Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Halloween

So Here’s Everything You Missed While You Were Paying Attention to the Election Links

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* It was an absolutely crazy month trying to get the final proofs locked down, but The Cambridge History of Science Fiction has an Amazon page and a publication date: November 30, 2018. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this massive undertaking! Obviously $175 is a hefty price tag, so talk to your public and university library about science fiction today…

* SFRA Review #326 is up with my last vice president’s note (sniff).

* I think I forgot to hype my review essay in the latest Science Fiction Film and Television on Arrival and parenting. Consider it hyped!

* I was also lucky enough to participate in the symposium for the new issue of Science Fiction Studies on climate crisis. (The end of my contribution for those who can’t get past the preview.)

* Wired has a profile of KSR in honor of Red Moon, which I’m meant to be reviewing for LARB one of these days…

* Ted Chiang’s second collection, Exhalation, is finally coming out in May 2019. An absolute must-buy.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s Final Posthumous Book Is Published.

* It’s been too long since I last posted and this CFP is out of date now, but it looks like a great event at Madison next year: CFP: Childhoods of Color.

* At least the Post45 CFP is still active! And this one! Transgressions: McGill University’s 25th Annual English Graduate Conference.

* CFP: The Sanzed Empire on Fire: A Panel on N.K. Jemisin’s The Broken Earth Trilogy.

* Call for Papers: Insecurity Conference (Spring 2019). At UWM’s Center for 21st Century Studies.

* Another thing I missed in a month of not posting: Jaimee’s first review for the Rumpus. It’s a good one!

* Monsters vs. Empire: Mark Bould vs. the Space Force.

* Nine sci-fi subgenres for understanding what’s to come.

* Race and Halloween in Milwaukee.

* A special issue of the Canadian Journal of Canadian Studies: Black Lives, Black Politics, Black Futures—An Introduction.

Why I’m Fighting To Get Rid Of The “Baby Graveyard” At Marquette University.

* Jesuits to release names of accused priests in the west. This is going to hit Catholic higher education like a sledgehammer.

* Superstar-professor-industrial complex. Academia as cult.

* How to read Infinite Jest.

* Let the children sue.

* Monsters of climate change.

Architectural history in an era of capitalist ruin.

What if I told you one of the largest ever undertakings in American historic preservation was happening not through the graces of any large institution, but through the autonomous participation of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of individuals across the country, who are collectively stitching together their own narrative of architectural history?

The “Kmart” group on the photo-sharing website Flickr has amassed a staggering twenty-five thousand photos of its subject, a struggling American discount store. It hardly matters that, against the grain of the high-architectural image factory, many of these photos could not be called artistic—a number of them appear to have been taken with shaky cell phones, or from the wrong side of a speeding car. The production of high-gloss photography is not the purpose of this group. It’s purpose is to document a slow extinction.

* “I’m about to hit the ground but the bottom of my shoes were melting. I … prayed to God, ‘Please, don’t let me die like this,'” said nurse Nichole Jolly. Nurses fleeing fast-moving Camp Fire scramble to save patients — and themselves.

Microplastics found in 90 percent of table salt. Insect collapse study ‘one of the most disturbing articles I have ever read,’ expert warns. Humanity has wiped out 60% of animal populations since 1970, report finds. Entire cities evacuate as hellish wildfires whip through California. Here’s Where the Post-Apocalyptic Water Wars Will Be Fought. As the Antarctic Peninsula heats up, the rules of life there are being ripped apart. Alarmed scientists aren’t sure what all the change means for the future. Geoengineering as a weapon of war. Left-wing climate realism and the Trump climate change memo. Weather 2050: See how your city’s weather will be different in just one generation. Capitalism torched the world, fascism rose from the ashes. No Empires, No Dust Bowls Ecological Disasters and the Lessons of History. Best prepare for social collapse, and soon. Climate Change Is Already Damaging American Democracy. Climate Change is Already Drastically Altering the World’s Climate Zones. High Tide Socialism in Low Tide Times. Disaster socialism. Billionaires Are the Leading Cause of Climate Change. The end of the world is over. Now the real work begins.

The Wandering Earth could be China’s breakout sci-fi blockbuster film.

How Marvel and Corporate Comics Are Failing the ‘Vulnerable’ Creators Behind Their Superheroes. The case of Chuck Wendig.

* Citation as gratitude. Should Scholars Avoid Citing the Work of Awful People? Over time all cultural work asymptotically approaches the condition of Twitter.

* The NCAA is gaslighting you. The secret betrayal that sealed Nike’s special influence over the University of Oregon. Scandal at Maryland. Nearly 100 More Women Accuse USC Gynecologist George Tyndall of Abuse.

Going Hungry at the Most Prestigious MFA in America.

* Secretive Campus Cops Patrol Already Overpoliced Neighborhoods.

Meet the UW professor who just killed the death penalty.

* When you wake up this morning from unsettling dreams, you find yourself changed in your bed into a monstrous vermin. You Are Jeff Bezos.

Politics corner!

* It’s been so long since I posted that this caravan of bloodthirsty women and children isn’t even attacking the US anymore.

* Years too late, the end of Scott Walker. Wisconsin’s $4.1B Foxconn Boondoggle.

* Back to this. No asylum. These Companies Are Helping Trump Wage ‘Technological Warfare’ Against Immigrants. Amazon is helping ICE track, detain and deport immigrants, report say. Migrant Children in Search of Justice: A 2-Year-Old’s Day in Immigration Court. The Five-Year-Old Who Was Detained at the Border and Persuaded to Sign Away Her Rights. The war inside 7-11. How A Massive ICE Raid Changed Life In One Small American Town. ICE Is Imprisoning a Record 44,000 People. ICE Is Sending Separated Children Home With No One To Pick Them Up.

Swedish student who stopped deportation flight of Afghan asylum seeker to be prosecuted.

* The President personally and directly violating election law is like a page 6 story. And this one. And this one!

I know the vast amount of focus is on the immediate future of the Mueller probe, but it’s also wild that Whitaker, with this resume, is now the chief law enforcement officer in the country. ‘He’s a F*cking Fool.’

* The political theology of Trump.

* Florida. Why is it always Florida?

The Gerontocracy is Driving America into the Ditch. The rigging of American politics.

* What would you say about abolishing the Supreme Court? It’s a start. Resisting the Justocracy.

* Rule of law watch: Promise not to kill anyone? After losing election, TX judge wholesale releases juvenile defendants.

* Elsewhere in Texas: Now we see the violence inherent in the system.

* Periodic unhappy reminder that stochastic terrorism is a term you’re going to want to familiarize yourself with.

Pittsburgh Shooting Was Straight Out of White Power Movement. Law enforcement can’t and won’t fight them. More on that won’t.

Fascism Is Not an Idea to Be Debated, It’s a Set of Actions to Fight.

* Brazil. One key lesson from Brazil’s lapse into fascism: Don’t trust liberals. This Is How We Radicalized The World.

* Classic Obama move to punish a bank for its crimes and make sure not to tell anyone.

* There are so many constitutional crises going on right now that it’s hard to remember where they all are. This from West Virginia was less than a month ago.

Three Months Inside Alt-Right New York.

Five Principles for Left Foreign Policy.

* Why are we in the Middle East?

* The Senate is a huge problem for Democrats. America needs a bigger House. The Democrats’ Existential Battle: Achieving Real Democracy.

* And Wisconsin’s even worse.

* Trans rights are human rights.

Victims of School Shootings From 1946–2018, in Their Own Words.

Death or Debt? National Estimates of Financial Toxicity in Persons with Newly-Diagnosed Cancer.

* Oops! Our bad!

But Neel makes the unifying, underlying dynamics hard to deny — dynamics of dwindling state resources, growing demands stemming from unfolding climate catastrophe and rising superfluity, and deepening threats to government capacity and legitimacy. This is stark terrain that too few scholars glimpse with any clarity. Its implications are massive.

A pandemic killing tens of millions of people is a real possibility — and we are not prepared for it.

Tell Me It’s Going to be OK.

What is the evolutionary advantage of death?

* Training our self-driving cars to be fascists.

* If #Bitcoin were to cease trading tomorrow, 0.5% of the world’s electricity demand would simply disappear – which would cover one year’s worth of the carbon emission cuts required to limit temperature rises this century to 2C.

Miscarrying at Work: The Physical Toll of Pregnancy Discrimination.

A $21,634 bill? How a homeless woman fought her way out of tow-company hell.

* I want to believe! Welcome ‘Oumuamua.

* How to revise Lovecraft.

How Jennifer’s Body went from a flop in 2009 to a feminist cult classic today.

Maryse Condé Wins an Alternative to the Literature Nobel in a Scandal-Plagued Year.

* The cruelest optimism: Large-scale humanities Ph.D. tracking effort finds most would do it all over again, if given the choice, and that these Ph.D.s believe their programs prepared them for diverse career paths, especially after the first few years following graduation.

* The Singularity. Rebelling. By the time he realizes he’s agreed to teach high school English, it’ll be too late. Kafkaesque. The Literary Turning Test. What I ought to want, what I actually want, what I behave like I want. Fermi problems. Fun facts. Autocomplete. Lifecycle of the academic. Mental health. Amalekites.

* Fuck yeah.

“Do you want to turn your notifications off?” Twitter asked.

Is There Such A Thing As Ballet That Doesn’t Hurt Women?

* The story of a serial SWATter.

The idea that the ancients disdained bright color is the most common misconception about Western aesthetics in the history of Western art. “He started poking around the depots and was astonished to find that many statues had flecks of color: red pigment on lips, black pigment on coils of hair, mirrorlike gilding on limbs. For centuries, archeologists and museum curators had been scrubbing away these traces of color before presenting statues and architectural reliefs to the public.”

* So many people have had their DNA sequenced that they’ve put other people’s privacy in jeopardy.

The Strand, New York City’s largest independent bookstore, is owned by a millionaire — and the booksellers who work there are all broke.

* In defense of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

* The Making of The Empire Strikes Back.

* Twilight of Apu.

Ross MacDonald is a creator of fake period paper props – books, documents, packaging etc – for use in movies and television.

* The Sears catalog and Jim Crow. How vulture capitalists ate Sears. Eddie Lampert not only ran the company; he was also its largest creditor and the guy who sold major Sears assets to … Eddie Lampert.

* I’m sorry my parrot is so racist.

* Friction-free racism: Surveillance capitalism turns a profit by making people more comfortable with discrimination. An AI lie detector will interrogate travellers at some EU borders. Twilight of the Racist Uncles. We Are All Research Subjects Now.

* Losing Laura.

* This seems fine.

* Looking for the helpers: Turning the reassuring line for children into a meme for adults should make everyone uncomfortable.

The Possessed: Dispatches from the Third Trimester.

A British baby who was born at exactly 11 a.m. on the great day was christened Pax. At the age of twenty-one, he would be killed in the next war. The obligatory Vonnegut.

* 2018 in headlines: Man run over by lawn mower while trying to kill son with a chainsaw, police say. Loggers Accidentally Cut Down World’s Oldest Tree in Amazon Forest. Was Tony The Tiger Driven Off Twitter By Unbelievably Horny Furries?

* Nothing gold can stay: Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch puppeteer Caroll Spinney announces retirement.

* And if you want a vision of the future, imagine increasingly unnecessary sequels to any cultural production that strikes any sort of chord in anyone, forever. I don’t know how I’m managing to maintain a good attitude about the Picard show given that every piece of available evidence demonstrates it’ll be just another cynical cash grab.

* Same exact joke but about people trying to adapt Foundation.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 12, 2018 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Fall Break Links!

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* CFP: The Fourth Annual David Foster Wallace Conference, June 2017. CFP: The Marxist Reading Group 2017.

* Tolkien news! Beren and Lúthien coming in 2017. Elsewhere in things from my childhood that I’ll almost certainly repurchase: Inside the new D&D Monster Manual.

* “Whoa,” said the gangster/minotaur, awed at how close he’d just come to losing his forearm. He was beginning to understand that this wasn’t the relatively straightforward world of street-level dope dealing anymore; this was Dungeons and Dragons.

* I’m glad somebody finally paged KSR: “Why Elon Musk’s Mars Vision Needs ‘Some Real Imagination.'”

* Forget Mars. Here’s Where We Should Build Our First Off-World Colonies.

“People worry that computers will get too smart and take over the world, but the real problem is that they’re too stupid and they’ve already taken over the world.” This is how computer scientist Pedro Domingos sums up the issue in his 2015 book The Master Algorithm. Even the many researchers who reject the prospect of a ‘technological singularity’ — saying the field is too young — support the introduction of relatively untested AI systems into social institutions.

* TFW you cut down a 600-year-old tree.

* On translating Harry Potter. Harry Potter by the Numbers. And did you know Harry Potter was nearly a major cultural phenomenon?

* On The Strange Career of Steve Ditko.

* If you want a vision of the future.

* Mistake on a Lake: In Michigan, privatization and free-market governance has left 100,000 people without water.

* One teaching artist sees it differently. “There will always be bad artists with a lot of money who want to go to art school,” she said. On the Future of the MFA.

* The Professor Wore a Hijab in Solidarity — Then Lost Her Job.

2016_1018b_2* The Secret History of Leftist Board Games.

* There’s More to Life Than Being Happy: On Viktor Frankl and Man’s Search for Meaning. Relatedly: The World’s Happiest Man Wishes You Wouldn’t Call Him That.

Degree programs in French, geology, German, philosophy and women’s studies are suspended, effectively immediately. Eight additional majors within existing departments, six teaching programs and four graduate programs have been shut down. The university is planning a teach-out program for currently enrolled students. Tenured faculty members in affected programs will be reassigned to different departments. The future of the campus’s nursing, dental education and medical imaging programs is still under discussion. Degree programs in environmental geology and environmental policy were cut previously, in July.

* Advice for how to use Twitter as an academic. Of course, as everyone knows, the only winning move is not to play.

* From David M. Perry: “My non-verbal son communicates through ‘Hamilton.'”

* From Adam Kotsko: From his rebellious debut to modern day, the devil has always been a political figure.

* Dylan, Christ, and Slow Train Coming. Teaching the controversy: Kurt Vonnegut in 1991: “Bob Dylan Is the Worst Poet Alive.” Imperialism-in-Artistry: Bob Dylan’s Nobel Win Is Proof Adichie Is Right about Beyonce. Local Boy Makes Good. But not too good: The Nobel Prize Committee Have Given Up on Trying to Get in Touch with Bob Dylan.

* Game of Thrones is even whiter than you think.

* The self-driving car, Baudrillard, and America.

* On the history of fantasy scholarship.

* Free speech and the kids.

* David Letterman and his beard.

* My friend Sam.

* The LSAT and class struggle.

* Interview With a Woman Who Recently Had an Abortion at 32 Weeks. ‘What Kind of Mother Is 8 Months Pregnant and Wants an Abortion?’ No, There Are No Ninth Month Abortions.

The notion that American literature might have an imperial bent—that it might be anything other than a string of lightly co-influential works of “imaginative power,” and might itself reflect our national desire to dominate—is lost on its critics, both right and left.

* America dreams of rivers.

* Another gerrymandering primer. I’m inclined to make a joke about Obama’s proceduralism even ruining his post-presidency but this really is a major issue worth throwing his weight against.

* Texas?

In The Hollow: The changing face of Appalachia—and its role in the presidential race.

Derek Black, 27, was following in his father’s footsteps as a white nationalist leader until he began to question the movement’s ideology.

* The Anthropocene and Empire.

* How Trump’s Casino Bankruptcies Screwed His Workers out of Millions in Retirement Savings.

* Atlas Obscura: The Land of Make Believe.

* A People’s History of John Stewart, Green Lantern.

Fear of a Feminist Future.

* And then there’s this one: Earlier this October, at a ceremony at the Royal Courts of Justice, London paid its rent to the Queen. The ceremony proceeded much as it had for the past eight centuries. The city handed over a knife, an axe, six oversized horseshoes, and 61 nails to Barbara Janet Fontaine, the Queen’s Remembrancer, the oldest judicial position in England. The job was created in the 12th century to keep track of all that was owed to the crown.

* Breastfeeding as captivity narrative.

* The Fear of Having a Son.

* Joss supports Spuffy.

* I’ll allow it, but know that you’re all on very thin ice.

By 2050, it’s likely that plastic in the oceans will outweigh all the oceans’ fish. Some reports predict 850-950 million tons of plastic (the equivalent in weight of 4.5 million blue whales).

* Thank god the Mac version isn’t ready yet: Civ VI is out.

* A dark, grittier Captain Planet: Leonardo DiCaprio wants to make a Captain Planet movie.

* Hungerford makes Infinite Jest represent how commercial publishers and their enablers in the mainstream media engineer a novel into a canonizable success. The market is corrupt, she says. But is it any more corrupt or distasteful than the publication and marketing of her university press book? “Post 45” is a scholarly association; Hungerford is one of nine Board members. Two other Board members are the series editors for the “Post 45” imprint. The “Advance Praise” for Making Literature Now includes effusive comments by two people whom Hungerford praises in the book, a blurb by a former colleague at Yale, and other comments so hyperbolic that they appear to have been written under the influence of laughing gas. Hungerford put out a misleading trailer for the book in the Chronicle, excising the misogyny charge that’s essential in her closing chapter, perhaps because she feared anyone who had read Infinite Jest would see through that charge and not order Making Literature Now. Her title is grandiose because her data is extremely limited. Rather than the survey that the title implies, Making Literature Now is literary tourism combined with two takedowns.

* Nonsense paper written by iOS autocomplete accepted for conference.

* Student writing in the digital age.

* Live long and trick or treat.

* I’m telling you, the simulation is crashing.

* And ours is truly a fallen world.

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Written by gerrycanavan

October 22, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Reading® for Sunday™

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* From the archives: Vonnegut on hearing the voice of God on Armistice Day. Image from @watsdn.

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Hello, I’m Mr. Null. My Name Makes Me Invisible to Computers.

Diversity Is Magic: A Roundtable on Children’s Literature and Speculative Fiction.

The Humanities Must Unite or Die. “And.”

* Gasp: High Pay for Presidents Is Not Shown to Yield Any Fund-Raising Payoff.

Novelist Marilynne Robinson warns Stanford audience against utilitarian trends in higher education.

* English departments and original sin, continued.

Campus Cops: Authority Without Accountability.

* The seasons come, the seasons go, / The earth is green or white with snow, / But time and change shall naught avail / To break the friendships formed at Yale.

Academic Journals: The Most Profitable Obsolete Technology in History.

Academic CVs: 10 irritating mistakes.

So You’re Getting a Ph.D.: Welcome to the worst job market in America.

A mind-bending, award-winning science fiction trilogy that expertly investigates the way we live now. I’m quite late, but I’ve been looking forward to reading these. Perhaps I’ll start tonight!

“My beef with Hillary is mainly that she is an enemy of the poor.”

Chile admits Pablo Neruda might have been murdered by Pinochet regime.

The life and slow death of a former Pennsylvania steel town.

* ‘I’m praying for you’: MSF posts grim details from Afghan hospital strike. U.S. Journalists Who Instantly Exonerated Their Government of the Kunduz Hospital Attack, Declaring it an “Accident.”

Kinder Without God: Kids Who Grow Up In A Religious Home Less Altruistic Than Those Without Religion. Relatedly: Atheism contain multitudes.

As it turns out, the non-profit co-op model for health insurance turns out to be unsustainable without government subsidies. More than half of the co-ops have been shut down this year, and nine of the 12 have shut down since October 1, either by HHS or by the states in which they operate.

Middle-Aged White Americans Are Dying of Despair.

* Welcome to Heaven.

Critical Algorithm Studies: A Reading List.

The man who killed the SAT essay.

* Politics is really confusing.

“We are excited to reward the Larry David with $5,000 cash for ‘standing up’ to Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live and speaking the truth about his anti-Latino racism, even though he was joking,” Deport Racism campaign director Luke Montgomery said in the statement.

* The Keystone defeat. Happy version. Unhappy version.

* Apocalypse watch: The Future of Climate Change Is Widespread Civil War.

* How did this ever get out of beta to begin with? Elon Musk Admits Humans Can’t Be Trusted with Tesla’s Autopilot Feature.

* And Sorry, Alien Hunters: No Signs of Life From KIC 8462852. I want to believe! Also this is aliens too.

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Happy Halloween Links!

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* China Miéville: Marxism and Halloween. “Halloween, for a rigorous socialist, is worth defending.”

* A new issue of Science Fiction Film and Television has come out, a special issue on SF anime. This is the last one before I became an editor, but read it anyway!

* Submission guidelines for Hidden Youth: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History. A really interesting document of the new fandom.

* How much is revenge worth? The Life Aquatic: A Stanley Kubrick Film.

* William Gibson: The Future Will View Us “As a Joke.”

* SimCity isn’t a sandbox. Its rules reflect the neoliberal common sense of today’s urban planning.

* This Is What Happens When You Criticize Teach for America.

* How My Employer Put the “FML” in FMLA.

“Do you know about Jian?”

* Vowing to break “one of the only remaining public monopolies,” Gov. Cuomo on Monday said he’ll push for a new round of teacher evaluation standards if re-elected. Democrats! Catch the fever!

* Cops shows and the denial of death.

“My whole life has been affected by a fight that I was in when I was 14,” she says. “It’s not something that you can take back and not something that was premeditated, and I still have to deal with the consequences every day.” Racist policing of African-American kids in Minneapolis.

The implicit idea here is that our professional and financial growth depends on our spiritual merit, not on the presence or absence of social structures and biases. Spiritual meritocracy.

* Ebola and quarantine. The Grim Future if Ebola Goes Global.

* Hidden secrets of the MIT Science Fiction Society.

* Civility is truly an intricate riddle, friends.

* Mitch Hurwitz is so hurt that you didn’t like Arrested Development Season 4 that he’s going to waste his time reediting the whole thing his chronologically.

* If this catches on my daughter could be in some serious legal trouble: Court orders man to stop pretending to fall over.

* Hobby Lobby redux: Inmate Sues Prison Claiming His Religious Liberty Entitles Him To Dress Like A Pirate.

Report: Piece of Amelia Earhart’s Plane Found on Island Where She Died.

* Non-Violence In Gaming.

Incredibly, nearly half of North Americans say they’ve succumbed to mate poaching attempts at some point. One estimate suggests that 63% of men and 54% of women are in their current long-term relationships because their current partner stole them from a previous partner. I can’t work out the math on this but including the relationships that ended after a partner was “stolen” from a previous partner you’re dealing with an overwhelming supermajority of relationships beginning with cheating/”poaching.” That just doesn’t seem plausible to me on its face.

* Meanwhile, the film industry seems pretty worried that a man could fall in love with a computer.

Michael Showalter is developing a sci-fi comedy for FX. A dark, gritty reboot of The Bearded Men of Space Station 11 or I walk.

* Paying an exorbitant monthly fee to feel like you have friends can get expensive, and the New York Times is on it.

* So you want to troll an academic.

* Vote all you want. The secret government won’t change.

* Disney Princesses with realistic waistlines.

* Now we see the violence inherent in academia.

* Rest in peace, Galway Kinnell. A favorite:

She is leading her old father into the future
as far as they can go, and she is walking
him back into her childhood, where she stood
in bare feet on the toes of his shoes
and they foxtrotted on this same rug.
I watch them closely: she could be teaching him
the last steps that one day she may teach me.
At this moment, he glints and shines,
as if it will be only a small dislocation
for him to pass from this paradise into the next.

* And your SF short story of the day: “How to Get Back to the Forest.”

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For His Unwavering Devotion to Weekend Links, Gerry Canavan Has Been Awarded the Nobel Prize for Linkblogging

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* Every so often the Nobel Committee accidentally picks a genuinely deserving, genuinely inspiring recipient of the Peace Prize. This year was one. A 2013 profile of Malala Yousafzai. A speech to Pakistani Marxists. What did one Nobel laureate say to the other?

* Every so often the Supreme Court accidentally makes a good decision. Last night’s overturning of Wisconsin’s voter suppression law was one.

* What would the twentieth-century history of English studies look like if we had thought to preserve the records of our teaching? How could that history be different if we had institutional archives of syllabi, student notes, lecture drafts, handouts and seminar papers, just as we have archives of journal articles, drafts of novels, recordings of performances, and committee meeting minutes? What if universities had collected classroom documents alongside other records and traces of the knowledge they create and culture that they value?

* Another lovely Chomsky rant on the university.

So the university imposes costs on students and on faculty who are not only untenured but are maintained on a path that guarantees that they will have no security. All of this is perfectly natural within corporate business models. It’s harmful to education, but education is not their goal.

* Recent cuts have unfortunately made future cuts inevitable: The University of Wisconsin System is about to do some wholesale, strategic belt-tightening, according to its president. But it’s not all absolutely miserable news:

Regent Janice Mueller noted that of the $1.6 billion total paid to unclassified staff on UW campuses, faculty accounted for $550 million, leaving more than $1 billion going to non-faculty. “That seemed a little out of whack to me,” Mueller said. “I would think faculty salaries would be the larger share.”

I didn’t think Regents were allowed to notice things that like.

* A new law that more strongly prohibits discrimination against pregnant graduate students could be coming to a state near you.

The Excessive Political Power Of White Men In The United States, In One Chart.

* Phil Maciak on the greatness of Transparent.

* Why we need academic freedom: On Being Sued.

* Neoliberalism is the triumph of the state, not its retreat. The case of Mexico.

On the cultural ideology of Big Data.

It Would Actually Be Very Simple To End Homelessness Forever.

* It seems that all of Pearson’s critical foundational research and proven classroom results in the world couldn’t get the question 3 x 7 x 26 correct.

* Federal spending was lower this year than Paul Ryan originally asked for. Ha, take that Republicans! Another Obama-led triumph for the left!

* But things will be different once Obama finally becomes president. Obama Plans to Close Guantanamo Whether Congress Likes It Or Not.

* Nightmares: Could Enterovirus D68 Be Causing Polio-Like Paralysis in Kids?

* NYC airport workers walk off job, protesting lack of protection from Ebola risks.

* SF in everything: Malware needs to know if it’s in the Matrix.

* Lady Ghostbusters will be a reboot, almost assuredly a terrible one.

I love origin stories. That’s my favorite thing. I love the first one so much I don’t want to do anything to ruin the memory of that. So it just felt like, let’s just restart it because then we can have new dynamics. I want the technology to be even cooler. I want it to be really scary, and I want it to happen in our world today that hasn’t gone through it so it’s like, oh my God what’s going on?

* It’s happening again: Vastly Different Stories Emerging In Police Shooting Of St. Louis Teen. The Associated Press is On It:

* Baton Rouge officer who texted about ‘pulling a Ferguson’ allowed to retire, can still work as a cop.

* Teenagers in prison have a shockingly high suicide rate.

* Roger Ebert: The Collected Wikipedia Edits.

* The many faces of capitalism.

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* The University of Wisconsin at Madison Police Department issued an apology Wednesday after a list of safety tips posted to the department’s website was criticized for appearing to blame victims of campus crimes, particularly survivors of sexual assault.

* What We Talk About When We Talk About Trigger Warnings.

* Today in theology: Europe’s history of penis worship was cast aside when the Catholic Church decided Jesus’s foreskin was too potent to control.

By the 15th century, the Holy Prepuce had become the desirous object of many mystics’ visions. Bridget of Sweden recorded the revelations she received from the Virgin Mary, who told the saint that she saved the foreskin of her son and carried it with her until her death. Catherine of Siena, the patron saint of Italy, imagined that her wedding ring—exchanged with the Savior in a mystical marriage—had been transmuted into the foreskin. In her Revelationes (c. 1310), Saint Agnes Blannbekin recounts the hours she spent contemplating the loss of blood the infant Christ must have suffered during the circumcision, and during one of her contemplative moments, while idly wondering what had become of the foreskin, she felt the prepuce pressed upon her tongue. Blannbekin recounted the sweet, intoxicating taste, and she attempted to swallow it. The saint found herself unable to digest the Holy Prepuce; every time she swallowed, it immediately reappeared on her tongue. Again and again she repeated the ritual until after a hundred gulps she managed to down the baby Jesus’ cover.

* LEGO, against oil.

* Two Bad Tastes That Taste Bad Together: The US Doesn’t Have Enough Railroads to Keep Up With the Oil Boom.

* For some unfathomable reason somebody handed Cary Nelson another shovel: A Civility Manifesto.

* Science proves that in female-dominated societies men have to work twice as hard to destroy everything with their bullshit.

* Another piece on the law and Tommy the Chimp.

* Trick or treat.

* And maybe there are some doors we just shouldn’t open: I’m Slavoj Žižek, AMA.

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Friday! Friday! Hooray!

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China Miéville: Marxism and Halloween.

The Halloween candy to avoid if you don’t want orangutans to die. This is why consumerist approaches to struggle will never work. Horrors lurk everywhere.

Anti-Humanism and the Humanities in the Era of Capitalist Realism. A reminder.

That table reveals that in 1970-1971, 17.1% of students who received BAs in the United States majored in a humanities discipline. Three decades later, in the midst of the crisis in the humanities we hear so much about, that number had plummeted to 17%.

There is little talk in this view of higher education about the history and value of shared governance between faculty and administrators, nor of educating students as critical citizens rather than potential employees of Walmart.  There are few attempts to affirm faculty as scholars and public intellectuals who have both a measure of autonomy and power. Instead, faculty members are increasingly defined less as intellectuals than as technicians and grant writers. Students fare no better in this debased form of education and are treated as either clients or as restless children in need of high-energy entertainment – as was made clear in the 2012 Penn State scandal. Such modes of education do not foster a sense of organized responsibility fundamental to a democracy. Instead, they encourage what might be called a sense of organized irresponsibility – a practice that underlies the economic Darwinism and civic corruption at the heart of a debased politics.

The academic career path has been thoroughly destabilised by the precarious practices of the neoliberal university.

* A new study suggests interdisciplinary PhDs earn less than their colleagues.

* How to be a tenured ally.

* Scenes from the academics’ strike in the UK. Another report from the trenches.

Most Colleges Still Haven’t Implemented The Right Policies To Prevent Rape.

* A Marxist consideration of white privilege.

The women in magazines don’t look like the women in magazines.

Man buys $27 of bitcoin, forgets about them, finds they’re now worth $886k. Exactly how currencies are supposed to work!

Jane Austen: The Massively Multiplayer Role-Playing Game.

* America as Walter White.

The tragedy of Michelle Kosilek. A better treatment of the issue than the headline’s framing would suggest.

“Being condemned to death is unlike any other experience imaginable.”

Macy’s security has arrest quota, ‘race code system’ for nonwhite shoppers. An exemplary case, I think, of the phenomenon Adam Kotsko describes in “What if Zimmerman had been a cop?”

* And speaking of which: George Zimmerman’s Hometown Bans Guns For Neighborhood Watches.

Boy Who Shot Neo-Nazi Dad Sentenced to 10 Years in Juvenile Detention.

Appeals Court Gives NYPD Go Ahead to Restart Stop-and-Frisk.

* There’s something really revealing about how the Daily Show can’t process this story about an unaccountable shadow government running the national security apparatus, and so just punts to a random n-word joke instead. Liberalism, I think, characteristically flinches whenever the conclusion that the system is fundamentally broken is inescapable.

* Honorary vertebrates?

U.S. Teams Up With Operator of Online Courses to Plan a Global Network. MOOCtastic!

* And in honor of the last pop culture lunch of the semester, my favorite zombie short: “Cargo.”

Wednesday Links

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* Tom Hanks Performing a Slam Poem About Full House is Something that Actually Happened.

* Peter Frase: Drone assassination is now the first resort of the state. Inside the CIA’s new dystopian novel. Responds to the Washington Post report on the drone program here.

* U.S. May Come Close to 2020 Greenhouse Gas Emission Target.

The antimonopolist history of the world’s most popular board game.

The game’s true origins, however, go unmentioned in the official literature. Three decades before Darrow’s patent, in 1903, a Maryland actress named Lizzie Magie created a proto-Monopoly as a tool for teaching the philosophy of Henry George, a nineteenth-century writer who had popularized the notion that no single person could claim to “own” land. In his book Progress and Poverty (1879), George called private land ownership an “erroneous and destructive principle” and argued that land should be held in common, with members of society acting collectively as “the general landlord.”

The Landlord's Game, 1906

Magie called her invention The Landlord’s Game, and when it was released in 1906 it looked remarkably similar to what we know today as Monopoly. It featured a continuous track along each side of a square board; the track was divided into blocks, each marked with the name of a property, its purchase price, and its rental value. The game was played with dice and scrip cash, and players moved pawns around the track. It had railroads and public utilities—the Soakum Lighting System, the Slambang Trolley—and a “luxury tax” of $75. It also had Chance cards with quotes attributed to Thomas Jefferson (“The earth belongs in usufruct to the living”), John Ruskin (“It begins to be asked on many sides how the possessors of the land became possessed of it”), and Andrew Carnegie (“The greatest astonishment of my life was the discovery that the man who does the work is not the man who gets rich”). The game’s most expensive properties to buy, and those most remunerative to own, were New York City’s Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and Wall Street. In place of Monopoly’s “Go!” was a box marked “Labor Upon Mother Earth Produces Wages.” The Landlord Game’s chief entertainment was the same as in Monopoly: competitors were to be saddled with debt and ultimately reduced to financial ruin, and only one person, the supermonopolist, would stand tall in the end. The players could, however, vote to do something not officially allowed in Monopoly: cooperate. Under this alternative rule set, they would pay land rent not to a property’s title holder but into a common pot—the rent effectively socialized so that, as Magie later wrote, “Prosperity is achieved.”

* In Focus celebrates the fairest of the seasons.

* And Unreality celebrates kids in awesome Halloween costumes.