Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘fandom

Thursday Links!

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* I have a short piece up at the Cambridge UP blog: “We’re Sorry, the Final Frontier is Closed.” It talks a bit about the recent revival of space frontier and space opera fantasy in big-budget films like Jupiter Ascending, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Interstellar…

Scientists determine the nation’s safest places to ride out a zombie apocalypse.

Woodland ‘fairy door’ tradition ‘out of control.’

Now the trustees of Wayford Woods have announced ‘fairy control’ methods which will curb the “profusion of elfin construction”.

Trustee Steven Acreman said the trend was “in danger of getting out of control” but stressed he was not “anti-fairies”.

“It’s a very complex situation and nobody’s admitting that they’re evicting the fairies,” he said.

“These beliefs persisted into recent times,” says Butler. “For example, in 1895 Michael Cleary convinced his family and community that his wife, Bridget, was a changeling. This was confirmed by a traditional fairy doctor, who attempted a herbal cure. When that didn’t work, they threatened her with fire, doused, and finally burned her to death.” Well, that’s certainly less charming.

So by all means, criticize teachers when it is warranted. But resist education reformers at all costs, particularly when they rationalize their reforms as a way to address the problems of the teaching force. Education reformers, no matter their intentions, are the enemies of a unionized teaching force. They are the enemies of public education.

Sweet Briar’s Sudden Closure Plans Leave Students and Employees Scrambling.

“The faculty and staff,” Mr. Brown said, “are feeling traumatized by this—not just by the loss of the institution, but by the way it has been handled. They seem to have no answers about anything, and that is what feels so deeply troubling.”

I hadn’t even thought about how impossible it will be for Sweet Briar faculty to sell their homes. What a nightmare.

Who Gets the Endowment? I really hope higher ed media watches the dispersal of Sweet Briar’s endowment and property very closely.

* And of course Forbes has a handwavey plan to save Sweet Briar by firing all the faculty and replacing them with MOOCs.

The Woman Behind #NAWD.

* Neoliberalism and magic.

Indeed, at the heart of the standard capitalist narrative is magic, as if the will to realize the abstract ideal of a cornucopia for all will itself — through fervent wishing and belief that can only be called religious — bring about the imagined state. It is the “invisible hand” idea from Adam Smith — the conviction that there really is a hidden force that given free rein sets everything aright. It is the God meme in capitalism and its writings, Smith’s among them, that is to capitalism what the Torah is to Judaism, the Gospels to Christianity, and the Koran to Islam: holy texts whose authenticity and reality must not be challenged or questioned unless as an adolescent moment of doubt, eventually subsumed by the re-embrace of total belief.

* I’ve always wanted a Trek anthology series. And with the ever-lowering cost of CGI effects it could be finally be done…

* In the short term, the contract faculty who teach the majority of courses at York University are striking for higher wages. In the long run, contract teaching needs to be abolished.

* The Unintended Consequences of Borrowing Business Tools to Run a University.

In some cases, regulation, not deliberative choice, has led campus leaders to rely on business advice. For example, the Taxpayer Bill of Rights II, signed into law in 1996, requires many of us to hire compensation consultants to ensure that “disqualified persons”—presidents, provosts, vice presidents for finance and administration, etc.—have not received an “excessive benefit” such as inappropriate compensation.In all situations that I have observed, this process has had unintended consequences. Using sophisticated tools developed for industry, the consultants have demonstrated that many higher-education leaders are undercompensated.

GASP! NO ONE COULD HAVE PREDICTED! I wonder if a “compensation consultant” has ever, in history, determined that a CEO was receiving “excessive benefit.”

Raped on Campus? Don’t Trust Your College to Do the Right Thing. I’d see the story about Oregon’s admin raiding the campus health center for ammo to use against its own students, but I’d never seen the outrageous legal justification for it before now.

If you are a student and seek counseling at your college’s counseling center, your medical records are most likely not protected by the typical medical-privacy laws, otherwise known as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Instead, they fall under the aegis of Ferpa, just as Oregon said. And compared with Hipaa, Ferpa is about as protective as cheesecloth.

This Is What It’s Like To Go To Court In Ferguson, Missouri. DOJ Finds Ferguson Police Routinely Discriminate. Ferguson Police Tolerate Sexual Harassment of Female Officers. What Is Wrong With the Ferguson Police Department? Particular lowlights from the DoJ report.

* Ferguson, Inc: The city’s protest movement tries to find a path forward.

What’s happening here is fundamentally simple: the surveillance state enforcing surveillance as the normative form of care. The state cannot teach its citizens, because it has no idea what to teach; it can only place them under observation. Perfect observation — panopticism — then becomes its telos, which is justifies and universalizes by imposing a responsibility to surveil on the very citizens already being surveilled.

Lao Science Fiction On the Rise.

* 1906 novel predicted what New York would be like in 2015 exactly.

CSU profs: Stagnant pay pushing us out of middle class.

American Airlines To Phase Out Complimentary Cabin Pressurization.

* More Companies Are Run By Men Named “John” Than By Women. Just lean in!

Writers Block: TV Writers’ Rooms Have Even Fewer Women, Minorities Than Last Year.

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Douglas Adams made me a writer: Neil Gaiman salutes his friend and inspiration.

The power of play: The effects of Portal 2 and Lumosity on cognitive and noncognitive skills.

Lots of Cases of Synesthesia Are Based on Alphabet Magnets.

Where’s The Funding For Women’s Soccer?

* Why Don’t Men Kick Each Other in the Balls?

Stop Calling Children’s Gun Deaths “Accidental.”

* A singular event that has never happened in history before: Kenosha officer admits to planting evidence in homicide case.

* 2016 watch: Bernie’s Reasons Why Not.

* And Boing Boing has your gallery of Star Trek comic book covers.

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Thursday Links!

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* I’ll be speaking next Thursday at “Between Activism and Apocalypse: The Work of Margaret Atwood” at Indiana University. The schedule for the symposium is here.

* CFP: Stage The Future 2: The Second International Conference on Science Fiction Theatre.

* SF short-short of the day: Isaac Asimov’s “Silly Asses.”

* Here’s the calendar of events for C21 this semester.

* Cheryl Abbate has a blog post on the vicious hate mail she’s received after being thrust into the media spotlight.

* “Things like computer vision are starting to work; speech recognition is starting to work There’s quite a bit of acceleration in the development of AI systems,” says Bart Selman, a Cornell professor and AI ethicist who was at the event with Musk. “And that’s making it more urgent to look at this issue.” AI Has Arrived, and That Really Worries the World’s Brightest Minds.

* Of course it’s already worse than you think.

* Elsewhere in mad billionaire news: Internet! in! Spaaaaaaaaaaaaace!

* Gender Differences in the Road to the Doctoral Degree. Less support, more debt, more time to degree.

* Forbidden Planet reviews Richard McGuire’s incredible graphic novel Here.

* Hours After State Of The Union, Senate Targets National Parks. Once again, it’s always worse than you think.

* Saul Goodman, the last difficult man.

* A smart observation from Peter Paik: “Common Core teaches students that there is only one way to read a text (to glean information) but there are many ways to solve a math problem (the target of much outrage on social media).”

* Some Colleges Are Moving Past Eve Ensler’s “Cisnormative” ‘Vagina Monologues’ — And That’s OK.

* Occupy the Syllabus.

* Milestone Media rides again.

* How ‘Harry Potter’ fans won a four-year fight against child slavery.

* English professors combine areas of study for new specialization.

The department, known for its expertise in disability and LGBT studies, is looking to newer faculty to blend the two topics into a common subject area.Robert McRuer, who chairs the English department, said he was the first scholar to combine LGBT studies with disability studies and call it “crip theory.” The theory looks at the histories of and issues within the LGBT and disabled communities, which have both faced marginalization. “Crip” is a term that people with disabilities have “reclaimed,” he said.

Personally I’d send that name back for another round of workshopping, but what do I know.

* Oregon Was Founded As a Racist Utopia.

* I actually always thought Joss should have had a David Boreanaz cameo in the background of the Firefly pilot and then never mention it again.

* Marvel is teasing a big Crisis-on-Infinite-Earths-style reboot, for the first time in its history.

* Simon Pegg is co-writing Star Trek 3. [raises one eyebrow]

* And great news for KSR fans: J. Michael Straczynski To Write Spike TV’s ‘Red Mars’ Drama Series Project.

This is a supercut of all the moments in A New Hope where characters interacted with machines, doors, screens, levers, knobs and buttons.

* Violent crime on college campuses is decreasing, but the number of sworn and armed police officers on campuses continues to rise, according to a new report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics… Nearly 70 percent of colleges and universities operated full law-enforcement agencies in 2012, and 94 percent of those officers are authorized to use a firearm.

* Meanwhile, on the town and gown beat: NYU decided not to report an attempted murder to the police.

* Abolish college sports watch: Before Gary Andersen goes on, he wants to make one thing clear. A part of his surprising departure from Wisconsin had to do with admission standards.

* When choosing between doing good and doing evil, don’t forget there’s always a third option.

* Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys.

* And a reminder that SFFTV is looking for your submission for its Star Trek at 50″ special issue.

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Wednesday Links! Some Especially Good Ones!

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* Paradoxa 26, “SF Now,” is on its way, and has my essay on Snowpiercer and necrofuturism in it. Mark Bould and Rhys Williams’s introduction to the issue is online.

* Extrapolation‘s current call for reviewers.

* UCR is hiring: Jay Kay and Doris Klein Science Fiction Librarian.

* African SF: Presenting Omenana 1.1. Of particular note: “The Unbearable Solitude of Being an African Fan Girl.”

* Nnedi Okorafor, Ytasha Womack, Isiah Lavender, and Sigal Samuel discussion #BlackStormTrooper.

NASA Officially Announce Plans To Put Humans On Mars With Orion Space Capsule.

* UAB shuts down its football program. Of course, the reason is austerity:

“The fiscal realities we face — both from an operating and a capital investment standpoint — are starker than ever and demand that we take decisive action for the greater good of the athletic department and UAB,” Watts said in a statement released by the university. “As we look at the evolving landscape of NCAA football, we see expenses only continuing to increase. When considering a model that best protects the financial future and prominence of the athletic department, football is simply not sustainable.”

We just can’t afford to throw bricks at students’ heads any more — not in these tough times.

* Teaching fellows strike at the University of Oregon.

* “Hypereducated and On Welfare”: The adjunct crisis hits Elle.

* Stefan Grimm and academic precarity: 1, 2.

* Meanwhile: College Hilariously Defends Buying $219,000 Table.

* Work, the welfare state, and what counts as “dignity.”

* It really pains me to say it, because I think the consequences for anti-rape activism will be dire, but significant questions have been raised about Rolling Stone‘s UVA story that neither the journalist nor the magazine have good answers to. It’s a good day to think carefully about what Freddie deBoer says here: “…it’s an inevitable result of associating the work of progressive politics with having a hair trigger, with demonizing those who ask us to be careful and restrained, and of treating overwhelming digital character assassination as a useful political tool.”

Imagine a World Without Prisons: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Superheroes, and Prison Abolition.

* Against New Atheism: The “New Atheists” have gained traction because they give intellectual cover to Western imperialism.

* The mass transit system Milwaukee didn’t know it needed. Now, if you could just snake another couple lines up the lake side… More links below the map.

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* The Ferguson PD victory lap continues: Ferguson Police investigating whether Michael Brown’s stepfather intended to incite a riot.

How Police Unions and Arbitrators Keep Abusive Cops on the Street.

How One Woman Could Hit The Reset Button In The Case Against Darren Wilson.

Utah’s Insanely Expensive Plan To Seize Public Lands. “…a price tag that could only be paid if the state were able to increase drilling and mining.” Oh, so not insane, then, just evil.

* There are boondoggles and there are boondoggles: Federal prosecutors subpoenaed dozens of records and documents relating to the Los Angeles Unified School District’s iPad program, including emails, proposals and score sheets dealing with the bids that led to a multi-million Apple contract with the district.

* For $5 I promise not to orchestrate this situation, and for $25…

* Why I Am Not Coming In To Work Today.

* Keeping Kayfabe.

* And the market for Girl Scout cookies is about to be disrupted. I gained ten pounds just reading this story.

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 3, 2014 at 10:54 am

Do They Even Know It’s Wednesday Links

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* Great visit yesterday to STS at Riverside! Really enjoyed it.

For the black community in America, there has never been a “normal” baseline experience from which emergencies are exceptions: unfortunate but episodic deviations. Rather, it has been a rolling emergency, interrupted by brief windows of relative promise. And from this perspective, perhaps we can understand the enigmatic “real state of exception” that Benjamin calls for — because from the perspective of white power, those moments of promise are the true emergencies that must be shut down at all costs.

* Indicting A System Not A Man…. Indict the System, Not Just Darren Wilson. No more Missouri compromises.

* Apocalypse now: chocolate could disappear by 2020.

Wisconsin as a Frontier of School Privatization: Will Anyone Notice the Looting?

* Just a short rumination on the greatness of comics from Ta-Nehisi Coates.

* Marquette in the… sigh. Philosophy Grad Student Target of Political Smear Campaign.

The potential benefit for higher-earning graduate students is “a policy accident,” says Jason Delisle, director of the Federal Education Budget Project at the New America Foundation. “And who’s going to figure this out? Probably people with graduate degrees.”

* Ladies and gentlemen, your rising Democratic stars: Most of those prisoners now work as groundskeepers, janitors and in prison kitchens, with wages that range from 8 cents to 37 cents per hour. Lawyers for Attorney General Kamala Harris had argued in court that if forced to release these inmates early, prisons would lose an important labor pool.

New Project to Digitize 10,000 Sci-Fi Zines.

Museum on slave trade planned for Episcopal cathedral in Providence.

Tuition and Fees, 1998-99 Through 2014-15. Here’s Marquette:

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* Exciting untapped market in higher education: Colleges Encourage Graduates to Seek Second Bachelor’s Degrees.

In recognition of the evening, Ms. Stamm’s husband, Arthur Stamm, made a gift of $100,000. At the time, it was the largest gift the college had received from a single donor in its 42-year history.

Since January alone, by contrast, Duke University, which educates 14,850 students on its 8,709-acre campus, has received gifts and pledges of $1 million or more on the average of every six or seven weeks. In those gifts alone, the university has already raised about $49 million this year. And yet, according to the latest ranking, its endowment of close to $6 billion in 2012 did not earn it a place among the country’s 10 richest schools, a list led by Harvard, Princeton and Yale.

* More scenes from the class struggle at elite universities.

* Karl Stefanovic’s sexism experiment: Today presenter wears same suit for a year.

* To remember Mandela is to remember Robben Island.

Police officers in Florida surprised students, teachers and parents Thursday with an active shooter drill. And by “active shooter drill,” we mean that a Winter Haven middle school went into lockdown as two armed police officers burst into classrooms, guns drawn, leaving the unsuspecting children terrified — and their parents furious.

* Rosetta Probe Discovers Organic Molecules on Comet.

* Homelessness isn’t an accident. It’s the result of a brutal economic system and conscious state policy.

* What Shakespeare taught me about Marxism.

* No capital projects but the end of capital.

* The rich want everything. They even want to suffer most from inequality!

* To draw on Klein paraphrasing Al Gore, here’s my inconvenient truth: when you tell people what it would actually take to radically reduce carbon emissions, they turn away. They don’t want to give up air travel or air conditioning or HDTV or trips to the mall or the family car or the myriad other things that go along with consuming 5,000 or 8,000 or 12,000 watts. All the major environmental groups know this, which is why they maintain, contrary to the requirements of a 2,000-watt society, that climate change can be tackled with minimal disruption to “the American way of life.” And Klein, you have to assume, knows it too. The irony of her book is that she ends up exactly where the “warmists” do, telling a fable she hopes will do some good.

At This Rate, The World Will Have To Cease All Carbon Emissions In 2040 To Stay Under 2°C.

* Just another average November, nbd: Buffalo, N.Y., area in the midst of a truly insane lake effect snow storm.

* Mark Fisher has one of the better anti-identity-politics pieces I’ve seen on the left: Exiting the Vampires’ Castle.

If this seems like a forbidding and daunting task, it is. But we can start to engage in many prefigurative activities right now. Actually, such activities would go beyond pre-figuration – they could start a virtuous cycle, a self-fulfilling prophecy in which bourgeois modes of subjectivity are dismantled and a new universality starts to build itself. We need to learn, or re-learn, how to build comradeship and solidarity instead of doing capital’s work for it by condemning and abusing each other. This doesn’t mean, of course, that we must always agree – on the contrary, we must create conditions where disagreement can take place without fear of exclusion and excommunication. We need to think very strategically about how to use social media – always remembering that, despite the egalitarianism claimed for social media by capital’s libidinal engineers, that this is currently an enemy territory, dedicated to the reproduction of capital. But this doesn’t mean that we can’t occupy the terrain and start to use it for the purposes of producing class consciousness. We must break out of the ‘debate’ that communicative capitalism in which capital is endlessly cajoling us to participate in, and remember that we are involved in a class struggle. The goal is not to ‘be’ an activist, but to aid the working class to activate – and transform – itself. Outside the Vampires’ Castle, anything is possible.

It’s Not Your Kids Holding Your Career Back. It’s Your Husband.

Academia for women: short maternity leave, few part-time roles and lower pay.

* Marriage, y’all, I just don’t know.

I woke up this morning still black, still a woman, and still bothered by the Jezebel piece. So I’m here using my voice to encourage us all to speak up.

* Generation Pharmakon.

The Most Popular Drug in America Is an Antipsychotic and No One Really Knows How It Works.

* Necro-streaming: Notes on Watching a Dead Show.

The Biggest Lies About Science in the U.S. Government’s “Wastebook.” Just pure ressentiment.

* Actually existing government waste! White House announces push for next generation of hi-tech weapons.

* Death by deadline.

Twilight of the Indoor Mall.

Yelp Prison Review Faxbot.

* Secret Origins of the Black Panther. Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ Isn’t Just Another Black Superhero.

Five ways to pander to millennials in 2016.

* I wanted a bigger, better Bayside more than anybody: Company Halts Plan To Frack 3,000 Feet From Pennsylvania School.

Bill Cosby Is An Alleged Serial Rapist. So, Now What?

The heart of the matter is this: A defender of Bill Cosby must, effectively, conjure a vast conspiracy, created to bring down one man, seemingly just out of spite. And people will do this work of conjuration, because it is hard to accept that people we love in one arena can commit great evil in another. It is hard to believe that Bill Cosby is a serial rapist because the belief doesn’t just indict Cosby, it indicts us. It damns us for drawing intimate conclusions about people based on pudding-pop commercials and popular TV shows. It destroys our ability to lean on icons for our morality. And it forces us back into a world where seemingly good men do unspeakably evil things, and this is just the chaos of human history.

Gorbachev Tried To Get George Bush To Spoil Who Killed Laura Palmer.

* Has Uber Ubered an Uber too Uber this Uber?

What’s most troubling about “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” is not the music per se but the way it insinuates itself — and “us” — into a story about “them” and yet can’t be bothered to get even the most basic facts right.

* The uncomfortable origins of “Afrofuturism.”

I have an idea for a mature, adult, fantasy roleplaying game.

In Defense of Indiana Jones, Archaeologist.

* Some days you just need http://badkidsjokes.tumblr.com.

* And, finally, MTV is ready to tell my story.

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Written by gerrycanavan

November 19, 2014 at 8:20 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Happy Halloween Links!

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* China Miéville: Marxism and Halloween. “Halloween, for a rigorous socialist, is worth defending.”

* A new issue of Science Fiction Film and Television has come out, a special issue on SF anime. This is the last one before I became an editor, but read it anyway!

* Submission guidelines for Hidden Youth: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History. A really interesting document of the new fandom.

* How much is revenge worth? The Life Aquatic: A Stanley Kubrick Film.

* William Gibson: The Future Will View Us “As a Joke.”

* SimCity isn’t a sandbox. Its rules reflect the neoliberal common sense of today’s urban planning.

* This Is What Happens When You Criticize Teach for America.

* How My Employer Put the “FML” in FMLA.

“Do you know about Jian?”

* Vowing to break “one of the only remaining public monopolies,” Gov. Cuomo on Monday said he’ll push for a new round of teacher evaluation standards if re-elected. Democrats! Catch the fever!

* Cops shows and the denial of death.

“My whole life has been affected by a fight that I was in when I was 14,” she says. “It’s not something that you can take back and not something that was premeditated, and I still have to deal with the consequences every day.” Racist policing of African-American kids in Minneapolis.

The implicit idea here is that our professional and financial growth depends on our spiritual merit, not on the presence or absence of social structures and biases. Spiritual meritocracy.

* Ebola and quarantine. The Grim Future if Ebola Goes Global.

* Hidden secrets of the MIT Science Fiction Society.

* Civility is truly an intricate riddle, friends.

* Mitch Hurwitz is so hurt that you didn’t like Arrested Development Season 4 that he’s going to waste his time reediting the whole thing his chronologically.

* If this catches on my daughter could be in some serious legal trouble: Court orders man to stop pretending to fall over.

* Hobby Lobby redux: Inmate Sues Prison Claiming His Religious Liberty Entitles Him To Dress Like A Pirate.

Report: Piece of Amelia Earhart’s Plane Found on Island Where She Died.

* Non-Violence In Gaming.

Incredibly, nearly half of North Americans say they’ve succumbed to mate poaching attempts at some point. One estimate suggests that 63% of men and 54% of women are in their current long-term relationships because their current partner stole them from a previous partner. I can’t work out the math on this but including the relationships that ended after a partner was “stolen” from a previous partner you’re dealing with an overwhelming supermajority of relationships beginning with cheating/”poaching.” That just doesn’t seem plausible to me on its face.

* Meanwhile, the film industry seems pretty worried that a man could fall in love with a computer.

Michael Showalter is developing a sci-fi comedy for FX. A dark, gritty reboot of The Bearded Men of Space Station 11 or I walk.

* Paying an exorbitant monthly fee to feel like you have friends can get expensive, and the New York Times is on it.

* So you want to troll an academic.

* Vote all you want. The secret government won’t change.

* Disney Princesses with realistic waistlines.

* Now we see the violence inherent in academia.

* Rest in peace, Galway Kinnell. A favorite:

She is leading her old father into the future
as far as they can go, and she is walking
him back into her childhood, where she stood
in bare feet on the toes of his shoes
and they foxtrotted on this same rug.
I watch them closely: she could be teaching him
the last steps that one day she may teach me.
At this moment, he glints and shines,
as if it will be only a small dislocation
for him to pass from this paradise into the next.

* And your SF short story of the day: “How to Get Back to the Forest.”

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Saturday Morning Links, Just Like When We Were Kids

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* The Department of English invites applications for an entry-level, tenure-track Assistant Professor position in medieval literature, language, and culture, primarily British, before 1500. Marquette English is hiring!

* Maybe my new favorite page on the Internet: r/DaystromInstitute’s list of long-running Star Trek what-ifs and what-abouts.

* I think I’ve linked this thread before, at least a different version of it: “I want to see a sci fi universe where we’re actually considered one of the more hideous and terrifying species.”

* Syllabus as Manifesto: A Critical Approach to Classroom Culture.

* Creative Destruction: Tech and the evolution of the desk, 1985-2014.

* Bousquet breathes some fire: This change in appointment types is not accidental or caused by outside forces. The adjunctification of faculty appointment has been an intentional shock treatment by campus administrations. Of course, there may be some claims regarding saving money; however, most critical observers note that “saving” on $70,000 faculty salaries generates a vast, expensive need for $80,000- to $120,000-per-year accountants, IT staff members, and HR specialists, plus a few $270,000 associate provosts. Not to mention the $500,000 bonus awarded to the president for meeting the board’s permatemping target and successfully hiding the consequences from students, parents, and the public. It should be obvious to most of us that any money left over from bloating the administration is generally directed to consultants, construction, and business partnerships.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers conducted a recent survey that questioned the correlation between internships and full employment upon graduation.The findings were astonishing. Hiring rates for those who had chosen to complete an unpaid internship (37%) were almost the same for those who had not completed any internship at all (35%). Students who had any history of a paid internship, on the other hand, were far more likely (63%) to secure employment.

“It’s a horrible irony that at the very moment the world has become more complex, we’re encouraging our young people to be highly specialized in one task.”

* What’s wrong with college? Plenty. What’s wrong with journalism about college? Everything.

* Casinos are the autoimmune disease of city planning. They destroy everything else in the area, then die when the host is dead.

* From nuclear bombs to killer robots: how amoral technologies become immoral weapons.

Preliminary Studies Show Potential Health Risk For Babies Born Near Fracking Sites.

* …white rage carries an aura of respectability and has access to the courts, police, legislatures and governors, who cast its efforts as noble, though they are actually driven by the most ignoble motivations.

* AAUP writes Chancellor Phyllis Wise over the Salaita firing.

* BREAKING: Elizabeth Warren won’t save us.

* Will Zephyr Teachout save us?

* Unskew the polls! Democratic Senate edition.

* Today in climate change neologisms: “Megadroughts.”

* California, before and after drought.

* The arc of history is long, but: “Doctor Who ‘lesbian-lizard’ kiss will not face investigation.”

A unique experiment at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory has started collecting data that will answer some mind-bending questions about our universe—including whether we live in a hologram.

Asst. Principal Fined for Changing His Son’s Failing Grades 11 Times. This story has everything:

According to the New York Daily News, Ali has been reassigned away from Bread and Roses, but has not been placed at a new school. He remains on the Department of Education’s payroll with a $104,437 annual salary.

The school, the Daily News reports, is expected to close by 2016 for poor performance.

* Study suggests autism rates have plateaued since 1990.

* ALS Foundation floats trademarking the concept of an “ice bucket challenge,” but immediately gets talked out of it.

* Thoughtcrime watch: Dorchester County discovers one of its teachers is a novelist, completely flips its wig.

* Fox developing a drama about a world without sleep.

* The inexorable march of progress: This Cheap Exoskeleton Lets You Sit Wherever You Want Without a Chair.

* The way we die now.

* Adam Gopnik in the New Yorker: What’s the point of studying history?

The Politics Of Every Major U.S. Religion, In One Chart. Way to claim the vital center, Catholics!

* It sounds like you just selected easily measured metrics and increased them, rather than trying to make the experience good.

​The 12 Most Obnoxious Dungeons & Dragons Monsters.

* Suddenly I’m up on top of the world: They’re rebooting Greatest American Hero.

* An Annotated Reading Of Multiversity #1.

* How the growing generation gap is changing the face of fandom.

* A eulogy for Twitter. Twitter as misery factory.

Give me a child until he is seven, and I will give you the man.

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

Why Aren’t Women Advancing At Work? Ask a Transgender Person.

* And just this once, everybody lives: Family Cleans House, Finds Pet Tortoise Missing Since 1982.

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Commencement Weekend Links!

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* Commencement speech bingo. More links below!

ut_bingo_f* Pro-tip: apparently it only counts as free speech if you’re already powerful.

* ICYMI: My guest post at SF Signal on dystopia, anti-utopia, and the end of the world.

College is a promise the economy does not keep.

Of Course Women Are Getting Sexually Harassed by Drones.

* CFP: Into the Pensieve: The Harry Potter Generation in Retrospect.

* Rethinking Monopoly for neofeudal capitalism.

Thousands of Toddlers Are Medicated for A.D.H.D., Report Finds, Raising Worries. Well, yes, I’m definitely worried. That’s madness.

“Hood disease.” My God, don’t call it that.

* It places the United States in the top spot, ahead of Sweden and Canada, which come in at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. Yet when the scores are adjusted for national levels of income, the United States drops to 15th place, behind such developing countries as China and Serbia.

* If you want to help low-income students succeed, it’s not enough to deal with their academic and financial obstacles. You also need to address their doubts and misconceptions and fears.

* The proposed rule would cut off student aid to career-focused programs at for-profit and nonprofit colleges if the program’s student-loan default rate reached 30 percent or if half of its graduates failed two student-loan debt standards.

* Kansas and the death of academic freedom.

* The NCAA will allow Boise State to help its homeless player.

MRA city councilman files Title IX complaint on behalf of U Oregon players arbitrarily kicked off team after DA slow-walks the process to protect their eligibility for March Madness and then declines to bring charges, thereby completing the circle of shitshow.

According to faculty accounts, deans received an email from the administration on the evening of May 5, alerting them to a meeting the next day about staffing issues. At that meeting, deans in certain colleges were told they needed to cut a prescribed number of full-time faculty positions. Of 16 total cuts, 11 were to come from the College of Arts and Sciences, faculty members said. Deans were given two days – until Thursday – to consult with their department chairs about which faculty members to terminate. Affected instructors were notified that day.

* Kate Hayles and Mark Kruse have developed a model for humanities/STEM cooperative teaching.

* U.S. Cities Under 12 feet of Sea Level Rise.

* The Forever Drought.

* The best way to think of the dilemma is keeping in mind the three things Obama wants his regulations to accomplish: He wants them to effectively reduce carbon pollution, he wants them not to cost consumers too much, and he wants to be sure they can survive legal challenge. The trouble is that he can only pick two of these. And the primary question weighing on administration regulators as they make their decision will be how to read the mind of Anthony Kennedy.

* To turn the US-Mexico border into “The Border,” America had to erase its Caribbean history.

An article about secrecy and the death penalty in Missouri got the May edition of St. Louis Magazine banned from the Missouri Department of Corrections.

* Meanwhile the New York Times is a complete mess.

The Rise of the Voluntariat.

The voluntariat performs skilled work that might still command a wage without compensation, allegedly for the sake of the public good, regardless of the fact that it also contributes directly and unambiguously to the profitability of a corporation. Like the proletariat, then, the voluntariat permits the extraction of surplus value through its labor.

But unlike the proletariat’s labor, the voluntariat’s has become untethered from wages. The voluntariat’s labor is every bit as alienable as the proletariat’s — Coursera’s Translator Contract leaves no doubt about that — but it must be experienced by the voluntariat as a spontaneous, non-alienated gift.

* Will roads made out of solar panels save us?

Playing football is even worse for players’ brains than we thought.

* An Oral History of The West Wing.

* Medical nightmare of the week: Morgellons disease.

* Speculative genetic explanations for social phenomena have an old and undistinguished history, some of which Wade reviews superficially, presumably to demonstrate his skill at reviewing topics superficially. The common thread, though, is that such explanations have always been (1) put forward to establish a bio-political point, to draw imaginary limits around the social progress of certain human groups; (2) accompanied by the dissimulation that they are not political statements, but merely value-neutral science; and (3) false.

* The Bay Area author of an upcoming book shatters the image of California’s historic missions as idyllic sites where Franciscan friars and Indians lived in harmony. Speaking before about 100 people Saturday at the American Indian Resource Center at UC Santa Cruz, Elias Castillo, author of “A Cross of Thorns: The Enslavement of California’s Indians by the Spanish Missions,” said in reality the missions were “death camps.”

* Save your research in the cloud, they said.

* Viggo vs. Lord of the Rings.

The New York Pizza Project, Documenting New York City’s Pizza Shops in Photos and Interviews.

He also had a theory about colonizing the solar system using nuclear bombs. We could terraform other planets, he argued, by pulverizing them and then moving them closer or further from the sun. What could possibly go wrong?

* So maybe it’s for the best that Russia’s just evicted us from space.

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