Posts Tagged ‘Sweden’
* The cosmic sublime: Here Is Today.
* One of the most important conclusions I’ve drawn from the experience is this: If you are an untenured faculty member, you really shouldn’t attempt a MOOC. The planning process alone is overwhelming. Because I have a grant and because research about writing instruction is part of my accepted research portfolio, I will submit all MOOC-related work as part of my future tenure case. I am very fortunate that Georgia Tech values this kind of inquiry. However, for faculty members in many other disciplines, I doubt that a MOOC would count as anything more than a line item in a teaching portfolio.
Will you be able to publicly express your concerns if something about your MOOC seems pedagogically unsound? If your university doesn’t have the technological capacity to support you, will you have to solve the problems yourself? Who will pay your video-production costs? (Our MOOC has spent $32,000 on production so far.) Will you be able to challenge administrators who want to control your content? Will you be forced to submit to evaluation schemes that would allow your course to carry credit?
* Jonathan Chait: The Legendary Paul Ryan.
* My students last summer insisted Mass Effect was important science fiction. Now io9 is telling me the same thing.
* You can just feel it: many of the same newspapers and TV stations we saw leading the charge in the Bush years have gone back to the attic and are dusting off their war pom-poms. What could possibly go wrong?
* Gay marriage passes in New Jersey, only to be vetoed by Chris Christie. Meanwhile marriage equality looks likely to pass the Maryland state legislature. Meanwhile Obama announces it won’t defend laws that ban same-sex couples from receiving military benefits.
“Previous to Occupy Wall Street, there was no push back at all saying this was outrageous – a basic theft that struck at the heart of what America was about, a complete disregard for the American sense of history and community … In Easy Money the guy is going out to kill and rob, just like the robbery spree that has occurred at the top of the pyramid – he’s imitating the guys on Wall Street. An enormous fault line cracked the American system right open whose repercussion we are only starting to be feel.”
* Actually existing media bias: Sunday Morning Talk Shows Featured Twice As Many Republicans As Dems Last Year.
* Little known fact about Sweden, that supposed bastion of liberal idealism: If a Swedish transgender person wants to legally update their gender on official ID papers, a 1972 law requires them to get both divorced and sterilized first.
* And all I can say is: What took so long?
* If the Hill’s reporting is accurate, this is major news, demonstrating the depths of the Democrats’ desperation to win me back: Reid triggers nuclear option to change rules, prohibit filibusters. I can’t find anything else about this yet. I assume this is some sort of procedural bluff, but if not—or if the bluff is called—that’s huge. UPDATE: TPM says it’s big, but not titanic.
* Lev Grossman’s The Magicians is coming to TV. My guess is the whole series takes place at Brakebills; we’ll never hit the second half of the first novel.
* Steve Jobs was a good man who loved and was loved, and earned every accolade he’s garnered. But he doesn’t deserve a hagiography, and I doubt he would have wanted one. Apple wasn’t built by a saint. It was built by an iron-fisted visionary.
* Against Tranströmer: But most healthy of all, a decision like this, which we all understand would never have been taken by say, an American jury, or a Nigerian jury, or perhaps above all a Norwegian jury, reminds us of the essential silliness of the prize and our own foolishness at taking it seriously. Eighteen (or sixteen) Swedish nationals will have a certain credibility when weighing up works of Swedish literature, but what group could ever really get its mind round the infinitely varied work of scores of different traditions. And why should we ask them to do that?
* And the headline reads, “Body suit may soon enable the paralyzed to walk.”
Sneaking in a quick linkdump between light posting due to Christmas and light posting due to MLA…
* The Senate bill has, as you undoubtedly already know, passed. Ezra Klein, Kevin Drum, and even Jonathan Chait have this more or less right: winning ugly is still winning. There’ll be time to get started on demanding changes to the bill, but progressives shouldn’t forget the victory lap. Here’s Kevin:
So it doesn’t feel much like a victory yet. But it should. I’m 51 years old and this bill is, without question, the biggest progressive advance in my adult life. You have to go back to the great environmental acts of the early 70s to get close, and to the civil rights/Medicare era to beat it. That’s four decades, the last three of which have constituted an almost unbroken record of conservative ascendency. And now that ascendancy is just days away from being — finally, decisively — broken. Warts and all, we’re on the cusp of passing a bill that provides all of this:
• Insurers have to take all comers. They can’t turn you down for a preexisting condition or cut you off after you get sick.
• Community rating. Within a few broad classes, everyone gets charged the same amount for insurance.
• Individual mandate. (Remember how we all argued that this was a progressive feature back when John Edwards and Hillary Clinton were championing it during the primaries?)
• A significant expansion of Medicaid.
• Subsidies for low and middle income workers that keeps premium costs under 10% of income.
• Limits on ER charges to low-income uninsured emergency patients.
• Caps on out-of-pocket expenses.
• A broad range of cost-containment measures.
• A dedicated revenue stream to support all this.
* Likewise, from Al Giordano: “Health Care by the Numbers: What’s In It for You?”
* All the ways the Left has already destroyed America, prior to the health care victory.
* More change we can believe in: The Calm Act would direct the FCC to regulate TV commercial volume to be pegged to the volume of regular programming, so as not to be “excessively noisy or strident.”
* David Weigel: “Why I Don’t Write about Sarah Palin’s Facebook Posts.”
The problem is that Palin has put the political press in a submissive position, one in which the only information it prints about her comes from prepared statements or from Q&As with friendly interviewers. This isn’t something most politicians get away with, or would be allowed to get away with. But Palin has leveraged her celebrity — her ability to get ratings, the ardor of her fans and the bitterness of her critics — to win a truly unique relationship with the press. She is allowed to shape the public debate without actually engaging in it.
More on Palin from NYRoB.
* This week’s This American Life should be of interest to academics and abstainers alike: it describes a typical weekend in State College, Pennsylvania, at America’s #1 Party School.
* Disturbing escalation in the Mexican drug trade: More than a dozen hit men carrying AK-47 and AR-15 assault rifles burst into a house in eastern Mexico around midnight Monday, gunning down several relatives of 3rd Petty Officer Melquisedet Angulo, the 30-year-old who was hailed as a national hero last week after being killed in a battle that left drug lord Arturo Beltrán Leyva dead. This violates the usual rules of engagement between police and criminals (which I know all about from television) and suggests bad things could be in store for Mexico.
* Whole Foods activism gets a scalp? John Mackey stepping down as CEO.
* A few days late, Sweden’s unusual Christmas tradition.
Kalle Anka, for short, has been airing without commercial interruption at the same time on Sweden’s main public-television channel, TV1, on Christmas Eve (when Swedes traditionally celebrate the holiday) since 1959. The show consists of Jiminy Cricket presenting about a dozen Disney cartoons from the ’30s, ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s, only a couple of which have anything to do with Christmas. There are “Silly Symphonies” shorts and clips from films like Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and The Jungle Book.The special is pretty much the same every year, except for the live introduction by a host (who plays the role of Walt Disney from the originalWalt Disney Presents series) and the annual addition of one new snippet from the latest Disney-produced movie, which TV1′s parent network, SVT, is contractually obligated by Disney to air.
Kalle Anka is typically one of the three most popular television events of the year, with between 40 and 50 percent of the country tuning in to watch. In 2008, the show had its lowest ratings in more than 15 years but was still taken in by 36 percent of the viewing public, some 3,213,000 people. Lines of dialogue from the cartoons have entered common Swedish parlance. Stockholm’s Nordic Museum has a display in honor of the show in an exhibit titled “Traditions.” Each time the network has attempted to cancel or alter the show, public backlash has been swift and fierce…
Due to various academic commitments, this blog has been very Blogspot Nights lately. I’m not happy about it but it may not change soon—once my comics class is over I have a few weeks off before work at [Undisclosed Location] starts up again.
Let’s struggle onward together.
* Daily Kos has a compilation of the obsessive hate directed from Bill O’Reilly towards Dr. George Tiller for the crime of practicing medicine. O’Reilly’s response tonight on the air was essentially that Tiller had it coming.
* Birthers overrun government transparency program.
* Petraeus says the U.S. violated the Geneva Conventions, while General Ricardo Sanchez calls for a Truth Commission. More from Attackerman.
* Barack Obama has declared June LGBT Pride Month. Hey, how great! It’s like he’s almost actually taking action! Call me when you’re repealed DADT.
* The accusation that Sonia Sotomayor has—as The New York Times uncritically put it—a “race-based approach to the law” is turning out to be one of the most reality-detached arguments to make it into the mainstream since Saddam’s mushroom clouds. All the relevant evidence—all of it—proves how false that accusation is.
* Franken and Coleman went to the Minnesota Supreme Court today, and Coleman got smacked.