Posts Tagged ‘research’
* Call for applications: 2014—15 Le Guin Feminist Science Fiction Fellowship.
* And this is the pattern with austerity. The measures introduced under the rubric of an emergency, the supposed need to consolidate debt and appease “the market,” ultimately do little for the debt, and only consolidate the market’s tyrannical reach.
But the emotional trauma that Disney tries its damnedest to induce in young children is only the spadework for the ugly principles it feels it must implant in each new generation. Although the film takes place in an imaginary jungle, THE LION KING really expounds the Law of the Schoolyard: only the strong and the beautiful triumph, and the powerless survive only by serving the strong. As Disney sees it, children must not only acknowledge the supremacy of those born privileged and violent, the children must love them. The young must gaze in hushed veneration at the princely predators who stand ready to harvest the labor and flesh of their subjects. They must learn to giggle at the hopeless scampering of weak and stubby creatures as they dodge the jaws of their overlords. They must accept that true friendship means flattering those who would otherwise feast on their entrails.
* Kunkel reviews Piketty. The circle is complete.
* Title Now Everybody Sue Everybody: expulsion and sexual assault at IHE.
* If you or any other speculator on my body and rights, wish to know how I regard my rights, they need but come here and lay their hands on me to enslave me. Did you think to terrify me by presenting the alternative to give my money to you, or give my body to Slavery? Then let me say to you, that I meet the proposition with unutterable scorn and contempt.
* “You express amazement at my statement that ‘civilized’ men try to justify their looting, butchering and plundering by claiming that these things are done in the interests of art, progress and culture. That this simple statement of fact should cause surprise, amazes me in return.”
* What could go wrong? Missouri School Districts Start Training Teachers To Carry Concealed Weapons In Classroom.
* Free at last: Oakland to decriminalize pinball.
* Commencement speech bingo. More links below!
* Thousands of Toddlers Are Medicated for A.D.H.D., Report Finds, Raising Worries. Well, yes, I’m definitely worried. That’s madness.
* “Hood disease.” My God, don’t call it that.
* It places the United States in the top spot, ahead of Sweden and Canada, which come in at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. Yet when the scores are adjusted for national levels of income, the United States drops to 15th place, behind such developing countries as China and Serbia.
* If you want to help low-income students succeed, it’s not enough to deal with their academic and financial obstacles. You also need to address their doubts and misconceptions and fears.
* The proposed rule would cut off student aid to career-focused programs at for-profit and nonprofit colleges if the program’s student-loan default rate reached 30 percent or if half of its graduates failed two student-loan debt standards.
* MRA city councilman files Title IX complaint on behalf of U Oregon players arbitrarily kicked off team after DA slow-walks the process to protect their eligibility for March Madness and then declines to bring charges, thereby completing the circle of shitshow.
* According to faculty accounts, deans received an email from the administration on the evening of May 5, alerting them to a meeting the next day about staffing issues. At that meeting, deans in certain colleges were told they needed to cut a prescribed number of full-time faculty positions. Of 16 total cuts, 11 were to come from the College of Arts and Sciences, faculty members said. Deans were given two days – until Thursday – to consult with their department chairs about which faculty members to terminate. Affected instructors were notified that day.
* The best way to think of the dilemma is keeping in mind the three things Obama wants his regulations to accomplish: He wants them to effectively reduce carbon pollution, he wants them not to cost consumers too much, and he wants to be sure they can survive legal challenge. The trouble is that he can only pick two of these. And the primary question weighing on administration regulators as they make their decision will be how to read the mind of Anthony Kennedy.
The voluntariat performs skilled work that might still command a wage without compensation, allegedly for the sake of the public good, regardless of the fact that it also contributes directly and unambiguously to the profitability of a corporation. Like the proletariat, then, the voluntariat permits the extraction of surplus value through its labor.
But unlike the proletariat’s labor, the voluntariat’s has become untethered from wages. The voluntariat’s labor is every bit as alienable as the proletariat’s — Coursera’s Translator Contract leaves no doubt about that — but it must be experienced by the voluntariat as a spontaneous, non-alienated gift.
* Medical nightmare of the week: Morgellons disease.
* Speculative genetic explanations for social phenomena have an old and undistinguished history, some of which Wade reviews superficially, presumably to demonstrate his skill at reviewing topics superficially. The common thread, though, is that such explanations have always been (1) put forward to establish a bio-political point, to draw imaginary limits around the social progress of certain human groups; (2) accompanied by the dissimulation that they are not political statements, but merely value-neutral science; and (3) false.
* The Bay Area author of an upcoming book shatters the image of California’s historic missions as idyllic sites where Franciscan friars and Indians lived in harmony. Speaking before about 100 people Saturday at the American Indian Resource Center at UC Santa Cruz, Elias Castillo, author of “A Cross of Thorns: The Enslavement of California’s Indians by the Spanish Missions,” said in reality the missions were “death camps.”
* He also had a theory about colonizing the solar system using nuclear bombs. We could terraform other planets, he argued, by pulverizing them and then moving them closer or further from the sun. What could possibly go wrong?
* Sex! Now that I’ve got your attention, why not apply for a postdoc at the Penn Humanities Forum this year?
* Clearly, our colleges and universities are no longer places where the primary focus is on instruction. Instead, they are places where the primary goal is to entrench and to expand administrative bureaucracies.
* “Is there racism against drones?” On no, is there? IS THERE?
* If millionaires were a political party, that party would make up just three percent of the country, but it would have a majority in the House of Representatives, a filibuster-proof super-majority in the Senate, a 5-4 majority on the Supreme Court, and a man in the White House. If!
* And a bonafide miracle. The Comcast/Time Warner merger will spin off Milwaukee customers to a completely third company. People say this new company is even worse than either of the other two, but I feel confident this is impossible.
* Great research opportunity for people working in SF studies: 2014-15 Le Guin Feminist Science Fiction Fellowship.
* Great moments in Big Data: Math proves Hollywood shouldn’t be sexist.
* Anadarko Agrees To Record $5 Billion Fine For ’85 Years Of Poisoning The Earth.’ Anadarko’s revenues are 14 billion annually, with assets of 52 billion, so it seems clear the fine doesn’t go nearly far enough.
* If the first wave provided a machine for fighting misery, and the second wave a machine for fighting boredom, what we now need is a machine for fighting anxiety – and this is something we do not yet have.
* Never say die: Goonies Director Teases Sequel Featuring Original Cast.
* The world is now largely a population of scared confused people ruled by atavistic sociopaths with no sense of history, ethics, science, beauty, or truth. But then you already knew that.
* If you want a vision of the future, imagine being vaguely disappointed by one Marvel Cinematic Universe film a year, forever.
* And Marquette will send a team to the only sporting event that really matters, the Robot World Cup.
* Shock decision: Federal Judge Rules That Same-Sex Marriage Is Legal in Utah. I’m hoping this is finally the watershed. In Striking Down Utah’s Gay Marriage Ban, Judge Gives Scalia Big Bear Hug.
* #slatepitches we can believe in: There Are Two Americas, and One Is Better Than the Other.
* Aaron Bady deconstructs the Twitter “event” of the week, #HasJustineLandedYet.
* Another good post on education policy from Freddie de Boer: Is there such a thing as static teacher quality?
Now, these numbers are particularly stark, but this is not really a surprising result, if you been paying attention. Why did New York end its teacher performance pay program in the first place? In large part because of incoherent results: teachers would be rated as terrible in one class and excellent in another, within the same semester. Teachers that had been among the top performers one year would be among the worst performers the next. Teachers that were believed by administrators and parents to have serious performance issues would be rated highly; teachers that were believed by administrators and parents to be among a school’s best would be rated poorly. On and on.
* Fracking chemicals disrupt human hormone functions, study claims. FDA should be looking into this in about forty years.
* Rogue death scene cut from Days of Future Past, it looks like.
* “Where we’re losing them is at the full professor rank,” she continued. “Somehow we’re losing women.”
* A 54-year old American woman was given increasingly invasive and fruitless cavity searches after a drug dog was instructed to “alert” in front of her by U.S. border guards. The victim, according to a lawsuit filed by the ACLU, was then ordered to consume laxatives, endure x-rays and other scans, and subjected to further medical rectal and vaginal probes—all conducted by doctors at University Medical Center El Paso over over her protests and without any form of warrant.
* A court in Canada has ruled Ecuadorean farmers and fishermen can try to seize the assets of oil giant Chevron based on a 2011 decision in an Ecuadorean court found it liable for nearly three decades of soil and water pollution near oil wells, and said it had ruined the health and livelihoods of people living in nearby areas of the Amazon rainforest.
* Great moments in neocolonialism: Is It Time to Make Knowledge of English a Human Right?
* Florida is sticking with legal murder: Florida Man Who Shot Acquaintance For Threatening To Beat Him Won’t Face Charges, Judge Rules.
* Finally, the story of Harry Potter’s years of neglect and staggering abuse can be told. BECAUSE YOU DEMANDED IT.
* Dibs on the screenplay: Under Seattle, a Big Object Blocks Bertha. What Is It?
* Peter Singer, maximum-utility troll: “How Many Kids Died Because of Batkid?”
* And MetaFilter has a mega-post all about the great Alice Sheldon, a.k.a. James Tiptree, Jr.
* Is it too late? The long view offers reason to hope. From Kim Stanley Robinson.
* In a previous post on this site I announced a plan for the creation of MOOA, or massive, open, online administrations that would supplant the thousands of separate administrations currently managing the affairs of America’s colleges. The MOOA idea was, of course, satire. However, I must report that two educational consultants contacted me to offer their services in bringing my MOOA to the market. Additionally, three separate reporters called to discuss the MOOA concept. When I explained that MOOA was a satire, one asked, “Are you sure?”
* What we need instead, I think, is a study of neoliberal bias in the university, particularly since the rhetoric of neoliberalism has now become ubiquitous, the lingua franca of administrators and even many faculty. In the 1990s Bill Readings observed that the new rationale of the university was the amorphous, technocratic one of “excellence,” rather than the traditional ones of disciplinary reason or national culture. The incantation of “excellence” no longer has quite the same currency; the new neoliberal mantra includes the buzzwords “disruption,” “innovation,” and “choice.” Part of their force is that they seem self-evident goods: who would be against innovation or choice? But I think that they sidestep some of the crucial problems of higher education, especially regarding equality. According to all the statistical markers, college is subject to a steeper class divide than it was 40 years ago, and academic jobs show a sharper stratification. This violates the best hope of the American university. What good is innovation if it brings us a more inequitable world?
* …given what we know from the big picture, I think it’s safe to say that ostensible reason for the long-term collapse in humanities enrollment has to do with the increasing choice of women to enter more pre-professional majors like business, communications, and social work in the aftermath of a) the opening of the workplace and b) universal coeducation suddenly making those degrees relevant. You’d have to be pretty tone-deaf to point to their ability to make that choice as a sign of cultural malaise.
* I used to maniacally play Solitaire Tic-Tac-Toe to keep myself sane in high school. If I’d known about Tic-Tac-Toe2, I might never have graduated.
* And good news everyone! The housing bubble is back!
* In an 8-1 vote, the City Council of Greensboro, North Carolina approved a resolution opposing a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban any legal recognition of same-sex couples. Greensboro joins Raleigh and Chapel Hill all in opposition to Amendment 1, which comes to a vote on May 8. The Durham City Council opposes the measure too.
* In an interesting piece at An und für sich, Adam Kotsko tries to dive beneath the politics and explain just why it is the Catholic hierarchy is so interested in birth control.
I propose that the answer can be found in a historic compromise set forth by one of the most influential thinkers you’ve never heard of: namely, Clement of Alexandria, a second-century Christian philosopher.
* From David Graeber—Concerning the Violent Peace-Police: An Open Letter to Chris Hedges.
Surely you must recognize, when it’s laid out in this fashion, that this is precisely the sort of language and argument that, historically, has been invoked by those encouraging one group of people to physically attack, ethnically cleanse, or exterminate another—in fact, the sort of language and argument that is almost never invoked in any other circumstance. After all, if a group is made up exclusively of violent fanatics who cannot be reasoned with, intent on our destruction, what else can we really do? This is the language of violence in its purest form. Far more than “fuck the police.” To see this kind of language employed by someone who claims to be speaking in the name of non-violence is genuinely extraordinary.
* Facebook has found a way to make money from its new Timeline feature less than five months after launching it, repackaging what people “listen” to, “watch,” and “read” into ads and delivering them to their friends.
* Tomorrow’s TV Tropes today: my friend @drbluman finds another example of Sitcom Entropy, the inexorable law of nature that shows how sitcoms degrade in quality over time.
* And James Fallows attempts to explain Obama.
This is the central mystery of his performance as a candidate and a president. Has Obama in office been anything like the chess master he seemed in the campaign, whose placid veneer masked an ability to think 10 moves ahead, at which point his adversaries would belatedly recognize that they had lost long ago? Or has he been revealed as just a pawn—a guy who got lucky as a campaigner but is now pushed around by political opponents who outwit him and economic trends that overwhelm him?
* Creeping cowboyism: White House Tells Media It Was Ready to Risk War with Pakistan. We can take comfort I suppose in the fact that this is 99% bluster; full-on war with Pakistan was not a likely outcome of the raid. There’s more from TPM, where Josh Marshall speculates there could actually be some meat to this.
* Almost forgot to link to this amusing, time-travel-flavored Tom Tomorrow cartoon.
* And a trip inside Mike Huckabee’s brain.
Huckabee has joked that he “answers” to “two Janets.” One is his wife, Janet Huckabee. The other is Janet Porter, the onetime co-chair of Huckabee’s Faith and Values Coalition. And Porter, the former governor has said, is his “prophetic voice.” But that voice has said some weird things over the years: Porter has maintained that Obama represents an “inhumane, sick, and sinister evil,” and she has warned that Democrats want to throw Christians in jail merely for practicing their faith. She’s attributed Haiti’s high poverty rate to the fact that the country is “dedicated to Satan,” and she suggested that gay marriage caused Noah’s Flood. And there’s this: In a 2009 column for conservative news site WorldNetDaily, Porter asserted that President Barack Obama is a Soviet secret agent, groomed since birth to destroy the United States from within.
* Ralph Nader has found an awesome new way to troll the nation: he will campaign to kill athletic scholarships.
* Fox has renewed Fringe. This is great news—but I still haven’t forgive them for Firefly.
* Vermont’s not green, it’s red: Vermot House passes single-payer health care bill. It’s also expected to pass the state senate, too, which means things are about to get very interesting.
* I haven’t put up anything about Fukushima in a while, but suffice it to say things still sound very bad. (UPDATE: More here.) Nuclear power advocates—who I seem to recall assuring me that nothing bad could possibly happen at Fukushima because of updated, failsafe reactor designs—have now begun assuring me that what happened at Fukushima could never happen again because of updated, failsafe reactor designs. Okay, that ship turned out to be sinkable. But this one…
* Great moments in abuse of power: A deputy prosector in Johnson County, Indiana, has resigned his job after it was revealed that in February, during the large protests in Wisconsin over Gov. Scott Walker’s anti-public employee union bill, he e-mailed Walker’s office and recommended that they conduct a “false flag operation” — to fake an assault or assassination attempt on Walker in order to discredit the unions and protesters. Josh Marshall catches the most interesting angle: “the fact that he lists his 18 years of experience working in GOP politics as his experience for doing this sort of stuff.”
* Incomprehensible Shouting Named Official U.S. Language. It drives me crazy when people don’t speak it.
* And from Inside Higher Ed: Who’s in your fantasy research institute this season?
A friend just tweeted this link: “yet more evidence SF authors have the most interesting biographies (re: Alice Sheldon aka James Tiptree Jr.).” It’s as good a time as any to mention the coolest thing I found in the archives of the Isaac Asimov collection at Boston University: a gushing fan letter written to Asimov by Alice Sheldon in character as James Tiptree, Jr.:
…While I was enjoying the Guides it occurred to me that I knew of nothing I’d rather have along in the cave after the apocalypse. Then I became curious: What would Asimov take in his cave? How about it? It’s an oldie, but few could discuss it so knowledgeably, after the research you’ve done. Or put it this way—what is the indispensible nucleus of information for an educated man—or woman—now?
Which brings us back to the start—simple fannery. This time for the stories. I used to consume them in avid ignorant bliss—recently I’ve tried and sold a few myself, and now I really know how good yours are!
With many many years of well-wishing,
James Tiptree, Jr.
* Put This One finds a wonderful image from Mad Men, Season 11. (Thanks, Jacob!)
* The Chicago Tribune explains why doing research in the archives is so fun. The answer may surprise you! Hint: Fungus on books, they say, is a likely source of hallucinogenic spores.
* The American Family Association ups the ante on the whole “Ground Zero mosque” pseudo-scandal: No more mosques in America, period.
* Rachel Maddow on the war on brains.
* And Political Wire brings the news that we’re actually going to eliminate birthright citizenship: 49% of Americans already want to, before the fools and liars in the media have even had their chance to beat the drum.
* And just in time for our triumphant return: Huge hand-drawn panorama of London, 1845.