Posts Tagged ‘decadence’
I’ve been incredibly busy lately, and things are only going to get worse in the next few weeks. But for now, some links!
* I made a Twitterbot that I’m pretty pleased with: @LOLbalwarming. It’s the only authentic voice left to us in these tough times.
* Book plug: Shaviro’s No Speed Limit: Three Essays on Accelerationism is really good. It’s the #3 book you should buy right now after the longstanding #1 and #2.
* And while I’m hawking stuff on Amazon: they discontinued my Swiss Army canvas wallet, so I had to find a new one. It’s leather, alas, but this Fossil wallet is everything else I want. It’s great.
* Why, in this day and age, is there even a Save command in any application? Its very presence implies — indeed, guarantees — that the default state of the world is unsafe. This breaks the rule our ancestors learned over billions of years of interaction with the objective world: when you do something, it stays done, until undone. Saving considered harmful. After what happened to me the other week, I am 100% on board with this.
* Scott Walker budget cut sparks sharp debate on UW System. Deep cuts in Wisconsin. Anticipating budget cuts, nervous UW System tried to strike deal. Republican UW Professor Has Sharp Words For Walker Over Faculty Comment. Scott Walker’s State of Ignorance. A reckless proposal. A self-inflicted wound. Be skeptical. Chasing away UW’s stars. Cut athletics.
* From the archives, apropos of absolutely nothing: Stalin, CEO.
* “No Crisis” is a Los Angeles Review of Books special series considering the state of critical thinking and writing — literary interpretation, art history, and cultural studies — in the 21st century. A new installment to the series will be released at the beginning of each month through the fall of 2015. Our aim, as our introductory essay explains, is to “show that the art of criticism is flourishing, rich with intellectual power and sustaining beauty, in hard times.”
* As an opening gambit, I want to suggest that undergraduate students do not care about digital humanities. I want to suggest further that their disinterest is right and even salutary, because what I really mean is that undergrads do not care about DH qua DH.
* Exciting new degradations: Bill Would Allow Texas Teachers To Kill Students.
Kermit Elementary Principal Roxanne Greer told the Odessa American that she could not comment on the suspension, because “all student stuff is confidential,” but Steward said that she told him that any and all threats to a child’s safety — including magical ones — would be taken seriously by the school.
* Harper Lee to publish new novel, 55 years after To Kill a Mockingbird. Her editor tries to put a good spin on what for all the world looks like elder abuse.
* Grace has Type 1 diabetes, for which there is no cure. Now 15 years old, she has endured approximately 34,000 blood tests, 5,550 shots and 1,660 medical tubing injections to keep her alive.
* Bring the Jubilee: Croatia Cancels Debts For Tens Of Thousands Of Its Poorest People.
* Boing Boing reviews David Graeber’s The Utopia of Rules.
In the TV pilot, Juliana finds a banned newsreel called The Grasshopper Lies Heavy, which portrays a world in which the Allies won the war. The idea that this might be true fills her with an almost religious, tearful enthusiasm. In Dick’s version, The Grasshopper Lies Heavy is a book. Juliana discovers that that book is true—but her reaction is not exactly fervor. Instead, it’s a mixture of hope, bafflement, and a kind of displaced, distant fear. “Truth, she thought. As terrible as death.” That truth, or at least one possible truth suggested by Dick, is that there is no radical disjunction between his alternate history and our own. The TV show encourages us to congratulate ourselves on our horror at the Nazis, and our distance from them. But Dick’s novel suggests, disturbingly, that the defeat of the Nazis did not, in fact, truly transform the world. Their evil was not banished; it’s still here with us, a dystopia we can choose, and that many of us do choose, every day.
* But friends, I’m here to tell you: it gets worse.
* Although there were negligible differences among the racial groups in how frequently boys committed crimes, white boys were less likely to spend time in a facility than black and Hispanic boys who said they’d committed crimes just as frequently, as shown in the chart above. A black boy who told pollsters he had committed just five crimes in the past year was as likely to have been placed in a facility as a white boy who said he’d committed 40.
* BREAKING: Politicians listen to rich people, not you.
* Probably wouldn’t be my first choice if I had that kind of cash, but: The Vatican Will Offer Free Shaves And Haircuts To Rome’s 3,276 Homeless People.
* New York cooks up a special unit for kicking hippies.
* Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality is back.
* C21 2015 call for papers: “After Extinction.”
* More 2014 postmortems: The Democrats Have Two Choices Now: Gridlock or Annihilation. And in Michigan: Democrats Get More Votes, Lose Anyway. Davis Campaign Marked by Failed Tactics, Muddled Messages. Stop denying the truth: The Democrats got walloped. What happened to that Democratic turnout machine? Game Change ’14. What Does It Mean for Hillary? Stop Whining About Young Voters, You Jerks. Shockingly, my call to abolish the Constitution altogether has received little traction.
* Thankfully, it’s not all bad news: I was about to hype up a Scott Walker 2016 run. Then I watched his victory speech.
* Elsewhere in the richest, most prosperous society ever to exist in human history: Ninety-year-old man faces jail for giving food to homeless people.
* What I’m not concerned with here is achieving some final and total harmony between the interests of each and the interests of all, or with cleansing humanity of conflict or egotism. I seek the shortest possible step from the society we have now to a society where most productive property is owned in common – not in order to rule out more radical change, but precisely in order to rule it in.
* Are We Forgiving Too Much Student-Loan Debt? CHE is ON IT.
* What could possibly go wrong? Obama Vows to Work With Republicans on College Costs.
* Seems like a great bunch of guys: For-Profit Groups Sue to Block Gainful Employment Rules. The estimate is that 65% of for-profit students are enrolled in programs that wouldn’t pass.
* Six years after the crisis that cratered the global economy, it’s not exactly news that the country’s biggest banks stole on a grand scale. That’s why the more important part of Fleischmann’s story is in the pains Chase and the Justice Department took to silence her.
* R0y Lichtenstein’s “Whaam!” painting is based on one of my panels from an old DC war comic. Roy got four million dollars for it. I got zero.
* How GamerGate Is Influencing MIT Video Game Teachers. I’m wrestling with how much this needs to take over the syllabus of my “Video Game Culture” seminar next semester.
* “For those of us born in a post-Reagan America, having operated within this system our whole lives, there can be no doubt that Michel Foucault’s thinking describes our present.”
* In search of oil realism. I’ve just submitted an abstract for a chapter title “Peak Oil after Hydrofracking,” so this is definitely on my mind.
* NYC pastor: Starbucks is flavoured with the semen of sodomites. It’s called pumpkin spice, sir.
I actually don’t think this sounds terrible. I like the hint of menace I hear in “The Force Awakens,” as if the Force itself could be the enemy in the new trilogy. Who put this unelected energy field in charge of everything, anyway? Abolish the Force.
* If you want a vision of the future: Disney announces Toy Story 4. More below the hilarity.
* I regret to inform you the ideology at its purest contest has closed. Thank you for your submission, but we have a winner.
* In a era without heroes, his website was our last hope: Meet the Mysterious Creator of Rumor-Debunking Site Snopes.com.
* The original version of Being John Malkovich, which I have fond memories of, would have been almost completely unwatchable.
* The Innocence Project was the last thing I believed in. Now I’m finally purged of hope.
* And they say this society can no longer achieve great things: Reality TV’s New Extreme: Being ‘Eaten Alive’ by a Giant Anaconda Snake.
* Rob Nixon reviews Diane Ackerman’s The Human Age and the “good Anthropocene.”
If students know what they’re getting and know why it’s supposed to be beneficial, then education and satisfaction should go together. In a total vacuum of explicit pedagogical reflection, students will default to non-academic standards for satisfaction, because we’re giving them nothing else. If students don’t know how to evaluate whether we’re helping them to learn, it’s not because students are stupid and ignorant and we shouldn’t ask them anything — it’s because we’ve failed to teach them that. And the only way to lay the groundwork for actually teaching them that is to make focused discussion of pedagogical commitments, with both fellow faculty members and with students, a pervasive feature of the culture of a given school.
* Also from Adam Kotsko: Plagiarism and self-plagiarism: A defense of Žižek.
* Time to move on to the next boondoggle: Universities Rethinking Their Use of Massive Online Courses.
* And speaking of boondoggles: Just say no to Wisconsin transportation boondoggles.
* Another triumph for the left! Obama Could Reaffirm a Bush-Era Reading of a Treaty on Torture.
* Membership has its privileges: A former Kentucky correctional officer who admitted to sexually assaulting inmates where he worked will not be going to prison.
* Patriarchy may be down but it still has its sense of humor: The First Person Charged Under Virginia’s New ‘Revenge Porn’ Law Is A Woman.
* Could it be? Is The Stock Market Driven Mainly by Bullshit?
* The idea that the inventors of an actually working hoverboard would need Kickstarter to launch the project just seems totally self-refuting, but I guess 2015 is just around the corner and we’ve all decided we’re going to go with it.
* Don’t like cigarettes but this seems like it’s got to be illegal.
* If you want a vision of the future, imagine Max Landis’s 436-page script for a Super Mario movie, forever.
* And because it’s not all bleakness and horror: Photos of children playing around the world.
The optics were already pretty bad: As an estimated 40,000 plus climate activists descended on D.C. last Sunday to pressure the president to make good on his promise to address climate change, Obama was in Florida golfing privately with Tiger Woods. It appears that it gets worse: The president was not only teeing off with the famed golfer and philanderer, he was also, according to HuffPo, joined by a “pair of Texans who are key oil, gas and pipeline players.”