Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘blizzards

Sunday Morning After ICFA Links!

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* Two poems from the great Jaimee Hills: “Frosted Palm” and “The Books in the Bushes.”

* ICYMI: My #ICFA39 talk, “Star Trek after Discovery.” Building on my AUFS post from last week, and it’s already inspired an expansion at r/DaystromInstitute.

* Have you played this new gritty realistic fantasy game?

* How does Neil Gaiman work?

* How vulture capitalists ate Toys R Us.

* The constitutional crisis is always arriving and never arrived. It’s been here at least twenty years.

* The market can’t solve a massacre.

And so in schools across the country, Americans make their children participate in Active Shooter drills. These drills, which can involve children as young as kindergartners hiding in closets and toilet stalls, and can even include simulated shootings, are not just traumatic and of dubious value. They are also an educational enterprise in their own right, a sort of pedagogical initiation into what is normal and to be expected. Very literally, Americans teach their children to understand the intrusion of rampaging killers with assault rifles as a random force of nature analogous to a fire or an earthquake. This seems designed to foster in children a consciousness that is at once hypervigilant and desperate, but also morbid and resigned—in other words, to mold them into perfectly docile citizen-consumers. And if children reject this position and try to take action, some educational authorities will attempt to discipline their resistance out of them, as in Texas, where one school district has threatened to penalize students who walk out in anti-gun violence actions, weaponizing the language of “choices” and “consequences” to literally quash “any type of protest or awareness.”

All rise and no fall: how Civilization reinforces a dangerous myth.

* Rethinking dehumanization.

There Are No Guardrails on Our Privacy Dystopia.

On misogynoir: citation, erasure, and plagiarism.

ICE Spokesman Resigns, Saying He Could No Longer Spread Falsehoods for Trump Administration.

* The U.S. separates a mother and daughter fleeing violence in Congo.

James Mattis is linked to a massive corporate fraud and nobody wants to talk about it.

* Amazing that Trump’s personal aide was fired by the White House while being investigated and then immediately rehired by the campaign and it’s like a C story at best.

* The A story.

How America’s prisons are fueling the opioid epidemic.

* The rise of the prison state.

Trump administration studies seeking the death penalty for drug dealers.

Former Black Panther Herman Wallace dies days after judge overturns murder conviction that saw him serve 41 years in solitary confinement.

* Oconomowoc schools impose limits on ‘privilege’ discussions after parents complain.

* With a tightening labor market, CEOs are chasing after the same workers they once derided as unemployable.

America’s ‘Retail Apocalypse’ Is Really Just Beginning.

* The YouTube Kids app has been suggesting a load of conspiracy videos to children.

* The missing Obama millions.

* What America looked like before the EPA.

Supreme Court Can’t Wait to Kill Youth Climate Lawsuit.

Rapid Arctic warming and melting ice are increasing the frequency of blizzards in the Northeast, study finds.

* YouTube mini-lecture from Adam Kotsko: Trump as mutation, or parody, of neoliberalism. And some more Kotsko content: Superheroes, Science Fiction, and Social Transformation.

The Rise of Dismal Science Fiction.

* The Science Fiction of Roe v. Wade.

* Visions, Ventures, Escape Velocities: A Collection of Space Futures. A response.

* Against popular culture.

David Foster Wallace and the Horror of Neuroscience.

* Neither utopia nor apocalypse? Somedays I feel like both is the most likely outcome of all, a heaven for them and a hell for the rest of us.

Who Owns the Robots? Automation and Class Struggle in the 21st Century.

* Rest in peace, Stephen Hawking. His last goodbye.

* Facing Disaster: The Great Challenges Framework.

‘Picked Apart by Vultures’: The Last Days of Stan Lee.

For Decades, Our Coverage Was Racist. To Rise Above Our Past, We Must Acknowledge It.

Why museum professionals need to talk about Black Panther.

PSA: Marvel’s Black Panther Animated Series is Streaming for Free on YouTube.

* Hate spree killings in Austin.

* Wakanda Forever.

* Thus Spake Black Bolt.

* To Catch a Predator. You know it’s a bleak story when the NYPD are the good guys.

The radical vision of Wages for Housework.

* Happy International Women’s Day.

* Hundreds of Missouri’s 15-year-old brides may have married their rapists.

If NYT printed the *actual, real-life* sentiments of today’s conservative masses, it would print a bunch of paranoid, Fox-generated fairy tales and belligerent expressions of xenophobia, misogyny, racism, and proud, anti-intellectual ignorance. 

* Surveillance in everything: A US university is tracking students’ locations to predict future dropouts.

* Dialectics of the superhero: 1, 2.

* #MAaEEoOGFwNCBA.

* Pew pew.

* Huge, if true: Studying for a humanities PhD can make you feel cut off from humanity.

* From the archives: The Racial Injustice of Big-Time College Sports.

* Podcast minute: Screw It, We’re Just Gonna Talk about Spider-Man and The Beatles. The first is new and the second is old but both are worth checking out.

* Goodbye, cruel world.

* And I’m not a lazy home owner. I’m a goddamn hero.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 18, 2018 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Weekend Links! Catch Them All!

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oeb-3Americans first learn about slavery as children, before adults are willing to explain finance capital or rape. By high school, young adults are ready to hear about sexual violence as an element of slavery and about how owners valued their property, but there’s no level of developmental maturity that prepares someone to grasp systemized monstrosity on this scale. Forced labor we can understand—maybe it’s even a historical constant so far. Mass murder too. But an entire economy built on imprisoning and raping children? One that enslaved near 40 percent of the population? Even for the secular, only religious words seem to carry enough weight: unholy, abomination, evil.

Plan C: The top secret Cold War plan for martial law in the USA.

* The Huntington honors Octavia Butler. And from the archives! My writeup on the Butler papers at the Huntington.

* The first issue of the MOSF Journal of Science Fiction.

Feeding English Majors in the 21st Century.

Chicago State University in danger of closing: Alumni speak out.

* CFP: Fantasies of Contemporary Culture. Paradoxa 29: “Small Screen Fictions.” MUHuCon 2016. Feminist Review: Dystopias and Utopias.

* One of the major figures in science fiction studies, Rob Latham, has issued a statement regarding his shocking firing from UC Riverside.

* Melissa Click has now been suspended, after being charged with third degree assault.

A University Softens a Plan to Cut Tenured Faculty, but Professors Remain Wary.

Prominent Medieval Scholar’s Blog on ‘Feminist Fog’ Sparks an Uproar.

How startling, unique cuts have transformed Louisiana’s universities.

* A How-To.

Is It Discriminatory to Require Peer Review?

2.5 million men ‘have no close friends.’

* After capitalism.

Sanders and the Theory of Change: Radical Politics for Grown-Ups.

* Bernie Sanders and the Liberal Imagination.

How to pair wine with your favorite Girl Scout cookies.

How Intellectuals Create a Public.

Long Before Helping Flint, Michigan Officials Were Shipping Clean Water to Their Own Workers. Flint’s Bottom Line. What went wrong in Flint. Flint Residents Told That Their Children Could Be Taken Away If They Don’t Pay For City’s Poison Water. Report: ‘Every Major US City East of the Mississippi’ Is Underreporting Heavy Metals In Its Water. It’s everywhere. “Milwaukee taking steps to prevent lead from getting in water.”

* And elsewhere on the Milwaukee beat: FBI arrests suspect who allegedly wanted to cause mass terrorism in Milwaukee. MPS as “national disgrace.” ‘Back in time 60 years’: America’s most segregated city. Milwaukee leaders speak out against deadly rise in car thefts. Have I mentioned we’re hiring?

Chicago Police Hid Mics, Destroyed Dashcams To Block Audio, Records Show.

What Happened to Jane Mayer When She Wrote About the Koch Brothers.

* The Difference a Mutant Makes.

* See? It’s good that I’m like this.

AmazonWarnings* Suggested Amazon warning labels.

* Star Wars Social Networks.

* On the SNAFU Principle.

* Richard Feynman, “Personal observations on the reliability of the Shuttle.”

Rhode Island: Children Under 10 Shall Not Be Left Home Alone, Even Briefly.

Sea level rise from ocean warming underestimated, scientists say.

* History is melting.

* In praise of blizzards.

Climate dystopia is here: Zika virus prompts calls for women to stop having babies.

Why science-fiction writers find it so hard to discuss climate tech.

Racial harmony in a Marxist utopia: how the Soviet Union capitalised on US discrimination.

Linguists Analyze Every Disney Princess Movie, to Somewhat Depressing Results.

List of animals with fraudulent diplomas.

* Everything’s fine: Hillary’s team copied intel off top-secret server to email.

Constitutional Convention 2016.

* Today in Doctor Who fandom: The Season of River Song. And then there was Chibnall.

Fictional Games From Epic Fantasy Books. A People’s History of Board Games.

Instructor explained clearly that he’d hand out the rating sheets and then sit in his car while we completed them.

Here’s why we’re attracted to people of a similar height, scientists say.

Former NFL Player Tyler Sash Had CTE When He Died At Age 27.

* A dark, gritty Hanna-Barbera reboot.

Airbnb makes half its SF money with illegal listings.

Trailer with $70,000 worth of cheese stolen in Wisconsin. And that’s only the second-largest cheese heist in the state this week.

Nearly $50,000 In Bull Semen Stolen From Turlock Truck.

The final days of Al Jazeera America.

* Twilight of the sleazy professor.

* The end of Go.

* Dailyshowgnarok.

The FBI Claims Not to Have a File on David Bowie.

According to the trades and his pitch to investors, Ryan Kavanaugh had found film business formula that couldn’t lose. It could. Unraveling a Tinseltown Ponzi scheme.

69% of the alcohol sold in the UK is sold to “harmful,” “hazardous” or “increasing risk” drinkers, accounting for more than 60% of the industry’s revenues.

* A map of every city.

* The lost age of pinball.

* It’s finally happening.

Meet the Americans Who Moved to Europe and Went AWOL on Their Student Loans.

* And there is no politics — only LEGO.

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Written by gerrycanavan

January 29, 2016 at 12:09 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Good Morning, It’s the Weekend

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3055253-inline-batmansoundsa-z* Teach the controversy: are students cuddly little bunnies to be drowned, or shot with Glocks? This story is actually worse than even the original reporting indicated.

I’ve argued here before (I think) that probably the greatest thing for-profit colleges could do to scrub the designation “for-profit” of its negative connotation is to win a few sportsball championships. That’s how traditional not-for-profit colleges did it. There was a time when the idea of a residential college for wealthy young men was considered very strange (and also very effeminate). College sports “butched” up college and it also gave the millions who would never in a million years qualify for admission a fictive relationship with a system that is, by design, unequal. Sportsball and For-Profit Legitimacy.

The Grand Jury in the Tamir Rice Case May Not Have Taken a Vote on Charges.

* Salary cuts, layoffs at ISIS. Meanwhile, incredible if true accusations from the FBI against a Kent State professor.

* Planet Nine.

* David Bowie and the Anthropocene.

Making a Murderer’s creators have finally responded to criticisms of missing evidence.

A French Communist Utopia in Texas.

* Jesuit adjunctivitis.

* Saying “no” at Oberlin.

* Medieval robots.

* Liberalism and eugenics.

Swedish TV Accidentally Runs Kids’ Show Subtitles On A Political Debate.

The Big Search to Find Out Where Dogs Come From.

* Coates v. Sanders. Killer Mike vs. Coates. Guthrie v. Trump (Sr.). Meanwhile: Democrats in disarray!

Bloomberg wants to save everyone from Trump. But a lot of people don’t know who he is.

* Four tendencies in liberalism.

How One Man Tried to Write Women Out of CRISPR, the Biggest Biotech Innovation in Decades.

* Counterpoint: Harley Quinn is an insanely flawed character almost impossible to reconcile with feminist norms.

Forget Schrödinger’s Cat: The Latest Quantum Puzzle Is About Three Pigeons in Two Holes.

Alexander Litvinenko: the man who solved his own murder.

Chess forbidden in Islam, rules Saudi mufti, but issue not black and white. This part of the history of games I always find fascinating.

* It’s called anthroponuclear multiple worlds theory, and it’s basically my actual cosmology.

* The singular “they” is your word of the year. A chronology of early nonbinary pronouns. A little more. Bring back he’er, him’er, his’er.

* When DoD paid Duke U $335K to investigate ESP in dogs. But more research is required.

* Virtual reality porn, the god that failed.

* Concept art for Episode 8 (not really). At least it might help tide you over.

* What if not having a beard is nonhygenic? Checkmate.

Plastic to outweigh fish in oceans by 2050, study warns. Meanwhile, the same headline they run every January, just with all the numbers incremented by one.

* Twilight of De Niro. AND BEYOND.

* The end of parking.

* Sold in the room: Orphan Black Writer Making Time-Travel Movie For Netflix.

* A Brief History of Jumbo.

* Good luck, East Coast!

And it’s possible that there is a “mirror universe” where time moves backwards, say scientists. Of course the poets always knew.

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Written by gerrycanavan

January 22, 2016 at 8:30 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Weekend Links! So Many!

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Harris Wittels has died. I really loved his appearances on Earwolf, but the one I keep thinking about is his appearance on “You Made It Weird” last November, where he spoke about his addiction at length. The humblebrag.

* Oliver Sacks writes about his terminal cancer diagnosis in the New York Times.

* The Midwest Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference began today. This year’s theme is “Animacy” and both Lee Edelman and Lauren Berlant are keynotes.

* TNI has a great excerpt from the beginning of Creepiness.

* A President’s Day remembrance of Ona Judge.

* Neill Blomkamp is making an Alien. ​The Man In The High Castle Gets Series Order From Amazon. Amazon should greenlight this next.

* The City and the City may be a BBC drama. I would have said it was unfilmable, but sure, let’s give it a try.

* Boston’s winter from hell. What the massive snowfall in Boston tells us about global warming.

A Siberian blast—seriously, this air is from Siberia—has turned the eastern U.S. into an icebox featuring the most extreme cold of anywhere on Earth right now. Looking ahead, there’s plenty more where that came from.

* Rudy Giuliani, still horrible.

Melodrama is so powerful, then, because by promising heroic emancipation from terrorist villainy, it implies that US citizens can overcome their feelings of diminished political agency and lost freedom. Melodrama promises that both the US state, and individual Americans, will soon experience heroic freedom by winning the War on Terror. They will cast off their feelings of vulnerability and weakness through heroic action—even when the villain they attack is not the primary cause of their powerlessness or suffering.

* The fastest way to find Waldo. You’re welcome.

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Would you like to understand how the “new” Harper Lee novel, “Go Set a Watchman,” came to be billed as a long-lost, blockbuster sequel to “To Kill a Mockingbird” — one of the definitive books of the American 20th century — when, by all the known facts, it’s an uneven first draft of the famous novel that was never considered for publication? Would you like to get a glimpse into how clever marketing and cryptic pronouncements have managed to produce an instant bestseller, months before anyone has read it?

* Republicans think this is their moment to kill higher education in America. And they might be right.

Congressman Says We Don’t Need Education Funding Because ‘Socrates Trained Plato On A Rock.’ Checks out.

* The outlook for the rest of Illinois isn’t much better. We Need Syriza in Illinois.

* That there are any homeless children anywhere in the country is an unthinkable national tragedy.

* Save the Wisconsin Idea. You may have to save it from its saviors.

* The inexorable tuition explosion that will result is proving to be politically untenable, and Walker has moved immediately to head it off, consequences be damned. And UW leadership, having adopted a posture of supporting the public authority on principled grounds, is left in the politically deadly position of having to fight for the power to raise tuition arbitrarily.

Meanwhile let’s kill all the state parks too.

* Meanwhile Milwaukee is one of America’s poorest cities. Though it still has one thing going for it.

* “Scott Walker says he consults with God, but his office can’t provide documents to prove it.”

* Thank goodness we were able to take all that valuable real estate we were wasting on schools and turn it profitable again.

Ideology Seen as Factor in Closings in University of North Carolina System. No! It can’t be!

New Education Initiative Replaces K-12 Curriculum With Single Standardized Test.

* The best and worst presidents. The hottest U.S. presidents. The beardiest presidents.

* Mother Jones loves Minnesota governor Mark Dayton.

* Gender and J School.

* The visiting professor scam.

We don’t need more STEM majors. We need more STEM majors with liberal arts training.

* “The academic atmosphere, produced mainly by the humanities, is the only atmosphere in which pure science can flourish.”

* Academic interviews are horrible, mealtime edition.

Oklahoma Lawmakers Vote Overwhelmingly To Ban Advanced Placement U.S. History.

* The end of Miami.

* The West Coast cargo strike.

* Charting the Bechdel Test.

* DWYL, porn industry edition.

* Defund DHS.

What is going to happen to all of those African-languages-speaking, archive-obsessed, genre-discovering graduate students? Listen, I have some terrible news.

* The death cult called the MLA wants you to have hope for some reason though. Really strange study.

Florida Passes Plan For Racially-Based Academic Goals.

* Meanwhile, affirmative action for men in college admissions.

* “A Superbug Nightmare Is Playing Out at an LA Hospital.”

In the current movement against white supremacy and the police we can see the beginnings of a new Black Arts Movement.

But one of America’s ugliest secrets is that our own whistleblowers often don’t do so well after the headlines fade and cameras recede. The ones who don’t end up in jail like Manning, or in exile like Snowden, often still go through years of harassment and financial hardship. And while we wait to see if Loretta Lynch is confirmed as the next Attorney General, it’s worth taking a look at how whistleblowers in America fared under the last regime.

Boston Using Prison Labor To Shovel Heaps Of Snow In Frigid Temperatures For Pennies.

* Revealing scenes from the deranged thinking in the tech industry.

* SMBC messing with the primal forces.

* LARoB reviews Kelly Link’s Get in Trouble and Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s Guantánamo Diary and Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1.

* Clarissa Explains White Supremacy.

* Iceland begins to jail bankers.

* “College Apologizes for Way It Gave M&Ms to Children.”

* “Can There Be Too Many Museums?”

* “Which sexual positions are more likely to break your penis?”

Giant Ron English art-book: Status Factory.

* An excerpt from David Graeber’s The Rules of Utopia.

* Oral histories of the early days of the HIV epidemic.

* National Adjunct Walkout Day is growing near. It’s Time to Review Your Adjunct Employment Policies.

* Trying to create a promotion track outside the tenure stream at Denver.

* The adjunct unionization movement. And more on that.

* Campus cops prepare for National Adjunct Walkout Day.

* Here’s a thing about @OccupyMLA that uses me as its stooge for part of it. Yay?

* Interesting Kickstarter: “Pioneers of African-American Cinema.”

* “DoJ report on Montana justice: Don’t get raped in Missoula, even if you’re only five years old.”

Justice Department ‘seriously examining’ Ferguson race case.

* Another piece on the rise of the Title IX industry. Provocative Harvard Law Review forum on Title IX overreach. However bad we’re doing, though, we can certainly always do worse.

Perhaps with each tuition bill, students should receive a breakdown of how their dollars are spent.

* Academic hiring: The Trading Places hypothesis.

How Arizona State Reinvented Free-Throw Distraction.

* Best wishes, Ed Balls.

* The Oscars and racism. The Oscars and sexism.

* The Brazilian town where the Confederacy lives on.

* DC Comics is bringing back Prez, this time as a teenage girl who gets elected president by Twitter.

Holding Out For a Heroine: On Being a Woman and Loving Star Wars.

10 Worst Misconceptions About Medieval Life You’d Get From Fantasy Books.

* A rare piece from NRO worth linking: The Right-Wing Scam Machine.

Former Nazi Guard Charged with 170,000 Counts of Accessory to Murder. Take the plea deal!

The CIA asked me about controlling the climate – this is why we should worry.

To misappropriate the prophecy of another technological sage: the post-human dystopia is already here; it’s just not evenly distributed yet.

* Mark Bould has another post on Jupiter Ascending trying to wrangle its treatment of gender. Lots of good discussion of Princess Leia here too.

* Plans to whip us up into another invasion in the Middle East are proceeding apace.

* When horrific child abuse becomes quirk.

* Florida police officer: “Planting evidence and lying in your reports are just part of the game.”

* Cuteness in history. Why when you see something cute you (sometimes) want to destroy it.

Another Reason To Worry About The Measles.

Wearable Workplace “Mood Monitors” Are About To Become A Thing.

* A People’s History of Franklin.

* Asexuals and Demisexuals in Wired.

* Five-alarm nerd alert: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality has begun its final arc.

* Settlers of Catan: The Movie.

* And in case that’s not enough here’s some more proof we as a nation are still capable of great things.

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Written by gerrycanavan

February 20, 2015 at 11:37 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Wednesday Links!

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* The end of UW: Gov. Scott Walker to propose 13 percent cut, more freedom for UW System. UW System predicts layoffs, no campus closings under budget cuts. Layoffs, Building Closures, Slowdown on Admissions. But “few details.”

* But there’s always money in the banana stand.

In praise of zombies. A response to yesterday’s anti-Canavanist IHE polemic.

Giving students access to an important, brilliant, historically significant corpus of art seems to be an entirely appropriate activity for the undergraduate classroom at a university. After you have taken a Zombie Course, you may discover you have actually just taken a Great Books (or in the case of Ware, a Great Box) course without realizing it, and you may also decide that any Great Books course worthy of its name cannot afford to ignore the recent surge of brilliant zombie art. If anything, we need more Zombie Courses than we have, and one hopes — in time — even full-blown Zombie Majors (or at the least Zombie Double-Majors).

* Multiple Choice and Testing Machines: A History.

“What I would say about the university today,” he says, “is that we’re living through an absolutely historic moment – namely the effective end of universities as centres of humane critique, an almost complete capitulation to the philistine and sometimes barbaric values of neo-capitalism.”

* National Adjunct Walkout Day is coming soon.

Higher Education Is Not a Mixtape.

The Climate Science Behind New England’s Historic Blizzard. Massive Blizzard Exposes How Decrepit New York City’s Infrastructure Is.

All Our Grievances Are Connected.

* How the Left Won Greece.

* Forget immoral; the latest legal challenge to Obamacare is still nonsense.

Punch-Drunk Jonathan Chait Takes On the Entire Internet. It’s a terrible op-ed that makes an important point badly in the midst of saying a bunch of incorrect things, all in the service of a fundamentally bad framing — so of course it’s all we can talk about.

To Collect Debts, Nursing Homes Are Seizing Control Over Patients.

It was a guardianship petition filed by the nursing home, Mary Manning Walsh, asking the court to give a stranger full legal power over Mrs. Palermo, now 90, and complete control of her money.

Few people are aware that a nursing home can take such a step.

* Associate Dean of What?

Drone, Too Small for Radar to Detect, Rattles the White House.

Defending those accused of unthinkable crimes.

* One aspect of that danger is the “abstract authority” of astrologers, now mirrored by the black-box algorithms of the cloud. The opacity of the analytic method lends forecasts their appearance of authoritative objectivity. In “Astrological Forecasts”, Adorno notes “the mechanics of the astrological system are never divulged and the readers are presented only with the alleged results of astrological reasoning.” “Treated as impersonal and thing-like,” stars appear “entirely abstract, unapproachable, and anonymous” and thus more objective than mere fallible human reason. Similarly, as Kate Crawford pointed out in an essay about fitness trackers for the Atlantic, “analytics companies aren’t required to reveal which data sets they are using and how they are being analyzed.” The inaccessible logic of their proprietary algorithms is imposed on us, and their inscrutability masquerades as proof of their objectivity. As Crawford argues, “Prioritizing data—irregular, unreliable data—over human reporting, means putting power in the hands of an algorithm.” As Adorno puts it, “The cult of God has been replaced by the cult of facts.” 

* America and fractal inequality.

100% of the women of color interviewed in STEM study experienced gender bias.

Gender Bias in Academe: An Annotated Bibliography of Important Recent Studies.

* Reasons You Were Not Promoted That Are Totally Unrelated to Gender.

Today, more U.S. women die in childbirth and from pregnancy-related causes than at almost any point in the last 25 years. The United States is the one of only seven countries in the entire world that has experienced an increase in maternal mortality over the past decade.

* Marissa Alexander is out of jail after three years.

What has happened before will happen again, subprime auto edition.

Huckabee Complains That Women Can Cuss In The Workplace: ‘That’s Just Trashy.’

Oklahoma GOP wants to restrict marriage to people of faith.

* Corey Robin, against public intellectuals.

* I linked to a story about this the other day, but here’s the resolution: Vanderbilt Football Players Found Guilty of Raping Unconscious Student. Of course the next horrifying story in this wretched, endless series is already queued up.

* American Sniper focuses in tight on one man’s story of trauma, leaving out the complex questions of why Kyle was in Iraq being traumatized in the first place. The Iraqis in the film are villains, caricatures, and targets, and the only real opinion on them the film offers is Kyle’s. The Iraqis are all “savages” who threaten American lives and need to be killed. There’s some truth in this representation, insofar as this is how a lot of American soldiers thought. Yet the film obviates the questions of why any American soldiers were in Iraq, why they stayed there for eight years, why they had to kill thousands upon thousands of Iraqi civilians, and how we are to understand the long and ongoing bloodbath once called the “war on terror.” It does that precisely by turning a killer into a victim, a war hero into a trauma hero.

Freakishly Old System Of Planets Hint At Ancient Alien Civilizations. Okay, I’m in for three films with an option on a television reboot.

* Vulture says Jason Segel is good as David Foster Wallace in The End of the Tour, but I’ll never accept it.

The Psychology of Flow: What Game Design Reveals about the Deliberate Tensions of Great Writing.

The Politics Of The Next Dimension: Do Ghosts Have Civil Rights?

* It’s finally happening, and of course it’s starting in Florida: ‘Zombie cat’ crawls out of grave.

* And while this may be of interest only to those whose children have made them watch untold hours of Dora the Explorer, it’s certainly of interest to me: Swiper the Fox has a totally bananas backstory.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 28, 2015 at 10:08 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Midweek Links

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* Erik Loomis is being targeted by prominent figures on the right in what has to be the most ludicriously unfair, bad-faith attack I have ever seen.

Walker declares state of emergency in Wisconsin due to snowstorm.

Guide to Answering Academic Job Interview Questions.

Argument Over Sandy Hook Shooting Ends in Gunfire. Why Won’t We Talk About Violence and Masculinity in America? Gun Violence In American Schools Is Nothing New. Top Conservative Publication: Shooting Occurred Because Women Ran The School. Weaponize the husky twelve-year-olds. Virginia Republican Legislator Actually Wants To Require Concealed Weapons In Schools. The Arms Race of Stupid.

I can’t help wondering if the bullets of Sandy Hook Elementary will be for Obama what the snarling dogs and high-pressure fire hoses of Birmingham, Alabama, were for John F. Kennedy in 1963: the human tragedy that will force him to take a political risk, simply because it is right.

Conservative Historian Warns Obama and Democrats are ‘Much More Radical’ than Marxists. So much more radical. So much more.

Best Astronomy Images of 2012. (Keep scrolling past the image for more links.)

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Wayne State faculty gives OK to union leadership to call strike if necessary.

* Terrible person to teach terrible class at terrible university.

* News from Nerdistan: What Frodo would have looked like as Gollum. Joss Whedon wanted the Wasp and an extra villain in The Avengers. Tolkien vs. technology. Someone at Disney is already trying to lay the groundwork for a second sequel trilogy after Star Wars 7-9. Nearby Tau Ceti may host two planets suited to life. Netflix Instant Adds a Bunch of Fake ‘Arrested Development’ Shows and MoviesLEGOs run the world now.

It’s time to start asking serious questions about the safety of lube.

Here: an exercise in choice. Your choice. One of these tales is true.

* Petraeus Scandal 2.0. Nothing about sex, so no one will care.

* Matt Yglesias has the most logical incoherent “think piece” you’ll read on Society Security today. Money doesn’t magically become not-money when it’s spent by retirees.

* Plans to avoid the fiscal cliff cut government more than the fiscal cliff. Why, it’s almost as if this whole debate is total bullshit!

Shale Oil Might Be Less Awesome Than We Think. From a personal perspective, I doubt that’s possible.

Top 20 most valuable college football programs all made at least $24 million in profit last year, according to Forbes. $200K Average Salary for Asst. Football Coaches in Major Programs. Bill Introduced for IRS to Collect Student Loan Payments.

Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, said he supported the bill, arguing it could “nearly eliminate student loan default.”

But the reinvention conversation has not produced the panacea that people seem to yearn for. “The whole MOOC thing is mass psychosis,” a case of people “just throwing spaghetti against the wall” to see what sticks, says Peter J. Stokes, executive director for postsecondary innovation at Northeastern’s College of Professional Studies. His job is to study the effectiveness of ideas that are emerging or already in practice.

The Wreckage of the Deepwater Horizon is Emitting a Mysterious Substance Into the Gulf of Mexico.

Quentin Tarantino Says Drug War, Justice System Are Modern Day Slavery.

Apocalypse and Revelation Are the Same Word.

* And life’s not all an endless series of miserable atrocities: Found: Whale Thought Extinct for 2 Million Years.