Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Cixin Liu

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* It’s been too long since I last posted and this CFP is out of date now, but it looks like a great event at Madison next year: CFP: Childhoods of Color.

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Race and Halloween in Milwaukee.

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

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

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

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

* How to read Infinite Jest.

* Let the children sue.

* Monsters of climate change.

Architectural history in an era of capitalist ruin.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Going Hungry at the Most Prestigious MFA in America.

* Secretive Campus Cops Patrol Already Overpoliced Neighborhoods.

Meet the UW professor who just killed the death penalty.

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

Politics corner!

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

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

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

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

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

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

* The political theology of Trump.

* Florida. Why is it always Florida?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Three Months Inside Alt-Right New York.

Five Principles for Left Foreign Policy.

* Why are we in the Middle East?

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

* And Wisconsin’s even worse.

* Trans rights are human rights.

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

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

* Oops! Our bad!

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

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

Tell Me It’s Going to be OK.

What is the evolutionary advantage of death?

* Training our self-driving cars to be fascists.

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

Miscarrying at Work: The Physical Toll of Pregnancy Discrimination.

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

* I want to believe! Welcome ‘Oumuamua.

* How to revise Lovecraft.

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

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

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

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

* Fuck yeah.

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

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

* The story of a serial SWATter.

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

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

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

* In defense of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

* The Making of The Empire Strikes Back.

* Twilight of Apu.

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

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

* I’m sorry my parrot is so racist.

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

* Losing Laura.

* This seems fine.

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

The Possessed: Dispatches from the Third Trimester.

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

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

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

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

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

Written by gerrycanavan

November 12, 2018 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Return of the Son of Linkblogging: The Return!

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

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

Job Announcement: The Future of the Human Being.

* Cool syllabus: Science Fiction, Empire, Japan.

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

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

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

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

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

David Foster Wallace in the #MeToo Era.

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

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

Minecraft Mod Adds Climate Change, Carbon Tax.

Five Principles of a Socialist Climate Politics.

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Just another headline here in hell.

* Should Rivers Have Rights?

* The rule of law is a curious thing.

* Why Science Fiction Is The Most Important Genre.

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

* Spaaaaaaace Fooooooooorce!

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

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

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

* The Church of Trump.

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

When Academics Defend Colleagues Accused of Harassment.

* Meltdown of the Nobel Prize committee.

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

* Fascism and the university.

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

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

* Building a Better MFA.

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

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

* Ken Starr keeps finding new ways to disgrace himself.

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

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

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

* Activists at UNC pull down Silent Sam.

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

When did parenting become so fearful?

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

* Down with the Philosophy Factory.

The man who was fired by a machine.

* The Labour Movement in 2018.

How Milwaukee Teachers Beat Back Cuts and Busywork.

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

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

* No, you’re not too old.

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

* The most extreme bodily modification is pregnancy.

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

* Lead is useful; lead is poison.

* College admissions vs. the shy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

* It’s immoral to be rich.

* Socialism in our lifetime.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* The man who owns the Moon.

* Fascinating: are cities making animals smarter?

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

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

* PFT explains Louis C.K.

Philip Pullman: why we believe in magic.

* Wiffle Ball 2.0.

* Insulin should be free.

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

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

* Serial again. Veronica Mars again.

* The Village Voice is officially dead.

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

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

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

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

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

* Can Wes Anderson redeem himself?

* On Wakandacon.

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

Written by gerrycanavan

September 13, 2018 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Sunday Morning Links!

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Announcing the 2017 Nebula Awards Winners!

* Austerity is a discipline. Conform, or be disciplined.

* This is relatable content.

* Star Trek: The Next Generation: Reimagined.

The Voyager and the TOS ones are also inspired.

* Is it weird for conservatives to like Star Trek?

Janelle Monáe’s body of work is a masterpiece of modern science fiction.

The Dark Forest and Its Discontents: Cixin Liu’s “Death’s End.”

But no matter what, this happened to Gamora. A lifetime of torment and victimhood, all leading up to the horror of her final moments—her horrified realization that her tormentor is able to use her broken body as the gateway to his ultimate desire because what he feels for her is truly love. The film accepts this, never questions it, even creates its own tortured reasoning for it, and asks you to trust that reasoning. It’s Time to Talk About Marvel’s Gamora Problem.

Arrested Development’s Mitch Hurwitz addresses why Jeffrey Tambor is staying on the show. Well that should lay all questions to rest. And elsewhere in apologetics for things that probably can’t be defended: Deadpool 2 Writers Defend Treatment of Female Characters.

Michigan State Just Agreed to Pay $500 Million to Settle Sexual-Abuse Claims. Where Will It Find the Money? Meanwhile they’re using the settlements to bully survivors into silence.

The current situation of the United States is obscene, insane, and incredible. If someone had pitched it for a thriller novel or film a few years ago, they would’ve been laughed out of whatever office their proposal made it to because fiction ought to be plausible. It isn’t plausible that a solipsistic buffoon and his retinue of petty crooks made it to the White House, but they did and there they are, wreaking more havoc than anyone would have imagined possible, from environmental laws to Iran nuclear deals. It is not plausible that the party in control of the federal government is for the most part a kleptomaniac criminal syndicate. The Coup Has Already Happened.

* It’s never going to end.

Yes, Donald Trump Is Making White People More Hateful.

A bug in cell phone tracking firm’s website leaked millions of Americans’ real-time locations.

* Seems about right.

The Most Popular Board Game the Year You Were Born.

What Stories Could An Aragorn-Driven Amazon Series Tell?

* The Handmaid’s Tale was a documentary.

* Just imagine how unwatchable the Marvel Cinematic Universe would have been in the 1990s.

* Everything you ever wanted to know about Donkey Kong. Everything.

How Onscreen Sex Sounds Are Made, From Kissing to Hand Jobs.

* “The iconic scent of Play-Doh is now an officially registered trademark.”

What Explains U.S. Mass Shootings? International Comparisons Suggest an Answer. The problem is guns. It’s the Guns. This Is School in America Now. 2018 has been deadlier for schoolchildren than service members. Siri, summarize a failed state in three sentences.

* That this executive is being charged with fraud rather than attempted murder just says so much.

The Greensboro Massacre of 1979, Explained.

* Being Frank R. Paul.

By late next year, bitcoin could be consuming more electricity than all the world’s solar panels currently produce — about 1.8 percent of global electricity, according to a simple extrapolation of the study’s predictions. That would effectively erase decades of progress on renewable energy.

* A mere 400 months in a row.

* And on the pedestal these words appear.

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.

A Desperate Last-Ditch Mission to Close All My Tabs

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* My Hamilton seminar got some nice national press last week, in both print and video flavors. Check it out!

* Call for Papers: Worlding SF! I’m scheduled to give my first conference keynote at this one.

* Electric Athenaeum: Call for Submissions! Fantasy and Myth in the Anthropocene!

* BookScrolling’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books Written by Women. A solid list! Octavia’s Daughters: Meet the New Queens of Spec Fic. Behold, the mega thread you created with over 200 recs of books by POCs.

* I’m confident this will be the most interesting Star Trek movie of all time, whether it’s the best or worst Star Trek movie of all time.

* Race and high fantasy.

The Revolutionary Optimism of Iain M. Banks’ Culture Novels. When Obama met Liu Cixin.

* Why You Left Social Media: A Guesswork.

* Still trying not to obsess over every twist and turn of the Trump administration, but this is truly something, even by Republican standards. Proposed rule would protect employers who steal workers’ hard-earned tips. The tax cut that ate America. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act lets corporations loose to do what they will—and then imposes pain to make the numbers work. ‘Death to Democrats’: How the GOP Tax Bill Whacks Liberal Tenets. 15,000 people a year. Oops. Not even CHIP can survive these people. FBI Pretty On-Brand. The rot goes all the way down. Gaming out the risk of nuclear war with North Korea. Opening the floodgates. The case for normalizing impeachment.

The Uncounted: Jobs and Graduates. I think colleges have ignored just how much goodwill has been burned up by the rise in college costs. Graduate Students Mobilize ‘to Stop Something That Can Ruin Us.’ Universities are also to blame for the GOP’s ‘grad student tax.’ The fire next time. The case for federal universities. Student debt: something has to give. The odd case of Hillsdale College. Meanwhile, in Nebraska, a chilling vision of things to come.

* Isn’t this just a pitch for S.P.E.C.T.R.E?

Moody’s Warns Cities to Address Climate Risks or Face Downgrades. The Texas Town That’s Been Without Clean Water for Thirty Years.

* More than 20,000 Children Have Been Homeless Since Hurricane Harvey. We don’t talk at all about Puerto Rico anymore.

* O’Keefe, again.

* How did we survive the Cold War?

When we think about the environmental conditions under which young Americans are developing, a lack of trust makes sense as a survival adaptation. A market that doles out success on an increasingly individual basis is not a strong foundation for high levels of social interdependence. With all youth activities centered on the production of human capital, even team sports become sole pursuits. Add this to the intensive risk aversion that characterizes contemporary parenting and the zero-tolerance risk-elimination policies that dominate the schools and the streets, and it’s a wonder Millennials can muster enough trust to walk outside their own doors. 

These Doomsday Preppers Are Starting to Switch From Gold to Bitcoin. The longer BTC persists, the worse the eventual blowout—and the more angry people there are going to be. Angry people who are currently being recruited and radicalized by neo-Nazis. Bitcoin Mining Now Consuming More Electricity Than 159 Countries Including Ireland & Most Countries In Africa.

* No thanks. Hard pass.

* Domestic terror: ICE tracks down immigrant who spoke to media in SW Washington: ‘You are the one from the newspaper.’

* Escalating in Afghanistan, again, without even the pretense of a strategic goal.

* Zoning laws and resistance. It’s too late for Robert Mueller to save us. All of our institutions will abet, not arrest, this disaster.

* How the Republicans broke Congress. Trump and the failure of incrementalism.

* Daniel Shaver begged officers not to shoot him. What role will his death play in the push for law-enforcement reforms?

* At this, the girl adopted a stern expression. “You’re not supposed to play!” she said, commandingly. She seemed pleased that the game afforded her an opportunity to reprimand her teacher—a chance to express a different facet of her imagination. “You are not supposed to play in preschool,” she said, with conviction. “You are supposed to work.” The girl had absorbed both the explicit and the implicit lessons of the schoolroom in which she spent her days. So far, it seemed, her education was a success. Against Success Academy.

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Charter schools are among the nation’s most segregated, an Associated Press analysis finds — an outcome at odds, critics say, with their goal of offering a better alternative to failing traditional public schools.

To the extent that Jackie was aware that what she told Sabrina Erdely was not true, it was destructive and wrong, cruel and stupid. If she really was not in command of reality, that would mitigate her culpability, but it wouldn’t change the nature of what she did. It was violence. And to me, it was a betrayalor that’s what it felt like. I knew it was irrational to feel that way, but that’s how I felt. I want to condemn it, and I do condemn it, but I also think I can guess what she was saying, or would have said, which can’t be said reasonably. It must be said melodramatically. Something like: Look at this. Don’t you fucking dare not look. I’m going to make you look. I’m going to make you know. You’re going to know what we’ve decided is worth sacrificing, what price we’ve decided we’re willing to pay to maintain this league of men, and this time, you’re going to remember.

A Timeline of Everything We Know Happened After Return of the Jedi, Up to The Last Jedi.

American Airlines Glitch Could Strand Thousands Of Holiday Flights. Good on the pilots for signing up before anyone told management.

* What’s on the ground in The Jetsons?

* Facebook is studying your self-censorship.

* Solidarity to our brothers in arms.

* And on the pedestal these words appear:

July the 5th Be With You Links

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* Coming attractions.

* I have spent the entirety of my academic career so far watching the intensified hollowing-out of my profession. The destruction is not limited to those friends and grad-school colleagues whose “job hunt” turned up nothing—or turned up academic jobs which make the same demands as the tenure track without the same job security. The harm can be counted, too, in the numberless person-hours every academic I know has spent tailoring job application materials, drafting custom syllabuses, and performing all the other rituals of applicant abjection. If you care about the work scholars do, the atmosphere is demoralizing. It is, to be sure, worse in worse jobs: when I was a part-time adjunct, I found the isolation particularly depressing, and I liked my “individualized” health insurance plan even less. But even in a good job with outstanding colleagues and students all around, something eats away at the ordinary routines of my academic life: all the day-to-day work of simply doing the job (teaching the students, carrying on the research, going to the meetings, the meetings, the meetings) takes on more than a tinge of denial, something for the few of us who have good academic jobs to do while we wait for the last curtain to fall on professional scholarship. Nor is it encouraging to witness the parade of more active forms of denial: bad-faith solutions, illusory comforts, and intellectualized excuses for selfishness. But mostly I regret the good work that could have been done by all of us in a better, more just system. 

Mills College Lays Off Five Tenured Professors.

Prerequisites: “You will need to have seen Star Wars (episode four: A New Hope) and read The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien.” The syllabi of Junot Díaz.

Space is the Place: A Crash Course in the Sounds of Afrofuturism.

* A call for applications: Foundation is looking for a book review editor.

happyfourthofjulyThe International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts Announces its 12th annual Jamie Bishop Memorial Award for a critical essay on the fantastic originally written in a language other than English.

* The “mass graves” story I linked yesterday was fake. Thanks to a longtime reader for the tip. I wonder what the point of making this up was; the best I could come up with was that it was for research about how news spreads on the left and on the right.

Why Afghanistan? Why Now?

* Batman and 1960s America.

* 25 at 50. The 25th amendment is a fantasy.

* Not our Independence Day. Toward a Marxist Interpretation of the US Constitution. Capitalism and Slavery.

This woman’s name appears on the Declaration of Independence. So why don’t we know her story?

* CTRL-F “rape” CTRL-F “slave” CTRL-F “Hemings”

* Speaking of which: Sally Hemings’s slave quarters have been discovered at Monticello. And from the archives: The Monster of Monticello.

Dear TNI Contributors,

 Our August issue theme is PATRIOTS. 

Seize the Hamptons. Probably should take a look at seizing the governor’s mansion in New Jersey, too.

In sum, here’s what they found: If you’re going to die via an asteroid, it will be the wind and shockwave that gets you.

Why Roman concrete still stands strong while modern version decays.

* America’s future is Texas.

* Mother charged with child endangerment for leaving her ten-year-old in the LEGO store unattended.

* Horrifying story: Authorities have charged a former Ph.D. candidate with kidnapping a visiting scholar at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Yingying Zhang, originally from China, is now presumed dead.

‘Beta Males’ Want To Kill Women Because They Can’t Get Laid.

The Democrats Are Eisenhower Republicans. Even that seems too kind a description for Rahm Emanuel.

What does opposition do that resistance doesn’t? It offers a positive agenda for a better social contract, embedded in institutional transformations. Like, for example, everything that Dems don’t ever propose: real universal healthcare, public media, public higher education, debt relief, real safety nets, and so on. A social contract — whole and full and true.

* But don’t worry folks; we’ve got this.

It’s called Win the Future, and Pincus is even courting potential WTF candidates like the frontman of ’90s rock band Third Eye Blind.

This Is Why Antarctic Sea Ice Crashed This Year.

U.S. judge finds that Aetna deceived the public about its reasons for quitting Obamacare.

* Never forget: America didn’t die, they murdered it.

New justices usually take years to find their footing at the Supreme Court. For Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, who joined the court in April, a couple of months seem to have sufficed. His early opinions were remarkably self-assured. He tangled with his new colleagues, lectured them on the role of the institution he had just joined, and made broad jurisprudential pronouncements in minor cases.

* Some lesser-known spells.

UK cops routinely raided police databases to satisfy personal interest or make money on the side.

Greetings, E.T. (Please Don’t Murder Us.) Check your privilege, NYT. You don’t speak for me.

A stressed, sleep-deprived couple accidentally invented the modern alien abduction phenomenon.

* Always money in the banana stand: Congressional panel puts plans for a US Space Corps in 2018 defense budget.

* Journalism in America in 2017.

* Kafka’s joke book.

Why did the chicken cross the road?

It had been crossing so long it could not remember. As it stopped in the middle to look back, a car sped by, spinning it around. Disoriented, the chicken realized it could no longer tell which way it was going. It stands there still.

* Nice work if you can get it: Controversial U of T professor making nearly $50,000 a month through crowdfunding.

* When basic common sense seems radical: Civilians shouldn’t have to de-escalate police.

* Forget the blood of teens. This pill promises to extend life for a nickel a pop. Forget the blood of teens? Screw you, Wired, you don’t speak for me either!

* And a few Fourth of July links from my Tumblr: Check out Captain Woke. What have you done to keep liberty alive? Untitled (Questions). Don’t Tread on Me. Brain expansion meme. Spang!

Written by gerrycanavan

July 5, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Monday Morning Links!

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

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

* The Jobless Utopia of La Zarzuela.

SF, Pulp & Grit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Democrats completely around the bend.

How handsome is Mike Pence? We asked the experts.

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

* Generation Catalano rebrands again, again.

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

* Another one: Generation Space.

The forgotten cyberspace of the Neuromancer computer game.

* Okja and translation.

* Iran’s temperature hit 127 degrees yesterday.

* Being James Thomas Hodgkinson’s widow.

* Methadone for social media addiction.

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

* How valuable is Stephen Curry?

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

Escaped elephant takes a stroll through Wisconsin neighborhood.

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

* disappointedspringsteen.gif. I mean really.

* Debt and the future.

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

* A Muslim doctor in Trump country.

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

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

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

* Personally, I think teaching is improv.

* Against Gorsuch. Against Gorsuch. Against Gorsuch.

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

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

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

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

* Wikipedia as Text Adventure.

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

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

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

* Never meet your heroes.

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

Written by gerrycanavan

July 3, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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