Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘civilization

CoronaFRI!vus

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Why the Coronavirus Has Been So Successful. No other country has been this far into the pandemic and still had the number of cases growing at the rates the U.S. is seeing. Without Urgent Action, Coronavirus Could Overwhelm U.S., Estimates Say. I’m not saying we won’t get our hair mussed.

* David Harvey: Anti-Capitalist Politics in the Time of COVID-19. The Politics of the Pandemic. You and Your Boss Have the Same Interests Right Now. That Is a Once-In-A-Lifetime Opportunity. Sara Nelson Says People Are Ready for Solidarity. COVID-19 Emergency Tenant Protections. Homeless families occupy vacant homes in LA. Dealing With Coronavirus Requires Bold Action. The Democratic Leadership Won’t Take It.

* 9% of Working Americans (14 Million) So Far Have Been Laid Off As Result of Coronavirus; 1 in 4 Workers Have Had Their Hours Reduced; 2% Have Been Fired; 20% Have Postponed a Business Trip; Shock Waves Just Now Beginning to Ripple Through Once-Roaring US Economy. U.S. Jobless Claims Jump to Two-Year High Amid Closures. 2700% increase in unemployment claims in Ohio — midweek. [Calfornia] averages 2,000 unemployment applications a day. Two or three days ago, it received 40,000. On Tuesday, 80,000 applications were filed. JP Morgan is forecasting -14% RGDP growth in Q2. That’s so bad it isn’t even on the historical axis.

So, It’s Bad. Free, Widespread Testing Is The Only Way America Goes Back to Normal. This Is How We Can Beat the Coronavirus. Coronavirus will radically alter the U.S. US sales of guns and ammunition soar amid coronavirus panic buying. The Stimulus Plan That We Need Now.

* Curb Your Enthusiasm: “The Virus.”

* I’m reminded somehow of the way you end a SimCity game by unleashing every disaster on your city as once. The Midwest Is Preparing To Get Hit With Major Floods During The Coronavirus Outbreak. How the Coronavirus Crisis May Hinder Efforts to Fight Wildfires. Locust crisis poses a danger to millions, forecasters warn. Earthquake in Utah. A Huge Chunk of Yellowstone Is Pulsing.

* Weeks Before Virus Panic, Intelligence Chairman Privately Raised Alarm, Sold Stocks. Senator Dumped Up to $1.7 Million of Stock After Reassuring Public About Coronavirus Preparedness.

* Coronavirus Is Speeding Up the Amazonification of the Planet. Amazon Workers Shut Down Warehouse After Employee Is Infected With Coronavirus. The tech execs who don’t agree with ‘soul-stealing’ coronavirus safety measures.

Mitt Romney’s $1,000 Isn’t Our Universal Basic Income. Americans may see first round of checks from US government by April 6. I really should have known.

* Before Virus Outbreak, a Cascade of Warnings Went Unheeded. In Coronavirus Testing Ramp-Up, U.S. Called Private Sector in Late. How the CDC Botched Basic Science in Its Attempt to Make a Coronavirus Test. Don’t Let Trump Off the Hook.

* I had a lot of question about this, so perhaps it will be useful to you too: No, The World Health Organization Is Not Recommending Against Ibuprofen For Coronavirus Symptoms.

The world’s fastest supercomputer identified chemicals that could stop coronavirus from spreading, a crucial step toward a treatment. Japanese flu drug ‘clearly effective’ in treating coronavirus, says China. Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin as a treatment of COVID‐19: results of an open‐label non‐randomized clinical trial.

“I’m Not An Epidemiologist But…”: The Rise Of The Coronavirus Influencers. This is certainly a problem but I became attuned to the reality of coronavirus precisely through these sorts of non-experts while Trump and the CDC were still lying to everyone. I haven’t seen anything better for learning true information about this crisis than Reddit’s upvote/downvote system.

* Today in the trolley problem. Today in the simulation argument. Today in career goals. Today in Star Trek Studies. Today in Watchmen fan fiction. Weird time.

* Rikers Island inmate has contracted coronavirus: officials. How coronavirus could explode at Riker’s Island. Reducing prison population protects us all from coronavirus.

You Need Me to Have a Mask. ‘It Feels Like a War Zone’: Doctors and Nurses Plead for Masks on Social Media. A New York Doctor’s Coronavirus Warning: The Sky Is Falling. Simple math offers alarming answers.

* Rural America Isn’t Ready for a Pandemic.

* This picture tells a story about America.

* As Cities Around the World Go on Lockdown, Victims of Domestic Violence Look for a Way Out.

* The COVID-19 Crisis and International Students. Colleges offering dorms as hospital overflow for virus cases. A Brief Letter to an Institution that Believes Extensions are the Accommodations We Need Right Now.

* ‘Panic-gogy’: Teaching Online Classes During The Coronavirus Pandemic. As Schools Look for Guidance, Educators Are Left Asking, ‘What?’ New Coronavirus Package Could Unravel Protections For Students With Disabilities. Is online school illegal? With schools closing from coronavirus, special education concerns give districts pause.

* Waaaaaay ahead of you.

GameStop claims it is ‘essential retail’ to remain open amid coronavirus shutdowns. It didn’t work.

Minnesota and Vermont Just Classified Grocery Clerks as Emergency Workers.

* There’s plenty of food.

* The Quiet Emptiness of a World under Coronavirus.

* The desire for public sex is, of course, nothing new. In his book Tell Me What You Want, sex researcher and Kinsey Institute fellow Justin Lehmiller found it was one of the seven most common fantasies, but the way people are having it in a coronavirus-ridden world definitely is. Now, instead of treating it as nothing more than a novel thrill to “spice things up,” some people are using it as an act of resistance against the virus-induced lockdowns that have squashed so many of the liberties we hold dear. Sex etiquette during the coronavirus.

* Kim Stanley Robinson releases a chapter from his latest novel, though weirdly it’s listed as “news.”

I spent four months pretending to live on Mars. Here’s what I learned about staying sane and passing time.

* I’m beginning to think you just can’t trust billionaires: When he joined the race last year, the billionaire said he would employ his campaign staff through the November election, even if he weren’t the nominee. But Bloomberg dropped out after a poor showing on Super Tuesday, and he has since fired staffers in multiple waves. His campaign had announced earlier in March that it would launch an independent expenditure group to take on Trump that would employ former campaign staffers in swing states.

The Sanders worldview wins even as Bernie loses.

* You know it’s bad when politicians are leaving elected office to join the priesthood.

* A false accusation nightmare in the Times.

* Moffat leaving Doctor Who seemed like a good exit ramp for me, so I haven’t seen any of the new episodes — but wow, this latest retcon looks like a mess, as well as a pretty clear “find some way to tie this off and wrap it up” directive from the BBC.

* Rethinking the Apocalypse: An Indigenous Anti-Futurist Manifesto.

* Octavia Butler gave us a few rules for predicting the future.

An “Extinction Event” for the Comic Shop or “Too Stupid to Quit, Too Dumb to Die”?

The Ending of Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion, Revisited.

* Star Wars in ruins: The Most Problematic ‘Rise Of Skywalker’ Plot Twist Ruined Disney’s ‘Star Wars’ Trilogy. Disney has embarrassed itself issuing Episode 9 retcons but it really ought to explain why it’s being so elliptical about this one issue for no apparent reason.

* And Star Wars resurgent: The Mandalorian Casts Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano.

* Because you demanded it: A new Disney Princess historical fiction series finds Belle in the French Revolution.

* And they were nearly almost done, too! I swear!

* Hey, it’s me, the first sign of civilization in a culture.

* Coming soon: The Collapsing Empire, Book 3. A Cixin Liu story collection. And some free coronavirus reading: Short Changes, a story collection by Adrian Tchaikovsky.

Happy Star Wars Eve, One… Last… Time

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Not that anybody has asked, but if I had to come up with a definitive ranking of all the “Star Wars” episodes — leaving out sidebars like the animated “Clone Wars,” the young Han Solo movie and the latest “Mandalorian” Baby Yoda memes — the result could only be a nine-way tie for fourth place. A dismal farewell to the trilogy. Even Solo got a better reception. The Rise of Skywalker—and the Fall of Fun. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is what happens when a franchise gives up. ‘The Rise Of Skywalker’ Is A Convoluted And Clumsy End To The Star Wars Saga. The Rise of Skywalker Is So Bad It Actually Makes the Trilogy Worse. The Most Incoherent Star Wars Movie Ever Made. watching the rise of skywalker is like telling an acquaintance you ate potato salad once and enjoyed it, and then having that acquaintance break into your home in the middle of the night, tie you to a chair, and mash potato salad into your face and eyes for 2+ hours

* Of course the real content of Episode 9 discourse is The Last Jedi nostalgia.

How ‘Watchmen’s’ misunderstanding of Vietnam undercuts its vision of racism.

* Don’t Hold Your Breath for That Quentin Tarantino Star Trek Movie. “In a strange way, it seems like [‘Hollywood’] would be my last. So, I’ve kind of taken the pressure off myself to make that last big voilà kind of statement,” Tarantino told Consequence of Sound. “I mean to such a degree there was a moment when I was writing and went, ‘Should I do this now? Should I do something else? Is this the 10th one?’ No, no don’t stop the planets from aligning, what are you, Galactus? If the Earth is saying do it, do it…But in a weird way, it actually kind of freed me up. I mean, I have no idea what the story of the next one’s going to be. I don’t even have a clue.” Kill Bill 3 confirmed.

* Netflix and the monoculture.

Click Here to Kill: The dark world of online murder markets.

Living through the era of school shootings, one drill at a time.

* Why did my sweet 5-year-old become so stormy when she started kindergarten? The Miseducation of the American Boy.

* A New (Jesuit) Model for Community Colleges.

You Shouldn’t Have to Be Good at Your Job.

The World The Economist Made.

Why Naomi Klein Has Been Right.

Eco-eugenics demands that the people who are least responsible for environmental degradation “solve” the problem with their lives.

The Oil Age Is Coming to a Close.

A Future with No Future: Depression, the Left, and the Politics of Mental Health.

Regardless, the point is obviously not to get out of depression so that we can get back to the work that caused the depression to begin with. The point must be, rather, to destroy the material conditions that make us sick, the capitalist system that destroys people’s lives, the inequalities that kill. Thus, creating another world together. But to do that, to get to where that becomes possible, what is called for is not competition among the sick, but alliances of care that will make people feel less alone and less morally responsible for their illness. In alliance with each other, people might eventually be able to get up and throw some bricks.

The 2010s Killed Off the Polite Climate Change Conversation.

Trump’s Plan to Criminalize Homelessness Is Taking Shape. Police officer admits he told homeless man to lick public urinal to avoid arrest.

* How Families Cope with the Hidden Costs of Incarceration for the Holidays.

Devin Nunes lives on a congressman’s salary. How is he funding so many lawsuits?

* Memo: the Senate is an irredeemable institution.

* Insulin prices double since 2012.

* Self-Driving Mercedes Will Be Programmed To Sacrifice Pedestrians To Save The Driver. For an extra $50,000 it’ll kill a poor person every time you turn it on just because.

* 15 major cities around the world that are starting to ban cars.

* Life at Away Luggage.

* America is still innovating.

My Last Day As An Adjunct.

* Eternals star Kumail Nanjiani got jacked as all hell, admits he couldn’t have done it without Marvel’s resources.

An Oral History of the Folgers Incest Ad.

John Mulaney Made a Kids’ Special. We Sent a 10-Year-Old to Interview Him About It.

* ‘Civilization’ and Strategy Games’ Progress Delusion: How strategy games have held on to one of colonialism’s most toxic narratives, and how they might finally be letting it go.

* And Papa, am I odd?

Wednesday Night Links!

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Readers in a frenzy as Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments released early. Why It Matters That Amazon Shipped Margaret Atwood’s “The Testaments” a Week Early. Look for my review of The Testaments in LARB soon!

* Maybe the aliens are already tired of us.

The coming death of just about every rock legend.

* CFP: Extrapolating Nostalgia: Special issue of Science Fiction Studies.

* The job so nice they posted it twice: Assistant Professor of Fantasy/Science Fiction Literature.

Author Walter Mosley Quits ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ After Using N-Word in Writers Room. Why I Quit the Writers’ Room.

* The real Dickinson scandal appears only at the margins of Wild Nights with Emily, at the start and at the end. The movie begins with a disclaimer: “The poems and letters of Emily Dickinson are used in this film with permission of Harvard University Press.” But why does anyone need permission from Harvard to make a movie about Emily Dickinson? The answer involves theft, adulterous affairs, a land deal gone wrong, a feud between families, two elite colleges, and some of the most famous poems in American literature.

* As of today there are no longer any children who were alive on 9/11. Never forget the worst comics page in history.

* “The grand neoliberal experiment of the past 40 years has demonstrated that markets in fact do not regulate themselves. Managed markets turn out to be more equitable and more efficient. Yet the theory and practical influence of neoliberalism marches splendidly on, because it is so useful to society’s most powerful people—as a scholarly veneer to what would otherwise be a raw power grab.”

* Liberalism can’t defend itself.

* Whose Apollo Program?

* Another world is possible.

* Shock of shocks: Administration Within UW System Grew While Faculty Numbers Declined.

* The great enrollment crash.

* California to force NCAA to pay athletes. More at the MetaFilter thread.

* Ronan Farrow exposes MIT. The Epstein scandal at MIT shows the moral bankruptcy of techno-elites. The Moral Rot of the MIT Media Lab.

Her University Publicly Accused Her of Using Meth. Here’s How It Came to That, and Here’s What Happened Next.

* Another trip inside Cheating, Inc.

* The WSJ takes aim at the English major, again. Some college major data from the Center on Education and the Workforce.

* Hard not to think we’ve grown obsolete.

* Another free speech exception.

* Inside Liberty University.

“We’re not a school; we’re a real estate hedge fund,” said a senior university official with inside knowledge of Liberty’s finances. “We’re not educating; we’re buying real estate every year and taking students’ money to do it.”

Ah, they’ve got nothing on Columbia or NYU.

Elite schools say they’re looking for academic excellence and diversity. But their thirst for tuition revenue means that wealth trumps all.

* I worked at a website that rated professors for political bias. This is what I learned.

* ‘UVA has ruined us’: Health system sues thousands of patients, seizing paychecks and putting liens on homes. “Johns Hopkins deliberately puts poor people who seek its care into medical debt so they lose their homes so Johns Hopkins can buy the land for its expansion.”

Congress Promised Student Borrowers A Break. Education Dept. Rejected 99% Of Them.

Over 60, and Crushed by Student Loan Debt.

The administrators who handle sexual-misconduct investigations aren’t sticking around for long. That’s because they have one of the toughest jobs on campus.

* Inside the cuts at Marquette. Under the circumstances I feel overly relieved that we’ve moved up in the US News rankings.

* When Active-Shooter Drills Scare the Children They Hope to Protect.

* Daughter should have been armed, it’s the only way to prevent these things unfortunately.

* Richest Could Lose Hundreds of Billions Under Warren’s Wealth Tax. They wouldn’t even notice it missing.

UBI Already Exists, We Just Need to Redistribute It.

* Climate change is here. Climate change isn’t an intangible future risk. It’s here now, and it’s killing us. Dangerous new hot zones are spreading around the world. The heat is on. James Cameron says “people need to wake the fuck up” about climate change. Invest $1.8 trillion to adapt. Climate change also means retreat. In an era of climate change, everything feels strange. Even the places we call home. Mississippi Beaches Have Been Vacant For 2 Months As A Toxic Algae Bloom Lurks Offshore. Tired: The Anthropocene. Wired: The Carnivalocene. The novel in the Anthropocene. Winter Isn’t Coming. Prepare for the Pyrocene.

Island of 50,000 People in the Bahamas Is 70% Under Water. Hurricane Dorian Survivors Were Turned Away & That’s A Chilling Look At Our Future.

NOAA staff warned in Sept. 1 directive against contradicting Trump. I knew he’d slip up eventually!

* Hope in the Midst of Ecological Dystopia: Cli-fi books for the young-adult reader.

Agribusiness against the Amazon.

* “When I say state’s rights,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

* From the mixed-up files of the top Republican gerrymanderer.

* Today in the wisdom of markets.

* For every grift, a mark: Meet The Hyperloop’s Truest Believers.

When the State Enforces “Straight Pride.”

What’s Missing From “White Fragility”: Robin DiAngelo’s idea changed how white progressives talk about themselves—and little else.

* And speaking of white fragility.

Indigenous Women in Canada Are Still Being Sterilized Without Their Consent.

TWO MONTHS BEFORE my operation, I dreamed I was a character in a video game. As sometimes happens in video games, I died. When I respawned, I had a new face, the face of another woman altogether. Upon discovering this in the dream, I collapsed into my companion’s arms and told her, through tears, that all I had ever wanted was to become unrecognizable to myself.

* The rise of anti-trans “radical” feminists, explained.

Care Work Is the Next Feminist Frontier.

In Chicago, more than 16,000 students are homeless.

* The Center for American Progress Is a Disgrace.

* Don’t Be Fooled — Kamala Harris’s “Criminal Justice” Plan Is Not Progressive.

* Baby Boomers are charmed by his rose-tinted revisionism. Younger Democrats see the past more clearly. The Historical Amnesia of Joe Biden’s Candidacy.

* Joe Biden can’t stop lying. He lies for popularity, he lies to protect billionaires’ profits, and he lies to cover his own misdeeds. If he were to quit lying, Biden would be exposed for who he actually is: a happy stooge of industry trying to squash the rising demand for a better world.

* Imagine if we had a democracy.

* Trump’s already cancelling elections.

* Corey Robin on Clarence Thomas’s theory of race.

* The case for changing the voting age to zero.

The Fall of the Meritocracy.

Yes, GamerGate Was a Misogynist Hate Campaign.

* Rethinking cities, from the ground up. Cars are pushing out bikes and pedestrians to the applause of the influential and powerful.

* Ex-lawyer who stole from clients in part to finance his ‘Excuseman’ character given 3 years in prison.

* sometimes I just get overwhelmed by how regular and normal our country is

* extremely normal very normal

Document reveals the FBI is tracking border protest groups as extremist organizations. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has accidentally revealed the whereabouts of a future “urban warfare” training facility that is expected to include “hyper-realistic” simulations of homes, hotels and commercial buildings in Chicago and Arizona. The Capricious Use of Solitary Confinement Against Detained Immigrants.

Made In America: For $9.50 An Hour, They Brew Tear Gas For Hong Kong.

* California Bill Makes App-Based Companies Treat Workers as Employees. UPDATE: Uber already refusing to comply.

* Republicans Republicaning, part 7998.

How We Shut Down the Nation’s Largest Child Detention Center.

* The US military may have spent millions to help prop up a Trump resort. Gee, I hope someone was fired over that blunder!

* TSA PreCheck: It absolutely shouldn’t exist, and is absolutely an incredible value.

* Frenchest news item of all time: man dies having “adulterous relationship with a perfect stranger” on business trip; court rules it was a work accident.

* The struggle to save Day-Glo.

* Whatever happened to Mark Z. Danielewski’s The Familiar?

* The original Civilization, running inside an Excel spreadsheet.

* A history of Tetris randomizers.

* How we became nostalgic for Minecraft.

* 44 African Architectural Styles.

* Where there were more than 2,000 staff cartoonists at work a century ago, and 180 as recently as the 1980s, contemporary estimates are grim: a 2011 survey by The Herb Block Foundation, an educational nonprofit, estimated that fewer than 40 such jobs still exist.

* Harry Potter Fandom in an Illiberal Democracy.

Woman Shares 18th Century Student Disciplinary Records In Response To ‘Millennials Are The Worst’ Claim.

* A people’s history of labor history.

* They solved the Geedis mystery.

The Lost Issue of Grant Morrison and Chas Truog’s Animal Man From 1988 – “Dominion.”

* Maid of honor shows up to wedding in T. rex costume after being told she could wear anything.

* Cheese can’t fake the funk.

* Every culture tells a different story about why it cages animals, which nearly all of them do. The stories evolve, and the cages do too.

Marc Davis in His Own Words: Imagineering the Disney Theme Parks.

Occupations by frequency as mentioned in the lyrics of David Bowie.

* The art of the Anthropocene: @LegoLostatSea.

* Disney still innovating ways to ruin the Muppets faster and faster; now the series don’t even need to be made to be bad.

* A thread/sincere plea: if you a member of the mainstream/popular press and are writing an article about fandom, you can officially nix any of the following, as it has already been written in 20+ other “101” style articles about fans/fan culture…

We were creating space for ourselves, centering our own positive stories.

* And, once again, Star Trek by the numbers.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 11, 2019 at 3:30 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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At Long Last: Links!

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* CFP: Paradoxa 31: Climate Fiction. CFP: Technologies of Feminist Speculative Fiction. CFP: Fantasy and Myth in the Anthropocene. CFP: Radical Perspectives on Horror Cinema. CFP: New Perspectives on Contemporary German Science Fiction. CFP: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. CFP: The David Foster Wallace Society Annual Meeting. CFP: Poverty and Literature.

* Twentieth Century/Contemporary literature and culture (permanent, full-time) @ Warwick’s Dept. of English & Comparative Literary Studies.

Applications for The Roddenberry Fellowship are now open. $50,000 will be awarded to up to 20 Fellows in the areas of civil rights, immigration, environmental protection, LGBTQIA & women’s rights. Are you or someone you know a future Fellow?

University of Pittsburgh Acquires Romero Collection, To Found Horror Studies Center.

What Milwaukee Can Teach the Democrats about Socialism.

* A Union Fight at Marquette University. Spadework. Letter from a Graduate Instructor: Why We Need a Union @ Marquette University.

* Microsyllabus: Critical University Studies.

What Really Happened at Stanford University Press: An Insider’s Account.

Ex-Players Sue UCLA, Coaches, NCAA For Injuries, Abuse.

Enrollment Shortfalls Spread to More Colleges.

* Want to save the humanities? Make college free.

The Humanities Without Nostalgia.

The Party of Utopia: A Report from the 43rd Annual Society for Utopian Studies Conference.

As the Hungarian prime minister systematically undermined his own country’s education system, one institution stood defiant: a university in the heart of Budapest, founded by George Soros.

This Is What It Sounds Like Hiding In A Dark Classroom During A School Shooting.

* It’s 2059, and the Rich Kids Are Still Winning. And speaking of which: read Ted’s new book! Really!

* Profiles of young Americans who entered voluntary exile rather than paying their student loans.

* What’s Scarier Than Student Loans? Welcome to the World of Subprime Children.

* It is here that Afrofuturism offers not just significant thought and art but praxis in the development of black posthumanism – or better, exhumanism. Ditto with the call to enact innovative forms of cooperation: we need to think of who is joining whose cooperative, and for what purposes beyond liberal tenets of equality or socialist tenets of economic equity. I want to point out that the infiltration of Afrofuturism into the popular unconscious by way of black popular music, remix culture and science fiction marks but one of the sociopolitical forces of its versatile imaginary, yet perhaps its most potent: it seeds Afrofutures that destabilize the unthought aspects of whose future is at stake. When Afrofuturism, even as an “aesthetic,” enters popular discourse, its black speculative futures and revisionist histories tend to question whose worlding of the world “we” are speaking of – whose social movements, whose politics, whose “we”?

* History is a dystopia.

* A folk hero for our time.

* How golf explains Donald Trump.

The deaths of multiple Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees were preventable, according to internal agency documents obtained by The Young Turks. One ICE official told TYT the problem is “systemic.” She Stopped to Help Migrants on a Texas Highway. Moments Later, She Was Arrested. “I can tell which migrant children will become gang members by looking into their eyes.” What doctors found US officials have done to caged kids. DHS watchdog finds 900 people at border facility with maximum capacity for 125. Pretty grim.

The Deported Americans: More than 600,000 U.S.-born children of undocumented parents live in Mexico. What happens when you return to a country you’ve never known?

A review of the Facebook accounts of thousands of officers around the US — the largest database of its kind — found officers endorsing violence against Muslims, women, and criminal defendants.

‘So much land under so much water’: extreme flooding is drowning parts of the midwest. Extreme Heat Wave Forces South Carolina Bridge to Close for Several Hours. Levees Won’t Save Louisiana from a Climate “Existential Crisis.” Record-Breaking Heat in Alaska Wreaks Havoc on Communities and Ecosystems. This Town Didn’t Want to Be a Radioactive Waste Dump. The Government Is Giving Them No Choice. Flooding leaves Houston area students stranded at school. The U.S. put nuclear waste under a dome on a Pacific island. Now it’s cracking open. This map shows millions of acres of lost Amazon rainforest. Los Angeles Fire Season Is Beginning Again. And It Will Never End. What remains of Paradise. Jay Inslee promised serious climate policy and he is delivering. Ireland becomes second country to declare climate emergency. Why Carbon Credits For Forest Preservation May Be Worse Than Nothing. Humanity must save insects to save ourselves, leading scientist warns. 2050 or bust. No Happy Ending.

* Studies in the Novel 50.1: The Rising Tide of Climate Change Fiction.

* We may be witnessing the first stirrings of a climate movement that’s big enough to tackle the coming disaster — and radical enough to name the system responsible for it.

* What Would It Mean to Deeply Accept That We’re in Planetary Crisis?

* Of course you had me at hello: The Radical Plan to Save the Planet by Working Less.

One Year Off, Every Seven Years.

After 4 Years Of Not Throwing Away His Trash This Photographer Created A Powerful Photo Series.

* Why Are Americans Ignoring the Most Important Movie of Their Times, China’s The Wandering Earth?

* The average lifetime of a civilization is 336 years.

A Green New Deal Needs to Fight US Militarism.

Stalling on Climate Change Action May Cost Investors Over $1 Trillion.

After Standing Rock, protesting pipelines can get you a decade in prison and $100K in fines.

Almost 80% of the working incinerators in the United States are located in low-income communities and/or communities of color, exposing millions of already vulnerable people to pollutants.

* The end of the Grand Canyon.

* Koalas declared functionally extinct.

* Necessity defense.

The other side of climate grief is climate fury.

* Freedom gas.

* Party’s over.

* Dystopias now.

* America’s Cities Are Unlivable. Blame Wealthy Liberals.

* America’s educational system is an ‘aristocracy posing as a meritocracy.’

* Hell is a YouTube algorithm.

* Americans with diabetes are forming caravans to buy Canadian insulin at 90% off. How the U.S. health-care system puts people with diabetes in danger.

* American kids are 70 percent more likely to die before adulthood than kids in other rich countries.

* Angry Birds and the End of Privacy.

* I’d Have These Extremely Graphic Dreams’: What It’s Like To Work On Ultra-Violent Games Like Mortal Kombat 11.

5G networks could throw weather forecasting into chaos.

* Boeing Built Deadly Assumptions Into 737 Max, Blind to a Late Design Change.

Amazon’s Size Is Becoming a Problem—for Amazon. Cofounder of Facebook calls for breakup of Facebook. Facebook auto-generates videos celebrating extremist images. Worry About Facebook. Rip Your Hair Out in Screaming Terror About Fox News.

* Of course it’s even worse than all that.

* ‘I Did My Best to Stop American Foreign Policy’: Bernie Sanders on the 1980s.

* The kids won’t save us. Teenage Pricks: Trumpism’s Boy Power.

* Post-Earth capitalism.

The Birth-Tissue Profiteers.

The $3.5 billion shaving industry is secretive and litigious — and disrupting itself silly.

* Parents who raise children as vegans should be prosecuted, say Belgian doctors.

* Uber rang in its IPO with champagne and mimosas. Then the hangover began. The Ride-Hail Strike Got Just Enough Attention to Terrify Uber. Lyft’s First Results After I.P.O. Show $1.14 Billion Quarterly Loss. How Corporate Delusions of Automation Fuel the Cruelty of Uber and Lyft. Uber, Lyft account for two-thirds of traffic increase in SF over six years, study shows.

This Bird Went Extinct and Then Evolved Into Existence Again.

Weird science: Jeanette Winterson talks writing, teaching and queer visions of the future.

* There is no depression gene. Decades of early research on the genetics of depression were built on nonexistent foundations. How did that happen?

* NASA Accidentally Destroys NYC in Attempt to Save Denver.

No One Is Prepared for Hagfish Slime.

* Buffoonery, or laying the groundwork for heads-we-win-tails-you-lose impeachment proceedings? Or both? Probably both.

* Who wins from public debate? Liars, bullies and trolls.

My Cousin Was My Hero. Until the Day He Tried to Kill Me.

* Twenty-five years later, The Bell Curve’s analysis of race and intelligence refuses to die. Reckoning with its legacy may help redirect the conversation in urgently needed ways.

* David Foster Wallace’s journalism is, in many ways, inaccurate. But he’s hardly the only venerated journalist to have made stuff up.

* What I’m saying here is that the Georgia law is NOT an overturn of “Roe v. Wade.” We’re not headed back to pre-“Roe” days. We’re headed for something much worse.

Countervailing powers: the forgotten economic idea Democrats need to rediscover. Democrats need a power agenda, not just a policy agenda.

How A Black Psychiatrist Shaped ‘Sesame Street’ Into A Tool To Fight Against Racism. “Sesame Street” was a radical experiment in challenging institutional racism.

* What Would Happen to Earth If the Avengers Undid Thanos’ Snap?

* In perhaps the richest city in the richest country in human history. And again.

* The average millennial has an average net worth of $8,000. That’s far less than previous generations.

Suicide rates in girls are rising, study finds, especially in those age 10 to 14. For the past two decades, a suicide epidemic fueled by guns, poverty and isolation has swept across the West, with middle-aged men dying in record numbers. Over the past year, a spate of suicides has revealed a financial crisis in New York’s cab industry. Officials have blamed Uber, but much of the crisis can be traced to a handful of taxi tycoons. As Suicides Rise, Insurers Find Ways to Deny Mental Health Coverage.

Life, Liberty, and Advanced Placement for All.

* Susan Sontag was true author of ex-husband’s book, biography claims.

* Autoreply. Real college. Revenge. Love. Winning. Nausea. Brains. Aliens. Vegetarianism. The real climate change was the friends we made along the way.

* Of course I’d want $150,000. Please go away — I’m reading! There’s only one rule I know of. It could work.

* Some people just want to watch the world burn.

* Nice work if you can get it.

* Alternate history, 500 levels in.

The Martian Base in the Gobi Desert.

Freeing Britney Spears.

* We asked 15 experts, “What do we do now that will be considered unthinkable in 50 years?” Here’s what they told us.

* The Net Libram of Random Magical Effects version 2.00.

* Here follows my ongoing thread of Game of Thrones characters as Dril tweets.”

* Physicists Discover Our Universe Is Fictional Setting Of Cop Show Called ‘Hard Case.’

* Take the red pill, and find out how deep the rabbit hole goes.

* Trump’s hasty plan to get Americans back on the moon by 2024, explained.

* And okay FINE I’ll get excited about all these UFO reports.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 4, 2019 at 2:28 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Tuesday Morning Links

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A new documentary will explore the life and legacy of Ursula K. Le Guin.

* Janelle Monáe on Octavia Butler and Afrofuturism at Spotify.

How copyright law hides work like Zora Neale Hurston’s new book from the public.

But now, a humanities education—designed to inculcate intellectual curiosity and humanistic empathy—serves no purpose, especially beside such plainly better-compensated and culturally respectable real-world pursuits as vocational and managerial training. In other words today’s neoliberal order is fine with revised canons, and with more inclusive, multicultural understandings of the world—but not with public money supporting something so seemingly useless as the humanities. In the age of neoliberalism, conservatives have briskly abandoned their traditionalist defense of the Western canon in favor of no canon at all. Culture warriors on both sides have been overtaken by events. A bipartisan neoliberal consensus that emphasizes job training as education’s sine qua non now dominates the landscape. The Culture Wars Are Dead! Long Live the Culture Wars.

* Among the Hottest Job Markets on Campus: Police Officer.

* Call for papers: Call for Papers: Capitalism, Social Science and the Platform University.

* Massacre in Gaza.

A mother and child fled Congo fearing death. ICE has held them separately for months, lawsuit says.

A DACA Recipient Graduates Amid Deportation Fears.

* The drug war is (still) a race war.

* Black Panther and the Black Panthers, at NYRoB.

* Sweet Briar Milkshake Ducked awfully fast.

* Social media has come under increasing scrutiny for reinforcing people’s pre-existing viewpoints which, it is argued, can create information “echo chambers.” We investigate whether social media motivates real-life action, with a focus on hate crimes in the United States. We show that the rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes since Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has been concentrated in counties with high Twitter usage. Consistent with a role for social media, Trump’s Tweets on Islam-related topics are highly correlated with anti-Muslim hate crime after, but not before the start of his presidential campaign, and are uncorrelated with other types of hate crimes. These patterns stand out in historical comparison: counties with many Twitter users today did not consistently experience more anti-Muslim hate crimes during previous presidencies.

Carceral Capitalism: A Conversation with Jackie Wang.

* Indigenous Canadians sue the Canadian government over decades of secret, involuntary, inhumane medical experiments.

* If people on food stamps made Jared Kushner’s paperwork mistakes, they might starve.

* Not even 18 months in and they’ve completely dropped all pretense.

* There could be life on Europa, and they only have water cannons.

* Video games as archive.

Cobbled together in America by Americans, and inspired by contractual obligations and market demands, nothing about the Hey Jude album was “authentic.” 

Two X-Men fan letters from 1976, one who thinks Chris Claremont’s new run can only be saved by jettisoning the diverse cast, the other from a woman of color glad to see herself represented in the pages of her favorite comic. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

* Jim Starlin vs. Marvel.

* Westworld against libertarianism.

Workfare for the Private Equity Crew.

* In Praise of Alien3. I heard from a lot of these folks when I compared Infinity War to Alien3 the other week.

The misassigned voters lived in a predominantly African American precinct that heavily favored Democrats in the fall, raising the possibility that they would have delivered the district to Simonds had they voted in the proper race.

A Jury Acquitted The First Group To Stand Trial On Inauguration Rioting Charges. Prosecutors Are Trying Again.

* So inspiring: Disgraced congressman gets a second chance.

For Peterson, the purpose of our politics and books and films and TV is to protect us from the feminine, which is a crazy and destabilizing energy. Certain culture is good for the brain and certain culture is bad, making you antisocial and destructive. Peterson loves both Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, stories in which men save sleeping women with a kiss, and hates Frozen, a film in which Prince Hans turns out to be the bad guy. Frozen has “no understanding whatsoever of the underlying archetypal dynamics,” he explained in Time this year. We must tell the same ancient story over and over, Peterson says, or we will all go insane.

* Literally no one could have predicted: Arrested Development’s Season 4 “Remix” Is an Experiment Gone Horribly Wrong.

* There’s nothing the human race can’t achieve.

* Retirement policy is basically alchemy.

* Self-driving cars are human experimentation.

* Defending the indefensible: What Isle of Dogs Gets Right About Japan.

* How you’re gonna die, by the numbers.

* The past isn’t over, it isn’t even past.

* Spoiler alert.

* And nothing gold can stay: goodbye, Peppa Pig.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 15, 2018 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Holy Thursday Links!

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* Our brains don’t work.

* William Strampel, Nassar’s former boss at MSU, charged with criminal sexual conduct. MSU Spent Half A Million Dollars Monitoring Nassar Victims’ And Journalists’ Social Media Accounts. Every single member of the upper administration at MSU must resign.

According to MLive, investigators in February found dozens of photos of nude women as well as pornographic videos and a video of Nassar with a young patient on a computer in Strampel’s office.

* Sexuality, childhood, and spanking as sexual assault.

* UW-Stevens Point may reconsider proposed humanities cuts after student protests.

A new report by the Brennan Center for Justice suggests that congressional races are so heavily rigged in favor of Republicans that the United States can barely be described as a democratic republic. The upshot of their analysis is that, to win a bare majority of the seats in the U.S. House, Democrats “would likely have to win the national popular vote by nearly 11 points.”

Who Foots Most of the Bill for Public Colleges? In 28 States, It’s Students.

* “Student Loans Are Too Expensive To Forgive.”

This is a strike to save higher education.

* Oklahoma teachers say they’re going on strike next week.

* Fred Walker’s Career May Not Be Over. But His Presidency Is.

* I heard you like obstruction so I got you some obstruction in your obstruction.

* ‘Deeply weird and enjoyable’: Ursula K Le Guin’s electronica album.

Here’s how Popular Science covered ‘Star Trek’ in 1967.

Civilization Player Gets Space Race Victory In 90 AD.

* A Scheme to End the World’s Worst Acid Trip.

* Race, Gender, and Disability in Black Panther and A Wrinkle in Time.

* Stormy Daniels Directed a Cyberpunk Porn Thriller That Predicted Our Current Dystopia.

* The Vikings got a billion dollar stadium, and tax payers paid half of that cost. And now…

Something Happened on Television.

A California sheriff is posting inmate release dates to help ICE capture undocumented immigrants. ICE gained access to Santa Clara County inmates, breaching sanctuary policies.

* Whatever the potential merits of the arguments might be, it’s tortuous, to say the least, to read anguished warnings about “fake news” from someone who was in the West Wing during the heyday of Saddam Hussein’s imaginary weapons of mass destruction, fictitious attempts to buy refined uranium from Niger, and completely nonexistent alliance with Al-Qaeda; to hear about the threats posed by presidential incompetence from a former staffer of the same White House that so brazenly let New Orleans drown; to be lectured on the perils of executive belligerence and polarizing rhetoric from the man credited with coining the phrase “Axis of Evil”; or to be subjected to sermons about kleptocracy and calls to decency, honor, and the rule of law from someone whose former political boss spent eight years oozing nationalist machismo to champion torture, extrajudicial detention, and aggressive war and who possibly became president in 2000 because his brother just so happened to be the governor of Florida.

* The Newest Frontier in American Jurisprudence Is Trump’s Twitter Feed.

* Hey, Wired — leave those kids alone.

* It shows just how far a man of means will go to get something he can’t buy: the right to carry a concealed firearm anywhere in America.

* A Detective Is Torn Between Two Worlds in the New Trailer for the BBC’s The City and The City Adaptation.

* Seems pricy, but I’ll allow it.

* Advertising will destroy the auto industry next.

* Scientists say they’ve discovered a new human organ. Behold the interstitium!

* Well, when you put it that way.

* Bulgaria Alleges Julia Kristeva was State Security Agent.

* Who Are The Other 00s?

* Deep Sports Nine.

* I feel personally attacked.

* And sure, I’m into this.

Sunday Morning After ICFA Links!

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* Two poems from the great Jaimee Hills: “Frosted Palm” and “The Books in the Bushes.”

* ICYMI: My #ICFA39 talk, “Star Trek after Discovery.” Building on my AUFS post from last week, and it’s already inspired an expansion at r/DaystromInstitute.

* Have you played this new gritty realistic fantasy game?

* How does Neil Gaiman work?

* How vulture capitalists ate Toys R Us.

* The constitutional crisis is always arriving and never arrived. It’s been here at least twenty years.

* The market can’t solve a massacre.

And so in schools across the country, Americans make their children participate in Active Shooter drills. These drills, which can involve children as young as kindergartners hiding in closets and toilet stalls, and can even include simulated shootings, are not just traumatic and of dubious value. They are also an educational enterprise in their own right, a sort of pedagogical initiation into what is normal and to be expected. Very literally, Americans teach their children to understand the intrusion of rampaging killers with assault rifles as a random force of nature analogous to a fire or an earthquake. This seems designed to foster in children a consciousness that is at once hypervigilant and desperate, but also morbid and resigned—in other words, to mold them into perfectly docile citizen-consumers. And if children reject this position and try to take action, some educational authorities will attempt to discipline their resistance out of them, as in Texas, where one school district has threatened to penalize students who walk out in anti-gun violence actions, weaponizing the language of “choices” and “consequences” to literally quash “any type of protest or awareness.”

All rise and no fall: how Civilization reinforces a dangerous myth.

* Rethinking dehumanization.

There Are No Guardrails on Our Privacy Dystopia.

On misogynoir: citation, erasure, and plagiarism.

ICE Spokesman Resigns, Saying He Could No Longer Spread Falsehoods for Trump Administration.

* The U.S. separates a mother and daughter fleeing violence in Congo.

James Mattis is linked to a massive corporate fraud and nobody wants to talk about it.

* Amazing that Trump’s personal aide was fired by the White House while being investigated and then immediately rehired by the campaign and it’s like a C story at best.

* The A story.

How America’s prisons are fueling the opioid epidemic.

* The rise of the prison state.

Trump administration studies seeking the death penalty for drug dealers.

Former Black Panther Herman Wallace dies days after judge overturns murder conviction that saw him serve 41 years in solitary confinement.

* Oconomowoc schools impose limits on ‘privilege’ discussions after parents complain.

* With a tightening labor market, CEOs are chasing after the same workers they once derided as unemployable.

America’s ‘Retail Apocalypse’ Is Really Just Beginning.

* The YouTube Kids app has been suggesting a load of conspiracy videos to children.

* The missing Obama millions.

* What America looked like before the EPA.

Supreme Court Can’t Wait to Kill Youth Climate Lawsuit.

Rapid Arctic warming and melting ice are increasing the frequency of blizzards in the Northeast, study finds.

* YouTube mini-lecture from Adam Kotsko: Trump as mutation, or parody, of neoliberalism. And some more Kotsko content: Superheroes, Science Fiction, and Social Transformation.

The Rise of Dismal Science Fiction.

* The Science Fiction of Roe v. Wade.

* Visions, Ventures, Escape Velocities: A Collection of Space Futures. A response.

* Against popular culture.

David Foster Wallace and the Horror of Neuroscience.

* Neither utopia nor apocalypse? Somedays I feel like both is the most likely outcome of all, a heaven for them and a hell for the rest of us.

Who Owns the Robots? Automation and Class Struggle in the 21st Century.

* Rest in peace, Stephen Hawking. His last goodbye.

* Facing Disaster: The Great Challenges Framework.

‘Picked Apart by Vultures’: The Last Days of Stan Lee.

For Decades, Our Coverage Was Racist. To Rise Above Our Past, We Must Acknowledge It.

Why museum professionals need to talk about Black Panther.

PSA: Marvel’s Black Panther Animated Series is Streaming for Free on YouTube.

* Hate spree killings in Austin.

* Wakanda Forever.

* Thus Spake Black Bolt.

* To Catch a Predator. You know it’s a bleak story when the NYPD are the good guys.

The radical vision of Wages for Housework.

* Happy International Women’s Day.

* Hundreds of Missouri’s 15-year-old brides may have married their rapists.

If NYT printed the *actual, real-life* sentiments of today’s conservative masses, it would print a bunch of paranoid, Fox-generated fairy tales and belligerent expressions of xenophobia, misogyny, racism, and proud, anti-intellectual ignorance. 

* Surveillance in everything: A US university is tracking students’ locations to predict future dropouts.

* Dialectics of the superhero: 1, 2.

* #MAaEEoOGFwNCBA.

* Pew pew.

* Huge, if true: Studying for a humanities PhD can make you feel cut off from humanity.

* From the archives: The Racial Injustice of Big-Time College Sports.

* Podcast minute: Screw It, We’re Just Gonna Talk about Spider-Man and The Beatles. The first is new and the second is old but both are worth checking out.

* Goodbye, cruel world.

* And I’m not a lazy home owner. I’m a goddamn hero.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 18, 2018 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Happy Valentine’s Day Links!

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* Very excited to welcome Adam Kotsko to Marquette later this week for his talk “Animated Nihilism: Rick and Morty, BoJack Horseman and the Strange Fate of the Adult Cartoon.”

* There was a nice interview with me at the ArchivesAWARE! site, kicking off a new series on Archives and Audiences.

* SFRA Review #323 is out! Check out the details on the upcoming SFRA conference in Milwaukee.

* CFP: The Journal of Dracula Studies. CFP: Žižek Studies special issue on “Žižek: What Went Wrong?”

* The Simpsons: What Went Wrong?

* A science-fiction narrative imagining an alternate universe in which Donald Trump never became President: he’s just a regular guy in New York City.

The Problem With Annihilation’s Messy Release.

Fantastic Beasts and What Could Have Been. They’re really not nailing this.

* Kim Stanley Robinson: The Radical Philosophy Interview.

KSR: Capitalism is still very feudal in its distribution of wealth. One of the great triumphs of Marxist historiography is to describe accurately the transition from feudalism to capitalism, why it happened and the differences. At a presentation I once gave with Jameson, I said something like capitalism is just feudalism liquidified. In the break he said, ‘Kim, it’s actually a big accomplishment for Marxists to be able to describe the change from feudalism to capitalism.’ I then brought up something he had taught me, Raymond Williams’s concept of the residual and the emergent, and said, ‘but there’s a lot more residual than people have imagined.’ That’s one of the only times I saw Fred startled by something I said. Although I think there’s an exchange of ideas between us, mainly he’s the teacher, I’m the student. He’s explained things that I never would have understood, and I treasure him for that. So it was nice to see him think, ‘Mmm, that’s an interesting thought.’

The residuals out of feudalism would be the power gradient and the actual concentration of wealth per se. In the feudal period, kings might not even have been as proportionally rich as top executives are now in relation to the poor. And if peasants weren’t murdered by passing soldiers, they were living with their food source at hand and working a somewhat decent human life. That isn’t largely true now of the dispossessed. So, capitalism is like feudalism in that, but worse.

* The Good Place and Divine Justice. Meet the Philosophers Who Give ‘The Good Place’ Its Scholarly Bona Fides. TV’s Dystopia Boom. Breakfast and Groundhog Day. Rod Serling: human rights activist as science fiction showrunner. Why the Culture wins. Netflix created a monster with its Cloverfield stunt, and Altered Carbon won’t be the last victim. Reproductive Futurism and Its (Dis)contents. Why I barely read SF these days. Against dystopia.

* My Butch Lesbian Mom, Bruce Springsteen.

* The Sublimated Grief of the Left Behind. How Academe Breeds Resentment. International Grad Students’ Interest in American Higher Ed Marks First Decline in 14 Years. Columbia University Gets In Bed with Trump. I’m a Stanford professor accused of being a terrorist. McCarthyism is back. How Hard Do Professors Work? Shameless and Hypocrisy at the MLA. And meanwhile, on the Singularity beat: Teaching assistant robots will reinvent academia. Universities in the Age of AI.

Humanities Grads Gainfully Employed and Happy.

White Supremacists Are Targeting College Students ‘Like Never Before.’

* The Olympic hero for our time.

* To U.S. Border Patrol, the Canadian border is 100 miles wide. A good overview of how Trump’s ICE differs, and doesn’t, from Obama’s; the major distinction seems to be empowering street-level officer to make policy-level determinations about enforcement. A Short, Brutal History of ICE. ICE Wants to Be an Intelligence Agency Under Trump. ICE Grants Stay To Arizona Father Whose 5-Year-Old Son Is Battling Cancer. Kansas chemistry instructor arrested by ICE while taking his daughter to school. ICE detains man at traffic court after DACA status expires, then frees him after outcry. Public Defenders Walk Out Of Bronx Courthouse After College Student Detained By ICE. Cuban immigrant awaiting removal dies in ICE custody. Green card veteran facing deportation starts hunger strike. Trump administration considered testing “abortion reversal” on unwilling prisoner. Give all immigrants the right to vote.

* Know your police rape loopholes.

* How not to die in America. I Had to Bury My 26-Year-Old Son Because He Couldn’t Afford Insulin. Texas Woman Dies Because She Couldn’t Afford $116 Copay. What Aetna did here might not even be illegal.

* America: (Still) Not a Democracy. That’s not to say things still can’t get worse.

* In the richest country in human history.

FEMA Contract Called for 30 Million Meals for Puerto Ricans. 50,000 Were Delivered.

* Even the Democrats (still) won’t talk about climate change. Democrats’ ‘Resistance’ to Trump Is Eroding, and So Are Their Poll Numbers. What Happened To The Democratic Wave?

A map of the world after four degrees of warming. There’s even more good news below the map!

An Urgent Crisis of Leadership, Climate, and Water is Unfolding in South Africa.

* And in Kentucky: Sometimes they get no water. Other times just a trickle. Often, they say, their water is so discolored it resembles milk or Kool-Aid or beer.

The African Anthropocene.

* Floods and pollution.

* Just six months from victory in Afghanistan.

Fitness tracking app Strava gives away location of secret US army bases. Podcast listeners are the advertising holy grail. A Driver’s Suicide Reveals the Dark Side of the Gig Economy. slavery.amazon.com. Whole Foods as Amazon Hell. What Amazon Does to Poor Cities.

I’m the Wife of a Former N.F.L. Player. Football Destroyed His Mind. Concussion Protocol.

Here’s Everything We Used to Know About Han Solo’s Early Years. A Primer on All Things Wakanda.

* Monopoly: Cheaters Edition.

Arizona Man Sells His $6.5 Million Ranch Because Of Constant, Violent Alien Attacks.

Supercut of Instagram travel photo clichés. Photos of Total Strangers Pretending to Be in Serious Relationships.

Why is Civilization 5 still more popular than Civilization 6?

* The arc of history is long, but Hot sauce king Billy Mitchell is in danger of having his Donkey Kong records stripped away.

Why Woody Allen hasn’t been toppled by the #MeToo reckoning — yet. This Is Why Uma Thurman Is Angry.

* Suicide and the opioid epidemic.

* Cancel student debt and grow the economy. Let’s Stop Normalizing Student Debt.

* College compiles first-ever index of slaves and their enslavers in NY. Slavery and the American University.

* Nation of Second Changes: Stories of people who received a pardon from Barack Obama.

* The Alt-Right Is Killing People.

The Median Young Family Has Nearly Zero Wealth.

* #NeverTweet.

Why Antonio Gramsci is the Marxist thinker for our times.

* I call it my brand: Marxism as Organized Sarcasm.

Worf’s Dad Is Repeatedly Disgraced When Predictive Text Writes Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Nintendo’s new cardboard extensions for Switch are blowing users away.

* Case Western in the news!

* Can’t stop the signal: here come the Firefly novels.

* Pets allowed.

‘Speaking’ orca is further proof they shouldn’t be kept captive.

* The mutant crayfish that ate Europe.

* And this guy gets it: Nigel, the world’s loneliest bird, dies next to the concrete decoy he loved.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 13, 2018 at 10:01 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Wednesday Links!

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* Some current calls for papers: Science Fiction and Communism. Beyond Humanism. Sesame Street at 50.

* Coming soon to Marquette! The Center for the Advancement of the Humanities will host Adam Kotsko on Feb. 15th at 3:30 p.m. in Marquette Hall 105, as he discusses “Animated Nihilism: RickandMorty, BoJackHorseman and the Strange Fate of the Adult Cartoon.”

* My favorite weird found-poetry I’ve discovered on this trip: in Switzerland and Germany first-person shooters are called “ego shooters.”

* My favorite thing on the Internet in a long, long time: Rey and Kylo set to just about every song you’ve ever heard of.

* Star Trek: Discovery is exciting, but not much else.

To put it another way, if this was just called Discovery, if the serial numbers were filled off and this was just another science fiction show with aliens and parallel universes and FTL drives, I doubt we’d be talking about it. It would be significantly less annoying in some ways (my brain would appreciate not having to fit any of this into continuity, that’s for damn sure), but it would be far more forgettable—a pretty, messy piece of nonsense with some decent performances and occasionally unexpected story twists. Hell, maybe we’d like it more, if only because our standards would be lower and it would still be possible to convince ourselves that someday, this would all make sense.

io9 was even harsher, if anything. I’m still a fan of the series but the extremely poor plotting of the second half of season one has made complete hash of their very promising initial setup. It’s much harder for me to argue the series is genuinely good, as opposed to liking it because it is Star Trek and I like pretty much everything Star Trek.

* Advice from a Contingent Faculty Member on Career Directions for PhDs in English.

* Sam and Max Hit the Road: The Design Document. What a great game that was.

* “A fascinating new kind of job that only a human can do: robot babysitter.”

The myth of America’s immigration problem.

* Beautiful Coal and Disastrous Droughts.

* Seen accurately. American collapse is a catastrophe of human possibility without modern parallel . And because the mess that America has made of itself, then, is so especially unique, so singular, so perversely special — the treatment will have to be novel, too. The uniqueness of these social pathologies tell us that American collapse is not like a reversion to any mean, or the downswing of a trend. It is something outside the norm. Something beyond the data. Past the statistics. It is like the meteor that hit the dinosaurs: an outlier beyond outliers, an event at the extreme of the extremes. That is why our narratives, frames, and theories cannot really capture it — much less explain it. We need a whole new language — and a new way of seeing — to even begin to make sense of it. Why We’re Underestimating American Collapse: The Strange New Pathologies of the World’s First Rich Failed State.

* If your highest value is the preservation of American institutions, the avoidance of “dysfunction,” the discourse of norm erosion makes sense. If it’s democracy, not so much. Sometimes democracy requires the shattering of norms and institutions. Democracy, we might even say, is a permanent project of norm erosion, forever shattering the norms of hierarchy and domination and the political forms that aid and abet them.

* What does living in a dictatorship feel like?

* Cixin Liu and Chinese science fiction, in the London Review of Books.

* The Voynich Manuscript has been cracked again. Everybody take a drink!

* Sic semper: Twilight of Chief Wahoo.

* Huge, if true: some millennials think James Bond could be sexist.

* Emma, the fifteen-second horror movie.

* Here’s What One Day In The Dysfunction Of Restoring Puerto Rico’s Electricity Looks Like. FEMA To End Food And Water Aid For Puerto Rico.

* ICE Deports Palestinian Man Living In The U.S. For Almost 40 Years Despite Outcry. Father detained by ICE after dropping 4-year-old off at daycare. 2 dads nabbed by ICE as they drop off kids at NJ school; 3rd takes shelter in church. Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown is a recipe for national decline.

* Even By Our Awful Standards, Americans Have Basically Stopped Saving Money.

* CES Was Full of Useless Robots and Machines That Don’t Work.

* An ER visit, a $12,000 bill — and a health insurer that wouldn’t pay.

* Baltimore Cops Kept Toy Guns to Plant Just in Case They Shot an Unarmed Person.

* The future just ain’t no good.

* “In honor of the new Mr. Rogers biopic, here’s his Marquette Commencement address from 2001.”

* A new life awaits you in the off-world colonies.

* #DontCallItAComejack.

* What does it mean to die?

Why Reddit’s face-swapping celebrity porn craze is a harbinger of dystopia.

* The life of the mind. Working at university in 2016. Statement of teaching philosophy.

* Of course you had me at a Civilisation V mod about the risk of superintelligent AI.

* And happy birthday, old friend.

Tuesday Morning Links!

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A Nearby Earth-Size Planet May Have Conditions for Life. Launch the S.S. Donald Trump for a Space Race Victory!

When Unpaid Student Loan Bills Mean You Can No Longer Work.

* A spectre is haunting grad students.

* Why are we still doing alumni interviews? They’re so transparently bad that I’d forgotten they even existed, and I did some! Among other things they seem like such an obvious discrimination and harassment vector legal counsel would have shut them down years ago.

* For several years Durazo’s union has advocated for housekeepers to be given handheld, wireless panic buttons that can alert hotel security when a worker feels threatened ― a sign of how dire it views the problem of sexual predation in the hotel industry. After working to negotiate the use of panic buttons in their employer contracts, the union is now lobbying city councils to mandate them through legislation so that all workers have access to them, union and non-union alike.

* The university in ruins, English department edition.

This Is Just How Badly Scott Walker Has Decimated Public Schools in Wisconsin.

“Schools are segregated because white people want them that way.”

* “No one can prevent Trump from using nuclear weapons, experts say.”

How Politics and Bad Decisions Starved New York’s Subways.

* Set in Los Angeles in the summer of 1969, Tarantino’s upcoming movie, according to a source who read the script, focuses on a male TV actor who’s had one hit series and his looking for a way to get into the film business. His sidekick—who’s also his stunt double—is looking for the same thing. The horrific murder of Sharon Tate and four of her friends by Charles Manson’s cult of followers serves as a backdrop to the main story.

Writing Nameless Things: An Interview with Ursula K. Le Guin.

* We Have Come to a Bad Moment, and We Must Change: An Interview with Kim Stanley Robinson. And some bonus KSR content: a podcast!

* The end of net neutrality, again, and this time for real.

Little Man, Little Man is the only children’s book by acclaimed writer James Baldwin. Published in 1976 by Dial Press, the book quickly went out of print. Now, at a time when Baldwin is more popular than ever, and readers, librarians, and booksellers are clamoring for more diverse children’s books, Duke University Press is proud to bring the book back into print. It will be available in August 2018.

It’s wild that The Simpsons is the longest running comedy of all time and also basically Amos and Andy.

* Making the film versions of every kid in America’s childhood should be a license to print money. And yet.

* For the love of God, someone please complete this crossword puzzle!

Make Nepotism Great Again: 20 Families Got Jobs in Trump Administration.

* Al Franken should have resigned last week like I said. He should resign today.

* How Congress hides its sexual harassment settlements.

* Normal country doing normal country things.

* Meet One of New York’s Best Professional Dungeon Masters.

In a remote region of Antarctica known as Pine Island Bay, 2,500 miles from the tip of South America, two glaciers hold human civilization hostage.

* Black Mirror literally did this one.

* Abolish the Bushes.

* And just for fun: The coming coup.

Sunday Links!

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* CFP: Economics and SF.

* DACA at Marquette. Editorial: Marquette must support diversity by declaring sanctuary campus.

* Marquette to create new race and ethnics studies program.

Pillars of Academia: The colleges that produce the most altruistic students, by state.

* We are not responsible.

* On a Twitter account called @Shitty_Future, you can find, according to the feed’s anonymous authors, “the future we deserve.”

On Dec. 20, 2011, Stockley attempted to stop Smith after a suspected drug transaction. When Smith did not stop, a high-speed chase began. The then-officer shot at Smith’s car during the chase, apparently screaming, “I’m going to kill this motherfucker, don’t you know it!”

 

* The Case against Civilization.

* How do you feed a zoo during a disaster?

The NASA Team That Kills Spacecraft.

* I watched my patients die of poverty for 40 years. It’s time for single-payer.

Today, almost every piece of software comes with a disclaimer on its user license that basically says that the product may not work as intended and that its maker may stop supporting it at any time, and that’s the user’s problem. It’s a wonder companies don’t insert “nyah nyah nyah nyah” into the tiny-print legalese. Equifax’s Maddening Unaccountability.

* Also works as the control structure for academia: the game.

A Deep Dive Into BoJack Horseman’s Heartbreaking Dementia Episode.

More opioid prescriptions than people in some California counties.

* “Every morning at about 5 o’clock, we do the audit and we push a button and it sends it to ICE.” Widow of victim in suspected Kansas hate crime faced deportation after husband’s death. U.S. Army kills contracts for hundreds of immigrant recruits. Some face deportation. White House Weighs Lowering Refugee Quota to Below 50,000.

* On Clinton’s book, just one.

* College admins behaving badly.

* But Harvard takes the prize, twice over.

* Berekely a close second. Kudos to the Daily Californian for working out that this is likely all a scam. Failure to confirm.

* Bosses behaving badly all over.

Trump Inc: Inside the president’s not-so-blind trust.

No matter how he leaves the White House, we’ll never be rid of Trump—and all that he represents about America. #AlwaysTrump.

ICE agents dressed in plainclothes staked out a courthouse in Brooklyn and refused to identify themselves.

* Being Colin Kaepernick.

Flying Coach Is So Cramped It Could Be a Death Trap.

Teachers in U.S. paid nearly 60 percent less than other professionals, report finds.

* It Cinematic Universe Correct Viewing Order.

Suicides peak in middle age. So why do we call it a young person’s tragedy?

Former Sheriff David Clarke must revise thesis or risk losing degree, docs reveal.

No Apology, No Explanation: Fox News And The Seth Rich Story.

* Durham’s heroes.

Facebook Enabled Advertisers to Reach ‘Jew Haters.’ Twitter Says It Fixed Feature ‘Bug’ That Let Marketers Target People Who Use the N-Word.

The Best Look at the Future of the Star Trek Universe Comes From a Video Game. Meanwhile, not a great sign: CBS Won’t Allow Any Reviews of Star Trek: Discovery Before It Airs.

* Actually a pretty fun issue, even if this approach to R2-D2 has always pissed me off.

* Return of the J.J. And yet another delay.

* Jor-El is bad (again) (apparently).

* Another EVE Online scam for your rubbernecking pleasure.

* What to Bring.

* The secret history of FEMA.

* The great nutrient collapse.

* Big Oil Will Have to Pay Up, Like Big Tobacco.

Background Checks for Voting? But their emails.

* Solving the mystery of the internet’s most beloved — and notorious — fanfic.

Sign language interpreter used gibberish, warned of bears, monsters during Hurricane Irma update.

Happy anniversary to the most important Twitter exchange of all time.

* Watchmen spinoffs really getting out of hand now.

* And Nintendo decides maybe it wants that license to print money after all.

Liiiiiiiiiiiiiiinks!

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* Once more, with feeling: Should You Go to Graduate School?

* CFP: Not Reading: University of Chicago English Graduate Conference.

* What are Muppets, anyway? Monsters from an evolutionary perspective.

* No.

* The Fictions and Futures of Transformative Justice: A conversation with the authors of Octavia’s Brood.

* The Elements of Bureaucratic Style.

Yikes! New Behind-the-Scenes Book Brutalizes the Clinton Campaign. More. More.

* Dungeons and Dragons and the class system.

* Bruno Latour: The New Climate.

* Which country shall we bomb today?

* Notes on Walls.

* Against “Fearless Girl”: 1, 2, 3. And a counterpoint.

* The Secret at the Heart of A.I.: No one really understands how it works.

Movie written by algorithm turns out to be hilarious and intense.

* How artificial intelligence learns to be racist.

* The new Star Wars theme park seems like a place my kids will completely love.

The Nightmare Scenario for Florida’s Coastal Homeowners.

* The Retail Apocalypse Is Suburban.

California State University cannot justify administrative growth, manager raises, audit says.

The coming British bloodbath.

* The fake news long con: The Anne Frank Center.

The United States of Work.

* Inside Every Utopia Is a Dystopia.

* “I always have SO MANY QUESTIONS about the economies of post-collapse fictional societies.”

* The Ugly Duckling.

* Every Sci-Fi Star Map. Keep scrolling, we’re not done yet!

* Why the FBI Kept a 1,400-Page File on Einstein.

American energy use, in one diagram. 410. There hasn’t been a cool month in 628 months. A closer look at how rich countries “outsource” their CO2 emissions to poorer ones. Countries Need to Move to Zero-Carbon Energy Now–Here’s Why.

* Are zoo animals happy?

* Who Speaks for the Trees?

Ancient stone carvings confirm how comet struck Earth in 10,950BC, sparking the rise of civilizations.

“Somewhere at Google there is a database containing 25 million books and nobody is allowed to read them.”

* Why are doctors giving anti-psychotic drugs to toddlers? Kids Who Use Touchscreen Devices Sleep Less at Night. Let the children play.

* A New Study Confirms What You’ve Long Suspected: Facebook Is Making People Crazy.

* History as a never-ending struggle to delay the Nazi takeover of the world.

* Star Trek: Discovery delayed again, again. Ian McShane says a Deadwood movie script’s made its way to HBO. Every New (and Returning!) Development Thrawn Brings to the Star Wars Universe. ‘Locke and Key’ Pilot From Carlton Cuse Set at Hulu. Can Batman Beyond save the DCEU? And because you demanded it!

Mystery of why shoelaces come undone unravelled by science.

* What’s the most American movie ever made?

NASA announces one of Saturn’s moons could support alien life in our solar system. NASA Considers Magnetic Shield to Help Mars Grow Its Atmosphere. Space Leaves Astronauts Partially Blind, and We May Finally Know Why. Simulation suggests 68 percent of the universe may not actually exist.

* Recycling is in trouble — and it might be your fault.

* Why United Was Legally Wrong to Deplane David Dao. How Much Money Will David Dao Make From United Airlines?

* Moderate drinking is good for you, if you don’t control for wealth.

* Nintendo doesn’t want you to be happy.

* Jeff VanderMeer amends the apocalypse.

* It might be easier to make a list of who isn’t working for Putin.

The Landmark Sexual Assault Case You’ve Probably Never Heard Of.

* Put a rainbow on it.

* There’s just one story and we tell it over and over.

Editing the Constitution: Wisconsin conservatives are pushing for a constitutional convention. What are their motives? Oh, I bet it’s fine.

* Fifteen Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror Film and TV Projects with Black Talent to Get Excited About.

* First protected DREAMer is deported under Trump.

* Was Tamerlan Tsarnaev a federal informant?

Trustees of the Whittier Law School said on Wednesday that it would close down, making it the first fully accredited law school in the country to shut at a time when many law schools are struggling amid steep declines in enrollment and tuition income.

* If you want a vision of the future. The thing is though. The hero’s journey.

* And just in case you haven’t heard: Capitalism is violence.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 24, 2017 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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Weekend Links!

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tumblr_odnsb87wxf1vnjnxno1_500Marquette announces new January session. And I’ll be teaching! A hybrid literature/creative-writing section of ENGLISH 2010 called “Crafting the Short Story.”

* Marquette’s provost has also premiered a podcast.

* Our friend Nina has a piece in the New York Times today.

* CFP: Symposium on Amazing Stories: Inspiration, Learning, and Adventure in Science Fiction.

* Me, this Saturday afternoon at the Milwaukee Public Library! 150 Years of H.G. Wells in Milwaukee.

Perhaps, instead of being a parable of Christian salvation, the randomness of the Genius Grants is really a metaphor for our increasingly fragmented and pointless civilization. I didn’t get one either.

* But here’s someone who did! UWM theater artist Anne Basting wins MacArthur Foundation ‘genius’ grant.

Palestine, Settler Colonialism and Democratic Education at UC Berkeley.

* Can the adjunct speak?

If we’re serious about preventing catastrophic warming, the new study shows, we can’t dig any new coal mines, drill any new fields, build any more pipelines. Not a single one. We’re done expanding the fossil fuel frontier. Our only hope is a swift, managed decline in the production of all carbon-based energy from the fields we’ve already put in production.

* But that’s not all: Climate change is ruining fall.

* Experts say.

* 500 Million Yahoo Accounts Hacked. I’m shocked, and disappointed, and the Chinese spammers who stole my data from Yahoo three years ago are shocked and disappointed too.

51lo1bjparlWhy Trump’s Shady Foundation Practices Are A Major No-No In The Charity World.

* Trump has used his campaign to funnel a mere $8.2 million to his businesses.

Right now, Clinton is over the line by exactly one state. As of this writing, that state — what we also call the tipping-point state — is New Hampshire. But a group of states are closely lumped together, and Pennsylvania,Colorado and Wisconsin have all taken their turn as the tipping-point state in recent weeks.

* How Trump Could Will Win the Debate.

* Exciting new translation of The Brothers Karamazov will change the way you think of the book. A few others.

New research shows that all present-day non-Africans can trace their origins to a single wave of migrants who left Africa 72,000 years ago, and that indigenous Australians and Papuans are descended directly from the first people to inhabit the continent some 50,000 years ago. That makes them world’s longest running civilization. Some more details here.

* December 1969, the month that killed the 60s.

* Duncan Jones is finally making Mute, set in the Moon universe.

* The last days of Roger Ailes.

* Cheating and the SAT.

* Facebook overstates its advertising effectiveness by a mere 60-80%.

Black Lives Matter Fall 2016 Syllabus.

Bibliography on Workplace Harassment in Postsecondary Education.

* The X-Men and the Legacy of AIDS.

* who among us has not etc.

* And Nathan Fillion speaks the forbidden truth: Don’t Bring Firefly Back.

New Fall Syllabus #1: Alternate History!

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I’m teaching three classes this semester, ENGLISH 4615/5615 (“Infinite Jest”), ENGLISH 2010 (“Alternate History”), and HOPR 1953 (“Video Game Culture”) (one-credit, pass/fail, now with Pokémon Go!). I’m very excited about all three. The Infinite Jest course is one I’ve wanted to do for a very long time — I came up with the whole idea of adding the new 4615/5615 course number to the Marquette English just so I could do this course — and the alternate-history course has been puttering around in my brain as a pedagogical opportunity for just about as long.

I got a lot of help from folks on Twitter and Facebook with the alternate history novel course, both at the level of generating texts but also at the level of conceptualizing the course a little different so it could be more inclusive, and I’m really grateful for that. I was finally sold by Alexis Lothian on the idea that I was being silly by being resistant to stories like The Lathe of Heaven and “The Book of Martha,” for instance, and that the practical effect of that resistance was to make the class much whiter and much maler than it really needed to be. Now, the course is still pretty white and very male, but the genre itself is, and somehow or another that’s something I want to start to talk about as the semester progresses. The excellent suggestion of Karen Joy Fowler’s story “Game Night at the Fox and Goose” will really help me make that pivot, I think, as will In the United States of Africa (a great novel I couldn’t believe I forgot to include until it was pointed out to me I’d forgotten to include it, I think by Aaron Bady).

A few other things I was very sad to lose:

  • I was originally going to do “an alternate history of an alternate history” thing to end the semester, Superman: Red Son, but it just didn’t make sense the way the course took shape. I held on to the idea way too long, and only cut the book two days ago. Sorry, bookstore!
  • The whole original point of all this was to use the course as an excuse to teach The Years of Rice and Salt, a book I love which seems just too long too teach in any other context. And it still seems too long to teach (at least at the sophomore level). I had to give it up, and wasn’t able to include even any excerpts because I crammed in too much other stuff. Someday!
  • Another thing that fell out of the course was a group presentation structure in which individual groups researched the actual history of the hinge point of each divergence and reported on it. I realized that with the newer, more expansive idea of the course this wasn’t going to work very well for at least half the books, and probably would have been reductive and overdetermined our conversations in practice, so it had to be abandoned as well.
  • I really, really wanted to include a Ted Chiang what-if-religion-were-empirically-verifiable story like “Hell Is The Absence of God,” but, again, it seemed just a bit far too off the mark this time.
  • I am, indeed, doing literally just one page from The Plot Against America, fulfilling my perverse desire to do so.
  • There were many other great suggestions for books that I wasn’t able to use. A few that I really struggled over:
    • Life After Life: a Replay-style reincarnation novel about World War I;
    • Replay itself, which is just too time-travel-ish for this (though I’ve always really liked it);
    • I likewise ruled out some other really good alternate-timeline stories because they were really time travel stories, from my puritanical perspective;
    • Something longer from Butler, perhaps Wild Seed (again, just too far afield generically for what I’m hoping to do);
    • Something truly (“merely”) generic, like Turtledove or Bring the Jubilee;
    • Lion’s Blood, Atomik Aztex, The Indians Won, The Bird Is Gone, The Heirs of Columbus, etc. I was so hung up on the idea of doing The Years of Rice and Salt that it crowded out this space for me (and then I added In the United States of Africa instead, to take on this question from a different direction). Next time.
    • Swastika Night, 1984, Handmaid’s Tale, Battle Royale: all good suggestions but didn’t hit the sense of “pastness” required by my conception of alternate history as a genre, as they were all future histories in their original moment of production;
    • District 9: only (re-)occurred to me at the last second because I was talking about it to somebody in another context, and didn’t have time to do it because the syllabus was (again) too crammed with too much other stuff. Someone had suggested Born in Flames to me as well, which also would have been great.
    • I also really wanted to play some board games like Twilight Struggle, Risk, Axis and Allies, and Chrononauts, but it seemed like it would be unwieldy and pointless with 35 students in the room. I think Civilization could scratch the same itch, though…

All right, with all those caveats, apologies, and thanks, here’s the week by week schedule (and full syllabus with all course procedures)! Three papers, the first two “traditionally scholarly,” the third one with a creative option, as well as a few creative micro-assignments here and there. If there’s anything more I should explain or you have any questions about the decisions I made, feel free to ask in the comments!

M Aug. 29 FIRST DAY OF CLASS

in-class writing exercise: “What If…”

W Aug. 31 class discussion: “What If…”
UNIT ONE: ALTERNATE WORLD WAR IIs
F Sep. 2 Kim Stanley Robinson, “The Lucky Strike”
M Sep. 5 LABOR DAY—NO CLASS
W Sep. 7 Kim Stanley Robinson, “A Sensitive Dependence on Initial Conditions”
F Sep. 9 FIRST PAPER GUIDELINES DISTRIBUTED

Star Trek: “The City on the Edge of Forever” (discussion only; watch it on your own!)

criticism: H. Bruce Franklin, “Star Trek in the Vietnam Era” [D2L]

M Sep. 12 Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle, chapters 1-3
W Sep. 14 Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle, chapters 4-6
F Sep. 16 Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle, chapters 7-9
M Sep. 19 Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle, chapters 10-13
W Sep. 21 Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle (whole book)
F Sep. 23 The Man in the High Castle (2015 Amazon pilot) (discussion only; watch it on your own!)
M Sep. 26 Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds (discussion only; optional screening date and time TBA)
W Sep. 28 Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds (discussion continues)

·      review: Ben Waters, “Debating Inglourious Basterds” [Web]

·      review: Michael Atkinson, “The Anti-Blockbuster” [Web]

·      review: Lee Siegel, “Tarantino’s Hollow Violence” [Web]

·      review: Jeffrey Goldberg, “Hollywood’s Jewish Avenger” [Web]

F Sep. 30 Lauren Davis, “Quentin Tarantino’s Spin Through Alternate History” [io9.com]

 

creative writing: Draft a short flash fiction [500-1000 words] or create an artifact, document, or image set in the 2016 of the world of Inglourious Basterds

 

Philip Roth, The Plot Against America (excerpt) [D2L]

UNIT TWO: OTHER HISTORIES
M Oct. 3 FIRST PAPER WORKSHOP

Bring in at least your introductory paragraphs, main claim, and an outline of your paper.

W Oct. 5 Sid Meier’s Civilization

videos: Civilization V timelapse gameplay videos [YouTube]

post: Trevor Owens, “Sid Meier’s Colonization: Is It Offensive Enough?” [Web]

thread: Lycerius, “I’ve Been Playing the Same Game of Civilization for Almost Ten Years. This Is the Result” [Reddit]

F Oct. 7 Sid Meier’s Civilization

criticism: Kacper Pobłocki, “Becoming-State: The Bio-Cultural Imperialism of Sid Meier’s Civilization”

 
M Oct. 10 FIRST PAPER DUE

SECOND PAPER GUIDELINES DISTRIBUTED

Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” [D2L]

W Oct. 12 Karen Joy Fowler, “Game Night at the Fox and Goose” [D2L]
F Oct. 14 criticism: L. Timmel Duchamp, “Playing with the Big Boys: (Alternate) History in Karen Joy Fowler’s ‘Game Night at the Fox and Goose’” [Web]
M Oct. 17 Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
W Oct. 19 Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton

thinkpiece: Jennifer Schuessler, “Hamilton and History: Are They in Sync?” [Web]

interview: Rebecca Onion and Lyra D. Monteiro, “A Hamilton Skeptic on Why the Show Isn’t As Revolutionary As It Seems” [Web]

F Oct. 21 FALL BREAK—NO CLASS
M Oct. 24 Terry Bisson, Fire on the Mountain, pgs. 1-66
W Oct. 26 Terry Bisson, Fire on the Mountain, pgs. 67-119
F Oct. 28 Terry Bisson, Fire on the Mountain (whole book)
M Oct. 31 Abdourahman A. Waberi, In the United States of Africa (part one)
W Nov. 2 Abdourahman A. Waberi, In the United States of Africa (whole book)

criticism: Justin Izzo, “Historical Reversibility as Ethnographic Afrofuturism: Abdourahman Waberi’s Alternative Africa”

F Nov. 4 CONFERENCES—CLASS CANCELLED
UNIT THREE: DREAMING OF DIFFERENCE
M Nov. 7 Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (chapters 1-4)
W Nov. 9 Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (chapters 5-6)
F Nov. 11 Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (chapters 7-9)
M Nov. 14 SECOND PAPER DUE

FINAL PROJECT GUIDELINES DISTRIBUTED

Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (chapters 10-13)

W Nov. 16 Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (chapters 14-16)
F Nov. 18 Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (chapters 17-19)
M Nov. 21 Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (whole book)

Martin Puchner, “When We Were Clones” [D2L]

W Nov. 23 THANKSGIVING BREAK—NO CLASS
F Nov. 25 THANKSGIVING BREAK—NO CLASS
M Nov. 28 Ursula K. Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven (chapters 1-4)
W Nov. 30 Ursula K. Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven (chapters 5-8)
F Dec. 2 Ursula K. Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven (whole book)
M Dec. 5 Octavia E. Butler, “The Book of Martha”

creative writing: Imagine God comes to you with the same offer he/she/it brings to Martha. What one change would you make to the world, and why?

W Dec. 7 Octavia E. Butler, “The Book of Martha” (discussion continues)

creative writing: Draft a flash fiction [500-1000 words] or create an artifact, document, or image set in the world that exists sometime after the end of “The Book of Martha.”

 

Octavia E. Butler, “Afterword to ‘The Book of Martha’”

Gerry Canavan, Octavia E. Butler (excerpt) [D2L]

F Dec. 9 FINAL PROJECT WORKSHOP

LAST DAY OF CLASS

F Dec. 16 FINAL ASSIGNMENT DUE BY 12:30 PM