Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Philip K. Dick

A Few for Friday

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* All Your Nightmares Are Real: Massive Mayfly Emergence in Wisconsin.

So, I would like to suggest the following as a starting point: we should highlight the accomplishments of “high-profile” faculty members at our institutions and then show the relatively (or very) modest impact that those accomplishments have had on their compensation; then we should offer, as a point of comparison, the compensation, including bonuses, of largely anonymous administrators whose “accomplishments” will be next to impossible to describe to a general audience. This sort of messaging will do two things at once: it will undercut the notion that faculty are over-paid while simultaneously undercutting the notion that administrators are simply being paid what “the market demands.”

* I would venture to say that back when societies were structured according to religious principles and everyone basically believed in God, a political or business leader who claimed to be a direct channel for God’s will would’ve been regarded as either insane or dangerously disingenuous. Re-label “God’s will” as “the market” or “the politically feasible,” however, and no one bats an eye.

* It’s been a decade since New Orleans’ post-Katrina charter school experiment began. The results have been devastating.

 

* My son has been suspended five times. He’s 3.

In a four part investigation, MPR News details the cover up of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

In Its Death Throes, For-Profit College Chain Spent Over $100,000 A Month On Lobbying.

 

* …the Education Department has confirmed that it has since awarded two more exemptions to Title IX to Christian colleges that want to discriminate against transgender students.

Among the claims that form part of the case against Thomas Docherty is that he sighed and made “ironic” comments when interviewing job candidates.

* Beyoncé Class Is in Session.

* Burger King Is Run by Children.

* Ban College Bands.

California Man Fatally Shoots Allegedly Pregnant Home Invader. Man Shoots Teenaged Neighbor Three Times Over Argument About Lawnmower.

* David Harvey at LSE: The 17 Contradictions of Capitalism.

* The Committee to Save the World: Climate Change and the Santa Fe Institute.

Perhaps, Kabat concludes, the positivity should be economic incentives, that every new threat creates some business opportunity. To illustrate this, he shows a slide of a giant wave crashing down on a man. Then he shows another slide showing the same wave coming down, but this time it forms the shape of a hand shaking the hand of the man.

Oh, okay, so you’re saying we’re doomed.

* Google still doesn’t pay any taxes.

* Dibs on the screenplay: According to a NASA study, the Earth just missed what would have been not a civilization ending but a truly massive global catastrophe in 2012 because of a huge solar storm.

Space Junk Is Becoming a Serious Security Threat.

* An Elegy for the Star Wars Expanded Universe.

* Philip K. Dick’s cult novel ‘Man in the High Castle’ becoming an Amazon TV pilot.

* Indiana Jones and the Temple of Middle-Aged Sadness.

* A Brief Hiss tory of Autocorrect.

* The inventor of the high-five.

* Is it just me, or does 3 1/2 years in prison for stealing a basically irreplaceable Stradivarious actually seem pretty low by American standards?

* Here’s an Obamacare loophole that actually seems like it will significantly impact the viability of the law.

* Republicans want to impeach; Obama wants to be impeached. Gee, what do you think is going to happen?

* And if Republicans are really so stunningly incompetent why does American politics only move rightward? I guess some things will always be a mystery.

It’s Always Mischief Night Somewhere Links

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* You can now order the special Paradoxa issue on “Africa SF.” The testimonials indicate that Samuel Delany has at least heard of something I’ve written, so there’s that…

* Those who do not study history will have their wise decision ratified by bean-counting administrators: One of the 17 University of North Carolina campuses could stop offering degrees in physics, history and political science. If you read that sentence and thought to yourself, “gee, I bet that’s a historically black college,” give yourself a prize!

MLA Reports Modest Decline in Job Ads Posted in 2012-13. The State of the Academic Job Market, by Discipline.

‘I Wish I Were Black,’ and Other Tales of Privilege.

* The Logic of Stupid Poor People.

What The U.S. Would Look Like If It Mirrored The Main Characters On Prime-Time Network Television.

-Half the population would be white men.
-Five percent of the population would be black men.
-Just 1.9 percent of the world would be Asian or Latino men.
-Overall, 57 percent of the population would be men.
-34 percent of the world would be white women
-3.8 percent would be African-American women
-And 3.8 percent would be Latino or Asian women
-31.8 percent of the population would work for the police or some sort of federal law enforcement agency.
-9.7 percent of us would be doctors.
-2.6 percent of us would be criminals.
-1.9 percent would be supernatural creatures or robots.

What they are defending is a system in which wealth is passed off as merit, in which credentials are not earned but bought. Aptitude is a quality measured by how much money you can spend on its continual reassessment.

Students whose parents pay tens of thousands for SAT tutors to help their child take the test over and over compete against students who struggle to pay the fee to take the test once. Students who spend afternoons on “enrichment” activities compete against students working service jobs to pay bills – jobs which don’t “count” in the admissions process. Students who shell out for exotic volunteer trips abroad compete with students of what C Z Nnaemeka termed “the un-exotic underclass” – the poor who have “the misfortune of being insufficiently interesting”, the poor who make up most of the US today.

* …a recent Twitter thread started by a popular feminist blogger examines a dark side of that cliché in real-life academe, one in which professors’ advances – intellectual and otherwise – feed a need for validation and flattery, and at times cross the line into sexual harassment.

By the numbers: Sex crimes on campus.

Get Ready for Big Ed.

* The New York Times spends 36 hours in Milwaukee.

A collective narrative of trying to make it on $17,000 a year: bargaining testimony from a UCSC student-worker.

Colorado Counties Ban Sale of Marijuana, Want Share of Proposed State Sales Tax Anyway.

* Obama’s going to be super-mad when he finds out about the nonsensical security state procedures his administration has been using in lieu of actual oversight. And breaking into Yahoo! and Google? Why didn’t anyone tell him!

* Ripped from the pages of Philip K. Dick! Pentagon weighs future of its inscrutable nonagenarian futurist.

Pennsylvania law protects pregnant women from unwanted belly rubbing.

* The Chronicle follows up on last year’s PhD-on-food-stamps, who is now in a TT position at Martin Methodist College.

How Not To Take The GRE With a Non-Standard-English Name.

* The richest country in history: The Number Of Homeless Students In The United States Hits A Record.

“Riots always begin typically the same way”: Food stamp shutdown looms Friday.

* Perry Anderson accidentally writes a whole issue of New Left Review.

* 20th Century Headlines, Rewritten to Get More Clicks.

How the Koch Brothers laundered illegal campaign contributions.

* They’re marketing the Veronica Mars movie as a love triangle. This is my skeptical face.

* Sesame Street parodies Homeland.

* The chart that explains the world.

Change-in-real-income-between-1988-and-2008-at-various-percentiles-of-global-income-distribution-calculated-in-2005-international-dollars-Branko-Milanovic

* What’s W.R.O.N.G. with ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’? A.L.M.O.S.T. E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.

* No accidents, comrade: The New Inquiry considers Cold War nostalgia and Twilight Struggle.

People Who Live Downwind Of Alberta’s Oil And Tar Sands Operations Are Getting Blood Cancer.

* BREAKING: Student Debt Is Making All Your Life Choices Worse.

Matt Zoller Seitz completes his series on video essays on Wes Anderson films. Bring on The Grand Budapest Hotel!

PRINCETON, N.J., Nov. 27: Princeton’s freshmen again have chosen Adolf Hitler as “the greatest living person” in the annual poll of their class conducted by The Daily Princetonian.

* Pope Francis, PR Wizard.

* The coming Terry McAuliffe landslide as proof the GOP brand is in serious disrepair.

* And it looks like they’ve finally (almost) proved that Darth Vader wasn’t always going to be Luke Skywalker’s father. Gotcha Lucas! You can run but you can’t hide.

Tuesday Night MOOCs and More

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* 20 Things the Matter with MOOCs.

* Also from Richard: What do asteroids, MOOCs, and medical records have in common?  All are examples, currently in the news, of the way in which public policy in the US is driven not by the common good or professionals or expert knowledge, but by the generation of mediashock in the service of the entrepeneurial desire of cybercapitalism to monetize data.

* On drone ethnography.

All of us that use the internet are already practicing Drone Ethnography. Look at the features of drone technology: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Surveillance, Sousveillance. Networks of collected information, over land and in the sky. Now consider the “consumer” side of tech: mapping programs, location-aware pocket tech, public-sourced media databases, and the apps and algorithms by which we navigate these tools. We already study the world the way a drone sees it: from above, with a dozen unblinking eyes, recording everything with the cold indecision of algorithmic commands honed over time, affecting nothing—except, perhaps, a single, momentary touch, the momentary awareness and synchronicity of a piece of information discovered at precisely the right time. An arc connecting two points like the kiss from an air-to-surface missile. Our technological capacity for watching, recording, collecting, and archiving has never been wider, and has never been more automated. The way we look at the world—our basic ethnographic approach—is mimicking the technology of the drone.

* The ACLU on what Rand Paul achieved.

Six-Month-Old Baby Dies From Gunshot Wounds In Chicago.

*  “Defense attorneys believe the girl, who lived across the river in Weirton, W.Va., made a decision to excessively drink and — against her friends’ wishes — to leave with the boys. They assert that she consented to sex,” reports the Cleveland Plain-Dealer’s Rachel Dissell. Richmond’s attorney, Walter Madison, is getting specific, citing “an abundance of evidence here that she was making decisions, cognitive choices … She didn’t affirmatively say no.” She was unconscious at the time.

I think it’s possible Natalia is the reckoning of Girls.

* The Herbalife war: Hedge-fund titan Bill Ackman has vowed to bring down Herbalife, the 33-year-old nutritional-supplement company, which he views as a pyramid scheme. With his massive shorting of Herbalife stock, the price plummeted, prompting two fellow billionaires—Ackman’s former friend Dan Loeb and activist investor Carl Icahn—to take the opposing bet on Herbalife. As the public brawl rivets Wall Street, William D. Cohan learns why, this time, it’s personal.

The most influential songwriter of his time has become the first rock star voted into the elite, century-old American Academy of Arts and Letters, where artists range from Philip Roth to Jasper Johns and categories include music, literature and visual arts.

* New data confirms that the unsatisfyingly named “Higgs-like particle” announced at CERN last year really is a Higgs boson.

* Exhumation of Pablo Neruda’s remains set for 8 April.

6 ÷ 2(1+2) = RAGE

The Law Graduate Debt Disaster Goes Critical.

* Ezra Klein gets it very wrong.

The US Senate: Where Democracy Goes to Die.

* Here comes the asteroid mining.

The insane plan to rescue Napoleon from St. Helena by submarine.

14 Great Sci-Fi Stories by Philip K. Dick as Free Audio Books and Free eBooks.

Monday Links

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* This weeks’s denunciation of the dissertation, yours at the Chronicle.

The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden… Is Screwed. Esquire has been publishing some really interesting journalism lately.

“No one who fights for this country overseas should ever have to fight for a job,” Barack Obama said last Veterans’ Day, “or a roof over their head, or the care that they have earned when they come home.”

But the Shooter will discover soon enough that when he leaves after sixteen years in the Navy, his body filled with scar tissue, arthritis, tendonitis, eye damage, and blown disks, here is what he gets from his employer and a grateful nation:

Nothing. No pension, no health care, and no protection for himself or his family.

* marquette.edu is your source for Danny Pudi news.

Rick Nolan, Minnesota Democrat, Unveils Constitutional Amendment To Overturn Citizens United. Sold.

* Artist claims to create 3D facial renderings based on discarded cigarette butts. I am extremely skeptical!

DuckTales invented a new animated wonderland—that quickly disappeared.

Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle is coming to Syfy.

* An Occurrence at the O.C. Bridge: “Arrested Development” is George Sr.’s death row fantasy.

Couple engrossed in their wireless devices ignore each other (1906).

* And Slate asks the unthinkable: what if not every show premise can sustain itself forever?

‘Read the Exegesis If You Must’

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Despite being a major fan of Dick’s work, I have to admit that I question whether this manuscript should have seen print at all, given its often embarrassing rambling and autodidactic fanaticism, with Dick latching onto any stray thread to spin out his cosmogonic web. I certainly find it hard to imagine that there is a widespread audience for this strange assemblage of obiter Dick-ta, even among PKD’s more hardcore followers.

What redeems the work for me, finally, is Dick’s abiding skepticism about his own revelations. Seemingly endless passages of portentous nonsense — such as a lengthy attempt to conscript Julian Jaynes’s crackpot bestseller The Origins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mindinto the warp and woof of his own fixations — suddenly give way to agonizing reappraisals and poignant spasms of self-doubt, as when Dick admits that “I was taken over by my own S-F universe”:

The AI voice [i.e., VALIS] is a special kind of hallucination: one of wish-fulfillment and need, due to loneliness: emotional starvation and grief and ill-use. I just can’t endure life without that lonely voice guiding me, so I regress…. The AI voice is my imaginary playmate, my sister, evolved out of childhood…. I was so unhappy and afraid; like R. Crumb, so behind the 8 ball, so filled with anticipatory dread.

Well, damn it — I don’t regret it. It made a barren, fearful life meaningful and bearable….

Crazy people generally don’t know they’re crazy, and Dick’s abiding awareness of the dubious nature of his visions makes him at worst a pathetic figure, struggling heroically in these pages through madness towards sense, like the sadsack, put-upon protagonists of so many of his novels.

Rob Latham reviews the Exegesis for the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 24, 2012 at 4:00 pm

‘The Trouble Is, Any Revelatory Messages Are Embedded in More than 900 Pages of Impulsive Theorizing, Much of Which Is Self-Referential’

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The New York Times reviews Philip K. Dick’s Exegesis. I worked on this book as a researcher, so my feelings about it, unsurprisingly, are much more positive than the reviewer’s—but I think this may also have something to do with my position as an academic as well as a fan. The book is emphatically not some new, undiscovered PKD novel; it’s something very different, and as Platt warns, that something may just not be for everyone. But for the people that it’s for the Exegesis is a treasure.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 18, 2011 at 11:59 am

From Out of the Pages of Philip K. Dick

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 7, 2011 at 10:28 pm

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