Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘What could possibly go wrong?

Monday Morning Links

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* CFP: SFRA 2015: The SF We Don’t (Usually) See: Suppressed Histories, Liminal Voices, Emerging Media.

* CFP: Paradoxa: The Futures Industry.

Concerned about the Eaton SF/F archive at UCR.

*Ferguson, Missouri Community Furious After Teen Shot Dead By Police. Family of Michael Brown, Teenager Shot to Death By Ferguson Police, Talks About His Life. Michael Brown remembered as a ‘gentle giant.’ Now, riots.

* 1 Black Man Is Killed Every 28 Hours by Police or Vigilantes: America Is Perpetually at War with Its Own People.

* Meanwhile the NYPD is free to lie with impunity after an illegal chokehold led to Eric Garner’s death.

An officer fired the electric shock device’s darts into the chest of the girl, who weighed 70 pounds, the lawsuit said.

* Black Life, Annotated. Further reading.

* Life as a victim of stalking.

* The Obligation to Know: From FAQ to Feminism 101.

Abstract: In addition to documenting and sharing information geek culture has a complementary norm obliging others to educate themselves on rudimentary topics. This obligation to know is expressed by way of jargon-laden exhortations such as ‘check the FAQ’ (frequently asked questions) and ‘RTFM’ (read the fucking manual). Additionally, the geek lexicon includes designations of the stature of the knower and the extent of what he or she knows (e.g., alpha geek and newbie). Online feminists, especially geek feminists, are similarly beset by naive or disruptive questions and demonstrate and further their geekiness through the deployment of the obligation to know. However, in this community the obligation reflects the increased likelihood of disruptive, or ‘derailing’, questions and a more complex and gendered relationship with stature, as seen in the notions of impostor syndrome, the Unicorn Law, and mansplaining.

* Ursula K. Le Guin talks to Michael Cunningham about genres, gender, and broadening fiction.

What Makes Nigel Richards The Best Scrabble Player On Earth.

* What It’s Like to be a Doctor in a Supermax Prison.

* Teaching The Merchant of Venice in Gaza.

* Inside online communities for non-offending pedophiles.

While emailing with a colleague yesterday, I realized that I had never really written about the so-called “spacecraft cemetery” of the South Pacific, a remote patch of ocean water used as a kind of burial plot for derelict satellites.

* Dispute Between Amazon and Hachette Takes an Orwellian Turn. Amazon Gets Increasingly Nervous. In which Amazon calls you to defend the realm.

* What happens when a female writer asks a question on Twitter about women’s health.

* BREAKING: The NCAA Still Doesn’t Care About Athletes. The lawsuit that could change everything. The NCAA in Turmoil. How the O’Bannon Ruling Could Change College Sports.

“The alternative to partition,” he said, “is a continued U.S.-led effort at nation-building that has not worked for the last four years and, in my view, has no prospect for success. That, Mr. Chairman, is a formula for war without an end.”

World War I, as Paul Fussell famously argued, discredited what Wilfred Owen in a classic poem called “the old lie”: that it is sweet and honorable to die for one’s country. But what it has meant to shift allegiances from nation to “humanity” has changed drastically over the 20th century among those flirting with wider and cosmopolitan sensibilities. Namely, the highest goal shifted from the abolition to the humanization of war.

* Nothing Says “Sorry Our Drones Hit Your Wedding Party” Like $800,000 And Some Guns.

Scenes From COCAL: A Conference for Contingent Faculty Looks to Seize Its Moment.

* Why Does the United States Have 17 Different Intelligence Agencies?

* Why not a three-day work week?

* What was it like to be on Supermarket Sweep?

I was told on numerous occasions that I was going to face a general court martial on six or seven charges. Then word came down from Washington to discharge me quietly. An honourable discharge. Maybe the thinking was that the peace movement didn’t need a martyr.

Yes, the Myers-Briggs test is totally meaningless.

* Elon Musk Reveals Open Source Design for 14,000 Mile-an-Hour Vacuum Tube Railroad.

* So much dBilown the memory hole: Reconsidering the Legacy of Bill Clinton.

Philip K. Dick’s only children’s book finally back in print – with many subtle nods to his most famous SF work. But not in the US!

* Where’s the Diversity, Hollywood? Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blockbusters Overwhelmingly White, Male.

* John Oliver’s Search for New Voices in Late Night.

* The New York Public Library’s hilarious archive of librarians’ harsh children’s book reviews.

* Peter Frase talks Vonnegut’s Player Piano on the Old Mole Variety Hour.

* The A.V. Club is celebrating Clone High.

* Party Like It’s 1999: Japanese Retrofuturism and Chrono Trigger.

* One of the weirdest episodes of Star Trek ever.

* Critical Theory after the Anthropocene.

Tennessee Drug Tests Welfare Applicants, Discovers Less Than One Percent Use Drugs.

Drilling Company Owner Gets 28 Months In Prison For Dumping Fracking Waste Into River. Sad that this would be so shocking.

* The Scott Walker Hypothesis. The Scott Walker Paradox.

* Giant urban sprawl could pave over thousands of acres of forest and agriculture, connecting Raleigh to Atlanta by 2060, if growth continues at its current pace, according to a newly released research paper from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Island In Upstate New York Taken Over By Cats.

* Dream to revolutionize ostrich industry crumbles.

* What could possibly go wrong? Armed Right-Wing Militias Amassing Along Texas Border With State Lawmaker’s Blessing.

* But it’s not all bad news: Yellowstone Is Not Erupting And Killing Us All.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 11, 2014 at 8:00 am

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Sunday Super Sunshine Hit Links

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“The professional backgrounds of many of the defendants is troubling,” said James T. Hayes Jr., a special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations. “We can no longer assume that the only people who would stoop to prey on children are unemployed drifters.” WHY WERE YOU ASSUMING THAT?

Adjuncts are not considered “full time” or “part time” mostly because no one still bothers to accurately keep track of hours. It’s a choice; not an impossibility.

* Breaking: Alt-Ac Isn’t the Answer.

The Unpaid Intern Economy Rides on the Backs of Young Women.

* The Art of Screenwriting: Matthew Weiner.

Boston Public Schools to Eliminate History & Social Science Departments. But there’s money for a laptop for every student and computer coding in the curriculum.

* The Case for Reparations. Reparations: What the Education Gospel Cannot Fix. On Whose Shoulders The Research Stands.

End Mass Incarceration Now.

For Hire: Dedicated Young Man with Down Syndrome. From Michael Bérubé.

I knew Jamie would not grow up to be a marine biologist. And I know that there are millions of non-disabled Americans out of work or underemployed, whose lives are less happy than Jamie’s. I don’t imagine that he has a “right” to a job that supersedes their needs. But I look sometimes at the things he writes in his ubiquitous legal pads when he is bored or trying to amuse himself — like the page festooned with the names of all 67 Pennsylvania counties, written in alphabetical order — and I think, isn’t there any place in the economy for a bright, gregarious, effervescent, diligent, conscientious and punctual young man with intellectual disabilities, a love of animals and an amazing cataloguing memory and insatiable intellectual curiosity about the world?

They proposed that we genetically engineer a species of cat that changes color in the presence of radiation, which would be released into the wild to serve as living Geiger counters. Then, we would create folklore and write songs and tell stories about these “ray cats,” the moral being that when you see these cats change colors, run far, far away.

* Pope Francis and climate change.

10 Years of Pollution, $2 Million in Penalties. As always, that’s barely noticeable on Citgo’s balance sheet.

This 9/11 Cheese Plate May Be The 9/11 Museum’s Most Tasteless Souvenir. Everyone should have a museum dedicated to the worst day of their life and be forced to attend it with a bunch of tourists from Denmark.

* Buzzfeed’s list of underrated towns includes both Milwaukee and Burlington.

“For reasons that I really don’t understand Durham is an outlier,” said Baumgartner.  “Where we found a 77 percent disparity across the state between blacks and whites and their likelihood of being searched, in Durham, it’s about 260 percent. So that is truly astounding.”

Richard Dawkins: “I am a secular Christian.” Oh, New Atheism, what have you become!

* Moral panics, chess edition.

Jessie White, a 99-year-old woman from Belfast, Maine, was finally granted her college degree from Bangor’s Beal College after the college’s president stepped up and paid the $5 transcript fee she’d not been able to afford in 1939.

* Today in free speech: This Drug Defendant Spoke Her Mind, Then A Judge Told Her She’d Stay In Jail Until She Retracted Her Statements To The Media. Meanwhile, Utah Man Facing Hate Crime Charges Says Threatening Black Child Was ‘Just My Opinion.’

* Today in the competency and wisdom of our armed forces.

Congress Reluctant To Cut Funding For Tank That Just Spins Around And Self-Destructs.

Ohio Replaces Lethal Injection With Humane New Head-Ripping-Off Machine.

* Cruel optimism watch: Could Scott Walker lose in November?

* David Wittenberg reviews a whole lot of time travel for the Los Angeles Review of Books.

* The Mystery of Go.

* A Brief History of The Shawshank Redemption.

* A Brief History of “All Good Things…”

* Amazon: Still Awful.

* Zombie properties in Milwaukee.

Quentin Tarantino wants to recutDjango Unchained as a miniseries.

* And Marvel has made its first DC-level big mistake. What a bummer.

Almost Too Many Thursday Links, Really, If You Ask Me

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* Extrapolation is seeking essays for a special issue on Indigenous Futurism, edited by Grace L. Dillon, Michael Levy and John Rieder.

* Designing for The Grand Budapest Hotel.

* No state worse than Wisconsin for black children, says new national study. The Fight for Wisconsin’s Soul. Other People’s Pathologies.

* Why UWM Matters.

* Life and debt.

* Coffee pods and ecology.

* University of California graduate students explain why they’re striking. Students Occupy Dartmouth President’s Office. Coaches Make $358,000 In Bonuses For Reaching NCAA Tournament Final Four. Emory University Eradicates its Visual Arts Department. Dear Harvard: You Win.

* A Brief Report from the University of Southern Maine. Armed guards at faculty meetings.

Major attack on academic freedom in Michigan.

* Academia Under the Influence.

* Surveillance, Dissent, and Imperialism. NSA Surveillance and the Male Gaze.

* The secret history of Cuban Twitter. If this tweet gets 1000 favorites Castro’s beard falls out.

Kingdom Prep is one of dozens of basketball academies that have popped up in recent years to cater to “postgrad” players—recent high-school graduates who need to improve their standardized-test scores to meet the NCAA’s academic requirements.

* Just when I thought I was out: Marquette hires Duke associate head coach Steve Wojciechowski.

* The really rich are different from the rich, who are different from you and me.

* An heir to the du Pont fortune has been given probation for raping his three-year-old daughter because you know damn well why.

* What Can You Do With a Humanities Ph.D., Anyway?

* Documents filed with the Department of Labor and dated December 2012—three months after the company’s owners filed their lawsuit—show that the Hobby Lobby 401(k) employee retirement plan held more than $73 million in mutual funds with investments in companies that produce emergency contraceptive pills, intrauterine devices, and drugs commonly used in abortions. Hobby Lobby makes large matching contributions to this company-sponsored 401(k).

* Libertarian Police Department. Koch Brothers Quietly Seek To Ban New Mass Transit In Tennessee.

* Detroit: Then and Now.

* A new study shows how Lake Tahoe might serve as a mammoth reservoir that could significantly mitigate California’s chronic water shortages without tarnishing the lake’s world-renowned beauty. What could possibly go wrong?

* The geographic sublime, from the Rural Assistance Center.

* How to Think About the Risk of Autism.

* Sepinwall vs. How I Met Your Mother.

* How To Negotiate With People Around The World.

* Gasp! CIA misled on interrogation program, Senate report says.

* Gasp! Torture Didn’t Lead to Bin Laden.

* New G.O.P. Bid to Limit Voting in Swing States.

* Who’s afraid of Suey Park?

* You once said: “I’m part-android.” Has that revelation haunted you?

* The kids are all right: Talking With 13-Year-Old Leggings Activist Sophie Hasty.

* Bourbon and Girl Scout Cookie Pairings.

* How to Improve Aquaman.

* The Definitive Ranking Of Robin’s 359 Exclamations From ‘Batman.’ 25 Weird Batman Comic-Book Covers.

* Fan work: Labor, worth, and participation in fandom’s gift economy.

* Norman Lear, Archie Bunker, and the rRise of the BBbad Fan.

Original Star Trek II: Wrath Of Khan VFX Storyboards Are A Visual Feast.

* The greatest, richest, freest country in the history of the world.

* The wisdom of markets: Walmart Realizes It’s Losing Billions Of Dollars By Denying Workers More Hours.

* Classic good news / bad news situation: Television Without Pity Archives Will Stay Online. Panel’s Warning on Climate Risk: Worst Is Yet to Come.

* Weird science: Gunshot victims to be suspended between life and death.

* On Moretti-ism: Knowing is not reading.

* The New Inquiry’s “Money” issue is out with some great pieces, including one on China that really highlights a key contradiction in American ideology, which simultaneously holds that capitalism is the only possible economic system and that the future belongs to China. And Rortybomb’s piece on human capital is super chilling: basically dystopian literature, and it’s pretty much already real. And then the freedom piece! And the egg donation one! Great issue all around.

A person may be free because she can choose among a broad range of possibilities, or she may be free while she undertakes some action about which she has no choice at all, but whose compulsion she deems legitimate. Or she may be free when she faces a range of options, one of which is clearly superior to the alternatives, so that her behavior is perfectly predictable despite a formal freedom to choose. Freedom is not, at bottom, about the range of possibilities one faces but about the degree of consent one offers for the action to be taken or the circumstance to be endured.

Japan Ordered To Stop Killing Antarctic Whales For “Science.”

* Teen Wins $70,000 Settlement After School Demanded Her Facebook Password.

* Is being thin more deadly than being obese? Take that, skinnies!

*  I’ve had this dream: Student claims college instructor spent months teaching class the ‘wrong’ course.

* I dream of the day that Seattle and Portland can get along.

* And please don’t make me say it again.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 3, 2014 at 7:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Spring Break Monday Links

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

* Apocalyptic flooding scheduled for Wisconsin.

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

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

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

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

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

Not even climate change will kill off capitalism.

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

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

* Annals of Obama negotiating with himself.

* A theory of neoliberalism: Wages versus Assets.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Can We Learn About Privacy From Porn Stars?

* 11 of the Weirdest Solutions to the Fermi Paradox.

* A brief history of nonsense.

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

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

* Truth and reconciliation in Guatemala.

* Towards White History Month.

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

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

FinalColonizationGame.jpg.CROP.original-original

Written by gerrycanavan

March 10, 2014 at 8:00 am

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Friday!

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Adjuncts and theories of politics.

  1. Attack the tenured and those on the tenure track.
  2. ???
  3. Profit.

* New Year’s Resolutions and cruel optimism.

* The tyranny of data: Neflix’s 76,897 genres. No more, no less!

Slate’s Embarrassing Middle-Earth Error.

Given this it makes the most sense, and would in some sense be most accurate, to understand both Aragorn and Arwen as half-Elvish who chose the fate of Men, though even then few citizens of Gondor would think of Aragorn as anything but a Man. (Indeed Aragorn, descended from Elros, who chose mortality, is not even given the choice of identifying as an Elf, in the sense that his bloodline does not give him access to Aman.) What none would do is think of Arwen as “3/16 human.” Attempting to force this kind of “scientific” racialism, obsessed with fractional bloodline, on to Middle-earth and Arda is a sort of cultural imperialism: It’s just not how Elves or Men (or Valar) understand race.

Dan Harmon Is Still Pretty Torn Up About Everything. Joel McHale on the return of Community.

* Science! Dogs align their bodies along a North-South axis when they poop.

Our Trash Has Become A New Ocean Ecosystem Called “The Plastisphere.” How climate change will starve the deep sea.

* What could possibly go wrong? The United States Is Now the Most Unequal of All Advanced Economies.

* But there’s good news too! Lightning strikes killed fewer Americans than ever in 2013.

How many of your health supplements are actually snake oil?

* It’s not just your imagination: mass shootings are increasing.

10 Films That Passed the Bechdel Test in 2013. There were ten?

And Walmart Recalls Tainted Donkey Meat from Chinese Stores. “It’s actually fox meat, regulators say.”

The Tuesday Links

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It is no place for children. Yet Dasani is among 280 children at the shelter. Beyond its walls, she belongs to a vast and invisible tribe of more than 22,000 homeless children in New York, the highest number since the Great Depression, in the most unequal metropolis in America.

The governors of eight Northeastern states petitioned the EPA to crack down on coal burning in the Midwest.

So, to recap, nationalization of the health insurance industry in 2009 would have cost no more (and almost certainly a lot less) than $240 billion. The savings in waste resulting from replacing the health insurance racket with an extension of Medicare would have resulted in no less than $158 billion a year. That’s an annualized return on investment of 66 percent. The entire operation would have paid for itself in less than 18 months, and after that, an eternity of administrative efficiency for free. And, of course, happy shareholders.

The owners of Kiko, Hercules and Leo could not be reached Monday night.

Seven in 10 college seniors (71%) who graduated last year had student loan debt, with an average of $29,400 per borrower. From 2008 to 2012, debt at graduation (federal and private loans combined) increased an average of six percent each year.

* Academia as horror show: The Chronicle‘s 2013 “Influence” List.

* The end of tenure at Kean University?

* BREAKING: MOOCs don’t work.

* Brad DeLong says save Berkeley by (partially) transforming it into a finishing school for the superrich of Asia.” What could go wrong?

* The latest numbers on PhDs with job commitments at graduation.

* The next shoe to drop.

A vote being held tomorrow and Wednesday could secure union recognition for New York University graduate students, which the administration withdrew and then withheld from them — with help from congressional Republicans and Obama’s now-Treasury Secretary — for the past eight years. If the United Auto Workers emerges victorious in the vote, NYU will become only private sector U.S. university to bargain collectively with graduate student teachers and researchers — though such workers will remain excluded from U.S. labor law. 

* “This comic is shaping up to be, in many ways, a departure from the sometimes light-hearted series.” He’s taking, impossibly, about the Serenity comic followup Leaves on the Wind.

There’s a 1,200-year-old Phone in the Smithsonian Collections.

* Good news! FBI can secretly turn on laptop cameras without the indicator light. 1984 as instruction manual.

* The NSA has been spying on World of Warcraft.

Inept ATF Uses Children and People With Low IQs In Sting Operations.

Texas Student Asks Campus Cop, “You Gonna Shoot Me?” So Cop Shoots Him. Dead.

Novelist Kim Stanley Robinson (Red Mars, 2312, and Shaman) debates the merits of utopian thinking with Aeon Magazine’s Marina Benjamin and political theorist Alex Callinicos.

* Nice work if you can get it: Fox News Paid Fired Executive $8 Million to Keep Quiet.

* TNI #23 is out.

* The trailer for season five of Community is out.

* And Disney can now ruin Indiana Jones, too. This is the darkest timeline.

What Could Go Wro – Oh? Already?

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Written by gerrycanavan

July 29, 2013 at 8:48 am

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