Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Being John Malkovich

Weekend Links!

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* C21 2015 call for papers: “After Extinction.”

* More 2014 postmortems: The Democrats Have Two Choices Now: Gridlock or Annihilation. And in Michigan: Democrats Get More Votes, Lose Anyway. Davis Campaign Marked by Failed Tactics, Muddled Messages. Stop denying the truth: The Democrats got walloped. What happened to that Democratic turnout machine? Game Change ’14. What Does It Mean for Hillary? Stop Whining About Young Voters, You Jerks. Shockingly, my call to abolish the Constitution altogether has received little traction.

* Thankfully, it’s not all bad news: I was about to hype up a Scott Walker 2016 run. Then I watched his victory speech.

* Elsewhere in the richest, most prosperous society ever to exist in human history: Ninety-year-old man faces jail for giving food to homeless people.

* The 85 richest people on the planet now have as much money as the poorest 3.5 billion.

* It’s Cheaper to Buy a Judge Than a State Senator.

* Uber Is Pushing Drivers Into Subprime Loans. If you want a vision of the future: Amazon Is Beta-Testing Uber to Deliver Packages.

What I’m not concerned with here is achieving some final and total harmony between the interests of each and the interests of all, or with cleansing humanity of conflict or egotism. I seek the shortest possible step from the society we have now to a society where most productive property is owned in common – not in order to rule out more radical change, but precisely in order to rule it in.

Why Poor Schools Can’t Win at Standardized Testing. Flipping Schools: The Hidden Forces Behind New Jersey Education Reform. Massachusetts Committed to Chasing Teachers Away.

* Are We Forgiving Too Much Student-Loan Debt? CHE is ON IT.

* What could possibly go wrong? Obama Vows to Work With Republicans on College Costs.

* Oh, right, thatBanks Urge Investors To Buy For-Profit College Stocks Now That The GOP Is Taking Back Congress.

B1i4ZGTCMAAO3IW.jpg-large* Seems like a great bunch of guys: For-Profit Groups Sue to Block Gainful Employment Rules. The estimate is that 65% of for-profit students are enrolled in programs that wouldn’t pass.

* Six years after the crisis that cratered the global economy, it’s not exactly news that the country’s biggest banks stole on a grand scale. That’s why the more important part of Fleischmann’s story is in the pains Chase and the Justice Department took to silence her.

* R0y Lichtenstein’s “Whaam!” painting is based on one of my panels from an old DC war comic. Roy got four million dollars for it. I got zero.

Violence Is Currency: A Pacifist Ex-Con’s Guide To Prison Weaponry.

* How GamerGate Is Influencing MIT Video Game Teachers. I’m wrestling with how much this needs to take over the syllabus of my “Video Game Culture” seminar next semester.

* It’s hard to study Scientology.

“For those of us born in a post-Reagan America, having operated within this system our whole lives, there can be no doubt that Michel Foucault’s thinking describes our present.”

* In search of oil realism. I’ve just submitted an abstract for a chapter title “Peak Oil after Hydrofracking,” so this is definitely on my mind.

* NYC pastor: Starbucks is flavoured with the semen of sodomites. It’s called pumpkin spice, sir.

* My evil dad: Life as a serial killer’s daughter.

* Scenes from the class struggle in the legal industry.

* Star Wars 7 has a name.

I actually don’t think this sounds terrible. I like the hint of menace I hear in “The Force Awakens,” as if the Force itself could be the enemy in the new trilogy. Who put this unelected energy field in charge of everything, anyway? Abolish the Force.

* Abolish the CW: Physicists determine that being rescued by The Flash is worse than being hit by a car.

* If you want a vision of the future: Disney announces Toy Story 4. More below the hilarity.

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* I regret to inform you the ideology at its purest contest has closed. Thank you for your submission, but we have a winner.

* In a era without heroes, his website was our last hope: Meet the Mysterious Creator of Rumor-Debunking Site Snopes.com.

* The original version of Being John Malkovich, which I have fond memories of, would have been almost completely unwatchable.

The Slow Unveiling of James Tiptree Jr.

* About 200,000 years ago, it was determined that spaceships could be powered by ennui.

* The Innocence Project was the last thing I believed in. Now I’m finally purged of hope.

* And just in time.

* And they say this society can no longer achieve great things: Reality TV’s New Extreme: Being ‘Eaten Alive’ by a Giant Anaconda Snake.

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Written by gerrycanavan

November 7, 2014 at 8:37 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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The Taste of Thursday

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* 5 Ways Obama Can Redeem His Nobel.

* Fight Climate Change, Not Wars.

* Hard to believe a tip like this turned out to be unreliable. Via Vu.

* Scientists have apparently uncovered syntax in monkey language. And yes, I learned this from The Colbert Report.

* Matt Taibi is—act surprised—unhappy about the health care compromise.

* Let me get this straight. You have a commission proposing a package of highly unpopular legislative changes. And, in addition to having to surmount the 60-vote barrier in the Senate, which is nearly insurmountable for major legislation and which was avoided for both of the last two major deficit-reducing bills, it’s also going to impose a new supermajority requirement in the House and a 78% threshold in the commission itself?

To say that this procedure “is designed to get results” shows a very odd understanding of American political institutions. (via Steve Benen)

* “A band of no-hopers”: The American team that beat England in 1950.

* Science: “The most effective way to contain the rise of the undead is to hit hard and hit often.” (Thanks, Steve!)

* The Disappearing Snows of Everest.

* David Foster Wallace, “All That,” and religion. At Infinite Zombies, still chugging along.

* John Malkovich is apparently your next Spider-Man villain. But why would they scrap the Black Cat for a made-up character called “The Vulturess”? That sounds impossibly stupid.

* James Cameron, you had me at “sci-fi samurai epic.”

* And today’s chilling vision of things to come: ‘Is 4chan the Future of Human Consciousness?’

Neuoscientist as Novelist

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Neuoscientist as novelist, at MSNBC, via 3QD.

“In some sense, I use my literary fiction as a channel to explore ideas that I come up with during the day,” he told me.

For example, consider how the data in your brain determines your identity. “For a long time, there’s been this open question of what it would be like to be someone else – or to be something else,” he said. “Once you’re John Malkovich, you wouldn’t remember what it’s like not to be John Malkovich.”

That spawned Eagleman’s little story about cross-species reincarnation, titled “Descent of Species”: Suppose you admired the strength and beauty of horses, and you got the chance to become a horse in your next life. Once you become a horse, would you have enough wits to appreciate that life, or even enough wits to choose the life after that? And if that’s the case, what unwitting demigods might we humans have been in our past lives?

Other stories play off the fact that existential meaning doesn’t scale well. “What would happen if we showed Shakespeare to a dog or a bacterium?” Eagleman asked. “It’s pointless, because what’s meaningful to you changes by spatial scale.”

For example, a microbial God might reserve the afterlife strictly for microbes, with humans merely serving as part of the scenery. Or the universe might be ruled by a cosmic Giantess who is as indifferent to our fate as we are to the fate of an amoeba.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 11, 2009 at 1:27 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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Theme for a Republican National Convention

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Jaimee put this together earlier today for the DemConWatch Green Screen Challenge. It’s a little rough around a few edges, but it makes the point…

Written by gerrycanavan

September 6, 2008 at 2:55 am