Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘chilling visions of things to come

I Just Can’t Believe It’s December Links

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* Over the weekend, of course, we celebrated the first Star Wars Trailer Day in a decade. Your shot-for-shot dissection. A deeper look. Digging deeper still. The George Lucas Special Edition. Elsewhere on the Star Wars beat: Physicist Proves That R2D2 Is Lighter Than Styrofoam.

* English and foreign language jobs are down nearly 10% again, down almost 40% since 2007.

New NEH Grants Will Promote Popular Scholarly Books.

Call for Papers: Marx, Engels and the Critique of Academic Labor.

* Why colleges haven’t stopped binge drinking.

* Donors getting bold in Illinois: U. of Illinois Could Lose Big Gift by Rehiring Adjunct.

* A long, interesting piece on an anti-bullying measure passed by Madison faculty.

When Black Friday devours Thanksgiving, capitalism consumes one of its sustaining myths. Black Friday, Or the Circulation of Commodities.

In not one of those cases did a coal mine owner face criminal charges for the loss of life. That history ended in November, with the indictment of Donald L. Blankenship, the chief executive whose company owned the Upper Big Branch mine near here, where an explosion of methane gas in 2010 spread like a fireball through more than two miles of tunnels, feeding on illegally high levels of coal dust.

* Afrofuturism: The Sonic Companion.

Putting The Sidekick In The Suit: Black Captain America, Female Thor, And The Illusion Of Progress.

Six Myths About Climate Change that Liberals Rarely Question.

But where does it come from? My new answer: nobody builds a megadungeon. Megadungeons build themselves. They are the guilty conscience of rulership; the truth commission against power. Great power corrupts, and absolute power does what we’ve been told. Even those who want to rule well feel the attraction of expedient murder and petulant torture, the convenience of imprisoning one’s enemies without trial, buying off the priesthood and covering it all in a glaze of ceremony and pretty words. On this world, this eventually provokes its own reaction. Beneath the seats of power – castle; trading house; senate building – the accumulated sins happening above begin to literally undo the foundations. Dungeons grow. It might not be so tidy as: 60 starved prisoners in the last few decades means 60 skeletons, with hallways for them to roam through; 20 goblins and some rooms for them to squat in appear as a direct result of last year’s punitive expedition against the recalcitrant border villages; one ghoul for each speech in which you cloak your appetites in the honeyed words of dead philosophers, etc.

B3qKigCCQAAbo8O* How many people are locked up in the United States?

Officers Who Shot 12-Year-Old Holding Toy Gun Refused To Give Him First Aid. The video that caught the cops lying about Tamir Rice. White Cops File Suit, Claim They Are Punished Too Much For Shooting People.

Grand Jury Won’t Indict Officers In Ohio Wal-Mart Shooting, Either.

* Missouri almost out of money to attack Ferguson with. St. Louis police officers’ group demands Rams players be disciplined for ‘hands up, don’t shoot. Ferguson: Message from the Grassroots. No healing.

Why Every Struggle Is Now a Struggle Against the Police.

Similar cases yield very different results in Wisconsin prison system.

Georgia’s Top Court Reins In Private Probation Firms For Illegally Extending Sentences. Reined in! The arc of history is long, but!

* Full Nihilism: “Six Reasons I’m Thankful for a Republican Congress.” Two of the six were “I’m bored.” Media professionals!

* One of the worst “errors” of the Obama presidency was the pivot to deficit reduction, when literally no one cares about deficit reduction.

Like uninsured New Agers afflicted by terminal illness, journalists facing the collapse of their industry are turning in desperation to faith healers, quacks, and hucksters of all sorts. Amway Journalism.

* Abolish the Senate.

* Officials with a Northern California school district expelled a live-in nanny’s 9-year-old daughter after hiring a private investigator to ascertain where she lived, the Contra Costa Times reported. Having been caught, the school district has now reversed itself.

* Life after people: Someone Flew a Drone Through Chernobyl and the Result Is Haunting.

* Science proves people who still read fiction really are just better.

How Often Do “Disruptive” Business Practices Actually Mean “Illegal” Business Practices? The Uberiest thing Uber’s done yet.

Philanthropic Poverty: Bono and other philanthropic capitalists push charity to defend property.

When an assisted living home in California shut down last fall, many of its residents were left behind, with nowhere to go. The staff at the Valley Springs Manor left when they stopped getting paid — except for cook Maurice Rowland and Miguel Alvarez, the janitor.

The Super Mario 64 Goomba Nobody Has Ever Killed. The Coin That Took 18 Years to Collect.

* The real roots of midlife crisis, or, the second decade of this blog is going to be a shame. At least we have Charlie Stross’s thought experiments to comfort us.

* How Not to Get Away with Murder.

My Vassar College Faculty ID Makes Everything OK.

* An Open Letter to the Administration of Vassar College.

* This TNR piece on the Rolling Stone UVA exposé actually raises some relevant journalism questions, but my sense is this happens entirely by accident in the course of a kneejerk attempt to discredit the story.

The false rape accusation as witchcraft.

. CTRL-F revenue, CTRL-F income, CTRL-F profit: Vox Media Valued at Nearly $400 Million After Investment.

The 22-year-old appeared to have killed himself, police said. A handgun was found near his body inside the dumpster. The text he sent said he was sorry, “if I am an embarrassment, but these concussions have my head all f—ed up.”

Even a single season of high school football might have harmful impacts on the brain.

* Your panel-by-panel breakdown of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s Watchmen pastiche Pax Americana #1, this year’s instant-classic comic book.

* You don’t have to beg, borrow, or steal anymore: Black Mirror is finally on Netflix.

* Wanderers. Time Trap. Five Minutes.

* And finally, we get to the meat: Pope’s astronomer says he would baptise an alien if it asked him.

MULTIVERSITY-Cv4-05

 

Written by gerrycanavan

December 2, 2014 at 10:02 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Gamify Everything

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Chilling Visions of Things to Come

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Saturday Night Links

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* Breaking: Right-wing Supreme Court Justices don’t take their jobs seriously. Supreme Court May Be Most Conservative in Modern History. Antonin Scalia, semi-retired crank.

* Jonathan Cohn, Scott Lemieux, and Richard Hansen and ponder the legitimacy of a Supreme Court that has actually gone the full monty and overturned the ACA.

* Of course they say the same thing about us. Judge Strikes Down Key Parts Of Walker’s Anti-Public Employee Union Law.

* Don’t check the date, just believe it: Google Maps QuestView for the NES.

* This collection of more-accurate Dr. Seuss titles is one of my favorite things on the entire Internet.

* James Cameron teases the Avatar sequels.

“The best inspiration I got for ‘Avatar’ 2 and 3 was dealing with the master navigator culture in Micronesia,” Cameron said by phone from Tokyo on Friday, where he attended the Japanese premiere of “Titanic 3D.”

The Micronesians, a seafaring culture who navigated the Pacific for centuries without the aid of compasses or charts, already have a lot in common with the blue Na’vi residents of Pandora — they’re an indigenous, matrilineal culture, colonized by outsiders. And the cerulean and aquamarine tones of “Avatar” and its inhabitants seem drawn from postcards from the watery Micronesian region.

* The New York Times has some fun with towards a quantum theory of Mitt Romney.

* 21st Century as Intergenerational War. More here and here.

* Why are colleges acting as volunteer loan collection agents for the banks?

In 2011, California spent $9.6 billion on prisons, versus $5.7 billion on higher education. Since 1980, California has built one college campus; it’s built 21 prisons. The state spends $8,667 per student per year. It spends about $50,000 per inmate per year.

* The lottery lie: The educational “bonus” appears to be nonexistent. Miller and Pierce (1997) studied the short- and long-term effect of education lotteries. They found that lottery states did indeed increase per-capita spending on education during the lottery’s early years. However, after some time these states actually decreased their overall spending on education. In contrast, states without lotteries increased education spending over time. In fact, nonlottery states spend, on average, 10 percent more of their budgets on education than lottery states (Gearey 1997).

* The education reform lie: it’s impossible to talk about primary and secondary education in America in any meaningful way if you won’t allow yourself to discuss class.

* Hunger Games commentary watch: Understanding Katniss.

If you and your board are now determined to show that you in fact have wisdom and maturity when you exercise your powers over the eduction of your young, then you should acknowledge that it was a rotten lesson you taught young people in a free society when you denounced and then burned books–books you hadn’t even read. You should also resolve to expose your children to all sorts of opinions and information, in order that they will be better equipped to make decisions and to survive. Yours sincerely, Kurt Vonnegut.

* Too Smart to Fail: Notes on an Age of Folly.

But the problem goes far beyond politics. We have become a society that can’t self-correct, that can’t address its obvious problems, that can’t pull out of its nosedive. And so to our list of disasters let us add this fourth entry: we have entered an age of folly that—for all our Facebooking and the twittling tweedle-dee-tweets of the twitterati—we can’t wake up from.

* Slate continues to pioneer bold new horizons in fantasy capitalism.

* 3 New Studies Link Bee Decline to Bayer Pesticide. No one could have predicted the widespread implementation of insecticides would kill so many insects!

The government has put the chances of a magnitude 7.3 quake centered in the north of Tokyo Bay at 70 percent over the next three decades, and has estimated there would be about 11,000 casualties and 850,000 buildings destroyed.

* Cancer research: it’s worse than you think.

* “Military surplus a bonanza for law enforcement.”

* Orwell and March Madness.

* And Canada will stop issuing pennies. Honestly, they’re decades ahead of us. Could be centuries.

Thursday Night

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* Maryland votes in gay marriage! 42 to go.

* A new study finds academic dads abusing paternity league.

* How to predict a student’s SAT score: Look at the parents’ tax return.

* Map of the night: U.S. military and CIA interventions since World War II.

* Regarding The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence.

* Two terrible tastes that taste bad together: Rick Santorum and for-profit colleges.

* Mittpocalypse: Romney Drops Below 40 Percent Against Obama in Rasmussen Tracking Poll. Not that Obama’s doing so great either.

* Taibbi is loving it.

* Ron Paul, Peter Theil, and Palantir.

* USPSocalypse.

* Furious backpedaling in Virginia.

* Republic Windows and Doors has been re-occupied. Elsewhere in Occupied America: Rebecca Solnit rhapsodizes—but maybe also eulogizes—Occupy Oakland, while a group affiliated with Occupy Wall Street will host a national convention in July.

“We feel that following the footsteps of our founding fathers is the right way to go,” an organizer told the AP.

I propose we rethink that.

* Why do people make false confessions?

The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) has confirmed that scientists have found errors in a physics experiment that recorded particles traveling 60 nanoseconds faster than the speed of light in late 2011. But now, the agency says that one of the errors means the particles could have been traveling faster than that!

* And today’s chilling vision of things to come: “Mutated Trout Raise New Concerns Near Mine Sites.” Enjoy your weekend!

Additionally, the Child Is Said to Have His Mother’s Eyes

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Written by gerrycanavan

February 18, 2012 at 12:11 pm

‘Without Forgetting It Is Quite Impossible to Live at All’

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Here come the forget-me-nows.

By coupling these amnesia cocktails to the memory reconsolidation process, it’s possible to get even more specific. Nader, LeDoux, and a neuroscientist named Jacek Debiec taught rats elaborate sequences of association, so that a series of sounds predicted the arrival of a painful shock to the foot. Nader calls this a “chain of memories”—the sounds lead to fear, and the animals freeze up. “We wanted to know if making you remember that painful event would also lead to the disruption of related memories,” Nader says. “Or could we alter just that one association?” The answer was clear. By injecting a protein synthesis inhibitor before the rats were exposed to only one of the sounds—and therefore before they underwent memory reconsolidation—the rats could be “trained” to forget the fear associated with that particular tone. “Only the first link was gone,” Nader says. The other associations remained perfectly intact. This is a profound result. While scientists have long wondered how to target specific memories in the brain, it turns out to be remarkably easy: All you have to do is ask people to remember them.

This isn’t Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind-style mindwiping. In some ways it’s potentially even more effective and more precise. Because of the compartmentalization of memory in the brain—the storage of different aspects of a memory in different areas—the careful application of PKMzeta synthesis inhibitors and other chemicals that interfere with reconsolidation should allow scientists to selectively delete aspects of a memory. Right now, researchers have to inject their obliviating potions directly into the rodent brain. Future treatments, however, will involve targeted inhibitors, like an advanced version of ZIP, that become active only in particular parts of the cortex and only at the precise time a memory is being recalled. The end result will be a menu of pills capable of erasing different kinds of memories—the scent of a former lover or the awful heartbreak of a failed relationship. These thoughts and feelings can be made to vanish, even as the rest of the memory remains perfectly intact. “Reconsolidation research has shown that we can get very specific about which associations we go after,” LeDoux says. “And that’s a very good thing. Nobody actually wants a totally spotless mind.”

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