Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘conspiracy

Friday Links Part Two Has Sent Layoff Notices to All Employees

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With state funding cut off due to the ongoing budget impasse, Chicago State University has announced all 900 employees, including the university president, are receiving layoff notices. This is stunning.

* On the other side of the country and the other side of pessimism: SFSU pledges to maintain funding for College of Ethnic Studies. “College faculty, however, said the financial boost promised Thursday won’t cover all of its costs.”

* The Secret History of Deadpool.

R-Rated Superhero Stories Are Inherently Revisionist.

* The producers for the new Star Trek series, somewhat wisely, are devoting a lot of effort to heading off preemptive fan revolt.

Academic Drivel Report.

* Nobody ever said creeping fascism has to mean no laughs. Well, maybe one person said.

Sci-Fi/Fantasy “Best Of” Lists: A Visualization.

A Statistical Analysis Of Stephen Colbert’s First 100 Episodes Of ‘The Late Show.’

* And some people just see farther.

Tuesday Links!

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* CLIR-DLF Postdoctoral Fellow in Data Curation for Medieval Studies at UWM.

* By characterizing millennials as lifestyle innovators, the class that owns the media can rebrand living with less as a cool trend for the kids.

David Bowie’s New Video Is 10 Minutes of Sci-Fi Creep.

Mœbius & Jodorowsky’s Sci-Fi Masterpiece, The Incal, Brought to Life in a Tantalizing Animation.

Why science fiction matters to life in the post colony.

* MTA: kind of overdoing a bit, don’t you think?

* A people’s history of yoga. But maybe this story isn’t being reported properly.

* A brief history of suicide.

* From the Wisconsin files: Teen dressed as clown raises concerns in Waukesha.

OK, it’s out of control now. When a major-party presidential frontrunner says this kind of bone-chilling stuff, the joke is over. Friends, I have some terrible news. Trump Tweeted Fabricated Murder Stats From A Neo-Nazi And This Is How The Media Reported It. The media has no idea how to deal with Donald Trump’s constant lying. PS: Trump Built a Monument to a Fake Civil War Battle on His Golf Course. This is all burying the lede, though: Donald Trump has superpowers.

Five people shot near Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis.

Pakistanis target drones with giant posters of child victims.

* Thomas Jefferson is next. I’m amazed he’s emerged unscathed thus far.

* How to escape a dying universe.

* Seems legit: The US Government is Being Sued for Losing a Critical JFK Assassination Film.

Yet no group is more impressed with Edward Snowden than American college students. Even skeptical or indifferent students change their opinions of him when they hear him speak — by Skype — in packed college auditoriums.  

* And the new MST3K is trying really hard to be good. I agree with the commenter who suggested that she should have the Joel/Mike role — and Jonah Ray would be better off as the Mad…

Conspiracy, Dreadful Word / Full of Ominous Reverberations

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No conspiracy, you say?
By what linguistic invention
should I name the act and moment
when crushing cigarette butts
some men convene on that 100% increase
that will take food off our tables
and keep us turning in bed at night
endlessly calculating
our chance to survive.

Via @gavinsaywhat, Sylvia Federici’s “In Praise of Conspiracy Theory.”

Written by gerrycanavan

May 8, 2013 at 8:32 am

Wikileaks as Language Poetry

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At 3 Quarks Daily. The piece takes a rather more skeptical tack than the much-linked zunzuzungu piece that serves as its starting point:

That Wikileaks will have real-world effects is indisputable; they’ve already begun to show themselves. The real question, now, is whether those effects will look anything like what Assange hoped for them in 2006.

The financial analogy gives us reason to be skeptical. By rights the mortgage meltdown should have wiped out half of Wall Street. And yet two years after the worst of it, the banks that caused the crisis are enjoying record profits while the rest of the economy foots the bill: 10% unemployment, frozen federal pay, broke state governments, etc., etc., ad nauseam. The lesson of the crisis was unequivocal: power doesn’t have to play by rights. The State Department of the United States, we can be sure, is quite aware of this.

There’s a deeper sense, however, in which Assange’s 2006 third-order strategy for Wikileaks has to count as naive. His belief that secrecy is the fundamental source of power is a version of the classic category mistake of the internet age: to imagine that the “world” of information simply is the world, that there is no remainder, nothing left to of the latter to overflow or exceed or resist the former. (The Language poets made a similar mistake in suggesting that a stylistic innovation in poetry was predictably convertible into real-world effects.)

Written by gerrycanavan

December 6, 2010 at 12:20 pm

How Wikileaks Works

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Great post from zunguzungu on Julian Assange’s actual goals for Wikileaks, which lie less in exposing already-known misdeeds than in impeding the ability of conspiratorial state and military actors to communicate reliably amongst themselves:

…while an organization structured by direct and open lines of communication will be much more vulnerable to outside penetration, the more opaque it becomes to itself (as a defense against the outside gaze), the less able it will be to “think” as a system, to communicate with itself. The more conspiratorial it becomes, in a certain sense, the less effective it will be as a conspiracy. The more closed the network is to outside intrusion, the less able it is to engage with that which is outside itself (true hacker theorizing).

[…]

Because we all basically know that the US state — like all states — is basically doing a lot of basically shady things basically all the time, simply revealing the specific ways they are doing these shady things will not be, in and of itself, a necessarily good thing. In some cases, it may be a bad thing, and in many cases, the provisional good it may do will be limited in scope. The question for an ethical human being — and Assange always emphasizes his ethics — has to be the question of what exposing secrets will actually accomplish, what good it will do, what better state of affairs it will bring about. And whether you buy his argument or not, Assange has a clearly articulated vision for how Wikileaks’ activities will “carry us through the mire of politically distorted language, and into a position of clarity,” a strategy for how exposing secrets will ultimately impede the production of future secrets. The point of Wikileaks — as Assange argues — is simply to make Wikileaks unnecessary.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 29, 2010 at 12:22 pm