Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

End of February Mega-Links!

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* I had a little deleted scene on a recent episode of The Gribcast, cut out from the earlier episode I was on where I talked about Parable of the Talents.

* The Cambridge History of Science Fiction made Locus’s Recommended Reading List for 2019. Thanks to all who voted!

* Behold! SFRA Review 50.1!

* CFP: SFRA 2020: Forms of Fabulation. CFP: PopMeC. CFP: Transnational Equivalences and Inequalities. CFP: 20/20 Vision: Speculating in Literature and Film in Canada. CFP: Teaching About Capitalism, War, and Empire. CFP: “The Infrastructure of Emergency.” CFP: Science Fictions, Popular Cultures. CFP: OEB Third Biennial Conference September 11-13, 2020. CFP: ‘Walls and Barriers: Science Fiction in the age of Brexit.’ CFP: Current Research in Speculative Fiction 10th Anniversary Conference (CRSF 2020). CFP: The Digital Futures of Graduate Study in the Humanities. CFP: The Routledge Companion to Gender and Science Fiction. CFP: Write about Bojack Horseman for @AtPost45!

Three Californias, Infinite Futures.

Utopias are like blueprints and novels are like soap operas. What kind of art comes out of that? Sometimes I’ve experienced this as intensely stressful. In the domestic realist tradition of the English novel, what you value is, This is what real life is like. Like Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan quartet—in theory I would aspire to write a novel like that. Yet here I am trying these utopian efforts time after time. So at a certain point along the way I got over it and just regarded it as a literary problem and an opportunity. My books are unusual, but so what? That’s a nice thing to be.

* A Sci-Fi Author’s Boldest Vision of Climate Change: Surviving It.

The New Generation of Self-Created Utopias.

* This is relatable content: Did Tolkien Write The Lord of the Rings Because He Was Avoiding His Academic Work?

* Watch a Haunting Teaser for Jóhann Jóhannsson’s Adaptation of Olaf Stapledon’s Last and First Men.

Empathy in John Ira Jennings and Damian Duffy’s “Parable of the Sower.”

The Shell Game: From “Get Out” to “Parasite.” Reading Colonialism in “Parasite.” Subtitles Can’t Capture the Full Class Critique in ‘Parasite.’

* All eyes on the Johns Hopkins dashboard. Amid coronavirus scare, US colleges cancel study abroad programs. Covid-19 Will Mark the End of Affluence Politics.

* Bernie and #MUnion. Bernie Sanders’s Multiracial, Working-Class Base Was On Display In Iowa. How Bernie’s Iowa Campaign Organized Immigrant Workers at the Factory Gates. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Wows Iowa, Probably Not for the Last Time. The Delegate Math Now Favors Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders leads Donald Trump in polls, even when you remind people he’s a socialist. Bernie Sanders looks electable in surveys — but it could be a mirage. The Seven Stages of Establishment Backlash: Corbyn/Sanders Edition. An Unsettling New Theory: There Is No Swing Voter. The Millennial/Gen-Z Strategy. Bernie Sanders and the climate.

* Wisconsin, Swing State. How Milwaukee Could Decide the Next President.

Heard but Not Seen: Black music in white spaces.

* It worked for me!

* Joanna Russ, The Science Fiction Writer Who Said No.

* What Happened to Science Fiction? Something is broken in our science fiction.

Exploring some of the key tenets of neoliberal American culture, this article examines the historical forces behind the meteoric rise of interactive Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) children’s books in the 1980s.

* The Tulsa Massacre will now be part of the Oklahoma standard curriculum.

The Transformation of Adam Johnson. A shooting happened in his classroom. Could his expertise help him make sense of it?

* Striking UC Santa Cruz Graduate Students Hold Picket Lines After Police Arrest 17. UCSC Grad Students Are on Strike for a Living Wage. UC Santa Cruz Strikers to Lose TA Jobs. The UCSC Strike Is Working. The UC Santa Cruz Wildcat Strike and the Shape of What’s To Come.

Off-The-Record Advice for Graduate Students.

Serfs of Academe.

* The Job Market Is Killing Me.

* NFM: Ensuring that Adjunct Faculty Have Access to Unemployment Insurance.

* I volunteer to consult.

* The part I was born to play!

* Today, upon request of the division chair, I’m giving a short, data-based presentation to the faculty in the Humanities division meeting. The subject is career prospects for our majors. Here are the key points…

* Pedagogy corner: Against Cop Shit.

* The father of a former student at Sarah Lawrence College –accused of manipulating her school friends, extorting nearly $1 million from them, and profiting from their work as prostitutes – was charged with sex trafficking, forced labor and extortion, in a federal indictment released today.

How the central administration has consolidated power and deflected dissent at the University of Chicago.

Their findings suggest college closings won’t be as frequent as some soothsayers have predicted. No more than one out of 10 of the country’s colleges and universities face “substantial market risk,” and closings are likely to affect “relatively few students.” Six in 10 institutions face little to no risk.

* In graduate school I wrote a paper on Heaven’s Gate and it remains one of the most upsetting thing I’ve ever worked on. Haunted by Cybersects.

* Obsessing over the environmental impacts of food gone unconsumed eclipses more interesting questions we might ask of food production that don’t take for granted the ecological devastation seemingly inherent to contemporary U.S. agriculture. Wasting less food in a shitty food system won’t make that system any less shitty, and yet rarely does that realization rear its head. Like the out-of-fashion concept of food miles that launched a locavore movement, taking stock of food waste’s supposed environmental impacts appears to be more rhetorically useful than it is a reliable reflection of where and how those harms come about and who is culpable for them.

* Can we have prosperity without growth? The toxic legacy of old oil wells: California’s multibillion-dollar problem. Florida Climate Outlook 2020. Climate emergency declared in Barcelona. ‘Splatometer’ Study Finds Huge Insect Die-Off. Measuring the Carbon-Dioxide Cost of Last Year’s Worldwide Wildfires. Greta and Anti-Greta. These photo of a Bengal Tiger is composed of only 2500 pixels. That’s the number of Bengal Tigers that are still alive. Never tell me the odds!

The Tragedy of the Worker: Towards the Proletarocene.

After Carbon Democracy.

* Actually existing media bias.

* Among the Post-Liberals.

* British Photographer Remodels World Famous Architecture Using Paper Cutouts and Forced Perspective.

* The search for new words to make us care about the climate crisis.

The Great Affordability Crisis Breaking America. How $98 trillion of household wealth in America is distributed: “It’s very depressing.”

* Is there any scam like health insurance? Just so many angles.

* Adrienne Miller’s memoir of her relationship with David Foster Wallace is part of an emerging genre of women coming of age via an older, powerful man. This one actually lets DFW off easy.

Designed as a bucolic working-class suburb of St. Louis, the nearly all-black town of Centreville now floods with raw sewage every time it rains. “Bring us back some help,” residents say, living through an environmental horror that evokes centuries of official disinterest in black suffering, as well as a future in which the poor are left to suffer in areas made uninhabitable by climate change.

* In contrast, the judge has exhibited antipathy for Donziger, according to his former lawyer, John Keker, who saw the case as a “Dickensian farce,” in which “Chevron is using its limitless resources to crush defendants and win this case through might rather than merit.” Keker withdrew from the case in 2013 after noting that “Chevron will file any motion, however meritless, in the hope that the court will use it to hurt Donziger.”

* Truly, depravity in everything.

Hmong Leaders Say Reported Trump Deportation Plans Would Put People At Risk. Border Patrol Will Deploy Elite Tactical Agents to Sanctuary Cities. How the Border Patrol’s New Powers and Old Carelessness Separated a Family. The Department of Justice Creates Section Dedicated to Denaturalization Cases. Why You May Never Learn the Truth About ICE.  Federal Judge Reverses Conviction of Border Volunteers, Challenging Government’s “Gruesome Logic.” How Stephen Miller Manipulates Trump.

What Happens When QAnon Seeps From the Web to the Offline World.

* Why the Left Can’t Stand The New York Times.

* #MeToo and the Post-Traumatic Novel.

* Mr. Peanut Devouring His Son.

End the GOP.

* The 53-State Solution.

Michael Bloomberg’s Polite Authoritarianism. When Bloomberg News’s Reporting on China Was Challenged, Bloomberg Tried to Ruin Me for Speaking Out. The degree to which Michael Bloomberg is using his fortune to fundamentally alter & manipulate U.S. politics to his personal advantage extends way beyond ads. I’ve worked against him, covered him as a journalist & worked with his top aides. Here’s their playbook… Bloomberg and Trump: alike in dignity and almost everything else.

* Big yikes.

Kasy we’re counting on ya.

* Toba catastrophe watch: Stone Tools Suggest Supervolcano Eruption Didn’t Decimate Humanity 74,000 Years Ago.

The Billion-Dollar Disinformation Campaign to Reelect the President. Target’s Delivery App Workers Describe a Culture of Retaliation and Fear. Donald Trump ads will take over YouTube for Election Day. How Chaos at Chain Pharmacies Is Putting Patients at Risk. ‘Every Single Person Is Losing Money’: Shipt Is the Latest Gig Platform to Screw Its Workers. Cost Cutting Algorithms Are Making Your Job Search a Living Hell. The Future of Housing May Be $2,000 Dorm Rooms for Grownups. Here Are the Most Common Airbnb Scams Worldwide. Uber and Lyft generate 70 percent more pollution than trips they displace: study. Hackers stuck a 2-inch strip of tape on a 35-mph speed sign and successfully tricked 2 Teslas into accelerating to 85 mph. Self-driving car dataset missing labels for pedestrians, cyclists. Draining the Risk Pool: Insurance companies are using new surveillance tech to discipline customers. Health Records Company Pushed Opioids to Doctors in Secret Deal. Pornhub doesn’t care.

* But it’s not all bad news: Kickstarter has unionized.

* Wikipedia Is the Last Best Place on the Internet.

* Canada is fake.

* you: trauma me, an intellectual:

Artificial Wombs Aren’t a Sci-Fi Horror Story.

* It’s always amazing when something like the “woman tax” moves from ludicrous, laughable nonsense to explicit policy instantaneously.

Founder of Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods transfers business to employees.

* ‘The Scream’ Is Fading. New Research Reveals Why.

* Twilight of GameStop.

* Dungeons & Dragons & Therapy.

* Animal Crossing and Needing Therapy.

* Universe Sandbox.

* A brief history of orcs in video games. A history of farts in video games. He gave us so many lives, but he had only one.

* Behind the scenes at Rotten Tomatoes.

* Rise of the blur.

The best $500 I ever spent: My autism diagnosis.

How libel law is being turned against MeToo accusers.

How The Good Place taught moral philosophy to its characters — and its creators.

The Quest for the Best Amusement Park Is Ever-Changing and Never-Ending.

* Next year, in Jerusalem: Star Wars Will ‘Absolutely’ Have a Future Film Directed by a Woman, Kathleen Kennedy Says.

* He Was ‘Star Wars’ ‘ Secret Weapon, So Why Was He Forgotten?

* Here comes Star Wars: The High Republic.

Disney Didn’t Just Buy ‘Hamilton’ for $75 Million; It Bought a Potential Franchise.

* Could it be that capitalism is… bad?

* Free speech and eating meat.

* Science corner! People Born Blind Are Mysteriously Protected From Schizophrenia. Exploding the “Separated-at-Birth” Twin Study Myth. How Lifesaving Organs For Transplant Go Missing In Transit. The Hope And Hype Of Diabetic Alert Dogs. Most BMW drivers are jerks, according to science. Here are a couple of ways of starting a fire in the wilderness using found materials.

* The Great Buenos Aires Bank Heist.

Crypto Ponzi scheme took Major League Baseball players and their families for millions.

* Of course you had me at “literary Ponzi scheme.”

* Basketball in North Korea is absolute chaos.

* A whatchamacallit by any other name.

* Map of Europe: Agario Style.

How to Make Billions in E-Sports. ‘Nobody talks about it because everyone is on it’: Adderall presents esports with an enigma.

* @ me next time

* The arc of history is long, but…

* And The French Dispatch has a trailer for me to get very nervous about. Wes Anderson, I’m begging you to get a new gimmick.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 26, 2020 at 4:04 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Happy Captain Picard Day Links!

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* Speaking of: a nice reflection on the first episode of Picard at the LARB blog.

The more important observation at this point is that none of the Democrats have faced the full force of the contemporary Republican attack machine and none of them have demonstrated their capacity to survive it. I would argue that if Sanders seems unready, then all of his Democratic rivals are vastly more unready. And that all Democrats are now equally vulnerable to the way that the Republican Party now conducts itself politically, because the Republican Party no longer has any constraints on its behavior. Neither accuracy nor probity matters any longer. Legality is unimportant to a lawless party. The preservation of democratic norms and structures doesn’t matter to a party that no longer believes that the opposition has a right to govern if elected. The contemporary GOP and its base believe that by definition, only they have political legitmacy. The Democrats are still preparing to run in an election, while their opponents are preparing to go to war.

* Four ways America’s system of government is rigged against democracy (and Democrats).

* First Bernie, now this: Vermont might broaden license plate comedy forever by allowing emojis.

* Fair wages are anti-doctrinal: A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that Duquesne University’s status as a Roman Catholic institution exempts it from National Labor Relations Board’s rules on forming an adjunct union.

The Age of Climate Authoritarianism Is Upon Us.

Funded by the federal government, local governments in coastal states are buying out thousands of homes in vulnerable areas every year, reshaping and breaking up communities as they go. In their wake, the departed residents of these communities have left what may be the country’s first climate ghost towns, abandoned places made uninhabitable by the warming of the planet. The vacant lots of Arbor Oaks and neighborhoods like it provide a stark warning about the shortcomings of the government’s haphazard, market-driven response to climate change, and raise difficult questions about the rights of people who live in the path of climate disaster.

* Rewilding the Arctic could stop permafrost thaw and reduce climate change risks.

Student group calls for university to divest in fossil fuels.

* How the gig economy leaves people poorer, in three or four tweets.

The company that literally manufactured and sold Zyklon-B to the Nazis doing a Holocaust Memorial Day tweet is a great example of how the Holocaust exists in the Western imaginary as a decontextualized, abstract and perfect evil.

The Curious Worldview of Michael Schur’s Television.

* This is exactly what Joe Biden sounds like, and I can’t understand how everyone doesn’t see it. Why does Joe Biden keep losing his cool with voters?

* Abolish the Senate!

* It would sell! It would sell.

Untitled Goose Game devs donate a percentage of profit to indigenous groups.

Minneapolis police no longer to ticket for equipment violations under new policy. This seems like it could actually be good policy, as long as it’s not a smokescreen for surveillance or harassment.

Here Are the Fare-Evasion Enforcement Data the NYPD Fought to Keep Secret.

* A constitutive contradiction in the law surrounding sex offender lists I hadn’t realized.

* What Earth Would Have Looked Like If It Spinned Clockwise Instead Of Counterclockwise.

* And in a dark time, true art finds a way.

Tuesday Afternoon Links!

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* Another project of mine I’d love for you to be a part of (and to spread far and wide): CFP: Science Fiction in the Literature Classroom.

* CFP: Humanities on the Brink: Energy, Environment, Emergency (A Nearly Carbon-Free Virtual Symposium). GoFundMe for the Marquette Graduate Conference on Death and Dying.

* History has tended to sanitize the lives of abolitionists, many of whom were involved in other radical movements as well, including Free Love, which promoted women’s independence and an end to traditional marriage. Britt Rusert on The Radical Lives of Abolitionists.

The Flatness of Blackness: Afro-Pessimism and the Erasure of Anti-Colonial Thought.

* Rethinking “Introduction to Art History” at Yale.

The (Not-So-)Secret Way to Attract Majors to Your Department. Hanging Out — and Hanging On — at the MLA. Why I’m optimistic about the future of the humanities.

Their end goal is not total cancellation of student-loan debt. It’s widespread acceptance of the idea that education in the 21st century is a basic need, and that it’s immoral to force people to go into debt to attain it. 

* Introducing the Ursula K. Le Guin Reread.

* Today in the hell world: Concentration camp memorials seeing rise in far-right visitors.

* That Pro-Gun Rally in Virginia Wasn’t Exactly “Peaceful.” Holding a City Hostage is Peaceful Now?

* Revealed: the true identity of the leader of an American neo-Nazi terror group.

* A student at the University of Minnesota was sentenced to six months in prison in China for tweets he posted while he was studying in the U.S., Axios reported.

* Huge, if true: Crime Shows Are A ‘PR Machine’ For Law Enforcement.

* Liberal environmentalism y’all.

An Avast antivirus subsidiary sells ‘Every search. Every click. Every buy. On every site.’ Its clients have included Home Depot, Google, Microsoft, Pepsi, and McKinsey. Leaked Documents Expose the Secretive Market for Your Web Browsing Data.

* But mostly I thought Twitter would be a nightmare because I could immediately forecast the divide between two groups of people: those who cared that Kobe Bryant committed a brutal sexual assault, and those who did not, at least not right now, but probably not ever. In a world in which the creative bodies of numerous public figures — some more talented than others — have recently been invalidated because they (allegedly or not) committed sexual assaults, I knew that Kobe was going to receive an infinite number of gauzy, heartbroken tributes from strangers glossing over or even ignoring the worst thing he’d ever done. Two Things Can Be True, But One Is Always Mentioned First.

* The absurdity of the neoliberal university. “Do I do research or pay rent?” Grad students in Santa Cruz start a wildcat strike.

* Why Attendance Policies Hurt Disabled and Chronically Ill Students.

* 25 Years of Fan Casting X-Men Movies.

* I’m pretty sure midnight was 35 minutes ago.

* Quentin Tarantino: I am in combat with blockbuster franchises. Wasn’t he going to make a Star Trek movie a few days ago?

* Christopher Tolkien’s Cartographic Legacy.

* Art y’all.

* Celebrating Nancy Drew’s 90th Birthday the Only Way I Know How.

Would you please please please please please please please stop talking?

* I am honestly and truly giving up.

* I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Sara Nelson for President.

* Michael Light, Ellen Dinsmore and Michael Massoglia examined a database of federal criminal felony offenses that includes case type, defendant characteristics, court location, and judge-specific data. They find non-U.S. citizens living in New York and Washington D.C were eight percent more likely to be imprisoned than U.S. citizens after 9/11. The increased likelihood of incarceration for non-citizens in New York and D.C. was evident for a full four years after September 11, 2001. Courts in the Context of Crisis.

* This is the headline CBS decided to write after a police officer shot a man *already in handcuffs* multiple times and killed him.

Puberty blockers can be ‘life-saving’ drugs for trans teens, study shows.

Researchers reached that conclusion by analyzing data from the 2015 US Transgender Survey, involving 20,619 people between the ages of 18 and 36 years old.

* Hey, just like America.

* A few people have been tossing around my old Star Trek essay “We Have Never Been Star Trek” because the Picard launch too.

A Utah Woman Was Charged for Going Topless in Her Own Home. Her Legal Case Is Not Going Great.

* When women fight back.

Inside the secret Twitter rooms where Debra Messing, Don Cheadle, and the rest of the celebrity #Resistance organizes.

* Angry white men have declared war on the planet (again).

* Werner Herzog hears Paul F. Tompkins’ “Yelp Review for Trader Joe’s on Hyperion.”

* Because you might need it.

* What could go wrong? Nuclear waste recycled into diamond batteries with “near-infinite power.”

* At least the vultures are happy.

* @ me next time

* And today in delightful things to learn.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 28, 2020 at 11:32 am

Wednesday Night Links!

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* I had a thread on comics and accessible teaching on Twitter that I found helpful, especially this last contribution.

* Shoot this post into my veins.

* Introducing the Ursula K. Le Guin reread.

* CFP: Speculative Fiction, Curriculum Studies, and Crisis.

The (Not-So-)Secret Way to Attract Majors to Your Department.

* How Star Trek’s Canon Expert Helps Picard Revive Characters and Find the Future. Already hyped for Guinan in season two!

* The Untitled Goose Game and Philosophy.

The real omission from the good-news stories is any honest acknowledgment of Amazon. The company sits comfortably at the peak of its influence, its supply chain built on the back of tax evasion, labor exploitation, corporate lobbying, massive profits from its web-server business, and federal antitrust enforcement that has hovered between lax and corrupt. Amazon’s power has been vast and growing for so long that it’s no longer new or noteworthy in the publishing press, except for the occasional article about its depressing brick-and-mortar bookstores, where endcap displays say things like “Books Most Frequently Highlighted by Kindle Customers.” Amazon’s bookseller origins seem almost quaint now that its blueprint is so vast its delivery vans roaming the streets, piloted by tired and underpaid third-party drivers; its lockers lining the walls of every 7-Eleven; its Echo speakers and touchscreens listening in from your kitchen, your living room, your bedroom, playing songs from Amazon Music and prestige TV from Amazon Prime, placing grocery orders with its recent acquisition Whole Foods. Sadly, publishing will never be as interesting as the complete and total restructuring of society. But with a market share of 45 percent of print books and 83 percent of ebooks, Amazon remains capable of crippling the industry and upending its practices with little more than an algorithmic tweak.

* In a break from tradition, I am endorsing all 12 Democratic candidates. “I’ll kill them all but better” didn’t work in 2004 and it won’t work now. This didn’t work in 2016 and it won’t work now. We Regret to Inform You that Hillary Clinton Is at It Again. ACP Endorses Single-Payer. Just what it says on the tin.

* Mitt Romney gets a puff piece like this at 3:12 PM and has already proved it wrong before dinner. Fun fact!

* Shocked the Schumer isn’t completely blowing it. Good on Warren for promising to make this all right.

* When rich people can’t get along.

* Glenn Greenwald Charged With Cybercrimes in Brazil.

Ronald Reagan’s “October Surprise” Plot Was Real After All.

* N.K. Jemisin in the New Yorker.

* Greta Thunberg’s Remarks at the Davos Economic Forum.

Australia’s Largest Mining Company is Worried Bushfires are Affecting Coal Production.

* Microsoft will be carbon negative by 2030 (it says).

* …we need a science that is decoupled from both poles: from the autonomous circuit of capital as well as from traditional wisdom, a science that could finally stand on its own. What this means is that there is no return to an authentic feeling of our unity with nature: the only way to confront ecological challenges is to accept fully the radical denaturalization of nature.

* The Status Game.

* The Internet of Beefs.

* Houston Is Now Less Affordable Than New York City: A new report finds that, when transportation costs are factored in, Texas’s biggest metros aren’t the bargain they often claim to be.

The Fight for Mom’s House.

* Today in the Chinese Century: Single-use plastic: China to ban bags and other items.

* Whoever leads in artificial intelligence in 2030 will rule the world until 2100. What happens in 2100!

* Your online activity is now effectively a social ‘credit score.’

* The things you learn on Twitter.

* From the archives: The Millionaire Cop Next Door.

* RIP, the rule of law.

* Wendy’s and Child Labor.

* If Your University Administration Ran a Polar Expedition.

* English is the world’s dominant scientific language, yet it has no word for the distinctive smell of cockroaches. What happens though, if you have no words for basic scientific terms? What happens if you have no word for ‘dinosaur.’

* Today in the LEGO sublime.

* The truth is somewhen.

* Today in memes.

* And somehow I always knew it would end this way.

Monday Links!

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* Just came across this card game as part of an editing project I’m working on: The Quiet Year.

The Quiet Year is a map game. You define the struggles of a community living after the collapse of civilization, and attempt to build something good within their quiet year. Every decision and every action is set against a backdrop of dwindling time and rising concern.

The fact is that there is no excess in teaching critical analysis – in an era of increasing political propaganda and weakening democratic bonds it’s estimably necessary. We teach how to critically read culture – including movies, comics, and television – not because we don’t acknowledge the technical greatness of a Shakespeare, but in addition to it. Contrary to Douthat’s stereotypes, there’s not an English professor alive who doesn’t understand Shakespeare’s technical achievements when compared to lesser texts, but we understand that anything made by people is worthy of being studied because it tells us something about people. That is the creed of Terrence when he wrote that “I am human and I let nothing which is human be alien to me” – no doubt Douthat knows the line. Did I mention that he went to Harvard?

How College Became a Commodity.

* Price of admission to Johns Hopkins just went up.

William Gibson: We Are All Science Fiction Writers Now.

* The View from Milwaukee.

* Danger.

Most people think capitalism does more harm than good, survey shows.

* Tech Companies Want to Run Our Cities. A Georgia town welcomed America’s largest coal plant. Now, residents worry it’s contaminating their water. Rich people live longer and have 9 more healthy years than poor people, according to new research. The Economic Origins of Mass Incarceration. Climate change won’t result in a new normal but in constant, horrifying new disasters.

* The Vanishing Executive Assistant: The erosion of jobs that gave women without college degrees a career path happened in dribs and drabs but is as dramatic as the manufacturing decline.

* Virginia Braces for Arrival of Pro-Gun Militias Amid State of Emergency.

* Hunger Striker Nearing Death in ICE Custody: “I Just Want Freedom.”

* A giant kettle of vultures has encrusted a CBP radio tower at the US-Mexico border in feces and vomit.

* The trouble with crime statistics.

* Fractal white nationalism.

There’s a reason why the royals are demonised. But you won’t read all about it.

* Yet the politically engaged have also taken to believing that electability is a stable and perhaps even measurable quality innate to the candidates themselves. This belief persists despite the victory, in that election, of a man who was widely considered one of the most unelectable candidates ever to seek the presidency. Now many of the sages who rendered that judgment have reconvened to tell us Donald Trump can only be beaten by someone matching a profile—white, male, moderate—that has not won Democrats the presidency in 24 years.

* If you’re going to listen to the endorsement of a neoliberal with terrible opinions, at least make it Matt Yglesias!

* I’m continually amazed that Hollywood as been so slow to adapt Vaughn’s comics, but Ex Machina is a good one and Oscar Isaacs will give it some real juice. Time to reread!

* Any sufficiently long-running fantasy system (Tolkien, Buffy, most recently Star Wars) eventually considers whether it’s actually ok for the heroes to just exterminate enemy soldiers without feeling bad about it, and then has to find some way to cram that worry back into the box.

All fan theories about TNG must begin from the proposition that Troi does not have either psionic powers or therapeutic training, everyone on the ship is aware of it, and plays along with her delusions for reasons not yet explored in canon.

* News you can use: the forever war between “come” and “cum.”

* Real life horror stories: Symphysiotomy – Ireland’s brutal alternative to caesareans.

Panicking About Your Kids’ Phones? New Research Says Don’t.

* I was way ahead of the game on this: Lego sets its sights on a growing market: Stressed-out adults.

* And a new life awaits you in the off-world colonies.

Friday Night Links!

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* All is proceeding as I have foreseen: Virginia Declares State of Emergency After Armed Militias Threaten to Storm the Capitol.

* How Science Fiction Imagined the 2020s.

* Watchmen’s future unsure at HBO as Lindleof bows out.

* And just for fun, one last time.

* A brand-new Zodiac where the signs are the Muppets.

* The latest anti-grad-student-labor nonsense at the University of Chicago.

 

* The West focuses only on slavery, but the history of Africa is so much more than a footnote to European imperialism.

* Trump’s America may be declining in global soft power—but US empire rolls on. Our Frightening Moment Was Years in the Making.

* Run, Monica, run.

* …the most passionate opposition to Corbynism came from men and women in their forties, fifties, and sixties. They represented the last generation in which any significant number of young radicals even had the option of selling out, in the sense of becoming secure property-owning bastions of the status quo. Not only had that door closed behind them; they were the ones largely responsible for having closed it. They were, for instance, products of what was once the finest free higher education system in the world—having attended schools like Oxford and Cambridge plush with generous state-provided stipends—who had decided their own children and grandchildren would be better off attending university while moonlighting as baristas or sex workers, then starting their professional lives weighted by tens of thousands of pounds in student debt. If the Corbynistas were right, and none of this had really been necessary, were these politicians not guilty of historic crimes? It’s hard to understand the bizarre obsession with the idea that left Labour youth groups like Momentum—about the most mild-mannered batch of revolutionaries one could imagine—would somehow end up marching them all off to the gulag, without the possibility that in the back of their minds, many secretly suspected that show trials might not be entirely inappropriate.

* Shocker: Health care spending decreases under single-payer systems.

* How Many Kids of ‘Millionaires And Billionaires’ Would Actually Benefit from Free College?

* Sex abuse crisis in Amish Country.

* When the movie is so bad you can really let your hair down: Dolittle Is One of the Worst Movies in Years.

* Not the worst map projection I’ve ever seen.

An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Airplane Sleeping Positions.

* And the automoted utopia can never fail; it can only be failed.

2020 Links for 2020

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* I had another short book review at Los Angeles Review of Books the other week, on Chris Ware’s Rusty Brown, a book of this arbitrary amount of time if ever there was one: “Does Chris Ware Still Hate Fun?” When you’re done with that, check out these: “Bedlam and Baby: Parables of Creation in Jack Kirby and Chris Ware” and “’Red People for a Red Planet’: Acme Novelty Library #19, Color, and the Red Leitmotif.”

* And just yesterday at this very site I was hyping the CFP for the relaunch of the World Science Fiction Studies series at Peter Lang, which I am now co-series-editing!

* CFP: SFFTV Call for Reviewers 2020. CFP: Creature Features & the Environment. CFP: English and American Studies in the Age of Post-Truth and Alternative Reality. CFP: Current Research in Science Fiction 2020. CFP: Imagining Alternatives.

It’s 2020 and you’re in the future.

Public Domain Day 2020.

* The 2010s, the decade of sore winners. Will the 2020s Be the Decade of Eugenics?

The most insightful vision of the future at CES came from HBO’s ‘Westworld.’

* The only word on the coming Iran war. Stop the War. Stop US Empire.

I Read Airbnb Magazine So You Don’t Have To.

The Subterranean Press edition of Unexpected Stories will be its first print edition, with a newly-commissioned introduction by Nisi Shawl, and an afterword by Butler’s longtime agent and literary executor, Merrilee Heifetz.

* Visual art and film and TV list from the World Science Fiction course at Bowdoin. A climate fiction syllabus. Rain, Rivers, Resources & Ruin: A Critical Analysis of the Treatment of Resources​ in Ecocritical Science Fiction [cli-fi] Works from 1965 to 2015.

Dr. Manhattan is a Cop: “Watchmen” and Frantz Fanon. Black, White, Blue: To Understand Where HBO’s Watchmen Succeeded, We Need to Understand How Moore’s Watchmen Failed. Project for the TV Criticism of the Future.

Read an English translation of new Cixin Liu short story, 2018-04-01.

* The problem with bringing back blogs is.

* The past five years are the five warmest years on record, the past six the warmest six, the past nine the warmest nine. Oceans are warming at the same rate as if five Hiroshima bombs were dropped in every second. Thousands Flee to Shore as Australia Fires Turn Skies Blood Red (Video). Trump Rule Would Exclude Climate Change in Infrastructure Planning. The Concession to Climate Change I Will Not Make. This is fine.

* Maybe we should look at doing something about the rest of the air, too.

* Meet the Obamog(ho)uls.

Prime Minister Of Iceland Calls For Prioritizing “Well-Being” Of Citizens Over GDP. Finlands Sanna Marin: 4-day-week and 6-hour-day could be the next step. Taiwan’s single-payer success story — and its lessons for America.

* Meanwhile: the High Cost of Having a Baby in America.

* …one of the strongest cases for Bernie isn’t just what he’ll be able to achieve, it’s what he’ll refuse to do (cannot imagine him signing a grand bargain weakening Social Security, for instance).

* One Year in Washington.

* The Palace of the Future Is Nearly Complete.

* By itself, fascist infotainment might just be the hobby of millions, alone together, silently despairing of their lives, sporadically generating ‘lone wolf’ murders and occasional armed shitstorms. “We are living in the middle of a fascist takeover.” NPR’s sanitizing of Trump’s Milwaukee rally shows how he’s broken the media.

* Three shifts at the Scrabble factory.

* Take a look at F-Stop, the Portal sequel you’ll never play.

* The Walking Sim Is a Genuinely New Genre, And No One Fully Understands It.

Inside the College Football Game-Day Housing Boom.

Higher Ed’s Dirty-Money Problem.

The 100 Worst Ed-Tech Debacles of the Decade.

The MLA Started Publishing Job-Searching Advice More Than 50 Years Ago. Here’s How Things Have Changed.

* Liberal Arts Pay Off in the Long Run: A liberal arts education may not have the highest returns in the short run, but a study finds that after 40 years, liberal arts institutions bring a higher return than most colleges.

University of Iowa associate dean appointed weeks after arrest.

Student debt increased by 107% this decade, Federal Reserve data shows.

* Fresh from its laundering pedophile money scandal, MIT welcomes ICE.

* Being black at UW.

* The Catholic Church as organized crime family.

* The rise of the permanent protest.

* This is probably dumb — though maybe 1919 had a lot of bonus fraud in it, would be cool to study — but I have immediately and permanently internalized its lessons nonetheless.

Gen Zers vs. Millennials in the Workplace. Why an internet that never forgets is especially bad for young people. Why Are Young Americans Killing Themselves? Falling without a net. Baby boomers face more risks to their retirement than previous generations. Almost none of the S&P 500’s blockbuster rally in 2019 can be pegged to rising earnings, and that’s a problem.

* When your abuser is a cop.

Med Students Are Doing Vaginal Exams on Unconscious, Non-Consenting Patients.

* Welcome to the Era of the Post-Shopping Mall.

* Colin Trevorrow’s Episode 9 script is better in some ways and worse in others, as you might expect. Star Wars Fans Furious JJ Abrams Gave Role to Dominic Monaghan Over a Soccer Bet. Star Wars: What Went Wrong?

* Jeri Ryan’s latest Picard interview makes me worried that I accidentally wrote the Picard series bible.

* When AI runs the entertainment industry.

* When business people run the Olympics.

* DC and Marvel vs politics.

* The Okorafor century! ‘Binti’ Adaptation From Michael Ellenberg in the Works at Hulu (Exclusive).

* Bad news y’all, seven more years of winter.

* Being Larry David.

* Slaughterhouse-Five is getting a graphic adaptation, and Sami Schalk has been reading the new Parables graphic novel on Twitter.

* Time travel baby. Coffee baby. Babies baby. Memory baby.

* Asimov, groper.

How Negativity Can Kill a Relationship. Come for the life advice, stay for the weirdly unethical psychological research!

* The decolonization of Miles Morales.

* Despite Scorsese’s attacks on superhero films, what links his film (and Tarantino’s) with the various superhero movies is a certain mood: nostalgia. As the theorist Svetlana Boym once put it, “nostalgia is a sentiment of loss and displacement, but it is also a romance with one’s own fantasy.” This is true of all of these films. Boym continues, noting that, “nostalgia appears to be a longing for a place, but it is actually a yearning for a different time — the time of our childhood, the slower rhythms of our dreams.” Tarantino has explicitly mentioned that the year 1969 — when he was six — was the year that “formed” him; Tarantino sees his latest film as a sort of “love letter” to the year (for another, quite different, perspective on this period, see The Stooges classic “1969”). The yearning for childhood should require no explanation in the case of superhero films, but it might require a bit more explanation in the case of The Irishman. Turning to that film allows me also to frame the exact way in which I want to pursue my discussion of Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood.

* Lord of the Rings appendices alignment chart. Alignment chart alignment chart.

‘We are not alone’: Confirmation of alien life ‘imminent and inevitable.’ Top-Secret UFO Files Could ‘Gravely Damage’ US National Security if Released, Navy Says. A list of solutions to the Fermi paradox.

* @ me next time

* One of my favorite archives to think about and teach: nuclear semiotics.

* Lord Byron used to call William Wordsworth “Turdsworth,” and yes, this is a real historical fact.

* And Christopher Tolkien departs for the Grey Havens.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 16, 2020 at 2:11 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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