles.

* Having already inaugurated full communism, radical De Blasio turns his pitiless mayoral gaze to horse-drawn carriages.

* Looking for a New Year’s Read? Magical realism/surreal books by women.

* And only Vermont-style communism can save us now.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 31, 2013 at 7:00 am

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All the Sunday Links

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* Sad news: Iain Banks has died. A Few Notes on the Culture. A list of spacecraft in the Culture series.

Screen-Shot-2013-06-07-at-11.01.25-PM* Coffee’s good for you again. Stay buzzed, America.

* This piece on MOOCs from Jonathan Dettman is really interesting, not least of all for its observations on running the university like a business:

According to this paradigm, the years spent at a university are not intended so much as to educate the student (either in the vocational sense or the liberal-arts sense of forming citizen-scholars), but rather to turn as many recruits as possible into “active alumni.” In the meantime, as much profit as possible should be extracted from the student, through amenities, food services, business partnerships, textbook sales, tuition, etc. Image and branding are extremely important to these efforts, but so is information. Universities now build data-driven profiles of prospective students in order to identify and recruit those most likely to be attracted to the university’s own carefully constructed market profile.

As I said on Twitter yesterday: they couldn’t have found a model that sounded a bit less… pyramid-schemey?

On PRISM, or Listening Neoliberally.

* This piece on epigenetics in Discover is really interesting, but my god, the reporting. It’s hard to imagine a piece that sensationalized these findings more.

* Announcing the MOOC Research Institute. Can’t we scale this up? You know, crowdsource it.

* Claire Potter smells a rat in those academic paternity leave studies I’ve blogged about in the past.

Black Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 have an unemployment rate of 21 percent, almost triple the national average.

* Simply put, 99 percent of the increase in employed persons seen in the last year was for individuals who had attended at least some college (this removes the negative change in employment for high school grads with no college to not produce a number above 100 percent). Among those who didn’t go to college, we actually lost 284,000 employed persons from May of 2012 to May of 2013. Within the college-going categories, about 60 percent of the increase went to those with a bachelor’s degree and 40 percent to those with an associate’s degree. 

Change in Employed Persons 5-12 to 5-13

* The death of the cliffhanger.

* The screenplay writes itself: Gustl Mollath was put in a psychiatric unit for claiming his wife was involved in money-laundering at the Bavarian bank. But seven years on evidence has emerged that could set him free.

* The headline reads, “New long distance quantum teleportation system ‘extremely reliable.'” So, the ansible is real, then?

Va. Republican Lt. Governor Candidate Said Birth Defects Were Caused By Sin. I give up.

* Because a bunch of us have been rewatching Star Trek lately: Voyager Inconsistencies. By the numbers it’s actually a little better than I thought.

* And the LEGO museum. At least there’s that.

Thursday Night Links

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* I saw this movie: Brains of rats connected allowing them to share information via internet.

It bears repeating: The candidate’s adviser sent us a letter on which both “department of history” and “faculty of arts and sciences” were misspelled.

Advice From Tenure-Track Faculty To Those Entering The Profession.

* Beyond the MOOC: While other universities move quickly to offer courses online for free, Carnegie Mellon University is instead starting for-profit efforts designed to capture segments of the education market. I’ll promote this a bit more as the date gets closer, but I’ll be speaking at a “What’s the Matter with MOOCs?” event at UWM in mid-March.

Boots on Campus: Yale Flap Highlights Militarization of Academia.

Student Debt Nearly Tripled In 8 Years, New York Federal Reserve Reports.

* The Dan Harmon backlash, at the AV Club and TNR (of all things).

* Justice, American style: The city’s complaint in federal court claims that if Ms. Truong is entitled to damages for the nearly three years she spent in jail awaiting trial, then Mr. Ryan is as much to blame as the city because he took too long to get the coerced confession tossed out of court by the judge.

* What is happening with Bob Woodward? Seriously, WTF Is Up With Bob Woodward?

Will a Republican friend-of-the-court brief tip the Supreme Court in favor of gay marriage? I’m pretty sure it’ll have more luck than Obama’s.

These numbers are unprecedented: by 2014 President Obama will have deported over 2 million people – more in six years than all people deported before 1997. That “before 1997″ actually means since 1892.

AFL-CIO Executive Council Endorses Comprehensive Doomsday Policy for Working Families.

“We need union jobs today, not tomorrow,” said Rich Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO.  “The resolution balances our desire to protect the fragile ecosystem of the earth, while acknowledging the economic benefits of a high-road strategy to develop the doomsday technologies of the future.”

* Never forget: The entire staff of the West Wing died on Voyager.

How Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the EmpireTurned Star Wars into Science Fiction.

Women Work Harder Than Men, Study Says.

* The Turn against Nabokov.

* When the White House was completely gutted.

The social events of the 1948 holiday season had to be canceled. And with good reason: Experts called the third floor of the White House “an outstanding example of a firetrap.” The result of a federally commissioned report found the mansion’s plumbing “makeshift and unsanitary,” while “the structural deterioration [was] in ‘appalling degree,’ and threatening complete collapse.” The congressional commission on the matter was considering the option of abandoning the structure altogether in favor of a built-from-scratch mansion, but President Truman lobbied for the restoration.

* When Martin Luther King played pool.

“Preserved” plushies in jars.

* Help wanted: must be infallible.

* They’re making a movie out of The Drowned World.

Shale Gas Fracking Will Be Around For a Long, Long Time.

* And American history, Breitbart style: Journalists on the campaign trail saw Johnson drunkenly board a plane armed with nuclear weapons and then accidentally drop them on the United States. We all saw it!

Thursday Night Links

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Having a monetary value tied to human incarceration and justice creates a deeply perverse incentive that should not exist in the world of commerce. When the for-profit prison industry places the iron fist of criminal justice in the invisible hands of the market and sells it as a cost-cutting measure, it is hard not to interpret as anything but the predatory capitalism of a self-perpetuating slave state.

* Law school skips right past adjunctification and non-monetary compensation all the way to a pay-to-work scheme.

* Just end the filibuster. This is a no-brainer.

What Will It Take to Solve Climate Change?

Gorilla Sales Skyrocket After Latest Gorilla Attack.

Following the events of last week, in which a crazed western lowland gorilla ruthlessly murdered 21 people in a local shopping plaza after escaping from the San Diego Zoo, sources across the country confirmed Thursday that national gorilla sales have since skyrocketed.

“After seeing yet another deranged gorilla just burst into a public place and start killing people, I decided I need to make sure something like that never happens to me,” said 34-year-old Atlanta resident Nick Keller, shortly after purchasing a 350-pound mountain gorilla from his local gorilla store. “It just gives me peace of mind knowing that if I’m ever in that situation, I won’t have to just watch helplessly as my torso is ripped in half and my face is chewed off. I’ll be able to use my gorilla to defend myself.”

* 56 Up now playing in the US. I can’t wait.

How To Fix Maternity Leave.

For the fiscal year, which for most schools ends this June, 18% of 165 private universities and 15% of 127 public universities project a decline in net tuition revenue. That is a sharp rise from the estimated declines among 10% of the 152 private schools and 4% of the 105 public schools in fiscal 2012.

* Turns out the brain isn’t very much like papyrus after all.

* Google will now translate into Flanders. (Not really-a-doodly.)

* Ezra Klein plays Biden  ’16 make-believe. At least he’s making sense on the platinum coin.

* What’s your preferred gender pronoun?

* Horrifying: On zombie foreclosure.

* And on the science fiction beat: Joss Whedon Directing SHIELD Pilot Right Now, Already Working On Scripts For Later In The Series. Christopher Nolan’s next movie is called Interstellar. For the 50th anniversary, five Doctors and a cavalcade of Companions will reunite…on an audio specialFan hopes science will prove tragic Firefly death never happened. And Y: The Last Man has a director: the unknown fan director of that Portal fan film.

All the Midweek Links There Are

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* My media empire: I have a piece on climate change and science fiction in the new New Inquiry issue on weather, which has gone out to subscribers but isn’t online yet. I’ll let you know when you can read it, though for a mere $2 you could read it this very minute.

* “It’s one of those situations where everybody says it’s an issue but the people who have the most influence and the most ability to do something about it are not acting on it,” said Gary Rhoades, professor of higher education at the University of Arizona’s Center for the Study of Higher Education and director of the Center for the Future of Higher Education, a virtual think tank supported by faculty and labor groups. He called the adjunct issue a “widely acknowledged challenge” with deep, interwoven roots – many of which pit administrative prerogatives against labor concerns and educational outcomes.

IRS Says Colleges Must Be ‘Reasonable’ When Calculating Adjuncts’ Work Hours. What if the adjuncts shrugged?

* Yesterday marked the 202th anniversary of the largest slave revolt in US history.

* Game of the day: run from Michel Foucault. Do not become enamored of power.

* Another great rundown of science fiction in China. Via io9.

* zunguzungu is gathering notes towards a canon of post-9/11 literature. I contributed Wells Tower’s “Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned,” as well as the inevitable science fictional treatments: Battlestar Galactica, District 9, Nolan’s Batman…

* Warmest Year On Record Received Cool Climate Coverage. It’s so hot in Australia they’ve had to add a new color to the weather map.

* This paper uses annual variation in temperature and precipitation over the past 50 years to examine the impact of climatic changes on economic activity throughout the world. We find three primary results. First, higher temperatures substantially reduce economic growth in poor countries but have little effect in rich countries. Second, higher temperatures appear to reduce growth rates in poor countries, rather than just the level of output. Third, higher temperatures have wide-ranging effects in poor nations, reducing agricultural output, industrial output, and aggregate investment, and increasing political instability. Analysis of decade or longer climate shifts also shows substantial negative effects on growth in poor countries. Should future impacts of climate change mirror these historical effects, the negative impact on poor countries may be substantial.

* The Seven Lady Godivas: Dr. Seuss’s Little-Known “Adult” Book of Nudes.

* io9 celebrates the classic tabletop role-playing game Paranoia.

* The American Prospect considers the legal hyperformalism the GOP has embraced in the face of longterm demographic crisis and declining real power.

What all these efforts have in common is that they are all perfectly legal,  and yet they all violate the norms of how American politics had been practiced for decades or even for centuries. All of them exploit some loophole in the law or the Constitution to give Republicans some immediate advantage in the basic ground rules of how political issues are contested.

* National Geographic’s photographs of 2012.

original

* The great moral question of our time: On heckling.

* The Superhero Delusion: How Superhero Movies created the Sad Perfect Badass Messiah, and what that says about America.

* Television as narcissism.

* Installing the blue whale at the American Museum of Natural History.

* Science catches up to what the poets always knew: Our perception of time changes with age, but it also depends on our emotional state. Research is steadily improving our understanding of the brain circuits that control this sense, opening the way for new forms of treatment, particularly for Parkinson’s disease.

* Debating that rape viral infrographic.

* Great moments in advertising: the UC spends $4.3 million to attract a single student.

* The forever war on women: Under Obama, a Skew Toward Male Appointees.

* And Mitch Hurwitz teases the new Arrested Development. I am…optimistic?

Wednesday Night

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* Vu has an update on yesterday’s most important story: it was Tolkien vs. Lewis.

* Seems fair: Pennsylvania State University’s ousted president Graham B. Spanier received $3.25 million in taxable compensation for 2011 – including a $1.2 million severance payment given in the wake of his forced resignation that year, the university announced on Wednesday.

A man and woman are drawn together, entangled in the lifecycle of an ageless organism. Identity becomes an illusion as they struggle to assemble the loose fragments of wrecked lives. Miracles and wonders: Shane “Primer” Carruth is working on a new film.

* Only immortal jellyfish can save us now.

* Warren Buffet proposes a minimum tax for the rich.

new report from international NGO Global Witness suggests that, in the past decade, 711 individuals have been killed while defending land and forest rights. 106 of these deaths allegedly came in 2011, with the number killed almost doubling over the past three years.

* Crazy-good anamorphic optical illusion.

* Retiring Minnesota grocery store owner gives his stores to his employees.

* Back to the moon!

* And a map of life expectancy by country. The US doesn’t crack the top 25…

Big Thursday Links

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13 little-known punctuation marks we should be using. At right: the rhetorical question mark.

* Reddit vs. Gawker: whoever wins, we lose. Snark aside, they ought to burn reddit down if it won’t take cast out jailbait and creeper subreddits. It’s 2012.

* How to Terraform Venus.

* DNA’s 521-year half-life ruins so many awesome science fiction plots.

* Our brains work in interesting ways: What number is halfway between 1 and 9? Is it 5 — or 3?

Could the Goonies Really Keep One-Eyed Willy’s Treasure?

Walmart Workers Are Threatening To Strike On Black Friday. On a national holy day? How dare they.

You love being creative for your work. You love your job. That’s why you’ve got a Mac. Precarious labor, post-Fordism, and Apple.

Nine minutes of gameplay from the new SimCity.

* LARoB considers Homeland. It’s been next in my Netflix queue forever, so I couldn’t read too much of this.

* And you know who else flubbed their closing statement after a piss-poor debate showing? No, not him. The other one. Gasp: New Polls Suggest Democratic Freakout May Be Premature.

Monday

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* As I discuss in my presentation for SLSA next week, Octavia Butler predicted it: Huntington’s mutation can improve learning before symptoms arrive.

* How to fight a nuclear war: Jimmy Carter had a plan.

* Stuyvesant, Harvard, people are alike all over: the psychology of cheating.

* “In Plain View”: How molesters get away with it.

* Meta poll-of-polls analysis shows the Romney campaign is in serious trouble.

What Erikson and Wlezien did is rather remarkable: They collected pretty much every publicly available poll conducted during the last 200 days of the past 15 presidential elections and then ran test after test on the data to see what we could say about the trajectory of presidential elections. Their results make Romney’s situation look very dire.

For instance: The least-stable period of the campaign isn’t early in the year or in the fall. It’s the summer. That’s because the conventions have a real and lasting effect on a campaign.

But the most surprising of Erikson and Wlezien’s results, and the most dispiriting for the Romney campaign, is that unlike the conventions, the debates don’t tend to matter. There’s “a fairly strong degree of continuity from before to after the debates,” they write. That’s true even when the trailing candidate is judged to have “won” the debates. “Voters seem to have little difficulty proclaiming one candidate the ‘winner’ of a debate and then voting for the opponent,” Erikson and Wlezien say.

Massachusetts looks to be reverting to the mean, too.

* Underselling it a bit: “Potentially unsafe” rat meat is being sold illegally in London marketplaces. Remember, it’s only potentially unsafe. Who among us can really know anything for sure?

* Also at io9: George Dvorsky takes the recent rheseus monkey brain-implant study as a hook for another ride on the what-could-possibly-go-wrong merry-go-round about uplifting animals.

* The Los Angeles Review of Books visits the comics.

* And just because it’s Monday: Ben Folds vs. the Fraggles.

Just a Few Links While I’m Super Busy

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* Dystopia now: Scientists Plant False Short-Term Memories Directly In Rodent Brains.

* The patriarchy ain’t what it used to be: The overhand throwing gap, beginning at 4 years of age, is three times the difference of any other motor task, and it just gets bigger across age. By 18, there’s hardly any overlap in the distribution: Nearly every boy by age 15 throws better than the best girl. I consider myself living disproof of this hypothesis.

* How to cheat in chess.

* And just this once: Inside the Romney camp’s massive self-inflicted wound. You know, some days I think I just might not like the guy.

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