Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘gig economy

Just 300 or So of the Most Important Links for This Friday Morning

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SFFTV 11.2 is out, a special issue on Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, and women and sf, guest-edited by up-and-comers Mark Bould and Sherryl Vint! Check it out.

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

* Spencer Ackerman explains Jay and Miles X-Plain the X-Men.

* Inside the (ultimately successful) campaign to recall the judge of the Brock Turner trial.

* Another report from the looting of Toys R Us.

Norman, the world’s first psychopath AI.

* Water missing opportunity not to be wet.

Mapping the Movement to Dismantle Public Education.

My research suggests that those concerns are real, and millennials really are building wealth more slowly than the other working generations. But they are not insurmountable—as long as millennials are willing and able to work longer than their parents and grandparents did. Great can’t wait.

A Professor Brought His Guns to Protect Protesters at White-Supremacist Rallies. Then His Troubles Started.

Solo: A Star Wars Story & The Problem With Prequels. We need to talk about the woke droid. I Have No Mouth and I Must Solo. ‘Solo’ gets one thing right: The droids in ‘Star Wars’ are basically slaves. What Solo could have learned from My Friend Dahmer. Disney manages to learn $50M on a Star Wars movie. Kelly Marie Tran has deleted all the posts off her Instagram due to months of harassment she has received for her character Rose in The Last Jedi. Racism, Misogyny & Death Threats: How Star Wars Fans Turned to the Dark Side. What if Star Wars never happened?

Colonial Hottie: Gal Gadot, Wonder Woman and Brand Israel.

Trump keeps making it harder for people to seek asylum legally. The Awful Spectacle of 200 Immigration Officers Raiding a Couple of Garden Stores. Former DACA recipient murdered in Mexico after deportation. The Heartache of a Migrant Boy Taken From His Father. Mom and 4 children forced to separate after seeking asylum in US. Cops are called when a senator tries to see kids taken from their immigrant parents. Yet another nightmare child separation story from the Chris Hayes podcast. ICE Agent Decides He Wants Kids After Seeing Incredible Love And Devotion Of Parents Begging Him Not To Take Their Child. Feds Deport Uncle of Six Orphans Whose Parents Died Fleeing ICE. UN office calls on US to stop separating families at border. U.S. sending 1,600 immigration detainees to federal prisons. Pizza Delivery Man Arrested By ICE Is Scheduled to Be Deported This Monday. A GoFundMe for Pablo and His Family.

* Jordan Peterson isn’t a good psychologist, either.

University tutor died after ‘silently struggling’ with workload. Content warning: suicide.

Taxi-Driver Suicides Are a Warning.

* How the media covers celebrity suicides can have life-or-death consequences.

* Death of a gig worker.

What gets muddled in this telling of the gig economy is the idea of control. An Uber driver can pick her hours, yes. But is she really her own boss, or is the boss the company’s algorithm? The algorithm, after all, determines where the driver will head next, who she’ll pick up, and how much she’ll be paid for that trip. In other words, many important features of the job are outside the driver’s control.

* Trump administration tells court it won’t defend key provisions of the Affordable Care Act. The Trump administration believes Obamacare’s preexisting conditions protections are now unconstitutional.

Down With the Copay.

Justice Department Secretly Accessed New York Times Reporter’s Email and Phone Records to Find Government Leaker.

* Literally just letting coal barons write the laws.

* Huge, if true: America Is a Spiraling Corporate Contract Dystopia.

* Trump’s Right-Hand Troll.

* Gaming it out: Would a Former President Get Secret Service Protection in Prison? Just kidding, Democrats are on the case. Meanwhile.

* David Hogg SWATted.

* Questions on Michigan’s Investment Tactics.

Recent scrutiny of investment practices by the University of Michigan is raising concerns about conflicts of interest and ethical lapses at colleges and universities seeking to increase their endowments.

Questions about Michigan’s investment practices were prompted by an investigation by the Detroit Free Press, which found that a large portion of the university’s nearly $11 billion endowment is invested in private equity, hedge and venture capital funds, and real estate investment firms run by top university donors and alumni investment advisers.

Dystopian Bodies: Barbara Ehrenreich Attacks the Epidemic of Wellness.

* Scott Pruitt, GOAT.

Poor road conditions cost Wisconsin drivers $637 each year.

The Post has mapped more than 52,000 homicides in major American cities over the past decade and found that across the country, there are areas where murder is common but arrests are rare.

‘Clear-sky’ flooding worsens across U.S. as sea levels rise, report says.

* Below are the two main written versions of Sojourner’s speech, the original, on the left, was delivered at the Woman’s Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio on May 29, 1851. The full text of each speech follows the synopsis below so you can see the differences line by line. I have highlighted overt similarities between the two versions. While Frances Gage changed most of the wording and added the southern slave dialect to her 1863 version, it is clear the origin of Gage’s speech comes from Sojourner’s original 1851 speech.

* Hard pass: Howard Schultz steps down at Starbucks, may consider run for president.

* Without Interpreters, California’s Deaf Prisoners Are Getting Stuck Behind Bars.

* A major physics experiment just detected a particle that shouldn’t exist.

The first hints these elusive particles turned up decades ago. But after years of dedicated searches, scientists have been unable to find any other evidence for them, with many experiments contradicting those old results. These new results now leave scientists with two robust experiments that seem to demonstrate the existence of sterile neutrinos, even as other experiments continue to suggest sterile neutrinos don’t exist at all.

The Enlightenment’s Dark Side.

Rebuilding the Antinuclear Movement. How a little “working group” stopped Oakland from becoming a mini-fusion center for the Department of Homeland Security. Tech Workers Versus the Pentagon.

The District of Columbia is considering legislation to lower the voting age to 16 (something some localities already allow for local elections only). Bills are pending in California, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Puerto Rico to lower the voting age to 17 for primary or general elections.

Your schedule could be killing you.

Nazis brauchen keinen Badespaß.

* Schopenhauer, come on. You promised to keep it together.

Time’s Up, Bill.

Volkswagen Vows to End Experiments on Animals.

Marvel’s Women Problem: Not A Single MCU Film Has Female Characters on Screen for More Than 40 Percent of Runtime.

* Drones taught to spot violent behavior in crowds using AI. “The work has questionable accuracy rates, but it shows how AI is being used to automate surveillance.”

* Ways brands can celebrate Pride Month.

Hacked: 92 Million Account Details for DNA Testing Service MyHeritage.

It’s Ulysses! No, it’s Finnegans Wake! Who Can Tell?!

* Books Just for Grownups.

The Art and Activism of the Anthropocene, Part II: A Conversation with Jeff VanderMeer, Zaria Forman, and Gleb Raygorodetsky.

* Lovely Twitter thread on Dr. Apgar, who probably saved my daughter’s life, and maybe yours too.

Body Positivity Is a Scam. “How a movement intended to lift up women really just limits their acceptable emotions. Again.”

* It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right; I hope you had the time of your life.

And these recently declassified NSA posters make our authoritarian dystopia seem fun.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 8, 2018 at 10:58 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Sunday Morning Links!

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Because Saturday Night Links just weren’t enough.

Catching Up With the Next Generation of Sci-Fi Writers at the Village Voice.

My name is Wil Wheaton. I Live With Chronic Depression and Generalized Anxiety. I Am Not Ashamed.

* Diversify your workforce the Marvel way!

“We’re 100 percent committed to diversity…Marvel is the world outside your window and we want not only our characters but our creative talent to reflect that world and it hasn’t been an easy road to be honest with you. Going back to the 60s when Marvel were created it was created by a number of white men here in New York City who were working in our studio… But now, we do not have any artists that work in Marvel. All our writers and artists work — are freelancers that live around the world so our talent base has diversified almost more quickly than our character base has.”

Accountancy used to be boring – and safe. But today it’s neither. Have the ‘big four’ firms become too cosy with the system they’re supposed to be keeping in check? The financial scandal no one is talking about.

The implications of this authority are breathtaking. Trump, in their view, has unlimited control to open or close any federal investigation. Meanwhile, they keep openly admitting obstruction, and nothing matters.

During one December 2013 hearing, still available online, Scott questioned an applicant about illegally voting after his release from prison. When the man replied he voted for Scott, the governor chuckled and, seconds later, granted his voting rights.

* I used to be a 911 dispatcher. I had to respond to racist calls every day.

Families of Four of Eight Students Killed in Santa Fe Shooting Are Suing Gunman’s Parents.

* Hacking the mosquito.

* “The most common complaint I receive from students and faculty members is that we don’t have enough administrators.”

“All of the theoretical work that’s been done since the 1970s has not produced a single successful prediction,” says Neil Turok, director of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Canada. “That’s a very shocking state of affairs.” Say what you will about critical theory in the humanities, it’s predicted just about everything that’s happened since…

The one thing that we can I think be sure of is that if we get a signal, we will know it’s an artificial signal [and not from an astronomical source]. And then we’ll know that we are not alone. Will we ever be able to understand it? I don’t know. The researchers who study alien linguistics.

The Soviets’ secret map of Seattle tells a lot about us.

* Itsa me!

* And I’d at least give it a watch.

All Your Sunday Reading™

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

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

* Studying Tolkien fanzines at Marquette University.

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

* What is an English professor?

The Enduring Anger of Joanna Russ.

* Bonkers Wisconsin tax policy error in my favor.

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

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

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

Why universities became big-time real estate developers.

* Stephen Kuusisto on ableism in the university.

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Your workplace is killing you.

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

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

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

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

* And isn’t it pretty to think so?

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

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

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

The Story Behind FanCon’s Controversial Collapse.

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

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

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

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

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

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

* England revving up for a Corbyn prime ministership.

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

* From blood diamonds to blood healing crystals.

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

* 10 Years of Speed Racer.

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

How political and media elites legitimized torture.

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

* The Americans in Russia.

* The science of Baby Groot.

* Afrofuturist 419.

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

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

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

* This is relatable content.

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

* Sometimes you just need two men.

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

Written by gerrycanavan

May 13, 2018 at 9:25 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Happy Valentine’s Day Links!

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* Very excited to welcome Adam Kotsko to Marquette later this week for his talk “Animated Nihilism: Rick and Morty, BoJack Horseman and the Strange Fate of the Adult Cartoon.”

* There was a nice interview with me at the ArchivesAWARE! site, kicking off a new series on Archives and Audiences.

* SFRA Review #323 is out! Check out the details on the upcoming SFRA conference in Milwaukee.

* CFP: The Journal of Dracula Studies. CFP: Žižek Studies special issue on “Žižek: What Went Wrong?”

* The Simpsons: What Went Wrong?

* A science-fiction narrative imagining an alternate universe in which Donald Trump never became President: he’s just a regular guy in New York City.

The Problem With Annihilation’s Messy Release.

Fantastic Beasts and What Could Have Been. They’re really not nailing this.

* Kim Stanley Robinson: The Radical Philosophy Interview.

KSR: Capitalism is still very feudal in its distribution of wealth. One of the great triumphs of Marxist historiography is to describe accurately the transition from feudalism to capitalism, why it happened and the differences. At a presentation I once gave with Jameson, I said something like capitalism is just feudalism liquidified. In the break he said, ‘Kim, it’s actually a big accomplishment for Marxists to be able to describe the change from feudalism to capitalism.’ I then brought up something he had taught me, Raymond Williams’s concept of the residual and the emergent, and said, ‘but there’s a lot more residual than people have imagined.’ That’s one of the only times I saw Fred startled by something I said. Although I think there’s an exchange of ideas between us, mainly he’s the teacher, I’m the student. He’s explained things that I never would have understood, and I treasure him for that. So it was nice to see him think, ‘Mmm, that’s an interesting thought.’

The residuals out of feudalism would be the power gradient and the actual concentration of wealth per se. In the feudal period, kings might not even have been as proportionally rich as top executives are now in relation to the poor. And if peasants weren’t murdered by passing soldiers, they were living with their food source at hand and working a somewhat decent human life. That isn’t largely true now of the dispossessed. So, capitalism is like feudalism in that, but worse.

* The Good Place and Divine Justice. Meet the Philosophers Who Give ‘The Good Place’ Its Scholarly Bona Fides. TV’s Dystopia Boom. Breakfast and Groundhog Day. Rod Serling: human rights activist as science fiction showrunner. Why the Culture wins. Netflix created a monster with its Cloverfield stunt, and Altered Carbon won’t be the last victim. Reproductive Futurism and Its (Dis)contents. Why I barely read SF these days. Against dystopia.

* My Butch Lesbian Mom, Bruce Springsteen.

* The Sublimated Grief of the Left Behind. How Academe Breeds Resentment. International Grad Students’ Interest in American Higher Ed Marks First Decline in 14 Years. Columbia University Gets In Bed with Trump. I’m a Stanford professor accused of being a terrorist. McCarthyism is back. How Hard Do Professors Work? Shameless and Hypocrisy at the MLA. And meanwhile, on the Singularity beat: Teaching assistant robots will reinvent academia. Universities in the Age of AI.

Humanities Grads Gainfully Employed and Happy.

White Supremacists Are Targeting College Students ‘Like Never Before.’

* The Olympic hero for our time.

* To U.S. Border Patrol, the Canadian border is 100 miles wide. A good overview of how Trump’s ICE differs, and doesn’t, from Obama’s; the major distinction seems to be empowering street-level officer to make policy-level determinations about enforcement. A Short, Brutal History of ICE. ICE Wants to Be an Intelligence Agency Under Trump. ICE Grants Stay To Arizona Father Whose 5-Year-Old Son Is Battling Cancer. Kansas chemistry instructor arrested by ICE while taking his daughter to school. ICE detains man at traffic court after DACA status expires, then frees him after outcry. Public Defenders Walk Out Of Bronx Courthouse After College Student Detained By ICE. Cuban immigrant awaiting removal dies in ICE custody. Green card veteran facing deportation starts hunger strike. Trump administration considered testing “abortion reversal” on unwilling prisoner. Give all immigrants the right to vote.

* Know your police rape loopholes.

* How not to die in America. I Had to Bury My 26-Year-Old Son Because He Couldn’t Afford Insulin. Texas Woman Dies Because She Couldn’t Afford $116 Copay. What Aetna did here might not even be illegal.

* America: (Still) Not a Democracy. That’s not to say things still can’t get worse.

* In the richest country in human history.

FEMA Contract Called for 30 Million Meals for Puerto Ricans. 50,000 Were Delivered.

* Even the Democrats (still) won’t talk about climate change. Democrats’ ‘Resistance’ to Trump Is Eroding, and So Are Their Poll Numbers. What Happened To The Democratic Wave?

A map of the world after four degrees of warming. There’s even more good news below the map!

An Urgent Crisis of Leadership, Climate, and Water is Unfolding in South Africa.

* And in Kentucky: Sometimes they get no water. Other times just a trickle. Often, they say, their water is so discolored it resembles milk or Kool-Aid or beer.

The African Anthropocene.

* Floods and pollution.

* Just six months from victory in Afghanistan.

Fitness tracking app Strava gives away location of secret US army bases. Podcast listeners are the advertising holy grail. A Driver’s Suicide Reveals the Dark Side of the Gig Economy. slavery.amazon.com. Whole Foods as Amazon Hell. What Amazon Does to Poor Cities.

I’m the Wife of a Former N.F.L. Player. Football Destroyed His Mind. Concussion Protocol.

Here’s Everything We Used to Know About Han Solo’s Early Years. A Primer on All Things Wakanda.

* Monopoly: Cheaters Edition.

Arizona Man Sells His $6.5 Million Ranch Because Of Constant, Violent Alien Attacks.

Supercut of Instagram travel photo clichés. Photos of Total Strangers Pretending to Be in Serious Relationships.

Why is Civilization 5 still more popular than Civilization 6?

* The arc of history is long, but Hot sauce king Billy Mitchell is in danger of having his Donkey Kong records stripped away.

Why Woody Allen hasn’t been toppled by the #MeToo reckoning — yet. This Is Why Uma Thurman Is Angry.

* Suicide and the opioid epidemic.

* Cancel student debt and grow the economy. Let’s Stop Normalizing Student Debt.

* College compiles first-ever index of slaves and their enslavers in NY. Slavery and the American University.

* Nation of Second Changes: Stories of people who received a pardon from Barack Obama.

* The Alt-Right Is Killing People.

The Median Young Family Has Nearly Zero Wealth.

* #NeverTweet.

Why Antonio Gramsci is the Marxist thinker for our times.

* I call it my brand: Marxism as Organized Sarcasm.

Worf’s Dad Is Repeatedly Disgraced When Predictive Text Writes Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Nintendo’s new cardboard extensions for Switch are blowing users away.

* Case Western in the news!

* Can’t stop the signal: here come the Firefly novels.

* Pets allowed.

‘Speaking’ orca is further proof they shouldn’t be kept captive.

* The mutant crayfish that ate Europe.

* And this guy gets it: Nigel, the world’s loneliest bird, dies next to the concrete decoy he loved.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 13, 2018 at 10:01 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Weekend Links!

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* I’m heading to Zurich later tonight for the From Human to Posthuman? Ethical Inquiry workshop to be held at the Collegium Helveticum. I’ll be talking about the Anthropocene and various versions of The Time Machine, jumping off my Paradoxa “Global Weirding” essay and a loooong forthcoming piece for a Ralahine Utopian Studies collection on “Science Fiction and Utopia in the Anthropocene.”

Faculty Favorites: Books to Add to Your Shelf This Spring. With a book recommendation from me, among others!

* Marquette’s Center for the Advancement of the Humanities will host a 12-week seminar on the work of Bob Dylan.

* All Hail her most Imperial Majesty, Mother of the Fatherland, Overlord of Vulcan, Dominus of Kronos, Regina Andor, All Hail Philippa Georgiou Augustus Iaponius Centarius.

* How democracies die.

* Analyzing Elections Since Trump Won the Presidency. Here’s everything Republicans could be doing to stop Trump. Are you a Saturday Night Massacre or a Saturday Night Massacan’t? Trump Launched Campaign to Discredit Potential FBI Witnesses. Trump’s Friends and Advisers Are Terrified of What He Might Say to Mueller. Elite opposition to Trump is collapsing.

* More great Le Guin remembrances from Karen Joy Fowler, Kim Stanley Robinson, adrienne maree brown, Jo Walton, Jacob Brogan, Matthew Cheney, and many others…

* And in a rather Le Guin mode: Read the Into the Black Contest’s Winning Story, Set in a Future Where Economics Are Also Humane.

* I hadn’t realized the Aronofsky adaptation for HBO was cancelled, but MaddAddam is coming to TV, again.

For many years now, tuition-dependent institutions — notably small private colleges and regional public universities — have grappled with such existential questions. Many find themselves in a difficult, complex market, with rising costs in operations, pressure to keep tuition down, increasing competition, an insufficient supply of traditional-age students, and national doubts over the value of college. Naturally, those factors have prompted many observers to take a dour view of the institutions’ future. Moody’s Investors Service recently downgraded higher education’s outlook from “stable” to “negative,” noting that demographic challenges, weak revenue growth, and rising labor costs will bedevil colleges in the near term.

* Life transformed into data is life permanently mobilized for capital.

We Are Truly Fucked: Everyone Is Making AI-Generated Fake Porn Now.

As ICE Targets Immigrant Rights Activists for Deportation, Suspicious Vehicles Outside Churches Stoke Surveillance Fears. ICE is about to start tracking license plates across the US.

Research has identified embedded racism in IQ tests. Now, prosecutors in at least eight states are using that research—to legalize more executions.

Prisons, as the journalist Tom Wicker once wrote, “have a dual function: to keep us out as well as them in.”

On the fifth floor of a beloved New York institution, the @AMNH, the remains of 12,000 people sit in cabinets and cardboard boxes.

The female price of male pleasure.

* The gig economy and sexual harassment.

* They should carve Aly Raisman’s entire statement into the walls of the lobby of every athletic organization in the world.

* Post-Presidency Benefits at Michigan State. NCAA president Mark Emmert was alerted to Michigan State sexual assault reports in 2010.

Democrats Paid a Huge Price for Letting Unions Die.

* Some monkey news: First Primate Clones Produced Using the “Dolly” Method. 10 Monkeys and a Beetle: Inside VW’s Campaign for ‘Clean Diesel.’ Paris zoo evacuated after 52 baboons escape enclosure.

* Trump vs. migratory birds. Trump vs. the air itself.

* Oh no.

The world’s richest 2000 billionaires could wipe out extreme poverty with one seventh of what they gained last year.

Ghost towers: half of new-build luxury London flats fail to sell.

State of the climate: how the world warmed in 2017.

* A world without Holocaust survivors.

* A world without football.

* There’s only one story and we tell it over and over.

The Short-Lived Normalization of Breastfeeding on Television.

* On the greatness of Swastika Night.

* California doing its best to prove the libertarians right.

And are Dungeons & Dragons Players in a Cult? These Hilarious Warning Signs From 1989 Prove It.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 27, 2018 at 10:00 am

Christmas Eve Eve Links Links

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

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

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

An Incomplete Timeline of What We Tried.

* I thought this was great.

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

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

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

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

* Winter Is Coming: Climate Change in Westeros.

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

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

* On faculty and mental illness.

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

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

* Bang. Pow. To the Moon.

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

* SHOCK REPORT: The tax bill is bad.

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

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

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

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

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

* Ghosts of 2012.

* First #J20 defendants found not guilty.

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

* People are using Uber instead of ambulances.

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

* The Fred Moten century.

The Adult Bodies Playing Teens on TV.

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

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

* The madness of prison gerrymanders.

* Desegregation never happened.

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

* The FoxConn boondoggle gets worse and worse.

* The Next Crisis for Puerto Rico: Foreclosures.

* Revising agricultural revisionism.

* Against optimism.

* Against being born.

* On the sadcom.

Your Favorite Superhero Is Probably Killing the Planet.

* Professor X Is a Jerk!

* The Daily Stormer’s style guide.

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

* The US gymnastics scandal somehow gets worse and worse.

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

* The Forgotten Life of Einstein’s First Wife.

* The Ghost Economy.

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

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

* “Paradox,” by Naomi Kritzer.

* The Journal of Prince Studies.

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

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

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

* Heartbreaking interview with Heather Heyer’s mother.

* Jordan Peele, auteur.

* Dilbert: A Reckoning.

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

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

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

Written by gerrycanavan

December 23, 2017 at 10:06 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Happy Day after My Birthday to Me Links

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* I’ve had a few pieces come out in the last couple weeks, including a short rumination on memory in the Anthropocene (and Richard McGuire’s Here) for the online journal Deletion. I’m also batting cleanup in a beautiful new volume called Science Fiction: A Literary History, with a piece on “New Paradigms, After 2001.”

The Syllabus: A tribute to the late, great Jim Clark. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen anyone singlehandedly hold a thing together the way Jim held together the UNCG MFA Program.

* The C21 conference for 2018 has a theme: Ends of Cinema. There’s also a promising looking conference happening at McMaster University on Embodiment in Science Fiction and Fantasy. CfP: Fandom—Past, Present, Future, DePaul University, Chicago, IL. And a cool postdoc at Madison: Postdoctoral Fellowship on the Plantationocene.

* I loved this episode of The Lit Review podcast on Octavia Butler’s Earthseed books, with Adrienne Maree Brown. Highly recommend!

Angry Optimism in a Drowned World: A Conversation with Kim Stanley Robinson.

The Anthropocene is that moment in which capitalist expansion can no longer expand, and you get a crush of the biophysical system – that’s climate change – and then you get a crush of the political economy.

31 Essential Science Fiction Terms And Where They Came From.

A Timeline for Humanity’s Colonization of Space.

* If China Makes First Contact.

* Science Fiction and the Arab Spring.

8 Sci-Fi Writers on Where Star Trek Should Go Next.

* The Uncanny Resurrection of Dungeons and Dragons.

* Critical Perspectives on Waluigi.

* Welcome to the future, time traveler!

The House Just Voted to Bankrupt Graduate Students. The GOP Tax Plan Will Destroy Graduate Education. Grad Students Are Freaking Out About the GOP Tax Plan. They Should Be. I would expect a massive wave of college closures in 2018 and 2019 if this goes through.

* I’m very excited to read Malcolm Harris’s book on millennials, which is getting rave reviews. Here’s an excerpt from the New York Times.

Unions aren’t just good for wage workers. Students can use collective bargaining, too. The idea of organizing student labor when even auto factory workers are having trouble holding onto their unions may sound outlandish, but young people have been at the forefront of conflicts over police brutality, immigrant rights and sexual violence. In terms of politics, they are as tightly clustered as just about any demographic in America. They are an important social force in this country, one we need right now.

It’s in students’ shared interest to seek later start times for the school day to combat the epidemic of insufficient sleep among high schoolers. It’s in their shared interest to improve their mental health by reducing competition. They could start by demanding an end to class rank or a cap on the number of Advanced Placement courses each student can take per year. It’s in their shared interest to make life easier and lower the stakes of childhood in general. Only young people, united, can improve their working conditions and end the academic arms race.

The excerpt from Harper’s was really good, too!

By looking at children as investments, it’s possible to see where the product of children’s labor is stored: in their human capital. It’s a kid’s job to stay eligible for the labor market (and not in jail, insane, or dead). Any work beyond that adds to their résumé. If more human capital automatically led to a higher standard of living, this model could be the foundation for an American meritocracy. But millennials’ extra work hasn’t earned them the promised higher standard of living. By every metric, this generation is the most educated in American history, yet its members are worse off economically than their parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents. Every authority from moms to presidents told millennials to accumulate as much human capital as they could; they did, but the market hasn’t held up its end of the bargain. What gives?

* The Uncounted.

* Documenting bias against married women in junior faculty searches. What It Looks Like When a University Tries to Revoke a Professor’s Tenure. The University and Debt: Thinking About Neocolonialism in the United States. The Great College Loan Swindle. The Finger-Pointing at the Finance Firm TIAA. Public Higher Ed Skews Wealthy. University History Departments Have a Race Problem. Public engagement is a two-way street.

What Flannery O’Connor’s College Journal Reveals.

It’s Official: ‘Lord of the Rings’ TV Series Gets Multiple-Season Commitment at Amazon. With Christopher Tolkien stepping down as executor of the estate I really think they should have waited to try to get the rights to The Silmarillion (which would work much better on television than in cinema). Trying to do the Jackson trilogy on a shoestring is just not going to hold up. Elsewhere in Tolkien news: an earnest effort to see him named a saint in the Catholic Church.

* Honestly Amazon just should have done Prydain.

* I’ve been saying it since the 1990s: Bill Clinton should have resigned. And Al Franken, who I thought better of, should now.

* My dream of one day being a federal judge remains alive.

Almost all the US jobs created since 2005 are temporary. Americans Are Retiring Later, Dying Sooner and Sicker In-Between. World’s witnessing a new Gilded Age as billionaires’ wealth swells to $6tn. Weaponizing the tax code. The coming retail apocalypse.

* This is one of the sickest deportation stories yet.

* Two murder convictions for the same shot.

Sexual Harassment Will Change Your Career Forever. Someone is editing all the bullshit out of celebrity sexual assault apologies. The Myth of the Male Bumbler. Let this flood of women’s stories never cease.

* Why Are There No Great Female Werewolves?

* In a time without heroes…

Portrait Of An American Mass Shooting.

* Malice for malice’s sake.

Scientist recalls training Laika for space.

* Mapping Quantum Leap.

Oh No, I Got Sucked Into the X-Wing Tabletop Game.

* The nightmare that is children’s YouTube culture.

* In a historic move I’m limiting myself to just one “we’re all going to die” link: Democrats Are Shockingly Unprepared to Fight Climate Change.

* Remembering that it is in fact possible to solve difficult environmental problems with deliberate intervention and international cooperation.

The truth about Easter Island: a sustainable society has been falsely blamed for its own demise.

* Japan, are you okay? I was worried and wanted to reach out.

* And I’ve been on the record saying this for years! Universe shouldn’t exist, CERN physicists conclude.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 17, 2017 at 1:47 pm