Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘epistemology

Wednesday Lunchtime Links!

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* Sean Guynes has your deep dive into Fall 2019 university press catalogues. Kim Stanley Robinson and Joanna Russ both coming from Modern Masters of Science Fiction, which couldn’t make me happier.

* Strike at Uber and Lyft today. Call a cab instead!

* A 9-Year Quest for Carbon Neutrality Took Middlebury to Forests and a Dairy Farm.

* The psychology of inequality.

But one thing that struck me while reading the valiant efforts of journalists attempting to convey the gravity of the scale of the U.N. report (a 1,500-page document that its authors distilled into a 40-page summary, which reporters had to distill into a normal-size news story), is the sheer impossibility of that task. “Humans are transforming Earth’s natural landscapes so dramatically that as many as one million plant and animal species are now at risk of extinction, posing a dire threat to ecosystems that people all over the world depend on for their survival, a sweeping new United Nations assessment has concluded,” Brad Plumer’s Times story begins. Where do you even go from there?

Superheroes Starring in Children’s Books.

* Johns Hopkins Calls in the Police to Arrest Protesters, Ending Student Occupation.

Facial recognition wrongly identifies public as potential criminals 96% of time, figures reveal.

CBS Censors a ‘Good Fight’ Segment. Its Topic Was Chinese Censorship.

In the Era of Teen$ploitation.

It’s worth remembering that young people online are supposed to be shielded by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which puts limits on what can be done with the data of kids aged twelve and under. Websites directed at children, and websites that are popular with children, are required to take special precautions with children’s data—in fact, parental permission is required before that data can be collected at all. Corporations like YouTube and Facebook, however, knowingly evade these regulations by claiming that their products are meant for users aged thirteen and over.

* One imagines that, with time, the intricate web linking the movies will get more frayed and insubstantial, and the new films will seem increasingly inessential. And yet, after a certain point, following a story for a long time becomes a story in itself. After watching nearly thirty hours of Marvel adventures, Alex McLevy, the A.V. Club writer, concluded that “the experience overtakes the nature of the content.” This is true of the M.C.U. more generally. When watching any individual movie, a kind of pattern recognition—an intellectual interest in how each new story evokes or departs from the others—replaces narrative pleasure. The narrative worth caring about becomes the story of one’s own interaction with the M.C.U. Just as people ask, about historical events, “Where were you when it happened?,” so fans ask where they were when “Iron Man” came out, when the Avengers first assembled, when heroes and villains battled in Wakanda. This is the story that’s truly limitless.

* Impossibly, Far from Home really is going to try to get into the minutiae of the post-Snap MCU.

That was one of the most fun things — just talking through what the most mundane implications would be. Like, your birthday on your driver’s license or passport would say that you are five years older than you technically are. Those sorts of questions are just so fascinating to me, and I really wanted to get into the minutiae of it and really explore that.

* ecopoetics

* Could it be true? The Real Monster in “Game of Thrones” Is Its Hidden Reactionary Ideology.

In its final episodes, the series has resorted to making excuses for its own bad choices.

* Decade in the Red: Trump Tax Figures Show Over $1 Billion in Business Losses. 5 Takeaways From 10 Years of Trump Tax Figures.

* The muddled message from Pelosi—Trump is obstructing justice every day, but we’ll show him by not impeaching—is a byproduct of the corner she’s occupying: Impeach the president and risk a catastrophic backfire that secures him another term, or don’t impeach him, and allow Donald Trump to operate in a space where the credible threat of impeachment is off the table. The 2020 Election’s Approach Is No Reason to Avoid Impeachment.

* Meanwhile, Trump continues to use his pardons to send the message that if you kill for him there will be no consequences.

* Today in the richest country in the human history.

* Walt Disney and the Space Race.

* Milwaukee Noir. Read the introduction!

* Podcasts and intimacy.

Above all, podcasts make us feel less lonely. We tell ourselves offer codes in order to live. They simulate intimacy just enough to make us feel like we’re in a room with other people, or at least near the room... definitely in the same city as the room. But these people with podcasts are so much sharper than us, so at home in their corners of the world, with easy command of their respective bodies of pop-culture knowledge. The appropriate response is fandom. Coughing up $5 on Patreon feels like paying the cover at a dive for our local band, and we’re pleased to be part of something. Some podcasts even do live appearances, for which we might buy tickets. Listening to our heroes’ once intimate voices on a booming sound system, though, surrounded by a thousand fanboys, feels like a betrayal. We thought we had something special, with their voices so close to our ears. Podcasts were the first medium designed to be listened to primarily on headphones, by a single person. Hell is other listeners.

* Is Science Broken? Major New Report Outlines Problems in Research.

* Nightmare abortion ban in Georgia bans abortion after six weeks (so two weeks after a missed period) and criminalizes miscarriage, among other atrocities.

* On knotweed, the invasive plant that drives homeowners to madness.

* And the kids are all right: Tucson high school students walk out after Border Patrol detains classmate.

Monday Night Links!

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* I had two short pieces come out this weekend: a review essay on Star Trek: Beyond at LARB and a flash review of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child right here at WordPress.

* CFP: Vector Special Issue: Science Fiction and Music. The Man in the High Castle and Philosophy.

* Point: Earwolf has a new Hamilton podcast, seemingly along the lines of The Incomparable’s but with higher profile guests. Counterpoint: You Should Be Terrified That People Who Enjoy “Hamilton” Run Our Country.

To Learn About ‘Hamilton’ Ticket Bots, We Wrote Our Own Bot.

* “So Below”: A Comic about Understanding Land.

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* Peak Thinkpiece? “Centuries ago, explorers like Columbus and Vasco da Gama played a real-life version of Pokémon Go.” When colonialism is a game. Pokémon Go: Who owns the virtual space around your home? Werner Herzog: Would You Die for the Pokémons? Would You Kill?

A new genre of leftist literature arose between the wars, urging the young to build a brave new world. In the first of two articles, a forgotten dream is remembered. Here’s part two.

* The Huntington has put up some of Butler’s notes on writing Kindred.

Antiblack Racism in Speculative Fiction.

The modern research university has unfortunately become increasingly susceptible to value monism, the belief that there is only one right way to advance, only one correct form of knowledge.

* Bouncy houses OF DEATH.

* The Cosby Next Time: Former Fox News Booker Says She Was Sexually Harassed and ‘Psychologically Tortured’ by Roger Ailes for More Than 20 Years.

* Crisis Theory: The Game!

* Underearners Anonymous.

* #unschooling

* Teasing Arrested Development season five, and the long-rumored recut of season four, at TCA.

* The good news is, we’re all going to live. Here’s the bad news.

6 Human Activities That Pose The Biggest Threat To The World’s Drinking Water. America Has Never Seen a Hot Weather Outlook Like This. And an upcoming conference at Marquette: Public Policy and American Drinking Water.

Early Animals Could’ve Caused Earth’s First Mass Extinction Simply By Existing.

How One Colorado Man Disappeared While Hunting For Hidden Treasure.

What Are Young Non-Working Men Doing?

* What Happened to Wikileaks?

Is Rolling Stone about to get throttled in court over UVA rape report?

* How the other fifth lives.

Ableism, Mass Murder, and Silence.

* Race and dermatology. Space and cardiology.

The Stranger Guest: The Literature of Pregnancy and New Motherhood.

Zombie bacteria that awaken from old corpses might sound like the stuff of an “X-Files” episode. The premise is far from a complete fiction, however.

* Metaphors too on the nose: rise of the corpse flowers.

* Elsewhere on the zombie beat: The Walking Dead Comic Nearly Ended a Lot Sooner Than Anyone Expected. That’s sort of amazing, honestly.

Apps like Seamless and Yelp listen in on our adult lives, then speak to us like children.

J.K. Rowling Says Harry Potter is Done After Cursed Child.

The Lobster: Debt, Referenda, and False Choices.

* Trans* identity will be reclassified by the WHO.

* Being Dazzler.

* Black Art Matters: A Roundtable on the Black Radical Imagination.

* News you can use: How to land a passenger jet without any flight controls.

* Hell Is A Very Small Place: Voices from Solitary Confinement. How Prisons Overtook Schools as the Foremost American Institutions. Why Preschool Teachers Struggle To Make Ends Meet.

* This Rick and Morty clip reading from an actual trial transcript shows what how weirdly perfect the two voices work as a comedic duo, independently of any narrative context.

* I say the teach the controversy.

* How to do sex research.

* The Syllabus as a Contract: How do you deal with clever students who find loopholes you didn’t intend?

College learning takes 2.76 hours/day.

I grew up thinking journalism was just for rich white people. I was mostly right.

* Ghostbusters and liberal feminism. The Spiritualist Origins of Ghostbusters.

* This time the nostalgia industry is trained on my heart like a laser.

* Self-identified Jedi and political atheism, yes really.

* The end of the bulldog.

* Austerity nostalgia.

More Than 50 Animals Starve to Death in Venezuela’s Zoos as the Nation Endures Devastating Food Shortages.

* Automation and the end of liberal democracy.

* They told me capital was a vampire, and man, they nailed it.

As an artist, what can I consider if I want to de-objectify and add power to female characters?

* Politics roundup! State roll calls: What RNC and DNC delegates want you to know. Electoral Map Gives Donald Trump Few Places to Go. Trump’s Likeliest Path to Victory May Be an Electoral College Tie. Bounce! Disability Rights at the DNC. Seven Minutes. The GOP’s Dilemma: How Low Can He Go? Why does it matter that Donald Trump is not a novelty? All the same, a pretty incredible chart. From the archives: Norman Mailer Goes to the RNC. How And Why Trump Will Try to Ditch the Debates. Donald Trump as a One Man Constitutional Crisis. An Anti-Trump Electoral Strategy That Isn’t Pro-Clinton. Revenge of the Ghostwriters. A Historic Dud.  Obscene Media Spectacle. American Horror Story. Is Donald Trump OK? “Hegel remarks somewhere,” Marx wrote, “that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.” We are the 5%. And we’re still allowed to vote.

* And the kids are all right: Trump, Clinton more disliked by millennials than Voldemort.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 1, 2016 at 3:35 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Thursday Links!

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* Some seriously great news for my particular demographic: Kim Stanley Robinson’s acclaimed Mars Trilogy is colonizing TV.

* Flooding risk from climate change, country by country. Meanwhile: World’s Cities All Becoming Teeming Hellscapes.

* A brief history of mana: How an Austronesian Concept Became a Video Game Mechanic.

* A History of The Lord of the Rings in Video Games.

* LARoB considers the criminally underrated Chronicles of Pyrdain and the night genre was born.

* Age discrimination and adjuncts. I still think this is a seriously underreported story considering how dramatically it would change the landscape of hiring in higher education if it were to prevail.

While surely a simple economic determinism would be distorting, it should still be clear that the epistemic and cultural divide between the “hard” sciences and the humanities cannot be easily disentangled from a noticeable financial divide.

* How For-Profit Universities Make a Killing By Exploiting College Dreams.

* Udacity has moved on to a new scam: nanodegrees.

* Angry Letters to the One Member of Congress Who Voted Against the War on Terror.

* “Reluctant Warrior Bombs Yet Another Country.”

* FSU chooses a politician as its new president despite major opposition from faculty and students. From the archives: FSU to phase out academic operations.

* Head’s up, math geeks: big discovery about prime numbers.

* Chimpanzees Raised by Humans Have Social Difficulties With Other Chimps.

* Listen, it’s about yardage: FiveThirtyEight provides the cheat sheet necessary for me to interact with other Wisconsinites.

* ESPN suspends Bill Simmons for repeating ESPN’s own reporting about the NFL and drawing the only possible conclusion.

* 15.4% growth of Harvard’s endowment brings the total to a cool $36 billion, assuring Harvard’s continued existence for another year. And thank goodness.

* I think I’ve discovered a way to precrastinate my procrastination, which means I’m always so late I never bother to get off the couch.

* Science proves no one is allowed to have any fun: Researcher shows that black holes do not exist.

* Fraternities finally look in the mirror and confront the enemy within: drunk female guests. Should we ban frats?

* What it’s like to be struck by lightning. What it’s like to lose your memory at 22.

* Please don’t ever drive and text.

* And if you want a vision of the future, imagine Mitt Romney running for president, forever.

‘Those with Negative Feelings toward Blacks Thought Less of Obama’s Dog’

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Written by gerrycanavan

June 2, 2012 at 7:40 pm

Jesuits + Science Fiction + Theory = Quote of the Day

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Almost all knowledge, after all, fell into that category. It was either perfectly simple once you understood it, or else it fell apart into fiction. As a Jesuit—even here, fifty light-years from Rome—Ruiz Sanchez knew something about knowledge that Lucien le Comte des Bois-d’Averoigne had forgotten, and that Cleaver would never learn: that all knowledge goes through both stages, the annunciation out of noise into fact, and the disintegration back into noise again. The process involved was the making of increasingly finer distinctions. The outcome was an endless series of theoretical catastrophes.

The residuum was faith.

—James Blish, A Case of Conscience (1958)

Friday!

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* Writing Climate Change: A Round Table Discussion. With Julie Bertagna, Tobias Buckell, Maggie Gee, Glenda Larke, Kim Stanley Robinson, Vandana Singh, and Joan Slonczewski.

* This much is for sure: Keeping the cost of borrowed money a bit lower for one more year won’t cure the rising cost of higher education. It’s not even a bandage. It’s more like giving some comforting words to a critically injured patient. It might make a few people feel better, or win some votes, but it won’t do much to help our problems.

* Today’s insane Kafkaesque nightmare: Frank Rodriguez is a registered sex offender because he slept with his high school girlfriend (now wife) fifteen years ago, when he was 19 and she was 16.

Once he was labeled a sex offender, Frank faced a slew of restrictions. “I couldn’t talk to Nikki. I couldn’t go to restaurants, public swimming pools, football games — any places where there might be kids,” he says. “I couldn’t vote. I couldn’t leave the county without permission. My probation officer told me, ‘If you even look at a woman the wrong way, you could go to prison.'”

Frank did not have to go to jail. Instead, he was required to perform 350 hours of community service — picking up trash, mowing lawns — and to attend weekly counseling courses with convicted sex offenders and pedophiles. He also had to move out of his family home, since a 12-year-old girl lived there: his own sister.

Despite the unusual circumstances, Nikki and Frank’s connection grew stronger. “We didn’t have anything — but we didn’t need anything,” Frank says. “We were together.” Nikki finished school, then got a job in the county courthouse, where she works today; she and Frank married two years later. The couple’s first daughter was born about two years after that. Since Frank was still on probation, it was illegal for him to live in the same home as his baby girl. So he lived there against the law, becoming withdrawn and paranoid, constantly worrying about getting arrested. “My personality changed,” he says. “I used to be the life of the party. Now I didn’t want to leave the house.” A second daughter arrived a year later.

In 2003, Frank’s probation came to an end, and he could legally live with his daughters. Still, he needed to go to the police station every year on his birthday to register as a sex offender. Nikki lobbied officials in the courthouse — judges, district attorneys — to clear Frank’s name, to no avail. Frank simply fell outside the parameters of Texas law, which stipulated that the accused had to be within three years of age of his underage sexual partner to avoid registration. Frank is three years and two months older than Nikki. A further element of the law said that the accused could avoid registration if he was under 19 years old and his partner was over 13 years old when they had sex. Nikki was 15. But Frank lost again: He was 19.

Nikki and Frank connected with activists, and traveled to the state capital to participate in a public hearing. Still, Frank remained on the Texas registry, his crime listed as “sexual assault of a child.”

Via Longform.org.

* F*ck the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner.

* Sometimes Dumb Science Turns Out to be Pretty Smart.

* Rebekah Sheldon preps us for the upcoming C21 Nonhuman Turn conference with “Affect, Epistemology and the Nonhuman Turn.”

* And Amendment One opponents are trending towards a heartbreakingly narrow defeat.

Epistemology of the G Spot

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MetaFilter has your epistemology of the G spot. Yes. No.

Kudos to the BBC for their adult, hard-hitting coverage on this.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 5, 2010 at 10:17 am