Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Chinese science fiction

2020 Links for 2020

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* I had another short book review at Los Angeles Review of Books the other week, on Chris Ware’s Rusty Brown, a book of this arbitrary amount of time if ever there was one: “Does Chris Ware Still Hate Fun?” When you’re done with that, check out these: “Bedlam and Baby: Parables of Creation in Jack Kirby and Chris Ware” and “’Red People for a Red Planet’: Acme Novelty Library #19, Color, and the Red Leitmotif.”

* And just yesterday at this very site I was hyping the CFP for the relaunch of the World Science Fiction Studies series at Peter Lang, which I am now co-series-editing!

* CFP: SFFTV Call for Reviewers 2020. CFP: Creature Features & the Environment. CFP: English and American Studies in the Age of Post-Truth and Alternative Reality. CFP: Current Research in Science Fiction 2020. CFP: Imagining Alternatives.

It’s 2020 and you’re in the future.

Public Domain Day 2020.

* The 2010s, the decade of sore winners. Will the 2020s Be the Decade of Eugenics?

The most insightful vision of the future at CES came from HBO’s ‘Westworld.’

* The only word on the coming Iran war. Stop the War. Stop US Empire.

I Read Airbnb Magazine So You Don’t Have To.

The Subterranean Press edition of Unexpected Stories will be its first print edition, with a newly-commissioned introduction by Nisi Shawl, and an afterword by Butler’s longtime agent and literary executor, Merrilee Heifetz.

* Visual art and film and TV list from the World Science Fiction course at Bowdoin. A climate fiction syllabus. Rain, Rivers, Resources & Ruin: A Critical Analysis of the Treatment of Resources​ in Ecocritical Science Fiction [cli-fi] Works from 1965 to 2015.

Dr. Manhattan is a Cop: “Watchmen” and Frantz Fanon. Black, White, Blue: To Understand Where HBO’s Watchmen Succeeded, We Need to Understand How Moore’s Watchmen Failed. Project for the TV Criticism of the Future.

Read an English translation of new Cixin Liu short story, 2018-04-01.

* The problem with bringing back blogs is.

* The past five years are the five warmest years on record, the past six the warmest six, the past nine the warmest nine. Oceans are warming at the same rate as if five Hiroshima bombs were dropped in every second. Thousands Flee to Shore as Australia Fires Turn Skies Blood Red (Video). Trump Rule Would Exclude Climate Change in Infrastructure Planning. The Concession to Climate Change I Will Not Make. This is fine.

* Maybe we should look at doing something about the rest of the air, too.

* Meet the Obamog(ho)uls.

Prime Minister Of Iceland Calls For Prioritizing “Well-Being” Of Citizens Over GDP. Finlands Sanna Marin: 4-day-week and 6-hour-day could be the next step. Taiwan’s single-payer success story — and its lessons for America.

* Meanwhile: the High Cost of Having a Baby in America.

* …one of the strongest cases for Bernie isn’t just what he’ll be able to achieve, it’s what he’ll refuse to do (cannot imagine him signing a grand bargain weakening Social Security, for instance).

* One Year in Washington.

* The Palace of the Future Is Nearly Complete.

* By itself, fascist infotainment might just be the hobby of millions, alone together, silently despairing of their lives, sporadically generating ‘lone wolf’ murders and occasional armed shitstorms. “We are living in the middle of a fascist takeover.” NPR’s sanitizing of Trump’s Milwaukee rally shows how he’s broken the media.

* Three shifts at the Scrabble factory.

* Take a look at F-Stop, the Portal sequel you’ll never play.

* The Walking Sim Is a Genuinely New Genre, And No One Fully Understands It.

Inside the College Football Game-Day Housing Boom.

Higher Ed’s Dirty-Money Problem.

The 100 Worst Ed-Tech Debacles of the Decade.

The MLA Started Publishing Job-Searching Advice More Than 50 Years Ago. Here’s How Things Have Changed.

* Liberal Arts Pay Off in the Long Run: A liberal arts education may not have the highest returns in the short run, but a study finds that after 40 years, liberal arts institutions bring a higher return than most colleges.

University of Iowa associate dean appointed weeks after arrest.

Student debt increased by 107% this decade, Federal Reserve data shows.

* Fresh from its laundering pedophile money scandal, MIT welcomes ICE.

* Being black at UW.

* The Catholic Church as organized crime family.

* The rise of the permanent protest.

* This is probably dumb — though maybe 1919 had a lot of bonus fraud in it, would be cool to study — but I have immediately and permanently internalized its lessons nonetheless.

Gen Zers vs. Millennials in the Workplace. Why an internet that never forgets is especially bad for young people. Why Are Young Americans Killing Themselves? Falling without a net. Baby boomers face more risks to their retirement than previous generations. Almost none of the S&P 500’s blockbuster rally in 2019 can be pegged to rising earnings, and that’s a problem.

* When your abuser is a cop.

Med Students Are Doing Vaginal Exams on Unconscious, Non-Consenting Patients.

* Welcome to the Era of the Post-Shopping Mall.

* Colin Trevorrow’s Episode 9 script is better in some ways and worse in others, as you might expect. Star Wars Fans Furious JJ Abrams Gave Role to Dominic Monaghan Over a Soccer Bet. Star Wars: What Went Wrong?

* Jeri Ryan’s latest Picard interview makes me worried that I accidentally wrote the Picard series bible.

* When AI runs the entertainment industry.

* When business people run the Olympics.

* DC and Marvel vs politics.

* The Okorafor century! ‘Binti’ Adaptation From Michael Ellenberg in the Works at Hulu (Exclusive).

* Bad news y’all, seven more years of winter.

* Being Larry David.

* Slaughterhouse-Five is getting a graphic adaptation, and Sami Schalk has been reading the new Parables graphic novel on Twitter.

* Time travel baby. Coffee baby. Babies baby. Memory baby.

* Asimov, groper.

How Negativity Can Kill a Relationship. Come for the life advice, stay for the weirdly unethical psychological research!

* The decolonization of Miles Morales.

* Despite Scorsese’s attacks on superhero films, what links his film (and Tarantino’s) with the various superhero movies is a certain mood: nostalgia. As the theorist Svetlana Boym once put it, “nostalgia is a sentiment of loss and displacement, but it is also a romance with one’s own fantasy.” This is true of all of these films. Boym continues, noting that, “nostalgia appears to be a longing for a place, but it is actually a yearning for a different time — the time of our childhood, the slower rhythms of our dreams.” Tarantino has explicitly mentioned that the year 1969 — when he was six — was the year that “formed” him; Tarantino sees his latest film as a sort of “love letter” to the year (for another, quite different, perspective on this period, see The Stooges classic “1969”). The yearning for childhood should require no explanation in the case of superhero films, but it might require a bit more explanation in the case of The Irishman. Turning to that film allows me also to frame the exact way in which I want to pursue my discussion of Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood.

* Lord of the Rings appendices alignment chart. Alignment chart alignment chart.

‘We are not alone’: Confirmation of alien life ‘imminent and inevitable.’ Top-Secret UFO Files Could ‘Gravely Damage’ US National Security if Released, Navy Says. A list of solutions to the Fermi paradox.

* @ me next time

* One of my favorite archives to think about and teach: nuclear semiotics.

* Lord Byron used to call William Wordsworth “Turdsworth,” and yes, this is a real historical fact.

* And Christopher Tolkien departs for the Grey Havens.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 16, 2020 at 2:11 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Liiiiiiiiinks

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* frieze asked me to write them an end-of-decade reflection on franchise culture, so here it is: “Disney’s Endgame: How the Franchise Came to Rule Cinema.” It bounces off the Scorsese brouhaha, but with an eye towards what I see as the key problematic there (monopoly), as opposed to fretting about spectacle or sequels as such. Check it out!

* Had an amazing time doing the keynote at the UC Speculative Futures Collective Symposium on Speculative Futures and Education this week. Look for more from this group soon!

* I was also on the Gribcast podcast talking about Parable of the Talents, something we’d planned for nearly a year before finally making it happen.

* I was elected president of the Science Fiction Research Association last week, too. It’s been weird!

* CFP: Ecopedagogies for the Anthropocene. CFP: Midwestern Science Fiction and Fantasy. CFP: AU: Alternate University.

* The agrocapitalist sublime: The first map of America’s food supply chain is mind-boggling.

These 8 Men Have As Much Money As Half The World.

* Ken Liu in the Times: How Chinese Sci-Fi Conquered America. The China Science Fiction Research Institute.

* ASAP Journal has a cluster on Latinx SF.

Accelerationism: how a fringe philosophy predicted the future we live in. Come for the SF-fueled theory, stay for the celebration of Mark Fisher…

* Now, novelty is to be found in the refusal of communicative capitalism’s false promises of smoothness. If the nineties were defined by the loop (the ‘good’ infinity of the seamlessly looped breakbeat, Goldie’s “Timeless”), then the 21st century is perhaps best captured in the ‘bad’ infinity of the animated GIF, with its stuttering, frustrated temporality, its eerie sense of being caught in a time-trap.

* The humanities in ruins.

My university is dying. And soon yours will be too. The end of Title IX. The other college debt crisis: Schools are going broke. Academe as the Dystopian Workplace. My god, UNC. One of the smartest and most prescient things I’ve read about current higher education was written in 1974, by the great education editor Fred Hechinger, who predicted splitting aid by income would create a “class war over tuition.” -22.8% per student, inflation adjusted. As Universities See State Funding Threatened, Will They Be Less Outspoken About Climate Change? A strike at Harvard. I told my mentor I was a dominatrix.

* 63 Up.

* Are podcasts a disaster waiting to happen?

Was ‘Oumuamua a cosmic dust bunny?

* Farming and the United Federation of Planets.

Climate tipping points — too risky to bet against. Nine climate tipping points now ‘active,’ warn scientists. A Grave Climate Warning, Buried on Black Friday. ‘Bleak’ U.N. Report on a Planet in Peril Looms Over New Climate Talks. Global Warming Prediction Sounds Alarm for Climate Fight. Climate Change Is Accelerating, Bringing World ‘Dangerously Close’ to Irreversible Change. Even 50-year-old climate models correctly predicted global warming. I decided to do a bit of a close read of one particular part of a 1965 report sent to Lyndon Johnson, on atmospheric carbon dioxide. Because I hate myself, you see.

‘It is raining plastic’: Microplastics found in Colorado rainwater. US may face French fry shortage due to poor potato crop: report. Forget ‘developing’ poor countries, it’s time to ‘de-develop’ rich countries. California bans insurers from dropping policies in wildfire zones. Will Buffalo become a climate change haven? Meet Julian Brave NoiseCat – the 26-year-old shaping US climate policy. Exxon and the carbon tax. And what could possibly go wrong? This Bill Gates-funded chemical cloud could help stop global warming. The Failure of the Adults.

* Indict Jair Bolsonaro over indigenous rights, international court is urged.

Border Patrol threw away migrants’ belongings. A janitor saved and photographed them.

* ICE set up a fake university, then arrested 250 people granted student visas. Truly the worst of these cases I’ve seen, no public good rationale whatsoever.

* This gets reported every few months as if it were new or shocking information: DHS never had technology needed to track separated migrant kids.

Inside the Cell Where a Sick 16-Year-Old Boy Died in Border Patrol Care.

* Today in the Forever War.

How “people of color” evolved from a gesture of solidarity and respect to a cover for avoiding the complexities of race.

A staggering one-in-three women, experience physical, sexual abuse.

What is going on? Fears of school shootings hit eight Wisconsin high schools in three days.

* Wisconsin Republicans can completely transform the state’s system of governance on the fly, but the Foxconn deal is sacred writ now and forever.

Trump’s Turkey Corruption Is Way Worse Than You Realize. I predicted Trump would win in 2016 — and I’m predicting the same for 2020. Here’s why liberals don’t understand what he represents. How Trump could lose by 5 million votes and still win in 2020. And it will always get worse: Trump Tells Allies He Wants Absolved War Criminals to Campaign for Him.

If you want to beat Trump, be honest about Biden.

* McKinsey in the news!

* Waiting for Obama. Let’s hang ourselves. The Real Barack Obama Has Finally Revealed Himself.

* Anthony Weiner and the butterfly effect.

* The case for Bernie Sanders.

* ‘A distinctly American phenomenon’: Our workforce is dying faster than any other wealthy country, study shows. It’s Not Just Poor White People Driving a Decline in Life Expectancy. Income inequality in America is the highest it’s been since Census Bureau started tracking it, data shows. Unemployment is low only because ‘involuntary’ part-time work is high. Nearly 700,000 SNAP Recipients Could Lose Benefits Under New Trump Rule. In a small Vermont city: heroin, bullets, and empathy.

* Why Rent Control Works. Highways Give Way to Homes as Cities Rebuild. Against self-driving cars. Today’s Socialist Revival Began on the Streets of Seattle 20 Years Ago. Welcome to the Global Rebellion Against Neoliberalism. Even rich kids need free college.

Millennials weren’t the only ones gutted by the recession. Gen X has never recovered.

* True crime: Indiana manipulated report on Amazon worker’s death to lure HQ2, investigation says. Google fires four employees at center of worker organization efforts. Away’s founders sold a vision of travel and inclusion, but former employees say it masked a toxic work environment. Uber Office Had Separate Bathrooms for Drivers and ‘Employees.’ Uber’s new loan program could trap drivers in cycles of crushing debt. Uber Says 3,045 Sexual Assaults Were Reported in U.S. Rides Last Year.

* “Nearly every Revver who spoke with The Verge said they were exposed to graphic or troubling material on multiple occasions with no warning. This includes recordings of physical and verbal abuse between intimate partners, graphic descriptions of sexual assault, amateur porn, violent footage from police body cameras, a transphobic rant, and, in one instance, “a breast augmentation filmed by a physician’s cell phone, being performed on a patient who was under sedation.” Transcribers for the gig economy service Rev hate the recently slashed rates, but the disturbing content they deal with is even worse.

Watched “The Irishman” and wondered, hey, what happened to those Teamsters pension funds in the end? Turns out that once Rudy Giuliani made a big splash getting the mob out, he handed management over to Wall Street with no oversight, and they wrecked it.

* The final word on should you go to grad school, from 1987.

* But his bosses didn’t like him, so they shot him into space.

* Starlink vs. the stars. Even more here!

Airlines damage or lose an average of 26 wheelchairs a day, report finds.

* What happens after you abandon an entire amusement park?

* You can’t have it both ways.

* This stabs me twice.

* Give it up for Tom Gauld.

* This is a mistake and we should not accept it.

* New book claims Albert Camus was murdered by the KGB.

* The color of the year is… blue. Just — blue.

* Wish I’d been quicker on the blogging trigger to include this Thanksgiving classic in time for the holiday.

* Pretty sick dude. The prequels were close to a good story. I did stand-up last night as “1990s Jerry Seinfeld Doing Bits About His 17-Year-Old Girlfriend.” It Happened to Me: Sinclair Bought My Hometown News Channel and Now It’s Deranged. Bleakest shit I’ve ever seen. The Fire Was Good, Actually. That’s good content. That’s my secret. Inigo Montoya’s Guide to Networking Success. The self care serial killer. Every city has a “guy” they all know about. Give me fucking strength.

Mikhail Gorbachev’s Pizza Hut Thanksgiving Miracle.

* Why Elsa from Frozen is a queer icon — and why Disney won’t embrace that idea.

* The Incendiary Aims of HBO’s Watchmen. HBO’s Watchmen Reveal Unmasks Homophobia and Fetishization. Move over, Joker – it’s time for the OG Superman.

* So the new Ghostbusters sequel follows in the classic franchise legacy mold and is about the original generation of Ghostbusters failing to prevent a disaster that destroyed New York. I really feel like our culture needs some therapy.

* Hands down one of the worst living Americans, virtual lock he’ll be president someday.

* I too can’t wait for December 20th.

* Mark Z. Danielewski drops three new House Of Leaves teleplays, is definitely up to something.

In 1969, a group of boys played a Thanksgiving football game. 50 years later, they’re still at it.

* “There Is An Entity That Cannot Be Defeated”: Former Go champion beaten by DeepMind retires after declaring AI invincible.

* And rest in peace, D.C. Fontana. There’s almost no one more directly responsible for what Star Trek became than her.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 6, 2019 at 2:12 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Friday Night Links!

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* I have two SF reviews coming out in LARB the next few weekends, the first on Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments and the other on Cixin Liu’s Supernova Era. Keep an eye out!

* In the meantime: Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo Share Booker Prize. As the first black woman to win the Booker Prize, Bernardine Evaristo deserved to win alone.

* If you’re a Mac user, don’t update your OS! A ton of legacy applications just won’t work anymore.

* CFP from the Center for the Advancement of the Humanities: Urban Spaces, Creative Places: A Blueprint for the Humanities in the City.

* CFP: Star Trek Novels. CFP: Imagining Alternatives – Speculative Fiction and the Political, 11th Annual Conference of the Gesellschaft fuer Fantastikforschung.

* Great job at a great program in a great place to live! UNC Greensboro is looking for a fiction professor.

* ‘The Bob Dylan of Genocide Apologists.’ Fascism and the Nobel prize.

* Five Indigenous Speculative Fiction Authors You Should Be Reading. The Rise of Indigenous Horror.

Ken Liu on Chinese sci-fi, ‘silkpunk,’ and his distrust of labels.

* The Tiptree Award is becoming the Otherwise Award.

Climate fiction is imagining a future beyond the climate crisis.

* Not a day goes by when I don’t think about how Octavia Butler prophesied our present and our futures.”

Humans Will Never Live on an Exoplanet, Nobel Laureate Says. Here’s Why.

* For Jodi Dean, the class war is on — and academics need to pick a side.

* He lived to see it.

* Meanwhile: some grim accounting.

* Alt-ac y’all.

* Weaponizing student evaluations, part I, II, III.

* Sallie Mae flies more than 100 employees to Hawaii to celebrate $5 billion in sales while student debt crisis tops $1.6 trillion. Sales!

* Ecological Politics for the Working Class. Jane Fonda is arrested leading environmental protest at the Capitol. Capitalism and addiction. The new age of megafires. Crisis in the Amazon. The inequality of climate change. Global finance is funding 4C temperature rise. This climate problem is bigger than cars and much harder to solve. In 2025, the economic craze for millennials is going to be cheap housing in flood zones. Climate change and the end of the Olympics. Extinction Rebellion and the Birth of a New Climate Politics. The New Green Scare. ‘They should be allowed to cry’: Ecological disaster taking toll on scientists’ mental health.

* I think a lot of academics have been plagiarized by mainstream outlets at one time or another — I certainly have — but this story is truly next-level.

* Aaron Bady interviews Jedediah Purdy at The Nation. David M. Perry interviews llhan Omar, also at The Nation.

New — It’s Adjunct Barbie™!

Chicago teachers are on strike today. A high school teacher explains to us why the strike is the union’s best tool to fight for better conditions in the city’s schools and an end to austerity.

* The class war is also an intergenerational war.

* In the future, “Frequent Flyer Miles” may refer to a tax penalty, or even a criminal misdemeanor.

Can We Turn Down the Temperature on Urban Heat Islands?

* Biden just isn’t very good at this. Neither is Beto. And Bloomberg won’t be either! Bernie Sanders And Elizabeth Warren Take Aim At Corporate Interests Gutting Journalism. I’m with Nobody.

Trump’s Worst Betrayal Yet. Ethnic cleanser very excited about ethnic cleansing.

* This G7 thing is just wild. Truly not even pretending anymore. Never-Before-Seen Trump Tax Documents Show Major Inconsistencies. The 30-minute phone call that could end Trump’s presidency. Only once has Gallup seen more support for removing a president. Nixon was gone four days later. The Senate is likelier to remove Trump after impeachment than you think. Donald Trump Isn’t Julius Caesar. He’s Republic-Killer Tiberius Gracchus.

Rudy Giuliani’s Twitter Feed Is a Boomer Conspiracy-Theory Sh*tshow.

Once Trump is gone, the U.S. must completely reform the presidency. The Sick Video Played at a Pro-Trump Conference Is a Glimpse of the Dark Energy in American Politics. A lot of policy debates these days turn on Republicans threatening to kill a lot of people. Life Under the First Thousand Days of Donald Trump.

* Why did Trump win?

So we must build geography right into the analysis. Once we start looking at electoral college-weighted, county-level correlates of the Trump swing—Trump’s vote share less Romney’s vote share—a very different pattern emerges. The three strongest predictors of the Trump swing are college graduation rate, population growth rate, and growth in deaths due to drug overdoses in 2003-2017.

* A professor spoke about whiteness at Georgia Southern University. Students burned her book.

California becomes first US state to ban animal fur products.

Trump Turns Back the Clock in America’s Meat Plants.

* Seven Supreme Court cases that will destroy America in 2020.

* California accidentally destroys freelancing.

* Try to escape the gig economy with this artist collective’s new video game.

* The X-Men’s New Age Is Here, and It’s Horny as Hell. Adding in a free love element when it seems like they’re all definitely being drugged or mind controlled might not be the best story decision, but let’s see where it goes…

Science confirms Storm is main character of X-Men.

* Providence gets it.

* Tesla is Enron, exhibit XXIV.

* But wait! A new competitor has entered the fray! WeWork shuts 2,300 office phone booths over health scare.

Pickens County Schools pulls controversial transgender policy. This moral panic, ginned up out of absolutely nothing, just infuriates me. I’m not sure you can find even a single example of an inclusive bathroom policy harming anyone, while the ordinary operation of every high school in the country leads to rampant sexual abuse.

* A Floating Jail Was Supposed to Be Temporary. That Was 27 Years Ago.

The big business — and questionable effectiveness — of mass shooter trainings. “Questionable” seems… generous.

* This man owed $134 in property taxes. The District sold the lien to an investor who foreclosed on his $197,000 house and sold it. He and many other homeowners like him were left with nothing.

* The Midwest Is One of the Worst Places for African Americans to Live.

Meet America’s newest military giant: Amazon. Amazon Workers May Be Are Watching Your Cloud Cam Home Footage.

* Today in the nightmare society.

* Truly horrible story out of Fort Worth. Fort Worth Officer Charged With Murder In Killing Of Atatiana Jefferson In Her Home. Policing just needs to be rethought completely in this country, on every level.

UK to deport academic to Democratic Republic of Congo – which she has never visited. And here at home: The New War on Naturalized Citizens.

* Tough week for fans of the use/mention distinction.

* Neil deGrasse Tyson going for the ultra-rare triple-reverse cancellation-uncancellation-recancellation.

* New federal data: suicide rate of children age 10 to 14 “nearly tripled” between 2007 and 2017.

The movement to decriminalize sex work, explained.

* The Joy of Being a Horrible Goose in a Time of Moral Crisis. Honks vs. Quacks: A Long Chat With the Developers of ‘Untitled Goose Game.’

* No, I simply refuse to admire Shep Smith, not even a little bit.

* Now NBC killed its Weinstein story.

* I think you could write a very interesting cultural history of contemporary America about the way it loses its mind every time the First Lady role seems like it might get disrupted. Today’s chapter: Rosario Dawson.

* A whole new twist on institutions abusing Title IX.

* A month away from 40, BA, MFA, PhD, professor for seven years, and I still regularly have dreams where it turns out I missed some requirement and have to go back to high school.

* God, you know, I just can’t stop thinking about this.

* A two-year-old’s reaction to seeing the Hulk go bananas for the first time.

* Miracles and wonders: A Drug Was Made For Just One Child, Raising Hopes About Future Of Tailored Medicine.

* Joker today, Joker tomorrow, Joker forever.

* Alas, @dril.

* I refuse to consider the possibility that Watchmen will be remotely good. I don’t care how many critics say otherwise! The Never-Ending Challenge of Adapting ‘Watchmen.’

* It’s back! How many European cities can you name?

Ancient ‘lost city’ of the Khmer Empire uncovered in Cambodia.

* The intelligence of plants.

Paris zoo unveils the “blob”, an organism with no brain but 720 sexes. Take off and nuke it from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure.

* Spotted on Facebook, and it checks out.

* Gaming out season two of Picard.

* One thing I like to do at Target is pretend their novelty coffee mugs are gravestone epitaphs.”

* And this Studio Ghibli news is (for a particular sliver of the population) a genuinely shocking development and a huge coup for HBO Max. I know for me it flipped from “lol no” to “well, I guess I’ll be subscribing to that” in an instant…

Written by gerrycanavan

October 18, 2019 at 2:51 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Tuesday Links, Plus a Very Canavan Podcast!

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There’s No Sheriff on This Planet: A Conversation with Kim Stanley Robinson. The latest in my irregular series of conversations with KSR. The transcript is just the highlights — for the full effect you’ll have to listen.

* Extrapolation 60.1 is out! Articles on rape motifs in contemporary fantasy, Japanese print SF, and Nihād Sharīf’s The Conqueror of Time.

* Endgame ephemera! Avengers: Endgame, or, why this is all your fault. Avengers and the Endgame of Liberalism. And the Russo brothers are on a quest to make sure you know that Endgame being good had nothing to do with them.

* The Night King? Never happened. It will shock you how much it never happened. Bonus appearance by the coffee cup! If these are the final two choices, the only way to win the Game may be not to play.

* “Like Groundhog Day — and while we’re at it, like The Good Place — Russian Doll is Kafka played on easy mode.”

* Watch The Wandering Earth on Netflix!

* Ted Chiang has a new book, why haven’t you bought it yet?

* A new climate change story from Paolo Bacigalupi at MIT Technology Review. Killer ending.

* Human society under urgent threat from loss of Earth’s natural life. One million species at risk of extinction, UN report warns. Humans Are Speeding Extinction and Altering the Natural World at an ‘Unprecedented’ Pace. An open letter to David Wallace-Wells. We are ruled by psychopaths.

* Greta Thunberg, autism, and climate activism.

* For roughly 18 months, AirPods play music, or podcasts, or make phone calls. Then the lithium-ion batteries will stop holding much of a charge, and the AirPods will slowly become unusable. They can’t be repaired because they’re glued together. They can’t be thrown out, or else the lithium-ion battery may start a fire in the garbage compactor. They can’t be easily recycled, because there’s no safe way to separate the lithium-ion battery from the plastic shell. Instead, the AirPods sit in your drawer forever. AirPods Are a Tragedy.

It’s time to speak about batshit jobs.

Today, batshit jobs are more widespread than ever. You’re likely doing a batship job if you’re working in advertising trying to maintain mass consumption, in air traffic, industrial farming and forestry, in mining, in the car industry, and first of all if you’re working in oil drilling, fracking, coal mining.

To become dilligent batshit workers we have to be trained, and we have to be able to block out the harm that our work participates in. The beauty of the school strikes is that a generation of young people are preparing themselves to refuse batshit work.

*  It seems to me that anyone who considers this for more than ten minutes has to recognize that “student demand” is a construct: it is the product of a pervasive, cross-institutional pedagogy in social and educational value in which students are immersed from (at least) primary school onward.  If students are demanding STEM in record numbers, this is a because they have been systematically invited to embrace a number of interlocking beliefs: that

  1. STEM fields matter to the welfare and future of human societies more than other fields — that social problems respond best to technocratic solutions; 
  2. college is a course of career training; 
  3. college is an investment that ought to be maximized in order to yield the highest possible return in the form of lifelong higher income;
  4. STEM fields represent areas of continuing high-growth, recession-proof employment. 

“Student demand” is a fact insofar as it reproduces these assumptions, which are already endemic to the privatized, market-driven university.  Other forms of “student demand” (for example, demands for a more racially and ethnically diverse faculty that better reflects regional and national demographics) are routinely ignored.

* Marquette Academic Senate calls for administration neutrality on unionization.

* Measuring the tenure-track success of pre-2009 Ph.D.s is like measuring the ice stability of Greenland’s glaciers before industrialization. Researcher’s suicide reflects bleak prospects for post-Ph.D. life. Adjuncts and Freelancers: Reading Signs of Eventual Destruction.

* Turning Point USA’s dark coup on college campuses.

A lot of older academics will point to the 1970s or the 1990s to say that crisis has always been the default, and there’s truth to this. But they didn’t have the same debt loads back then.

* “Second Chance: Life without Student Debt.”

* For Colleges, Climate Change Means Making Tough Choices.

* People Are Clamoring to Buy Old Insulin Pumps.

What Happened After My 13-Year-Old Son Joined the Alt-Right. As capitalism starts to crumble, hate finds a familiar foothold.

Liberalism: the other God that failed. The Senate is a much bigger problem than the Electoral College. Here’s how many millennials get help from their parents to pay rent and other bills. Twitter users answer the question: “When did you become radicalized by the U.S. health care non-system?” 42% of Americans are at risk of retiring broke.

* America smartly sets its sights on the one flaw in the Constitution the Founders actually bothered to fix.

* If the president does it, it’s not obstruction.

* This seems heathy. This too! Things are great.

The forgotten history of how Abraham Lincoln helped rig the Senate for Republicans.

* Dialectics of Milwaukee: ‘It’s clear that the secret is out about Milwaukee,’ increased tourism spending shows. There seems to be a surge of unsettling things happening on the Milwaukee education landscape, some of them just more of the same (low student achievement, divisive politics) and some of them not so typical (corruption). Glendale would provide $37 million to help redevelop struggling Bayshore — with $57 million debt paid off.

Sandra Bland, It Turns Out, Recorded Her Own Video of Traffic Stop Confrontation. ICE provides local police a way to work around ‘sanctuary’ policies, act as immigration officers.

* On April 30, my Liberal Studies class, framed as Anthropology and Philosophy of Science, was the site of a horrific event. Two of my students were killed while four more were injured.

Study: Therapy dogs reduce children’s fear, anxiety during dentist appointments.

Aging baby boomers are about to push Alzheimer’s disease rates sky high.

The Saga Of ‘Star Citizen,’ A Video Game That Raised $300 Million—But May Never Be Ready To Play.

* Dystopia watch: Oh Good, a Subway System Is Making Riders Stare at Ads Before They Can Buy a Ticket. Amazon’s staffing up a news vertical full of crime stories designed to scare you into buying a spying, snitching “smart” doorbell. We’ve lived so long that the founding of Amazon Prime is something we can be nostalgic about now.

* Let’s just go with a daily reminder that Philip K. Dick wrote a novel where all films were just called disneys.

* Who Owns the Moon Watch: Why the Moon Is Suddenly a Hot Commodity.

* How angry pilots got the Navy to stop dismissing UFO sightings.

* And the biggest danger about an asteroid strike? Lawyers.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 7, 2019 at 12:31 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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In a Dark Time, The Blog Begins to Linkpost

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* My chances have never been better.

* One of the highlights of my trip to ICFA this year was my exposure to some truly bonkers viral digital horror texts, like Doki Doki Literature Club! and Normal Porn for Normal People.

Grooming Style: A conversation on how the Alt Lit scene’s documentation of sexual violence became a style of supposed sincerity. Infinite Jest isn’t mentioned but the critique seems potentially valid here as well.

How Chinese novelists are reimagining science fiction. How Imagination Will Save Our Cities. When Science Fiction Comes True. Stacey Abrams, Star Trek Nerd, Is Traveling at Warp Speed.

* Climate Fiction: A Special Issue of Guernica.

* Sci-fi literature university seeks degree granting authority.

* Terrific video essay from Dan Golding on Hollywood franchises, nostalgia, and climate change. I’ve already been using it in presentations!

* The Pattern Podcast, from the masters of the OEB Legacy Network, Ayana Jamieson and Moya Bailey.

In two new books, 45 AI experts grapple with a field on the verge of something big, and possibly scary.

Galaxy Simulations Offer a New Solution to the Fermi Paradox.

* Fantasy’s Widow: The Fight Over The Legacy Of Dungeons & Dragons.

* U.S. Army Assures Public That Robot Tank System Adheres to AI Murder Policy. Phew, that’s a relief.

* Why Self-Checkout Is and Has Always Been the Worst. Robot Workers Can’t Go on Strike But They Can Go Up in Flames.

* Twilight of the elites, college admissions edition. The College Admissions Ring Tells Us How Much Schoolwork Is Worth.

* How UT-Austin’s Innovation Boondoggle Went Belly Up.

* Seemingly deeply flawed study suggests trigger warnings have little effect.

* A bigger scandal at colleges — underpaid professors.

* Colleges gave their students’ work to TurnItIn and now it’s worth $1.75B. Why a Plagiarism-Detection Company Is Now a Billion-Dollar Business.

* Academic freedom clearly protects stealing student research and defrauding the university of millions.

* I can’t wait to explore all the exciting exceptions to this free-speech proclamation.

* The costs of academic publishing are absurd. The University of California is fighting back.

A new white paper suggests that the Tolstoy rule may not apply when it comes to at-risk small colleges: they’re all basically unhappy in the same way.

* Talk to your families about the academic job market, or they’ll just find out about it on the street.

The group described training exercises in which “four teachers at a time were taken into a room, told to crouch down and were shot execution style with some sort of projectiles — resulting in injuries.”

The “terrified” teachers, ISTA added, were then instructed to not tell their colleagues what was in store for them. “Teachers waiting outside that heard the screaming were brought into the room four at a time and the shooting process was repeated.” We rehearse the coming trauma because we cannot stop it.

* Tonight, an appeal panel at Vanderbilt University found “no irregularities” in the reversal of #MeTooSTEM founder BethAnn McLaughlin’s tenure recommendations.

Rutgers faculty members authorize union to call a strike.

‘Change Is Closer Than We Think.’ Inside Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Unlikely Rise.

* Let 16-year-olds vote.

* On Star Trek: Voyager and Trumpism.

The neo-Nazi plot against America is much bigger than we realize. There’s No Such Thing as Nationalism Without Ethnic Cleansing. The Making of the Fox News White House. It’s time — high time — to take Fox News’s destructive role in America seriously. 78% of GOP Fox News Viewers Say Trump Is Best President Ever. Counties that hosted a 2016 Trump rally saw a 226 percent increase in hate crimes.

* How a black man says he ‘outsmarted’ a neo-Nazi group and became their new leader.

Why Donald Trump could win again, by Dave Eggers. I’ve gathered that some people don’t like this piece for various reasons but if you don’t think Donald Trump is a very strong threat for reelection I think you are very wrong. He has a floor of 40% and seems utterly immune to negative press, plus a ton of Republicans who sat it out or got squeamish will come home. He “looks like a president” now, and will be completely unprincipled in abusing his position. It’s not a gimme. How Trump is on track for a 2020 landslide. Or, if you prefer: Republicans resigned to Trump losing 2020 popular vote but confident about Electoral College.

* Not to mention that Democrats managed to completely break their own nomination process and no one seems to care.

* Meanwhile, he gets to poison all our water.

* In this, the best of all possible countries, in this, the best of all possible worlds.

* Among NYC Students, 1 In 8 Is Homeless Before 5th Grade: Study.

Leaked Documents Show the U.S. Government Tracking Journalists and Immigration Advocates Through a Secret Database. 4 women fined, sentenced to probation for leaving water for migrants crossing US-Mexico border. 12 detained babies have been released from ICE custody in Dilley, Texas. Immigrant Miscarriages in ICE Detention Have Nearly Doubled Under Trump. ICE Is Detaining 50,000 People, an All-Time High.Young US Citizen Detained at Border Gave ‘Inconsistent Info,’ CBP Says. US government uses several clandestine shelters to detain immigrant children. Supreme Court rules, 5-4, you can hold an immigrant indefinitely for jaywalking.

* The demobilization of the resistance is a dangerous mistake. If Trump is a national emergency, it’s time for Democrats to act like it. The Cowardice of the Cover-Your-Ass Memo. Understanding Ilhan Omar. The Obama Boys.

* Activists will never design good strategy on the basis of bad history. The reality is that the Good Sixties civil rights movement was most successful when it operated with a de facto diversity of tactics. Francis Fox Piven has noted that civil rights progress only really occurred when self-defense against white incursions escalated into black aggression against the symbols and agents of white domination—notably the white police, merchants, and landlords. 

* Activism and the Catholic tradition.

* Nihilist in chief: On Mitch McConnell.

* How to Hide an Empire.

Children of the Industrocene. Students share motivations ahead of Youth Climate Strike. The Hip New Teen Trend Is Leading the Climate Movement to Save the World. Climate Change Is This Generation’s Vietnam War. Study shows IPCC is underselling climate change. The Climate Change Paper So Depressing It’s Sending People to Therapy. The Rapid Decline Of The Natural World Is A Crisis Even Bigger Than Climate Change. Sharp rise in Arctic temperatures now inevitable. Non-survivable humid heatwaves for over 500 million people. It’s raining on Greenland’s ice sheet. That’s a big problem. Scientists aboard the Nathaniel B. Palmer watch a 25-mile-wide section of ice crumble into the sea. The Arctic’s ticking ‘carbon bomb’ could blow up the Paris Agreement. Plummeting insect numbers ‘threaten collapse of nature.’ The Other Kind of Climate Denial. Climate Change Is Here—and It Looks Like Starvation. California’s Wildfires Burn Through America’s Climate Illusions. Nebraska floods have broken records in 17 places across the state. A Light Installation in a Scottish Coastal Town Vividly Shows Future Sea Level Rise. Coastal Flooding Is Erasing Billions in Property Value as Sea Level Rises. That’s Bad News for Cities. Climate change scientists look to Māori and other indigenous people for answers. Indigenous knowledge has been warning us about climate change for centuries. Rethink Activism in the Face of Catastrophic Biological Collapse. Here’s How Much Climate Change Could Cost the U.S. Bill To Keep Coal Plants Open Nears Finish Line.

Far-Right Climate Denial Is Scary. Far-Right Climate Acceptance Might Be Scarier.

* The WWF’s secret war: The World Wide Fund for Nature funds vicious paramilitary forces to fight poaching.

* The End of Recycling.

* Chimpanzees Are Going Through a Tragic Loss: By fragmenting forests and killing off individuals, humans are stopping the flow of ideas among our closest relatives.

What We Owe a Rabbit.

We Know How to Cut Child Poverty in Half. Will We Do It? Oh, honey.

* Against Garrett Hardin.

* Nice work if you can get it.

Life in Prison for Selling $20 of Weed.

* The rich are different! Massive study finds strong correlation between “early affluence” and “faster cognitive drop” in old age.

* Only 7 Black Students Got Into Stuyvesant, N.Y.’s Most Selective High School, Out of 895 Spots.

* Ramsey Orta filmed the killing of Eric Garner. The video traveled far, but it wouldn’t get justice for his dead friend. Instead, the NYPD would exact their revenge through targeted harassment and eventually imprisonment — Orta’s punishment for daring to show the world police brutality.

Judges Plead Guilty in Scheme to Jail Youths for Profit.

* Roughly 60 years after the abolition of slavery, anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston made an incredible connection: She located the last surviving captive of the last slave ship to bring Africans to the United States.

* Understanding privilege: a thread.

In 1998, I helped convict two men of murder. I’ve regretted it ever since.

* On Disability and on Facebook? Uncle Sam Wants to Watch What You Post.

* A new study finds a potential risk with self-driving cars: failure to detect dark-skinned pedestrians.

* A room of one’s own white colleagues.

* The Max-8 chronicles: The world pulls the Andon cord on the 737 Max. Doomed Boeing Jets Lacked 2 Safety Features That Company Sold Only as Extras. Pilot Who Hitched a Ride Saved Lion Air 737 Day Before Deadly Crash. Essentially, this plane could try to crash itself because of a single faulty sensor. Aviation Experts Have Predicted Automation Will Lead to Disasters Like the Boeing Max Crashes for 15 Years.

US citizens will need to register to visit parts of Europe starting in 2021.

* How The Very Hungry Caterpillar Became a Classic.

* Suicide contagion and the MPAA.

* More from the Michael Jackson revision beat: Is Pedophilia a Crime or an Illness?

* Netflix’s Bright Future Looks A Lot Like Television’s Dim Past.

As a professional television critic, I am living there already. Netflix is now effectively my whole field of coverage. It’s increasingly difficult for me to place coverage of non-Netflix shows; all but the biggest “event” shows on other networks are passed over for regular reviews, and those on rival streaming services are afterthoughts at best. This is true even of Amazon Prime, the TV and film branch of the mind-bogglingly lucrative corporation after which New York Governor Amazon Cuomo was named. (Don’t feel too bad for Amazon, though: “Netflix Delivers Billions of Content Globally by Running on Amazon Web Services.”)

If you write about television the way I mostly do, which is through reviews—recaps, if you insist—of individual episodes, even Netflix is difficult to write about. Netflix’s own business model ensures this. Weekly shotgun blasts of full seasons of half a dozen different shows are just how it operates, but it makes deciding what will hit and how and when to cover it absolutely maddening for every TV editor I’ve talked to. By design, Netflix shows are consumed in one or two sittings, within 72 hours of their small-hours Friday release. They are to be discussed intensely on Monday and Tuesday, and then swept aside by the next torrent of programming to come down the Netflix Original Sluice by the end of the week.

Meet the bald Norwegians and other unknowns who actually create the songs that top the charts.

White Settlers Buried the Truth About the Midwest’s Mysterious Mound Cities.

* Marvel corner! Who’s the Baddie? Captain Marvel in the Age of American Empire. You’re blowing my mind, dude. Like so many characters in the MCU, Fury’s coolness only makes sense if you limit your perspective. And the arc of history is long, but.

As a result, the movie poses questions it can’t answer. When we see her show up in the present — played by the same actor who is the same age — do we ask what Captain Marvel has been doing for the last twenty-four years? What she has done and learned? How she has grown and changed? If she approves of Nick Fury’s “Avengers Initiative,” and of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Did she watch Captain America: The Winter Soldier where an American super-soldier with the name “Captain” discovered that the good guys had been secretly infiltrated by the bad guys since the beginning? There are obvious and inescapable political allegories here, but what is her position on the two-state solution, the right of return, and does she have any thoughts on Ilhan Omar? Who, precisely, are the Skrulls and the Kree meant to be?

If these are ridiculous questions, it’s because this is a Marvel movie, whose episodes always gesture at resolutions that the big team-up movies will cannibalize. Thor: Ragnarak ended with the population of Asgard become a rootless diaspora searching for a new home — an extremely resonant image — but when Avengers: Infinity War began, five minutes later, Thanos had already killed half of them, offscreen, and the MCU seemed to have completely lost interest in that story, as comprehensively as it does when Black Panther’s triumphantly concluding Afrocentrism becomes Infinity War’s “sure, we’ll sacrifice Wakanda, why not.” The ending of Captain Marvel gives us the same feeling of closure — she has stopped being a soldier who kills civilians and become the kind of soldier who saves them — but the MCU’s narrative engine will never sustain this transition; the real amnesia of this franchise is how single-character episodes discover things about their protagonists that have to be forgotten.

* What happens once Uber and Lyft kill off public transit.

The product sheet is clear: Any claim against a dysfunctional nuclear event detector must be made within 90 days.

Hundreds of motel guests were secretly filmed and live-streamed online.

* Well, when you’re right, you’re right: “If someone is the enemy, it’s okay to kill endless numbers of them,” he continued. “Lord of the Rings is like that. If it’s the enemy, there’s killing without separation between civilians and soldiers. That falls within collateral damage. How many people are being killed in attacks in Afghanistan? The Lord of the Ringsis a movie that has no problem doing that [not separating civilians from enemies, apparently]. If you read the original work, you’ll understand, but in reality, the ones who were being killed are Asians and Africans. Those who don’t know that, yet say they love fantasy are idiots.” Hayao Miyazaki Seems To Hate Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones And Hollywood Movies.

* Counterpoint: I love playing pretend with my kids and the knowledge that someday they won’t want to do it anymore breaks my soul.

* Toxic parenting myths make life harder for people with autism. That must change.

The real “Momo Challenge” is the terror of parenting in the age of YouTube. Here’s the truth of what we know.

* Gut-wrenching story about parents using Nebraska’s short-lived safe-haven law to institutionalize their children.

* When r/DaystromInstitute just nails it.

* What we call a win-win: People in states where marijuana is legal are eating more cookies and ice cream.

* Automated reception kiosks are a security dumpster fire.

* Here are the data brokers quietly buying and selling your personal information.

Amazon and YouTube Are Making Money From the Dangerous QAnon Conspiracy Theory.

Wisconsin’s nightmare roads cost drivers $6.8 billion each year, study says.

* An oral history of the greatest episode in television comedy history.

* Duke’s gonna Duke.

J.K. Rowling was always this terrible.

* Lolita, My Love, the Musical Too Dark to Live.

* Minnesota couple Michael and Jack McConnell are now thought to be the longest-married, same-sex couple in the U.S.

* Finally, a job worth applying for.

Could Walmart Be a Model for a Socialist Future?

* Singularity watch: Harvard University uncovers DNA switch that controls genes for whole-body regeneration.

* H.I.V. Is Reported Cured in a Second Patient, a Milestone in the Global AIDS Epidemic.

Scientists Say They Can Recreate Living Dinosaurs Within the Next 5 Years. Can’t see any harm there.

* Even catching up on lost sleep is bad for you!

* On the value of education. On heartbreak. On friendship. On the value of never clicking.

* Just in time for my fall class: Netflix has acquired the rights to Gabriel García Márquez’s masterpiece “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and will adapt it into a series.

* The Suffering Game (for 3+ players).

* Race, Asia, and Dungeons and Dragons.

* And Lord, make me outgrow Quentin Tarantino, but not yet.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 22, 2019 at 12:47 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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So Here’s Everything You Missed While You Were Paying Attention to the Election Links

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* It was an absolutely crazy month trying to get the final proofs locked down, but The Cambridge History of Science Fiction has an Amazon page and a publication date: November 30, 2018. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this massive undertaking! Obviously $175 is a hefty price tag, so talk to your public and university library about science fiction today…

* SFRA Review #326 is up with my last vice president’s note (sniff).

* I think I forgot to hype my review essay in the latest Science Fiction Film and Television on Arrival and parenting. Consider it hyped!

* I was also lucky enough to participate in the symposium for the new issue of Science Fiction Studies on climate crisis. (The end of my contribution for those who can’t get past the preview.)

* Wired has a profile of KSR in honor of Red Moon, which I’m meant to be reviewing for LARB one of these days…

* Ted Chiang’s second collection, Exhalation, is finally coming out in May 2019. An absolute must-buy.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s Final Posthumous Book Is Published.

* It’s been too long since I last posted and this CFP is out of date now, but it looks like a great event at Madison next year: CFP: Childhoods of Color.

* At least the Post45 CFP is still active! And this one! Transgressions: McGill University’s 25th Annual English Graduate Conference.

* CFP: The Sanzed Empire on Fire: A Panel on N.K. Jemisin’s The Broken Earth Trilogy.

* Call for Papers: Insecurity Conference (Spring 2019). At UWM’s Center for 21st Century Studies.

* Another thing I missed in a month of not posting: Jaimee’s first review for the Rumpus. It’s a good one!

* Monsters vs. Empire: Mark Bould vs. the Space Force.

* Nine sci-fi subgenres for understanding what’s to come.

* Race and Halloween in Milwaukee.

* A special issue of the Canadian Journal of Canadian Studies: Black Lives, Black Politics, Black Futures—An Introduction.

Why I’m Fighting To Get Rid Of The “Baby Graveyard” At Marquette University.

* Jesuits to release names of accused priests in the west. This is going to hit Catholic higher education like a sledgehammer.

* Superstar-professor-industrial complex. Academia as cult.

* How to read Infinite Jest.

* Let the children sue.

* Monsters of climate change.

Architectural history in an era of capitalist ruin.

What if I told you one of the largest ever undertakings in American historic preservation was happening not through the graces of any large institution, but through the autonomous participation of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of individuals across the country, who are collectively stitching together their own narrative of architectural history?

The “Kmart” group on the photo-sharing website Flickr has amassed a staggering twenty-five thousand photos of its subject, a struggling American discount store. It hardly matters that, against the grain of the high-architectural image factory, many of these photos could not be called artistic—a number of them appear to have been taken with shaky cell phones, or from the wrong side of a speeding car. The production of high-gloss photography is not the purpose of this group. It’s purpose is to document a slow extinction.

* “I’m about to hit the ground but the bottom of my shoes were melting. I … prayed to God, ‘Please, don’t let me die like this,'” said nurse Nichole Jolly. Nurses fleeing fast-moving Camp Fire scramble to save patients — and themselves.

Microplastics found in 90 percent of table salt. Insect collapse study ‘one of the most disturbing articles I have ever read,’ expert warns. Humanity has wiped out 60% of animal populations since 1970, report finds. Entire cities evacuate as hellish wildfires whip through California. Here’s Where the Post-Apocalyptic Water Wars Will Be Fought. As the Antarctic Peninsula heats up, the rules of life there are being ripped apart. Alarmed scientists aren’t sure what all the change means for the future. Geoengineering as a weapon of war. Left-wing climate realism and the Trump climate change memo. Weather 2050: See how your city’s weather will be different in just one generation. Capitalism torched the world, fascism rose from the ashes. No Empires, No Dust Bowls Ecological Disasters and the Lessons of History. Best prepare for social collapse, and soon. Climate Change Is Already Damaging American Democracy. Climate Change is Already Drastically Altering the World’s Climate Zones. High Tide Socialism in Low Tide Times. Disaster socialism. Billionaires Are the Leading Cause of Climate Change. The end of the world is over. Now the real work begins.

The Wandering Earth could be China’s breakout sci-fi blockbuster film.

How Marvel and Corporate Comics Are Failing the ‘Vulnerable’ Creators Behind Their Superheroes. The case of Chuck Wendig.

* Citation as gratitude. Should Scholars Avoid Citing the Work of Awful People? Over time all cultural work asymptotically approaches the condition of Twitter.

* The NCAA is gaslighting you. The secret betrayal that sealed Nike’s special influence over the University of Oregon. Scandal at Maryland. Nearly 100 More Women Accuse USC Gynecologist George Tyndall of Abuse.

Going Hungry at the Most Prestigious MFA in America.

* Secretive Campus Cops Patrol Already Overpoliced Neighborhoods.

Meet the UW professor who just killed the death penalty.

* When you wake up this morning from unsettling dreams, you find yourself changed in your bed into a monstrous vermin. You Are Jeff Bezos.

Politics corner!

* It’s been so long since I posted that this caravan of bloodthirsty women and children isn’t even attacking the US anymore.

* Years too late, the end of Scott Walker. Wisconsin’s $4.1B Foxconn Boondoggle.

* Back to this. No asylum. These Companies Are Helping Trump Wage ‘Technological Warfare’ Against Immigrants. Amazon is helping ICE track, detain and deport immigrants, report say. Migrant Children in Search of Justice: A 2-Year-Old’s Day in Immigration Court. The Five-Year-Old Who Was Detained at the Border and Persuaded to Sign Away Her Rights. The war inside 7-11. How A Massive ICE Raid Changed Life In One Small American Town. ICE Is Imprisoning a Record 44,000 People. ICE Is Sending Separated Children Home With No One To Pick Them Up.

Swedish student who stopped deportation flight of Afghan asylum seeker to be prosecuted.

* The President personally and directly violating election law is like a page 6 story. And this one. And this one!

I know the vast amount of focus is on the immediate future of the Mueller probe, but it’s also wild that Whitaker, with this resume, is now the chief law enforcement officer in the country. ‘He’s a F*cking Fool.’

* The political theology of Trump.

* Florida. Why is it always Florida?

The Gerontocracy is Driving America into the Ditch. The rigging of American politics.

* What would you say about abolishing the Supreme Court? It’s a start. Resisting the Justocracy.

* Rule of law watch: Promise not to kill anyone? After losing election, TX judge wholesale releases juvenile defendants.

* Elsewhere in Texas: Now we see the violence inherent in the system.

* Periodic unhappy reminder that stochastic terrorism is a term you’re going to want to familiarize yourself with.

Pittsburgh Shooting Was Straight Out of White Power Movement. Law enforcement can’t and won’t fight them. More on that won’t.

Fascism Is Not an Idea to Be Debated, It’s a Set of Actions to Fight.

* Brazil. One key lesson from Brazil’s lapse into fascism: Don’t trust liberals. This Is How We Radicalized The World.

* Classic Obama move to punish a bank for its crimes and make sure not to tell anyone.

* There are so many constitutional crises going on right now that it’s hard to remember where they all are. This from West Virginia was less than a month ago.

Three Months Inside Alt-Right New York.

Five Principles for Left Foreign Policy.

* Why are we in the Middle East?

* The Senate is a huge problem for Democrats. America needs a bigger House. The Democrats’ Existential Battle: Achieving Real Democracy.

* And Wisconsin’s even worse.

* Trans rights are human rights.

Victims of School Shootings From 1946–2018, in Their Own Words.

Death or Debt? National Estimates of Financial Toxicity in Persons with Newly-Diagnosed Cancer.

* Oops! Our bad!

But Neel makes the unifying, underlying dynamics hard to deny — dynamics of dwindling state resources, growing demands stemming from unfolding climate catastrophe and rising superfluity, and deepening threats to government capacity and legitimacy. This is stark terrain that too few scholars glimpse with any clarity. Its implications are massive.

A pandemic killing tens of millions of people is a real possibility — and we are not prepared for it.

Tell Me It’s Going to be OK.

What is the evolutionary advantage of death?

* Training our self-driving cars to be fascists.

* If #Bitcoin were to cease trading tomorrow, 0.5% of the world’s electricity demand would simply disappear – which would cover one year’s worth of the carbon emission cuts required to limit temperature rises this century to 2C.

Miscarrying at Work: The Physical Toll of Pregnancy Discrimination.

A $21,634 bill? How a homeless woman fought her way out of tow-company hell.

* I want to believe! Welcome ‘Oumuamua.

* How to revise Lovecraft.

How Jennifer’s Body went from a flop in 2009 to a feminist cult classic today.

Maryse Condé Wins an Alternative to the Literature Nobel in a Scandal-Plagued Year.

* The cruelest optimism: Large-scale humanities Ph.D. tracking effort finds most would do it all over again, if given the choice, and that these Ph.D.s believe their programs prepared them for diverse career paths, especially after the first few years following graduation.

* The Singularity. Rebelling. By the time he realizes he’s agreed to teach high school English, it’ll be too late. Kafkaesque. The Literary Turning Test. What I ought to want, what I actually want, what I behave like I want. Fermi problems. Fun facts. Autocomplete. Lifecycle of the academic. Mental health. Amalekites.

* Fuck yeah.

“Do you want to turn your notifications off?” Twitter asked.

Is There Such A Thing As Ballet That Doesn’t Hurt Women?

* The story of a serial SWATter.

The idea that the ancients disdained bright color is the most common misconception about Western aesthetics in the history of Western art. “He started poking around the depots and was astonished to find that many statues had flecks of color: red pigment on lips, black pigment on coils of hair, mirrorlike gilding on limbs. For centuries, archeologists and museum curators had been scrubbing away these traces of color before presenting statues and architectural reliefs to the public.”

* So many people have had their DNA sequenced that they’ve put other people’s privacy in jeopardy.

The Strand, New York City’s largest independent bookstore, is owned by a millionaire — and the booksellers who work there are all broke.

* In defense of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

* The Making of The Empire Strikes Back.

* Twilight of Apu.

Ross MacDonald is a creator of fake period paper props – books, documents, packaging etc – for use in movies and television.

* The Sears catalog and Jim Crow. How vulture capitalists ate Sears. Eddie Lampert not only ran the company; he was also its largest creditor and the guy who sold major Sears assets to … Eddie Lampert.

* I’m sorry my parrot is so racist.

* Friction-free racism: Surveillance capitalism turns a profit by making people more comfortable with discrimination. An AI lie detector will interrogate travellers at some EU borders. Twilight of the Racist Uncles. We Are All Research Subjects Now.

* Losing Laura.

* This seems fine.

* Looking for the helpers: Turning the reassuring line for children into a meme for adults should make everyone uncomfortable.

The Possessed: Dispatches from the Third Trimester.

A British baby who was born at exactly 11 a.m. on the great day was christened Pax. At the age of twenty-one, he would be killed in the next war. The obligatory Vonnegut.

* 2018 in headlines: Man run over by lawn mower while trying to kill son with a chainsaw, police say. Loggers Accidentally Cut Down World’s Oldest Tree in Amazon Forest. Was Tony The Tiger Driven Off Twitter By Unbelievably Horny Furries?

* Nothing gold can stay: Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch puppeteer Caroll Spinney announces retirement.

* And if you want a vision of the future, imagine increasingly unnecessary sequels to any cultural production that strikes any sort of chord in anyone, forever. I don’t know how I’m managing to maintain a good attitude about the Picard show given that every piece of available evidence demonstrates it’ll be just another cynical cash grab.

* Same exact joke but about people trying to adapt Foundation.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 12, 2018 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Return of the Son of Linkblogging: The Return!

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With some new responsibilities post-tenure, a new work-childcare schedule that I’m still getting used to, and some intense end-of-the-summer deadline crunches, I haven’t had the time to do a link post in a while. As most of you know, I use this blog primarily as a research aid for myself; it’s a big compendium of more or less everything I’ve found interesting or useful on the Internet in the last fifteen years, and for that reason I like to keep it as complete as possible (even if that sometimes means the link posts get very long). That said, I had about 400 tabs open among my devices — it might be more than that! — and there’s just no way I can put everything I’ve looked at since August on here. So today’s format constraint was supposed to be that I have to brutally limit myself to as many links as there were days since I last posted, and close every other tab; that didn’t really work in practice, but at least now all the tabs are closed and I can move on with my life. Here goes!

* CFP: Crafting the Long Tomorrow. CFP: Amodern 9: Techniques and Technologies. CFP: But now, we must eat! Food and Drink in Science Fiction. CFP: Terms of Service: Affective Labor and Alt-Ac Careers. CFP: Surreal Entanglements: The Fiction of Jeff Vandermeer. CFP: ICFA 2019. CFP: DePaul Pop Culture 2019, A Celebration of Disney. CFP: Star Wars TV. CFP: Fandom and Tourism.

Job Announcement: The Future of the Human Being.

* Cool syllabus: Science Fiction, Empire, Japan.

* Somewhere in there, SFRA #325 was released, the first from new editor Sean Guynes-Vishniac, with a lovely review of my Octavia Butler book!

* And somewhere in there the Hugos were awarded, including N.K. Jemisin’s historic threepeat.

Resisting and Persisting: An interview with the contributors to Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia E. Butler.

Cixin Liu, China, and the Future of Science Fiction. This is the golden age of Chinese science fiction.

The secret science fiction inspiration behind Jimi Hendrix’s music.

David Foster Wallace in the #MeToo Era.

* Marquette Wire has a writeup of the Sable Elyse Smith show at the Haggerty right now. She was kind enough to speak to my Afrofuturism class last week, which was terrific (as is the show).

* I Am Part of the Resistance Inside Nyarlathotep’s Death Cult.

Minecraft Mod Adds Climate Change, Carbon Tax.

Five Principles of a Socialist Climate Politics.

“Higher elevation properties are essentially worth more now, and increasingly will be worth more in the future,” according to Harvard’s Jesse Keenan. Elsewhere in Miami news: Miami’s Other Water Problem.

Sea level rise already causing billions in home value to disappear.

6 Years Ago, North Carolina Chose To Ignore Rising Sea Levels. This Week It Braces For Disaster. What will happen when Hurricane Florence hits North Carolina’s massive pig manure lagoons?

* Puerto Rico after Maria: “Water Is Everything.”

Air pollution causes ‘huge’ reduction in intelligence, study reveals. The Big Melt. Halfway to Boiling. How Much Hotter Is Your Hometown Than When You Were Born? Climate Change Is Becoming A Major Workplace Hazard. The Victims of Climate Change Are Already Here.

No Existing Policies Will Be Enough To Prevent A Future “Hothouse Earth.”

* Just another headline here in hell.

* Should Rivers Have Rights?

* The rule of law is a curious thing.

* Why Science Fiction Is The Most Important Genre.

* The story of Q. We analyzed every QAnon post on Reddit. Here’s who QAnon supporters actually are.

* Spaaaaaaace Fooooooooorce!

* Elon Musk and his space-baron brethren want our admiration. Their narcissistic exploits deserve nothing but our scorn.

An ICE attorney forged a document to deport an immigrant. ICE didn’t care until the immigrant sued. ICE Crashed a Van Full of Separated Mothers, Then Denied It Ever Happened. ICE Detains Man Driving Pregnant Wife To Hospital To Deliver Baby. A mother and her son turned up for a domestic-violence case. Then ICE arrested them. ICE Handcuffs Immigrant Kids on Their 18th Birthdays, Drags Them to Jail. Aurora parents fighting to stop legally adopted 4-year-old daughter from being deported. How many migrant children are still separated from their families? ICE is trying to deport a disabled man who has been in the U.S. for 35 years. A Toddler’s Death Adds To Concerns About Migrant Detention. Kansas woman told birth certificate wasn’t enough to prove citizenship for passport. The U.S. is denying passports to Americans along the border, throwing their citizenship into question. Citizenship service conspired with ICE to ‘trap’ immigrants at visa interviews, ACLU says. Bad Paperwork. “Yo me quiero morir,” the boy says. “I want to die.” 13,000 kids. Will anyone ever be held accountable?

How the Trump Administration Is Remaking the Courts. The Supreme Court Is Headed Back to the 19th Century. Impeach Brett Kavanaugh.

* The Church of Trump.

* Long read on the professor who destroyed his career by faking a job offer from another institution.

When Academics Defend Colleagues Accused of Harassment.

* Meltdown of the Nobel Prize committee.

* How a Famous Academic Job-Market Study Got It All Wrong — and Why It Still Matters.

* Fascism and the university.

Feeling Suicidal, Students Turned to Their College. They Were Told to Go Home.

* Tis the season: How the Jobs Crisis Has Transformed Faculty Hiring. The Way We Hire Now. The Rise of the Promotional Intellectual.

* Building a Better MFA.

Admitting Significant Mistakes, Maryland Accepts Responsibility for Football Player’s Death. The Tragedy of Maryland Football Is a Symptom of College Football’s Rotten Culture.

“Purdue University Global is a For-Profit Masquerading as a Public University.”

* Ken Starr keeps finding new ways to disgrace himself.

* When the facts don’t matter: UW System is major driver of the Wisconsin economy.

* Students are abandoning humanities majors, turning to degrees they think yield far better job prospects. But they’re wrong. A message from President Daniels to students on the humanities. Oh, the humanities!

U. of Akron Will Phase Out 80 Degree Programs and Open New Esports Facilities.

* Activists at UNC pull down Silent Sam.

* The tyranny of the majority isn’t a problem in America today. Tyranny of the minority is.

When did parenting become so fearful?

The US has a student debt problem. Generation Underwater. The Next Hot Millennial Trend: Never-Ending Labor in Dystopian Warehouses.

* Down with the Philosophy Factory.

The man who was fired by a machine.

* The Labour Movement in 2018.

How Milwaukee Teachers Beat Back Cuts and Busywork.

* Decolonizing Virtual Worlds. Abandoned college campuses of Second Life.

* Greenlit for a movie and two sequels: What Would Happen If a Hurricane Hit an Erupting Volcano?

* No, you’re not too old.

* Soul Murder. Ghosts of the Orphanage. Meanwhile, at Marquette.

* The most extreme bodily modification is pregnancy.

* Shock! White Americans support welfare programs — but only for themselves, says new research.

* Lead is useful; lead is poison.

* College admissions vs. the shy.

* “I don’t believe in aliens anymore.”

* What could possibly go wrong? US Navy wants to fire a slime cannon at boats to stop them escaping.

* “Mount Everest is a ‘fecal time bomb.’ Here’s one man’s idea for handling 14 tons of poop.”

I guess this is the coastal elitist in me, but I don’t think a small cabal of unaccountable rich guys should be running the VA in secret without legal authorization in exchange for their cash payments to the President. Shadow Rulers of the VA.

* The way we live now: DHS to train high schoolers in “proper bleeding control techniques” in preparation for “mass casualty events.”

* Why the middle class can’t afford life in America anymore. Real US wages are essentially back at 1974 levels, Pew reports.

* It’s immoral to be rich.

* Socialism in our lifetime.

Horrific deaths, brutal treatment: Mental illness in America’s jails.

‘Abolish Prisons’ Is the New ‘Abolish ICE.’

* John McCain, The Man Who Never Was. The political establishment needed a war-hero fetish object—and so it invented one.

* Startling jump in NFL player claims for Parkinson’s and ALS pushes payout projections past 65-year total in 18 months.

Dinosaurs: The Making of TV’s Saddest, Strangest Sitcom Finale. An Oral History of the Death and Return of Superman. An Oral History of BoJack Horseman. Vice interviews @dril.

* Interactive (non)fiction from the Los Angeles Times: You’ve been arrested by a dishonest cop. Can you win in a system set up to protect officers? I spent 136 days in jail, having lost my job, with Officer Smith still on the street — and that was a win.

* Want a long, healthy life? Don’t be poor.

* The man who owns the Moon.

* Fascinating: are cities making animals smarter?

Too Frail To Retire? Humans Ponder The Fate Of Research Chimps.

* Inside the Barbaric U.S. Industry of Dog Experimentation.

* PFT explains Louis C.K.

Philip Pullman: why we believe in magic.

* Wiffle Ball 2.0.

* Insulin should be free.

* Beating the odds: Study: Children of Divorce Less Likely to Earn Degree.

All the Ways It Doesn’t Matter… and the One Way That It Does. When You Discover, as an Adult, That You Might Have Autism.

* Serial again. Veronica Mars again.

* The Village Voice is officially dead.

* Even 98.6 turned out to be just another a lie.

* I know what the years that are coming are going to be like, and I am so sorry.

* God Mode. Ethics. Meat. Souls. Cryogenics.

* The robot cars don’t work, and of course it’s our fault.

* What happens when you let computers optimize floorplans. Bots that teach themselves to cheat.

* Can Wes Anderson redeem himself?

* On Wakandacon.

* And a pointed but respectful counterpoint: I don’t ever want to die.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 13, 2018 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Thursday Afternoon Links!

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* Mark Z. Danielewski has written a pilot for a potential House of Leaves TV series. It’s good! The question of adapting the novel wound up being a minor subtheme in our discussion of the book in my summer grad class last month, so I was gratified to actually get to see the script — and directly incorporating the novel into the storyworld of the TV series seems like an intriguing solution to the book’s basic unfilmability. I think I hope someone makes it!

* I haven’t had a chance to see Ant-Man and the Wasp yet, so I’m gratified someone went ahead and wrote my triennial rant about franchise fictions and narrative closure on my behalf.

* Texas Studies in Literature and Language has a special issue on Wes Anderson.

* CFP for the SFRA guaranteed panel at ASLE 19. ASLE 19 (in Davis, CA) is a week after the planned dates for SFRA 19 in Hawaii, so if you’re going to the West Coast anyway it could be almost like a two-for-one…

* The second issue of Fantastika Journal is now available.

* That the things that gave my life meaning growing up have all become vectors for recruitment to misogynistic and white nationalist hate groups is the bitterest surprise of my middle age. That and Trump. Two bitterest surprises.

Nominations Are Open for the 2018 Brittle Paper Awards.

Ken Liu Presents Broken Stars, A New Anthology of Chinese Short Speculative Fiction.

* The Fall of Wisconsin. How to win Wisconsin back.

* Shakespeare in the state parks.

* Specialized program for Marquette undergraduates with autism disorders gifted $450,000, set to launch fall 2019.

“In some ways, I now think that one of the primary functions of the university, for the ruling class, is precisely to train a generation in indebtedness, in a state of being in debt.”

The Self-Helpification of Academe: How feel-good nostrums cover up the university’s cruelty.

* Another piece on searching for work outside academia.

* Professor Faces Fraud Charges for False Job Offer. Reading the confession letter just makes me cringe.

His University Asked Him to Build an Emoji-Themed Parade Float. Then It Fired Him.

* Why Donald Trump Nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Brett Kavanaugh Will Mean Challenging Times For Environmental Laws. The Vice Report. The Coming Era of Forced Abortions. The end of net neutrality. The imperial presidency 2.0. Trump’s Supreme Court Pick Could Spell a Fresh Hell for Workers’ Rights. Brett Kavanaugh Ruled Against Workers When No One Else Did. The issue with Kavanaugh is that he seems completely reactionary, bouncing from one indefensible position to another, without applying any judgment whatsoever. Liberal media in full effect. The Liberal Case for Kavanaugh Is Complete Crap. He’s a very normal Republican pick — that’s the problem. Establishment Extremist. What’s coming. It’s bad y’all. Someone investigate precisely how this deal was made and what the terms were. And from the archives: The Three Alitos.

* The Supreme Court: still bad.

* Capitalism is ruining science. The Business Veto: The demise of social democracy shows the precariousness of any project of reform under capitalism.

* Here come the DIY guns.

Inside China’s Dystopian Dreams: A.I., Shame and Lots of Cameras.

Technoleviathan: China, Silicon Valley, and the rise of the global surveillance state. How Artificial Intelligence Will Reshape the Global Order.

Silicon Valley Is Bending Over Backward to Cater to the Far Right.

* How Silicon Valley Fuels an Informal Caste System. Rule-Making as Structural Violence: From a Taxi to Uber Economy in San Francisco.

* It’s amazing that US governmentality has finally crossed the threshold where its obvious illegitimacy can be spoken about in public.

Former Obama Officials Are Riding Out The Trump Years By Cashing In.

* The end of NATO. ‘They Will Die in Tallinn’: Estonia Girds for War With Russia.

* Trump is set to separate more than 200,000 U.S.-born children from their parents. Trump’s Office of Refugee Resettlement Is Budgeting for a Surge in Child Separations. ‘Don’t You Know That We Hate You People?’ ICE is lawless, racial profiling edition. Where Cities and Counties Are Detaining Immigrants. Pregnant Women Say They Miscarried In Immigration Detention And Didn’t Get The Care They Needed. Government Told Immigrant Parents to Pay for DNA Tests to Get Kids Back, Advocate Says. As Migrant Families Are Reunited, Some Children Don’t Recognize Their Mothers. Deported after Trump order, Central Americans grieve for lost children. ‘What if I lose her forever?’ Undocumented Grover Beach mother deported despite community rallying in her support. Facing a Tuesday deadline to reunite about 100 migrant toddlers with their parents, feds say they’ve reunited 2. Inside The Courts Where Some Immigrants Plead Guilty Without Knowing What’s Happening. Now they’re coming for grandmas.

* Woman arrested in assault of 91-year-old Mexican man who was told to ‘go back to your country.’

* Weird coincidence.

There’s been a spate of violent far-right extremism since the 2016 election.

* If you’re anti- antifa, that must mean…

* Andrew Cuomo and ICE.

It’s Not Civil Disobedience if You Ask for Permission.

Liberalism, legitimacy, and loving the Parkland kids.

Eleven Theses on Civility.

Why Marx’s Capital Still Matters.

* Nixon’s $7B carbon tax forms centerpiece of energy agenda.

* The Industrial Age May Have Actually Been Kind of a Bad Idea.

* An interview with Julia Salazar. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, In Her Own Words. Cynthia Nixon: I’m a democratic socialist. Meanwhile our old pal Joe Crowley looks like he’s trying to get away with something.

We Should Embrace the Ambiguity of the 14th Amendment.

* Sure, why not?

* Alan Dershowitz is ALL IN on Trump. But he’s not the only person with some truly around-the-bend ideas of what lawsuits can do.

* Weird science: Girls sometimes inherit almost two full sets of their dad’s genes, which seems to cause rare cancers.

The Art and Activism of the Anthropocene, Part III: A Conversation with Helen Phillips, Amitav Ghosh, and Nathan Kensinger.

An Arkansas man complained about police abuse. Then town officials ruined his life.

* Did… did Milwaukee write this?

Jeff Bezos Is Now $50 Billion Richer Than Anyone Else on Earth.

All 12 Thai Boys Successfully Rescued from Cave after Third Dangerous Mission. The only person unhappy is Elon.

WHO’s Language on Breastfeeding Really Is Flawed. This was our experience with breastfeeding  for sure; I’m sure it’s great for a lot of people but we needed formula as a supplement from the first night on. That said, the corporate forces that promote formula over breastfeeding are utterly gross.

* When the relationship status truly is complicated.

* Nabokov’s dreams.

* Scotland’s official plan if the Loch Ness Monster is found.

* Brexit: It’s bad!

* Being Bobcat Goldthwait.

* Billy Dee is back.

* Japan and the stay-at-home dad.

* Reality Winner and the espionage act.

* My Best Friend Lost His Life to the Gig Economy.

* When your child reveals sexual abuse from your parent.

The Socialist Case for School Integration.

* Factchecking David Brooks.

* Your town tomorrow: Kure residents cut off from outside world due to flooding.

* Nope, no thanks.

* I knew wearing a tie was making me stupid.

* Bad subtitling is a daily problem for deaf viewers.

* Melt Monument Ave.

How swimming pools became a flashpoint of racial tension in America.

* California brings emissions down below 1990 levels. But it’s not all good news.

Feminist Apparel CEO Fires Entire Staff After They Learn He’s An Admitted Sexual Abuser. RIP, Papa John.

There is too much uncertainty in sports; even if you bribe the officials, something unaccounted for could still cause the “wrong” result. It can be a bad idea to gather large crowds opposed to your team (and, by extension, your dictatorship). During Franco’s rule, Barcelona FC’s stadium was the only place the Catalans could wave their flag and sing their songs. Dictators are better off with tyranny and oppression. Football is for people who can accept a loss.

David Graeber’s new book argues that many of us are toiling in dummy jobs with no ostensible purpose. Any poll will show you he has a point. But his thesis is built on scant evidence and dubious claims of a ruling class conspiring to keep us busy. Bullshit jobs exist not due to orchestrated oppression but because of something altogether simpler: bad managers. 

* An even tougher review of a book that seems like a big step down from Debt.

* The SAT, constantly innovating new ways to make teenagers unhappy.

* “I sort of feel like I’m taking the bait on this, but: Can you imagine the copy they *rejected* for this Handmaid’s Tale pinot noir?”

Through such characters, Muluneh’s work explores the layered psychic realms of blackness and womanhood that the African-American science fiction writer Octavia Butler, whom she cites as a major influence, explored through her otherworldly prose. In the process, Muluneh’s work has helped reorient the way black women are perceived. “As women, especially as African women,” Muluneh said, “we forget—and the world forgets—our positioning in history and religion and culture.”

And amusing ourselves to death: 12 theme parks where the danger is real.

Written by gerrycanavan

July 12, 2018 at 1:34 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Monday Morning Links!

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* On Saturday night the SFRA announced its award winners. Congrats to all! And here’s a Storify of the weekend’s #SFRA2017 tweets.

Civilizations in Crisis: Chinese Speculative Fiction. And at the New Yorker Radio Hour: The Cultural Revolution and the Alien Invasion.

* The Jobless Utopia of La Zarzuela.

SF, Pulp & Grit.

‘Seat 14C’ short stories imagine a 20-year time warp – and now you can hop on board.

As one of the four finalists for the Edward Said Chair, I returned from the campus interview to experience a prolonged waiting period. When the news was finally delivered, I did not learn whether I had gotten the position or not. Rather, the email informed me that the position had been cancelled altogether, due to unforeseen administrative issues.

Constructing the cyber-troll: Psychopathy, sadism, and empathy.

* President Trump appears to have sourced his CNN wrestling tweet from a racist troll on Reddit.

Let us instead critique liberal multiculturalism and liberal feminism, while advancing a socialist-feminist, anti-racist, anti-capitalist vision. And let us try to leave behind the sectarian divisions that have hampered us and seize the opportunity to build a new left.

* Proponents insist that the emails, as deranged as they might seem, work. Critics argue that the tactic has a short shelf life and is deceptive. But Their Emails.

D.C. police are investigating whether patrol officers struck an 11-year-old bicyclist with their cruiser Thursday night in Northwest Washington’s Park View neighborhood and drove away without reporting the incident.

* Did Trump break the law over alleged Morning Joe National Enquirer blackmail threat? Oh honey. The Time I Got Recruited to Collude with the Russians. Trump’s CNN Tweet Linked To Reddit User HanAssholeSolo.

* Democrats completely around the bend.

How handsome is Mike Pence? We asked the experts.

* Once we dispense with the pragmatic-compromise explanation for the MSPRA, it’s much easier to understand what CAP is doing. They are proposing a “bipartisan” patch on Obamacare, not because they think they can win through compromise, but because they largely agree with what Republicans want to do. They are promoting market-based healthcare instead of embracing popular support for single payer because they do not want to see single payer succeed. There’s no counter-intuitive chess game going on here; liberals are telling the left exactly what they want, and we would do well to take them at their word.

* Generation Catalano rebrands again, again.

University of Melbourne Associate Professor of Sociology Dan Woodman—who, probably not coincidentally, was born in 1980—says the “Xennial” label applies to those born between 1977 and 1983. It’s a unique demographic group, he argues, because Xennials spent a significant chunk of their childhoods without access to computers—and indeed, will someday be among the last people on Earth to remember a time before the internet—but experienced the internet revolution early enough to still become early adopters of new technologies. People who were actually college aged when Facebook came out, in other words.

* Another one: Generation Space.

The forgotten cyberspace of the Neuromancer computer game.

* Okja and translation.

* Iran’s temperature hit 127 degrees yesterday.

* Being James Thomas Hodgkinson’s widow.

* Methadone for social media addiction.

As Cost Of Opioid Epidemic Rises, One City May Consider Not Reviving Addicts Who Repeatedly Overdose.

* How valuable is Stephen Curry?

Phone Sex Operators Say They Are Making Less Than Minimum Wage.

Escaped elephant takes a stroll through Wisconsin neighborhood.

* Ancestry.com presents: Descendents of the Founding Fathers.

* disappointedspringsteen.gif. I mean really.

* Debt and the future.

* McConnell’s nearing a deal. Don’t sugarcoat this. Trump just called for 32 million people to lose health coverage.

* A Muslim doctor in Trump country.

New Florida law lets any resident challenge what’s taught in science classes.

* ‘Terrorism’ misspelled on bench at Indiana war memorial.

Mass Grave Of Dozens Of Tortured Black Men Found In Deceased KKK Leaders Estate. UPDATE: This was a fake story.

* Personally, I think teaching is improv.

* Against Gorsuch. Against Gorsuch. Against Gorsuch.

* Fascinating analysis: The newspaper offered no definitive answer, but the question itself points to a broader issue that tends to be underexplored in the context of wrongful convictions: what typically happens with respect to the underlying crime—and, by implication, the cause of justice and of public safety—when the person found legally responsible for committing it later is determined not to be.

A Brutal Intelligence: AI, Chess, and the Human Mind.

Privilege and responsibility are the words we call on when the dream of a society organized by individual merit runs up against the hard world of systematic and intractable inequality.

In Honoring Enslaved Laborers, Colleges Seek to Blunt the Force of Their Pro-Slavery Icons.

* Wikipedia as Text Adventure.

* The Hardest Job in the World. I’m like an X-Man with psychic attack powers. Time Management: A Guide for Busy Moms.

* Factionalism / small talk. All things carry yin and embrace yang. Look for the helpers.

Horror is the only film genre where women appear and speak as often as men.

* Never meet your heroes.

* And I consider this a canonical part of Zefram Cochrane’s backstory.

Written by gerrycanavan

July 3, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Monday Morning Links!

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* A personal announcement: I’ll be the Vice President of the Science Fiction Research Association for the next three years. Thanks for the vote of confidence!

* CFP: “Purple Reign: An interdisciplinary conference on the life and legacy of Prince.”

* Huge, if true: Reading Literature Won’t Give You Superpowers. And meanwhile: What’s Wrong With Literary Studies? Some scholars think the field has become cynical and paranoid. Only some?

Use Data to Make a Strong Case for the Humanities.

* They did it: Army Corps of Engineers Statement Regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline. More from Vox.

* Is there any branch of literature so insecure, so uncertain of its own status, as science fiction?

Inside the world of Chinese science fiction, with “Three Body Problem” translator Ken Liu.

gerrycanavan_2016-dec-04* Marquette in the ne– oh come on.

* Dan Harmon’s story circle at YouTube.

* Trouble in the Heartland: Listening to Springsteen in Wisconsin in 1979.

* Well, that seems fine: GOP rep: Trump has ‘extra-constitutional’ view of presidency. Donald Trump risks China rift with Taiwan call. BREAKING: US President-elect Trump told Rodrigo Duterte that Philippines was conducting its drug war “the right way.” That’s bad. Trump’s education pick says reform can ‘advance God’s Kingdom.’ What the Nazis were doing was not describing what was true, but what would have to be true to justify what they planned to do next. A People’s History of the Third Reich: How Great Man theory allows us to abdicate collective responsibility. Facts are stupid things: Here’s Where Donald Trump Gets His News. Trump and the coming failed state. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Now Is The Time To Talk About What We Are Actually Talking About. Another visit from the goon squad. Trump and the Bush Legacy.

New SPLC reports reveal alarming pattern of hate incidents and bullying across country since election. Note the category just labeled “Trump —  general.”

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* Identity politics and the alt-right.

Premised on the possibilities of political struggle, here was the Douglass Option: “a party in the Southern States among the poor.”

* Seems like this guy is Trump’s very worst pick, clearing a very tough field:

During a tense gathering of senior officials at an off-site retreat, he gave the assembled group a taste of his leadership philosophy, according to one person who attended the meeting and insisted on anonymity to discuss classified matters. Mr. Flynn said that the first thing everyone needed to know was that he was always right. His staff would know they were right, he said, when their views melded to his. The room fell silent, as employees processed the lecture from their new boss.

Flynn also helped promulgate the “Pizzagate” hoax that nearly led to a mass shooting today.

Google, democracy and the truth about internet search.

* Steve Bannon, on the other hand, is winning me over.

It’s true that racism is a powerful and durable force in our politics. But it is also true that Donald Trump is an incompetent clown who ran an amateurish campaign rife with mistakes. The Democrats should have won this election in a landslide. They did not, and there is no nobility or reassurance for them in a narrow loss in the electoral college or a win in the popular vote. And continuing to insist that a Donald Trump win was either some kind of strange fluke or completely inevitable is a recipe for repeated defeat.

* When the Democrats didn’t like monopolies. On not going high when they go low.

* Can the good parts of Obamacare survive Trump?

* Stealing North Carolina.

* Italy votes no.

Friedman just got finished telling us that a black elephant is half black swan, and half elephant in the room that will inevitably become a black swan. But now that half-swan, half swan-within-an-elephant is being contrasted with a black swan: in the near future, things that are really black elephants will be misidentified as black swans.

* Understanding survivorship bias.

* Podcast idea of the week: Like Random Trek, but for Rod Serling.

Which Famous Actor Hustled Chess Games in New York City?

* Life after Seinfeld.

* Fidel without Illusions.

* What does elephant taste like?

Here’s Why You Should Be Watching Netflix’s Brazilian Sci-Fi Series 3%. And on the SF kick: Aaron Bady explains Westworld.

* there is no reason to assume Uber’s obliteration of local competition across the planet will create a sustainable business in the long term. Costs are costs, even if you’re a monopoly. As long as people have cheaper alternatives (public transport, legs), they will defect if the break-even price is higher than their inconvenience tolerance threshold.

Trump could face the ‘biggest trial of the century’ — over climate change. But really, show’s over, folks.

* The trans brain and gender dysphoria.

This is brilliant and I’m shocked it took the good guys this long to figure it out.

* Some grim news.

* America is already great.

* Kazuo Ishiguro on the coming race of super clones. Never Let Me Go 2: The Revenge.

* Every villain is the hero of their own story.

* And this is pretty much my actual teaching philosophy.

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 5, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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I Have (Not a Joke) 300 Tabs Open and This Afternoon I Am Closing Them All: Election Night Links!

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I’ve been so ridiculously busy I haven’t been able to tend to my open tabs at all. There’s over 300 — and I’m not leaving this room until I’ve closed them all. Let’s go!

* Really, I’ve been so busy I haven’t even been able to shamelessly self-promote: I missed announcing my trip to Atlanta for SLSA 2016 and my presentations on “Literary Studies after Blackfish” and the upcoming almost-almost-done issue of Paradoxa on “Global Weirding,” as well as my New Inquiry review of the (fantastic) end to Liu Cixin’s (fantastic) Three-Body trilogy. My new essay on “Geriatric Zombies” from The Walking Med was namechecked as part of a larger zombie news report in the Seattle Times. Most importantly I haven’t been able to hype my Octavia Butler book, which is printed and apparently shipping. I’ve even held one in my hands!

* Meanwhile, here’s my guess for tonight’s final results, just to get it out of the way: 340-198.

* CFP: Letters to Octavia Butler. CFP: The Comics of Alison Bechdel. CFP: English Studies in Ruins? CFP: The World of Harry Potter.

* A new issue of the Eaton Journal in Archival Research in Science Fiction is out, including a piece from Larisa Mikhaylova on Star Trek fandom in Russia.

French town upholds law against UFOs.

Invisible Planets / Invisible Frameworks — Assembling an Anthology of Contemporary Chinese SF. I’ve been reading the Invisible Planets collection and it’s great.

* Why we should lower the voting age in America.

Žižek on the lesser evil. Jameson on fascism, but not yet. Study Confirms Network Evening Newscasts Have Abandoned Policy Coverage For 2016 Campaign. Americans, Politics, and Social Media. Stop Calling the United States a Banana Republic. Yes, Trump Really Is Saying ‘Big League,’ Not ‘Bigly,’ Linguists Say. The 282 People, Places and Things Donald Trump Has Insulted on Twitter: A Complete List. No, “we” are not collectively responsible for anything. Journey to the Center of the Alt-Right. Ivanka is the real threat. A Reading Guide for Those in Despair About American Politics. And did someone order a Constitutional crisis with a 4-4 Supreme Court?

* What Happens if You Vote and Die Before Election Day? Too late for all of us, alas.

In contrast to the Fordist society observed by Gramsci, power now seeks to circumvent the public sphere, in order to avoid the constraints of critical reason. Increasingly, it is non-representational codes—of software, finance, human biology—that mediate between past, present and future, allowing society to cohere. Where, for example, employee engagement cannot be achieved via cultural or psychological means, increasingly business is looking to solutions such as wearable technology, that treat the worker as an item of fixed capital to be monitored physically, rather than human capital to be employed. The key human characteristics are those that are repeated in a quasi-mechanical fashion: footsteps, nightly sleep, respiration, heartbeat. These metronomic qualities of life come to represent each passing moment as yet another one of the same. The New Neoliberalism.

“We are all Thomas More’s children”: 500 years of Utopia. And at LARB.

It isn’t every day that a street criminal—a high-school dropout with two felony convictions—is accused of stealing a centuries-old violin worth as much as $6 million. But nothing about the heist of the Lipinski Stradivarius, which galvanized the music world last winter, was normal, or even logical.

How America Outlawed Adolescence. The Cognitive Benefits of Being a Man-Child.

Inside the NSA’s For-Sale Spy Town. The Indiana Town That Modernism Built.

* Where Ph.D.s Work. IPFW Community Shocked by Restructuring Recommendations. Last month’s strike at Harvard. And its results. A City Clerk Opposed an Early-Voting Site at UW–Green Bay Because ‘Students Lean More Toward the Democrats.’ Saudi college student in Wisconsin dies after assault. Johns Hopkins threatens to close its interdisciplinary Humanities Center, sparking outcry from students and faculty members. San Diego State University tuition, 1959. How State Budget Cuts Affect Your Education.

* Cornell looks for ways to cut time professors spend on administrative requirements, as opposed to teaching and research.

The Heterodox Academy Guide to Colleges rates America’s top 150 universities (as listed by US News and World Reports) and will soon rate the Top 50 Liberal Arts Schools according to their commitment to viewpoint diversity.

The American Association of University Professors has launched an investigation focused on the dismissal of Nathanial Bork, who had taught philosophy courses at the college for six years before he was dismissed. The AAUP says that his dismissal raises concerns both because of the issues he raises about rigor and also because he was fired shortly after he complained about the situation to the Higher Learning Commission, the college’s accreditor. Further, Bork was active in efforts to improve the working conditions of adjuncts at the college.

mapmapampA More Accurate World Map Wins Prestigious Japanese Design Award. Love this.

* Borges and maps.

* “University Paid for Bigfoot Expedition.”

* Dig this Beatnik glossary.

* Starship Troopers coming back just as documentary footage of 2016. A darker, grittier Muppet Babies, for a tragic time.

Quentin Tarantino still insists he’s going to stop at 10 movies.

Playing with History: What Sid Meier’s Video Game Empire Got Right and Wrong About ‘Civilization.’

* “Capitalism Broke Earth, Let’s Protect Mars.”

Inside Magic Leap, The Secretive $4.5 Billion Startup Changing Computing Forever.

The video for Soul Asylum’s 1993 smash hit featured real missing kids. Some eventually came home; some never did.

Her toddler suddenly paralyzed, mother tries to solve a vexing medical mystery. Football Alters the Brains of Kids as Young as 8. Why treating diabetes keeps getting more expensive. The Other Sister: Returning Home to Care for an Autistic Sibling.

Inmates Explain How They’d Run Prisons.

* If Women Wrote Men the Way Men Write Women.

* Zork in your browser.

Russia Reveals ‘Satan 2’ Nuclear Missile Capable of Destroying Texas in One Blow. Bathroom air freshener causes emergency response at nuclear site.

* Why can’t the Star Trek timeline advance?

* The end of butterflies.

The Venom From This Snake Will Make Your Life a Living Hell.

Inside The Strange, Paranoid World Of Julian Assange.

* Ruin chic.

Why Did This Guy Collect 500 Screenshots of Soda Machines in Video Games? Because He’s a Genius. And elsewhere on the Jacob Brogan science beat: Everyone Poops. Some Animals Eat It. Why?

* Thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, Thumb U.N. won’t intervene.

* Now Is The Perfect Time For The Indians To Quietly Abandon Chief Wahoo.

* Deep time’s uncanny future is full of ghostly human traces. How the Concept of Deep Time Is Changing.

* The Average American Melts 645 Square Feet of Arctic Ice Every Year.

In rural North Dakota, a small county and an insular religious sect are caught in a stand-off over a decaying piece of America’s atomic history: The Pyramid at the End of the World.

Penn State Fined Record $2.4 Million in Jerry Sandusky Case.

* Dibs on the screenplay: Yellowstone’s “Zone of Death.” And I’ll take this one too: The Canadian Military Is Investigating a Mysterious Noise In the Arctic.

How Doctor Strange went from being a racist Asian caricature to a magical white savior.

* A new favorite poem:

* Animal minds: the new anthropomorphism.

* You weren’t educated, you were trained.

Twenty-first century Victorians.

* Remembering Tom Hayden.

How We Tell Campus Rape Stories After Rolling Stone.

* Native lives matter. Tribe vows to fight North Dakota pipeline through winter. The world watches. A Standing Rock Syllabus.

* Superheroes and sadness. Pixar and sadness.

* Presenting The Black Mirror Expanded Universe.

* Wildlife numbers more than halve since 1970s in mass extinction. Inside the Frozen Zoo That Could Bring Extinct Animals Back to Life.

* The secret history of Teaching with Calvin & Hobbes.

* A bad idea, but fine: The Adventures of Young Dumbledore.

Kardashev Type III Societies (Apparently) Do Not Exist.

* And frankly you had me at LEGO, but I like the rest too: LEGO’s New Line of Female Superheroes Is the Toy We Deserve.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 8, 2016 at 3:52 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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