Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘credit cards

Just 363 Shopping Days Till Christmas Links

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* Call for Papers: Literature and Extraction. Call for Papers: The Romantic Fantastic.

* A new Black Mirror is dropping tomorrow. From doing some recent workshops with Black Mirror as a focus I think it’s clear that an occasional surprise release is a much better model for them than the binge.

* Blast-Door Art: Cave Paintings of Nuclear Era.

* Sure, when you put it that way it sounds really bad.

* The global economy should isolate Japan by any means necessary until it reverses this decision.

“Legal Bombshell: Mueller Flipped Trump’s Confidant’s Lawyer’s Friend’s Associate Gorpman (Who Could Testify Against Bleemer!) And It’s Not Even Lunchtime.”

When Report Cards Go Out on Fridays, Child Abuse Increases on Saturdays, Study Finds.

This is one version of strategic inefficiency: how some are relieved from doing the work that would slow their progression. And, of course, others then inherit that work. That some people end up being given more administrative work because they are more efficient might seem so obvious that it does not need to be said. The obvious is not always obvious to those who benefit from a system; the obvious always needs to be said. We need to learn from how inefficiency is rewarded and how that rewarding is a mechanism for reproducing hierarchies: it is about who does what; about who is saved from doing what. In academic career terms, efficiency can be understood as a penalty: you are slowed down by what you are asked to pick up.

How Much of the Internet Is Fake? Turns Out, a Lot of It, Actually. A helpful Twitter thread elaborates on just how much of the internet economy is predicated on fraud of one type or another.

* No, not like that!

U.S. Grip on the Market for Higher Education Is Slipping.

The Southwest May Be Deep Into a Climate-Changed Mega-Drought. Discovery of recent Antarctic ice sheet collapse raises fears of a new global flood. Melting Arctic ice is now pouring 14,000 tons of water per second into the ocean, scientists find. 2018 was the 4th warmest year in recorded history. “The last five years have been the five warmest years in modern human history … The last cooler-than-normal year, based on the 20th century average, was way back in 1976.” Rising Waters Are Drowning Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor. Risks of ‘domino effect’ of tipping points greater than thought, study says. ‘We are at war’: New York’s rat crisis made worse by climate change. ‘Future-proofing’ is how you say climate change in Texas. 130,000. The Real-Life Effects of Trump’s Environmental Rollbacks: 5 Takeaways From Our Investigation. Democrats remain fundamentally unserious.

Moving a section of railroad up and inland is not going to be the drastic logistical challenge of the 21st century. It is going to be an ordinary baseline necessity, one minor component in a comprehensive retooling of life and infrastructure. Whole cities will have to move up and in. Rail and transit, water and sewer, power and industry—none of it can stay put on the low ground. Nor, if there’s any hope of getting emissions under control, is the feeble, endangered Amtrak line more than a fraction of the transportation systems the country will need for its survival. The issue isn’t whether we can mobilize to keep rail service running through Wilmington without interruption. It’s whether there’s going to be a Wilmington at all.

* Here are the yoga pants you should buy if you don’t want to poison the groundwater.

* Fifty years since Earthrise.

* Inside the layoffs at UCB.

How to Raise an Alien Baby.

* Migrant boy dies in U.S. custody; Trump vows shutdown will last until border wall is funded. A 5-Month-Old Girl Has Been Hospitalized With Pneumonia After Being Detained By The Border Patrol. Border Patrol says young girl in custody nearly died after going into cardiac arrest: report. ICE Quietly Drops 200 Asylum Seekers at El Paso Bus Station with No Money or Shelter Right Before Christmas. ICE Is Using Driver’s License Applications to Arrest Immigrants. ICE, CBP Seize Billions In Assets Including Human Remains.

A College Student Was Told To Remove A “Fuck Nazis” Sign Because It Wasn’t “Inclusive.”

* On triggering the libs.

The fact that there can be no accountability despite “serious” allegations is, in some sense, the common theme of the time. It’s part of a drumbeat that insists: We cannot indict a sitting president; we cannot discipline a sitting justice. If you are untruthful for a long enough period of time, you can find your way into a job where there are no consequences for being untruthful.

* The essence of GOP policy.

* How Mark Burnett Invented Trump.

The Catholic Church in Illinois withheld the names of at least 500 priests accused of sexual abuse of minors, the state’s attorney general said. Wild that the Catholic Church would think it could win a morality fight about kids and sex.

* Elon Musk is a ludicrous, transparent fraud, and it just doesn’t matter a bit.

After McDonogh 35 vote, New Orleans will be 1st in US without traditionally run public schools.

* You can’t argue with facts! Milwaukee named one of the best places to start a business in the US.

* Why did the Times let Alice Walker recommend an anti-Semitic book?

* What if the Constitution is bad?

* Putting your mass shooting on credit.

What Minimum-Wage Foes Got Wrong About Seattle. Everything! And they were wrong about unions too!

A Mysterious Object Twice the Size of Earth is What Caused Uranus’ Lopsided Orbit.

Julie Rea was convicted of killing her son largely on the testimony of bloodstain-pattern analysts. She was later acquitted and exonerated, joining a growing community of Americans wrongly convicted with bad science.

The Spider-Verse story that (kind of) inspired Into the Spider-Verse is only $8.99 at Comixology. It’s fun!

How the ‘Spider-Verse’ Animators Created That Trippy Look.

Berlin Is a Masterpiece of a Graphic Novel.

One second from every episode of Mad Men.

* The Year in Fortnite.

* Great session today, doc, thanks.

The Relentlessness of Modern Parenting.

Childhood poverty has a lasting impact on developing brain, finds study.

*  I Used to Write for Sports Illustrated. Now I Deliver Packages for Amazon.

Your Vagina Is Terrific (and Everyone Else’s Opinions Still Are Not).

* Today in Zelda glitches.

For the First Time in More Than 20 Years, Copyrighted Works Will Enter the Public Domain. Stay tuned for my darkly erotic sequel to “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.”

* Someone in the club tonight is stealing my ideas.

* And Deadwood returns.

Three More

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* Lakhdar Boumediene: My Guantánamo Nightmare.

* When Victoria Donda learned that her supposed father was accused of being a notorious torturer in Argentina and that her true parents were political prisoners, she soon unraveled a web of family secrets and lies.

* Matt Taibbi: Credit Card Firms: They Don’t Just Steal From Cardholders.

The most galling part of the story is that the “fines” claimed by Visa and Mastercard were part of a fine-print arrangement that is virtually impossible for merchants to learn about, much less defend against. If you want to have a restaurant, you must allow credit card charges — but if you allow credit card charges, you have to sign, sight unseen, an agreement that says you can be fined tens of thousands of dollars every time a credit card firm thinks your security procedures are bad…

Lost Generation

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The total balance of all outstanding US student loans (given as $730 billion in DIY U, based on OMB estimates) is now estimated by Mark Kantrowitz of Finaid.org at more like $830 billion—$605.6 billion in federally guaranteed student loans, which have interest rates fixed and in some cases interest subsidized by the government, and a further $167.8 billion in private student loans, with interest rates that hover around 18-20%. Furthermore, Kantrowitz says, $300 billion in federal student loan debts have been incurred in the last four years.

This means the total balance of student loans has just surpassed the total balance of credit card debt for the first time in history.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 3, 2010 at 8:52 am

This Morning’s Must-Listen Economic Podcasts

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…are Frontline‘s “The Warning” and “The Card Game.” Both are from earlier this fall.

Just a Few More

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Just a few more.

* An end to post-Fordist consumption madness?

* Not Gaia, but Medea: how nature kills her young.

While Lovelock uses “Gaia” to refer to Earth’s biosphere as a kindly mother goddess, Ward uses “Medea” as a reference to the mother in Greek myth who killed her own children. Ward says life, like Medea, eventually sows the seeds of its own near-destruction – over and over again. “Life boils up and bubbles up, and through its own waste products and activities makes the planet no longer inhabitable,” he said.

Via MeFi.

* Inside credit-card agency snooping.

* Racism and science fiction, by the great Samuel Delany.

* And some bad news for atheists.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 15, 2009 at 2:51 am

Debt Culture

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Consumers are increasingly unable to pay off their credit cards, forcing banks to hoard cash to protect against future losses and lend to fewer people, according to reports yesterday from several of the nation’s largest banks.

Hilzoy and Matt Yglesias look at the coming post-post-Fordist debt crunch. It’s a big problem, something I’ve gestured towards before. But Hilzoy’s got the wrong chart: this problem goes back way before Bush took office—he’s just made it that much worse.

And note the trend:

Written by gerrycanavan

October 22, 2008 at 3:26 pm

Sermon for Capitalmas Eve

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On this Christmas Eve, Americans are having trouble paying off their credit cards, with 30-day-late accounts rising 26% to $17.3 billion and defaults rising 18% to nearly a billion. There’s a reason for all this, and you can find it in Bill Moyer’s PBS interview with Benjamin Barber (via MeFi), a Galbraithian analysis of capitalism’s production not of products but of needs themselves:

As a society becomes increasingly affluent, wants are increasingly created by the process by which they are satisfied…. Wants thus come to depend on output. In technical terms, it can no longer be assumed that welfare is greater at an all-round higher level of production than at a lower one. It may be the same. The higher level of production has, merely, a higher level of want creation necessitating a higher level of want satisfaction. 

The orgy of Christmas shopping that continues unabated today—to be followed by deep-discount post-Christmas sales on Wednesday, and on and on—is only the clearest proof that this is what capitalism has become in the post-industrial West and, increasingly, elsewhere as well. Barber thinks the productive energies of capitalism might somehow be harnassed, through willpower and ethical living, for better ends, but I’m much more skeptical that capitalism can ever really move in a direction other than the one it has. What we need is a new logic, a new organizing principle. Call it sustainability or call it permaculture, call it environmental Marxism or environmental capitalism if you want, it’s all the same to me—what’s important is that the world figure out some way to stop doing the things capitalism demands it must. We have to stop consuming everything, resources, the future, ourselves.

BILL MOYERS: When politics permeates everything we call it totalitarianism. When religion permeates everything we call it theocracy. 

BENJAMIN BARBER: Right.

BILL MOYERS: But when commerce pervades everything, we call it liberty.

Merry Christmas.

(cross-posted to culturemonkey, which returns Jan. 2 with an all-new blogger and an all-new organizing principle of its own)