Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘European-style communofascism

Tons of Weekend Links

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* “Austerity is not inevitable”: France falls to the Red Menace.

* Podcast of the weekend: Global science fiction on WorldCanvass, with Brooks Landon, Rob Latham, Istvan Csicsery-Ronay, and others.

* Charlie Stross prophesies the death of science fiction.

But anyway, to summarize: my point is that our genre sits uneasily within boundaries delineated by the machinery of sales. And that creaking steam-age machinery is currently in the process of being swapped out for some kind of irridescent, gleaming post-modern intrusion from the planet internet. New marketing strategies become possible, indeed, become essential. And the utility of the old signifiers—the rocket ship logo on the spine of the paperback—diminish in the face of the new (tagging, reader recommendations, “if you liked X you’ll love Y” cross-product correlations by sales engines, custom genre-specific cover illustrations, and so on).

* Tom Hayden remembers the Port Huron Statement (or at least the compromise second draft).

* Joe Biden endorses marriage equality for about fifteen minutes.

Black Studies Hitpiece Leads to Chronicle of Higher Ed Twitter Trainwreck. Why Is the Chronicle of Higher Education Publishing A Racist Hack? Grad Students Respond to Riley Post on African-American Studies. The Inferiority of Blackness as a Subject. Anti-intellectualism, déjà vu.

When copyright term-extension meets infinite life-extension.

* A tribute to Disneyland’s secret restroom.

* Connecticut continues its recent spate of being decent its citizens, legalizes medical medicine.

* Stand for your ground: A Florida woman faces prison after firing a warning shot to scare off an abusive husband.

* Nerds assemble! Joss Whedon finally made something everybody likes. An interview. Another. Whedon on Batman. Whedon on Wonder Woman.

* The Avengers: Will superhero movies never end?

What I see in “The Avengers,” unfortunately, is a diminished film despite its huge scale, and kind of a bore. It’s a diminishment of Whedon’s talents, as he squeezes himself into an ill-fitting narrative straitjacket, and it’s a diminished form that has become formula, that depends entirely on minor technical innovations and leaves virtually no room for drama or tragedy or anything else that might make the story actually interesting. To praise the movie lavishly, as so many people have done and will continue to do, basically requires making endless allowances. It’s really good (for being a comic-book movie). It’s really good (for being almost exactly like dozens of other things). It’s really good (for being utterly inconsequential).

* Today’s single chart that explains everything.

* The football suicides. More players file concussion lawsuits against the NFL. Will the NFL still exist in 20 years?

* The internship scam.

How the Blind Are Reinventing the iPhone.

* Save the Holocene! Why “the Anthropocene” might not be a useful construct.

* Do you remember Frank Kunkel? How about Frank Nowarczyk? John Marsh or Robert Erdman? Johann Zazka? Martin Jankowiak? Not even Michael Ruchalski? Do you remember the call “Eight hours for labor, eight hours for rest, eight hours for recreation?” The names are those of the seven of the nine people killed in 1886 in Bay View, Wisconsin for demanding eight hour work days.

* On Colorado’s policy of sending kids to adult court.

* A report by the ABA shows that some law schools hire as many as 15% of new graduates in an effort to boost employment numbers.

* Consider the case of Toby Groves.

* New Police Strategy in New York: Sexual Assault Against Peaceful Protesters.

* North Carolina’s Ban on Gay Marriage Appears Likely to Pass.

* Since Mexico’s legislative body passed sweeping climate change legislation on April 19, Mexico joins the UK as the only two countries in the world with legally binding emissions goals to combat climate change.

http://thebiblein100days.tumblr.com/

* American Airlines channels Darth Vader: We are altering the deal. Pray we do not alter it further.

* And Stephen Colbert’s employment of the comedic stylings of German Ambassador Hans Beinholtz continues to be my absolute favorite thing of all time.

Freedom’s Just Another Word for 101,000 Preventable Deaths

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France, Japan and Australia rated best and the United States worst in new rankings focusing on preventable deaths due to treatable conditions in 19 leading industrialized nations, researchers said on Tuesday.

If the U.S. health care system performed as well as those of those top three countries, there would be 101,000 fewer deaths in the United States per year, according to researchers writing in the journal Health Affairs.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 5, 2012 at 6:53 pm

Crazy Busy Today

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Seriously busy day today—hardly able to catch my breath. In lieu of that, some links.

* It was an unexpectedly good day for the Communofascist wing of the Democratic Party, with Joe Sestak beating Arlen Specter, Mark Critz winning in PA-12, and Bill Halter forcing Blanche Lincoln into a run-off in Arkansas. That Richard Blumenthal has managed to completely shit the bed in Connecticut can wait perhaps for another night.

* The video of our most recent Polygraph event—John Bellamy Foster and Brett Clark discussing “the consumer trap—is now on iTunesU. The download should be free to everyone.

* A from-bad-to-worse update on the story of a seven-year-old Detroit girl killed by police officers during a no-knock raid: they may have been filming a reality show.

* Extreme weather videos in hailstorm and tornado flavors. Both links via MeFi.

* It’s pretty scary to think that a person without basic qualifications could fraudulently pilot jets for 13 years without being caught, but at the same time it’s actually fairly comforting that in all that time nothing bad happened.

* This Dark Knight / Toy Story 2 mashup is an instant classic of the genre.

* Raising academic dishonesty to the level of art.

* Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 8 will be set in New York. I am intrigued.

* Lenin’s Tomb on why neoliberalism persists.

* And preparing now for next year’s job market. And the next year’s. And the next year’s…

It Was The Week That Wouldn’t End and It Was Only Half Over

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* The time has come for all good people to follow Conan O’Brien on Twitter.

* Pay attention, North Carolina: “It is impossible for any candidate to get to the right of me.” I honestly don’t care who is running against him, I’ll pull the lever.

* Rush Limbaugh is this and every day’s worst person in the world.

* Glenn Beck: Judas!

* Ezra Klein hates America so much he’s trying to pretend that reconciliation isn’t just another world for communofascism.

* Matt Yglesias and Climate Progress explain to the editors of the Washington Post where all this climate misinformation mysteriously originates: their own completely useless editorial page and the liars they happily print there.

* Related: Reid wants a climate bill.

* Also related: Vermont has voted to close its problem-plagued Vermont Yankee nuclear plant. How long can a nuclear reactor last? Via MeFi.

* The secret origins of TV Tropes. Historical footnote: the first TV Trope ever was the Gilligan Cut.

* Behold the terror of the Zeigarnik Effect: “the tendency to experience intrusive thoughts about an objective that was once pursued and left incomplete.”

* “DNA’s Dirty Little Secret: A forensic tool renowned for exonerating the innocent may actually be putting them in prison.” Via Steve Benen.

Barlow’s main point of contention was statistics. Typically, law enforcement and prosecutors rely on FBI estimates for the rarity of a given DNA profile—a figure can be as remote as one in many trillions when investigators have all thirteen markers to work with. In Puckett’s case, where there were only five and a half markers available, the San Francisco crime lab put the figure at one in 1.1 million—still remote enough to erase any reasonable doubt of his guilt. The problem is that, according to most scientists, this statistic is only relevant when DNA material is used to link a crime directly to a suspect identified through eyewitness testimony or other evidence. In cases where a suspect is found by searching through large databases, the chances of accidentally hitting on the wrong person are orders of magnitude higher. 

The reasons for this aren’t difficult to grasp: consider what happens when you take a DNA profile that has a rarity of one in a million and run it through a database that contains a million people; chances are you’ll get a coincidental match. Given this fact, the two leading scientific bodies that have studied the issue—the National Research Council and the FBI’s DNA advisory board—have recommended that law enforcement and prosecutors calculate the probability of a coincidental match differently in cold-hit cases. In particular, they recommend multiplying the FBI’s rarity statistic by the number of profiles in the database, to arrive at a figure known as the Database Match Probability. When this formula is applied to Puckett’s case (where a profile with a rarity of one in 1.1 million was run through a database of 338,000 offenders) the chances of a coincidental match climb to one in three.

* Why autism is different for girls.

* Chat Roulette: a documentary.

* Do MFA programs hurt poetry?

* Teach the controversy: “There is no unified flat Earth model,” Shenton suggests, “but the most commonly accepted one is that it’s more or less a disc, with a ring of something to hold in the water. The height and substance of that, no one is absolutely sure, but most people think it’s mountains with snow and ice.”

* In response to a new federal mandate to fix under-performing schools, every teacher will be fired at Central Falls High School in Rhode Island. Via MetaFilter, where the conversation is by turns fascinating and soul-crushing. I’m expecting another round of (justified) anti-Duncan, anti-Obama diatribes from my friends in public education in five… four… three…

* And an awesome post I missed from Tim a few weeks back: the top-ten most desirable rare video games.

Monday Night Linkdump #1

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* Spider-Man 4 has apparently completely imploded; Raimi has quit and the next film will be a reboot instead.

* The New Jersey legislature has approved a medical marijuana bill. I learned this from—who else?—@jonhurwitz.

* Because I don’t just assume everything I don’t like is unconstitutional, I suspect Thomas Geoghegan is probably wrong and the filibuster is probably constitutional. But I’d be very happy to turn out to be wrong.

* Paul Krugman defends Europe.

* Feingold says Nebraska’s long-cherished right to permanent Medicaid reimbursement will probably be stripped out of the final health care bill.

* The New Yorker slums it at the Jersey shore.

* And Jonathan Chait has your daily dose of things that could have been phrased better.

Well, That Seems a Bit Premature

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In a move that seems a bit premature, even to me, Barack Obama has been awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 9, 2009 at 1:25 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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Labor Day Links

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Labor Day links.

* An oral history of Art Spiegelman’s seminal alternative comic RAW, in two parts. Have I really never used the Art Spiegelman tag before? (via)

* Amusing Amazon review of Dollhouse.

* If you feel like you missed the boat on speculative realism and want to know what everybody is talking about, Larval Subjects says the Wikipedia entry is, as of today, a good place to start.

* Best of Wikipedia directs our attention to the mystery of the Bloop.

* Daily Kos goes deep inside White House plans to indoctrinate your children into European-style communofascism.

* Another post on status update activism.

* Then and Now with Goofus and Gallant.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 8, 2009 at 2:09 am