Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

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Tuesday Links!

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* FiveThirtyEight has been doing a great series on Mars colonization. Today’s entries are all about space sex. Also: Everything About Mars Is The Worst.

* Also at FiveThirtyEight: The Odds You’ll Fill Out A Perfect Bracket.

* TRAPPIST-1 seems like a no-go for humanity, but three of the worlds are close enough for life to hop between them.

New York 2140 vs. The Collapsing Empire: Which New Sci-Fi Novel Is for You?

* ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ Turns 20, from my Buffy at 20″ co-organizer James South.

* On the coming apocalypse (and other’s people’s babies).

* What if Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Had Swapped Genders?

* From the archives: Snow Days Under Socialism.

No, big snowstorms like this aren’t normal.

* America elected a parasite. Let’s take away health insurance from 24 million people. Or 26 million, who’s counting. This Level of Corruption Is Unprecedented in the Modern History of the Presidency. Gotta save money to steal money. “Senate Democrats prepare for spring battle over Trump’s border wall.”

Remember the People America’s Healthcare System Has Already Killed.

* The university in ruins, Trump edition.

* The Party of Eugenics. They both are, honestly, but the GOP is just so much more vulgar about it.

At every moment when Trump might have been stopped, when he might have been forced into bankruptcy, had his credit denied, had his loans called in, his licenses revoked, at every juncture where he might have been convicted of a crime or sent to jail—and, again, this is well before he makes his successful bid for the White House—some unplanned and unintended conspiracy of economic reason and political lowlifery mobilizes to protect him. (And it really is unplanned and unintended. The genius of the American system is how the Invisible Hand works to produce systemic vice rather than incidental virtue.)

* Must be nice.

* We’re heading towards something very ugly: Employers can ban staff from wearing headscarves, European court rules.

* American Empire: The Reboot.

Seeing red: Membership triples for the Democratic Socialists of America.

* The Onion struggling to lampoon Trump.

* Museums and activism.

* Violent video games found not to affect empathy, again.

* The hype for Logan seems to be reaching comical proportions, but still, you’d be hard-pressed to find another recent superhero movie that was worth emulating.

* Behold, the super-agers.

Should a Chimpanzee Be Considered a Person?

* MMMBop: Hanson announces 25th anniversary tour as your death rapidly approaches.

The economics of airline classes.

Bowie impersonates other singers like Springsteen, Lou Reed. Everything has been bullshit since Bowie died.

* Because you demanded it! Young Sheldon.

* USA Today discovers Hello from the Magic Tavern. They’ve hit a real stride lately as story events have allowed them to move away from their standard format — and they were great before.

Every Author on Your English Syllabus, Summed Up in a Single Sentence.

It’s Donald Trump’s Fault Iron Fist Is Bad, Not Marvel’s, Says Star Finn Jones. If you say so.

* A People’s History of the Marvel Universe. Via Abigail Nussbaum’s second Hugos post.

* And a nation turns its lonely eyes to Veep.

Infinite Monday Links! Just Keep Scrolling!

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* Podcast report! Everyone is listening to every episode of Hello, from the Magic Tavern one after another pretty much nonstop. My favorite one so far.

* My book Octavia E. Butler has a preview page at University of Illinois Press. Get your pre-orders in now!

* From the archives! That thing I wrote about the first season of Kimmy Schmidt. I’ve been pretty unimpressed with the second season, alas, and some of the things I wrote back then seem to point to why.

* You know, after reading this I think I hate the humanities too.

* CFP: 4th edition of “Games and Literary Theory” in Krakow, Poland (Nov 18-20).

Black Holes: Afro-Pessimism, Blackness and the Discourses of Modernity.

* Star Trek 2017 Rumor Watch!

* Local news.

* And you thought you felt bad about your pedagogy already: Are Colleges Too Obsessed With Smartness?

“When the entire system of higher education gives favored status to the smartest students, even average students are denied equal opportunities,” he writes. “If colleges were instead to be judged on what they added to each student’s talents and capacities, then applicants at every level of academic preparation might be equally valued.”

* Administrators at the University of Beirut seem to have blocked an appointment for Steven Salaita.

* University maladministration can never fail, it can only be failed.

272 Slaves Were Sold to Save Georgetown. What Does It Owe Their Descendants?

* How to Build a Major in a Young Field: The University of Toledo’s new disability-studies program attracts undergradute interest.

* Cornell Continues to Receive Scrutiny Over Job Ad.

Philosophers who work outside of academia – Part 3: Transferrable skills and concrete advice.

UC Davis spent thousands to scrub pepper-spray references from Internet. The University of Public Relations.

President Obama to Forgive Nearly 400,000 Disabled Americans’ Federal Student Loans.

Vatican conference urges end to doctrine of ‘just wars.’

* The Minecraft Generation.

Behind the Scenes at the Met.

The Librarian Who Saved Timbuktu’s Cultural Treasures From al Qaeda.

* Wild Chernobyl.

* Huge, if true: Neoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems. Why Are Voters Angry? It’s the 1099 Economy, Stupid.

A $15 minimum wage is too high and that’s great.

Mississippi Jails Are Losing Inmates, And Local Officials Are ‘Devastated’ By The Loss Of Revenue.

* Special pleading alert! No, DC Should Not Become The 51st State. Here’s A Quick History Lesson To Remind You Why.

* A(other) New Map for America.

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This Former College President Spent 2 Years in Prison. Here’s What He Learned. The answer will shock you!

How Not to Audit the Pentagon.

You could almost forget this, as the term fizzles into a bunch of sagging 4-4 ties and improbable unanimous decisions, but if Antonin Scalia had lived until July the docket was full of poisoned pills and silent time bombs that would have exploded in President Obama’s face this summer. Until and unless we reckon with what might have been at the high court this term, it’s impossible to understand why there will be no hearings for Judge Garland. GOP senators aren’t just angry about losing Justice Scalia’s seat. They are angry because the court as the weapon of choice to screw the president has been taken from them, and they want it back.

* A Huge Portion of Greenland Started Melting This Week. This Is Why the Great Barrier Reef Is Dying. If only someone had known!

New UN report finds almost no industry profitable if environmental costs were included.

Now Keurig says it has found a solution. It is taking longer than it took for NASA to put a man on the moon, but in the coming months, the company will begin to sell K-Cups made of material that is easily recycled.

* Every Disney Song from Best to Worst. Glad we settled that!

* There never was a Bernie Sanders movement. Personally I blame Ben and Jerry.

* Why Democrats Must Embrace A Universal Child Allowance. Working moms have more successful daughters and more caring sons, Harvard Business School study says.

* The time Donald Trump’s empire took on a stubborn widow — and lost.

* I was a men’s rights activist.

* An oral history of Childrens Hospital.

* Behold, King Curry. A flashback.

* Remembering the Dungeons and Dragons Moral Panic.

* As I feared, the tide seems to have turned on Title IX. I continue to think the whole law is at risk if its supporters cannot find a way to frame and articulate the need for reform.

Male chimpanzee Chacha screams after escaping from nearby Yagiyama Zoological Park as a man tries to capture him on the power lines at a residential area in Sendai, northern Japan. The chimp was eventually caught after being shot with a tranquilizer gun and falling from the power lines, Kyodo news reported. REUTERS/Kyodo

It’s Time To Acknowledge How Important the Death Star is to Star Wars. I don’t know that I quite agree with this, but Rogue One does (seem to) point to a vision of the franchise that isn’t so heavily dependent on the Jedi.

Ben Affleck’s Solo Batman Movie Has a Huge Opportunity and One Big Problem. And while we’re at it, just one more beating up Batman v. Superman.

Male chimpanzee Chacha screams after escaping from nearby Yagiyama Zoological Park as a man tries to capture him on the power lines at a residential area in Sendai, northern Japan.

A Zookeeper Known as “The Tiger Whisperer” Was Killed by a Tiger.

Journalist wants Obama’s ‘Game of Thrones’ screeners, so files a FOIA request for them.

* Being Kumail Nanjiani.

* Being Cherie Berry.

* Being Monica Lewinsky.

* Ancient Peruvian Mystery Solved from Space.

Alien ‘Wow!’ signal could be explained after almost 40 years.

Could the Broadway smash ‘Hamilton’ help keep a woman’s face off the front of the $10 bill? Coming soon: Andrew Jackson: The Musical! PS: In 2030.

Why Fans of Hamilton Should Be Delighted It’s Finally Stirring Criticism.

New ABC show ‘Cleverman’ is about an Aboriginal superhero. Australian ABC, not US ABC, alas.

* Someone should have double-checked that math: Man Sentenced to 4 Years After Victim Says She Was Held Captive, Sexually Assaulted for a Decade.

At Tampa Bay farm-to-table restaurants, you’re being fed fiction.

Hawking’s Interstellar Starship Would Revolutionize the Search for Alien Life. What Will Make Interstellar Travel a Reality?

* And they said culture was dead!

* As a wise man once said, you don’t exist.

Controversial Illustrations By Polish Artist Reveal The Darker Side Of Modern Society.

Foreskin doesn’t make a man more “sensitive,” study finds.

Track Changes: A Literary History of Word Processing. The Black Radical Tragic : Performance, Aesthetics, and the Unfinished Haitian Revolution. LARoB v. Shakespeare.

Can SeaWorld Redeem Itself?

* Are Humans Definitely Smarter Than Apes?

* Have creepy professors ruined the independent study forever?

* Behold, the US alt-right.

* If you want a vision of the future.

* And I didn’t know him as well as others, but we’ll all miss Srinivas Aravamudan. Some details on the Aravamudan fund.

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Written by gerrycanavan

April 18, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Sunday Morning Links!

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Tuesday Links!

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* Reminder: the deadline for abstracts for SFRA 2016 is the end of the month. MLA CFP: Science Fiction Comics. CFP: “Academic Insecurities: Precarious Labour and the Neoliberal University.”

* Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Sara Goldrick-Rab, the outspoken University of Wisconsin-Madison professor who vowed after tenure protections were changed by state lawmakers last year to leave Wisconsin, announced on her blog Monday night that she has accepted a job at Temple University and will start July 1.

* Black Study, Black Struggle.

* The end of Houston.

* Huge, if true: Universities Run Into Problems When They Hire Presidents From The Business World.

Ten Theses In Support of Teaching and Against Learning Outcomes.

* Why Do Colleges Still Use Grades?

* No other discipline of comparable size in the humanities is as gender-skewed as philosophy. Women still receive only about 28% of philosophy PhDs in the United States, and are still only about 20% of full professors of philosophy — numbers that have hardly budged since the 1990s. And among U.S. citizens and permanent residents receiving philosophy PhDs in this country, 86% are non-Hispanic white. The only comparably-sized disciplines that are more white are the ones that explicitly focus on the European tradition, such as English literature.

* Northwestern University students who qualify for financial aid no longer will have to borrow to pay for their education, part of a plan announced Thursday to make the school more affordable and prevent students from being saddled with debilitating debt.

* How Has the MFA Changed the Contemporary Novel?

* Rowling explores the magical history of America.

* My deep wound is video games. In the same way Bell “pretended to be someone else whenever [he] stepped outside of the house” and learned “to never talk about computer games in class or on the school bus,” I learned that my love for video games was excessive and embarrassing. I was swept away by those worlds in a way that nobody else seemed to be, and I walked around with my head full of pixels and quests and ideas. Video games made me very happy and very lonely.

Dilbert creator Scott Adams tells Fox News Trump “isn’t just changing politics, he’s changing the human condition.”

* Case Western in the ne– oh.

This isn’t the first time that an idea in psychology has been challenged—-not by a long shot. A “reproducibility crisis” in psychology, and in many other fields, has now been well-established. A study out last summer tried to replicate 100 psychology experiments one-for-one and found that just 40 percent of those replications were successful. A critique of that study just appeared last week, claiming that the original authors made statistical errors—but that critique has itself been attacked for misconstruing facts, ignoring evidence, and indulging in some wishful thinking.

* Marquette in the — oh come on.

* Milwaukee in the etc.

* How a mistranslation made you think your tongue had ‘taste zones.’

* This simulation helps show you what it’s like to have dyslexia.

* Maps Show Where Bloomberg Aides Thought He Would Have Been Competitive.

* Meritocrats and Egalitarians.

* Reparations isn’t a political demand.

* Some Birds Are Just As Smart As Apes.

* The Future Of Telltale Games.

* “Some supporters of Rubio say bad strategy, poorly run campaign killing his chances.” What do the rest of them think is killing his chances?

* Meanwhile: Report Raises New Questions About Trump’s Ties To N.J. Mob-Linked Figure. Yes, Mitt Romney Could Actually Become The Republican Presidential Nominee.

* The remarkable persistence of the Green Man.

* Dang. Too real.

* “What I wish I’d known before I had gender-affirming surgery.”

* Daughter of Civil War vet still getting a pension.

* Actually existing media bias: The Washington Post ran 16 negative stories about Bernie Sanders in 16 hours. Going for the record!

* The Problematic Rape Reporting On ‘This American Life.’

* We want dead bodies to be in the right place. Caring for the dead is a foundational human activity, and so the wrong dead body in the wrong place, or bodies abandoned or desecrated, is considered an affront to the moral order. Why We Need the Dead.

* Mr. Spock and the autism spectrum.

Is Luke Skywalker Gay?

* This is for you: an oral history of The Golden Girls.

* Abolish homework.

* Rise of the hiking game: The Witness and Firewatch.

* What could go wrong? U.S. military spending millions to make cyborgs a reality.

* On Poverty.

The neoliberal university will grind us down until there’s nothing left. Choose solidarity.

Three Thoughts on Westerosi Political Economy.

* Slavoj Žižek and The Twilight Zone.

* And I don’t know about the other two law, but the third law of politics here is pretty much literally the predicament academia and most other public institutions find themselves in in 2016:

The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 8, 2016 at 9:00 am

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Elite Saturday Links Enter CANAVAN at Checkout for 20% Off

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toasts

* A version of this xkcd has been running continually in my brain for two years.

* February 26-27 at Duke University: Pleasure and Suspicion: An Interdisciplinary Conference.

* Open access SFFTV! A special issue on The X-Files from 2013.

Louisiana universities are facing the largest midyear cut in state history, Governor John Bel Edwards said in a televised speech last Thursday. Even if the Legislature can find additional revenue, higher education will need to cut $42 million this year. Louisiana’s total higher education budget is $769 million, and if the Legislature cannot raise more revenue, higher education could face a $200 million cut.

* RIP, Umberto Eco. What Is Harper Lee’s Legacy After Go Set a Watchman?

* The New Inquiry reviews The Witness.

The Slow Violence of Climate Change.

* At LARoB: How should we periodize comics?

* I’d been talking just yesterday to a student from my Lives of Animals class about the urban legends involving pigs and pig corpses and the war on terror. I said something like “No politician who wanted a national reputation would talk this way, though. Well, maybe Trump.” And lo, it came to pass.

* Steve Martin Performed Stand-Up Last Night for the First Time in 35 Years.

Chinese travel blogger likes Chicago but loves Milwaukee. Endorsed!

‘Black Sludge’ Pours Out Of Texas Town’s Faucets Days After FBI Arrests Nearly Every City Official.

The Shocking Truth of the Notorious Milgram Obedience Experiments.

The trouble was that this zombie-like, slavish obedience that Milgram described wasn’t what he’d observed.

Hero K is the Highly Anticipated New Novel by Don DeLillo. I’m in.

Half The World Will Be Short-Sighted By 2050? Half of America will be freelancers by 2020?

In an email to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shortly after the U.N. Security Council in March 2011 authorized military intervention in Libya, a former senior State Department official praised her achievement in “turning POTUS around on this.” Meanwhile, America Is Now Fighting a Proxy War with Itself in Syria. So that means we can’t lose, right?

* And elsewhere in smart battles wisely chosen: St. Louis Archbishop Urges Priests To Cut Ties With The Girl Scouts.

In her new book, Elaine Frantz Parsons re-traces the origins of the 19th-century KKK, which began as a social club before swiftly moving to murder.

* Proposals for new chess pieces.

Reds in Space: Socialist Science Fiction.

Beloved: The Best Horror Novel the Horror Genre Has Never Claimed. That’s something I talk about a lot when I teach the novel.

* Seems like a lowball: Husbands create 7 hours of extra housework a week.

The weirdest, best photos I found in an old Bernie Sanders archive. Arrest photo of young activist Bernie Sanders emerges from Tribune archives. Footage Shows 21-Year-Old Bad Boy Bernie Sanders Being Arrested at a Protest.

Clay Shirky: social media turned Dems, GOP into host organisms for third party candidates.

* Bloomberg yes! Bloomberg no!

* Also at Boing Boing: Forced arbitration clauses are a form of wealth transfer to the rich.

The Guardian reports on an accusation by a former Muskegon County, Michigan health official claiming that a Catholic healthcare provider forced five women between August 2009 and December 2010 to undergo dangerous miscarriages by giving them no other option.

* The Singularity’s all right: A 19-year-old made a free robot lawyer that has appealed $3 million in parking tickets.

* We already knew Doc Brown was a monster, but how deep does the rabbit hole go?

* Financialization and the end of journalism.

* “on a scale of luke skywalker to jaime lannister…”

* Just this once.

The universe may have existed forever, according to a new model that applies quantum correction terms to complement Einstein’s theory of general relativity. The model may also account for dark matter and dark energy, resolving multiple problems at once.

* Elsewhere on the deep time beat: What sparked the Cambrian explosion?

The Warriors’ Odds Of Going 73-9. Written before last night’s loss.

* This one misses me, but it may help some of you feel better: Coffee May Reduce The Damage Alcohol Does To Your Liver.

* This one’s a real emotional roller coaster: Chimp Abandoned On Island Welcomes Rescuers With Open Arms.

* From the SMBC archives: Lucy, the football, and existential dread.

* And they said my work was useless.

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Written by gerrycanavan

February 20, 2016 at 12:32 pm

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The Tuesday Links

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It is no place for children. Yet Dasani is among 280 children at the shelter. Beyond its walls, she belongs to a vast and invisible tribe of more than 22,000 homeless children in New York, the highest number since the Great Depression, in the most unequal metropolis in America.

The governors of eight Northeastern states petitioned the EPA to crack down on coal burning in the Midwest.

So, to recap, nationalization of the health insurance industry in 2009 would have cost no more (and almost certainly a lot less) than $240 billion. The savings in waste resulting from replacing the health insurance racket with an extension of Medicare would have resulted in no less than $158 billion a year. That’s an annualized return on investment of 66 percent. The entire operation would have paid for itself in less than 18 months, and after that, an eternity of administrative efficiency for free. And, of course, happy shareholders.

The owners of Kiko, Hercules and Leo could not be reached Monday night.

Seven in 10 college seniors (71%) who graduated last year had student loan debt, with an average of $29,400 per borrower. From 2008 to 2012, debt at graduation (federal and private loans combined) increased an average of six percent each year.

* Academia as horror show: The Chronicle‘s 2013 “Influence” List.

* The end of tenure at Kean University?

* BREAKING: MOOCs don’t work.

* Brad DeLong says save Berkeley by (partially) transforming it into a finishing school for the superrich of Asia.” What could go wrong?

* The latest numbers on PhDs with job commitments at graduation.

* The next shoe to drop.

A vote being held tomorrow and Wednesday could secure union recognition for New York University graduate students, which the administration withdrew and then withheld from them — with help from congressional Republicans and Obama’s now-Treasury Secretary — for the past eight years. If the United Auto Workers emerges victorious in the vote, NYU will become only private sector U.S. university to bargain collectively with graduate student teachers and researchers — though such workers will remain excluded from U.S. labor law. 

* “This comic is shaping up to be, in many ways, a departure from the sometimes light-hearted series.” He’s taking, impossibly, about the Serenity comic followup Leaves on the Wind.

There’s a 1,200-year-old Phone in the Smithsonian Collections.

* Good news! FBI can secretly turn on laptop cameras without the indicator light. 1984 as instruction manual.

* The NSA has been spying on World of Warcraft.

Inept ATF Uses Children and People With Low IQs In Sting Operations.

Texas Student Asks Campus Cop, “You Gonna Shoot Me?” So Cop Shoots Him. Dead.

Novelist Kim Stanley Robinson (Red Mars, 2312, and Shaman) debates the merits of utopian thinking with Aeon Magazine’s Marina Benjamin and political theorist Alex Callinicos.

* Nice work if you can get it: Fox News Paid Fired Executive $8 Million to Keep Quiet.

* TNI #23 is out.

* The trailer for season five of Community is out.

* And Disney can now ruin Indiana Jones, too. This is the darkest timeline.