Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘cyberpunk

Christmas Eve Eve Links Links

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* There’s a lovely review of my Butler book by Nisi Shawl in the new Women’s Review of Books. It’s not available online so you’ll have to take my word for it, unless your library subscribes…

* And I’m so happy to report that Extrapolation 58.2-3 is finally out, the special issue on “Guilty Pleasures: Late Capitalism and Mere Genre” I edited with Benjamin Robertson. Check out the intro to see what it’s all about, and then check out articles on Dragonlance, the Star Wars and Star Trek expanded universes, Sweet Valley High, Blondie, The Hunger Games, and Game of Thrones and fantasy roleplaying games…

CFP: Academic Track at the 76th World Science Fiction Convention, San José, California. CFP: Punking Speculative Fiction. CFP: Histories of the Future: Proto-Science Fiction from the Victorian Era to the Radium Age. CFP: Chapter Proposals for “Ecofeminist Science Fiction.” CFP: Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards.

An Incomplete Timeline of What We Tried.

* I thought this was great.

* Consider: Who pursues their goals with monomaniacal focus, oblivious to the possibility of negative consequences? Who adopts a scorched-earth approach to increasing market share? This hypothetical strawberry-picking AI does what every tech startup wishes it could do — grows at an exponential rate and destroys its competitors until it’s achieved an absolute monopoly. The idea of superintelligence is such a poorly defined notion that one could envision it taking almost any form with equal justification: a benevolent genie that solves all the world’s problems, or a mathematician that spends all its time proving theorems so abstract that humans can’t even understand them. But when Silicon Valley tries to imagine superintelligence, what it comes up with is no-holds-barred capitalism. Ladies and gentlemen, the great Ted Chiang.

Science fiction when the future is now. With appearances from Kim Stanley Robinson, Ken Liu, and Lauren Beukes.

* The best anti-Last-Jedi piece I’ve seen is Alyssa Rosenberg’s at the Washington Post. And the best pro-Last-Jedi piece from Dan Hassler-Forest at LARB. Somewhere in the middle is Abigail Nussbuam’s excellent piece at Asking the Wrong Questions.

* Lightsabers, by the numbers. Secret history of the porgs. Star Wars from below. Thank goodness somebody realized how terrible this would be. The Last Jedi and the necessary disappointment of epilogues. The films that inspired The Last Jedi. Behind the scenes. In defense of Canto Blight. Anti-nostalgia and anti-salvation. Star Wars without the Empire. How to Read Star Wars.

* Winter Is Coming: Climate Change in Westeros.

* How the Sesame Street Puppeteers Play Their Characters. It was only a year or three ago that I realized that on a basic level I’d still believed Big Bird was real; I had never thought or processed the fact that his lips were being moved by a puppeteer’s hands.

* So old I can remember when Sweet Briar was an inspiring story about a college being saved.

* On faculty and mental illness.

Study finds humanities and social science Ph.D.s working outside academe are happier than their tenure-track peers.

* Podcast alert: how does Samuel R. Delany work?

* Bang. Pow. To the Moon.

* Comedy writers name their most influential episodes: 1, 2.

* SHOCK REPORT: The tax bill is bad.

This Congress’s clear priorities: corporations, not children.

* It’ll also tax large endowments. Meanwhile in the academy: We Will Not Be Your Disposable Labor: Graduate Student Workers’ Fight Goes Beyond the GOP Assault. ‘A Complete Culture of Sexualization’: 1,600 Stories of Harassment in Higher Ed.

* Defund every agency that had any part in this. Murder Convictions Overturned, Two Men Are Immediately Seized By ICE. What happens to children whose parents are deported? 92 Somali immigrants deported in “slave-ship” conditions. ICE is abusing immigrant detainees with strip searches and threats. Shock of shocks, it turns out legal immigration is bad too.

The majority of US workers live in “employment monopsonies” where there is little or no competition for workers.

Why Doug Jones’s narrow win is not enough to make me confident about American democracy.

* Ghosts of 2012.

* First #J20 defendants found not guilty.

* The media wealth of African Americans in Boston is $8.

* People are using Uber instead of ambulances.

* The New York Times oddly reports on a Harry Reid boondoggle in a way that makes it sounds like aliens might be real.

* The Fred Moten century.

The Adult Bodies Playing Teens on TV.

* Monopolies are bad, no matter how much you like the brands involved. Avengers vs. monopoly.

“Neoliberalism” isn’t an empty epithet. It’s a real, powerful set of ideas.

* The madness of prison gerrymanders.

* Desegregation never happened.

* Climate refugees in Louisiana. Disability and disaster response in the age of climate change. Losing the wilderness.

* The FoxConn boondoggle gets worse and worse.

* The Next Crisis for Puerto Rico: Foreclosures.

* Revising agricultural revisionism.

* Against optimism.

* Against being born.

* On the sadcom.

Your Favorite Superhero Is Probably Killing the Planet.

* Professor X Is a Jerk!

* The Daily Stormer’s style guide.

* Opoids and homelessness. 3,000,000 pills to 3,000 patients in two years. The Opioid Crisis Is Getting Worse, Particularly for Black Americans. What happens after an American city gives a homeless person a one-way ticket out of town.

* The US gymnastics scandal somehow gets worse and worse.

‘The World’s Biggest Terrorist Has a Pikachu Bedspread.’

* The Forgotten Life of Einstein’s First Wife.

* The Ghost Economy.

* WHAT YEAR IS IT: How to prepare for a nuclear attack.

Lumberjanes’ Noelle Stevenson is Rebooting She-Ra for Netflix. Sir Ian McKellen Would Totally Play Gandalf In Amazon’s TV Tolkien Adaptations. The Next Bechdel Test.

* “Paradox,” by Naomi Kritzer.

* The Journal of Prince Studies.

* 80% of workers think managers are unnecessary. The other 20% mistakingly think they are managers.

* It’s not a perfect system, but it’s the one our Founders built: The Donald Trump droid is live at Disney World’s Hall of Presidents.

‘Trump, Trump, Trump!’ How a President’s Name Became a Racial Jeer. 55 Ways Donald Trump Structurally Changed America in 2017. Fascism has already come to America. Life expectancy declines for the second straight year. On brand.

* Heartbreaking interview with Heather Heyer’s mother.

* Jordan Peele, auteur.

* Dilbert: A Reckoning.

Still, it does make you ponder all the ways this industry works in service of power, and by extension those who abuse it. So many of comedy’s institutions are, at their core, PR machines. Branded content is Funny Or Die’s bread and butter. Every week SNL promotes someone’s new movie or TV show or album. Late night talk shows, with few exceptions, use jokes to bookend celebrity press tours. Comedians host awards shows because otherwise we might see them for the rituals they are—the wealthy and famous celebrating their own wealth and fame. Comedy normalizes power; it’s so successful at normalizing power that it feels weird to even write that as a criticism. Well, what’s wrong with normalizing power? Lots of things, but to start it lets monsters play the straight man in comedy sketches. It makes them relatable, which makes them less threatening. But power is always a threat, even more so when it seems innocuous, even more so when it seems… funny.

* 2018 is already terrible: there’ll be no more Zelda DLC.

* And remembering the reason for the season: Behold the official policy for destroying the head of Chuck E Cheese.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 23, 2017 at 10:06 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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I May Have Committed A Little Light Treason Links

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* thisisfine.jpg: An iceberg the size of Delaware has broken off Antarctica. My kids are three and five. Just 90. And you’re a little late.

Blogger completely debunks claim Amelia Earhart was a Japanese prisoner.

* CFP: The George Slusser Conference on Science Fiction and Fantasy, University of California, Irvine, on April 26–29, 2018. CFP: Eaton Journal of Archival Research in Science Fiction. And our deadline was extended a month with the rest of the SUS: Suvin Today?, A Roundtable Discussion, The Society for Utopian Studies (November 9-12, 2017 in Memphis, TN).

Nothing now would better serve the maturity and the invigoration of the Democrats than to give up any hope of sound advice or renewal from Bill or Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. They were pleasant to think about, but their politics have turned out wrong, and there’s nothing they can do for us now. The Age of Detesting Trump.

* Fredo, Fredo, Fredo. I tried to warn you: These revelations—and the possibility that more is yet to come—have made it increasingly untenable for Trump’s supporters to argue that there is nothing to the collusion story. And so, many have now begun to argue that even if there was collusion of the kind suggested by the Times, it wouldn’t be a crime—or even all that out of the ordinary. Some Trump loyalists are even making the case that it was smart and savvy for the campaign to pursue help from the Russians. Trump supporters know Trump lies. They just don’t care.

* Too many Fredos.

* Fredo deserves better.

* I mean the wheels are really coming off.

* Trump still hasn’t resigned from his businesses like he promised, either.

* Meanwhile, ladies and gentlemen: The Democrats! The Democrats Are Eisenhower Republicans.

* The attempt to stay faithful to the actual facts of the world that would make this impossible tanks the piece, but the overall message — that our political elites are soulless monsters without any hint of integrity or principle — is absolutely sound: What If Trump Had Won As a Democrat?

Democrats should take the class warfare message to upscale suburbs.

* Science Fiction and Dystopia in the Age of Trump.

Could a Robot Be President?

* What happens to America if Anthony Kennedy retires?

Cancer researcher was held at Boston airport. Now he is being sent back to Iran.

23 emotions people feel, but can’t explain.

Space colonization, faith, and Pascal’s Wager.

In St. Louis, America’s nuclear history creeps into the present, leaching into streams and bodies.

Between 2009 and 2011 more than 1 in 8 Milwaukee renters experienced a forced move. Rent Is Affordable to Low-Wage Workers in Exactly 12 U.S. Counties.

* Stage four credentialing. The Library of Heaven.

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) garnered more than 3,000 complaints regarding the uniforms. They conducted their own tests and found concerning evidence: a short-sleeved jacket had levels of cadmium, a highly toxic chemical, that were above the acceptable textile industry standard. The tests also found traces of formaldehyde, nickel, and tetrachlorophenol, all of which can cause major irritations. Formaldehyde, for instance, is even on the American Cancer Society’s list of known human carcinogens. What’s more, in 2011, Alaska Airlines experienced a very similar problem after issuing uniforms from Twin Hill. Around 10 percent of employees reported reactions and that airline issued a recall. Despite this damning evidence, American Airlines maintains that their uniforms are safe.

* Looking forward to this movie: Chicago Library Seeks Help Transcribing Magical Manuscripts.

* Gotta love a headline that has the courage of its convictions: CRISPR gene editing technique is probably safe, study confirms.

We were driving away from Hedgesville when the third overdose call of the day came, for a twenty-nine-year-old male. America leads the world in drug overdose deaths — by a lot. Trump-Loving Sheriff Won’t Let Deputies Carry Overdose Antidote. Small-Town Police Officer’s War on Drugs.

* The Klan comes (back) to Charlottesville.

Drones keep dropping drugs and porn into prisons.

* No! No! No!

* Yes! Yes! Yes! And I’m especially all in for this: Quentin Tarantino’s Next Movie Will Be About the Manson Family.

* Makes you think.

* Dark Stock Photos.

* Remembering Milwaukee’s Own Cordwainer Smith.

* Mizzou, two years later.

* The mass defunding of higher education that’s yet to come.

* Jeff VanderMeer Amends the Apocalypse. Russia 1917: You Are There. Nor Secret Griefs Nor Grudges: Laura Kipnis’s Unwanted Advances. Cottage Industry.

The racial daring of Sundance’s Cleverman gives it an edge most superhero stories can’t match.

* The main reason for the contemporary evasion of Arendt’s critique of careerism, however, is that addressing it would force a confrontation with the dominant ethos of our time. In an era when capitalism is assumed to be not only efficient but also a source of freedom, the careerist seems like the agent of an easy-going tolerance and pluralism. Unlike the ideologue, whose great sin is to think too much and want too much from politics, the careerist is a genial caretaker of himself. He prefers the marketplace to the corridors of state power. He is realistic and pragmatic, not utopian or fanatic. That careerism may be as lethal as idealism, that ambition is an adjunct of barbarism, that some of the worst crimes are the result of ordinary vices rather than extraordinary ideas: these are the implications of Eichmann in Jerusalem that neo-cons and neoliberals alike find too troubling to acknowledge.

As you can probably tell by looking around, every employee at our startup is 23 years old. On the morning of your 24th birthday, the barcode on your employee ID stops working and you can no longer enter our building. We do this to ensure our company has a ceaseless, youthful energy. We believe old people are displeasing to look at and also, bad at ideas.

The relationship between the Internet and childhood memory, or generational memory, is a strange one that hasn’t yet been sufficiently chronicled or really thought through.

* Nightmare jobs I’d never even though about: Rape Choreography Makes Films Safer, But Still Takes a Toll on Cast and Crew.

* Cyberpunk lives!

* First object teleported to Earth’s orbit.

* Make Margaret Atwood Fiction Again! Junot Diaz and Margaret Atwood in conversation.

* Wakanda and Zamuda: A Comparative Analysis.

* And sure, I can pick up tacos on the way home.

Written by gerrycanavan

July 12, 2017 at 6:43 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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The Cyberwars Are Finally Here

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Written by gerrycanavan

September 22, 2010 at 11:16 am

Stranger than Fiction

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Cyberpunk hero, Bond villain, and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange (previously, previously) has apparently been accused of rape and molestation by Swedish prosecutors, who have issued a warrant for his arrest. MetaFilter, naturally, is skeptical. Personally I have no idea.

UPDATE: Rob Beschizza at Boing Boing is also skeptical: What are the bets that someone under constant surveillance, publisher of powerful people’s secrets, would find time (while on a ubiquitously-covered trip to Sweden to legitimize the journalistic status of his organization and attend a public conference) to fit in some rape and molestation? Of course it sounds like counterespionage, but all the same I don’t feel comfortable betting on people’s guilt or innocence based on what I’d like to be true.

UPDATE 2: Charges already dropped.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 21, 2010 at 8:40 am

Satnight

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* We now have Howard Zinn’s FBI file.

When the FBI again took an interest in Zinn in the 1960s, documents show the bureau evidently tried to have the historian fired from his job as professor at Boston University.In a document from the Boston FBI office (see PDF file here), an FBI “source,” whose name was redacted from the publicly released documents, was quoted as being outraged over Zinn’s comment at a protest that the US had become a “police state” and that prosecutions of Black Panther Party members were creating “political prisoners.”

The bureau’s Boston office then indicated it wanted to help the source in his or her campaign to unseat Zinn. “[The] Boston proposes under captioned program with Bureau permission to furnish [name redacted] with public source data regarding Zinn’s numerous anti-war activities … in an effort to back [redacted] efforts for his removal.”

* Surprising no one, North Korea is doing the World Cup wrong.

* In the wake of strong U.S. government statements condemning WikiLeaks’ recent publishing of 77,000 Afghan War documents, the secret-spilling site has posted a mysterious encrypted file labeled “insurance.” The MetaFilter thread is rife with speculation about what might be in the file; about whether the government has been given the key, or indeed if Assange knows there really is an NSA-backdoor in AES256 after all; about who is and isn’t incentivized to murder Assange as a result of this upload; and about which classic cyberpunk writer this whole storyline was stolen from.

* The latest in the $45/$200,000,000 Ansel Adams negatives saga: the interesting copyright issues involved have been short-circuited by the revelation that the negatives are probably the work of someone’s Uncle Earl.

* Science—well, Nature—says we wouldn’t miss mosquitoes.

* And RSA Animate animates Slavoj Žižek on charity and consumerism. Charity degrades and demoralizes. It is immoral to use private property in order to alleviate the horrible evils that result from the institution of private property… Via MeFi.

Cyberpunk at 25

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‘Aging Chrome’: Cyberpunk at 25.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 11, 2009 at 3:37 pm

Dieselpunk

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Dark Roasted Blend coins your new -punk craze: Dieselpunk. Via MeFi.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 15, 2008 at 10:30 pm