Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘bullshit jobs

First Tuesday after the First Monday in November Links!

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* ICYMI: An edited and expanded meritocracy, lottery, game blog post got republished at Inside Higher Ed yesterday. Here’s a reply suggesting a better metaphor than games might be the casting process.

* Cool stuff happening at Marquette: Conflicting Audience Reception of Tauriel in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit. A student-curated exhibit at the Taggerty. And of course there’s my pop culture group geeking out over The Hunger Games.

A college can’t fire an adjunct professor for criticizing it, so long as the issues raised are matters of public concern and the adjunct has reasonable expectation of continued employment, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled Thursday in a decision regarding Moraine Valley Community College in Illinois.

Walter Benjamin’s Radio Plays. You Know, for Kids.

A Manifesto for the Freelance Academic.

* Colorado Community College Faculty Bill of Rights.

* Is academic science still sexist? No! Yes!

Colleges have no business being vehicles for mass entertainment any more than they have business selling widgets or maintaining a fishing fleet. It is no proper part of a university’s mission to provide quality television programming and year-round gambling opportunities for the rest of the country. That this has become the norm in America’s system of higher education is a monstrous accident of history and of academic neglect, but there it is, and it is not going anywhere, and the only way to do it is simply to make an honest business out of it.

* Gasp! …the average student in a MOOC is not a Turkish villager with no other access to higher education but a young white American man with a bachelor’s degree and a full-time job.

* Cura personalis: The maturation of the student—not information transfer—is the real purpose of colleges and universities. Of course, information transfer occurs during this process. One cannot become a master of one’s own learning without learning something. But information transfer is a corollary of the maturation process, not its primary purpose. This is why assessment procedures that depend too much on quantitative measures of information transfer miss the mark. It is entirely possible for an institution to focus successfully on scoring high in rankings for information transfer while simultaneously failing to promote the maturation process that leads to independent learning.

* The end of the Red Cross.

* The latest from Aaron Bady’s ongoing interview series at Post45: “Not in a million years did I expect some people to be upset about the portrayal of the conquistadors.”

* My Grandma the Poisoner.

* Happy election day! The empty election. The Democrats are doomed. Ginsburg Was Right: Texas’ Extreme Voter ID Law Is Stopping People From Voting. New Voting Restrictions Could Swing the 2014 Election. Black people, white government. Facebook Wants You to Vote on Tuesday. Here’s How It Messed With Your Feed in 2012.

Lawyers, judges, and even journalists tend to have trouble finding people like Eric Kennie—the people who are the most completely disenfranchised by a law like SB14—precisely because such people are, in many areas of life, completely disenfranchised.  If they had the kind of economic and social wherewithal to make their voices heard in political or legal spheres—if they knew lawyers or journalists or legislators or people who knew such people—then they most likely would also have the kind of economic and social wherewithal to obtain the documents SB14 demands.  Their very lack of money, lack of a car, lack of knowledge of how the system works, and lack of options also tend to make them invisible to the more elite actors who, in distant courtrooms and legislative hearing rooms and newsrooms, fight out the disputes that affect whether they can vote.  From the point of view of those more elite actors, looking for Eric Kennie is indeed, as Pilkington puts it, like looking for a vacuum.  It like an anti-social-networking puzzle in our networked age: please find me the people who are the most distant from, the least connected to, me or anyone I know.

* And as if the whole stupid thing weren’t irrational enough: Sense of disgust is ’95 percent accurate’ predictor of whether you’re liberal or conservative.

* Tom Steyer spent $57 million to get voters to care about climate change. It didn’t work. Oh, if only he’d spent $58 million!

* Cancel the midterms! There’s still time!

* Viewpoint Magazine, Issue 4: “The State.”

* 2016 and imperial feminism.

*The dependence of the poor on payday loans is neither natural nor inevitable. It is the result of neoliberal policies. The New Loan Sharks. Payday Loans, You Know, for Kids.

* They’re Still Redlining.

* BREAKING: The stock market is an irrational casino and we have no idea how it works.

* Huge congrats to Obama for triumphing here over a really tough field.

* Bullshit Jobs, the Caring Classes, and the Future of Labor: An Interview with David Graeber.

* Historical Futurology. Check the footnotes for some nice citation of Green Planets!

* The sharing economy has a race problem. The Sharing Economy: 21st Century Technology, 19th Century Worker Protections. The Sharing Economy’s ‘First Strike’: Uber Drivers Turn Off the App.

* Nudes and female corporal ownership.

Hollaback and Why Everyone Needs Better Research Methods.

* How Racism Stole Black Childhood.

* Fracking Wells Abandoned in Boom/Bust Cycle. Who Will Pay to Cap Them?

* Americans Are Working So Hard It’s Actually Killing People.

* The justice system is a monster: Why Innocent People Plead Guilty.

* Finally, someone has put transubstantiation to a rigorous scientific test.

* On Saturday, Brittany Maynard used Oregon’s Death With Dignity law to end her life.

Erwin Chemerinsky read a 500-page biography of Antonin Scalia so you don’t have to. Spoiler alert: he’s the worst.

* In praise of A Canticle for Leibowitz. Really bad third act problems, though.

People can feel lots of different things about Lena Dunham and her body of work. What I’m not comfortable with, and certainly not under the mantle of supporting victims and building a culture of consent, is for people to create a narrative of victimization and abuse for Grace Dunham that she has never claimed for herself.

Losing My Career to Illness: Academia and Parkinson’s Disease.

* Bruce Springsteen by the book.

Cheat-Sheet for a Non (or Less) Colonialist Speculative Design.

* FBI Files on African American Authors and Literary Institutions Obtained through the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.

* Mr. Rogers Talks To The Wicked Witch About Being Misunderstood.

* “The court finds that Secular Humanism is a religion for Establishment Clause purposes,” the ruling read.

* In 2014, countries are still paying off debt from World War One.

* UK cultural institutions leave their WWI cases empty to protest insane copyright.

* Dachau’s notorious ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ gate stolen.

* Secret Fantasies of Adults.

* The legendary comics author Alan Moore has written a million-word novel, tribute to every eternal speck in his universe.

A Melancholy List of Edgar Allan Poe’s Debts, From His Bankruptcy Petition of 1842.

* How to stop global warming, in seven steps. Oh, if only it’d been six steps!

* Stephen King: The Rolling Stone Interview.

* And kiss your free time goodbye: you can now play 900 pre-1996 arcade games online for free.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 4, 2014 at 7:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Friday Links!

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* On the docket in Cultural Preservation today: David Graeber, “The Sadness of Post-Workerism, or, ‘Art and Immaterial Labour’ Conference: A Sort of Review” (main reading); Michael Bérubé, “American Studies without Exceptions” and Graeber, “On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs” (optional).

* A great postdoc, if you’re looking: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Center for 21st Century Studies Provost Postdoc Fellow, “Humanities Futures.”

“Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass disturbance.”

* To reform higher ed, we need a federal job guarantee.

* 2013 Is the Fourth Hottest Year on Record. 37 years straight of above-average temperatures. Soon, Sochi Won’t Be Cold Enough To Reliably Host The Winter Olympics.

* BREAKING: Rich people are ludicrously rich, everyone else totally broke. It’s fantastic.

* I had no idea cheerleaders were so radically underpaid. I’d always thought it was waged, full-time work — like being a mascot is.

There Has Been An Average Of One School Shooting Every Other School Day So Far This Year.

* Woman Takes Short Half-Hour Break From Being Feminist To Enjoy TV Show. Nation Back On Board With SeaWorld Following Awesome Orca Trick.

* Officials looking for info on second chemical in WV spill. Behind West Virginia’s Massive Chemical Spill, A History Of Poverty And Pollution. ‘We live in a human sacrifice zone.’

The FBI Just Busted the King of Revenge Porn.

Obama Promises Governmentwide Scrutiny of Campus Rape.

Booz Allen Hamilton Looking To Hire Snowden Catchers. I bet Edward Snowden would be great at this job.

* The allure of the map.

* Durham police practices under microscope by Human Relations Commission.

* Low-Wage Federal Workers Walk Off Job.

The Academic Job Cover Letter I Wanted to Write.

* These 11 Popular Sodas Tested Positive for a Potential Carcinogen. Pepsi One Won’t Give You Cancer as Long as You Don’t Drink a Whole Can.

* CNN is now officially the worst.

* New Hampshire is considering institutionalizing jury nullification. I’m strongly in favor of all good uses of jury nullification and strongly opposed to all bad uses of it, so I’m pretty torn here.

* Obummer Watch: Southern leg of Keystone XL opens in U.S.

* My friend Jennifer Whitaker reviews my friend Allison Seay’s poetry collection, To See the Queen.

Bob Dylan is either the most public private man in the world or the most private public one.

* The duties of professors at college and universities.

Adjunct Unionization.

Chicken Soup for the Neoliberal Soul.

* Why breaking is funny, and when it isn’t.

Researchers predict Facebook will die out “like a disease.”

* Breaking the Facts of Life.

* Canavan’s Razor comes to Superman comics.

* Revolution: A Guide.

“Yale College seeks smart students from poor families. They’re out there—but hard to find.” More here.

As part of a settlement between the Archdiocese of Chicago and the victims of 30 pedophile priests, a cache of 6000 documents has been made public, detailing the Catholic Church’s efforts over many years to cover up sexual abuse and protect accused priests.

* If there must be a surveillance state, at least let it be steampunk.

* Chessmate-in-one puzzles on the iPad.

* And the last place on Earth without human noise.

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Weekend Links!

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* Afrofuturism and drones.

* Food Stamp Cut Reverberates Across Country. North Carolina Mother of 4: Food stamps cut from $500 to $16 per month. SNAP benefit cuts to affect 1 in 7 Wisconsinites.

* From the archives: Creating the Innocent Killer: Ender’s Game, Intention, and Morality. Ender and Hitler: Sympathy for the Superman.

* Stranger in a Strange Land: Ender’s Game, its controversial author, and a very personal history.

* Cabinet memos and briefing papers released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that a major war games exercise, Operation Able Art, conducted in November 1983 by the US and its Nato allies was so realistic it made the Russians believe that a nuclear strike on its territory was a real possibility.

* JM Coetzee: Universities head for extinction.

What crisis in the humanities? Interactive Historical Data on College Majors.

* Trends in Faculty Employment Status, 1975‐2011.

2013-11-02 12.40.59 pm

* Reduce working week to 30 hours, say economists.

* College Security Guard Leaves Trail Of Racism And Hate.

* No One is Born Gay (or Straight): Here Are 5 Reasons Why.

* Germany now allows ‘indeterminate’ gender at birth.

* Why there’s no future: Just 25% of Tea Party Republicans say there is solid evidence of global warming, compared with 61%of non-Tea Party Republicans.

* Sick: Lawyers to earn higher legal aid fees for early guilty pleas.

* The Pills of Last Resort: How Dying Patients Get Access to Experimental Drugs.

* Thomas Jefferson and the Qur’an.

* “They asked me to do a couple of episodes of The Walking Dead but I didn’t want to be a part of it,” Romero told The Big Issue. “Basically it’s just a soap opera with a zombie occasionally. I always used the zombie as a character for satire or a political criticism and I find that missing in what’s happening now.”

Exactly 100% of the Sunday Links

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Hundreds of children have been killed by American drones. These were some of their names, written down and erased.

All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace. The Sound of Terror: Phenomenology of a Drone Strike. Give Skynet a Chance. Forever War Turns Its Hungry Gaze to Africa.

The Counterreformation in Higher Education.

* Another review of Ebony & Ivy, on the connection between slavery and the university. Study faults UCLA’s handling of faculty’s racial bias complaints.

* Were Brutalist Buildings Really Designed to Thwart Student Riots? I’ve been to UWM; you’ll never convince me otherwise.

* The New York Times says it will slowly, laboriously, exhaustively roll out a simple and obvious change to dramatically improve their reporting.

* The story of Phone Story.

Apple’s email to Molleindustria apparently claimed that four such lines were crossed: two lines related to “charities and contributions,” and two further “crossed lines” that suggested the game had depicted “violence or abuse of children” and “excessively objectionable or crude content.” With a curious bit of irony, the letter from Apple focuses on the very trendy discourse of protecting children from the moral hazards of the Web — a trend also picked up by the current Tory government in the UK, which promotes various protective methods to ensure kids are safe from/in the online world. Indeed, one is tempted to connect such a moral panic discourse to a wider neglect of other types of surely more direct abuse of children, as well as other vulnerable groups of workers worldwide. Protect the kids, if they get online — but not if their labor helps you get online and support the digital economy slightly further away from the actual cognitive work.

* Scenes from the BART strike: two workers killed by management-driven train.

I think one of the most damaging effects America’s omnipresent racism has on a person’s psyche isn’t the brief pang of hurt that comes from being called a slur, or seeing a picture of Barack Obama portrayed by a chimpanzee. Those things are common and old-fashioned, and when they happen I tend to feel sadder than angry, because I’m seeing someone who engages with the world like a wall instead of a human being. Rather, I think what’s far more corrosive and insidious, the thing that lingers in the back of my mind the most, is the framework of plausible deniability built up around racism, and how insane that plausible deniability can make a person feel when wielded. How unsure of oneself. How worried that you might be overreacting, oversensitive, irrational.

The Insidious Power of Not-Quite-Harassment.

The Messy Link Between Slave Owners And Modern Management.

A Field Guide to the North American Responsibility Troll.

LSD is good for you, say Norway researchers.

* Breathing ruled more dangerous than passive smoking, with risk highest in places like China.

Cheney Had Heart Device Disabled To Prevent Terrorists From Sending Fatal Shock.

* A brief history of the Washington Racial Slurs.

* Masculinity, patriarchy, violence.

Woman’s Abortion Used As ‘Proof’ She’s Unfit To Raise Kids. Female DUI Suspects in Washington Were Made to Strip for Their Jailers.

* A Song of Ice and Fire as feminist epic? That may be overstating it.

* Why Teachers Quit.

* In retrospect, even though I have no reason to doubt Yanomamo ferocity, at least under certain circumstances, I seriously question the penchant of observers (scientific and lay alike) to generalize from small samples of our unquestionably diverse species, especially about something as complex as war. On just-so stories and evolutionary explanations of history.

* The ne plus ultra of Americans’ irrational free speech absolutism: Revenge Porn Is Awful, But The Law Against It Is Worse.

At the rate things are going, tens of millions of us could end up as temps, contract employees, call-center operators, and the like: The Task Rabbit Economy.

* Moral panics we can believe in: Salsa Overtakes Ketchup as Most Popular Condiment. I don’t think this is even the first time this happened.

“The 1979 conclusion by the House Select Committee on Assassinations is wrong,” Sabato said.

* The perfect rationality of markets: why don’t restaurants have dynamic, constant readjusting pricing schemes? What could possibly explain it?

* Two Rich People Hate Health Care for the Normals, Won’t Ever Drop It.

* And a Rich Person Says You Should Major in the Liberal Arts. There you have it! Go!

Wednesday Links Have Been Deemed an Essential Service

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* MetaFilter has your shutdown megapost, including the list of all the “nonessential” government services that will be closed during the shutdown, including WIC, NIH, the CDC, and the EPA. Here (via Twitter) is the memo from 1995 by which OMB makes its determinations. But don’t worry; progress wealth transfer to rich people continues even in the face of this disaster. zunguzungu: “Essentially Vicious.”

* “Where the GOP Suicide Caucus Lives.” They will rule or ruin in all events. Blame the Constitution for this mess.

* Meanwhile, liberals have already been rolled on spending cuts with respect to the shutdown and it’s likely to only get worse.

* Recentering Science Fiction and the Fantastic: What would a non-Anglocentric understanding of science fiction and fantasy look like?

* Peter Frase takes up Graeber’s “On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs.”

* One in ten [student] borrowers across the country, 475,000 people, who entered repayment during the fiscal year ending in September 2011 had defaulted by the following September, the data showed. That’s up from 9.1 percent of a similar cohort of borrowers last year.

* Louisiana refuses to release former Black Panther despite court order.

Herman Wallace, who was held for more than 40 years in solitary confinement in Louisiana jails, is still being confined inside the prison although Judge Brian Jackson ordered on Tuesday that he be immediately released. Wallace, 71, is suffering from lung cancer and is believed to have just days to live.

* The charter school mistake.

We should do what works to strengthen our schools: Provide universal early childhood education (the U.S. ranks 24th among 45 nations, according to the Economist); make sure poor women get good prenatal care so their babies are healthy (we are 131st among 185 nations surveyed, according to the March of Dimes and the United Nations); reduce class size (to fewer than 20 students) in schools where students are struggling; insist that all schools have an excellent curriculum that includes the arts and daily physical education, as well as history, civics, science, mathematics and foreign languages; ensure that the schools attended by poor children have guidance counselors, libraries and librarians, social workers, psychologists, after-school programs and summer programs.

Schools should abandon the use of annual standardized tests; we are the only nation that spends billions testing every child every year. We need high standards for those who enter teaching, and we need to trust them as professionals and let them teach and write their own tests to determine what their students have learned and what extra help they need.

* The words men and women use on Facebook.

* American wages have declined 7% since 2007.

* DDoS attack on the health care exchanges? Or just a whole lot of people wanting to buy insurance?

* What The Monopoly Properties Look Like In Real Life.

* The Occupy Visa.

Sunday Links

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map* Maps that will change the way you see the world.

* Report Suggests Nearly Half of U.S. Jobs Are Vulnerable to Computerization.

Free Time: The Forgotten American Dream.

* Ideology at its purest: State bans rehab of orphaned wildlife.

* Devaji Tofa, community leader from Mendha Lekha, told Down To Earth that the traditions of the Gond tribal community to which the villagers belong, do not see land as property or something to be owned by individuals. “It is seen as a community resource.” The modern concept of private ownership has done a lot of damage to communities, said he. “With private ownership, people tend to get selfish and isolated.”

* Judge Throws Out Officers’ Convictions in Killings After Hurricane Katrina.

The Arctic is on course for an ice-free summer within the next few decades, as scientists on Friday declared that sea ice in the region had fallen to one of the lowest annual minimums on record.

* Corey Robin: “Voldemort Comes to CUNY.”

So that’s where we stand. The delicate flowers of academic freedom at CUNY wilt before the jeers and jibes of a few students but warm to the blazing sun of the state. A four-star general who led two brutal counterinsurgency campaigns in Eurasia, a former head of the CIA whose hazing rituals at West Point alone probably outstrip anything the NYPD did to these students, requires the fulsome support of chancellors, senates, and deans. But six students of color beaten by cops, locked up in prison for a day, and now facing a full array of charges from the state, deserve nothing but the cold silence of their university. So much tender solicitude for a man so wealthy and powerful that he can afford to teach two courses at CUNY for a dollar; so little for these students, whose education is the university’s true and only charge.

* Just a tiny sample of the radical incoherence the right gets away with. These statements are days apart.

* And A Philosophy of Tickling.