Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘alternate history

Saturday Night Links! Apologies to Anyone Who Actually Tries to Read This Post!

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* CFP: “New Worlds of Speculation.” CFP: Star Trek Novel Worlds. CFP: Slowness. CFP: SFRA News associate editors. And in case you missed it: SFFTV is finally looking for book, DVD, and video game reviewers again.

* Speaking of SFRA: The 2020 conference will be held at Indiana University from July 8-11, 2020.

* Tenure-track job: Assistant Professor, Disability Studies Program.

* As If: Alternative Histories from Then to Now.

* Syllabus: Philosophy of Middle-Earth. Microsyllabus: Animal Studies.

* Collateral Journal has a special issue on the weird, mostly focused on Vandermeer.

* For my “Jesuits in Space!” syllabus: Why do Catholic priests keep popping up in sci-fi? Science Fiction and Catholicism: The Rise and Fall of the Robot Papacy.

* What South Asian SF can tell us about our world.

* What will Palestine be like in 2048? Writers turn to sci-fi for the answer.

* From Black Panther to Tade Thompson: why Afrofuturism is taking over sci-fi.

* ‘Guilty’ Pleasures? No Such Thing.

* Brexit vs. Roko’s basilisk.

* Let’s talk about peeing in space.

* Utopia for realists: The case for a universal basic income, open borders, and a 15-hour workweek.

* Another starry-eyed young writer discovers that Columbia School of the Arts is a scam. Still angry after all these years!

* College and the future of work. The Humanities as We Know Them Are Doomed. Now What? ‘Dire Financial Straits’: A Portrait of a Desperate University That Made All the Wrong Bets. ‘Better, Not Bigger’: As Private Colleges Hunger for Students, One University Slims Down.

* This historic map of 6 million syllabi reveals how college is changing.

* Chaos theory as career counseling. And on a more down to Earth level: 8 Tips to Improve Your CV.

How Should Professors Cite Their Transgender Colleagues’ Work Produced Under Past Identities? Academe Is Trying to Figure It Out.

All Along the Ivory Tower.

Generous Worlds: Rethinking the Fate of the American University.

Securing a better future almost certainly means working outside established institutional and administrative power channels. That means labor unions and persistent collective action by the people who actually allow the university to function day to day, and by the publics that surround it. Fitzpatrick has little to say about such action, aside from some late, quick references to the recent wave of K–12 teachers strikes. Taken to its logical conclusion, this would entail a fundamental restructuring of schools, running them like truly democratic, far less hierarchical collectives, and that runs counter to their institutional history. Undoing our present system would be a massive undertaking in both material and conceptual terms, and I fail to see how anything less than union action would make it possible. There is reason for hope, though, as unionization is beginning to win victories for adjunct faculty across the United States.

‘Everybody Is Panicking’: Thousands of Alaska Students Scramble With Scholarship Money in Jeopardy. Alaska Lawmakers Fail to Avert Sweeping Cuts to the University System. Here’s What Happens Next. Facing unprecedented state cuts, faculty members at one branch of the University of Alaska system assert that another campus should absorb most of the financial pain. Its peers aren’t pleased. Despair, rage.

* UC Berkeley Removed From US News College Rankings For Misreporting Statistics.

But how did we get to the point where the idea of education as a human right and a public good is back on the table, and where free college and debt cancellation on a mass scale are being advanced by members of Congress, including a top presidential candidate? One answer is grass-roots organizing by people who have been fighting on this front for years, including members of an organization that I helped to co-found, the Debt Collective.

* The Alaska village where every cop has been convicted of domestic violence.

* Part two of the great ESPN expose on kids sports: Under the knife: Exposing America’s youth basketball crisis.

* America is warming fast. See how your city’s weather will be different in just one generation. This Year’s Wild, Wet Spring Is Feeding Massive Blobs of Toxic Algae. ‘Toxic Stew’ Stirred Up by Disasters Poses Long-Term Danger, New Findings Show. We Were Already Over 350 ppm When I Was Born. All-time temperature records tumble again as heatwave sears Europe. Climate Change Is a Humanitarian Crisis. Climate change and hurricanes. California’s Wildfires Are 500 Percent Larger Due to Climate Change. Huge swathes of the Arctic on fire, ‘unprecedented’ satellite images show. Beautiful, isn’t it. 3M admits to releasing toxic chemicals into the Tennessee River for over a decade. How Can You Tell When a Glacier Is Dead? Who needs food, anyway? Every movie is a climate change movie. Climate change is making people suicidal. Open Borders Must Be Part of Any Response to the Climate Crisis. “I spend my billions on space because we’re destroying Earth.”

To take one step back: the climate already is hotter than ever before in our species’ history. The entire history of human evolution (the development of agriculture, of civilization, of everything we take as familiar facts of our social interactions, our political systems, our cultural inheritance, our biological processes) all developed under climate conditions that no longer pertain. It’s now as if we’ve collectively landed on a different planet, and we need to figure out how many things that we’ve brought with us can survive in this new world, and how many of them will have to be remodeled or remade. Now add on top of that the fact that so far we only have reached 1.1 degrees of warming. We should expect to see at least two (probably three, and maybe four) times as much warming still this century. So our lives will get dramatically different even from where we find them right now. Everything we still take for granted actually will come up for question.

Cybergothic Acid Communism Now.

* Mr. Rogers and radical theology.

* How America Got to ‘Zero Tolerance’ on Immigration: The Inside Story. Six officials at nonprofit Southwest Key, which runs migrant child shelters, earned more than $1 million in 2017. Trump’s Border Patrol Chief Was In Secret, Racist Facebook Group. Autopsy Offers Jarring New Details About the Death of a 16-Year-Old Guatemalan Boy. A Border Kept Him From His Daughter. He Came Only in Time to Say Goodbye. The Man Killed In An Attack On An ICE Jail Said He Was Fighting “Against The Forces Of Evil.” A Border Patrol Agent Reveals What It’s Really Like to Guard Migrant Children. Migrants Shout “No Shower!” as Pence Tours Overcrowded, Foul-Smelling Detention Center. Video. More video. AOC in impassioned testimony: Children were separated from parents ‘in front of American flags.’ Thousands of unaccompanied migrant children could be detained indefinitely. What separation from parents does to children: ‘The effect is catastrophic.’ More. 3-Year-Old Asked To Pick Parent In Attempted Family Separation, Her Parents Say. On her first day in office Elizabeth Warren pledges to start a commission to investigate “crimes committed by the United States against immigrants.” Immigration Judges Are Railing Against A Plan To Replace Court Interpreters With Videos. Trump Seeking to Effectively Outsource Asylum Seekers to Guatemala. U.S. consulates around the world are “blatantly abusing their discretion” to stop legal immigration, lawyers say. A Dallas-born citizen picked up by the Border Patrol has been detained for three weeks, his lawyer says. Held in a cramped space with 60 men, he’d lost 26 pounds and been denied showers. ICE dragged a man out of his car after breaking the window and threatened to shoot a nearby witness who asked for their warrant. Border agent in Clint accused of harassing mother of 12-year-old migrant who was in custody. Expedited removal to be expanded to apply everywhere within the U.S. (not just 100-mile border zone) and to anyone not in the U.S. more than two years. ‘Never again means close the camps’: Jews protest ICE across the country. More on this one. The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s decision to speak out against Holocaust analogies is a moral threat. 70 Catholics arrested in D.C. protest over Trump immigration policies. Bishops back Catholics arrested at Capitol for protesting treatment of immigrant children. Ahead of ICE raids, Miami advocacy groups set up secret shelters for immigrants in fear. ICE agents back down in Nashville after neighbors, activists link arms to help man, boy avoid feds. ICE has taken 35 of 2,000 people they were trying to deport into custody. They are blaming community defense efforts for their lack of success. Keep it up y’all. Autopsy report for a sixteen year old who died in a CBP shelter. Now that’s what I call the Anthropocene™.

https://twitter.com/saladinahmed/status/1149375043182505985

* Cops can do anything. Really, anything. St. Louis police union asks officers to post Punisher logo in solidarity with cops under investigation.

Penguins ignore police, return to sushi shop.

Democrats Continue Search For The Smoking Gun They Already Have. On The Mueller Report, Vol. 1: How they got away with it. Nancy Pelosi Has Lost Control.

It’s funny when people say the Democrats have no spines. You guys, they are a bunch of millionaires whose campaigns are financed by other millionaires. They have spines, it’s just that their job isn’t to stand up to the Republicans, it is to stand up to you.

 

* The world’s saddest, most pathetic losers.

What Jane Mayer Gets Wrong About Al Franken. Al Franken Really Wants You to Know How Clumsy He Is. Al Franken did the right thing by resigning.

* Trump’s Electoral College Edge Could Grow in 2020, Rewarding Polarizing Campaign.

How 13 Rejected States Would Have Changed The Electoral College.

* How a fractured family may have changed the course of American politics.

For those interested in the extreme rightward drift in the GOP, this podcast is a must. It delves into the activities of WA-GOP state representative Matt Shea. If the party will tolerate this guy, it’ll tolerate pretty much anything.

* The future of Trumpism is more erudite — and just as frightening.

* ‘If others have rifles, we’ll have rifles’: why US leftist groups are taking up arms.

Trump claims the Constitution allows him to do whatever he wants. He’s not wrong!

* The end of the Supreme Court.

* If the South didn’t exist, the North would have to invent it. How segregation keeps poor students of color out of whiter, richer nearby districts.

* Teenage pricks.

The Socialist Network: Inside DSA’s struggle to move into the political mainstream. Sanders and Warren voters have astonishingly little in common. The Billionaires Are Against Bernie — and the Rest of Us. Why Did Millennials Turn Left?

* 76 billion opioid pills: Newly released federal data unmasks the epidemic. A remote Virginia valley has been flooded by prescription opioids. Louvre Removes Sackler Family Name From Its Walls.

* The Epstein files: Jeffrey Epstein paid $350K to ‘influence’ possible co-conspirators: prosecutors. Jeffrey Epstein’s High Society Contacts. How Jeffrey Epstein Used the Billionaire Behind Victoria’s Secret for Wealth and Women. Jeffrey Epstein found nearly unconscious in NYC jail cell after possible suicide attempt. Jeffrey Epstein Taught at Dalton. His Behavior Was Noticed. How a Predator Operated in Plain Sight.

In this way, pedophile conspiracies act as a sort of propaganda of the counterrevolution, a fun-house reflection of the real threats to the social order. This is what connects QAnon and Pizzagate to McMartin to the witch hunts of the Middle Ages to the dawn of major religions. The demons may take different forms, but the conspiracy is basically the same: Our house is under attack.

* Today in the staggering efficiency of capitalism.

* MLMs are cults that prey on moms, Mormons and the military.

* Twilight of Netflix. Perhaps we won’t miss it.

Netflix’s metrics-driven approach shows up in other ways. For instance, it now routinely ends shows after their second season, even when they’re still popular. Netflix has learned that the first two seasons of a show are key to bringing in subscribers—but the third and later seasons don’t do much to retain or win new subscribers. Ending a show after the second season saves money, because showrunners who oversee production tend to negotiate a boost in pay after two years.

* Nothing gold can stay dead.

* Peak America: “Emmett Till memorial in photo of gun-toting Mississippi students will be made bulletproof.”

* Unless it’s this one: a school district refusing donations to double-down on its threat to take people’s children over unpaid lunch debt.

* Look, there’s a lot of Peak America to go around.

MAGA Bomber’s Lawyers Blame Trump, Sean Hannity for His Radicalization.

* Colorado abuse hotline emails went unchecked for 4 years.

Turning 26 Is A Potential Death Sentence For People With Type 1 Diabetes In America.

Trump Administration Moves to End Food Stamps for 3 Million People.

* My Frantic Life as a Cab-Dodging, Tip-Chasing, Food App Deliveryman. DoorDash Is Proof of How Easy It Is to Exploit Workers When Their Boss Is an Algorithm.

* Apple contractors ‘regularly hear confidential details’ on Siri recordings.

Inside the Wildly Popular Forum Where Landlords Plot to Screw You Over.

* “A high school gave 336 students fake AP exams when the district didn’t have funding to pay for the real ones. Students didn’t find out until real scores were posted online.”

* “Farmers’ Markets Have New Unwelcome Guests: Fascists.”

The lesson from the ruins of Notre Dame: don’t rely on billionaires.

* When the Soviet Union Paid Pepsi in Warships.

Remains of 9,000-year-old Neolithic settlement unearthed outside Jerusalem.

* Using salt circle motor runes to trap car AI.

* Kodak and the cold war.

* Ending period ‘taboo’ gave USA marginal gain at World Cup.

* Meth-gators in Alabama!

* And elsewhere on the gator beat. More gators! More!

* You say “brain-eating amoeba” like it’s not a big deal!

* Conspiracy corner: House orders Pentagon to say if it weaponized ticks and released them.

* Hacking the insulin pump.

* Dystopia now: Instacart Hounds Workers to Take Jobs That Aren’t Worth It.

* How the retweet ruined the Internet.

Archaeology of the 99%.

* The Millennial nuns.

* Marvel got Natalie Portman to come back! Dr. Strange 2 sounds bonkers! Star Trek: Picard sounds… good? Call no movie woke till you’ve actually seen it. I’m not ready to predict anything about Watchmen either.

* Giving Tawny Newsome both Lower Decks and the official Star Trek podcast is a truly shameless bid for my attention.

* Stranger and stranger: Quentin Tarantino just might go out on a Star Trek movie. I’m now fully convinced it will rule. I haven’t been able to see Once Upon a Time in Hollywood yet (that’s Monday night), but I have been enjoying Quentin Tarantino’s Feature Presentation.

A Different Handmaid’s Tale: On Joanne Ramos’s “The Farm.”

* How Japanese RPGs Inspired A New Generation Of Fantasy Authors.

How Inmates Play Tabletop RPGs in Prisons Where Dice Are Contraband.

* Duncan Jones talks Moon, ten years on.

* When the Sims was(n’t) queer.

* Sexism and the car crash dummy.

Away Day: Star Trek and the Utopia of Merit.

* There is only one professor of future crime, and that is I, DOCTOR CRIME!

It’s interesting to imagine a world where humanity never invented the transistor and therefore never had a digital revolution. In that world, the obvious interpretation of economic history would be that the discovery of fossil fuels gave humanity a one-time growth spurt. More on the return of Malthus.

Opening Day at Disneyland: Photos From 1955.

* “I was owed more than $5,000 from late-paying publications.”

I was a fast-food worker. Let me tell you about burnout.

The Ultra-Rich Are Ultra-Conservative.

* He did.

* And the good news is: We can’t lose!

Written by gerrycanavan

July 27, 2019 at 4:55 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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At Long Last: Links!

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* CFP: Paradoxa 31: Climate Fiction. CFP: Technologies of Feminist Speculative Fiction. CFP: Fantasy and Myth in the Anthropocene. CFP: Radical Perspectives on Horror Cinema. CFP: New Perspectives on Contemporary German Science Fiction. CFP: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. CFP: The David Foster Wallace Society Annual Meeting. CFP: Poverty and Literature.

* Twentieth Century/Contemporary literature and culture (permanent, full-time) @ Warwick’s Dept. of English & Comparative Literary Studies.

Applications for The Roddenberry Fellowship are now open. $50,000 will be awarded to up to 20 Fellows in the areas of civil rights, immigration, environmental protection, LGBTQIA & women’s rights. Are you or someone you know a future Fellow?

University of Pittsburgh Acquires Romero Collection, To Found Horror Studies Center.

What Milwaukee Can Teach the Democrats about Socialism.

* A Union Fight at Marquette University. Spadework. Letter from a Graduate Instructor: Why We Need a Union @ Marquette University.

* Microsyllabus: Critical University Studies.

What Really Happened at Stanford University Press: An Insider’s Account.

Ex-Players Sue UCLA, Coaches, NCAA For Injuries, Abuse.

Enrollment Shortfalls Spread to More Colleges.

* Want to save the humanities? Make college free.

The Humanities Without Nostalgia.

The Party of Utopia: A Report from the 43rd Annual Society for Utopian Studies Conference.

As the Hungarian prime minister systematically undermined his own country’s education system, one institution stood defiant: a university in the heart of Budapest, founded by George Soros.

This Is What It Sounds Like Hiding In A Dark Classroom During A School Shooting.

* It’s 2059, and the Rich Kids Are Still Winning. And speaking of which: read Ted’s new book! Really!

* Profiles of young Americans who entered voluntary exile rather than paying their student loans.

* What’s Scarier Than Student Loans? Welcome to the World of Subprime Children.

* It is here that Afrofuturism offers not just significant thought and art but praxis in the development of black posthumanism – or better, exhumanism. Ditto with the call to enact innovative forms of cooperation: we need to think of who is joining whose cooperative, and for what purposes beyond liberal tenets of equality or socialist tenets of economic equity. I want to point out that the infiltration of Afrofuturism into the popular unconscious by way of black popular music, remix culture and science fiction marks but one of the sociopolitical forces of its versatile imaginary, yet perhaps its most potent: it seeds Afrofutures that destabilize the unthought aspects of whose future is at stake. When Afrofuturism, even as an “aesthetic,” enters popular discourse, its black speculative futures and revisionist histories tend to question whose worlding of the world “we” are speaking of – whose social movements, whose politics, whose “we”?

* History is a dystopia.

* A folk hero for our time.

* How golf explains Donald Trump.

The deaths of multiple Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees were preventable, according to internal agency documents obtained by The Young Turks. One ICE official told TYT the problem is “systemic.” She Stopped to Help Migrants on a Texas Highway. Moments Later, She Was Arrested. “I can tell which migrant children will become gang members by looking into their eyes.” What doctors found US officials have done to caged kids. DHS watchdog finds 900 people at border facility with maximum capacity for 125. Pretty grim.

The Deported Americans: More than 600,000 U.S.-born children of undocumented parents live in Mexico. What happens when you return to a country you’ve never known?

A review of the Facebook accounts of thousands of officers around the US — the largest database of its kind — found officers endorsing violence against Muslims, women, and criminal defendants.

‘So much land under so much water’: extreme flooding is drowning parts of the midwest. Extreme Heat Wave Forces South Carolina Bridge to Close for Several Hours. Levees Won’t Save Louisiana from a Climate “Existential Crisis.” Record-Breaking Heat in Alaska Wreaks Havoc on Communities and Ecosystems. This Town Didn’t Want to Be a Radioactive Waste Dump. The Government Is Giving Them No Choice. Flooding leaves Houston area students stranded at school. The U.S. put nuclear waste under a dome on a Pacific island. Now it’s cracking open. This map shows millions of acres of lost Amazon rainforest. Los Angeles Fire Season Is Beginning Again. And It Will Never End. What remains of Paradise. Jay Inslee promised serious climate policy and he is delivering. Ireland becomes second country to declare climate emergency. Why Carbon Credits For Forest Preservation May Be Worse Than Nothing. Humanity must save insects to save ourselves, leading scientist warns. 2050 or bust. No Happy Ending.

* Studies in the Novel 50.1: The Rising Tide of Climate Change Fiction.

* We may be witnessing the first stirrings of a climate movement that’s big enough to tackle the coming disaster — and radical enough to name the system responsible for it.

* What Would It Mean to Deeply Accept That We’re in Planetary Crisis?

* Of course you had me at hello: The Radical Plan to Save the Planet by Working Less.

One Year Off, Every Seven Years.

After 4 Years Of Not Throwing Away His Trash This Photographer Created A Powerful Photo Series.

* Why Are Americans Ignoring the Most Important Movie of Their Times, China’s The Wandering Earth?

* The average lifetime of a civilization is 336 years.

A Green New Deal Needs to Fight US Militarism.

Stalling on Climate Change Action May Cost Investors Over $1 Trillion.

After Standing Rock, protesting pipelines can get you a decade in prison and $100K in fines.

Almost 80% of the working incinerators in the United States are located in low-income communities and/or communities of color, exposing millions of already vulnerable people to pollutants.

* The end of the Grand Canyon.

* Koalas declared functionally extinct.

* Necessity defense.

The other side of climate grief is climate fury.

* Freedom gas.

* Party’s over.

* Dystopias now.

* America’s Cities Are Unlivable. Blame Wealthy Liberals.

* America’s educational system is an ‘aristocracy posing as a meritocracy.’

* Hell is a YouTube algorithm.

* Americans with diabetes are forming caravans to buy Canadian insulin at 90% off. How the U.S. health-care system puts people with diabetes in danger.

* American kids are 70 percent more likely to die before adulthood than kids in other rich countries.

* Angry Birds and the End of Privacy.

* I’d Have These Extremely Graphic Dreams’: What It’s Like To Work On Ultra-Violent Games Like Mortal Kombat 11.

5G networks could throw weather forecasting into chaos.

* Boeing Built Deadly Assumptions Into 737 Max, Blind to a Late Design Change.

Amazon’s Size Is Becoming a Problem—for Amazon. Cofounder of Facebook calls for breakup of Facebook. Facebook auto-generates videos celebrating extremist images. Worry About Facebook. Rip Your Hair Out in Screaming Terror About Fox News.

* Of course it’s even worse than all that.

* ‘I Did My Best to Stop American Foreign Policy’: Bernie Sanders on the 1980s.

* The kids won’t save us. Teenage Pricks: Trumpism’s Boy Power.

* Post-Earth capitalism.

The Birth-Tissue Profiteers.

The $3.5 billion shaving industry is secretive and litigious — and disrupting itself silly.

* Parents who raise children as vegans should be prosecuted, say Belgian doctors.

* Uber rang in its IPO with champagne and mimosas. Then the hangover began. The Ride-Hail Strike Got Just Enough Attention to Terrify Uber. Lyft’s First Results After I.P.O. Show $1.14 Billion Quarterly Loss. How Corporate Delusions of Automation Fuel the Cruelty of Uber and Lyft. Uber, Lyft account for two-thirds of traffic increase in SF over six years, study shows.

This Bird Went Extinct and Then Evolved Into Existence Again.

Weird science: Jeanette Winterson talks writing, teaching and queer visions of the future.

* There is no depression gene. Decades of early research on the genetics of depression were built on nonexistent foundations. How did that happen?

* NASA Accidentally Destroys NYC in Attempt to Save Denver.

No One Is Prepared for Hagfish Slime.

* Buffoonery, or laying the groundwork for heads-we-win-tails-you-lose impeachment proceedings? Or both? Probably both.

* Who wins from public debate? Liars, bullies and trolls.

My Cousin Was My Hero. Until the Day He Tried to Kill Me.

* Twenty-five years later, The Bell Curve’s analysis of race and intelligence refuses to die. Reckoning with its legacy may help redirect the conversation in urgently needed ways.

* David Foster Wallace’s journalism is, in many ways, inaccurate. But he’s hardly the only venerated journalist to have made stuff up.

* What I’m saying here is that the Georgia law is NOT an overturn of “Roe v. Wade.” We’re not headed back to pre-“Roe” days. We’re headed for something much worse.

Countervailing powers: the forgotten economic idea Democrats need to rediscover. Democrats need a power agenda, not just a policy agenda.

How A Black Psychiatrist Shaped ‘Sesame Street’ Into A Tool To Fight Against Racism. “Sesame Street” was a radical experiment in challenging institutional racism.

* What Would Happen to Earth If the Avengers Undid Thanos’ Snap?

* In perhaps the richest city in the richest country in human history. And again.

* The average millennial has an average net worth of $8,000. That’s far less than previous generations.

Suicide rates in girls are rising, study finds, especially in those age 10 to 14. For the past two decades, a suicide epidemic fueled by guns, poverty and isolation has swept across the West, with middle-aged men dying in record numbers. Over the past year, a spate of suicides has revealed a financial crisis in New York’s cab industry. Officials have blamed Uber, but much of the crisis can be traced to a handful of taxi tycoons. As Suicides Rise, Insurers Find Ways to Deny Mental Health Coverage.

Life, Liberty, and Advanced Placement for All.

* Susan Sontag was true author of ex-husband’s book, biography claims.

* Autoreply. Real college. Revenge. Love. Winning. Nausea. Brains. Aliens. Vegetarianism. The real climate change was the friends we made along the way.

* Of course I’d want $150,000. Please go away — I’m reading! There’s only one rule I know of. It could work.

* Some people just want to watch the world burn.

* Nice work if you can get it.

* Alternate history, 500 levels in.

The Martian Base in the Gobi Desert.

Freeing Britney Spears.

* We asked 15 experts, “What do we do now that will be considered unthinkable in 50 years?” Here’s what they told us.

* The Net Libram of Random Magical Effects version 2.00.

* Here follows my ongoing thread of Game of Thrones characters as Dril tweets.”

* Physicists Discover Our Universe Is Fictional Setting Of Cop Show Called ‘Hard Case.’

* Take the red pill, and find out how deep the rabbit hole goes.

* Trump’s hasty plan to get Americans back on the moon by 2024, explained.

* And okay FINE I’ll get excited about all these UFO reports.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 4, 2019 at 2:28 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday Morning Links!

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* If you only read one Star Trek: Discovery postmortem this week, it’s got to be Abigail Nussbaum’s. But if you read too, here’s mine at LARB! No Follow-Through.

* Then this one #3: In Its First Season, Star Trek: Discovery Asked Hard Questions It Never Really Wanted the Answers to.

Original pitch for Star Trek: The Next Generation had a hologram captain. Fake Research Paper Based on Star Trek: Voyager‘s Worst Episode Was Published by a Scientific Journal.

Science Fiction Film and Television 11.1 now available! With a special section on the science fiction of Scarlett Johansson, essays on District 9 and dating simulators, and a review essay on Get Out! 

* A CFP for the “Worlding SF” event in Graz, Austria, next December, with keynotes from Mark Bould, Cheryl Morgan, and me…

* Meanwhile, the 2019 CFP for the MLA’s speculative fiction discussion group, of which I am now the immediate past chair:

Activist Speculation and Visionary Fiction

How “visionary fiction” (Walidah Imarisha’s term for stories imagining “newer, freer worlds”) contributes to speculative fiction theory, pedagogy, practice. 200-word abstract, CV by 16 March 2018 to Alexis Lothian (alothian@umd.edu).

* I got the chance to watch this documentary on Flannery O’Connor last week as part of a Marquette English event. It was great! Can’t wait for it to find a home.

* Nothing but respect for my president.

Horrified Florida students beg the adults: Please, do something about guns.

I have a thing to say about growing up after tragedy.

* On the imperative of content. No one knows.

The goal was to create “products,” which could then be monetized, but according to Leslie, who took over oversight of the institute in 2015, “There was not the foundation of a business plan” at the institute’s inception. This is perhaps not surprising, given that the “Framework for Excellence” which midwifed the Institute was literally dreamed up in two days by Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa and his advisors and passed by the regents “without asking a single question.”

* We should just create “incentive” / punishment structures that force college presidents to retire at 64 1/2, just like they all did to faculty.

When the White Supremacists Come to Campus.

* When the suits killed Barnes and Noble.

* The august sport of (checks notes) curling may never be the same.

* Male privilege is having never thought about this possibility.

Ban The United States From The Olympics.

* Cleaning products as bad for lungs as smoking 20 cigarettes a day, scientists warn.

* How banks block people of color from homeownership.

* ICE really doubling down. Man who called 911 about suspected burglary detained by ICE. He can’t get proper HIV treatment in Venezuela. But he’s being deported anyway. ICE Arrests in the Pacific Northwest Increased 25 Percent in 2017. Washington officials gave activist’s info to ICE. Refusing an interpreter to a deaf detainee. How ICE Works to Strip Citizenship from Naturalized Americans. ICE Arrests Man at a Green Card Interview. Tearing families apart.

* Know your immigration law.

* Like Uber but for human trafficking.

Westchester School Leaves Behind Disabled Students in Fire Evacuation.

This List of Every Reason Banner Hulks Out in the Classic Hulk TV Series Is Hilarious.

  • Receiving a lethal injection, and then having the person say, “Oh. I just gave you a lethal injection. Sorry, David.”
  • Wandering around in the service ducts of a hotel (predating Bruce Willis) only to accidentally yank several of the pipes loose and get a full blast of hot steam
  • Being tied up and fed soup by an elderly Japanese woman who doesn’t
    understand words like “You’ve GOT to cut me loose!”
  • Being thrown under a New Orleans Mardi Gras parade float by a mean guy in a gorilla suit who gives David a few kicks for good measure
  • Receiving a speeding ticket
  • Wandering around inside a carnival funhouse, only to have someone turn on the machinery so that David is somehow caught in a rolling tumbler and flipped over a few times and then thrown down a convenient slide

‘Minecraft’ Data Mining Reveals Players’ Darkest Secrets.

* When Fonzie time-traveled.

* How should we talk about Trump’s brain?

The Security Clearance Situation in the White House Is Bonkers.

* The case for impeaching Clarence Thomas.

Here’s What Critics Are Saying About Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs.

New York Federal judge rules that embedding tweets can violate copyright law.

* Black Panther killed it. Black Panther and the Invention of Africa. Black Panther Is Not the Movie We Deserve. The Man Who Made Black Panther Cool.

Winners of the 2018 Underwater Photographer of the Year Contest.

The Donkey Kong Timeline Is Truly Disturbing.

Debullshitifying Uber’s financial statement reveals a hemorrhaging fountain of red ink with no path to profitability.

* Let kids have a sense of control over their own lives. The research is clear, let’s ban homework. In Defense of Picky Eating.

First ship crosses Arctic in winter without an icebreaker as global warming causes ice sheets to melt. Miami could be underwater in your kid’s lifetime as sea level rise accelerates.

* A History of the United American Socialist Republics.

Here’s All 290 Star Wars Movies Officially in Production Right Now.

* I loved this read of “The Voice of the Dolphins” at LARB, but it’s odd that the piece never notes the very strong suggestion in the story that the entire dolphin project was a hoax.

* ImOscar.com.

* What was only a trial run was taken seriously.

* And in a time without heroes: Cow escapes on way to slaughterhouse, smashes through metal fence, breaks arm of man trying to catch her then swims to safety on island in lake.

Sunday Morning Links!

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* Somehow this one dropped out of the link post yesterday, but you know it hits all my buttons: Senate Parliamentarian Challenges Key Provisions of Health Bill.

* itshappening.gif. Democrats should be prepared to litigate pardons on every level, in advance. This is good too: Can the President Be Indicted? A Long-Hidden Legal Memo Says Yes. We’re on the Brink of an Authoritarian Crisis. The Crisis Is Upon Us.

Five poll numbers that should make Democrats uneasy. The fire next time. Signs of sanity from Chuck Schumer of all people, who’s been saying such things lately. 6 Months in, Is Trump’s America Living Up to Liberals’ Worst Fears? If Clinton Had Won.

Connecticut mother facing deportation seeks sanctuary in local church.

My Daughter Was Murdered in a Mass Shooting. Then I Was Ordered to Pay Her Killer’s Gun Dealer.

* The Millennials Are the American Earthquake.

* The year is 2525. All life on Earth is extinct. Jared Kushner has just submitted a final corrected SF-86.

* Presenting Anthony Scaramucci’s deleted tweets. Inside Hunt & Fish, where beauties trawl for sugar daddies. One last time. And of course.

* Why does DC Comics hate Superman? It’s bizarre.

Game of Thrones’s Medieval Crap.

* Rhapsody for the Anthropocene.

The Unacknowledged Costs of Academic Travel. Against Academic Conferences. I’m a long-married introvert who doesn’t drink, so if they outlawed conferences I’d probably come out pretty far ahead of the game — but I will say that #notallconferences are like what Matthew describes here: when I give a talk at the specialist conferences I usually go to there’s usually at least 20-30 people in the audience at each panel. (Maybe not at the early morning slot, but…) If panels are being that poorly attended as a rule, it’s likely a problem with the organization of the conference itself. I know my career has benefited a lot from finding out early which conferences were the right ones for me to be attending, and all of the opportunities that have made my career what it is came out of them. So it’s tough for me to say they’re not worth doing.

* I Studied the Humanities, and Now…

Is the person naming these colors of yarn okay?

* CPS and the New Jane Crow.

Mapped: the United States and Canada at the same latitudes as Europe.

* Cool world history visualization project at chronas.org.

* Adam Roberts previews what everyone says is the best European SF no one in America has ever heard of, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.

* Die old and leave an incredible story.

From this point of view Strange is perhaps the first postcolonial superhero, the first who taught the youth to ‘provincialise the West’, to paraphrase Dipresh Chakrabarty’s slogan.

* 29 minutes from New York to DC is a thing that is never going to happen.

Chipotle Suffers Another Setback As Rats Fall From Restaurant Ceiling. Still, when you’re in the mood, Chipotle can really hit the spot.

* 7 Black Alt-History Projects That Would Be Better Than Confederate.

21 Today: The Rise of Speculative Fiction in Africa, year by year.

* Comic-Con seemed fun this year: Star Trek! Westworld! Stranger Things! Thor! Infinity War! Ready Player One! Ted Chiang! Flashpoint? Even Justice League looks reasonably competent. This seems… important for the sequel? And the dream of the 90s is alive in Captain Marvel.

* Lean in.

Last Weekend Before the Semester Links!

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* ICYMI: My new syllabi for the fall! Infinite Jest and Alternate History. There’s also a new version of my “Video Game Culture” class, set for a new eleven-meeting schedule and with a “Capitalism” week added centered on Pokémon Go (what? oh, that thing). Relatedly: Milwaukee County Parks are trying to remove Pokemon Go from Lake Park.

* The NLRB has ruled that graduate students at private universities can unionize. How letting grad students unionize could change the labor movement and college sports. The NLRB Columbia Decision and the Future of Academic Labor Struggles. The Union Libel: On the Argument against Collective Bargaining in Higher Ed. But elsewhere in academic labor news: Adjuncts in Religious Studies May Be Excluded From Religious College Unions.

* Are PhD Students Irrational? Well, you don’t have to be, but it helps…

The point, then, is that a rational choice theory of PhD pursuit is self-sealing: by allowing the job market, and the job market only, to police our understanding of what’s rational, we’re ignoring that doctoral study is a way of accomplishing what the market typically cannot — a long-term, self-directed research project.

* Colleges hire more minority and female professors, but most jobs filled are adjunct, not tenure track, study finds.

* This morning everyone’s fighting about academic freedom and trigger warnings at the University of Chicago.

* I thought I was the only prof who didn’t really care about deadlines. But apparently there are dozens of us!

* That’ll solve it: Replace college instruction with Ken Burns movies.

A New Academic Year Brings Fresh Anxiety at Illinois’s Public Colleges.

Poor and Uneducated: The South’s Cycle of Failing Higher Education.

* Actually, I’m teaching these kids way more than they’re teaching me.

* I’ve dreamed about this since I was a kid: An Epochal Discovery: A Habitable Planet Orbits Our Neighboring Star. Time to teach The Sparrow again…

* Philosophical SF.

* CFP: Futures Near and Far: Utopia, Dystopia, and Futurity, University of Florida.

Cuban science-fiction redefines the future in the ruins of a socialist utopia.

Puppies, Slates, and the Leftover Shape of “Victory.” On that Rabid Puppies thing and my Hugo Award-winning novella Binti.

It was a long time before anyone realized there was something not the same about her.

From all indications, the next X-Men movie will hew closer to Claremont’s original Dark Phoenix story than the previous cinematic effort. But any sense of authenticity it achieves will only arouse and prolong the desire for closure of the loss not only of a treasured character who might have lived endlessly in the floating timeline, but also of the very narrative finitude in which this loss could only happen once. Comic Book Melancholia.

* Bingewatching vs. plot.

* A new book series at Rowman and Littlefield explores Remakes, Reboots, and Adaptations.

Hot Tomorrow: The Urgency and Beauty of Cli-Fi.

Do Better: Sexual Violence in SFF.

* The real questions: How Long Would It Actually Take to Fall Through the Earth?

How did an EpiPen get to costing $600? Earned every penny. A Case Study in Health System Dysfunction. But, you know, it’s all better now.

* Amazing study at Duke: Virtual Reality and Exoskeleton Help Paraplegics Partially Recover, Study Finds.

The Epidemic Archives Of The Future Will Be Born Digital.

How One Professor Will Turn Wisconsin’s Higher-Ed Philosophy Into a Seminar.

* Becoming Eleven. Concept Art Reveals Barb’s Original Stranger Things Fate and It Will Depress You. We Will Get ‘Justice for Barb’ in a Second Season of Stranger Things. This Stranger Things fan theory changes the game.

Arkansas City Accused Of Jailing Poor People For Bouncing Checks As Small As $15. An Arkansas Judge Sent A Cancer Patient To ‘Debtors’ Prison’ Over A Few Bounced Checks.

* And elsewhere: Drug Court Participants Allegedly Forced To Become Police Informers.

The times of year you’re most likely to get divorced. Keep scrolling! We’re not done yet.

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 10.35.10 PM

Are these the best films of the 21st century? I’m not sure I enjoyed or still think about any film on this list more than I enjoyed and think about The Grand Budapest Hotel, though There Will Be Blood, Memento, Caché, and Children of Men might all be close.

CBS is bound and determined to make sure Star Trek: Discovery bombs.

Dr. Strangelove’s Secret Uses of Uranus.

* An Instagram account can index depression.

* After neoliberalism?

* Parenting and moral panic.

How Screen Addiction Is Damaging Kids’ Brains.

The technical language obscured an arresting truth: Basis, which I had ordered online without a prescription, paying $60 for a month’s supply, was either the most sophisticated fountain-of-youth scam ever to come to market or the first fountain-of-youth pill ever to work.

* Nazis were even creeps about their horses.

tumblr_nc27oekkA11t3cxt2o1_500* The Republicans were right!

* Mapping the Stephen King meganarrative.

* Good news for Dr. Strange: Dan Harmon wrote on the reshoots.

* My colleague Jodi Melamed writes in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel on white Milwaukee’s responsibility.

The Man Who Stole Himself: The Slave Odyssey of Hans Jonathan. Translated from the Icelandic.

* Saddest postjournalism story yet: “Vote on the topic for a future Washington Post editorial.”

Katherine Johnson, the human computer.

* I arrived at my friend’s party. A few hours later she died, exactly as planned.

* Uber loses a mere 1.2 billion dollars in the first half of 2016. Can there be any doubt they are just a stalking horse for the robots?

* It’s been interesting watching this one circulate virally: Giving up alcohol opened my eyes to the infuriating truth about why women drink.

William Shatner Is Sorry Paramount Didn’t Stop Him From Ruining Star Trek V. Apology not accepted.

Hillary Clinton will likely have a unique chance to remake the federal judiciary. How the first liberal Supreme Court in a generation could reshape America.

Many donors to Clinton Foundation met with her at State. You don’t say… 4 experts make the case that the Clinton Foundation’s fundraising was troubling.

* Does he want a few of mine? Donald Trump Used Campaign Donations to Buy $55,000 of His Own Book.

Curt Schilling Is the Next Donald Trump. Hey, that was my bit!

* Oh, so now the imperial presidency is bad.

* Good news, everyone!

At least Democrats are currently on track to retake the Senate.

* Scenes from the richest country in the history of the world: Texas has highest maternal mortality rate in developed world, study finds. Raw sewage has been leaking into Baltimore’s harbor for five days, city says. It appears aquatic life — the moss that grows on rocks, the bacteria that live in the water and the bugs that hatch there — are the unexpected victims of Americans’ struggle with drug addiction. Ramen is displacing tobacco as most popular US prison currency, study finds.

No Man’s Sky is like real space exploration: dull, except when it’s sublime.

A.J. Daulerio, bloodied but unbowed. How Peter Thiel Killed Gawker. Never Mind Peter Thiel. Gawker Killed Itself. Gawker Was Killed by Gaslight. And if you want a vision of the future: A Startup Is Automating the Lawsuit Strategy Peter Thiel Used to Kill Gawker.

* Greenlit for five seasons and a spinoff: The astonishing story of how two wrestling teammates from Miami came to oppose each other in the cocaine wars — one as a drug smuggler, the other as a DEA agent.

* Also greenlighting this one.

* The legacy board games revolution.

25 1/2 gimmicky DVD commentary tracks.

The millennial generation as a whole will lose nearly $8.8 trillion in lifetime income because of climate change. The children of millennials will lose tens of trillions.

* When Icon fought Superman.

* Do not take me for some conjurer of cheap tricks.

An Exciting History of Drywall.

* Title IX: still under serious threat.

* And it’s not a competition, but Some Turtles See Red Better Than You Do.

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Written by gerrycanavan

August 26, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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New Fall Syllabus #1: Alternate History!

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I’m teaching three classes this semester, ENGLISH 4615/5615 (“Infinite Jest”), ENGLISH 2010 (“Alternate History”), and HOPR 1953 (“Video Game Culture”) (one-credit, pass/fail, now with Pokémon Go!). I’m very excited about all three. The Infinite Jest course is one I’ve wanted to do for a very long time — I came up with the whole idea of adding the new 4615/5615 course number to the Marquette English just so I could do this course — and the alternate-history course has been puttering around in my brain as a pedagogical opportunity for just about as long.

I got a lot of help from folks on Twitter and Facebook with the alternate history novel course, both at the level of generating texts but also at the level of conceptualizing the course a little different so it could be more inclusive, and I’m really grateful for that. I was finally sold by Alexis Lothian on the idea that I was being silly by being resistant to stories like The Lathe of Heaven and “The Book of Martha,” for instance, and that the practical effect of that resistance was to make the class much whiter and much maler than it really needed to be. Now, the course is still pretty white and very male, but the genre itself is, and somehow or another that’s something I want to start to talk about as the semester progresses. The excellent suggestion of Karen Joy Fowler’s story “Game Night at the Fox and Goose” will really help me make that pivot, I think, as will In the United States of Africa (a great novel I couldn’t believe I forgot to include until it was pointed out to me I’d forgotten to include it, I think by Aaron Bady).

A few other things I was very sad to lose:

  • I was originally going to do “an alternate history of an alternate history” thing to end the semester, Superman: Red Son, but it just didn’t make sense the way the course took shape. I held on to the idea way too long, and only cut the book two days ago. Sorry, bookstore!
  • The whole original point of all this was to use the course as an excuse to teach The Years of Rice and Salt, a book I love which seems just too long too teach in any other context. And it still seems too long to teach (at least at the sophomore level). I had to give it up, and wasn’t able to include even any excerpts because I crammed in too much other stuff. Someday!
  • Another thing that fell out of the course was a group presentation structure in which individual groups researched the actual history of the hinge point of each divergence and reported on it. I realized that with the newer, more expansive idea of the course this wasn’t going to work very well for at least half the books, and probably would have been reductive and overdetermined our conversations in practice, so it had to be abandoned as well.
  • I really, really wanted to include a Ted Chiang what-if-religion-were-empirically-verifiable story like “Hell Is The Absence of God,” but, again, it seemed just a bit far too off the mark this time.
  • I am, indeed, doing literally just one page from The Plot Against America, fulfilling my perverse desire to do so.
  • There were many other great suggestions for books that I wasn’t able to use. A few that I really struggled over:
    • Life After Life: a Replay-style reincarnation novel about World War I;
    • Replay itself, which is just too time-travel-ish for this (though I’ve always really liked it);
    • I likewise ruled out some other really good alternate-timeline stories because they were really time travel stories, from my puritanical perspective;
    • Something longer from Butler, perhaps Wild Seed (again, just too far afield generically for what I’m hoping to do);
    • Something truly (“merely”) generic, like Turtledove or Bring the Jubilee;
    • Lion’s Blood, Atomik Aztex, The Indians Won, The Bird Is Gone, The Heirs of Columbus, etc. I was so hung up on the idea of doing The Years of Rice and Salt that it crowded out this space for me (and then I added In the United States of Africa instead, to take on this question from a different direction). Next time.
    • Swastika Night, 1984, Handmaid’s Tale, Battle Royale: all good suggestions but didn’t hit the sense of “pastness” required by my conception of alternate history as a genre, as they were all future histories in their original moment of production;
    • District 9: only (re-)occurred to me at the last second because I was talking about it to somebody in another context, and didn’t have time to do it because the syllabus was (again) too crammed with too much other stuff. Someone had suggested Born in Flames to me as well, which also would have been great.
    • I also really wanted to play some board games like Twilight Struggle, Risk, Axis and Allies, and Chrononauts, but it seemed like it would be unwieldy and pointless with 35 students in the room. I think Civilization could scratch the same itch, though…

All right, with all those caveats, apologies, and thanks, here’s the week by week schedule (and full syllabus with all course procedures)! Three papers, the first two “traditionally scholarly,” the third one with a creative option, as well as a few creative micro-assignments here and there. If there’s anything more I should explain or you have any questions about the decisions I made, feel free to ask in the comments!

M Aug. 29 FIRST DAY OF CLASS

in-class writing exercise: “What If…”

W Aug. 31 class discussion: “What If…”
UNIT ONE: ALTERNATE WORLD WAR IIs
F Sep. 2 Kim Stanley Robinson, “The Lucky Strike”
M Sep. 5 LABOR DAY—NO CLASS
W Sep. 7 Kim Stanley Robinson, “A Sensitive Dependence on Initial Conditions”
F Sep. 9 FIRST PAPER GUIDELINES DISTRIBUTED

Star Trek: “The City on the Edge of Forever” (discussion only; watch it on your own!)

criticism: H. Bruce Franklin, “Star Trek in the Vietnam Era” [D2L]

M Sep. 12 Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle, chapters 1-3
W Sep. 14 Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle, chapters 4-6
F Sep. 16 Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle, chapters 7-9
M Sep. 19 Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle, chapters 10-13
W Sep. 21 Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle (whole book)
F Sep. 23 The Man in the High Castle (2015 Amazon pilot) (discussion only; watch it on your own!)
M Sep. 26 Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds (discussion only; optional screening date and time TBA)
W Sep. 28 Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds (discussion continues)

·      review: Ben Waters, “Debating Inglourious Basterds” [Web]

·      review: Michael Atkinson, “The Anti-Blockbuster” [Web]

·      review: Lee Siegel, “Tarantino’s Hollow Violence” [Web]

·      review: Jeffrey Goldberg, “Hollywood’s Jewish Avenger” [Web]

F Sep. 30 Lauren Davis, “Quentin Tarantino’s Spin Through Alternate History” [io9.com]

 

creative writing: Draft a short flash fiction [500-1000 words] or create an artifact, document, or image set in the 2016 of the world of Inglourious Basterds

 

Philip Roth, The Plot Against America (excerpt) [D2L]

UNIT TWO: OTHER HISTORIES
M Oct. 3 FIRST PAPER WORKSHOP

Bring in at least your introductory paragraphs, main claim, and an outline of your paper.

W Oct. 5 Sid Meier’s Civilization

videos: Civilization V timelapse gameplay videos [YouTube]

post: Trevor Owens, “Sid Meier’s Colonization: Is It Offensive Enough?” [Web]

thread: Lycerius, “I’ve Been Playing the Same Game of Civilization for Almost Ten Years. This Is the Result” [Reddit]

F Oct. 7 Sid Meier’s Civilization

criticism: Kacper Pobłocki, “Becoming-State: The Bio-Cultural Imperialism of Sid Meier’s Civilization”

 
M Oct. 10 FIRST PAPER DUE

SECOND PAPER GUIDELINES DISTRIBUTED

Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” [D2L]

W Oct. 12 Karen Joy Fowler, “Game Night at the Fox and Goose” [D2L]
F Oct. 14 criticism: L. Timmel Duchamp, “Playing with the Big Boys: (Alternate) History in Karen Joy Fowler’s ‘Game Night at the Fox and Goose’” [Web]
M Oct. 17 Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
W Oct. 19 Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton

thinkpiece: Jennifer Schuessler, “Hamilton and History: Are They in Sync?” [Web]

interview: Rebecca Onion and Lyra D. Monteiro, “A Hamilton Skeptic on Why the Show Isn’t As Revolutionary As It Seems” [Web]

F Oct. 21 FALL BREAK—NO CLASS
M Oct. 24 Terry Bisson, Fire on the Mountain, pgs. 1-66
W Oct. 26 Terry Bisson, Fire on the Mountain, pgs. 67-119
F Oct. 28 Terry Bisson, Fire on the Mountain (whole book)
M Oct. 31 Abdourahman A. Waberi, In the United States of Africa (part one)
W Nov. 2 Abdourahman A. Waberi, In the United States of Africa (whole book)

criticism: Justin Izzo, “Historical Reversibility as Ethnographic Afrofuturism: Abdourahman Waberi’s Alternative Africa”

F Nov. 4 CONFERENCES—CLASS CANCELLED
UNIT THREE: DREAMING OF DIFFERENCE
M Nov. 7 Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (chapters 1-4)
W Nov. 9 Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (chapters 5-6)
F Nov. 11 Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (chapters 7-9)
M Nov. 14 SECOND PAPER DUE

FINAL PROJECT GUIDELINES DISTRIBUTED

Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (chapters 10-13)

W Nov. 16 Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (chapters 14-16)
F Nov. 18 Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (chapters 17-19)
M Nov. 21 Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (whole book)

Martin Puchner, “When We Were Clones” [D2L]

W Nov. 23 THANKSGIVING BREAK—NO CLASS
F Nov. 25 THANKSGIVING BREAK—NO CLASS
M Nov. 28 Ursula K. Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven (chapters 1-4)
W Nov. 30 Ursula K. Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven (chapters 5-8)
F Dec. 2 Ursula K. Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven (whole book)
M Dec. 5 Octavia E. Butler, “The Book of Martha”

creative writing: Imagine God comes to you with the same offer he/she/it brings to Martha. What one change would you make to the world, and why?

W Dec. 7 Octavia E. Butler, “The Book of Martha” (discussion continues)

creative writing: Draft a flash fiction [500-1000 words] or create an artifact, document, or image set in the world that exists sometime after the end of “The Book of Martha.”

 

Octavia E. Butler, “Afterword to ‘The Book of Martha’”

Gerry Canavan, Octavia E. Butler (excerpt) [D2L]

F Dec. 9 FINAL PROJECT WORKSHOP

LAST DAY OF CLASS

F Dec. 16 FINAL ASSIGNMENT DUE BY 12:30 PM
     

 

 

Break v. Spring: Dawn of Thursday Links

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* Coming up in two weeks! “After Humanity: Science Fiction After Extinction” will be the topic at the 2016 Robert W. Hamblin Lecture April 6 at Southeast Missouri State University.

* CFP: “Queers Read This!”: LGBTQ Literature Now, a Special Issue of GLQ. And a stray thought not-really-apropos of that:

UWM introduces plan to cut $41.25 million from budget. That includes the end of the Center for Urban Initiatives and Research. But there’s always money in the job security stand:

“We have a fundamental tension between job security and the ability for this university to continue to be viable,” Mone said. “Those are inherent tensions. The reality is, when I talk about numbers, when I talk about budgeting, what we’re really talking about is people. And we’re talking about the ability to continue to operate as effectively and as efficiently as possible given the environmental changes that we have.”

California Regents Reject Broad Condemnation of Anti-Zionism as Discrimination.

Twitter creates ‘new academic hierarchies’, suggests study.

* Shock of shocks: The NFL has been lying about concussions.

* Batman vs. Superman is apparently in that delicious category of film so terrible that the critics compete to deal it the cruelest blow. FilmFreak. GQ. BMD. AV Club. Deadpan. The Guardian. Village Voice. And the rest! But I give the round to A.O. Scott:

For fun there are shots of the heroes shirtless and of Lois Lane in the bath. But the point of “Batman v Superman” isn’t fun, and it isn’t thinking, either. It’s obedience. The theology is invoked not to elicit meditations on mercy, justice or sacrifice, but to buttress a spectacle of power. And in that way the film serves as a metaphor for its own aspirations. The corporations that produce movies like this one, and the ambitious hacks who sign up to make them, have no evident motive beyond their own aggrandizement. Entertainment is less the goal than the byproduct, and as the commercial reach of superpower franchises grows, their creative exhaustion becomes ever more apparent.

But it sounds like Justice League will somehow be even worse.

* Cuomo v. CUNY.

* Garner (not really) v. Affleck. This is actually a really interesting longread on the crafting of celebrity persona, despite your assumptions to the contrary.

* As a child I was unsatisfied with the world, already looking for ways out. I read some online pamphlet about Advaita Vedanta and decided I believed in it; I made myself a little diagram of the cosmos, within and without Māyā, dotted lines connecting Brahman to Atman to my own confined and unhappy self far across the limits of observable reality; I was weird. I liked things that weren’t really real; not pure fantasy but all those lenses that made the world bearable in its new capacity to be somehow otherwise, that gave me a kind of conceptual power to change things that I didn’t have in daily life. Conspiracy theory, pseudohistory, socialism, faith. I think it wasn’t long after my grandfather died that I found a collection of alternate histories, little stories told by pop-historians about what might have happened if one battle or another had gone the other way, a prism of worlds that never were. I don’t remember the title; it was actually a fairly stupid book (one account described the result of Lenin’s assassination on the way to St Petersburg: the Bolsheviks are effortlessly sidelined and we get a happy, prosperous, liberal-democratic twentieth century). The cover was utterly inevitable: a black and empty sky, and a swastika flag on the Moon. But that really did happen. The space programme that sent the first people to the Moon was the Nazi space programme, all those scientists snatched up in Operation Paperclip, effortlessly swapping Hitler for Washington. Watch the dialectic at work, preserving what it negates, proceeding as always by its bad side. It’s not that the Nazis are another example of Benjamin’s defeated of history; how could they be, when putting a swastika on the cover is still the best way to sell a book? But the litter that chokes our planet remains, all the bones remain, and one day we are promised the resurrection. This is why utopia is always melancholic, the refusal to simply mourn, the tight grip of the living to the dead.

* Obama legacy watch: How can a man who has weaponized the planet at a historic rate be championed as a purveyor of peace?

* A Conversation on Title IX, in the Yale Law Journal. First up: Nancy Gertner’s “Complicated Process.”

* Miracles and wonders: Controlling diabetes with a skin patch.

Lead ink from scrolls may unlock library destroyed by Vesuvius.

Should Parents of Children With Severe Disabilities Be Allowed to Stop Their Growth?

* North Carolina in ruins, again. Abolish the states.

* STEMJ: Researchers have long noticed that an oddly large number of jihadists have engineering backgrounds. Recently two social scientists, Diego Gambetta and Steffen Hertog, scrutinized the numbers and concluded that, yes, the proportion of terrorists who are engineers far outpaces expectations.

* Elsewhere on the terrorism and statistics beat: American Mormon, 19, left with burns and shrapnel injuries in Brussels attack also survived Boston and Paris bombings.

* On the Origin of “African Proverbs.”

* On the Politics of Marvel’s Black Panther.

* The politics of failure have failed! We must make them work again!

* I guess the Singularity really is near: Microsoft’s ‘teen girl’ AI turns into a Hitler-loving sex robot within 24 hours.

* The latest in the letting-the-superintelligent-AI-out-of-the-box subgenere: ANA.

* And, from the archives, some change we can all believe in: Abolish Caillou.

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Written by gerrycanavan

March 24, 2016 at 9:00 am