Posts Tagged ‘conspiracy theory’
* Climate work and despair. It’s a tough problem in the classroom, too. Climate change conflicts somehow with an assumed, mandatory pedagogical optimism; the lack of a solution or even a “hope spot” often leaves the class feeling somehow incomplete.
* Ted Chiang in the New Yorker. Great piece.
Beyond this narrow Wikipedian territory, Chiang is reluctant to venture. Although he is amiable and warm, he is also reticent and does not riff. Over several conversations, I learned, in addition, that he owns four cats, goes to the gym three times a week, and regards a small cylindrical seal made of hematite sometime around 1200 B.C. as one of his most treasured possessions—it was a gift from his sister, a reference to “Tower of Babylon.” He told me that, when he was a child, his family celebrated Christmas but wasn’t religious. When I asked Chiang if he had hobbies, he said no, and then, after a long pause, admitted that he plays video games. He refused to say what he eats for breakfast. Eventually, I sent him an e-mail with twenty-four questions that, I hoped, might elicit more personal details:
Do you have a favorite novel?
There isn’t one that I would want to single out as a favorite. I’m wary of the idea of a favorite anything.
You’ve spent many years living near the water. Do you like the sea?
Not particularly. I don’t actually spend much time on the coast; it’s just chance that I happened to move here.
What was the last work of art that made you cry?
Do you consider yourself a sensitive person?
* Conspiracy theories we can believe in: the 19A0s, the suppressed decade between the 1970s and 1980s whose memory has been repressed.
* Can We Really Measure Implicit Bias? Maybe Not. This article certainly supports my implicit bias against these sorts of studies.
* Trumpism: The Devil We Know.
* Today in the hopeless search for some Trump upside: the end of the campus sex bureaucracy.
* How could it possibly get worse? Oh.
* Really good news on the Trek front: Bryan Fuller will be showrunner.
* Bernie, basking in the glow of the victory. 21 Gifts For The Bernie Sanders Supporter In Your Life. Demographics, y’all. The last time someone won New Hampshire by 20 points and didn’t win the nomination. All uphill from here. Even the neoliberal Matt Yglesias. How Hillary Clinton Gets the Coverage She Wants. Nice work if you can get it. And on the other side of the aisle: Never forget.
* Mark Strand: “After Our Planet.”
* I still don’t know if Ta-Nehisi Coates is right about Bernie and reparations, but I’m in for as many issues of Black Panther as he wants to do.
* And speaking of: How an Ex-Slave Successfully Won a Case for Reparations in 1783.
* “Cold War modernism,” then, doesn’t refer to experimental artwork produced between the end of World War II and the Reagan administration, but to “the deployment of modernist art as a weapon of Cold War propaganda by both governmental and unofficial actors as well as to the implicit and explicit understanding of modernism underpinning that deployment.” And, given the archive from which Barnhisel works, this book doesn’t provide Cold War–flavored interpretations of individual modernist works. Instead, it offers an evenhanded explanation of the changing connotation of the term “modernism” as the federal agencies and private foundations listed above sought out an antonym for (Soviet) realism. With this in mind — the afterlife of modernism, instead of its genealogy — the Cold War modernists of the title do not seem to be the painters, sculptors, poets, and novelists who produced the original works, but instead the “governmental and unofficial actors” who produced the federally subsidized midcentury reinterpretation of both individual works and modernism in general, in the name of Cold War politics.
* Chicago’s troubled public school system on Wednesday had to slash the size of one of the biggest “junk” bond offerings the municipal market has seen in years and agree to pay interest costs rivaling Puerto Rico’s in order to lure investors into the deal.
* A player after my own heart: “This strategy involves the use of rules that many people don’t know about, and having the rulebook nearby will speed up the process of dealing with the numerous complaints you’ll receive during the game.”
* Wausau man arrested twice in child sex stings 3 weeks apart. Reminds me of a clip from To Catch a Predator that made the viral media rounds a few years ago.
* “A good start”: FBI Arrests Nearly Every Single Elected Official In A Texas Town.
* Of course you had me at “Lord of the Rings-inspired space opera wants to connect you with African mythology.”
* Truly a Road to Damascus moment: “66-Year-Old Man Struck By Lightning While Masturbating to Bible.”
* You thought 90s nostalgia had gone too far before, but it’s definitely too far now.
* And let us now praise famous men: “3 siblings picking up their daily allowance of bottled water from the Fire Dept in Flint, MI.”
* Posted earlier this morning: The Lives of Animals, Part Two and My Upcoming Courses at Marquette. And apropos of that second link, and today’s start of Infinite Winter: Everything About Everything: David Foster Wallace’s ‘Infinite Jest’ at 20.
* UC Berkeley faculty members are buzzing over news that University of California President Janet Napolitano ordered the installation of computer hardware capable of monitoring all e-mails going in and out of the UC system. More from Remaking the University.
* The President says he’s talking about opportunities, but he’s also talking about outcomes. It’s one thing to want all kids to have access to advanced classes, music instruction, sports teams and volunteer work. It’s another to expect them to take advantage of all of them at the same time. President Obama described Antonio as “doing his part” with his full load of curricular and extracurricular activities, but every student can’t be prepared for college: There just aren’t enough seats. Because admission is limited and competitive, only the top two-thirds or so can be, by definition, prepared for higher education. No matter how hard they work, how brilliant they are, the lowest-scoring cohort will be labeled unprepared and accused of not “doing their part.”
* The university in ruins: The number of job postings the AHA received in 2014-15 was down 8 percent from the prior year. This is the third straight year for which the association is reporting a decline. Job listings are down 45 percent from the 1,064 that the association reported in 2011-12.
* Less than $1 of every $100 in revenue generated by major college athletic departments at public colleges is directed to academic programs, according to a Chronicle analysis of NCAA financial statements.
* We’ll never know for sure exactly what The Owl In Daylight would have looked like had Philip lived to put the story to paper, but it sounds like it would have been a rare happy ending in the Dick canon. “He considered this a sort of capstone to his career,” Tessa says. “The first novel that ends on a note of hope and love.”
* Matt Yglesias is Making Sense: This is a party that has no viable plan for winning the House of Representatives, that’s been pushed to a historic low point in terms of state legislative seats, and that somehow lost the governor’s mansions in New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Illinois.
It’s a party, in other words, that was clearly in need of some dialogue, debate, and contestation over what went wrong and how to fix it. But instead of encouraging such a dialogue, the party tried to cut it off.
* Fan theory of the week: “Leia was sent to Tatooine not only to recruit Obi-Wan but also to be trained as a Jedi.”
* Game of the week: From the makers of the fantastic rymdkapsel, Twofold, Inc.
* And I truly find every aspect of this just totally mind-boggling: At Simon Fraser U, professors were stunned by video university posted on its website that suggested female faculty members could be viewed as sex objects — in the name of saving energy.
* The local beat! The day Milwaukee almost killed the NFL.
* A Bonus Keyword for the Age of Austerity this week: Meritocracy.
* I don’t want to tell anyone how to do their jobs, but this seems sacrilegious to me.
What a time to be alive.
* Teach the controversy: thebeatlesneverexisted.com
* The latest from KSR: What Will It Take for Humans to Colonize the Milky Way?
* The game’s afoot! Something Is Killing Off America’s Orange Supply.
* Throw a save against narcissistic self-regard: “Role-playing Gamers Have More Empathy Than Non-Gamers.”
* 2016 pessimism watch: Democrats are in more trouble than they think. And changing demographics won’t save them.
* Life in the 21st Century, Part One: Reporters From Nevada’s Largest Newspaper Demand To Know Who Owns Their Company.
* And Part Two: Threats Made To Spoil Star Wars: The Force Awakens Unless Demands Are Met. The Chrome Anti-Star-Wars-Spoiler Extension Will Be With You, Always. (It actually pings the first link, but I think it was just seeing the words “Star Wars” and “spoil” in close proximity.)
* While we all take courses “outside” our field at some point, we generally sort ourselves into two groups pretty early: people who study American literature and people who study British literature. And, by the end of graduate school, we have become people who teach Introduction to American Literature and people who teach Introduction to British Literature. Finally, we become people who apply for jobs in American literature and British literature.
* Tracy even sent us a certified letter demanding proof that Noah once lived, that we were his parents, and that we were the rightful owner of his photographic image. We found this so outrageous and unsettling that we filed a police report for harassment. Once Tracy realized we would not respond, he subjected us to ridicule and contempt on his blog, boasting to his readers that the “unfulfilled request” was “noteworthy” because we had used copyright claims to “thwart continued research of the Sandy Hook massacre event.” More here.
* Josh and Jessica review “self defense” under Common Law and the Model Penal Code in analyzing whether Han Solo was legally justified in shooting Greedo first in the original Star Wars (Episode IV).
* “We must get to Mars before World War Three kicks off.” Well there’s a rallying cry!