Posts Tagged ‘grad student nightmares’
* I’ll be speaking next Thursday at “Between Activism and Apocalypse: The Work of Margaret Atwood” at Indiana University. The schedule for the symposium is here.
* SF short-short of the day: Isaac Asimov’s “Silly Asses.”
* “Things like computer vision are starting to work; speech recognition is starting to work There’s quite a bit of acceleration in the development of AI systems,” says Bart Selman, a Cornell professor and AI ethicist who was at the event with Musk. “And that’s making it more urgent to look at this issue.” AI Has Arrived, and That Really Worries the World’s Brightest Minds.
* Elsewhere in mad billionaire news: Internet! in! Spaaaaaaaaaaaaace!
* Gender Differences in the Road to the Doctoral Degree. Less support, more debt, more time to degree.
* Forbidden Planet reviews Richard McGuire’s incredible graphic novel Here.
* A smart observation from Peter Paik: “Common Core teaches students that there is only one way to read a text (to glean information) but there are many ways to solve a math problem (the target of much outrage on social media).”
The department, known for its expertise in disability and LGBT studies, is looking to newer faculty to blend the two topics into a common subject area.Robert McRuer, who chairs the English department, said he was the first scholar to combine LGBT studies with disability studies and call it “crip theory.” The theory looks at the histories of and issues within the LGBT and disabled communities, which have both faced marginalization. “Crip” is a term that people with disabilities have “reclaimed,” he said.
Personally I’d send that name back for another round of workshopping, but what do I know.
* I actually always thought Joss should have had a David Boreanaz cameo in the background of the Firefly pilot and then never mention it again.
* Marvel is teasing a big Crisis-on-Infinite-Earths-style reboot, for the first time in its history.
* Simon Pegg is co-writing Star Trek 3. [raises one eyebrow]
* And great news for KSR fans: J. Michael Straczynski To Write Spike TV’s ‘Red Mars’ Drama Series Project.
* Violent crime on college campuses is decreasing, but the number of sworn and armed police officers on campuses continues to rise, according to a new report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics… Nearly 70 percent of colleges and universities operated full law-enforcement agencies in 2012, and 94 percent of those officers are authorized to use a firearm.
* Meanwhile, on the town and gown beat: NYU decided not to report an attempted murder to the police.
* Abolish college sports watch: Before Gary Andersen goes on, he wants to make one thing clear. A part of his surprising departure from Wisconsin had to do with admission standards.
* And a reminder that SFFTV is looking for your submission for its “Star Trek at 50″ special issue.
* Another good one from Charlie Stross: Let’s put the future behind us.
Anyway, this is the future, folks. It’s built from the bones of the past, it’s unevenly distributed, and it’s already here. And while it’s an interesting place to visit, I’m not sure I’d want to stay.
* Benghazi Is Over, But the Mainstream Media Just Yawns. Well, there’s an Ebola crisis to co– oh? really? Well, there’s Obama’s illegal executive order on immigration to cover!
Across town at Marquette University, three fraternities last spring received official warnings after reports of sexual misconduct. Complaints against fraternity members were handled through student misconduct channels, and the university ordered the fraternitiesto undergo training.
* UVA Suspends Fraternities Following Rolling Stone Campus Rape Investigation. As is usual with these sorts of things, what’s stunning is how clear it is they’re only doing this because they got caught. They knew everything Rolling Stone reported before RS reported it; the only difference is now everyone knows those things.
* The University of Virginia’s selection of an independent counsel to investigate rape allegations turned out to have been a member of the fraternity that is the subject of the accusations.
* I tell you, the ethical shambles that is today’s Young Person. Watching live college football — college football paid for by your tuition dollars, whether you like it or not — is not a right! It’s not even a privilege! It’s an obligation.
Right offhand, a number of notable trends pop out. First, this looks like a terrible job season so far. Over at the Smoker, Zombie has tallied only 110 tenure-track jobs [note: now, going back all the way to June, it doesn’t look quite so bad–though most AOS are still in the single digits). Second, the most in-demand AOS this year are ethics (37 listings), applied ethics (35) jobs, open (37), and social-political (20). So, value theory’s looking comparatively good. Third, it’s surprising (to me, at any rate) how few jobs are in the “core”, though Mind isn’t doing too bad (15 listings).
From what I can gather of the contemporary philosophy discipline a lion’s share of those ethics jobs (themselves now the supermajority of the field!) are in interdisciplinary attempts to make ethics “relevant” to science, medicine, business, etc. If you want a vision of the future of the humanities…
* Tomorrow at Marquette! The English Department pop culture group geeks out over The Hunger Games.
“In Sweden prostitution is regarded as an aspect of male violence against women and children. It is officially acknowledged as a form of exploitation of women and children and constitutes a significant social problem… gender equality will remain unattainable so long as men buy, sell and exploit women and children by prostituting them.”
The point of engagement in this sense is not to involve the public in making decisions, but make them feel involved in decisions that others will make. That this may be done with the best of intentions is important, of course, but ultimately besides the point. Like “stakeholder,” “engagement” thrives in a moment of political alienation and offers a vocabulary of collaboration in response. So if civic engagement is in decline, one thing that is not is the ritualistic performance of civic participation. The annual election-cycle ritual in American politics is a case in point here. In one populist breath, we routinely condemn the corruption of politicians who, it is said, never listen to the average voter. And in the next, we harangue the average voter for failing to participate in a process we routinely describe as corrupted. So it’s not the “apathy” or “disengagement” of the public that we should lament or criticize—it’s the institutions that give them so many reasons to be disengaged in the first place.
JR: In the past you have said that you are a short-term pessimist and a long-term optimist. Could you expand on this a bit: why are you pessimistic about the short term? What changes do you anticipate taking place between the near and far futures that change your pessimism to optimism?
IB: On a personal level, it’s damage limitation; a sanity-keeping measure. Expect the worst and anything even only half-decent seems like something to celebrate. The pessimism comes from a feeling that as a species we seem unable to pass up any opportunity to behave stupidly, self-harmfully (the Copenhagen climate talks being but the latest example). The long-term optimism comes from the the fact that no matter how bad things seem and how idiotically and cruelly we behave. . . well, we’ve got this far, despite it all, and there are more people on the planet than ever before, and more people living good, productive, relatively happy lives than ever before, and—providing we aren’t terminally stupid, or unlucky enough to get clobbered by something we have no control over, like a big meteorite or a gamma ray buster or whatever—we’ll solve a lot of problems just by sticking around and doing what we do; developing, progressing, improving, adapting. And possibly by inventing AIs that are smarter and more decent than we are, which will help us get some sort of perspective on ourselves, at the very least. We might just stumble our way blindly, unthinkingly into utopia, in other words, muddling through despite ourselves.
* The growth of auxiliary activities was the primary driver in spending increases by the schools, the report concludes. From 2005 to 2012, $3.4 billion was spent on instructional and research facilities. The cost for nonacademic auxiliary facilities was $3.5 billion from 2002 to 2012. Limit athletic fees, check construction to control college costs, study says.
* It’s a start: Massachusetts Town Proposes First Complete Ban On All Tobacco.
* The Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) is under attack by critics who say academe is colluding with the mainstream media to push a feminist agenda in video games. How deep does this conspiracy go?
* When we think about the collapse of communism, we should emphasize and celebrate the attractiveness of a social market economy — not free enterprise.
* Today, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration announced through the New York Times that it may stop making arrests for low-level marijuana possession, opting instead to issue tickets without detaining the suspect. This would feel like an important step toward reasonable weed policy if New York state hadn’t already mandated it 37 years ago.
* The seminars offered police officers some useful tips on seizing property from suspected criminals. Don’t bother with jewelry (too hard to dispose of) and computers (“everybody’s got one already”), the experts counseled. Do go after flat screen TVs, cash and cars. Especially nice cars. Police Use Department Wish List When Deciding Which Assets to Seize.
* Is Pre-K academically rigorous enough? That’s a real question this real article is asking.
* Grace Dunham is now an adult and she read this book before it was published. She is managing her sister’s book tour and they are best friends. Are we really going to overlook this?
* Also on the subject of Lena Dunham: this is an extremely clickbaity headline, but the testimony from a juvenile sex offender is fascinating and horrible.
* In America, today’s parents have inherited expectations they can no longer afford. The vigilant standards of the helicopter parents from the baby boomer generation have become defined as mainstream practice, but they require money that the average household earning $53,891 per year— and struggling to survive in an economy in its seventh year of illusory “recovery”— does not have. The result is a fearful society in which poorer parents are cast as threats to their own children.
* Although it looks like a traditional typeface, Dyslexie by Christian Boer is designed specifically for people with dyslexia.
* In its gentle sadness, its deceptively light tone, and its inherent contradictions, this is the perfect ending to The Next Generation. One of these days, the crew will be dispersed. The Enterprise will be put in mothballs. Starfleet will complete its transformation into a body that none of them particularly want to serve in. But for now, their voyages continue.
* Peak Prequel: Sony Rumored to Be Prepping Aunt May Spider-Man Spin-Off Movie.
* And the best news ever: HBO Will Make Asimov’s Foundation With Interstellar‘s Jonathan Nolan. I may lose my mind over this show. I may even do a podcast. And a lot of what went wrong with Interstellar wasn’t even Jonathan Nolan’s fault!
* By now my students were getting a bit restless. The confidence with which they had gone into this testing situation was beginning to dispel. Just a bit. There were still 102 questions left to answer.
* Exclusive Gyms For Members Of Congress Deemed ‘Essential,’ Remain Open During Shutdown. Amtrak Is in Trouble, But Congress Won’t Care. Government shutdown ends North Carolina WIC benefits. Social Security Warns Benefits Could Get Cut. DC Can’t Spend. Here’s how it’ll mess up higher ed (including freezing student loans). Secession by other means. Back Door Secession. Avenging the surrender of the South.
* The horror: New faculty positions versus new PhDs.
* Using survey data collected from PhD students in five academic disciplines across eight public U.S. universities, the authors compare represented and non-represented graduate student employees in terms of faculty–student relations, academic freedom, and pay. Unionization does not have the presumed negative effect on student outcomes, and in some cases has a positive effect. Union-represented graduate student employees report higher levels of personal and professional support, unionized graduate student employees fare better on pay, and unionized and nonunionized students report similar perceptions of academic freedom. These findings suggest that potential harm to faculty–student relationships and academic freedom should not continue to serve as bases for the denial of collective bargaining rights to graduate student employees.
High fees and black boxes are just part of the story. Some funds also allow their managers to make undisclosed side bets by trading ahead of or opposite to the fund’s trades.
Chicago-based Grant Park Futures Fund LP, which is marketed by Zurich-based UBS AG (UBSN), says on page 90 of a 180-page, April 2013 prospectus that David Kavanagh, president of the $660.9 million fund’s general partner, may place such personal trades. “Mr. Kavanagh may even be the other party to a trade entered into by Grant Park,” it says.
* Rebecca Solnit, The Age of Inhuman Scale.
* In the days of the Soviet Union, the country boasted that all its citizens shared the wealth equally, but a new report has found that a mere 20 years after the end of Communism, wealth disparity has soared with 35% of the country’s entire wealth now in the hands of just 110 people.
* Within 35 years, even a cold year will be warmer than the hottest year on record, according to research published in Nature on Wednesday. The L.A. Times will no longer publish letters from climate cranks.
* But the kids are all right: Arin Andrews and Katie Hill, Transgender Teenage Couple, Transition Together.
Chart: Doctorate Recipients with Definite Employment or Further Study Commitments at Time of Graduation
Keep in mind this is mixing all employment — including adjuncting and part-time assistant work — into a single category. And it still can’t crack 50% in the humanities. Apocalyptic.
* I saw this movie: Brains of rats connected allowing them to share information via internet.
* Beyond the MOOC: While other universities move quickly to offer courses online for free, Carnegie Mellon University is instead starting for-profit efforts designed to capture segments of the education market. I’ll promote this a bit more as the date gets closer, but I’ll be speaking at a “What’s the Matter with MOOCs?” event at UWM in mid-March.
* Justice, American style: The city’s complaint in federal court claims that if Ms. Truong is entitled to damages for the nearly three years she spent in jail awaiting trial, then Mr. Ryan is as much to blame as the city because he took too long to get the coerced confession tossed out of court by the judge.
* Will a Republican friend-of-the-court brief tip the Supreme Court in favor of gay marriage? I’m pretty sure it’ll have more luck than Obama’s.
* These numbers are unprecedented: by 2014 President Obama will have deported over 2 million people – more in six years than all people deported before 1997. That “before 1997″ actually means since 1892.
“We need union jobs today, not tomorrow,” said Rich Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO. “The resolution balances our desire to protect the fragile ecosystem of the earth, while acknowledging the economic benefits of a high-road strategy to develop the doomsday technologies of the future.”
* Never forget: The entire staff of the West Wing died on Voyager.
The social events of the 1948 holiday season had to be canceled. And with good reason: Experts called the third floor of the White House “an outstanding example of a firetrap.” The result of a federally commissioned report found the mansion’s plumbing “makeshift and unsanitary,” while “the structural deterioration [was] in ‘appalling degree,’ and threatening complete collapse.” The congressional commission on the matter was considering the option of abandoning the structure altogether in favor of a built-from-scratch mansion, but President Truman lobbied for the restoration.
* And American history, Breitbart style: Journalists on the campaign trail saw Johnson drunkenly board a plane armed with nuclear weapons and then accidentally drop them on the United States. We all saw it!