Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘capitalist realism

Sunday Night Closing All My Tabs

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* My review of Kim Stanley Robinson’s (excellent!) New York 2140 is finally up at the Los Angeles Review of Books: Utopia in the Time of Trump.

Where most contemporary histories of the future imagine climate change as either an annoying irritation or else the end of history — the disaster that will end civilization — in New York 2140 Robinson cuts more of a middle path. Climate change does indeed prove utterly catastrophic in this novel, laying waste to the coastal cities where a startling percentage of the world’s population currently lives, and devastating a huge amount of infrastructure and fixed capital, costing trillions of dollars — but humans are incredibly versatile problem-solvers, and we adapt. Technical solutions like sea walls and skybridges are really only the start of what would be necessary in a flooded Manhattan. Think of the immense social changes, the legal, economic, and architectural structures that would need to be innovated when huge areas of major cities are permanently underwater, or indeed become part of the intertidal zone. Even by 2140, nearly 100 years after the start of the crisis, the long work of retrofitting civilization to rising sea levels goes on, and not all of it is even that unhappy; it’s no secret that the capitalists use the same phrase to denote both crisis and opportunity, creative destruction….

* Don’t worry, kids, it’s just a story.

* More Hugos lists! Octavia E. Butler is actually listed on a few of these! Keeping my silly Hugo dream alive.

* Also at LARB: A Mark Fisher memoriam and a review of his last book, The Weird and the Eerie.

* Getting ready for Marquette’s big Buffy at 20 conference: Every episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, ranked. Buffy the Vampire Slayer video games, ranked from best to worst. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a feminist parable for everyone – including Anthony Stewart Head. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the greatest show in the history of television. The Enduring Legacy. Genocide of the Vampires. How Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Most Hated Season Became Its Most Important. On “The Body.” Twenty years later, the world needs Buffy more than ever. A few more at MeFi. And from the archives, David Graeber.

* CFPs at Science Fiction Studies on climate change fiction and Frankenstein.

* And don’t sleep on the CFP for SFRA 2017, due at the end of the month.

* Marquette: a university on the… grow?

* Want To Know About Racially Motivated Policing? Ask Literally Any Person of Color in Milwaukee.

Data Draws Link Between Metro Milwaukee’s Segregation and Poverty.

* 50th Anniversary of the Milwaukee Fair Housing Marches.

* #4.

* This isn’t a complete picture — it is too nostalgic for a lost age of exclusion, and misses completely the despair caused by the total collapse of the profession — but all the same I found it a powerful critique of the university today: Our Hallways Are Too Quiet.

* Probably the best piece of art criticism ever written: Appraising the Brady Bunch’s Art Collection.

* More Lovercraft from the great Ali Sperling! H.P. Lovecraft’s Weird Body.

* The New York Times reviews Lower Ed by the great Tressie McMillan Cottom.

* Sold! Wild New Theory Suggests Radio Bursts Beyond Our Galaxy Are Powering Alien Starships.

Think Twice About Escaping Earth to an Exoplanet. Trappist-1 is already ruined.

In Arctic Siberia, Russian scientists are trying to stave off catastrophic climate change—by resurrecting an Ice Age biome complete with lab-grown woolly mammoths.

* On zeitgeist: Ozymandias statue found in mud.

* What will the 25th Century Call the 21st?

The Handmaid’s Tale in the Age of Trump.

* The Hamilton Hustle.

* Stop grading and testing.

* A Women’s Strike Syllabus. And another.

U.S. Colleges: Where Does The Money Go?

Rutgers also diverted $11 million in student fees and $17.1 million from its general fund to cover the athletic shortfall. The average undergraduate now pays more than $300 in activities fees exclusively for the university’s N.C.A.A. teams.

* Gotta spend money to explain why you aren’t spending money.

* Bodies on the Gears at Middleburg. And from the right: Middlebury Reckons With a Protest Gone Wrong. From Mother Jones to Middlebury: The Problem and Promise of Political Violence in Trump’s America.

* Ideology of the March for Science.

* Are the Democrats totally screwed? The Democratic Party Seems to Have No Earthly Idea Why It Is So Damn Unpopular. Outsmarted: on the Liberal Cult of the Cognitive Elite. There Really Was A Liberal Media Bubble. The SEIU at the end of the world.

* Trump can’t even do a standard thing like firing all the US Attorneys without turning it into a train wreck. But here’s how he can turn it around. Why the Russia Story Is a Minefield for Democrats and the Media. Descent into Liberalism. Fantasizing about President Pence. Of no fixed address. Here’s How Much ‘Trumpcare’ Fucks You, Based On How You Get Your Insurance Now. Who wins and who loses under the Republicans’ health care plan. A Trumpcare flashback. Truly, freedom isn’t free.

Then, before you know it, the Wall Street Journal is an oracle of truth. You’re rooting for Cold War II. The FBI is your BFF. You’re a Democrat.

* This is so evil: Bill Would Let Employers Demand Workers’ Genetic Tests.

* In the future, everyone will publicly beg for health care for 15 minutes.

* If you want a vision of the future.

The Perils of the New, Shiny George W. Bush.

The Revolutionary Force of Stupidity: A Conversation with Matt Taibbi.

Enemies of the People: How hatred of the masses bridges our partisan divide.

* Trump’s Mar-a-Lago is heaven — for spies!

* The Great Lakes Are Sicker Than You Think. Editorial: Don’t slash funding for the Great Lakes.

It is long past time to save this world; the task now is to end it. To begin anew seems like the only realistic way out.

* Towards a Unified Theory of Why Men Send Dick Pics. Obviously, more research is required.

* Neonazis! I hate these guys. Indiana Jones and the Okay Fine We’ll Try Again.

Why Dentistry Is Separate From Medicine.

* Twenty-First Century Headlines: Radioactive Boars in Fukushima Thwart Residents’ Plans to Return Home.

* Our Miserable 21st Century.

Brain activity recorded as much as 10 minutes after death.

* West Virginia county sues drug distributors over opioid crisis.

* Scholars behind bars.

* Today in the massive screwed-uppedness of American democracy.

* George Republicans Pass Mid-Decade Re-Gerrymander Just in Case.

Purple America Has All But Disappeared.

Every semi-competent male hero has a more talented female sidekick. Why isn’t she the hero instead?

* Star Trek: Discovery announces exciting “the captain is probably evil and in any event will die at the end of the season” arc.

* Knives out for Marvel: they finally made a mistake big enough to be noticed. More from Noah Berlatsky.

Study: Hillary Clinton’s TV ads were almost entirely policy-free.

Officials with Alberta’s environment agency inspected the water lines on Tuesday afternoon and proclaimed it safe, while the town completed the required repairs by the end of day. Town’s Water Turns Pink In Horrifying Ghostbusters Throwback. 

* Requiem for a Dil. We’re Looking for People with Management Potential. An Experiment to Determine if Rats Can Be Made to Hate Thanksgiving. It’s Not So Bad. Sad Truths: Mythological Creatures Edition. I wish human beings were as peaceful and loving as bonobos. We all have our struggles.

Silicon Valley’s Secretive Alt-Right Followers.

* Review is back, thank heaven.

* Nostalgia for the childhood you never had: The Japanese opening for the X-Men Animated Series.

Inside the cruellest RollerCoaster Tycoon park ever created.

* The arc of history is long, but Rookie Doctors Will Soon Be Allowed To Work Up To 28 Hours Straight.

* The Psychedelic Miracle: How some doctors are risking everything to unleash the healing power of MDMA, ayahuasca and other hallucinogens.

Aliens, Antisemitism, and Academia.

“King Kong” and American Cultural History.

20 million at risk of starvation in world’s largest crisis since 1945, UN says.

* Interesting: The New Avatar Theme Park Is a Giant Spoiler.

In an interview conducted inside the park, Cameron said that the park is set in a timeline after the five movies. A time when the war between humans and Na’vi is over. A time when the Na’vi have begun to welcome humans onto their planet with opens arms.

Eighteen hundred former NFL players say their teams had them popping addictive painkillers like candy, to keep them from being sidelined by injuries.

How the 20,699-word iTunes T&Cs became this year’s hottest graphic novel.

Should California lower its voting age to 17? Yes.

* And dibs on the screenplay: Right now, in a vault controlled by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, there sits a 752-pound emerald with no rightful owner. This gem is the size of a minifridge. It weighs as much as two sumo wrestlers. Estimates of its worth range from a hundred bucks to $925 million. Over the past 10 years, four lawsuits have been filed over the Bahia emerald. Fourteen individuals or entities, plus the nation of Brazil, have claimed the rock is theirs. A house burned down. Three people filed for bankruptcy. One man alleges having been kidnapped and held hostage. Many of the men involved say that the emerald is hellspawn but they also can’t let it go.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 12, 2017 at 4:19 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Do They Even Know It’s Wednesday Links

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* Great visit yesterday to STS at Riverside! Really enjoyed it.

For the black community in America, there has never been a “normal” baseline experience from which emergencies are exceptions: unfortunate but episodic deviations. Rather, it has been a rolling emergency, interrupted by brief windows of relative promise. And from this perspective, perhaps we can understand the enigmatic “real state of exception” that Benjamin calls for — because from the perspective of white power, those moments of promise are the true emergencies that must be shut down at all costs.

* Indicting A System Not A Man…. Indict the System, Not Just Darren Wilson. No more Missouri compromises.

* Apocalypse now: chocolate could disappear by 2020.

Wisconsin as a Frontier of School Privatization: Will Anyone Notice the Looting?

* Just a short rumination on the greatness of comics from Ta-Nehisi Coates.

* Marquette in the… sigh. Philosophy Grad Student Target of Political Smear Campaign.

The potential benefit for higher-earning graduate students is “a policy accident,” says Jason Delisle, director of the Federal Education Budget Project at the New America Foundation. “And who’s going to figure this out? Probably people with graduate degrees.”

* Ladies and gentlemen, your rising Democratic stars: Most of those prisoners now work as groundskeepers, janitors and in prison kitchens, with wages that range from 8 cents to 37 cents per hour. Lawyers for Attorney General Kamala Harris had argued in court that if forced to release these inmates early, prisons would lose an important labor pool.

New Project to Digitize 10,000 Sci-Fi Zines.

Museum on slave trade planned for Episcopal cathedral in Providence.

Tuition and Fees, 1998-99 Through 2014-15. Here’s Marquette:

2014-11-19 04.43.16 am

* Exciting untapped market in higher education: Colleges Encourage Graduates to Seek Second Bachelor’s Degrees.

In recognition of the evening, Ms. Stamm’s husband, Arthur Stamm, made a gift of $100,000. At the time, it was the largest gift the college had received from a single donor in its 42-year history.

Since January alone, by contrast, Duke University, which educates 14,850 students on its 8,709-acre campus, has received gifts and pledges of $1 million or more on the average of every six or seven weeks. In those gifts alone, the university has already raised about $49 million this year. And yet, according to the latest ranking, its endowment of close to $6 billion in 2012 did not earn it a place among the country’s 10 richest schools, a list led by Harvard, Princeton and Yale.

* More scenes from the class struggle at elite universities.

* Karl Stefanovic’s sexism experiment: Today presenter wears same suit for a year.

* To remember Mandela is to remember Robben Island.

Police officers in Florida surprised students, teachers and parents Thursday with an active shooter drill. And by “active shooter drill,” we mean that a Winter Haven middle school went into lockdown as two armed police officers burst into classrooms, guns drawn, leaving the unsuspecting children terrified — and their parents furious.

* Rosetta Probe Discovers Organic Molecules on Comet.

* Homelessness isn’t an accident. It’s the result of a brutal economic system and conscious state policy.

* What Shakespeare taught me about Marxism.

* No capital projects but the end of capital.

* The rich want everything. They even want to suffer most from inequality!

* To draw on Klein paraphrasing Al Gore, here’s my inconvenient truth: when you tell people what it would actually take to radically reduce carbon emissions, they turn away. They don’t want to give up air travel or air conditioning or HDTV or trips to the mall or the family car or the myriad other things that go along with consuming 5,000 or 8,000 or 12,000 watts. All the major environmental groups know this, which is why they maintain, contrary to the requirements of a 2,000-watt society, that climate change can be tackled with minimal disruption to “the American way of life.” And Klein, you have to assume, knows it too. The irony of her book is that she ends up exactly where the “warmists” do, telling a fable she hopes will do some good.

At This Rate, The World Will Have To Cease All Carbon Emissions In 2040 To Stay Under 2°C.

* Just another average November, nbd: Buffalo, N.Y., area in the midst of a truly insane lake effect snow storm.

* Mark Fisher has one of the better anti-identity-politics pieces I’ve seen on the left: Exiting the Vampires’ Castle.

If this seems like a forbidding and daunting task, it is. But we can start to engage in many prefigurative activities right now. Actually, such activities would go beyond pre-figuration – they could start a virtuous cycle, a self-fulfilling prophecy in which bourgeois modes of subjectivity are dismantled and a new universality starts to build itself. We need to learn, or re-learn, how to build comradeship and solidarity instead of doing capital’s work for it by condemning and abusing each other. This doesn’t mean, of course, that we must always agree – on the contrary, we must create conditions where disagreement can take place without fear of exclusion and excommunication. We need to think very strategically about how to use social media – always remembering that, despite the egalitarianism claimed for social media by capital’s libidinal engineers, that this is currently an enemy territory, dedicated to the reproduction of capital. But this doesn’t mean that we can’t occupy the terrain and start to use it for the purposes of producing class consciousness. We must break out of the ‘debate’ that communicative capitalism in which capital is endlessly cajoling us to participate in, and remember that we are involved in a class struggle. The goal is not to ‘be’ an activist, but to aid the working class to activate – and transform – itself. Outside the Vampires’ Castle, anything is possible.

It’s Not Your Kids Holding Your Career Back. It’s Your Husband.

Academia for women: short maternity leave, few part-time roles and lower pay.

* Marriage, y’all, I just don’t know.

I woke up this morning still black, still a woman, and still bothered by the Jezebel piece. So I’m here using my voice to encourage us all to speak up.

* Generation Pharmakon.

The Most Popular Drug in America Is an Antipsychotic and No One Really Knows How It Works.

* Necro-streaming: Notes on Watching a Dead Show.

The Biggest Lies About Science in the U.S. Government’s “Wastebook.” Just pure ressentiment.

* Actually existing government waste! White House announces push for next generation of hi-tech weapons.

* Death by deadline.

Twilight of the Indoor Mall.

Yelp Prison Review Faxbot.

* Secret Origins of the Black Panther. Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ Isn’t Just Another Black Superhero.

Five ways to pander to millennials in 2016.

* I wanted a bigger, better Bayside more than anybody: Company Halts Plan To Frack 3,000 Feet From Pennsylvania School.

Bill Cosby Is An Alleged Serial Rapist. So, Now What?

The heart of the matter is this: A defender of Bill Cosby must, effectively, conjure a vast conspiracy, created to bring down one man, seemingly just out of spite. And people will do this work of conjuration, because it is hard to accept that people we love in one arena can commit great evil in another. It is hard to believe that Bill Cosby is a serial rapist because the belief doesn’t just indict Cosby, it indicts us. It damns us for drawing intimate conclusions about people based on pudding-pop commercials and popular TV shows. It destroys our ability to lean on icons for our morality. And it forces us back into a world where seemingly good men do unspeakably evil things, and this is just the chaos of human history.

Gorbachev Tried To Get George Bush To Spoil Who Killed Laura Palmer.

* Has Uber Ubered an Uber too Uber this Uber?

What’s most troubling about “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” is not the music per se but the way it insinuates itself — and “us” — into a story about “them” and yet can’t be bothered to get even the most basic facts right.

* The uncomfortable origins of “Afrofuturism.”

I have an idea for a mature, adult, fantasy roleplaying game.

In Defense of Indiana Jones, Archaeologist.

* Some days you just need

* And, finally, MTV is ready to tell my story.


Written by gerrycanavan

November 19, 2014 at 8:20 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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A Few for Friday

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* All Your Nightmares Are Real: Massive Mayfly Emergence in Wisconsin.

So, I would like to suggest the following as a starting point: we should highlight the accomplishments of “high-profile” faculty members at our institutions and then show the relatively (or very) modest impact that those accomplishments have had on their compensation; then we should offer, as a point of comparison, the compensation, including bonuses, of largely anonymous administrators whose “accomplishments” will be next to impossible to describe to a general audience. This sort of messaging will do two things at once: it will undercut the notion that faculty are over-paid while simultaneously undercutting the notion that administrators are simply being paid what “the market demands.”

* I would venture to say that back when societies were structured according to religious principles and everyone basically believed in God, a political or business leader who claimed to be a direct channel for God’s will would’ve been regarded as either insane or dangerously disingenuous. Re-label “God’s will” as “the market” or “the politically feasible,” however, and no one bats an eye.

* It’s been a decade since New Orleans’ post-Katrina charter school experiment began. The results have been devastating.


* My son has been suspended five times. He’s 3.

In a four part investigation, MPR News details the cover up of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

In Its Death Throes, For-Profit College Chain Spent Over $100,000 A Month On Lobbying.


* …the Education Department has confirmed that it has since awarded two more exemptions to Title IX to Christian colleges that want to discriminate against transgender students.

Among the claims that form part of the case against Thomas Docherty is that he sighed and made “ironic” comments when interviewing job candidates.

* Beyoncé Class Is in Session.

* Burger King Is Run by Children.

* Ban College Bands.

California Man Fatally Shoots Allegedly Pregnant Home Invader. Man Shoots Teenaged Neighbor Three Times Over Argument About Lawnmower.

* David Harvey at LSE: The 17 Contradictions of Capitalism.

* The Committee to Save the World: Climate Change and the Santa Fe Institute.

Perhaps, Kabat concludes, the positivity should be economic incentives, that every new threat creates some business opportunity. To illustrate this, he shows a slide of a giant wave crashing down on a man. Then he shows another slide showing the same wave coming down, but this time it forms the shape of a hand shaking the hand of the man.

Oh, okay, so you’re saying we’re doomed.

* Google still doesn’t pay any taxes.

* Dibs on the screenplay: According to a NASA study, the Earth just missed what would have been not a civilization ending but a truly massive global catastrophe in 2012 because of a huge solar storm.

Space Junk Is Becoming a Serious Security Threat.

* An Elegy for the Star Wars Expanded Universe.

* Philip K. Dick’s cult novel ‘Man in the High Castle’ becoming an Amazon TV pilot.

* Indiana Jones and the Temple of Middle-Aged Sadness.

* A Brief Hiss tory of Autocorrect.

* The inventor of the high-five.

* Is it just me, or does 3 1/2 years in prison for stealing a basically irreplaceable Stradivarious actually seem pretty low by American standards?

* Here’s an Obamacare loophole that actually seems like it will significantly impact the viability of the law.

* Republicans want to impeach; Obama wants to be impeached. Gee, what do you think is going to happen?

* And if Republicans are really so stunningly incompetent why does American politics only move rightward? I guess some things will always be a mystery.

Friday! Friday! Hooray!

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China Miéville: Marxism and Halloween.

The Halloween candy to avoid if you don’t want orangutans to die. This is why consumerist approaches to struggle will never work. Horrors lurk everywhere.

Anti-Humanism and the Humanities in the Era of Capitalist Realism. A reminder.

That table reveals that in 1970-1971, 17.1% of students who received BAs in the United States majored in a humanities discipline. Three decades later, in the midst of the crisis in the humanities we hear so much about, that number had plummeted to 17%.

There is little talk in this view of higher education about the history and value of shared governance between faculty and administrators, nor of educating students as critical citizens rather than potential employees of Walmart.  There are few attempts to affirm faculty as scholars and public intellectuals who have both a measure of autonomy and power. Instead, faculty members are increasingly defined less as intellectuals than as technicians and grant writers. Students fare no better in this debased form of education and are treated as either clients or as restless children in need of high-energy entertainment – as was made clear in the 2012 Penn State scandal. Such modes of education do not foster a sense of organized responsibility fundamental to a democracy. Instead, they encourage what might be called a sense of organized irresponsibility – a practice that underlies the economic Darwinism and civic corruption at the heart of a debased politics.

The academic career path has been thoroughly destabilised by the precarious practices of the neoliberal university.

* A new study suggests interdisciplinary PhDs earn less than their colleagues.

* How to be a tenured ally.

* Scenes from the academics’ strike in the UK. Another report from the trenches.

Most Colleges Still Haven’t Implemented The Right Policies To Prevent Rape.

* A Marxist consideration of white privilege.

The women in magazines don’t look like the women in magazines.

Man buys $27 of bitcoin, forgets about them, finds they’re now worth $886k. Exactly how currencies are supposed to work!

Jane Austen: The Massively Multiplayer Role-Playing Game.

* America as Walter White.

The tragedy of Michelle Kosilek. A better treatment of the issue than the headline’s framing would suggest.

“Being condemned to death is unlike any other experience imaginable.”

Macy’s security has arrest quota, ‘race code system’ for nonwhite shoppers. An exemplary case, I think, of the phenomenon Adam Kotsko describes in “What if Zimmerman had been a cop?”

* And speaking of which: George Zimmerman’s Hometown Bans Guns For Neighborhood Watches.

Boy Who Shot Neo-Nazi Dad Sentenced to 10 Years in Juvenile Detention.

Appeals Court Gives NYPD Go Ahead to Restart Stop-and-Frisk.

* There’s something really revealing about how the Daily Show can’t process this story about an unaccountable shadow government running the national security apparatus, and so just punts to a random n-word joke instead. Liberalism, I think, characteristically flinches whenever the conclusion that the system is fundamentally broken is inescapable.

* Honorary vertebrates?

U.S. Teams Up With Operator of Online Courses to Plan a Global Network. MOOCtastic!

* And in honor of the last pop culture lunch of the semester, my favorite zombie short: “Cargo.”