Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Cleveland

All Your Christmas Eve Eve Links

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* De Blasio and the police. Some amazing stuff in there.

According to a former de Blasio aide, during the general election campaign in 2013, de Blasio’s team was even convinced that members of his police detail were eavesdropping on his private conversations in his city-assigned car. Things got so bad that de Blasio, according to the staffer, would step into the street to make sure he was out of earshot of plainclothes officers.

NYPD Union President Patrick Lynch Is Completely Nuts: A History.

The NYPD Shooter Had A History Of Mental Health Issues And Violence Against Women. Slimy Baltimore FOX Affiliate Caught Faking “Kill a Cop” Protest Chant. The absolute bad faith of blaming protestors.

Die-ins demand that we bear witness to black people’s fears that they’ll be next.

* “The Cossacks were never funny. Cops never are. I invite you to imagine the international outrage and American horror, had one of Putin’s police choked an innocent man to death on camera for the crime of selling loose cigarettes.”

* For Tamir, who was stolen.

* Ex-Milwaukee Cop Who Shot Unarmed Man 14 Times Will Not Be Charged. The National Guard has been on alert for the city since the weekend. A statement from the ACLU. “It may out-Ferguson Ferguson”: Why Milwaukee’s police violence will horrify you. And at HuffPo: Why I Was Arrested Standing Up for Dontre Hamilton in Milwaukee.

“Ya’ll Ain’t Hearing Me”: White Liberalism and the Killing of Aura Rosser.

Charges Expected To Be Filed Against MOA Protest Organizers.

* The idea of “police reform” obscures the task. Whatever one thinks of the past half-century of criminal-justice policy, it was not imposed on Americans by a repressive minority. The abuses that have followed from these policies—the sprawling carceral state, the random detention of black people, the torture of suspects—are, at the very least, byproducts of democratic will. Likely they are much more. It is often said that it is difficult to indict and convict police officers who abuse their power. It is comforting to think of these acquittals and non-indictments as contrary to American values. But it is just as likely that they reflect American values. The three most trusted institutions in America are the military, small business, and the police.

* Which is not to say that the security state isn’t somehow finding ways to stretch even the long leash it’s been given.

* And W. Kamau Bell has a one-off podcast on Earwolf called “Coptalk.”

Sorry, I know that was a lot of police links today. Some other stuff I’ve been looking at:

The National Labor Relations Board issued a ruling last week that could clear the way for much more unionization of faculty members at private colleges and universities.

There Is No Higher Ed Bubble. Yet. I think I’d maybe like to hear more about how “eventually artificial intelligence will basically wipe out the demand for higher education completely” before I sign on to this part of the proposition all the way.

* Facts are stupid things: New Congress Dumping CBO Chief To Clear Way For Special GOP Budget Math.

How Vermont’s single-payer health care dream fell apart.

* Jacobin looks ahead to the new Cuba.

* Markets in everything: Rare book investment trust believed to be Ponzi scheme.

Which Jobs Have the Highest Rates of Depression?

* What 2000 Calories Looks Like.

* 101 Critical Theory Books That Came Out in 2014. As a society we probably could have gotten away with just the clean one hundred.

* An empirical study of heterosexual college sex practices based on a six-year survey.

* The Sony hack has cancelled what I bet would have been a great comic adaptation of Guy Delisle’s Pyongyang. At least I’ll have this in my back pocket the next time I teach it.

* Meanwhile: A Lot of Smart People Think North Korea Didn’t Hack Sony. Let’s not let caution get in the way of a good prank war.

* That’s solve it: MLA Will Discuss How to Deal With Controversial Issues.

The night before filming begins, however, I get this new script and it was shocking. The character was gone. Instead of coming in at the very beginning of the movie, like page 8, the character came in on page 68 after the Ghostbusters were established. His elaborate background was all gone, replaced by me walking in and saying, “If there’s a steady paycheck in it, I’ll believe anything you say.” So that was pretty devastating.

* The FBI saw the film. They didn’t like it. Stick around for a nice little factoid about copyright!

The Year Having Kids Became a Frivolous Luxury.

The Best New Webcomics Of 2014.

* These Ant-Man rumors suggest Marvel really is going to go all the way with its “Civil War” plan for Phase 3.

* The Malfoys, after the war.

* No More Tony Starks: Against “The Smartest Man in the Room.”

Perhaps this is a good time to notice that when Anders says the Smartest Guy in the Room provides “wish-fulfillment for reasonably smart people” her examples go on to demonstrate that by people she happens always to mean only guys and even only white guys. She does notice that the Smartest Guy does seem to be, you know, a guy and provides the beginnings of a gendered accounting of the archetype: “the ‘smartest guy’ thing confirms all our silliest gender stereotypes, in a way that’s like a snuggly dryer-fresh blanket to people who feel threatened by shifting gender roles. In the world of these stories, the smartest person is always a man, and if he meets a smart woman she will wind up acknowledging his superiority.”

That seems to me a rather genial take on the threatened bearings of patriarchal masculinity compensated by cyborg fantasizing, but at least it’s there. The fact that the Smartest Guy keeps on turning out to be white receives no attention at all. This omission matters not only because it is so glaring, but because the sociopathic denial of the collectivity of intelligence, creativity, progress, and flourishing at the heart of the Smartest Guy in the Room techno-archetype, has the specific and catastrophic counterpart in the white racist narrative of a modern technological civilization embodied in inherently superior European whiteness against which are arrayed not different but primitive and atavistic cultures and societies that must pay in bloody exploitation and expropriation the price of the inferior. The Smartest Guy in the Room is also the Smartest Guy in History, naturally enough, with a filthy treasure pile to stand on and shout his superiority from.

* Star Trek as anti-Smartest-Guy fiction.

* And speaking of Star Trek: they’ve chosen a new director to ruin 3tar Tr3k 3. Kudos to all involved. Meanwhile Adam Kotsko is pitching the Star Trek anthology series I’ve always wanted to the unfeeling Philistines at the Daystrom Institute. Unrecognized in his own time…

Wednesday Everything

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* Too big to disaccredit: I should have realized the insanity at Oregon was because of college football.

Keywords for the Age of Austerity 14: Failure.

* One weird trick to actually get a cop fired for brutally assaulting someone. You’ll never guess what makes this case special!

* Meanwhile: Grand Juries Should Be Abolished.

Even if you think that IQ tests are unscientific mumbo-jumbo, it’s amazing to learn that some US police departments don’t, and furthermore, that they defended their legal right to exclude potential officers because they tested too high.

* 20 Key Findings about CIA Interrogations. The Intercept’s live blog. The Torture Apologia Chart. Obama, war criminal. But the ACLU has One Weird Trick to fix everything.

* Today’s science fiction, tomorrow’s light switch: 22 unexpected sources of power that will exist in the future.

Ultimately, the Lovecraft statue must go. He may be replaced by Butler, or Carrie Cuinn’s sea serpent wrapped around the world idea or any of the many other options, but the fantasy community cannot embrace its growing fanbase of color with one hand while deifying a writer who happily advocated for our extermination with the other.

The College Rape Overcorrection. I know this article is infuriating a lot of people, but I must admit I found it informative, and challenging despite its flaws.

*Best Way for Professors to Get Good Student Evaluations? Be Male.

* The death of cinema. The death of television.

* Scenes from the charter school scam: an exciting opportunity for administrative bloat.

The Best Children’s Books of 2014.

* You thought you had Frozen Fever before.

“I can even go back to being Ronnie Bridgeman, but I’m not,” he said. “They killed Ronnie Bridgeman. They killed his spirit. They killed everything he believed in, everything he ever wanted. I wanted to be something, too. I could have been a lawyer possibly. I could have been Barack Obama. Who knows?”

* From the McSweeney’s archives: I’m an English Professor in a Movie.

* Easily the most Harvard thing that’s ever happened.

* The Left Can Win.

 * And because you demanded it: The Superman prequel will finally tell the story of Superman’s grandfather. Decades of waiting, redeemed at last!
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Super Ultra Mega Monday Links, Supplemental

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* Anyway, I have no solution to this. It just really struck me at the symposium, because the whole thing felt good. It was rich and exciting and fun. And we were talking about ideas, in much the same way that scholars talk about ideas (four of us teach at universities for goodness’ sake!). So you tell me. Why do scholars have to be so miserable? What is it about our culture–let’s say US academic culture, to keep it simple–that creates this desire for the downtrodden, humiliated, suffering (humanities) scholar? Of course we like suffering artists as well… hmm. But artists suffer and are adored, while scholars suffer and are despised. Artists, when they suffer, are ritual sacrifices; scholars are the meanest sort of criminals.

* A new survey shows that Americans, on average, think that Santa Claus should make $140,000 / year. “Perhaps more interesting is that 29% think Santa should make nothing at all whereas 29% think he should make $1.8 billion.”

* You Can’t Make a Living: Digital Media, the End of TV’s Golden Age, and the Death Scene of the American Playwright. The author, Alena Smith, has been making waves in an entirely different context today.

* In a creditocracy, the goal is to keep debtors on the hook for as long as possible, wrapping debt around every possible asset and income stream to generate profit. Figuring out which debts we can legitimately refuse may turn out to be the only way of salvaging popular democracy. Education is the best place to start. Though it is supposed to serve as the incubator for a free-thinking, active citizenry, it is fast becoming its opposite—a chop shop where the life choices and optional political imagination of young people are downsized to fit the lifelong demands of financial contracts.

* This city where sidewalks burn and sewers fill with oily ooze is a city built here almost specifically for that very reason; Los Angeles, in many ways, is a settlement founded on petroleum byproducts, and the oil industry for which the city was once known never actually left. It just got better at hiding itself.

* The Police in America Are Becoming Illegitimate. Unarmed People of Color Killed by Police, 1999-2014.

* After Tamir Rice Was Shot, Cleveland Police Allegedly Handcuffed His 14-Year-Old Sister.

* Luke Cage was created in 1972. Four years earlier, in 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot and killed. Five years before that, in 1963, Medgar Evers was shot and killed. Eight years before that, in 1955, a young Black man named Emmett Till was tortured, then shot and killed. These events, and numerous others with frightening similarity, happened in a line, and in the early years of the first decade to reap the social benefits of the Civil Rights Movement, Marvel Comics gives the fans (and the world) a Black male superhero whose primary superhuman aspect… is that he’s bulletproof.

* A One-Way Trip to Mars? Many Would Sign Up.

* What the World Doesn’t Need Are Steampunk Luxury Condos.

* Democrats have a truly heroic devotion to continuing to lose despite ever-increasing demographic advantage.

* What Tolkien got wrong.

My defense was simple but impassioned: Tolkien explicitly stated in the appendices of The Lord of the Rings that he was merely translating the Red Book of Westmarch, not writing an original story. Since Tolkien claimed the Red Book is over 6,000 years old, it must be in the public domain and so open to everyone to reinterpret and repurpose as they see fit. The Red Book didn’t belong to the Tolkien Estate, it belonged to the world.

* Parable of the Polygons.

* And/but the kids are all right.

Super Ultra Mega Monday Links

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* That is what America does. It is not broken. That is exactly what is wrong with it. The American Justice System Is Not Broken.

Why Should Anyone “Respect” the Law?

Autopsy: Milwaukee cop shot mentally-ill black man from above and behind, 14 times. Wave of Protests After Grand Jury Doesn’t Indict Officer in Eric Garner Chokehold Case. But they did manage to indict the man who filmed the murder. Worse Than Eric Garner: Cops Who Got Away With Killing Autistic Men and Little Girls. Prosecutors throwing grand jury inquiries to save killer cops. NYPD Abuse Increases Settlements Costing City $735 Million. Rookie NYPD cop who shot unarmed black man texted union reps before radioing for help. The cop who murdered Tamir Rice should never have been a cop. Grand Jury Clears Two Former Jasper Cops Who Beat Woman in Jail. Seattle Cop Who Punched a Handcuffed Woman in the Face Won’t Be Charged. Coastal Carolina students detained after writing unapproved chalk messages about Ferguson on campus sidewalks. Cop Fired for Beating a Non-violent, Handcuffed Man On Video, Gets Job Back AND Back Pay. Inside the Twisted Police Department That Kills Unarmed Citizens at the Highest Rate in the Country. The Deadly Self-Pity of the Police. Police Reforms You Should Always Oppose. Being a cop showed me just how racist and violent the police are. Where Are All the Good Cops? Ferguson Police investigating whether Michael Brown’s stepfather intended to incite a riot. If It Happened There: Courts Sanction Killings by U.S. Security Forces. The real scandal of police violence is what’s legal.

* But body cameras that the cops can freely turn on and off and whose footage they completely control will definitely solve it. You don’t have to take my word for it.

* Hey! My tuition bought you that shotgun. More links under the photo.

"Demonstrations Over Recent Grand Jury Decisions In Police-Involved Deaths Continue"

Stories of unseen lives and the effects homelessness in Milwaukee.

* Racial inequality is objectively worse than 30 years ago. And another deBoer instant classic: Tell Stephen Glass I said hey and shut out the lights on your way out.

On Being a Black Male, Six Feet Four Inches Tall, in America in 2014. Chris Rock vs. the industry.

Marquette University response to Westboro Baptist Church protest.

Rolling Stone just wrecked an incredible year of progress for rape victims. What happened at Rolling Stone was not Jackie’s fault. Blame Rolling Stone. The lesson of Rolling Stone and UVA: protecting victims means checking their stories. Reporters are not your friends.

* And just when I was thinking The Newsroom had actually gotten pretty good: Emily Nussbaum on The Newsroom‘s Crazy-Making Campus-Rape Episode. The AC Club: D-.

* Something I’d somehow missed when it was new, but came across in research for a new piece on zombies I’m working on: Margaret Atwood and Naomi Alderman’s The Happy Zombie Sunrise Home.

* Science fiction after Ferguson: An interview with Walidah Imarisha.

* SF as R&D for the very powerful: U.S. spy agency predicts a very transhuman future by 2030.

* Imagining an open source Star Wars.

On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF.

* Scenes from the class struggle at Oregon: Admin threatens to deport striking international grad students, just straight-up make-up grades. U Oregon and the Academic Labor System. Megapost at MetaFilter.

* Meanwhile, at Columbia.

* The Democrats’ Education Plan: Class War. Resegregation.

Cal Refuses to Pay Berkeley Minimum Wage.

Colleges that pledged to help poor families have been doing the opposite, new figures show.

* An update on the Salaita case from Corey Robin.

* “If students have time to get drunk, colleges aren’t doing their job.” MetaFilter links to the full series at CHE.

The Equipment 117 Colleges Have Acquired From the Dept. of Defense.

What I’ve Learned from Two Years Collecting Data on Police Killings.

* The latest New Inquiry on illness is another stellar issue from a publication that always delivers. This piece on love and schizophrenia is the one making the rounds currently.

Kerry Puts Brakes on CIA Torture Report. John Kerry’s sad legacy.

It Takes Nearly $100,000 a Year in Earnings Just to Buy a Crappy House in L.A.

* “Suicide Is My Retirement Plan.”

Why Poor People Stay Poor.

* Milwaukee after the recession: the jobs are going to the suburbs.

* Social justice as a means to social capital.

12 Female Characters Who Keep Shaving Despite Constant Peril.

* The music industry is a horror show, like everything else.

* Remembering Bhopal, the worst industrial disaster in the history of the world.

* We nearly saved the world, but we couldn’t give up our precious academic annual meetings.

California drought the worst in 1,200 years, new study says. Won’t someone cancel the MLA before it kills again!

* This doesn’t look so bad.

First ever British sci-fi feature film released. Congratulations, England! Looking forward to your next one.

40 Years Ago, Earth Beamed Its First Postcard to the Stars.

* Court Hears Second Case for a Chimpanzee’s Legal Rights.

* Sony has apparently gone to war with North Korea. The future is weird, y’all.

Someone Made A Map Of Every Rude Place Name In The UK.

* Shimer College: The Best Worst College in America.

* I mock the idea of “the law” around here a lot, but I never for the life of me imagined a scenario where the emergence of a video that shows a man accused of murdering his stepdaughter defiling her corpse could be bad news for the prosecution.

* Breaking news: the rich are different.

* So, for some reason, are the left-handed.

* But it’s not all bad news: The Case for Drinking as Much Coffee as You Like.

“It is no longer true that the divorce rate is rising, or that half of all marriages end in divorce. It has not been for some time.”

The British Government Wants To Build A Tunnel Under Stonehenge.

* If I’m being perfectly honest I got bored watching the three-minute “What if The Hobbit was one movie?” trailer.

* Scholars, start your syllabi: New novel from Toni Morrison coming in April.

* Wes Anderson’s The Force Awakens. If only!

And about 100 brains are missing from University of Texas. I’m late posting this, alas; all the easy jokes have already been taken…

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 8, 2014 at 8:30 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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I Just Can’t Believe It’s December Links

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

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

New NEH Grants Will Promote Popular Scholarly Books.

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

* Why colleges haven’t stopped binge drinking.

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

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

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

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

* Afrofuturism: The Sonic Companion.

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

Six Myths About Climate Change that Liberals Rarely Question.

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

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

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

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

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

Why Every Struggle Is Now a Struggle Against the Police.

Similar cases yield very different results in Wisconsin prison system.

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

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

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

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

* Abolish the Senate.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* How Not to Get Away with Murder.

My Vassar College Faculty ID Makes Everything OK.

* An Open Letter to the Administration of Vassar College.

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

The false rape accusation as witchcraft.

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

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

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

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

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

* Wanderers. Time Trap. Five Minutes.

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

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 2, 2014 at 10:02 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Avoid Your Family with This Very Special Thanksgiving Edition of Thursday Links

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* America’s Founding Myths.

* 100 New Debate Topics You and Your Uncle Can Turn into an Argument about Republicans.

* Ferguson. Ferguson. Ferguson. Ferguson. Ferguson. Ferguson. Police violence. Ferguson. America. Ferguson. Turkey pardons. Ferguson. New York. Cleveland. Cleveland. Utah. Everywhere. Everywhere.

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Winners are mad when winning lights the shadows.

Nation Doesn’t Know If It Can Take Another Bullshit Speech About Healing.

We should get rid of local policing. Ferguson shows why the system just doesn’t work.

* All my heroes are monsters.

* Rescind Cosby’s honorary doctorates?

* “Suicide Is My Retirement Plan.”

An expert hired by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) argued in court that a 9-year-old girl seeking damages after she was sexually assaulted would be protected from emotional stress by her low IQ.

* It’s almost as if the profit motive and what’s best for our schools and students are not well aligned!

Accumulation by Lockout.

* 41 men targeted but 1,147 people killed: US drone strikes.

* While Detroit contended with largest municipal bankruptcy, its lawyers were robbing it blind.

* Tyler Cowen, for one, welcomes the hyper-meritocracy.

* Anthropology as white public space.

* In praise of Lovecraft.

* The Downside of the Boom.

* Here’s the guy who wants to run to Hillary Clinton’s left. Democrats! Catch the fever.

* While he wasn’t second in command of the United States nuclear arsenal, Rear Adm. Timothy M. Giardina not only had a 15 hour a week gambling habit he also may have had a one-man poker chip counterfeiting operation in which he used paint and stickers to make $1 poker chips into $500 poker chips. This led to repeated bans from local casinos, eventually a lifetime ban and finally his nuclear weapons were taken away.

* What is your research agenda for the coming year?

* Just another Afrofuturism megapost.

* Town Bans Winnie The Pooh For Lack of Genitals, “Dubious Sexuality.” Finally, someone said it.

* At some point this guy took a moment and smiled to himself, secure in the knowledge that he’d covered all his bases.

SDSU suspends all frat activities after members wave dildos, throw eggs at rape protesters.

UVA has expelled 183 students for honor code violations — and none for sexual assault.

End Fraternities.

* Alexey Pajitnov, hero, creator of Tetris.

Frederik Pohl Made Doing Literally Everything Look Easy.

* Strange Horizons reprints Darko Suvin’s “Estrangement and Cognition,” with a 2014 postscript.

All of us on the planet Earth live in highly endangered times. Perhaps the richer among us, up to 5% globally but disproportionately concentrated in the trilateral U.S.A.-western Europe-Japan and its appendages, have been cushioned from realizing it by the power of money and the self-serving ideology it erects. But even those complain loudly of the “criminality” and in general “moral decay” of the desperately vicious outside their increasingly fortress-like neighbourhoods. We live morally in an almost complete dystopia—dystopia because anti-utopia—and materially (economically) on the razor’s edge of collapse, distributive and collective.

In a look backwards to my writing of the 1960s from this most endangered cusp of history, I see a main limitation to my “Poetics of SF” essay in its innocently and naively Formalist horizon. That is, I presupposed the tide of history was flowing, even if with regrettable eddies, towards socialism or democratic communism, and concentrated on the problems of understanding, pleasure, and form within that tide. Thus I seem to have felt I could freeze or even freeze out history, as all pursuits of aesthetics do: transcending the moment. I was wrong.

* The official SF short film of the Thanksgiving holiday: Survivors Of A Nuclear War Find A Secret Bunker—But There’s A Catch

* Maybe the most twenty-first-century artifact possible: ‘Sunburn!’, A Gravity-Based Puzzle Video Game Featuring a Doomed Spaceship Crew That Is Determined to Die Together.

* Cli-Fi Is Real.

The good news: There is no substantial technical or economic barrier that would prevent the U.S. from reducing its greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, a target that would help put the world on track to limit global average temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius. In fact, there are multiple pathways to that target, each involving a different mix of technologies. Achieving the goal would cost only around 1 percent of GDP a year out through 2050, and if we started now, we could allow infrastructure to turn over at its natural rate, avoiding stranded assets. The bad news: Pulling it off would require immediate, intelligent, coordinated, vigorously executed policies that sustain themselves over decades.

Trotsky at the IMF.

* LEGO is dead, long live LEGO.

* But really, do they know.

* Guys, it’s not all bad news: After The Sun Incinerates Earth, Life Could Evolve On Titan.

* And this blog’s most sacred annual tradition: William S. Burroughs – A Thanksgiving Prayer.

Weekend Links!

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* I liked this brief addendum to my academic job market as “game” piece from the other day.

One thing I might add is that the game metaphor also helps us see the job market as something that could be improved. If we view the market as a system of pure luck, then there’s nothing we can do to fix it. And if we think of it as a meritocracy, then we don’t have any reason to. But if the job market is a game, structured, as Canavan says, by “a set of rules that may not make sense, much less be desirable, rational, or fair,” then those in positions of power in the academy (including people on hiring committees) could work to change the rules. In large and small ways they could work to make it a more rational and fair game.

I agree the game framing suggests change is possible in a way that neither merit nor lottery does. I’d hoped I made that point at the end (“make alliances, change the rules, overturn the table”) but perhaps I could have put more emphasis on it.

* I’ve always been really skeptical of Rolling Jubilee, so I’m a sucker for any time Naked Capitalism dumps on it.

So while it is impressive to hear of the large amounts of debt being forgiven, the fact is that the people who are finding their debts erased more than likely won’t care much because they are either no longer under any legal obligation to pay the note and have long since forgotten about it, or never intended to pay the note in the first place, and never would! So these borrowers won’t likely be gushing with praise and thanks, and frankly won’t be helped much if at all by the repurchase of the debt. I suspect that people learning of their debt being purchased and erased were, instead of relieved and grateful, were more perplexed as to why anyone would go to the trouble of clearing up debt that they themselves had forgotten about long ago! By far, the happiest participant in these transactions, are the banks/collection companies who are thrilled to get anything for the loans!

* But the elusive nomads who wander that desert say California was once a paradise.

Courts do not give justice, because they do not try. They follow a formal procedure, at best.

* Run the university like a business, you know, have such radically lax oversight that one person can steal $700,000.

* When I was talking the other day about the similarities between my childhood plan to become a priest for the free housing and lifetime tenure and my current profession as a secular monk performing textual exegesis at a Catholic school, 1, 2, 3, 4, I guess I didn’t think you’d take it so literally.

The Pharmacy School Bubble Is About to Burst.

Cutinella is the third high school football player to die in less than a week.

* On the life of PhDs working outside the US and Europe.

* Capitalism in 2014: “Payment is on an unpaid basis.”

* At least they got to waste all that money first: MOOC fever has broken.

* A gender-neutral pronoun is taking over Sweden.

* Elsewhere in the-Scandinavian-kids-are-all-right: How Finland Keeps Kids Focused Through Free Play.

Maps Of Modern Cities Drawn In The Style Of J.R.R. Tolkien. No Milwaukee, but he did do Cleveland, Boston, and DC. Many more links below the image; you’re not getting off that easy.

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* Damn, Interstellar.

* I can’t figure out if Ascension is let’s-do-BSG-with-a-competent-showrunner or let’s-do-BSG-on-the-cheap. Mad Men in Space, though, so fine.

* Museum of Science Fiction Selects Design for Preview Museum.

We Still Don’t Know If This Tribe Discovered In The ’70s Was Real.

* An Apple Store employee has written the follow-up to I Am Legend.

* Ideology watch: “Let. Her. Go.” movie supercut.

* America was founded as a white supremacist state. You’ll never believe what happened next.

* Here’s a lawsuit that seems deliberately calibrated to freak everybody out: Black sperm incorrectly delivered to white lesbian couple.

Talking White: Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

* D.C. Attorney May Use FBI Headquarters As Leverage In Statehood Lawsuit.

* People are saying Homeland might be good again, but don’t you believe it. That’s exactly what they want us to think.

* Elsewhere in ideology at its very very purest. Mad Men: Lady Cops.

* The White Women of Empire.

* BREAKING: Startup Funding Is Given Almost Entirely To Men.

* Just imagine what England might accomplish if it ever gets a second actor.

* Right-wingers tend to be less intelligent than left-wingers, and people with low childhood intelligence tend to grow up to have racist and anti-gay views, says a controversial new study. Controversial, really? Can’t imagine why.

* Freedom’s just another word for a $1200 machine that lets anyone manufacture a gun.

* Human civilization was founded as a human supremacist state. You’ll never believe what happened next.

* Earth crosses the walrus threshold.

* Paid leave watch: Florida cop placed on leave after using taser on 62-year-old woman.

Today, former Chicago police commander Jon Burge, who was convicted of lying about torturing over 100 African-American men at stationhouses on Chicago’s South and West Sides, will walk out of the Butner Correctional Institution, having been granted an early release to a halfway house in Tampa, Florida.

* Please be advised: Jacobin 15/16 looks especially great.

* Even baseball knows baseball is dull.

* And a UF study suggests peanut allergies could soon be a thing of the past. That’d be pretty great news for a whole lot of people I know.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 3, 2014 at 7:52 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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