Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Chris Hayes

Saturday Night Links!

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* CFP: Religious Practices and Ideology in the Works of Octavia Butler, Edited Volume.

* CFP: Darkness.

Never Tell Them Your True Name: Remembering Ursula K. Le Guin.

The Demanding, Essential Work of Samuel Delany: The Atheist in the Attic.

* Games for a Fallen World: On the Legend of Zelda in the Anthropocene.

Why we march: a then and now look at Marquette student’s involvement in protests.

Capital’s Share of Income Is Way Higher than You Think. Amid wage stagnation, corporate leaders declare the end of annual raises triggered by increased profitability. The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy.

* A grim new angle on the intergenerational struggle: Seniors Are More Conservative Because the Poor Don’t Survive to Become Seniors.

Harvard study estimates thousands died in Puerto Rico because of Hurricane Maria.

Is Your University Racist?

Living Homeless in California: The University of Hunger.

The Criminalization of Knowledge.

* A conservative Stanford professor plotted to dig up dirt on a liberal student. Niall Ferguson, amazingly. Niall Ferguson quits Stanford free speech role over leaked emails.

It’s Not Liberal Arts And Literature Majors Who Are Most Underemployed.

Inside the NCAA’s years-long, twisting investigation into Mississippi football.

Colleges Are No Match for American Poverty.

Here’s every Star Wars movie, ranked by female screen time. Should Donald Glover Have Played Han Solo? Disney and Star Wars: An Empire in Peril? The growing emptiness of the Star Wars universe. ‘Solo’ gets one thing right: The droids in ‘Star Wars’ are basically slaves.

* Isaac Cates on Infinity War‘s False Conclusions.

* How Tolkien created Middle-earth.

Inside the Pro-Trump Effort to Keep Black Voters From the Polls. White Americans abandoned democracy and embraced authoritarianism when they realized brown people would soon outvote them. TMZ Goes MAGA. Can the Rule of Law Survive Trump?

* Three tweets on impeachment from Corey Robin.

thread re: how NYT has now basically locked out Congressional Dems from commenting on Trump news. 

Trump’s ‘Forced Separation’ of Migrant Families Is Both Illegal and Immoral. Separated at the border: A mother’s story.

Why Dictators Write.

* After pointlessly groping countless Americans, the TSA is keeping a secret watchlist of those who fight back. Customs stole a US citizen’s life savings when he boarded a domestic flight, now he’s suing to get it back. Southwest wouldn’t let mixed-race family fly until mom “proved” parenthood. This AI Knows Who You Are by the Way You Walk.

Internal company emails obtained by The Intercept tell a different story. The September emails show that Google’s business development arm expected the military drone artificial intelligence revenue to ramp up from an initial $15 million to an eventual $250 million per year. How a Pentagon Contract Became an Identity Crisis for Google.

Symbolic Threats.

American flag-waving obfuscates these and other abuses of power; reveals the state’s protection and definition of a white, hetero socioeconomic class as the legitimate citizen class at the expense of black, brown, Muslim, trans, disabled, or immigrant lives; and is our traditional response to a sense of foreign impingement on “normal American life” (white suburban families). The message goes: Don’t think about the President’s baseless claims about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, don’t think about the imprisonment of Chelsea Manning and, now, Reality Winner, don’t think about the dependence of all power on a disenfranchised, exploited class. Think instead of the firefighters at ground zero, who were certain that America would endure. Think of ordinary citizens, like those depicted in the “Main Street USA” ad, and their faith in this city on a hill. Think instead, “Make America Great Again!” Don’t ask: Who suffers in this society when the state makes better security and freedom for its populace a goal? Freedom for whom? Who does a Muslim ban serve? Who do police serve? On which caskets do we lay the flag?

* In the richest country in the history of the world: Nine year old raises thousands of dollars at lemonade stand to help pay brother’s medical bills.

* Die a hero or live long enough to see yourself agreeing with David Brooks.

Bear’s Dairy Queen ice cream treat earns zoo $500 fine.

Archaeologists uncover remains of man crushed as he fled Pompeii.

* Why Isn’t Asbestos Banned in the US?

Choose-Your-Own-Security-Disclosure-Adventure.

* Tax-funded charter schools textbooks deny evolution, teach human-dinosaur cohabitation, endorse slavery and indigenous genocide.

Meet the Rising New Housing Movement That Wants to Create Homes for All. Tenant and Squatters’ Rights in Oakland.

* We compared Milwaukee police reports on Sterling Brown’s arrest with the video. They don’t match.

Jury Leaves $4 to Family of Man Killed by Sheriff’s Deputy, Along With Many Questions.

* LARB reviews Dirty Computer.

How to Tell a Realistic Fictional Language From a Terrible One. How to Build a World.

Humans will have to leave the Earth and the planet will become just a “residential” zone, according to Amazon boss Jeff Bezos. It’s not the worst idea I’ve heard, but I assume the rivers of meat blood come later.

* A weather report from an alternate universe, in which science is real and people aren’t idiots.

* Climate grief in the classroom.

* Banning straws won’t save the oceans.

* Bet this won’t either: Trump Prepares Lifeline for Money-Losing Coal Plants.

* Summah. Don’t kill your wife with work. If these trends continue. Teach the controversy. Dads & grads. When you’re almost forty.

I Am A Recently Divorced And Laid-Off Middle-Aged Man With A Lot Of Health Problems, And Everything I Say Is Incredibly Depressing. Ask Questions At Me.

* “Says he had to stage his own murder in order to capture someone, apologises to his wife.”

How #MeToo Impacts Viewers’ Decisions on What to Watch.

In 1975, Gary Gygax revealed the Tomb of Horrors module at the first Origins convention, presenting it as a campaign that would specifically challenge overpowered characters who would have to rely on their wits to outsmart incredibly lethal, subtle traps, rather than using their almighty THACOs to fell trash-mobs of orcs or other low-level monsters.

How 1960s Film Pirates Sold Movies Before the FBI Came Knocking.

* The art of the grift in 21st century Manhattan.

* Google jury nullification.

* Shockingly, ‘impossible’ EM drive doesn’t seem to work after all.

* Best travel photos 2018.

* New podcast watch: Why Is This Happening? with Chris Hayes. The Good Place: The Podcast.

* An oral history of the Muppets.

A research question I’ve been pondering for awhile: When, exactly, did the idea that the President — and only the President — was in charge of the decision to use nuclear weapons get turned into real policy? Answer seems to be September 1948, with NSC-30.

* We’re not prepared for the genetic revolution that’s coming.

* And you can’t argue with the facts: Wearing glasses may really mean you’re smarter, major study finds.

people and nature

Written by gerrycanavan

June 2, 2018 at 4:50 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Tuesday Morning Links!

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* The course descriptions for Marquette’s Fall 2017 English classes are up at the department website. Check them out! I’m teaching Tolkien and a grad seminar on utopia. 

* Also in Marquette news! Marquette to host ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ conference in April.

Becoming a parent forces you to think about the nature of the problem — which is, in a lot of ways, the problem of nature […] the realities of aging and sickness and mortality become suddenly inescapable. […] [My wife] said something during that time I will never forget. “If I had known how much I was going to love him,” she said, “I’m not sure I would have had him.” Mark O’Connell on transhumanism and immortality.

* From the great Ali Sperling: Reading Lovecraft in the Anthropocene. And this review of Alan Moore’s Jerusalem from the great David Higgins!

* Adam Roberts reviews New York 2140. Another review, from a climate scientist. And an interview with Stan. My review comes out in LARB this weekend…

The Most Cringeworthy Monuments to Colleges’ Innovation Jargon.

Perverse outcomes: UC Berkeley deletes 20,000 audio and visual lectures in the name of compliance with the ADA.

Speculative Fiction and Survival in Iraq.

* Is it really so hard to understand that when your students go broke just trying to graduate they aren’t exactly moved to donate later?

harcourt_fenton_mudd_2267* The liberal arts at Harvey Mudd College, whose graduates out-earn Harvard and Stanford.

* You-might-be-from-Wisconsin-if at Ask MetaFilter.

President Roosevelt signed the order on February 19, 1942, almost exactly 75 years ago. By spring, American citizens would be arriving at the Fresno and Pinedale camps: our neighbors.

* Wisconsin is apparently harassing trans state employees.

* Chaos, again. This is fine. Even James Comey. Twilight of Reince Preibus. Ten Questions for President Trump. Ten More Questions for President Trump. Remember when it was scandalous that Obama, years before he became a politician, once sold his house?

It is through the Justice Department that the administration is likely to advance its nationalist plans — to strengthen the grip of law enforcement, raise barriers to voting and significantly reduce all forms of immigration, promoting what seems to be a longstanding desire to reassert the country’s European and Christian heritage. It’s not an accident that Sessions, who presumably could have chosen from a number of plum assignments, opted for the role of attorney general. The Department of Justice is the most valuable perch from which to transform the country in the way he and Bannon have wanted. With an exaggerated threat of disorder looming, the nation’s top law-enforcement agency could become a machine for trying to fundamentally change who gets to be an American and what rights they can enjoy.

The emerging effort — dozens more rules could be eliminated in the coming weeks — is one of the most significant shifts in regulatory policy in recent decades. It is the leading edge of what Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, described late last month as “the deconstruction of the administrative state.”

* “Forever war, but too much.”

An Afghan family of five that had received approval to move to the United States based on the father’s work for the American government has been detained for more than two days after flying into Los Angeles International Airport, a legal advocacy group said in court documents filed on Saturday. Profiles of immigrant arrested in Austin. Thousands of ICE detainees claim they were forced into labor, a violation of anti-slavery laws. (Note this lawsuit was filed in 2014.This Stunningly Racist French Novel Is How Steve Bannon Explains The World. And if it were a book, it’d seem laughably contrived: A letter written in 1905 by Friedrich Trump, Donald Trump’s grandfather, to Luitpold, prince regent of Bavaria. Resisting ICE. Here we go again.

* 4chan and the Great Meme War.

* Russia and the Cyber Cold War.

* And while we’re on the subject: The Basic Formula For Every Shocking Russia/Trump Revelation. I think this is a very good reminder of the need to stay calm and detached from the chaos of the news cycle.

Instead, a new model is proposed: the president keeps everyone in a constant state of excitement and alarm. He moves fast and breaks things. He leads by causing commotion. As energy in the political system rises he makes no effort to project calm or establish an orderly White House. And if he keeps us safe it’s not by being himself a safe, steady, self-controlled figure, but by threatening opponents and remaining brash and unpredictable— maybe a touch crazy. This too is psychological work, but of a different kind.

* Democrats keep trusting demographics to save them. It hasn’t worked yet — but maybe this time…

NASA unveils plan to give Mars an ‘Earth-like’ atmosphere.

House Republicans Unveil Bill To Repeal Obamacare. The GOP health bill doesn’t know what problem it’s trying to solve.

Austerity measures don’t actually save money. But they do disempower workers. Which is why governments pursue them in the first place.

* No! It can’t be! Researchers have found strong evidence that racism helps the GOP win.

* Losing West Virginia.

Contrary to What You Learned in Sex Ed, You Can Get Pregnant While Pregnant.

* Mid-decade gerrymander in Georgia.

* Autism and Addiction.

* What We’ve Learned from Giving Dolphins LSD.

In a world first, a teenager with sickle cell disease achieved complete remission after an experimental gene therapy at Necker Children’s Hospital in Paris, researchers say.

* Possible lynching outside Seattle, in 2017.

* The end of suburbia.

* In the richest country in human history, children have “lunch debt.”

The only way in which a game is guaranteed to end is when the player abandons their device. Everything else is game design.

“These devices don’t have emotional intelligence,” said Allison Druin, a University of Maryland professor who studies how children use technology. “They have factual intelligence.” How millions of kids are being shaped by know-it-all voice assistants.

* Finding a jury of your peers in a racially segregated society.

* A colony in a nation.

Divination hasn’t disappeared; it’s taken over the world.

But these second-order obstacles aren’t enough to explain the current collapse of poll-driven political certainty. They’re just excuses, even if they’re not untrue. Something about the whole general scheme of polling—the idea that you can predict what millions of undecided voters will do by selecting a small group and then just simply asking them—is out of whack. We need to think seriously about what the strange game of election-watching actually is, in terms of our relation to the future, our power to choose our own outcomes, the large-scale structure of the universe, and the mysteries of fate. And these questions are urgent. Because predictions of the future don’t simply exist in the future, but change the way we act in the present. Because in our future something monstrous is rampaging: it paces hungrily toward us, and we need to know if we’ll be able to spot it in time.

When I said that opinion polls are sibyls and soothsayers, it wasn’t just a figure of speech. Opinion polling has all the trappings of a science—it has its numbers and graphs, its computational models, its armies of pallid drones poring over the figures. It makes hypotheses and puts them to the test. But polls are not taken for what they are: a report on what a small number of people, fond of changing their minds, briefly pretended to think. Instead, we watch the tracking graphs as if the future were playing itself out live in front of us. The real structure of the electoral-wonk complex is more mystical than materialist: it’s augury and divination, a method handed down by Prometheus to a starving and shivering humanity at the faint dawn of time. Behind all the desktop screens and plate-glass of his office, the buzz of data and the hum of metrics, Nate Silver retreats to a quiet, dark, and holy room. He takes the knife and slits in one stroke the throat of a pure-white bull; its blood arcs and drizzles in all directions. He examines its patterns. And he knows.

There’s a never-ending fount of stories you can write about when someone is breaking away from canon or not, and create many controversies all the way through preproduction and production and even until a movie opens, about whether or not they’re breaking canon. Is it a blasphemous movie or not? At some point, you gotta stop and say, Is there this expectation that it’s like we’re doing Godfather Part I and II, only it’s going to nine movies? And we’re just gonna cut them into this kind of Berlin Alexanderplatz that never ends? We’re gonna suddenly take a moment to really savor the fact that these movies exist in an identical tone? The reality to me is that you can’t have interesting movies if you tell a filmmaker, “Get in this bed and dream, but don’t touch the pillows or move the blankets.” You will not get cinema. You will just get a platform for selling the next movie on that bed, unchanged and unmade. James Mangold on Logan.

* The making of The Silmarillion.

* And we have but one choice: the Ring must be destroyed.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 7, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Getting into the Real Good Procrastination Now Links

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* Bush-era flashback and general-election-2016 flashforward, courtesy of Chris Hayes: George Saunders’s The Braindead Megaphone.

* Today in stadium boondoggles: St. Louis has stadium debt, but doesn’t have a team.

* An ecological argument sure to catch fire: What we can do is learn to offer each other patience, compassion, courage, and love. We can learn to accept that just as every human life has its natural end, so too does every civilization. Contrary to what Purdy argues, we don’t need more politics. We need more hospice. We need to learn how to die.

It doesn’t have to be this way, though. While neoliberal capitalism has been remarkably successful at laying claim to the future, it used to belong to the left — to the party of utopia. Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams’s Inventing the Future argues that the contemporary left must revive its historically central mission of imaginative engagement with futurity. It must refuse the all-too-easy trap of dismissing visions of technological and social progress as neoliberal fantasies. It must seize the contemporary moment of increasing technological sophistication to demand a post-scarcity future where people are no longer obliged to be workers; where production and distribution are democratically delegated to a largely automated infrastructure; where people are free to fish in the afternoon and criticize after dinner. It must combine a utopian imagination with the patient organizational work necessary to wrest the future from the clutches of hegemonic neoliberalism.

tumblr_nzx16hOyNR1qap9gno1_500* Eugene V. Debs, accelerationist.

Keep your scythe, the real green future is high-tech, democratic, and radical.

Inside the Police-Industrial Complex.

* Sesame Street has heard your gentrification jokes, and they have decided they are really into it.

* From my friend James Tate Hill: On Being a Writer Who Can’t Read.

* On the Run on trial.

* Keywords for the Age of Austerity 25: Competencies.

Before I Can Fix This Tractor, We Have to Fix Copyright Law.

* Relax, nerds: It Turns Out the Next Game of Thrones Book Isn’t Late at All.

* The Joyful, Illiterate Kindergartners of Finland. A counterpoint.

* My favorite little bit of fan fiction/overthinking from The Force Awakens, I think. Elsewhere on the Star Wars front: The 13 Most Nonsensical Theories About The Identity of Supreme Leader Snoke.

* The end of Mad Max?

MST3K is that for me. It saved my life, at least twice.

* An interview with Ahmed Best. From the archives.

* Successful squirrel cyber attacks as of January 2016.

Angry Militia Leader: Stop Mailing Us Dildos.

* Life in Wisconsin: Was it a ‘frostquake’ or an Air Force sonic boom? And then there’s the education beat.

* If left-liberal people don’t stop embarrassing themselves with this Ted Cruz eligibility stuff I might vote for Cruz in protest. Okay, no, but seriously this is embarrassing.

More Than Half of Americans Reportedly Have Less Than $1,000 to Their Name.

This Professor Fell In Love With His Grad Student — Then Fired Her For It. And you’ll never guess what Caltech did next!

* I’m considered adding a running closer to these link posts that’s just headlines from the day’s Journal-Sentinel that amuse me. Today, that’s Shorewood man pursues insanity defense in voter fraud case.

* But for now, nothing gold can stay: Mysterious Wow! Signal Came From Comets, Not Aliens, Claims Scientist.

tumblr_o0oi4dLpSo1rm4grxo3_r1_500

Wednesday Links!

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* The end of UW: Gov. Scott Walker to propose 13 percent cut, more freedom for UW System. UW System predicts layoffs, no campus closings under budget cuts. Layoffs, Building Closures, Slowdown on Admissions. But “few details.”

* But there’s always money in the banana stand.

In praise of zombies. A response to yesterday’s anti-Canavanist IHE polemic.

Giving students access to an important, brilliant, historically significant corpus of art seems to be an entirely appropriate activity for the undergraduate classroom at a university. After you have taken a Zombie Course, you may discover you have actually just taken a Great Books (or in the case of Ware, a Great Box) course without realizing it, and you may also decide that any Great Books course worthy of its name cannot afford to ignore the recent surge of brilliant zombie art. If anything, we need more Zombie Courses than we have, and one hopes — in time — even full-blown Zombie Majors (or at the least Zombie Double-Majors).

* Multiple Choice and Testing Machines: A History.

“What I would say about the university today,” he says, “is that we’re living through an absolutely historic moment – namely the effective end of universities as centres of humane critique, an almost complete capitulation to the philistine and sometimes barbaric values of neo-capitalism.”

* National Adjunct Walkout Day is coming soon.

Higher Education Is Not a Mixtape.

The Climate Science Behind New England’s Historic Blizzard. Massive Blizzard Exposes How Decrepit New York City’s Infrastructure Is.

All Our Grievances Are Connected.

* How the Left Won Greece.

* Forget immoral; the latest legal challenge to Obamacare is still nonsense.

Punch-Drunk Jonathan Chait Takes On the Entire Internet. It’s a terrible op-ed that makes an important point badly in the midst of saying a bunch of incorrect things, all in the service of a fundamentally bad framing — so of course it’s all we can talk about.

To Collect Debts, Nursing Homes Are Seizing Control Over Patients.

It was a guardianship petition filed by the nursing home, Mary Manning Walsh, asking the court to give a stranger full legal power over Mrs. Palermo, now 90, and complete control of her money.

Few people are aware that a nursing home can take such a step.

* Associate Dean of What?

Drone, Too Small for Radar to Detect, Rattles the White House.

Defending those accused of unthinkable crimes.

* One aspect of that danger is the “abstract authority” of astrologers, now mirrored by the black-box algorithms of the cloud. The opacity of the analytic method lends forecasts their appearance of authoritative objectivity. In “Astrological Forecasts”, Adorno notes “the mechanics of the astrological system are never divulged and the readers are presented only with the alleged results of astrological reasoning.” “Treated as impersonal and thing-like,” stars appear “entirely abstract, unapproachable, and anonymous” and thus more objective than mere fallible human reason. Similarly, as Kate Crawford pointed out in an essay about fitness trackers for the Atlantic, “analytics companies aren’t required to reveal which data sets they are using and how they are being analyzed.” The inaccessible logic of their proprietary algorithms is imposed on us, and their inscrutability masquerades as proof of their objectivity. As Crawford argues, “Prioritizing data—irregular, unreliable data—over human reporting, means putting power in the hands of an algorithm.” As Adorno puts it, “The cult of God has been replaced by the cult of facts.” 

* America and fractal inequality.

100% of the women of color interviewed in STEM study experienced gender bias.

Gender Bias in Academe: An Annotated Bibliography of Important Recent Studies.

* Reasons You Were Not Promoted That Are Totally Unrelated to Gender.

Today, more U.S. women die in childbirth and from pregnancy-related causes than at almost any point in the last 25 years. The United States is the one of only seven countries in the entire world that has experienced an increase in maternal mortality over the past decade.

* Marissa Alexander is out of jail after three years.

What has happened before will happen again, subprime auto edition.

Huckabee Complains That Women Can Cuss In The Workplace: ‘That’s Just Trashy.’

Oklahoma GOP wants to restrict marriage to people of faith.

* Corey Robin, against public intellectuals.

* I linked to a story about this the other day, but here’s the resolution: Vanderbilt Football Players Found Guilty of Raping Unconscious Student. Of course the next horrifying story in this wretched, endless series is already queued up.

* American Sniper focuses in tight on one man’s story of trauma, leaving out the complex questions of why Kyle was in Iraq being traumatized in the first place. The Iraqis in the film are villains, caricatures, and targets, and the only real opinion on them the film offers is Kyle’s. The Iraqis are all “savages” who threaten American lives and need to be killed. There’s some truth in this representation, insofar as this is how a lot of American soldiers thought. Yet the film obviates the questions of why any American soldiers were in Iraq, why they stayed there for eight years, why they had to kill thousands upon thousands of Iraqi civilians, and how we are to understand the long and ongoing bloodbath once called the “war on terror.” It does that precisely by turning a killer into a victim, a war hero into a trauma hero.

Freakishly Old System Of Planets Hint At Ancient Alien Civilizations. Okay, I’m in for three films with an option on a television reboot.

* Vulture says Jason Segel is good as David Foster Wallace in The End of the Tour, but I’ll never accept it.

The Psychology of Flow: What Game Design Reveals about the Deliberate Tensions of Great Writing.

The Politics Of The Next Dimension: Do Ghosts Have Civil Rights?

* It’s finally happening, and of course it’s starting in Florida: ‘Zombie cat’ crawls out of grave.

* And while this may be of interest only to those whose children have made them watch untold hours of Dora the Explorer, it’s certainly of interest to me: Swiper the Fox has a totally bananas backstory.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 28, 2015 at 10:08 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Wednesday Links!

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* In case you missed it, a Twitter conversation inspired a post with actual content on this blog yesterday: Meritocracy, Lottery, Game: Notes on the Academic Job Market. Of course, I wasn’t first:

* Elsewhere in the academic job market genre: Not Lottery/Not Meritocracy, What Is It? From 2013! The Top 5 Mistakes Women Make in Academic Settings. Twelve Steps to Being a “Good Enough” Professor.

* And elsewhere in my media empire:

The insightful tweet was this one:

One out of 63,000’s not bad!

* We were also riffing on Twitter yesterday about the possibility of TV shows about campus police, never stopping to realize that of course it’s all already happened years ago.

* Eight faculty members go on strike at the General Theological Seminary, which the administration says is tantamount to quitting. A big precedent could be set here if they get away with it.

* It will take nearly $34 million each year over a 20-year period to address deferred maintenance needs and capital improvements at four major Milwaukee cultural institutions and provide public financing for a new arena.

* Elon Musk explains how we’ll colonize Mars.

* A brief FAQ on Steven Salaita.

I have some other weird  idiosyncratic justification for why he was fired that avoids the plain reality that he was fired for holding controversial political views.

* A critique of the Gotham programme: Marxism and superheroes.

* Brain disease found in 76 of 79 NFL players examined in study.

* Muslim NFL player penalized for praying after touchdown.

* Pa. Official Admits Errors In Investigation Of Whether Fracking Waste Spoiled Drinking Water. “Errors” undersells what seems to be pretty deliberate omissions and lies.

* Here’s What Happened The One Time When The U.S. Had Universal Childcare.

* Decadence watch: “A ‘Tetris’ Movie Is in the Works.”

* Resource curse watch: This Month the U.S. Could Pass Saudi Arabia as the World’s Biggest Petroleum Producer.

* I think I already linked to this one, but why not: A long medium post on the moneyless, post-scarcity economics of Star Trek.

Netflix has reached a deal with The Weinstein Co. for its first original movie — a sequel to Ang Lee’s 2000 martial arts pic “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” — set to hit IMAX theaters and the streaming-video service simultaneously next summer. I am on board.

* And Community just can’t catch a break: now Yvette Nicole Brown is leaving, too.

Monday Morning

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* Chris Hayes vs. undecided voters.

Undecided voters aren’t as rational as you think. Members of the political class may disparage undecided voters, but we at least tend to impute to them a basic rationality. We’re giving them too much credit. I met voters who told me they were voting for Bush, but who named their most important issue as the environment. One man told me he voted for Bush in 2000 because he thought that with Cheney, an oilman, on the ticket, the administration would finally be able to make us independent from foreign oil. A colleague spoke to a voter who had been a big Howard Dean fan, but had switched to supporting Bush after Dean lost the nomination. After half an hour in the man’s house, she still couldn’t make sense of his decision. Then there was the woman who called our office a few weeks before the election to tell us that though she had signed up to volunteer for Kerry she had now decided to back Bush. Why? Because the president supported stem cell research. The office became quiet as we all stopped what we were doing to listen to one of our fellow organizers try, nobly, to disabuse her of this notion. Despite having the facts on her side, the organizer didn’t have much luck.

* Headlines I wish I’d never read: “Your pillow is a lot like a toilet seat, microbially speaking.”

* …the moral secret of capitalism, its existential fundament, is not that we are free to choose but that we are forced to choose.

* British foreign secretary taken to court over drone bombings.

* Obama +5 in Ohio. I know Romney technically has other paths to victory, but I still think that’s the ballgame.

* Sadly prudent: Many undocumented immigrants eligible for a reprieve from deportation under the Obama administration’s DREAM Act-inspired policy shift are choosing not to apply because of fears of their applications being used against them if Mitt Romney wins the presidency.

* And I wonder if it isn’t too late to give this McGovern fellow another look.

Seriously, Like, 10,000 Sunday Links

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Backed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the SUNY20/20 Act sounds the death knell of universal, affordable education.

In May, President Obama visited SUNY’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) for a bro-hug with Governor Andrew Cuomo and a speechpraising Albany’s silicon-driven economic agenda. The president’s stamp on Cuomo’s development plan, which calls for public-private research partnerships centered at New York’s university hubs, earned the governor early points for a potential 2016 White House run. In exchange, Obama could tout New York as a state-level version of his ideal economic agenda while jabbing Congress for moving more slowly than Cuomo.

“I want what’s happening at Albany to happen all across the country,” he said, “places like Cleveland, and Pittsburgh, and Raleigh.”

The Crisis in Higher Education. Spoiler: it’s MOOCs.

* Get pepper-sprayed by campus cops, get not all that much money at all considering.

* Quitting an Adjunct Career.

* Great moments in neoliberalism: Under Germany’s welfare reforms, any woman under 55 who has been out of work for more than a year can be forced to take an available job – including in the sex industry – or lose her unemployment benefit. Last month German unemployment rose for the 11th consecutive month to 4.5 million, taking the number out of work to its highest since reunification in 1990. Too good to check! Damn you, Snopes!

* Great moments in neoliberalism, part 2: Camden is going to solve its crime problem by firing its entire police force. But don’t get too excited; it’s just a union-busting thing.

* While we’re on the subject: I just figured out a way to cut crime by 5% overnight.

* Kaplan Post balance sheet suffering as the for-profit scam university sector takes a haircut.

* What I caught up on while I was traveling: Evan Calder Williams on Cop Comedies.  The Prison-Educational Complex. Anti-Anti-Parasitism. Chris Hayes’s Twilight of the Elites.

A graduate of Brown University, Hayes’s path was essentially paved by sixth grade when he passed the entrance exam to attend New York’s Hunter High School—one of the best public schools in the country, and one in which only a standardized test determined admission. But as he points out, one test score hides much—including an entire test-preparation industry that only the wealthy can access. Hayes quotes at length the remarkable 2010 commencement address by 18-year-old Justin Hudson, who laid bare the lie of merit that Hunter perpetuated: “I feel guilty because I don’t deserve any of this. And neither do any of you. We received an outstanding education at no charge based solely on our performance on a test we took when we were eleven-year-olds.”

* BREAKING: Poll Averages Have No History of Consistent Partisan Bias.

* Here it is, mere days after everyone’s already stopped being annoyed about it: Rebecca Solnit’s “Stop Leftsplaining!”

* Freddie de Boer: I don’t know how else it say it, considering I’ve said it a thousand times. I want my country to stop killing innocent people. Our Bipartisan Apathy Toward Civilian Drone Deaths. Why I Refuse to Vote for Barack Obama. Is It Moral for Lefties to Vote for Obama? The Thing about Drones.

* The weird thing about the you-stupid-lefties craze is Obama is decisively winning, Were they just afraid they wouldn’t have a chance to punch any hippies this year? Don’t they know it never goes out of season, no matter what happens?

* On the other side: Romney Aides “Pretty Resigned” to Losing. Is the GOP still a national party? And, of course, poll denialism.

* As if Obama needed the help, the economy turns out to be not quite as bad as reported. Still awful though.

* Americans growing tired of the glories of gridlock. It’s too bad our institutions are designed to essentially guarantee it.

* On undecided voters.

* Wheelchair citizenship.

The absence of pity of any sort from Kim E. Nielsen’s new book A Disability History of the United States, published by Beacon Press, is hardly the most provocative thing about it. Nielsen, a professor of disability studies at the University of Toledo, indicates that it is the first book “to create a wide-ranging chronological American history narrative told through the lives of people with disabilities.” By displacing the able-bodied, self-subsisting individual citizen as the basic unit (and implied beneficiary) of the American experience, she compels the reader to reconsider how we understand personal dignity, public life, and the common good.

Take the “ugly laws,” for instance. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, major American cities made it illegal for (in the words of the San Francisco ordinance from 1867) “any person who is diseased, maimed, mutilated, or in any way deformed so as to be an unsightly or disgusting object” to appear in “streets, highways, thoroughfares, or public places.”

Enterprising Dog Becomes the Ranking Police Officer in a Small New Mexican Town. Nikka 2016?

* If all men were Republicans, would you let your daughter marry one?

* I might have done this one before, but it’s so visually striking: The True Size of Africa.

* All the secrets from Joss Whedon’s Avengers commentary.

25 facts about Star Trek: The Next Generation you might not know.

* xkcd vs. fantasy metallurgy.

* In which Curiosity finds a river bed on Mars.

* My homeland: New Jersey bans smiling in driver’s license photographs. Now, if we could just ban smiling in photographs altogether…

* American tragedies: Man Shoots, Kills Suspected Burglar at Sister’s House Only to Find Out It Was His Teen Son. Pertussis epidemic in Washington.

* This story has everything! “Buddhist ‘Iron Man’ found by Nazis is from space.”

* Film Genre Over Time.

* How to Buy a Daughter. Fascinating that upper middle class Americans prefer daughters.

* Here come the Definite Harry Potter Uncut Final Director’s Cut Special Editions.

* William Gibson: The Complete io9 inteview.

* An oral history of Cheers.

* On being diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Meet Leland Chee, the Star Wars Franchise Continuity Cop.

* The end of growth?

* And they solved global warming; they’ll just make the snow for ski slopes out of “100 percent sewage effluent.” You’re welcome, future.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 30, 2012 at 8:41 am