Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘humanism

Wednesday Links!

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* Some current calls for papers: Science Fiction and Communism. Beyond Humanism. Sesame Street at 50.

* Coming soon to Marquette! The Center for the Advancement of the Humanities will host Adam Kotsko on Feb. 15th at 3:30 p.m. in Marquette Hall 105, as he discusses “Animated Nihilism: RickandMorty, BoJackHorseman and the Strange Fate of the Adult Cartoon.”

* My favorite weird found-poetry I’ve discovered on this trip: in Switzerland and Germany first-person shooters are called “ego shooters.”

* My favorite thing on the Internet in a long, long time: Rey and Kylo set to just about every song you’ve ever heard of.

* Star Trek: Discovery is exciting, but not much else.

To put it another way, if this was just called Discovery, if the serial numbers were filled off and this was just another science fiction show with aliens and parallel universes and FTL drives, I doubt we’d be talking about it. It would be significantly less annoying in some ways (my brain would appreciate not having to fit any of this into continuity, that’s for damn sure), but it would be far more forgettable—a pretty, messy piece of nonsense with some decent performances and occasionally unexpected story twists. Hell, maybe we’d like it more, if only because our standards would be lower and it would still be possible to convince ourselves that someday, this would all make sense.

io9 was even harsher, if anything. I’m still a fan of the series but the extremely poor plotting of the second half of season one has made complete hash of their very promising initial setup. It’s much harder for me to argue the series is genuinely good, as opposed to liking it because it is Star Trek and I like pretty much everything Star Trek.

* Advice from a Contingent Faculty Member on Career Directions for PhDs in English.

* Sam and Max Hit the Road: The Design Document. What a great game that was.

* “A fascinating new kind of job that only a human can do: robot babysitter.”

The myth of America’s immigration problem.

* Beautiful Coal and Disastrous Droughts.

* Seen accurately. American collapse is a catastrophe of human possibility without modern parallel . And because the mess that America has made of itself, then, is so especially unique, so singular, so perversely special — the treatment will have to be novel, too. The uniqueness of these social pathologies tell us that American collapse is not like a reversion to any mean, or the downswing of a trend. It is something outside the norm. Something beyond the data. Past the statistics. It is like the meteor that hit the dinosaurs: an outlier beyond outliers, an event at the extreme of the extremes. That is why our narratives, frames, and theories cannot really capture it — much less explain it. We need a whole new language — and a new way of seeing — to even begin to make sense of it. Why We’re Underestimating American Collapse: The Strange New Pathologies of the World’s First Rich Failed State.

* If your highest value is the preservation of American institutions, the avoidance of “dysfunction,” the discourse of norm erosion makes sense. If it’s democracy, not so much. Sometimes democracy requires the shattering of norms and institutions. Democracy, we might even say, is a permanent project of norm erosion, forever shattering the norms of hierarchy and domination and the political forms that aid and abet them.

* What does living in a dictatorship feel like?

* Cixin Liu and Chinese science fiction, in the London Review of Books.

* The Voynich Manuscript has been cracked again. Everybody take a drink!

* Sic semper: Twilight of Chief Wahoo.

* Huge, if true: some millennials think James Bond could be sexist.

* Emma, the fifteen-second horror movie.

* Here’s What One Day In The Dysfunction Of Restoring Puerto Rico’s Electricity Looks Like. FEMA To End Food And Water Aid For Puerto Rico.

* ICE Deports Palestinian Man Living In The U.S. For Almost 40 Years Despite Outcry. Father detained by ICE after dropping 4-year-old off at daycare. 2 dads nabbed by ICE as they drop off kids at NJ school; 3rd takes shelter in church. Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown is a recipe for national decline.

* Even By Our Awful Standards, Americans Have Basically Stopped Saving Money.

* CES Was Full of Useless Robots and Machines That Don’t Work.

* An ER visit, a $12,000 bill — and a health insurer that wouldn’t pay.

* Baltimore Cops Kept Toy Guns to Plant Just in Case They Shot an Unarmed Person.

* The future just ain’t no good.

* “In honor of the new Mr. Rogers biopic, here’s his Marquette Commencement address from 2001.”

* A new life awaits you in the off-world colonies.

* #DontCallItAComejack.

* What does it mean to die?

Why Reddit’s face-swapping celebrity porn craze is a harbinger of dystopia.

* The life of the mind. Working at university in 2016. Statement of teaching philosophy.

* Of course you had me at a Civilisation V mod about the risk of superintelligent AI.

* And happy birthday, old friend.

New Year’s Links!

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* A nice endorsement of Octavia E. Butler from Steve Shaviro. Some bonus Shaviro content: his favorite SF of 2016. I think Death’s End was the best SF I read this year too, though I really liked New York 2140 a lot too (technically that’s 2017, I suppose). I’d also single out Invisible Planets and The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2016, both of which had some really good short stories. In comics, I think The Vision was the best new thing I’ve seen in years. There’s a lot I bought this year and didn’t have time to look at yet, though, so maybe check back with me in 2019 and I can tell you what was the best thing from 2016.

* Kindred: The Graphic Novel.

* Introducing the David Foster Wallace Society, including a CFP for the inaugural issue of The Journal of David Foster Wallace Studies.

Call for Papers: The Poverty of Academia.

* Oh, fuck this terrible year.

30 essential tips for succeeding in graduate school.

* The University in the Time of Trump.

Making the grade: a history of the A–F marking scheme.

* Who’s Afraid of the Student Debt Crisis?

Duke warns professors about emails from someone claiming to be a student, seeking information about their courses — many in fields criticized by some on the right. Some Michigan and Denver faculty members have received similar emails but from different source.

* The age of humanism is ending.

The New Year and the Bend of the Arc.

* The Front of the Classroom.

Marina Abramović and Kim Stanley Robinson perform “The Hard Problem.”

Osvaldo Oyola reads Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Black Panther.

* Leia Organa Solo: A Critical Obituary.

* Trump’s Arrival.

* Let them drink blood.

* BREAKING: There Is No Such Thing as “White Genocide.” Academic Freedom, Again. Buffalo skulls.

* I don’t think Children of Men was ever actually “overlooked” — and I’m shocked it was considered a flop at a time — but it certainly looks prescient now.

From Tape Drives to Memory Orbs, the Data Formats of Star Wars Suck. Remembering Caravan of Courage, the Ewok Adventure Star Wars Would Rather You’d Forget. Anti-fascism vs. nostalgia: Rogue One. How to See Star Wars For What It Really Is. And a new headcanon regarding the Empire and its chronic design problems.

Good News! Humans No Longer Caused Climate Change, According to the State of Wisconsin.

* How did A&E let this happen?

* On fighting like Republicans, or, the end of America.

* Scenes from the class struggle in Berkeley. And in Chillicothe, Ohio.

The seduction of technocratic government—that a best answer will overcome division, whether sown in the nature of man or ineluctable in capitalist society—slides into the seduction in the campaign that algorithms will render rote the task of human persuasion, that canvassers are just cogs for a plan built by machine. And so the error to treat data as holy writ, when it’s both easier and harder than that. Data are fragile; algorithms, especially when they aggregate preferences, fall apart. Always, always, power lurks. The technocrats have to believe in mass politics, believe for real that ordinary people, when they organize, can change their own destinies. Whether that happens depends on the party that gets built, and the forces behind it.

Four Cabinet nominations that could blow up in Donald Trump’s face. Fighting Mass Incarceration Under Trump: New Strategies, New Alliances. Why Donald Trump Might Not Be All That Good for Art. How Journalists Covered the Rise of Mussolini and Hitler. This all certainly seems on the up-and-up. And today in teaching the controversy: Nuclear diplomacy via Twitter is a bad idea.

* Democrats: Time to Win! Why the Democrats’ 2017 comeback dream is like nothing we’ve seen before.

The Russia Conundrum: How Can Democrats Avoid Getting Entangled in a Losing Issue?

House Republicans will ring in the new year with a plan to permanently cripple government.

Characters Are Not A Coloring Book Or, Why the Black Hermione is a Poor Apology for the Ingrained Racism of Harry Potter.

The Great Harvard Pee-In of 1973.

* Against jobs.

* Against Batman.

The UBI already exists for the 1%.

* The arc of history is long, but Google Search will not longer return Holocaust-denying websites at the top of page one.

* Same joke but about not being allowed to ban plastic bags in Michigan anymore.

The Champions of the 401(k) Lament the Revolution They Started.

* “It was a pleasure to cull.”

* Geoengineering could ruin astronomy.

* Haiti and the Age of Revolution.

* A Utopia for the Deaf in Martha’s Vineyard.

Why the ‘Ghost Ship’ Was Invisible in Oakland, Until 36 Died.

Nine charts that show how white women are drinking themselves to death.

* The American bison is the new U.S. national mammal, but its slaughter was once seen as a way to starve Native Americans into submission.

* It wasn’t just your imagination: more famous people did die in 2016.

* How long can Twitter go on like this?

* The Porn Business Isn’t Anything Like You Think it Is. The Attorney Fighting Revenge Porn.

* Special ed and the war on education.

My Little Free Library war: How our suburban front-yard lending box made me hate books and fear my neighbors.

* Becoming Ugly.

* Happy Public Domain Day 2017.

Intricate Star Trek Klingon Warship Using 25,000 LEGO Bricks.

* And the scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.

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Written by gerrycanavan

January 3, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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All Your Tuesday Morning Links

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If You Leave Open A Million Tabs, ‘The Great Suspender’ Chrome Extension Is For You. Gamechanger.

* When Birds Squak, Other Species Seem to Listen.

Two-Thirds of Risk Managers Say Frats Are Major Liability. The other third are on vacation, check back next week.

This sort of thing is a problem in academia too. If a male prof refuses to mentor female students, that’s also bad.

* “Neoliberalism is the real affront to higher education — not Kanye West’s honorary doctorate.”

The idea of using “drive-up advising” to reach these students started as a joke, Murray said, but it quickly turned into a reality.

Low cost college isn’t enough. I’ve tried to argue that plans like #FreeCommunityCollege will actually be a strong accelerant to some of the other problems David is talking about, but it hasn’t exactly set the world on fire.

* The humane and the anti-humane.

What matters more is the loose agglomeration of practices, institutions and perspectives that view human experience and human subjectivity as a managerial problem, a cost burden and an intellectual disruption. I would not call such views inhumane: more anti-humane: they do not believe that a humane approach to the problems of a technologically advanced global society is effective or fair, that we need rules and instrumments and systems of knowing that overrule intersubjective, experiential perspectives and slippery rhetorical and cultural ways of communicating what we know about the world.

Academic Freedom versus Academic Legitimacy.

Vote No on Every Fee.

Public universities are using non-need-based aid to recruit out-of-state students, at the expense of low-income and in-state students.

Three New Jersey colleges are appearing to be more competitive than they are in admissions by counting incomplete applications, NorthJersey.com reported.

* Race and Duke redux.

academiaiskillingmyfriends.tumblr.combeingawomaninphilosophy.wordpress.com.

* Hamburger U: As more firms have set up their own “corporate universities”, they have become less willing to pay for their managers to go to business school.

The best historical model for the transition from the WWIII-devastated Earth to the post-First Contact regime may be the rise of the Soviet Union.

* Strange result, what could explain it? Students Who Attend Class Outperform Those Online, Study Says.

* Like Dylan plugging in, Simon Pegg Worries The Love Of Science Fiction Is Making Us “Childish.”

* “Keep Foreskin and State Separate”: Battle Over Florida Boy’s Circumcision Heads To Federal Court.

N.C. Senate bill would criminalize, fire teachers for having political views.

* Why Did NY Ban Fracking? The Official Report Is Now Public.

Fossil fuels subsidised by $10m a minute, says IMF.

Canada Approves Nuclear Waste Site on Great Lakes Shore.

Texas Elementary School Accused of Locking Boy up in a “Focus Room.” Why did we turn all our schools into torture chambers?

Homework is a Social Justice Issue.

Obama to Limit Military-Style Equipment for Police Forces.

Washington State Is In A Drought ‘Unlike Any We’ve Ever Experienced.’

Sure it looks as if things are getting more peaceful. But, looking at the mathematics, that’s exactly what we should expect to see, even if we’re most likely due for a much more violent future.

* Spies, they’re just like us.

* In fan fiction, even the Dursleys can potentially be redeemed.

* Counterpoint: Republicans Are Not on the Edge of Extinction.

The White House Is Archiving Every Tweet Begging @POTUS for Sex.

The truth about poo: we’re doing it wrong.

Scientists examine why men even exist.

* Like Uber, but for stopping this from happening all the time.

* Great moments in spin: “New Jersey voters say they don’t think I would be a good president because they want me to stay.” It might just be because they’re jealous.

* “That’s an extraordinarily high number of medications in a state with less than 2 million people.”

* Generation gibberish. I think a version of this sort of thinking organized around the penetration of consumer technology is probably viable, but a lot harder to wrangle than assigning arbitrary birth years.

Mad Men and the Coke Jingle Theory. Mad Men and the Movement.

* And from the archives: As good as it gets: Mad Men and neoliberalism. And today’s followup: The commodity is the better Jesus: On the Mad Men finale.

In any case, I regard the genre of television as completed now. The most critically acclaimed, culturally prestigious, artistically ambitious television show of all time — and judging by current trends, I include the future here too — has culminated in a tacky commercial. By doing so, it made us experience its moving utopian qualities and its sinister cult-like qualities. There’s nowhere else to go at this point. That’s “the real thing.” That’s “it.”

Written by gerrycanavan

May 19, 2015 at 8:34 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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