Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Green Planets

Spring Break Forever Links

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* Hey look! LARoB reviewed Green Planets.

* Another science fiction studies research opportunity: The 2016-2017 Le Guin Fellowship.

Notes from ICFA roundtable on The Force Awakens, on cast, nostalgia, and franchise. This was a great panel; I’m so glad we did it.

* Will we ever learn George Lucas’s original Plan for Star Wars Episode 7?

What a Funding Fracas Could Mean for the Future of CUNY.

* They’ve finally diagnosed my unusual condition.

* Snubbed again! Here Are 15 Indispensable Academic Twitter Accounts.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Batman and Superman. Meanwhile:

* In other words, bad food becomes linked to good memories, and to our sense of who we are and where we come from. To give up that food would be to give up not only a piece of our childhood, but of ourselves. “When we hear someone suggesting that we stop eating our favorite brand of ice cream or potato chips or sliced white bread, we feel a knee-jerk hostility,” Wilson writes. “It’s hard to let go of these foods and find a better way of eating without a sense of loss.”

In this formula, the president implies that with hard work everyone can get a good job. This is the premise for a lot of public education rhetoric, and it is 100 percent false. It may be technically true that in the American system anyone can get a good job, but that doesn’t mean most people aren’t out of luck. Anyone can win the lottery, but everyone certainly can’t. America is still a class system, and by design, most people—no matter the average level of education or job skill—will have to sell their labor to property owners in order to feed and house themselves. Those property owners are the same people that have spent the past hundred years shaping the education system and scientifically reducing labor costs.

* What a weird coincidence, ten straight record warm months in a row.

* Appalachia in the Anthropocene: When mining a century’s worth of energy means ruining a landscape for millions of years. Ice in the Anthropocene. Oil in the Anthropocene. Boulder-Hurling Megawaves in the Anthropocene. Cli-Fi in the Anthropocene.

* “There are no plausible scenarios in which climate stabilization is compatible with a pace of capital accumulation required for economic and political stability under a capitalist system.” Capitalism, Climate Change and the Transition to Sustainability: Alternative Scenarios for the US, China and the World.

How are the political effects of “terrorism” produced?

Cdwgg6MWEAA65gz* #altac

A Video Game About Changing What Happens In Shakespeare’s Hamlet Using Time Travel. Sold!

* Zootopia and ideology.

Up Against the Centerfold: What It Was Like to Report on Feminism for Playboy in 1969.

* Today in the charter school scam.

The Christians, the Soviets, and the Bible.

It’s Over Gandalf. We Need to Unite Behind Saruman to Save Middle Earth from Sauron!

* Game theory and the GOP nomination. Can’t #StopTrump? Third parties: a beginner’s guide. Of course, there’s always Plan B. Or Plan C.

I, Cthulhu, endorse Donald Trump.

* BART Social Media Intern ’16.

* Legalize everything.

“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

* A Brief History of Sabotage.

* Twilight of Gawker: Hulk Hogan Awarded $115 Million in Privacy Suit.

* Sea World Promises to Acquire No New Orcas. Why SeaWorld is ending its killer whale program, in one brutal chart.

Why We’re Opting Out of Testing.

* Junot Díaz on time travel and colonialism.

* Daredevil and Catholicism.

* A book length history of abolition.

* More from the death of psychology.

* Well, he tried: the Obama legacy.

The Republican Party Must Answer for What It Did to Kansas and Louisiana.

* The stock market is a sucker’s bet.

* What we talk about when we talk about jobs.

These measures seem harsh, but if Trump really is a sui generis evil, then unprecedented and difficult measures are called for. If we’re not willing to make and carry through with such threats, does that mean that we don’t really view him as a sui generis evil? That this is just the latest thing we’re willing to humor for the sake of family peace and avoiding social awkwardness?

Emory Students Express Discontent With Administrative Response to Trump Chalkings. I’m currently in the process of filing a request with the chalk administration office so I can respond to this with the detail and attention it deserves.

What if physical activity doesn’t help people lose weight?

* Duke’s non-tenure-track faculty have unionized.

* They found Himmler’s occult book stash.

* “Kansas Bill Would Pay Students A $2,500 Bounty To Hunt For Trans People In Bathrooms.”

Inside the Crazy Back-Channel Negotiations That Revolutionized Our Relationship With Cuba.

* Somehow, Telltale is going to continue its Walking Dead series after radically fracturing the outcomes at the end of Season Two.

Hackers ‘could take over your dildo and make it go berserk’, expert warns.

* Reading Calvin and Hobbes in Korea.

* I’ll be 100% honest, you had me at hello.

* And the best fantasy series you’ve never heard of is getting a second chance at a film franchise. This time it will work for sure!

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Written by gerrycanavan

March 23, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Sunday Night Links! Probably Too Many!

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17644_10101690572456291_9124726088155968029_n* Upcoming appearances: I’ll be speaking at the Environments & Societies workshop at UC Davis next Wednesday. And of course we’ll be debating whether Harry Potter is a dystopia (it is) this Wednesday here at Marquette.

* This is nice: Green Planets is a finalist for the ASLE book prize.

* CFP: The Contemporary: Culture in the Twenty-First Century.

* CFP: Jim Gordon as Batman is dumb.

* The Dolphin Trainer Who Loved Dolphins Too Much.

* The cult of the Ph.D. I suppose I’m a hopeless curmudgeon on this at this point, but I just don’t see how any attempt to reform graduate schools can ignore the fact that “the primary, overarching purpose of doctoral programs is to produce professors.” Alt-ac can save a few, but it can’t save everyone, or even most.

Everything We Learned About The Force Awakens At Star Wars Celebration. Look, I’m not made of stone.

* And then there was (sigh) DC. Double sigh.

* There still aren’t any states where women earn as much as men.

PayGap2Did Yoda And Obi-Wan Screw Princess Leia Over?

But in choosing a hero to defeat Vader, they sent Luke to Dagobah, not Leia. They sent the whiny uneducated hick whose greatest ambition until very recently had been to *join the Empire* instead of the smart, sophisticated, and well-educated woman with the political connections and Rebel cred?

It was only the last time I watched Return of the Jedi that I finally realized “that boy is our last hope / no, there is another” refers to Anakin, not Leia. So I’m pretty on board with this, especially now that the possibly exculpatory Expanded Universe context has been retconned out of existence.

Citi Economist Says It Might Be Time to Abolish Cash. This is a truly stunning document: the argument is that we need to abolish cash because otherwise bankers won’t be able to force everybody to accept negative interest rates.

* New from the new TNR: We’re Checking the Wrong Privilege.

* Heinlein shrugged.

America’s wealth grew by 60 percent in the past six years, by over $30 trillion. In approximately the same time, the number of homeless children has also grown by 60 percent.

155,000 New York kids boycott standardized tests.

Preserving the Ghastly Inventory of Auschwitz.

It is a moral stance with specific curatorial challenges. It means restoring the crumbling brick barracks where Jews and some others were interned without rebuilding those barracks, lest they take on the appearance of a historical replica. It means reinforcing the moss-covered pile of rubble that is the gas chamber at Birkenau, the extermination camp a few miles away, a structure that the Nazis blew up in their retreat. It means protecting that rubble from water seeping in from the adjacent ponds where the ashes of the dead were dumped.

And it means deploying conservators to preserve an inventory that includes more than a ton of human hair; 110,000 shoes; 3,800 suitcases; 470 prostheses and orthopedic braces; more than 88 pounds of eyeglasses; hundreds of empty canisters of Zyklon B poison pellets; patented metal piping and showerheads for the gas chambers; hundreds of hairbrushes and toothbrushes; 379 striped uniforms; 246 prayer shawls; more than 12,000 pots and pans carried by Jews who believed that they were simply bound for resettlement; and some 750 feet of SS documents — hygiene records, telegrams, architectural blueprints and other evidence of the bureaucracy of genocide — as well as thousands of memoirs by survivors.

* There’s jobs, there’s dirty jobs, and then there’s being Joseph Goebbels’s copyright lawyer.

Ewald Engelen, a professor of finance and geography at UvA who spoke about the perils of the financialization of higher education at the Maagdenhuis occupation, explained in a coauthored article, published in 2014, how rendementsdenken became the ruling logic – and logic of rule – at his university. After a 1995 decision transferring public ownership of real estate to universities like UvA, he and colleagues argued, education and research considerations started taking a backseat to commercial concerns regarding real estate planning. The state’s retreat from management of real estate demanded tighter account of “costs, profits, assets and liabilities” at the university, setting “in motion a process of internal reorganization to produce the transparent cash flow metrics that were required to service the rapidly growing real estate debt,” the academics wrote.

Neither the Brostrom or the Campos side focuses on the fact that privatization increases expenses as well as revenues. In reality, privatization forces the mission creep of multiplying activities, “businesses,” funding streams, capital projects and other debt-funded investments, which increase all sorts of non-educational costs and also administration.  Private partnerships, sponsors, vendor relations, and so on bring in new money but also cost money, require institutional subsidies, and in many cases lose money for the university.

The Education Department Is Working On A Process For Forgiving Student Loans.

* Sweet Briar didn’t die, it was put down. If he puts his mind to it, Jamshed Bharucha has the ability to effectively destroy whatever future remains for Cooper Union.

* I really wish we could get famous people to stop talking this way about autism.

* Towards a disability version of the Bechdel Test.

A disability version of the “Bechdel Test,” maybe?
1) There’s a disabled character visible
2) Who wants something, and tries to get it,
3) Other than a) Death, b) Cure, or c) Revenge.

* Cuomo’s master plan to turn SUNY into a startup factory has created 76 jobs.

Large Pile Of Cash Announces US Presidency Bid.

* The BBC has adapted The Left Hand of Darkness.

* I’m very much in favor of “they” as a generic singular pronoun, but “they are,” please, not “they is.”

Private Company Conspired With Police To Hold Poor People For Ransom, Lawsuit Charges.

Ex-Drug Cop: Drug Squad Stole Cash And Planted Drugs Too Many Times To Count.

* Only for certain values of “justice”: The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000.

* It seems like the deputy isn’t the person who should be charged with Eric Harris’s murder. This person never should have been working as a cop, for myriad reasons.

* The only way this can work: California Assembly panel approves legislation preventing police from viewing body camera footage.

Labeling the market natural and the state unnatural is a convenient fiction for those wedded to the status quo.

White parents in North Carolina are using charter schools to secede from the education system.

Racism in schools is pushing more black families to homeschool their children.

All 3 Oregon Basketball Players Suspended Over Sexual Assault Find New Teams.

* Shocked, shocked: Leaked videos suggest Chevron cover-up of Amazon pollution.

* The Atlantic covers graduate student unionization.

Los Angeles school district demands multi-million dollar refund from Apple.

Centuries of Italian History Are Unearthed in Quest to Fix Toilet.

* “All I know is the end is coming for all of us.”

* On not hate-watching, but hope-watching.

* George R. R. Martin: Once More, into the Kennels.

The Atlanta teachers’ trial: A perfect example of America’s broken justice system.

* How Israel Hid Its Secret Nuclear Weapons Program.

The Quest to Boot Old Hickory Off the $20.

Why the Vatican’s crackdown on nuns ended happily. Pope Francis’s Populist War on the Devil.

Latchkey children age restrictions by state. Wisconsin, you’re probably asleep at the switch here. But Illinois, you guys relax.

A Scan Of 100,000 Galaxies Shows No Sign Of Alien Mega-Civilizations. Okay, but let’s scan the next 900,000 just to be sure.

That aliens would have imperial ambitions is taken as natural. Far from being the historical outcome of a specific organization of capital in the latter half of the second millennium, these signatories assume that the ideology of capitalist imperialism is inevitable across the galaxy. To be fair, though, the Fermi Paradox is a “it just takes one” claim, not a “all societies are alike” claim.

* If you’re so smart, why aren’t you terrified all the time?

Chase nightmares with behind-the-scenes photos from Return To Oz.

The Photo Hitler Doesn’t Want You to See.

* More on how Game of Thrones deviates from the books. And a fun flashback: The first pilot for Game of Thrones was so bad HBO almost passed on the entire series.

* It’s almost like Batman didn’t think this thing through.

* Dumb, but maybe my favorite Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal of all time.

* And teach the controversy: Tim Goodman says the Waitress arc on Mad Men might not be stupid and pointless.

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Written by gerrycanavan

April 19, 2015 at 7:30 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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One Thousand and One Wednesday Links!

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I’ve been incredibly busy lately, and things are only going to get worse in the next few weeks. But for now, some links!

* I made a Twitterbot that I’m pretty pleased with: @LOLbalwarming. It’s the only authentic voice left to us in these tough times.

* Book plug: Shaviro’s No Speed Limit: Three Essays on Accelerationism is really good. It’s the #3 book you should buy right now after the longstanding #1 and #2.

* And while I’m hawking stuff on Amazon: they discontinued my Swiss Army canvas wallet, so I had to find a new one. It’s leather, alas, but this Fossil wallet is everything else I want. It’s great.

* Submitted without comment: Letters in support of John McAdams from FIRE and AAUP.

* The shame of America’s parental leave.

Why, in this day and age, is there even a Save command in any application? Its very presence implies — indeed, guarantees — that the default state of the world is unsafe. This breaks the rule our ancestors learned over billions of years of interaction with the objective world: when you do something, it stays done, until undone. Saving considered harmful. After what happened to me the other week, I am 100% on board with this.

Manifesto of the Committee to Abolish Outer Space.

On Weird Fiction and the Interstitial.

Chris Ware, The Art of Comics No. 2.

* Great job alert: Associate/Full Professor/Shell Oil Endowed Chair (Shell Oil Endowed Chair in Oceanography/Wetland Studies/Tenure-Track/Tenured).

Salaita Goes After University Donors in Lawsuit Over Job Loss at Illinois. UIUC responds.

The Medicalization of Reasonable Accommodation.

* Facebook vs. the News Feed.

* Against professors as mandatory reporters.

Scott Walker budget cut sparks sharp debate on UW System. Deep cuts in Wisconsin. Anticipating budget cuts, nervous UW System tried to strike deal. Republican UW Professor Has Sharp Words For Walker Over Faculty Comment. Scott Walker’s State of Ignorance. A reckless proposal. A self-inflicted wound. Be skeptical. Chasing away UW’s stars. Cut athletics.

* Of course there’s time to kill primary and secondary ed, too.

* From the archives, apropos of absolutely nothing: Stalin, CEO.

“No Crisis” is a Los Angeles Review of Books special series considering the state of critical thinking and writing — literary interpretation, art history, and cultural studies — in the 21st century. A new installment to the series will be released at the beginning of each month through the fall of 2015. Our aim, as our introductory essay explains, is to “show that the art of criticism is flourishing, rich with intellectual power and sustaining beauty, in hard times.”

As an opening gambit, I want to suggest that undergraduate students do not care about digital humanities. I want to suggest further that their disinterest is right and even salutary, because what I really mean is that undergrads do not care about DH qua DH.

* Exciting new degradations: Bill Would Allow Texas Teachers To Kill Students.

Howard Middle School Teachers Fired for Teaching Black History.

Detroit Cop Who Killed 7-Year-Old Aiyana Stanley-Jones While She Slept Walks Free.

Texas school suspends 9-year-old for making ‘terroristic threats’ with magic ‘Hobbit’ ring.

Kermit Elementary Principal Roxanne Greer told the Odessa American that she could not comment on the suspension, because “all student stuff is confidential,” but Steward said that she told him that any and all threats to a child’s safety — including magical ones — would be taken seriously by the school.

* Harper Lee to publish new novel, 55 years after To Kill a Mockingbird. Her editor tries to put a good spin on what for all the world looks like elder abuse.

Keywords for the Age of Austerity 15, Cont’d: “Wellness” and the Anti-Vaxxers.

In France, police bravely defend liberal democracy from an eight-year-old boy.

The Fire on the 57 Bus in Oakland.

* Why is there no Norton Anthology of Paperwork?

Grace has Type 1 diabetes, for which there is no cure. Now 15 years old, she has endured approximately 34,000 blood tests, 5,550 shots and 1,660 medical tubing injections to keep her alive.

* “Soldiers familiar with social media sought for 77th Brigade, which will be responsible for ‘non-lethal warfare.’”

* The War Photo No One Would Publish.

* On running and street harassment.

* Bring the Jubilee: Croatia Cancels Debts For Tens Of Thousands Of Its Poorest People.

* Boing Boing reviews David Graeber’s The Utopia of Rules.

* Understanding The Man in the High Castle.

In the TV pilot, Juliana finds a banned newsreel called The Grasshopper Lies Heavy, which portrays a world in which the Allies won the war. The idea that this might be true fills her with an almost religious, tearful enthusiasm. In Dick’s version, The Grasshopper Lies Heavy is a book. Juliana discovers that that book is true—but her reaction is not exactly fervor. Instead, it’s a mixture of hope, bafflement, and a kind of displaced, distant fear. “Truth, she thought. As terrible as death.” That truth, or at least one possible truth suggested by Dick, is that there is no radical disjunction between his alternate history and our own. The TV show encourages us to congratulate ourselves on our horror at the Nazis, and our distance from them. But Dick’s novel suggests, disturbingly, that the defeat of the Nazis did not, in fact, truly transform the world. Their evil was not banished; it’s still here with us, a dystopia we can choose, and that many of us do choose, every day.

The Institute for Dark Tourism Research aims to advance knowledge about the act of visitation to tourist sites of death, disaster or the seemingly macabre.

* Jupiter Ascending is the latest movie to prove there’s no movie so bad the Wachowskis won’t be allowed to make another one.

Americans Are Working So Hard, It’s Actually Killing People.

* The kids aren’t all right.

ecjrirbclmfyo1s1jzswStudy: You Can’t Change an Anti-Vaxxer’s Mind.

* Roald Dahl vs. the measles.

* Let’s politicize vaccines because why not.

* But friends, I’m here to tell you: it gets worse.

Although there were negligible differences among the racial groups in how frequently boys committed crimes, white boys were less likely to spend time in a facility than black and Hispanic boys who said they’d committed crimes just as frequently, as shown in the chart above. A black boy who told pollsters he had committed just five crimes in the past year was as likely to have been placed in a facility as a white boy who said he’d committed 40.

* Great read about one of the founders of the Men’s Rights Movement, a former national feminist.

* Inside that creepy Nationwide ad. “Show a gun. Show a gun. Show a gun.”

Which Racist UNC Building Are You Today? The University of North Carolina’s Silent Sam Statue Represents a Legacy of White Supremacy.

Clergy Send In Photos To Replace Images Of Black Youth Police Were Using For Target Practice.

Food Not Bombs Sues Fort Lauderdale Over Homeless Feeding Law.

* A brief history of the Star Wars expanded universe.

* A brief history of the Super Bowl points spread.

* The shame of the Patriots fan. They even managed to sneak in one more on their way to the championship last weekend.

Study Links Playing Tackle Football Before Age 12 To Cognitive Impairment.

Watching football after a traumatic brain injury.

Football has become a sport of science fiction, one that inhabits a world that only exists on television.

* The last days of football.

Florida says parents can’t opt out their kids from standardized tests.

The Cops Don’t Care About Violent Online Threats. What Do We Do Now?

* BREAKING: Politicians listen to rich people, not you.

* Propaganda has gotten way more sophisticated since the old days.

Man Wakes Up From Bender With Financial Problems Solved.

Consumption Of Buncha Crunch Reverently Paused During Unsettling Scenes Of ‘American Sniper.’

Report: Most Americans Can’t Even Name Their State’s Shadow Lord.

* Reasons You Were Not Promoted That Are Totally Unrelated to Gender.

* Student evaluations are terrible, episode 281.

Transgender Kids Identify With Their Gender As Completely As Cisgender Kids.

Coming out as poor at an elite university.

* Probably wouldn’t be my first choice if I had that kind of cash, but: The Vatican Will Offer Free Shaves And Haircuts To Rome’s 3,276 Homeless People.

* Emoji and the law.

* Disability, the state, and minimum wage.

* Pettiness and the human condition.

* UVM Recognizes “Neutral” as a Gender Identity.

Police Reform Is Impossible in America.

* How to tell if you are in a soft science fiction novel.

Fun With Conspiracy Theories: Did the Chernobyl Disaster Cover Up Something Even Worse? WAKE UP, SHEEPLE!

* New York cooks up a special unit for kicking hippies.

When Cops Break Bad: Inside a Police Force Gone Wild.

Meet the Two New Yorkers Who Are Starting a Preschool for Adults.

* When you stare too long into the abyss.

The #1 reason people die early, in each country.

Useless but Interesting Facts About America’s Married Couples.

* No, you’re lonely and depressed and lack self-control.

The United States is becoming a terrible place for air travel. “Becoming.”

* Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality is back.

* And you can always spot the children of sociologists.

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Written by gerrycanavan

February 4, 2015 at 8:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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MLK Day Links!

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freahwater2* Do you have a Hugo nomination ballot? John Scalzi’s Author/Editor/Artist/Fan Awareness Page may be of use to you. You’ll note from the last comment that Green Planets is in fact eligible for a “Best Related Work” Hugo…

* What, To the Black American, Is Martin Luther King Jr. Day?

* The Evolution of Dr. King.

What Taking My Daughter to a Comic Book Store Taught Me.

* The question is, can we afford not to send our basketball team on a $800,000 trip to the Bahamas, in these troubled times?

* There’s always money in the banana stand.

The state Board of Regents for Higher Education approved $761,181 in merit raises for presidents, vice presidents and top administrators in the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities, but not without questions raised on the wisdom of doing so in tough budget times.

* Four Ways Human Beings Are Endangering Life on Earth.

* “Marine Le Pen is president of the Front National party in France.” Wow, The New York Times.

Is ‘SimCity’ Homelessness a Bug or a Feature?

“I have Community College and a University, plenty of police coverage, yet I still have a city with homeless ALL OVER….. so what the fix for this or do I just not worry about it?” asks a player on Simtropolis.

The bizarre ESP experiments conducted on aboriginal children without parental consent.

Mike Ditka: I Wouldn’t Want My Child To Play Football.

* Another BitCoin processor turns out to be a scam.

* Behind the scenes at TfL’s lost property office.

* Severed: A History of Heads Lost and Heads Found.

* The end of Apple.

Even while it leaps forward with features in its operating systems, Apple has a huge installed base it drags with it. And even if, for instance, iTunes has been a terrible mishmash for a decade, the fact that it continues to be one with a major new release in 2015 is beyond the pale: Apple should be learning, not starting over and re-inventing when it comes to stability and experience.

* 14th Dalai Lama announces he is also the 2nd Karl Marx.

An Internet of Treacherous Things.

Arkansas officer fired after learning police dept. allows sex acts with prostitutes before busting them.

* Old-School The Legend of Zelda art from Nintendo Power.

* Louie‘s Paula Adlon is getting an FX series.

The theme-park chain where children pretend to be adults.

* And Everyone Has Imposter Syndrome, Except For You.

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Good Morning, It’s Sunday Morning Links

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* A rare correction: actually your pets will burn in hell. gerrycanavan.wordpress.com regrets the error.

* Watch out, modern-day slaves, the Pope might un-denounce your exploitation next!

* Sad update: Cheryl Abbate has been run out of Marquette.

Adding that to the explicitly military and overseas contingency funding, the real dimensions of the US military-intelligence-police-prison complex begin to come into view: a staggering $830 billion, more than 80 cents out of every dollar in the funding bill, is devoted to killing, spying on, imprisoning or otherwise oppressing the people of the world, including the American people.

* The federal government is using data gimmicks to mask the true scope of homelessness.

* Is It Bad Enough Yet?

* To end police violence, we must end policing as we know it.

* Timelapse video reveals massive size of New York City protests.

Ferguson to Increase Police Ticketing to Close City’s Budget Gap.

* Point/counterpoint: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says torture is totally legit. Ex-NFL punter Chris Kluwe says maybe not.

“I resign. Happy? Goodbye.”

* But what we do know is that the histories of slavery and of capitalism look very different if we understand them in relation to each other. The next time we walk the streets of Lower Manhattan or the grounds of Harvard University, we should think at least in passing of the millions of enslaved workers who helped make some of that grandeur possible, and to the ways that slavery’s legacy persists today.

* U.S. Schools Saying Goodbye to Foreign Languages. Horrible.

* Cruel optimism we can believe in: What if Democrats had their own Tea Party–esque rebellion? Why the Democratic Party could seriously change — for real, this time.

* Ever Say Never Again: On the History and Future of James Bond.

* Scientists think the Big Bang could’ve created a mirror universe where time flows backward.

* What are the bastards ruining now? Buffy.

* Oh, also Blade Runner.

Is Studying Buffy the Vampire Slayer More Important Than Studying Shakespeare? I say teach the controversy.

* I think I would say Freddie is probably the worst possible spokesperson for the conversation the feminist left should be having in the wake of the Rolling Stone UVA scandal. But no one else seems to want to talk about it at all.

* Meanwhile, Matt Fraction walks away from Twitter.

As recruitment dips, TFA leader says New York training site to close.

* The word you’re looking for is “racism.” Just say “racism.”

The Real Story Of Apollo 17… And Why We Never Went Back To The Moon.

* A Tolkien true believer vs. the nerds.

Hear Philip K. Dick Talk About SF And The Mainstream In 1976.

* Playboy ranks every Star Trek episodes. “Mirror, Mirror” at #3 is a deeply weird choice. And “Arena” at #6 is just insane.

They did a TV movie where the McCallisters get divorced? Pretty dark, Home Alone!

* Portuguese Street Artist Creates Stunning 3D Graffiti That Seems To Float In The Air.

* The Hobbit: A Middle-Earth Workplace.

* Now it’s the Kindle version of Green Planets that has inexplicably gone on deep discount for the weekend, if you’re in the market. And don’t forget to pre-order The Cambridge Companion to American Science Fiction, out in January!

* And they say our society is no longer capable of achieving great things: This scientist solved the mystery of belly button lint.

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First Tuesday after the First Monday in November Links!

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* ICYMI: An edited and expanded meritocracy, lottery, game blog post got republished at Inside Higher Ed yesterday. Here’s a reply suggesting a better metaphor than games might be the casting process.

* Cool stuff happening at Marquette: Conflicting Audience Reception of Tauriel in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit. A student-curated exhibit at the Taggerty. And of course there’s my pop culture group geeking out over The Hunger Games.

A college can’t fire an adjunct professor for criticizing it, so long as the issues raised are matters of public concern and the adjunct has reasonable expectation of continued employment, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled Thursday in a decision regarding Moraine Valley Community College in Illinois.

Walter Benjamin’s Radio Plays. You Know, for Kids.

A Manifesto for the Freelance Academic.

* Colorado Community College Faculty Bill of Rights.

* Is academic science still sexist? No! Yes!

Colleges have no business being vehicles for mass entertainment any more than they have business selling widgets or maintaining a fishing fleet. It is no proper part of a university’s mission to provide quality television programming and year-round gambling opportunities for the rest of the country. That this has become the norm in America’s system of higher education is a monstrous accident of history and of academic neglect, but there it is, and it is not going anywhere, and the only way to do it is simply to make an honest business out of it.

* Gasp! …the average student in a MOOC is not a Turkish villager with no other access to higher education but a young white American man with a bachelor’s degree and a full-time job.

* Cura personalis: The maturation of the student—not information transfer—is the real purpose of colleges and universities. Of course, information transfer occurs during this process. One cannot become a master of one’s own learning without learning something. But information transfer is a corollary of the maturation process, not its primary purpose. This is why assessment procedures that depend too much on quantitative measures of information transfer miss the mark. It is entirely possible for an institution to focus successfully on scoring high in rankings for information transfer while simultaneously failing to promote the maturation process that leads to independent learning.

* The end of the Red Cross.

* The latest from Aaron Bady’s ongoing interview series at Post45: “Not in a million years did I expect some people to be upset about the portrayal of the conquistadors.”

* My Grandma the Poisoner.

* Happy election day! The empty election. The Democrats are doomed. Ginsburg Was Right: Texas’ Extreme Voter ID Law Is Stopping People From Voting. New Voting Restrictions Could Swing the 2014 Election. Black people, white government. Facebook Wants You to Vote on Tuesday. Here’s How It Messed With Your Feed in 2012.

Lawyers, judges, and even journalists tend to have trouble finding people like Eric Kennie—the people who are the most completely disenfranchised by a law like SB14—precisely because such people are, in many areas of life, completely disenfranchised.  If they had the kind of economic and social wherewithal to make their voices heard in political or legal spheres—if they knew lawyers or journalists or legislators or people who knew such people—then they most likely would also have the kind of economic and social wherewithal to obtain the documents SB14 demands.  Their very lack of money, lack of a car, lack of knowledge of how the system works, and lack of options also tend to make them invisible to the more elite actors who, in distant courtrooms and legislative hearing rooms and newsrooms, fight out the disputes that affect whether they can vote.  From the point of view of those more elite actors, looking for Eric Kennie is indeed, as Pilkington puts it, like looking for a vacuum.  It like an anti-social-networking puzzle in our networked age: please find me the people who are the most distant from, the least connected to, me or anyone I know.

* And as if the whole stupid thing weren’t irrational enough: Sense of disgust is ’95 percent accurate’ predictor of whether you’re liberal or conservative.

* Tom Steyer spent $57 million to get voters to care about climate change. It didn’t work. Oh, if only he’d spent $58 million!

* Cancel the midterms! There’s still time!

* Viewpoint Magazine, Issue 4: “The State.”

* 2016 and imperial feminism.

*The dependence of the poor on payday loans is neither natural nor inevitable. It is the result of neoliberal policies. The New Loan Sharks. Payday Loans, You Know, for Kids.

* They’re Still Redlining.

* BREAKING: The stock market is an irrational casino and we have no idea how it works.

* Huge congrats to Obama for triumphing here over a really tough field.

* Bullshit Jobs, the Caring Classes, and the Future of Labor: An Interview with David Graeber.

* Historical Futurology. Check the footnotes for some nice citation of Green Planets!

* The sharing economy has a race problem. The Sharing Economy: 21st Century Technology, 19th Century Worker Protections. The Sharing Economy’s ‘First Strike’: Uber Drivers Turn Off the App.

* Nudes and female corporal ownership.

Hollaback and Why Everyone Needs Better Research Methods.

* How Racism Stole Black Childhood.

* Fracking Wells Abandoned in Boom/Bust Cycle. Who Will Pay to Cap Them?

* Americans Are Working So Hard It’s Actually Killing People.

* The justice system is a monster: Why Innocent People Plead Guilty.

* Finally, someone has put transubstantiation to a rigorous scientific test.

* On Saturday, Brittany Maynard used Oregon’s Death With Dignity law to end her life.

Erwin Chemerinsky read a 500-page biography of Antonin Scalia so you don’t have to. Spoiler alert: he’s the worst.

* In praise of A Canticle for Leibowitz. Really bad third act problems, though.

People can feel lots of different things about Lena Dunham and her body of work. What I’m not comfortable with, and certainly not under the mantle of supporting victims and building a culture of consent, is for people to create a narrative of victimization and abuse for Grace Dunham that she has never claimed for herself.

Losing My Career to Illness: Academia and Parkinson’s Disease.

* Bruce Springsteen by the book.

Cheat-Sheet for a Non (or Less) Colonialist Speculative Design.

* FBI Files on African American Authors and Literary Institutions Obtained through the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.

* Mr. Rogers Talks To The Wicked Witch About Being Misunderstood.

* “The court finds that Secular Humanism is a religion for Establishment Clause purposes,” the ruling read.

* In 2014, countries are still paying off debt from World War One.

* UK cultural institutions leave their WWI cases empty to protest insane copyright.

* Dachau’s notorious ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ gate stolen.

* Secret Fantasies of Adults.

* The legendary comics author Alan Moore has written a million-word novel, tribute to every eternal speck in his universe.

A Melancholy List of Edgar Allan Poe’s Debts, From His Bankruptcy Petition of 1842.

* How to stop global warming, in seven steps. Oh, if only it’d been six steps!

* Stephen King: The Rolling Stone Interview.

* And kiss your free time goodbye: you can now play 900 pre-1996 arcade games online for free.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 4, 2014 at 7:00 am

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Green Planets in Hardcover, Only $12 Today

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I can’t imagine that it’s all that great news for sales, but the hardcover of Green Planets is only $12 today. Buy it! Paul Di Fillippo says it’s good!

UPDATE: As of early Sunday morning the hardcover is back to its usual price. Unannounced sale? Algorithm glitch? Perhaps it will always be a mystery.

In any event the huge Sales Rank swing tells me we sold a bunch of copies yesterday, so big thanks to everyone who bought one! The Kindle version is still $13 and the paperback still $20, if you missed it…

Written by gerrycanavan

August 23, 2014 at 9:13 am

Weekend Links!

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* Call for applications: 2014—15 Le Guin Feminist Science Fiction Fellowship.

* So Paul Di Filippo really liked Green Planets.

* Receive this petition in nomination of three candidates for MLA Executive Council and one for 2nd Vice President.

* Explaining Tuition Hikes at the University of Michigan. Construction Not Instruction: Bonds and Buildings at the Public University. 5 Links Between Higher Education and the Prison Industry.

And this is the pattern with austerity. The measures introduced under the rubric of an emergency, the supposed need to consolidate debt and appease “the market,” ultimately do little for the debt, and only consolidate the market’s tyrannical reach.

* On trigger warnings and who gets to count.

Journey to the Centre of Google Earth.

* I was born too early.

The Lion King: A short history of Disney-fascism.

But the emotional trauma that Disney tries its damnedest to induce in young children is only the spadework for the ugly principles it feels it must implant in each new generation. Although the film takes place in an imaginary jungle, THE LION KING really expounds the Law of the Schoolyard: only the strong and the beautiful triumph, and the powerless survive only by serving the strong. As Disney sees it, children must not only acknowledge the supremacy of those born privileged and violent, the children must love them. The young must gaze in hushed veneration at the princely predators who stand ready to harvest the labor and flesh of their subjects. They must learn to giggle at the hopeless scampering of weak and stubby creatures as they dodge the jaws of their overlords. They must accept that true friendship means flattering those who would otherwise feast on their entrails.

DaysOver95-MJ* Climate denialism and the Outer Banks. These time-lapse maps show how much hotter the USA will be when you’re old.

Why Did Borges Hate Soccer?

Was the U.S. Robbed Against Portugal? It Depends on What Time Means.

* You got your class-based analysis in my intersectionality NO you got your intersectionality in my class-based analysis

* Another exciting week of Good SCOTUS, Bad SCOTUS.

* Kunkel reviews Piketty. The circle is complete.

* Title Now Everybody Sue Everybody: expulsion and sexual assault at IHE.

Democrats are the worst, Daily Show edition.

Hillary Clinton 2016 and the Folly of the Left-Flank Push.

If you or any other speculator on my body and rights, wish to know how I regard my rights, they need but come here and lay their hands on me to enslave me. Did you think to terrify me by presenting the alternative to give my money to you, or give my body to Slavery? Then let me say to you, that I meet the proposition with unutterable scorn and contempt.

* The Star Wars museum is coming to Chicago.

* Konczal v. student debt.

* Obamaism v. teacher tenure.

* People aren’t worried about robots, they’re worried about who owns the robots.

* A New Bike Lane That Could Save Lives and Make Cycling More Popular.

*  “You express amazement at my statement that ‘civilized’ men try to justify their looting, butchering and plundering by claiming that these things are done in the interests of art, progress and culture. That this simple statement of fact should cause surprise, amazes me in return.”

* What could go wrong? Missouri School Districts Start Training Teachers To Carry Concealed Weapons In Classroom.

Former College Basketball Player Sues NCAA Over Concussions.

* ‘Think They Got Killed?’ 1964, L.B.J. and Three Civil Rights Icons.

* When Rambo was going to fight werewolves.

* In praise of Janelle Monáe.

* On phone horror.

* Another Fermi Paradox post.

* Here comes Pacific Rim 2. Plus a cartoon! But we still live in a vale of tears.

* Humanity Surprised It Still Hasn’t Figured Out Better Alternative To Letting Power-Hungry Assholes Decide Everything.

​The 20 Most WTF Magical Items in Dungeons & Dragons.

* Free at last: Oakland to decriminalize pinball.

* Kill Bill as an 8-bit video game.

* Episode 7 is already ruined.

* But the kids are all right.

Closing All My Tabs Friday Morning Links!

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* The first review I’ve seen of Green Planets says “it was just okay for me dog.” Hopefully the praise in the next one will be a little less qualified…

* The “decent Left” was wrong: a blood soaked occupation did not lead to a promising post-Taliban future.

* How much does it cost to recruit a single college athlete?

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The results are readily apparent. The overwhelming number of retractions due to flawed methodology, flawed approach, and general misconduct over the last decade is staggering. Stories in almost every field have seen a rash of inaccuracies. The percentage of scientific articles retracted because of fraud has increased tenfold since 1975.

* When Samuel R. Delany wrote Wonder Woman.

* A brief history of a Title IX.

* Da Vinci’s CV.

* Ask An Elderly Black Woman As Depicted By A Sophomore Creative Writing Major.

* But the biggest fundamental problem with the administration’s proposed ratings system is that it presents market principles as the cure for an illness that is itself caused by the indiscriminate application of market-mad nostrums to a context (education) where they don’t belong.

* ‘There Will Be No World Cup’: Brazil on the Brink.

* Norfolk, Virginia could be the first city we lose to climate change. Vox voxplains and revoxplains why we’re doomed, but never gets around to considering that flogging away uselessly in the same failed institutions might not be the answer.

* The coming grim death future has given us one gift, though: Darren Aronofsky Adapting Futuristic ‘MaddAddam’ Book Trilogy As HBO Series.

“Fixing” America’s schools “means changing America.”

* In other words, Louie is sketching out the psychology of an abuser by making us recognize abuse in someone we love. Someone thoughtful and shy, raising daughters of his own, doing his best. Someone totally cognizant of the issues that make him susceptible to the misogyny monster. Someone who thinks hard about women and men and still gets it badly wrong.

* Obama won’t take simple anti-corporate tax reform action he could institute unilaterally today. I suppose it’ll probably always be a mystery.

* Today in the rule of law: Attorney for teen set up by FBI in terror sting kicked out of courtroom while secret evidence is discussed. Judge Threatens, Allegedly Attacks Public Defender During Hearing. The public defender is very happy that cops are being sent to harass people who request public defenders.

* LAPD’s new air drone program will respect privacy. Well , that’s a relief!

Prosecutors say two 12-year-old southeastern Wisconsin girls stabbed their 12-year-old friend nearly to death in the woods to please a mythological creature they learned about online. The two girls will be tried as adults because they’re making such mature, clear-headed decisions.

* Elsewhere in Wisconsin justice: this twenty-five-year sentence for a woman who smothered her toddler will send a strong message of deterrence for any other mothers who want to murder their kids.

Toddler Burned by SWAT Grenade After Raid On Home.

* My beloved alma mater in the news! Judge Orders Case Western to Grant Diploma to Medical Student.

* The Secret Service wants to build a computer that can detect sarcasm. Maybe the computer could then explain it to Twitter users?

* Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino sues NFL over concussions.

* LEGO to launch female scientists series after online campaign.

* This seems so nutty to me. I think I probably spent half my childhood wandering around in the woods without supervision and the other half in the back seat of a locked car.

* Solving the Fermi paradox: Sufficiently Advanced Civilizations May Invariably Leave Our Universe. Or maybe they’re hacking reality and we can’t understand that’s what they’re doing.

* A Hong Kong VC fund has just appointed an algorithm to its board.

* “Ann B. Davis stood, walked over to the trash can, and emptied her tray. She walked out of the cafeteria and into a small, gray town near Pittsburgh. I wanted her to *be* Alice. I wanted her to smile as if she loved me. I wanted her to say, ‘Buck up, kiddo, everything’s going to be all right.’ And what I’m trying to tell you now is this: I grew up in a split-level ranch-style house outside a town that could have been anywhere. I grew up in front of a television. I would have believed her.” RIP, Ann B. Davis.

Steven Moffat hires zero female writers for Doctor Who — for the fourth season in a row.

Loaded Handgun Found in Target Toy Aisle.

(Even More) South African Genre Fiction.

* About 10% of them, yes.

* The government plans to fix the NSA scandal by making it all legal.

* What is even the payoff for shining a laser at a plane? That’s bananas.

* Europe has thought it over, and they’re sticking with kings.

* The kids are all right: Two sixth grade math classes lost an entire week’s worth of instruction taking a trial run of a new test and now they want payment for their time.

* On Sept. 13, 1848, at around 4:30 p.m., the time of day when the mind might start wandering, a railroad foreman named Phineas Gage filled a drill hole with gunpowder and turned his head to check on his men. It was the last normal moment of his life.

Cleveland Politician Proposes Tying Stadium Money To Wins.

* Life as a spousal hire.

* I can’t imagine how colleges could do mandatory mental health screenings right, but less how badly they’d screw it up by trying to do it on the cheap.

* There are dozens of us! The AV Club rediscovers The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

* A cultural history of time.

* And George R.R. Martin says Game of Thrones was always intended to be 3 5 7 8 12 books.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 6, 2014 at 8:00 am

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Bad Monkeys, Fallen, Wicked Souls

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What is the political charge of an eco-apocalypse like climate change, or ocean acidification, or Peak Oil? How are we to understand these visions of bad futures as they come to us from scientific projections and risk calculation spreadsheets? Is the coming catastrophe the dystopian clarion that warns us we must change-or is it the anti-utopian proof that we will refuse to change, even at the cost of civilization, or the planet itself?

I have a not-exactly-an-excerpt from Green Planets over at SF Signal, pontificating on the distinctions between utopia, anti-utopia, dystopia, and anti-dystopia…

utopia-anti-utopia

Thursday Forever

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* Thursday at C21: Christopher Newfield, “The Humanities in the Post-Capitalist University.” Then, this weekend, elsewhere at UWM: After Capitalism.

* I have a short piece on “WALL-E and Utopia,” pulled from the Green Planets intro, up today for In Media Res’s Pixar week. I also owe SF Signal a post that should go up … eventually that’s also in conversation with the Green Planets stuff (though not cribbed quite so directly).

* The humanities and citation.

* White House petition: abolish the capitalist mode of production.

More acutely, when you consider the math that McKibben, the Carbon Tracker Initiative and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) all lay out, you must confront the fact that the climate justice movement is demanding that an existing set of political and economic interests be forced to say goodbye to trillions of dollars of wealth. It is impossible to point to any precedent other than abolition. Great piece from Chris Hayes.

* College towns and income inequality.

* But, clearly, if we can afford such a massive increase in professional staff, as well as such an increase in executives whose salaries have been escalating very dramatically, the sharp decrease in the percentage of all instructional faculty who are tenured or on tenure tracks is a matter of a dramatic shift in priorities—in the conception of the university.

* Gasp! At Elite Colleges, Legacy Status May Count More Than Was Previously Thought.

* On the disinvestment/reinvestment cycle. Returns to university endowments 1980-2010. The Soul of Student Debt. Against anonymous student evaluation.

* Vice interviews Matt Taibbi on his new book The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap.

* Understanding Wonder Woman, at LARoB.

* When Spider-Man fought misleading sex education.

* Could Mystery Science Theater return?

* The public pension scam.

* How the Super-Rich Really Make Their Money.

* Companies used to borrow in the markets as a last resort finance investment in their business. Now it’s a front for shareholder giveaways.

* Capitalism and Nazism: Now It Can Be Told.

* The school, called Explore + Discover, will be available to children between the ages of 3 months and 2 years. Tuition is $2,791/month for kids who attend five days a week. You can also pay $1,990 for three days a week or $1,399 for two days but don’t you love your child?

In Tuscaloosa today, nearly one in three black students attends a school that looks as if Brown v. Board of Education never happened.

For men, having children is a career advantage. For women, it’s a career killer. University managers believe women themselves are primarily responsible for the gender imbalance in higher education, according to research published today.

There’s Even A Gender Gap In Children’s Allowances.

“Faculty ignored requests from women and minorities at a higher rate than requests from White males, particularly in higher-paying disciplines and private institutions.” Reviewers will find more spelling errors in your writing if they think you’re black.

David Foster Wallace Estate Comes Out Against the Jason Segel Biopic. Meanwhile, this insane Lifehacker piece suggests we bracket the whole “suicide” bummer and take David Foster Wallace as our lifecoach.

* Atheist lawsuit claims ‘under God’ in NJ school’s daily pledge recital harms children. I guess I’m just another survivor.

* Wired goes inside Captain Marvel fandom.

* Woman writes about something traditionally regarded as a male-orientated industry or area of interest; if she’s conveying love, she’s doing it “for attention” (so what?) or “fake” (whatever that means); if she criticizes, she’s insulting, whining, moaning, on her period; if she says anything at all, her argument or point is made invisible because her damn biology is getting in the way.

What’s it like for the first living ex-pope in 600 years to watch from up close as the successor he enabled dismantles his legacy? 

* What That Game of Thrones Scene Says About Rape Culture. George R.R. Martin doesn’t want to talk about it.

* Aaron Sorkin Wants To Apologize To Everyone About The Newsroom.

* Does world government have a future?

* Mars or die.

Texas Prisons Are Hot Enough to Kill You.

* #MyNYPD.

* The great Colbert rebranding begins.

Netflix and Mitch Hurwitz Joining Forces Again.

Nichelle Nichols Talks with Janelle Monae.

* Game of the night: solar system simulator Super Planet Crash.

* Joss Whedon’s New Film Isn’t in Theaters, But You Can Watch It Online for $5.

Gabriel García Márquez on Fidel Castro, the Soviet Union, and creating “a government which would make the poor happy.”

* Forrest Gump, as directed by Wes Anderson.

“The only thing preventing a catastrophe from a ‘city-killer’ sized asteroid is blind luck.”

* Horrific, tragic story out of Rutgers.

Risk of New York City coastal flooding has surged by factor of 20, says study.

* The latest on the big animal personhood case in New York. Dolphins as alien intelligence.

That Time Cleveland Released 1.5 Million Balloons and Chaos Ensued.

* CIA torture architect breaks silence to defend ‘enhanced interrogation.’ Facial recognition and the end of freedom. The end of net neutrality and the end of the Internet. Late capitalist subjectivity and the sharing economy.

Bullied Kids at Risk for Mental Health Problems 40 Years Later.

* And/but/so the kids are all right.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 24, 2014 at 7:00 am

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Almost Too Many Thursday Links, Really, If You Ask Me

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* Extrapolation is seeking essays for a special issue on Indigenous Futurism, edited by Grace L. Dillon, Michael Levy and John Rieder.

* Designing for The Grand Budapest Hotel.

* No state worse than Wisconsin for black children, says new national study. The Fight for Wisconsin’s Soul. Other People’s Pathologies.

* Why UWM Matters.

* Life and debt.

* Coffee pods and ecology.

* University of California graduate students explain why they’re striking. Students Occupy Dartmouth President’s Office. Coaches Make $358,000 In Bonuses For Reaching NCAA Tournament Final Four. Emory University Eradicates its Visual Arts Department. Dear Harvard: You Win.

* A Brief Report from the University of Southern Maine. Armed guards at faculty meetings.

Major attack on academic freedom in Michigan.

* Academia Under the Influence.

* Surveillance, Dissent, and Imperialism. NSA Surveillance and the Male Gaze.

* The secret history of Cuban Twitter. If this tweet gets 1000 favorites Castro’s beard falls out.

Kingdom Prep is one of dozens of basketball academies that have popped up in recent years to cater to “postgrad” players—recent high-school graduates who need to improve their standardized-test scores to meet the NCAA’s academic requirements.

* Just when I thought I was out: Marquette hires Duke associate head coach Steve Wojciechowski.

* The really rich are different from the rich, who are different from you and me.

* An heir to the du Pont fortune has been given probation for raping his three-year-old daughter because you know damn well why.

* What Can You Do With a Humanities Ph.D., Anyway?

* Documents filed with the Department of Labor and dated December 2012—three months after the company’s owners filed their lawsuit—show that the Hobby Lobby 401(k) employee retirement plan held more than $73 million in mutual funds with investments in companies that produce emergency contraceptive pills, intrauterine devices, and drugs commonly used in abortions. Hobby Lobby makes large matching contributions to this company-sponsored 401(k).

* Libertarian Police Department. Koch Brothers Quietly Seek To Ban New Mass Transit In Tennessee.

* Detroit: Then and Now.

* A new study shows how Lake Tahoe might serve as a mammoth reservoir that could significantly mitigate California’s chronic water shortages without tarnishing the lake’s world-renowned beauty. What could possibly go wrong?

* The geographic sublime, from the Rural Assistance Center.

* How to Think About the Risk of Autism.

* Sepinwall vs. How I Met Your Mother.

* How To Negotiate With People Around The World.

* Gasp! CIA misled on interrogation program, Senate report says.

* Gasp! Torture Didn’t Lead to Bin Laden.

* New G.O.P. Bid to Limit Voting in Swing States.

* Who’s afraid of Suey Park?

* You once said: “I’m part-android.” Has that revelation haunted you?

* The kids are all right: Talking With 13-Year-Old Leggings Activist Sophie Hasty.

* Bourbon and Girl Scout Cookie Pairings.

* How to Improve Aquaman.

* The Definitive Ranking Of Robin’s 359 Exclamations From ‘Batman.’ 25 Weird Batman Comic-Book Covers.

* Fan work: Labor, worth, and participation in fandom’s gift economy.

* Norman Lear, Archie Bunker, and the rRise of the BBbad Fan.

Original Star Trek II: Wrath Of Khan VFX Storyboards Are A Visual Feast.

* The greatest, richest, freest country in the history of the world.

* The wisdom of markets: Walmart Realizes It’s Losing Billions Of Dollars By Denying Workers More Hours.

* Classic good news / bad news situation: Television Without Pity Archives Will Stay Online. Panel’s Warning on Climate Risk: Worst Is Yet to Come.

* Weird science: Gunshot victims to be suspended between life and death.

* On Moretti-ism: Knowing is not reading.

* The New Inquiry’s “Money” issue is out with some great pieces, including one on China that really highlights a key contradiction in American ideology, which simultaneously holds that capitalism is the only possible economic system and that the future belongs to China. And Rortybomb’s piece on human capital is super chilling: basically dystopian literature, and it’s pretty much already real. And then the freedom piece! And the egg donation one! Great issue all around.

A person may be free because she can choose among a broad range of possibilities, or she may be free while she undertakes some action about which she has no choice at all, but whose compulsion she deems legitimate. Or she may be free when she faces a range of options, one of which is clearly superior to the alternatives, so that her behavior is perfectly predictable despite a formal freedom to choose. Freedom is not, at bottom, about the range of possibilities one faces but about the degree of consent one offers for the action to be taken or the circumstance to be endured.

Japan Ordered To Stop Killing Antarctic Whales For “Science.”

* Teen Wins $70,000 Settlement After School Demanded Her Facebook Password.

* Is being thin more deadly than being obese? Take that, skinnies!

*  I’ve had this dream: Student claims college instructor spent months teaching class the ‘wrong’ course.

* I dream of the day that Seattle and Portland can get along.

* And please don’t make me say it again.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 3, 2014 at 7:00 am

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GREEN PLANETS Is Out Today!

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GPThe essays in Green Planets are predicated on the proposition that two hundred years of SF can help us collectively “think” this leap into futurity in the context of the epochal mass-extinction event called the Anthropocene (which the literary theorists more simply call “modernity”). SF is our culture’s vast, shared, polyvocal archive of the possible; from techno-utopias to apocalypses to ecotopian fortunate falls, it is thetransmedia genre of SF that has first attempted to articulate the sorts of systemic global changes that are imminent, or already happening, and begins to imagine what our transformed planet might eventually be like for those who will come to live on it. Especially taken in the context of escalating ecological catastrophe, in which each new season seems to bring with it some new and heretofore-unseen spectacular disaster, my coeditor’s well-known declaration that in the contemporary moment “the world has become a science fiction novel” has never seemed more true or more frightening. Indeed, such a notion suggests both politics and “realism” are now always “inside” science fiction, insofar as the world, as we experience its vertiginous technological and ecological flux, now more closely resembles SF than it does any historical realism…

Out today! Buy it at Amazon in paperback and Kindle! Here’s a table of contents.

Self-Promotion Minute: GREEN PLANETS Comes Out Next Month!

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GPI’ll try not to be too aggressive about self-promotional spam, but I’m very excited to formally announce that the edited collection I put together with Kim Stanley Robinson, Green Planets: Ecology and Science Fiction, comes out next month from Wesleyan University Press in paperback, hardback, and on Kindle. I just got my advance copy yesterday; we’re very proud of the book and couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out.

Here’s a table of contents:

Preface by Gerry Canavan
Introduction: “If This Goes On” also by Gerry Canavan

Part 1 Arcadias and New Jerusalems
1 ► “Extinction, Extermination, and the Ecological Optimism
of H. G. Wells” by Christina Alt
2 ► “Evolution and Apocalypse in the Golden Age” by Michael Page
3 ► “Daoism, Ecology, and World Reduction in Le Guin’s Utopian Fictions” by Gib Prettyman
4 ► “Biotic Invasions: Ecological Imperialism in New Wave Science Fiction” by Rob Latham

Part 2 Brave New Worlds and Lands of the Flies
5 ► “‘The Real Problem of a Spaceship Is Its People’: Spaceship Earth as Ecological Science Fiction” by Sabine Höhler
6 ► “The Sea and Eternal Summer: An Australian Apocalypse” by Andrew Milner
7 ► “Care, Gender, and the Climate-Changed Future: Maggie Gee’s The Ice People by Adeline Johns-Putra
8 ► “Future Ecologies, Current Crisis: Ecological Concern in South African Speculative Fiction” by Elzette Steenkamp
9 ► “Ordinary Catastrophes: Paradoxes and Problems in Some Recent Post-Apocalypse Fictions” by Christopher Palmer

Part 3 Quiet Earths, Junk Cities, and the Cultures of the Afternoon
10 ► “‘The Rain Feels New’: Ecotopian Strategies in the Short Fiction of Paolo Bacigalupi” by Eric C. Oto
11 ► “Life after People: Science Faction and Ecological Futures” by Brent Bellamy and Imre Szeman
12 ► “Pandora’s Box: Avatar, Ecology, Thought” by Timothy Morton
13 ► “Churning Up the Depths: Nonhuman Ecologies of Metaphor in Solaris and ‘Oceanic'” by Melody Jue

Afterword: “Still, I’m Reluctant to Call This Pessimism” by Gerry Canavan and Kim Stanley Robinson

There’s also a lengthy “Of Further Interest” appendix that’s an annotated list of some key texts in the subgenre of ecological science fiction.

Thanks to all the contributors, and to everyone at Wesleyan, for all their hard work. I hope you’ll check it out.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 11, 2014 at 2:07 pm

Tuesday Night Links!

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* This won’t be the last time you hear about it, but Green Planets: Ecology and Science Fiction finally has a pre-order page.

* In a post-employment economy ridden with arbitrary credentialism, a résumé is often not a reflection of achievement but a document sanctioning its erasure. One is not judged on what one has accomplished, but on one’s ability to walk a path untouched by the incongruities of market forces.

* Want to teach your students about structural racism? Prepare for a formal reprimand. Lessons from the Collection IV: Teaching While Black (Part I). Part II.

Free as in speech. Free as in beer. Free as in Huey. Free as in lunch. Free as in bird. Free as in love. Free education for all.

* At Some Other Berkeley: Frederick Wiseman’s At Berkeley mistakes the enemies of public higher education for its defenders.

Has UC Berkeley mortgaged itself to football?

* “‘Too good to check’ used to be a warning to newspaper editors not to jump on bullshit stories. Now it’s a business model.”

* American Students Fall Behind International Peers In Math, Science, And Reading. Countries With Higher Math Scores Have Unhappier Kids.

* Point: Superheroes are a bunch of fascists. Counterpoint: Stop Calling Superheroes ‘Fascist.’

* Democracy watch: Gov. Snyder has effectively absolute authority dismantling Detroit despite losing in the city 20-1. What’s next for Detroit?

* I Am Sitting in a Room, 2013.

Europe Could Be 9 Degrees Warmer By The End Of The Century.

Uruguayan President Asks for World to Support His Marijuana Legalization Plan.

British Think Tank Revives 40-year-old Plan to Build Space Colonies. How NASA might build its very first warp drive.

* And What’s Wrong With America’s Newspaper Opinion Columnists in One Chart.

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