Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

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Christmas Hangover Links!

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28cover* An excerpt from the conversation between Tim Morton and Jeff VanderMeer from my and Andy Hageman’s issue of Paradoxa is up at LARB. You can read our introduction too! The issue has been printed and will be on its way to subscribers (and available for purchase) soon.

acting as if nothing terrible has happened
is a failed strategy you yell and this docility
has ruined and crushed us and afraid as I am
I cannot hold your vehemence against you
at this political moment as I watch you dig
your fingers into the rubble you’re sitting on
and you say maybe it’s impossible to believe
in politeness or civilization anymore…

* Ken Liu’s “Paper Menagerie” is the first story to hit the Hugo / Nebula / World Fantasy Award trifecta. Read it!

What’s behind Santa’s bloody rise? Three leading elven labor activists offer a class analysis of the North Pole “gift economy.”

The veterans decided that on the day that had once been Christmas Day they would recall their childhood and youth by decorating a tree.

* The Christmas archives: Home Alone! Die Hard!

* Being a parent really is a second childhood: I’m even terrified of nuclear war again. “A tense new battle over nuclear arms erupts between Donald Trump and his staff.” Tweeting our way to Armageddon.

How to Be a Guy: What I Learned My First Year Living as a Guy (at Age 34).

* Carrie Fischer is apparently in stable condition, but George Michael is gone.

* Ted Chiang talks adapting Arrival.

* Blade Runner 2 (“Blade Runnest“) and the Koreanization of the future.

* #TheResistance: American Mustache Institute takes a stand against Donald Trump’s anti-facial hair bias. John Bolton Vows Not to Shave Moustache.

* Today’s purge: Donald Trump is demanding the names of federal employees working to curb violent extremism.

Trump to inherit more than 100 court vacancies, plans to reshape judiciary. Trump to dissolve Trump Foundation, having moved on to bigger grifts. And why not dissolve the UN while he’s at it?

Reading Fake News, Pakistani Minister Directs Nuclear Threat at Israel.

* Neo-Nazi March Planned for Whitefish, Montana.

The GOP Theocracy: Xmas vs Hanukkah Statements. And don’t worry: RNC: The ‘new King’ is not Trump.

* Looking back: The collapse of the Obama coalition. What could explain it? More data that couldn’t possibly explain it. Having presided over the catastrophic collapse of his party and the possible end of American democracy, Obama gives himself high marks. Why Did Planned Parenthood Supporters Vote Trump?

* 2016 wasn’t actually bad, he explained. I’ll give it one point, for this.

* We can end the war on milk in our time.

* Prime Minister Dreamboat can’t wait to Keystone XL again.

*A consummate bullshit artist, Bucky Fuller’s career was built on failure, if not outright fraud. With few of his ideas achieving commercial success, he amounted to nothing more than a hand-waving proponent of outlandish notions. Worse still, he was an aggressive manager of his own profile and patents, an authoritarian technocrat who sought not students but compliant disciples to disseminate his muddled messages. The lynchpin of this view: even the geodesic dome, Fuller’s greatest “success,” rested on a concept borrowed (to be charitable) from an aspiring student sculptor. Buckminster Fuller in the 21st Century.

John Williams Hasn’t Seen a Single Star Wars Movie.

More than 54,000 people in the southern German city of Augsburg will have to leave their homes Christmas morning while authorities defuse a giant 1.8-ton aerial bomb from World War II.

* Don’t make the joke, don’t make the joke: Sex robots will ‘come a lot sooner than you think’, scientist claims.

* Elsewhere in the rise of the machines.

A&E Cancels KKK Docuseries Following Criticism. That whole network needs a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

* BREAKING: All pro sports are bad.

* Actually, my speciality is evil ethics.

* Gasp! Colleges Respond to Racist Incidents as if Their Chief Worry Is Bad PR, Studies Find.

* They did it: They found the worst Star Wars take.

* The arc of history is long, but it can kick over its own head.

* Meanwhile, in Japan: Can the Emperor abdicate?

* And wherever we are on the political spectrum: let’s give the giant meteor a chance.

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 26, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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June Links — Supplemental

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The Department of American Studies at California State University, Fullerton invites applications for two tenure-track positions at the rank of Assistant Professor to begin Fall 2017.

* A New Hope, as it was always meant to be experienced: as infographic.

* Really, actually ideology at its purest: ‘There is a future for Harambe’: Cincinnati zoo reveal sperm was removed from gorilla who was shot dead so he could still become a father.

Modern zoos represent a worldview that no longer puts humanity at the top of a ladder of existence, but now in the middle of a web of life, distinguished mostly by our power to destroy or enhance the world around us.

* Murder-suicide at UCLA. Police are suggesting a student may have murdered a professor.

Lost Superstitions of the Early-20th-Century United States.

Airships and Reanimated Corpses from the Pages of Early Science Fiction.

* If Osama bin Laden had not existed, the United States would have had to invent him. Although William V. Spanos never quite puts it that way, this claim nevertheless encapsulates one of the fundamental insights of Redeemer Nation in the Interregnum: An Untimely Meditation on the American Vocation — namely, that American exceptionalism entails a dense knotting together of the vitality of the nation and targeted killing. The very being of America as a more-than-merely-national nation hinges on its capacity to obliterate its enemies in the most spectacular fashion, while simultaneously arrogating the life-force or resources of its enemies for itself.

* “Why I Was Wrong About Liberal-Arts Majors.”

* “In terms of the labor market, 2016 is a great year to graduate.” The Graduate Opportunity Index. For-Profit College Grads Earn Less Money Than They Did Before College.

* The Trump University Scam seems pretty egregious even by Trump’s standards.

Trump Has a Conflict-of-Interest Problem No Other White House Candidate Ever Had.

I’m trying not to get tired of saying this, but just try to imagine what the reaction would be if Hillary Clinton came out to defend herself against some perfectly reasonable questions, and said “The press should be ashamed of themselves” or pointed to a reporter and said, “You’re a sleaze.” She wouldn’t be criticized or questioned, she’d be crucified. Reporters would ask if she had lost her mind and was having a nervous breakdown. There would be demands for her to pull out of the race immediately, since she had shown herself to be so unstable.

If Trump is the ultimate media alpha dog, Weiner is the flawed prototype, equally repulsed by and addicted to his notoriety.

Applications for TFA’s two-year teaching stints have plummeted 35 percent during the past three years, forcing the organization to reexamine and reinvent how it sells itself to prospective corps members. It has been focusing particularly on how to engage students at the nation’s most-selective colleges, where the decline in interest has been among the steepest. The improving economy probably has far more to do with this than any anti-TFA publicity campaign.

* The idea that young workers should cut their teeth by working long hours for low pay, or even for free, is the result of employers holding all the cards in the economy. It’s the same phenomenon that lets businesses get away with lax safety standards, unpredictable schedules, and offering scant benefits. By making it harder for employers to demand extra hours as part of the job, the overtime rule is an important tool to shift the balance of power towards working people.

* “Magic Is Ruining Game of Thrones.

* Salvage Perspectives #3: Or What’s a Hell For?

This stunning Korean thriller is the summer’s first great movie.

But the future has always been several: how could it be otherwise, when it hasn’t happened yet? The millennial or apocalyptic future, the future that abolishes time itself, is not the same as the prophetic future of a possible or desired outcome, which is not the same as speculative future of science fiction, which is not the same as the future envisaged by a calendar or a to-do list, which is not the same as the future of the high-yield bond, which is not the same as the future which will involve you reading the next sentence, or deciding not to. But what all these have in common with the phenomenological future – the one involved in the direct sensation of time passing, the thing that draws further out of reach the closer you get to it – is their slipperiness. Futures can never be touched or experienced, only imagined; this is why they’re as diverse as the human psyche, and why they tend to be so dreamlike: at turns ludic, libidinal, or monstrous.

* Not White, Not Rich, and Seeking Therapy.

At thirteen, a neglectful foster system tore me from the only woman I ever wanted to call “Mom.” Decades later I tracked her down and finally got my happy ending.

* New Orleans’s New Flood Maps: An Outline for Disaster.

* Jay and Miles Overthink X-Men: Apocalypse.

* The last political compass test you’ll ever need.

* After a Life of Punches, Ex-N.H.L. Enforcer Is a Threat to Himself: Stephen Peat has symptoms — memory loss and headaches — often associated with C.T.E., a brain disease linked to head trauma.

‘It’s only working for the white kids’: American soccer’s diversity problem.

* And Another Small Private Closes Its Doors: Dowling College.

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Happening Now: Thursday Links!

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* CFP: Resistance and Dissent in America.

* Another piece on Octavia Butler’s Unexpected Stories at LARoB: Noah Berlatsky on Octavia Butler’s “Unexpected Stories” and Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone With the Wind.”

Like a delinquent sibling, Mars is all we’ve got.

* An oral history of Galaxy Quest.

* Comedians in Cars Getting Cocaine.

* Rutgers Athletics: Robbing Academics to Fund Big Sports.  Libraries Receive Shrinking Share of University Expenditures. Historically Black Colleges and Universities Face Uncertain Future. Predictors of depression, stress, and anxiety among non-tenure track faculty.

The Tech Utopia Nobody Wants. The Banality of Dystopia. Soak the Rich: An exchange on capital, debt, and the future. Ancient Apocalypse films use the past to project a reactionary present into the future.

* ThinkProgress on the latest bad-faith nonsense ruling against Obamacare. Don’t worry, the ruling against heath care subsidies is going to be reversed. What the D.C. Circuit Got Wrong About Obamacare.

* BREAKING: Pay It Forward Plans Make Everything Worse.

* BREAKING: The death penalty is an obscene horror show.

Mass incarceration, perhaps the greatest social crisis in modern American history, is without parallel on a global scale.

* The way we live now: One out of every 21 New Yorkers is a millionaire.

* We turned the border into a war zone. Arizona’s Checkpoint Rebellion.

* Change we can believe in: The World Health Organization Wants to Legalize Sex Work and Drugs.

Three Out of Four Newark Police Stops Are Unconstitutional. Prosecutors Are Reading Emails From Inmates to Lawyers.

* Emotional labor and the third machine age.

* Water is a human right, but who is considered a human being?

* What could possibly go wrong? DARPA Wants Wants to Fund Research into “Predatory” Bacteria.

* Parker Lewis Can’t Lose: Women And People Of Color Get Punished For Hiring To Increase Diversity, White Men Get Rewarded.

The Borowitz Problem.

* They say time is the fire in which we burn: The Queen aging over time on bank-notes.

* The time the United States blew up a passenger plane—and tried to cover it up.

* ‘I withdraw’: A talk with climate defeatist Paul Kingsnorth. And it’s not all downside: Climate Change Could Threaten The Future Of Hockey.

* Fracking comes to Durham.

* Wrapping up all the loose ends: Aliens Will Go To Hell So Let’s Stop Looking For Them.

* And someone in Congress edited the ‘Lizard People’ Wikipedia article. I knew. I always knew.

Spring Break Monday Links

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Reaching My Autistic Son Through Disney. What a story. I bawled.

* Apocalyptic flooding scheduled for Wisconsin.

Hampton, Florida, the little town so corrupt even the rest of Florida thinks it’s gone too far.

* Women run just a quarter of the biggest art museums in the United States and Canada, and they earn about a third less than their male counterparts, according to a report released on Friday by the Association of Art Museum Directors, a professional organization.

* The greatest secret of American manhood is: We are afraid of other men. Masculinity as Homophobia.

Union research document says Obamacare will hasten income inequality. When job creators create lousy jobs.

At best, job creation is merely an inadequate palliative for years of deep recession. At worst, it’s an active strategy for redirecting wealth upwards and further immiserating the working class. Quantify that.

Not even climate change will kill off capitalism.

* Millennials in adulthood. Millennials and college degrees. The Self(ie) Generation. College Grads Taking Low-Wage Posts Displace Less Educated. Are Millennials different?

* “You stole the documents we were hiding from you which proved we were lying, so we spied on you to find out how you did that.”

* Annals of Obama negotiating with himself.

* A theory of neoliberalism: Wages versus Assets.

* Democrats are really starting in with the surrender-to-hopelessness blitz EARLY this cycle. Meanwhile.

A rare sociological analysis of Federal Reserve policy confirms what many economists already knew: top central bank officials missed the oncoming crisis because they failed to make the connection between housing, the banking industry and the economy. I don’t know; my rule is never attribute to incompetence what can be adequately explained by soulless millionaires cynically cashing out.

What happens to our financial safety net when we are already renting out our couches, giving rides after work, and running tasks on the weekends just to stay afloat?

If you pirate a digital copy of The Triple Package, use the find and replace function. Find “successful cultural group” replace with “bourgeoisie” and then the book will become a coherent and honest provocation, rather than the triple package of neurosis, projection, and obfuscation that it really is.

Maternal mortality rates are falling in every industrialised nation – except for the United States.

* The latest for the “every cop is a criminal” file.

* The latest for the “lolz you didn’t write the laws right” file.

* Do I read this right? An off-duty cop shot somebody and the other guy got charged with assault?

* The unrelenting gaze of the police never wavers in Milwaukee.

Detroit Scam City: How The Red Wings Took Hockeytown For All It Had.

Idaho Governor Poised To Sign Totally Insane, Obviously Disastrous Bill Allowing Concealed Guns On College Campuses.

* de Blasio vs charters in NYC. How charter schools get students they want. In the great efforts they are expending to exclude the students that are the most difficult to educate, charter schools are lending more credence to my argument about the arrow of causation in our perception of school quality than I could ever generate.

The real problem is that a very few, very wealthy individuals override the voices of thousands upon thousands of experienced educators and parents.

* Mother Canada? Is that a thing? Displays of Canadian nationalism always seem off to me. Letting down the side, Canada.

* South by Southwest’s unpaid labor problem: Why it’s risking a class action lawsuit.

* Cartoonist Chris Ware on outsider art, reading aloud and the Common Core.

* Climate change is the modern fully realized, the modern as tending towards undoing its own conditions of existence.

* I had no idea just disintegrating in midair was something that could just happen to planes. I wish I didn’t know it now.

* Wages for Sea World animals: Yes, California Can Really Ban Shamu, Legal Experts Say. Can’t they just argue exploiting whales and making their lives miserable is free speech? That’s how it works with humans.

* I was saying this weekend (1, 2, 3) that voting for Rand Paul is not as irrational as it might seem at first glance, given the unilateral powers the executive branch has in the U.S. and his stated opposition to the war on drugs and the war on terror. What’s interesting is that Rand Paul himself absolutely does not want me to hold this opinion.

* Can We Learn About Privacy From Porn Stars?

* 11 of the Weirdest Solutions to the Fermi Paradox.

* A brief history of nonsense.

* Too late! We already designed modern cities around it.

Great walls to end tornadoes in our time? What could possibly go wrong?

* Truth and reconciliation in Guatemala.

* Towards White History Month.

In 2007, Gary Younge (he is an ally) suggested that what we all needed is a White History Month. Gary reminded us: “So much of Black History Month takes place in the passive voice. Leaders ‘get assassinated,’ patrons ‘are refused’ service, women ‘are ejected’ from public transport. So the objects of racism are many but the subjects few. In removing the instigators, the historians remove the agency and, in the final reckoning, the historical responsibility … There is no month when we get to talk about [James] Blake [the white busdriver challenged by Rosa Parks]; no opportunity to learn the fates of J.W. Milam and Roy Bryant, who murdered Emmett Till; no time set aside to keep track of Victoria Price and Ruby Bates, whose false accusations of rape against the Scottsboro Boys sent five innocent young black men to jail. Wouldn’t everyone–particularly white people–benefit from becoming better acquainted with these histories?”

* And Rebecca Onion has a 1940s Board Game for French Kids Taught Tactics for Successful Colonialism.

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Written by gerrycanavan

March 10, 2014 at 8:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Thursday Links

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* MOOCs as Neocolonialism: Who Controls Knowledge?

* More College Adjuncts See Strength in Union Numbers.

* Seven of 10 students graduate from college with loans; average debt on the rise.

* A Hard Lesson from Motown: They Will Steal Your Pension.

* Professors to Grad Students: Focus on Studies, Not Wages. Most NCAA Division I athletic departments take subsidies.

* Harvard government professor Harvey Mansfield has long been a critic of grade inflation. He’s developed his own way of trying to combat it: giving students two sets of grades — the one they deserve and the one that shows up on their transcript.

* George Parros, after the concussion.

* Rest in peace, José Esteban Muñoz.

* Most of America’s silent films are lost forever.

* NY Times Runs Op-Ed Asserting Poor People Need More Carbon Pollution.

* Prosecutorial coercion should be outlawed.

In a landmark 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision on the right to a lawyer during plea bargaining, Justice Anthony Kennedy noted that 95 percent of convicted U.S. criminal defendants enter into a plea bargain and never go to trial. That percentage is even higher for drug defendants, who enter into plea deals in 97 percent of federal cases, according to a new Human Rights Watch report. Prosecutors have had a significant hand in turning the criminal justice system into a system of pleas, wielding in many instances the threat of harsh mandatory minimum prison terms and other sentencing enhancements so severe that defendants may frequently plead guilty simply to avert the high risk. As Human Rights Watch phrased it, prosecutors “force” defendants to plead guilty.

The consequences for those who choose to exercise their Sixth Amendment right to a trial in this system are significant. The average federal drug sentence is three times longer for those who go to trial than for those who plead guilty, at 5 years and 4 months for guilty pleas, and 16 years after trial, the report found…

* And DC has done an impressively terrible job casting Wonder Woman in a film Zack Snyder is certain to ruin anyway. Well done, sirs.

Monday Morning Links

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* Scenes from the class struggle at CUNY.

* Quiggin’s Razor: If we started any analysis of international relations with the assumption that war will end badly for all concerned, and that the threat of war will probably lead to war sooner or later, we would be right most of the time. Via Kevin Drum.

* The Real Petraeus Scandal: the compelled veneration of all things military. Via LGM. See also Spencer Ackerman: How I Was Drawn Into the Cult of David Petraeus.

* The New Yorker notices that it won’t be long before Texas will be a swing state.

“In not too many years, Texas could switch from being all Republican to all Democrat,” he said. “If that happens, no Republican will ever again win the White House. New York and California are for the foreseeable future unalterably Democrat. If Texas turns bright blue, the Electoral College math is simple. We won’t be talking about Ohio, we won’t be talking about Florida or Virginia, because it won’t matter. If Texas is bright blue, you can’t get to two-seventy electoral votes. The Republican Party would cease to exist. We would become like the Whig Party. Our kids and grandkids would study how this used to be a national political party. ‘They had Conventions, they nominated Presidential candidates. They don’t exist anymore.’ ”

The Republican Party’s electoral map problem.

But even in that silver lining for Republicans, you can see clouds. Arizona and Georgia, both of which Romney carried in 2012, gained seats in 2010 because of fast population growth, but Democratic dominance among Hispanic voters in each is expected to make them potential swing states in 2016 and 2020.

Their Southern politicians problem. The Washington Post‘s lengthy election post-mortem. Politico just can’t imagine where the GOP could be getting all its terrible journalism. Perhaps it will always be a mystery. Tom Tomorrow gets in on the action. “We Just Had a Clas War and One Side Won.” Worst class war ever.

Young voters turned the tide for Brown’s Prop 30.

Walmart Black Friday Strike Being Organized Online For Stores Across U.S. I’m staying home that day because I hate Black Friday and everything it represents in solidarity.

Hurricane Sandy and the Disaster-Preparedness Economy.

It’s all part of what you might call the Mad Max Economy, a multibillion-dollar-a-year collection of industries that thrive when things get really, really bad. Weather radios, kerosene heaters, D batteries, candles, industrial fans for drying soggy homes — all are scarce and coveted in the gloomy aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and her ilk.

* In the winter of 1955, the editors of a newly launched magazine called Sports Illustrated sent William Faulkner to watch an ice hockey game between the New York Rangers and the Montreal Canadiens.

* And Being Elmo makes Kevin Clash out to be a living saint. I hope his version of events turns out to be true. As someone just tweeted at me, I’m probably going to hell for even linking this story at all.

Thursday Links

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* BREAKING: Weiner goes down.

Nabokov maps Bloomsday.

’22 Elite College Sports Programs Turned a Profit in 2010, but Gaps Remain, NCAA Reports Says.’ Those “gaps” include the 98 Football Bowl Subdivision sports programs that lost a median $11.6 million last year, as well as losses at 100% of all Football Championship Subdivision programs and 100% of all Division I schools without football.

* Muhammad Idrees Ahmad in Al-Jazeera on the magical realism of body counts.

* Joan Walsh on the mirage of the Obama coalition.

* BREAKING: The “conservative movement” is a money-making scam.

Yesterday, Politico reported what an educated listener could’ve guessed: Right-wing radio pundits are paid by conservative organizations to mention them favorably. FreedomWorks pays Glenn Beck to talk about how great FreedomWorks is, Rush Limbaugh wholeheartedly endorses the Heritage Foundation because the Heritage Foundation pays him, and Mark Levin receives a check for telling you that donating to Americans for Prosperity will help defeat Obama.

* And confidential to Vancouver: really, it’s poor form to riot when you lose.