Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘George Zimmerman

Christmas Hangover Links

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* I knew there was a loophole! Pope says atheists are OK with Jesus, so long as they “do good.”

Why bother? On family obligation. On institutional breakdown.

* Folks, we need to talk: The Creepy Surveillance of Elf on a Shelf.

* Canada issues Santa Claus a passport.

Chinese State Media: China’s Air is Too Polluted for Santa to Fly.

* Why NORAD tracks Santa.

The Work of Christmas in the Age of TBS’ “24 Hours of A Christmas Story.

* Christmas and the socialist objective.

* Was Scrooge a neoliberal?

The FBI considered “It’s a Wonderful Life” to be Communist propaganda.

* That Christmas Spirit: US emergency food providers brace as $5bn food stamp cuts set in.

A Map That Reveals the Most Popular TV Show Set in Your Home State.

* We are creating Walmarts of higher education—convenient, cheap, and second-rate.

We’re Constantly in Fear: The life of a part-time professor.

* Bullying in Academia More Prevalent Than Thought.

* College watchdog groups sharpening their teeth.

* Adjunct Nate Silver has been studying the academic job market in German since 2007: who posts jobs, and who gets jobs. Part 1.

* The Year of the Crush: How the Radically Unfair Candy Crush Saga Took Over Our Lives.

* Why we’re doomed: what Obama reads.

Obama does reserve a certain respect for opinion writers such as Tom Friedman and David Brooks of The New York Times, Jerry Seib of The Wall Street Journal, E. J. Dionne of The Washington Post, and Joe Klein of Time. “My impression is that he reads a lot of columnists,” says Brooks, “and therefore he sort of cares about what they say.”

* And then Amazon ate everything, Someday it might even make a profit!

* The Tumblr of forever: sffworthy.tumblr.com.

* Gasp! Judge: Detroit’s Debt Deal Too Generous To Wall Street.

North Carolina’s bad plan to take lawyers away from poor people.

* Trying to learn Arabic is now officially probable cause.

* …even though the Obama administration has called on Western buyers to use their purchasing power to push for improved industry working conditions after several workplace disasters over the last 14 months, the American government has done little to adjust its own shopping habits.

“Choice” is the illusion of power.  Vouchers were not dreamed up to provide choice, but to deny it. We need to avoid confusing a justification with an explanation.

eBay removes anti-Zimmerman artwork the same day Zimmerman’s painting sells for $100k.

Book bannings on the rise in US schools, says anti-censorship group.

More proof that America’s prison epidemic is a complete disaster.

* Why MLB Hitters Can’t Hit Jennie Finch and the Science of Reaction Time.

* Carbon Footprint Of Best Conserving Americans Is Still Double Global Average. Inevitable Milwaukee-based “wait, maybe this isn’t so bad” joke.

* Inevitable “well, there’s always Mars” joke.

The selective disappearance of large animals marks this period out from other extinction episodes, and was the start of what Estes and his fellow authors suggested “is arguably humankind’s most pervasive influence on the natural world”. For Estes, it was the beginning of the sixth mass extinction.

Does the ASA Boycott Violate Academic Freedom? A Roundtable. The ASA, scholarly responsibility and the call for academic boycott of Israel. Why I changed my mind about the ASA boycott.

Billionaire’s role in hiring decisions at Florida State University raises questions.

* Nightmare watch: Teen Girl Shot, Killed by Stepdad While Trying to Sneak Back Into House. Texas School Retaliated Against Student For ‘Public Lewdness’ After She Reported Rape.

* An Oral History of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s ‘Baby Got Back’ Video.

* Merry Paul F. Tompkins.

* Democrats are over (if you want it): Democrats desperately want war with Iran.

* And the BBC has a Sherlock season three minisode. God bless us, every one!

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Monday Links

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19 Regional Words All Americans Should Adopt Immediately.

* Take the New York Times‘s dialect quiz.

* CFP: Graphic Treatment: Zombies, Medicine, and Comics.

The point is truth and beauty, without which our lives will lack grace and meaning and our civilization will be spiritually hollowed out and the historical bottom line will be that future epochs will remember us as a coarse and philistine people who squandered our bottomlessly rich cultural inheritance for short-term and meaningless financial advantage. And that is why you should major in English.

* Wisconsin ranks #1 in the country for our rate of incarcerating African Americans.  The state’s incarceration rate is 12.8%, meaning that one in eight black men are currently in state prison.  In Milwaukee, the numbers are even more stark.  More than half of the black men in Milwaukee have been incarcerated at one point or another, leaving them virtually unemployable as more and more employers run routine background checks.  2/3s of them are in the cities 6 poorest zip codes.

* Rebecca Schuman v. Riverside.

* Remember Black Mountain SOLE, the big MOOC U experiment? No one could have predicted it would turn out to be a complete sham.

Our research confirms that there is a direct correlation between institutional prestige and candidate placement. If we consider the highest ranked programs, the three tied at #1, we find that Harvard University has successfully placed 239 political scientists at 75 institutions—including twelve at Harvard. Princeton has successfully placed 108 political scientists at 62 institutions—including five at Princeton. Stanford has successfully placed 128 political scientists at 51 institutions—including three at Stanford. The highest ranked public university, The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor (ranked number four overall), has successfully placed 141 political scientists in 61 institutions—including seven at Michigan. These four schools contribute 616 political scientists; roughly twenty percent of the total tenure-track lines in the discipline at research-intensive programs. The median institutional ranking for the 116 institutions covered is eleven, which implies that eleven schools contribute 50 percent of the political science academics to research-intensive universities in the United States. Over 100 political science PhD programs are graduating students that will contest the remaining 50 percent of openings. More links below the chart.

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On the ASA Boycott and Its Backlash.

The Ivory Ceiling of Service Work.

Peer review or smear review? Reflections on a rigged system.

* George Zimmerman discovers secret loophole to becoming a successful artist.

* Oh, New Jersey.

* Interactive graphic: median income across the US.

These 2 Cities Are Now Exclusively For Rich People.

Write A House Is Giving Writers Free Homes In Detroit.

The bedroom tax was designed not just to reduce the welfare bill, but to make an example of those whose benefits were cut. Britain has a housing shortage and a costly welfare state, due to high unemployment, chronic low wages, and an unresolved global economic crisis for which British banks are partly to blame. The bedroom tax sharpens a structural economic problem into a attack on the poor and sick, who are now to be considered lazy, luxuriating in more space than they need in some of the most crowded cities on earth. It’s not just about the money. It’s about making sure people with disabilities and mental health problems no longer get the basic space to live.

Across the country, public schools employ about 250,000 fewer people than before the recession, according to figures from the Labor Department. Enrollment in public schools, meanwhile, has increased by more than 800,000 students. To maintain prerecession staffing ratios, public school employment should have actually grown by about 132,000 jobs in the past four years, in addition to replacing those that were lost, said Heidi Shierholz, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington.

FBI agent tries to copyright super-secret torture manual, inadvertently makes it public.

Elf advocates are successfully delaying Icelandic road projects due to concerns over the possibility of elf nesting habitats in rural lava fields. Concerns over the “hidden folk” are central to Icelandic culture — according to a 2007 poll, 62 percent of Icelandic residents think it’s at least possible that elves exist.

* Bloomberg, Dasani, and the undeserving poor at Christmas.

* Compulsory monogamy in The Hunger Games.

Why The Desolation of Smaug Is Peter Jackson’s Phantom Menace.

* How the New Yorker covered the Moon landing.

* Comedians and depression.

More simply, as they say in the article, “the Republican Party has engaged in strategic demobilization efforts in response to changing demographics, shifting electoral fortunes, and an internal rightward ideological drift among the party faithful.” Those demobilization efforts are targeted towards black voters in particular, minority voters in general, as well as the poor, all of whom tend to vote Democratic, while they seek to avoid impacting elderly (white) voters who tend to vote Republican. It’s also worth noting that both the efforts and the research is not limited to voter ID laws, but includes proof of citizenship requirements, registration restrictions, and absentee and early voting restrictions. There is a tendency, even among liberals, to dismiss such efforts as simply a legitimate effort to ensure that people have ids. Leaving aside that this still can be a barrier to exercising a fundamental right, such arguments obviously don’t apply to all these restrictions. While they found a small influence for accusations of “voter fraud” this is dwarfed by these other considerations. Targeting the Right To Vote.

* Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal runs an op-ed just straight out calling for a return to white male rule. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Monday Night Links

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* Communists attempt to play climate change movie in North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, heroic museum director stops them.

* I was neither a drug addict nor an alcoholic, nor was I a criminal. But I had committed one of the more basic of American sins: I had failed. In eight years, my career had vanished, then my savings, and then our home. My family broke apart. I was alone, hungry, and defeated.

* From the archives: a 1998 piece on adjunctification from Salon asks whether “going adjunct” will be the next “going postal.” We’ve come a long way, I guess?

* UW’s flexible degree program begins accepting applications today.

* FFS: Texas Conservative Student Group To Hold ‘Catch An Illegal Immigrant’ Game.

The postdoc stage, when you’re doing your best impersonation of a human pinball, usually comes about in your late 20s or early 30s. It’s a time when it seems like all your non-academic friends are buying houses, getting married, having babies, and generally living what looks like a regular grown-up life. Meanwhile, chances are you’re residing in a single room in a short-term rental, wondering which country you’ll be living in next year. If you’re a woman, you might be keeping an eye on the latest research on fertility in older mothers, and mentally calculating how long you actually need to know someone before deciding to reproduce with them, because by the time you’re in one place long enough to think about settling down you’ll be, at best, pushing 40.

* I feel sure I’ve made this joke before: It’s a Wonderful Life Sequel in Development.

An oil company will pay a $60,000 penalty for discharging fracking fluid into an unlined pit in Kern County. Why not fine them $1 and be done with it?

* Meanwhile: House To Vote On Bill That Would Impose $5,000 Fee For Protesting Drilling Projects.

* Wal-Mart now accepting donations for their own employees following a mere $12 billion dollars in profit last year.

* How Not To Be A Male Feminist.

* Why do colleges tie academic careers to winning the approval of teenagers? When Students Rate Teachers, Standards Drop. (Thanks for the link, dad!)

* George Zimmerman arrested again.

* Tyler Cowen for one welcomes our new robot overlords.

* Happy days are here again!

* And Bernie is threatening to run for president in 2016.

Friday! Friday! Hooray!

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China Miéville: Marxism and Halloween.

The Halloween candy to avoid if you don’t want orangutans to die. This is why consumerist approaches to struggle will never work. Horrors lurk everywhere.

Anti-Humanism and the Humanities in the Era of Capitalist Realism. A reminder.

That table reveals that in 1970-1971, 17.1% of students who received BAs in the United States majored in a humanities discipline. Three decades later, in the midst of the crisis in the humanities we hear so much about, that number had plummeted to 17%.

There is little talk in this view of higher education about the history and value of shared governance between faculty and administrators, nor of educating students as critical citizens rather than potential employees of Walmart.  There are few attempts to affirm faculty as scholars and public intellectuals who have both a measure of autonomy and power. Instead, faculty members are increasingly defined less as intellectuals than as technicians and grant writers. Students fare no better in this debased form of education and are treated as either clients or as restless children in need of high-energy entertainment – as was made clear in the 2012 Penn State scandal. Such modes of education do not foster a sense of organized responsibility fundamental to a democracy. Instead, they encourage what might be called a sense of organized irresponsibility – a practice that underlies the economic Darwinism and civic corruption at the heart of a debased politics.

The academic career path has been thoroughly destabilised by the precarious practices of the neoliberal university.

* A new study suggests interdisciplinary PhDs earn less than their colleagues.

* How to be a tenured ally.

* Scenes from the academics’ strike in the UK. Another report from the trenches.

Most Colleges Still Haven’t Implemented The Right Policies To Prevent Rape.

* A Marxist consideration of white privilege.

The women in magazines don’t look like the women in magazines.

Man buys $27 of bitcoin, forgets about them, finds they’re now worth $886k. Exactly how currencies are supposed to work!

Jane Austen: The Massively Multiplayer Role-Playing Game.

* America as Walter White.

The tragedy of Michelle Kosilek. A better treatment of the issue than the headline’s framing would suggest.

“Being condemned to death is unlike any other experience imaginable.”

Macy’s security has arrest quota, ‘race code system’ for nonwhite shoppers. An exemplary case, I think, of the phenomenon Adam Kotsko describes in “What if Zimmerman had been a cop?”

* And speaking of which: George Zimmerman’s Hometown Bans Guns For Neighborhood Watches.

Boy Who Shot Neo-Nazi Dad Sentenced to 10 Years in Juvenile Detention.

Appeals Court Gives NYPD Go Ahead to Restart Stop-and-Frisk.

* There’s something really revealing about how the Daily Show can’t process this story about an unaccountable shadow government running the national security apparatus, and so just punts to a random n-word joke instead. Liberalism, I think, characteristically flinches whenever the conclusion that the system is fundamentally broken is inescapable.

* Honorary vertebrates?

U.S. Teams Up With Operator of Online Courses to Plan a Global Network. MOOCtastic!

* And in honor of the last pop culture lunch of the semester, my favorite zombie short: “Cargo.”

Wednesday! Night! Links!

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* Jonathan Senchyne on Breaking Bad, cancer, and Indian Country. I like the way he teased this on Facebook: “Walter White has lung cancer, but doesn’t smoke…”

You know that newfound Van Gogh painting has the TARDIS in it, right?

* From the archives, just in time for application season: Should I Go to Grad School in the Humanities? I wrote that a year ago. If I wrote it today I think I’d write basically the same thing, just be more emphatic about every part. In particular — with all the necessary caveats about the falseness of meritocracy fantasy — going to a highly ranked program with strong recent placement rate is absolutely crucial. If you don’t hit that, and you want to go, work on your writing sample for a year and apply again. Your grad school’s reputation becomes instant proxy for your reputation. It’s not something you should plan to make up for by working hard.

* Also with all the usual anti-meritocracy caveats: On selling yourself on the academic job market.

* From the Washington Post archives: This amazing George Will there-are-too-many-states-nowdays rant against denim crossed my stream today.

The Inside Story Of How A Fake PhD Hijacked The Syria Debate.

Go Play This 8-Bit Version of Game of Thrones Immediately.

* Thinking through The World’s End: Part One, Part Two.

* Rich people are freaked out about Bill de Blasio. Sounds like a good start.

Nate Silver vs. Public Policy Polling. I’m amazed anyone is taking PPP’s side on this. If you don’t like a poll, run it again and release both; otherwise you’re introducing a massive bias into your process and destroying the credibility of your brand.

Medical Examiner In Zimmerman Trial Sues For $100M, Claims Prosecution Threw Case.

Long Lives Made Humans Human.

* An oral history of The Shield.

The New Yorker on Truman Show Delusion. Subscription required, alas.

* Years later, everyone remembered the Cheese Winter: The city’s Department of Public Works will go ahead this winter with a pilot program to determine whether cheese brine — a liquid waste product left over from cheesemaking — can be added to rock salt and applied directly to the street.

* Life imitates the Onion, as always in the worst possible way.

* And Salon interviews the great Margaret Atwood.

Monday Night Links

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* Really good looking TT job in American Popular Culture at the University of Minnesota.

* A poorly designed (to my eye) study purporting to show adjunct faculty teaches better than tenured and tenure-track faculty is getting a ton of press today, as you’d expect.

* Meanwhile: Recent Deep State Higher Education Cuts May Harm Students and the Economy for Years to Come.

Johns Hopkins and the Case of the Missing NSA Blog Post.

Judge rules Indiana right-to-work law violates constitutional provision on forced services.

More than the dress-up or the fabric-­inspired mindbeat, fashion compelled me because the field is underwritten. Very little in the way of popular writing considers both the material reality and symbolic worth of fashion and dress, considers the field as we consider other cultural fields as worthy of critical discourse. What crushed me most about my foray into fashion journalism was a Word document I titled “EDITED OUT FUCK” (EOF), where I collected my writing that had been cut due to advertiser conflict. Finding Not Vogue was like discovering a Wikileak of my EOF.

Meet The Trans Scholar Fighting Against The Campaign For Out Trans Military Service.

* Did Obama and Kerry just draw an inside straight on Syria? I hope to God they did.

* George Zimmerman in the news again.

* History’s greatest monster: How Joss Whedon may have accidentally got Angel cancelled.

* 105 years in jail for posting a link.

Legally blind and completely blind Iowans can obtain permits to carry guns in public due to a 2011 adjustment to state law banning sheriffs from denying permits based on physical ability, the Des Moines Register reported Sunday.

Man Changes Address, Tricks Demo Crew Into Destroying Neighbor’s House.

* New van Gogh discovered. Wow.

* And Twitter reminded me that Strange Horizons posted John Rieder’s “On Defining SF, or Not: Genre Theory, SF, and History,” and I’d completely forgotten to link it.

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Tuesday Links!

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* A nation of Zimmermans: Florida Cops Shoot Unarmed Black Man In His Mother’s Driveway.

* Here Is Spike Lee’s List of the Greatest Films Ever Made.

But a spokesman for the university said: “Diverting resources from unrelated activities elsewhere in the organization will not alter the viability of the language majors.” It’s almost certain the “non-viable” language majors break even or make a profit, while sponsoring the rugby team is a guaranteed money loser.

* Decadence watch: our infrastructure is still completely collapsing.

Fake cops robbing Detroiters turn out to be real cops. I bet someone’s about to be… suspended without pay.

* Facebook: “We Will Make Our Product Worse, You Will Be Upset, And Then You Will Live With It.”

* Dibs on the screenplay: Archaeologists were surprised when they opened an excavated stone coffin only to find another coffin made of lead inside. The team said they’ve never seen anything like it.

* The crucial innovation of the charter school movement is accountability:

Emails obtained by The Associated Press show Bennett and his staff scrambled last fall to ensure influential donor Christel DeHaan’s school received an “A,” despite poor test scores in algebra that initially earned it a “C.”

“They need to understand that anything less than an A for Christel House compromises all of our accountability work,” Bennett wrote in a Sept. 12 email to then-chief of staff Heather Neal, who is now Gov. Mike Pence’s chief lobbyist.

* Veganism as cult.

* Letter from a North Carolina teacher.

With a heavy heart, I have realized that if I want to remain in the classroom, I will have to leave the state. If I want to remain in this state, the place that I chose to be my home, I will have to leave the classroom. At the same time, this advocate of public education is left wondering what will be left for my children when they start school. I can’t express how deeply saddening it is to think that about my own field.

* And You Know You Want to Play These Risk-Style Games of ‘Urban Domination.’ Verily, I confess it!