Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘corruption

Thursday Links!

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* The gritty reality of this world: Marquette University student commencement address from Ben Zellmer, MU Health Sciences ’18.

* The people who buy into the idea of eugenics and racial supremacy—the alt-right and their fellow travellers—will sooner or later have to come to terms with the inevitability of anthropogenic climate change. Right now climate denialism is a touchstone of the American right, but the evidence is almost impossible to argue against right now and it’s increasingly obvious that many of the people who espouse disbelief are faking it—virtue signalling on the hard right. Sooner or later they’ll flip. When they do so, they will inevitably come to the sincere, deeply held belief that culling the bottom 50% to 90% of the planetary population will give them a shot at survival in the post-greenhouse world. Charlie Stross predicts the 21st century.

* My colleague C.J. Hribal’s essay “Do I Look Sick To You? (Notes on How to Make Love to a Cancer Patient)” has won a Pushcart Prize.

* Sure! Why not.

* We did it! Eighties Babies Are Officially the Brokest Generation, Federal Reserve Study Concludes.

* CFP: Indiana Jones and the Edited Collection. CFP: Blackness and Disability. CFP: Essays on Transmedia Storytelling, Tabletop Role-Playing, and Fandom.

WISCON 42! “Doing Justice To The Archive: The Octavia E. Butler Papers.”

* There is only one Trump scandal.

* Stolen election pays big dividends.

* No one could have predicted this shocking turn of events.

* I’ll belabor a few other issues that reduce philanthropy’s net returns to the University.  Fund-raising cost indices suggest that the overhead for raising a dollar is about 20 cents, so initial net is perhaps 80 percent of the gross figures we publish.  Many gifts leverage matching funds from the University, so the true net after costs is quite a bit less than that, or even negative (UCLA’s Luskin Center received a generous donation of $40 million for a project with overall costs of $162 million).   There are other subtractions: the doubling of UC fundraising needs to cover nearly 30 percent more students with inflation lowering the take another 20 percent over that ten year period.   There are institutional burdens: the donor model has spawned hundreds of school, program, and department-level fundraising programs across the UC system, whose costs in time, money, and loss of resources for the educational core have not been calculated.  More indirectly, talking up private funding may encourage the state not to rebuild public funding to 21st century requirements.  (This is a feedback loop that, given years of inadequate annual general fund increases, UC officials should consider seriously.)  And this is not an exhaustive list of issues.

* Profession: The Sky Is Falling.

Scandal after scandal focuses scrutiny on USC leadership, culture.

* Against teaching evals.

This Professor Was Accused Of Sexual Harassment For Years. Then An Anonymous Online Letter Did What Whispers Couldn’t.

The Best Question To Ask on the Last Day of Class.

* Why does the head of a NY labor studies center get no job protections? SUNY has some explaining to do.

‘Jesus never charged a leper a co-pay’: the rise of the religious left.

* Traditional Disobedience: Renewing the Legacy of Catholic Activism.

After decades of dwarfs and elves, writers of color redefine fantasy.

* Magic: The Gathering and capitalism.

* Killing All Humans: A Flowchart.

David Foster Wallace was terrible to women.

The Two Crucial Filmmaking Elements Causing All Your Movie Feuds.

* Arrested Development season five has been managed so badly by Hurwitz and Netflix that it’s practically begging to be boycotted. More here.

* Marvel and the End of Counterprogramming.

* HBO’s Watchmen series sounds worse than I imagined.

What Deadpool 2’s fridging controversy says about comics culture’s gender gap.

* Two Americans were detained by a Border Patrol agent after he heard them speaking Spanish. Gay Army chaplain struggles to save husband from deportation. Trump Gang Dragnet Caught a Teen Who ICE Said Looked Like He Was in MS-13. He Wasn’t. “They look so innocent. They’re not innocent.”

* Breaking #MAGA: A man posed for months as an ICE agent. A traffic stop led his girlfriend to unravel the truth.

* Jordan Peterson, The Intellectual We Deserve.

* Shock: 2013 Chicago School Closings Failed To Help Students.

The Privacy Scandal That Should Be Bigger Than Cambridge Analytica. Amazon is selling police departments a real-time facial recognition system.

* Milwaukee cops abuse NBA star Sterling Brown. New York Jets chairman, brother of Trump ambassador, says he’ll pay fines for team players who protest during anthem.

He went to an in-network emergency room. He still ended up with a $7,924 bill.

* Immortality. Statement of teaching philosophy. Can YOU hit the bullseye?

* And huge, if true: America’s Version of Capitalism Is Incompatible With Democracy.

Sunday Morning Links!

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Announcing the 2017 Nebula Awards Winners!

* Austerity is a discipline. Conform, or be disciplined.

* This is relatable content.

* Star Trek: The Next Generation: Reimagined.

The Voyager and the TOS ones are also inspired.

* Is it weird for conservatives to like Star Trek?

Janelle Monáe’s body of work is a masterpiece of modern science fiction.

The Dark Forest and Its Discontents: Cixin Liu’s “Death’s End.”

But no matter what, this happened to Gamora. A lifetime of torment and victimhood, all leading up to the horror of her final moments—her horrified realization that her tormentor is able to use her broken body as the gateway to his ultimate desire because what he feels for her is truly love. The film accepts this, never questions it, even creates its own tortured reasoning for it, and asks you to trust that reasoning. It’s Time to Talk About Marvel’s Gamora Problem.

Arrested Development’s Mitch Hurwitz addresses why Jeffrey Tambor is staying on the show. Well that should lay all questions to rest. And elsewhere in apologetics for things that probably can’t be defended: Deadpool 2 Writers Defend Treatment of Female Characters.

Michigan State Just Agreed to Pay $500 Million to Settle Sexual-Abuse Claims. Where Will It Find the Money? Meanwhile they’re using the settlements to bully survivors into silence.

The current situation of the United States is obscene, insane, and incredible. If someone had pitched it for a thriller novel or film a few years ago, they would’ve been laughed out of whatever office their proposal made it to because fiction ought to be plausible. It isn’t plausible that a solipsistic buffoon and his retinue of petty crooks made it to the White House, but they did and there they are, wreaking more havoc than anyone would have imagined possible, from environmental laws to Iran nuclear deals. It is not plausible that the party in control of the federal government is for the most part a kleptomaniac criminal syndicate. The Coup Has Already Happened.

* It’s never going to end.

Yes, Donald Trump Is Making White People More Hateful.

A bug in cell phone tracking firm’s website leaked millions of Americans’ real-time locations.

* Seems about right.

The Most Popular Board Game the Year You Were Born.

What Stories Could An Aragorn-Driven Amazon Series Tell?

* The Handmaid’s Tale was a documentary.

* Just imagine how unwatchable the Marvel Cinematic Universe would have been in the 1990s.

* Everything you ever wanted to know about Donkey Kong. Everything.

How Onscreen Sex Sounds Are Made, From Kissing to Hand Jobs.

* “The iconic scent of Play-Doh is now an officially registered trademark.”

What Explains U.S. Mass Shootings? International Comparisons Suggest an Answer. The problem is guns. It’s the Guns. This Is School in America Now. 2018 has been deadlier for schoolchildren than service members. Siri, summarize a failed state in three sentences.

* That this executive is being charged with fraud rather than attempted murder just says so much.

The Greensboro Massacre of 1979, Explained.

* Being Frank R. Paul.

By late next year, bitcoin could be consuming more electricity than all the world’s solar panels currently produce — about 1.8 percent of global electricity, according to a simple extrapolation of the study’s predictions. That would effectively erase decades of progress on renewable energy.

* A mere 400 months in a row.

* And on the pedestal these words appear.

Tuesday Morning Links

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A new documentary will explore the life and legacy of Ursula K. Le Guin.

* Janelle Monáe on Octavia Butler and Afrofuturism at Spotify.

How copyright law hides work like Zora Neale Hurston’s new book from the public.

But now, a humanities education—designed to inculcate intellectual curiosity and humanistic empathy—serves no purpose, especially beside such plainly better-compensated and culturally respectable real-world pursuits as vocational and managerial training. In other words today’s neoliberal order is fine with revised canons, and with more inclusive, multicultural understandings of the world—but not with public money supporting something so seemingly useless as the humanities. In the age of neoliberalism, conservatives have briskly abandoned their traditionalist defense of the Western canon in favor of no canon at all. Culture warriors on both sides have been overtaken by events. A bipartisan neoliberal consensus that emphasizes job training as education’s sine qua non now dominates the landscape. The Culture Wars Are Dead! Long Live the Culture Wars.

* Among the Hottest Job Markets on Campus: Police Officer.

* Call for papers: Call for Papers: Capitalism, Social Science and the Platform University.

* Massacre in Gaza.

A mother and child fled Congo fearing death. ICE has held them separately for months, lawsuit says.

A DACA Recipient Graduates Amid Deportation Fears.

* The drug war is (still) a race war.

* Black Panther and the Black Panthers, at NYRoB.

* Sweet Briar Milkshake Ducked awfully fast.

* Social media has come under increasing scrutiny for reinforcing people’s pre-existing viewpoints which, it is argued, can create information “echo chambers.” We investigate whether social media motivates real-life action, with a focus on hate crimes in the United States. We show that the rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes since Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has been concentrated in counties with high Twitter usage. Consistent with a role for social media, Trump’s Tweets on Islam-related topics are highly correlated with anti-Muslim hate crime after, but not before the start of his presidential campaign, and are uncorrelated with other types of hate crimes. These patterns stand out in historical comparison: counties with many Twitter users today did not consistently experience more anti-Muslim hate crimes during previous presidencies.

Carceral Capitalism: A Conversation with Jackie Wang.

* Indigenous Canadians sue the Canadian government over decades of secret, involuntary, inhumane medical experiments.

* If people on food stamps made Jared Kushner’s paperwork mistakes, they might starve.

* Not even 18 months in and they’ve completely dropped all pretense.

* There could be life on Europa, and they only have water cannons.

* Video games as archive.

Cobbled together in America by Americans, and inspired by contractual obligations and market demands, nothing about the Hey Jude album was “authentic.” 

Two X-Men fan letters from 1976, one who thinks Chris Claremont’s new run can only be saved by jettisoning the diverse cast, the other from a woman of color glad to see herself represented in the pages of her favorite comic. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

* Jim Starlin vs. Marvel.

* Westworld against libertarianism.

Workfare for the Private Equity Crew.

* In Praise of Alien3. I heard from a lot of these folks when I compared Infinity War to Alien3 the other week.

The misassigned voters lived in a predominantly African American precinct that heavily favored Democrats in the fall, raising the possibility that they would have delivered the district to Simonds had they voted in the proper race.

A Jury Acquitted The First Group To Stand Trial On Inauguration Rioting Charges. Prosecutors Are Trying Again.

* So inspiring: Disgraced congressman gets a second chance.

For Peterson, the purpose of our politics and books and films and TV is to protect us from the feminine, which is a crazy and destabilizing energy. Certain culture is good for the brain and certain culture is bad, making you antisocial and destructive. Peterson loves both Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, stories in which men save sleeping women with a kiss, and hates Frozen, a film in which Prince Hans turns out to be the bad guy. Frozen has “no understanding whatsoever of the underlying archetypal dynamics,” he explained in Time this year. We must tell the same ancient story over and over, Peterson says, or we will all go insane.

* Literally no one could have predicted: Arrested Development’s Season 4 “Remix” Is an Experiment Gone Horribly Wrong.

* There’s nothing the human race can’t achieve.

* Retirement policy is basically alchemy.

* Self-driving cars are human experimentation.

* Defending the indefensible: What Isle of Dogs Gets Right About Japan.

* How you’re gonna die, by the numbers.

* The past isn’t over, it isn’t even past.

* Spoiler alert.

* And nothing gold can stay: goodbye, Peppa Pig.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 15, 2018 at 9:00 am

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All Your Sunday Reading™

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* Call for applications: Postdoctoral Scholar for Futures of Literary and Cultural Knowledge, UCSB.

* Call for Papers: “Binge-Watching and the Future of Television Research: A Workshop” Sept 13-14, 2018, at Anglia Ruskin University.

* Studying Tolkien fanzines at Marquette University.

* I make a by-the-way appearance on this massive roundup of Infinity War links.

* What is an English professor?

The Enduring Anger of Joanna Russ.

* Bonkers Wisconsin tax policy error in my favor.

Massive UC workers’ strike disrupts dining, classes and medical services. UC Workers on Strike. After 3-Day Strike, University Of California’s Service Workers Vow To Keep Fighting.

A Duke University VP Walked Into the Campus Joe Van Gogh, Heard a Rap Song, Demanded That the Employees Be Fired. The icing on the cake. Well, actually, this is.

* If you’re worried about free speech on campus, don’t fear students — fear the Koch brothers.

Why universities became big-time real estate developers.

* Stephen Kuusisto on ableism in the university.

White student calls police on black student napping in Yale dorm. When Calling the Police Is a Privilege.

Academia’s #MeToo moment: Women accuse professors of sexual misconduct. 45 Stories of Consent on Campus. The #MeToo movement hit the literary world hard this week. It’s not the first time.

* (Another) progressive case against the progressive case for the SAT.

Never-ending nightmare: why feminist dystopias must stop torturing women.

* In 2011, Minnesota got a liberal governor and Wisconsin got a conservative one. Who was better off?

What genuine, no-bullshit ambition on climate change would look like.

* Your workplace is killing you.

Intrigue and Drama on the Han Solo Set. Catch the fever!

* One of the most purely destructive things Trump has yet done. Early days though, early days. Evergreen.

* Taking parents from their children is a form of state terror. Black activist jailed for his Facebook posts speaks out about secret FBI surveillance. An upcoming Supreme Court ruling could force all workers into forced arbitration, deprived of the right to class lawsuits. Trump Administration Wants to Train Teens in ‘Hazardous’ Jobs. Mar-a-Lago isn’t the ‘Winter White House.’ It’s just an embarrassing cash grab. A taxonomy of Michael Cohen and potential Trump corruption. How Michael Cohen Cashed In. It’s harder to pay off foreign governments than the US one. Breaking Down Gina Haspel’s Tense Confirmation Hearing. Trumpism Is Having Its Best Week Ever. We know a lot about Trump’s misdeeds. But most of all we know there’s more to come.

* How bananas is this Schneiderman story going to get? Man.

* And isn’t it pretty to think so?

’We Can Make Him Disappear’: The Power of County Sheriffs.

In One Year, 57,375 Years of Life Were Lost to Police Violence. Plainclothes NYPD Cops Are Involved in a Staggering Number of Killings.

* How to Survive the First Hour of a Nuclear Attack. Wow, a whole hour!

The Story Behind FanCon’s Controversial Collapse.

Social media copies gambling methods ‘to create psychological cravings.’

* Democrats against the gig economy. The Politics of Full Employment.

It’s Not a Food Desert, It’s Food Apartheid.

The Brooklyn Comedian Whose Joke About ICE Got Him a Visit From Homeland Security. ICE Breaking into Home: “We’ll Show You the Warrant When We’re Done.”

The “Maddening Labyrinth” Aging NFL Players Face for Dementia Compensation.

America’s largest pork producer pledged to make its meat more humane. An investigation says it didn’t.

* England revving up for a Corbyn prime ministership.

There’s No Good Excuse For The Racist Impact Of Michigan’s Medicaid Proposal. Almost as if… there’s no excuse at all…

* From blood diamonds to blood healing crystals.

* It sounds like my dream of a Bill & Ted parody of the trend towards grimdark 80s revivals is gonna come true.

* 10 Years of Speed Racer.

* What CBS found when it bought four random used photocopiers.

How political and media elites legitimized torture.

#Comicsgate: How an Anti-Diversity Harassment Campaign in Comics Got Ugly—and Profitable.

* The Americans in Russia.

* The science of Baby Groot.

* Afrofuturist 419.

You Won’t Like The Consequences Of Making Pluto A Planet Again.

New York Court Says Chimps Aren’t People—But a Judge Is Not Happy About It.

The dream of communism is the elimination of wage labor. If AI is bound to serve society instead of private capitalists, it promises to do so by freeing an overwhelming majority from such drudgery while creating wealth to sustain all.

* This is relatable content.

Imagine that it’s 2044, and everyone is still listening to Duran Duran.

* Sometimes you just need two men.

* And in the advanced Turing test, the machine convinces you that it is conscious and you aren’t.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 13, 2018 at 9:25 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Monday Morning Links!

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* Discovery vs. the canon. All of these so-called violations can be solved with creative thinking, you cowards!

* The day Star Trek: The Next Generation was truly invented.

This is not the dystopia we were promised. Philip K. Dick and the Fake Humans.

* I really think every person who has anything to do with assessment knows it is completely meaningless but fears some other actor in the system who they think truly believes in it. Great piece from the Chronicle on just how bad it is.

* Natalie Portman on being 13 in Hollywood. Five strategies of sexual harassers.

* Monopsony in America.

* Today in the NYPD.

* Kalamazoo doctor detained by ICE after forty years in the US. ICE looks to be targeting Niec, despite a permanent green card, due to some misdemeanor property damage convictions from 17 years ago.

* Rethinking Truman.

We remember Truman primarily as the person who was president when the atomic bombs were first used. We should also remember him, as I have argued before, as the person who ordered that the atomic bombs stop being used. And the person who, over the course of his presidency, did the most to establish that atomic bombs were not weapons to be deployed lightly ever again. One might see this as irony, but in my interpretation, it is not: it the reaction of someone who realized he had been badly out of the loop once, and wore that on his conscience, and determined it would not happen again.

* What it’s like to be a convicted felon.

* The Corruption Thesis, dystopia, and authoritarianism.

Invasion of the German Board Games.

I say all this because I think it’s important to bear in mind when considering the substantial subset of UCB that doesn’t get paid for its labor: the improvisors, stand-ups and sketch comics who perform nightly at its theaters. All of them work for free, and often at a loss. To perform on a UCB house team, you must complete UCB’s core curriculum, or four courses at $450-500 apiece. You must also be approved for study in an Advanced Study course—another $450-500. (Through its diversity scholarships, UCB waives these fees for 175 students each year). That’s at least $2,250 and at most $2,500 simply to be eligible to audition for UCB’s flagship Harold and Lloyd teams. If you make it, which you probably won’t, the costs continue to accrue. Members of UCB’s house teams are required to pay their coaches, and many also pay for rehearsal spaces and props. They do not recoup these costs.

Republicans want to make it easier to kill whales and dolphins.

* As metaphors go, it’s a little on the nose.

* And the New York Times asking the tough questions: Formidable tail weaponry is nearly absent in living animals. Scientists have an explanation for what happened to the clubbed tails of the ankylosaurus or the spikes on a stegosaurus.

Tuesday Morning Links!

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* The course descriptions for Marquette’s Fall 2017 English classes are up at the department website. Check them out! I’m teaching Tolkien and a grad seminar on utopia. 

* Also in Marquette news! Marquette to host ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ conference in April.

Becoming a parent forces you to think about the nature of the problem — which is, in a lot of ways, the problem of nature […] the realities of aging and sickness and mortality become suddenly inescapable. […] [My wife] said something during that time I will never forget. “If I had known how much I was going to love him,” she said, “I’m not sure I would have had him.” Mark O’Connell on transhumanism and immortality.

* From the great Ali Sperling: Reading Lovecraft in the Anthropocene. And this review of Alan Moore’s Jerusalem from the great David Higgins!

* Adam Roberts reviews New York 2140. Another review, from a climate scientist. And an interview with Stan. My review comes out in LARB this weekend…

The Most Cringeworthy Monuments to Colleges’ Innovation Jargon.

Perverse outcomes: UC Berkeley deletes 20,000 audio and visual lectures in the name of compliance with the ADA.

Speculative Fiction and Survival in Iraq.

* Is it really so hard to understand that when your students go broke just trying to graduate they aren’t exactly moved to donate later?

harcourt_fenton_mudd_2267* The liberal arts at Harvey Mudd College, whose graduates out-earn Harvard and Stanford.

* You-might-be-from-Wisconsin-if at Ask MetaFilter.

President Roosevelt signed the order on February 19, 1942, almost exactly 75 years ago. By spring, American citizens would be arriving at the Fresno and Pinedale camps: our neighbors.

* Wisconsin is apparently harassing trans state employees.

* Chaos, again. This is fine. Even James Comey. Twilight of Reince Preibus. Ten Questions for President Trump. Ten More Questions for President Trump. Remember when it was scandalous that Obama, years before he became a politician, once sold his house?

It is through the Justice Department that the administration is likely to advance its nationalist plans — to strengthen the grip of law enforcement, raise barriers to voting and significantly reduce all forms of immigration, promoting what seems to be a longstanding desire to reassert the country’s European and Christian heritage. It’s not an accident that Sessions, who presumably could have chosen from a number of plum assignments, opted for the role of attorney general. The Department of Justice is the most valuable perch from which to transform the country in the way he and Bannon have wanted. With an exaggerated threat of disorder looming, the nation’s top law-enforcement agency could become a machine for trying to fundamentally change who gets to be an American and what rights they can enjoy.

The emerging effort — dozens more rules could be eliminated in the coming weeks — is one of the most significant shifts in regulatory policy in recent decades. It is the leading edge of what Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, described late last month as “the deconstruction of the administrative state.”

* “Forever war, but too much.”

An Afghan family of five that had received approval to move to the United States based on the father’s work for the American government has been detained for more than two days after flying into Los Angeles International Airport, a legal advocacy group said in court documents filed on Saturday. Profiles of immigrant arrested in Austin. Thousands of ICE detainees claim they were forced into labor, a violation of anti-slavery laws. (Note this lawsuit was filed in 2014.This Stunningly Racist French Novel Is How Steve Bannon Explains The World. And if it were a book, it’d seem laughably contrived: A letter written in 1905 by Friedrich Trump, Donald Trump’s grandfather, to Luitpold, prince regent of Bavaria. Resisting ICE. Here we go again.

* 4chan and the Great Meme War.

* Russia and the Cyber Cold War.

* And while we’re on the subject: The Basic Formula For Every Shocking Russia/Trump Revelation. I think this is a very good reminder of the need to stay calm and detached from the chaos of the news cycle.

Instead, a new model is proposed: the president keeps everyone in a constant state of excitement and alarm. He moves fast and breaks things. He leads by causing commotion. As energy in the political system rises he makes no effort to project calm or establish an orderly White House. And if he keeps us safe it’s not by being himself a safe, steady, self-controlled figure, but by threatening opponents and remaining brash and unpredictable— maybe a touch crazy. This too is psychological work, but of a different kind.

* Democrats keep trusting demographics to save them. It hasn’t worked yet — but maybe this time…

NASA unveils plan to give Mars an ‘Earth-like’ atmosphere.

House Republicans Unveil Bill To Repeal Obamacare. The GOP health bill doesn’t know what problem it’s trying to solve.

Austerity measures don’t actually save money. But they do disempower workers. Which is why governments pursue them in the first place.

* No! It can’t be! Researchers have found strong evidence that racism helps the GOP win.

* Losing West Virginia.

Contrary to What You Learned in Sex Ed, You Can Get Pregnant While Pregnant.

* Mid-decade gerrymander in Georgia.

* Autism and Addiction.

* What We’ve Learned from Giving Dolphins LSD.

In a world first, a teenager with sickle cell disease achieved complete remission after an experimental gene therapy at Necker Children’s Hospital in Paris, researchers say.

* Possible lynching outside Seattle, in 2017.

* The end of suburbia.

* In the richest country in human history, children have “lunch debt.”

The only way in which a game is guaranteed to end is when the player abandons their device. Everything else is game design.

“These devices don’t have emotional intelligence,” said Allison Druin, a University of Maryland professor who studies how children use technology. “They have factual intelligence.” How millions of kids are being shaped by know-it-all voice assistants.

* Finding a jury of your peers in a racially segregated society.

* A colony in a nation.

Divination hasn’t disappeared; it’s taken over the world.

But these second-order obstacles aren’t enough to explain the current collapse of poll-driven political certainty. They’re just excuses, even if they’re not untrue. Something about the whole general scheme of polling—the idea that you can predict what millions of undecided voters will do by selecting a small group and then just simply asking them—is out of whack. We need to think seriously about what the strange game of election-watching actually is, in terms of our relation to the future, our power to choose our own outcomes, the large-scale structure of the universe, and the mysteries of fate. And these questions are urgent. Because predictions of the future don’t simply exist in the future, but change the way we act in the present. Because in our future something monstrous is rampaging: it paces hungrily toward us, and we need to know if we’ll be able to spot it in time.

When I said that opinion polls are sibyls and soothsayers, it wasn’t just a figure of speech. Opinion polling has all the trappings of a science—it has its numbers and graphs, its computational models, its armies of pallid drones poring over the figures. It makes hypotheses and puts them to the test. But polls are not taken for what they are: a report on what a small number of people, fond of changing their minds, briefly pretended to think. Instead, we watch the tracking graphs as if the future were playing itself out live in front of us. The real structure of the electoral-wonk complex is more mystical than materialist: it’s augury and divination, a method handed down by Prometheus to a starving and shivering humanity at the faint dawn of time. Behind all the desktop screens and plate-glass of his office, the buzz of data and the hum of metrics, Nate Silver retreats to a quiet, dark, and holy room. He takes the knife and slits in one stroke the throat of a pure-white bull; its blood arcs and drizzles in all directions. He examines its patterns. And he knows.

There’s a never-ending fount of stories you can write about when someone is breaking away from canon or not, and create many controversies all the way through preproduction and production and even until a movie opens, about whether or not they’re breaking canon. Is it a blasphemous movie or not? At some point, you gotta stop and say, Is there this expectation that it’s like we’re doing Godfather Part I and II, only it’s going to nine movies? And we’re just gonna cut them into this kind of Berlin Alexanderplatz that never ends? We’re gonna suddenly take a moment to really savor the fact that these movies exist in an identical tone? The reality to me is that you can’t have interesting movies if you tell a filmmaker, “Get in this bed and dream, but don’t touch the pillows or move the blankets.” You will not get cinema. You will just get a platform for selling the next movie on that bed, unchanged and unmade. James Mangold on Logan.

* The making of The Silmarillion.

* And we have but one choice: the Ring must be destroyed.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 7, 2017 at 9:00 am

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Weekend Links!

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c5zayqzuwailjt1* Angela Davis at Marquette, March 29.

CFP: From Sanctuary to Sabotage: Fighting the Fascist Creep at and beyond Universities.

“Virtually nothing about our standard model of sleep existed as we know it two centuries ago.”

* Modern love.

20 Years Ago, Starship Troopers Showed Us What Happens When Fascism Wins.

11 things I learned about academia by analysing 14 million RateMyProfessor reviews.

tumblr_om94ksmnrs1romv9co1_250* Remember that Iowa lawmaker who wanted to purge universities of Democrats? Guess what!

* When the CIA read Foucault.

* Nice, low-key interview with Kim Stanley Robinson on Flash Forward TV.

Abigail Nussbaum walks you through her Hugo short fiction nominations.
* Trump and the Myth of Nuclear Flexibility.

* Trump, Putin, and the New Cold War.

* My alma mater in the news!

* America divided into states with the population of California. Which is to say, if we allow ourselves a crudely democratic understanding of what representative democracy should be, there would only be 16 senators in a Senate that fairly represented people living in California.

america

America has locked up so many black people it has warped our sense of reality.

* Exiting the Roach Motel, or, What’s the Matter with the Democratic Party?

The Democratic Party is a roach motel for leftists. We go in full of vision and energy, like the Sanders kids, like the Ellison supporters, and we get crushed and stuck in the slime. Sanders and Ellison had to play by the rules and call for continuing support for the Dems after their losses. Having played the game, they were stuck with the rules in the roach motel. Once you go in, you may never come out.

* Slavery and the academy.

* Twilight of the meritocrats.

* Palantir and ICE. Freeze on H-1B Visas. Customs Giving Literacy Tests At JFK Is A Thing Now. Deportation fears impacting criminal case. Don’t Get Your Undocumented Friends in Trouble: A How-To. Are you listening, SXSW?

* White House aide Sebastian Gorka said Wednesday that objections to President Donald Trump’s creation of a new office to highlight crimes committed by undocumented immigrants are “un-American.” All right, then, I’ll go to Hell….

* “Accompanied by his wife Jessica, a U.S. citizen who is six months pregnant with their first child.” Trump administration considering separating women, children at U.S.-Mexico border. Detained after a press conference, Daniela Vargas was seven when she came to the U.S. A 13-Year-Old Girl Sobbed While Recording Her Immigrant Father Get Arrested By ICE Agents. ICE Plans To Deport Oregon Immigrant With 5 Children, No Criminal Background. Immigration agents deport Houston father of two who previously held immigration reprieve. After Decades In The U.S., NY Immigrant With Years-Old Pot Misdemeanor Faces Deportation. Does even a single person with a conscience work for this administration?

* Kushner and Flynn. Two other Trump advisers also spoke with Russian envoy during GOP convention. Your cheat sheet to four potential investigations of Russia and President Trump. Mysteries of Jeff Sessions. Recusal is not enough. Isn’t it pretty to think so? The Innocent Explanation. Why Trump Sounding ‘Presidential’ Only Makes Him More Dangerous. Style and Substance. Trumpism and heroism. You Cretins Are Going To Get Thousands Of People Killed. This one broke while I was tagging the post.

* Hard to blame them: European Parliament votes to end visa-free travel for Americans.

* Four mosques have burned in seven weeks. Nearly half of the country’s Jewish community centers have received bomb threats in 2017. Today’s arrest (an apparent copycat) covered less than 10% of that.

* Destroying the planet is too important to let a silly little thing like national borders get in the way. The end of the Great Lakes. Gutting the Chesapeake Bay. Massive Permafrost Thaw Documented in Canada, Portends Huge Carbon Release. Antarctica hits record high temperature at balmy 63.5°F.

* The rich are different: they control everything.

* Adam Roberts rereads The Time Machine.

* The Feminist Bookstore Movement.

* Fascinated by this: Price of Lab-Grown Burger Falls from $325K to $11.36.

* A rough stat from up the street: Only 1 in 5 black students enrolled at UW-Milwaukee graduates in 6 years.

* Team Plagiarizes Golden State Warriors. Team Is Undefeated.

* Could different borders save Europe?

“We concluded that Ms. Conway acted inadvertently and is highly unlikely to do so again,” he wrote. “Ms. Conway has acknowledged her understanding of the standards and has reiterated her commitment to abiding by them in the future.”

* A diabetic boy’s parents ‘didn’t believe in doctors.’ Now they’re guilty of his murder.

* Are the Yuuzhan Vong coming back?

After oil was discovered on their Oklahoma reservation, the Osage Nation became the richest people per capita in the world. Then they began to be murdered off mysteriously. In 1924 the nascent FBI sent a team of undercover agents, including a Native American, to the Osage reservation.

* 69 Cock Lane is yours for £449,950, but is it Britain’s naughtiest address?

* Study: half of the studies you read about in the news are wrong (And yes, this could be one of them).

* This is the future liberals want. Though of course the meme is good too.

* But not this one: “basically a Fitbit for your man bits that tracks thrust speed and velocity.”

* Disney is super proud of itself for this incredibly progressive leap forward. Next: Scar, Ursula, and Captain Hook were all gay, too!

* There’s nothing sweet in life: Protesting Dr. Seuss Week.

* Nobody hates college more than the people who run colleges.

A transgender boy just won the Texas girls’ state wrestling championship.

* No More Saturday Marches. While the Iron Is Hot: The Case for the Women’s Strike.

* The line must be drawn — here!

* Ethical zoo.

* A People’s History of Daria.

These colleges are better than Harvard at making poor kids rich.

* George W. Bush, with the soul of an artist.

* Massive Open Online Rubber Arrow through the Head.

* You know what? Fine.

* Statement of teaching philosophy.

* This week’s I Was There Too interviews someone I’ve always wondered about, the actor who replaced Crispin Glover in Back to the Future Part Two. The Biff episode was good too though if you follow Back to the Future arcana you’ve probably heard a lot of it before.

* Trump’s worst crime is forcing me to agree with David Frum.

* Neoliberalism in everything: “Ark Encounter doesn’t live up to economic promise.”

* NASA’s about to learn a valuable lesson about the Internet.

* And the positive reviews have done it: I’m going to ruin my career and buy a Nintendo Switch so I can play the new Zelda.

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Written by gerrycanavan

March 4, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Fritrump Links!

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* Trump’s America Conference at University College Dublin.

* Midwest area research opportunity: Horatio Alger Fellowship for the Study of American Popular Culture, Northern Illinois University.

* See Marquette University’s $600M plan to transform its Milwaukee campus.

Teens sue Wisconsin over nightmare conditions in juvenile jails.

Like everyone, I mocked the tweet. Deep down, I never thought it could happen to me. Now I wish I had stopped to think things through, because I didn’t know how to respond. A terrorist had actually kidnapped my baby. By all indications, he had rigged the poor little tyke with a bomb set to go off in one hour. Somehow, miraculously, I had wound up in the same room with him. And now I faced a terrible choice: do I torture the terrorist, or let my baby be blown up, by the bomb that he had rigged the baby with, and then left the baby at some remote location while winding up in a situation where he could be tortured by me?

Starvation in northern Nigeria’s Borno State is so bad that a whole slice of the population — children under 5 — appears to have died, aid agencies say.

* Amazing Twitter project: @Stl_Manifest.

It is for the rest of us to add justice and peace to that list and to end the forever war and all the death, torture, pain, and hatred it has caused.

* Behold, the Trump boom!

* Behold @realRealDukat.

* Astoundingly Complex Visualization Untangles Trump’s Business Ties. Trump: the lie list. Trump’s phone as security risk. Trump and the Republicans Are on a Suicide Mission Together. The entire senior level of management officials resigned Wednesday, part of an ongoing mass exodus of senior Foreign Service officers who don’t want to stick around for the Trump era. You’re a little late. Is Trump Morally Unfit or Are We Facing a Constitution Crisis? Pretty dick move, Germany. This one’s unreal even by Trump standards. Sad! One week down.

* Not only is Obama, at only fifty-five, set to have one of the longest post-presidential careers of any president, but now freed from the shackles of the office — which often forced him to temper his true beliefs and triangulate — Obama can become the progressive hero his most fervent supporters always wanted him to be. Or so the theory goes.

* #TheResistance.

Trump Knows You Better Than You Know Yourself: Psychometrics and the (counter)revolution in marketing that is helping bring fascism to power around the world.

* In a new book, The Blood of Emmett Till (Simon & Schuster), Timothy Tyson, a Duke University senior research scholar, reveals that Carolyn—in 2007, at age 72—confessed that she had fabricated the most sensational part of her testimony. “That part’s not true,” she told Tyson, about her claim that Till had made verbal and physical advances on her.

ND House passes eliminating reporting of small oil spills.

* Creeping Trumpism.

* Trump Has Never Been Popular.

* Was it ever?

* Mark Weston at Time pitches a tax strike until the coasts get adequate representation in government.

* Diabetes and mortality.

* What the Hell Is the Opening Crawl for The Last Jedi Going to Be?

* Why don’t we drink pigs’ milk?

* Why don’t some people get brain freeze?

Ten Ways Reading The Silmarillion Makes The Lord of the Rings Better, Part 1.

* Metallic hydrogen.

* Frightening times.

“Go on, go back home,” shouted one person as the 22-year-old Gambian, named as Pateh Sabally, bobbed up and down in the icy waters of the city’s main waterway.

I write out of disarray, from a field of compatriots in disarray. We’re drifting like astronauts, distantly tethered by emails like the one I just got from a friend: ‘i feel like he is making everyone sick, and bipolar./i feel like I am so incredibly ill-equipped to deal with any of this./i’m taking blind advice from all comers without feeling like anything is remotely adequate./ i feel nostalgic for all of life before Nov 8, 2016.’ Music helps and hurts. In a college classroom I played Gil Scott-Heron’s ‘Winter in America’, stirring up my old Nixon-era sense of abjection, and cried in front of my students. Of course, such behaviour makes us eligible for the web-scorn of alt-right triumphalists (‘Anguished by Trump, Lena Dunham Flees to Posh Arizona Resort, Asks Rocks for “Guidance”’). At these moments we’re the special snowflakes we were wishing to see in the world, the canaries in our own dystopian coal mines. But we’ll brandish our sensitivities proudly (if not our safety pins, which may be too smug and lame a gesture), since they’re what we’ve got, and are anyway better than robotic numbness, better than ‘normalisation’.

* Paging Kim Stanley Robinson: Are scientists going to march on Washington?

The starships of the future won’t look anything like the Enterprise.

* First as tragedy, then as farce, as the feller said.

* Great moments in headlines: Georgia lawmaker shot behind adult entertainment store; was carrying thousands of dollars in storm relief money.

* If you want a vision of Thanksgiving.

* And two Northwestern University professors have demonstrated it’s possible to be good at neither research nor teaching. Of course this is no news to me.

Skilled researchers and effective teachers are neither substitutes nor complements for each other — in fact, they have no relationship at all, according to a study by two Northwestern University faculty published by the Brookings Institution Thursday.

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Christmas and/or Fascism Megapost Forever and Ever Links – Part One!

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* I had a great time as the guest on this week’s Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy talking about my Octavia Butler book, which has gotten some nice attention lately, including an interview in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel last weekend as well. I was also on Radio Free Marquette this week, talking Rogue One

* Another great Butler piece making the rounds right now: My Neighbor Octavia.

* A New Inquiry syllabus on Speculating Futures. Wired‘s first-ever science fiction issue.

Monday’s Electoral College results prove the institution is an utter joke. Original Sin: The Electoral College as a Pro-Slavery Tool. The Left and Long Shots. Trump Is Unambiguously Illegible to be President. Meanwhile, on the lawlessness beat: Gingrich: Congress should change ethics laws for Trump. Amid outcry, N.C. GOP passes law to curb Democratic governor’s power.

* Hunter S. Thompson, the Hell’s Angels, and Trump. Look, all I’m saying is let’s at least give Nyarlathotep a chance. The Government Is Out of the Equality Business. When tyranny takes hold. Now, America, You Know How Chileans Felt. It’s Trump’s America now. Time to get over our attachment to facts. And on that note: Too good not to believe.

* Not that we’re doing much better over here: Vox and the rise of explaintainment.

How to Defeat an Autocrat: Flocking Behavior. Grassroots organizing in the Age of Trump.

* Against Ivanka.

* The worst possible Democrat at the worst possible time, forever and ever amen. What the Hell Is Wrong with America’s Establishment Liberals? Of course they are. The Year in Faux Protests. And no, I’m not over it yet: The Last 10 Weeks Of 2016 Campaign Stops In One Handy Gif. How Clinton lost Michigan — and blew the election.

* My President Was Black. The Problem With Obama’s Faith in White America.

* I am terrified about where all this seems to be heading, on every level.

Colby-Sawyer Eliminates Five Majors to Stay Afloat. English was on the list.

* More on Hungerford and not-reading. Elsewhere at LARB: Graham J. Murphy on the Ancillary Justice trilogy.

* How Bad Was Imperial Cybersecurity in Rogue One? Why Jack Kirby is (Probably) the Forgotten Father of Star Wars and Rogue One. The Obscenely Complex Way the Rebels Stole the Death Star Plans in the Original Star Wars Expanded Universe. And behold the power of this fully operational alt-right boycott.

* More and more I find the unpublished and unwritten versions of stories as interesting or more interesting than the published versions — which is as true of Harry Potter as anything else.

* Dear tech community: your threat model just changed.

You were never actually accomplishing anything by watching the news.

You won’t believe how many Girl Scouts joined the Polish underground in WWII.

Milo Yiannopoulos at UWM.

In 2010, renowned string theory expert Erik Verlinde from the University of Amsterdam and the Delta Institute for Theoretical Physics proposed that gravity is not a fundamental force of nature, but rather an “emergent phenomenon.” And now, one hundred years after Einstein published the final version of his general theory of relativity, Verlinde published his paper expounding on his stance on gravity—with a big claim that challenges the very foundation of physics as we know it. Big question is whether gravity is a bug they haven’t patched yet, or if gravity is the patch.

TNT decides that a modern-day Civil War show doesn’t sound like fun anymore. But a show humanizing the KKK, sure….

* There’s only one story and we tell it over and over, sitcom edition.

* History in the Anthropocene.

* EPA: Oh, yeah, we were lying before.

Arms Control in the Age of Trump: Lessons from the Nuclear Freeze Movement. And some timely clickbait: How would you know if a nuclear war started?

* The end of Roe v. Wade.

* Trump and oxy.

* Understanding Chicago Dibs.

* Spoilers: What Really Happens After You Die?

* Fitter. Happier. More Productive. Comfortable. Not drinking too much. Regular exercise at the gym (3 days a week).

* More news from the future: Feds unveil rule requiring cars to ‘talk’ to each other.

* It can get worse, DC Cinematic Universe edition.

* Academic papers you can use: Where does trash float in the Great Lakes?

* And the war has even come to the Shire: Whitefish Bay to trap and remove coyotes.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 20, 2016 at 11:44 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Labor Day Weekend Links!

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20121130* Aliens! Aliens! Not really. But it’s never too early to panic.

* This truly is the darkest timeline: Marquette signs new contract with Pepsi for on-campus beverage services.

Some Of The Best PC Games Ever Made Hit Steam This Week. Quest for Glory! Police Quest! Wow. Waiting now for the Mac port.

* Star Trek: Discovery really will follow Number One. Relatedly: The 2000s-era Star Treks we never saw. Star Trek Beyond, Reviewed by Tim Phipps.

Science Fiction World Building in a Capitalist Society: An Interview with Dan Hassler-Forest (Part One).

* The Exemption Packet.

Jason Scott Talks about Preserving Games with the Internet Archive.

* Be a rebel; major in English. A decent discussion of the fact-free moral panic involving choice of major, clickbait headline aside.

The Peculiar Success of Cultural Studies 2.0.

* How to Write an Effective Diversity Statement for a Faculty Job Application.

Mandatory Trigger Warnings at Drexel?

* Lockout at LIU.

* Symposium: Why Monster Studies Now?

* Nicholson Baker, substitute teacher. Welcome to Terror High.

The most important lesson to take from all this is that there is no way to confront the climate crisis as a technocratic problem, in isolation. It must be seen in the context of austerity and privatisation, of colonialism and militarism, and of the various systems of othering needed to sustain them all.

* Improv as self-help philosophy, as scam, as fad, as cult. (via) I’ve never taken an improv class, but my nonstop consumption of improv-based comedy podcasts has seriously helped my teaching by helping me see the importance of adopting the yes-and stance in the classroom.

Professor hunger strikes against denial of tenure.

Islam and Science Fiction, the long-running website dedicated to “fill[ing] a gap in the literature about Muslims and Islamic cultures in Science Fiction,” has just published Islamicates: Volume I, as a free-to-download release.

Check Out These Amazing Soviet Maps Of D.C.

That’s a serious charge, worthy of being considered seriously. Although easy access to inexpensive Mexican food would be a boon for hungry Americans, what would the inevitable presence of those trucks do to the American economy? How could our country accommodate an explosion of trucks at that scale? The national economic implications of a taco truck on every corner.

* Stranger Things and the spirit of play.

Here’s why: it’s about play. We have good reasons to overthink TV shows, to take them too seriously: it helps us reclaim from them all that they take for granted, all the ideology in which we find ourselves implicated as we enjoy works produced by a capitalist, patriarchal, racist culture, etc. If your fave is problematic, it’s worth thinking about why, not because you or it are bad and should feel bad, but because our world is fallen and all is vanity and what does humanity gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun, etc. Or something like that. Art has baggage; criticism is about rummaging through that bag to see what’s inside, and what you want to do with it.

* Girls feel Stranger Things, too.

Fortunately, those of us who grew up in the 80s also experienced the 90s, where Dana Scully and Buffy Summers awaited us. But with its flawlessly staged setting and piled-up homages to 80s movies, Stranger Things has performed a kind of time travel: it has reached back into my memories,Total Recall-like, and inserted characters who now seem as though they were there all along. Nancy, the nerd-turned-monster killer who can like more than one boy at once. Barb, the buttoned-up babygay whose best friend won’t let her be disposable. Eleven, the terrifying, funny, scared, brave, smart weirdo whose feelings could save the world.

Global Capitalism, Fan Culture, and (Even) Stranger Things. The Strange Motivations of Stranger Things. Sticking a tough landing: Stranger Things Season Two Will Add New Characters, New Settings, and Sequel Sensibility.

* Teasing the Fall 2016 Pop Culture series at Marquette: Harry Potter, Tarantino, and (yes) Stranger Things.

* $600,000 humanities endowment account at CUNY turns out to be a mere $599,924 dollars short.

* Learn to Write the Vandermeer Way. Keep scrolling!

VanderMeer-Zerfoss

Virtually every decision made by Warner Bros. with regards to its DC superhero movies has been bad. But it’s been so desperate to recreate Marvel’s success that it keeps running forward, trying to constantly course correct, when what it really needs to do it take a break, a deep breath, and start over from scratch with a long-term plan that it will actually stick to.

Jack Kirby’s long-lost, incomplete “The Prisoner” comic book.

The Myth of the Millennial as Cultural Rebel.

Apartment Broker Recommends Brooklyn Residents Spend No More Than 150% Of Income On Rent.

Airlines are surprisingly ill-equipped to handle accusations of sexual assault on their planes.

This small Indiana county sends more people to prison than San Francisco and Durham, N.C., combined. Why? Yes, the word “oxy” appears in the first sentence.

Creepy Clown Sightings in South Carolina Cause a Frenzy.

* Tracing the history of the phrase “office-involved shooting.”

How Fox News women took down the most powerful, and predatory, man in media. Why Isn’t It a Bigger Deal That Trump Is Being Advised by Sadistic Pervert Roger Ailes?

Democrats really might have a shot at taking the House. Here’s the math.

* Because you demanded it! CBS is developing a scripted drama based on the life of Judge Judy. It’s also graciously decided to allow you to pay extra for an ad-free experience on its subscription service.

* Ah, the good old days. Still not done yet!

joeyalison_2016-Sep-02

Meet Moya Bailey, the black woman who created the term “misogynoir.”

* Dialectics of Superman: The Old Lois Lane Really Doesn’t Like the New Lois Lane. The Rise and Fall of Axiom.

* Math is cool: The absent-minded driver’s paradox.

Solar Power Plant Can’t Figure Out How to Stop Frying Birds.

Georgetown University Plans Steps to Atone for Slave Past. Georgetown’s slavery announcement is remarkable. But it’s not reparations.

Deep in the Swamps, Archaeologists Are Finding How Fugitive Slaves Kept Their Freedom.

* “A short story in English is a story in which the letter e occurs no more than 5715  times.”

* How far are you from an In N Out Burger?

* Works for academic papers too.

* RIP, Gene Wilder.

Debating the Legality of the Post-9/11 ‘Forever War’ at the Council on Foreign Relations.

* Whiteness without white supremacy?

Football and the Buffalo both owe some of their survival today to Teddy Roosevelt, who loved them both because they were accessories to one of his first loves: violence, which he and others of his time and a lot of people living right now believe tempers men into steel.

Avengers: Full House.

* Sold in the room: Alison Brie Will Star in Netflix’s ’80s Lady-Wrestling Series G.L.O.W. And that’s before I even found out Marc Maron would be on it too.

* I’m also excited to option this one: Bizarre ant colony discovered in an abandoned Polish nuclear weapons bunker.

* The L.A. Times is running a six-part story on that framing of a PTA mom in California.

* Screens in Schools Are a $60 Billion Hoax.

* Socialize the EpiPen.

* The critics are saying Arrival (née Story of Your Life) is the real deal.

* The art of Biff Tannen.

* Breaking: Warner Brothers wants another five billion dollars.

Few baseball fans have heard of the tiny Pacific Association, an independent league founded in 2013. But in 2015, during the Stompers’ sophomore season, the team fielded pro baseball’s first openly gay player, Sean Conroy. Then, in the off-season, the filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola approached the team to talk about making his Virginia Dare Winery, based in nearby Geyserville, one of its sponsors. That proposal came with another: he wanted the team to recruit female players.

* Understanding Prenatal Depression.

* It’s weird that 911 has an off switch, isn’t it?

* Web comic of the week: Ark.

* Short film of the week: Movies in Space. Chris and Jack’s other stuff is pretty great too.

The New York Times Reassures Parents That Their Sons’ Penises Are Probably Totally Fine.

* And I really think just one more year ought to do it.

in-n-out

Written by gerrycanavan

September 3, 2016 at 8:43 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Taking a Break from All Your Thursdays Sure Would Help a Lot

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* Building the God Machine: Google is restructuring to put machine learning at the core of all it does.

Will Robocars Kick Humans Off City Streets? Your Self-Driving Car Will Be Programmed to Kill You—Deal With It.

* More on Game of Thrones‘s plot problems: Game of Thrones’ “Battle of the Bastards” looked great, but it didn’t make any damn sense. This time the big problem is Ramsey Bolton as Republic serial villain.

There Is No Left Brexit.

How Not to Study Donald Trump.

‘Not Guilty’ Verdict in the Death of Freddie Gray. From the reporting this one sounds like it was always going to be a hard sell.

Surprise poll: Clinton leads Trump in Arizona. Should Clinton Be More Concerned About Pennsylvania?

The congressional sit-in was not just cynical political theater — it was for a deeply reactionary cause. The Democrats Are Boldly Fighting For a Bad, Stupid Bill. The Use of Error-Prone and Unfair Watchlists Is Not the Way to Regulate Guns in America.

* How Democrats mounted their guns sit-in.

* Four months as a private prison guard.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a race-conscious admissions policy at the University of Texas at Austin, putting an apparent end to one of the most closely watched cases in higher education.

The Death Penalty Case Where Prosecutors Wrote the Judge’s ‘Opinion.’

How to Prepare Professors Who Thought They’d Never Teach Online.

The Clintons Have a For-Profit College Problem Of Their Own.

* Racial Literacy as a Professor’s Responsibility.

Renters Are Making More, And Landlords Get It All.

* “After being roofied twice, I realized I didn’t always know who was watching me. And how dangerous that is.”

Senate Confirms First-Ever Native American Woman As Federal Judge. I should know better than to be surprised by first-evers at this point.

The strange and conflicting world views of Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel.

Uber data suggests that drivers overall in three major U.S. markets — Denver, Detroit, and Houston — earned less than $13.25 an hour after expenses in late 2015, according to calculations based on more than a million trips.

* True facts: Why Bubba Ho-Tep May Be the Most Perfect B-Movie Ever Made.

* “You’re Not Worried Nearly Enough about China.”

* A Young Athlete’s World of Pain, and Where It Led: Kosta Karageorge, an Ohio State wrestler and football
player who hid concussion symptoms because he felt it was the manly thing to do, killed himself in 2014.

* New Star Trek Fan Film Guidelines Limit Productions To Half-Hour Concepts. Teasing the new Star Trek series: one story over thirteen episodes.

* Oh Man, Bad Plan, No Canal: Panama.

* And if you want a vision of the future.

Elite Saturday Links Enter CANAVAN at Checkout for 20% Off

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toasts

* A version of this xkcd has been running continually in my brain for two years.

* February 26-27 at Duke University: Pleasure and Suspicion: An Interdisciplinary Conference.

* Open access SFFTV! A special issue on The X-Files from 2013.

Louisiana universities are facing the largest midyear cut in state history, Governor John Bel Edwards said in a televised speech last Thursday. Even if the Legislature can find additional revenue, higher education will need to cut $42 million this year. Louisiana’s total higher education budget is $769 million, and if the Legislature cannot raise more revenue, higher education could face a $200 million cut.

* RIP, Umberto Eco. What Is Harper Lee’s Legacy After Go Set a Watchman?

* The New Inquiry reviews The Witness.

The Slow Violence of Climate Change.

* At LARoB: How should we periodize comics?

* I’d been talking just yesterday to a student from my Lives of Animals class about the urban legends involving pigs and pig corpses and the war on terror. I said something like “No politician who wanted a national reputation would talk this way, though. Well, maybe Trump.” And lo, it came to pass.

* Steve Martin Performed Stand-Up Last Night for the First Time in 35 Years.

Chinese travel blogger likes Chicago but loves Milwaukee. Endorsed!

‘Black Sludge’ Pours Out Of Texas Town’s Faucets Days After FBI Arrests Nearly Every City Official.

The Shocking Truth of the Notorious Milgram Obedience Experiments.

The trouble was that this zombie-like, slavish obedience that Milgram described wasn’t what he’d observed.

Hero K is the Highly Anticipated New Novel by Don DeLillo. I’m in.

Half The World Will Be Short-Sighted By 2050? Half of America will be freelancers by 2020?

In an email to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shortly after the U.N. Security Council in March 2011 authorized military intervention in Libya, a former senior State Department official praised her achievement in “turning POTUS around on this.” Meanwhile, America Is Now Fighting a Proxy War with Itself in Syria. So that means we can’t lose, right?

* And elsewhere in smart battles wisely chosen: St. Louis Archbishop Urges Priests To Cut Ties With The Girl Scouts.

In her new book, Elaine Frantz Parsons re-traces the origins of the 19th-century KKK, which began as a social club before swiftly moving to murder.

* Proposals for new chess pieces.

Reds in Space: Socialist Science Fiction.

Beloved: The Best Horror Novel the Horror Genre Has Never Claimed. That’s something I talk about a lot when I teach the novel.

* Seems like a lowball: Husbands create 7 hours of extra housework a week.

The weirdest, best photos I found in an old Bernie Sanders archive. Arrest photo of young activist Bernie Sanders emerges from Tribune archives. Footage Shows 21-Year-Old Bad Boy Bernie Sanders Being Arrested at a Protest.

Clay Shirky: social media turned Dems, GOP into host organisms for third party candidates.

* Bloomberg yes! Bloomberg no!

* Also at Boing Boing: Forced arbitration clauses are a form of wealth transfer to the rich.

The Guardian reports on an accusation by a former Muskegon County, Michigan health official claiming that a Catholic healthcare provider forced five women between August 2009 and December 2010 to undergo dangerous miscarriages by giving them no other option.

* The Singularity’s all right: A 19-year-old made a free robot lawyer that has appealed $3 million in parking tickets.

* We already knew Doc Brown was a monster, but how deep does the rabbit hole go?

* Financialization and the end of journalism.

* “on a scale of luke skywalker to jaime lannister…”

* Just this once.

The universe may have existed forever, according to a new model that applies quantum correction terms to complement Einstein’s theory of general relativity. The model may also account for dark matter and dark energy, resolving multiple problems at once.

* Elsewhere on the deep time beat: What sparked the Cambrian explosion?

The Warriors’ Odds Of Going 73-9. Written before last night’s loss.

* This one misses me, but it may help some of you feel better: Coffee May Reduce The Damage Alcohol Does To Your Liver.

* This one’s a real emotional roller coaster: Chimp Abandoned On Island Welcomes Rescuers With Open Arms.

* From the SMBC archives: Lucy, the football, and existential dread.

* And they said my work was useless.

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Written by gerrycanavan

February 20, 2016 at 12:32 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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NYEE Links! A Whole Lot of Them!

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* What happened when slaves and free men were shipwrecked together. Amazing read.

* Schedule for the MLA Subconference.

The MLA’s annual report on its Job Information List has found that in 2014-15, it had 1,015 jobs in English, 3 percent fewer than the previous year. The list had 949 jobs in foreign languages, 7.6 percent fewer than 2013-14. The full report.

“These young T.A.s believed they were being asked to prostitute themselves in order to increase enrollment in the Spanish Department.”

33fede02e91b49a340ebc73e372b33f9* A gallery of interesting gravestones.

* Reading Everything Aaron Swartz Wrote.

* “Obscure law lets Prince of Wales set off nuclear bombs.”

* “The hidden legacy of 70 years of atomic weaponry: at least 33,480 Americans dead.”

* Your weekly must-read: N.K. Jemisin has a new SF/F column in the The New York Times Sunday Book Review.

Gender, Sex, and Sexuality in SF: A Conversation.

Adjuncts at Loyola University Chicago Want a Union. Will the Jesuit University Respect Their Demands?

* The Absolute Disruption blog has some thoughts on spoilerphobia and The Force Awakens, with a digression through my Tolkien/TFA piece. That piece has had some interesting patterns of circulation, incidentally; the Salon piece did well on Facebook and Twitter while the WordPress version has had a second life in the conservative blogosphere by way of Ross Douthat and Tyler Cowen….

* George Lucas, genius. Another oral history of the Star Wars Holiday Special. Star Wars and the death of culture. What was cut from The Force Awakens. 13 Story Ideas That Were Dropped from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. What is a Mary Sue, and does Star Wars: The Force Awakens have one? I have not seen the new Star Wars but ambient levels of Star Wars have reached such a peak that I feel eminently qualified to review it without actually seeing the film or even reading a plot synopsis. Anakin Skywalker and the Methods of Rationality.

Given that the term Mary Sue will always carry gendered connotations and that it is highly likely to be disproportionately applied to female protagonists—who, in big budget epics, are already vastly outnumbered by their male counterparts—I see very little benefit to its continued use.

* “This iconic picture will live in history. When a women escaped ISIS territory and was able to wear color again.” More links after the photo.

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A suggestion for search committees, and some questions.

The Irresistible Psychology of Fairy Tales.

* From the archives: The Really Big One.

When the next very big earthquake hits, the northwest edge of the continent, from California to Canada and the continental shelf to the Cascades, will drop by as much as six feet and rebound thirty to a hundred feet to the west—losing, within minutes, all the elevation and compression it has gained over centuries. Some of that shift will take place beneath the ocean, displacing a colossal quantity of seawater. (Watch what your fingertips do when you flatten your hand.) The water will surge upward into a huge hill, then promptly collapse. One side will rush west, toward Japan. The other side will rush east, in a seven-hundred-mile liquid wall that will reach the Northwest coast, on average, fifteen minutes after the earthquake begins. By the time the shaking has ceased and the tsunami has receded, the region will be unrecognizable. Kenneth Murphy, who directs FEMA’s Region X, the division responsible for Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska, says, “Our operating assumption is that everything west of Interstate 5 will be toast.”

In the Pacific Northwest, the area of impact will cover* some hundred and forty thousand square miles, including Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, Eugene, Salem (the capital city of Oregon), Olympia (the capital of Washington), and some seven million people.

* ESPN is such a money pit it’s even dragging Star Wars down.

* My life as a job creator.

Guy Beats Fallout 4 Without Killing Anyone, Nearly Breaks The Game.

It’s a brute-force method, yes. Like I said earlier, Fallout 4 really doesn’t want you to play the game this way, and all of its mechanics ensure that, at some point during a normal playthrough, you’ll have to lodge bullets into someone’s noggin. Even if you take the so-called peaceful perks.

Cleveland Officer Will Not Face Charges in Tamir Rice Shooting Death. How Can No One Be to Blame for Tamir Rice’s Death? How Philadelphia prosecutors protect police misconduct: Cops get caught lying — and then get off the hook. Police Rarely Criminally Charged for On-Duty Shootings. When is it legal for a cop to kill you?

Why we turned off comments on Tamir Rice news stories.

* ASU’s Global Freshman Academy Is a Complete Bust.

* Being Véra Nabokov.

* Today in loopholes: consumptive demand.

* Loophole watch, part two: Pope Francis: atheists who follow their consciences will be welcome in Heaven.

* Why not cubic centimeters, or raw tonnage? Among other issues, the report said, Princeton had allotted “only 1,500 square feet” for student incubator and accelerator programs, “whereas Cornell has 364,000; Penn 200,000; Berkeley 108,000; Harvard 30,000; Stanford 12,000; Yale 7,700; N.Y.U. 6,000; and Columbia 5,000.” 

* Great moments in political campaigning.

* This story has everything.

* Like Goodfellas but for embezzling from a fruitcake company.

For the Wealthiest, a Private Tax System That Saves Them Billions.

* Africa and the Looting Machine.

* The House That Marx Built. Marxism for Tomorrow.

How Esurance Lost Its Mascot to the Internet.

* NSFW, obviously, but: These Real Women Want to Show You How to Give Them an Orgasm.

* Everything is totally normal, don’t even sweat it.

* We’ve been talking about climate change for a long time. Why Engineers Can’t Stop Los Angeles’ Enormous Methane Leak.

The Opium Wars, Neoliberalism, and the Anthropocene.

The Radical History of 1960s Adult Coloring Books.

The DMCA poisoned the Internet of Things in its cradle.

* More than one-third of wells in dairy farm-intensive Kewaunee County were found to be unsafe because they failed to meet health standards for drinking water, according to a new study.

William Gibson: how I wrote Neuromancer.

This Man Just Guessed How Much the Movies Have Spent “Rescuing” Matt Damon.

* For the poor in the Deep South’s cities, simply applying for a job exposes the barriers of a particularly pervasive and isolating form of poverty.

* Your 2016 TV Preview.

Why Do Employers Still Routinely Drug-Test Workers?

When Gun Violence Felt Like a Disease, a City in Delaware Turned to the C.D.C.

Reports of rapes of college-age women in localities of big-time teams go up significantly on game days, national study finds.

After difficult summer, UW-Madison fighting off efforts to poach top professors. The view from the provinces.

The Coolest Images From National Geographic’s 2015 Photo Contest. This Is Your Brain on Nature.

Star Wars Lego Sets Exploding at 3,000 Frames per Second Is the Best Guilty Pleasure.

* When Bobby Shrugged.

The science myths that will not die.

* Because you demanded it! The DeBoerist Manifesto.

* And Here’s More Evidence That Galactic Super-Civilizations Don’t Exist. But don’t you believe it! Bring on 2016!

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 30, 2015 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Tuesday Night Links!

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* In case you missed it, last night I put up my syllabi for the fall, on J.R.R. Tolkien and American Literature after the American Century.

* Mark your calendars, East Coasters: Jaimee Hills reads from her award-winning book How to Avoid Speaking at the Folger Shakespeare Library in DC on October 26. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that preorders are available now at Amazon and Waywiser Press.

* The world’s most popular academic article: “Fuck Nuance.”

That is the kudzu of nuance. It makes us shy away from the riskier aspects of abstraction and theory-building generally, especially if it is the rst and most frequent response we hear. Instead of pushing some abstraction or argument along for a while to see where it goes, there is a tendency to start hedging theory with particulars. People complain that you’re leaving some level or dimension out, and tell you to bring it back in. Crucially, “accounting for”, “addressing”, or “dealing” with the missing item is an unconstrained process. at is, the question is not how a theory can handle this or that issue internally, but rather the suggestion to expand it with this new term or terms. Class, Institutions, Emotions, Structure, Culture, Interaction—all of them are taken generically to “matter”, and you must acknowledge that they matter by incorporating them. Incorporation is the reintroduction of particularizing elements, even though those particulars were what you had to throw away in order to make your concept a theoretically useful abstraction in the first place.

See also: nuance trolling as academic filibuster.

* More ACLA CFPs: Utopia Renewed: Locating a New Utopian Praxis. Innovation, Creativity, and Capitalist Culture.

* Trying to figure out what percentage of instructors are adjuncts is the world’s most dangerous game.

But Thrun and other MOOC founders seem less than concerned about living up to their earlier, lofty rhetoric or continuing that tradition of bringing education to an underserved population. True, they haven’t entirely abandoned their rhetoric about equal access to educational opportunities. But they’ve shifted to what’s becoming a more familiar Silicon Valley narrative about the future of employability: a cheap and precarious labor force. That’s the unfortunate reality of “Uber for Education.”

* Artisanal college. Cruelty free, cage free, farm-fresh.

Aggrieved students find books dangerous; neoliberal administrators say they’re useless. I’d take the former any day.

From Corporate Leader to Flagship President?

Reform Higher Ed? Treat Badmin Like Bankers.

Literary magazines for socialists funded by the CIA, ranked.

* The strategic value of summer.

* Forty years of Born to Run. But you don’t have to take my word for it.

* Fun Home at Duke: 1, 2.

* Meanwhile, in today’s exciting new anti-academic moral panic: UNC’s The Literature of 9/11.

As Murray Pomerance points out, plagiarism is a form of theft, and we don’t steal our own work. On the contrary, we expand its reach, and build on it, thereby making it more relevant as the contexts that produce it change.

UT Knoxville encourages students to use ‘gender-neutral pronouns.’ Washington State University disavows syllabus with ban on certain words.

The Largest-Ever U.S. Gallery Of Jack Kirby’s Comic Art Heads To California.

* And no one talks about it: Barack Obama will leave his party in its worst shape since the Great Depression—even if Hillary wins. More here. I’m an outlier on the progressive side of the fence insofar as I think Clinton might really have to pull out of the race over the emails — so it’s even worse than it seems.

* The cartoon bodies of Mad Max: Fury Road.

How Many Men Did The Golden Girls Sleep With, Exactly?

* The FBI’s surveillance of Ray Bradbury. And the Sad Puppies.

Cold Opening: The Publicity Campaign for Go Set a Watchman.

The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina serves as a reminder that resilience is a function of the strength of a community. Gentrification’s Ground Zero: In the ten years since Katrina, New Orleans has been remade into a neoliberal playground for young entrepreneurs. The Myth of the New Orleans School Makeover.

* Incredible essay by Lili Loofbourrow on her sister’s death by suicide this summer.

* Psychology is bunk.

Žižek Says Thing.

* Against the Anthropocene.

* Whatever happened to DC Comics?

* Being Stephen Colbert.

* The free encyclopedia anyone can edit.

* Tinder as video game.

* Another Samuel Delany interview.

Janelle Monáe Vows To ‘Speak Up’ On #BlackLivesMatter.

* I love dumb stuff like this, when the corrupt screw up and lose: Business owners try to remove all voters from business district, but they forgot one college student.

Cancer cells programmed back to normal by US scientists.

British Library declines Taliban archive over terror law fears.

Upstate New York Secessionists Demand Freedom From City They Mooch Off Of.

* I told you that if there were something beyond the grave, I would contact you.

* RIP, Oliver Sacks.

* Inside Wisconsin’s Slender Man stabbing.

* I confess I am totally stunned by the Jared Fogle case. I thought I was cynical enough.

* The arc of history is long, but at least that Coach reboot has already been cancelled.

* The Racial Politics of Disney Animals.

* Mars by 2039?

* Renaming Denali.

* Why Dolphins Are Deep Thinkers.

Fall In Love with Your Job, Get Ripped Off by Your Boss. Related: workers shouldn’t work for free.

Firstborn Girls Are the Best at Life. Any Zoey could have told you that!

* The law, in its majestic equality, allows rich and poor alike not to clean up their billion-dollar toxic oil spills.

* The New Servility.

* Militarized drones are now legal in North Dakota.

Future Jails May Look and Function More Like Colleges. And, you know, vice versa…

* Never say “unfilmable”: The BBC is going to try to make a show out of The City and the City.

* Declare victory and go home to your panic room: America Has Lost The War Against Guns.

* And some things mankind was just never meant to know: See how easily a rat can wriggle up your toilet.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 1, 2015 at 7:38 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Every Tuesday Link! Every One!

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* Just a reminder that I’ll be in DC for a debate, Resolved: Technology Will Take All Our Jobs.

* The sad story of the São José.

* Against this backdrop, UW System leaders’ public statements in response to JFC’s omnibus bill—statements whose overriding tone is one of gratitude undergirded by obsequiousness—make perfect sense, even as they alternately disgust and infuriate the rest of us. Amid the general calamity for faculty, academic staff, classified staff, and students, there is an alignment of legislative priorities with administrative interests.

* It’s sad to say that when the administrators shut down any possibility for dialogue, when administrations withdraw into cocoon-like gated communities in which they’re always on the defensive, I think that it’s probably not unreasonable to say that this is not just about an assault, this looks like a war strategy. It looks like power is functioning in such a way as to both stamp out dissent and at the same time concentrate itself in ways in which it’s not held accountable.

* Bureaucracy: why won’t scholars break their paper chains?

* Recrimination in the language of the university is the image of a ruined hope that things would be different.

* Who’s getting Koch money today? University edition.

* Dispatches from dystopia. And one more from LARoB: Gender and the Apocalypse.

* Under these weird meritocratic dynamics, bourgeois characteristics make you more valuable not because they are good characteristics in themselves, but merely because they are bourgeois characteristics, and therefore relatable to the top of the economic hierarchy that directs the resources top spots in top firms are competing to get. This poses obvious problems for social mobility, which is the direction people usually take it, but it poses even deeper problems for the idea of “skills” more generally. Where “skills” refers, not to some freestanding objective ability to produce, but rather to your ability to be chummy and familiar to those with the money, they don’t actually seem to be “skills” in the sense most people imagine the term. Upper crust professionals no longer appear to be geniuses, but instead people who went to boarding school and whose manner of conducting themselves shows it.

* When a child goes to war. We talked about the Dumbledore issue a ton in my magic and literature class this semester. Stay tuned through the end for what is indeed surely the greatest editorial note of all time:

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* That Oxford decides its poetry chair by voting is just the craziest thing in the world to me.

* Mass Effect, Personal Identity, and Genocide.

* Ghostwriters and Children’s Literature.

* Shaviro: Discognition: Fictions and Fabulations of Sentience.

* Recent Marquette University grads staging Shakespeare in 13 state parks.

* The map is not the territory (from the archives): The Soviet Union’s chief cartographer acknowledged today that for the last 50 years the Soviet Union had deliberately falsified virtually all public maps of the country, misplacing rivers and streets, distorting boundaries and omitting geographical features, on orders of the secret police.

* When My Daughter Asks Me if She Looks Fat.

* Some discussion of the Hastert case that explains why his supposed “blackmailers” may not be facing any charges: it’s legal to ask for money in exchange for not suing somebody.

* Body Cameras Are Not Pointed at the Police; They’re Pointed at You.

* Of course FIFA knew.

* Wes Anderson’s The Grand Overlook Hotel.

* The poison is the cure: Amid the ruins of its casino economy, NJ looks to build more casinos. And that’s only the second-most-ridiculous debate currently rocking the state.

* “Do we really want to fuse our minds together?” No! Who wants that?

* The Time War was good, and the Doctor changing it was also good. Take my word for it, I’m an expert in these matters.

* Everything you want, in the worst possible way: Michael Dorn is still pitching Captain Worf.

* Uber, firmly committed to being the absolute worst, in every arena.

* The Learning Channel, horror show.

* And after a very uneven season the Community series (?) finale is really good. The end.