Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘bad news for nerds

EXTERMINATE

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Written by gerrycanavan

November 14, 2011 at 4:33 pm

Anakin Wept

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George Lucas is reportedly considering a new Star Wars trilogy set “as far as 100 years or 1,000 years in the Star Wars universe future.” I’ll see it, but I won’t be happy about it.

Tough Out There for Nerds

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SF Signal has your fall television preview. Fringe and The Walking Dead aside, it’s looking pretty bleak.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 3, 2010 at 10:45 am

Very Bad News for Nerds

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Written by gerrycanavan

May 31, 2010 at 11:31 am

Super Monday Night Links

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* My good friend Shankar D has returned to the Internet with his beloved annual March Madness blog.

* Democrats win the Super Bowl!

* Debt forgiveness is coming to Haiti.

* Is the U.S. Senate more dysfunctional than 18th century Poland’s Sejm? Paul Krugman reports. (Via Steve Benen.) Meanwhile, Open Left argues that reliably beating the filibuster would require 72 Democrats but only 54 Republicans, due to disparate party loyalty.

* How Republicans will kill the filibuster.

* Read Ezra Klein.

As I’ve said before, it is very near to impossible to build out an ideological model explaining why Republicans who voted for the deficit-financed Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit would vote against the deficit-neutral health-care reform bill. But it’s very easy to build out a model explaining why Republicans would vote for a bill that would help them if it passed and against a bill that would hurt them if it failed. Same goes for Democrats. Good-faith disagreement is not the explanation that best fits the data.

This isn’t, importantly, an attack on either party. It’s good to have a competitive electoral system! But if we’re going to give the minority party a reason to want the majority party to fail at governing the country, we can’t also give them the power to make the majority party fail at governing the country. We need a legislative system that works alongside our political system, not one that pretends we have a different, more harmonious political system than we really do.

* While I’m wishing away the Senate, Neil Sinhababu is wishing away the 50 states.

* Terrorists who want to overthrow the United States government must now register with South Carolina’s Secretary of State and declare their intentions—or face a $25,000 fine and up to 10 years in prison. Keep it in mind. Via Boing Boing.

* Chris Christie getting positive press in New Jersey for gutting state employee benefits.

* Democrats think the kill-Medicare GOP budget is a political winner for them. That would certainly be a novelty. I’m still amazed Republicans are really going to get away with killing a jobs bill during a period of cataclysmic unemployment. It’s 2010; why can’t the DNC circulate talking points? Can’t wait to spend months and months begging the GOP to do the right thing on health care when we all already know they won’t.

* Parents, please don’t waterboard your children.

* Classic Books That Could Be Turned Into Video Games. Some of these are great: Don Quixote Kong, A Hundred Years of Solitaire, Pacman and the Sea, Super Karamazov Brothers, Pride and Extreme Prejudice…

* And deeply bad news for Gerries: delicious soda totally causes pancreatic cancer. I drank a lifetime’s worth in ten years, and then a second lifetime’s worth in the next ten years, so I have to say I feel a little screwed on this.

Crazy Busy Links

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Today was busy and tomorrow’s very busy, but after that I get a breather. Here are some links.

* With the upcoming retirement of the space shuttle and Obama’s quiet cancelation of the planned return to the Moon, America essentially no longer has a manned space program. (Via MeFi.) For a nerd I’m actually pretty bearish on space and think there’s probably nothing up there for us—but all the same this makes me really sad.

* Where are all the aliens? Maybe they killed themselves through geoengineering.

* Related: the UFO that mined uranium in Argentina during the 1970s has returned.

* Hard times in academia: college endowments lost $58 billion dollars last year, about 19%.

* How to Report the News. This is perfect.

* Pelosi for president: “You go through the gate. If the gate’s closed, you go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we’ll pole-vault in. If that doesn’t work, we’ll parachute in. But we’re going to get health care reform passed for the American people.”

* How Obama will double exports in five years: the magic of inflation. When you put it that way it sounds a lot less impressive.

* And Republicans have voted 0-40 against another one of their own ideas.

Missed a Day

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Whoops, missed a day somehow. (Even grad students get busy sometimes.) Here’s a few links I’ve been saving; scroll all the way to the bottom for your daily dose of Watchmen panic.

* One of our most beloved blog denizens has started up a March Madness blog. Add it to your feeds immediately.

* Executing someone on their birthday may seem hilarious, but actually it’s sort of cold. (via Srinivas)

* Same goes for trading your minor-league pitcher for ten bats. Via MeFi.

* All about experimental philosophy.

* The Daily Show’s evisceration of CNBC was amazing last night. Also, incredibly well-deserved.

* Forget man-on-dog: will gay marriage start us down the slippery slope to human/robot marriages? It could happen right here in North Carolina. Only Steve Benen sees where this really leads: man/dog/robot/robot-dog polygamy.

* Two games: Linear RPG and Exploit, the second from amateur-game-creator of the moment, Gregory Weir, (The Majesty of Colors, Bars of Black and White).

* “You have to understand,” he told me, “Iceland is no longer a country. It is a hedge fund.” Vanity Fair has a huge feature on the Icelandic financial collapse that really makes for fascinating reading. More discussion at MetaFilter. (via my dad)

Global financial ambition turned out to have a downside. When their three brand-new global-size banks collapsed, last October, Iceland’s 300,000 citizens found that they bore some kind of responsibility for $100 billion of banking losses—which works out to roughly $330,000 for every Icelandic man, woman, and child. On top of that they had tens of billions of dollars in personal losses from their own bizarre private foreign-currency speculations, and even more from the 85 percent collapse in the Icelandic stock market. The exact dollar amount of Iceland’s financial hole was essentially unknowable, as it depended on the value of the generally stable Icelandic krona, which had also crashed and was removed from the market by the Icelandic government. But it was a lot.

Iceland instantly became the only nation on earth that Americans could point to and say, “Well, at least we didn’t do that.” In the end, Icelanders amassed debts amounting to 850 percent of their G.D.P. (The debt-drowned United States has reached just 350 percent.) As absurdly big and important as Wall Street became in the U.S. economy, it never grew so large that the rest of the population could not, in a pinch, bail it out. Any one of the three Icelandic banks suffered losses too large for the nation to bear; taken together they were so ridiculously out of proportion that, within weeks of the collapse, a third of the population told pollsters that they were considering emigration.

* When will voters start blaming Obama for the economy? Nate Silver has the numbers suggesting that will start in 18 or so months, though I bet that timeline could halve or worse that as people grow frustrated with prolonged economic hardship.

* What Obama could learn from Watchmen: Matt Yglesias reports on Ronald Reagan’s own Ozymandian scheme for global unity.

* And Jacob sends along your hope-crushing Watchmen reviews for the day.

J. Hoberman in Village Voice: The philosopher Iain Thomson (who valiantly brought Heidegger’s Being and Time to bear on his reading of Watchmen) maintained that Moore not only deconstructed the idea of comic book super-heroism but pulverized the very notion of the hero—and the hero-worship that comics traditionally sell. For all its superficial fidelity, Snyder’s movie stands Moore’s novel on its head, trying to reconstruct a conventional blockbuster out of those empty capes and scattered shards.

David Edelstein, New York Magazine: …this kind of reverence kills what it seeks to preserve. The movie is embalmed.

Meanwhile, Steve Benen and Adam Serwer take a stand against Anthony Lane on behalf of geeks everywhere.