Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Cormac McCarthy

Sunday Morning

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* Scientific American majorly blows it after one of their writers is called an “urban whore” for declining to write for Biology Online for free. Unreal. When Does an Academic Become a Whore?

* Al-Jeddi: the BBC profiles Arab science fiction.

* The commission is expected to note that for the first time, a grandmother in her 80s can expect to enjoy higher living standards than someone in their 20s even if they are working, due to housing costs and poor wages.

The Air Force on Friday fired the general in charge of all land-based nuclear missiles, the second time in a week that a senior commander of the country’s nuclear arsenal has been let go for allegations of personal misconduct.

Markets are in the end man-made devices for utilitarian purposes, not a force of nature that we should not try to resist.

* Let Them Eat MOOCs.

Seen from this perspective, the techno-democratization of education looks like a cover story for its aristocratization. MOOCs aren’t digital keys to great classrooms’ doors. At best, they are infomercials for those classrooms. At worst, they are digital postcards from gated communities.

Thomas Friedman Writes for the International House of Pancakes Menu.

The Latest Voter Suppression Fad.

* Werner Herzog and Cormac McCarthy talk science and art with Lawrence Krauss. The only way this could be more perfect is if it were all Paul F. Tompkins impersonations.

* And the biggest comics news in years: Marvel To Republish Miracleman From January 2014, To Its Never-Before-Seen Conclusion.

Sunday Night Links

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* False hope watch: Could Obama Win Arizona? Here’s The Math. I’m skeptical this is a possibility, but it’d be great to see the reaction from Fox News if systematic undercounting of Spanish speakers lead to a surprise Obama win.

The 2012 Election in Three Sentences.

Romney can tell you exactly what he wants to do, but barely a word about how he’ll do it. Obama can’t describe what he wants to achieve, but he can tell you everything about how he’ll get it done. It’s a campaign without real policies against a campaign lacking a clear vision.

* The public editor takes up the New York Times‘s complicity with drone warefare.

If millionaires were a political party, that party would make up roughly 3 percent of American families, but it would have a super-majority in the Senate, a majority in the House, a majority on the Supreme Court and a man in the White House. If working-class Americans were a political party, that party would have made up more than half the country since the start of the 20th century. But legislators from that party (those who last worked in blue-collar jobs before entering politics) would never have held more than 2 percent of the seats in Congress.

The irony of the political rise of the plutocrats is that, like Venice’s oligarchs, they threaten the system that created them.

* “It’s all over,” says TC Boyle. “This planet is doomed. In a very short time, we’re probably not even going to have culture or art. We’re going to be living like we’re in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.” In 2000, Boyle published A Friend of the Earth, a novel set in 2025 in a California recently devastated by ecological collapse, where numerous animals have become extinct and rain falls heavily for the majority of the year. “Looking back,” he says, “I should have probably moved the date forward to 2015. We live in a very different world to the one that 19th-century novelists lived in. It’s a godless world, without hope.”

Decriminalise drug use, say experts after six-year study.

University Endowments Face a Hard Landing.

* And I have no idea how Princeton Review cooked up its “twenty most apathetic colleges list,” but they picked Duke for #4, so there must be something to it…

All the Tuesday Night Links, and It’s Really Tuesday This Time, or Maybe Wednesday, Who Can Say

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* I put up a MetaFilter post on the Daniel Tosh rape threat incident that got so much attention today, which is a relatively decent read as Internet comment threads go despite expectedly high rates of rape apologism and mansplaining. Two more good pieces on the subject: zunguzungu’s (…) and Student Activism’s “Goddamn it, Louis.” Here’s Aaron:

The phrase “rape culture” describes the way people don’t get too upset at the thought of a woman being raped. They might even laugh at it. It might seem funny, such a funny word. But nothing about this is just a joke. It’s about devaluing the sanctity of certain people’s security in their person, about refusing to feel bad about it, about taking a pride in it, even. Saying “wouldn’t it be funny if a violent act happened to this person” is almost the definition of how that works. If a terrible thing happened to a person, you say, I would not grieve. I would laugh. Their pain is not worth my empathy, or yours. Their pain makes me stronger, bigger, more important. Their pain is worth nothing.

* The important questions: Could the SHIELD helicarrier actually fly? Could Batman really fly? What would happen if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90% the speed of light? The last one (the first post of Randall Monroe’s new What If? blog) is absolutely not to be missed.

* Call it Kotsko’s Law: Any political ideology putting itself forward as a brave new path beyond the stale opposition of left and right is always going to be either boring old liberalism or else a new variant on fascism.

* Teasing Wes Anderson’s next.

* Tomorrow’s headlines today: here’s the next set of challenges to Obamacare, and it’s even more weaselly and ridiculous than the last round.

* digby:  I think we may actually be coming to the point of debating whether or not to repeal the Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act. And it will fail, of course. At first. The country isn’t there yet. But it will represent one more step in the disintigration of America’s moral fabric (which wasn’t that strong to begin with.) Like torture, it’s in the political ether now, no longer completely taboo. This is how this sort of thing is mainstreamed.

* You can’t believe they didn’t have it already: Obama Offers Health Insurance To Seasonal Firefighters.

Mitt Romney says he wants Sesame Street to start running advertisements.

Suppression vs. Turnout, the 2012 War. Relatedly: Ed Kilgore catches us up on Post-2008 Demographic Changes.

Yelping with Cormac McCarthy.

* U.S. Sees Hottest 12 Months And Hottest Half Year On Record: NOAA Calls Record Heat A One-In-1.6-Million Event. Really astounding coincidence! But you know you can’t predict the weather.

* Confirmed: fracking can pollute.

* It’s the 21st century – why are we working so much? The Politics of Getting a Life. Both via MetaFilter.

* And the worst idea ever put forth by anyone, ever: Let’s Draft Our Kids. Thank you for your submissions. The contest is now closed.

Wednesday Night!

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* So many amazing things happened today, from the simultaneous implosion of both the Perry and Cain campaigns to Occupy Cal and Occupy Harvard to riots at Penn State in support of Joe Paterno (of all people). And I can’t give proper attention to any of these amazing things because I spent 6 hours hanging out with John Hodgman on behalf of the Regulator Bookshop. Here’s a nice interview with the man himself from Independent Weekly‘s Zack Smith.

* Not to pile on poor Rick Perry, but abolishing the Department of Energy doesn’t make sense even on his own terms.

* Needing a weatherman to know which way the wind blows: Young adults agree that college is becoming increasingly unaffordable in today’s economy even as it is becoming more important, according to a recent poll released on Wednesday by Demos and Young Invincibles, two research and advocacy groups.

* For people looking to transition #Occupy back into traditional electoral politics—and for people who want to make sure that doesn’t happen—Occupy Des Moines is going to be pretty important.

* LGM celebrates Wake County’s repudiation of de-integration.

* Some podcasts from the ASA, including my advisor Priscilla Wald’s presidential address on Henrietta Lacks.

* Cormac McCarthy’s Yelp page.

A Conspiracy of Hogs: The McRib as Arbitrage.

* Howard is one of the chief architects of the “Cleveland Model” — an effort to create good jobs in depressed urban neighborhoods by fostering for-profit cooperatives founded on a principle of environmental sustainability. The neighborhoods targeted by Howard’s Evergreen Cooperative Initiative suffer from 40 percent unemployment, but he suggests tossing out any preconceptions one might have about whether or not desperately poor people care about the environment. Howard recounts one cooperative worker telling him, “I thought I’d have to move to Portland to become part of the green revolution, and now I can say that we lead the way in Cleveland.”

* The bastards have stolen your honey.

* And some breaking news via Bitter Laughter: The odds that you’d exist at all are practically zero. So enjoy it! A wise man once said, it ain’t no sin to be glad you’re alive.

An Oldsmobile in a World Yearning for a Prius

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Alexander Narzaryan argues American writers just don’t deserve the Nobel Prize. Of the usual list of Americans only Cormac McCarthy strikes me as a genuine contender, and I don’t know that he’ll ever actually win.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 4, 2011 at 9:10 am

Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence

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Written by gerrycanavan

September 27, 2011 at 10:37 am

A Few Sunday Links

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