Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘deep time

Saturday Night Links!

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* I’ve had a nice bit of professional good news: I’ve been asked to join Extrapolation as an editor beginning with their Spring 2015 issue.

“Crutzen, who is not a geologist, but one of the modern great scientists, essentially launched a small hand grenade into the world of geological time scales,” Jan Zalasiewicz, chair of the ICS’s anthropocene working group, told the Guardian. “The word began to be used widely, well before geologists ever got involved.”

* That old-time religion: Now that science fiction is respectable, it’s lost almost all of the conceptual craziness and dubious sexual politics that made it both fanboy bait and of genuine interest.

* From AfricaIsACountry: Ebola and neo-imperialism. And from Jacobin: The Political Economy of Ebola.

* The arsenal of, well, let’s say democracy: The U.S. sold $66.3 billion in weapons last year –- more than three-fourths of the entire global arms market.

* Richest 1% of people own nearly half of global wealth, says report.

* Climate change: how to make the big polluters really pay.

Of Collaborators and Careerists.

* Whites are more supportive of voter ID laws when shown photos of black people voting.

* Meritocracy watch: Poor kids who do everything right don’t do better than rich kids who do everything wrong.

* The 21st century university: women’s only colleges and trans identity.

Since the sinking of the Titanic, there has been a widespread belief that the social norm of “women and children first” (WCF) gives women a survival advantage over men in maritime disasters, and that captains and crew members give priority to passengers. We analyze a database of 18 maritime disasters spanning three centuries, covering the fate of over 15,000 individuals of more than 30 nationalities. Our results provide a unique picture of maritime disasters. Women have a distinct survival disadvantage compared with men. Captains and crew survive at a significantly higher rate than passengers.

The Milwaukee police officer who killed Dontre Hamilton in Red Arrow Park is believed to be the first officer in the city fired as a result of a fatal on-duty shooting in at least 45 years.

* “Weird hobby.”

* More back-and-forth on carceral feminism from Amber A’Lee Frost and Freddie deBoer.

* Pieces like this are enough to make you nostalgic for the quietly understated narcissism of “job creators.”

* An oral history of The Wonder Years.

New Scrabble Dictionary Disrepects The Game.

* Stop worrying about mastermind hackers. Start worrying about the IT guy.

* And just for fun: How to die in the 18th century. Watch for for evil, and for the purples…

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These Are Monday Links; There Are Many Like Them, But These Are Mine

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* If you’ve been following Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, there’s a new chapter out.

* A One-Item List For Tenure-Track Faculty: Do the job you were hired to do.

* The next wave of Afrofuturism.

* Kim Stanley Robinson: Science Fiction and the Realism of Our Time.

* Bring on the Snowpiercer thinkpieces! 1, 2, 3, 4.

* When we peer into the fog of the deep future what do we see – human extinction or a future among the stars?

* Even the liberal George Will: “We ought to say to these children, ‘Welcome to America, you’re going to go to school and get a job and become Americans,’” Will implored. “We have 3,141 counties in this country. That would be 20 per county. The idea that we can’t assimilate these eight-year-old criminals with their teddy bears is preposterous.”

* Identifying the bodies of those who tried to cross the border illegally.

* Halbig, King, and the Limits of Reasonable Legal Disagreement.

* There is a lizard sex satellite floating in space and Russia no longer has it under control. UPDATE: Russia Regains Control of Gecko Zero-G Sex Satellite.

* If you want to know how I do it. More links below the image!

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* Iron Man Should Move to Cleveland, Not San Francisco.

* A friend said it best: Ricky Gervais is scripting Congress now.

* Star Fleet uniforms: not OSHA-compliant.

* The mask slips: Tax agency says ‘preventing poverty’ not allowed as goal for charity.

* Slave Leia is a bummer.

* “Our bad!” It Turns Out Hamas Didn’t Kidnap and Kill the 3 Israeli Teens After All.

* Cupcake fascism.

* This is horrible: First case of ebola reported in Africa’s most populous city Lagos.

* When Tonga Was a Vast Empire.

* The Five Most Overrated Weapons of War.

* On “Bad Feminism.”

* Community colleges and the art of the hustle.

* A lawsuit may determine whether “Happy Birthday” is really still under copyright, which is a bananas notion to begin with.

* Scientists: Rich People, Poor People May Have Shared Common Ancestor.

* BuzzFeed Writer Resigns In Disgrace After Plagiarizing ‘10 Llamas Who Wish They Were Models.’

* Blastr teases Grant Morrison’s Multiversity.

* Giving up beef will reduce carbon footprint more than cars, says expert.

* If I major in philosophy, what are the career prospects?

* Ascension sounds… pretty good?

The deadliest Ebola outbreak in recorded history is happening right now. And now the Liberian government has confirmed that a senior doctor working to fight the disease, Samuel Brisbane, has died, the Associated Press reports. That makes him the first Liberian doctor to die of Ebola in the current outbreak.

In addition, an American doctor has been infected. Keith Brantly, a 33-year-old working for American aid organization Samaritan’s Purse, has been treated and is in stable condition, according to USA Today.

This news comes just days after an announcement that the top Ebola doctor in Sierra Leone, Sheik Umar Khan, had been infected.

* And before there was The State, there was You Wrote It, You Watch It.

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Friday Morning Links

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Tons of Tuesday Links

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Putting Time In Perspective.

Humanities Studies Under Strain Around the Globe, and the New York Times is ON IT.

The Eliminative Turn in Education.

The marketisation of our universities: Economic criteria get precedence over what’s good in human terms.

Black female professor reprimanded for pointing out existence of structural racism to white male students.

* “The Great Stratification” at CHE essentially argues that academia turn into the skid and establish an official multiple-tier levels of instruction, like the hierarchy of care that exists in medicine. I think this misunderstands the nature of medicine; it’s not that medicine has somehow escaped the logic of deprofessionalization so much as it’s simply the last “good career” to do so. Medicine is only starting to see the flexiblization that has already destroyed everybody else.

Most History Ph.D.’s Have Jobs, in Academe and Other Solid Occupations. Lots of hand-waving and dedifferentiation here.

* Meritocracy! Well-Off Children Are Six Times More Likely To Attend Elite Colleges.

* CFP: Feats of Clay: Disability and Graphic Narrative.

* Attacks on Obama over the rough rollout of the ACA hit the president where it hurts: his attempt to replace politics with expert management.

* Los Angeles public schools has a billion dollars for iPads but not teachers, custodians, or librarians.

Fast Food Strikes Will Hit 100 Cities On Thursday.

* On teaching outside your field: The Courage to be Ignorant.

* More Kotsko! The solution to unemployment isn’t better-trained workers: Or, Systemic problems have systemic solutions

Dare to get the federal government off weed.

* Exploited laborers of the liberal media.

All that compiles is not gold.

A Graduate Student Left to ‘Die on the Vine’ Finally Gets Her Day in Court.

Shimizu, a Japanese architectural and engineering firm, has a solution for the climate crisis: Simply build a band of solar panels 400 kilometers (249 miles) wide (pdf) running all the way around the Moon’s 11,000-kilometer (6,835 mile) equator and beam the carbon-free energy back to Earth in the form of microwaves, which are converted into electricity at ground stations. 

* Now Jeff Bezos wants his own robot army. But don’t believe the hype!

Bezos’ neat trick has knocked several real stories about Amazon out of the way. Last week’s Panorama investigation into Amazon’s working and hiring practices, suggesting that the site’s employees had an increased risk of mental illness, is the latest in a long line of pieces about the company’s working conditions – zero-hour contracts, short breaks, and employees’ every move tracked by internal systems. Amazon’s drone debacle also moved discussion of its tax bill – another long-running controversy, sparked by the Guardian’s revelation last year that the company had UK sales of £7bn but paid no UK corporation tax – to the margins. The technology giants – Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al – have have huge direct reach to audiences and customers, the money to hire swarms of PR and communications staff, and a technology press overwhelmingly happy to incredulously print almost every word, rather than to engage in the much harder task of actually holding them to account.

Missed delivery notes of the future. My week as an Amazon insider. A Cyber Monday paean to the unsung hero of consumer capitalism: The Shipping Container.

Harlan Ellison releases his never-produced 1966 Batman episode pitch.

A Map of the United States’ Mythical Lake Monsters.

The bonfire of papers at the end of Empire.

Dozens of commuters missed connections Sunday night when Delta Airlines kicked them off their Gainesville-to-Atlanta flight to accommodate the University of Florida men’s hoops team.

* How (one guy at) Gawker manipulates you.

* The stalker economy.

* Scott Walker’s War on Christmas.

* Writers hate the very idea of symbolism.

* What Steven Moffat Doesn’t Understand About Grief, and Why It’s Killing Doctor Who.

Colleges are teaching economics backwards.

* Hunting witches at UNC.

How to be a feminist (according to stock photography).

To boost concern for the environment, emphasize a long future, not impending doom. Meanwhile, impending doom: Shocking report reveals that 21,286 animal species are under threat of extinction.

* And paging Margaret Atwood: A chimp-pig hybrid origin for humans?

Monday’s Links Has Learned to Tie Its Bootlace

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* Wes Anderson’s The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders.

A billion-year storage medium that could outlive the human race.

New drugs could extend cancer patients’ lives—by days. At a cost of thousands and thousands of dollars. Prompting some doctors to refuse to use them.

* Friendship Is Magic: Malcolm Harris on branding the left.

Maryville, Missouri Is a Lawless Hellhole, And Other Things You Can’t Say About Small Towns.

* The rich are different: Filthy Lucre.

* The wisdom of markets: Pinterest is now valued at $3.8 billion after its most recent round of fundraising generated $225 million. It’s an impressive feat for a company without any revenue. Note: that’s not no profit. That’s no revenue whatsoever.

Milwaukee police use-of-force reports more than double.

A City Or A Swamp? One Year Later, Hoboken Still Struggling With Sandy.

With a $100 million endowment and annual revenues approaching $300 million, TFA is flush with cash and ambition. Its clout on Capitol Hill was demonstrated last week when a bipartisan group of lawmakers made time during the frenzied budget negotiations to secure the nonprofit its top legislative priority — the renewal of a controversial provision defining teachers still in training, including TFA recruits, as “highly qualified” to take charge of classrooms.

* Abolition never happened: There could be slaves in the supply chain of your chocolate, smartphone and sushi.

* Decadence watch: Mixed Martial Arts for kids.

Malcolm Gladwell’s New Book Asks Us To Pity the Rich.

* Editorial: F**k Jared Diamond.

* Douglas Hofstadter, The Man Who Would Teach Machines to Think. The Rapid Advance of Artificial Intelligence. Why We Should Think About the Threat of Artificial Intelligence.

More Than 15 Million Americans Now Live Within One Mile Of A Fracking Well. Nearly 300 Oil Spills Went Unreported In North Dakota In Less Than Two Years.

* Someone should put this guy in charge of a hypertrophic, paranoid security state. He’d do great.

* A California woman who received a life sentence for killing her abusive pimp at age 17 will be released after a mere 19 years in prison.

How to Turn Robert’s Rules Into a Force for Good.

* And RIP, Lou Reed. The Neil Gaiman interview.

Friday!

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* There’s opposition research, and then there’s Chicago-style opposition research. This story prompted some interesting conversations and confessions with other bullying-concerned academics on my Twitter feed yesterday.

* In fact, this whole marriage thing is a lot like whiteness. Over time, certain groups get to be added to this realm of privilege, so that other groups can always be left out of it.

* Picture of the Day: North Carolina, Gay Marriage, and Education.

* I want to suggest that the readers of the Chronicle are almost entirely irrelevant to Riley’s purposes. Her post was not written for us. That it pissed us off is, more-or-less, gravy. Rather, Riley wrote her post to provide raw material for conservative pundits and editorialists, state legislators, and wealthy university trustees–the people who are publicly leading the charge to defund higher education. Riley’s piece wasn’t written to be read as much as it was written to be used. And a piece in a respected, serious publication like the Chronicle is really useful. Publishing an essay in the Chronicle is legitimizing, in a way that publishing the same essay in the National Review is not. In National Review, a call to defund African American Studies looks predictably reactionary; in the Chronicle, the same call looks like a topic that’s worthy of debate. Even as I write this sentence, I have no doubt that, using Riley’s post as an impetus, hack editorialists are working up their outrage, state senators are planning hearings, and trustees are calling university presidents to demand reports on African American Studies.

* In 2011, NYPD Made More Stops Of Young Black Men Than The Total Number Of Young Black Men In New York. And yet somehow crime persists! We need more stop-and-frisks!

* Facts are stupid things. We must be rid of them.

* Here’s a website that helps you visualize deep time.

* New York City Street Corners Then and Now.

* Joss Whedon apologizes to his fans for making something successful.

* How much would it cost to clean up after The Avengers?

* “Sextuple Jeopardy: The Groundhog Day of capital murder trials.”

* California eats its children seed corn.

* And our long national nightmare is delayed for six months: Community has been renewed for a fourth season. Still no word on the movie.

Wednesday

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* Doctor Who: 100% true. Fact.

* On the set of Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom. I would be very excited about this show if the protagonist weren’t yet another fantasyland Sorkin Republican.

* Connecticut has abolished the death penalty.

* Obama comes to Carolina, never mentions Amendment One.

* Most of what we think about Mexican immigration is wrong. (via)

* The end of the world and the impossibility of an alternative to financial capitalism are not just defining features of contemporary global imagination: they sustain one another. After all, if we might all be radioactive smudges on the tarmac come Tuesday, why not be out for as much as we can grab today? Why build a sustainable growth model if it might be underwater in thirty years? Unrestrained free-market capitalism requires that its vassals live in the moment, borrowing against their own futures, and for the past two generations of neoliberal policymaking, there have been logical reasons for us to do so.

* Obama v. Obama on the drug war.

* Vermont Continues Working Towards A Universal Health Care System.

* And some sad news: Rest in peace, Ernest Callenbach, father of Ecotopia.