Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘democracy simply doesn't work

Tuesday Morning Links!

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Dragons Are for White Kids with Money: On the Friction of Geekdom and Race. Posted in a Facebook thread about this snippet of a review I finished today (which references this immortal Pictures for Sad Children comic).

* Hemingway, or My Mother’s Email?

If We Live Another Billion Years, a Lot of Crazy Shit Is Going to Happen.

* Like this! Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian foreign minister and ambassador. “It’s far worse than what has already been reported.” White House Staff ‘Hiding’ as Russia Chaos Engulfs West Wing.

* Trump to fire everyone? A special prosecutor or an independent commission? Enter the ACLU. 29%. Trump’s Premium on Loyalty Poses Hurdle in Search for FBI Chief. How Trump Gets His Fake News. Republicans who are complicit in Trump’s abuse of power will soon have a big problem. Oh, honey, no. You know, economic anxiety. An all-time great “experts say.” And here’s a bananas story that doesn’t even make the list this week.

* Suddenly relevant: Constitutional Cliffhangers: A Legal Guide for Presidents and Their Enemies.

* If Trump can stop this, though, he deserves a second term.

* Trying in vain to breathe the fire we was born in: Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-My Hometown) ratted a woman out to her boss after she spoke out against him.

* Profiles in courage: Richard Burr.

On at least one occasion, he climbed out of an office window to avoid reporters, while carrying his dry cleaning, according to a senior Republican aide who has spoken to him about the episode.

Racist North Carolina Voting Law Now Permanently Dead.

* There is a fear, among some at MSNBC, that Lack is making programming decisions in an effort to appease the Trump administration (an accusation that has been made of CNN and Fox News), which may lead to more access to the White House and in turn, conservative viewers. O’Donnell was #1 in his timeslot just a few days ago.

* You didn’t think free speech was free, did you?

How Noncompete Clauses Keep Workers Locked In.

Doxing the hero who stopped WannaCry was irresponsible and dumb.

* Twilight of Windows XP.

* Stolen bees recovered in California sting operation.

A Remote Paradise Island Is Now a Plastic Junkyard. Farmers Scramble to Adapt to Volatile Weather. Monumental Hands Rise from the Water in Venice to Highlight Climate Change.

Hearing on UW protest bill shows conflicting views on state of campus speech.

* Klan cosplay in Charlottesville. Disgusting.

* Even as the Trump administration prepares to loosen oversight over immigrant detention facilities, medical care already can be so substandard that cancer is treated with ibuprofen, schizophrenia with Benadryl and serious mental illness with solitary confinement, two new reports found. And if you’re not mad yet: Federal Immigration Agent Allegedly Inquired About 4th Grader At Queens Public School.

* Inside the big wood-paneled downtown library here, a sign spells out the future in four words. Come June 1, “All services will cease.”

* The pension thieves.

* The end of department stores.

Where is North Korea? Here are guesses from 1,746 adults.

The project, called Your Brain Manufacturing, was an extension of Bekking’s Brain Manufacturing project, which explored whether designers can use brain analysis to determine what people really like, rather than what their social conditioning leads them to believe they like. The answer may surprise you!

* Really, DC’s coming desecration of Watchmen just looks so unbelievably terrible. I can hardly stand it.

* What is dead may never die. What is dead may never die.

* Star Trek: Mirror Broken looks good though.

‘Mystery Science Theater 3000’ live tour coming to Milwaukee’s Pabst Theater.

* If it isn’t set on Purge Day, it’s just a documentary.

An A.I. Dreamed Up a Bunch of Dungeons & Dragons Spells. They’re Surprisingly Perfect.

* The arc of history is long, but Nintendo might be making a Legend Of Zelda mobile game. This has my attention, too: Paradox Publishing A “Hardcore” Strategy Game About Mars.

* Science has proved you’re not drunk, you’re just an asshole.

* Also.

* And in a time without heroes, there was @WeRateDogs.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 16, 2017 at 9:00 am

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Democracy Simply Doesn’t Work

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Study: “Irrelevant events affect voters’ evaluations of government performance.” Via Kevin Drum.

To precisely test for the effects of irrelevant information, we explore the electoral impact of local college football games just before an election, irrelevant events that government has nothing to do with and for which no government response would be expected. We find that a win in the 10 d before Election Day causes the incumbent to receive an additional 1.61 percentage points of the vote in Senate, gubernatorial, and presidential elections, with the effect being larger for teams with stronger fan support.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 25, 2012 at 10:56 pm

Monday Morning

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* Chris Hayes vs. undecided voters.

Undecided voters aren’t as rational as you think. Members of the political class may disparage undecided voters, but we at least tend to impute to them a basic rationality. We’re giving them too much credit. I met voters who told me they were voting for Bush, but who named their most important issue as the environment. One man told me he voted for Bush in 2000 because he thought that with Cheney, an oilman, on the ticket, the administration would finally be able to make us independent from foreign oil. A colleague spoke to a voter who had been a big Howard Dean fan, but had switched to supporting Bush after Dean lost the nomination. After half an hour in the man’s house, she still couldn’t make sense of his decision. Then there was the woman who called our office a few weeks before the election to tell us that though she had signed up to volunteer for Kerry she had now decided to back Bush. Why? Because the president supported stem cell research. The office became quiet as we all stopped what we were doing to listen to one of our fellow organizers try, nobly, to disabuse her of this notion. Despite having the facts on her side, the organizer didn’t have much luck.

* Headlines I wish I’d never read: “Your pillow is a lot like a toilet seat, microbially speaking.”

* …the moral secret of capitalism, its existential fundament, is not that we are free to choose but that we are forced to choose.

* British foreign secretary taken to court over drone bombings.

* Obama +5 in Ohio. I know Romney technically has other paths to victory, but I still think that’s the ballgame.

* Sadly prudent: Many undocumented immigrants eligible for a reprieve from deportation under the Obama administration’s DREAM Act-inspired policy shift are choosing not to apply because of fears of their applications being used against them if Mitt Romney wins the presidency.

* And I wonder if it isn’t too late to give this McGovern fellow another look.

Big Monday Links

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(some links stolen from the great zunguzungu)

* It’s bad enough that I’ll never be asked to reboot Back to the Future—but it’d be utterly intolerable if the gig goes to two guys I went to high school with. Jon says it’s all a big misunderstanding but you know he’s just trying to throw me off the scent.

* There is no fresh start: The Return of Mad Men and the End of TV’s Golden Age. A metafictional reading of the series. And for fun: The Foreign Language of Mad Men: Do the characters really talk like people from the ’60s?

Let us start with the obvious: in the entire decade or so of airport security since the attacks on America on September 11th 2001, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has not foiled a single terrorist plot or caught a single terrorist.

* Arundhati Roy: “Capitalism: A Ghost Story.”

* In his novel “2066: Red Star Over America,” Han, China’s premier science-fiction writer, depicts a disturbing future. It is the year 2066. China rules the world while the U.S. festers in financial decline and civil war. A team has been sent to America to disseminate civilization through the traditional Chinese board game Go. But during the critical Go match held at the World Trade Center, terrorists strike. The seas around New York rise, the Twin Towers crumble and the U.S. is plunged into pandemonium. You had me at “Go.” Via io9.

* Do professors get paid too much for too little work? Obviously. More here.

* Related: “College Professors Demand Right to Be Mean.”

* Facebook asserts trademark on word “Book.” Can’t see that being controversial.

* It must be an election year, because suddenly the Obama administration is talking about the environment.

Extreme weather events over the past decade have increased and were “very likely” caused by manmade global warming, a study in the journal Nature Climate Change said on Sunday. “Scientists at Germany’s Potsdam Institute for Climate Research used physics, statistical analysis and computer simulations to link extreme rainfall and heat waves to global warming,” Reuters reports. “It is very likely that several of the unprecedented extremes of the past decade would not have occurred without anthropogenic global warming,” said the study. Why didn’t anybody warn us!

Government spending is good in a recession? Why didn’t anyone tell us!

* Why is horseracing even allowed? Via MeFi.

Rules: This is a very specific contest. Don’t tell us why you like meat, why organic trumps local or why your food is yours to choose. Just tell us why it’s ethical to eat meat.

* If They Directed It: The Hunger Games. I don’t think anything I’ve written on Twitter has gotten as many retweets as my brief reading of series as a utopia.

* Imagining The Wire Season Six.

* On not calling Rich Santorum “crazy.”

* Jeffrey Jerome Cohen writes up his visit to the wonderful conference I was at last weekend, ICFA 2012.

A highlight of ICFA was China Miéville’s talk “On Monsters.” I am a fan of Miéville’s work; The City and the City is one of my favorite books. His narratives are always beautifully written as well as philosophically challenging. Besides possessing an astonishing vocabulary (he sends me to the dictionary, and makes me wonder how they ever gave me a PhD), he is a writer widely read in theory — though his books never turn into allegories for lit crit. They always trace problems, and stay away from anything easy. Miéville brought up Quentin Meillassoux and speculative realism, for example, during his paper (dismissively: he is not a fan of SR or object oriented philosophy, which surprised me). China’s presentation started off as straightforward account of how the uncanny might be broken into various subcategories: the ab-canny, the sur-canny, the sub-canny, the post-canny, the para-canny, and onwards. His account began seriously but spiralled into a proliferative joke. His point was that classification is not analysis, and that such a “taxonomic frenzy” (as he called it) mortifies: “the drive to translate useful constructs into foundations for analysis is deadly,” because it violently takes away the potency and possibility of the terms it organizes. What was interesting to me, though, is that China’s talk performed something, um, para-canny (right beside itself, there but unseen) that I’ve also learned from studying medieval encyclopedists: taxonomic frenzy might produce a desiccated system of emplacement in which everything gets filed into a cabinet and drained of its vitality. Or it might actually be so creative in its proliferative energy and so limned by the necessity of its own failure that it undermines its own rigidity in the very process of articulation, becoming an envitalizing and innovative act — an act of writing — rather than a system of deadening inscription. China’s multiplication of canniness had a power that he walked away from, I think: why abandon your monster like that?

* Honoring the 20th anniversary of Apollo 18 the only possible way: interactive fiction.

* This American Life: What kind of ideology?

* “He Was a Crook”: Longform.org remembers Hunter S. Thompson’s obituary for Richard Nixon.

* Haiti: Where did the money go?

* Support for Afghan War falls. Support for NC anti-gay amendment rises.

A recent Elon University poll found that 58 percent of North Carolinians oppose the amendment, with 38 in favor of it. That poll surveys adults statewide, while the WRAL News poll includes the results only of likely voters.

Despite the broad amendment support in the WRAL News poll, only 37 percent of voters said same-sex couples deserve no legal recognition in North Carolina, according to the poll.

So you have no idea what you’re voting for and won’t bother to find out. Got it.

* Because the 2012 campaign hasn’t been tedious enough: 2016.

* Trayvon Martin and the history of lynching. The Corporations Behind the Law That May Let Trayvon Martin’s Killer Go Free. On Trayvon Martin as innocent victim.

Why Obama’s Healthcare Law Is Constitutional. Absolutely everything you need to know about health reform’s Supreme Court debut. What the Supreme Court Could Do About Obamacare, Explained. Legal experts: Court won’t strike down ‘Obamacare.’

* If I didn’t know better I’d say this little video has some sort of message.

* MLA Job Information List data back to 1965.

* Infographic of the night: Doomsday Predictions Debunked.

* The headline reads, “UC review backs use of pepper spray on protesters.” Huh! I really thought they’d give themselves hell.

Referring to pepper spray, he wrote: “A few focused applications on the crowd that blocked the officers near the row of bushes would likely have cleared that area very quickly, with few additional baton strikes.”

You’re a university, for Christ’s sake. My god.

* What could possibly go wrong? Has Obama put us on a permanent war footing, even in peacetime?

* And what could possibly go wrong? Tacocopter could be the unmanned future of food delivery. Some should have read more Jenny Rhee.

Kent Brockman Was Right

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Written by gerrycanavan

March 3, 2012 at 8:43 am

The Terrible Thing Is I Genuinely Can’t Decide

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The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters shows that 43% believe a group of people randomly selected from the phone book would do a better job than the current Congress.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 8, 2012 at 7:23 pm

Our Broken System

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Written by gerrycanavan

November 2, 2010 at 9:17 am