Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘culture

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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Sunday Links!

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* With the newborn and the consequent sleep deprivation I’ve been in sort of a weird place mentally, but if you find yourself in a similar state of consciousness I can recommend Andy Weir’s The Martian, April Richardson’s Go Bayside! podcast, and Rachel and Miles X-plain the X-Men as just the thing. I’ve also been going through the Comedy Bang! Bang! DVD Season 1 and 2 extras, which are truly prodigious — essentially a few bonus weeks of the podcast hidden as episode commentaries.  The Martian will be a movie in 2016 and I suspect it’ll be a good one.

* Marquette team heads to RoboCup — the World Cup for robots.

* Kacy Catanzaro winning American Ninja Warrior is the best thing I’ve seen in weeks.

* For years, Ukrainian science fiction writers have been producing novels about a Russian takeover of Ukraine.

* The Sawyer Seminar at UCR: “Alternative Futurisms,” which will launch in September 2015, will bring together African American, Latino, Native American, and Asian American scholars, artists and writers to examine the colonial roots and legacies of science fiction and the power of speculative fiction as a tool for social change.

* Cli-Fi watch: Mother Jones reviews Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway’s The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future.

* Superpower as disability: Fantastic Four could be either really great or really, really awful.

* …a black superhero who just does the superhero thing of fighting criminals or anti-American spies or traditional bad guys can seem like a capitulation. Fighting against crime in the U.S. means, way too often, putting black men behind bars. Will a black Captain America serve as a kind of “post-racial” justification for that law-and-order logic? Or will he, instead, open up a space to question whether law, order, and superheroics are always, and for everyone, a good?

Black Internationalism as a Critique of U.S. Foreign Policy.

* Today in police brutality: Man Dies After Being Put In Choke-Hold By NYPD.

* Federal Judge Blasts ATF For Luring Man With No Criminal Record Into Trafficking Cocaine.

The United States Sentencing Commission just voted to let 46,290 federal prisoners apply to get out of prison sooner.

* The tanks, which serve as the heart of the assault force, received an order to open fire at anything that moved.  “Self-genocide” is not a thing. Unanimous consent. What if Iron Dome is a bluff?

* Twenty-five years ago today, a plane went down in Sioux City. Nobody was expected to survive. Somehow, 184 people did.

Stanford anthropologist Tanya Luhrmann found that voice-hearing experiences of people with serious psychotic disorders are shaped by local culture – in the United States, the voices are harsh and threatening; in Africa and India, they are more benign and playful. 

“People need to understand,” he says, “that there’s tons of money in nonprofits, first of all. Second, nonprofits can kind of become containers for for-profit organizations . . . and a lot of that is tax money going into rich people’s pockets.” Pushed into the marketplace, higher education managers pay themselves vast sums for wrecking one of the UK’s few globally respected sectors.

* Hollywood Will Not Stop Being Ludicrously Sexist Even If It Means the Entire Film Industry Is Destroyed.

* Terminator: An Oral History.

* Dystopia is here.

* Yes. We. Ugh.

* Presenting Cthulhubucks.

Results from a study published in the latest issue of Cognitive Science suggest that 5- and 6-year-old kids from religious backgrounds judge fact from fiction differently than those with non-religious upbringings.

* And is it possible that man was not meant to ingest infinite quantities of mozzarella sticks? Of course, Andy Daly was there first.

Cloudy with a Chance of Apocalypse Links

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* CFPs for MLA 2015 from the discussion group for science fiction, fantasy, horror, and utopian literature: Science Fiction, Fantasy and the Concept of Culture (guaranteed session) and From Siberia to the Planet Mars (fingers crossed).

* America’s fraternities, and the lawyers who serve them. Great piece.

‘Rasputin Was My Neighbor’ And Other True Tales Of Time Travel. Unlikely simultaneous historical events.

When pilgrims were landing on Plymouth Rock, you could already visit what is now Santa Fe, New Mexico to stay at a hotel, eat at a restaurant and buy Native American silver.

The first wagon train of the Oregon Trail heads out the same year the fax machine is invented.

Nintendo was founded in 1888. Jack the Ripper was on the loose in 1888.

1971: The year in which America drove a lunar buggy on the moon and Switzerland gave women the vote.

NASA’s Gemini program was winding down at the same time as plate tectonics, as we know it today, was becoming refined and accepted by the scientific community.

When the pyramids were being built, there were still woolly mammoths.

The last use of the guillotine was in France the same year Star Wars came out.

Oxford University was over 300 years old when the Aztec Empire was founded.

* A new genre had been born: the apocalypsticle.

* President Obama Pens Personal Apology to an Art Historian. Spoiler: it’s a pretty lousy apology!

* Football workers of the world unite. The cult of amateurism plaguing the sports world.

* This North Dakota Oil Town Has The Highest Rent In The Country.

* The film ‘Back to the Future’ provides the OED’s earliest recorded example of a colloquial sense of ‘hello’, used to imply (sometimes disbelievingly or sarcastically) that the person addressed is not paying attention, has not understood something, or has said something nonsensical or foolish. – See more at: http://oupacademic.tumblr.com/post/52859022183/the-film-back-to-the-future-provides-the-oeds#sthash.3jb8w2Nr.EuYbel9A.dpuf

* Making the rounds again: Kurt Vonnegut Diagrams the Shape of All Stories in a Master’s Thesis Rejected by U. Chicago.

* In Louisiana, which offers some of the most lucrative tax giveaways to Hollywood, the Legislative Auditor’s Office reported that the subsidies cost the state $170 million in lost tax revenue in a single year. By one estimate, the state is handing $70,000 per episode to the cast of Duck Dynasty – all while pleading poverty to justify deep cuts to public health care programs and to retirement benefits for police officers, firefighters and teachers.

* UNC Greensboro Students Walkout Against Budget Cuts.

About a dozen faculty members and 30 students at St. Mary’s College, a public school in Maryland, have proposed a plan to limit the salary of the highest-paid employee to 10 times that of the lowest-paid employee.

What Does it Mean that Most Children’s Books Are Still About White Boys?

Basically, @BarackObama Is a Parody Twitter Account.

* [grabs popcorn] Emails Suggest Scott Walker Knew Of Illegal Campaign Coordination.

Wednesday’s proposed reforms efforts — reached in negotiations between the civil liberties group and the state DOCCS — entail an end to the solitary confinement of prisoners under 18-years-old, pregnant women and prisoners with developmental disabilities. You mean to tell me they were using solitary confinement on — what? What?

Missouri Likely To Drop Its Lifetime Food Stamps Ban For Drug Convicts. You mean to tell me they were — really?

* Another day, another coal waste spill.

Cop Allegedly Shot And Killed Teenage Boy After Mistaking His Wii Controller For A Gun. “Allegedly” doing a whole lot of work in that sentence given that plain facts of the matter on which everyone agrees.

* What it’s like living in your 90s.

* Twitter lost $645 million last year, almost as much as its total revenue.

* The death of pool.

The Pentagon’s whitewashed history of the Vietnam War provokes troubling questions about how the invasion of Iraq will one day be remembered.

Frank despises most everybody—why should we be an exception?

* What would Lovelock do now, I ask, if he were me? He smiles and says: “Enjoy life while you can. Because if you’re lucky it’s going to be 20 years before it hits the fan.” Have a good weekend, everyone!

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Saturday Morning Links

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* Foreman Says These Jobs Are Going Boys, and They Ain’t Coming Back: Bob Dylan Lays Off 2,000 Workers From Songwriting Factory.

“This is a rapidly evolving industry, and frankly, there’s no way we can compete by relying on equipment and a manufacturing process that haven’t changed much since the 1970s,” said Valentine, noting that Watchtower’s board of directors had already broken ground on piano and Hammond organ facilities in Taiwan. “Despite our best efforts to continue assembling songs the old-fashioned way, we can’t overlook the increased efficiencies offered by fully automated symbolism generators and the use of mass-produced chorus components.”

* Toxic lies about culture are afoot in Silicon Valley. But I suspect other industries will recognize themselves in this discourse too.

We make sure to hire people who are a cultural fit
What your culture might actually be saying is… We have implemented a loosely coordinated social policy to ensure homogeneity in our workforce. We are able to reject qualified, diverse candidates on the grounds that they “aren’t a culture fit” while not having to examine what that means – and it might mean that we’re all white, mostly male, mostly college-educated, mostly young/unmarried, mostly binge drinkers, mostly from a similar work background. We tend to hire within our employees’ friend and social groups. Because everyone we work with is a great culture fit, which is code for “able to fit in without friction,” we are all friends and have an unhealthy blur between social and work life. Because everyone is a “great culture fit,” we don’t have to acknowledge employee alienation and friction between individuals or groups. The desire to continue being a “culture fit” means it is harder for employees to raise meaningful critique and criticism of the culture itself.

* Michelle Obama and the evolution of Mom dancing.

* A brief history of marketing, from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.

* Star Wars we can believe in: LucasArts rumored to be developing a Knights of the Old Republic film.

* And a Montana Bill Would Give Corporations The Right To Vote. Not an Onion link! Not an imaginary story!

Vonnegut’s Scalpel

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I didn’t learn until I was in college about all the other cultures, and I should have learned that in the first grade. A first grader should understand that his or her culture isn’t a rational invention; that there are thousands of other cultures and they all work pretty well; that all cultures function on faith rather than truth; that there are lots of alternatives to our own society. Cultural relativism is defensible and attractive. It’s also a source of hope. It means we don’t have to continue this way if we don’t like it. (source)

Written by gerrycanavan

November 25, 2012 at 5:03 pm