Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Fourth of July-ish Links

with 2 comments

* Your single chart that explains everything, academia edition:

* The student loan suicides. The graduates of 2012 are already dead. Every Article About Graduate Unemployment Ever.

* This is education in the neoliberal age: a quest not for success, but for survival. You ask what it is that will give your children ‘a better chance’. You find a dispassionately technocratic answer, based on the rigorous analysis of academic achievement data. You discount every factor that might make your children non-average, beginning with their attitudes and desires. While you’re at it, you put out of your mind the very idea of social relationships and of the social good. Remember: your children are drowning. It would be quite absurd at this time to wonder what your friends’ children, what their own friends are up to.

* Literature in the Oil Age.

* “Yesterday—only the first day of the month—was hot enough to shatter 27 records and tie 24 others for the highest ever July temperatures. Here’s the whole last week:

Back to back 105 days in my beloved Durham. Are any scientists working on this trying to figure out what’s going on? Firsthand Accounts: Parts of WV, Ohio “Apocalypse” due to the Derecho. Colorado Wildfires Shutter Climate Lab. Get used to wildfires.

* All your preconceptions confirmed: 69 Politicians As They Were In High School.

* Libertarianism and the Workplace.

* Via Bitter Laughter, Reddit explains ACA. Another great piece from Amanda Marcotte that shows how fact-free right-wing opposition to Obamacare has been allowed to be: Questions for Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney and Other Opponents of Health Care Reform: Where Are Your Facts?

As Supreme Court Affirms Patchwork U.S. Healthcare System, Vermont Pushes Ahead with Single Payer.

* The down and dirty history of secret spending, PACs gone wild, and the epic four-decade fight over the only kind of political capital that matters.

* This short story by Cory Doctorow imagines an encounter between a solitary sentient robot (Robbie the Row Boat), human meat-bodies that serve as avatars for scuba diving, and a recently uplifted-to-sentience coral reef. Sold!

* The truth is out there: U.S. government lies about the existence of mermaids.

* And sometimes Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal gets it all right. Happy Fourth of July.

2 Responses

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  1. I have sympathy for the young people currently graduating into a recession — or more precisely empathy, since the exact same thing happened to my cohort twenty years ago. Read “Generation X” or, I’d bet, many Newsweek or Economist op eds of the period and you will find the same breathless hand wringing as Paul Mason’s. We also suffered through a few years as baristas and backpackers, and then the economy picked up again, and we were back on the hamster wheel.

    Granted, student loans are a big, unprecedented burden. But let’s have some perspective.

    “This is the first generation able to treat knowledge like software: available for upload, use, upgrade and eventual disposal. They are able to start with levels of knowledge previous generations had to learn through a long process of ingestion and skill acquisition.” Um, no, that was us. We had Usenet and WAIS and Compuserve and soon, AlM and Google and Wikipedia.

    • The economy is *much* worse now than then, though. This is, by a good bit, the worst economy in living memory (aside of course from the very limited number of very old people who remember the Depression).

      gerrycanavan

      July 3, 2012 at 11:13 am


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