Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘alumni

Tuesday Morning Links!

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* The course descriptions for Marquette’s Fall 2017 English classes are up at the department website. Check them out! I’m teaching Tolkien and a grad seminar on utopia. 

* Also in Marquette news! Marquette to host ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ conference in April.

Becoming a parent forces you to think about the nature of the problem — which is, in a lot of ways, the problem of nature […] the realities of aging and sickness and mortality become suddenly inescapable. […] [My wife] said something during that time I will never forget. “If I had known how much I was going to love him,” she said, “I’m not sure I would have had him.” Mark O’Connell on transhumanism and immortality.

* From the great Ali Sperling: Reading Lovecraft in the Anthropocene. And this review of Alan Moore’s Jerusalem from the great David Higgins!

* Adam Roberts reviews New York 2140. Another review, from a climate scientist. And an interview with Stan. My review comes out in LARB this weekend…

The Most Cringeworthy Monuments to Colleges’ Innovation Jargon.

Perverse outcomes: UC Berkeley deletes 20,000 audio and visual lectures in the name of compliance with the ADA.

Speculative Fiction and Survival in Iraq.

* Is it really so hard to understand that when your students go broke just trying to graduate they aren’t exactly moved to donate later?

harcourt_fenton_mudd_2267* The liberal arts at Harvey Mudd College, whose graduates out-earn Harvard and Stanford.

* You-might-be-from-Wisconsin-if at Ask MetaFilter.

President Roosevelt signed the order on February 19, 1942, almost exactly 75 years ago. By spring, American citizens would be arriving at the Fresno and Pinedale camps: our neighbors.

* Wisconsin is apparently harassing trans state employees.

* Chaos, again. This is fine. Even James Comey. Twilight of Reince Preibus. Ten Questions for President Trump. Ten More Questions for President Trump. Remember when it was scandalous that Obama, years before he became a politician, once sold his house?

It is through the Justice Department that the administration is likely to advance its nationalist plans — to strengthen the grip of law enforcement, raise barriers to voting and significantly reduce all forms of immigration, promoting what seems to be a longstanding desire to reassert the country’s European and Christian heritage. It’s not an accident that Sessions, who presumably could have chosen from a number of plum assignments, opted for the role of attorney general. The Department of Justice is the most valuable perch from which to transform the country in the way he and Bannon have wanted. With an exaggerated threat of disorder looming, the nation’s top law-enforcement agency could become a machine for trying to fundamentally change who gets to be an American and what rights they can enjoy.

The emerging effort — dozens more rules could be eliminated in the coming weeks — is one of the most significant shifts in regulatory policy in recent decades. It is the leading edge of what Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, described late last month as “the deconstruction of the administrative state.”

* “Forever war, but too much.”

An Afghan family of five that had received approval to move to the United States based on the father’s work for the American government has been detained for more than two days after flying into Los Angeles International Airport, a legal advocacy group said in court documents filed on Saturday. Profiles of immigrant arrested in Austin. Thousands of ICE detainees claim they were forced into labor, a violation of anti-slavery laws. (Note this lawsuit was filed in 2014.This Stunningly Racist French Novel Is How Steve Bannon Explains The World. And if it were a book, it’d seem laughably contrived: A letter written in 1905 by Friedrich Trump, Donald Trump’s grandfather, to Luitpold, prince regent of Bavaria. Resisting ICE. Here we go again.

* 4chan and the Great Meme War.

* Russia and the Cyber Cold War.

* And while we’re on the subject: The Basic Formula For Every Shocking Russia/Trump Revelation. I think this is a very good reminder of the need to stay calm and detached from the chaos of the news cycle.

Instead, a new model is proposed: the president keeps everyone in a constant state of excitement and alarm. He moves fast and breaks things. He leads by causing commotion. As energy in the political system rises he makes no effort to project calm or establish an orderly White House. And if he keeps us safe it’s not by being himself a safe, steady, self-controlled figure, but by threatening opponents and remaining brash and unpredictable— maybe a touch crazy. This too is psychological work, but of a different kind.

* Democrats keep trusting demographics to save them. It hasn’t worked yet — but maybe this time…

NASA unveils plan to give Mars an ‘Earth-like’ atmosphere.

House Republicans Unveil Bill To Repeal Obamacare. The GOP health bill doesn’t know what problem it’s trying to solve.

Austerity measures don’t actually save money. But they do disempower workers. Which is why governments pursue them in the first place.

* No! It can’t be! Researchers have found strong evidence that racism helps the GOP win.

* Losing West Virginia.

Contrary to What You Learned in Sex Ed, You Can Get Pregnant While Pregnant.

* Mid-decade gerrymander in Georgia.

* Autism and Addiction.

* What We’ve Learned from Giving Dolphins LSD.

In a world first, a teenager with sickle cell disease achieved complete remission after an experimental gene therapy at Necker Children’s Hospital in Paris, researchers say.

* Possible lynching outside Seattle, in 2017.

* The end of suburbia.

* In the richest country in human history, children have “lunch debt.”

The only way in which a game is guaranteed to end is when the player abandons their device. Everything else is game design.

“These devices don’t have emotional intelligence,” said Allison Druin, a University of Maryland professor who studies how children use technology. “They have factual intelligence.” How millions of kids are being shaped by know-it-all voice assistants.

* Finding a jury of your peers in a racially segregated society.

* A colony in a nation.

Divination hasn’t disappeared; it’s taken over the world.

But these second-order obstacles aren’t enough to explain the current collapse of poll-driven political certainty. They’re just excuses, even if they’re not untrue. Something about the whole general scheme of polling—the idea that you can predict what millions of undecided voters will do by selecting a small group and then just simply asking them—is out of whack. We need to think seriously about what the strange game of election-watching actually is, in terms of our relation to the future, our power to choose our own outcomes, the large-scale structure of the universe, and the mysteries of fate. And these questions are urgent. Because predictions of the future don’t simply exist in the future, but change the way we act in the present. Because in our future something monstrous is rampaging: it paces hungrily toward us, and we need to know if we’ll be able to spot it in time.

When I said that opinion polls are sibyls and soothsayers, it wasn’t just a figure of speech. Opinion polling has all the trappings of a science—it has its numbers and graphs, its computational models, its armies of pallid drones poring over the figures. It makes hypotheses and puts them to the test. But polls are not taken for what they are: a report on what a small number of people, fond of changing their minds, briefly pretended to think. Instead, we watch the tracking graphs as if the future were playing itself out live in front of us. The real structure of the electoral-wonk complex is more mystical than materialist: it’s augury and divination, a method handed down by Prometheus to a starving and shivering humanity at the faint dawn of time. Behind all the desktop screens and plate-glass of his office, the buzz of data and the hum of metrics, Nate Silver retreats to a quiet, dark, and holy room. He takes the knife and slits in one stroke the throat of a pure-white bull; its blood arcs and drizzles in all directions. He examines its patterns. And he knows.

There’s a never-ending fount of stories you can write about when someone is breaking away from canon or not, and create many controversies all the way through preproduction and production and even until a movie opens, about whether or not they’re breaking canon. Is it a blasphemous movie or not? At some point, you gotta stop and say, Is there this expectation that it’s like we’re doing Godfather Part I and II, only it’s going to nine movies? And we’re just gonna cut them into this kind of Berlin Alexanderplatz that never ends? We’re gonna suddenly take a moment to really savor the fact that these movies exist in an identical tone? The reality to me is that you can’t have interesting movies if you tell a filmmaker, “Get in this bed and dream, but don’t touch the pillows or move the blankets.” You will not get cinema. You will just get a platform for selling the next movie on that bed, unchanged and unmade. James Mangold on Logan.

* The making of The Silmarillion.

* And we have but one choice: the Ring must be destroyed.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 7, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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So Many Wednesday Links It Is Guaranteed to Make You Sick

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* Brian Thill on academia, labor, and the prestige economy.

* Freddie de Boer on the unbearable wretchedness of higher education journalism.

* The only situation in which one would treat free speech as an end would be one in which there were no fundamental problems: no iniquities, immiseration, exploitation. No need for free speech as means. So we might say Dirks is speaking from the position of campus-as-utopia, a campus of nothing but speech, where the sun always shines and all other issues have been resolved happily for all. A campus wherein there was no privatized public education, no massive debt- and labor-loads for students, no shitty working conditions for campus workers, no cops being called in to beat or pepper-spray students and faculty into the hospital. No struggle over BDS, no systematic racism, no burying of rape statistics and accompanying leniency for perpetrators — struggles in which the administration is an aggressive antagonist, a side.

* Remember the other day when I linked to that piece about colleges recruiting lacrosse players as a proxy for wealth? Totally and absolutely unrelatedly, colleges are now giving out athletic video game scholarships.

* Steven Salaita has now spoken publicly at UIUC about his firing by UIUC.

* The New Inquiry 32: Back to School.

School is the alibi for class society. Passage through it is supposed to be what makes the unequal distribution of violence and luxury in the bourgeois world a fair outcome, what makes the bodies it disposes of earn their disposal. It is also the house of knowledge and so a powerful node of induction into the mysteries of this bloody society. Those who want to approach the knowledge held there must also internalize its mechanisms. Some go on to help it reproduce itself, as teachers. Unexpected success in this self-­transformation is sometimes called class mobility, but to celebrate those who are capable of moving admits that the majority are fixed in place.

How long will we have to wait for the poll finding that most Americans “regret” having supported this new war in Iraq and Syria and view it as a “mistake”, as they prepare, in a frenzy of manufactured fear, to support the next proposed war? Even the liberal Kevin Drum hopes Obama can stop Obama before Obama invades Iraq.

* Against TFA: “I am, I am asking you to quit.”

* Crisis for the crisis in the humanities. The full report is here.

* Scalia wept: Death penalty fans reel as one of their go-to examples for the necessity of capital punishment turns out to involve two innocent men.

* Hell in Rotherham.

Just 13, and Working Risky 12-Hour Shifts in the Tobacco Fields.

* Too rich to punish.

* From the archives: Almost everything in Dr. Strangelove was true. Capitalism Whack-a-Mole.

* Almost All the Books People Say Influenced Them Were Written for Children.

* Steve Almond on quitting football.

* Segregation forever: Share of white kids attending majority white schools. More links after the map.

2014-09-10 12.49.28 pm

UC Berkeley police have obtained more than a dozen M16 rifles via the 1033 program, as of June 2014. That’s outrageous. I can’t imagine them needing more than four or five tops.

* The Economist Has a Slavery Problem. Reagan reviews Roots, 1977.

A new portrait of the founding father challenges the long-held perception of Thomas Jefferson as a benevolent slaveholder. No! No! I simply won’t believe it!

* Logistics, Capitalist Circulation, Chokepoints.

* Cuomo (and de Blasio) after Teachout.

Where MacArthur fellows were born and where they lived at the time of the award.

How Much Carbon Dioxide Is in the Atmosphere? A Massive Increase in 2013 Sets a Record. “We are running out of time.”

* Milwaukee wept: Meteorologists Predict Record-Shattering Snowfall Coming Soon.

Almost Half Of North American Bird Species Are Threatened By Climate Change.

* Amazon Indian Warriors Beat and Strip Illegal Loggers in Battle for Jungle’s Future.

* Louisiana doesn’t look like Louisiana anymore.

* The oceans are acidifying at the fastest rate in 300 million years.

* Whiteness and conservation.

Fracking May Be Worse Than Burning Coal. People Who Live Near Fracking More Likely To Become Sick, Study Finds.

* Twilight for alumni donations. As someone remarked on Twitter, this piece seriously undercounts the rise of student debt and twentysomething un- and underemployment as factors here.

* Dystopia now: Airlines have never been better at making certain your flight is full.

Forty Percent of Police Families Experience Domestic Violence.

Peacekeepers Sexually Exploited And Abused Women And Girls In Somalia.

Video Shows NYPD Officers Taking Turns Beating Man After He Asked Why He Was Being Searched.

Cops Are Sorry They Keep Losing Cool Guns That the Military Gives Them.

“Driving while black” is, indeed, a measurable phenomenon. Look, if we’re going to make this about facts…

* BREAKING NEWS: Gambling is terrible city planning.

* License to kill: CBP Requests Federal Court Keep Identity of Border Patrol Agent Who Killed Teen Secret.

* Court rules Yelp has no obligation to publish positive reviews.

For years, nothing seemed capable of turning around New Dorp High School’s dismal performance—not firing bad teachers, not flashy education technology, not after-school programs. Turns out you actually have to teach the kids to get results. Crazy.

* And on the complete other end of the positivity spectrum: Teacher Allegedly Locked Kids in Closet to Teach Them “How to Survive.”

* Millennials aren’t using credit cards, and it might come back to haunt them.

* Now that I’m a parent, it’s hard for me to understand how roller coasters are allowed to exist.

* Silicon Valley’s Cult of Male Ego.

* Reddit is a failed state.

* The service, which launches September 16 in New York City, Long Island, and Westchester, works with a fleet of women drivers and will only be available to female passengers. Drivers are hailed with an iOS app—like Uber or Lyft—and arrive wearing “hot pink pashmina scarves,”according to the New York Times.

* Marriage counseling before feminism.

* Today in the voter fraud fraud.

Striking down Pennsylvania’s voter ID law in January, its state court found “no evidence of the existence of in-person voter fraud in the state.” Plus, the state failed to establish any connection between photo identity cards and the integrity of elections. Courts in Texas, Arizona, and Arkansas ruled similarly.

Wisconsin federal district court Judge Lynn Adelman in Aprilstruck down that state’s voter ID law for violating the Fourteenth Amendment and Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Adelman found about 9 percent of registered voters – about 300,000 – lacked the government-issued ID required for casting a ballot under the Wisconsin law, enough to change election results.

‘Unprecedented’ Outbreak Of Rare Virus Strikes Hundreds Of Children In The Midwest.

The Leaky Nuclear Waste Dump and the Town That Loves It Anyway.

* The kids are all right: LEGO Is Now the Biggest Toymaker on the Planet.

8 Things We Can Do Now to Build a Space Colony This Century.

* And Harvard has received a record $350 million donation. So glad those guys will be able to keep the lights on.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 10, 2014 at 1:39 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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All the Sunday Links

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* Sad news: Iain Banks has died. A Few Notes on the Culture. A list of spacecraft in the Culture series.

Screen-Shot-2013-06-07-at-11.01.25-PM* Coffee’s good for you again. Stay buzzed, America.

* This piece on MOOCs from Jonathan Dettman is really interesting, not least of all for its observations on running the university like a business:

According to this paradigm, the years spent at a university are not intended so much as to educate the student (either in the vocational sense or the liberal-arts sense of forming citizen-scholars), but rather to turn as many recruits as possible into “active alumni.” In the meantime, as much profit as possible should be extracted from the student, through amenities, food services, business partnerships, textbook sales, tuition, etc. Image and branding are extremely important to these efforts, but so is information. Universities now build data-driven profiles of prospective students in order to identify and recruit those most likely to be attracted to the university’s own carefully constructed market profile.

As I said on Twitter yesterday: they couldn’t have found a model that sounded a bit less… pyramid-schemey?

On PRISM, or Listening Neoliberally.

* This piece on epigenetics in Discover is really interesting, but my god, the reporting. It’s hard to imagine a piece that sensationalized these findings more.

* Announcing the MOOC Research Institute. Can’t we scale this up? You know, crowdsource it.

* Claire Potter smells a rat in those academic paternity leave studies I’ve blogged about in the past.

Black Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 have an unemployment rate of 21 percent, almost triple the national average.

* Simply put, 99 percent of the increase in employed persons seen in the last year was for individuals who had attended at least some college (this removes the negative change in employment for high school grads with no college to not produce a number above 100 percent). Among those who didn’t go to college, we actually lost 284,000 employed persons from May of 2012 to May of 2013. Within the college-going categories, about 60 percent of the increase went to those with a bachelor’s degree and 40 percent to those with an associate’s degree. 

Change in Employed Persons 5-12 to 5-13

* The death of the cliffhanger.

* The screenplay writes itself: Gustl Mollath was put in a psychiatric unit for claiming his wife was involved in money-laundering at the Bavarian bank. But seven years on evidence has emerged that could set him free.

* The headline reads, “New long distance quantum teleportation system ‘extremely reliable.'” So, the ansible is real, then?

Va. Republican Lt. Governor Candidate Said Birth Defects Were Caused By Sin. I give up.

* Because a bunch of us have been rewatching Star Trek lately: Voyager Inconsistencies. By the numbers it’s actually a little better than I thought.

* And the LEGO museum. At least there’s that.