Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Disney

Wednesday News Brief, This Is All the News Today

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* The US is now on track to have the worst outbreak anywhere. In the end we will have handled this worse than any nation on earth, because our leaders lied to us, said it was under control, said it wasn’t a big deal, said we were doing great, privately sold their stocks, told us to *buy* stock, ignored science, ignored experts, lied.

* Vox has some details on the coronavirus bailout, including how UI will be extended to freelancers and the self-employed and when you’ll get your check. Here’s another read from Forbes. This thread on Twitter seems to have more information on how the UI expansion will work for the self-employed.

Anti-Capitalist Politics in the Time of COVID-19. Reclaim our homes. Coronavirus Will Change the World Permanently. Here’s How. How the Covid-19 recession could become a depression. European countries are writing blank checks to save their economies from coronavirus.

Astonishingly, America’s ramshackle private healthcare system is about to suffer a financial crisis in the midst of the corona epidemic! Both family practices and hospitals are in shock as all their lucrative business is cancelled and they are hit by corona cases.

*  “Herd Immunity” Is Epidemiological Neoliberalism.

* On Monday afternoon, the Food and Drug Administration granted Gilead Sciences “orphan” drug status for its antiviral drug, remdesivir. The designation allows the pharmaceutical company to profit exclusively for seven years from the product, which is one of dozens being tested as a possible treatment for Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

* Reading in a time of coronavirus: download your free ebooks until April 2. From the list let me recommend Four Futures by Peter Frase, which I thought was great.

* We are in a time of wild magical thinking: miracle cures, coronavirus parties, Disney reopening next week, return to work by Easter, life without fear. Meanwhile, as a direct result of Trump administration policy: Scramble for medical equipment descends into chaos as U.S. states and hospitals compete for rare supplies.

* An Actual Trolley Problem.

* New York has 5% of Covid-19 cases worldwide as city becomes battlefront. “Our single greatest challenge is ventilators,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo says. “We have 11,000. We need 30,000.”

Trump Shrugged Off Repeated Intelligence Warnings About Coronavirus Pandemic. DHS wound down pandemic models before coronavirus struck. U.S. axed CDC expert job in China months before virus outbreak. Coronavirus and Fox News.

* How the virus got out. How the Coronavirus Could Take Over Your Body (Before You Ever Feel It). What I Learned When My Husband Got Sick with Coronavirus.

* A Day in the Life of an ER Doc. A Medical Worker Describes Terrifying Lung Failure From COVID-19 — Even in His Young Patients. Nursing Home Worker: “Everything About This Is Designed for Disaster.”

* Higher Education in the Age of COVID-19. How Is Covid-19 Changing Prospective Students’ Plans? Here’s an Early Look. Central Washington University Board of Trustees declares exigency. “To be an adjunct right now is to be exhorted to expend ever greater efforts while one’s efforts are treated as ever more expendable.” Embrace the Canavan plan for pass/fail.

Amidst a global health crisis, porn finds a way.

The Very Specific Reason We Shouldn’t Bail Out the Cruise Industry.

We Need a Hard Pause, Followed by a Soft Start.

That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief. I Study Prisons and AIDS History. Here’s Why Self-Isolation Really Scares Me.

* It will only get worse: ICE Detainees Are Being Quarantined. DOJ Wants to Suspend Certain Constitutional Rights During Coronavirus Emergency. ‘Terrified’ Package Delivery Employees Are Going to Work Sick. Coronavirus hits rural Kansas, Missouri towns. Many don’t have a single hospital bed. U.S. Hospitals Prepare Guidelines For Who Gets Care Amid Coronavirus Surge. White House Pushes U.S. Officials to Criticize China For Coronavirus ‘Cover-Up.’ Funeral Homes Change Their Practices In Response To Coronavirus. Coronavirus Is Spurring a New Era of Digital Funerals. “This week, it’s going to get bad.”

* Science you can use: the Great Depression and death rates.

* DoE won’t let this crisis go to waste.

* Africa’s mountain gorillas also at risk for coronavirus.

* The 2021 Olympics.

* The podcasts are ready.

* In some happier dimension, this would be an Onion headline.

* The Dark Forest Theory of the Internet.

* Comrade Britney Spears shares post calling for general strike and redistribution of wealth.

* Chess in the time of coronavirus.

Joe Biden Pivots to Video. ‘There’s no playbook for this’: Biden trapped in campaign limbo. You know it’s bad when the political cartoons start agreeing with you.

* A really exciting new book series: Palgrave SFF: A New Canon.

* Remember comics?

* Best joke of the week if you ask me.

* And ICFA lives!

CoronaFRI!vus

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Why the Coronavirus Has Been So Successful. No other country has been this far into the pandemic and still had the number of cases growing at the rates the U.S. is seeing. Without Urgent Action, Coronavirus Could Overwhelm U.S., Estimates Say. I’m not saying we won’t get our hair mussed.

* David Harvey: Anti-Capitalist Politics in the Time of COVID-19. The Politics of the Pandemic. You and Your Boss Have the Same Interests Right Now. That Is a Once-In-A-Lifetime Opportunity. Sara Nelson Says People Are Ready for Solidarity. COVID-19 Emergency Tenant Protections. Homeless families occupy vacant homes in LA. Dealing With Coronavirus Requires Bold Action. The Democratic Leadership Won’t Take It.

* 9% of Working Americans (14 Million) So Far Have Been Laid Off As Result of Coronavirus; 1 in 4 Workers Have Had Their Hours Reduced; 2% Have Been Fired; 20% Have Postponed a Business Trip; Shock Waves Just Now Beginning to Ripple Through Once-Roaring US Economy. U.S. Jobless Claims Jump to Two-Year High Amid Closures. 2700% increase in unemployment claims in Ohio — midweek. [Calfornia] averages 2,000 unemployment applications a day. Two or three days ago, it received 40,000. On Tuesday, 80,000 applications were filed. JP Morgan is forecasting -14% RGDP growth in Q2. That’s so bad it isn’t even on the historical axis.

So, It’s Bad. Free, Widespread Testing Is The Only Way America Goes Back to Normal. This Is How We Can Beat the Coronavirus. Coronavirus will radically alter the U.S. US sales of guns and ammunition soar amid coronavirus panic buying. The Stimulus Plan That We Need Now.

* Curb Your Enthusiasm: “The Virus.”

* I’m reminded somehow of the way you end a SimCity game by unleashing every disaster on your city as once. The Midwest Is Preparing To Get Hit With Major Floods During The Coronavirus Outbreak. How the Coronavirus Crisis May Hinder Efforts to Fight Wildfires. Locust crisis poses a danger to millions, forecasters warn. Earthquake in Utah. A Huge Chunk of Yellowstone Is Pulsing.

* Weeks Before Virus Panic, Intelligence Chairman Privately Raised Alarm, Sold Stocks. Senator Dumped Up to $1.7 Million of Stock After Reassuring Public About Coronavirus Preparedness.

* Coronavirus Is Speeding Up the Amazonification of the Planet. Amazon Workers Shut Down Warehouse After Employee Is Infected With Coronavirus. The tech execs who don’t agree with ‘soul-stealing’ coronavirus safety measures.

Mitt Romney’s $1,000 Isn’t Our Universal Basic Income. Americans may see first round of checks from US government by April 6. I really should have known.

* Before Virus Outbreak, a Cascade of Warnings Went Unheeded. In Coronavirus Testing Ramp-Up, U.S. Called Private Sector in Late. How the CDC Botched Basic Science in Its Attempt to Make a Coronavirus Test. Don’t Let Trump Off the Hook.

* I had a lot of question about this, so perhaps it will be useful to you too: No, The World Health Organization Is Not Recommending Against Ibuprofen For Coronavirus Symptoms.

The world’s fastest supercomputer identified chemicals that could stop coronavirus from spreading, a crucial step toward a treatment. Japanese flu drug ‘clearly effective’ in treating coronavirus, says China. Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin as a treatment of COVID‐19: results of an open‐label non‐randomized clinical trial.

“I’m Not An Epidemiologist But…”: The Rise Of The Coronavirus Influencers. This is certainly a problem but I became attuned to the reality of coronavirus precisely through these sorts of non-experts while Trump and the CDC were still lying to everyone. I haven’t seen anything better for learning true information about this crisis than Reddit’s upvote/downvote system.

* Today in the trolley problem. Today in the simulation argument. Today in career goals. Today in Star Trek Studies. Today in Watchmen fan fiction. Weird time.

* Rikers Island inmate has contracted coronavirus: officials. How coronavirus could explode at Riker’s Island. Reducing prison population protects us all from coronavirus.

You Need Me to Have a Mask. ‘It Feels Like a War Zone’: Doctors and Nurses Plead for Masks on Social Media. A New York Doctor’s Coronavirus Warning: The Sky Is Falling. Simple math offers alarming answers.

* Rural America Isn’t Ready for a Pandemic.

* This picture tells a story about America.

* As Cities Around the World Go on Lockdown, Victims of Domestic Violence Look for a Way Out.

* The COVID-19 Crisis and International Students. Colleges offering dorms as hospital overflow for virus cases. A Brief Letter to an Institution that Believes Extensions are the Accommodations We Need Right Now.

* ‘Panic-gogy’: Teaching Online Classes During The Coronavirus Pandemic. As Schools Look for Guidance, Educators Are Left Asking, ‘What?’ New Coronavirus Package Could Unravel Protections For Students With Disabilities. Is online school illegal? With schools closing from coronavirus, special education concerns give districts pause.

* Waaaaaay ahead of you.

GameStop claims it is ‘essential retail’ to remain open amid coronavirus shutdowns. It didn’t work.

Minnesota and Vermont Just Classified Grocery Clerks as Emergency Workers.

* There’s plenty of food.

* The Quiet Emptiness of a World under Coronavirus.

* The desire for public sex is, of course, nothing new. In his book Tell Me What You Want, sex researcher and Kinsey Institute fellow Justin Lehmiller found it was one of the seven most common fantasies, but the way people are having it in a coronavirus-ridden world definitely is. Now, instead of treating it as nothing more than a novel thrill to “spice things up,” some people are using it as an act of resistance against the virus-induced lockdowns that have squashed so many of the liberties we hold dear. Sex etiquette during the coronavirus.

* Kim Stanley Robinson releases a chapter from his latest novel, though weirdly it’s listed as “news.”

I spent four months pretending to live on Mars. Here’s what I learned about staying sane and passing time.

* I’m beginning to think you just can’t trust billionaires: When he joined the race last year, the billionaire said he would employ his campaign staff through the November election, even if he weren’t the nominee. But Bloomberg dropped out after a poor showing on Super Tuesday, and he has since fired staffers in multiple waves. His campaign had announced earlier in March that it would launch an independent expenditure group to take on Trump that would employ former campaign staffers in swing states.

The Sanders worldview wins even as Bernie loses.

* You know it’s bad when politicians are leaving elected office to join the priesthood.

* A false accusation nightmare in the Times.

* Moffat leaving Doctor Who seemed like a good exit ramp for me, so I haven’t seen any of the new episodes — but wow, this latest retcon looks like a mess, as well as a pretty clear “find some way to tie this off and wrap it up” directive from the BBC.

* Rethinking the Apocalypse: An Indigenous Anti-Futurist Manifesto.

* Octavia Butler gave us a few rules for predicting the future.

An “Extinction Event” for the Comic Shop or “Too Stupid to Quit, Too Dumb to Die”?

The Ending of Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion, Revisited.

* Star Wars in ruins: The Most Problematic ‘Rise Of Skywalker’ Plot Twist Ruined Disney’s ‘Star Wars’ Trilogy. Disney has embarrassed itself issuing Episode 9 retcons but it really ought to explain why it’s being so elliptical about this one issue for no apparent reason.

* And Star Wars resurgent: The Mandalorian Casts Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano.

* Because you demanded it: A new Disney Princess historical fiction series finds Belle in the French Revolution.

* And they were nearly almost done, too! I swear!

* Hey, it’s me, the first sign of civilization in a culture.

* Coming soon: The Collapsing Empire, Book 3. A Cixin Liu story collection. And some free coronavirus reading: Short Changes, a story collection by Adrian Tchaikovsky.

End of February Mega-Links!

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* I had a little deleted scene on a recent episode of The Gribcast, cut out from the earlier episode I was on where I talked about Parable of the Talents.

* The Cambridge History of Science Fiction made Locus’s Recommended Reading List for 2019. Thanks to all who voted!

* Behold! SFRA Review 50.1!

* CFP: SFRA 2020: Forms of Fabulation. CFP: PopMeC. CFP: Transnational Equivalences and Inequalities. CFP: 20/20 Vision: Speculating in Literature and Film in Canada. CFP: Teaching About Capitalism, War, and Empire. CFP: “The Infrastructure of Emergency.” CFP: Science Fictions, Popular Cultures. CFP: OEB Third Biennial Conference September 11-13, 2020. CFP: ‘Walls and Barriers: Science Fiction in the age of Brexit.’ CFP: Current Research in Speculative Fiction 10th Anniversary Conference (CRSF 2020). CFP: The Digital Futures of Graduate Study in the Humanities. CFP: The Routledge Companion to Gender and Science Fiction. CFP: Write about Bojack Horseman for @AtPost45!

Three Californias, Infinite Futures.

Utopias are like blueprints and novels are like soap operas. What kind of art comes out of that? Sometimes I’ve experienced this as intensely stressful. In the domestic realist tradition of the English novel, what you value is, This is what real life is like. Like Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan quartet—in theory I would aspire to write a novel like that. Yet here I am trying these utopian efforts time after time. So at a certain point along the way I got over it and just regarded it as a literary problem and an opportunity. My books are unusual, but so what? That’s a nice thing to be.

* A Sci-Fi Author’s Boldest Vision of Climate Change: Surviving It.

The New Generation of Self-Created Utopias.

* This is relatable content: Did Tolkien Write The Lord of the Rings Because He Was Avoiding His Academic Work?

* Watch a Haunting Teaser for Jóhann Jóhannsson’s Adaptation of Olaf Stapledon’s Last and First Men.

Empathy in John Ira Jennings and Damian Duffy’s “Parable of the Sower.”

The Shell Game: From “Get Out” to “Parasite.” Reading Colonialism in “Parasite.” Subtitles Can’t Capture the Full Class Critique in ‘Parasite.’

* All eyes on the Johns Hopkins dashboard. Amid coronavirus scare, US colleges cancel study abroad programs. Covid-19 Will Mark the End of Affluence Politics.

* Bernie and #MUnion. Bernie Sanders’s Multiracial, Working-Class Base Was On Display In Iowa. How Bernie’s Iowa Campaign Organized Immigrant Workers at the Factory Gates. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Wows Iowa, Probably Not for the Last Time. The Delegate Math Now Favors Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders leads Donald Trump in polls, even when you remind people he’s a socialist. Bernie Sanders looks electable in surveys — but it could be a mirage. The Seven Stages of Establishment Backlash: Corbyn/Sanders Edition. An Unsettling New Theory: There Is No Swing Voter. The Millennial/Gen-Z Strategy. Bernie Sanders and the climate.

* Wisconsin, Swing State. How Milwaukee Could Decide the Next President.

Heard but Not Seen: Black music in white spaces.

* It worked for me!

* Joanna Russ, The Science Fiction Writer Who Said No.

* What Happened to Science Fiction? Something is broken in our science fiction.

Exploring some of the key tenets of neoliberal American culture, this article examines the historical forces behind the meteoric rise of interactive Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) children’s books in the 1980s.

* The Tulsa Massacre will now be part of the Oklahoma standard curriculum.

The Transformation of Adam Johnson. A shooting happened in his classroom. Could his expertise help him make sense of it?

* Striking UC Santa Cruz Graduate Students Hold Picket Lines After Police Arrest 17. UCSC Grad Students Are on Strike for a Living Wage. UC Santa Cruz Strikers to Lose TA Jobs. The UCSC Strike Is Working. The UC Santa Cruz Wildcat Strike and the Shape of What’s To Come.

Off-The-Record Advice for Graduate Students.

Serfs of Academe.

* The Job Market Is Killing Me.

* NFM: Ensuring that Adjunct Faculty Have Access to Unemployment Insurance.

* I volunteer to consult.

* The part I was born to play!

* Today, upon request of the division chair, I’m giving a short, data-based presentation to the faculty in the Humanities division meeting. The subject is career prospects for our majors. Here are the key points…

* Pedagogy corner: Against Cop Shit.

* The father of a former student at Sarah Lawrence College –accused of manipulating her school friends, extorting nearly $1 million from them, and profiting from their work as prostitutes – was charged with sex trafficking, forced labor and extortion, in a federal indictment released today.

How the central administration has consolidated power and deflected dissent at the University of Chicago.

Their findings suggest college closings won’t be as frequent as some soothsayers have predicted. No more than one out of 10 of the country’s colleges and universities face “substantial market risk,” and closings are likely to affect “relatively few students.” Six in 10 institutions face little to no risk.

* In graduate school I wrote a paper on Heaven’s Gate and it remains one of the most upsetting thing I’ve ever worked on. Haunted by Cybersects.

* Obsessing over the environmental impacts of food gone unconsumed eclipses more interesting questions we might ask of food production that don’t take for granted the ecological devastation seemingly inherent to contemporary U.S. agriculture. Wasting less food in a shitty food system won’t make that system any less shitty, and yet rarely does that realization rear its head. Like the out-of-fashion concept of food miles that launched a locavore movement, taking stock of food waste’s supposed environmental impacts appears to be more rhetorically useful than it is a reliable reflection of where and how those harms come about and who is culpable for them.

* Can we have prosperity without growth? The toxic legacy of old oil wells: California’s multibillion-dollar problem. Florida Climate Outlook 2020. Climate emergency declared in Barcelona. ‘Splatometer’ Study Finds Huge Insect Die-Off. Measuring the Carbon-Dioxide Cost of Last Year’s Worldwide Wildfires. Greta and Anti-Greta. These photo of a Bengal Tiger is composed of only 2500 pixels. That’s the number of Bengal Tigers that are still alive. Never tell me the odds!

The Tragedy of the Worker: Towards the Proletarocene.

After Carbon Democracy.

* Actually existing media bias.

* Among the Post-Liberals.

* British Photographer Remodels World Famous Architecture Using Paper Cutouts and Forced Perspective.

* The search for new words to make us care about the climate crisis.

The Great Affordability Crisis Breaking America. How $98 trillion of household wealth in America is distributed: “It’s very depressing.”

* Is there any scam like health insurance? Just so many angles.

* Adrienne Miller’s memoir of her relationship with David Foster Wallace is part of an emerging genre of women coming of age via an older, powerful man. This one actually lets DFW off easy.

Designed as a bucolic working-class suburb of St. Louis, the nearly all-black town of Centreville now floods with raw sewage every time it rains. “Bring us back some help,” residents say, living through an environmental horror that evokes centuries of official disinterest in black suffering, as well as a future in which the poor are left to suffer in areas made uninhabitable by climate change.

* In contrast, the judge has exhibited antipathy for Donziger, according to his former lawyer, John Keker, who saw the case as a “Dickensian farce,” in which “Chevron is using its limitless resources to crush defendants and win this case through might rather than merit.” Keker withdrew from the case in 2013 after noting that “Chevron will file any motion, however meritless, in the hope that the court will use it to hurt Donziger.”

* Truly, depravity in everything.

Hmong Leaders Say Reported Trump Deportation Plans Would Put People At Risk. Border Patrol Will Deploy Elite Tactical Agents to Sanctuary Cities. How the Border Patrol’s New Powers and Old Carelessness Separated a Family. The Department of Justice Creates Section Dedicated to Denaturalization Cases. Why You May Never Learn the Truth About ICE.  Federal Judge Reverses Conviction of Border Volunteers, Challenging Government’s “Gruesome Logic.” How Stephen Miller Manipulates Trump.

What Happens When QAnon Seeps From the Web to the Offline World.

* Why the Left Can’t Stand The New York Times.

* #MeToo and the Post-Traumatic Novel.

* Mr. Peanut Devouring His Son.

End the GOP.

* The 53-State Solution.

Michael Bloomberg’s Polite Authoritarianism. When Bloomberg News’s Reporting on China Was Challenged, Bloomberg Tried to Ruin Me for Speaking Out. The degree to which Michael Bloomberg is using his fortune to fundamentally alter & manipulate U.S. politics to his personal advantage extends way beyond ads. I’ve worked against him, covered him as a journalist & worked with his top aides. Here’s their playbook… Bloomberg and Trump: alike in dignity and almost everything else.

* Big yikes.

Kasy we’re counting on ya.

* Toba catastrophe watch: Stone Tools Suggest Supervolcano Eruption Didn’t Decimate Humanity 74,000 Years Ago.

The Billion-Dollar Disinformation Campaign to Reelect the President. Target’s Delivery App Workers Describe a Culture of Retaliation and Fear. Donald Trump ads will take over YouTube for Election Day. How Chaos at Chain Pharmacies Is Putting Patients at Risk. ‘Every Single Person Is Losing Money’: Shipt Is the Latest Gig Platform to Screw Its Workers. Cost Cutting Algorithms Are Making Your Job Search a Living Hell. The Future of Housing May Be $2,000 Dorm Rooms for Grownups. Here Are the Most Common Airbnb Scams Worldwide. Uber and Lyft generate 70 percent more pollution than trips they displace: study. Hackers stuck a 2-inch strip of tape on a 35-mph speed sign and successfully tricked 2 Teslas into accelerating to 85 mph. Self-driving car dataset missing labels for pedestrians, cyclists. Draining the Risk Pool: Insurance companies are using new surveillance tech to discipline customers. Health Records Company Pushed Opioids to Doctors in Secret Deal. Pornhub doesn’t care.

* But it’s not all bad news: Kickstarter has unionized.

* Wikipedia Is the Last Best Place on the Internet.

* Canada is fake.

* you: trauma me, an intellectual:

Artificial Wombs Aren’t a Sci-Fi Horror Story.

* It’s always amazing when something like the “woman tax” moves from ludicrous, laughable nonsense to explicit policy instantaneously.

Founder of Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods transfers business to employees.

* ‘The Scream’ Is Fading. New Research Reveals Why.

* Twilight of GameStop.

* Dungeons & Dragons & Therapy.

* Animal Crossing and Needing Therapy.

* Universe Sandbox.

* A brief history of orcs in video games. A history of farts in video games. He gave us so many lives, but he had only one.

* Behind the scenes at Rotten Tomatoes.

* Rise of the blur.

The best $500 I ever spent: My autism diagnosis.

How libel law is being turned against MeToo accusers.

How The Good Place taught moral philosophy to its characters — and its creators.

The Quest for the Best Amusement Park Is Ever-Changing and Never-Ending.

* Next year, in Jerusalem: Star Wars Will ‘Absolutely’ Have a Future Film Directed by a Woman, Kathleen Kennedy Says.

* He Was ‘Star Wars’ ‘ Secret Weapon, So Why Was He Forgotten?

* Here comes Star Wars: The High Republic.

Disney Didn’t Just Buy ‘Hamilton’ for $75 Million; It Bought a Potential Franchise.

* Could it be that capitalism is… bad?

* Free speech and eating meat.

* Science corner! People Born Blind Are Mysteriously Protected From Schizophrenia. Exploding the “Separated-at-Birth” Twin Study Myth. How Lifesaving Organs For Transplant Go Missing In Transit. The Hope And Hype Of Diabetic Alert Dogs. Most BMW drivers are jerks, according to science. Here are a couple of ways of starting a fire in the wilderness using found materials.

* The Great Buenos Aires Bank Heist.

Crypto Ponzi scheme took Major League Baseball players and their families for millions.

* Of course you had me at “literary Ponzi scheme.”

* Basketball in North Korea is absolute chaos.

* A whatchamacallit by any other name.

* Map of Europe: Agario Style.

How to Make Billions in E-Sports. ‘Nobody talks about it because everyone is on it’: Adderall presents esports with an enigma.

* @ me next time

* The arc of history is long, but…

* And The French Dispatch has a trailer for me to get very nervous about. Wes Anderson, I’m begging you to get a new gimmick.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 26, 2020 at 4:04 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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End of Month, End of Year, End of Decade Links

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* Holiday plans.

* Steve Shaviro has his favorite science fiction of 2019. I can definitely endorse the Chiang, Hurley, and Tchaikovsky entries, and hope to report in on some of the rest soon… Meanwhile Sean Guynes has a roundup of the best books of the decade in science fiction studies, fantasy studies, American studies, and comics studies.

* Kim Stanley Robinson: “What the Hell Do We Write Now?”

* Tolkien, Lewis, and The Enchantments of Escape.

* Abigail Nussbaum has some questions for The Rise of Skywalker. I thought the Blank Check episode was terrific, too.

* I wanted more ‘Star Wars.’ I got my wish, and ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ made me regret it. The Rise of Skywalker: Memorabilia without Memory, a Misunderstanding of Hope. Welcome to the Star Wars zoo. We Can’t See ‘Star Wars’ Anymore. Will “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” rebalance Disney’s universe? I’ve heard worse ideas. Improv. Disney produced an unprecedented 80 percent of the top box office hits this year. The Decade Disney Won. And one last time, for old time’s sake: The 10 Best Stories In the Star Wars Expanded Universe.

* Huh: They’re gonna make a movie out of “Coyote vs. ACME.”

* Ed Solomon reflects on the greatest work of science fiction he’s been associated with, the profit statement for Men in Black (1997).

The Outer Worlds isn’t quite a socialist video game. But it’s close. Class War on the Final Frontier. Coming to the Switch in 2020! Meanwhile, on the nostalgia front: Star Trek: 25th Anniversary has so much to teach modern games.

* Watchmen, season two: Americans are retiring to Vietnam, for cheap healthcare and a decent standard of living. The article even offers up a point of view character perfectly sociopathic for prestige tv:

After his military career, Rockhold worked as a defense contractor, operating mostly in Africa. He first returned to Vietnam in 1992 to work on a program to help economic refugees. He settled in Vietnam in 1995, the same year the United States and Vietnam normalized relations. He married a Vietnamese woman in 2009.

“The Vietnamese were extremely nice to me, especially compared to my own country after I came back from the war,” Rockhold said at a coffee shop recently inside a polished, air-conditioned office tower that also houses a restaurant and cinema.

* The New Yorker on Watchmen. Whitewashing ‘Watchmen.’ Who’s Watching HBO’s Watchmen? (Parts 1, 2, and 3).

* Kill Your TV.

A quirky exploration of sci-fi and masculinity. Science Fiction’s Wonderful Mistakes. And some more hot Shaviro sf content: “Defining Speculation: Speculative Fiction, Speculative Philosophy, and Speculative Finance.”

* Can you racebend Little Women? I imagine the next adaptation will, or at least will try too.

What happened to Dudley Heinsbergen?

* ‘Streaming has killed the mainstream’: the decade that broke popular culture.

* Meme formalism. Secularization and the death of the humanities. And Christopher Newfield reviews the book giving everyone who works for a college nightmares, Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education. The disgusting new campus novel. Radical academics for the status quo. Can literary studies survive?

* Arundhati Roy: India: Intimations of an Ending.

* What the Prison-Abolition Movement Wants.

* The invention of ethical AI: how Big Tech manipulates academia to avoid regulation.

One of Amazon’s first employees says the company should be broken up.

* The system works: The richest families in Florence in 1427 are still the richest families in Florence. Must be nice!

We Should Recapture the Optimism of the 1960s.

* James Harris Jackson went to New York with a Roman sword and an apocalyptic ideology. He stabbed a stranger in the back and left him to die. Iowa woman admits she hit 14-year-old with SUV because the girl ‘is Mexican.’ Senate removes phrase ‘white nationalist’ from measure intended to screen military enlistees.

Washington state lawmaker accused of “domestic terrorism” refuses to resign.

Deaths in custody. Sexual violence. Hunger strikes. What we uncovered inside ICE facilities across the US. Under secret Stephen Miller plan, ICE to use data on migrant children to expand deportation efforts. Trump’s Tent Cities Are on the Verge of Killing Immigrant Children. The Pacific Northwest vs. ICE.

More than simple racism or discrimination, the destructive premise at the core of the American settler narrative is that freedom is built upon violent elimination.

* America’s self-destructive love affair with electronic voting machines, continued.

* So you automated your coworkers out of a job.

* On pretty privilege.

* Trade war with Wakanda lol

* MetaFilter has your oral history of Y2K. The New Republic has your recap of the decade from hell. National Geographic has your top twenty scientific discoveries of the decade. The 84 Biggest Flops, Fails, and Dead Dreams of the Decade in Tech. The Guardian’s 100 Best Books of the 21st Century. The 15 most awe-inspiring space images of the decade. How Did This Get Played’s Top 10 Games of 2019.

* Crisis Looms in Antibiotics as Drug Makers Go Bankrupt.

* The geoengineering question. “The three hottest days on record in Australia are now Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week.”

* Yer cancelled, Harry.

Pete Buttigieg’s Wikipedia Page Has a Very Attentive Editor.

Democratic insiders: Bernie could win the nomination. What Would the Bernie Presidency Really Look Like?

* The Obama Years, or, A Decade of Liberal Delusion and Failure.

* Why Trump’s Second Term Will Be Worse.

Finland is winning the war on fake news. What it’s learned may be crucial to Western democracy.

* Women are filing more harassment claims in the #MeToo era. They’re also facing more retaliation.

* But there is another kind of memory that develops considerably later in human children, and never (as far as we know) in nonhuman animals. This is called autobiographical memory. What is the difference between episodic and autobiographical memory? In autobiographical memory, you appear in the frame of the memory. Not only do you remember how you felt on the first day of school, you see yourself going to school and having those feelings. It’s not just a matter of what happened, as with episodic memory; it’s a matter of what happened to me.

* The truth about PAW Patrol.

* Chaos at the Romance Writers of America. The Implosion of the RWA.

* Hallmark Movies Are Fascist Propaganda.

* Home Alone 14.

* Promise me I’ll never forget this moment as long as I live. It’s bad, Zeus. Welcome to hell. Santa. Soulmates. Superintelligence. Policy. Physics. Doom.

* Oracle, how can I live forever?

21 Gravity-Defying Sculptures That Messed With Our Heads.

* When Salvador Dalí Created Christmas Cards That Were Too Avant Garde for Hallmark (1960).

* Peace on Earth, Good Will Towards Men: To Make Girl Who Is Deaf Feel At Home, Dozens Of Neighbors Learn Sign Language.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 29, 2019 at 2:12 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Submitted for Your Approval, A Spoiler-Free Star Wars Hot Take Accidentally Composed on Twitter

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With Episode 9 Star Wars is finally unveiled as a multigenerational, nearly century-long saga of every major character trying to kill themselves with one grand gesture that solves all their problems. There are so many characters trying to kill themselves in the final third of The Rise of Skywalker it’s actually hard to keep track of which are the good suicides and which are the bad ones. (This might seem like a joke, but it’s truly a description of the last two acts of the film.) Just like Infinity War/Endgame was about there being too many Marvel movies now, TROS is very much about Star Wars as a franchise wanting to, but being unable to, die.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 20, 2019 at 10:06 am

Monday Monday Links!

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* The EdgeEffects year in review includes my interview with Kim Stanley Robinson from last spring. Check it out if you missed it then!

* Well, the reviews are in! Jaimee’s latest published poem, “The Utopologist’s Wife.”

I have covered sports in New Jersey for a decade, crisscrossing the state for as many incredible stories as I can find. But for all the tales that made their way into my notebook, one stayed elusive, even though it seemed to stand above all the others. The 1990 Montclair-Randolph game.

* Very extremely cool site: The Deep Sea.

Keynes was wrong. Gen Z will have it worse.

* CFP: Glasgow International Fantasy Conversations Beyond the Anglocentric Fantastic, 28th-29th May 2020. CFP: Special Issue of the Journal of Fandom Studies on Archives and Special Collections. CFP: Creature Features & the Environment. CFP: Hindsight is 20/20: How Popular Culture Writes, Rewrites, and Unwrites History.

Ghosts of the future. What Green Costs. Congressional Democrats’ last, long-shot attempt at climate progress this year. Greenland’s ice losses have septupled and are now in line with its highest sea-level scenario, scientists say. Last Remaining Glaciers in the Pacific Will Soon Melt Away. The Arctic didn’t used to emit carbon. Something like 14% of public housing in this country is at risk from sea level rise. Young people can’t remember how much more wildlife there used to be. Climate change and depression. Irreversible Shift. Even Greta Isn’t Radical Enough. Just ask Goldman Sachs.

* It’s 2071, and We Have Bioengineered Our Own Extinction.

Scientists Are Contemplating a 1,000-Year Space Mission to Save Humanity. Would be nice if someone look at the next 25 years, too.

* U.S. Army Worries Humanity is Biased Against Deadly Cyborg Soldiers Because of Movies Like Terminator.

* How William Gibson Keeps His Science Fiction Real.

* San Francisco’s Sci-Fi Renaissance.

* The allure of science fiction.

* Beyond Gender.

* What was one work of speculative fiction—book, game, movie, tv show, whatever—that profoundly imagined a new future during the last decade and that is likely to have a lasting impact?

This Professor Was Accused of Bullying Grad Students. Now He’s Being Banned From Teaching. Followup on ‘I Was Sick to My Stomach’: A Scholar’s Bullying Reputation Goes Under the Microscope.

Harvard Faculty Have a Rare Chance to Act in Solidarity With Striking Student Workers. ‘The Administration Is Assuming That We Are Going to Do Their Dirty Work.’

Grad school is worse for public health than STDs.

No, Humanities Degrees Don’t Mean Low Salaries. The Humanities Must Go on the Offensive.

* These Students Want to Create a Required K-12 Racial Literacy Curriculum.

* Fall Enrollments Still on the Decline.

* Against Critical Thinking.

‘Adulting’ is hard. UC Berkeley has a class for that.

* One-book classes have been some of the best I’ve taught. I love it as a model and it works so much better than the cram-it-all-in method I started out using.

* Perhaps the greatest free speech mystery of them all: Trump Targets Anti-Semitism and Israeli Boycotts on College Campuses.

* The Decade Comic Book Nerds Became Our Cultural Overlords. Why do they have to be such sore winners?

* Speaking of Disney there’s a pretty good discussion on this episode of Podcast: The Ride about Disney claiming all cinema in a way I haven’t seen discussed anywhere — literally going back and rebranding Fox properties like Miracle on 34th Street as Disney’s Miracle on 34th Street.

* What’s Up With J.J. Abrams Seemingly Shading The Last Jedi? The Last Jedi didn’t break Star Wars. It Saved It. John Boyega just having an incredible week.

* A People’s History of Lube Man. If HBO makes a second season of ‘Watchmen,’ it should be about Vietnam.

So, when thinking about “Blue Monday” in context of the genre/format New Order basically helped found (i.e., post-punk and modern rock), the sixteenth-note/machine gun trope recalls the fact of lots of bad, imperialist things the U.S. did in the 80s and early 90s. But the whole point of this trailer is to provide audiences with the image or feeling of an American-ness that is actually grounded in something like truth and justice. Setting up a not-at-all-thinly-veiled ersatz Donald Trump as the film’s villain, this trailer gives audiences a scapegoat for the nation’s present and past wrongs: then as now, the problem lies in a really dastardly bad apple, not the system itself. 

* Pete Buttigieg makes his Jacobin debut.

How consulting companies like McKinsey optimized American inequality.

Joe Biden Still Can’t Answer Basic Questions About Hunter and Burisma.

* Self-help gurus all the way down: on Elizabeth Warren.

Why Trump’s path to reelection is totally plausible. On Depoliticization. Et Tu, U.K.? I’m Crying, You’re Crying. But Our Day Will Come. No False Consolations.

Finland forms government of five parties all led by women, with youngest prime minister in world.

Trump’s children must undergo mandatory training to learn how to avoid defrauding charities.

* People in the U.S. Are Buying Fish Antibiotics Online and Taking Them Themselves. Congress can’t get its act together on lowering drug prices or eliminating surprise medical bills. Insurance companies aren’t doctors. So why do we keep letting them practice medicine? AOC compares average paid family leave in US to time dogs stay with puppies. And this is a little on the nose.

* You’d think after a story like this the adults involved would simply die of shame.

These 91 companies paid no federal taxes in 2018.

House Democrats To Rich People: We Love You.

* Always money in the banana stand.

These moderators help keep Google and YouTube free of violent extremism — and now some of them have PTSD. TikTok Admits It Suppressed Videos by Disabled, Queer, and Fat Creators. Artificial intelligence will help determine if you get your next job.

Understanding The U.S. Economy: Lots Of Rotten Jobs.

People in Japan are wearing exoskeletons to keep working as they age.

* Stealing the election in plain sight: 234,000 voter registrations get tossed in Wisconsin after Republican lawsuit, overwhelmingly in Milwaukee and Madison. Whatever shall I do with this power?

* You don’t know Bernie.

* Mario Maker is a blessing we never deserved.

Perhaps the best example of how radical and reactionary horror tropes sprout from one another is John Carpenter’s 1988 classic They Live. In the movie, John Nada (Roddy Piper), a virtuous, optimistic, working-class protagonist, discovers that cadaverous aliens are living among us, controlling us with television messages that turn us into obedient, consuming drones. The movie is widely considered a critique of Reagan-era neoliberalism, and it is that. But it’s also a story about the virtues of genocide. A white guy discovers aliens who don’t look like him living in his town, and his first impulse is to murder them. Foreign shape-shifting immigrants, like vampires, are a standard anti-Semitic stand-in for Jews, and They Live can be read as a fascist conspiracy theory, in which brave working Americans finally recognize their racial oppressors, and respond with righteous cleansing violence.

Boots Riley Critiques ‘Joker:’ “These Superhero Movies are Cop Movies.”

* Another trainwreck behind the scenes of American Gods.

* Millennials Are Leaving Religion And Not Coming Back. False Idol — Why the Christian Right Worships Donald Trump. The Evangelical Mind.

* Shocking slander of a female reporter in the Richard Jewell movie.

* Second verse same as the first.

* Second verse same as the first but in a good way.

* UNC’s self-inflicted humiliation just gets worse.

Stephen Miller is a white supremacist. I know, I was one too.

* No one could have predicted: Charter Fraud And Waste Worse Than We Thought.

* The age of Instagram face.

* Ectopic Pregnancies Are Not Viable Pregnancies, Period.

* Hardt and Negri: Empire, Twenty Years On.

What we know about you when you click on this article.

* U.S. lab chimps were dumped on Liberia’s Monkey Island and left to starve. He saved them.

52 Things Learned in 2019.

I’m Honestly Fed Up With All The Bad News, So I Illustrated 50 Of The Best Ones From 2019.

* You like doing this?

* Focus on a different kid every time you watch.

* And The Atlantic presents The Year in Volcanoes.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 16, 2019 at 2:26 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Liiiiiiiiinks

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* frieze asked me to write them an end-of-decade reflection on franchise culture, so here it is: “Disney’s Endgame: How the Franchise Came to Rule Cinema.” It bounces off the Scorsese brouhaha, but with an eye towards what I see as the key problematic there (monopoly), as opposed to fretting about spectacle or sequels as such. Check it out!

* Had an amazing time doing the keynote at the UC Speculative Futures Collective Symposium on Speculative Futures and Education this week. Look for more from this group soon!

* I was also on the Gribcast podcast talking about Parable of the Talents, something we’d planned for nearly a year before finally making it happen.

* I was elected president of the Science Fiction Research Association last week, too. It’s been weird!

* CFP: Ecopedagogies for the Anthropocene. CFP: Midwestern Science Fiction and Fantasy. CFP: AU: Alternate University.

* The agrocapitalist sublime: The first map of America’s food supply chain is mind-boggling.

These 8 Men Have As Much Money As Half The World.

* Ken Liu in the Times: How Chinese Sci-Fi Conquered America. The China Science Fiction Research Institute.

* ASAP Journal has a cluster on Latinx SF.

Accelerationism: how a fringe philosophy predicted the future we live in. Come for the SF-fueled theory, stay for the celebration of Mark Fisher…

* Now, novelty is to be found in the refusal of communicative capitalism’s false promises of smoothness. If the nineties were defined by the loop (the ‘good’ infinity of the seamlessly looped breakbeat, Goldie’s “Timeless”), then the 21st century is perhaps best captured in the ‘bad’ infinity of the animated GIF, with its stuttering, frustrated temporality, its eerie sense of being caught in a time-trap.

* The humanities in ruins.

My university is dying. And soon yours will be too. The end of Title IX. The other college debt crisis: Schools are going broke. Academe as the Dystopian Workplace. My god, UNC. One of the smartest and most prescient things I’ve read about current higher education was written in 1974, by the great education editor Fred Hechinger, who predicted splitting aid by income would create a “class war over tuition.” -22.8% per student, inflation adjusted. As Universities See State Funding Threatened, Will They Be Less Outspoken About Climate Change? A strike at Harvard. I told my mentor I was a dominatrix.

* 63 Up.

* Are podcasts a disaster waiting to happen?

Was ‘Oumuamua a cosmic dust bunny?

* Farming and the United Federation of Planets.

Climate tipping points — too risky to bet against. Nine climate tipping points now ‘active,’ warn scientists. A Grave Climate Warning, Buried on Black Friday. ‘Bleak’ U.N. Report on a Planet in Peril Looms Over New Climate Talks. Global Warming Prediction Sounds Alarm for Climate Fight. Climate Change Is Accelerating, Bringing World ‘Dangerously Close’ to Irreversible Change. Even 50-year-old climate models correctly predicted global warming. I decided to do a bit of a close read of one particular part of a 1965 report sent to Lyndon Johnson, on atmospheric carbon dioxide. Because I hate myself, you see.

‘It is raining plastic’: Microplastics found in Colorado rainwater. US may face French fry shortage due to poor potato crop: report. Forget ‘developing’ poor countries, it’s time to ‘de-develop’ rich countries. California bans insurers from dropping policies in wildfire zones. Will Buffalo become a climate change haven? Meet Julian Brave NoiseCat – the 26-year-old shaping US climate policy. Exxon and the carbon tax. And what could possibly go wrong? This Bill Gates-funded chemical cloud could help stop global warming. The Failure of the Adults.

* Indict Jair Bolsonaro over indigenous rights, international court is urged.

Border Patrol threw away migrants’ belongings. A janitor saved and photographed them.

* ICE set up a fake university, then arrested 250 people granted student visas. Truly the worst of these cases I’ve seen, no public good rationale whatsoever.

* This gets reported every few months as if it were new or shocking information: DHS never had technology needed to track separated migrant kids.

Inside the Cell Where a Sick 16-Year-Old Boy Died in Border Patrol Care.

* Today in the Forever War.

How “people of color” evolved from a gesture of solidarity and respect to a cover for avoiding the complexities of race.

A staggering one-in-three women, experience physical, sexual abuse.

What is going on? Fears of school shootings hit eight Wisconsin high schools in three days.

* Wisconsin Republicans can completely transform the state’s system of governance on the fly, but the Foxconn deal is sacred writ now and forever.

Trump’s Turkey Corruption Is Way Worse Than You Realize. I predicted Trump would win in 2016 — and I’m predicting the same for 2020. Here’s why liberals don’t understand what he represents. How Trump could lose by 5 million votes and still win in 2020. And it will always get worse: Trump Tells Allies He Wants Absolved War Criminals to Campaign for Him.

If you want to beat Trump, be honest about Biden.

* McKinsey in the news!

* Waiting for Obama. Let’s hang ourselves. The Real Barack Obama Has Finally Revealed Himself.

* Anthony Weiner and the butterfly effect.

* The case for Bernie Sanders.

* ‘A distinctly American phenomenon’: Our workforce is dying faster than any other wealthy country, study shows. It’s Not Just Poor White People Driving a Decline in Life Expectancy. Income inequality in America is the highest it’s been since Census Bureau started tracking it, data shows. Unemployment is low only because ‘involuntary’ part-time work is high. Nearly 700,000 SNAP Recipients Could Lose Benefits Under New Trump Rule. In a small Vermont city: heroin, bullets, and empathy.

* Why Rent Control Works. Highways Give Way to Homes as Cities Rebuild. Against self-driving cars. Today’s Socialist Revival Began on the Streets of Seattle 20 Years Ago. Welcome to the Global Rebellion Against Neoliberalism. Even rich kids need free college.

Millennials weren’t the only ones gutted by the recession. Gen X has never recovered.

* True crime: Indiana manipulated report on Amazon worker’s death to lure HQ2, investigation says. Google fires four employees at center of worker organization efforts. Away’s founders sold a vision of travel and inclusion, but former employees say it masked a toxic work environment. Uber Office Had Separate Bathrooms for Drivers and ‘Employees.’ Uber’s new loan program could trap drivers in cycles of crushing debt. Uber Says 3,045 Sexual Assaults Were Reported in U.S. Rides Last Year.

* “Nearly every Revver who spoke with The Verge said they were exposed to graphic or troubling material on multiple occasions with no warning. This includes recordings of physical and verbal abuse between intimate partners, graphic descriptions of sexual assault, amateur porn, violent footage from police body cameras, a transphobic rant, and, in one instance, “a breast augmentation filmed by a physician’s cell phone, being performed on a patient who was under sedation.” Transcribers for the gig economy service Rev hate the recently slashed rates, but the disturbing content they deal with is even worse.

Watched “The Irishman” and wondered, hey, what happened to those Teamsters pension funds in the end? Turns out that once Rudy Giuliani made a big splash getting the mob out, he handed management over to Wall Street with no oversight, and they wrecked it.

* The final word on should you go to grad school, from 1987.

* But his bosses didn’t like him, so they shot him into space.

* Starlink vs. the stars. Even more here!

Airlines damage or lose an average of 26 wheelchairs a day, report finds.

* What happens after you abandon an entire amusement park?

* You can’t have it both ways.

* This stabs me twice.

* Give it up for Tom Gauld.

* This is a mistake and we should not accept it.

* New book claims Albert Camus was murdered by the KGB.

* The color of the year is… blue. Just — blue.

* Wish I’d been quicker on the blogging trigger to include this Thanksgiving classic in time for the holiday.

* Pretty sick dude. The prequels were close to a good story. I did stand-up last night as “1990s Jerry Seinfeld Doing Bits About His 17-Year-Old Girlfriend.” It Happened to Me: Sinclair Bought My Hometown News Channel and Now It’s Deranged. Bleakest shit I’ve ever seen. The Fire Was Good, Actually. That’s good content. That’s my secret. Inigo Montoya’s Guide to Networking Success. The self care serial killer. Every city has a “guy” they all know about. Give me fucking strength.

Mikhail Gorbachev’s Pizza Hut Thanksgiving Miracle.

* Why Elsa from Frozen is a queer icon — and why Disney won’t embrace that idea.

* The Incendiary Aims of HBO’s Watchmen. HBO’s Watchmen Reveal Unmasks Homophobia and Fetishization. Move over, Joker – it’s time for the OG Superman.

* So the new Ghostbusters sequel follows in the classic franchise legacy mold and is about the original generation of Ghostbusters failing to prevent a disaster that destroyed New York. I really feel like our culture needs some therapy.

* Hands down one of the worst living Americans, virtual lock he’ll be president someday.

* I too can’t wait for December 20th.

* Mark Z. Danielewski drops three new House Of Leaves teleplays, is definitely up to something.

In 1969, a group of boys played a Thanksgiving football game. 50 years later, they’re still at it.

* “There Is An Entity That Cannot Be Defeated”: Former Go champion beaten by DeepMind retires after declaring AI invincible.

* And rest in peace, D.C. Fontana. There’s almost no one more directly responsible for what Star Trek became than her.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 6, 2019 at 2:12 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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