Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘futurism

Thursday Night Links!

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(Slight format change: with the return to teaching, increased professional responsibilities, and my kids getting older [too fast!] I’m having real trouble keeping up with the level of linkblogging I’ve previously done. I’m not hanging up the blog, quite yet, but it’s definitely going to continue to be more irregular and more tightly focused on stuff I find particularly interesting and/or might someday need for research. Sorry! Please simply take it as read that Trump sucks, everything he does sucks, and everyone who supports him sucks.)

* This week I have a review of John Scalzi’s newest book, The Collapsing Empire, up at LARB: “No, Speed Limit.” Buy it! It’s good!

* For the more academic minded among you I’ve also got a review of Anthony Lioi’s Nerd Ecology up at ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment. I tweeted an excerpt from it too not long ago:

* Must have: Monograph by Chris Ware.

* Humanitarian catastrophe in Puerto Rico. Puerto Ricans are living climate change right now. Here’s how they describe it. He rattled off a list of what he could not find: bottles of water, gas canisters to light stoves, food.

* Isle of Dogs looking like a strong contender for the first Wes Anderson movie I don’t like.

* Harrowing read: Student survives three days in a cave after college spelunking group leaves him behind.

* Futurism’s blind spot.

* Revolutionary Possibility: Henry Farrell on China Miéville’s October.

* Farah Mendlesohn is crowdfunding her Robert Heinlein book, which proved too long for its original publisher.

* Great review of the (excellent) Star Trek: Discovery pilot from Aaron Body at LARB. I’m very pleased, and a little shocked, by how good it is! Star Trek Spec Scripts That Never Saw the Light of Day. And yes, of course it is.

Humanities, universities and sustainability. Facing poverty, academics turn to sex work and sleeping in cars. And doing my part: Amid Professors’ ‘Doom-and-Gloom Talk,’ Humanities Ph.D. Applications Drop.

From a public relations perspective, accepting the terms of a right-wing narrative about supposedly illiberal campuses by bending over backwards to subsidize an already well-financed right-wing assault on the university may do more to confirm the erroneous claims of that narrative than to change them. That narrative has become a crucial element in the arsenal of weapons used to attack our democracy. Make no mistake: the groups that attacktransgender people, Muslims, people of color, women, legal immigrants as well as undocumented students, are also those that attack science, and feel no obligation to hold their views to academic standards of evidence or coherence. We, therefore, urge the administration to creatively and courageously confront the way free speech is being deployed against our academic freedom, and—in deciding what can take place on our campus — to prioritize the conditions that enable teaching and research.

* Meanwhile, across campus. How Much Is Your College Football Team Worth?

* The nightmare state of Thomas the Tank Engine.

Democrats, for all their self-conception as architects of a progressing world, possess no such singular purpose. Their plan, even when they are in office, consists largely of defending the paltry welfare state already in place against the vastly more disciplined forces of reaction. Their ambition — when they have the opportunity to realize one — is just to tweak. Sometimes they tweak for the better. Sometimes they call their tweaking “welfare reform.”

* The Senate’s Military Spending Increase Alone Is Enough to Make Public College Free. Forever and ever amen.

* centrism.biz.

* How She Lost.

* Wendy Brown on apocalyptic populism.

* Head Geek Is Head Creep.

War With North Korea Starts to Look Inevitable.

* The Madness of Donald Trump.

We’re not going to fix American democracy until we can explain why the GOP went crazy.

The Resegregation of Jefferson County.

Whites Have Huge Wealth Edge Over Blacks (But Don’t Know It).

* No rights which the white man was bound to respect.

The latest way tech companies have promoted their questionable self-image as the antithesis of old, evil corporations has been to open their offices not to unions, but to dogs. Capitalism with a Fluffy Face.

* Nice work if you can get it.

ICE violates own policy by locking up pregnant women, complaint alleges. ICE Is Using Prostitution Diversion Courts to Stalk Immigrants. The American citizens illegally detained by ICE. Immigrant taken by ICE from Austin courthouse was killed in Mexico. Undocumented Parents Arrested at Children’s Hospital While Awaiting Their Infant Son’s Surgery. Two Women Say They Lost Pregnancies In Immigrant Detention Since July. Government policies funneling illegal immigrants into more dangerous crossing areas have contributed to fatalities. A cancer patient desperately needs a stem-cell transplant. But the U.S. won’t grant the donor a visa. ICE attacks sanctuary cities, arrests 450.

Trump Administration Rejects Study Showing Positive Impact of Refugees.

Failing Charter Schools Have a Reincarnation Plan: Converting into private schools — and using voucher programs to thrive on the public dime.

* In the richest country in human history.

By age 3, inequality is clear: Rich kids attend school. Poor kids stay with a grandparent.

According to a Department of Education report, black students nationally were three times more likely to be suspended than whites in 2012. Suspensions occur most commonly in secondary schools, but black children were more than twice as likely to be suspended from preschool as well.

* When that day comes, Anthony Levandowski will be firmly on the side of the machines. In September 2015, the multi-millionaire engineer at the heart of the patent and trade secrets lawsuit between Uber and Waymo, Google’s self-driving car company, founded a religious organization called Way of the Future. Its purpose, according to previously unreported state filings, is nothing less than to “develop and promote the realization of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence.”

* Today’s don’t-say-climate-change term of art: mega-heat dome. Australia’s record-breaking winter beats average highs by 2C, Climate Council says.

Although the uncertainty of each prediction in Fig. 4 is considerable, all scenarios for cumulative uptake at the century’s end either exceed or are commensurate with the threshold for catastrophic change.

One of the clearest signs of climate change in Hurricanes Maria, Irma, and Harvey was the rain.

* What would a flood-proof city look like?

* When Bad DNA Tests Lead to False Convictions.

What happens after a defendant is found not guilty by reason of insanity? Often the answer is involuntary confinement in a state psychiatric hospital—with no end in sight.

* Notes towards a trans reading of Severus Snape.

Gerrymandering on Trial.

* The New York Times reviews N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy.

* Jordan Peele gets it.

* The secret history of Dune.

* A people’s history of Dunkin Donuts.

Sci-Fi Roots of the Far Right—From ‘Lucifer’s Hammer’ to Newt’s Moon Base to Donald’s Wall.

* It’s officially too late to save Title IX.

* You had me at hello: Each successive video takes on a new video game and goes into incredibly granular detail on the speed-running history associated with it.

* Your time-travel short of the moment: Cradle.

* Is the Pope Catholic?

* This is a beautiful thing.

Up Against the Centerfold: What It Was Like to Report on Feminism for Playboy in 1969.

* And finally a reason to start drinking: Arcade games return to Milwaukee bars.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 28, 2017 at 4:56 pm

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Tuesday Morning Links!

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The University of Wisconsin-Madison Mellon Postdoctoral Program invites recent PhDs to apply for its three two-year postdoctoral fellowships. The theme for 2017-2019 applicants is Translation, Adaptation, Transplantation. 

* A message from the Marquette administration: Milwaukee, our home. And a letter from MUPD. Decades of grievances come to a head in Milwaukee after police shooting. The “unrest” in this city began decades ago. The Racial Segregation And Economic Devastation That Made Milwaukee A ‘Powder Keg.’ Powder keg. Decades in the making. Decades in the making. Ongoing tensions. Not a surprise. No one can deny. Outsider agitators! The radicalism of Black Lives Matter. “What can I do to help Milwaukee?” What It’s Like To Experience Black Pain In Milwaukee. Half of Wisconsin’s Black Neighborhoods Are Jails.

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Scientists say the US is facing the strongest hurricane season since Sandy hit the East Coast. California is in flames right now, with fires fueled by historic drought. A first-strike against climate change is the only solution.

The 10 Most Overly-Specific Supervillains in Comics.

* The story no one asked for will finally become the series no one can watch. And when I made that joke on Facebook a friend reminded me of the goddamn forehead ridge thing that will be totally inescapable.

* I told you, Dad! New research from the Journal of Health Psychology seems to supports the theory that intelligent people spend more time being lazy than people who are more active.

* Racial Politics After Obama.

* Decolonizing sociology.

* Insurers say they’re losing money under the Affordable Care Act and are fighting for double-digit rate increases. This week Aetna announced it is pulling back from most exchanges.

* When the Hospital Is Covered but the Health Care Isn’t.

Why the Next President Should Forgive All Student Loans.

* Area Man’s Wife Achieves Lifelong Dream Through Dedicated, Drive, and Incredible Physical Prowess. It gets worse, my friends. (It gets better too.)

Juanita Broaddrick Wants To Be Believed. Right wing ratfucking though it may be, the cognitive dissonance required to simultaneously honor contemporary norms about sexual consent and the 90s-era “none of our business” defense of Bill Clinton’s predatory behavior seems increasingly difficult to sustain.

* The amount of effort this took was the most alarming thing given his history,” the guy told the Post. Anthony Weiner’s Back at It Again With the Saucy Twitter DMs. I’m still saying it:

* This Andrew Cuomo fan fiction is now totally my head canon.

Comedy Central Cancels Larry Wilmore’s Late-Night Show. Comedy Central’s decision this week to cancel “The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore” was a surprise. The reason it was a surprise is that Wilmore isn’t the real problem with the cable channel’s late-night offerings. Wilmore gone, but Comedy Central’s late-night problem is Noah.

The Life Aquatic’s Seu Jorge Announces David Bowie Covers Tour. Chicago on (the day after) my birthday!

NeverEnding Story Returns To Movie Theaters For Limited Run. I wish my kids were just a little bit older so we could do this.

The Election Won’t Be Rigged. But It Could Be Hacked.

How Cuba’s greatest cartoonist fled from Castro and created ‘Spy vs. Spy.’

Their goal: Meet the Beatles on tour in 1966. Their solution: Impersonate the opening act.

* Hidden Figures really does look good.

* Suicide Squad and the bitter future of the DC Cinematic Universe.

Why Colleges Still Scarcely Track Ph.D.s.

* How to make your office gun-free. Why, it couldn’t be simpler!

“People think a computer could run index funds­—and they’re so wrong,” says Brian Bruce, a former index fund manager who’s now chief executive officer of Hillcrest Asset Management in Plano, Texas, and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Index Investing. Five years, tops.

* The rise of neuroprosthetics.

* Augmented reality games and ethics. And just for instance: Mich. couple suing Pokémon Go for ruining their quality of life.

* It is easier to imagine the end of dads than the end of capitalism.

How legroom on major airlines compare to one another.

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* “People don’t realize there is effectively no regulation of cosmetics.” Their Hair Fell Out. Should the F.D.A. Have the Power to Act?

Don’t Bring Your Dog to Work.

Donald Once Turned Down a Million-Dollar Bet on “Trump: The Game.” Trump Could Sweep Toss Up States And Still Lose The Election. Right now polls show Donald Trump losing every single swing state. The kids are all right. Hell, even their parents are all right. The Great GOP Divide.

Technology and Liberty in French Utopian Fiction.

Taken in cumulative, these data suggest two unusual possibilities:

A. Karl Marx is the single most important, influential, and far-reaching thinker who ever lived, and his empirically attested syllabus presence accurately reflects this extreme degree of influence that he has over virtually all aspects of human knowledge.

-or-

B. Karl Marx enjoys a grossly outsized presence on college syllabi relative to his importance as a thinker, owing to a similarly disproportionate affinity for his thought among university faculty and particularly those faculty outside of the economics profession.

I really think you could make a halfway legitimate case for some version of (A) — bracketing religious figures like Christ or the Buddha, and limiting the scope of influence to the mid- and post-20C milieu — but the later observations about the Manifesto as a kindergarten lesson probably poison that possibility.

A genetic mutation that has been found to cause people to act outrageously when they’re drunk also appears to lower the risk of certain metabolic disorders such as diabetes and obesity. Peculiarly, the mutation has so far only been found in Finnish people, and is thought to affect around 100,000 people in the Nordic country.

* You’ll Get to See the Documentary About Roger Corman’s Fantastic Four This Fall. And keep your eye out for For the Love of Spock.

* Time travel and RPGs.

* Why I’m loving No Man’s Sky.

* Weird futurism watch: in the future, should everyone be a twin?

* Abridged classics.

* And this is basically just a panel from The Flash.

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Written by gerrycanavan

August 16, 2016 at 9:09 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Every Last Weekend Link

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* Food for Marquette English’s Hamilton event later this month: A Hamilton Skeptic on Why the Show Isn’t As Revolutionary As It Seems. And another: Hamilton, Inc.

Broadway can be a very poor investment, but when shows hit, they really hit. The most successful of them dwarf the revenues of even the biggest Hollywood blockbusters. “Hamilton” could easily run on Broadway for a decade or more. In September, the first road production will open in Chicago, and it will be a “sit down” show, meaning it is intended to stay there for a year or more. Ultimately, there may be as many as seven “Hamilton” companies, in addition to the one on Broadway, performing at the same time in multiple American and international cities. Ticket revenues, over time, could reach into the billions of dollars. If it hits sales of a mere $1 billion, which “Hamilton” could surpass in New York alone, the show will have generated roughly $300 million in profit on the $12.5 million put up by investors. (There are many eye-­popping numbers to contemplate, but maybe the most striking one is this: The show is averaging more than $500,000 in profit every week.)

* Call for Papers: Faulkner and Hemingway conference at the Center for Faulkner Studies at Southeast Missouri State University. I was just down there to give a talk and had a fantastic time.

* New digital journal, thresholds, co-edited by Fran McDonald and Whitney Trettian. Here’s the CFP for the debut issue:

The debut issue of thresholds will focus on the theme of the extraneous. We seek manuscripts that deal with the extra, the foreign, or the strange from any angle. We welcome contributions that combine the creative and critical in their approach, and are eager to consider work that is experimental in both content and form. Final submissions will be comprised of a short piece (a maximum of 7000 words) accompanied by a series of fragments. Please submit 400-word abstracts and a brief bio to thresholdsjournal@gmail.com no later than May 15, 2016. Final essays will be due July 31, 2016.

* Elsewhere on the Duke alum beat: Huge congrats to Ainehi Edoro and Brittle Paper, which is now part of the Guardian!

* Protest and Power at Duke. Duke Students End Sit-In in President’s Office. A Lawsuit, Unmet Demands, and Coloring Books: Inside Duke’s Sit-In. A Guide to the Allen Building Takeover Collection, 1969-2002.

The point is to implement an authority structure that can control public universities under permanent austerity and in the absence of a growing and rising middle-class.  Culture wars are good for discrediting particular sources of sociocultural knowledge like ethnic studies, feminist studies, or Middle Eastern Studies.  Budget cuts are good for taking the whole public university sector down a few notches.  But to reengineer a static enterprise, after decades in which their boards failed to maintain the state revenues on which the system was built, public university governors need the audit and assessment practices that Europeans have long called New Public Management (NPM).

* In a case showing the reach of college sports corruption, a former head men’s basketball coach at the University of Southern Mississippi instructed his assistants to complete junior college coursework for recruits.

* Jacob Brogan reviews the first issue of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Black Panther. And here’s not the only one!

If you’re not, you should really be reading The Vision.

* Alas, Fizban.

* The sugar conspiracy.

* Can you imagine, just for a moment, being a Chancellor of a university—a position with an enormous amount of responsibility to an incredibly wide range of stakeholders—and have someone interrupt you with a ‘No Whining!’ sound effect while you are trying to describe how many staff members you’ve had to lay off and what programs you’ll be cutting, with no end in sight? Would you have an existential moment of crisis where your inner voice conceded, “Oh my god, I’m an adult”? Well, I guess the ‘flexibility’ everyone wants for Chancellors doesn’t apply to their actually speaking without permission and an approved message.

Questions for the #4c16 crowd.

How Two Grad Students Uncovered An Apparent Fraud — And A Way To Change Opinions On Transgender Rights.

To begin answering these questions, we Googled our way to 8,000 screenplays and matched each character’s lines to an actor. From there, we compiled the number of lines for male and female characters across roughly 2,000 films, arguably the largest undertaking of script analysis, ever.

* Incredible narrative about a professor allowed to return to their job at UCLA after egregious sexual harassment. And it’s not even the most unbelievable story of an unrepentant predator allowed to walk free with no significant punishment I’ve read this week.

Yes, apparently Zack Snyder has the same carte blanche to make Justice League, even after turning the first-ever movie starring three of the biggest, most popular superheroes in the world into a film that analysts believe won’t even make a billion dollars worldwide. Maybe that still sounds like a lot of money, but you know what actually made a billion bucks? Tim Burton’s needless 2010Alice in Wonderland film. If you put Batman and Superman and Wonder Woman together in a live-action movie for the first time ever, don’t you think that movie should probably outgross Iron Man 3?

My sense is that militarized drones, those machines for remote seeing and killing known in military jargon as “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles,” should be understood to signify an end of empire in two senses. First, an end as in conclusion, or terminus. Hannah Arendt argued that proliferating death is not a sign of an emerging or persisting hegemony but its waning: “rule by sheer violence,” she notes, “comes into play where power is being lost.” This means that the assassinations proliferating in the name of the American phase of accumulation are the sign not of its strength but its incipient weakness; never mind autumn, we could say that drone war is a sign of the coming winter. Second, I mean an end in the Aristotelian sense of telos, or purpose. If we take seriously the fact that empire is best understood not as a culture or as a discourse but as the monopoly on putatively legitimate violence—the stretching of the state’s power over life and death past the boundaries of its “own” populace—then the power of sovereign decision crystallized in globally operated, remote assassination machines is the very essence of empire: its telos, or end. President Obama’s now-infamous “kill list meetings” sharpen to an obscene purity the American state’s power of judgment over life and death beyond its own citizenry and constitute the distillation of imperium as such.

* Never say never again: ‘Speedy Gonzales’ Eyed As Animated Feature At Warner Bros.

* Harvard and eugenics.

New Jersey University Was Fake, but Visa Fraud Arrests Are Real. Fake New Jersey University Established by Cops to Catch Visa Fraud Has Pretty Good Job Placement. Fake, real, real, fake, let’s not quibble — are they hiring?

* The ideology of the future: Kiplinger’s presents 20 Amazing Ways Life Will Be Different in 2030.

The Future Happened 56 Million Years Ago.

Plants Taking Over New York City Is What Will Happen When the World Ends.

At this Florida jail, the inmates are also zookeepers.

How to Write a History of Video Game Warfare.

* Prestige TV is a nightmare from which we are all struggling to awake: Dexter return to television confirmed.

* Firefly Fluxx.

* My next screenplay: Radioactive boars are running wild and breeding uncontrollably in the northern region of Japan contaminated by the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Bernie Sanders Is Even Less Competitive Than He Appears.

Bruce Springsteen Cancels North Carolina Concert in Protest of Anti-LGBT Bathroom Bill.

* Our prayers answered, Paul F. Tompkins was finally on Harmontown. I’ve also really been loving the back catalogue of Hello, from the Magic Tavern and (at long last) Welcome to Night Vale after a sojourn through It’s That Episode. Non-podcast news after the link!

* Now more than ever, it’s time for Animaniacs.

surfacage-comic5* This makes me sad.

* So does this: The Warriors Are Now Long Shots To Win 73 Games.

* Saddest of all: The New Jersey Swamp Dragons? It almost happened.

* Not for me, but maybe for you: LARB has a Grantland-style sports spinoff.

* Swim. Bike. Cheat?

* Grant Morrison was right! Science Says Superman Should Be Black.

* This seems pretty plausible, honestly.

* And I don’t need to tell you what’s coming. Every Cool Detail We Spotted in the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Trailer.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 9, 2016 at 8:30 am

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Weekend Links!

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* If I weren’t going to DC on June 4th, I’d be going to this in Madison: Undercommoning the University: A Workshop.

How writers of endangered languages are embracing sci-fi.

* Yeah Ireland.

With the recession over, are states investing in higher ed? Oh, honey.

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This Is What Happens When You Slash Funding for Public Universities.

* A local-interest explainer: Assata Shakur was convicted of murder. Is she a terrorist?

* New York University’s labor record epitomizes everything wrong with the neoliberal university.

* Report Blasts ‘Fantasy World’ of Presidential Benefits.

* Enter Rand Paul (again).

FBI admits no major cases cracked with Patriot Act snooping powers.

* TIE Fighter and American Exceptionalism.

The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.

While 45 percent of the roughly 1,000 respondents said they feel “somewhat prepared” to begin a career after college, slightly more than half said they did not learn how to write a résumé. And 56 percent did learn how to conduct themselves in a job interview.

* Theses on Postpartum.

* The Myth of the Garbage Patch.

Up to 90 per cent of the world’s electronic waste, worth nearly US $19 billion, is illegally traded or dumped each year, according to a report released today by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

7 in 10 schools now have shooting drills, needlessly traumatizing huge numbers of children.

North Carolina receives NCAA notice of allegations in academic fraud case.

New Study on Suicide Among College Athletes.

* Medieval culture and rape.

* BREAKING: Being competent is bad for you.

* io9 says the Supergirl pilot isn’t as bad as you’re expecting.

This 85-Year-Old Nun Just Spent Two Years In Prison For Protesting Nuclear Weapons.

Does Mike Huckabee Know Where the Ark of the Covenant Is Buried?

* A Handful Of Bronze-Age Men Could Have Fathered Two-Thirds Of Europeans.

Home, the latest animated kid flick, is actually about colonialism. No, really.

Can Racism Be Stopped in the Third Grade?

* Modernism is back, baby! A Plea for Culinary Modernism.

* Friends from grad school still tease me about the day I basically went off on this rant in a seminar day discussing Coetzee’s The Lives of Animals.

* #abolishmen: Men get into fatal car crashes twice as often as women.

* And another round of gender-swapped Disney characters.

ariel

The Law of Futurology

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Written by gerrycanavan

July 3, 2011 at 12:13 pm

SF Top Tens

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Written by gerrycanavan

March 29, 2008 at 1:26 pm

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grinding.be

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grinding.be is a new blog (spearheaded by Warren Ellis, though he’s not a main participant) devoted to highlighting weird scientific discovery and the nowness of the future. It looks like it may be pretty cool. Thanks to Jacob for the link.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 5, 2008 at 3:56 pm

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