Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘democracy

Wednesday Morning Links!

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* Coming soon! Star Wars and the History of Transmedia Storytelling. I have a short piece in this one ruminating on Rogue One and the problems of multiple authorship in contemporary franchise production.

The computer simulation hypothesis reveals how the American liberal elite questions everything except the insufficiency of liberalism itself.

Seriously, what I find far more ominous is how seldom, today, we see the phrase “the 22nd century.” Almost never.

The Trump administration is preparing to redirect resources of the Justice Department’s civil rights division toward investigating and suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies deemed to discriminate against white applicants, according to a document obtained by The New York Times.

Not half-light, not dimness, not relative dark: total, pitch darkness. Darkness so dark you can’t see your hand in front of your face, or even be sure whether your eyes are open or closed. Lost within an ancient cave, the man and woman started off separate and alone, confronting mind-bending isolation that played tricks on their senses and produced ever-more-disorienting hallucinations. Fumbling and crawling, never sure which next step might break their necks or worse, they navigated through an alien environment marked by vermin, severe cold, tight confines, sudden drops, yawning pits, and sharp rocks. Eventually, they found each other deep below the earth, then painstakingly made their way to the surface. And the entire time, circling silently about them in the darkness, intimately near yet incredibly far away, has been a crew of producers and camera operators documenting their every move.

By the time Noura Jackson’s conviction was overturned, she had spent nine years in prison. This type of prosecutorial error is almost never punished.

After the trial, Weirich spoke to the local news media. ‘‘It’s a great verdict,’’ she said. Noura was sentenced to a prison term of 20 years and nine months. Weirich’s victory helped start her political career. In January 2011, she was appointed district attorney in Shelby County, after the elected district attorney left to join the administration of Gov. Bill Haslam. Weirich, a Republican, became the first woman to hold that post. She then won election in 2012 and 2014 with 65 percent of the vote, running on a law-­and-­order message against weak opponents. A friend said her husband, who is also a lawyer, began talking about moving the family into the Governor’s Mansion one day.

Universities and colleges struggle to stem big drops in enrollment.

* A soccer star from Gaithersburg won a college scholarship. But ICE plans to deport him.

* 18 Texas sheriffs sign up to join forces with federal immigration officers.

All U.S. Catholics are called to oppose mass deportations under Trump. Here’s why.

‘The moment when it really started to feel insane’: An oral history of the Scaramucci era.

The Rise and Fall of the “Freest Little City in Texas”: How a libertarian experiment in city government fell apart over taxes, debt and some very angry people.

Coast Guard ‘will not break faith’ with transgender members, leader says.

* The fire next time.

* The president of golf.

* The chaos, legislative fumbling, and legal jeopardy should not obscure the ways that the administration is remaking federal policy in consequential ways. Evergreen headlines: The Past Week Proves That Trump Is Destroying Our Democracy.

Trump helping his son draft a misleading statement could be witness tampering.

* Always, always: unreal that it’s still this high.

* Cory Booker gets one right.

America’s former envoy to Afghanistan says the war can’t be won. Is there even a strategic goal at this point?

* The plate tectonics of Middle-Earth.

* White Capital, Black Labor. We don’t need a TV show about the Confederacy winning. In many ways, it did.

* This has got to be illegal.

* Squishy sentience.

With one dietary change, the U.S. could almost meet greenhouse-gas emission goals.

* And happy birthday, Brittle Paper!

#SFRA2017-turday Links!

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* Keep watching #SFRA2017! It’s been a great conference. And it contains gems like this. Two other little theoretical highlights from my scattered live-tweeting:

* The audio from last week’s Octavia Butler conference at the Huntington is now up at Soundcloud. I’m track 7!

* American U scholar says provost cherry-picked negative student ratings of her teaching to deny her a promotion.

* Sci-Fi Legend Samuel R. Delany Doesn’t Play Favorites.

Will losing health insurance mean more US deaths? Experts say yes. Republicans Left Ron Johnson for Dead Last Year, Now He Could Kill Their Health Care Bill. Crowdfunding is the Sad, Dark Future of Healthcare.

* Trump’s Twitter and the judgment of history. Bill to create panel that could remove Trump from office quietly picks up Democratic support.

The Internet Is Actually Controlled By 14 People Who Hold 7 Secret Keys.

After the president’s tweet, I must withdraw my support for everything but his agenda.

* Getting closer and closer to the point where Republicans say it was good that Trump colluded with Putin. This is 100% guaranteed and will be the official position of Your Dad in six months.

* More on the voter suppression commission.

The Trump Administration Is Using Immigrant Children as Bait to Deport Their Parents. Afghanistan’s All-Girl Robotics Team Can’t Get Visas To The US.

* Why isn’t Kirsten Gillibrand running for president? Or is she?

* The moral code of Chinese sex workers.

* Training self-driving cars to algorithmically respond to road conditions in Southern California and confusing that for artificial intelligence is going to get people everywhere else killed.

* The Wonder Woman century.

* Twilight of the Internet.

* Political correctness is destroying this country’s cultural heritage.

* When someone says something mean to me. The kids just call it “Twitter.” And I want your secret.

#SFRA2017 Links for All Your #SFRA2017 Needs!

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* Watch #SFRA2017 for all the tweets from SFRA2017! I’ll be presenting this afternoon in the 4 PM session: “No, Speed Limit: Hyperspace in the Anthropocene,” mostly talking about John Scalzi’s The Collapsing Empire but also hitting Octavia Butler, Cixin Liu, Kim Stanley Robinson, Margaret Atwood, H.G. Wells, and others.

* And just in time for #SFRA2017, SFFTV 10.2 is now available! A special issue on the SF films of Stephen King.

* From Canavan’s Razor to Kotsko’s Hammer: If you believe that you have caught your enemy in a contradiction, you are mistaken. At best, you have misjudged their real priorities and goals. At worst, you have fallen for a deliberate smokescreen, designed to confuse and distract you.

* CFP: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein at 200 (Science Fiction Studies, Special Issue).

Emma Watson has been hiding copies of Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale around Paris, with a handwritten note inside each one.

The City University of New York picked the worst time to raise the salaries of its top administrators to as much as $402,700 — the same day it cut the operating budgets of its four-year colleges and raised tuition.

* Can’t you see? Star Wars needs mediocrity.

* Return of the travel ban. Return of the lawsuits. The travel ban going into effect would have saved zero lives from terrorist attacks in the last 20 years. It’s going to get worse.

* This seems normal and fine.

Gun Sales Are Plummeting and Trump Wants to Help.

GOP Operative Sought Clinton Emails From Hackers, Implied a Connection to Flynn.

Republican Health Care Bill Cuts Medicaid 24 Percent By 2036. Trumpworld’s push to get a Senate health deal. Senate GOP Health Care Surrender Watch.

* “California decided it was tired of women bleeding to death in childbirth”: The maternal mortality rate in the state is a third of the American average. Here’s why.

The Case for Paying Less Attention to Donald Trump. And Now the Trump Presidency Begins to Fail for Real. MSNBC hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski say President Trump and his White House used the possibility of a hit piece in the National Enquirer to threaten them and change their news coverage.

* Hell yes, Rep. Barbara Lee.

* Normally I’d say “teach the controversy,” but these allegations are simply too serious to treat flippantly: NASA Denies That It’s Running a Child Slave Colony on Mars.

* Cyberattack attacks Chernobyl radiation monitoring station.

* On desistance and detransition.

* Global warming will intensify regional inequality in the United States, according to a revolutionary new economic assessment of the phenomenon.

* Two brothers, two deaths.

Illinois Approaches 3rd Year Without Budget.

US quietly publishes once-expunged papers on 1953 Iran coup.

SCP-3008-1 is a space resembling the inside of an IKEA furniture store, extending far beyond the limits of what could physically be contained within the dimensions of the retail unit. Current measurements indicate an area of at least 10km2 with no visible external terminators detected in any direction. Inconclusive results from the use of laser rangefinders has lead to the speculation that the space may be infinite. SCP-3008-1 is inhabited by an unknown number of civilians trapped within prior to containment. Gathered data suggests they have formed a rudimentary civilisation within SCP-3008-1, including the construction of settlements and fortifications for the purpose of defending against SCP-3008-2.

* Just what is happening at Disney?

* Rick and Morty season three, at last, by God.

And Jurassic Park but with the dinosaurs from the 90s TV show Dinosaurs, forever and ever amen.

Monday Links!

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* Academic freedom in Wisconsin.

* This is silly, but I confess I found it an interesting wrinkle: Wonder Woman Actor Says Chief Is Actually a Demi-God.

* People shouldn’t live in Arizona.

* Sinofuturism in LARB.

* Why work?

Democrats Don’t Need Trump’s Voters To Retake The House. The overall message of 2017 special elections is that Republicans are in trouble. Why Paul Ryan’s race for Congress next year bears watching, even if he’ll be hard to beat. An Associated Press study of U.S. House races found that Republicans may have gained up to 22 additional seats in the 2016 election due to redistricting. The AP’s analysis also found four times as many states with GOP-skewed state legislative maps as Democratic-skewed ones. Voter suppression is a greater threat to U.S. democracy than Russian election tampering, if you can imagine it.

Bernie and Jane Sanders, under FBI investigation for bank fraud, hire lawyers.

Senate GOP expected to add new penalties for the uninsured into their health bill. Privately, health plan worries Senate bill would “cause most small employers’ premiums to go up.” Coverage Losses Under the Senate Health Care Bill Could Result in 18,100 to 27,700 Additional Deaths in 2026. Crazy waivers: the Senate bill invites states to gut important health insurance rules. Medicaid Cuts May Force Retirees Out of Nursing Homes. You’re Probably Going to Need Medicaid. Pure Class Warfare, With Extra Contempt. Can the moderates save us? Even Ron “Horrible” Johnson: ‘We should not be voting’ on healthcare this week. (But, you know, partial credit at best.) The principled support for the bill is apparently pass it no matter what’s in it just cause Team Red. Trump and Social Darwinism. Keep calling.

What we have just witnessed can, I think, be legitimately referred to as the popping of the Blair-Clinton bubble. That is, the ending of the assumption that a tepid, compromised, market-friendly, bureaucratic centrism that nobody actually liked was the only form left-of-centre politics could take, because everyone was convinced that everyone else thought so.

What It Was Like to Star in the Trump-Themed Julius Caesar.

Centrist Democrats are now the great defenders of social justice? Please.

Trump’s Deflections and Denials on Russia Frustrate Even His Allies.

* Remember when we had laws and dumb stuff like that? God, we were such dorks.

NJ Assembly Passes Bill Requiring Kids Be Taught to Interact With Police. Maybe give some of the same training to off-duty cops next?

Cops Sent Warrant To Facebook To Dig Up Dirt On Woman Whose Boyfriend They Had Just Killed.

* I wasn’t one, but congratulations to all the Locus Award winners!

The Many Lives of the Medieval Wound Man.

* Pale Blue Dot. The Weinersmith Test for Artificial Intelligence. Everything happens for a reason. Hot lava. Markov dating.

Alarmingly, one source speaking to THR claims that upon the announcement to the crew that Ron Howard would step in to take over the film a day after Miller and Lord’s firing, applause broke out. Report: Lucasfilm Was So Concerned About Alden Ehrenreich’s Han Solo Performance It Brought in an Acting Coach. What a mess.

* The race to save Florida’s devastated coral reef from global warming.

* Crimebook noplane freedomhate.

High Court Mostly Revives Trump Travel Ban, Will Hear Appeal.

* High-stakes scenarios and market failure.

The amount of work that once bought an hour of light now buys 51 years of it.

* Everyone, get your guesses in! Last call for Kennedy bets.

* This is no time for optimism.

* Prince Was a Secret Patron of Solar Power.

Flashback: David Bowie’s Failed Attempt to Adapt George Orwell’s ‘1984.’

150 times actors were forced to say the title of the movie they’re in.

* Riot at Disney tonight, details TK.

Superhero Rescues Put Everyone in Danger, Urge Scientists.

* This is why we can’t have nice things. Do not panic; the authorities are in complete control. Bitch I might be. Happy last week of summer school.

* And I’ve said it all along: don’t blame me, blame the world.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 26, 2017 at 12:59 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Trapped Inside of LAX with the MKE Blues Again

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* A great Storify from the great @moyabz of the great Octavia Butler conference at the Huntington this weekend. By universal acclamation, one of the best-loved moments. Check out the exhibit of her papers if you’re able to get near there! It’s gorgeous.

* You are living in a death cult.

Every lie Trump has told as president, a very long list by the New York Times.

Obama’s secret struggle to punish Russia for Putin’s election assault.

* Union-busting for God: Catholic colleges and adjunct organizing.

Student Evaluations at Center of American University Tenure Fight. Given the research on the implicit bias of student evaluations and the obvious perverse incentives involved it is incredible to me that any college administration in the country feels empowered to use them for anything.

When the Dean Quashes Your Class: An Interview with Jay Smith.

Major medical groups call for rejection of Senate health bill. This is the biggest pure giveaway to the rich in the Republican health bill. Can’t wait to hear from the centrist Dems why it’s wrong for Bernie to do this. No single payer in Communist-run California, of course.

Trump’s election integrity commission needs to redress voter suppression, not fraud. Counterpoint: it’s a voter suppression commission, that is literally the entire point of it.

Trump says pretending to have Comey tapes “wasn’t very stupid.” The video is stunning even by Trump standards. Still, after this, I’ll probably vote for him.

* Once more with feeling: Never Trump is not a thing.

Forced into debt. Worked past exhaustion. Left with nothing. Indentured servitude in the transportation industry in California.

* Mountain lions have better politics than just about every human being.

* Science isn’t an exact science with these clowns.

* Surely the best ending of any New York Times column ever.

* From the archives! No one goes dark like children’s literature goes dark.

“Personally I am very pessimistic,” Miyazaki says. “But when, for instance, one of my staff has a baby you can’t help but bless them for a good future. Because I can’t tell that child, ‘Oh, you shouldn’t have come into this life.’ And yet I know the world is heading in a bad direction. So with those conflicting thoughts in mind, I think about what kind of films I should be making.”

Anthony Kennedy is the key swing vote to determine whether he is the worst Supreme Court justice ever to serve.

* Every generation gets the folk-hero bandits it deserves: Canada police investigate theft of mummified human toe served in drinks.

* And a great Tumblr mashup: The Weird Adventures of Tin-Tin, by H.P. Lovecraft.

Tuesday Links!

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* I should have realized the Nevada Medicaid for All bill was just a ratfuck. Let my guard down.

On television, in journals, in the halls of Congress, none of the old methods by which American liberals enforced their claim to superior expertise are working anymore. For all their “resistance,” the greatest impediment to Donald Trump remains his own stupidity. Despite every evil and crime of his administration, the most ambitious Democratic victory on the horizon is making Mike Pence president. Our liberals are right: none of this is normal. This isn’t how it used to be. Everywhere, our best and brightest blink. Are they still in the desert? Is all this an hallucination, a bad dream? The Blathering Superego at the End of History.

New Study Shows What Really Happened in the 2016 Election.

* Wisconsin and climate denial. As water quality worries grow, Wisconsin plots strategy on phosphorus.

Supreme Court Agrees To Hear Potentially Monumental Political Gerrymandering Case.

GOP Data Firm Accidentally Leaks Personal Details of Nearly 200 Million American Voters. The RNC Files: Inside the Largest US Voter Data Leak.

* Constitutional crisis may be Trump’s only hope.

The DCEU has a problem — everybody likes Wonder Woman.

* itshappening.gif: Yes, The Dark Tower Movie Is a Sequel to the Books.

* thisisfine.jpg: It’s so hot in Phoenix, they can’t fly planes.

* The Official Reason for Star Trek: Discovery’s Many Delays Is ‘World Building Is Hard’.

* 8°C.

* Sad.

* A brief history of Zzyzx.

* An Oral History of Quentin Tarantino as Told to Me by Men I’ve Dated.

* Zadie Smith reviews Get Out.

The Cars universe continues to suggest the existence of a Car Hitler.

* And some personal news: I’m a Republican now.

Saturday Night Links!

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* Writing Advice to My Students That Would Also Have Been Good Sex Advice for My High School Boyfriends.

* CFP: The Handmaid’s Tale: Gender, Genre Adaptation – a one-day symposium. Race and The Handmaid’s Tale. Margaret Atwood Annotates Season 1 of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’

* A Dangerous Business: Being a Female Professor.

* Two Americas: Those Who Leave Home, and Those Who Stay.

A Brief History of Violence Against Members of Congress. The start of a disturbing new chapter.

But now we have legislation that will change the lives of millions, and they haven’t even summoned the usual suspects to explain what a great idea it is. If hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue, Republicans have decided that even that’s too much; they’re going to try to pass legislation that takes from the poor and gives to the rich without even trying to offer a justification. More at Vox.

American Health Care Tragedies Are Taking Over Crowdfunding.

The Senate health care bill is expected to allow states to relax the Affordable Care Act rules only on benefits, not on pricing as the House bill does. But that change could impact people far beyond those states, according to anew analysis by the liberal Center for American Progress — because it could lead to a return of annual and lifetime benefit limits, and not just in the states with the waivers. Don’t stop working those phones.

* Trump buckles on the Dreamers. But: Border Patrol Arrests Immigrants Seeking Medical Care During Desert Heat Wave. Trump’s move to deport Iraqi Christians stirs outcry. ICE nabs teenager hours before his senior prom, days before his graduation ceremony.

Trump is likely to get much, much worse. Here are a few big things to watch for.  A Very, Very Dangerous Situation. The WaPo Obstruction Blockbuster and the World of Hurt To Come. Robert Mueller chooses his investigatory dream team. Here we go.

Donald Trump’s Cabinet members, ranked by their over-the-top praise of Trump.

* Now That’s What I Call #TheResistance.

* It’s very slowly happening here.

That’s part of a far broader story: Republicans have a coherent and awful vision, while Democrats have a better but confused vision. Republicans want to cut taxes all the time; Democrats want to sometimes cut some taxes and certainly aren’t committed to raising taxes on principle. Republicans want to ban all abortions; many Democrats favor certain restrictions on abortion, depending. The ur-Democratic legislation is Obamacare, which undoubtedly improved the status quo but which is a tangled mishmash of public and private and which does not offer anything like a simple and coherent policy like “Medicare for all.” Republicans are the party of small government; Democrats are the party of jury-rigged quasi-entitlements via convoluted tax credits. Is it any wonder conservatives win so often? An evil but directly and unapologetically stated policy platform beats a better but cowardly and convoluted one any day, politically.

If social compacts without any leeway for idiosyncrasy or dissent tend toward dictatorship, untrammeled individualism tends toward nihilism. The once-again great America Trump envisages is a fusion of the worst of both, and you can’t say our movies didn’t predict him. Wherever America’s right stuff now elusively resides, its wrong stuff in right-stuff disguise is on display for all the world to see—at multiplexes everywhere, not just on Fox News.

* This is fine.

* This though I’m not crazy about: Brain-Eating Parasites Thrive As Global Warming Heats Up U.S. Lakes.

“People who claim we’re in the sixth mass extinction don’t understand enough about mass extinctions to understand the logical flaw in their argument,” he said. “To a certain extent they’re claiming it as a way of frightening people into action, when in fact, if it’s actually true we’re in a sixth mass extinction, then there’s no point in conservation biology.” But that doesn’t mean we can’t still get there if we all just chip in.

Number of people serving life in US prisons is surging, new report says.

US credit card debt to surpass $1 trillion this year, report says.

* A scholar of the Ku Kux Klan explains how the KKK used the same trolling tactics as the alt-right.

Five officials will face manslaughter charges for Flint water crisis. PA supreme court: was illegal to steal elderly woman’s home because her son sold $140 of weed. Revealed: reality of life working in an Ivanka Trump clothing factory.

Robot puts all of humanity to shame by achieving perfect score in Ms. Pac-Man.

This New Museum Imagines a World Where Capitalism Is Dead.

* If there is no real economic recovery forthcoming—and there is not—and if the university cannot be restored without one, do any possibilities remain? They do. We would have to imagine a world that did not peg public funds to private profits. Our current understanding of “public” presupposes a thoroughgoing privatization of the world that shortly preceded the appearance of the modern university. There is no going back. But if there is to be something ahead, an emancipation of learning, it will not be discovered in the hearts and minds of administrators and legislators persuaded to see the error of their ways, but in a transformation of the society beyond the edges of campus. Who Can Save the University?

For graduate students fighting to unionize, time is running out.

* Salvage on Corbyn.

Today’s horrific fire in London’s Grenfell Tower is a symbol of a deeply unequal United Kingdom.

* Bob Dylan, Nobel Prize Winner.

Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cars R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.

Ok, I’ll try this: 1 like = 1 unusual condition for killing the big baddy at the end of your book/movie/game.

Why is TV awash in afterlives, hells, and purgatories?

* There’s just one story, and we tell it over and over.

Witchcraft and dueling are now legal in Canada.

Meet the First Woman to Draw Wonder Woman: “I Never Ever Gave Her Breasts That Were Bigger Than Her Head.”

* Abolish Netflix.

* Abolish the trucking industry.

Why It Was Easier to Be Skinny in the 1980s.

* Estimated Number of Injuries and Reported Deaths Associated with Inflatable Amusements, 2003-2013.

* Retconning Guardians.

* Duck Tales, woo ooh.

Bruce Springsteen is headed to Broadway.

* I’m sorry, I don’t think I understand the objection.

* Presenting the best of Hello from the Magic Tavern.

Salo University is a friendly cloud space for thinking about Kurt Vonnegut and why his writing matters today.

* What real words are actually valid CSS HEX colors?

Alarm clock dropped inside wall still going off daily after 13 years.

* Why Bill Cosby Walked Free.

Why It’s Impossible to Indict a Cop.

* “Rakka” is the first sci-fi short film by Oats Studios, directed by Neill Blomkamp (District 9 and Chappie), featuring the aftermath of an alien invasion that has enslaved millions of humans. The free 22-minute film, which features the amazing Sigourney Weaver, is available to stream for free on Steam, YouTube and the Oats Studios website.

* And guys, it’s official: I’m a bestseller.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 17, 2017 at 4:27 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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