Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Andrew Sullivan

Monday Morning Links!

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Screen Shot 2016-05-01 at 9.30.57 PM* Coming soon: Adam Kotsko’s long-awaited book on the devil, The Prince of This World. And from Annie McClanahan: Dead Pledges: Debt, Crisis, and Twenty-First-Century Culture.

* Important White House petition: “Include Adjuncts in Loan Forgiveness Program.”

* Segregation in America.

But here’s the rub: I am able to afford this faux middle-class life on $40,000 a year because I live around poverty. I didn’t write this, but basically anyone with a job like mine in a city like Milwaukee could have.

* May Day in Milwaukee.

Marquette University John McAdams and the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty announced Monday that they have filed suit in Milwaukee County Circuit Court against the university for what the plaintiffs describe as “illegally suspending” McAdams more than a year ago.

Neoliberal Tools (and Archives): A Political History of Digital Humanities.

Scientists Warn All Plant Life Dying Within 30-Yard Radius Of Ted Cruz Campaign Signs.

* Clinton is the second-most disliked general election candidate in modern history. Guess who is #1. Using this approach, the probability that Trump can catch up by November is 9%, and the probability that Clinton will remain ahead of Trump is 91%.

Toddlers have shot at least 23 people this year.

* “Uber for MBAs Is a Worrying Sign.”

How Gender Confirmation Surgery Actually Works.

* Another #Lemonade Reader.

But in order to break into the top 10 percent of American drinkers, you would need to drink more than two bottles of wine with every dinner. And you’d still be below-average among those top 10 percenters.

Soccer’s Most Remarkable Season: A year after narrowly avoiding relegation, Leicester City is on the verge of a Premier League title.

* Suing? What for? The coffee was too cold. It’s supposed to be cold. Not THAT cold.

* Pop culture moment: we’ve been watching The People vs. O.J. Simpson and have been completely floored by how good it is. Thanks Lili Loofbourow for the rec!

* This month is also the Comedy Bang Bang live tour — with each date appearing on howl.fm the next day — so my pop culture dance card is kind of filled right now.

* I can’t decide if the White House Correspondents Dinner becomes more or less obscene when Obama is so good at it.

Monkey bars alert: Playground concussions are on the rise. I’m really surprised parental use of cell phones isn’t suggested as a possible aggravating cause.

* Understanding epigenetic. Forgotten lessons of the American Eugenics movement.

* Andrew Sullivan is back, and he says your precious democracy is doomed. Doomed!

* Your tweet of the week.

* Socrates minus Socrates.

* google Canada truth

* places to invade next

* And tell my kids I’m sorry: Scientists find more reasons that Greenland will melt faster. World on catastrophic path to run out of fresh water. And in case you’ve forgotten.

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It’s Been Much Too Long And Now There Are Much Too Many Links

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* Job ad (probably best for Midwest-located scholars): Visiting Assistant Professor of English (3 positions), Marquette University.

* There’s a new issue of SFFTV out, all about the Strugatskiis.

* CFP: Octavia E. Butler: Celebrating Letters, Life, and Legacy – February 26-28, 2016 – Spelman College.

* Episode 238 of the Coode Street Podcast: Kim Stanley Robinson and Aurora.

* The weird worlds of African sci-fi.

* Afrofuturism and Black Panther.

* To save California, read Dune.

* All episodes of I Was There Too are great, but last week’s Deadwood-themed episode was especially so.

* Jameson’s essay on Neuromancer from Polygraph 25 (and his new book The Ancients and the Postmoderns: On the Historicity of Formsis available at Public Books.

“My college has had five deans in the last 10 years. They want to make their mark. That’s fine, but the longer I’m in one place as a faculty chair, I see why faculty are cynical and jaded,” Dudley said. “Every time there is turnover, there is a new initiative. There is a new strategic plan. So many faculty are just at the point where they say ‘just leave us alone.’ “

Pomp and Construction: Colleges Go on a Building Tear.

6 Ways Campus Cops Are Becoming More Like Regular Police.

* Diversity and the Ivy Ceiling.

* What academic freedom is not.

7) Academic freedom is not a gratuitous entitlement for privileged faculty but essential in achieving societal progressivity. Those with academic freedom are more likely to produce higher quality research and effective teaching that benefits society, if not always the ruling elites. I frequently state in class: “If I am not free, you aren’t free! For me to do my job, I must speak freely and teach outside the lines to help you expand your frame of knowledge and question your world.” There may not be a” truth, however earnest the search, but the attempt to find it must be unfettered. Society spends billions of dollars on higher education, and the investment is more likely to reap dividends if revisionism, and not orthodoxy, prevails.

* Why Is It So Hard to Kill a College? Why do you sound so disappointed?

An LSU associate professor has been fired for using curse words and for telling the occasional sexually-themed joke to undergraduate students, creating what university administrators describe as a “hostile learning environment” that amounted to sexual harassment.

* Josh Marshall: Here’s an (fun in a surreal, macabre way) article about a recent example of how Twitter has dramatically increased the velocity at which bullshit is able to travel at sea level and at higher altitudes. In fact, the increase is so great that Twitter has become a self-contained, frictionless bullshit perpetual motion machine capable of making an episode like this possible. This is the story of Zandria Robinson, an African-American assistant professor of sociology at the University of Memphis who made some that were both genuinely outrageous and also a peerless example of jargony academic nonsense-speak, became a target of right-wing media and twitter-hounds, then got fired by the University of Memphis because of the controversy, thus making the University a target of left-wingers on Twitter and driving Twitter to cross-partisan paroxysms of outrage and self-congratulation. Except that she wasn’t fired and actually wasn’t even an employee of the University of Memphis in the first place. Thanks, Twitter.

Supreme Court to Consider Case That Could Upend Unions at Public Colleges.

* Adjuncting is not a career, TIAA-CREF edition.

Keywords for the Age of Austerity 19: Resilience.

* Fraternities, man, I don’t know.

* Right-wing SF and the Charleston attack.

* Fusion is mapping the monuments of the Confederacy. Why do people believe myths about the Confederacy? Because our textbooks and monuments are wrong.

* Tomorrow’s iconic photos today.

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* There’s a dark side to everything: the secret history of gay marriage.

* Andrew Sullivan’s victory lap.

* Gay rights in America, state by state (updated 26 June 2015).

* The Y2Gay Problem.

How do you tell a person to choose between having food to eat and getting married?

* When docents go rogue.

* When image recognition goes rogue.

Greece just defaulted, but the danger is only beginning.

* Puerto Rico and debt.

Now We Know Why Huge TPP Trade Deal Is Kept Secret From the Public.

Let that sink in for a moment: “[C]ompanies and investors would be empowered to challenge regulations, rules, government actions and court rulings — federal, state or local — before tribunals….” And they can collect not just for lost property or seized assets; they can collect if laws or regulations interfere with these giant companies’ ability to collect what they claim are “expected future profits.”

* The Rise and Fall of LSD.

* How FIFA Ruined Soccer.

* Rape on the night shift.

* Self-driving cars and the coming pro-driving movement.

* Class and the professorate.

* “I’ve been a boy for three years and I was a girl for six.” Frontline on growing up trans.

* Why are colleges investing in prisons in the first place? Don’t answer that.

* The view from over there: 38 ways college students enjoy ‘Left-wing Privilege’ on campus.

How to Avoid Indoctrination at the Hands of ‘Your Liberal Professor.’

* Against students.

You Were Right. Whole Foods Is Ripping You Off.

* “You have the wrong body for ballet.”

* The toy manufacturing sublime.

* Barack Obama is officially one of the most consequential presidents in American history. I really don’t think going on WTF is that big a deal.

* What Went Wrong: Assessing Obama’s Legacy. [paywalled, sorry]

* Debating polygamy: aff and neg (and more).

Alex Hern decided not to do anything for a week – unless he’d read all the terms and conditions first. Seven days and 146,000 words later, what did he learn?

Philip K Dick’s only novel for children to be reissued in UK.

Postcapitalist Posthumans.

* Preschool justice.

* The World Without Work. The Hard Work of Taking Apart Post-Work Fantasy.

* The Sweatshop Feminists.

Keita “Katamari Damacy” Takahashi is still making the best games.

The Assassin Who Triggered WWI Just Got His Own Monument.

Every state flag is wrong, and here is why.

US military admits it carried out secret race-based experiments to test impact of mustard gas on US soldiers.

Don Featherstone, Inventor of the Pink Flamingo (in Plastic), Dies at 79.

* A people’s history of the Slinky.

* How to fix science.

J.K. Rowling Announces “Not a Prequel” Play About Harry Potter’s Parents. There’s just no way we’re not going to get an official “next generation” sequel series in the next few decades.

Court Affirms It’s Completely Legal To Swear Loudly At Police.

* Oh, but we have fun, don’t we?

* They’re making a sequel to Lucy, more or less just for me.

* Kotsko flashback: Marriage and meritocracy.

If in the Mad Men era the mark of success was the ability to essentially ignore one’s family while enjoying access to a wide range of sexual experiences, now the situation has reversed: monogamy and devotion are the symbol of success. And the reason this can make sense as a symbol of elite arrival is that the trappings of a bourgeois nuclear family can no longer be taken for granted as they were in the postwar heyday of the “traditional family” — they are the exception rather than the norm. In the lower and working classes, successful marriages are increasingly difficult to sustain amid the strain and upheaval that comes from uncertain employment and financial prospects (a problem that is compounded by the systematic criminalization of young men in minority communities). While marriage is still a widely-shared goal, the situation now is similar to that with college: a relatively small elite get to really enjoy its benefits, while a growing number of aspirants are burdened with significant costs (student debt, the costs of divorce) without much to show for it.

I used to lead tours at a plantation. You won’t believe the questions I got about slavery.

* When police kill the mentally ill.

* Despair bears

A broken bail system makes poor defendants collateral damage in modern policing strategies.

Drug cops took a college kid’s savings and now 13 police departments want a cut.

The 20 Best Lines From the Supreme Court Dissent Calling to End the Death Penalty.

* Inside Rikers Island.

Someone is turning the Saved By The Bell Wiki into a thing of beauty.

* Dystopia now: “Predictive Policing.” You’re being secretly tracked with facial recognition, even in church. Air pollution and dementia. Rivers of death. The dark future of ‘Advantageous’: What happens when the difference between child-rearing and job training collapses?

* Plus, there’s this creepy shit.

* If you want a vision of the future, imagine Abramsverse Star Trek sequels, forever.

* No one else apply for this.

* And they said my English major would never be useful.

despairBears2

Written by gerrycanavan

July 2, 2015 at 8:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Ex Cathedra – 2

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There is no established protocol whatsoever for the titles, status or prerogatives of a retired Pope.

The prophecy of the popes. Another pope betting site. The political science of papal elections. And then about a dozen posts from Andrew Sullivan: Benedict’s Radical End. Why Now? What Now For Benedict? Who Would Benedict Pick? A Black Pope? Resignation And The Papacy.

“It is not good for a Pope to live 20 years. It is anomaly and bears no good fruit; he becomes a god, has no one to contradict him, does not know facts, does cruel things without meaning it.”

Tuesday Night Links

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* The Passion of Andrew Sullivan.

The CEO Who Built Himself America’s Largest House Just Threatened to Fire His Employees if Obama’s Elected. If anything this makes the already excellent Queen of Versailles even more awesome.

“We are athletes, we are not gladiators,” Winston told Kansas City reporters. “This isn’t the Roman Colisseum. People pay their hard-earned money to come in here. I believe they can boo, they can cheer, they can do whatever they want. But when you cheer somebody getting knocked out, I don’t care who it is, and it just so happened to be Matt Cassel, it’s sickening. It’s 100 percent sickening. I’ve been in some rough times on some rough teams. I’ve never been so embarrassed in my life to play football than at that moment right there.” I wonder if the NFL will exist in 20 years.

* Seems legit: Deadly Meningitis Outbreak Demonstrates Need For Less Government Regulation.

Wesleyan Sued Over ‘Rape Factory’ Frat House.

* And your Tumblr of the night: Fuck No Sexist Halloween Costumes.

Other Midday Links

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Other midday links.

* Apropos of what I was saying yesterday about Andrew Sullivan, here’s Ben Smith on Sullivan, his continued outsized influence, and the first-mover advantage in the blogosphere.

* There have been a lot of assertions from both left and right that Obama “isn’t doing enough” to support the protesters in Iran. It’s not clear to me what exactly these people have in mind; any U.S. involvement is likely to be entirely counterproductive, as Obama himself has noted. So it’s worth noting that the Obama administration has quietly taken action to support the protesters in a way that is not counterproductive; according to NBC News, the State Dept. has leaned on Twitter to delay scheduled maintenance because of the way the site is currently being used in Iran.

* Also from Iran: Gary Sick lays out an important challenge to that much-discussed pre-election poll showing Ahmadinejad ahead that I hadn’t seen discussed anywhere else—it’s from over a month before the election.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 16, 2009 at 8:08 pm

Tehran Protests

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Over the weekend an old friend wrote me to make sure that I don’t like Andrew Sullivan now. I don’t; his opinions are by and large awful, even if on many important issues he’s slowly switched to “our side” since 2001. But on isolated issues his coverage can be very strong, as it is this morning on the now-illegal protest march in Tehran. Just look at the size of that crowd. (UPDATE: Video from BBC Persia. Wow.) (UPDATE 2: Mousavi is at the rally.)

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June 15, 2009 at 3:40 pm

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On Abortion

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Andrew Sullivan has been running testimonials about lateterm abortion on his site all week, tragic stories of a sort that normally get no attention in detached public-sphere moralizing. They seem to be, judging from his most recent post on the subject, starting to change his mind:

I have to say I am beginning to believe that these abortions, given their excruciating moral and personal choices, may be the most defensible in context of all abortions. And yet they seem to be taking life in a more viscerally distressing way. I need time to think and rethink these things. I would not have without reading these extraordinary accounts.

It’s amazing what happens when circumstances force us to confront reality of difficult choices in practice, not just “in the abstract.”

Written by gerrycanavan

June 4, 2009 at 7:46 pm

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‘Why I Blog’

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Andrew Sullivan on blogs as a new golden age of writing.

The blog remained a superficial medium, of course. By superficial, I mean simply that blogging rewards brevity and immediacy. No one wants to read a 9,000-word treatise online. On the Web, one-sentence links are as legitimate as thousand-word diatribes—in fact, they are often valued more. And, as Matt Drudge told me when I sought advice from the master in 2001, the key to understanding a blog is to realize that it’s a broadcast, not a publication. If it stops moving, it dies. If it stops paddling, it sinks.

But the superficiality masked considerable depth—greater depth, from one perspective, than the traditional media could offer. The reason was a single technological innovation: the hyperlink. An old-school columnist can write 800 brilliant words analyzing or commenting on, say, a new think-tank report or scientific survey. But in reading it on paper, you have to take the columnist’s presentation of the material on faith, or be convinced by a brief quotation (which can always be misleading out of context). Online, a hyperlink to the original source transforms the experience. Yes, a few sentences of bloggy spin may not be as satisfying as a full column, but the ability to read the primary material instantly—in as careful or shallow a fashion as you choose—can add much greater context than anything on paper. Even a blogger’s chosen pull quote, unlike a columnist’s, can be effortlessly checked against the original. Now this innovation, pre-dating blogs but popularized by them, is increasingly central to mainstream journalism.

A blog, therefore, bobs on the surface of the ocean but has its anchorage in waters deeper than those print media is technologically able to exploit. It disempowers the writer to that extent, of course. The blogger can get away with less and afford fewer pretensions of authority. He is—more than any writer of the past—a node among other nodes, connected but unfinished without the links and the comments and the track-backs that make the blogosphere, at its best, a conversation, rather than a production.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 17, 2008 at 3:31 pm

Sarah Palin Watch

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Andrew Sullivan is still losing his shit over Sarah Palin:

There are only a few weeks to go before the United States may pick a potential president who has never given a press conference as a candidate for national office. This is not a functioning democracy.

And he’s now being joined in shit-losing by the Washington Post editorial board:

Mr. McCain’s selection of an inexperienced and relatively unknown figure was unsettling, and the campaign’s decision to keep her sequestered from serious interchanges with reporters and voters serves only to deepen the unease. Mr. McCain is entitled to choose the person he thinks would be best for the job. He is not entitled to keep the public from being able to make an informed assessment of that judgment. Ms. Palin’s speech-making skills are impressive, but the more she repeats the same stump speech lines, the queasier we get. Nor have her answers to the gentle questioning she has encountered provided any confidence that Ms. Palin has a grasp of the issues.

It’s amazing to see the media actually begin to do its job for once, and all it took was the McCain camp completely losing its shit, going to war with the media when they were supposed to be campaigning against Barack Obama.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 23, 2008 at 2:16 am

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The Sarah Palin Chronicles

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More and more evidence mounts that the McCain camp didn’t actually vet Palin at all. They didn’t read a single article in the Wasilla newspaper, and they didn’t talk to Walt Monegan, the man at the center of her still open abuse of power ethics investigation—nor, apparently, did they talk to anyone else. They’ve been pushing as one of her few notable accomplishments her opposition to the “Bridge to Nowhere,” which has turned out to be, well, bullshit. Nearly recalled as mayor, she left the small town of Wasilla over $20 million dollars in debt. That’s after she tried to censor the town library and fire long-time town employees without cause for “not fully supporting her efforts to govern.”

Oh, and her husband works for BP, one of the largest employers in Alaska, which is not in any way a conflict of interest.

And those are just the highlights. Given all this, I get a sinking feeling when I see how much attention the already ubiquitous, totally moronic baby smear is getting. Even Andrew Sullivan is pushing it now, though he’s careful to hedge his bets. That’s just not a basket in which I want to put Barack’s eggs; it’s the raw irresponsibility of John McCain’s cynical and poorly thought-out VP pick—a roll of the dice from a chronic gambler—that we should be talking about, not whether a seventeen-year-old girl does or doesn’t have a “baby bump” in a given photo.

The Juno/Juneau parody poster on Gawker made me laugh, but that’s the only upside here. I don’t think we’d want anything to do with the baby thing even if by some impossible chance it all turns out to be true.

John McCain says he made this decision because he looked into Putin’s Palin’s eyes the one time they met and saw a soul mate. The only thing we should be saying about Palin is that this is not the way to make the most important decision of your candidacy. The Palin pick is stone-cold proof that John McCain has neither the judgment nor the temperament to be president.

So leave her kids alone. Keep your heads on straight, netroots.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 31, 2008 at 11:44 pm

Last Words on Palin

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Last words for a while on Palin.

* Andrew Sullivan of all people has been absolutely brutal, all day, hitting just about every objection to Palin in order. He’s also pushing the gambling meme, which I’m convinced is the key frame through which to view this very reckless, lunatic choice.

* More gambling: Dan Gerstein, a former adviser to Sen. Joe Lieberman, in the New York Daily News:

“In picking an unknown, untested, half-a-term woman governor from Alaska to be his running mate, John McCain is following in a long line of reckless men who have rolled the dice for a beauty queen. Except in this case, McCain is taking one of the biggest, boldest gambles in modern American political history.”

Sometimes you have to roll the hard six?

* Sullivan and Ben Smith together point out the worst vetting lapse I’ve heard thus far, that Palin supported Pat Buchanan for president in 1996 and 1999. That’s mind-boggling. Was she vetted at all?

* Maybe not: as of Sunday, he’d still wanted Lieberman, and the final decision was only made last night.

* Ezra’s been good today too, particularly on the cable news coverage.

* Robert Elisburg’s verdict: The Worst Vice-Presidential Nominee in U.S. History.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 30, 2008 at 4:06 am