Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Fermi paradox

Saturday Morning Links!

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* Canonical Handmaid’s Tale sequel from Matt Besser and Lauren Lapkus.

* Fermi Paradox: The Podcast.

* Marquette getting attacked in the right-wing anti-college fever swamp for the stupidest reason yet.

College campuses haven’t been immune to a surge of hate speech and violence over the past year. BuzzFeed News found 154 incidents at more than 120 campuses nationwide.

* I didn’t like the bizarre ableist framing at the beginning (1, 2, 3, 4), but this piece on genetic testing and prospective disability is worth reading nonetheless.

* Another study demonstrates student evaluations should not be used for job evaluation.

* I… I have to make a call.

Quite the contrary: this has happened over and over and over again. Inflammatory claims about Russia get mindlessly hyped by media outlets, almost always based on nothing more than evidence-free claims from government officials, only to collapse under the slightest scrutiny, because they are entirely lacking in evidence.

* Trump’s Upbeat Puetro Rico Rhetoric Clashes with Reality on the Ground. Gasp. He’s now attacking the mayor of San Juan on Twitter. From yet another golf course.

And precisely the sort of by-the-day news roundup I said yesterday I wasn’t going to be doing anymore:

DHS says it will force everyone who’s ever immigrated to the USA to hand over social media.

* In search of Charlottesville 2.0.

* The new reality of old age in America.

Mr. Lent said the group’s system of heads and handmaids promotes “brotherhood,” not male dominance. He said the group recently dropped the term “handmaid” in favor of “woman leader.” Well, I hardly see how anyone could object to that!

Trump Could Save More Than$1 Billion Under His New Tax Plan. Oh, is that all?

* The Price is wrong.

* The end of public unions, the end of Democrats.

* The fairest of the seasons.

* And a classic from Tom Gauld, found on Twitter.

Monday Morning Links!

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* Noah Berlatsky isn’t done talking about the Oankali.

Is Tony Stark the Real Villain in Spider-Man: Homecoming? I think Marvel owes China Miéville a writing credits.

The Short, Unhappy Life of a Libertarian Paradise.

* Medievalism and white supremacy.

* Ban noncompetes.

By June 2011, only 49 of the 3,000 long-term seats had been sold. By December, the school said that they were $113 million short of their goal. Kansas tried a similar long-term seat plan and they abandoned it after it failed spectacularly. Cal tried to pivot away from the seat selling plan by 2013, but by that point, a gaping budget shortfall was staring them in the face, and that was just from paying off the debt. The Bears now owe at least $18 million per year in interest-only payments on the stadium debt, and that number will balloon to at least$26 million per year in 2032 when Berkeley starts paying off the principal stadium cost. Payments will increase until they peak at $37 million per year in 2039, then subside again in 2051 before Berkeley will owe $81 million in 2053. After that, the school is on the hook for $75 million more and will have six decades to pay it off. The stadium might not get paid off until 2113, by which time, who knows, an earthquake could send the stadium back into the earth or football as we know it might be dead.

* Easily one of the worst academic job ads I’ve ever seen, which is saying something.

* Teens Discover The Boston Garden Has Ignored Law For Decades, May Owe State Millions.

Here are the hidden horrors in the Senate GOP’s new Obamacare repeal bill. The Cruz amendment. One vote away.

* Team Trump Excuses for the Don Jr. Meeting Go From Bad to Worse. The Bob Mueller century. Was it a setup? Everything old is new again.

* Trump’s wall vs. the drug trebuchet.

After a Harrowing Flight From U.S., Refugees Find Asylum in Canada. Foreign-born recruits, promised citizenship by the Pentagon, flee the country to avoid deportation. Trump administration weighs expanding the expedited deportation powers of DHS. The corporation that deports immigrants has a major stake in Trump’s presidency.

* US approves oil drilling in Alaska waters, prompting fears for marine life.

* President Trump’s Air War Kills 12 Civilians Per Day.

* FBI spent decades searching for mobster wanted in cop killing. Then they found his secret room.

* When Is Speech Violence?

* When the White House doxxes its critics. And a novel counterstrategy.

* Rest in peace, George Romero, and no jokes.

All 192 characters who’ve died on “Game of Thrones,” in alphabetical order. Interesting interview with Martin on the process of adaptation.

* A New Yorker profile of Dr. Seuss from 1960.

* Like Star Wars, but too much.

* Linguistic drift and Facebook bots.

* Where are they? They’re aestivating.

* We’re still not sure if it’s legal to laugh at Jeff Sessions.

* Alaska Cops Defend Their ‘Right’ to Sexual Contact With Sex Workers Before Arresting Them.

* Dialetics of universal basic income.

* Juking the stats, Nielsens edition.

* Cheek by jowl with nanotechnology is science fiction’s notion of cyberspace as an abstract space, a giant planetary storehouse for information. (The idea comes from William Gibson’s 1984 novel, Neuromancer.) Is it possible that some part of the Web might become so complicated that it comes to life? Might it be hostile to us? Suppose it’s clever enough to take over machines and build Terminator-like creatures to do us battle? Personally I don’t think that’s very likely, but I do think the problem of the 21st century is going to be the problem of misinformation. And we’d better solve it by the 22nd century, or we will have another reason not to entertain much hope for cities—or, indeed, any kind of civilization a millennium hence. Samuel Delany, 1999.

* Cory Doctorow on technological immortality, the transporter problem, and fast-moving futures.

* What Is Your Mother’s Maiden Name? A Feminist History of Online Security Questions.

* I’d listen to every episode: Welcome to My Podcast, In Which I Do a Feminist Analysis of Thundercats and Sob Quietly.

* Kids and trampolines.

* Might as well go ahead and put this on our nation’s tombstone: America’s Lust for Bacon Is Pushing Pork Belly Prices to Records.

* Imagine being so toxic that even a brand doesn’t feel like it has to pretend to like you.

* And Jodie Whittaker Is Doctor Who‘s Next Doctor, meaning this CFP for a special issue of SFFTV is all the more relevant! Don’t be the last to submit your 9000-word exegesis of the one-minute teaser trailer…

Written by gerrycanavan

July 17, 2017 at 9:12 am

Friday Morning!

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* Trump White House finding a new bottom, day after day after… whoa. Turning Point? They’re not even pretending. The Biggest Political Story in Decades. In a Private Dinner, Trump Demanded Loyalty. Comey Demurred. Days Before Firing, Comey Asked for More Resources for Russia Inquiry. Inside Trump’s anger and impatience. Another inside story. Time to shut everything down. And then on the third day he threatened to blackmail Comey with secret White House tapes. Only the Rock can save us now.

* The primary takeaway of the last 18 months is that no one should ever use email for any reason.

* Though this chart from the New York Times seems pretty definitive that the Comey letter didn’t determine the 2016 election.

* Huge relief after only 11 million people vote for a fascist.

* Trump’s attacking the Census.

* Journalist arrested for trying to ask HHS Secretary Tom Price a question.

What if populism is not the problem, but the solution?

Alcohol and academia.

* Twitter and academia.

By refusing to negotiate with recently unionized graduate workers, Yale president Peter Salovey has announced in writing that the university will defy US labor law.

* Meanwhile, at the greatest public university in the world: Also included in the itemized spending was a dinner tab worth more than a year of tuition.

* Locked Up for Being Poor. How Homeownership Became the Engine of American Inequality. U.S. life expectancy varies by more than 20 years from county to county. All the money’s gone, nowhere to go.

* Kristen Gillibrand, for and against. All this for someone who already ruled it out!

Despite the confidence that the backlash to the healthcare bill will benefit Democrats, this doesn’t seem like good politics to be gleefully cheering on something you think is going to literally kill people. Especially, when you’re just singing over the supposed political benefits.

* History Will Remember These 217 House Republicans for Their Inhumanity.

The Democratic Party Is a Ghost. Losing West Virginia. Priorities in Delaware. The Resistance, but not just as a joke. Stop promoting liberal conspiracy theories on Twitter.

* Trumpism is coming from the suburbs. Beyond Economics: Fears of Cultural Displacement Pushed the White Working Class to Trump.

* A study at Demos says voter suppression flipped Wisconsin. Some Words of Caution.

* I’m sure no one could find this objectionable: A top government official overseeing detentions and deportations is heading to a private prison company at the end of the month, according to a source with firsthand knowledge.

The Little Known History of Black Women Using Soda Fountains as Contested Spaces.

* On Black English.

Fair Use Too Often Goes Unused.

How a Utah county silenced Native American voters — and how Navajos are fighting back.

 The Higher-Education Crisis Is a Labor Crisis.

* How Marquette Is Becoming More Diverse.

Everything We Know About Salt May Be Wrong.

This is how SETI plans to find alien life by 2037.

Chicago Approves Plan To Block Trump’s Name on His Tower With Giant, Flying Pigs.

* A Defense of the Tuvel Open Letter, at the Chronicle. And on the other side.

* How many Death Row prisoners are disabled? All of them.

* The length schools will go to cover up for bullies never ceases to amaze me.

* District: The Game of Gerrymandering for the Whole Family.

* Secret military space shuttle rattles Florida.

Accelerationism: how a fringe philosophy predicted the future we live in.

HIV life expectancy ‘near normal’ thanks to new drugs.

* Another neurological disease unexpectedly linked to gut bacteria.

U.S. to Ban Laptops in All Cabins of Flights From Europe, Officials Say.

Six individuals who learned that they descended from slaves sold by Georgetown University over 175 years ago reflect on family and life.

* Private schools have a plan to kill the high school transcript that will be totally fair and not offer their students an unfair advantage in any way.

* Stephen Fry is being investigated for blasphemy. Amazing.

That is not dead which can eternal lie: the aestivation hypothesis for resolving Fermi’s paradox.

The Girls’ Soccer Team That Joined a Boys’ League, and Won It.

* Winners and losers of the recent nuclear holocaust.

Write the book you needed to read when you were a child. Troubled Wisconsin man goes on 50 state killing spree. Guns and Roses tones it down. Our future in space. They fucking killed him. Top ten book rebrands, all-time. I hacked into Mike Pence’s email. Maybe I should give the Yankees another look. A new favorite metaphor. But it was alright, everything was alright, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.

* And I don’t care how pretty or enigmatic it is, nothing will ever make Blade Runner 2049 a good idea.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 12, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Sunday Night Closing All My Tabs

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* My review of Kim Stanley Robinson’s (excellent!) New York 2140 is finally up at the Los Angeles Review of Books: Utopia in the Time of Trump.

Where most contemporary histories of the future imagine climate change as either an annoying irritation or else the end of history — the disaster that will end civilization — in New York 2140 Robinson cuts more of a middle path. Climate change does indeed prove utterly catastrophic in this novel, laying waste to the coastal cities where a startling percentage of the world’s population currently lives, and devastating a huge amount of infrastructure and fixed capital, costing trillions of dollars — but humans are incredibly versatile problem-solvers, and we adapt. Technical solutions like sea walls and skybridges are really only the start of what would be necessary in a flooded Manhattan. Think of the immense social changes, the legal, economic, and architectural structures that would need to be innovated when huge areas of major cities are permanently underwater, or indeed become part of the intertidal zone. Even by 2140, nearly 100 years after the start of the crisis, the long work of retrofitting civilization to rising sea levels goes on, and not all of it is even that unhappy; it’s no secret that the capitalists use the same phrase to denote both crisis and opportunity, creative destruction….

* Don’t worry, kids, it’s just a story.

* More Hugos lists! Octavia E. Butler is actually listed on a few of these! Keeping my silly Hugo dream alive.

* Also at LARB: A Mark Fisher memoriam and a review of his last book, The Weird and the Eerie.

* Getting ready for Marquette’s big Buffy at 20 conference: Every episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, ranked. Buffy the Vampire Slayer video games, ranked from best to worst. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a feminist parable for everyone – including Anthony Stewart Head. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the greatest show in the history of television. The Enduring Legacy. Genocide of the Vampires. How Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Most Hated Season Became Its Most Important. On “The Body.” Twenty years later, the world needs Buffy more than ever. A few more at MeFi. And from the archives, David Graeber.

* CFPs at Science Fiction Studies on climate change fiction and Frankenstein.

* And don’t sleep on the CFP for SFRA 2017, due at the end of the month.

* Marquette: a university on the… grow?

* Want To Know About Racially Motivated Policing? Ask Literally Any Person of Color in Milwaukee.

Data Draws Link Between Metro Milwaukee’s Segregation and Poverty.

* 50th Anniversary of the Milwaukee Fair Housing Marches.

* #4.

* This isn’t a complete picture — it is too nostalgic for a lost age of exclusion, and misses completely the despair caused by the total collapse of the profession — but all the same I found it a powerful critique of the university today: Our Hallways Are Too Quiet.

* Probably the best piece of art criticism ever written: Appraising the Brady Bunch’s Art Collection.

* More Lovercraft from the great Ali Sperling! H.P. Lovecraft’s Weird Body.

* The New York Times reviews Lower Ed by the great Tressie McMillan Cottom.

* Sold! Wild New Theory Suggests Radio Bursts Beyond Our Galaxy Are Powering Alien Starships.

Think Twice About Escaping Earth to an Exoplanet. Trappist-1 is already ruined.

In Arctic Siberia, Russian scientists are trying to stave off catastrophic climate change—by resurrecting an Ice Age biome complete with lab-grown woolly mammoths.

* On zeitgeist: Ozymandias statue found in mud.

* What will the 25th Century Call the 21st?

The Handmaid’s Tale in the Age of Trump.

* The Hamilton Hustle.

* Stop grading and testing.

* A Women’s Strike Syllabus. And another.

U.S. Colleges: Where Does The Money Go?

Rutgers also diverted $11 million in student fees and $17.1 million from its general fund to cover the athletic shortfall. The average undergraduate now pays more than $300 in activities fees exclusively for the university’s N.C.A.A. teams.

* Gotta spend money to explain why you aren’t spending money.

* Bodies on the Gears at Middleburg. And from the right: Middlebury Reckons With a Protest Gone Wrong. From Mother Jones to Middlebury: The Problem and Promise of Political Violence in Trump’s America.

* Ideology of the March for Science.

* Are the Democrats totally screwed? The Democratic Party Seems to Have No Earthly Idea Why It Is So Damn Unpopular. Outsmarted: on the Liberal Cult of the Cognitive Elite. There Really Was A Liberal Media Bubble. The SEIU at the end of the world.

* Trump can’t even do a standard thing like firing all the US Attorneys without turning it into a train wreck. But here’s how he can turn it around. Why the Russia Story Is a Minefield for Democrats and the Media. Descent into Liberalism. Fantasizing about President Pence. Of no fixed address. Here’s How Much ‘Trumpcare’ Fucks You, Based On How You Get Your Insurance Now. Who wins and who loses under the Republicans’ health care plan. A Trumpcare flashback. Truly, freedom isn’t free.

Then, before you know it, the Wall Street Journal is an oracle of truth. You’re rooting for Cold War II. The FBI is your BFF. You’re a Democrat.

* This is so evil: Bill Would Let Employers Demand Workers’ Genetic Tests.

* In the future, everyone will publicly beg for health care for 15 minutes.

* If you want a vision of the future.

The Perils of the New, Shiny George W. Bush.

The Revolutionary Force of Stupidity: A Conversation with Matt Taibbi.

Enemies of the People: How hatred of the masses bridges our partisan divide.

* Trump’s Mar-a-Lago is heaven — for spies!

* The Great Lakes Are Sicker Than You Think. Editorial: Don’t slash funding for the Great Lakes.

It is long past time to save this world; the task now is to end it. To begin anew seems like the only realistic way out.

* Towards a Unified Theory of Why Men Send Dick Pics. Obviously, more research is required.

* Neonazis! I hate these guys. Indiana Jones and the Okay Fine We’ll Try Again.

Why Dentistry Is Separate From Medicine.

* Twenty-First Century Headlines: Radioactive Boars in Fukushima Thwart Residents’ Plans to Return Home.

* Our Miserable 21st Century.

Brain activity recorded as much as 10 minutes after death.

* West Virginia county sues drug distributors over opioid crisis.

* Scholars behind bars.

* Today in the massive screwed-uppedness of American democracy.

* George Republicans Pass Mid-Decade Re-Gerrymander Just in Case.

Purple America Has All But Disappeared.

Every semi-competent male hero has a more talented female sidekick. Why isn’t she the hero instead?

* Star Trek: Discovery announces exciting “the captain is probably evil and in any event will die at the end of the season” arc.

* Knives out for Marvel: they finally made a mistake big enough to be noticed. More from Noah Berlatsky.

Study: Hillary Clinton’s TV ads were almost entirely policy-free.

Officials with Alberta’s environment agency inspected the water lines on Tuesday afternoon and proclaimed it safe, while the town completed the required repairs by the end of day. Town’s Water Turns Pink In Horrifying Ghostbusters Throwback. 

* Requiem for a Dil. We’re Looking for People with Management Potential. An Experiment to Determine if Rats Can Be Made to Hate Thanksgiving. It’s Not So Bad. Sad Truths: Mythological Creatures Edition. I wish human beings were as peaceful and loving as bonobos. We all have our struggles.

Silicon Valley’s Secretive Alt-Right Followers.

* Review is back, thank heaven.

* Nostalgia for the childhood you never had: The Japanese opening for the X-Men Animated Series.

Inside the cruellest RollerCoaster Tycoon park ever created.

* The arc of history is long, but Rookie Doctors Will Soon Be Allowed To Work Up To 28 Hours Straight.

* The Psychedelic Miracle: How some doctors are risking everything to unleash the healing power of MDMA, ayahuasca and other hallucinogens.

Aliens, Antisemitism, and Academia.

“King Kong” and American Cultural History.

20 million at risk of starvation in world’s largest crisis since 1945, UN says.

* Interesting: The New Avatar Theme Park Is a Giant Spoiler.

In an interview conducted inside the park, Cameron said that the park is set in a timeline after the five movies. A time when the war between humans and Na’vi is over. A time when the Na’vi have begun to welcome humans onto their planet with opens arms.

Eighteen hundred former NFL players say their teams had them popping addictive painkillers like candy, to keep them from being sidelined by injuries.

How the 20,699-word iTunes T&Cs became this year’s hottest graphic novel.

Should California lower its voting age to 17? Yes.

* And dibs on the screenplay: Right now, in a vault controlled by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, there sits a 752-pound emerald with no rightful owner. This gem is the size of a minifridge. It weighs as much as two sumo wrestlers. Estimates of its worth range from a hundred bucks to $925 million. Over the past 10 years, four lawsuits have been filed over the Bahia emerald. Fourteen individuals or entities, plus the nation of Brazil, have claimed the rock is theirs. A house burned down. Three people filed for bankruptcy. One man alleges having been kidnapped and held hostage. Many of the men involved say that the emerald is hellspawn but they also can’t let it go.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 12, 2017 at 4:19 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Thursday Night Links!

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tumblr_ohvslqjhdo1romv9co1_500* My brilliant colleague Ainehi Edoro was chosen as one of the most 100 influential Africans.

* The Octavia Project. And elsewhere in the VanderMeers’ vast empire…

* CFP: Octavia E. Butler at ALA 2017.

* More fighting over tenure and post-tenure review at Wisconsin.

* Victory at Standing Rock.

* Cixin Liu: As a science-fiction writer, it’s my duty to warn the human race that the robot revolution has begun — even if no one has noticed yet.

* Teaching the controversy: Listening While Feminist: In Defense of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”

* We’re gonna need a better gerrymander: If Democrats want to solve the problem of legislative maps that are biased against them they need to pursue a strategy that is more likely to produce maps that compensate for geography.

“It is striking to see how committed they are to allowing this train wreck to occur,” he said. “And more surprisingly, how little careful attention has been given (at the top at least) to just how vulnerable—given Bush v. Gore—the current (system for counting votes in the) electoral college is.” But wait! There’s more! Why I Will Not Cast My Electoral Vote for Donald Trump.

* Trump vs. conflicts of interest: Maybe the Answer Is That He Can’t Divest.

How Many Generals Is Too Many? I think the number is worrying, but agree with Kevin that the central issue is that he has chosen an extremely popular, recently retired general for DoD. Civilian control of the military is an important value, or it used to be.

* This is bad: Trump Launches Tweet Attack on Carrier Steel Union Boss for Fact-Checking Him. (UPDATE: This is what happens when Donald Trump attacks a private citizen on Twitter.) This is bad: Hardee’s, Carl’s Jr. CEO Tapped as Labor Secretary. This is bad: Trump Considers FDA Chief Who Says People Should Use Medicines “At Their Own Risk.” This is bad: Trump to be part-time president, keep lucrative job with Celebrity Apprentice. This is bad: Does Donald Trump Believe Nuclear War Is Inevitable?

* This one though I do approve of: Chris Christie has the lowest approval rating one pollster has ever found for a state governor.

* There are no second acts in American life, they said.

* Point/Counterpoint: How Sci-Fi and Fantasy Can Save the World. What Can Artists Do to Oppose Trump? Nothing.

* That’ll solve it! Or, if you prefer, only the super-rich can save us now.

* Worst Game of Thrones spinoff ever.

* …and the portions are too small!

* The Swing-O-Matic: Change the settings to see how shifts in party preference and turnout by different demographic groups would affect the 2016 presidential election.

* We need to admit that right-wing harrassment and conspiracy theories are baked into the business model of social media at this point. And with right-wing political hegemony for the foreseeable future, it will only get worse, because the range of “acceptable opinion” will shift even further to the right. Asking nicely and filling out all the proper paperwork will not change this underlying material reality.

* The tricky part is that many expect the expert agency’s views to change shortly after January 20th, when Trump’s O.C.R. is installed. (Dear Colleagues: Never mind, we take it back.) Come January, advocates of transgender rights, who have enthusiastically supported judicial deference to O.C.R., will have reason for an extreme pivot, given that the new O.C.R. is unlikely to view “sex” as an “internal sense of gender.” It is awkward now for Grimm’s lawyers to argue zealously for the notion that the agency knows best, when only weeks from now, and in coming years, that doctrine is more likely to harm than to help transgender students.

Inside President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal antidrug campaign in the Philippines, our photojournalist documented 57 homicide victims over 35 days. And in case you’ve forgotten.

Located in the city’s Girangaon (Village of the Mills) neighborhood, Trump Tower Mumbai illustrates every pathology of the neoliberal turn away from comprehensive city planning.

* What happens if someone dies on Mars?

* Uber as Ponzi scheme.

* The arc of history is long, but New Jersey Will No Longer Seek to Collect Loans from Families of Dead Students.

* Check ignition, and may God’s love be with you.

* Harvard will not be a sanctuary campus. It’s for your own good, kids!

* Ugh, maybe it actually is.

* Disney ought to pay this former employee for the movie rights to this AMA.

* Today in news from the mysteriiiiiiiious Orient: Japan’s sex problem is so bad that people are quitting dating and marrying their friends.

* Trump propaganda game getting real.

* Chimpanzees See Butts Like We See Faces.

* The ultimate fear isn’t of the second coming of Hitler: history never repeats itself so obviously, and a sense of shame over the Nazi past remains pervasive in all corners of German life. No, the fear is that the present antidemocratic wave may prove too strong even for Germany—the only country in the history of the world that ever learned from its mistakes. From The New Yorker‘s “The Frankfurt School Knew Trump Was Coming.”

* If Black Mirror Had a Showroom.

* The suit asks that the embryos be transferred to Mr Loeb so that they can be born and receive their inheritance.

* This might be the worst science journalism piece I’ve seen in years.

* Goddamnit, Pixar.

* Scientists Think the Speed of Light Has Slowed, and They’re Trying to Prove It.

Paradox Girl Is One of the Best Time Travel Series We’ve Read All Year. I bought these tonight on this recommendation and I can confirm it’s super fun.

* And this makes me feel worse about both extinction-level events and car crashes.

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 8, 2016 at 8:01 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Don’t Look a Day Over 240 Links

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* SFRA Awards 2016. Congrats all!

* Note to all sf writers: If your future doesn’t somehow address the problem of distributed harassment networks, you’re not taking the present seriously enough.

* The Student Loan Suicides. New Jersey’s Student Loan Program is ‘State-Sanctioned Loan-Sharking.’

There is money available in the digital humanities in a way that there has never been money in English departments, ever. With very limited exceptions, the idea that one could get a six-figure grant for doing something in English is just unheard of. The only types of grants people typically got — with the exception of major career-capping grants like Guggenheims — were salary replacement for a year to write a book. That was the best we could hope for. So the idea that all of a sudden there was some part of English where someone could get $300,000 to $400,000 grants was both politically striking and disturbing. It wasn’t like the leading figures in English were saying we have to have this large pot of money for DH. It was external people, especially Mellon and the NEH — under the influence of some of the big DH people, whose animus for the rest of English was palpable and explicit — who decided to do this. This has had a tremendously deforming effect.

So the problem isn’t that we can’t win reformist victories for workers. History has shown that we can. The problem is what comes after victory, and we need a theory of socialism and social democracy that prepares our movements for that phase.

* Is it better to hope or to despair? Do you want to create better art, or do you want a better world in which to create? Are you an artist or an activist? Yes.

* Life after the end of the world: California Heat Wave Spells Doom For Avocados.

* The richest, most powerful, most prosperous nation in human history.

Guy Leaves Fake Animal Facts All Over Los Angeles Zoo.

* Guns & D&D.

* Brain-drain as social justice.

* Butler and Trump (though I should say she was really thinking of Reagan, who used the same slogan).

* The greying of the homeless.

Teen who urged boyfriend to kill himself will stand trial.

A Look at the Use of Drones During the Obama Administration.

Stereogum reports five years of hard paperwork for Apple has finally paid off, and the company has obtained a patent on technology that will disable your phone’s camera when it detects a specific infrared signal. In the time it took you to read that sentence, you probably also had the three seconds of reflection time it would take a reasonable person to think, “Oh, that sounds extremely problematic.”

* 2 weeks out, and Trump’s convention is a total mess. Sad! TPM continues to pound the Trump fundraising saga. Tracing Donald Trump’s Social Media Ties to White Supremacists. The latest example.

Hillary Clinton was the force behind a little-known breakthrough in transgender rights. So why doesn’t she talk about it?

* Still one of my favorite images on the web ever: Richmond Golf Club, Temporary Rules (1940).

* You just can’t win: Closing apps to save your battery only makes things worse.

* The things you learn from Lazy Doctor Who: the original series one did an (now lost) Dalek episode without the Doctor or Companions.

New Study Busts the Myth That Knights Couldn’t Move Well in Armor.

We can either spend our time thinking and funding tentacle porn or we can spend our time thinking and funding civilization. I know what I’d pick…

Surprise Sunday Links! Watch Out!

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* The route Google Maps recommends if you’re headed to Ferrum College from the west involves what may be the loneliest and most roller-coaster-like stretch of roadway ever to earn a state route number from Virginia. It’s a narrow ribbon of pavement with no center line, a twisting trail you drive imagining that if you go over the edge, weeks could pass before anyone found the wreckage. Only at the other end do you spot a yellow sign that reads, “GPS Routing Not Advised.” Small, Rural Colleges Grapple With Their Geography.

* A friend recommended the short Cuban SF novel Super Extra Grande to me, which I liked a lot. Some profiles on the author: 1, 2.

* Horrific terror attack at historic Orlando gay night club leaves 20 dead.

* Scientists think they’ve figured out the Antikythera Mechanism.

* Being Tig Notaro.

* In search of Cervantes’s grave.

* Old and busted: AI. New hotness: IA.

* Landscaping in the Anthropocene.

As an added experiment, the researchers applied their model to the current distribution of human populations on Earth. They found that, under all the same assumptions, 12.5 percent of the global population would be forced to migrate at least 1,000 kilometers, and up to a third of the population would have to move more than 500 kilometers. 

In a paper published in the May issue of the journal Astrobiology, the astronomer Woodruff Sullivan and I show that while we do not know if any advanced extraterrestrial civilizations currently exist in our galaxy, we now have enough information to conclude that they almost certainly existed at some point in cosmic history.

…what our calculation revealed is that even if this probability is assumed to be extremely low, the odds that we are not the first technological civilization are actually high. Specifically, unless the probability for evolving a civilization on a habitable-zone planet is less than one in 10 billion trillion, then we are not the first.

Twitter must fix this. Its brand is increasingly defined by excessive harassment.

* More on The 7-1/2-Hour O.J. Simpson Doc Everyone Will Be Talking About This Summer.

Because poetry is considered so small, so irrelevant, it’s tempting for poetry critics to look for the BIG themes in poems to demonstrate that poetry matters. I continue to learn from critics who take on this labor. However, because ALL African literary criticism is assumed to matter the more it focuses on the BIG SOCIOPOLITICOECONOMICDISASTERTHATISAFRICA, I am inclined to turn to quieter moments—spaces for the intimate, the friendly, the quiet, the loving, the depressed, the depressing, grief, and melancholy. I’m drawn to the register that is not the shout, and never the headline. I linger at the quotidian to insist that the African imagination considers livability and shareability.

For everyone, he claims, is shortchanged when the guiding principle and “key driver” of the institution is no longer thought, but money (ix). Faculty are silenced, yes, by the drive to conformity and homogeneity. But students are also cheated when they are treated simply as “human capital”: “When the university is reduced to the function of preparation for jobs and not for life, life itself gets lost under the jobs” (85). Most broadly and seriously of all, society as a whole suffers as the university abandons its traditional role as “that institution that has a responsibility to counter the incipient violence of natural force” (40). The fate of the university is bound up with the fate of democracy and citizenship at large. If society is to change, and injustice and inequality challenged, we need now more than ever an institution whose role is to be “’critical’ of the existing world state of affairs, dissident with respect to it” (6).

* I sometimes wish tenure were what its enemies believe it is.

* White supremacist PACs and Trump. The stain of Trump. “A GOP senator might vote for Hillary Clinton. Here’s how rare that is.” Trump has underperformed the real estate market by a mere 57% since 1976. Alas, Mitt.

* I’m calling it: Trump will drop out of the race by July 5 at the latest. He will blame the unfair media and political correctness, allude to some wack-ass conspiracy involving Black Lives Matter and/or Hezbollah, and go to his grave telling everyone he knows that if he had stayed in the race, he would’ve beaten Clinton.

* You may be done with your quasi-legal homebrew server, but your quasi-legal homebrew server is not done with you: The FBI has been conducting a criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified information for months.

We narrowed Clinton’s vice-presidential possibilities to 27. Now you pick one. For a long time I’ve thought it definitely be one of the Castro brothers, probably Julian, but Elizabeth Warren has made such a push lately I’ve started to think it could actually be her. Of course you can pick Trump’s too, from such a weak field it includes his own daughter.

Let me close with a broad statement. In the news you will see some rather hysterical statements about how all bets are off this year. That is true to an extent: on the Republican side, the national party’s positions and their rank-and-file voters’ preferences are far out of whack. In a deep sense, their decision process in 2016 became broken. But that does not mean that opinion is unmeasurable. Far from it. In the aggregate, pollsters still do a good job reaching voters. And voters are still people whose opinions move at a certain speed. To my thinking, polls may be the best remaining way to assess what is happening.

* But just in case: I Spent the 90s Fighting Fascists on the Streets of Warsaw.

* According to multiple federal complaints, young black students in New York City are being forced out of school after being sexually assaulted.

* If you’re not sick of these yet: What Hamilton Forgets About Hamilton.

* The gentrification of Sesame Street.

* Review: Warcraft Is The Battlefield Earth Of The 21st Century. Warcraft, Hollywood, And The Growing Importance Of China’s Box Office.

* Because you demanded it! Kevin Smith Says That His Mallrats Sequel Will Be a 10-Part TV Series.

* Same joke but for The Passion of the Christ 2.

Sixty Million Car Bombs: Inside Takata’s Air Bag Crisis: How the company’s failures led to lethal products and the biggest auto recall in history.

* The case for Lady Stoneheart showing up in season six of Game of Thrones. Let me say I have my doubts.

* What to do if you find a goose than lays golden eggs. Machine Learning: A Flowchart. If you read Kafka’s stories backwards, they all make great kids’ movies.

* And the moral cowards at Wikipedia have moved to suppress my work again.

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Written by gerrycanavan

June 12, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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