Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Black Mirror

Closing All My Tabs Tuesday

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* CFP: Octavia Butler Companion. CFP: MOSF Journal of Science Fiction Special Issue on Afrofuturism. CFP: Shakespeare and Science Fiction. CFP: Monsters and Monstrosity, A Special Issue of The Popular Culture Studies Journal. CFP: Planetary Cultural and Literary Studies: New Epistemologies and Relational Futures in the Age of the Anthropocene.

* Classic “you had one job” situation: Credit giant Equifax says Social Security numbers, birth dates of 143 million consumers may have been exposed. How to Protect Yourself from that Massive Equifax Breach. Identity Theft, Credit Reports, and You.

* Game writers to be honored with Nebula Award in first for professional science fiction and fantasy org.

* A Poem About Your University’s Brand New Institute’s Conference.

* Academe on the Auction Block.

* Adjuncting in Trump Country: What Has Not Changed.

She Was a Rising Star at a Major University. Then a Lecherous Professor Made Her Life Hell.

* What to Do When the Nazis Are Obsessed with Your Field. J.R.R. Tolkien Reads from The Hobbit.

* What the Rich Won’t Tell You.

* Dreamers at Marquette. Marquette University leaders show support for students affected by DACA announcement. Why ending DACA is so unprecedented. And they tried to warn us: Immigrants Gave Their Info to Obama, Now Trump Could Use It to Deport Them. How to Support Students Facing Immigration Crises: Suggested Policies and Best Practices for UCI Departments/Faculty. The 3 bills Congress could use to protect DACA recipients. The United States Cannot Be Trusted.

* Trump’s Repeal of DACA Is the GOP’s Pathology in a Nutshell: An entire country is being held hostage by a thin slice of the Republican electorate, and they answer to no one.

* ICE Wrongly Imprisoned an American Citizen for 1,273 Days. Judges Say He’s Owed $0. Relatives of Undocumented Children Caught Up in ICE Dragnet. ICE wants to destroy records that show abuses and deaths of immigrants in custody. Dispatches from the Northwest’s immigration dystopia.

* Abandoned States: Places In Idyllic 1960s Postcards Have Transformed Into Scenes Of Abandonment.

Urban artwork gives downtown MKE some color.

An American Dialect Dictionary Is Dying Out. Here Are Some Of Its Best Words.

Prisoners Face Horrifying Conditions, Limited Drinking Water After Harvey Pounds Texas. Texas Republicans Helped Chemical Plant That Exploded Lobby Against Safety Rules. The devastation of Hurricane Harvey marks a turning point and raises the terrible possibility that we’ve entered the age of climate chaos. Parts of Puerto Rico could be without power for 6 months after Irma. Tampa Bay’s Coming Storm. The Nightmare Scenario for Florida’s Coastal Homeowners. A Requiem for Florida, the Paradise That Should Never Have Been. What Homeowners Insurance Won’t Cover If a Hurricane Hits. Floods in drought season: is this the future for parts of India? State of emergency for fire danger declared for all Washington counties. In the wake of Harvey, it’s time to treat science denial as gross negligence—and hold those who do the denying accountable. We should be naming hurricanes after Exxon and Chevron, not Harvey and Irma. The cats are all right.

* Randolph in the News!

* What is it with New Jersey senators?

* How Labor Scholars Missed the Trump Revolt.

The ‘internet of things’ is creating a more connected world but there is a dark side to giving up our domestic lives to machines. You don’t say!

The Arctic is now expected to be ice-free by 2040. But of course to the World Economic Forum “entirely preventable civilization-ending catastrophe” is just another word for “opportunity”:

On the upside, the Arctic Council foresees increased shipping once the sea-ice has disappeared. Using the route across the top of the world to sail from northern Europe to north-east Asia can cut the length of voyages by two-fifths compared with travelling via the Suez Canal.

* If we fail.

* Gasp! House flippers triggered the US housing market crash, not poor subprime borrowers.

* The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law.

* Kodak 1987 vs. Apple 2017.

* North Korea: “All Paths Lead to Catastrophe.” What Would War with North Korea Actually Look Like?

* Spider-Man Needs to Be White and Straight, Say Leaked Sony Emails.

* This isn’t canon.

* A Timeline of Postapocalyptic Dystopias That Didn’t Actually Happen.

* Wole Talabi’s Compilation of 654 Works of African Speculative Fiction Should Top Your Reading List.

* Why Does High School Still Start So Early? Why a later start to the school day could pump $1 billion into Illinois’ economy.

* RIP, John Ashbery.

* RIP, Len Wein.

* Seven Days of Heroin.

Traces of Crime: How New York’s DNA Techniques Became Tainted.

Winning the white working class for criminal justice reform.

* The end of Title IX.

* Star Wars is falling apart. The “Star Wars” franchise officially has a director problem.

The Defenders Are Here to Tell You All Lives Matter. What is going on at Marvel TV?

* San Junipero 2: I Told You They Were Actually in Hell.

* A(mother) Solution to the Voynich Manuscript. Voynich Manuscript “solution” rubbished by experts.

* Hacking Alexa.

Americans Have Given Up on Public Schools. That’s a Mistake. Michigan Gambled on Charter Schools. Its Children Lost. The Department of Justice Is Overseeing the Resegregation of American Schools.

Unfortunately, to put it in one phrase, the Democrats are unable to defend the United States of America from the most vicious, ignorant, corporate-indentured, militaristic, anti-union, anti-consumer, anti-environment, anti-posterity [Republican Party] in history. End of lecture.

The Republican Party Is Building The Electorate That Will Keep It In Power.

The Only Problem in American Politics Is the Republican Party.

* The First White President.

* Sexual Harassment in the Science Fiction & Fantasy Communities Survey Results.

* The onus should be on universities that rely on SET for employment decisions to provide convincing affirmative evidence that such reliance does not have disparate impact on women, underrepresented minorities, or other protected groups. Because the bias varies by course and institution, affirmative evidence needs to be specific to a given course in a given department in a given university. Absent such specific evidence, SET should not be used for personnel decisions.

* If immigration agents show up at your door. Life after love. Today, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow. Hemingway called it the saddest short story ever written. Superheroes we can believe in. Statement of teaching philosophy. The child is the father of the man. Abbrs.

Futurama is coming back again, for a single, audio-only episode.

* On a Twitter account called @Shitty_Future, you can find, according to the feed’s anonymous authors, “the future we deserve.”

* But at least they finally found the Savage Land.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 12, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Summer Classes Syllabi! “Science Fiction” (Sophomore Survey) and “The Law of Genre” (Grad Level)

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This weekend marks the tragic end of my research leave — I’m teaching two summer classes beginning Monday, a newly revamped version of my sophomore survey on science fiction (swapping in Never Let Me Go for Slaughterhouse-Five, Black Mirror for Avatar, and Ted Chiang for basically everything else) and a new graduate-level course on genre studies. I’m excited about both, but especially the grad course, which is laser-focused on books I find interesting.

I pulled back a bit on the writing assignments compared to last year because I think there’s a bit more reading, but some of that reading is deliberately structured as “secondary” so hopefully it won’t feel excessive. Main texts after some reshuffling are Never Let Me Go, The City and the City, Beloved, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Lolita, with guest appearances by Get Out, the Kubrick Lolita, The Twilight Zone, and Donald Barthelme…

Here’s the week-by-week:

M May 22 Introduction to the Course

viral video: “Too Many Cooks” [YouTube]

T May 23 Daniel Chandler, “An Introduction to Genre Theory” [D2L]

Donald Barthelme, “The Joker’s Greatest Triumph!” [D2L]

W May 24 Darko Suvin, “On the Poetics of the Science Fiction Genre” [D2L]

China Miéville, “Cognition as Ideology” [D2L]

(in class) The Twilight Zone: “The Eye of the Beholder” [Netflix]

 

secondary:

Gerry Canavan, “The Suvin Event” [D2L]

Th May 25 John Rieder, “On Defining SF, or Not: Genre Theory, SF, and History” [D2L]

Ted Underwood, “The Life Cycle of Genres” [D2L]

M May 29 MEMORIAL DAY—NO CLASS
T May 30 Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (Part One)
W June 1 Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (Part Two)
Th June 2 Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (Part Three)

 

secondary:

film trailer: The Island [YouTube]

Martin Puchner, review of Never Let Me Go [D2L]

 

LESSON PLAN #1 DUE

M June 5 Carl Freedman, “Marxism, Cinema, and Some Dialectics of Science Fiction and Film Noir” [D2L]

China Miéville, The City and the City (first half of Part One)

T June 6 China Miéville, The City and the City (second half of Part One)
W June 7 China Miéville, The City and the City (Part Two)
Th June 8 China Miéville, The City and the City (whole book)

China Miéville, “Notes on Walls” [Web]

 

secondary:

Carl Freedman, “From Genre to Political Economy: Miéville’s The City & The City and Uneven Development” [D2L]

China Miéville, “Unsolving the City” [Web]

S June 10 THINKPIECE #1 DUE BY 5 PM
M June 12 Toni Morrison, Beloved, pgs. 1-63
T June 13 Toni Morrison, Beloved, pgs. 63-165
W June 14 Toni Morrison, Beloved, whole book

 

secondary:

Carl D. Malmgren, “Mixed Genres and the Logic of Slavery in Toni Morrison’s Beloved” [D2L]

Grady Hendrix, “Beloved: The Best Horror Novel the Horror Genre Has Never Claimed” [D2L]

Elizabeth B. House, “Toni Morrison’s Ghost: The Beloved Who Is Not Beloved” [D2L]

Th June 15 film: Get Out

 

secondary:

Steven Thrasher, representative Get Out thinkpiece [Web]

 

LESSON PLAN #2 DUE

M June 19 Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale (first half)
T June 20 Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale (second half)

Charlotte Sturgess, “The Handmaid as a Romance Heroine” [D2L]

W June 21 Margaret Atwood, “Historical Notes on The Handmaid’s Tale

Margaret Atwood, “The Road to Ustopia” [Web]

 

secondary:

John McAdams, “Marquette Gender and Sexuality Resource Center: Demonizing Men” [PDF ON D2L]

Margaret Atwood, “What The Handmaid’s Tale Means in the Age of Trump” [Web]

Lili Loofburouw, “How Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale succumbed to the feminist curse” [Web]

The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu series)

Th June 22 READING/WRITING DAY—NO CLASS
M June 26 Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita: “Foreword” and Part One, Chapters 1-22
T June 27 Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita: Part One, Chap. 23, through Part Two, Chap. 22
W June 28 Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (whole book, including “On a Book Entitled Lolita”)

Stanley Kubrick, Lolita [Netflix]

Th June 29 VIRTUAL SYLLABUS WORKSHOP DAY! POST YOUR SAMPLE SYLLABUS AND COURSE NARRATIVES ON D2L AND SHARE QUESTIONS, SUGGESTIONS, AND OTHER HELPFUL COMMENTS!
S July 1 THINKPIECE #2 DUE BY 5 PM

Tuesday Morning Links!

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* The course descriptions for Marquette’s Fall 2017 English classes are up at the department website. Check them out! I’m teaching Tolkien and a grad seminar on utopia. 

* Also in Marquette news! Marquette to host ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ conference in April.

Becoming a parent forces you to think about the nature of the problem — which is, in a lot of ways, the problem of nature […] the realities of aging and sickness and mortality become suddenly inescapable. […] [My wife] said something during that time I will never forget. “If I had known how much I was going to love him,” she said, “I’m not sure I would have had him.” Mark O’Connell on transhumanism and immortality.

* From the great Ali Sperling: Reading Lovecraft in the Anthropocene. And this review of Alan Moore’s Jerusalem from the great David Higgins!

* Adam Roberts reviews New York 2140. Another review, from a climate scientist. And an interview with Stan. My review comes out in LARB this weekend…

The Most Cringeworthy Monuments to Colleges’ Innovation Jargon.

Perverse outcomes: UC Berkeley deletes 20,000 audio and visual lectures in the name of compliance with the ADA.

Speculative Fiction and Survival in Iraq.

* Is it really so hard to understand that when your students go broke just trying to graduate they aren’t exactly moved to donate later?

harcourt_fenton_mudd_2267* The liberal arts at Harvey Mudd College, whose graduates out-earn Harvard and Stanford.

* You-might-be-from-Wisconsin-if at Ask MetaFilter.

President Roosevelt signed the order on February 19, 1942, almost exactly 75 years ago. By spring, American citizens would be arriving at the Fresno and Pinedale camps: our neighbors.

* Wisconsin is apparently harassing trans state employees.

* Chaos, again. This is fine. Even James Comey. Twilight of Reince Preibus. Ten Questions for President Trump. Ten More Questions for President Trump. Remember when it was scandalous that Obama, years before he became a politician, once sold his house?

It is through the Justice Department that the administration is likely to advance its nationalist plans — to strengthen the grip of law enforcement, raise barriers to voting and significantly reduce all forms of immigration, promoting what seems to be a longstanding desire to reassert the country’s European and Christian heritage. It’s not an accident that Sessions, who presumably could have chosen from a number of plum assignments, opted for the role of attorney general. The Department of Justice is the most valuable perch from which to transform the country in the way he and Bannon have wanted. With an exaggerated threat of disorder looming, the nation’s top law-enforcement agency could become a machine for trying to fundamentally change who gets to be an American and what rights they can enjoy.

The emerging effort — dozens more rules could be eliminated in the coming weeks — is one of the most significant shifts in regulatory policy in recent decades. It is the leading edge of what Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, described late last month as “the deconstruction of the administrative state.”

* “Forever war, but too much.”

An Afghan family of five that had received approval to move to the United States based on the father’s work for the American government has been detained for more than two days after flying into Los Angeles International Airport, a legal advocacy group said in court documents filed on Saturday. Profiles of immigrant arrested in Austin. Thousands of ICE detainees claim they were forced into labor, a violation of anti-slavery laws. (Note this lawsuit was filed in 2014.This Stunningly Racist French Novel Is How Steve Bannon Explains The World. And if it were a book, it’d seem laughably contrived: A letter written in 1905 by Friedrich Trump, Donald Trump’s grandfather, to Luitpold, prince regent of Bavaria. Resisting ICE. Here we go again.

* 4chan and the Great Meme War.

* Russia and the Cyber Cold War.

* And while we’re on the subject: The Basic Formula For Every Shocking Russia/Trump Revelation. I think this is a very good reminder of the need to stay calm and detached from the chaos of the news cycle.

Instead, a new model is proposed: the president keeps everyone in a constant state of excitement and alarm. He moves fast and breaks things. He leads by causing commotion. As energy in the political system rises he makes no effort to project calm or establish an orderly White House. And if he keeps us safe it’s not by being himself a safe, steady, self-controlled figure, but by threatening opponents and remaining brash and unpredictable— maybe a touch crazy. This too is psychological work, but of a different kind.

* Democrats keep trusting demographics to save them. It hasn’t worked yet — but maybe this time…

NASA unveils plan to give Mars an ‘Earth-like’ atmosphere.

House Republicans Unveil Bill To Repeal Obamacare. The GOP health bill doesn’t know what problem it’s trying to solve.

Austerity measures don’t actually save money. But they do disempower workers. Which is why governments pursue them in the first place.

* No! It can’t be! Researchers have found strong evidence that racism helps the GOP win.

* Losing West Virginia.

Contrary to What You Learned in Sex Ed, You Can Get Pregnant While Pregnant.

* Mid-decade gerrymander in Georgia.

* Autism and Addiction.

* What We’ve Learned from Giving Dolphins LSD.

In a world first, a teenager with sickle cell disease achieved complete remission after an experimental gene therapy at Necker Children’s Hospital in Paris, researchers say.

* Possible lynching outside Seattle, in 2017.

* The end of suburbia.

* In the richest country in human history, children have “lunch debt.”

The only way in which a game is guaranteed to end is when the player abandons their device. Everything else is game design.

“These devices don’t have emotional intelligence,” said Allison Druin, a University of Maryland professor who studies how children use technology. “They have factual intelligence.” How millions of kids are being shaped by know-it-all voice assistants.

* Finding a jury of your peers in a racially segregated society.

* A colony in a nation.

Divination hasn’t disappeared; it’s taken over the world.

But these second-order obstacles aren’t enough to explain the current collapse of poll-driven political certainty. They’re just excuses, even if they’re not untrue. Something about the whole general scheme of polling—the idea that you can predict what millions of undecided voters will do by selecting a small group and then just simply asking them—is out of whack. We need to think seriously about what the strange game of election-watching actually is, in terms of our relation to the future, our power to choose our own outcomes, the large-scale structure of the universe, and the mysteries of fate. And these questions are urgent. Because predictions of the future don’t simply exist in the future, but change the way we act in the present. Because in our future something monstrous is rampaging: it paces hungrily toward us, and we need to know if we’ll be able to spot it in time.

When I said that opinion polls are sibyls and soothsayers, it wasn’t just a figure of speech. Opinion polling has all the trappings of a science—it has its numbers and graphs, its computational models, its armies of pallid drones poring over the figures. It makes hypotheses and puts them to the test. But polls are not taken for what they are: a report on what a small number of people, fond of changing their minds, briefly pretended to think. Instead, we watch the tracking graphs as if the future were playing itself out live in front of us. The real structure of the electoral-wonk complex is more mystical than materialist: it’s augury and divination, a method handed down by Prometheus to a starving and shivering humanity at the faint dawn of time. Behind all the desktop screens and plate-glass of his office, the buzz of data and the hum of metrics, Nate Silver retreats to a quiet, dark, and holy room. He takes the knife and slits in one stroke the throat of a pure-white bull; its blood arcs and drizzles in all directions. He examines its patterns. And he knows.

There’s a never-ending fount of stories you can write about when someone is breaking away from canon or not, and create many controversies all the way through preproduction and production and even until a movie opens, about whether or not they’re breaking canon. Is it a blasphemous movie or not? At some point, you gotta stop and say, Is there this expectation that it’s like we’re doing Godfather Part I and II, only it’s going to nine movies? And we’re just gonna cut them into this kind of Berlin Alexanderplatz that never ends? We’re gonna suddenly take a moment to really savor the fact that these movies exist in an identical tone? The reality to me is that you can’t have interesting movies if you tell a filmmaker, “Get in this bed and dream, but don’t touch the pillows or move the blankets.” You will not get cinema. You will just get a platform for selling the next movie on that bed, unchanged and unmade. James Mangold on Logan.

* The making of The Silmarillion.

* And we have but one choice: the Ring must be destroyed.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 7, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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February 28 Links! All the Links You Need for February 28

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sfftv-2017-10-issue-1-cover* Science Fiction Film and Television 10.1 is out, with articles on the suburban fantastic, the work of art in the age of the superhero, utopian film, review essays on The Martian and Terminator: Genysis, and my article on apocalyptic children’s literature. At long last, the world can discover why The Lorax is actually bad…

* My Octavia Butler book was discussed on the most recent episode of GribCast, on Parable of the Sower. (They start talking about me about 59ish minutes in, and especially around 1:30.) Meanwhile, later this spring: Octavia E. Butler’s Archive on View for First Time.

* If you knew our friend Nina Riggs, here is the donation page for John and the boys. And here’s the Amazon page for her book, which comes out this June.

* Instrumentalizing Earthseed.

Fast Forward #289 – Interview with Kim Stanley Robinson.

* CFP: “Crips In Space: Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Futurism.” And there’s still one day to submit to the SF exec group’s guaranteed MLA 2018 session on Satire and Science Fiction in Dystopian Times.

* Presenting the Nebula finalists.

Inside the Brutal World of Comedy Open Mikes.

* The Melancholy of Don Bluth.

* Comics studies comes of age.

The Capitalocene.

* Purging Iowa’s universities. The Campus Free Speech Battle You’re Not Seeing.

* NEH, NEA, Americorps.

* How Trump’s campaign staffers tried to keep him off Twitter. In Trump’s Volleys, Echoes of Alex Jones’s Conspiracy Theories. Asylum seekers take a cold journey to Manitoba via Trump’s America. We Are Living In the Second Chapter of the Worst-Case Scenario. How to lose a constitutional democracy. Silence of the hacks. Trump’s Tlön. The Trumpocene. Untranslatable. Neurosyphilis?

We can imagine a person slowly becoming aware that he is the subject of catastrophe.

Hear Something About An Immigration Raid? Here’s How To Safely Report It. On ICE. Is ICE Out of Control? ICE detainee with brain tumor removed from hospital. Deportation ruses. What It’s Like to Be a Teen Living in an Immigration Detention Center. Ten Hours in Houston. Abolish ICE.

Donald Trump is unpopular enough that Republicans could lose the House, but there’s a lot of uncertainty.

On the Milo Bus With the Lost Boys of America’s New Right. 4chan: The Skeleton Key to the Rise of Trump.

* On the deep state. Ditching the deep state. The Deep State, the Media, and the Crisis of Legitimacy.

Indeed, both sides are equally illegitimate on the popular level. Both sides are pushing agendas with no constituency. No one outside a small hardcore of party insiders and hack pundits wants either “smart” technocracy or nihilistic faux-libertarianism. The Democrats have been electorally devastated, but the Republicans are in the awkward position of being given the keys to the kingdom and yet realizing that they are advocating things that no one wants. They probably will push through more of their destructive idiocy, just because that’s who they are, but it’s mainly happening because they’ve set up the system so that it’s nearly impossible for them to get voted out — an interesting counterpoint to the other major institutional structures (the Deep State and news media) that we absolutely can’t vote out of office.

The only rallying point for genuine popular legitimacy right now is a desire to remove Trump and, in the meantime, humiliate and impede him as much as possible. And I’ll be clear: those are goals I share. The danger is settling for that goal, in such a way as to finally close the door on democratic accountability altogether.

* On North Carolina’s Moral Mondays.

* Space news! Nearby Star Hosts 7 Earth-Size Planets. SpaceX plans to send two people around the Moon. Mars needs lawyers!

The Relevance of Biopunk Science Fiction.

* Preserving video games.

* Like domesticity, segregation had to be invented.

Do voter identification laws suppress minority voting? Yes. We did the research. The Trump Administration’s Lies About Voter Fraud Will Lead to Massive Voter Suppression.

* Income inequality and advertising. That link is probably the good news.

* Guys I think the FBI might be bad.

* Even Trump’s fake terror arrests are worse.

* Anyway we’re all going to die. And pretty soon!

* Rule by algorithm. An Algorithm Is Replacing Bail Hearings in New Jersey.

* Why facts don’t change our minds.

* Visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

* The Secret Lives of Tumblr Teens.

* Checking in with SMBC: The Problem of Good. The Path of a Hero. How to Solve a Physics Problem. On the Etiology of Fuckers. Paging r/DaystromInstitute. Solving Sophie’s Choice. Gifts from God. And now to insult my core demographic. And that’s why I invented cancer. Don’t you dare stop scrolling, not now, not ever.

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* The radical argument of the New Oxford Shakespeare.

The Rise and Fall of the Socialist Party of America. After more than a half-century in the wilderness, the socialist left reemerges in America.

Teen suicide attempts fell as same-sex marriage became legal.

* The ACLU sues Milwaukee over stop-and-frisk.

* The last days of Standing Rock.

‘Alternative’ Education: Using Charter Schools to Hide Dropouts and Game the System.

Grad student Zachary Turpin discovers a long lost Walt Whitman novel, about a year after he discovered a long lost Whitman self-help treatie.

* “For decades they hid Jefferson’s relationship with her. Now Monticello is making room for Sally Hemings.”

Now Arizona has responded with a new — and some say bizarre — solution to this quandary: Death row inmates can bring their own execution drugs. The state’s manual for execution procedures, which was revised last month, says attorneys of death row inmates, or others acting on their behalf, can obtain pentobarbital or sodium Pentothal and give them to the state to ensure a smooth execution.

* And I say $100/day is too good for ’em!

Scientists Say They’ve Discovered a Hidden Continent Under New Zealand. Probably ought to invade just to be on the safe side.

* Huge, if true: Millennials aren’t destroying society — they’re on the front lines against the forces that are.

Fighting Gerrymandering With Geometry.

* Radical feminism finds a way.

This is what Earth will look like if when we melt all the ice. Is It Okay to Enjoy the Warm Winters of Climate Change? Milwaukee temperature hits 66 degrees, shatters record. Wednesday marks 67 consecutive days since the City of Chicago logged an inch of snow.

Up to 16% of hydraulically fractured oil and gas wells spill liquids every year, according to new research from US scientists.

* This interview with Peter Singer makes it very hard to see his work as anything but horrifyingly eugenic. What seemed to begin several decades ago as a thought experiment about animal intelligence has shifted into very disturbing ableism.

* Andrew Cuomo is so obviously the worst possible Democrat for 2020 I don’t see how they can possibly do anything else.

* In an age without heroes, there was the Boss.

* In search of Forrest Fenn’s treasure.

* The kids are all right.

* I hate this more than the discovery that the Death Star flaw was engineered. I don’t like much of this either. Bring back the old EU!

* This one’s okay.

20 Brutally Hilarious Comics For People Who Like Dark Humour. You had me at hello!

What Are the Chances? Success in the Arts in the 21st Century.

* Zombie cities of the Chinese Rust Belt.

The nation’s only deaf men’s college basketball team, on the verge of its first March Madness. Meanwhile, UVM is undefeated.

* Uber is doomed.

* And you can’t fool me: this one was already a Black Mirror episode.

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Written by gerrycanavan

February 28, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Trumpsday Reading

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tumblr_oknrrm94td1romv9co1_500Trump is targeting up to 8 million people for deportation. Making America Cruel Again. The triumph of cruelty. Inside the White House-Cabinet battle over Trump’s immigration order. 24 Hours at JFK. ‘Breathtaking violation of rights.’ Constitutional crisis. Hero Lawyers. Stop that plane: The frantic race to halt a deportation. A Q&A With the ACLU. Our New Itinerary. Travel ban causes high anxiety for Milwaukee’s international students. The little-noticed bombshell in Trump’s immigration order. Half Of World’s Refugees Are Running From U.S. Wars. Trump’s First Weeks Leave Washington— and the White House Staff—Panting. The leaks coming out of the Trump White House right now are totally bananas. Yes, all this happened. Gasp! Trust Records Show Trump Is Still Closely Tied to His Empire. Ivanka lied about the leaving the Trump organization too. Make War with Mexico Great Again. Trainwreck in Yemen. Even Australia. Onward to Iran! 14 Versions Of Trump’s Presidency, From #MAGA To Impeachment. Trump and the Republicans Are on a Suicide Mission Together. Editing Trump. Authoritarian Government Watch. We just let this one go without even making a big deal about it. And this one was crazy too! A Series of Unfortunate Events. This is fine. This is fine. This is fine. Seems legit. This is not normal. #TheResistance. A Reader for Trumplandia. Trump: A Resister’s Guide. SNL 1, 2, 3. Oh man. The law, in its majestic equality. 4 in 10. A whole year? Jesus. The numbers. A 3,900 percent increase. It takes 3.5% of a population engaged in sustained nonviolent resistance to topple brutal dictatorships. Here’s how much the anti-Trump protests cost, at Trump paid-turnout rates. Disobey.

tumblr_okptgkqlob1romv9co1_500* I had a very brief segment on Wisconsin Public Radio last week discussing 1984 and the Trump administration.

The worst, most terrible things that the United States has done have almost never happened through an assault on American institutions; they’ve always happened through American institutions and practices. These are the elements of the American polity that have offered especially potent tools and instruments of intimidation and coercion: federalism, the separation of powers, social pluralism, and the rule of law. All the elements of the American experience that liberals and conservatives have so cherished as bulwarks of American freedom have also been sources and instruments of political fear. In all the cases I looked at, coercion, intimidation, repression, and violence were leveraged through these mechanisms, not in spite of them.

There is a style of political reasoning which the Trump moment lends itself to, which can be called conspiracism. Against omniscience.

Everyday Authoritarianism is Boring and Tolerable.

* V-Milwaukee!

* Vaughn Prison Uprising.

* Screaming about Trump into a Well: A Text Adventure.

The Democratic Response to Gorsuch Is Easy: Just Say No. Why Democrats Should Oppose Neil Gorsuch. Make Republicans Nuke the Filibuster to Confirm Neil Gorsuch.

Football players at private institutions in college sports’ most competitive level are employees, the National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel stated this week, and will be treated as such if they seek protection against unfair labor practices.

* Chris Ware on George Herriman. A rebuttal.

* The African Speculative Fiction lecture series at the University of London.

* Inside the Disney Vault.

The Hot New Brand of Higher Education.

* Riot at Berkeley. #Milosexual and the Aesthetics of Fascism.

* After-the-Horse-Has-Left-the-Barn Department. Well at least you’re sorry.

Who Cares If the Dow Jones Hit 20,000?

Under A New System, Clinton Could Have Won The Popular Vote By 5 Points And Still Lost.

The U.S. military’s stats on deadly airstrikes are wrong. Thousands have gone unreported.

* Academics boycotting the U.S.

* The end of Locked-In Syndrome… in the Twilight Zone.

* Same.

* The new issue of the SFRA Review is up.

The Youth Group That Launched a Movement at Standing Rock.

* Poker and the machines.

Guns, hostile lawmakers, and professional bigots are more dangerous to academic freedom than left-wing activists are.

* Other Space, the best SF series no one but me watched.

* Against the Constitution. Against the Supreme Court.

Video Game Voice Actor Strike Now Second-Longest In SAG History.

* Zelda map size comparisons.

How a Cult That Believes Cats Are Divine Beings Ended Up in Tennessee.

* How to Kellyanne Conway.

Why the voting age should be lowered to 16.

* February 17 is the next time the general strike isn’t actually going to happen.

In the Trump International Penal Colony and Golf Resort.

* Marquette in the ne — come on, again?

* Also they enslaved and tortured generations of animals, but that’s not important right now.

* no no no no no no no no

* If you want a vision of the future.

* …and now it’s canon.

* Decolonizing Science Fiction.

How an Interstellar Starship Could Actually Explore Alpha Centauri.

How Astronauts’ Brains Are Changed By Spaceflight.

* In the future, everyone will be hated by thousands of strangers for 15 minutes.

* The Milwaukee Bucks Century.

* The war comes to Whitefish Bay.

Pension giant TIAA is leading a global wave of deforestation and the destruction of small farmers’ livelihoods.

The richest society in human history.

* And like Nietzsche said: it is forgetting, not remembering, that makes life possible.

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Written by gerrycanavan

February 5, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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No Bad News Today Links

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tumblr_oi2rn0if1u1romv9co1_500The polar vortex is coming. Here’s what that means — and how cold it could get.

Where Black History and Floods Intertwine.

* I for one welcome our new Chicago overlords.

* CFP: The David Foster Wallace Conference has extended its deadline to January 15.

* thisisfine.jpg: Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win White House. Russian Hackers Acted to Aid Trump in Election, U.S. Says. White House orders intelligence report of election cyberattacks.

Chiafalo and Guerra are members of a group called “Hamilton Electors” that is seeking to convince Republican members of the Electoral College to reject Trump and agree on a consensus Republican alternative. They’re lobbying to persuade at least 37 Republican electors to join them, the minimum they need to block Trump from winning the Electoral College and send election to the House of Representatives. Democrats can stop Trump via the electoral college. But not how you think. The Electoral College Can and Must Stop Donald Trump. I’ll spare you the rants from my Twitter but it’s agonizing that this is legal, workable, doable, and no one is going to try.

* Interesting strategy to discredit Electoral College here; compulsory voting in NY and CA. And I missed this one: You could swing the presidential election by moving a single county between states.

* Donald Trump confirms he will violate Constitution his first day in office.

* Yes, Pence is preferable to Trump.

* What can I say, though, he’s winning me over: JUST IN: Lockheed Martin’s market value drops $4,000,000,000 after Pres.-elect Trump tweets on F-35 program.

* What Vichy France can teach us about the normalization of state violence.

* Reminded of this one every four years in November: On Cooling the Mark Out.

* The birthering of the Democrats.

For Bauerlein, Trump is a figure out of Hegel, a “world-historical figure” who arises at the right time to bring about a necessary change in society.

Japanese American Historical Plaza.

* Star Wars and Vietnam.

* The smoke break and solidarity.

* Robots and literary criticism.

Prince’s Closest Friends Share Their Best Prince Stories.

What Things Cost in an American Country Store in 1836.

The Libertarian Utopia That’s Just a Bunch of White Guys on a Tiny Island.

* Headlines that, uh, don’t seem right to me: Why conservatives might be more likely to fall for fake news.

* Charlie Stross vs. all media: Eleven Tweets.

Why Time’s Trump Cover Is a Subversive Work of Political Art.

* The Meta-Politics of Westworld.

How John Milton Invented Sci-Fi in the 1600s.

* The World According to Stanislaw Lem.

* The Untold Story of Napoleon Hill, the Greatest Self-Help Scammer of All Time.

* This is some Black Mirror shit.

* Inside the NFL’s relentless, existential, Big Tobacco-style pursuit of your children.

* The troll has it both ways. He is magnificently indifferent to social norms, which he transgresses for the lulz, yet often at the same time a vengeful punisher: both the Joker and Batman.

* And okay, he’s won me back: Slavoj Žižek: ‘We are all basically evil, egotistical, disgusting.’

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Thursday Night Links!

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tumblr_ohvslqjhdo1romv9co1_500* My brilliant colleague Ainehi Edoro was chosen as one of the most 100 influential Africans.

* The Octavia Project. And elsewhere in the VanderMeers’ vast empire…

* CFP: Octavia E. Butler at ALA 2017.

* More fighting over tenure and post-tenure review at Wisconsin.

* Victory at Standing Rock.

* Cixin Liu: As a science-fiction writer, it’s my duty to warn the human race that the robot revolution has begun — even if no one has noticed yet.

* Teaching the controversy: Listening While Feminist: In Defense of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”

* We’re gonna need a better gerrymander: If Democrats want to solve the problem of legislative maps that are biased against them they need to pursue a strategy that is more likely to produce maps that compensate for geography.

“It is striking to see how committed they are to allowing this train wreck to occur,” he said. “And more surprisingly, how little careful attention has been given (at the top at least) to just how vulnerable—given Bush v. Gore—the current (system for counting votes in the) electoral college is.” But wait! There’s more! Why I Will Not Cast My Electoral Vote for Donald Trump.

* Trump vs. conflicts of interest: Maybe the Answer Is That He Can’t Divest.

How Many Generals Is Too Many? I think the number is worrying, but agree with Kevin that the central issue is that he has chosen an extremely popular, recently retired general for DoD. Civilian control of the military is an important value, or it used to be.

* This is bad: Trump Launches Tweet Attack on Carrier Steel Union Boss for Fact-Checking Him. (UPDATE: This is what happens when Donald Trump attacks a private citizen on Twitter.) This is bad: Hardee’s, Carl’s Jr. CEO Tapped as Labor Secretary. This is bad: Trump Considers FDA Chief Who Says People Should Use Medicines “At Their Own Risk.” This is bad: Trump to be part-time president, keep lucrative job with Celebrity Apprentice. This is bad: Does Donald Trump Believe Nuclear War Is Inevitable?

* This one though I do approve of: Chris Christie has the lowest approval rating one pollster has ever found for a state governor.

* There are no second acts in American life, they said.

* Point/Counterpoint: How Sci-Fi and Fantasy Can Save the World. What Can Artists Do to Oppose Trump? Nothing.

* That’ll solve it! Or, if you prefer, only the super-rich can save us now.

* Worst Game of Thrones spinoff ever.

* …and the portions are too small!

* The Swing-O-Matic: Change the settings to see how shifts in party preference and turnout by different demographic groups would affect the 2016 presidential election.

* We need to admit that right-wing harrassment and conspiracy theories are baked into the business model of social media at this point. And with right-wing political hegemony for the foreseeable future, it will only get worse, because the range of “acceptable opinion” will shift even further to the right. Asking nicely and filling out all the proper paperwork will not change this underlying material reality.

* The tricky part is that many expect the expert agency’s views to change shortly after January 20th, when Trump’s O.C.R. is installed. (Dear Colleagues: Never mind, we take it back.) Come January, advocates of transgender rights, who have enthusiastically supported judicial deference to O.C.R., will have reason for an extreme pivot, given that the new O.C.R. is unlikely to view “sex” as an “internal sense of gender.” It is awkward now for Grimm’s lawyers to argue zealously for the notion that the agency knows best, when only weeks from now, and in coming years, that doctrine is more likely to harm than to help transgender students.

Inside President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal antidrug campaign in the Philippines, our photojournalist documented 57 homicide victims over 35 days. And in case you’ve forgotten.

Located in the city’s Girangaon (Village of the Mills) neighborhood, Trump Tower Mumbai illustrates every pathology of the neoliberal turn away from comprehensive city planning.

* What happens if someone dies on Mars?

* Uber as Ponzi scheme.

* The arc of history is long, but New Jersey Will No Longer Seek to Collect Loans from Families of Dead Students.

* Check ignition, and may God’s love be with you.

* Harvard will not be a sanctuary campus. It’s for your own good, kids!

* Ugh, maybe it actually is.

* Disney ought to pay this former employee for the movie rights to this AMA.

* Today in news from the mysteriiiiiiiious Orient: Japan’s sex problem is so bad that people are quitting dating and marrying their friends.

* Trump propaganda game getting real.

* Chimpanzees See Butts Like We See Faces.

* The ultimate fear isn’t of the second coming of Hitler: history never repeats itself so obviously, and a sense of shame over the Nazi past remains pervasive in all corners of German life. No, the fear is that the present antidemocratic wave may prove too strong even for Germany—the only country in the history of the world that ever learned from its mistakes. From The New Yorker‘s “The Frankfurt School Knew Trump Was Coming.”

* If Black Mirror Had a Showroom.

* The suit asks that the embryos be transferred to Mr Loeb so that they can be born and receive their inheritance.

* This might be the worst science journalism piece I’ve seen in years.

* Goddamnit, Pixar.

* Scientists Think the Speed of Light Has Slowed, and They’re Trying to Prove It.

Paradox Girl Is One of the Best Time Travel Series We’ve Read All Year. I bought these tonight on this recommendation and I can confirm it’s super fun.

* And this makes me feel worse about both extinction-level events and car crashes.

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 8, 2016 at 8:01 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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