Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘domestic surveillance

Closing Every Tab Not In Anger But In Disappointment Links

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* I have a new essay out on zombies and the elderly in this great new book on zombies, medicine, and comics: The Walking Med: Zombies and the Medical Image. And if you’re interested in my Octavia Butler book, podcaster Jonah Sutton-Morse (@cabbageandkings) is going through it piece by piece on Twitter with #mmsfoeb. Also, check out this LARB interview with Ayana Jamieson on her work in the Butler archives!

* CFP: Comics Remixed: Adaptation and Graphic Narrative, University of Florida. CFP: ASLE 2017 (Detroit, MI). CFP: Special Issue of Green Letters on Crime Fiction and Ecology. CFP: Global Dystopia.

* Maybe the best thing you’ll read this year: Clickhole’s Oral History of Star Trek.

* Wes Anderson made a Christmas commercial. Updated Power Rankings coming soon!

‘Feast or Famine’ for Humanities Ph.D.s.

Las Vegas is a microcosm. “The world is turning into this giant Skinner box for the self,” Schüll told me. “The experience that is being designed for in banking or health care is the same as in Candy Crush. It’s about looping people into these flows of incentive and reward. Your coffee at Starbucks, your education software, your credit card, the meds you need for your diabetes. Every consumer interface is becoming like a slot machine.”

Jesuit university presidents issue statement supporting undocumented students. Catholic college leaders pledge solidarity with undocumented students. Dissent on sanctuary cities.

* Public universities and the doom loop. UW-Madison drops out of top five research universities for first time since 1972. Student visas, university finances, and Trump.

* Stealing it fair and square: In split decision, federal judges rule Wisconsin’s redistricting law an unconstitutional gerrymander. And so on and so on.

The 13 impossible crises that humanity now faces.

How Stable Are Democracies? ‘Warning Signs Are Flashing Red.’ Maybe the Internet Isn’t a Fantastic Tool for Democracy After All. Postelection Harassment, Case by Case. Here are 20 lessons from across the fearful 20th century, adapted to the circumstances of today. Making White Supremacy Acceptable Again. Trump and the Sundown Town. No one can stop President Trump from using nuclear weapons. That’s by design. If only someone had thought of this eight years ago! A time for treason.

screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-8-20-00-am* Texas Elector Resigns: Trump Is Not Qualified And I Cannot Vote For Him. Trump and the End of Expertise. On Taking the Electoral College Literally. Some Schmittian reflections on the election. Stop Calling the United States a Banana Republic. Potential Conflicts Around the Globe for Trump, the Businessman President. Emoluments. A running list of how Donald Trump’s new position may be helping his business interests. A billionaire coup d’etat. Wunderkind. Voting under the influence of celebrity. We have an institution that could stop this (no not that one), but it won’t. Wheeeeee! Wheeeeeeeeeeee!

* And I’m afraid the news only gets worse.

If you were designing a political strategy with the goal of long-term defeat, I don’t think you could do better than actual existing Democrats. 

* “I would rather lose than win the way you guys did,” Ms. Palmieri said.” Respectfully disagree! The Myth of the Rust Belt Revolt. Who Lost the White House? Careful! We don’t want to learn anything from this.

* I was reminded recently of this post from @rortybomb a few years ago that, I think, got the Obama years right earlier and better than just about anyone. And here he is on the election: Learning from Trump in Retrospect.

* Maybe America is simply too big.

Inside the bizarre world of the military-entertainment industry’s racialized gamification of war.

* Trump’s already working miracles: Dykes to Watch Out For is out of retirement.

The Nitty-Gritty on Getting a Job: The 5 Things Your English Professors Don’t Teach You.

* Remembering Scott Eric Kaufman.

Huge Cracks In the West Antarctic Ice Sheet May Signal Its Collapse.

* Marx as food theorist.

* Four Futures: Life After Capitalism review – will robots bring utopia or terror?

* The Mobility Myth.

* I Was a Teenage Nazi.

If I developed a drug and then tested it myself without a control group, you might be a bit suspicious about my claims that everyone who took it recovered from his head cold after two weeks and thus that my drug is a success. But these are precisely the sorts of claims that we find in assessment.

A world map of every country’s tourism slogan. Here Are the Real Boundaries of American Metropolises, Decided by an Algorithm.

* The youth concussion crisis.

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Cheating at the Olympics Is at Epic Levels.

* Pardoning Edward Snowden.

Mr. Plinkett and 21st-Century Star Wars Fandom. An addendum.

* Moana before Moana. This one’s pretty great by the way, my kids loved it.

* From the archives: Terry Bisson’s “Meat.”

* Stanislaw Lem: The Man with the Future Inside Him.

* The genetics of success?

U.S. Military Preps for Gene Drives Run Amok.

* Fidel Castro: The Playboy Interview.

* Cap’n Crunch presents The Earliest Show.

* Coming soon: Saladin Ahmed’s Black Bolt. Grant Morrison’s The Savage Sword of Jesus Christ.

Parker Posey Will Play Dr. Smith and Now We Suddenly Care a Lot About Netflix’s Lost in Space. TNT fires up a Snowpiercer pilot. Behind the scenes of the new MST3K. The Cursed Child is coming to Broadway.

“Magneto Was Right”: Recalibrating the Comic Book Movie for the Trump Age.

* Now my childhood is over: both Florence Henderson and Joe Denver have died.

* Of course you had me at “Science fiction vintage Japanese matchbox art mashup prints.”

* A brief history of progress.

* The first, last, and only truly great object of our time.

* And say what you will about OK Go, this one’s pretty damn good.

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 2, 2016 at 12:30 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Wednesday Links!

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The Department of English invites candidates holding the rank of Associate or Full Professor to apply for the inaugural Stephen E. King Chair in Literature honoring the department’s most celebrated graduate.

* Next week at Marquette: Cuban science fiction authors Yoss and Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo!

2016 James Tiptree, Jr. Symposium: A Celebration of Ursula K. Le Guin.

Inside The Octavia Butler Archives With L.A. Writer Lynell George.

I am writing to apply for the job–or rather “fellowship”–advertised on your website. As a restless member of the creative class, I agree that secure employment, renewable year-to-year, can be a suffocating hindrance. And besides, you specify “tons of snacks and beverages” as part of your benefit package. As a job-seeker motivated by a combination of desperation and snacks, I am an ideal candidate for this position.

The report finds that the cost of forgoing tuition revenue from two- and four-year public institutions could run into the billions for some states: $4.96 billion in California, $3.89 billion in Texas and $2.53 billion in Michigan.

Essentially all criminal-justice policy in the 20th century has been driven by one thing: fear of young black men.

* Pence and gaslighting. Kaine’s tactical defeat. A Con Man of Epic Proportions. Donald Trump Tax Records Show He Could Have Avoided Taxes for A Mere Two Decades. The mind-blowing scale of Trump’s billion-dollar loss, in one tweet. Trump Foundation ordered to stop fundraising by N.Y. attorney general’s office. I want to believe! This seems legitimate. If Donald Trump Published an Academic Article. If you want a vision of the future.

* Scholars for Trump!

* Bananas possible endings to the election, New Mexico edition.

mars* The Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Visions of the Future.

* All told, however, Xiberras feels Louise could have done better. “We hoped for more followers to take notice of Louise’s behavior,” he says. “There were a few people who sensed the trap—a journalist among others, of course—but in the end, the majority just saw a pretty young girl of her time and not at all a kind of lonely girl, who is actually not at all that happy and with a serious alcohol problem.” 

* Here’s a piece we can all get mad about, regardless of our pedagogical inclinations: Are We Teaching Composition All Wrong?

* The Luke Cage Syllabus. 15 Essential Luke Cage Stories.

* Teaching the controversy: The Identity of a Famous Person Is News. The outing of Elena Ferrante and the power of naming. Ars longa, vita brevis.

* Yahooooooooooo: Yahoo built email spying software for intelligence agencies, report says.

Tracing the path of one of the world’s most in-demand minerals from deadly mines in Congo to your phone. More here.

* That’s a hell of an act! What do you call it? The Mets. Relatedly: in search of the Korean bat flip.

Nostalgia for World Culture: A New History of Esperanto.

* Harvard loses a mere $2 billion from its endowment. My favorite part of these stories is always the comparison to passive management by an index fund.

* More running it like a sandwich: More than ever, college football programs are finding it difficult to draw and retain the young fans who grow up to be lifelong season-ticket holders. In many athletic departments, the reasons can practically be cited as catechism: high-definition televisions, DVRs, diffuse fan bases and higher ticket and parking costs.

* American University Student Government Launches Campaign in Support of Mandatory Trigger Warnings.

* Grand Hotel Abyss: The Lives of the Frankfurt School.

* Karl Marx, Yesterday and Today.

* The last days of Robin Williams, as told by his wife Susan Schneider Williams.

‘Killer Clowns’: Inside the Terrifying Hoax Sweeping America.

* A Pretty Good Day’s Work.

* Being Shirley Jackson.

No one knew then that Springsteen, like Smith, would provide a through-line for his fans as things got worse, shifted in unimaginable ways, shifted again. Springsteen has himself changed with the times, becoming more sensitive to the issues his most-adored music still raises. Born To Rundemonstrates that. The decency at the heart of his memoir is a balm. He’s not only survived a life in rock and roll; he shows how a true believer doesn’t have to get stuck within its illusions, no matter how much they also attract him. After all, to Springsteen, a worthwhile dream isn’t an illusion; it’s a form of work. 

* Unusually Murderous Mammals, Typically Murderous Primates: You know, humans.

One of the most important lessons of Ghosh’s book is that the politics of climate change must not tiptoe around the questions posed by colonial encounters. Issues of climate justice cannot be solved without first addressing questions of equitable distribution of power, historically rooted in imperialism. And therein lies Ghosh’s disagreement with those who find the source of the problem in capitalism itself (Naomi Klein, for example). For him, even if “capitalism were to be magically transformed tomorrow, the imperatives of political and military dominance would remain a significant obstacle to progress on mitigatory action.”

Wealth of people in their 30s has ‘halved in a decade.’ Probably definitely totally unrelated: Federal student loans facilitate a pernicious profit motive in higher education.

* Leftists against Apartheid.

* Girls and Their Frenemies.

* McMansions and horror.

* Patent application for a method of curing kidney stones.

The story of D.B. Cooper, a.k.a. Don Draper, a.k.a. Dick Whitman, the only unsolved hijacking in American history.

* Why Does Time Go Forward?

* I think it’s 50/50 at this point that the Purge is a real thing before I’m dead.

* All you need to know.

* So You Want to Adapt The Tempest.

No country on Earth is taking the 2 degree climate target seriously. Climate Change And The Astrobiology Of The Anthropocene.

* The secret lives of trees.

* The secret lives of New Jerseyans.

* On our phenomenal (recent) accomplishments in space.

* And let this be my epitaph.

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Written by gerrycanavan

October 5, 2016 at 12:46 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Week-Old Links at Two-Weeks-Old-Link Prices

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* The San Bernardino mystery. Disband MSNBC. The story of the first mass murder in U.S. history. From the archives: The Making of a Rampage Murderer: What the Brutal Life of Oakland Shooter One L. Goh Says About America. So There’s Just Been a Mass Shooting. The Breaking News Consumer’s Handbook. Your tweets are not helping.

* YOU CAN’T KNOW THAT

The story, called “The Princess Steel,” was discovered by scholars Adrienne Brown and Britt Rusert, who write about it in the new issue of the Modern Language Association journal. We May Have Just Found W.E.B. Du Bois’ Earliest Science Fiction Story.

The CIA’s WWII Guide to Creating Organizational Dysfunction Perfectly Describes Your Toxic Workplace.

* Crank watch: What No One Is Telling You About Mark Zuckerberg Donating 99% Of His Fortune To “Charity.” The Philanthropy Hustle.

Tickets go on sale Friday, Dec. 11.

* Elsewhere on the local beat: The Transformation of the Milwaukee Art Museum.

* I teach practical, marketable skills that will serve my students their entire lives.

* Jury duty.

Four tough things universities should do to rein in costs. Four tough things columnists should do before writing about universities.

Are most academic papers really worthless? Don’t trust this worthless statistic.

College athletic departments are paying themselves to lose money.

* The future is a nightmare, and Purdue is ready.

* Self-driving cars will be the worst. Hopefully this particular problem is mostly solved by the elimination of private car ownership altogether.

* The hunt for Vulcan.

Catholic University Declares 1st Amendment Right To Ignore Catholicism.

* Sports Corner: Stephen Curry Is The Revolution.

* Meanwhile it is stunning to have my prejudices confirmed so wholly: New Study Finds ‘Surprising’ Correlation Between Degenerative Brain Disease And Amateur Athletics.

* Cruel Optimism and the NFL, or, Life in the Factory of Sadness.

* Let us be precise: Donald Trump Is Not a Liar.

Leaked Documents Show Alabama Police Department Planted Drugs On Black Men For Years. Meanwhile, in Chicago. UPDATE: There may be less to that Alabama story than meets the eye.

Spoiler Alerts: Three Books on Trash.

* The 24 Most Embarrassing Dungeons & Dragons Character Classes.

Assuming a round figure of two and a half billion years of beak-sharpening, and assuming (a BIG assumption, to be sure) about three days per iteration of the Doctor, you can figure, based on a solar year of 365.25 days, that there have been approximately three hundred and four billion, three hundred and seventy-five million and twelve Doctors.

* And speaking of the Doctor: I’m not even sure who #2 would be.

* Behold the Jessica Jones backlash.

* Study suggests Type 2 diabetes can be cured by weight loss — specifically the loss of half a gram of fat from the pancreas.

* What they give with one hand they take with the other: Research Points To Mental Health Risks Associated With Meatless Diet.

* This is neat: The Third Amendment to the Constitution — the one that bans the quartering of soldiers in homes without the owner’s consent — is sort of the Pete Best of the early American legislative experiment. While the other amendments have had all sorts of play at the highest levels of legal rulings, there has never been a Supreme Court decision primarily based on the Third Amendment. Clearly the Founders had a goal, wrote it down, and we haven’t had too many questions about the matter since. Nice work, Founders. Anyway, there’s an idea bubbling among legal theorists to use the Third Amendment to counteract domestic spying from the NSA — a branch of the Department of Defense — and while it may not be 100 percent there, it’s interesting.

* Our bad: U.S. Holds Yemeni Man at Guantanamo Bay for 13 Years in Case of Mistaken Identity.

Starting work before 10am isn’t just soul crushing, this scientist says it’s equivalent to torture.

* Why Education Does Not Fix Poverty.

* Rape in the porn industry.

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* Of One and the Other: Humans and Animals.

* Know your branches of economics.

State sues prisoners to pay for their room, board.

“This is the best declining mall review I’ve ever read.”

* Teach the controversy: Will Our Descendants Survive the Destruction of the Universe?

* Magnifique! In Photos: Anarchists Clash With Riot Police During Climate Summit Protest in Paris.

* When the Onion goes dark, there’s still no one better: Frustrated Gunman Can’t Believe How Far He Has To Drive To Find Nearest Planned Parenthood Clinic.

Female-Authors-Only Philosophy of Science Syllabus.

* There’s no such thing as a male or female brain, study finds.

Florida Woman’s Car Turned Her in for a Hit-and-Run.

Mom Who Overslept While Son Walked to School Could Get 10 Years in Prison.

* General election watch: Democrats are fiercely committed to the proposition of nominating a perhaps fatally compromised candidate whom basically no one likes. And from Amber A’Lee Frost: My Kind of Misogyny. Wheeeeeeeeee!

* Philosophy Corner: Is there a principled difference between having a gun and just having a button that when pressed kills the person standing in front of you?

* Abolish TIAA-CREF.

Was Star Wars’ Empire on the brink of financial ruin?

This company believes it can resurrect humans in the next 30 years.

* Kill the Santa Claus in your head.

From Climate Crisis to Solar Communism. World’s Most Vulnerable Islands Are Hoping Paris Will Bring an Impossible Climate Miracle. India Holds the Planet’s Fate in Its Hands. That’s Great News.

Def Sec Carter To Open All Combat Jobs To Women In Historic Change.

How to Be an Anticapitalist Today.

Soviet erotic alphabet picture book, 1931.

Yes, I did write a fixfic based on the “Wait—all the stories are true?” line from the new Star Wars trailer. I’m not sorry.

* There but for the grace of God go we: Man arrested with 51 turtles in his pants.

* And of course you had me at Rare 40-Year-Old Star Trek Comics Are Finally Being Released In the U.S.

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 5, 2015 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Weekend Links! Catch Them All!

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* SFFTV CFP: “Stephen King’s Science Fiction.”

* Pluto, everybody!

To shill a mockingbird: How a manuscript’s discovery became Harper Lee’s ‘new’ novel. And now everyone’s super mad.

* From the archives! Radical Socialist Movement Ends After Three Semesters.

* Against TurnItIn.

University Rolls Out Adblock Plus, Saves 40 Percent Network Bandwidth.

* Innovation leaves structures intact, developing new processes to monetize the dysfunctional systems we already have.

* The Board of Directors of the American Psychological Association has recommended that the organization ban psychologists from taking part in interrogations conducted by the military or intelligence services, a prohibition long sought by critics of the APA’s involvement with a Central Intelligence Agency program, widely viewed as practicing torture, under the administration of President George W. Bush.

* The book argues that media theory (like science fiction) is often theology by other means, and my insistence on deep technicity, like all basic visions of the human estate, inevitably has religious resonances.

Science Fiction, Climate Change, and the Future.

* Sci-Fi Has Been Prepping Us for an Alien Invasion for Years.

So here’s the challenge for women’s professional tennis: is it a sport, or is it a modeling agency?

* Robots Might Save the Humanities. Probably not though.

* That ‘Volunteer Professor’ Ad.

Fear of a Scott Walker presidency.

* “Academic Unfreedom in America: Rethinking the University as a Democratic Public Sphere.”

* A Radical Vatican?

* The paradox of the underperforming professor.

These 20 schools are responsible for a fifth of all graduate school debt.

* Student debt and crisis.

* On Spinsters.

* If you want a vision of the future.

* If you want a vision of the future.

* If you want a vision of March 14, 2005.

* Here’s the crayons you shouldn’t let your kids draw with if you don’t want them to eat asbestos.

“Children’s playtime should be filled with fun, not asbestos,” the two senators said. “We need greater access to information about where asbestos is present in products children and families use every day.”

And this used to be a free country.

Why I No Longer Eat Watermelon, or How a Racist Email Caused Me to Leave Graduate School. I was nauseous reading this, on behalf of all parties.

* A study from the New York Federal Reserve claims that for every new dollar in federal student loans, tuition goes up 65 cents.

* Bad Math and a Coming Public Pension Crisis.

* The end of Greece.

* Hope from Brazil.

* Well, that’s not allowed: Undocumented Moms: Texas Is Denying Birth Certificates To Our U.S.-Born Kids.

* The FBI targeted MAD magazine.

* “US pilot flushed bullets down a toilet on flight to Germany.”

* “Police subpoenaed the Title IX records of the hearing and were able to use that as evidence against the student.”

* This ain’t good either.

The Hopeful, Heartbreaking Ads Placed by Formerly Enslaved People in Search of Lost Family.

* Its website was created by Career Excuse, a service which, for a fee, provides job-seeking customers with verifiable references from nonexistent companies. While the companies have phone numbers, websites and mailboxes manned by Career Excuse, they don’t conduct any actual business, besides verifying the great work done by employees they’ve never really had.

* Washington Post Writer Who Accused Amy Schumer Of Racism Never Saw Her Standup or TV Show.

* Firefly spawns its own Galaxy Quest.

* Probably the darkest thing I’ve ever posted: “More men have walked on the moon than been Ronald McDonald.”

* A Lego-Friendly Prosthetic Arm Lets Kids Build Their Own Attachments.

* Point: “The green case for fracking.”

* Counterpoint: California Has No Idea What’s In Its Fracking Chemicals, Study Finds.

* Double Counterpoint: We’re Already In The ‘Worst Case Scenario’ For Sea Level Rise.

* Some rare good news.

* The rule of law is the glue that holds society together: President Obama says he can’t revoke Bill Cosby’s Medal of Freedom.

* Also in the rule of law files: That Time Scott Walker Defined What A “Sandwich” Is In A Bill.

* I’m amazed that not even Robin Williams’s death could protect us from this.

* Why is Kickstarter letting a hologram “scam” raise $250k?

* If you haven’t watched Kung Fury yet, it’s time.

* Hear him out! Professor’s Manifesto: Vegans Must Illegally Overthrow Society to Save the World.

* Punishment Park is on YouTube.

* The end of Seattle.

* How privilege became a provocation.

* I’ll allow it, del Toro, but you’re on very thin ice.

* At first, there was soccer, but then we fixed it.

* The League of Regrettable Superheroes.

* A new survey puts the incidence of male rapists in a campus population at over 10%. That’s higher than I ever could have thought, to the point where I find the survey results difficult to accept.

* Think of it as needing more space in your house, so you decide you want to build a second story. But the house was never built right to begin with, with no proper architectural planning, and you don’t really know which are the weight-bearing walls. You make your best guess, go up a floor and… cross your fingers. And then you do it again. That is how a lot of our older software systems that control crucial parts of infrastructure are run. This works for a while, but every new layer adds more vulnerability. We are building skyscraper favelas in code — in earthquake zones.

* And they all lived happily ever after.

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Written by gerrycanavan

July 16, 2015 at 7:34 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Friday Friday!

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Killing tenure is academia’s point of no return. Wisconsin’s Fight Over Faculty Rights: What’s at Stake, and What’s Next. What’s Gone Wrong in Wisconsin? Prof says Regents failure to protect tenure is the beginning of the end of UW. Why Wisconsin Matters to You.

One College’s Method to Prove Its Value: Scanning Students’ Brains. Sure, that’ll solve it!

A University Banks on Ph.D. Stipends to Better Compete With Its Peers. Seems wise!

Secret Aerial FBI Program Uncovered By 23-Year-Old Journalist.

* After Water.

What Happens When The First Texas Town To Run Out Of Water Gets Record Rainfall.

Before Lego Ripped Off Minecraft, Minecraft Ripped Off Lego.

How did “rabbit hole,” which started its figurative life as a conduit to a fantastical land, evolve into a metaphor for extreme distraction?

* When Rebecca Schuman interviewed Arne Duncan about for-profit colleges.

* Fermat’s Last Theorem watch: How Math’s Most Famous Proof Nearly Broke.

* Solidarity or ally-ship?

* The chess sublime.

* And our debate yesterday was a blast. Thanks to FutureTense for the invitation! Next resolution: does it still count as winning if you sway more voters to your side, but still don’t clear 50%. I’ll take the aff…

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Weekend Links!

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* If I weren’t going to DC on June 4th, I’d be going to this in Madison: Undercommoning the University: A Workshop.

How writers of endangered languages are embracing sci-fi.

* Yeah Ireland.

With the recession over, are states investing in higher ed? Oh, honey.

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This Is What Happens When You Slash Funding for Public Universities.

* A local-interest explainer: Assata Shakur was convicted of murder. Is she a terrorist?

* New York University’s labor record epitomizes everything wrong with the neoliberal university.

* Report Blasts ‘Fantasy World’ of Presidential Benefits.

* Enter Rand Paul (again).

FBI admits no major cases cracked with Patriot Act snooping powers.

* TIE Fighter and American Exceptionalism.

The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.

While 45 percent of the roughly 1,000 respondents said they feel “somewhat prepared” to begin a career after college, slightly more than half said they did not learn how to write a résumé. And 56 percent did learn how to conduct themselves in a job interview.

* Theses on Postpartum.

* The Myth of the Garbage Patch.

Up to 90 per cent of the world’s electronic waste, worth nearly US $19 billion, is illegally traded or dumped each year, according to a report released today by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

7 in 10 schools now have shooting drills, needlessly traumatizing huge numbers of children.

North Carolina receives NCAA notice of allegations in academic fraud case.

New Study on Suicide Among College Athletes.

* Medieval culture and rape.

* BREAKING: Being competent is bad for you.

* io9 says the Supergirl pilot isn’t as bad as you’re expecting.

This 85-Year-Old Nun Just Spent Two Years In Prison For Protesting Nuclear Weapons.

Does Mike Huckabee Know Where the Ark of the Covenant Is Buried?

* A Handful Of Bronze-Age Men Could Have Fathered Two-Thirds Of Europeans.

Home, the latest animated kid flick, is actually about colonialism. No, really.

Can Racism Be Stopped in the Third Grade?

* Modernism is back, baby! A Plea for Culinary Modernism.

* Friends from grad school still tease me about the day I basically went off on this rant in a seminar day discussing Coetzee’s The Lives of Animals.

* #abolishmen: Men get into fatal car crashes twice as often as women.

* And another round of gender-swapped Disney characters.

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Monday Links!

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* Somebody thinks 2015 could be a doozy: Treasury Department Seeking Survival Kits For Bank Employees.

* Trends We Can Work With: Higher Ed in 2015.

* Remembering the reason for the season: During Holiday Season, City Erects Cages To Keep Homeless People Off Benches.

Christmas Eve Document Dump Reveals US Spy Agencies Broke The Law And Violated Privacy.

But, are they more likely to precipitate police violence?  No. The opposite is true. Police are more likely to kill black people regardless of what they are doing. In fact, “the less clear it is that force was necessary, the more likely the victim is to be black.”

Ending excessive police force starts with new rules of engagement.

What Does It Mean to Be Anti-Police?

How to Survive a Cop Coup: What Bill de Blasio Can Learn From Ecuador.

“It has been alleged that Officer Kattner has used his position as a peace officer to contact known female prostitutes and compel them to perform sexual acts while working an extra job.”

And whether or not people accept it, that new normal—public life and mass surveillance as a default—will become a component of the ever-widening socioeconomic divide. Privacy as we know it today will become a luxury commodity. Opting out will be for the rich.

“Enhanced interrogation” is torture, American style. Exceptional torture. Torture that insists it is not torture. Post-torture? This uniquely American kind of torture has six defining characteristics.

* “The Greatest Trick the Devil Ever Pulled”: In praise of The Usual Suspects.

* Decades of Bill Cosby’s shadow ops.

Justice Denied to Steven Salaita: A Critique of the University of Illinois Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure Report. This was my reaction as well.

* Anti-intellectualism is taking over the US.

* Are ideas to cool the planet realistic? Meanwhile: Pope Francis Could Be Climate’s Secret Weapon Next Year.

The architecture of dissent.

* The red state economic miracle that wasn’t.

* Airlines want you to suffer.

* Games are ancient, and they are not going anywhere anytime soon. But their stock is not rising at the rate that their fans’ Twitter streams and Web forums might suggest. Instead of a ludic age, perhaps we have entered an era of shredded media. Some forms persist more than others, but more than any one medium, we are surrounded by the rough-edged bits and pieces of too many media to enumerate. Writing, images, aphorisms, formal abstraction, collage, travesty. Photography, cinema, books, music, dance, games, tacos, cats, car services. If anything, there has never been a weirder, more disorienting, and more lively time to be a creator and a fanatic of media in all their varieties. Why ruin the moment by being the one trying to get everyone to play a game while we’re letting the flowers blossom? A ludic century need not be a century of games. Instead, it can just be a century. With games in it.

* Death toll among Qatar’s 2022 World Cup workers revealed. Migrant World Cup workers in Qatar are reportedly dying at alarming rates.

* Enterprise, TOS, and “the scent of death” on the Federation.

* How Kazuo Ishiguro wrote The Remains of the Day in four weeks.

I am no fan of the North Korean regime. However I believe that calling out a foreign nation over a cybercrime of this magnitude should never have been undertaken on such weak evidence.

* Longreads best crime reporting 2014.

A Drone Flew Over A Pig Farm.

The black and African writer is expected to write about certain things, and if they don’t they are seen as irrelevant. This gives their literature weight, but dooms it with monotony. Who wants to constantly read a literature of suffering, of heaviness? Those living through it certainly don’t; the success of much lighter fare among the reading public in Africa proves this point. Maybe it is those in the west, whose lives are untouched by such suffering, who find occasional spice and flirtation with such a literature. But this tyranny of subject may well lead to distortion and limitation.

* I’m a pretty big fan of “Jean & Scott”: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

* A profile of David Letterman from 1981.

How Colonel Sanders Became Father Christmas in Japan.

* The Song of Saruman.

The filmmakers’ cartoonishly evil vision of Saruman is unfortunate, as it deprives a fascinating narrative of its complexity, while also being untrue to Tolkien’s own vision. Jackson and his team seem incapable of imagining that a person can be wrong without also being evil. For example, the Master of Lake-town in The Hobbit was greedy, but he was an elected official, generally well regarded by the community (at least until he absconds with the municipal funds, a fact revealed only on the last page of the book); in the film The Desolation of Smaug, he is a murderous tyrant who opposes even the idea of elections. An even worse example is the case of Denethor, Steward of Gondor, who in the books has been driven mad by grief and despair, partly owing to the cruel machinations of Sauron himself; in the film (The Return of the King), he is made so irredeemably evil that Gandalf actually attacks him, while we the viewers are expected to cheer. If this is what Jackson does to weak and pitiable characters, what must he do to Saruman, who is a legitimate “bad guy” in The Lord of the Rings?

Quiz: Find out how your salary stacks up against other American workers. You know, fun.

L.A. studio to restore venerable ‘King’s Quest’ to its gaming throne.

* Is the anti-vax movement finally dying?

* You can’t beat the media at its own game.

* America’s own 7 Up: Johns Hopkins’s Beginning School Study.

* Sober People against New Year’s Eve SuperPAC.

* And of course you had me at Grant Morrson’s All-New Miracleman Annual #1.

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