Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘ghost towns

Saturday!

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* Two from JacobinGendered conceptions of credit and reward are written into the structures of intellectual property law. Don’t Mention the (Class) War.

* Malcolm Harris and Nathan Schneider talks Occupy Wall Street.

* Rhetmap.org maps rhet-comp jobs from the MLA Job Information List.

* How academia reproduces privilege: the case of Harvard Business School.

* Cutting through the nonsense of college ranking structures to what really matters: 2013-2014 PayScale College Salary Report.

* What rape culture? Iowa pastor and youth counselor Brent Girouex, who claimed with a straight face that he was trying to “cure” teenage boys of their “homosexual urges” by having sex with them, has had his sentence reduced from 17 years in prison to sex offender treatment and probation.

* Special Report on Oklahoma State Football: Part 4 — The Sex.

The Strangest and Most Tragic Ghost Towns from Around the World.

* And The New York Times reviews Eric Schlosser’s Command and Control, all about atomic near-misses. I don’t know how we made it through the Cold War, except that one of the universes had to.

Ghost Cities Of China

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 21, 2010 at 11:53 am

The Apocalypse Is Already Here

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Picher sprang up as a 20th-century boomtown—the “buckle” of the mining belt that ran through Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri. The earth underneath it produced most of the lead for US bullets in World Wars I and II and enough zinc to literally galvanize construction of the American suburbs. These raw materials were used to create stronger, water-resistant metal alloys, better batteries, and dietary supplements—the base materials of a modern society. Population peaked at 14,000 in 1926. When the lode ran dry in 1970, the mining companies moved out. Picher eventually became a Superfund site, and half a decade ago the state government offered residents an average of $55 per square foot to evacuate their homes. By September 2009, the police force had disbanded and the government dissolved. Picher was a dead city.

Except that a few people refused to leave. They call themselves chat rats, a loose and increasingly self-reliant colony armed with cell phones and Wi-Fi for communication and guns for driving off scrap-metal scavengers. It’s a life bordering on squalid—on the way out of the Gorillas Cage, Roberts spots shovel marks around the base of the burned-out signpost, the beginning of an attempt to steal it. Across the street, a former auction-house parking lot has become a dumping ground for tires. On the drive back out of town, he passes the abandoned high school and notices that the arts and crafts building has burned down. A man appears to be helping himself to bookshelves from an open classroom. Roberts can’t figure out why anyone would turn down the relocation money he’s offering. “Most people have bettered themselves through this process,” he says. “Now there are only radicals left.” Via MeFi.