Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

All the Weekend Links, Existential Despair on the Side

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* In case you missed it: the call for papers for SFFTV‘s special issue on the Mad Max franchise. And our Star Trek special issue is still open, too!

* Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment.

* Horror in Charleston.

What that means is that in South Carolina, the Confederate flag abides by its own rules. While governors—as well as the president—can usually order that all state and national flags within their jurisdiction be flown at half-staff, this one is exempt. Instead, the Confederate flag’s location can be changed only by a two-thirds vote by both branches of the General Assembly. “In South Carolina, the governor does not have legal authority to alter the flag,” said a press secretary for Haley. “Only the General Assembly can do that.” Take down the flag.

* Confederate flag in Orlando to be burned in symbolic burial.

* Denmark Vesey, Forgotten Hero. A recent flashback.

Meet Debbie Dills, Florist Who Called in Tip that Led to Dylann Roof’s Arrest.

* It’s Juneteenth.

* We still need to talk about white male pathology.

* The Treasury is going to put a woman on the $10. That’ll fix it!

* Poverty and the brain.

What Would Happen If We ALL Stopped Paying Our Student Loans, Together?

California Says Uber Driver Is Employee, Not a Contractor.

* Tech isn’t really making a “sharing” economy. So what is it making? The Servitude Bubble.

Reasonable Doubts About the Jury System.

hemingway* Hemingway’s rough drafts.

We Regret to Inform You That in 4 Days You and Your Family Will Be Deported to Haiti.

Women’s soccer will only achieve greater growth when we have a FIFA not run by sexist men.

Performance-Based Funding Can Be Fickle, One University’s Close Call Shows. Florida State would have lost $16.7 million if its median graduate had earned just $400 less.

7 Seriously Bad Ideas That Rule Higher Education.

* “When a non-tenure-track lecturer position is the fairy tale reward for a PhD and more than 7 years on the job market, it’s time to break things.”

* The Cult of Jurassic Park.

* The sheep look up: don’t drink the water edition.

* Did abortion cause the drought? I say teach the controversy.

* It’s a weird, weird world: Obama is going to be on WTF. I’ll never accept this is real.

* Theses on Hating.

11. Enthusiasts have hitherto only loved the world in various ways; the point is to hate it (too).

* Precarity rising.

* Maladministration killed Sweet Briar, says former board member.

The Best And Worst Airlines, Airports And Flights, Summer 2015 Update.

‘Screen Time’ For Kids Is Probably Fine.

Your Children Won’t Be Able To Live In Space, Without A Major Upgrade.

* Another pedagogy gimmick, but at least it’s cheap: roleplaying games.

* Science explains why you hate the word “moist.”

There Have Only Been 9 Days This Year When Police Didn’t Kill Someone.

* Another piece on the trolley problem and the self-driving car.

* Vermont vs. the Affordable Care Act.

* Euthanasia and non-terminal illness.

* Harris Wittels’s sister remembers her brother.

SethBling wrote a program made of neural networks and genetic algorithms called MarI/O that taught itself how to play Super Mario World. This six-minute video is a pretty easy-to-understand explanation of the concepts involved.

* X-Men and the spectrum.

* Making the world safe from Marjane Satrapi.

Neil Gaiman and Kazuo Ishiguro in conversation.

* A people’s history of Singled Out.

* Game of Peanuts.

* Everything you want, in the worst possible way: please god don’t ever let Captain Worf happen.

No pricey pension plans, some argued. No promotions based solely on seniority. No set hours for a given workweek. No prohibitions against layoffs. Unions! Catch the fever!

* The arc of history is long, but Mitch Horwitz is doing a Netflix comedy series with Maria Bamford.

* Didn’t we do this one already? All six Star Wars films at once.

* And if you want to know why there’s no future for our civilization, just read this.

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Written by gerrycanavan

June 19, 2015 at 12:25 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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SFFTV CFP: Special Issue on the MAD MAX Franchise

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Science Fiction Film and Television seeks submissions for a special issue on the Mad Max franchise.
Guest Editor: Dan Hassler-Forest

The original Mad Max (1979) was a hard-edged low-budget exploitation film with sf elements, frantically put together in twelve weeks by a small crew working in and around Melbourne on a $325,000 budget. Its worldwide success led to two incrementally more ambitious sequels that expanded the first film’s dystopian vision significantly: Mad Max 2 (aka The Road Warrior) in 1982, and Hollywood behemoth Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome in 1985.

The film trilogy became hugely influential in its depiction of a post-apocalyptic wasteland, the sequels in particular establishing a visual style that soon became a default for visual representations of punk dystopias in film, television, comic books, video games, and music videos. At the same time, a wide range of comics, novels and novelizations, and video games expanded the films’ storyworld significantly.

When the fourth film in the franchise was released to much acclaim three decades after the original trilogy ended, it proved to be neither prequel, sequel, nor reboot. Mad Max: Fury Road instead revived the franchise as a variation on established themes, full of references to earlier films, but without a clear chronological relationship to its precursors. The film’s gender politics, ideology, and aesthetics have been widely debated, and new films and transmedia expansions are once again being prepared.

SFFTV invites fresh approaches to Mad Max as a sf entertainment franchise and transnational cultural phenomenon, with possible emphases on:

* politics and ideology
* fossil fuel and peak oil in sf
* post-apocalyptic narratives
* franchising and transmedia world-building
* sequels, spin-offs, and novelizations
* ecological disaster sf
* transnational cinema
* exploitation cinema and cult film
* materiality and sf: film vs. digital cinema
* transnational celebrity: Mel Gibson, Tina Turner, Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron
* representations of race and ethnicity
* gender politics and queer theory
* sf literature influences
* music video aesthetics
* “the indie blockbuster”: independent cinema in post-classical Hollywood
* representations of children and childhood
* George Miller and auteur theory
* Mad Max and transnational exploitation cinema
* Mad Max 2 and queer theory
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and 1980s corporate synergy
* Mad Max: Fury Road and digital cinema

Articles of 6,000-9,000 words should be formatted using MLA style and according to the submission guidelines available on our website. Submissions should be made via our online system at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com:80/lup-sfftv. Articles not selected for the special issue will be considered for future issues of the journal.

Any questions should be directed to the editors, Dan Hassler-Forest (d.a.hassler-forest@uva.nl), Mark Bould (mark.bould@gmail.com), Sherryl Vint (sherryl.vint@gmail.com), and Gerry Canavan (gerrycanavan@gmail.com).

The deadline for submissions is February 1, 2016, with anticipated publication in spring 2017.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 17, 2015 at 2:45 pm

Weekend Links!

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* New journal: Series: The International Journal of TV Serial Narratives.

* The full syllabus for my upcoming summer science fiction course is finished, if you’re interested. I’ve also updated the “online articles” section of my website with a link to Marquette’s online repository of my articles, which has some stuff people have been asking for (like my Snowpiercer essay).

* So why is TPP the only thing Obama has ever bothered to fight for?

“The hardest things are the title and the name of the girl.” Oh, so it’s ridiculously easy.

Judge finds probable cause for murder charge against officer who killed Tamir Rice.

Judge orders University of Illinois to release Steven Salaita emails.

* The only thing anyone can talk about.

Every Single Federal Employee’s Social Security Number Was Hacked: Report. Incredible. I almost wonder if this breach could actually be so large that the government has to shift responsibility for fraud away from individual consumers.

At its worst, however, Left Forum is Comic Con for Marxists—Commie Con, if you will—and an absolute shitshow of nerds and social rejects.

On the heels of last week’s shocking news that the Transportation Security Administration has a whopping 95 percent failure rate at finding bombs and weapons, we are now learning that the TSA further failed to identify 73 airport workers with links to terrorism.

‘Debt-Free College’ Is Democrats’ New Rallying Cry.

The Milwaukee Bucks bailout and Gov. Scott Walker’s questionable math.

Why are so many companies spending record sums of money buying back their shares instead of reinvesting more of their profits in their business and their workers? What could possibly explain it?

I thought homeschooling my kids would be simple. I was wrong.

* “If she disobeyed, they had told her, they’d cut off her hair.”

Barbasol’s inclusion was mostly a fluke — the movie’s art director, John Bell, said he grabbed it off a prop shelf with little thought; in the book, smugglers used Gillette — but the shaving-cream maker now calls it one of its biggest victories: John Price, a marketing vice president for parent company Perio, called it “one of the most recognized brand integrations of all time.”

Here’s how much it would cost to build Jurassic Park.

One phenomenon that has so far flown under the radar in discussions of peer-to-peer production and the sharing economy but that demands recognition on its own is one for which I think an apt name would be crowdforcing. Crowdforcing in the sense I am using it refers to practices in which one or more persons decides for one or more others whether he or she will share his or her resources, without the other person’s consent or even, perhaps more worryingly, knowledge. While this process has analogs and has even itself occurred prior to the digital revolution and the widespread use of computational tools, it has positively exploded thanks to them, and thus in the digital age may well constitute a difference in kind as well as amount.

* I know Reason is the enemy and all, but their report on this mishandled sex assault case at Amherst is genuinely stunning.

* New, large study confirms that approximately 1 in 5 women suffer sexual assault at college.

A program designed to help female college freshmen resist sexual assault is creating a lot of buzz among victims’ advocates and college educators. Most were encouraged to learn that incidents of rape had been cut in half among participants in a Canadian study of the program, which involved four three-hour sessions in which the women learned to recognize the danger of coercive situations and to fight back, verbally and physically.

* Scenes from the class struggle at god Reddit is awful.

* Counterpoint: Anne Frank’s Diary Should Have Been Burned.

* RT @SaintRPh: Guy lives next to airport. Painted this on roof to confuse passengers as they fly overhead. He lives in Milwaukee.

* Secrets of the Milwaukee Accent.

* Reality is weird: Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron hated each other, but their stunt doubles got married.

22 Incredible Facts About The Life and Career Of Sir Christopher Lee.

Thanks, global warming: Now polar bears are devouring dolphins.

* Twilight of the Tweeters.

* The end of Michigan.

Nearly Half of Senior Tenured Professors Want to Delay Retirement. Yeah, you’ll never get rid of me.

* Some people just want to watch the world burn.

* Future really getting weird now.

* But sometimes the future gets it all right.

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Thursday Links

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* America, I just want you to know there’s still time to stop this.

* Really got our number here: All Possible Humanities Dissertations, Considered as Single Tweets.

RT @gerrycanavan: This short text, seen rightly, reveals the contradictions of a whole culture.

Scholarly Associations Defend Tenure and Academic Freedom in Wisconsin.

* Now Cooper Union’s president is out, too.

Since starting to write this story about Champion, so many people have warned me away, expressed concern and shock, or (helpful but alarming) encouraged me to call the police if ever I felt threatened. I sort of knew what I was getting into when I began, and I believe I have as good an understanding now as I can have now that I’ve finished, but this fear is palpable. I know Champion will read this and I cannot imagine how it will feel for him. I would not want such a piece to be written about me, but I also hope never do to the kinds of things Champion has done. And I think that if I ever do them, I will deserve a story like this. Fascinating, frightening read.

* Unhappy career advice from the Chronicle: “You might not be ready for promotion.”

* UNC gets put on one-year probation for its recent student-athlete scandals. In other news, accreditation is a joke.

11-Year-Old Boy Played in His Yard. CPS Took Him, Felony Charge for Parents.

The Post-Ownership Society: How the “sharing economy” allows Millennials to cope with downward mobility, and also makes them poorer.

* History is a nightmare from which we are trying to wake George R.R. Martin.

This Artist Is Taking The Condemned Homes Of Detroit And Turning Them Into Gorgeous Fuddruckers Franchises.

* Clever girl: Reviewer From The Guardian Says Jurassic World Passes Bechdel Test Because of Female Dinosaurs. See also.

* Teach all girls self-defense.

* Bold new horizons in student debt moralism.

* The history of America, as seen through the Census.

* Twilight of “you guys.”

Quentin Tarantino is ‘retrofitting 50 theaters in the world’ with special projectors so they can show his new film properly.

* John Roberts, liberal hero?

* Being Kumail Nanjiani.

Doogie Howser, M.D. gets the gritty reboot you never knew it needed.

* Harriet Potter and the Very Dedicated Parent. There really should be an app for this.

* Male film critics are apparently unable to understand the explicit, surface text of Goodfellas.

* Alanis Morissette, before Jagged Little Pill.

* The arc of history is long, but.

* This is close, but I for one believe the hottest take is still out there.

* And I guess some people just see farther.

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Wednesday Links!

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Fans aren’t the irrational ones. They know how to seize pleasure from the world and hold tight even as it hurts them. If fandom is simply an obedient response to the signals of the consumer market, it is an obedience which threatens to overrun its master while saying yes.

* On unprofessional bodies.

* Another “I’m a professor” essay.

What my experience has taught me must become every instructor’s priority — that is, if we are in the profession because we want to develop engaged citizens. I have learned to teach students to notice how they are being groomed to join a “docile and contingent workforce” whenever they are not encouraged to think in ways that feel like a challenge. I couldn’t do this if I were busy cowering to avoid complaints. Besides, I want my students to be passionately engaged and to feel empowered about speaking up both inside and outside of my classroom. The real question, then, is: how can professors broach controversial topics in a way that does not lend itself to complaints that are grounded more in emotion than in intellectual inquiry? The solution is simple, but implementing it requires courage and tenacity: professors need to directly discuss power and power differentials, no matter the subject area.

Tenure, Fairness, and Fear(lessness).

But that is not really something that makes professors special. Rather, it is good for people to make their lives less fearsome and their minds less fearful. Those of us who have some of that privilege in our working lives should hold our heads high and try to be allies to others who are working to get their share of it. There’s no shame in having security, only in keeping other people from it.

In the wake of the UW System Board of Regents’ decision last week to “pretend to have tenure,” System leaders are coming to acknowledge more and more in their public statements the correctness of the worries they have simultaneously attempted to depict as alarmist. The very grave problem posed by section 39 of the JFC omnibus motion is finally on the public radar of UW administrators, though they continue to soft-pedal its severity.

Can the University of Wisconsin Survive Governor Walker?

* Unless you are in highly unusual circumstances, really, do not think of adjuncting as a long-term career.

* What different colleges could do with $400 million.

In Heated State-Budget Fights, Students Strive to Be Heard.

* Scenes from the class struggle at Cooper Union: Five Trustees, Including Daniel Libeskind, Abruptly Resign.

The accusations against Mr. Walker, one of several new claims of academic misconduct involving Texas athletes, illustrate how the university has appeared to let academically deficient players push the limits of its policy on academic integrity as it has sought to improve its teams’ academic records.

* On disliking poetry.

But the emerging field of Republican candidates for the 2016 presidential election is something else altogether. Of the dozen or so people who have declared or are thought likely to declare, every one can be described as a full-blown adult failure. These are people who, in most cases, have been granted virtually every imaginable advantage on the road to success, and managed nevertheless to foul things up along the way.

* And then there was Rand, scooping the Democrats again.

“We will make them appear less Asian when they apply,” he says. “While it is controversial, this is what we do.”

Concerned that kindergarten has become overly academic in recent years, this suburban school district south of Baltimore is introducing a new curriculum in the fall for 5-year-olds. Chief among its features is a most old-fashioned concept: play.

* From infancy to employment, this is a life-denying, love-denying mindset, informed not by joy or contentment, but by an ambition that is both desperate and pointless, for it cannot compensate for what it displaces: childhood, family life, the joys of summer, meaningful and productive work, a sense of arrival, living in the moment.

How Utah Became A Bizarre, Blissful Epicenter For Get-Rich-Quick Schemes.

* New government research shows that female military veterans commit suicide at nearly six times the rate of other women, a startling finding that experts say poses disturbing questions about the backgrounds and experiences of women who serve in the armed forces.

Apple is finally fixing the reason your Mac and iPhone’s Wi-Fi sucks.

The constant cycle of phone upgrades — in which consumers buy phones once a new model comes out every two or so years — is having serious effects on the environment, according to a new study.

Why These Tiny Island Nations Are Planning To Sue Fossil Fuel Companies.

* music is inefficient beep bop boop

Why Franklin Richards Is The Most Ridiculous Character In All Of Comics.

* Information wants to be free! With regard to the pornographic material Osama Bin Laden had in his possession at the time of his death, responsive records, should they exist, would be contained in the operational files. The CIA Information Act, 50 U.S.C 431, as amended, exempts CIA operational files from search, review, publication, and disclosure requirements of the FOIA. To the extent that this material exists, the CIA would be prohibited by 18 USC Section 1461 from mailing obscene matter.

Six days in North Korea.

* “Officer Involved.”

Iceland put bankers in jail rather than bailing them out — and it worked.

* And Germany’s oldest student, 102, gets PhD denied by Nazis.

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Ten Thousand Tuesday Links

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* Susannah Bartlow has been writing about her side of the Assata Shakur mural controversy: 1, 2.

Saint Louis University has removed a statue on its campus depicting a famous Jesuit missionary priest praying over American Indians after a cohort of students and faculty continued to complain the sculpture symbolized white supremacy, racism and colonialism.

* Ursula K. Le Guin Calls on Fantasy and Sci Fi Writers to (Continue to) Envision Alternatives to Capitalism. What Can Economics Learn From Science Fiction?

Muslim fiction writers are turning to genres like sci-fi, fantasy, and comics.

Slavoj Žižek’s Board Game Reviews.

How to Advocate for the Liberal Arts: the State-University Edition.

Post-tenure review: BOR-ed to death. Don’t believe the lies about UW and tenure. On Tenure and If You [Really] Want to Be a Badger. Upocalypse Final Update. Does Tenure Have a Future? An Open Forum. Twilight of the Professors. The End of Higher Education As We Know It.

* Now more than ever: “Privilege” and the rhetoric of austerity.

* Meanwhile: college presidents are getting paid.

* Counterpoint: I was a liberal adjunct professor. My liberal students didn’t scare me at all.

* How to Tailor Your Online Image, or, Don’t Go to Grad School.

* The poet-scholar.

* McKinney nightmare. Disciplining Black Bodies: Racial Stereotypes of Cleanliness and Sexuality. Memories of the Jefferson Park Pool. Summer heat.

* America is still incredibly segregated.

Kalief Browder was one of those African American men. But in 2010 he was a boy of 16, sent to Riker’s Island for a crime he did not commit. As reported by the great Jennifer Gonnerman, Browder sat there for three years without a trial. He was repeatedly beaten by guards and inmates while in Rikers. He spent two years in solitary confinement—a euphemism for living under torture. On Saturday the effects of that torture were made manifest.

You Can Be Prosecuted for Clearing Your Browser History.

* Enter manslamming.

* Bernie Sanders: Let’s Spend $5.5 Billion to Employ 1 Million Young People.

* Meanwhile, Clinton advance the Canavan position on voter registration: just make it automatic. Now let’s talk about letting noncitizen permanent residents vote!

* And Chafee wants the metric system! This Democratic primary is truly devoted to Canavan demo.

* The Bureaucratic Utopia of Drone Warfare.

* The Middleman Economy.

* The gig economy triumphant.

NLRB: Duquesne Adjuncts May Form Union. 

* Nice work if you can get it: Top Weather Service official creates consulting job — then takes it himself with $43,200 raise, watchdog says.

You Can Be Prosecuted for Clearing Your Browser History.

The Apple Watch could be the most successful flop in history.

Put this one in the awkward file: just hours after the EPA released yet another massive study (literally, at just under 1000 pages) which found no evidence that fracking led to widespread pollution of drinking water (an outcome welcome by the oil industry and its backers and criticized by environmental groups), the director of the California Department of Conservation,  which oversees the agency that regulates the state’s oil and gas industry, resigned as the culmination of a scandal over the contamination of California’s water supply by fracking wastewater dumping.

* The rules of Quidditch, revised edition.

What’s Happening To Players At The Women’s World Cup, Where The Artificial Turf Is 120 Degrees.

* TSA is a hoax.

* All about Fun Home: Primal Desire and the American Musical.

Here’s what it would take for the US to run on 100% renewable energy. Bring on 2099!

Calvin And Hobbes embodied the voice of the lonely child.

The quick, offstage choreography of SNL costume changes.

100-year-old blackboard drawings found in Oklahoma school.

* How Clickhole Became the Best Thing on the Internet.

* Shocked, shocked: claw machines are rigged.

* Everything you know about wolf packs is wrong.

Only known chimp war reveals how societies splinter.

Sleuthing reveals Shorewood home was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

* I’ve been spending too much time on recommendation letters.

* I also chose the wrong career: I should have been a psychic, or at least whatever this guy was doing before he managed to lose three-quarters of a million dollars to a psychic.

Different People Have Different Opinions About Burning Their Own Children Alive, And That’s Okay.

* “What ‘Game of Thrones’ Can Teach Us About Great Customer Service.”

* Warp drives and scientific reasoning.

* The things you learn having a good editor: “Mexican Standoff” predates film by fifty years, and probably is participating in anti-Mexican prejudice.

* Language is like gymnastics.

* It’s a bad world.

* But keep hope alive: J.K. Rowling says there’s an American Hogwarts.

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Written by gerrycanavan

June 9, 2015 at 12:36 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Friday Friday!

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Killing tenure is academia’s point of no return. Wisconsin’s Fight Over Faculty Rights: What’s at Stake, and What’s Next. What’s Gone Wrong in Wisconsin? Prof says Regents failure to protect tenure is the beginning of the end of UW. Why Wisconsin Matters to You.

One College’s Method to Prove Its Value: Scanning Students’ Brains. Sure, that’ll solve it!

A University Banks on Ph.D. Stipends to Better Compete With Its Peers. Seems wise!

Secret Aerial FBI Program Uncovered By 23-Year-Old Journalist.

* After Water.

What Happens When The First Texas Town To Run Out Of Water Gets Record Rainfall.

Before Lego Ripped Off Minecraft, Minecraft Ripped Off Lego.

How did “rabbit hole,” which started its figurative life as a conduit to a fantastical land, evolve into a metaphor for extreme distraction?

* When Rebecca Schuman interviewed Arne Duncan about for-profit colleges.

* Fermat’s Last Theorem watch: How Math’s Most Famous Proof Nearly Broke.

* Solidarity or ally-ship?

* The chess sublime.

* And our debate yesterday was a blast. Thanks to FutureTense for the invitation! Next resolution: does it still count as winning if you sway more voters to your side, but still don’t clear 50%. I’ll take the aff…

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