Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘ELF

Links from Thursday

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* I’m traversing a landscape under endless gray cloud cover, the ground softened to the consistency of flesh by a long night of rain. I pass through areas that look like small cities, sprawls of gray buildings groped by the fingers of decay, but almost deserted – whatever people I see are glazed over, lurking in doorways and around corners. The rest of the journey is through light woods, among leafless trees… or over swamps, the endless texture of jaundiced reeds broken up by stagnant brown streams. Occasionally, I pass a hulking structure of brick and iron, falling apart from the inside, begging to be demolished so people can stop asking what it was ever for. Is this Castlevania? Or is it New Jersey? How 8- and 16-bit Games Taught Me the Power of Dread.

* Andrew Hickey reviews Before Watchmen.

Keith Giffen and J. M. DeMatteis are both people who understand comics storytelling in a way that Didio can only dream of. And they realised, reading Watchmen, what any quarter-literate person would. They realised that no-one *actually* wanted a new story about Rorshach. (The fact that plenty of people now *do* want new stories about Rorshach tells us more about comics fans than we would really like to know)…

* …the campus administration did whatever they wanted, empowered the police to do whatever they wanted, and did so because they knew that no real oversight of their actions would occur, and they were right to think that.

* Ecoterrorism and the FBI.

* Roseanne’s not-at-all-a-stunt-why-would-you-say-that campaign for the White House kicks off.

As it happens, legalization of marijuana is the first issue in the political platform posted on Ms. Barr’s website. She said she has a prescription to use the drug for glaucoma in California and vowed to smoke a joint at a public press conference if she is victorious in the Golden State’s Green Party primary this week.“I don’t really smoke it, but I have a salve of it, you know, and if you rub it into your wrists, you don’t get high,” Ms. Barr said. “You’re not getting high but you feel release. I have salve and I have cookies.”

Other issues on Ms. Barr’s platform include ending the Federal Reserve, stopping “debt slavery” by “forgiving all school loans,” withdrawing military support for Israel and making war “obsolete.”

But will she cancel Terror Tuesdays?

* Nate Silver’s election model, which is always right except when it isn’t, puts Obama’s chances of reelection at 60%.

* Matt Yglesias writes the “life choices” rant I threatened to write the other day. The War on Women by the Ridiculous Numbers.

* UNC-Greensboro’s Own™ Natasha Trethewey is the new Poet Laureate.

* And Jason Jones with a super-helpful ProfHacker: Track Changes on an iPad with Office2.

Tuesday Night

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* kimstanleyrobinson.info has your 2312 interviews and reviews. I’ll have a review of this in the Los Angeles Review of Books next month.

* John Scalzi and Jonathan Coulton talk “Still Alive.”

* Lindsey Thomas rounds up the season’s bleak articles on the state of graduate education in the humanities with a focus on the issue that nearly everyone overlooks: “Graduate students, especially in the humanities, are not just students, endlessly toiling away in our foxholes/ivory towers (depending on which side of the “debate” you’re on) in our lurching quests for new knowledge. No; we are also instructors, and along with the ever-growing numbers of adjunct and non-tenure-track faculty, we  constitute over 70% of the postsecondary instructional workforce nationwide.”

* Erik Loomis reviews If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front.

* And Facebook may have botched its IPO in much more dramatic fashion than originally thought.

Monday!

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* The e-Rater’s biggest problem, he says, is that it can’t identify truth. He tells students not to waste time worrying about whether their facts are accurate, since pretty much any fact will do as long as it is incorporated into a well-structured sentence. “E-Rater doesn’t care if you say the War of 1812 started in 1945,” he said. As Kevin Drum notes, this may less a bug than a feature in these benighted times.

* The White House Correspondents’ Dinner may be fascism with a human face, but at least there’s Stephen Colbert.

Of course, all of us should be honored to be listed on the TIME 100 alongside the two men who will be slugging it out in the fall: President Obama, and the man who would defeat him, David Koch.

Give it up everybody. David Koch.

Little known fact — David, nice to see you again, sir.

Little known fact, David’s brother Charles Koch is actually even more influential. Charles pledged $40 million to defeat President Obama, David only $20 million. That’s kind of cheap, Dave.

Sure, he’s all for buying the elections, but when the bill for democracy comes up, Dave’s always in the men’s room. I’m sorry, I must have left Wisconsin in my other coat.

I was particularly excited to meet David Koch earlier tonight because I have a Super PAC, Colbert Super PAC, and I am — thank you, thank you — and I am happy to announce Mr. Koch has pledged $5 million to my Super PAC. And the great thing is, thanks to federal election law, there’s no way for you to ever know whether that’s a joke.

By the way, if David Koch likes his waiter tonight, he will be your next congressman.

* Podcast of the day: “Bombing Savages in Law, in Fact, in Fiction” from Sven Lindqvist.

* n+1 talks debt.

Last quick point on student loans: If I am driving around while texting, and I negligently run over and kill a child, or if I am in a gambling institution and I have an 11 and the dealer has an ace, and I mistakenly double down and get a huge gambling debt—those kind of debts—hurting someone, killing someone, gambling debts, or all kinds of other debts—are treated less harshly under our bankruptcy code than the debts associated with trying to educate yourself. Student loans are the most repressive kind of debts under the legal structures that we have. These are democratic bills. People voted for them. Hillary Clinton voted for the 2005 bankruptcy bill. Biden voted for it; Biden pushed it. These are things we have chosen, and they are incredibly repressive for student debts.

More here.

* All about Paul Ryan.

* Academic advice: How to apply for things.

* zunguzungu explains the albatross on Johnny Depp’s brain.

* Life inside the Earth Liberation Front.

* Stephen King: Tax Me, for F@%&’s Sake!

“ ‘Moby-Dick’ is about the oil industry,” they said. “And the Ship of American State. The owners of the Pequod are rapacious and stingy religious hypocrites. The ship’s business is to butcher whales and turn them into an industrial energy product. The mates are the middle management. The harpooners, who are from races colonized by America one way or another, are supplying the expert tech labor. Elijah the prophet — from the American artist caste — foretells the Pequod’s doom, which comes about because the chief executive, Ahab, is a megalomaniac who wants to annihilate nature.

“Nature is symbolized by a big white whale, which has interfered with Ahab’s personal freedom by biting off his leg and refusing to be slaughtered and boiled. The narrator, Ishmael, represents journalists; his job is to warn America that it’s controlled by psychotics who will destroy it, because they hate the natural world and don’t grasp the fact that without it they will die. That’s enough literature for now. Can we have popcorn?”

How Apple Sidesteps Billions in Taxes.

* The Avengers Has Earned $178.4 Million, And It Hasn’t Even Opened in the U.S. Yet.

* And here comes the Portal 2 DLC.

Derrick Jensen’s ‘Endgame’

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Premise Ten: The culture as a whole and most of its members are insane. The culture is driven by a death urge, an urge to destroy life.

The premises and other excerpts from Derrick Jensen’s anarcho-primitivst tract Endgame are online, a polemic that quickly leapfrogs past the ecotage tactics of groups like ELF to essentially call for open, final warfare against capitalism.

I think we all know that goes.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 21, 2008 at 12:00 pm

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