Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘free speech

Friday Links!

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* I didn’t find it an easy question to answer. I couldn’t deny the accuracy of their observations (other than a tendency to neglect or misunderstand the distinctiveness of the situation in Scotland). Successive British governments have enacted a series of measures that seem designed to reshape the character of universities, not least by reducing their autonomy and subordinating them to ‘the needs of the economy’. ‘Marketisation’ isn’t just a swear-word used by critics of the changes: it is official doctrine that students are to be treated as consumers and universities as businesses competing for their custom. The anticipated returns from the labour market are seen as the ultimate measure of success. Last year the government imposed a new wheeze. Universities are now being awarded Olympic-style gold, silver and bronze medals for, notionally, teaching quality. But the metrics by which teaching quality is measured are – I am not making this up – the employment record of graduates, scores on the widely derided National Student Survey, and ‘retention rates’ (i.e. how few students drop out). These are obviously not measures of teaching quality; neither are they things that universities can do much to control, whatever the quality of their teaching. Now there is a proposal to rate, and perhaps fund, individual departments on the basis of the earnings of their graduates. If a lot of your former students go on to be currency traders and property speculators, you are evidently a high-quality teaching department and deserve to be handsomely rewarded; if too many of them work for charities or become special-needs teachers, you risk being closed down. And most recently of all, there has been the proposal to dismantle the existing pension arrangements for academics and ‘academic-related’ staff, provoking a more determined and better-supported strike than British academia has ever seen.

* What the hell is happening at Michigan State? How Universities Deal With Sexual Harassment Needs Sweeping Change, Panel Says.

Nobel literature scandal deepens as Jean-Claude Arnault is charged with rape.

* ‘They just took them?’ Frantic parents separated from their kids fill courts on the border. Inside Casa Padre, the converted Walmart where the U.S. is holding nearly 1,500 immigrant children. A Twitter thread. Trump looking to erect tent cities to house unaccompanied children. Defense Contractors Cashing In On Immigrant Kids’ Detention. Administration will house migrant kids in tents in Tornillo, Texas: summertime high, 98, December low, 28. ICE Detained a 50-Year U.S. Resident Outside the Home He Owns and Now It’s Trying to Deport Him. “Zero Tolerance” Crackdown Won’t Stop Border Crossings But It Could Break the Courts. Migrant caravan mom calls for family reunification as fate of asylum claim looms. She says federal officials took her daughter while she breastfed the child in a detention center. A grandmother seeking asylum was separated from her disabled grandson at the border. It’s been 10 months. She Fled to the U.S. After Being Raped Repeatedly by Her Husband. Trump’s New Asylum Rules Would Have Kept Her Out. Trump Administration Launches Effort to Strip Citizenship From Those Suspected of Naturalization Irregularities. It’s Happening Here Because Americans Can’t Admit it’s Happening Here. It’s All Too Much, and We Still Have to Care.

* This is an entirely new angle of ICE abuse that is frighteningly authoritarian and the harbinger of very bad things to come.

The New York State attorney general’s office filed a scathingly worded lawsuit on Thursday taking aim at the Donald J. Trump Foundation, accusing the charity and the Trump family of sweeping violations of campaign finance laws, self-dealing and illegal coordination with the presidential campaign.

* A rare person of integrity in this nightmare government: Senior Justice Dept. lawyer resigns after shift on Obamacare.

* In the wake of the horrors currently being done to children in America’s name, here’s one thing we can do: Recognize we’re in a linguistic emergency. We have a president whose single-minded praise for macho might is wearing down even those who refuse to overlook his incompetence. Trump, the only presidential candidate to refer to his penis size during a national debate, wants nothing more than to be seen as powerful and manly, and to align himself with those who project the characteristics he desires. And he’s gotten help—from us. If you’ve ever called Trump “tough” on immigration, note that he just called a dictator “tough” for murdering his citizens. (And “very smart” for staying in power.) That should be a wake-up call to journalists responsible for telling the story of this moment: Stop using the words he routinely chooses to describe himself. And think hard about whether you’re accidentally reinforcing the model of power he’s trying to sell.

FEMA Blamed Delays In Puerto Rico On Maria; Agency Records Tell Another Story.

Trumpism: It’s Coming From the Suburbs.

Addressing an imagined reader in the all-too-likely “hot dark world” of our all-too-near human future, William T. Vollmann begins his two-volume, twelve-hundred-plus-page Carbon Ideologies (the second volume of which was published last week) with a curious and characteristically audacious gambit. In the opening pages of Volume I: No Immediate Danger, as he sets out upon this tome concerning fossil fuels and nuclear energy, Vollmann explains: “I do my best to look as will the future upon the world in which I lived—namely, as surely, safely vanished. Nothing can be done to save it; therefore, nothing need be done. Hence this little book scrapes by without offering solutions. There were none; we had none.”

In Name of Free Speech, States Crack Down on Campus Protests.

* Never love anything, it’ll only break your heart: Star Trek: Discovery Showrunners Leave CBS All Access Series.

Sources say the decision to oust Berg and Harberts was based not on the creative but instead for leadership and operational issues. Production on Discovery‘s first five episodes of season two are near completion, with Kurtzman likely taking over for episode six and beyond. Berg and Harberts, who were longtime collaborators with original showrunner Fuller, will likely still be credited on the episodes they oversaw. Sources say the budget for the season two premiere ballooned, with the overages expected to come out of subsequent episodes from Discovery‘s sophomore run. Insiders also stress that Berg and Harberts became increasingly abusive to the Discovery writing staff, with Harberts said to have leaned across the writers room table while shouting an expletive at a member of the show’s staff. Multiple writers are said to have been uncomfortable working on the series and had threatened to file a complaint with human resources or quit the series altogether before informing Kurtzman of the issues surrounding Berg and Harberts. After hearing rumors of HR complaints, Harberts is said to have threatened the staff to keep concerns with the production an internal matter.

That they’re openly admitting their best episode came about by accident isn’t great, either.

* World Cup news! As Saudi Arabia played at the World Cup, the country launched a massive attack on Yemen.

Everyone Should Root for Peru in the World Cup. FIFA’s Rule Changes Won’t Solve Soccer’s Concussion Problem. 2026.

* Ugh, don’t ask Amy Poehler about comedy when the world sucks this fucking much.

* A Disgruntled Federal Employee’s 1980s Desk Calendar.

* Suicides by Gun Have Steadily Climbed, Federal Data Shows.

* When Cleveland tried.

* In “Space Barons: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and the Quest to Colonize the Cosmos,” Christian Davenport tells the backstories of the billionaires who are vying for control of the emerging NewSpace industry. In addition to Musk and Bezos, Davenport writes about Branson and Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft and an early investor in new spaceflight technologies. The members of the quartet are so similar in type that their biographies, as Davenport relates them, start to blur into one. As boys, they mostly read the same science fiction. (Musk has said that his favorite Robert A. Heinlein novel is “The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress,” which is set on a lunar colony where young girls marry men and women are either homemakers or work at beauty shops or brothels.) The space barons were all outsiders as young men; they’re all obsessed with rockets; they all want, more than anything, to win. Their space ventures are supposedly driven by a common goal of elevating or saving humankind, but they don’t always treat others humanely. Elon Musk and the Failure of Our Imagination in Space.

* There were signs early on that the jurors deciding whether Rhines should be sentenced to life in prison or to death might have been considering more than the facts of the case before them. During deliberations, the panel sent a note out to the judge. They had a list of pointed questions about what life in prison would mean. Would Rhines have a cellmate? Would he be allowed to “create a group of followers or admirers”? Would he be allowed to “have conjugal visits”? They apologized if any of the questions were “inappropriate,” but indicated that they were important to their decision-making. The judge declined to answer, telling the jurors that all they needed to know was in the jury instructions they’d received. Eight hours later, they sentenced Rhines to death.

* Bipartisan war party panics as Kim meets Trump. The North Korea Summit Through the Looking Glass.

The Class Politics of Teeth.

* All versions of Star Wars trend towards the unfilmable/unmerchandizable truth that the Force is actually evil.

* Everything you need to know before The Good Place S3.

* DC edging dangerously close to having a good idea for once.

* Dead fandoms.

* Imagining a better boyhood.

* Antarctica and the end of the world.

According to the results, Côté shares more than a friendship with Snoopy the chihuahua; they share the exact same Indigenous ancestry.

The position of the nanny—of the family but not in the family; asked to care and love but only while on the clock—is narratively provocative. And yet unless she is Mary Poppins-level magically perfect, in books and films the nanny is mostly a threat. She is the entry point into a family’s vulnerability, she is the stranger we thought we knew. She is The Hand That Rocks the Cradle. She is a Lifetime movie about a family broken apart by a nanny’s violence toward the children or sexual advances toward the husband.

* The headline reads, “Nevada’s most notorious pimp wins Republican primary.”

The Las Vegas Union That Learned To Beat The House.

Facebook is malware.

* A thought-provoking thread on vegetarianism and colonialism, though I don’t consider it the end of the argument by any means.

The astronauts disturbed the Moon’s surface soil by walking and driving a rover on it. As a result, the Moon reflected less of the Sun’s light back out to space, which raised the lunar surface temperature by 1-2 degrees Celsius (1.8-3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) where it was disturbed. 

* I’ve never trusted Lasik.

The World’s Best Pickpocket Reviews The Ocean’s 8 Heist.

A movie ticket costs somewhere between $10 and $15 and yet MoviePass offers monthly subscription packages for $9.95 that let users can see up to one movie a day. How the hell is that supposed to work?

The epic hunt for the place on Earth where life started.

Teachers Fight To Keep Pre-Colonial World History In AP Course.

University of North Carolina Students Accuse Administration of Artwashing.

* Chloe Dykstra details years of abuse she experienced at the hands of Chris Hardwick both during and after their relationship.

* Reconsidering the cop show.

* Hugh O’Connell reviews Ian McDonald’s Luna: Wolf Moon with an eye towards post-Thatcher neoliberalism.

* No one could have seen this coming.

* This Is What a Nuclear Bomb Looks Like.

* This is relatable content: Many animals are shifting from day to night to avoid people.

Where Your Stuff Goes When You Lose It in Tokyo.

* And this is really happening: Measure to split California into three states qualifies for November ballot. I know it’s a trick, but even still, trading 2-4 Senators for a slightly harder path in the Electoral College seems like a good trade to me. But I bet it’s also illegal, so it’s probably a nonstarter either way.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 15, 2018 at 9:09 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Saturday Night Links!

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* CFP: Religious Practices and Ideology in the Works of Octavia Butler, Edited Volume.

* CFP: Darkness.

Never Tell Them Your True Name: Remembering Ursula K. Le Guin.

The Demanding, Essential Work of Samuel Delany: The Atheist in the Attic.

* Games for a Fallen World: On the Legend of Zelda in the Anthropocene.

Why we march: a then and now look at Marquette student’s involvement in protests.

Capital’s Share of Income Is Way Higher than You Think. Amid wage stagnation, corporate leaders declare the end of annual raises triggered by increased profitability. The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy.

* A grim new angle on the intergenerational struggle: Seniors Are More Conservative Because the Poor Don’t Survive to Become Seniors.

Harvard study estimates thousands died in Puerto Rico because of Hurricane Maria.

Is Your University Racist?

Living Homeless in California: The University of Hunger.

The Criminalization of Knowledge.

* A conservative Stanford professor plotted to dig up dirt on a liberal student. Niall Ferguson, amazingly. Niall Ferguson quits Stanford free speech role over leaked emails.

It’s Not Liberal Arts And Literature Majors Who Are Most Underemployed.

Inside the NCAA’s years-long, twisting investigation into Mississippi football.

Colleges Are No Match for American Poverty.

Here’s every Star Wars movie, ranked by female screen time. Should Donald Glover Have Played Han Solo? Disney and Star Wars: An Empire in Peril? The growing emptiness of the Star Wars universe. ‘Solo’ gets one thing right: The droids in ‘Star Wars’ are basically slaves.

* Isaac Cates on Infinity War‘s False Conclusions.

* How Tolkien created Middle-earth.

Inside the Pro-Trump Effort to Keep Black Voters From the Polls. White Americans abandoned democracy and embraced authoritarianism when they realized brown people would soon outvote them. TMZ Goes MAGA. Can the Rule of Law Survive Trump?

* Three tweets on impeachment from Corey Robin.

thread re: how NYT has now basically locked out Congressional Dems from commenting on Trump news. 

Trump’s ‘Forced Separation’ of Migrant Families Is Both Illegal and Immoral. Separated at the border: A mother’s story.

Why Dictators Write.

* After pointlessly groping countless Americans, the TSA is keeping a secret watchlist of those who fight back. Customs stole a US citizen’s life savings when he boarded a domestic flight, now he’s suing to get it back. Southwest wouldn’t let mixed-race family fly until mom “proved” parenthood. This AI Knows Who You Are by the Way You Walk.

Internal company emails obtained by The Intercept tell a different story. The September emails show that Google’s business development arm expected the military drone artificial intelligence revenue to ramp up from an initial $15 million to an eventual $250 million per year. How a Pentagon Contract Became an Identity Crisis for Google.

Symbolic Threats.

American flag-waving obfuscates these and other abuses of power; reveals the state’s protection and definition of a white, hetero socioeconomic class as the legitimate citizen class at the expense of black, brown, Muslim, trans, disabled, or immigrant lives; and is our traditional response to a sense of foreign impingement on “normal American life” (white suburban families). The message goes: Don’t think about the President’s baseless claims about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, don’t think about the imprisonment of Chelsea Manning and, now, Reality Winner, don’t think about the dependence of all power on a disenfranchised, exploited class. Think instead of the firefighters at ground zero, who were certain that America would endure. Think of ordinary citizens, like those depicted in the “Main Street USA” ad, and their faith in this city on a hill. Think instead, “Make America Great Again!” Don’t ask: Who suffers in this society when the state makes better security and freedom for its populace a goal? Freedom for whom? Who does a Muslim ban serve? Who do police serve? On which caskets do we lay the flag?

* In the richest country in the history of the world: Nine year old raises thousands of dollars at lemonade stand to help pay brother’s medical bills.

* Die a hero or live long enough to see yourself agreeing with David Brooks.

Bear’s Dairy Queen ice cream treat earns zoo $500 fine.

Archaeologists uncover remains of man crushed as he fled Pompeii.

* Why Isn’t Asbestos Banned in the US?

Choose-Your-Own-Security-Disclosure-Adventure.

* Tax-funded charter schools textbooks deny evolution, teach human-dinosaur cohabitation, endorse slavery and indigenous genocide.

Meet the Rising New Housing Movement That Wants to Create Homes for All. Tenant and Squatters’ Rights in Oakland.

* We compared Milwaukee police reports on Sterling Brown’s arrest with the video. They don’t match.

Jury Leaves $4 to Family of Man Killed by Sheriff’s Deputy, Along With Many Questions.

* LARB reviews Dirty Computer.

How to Tell a Realistic Fictional Language From a Terrible One. How to Build a World.

Humans will have to leave the Earth and the planet will become just a “residential” zone, according to Amazon boss Jeff Bezos. It’s not the worst idea I’ve heard, but I assume the rivers of meat blood come later.

* A weather report from an alternate universe, in which science is real and people aren’t idiots.

* Climate grief in the classroom.

* Banning straws won’t save the oceans.

* Bet this won’t either: Trump Prepares Lifeline for Money-Losing Coal Plants.

* Summah. Don’t kill your wife with work. If these trends continue. Teach the controversy. Dads & grads. When you’re almost forty.

I Am A Recently Divorced And Laid-Off Middle-Aged Man With A Lot Of Health Problems, And Everything I Say Is Incredibly Depressing. Ask Questions At Me.

* “Says he had to stage his own murder in order to capture someone, apologises to his wife.”

How #MeToo Impacts Viewers’ Decisions on What to Watch.

In 1975, Gary Gygax revealed the Tomb of Horrors module at the first Origins convention, presenting it as a campaign that would specifically challenge overpowered characters who would have to rely on their wits to outsmart incredibly lethal, subtle traps, rather than using their almighty THACOs to fell trash-mobs of orcs or other low-level monsters.

How 1960s Film Pirates Sold Movies Before the FBI Came Knocking.

* The art of the grift in 21st century Manhattan.

* Google jury nullification.

* Shockingly, ‘impossible’ EM drive doesn’t seem to work after all.

* Best travel photos 2018.

* New podcast watch: Why Is This Happening? with Chris Hayes. The Good Place: The Podcast.

* An oral history of the Muppets.

A research question I’ve been pondering for awhile: When, exactly, did the idea that the President — and only the President — was in charge of the decision to use nuclear weapons get turned into real policy? Answer seems to be September 1948, with NSC-30.

* We’re not prepared for the genetic revolution that’s coming.

* And you can’t argue with the facts: Wearing glasses may really mean you’re smarter, major study finds.

people and nature

Written by gerrycanavan

June 2, 2018 at 4:50 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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All Your Sunday Reading™

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* Call for applications: Postdoctoral Scholar for Futures of Literary and Cultural Knowledge, UCSB.

* Call for Papers: “Binge-Watching and the Future of Television Research: A Workshop” Sept 13-14, 2018, at Anglia Ruskin University.

* Studying Tolkien fanzines at Marquette University.

* I make a by-the-way appearance on this massive roundup of Infinity War links.

* What is an English professor?

The Enduring Anger of Joanna Russ.

* Bonkers Wisconsin tax policy error in my favor.

Massive UC workers’ strike disrupts dining, classes and medical services. UC Workers on Strike. After 3-Day Strike, University Of California’s Service Workers Vow To Keep Fighting.

A Duke University VP Walked Into the Campus Joe Van Gogh, Heard a Rap Song, Demanded That the Employees Be Fired. The icing on the cake. Well, actually, this is.

* If you’re worried about free speech on campus, don’t fear students — fear the Koch brothers.

Why universities became big-time real estate developers.

* Stephen Kuusisto on ableism in the university.

White student calls police on black student napping in Yale dorm. When Calling the Police Is a Privilege.

Academia’s #MeToo moment: Women accuse professors of sexual misconduct. 45 Stories of Consent on Campus. The #MeToo movement hit the literary world hard this week. It’s not the first time.

* (Another) progressive case against the progressive case for the SAT.

Never-ending nightmare: why feminist dystopias must stop torturing women.

* In 2011, Minnesota got a liberal governor and Wisconsin got a conservative one. Who was better off?

What genuine, no-bullshit ambition on climate change would look like.

* Your workplace is killing you.

Intrigue and Drama on the Han Solo Set. Catch the fever!

* One of the most purely destructive things Trump has yet done. Early days though, early days. Evergreen.

* Taking parents from their children is a form of state terror. Black activist jailed for his Facebook posts speaks out about secret FBI surveillance. An upcoming Supreme Court ruling could force all workers into forced arbitration, deprived of the right to class lawsuits. Trump Administration Wants to Train Teens in ‘Hazardous’ Jobs. Mar-a-Lago isn’t the ‘Winter White House.’ It’s just an embarrassing cash grab. A taxonomy of Michael Cohen and potential Trump corruption. How Michael Cohen Cashed In. It’s harder to pay off foreign governments than the US one. Breaking Down Gina Haspel’s Tense Confirmation Hearing. Trumpism Is Having Its Best Week Ever. We know a lot about Trump’s misdeeds. But most of all we know there’s more to come.

* How bananas is this Schneiderman story going to get? Man.

* And isn’t it pretty to think so?

’We Can Make Him Disappear’: The Power of County Sheriffs.

In One Year, 57,375 Years of Life Were Lost to Police Violence. Plainclothes NYPD Cops Are Involved in a Staggering Number of Killings.

* How to Survive the First Hour of a Nuclear Attack. Wow, a whole hour!

The Story Behind FanCon’s Controversial Collapse.

Social media copies gambling methods ‘to create psychological cravings.’

* Democrats against the gig economy. The Politics of Full Employment.

It’s Not a Food Desert, It’s Food Apartheid.

The Brooklyn Comedian Whose Joke About ICE Got Him a Visit From Homeland Security. ICE Breaking into Home: “We’ll Show You the Warrant When We’re Done.”

The “Maddening Labyrinth” Aging NFL Players Face for Dementia Compensation.

America’s largest pork producer pledged to make its meat more humane. An investigation says it didn’t.

* England revving up for a Corbyn prime ministership.

There’s No Good Excuse For The Racist Impact Of Michigan’s Medicaid Proposal. Almost as if… there’s no excuse at all…

* From blood diamonds to blood healing crystals.

* It sounds like my dream of a Bill & Ted parody of the trend towards grimdark 80s revivals is gonna come true.

* 10 Years of Speed Racer.

* What CBS found when it bought four random used photocopiers.

How political and media elites legitimized torture.

#Comicsgate: How an Anti-Diversity Harassment Campaign in Comics Got Ugly—and Profitable.

* The Americans in Russia.

* The science of Baby Groot.

* Afrofuturist 419.

You Won’t Like The Consequences Of Making Pluto A Planet Again.

New York Court Says Chimps Aren’t People—But a Judge Is Not Happy About It.

The dream of communism is the elimination of wage labor. If AI is bound to serve society instead of private capitalists, it promises to do so by freeing an overwhelming majority from such drudgery while creating wealth to sustain all.

* This is relatable content.

Imagine that it’s 2044, and everyone is still listening to Duran Duran.

* Sometimes you just need two men.

* And in the advanced Turing test, the machine convinces you that it is conscious and you aren’t.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 13, 2018 at 9:25 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Finely Curated May Fifth Links (Aged to Perfection)

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* I’ve had a couple of short pieces of writing go up in the last few weeks: a piece on the often overlooked epilogue to The Handmaid’s Tale at LARB and a followup piece on Infinity War and franchise time at frieze.

* Maybe my favorite Infinity War take. Bady! Nussbuam! Loofburouw! Scalzi! Dreyfuss! We’re the good guys, right? Pop Culture Won’t Save UsHow one movie genre became the guiding myth of neoliberalism.

* There’s also been a couple other good pieces lately pushing on whether Handmaid’s Tale really should have had a second season.

* Two from Jaimee: “Frosted Palm” and “The Books in the Bushes.”

* The 2018 Marquette Literary Review is up. And so is SFRA Review #324!

CFP: Third Issue of The New Americanist/ Special Feature Section: “Hobgoblins of Fantasy: American Fantasy Fiction in Theory.”

* CFP: An Anthology on Carrie Fisher.

* CFP: Special Double Issue: Disability Studies and Ecocriticism.

* Wakandacon 2018.

The 2018-2019 NESFA Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Story Contest is open from Spring 2018 through July 31, 2018.

* Twitter thread: we already live in a boring dystopia.

* Most-Liked Tweets of Famous Poets.

* Welcome to Midwestworld.

* Fred Moten in the New Yorker!

* Janelle Monáe in Rolling Stone! 

* Maybe the best “there’s just one story and we tell it over and over” I’ve ever done.

Channeling the anti-Trump #Resistance, a slew of recent books seeks to reduce democracy to a defense of political “norms.” But overcoming today’s crisis will take more political imagination.

* Three Identical Strangers, a dark documentary about identical triplets who were separated-at-birth. Amazing story. I wish I’d waited for the movie before Googling it.

How a tiny protest at the U. of Nebraska turned into a proxy war for the future of campus politics.

* Sexism and academia.

* Just in time for my summer syllabi: Junot Diaz #MeToo Accusations Surface. No Nobel Prize in Literature in 2018.

* Michigan State. Michigan State. Michigan Goddamn State. SIU. Columbia. University of Illinois at Chicago. George Mason. UNC. And in some rare good news: Oregon.

* There is no campus free speech crisis: a look at the evidence.

“The root cause of the F.B.I. investigation are the N.C.A.A. rules limiting — actually, prohibiting — compensation for players,” he said. “And none of the recommendations speak to them — none of them.”

What does a non-academic job search look like for a rhet/comp PhD student? I put compiled some numbers to illustrate my experience over the last 3 months.

What Jack Kirby proposed for the plaques on the Pioneer space probes.

* Infiltration into left-wing groups is just the sharp edge of an entire armory of political policing.

Chicago’s drinking water is full of lead, report says. Newark Water Tests Show High Lead Levels, Prompting Threat of Lawsuit.

* Vaccine refusal is contagious — and there’s no cure.

What’s Wrong With Growing Blobs of Brain Tissue?

One of the most worrisome predictions about climate change may be coming true.

* The arc of history is long, but Somehow, Jaxxon the Ridiculous Green Space Rabbit Has Made It to the New Star Wars Canon.

How a Genealogy Site Led to the Front Door of the Golden State Killer Suspect.

New Documents Reveal How ICE Mines Local Police Databases Across the Country.

* ICE held an American man in custody for 1,273 days. He’s not the only one who had to prove his citizenship.

Is the US Border Patrol Committing Crimes Against Humanity?

Chisholm concluded there was “no basis to conclusively link” the death of Trammell, which occurred in May, to the officers’ actions.

LEGO crime boss busted in Portland. No jury in the world would convict him.

* Escapism and Springsteen.

* Happiness begins at 50.

* AI as alchemy.

$5,751.

Lessons From Rust-Belt Cities That Kept Their Sheen.

The Mighty Thor’s conclusion signals the end of a Marvel Comics era. What an odd comic this was. And meanwhile: This is the Dark Side of the Rainbow of our time.

Enjoy a tarantula burger in Durham, North Carolina.

Six Animal Rights Activists Charged With Felonies for Investigation and Rescue That Led to Punishment of a Utah Turkey Farm.

* In New Jersey, the top lobbying spenders are from the following industries: energy, healthcare, insurance, and… balloons.

A Lynching Memorial Is Opening. The Country Has Never Seen Anything Like It.

* eFterlife. Batmen and Robins. Natural selection. Good grief.

‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ Interactive Movie in the Works at Fox.

* Two years old, but who cares: “It smelled like death”: An oral history of the Double Dare obstacle course.

* And sure, let’s make ice-nine, at this point why not.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 5, 2018 at 10:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Massive Monday Super Mega-Links!

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* Well they can’t take it back now.

* SFRA 18 attendees! Apply for a travel grant, if you have a need!

* Extrapolation 59.1 is here! With articles on climate fiction, Fahrenheit 451, Ballard’s Crash, and fantasy maps.

* CFP: The Future is Unwritten: Representations of Political Resistance and Emancipation in Science Fiction.

* Think of yourself as a planet.

* One year later, Marquette Magazine remembers “Buffy at 20,” with an unforgivably bloated and sweaty picture of me.

* I have a piece coming out in LARB this weekend that talks about the epilogue to The Handmaid’s Tale and why there shouldn’t have been a second season to the Hulu series. The early reviews seem to bear that intuition out.

* Diary of a Settler of Catan.

Janelle Monáe’s About to Drop the Afrofuturist Art Film We’ve All Been Waiting for. How Janelle Monáe Found Her Voice.

* How to write great SF about disability law.

Louis Cha, who is ninety-four years old and lives in luxurious seclusion atop the jungled peak of Hong Kong Island, is one of the best-selling authors alive. Widely known by his pen name, Jin Yong, his work, in the Chinese-speaking world, has a cultural currency roughly equal to that of “Harry Potter” and “Star Wars” combined.

AI researchers call that observation Moravec’s paradox, and have known about it for decades. It does not seem to be the sort of problem that could be cured with a bit more research. Instead, it seems to be a fundamental truth: physical dexterity is computationally harder than playing Go.

Why Is the Human Brain So Efficient?

Players Have Crowned A New Best Board Game — And It May Be Tough To Topple.

Ever since the 2016 presidential election, we’ve been warned against normalizing Trump. That fear of normalization misstates the problem, though. It’s never the immediate present, no matter how bad, that gets normalized — it’s the not-so-distant past. Because judgments of the American experiment obey a strict economy, in which every critique demands an outlay of creed and every censure of the present is paid for with a rehabilitation of the past, any rejection of the now requires a normalization of the then.

* Premediating the end of the professorate without even so much as a token consideration of how we might fight back. At the Chronicle, of course!

* A real free speech infraction on campus. This is such a cut and dry case of administrative malfeasance that of course it’s being treated as a major controversy. Lawsplainer.

* Here’s another “actually existing free speech” issue for you.

* Contingent work and free speech.

Three months’ severance after negotiating yearlong contracts in bad faith.

* How to Hold Predators in Academia Accountable.

Inside a university’s controversial plan for Baltimore.

* How Liberty University Build a Billion-Dollar Empire Online.

* Abolish the MLA interview.

* #SaveOurMajors.

* Who will send me checks for $60 now? University Press of New England Will Shut Down.

* The right-wing plot to take over student governments.

Students, employees scour college finances for waste, proof of unfair pay.

Palantir Knows Everything About You.

* A cure worse than the disease: The “fake news” hysteria is unleashing a wave of free-speech crackdowns worldwide.

Neil Gorsuch voted with the liberal justices, but his opinion should chill you to the bone.

Pulling Back the Curtain on the Labor of Professional Sport.

* Seven Days of Heroin in Cincinnati.

* War is over (if you want it).

The lie pictures tell: an ex-model on the truth behind her perfect photos.

Sarah Nicole Prickett on the Myth of the Wonder Woman.

Is Your Body Appropriate to Wear to School?

How Games Can Better Accommodate Disabled Players.

Trump lied to me about his wealth to get onto the Forbes 400. Here are the tapes.

* Maria Bamford files restraining order against Trump over nuclear war threats. Trump challenges Native Americans’ historical standing. Gee, weird, what could explain it. It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. There’s going to be nothing left.

How the FBI Helped Sink Clinton’s Campaign. ‘What Can I Say, I’m Just A Catty Bitch From New Jersey And I Live For Drama.’ The DNC sues.

* ICE vs children. ICE vs. marriage. ICE vs. journalism. ICE vs. farmers. ICE deports its first Dreamer. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

Utah Man Shot and Killed While Complying with Police Commands to Show His Hands.

The US Army is developing AI that can recognize faces in the dark and through walls. Keep scrolling, human…

Top Republican Official Says Trump Won Wisconsin Because of Voter ID Law.

* Democracy! Catch the fever.

* I honestly don’t see how any of our existing press norms can accommodate this technology.

* Sean Hannity, forecloser and slumlord.

* Han Solo, parent.

* Greetings from Cape Town at the end of the world.

3635 Pitch Pine Cres.

‘Wolverine: The Long Night’: Marvel’s First Scripted Podcast is Doing What Their Films and TV Shows Never Could.

The average American utters their first curse word of the day at 10:54 am, according to new data. Fucking lightweights.

It turns out Oregonians are good at growing cannabis—too good.

Rare Mutation Among Bajau People Lets Them Stay Underwater Longer.

Hans Asperger, hailed for autism research, may have sent child patients to be killed by Nazis.

* Philly’s prison population has dropped 9 percent since our new DA took office earlier this year.

Florida Police Allegedly Crash Funeral Home to Unlock Phone With Slain Man’s Fingerprints.

* Darwinist literary criticism. Parenting. Life is a journey. Dance like no one’s watching. The Death Spot. Eu-antisociality. Do we own the cats, or do they own us? Moneybattle. Oops.

* Radicalizing teachers.

* Liberalism and cruelty.

The wealth gap between blacks and whites would take 225 years to disappear, according to one recent, rather optimistic, estimate. As to how this could happen, theories abound.

Cynthia Nixon Has Already Won.

* The first person on Mars should be a woman.

National Geographic’s Photography Erased People. It’s Too Late For An Apology.

4 baboons at Texas research center back after brief escape.

Slow-Motion Ocean Apocalypse: Atlantic’s Circulation Is Weakest in 1,600 Years.

Smartphones Are Killing The Planet Faster Than Anyone Expected.

* Meanwhile the dinosaur puppet is already on its second tour in Afghanistan.

* We are discovered; flee at once.

* Places people! We open in two days!

* If I ever do get around to writing about Chloe Sullivan, this will be a very odd footnote.

* And see? All that schooling is good for something.

 

Written by gerrycanavan

April 23, 2018 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Saturday Morning Links!

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* Great piece at n+1 on the late Daniel Quinn. I think this persuaded me to teach Ishmael this fall; I’ve been thinking about doing it for years and the time seems right. I really loved the book when I was 18, and think about it a lot even now.

* Kim Stanley Robinson at the Center for Values in Medicine, Science, and Technology: Science Fiction Is the Realism of our Time.

* And a bonus podcast: my friend Isiah Lavender on Minister Faust’s podcast, talking about the pan-African response to Black Panther. (Isiah’s actually in the extended edition, available for free on Faust’s Patreon.)

* Wauconda forever.

The science fiction of this century is one in which great existential threats are known: they are real, and terrible. Something is terribly wrong. Will we listen?

* A decade ago, The Wire series finale aired. The show was a Marxist’s idea of what TV drama should be.

Sweet Jesus, Will the NYT’s Conservatives Ever Write About Anything but the “Intolerant Left” Ever Again?

* Artificial intelligence has a hallucination problem.

* Turns out they already made a Sopranos prequel.

It’s Time to Abolish ICE.

There Is No Case for the Humanities.

There Is No Campus Free Speech Crisis: An Unreasonably Long Thread.

* “‘Schools will stay closed until we get what we are asking for,’ Oklahoma teachers union president says.” And next: Arizona?

* “Foreigners could ease Japan’s labor shortage, but Tokyo prefers robots.”

Deputy sheriff jails ex-wife after she complained on Facebook about him. This should be an automatic firing, followed by prosecution.

Trump’s Latest Pardon Shows The Best Way To Get One: Go On Fox News.

*  How do 11 people go to jail for one murder?

* Buckle up.

New evidence the Stormy Daniels payment may have violated election law.

* Rules for Reading Jordan Peterson.

* Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

In conclusion, Area X is a land of many contrasts.

Christmas Eve Eve Links Links

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* There’s a lovely review of my Butler book by Nisi Shawl in the new Women’s Review of Books. It’s not available online so you’ll have to take my word for it, unless your library subscribes…

* And I’m so happy to report that Extrapolation 58.2-3 is finally out, the special issue on “Guilty Pleasures: Late Capitalism and Mere Genre” I edited with Benjamin Robertson. Check out the intro to see what it’s all about, and then check out articles on Dragonlance, the Star Wars and Star Trek expanded universes, Sweet Valley High, Blondie, The Hunger Games, and Game of Thrones and fantasy roleplaying games…

CFP: Academic Track at the 76th World Science Fiction Convention, San José, California. CFP: Punking Speculative Fiction. CFP: Histories of the Future: Proto-Science Fiction from the Victorian Era to the Radium Age. CFP: Chapter Proposals for “Ecofeminist Science Fiction.” CFP: Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards.

An Incomplete Timeline of What We Tried.

* I thought this was great.

* Consider: Who pursues their goals with monomaniacal focus, oblivious to the possibility of negative consequences? Who adopts a scorched-earth approach to increasing market share? This hypothetical strawberry-picking AI does what every tech startup wishes it could do — grows at an exponential rate and destroys its competitors until it’s achieved an absolute monopoly. The idea of superintelligence is such a poorly defined notion that one could envision it taking almost any form with equal justification: a benevolent genie that solves all the world’s problems, or a mathematician that spends all its time proving theorems so abstract that humans can’t even understand them. But when Silicon Valley tries to imagine superintelligence, what it comes up with is no-holds-barred capitalism. Ladies and gentlemen, the great Ted Chiang.

Science fiction when the future is now. With appearances from Kim Stanley Robinson, Ken Liu, and Lauren Beukes.

* The best anti-Last-Jedi piece I’ve seen is Alyssa Rosenberg’s at the Washington Post. And the best pro-Last-Jedi piece from Dan Hassler-Forest at LARB. Somewhere in the middle is Abigail Nussbuam’s excellent piece at Asking the Wrong Questions.

* Lightsabers, by the numbers. Secret history of the porgs. Star Wars from below. Thank goodness somebody realized how terrible this would be. The Last Jedi and the necessary disappointment of epilogues. The films that inspired The Last Jedi. Behind the scenes. In defense of Canto Blight. Anti-nostalgia and anti-salvation. Star Wars without the Empire. How to Read Star Wars.

* Winter Is Coming: Climate Change in Westeros.

* How the Sesame Street Puppeteers Play Their Characters. It was only a year or three ago that I realized that on a basic level I’d still believed Big Bird was real; I had never thought or processed the fact that his lips were being moved by a puppeteer’s hands.

* So old I can remember when Sweet Briar was an inspiring story about a college being saved.

* On faculty and mental illness.

Study finds humanities and social science Ph.D.s working outside academe are happier than their tenure-track peers.

* Podcast alert: how does Samuel R. Delany work?

* Bang. Pow. To the Moon.

* Comedy writers name their most influential episodes: 1, 2.

* SHOCK REPORT: The tax bill is bad.

This Congress’s clear priorities: corporations, not children.

* It’ll also tax large endowments. Meanwhile in the academy: We Will Not Be Your Disposable Labor: Graduate Student Workers’ Fight Goes Beyond the GOP Assault. ‘A Complete Culture of Sexualization’: 1,600 Stories of Harassment in Higher Ed.

* Defund every agency that had any part in this. Murder Convictions Overturned, Two Men Are Immediately Seized By ICE. What happens to children whose parents are deported? 92 Somali immigrants deported in “slave-ship” conditions. ICE is abusing immigrant detainees with strip searches and threats. Shock of shocks, it turns out legal immigration is bad too.

The majority of US workers live in “employment monopsonies” where there is little or no competition for workers.

Why Doug Jones’s narrow win is not enough to make me confident about American democracy.

* Ghosts of 2012.

* First #J20 defendants found not guilty.

* The media wealth of African Americans in Boston is $8.

* People are using Uber instead of ambulances.

* The New York Times oddly reports on a Harry Reid boondoggle in a way that makes it sounds like aliens might be real.

* The Fred Moten century.

The Adult Bodies Playing Teens on TV.

* Monopolies are bad, no matter how much you like the brands involved. Avengers vs. monopoly.

“Neoliberalism” isn’t an empty epithet. It’s a real, powerful set of ideas.

* The madness of prison gerrymanders.

* Desegregation never happened.

* Climate refugees in Louisiana. Disability and disaster response in the age of climate change. Losing the wilderness.

* The FoxConn boondoggle gets worse and worse.

* The Next Crisis for Puerto Rico: Foreclosures.

* Revising agricultural revisionism.

* Against optimism.

* Against being born.

* On the sadcom.

Your Favorite Superhero Is Probably Killing the Planet.

* Professor X Is a Jerk!

* The Daily Stormer’s style guide.

* Opoids and homelessness. 3,000,000 pills to 3,000 patients in two years. The Opioid Crisis Is Getting Worse, Particularly for Black Americans. What happens after an American city gives a homeless person a one-way ticket out of town.

* The US gymnastics scandal somehow gets worse and worse.

‘The World’s Biggest Terrorist Has a Pikachu Bedspread.’

* The Forgotten Life of Einstein’s First Wife.

* The Ghost Economy.

* WHAT YEAR IS IT: How to prepare for a nuclear attack.

Lumberjanes’ Noelle Stevenson is Rebooting She-Ra for Netflix. Sir Ian McKellen Would Totally Play Gandalf In Amazon’s TV Tolkien Adaptations. The Next Bechdel Test.

* “Paradox,” by Naomi Kritzer.

* The Journal of Prince Studies.

* 80% of workers think managers are unnecessary. The other 20% mistakingly think they are managers.

* It’s not a perfect system, but it’s the one our Founders built: The Donald Trump droid is live at Disney World’s Hall of Presidents.

‘Trump, Trump, Trump!’ How a President’s Name Became a Racial Jeer. 55 Ways Donald Trump Structurally Changed America in 2017. Fascism has already come to America. Life expectancy declines for the second straight year. On brand.

* Heartbreaking interview with Heather Heyer’s mother.

* Jordan Peele, auteur.

* Dilbert: A Reckoning.

Still, it does make you ponder all the ways this industry works in service of power, and by extension those who abuse it. So many of comedy’s institutions are, at their core, PR machines. Branded content is Funny Or Die’s bread and butter. Every week SNL promotes someone’s new movie or TV show or album. Late night talk shows, with few exceptions, use jokes to bookend celebrity press tours. Comedians host awards shows because otherwise we might see them for the rituals they are—the wealthy and famous celebrating their own wealth and fame. Comedy normalizes power; it’s so successful at normalizing power that it feels weird to even write that as a criticism. Well, what’s wrong with normalizing power? Lots of things, but to start it lets monsters play the straight man in comedy sketches. It makes them relatable, which makes them less threatening. But power is always a threat, even more so when it seems innocuous, even more so when it seems… funny.

* 2018 is already terrible: there’ll be no more Zelda DLC.

* And remembering the reason for the season: Behold the official policy for destroying the head of Chuck E Cheese.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 23, 2017 at 10:06 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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