Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘conferences

Just a Few for Friday

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* The draft program for SFRA 2018 is available. See you in July!

But that promise is part of what makes the movie’s sins so egregious. In the course of illuminating some of Han’s most famous exploits, including his record-setting Kessel Run and his acquisition of the Millennium Falcon, “Solo” turns into one of the most frenetic “Star Wars” movies. It whips us around so fast, though, that it’s impossible to see much; it’s less storytelling or world-building than the shallowest kind of tourism. Most disappointing of all is the trip that “Solo” takes into its hero’s head. Instead of making that journey and emerging with something rich and complicated that explains how Han became one of the great characters of the blockbuster era, and one of the most intriguing men in modern movies, “Solo” comes back mostly with treacle.

* But nevermind all that! The Boba Fett movie will solve everything!

Under The Skin: Why That ‘Arrested Development’ Interview Is So Bad. Jason Bateman Showed How “Family” Is Used To Excuse The Inexcusable.

Anguish at Southwest border as more immigrant children are separated from parents. Even more here. ‘We’re closed!’: Trump vents his anger over immigration at Homeland Security secretary. The feds lost – yes, lost – 1,475 migrant children. 

* Keeping climate change to 1.5°C relative to 2°C could cost $300 billion but save $20 trillion. Of course we’re not going to do it, but.

* SDS serves as a warning about the fragility of political ideas in the abstract, and how quickly they can be remade when history comes knocking.

* “There’s a reason Uber would tune its system to be less cautious about objects around the car,” Efrati added. “It is trying to develop a self-driving car that is comfortable to ride in.”

* And today in unprecedented shocking developments: N.J. Democrats loved the idea of taxing the rich — until they actually could do it.

Thursday Links!

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* Call for papers: Auscultations | Occultations, Listening to the Occult

On the Architecture of the Folk Game: The Case of ‘The Floor is Lava.’

* Antifascism and the left.

* There were like 15 separate Trump bribery scandals just yesterday. This one could be the biggest.

* Happy anniversary, Robert Mueller.

* None dare call it fascism: Trump administration preparing to hold immigrant children on military bases. “These aren’t people. These are animals.”  ICE arrested a dreamer, revoked his DACA status, placed him in detention, and attempted to deport him, claiming he was a gang member. A federal judge just ruled that ICE was lying—brazenly, intentionally, repeatedly, and illegally. Abolish the ICE Prison Complex.

If men gave birth, the question of whether or not to have children would have been the central question of philosophy from the beginning of time.

The Left Hand of Darkness in Light of #MeToo.

The worst -preneurs.

The meritocratic class has mastered the old trick of consolidating wealth and passing privilege along at the expense of other people’s children.

* The Solo reviews are rolling in. Disney has already moved on.

* Revisiting Springsteen’s worst decade.

Michigan State University Reaches $500 Million Settlement With Larry Nassar’s Victims. Report: USC Ignored Gynecologist’s Alleged Misconduct.

Is Chicago Experiencing a Historic Preservation Crisis?

Can Artificial Intelligence Help Find Alien Intelligence?

* The story you don’t care about, in the format you don’t want, in the series you’ll forget about while it’s still airing: ‘Lord Of The Rings’ Series Will Focus On Young Aragorn.

* Same thing but Young Alfred.

The Wrath of Khan Director Reveals He Was Making a Star Trek Trilogy for CBS, But It’s Been Delayed.

* How can you make Arrested Development season five even less promising? Netflix’s top scientists are hard at work.

* Elsewhere in entertainment news: Hippos Poop So Much That Sometimes All the Fish Die.

* Scenes from the Anthropocene: Scientists Match Pollution in Greenland’s Ice Sheet to Events from Ancient Greece and Rome.

Someone, somewhere, is making a banned chemical that destroys the ozone layer, scientists suspect.

We can now see how humans have altered Earth’s water resources.

The secret, unaccountable location-tracking tool favored by dirty cops has been hacked (and it wasn’t hard).

* Researchers uncovered 2 pages of ‘dirty jokes’ in Anne Frank’s diary.

* Inside the largest comic book collection in the world.

* In a time without heroes…

Traumatic License: An Oral History of Action Park.

* Poverty and the brain.

* Rage and the incels.

It is sometimes said that a generous basic income could empower workers to better resist their capitalist bosses. This familiar claim regarding the emancipatory potential of basic income has things almost exactly backwards. A universal basic income high enough to be genuinely liberating would require enormous expropriation of businesses and wealthy people. Consequently, there is no chance of its passage until there is an organized working class already powerful enough to extract it. This fact should inform the Left’s political strategy.

* The arc of history is long, but Uber and Lyft agree to stop forcing driver sexual assault victims into arbitration, confidentiality agreements.

* Batman and Eve.

* Kid, you got the job.

* And I always knew: Octopuses came to Earth from space as frozen eggs millions of years ago.

All Your Sunday Reading™

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* Call for applications: Postdoctoral Scholar for Futures of Literary and Cultural Knowledge, UCSB.

* Call for Papers: “Binge-Watching and the Future of Television Research: A Workshop” Sept 13-14, 2018, at Anglia Ruskin University.

* Studying Tolkien fanzines at Marquette University.

* I make a by-the-way appearance on this massive roundup of Infinity War links.

* What is an English professor?

The Enduring Anger of Joanna Russ.

* Bonkers Wisconsin tax policy error in my favor.

Massive UC workers’ strike disrupts dining, classes and medical services. UC Workers on Strike. After 3-Day Strike, University Of California’s Service Workers Vow To Keep Fighting.

A Duke University VP Walked Into the Campus Joe Van Gogh, Heard a Rap Song, Demanded That the Employees Be Fired. The icing on the cake. Well, actually, this is.

* If you’re worried about free speech on campus, don’t fear students — fear the Koch brothers.

Why universities became big-time real estate developers.

* Stephen Kuusisto on ableism in the university.

White student calls police on black student napping in Yale dorm. When Calling the Police Is a Privilege.

Academia’s #MeToo moment: Women accuse professors of sexual misconduct. 45 Stories of Consent on Campus. The #MeToo movement hit the literary world hard this week. It’s not the first time.

* (Another) progressive case against the progressive case for the SAT.

Never-ending nightmare: why feminist dystopias must stop torturing women.

* In 2011, Minnesota got a liberal governor and Wisconsin got a conservative one. Who was better off?

What genuine, no-bullshit ambition on climate change would look like.

* Your workplace is killing you.

Intrigue and Drama on the Han Solo Set. Catch the fever!

* One of the most purely destructive things Trump has yet done. Early days though, early days. Evergreen.

* Taking parents from their children is a form of state terror. Black activist jailed for his Facebook posts speaks out about secret FBI surveillance. An upcoming Supreme Court ruling could force all workers into forced arbitration, deprived of the right to class lawsuits. Trump Administration Wants to Train Teens in ‘Hazardous’ Jobs. Mar-a-Lago isn’t the ‘Winter White House.’ It’s just an embarrassing cash grab. A taxonomy of Michael Cohen and potential Trump corruption. How Michael Cohen Cashed In. It’s harder to pay off foreign governments than the US one. Breaking Down Gina Haspel’s Tense Confirmation Hearing. Trumpism Is Having Its Best Week Ever. We know a lot about Trump’s misdeeds. But most of all we know there’s more to come.

* How bananas is this Schneiderman story going to get? Man.

* And isn’t it pretty to think so?

’We Can Make Him Disappear’: The Power of County Sheriffs.

In One Year, 57,375 Years of Life Were Lost to Police Violence. Plainclothes NYPD Cops Are Involved in a Staggering Number of Killings.

* How to Survive the First Hour of a Nuclear Attack. Wow, a whole hour!

The Story Behind FanCon’s Controversial Collapse.

Social media copies gambling methods ‘to create psychological cravings.’

* Democrats against the gig economy. The Politics of Full Employment.

It’s Not a Food Desert, It’s Food Apartheid.

The Brooklyn Comedian Whose Joke About ICE Got Him a Visit From Homeland Security. ICE Breaking into Home: “We’ll Show You the Warrant When We’re Done.”

The “Maddening Labyrinth” Aging NFL Players Face for Dementia Compensation.

America’s largest pork producer pledged to make its meat more humane. An investigation says it didn’t.

* England revving up for a Corbyn prime ministership.

There’s No Good Excuse For The Racist Impact Of Michigan’s Medicaid Proposal. Almost as if… there’s no excuse at all…

* From blood diamonds to blood healing crystals.

* It sounds like my dream of a Bill & Ted parody of the trend towards grimdark 80s revivals is gonna come true.

* 10 Years of Speed Racer.

* What CBS found when it bought four random used photocopiers.

How political and media elites legitimized torture.

#Comicsgate: How an Anti-Diversity Harassment Campaign in Comics Got Ugly—and Profitable.

* The Americans in Russia.

* The science of Baby Groot.

* Afrofuturist 419.

You Won’t Like The Consequences Of Making Pluto A Planet Again.

New York Court Says Chimps Aren’t People—But a Judge Is Not Happy About It.

The dream of communism is the elimination of wage labor. If AI is bound to serve society instead of private capitalists, it promises to do so by freeing an overwhelming majority from such drudgery while creating wealth to sustain all.

* This is relatable content.

Imagine that it’s 2044, and everyone is still listening to Duran Duran.

* Sometimes you just need two men.

* And in the advanced Turing test, the machine convinces you that it is conscious and you aren’t.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 13, 2018 at 9:25 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Massive Monday Super Mega-Links!

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* Well they can’t take it back now.

* SFRA 18 attendees! Apply for a travel grant, if you have a need!

* Extrapolation 59.1 is here! With articles on climate fiction, Fahrenheit 451, Ballard’s Crash, and fantasy maps.

* CFP: The Future is Unwritten: Representations of Political Resistance and Emancipation in Science Fiction.

* Think of yourself as a planet.

* One year later, Marquette Magazine remembers “Buffy at 20,” with an unforgivably bloated and sweaty picture of me.

* I have a piece coming out in LARB this weekend that talks about the epilogue to The Handmaid’s Tale and why there shouldn’t have been a second season to the Hulu series. The early reviews seem to bear that intuition out.

* Diary of a Settler of Catan.

Janelle Monáe’s About to Drop the Afrofuturist Art Film We’ve All Been Waiting for. How Janelle Monáe Found Her Voice.

* How to write great SF about disability law.

Louis Cha, who is ninety-four years old and lives in luxurious seclusion atop the jungled peak of Hong Kong Island, is one of the best-selling authors alive. Widely known by his pen name, Jin Yong, his work, in the Chinese-speaking world, has a cultural currency roughly equal to that of “Harry Potter” and “Star Wars” combined.

AI researchers call that observation Moravec’s paradox, and have known about it for decades. It does not seem to be the sort of problem that could be cured with a bit more research. Instead, it seems to be a fundamental truth: physical dexterity is computationally harder than playing Go.

Why Is the Human Brain So Efficient?

Players Have Crowned A New Best Board Game — And It May Be Tough To Topple.

Ever since the 2016 presidential election, we’ve been warned against normalizing Trump. That fear of normalization misstates the problem, though. It’s never the immediate present, no matter how bad, that gets normalized — it’s the not-so-distant past. Because judgments of the American experiment obey a strict economy, in which every critique demands an outlay of creed and every censure of the present is paid for with a rehabilitation of the past, any rejection of the now requires a normalization of the then.

* Premediating the end of the professorate without even so much as a token consideration of how we might fight back. At the Chronicle, of course!

* A real free speech infraction on campus. This is such a cut and dry case of administrative malfeasance that of course it’s being treated as a major controversy. Lawsplainer.

* Here’s another “actually existing free speech” issue for you.

* Contingent work and free speech.

Three months’ severance after negotiating yearlong contracts in bad faith.

* How to Hold Predators in Academia Accountable.

Inside a university’s controversial plan for Baltimore.

* How Liberty University Build a Billion-Dollar Empire Online.

* Abolish the MLA interview.

* #SaveOurMajors.

* Who will send me checks for $60 now? University Press of New England Will Shut Down.

* The right-wing plot to take over student governments.

Students, employees scour college finances for waste, proof of unfair pay.

Palantir Knows Everything About You.

* A cure worse than the disease: The “fake news” hysteria is unleashing a wave of free-speech crackdowns worldwide.

Neil Gorsuch voted with the liberal justices, but his opinion should chill you to the bone.

Pulling Back the Curtain on the Labor of Professional Sport.

* Seven Days of Heroin in Cincinnati.

* War is over (if you want it).

The lie pictures tell: an ex-model on the truth behind her perfect photos.

Sarah Nicole Prickett on the Myth of the Wonder Woman.

Is Your Body Appropriate to Wear to School?

How Games Can Better Accommodate Disabled Players.

Trump lied to me about his wealth to get onto the Forbes 400. Here are the tapes.

* Maria Bamford files restraining order against Trump over nuclear war threats. Trump challenges Native Americans’ historical standing. Gee, weird, what could explain it. It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. There’s going to be nothing left.

How the FBI Helped Sink Clinton’s Campaign. ‘What Can I Say, I’m Just A Catty Bitch From New Jersey And I Live For Drama.’ The DNC sues.

* ICE vs children. ICE vs. marriage. ICE vs. journalism. ICE vs. farmers. ICE deports its first Dreamer. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

Utah Man Shot and Killed While Complying with Police Commands to Show His Hands.

The US Army is developing AI that can recognize faces in the dark and through walls. Keep scrolling, human…

Top Republican Official Says Trump Won Wisconsin Because of Voter ID Law.

* Democracy! Catch the fever.

* I honestly don’t see how any of our existing press norms can accommodate this technology.

* Sean Hannity, forecloser and slumlord.

* Han Solo, parent.

* Greetings from Cape Town at the end of the world.

3635 Pitch Pine Cres.

‘Wolverine: The Long Night’: Marvel’s First Scripted Podcast is Doing What Their Films and TV Shows Never Could.

The average American utters their first curse word of the day at 10:54 am, according to new data. Fucking lightweights.

It turns out Oregonians are good at growing cannabis—too good.

Rare Mutation Among Bajau People Lets Them Stay Underwater Longer.

Hans Asperger, hailed for autism research, may have sent child patients to be killed by Nazis.

* Philly’s prison population has dropped 9 percent since our new DA took office earlier this year.

Florida Police Allegedly Crash Funeral Home to Unlock Phone With Slain Man’s Fingerprints.

* Darwinist literary criticism. Parenting. Life is a journey. Dance like no one’s watching. The Death Spot. Eu-antisociality. Do we own the cats, or do they own us? Moneybattle. Oops.

* Radicalizing teachers.

* Liberalism and cruelty.

The wealth gap between blacks and whites would take 225 years to disappear, according to one recent, rather optimistic, estimate. As to how this could happen, theories abound.

Cynthia Nixon Has Already Won.

* The first person on Mars should be a woman.

National Geographic’s Photography Erased People. It’s Too Late For An Apology.

4 baboons at Texas research center back after brief escape.

Slow-Motion Ocean Apocalypse: Atlantic’s Circulation Is Weakest in 1,600 Years.

Smartphones Are Killing The Planet Faster Than Anyone Expected.

* Meanwhile the dinosaur puppet is already on its second tour in Afghanistan.

* We are discovered; flee at once.

* Places people! We open in two days!

* If I ever do get around to writing about Chloe Sullivan, this will be a very odd footnote.

* And see? All that schooling is good for something.

 

Written by gerrycanavan

April 23, 2018 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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The Terrible Serenity of a Browser with Every Tab Closed

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What are we waiting for, assembled in the forum? The barbarians are due here today.

We Reversed Our Declining English Enrollments. Here’s How.

* CFP: Exhaustion: Tired Bodies, Tired Worlds. Graduate conference at the Department of English, University of Chicago, this November.

* When machine learning is astonishing – I collected some highlights from a paper on algorithmic creativity. Great Twitter thread.

* Butler Mons honours Octavia E. Butler, the first science fiction writer to win a MacArthur fellowship, and whose Xenogenesis trilogy describes humankind’s departure from Earth and subsequent return. And on the second season finale of Levar Burton reads: “Childfinder.”

‘Describe Yourself Like a Male Author Would’ Is the Most Savage Twitter Thread in Ages.

* The Prequel Boom.

Climate Change, Revolution And ‘New York 2140.’

* Dic Lit.

* Dictators are always afraid of poets. This seems kind of weird to a lot of Americans to whom poets are not political beings, but it doesn’t seem a bit weird in South America or in any dictatorship, really.

* Post-Soviet science fiction and the war in Ukraine.

* Eighty Years of the Futurians’ Vision.

* A Radical Idea about Adjuncting.

* I didn’t really understand how unjust the academic system was for career advancement for women until I had children. What It’s Like to Be a Woman in the Academy.

* The 2018 Hugo Finalists.

* Teach the controversy, Hell edition.

What It’s Like to Watch Isle of Dogs As a Japanese Speaker. Orientalism Is Alive And Well In American Cinema.

* Junot Díaz on the legacy of childhood trauma.

* The Breakfast Club in the age of #MeToo.

* Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One” is not a video-game-centered dystopian teen adventure but a horror film, a movie of spiritual zombies whose souls have been consumed by the makers of generations of official cultural product and regurgitated in the form of pop nostalgia. The movie, framed as a story of resistance to corporate tyranny, is actually a tale of tyranny perpetuated by a cheerfully totalitarian predator who indoctrinates his victims by amusing them to death—and the movie’s stifled horror is doubled by Spielberg’s obliviousness to it.

Milwaukee students of color say it’s time to talk about the school-to-prison pipeline.

* A Syrian man has been trapped in a Malaysian airport for 37 days.

The Fog of War and the Case for Knee-jerk Anti-Interventionism.

15 Years. More Than 1 Million Dead. No One Held Responsible.

* America should just stop all bombing.

* ‘Star Wars’ and the Fantasy of American Violence.

* Justice Dept. to halt legal-advice program for immigrants in detention. Amid deportations, those in U.S. without authorization shy away from medical care. ICE Won’t Deport the Last Nazi War Criminal in America.

* This proposal, requiring worker seats on corporate boards, is commonly referred to as “codetermination.” A number of European countries require worker representatives to be included in corporate boards, or for councils of workers to be consulted in appointing board members. The emerging plan to save the American labor movement.

* Liberals and the strike.

* Eviction in America.

* There is no humane border regime, just as there is no humane abortion ban. The border will always tear parents from children, carers from charges, longtime residents from the only communities they’ve ever known. It may do it faster or slower, with ostentatious brutality or bureaucratic drag, but it will always do it. Trump is gambling that Americans will embrace the brutal version, as they’ve done so many times in the past. If they do, will we be enough to stop them? Liberals constantly rediscover the violence at the heart of their politics, but can never learn a thing from it.

* Zombie liberalism.

* When an algorithm cuts your health care.

How the American economy conspires to keep wages down.

* Nice work if you can get it.

* Uncle Sam’s largest asset.

Universities Use the Specter of ICE to Try to Scare Foreign Grad Students Away From Unionizing.

Why Your Advice for Ph.D.s Leaving Academe Might Be Making Things Worse.

* King Of Kong’s Billy Mitchell has been stripped of all his high scores, banned from competitive gaming.

* The definitive explanation of why Bitcoin is stupid.

* The new debt colonies.

* Faces of Auschwitz.

* Wisconsin in the news: Suspected White Supremacist Died Building ISIS-Style Bombs.

* I predicted this: Apple orders its most ambitious TV series yet: An adaptation of Asimov’s Foundation.

* More than half your body is not human.

* Learning styles as a myth.

* Stan Lee needs a hero. Sounds like the sooner the better.

* Neanderthals cared for each other and survived into old age.

* Star Wars is RUINED.

* The oceans’ circulation hasn’t been this sluggish in 1,000 years. That’s bad news. Dangerous climate tipping point is ‘about a century ahead of schedule’ warns scientist. Greenland Ice Sheet is Melting at its Fastest Rate in 400 years.

The greatest environmentalist of postwar America wasn’t a scientist or a wonk. He didn’t even finish high school.

* Atheism and the alt-right.

* Amazon and/against Tolkien.

Tony Gilroy on ‘Rogue One’ Reshoots: They Were in “Terrible Trouble.”

* Catholic Colleges and Basketball.

* A people’s history of the Undertaker.

* John Carpenter: The First Fifteen Years.

* Only young people do revolutionary mathematics.

* Political correctness strikes again! MIT cuts ties with company promising to provide digital immortality after killing you.

The Working Person’s Guide to the Industry That Might Kill Your Company.

* I was going to watch it anyway, but: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Season 2 Casts Tig Notaro.

* A Jar, a Blouse, a Letter: The story of Julia Kristeva.

Facebook is unfixable. We need a nonprofit, public-spirited replacement. Mark Zuckerberg’s 15-year apology tour.

Why several trainloads of New Yorkers’ poop has been stranded for months in Alabama.

Unusual forms of ‘nightmare’ antibiotic-resistant bacteria detected in 27 states.

* The best news I’ve heard in years: Fireball Island is coming back.

* That’s a relief! Don’t worry, the US would win a nuclear war with Russia.

* And no one’s hands are clean.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 14, 2018 at 6:09 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Monday Morning Links!

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* If you only read one Star Trek: Discovery postmortem this week, it’s got to be Abigail Nussbaum’s. But if you read too, here’s mine at LARB! No Follow-Through.

* Then this one #3: In Its First Season, Star Trek: Discovery Asked Hard Questions It Never Really Wanted the Answers to.

Original pitch for Star Trek: The Next Generation had a hologram captain. Fake Research Paper Based on Star Trek: Voyager‘s Worst Episode Was Published by a Scientific Journal.

Science Fiction Film and Television 11.1 now available! With a special section on the science fiction of Scarlett Johansson, essays on District 9 and dating simulators, and a review essay on Get Out! 

* A CFP for the “Worlding SF” event in Graz, Austria, next December, with keynotes from Mark Bould, Cheryl Morgan, and me…

* Meanwhile, the 2019 CFP for the MLA’s speculative fiction discussion group, of which I am now the immediate past chair:

Activist Speculation and Visionary Fiction

How “visionary fiction” (Walidah Imarisha’s term for stories imagining “newer, freer worlds”) contributes to speculative fiction theory, pedagogy, practice. 200-word abstract, CV by 16 March 2018 to Alexis Lothian (alothian@umd.edu).

* I got the chance to watch this documentary on Flannery O’Connor last week as part of a Marquette English event. It was great! Can’t wait for it to find a home.

* Nothing but respect for my president.

Horrified Florida students beg the adults: Please, do something about guns.

I have a thing to say about growing up after tragedy.

* On the imperative of content. No one knows.

The goal was to create “products,” which could then be monetized, but according to Leslie, who took over oversight of the institute in 2015, “There was not the foundation of a business plan” at the institute’s inception. This is perhaps not surprising, given that the “Framework for Excellence” which midwifed the Institute was literally dreamed up in two days by Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa and his advisors and passed by the regents “without asking a single question.”

* We should just create “incentive” / punishment structures that force college presidents to retire at 64 1/2, just like they all did to faculty.

When the White Supremacists Come to Campus.

* When the suits killed Barnes and Noble.

* The august sport of (checks notes) curling may never be the same.

* Male privilege is having never thought about this possibility.

Ban The United States From The Olympics.

* Cleaning products as bad for lungs as smoking 20 cigarettes a day, scientists warn.

* How banks block people of color from homeownership.

* ICE really doubling down. Man who called 911 about suspected burglary detained by ICE. He can’t get proper HIV treatment in Venezuela. But he’s being deported anyway. ICE Arrests in the Pacific Northwest Increased 25 Percent in 2017. Washington officials gave activist’s info to ICE. Refusing an interpreter to a deaf detainee. How ICE Works to Strip Citizenship from Naturalized Americans. ICE Arrests Man at a Green Card Interview. Tearing families apart.

* Know your immigration law.

* Like Uber but for human trafficking.

Westchester School Leaves Behind Disabled Students in Fire Evacuation.

This List of Every Reason Banner Hulks Out in the Classic Hulk TV Series Is Hilarious.

  • Receiving a lethal injection, and then having the person say, “Oh. I just gave you a lethal injection. Sorry, David.”
  • Wandering around in the service ducts of a hotel (predating Bruce Willis) only to accidentally yank several of the pipes loose and get a full blast of hot steam
  • Being tied up and fed soup by an elderly Japanese woman who doesn’t
    understand words like “You’ve GOT to cut me loose!”
  • Being thrown under a New Orleans Mardi Gras parade float by a mean guy in a gorilla suit who gives David a few kicks for good measure
  • Receiving a speeding ticket
  • Wandering around inside a carnival funhouse, only to have someone turn on the machinery so that David is somehow caught in a rolling tumbler and flipped over a few times and then thrown down a convenient slide

‘Minecraft’ Data Mining Reveals Players’ Darkest Secrets.

* When Fonzie time-traveled.

* How should we talk about Trump’s brain?

The Security Clearance Situation in the White House Is Bonkers.

* The case for impeaching Clarence Thomas.

Here’s What Critics Are Saying About Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs.

New York Federal judge rules that embedding tweets can violate copyright law.

* Black Panther killed it. Black Panther and the Invention of Africa. Black Panther Is Not the Movie We Deserve. The Man Who Made Black Panther Cool.

Winners of the 2018 Underwater Photographer of the Year Contest.

The Donkey Kong Timeline Is Truly Disturbing.

Debullshitifying Uber’s financial statement reveals a hemorrhaging fountain of red ink with no path to profitability.

* Let kids have a sense of control over their own lives. The research is clear, let’s ban homework. In Defense of Picky Eating.

First ship crosses Arctic in winter without an icebreaker as global warming causes ice sheets to melt. Miami could be underwater in your kid’s lifetime as sea level rise accelerates.

* A History of the United American Socialist Republics.

Here’s All 290 Star Wars Movies Officially in Production Right Now.

* I loved this read of “The Voice of the Dolphins” at LARB, but it’s odd that the piece never notes the very strong suggestion in the story that the entire dolphin project was a hoax.

* ImOscar.com.

* What was only a trial run was taken seriously.

* And in a time without heroes: Cow escapes on way to slaughterhouse, smashes through metal fence, breaks arm of man trying to catch her then swims to safety on island in lake.

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.