Posts Tagged ‘conspiracy theories’
* 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.
* China Miéville, “On Social Sadism.”
* 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.
* “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.
* 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.
* Nothing beside remains: With U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, American military gear sold as scrap.
* 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.
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.
* 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.
* Thus it has happened that, in the name of preventing invaders, the NSA has itself invaded.
* And five points for Slytherin: Christie withdraws challenge to same-sex marriage ruling in New Jersey, which means it’s the law for good.
* 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.
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.
* A map showing the original meanings of place names in North America. More links below the image.
* 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.
* 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.
* Merit and the academy. Challenging, thoughtful post from Timothy Burke.
* The Atlantic argues the student loan crisis ain’t no thang. I suspect they’re quite literally cribbing from Adam.
* What could possibly go wrong? Utah considering bill to allow the carrying of concealed weapons without a permit.
* According to the Times, the ACLU compiled a 5,000 page report on the SAO, a group of former Minutemen and other right-wingers and violent home-grown fascists, for the benefit of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, “alleging the Federal Bureau of Intelligence recruited a band of right-wing terrorists and supplied them with money and weapons to attack young antiwar demonstrators.”
Dr. Lewandowsky’s survey results suggested that people who rejected climate science were more likely than other respondents to reject other scientific or official findings and buy into assorted fringe theories: that NASA faked the moon landing, that the Central Intelligence Agency killed Martin Luther King Jr., that the AIDS virus was unleashed by the government, and so forth.
This piece of research appeared in a specialized journal in psychological science, but it did not take long to find its way onto climate skeptics’ blogs, setting off howls of derision.
A theory quickly emerged: that believers in climate science had been the main people taking Dr. Lewandowsky’s survey, but instead of answering honestly, had decided en masse to impersonate climate contrarians, giving the craziest possible answers so as to make the contrarians look like whack jobs.
* Forget it, Jake, it’s Pretoria: The South African police replaced the lead investigator in the Oscar Pistorius homicide case on Thursday after embarrassing revelations that he was facing seven charges of attempted murder himself.
* A potentially explosive report has linked the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI to the discovery of a network of gay prelates in the Vatican, some of whom – the report said – were being blackmailed by outsiders.
* A sea change for mass culture: Nielsen Ratings Will Add Streaming Data For Fall 2013.
* Tumblr of the day: Shit Rough Drafts.
* Slavoj Žižek vs. capitalism, round 200. This is almost literally a full rerun.
* Ezra Klein: Obamacare is winning.
* The average prison sentence of men who kill their women partners is 2 to 6 years. Women who kill their partners are sentenced on average to 15 years, despite the fact that most women who kill do so in self-defense.
* World’s greatest Venn diagram: Chemical Elements vs. US States.
* The NCAA, an organization with such open-decision making practices and clear accountability as to provide lessons to the mafia, is forcing a University of Minnesota wrestler to give up his music career or be declared ineligible for profiting off his own image.
* From the too-good-t0-check files: Young Japanese Women Rent Out Their Bare Legs as Advertising Space.
* And we’re going to burn every drop of oil and destroy the future. Gleefully. Enjoy your weekend!