Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘disasters

Sunday Morning Links!

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* One might, it’s true, wonder how cultural capital has survived the last half century’s apotheosis of pop, the rollback of the old patrician-bourgeois culture of the West, postmodernism’s putative muddling of low and high. But the sociologists have gone and checked, and the answers are not hard to find: Fancy people are now more likely to consume culture indiscriminately, that is, to congratulate themselves on the expansiveness of their tastes; indistinction has become distinction. They are more likely to prefer foreign culture to their own, at least in some who-wants-takeout? kind of way. And they are more likely to enjoy culture analytically and ironically, belligerently positing a naïve consumer whose imagined immersion in the object will set off everything in their own approach that is suavely arms-length and slaunchwise. Such, point for point, is the ethos of the new-model English department: of cultural studies, new media, the expanded canon, of theory-courses-without-objects. To bring new types of artifacts into literature departments is not to destroy cultural capital. It is merely to allow new things to start functioning as wealth. Even here, the claim to novelty can be overstated, since it is enough to read Bourdieu to know that the claim to interpret and demystify has always been an especially heady form of symbolic power. The ingenious reading confers distinction, as do sundry bids to fix the meanings of the social. Critical theory is cultural capital. Citing Judith Butler is one of the ways in which professional people outside the academy understand and justify their own elevation. Bickering recreationally about the politics of zombie movies is just what lawyers and engineers now do.

* The Kindle edition of The Best of Kim Stanley Robinson is (still) on sale for $1.99. Here’s the LARoB review!

* Meanwhile, LARoB also reviews Paradoxa 26, which has my essay on Snowpiercer in it.

* Extrapolation 56.1 is now available.

Sherryl Vint, “Skin Deep: Alienation in Under the Skin
Isiah Lavender, “Reframing Heart of Darkness as Science Fiction”
Sharon DeGraw, “Tobias S. Buckell’s Galactic Caribbean Future”
Karen May and David Upton, “‘Ser Piggy’: Identifying an Intertextual Relationship between William Golding’s Lord of the Flies and George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones
Lee Braver, “Coin-Operated Doors and God: A Gnostic Reading of Philip K. Dick’s Ubik”

Nepal After the Earthquake.

* Baltimore after Freddie Gray.

* The good inequality. Policy debate in the age of neoliberalism.

* Gene Wolfe, sci-fi’s difficult genius.

* The slow apocalypse and fiction.

* Can you fix the NBA draft?

In the meantime, we will all have to cope with the fact that education technology has just become weaponized. Arizona State is now the first predator university. They are willing to re-define what education is so that they can get more students from anywhere. If they don’t kill other universities by taking all their students with a cheap freshmen year, they’ll just steal their fish food by underselling 25% of the education that those schools provide and leaving them a quarter malnourished. The result is that schools which stick to reasonable standards with respect to the frequency and possibility of teacher/student interaction now have to fear for their very existence.

Contingency and Gender.

The Invented History of ‘The Factory Model of Education.’

The obvious corollary is that, in order to stem the tide of tuition increases, we should seek to stabilize or increase state funding and curb the power of administrators.

Why They Hate Cornel West.

* I’m seeing it mostly mocked and dismissed, but I think the Columbia case (K.C. Johnson summary at Minding the Campus) will be important flashpoint in Title IX law. My sense is that the wind on this is really changing strongly against the feminist left; we’re going to see many of the received truths of campus anti-rape policies coming under serious challenge. It’s going to be difficult, and it’s going to require some unpleasant reconsideration of the way we talk about this issue.

New Simulation Shows How The Pacific Islands May Have Been Colonized.

Incredibly, the percentage of parents throughout the state who engaged in the civil disobedience of refusing the test for their kids is higher than the 15 percent of eligible voters who cast a ballot for Andrew Cuomo in the low-turnout election last year.

* All of the juniors at Nathan Hale High School refused to show up for state testing this week.

* Against the creative economy.

* What if Man of Steel was in color?

* Gasp! The Apple Watch May Have a Human Rights Problem.

Microsoft Word Spells the Names of Game of Thrones Characters Better Than You Can.

Nine Months After He Filmed Eric Garner’s Killing, the Cops Are Trying to Put Ramsey Orta Behind Bars.

“We must disband the police: Body cameras aren’t enough — only radical change will stop cops who kill.”

* Meanwhile.

* Yes please: Telltale is making some kind of Marvel game.

The Feds Say One Schmuck Trading From His Parents’ House Caused a Market Crash. Here’s the Problem.

* See, Dad? I knew you could survive on girl scout cookies.

* There’s always money in the banana stand: The Fed’s Cold War Bunker Had $4 Billion Cash For After The Apocalypse.

* Won’t you give? What you can? Today? Poetry is going extinct, government data show.

* I believe any crazy story with China in the headline. That’s my policy.

* Kid, I’ve flown from one side of this galaxy to the other, and I’ve seen a lot of strange stuff, but I’ve never seen anything to make me believe that there’s one all-powerful Force controlling everything.

It’s Time To Stop Treating Childhood as a Disease.

* And you thought The Dark Knight Strikes Back was bad.

All the Monday Links!

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* Look alive, Octavia Butler scholars! 2015-16 Fellowships at the Huntington.

* Exciting crowdfunding project on disability and science fiction: Accessing the Future.

* If what we were fighting against in World War II were not just enemy nations but fascism and militarism, then did the atomic bombs that massacred the defenseless populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki — coming as a grand climax to our “strategic bombing” of European and Asian cities — help bring us victory? Or defeat?

The long-standing paradox of human rights is that the declaration to observe them is a hollow scream that follows their loss.

* Is Genocide Right For You?

* The Sheep Look Up7 Things You Need To Know About The Toxin That’s Poisoned Ohio’s Drinking Water. Farming practices and climate change at root of Toledo water pollution.

* Newborns laugh in their sleep, say Japanese researchers.

* Common sense solutions to alt-pop song problems.

Problem: We all want something beautiful, man I wish I was beautiful.
Solution: Diet, exercise, and plastic surgery.

* Op-ed: Adjuncts should unionize.

* What colleges can learn from journalism schools. English departments seem particularly well-positioned to apply some of these lessons.

*  Meet The Sexual Assault Adviser Top U.S. Colleges Have On Speed Dial.

* Understanding college discounting.

The space vehicle is shoddily constructed, running dangerously low on fuel; its parachutes — though no one knows this — won’t work and the cosmonaut, Vladimir Komarov, is about to, literally, crash full speed into Earth, his body turning molten on impact. As he heads to his doom, U.S. listening posts in Turkey hear him crying in rage, “cursing the people who had put him inside a botched spaceship.”

* Emirates becomes first major international airline to suspend all flights to virus-affected region. Why you’re not going to get Ebola in the U.S.

* When Moral Panics Collide! GOP Congressman Who Warned About Unvaccinated Migrants Opposed Vaccination.

* The Golden Age of Comics Is Now.

* Just another weekend in Milwaukee.

IRS Agrees To Monitor Religious Groups For Political Campaigning.

* How an honors student became a hired killer.

A Thai surrogate mother said Sunday that she was not angry with the Australian biological parents who left behind a baby boy born with Down syndrome, and hoped that the family would take care of the boy’s twin sister they took with them. Honestly, I think I’m pretty mad at them.

* Is Howard the Duck Really Marvel’s Next Franchise? A Close Look at the Evidence.

* They say Western civilization’s best days are behind it, but Bill Murray will star as Baloo in Disney’s live-action The Jungle Book.

* Ever tried. Ever meowed. No matter. Try Again. Meow again. Meow better. Beckittens.

* Filming is apparently wrapping on Fantastic Four, but they didn’t even have a teaser trailer for Comic-Con. This film must be a complete disaster. Can’t wait!

* Why are we impeaching Obama today?

* The third Lev Grossman Magicians book ships tomorrow. Soon to be a TV show, maybe!

* Presenting the all-new, all-different Ghostbustrixes.

* Always remember: The best thesis defense is a good thesis offense.

* And it took its sweet time, but the Singularity is finally here.

Google Cardboard, virtual reality

And on the Apocalypse Beat

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Written by gerrycanavan

August 2, 2012 at 11:10 pm

Thursday Morning Links

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Sneaking in a linkdump before the conference begins…

* We will never forget the day Wikipedia went dark. More here and here.

* Mediocre new Springsteen track released! Really, this one’s just not great.

* Letters to Children from Cultural Icons on the Love of Libraries.

* Stunning pictures from the Costa Concordia disaster. And here’s some stunning audio.

A year into his first full-time teaching job, Newt Gingrich applied to be college president, submitting with his application a paper titled “Some Projections on West Georgia College’s Next Thirty Years.” Gingrich’s College Records Show a Professor Hatching Big Plans. I know it’s all Romney! Romney! Romney! these days, but Rick Perry and I still believe in Gingritchmentum.

* You’ve probably already seen it, but Wisconsin Democrats have collected a million signatures to recall Scott Walker. Given that’s 50% of the votes cast in the last election and 20% of the total number of the people in the state, they could make some history here.

* Obama officially rejects Keystone XL, for now at least.

* Another TPM piece on “the new swing states.”

* In traveling around I wasn’t able to post on the latest James O’Keefe follies. Well done sir. I wonder if this violates his probation from the last time he pulled a pointless, self-refuting stunt.

* And today’s speculative physics: What if every electron in the universe was all the same exact particle, dreaming it was a butterfly, dreaming it was a man?

Quick Links for Tuesday

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* Must-read post from my friend Aaron Bady on coal-mining in Appalachia.

* Intergenerational warfare watch: Student loan debt poised to top a trillion dollars.

* Although it has still only released about 10% as much radiation as Chernobyl, Fukushima is now the second-ever accident to reach level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale.

* Either President Obama is the world’s worst poker player, or he’s getting more or less the deals he wants. For what it’s worth my friend Steve Benen thinks reports that Obama will endorse Simpson/Bowles tomorrow are overblown; I suppose we’ll see.

* And Donald Trump’s birtherism has now catapulted him to the top of the GOP field. Astounding. Well done, sir.


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