Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘conspiracy theories

Monday Morning Links!

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* ICYMI: A CFP for an upcoming issue of SFFTV devoted to Women in SF, keyed to the Frankenstein bicentennial.

We, the Undercommoning Collective, invite all those over whom the neoliberal, neocolonial university casts its shadow, all those who struggle within, against and beyond the university-as-such, to join us the weekend of October 14-16, 2016 for a global coordinated decentralized day of radical study and action.

* LARB reviews The Year 200, which I immediately bought.

* The end of the Republicans? How Donald Trump Broke The Conservative Movement (And My Heart). Trump’s Appetite for Destruction: How Disastrous Convention Doomed GOP. A 2% Convention Bump, It Looks Like.

* Not to be outdone, the Democrats are hard at work turning their convention into a debacle too.

* The Case for Tim KazzZZZZZzzzzzZZZz. Tim Kaine, and Other Faith-Based Politics. And here’s a piece from NRO that purports to explain why Tim Kaine wasn’t picked in 2008, which long-time readers may remember I’ve always wondered about. It’s pretty hard to make an electoral map where Trump wins without winning Virginia. And if you need it: My Official List of Approved Clinton-Kaine Puns.

* Well, I believe I’ll vote for a third-party candidate.

Neoliberalism Is a Political Project.

* “Trump and Putin: Yes, It’s Really a Thing.”

70 Years Ago, the U.S. Military Set Off a Nuke Underwater, And It Went Very Badly. Then they tried it four more times.

* “Ancient bottom wipers yield evidence of diseases carried along the Silk Road.”

* Science Corner: It Would Take a Lot of THC to Contaminate a Water Supply.

* An evolutionary history of menstruation.

Evolution Is Happening Faster Than We Thought.

* Precrime algorithms, coming soon.

How NYers Endured Unbearable Summers Before A.C.

* Parents, You’re Doing Summer Wrong. Elsewhere on the parenting beat: The Right Way to Bribe Your Kids to Read.

How one California university faked students’ scores, skated by immigration authorities — and made a fortune in the process.

Scientists Assert That Earth is Really Made of Two Different Planets.

This Is What Humans Would Look Like If They Evolved to Survive Car Crashes.

* English departments in 2016, if we’re being totally honest.

* And the arc of history is long, but Star Trek: Discovery Officially Takes Place in the Prime Universe. Here’s the ship.

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Sunday Night Links!

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* CFP: Afrofuturism in Time and Space.

* I was supposed to be at a conference this weekend, but the United flight left so amazingly late that it would have actually arrived after my panel (despite planning an ample buffer). I can’t remember the last flight I took that wasn’t at least partially a disaster. How much worse can air travel get? The Reason Air Travel Is Terrible and So Few Airlines Are Profitable. The airlines have maximized profits by making travel as miserable as possible. The Airline Fee to Sit With Your Family. And of course: Waiting in Line for the Illusion of Security.

* I’m 36, and I’ve never felt more “halfway there” than I have since my birthday last November.

* This is mostly anecdata, but all the same Milwaukee really does have the absolute worst drivers in the world.

* What happened to CUNY? The Relentless Shabbiness of CUNY: What Is To Be Done?

Students should study what they love, work hard, learn a lot, and they will find employment success.  We have become so vocationalized in our thinking about higher education that we have come to believe that a major is a career.  It is not.

* Climate Change: Views from the Humanities.

Student evaluations of teaching are not only unreliable, they are significantly biased against female instructors.

* Western universities are opening campuses in some odd places where they really don’t need to be.

Students With Nowhere to Stay: Homelessness on College Campuses.

For First Time in Modern Era, Living With Parents Edges Out Other Living Arrangements for 18- to 34-Year-Olds.

* Why Sci-Hub Will Win.

“Without provocation or warning, a large swarm of bees descended on both of them as they continued on the trail,” the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

We’ve separated the work of medicine and the work of the humanities for too long. After all, the creation of meaning is most important during our inevitable periods of suffering — whether the suffering is a patient’s physical illness or a physician’s emotional anguish.

Here’s the data: The National Health Interview Survey from 2011–12 found that children between the ages of six and 17 from families under the poverty line were significantly more likely to be prescribed psychiatric medication than any other economic group. The same study found that children on Medicaid were 50 percent more likely to get a prescription than those with private insurance. An analysis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnoses among kids between the ages of five and 17 between 1998 and 2009 found rates rose twice as fast for working-class and poor kids. A measurable class gap has emerged among children when it comes to mental health. And elsewhere from Malcolm Harris: why the dreaded term ‘millennial’ is actually worth saving.

We, the undersigned graduate students from the UCSD Literature Department and their allies, are writing to publicly voice our concerns about the building where the Literature program is currently housed.  In the past twenty-six years, many members of our departmental community have been diagnosed with cancer, forming an as-yet unexplained cancer cluster centered on the Literature Building.

How one California university faked students’ scores, skated by immigration authorities — and made a fortune in the process.

* Ole Miss Admits Former Assistant Football Coach Helped Falsify ACT Scores.

America’s atomic vets: ‘We were used as guinea pigs – every one of us.’

It’s time to acknowledge the genocide of California’s Indians.

Who paid for a professional oppo-research team to mock an environmental activist? The answer is secret. One could argue that the campaign isn’t substantially different from that of a corporate lobbyist, but, unlike registered lobbyists, America Rising Squared doesn’t have to file public disclosures or pay taxes, because it purports to be a social-welfare organization.

* For the first time, researchers have found a person in the United States carrying bacteria resistant to antibiotics of last resort, an alarming development that the top U.S. public health official says could mean “the end of the road” for antibiotics. That New Superbug Was Found in a UTI and That’s Key.

* The Ethics of Hodor.

* Ecotopia 2121.

The Player Kings: On Shakespeare’s Henriad.

Huge Marvel Comics twist changes Captain America forever*, and you might not like it.

* six months tops

* I get the anger, but I just don’t think Steve will be Hydra long enough to be outraged about. It really might not last past the next issue. Needless to say, on the question of outrage, others disagree. Jacobin weighs in: Captain America Doesn’t Have to Be a Fascist.

What’s it Like for Peter Parker Growing Up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

* Where is Wakanda?

* Super-antics.

“Unprecedented” discovery of mysterious structures created by Neanderthals.

Archaeologists discover Aristotle’s 2,400-year-old tomb in Macedonia.

A ‘Devastating Account’ of Diversity at Yale.

The Obama Administration Is Using Racist Court Rulings to Deny Citizenship to 55,000 People.

Hillary Clinton’s email problems just got much worse. More. What the new inspector general report on Hillary Clinton’s emails actually says.

* Hard not to feel like Democrats are really bad at this. Really bad.

Bernie Might Be Helping, Not Hurting Hillary Right Now.

* The Independent didn’t think this pair of glasses left on the floor of a museum was art.

* Geraldine Largay’s Wrong Turn: Death on the Appalachian Trail.

Peter Thiel just gave other billionaires a dangerous blueprint for perverting philanthropy. Peter Thiel, Tech Billionaire, Reveals Secret War With Gawker.

The iron-clad rule of all punditry and freelance social media opinionating: everything that happens must be construed such that it helps Trump.

* Pure class.

How to Get Trump Elected When He’s Wrecking Everything You Built.

12 Fringe Conspiracy Theories Embraced By A Man Who Might Be The Next President.

* The Gingrich Century.

Inside A White Nationalist Conference Energized By Trump’s Rise.

* A coup in Brazil, not that anyone seems to care.

How to Plug In Your Brain.

Research reveals huge scale of social media misogyny.

* Algorithmic injustice.

Teaching Veronica Mars in a season of campus sex crimes.

The turn to whetted appetites is supposed to be a compliment, but it just goes to show that there is no non-sinister defense for the “American male birthright” as a conceptual category.

* Gay Essentialism in a Eugenic Age.

“Frivolous” Humanities Helped Prisoners Survive in Communist Romania.

* Sad story: Gorilla shot dead after 3-year-old falls into enclosure at Cincinnati Zoo. A lot of people seem to be blaming the parents for neglectful watching, but having any way for a child to gain access to an enclosure is a catastrophic failure of design.

* Elsewhere in animal news: A Dutch Company Is Training ‘Low-Tech’ Eagles to Fight Drones.

In winter breeding grounds like Hawai‘i and Mexico, migrating humpback whales arrived later, left earlier, and showed up in fewer numbers than normal.

* There are a lot of pieces of this argument that I don’t agree with, but this part seems right to me: What its steadfast defenders fail to grasp is that, by promoting the PhD as a sort of generalist’s degree that should be used to do all sorts of things by as many people as possible, they are damning the humanities to continued irrelevance.

* 50 Years of Joan of Arc at Marquette.

* The end of Salon.

New Evidence Suggests a Fifth Fundamental Force of Nature.

Cell Phones and Brain Cancer: A Mother Jones Symposium.

Every Single Pinky and the Brain Plan to Take Over the World, Ranked.

* Do you think humans really have feelings, or are they just programmed to act like they do?

I try to remember the day I stopped believing in the Loch Ness Monster, the day I realized heaven and earth provided more than enough to think about. I cannot, which seems strange. I have never regretted my obsession with the Loch Ness Monster. A strong belief in UFOs, say, is somehow contaminating, so many of its paths leading into the intellectual urinal of conspiracy and cover-up. Belief in the hard-core paranormal is not something one grows out of but something one is reduced to. Accepting the Loch Ness Monster’s existence, on the other hand, did not mean signing on to any particular pathology, except possibly that of optimism. The Loch Ness Monster made the world a little stranger, a little more wonderful.

Welcome to Disturbia: Why midcentury Americans believed the suburbs were making them sick.

* Reproductive futurity watch: Congress member goes on bizarre anti-LGBTQ rant about sending gay people to space.

* Huge, if true: J.K. Rowling Confirms Harry Potter And The Cursed Child Will Be Sad.

The Sad State of Game of Thrones’ Direwolves.

* Game of Thrones: This is canon now.

* Winter is going: The Arctic Heat Wave Is Literally Off the Charts Right Now.

* But there’s a Plan B: The Time To Nuke Mars Is Now.

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Written by gerrycanavan

May 29, 2016 at 5:13 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Star Wars Day Links! Yay! Episode II Attack of the Procrastination

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(episode one, the procrastination menace)

* Apropos of what I was saying before about Return of the Jedi: When Luke confronts the idea that his father is his enemy and that he is doomed to become him unless he can somehow accept him, it’s a thunderbolt as true and clear as any Jungian/Freudian missive can be clear. It’s not complicated, but Luke’s refusal at the end to murder his own shadow is underestimated as a watermark in the panoply of generally vengeful, bellicose popular entertainments. What Disney movie, for instance, ends with the embrace of the villain at something other than the tip of a righteous sword? No matter the degree that Lucas’s blinkered populism cripples Return of the Jedi, what remains is this guide to better living. Hard work is good. Courage in the face of entropy is good. Loyalty to your friends is good. Fear is bad. So is self-interest. This basic codification of rules resonating as it does is, after all, only what good cults do: provide a template, easy to follow, of commandments. May the Force be with you.

sw_final.0Every Star Wars movie, according to its colors.

Star Wars medical merch from Scarfolk, the horror-town stuck in the 1970s.

Beloved media property from my childhood coming back, what could go wrong?

* China Miéville, “On Social Sadism.”

How austerity destroyed Europe’s economy, in one graph.

* A case study in the notion that academic freedom is not a blanket excuse for any and all antisocial behavior: College Moves To Fire Sandy Hook Truther For Allegedly Harassing Victim’s Family.

The rich-poor divide on America’s college campuses is getting wider, fast.

The question is why humanists have not been able or willing to recognise their own sustained success.

* “Speechbros” vs. The left should support speech rights because the left is weak. In my old age I’m really becoming more and more of an absolutist on this, alas, despite disliking absolutism and also liars, fools, and knaves.

* “Harvard placemat serves up social justice for Christmas.” Sorry for the Campus Reform link, I couldn’t find anything better.

* And another article on its contemporary reception for the next time I teach Lolita: Men Explain Lolita To Me.

Monday Links!

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* “It’s an active shooter drill. We do this every now and then. If you warn too many people, then the simulation is not effective.”

* From Sherryl Vint, in LARoB: “Men Behaving Badly: White Masculinity in Science Fiction Television.”

The report reveals a sense of ideological, demographic and cultural siege, on the American right, from which there is no obvious escape. Unable to comprehend or process last year’s election defeat, they feel the nation has become unmoored from its founding principles and is on a full-scale, unrelenting descent into chaos.

* That’ll solve it! White House Orders “Tech Surge” to Fix Obamacare Website. Weeks to fix, just in time for the insurance to not take effect on January 1.

* Nothing beside remains: With U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, American military gear sold as scrap.

* Degrees of Debt: Student Borrowing and Loan Repayment of Bachelor’s Degree Recipients 1 Year After Graduating: 1994, 2001, and 2009.

* George Washington University “admitted publicly for the first time Friday that it puts hundreds of undergraduate applicants on its waitlist each year because they cannot pay GW’s tuition.” Many Colleges Bend Rules To Admit Rich Applicants. Harvard’s Committee on University Resources.

* Science isn’t exactly an exact science.

With this in mind, consider 1,000 hypotheses being tested of which just 100 are true (see chart). Studies with a power of 0.8 will find 80 of them, missing 20 because of false negatives. Of the 900 hypotheses that are wrong, 5%—that is, 45 of them—will look right because of type I errors. Add the false positives to the 80 true positives and you have 125 positive results, fully a third of which are specious. If you dropped the statistical power from 0.8 to 0.4, which would seem realistic for many fields, you would still have 45 false positives but only 40 true positives. More than half your positive results would be wrong.

* Fur­ther­more, even to its most prac­ti­cal and well-meaning crit­ics, the actual rela­tion­ship between gen­der and cap­i­tal­ist social rela­tions remains an enigma. This is not sim­ply because, as Marx­ists, we are reluc­tant to reproach the old man, but rather as a con­se­quence of the fact that repro­duc­tive work – still per­formed pri­mar­ily by those assigned the fate “woman” – is extremely dif­fi­cult to com­pre­hend in the terms pro­vided by the cri­tique of polit­i­cal econ­omy. Of course, gen­der is fun­da­men­tally defined by cap­i­tal­ism, and it should not be con­cluded that Marx’s cri­tique was “wrong”; buthe left women out of the story, and we need to find where he is hid­ing them. The Gendered Circuit: Reading The Arcane of Reproduction.

* The conspiracy goes deeper than you ever imagined: Author claims Robert Kennedy stole John F. Kennedy’s brain from National Archives.

* Meanwhile, another longstanding conspiracy theory gets validation: Fox really was using paid shills to manipulate comment threads.

* Seven Things You Might Not Know about Calvin & Hobbes.

* The homeless population of New York City is higher than it’s been in decades. Nobody seems to notice.

Traumatic Life Events, Not Genetics or Chemical Imbalance Cause Depression and Anxiety.

To Fix Climate Change, Scientists Turn To Hacking The Earth.

How I Teach Game Design.

* City College closed the Guillermo Morales-Assata Shakur Community and Student Center, an educational and organizing space founded on 1989 by leftist student groups, on Sunday morning without alerting the students and activists who work inside.

* Gasp! Jeb Bush ed reform group accused of abusing non-profit status to help corporations.

* American Horror Story and Abjection.

* Thus it has happened that, in the name of preventing invaders, the NSA has itself invaded.

* It begins: 870,000 Toyotas Recalled Due to “Spider-Related Problem.”

* And five points for Slytherin: Christie withdraws challenge to same-sex marriage ruling in New Jersey, which means it’s the law for good.

Friday Night Links

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* I’ve been so busy with the move I haven’t even had time to put up a James Gandolfini RIP post. I was really surprised, and bummed out, by this news. Goddamnit, I loved that show.

I know a lot of die hard fans of the original are pissed off, but JJ’s managed to make a totally cool, totally new movie that’s totally true to the spirit of the original: J.J. Abrams reboots The Godfather (2019).

* I have to admit I was somewhat pleased to see myself quoted in this end-of-the-world piece in Jacobin. And as an optimist, no less!

By the latter end of the 21st century, Miami became something else entirely: a popular snorkeling spot where people could swim with sharks and sea turtles and explore the wreckage of a great American city.

Is Obama About to Get Serious on Climate Change? Oh, honey.

* Now China, on the other hand…

China has introduced “harsher punishments” for breaking the nation’s environmental protection laws: reckless violators of pollution standards in the world’s biggest and fastest-growing economy now face execution.

“With regard to the student-athlete,” wrote a senior NCAA executive in an email, “I think the focus on exploitation may be misplaced, and maybe it is not our duty to protect the student-athlete.” Preach! What have student-athletes ever done for the NCAA?

All 185 Choose Your Own Adventure Books Ranked From Most to Least Awesome-Sounding. All-Time Gerry Canavan Maximum Nightmare Fodder Space Vampire clocks in at #4.

Welcome to the Ph.D. Placement Project.

A map showing the original meanings of place names in North America. More links below the image.

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The Government Files Espionage Charges Against Edward Snowden. Naomi Wolf has the conspiracy behind the conspiracy. And that’s exactly what they WANT us to think!

* TNI on Total Information Awareness.

* Jedediah Purdy: Seven Ways of Looking at a Charge Sheet: or, My First Arrest.

Do Unpaid Internships Lead to Jobs? Not for College Students.

The Capitalist’s Case for a $15 Minimum Wage.

It’s long been suspected that ratings agencies lie Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s helped trigger the meltdown. A new trove of embarrassing documents shows how they did it.

* Science fiction studies CFP: A group of scholars from Deakin University, Melbourne is setting up the forum entitled Deletion and is calling for both papers and creative pieces.

Official casting call reveals the characters in Star Wars: Episode VII.

* How to Use Math to Dominate at Monopoly. I’m somewhat pleased with how much of this my brother and I generated on our own as kids.

Deep anxiety about the ability to have children later in life plagues many women. But the decline in fertility over the course of a woman’s 30s has been oversold. Here’s what the statistics really tell us—and what they don’t.

* Man of Steel easter egg setting up the sequel? This reminds me a bit of the script flub that launched a thousand Deckard-is-a-replicant fan theories. And it would be — gasp — a new story.

* And io9 says the general mediocrity and total obvious superfluousness of Monsters University marks the end of the Golden Age of Pixar. We mourn.

Friday Links! Tons of Them! Not All of Them Depressing!

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* The kids are all right: the editorial in the Marquette Tribune today is anti-edX, anti-robo-graders.

* MOOC as intellectual neocolonialism. Why online education is mostly a fantasy. The MOOC monster will never be satisfied.

* “I can’t tell you how disappointed I am,” said State Sen. Alberta Darling at Tuesday’s hearing. “Here we have accounts of tuition being squirreled away at the same time you raised tuition. What was your intent?” Scenes from the war on higher education in Wisconsin.

* Depression and graduate school.

* On “disruption.”

Perhaps it is the self-aggrandizement the authors seem to share with the ballooning employer-fix-it crowd, but when I encountered this perennial theory in The Innovator’s Prescription, I finally realized that everything I learned as a bartender at HBS was true: things do work out perfectly when we all nod in agreement, sketch it out on cocktail napkins, and congratulate each other for being in each other’s presence.

Hundreds of Chicago Students Walk Out of Standardized Test. Chicago Public Schools cancels district-mandated standardized test for kindergartens and first graders.

What does the ubiquitous cheating in reform-era education mean? It means that reformers are so dumb they can’t even set up arbitrary benchmarks for success; they literally fail their own tests despite having written the questions and answers themselves. Imagine a panel of fish oil salesmen riddled with arthritis and clearly suffering from memory loss and you get some idea. What the cheating proves is that these people are liars and cheats, but more than that, it proves that the systems of accountancy and auditing promoted by the liars and cheaters are themselves a lie. The reform is doubly fraudulent.

US schools weigh bulletproof uniforms: ‘It’s no different than a seatbelt in a car.’ Well, maybe it’s a little different. Can we agree it’s a little different?

In short, it’s time to cash out of capitalism. Here at http://stocktips.gerrycanavan.com we’ve been rating capitalism as a DON’T BUY for years.

Workplace Safety and the Gilded Age Theory of Risk. Hundreds of thousands of Bangladesh’s garment workers walk out in protest over factory deaths. Yglesias shrugs.

* Surprise! The Hostess bankruptcy was union-busting.

A 2010 report produced by a Dallas investment house found that aside from the richest of the rich, among the remaining 90 percent of NFL players, nine in ten of them would be insolvent within ten years of retirement.

* UCLA professor let his students “cheat” on a game theory midterm. I can’t decide if he should have flunked the Lone Wolves or given them A+s.

* Matt Weiner says Mad Men season six is structured by the Wikipedia entry for Dante’s Inferno.

The spectacle has to be shaped carefully so that suffering takes on the qualities of an elevating narrative the audience can feel part of, an affirmative allegory of capitalism in which hard work and energetic competition show us the most worthy, the winners. Jacobin vs. the Oscars.

* Rachel Maddow vs. Alex Jones.

May the curse of labor be cursed, may the ineluctability of production become its sorrow.

Everything Is Rigged: The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever.

* And I hate it when politicians break kayfabe. As my friend @mikemccaffrey put it: “Can you please identify the president who assaulted your democracy in this lineup?”

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Wednesday, Oh, Wednesday

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* There’s nothing inherently fascist in Žižek’s call for an elite cadre of benevolent dictators to rule us like kings. Why, it says so right there in black and white:

There is absolutely nothing inherently ”Fascist” in these lines – the supreme paradox of the political dynamics is that a Master is needed to pull individuals out of the quagmire of their inertia and motivate them towards self-transcending emancipatory struggle for freedom.

* Peter Frase on the perils of wonkery. And then there’s Kotsko’s take:

The NCAA’s Perfectly Fair Rules.

* Despite three generation of survivalist horror in mass media, “Sociologists have shown that people tend to behave very admirably under the pressure of a disaster; panic and anti-social behavior are fairly rare.”

* How student debt (and of course the larger economic collapse) is messing with the larger consumer economy.

“Public higher education, which educates 70 percent of students in the United States, is about to cross a historic threshold,” said Sen. Tom Harkin, an Iowa Democrat and chairman of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. “For the first time ever, students will pay a higher percentage of the operating costs… than state governments.”

But the system of federal financial aid is constructed in such a way that putting together strict “maintenance of effort” requirements — requiring states to keep funding public higher education in order to receive federal dollars — is difficult because states receive relatively little money for higher education from the federal government. As a result, previous maintenance of effort requirements have been “nibbling at the edges,” Madzelan said.

* Who is promoting Alex Jones?

The Gold Collapse Is Personally Costing Ron Paul A Fortune.

* And the headline reads, “New Hampshire Lawmaker Calls All Women ‘Vaginas.’” I mean really.