Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘childhood

Friday Links Are Just a Party and Parties Aren’t Meant to Last

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51yLZieyZIL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_* Out today, a project very close to my heart: my edited 2016 rerelease of Darko Suvin’s Metamorphoses of Science Fiction. Here’s the Amazon order page, for you or your favorite academic library!

* The Ever-Tightening Job Market for Ph.D.s. The Mobile Academic.

The strange story of Hugo Gernsback, who brought science fiction magazines to America.

* Just in time for finals! MLA Eighth Edition: What’s New and Different.

* At LARoB Rebecca Evans reviews the reissue of Kim Stanley Robinson’s Science in the Capital series, Green Earth. David Perry reviews The Secret Life of Stories. Against Star Wars. Inside the Coetzee Collection.

* My desire to see The Twilight Zone has boomeranged on me in the most ironic possible way.

* An independent researcher claims to have discovered a lost civilization in China.

Existential Depression in Gifted Children.

* Mourning Prince and David Bowie, who showed there’s no one right way to be a man. Buzzfeed’s The Most Powerful Writing about Prince. Nation Too Sad To F*ck Even Though It’s What Prince Would Have Wanted.

The Secret Life of Novelizations.

The Hidden Economics of Porn.

Five Hundred Years of Utopia.

Harriet Tubman once staged a sit-in to get $20. The Treasury just gave her all of them. You have no idea how hardcore Harriet Tubman really was.

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The smug style in American liberalism.

* How Chicago elites imported charters, closed neighborhood schools, and snuffed out creativity.

How Seattle Gave Up on Busing and Allowed Its Public Schools to Become Alarmingly Resegregated.

How to Blow $9 Billion in 6 Months.

* Nearly half of Americans would have trouble finding $400 to pay for an emergency. I’m one of them.

Why America’s Schools Have A Money Problem. Related: 25 Best Wisconsin High Schools: U.S. News Rankings 2016.

Against Activism.

For forty years, liberals have accepted defeat and called it “incremental progress.” Bernie Sanders offers a different way forward. How Sanders fell short. The real scandal.

12 Reasons Not to Write Lord of the Rings.

I Talked to the Kid Whose Mom Used Craigslist to Find Him a Feminism Tutor, and It Got Weird.

* Do Honeybees Feel? Scientists Are Entertaining the Idea. Insects Are Conscious and Egocentric.

* Our foundation of Earth knowledge, largely derived from historically observed patterns, has been central to society’s progress. Early cultures kept track of nature’s ebb and flow, passing improved knowledge about hunting and agriculture to each new generation. Science has accelerated this learning process through advanced observation methods and pattern discovery techniques. These allow us to anticipate the future with a consistency unimaginable to our ancestors. But as Earth warms, our historical understanding will turn obsolete faster than we can replace it with new knowledge. Some patterns will change significantly; others will be largely unaffected, though it will be difficult to say what will change, by how much, and when.

Details arise about U.S. Bank robbery in the Alumni Memorial Union.

* Behold, the Hasbro Cinematic Universe.

* The Tragic History of RC Cola.

U.S. Suicide Rate Surges to a 30-Year High.

Hamilton just won the Pulitzer for drama. Here’s why it matters for American musicals. And congrats to Emily Nussbaum!

This map shows every place in the US that has ever had a woman in Congress.

The Average 29-Year-Old.

* Milwaukee’s Appeals, Vibrant and Cheap.

First Criminal Charges Handed Down After Flint Water Crisis.

* A man once described as a “perfect donor” at an August, Georgia sperm bank and who fathered at least 36 children around the world is actually a mentally ill felon whose lies on his donor forms went undiscovered for more than a decade.

We owe Rey and Finn’s friendship to Harrison Ford’s broken leg.

Love It Or List It sued over shoddy renovations, ridiculous falsehoods.

As A Father Of Daughters, I Think We Should Treat All Women Like My Daughters.

* Hello, from the Magic Tavern watch! There’s two noncanonical podcasts from Foon-16 over at One Shot. There’s also a band new, slightly less… rigorous improv podcast from some of the principals involved called Siblings Peculiar.

The U.S.’s Best High School Starts at 9:15 a.m.

Lab Mice Are Freezing Their Asses Off—and That’s Screwing Up Science.

New Evidence Suggests That Limbs and Fins Evolved From Fish Gills.

* How to Shakespeare.

* Cards Against Humanities.

* And rejoice, comrades! Twilight Struggle has come to Steam.

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Written by gerrycanavan

April 22, 2016 at 9:00 am

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Tuesday Links!

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* Reminder: the deadline for abstracts for SFRA 2016 is the end of the month. MLA CFP: Science Fiction Comics. CFP: “Academic Insecurities: Precarious Labour and the Neoliberal University.”

* Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Sara Goldrick-Rab, the outspoken University of Wisconsin-Madison professor who vowed after tenure protections were changed by state lawmakers last year to leave Wisconsin, announced on her blog Monday night that she has accepted a job at Temple University and will start July 1.

* Black Study, Black Struggle.

* The end of Houston.

* Huge, if true: Universities Run Into Problems When They Hire Presidents From The Business World.

Ten Theses In Support of Teaching and Against Learning Outcomes.

* Why Do Colleges Still Use Grades?

* No other discipline of comparable size in the humanities is as gender-skewed as philosophy. Women still receive only about 28% of philosophy PhDs in the United States, and are still only about 20% of full professors of philosophy — numbers that have hardly budged since the 1990s. And among U.S. citizens and permanent residents receiving philosophy PhDs in this country, 86% are non-Hispanic white. The only comparably-sized disciplines that are more white are the ones that explicitly focus on the European tradition, such as English literature.

* Northwestern University students who qualify for financial aid no longer will have to borrow to pay for their education, part of a plan announced Thursday to make the school more affordable and prevent students from being saddled with debilitating debt.

* How Has the MFA Changed the Contemporary Novel?

* Rowling explores the magical history of America.

* My deep wound is video games. In the same way Bell “pretended to be someone else whenever [he] stepped outside of the house” and learned “to never talk about computer games in class or on the school bus,” I learned that my love for video games was excessive and embarrassing. I was swept away by those worlds in a way that nobody else seemed to be, and I walked around with my head full of pixels and quests and ideas. Video games made me very happy and very lonely.

Dilbert creator Scott Adams tells Fox News Trump “isn’t just changing politics, he’s changing the human condition.”

* Case Western in the ne– oh.

This isn’t the first time that an idea in psychology has been challenged—-not by a long shot. A “reproducibility crisis” in psychology, and in many other fields, has now been well-established. A study out last summer tried to replicate 100 psychology experiments one-for-one and found that just 40 percent of those replications were successful. A critique of that study just appeared last week, claiming that the original authors made statistical errors—but that critique has itself been attacked for misconstruing facts, ignoring evidence, and indulging in some wishful thinking.

* Marquette in the — oh come on.

* Milwaukee in the etc.

* How a mistranslation made you think your tongue had ‘taste zones.’

* This simulation helps show you what it’s like to have dyslexia.

* Maps Show Where Bloomberg Aides Thought He Would Have Been Competitive.

* Meritocrats and Egalitarians.

* Reparations isn’t a political demand.

* Some Birds Are Just As Smart As Apes.

* The Future Of Telltale Games.

* “Some supporters of Rubio say bad strategy, poorly run campaign killing his chances.” What do the rest of them think is killing his chances?

* Meanwhile: Report Raises New Questions About Trump’s Ties To N.J. Mob-Linked Figure. Yes, Mitt Romney Could Actually Become The Republican Presidential Nominee.

* The remarkable persistence of the Green Man.

* Dang. Too real.

* “What I wish I’d known before I had gender-affirming surgery.”

* Daughter of Civil War vet still getting a pension.

* Actually existing media bias: The Washington Post ran 16 negative stories about Bernie Sanders in 16 hours. Going for the record!

* The Problematic Rape Reporting On ‘This American Life.’

* We want dead bodies to be in the right place. Caring for the dead is a foundational human activity, and so the wrong dead body in the wrong place, or bodies abandoned or desecrated, is considered an affront to the moral order. Why We Need the Dead.

* Mr. Spock and the autism spectrum.

Is Luke Skywalker Gay?

* This is for you: an oral history of The Golden Girls.

* Abolish homework.

* Rise of the hiking game: The Witness and Firewatch.

* What could go wrong? U.S. military spending millions to make cyborgs a reality.

* On Poverty.

The neoliberal university will grind us down until there’s nothing left. Choose solidarity.

Three Thoughts on Westerosi Political Economy.

* Slavoj Žižek and The Twilight Zone.

* And I don’t know about the other two law, but the third law of politics here is pretty much literally the predicament academia and most other public institutions find themselves in in 2016:

The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 8, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Watching THE FORCE AWAKENS as the Father of a Three-and-a-Half-Year-Old Girl (No Spoilers)

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There’s still plenty of weird plot holes in the movie to complain about — and, of course, call no trilogy happy until it is concluded — and the man simply doesn’t get Star Trek at a basic and fundamental level — but J.J. Abrams achieves something in a sequence of shots near the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens that I hope I’ll never forget for the rest of my life. My daughter is three and a half right now, and she’s still piecing together the world. We’ve raised her, somewhat accidentally, without much concept of gender; it’s only recently that she’s even come to really understand that some people are boys and other people are girls. And it’s broken my heart a bit, as this process has come into focus for her, to see her recognize that nearly all the protagonists in nearly all the stories she loves are boys. She sometimes announces, as we play, that she gets to be the boy — by which she means that she gets to be the hero, the star. I’m the boy, daddy; you’re the dragon. I’m the boy, daddy; you’re the witch.

And as I watched this one particular, truly perfect scene, at the climax of The Force Awakens, I really felt like I could see the whole thing through her eyes, and imagined the moment she watches it a few months or years from now and how it might undo a bit of the toxic lessons she’s already started to learn about boys and girls. I cried. I’m crying now, just writing about it. And however else The Force Awakens is received and whatever its reputation winds up being, however badly 8 and 9 screw it all up (or don’t), Abrams has given little girls like mine a tremendous and very special gift. That bit lives forever, as far as I’m concerned.

I’ll write a longer and more spoiler-y post once more people have seen it, I think, but for now I wanted to say just that much.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 17, 2015 at 11:12 pm

Where Is Your Labor Day Now Links

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* Great local event alert: George Lipsitz (Black Studies, UCSB) will be speaking at UWM’S Golda Meir on Wednesday (September 9) at 4:30pm on “The Ferguson Conjuncture: Why the Humanities Matter Now.”

* One of Jaimee’s poems was on Lake Effect on Friday; her full interview on the program is coming soon.

* After meeting my class and talking a bit with them about their familiarity with Tolkien I’ve updated my syllabus with a few supplementary readings.

There’s a storm in the poetry world, this one set off by the bio in Best American Poetry 2015 of Michael Derrick Hudson, who has been publishing under the name Yi-Fen Chou. A pre-post-mortem from editor Sherman Alexie.

@AcademicsSay: The Story Behind a Social-Media Experiment.

Wikipedia Editors Uncover Extortion Scam And Extensive Cybercrime Syndicate.

Iowa’s New President Is Choice Faculty Opposed. Unpopular pick. On the Suborning of Free Speech and Shared Governance at the University of Iowa.

UH shifts millions from academics to sports.

* Harvard as tax-free hedge fund.

* Speaking for the humanities.

Instead of hoping that higher education should be the solution to all of our economic problems, we should follow Cassidy’s advice and return to the notion that college is a public good and an end in itself: “Being more realistic about the role that college degrees play would help families and politicians make better choices. It could also help us appreciate the actual merits of a traditional broad-based education, often called a liberal-arts education, rather than trying to reduce everything to an economic cost-benefit analysis.” If we focus on making higher education more accessible and affordable as we enhance its quality, we can at least make sure that it does not enhance inequality and decrease social mobility.  The first step is to stop believing that college degrees produce good jobs. 

Meant to keep academics compliant, obedient, and domesticated, audit culture comes to Canadian universities at an otherwise exciting moment for research. Indigenous epistemologies and publicly engaged, participatory, and open forms of research are asserting their places in the academic landscape today. In response to rich debates about what constitutes knowledge, universities are being called to feature relationally and community oriented research outcomes. But with audit culture’s narrow benchmarks and retrograde understandings of what counts as real research, there is little breathing room in the academy for public engagement, community-based research, and Indigenous forms of knowing, since these methodologies can’t be easily captured in the audit forms. Indeed, academics are driven away from socially engaged scholarly activities in part because they are more difficult to measure, assess, and judge.

Daniels seems mildly indignant at the extent to which he has been monitored by Disney, now the home of the Star Wars franchise. As well he might. He didn’t just step off the first space-cruiser from Mos Eisley: he is 69 years old and has been playing C-3PO since before many of his current paymasters were born. “The secrecy has been beyond ludicrous,” he sighs. “For heaven’s sake, it’s a movie. When I got the script, it was typed in black on paper of the deepest red so you couldn’t photocopy it. I got a hangover just reading it.” He was censured by the studio recently for mentioning on Twitter a fellow actor from The Force Awakens.

* Obamaism distilled: In Alaska, Obama warns against climate change but OKs drilling.

Scientists Calculated How Much Lembas Bread Would be Needed to Walk to Mordor.

The Privatization of Childhood: Childhood has become a period of high-stakes preparation for life in a stratified economy.

The oceans are full of bodies. The things they carry. Migrants welcome.

* TNI, on the counterfeit.

* Assessing the Legacy of That Thing That Happened After Poststructuralism.

* Jacobin on Radical America and on the Ashley Madison bots.

* The earning power of philosophy majors.

* ATTEMPT NO LANDING THERE.

Paid Leave for Fathers Is Good for Everybody.

The experience will be disheartening, but remember: it is you who chose to play Adjunct Sudoku.

* The Washington State Supreme Court has ruled that charter schools are unconstitutional. Someone tell Wisconsin!

Deaf Culture and Sign Language: A Reading List.

After all the media fawning over the nonprofit Teach for America, there are some veterans of the program who are now telling a different story. “Teach for America Counter-Narratives: Alumni Speak Up and Speak Out” contains 20 essays with anecdotes that seem too crazy to make up.

10,000 zines and counting: a library’s quest to save the history of fandom.

* The end of overparenting. The end of workplace friendships.

* Wake up and smell the weird.

* “Stonehenge II: Archaeologists uncover true scale of ‘superhenge’ – discovered just a few miles from famous prehistoric monument.”

* The total surveillance society, but with a human face.

* Toronto’s parking ticket jubilee.

* Alzheimer’s at 38.

* PC Comedy and Paul Revere vs. Putting Out Fire with Gasoline.

* Free your mind; start high school later in the morning.

* Course List for Rupert Giles, Master of Library Sciences Candidate, Michaelmas Term 1982.

* And of course you had me at The Alternative Universe Of Soviet Arcade Games.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 8, 2015 at 8:18 am

Tuesday Links!

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The Madison Journal of Literary Criticism interviews my friend Ramzi Fawaz about his exciting new book on the X-Men in the 1970s: The New Mutants.

* David Foster Wallace’s blurbspeak.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Story of Kullervo Will Be Published In October.

Scientist studies Diplomacy game to reveal early signs of betrayal.

* US Education Reform and the Maintenance of White Supremacy through Structural Violence.

* Whatever happened to Gary Cooper: You’ve heard of women’s studies, right? Well, this is men’s studies: the academic pursuit of what it means to be male in today’s world. Dr. Kimmel is the founder and director of the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities at Stony Brook University, part of the State University of New York system, which will soon start the first master’s degree program in “masculinities studies.”

* The fire next time: The Pension Crisis at Public Universities.

* The Clinton plan for college. This summary leaves out all the awful disruptivation and neoliberalization stuff that will be part of any actual plan, so it sounds great.

Widespread use of private email revealed a day after Wise resigns. The Revelations in Phyllis Wise’s Emails. Legal experts react. It’s so bad the board is going to vote on whether to pull her $400,000 golden parachute.

Academic Freedom at UIUC: Freedom to Pursue Viewpoints and Positions That Reflect the Values of the State.

* More on Duquesne’s proposition that adjunct unions would interfere with its Catholic mission.

SeaWorld sees profits plunge 84% as customers desert controversial park.

The Making of the American Police State.

* The Socrates of the National Security Agency.

Police Union In Missouri Declares ‘Darren Wilson Day’ On Shooting Anniversary. Yankees’ Minor League Affiliate Holds ‘Blue Lives Matter’ Event On Anniversary Of Michael Brown’s Death.

One Holdout Juror Was Likely Why James Holmes Avoided Death Penalty.

This Woman Was Awarded $685,737 After Learning Her Boyfriend (And Father of Her Child!) Was an Undercover Cop Sent to Spy on Her.

* Comic book movies and the forgotten art of the ending. You heard it here first!

* Astro Boy and the atom.

* The big Superman reveal (from the pre-52 DC Universe) that DC never got around to revealing.

Always a Lighthouse: Video Games and Radical Politics.

No girl wins: three ways women unlearn their love of video games.

Netflix’s Dystopian Show 3% To Be Developed Entirely In Brazil.

3% takes place in a world where most of the population lives in “Hither”: a decadent, miserable, corrupt place. When people reach 20 years of age, they go through the “Process”, the only chance to get to “Thither” – the better place, with opportunities and promises of a dignified life. Only three percent of the applicants are approved by the Process that will take the applicants to their limit, putting them in terrifying, dangerous situations and testing their convictions through moral dilemmas.

* More incredibly bad behavior in SF fandom. A little more context here.

* Judge Faults University for Requiring Student to Prove He Was Innocent of Sexual Misconduct. Colleges Under Investigation for Sexual Assault Wonder What Getting It Right Looks Like.

* Peter Thiel, übermensch.

* Here come the automated trucks. Kids today don’t even want to drive anymore (or their helicopter parents won’t let them)!

* The Amazonization of Everything.

* On Nnedi Okorafor’s Lagoon.

* Point: Please don’t have sex with robots. Counterpoint: Humans should be able to marry robots.

* Point: They clearly should have let Max Landis write Fantastic Four. Counterpoint: The Fantastic Four Are Jerks.

* Two interesting essays on sex work and sugar daddies from TNI’s “Daddy” issue: “Letter to a Young Baby” and “You Deserve It, Sweetie.”

* Atlas Shrugs Google Rebrands.

Natalia’s tweet became a whole great blog post on modernism, childhood, and tech.

* When Shakespeare toked.

* Why do hotels have ice machines?

* Why do pro wrestlers die so young?

* Did they find Croatoan?

* Prison-industrial-wildfire complex: Nearly half the people fighting wildfires wreaking havoc across California are prison inmates.

Sandernistas would do well to reflect on one thing.  In a few months’ time, Sanders’s campaign will be gone. He will not win. … But Black Lives Matter, or rather the movement with which it has become synonymous, isn’t going to go away.  And it is far more important to America’s long-term future. A useful corrective, I think, though my intuition remains that this is one brand of underpantsgnomism competing with another for underpants-gnome supremacy.

* Diseases of the twenty-first century: Foot Orgasm Syndrome.

* This could actually be interesting: Harvard Professor Larry Lessig To Explore Democratic Presidential Run.

* Because you demanded it: Werner Herzog’s Ant-Man.

* Science has discovered a new pentagon.

* And while the lion still remains at large, Milwaukee remembers its polar bear.

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Written by gerrycanavan

August 11, 2015 at 10:20 am

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Another Loose Firehose of Weekend Links!

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* I’ve been so busy this little bit of clickbait isn’t even timely anymore: 3 reasons the American Revolution was a mistake. And this one isn’t timely either!

* New China Miéville story, in Salvage.

A Laboratory Sitting on a Graveyard: Greece and the Neoliberal Debt Crisis.

Campus cops are shadowy, militarized and more powerful than ever.

* How to Support a Scholar Who Has Come Under Attack.

Guns, Prisons, Social Causes: New Fronts Emerge in Campus Fights Over Divestment.

* The final budget numbers that University of Wisconsin campuses have been dreading for months were released late Monday, prompting a mad scramble on campuses to figure out the winners and losers. Wisconsin’s Neoliberal Arts.

* In other words, states would be required to embrace and the federal government would be obligated to enforce a professor-centered vision of how to operate a university: tenure for everyone, nice offices all around, and the administrators and coaches can go pound sand. Sanders for president!

* Why College Kids Are Avoiding the Study of Literature.

* Rich Kids Study English.

* 11 Reasons To Ignore The Haters And Major In The Humanities. “Quality of life” almost barely sneaks in as a criterion at the end.

* Towards a New Common Sense.

* On Fraction and Aja’s Hawkeye.

* Deep cuts: Why Do TV Characters All Own the Same Weird Old Blanket?

* The plan creates, in effect, a parallel school district within Milwaukee that will be empowered to seize MPS schools and turn them over to charter operators or voucher-taking private schools. While there is, in principle, a mechanism for returning OSPP schools to MPS after a period of five years, that mechanism carries qualifications intended to ensure that no OSPP school will ever return to MPS. This, alongside funding provisions for OSPP and MPS spelled out in the motion, makes it hard to avoid the conclusion that the plan’s purpose is to bankrupt the Milwaukee Public Schools. It is a measure of Darling and Kooyenga’s contempt for the city and its people that they may sincerely believe that this would be a good thing for Milwaukee schoolchildren.

The failure rate for charter schools is much higher than for traditional public schools. In the 2011-2012 school year, for example, charter school students ran two and half times the risk of having their education disrupted by a school closing and suffering academic setbacks as a result. Dislocated students are less likely to graduate and suffer other harms. In a 2014 study, Matthew F. Larsen with the Department of Economics at Tulane University looked at high school closures in Milwaukee, almost all of which were charter schools. He concluded that closures decreased “high school graduation rates by nearly 10%” The effects persist “even if the students attends a better quality school after closure.”

The Verdict on Charter Schools?

* “Here is what I would like for you to know: In America, it is traditional to destroy the black body—it is heritage.” Letter to My Son.

What If Everything You Knew About Disciplining Kids Was Wrong?

On June 8, CNN unveiled “Courageous,” a new production unit and an in-house studio that would be paid by advertisers to produce and broadcast news-like “branded content.” 

* Social networking and the majority illusion.

* Reddit in chaos.

* “Colleges’ Balance Sheets Are Looking Better.” Happy days are here again!

* Is Bail Unconstitutional?

* My Severed Thumb and the Ambiguities of Technological Progress.

* So much for “most unpaid internships are illegal.”

* Now that the Supreme Court has once again saved Obamacare, can we have an honest talk about it?

* From the archives! Liberalism and Gentrification.

* From the archives! The world’s oldest continuously operating family business ended its impressive run last year. Japanese temple builder Kongo Gumi, in operation under the founders’ descendants since 578, succumbed to excess debt and an unfavorable business climate in 2006.

* Dear Alice Sheldon.

* “Zach Anderson” is the latest outrageous story from the sex offender registry to go viral.

* Prisoner’s Dilemma as pedagogy.

In its 2015-17 budget, the Legislature cut four-year college tuition costs by 15 to 20 percent by 2016 — making Washington the only state in the country to lower tuition for public universities and colleges next year.

* Shadow work and academia.

* Art and the wage.

* The end of “weaponized anthropology.”

Keywords for the Age of Austerity 20: Pivot.

* Tumblr of the week: Every Single Word Spoken by a Person of Color in [Mainstream Film Title].

* New Jersey congressman pitches the least substantive response to the student debt crisis — SO FAR.

Neither special circumstances nor grades were determinative. Of the 841 students admitted under these criteria, 47 had worse grades than Fisher, and 42 of them were white. On the other end, UT rejected 168 black and Latino students with scores equal to or better than Fisher’s.

Thousands Of Children Risked Their Lives In Tanzania’s Gold Mines For $2 A Day.

* Kotsko has been blogging about his latest turn through the harassment grinder. He’s taking on Big Santa, too. He just doesn’t care.

* Climate science and gloom. But at least air conditioning might not be that bad.

* Weird day for computers this week. Anyway we should put algorithms in charge of everything.

* Scenes from the Olympic scam, Boston edition.

20091207* At least it’s an ethos!

* Sci-Fi Crime Drama with a Strong Black Lead.

* Salaita, one year later.

The world of fracketeering is infinitely flexible and contradictory. Buy tickets online and you could be charged an admin fee for an attachment that requires you to print them at home. The original online booking fee – you’ve come this far in the buying process, hand over an extra 12 quid now or write off the previous 20 minutes of your life – has mutated into exotic versions of itself. The confirmation fee. The convenience fee. Someone who bought tickets for a tennis event at the O2 sent me this pithy tweet: “4 tickets. 4 Facility Fees + 4 Service Charge + 1 Standard Mail £2.75 = 15% of overall £!”. Definitely a grand slam.

* The initial, back-of-the-napkin notes for Back to the Future 2 and 3.

* Nice try, parents! You can’t win.

* What my parents did was buy us time – time for us to stare at clouds, time for us to contemplate the stars, to wonder at a goiter, to gape open-mouthed at shimmering curtains of charged particles hitting the ionosphere. What it cost them can be written about another time. What I am grateful for is that summer of awe.

The “gag law also forbids citizens to insult the monarchy and if someone is found guilty in a defamation or libel case, he or she can face up to two years in prison or be forced to pay an undetermined fine,” local media outlet Eco Republicano reported as the public expressed its anger against the law introduced by the ruling Popular Party.

* Wisconsin Democrats sue to undo the incredible 2011 gerrymander that destroyed the state.

* Obama Plans Broader Use of Clemency to Free Nonviolent Drug Offenders. This is good, but still much too timid — he could free many times as many people as he’s freeing and still barely make a dent in the madness of the drug war.

* EPA’s New Fracking Study: A Close Look at the Numbers Buried in the Fine Print.

* The central ideological commitment of the new Star Wars movies seems to be “well of course you can’t really overthrow an Empire.” Seems right. (Minor spoilers if you’re an absolute purist.)

* Brian K. Vaughn will write an issue of The Walking Dead.

* Dune, 50 years on: how a science fiction novel changed the world.

* When adjuncts go union.

* So you want to announce for the WWE.

* When I Was White.

* This isn’t canon! Marisa Tomei is your Aunt May.

* I’m not happy about this either.

* A Quick Puzzle to Test Your Problem Solving, or, Our Brains Don’t Work. I got it right, though I doubt I would have if it hadn’t been framed as a puzzle.

* Your time travel short of the weekend: “One-Minute Time Machine.”

* Or perhaps post-apocalyptic Sweden is more your flavor.

* Another round of the polygamy debate.

* RISK: Game of Thrones.

Everything You Thought You Knew About Nic Cage’s Superman Film Is Wrong.

* Remnant of Boston’s Brutal Winter Threatens to Outlast Summer.

* And then there’s Whitesboro.

The Lost Girls: One famous band. One huge secret. Many lives destroyed.

Armed police in England and Wales only fired their weapons twice over the course of 14,864 operations that took place from 2013-2014.

Cellphones Do Not Give You Brain Cancer.

* 7,000 Fireworks Go Off at Once Due To Computer Malfunction.

* Sopranos season eight: How two technology consultants helped drug traffickers hack the Port of Antwerp.

I never noticed how sexist so many children’s books are until I started reading to my kids. Preach.

* A gendered history of LEGO.

* Aurora is out! Buy it! You don’t have to take my word for it! Excerpt! More! More!

* And there’s nothing sweet in life.

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Written by gerrycanavan

July 10, 2015 at 8:02 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Sunday Morning Links!

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* One might, it’s true, wonder how cultural capital has survived the last half century’s apotheosis of pop, the rollback of the old patrician-bourgeois culture of the West, postmodernism’s putative muddling of low and high. But the sociologists have gone and checked, and the answers are not hard to find: Fancy people are now more likely to consume culture indiscriminately, that is, to congratulate themselves on the expansiveness of their tastes; indistinction has become distinction. They are more likely to prefer foreign culture to their own, at least in some who-wants-takeout? kind of way. And they are more likely to enjoy culture analytically and ironically, belligerently positing a naïve consumer whose imagined immersion in the object will set off everything in their own approach that is suavely arms-length and slaunchwise. Such, point for point, is the ethos of the new-model English department: of cultural studies, new media, the expanded canon, of theory-courses-without-objects. To bring new types of artifacts into literature departments is not to destroy cultural capital. It is merely to allow new things to start functioning as wealth. Even here, the claim to novelty can be overstated, since it is enough to read Bourdieu to know that the claim to interpret and demystify has always been an especially heady form of symbolic power. The ingenious reading confers distinction, as do sundry bids to fix the meanings of the social. Critical theory is cultural capital. Citing Judith Butler is one of the ways in which professional people outside the academy understand and justify their own elevation. Bickering recreationally about the politics of zombie movies is just what lawyers and engineers now do.

* The Kindle edition of The Best of Kim Stanley Robinson is (still) on sale for $1.99. Here’s the LARoB review!

* Meanwhile, LARoB also reviews Paradoxa 26, which has my essay on Snowpiercer in it.

* Extrapolation 56.1 is now available.

Sherryl Vint, “Skin Deep: Alienation in Under the Skin
Isiah Lavender, “Reframing Heart of Darkness as Science Fiction”
Sharon DeGraw, “Tobias S. Buckell’s Galactic Caribbean Future”
Karen May and David Upton, “‘Ser Piggy’: Identifying an Intertextual Relationship between William Golding’s Lord of the Flies and George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones
Lee Braver, “Coin-Operated Doors and God: A Gnostic Reading of Philip K. Dick’s Ubik”

Nepal After the Earthquake.

* Baltimore after Freddie Gray.

* The good inequality. Policy debate in the age of neoliberalism.

* Gene Wolfe, sci-fi’s difficult genius.

* The slow apocalypse and fiction.

* Can you fix the NBA draft?

In the meantime, we will all have to cope with the fact that education technology has just become weaponized. Arizona State is now the first predator university. They are willing to re-define what education is so that they can get more students from anywhere. If they don’t kill other universities by taking all their students with a cheap freshmen year, they’ll just steal their fish food by underselling 25% of the education that those schools provide and leaving them a quarter malnourished. The result is that schools which stick to reasonable standards with respect to the frequency and possibility of teacher/student interaction now have to fear for their very existence.

Contingency and Gender.

The Invented History of ‘The Factory Model of Education.’

The obvious corollary is that, in order to stem the tide of tuition increases, we should seek to stabilize or increase state funding and curb the power of administrators.

Why They Hate Cornel West.

* I’m seeing it mostly mocked and dismissed, but I think the Columbia case (K.C. Johnson summary at Minding the Campus) will be important flashpoint in Title IX law. My sense is that the wind on this is really changing strongly against the feminist left; we’re going to see many of the received truths of campus anti-rape policies coming under serious challenge. It’s going to be difficult, and it’s going to require some unpleasant reconsideration of the way we talk about this issue.

New Simulation Shows How The Pacific Islands May Have Been Colonized.

Incredibly, the percentage of parents throughout the state who engaged in the civil disobedience of refusing the test for their kids is higher than the 15 percent of eligible voters who cast a ballot for Andrew Cuomo in the low-turnout election last year.

* All of the juniors at Nathan Hale High School refused to show up for state testing this week.

* Against the creative economy.

* What if Man of Steel was in color?

* Gasp! The Apple Watch May Have a Human Rights Problem.

Microsoft Word Spells the Names of Game of Thrones Characters Better Than You Can.

Nine Months After He Filmed Eric Garner’s Killing, the Cops Are Trying to Put Ramsey Orta Behind Bars.

“We must disband the police: Body cameras aren’t enough — only radical change will stop cops who kill.”

* Meanwhile.

* Yes please: Telltale is making some kind of Marvel game.

The Feds Say One Schmuck Trading From His Parents’ House Caused a Market Crash. Here’s the Problem.

* See, Dad? I knew you could survive on girl scout cookies.

* There’s always money in the banana stand: The Fed’s Cold War Bunker Had $4 Billion Cash For After The Apocalypse.

* Won’t you give? What you can? Today? Poetry is going extinct, government data show.

* I believe any crazy story with China in the headline. That’s my policy.

* Kid, I’ve flown from one side of this galaxy to the other, and I’ve seen a lot of strange stuff, but I’ve never seen anything to make me believe that there’s one all-powerful Force controlling everything.

It’s Time To Stop Treating Childhood as a Disease.

* And you thought The Dark Knight Strikes Back was bad.

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