Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘gerrymandering

Monday Links!

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* Academic freedom in Wisconsin.

* This is silly, but I confess I found it an interesting wrinkle: Wonder Woman Actor Says Chief Is Actually a Demi-God.

* People shouldn’t live in Arizona.

* Sinofuturism in LARB.

* Why work?

Democrats Don’t Need Trump’s Voters To Retake The House. The overall message of 2017 special elections is that Republicans are in trouble. Why Paul Ryan’s race for Congress next year bears watching, even if he’ll be hard to beat. An Associated Press study of U.S. House races found that Republicans may have gained up to 22 additional seats in the 2016 election due to redistricting. The AP’s analysis also found four times as many states with GOP-skewed state legislative maps as Democratic-skewed ones. Voter suppression is a greater threat to U.S. democracy than Russian election tampering, if you can imagine it.

Bernie and Jane Sanders, under FBI investigation for bank fraud, hire lawyers.

Senate GOP expected to add new penalties for the uninsured into their health bill. Privately, health plan worries Senate bill would “cause most small employers’ premiums to go up.” Coverage Losses Under the Senate Health Care Bill Could Result in 18,100 to 27,700 Additional Deaths in 2026. Crazy waivers: the Senate bill invites states to gut important health insurance rules. Medicaid Cuts May Force Retirees Out of Nursing Homes. You’re Probably Going to Need Medicaid. Pure Class Warfare, With Extra Contempt. Can the moderates save us? Even Ron “Horrible” Johnson: ‘We should not be voting’ on healthcare this week. (But, you know, partial credit at best.) The principled support for the bill is apparently pass it no matter what’s in it just cause Team Red. Trump and Social Darwinism. Keep calling.

What we have just witnessed can, I think, be legitimately referred to as the popping of the Blair-Clinton bubble. That is, the ending of the assumption that a tepid, compromised, market-friendly, bureaucratic centrism that nobody actually liked was the only form left-of-centre politics could take, because everyone was convinced that everyone else thought so.

What It Was Like to Star in the Trump-Themed Julius Caesar.

Centrist Democrats are now the great defenders of social justice? Please.

Trump’s Deflections and Denials on Russia Frustrate Even His Allies.

* Remember when we had laws and dumb stuff like that? God, we were such dorks.

NJ Assembly Passes Bill Requiring Kids Be Taught to Interact With Police. Maybe give some of the same training to off-duty cops next?

Cops Sent Warrant To Facebook To Dig Up Dirt On Woman Whose Boyfriend They Had Just Killed.

* I wasn’t one, but congratulations to all the Locus Award winners!

The Many Lives of the Medieval Wound Man.

* Pale Blue Dot. The Weinersmith Test for Artificial Intelligence. Everything happens for a reason. Hot lava. Markov dating.

Alarmingly, one source speaking to THR claims that upon the announcement to the crew that Ron Howard would step in to take over the film a day after Miller and Lord’s firing, applause broke out. Report: Lucasfilm Was So Concerned About Alden Ehrenreich’s Han Solo Performance It Brought in an Acting Coach. What a mess.

* The race to save Florida’s devastated coral reef from global warming.

* Crimebook noplane freedomhate.

High Court Mostly Revives Trump Travel Ban, Will Hear Appeal.

* High-stakes scenarios and market failure.

The amount of work that once bought an hour of light now buys 51 years of it.

* Everyone, get your guesses in! Last call for Kennedy bets.

* This is no time for optimism.

* Prince Was a Secret Patron of Solar Power.

Flashback: David Bowie’s Failed Attempt to Adapt George Orwell’s ‘1984.’

150 times actors were forced to say the title of the movie they’re in.

* Riot at Disney tonight, details TK.

Superhero Rescues Put Everyone in Danger, Urge Scientists.

* This is why we can’t have nice things. Do not panic; the authorities are in complete control. Bitch I might be. Happy last week of summer school.

* And I’ve said it all along: don’t blame me, blame the world.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 26, 2017 at 12:59 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Tuesday Links!

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* I should have realized the Nevada Medicaid for All bill was just a ratfuck. Let my guard down.

On television, in journals, in the halls of Congress, none of the old methods by which American liberals enforced their claim to superior expertise are working anymore. For all their “resistance,” the greatest impediment to Donald Trump remains his own stupidity. Despite every evil and crime of his administration, the most ambitious Democratic victory on the horizon is making Mike Pence president. Our liberals are right: none of this is normal. This isn’t how it used to be. Everywhere, our best and brightest blink. Are they still in the desert? Is all this an hallucination, a bad dream? The Blathering Superego at the End of History.

New Study Shows What Really Happened in the 2016 Election.

* Wisconsin and climate denial. As water quality worries grow, Wisconsin plots strategy on phosphorus.

Supreme Court Agrees To Hear Potentially Monumental Political Gerrymandering Case.

GOP Data Firm Accidentally Leaks Personal Details of Nearly 200 Million American Voters. The RNC Files: Inside the Largest US Voter Data Leak.

* Constitutional crisis may be Trump’s only hope.

The DCEU has a problem — everybody likes Wonder Woman.

* itshappening.gif: Yes, The Dark Tower Movie Is a Sequel to the Books.

* thisisfine.jpg: It’s so hot in Phoenix, they can’t fly planes.

* The Official Reason for Star Trek: Discovery’s Many Delays Is ‘World Building Is Hard’.

* 8°C.

* Sad.

* A brief history of Zzyzx.

* An Oral History of Quentin Tarantino as Told to Me by Men I’ve Dated.

* Zadie Smith reviews Get Out.

The Cars universe continues to suggest the existence of a Car Hitler.

* And some personal news: I’m a Republican now.

Friday Morning!

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

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

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

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

* Trump’s attacking the Census.

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

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

Alcohol and academia.

* Twitter and academia.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* On Black English.

Fair Use Too Often Goes Unused.

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

 The Higher-Education Crisis Is a Labor Crisis.

* How Marquette Is Becoming More Diverse.

Everything We Know About Salt May Be Wrong.

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Secret military space shuttle rattles Florida.

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

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

* Another neurological disease unexpectedly linked to gut bacteria.

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

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

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

* Stephen Fry is being investigated for blasphemy. Amazing.

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

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

* Winners and losers of the recent nuclear holocaust.

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

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

Written by gerrycanavan

May 12, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Sunday Night Closing All My Tabs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Marquette: a university on the… grow?

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

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

* 50th Anniversary of the Milwaukee Fair Housing Marches.

* #4.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* On zeitgeist: Ozymandias statue found in mud.

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

The Handmaid’s Tale in the Age of Trump.

* The Hamilton Hustle.

* Stop grading and testing.

* A Women’s Strike Syllabus. And another.

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

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

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

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

* Ideology of the March for Science.

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

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

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

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

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

* If you want a vision of the future.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Dentistry Is Separate From Medicine.

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

* Our Miserable 21st Century.

Brain activity recorded as much as 10 minutes after death.

* West Virginia county sues drug distributors over opioid crisis.

* Scholars behind bars.

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

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

Purple America Has All But Disappeared.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Silicon Valley’s Secretive Alt-Right Followers.

* Review is back, thank heaven.

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

Inside the cruellest RollerCoaster Tycoon park ever created.

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

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

Aliens, Antisemitism, and Academia.

“King Kong” and American Cultural History.

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

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

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

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

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

Should California lower its voting age to 17? Yes.

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

Written by gerrycanavan

March 12, 2017 at 4:19 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Tuesday Morning Links!

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* The course descriptions for Marquette’s Fall 2017 English classes are up at the department website. Check them out! I’m teaching Tolkien and a grad seminar on utopia. 

* Also in Marquette news! Marquette to host ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ conference in April.

Becoming a parent forces you to think about the nature of the problem — which is, in a lot of ways, the problem of nature […] the realities of aging and sickness and mortality become suddenly inescapable. […] [My wife] said something during that time I will never forget. “If I had known how much I was going to love him,” she said, “I’m not sure I would have had him.” Mark O’Connell on transhumanism and immortality.

* From the great Ali Sperling: Reading Lovecraft in the Anthropocene. And this review of Alan Moore’s Jerusalem from the great David Higgins!

* Adam Roberts reviews New York 2140. Another review, from a climate scientist. And an interview with Stan. My review comes out in LARB this weekend…

The Most Cringeworthy Monuments to Colleges’ Innovation Jargon.

Perverse outcomes: UC Berkeley deletes 20,000 audio and visual lectures in the name of compliance with the ADA.

Speculative Fiction and Survival in Iraq.

* Is it really so hard to understand that when your students go broke just trying to graduate they aren’t exactly moved to donate later?

harcourt_fenton_mudd_2267* The liberal arts at Harvey Mudd College, whose graduates out-earn Harvard and Stanford.

* You-might-be-from-Wisconsin-if at Ask MetaFilter.

President Roosevelt signed the order on February 19, 1942, almost exactly 75 years ago. By spring, American citizens would be arriving at the Fresno and Pinedale camps: our neighbors.

* Wisconsin is apparently harassing trans state employees.

* Chaos, again. This is fine. Even James Comey. Twilight of Reince Preibus. Ten Questions for President Trump. Ten More Questions for President Trump. Remember when it was scandalous that Obama, years before he became a politician, once sold his house?

It is through the Justice Department that the administration is likely to advance its nationalist plans — to strengthen the grip of law enforcement, raise barriers to voting and significantly reduce all forms of immigration, promoting what seems to be a longstanding desire to reassert the country’s European and Christian heritage. It’s not an accident that Sessions, who presumably could have chosen from a number of plum assignments, opted for the role of attorney general. The Department of Justice is the most valuable perch from which to transform the country in the way he and Bannon have wanted. With an exaggerated threat of disorder looming, the nation’s top law-enforcement agency could become a machine for trying to fundamentally change who gets to be an American and what rights they can enjoy.

The emerging effort — dozens more rules could be eliminated in the coming weeks — is one of the most significant shifts in regulatory policy in recent decades. It is the leading edge of what Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, described late last month as “the deconstruction of the administrative state.”

* “Forever war, but too much.”

An Afghan family of five that had received approval to move to the United States based on the father’s work for the American government has been detained for more than two days after flying into Los Angeles International Airport, a legal advocacy group said in court documents filed on Saturday. Profiles of immigrant arrested in Austin. Thousands of ICE detainees claim they were forced into labor, a violation of anti-slavery laws. (Note this lawsuit was filed in 2014.This Stunningly Racist French Novel Is How Steve Bannon Explains The World. And if it were a book, it’d seem laughably contrived: A letter written in 1905 by Friedrich Trump, Donald Trump’s grandfather, to Luitpold, prince regent of Bavaria. Resisting ICE. Here we go again.

* 4chan and the Great Meme War.

* Russia and the Cyber Cold War.

* And while we’re on the subject: The Basic Formula For Every Shocking Russia/Trump Revelation. I think this is a very good reminder of the need to stay calm and detached from the chaos of the news cycle.

Instead, a new model is proposed: the president keeps everyone in a constant state of excitement and alarm. He moves fast and breaks things. He leads by causing commotion. As energy in the political system rises he makes no effort to project calm or establish an orderly White House. And if he keeps us safe it’s not by being himself a safe, steady, self-controlled figure, but by threatening opponents and remaining brash and unpredictable— maybe a touch crazy. This too is psychological work, but of a different kind.

* Democrats keep trusting demographics to save them. It hasn’t worked yet — but maybe this time…

NASA unveils plan to give Mars an ‘Earth-like’ atmosphere.

House Republicans Unveil Bill To Repeal Obamacare. The GOP health bill doesn’t know what problem it’s trying to solve.

Austerity measures don’t actually save money. But they do disempower workers. Which is why governments pursue them in the first place.

* No! It can’t be! Researchers have found strong evidence that racism helps the GOP win.

* Losing West Virginia.

Contrary to What You Learned in Sex Ed, You Can Get Pregnant While Pregnant.

* Mid-decade gerrymander in Georgia.

* Autism and Addiction.

* What We’ve Learned from Giving Dolphins LSD.

In a world first, a teenager with sickle cell disease achieved complete remission after an experimental gene therapy at Necker Children’s Hospital in Paris, researchers say.

* Possible lynching outside Seattle, in 2017.

* The end of suburbia.

* In the richest country in human history, children have “lunch debt.”

The only way in which a game is guaranteed to end is when the player abandons their device. Everything else is game design.

“These devices don’t have emotional intelligence,” said Allison Druin, a University of Maryland professor who studies how children use technology. “They have factual intelligence.” How millions of kids are being shaped by know-it-all voice assistants.

* Finding a jury of your peers in a racially segregated society.

* A colony in a nation.

Divination hasn’t disappeared; it’s taken over the world.

But these second-order obstacles aren’t enough to explain the current collapse of poll-driven political certainty. They’re just excuses, even if they’re not untrue. Something about the whole general scheme of polling—the idea that you can predict what millions of undecided voters will do by selecting a small group and then just simply asking them—is out of whack. We need to think seriously about what the strange game of election-watching actually is, in terms of our relation to the future, our power to choose our own outcomes, the large-scale structure of the universe, and the mysteries of fate. And these questions are urgent. Because predictions of the future don’t simply exist in the future, but change the way we act in the present. Because in our future something monstrous is rampaging: it paces hungrily toward us, and we need to know if we’ll be able to spot it in time.

When I said that opinion polls are sibyls and soothsayers, it wasn’t just a figure of speech. Opinion polling has all the trappings of a science—it has its numbers and graphs, its computational models, its armies of pallid drones poring over the figures. It makes hypotheses and puts them to the test. But polls are not taken for what they are: a report on what a small number of people, fond of changing their minds, briefly pretended to think. Instead, we watch the tracking graphs as if the future were playing itself out live in front of us. The real structure of the electoral-wonk complex is more mystical than materialist: it’s augury and divination, a method handed down by Prometheus to a starving and shivering humanity at the faint dawn of time. Behind all the desktop screens and plate-glass of his office, the buzz of data and the hum of metrics, Nate Silver retreats to a quiet, dark, and holy room. He takes the knife and slits in one stroke the throat of a pure-white bull; its blood arcs and drizzles in all directions. He examines its patterns. And he knows.

There’s a never-ending fount of stories you can write about when someone is breaking away from canon or not, and create many controversies all the way through preproduction and production and even until a movie opens, about whether or not they’re breaking canon. Is it a blasphemous movie or not? At some point, you gotta stop and say, Is there this expectation that it’s like we’re doing Godfather Part I and II, only it’s going to nine movies? And we’re just gonna cut them into this kind of Berlin Alexanderplatz that never ends? We’re gonna suddenly take a moment to really savor the fact that these movies exist in an identical tone? The reality to me is that you can’t have interesting movies if you tell a filmmaker, “Get in this bed and dream, but don’t touch the pillows or move the blankets.” You will not get cinema. You will just get a platform for selling the next movie on that bed, unchanged and unmade. James Mangold on Logan.

* The making of The Silmarillion.

* And we have but one choice: the Ring must be destroyed.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 7, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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February 28 Links! All the Links You Need for February 28

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sfftv-2017-10-issue-1-cover* Science Fiction Film and Television 10.1 is out, with articles on the suburban fantastic, the work of art in the age of the superhero, utopian film, review essays on The Martian and Terminator: Genysis, and my article on apocalyptic children’s literature. At long last, the world can discover why The Lorax is actually bad…

* My Octavia Butler book was discussed on the most recent episode of GribCast, on Parable of the Sower. (They start talking about me about 59ish minutes in, and especially around 1:30.) Meanwhile, later this spring: Octavia E. Butler’s Archive on View for First Time.

* If you knew our friend Nina Riggs, here is the donation page for John and the boys. And here’s the Amazon page for her book, which comes out this June.

* Instrumentalizing Earthseed.

Fast Forward #289 – Interview with Kim Stanley Robinson.

* CFP: “Crips In Space: Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Futurism.” And there’s still one day to submit to the SF exec group’s guaranteed MLA 2018 session on Satire and Science Fiction in Dystopian Times.

* Presenting the Nebula finalists.

Inside the Brutal World of Comedy Open Mikes.

* The Melancholy of Don Bluth.

* Comics studies comes of age.

The Capitalocene.

* Purging Iowa’s universities. The Campus Free Speech Battle You’re Not Seeing.

* NEH, NEA, Americorps.

* How Trump’s campaign staffers tried to keep him off Twitter. In Trump’s Volleys, Echoes of Alex Jones’s Conspiracy Theories. Asylum seekers take a cold journey to Manitoba via Trump’s America. We Are Living In the Second Chapter of the Worst-Case Scenario. How to lose a constitutional democracy. Silence of the hacks. Trump’s Tlön. The Trumpocene. Untranslatable. Neurosyphilis?

We can imagine a person slowly becoming aware that he is the subject of catastrophe.

Hear Something About An Immigration Raid? Here’s How To Safely Report It. On ICE. Is ICE Out of Control? ICE detainee with brain tumor removed from hospital. Deportation ruses. What It’s Like to Be a Teen Living in an Immigration Detention Center. Ten Hours in Houston. Abolish ICE.

Donald Trump is unpopular enough that Republicans could lose the House, but there’s a lot of uncertainty.

On the Milo Bus With the Lost Boys of America’s New Right. 4chan: The Skeleton Key to the Rise of Trump.

* On the deep state. Ditching the deep state. The Deep State, the Media, and the Crisis of Legitimacy.

Indeed, both sides are equally illegitimate on the popular level. Both sides are pushing agendas with no constituency. No one outside a small hardcore of party insiders and hack pundits wants either “smart” technocracy or nihilistic faux-libertarianism. The Democrats have been electorally devastated, but the Republicans are in the awkward position of being given the keys to the kingdom and yet realizing that they are advocating things that no one wants. They probably will push through more of their destructive idiocy, just because that’s who they are, but it’s mainly happening because they’ve set up the system so that it’s nearly impossible for them to get voted out — an interesting counterpoint to the other major institutional structures (the Deep State and news media) that we absolutely can’t vote out of office.

The only rallying point for genuine popular legitimacy right now is a desire to remove Trump and, in the meantime, humiliate and impede him as much as possible. And I’ll be clear: those are goals I share. The danger is settling for that goal, in such a way as to finally close the door on democratic accountability altogether.

* On North Carolina’s Moral Mondays.

* Space news! Nearby Star Hosts 7 Earth-Size Planets. SpaceX plans to send two people around the Moon. Mars needs lawyers!

The Relevance of Biopunk Science Fiction.

* Preserving video games.

* Like domesticity, segregation had to be invented.

Do voter identification laws suppress minority voting? Yes. We did the research. The Trump Administration’s Lies About Voter Fraud Will Lead to Massive Voter Suppression.

* Income inequality and advertising. That link is probably the good news.

* Guys I think the FBI might be bad.

* Even Trump’s fake terror arrests are worse.

* Anyway we’re all going to die. And pretty soon!

* Rule by algorithm. An Algorithm Is Replacing Bail Hearings in New Jersey.

* Why facts don’t change our minds.

* Visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

* The Secret Lives of Tumblr Teens.

* Checking in with SMBC: The Problem of Good. The Path of a Hero. How to Solve a Physics Problem. On the Etiology of Fuckers. Paging r/DaystromInstitute. Solving Sophie’s Choice. Gifts from God. And now to insult my core demographic. And that’s why I invented cancer. Don’t you dare stop scrolling, not now, not ever.

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* The radical argument of the New Oxford Shakespeare.

The Rise and Fall of the Socialist Party of America. After more than a half-century in the wilderness, the socialist left reemerges in America.

Teen suicide attempts fell as same-sex marriage became legal.

* The ACLU sues Milwaukee over stop-and-frisk.

* The last days of Standing Rock.

‘Alternative’ Education: Using Charter Schools to Hide Dropouts and Game the System.

Grad student Zachary Turpin discovers a long lost Walt Whitman novel, about a year after he discovered a long lost Whitman self-help treatie.

* “For decades they hid Jefferson’s relationship with her. Now Monticello is making room for Sally Hemings.”

Now Arizona has responded with a new — and some say bizarre — solution to this quandary: Death row inmates can bring their own execution drugs. The state’s manual for execution procedures, which was revised last month, says attorneys of death row inmates, or others acting on their behalf, can obtain pentobarbital or sodium Pentothal and give them to the state to ensure a smooth execution.

* And I say $100/day is too good for ’em!

Scientists Say They’ve Discovered a Hidden Continent Under New Zealand. Probably ought to invade just to be on the safe side.

* Huge, if true: Millennials aren’t destroying society — they’re on the front lines against the forces that are.

Fighting Gerrymandering With Geometry.

* Radical feminism finds a way.

This is what Earth will look like if when we melt all the ice. Is It Okay to Enjoy the Warm Winters of Climate Change? Milwaukee temperature hits 66 degrees, shatters record. Wednesday marks 67 consecutive days since the City of Chicago logged an inch of snow.

Up to 16% of hydraulically fractured oil and gas wells spill liquids every year, according to new research from US scientists.

* This interview with Peter Singer makes it very hard to see his work as anything but horrifyingly eugenic. What seemed to begin several decades ago as a thought experiment about animal intelligence has shifted into very disturbing ableism.

* Andrew Cuomo is so obviously the worst possible Democrat for 2020 I don’t see how they can possibly do anything else.

* In an age without heroes, there was the Boss.

* In search of Forrest Fenn’s treasure.

* The kids are all right.

* I hate this more than the discovery that the Death Star flaw was engineered. I don’t like much of this either. Bring back the old EU!

* This one’s okay.

20 Brutally Hilarious Comics For People Who Like Dark Humour. You had me at hello!

What Are the Chances? Success in the Arts in the 21st Century.

* Zombie cities of the Chinese Rust Belt.

The nation’s only deaf men’s college basketball team, on the verge of its first March Madness. Meanwhile, UVM is undefeated.

* Uber is doomed.

* And you can’t fool me: this one was already a Black Mirror episode.

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Written by gerrycanavan

February 28, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Monday Morning Links

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* I was delighted to find Octavia E. Butler on Locus’s 2016 Recommended Reading List. And you can vote for it as nonfiction book of the year! Make Ursula work for it.

Eight works of science fiction that present tyrants (not all of them human).

To maintain the USA as an integral entity is a constant struggle, with no guarantees of success. Science fiction shows us some of the many ways to fail at the task.

* I’d taken England off my list of countries to flee to, but perhaps I could be coaxed.

* Madness at the National Security Council. The Spy Revolt Against Trump. ‘A Sense of Dread’ for Civil Servants Shaken by Trump Transition. How To Deal with Reichstag Fire Fears in the Age of Trump. Twilight of Mike Flynn. Meanwhile, Trump is doing international diplomacy in the public dining room at Mar-a-Lago. “We have at most a year to defend American democracy, perhaps less.” Trump’s two-year presidency. Two years. Jesus. Shitgibbon.

* This seems fine.

One of the great achievements of free society in a stable democracy is that many people, for much of the time, need not think about politics at all. The president of a free country may dominate the news cycle many days — but he is not omnipresent — and because we live under the rule of law, we can afford to turn the news off at times. A free society means being free of those who rule over you — to do the things you care about, your passions, your pastimes, your loves — to exult in that blessed space where politics doesn’t intervene. In that sense, it seems to me, we already live in a country with markedly less freedom than we did a month ago. It’s less like living in a democracy than being a child trapped in a house where there is an abusive and unpredictable father, who will brook no reason, respect no counter-argument, admit no error, and always, always up the ante until catastrophe inevitably strikes. This is what I mean by the idea that we are living through an emergency.

We have been shy about stating the obvious: that something is terribly and uniquely wrong with this president. His powers weaponise the problem.  We can all see it. We can all feel it, too. Donald Trump is the walking, talking, hate-tweeting embodiment of the howling identity crisis afflicting the entire United States.

* Federal agents conduct immigration enforcement raids in at least six states. What it’s like to be arrested by ICE. Fear and panic. Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos’ deportation to Mexico from Arizona this week was the last chapter of a long nightmare for her family. It began in 2008 with a knock on the door by sheriff’s officers. And they finally found an undocumented immigrant who voted. For Abdulkarim Jimale, escape was the only way to survive. Trump’s immigration order means bureaucrats have to decide who’s a “real” Christian. #KnowYourRights. What Geology Has to Say About Building a 1,000-Mile Border Wall. How big a deviation is this from Obama?

The initial estimate is here: Trump’s wall will cost more than a year of the space program that we’re also not going to have anymore.

* Asylum seekers fleeing the US into Canada. Losing Hope in U.S., Migrants Make Icy Crossing to Canada. Newcomer centre has no more room for border-crossing refugees.

* Revealed: FBI terrorism taskforce investigating Standing Rock activists.

* Shock report: Republicans are completely morally depraved. But don’t worry, the Democrats have got this.

An updating tally of how often every member of the House and the Senate votes with or against the president.

screen-shot-2017-02-12-at-11-05-04-pm* Mr. President.

* Everything is about Trump now.

* Well, it’s come to this: a geoengineering plan to refreeze the Arctic Circle. We may live in a post-truth era, but nature does not. Simple equation shows how human activity is trashing the planet.

* Turns out you make more money on university endowments when you don’t sign over all the money to hedge-fund scam artists.

As for hedge funds and other high-cost alternatives, “the whole two-and-20 model” — in which investors typically pay 2 percent of assets under management and 20 percent of any gains — “is ridiculous,” Mr. Morris said. “The cost structure is outrageous. As they say on Wall Street, ‘Where are the customers’ yachts?’ I’m not going to play that game.”

A US-born NASA scientist was detained at the border until he unlocked his phone.

* Hello old friends: Foreground objects in adventure game scenery.

* lol x2: Geraldo Rivera quits post after Yale removes slavery supporter’s name.

* Today in “police claim.”

Amazon now controls 46% of all e-commerce in the United States.

* A brief history of the gerrymander.

Why does the United States still let 12-year-olds get married?

How American women fell behind Japanese women in the workplace.

* A brief history of punching Nazis in Marvel Comics.

* AI and the end of the middle class.

Rio’s Olympic Park, 6 months after games.

Reframing Faculty Criticisms of Student Activism.

* Milwaukee offers America’s longest-lived experiment with urban-school vouchers, but their mixed legacy is not a story you’ll frequently hear from lawmakers and advocates currently championing the spread of private school–choice programs across the country.

* A university, attacked by its own malware-laced soda machines and other botnet-controlled IoT devices, was locked out of 5,000 systems.

* Double majoring will not save you. Only the great god STEM will save you. All praise STEM!

* Springsteen shrugged.

* Mark Fisher (1968-2017).

* And this is great, like everything they do: Arnie, Usidore, and Chunt play Gauntlet.

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