Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘economism

Saturday Morning Links!

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Milwaukee writer finds prize-winning drama in personal story of pain, healing. Marquette’s own CJ Hribal.

What It Means to Be on the Left. Left of the Dial.

Why Capitalism is Just Shitbag Science.

Looking past Stone’s intricate play-by-play to the wider context, it’s hard not to view Uber and Airbnb as a new iteration of the upheaval and consolidation Taplin describes. The difference is that while Amazon, Facebook, and Google tighten their control over the entertainment we consume, the personal details we share, and the information we uncover, Uber and Airbnb want to stake a claim on how we move through the material world. Kelly describes this state of affairs as a new form of socialism untethered from the state, “designed to heighten individual autonomy and thwart centralization.” To me, it sounds more like Sigma Iotia II, the gangster-themed planet in the Star Trek episode “A Piece of the Action.” It’s a world that, though torn apart by gang wars as the Enterprise arrives, is made to run smoothly when Captain Kirk inserts himself and his superior phaser technology into the conflict on behalf of the Federation, declares himself the victor, and then withdraws to allow the society to rule itself … as long as the Federation gets its cut. Kirk promises that money would be reinvested back into the planet — but that works mainly because the post-scarcity Federation can afford to treat Sigma Iotia II as an extended, world-sized experiment in developmental sociology.

U.S. Lawmakers Seek to Criminally Outlaw Support for Boycott Campaign Against Israel. 43 Senators, 29 Republicans and 14 Democrats. Incredible.

Internal EPA records obtained by ProPublica show that the Radford plant is one of at least 51 active sites across the country where the Department of Defense or its contractors are today burning or detonating munitions or raw explosives in the open air, often in close proximity to schools, homes and water supplies. The documents — EPA PowerPoint presentations made to senior agency staff — describe something of a runaway national program, based on “a dirty technology” with “virtually no emissions controls.” According to officials at the agency, the military’s open burn program not only results in extensive contamination, but “staggering” cleanup costs that can reach more than half a billion dollars at a single site.

* Sessions! Sessions! Spicer! Spicer! Saramucci! Kushner! Mueller! Manafort! Tillerson! And the rest.

* McCain.

President Trump is considering pardoning himself. I asked 15 experts if that’s legal. Nixon’s Justice Department warned that the president can’t pardon himself. Yes, Trump can legally pardon himself or his family. No, he shouldn’t.

Watching ‘Fox & Friends,’ Trump Sees a Two-Way Mirror. Trump Keeps Failing to Destroy Obama’s Legacy, as Aides Assure Trump All Is Fine. Same.

Nothing about the Trump presidency is normal. Keep remembering that.

* That Times interview. Man.

Hillary Clinton is more unpopular than Donald Trump. Let that sink in.

Host a Mueller Firing Rapid Response Event. Are we heading toward a constitutional crisis? “Set aside Putin and follow the money”: a Russia expert’s theory of the Trump scandal. Some of President Trump’s lawyers are exploring ways to limit or undercut special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation, building a case against what they allege are his conflicts of interest and discussing the president’s authority to grant pardons, according to people familiar with the effort. Oppo research! It’s probably a lot worse than we thought.

Thus, we have multiple pathways forward, none of them look good.

The one area where Trump has been wildly successful. We’re going to be living with the consequences of this trainwreck for a long time.

* I hope this happens to him everywhere he goes for the rest of his life.

Undocumented Dad Says Tearful Goodbye to His Kids Before Being Deported in Heartbreaking Video.

* A Deportation at MIT.

* Google Glass, but for making work even more miserable.

Data analysis of 34,476 comic book characters reveals they’re sexist as hell.

Volumes like Platform Capitalism and Ours to Hack and to Own should convince careful readers that our current, barely regulated gig economy is not sustainable. Subjecting workers to a national (or even global) reverse auction of wages and work conditions—where they are under constant pressure to perform tasks faster, and for less, than rivals will—is a recipe for exhaustion and poverty for those unlucky enough to be trapped in the platform matrix. Moreover, it is also a prelude to deflation and economic collapse, as precarious work provokes a twenty-first century revival of Keynes’s paradox of thrift.

2017 is so unexpectedly warm it is freaking out climate scientists.

The Trouble With Sex Robots.

Wes Anderson Names 12 of His Favorite Art Films.

* When Bachman was King.

* Ava DuVernay’s adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s book is one of the studio’s only upcoming movies that’s not a follow-up or a remake.

* White Women in Robes: Race and The Handmaid’s Tale. I thought a lot about this while teaching the book this summer and still think Adam’s post on Gilead and ISIS is the best explanation beyond “semi-woke producers trying to avoid negative thinkpiece coverage” I’ve seen.

* Elizabeth Moss, “Accidental Activist.”

* No thanks. The Producers of HBO’s Confederate Respond to the Backlash and Explain Why They Wanted to Tell This Story.

* Philosophy and the Cold War.

* Teen Vogue‘s Guide to Anal Sex.

Defendants Can’t Be Jailed Solely Because of Inability to Post Bail, Judge Says.

* Gasp! What a shocking, one-time-only transgression from a uniquely bad apple.

It’s Time For Democrats To Stop Defending Obamacare And Start Replacing It.

The Good Guy with a Gun Theory, Debunked.

* Eugenics in America.

“In the state of Florida, there is no law in place that requires a person to render aid or call to render aid to a victim in distress,” Yvonne Martinez, a spokeswoman for the Cocoa Police Department, said on Friday.

How Fake Cops Got $1.2 Million in Real Weapons.

* Being Sansa Stark.

* We Asked People What Childhood Moment Shaped Them the Most.

New MIT Study Suggests Sonic The Hedgehog Might Be Living In Computer Simulation.

“Here was a story that asked the reader to actively oppose a cowardly hero, to drag the character against his will into conflict with a monster that turns out to be himself.”

* Robots: they’re just like us!

* Burn, baby, burn.

Tuesday Afternoon Links!

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* Public showings of the Tolkien Manuscripts at Marquette, 2016-2017.

Don’t Panic, But There’s An Asteroid Right Over There.

Why is the keynote speech such a train wreck at most academic conferences?

* Because it’s that time of year again: my two-part piece from Inside Higher Ed from a few years back on entering the academic job market as an ABD, 1, 2. But of course:

How to Do a Better Job of Searching for Diversity.

* How could anyone think graduate students shouldn’t have a Plan B?

* Great teaching document: Some Notes on How to Ask a Good Question about Theory That Will Provoke Conversation and Further Discussion from Your Colleagues.

* And more: Making a classroom discussion an actual discussion.

* Trump: graft :: Clinton : paranoia.

* Disability and utopia.

* And marrying the last two links: One in Six Eligible Voters Has a Disability.

* “Debate” and the end of the public sphere.

* Let history be our judge: Pepe the Frog, an explainer.

If Hillary Had to Drop Out, Here’s How a New Democratic Candidate Would be Chosen. Former DNC chairman calls for Clinton contingency plan.

Researchers at the Karadag Nature Reserve, in Feodosia, Russia, recorded two Black Sea bottlenose dolphins, called Yasha and Yana, talking to each other in a pool. They found that each dolphin would listen to a sentence of pulses without interruption, before replying.

Ancient Black Astronauts and Extraterrestrial Jihads: Islamic Science Fiction as Urban Mythology.

A librarian donated $4 million to his alma mater. $100,000 is being given to the library. $1 million is being used to buy A SCOREBOARD.

* NCAA vs. NC.

Getting Restless At The Head Of The Class.

* CFP: this xkcd.

* Demystifying the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

* Going viral this week: extinction illusions.

* In search of the universal language.

Reported Concussions in Youth Soccer Soar a Mere 1,600 Percent in 25 Years, According to Study.

* Nice work if you can get it: Wells Fargo won’t claw back $125m retirement bonus from exec who oversaw 2m frauds.

* Sexting in the seventh grade.

Colin Kaepernick’s Protest Is Working.

How the sugar industry has distorted health science for more than 50 years.

* Stories that should be more exciting than they are: We Were Wrong About Where the Moon Came From!

* I read Jason Shiga’s Demon as a crowdfunder — it’s great. Check out the first volume when it comes to print next month.

* Special providence: Catfish Falls From The Sky, Hits Woman In The Face.

The organizing economic metaphor of all of Against Everything is artificial scarcity. The concept usually refers to the way that monopolistic sellers exploit their excessive market power to restrict supply so they can raise prices. Greif’s view is more capacious and idiosyncratic: He describes a culture where the affluent, at sea in a world of abundance, engage in the elaborate restriction of their own demand (to kitsch diners, ethnic food, inappropriately youthful sexual partners). This turns what could be unfussy gratification into resource-intensive performance. On one level, this is about making a technically meaningless life more diverting, but it also gives our atomized selves the comfort of belonging. It serves to differentiate “people like me” from those other, worse people—those without access to the most current information, say, or simply the economic means to act on it. What gives n+1’s economistic turn its authority and novelty is the way Greif and his colleagues show that the market is not, as someone like Gary Becker had it, a bazaar untainted by sinister, irrational notions (discrimination, exploitation, class prejudice), but a site where those things are given free play under cover of neutral utility-maximizing exchange. They have taught us to speak the softer insights of theory (with its sensitivity to symbolic difference and its hermeneutics of suspicion) in the hardheaded but incantatory vernacular of the powerful.

Millions of containers, thousands of ships, hundreds of scientists, 30 laws, 15 federal agencies, and we still can’t prevent the next foodborne illness outbreak.

* The New Yorker remembers the Wilmington coup of 1898.

* And I’m catching up late, but man oh man, Bojack Horseman is a good show.


Tuesday MOOCs, and More!

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* Professor Leaves a MOOC in Mid-Course in Dispute Over Teaching. The details on this are fascinating:

Gary Matkin, the dean for distance education at Irvine, said the problem had stemmed from Mr. McKenzie’s reluctance to loosen his grip on students who he thought were not learning well in the course.“

In Professor McKenzie’s view, for instance, uninformed or superfluous responses to the questions posed in the discussion forums hobbled the serious students in their learning,” said Mr. Matkin in an e-mail.

Irvine officials, however, “felt that the course was very strong and well designed,” he said, “and that it would, indeed, meet the learning objectives of the large audience, including both those interested only in dipping into the subject and those who were seriously committed” to completing the course.

Twitter user @cjprender has a slightly different take.

* MOOCs: What if the cure is worse than the disease?

Perhaps I’m overly cynical, but I think the real root of MOOC-mania is an edifice complex on the part of university presidents and trustees.  The last time I checked, the average university president in this country served for about four years before moving on to greener pastures.  It used to be that the easiest way to leave a legacy on campus would be to build something.  With bond financing nearly impossible to come by these days, the easiest (but not necessarily least expensive) way to build something is to create a virtual campus.

* ‘8 College Degrees with the Worst Return on Investment.’ Stupid vital careers necessary for the smooth operation and reproduction of social goods! Why don’t you get paid, son?

* Bérubé: The Humanities, Unraveled.

large_4ca6295c0ca1b_1These serene Chinese landscapes are actually photographs of landfills.

* Don’t Panic, But Thousands of Dolphins Were Spotted Swimming Away Off the Coast of San Diego.

* Don’t hate the player; hate the game.

Alligator OK to eat on Lenten Fridays, archbishop clarifies.

* Being Ken Jennings.

Forthcoming Film Is Defense of For-Profit Colleges, Critics Say.

The narration for one of the film’s early promotional trailers includes references to the “attack” on the proprietary sector by policy makers, politicians, unions, and other critics who “protect the flawed status quo.”

“Many politicians continue to manipulate the truth and serve the interests of the unions in order to keep the private sector from serving adult learners, creating a virtual, permanent underclass,” says the narrator in one clip that was on the Web site of Fractured Atlas but was replaced afterThe Chronicle inquired about it.

Unions! I hate those guys.