Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘bias

Thursday Links!

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* Marquette English’s course descriptions are up for Summer and Fall 2018! I’m teaching in both, including a new graduate course devoted to twenty-first-century literature…

* Palantir Has Been Secretly Using New Orleans to Test Its Predictive Policing Technology.

* A trip to the hospital that leads to a prison suicide is just the tip of the iceberg of this sickening story about the richest country in human history.

* Your work is cut out for you, Ta-Nehisi.

Wife of 7th Special Forces Group vet faces deportation under tighter immigration rules.

After handing them their suicide capsules, Norwegian Royal Army Colonel Leif Tronstad informed his soldiers, “I cannot tell you why this mission is so important, but if you succeed, it will live in Norway’s memory for a hundred years.” Operation Gunnerside: The Norwegian attack on heavy water that deprived the Nazis of the atomic bomb.

* The Strange and Twisted Life of Frankenstein.

The Grim Box Office Fate Of ‘Annihilation’ Was An Inevitable Tragedy.

* “After watching my mother die, I read her notebooks.” Aaron Bady remembers his mom.

Supreme Court Ruling Means Immigrants Could Continue To Be Detained Indefinitely. Don’t forget to thank Obama for appealing this decision in the first place.

* The sheer level of clownishness from this White House is impossible to keep track of. I mean honestly.

* Bias and algorithmic culture, search engines edition.

* “They aren’t really going to arm teachers. It’s just a distraction.” Inserting guns into classrooms with the stipulation that they be used for only one purpose and against only one (very rare) target — active school shooters — is delusional.

* Doesn’t this seem like an exemplary topic for a course? I’d love a smart, extended look at the history of impeachment and its application to the current situation. What’s outrageous to me is that SDSU openly sells credits in this absurd format.

* My next course is on a topic nearly as controversial: Are Groot and Baby Groot the same person?

* Bad news for Zefram Cochrane: Proxima Centauri probably a no-go.

* We thought George Lucas created Star Wars. The truth was more complicated.

* Profile of Ryan Coogler at 21. Unreal that this was just ten years ago.

* A hundred years ago, the United States adopted daylight savings time in order to extract more profit from labor. How would we organize time differently if we were free from the demands of capitalism? The latest from Mika Tokumitsu at Jacobin.

* I was bashing Ross Douthat on Twitter just yesterday, but I like this one: The Rise of Woke Capital.

But of course so long as this same Republican Party remains itself pro-corporate in its economic ideology — as the Trumpified G.O.P., despite his populist forays, has determinedly remained — the corporate interests themselves stand to lose little from these polarizing trends. Their wokeness buys them cover when liberalism is in power, and any backlash only helps prop up a G.O.P. that has their back when it comes time to write our tax laws.

* The Silence of Sherman Alexie.

An alarming heatwave in the sunless winter Arctic is causing blizzards in Europe and forcing scientists to reconsider even their most pessimistic forecasts of climate change.

* And what happens if you give an AI control over a corporation? Exactly what happens when you put a person in charge, it looks like…

Easter Links! Find Them All!

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* The 2015 Hugo nominees have been announced, and they’re a mess. The Hugo Awards Were Always Political. But Now They’re Only Political. A Note About the Hugo Nominations This Year. The Puppy-Free Hugo Award Voter’s Guide. The Biggest Little SF Publisher you never heard of declares war. “Why I Declined a Hugo Award Nomination.”

* And in response to the question “Well, what should have been nominated for a Hugo?”: “Andromache and the Dragon,” by my brilliant Marquette colleague Brittany Pladek!

* “The Many Faces of Tatiana Maslany”: In portraying a horde of clones on ‘Orphan Black,’ the actress has created TV’s strangest — and most sophisticated — meditation on femininity. And a special bonus companion piece: Meet The Woman (Besides Tatiana Maslany) Who Plays Every Single “Orphan Black” Clone.

Reddit’s Bizarre, Surreal, Maddening, Hypnotic, Divisive, and Possibly Evil April Fools’ Joke. I’ve become obsessed with this.

* CFP: Ephemeral Television. CFP: Into the Pensieve: The Harry Potter Generation in Retrospect.

* Watching them turn off the Rothkos.

Somali Militants Kill 147 at Kenyan University.

Iran’s Been Two Years Away From a Nuclear Weapon for Three Decades. The Iran deal. What if the Iranians are people too?

So how much money is the NCAA making? In 2010, CBS and Turner Broadcasting gave the NCAA $10.8 billion for a fourteen-year broadcast monopoly on March Madness games. Estimated ad revenue for the 2013 tournament reached $1.15 billion, while ticket revenue brought in another $71.7 million. Last year no less than thirty-five coaches pulled down salaries higher than $1 million before bonuses; Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski topped the list with an income of more than $9.6 million.

Guarding against the errant, suicidal murderous pilot belongs to a category called “wicked problems” — the complexity of the system and the conflicting incentives mean that every solution introduces another set of problems, so the only way forward is always going to be an imperfect one. Second, and perhaps more importantly, is that this once again reveals how, as humans, we are lousy at risk assessment, and also lousy of accepting this weakness. The problem is wicked, but its occurrence is so rare that it is almost unheard of — partly why it terrifies us so. Our imagination, biases and fears are terrible guides to what should actually be done to keep us safer, and this has significant consequences in a whole host of fields, ranging from terrorism to childcare to health-care.

So you see, people like Tim Cook are selective in their moral universalism; morality, it turns out, is universal only insofar as extends to the particular desires of a Western bourgeoisie; deny a gay couple a wedding bouquet that they could get at the florist down the street anyway, and that is a cause for outrage and concern; extract minerals using indentured Congolese servants, well, look, we’ve got marginal cost to consider! The moral argument, it turns out, curdles when exposed to the profit motive, and the universality of justice actually does end at certain borders, one way or another.

How the Slave Trade Built America.

* But unlike its predecessor, the show has no obvious narrative progression. Nacho’s important, or he’s not; the Kettlemans are half the show, or maybe we should care about Sandpiper. There are flashbacks to Jimmy’s past where Bob Odenkirk is playing either 25 or 57—a savvy criminal or a neophyte screw-up. In the lead-up to Better Call Saul, there were theories that the show would be funnier than Breaking Bad (maybe a sitcom?) or more procedural than Breaking Bad (maybe The Good Wife for bad boys?) or more episodic (like X-Files with lawyers!). None of that is true, and all of that is true. It’s interesting, but not the way great TV is interesting. Better Call Saul reminds me more of Treme or John From Cincinnati: post-masterpiece meanders. 

* In TV’s Silver Age, a logjam of shows that are ‘pretty good,’ but not great.

Here’s A Map That Shows All The Future Megacities From Science Fiction.

* Can science fiction be a form of social activism? Walidah Imarisha thinks so, and she’s recruited everyone from LeVar Burton to Mumia Abu-Jamal to help her prove it.

* Johns Hopkins Faces $1-Billion Lawsuit Over U.S. Experiments in Guatemala.

* sirens.io, blogging from seven years in the future.

* Are Aliens Behind Mysterious Radio Bursts? Scientists Weigh In.

* Calif. Governor Orders Mandatory Water Restrictions For 1st Time In History. It’s up to us to singlehandedly save california from drought by turning off the tap when we brush our teeth! California is pumping water that fell to Earth 20,000 years ago. California Drought Tests History of Endless Growth. R.I.P. California (1850-2016): What We’ll Lose And Learn From The World’s First Major Water Collapse. Children of the Drought.

Starting this week, 25,000 households in Baltimore will suddenly lose their access to water for owing bills of $250 or more, with very little notice given and no public hearings.

* Oceans might take 1,000 years to recover from climate change, study suggests.

Drug field tests used by cops are so bad they react positively to air, soap, candy.

* Trolley Problem: The Game. Advanced Trolley Problems.

* Scott Walker’s budget cuts $5.7 million from pollution control efforts.

The Most Popular Antidepressants Are Based On A Theory We Know Is Wrong. Most antidepressant users have never had depression.

* 12 New Science Fiction Comics You Absolutely Need to be Reading.

* From Shaman to Equinox: The Challenges and Failures of Indigenous Representation in Superhero Comics Read More: Indigenous Representation in Superhero Comics.

* Hero Price Is Right model begins the revolution by just giving away a car.

* First as an unexpectedly great show, then as I don’t know it doesn’t sound like a very good idea to me.

All told, the “Detroit Industry” frescoes are probably as close as this country gets to the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

* The happiness spigot.

New report says manned Mars mission could reach orbit by 2033, land by 2039.

Clarke makes her point not with stirring courtroom rhetoric or devastating legal arguments but by a process of relentless accretion, case by case, win by win. This is her cause. Because if the state cannot put these defendants to death, then how can it put anyone to death? Thirty-five executions took place in the United States in 2014 for crimes that form an inventory of human cruelty—and yet few were as willful and egregious as those committed by Judy Clarke’s clients.

Here is an example of the priorities in New York state’s budget: There is no increase in the minimum wage, but purchasers of yachts that cost more than $230,000 are exempt from the sales tax.

* U.S. Court Officially Rules that Friendship Is Worthless.

Tales from the Trenches: I was SWATed.

Texas Just Does Not Care How Hot Its Prisons Get.

* Duke tries throwing polio at cancer, as you do.

* Interesting article on design: The Secret History of the Apple Watch.

Senate Republicans say the current system is unfair because rural residents are effectively supporting urban counties’ schools and services when they shop there. Yes, that’s literally how the system is intended to function.

The dystopian lake filled by the world’s tech lust.

* So you want to resurrect a college.

These Slow-Motion Videos of Fluids Vibrating on Speakers Are Wonderful.

* Now Full House, and the Muppets too.

These Photos Of Melanie Griffith And Her Pet Lion In The 1970s Are Everything. (UPDATE: Here’s the article that seems to be the original source, plus a little bit on Roar’s rerelease. Noteworthy lines from Wikipedia: “Over 70 of the cast and crew were injured during the production of this film.”)

* Being Andre.

Landlord Sends Man $1,200 Bill To Cleanup His Roommate’s Blood, Who Was Shot Dead By Police.

Stan VHS, A Tumblr Blog Featuring 1980s-Style VHS Cover Art for Modern Television Shows and Movies.

A Linguistic Comparison of Letters of Recommendation for Male and Female Chemistry and Biochemistry Job Applicants.

* SF Short of the Weekend: “Burnt Grass.”

* …and your short short of the weekend: “No One Is Thirsty.”

* I finally found enough time to be annoyed by Obama interviewing David Simon about The Wire.

* This Easter, we remember.

* And because you demanded it: An oral history of Max Headroom.

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Written by gerrycanavan

April 5, 2015 at 9:29 am

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Tuesday Links!

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This is not a glitch in the system. It is the system. Readers are gullible, the media is feckless, garbage is circulated around, and everyone goes to bed happy and fed. The Year We Broke the Internet.

* A lengthy think-piece on the place of rhetoric and composition in the modern university.

But who gets to write in The New York Times — and to whom is The New York Times accessible? If we’re talking about accessibility and insularity, it’s worth looking at The New York Times’s own content generation cycle and the relationship between press junkets and patronage.

Lately, some people have suggested that doctoral programs should take somemodest steps in order to keep track of what happens to their Ph.D.s after graduation. It’s a good idea, and these suggestions are made with the best of intentions, even if they’re coming about 50 years too late. They are, unfortunately, looking in the wrong place as far as you are concerned. You can’t just count up how many of a program’s graduates end up as professors—otherwise, the best qualification you could get in grad school is marrying a professor of engineering or accountancy who can swing a spousal hire for you. Instead, there is just one thing you should be looking at: What percentage of a program’s graduates are hired for tenure-track jobs through competitive searches?

Rutgers Boosts Athletic Subsidies to Nearly $50 Million.

Rutgers University, already the most prolific subsidizer of sports of all Division I public institutions, gave its athletics department nearly $47 million in 2012-13, USA Today reported, a 67.9 percent increase over the 2011-12 subsidy of $27.9 million. Rutgers athletics is $79 million in the red, but officials say that the university’s move to the Big Ten Conference will generate close to $200 million over its first 12 years as a member. The most recent subsidies make up 59.9 percent of the athletics department’s total allocations, and total more than the entire operating revenues at all but 53 of Division I’s 228 public sports programs.

* Sell your book, go broke.

* State-by-state misery index. Wisconsin’s doing pretty all right, and that’s counting the existence of Wiscsonin winters…

* Meanwhile, Arizona is once again officially the absolute worst.

* The latest on adjuncts and the ACA.

A New York and Chicago Mom Discover What Standardized Rigor Really Means for Their Children.

RIP Harold Ramis. A New Yorker profile from 2004.

American Aqueduct: The Great California Water Saga.

How Slavery Made the Modern World.

 

* Down an unremarkable side street in Southwark, London, is a fenced lot filled with broken concrete slabs, patches of overgrown grass and the odd piece of abandoned construction equipment. Its dark history and iron gates separate this sad little patch from the outside world. Lengths of ribbon, handwritten messages and tokens weave a tight pattern through the bars of the rusty gates … all tributes to the 15,000 Outcast Dead of London. Thanks, Liz!

2014 Graduate Scholarships and Fellowships That Do Not Require Proof of US Citizenship or Legal Permanent Residency.

* Geronrockandrolltocracy: On average, the Rolling Stones are older than the Supreme Court.

* Ghostbusters and Reaganism.

* The Digital Comics Museum.

* Is Venezula burning? Everything you know about Ukraine is wrong.

The Long, Slow Surrender of American Liberals. What the hell is Barack Obama’s presidency for?

Having a Gun in the House Doesn’t Make a Woman Safer.

The financially strapped University of California system is losing about $6 million each year due to risky bets on interest rates under deals pushed by Wall Street banks.

Here’s why you shouldn’t buy a US-to-Europe flight more than two months in advance.

@Millicentsomer announces her plan to be supremely disappointed in House of Cards season three.

* Suburban soccer club has so much money no one notices two separate officers embezzling over $80,000.

* Antimonies of e-cigarettes.

* Another Day, Another Oil Spill Shuts Down 65 Miles Of The Mississippi River.

* Department of Mixed Feelings: Marquette likely to get its own police force.

* BREAKING: Bitcoin is a huge scam. Charlie Stross schadenfreudes.

Gawker Can’t Stop Watching This Live Feed of Porn Site Searches.

* New state of matter discovered in chicken’s eye gunk.

* Your one-stop-shop for Harry Potter overthinking.

* And Ralph Nader still thinks only the super-rich can save us now.

 

Tuesday

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* Did Blowing into Nintendo Cartridges Really Help? Hogwash! It was the only thing that ever worked.

* The number of open faculty positions in English and foreign languages rose by about 3.8 percent and 3 percent, respectively, in 2011-12, according to figures released by the Modern Language Association.

* The Presumption of Literacy. Nice post from Angus.

* I think I linked to this before, but it’s still pretty great: romcom2012. Romney losing Ohio. Romney getting creamed. Romney’s nightmare scenario.

Most data centers, by design, consume vast amounts of energy in an incongruously wasteful manner, interviews and documents show. Online companies typically run their facilities at maximum capacity around the clock, whatever the demand. As a result, data centers can waste 90 percent or more of the electricity they pull off the grid, The Times found.

Study shows gender bias in science is real. Here’s why it matters.

* Dystopia now: news from Honduras.

Honduras is set to host one of the world’s most radical neo-liberal economic experiments under a plan to build from scratch the rules, roads and rafters of a “charter city” for foreign investors.

The Central American nation hopes the plan for model development zones, which will have their own laws, tax system, judiciary and police, will emulate the economic success of city states such as Singapore and Hong Kong.

* Analysis: 93 Percent Of Fox News Climate Coverage Is ‘Misleading.’ Honestly, I’m amazed they hit 7% accuracy.

* But at least climate change has an upside: global bacon shortage predicted.

* The cult of the entrepreneur.

* Chevy Chase Hates Everyone.

* Miniature Virgin Mary Statues Transformed Into Pop Culture Characters.

* How Humans Lost Our Chance at a Third Eye. So close.

* Animals are conscious and should be treated as such.

* Know your enemy! Economists walk among us.

* And a detailed plan for getting human beings off the Earth. Just don’t tell the plebes.

Wikipedia’s History of the World

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Many Wikipedia articles are tagged with geographic coordinates. Many have references to historic events. Cross referencing these two subsets and plotting them year on year adds up to a dynamic visualization of Wikipedia’s view of world history.

Great visualization of Eurocentric bias in Wikipedia. Via MetaFilter.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 25, 2011 at 9:17 pm