Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘emergency

Thursday Night Links!

leave a comment »

* CFP: The 9th Biennial Slayage Conference on the Whedonverse. CFP: Horror(s) of Childhood and Adolescence. CFP: Trans Futurisms. CFP: Critical Comics Studies. And CFP coming soon: The X-Men Animated Series.

Depictions of death on TV and in the movies are unrealistic; the characters are awake and carry on meaningful conversations, then suddenly close their eyes and die. That’s not how it works. In the days when deaths occurred at home, most people had seen a relative die. And today we have a lot of knowledge about what happens in the body as it begins shutting down.

* Almost micro-targeted to my mental illness: How many US cities can you name?

What Fan Fiction Teaches That the Classroom Doesn’t.

* So much of college administration is rule by decree under the sign of emergency.

California Governor Signs Bill Allowing College Athletes To Profit From Endorsements. Free labor from college athletes may soon come to an end. And please don’t worry: Ending the sham of NCAA amateurism will not end Title IX.

* Here come the esports majors.

* The Cult of Rich-Kid Sports.

Anatomy of a Polite Revolt in Columbia’s English Department. Reckon it could probably stand to be a little less polite.

* My university is dying.

Former College Towns Left to Adapt to Business Loss.

* The inaugural issue of our journal Gothic Nature: New Directions in Ecohorror and the EcoGothic is finally live.

* Earth is a fire planet, the only one we know.

Humans Are Disturbing Earth’s Carbon Cycle More Than the Dinosaur-Killing Asteroid Did.

First as Tragedy, Then as Fascism: Ecologist Garrett Hardin’s enduring gift to the nativist right. The Delusion and Danger of Infinite Economic Growth. Now That’s What I Call the Anthropocene™!

What If We Really Are Alone in the Universe?

* ‘Sci-fi makes you stupid’ study refuted by scientists behind original research.

* Amber Guyger found guilty of murder at trial in fatal shooting of neighbor Botham Jean.

* The toll of #MeToo.

* This time they can’t use procedural tricks to stymie the march of progress! *five seconds later* Ah, well, nevertheless.

The Week That Everything Changed. Paralyzed and teetering on the edge of a cliff. High on His Own Supply. Crazy. Shoot Migrants’ Legs, Build Alligator Moat: Behind Trump’s Ideas for Border. Government Plans to Begin DNA Testing on Detained Immigrants. Trump Administration Separates Some Migrant Mothers From Their Newborns Before Returning Them to Detention. After two ICE officers came to a Pacific Northwest community, longtime residents began to disappear. Will Trump ever leave the White House? The only way out of this catastrophe is for everyone on both sides to pretend Pence isn’t completely dirty even though he very obviously is. President Pence’s First and Worst Choice.

 

* Somehow Elizabeth Warren keeps attracting the right enemies. Warren’s plan for workers. Warren and the selfie line.

How Bernie Sanders convinced me about free college.

* Snowden in the Labyrinth.

* John Kelly, man of honor.

“shoddy system backed by extremely shoddy research and jackboot instincts should be applied globally”

* WeWork is really shaping up to be the Enron of our moment, narrowly edging out Uber.

The Enduring Myth of “The Economy.”

* The Boeing whistleblower.

* Welcome to Estonia’s Isle of Women.

* How they teach slavery, then and now.

* Turns out you can say something so stupid you get fired from Fox.

The Supreme Court will hear three cases next Tuesday that ask whether it is legal to fire workers because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. That alone is enough to make them three of the most important employment discrimination cases in many years. But there are additional layers to these cases, layers that could imperil all workers regardless of whether or not they are LGBTQ.

* I suppose this is canon (again).

* Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino in conversation.

Star Trek: Discovery Became The Most Popular Streaming Show In The World.

* The His Dark Materials sequel is here: The Secret Commonwealth.

Why Has Transphobia Gone Mainstream in Philosophy?

Five Years Later, Do Black Lives Matter?

* Is it weird that no one can sustain a media operation of any size no matter what the topic or longevity?

More than 30,000 children under age 10 have been arrested in the US since 2013: FBI. Hard at work to double that number by 2025.

* Absolutely psychotic nation.

* Great country. Truly great.

* Only in America!

* When your industry is so racist you have no choice but to level up.

* Superheroes are real.

* get you a man who can do all three

* Food mascots and whether or not I’d be able to kick their ass.

* A cultural history of an incredibly self-referential tweet.

* Don’t vape!

Stop Getting Married On Plantations!

* america.jpg

* This one is a real america.jpg too.

* america.jpgs all over.

* Nothing gold can stay: the end of BoJack Horseman.

He Spent Years Infiltrating White Supremacist Groups. Here’s What He Has to Say About What’s Going on Now.

* Tor.com takes up one of my favorite elements of the Foundation series, the Encyclopedia Galactica.

* And I feel like this is worth at least two weeks of therapy.


Written by gerrycanavan

October 3, 2019 at 5:02 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

If You Scroll Down Far Enough on This Linkpost You May Eventually Reach Content That Won’t Cause Immediate Existential Despair

leave a comment »

* Call for Papers: Polygraph 28, Marxism and Climate Change. Call for Papers: Speculative Souths.

* Transformative Works and Cultures 27: Tumblr and Fandom.

* The Trump administration separated thousands of children from their families over a crime the justice system penalizes with a $10 fine. What’s Really Happening When Asylum-Seeking Families Are Separated? Hell is this audio. Photos. Summer Camp at the Nightmare Factory. Toxic stress. For a 6-Year-Old Snared in the Immigration Maze, a Memorized Phone Number Proves a Lifeline. The Heartbreaking Case Of The 3-Year-Old Boy In Immigration Court. U.S. officials separated him from his child. Then he was deported to El Salvador. Mothers in a New Mexico Prison Who Do Not Know How to Find Their Children. Torn from immigrant parents, 8-month-old baby lands in Michigan. Families divided. Hundreds. 1,995. 3,700. Over ten thousand. Trump administration could be holding 30,000 border kids by August, officials say. “She had to teach other kids in the cell to change her diaper.” “I have no information about your child.” “I Can’t Go Without My Son.” “These aren’t our kids.” Where are the girls? This is bad. History. Here Are Some of the Democrats Who Paved the Way for the Family Separation Crisis. The outrage over Trump’s heartless family separation policy provides an opportunity to reverse the bipartisan consensus that has long victimized immigrants. Protesters Flock to La Guardia to Support Immigrant Children. Protest held outside Bay Area ICE facility over immigration controversy. After Six Days, Portland’s ICE Blockade Is a City of More Than 80 Tents. First Step to Helping Children Sent to New York: Find Them. Governors won’t send Guard units to border if family separation continues. Governor orders probe of abuse claims by immigrant children. On the tarmac. Flight attendant: I won’t work flights that separate immigrant kids from families. Fundraiser to reunite immigrant families shatters Facebook record. Tender age. Kids Taken From Their Parents At The Border Get Their Toys Confiscated Too. Senate Candidate Arrested For Delivering Toys To Children’s Internment Camp. Substandard Medical Care in ICE Detention is Killing Immigrants, Endangering Lives. Poor Medical Care in ICE Custody Is Fatal. More Immigrants Died in Detention in Fiscal Year 2017 Than in Any Year Since 2009. Code red. Torture. Deputy sexually assaulted child, threatened undocumented mom if she reported it. Teens Describe Life Inside A US Detention Center. ICE detention of unaccompanied minors in New York is up more than 500%, city says. Boston Public Schools Superintendent Chang has resigned after it was revealed that BPS has been providing student info to ICE to help deport migrant schoolchildren. Businesses have made millions off Trump’s child separation policy. The corporation that deports immigrants has a major stake in Trump’s presidency. Private Prison Stocks Are Soaring Amid the Trump Administration’s Immigration Crisis. Ex-CIA Contractor Makes Millions Flying Immigrant Kids to Shelters. Southwest Key 1, 2, 3, 4. Betsy DeVos cashes in. Migrant children sent to shelters with histories of abuse allegations. Nearly Half of Funding for Child Migrant Care Went to Shelters With Histories of Abuse. Immigrant children forcibly injected with drugs, lawsuit claims. Unspeakable cruelty. The D&D thread. Even Laura Bush. ‘They are coming crying, almost hysterical.’ The chaotic effort to reunite immigrant parents with their separated kids. No plan. The courts must award damages to families torn apart by the policy. Some migrant family separations are permanent. There’s no migration crisis. 3 Charts That Show What’s Actually Happening Along The Southern Border. For the ages. The real hoax about the border crisis. Checkpoints in New Hampshire. Jogger Accidentally Crosses U.S. Border From Canada and Is Detained for Two Weeks. The Trump administration changed its story on family separation no fewer than 14 times before ending the policy. Trump’s Executive Order Turns Family Separation Into Family Incarceration. “There is a policy now on the part of our government for the Office of Refugee Resettlement to share information with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. That’s as new as four days ago.” Nothing but lies. The next phase. 120,000. The plans are ready. Simple from here. Malice aforethought. If only. American fascist party membership application, Atlanta, 1930. ICE detention centers in your state.

* Newsflash: they’ll support anything.

We Owe Central American Migrants Much More Than This.

* Whiteness is the crisis.

The buses came right into the camps, in the middle of the courtyard there was a place separated by barbed wire, and the buses came into this area very fast. The children were told to leave the bus because one bus followed the next at great speed, and they had to make way for the buses behind them.

And so these unfortunate children were completely disorientated and at a loss; they left the buses in silence. They were taken in groups roughly corresponding to the numbers in each bus – there were sometimes fifty, sixty, eighty children.

The older ones held the younger ones by the hand, no one was allowed to go near these children apart from a few people amongst us, including myself, who had special permission. They were taken into rooms in which there were no furnishings but only straw mattresses on the ground – mattresses which were filthy, disgusting and full of vermin.

Question: Mr Wellers: Did all these children know their own names?

Answer: No, there were many infants two, three, four years old who did not even know what their names were. When trying to identify them, we sometimes asked a sister, an older brother – sometimes we simply asked other children if they knew them, in order to find out to find out what they were called.

As the American detainee crisis deepens, Australia’s own immigration catastrophe points to a bleaker future.

Hitler goes west: The secret plans for Nazi America.

How to sleep at night when families are being separated at the border.

We’re Not Better Than This. But We Can Try to Be.

Former Border Patrol Agent To Current Agents: Refuse Orders To Separate Children.

* Takei: “At Least During the Internment…”

States of Emergency: Imagining a politics for an age of accelerated climate change.

* White supremacy after Vietnam.

Forty-Five Things I Learned in the Gulag.

1. The extreme fragility of human culture, civilization. A man becomes a beast in three weeks, given heavy labor, cold, hunger, and beatings.

* Boomers, man.

Trump’s Military Drops a Bomb Every 12 Minutes, and No One Is Talking About It.

Meanwhile, Trump’s cabinet is corruption central.

Melania Trump Plays the Role of Medieval Queen.

* That D&D thread above linked up nicely with this vintage SMBC that popped across my feed this morning.

Engineered for Dystopia.

In times like these it is important to remember that border walls, nuclear missiles, and surveillance systems do not work, and would not even exist, without the cooperation of engineers. We must begin teaching young engineers that their field is defined by care and humble assistance, not blind obedience to authority. Without this crucial first step, organizing engineers’ labor in Silicon Valley and elsewhere may only yield counter-productive results. After all, police have benefited from some of the most powerful union representation and that has not proven liberatory for anyone. It is only after the engineering profession takes its place among other professions—ones that recognized their power and created systems of independent review and accountability—and comes to terms with its relationship to ethics and morals, can it be trusted to organize. Only then can we trust them to leave the siege engines behind and join us in building something new.

* Summoning the Future: The story of the British National Health Service, one of the twentieth century’s great working-class achievements.

* Auditioning for the Supreme Court: Republican judge orders the entire Consumer Financial Protection Bureau eliminated.

* Possible environmental factor for type-2 diabetes identifies: a chemical found in teeth-whitening toothpaste. Here’s the study.

* Another round of images from the Bodleian’s Tolkien art exhibit.

* Desistance and detransitioning stories value cis anxiety over trans lives.

Shots Not Fired: A new Oregon law takes guns from people who may do harm.

* An oral history of “Because the Night.”

The fall of New York and the urban crisis of affluence.

These stores, like so many others in my neighborhood, have not been replaced. They are simply . . . gone. In an informal survey of Broadway, from 93rd Street to 103rd, I recently counted twenty-four vacant storefronts—many of them very large spaces, enough to account for roughly one third of the street frontage. Nearly all of them have been empty now for months or even years.

* Time travel on the blockchain.

A history of modern capitalism from the perspective of the straw.

Amazon Workers Demand Jeff Bezos Cancel Face Recognition Contracts With Law Enforcement. Microsoft, under fire for ICE deal, says it’s ‘dismayed’ by family separations at border. A Cloud Is Not Just a Cloud.

* Subscribe, you loathsome, miserable worms. Historical New York Times tweets.

* National Enquirer sent stories about Trump to his attorney Michael Cohen before publication, people familiar with the practice say.

When platforms that aggregate, distribute and monetize news — Apple, Google, Facebook — share revenues with publishers, maybe they should check against a provenance service to find out whether they’re rewarding someone who did original journalism, or someone who’s simply chasing clicks. Perhaps one or more platform would end up sharing revenues between the publisher that captured the clicks and the one that initially sponsored the investigation.

* A study exploring the impact of lecture capture availability and lecture capture usage on student attendance and attainment.

The possibility of vacuum decay has come up a lot lately because measurements of the mass of the Higgs boson seem to indicate the vacuum is metastable. But there are good reasons to think some new physics will intervene and save the day.

We have hints of a theory beyond quantum physics.

With the Switch, the 130-year-old gaming giant has once again turned reports of its demise into Nintendo Mania. The Legend of Nintendo.

* Office classics.

* The case against the case for the humanities, Stanley Fish edition.

So is there anything left once the justifications I have surveyed prove to be at best partial and at worse delusional? Well, what’s left is the position articulated by Oakeshott, a position I have always held, a position Small names the “intrinsic value” or “for its own sake” position. This position has the great advantage not of providing a justification but of making a virtue of the unavailability of one. Justification is always a mug’s game, for it involves a surrender to some measure or criterion external to the humanities. The person or persons who ask us as academic humanists to justify what we do is asking us to justify what we do in his terms, not ours. Once we pick up that challenge, we have lost the game, because we are playing on the other guy’s court, where all the advantage and all of the relevant arguments and standards of evidence are his. The justification of the humanities is not only an impossible task but an unworthy one, because to engage in it is to acknowledge, if only implicitly, that the humanities cannot stand on their own and do not on their own have an independent value. Of course the assertion of an independent value and the refusal to attach that value to any external good bring us back to the public-relations question: How are we going to sell this? The answer is. again, that we can’t.

Here’s How That Tablet On The Table At Your Favorite Restaurant Is Hurting Your Waiter.

* There could be as many as 7000 tigers living in American backyards.

* RIP, Koko. More here and here.

Needle exchanges have been proved to work against opioid addiction. They’re banned in 15 states.

* “Falling Out of Love With the Nerdist Podcast: The allegations against Chris Hardwick mark the end of a complicated era.

MIT Clears Junot Díaz to Teach.

* The end of Starbucks.

* Hyperexploitation at the laugh factory.

Why are game companies so afraid of the politics in their games?

* Black Panther and the Black Panthers.

* A Brief History of Soviet Sci-fi.

* Octavia Butler Google Doodle.

* For one brief, shining moment, the Star Wars anthology films were being cancelled.

* Don’t give me good news, I’m too depressed.

* And here comes the Space Force. Would you like to know more?

Written by gerrycanavan

June 24, 2018 at 10:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday Morning Links! All of Them! ALL OF THEM

leave a comment »

* Of course you had me at Zelda propaganda posters.

* Special issue of Deletion: Punking Science Fiction.

* Editorial: We Should Create a Honors College to Propagandize on Behalf of the People Who Already Control Everything.

* Victory in Ireland.


* A surprisingly large number of Obama-era ICE and HHS horrors got rediscovered as if they were new to Trump this weekend. This is a case where Trump’s horror truly is as much continuity as break.

* Even despite that continuity, though, we seem to be moving to a new energy state: Taking Children from Their Parents Is A Form of State Terror.

* Fighting spectacle with snores, or why Trump could easily win a second term.

* Is America heading for a new kind of civil war?

* Fascism is back; blame the Internet.

* Genocide in Yemen.

* I was Jordan Peterson’s strongest supporter. Now I think he’s dangerous.

* After a white supremacist killed a protester in Charlottesville in 2017, Facebook pushed to re-educate its moderators about hate speech groups in the US, and spell out the distinction from nationalism and separatism, documents obtained by Motherboard show.

* Wisconsin Prisons Incarcerate Most Black Men In U.S. Milwaukee PD Misconduct Has Cost the City $22 Million Since 2015.

* When a Nashville man named Matthew Charles was released from prison early in 2016 after a sentence reduction, he’d spent almost half his life behind bars. But in a rare move, a federal court ruled his term was reduced in error and ordered him back behind bars to finish his sentence.

* Man, 79, sentenced to 90 days of house arrest in 5-year-old girl’s rape.

* She Went to Interview Morgan Freeman. Her Story Became Much Bigger.

* This has created a problem that has not been seen before: voluntary, intentional, migrating, mobile, functional, litter. The bikes and scooters are disruptive to the locations where they are abandoned and, because they are constantly moving, the issues of abandonment and refuse are constantly cycling (sorry) throughout an urban region. Yesterday’s bike or scooter blight might be around today, or it might move for a few days and then return. In short, the bikes and scooters share a civic pattern similar to that of homelessness. Thus, in an unexpected way, the dockless bikes and scooters are also competing with the homeless for pieces of urban space upon which to temporarily rest.

* Mike Meru, a 37-year-old orthodontist, made a big investment in his education. As of Thursday, he owed $1,060,945.42 in student loans.

* Executives of big U.S. companies suggest that the days of most people getting a pay raise are over, and that they also plan to reduce their work forces further. Also, rich people are going to be needing your blood so they can stay young forever, just FYI.

* Be more like Chipotle, Jerry Brown tells California universities.

* Report Says Rising CO2 Levels Are Ruining Rice. Allergy Explosion Linked to Climate Change.

* For Women of Color, the Child-Welfare System Functions Like the Criminal-Justice System.

Now that’s what I call ideological state apparatus™.

* A new front in the drug war.

* HUGE IF TRUE: Hollywood isn’t on the side of the resistance.

* Teen Vogue and woke capital.

* Antonin Scalia was wrong about the meaning of ‘bear arms.’ I think a better description here is “not even wrong”; originalism is a rhetorical style, not a claim of fact.

* Sexpat Journalists Are Ruining Asia Coverage.

* A People’s History of Superstar Limo, Disney’s “worst attraction ever.”

* Solo crashes and burns, even underperforming Justice League. I haven’t seen it yet, but it certainly sounds like it had it coming. Relatedly: The Ringer takes a deep dive into the now-decanonized Han Solo prequels from the EU.

* Wakanda fans might be interested in the very odd turn the comics have taken. Relatedly: ‘Black Panther’ meets history, and things get complicated.

* Janelle Monáe for President.

* Conducting a posthumous interview with science-fiction author Octavia E. Butler. Your People Will Find You: A Podcast with the Octavia E. Butler Legacy Network. And Ayana Jamieson’s authorized biography of Butler has a Patreon.

* This LARB review of Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland’s The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. made me very interested in reading it.

* Built in 718 AD, Hōshi is the second oldest ryokan (hotel or inn) in the world and, with 46 consecutive generations of the same family running it, is hands down the longest running known family business in history.

* Wendy Brown at UC: What Kind of World Do You Want to Live In?

* Interesting Twitter thread on emergency and the suspension of the law.

* Half the budget, half the fun: A Star Trek World May Be Coming to Universal Studios.

* Power vs. responsibleness. Politics y’all. Existence is objectively good.

* This is an urgent reminder: Mindflayers are not sympathetic.

* As Kip Manley said, this is the flag of the Anthropocene.

* And I want to believe! US aircraft carrier was stalked for days by a UFO travelling at ‘ballistic missile speed’ which could hover above the sea for six days, leaked Pentagon report reveals.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 28, 2018 at 8:15 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

‘The Case for Faculty Self-Governance’

with one comment

In my ideal system, literally no university would ever do an outside search for dean or provost, ever, and there would be a minimum time served requirement before any new faculty hires could do administrative tasks. This would ensure that all administrators are absolutely tied to the future of their current institution and would be anticipating rejoining the regular faculty in the future. If they screwed over their colleagues, they would have to live among them as a peer for decades to come.

Adam has a post building on my mismanagement post from yesterday arguing for maximally strong faculty governance as the solution to the administrative class’s production of permanent crisis. I agree wholeheartedly. The class of transient, careeriest administrators has brought waste, looting, and an irresponsible boom-bust cycle to higher education everywhere they have taken hold, regardless of how nice or good any individual administrator is. Hence my satirical, wildly unpopular proposal for reverse tenure for admin: they only get to leave with faculty approval, otherwise they have to stay and deal with the fallout from whatever short-sighted stat-juking they instituted while they were polishing their CV.

But Adam’s proposal is what I would actually implement systemwide if I could snap my fingers and just do it: limited admin terms for tenured faculty, constitutionally behold to faculty senates, would produce a class of administrators invested in the institution’s long-term health rather than its very-short-term movements and manipulations, without producing pocket fiefdoms or another class of unaccountable gods to contend with down the road. As Adam says:

This system would also presumably inculcate broader loyalty to academia as such, pushing against the destruction of the teaching profession via adjunctification, etc., etc. But even if it didn’t have such wide-ranging effects, it would at least keep administrators from actively destroying their own institutions, simply out of self-interest.

Check out his whole post.

Thursday Links!

leave a comment »

* In case you missed it yesterday: “Universities, Mismanagement, and Permanent Crisis.”

Chomsky: How America’s Great University System Is Being Destroyed.

* “Faculty and Students Are Walking Out Today for Catholic Identity.”

* CFP: Porn Studies Special Issue: Porn and Labour.

Igbinedion’s production company Igodo Films recently shared Oya: Rise of The Orishas in full online. They also revealed that the Oya project has been adapted for the silver screen with principal photography on the feature-length film version scheduled to begin later this year in Brazil. The London-based filmmaker shared in a recentinterview that he made the short film in order to prove that there is a market for sci-fi films revolving around African characters and storylines. In this regard, Oya joins Ethiopian post-apocalyptic flick Crumbs in forging a path for future film projects from the continent within the realm of speculative fiction. In addition to the full-length project, Oya‘s creators have also confirmed plans for a comic book adaptation of the film, which is currently available for pre-order.

* Neil Gaiman reviews Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant. Sounds bizarre and great.

Study: Killers are less likely to be executed if their victims are black. What could explain it?

First full body transplant is two years away, surgeon claims.

* London, the city that privatised itself to death.

* Once-homeless Baylor player ineligible, allegedly for accepting a place to live.

How Facebook is changing the ways we feel.

The creators of that (great!) Mighty Morphin Power Rangers fan film might be in trouble.

* Meanwhile everything old is new again: Duck Tales, Inspector Gadget, even Danger Mouse.

* The day we all feared is upon us.

It’s important that the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots succeed, either at achieving an outright ban or at sparking debate resulting in some other sensible and effective regulation. This is vital not just to prevent fully autonomous weapons from causing harm; an effective movement will also show us how to proactively ban other future military technology.

Meet Your Republican 2016 Front-Runner.

* Canada, petrostate.

Thousands of oil refinery workers are striking for safer working conditions. Their fight is central to the struggle against climate change.

* Choose Your Own Adventure: So You’ve Accidentally Gotten Pregnant in South Dakota.

* And xkcd maps the future and the past.

stories_of_the_past_and_future

Universities, Mismanagement, and Permanent Crisis

with 14 comments

Some loose, probably incautious thoughts, adapted from a couple of Twitter rants essays I’ve been writing the last few days.

A multi-generation, multimillion-dollar institution (like a college) that has to administrate by emergency decree has in nearly every case been grotesquely failed by its leadership. And in the US today that describes nearly every college and university, in management rhetorics and policies dating back at least to the mid-2000s (when I first entered the profession as a graduate student).

If your college faced drastic emergency cuts after 2008, it was mismanaged. You expanded on an unsustainable basis, made the wrong commitments, spent too much.

If your college faces drastic emergency cuts now because enrollments will tick (slightly) downward in the 2010s, it was mismanaged. You had 18 years warning that this demographic wave was going to hit, 18 years to plan for what to do when it did.

As every college administration invokes generalized, free-flowing “emergency” as its justification for arbitrary policy after arbitrary policy — all of which need to be implemented now, en toto and without debate, even the ones that contradict the other ones — they are arguing that their management up to now has been so wildly and irredeemably poor that the university has been thrown into total system crisis. And yet the solution to the emergency is, inevitably, always more (and more draconian) administrative control, always centralized under the very same people who took us over the cliff in the first place!

Nor is there ever any accountability, or so much as an explanation, for how the crisis was ever allowed to happen in the first place. (Very often, of course, the guilty parties have already fled the state.)

Eternal organizations designed to last forever simply should not have to implement policy on a crisis basis — much less be forced to implement every policy in this way. Colleges and universities should have been managed so carefully up to now so that they can afford to phase in new policy changes over time, running experiments and pilot programs where necessary to ensure success. That’s what neoliberal shibboleths like “nimble” and “flexible” would actually mean in a world of rational management — graceful, deliberate movements, not wild lurching and uncontrolled crash-landing.

Careful management, good management, is the full and sole justification for the administration class that has bloated so entirely over the college landscape since the 1980s (and whose growth is still accelerating, even in the face of permanent cuts everywhere else). Simply put the promise of the management class was that they could manage colleges better than faculty. Even by their own estimation they have completely failed at this task on every possible level. Thirty years of running it like a sandwich has every college in the country living admission cycle to admission cycle, cutting budgets and services and wages every year, careening from supposed emergency to supposed emergency without any stabilization or improvement.

Even bracketing endowments and donations altogether, generally speaking colleges have a built-in client base, already own all the land and buildings, can borrow freely, and don’t pay taxes. I could devise a harder test of management acumen. So it seems to me the approximately 100% of college administrations that are now claiming emergency and desperation year after year need to cop either to their own incompetence, or else their dishonesty, or else their active malice.

Canavan’s Razor would tell us that permanent crisis is a management strategy, the unacknowledged goal of every plan. But whichever precise combination of incompetence, dishonesty, and malice best describes a particular university administration is irrelevant. The management class simply has no reason to exist at all if their interventions in the university produce not stability but crisis, after crisis, after crisis, after crisis, after crisis…

 

Monday Links!

leave a comment »

* 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.

tumblr_msw9l3LKQk1rcjv9lo1_400

tumblr_msw9l3LKQk1rcjv9lo2_400