Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘prostitution

Happening Now: Thursday Links!

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* CFP: Resistance and Dissent in America.

* Another piece on Octavia Butler’s Unexpected Stories at LARoB: Noah Berlatsky on Octavia Butler’s “Unexpected Stories” and Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone With the Wind.”

Like a delinquent sibling, Mars is all we’ve got.

* An oral history of Galaxy Quest.

* Comedians in Cars Getting Cocaine.

* Rutgers Athletics: Robbing Academics to Fund Big Sports.  Libraries Receive Shrinking Share of University Expenditures. Historically Black Colleges and Universities Face Uncertain Future. Predictors of depression, stress, and anxiety among non-tenure track faculty.

The Tech Utopia Nobody Wants. The Banality of Dystopia. Soak the Rich: An exchange on capital, debt, and the future. Ancient Apocalypse films use the past to project a reactionary present into the future.

* ThinkProgress on the latest bad-faith nonsense ruling against Obamacare. Don’t worry, the ruling against heath care subsidies is going to be reversed. What the D.C. Circuit Got Wrong About Obamacare.

* BREAKING: Pay It Forward Plans Make Everything Worse.

* BREAKING: The death penalty is an obscene horror show.

Mass incarceration, perhaps the greatest social crisis in modern American history, is without parallel on a global scale.

* The way we live now: One out of every 21 New Yorkers is a millionaire.

* We turned the border into a war zone. Arizona’s Checkpoint Rebellion.

* Change we can believe in: The World Health Organization Wants to Legalize Sex Work and Drugs.

Three Out of Four Newark Police Stops Are Unconstitutional. Prosecutors Are Reading Emails From Inmates to Lawyers.

* Emotional labor and the third machine age.

* Water is a human right, but who is considered a human being?

* What could possibly go wrong? DARPA Wants Wants to Fund Research into “Predatory” Bacteria.

* Parker Lewis Can’t Lose: Women And People Of Color Get Punished For Hiring To Increase Diversity, White Men Get Rewarded.

The Borowitz Problem.

* They say time is the fire in which we burn: The Queen aging over time on bank-notes.

* The time the United States blew up a passenger plane—and tried to cover it up.

* ‘I withdraw’: A talk with climate defeatist Paul Kingsnorth. And it’s not all downside: Climate Change Could Threaten The Future Of Hockey.

* Fracking comes to Durham.

* Wrapping up all the loose ends: Aliens Will Go To Hell So Let’s Stop Looking For Them.

* And someone in Congress edited the ‘Lizard People’ Wikipedia article. I knew. I always knew.

Thursday Links!

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* Working Mom Arrested for Letting Her 9-Year-Old Play Alone at Park. Dad Charged With Child Endangerment After Son Skips Church To Go Play. This Widow’s 4 Kids Were Taken After She Left Them Home Alone. The 90s weren’t THAT long ago, people.

* Afrofuturism, Science Fiction, and the History of the Future.

* The NEH lives! The U.S. House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday reversed a Republican proposal to cut funding to the National Endowment for the Humanities by more than 5 percent in the coming fiscal year.

* The Darker Side of University Endowments.

* Towards the slow university.

* What Happened at City College of San Francisco?

* University of Miami: Let the planet eat Walmarts.

“An unfinished degree barely increases your earnings while costing money and time,” economist Allison Schrager found in a review of the 2013 Current Population Survey. “Dropping out of college,” she said, is “the biggest risk of going to college.”

* The new American exceptionalism: An imperial state unable to impose its will.

* How many people alive today have ever lived part of their conscious lives in a United States of America at peace with the rest of the world? Would someone even older than I am have any meaningful memory of what such a state of peace was like? How many Americans are even capable of imagining such a state? I can remember only two periods, bracketing World War II, when I believed I lived in a nation at peace. And even these were arguably just childish illusions.

The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that Karen Lewis, the president of the Chicago Teachers Union, could challenge Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel this fall. Lewis is reportedly looking into an exploratory committee and plans to put a campaign staffer in each of the city’s 77 community areas. A poll has Lewis leading the mayor, 45 percent to 36 percent, with 18 percent of voters undecided. The Democratic Party education wars continue to heat up. The Coming Democratic Schism.

* Sweden’s School Choice Disaster.

* Meanwhile: How long can the GOP last as the cranky oldster party?

* More Americans are aging in place. Can towns and cities adapt?

Why I’m Not a Liberal.

* As Google’s top hacker, Parisa Tabriz thinks like a criminal—and manages the brilliant, wonky guys on her team with the courage and calm of a hostage negotiator.

No, LeBron James Won’t Bring $500 Million A Year To Cleveland’s Economy.

* How To Talk To Babies About Marxist Theory.

* Pulitzer prize-winner, immigrant advocate detained at McAllen airport.

* Rhode Island accidentally decriminalized prostitution, and good things happened.

* Market Research Says 46.67% of Comic Fans are Female. That’s amazing given how misogynistic so much of the product is. Maybe scratch and sniff comics can drive just a few more away.

* Marvel trolls freaked-out white dudes, day two.

Bsh-pwDIcAEdpST* Firefly: The New Lame Drawing.

* The curious grammar of police shootings.

Federal judge rules California death penalty is unconstitutional.

* Bananalands, transparently doomed proposal to split California into six states can’t even be bothered to come up with names for most of them.

Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega is taking Activision to court over his depiction in Call of Duty: Black Ops II.

* One Hundred Years of the Refrigerator.

* Fixing peer review: 1, 2.

* Will the Supreme Court buy an argument that a corporation holds a sincere religious opposition to unionization? Is PopeCo Catholic?

* Voxsplaining we can believe in: Why the Myers-Briggs test is totally meaningless.

* Then they blew it.

* Original Slip ‘N Slide patent, 1961. Even the kids in the photo have broken bones.

Could We Drink The Water On Mars?

* Swedish man and his prolific bot are responsible for 8.5% of all Wikipedia articles.

A Woman Meets 30 Alternate Versions Of Herself. And They’re All Better. Trailer for indie SF flick You, Me & Her, which looks great.

* And a YouTube quality 12 Monkeys reboot is really going to air on SyFy for some reason. Ripping off Continuum for good measure…

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Tuesday Morning Links

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* From the archives: The university is no longer primarily a site of production (of a national labor force or national culture) as it was in the 1970s and 80s, but has become primarily a site of capital investment and accumulation. The historical process through which this transformation was implemented is long and complicated, and we cannot give a detailed account of it here. Instead, we want to describe the general shape of this new model and the consequences it might have for political action in a university setting. We take as paradigmatic the case of the University of Michigan, where this model has been worked out in its most developed form and from which it is spreading across the United States, as university administrators across the country look to and emulate what they glowingly call the “Michigan model.” In this new university, instruction is secondary to ensuring the free flow of capital. Bodies in classrooms are important only to the extent that money continues to flow through the system. It is a university that in a global sense has ceased to be a university—its primary purpose is no longer education but circulation. This is the new logic of the university. If we want to fight it, we have to understand it.

Merit, Diversity and Grad Admissions.

* Big Data and Graduation Rates.

* Teaching the controversy in California, Holocaust edition.

* Another absolutely botched college investigation of a sexual assault.

* Violent Abuse of the Mentally Ill Is Routine, Widespread at Rikers Island.

* Bullshitting about Gaza.

* Malcolm Harris on redheads and playacting racist.

* Why it’s time we talked about the sex lives of humanitarians.

* Shouting About Diving, but Shrugging About Concussions. How to stop FIFA from being such a parasite. Could the World Cup Champion Beat the Best Club Team in the World? Stadiums and/as prisons. Another World Cup Is Possible.

* That’s… ominous. Parts of Yellowstone National Park closed after massive supervolcano beneath it melts roads.

* Buzzfeed has a longread about the behavior of a long-term predator in an elite California private school.

* Meanwhile, Pope Francis’s back-of-the-envelope calculation of the number of predators in the clergy is utterly horrifying.

* Demolition unearths legacy of toxic pollution at Milwaukee plant.

* Is Milwaukee the No. 1 city for tech? Not so fast.

* The July effect is real: new doctors really do make hospitals more dangerous.

* Joss Whedon has written more Buffy the Vampire Slayer. True fact!

Behind-The-Scenes Footage Of Buffy Stunts Is the Ultimate Time Suck.

On the legacy of Dungeons & Dragons.

* Against natural gas as a “transition fuel.”

* If you pretend precedent is meaningful and the rule of law is an operative concept in America, and squint real hard, here’s a way Hobby Lobby could be good news for liberals.

There is, Steve estimates, room enough on the ark for 23 people to live comfortably. And Australians are welcome. Singles, couples, families, believers. All that’s required is a $300 one way ticket from Brisbane to Luganville and a commitment that means forever.

* A bit on the nose, don’t you think? Two Fruitland Park, Fla. cops have lost their jobs after an FBI source named the two as members of the Ku Klux Klan.

* Uber and rape: Seattle Police Clear Uber Driver of Rape Charge, But Not Sexual Assault.

* When Park Middle School cheated on a high-stakes test.

* The goal of ethics is to maximize human flourishing.

* And the new Doctor Who trailer fills me with a little bit of sadness: I was really hoping the Capaldi era would be more swashbuckling than brooding. I guess I’m looking forward to Moffat moving on.

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Sunday Reading at 10,000 Feet

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

* Highest-ranking administrator at Marquette abruptly resigns.

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

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

* The first issue of Porn Studies is available online.

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

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

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

* Marching on: marriage equality in Michigan.

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

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

* Black Preschoolers Face An Epidemic Of Suspensions.

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

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

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

* The comforts of dystopia.

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

* I’m addicted to my job.

* CNN, still the absolute worst of all time.

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

* The Town That Turned Poverty Into a Prison Sentence.

* My dementia.

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

* And killjoy scientists strike again.

Thursday Links!

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Bin4w6fCAAEB3Ju-1* Marquette makes Slate’s vaunted “ridiculous phrases universities have trademarked” list. Meanwhile, Danny Pudi’s Marquette-flavored entry in the 30 for 30 series is up at Grantland. Jesuit author featured on ‘The Colbert Report’ to speak at Marquette University commencement.

* The academic outrage of the year is Nazareth College rescinding an offer following a request for more salary, research accommodation, and “official” maternity leave. I’ve been ranting about this on Twitter (1, 2, etc) (and now MetaFilter) all day but I can’t see how people can see this as anything but naked gender discrimination. I hope she sues.

* I know there’s a whole secondary argument on Twitter about the propriety of Buzzfeed’s appropriation here, but I found @steenfox‘s thread incredibly powerful last night. What Were You Wearing When You Were Assaulted?

* This is one of my favorite endlessly recurring Internet images: “Do colleges have to hire RED professors?” asks The American Legion Magazine in Nov. 1951.

The Humanities Crisis Industry.

Workers Sue McDonald’s For Wage Theft Violations In Three States.

Chicago Police Cannot Keep Complaints Of Brutality Secret Anymore, Court Rules. Why could they ever?

Louisiana’s longest-serving death row prisoner walks free after 30 years.

My Life as a Retail Worker: Nasty, Brutish, and Poor.

Study: Women Who Can Do Math Still Don’t Get Hired.

“Is it time to rethink the 40 hour week?” Yes, it’s time to think about bringing it back.

University of California Credit Is Downgraded by Moody’s.

I’ll give it to Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in this regard. I had, up until last night, found Ward to be one of the blandest characters on the show. But now he has my sympathies. Because that character is stuck in a world where terrible things happen and, when they happen to him, no one cares.

* Free markets! Disruption! Innovation!

Journalism startups aren’t a revolution if they’re filled with all these white men. How To Make A Pundit. And I can’t wait to see how they voxplain this.

* I want to return to a thread I introduced in that earlier piece with much greater force: That those who write for free or very little simply because they can afford to are scabs. I don’t endorse this piece, honestly, because I think it significantly misunderstands the terms under which TT academics are employed — but I found it an interesting provocation nonetheless.

WI school officials seize control over student paper after ‘rape culture’ article appears.

* Paul Ryan: Just The Worst.

* I have never seen anything as utterly nihilistic as the position Andrew Napolitano proudly puts his name on here. It’s unreal.

* The Sheep Look Up: Radioactive ‘Oil Socks’ Found Illegally Stockpiled In Abandoned North Dakota Gas Station. North Carolina Environmental Agency Removes Climate Change Links From Website. Panasonic First Multinational Company To Pay Air Pollution Hardship For Overseas Workers In China. NASA Study: Climate Sensitivity Is High So ‘Long-Term Warming Likely To Be Significant.’

* The economics of prostitution.

* Seinfeld After People.

* The best TV show you may not be watching: Review from Andy Daly. Also starring another Comedy Bang Bang stalwart, Jessica “Marissa Wompler” St. Clair.

Hands Off My Kid’s iPad.

* Abolish letter grades.

* Reuters auctioning off unpaid internships. My god.

The only thing Americans care about less than climate change is race relations.

“They cry because they are not allowed to be children at all.”

* Scott Aukerman explains BetweenTwoFernsGhazi.

* Teju Cole: @apieceofthewall.

* And the future is terrible.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 13, 2014 at 9:29 pm

Tuesday Links!

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This is not a glitch in the system. It is the system. Readers are gullible, the media is feckless, garbage is circulated around, and everyone goes to bed happy and fed. The Year We Broke the Internet.

* A lengthy think-piece on the place of rhetoric and composition in the modern university.

But who gets to write in The New York Times – and to whom is The New York Times accessible? If we’re talking about accessibility and insularity, it’s worth looking at The New York Times’s own content generation cycle and the relationship between press junkets and patronage.

Lately, some people have suggested that doctoral programs should take somemodest steps in order to keep track of what happens to their Ph.D.s after graduation. It’s a good idea, and these suggestions are made with the best of intentions, even if they’re coming about 50 years too late. They are, unfortunately, looking in the wrong place as far as you are concerned. You can’t just count up how many of a program’s graduates end up as professors—otherwise, the best qualification you could get in grad school is marrying a professor of engineering or accountancy who can swing a spousal hire for you. Instead, there is just one thing you should be looking at: What percentage of a program’s graduates are hired for tenure-track jobs through competitive searches?

Rutgers Boosts Athletic Subsidies to Nearly $50 Million.

Rutgers University, already the most prolific subsidizer of sports of all Division I public institutions, gave its athletics department nearly $47 million in 2012-13, USA Today reported, a 67.9 percent increase over the 2011-12 subsidy of $27.9 million. Rutgers athletics is $79 million in the red, but officials say that the university’s move to the Big Ten Conference will generate close to $200 million over its first 12 years as a member. The most recent subsidies make up 59.9 percent of the athletics department’s total allocations, and total more than the entire operating revenues at all but 53 of Division I’s 228 public sports programs.

* Sell your book, go broke.

* State-by-state misery index. Wisconsin’s doing pretty all right, and that’s counting the existence of Wiscsonin winters…

* Meanwhile, Arizona is once again officially the absolute worst.

* The latest on adjuncts and the ACA.

A New York and Chicago Mom Discover What Standardized Rigor Really Means for Their Children.

RIP Harold Ramis. A New Yorker profile from 2004.

American Aqueduct: The Great California Water Saga.

How Slavery Made the Modern World.

 

* Down an unremarkable side street in Southwark, London, is a fenced lot filled with broken concrete slabs, patches of overgrown grass and the odd piece of abandoned construction equipment. Its dark history and iron gates separate this sad little patch from the outside world. Lengths of ribbon, handwritten messages and tokens weave a tight pattern through the bars of the rusty gates … all tributes to the 15,000 Outcast Dead of London. Thanks, Liz!

2014 Graduate Scholarships and Fellowships That Do Not Require Proof of US Citizenship or Legal Permanent Residency.

* Geronrockandrolltocracy: On average, the Rolling Stones are older than the Supreme Court.

* Ghostbusters and Reaganism.

* The Digital Comics Museum.

* Is Venezula burning? Everything you know about Ukraine is wrong.

The Long, Slow Surrender of American Liberals. What the hell is Barack Obama’s presidency for?

Having a Gun in the House Doesn’t Make a Woman Safer.

The financially strapped University of California system is losing about $6 million each year due to risky bets on interest rates under deals pushed by Wall Street banks.

Here’s why you shouldn’t buy a US-to-Europe flight more than two months in advance.

@Millicentsomer announces her plan to be supremely disappointed in House of Cards season three.

* Suburban soccer club has so much money no one notices two separate officers embezzling over $80,000.

* Antimonies of e-cigarettes.

* Another Day, Another Oil Spill Shuts Down 65 Miles Of The Mississippi River.

* Department of Mixed Feelings: Marquette likely to get its own police force.

* BREAKING: Bitcoin is a huge scam. Charlie Stross schadenfreudes.

Gawker Can’t Stop Watching This Live Feed of Porn Site Searches.

* New state of matter discovered in chicken’s eye gunk.

* Your one-stop-shop for Harry Potter overthinking.

* And Ralph Nader still thinks only the super-rich can save us now.

 

Wednesday Morning!

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021814-nu-union-150* Man tragically unable to remember saying Barack Obama would make a great president says Hillary Clinton will make a great president. Meanwhile, the rest of us are reduced to talking about Obama’s secret achievements.

* Faculty on Strike at UIC.

Solitary Confinement May Dramatically Alter Brain Shape In Just Days, Neuroscientist Says.

* Last Night on Jeopardy No One Wanted to Answer Qs About Black History.

Noose Found Around The Neck Of Statue Honoring Civil Rights Icon At Ole Miss.

* On Teaching While Black.

What Does it Mean that Most Children’s Books Are Still About White Boys?

The J.R.R. Tolkien Manuscripts: Public Showings in 2014.

* Here are the hoops a college football team has to jump through to be allowed to form a union.

* 84-Year Old Nun Sentenced To Prison For Weapons Plant Break-In.

Academic freedom with violence.

Has humanity produced enough paint to cover the entire land area of the Earth? The dream remains alive.

* Whistle-blower fired from Hanford nuclear site.

“We do not agree with her assertions that she suffered retaliation or was otherwise treated unfairly,” URS said, adding Busche was fired for reasons unrelated to the safety concerns. “Ms. Busche’s allegations will not withstand scrutiny.”

Busche is the second Hanford whistle-blower to be fired by URS in recent months. Walter Tamosaitis, who also raised safety concerns about the plant, was fired in October after 44 years of employment.

* A new China Miéville short story collection, scheduled for November 2014.

* A world of horrors: There is no such thing as a child prostitute.

In the same way that certain styles of dance simulate sex, the Winter Olympics simulates scraping one’s February-chapped nostrils against the surface of a Kleenex whose aloe content is useless and reaching out for the warm escape of death. It’s an art of failed suicide attempts.

* A preliminary sketch of the data reveals, of course, that by 2050 films will be reviewing us.

* “First, why would we even think about letting it go through?”

“This whole thing is totally and completely bonkers.”

Grace Kerr sometimes jokes with her family that “Amanda was not that great. Zach is awesome.” What she means is that her son is finally happy, and is helping others.

* Diseased and unsound meat: Hot Pockets®!

In Act Of Protest, Ai Weiwei Vase Is Destroyed At Miami Museum.

* News You Can Use: Why It’s Nearly Impossible to Castrate a Hippo.

A portrait of Steve Jobs made entirely out of e-waste.

* The Ice Caves of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.

Candy Crush: Addictive Game, Incredible Business, Horrible Investment.

How the north ended up on top of the map.

* Inside Kappa Beta Phi, the Wall Street Fraternity.

* And our long national nightmare is over: Obama apologizes for disparaging art historians.

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A Few for Friday

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I had a ton of links late last night in case you missed it, but here’s a few more for this morning:

Ginsberg’s view is Malthusian. Administrators breed unless checked.

* Are all adjunct contracts illegal? Seems worth looking into…

If the White House wants to pay attention to something important, they might start there rather than embracing the hope that market forces will automagically deploy the MOOC to finally relieve the technocrats of the burden of maintaining and extending public goods.

Elsevier is a commercial firm that publishes some of the leading journals in many academic fields. In recent weeks, it has sent takedown notices to the academic social media network Academia.edu, as well as to the University of Calgary, the University of California-Irvine, and Harvard University. Why would Elsevier pick a fight with Harvard? That seems suicidal. Harvard could start up a nonprofit publishing firm for academic journals and not even notice the money was gone.

* When “Life Hacking” Is Really White Privilege.

Top court strikes down Canada’s ‘overly broad’ anti-prostitution laws. Wow.

* This Guy Thinks All Pro Sports Are Rigged. I thought everyone knew this now…

* Obama suddenly dropping pardons. Thirteen! Just a few million to go.

* BREAKING: The point of voting is to build and maintain hegemony.

* And your tumblr of forever: 70sscifiart.tumblr.com.

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Thursday Night Bummerwatch

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* With all the bad news today, this is the one that really breaks my brain: Texas Says It’s OK to Shoot an Escort If She Won’t Have Sex With You. That’s completely lunatic. I just can’t believe it’s a real event that happened.

* My friend Brent Bellamy has a working bibliography of U.S. post-apocalyptic fiction.

Inequality, MOOCs and The Predator Elite.

Think about the writing-for-free model that has taken over journalism.  His point can be supported by the millions made by Arianna Huffington, while many of her writers worked for little or nothing.  Yes, writing is one of what Lanier is calling the “pleasant” jobs — as is teaching (I didn’t say easy.  But dedicated writers and educators alike see what they do as rewarding and important work.)  Why should journalists or educators be working for little to no money, living at the edge of poverty, while the people at the top of this sort of economic structure are reaping enormous fortune?  According to Lanier, this is a conscious breach of the all-important social contract that not only provides what he calls the “hump” of middle class citizens — that middle area surge on the economic chart where the majority of people fall — but that large, sustained middle class keeps the rest of the system going.  Without it, the economy fails, as does democracy itself.

A Dangerous Supplement: Speculative Realism, Academic Blogging, and the Future of Philosophy.

Silicon Valley’s Awful Race and Gender Problem in 3 Mind-Blowing Charts.

* And MetaFilter goes inside World War Z, a film “already being called the biggest flop in film history.” So at least there’s that.

Wednesday MOOCs, Strikes, Scandals, Snubs, and Flubs

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* The fast food workers’ strike hits Milwaukee.

MOOCs and For Profit Universities: A Closer Look. Aaron’s put the extended text of his talk up at TNI: The MOOC Moment and the End of Reform.

The first thing I want to do, then, is slow us down a bit, and go through the last year with a bit more care than we’re usually able to do, to do a “close reading” of the year of the MOOC, as it were. Not only because I have the time, but because, to be blunt, MOOC’s only make sense if you don’t think about it too much, if you’re in too much of a hurry to go deeply into the subject.

U-Va. MOOC finds high attrition, high satisfaction. Georgia Tech goes full-on MOOC Masters Degree.

* Obama student loan policy overcharging student borrowers by at least 51 billion dollars.

IRS Sent Same Letter to Democrats That Fed Tea Party Row. Gasp! You mean this whole scandal isn’t?

* Adam Kotsko on the US as a party state.

The really disturbing thing is that the party duopoly renders both parties above the law. We can see this in the IRS scandal that is currently unfolding: although there are very good reasons to suspect Tea Party organizations of being less than completely upright when it comes to taxes, the formal state apparatus is likely to back down and sanction the agents who carried out those investigations, because the appearance of neutrality vis-à-vis the two parties is more important than the rule of law. Similarly, one cannot prosecute Bush-era war crimes, because that would be an illegitimately “partisan” move. Given that Clinton and Obama have both committed similar atrocities, one might have some sympathy with the inevitable Republican whining that would accompany a Bush prosecution — it genuinely wouldn’t be “fair.” But it’s when one asks why we don’t just prosecute Bush and Obama that we realize that the two parties are truly above the law — a bipartisan agreement on foreign policy trumps even the most sacred norms of international law.

Six Reasons Why Race-and-IQ Scholarship is an Intellectual and Moral Dead End, with bonus followup.

In the US, it’s common to think of sickle cell anemia, a genetic condition, as a “black disease,” and in fact statistics on prevalence bear that out — black Americans are far more likely than whites to carry the sickle cell gene. But that fact, it turns out, is a result of ethnicity and history, not race.

Sickle cell is common in some parts of Africa, and some parts of Europe, but not others. As it turns out, most American blacks have ancestral origins in areas of sickle-cell prevalence, and most American whites do not. But if the geographic distribution of Americans’ ancestors were different — if, for instance, the country had been settled by South African blacks and Sicilian whites — the incidence of sickle cell in the white population would be higher than the incidence in the black population.

Race is a form of shorthand, in other words. It’s an approximation. In some situations, for some purposes, it’s a useful approximation. If you’re trying to tell someone which of your several friends named Jim you’re referring to, specifying that you mean “the white Jim” may be helpful, and if you’re trying to get the most bang for your buck in a sickle-cell awareness media campaign, targeting black media may have merit.

But the fact remains that Nelson Mandela is at less risk of sickle cell than Al Pacino.

See also Race and IQ: That Old Canard.

* Even the Onion wouldn’t stoop this low for a bit: Soldier In Charge of Sex Assault Prevention Accused of Abuse, Pimping.

* Homeland Security goes after Bitcoin.

Media Matters humiliates itself.

* And xkcd reports on which running jokes the aliens are just finding out about.

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Friday!

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15 Geeky College Courses You Won’t Believe Actually Exist. The Tolkien class I’m inheriting is #8. Fall 2014!

“The rich get education and the poor get training,” Carnevale said. “It’s a way of reproducing class. The higher education system is now in cahoots with the economy to reproduce class.” Already, he added, “there are a lot of kids who are not getting a real education any more. They’re getting training.”

Double Majors Produce Dynamic Thinkers, Study Finds. That’s why I majored in both English and Philosophy.

When the Vietnam Veterans Memorial opened 30 years ago this month, something unexpected happened: People started leaving things at the wall. One veteran has spent decades cataloging the letters, mementos, and other artifacts of loss—all 400,000 of them.

The NYPD will arrest you for carrying condoms, but that depends entirely on who you are.

* More in NYPD-related travesties: Women who report domestic violence are exposing themselves to arrest under a new NYPD directive that orders cops to run criminal checks on the accused and the accuser, The Post has learned.

* The Washington Post is shocked, shocked to find money driving decisions in the NCAA.

* Now fourteen adults have been “functionally cured” of HIV.

* Well, there you have it: The Vatican lashed out at what it called a “defamatory” and “anti-clerical left-wing” campaign to discredit Pope Francis over his actions during Argentina’s 1976-1983 military junta, saying no credible accusation had ever stuck against the new pope.

Rob Thomas: I did get an email from Bryan Fuller earlier today saying, ‘Hey, can you jump on the phone with me at some point? I know you’re busy, but I would love to talk to you about how this thing works.’ And I know it was specifically for “Pushing Daisies.”

“Jesus, Grampa, what did you read me this thing for?”

* And in local news: A Wisconsin court has banned a local man from all the libraries on the planet after he was caught openly masturbating inside the Racine Public Library.

Seriously, Like, 10,000 Sunday Links

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Backed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the SUNY20/20 Act sounds the death knell of universal, affordable education.

In May, President Obama visited SUNY’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) for a bro-hug with Governor Andrew Cuomo and a speechpraising Albany’s silicon-driven economic agenda. The president’s stamp on Cuomo’s development plan, which calls for public-private research partnerships centered at New York’s university hubs, earned the governor early points for a potential 2016 White House run. In exchange, Obama could tout New York as a state-level version of his ideal economic agenda while jabbing Congress for moving more slowly than Cuomo.

“I want what’s happening at Albany to happen all across the country,” he said, “places like Cleveland, and Pittsburgh, and Raleigh.”

The Crisis in Higher Education. Spoiler: it’s MOOCs.

* Get pepper-sprayed by campus cops, get not all that much money at all considering.

* Quitting an Adjunct Career.

* Great moments in neoliberalism: Under Germany’s welfare reforms, any woman under 55 who has been out of work for more than a year can be forced to take an available job – including in the sex industry – or lose her unemployment benefit. Last month German unemployment rose for the 11th consecutive month to 4.5 million, taking the number out of work to its highest since reunification in 1990. Too good to check! Damn you, Snopes!

* Great moments in neoliberalism, part 2: Camden is going to solve its crime problem by firing its entire police force. But don’t get too excited; it’s just a union-busting thing.

* While we’re on the subject: I just figured out a way to cut crime by 5% overnight.

* Kaplan Post balance sheet suffering as the for-profit scam university sector takes a haircut.

* What I caught up on while I was traveling: Evan Calder Williams on Cop Comedies.  The Prison-Educational Complex. Anti-Anti-Parasitism. Chris Hayes’s Twilight of the Elites.

A graduate of Brown University, Hayes’s path was essentially paved by sixth grade when he passed the entrance exam to attend New York’s Hunter High School—one of the best public schools in the country, and one in which only a standardized test determined admission. But as he points out, one test score hides much—including an entire test-preparation industry that only the wealthy can access. Hayes quotes at length the remarkable 2010 commencement address by 18-year-old Justin Hudson, who laid bare the lie of merit that Hunter perpetuated: “I feel guilty because I don’t deserve any of this. And neither do any of you. We received an outstanding education at no charge based solely on our performance on a test we took when we were eleven-year-olds.”

* BREAKING: Poll Averages Have No History of Consistent Partisan Bias.

* Here it is, mere days after everyone’s already stopped being annoyed about it: Rebecca Solnit’s “Stop Leftsplaining!”

* Freddie de Boer: I don’t know how else it say it, considering I’ve said it a thousand times. I want my country to stop killing innocent people. Our Bipartisan Apathy Toward Civilian Drone Deaths. Why I Refuse to Vote for Barack Obama. Is It Moral for Lefties to Vote for Obama? The Thing about Drones.

* The weird thing about the you-stupid-lefties craze is Obama is decisively winning, Were they just afraid they wouldn’t have a chance to punch any hippies this year? Don’t they know it never goes out of season, no matter what happens?

* On the other side: Romney Aides “Pretty Resigned” to Losing. Is the GOP still a national party? And, of course, poll denialism.

* As if Obama needed the help, the economy turns out to be not quite as bad as reported. Still awful though.

* Americans growing tired of the glories of gridlock. It’s too bad our institutions are designed to essentially guarantee it.

* On undecided voters.

* Wheelchair citizenship.

The absence of pity of any sort from Kim E. Nielsen’s new book A Disability History of the United States, published by Beacon Press, is hardly the most provocative thing about it. Nielsen, a professor of disability studies at the University of Toledo, indicates that it is the first book “to create a wide-ranging chronological American history narrative told through the lives of people with disabilities.” By displacing the able-bodied, self-subsisting individual citizen as the basic unit (and implied beneficiary) of the American experience, she compels the reader to reconsider how we understand personal dignity, public life, and the common good.

Take the “ugly laws,” for instance. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, major American cities made it illegal for (in the words of the San Francisco ordinance from 1867) “any person who is diseased, maimed, mutilated, or in any way deformed so as to be an unsightly or disgusting object” to appear in “streets, highways, thoroughfares, or public places.”

Enterprising Dog Becomes the Ranking Police Officer in a Small New Mexican Town. Nikka 2016?

* If all men were Republicans, would you let your daughter marry one?

* I might have done this one before, but it’s so visually striking: The True Size of Africa.

* All the secrets from Joss Whedon’s Avengers commentary.

25 facts about Star Trek: The Next Generation you might not know.

* xkcd vs. fantasy metallurgy.

* In which Curiosity finds a river bed on Mars.

* My homeland: New Jersey bans smiling in driver’s license photographs. Now, if we could just ban smiling in photographs altogether…

* American tragedies: Man Shoots, Kills Suspected Burglar at Sister’s House Only to Find Out It Was His Teen Son. Pertussis epidemic in Washington.

* This story has everything! “Buddhist ‘Iron Man’ found by Nazis is from space.”

* Film Genre Over Time.

* How to Buy a Daughter. Fascinating that upper middle class Americans prefer daughters.

* Here come the Definite Harry Potter Uncut Final Director’s Cut Special Editions.

* William Gibson: The Complete io9 inteview.

* An oral history of Cheers.

* On being diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Meet Leland Chee, the Star Wars Franchise Continuity Cop.

* The end of growth?

* And they solved global warming; they’ll just make the snow for ski slopes out of “100 percent sewage effluent.” You’re welcome, future.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 30, 2012 at 8:41 am

Thursday!

with 3 comments

* An inspiring New York Times op-ed argues we should just let go ahead and let the banks own students outright.

* Grantland overthinks the Alien franchise.

* Let’s admit it: The US is at war in Yemen, too.

* Western cultural imperialism Bingo.

“I have some grudging admiration for them,” said Akhil Amar, a professor of law and political science at Yale and author of a book on the Constitution. “All the more so because it’s such a bad argument. They have been politically brilliant. They needed a simplistic metaphor, and in broccoli they got it.”

A USA TODAY investigation, based on court records and interviews with government officials and attorneys, found more than 60 men who went to prison for violating federal gun possession laws, even though courts have since determined that it was not a federal crime for them to have a gun.

Still, the Justice Department has not attempted to identify the men, has made no effort to notify them, and, in a few cases in which the men have come forward on their own, has argued in court that they should not be released.

* Interview with a john. What’s most striking, I think, is the extent to which specific knowledge of these women’s sometimes brutal exploitation has no apparent effect upon his behavior  at all.

* Is there any limit to SuperPAC spending?

* The Believer interviews WTF’s Marc Maron.

* #OccupyGaddis starts tomorrow.

* We are all MacGyver now.

* Thirteen ways of looking at a Catwoman cover.

* And today’s quiz: Which of these drugs are medications you can find in the real world, and which are just comic book drugs?

Sunday!

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* Suppose you were alive back in 1945 and were told about all the new technology that would be invented between then and now: the computers and internet, mobile phones and other consumer electronics, faster and cheaper air travel, super trains and even outer space exploration, higher gas mileage on the ground, plastics, medical breakthroughs and science in general. You would have imagined what nearly all futurists expected: that we would be living in a life of leisure society by this time. Rising productivity would raise wages and living standards, enabling people to work shorter hours under more relaxed and less pressured workplace conditions.

Why hasn’t this occurred in recent years? In light of the enormous productivity gains since the end of World War II – and especially since 1980 – why isn’t everyone rich and enjoying the leisure economy that was promised? If the 99% is not getting the fruits of higher productivity, who is? Where has it gone?

* Corey Robin and Adam Kotsko on violence and “national security.” Here’s Adam:

To me, this is the ultimate disproof of the secular liberal contention that religion is the biggest possible cause of violence. Literally nothing could be more rigorously secular than “reasons of state,” and yet this principle has led to millions upon millions of deaths in the 20th Century alone. Of course, one could always fall back on the same dodge that allows one to get around the deaths caused by International Communism, for instance — “yes, they may have been officially atheistic, but in the last analysis Stalinism and Maoism are really religious in structure” — in order to define away abberant forms of “national security.”

And I think this typical dodge shows why the notion of religion as chief cause of violence has such a powerful hold — what “religion” signifies in such statements isn’t a body of beliefs and rituals, etc., but irrationality itself. It’s this irrationality that makes “religious violence” violent, not the body count. Within this framework, then, when rational people — for example, legitimate statesmen calculating the national interest — use violence for rational ends, it is not, properly speaking, violence. It is simply necessity.

(That’s the same reason why my typical rejoinder to “religious violence” rhetoric — “ever heard of money?” — also doesn’t work: the profit motive is rationality itself and could never be violent.)

Birth to 12 years in 2 min. 45.

* Undocumented Immigrants Paid $11.2 Billion In Taxes While GE Paid Nothing.

* Whistleblower Reveals Widespread Bribery By Walmart In Mexico.

* Swing States Are Swinging Toward Obama. But how will voters react when it comes out that PROSTITUTION!!!!

Wisconsin’s Planned Parenthood suspends non-surgical abortions.

* Against lotteries: Taking money from people who have little and are powerless against even the slightest chance of escaping poverty is the kind of activity usually associated with the Mafia and street gangs. State governments are more than happy to play the part though, and they’ve gone far beyond anything organized crime ever did in terms of exploiting the desperation of the poor and selling them false hope with terrible odds. Lotteries that take their money for the explicit purpose of giving it to people who are financially better off is evidence of how completely our governments – particularly here in the South – have abandoned even the pretense of holding the moral high ground. They’ve identified the victims of an exploitative system and chosen to use that to their advantage. More here.

Here’s an interesting wrinkle I’ve encountered in a few places. Many scholars sign work-made-for-hire deals with the universities that employ them. That means that the copyright for the work they produce on the job is vested with their employers — the universities — and not the scholars themselves. Yet these scholars routinely enter into publishing contracts with the big journals in which they assign the copyright — which isn’t theirs to bargain with — to the journals. This means that in a large plurality of cases, the big journals are in violation of the universities’ copyright. Technically, the universities could sue the journals for titanic fortunes. Thanks to the “strict liability” standard in copyright, the fact that the journals believed that they had secured the copyright from the correct party is not an effective defense, though technically the journals could try to recoup from the scholars, who by and large don’t have a net worth approaching one percent of the liability the publishers face.

Senator Frank Church – who chaired the famous “Church Committee” into the unlawful FBI Cointel program, and who chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee – said in 1975:

“Th[e National Security Agency's]  capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide.  [If a dictator ever took over, the N.S.A.] could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back.“

Now, the NSA is building a $2 billion dollar facility in Utah which will use the world’s most powerful supercomputer to monitor virtually all phone calls, emails, internet usage, purchases and rentals, break all encryption, and then store everyone’s data permanently.

* And Mark Stone was an undercover anarchist.

Wednesday Night Links

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* The local alt-weekly asked me to write a short piece about Facebook as part of their cover story on social media and The Social Network. Here’s what I came up with.

* Science fiction comes alive: we’re discovering tidal-locked Earthlike planets with thin habitable bands and an approximately 100% chance for life and building artificial wombs.

* The headline reads, “Swanky new Vegas hotel’s ‘death ray’ proves inconvenient for some guests.” Case’s fancy Frank Gehry building has a similar heat-ray side effect, with bonus surprise avalanches throughout Cleveland’s miserable ten-month winter.

* We must desecrate Muslim graves, or the terrorists will win.

* A judge has decriminalized prostitution in Ontario on the grounds that existing anti-prostitution laws hurt women. This is a big step forward, if at the same time something like the lesser of two evils. Legalization by itself is not a panacea.

* Rumors of Wes Anderson’s next. I’m not happy about this:

But The Playlist talked to sources and heard that Anderson is seeking to cast a boy and girl, each 12, for the lead roles. That leads to supposition that Anderson might be moving forward in a mode inspired by Fantastic Mr. Fox, which would be not such a bad thing at all. Younger characters, a more youthful tone and/or family-oriented story?

* It is really hard to win the Mega Millions lottery. So hard that it can be difficult to comprehend what long odds confront its players.

Why not try for free on this Mega Millions lottery simulator? You’ll be able to try the same numbers over and over, simulating playing twice a week for a year or 10. You’ll never win. Via Cynical-C.

* John McCain, climate conspiracy theorist.

In 2007, McCain said of global warming: “Unequivocally I believe that it’s real.” He also accurately predicted that global warming means “much more violent weather patterns that are going to — and then of course that increases the disasters that befall countries like Bangladesh.” Sadly, now that Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh have faced catastrophic floods of an unprecedented scale during the hottest year ever recorded, McCain is a global warming skeptic. The Straight Talk Express has derailed into the Tea Party abyss.

* James O’Keefe, huge dirtbag. More here.

* James Cameron vs. the tar sands.

* And these hot new doctoral rankings have been scientifically engineered to make everyone feel as bad as possible. Enjoy!

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