Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Greta Thunberg

Tuesday Links, Plus a Very Canavan Podcast!

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There’s No Sheriff on This Planet: A Conversation with Kim Stanley Robinson. The latest in my irregular series of conversations with KSR. The transcript is just the highlights — for the full effect you’ll have to listen.

* Extrapolation 60.1 is out! Articles on rape motifs in contemporary fantasy, Japanese print SF, and Nihād Sharīf’s The Conqueror of Time.

* Endgame ephemera! Avengers: Endgame, or, why this is all your fault. Avengers and the Endgame of Liberalism. And the Russo brothers are on a quest to make sure you know that Endgame being good had nothing to do with them.

* The Night King? Never happened. It will shock you how much it never happened. Bonus appearance by the coffee cup! If these are the final two choices, the only way to win the Game may be not to play.

* “Like Groundhog Day — and while we’re at it, like The Good Place — Russian Doll is Kafka played on easy mode.”

* Watch The Wandering Earth on Netflix!

* Ted Chiang has a new book, why haven’t you bought it yet?

* A new climate change story from Paolo Bacigalupi at MIT Technology Review. Killer ending.

* Human society under urgent threat from loss of Earth’s natural life. One million species at risk of extinction, UN report warns. Humans Are Speeding Extinction and Altering the Natural World at an ‘Unprecedented’ Pace. An open letter to David Wallace-Wells. We are ruled by psychopaths.

* Greta Thunberg, autism, and climate activism.

* For roughly 18 months, AirPods play music, or podcasts, or make phone calls. Then the lithium-ion batteries will stop holding much of a charge, and the AirPods will slowly become unusable. They can’t be repaired because they’re glued together. They can’t be thrown out, or else the lithium-ion battery may start a fire in the garbage compactor. They can’t be easily recycled, because there’s no safe way to separate the lithium-ion battery from the plastic shell. Instead, the AirPods sit in your drawer forever. AirPods Are a Tragedy.

It’s time to speak about batshit jobs.

Today, batshit jobs are more widespread than ever. You’re likely doing a batship job if you’re working in advertising trying to maintain mass consumption, in air traffic, industrial farming and forestry, in mining, in the car industry, and first of all if you’re working in oil drilling, fracking, coal mining.

To become dilligent batshit workers we have to be trained, and we have to be able to block out the harm that our work participates in. The beauty of the school strikes is that a generation of young people are preparing themselves to refuse batshit work.

*  It seems to me that anyone who considers this for more than ten minutes has to recognize that “student demand” is a construct: it is the product of a pervasive, cross-institutional pedagogy in social and educational value in which students are immersed from (at least) primary school onward.  If students are demanding STEM in record numbers, this is a because they have been systematically invited to embrace a number of interlocking beliefs: that

  1. STEM fields matter to the welfare and future of human societies more than other fields — that social problems respond best to technocratic solutions; 
  2. college is a course of career training; 
  3. college is an investment that ought to be maximized in order to yield the highest possible return in the form of lifelong higher income;
  4. STEM fields represent areas of continuing high-growth, recession-proof employment. 

“Student demand” is a fact insofar as it reproduces these assumptions, which are already endemic to the privatized, market-driven university.  Other forms of “student demand” (for example, demands for a more racially and ethnically diverse faculty that better reflects regional and national demographics) are routinely ignored.

* Marquette Academic Senate calls for administration neutrality on unionization.

* Measuring the tenure-track success of pre-2009 Ph.D.s is like measuring the ice stability of Greenland’s glaciers before industrialization. Researcher’s suicide reflects bleak prospects for post-Ph.D. life. Adjuncts and Freelancers: Reading Signs of Eventual Destruction.

* Turning Point USA’s dark coup on college campuses.

A lot of older academics will point to the 1970s or the 1990s to say that crisis has always been the default, and there’s truth to this. But they didn’t have the same debt loads back then.

* “Second Chance: Life without Student Debt.”

* For Colleges, Climate Change Means Making Tough Choices.

* People Are Clamoring to Buy Old Insulin Pumps.

What Happened After My 13-Year-Old Son Joined the Alt-Right. As capitalism starts to crumble, hate finds a familiar foothold.

Liberalism: the other God that failed. The Senate is a much bigger problem than the Electoral College. Here’s how many millennials get help from their parents to pay rent and other bills. Twitter users answer the question: “When did you become radicalized by the U.S. health care non-system?” 42% of Americans are at risk of retiring broke.

* America smartly sets its sights on the one flaw in the Constitution the Founders actually bothered to fix.

* If the president does it, it’s not obstruction.

* This seems heathy. This too! Things are great.

The forgotten history of how Abraham Lincoln helped rig the Senate for Republicans.

* Dialectics of Milwaukee: ‘It’s clear that the secret is out about Milwaukee,’ increased tourism spending shows. There seems to be a surge of unsettling things happening on the Milwaukee education landscape, some of them just more of the same (low student achievement, divisive politics) and some of them not so typical (corruption). Glendale would provide $37 million to help redevelop struggling Bayshore — with $57 million debt paid off.

Sandra Bland, It Turns Out, Recorded Her Own Video of Traffic Stop Confrontation. ICE provides local police a way to work around ‘sanctuary’ policies, act as immigration officers.

* On April 30, my Liberal Studies class, framed as Anthropology and Philosophy of Science, was the site of a horrific event. Two of my students were killed while four more were injured.

Study: Therapy dogs reduce children’s fear, anxiety during dentist appointments.

Aging baby boomers are about to push Alzheimer’s disease rates sky high.

The Saga Of ‘Star Citizen,’ A Video Game That Raised $300 Million—But May Never Be Ready To Play.

* Dystopia watch: Oh Good, a Subway System Is Making Riders Stare at Ads Before They Can Buy a Ticket. Amazon’s staffing up a news vertical full of crime stories designed to scare you into buying a spying, snitching “smart” doorbell. We’ve lived so long that the founding of Amazon Prime is something we can be nostalgic about now.

* Let’s just go with a daily reminder that Philip K. Dick wrote a novel where all films were just called disneys.

* Who Owns the Moon Watch: Why the Moon Is Suddenly a Hot Commodity.

* How angry pilots got the Navy to stop dismissing UFO sightings.

* And the biggest danger about an asteroid strike? Lawyers.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 7, 2019 at 12:31 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Just Another Monday Morning Linkpost

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* I asked “If you were going to do a NORTON ANTHOLOGY OF THEORY AND CRITICISM lit crit class where the gimmick was that you always returned to a foundational text for application, what would you choose?” and got some really good ideas. Right now, if I do it rather than a multiple-choice or wheel-of-fortune variant, it looks like it’s going to be Frankenstein.

* CFP for SFRA 2019, at Chaminade University, Honolulu, Hawai‘i.

Her Eyes Weren’t Watching God: The Empathetic Secular Vision of Octavia Butler.

N.K. Jemisin – Building a World.

Nicholas Hoult as J.R.R. Tolkien in first look at ‘Lord Of The Rings’ author’s biopic. Deadwood Movie Confirmed for Spring 2019 Premiere. And the new Aladdin movie looks worse than I ever could have possibly imagined.

* This week I went on a journey into the madness of The Phantom Podcast, which reviews the Star Wars prequel trilogy as if the series began with Episode 1, and I regret nothing. Scroll all the way down.

Active-Shooter Drills Are Tragically Misguided: There’s scant evidence that they’re effective. They can, however, be psychologically damaging—and they reflect a dismaying view of childhood.

* america.jpg

Students and Faculty Plan Walkout Over Johns Hopkins’ ICE Contract.

* How to Make Grad School More Humane.

Should You Allow Laptops in Class? Here’s What the Latest Study Adds to That Debate.

International Graduate-Student Enrollments and Applications Drop for 2nd Year in a Row.

* WTF Is Going on at Wright State? Seriously. Seriously. Seriously. Seriously.

* “Student Loan Relief or Paid Vacation? These Workers Get a Choice.” Here’s Why So Many Americans Feel Cheated By Their Student Loans.

* The real political correctness on campus is the feckless submission to anyone remotely rich and powerful, no matter how they behave.

* Every tweet in this thread is enraging. Every one.

* Plan S and the humanities.

Julian Glander’s Art Sqool is about Froshmin, a small, round person who is going to an art school run by an artificial intelligence that is going to help Froshmin become a great artist. Or at least some kind of artist. Actually, thinking about it, the weird little robot who evaluates all of your art doesn’t make any promises about ability or skill or fame or recognition as a product of the time that Froshmin spends at Art Sqool. Wait, shit, is this a scam?

When Jamaica Led the Postcolonial Fight Against Exploitation.

When the Camera Was a Weapon of Imperialism. (And When It Still Is.)

How Flight Attendants Grounded Trump’s Shutdown.

The battle for the future of Stonehenge.

* The Museum at Auschwitz.

* 250 dead, $91 billion in damages: 2018 was a catastrophic year for U.S. weather; 4th-warmest for globe. A hole opens up under Antarctic glacier — big enough to fit two-thirds of Manhattan. Melting glaciers reveal ancient landscapes, thawing mummies, and long-dead diseases. Rising Temperatures Could Melt Most Himalayan Glaciers by 2100. Tasmania is burning. The climate disaster future has arrived while those in power laugh at us. Global warming could exceed 1.5C within five years. Plummeting insect numbers ‘threaten collapse of nature’. The end of the Colorado. Polar thinking.

A Huge Climate Change Movement Led By Teenage Girls Is Sweeping Europe. And It’s Coming To The US Next.

Latinos, blacks breathe 40 percent more pollution than whites in California, study says.

Liberal Democrats Formally Call for a ‘Green New Deal,’ Giving Substance to a Rallying Cry. More here.

* Day care for all.

* Ugh. Gotta preserve this flawless system.

Please Stop Writing Nancy Pelosi Fan Fiction.

Tax the Hell Out of the Rich, When They’re Alive and When They’re Dead.

* Meanwhile, it sounds like things going great in Britain.

Brett Kavanaugh Just Declared War on Roe v. Wade.

* Parable of the Talents watch: Missing Migrant Children Being Funneled Through Christian Adoption Agency.

“I made mistakes”: Jill Abramson responds to plagiarism charges around her new book.

* On the NPC meme.

* Sesame Workshop has finally given up on Bert and Ernie.

* On the end of The Good Place.

* Patreon planning to completely betray its user base, of course.

* Google is already way down that road. As is everyone else.

* Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is preparing for New York’s establishment Dems to eliminate her district.

* Headlines from the end of the world: “Ketamine Could Be the Key to Reversing America’s Rising Suicide Rate.”

Sexual Abuse of Nuns: Longstanding Church Scandal Emerges From Shadows. 20 years, 700 victims: Southern Baptist sexual abuse spreads as leaders resist reforms.

Customs And Border Protection Apologized After An Agent Questioned A BuzzFeed News Reporter About Trump Coverage.

* “Hackers using black-market Israeli ICE-breakers to extort a billionaire who’s replacing his employees with robots, at the behest of a shadowy tabloid/petromonarchy alliance, is actually the cyberpunk future we were promised, and yet.” But for real.

* On Jaws 4. On a legally distinct Harry Potter.

* Young engineer upgraded the LEGO bionic arm he built for himself.

* I’m amazed it’s even legal to sell these paintings in Germany.

* Where do the lines cross?

Fun fact, if you want to go from one side of Maui to the other you have to take this weird, 30-mile, up-and-back-down detour UNLESS you are Oprah Winfrey, who owns a private 4-mile road that she has paved and everything, connecting the narrowest part of the route.

* Finland gave people free money. It didn’t help them get jobs — but does that matter?

* The meat industry vs. lab-grown meat.

* On autism in women.

* Neoliberalism evolves.

* An antibiotic-style treatment for cancer? Let’s hope.

* Maybe she’s born with it.

* And not all heroes wear capes.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 11, 2019 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Another Day of Extreme Cold, Another Link Post

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* CFP: ASLE co-sponsored roundtable at MLA 2020: Indigenizing the Future: (Re)Imagining the Future of the Environment. Jan. 9-12 2020 Seattle, WA. Deadline March 1.

* CFP: The State of the Single-Author Study (also MLA 2020, deadline March 15). As Sean Guynes-Vishniac noted hopefully an SF studies scholar will participate as this has been a major site of research in recent years, largely due to the Modern Masters of Science Fiction series.

* #freelance #altac

* Just for the record: Polar vortex: what is it and how is it linked to climate change?

* A free book of science fiction from around the world about climate change, introduced by Kim Stanley Robinson.

Greta Thunberg: Act As If Our House Is on Fire. Because It Is.

* Kamala Harris picked a fight with the wrong fandom.

Sanders’s bill, the “For the 99.8% Act,” would tax the estates of the 0.2 percent of Americans who inherit more than $3.5 million, while the rest of the country “would not see their taxes go up by one penny under this plan,” according to aides to the Vermont senator, who is considering a 2020 presidential bid.

Democrats Must Reach Out to Moderates in 2020 — By Waging a Vicious Class War.

* Socialism for Realists.

* How a frustrated blogger made expanding Social Security a reasonable idea.

* Joshua Tree national park ‘may take 300 years to recover’ from shutdown. And another shutdown is just a few short weeks away!

Modern Weather Forecasts Are Stunningly Accurate.

How much better? “A modern five-day forecast is as accurate as a one-day forecast was in 1980,” says a new paper, published last week in the journal Science. “Useful forecasts now reach nine to 10 days into the future.”

* Cop watch: This Is What Truancy Laws Do. Feds used fake Michigan university in immigration sting. ICE force-feeding detainees on hunger strike. An asylum seeker’s quest to get her toddler back.

OxyContin Maker Explored Expansion Into “Attractive” Anti-Addiction Market.

* Once you have your sensitivity raised about a particular condition, you see the abuses they suffer everywhere. Florida School Staffers Charged With Using Dark Room, Whistle to Torment Autistic Kids.

* You can report the news in a way that doesn’t inform anyone.

* Bipartisan agreement that Donald Trump is God’s chosen instrument for destroying the United States.

* No helmets, no problem: how the Dutch created a casual biking culture.

* What happened when Oslo decided to make its downtown basically car-free?

* I basically pitched this story in Graz, talking about the difference between Aquaman and Namor: Namor, ecoterrorist.

The Beginning of the End of Capitalist Realism.

* Today in the liberal media’s endless drumbeat for war.

* 1984.

* It looks like I’ve accidentally made a terrific financial decision.

“We find that LEGO investments outperform large stocks, bonds, gold and other alternative investments, yielding the average return of at least 11% (8% in real terms) in the sample period 1987-2015,” write the authors of a study titled LEGO – The Toy of Smart Investors. “Small and huge sets, as well as seasonal, architectural and movie-based sets, deliver higher returns. LEGO returns are not exposed to market, value, momentum and volatility risk factors, but have an almost unit exposure to the size factor. A positive multifactor alpha of 4-5%, a Sharpe ratio of 0.4, a positive return skewness and a low exposure to standard risk factors make the LEGO toy an attractive alternative investment with a good diversification potential.”

* The contemporary fascination with women who were tabloid media spectacles in the 1990s has turned at last to Lorena Bobbitt.

* What You Should Know Before You Start Watching Porn.

* Scenes from the Anthropocene.

* And just in time for teaching SimCity later this semester: Behind one of the most iconic computer games of all time is a theory of how cities die—one that has proven dangerously influential.

Wednesday Morning Links!

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I see this kind of entrapment everywhere in the neoliberal order. In my own field of academia, I think of how we tell students that college is the only path to a liveable life, leading them to ‘freely choose’ to take on impossible debt loads that they can never escape. We recognize that an injustice has happened here, but a lot of people find it hard to resist saying, essentially, ‘Well, you should have thought of that before you took out the loans….’ They chose it, therefore they should bear the consequences.

And that is one of the least sinister cases – for instance, think about how blacks are entrapped into criminality and then punished disproportionately. Again, we recognize an injustice, but in the mainstream discourse the instinctive reaction is: ‘Well, they had a choice.’ Under neoliberalism, our free choice doesn’t exist to give us room for creativity and exploration – we can seemingly only ever choose wrongly. Free will is a means to generate blameworthiness, to tell us that we deserve what we get.

* The Future of Work, at Wired.

Common Good, Not Common Despair.

We don’t often talk of the formative nature of debt in the same way we do in regard to other educational experiences. But just as education is about more than funneling information into students’ brains, indebtedness is about more than the transfer of money. Universities rarely address the aspect of higher education that may most powerfully shape students’ futures: the debt they take on to finance it. A Debt to Education: Universities can shape their students for life – in more ways than one.

But we can do better. As educators, we need to lead the way and design our pedagogical approaches for the students we have, not the students we wish we had. This requires approaches that are responsive, inclusive, adaptive, challenging, and compassionate. And it requires that institutions find more creative ways to support teachers and prepare them for the work of teaching. This is not a theoretical exercise — it is a practical one.

* Universities watchdog threatens fines over grade inflation.

Professor hired mercenaries to rescue student from ISIS in Iraq after he said he wouldn’t finish his thesis.

Citizenship v. The Surveillance State.

I now conceptualize the society I came from and the war to which I went as part of the same grotesque amusement park ride. If I have discovered anything since my homecoming, it is not that I never came home. It is not that my soul resides in Afghanistan. It is that my home has lost its peaceful veneer, stripped bare, like Twentynine Palms. An American who leaves for war never leaves America. The war that is America, rather, comes to the American. The war is the society and the society is the war, and one who sees that war sees America.

Star Wars is Really a Cautionary Tale About Devoting All Technological Advancements to Death.

* What I Learned from Reading 1,182 Emergency Room Bills.

A Father’s Version Of A Guatemalan Girl’s Trip To The US Raises Questions About The Border Patrol’s Account. Guatemalan girl likely died of ‘sepsis shock’ after crossing border, hospital officials said. Medical Help Was Hours Away for Migrant Girl Who Died in U.S. Custody. “I just left the tent city at Tornillo. It is a child prison camp. They refused our request to speak with the children who are held there.”

* “You are not mature enough to tell it like it is. Even that burden you leave to us children.”

Mounting legal threats surround Trump as nearly every organization he has led is under investigation. Trump agrees to shut down his charity amid allegations that he used it for personal and political benefit. How Donald Trump Got Caught in a Legal Vise. Quick thread on the only recorded criminal arrest of a sitting U.S. president—made by a D.C. Police offering for speeding, a century and a half ago.

* The Future of Ultrahigh-End Space Travel.

* The UNC shitshow continues.

How Scandal and Severance Enrich Private-College Presidents.

The New York Times Just Published an Unqualified Recommendation for an Insanely Anti-Semitic Book. A Brief, Depressing Compendium of Alice Walker’s Apparent Conspiratorial Beliefs.

* On Tolkien and race.

* The Brexit Breaking Point. Government gives Britain’s 6 million businesses 101 days to prepare for a No Deal Brexit.

* After Kavanaugh.

* Here’s the list of workout clothes you should buy if you don’t want to be complicit in global slavery.

* Everything old is new again! Forever and ever amen.

A Texas Elementary School Speech Pathologist Refused to Sign a Pro-Israel Oath, Now Mandatory in Many States — so She Lost Her Job.

* I’ve polled Twitter and it’s officially okay to take pleasure in the suffering of these Trump voters whose property is going to wind up on the wrong side of the wall.

* Some superstitious divination rituals may have spread because they functioned as adaptive randomization devices in contexts where people otherwise would have used decision procedures worse than chance.

The rapper who allegedly received Dorsey’s facial hair, I’m very excited to share, was Azealia Banks. She tweeted about this exchange in 2016, writing that Dorsey “sent me his hair in an envelope because i was supposed to make him an amulet for protection.”

* The PewDiePie century.

* Facebook has abused your data and your trust in literally every way it is possible for them to do so.

The Cities Where The Cops See No Hate.

* Basically every actress you liked in the early 2000s who disappeared by 2010 was blackballed for speaking out against powerful abusive men.

* A method for creating extremely convincing fake faces.

Trans Teenager Claims Teacher Demanded He ‘Prove’ He Was a Boy In Bathroom.

As an intellectual historian, I’ve found it puzzling that no one has scanned Ross Douthat’s writings from the Harvard Salient, 1998-2002. So I checked out as much of it as I could and there’s some pretty good stuff.

“We have six people on board,” one pilot said a few minutes later, according to an audio recording available via LiveATC.net. “Airplane is completely uncontrollable.”

Metroid’s Samus Aran is a Transgender Woman. Deal With It.

* Are we living with the Chickenocene?

* When you fit the description.

* Ambient cruelty.

* Well you tell me how you’d make baby powder without asbestos.

* Well you tell me how they’re supposed to attract top-flight talent to a company that no longer exists.

* Wild story from the animal beat: An Officer Placed a Retired Police Dog in a Shelter. Now He’s Been Demoted.

An Atlas of American Gun Violence.

* Today in the best $____ I ever spent: top surgery.

* What’s the greenest way to travel? We built a sim of world’s climate battle – here’s what happened when delegates played it at COP24. Inside the most destructive fire in American history—and why the West’s cities and towns will keep on burning. Weather 2050.

* Starting to think Woody Allen might be a bad guy.

* Springsteen on Broadway on Netflix: The Interview.

* Being Chris Hayes.

Why We Still Don’t Know How Many NFL Players Have CTE.

The Artful Propaganda of Soviet Children’s Literature.

How To Make Beer With Only What You Can Grow On A Generation Ship.

* Malls of the 21st Century.

* The ‘Weird Events’ That Make Machines Hallucinate.

* Tech and the supernatural.

* Journey of an American Bomb.

* DC must have heard about my Graz talk: they’re making a Swamp Thing show. Meanwhile, another followup from Graz: Aquaman, From Super Friend To Surfer Dude: The Bro-Ification Of A Hero.

* And I know it’s my fault for seeing the double entendre in everything, but sometimes I really think they’re doing it on purpose.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 19, 2018 at 9:09 am

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