Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘1492

Sunday Reading, A Great Idea Whose Time Has Come

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SFFTV Special Issue CFP: Global Utopian Film and TV in the Age of Dystopia.

* CFP: The Sixth Annual David Foster Wallace Conference, June 27-29, 2019.

* CFP: 20th International Conference of the Utopian Studies Society, Europe.

Pasadena on Her Mind: Octavia E. Butler Reimagines Her Hometown.

* The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy talks to the great Lisa Yaszek.

* When your stalker signs up for your class.

When massive open online courses (MOOCs) first captured global attention in 2012, advocates imagined a disruptive transformation in postsecondary education. Video lectures from the world’s best professors could be broadcast to the farthest reaches of the networked world, and students could demonstrate proficiency using innovative computer-graded assessments, even in places with limited access to traditional education. But after promising a reordering of higher education, we see the field instead coalescing around a different, much older business model: helping universities outsource their online master’s degrees for professionals. To better understand the reasons for this shift, we highlight three patterns emerging from data on MOOCs provided by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) via the edX platform: The vast majority of MOOC learners never return after their first year, the growth in MOOC participation has been concentrated almost entirely in the world’s most affluent countries, and the bane of MOOCs—low completion rates—has not improved over 6 years.

* US academics feel the invisible hand of politicians and big agriculture.

Augsburg University in Minnesota suspended a professor for using the N-word during a class discussion about a James Baldwin book in which the word appeared — and for sharing essays on the history of the word with students who complained to him about it. “Teaching & the N-word: Questions to Consider.” I have always personally abided by the use/mention distinction out of deference to black artists and what I see as an injunction not to rewrite their work for them (which has always seemed, to me, like centering whiteness too, just in a different way). But the social consensus around that is *rapidly* changing; I’m not at all sure what’s best, and it seems like a pedagogical minefield that the contemporary moment is completely unprepared to think through in a careful way.

* Fairfax was preparing to be Va. governor. Then Northam said he was staying put.

Giant Mirrors. Ocean Whitening. Here’s How Exxon Wanted to Save the Planet. Students Are Preparing for the First Major U.S. Climate Strike Next Month. There’s a big hole in the world’s most important glacier. Hell yeah, Upper Midwest. Climate signs.

* The Anthropocene started in 1492. On the Importance of a Date, or Decolonizing the Anthropocene.

* A history of “woke.”

How the Seattle Times is empowering reporters to drive subscriber growth.

“Nothing to me is more revealing of the core pathology of the modern Republican party [than] the way that it sees widening access to the ballot and higher turnout as a threat.”

Trump’s Labor Board Just Gave Its Blessing to One of the Most Deplorable Worker Abuses in the Country.

* ‘Willful Ignorance.’ Inside President Trump’s Troubled Intelligence Briefings.

* Lord of the Rings as D&D Campaign.

Trump Allies Think Ruth Bader Ginsburg Is Hiding or Dead. It Started on QAnon.

The U.S. Needs to Stay Out of Venezuela.

* Snopes officially declares Facebook unfactcheckable.

* Automated background checks are deciding who’s fit for a home.

New York Insurers Can Evaluate Your Social Media Use—If They Can Prove Why It’s Needed.

We Followed YouTube’s Recommendation Algorithm Down The Rabbit Hole.

* As Drug Prices Rise, Is Boston’s Prosperity Based On A Moral Crime?

* Invincible has a solid voice cast, but for some reason I thought this show was going to be live action, and now I’m broken-hearted.

* Cop watch: FBI Warned Law Enforcement Agencies of Threat Posed by Non-Existent ‘Pro-Choice Extremists.’ Revealed: FBI investigated civil rights group as ‘terrorism’ threat and viewed KKK as victims. No Heat for Days at a Jail in Brooklyn Where Hundreds of Inmates Are Sick and ‘Frantic.’ Mentally Ill Prisoners Are Held Past Release Dates, Lawsuit Claims. Prison gerrymandering is distorting democracy in states across the Midwest and nationwide, leaving incarcerated people with inequitable representation—or none at all. ICE Agents Are Using Pennsylvania’s Courthouses as a Stalking Ground. The State Supreme Court Can Stop Them. One Lawyer, One Day, 194 Felony Cases. The criminal justice system also has an ‘alternative facts’ problem. The FBI Has Your DNA Now.

* This was cool: In new research they plan to present at the USENIX Security conference on Thursday, a group of researchers from the University of Washington has shown for the first time that it’s possible to encode malicious software into physical strands of DNA, so that when a gene sequencer analyzes it the resulting data becomes a program that corrupts gene-sequencing software and takes control of the underlying computer.

Wisconsin basketball star has no plans to stop protesting racism during the national anthem.

* Breaking: everyone from uncontacted and isolated tribes is in the Bad Place.

A new study finds Americans take the pain of girls less seriously than that of boys.

* The lost boys of #MeToo.

* Will Anyone Save Black Colleges?

* A spectre is haunting the 2020 Democratic primary.

* Brexit still going great.

Almost 20 years after measles was eliminated in the U.S., 2019 could see the highest rates of the dangerous disease in three decades, an expert has warned.

* Let children be bored again. I ran this parenting suggestion by my seven year old and got a big thumbs down.

* I wish there were a different author than Jesse Singal, but the story is genuinely fascinating: How a Twitter Mob Derailed an Immigrant Female Author’s Budding Career.

* New to podcasts? Choose your genre!

* And these stamps sure are pretty.