Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Memorial Day in the Backwards Universe

with one comment

Billy looked at the clock on the gas stove. He had an hour to kill before the saucer came. He went into the living room, swinging the bottle like a dinner bell, turned on the television. He came slightly unstuck in time, saw the late movie backwards, then forwards again. It was a movie about American bombers in the Second World War and the gallant men who flew them. Seen backwards by Billy, the story went like this: American planes, full of holes and wounded men and corpses took off backwards from an airfield in England. Over France a few German fighter planes flew at them backwards, sucked bullets and shell fragments from some of the planes and crewmen. They did the same for wrecked American bombers on the ground, and those planes flew up backwards to join the formation.

The formation flew backwards over a German city that was in flames. The bombers opened their bomb bay doors, exerted a miraculous magnetism which shrunk the fires, gathered them into cylindrical steel containers, and lifted the containers into the bellies of the planes. The containers were stored neatly in racks. The Germans below had miraculous devices of their own, which were long steel tubes. They used them to suck more fragments from the crewmen and planes. But there were still a few wounded Americans, though, and some of the bombers were in bad repair. Over France, though, German fighters came up again, made everything and everybody as good as new.

When the bombers got back to their base, the steel cylinders were taken from the racks and shipped back to the United States of America, where factories were operating night and day, dismantling the cylinders, separating the dangerous contents into minerals. Touchingly, it was mainly women who did this work. The minerals were then shipped to specialists in remote areas. It was their business to put them into the ground, to hide them cleverly, so they would never hurt anybody ever again.

The American fliers turned in their uniforms, became high school kids. And Hitler turned into a baby, Billy Pilgrim supposed. That wasn’t in the movie. Billy was extrapolating. Everybody turned into a baby, and all humanity, without exception, conspired biologically to produce two perfect people named Adam and Eve, he supposed.

–Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five, chapter four

Weekend Links!

leave a comment »

* If I weren’t going to DC on June 4th, I’d be going to this in Madison: Undercommoning the University: A Workshop.

How writers of endangered languages are embracing sci-fi.

* Yeah Ireland.

With the recession over, are states investing in higher ed? Oh, honey.

2015-05-22 10.39.34 pm

This Is What Happens When You Slash Funding for Public Universities.

* A local-interest explainer: Assata Shakur was convicted of murder. Is she a terrorist?

* New York University’s labor record epitomizes everything wrong with the neoliberal university.

* Report Blasts ‘Fantasy World’ of Presidential Benefits.

* Enter Rand Paul (again).

FBI admits no major cases cracked with Patriot Act snooping powers.

* TIE Fighter and American Exceptionalism.

The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.

While 45 percent of the roughly 1,000 respondents said they feel “somewhat prepared” to begin a career after college, slightly more than half said they did not learn how to write a résumé. And 56 percent did learn how to conduct themselves in a job interview.

* Theses on Postpartum.

* The Myth of the Garbage Patch.

Up to 90 per cent of the world’s electronic waste, worth nearly US $19 billion, is illegally traded or dumped each year, according to a report released today by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

7 in 10 schools now have shooting drills, needlessly traumatizing huge numbers of children.

North Carolina receives NCAA notice of allegations in academic fraud case.

New Study on Suicide Among College Athletes.

* Medieval culture and rape.

* BREAKING: Being competent is bad for you.

* io9 says the Supergirl pilot isn’t as bad as you’re expecting.

This 85-Year-Old Nun Just Spent Two Years In Prison For Protesting Nuclear Weapons.

Does Mike Huckabee Know Where the Ark of the Covenant Is Buried?

* A Handful Of Bronze-Age Men Could Have Fathered Two-Thirds Of Europeans.

Home, the latest animated kid flick, is actually about colonialism. No, really.

Can Racism Be Stopped in the Third Grade?

* Modernism is back, baby! A Plea for Culinary Modernism.

* Friends from grad school still tease me about the day I basically went off on this rant in a seminar day discussing Coetzee’s The Lives of Animals.

* #abolishmen: Men get into fatal car crashes twice as often as women.

* And another round of gender-swapped Disney characters.

ariel

Friday Links!

leave a comment »

* I’ll be speaking at this event on June 4th in DC: Resolved: Technology Will Take All Our Jobs.

* SF-flavored art exhibit at the Racine Art Museum.

* I think it’s fair to say Marquette has had a pretty rough year.

* Mass contingency is not compatible with shared governance.

How Austerity Killed the Humanities.

“If Students Are Smart, They’ll Major in What They Love.”

Why Technology Will Never Fix Education.

* Alex Rivera on Hollywood and the War Machine. See also!

Games Without Wages. The video game industry has long relied on the unpaid labor of “modders.” Is it ready to finally pay up?

* Nice work if you can get it: Yale Gives Former President $8 Million Retirement Gift.

Professors Face Long Odds in Court Battles Over Speech Rights.

Everybody Calm Down About Breastfeeding.

The dangerous trick here goes like this: someone fantasizes about a world in which rape frequently occurs and consistently goes unpunished; to explore this emotional fantasy, they set it in a premodern narrative fantasy world where they can displace their own desire onto “history.” The dark impulse or desire isn’t theirs, then; it’s the world’s. It’s history’s. And once a dark personal fantasy becomes “realism,” gazing upon this dark thought or idea isn’t a kind of humiliating or dangerous self-reflection, it’s laudable: it’s an honest engagement with truth.

“Most pro-life women oppose abortion with four exceptions: rape, incest, the life of the mother, and me.”

* I suspect even Notre Dame can’t really explain why it’s suing the federal government over contraception anymore.

The New Mexico Law Review just published an issue dedicated entirely to Breaking Bad.

Canadian Aboriginal Group Rejects $1 Billion Fee for Natural Gas Project.

* Study Links Record Dolphin Die-Off In The Gulf Of Mexico To Deepwater Horizon Spill.

* They paved built an oil rig in paradise.

* The $10 Hedge Fund Supercomputer That’s Sweeping Wall Street.

* Nearly one in four financial services employees say it’s likely their co-workers have acted outside of the law. Dismaying as that statistic may be, it is nearly double the 12 percent who said the same in 2012.

This senior level position is responsible for developing and implementing best practices in fostering the development and launch of companies based on innovations generated from University faculty. Percent Effort: 100.

If I should die, think only this of me: / That there’s some corner of a foreign field / That is forever New Jersey.

We Are Spending Quite a Bit of Money on Jails.

A Dishonest History of the Last War. Jeb Bush Says His Brother Was Misled Into War by Faulty Intelligence. That’s Not What Happened. Bush and Cheney Falsely Presented WMD Intelligence to Public.

Here’s how much of your life the United States has been at war.

* Here’s the widely available supermarket cheese you should avoid if you don’t want to be complicit in prison labor.

America Has Half as Many Hypersegregated Metros as It Did in 1970. Somehow, Milwaukee soldiers on.

Scrabble adds even more garbage words to its dictionary.

U.S. Releases Contents Of Bin Laden’s English-Language “Bookshelf.”

Is there anyone who won’t run for the Republican nomination in 2016?

Why Have So Many People Never Heard Of The MOVE Bombing?

* “We do not think anyone is going to dispute this at all,” he said.

* Uber, but for putting gas in your car.

* I can’t understand why on Earth Marvel wants to emulate the New 52.

* Not the E.T. sequel we need, but the one we deserve.

* Great moments in “our bad”: Norway’s ‘We’re Sorry’ Monument to 91 Dead Witches.

* You say “equality” like it’s a bad thing.

How The Soviet Union Tracked People With “Spy Dust.”

A Professor Tries to Beat Back a News Spoof That Won’t Go Away.

The health insurance regime: still the worst.

Israel knew all along that settlements, home demolitions were illegal.

* Very surprising, given the lawsuit: Emma Sulkowicz allowed to bring mattress into Class Day ceremony.

* These numbers are horrifying.

Irregularities in LaCour (2014). Amazing story.

Does Color Even Exist, Man?

* An oral history of Industrial Light & Magic.

Western canon, meet trigger warning.

9. Should a nuclear apocalypse happen, The Sound of Music will be played on a loop.

* I wish to outlive all my enemies.

* Everything about this pedagogical model is insane.

Study Suggests Intelligent Aliens Will Probably Be The Size Of Bears.

* Does Shakespeare pass the Bechdel Test?

* Monkey Day Care: Growing Up as a Child Research Subject.

“Keep Foreskin and State Separate.”

* And Matt Weiner is sick of your bullshit misinterpretations of his genius. Do you hear that, Limbaugh?

1432256591-20150520

Written by gerrycanavan

May 22, 2015 at 8:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

All Your Tuesday Morning Links

leave a comment »

If You Leave Open A Million Tabs, ‘The Great Suspender’ Chrome Extension Is For You. Gamechanger.

* When Birds Squak, Other Species Seem to Listen.

Two-Thirds of Risk Managers Say Frats Are Major Liability. The other third are on vacation, check back next week.

This sort of thing is a problem in academia too. If a male prof refuses to mentor female students, that’s also bad.

* “Neoliberalism is the real affront to higher education — not Kanye West’s honorary doctorate.”

The idea of using “drive-up advising” to reach these students started as a joke, Murray said, but it quickly turned into a reality.

Low cost college isn’t enough. I’ve tried to argue that plans like #FreeCommunityCollege will actually be a strong accelerant to some of the other problems David is talking about, but it hasn’t exactly set the world on fire.

* The humane and the anti-humane.

What matters more is the loose agglomeration of practices, institutions and perspectives that view human experience and human subjectivity as a managerial problem, a cost burden and an intellectual disruption. I would not call such views inhumane: more anti-humane: they do not believe that a humane approach to the problems of a technologically advanced global society is effective or fair, that we need rules and instrumments and systems of knowing that overrule intersubjective, experiential perspectives and slippery rhetorical and cultural ways of communicating what we know about the world.

Academic Freedom versus Academic Legitimacy.

Vote No on Every Fee.

Public universities are using non-need-based aid to recruit out-of-state students, at the expense of low-income and in-state students.

Three New Jersey colleges are appearing to be more competitive than they are in admissions by counting incomplete applications, NorthJersey.com reported.

* Race and Duke redux.

academiaiskillingmyfriends.tumblr.combeingawomaninphilosophy.wordpress.com.

* Hamburger U: As more firms have set up their own “corporate universities”, they have become less willing to pay for their managers to go to business school.

The best historical model for the transition from the WWIII-devastated Earth to the post-First Contact regime may be the rise of the Soviet Union.

* Strange result, what could explain it? Students Who Attend Class Outperform Those Online, Study Says.

* Like Dylan plugging in, Simon Pegg Worries The Love Of Science Fiction Is Making Us “Childish.”

* “Keep Foreskin and State Separate”: Battle Over Florida Boy’s Circumcision Heads To Federal Court.

N.C. Senate bill would criminalize, fire teachers for having political views.

* Why Did NY Ban Fracking? The Official Report Is Now Public.

Fossil fuels subsidised by $10m a minute, says IMF.

Canada Approves Nuclear Waste Site on Great Lakes Shore.

Texas Elementary School Accused of Locking Boy up in a “Focus Room.” Why did we turn all our schools into torture chambers?

Homework is a Social Justice Issue.

Obama to Limit Military-Style Equipment for Police Forces.

Washington State Is In A Drought ‘Unlike Any We’ve Ever Experienced.’

Sure it looks as if things are getting more peaceful. But, looking at the mathematics, that’s exactly what we should expect to see, even if we’re most likely due for a much more violent future.

* Spies, they’re just like us.

* In fan fiction, even the Dursleys can potentially be redeemed.

* Counterpoint: Republicans Are Not on the Edge of Extinction.

The White House Is Archiving Every Tweet Begging @POTUS for Sex.

The truth about poo: we’re doing it wrong.

Scientists examine why men even exist.

* Like Uber, but for stopping this from happening all the time.

* Great moments in spin: “New Jersey voters say they don’t think I would be a good president because they want me to stay.” It might just be because they’re jealous.

* “That’s an extraordinarily high number of medications in a state with less than 2 million people.”

* Generation gibberish. I think a version of this sort of thinking organized around the penetration of consumer technology is probably viable, but a lot harder to wrangle than assigning arbitrary birth years.

Mad Men and the Coke Jingle Theory. Mad Men and the Movement.

* And from the archives: As good as it gets: Mad Men and neoliberalism. And today’s followup: The commodity is the better Jesus: On the Mad Men finale.

In any case, I regard the genre of television as completed now. The most critically acclaimed, culturally prestigious, artistically ambitious television show of all time — and judging by current trends, I include the future here too — has culminated in a tacky commercial. By doing so, it made us experience its moving utopian qualities and its sinister cult-like qualities. There’s nowhere else to go at this point. That’s “the real thing.” That’s “it.”

Written by gerrycanavan

May 19, 2015 at 8:34 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday! Morning! Links!

leave a comment »

* With respect to the Mad Men finale, kudos to Eileen Sutton and Todd VanDerWerff. And to this guy too.

Davis stayed with the agency for 19 years as a music director, creative concept writer, composer and producer, rising to senior vice president. He would popularize and create new “song-form” advertising that won every award the industry offers. He wrote Coca-Cola songs which are some of the most popular advertisements in existence today, including, “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing,” “It’s the Real Thing,” “Have a Coke and a Smile,” “Mean Joe Green,” “Coke Is It” and “Country Sunshine.” He also wrote songs for Miller Brewing Company (“If You’ve Got the Time”), Campbell’s Soup and Sony.

* Meanwhile last night’s Game of Thrones was prurient and horrible.

* Nnedi Okorafor on magical futurism.

A Duke University professor has reportedly been placed on leave after posting racist comments online that included talk of “the blacks” and “the Asians.”

Why Salaita Was “Un-Hired”: The Missing Facts in the AAUP and CAFT Reports.

* Marquette in the ne…. oh come on. (UPDATE: Actual Journal-Sentinel story here.)

* Early men and women were equal, say scientists. Stealing the illustration directly from the Guardian:

b11fb5f4-2812-4f95-bf41-13059d6964c3-620x372

* “But Game Of Thrones goes to absurd lengths to present full-frontal female nudity.”

“People would look at us and say, ‘Oh, so you’re gay Amish?’ ” Johannes said.

Sweden is not a member of NATO and spends a relatively small amount on its military. How could it hope to deter the Russian navy on its own? The answer, according to one Swedish group, is simple: The Swedes must send out gay propaganda via Morse code.

“It is the strangest of bureaucratic rituals,” write two New York Times reporters. “Every week or so, more than 100 members of the government’s sprawling national security apparatus gather, by secure video teleconference, to pore over terrorist suspects’ biographies and recommend to the president who should be the next to die.” In Washington, this weekly meeting has been labeled “Terror Tuesday.” Once established, the list of nominees is sent to the White House, where the president orally gives his approval to each name. With the “kill list” validated, the drones do the rest.

The Forgotten Female Shell-Shock Victims of World War I.

* Can there be a feminist world?

* Death of a Yuppie Dream: The Rise and Fall of the Professional-Managerial Class.

Columbia Examines Its Long-Ago Links to Slavery.

Seattle’s unbelievable transportation megaproject fustercluck.

* Reviving the female canon of philosophy.

* Meet the Glam SAHMs.

* Special issue of Contexts on the sharing economy. Via (as always!) Sunday Reading.

How Many Americans Are Married To Their Cousins?

* I can’t help it: I just love reading about EVE Online.

Dramatic photos from around the globe record mankind’s destruction of the planet from wasteland forests to slaughtered wild animals and oceans overflowing with garbage.

* And stop me if you’ve heard this one before: The GOP Is Dying Off. Literally.

28C18D8E00000578-0-image-a-6_1431865630115

Sunday Morning Links!

leave a comment »

As Marquette’s faculty gathers in the basement of the Bradley Center for commencement, some links…

* I have sat in philosophy seminars where it was asserted that I should be left to die on a desert island if the choice was between saving me and saving an arbitrary non-disabled person. I have been told it would be wrong for me to have my biological children because of my disability. I have been told that, while it isn’t bad for me to exist, it would’ve been better if my mother could’ve had a non-disabled child instead. I’ve even been told that it would’ve been better, had she known, for my mother to have an abortion and try again in hopes of conceiving a non-disabled child. I have been told that it is obvious that my life is less valuable when compared to the lives of arbitrary non-disabled people. And these things weren’t said as the conclusions of careful, extended argument. They were casual assertions. They were the kind of thing you skip over without pause because it’s the uncontroversial part of your talk.

* There’s tons of great stuff in issue 17 of Jacobin, from the Peter Frase editorial on automation to a call to democratize the universe to ruminations on edutopia and the smartphone society.

Mad Max: Fury Road Is the Feminist Action Flick You’ve Been Waiting For. 3 Brief Points on Mad Max: Fury Road.

Alastair Reynolds Says What It’ll Take To Colonize Other Planets.

University of Wisconsin flunks the financial transparency test.

* Juxtaposition watch: Maryland governor vetoes $11 million for schools, approves $30 million for jails.

The awful truth about climate change no one wants to admit.

Hillary Clinton personally took money from companies that sought to influence her. The next couple years are going to be a bottomless exercise in humiliation for Democrats.

People Who Opposed The Iraq War From The Beginning Are The Best Americans.

* History is a nightmare for which I’m trying to hit the snooze: NJ Republican Introduces Resolution Condemning ‘Negative’ AP History Exam.

City leaders approve plan for National Slave Ship Museum.

“Do something that will force reviewers compare this movie favorably to the ending of Man of Steelwhether they want to or not.”

Let the Kids Learn Through Play.

Why Are Palo Alto’s Kids Killing Themselves?

There is no f*cking way that you can hack a plane’s engines from the in-flight TVs. I won’t accept it.

* “He was released on $30,000 bond to home confinement after the agreement was made and faces between 0 and 5 years in federal prison, along with a possible fine of up to $250,000.”

* I also won’t accept that Someone Did a Shit So Bad On a British Airways Plane That It Had to Turn Around and Come Back Again.

* “DesJarlais, a former physician, voted for the ban despite allegedly pressuring his mistress and ex-wife to get abortions.”

When Sandy Bem found out she had Alzheimer’s, she resolved that before the disease stole her mind, she would kill herself. The question was, when?

If Catch-22 appeared a few years before Americans were ready to read it, Something Happened jumped the gun by decades, and the novel was already forgotten when its comically bleak take on upper-middle-class life became a staple of fiction.

Jurors In The Boston Bombing Case Had To Agree To Consider The Death Penalty Before Being Selected. This is a very strange requirement of the law that seems to strongly interfere with the “jury of your peers” ideal.

How a police department tried to save a failing Rust Belt town by luring all the local drug dealers to one party.

* Deleted scene from Infinite Jest. So bizarre.

* Dibs on the young-adult dystopia: Teenagers who show too much leg face being sent into an “isolation room” for breaching the new uniform code.

New Zealand Legally Recognises Animals as ‘Sentient’ Beings.

Schools are failing boys because lessons have become “feminised”, says a leading academic who wants to see outdoor adventure given greater emphasis in the curriculum. That’ll solve it!

What Even Can You Even Say About The Princess-Man of North Sudan?

What Would You Do If You Could Censor Your Past? A Visit to the UK’s Secret Archives.

The Ecotourism Industry Is Saving Tanzania’s Animals and Threatening Its Indigenous People.

* “On the occasion of David Letterman’s retirement after 33 years of hosting a late-night talk show, Jason Snell presents his take on Letterman’s significance, told with the help of a few friends.”

* Friends, they may call it a movement.

* And I’ll see you again in twenty-five days.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 17, 2015 at 8:45 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

BAMFAs: ‘Entire USC MFA 1st Year Class is Dropping Out’

leave a comment »

See here. I suspect MFA programs will generally be more prone to these sorts of work actions than PhD programs: they’re often require more debt, are paid worse, have an even more ephemeral link to future job prospects, and are shorter, so easier to walk away from…

I’m just glad to see a higher ed administration finally pay a concrete, immediate price for behaving abusively.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 15, 2015 at 11:19 am

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,573 other followers