Posts Tagged ‘dystopia’
Wherein a Former Academic Blogger Emerges from Book Jail, Weary and Bleary-Eyed, to Discover He Has 300 Open Tabs
* I had a short interview with the writing center journal Praxis go up this week: “Working Out What’s True and What Isn’t.”
We know what happened next. After 2008, this paradigm has made it easier for governors and legislatures to cut and not restore, since it established a “new normal” that defined down the limits of reasonable budget requests. The results have been predictable. A recent report concluded that “forty-seven states — all except Alaska, North Dakota, and Wyoming — are spending less per student in the 2014-15 school year than they did at the start of the recession.”
* “City of Ash,” by Paolo Bacigalupi. Part of a “cli-fi” series at Medium alongside this essay from Atwood: “It’s Not Climate Change, It’s Everything Change.”
* Steven Salaita has won a major victory against UIUC, on the same day that Chancellor Phyllis Rise resigns (to a $400K resignation bonus) amid the revelation that she misused her private email to secure his firing.
* Bullying, I propose, represents a kind of elementary structure of human domination. If we want to understand how everything goes wrong, this is where we should begin.
* This is the sort of adjunct-issue reporting that always frustrates me: it seems to me that it is engaging with the issue entirely on an emotional, rather than structural, basis, in the process more or less accepting entirely the think-like-an-administrator logic of forced choices that paints every laborer as the enemy of every other.
* The art of the rejection letter. Personally I think the only thing that is ever going to approach “universally acceptable” here is a very short “We’re sorry, but the position has now been filled.”
* Shoutouts to my particular demographic: A paper forthcoming in the Journal of Marketing Research identifies a segment of customers, dubbed the “harbingers of failure,” with an uncanny knack for buying new products that were likely to flop.
* India’s Auroville was envisioned as an international community free of government, money, religion, and strife. It hasn’t exactly worked out quite as planned.
* Instead of a multiple-choice test, try ending the semester with one last, memorable learning experience.
* Nevada is the uncanny locus of disparate monuments all concerned with charting deep time, leaving messages for future generations of human beings to puzzle over the meaning of: a star map, a nuclear waste repository and a clock able to keep time for 10,000 years—all of them within a few hours drive of Las Vegas through the harsh desert.
* Going to give this effort a C-: Environmental Protection Agency Dumps a Million Gallons of Orange Mine Waste into a Colorado River.
* Elsewhere on the legal beat: Lawyer seeks trial by combat to resolve lawsuit.
* No Charges For Two Officers Who Backed False Version Of University Of Cincinnati Shooting. Alabama officer kept job after proposal to murder black man and hide evidence. How a philosophy professor with ‘monklike tendencies’ became a radical advocate for prison reform. Univ. of California Academic Workers’ Union Calls on AFL-CIO To Terminate Police Union’s Membership.
* Transportation research group discovers 46% of Milwaukee’s roads are in poor condition. I hope it studies the other 54% next.
* Tressie McMillan Cottom: “I Am Not Well.”
* Game of the weekend: Ennuigi.
* On Clinton and Cosby. Speaking of which, my hiatus also covered the amazing New York Magazine spread of the accusers.
* On the other side of things, there’s this from Freddie deBoer, on sexual assault accusations and the left.
* Gambling! In a casino! Wealth doesn’t trickle down – it just floods offshore, research reveals.
* What could explain it? Millennials Who Are Thriving Financially Have One Thing in Common.
* I shared What Happens One Hour After Drinking A Can Of Coke last week, now I’m duly shamed.
* Science ain’t an exact science with these clowns: When Researchers State Goals for Clinical Trials in Advance, Success Rates Plunge.
* Dystopic stories are attractive. They appeal to a readership that feels threatened — economically in an age of downward mobility, and politically in an age of terror. But we need to be asking what kinds of stories about living and working with media these influential narratives offer. How do the stories orient young peoples to the potential power and danger of media use? What kinds of literacy practices are sponsored in them?
* Clickhole has the series bible for Breaking Bad. Amazing how much the series changed from its original conception.
* Also at Clickhole: 7 Words That Have No English Translation.
* There is hope — plenty of hope, infinite hope — but not for us.
* The future looks great: Facebook patents technology to help lenders discriminate against borrowers based on social connections.
* Woody Allen finally found a way to characterize his relationship with Soon-Yi Previn that’s even more sickening than “the heart wants what it wants.”
* Review is back. Life is sweet again. Four and a half stars.
* PS: Andy Daly and Paul F. Tompkins interview each other in honor of the occasion.
* Decadence watch: KFC’s new chicken bucket is also a Bluetooth photo printer.
* Decadence watch: Solitaire now has in-app purchases.
* Because you demanded it! Soviet-era erotic alphabet book from 1931.
* And you don’t have to take my word for it! That ‘Useless’ Liberal Arts Degree Has Become Tech’s Hottest Ticket.
Written by gerrycanavan
August 8, 2015 at 2:32 pm
Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet
Tagged with #BlackLivesMatter, academia, academic freedom, Adam Kotsko, adjunctification, adjuncting, administrative blight, Africa, Afrofuturism, Alabama, America, Andy Daly, animals, apocalypse, Apple, austerity, automation, bad science, baseball, Batman, Ben Affleck, Bernie Sanders, Bill Clinton, Bill Cosby, black leftism, black power, books, boondoggles, Breaking Bad, bribery, Britney Spears, Brutalism, bullying, bureaucracy, campus police, Captain Picard, car alarms, carbon, card games, cars, celibacy, Chicago, children's literature, China Miéville, choice, Chomsky, class struggle, climate change, colonialism, comics, competitive bagpiping, creditonormativity, creeps, cussing, David Graeber, DC Comics, death penalty, decadence, deep time, delicious Coca-Cola, Democratic primary 2016, desegregation, drought, dystopia, ecology, education, ennui, EPA, erotic alphabets, even the losers get lucky sometimes, evil, exotic pets, extraordinary popular delusions and the madness of crowds, Facebook, fake cream, fandom, Fantastic Four, fanzines, fat, film, final exams, fire, free speech, free will, freemium, games, gaslighting, Gene Roddenberry, gig economy, girls, Google, Google Plus, GPS, graduate student life, guns, harbingers of failure, Harry Potter, health, Hiroshima, historically black colleges, Hogwarts, Hollywood, hope but not for us, Hostess cupcakes, House of Cards, How the University Works, India, infrastructure, interviews, Islamophobia, ITunes, IUC, Jack the Ripper, Jacobin, Jimmy Carter, Jon Stewart, Judy Greer, jury nullification, Katrina, KFC, kids today, Kim Stanley Robinson, Lake Mead, literature, Little Women, Magic: The Gathering, Margaret Atwood, Mark Bould, Marvel, mass shootings, math, megadrought, microaggression, millennials, Milverine, Milwaukee, Milwaukee Bucks, Milwaukee Lion, modernism, museums, my media empire, my particular demographics, my scholarly empire, nationalize the Internet, neoliberalism, Nevada, nuclear war, nuclearity, nutrition, offshoring, oligarchy, organized crime, our brains work in interesting ways, Paolo Bacigalupi, parenting, Paul F. Tompkins, pedagogy, Phyllis WIse, planned communities, police, police brutality, police state, police violence, politics, pollution, polygraphs, prequels, presumption of innocence, prison-industrial complex, prisoner's dilemma, race, racism, rape, rape culture, rebellion, reboots, rejection letters, renewable energy, Review, roads, robot umpires, run it like a sandwich, Samuel Delany, sandcastles, Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, scams, science, science fiction, self-driving cars, serial killers, sewage, shared governance, short stories, social justice, social media, solitaire, Soviet Union, stadiums, Star Trek, Steven Salaita, Subway, Super Mario, superheroes, surveillance society, survival, sustainability, swearing, taste, tax cuts, teaching, teaching philosophy, technology, television, tenure, the alphabet, the Anthropocene, the arc of history is long but it bends towards justice, the archives, the courts, The Daily Show, the humanities, The Hunger Games, the law, the Left, The Matrix, the rent is too damn high, This American Life, Tijuana Bibles, Title IX, TNG, Tressie McMillan Cottom, trial by combat, trickle-down economics, Twinkies, Twitter, Uber, unions, University of Akron, University of Cincinnati, University of Iowa, University of Phoenix, Ursula K. Le Guin, USSR, Utopia, Vermont, Vince Gilligan, war on education, water, wealth, what it is I think I'm doing, Wisconsin, Wolverine, women's history, Won't somebody think of the children?, woodcuts, Woody Allen, words
* Just a reminder that I’ll be in DC for a debate, Resolved: Technology Will Take All Our Jobs.
* Against this backdrop, UW System leaders’ public statements in response to JFC’s omnibus bill—statements whose overriding tone is one of gratitude undergirded by obsequiousness—make perfect sense, even as they alternately disgust and infuriate the rest of us. Amid the general calamity for faculty, academic staff, classified staff, and students, there is an alignment of legislative priorities with administrative interests.
* It’s sad to say that when the administrators shut down any possibility for dialogue, when administrations withdraw into cocoon-like gated communities in which they’re always on the defensive, I think that it’s probably not unreasonable to say that this is not just about an assault, this looks like a war strategy. It looks like power is functioning in such a way as to both stamp out dissent and at the same time concentrate itself in ways in which it’s not held accountable.
* Who’s getting Koch money today? University edition.
* Under these weird meritocratic dynamics, bourgeois characteristics make you more valuable not because they are good characteristics in themselves, but merely because they are bourgeois characteristics, and therefore relatable to the top of the economic hierarchy that directs the resources top spots in top firms are competing to get. This poses obvious problems for social mobility, which is the direction people usually take it, but it poses even deeper problems for the idea of “skills” more generally. Where “skills” refers, not to some freestanding objective ability to produce, but rather to your ability to be chummy and familiar to those with the money, they don’t actually seem to be “skills” in the sense most people imagine the term. Upper crust professionals no longer appear to be geniuses, but instead people who went to boarding school and whose manner of conducting themselves shows it.
* When a child goes to war. We talked about the Dumbledore issue a ton in my magic and literature class this semester. Stay tuned through the end for what is indeed surely the greatest editorial note of all time:
* The map is not the territory (from the archives): The Soviet Union’s chief cartographer acknowledged today that for the last 50 years the Soviet Union had deliberately falsified virtually all public maps of the country, misplacing rivers and streets, distorting boundaries and omitting geographical features, on orders of the secret police.
* Some discussion of the Hastert case that explains why his supposed “blackmailers” may not be facing any charges: it’s legal to ask for money in exchange for not suing somebody.
* “Do we really want to fuse our minds together?” No! Who wants that?
* The Time War was good, and the Doctor changing it was also good. Take my word for it, I’m an expert in these matters.
* Everything you want, in the worst possible way: Michael Dorn is still pitching Captain Worf.
Captain Worf First Officer Harry Kim Helmsman Lt. Nog Security Officer Neelix
— Gerry Canavan (@gerrycanavan) June 2, 2015
* And after a very uneven season the Community series (?) finale is really good. The end.
Written by gerrycanavan
June 2, 2015 at 8:55 am
Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet
Tagged with academic freedom, administrative blight, administrative bloat, apocalypse, austerity, automation, blackmail, boards of trustees, body camera, books, bullshit jobs, bureaucracy, Captain Worf, cars, casinos, CEOs, Chernobyl, child soldiers, children's literature, class struggle, community, corruption, Dan Harmon, daughters, Dennis Hastert, Doctor Who, Dumbledore, dystopia, extortion, FIFA, fit, futurity, games, gas stations, gender, genocide, ghostwriters, girls, Hardy Boys, Harry Potter, history, horrors, Koch brothers, Kubrick, labor, maps, Marquette, Mass Effect, merit, meritocracy, misogyny, museums, my scholarly empire, Nancy Drew, neoliberalism, networked consciousness, New Jersey, Oxford, paperwork, philosophy, poetry, police, politics, precarity, Qatar, race, racism, red tape, regents, rich people, robots, Russia, São José, science fiction, Scott Walker, sentience, sexism, Shakespeare, shipwrecks, slavery, slaveships, soccer, Soviet Union, Star Trek, Steve Shaviro, surveillance state, technopositivity, television, tenure, the courts, The Grand Budapest Hotel, the law, The Learning Channel, the map is not the territory, The Shining, the Singularity, the Time War, theater, Title IX, true crime, Uber, University of Wisconsin, voting, war huh good god y'all what is it good for? absolutely nothing say it again, Wes Anderson, Wisconsin, women, work
As Marquette’s faculty gathers in the basement of the Bradley Center for commencement, some links…
* I have sat in philosophy seminars where it was asserted that I should be left to die on a desert island if the choice was between saving me and saving an arbitrary non-disabled person. I have been told it would be wrong for me to have my biological children because of my disability. I have been told that, while it isn’t bad for me to exist, it would’ve been better if my mother could’ve had a non-disabled child instead. I’ve even been told that it would’ve been better, had she known, for my mother to have an abortion and try again in hopes of conceiving a non-disabled child. I have been told that it is obvious that my life is less valuable when compared to the lives of arbitrary non-disabled people. And these things weren’t said as the conclusions of careful, extended argument. They were casual assertions. They were the kind of thing you skip over without pause because it’s the uncontroversial part of your talk.
* Hillary Clinton personally took money from companies that sought to influence her. The next couple years are going to be a bottomless exercise in humiliation for Democrats.
* History is a nightmare for which I’m trying to hit the snooze: NJ Republican Introduces Resolution Condemning ‘Negative’ AP History Exam.
* I also won’t accept that Someone Did a Shit So Bad On a British Airways Plane That It Had to Turn Around and Come Back Again.
* When Sandy Bem found out she had Alzheimer’s, she resolved that before the disease stole her mind, she would kill herself. The question was, when?
* If Catch-22 appeared a few years before Americans were ready to read it, Something Happened jumped the gun by decades, and the novel was already forgotten when its comically bleak take on upper-middle-class life became a staple of fiction.
* Jurors In The Boston Bombing Case Had To Agree To Consider The Death Penalty Before Being Selected. This is a very strange requirement of the law that seems to strongly interfere with the “jury of your peers” ideal.
* Deleted scene from Infinite Jest. So bizarre.
* Dibs on the young-adult dystopia: Teenagers who show too much leg face being sent into an “isolation room” for breaching the new uniform code.
* “On the occasion of David Letterman’s retirement after 33 years of hosting a late-night talk show, Jason Snell presents his take on Letterman’s significance, told with the help of a few friends.”
Written by gerrycanavan
May 17, 2015 at 8:45 am
Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet
Tagged with a new life awaits you in the off-world colonies, abortion, academia, accelerationism, airplanes, Alastair Reynolds, Alzheimer's, animal rights, animals, AP exams, apocalypse, assisted suicide, austerity, Avengers, Avengers 2, books, Boston, boxing, boys, Catch-22, class struggle, climate change, Colonization, conservation, Crystal Pepsi, cultural preservation, David Letterman, David Lynch, death penalty, Democrats, dibs on the screenplay, disability, disability studies, Disney, domestic terrorism, Don't mention the war, dystopia, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, ecology, education, eugenics, fake weddings, feminism, film, Fury Road, futurity, general election 2016, hacking, Hillary Clinton, history, How the University Works, indigenous peoples, Infinite Jest, Iraq, Iraq War, Islamophobia, Jacobin, Joseph Heller, kids today, Mad Max, Man of Steel, Maryland, misogyny, Mitt Romney, neoliberalism, New Jersey, New Orleans, New Zealand, North Sudan, outdoor adventure, outer space, Palo Alto, pedagogy, Peter Frase, Peter Singer, philosophy, play, podcasts, police, politcs, post-scarcity, princesses, prison-industrial complex, prisons, reality is satire, Republicans, science fiction, sentience, sexism, shit, skirts, slavery, smartphones, Something Happened, spectacle, suicide, superheroes, Superman, Tanzania, teaching, television, terrorism, the archives, the court, The Incomparable, the law, transparency, Twin Peaks, United Kingdom, University of Wisconsin, utilitarianism, war on drugs, Wisconsin
* Upcoming appearances: I’ll be speaking at the Environments & Societies workshop at UC Davis next Wednesday. And of course we’ll be debating whether Harry Potter is a dystopia (it is) this Wednesday here at Marquette.
* This is nice: Green Planets is a finalist for the ASLE book prize.
* The cult of the Ph.D. I suppose I’m a hopeless curmudgeon on this at this point, but I just don’t see how any attempt to reform graduate schools can ignore the fact that “the primary, overarching purpose of doctoral programs is to produce professors.” Alt-ac can save a few, but it can’t save everyone, or even most.
But in choosing a hero to defeat Vader, they sent Luke to Dagobah, not Leia. They sent the whiny uneducated hick whose greatest ambition until very recently had been to *join the Empire* instead of the smart, sophisticated, and well-educated woman with the political connections and Rebel cred?
It was only the last time I watched Return of the Jedi that I finally realized “that boy is our last hope / no, there is another” refers to Anakin, not Leia. So I’m pretty on board with this, especially now that the possibly exculpatory Expanded Universe context has been retconned out of existence.
* Citi Economist Says It Might Be Time to Abolish Cash. This is a truly stunning document: the argument is that we need to abolish cash because otherwise bankers won’t be able to force everybody to accept negative interest rates.
* New from the new TNR: We’re Checking the Wrong Privilege.
* America’s wealth grew by 60 percent in the past six years, by over $30 trillion. In approximately the same time, the number of homeless children has also grown by 60 percent.
It is a moral stance with specific curatorial challenges. It means restoring the crumbling brick barracks where Jews and some others were interned without rebuilding those barracks, lest they take on the appearance of a historical replica. It means reinforcing the moss-covered pile of rubble that is the gas chamber at Birkenau, the extermination camp a few miles away, a structure that the Nazis blew up in their retreat. It means protecting that rubble from water seeping in from the adjacent ponds where the ashes of the dead were dumped.
And it means deploying conservators to preserve an inventory that includes more than a ton of human hair; 110,000 shoes; 3,800 suitcases; 470 prostheses and orthopedic braces; more than 88 pounds of eyeglasses; hundreds of empty canisters of Zyklon B poison pellets; patented metal piping and showerheads for the gas chambers; hundreds of hairbrushes and toothbrushes; 379 striped uniforms; 246 prayer shawls; more than 12,000 pots and pans carried by Jews who believed that they were simply bound for resettlement; and some 750 feet of SS documents — hygiene records, telegrams, architectural blueprints and other evidence of the bureaucracy of genocide — as well as thousands of memoirs by survivors.
* There’s jobs, there’s dirty jobs, and then there’s being Joseph Goebbels’s copyright lawyer.
* Ewald Engelen, a professor of finance and geography at UvA who spoke about the perils of the financialization of higher education at the Maagdenhuis occupation, explained in a coauthored article, published in 2014, how rendementsdenken became the ruling logic – and logic of rule – at his university. After a 1995 decision transferring public ownership of real estate to universities like UvA, he and colleagues argued, education and research considerations started taking a backseat to commercial concerns regarding real estate planning. The state’s retreat from management of real estate demanded tighter account of “costs, profits, assets and liabilities” at the university, setting “in motion a process of internal reorganization to produce the transparent cash flow metrics that were required to service the rapidly growing real estate debt,” the academics wrote.
* Neither the Brostrom or the Campos side focuses on the fact that privatization increases expenses as well as revenues. In reality, privatization forces the mission creep of multiplying activities, “businesses,” funding streams, capital projects and other debt-funded investments, which increase all sorts of non-educational costs and also administration. Private partnerships, sponsors, vendor relations, and so on bring in new money but also cost money, require institutional subsidies, and in many cases lose money for the university.
1) There’s a disabled character visible2) Who wants something, and tries to get it,3) Other than a) Death, b) Cure, or c) Revenge.
* I’m very much in favor of “they” as a generic singular pronoun, but “they are,” please, not “they is.”
* Only for certain values of “justice”: The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000.
* It seems like the deputy isn’t the person who should be charged with Eric Harris’s murder. This person never should have been working as a cop, for myriad reasons.
* The only way this can work: California Assembly panel approves legislation preventing police from viewing body camera footage.
* Shocked, shocked: Leaked videos suggest Chevron cover-up of Amazon pollution.
* The Atlantic covers graduate student unionization.
* George R. R. Martin: Once More, into the Kennels.
* Latchkey children age restrictions by state. Wisconsin, you’re probably asleep at the switch here. But Illinois, you guys relax.
* A Scan Of 100,000 Galaxies Shows No Sign Of Alien Mega-Civilizations. Okay, but let’s scan the next 900,000 just to be sure.
* That aliens would have imperial ambitions is taken as natural. Far from being the historical outcome of a specific organization of capital in the latter half of the second millennium, these signatories assume that the ideology of capitalist imperialism is inevitable across the galaxy. To be fair, though, the Fermi Paradox is a “it just takes one” claim, not a “all societies are alike” claim.
* Dumb, but maybe my favorite Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal of all time.
* And teach the controversy: Tim Goodman says the Waitress arc on Mad Men might not be stupid and pointless.
Written by gerrycanavan
April 19, 2015 at 7:30 pm
Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet
Tagged with academia, administrative blight, aliens, altac, Andrew Cuomo, Andrew Jackson, animal personhood, animal rights, Apple, ASLE, Atlanta, Auschwitz, austerity, autism, bankers, banks, Batman, BBC, Bechdel test, body cameras, books, capitalism, cash, Catholicism, CFPs, charter schools, Chevron, class struggle, college basketball, college sports, comics, Commissioner Gordon, Cooper Union, cultural preservation, David Chase, DC Comics, Department of Justice, desegregation, disability, Disney, dolphins, dystopia, ecology, English, entrepreneurs, environmentalism, Episode 7, Eric Harris, Expanded Universe, FBI, feminism, Fermi paradox, film, Game of Thrones, Gawker, general election 2016, George R. R. Martin, graduate school, graduate student unions, Green Planets, Harry Potter, hate-watching, HBO, history, Hitler, homelessness, homeschooling, hope-watching, How the University Works, Hugo awards, ideology, Illinois, intelligence, Israel, Italy, Jesus, job creators, kids today, Los Angeles, Mad Men, maps, Marquette, misogyny, money, my pedagogical empire, my scholarly empire, NCAA, negative interest rates, neoliberalism, New York, nightmares, North Carolina, nostalgia, nuclear weapons, nuclearity, nuns, Obi-Wan, Occupy Cal, oil, over-educated literary theory PhDs, parenting, PhDs, photography, Poland, police, police corruption, police state, police violence, politics, pop culture, Princess Leia, Princeton, prison-industrial complex, privatization, privatize everything, privilege, race, racism, radio, religion, rendementsdenken, Return to Oz, RFK Jr., Robert Heinlein, run it like a sandwich, Sad Puppies, Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, science fiction, Sea World, SETI, sexism, Should I go to grad school?, Sopranos, standardized testing, Star Wars, student debt, SUNY, Superman, Sweet Briar, television, terror, the Amazon, the contemporary, the courts, the Force, The Force Awakens, the Holocaust, The Joker, the law, The Left Hand of Darkness, the past is another country, the Pope, they, toilets, trailers, tuition, UC Davis, unions, University of Amsterdam, University of Oregon, Ursula K. Le Guin, war on drugs, war on education, white people, Wisconsin, Won't somebody think of the children?, words, worrying, Yoda
* The 2015 Hugo nominees have been announced, and they’re a mess. The Hugo Awards Were Always Political. But Now They’re Only Political. A Note About the Hugo Nominations This Year. The Puppy-Free Hugo Award Voter’s Guide. The Biggest Little SF Publisher you never heard of declares war. “Why I Declined a Hugo Award Nomination.”
* And in response to the question “Well, what should have been nominated for a Hugo?”: “Andromache and the Dragon,” by my brilliant Marquette colleague Brittany Pladek!
* “The Many Faces of Tatiana Maslany”: In portraying a horde of clones on ‘Orphan Black,’ the actress has created TV’s strangest — and most sophisticated — meditation on femininity. And a special bonus companion piece: Meet The Woman (Besides Tatiana Maslany) Who Plays Every Single “Orphan Black” Clone.
* Reddit’s Bizarre, Surreal, Maddening, Hypnotic, Divisive, and Possibly Evil April Fools’ Joke. I’ve become obsessed with this.
* So how much money is the NCAA making? In 2010, CBS and Turner Broadcasting gave the NCAA $10.8 billion for a fourteen-year broadcast monopoly on March Madness games. Estimated ad revenue for the 2013 tournament reached $1.15 billion, while ticket revenue brought in another $71.7 million. Last year no less than thirty-five coaches pulled down salaries higher than $1 million before bonuses; Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski topped the list with an income of more than $9.6 million.
* Guarding against the errant, suicidal murderous pilot belongs to a category called “wicked problems” — the complexity of the system and the conflicting incentives mean that every solution introduces another set of problems, so the only way forward is always going to be an imperfect one. Second, and perhaps more importantly, is that this once again reveals how, as humans, we are lousy at risk assessment, and also lousy of accepting this weakness. The problem is wicked, but its occurrence is so rare that it is almost unheard of — partly why it terrifies us so. Our imagination, biases and fears are terrible guides to what should actually be done to keep us safer, and this has significant consequences in a whole host of fields, ranging from terrorism to childcare to health-care.
* So you see, people like Tim Cook are selective in their moral universalism; morality, it turns out, is universal only insofar as extends to the particular desires of a Western bourgeoisie; deny a gay couple a wedding bouquet that they could get at the florist down the street anyway, and that is a cause for outrage and concern; extract minerals using indentured Congolese servants, well, look, we’ve got marginal cost to consider! The moral argument, it turns out, curdles when exposed to the profit motive, and the universality of justice actually does end at certain borders, one way or another.
* But unlike its predecessor, the show has no obvious narrative progression. Nacho’s important, or he’s not; the Kettlemans are half the show, or maybe we should care about Sandpiper. There are flashbacks to Jimmy’s past where Bob Odenkirk is playing either 25 or 57—a savvy criminal or a neophyte screw-up. In the lead-up to Better Call Saul, there were theories that the show would be funnier than Breaking Bad (maybe a sitcom?) or more procedural than Breaking Bad (maybe The Good Wife for bad boys?) or more episodic (like X-Files with lawyers!). None of that is true, and all of that is true. It’s interesting, but not the way great TV is interesting. Better Call Saul reminds me more of Treme or John From Cincinnati: post-masterpiece meanders.
* Can science fiction be a form of social activism? Walidah Imarisha thinks so, and she’s recruited everyone from LeVar Burton to Mumia Abu-Jamal to help her prove it.
* sirens.io, blogging from seven years in the future.
* Calif. Governor Orders Mandatory Water Restrictions For 1st Time In History. It’s up to us to singlehandedly save california from drought by turning off the tap when we brush our teeth! California is pumping water that fell to Earth 20,000 years ago. California Drought Tests History of Endless Growth. R.I.P. California (1850-2016): What We’ll Lose And Learn From The World’s First Major Water Collapse. Children of the Drought.
* Starting this week, 25,000 households in Baltimore will suddenly lose their access to water for owing bills of $250 or more, with very little notice given and no public hearings.
* First as an unexpectedly great show, then as I don’t know it doesn’t sound like a very good idea to me.
* Clarke makes her point not with stirring courtroom rhetoric or devastating legal arguments but by a process of relentless accretion, case by case, win by win. This is her cause. Because if the state cannot put these defendants to death, then how can it put anyone to death? Thirty-five executions took place in the United States in 2014 for crimes that form an inventory of human cruelty—and yet few were as willful and egregious as those committed by Judy Clarke’s clients.
* Here is an example of the priorities in New York state’s budget: There is no increase in the minimum wage, but purchasers of yachts that cost more than $230,000 are exempt from the sales tax.
* Interesting article on design: The Secret History of the Apple Watch.
* Senate Republicans say the current system is unfair because rural residents are effectively supporting urban counties’ schools and services when they shop there. Yes, that’s literally how the system is intended to function.
* These Photos Of Melanie Griffith And Her Pet Lion In The 1970s Are Everything. (UPDATE: Here’s the article that seems to be the original source, plus a little bit on Roar’s rerelease. Noteworthy lines from Wikipedia: “Over 70 of the cast and crew were injured during the production of this film.”)
* SF Short of the Weekend: “Burnt Grass.”
* …and your short short of the weekend: “No One Is Thirsty.”
* I finally found enough time to be annoyed by Obama interviewing David Simon about The Wire.
* And because you demanded it: An oral history of Max Headroom.
Written by gerrycanavan
April 5, 2015 at 9:29 am
Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet
Tagged with airplanes, aliens, America, Andre the Giant, Apple, Apple Watch, art, austerity, Baltimore, Barack Obama, because rich people that's why, Better Call Saul, bias, big cats, Big Pharma, blogs, Boston, boycotts, brains, Breaking Bad, Brittany Pladek, California, cancer, capitalism, CFPs, charismatic megafauna, cities, class struggle, climate change, clones, Coach K, college, college basketball, college sports, comics, David Simon, death penalty, depression, design, Detroit, Diego Rivera, Diplomacy, dragons, drought, drugs, Duke, dystopia, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Easter, ecology, equality, ethics, fandom, fantasy, feminism, film, finance capital, frescoes, Frida Kahlo, friendship, Full House, futurity, Game of Thrones, gay rights, George R. R. Martin, Guatemala, happiness, Harry Potter, Harvard, HBO, horrors, How the University Works, Hugos, if you want a vision of the future, Indiana, indigenous futurism, indigenous peoples, informed consent, insider trading, Iran, Islamophobia, Johns Hopkins, Judy Clarke, justice, Kenya, kids, kids today, letters of recommendation, Levar Burton, liches, Lili Loofbourow, lions, mad science, maps, Marquette, Mars, Max Headroom, medical ethics, medicine, megacities, megadrought, Melanie Griffith, misogyny, moral panic, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Muppets, murder-suicide, NASA, NCAA, neoliberalism, New York, nostalgia, nuclear weapons, nuclearity, ocean acidification, oceans, Octavia Butler, Octavia's Brood, Orphan Black, outer space, parenting, Perry Bible Fellowship, photography, police brutality, police violence, polio, politics, pollution, prison-industrial complex, prisons, psychopharmacology, race, racism, rationality, reboots, Reddit, Republicans, risk assessment, Roar, Rothkos, Sad Puppies, Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, science fiction, science is magic, Scott Water, SETI, sexism, short film, Sistine Chapel, slavery, social justice, Somalia, sound, superheroes, SWAT teams, Sweet Briar, Tatiana Maslany, taxes, technosis externality clusterfuck, television, terrorism, Texas, the 1980s, the Anthropocene, The Button, the courts, the law, the long now, The Price Is Right, the revolution is here, the undead, The Wire, tigers, trolley problem, Tumblr, unnecessary sequels, very short film, VHS, Vince Gilligan, Vox Day, war on drugs, water, wicked problems, Wisconsin, yachts
* Reminder: Mullen fellowship applications are due April 1.
* Tired of the same old dystopias? Randomized Dystopia suggests a right that your fictional tyranny could deny its citizens!
* I began pursuing a Ph.D. in English at the University of Michigan in the Fall of 2006. My incoming cohort had nine students–seven in English Language and Literature, two in English and Women’s Studies. When we entered the program, all of us aspired to the tenure-track. The last of us just defended her dissertation this January, making ours the first cohort in several years with a 100% completion rate. Nine years out, only one of us has a tenure track professorship.
* #altac: Northeastern University seeks an intellectually nimble, entrepreneurial, explode-the-boundaries thinker to join the Office of the President as Special Assistant for Presidential Strategy & Initiatives. This job ad truly is a transcendent parody of our age, down to the shameless sucking up to the president of the university that constitutes 2/3 of the text.
* “There is no point in having that chat as long as the system is mismanaged,” said Steven Cohen, president of the Congress of Connecticut Community Colleges, which represents most faculty. Cohen pointed to central office costs that are rising as faculty numbers decline.
* Following up on the future of rhetoric and composition. I also liked this one from Freddie: “It’s that mass contigency– the dramatic rise of at-risk academic labor like adjuncts and grad students– that creates the conditions that Cooke laments on campus. In the past, when a far higher portion of college courses were taught by tenured professors, those who taught college courses had much less reason to fear reprisals from undergraduates.”
* There is certainly an important and urgent conversation to be had about academic freedom and whether that is being constrained by trigger warnings and the like, but the discourse of students’ self-infantilization misdirects us from the larger picture. That, I think, is definitely not a story of student-initiated “cocooning,” but rather the transformation of the category of “student” into “consumer” and “future donor.”
* How Sweet Briar’s Board Decided to Close the College. But don’t worry, there’s a plan: Faculty Propose Sweet Briar Shift Focus to STEM.
* 3 Cops Caught On Tape Brutally Beating Unarmed Michigan Man With No Apparent Provocation. Private Prison Operator Set To Rake In $17 Million With New 400-Bed Detention Center. Teen Was Kept In Solitary Confinement For 143 Days Before Even Facing Trial. Inside America’s Toughest Federal Prison.
The officers sued the LAPD for discrimination for keeping them in desk jobs. Last week a jury awarded them $4 million. In other words, the refusal to let them go back to the streets to shoot more people is, in the eyes of our court system, worth more than four times as much as the life of an innocent man. Much more than that when you consider that they drew and continue to draw near six figure salaries for sitting at a desk.
* World’s most honest headline watch: Wall Street welcomes expected Chuck Schumer promotion.
* Even with California deep in drought, the federal agency hasn’t assessed the impacts of the bottled water business on springs and streams in two watersheds that sustain sensitive habitats in the national forest. The lack of oversight is symptomatic of a Forest Service limited by tight budgets and focused on other issues, and of a regulatory system in California that allows the bottled water industry to operate with little independent tracking of the potential toll on the environment.
* Photographer Johan Bävman documents the world of dads and their babies in a country where fathers are encouraged to take a generous amount of paternity leave.
* Dean Smith Willed $200 to Each of His Former Players to ‘Enjoy a Dinner Out.’ You’ll never believe what happened next. But!
Contrary to inaccurate media reports, Dean Smith’s generous gift to former student-athletes is NOT an NCAA violation.
— Inside the NCAA (@InsidetheNCAA) March 29, 2015
* Snowpiercer forever: Russia unveils plan for superhighway from London to Alaska.
* And make mine del Toro:
You say horror is inherently political. How so?
Much like fairy tales, there are two facets of horror. One is pro-institution, which is the most reprehensible type of fairy tale: Don’t wander into the woods, and always obey your parents. The other type of fairy tale is completely anarchic and antiestablishment.
Written by gerrycanavan
March 30, 2015 at 8:00 am
Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet
Tagged with #dads, academia, adjunctification, administrative blight, airport security, aliens, amateurism, America, Amsterdam, Antarctica, Apple, Argentina, art, austerity, Black Panther, Bloody Marys, books, California, child care, children's literature, China, Chuck Schumer, college admissions, college basketball, comics, Connecticut, corruption we can believe in, Dean Smith, disability studies, discrimination, donors, drought, dystopia, ecology, environmentalism, equality, ethics, evolution, fairy tales, faster than light travel, fathers, female Thor, feminism, Firefly, flexible, food, for-profit schools, games, gay rights, George Carlin, graduate student life, Guillermo del Toro, Harvard, horror, How the University Works, How to Avoid Speaking, ideology, Idris Elba, Indian food, Indiana, Ivy League, Jaimee, Jason Shiga, Joss Whedon, juvenile detention, Kamala Khan, Kentucky, kids today, LAPD, law school, management, maps, Marvel, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marxism, Michigan, Miles Morales, Milwaukee, modernity, morality, Nazis, NCAA, neoliberalism, New York, nimble, Norway, NYU, Orwell, parental leave, pedagogy, playing to lose, poetry, police brutality, police violence, Pretty Woman, prison, prison-industrial complex, privilege, R.D. Mullen fellowship, race, racism, rebus puzzles, relativism, resistance, rhetoric and composition, ruins, Russia, sand, Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, science, science fiction, science fiction studies, selfies, seven dirty words, slave trade, slavery, smells, Snowpiercer, solitary confinement, Star Trek, STEM, students as consumers, Summerfest, superheroes, surveillance, surveillance society, surveillance state, Sweet Briar, taste, teaching, tenure, The Falcon, the humanities, the Senate, Tolkien, trigger warnings, TSA, tuition, UNC, undergraduates, unions, United Kingdom, University of Phoenix, University of Wisconsin, Wall Street, war, water, words, Yale
* The Department of Special Collections and University Archives will host an upcoming talk by Tolkien scholar Janet Brennan Croft March 26, at 4:30 p.m. in the Raynor Memorial Libraries Beaumier Suites. Croft is the author of “Barrel Rides and She-Elves: Audience and ‘Anticipation’ in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit Trilogy,” and has written on film adaptions of J.R.R. Tolkien’s works. The talk will explore Tolkien’s “Hobbit Trilogy” in regards to audience expectations, the difficulties of filming a prequel after a sequel, and issues of anticipation in relation to character development.
* Checking flights now: Kim Stanley Robinson Week at Ralahine.
* The Unfortunate Fate of Sweet Briar’s Professors. This headline really buries the lede:
Of course, faculty members aren’t the only employees who are taking a hit. Rainville suggested that nearly a third of the college’s hourly workers are descendants of the Fletcher plantation’s original slave community. Some of the staff members have worked at Sweet Briar their entire adult lives.
* Finally, a technological solution to the problem of taking attendance!
* These Photos Beautifully Capture the Complex Relationship Between Mothers and Daughters. These are really amazing. Many more links after the photo.
* It’s a mistake to ask whether this is wealthy people defending their financial interests or wealthy people expressing their ideology, or which motivation is reallyin the driver’s seat. The triumph of modern conservatism is that it has collapsed the distinction. The interests of the wealthy are the ideology. Fossil fuels are the ideology. They’re bubbling in the same ethno-nationalist stew as anti-immigrant sentiment, hawkish foreign policy, hostility toward the social safety net, and fetishism of guns, suburbs, and small towns. It’s all one identity now. The Kochs (and their peers) are convinced that their unfettered freedom is in the best interests of the country. There’s no tension.
* Judge Says University Failed to Shield Professor From Colleagues’ Retaliation. Yeah, sure sounds like it.
* It is now twelve months to the day that I set myself the task of, for one full year, reading books only by straight, white, middle-class, Anglopone, cis male authors. During that time I read 144 books. The things I learned in my year of selective reading made me pretty glad to have persevered.
Ph.D. students will receive 4 percent more in total compensation for their work as teaching assistants, bringing the average annual compensation up to approximately $36,600. The agreement also guarantees yearly minimum wage increases of 2.25 to 2.50 percent through 2020. For graduate employees at NYU’s Polytechnic School of Engineering, some of whom currently make only $10 an hour, hourly wages will increase to $15 next fall and reach $20 by 2020. Those employees will also receive a $1,500 bonus for work done over the past three semesters.
* Diving into the weeds: Is University of Oklahoma frat’s racist chant protected by 1st Amendment? 5 Ways Fraternities Are Wielding Major Influence Over University Administrations. A decade of bad press hasn’t hurt fraternity membership numbers. A Brief and Recent History of Bigotry at Fraternities.
* The U.S. is being overrun by a wave of anti-science, anti-intellectual thinking. Has the most powerful nation on Earth lost its mind?
* The Desertification of Mongolia. Still not done, more links below.
* In the U.S., a notary public does unglamorous legal drudge work. But in many Latin American countries, a notario is an ill-defined but powerful figure with broad legal authority, often someone with the connections needed to navigate bureaucracies that, while arcane, are also flexible. Unscrupulous notarios in the U.S. exploit these facts to con immigrants into believing that all it takes to finally get legal is the right person to file the paperwork.
* Emily Yoffe has another piece at Slate arguing against the current approach to sexual assault at colleges, this time framed around The Hunting Ground.
* Dystopia in our time: “Why Buzzfeed Is The Most Important News Organization in the World.”
* The end of cable: HBO is coming to Apple TV.
* Meritocracy watch: Chelsea Clinton Absolutely Open to Running for Office.
* “A simple design fluke and marketing are afoot here. When Gard accidentally increased her breast size by 150 percent, the creative team insisted it was maintained. The parent company’s marketing team found this to be a boon to breaking through the noise that would buoy their success.”
* Ottawa doctors behind breakthrough multiple sclerosis study. This sounds amazing. I hope it’s true.
* Coming this October: Back in Time: The Back to the Future documentary.
* Day-in, day-out, Calvin keeps running into evidence that the world isn’t built to his (and our) specifications. All humor is, in one way or another, about our resistance to that evidence. The Moral Philosophy of Calvin and Hobbes.
Written by gerrycanavan
March 11, 2015 at 2:12 pm
Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet
Tagged with academia, academic jobs, actually existing media bias, aging, Airbnb, America, Amsterdam, anti-intellectualism, attendance, austerity, Back in Time, Back to the Future, Big Sugar, Boise State, books, Brian Williams, Buffy, Buzzfeed, cable, Calvin and Hobbes, Chelsea Clinton, class struggle, climate change, cost of living, Daylight Savings Time, democracy, denialism, desertification, detenuring, documentary, dystopia, ecology, education, English, Expanded Universe, exploitation, film, flexible online education, Florida, foreskins, fraternities, free speech, futurity, Gawker, Ghostbusters, Google, graduate student movements, Hamlet, Harrison Ford, HBO, home ownership, homelessness, House of Cards, How the University Works, ideology, immigration, income inequality, inequality, insurance, intergenerational struggle, Iowa, Islam, Islamophobia, James Joyce, Joss Whedon, Kamala Khan, Kim Stanley Robinson, language, Lara Croft, LARPing, Madison, maps, March Madness, Marquette, Marx, Marxism, meritocracy, Middle East, Milwaukee, MLA, Mongolia, MOOCs, moral panic, mothers and daughters, Ms. Marvel, multiple sclerosis, Native Americans, NBC, neoliberalism, notary publics, NYU, Oklahoma, optimism, philosophy, photography, police brutality, police violence, politics, pornography, porntopia, prison abolition, protest, puns, Queen Elizabeth, race, racism, rape, rape culture, Reddit, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, science, science fiction, Scott Walker, slavery, small planes, social justice, Star Wars, student debt, student movements, Sweet Briar, teeth, television, the Netherlands, The New Inquiry, the past isn't over it isn't even past, the rich are different, time travel, Tolkien, Tomb Raider, torture, unions, United Kingdom, Utah, Utopia, UWM, war on education, water, wealth, white privilege, whiteness, Wisconsin, words, writing