Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘7 Up

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* frieze asked me to write them an end-of-decade reflection on franchise culture, so here it is: “Disney’s Endgame: How the Franchise Came to Rule Cinema.” It bounces off the Scorsese brouhaha, but with an eye towards what I see as the key problematic there (monopoly), as opposed to fretting about spectacle or sequels as such. Check it out!

* Had an amazing time doing the keynote at the UC Speculative Futures Collective Symposium on Speculative Futures and Education this week. Look for more from this group soon!

* I was also on the Gribcast podcast talking about Parable of the Talents, something we’d planned for nearly a year before finally making it happen.

* I was elected president of the Science Fiction Research Association last week, too. It’s been weird!

* CFP: Ecopedagogies for the Anthropocene. CFP: Midwestern Science Fiction and Fantasy. CFP: AU: Alternate University.

* The agrocapitalist sublime: The first map of America’s food supply chain is mind-boggling.

These 8 Men Have As Much Money As Half The World.

* Ken Liu in the Times: How Chinese Sci-Fi Conquered America. The China Science Fiction Research Institute.

* ASAP Journal has a cluster on Latinx SF.

Accelerationism: how a fringe philosophy predicted the future we live in. Come for the SF-fueled theory, stay for the celebration of Mark Fisher…

* Now, novelty is to be found in the refusal of communicative capitalism’s false promises of smoothness. If the nineties were defined by the loop (the ‘good’ infinity of the seamlessly looped breakbeat, Goldie’s “Timeless”), then the 21st century is perhaps best captured in the ‘bad’ infinity of the animated GIF, with its stuttering, frustrated temporality, its eerie sense of being caught in a time-trap.

* The humanities in ruins.

My university is dying. And soon yours will be too. The end of Title IX. The other college debt crisis: Schools are going broke. Academe as the Dystopian Workplace. My god, UNC. One of the smartest and most prescient things I’ve read about current higher education was written in 1974, by the great education editor Fred Hechinger, who predicted splitting aid by income would create a “class war over tuition.” -22.8% per student, inflation adjusted. As Universities See State Funding Threatened, Will They Be Less Outspoken About Climate Change? A strike at Harvard. I told my mentor I was a dominatrix.

* 63 Up.

* Are podcasts a disaster waiting to happen?

Was ‘Oumuamua a cosmic dust bunny?

* Farming and the United Federation of Planets.

Climate tipping points — too risky to bet against. Nine climate tipping points now ‘active,’ warn scientists. A Grave Climate Warning, Buried on Black Friday. ‘Bleak’ U.N. Report on a Planet in Peril Looms Over New Climate Talks. Global Warming Prediction Sounds Alarm for Climate Fight. Climate Change Is Accelerating, Bringing World ‘Dangerously Close’ to Irreversible Change. Even 50-year-old climate models correctly predicted global warming. I decided to do a bit of a close read of one particular part of a 1965 report sent to Lyndon Johnson, on atmospheric carbon dioxide. Because I hate myself, you see.

‘It is raining plastic’: Microplastics found in Colorado rainwater. US may face French fry shortage due to poor potato crop: report. Forget ‘developing’ poor countries, it’s time to ‘de-develop’ rich countries. California bans insurers from dropping policies in wildfire zones. Will Buffalo become a climate change haven? Meet Julian Brave NoiseCat – the 26-year-old shaping US climate policy. Exxon and the carbon tax. And what could possibly go wrong? This Bill Gates-funded chemical cloud could help stop global warming. The Failure of the Adults.

* Indict Jair Bolsonaro over indigenous rights, international court is urged.

Border Patrol threw away migrants’ belongings. A janitor saved and photographed them.

* ICE set up a fake university, then arrested 250 people granted student visas. Truly the worst of these cases I’ve seen, no public good rationale whatsoever.

* This gets reported every few months as if it were new or shocking information: DHS never had technology needed to track separated migrant kids.

Inside the Cell Where a Sick 16-Year-Old Boy Died in Border Patrol Care.

* Today in the Forever War.

How “people of color” evolved from a gesture of solidarity and respect to a cover for avoiding the complexities of race.

A staggering one-in-three women, experience physical, sexual abuse.

What is going on? Fears of school shootings hit eight Wisconsin high schools in three days.

* Wisconsin Republicans can completely transform the state’s system of governance on the fly, but the Foxconn deal is sacred writ now and forever.

Trump’s Turkey Corruption Is Way Worse Than You Realize. I predicted Trump would win in 2016 — and I’m predicting the same for 2020. Here’s why liberals don’t understand what he represents. How Trump could lose by 5 million votes and still win in 2020. And it will always get worse: Trump Tells Allies He Wants Absolved War Criminals to Campaign for Him.

If you want to beat Trump, be honest about Biden.

* McKinsey in the news!

* Waiting for Obama. Let’s hang ourselves. The Real Barack Obama Has Finally Revealed Himself.

* Anthony Weiner and the butterfly effect.

* The case for Bernie Sanders.

* ‘A distinctly American phenomenon’: Our workforce is dying faster than any other wealthy country, study shows. It’s Not Just Poor White People Driving a Decline in Life Expectancy. Income inequality in America is the highest it’s been since Census Bureau started tracking it, data shows. Unemployment is low only because ‘involuntary’ part-time work is high. Nearly 700,000 SNAP Recipients Could Lose Benefits Under New Trump Rule. In a small Vermont city: heroin, bullets, and empathy.

* Why Rent Control Works. Highways Give Way to Homes as Cities Rebuild. Against self-driving cars. Today’s Socialist Revival Began on the Streets of Seattle 20 Years Ago. Welcome to the Global Rebellion Against Neoliberalism. Even rich kids need free college.

Millennials weren’t the only ones gutted by the recession. Gen X has never recovered.

* True crime: Indiana manipulated report on Amazon worker’s death to lure HQ2, investigation says. Google fires four employees at center of worker organization efforts. Away’s founders sold a vision of travel and inclusion, but former employees say it masked a toxic work environment. Uber Office Had Separate Bathrooms for Drivers and ‘Employees.’ Uber’s new loan program could trap drivers in cycles of crushing debt. Uber Says 3,045 Sexual Assaults Were Reported in U.S. Rides Last Year.

* “Nearly every Revver who spoke with The Verge said they were exposed to graphic or troubling material on multiple occasions with no warning. This includes recordings of physical and verbal abuse between intimate partners, graphic descriptions of sexual assault, amateur porn, violent footage from police body cameras, a transphobic rant, and, in one instance, “a breast augmentation filmed by a physician’s cell phone, being performed on a patient who was under sedation.” Transcribers for the gig economy service Rev hate the recently slashed rates, but the disturbing content they deal with is even worse.

Watched “The Irishman” and wondered, hey, what happened to those Teamsters pension funds in the end? Turns out that once Rudy Giuliani made a big splash getting the mob out, he handed management over to Wall Street with no oversight, and they wrecked it.

* The final word on should you go to grad school, from 1987.

* But his bosses didn’t like him, so they shot him into space.

* Starlink vs. the stars. Even more here!

Airlines damage or lose an average of 26 wheelchairs a day, report finds.

* What happens after you abandon an entire amusement park?

* You can’t have it both ways.

* This stabs me twice.

* Give it up for Tom Gauld.

* This is a mistake and we should not accept it.

* New book claims Albert Camus was murdered by the KGB.

* The color of the year is… blue. Just — blue.

* Wish I’d been quicker on the blogging trigger to include this Thanksgiving classic in time for the holiday.

* Pretty sick dude. The prequels were close to a good story. I did stand-up last night as “1990s Jerry Seinfeld Doing Bits About His 17-Year-Old Girlfriend.” It Happened to Me: Sinclair Bought My Hometown News Channel and Now It’s Deranged. Bleakest shit I’ve ever seen. The Fire Was Good, Actually. That’s good content. That’s my secret. Inigo Montoya’s Guide to Networking Success. The self care serial killer. Every city has a “guy” they all know about. Give me fucking strength.

Mikhail Gorbachev’s Pizza Hut Thanksgiving Miracle.

* Why Elsa from Frozen is a queer icon — and why Disney won’t embrace that idea.

* The Incendiary Aims of HBO’s Watchmen. HBO’s Watchmen Reveal Unmasks Homophobia and Fetishization. Move over, Joker – it’s time for the OG Superman.

* So the new Ghostbusters sequel follows in the classic franchise legacy mold and is about the original generation of Ghostbusters failing to prevent a disaster that destroyed New York. I really feel like our culture needs some therapy.

* Hands down one of the worst living Americans, virtual lock he’ll be president someday.

* I too can’t wait for December 20th.

* Mark Z. Danielewski drops three new House Of Leaves teleplays, is definitely up to something.

In 1969, a group of boys played a Thanksgiving football game. 50 years later, they’re still at it.

* “There Is An Entity That Cannot Be Defeated”: Former Go champion beaten by DeepMind retires after declaring AI invincible.

* And rest in peace, D.C. Fontana. There’s almost no one more directly responsible for what Star Trek became than her.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 6, 2019 at 2:12 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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July 3 Links! Maybe Our Biggest July 3 Post EVER!!!

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* I have a new review up at LARB: We Are Going on an Adventure: On Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Children of Ruin. Read these novels!

* Marquette gets some very good press: it has one of the top ten highest post-graduation employment rates in the country. Also on the Marquette beat: Marquette goes test optional.

* The university in ruins: Alaska edition.

* CFP: University of Nebraska Press is looking for proposals for its new comics studies series.

When at last the aliens spoke to us, the first thing they did was apologize.

* Another KSR podcast appearance, this time on The Imaginaries. And some more piping hot KSR content: Picturing a Way Forward: Climate change, science fiction, and our collective failure of imagination. The Genre of the Near Future: Kim Stanley Robinson’s New York 2140. Kim Stanley Robinson Built a Moon Base in His Mind.

* It’s been a while since we did a good old fashioned Flash game, so please enjoy Magirune.

In Koopa mythology, Mario is both Satan and a specter of death, and him and Bowser are brothers. Luigi was a later Christian revision. Best thing I’ve read in ages.

Toy Story 4’s Forky Has Haunting Metaphysical Implications for the Toy Story Universe.

The Grand Cultural Influence of Octavia Butler.

* Liu Cixin’s War of the Worlds. Producers Behind The Wandering Earth Want to Bring Cixin Liu’s Three-Body Problem to TV.

* What Slaughterhouse-Five Tells Us Now.

* The Medea Hypothesis.

* Hindsight is 20/20 I guess.

* Conservative Philanthropy in Higher Education. Documents show ties between university, conservative donors. Corporate Wolves in Academic Sheepskins, or, a Billionaire’s Raid on the University of Tulsa.

* 2008 killed the university, but not in the way most people think.

* How to Chair an Academic Committee.

* How College Professors Are Fighting for Their Lives. Revenge of the Poverty-Stricken College Professors.

Meritocracy’s Discontents. ‘To succeed in America, it’s better to be born rich than smart.’

* Why can’t everyone get As?

* Another free speech mystery.

* Wild decision at Oberlin.

* When The University Of Wisconsin Persecuted Gay Students.

* ‘Your Heritage Is Taken Away’: The Closing of 3 Historically Black Colleges.

* The Closure.

The Surreal End of an American College.

‘Everything Must Go!’: A Rash of College Closures Keeps This Liquidation Firm Busy.

* Outcomes-based graduate school.

* Nice work if you can get it!

CSU secretly stashed away $1.5 billion surplus, auditor says.

* When you really mess up the lit review.

* Warren to Introduce Student Debt Cancellation Bill. Bernie doubles it. Something’s coming.

Rick Snyder’s Harvard Fellowship and the Limits of Civility.

There would be a cartoon, like for kids. Or it might also have been a prime-time cartoon, actually. The situation was fluid, but consider the growth potential. Honestly, the whole notion was exceedingly hazy and changed a lot, but, as it got pitched among the corps of cold-calling salespeople to potential investors in a company named Premiere Publishing Group, the plan was this: There was going to be a cartoon, on television, that would feature Donald Trump jetting around and solving various problems.


There Are People in Concentration Camps. Why Aren’t We in the Streets?

One reason I think we’ve been arguing about the name of the camps is that life in the shadow of concentration camps is not supposed to be worth living. “Never again” doesn’t mean “Don’t commit genocide” or even “Oppose ethnic cleansing”; the phrase implies a permanent obligation to resist in the Dale Smith sense—stop the camps—or risk being the equivalent of all those Good Germans. The presence of concentration camps should be intolerable, and yet here we are, tolerating it. Either they aren’t camps or we aren’t who we said we were. There has got to be a better way to reduce our cognitive dissonance than playing with definitions.

* Behold as the New York Times reports on an anti-immigrant movement in St. Cloud, Minnesota, entirely from the perspective of the racists. ‘Guats,’ ‘Tonks’ and ‘Subhuman Shit’: The Shocking Texts of a Border Patrol Agent. Inside the Secret Border Patrol Facebook Group Where Agents Joke About Migrant Deaths and Post Sexist Memes. An Expert on Concentration Camps Says That’s Exactly What the U.S. Is Running at the Border. There are concentration camps in America. They Are Concentration Camps — and They Are Also Prisons. ‘Some Suburb of Hell’: America’s New Concentration Camp System. ‘There Is a Stench.’ ‘Children Were Dirty, They Were Scared, and They Were Hungry.’ Torture facilities. Ticking time bomb. Report: 1,000 new migrant adults detained at U.S. border weekly, “serious risk of exceeding safety standards on a regular basis.’ Children as young as 7 and 8, many of them wearing clothes caked with snot and tears, are caring for infants they’ve just met.Toddlers without diapers are relieving themselves in their pants. Teenage mothers are wearing clothes stained with breast milk. How Families Separated at the Border Could Make the Government Pay. Mark Morgan, a man who claimed on Fox News to be able to identify “soon-to-be MS-13” gang members by looking child migrants in the eye, will now head an agency that has thousands of child migrants in its care. Lawyer Draws Outrage for Defending Lack of Toothbrushes in Border Detention. In El Paso, Border Patrol Is Detaining Migrants in ‘a Human Dog Pound.’ 4 Severely Ill Migrant Toddlers Hospitalized After Lawyers Visit Border Patrol Facility. We found the youngest known child separated from his parents at the border under President Trump. He was only 4 months old. Hung jury for Scott Warren. Italy Arrests Captain of Ship That Rescued Dozens of Migrants at Sea. The Trump Administration Has Let 24 People Die in ICE Custody. ICE Stopped Updating Its List of ‘Deaths in ICE Custody.’ No limits. An Open Letter to the Director of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. The concentration camp next door. Even (some) ICE agents are losing patience (but not for great reasons). And in a darker register: “Bodies and minds are breaking down”: Inside US border agency’s suicide crisis.

The people who are supposed to save us from the fascists don’t have the stomach to fight for longer than a weekend. It’s pathetic.

The Insanity in Oregon Is a Glimpse of Our Very Dark Future.

Joe Biden will never give up on the system, because it never gave up on him.

* The 2020 democratic candidates as dril tweets.

The Courts Won’t End Gerrymandering. Eric Holder Has a Plan to Fix It Without Them. Focus on Wisconsin in this piece, which is so gerrymandered and voter-suppressed at this point that Democrats may never recover the legislature no matter how big they win.

 

* Redlining in Milwaukee.

The Devastating Oddness of E. Jean Carroll’s Trump Accusation.

AOC’s Generation Doesn’t Presume America’s Innocence.

* Who Owns Tomorrow?

* Ta-Nehisi Coates resists the case for reparations.

* Where does money come from?

* Capitalist Workplaces Set Bosses Up to Be Authoritarian Tyrants.

Better Schools Won’t Fix America.

It’s so hot in Spain that manure self-ignited, sparking a 10,000-acre wildfire. It’s 112 degrees in France. 118 in India. Europe has had five 500-year summers in 15 years. Hell is coming. 40 degrees above normal. The poisons released by melting Arctic ice. A city of 9 million people loses water. Mexico Hailstorm Blankets Western Areas Under 3 Feet of Ice. Heatwave cooks mussels in their shells on California shore. Wildfires, heat waves foreshadow what could be a perilous summer across the globe. ‘A major punch in the gut’: Midwest rains projected to create near-record dead zone in Gulf. US military is a bigger polluter than as many as 140 countries. “We may find ourselves living shortly in a world that even just a few years ago we would’ve found completely unacceptable and not even be disturbed by it.” Only 60 Years of Farming Left If Soil Degradation Continues. The Climate Crisis Is Mind-Boggling. That’s Why We Need Science Fiction. Global warming may reduce fish and other sea life by 17% by the year 2100. When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez met Greta Thunberg: ‘Hope is contagious.’ “Batshit jobs” – no-one should have to destroy the planet to make a living. In the kids’ climate lawsuit that is slowly progressing, the US Department of Justice argues that there is “no right to a climate system capable of sustaining human life.” The World Is a Mess. We Need Fully Automated Luxury Communism. Confessions Of A Climate Activist: Don’t Blame Yourself, Go After The Criminals Who Sold Out Humanity For Profit.

 

Jim Jarmusch’s new movie is an accusation aimed at his audience: As the world plummets toward an ecological catastrophe, we still shamble through our former existences, brainless, as though the end of the world hasn’t already been written.

* The pocket of East Texas that Keilan calls home is among the state’s regions hit hardest by suicide. The most recent federal data show that in Gregg County, which includes Longview, 335 people died by suicide from 1999 to 2017. The county had a suicide rate of 15 deaths per 100,000 people in that time period, compared to the average state rate of 11.4. Several nearby, more rural counties — including Marion and Morris counties, just north of Gregg — have even higher suicide rates.

Humans Can’t Watch All the Surveillance Cameras Out There, So Computers Are.

* Fifty years ago 180,000 whales disappeared from the oceans without a trace, and researchers are still trying to make sense of why. Inside the most irrational environmental crime of the century.

Canada’s Parliament has passed legislation banning whales, dolphins and porpoises from being bred or held in captivity — a move that was hailed by animal rights activists.

* Trump administration quietly makes it legal to bring elephant parts to the U.S. as trophies.

* Carbon emissions from energy industry rise at fastest rate since 2011.

* The Six-Year Struggle to Regain Ownership of the ‘This Is Fine’ Dog.

* Ravelry bans Trump support.

* Writing Iceman at Marvel.

* Alanis at 45.

* “I babysit for the one percent.”

* You just can’t win: Canada to ban single-use plastics as early as 2021. Plastic Bag Bans Might Do More Harm Than Good. Your cotton tote is pretty much the worst replacement for a plastic bag. Your bowl of rice is hurting the climate too.

Americans’ plastic recycling is dumped in landfills, investigation shows.

* Your Business Casual Attire Is Destroying the Planet.

* Americans are terrifyingly supportive of nuking civilians in North Korea. What is the probability of a nuclear war? Why don’t we make movies about nuclear war anymore?

* The Uber delusion. Uber’s path of destruction. Uber Wants Your Next Big Mac to Be Delivered by Drone.

* Training a single AI model can emit as much carbon as five cars in their lifetimes.

How 9 People Built an Illegal $5M Airbnb Empire in New York.

* How to Speak Silicon Valley.

* The day the music burned.

* The latest study of depression and PTSD in social media moderators.

* Sunoco in Philly.

* We either buy insulin or we die.

According to the UN the chance of a 15-year-old boy dying by the age of 50 is now higher in America than in Bangladesh.

* Amazon will pay $0 in taxes on $11,200,000,000 in profit for 2018.

* The FoxConn scam, one year later.

* Would you like to know more?

Grim New Report Shows Rent Is Unaffordable In Every State.

* Here’s What It’s Like To See Yourself In A Deepfake Porn Video.

* A shocking number of women are harassed, ignored, or mistreated during childbirth.

Phoenix Police Threaten to Shoot a Pregnant Woman After Her Daughter Reportedly Stole a Doll.

Alabama woman loses unborn child after being shot, gets arrested; shooter goes free.

Alabama court forces rape survivor to allow rapist to have visitation with children.

* He Cyberstalked Teen Girls for Years—Then They Fought Back.

Since January, when Bradley Austin learned that his ex-wife was using chlorine dioxide on their sons, he’s been trying to stop her. (He’s also exploring fighting for guardianship of his sons.) But the local police, the state’s division of adult protective services and a medical doctor treating Jeremy have all declined to intervene. A police spokesman said there wasn’t enough evidence that chlorine dioxide was dangerous; a caseworker with the Kansas Adult Protective Services told police that she didn’t see the situation as serious enough for the state to take action.

* Ali Stroker’s #TonyAwards2019 win marks the first time a wheelchair user has won a Tony Award (she was also the first wheelchair user on Broadway & the first nominated for a Tony). Tonight there was no ramp for her to get to the stage to accept her award.

* Ghost networks of psychiatrists make money for insurance companies but hinder patients’ access to care.

* It sucks to go to the doctor if you’re trans.

Bad braille plagues buildings across U.S., CBS News Radio investigation finds.

* The war to free science.

* ‘Horns’ are growing on young people’s skulls. No they’re not!

The accreditation of the University of Maryland, College Park, is in jeopardy a year after a football player died following a preseason workout. News outlets report the accrediting Middle States Commission of Higher Education on Friday announced it has placed the school on warning after finding “insufficient evidence” that it is complying with governance, leadership and administration standards.

* The latest MH370 deep dive.

America Is Stuck With a $400 Billion Stealth Fighter That Can’t Fight.

What the World’s Most Sociable People Reveal About Friendliness.

Dogs’ Eyes Have Changed Since Humans Befriended Enslaved Them.

The Surprising Reason that There Are So Many Thai Restaurants in America.

Do you consume a credit card’s worth of plastic every week?

* If you want a vision of the future: Netflix’s The Edge of Democracy charts the slippery slope from democracy to authoritarian rule.

* wHy DOn’T YOu JuSt SAvE sOMe MOneY

America’s Collapsing Because it’s the World’s First Poor Rich Country.

* Whoa.

* 63 Up.

* No frills.

* Today in dystopia.

* This one too: A cancer patient from Montgomery, Illinois, has been sentenced to four years in prison for ordering a 42-pound package of chocolate marijuana edibles to self-medicate. The day after he pleaded guilty, the state legalized recreational marijuana.

* They finally found the monolith.

* sold

* my brain hurts a lot

* got another capitalism greatest hit. i will give you one hundred thousand dollars if you can guess the brand by the end

* just another classic canavan viral tweet

* Smash that bridge king.

* The mindfulness conspiracy. On the other hand: Two-hour ‘dose’ of nature significantly boosts health – study. Neuroscience shows that 50-year-olds can have the brains of 25-year-olds if they sit quietly and do nothing for 15 minutes a day.

* The Strange World of Sorority Rush Consultants.

* broke: McMansion woke: McTomb bespoke: multi-family housing

* The Empty Storefront Crisis and the End of the American Dream.

Can the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre Survive?

* Tetris forever.

* Mario Royale.

* Games Have Always Tried to Whitewash Nazis as Just ‘German Soldiers.’

* On Jameson and genre.

* Futureshock, turn of the century edition.

* Really though, what would the world be like without the Beatles?

A team of researchers found a way to make money legally from online bookies. But then their troubles began.

* Whiteness 101: A Reading List to Abolish the Problem.

Every Post-Credits Scene in the Masters of the Universe Cinematic Universe, Explained.

* Marvel Comics in the 80s: Not Just for Kids Anymore.

A Brief History of the Movie-Summarizing End-Credits Rap.

* Dark Phoenix and the end of the dream.

* Worlds without Men.

* #cancelculture just #cancelled a very big fish.

* I’ve been reading The Walking Dead since the beginning and am not surprised at all it’s ending with #193, given what happened in #192.

* I’m so depressed I can’t even get worked up about this. No, not even this!

The long march of artificial intelligence puts Bastani’s timeframe for communist transition in the shade. But there is a further problem with his vision, which strikes at the core of any proposal for full automation and the introduction of universal social services, as commendable as it may be. This is the possibility that capitalism might not be intelligent after all. Indeed, what if capitalism, on whose technological revolution Bastani’s FALC depends, were stupid? What if capitalism were to prove substantially deaf, dumb, and blind to sound appeals to common sense or rational thinking in the face of ongoing climate breakdown and its related miseries? What would communism or any form of “post-capitalism” look like from this perspective?

* Eventual perverts. Teaching. Moms. Parenting. We thought we had mastered passive aggression. The evolution of consciousness. Self-aware.

* And some personal news: Super Mario Maker 2 rules.

Written by gerrycanavan

July 2, 2019 at 4:30 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Monday Links!

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* Somebody thinks 2015 could be a doozy: Treasury Department Seeking Survival Kits For Bank Employees.

* Trends We Can Work With: Higher Ed in 2015.

* Remembering the reason for the season: During Holiday Season, City Erects Cages To Keep Homeless People Off Benches.

Christmas Eve Document Dump Reveals US Spy Agencies Broke The Law And Violated Privacy.

But, are they more likely to precipitate police violence?  No. The opposite is true. Police are more likely to kill black people regardless of what they are doing. In fact, “the less clear it is that force was necessary, the more likely the victim is to be black.”

Ending excessive police force starts with new rules of engagement.

What Does It Mean to Be Anti-Police?

How to Survive a Cop Coup: What Bill de Blasio Can Learn From Ecuador.

“It has been alleged that Officer Kattner has used his position as a peace officer to contact known female prostitutes and compel them to perform sexual acts while working an extra job.”

And whether or not people accept it, that new normal—public life and mass surveillance as a default—will become a component of the ever-widening socioeconomic divide. Privacy as we know it today will become a luxury commodity. Opting out will be for the rich.

“Enhanced interrogation” is torture, American style. Exceptional torture. Torture that insists it is not torture. Post-torture? This uniquely American kind of torture has six defining characteristics.

* “The Greatest Trick the Devil Ever Pulled”: In praise of The Usual Suspects.

* Decades of Bill Cosby’s shadow ops.

Justice Denied to Steven Salaita: A Critique of the University of Illinois Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure Report. This was my reaction as well.

* Anti-intellectualism is taking over the US.

* Are ideas to cool the planet realistic? Meanwhile: Pope Francis Could Be Climate’s Secret Weapon Next Year.

The architecture of dissent.

* The red state economic miracle that wasn’t.

* Airlines want you to suffer.

* Games are ancient, and they are not going anywhere anytime soon. But their stock is not rising at the rate that their fans’ Twitter streams and Web forums might suggest. Instead of a ludic age, perhaps we have entered an era of shredded media. Some forms persist more than others, but more than any one medium, we are surrounded by the rough-edged bits and pieces of too many media to enumerate. Writing, images, aphorisms, formal abstraction, collage, travesty. Photography, cinema, books, music, dance, games, tacos, cats, car services. If anything, there has never been a weirder, more disorienting, and more lively time to be a creator and a fanatic of media in all their varieties. Why ruin the moment by being the one trying to get everyone to play a game while we’re letting the flowers blossom? A ludic century need not be a century of games. Instead, it can just be a century. With games in it.

* Death toll among Qatar’s 2022 World Cup workers revealed. Migrant World Cup workers in Qatar are reportedly dying at alarming rates.

* Enterprise, TOS, and “the scent of death” on the Federation.

* How Kazuo Ishiguro wrote The Remains of the Day in four weeks.

I am no fan of the North Korean regime. However I believe that calling out a foreign nation over a cybercrime of this magnitude should never have been undertaken on such weak evidence.

* Longreads best crime reporting 2014.

A Drone Flew Over A Pig Farm.

The black and African writer is expected to write about certain things, and if they don’t they are seen as irrelevant. This gives their literature weight, but dooms it with monotony. Who wants to constantly read a literature of suffering, of heaviness? Those living through it certainly don’t; the success of much lighter fare among the reading public in Africa proves this point. Maybe it is those in the west, whose lives are untouched by such suffering, who find occasional spice and flirtation with such a literature. But this tyranny of subject may well lead to distortion and limitation.

* I’m a pretty big fan of “Jean & Scott”: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

* A profile of David Letterman from 1981.

How Colonel Sanders Became Father Christmas in Japan.

* The Song of Saruman.

The filmmakers’ cartoonishly evil vision of Saruman is unfortunate, as it deprives a fascinating narrative of its complexity, while also being untrue to Tolkien’s own vision. Jackson and his team seem incapable of imagining that a person can be wrong without also being evil. For example, the Master of Lake-town in The Hobbit was greedy, but he was an elected official, generally well regarded by the community (at least until he absconds with the municipal funds, a fact revealed only on the last page of the book); in the film The Desolation of Smaug, he is a murderous tyrant who opposes even the idea of elections. An even worse example is the case of Denethor, Steward of Gondor, who in the books has been driven mad by grief and despair, partly owing to the cruel machinations of Sauron himself; in the film (The Return of the King), he is made so irredeemably evil that Gandalf actually attacks him, while we the viewers are expected to cheer. If this is what Jackson does to weak and pitiable characters, what must he do to Saruman, who is a legitimate “bad guy” in The Lord of the Rings?

Quiz: Find out how your salary stacks up against other American workers. You know, fun.

L.A. studio to restore venerable ‘King’s Quest’ to its gaming throne.

* Is the anti-vax movement finally dying?

* You can’t beat the media at its own game.

* America’s own 7 Up: Johns Hopkins’s Beginning School Study.

* Sober People against New Year’s Eve SuperPAC.

* And of course you had me at Grant Morrson’s All-New Miracleman Annual #1.

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Friday Night

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* You will have to forgive a bit of political incorrectness, but I think it important. #### happens to be a beauty and enhances her fine looks with a careful attention to her grooming and clothes. What not to say in a letter of reference.

* Giving women in academia genuine equal opportunities.

How Washington Could Make College Tuition Free (Without Spending a Penny More on Education).

The Right Not to Work: Power and Disability.

We reexamine prospects for constituency control in American politics with original data describing nearly 2,000 state legislative candidates’ perceptions of mass opinion in their districts and recent advances in public opinion estimation that allow us to determine actual district level opinion with precision. Actual district opinion explains only a modest share of the variation in politicians’ perceptions of their districts’ views. Moreover, there is a striking conservative bias in politicians’ perceptions, particularly among conservatives: conservative politicians systematically believe their constituents are more conservative than they actually are by over 20 percentage points, while liberal politicians also typically overestimate their constituents’ conservatism by several percentage points. A follow-up survey demonstrates that politicians appear to learn nothing from democratic campaigns or elections that leads them to correct these shortcomings. Electoral selection has a limited impact on whether the chosen representative is congruent with the majority of her constituents. These findings suggest a substantial conservative bias in American political representation and bleak prospects for constituency control of politicians when voters’ collective preferences are less than unambiguous. Via @chrislhayes.

* How many people do you know who have been shot?

* Why ‘Oz the Great and Powerful’ Is A Major Step Back For Witches and Women. The Sad, Century-Long History of Terrible ‘Wizard of Oz’ Movies.

* If you want to know why we need to educate men not to be sexually aggressive, look no further than what happened when Zerlina Maxwell went on television to say that we need to educate men how not to be sexually aggressive.

Everything we write will be used against us. Every claim on or lament against society that we write will be received in the same way as accounts of rape — as lies. We don’t care anymore.

* At TNI: Here comes 56 Up.

* At n+1Sadomodernism (The Work of Michael Haneke).

* The Professor, the Bikini Model and the Suitcase Full of Trouble.

Conservative Media Star James O’Keefe Pays $100,000 Settlement For ACORN Pimp Sting. ACORN reinstated and refunded, no harm done, right?

How Did Gallup Blow the Election?

* And today in symbolism: John Brennan Sworn in as CIA Director Using Constitution Lacking Bill of Rights.

Thursday Night Links

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Having a monetary value tied to human incarceration and justice creates a deeply perverse incentive that should not exist in the world of commerce. When the for-profit prison industry places the iron fist of criminal justice in the invisible hands of the market and sells it as a cost-cutting measure, it is hard not to interpret as anything but the predatory capitalism of a self-perpetuating slave state.

* Law school skips right past adjunctification and non-monetary compensation all the way to a pay-to-work scheme.

* Just end the filibuster. This is a no-brainer.

What Will It Take to Solve Climate Change?

Gorilla Sales Skyrocket After Latest Gorilla Attack.

Following the events of last week, in which a crazed western lowland gorilla ruthlessly murdered 21 people in a local shopping plaza after escaping from the San Diego Zoo, sources across the country confirmed Thursday that national gorilla sales have since skyrocketed.

“After seeing yet another deranged gorilla just burst into a public place and start killing people, I decided I need to make sure something like that never happens to me,” said 34-year-old Atlanta resident Nick Keller, shortly after purchasing a 350-pound mountain gorilla from his local gorilla store. “It just gives me peace of mind knowing that if I’m ever in that situation, I won’t have to just watch helplessly as my torso is ripped in half and my face is chewed off. I’ll be able to use my gorilla to defend myself.”

* 56 Up now playing in the US. I can’t wait.

How To Fix Maternity Leave.

For the fiscal year, which for most schools ends this June, 18% of 165 private universities and 15% of 127 public universities project a decline in net tuition revenue. That is a sharp rise from the estimated declines among 10% of the 152 private schools and 4% of the 105 public schools in fiscal 2012.

* Turns out the brain isn’t very much like papyrus after all.

* Google will now translate into Flanders. (Not really-a-doodly.)

* Ezra Klein plays Biden  ’16 make-believe. At least he’s making sense on the platinum coin.

* What’s your preferred gender pronoun?

* Horrifying: On zombie foreclosure.

* And on the science fiction beat: Joss Whedon Directing SHIELD Pilot Right Now, Already Working On Scripts For Later In The Series. Christopher Nolan’s next movie is called Interstellar. For the 50th anniversary, five Doctors and a cavalcade of Companions will reunite…on an audio specialFan hopes science will prove tragic Firefly death never happened. And Y: The Last Man has a director: the unknown fan director of that Portal fan film.