Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Hurricane Sandy

Get June Started Right with June Links

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* CFP for the first issue of Fantastika Journal.

* David Higgins reviews Paradoxa 27: The Futures Industry.

Ending Their Wars: On Memorial Day, socialists honor the victims of war and struggle for a world free of it.

* This Is What Extinction Sounds Like.

* “Society doesn’t need a 21-year-old who is a sixth century historian.”

* So here’s my question: if this is all so “common sense” and “modest” then why do you have to lie so much about process and intentions? Why are people who drone on about “accountability” for others allowed to act without any accountability to the institutions they are supposed to represent?

* The Life Cycle of Genres.

Where genre is concerned, this means that our goal is no longer to define a genre, but to find a model that can reproduce the judgments made by particular historical observers. For instance, adjectives of size (“huge,” “gigantic,” but also “tiny”) are among the most reliable textual clues that a book will be called science fiction. Few people would define science fiction as a meditation on size, but it turns out that works categorized as science fiction (by certain sources) do spend a lot of time talking about the topic.

[whispers] Well, my dissertation and book-when-I-finally-get-around-to-massively-revising-it does define science fiction as a meditation on size…

* Bonus Ted Underwood content! The Real Problem with Distant Reading.

* In response to McGurl’s call we intend to create a digital database along with a visualization tool that can be used to map the professional itineraries and social networks of everyone who ever studied or taught creative writing at Iowa since the Workshop’s inception to the present date.

Duke University enters hotel business with $62 million project. You know, nonprofit for educational purposes.

University Of Akron President Resigns After Financial Controversies.

Is It Time for Universities to Get Out of the Hospital Business?

* …if you take up these old positions about what a higher education in the humanities should involve, you end up dancing with some very conservative people. I found myself in very strange company when I began to hold out for education, not as a credentialising process, but what I think of as encouragement for the revolutionary force of individual curiosity–pursued without limit.

* On some campuses, a dogmatic form of identity politics clearly has taken hold. But what’s too often missing from this picture is the very thing that opponents of political correctness so often decry: a sense of proportion and judgment, and an awareness that what transpires on the radical edges of elite universities is not always an accurate barometer of what’s happening in the wider world.

* Rule-Breaking Iceland Completes Its Miracle Economic Escape.

Middle Eastern Writers Find Refuge in the Dystopian Novel.

* Which City Has the Most Unpredictable Weather? Of course Milwaukee makes the top-ten for major metropolitan areas.

* It’s 2016. Why is anyone still keeping elephants in circuses?

* How rich does a black criminal have to be to get treated like a white one?

* Vindicated! A new meta analysis in Perspectives in Psychological Science looked at 33 studies on the relationship between deliberate practice and athletic achievement, and found that practice just doesn’t matter that much.

* 11 History Books You Should Read Before Writing Your Military SF Novel.

* On Early Science Fiction and the Medieval.

* Literature and prestige.

* Careerism and totalitarianism.

 Genocide, she insisted, is work. If it is to be done, people must be hired and paid; if it is to be done well, they must be supervised and promoted.

* Trump and the university.

* On Progressive Racism.

Progressive racism is how racism is enacted by being denied: how racism is heard as a blow to the reputation of an organisation as being progressive. We can detect the same mechanism happening in political movements: when anti-racism becomes part of an identity for progressive whites, racism is either re-located in a body over there (the racist) or understood as a blow to self-reputation of individuals for being progressive. This term “progressive whites” comes from Ruth Frankenberg important work on whiteness studies. She argues that focusing on whiteness purely in negative terms can  “leaves progressive whites apparently without any genealogy” (1993, 232).  Kincheloe and Steinberg in their work on whiteness studies write of “the necessity of creating a positive, proud, attractive antiracist white identity” (1998, 34). Indeed, the most astonishing aspect of this list of adjectives (positive, proud, attractive, antiracist) is that antiracism then becomes just another white attribute in a chain: indeed, anti-racism may even provide the conditions for a new discourse of white pride.

When we peel back its progressive pedagogical covering, the teaching-tool defense is embodied in unequal reasoning. It is embodied in racist logic: our national inability to value the same, to reason the same, to think the same for different racial groups.

What effects has “ban the box” had so far? Two new working papers suggest that, as economic theory predicts, “ban the box” policies increase racial disparities in employment outcomes. So disheartening.

Shady accounting underpins Trump’s wealth. No! I won’t believe it!

What’s the Matter with San Francisco: How Silicon Valley’s Ideology Has Ruined a Great City.

* Well, the establishment’s also pretty bored by literary work that deals with our treatment of the rest of being — you know, other animals, the rest of life on Earth, the creatures beyond the man-apes. Like the tragedy of how our men treat our women, the tragic way humans treat nonhumans is still, to many U.S. fiction arbiters, also irrelevant as a conversation, often dismissed as a boutique topic that’s the fodder of cranks and tree huggers. Women and the rest of species in existence: two flaming badges of uncool.

* Harambe launches a thousand thinkpieces.

The Black Film Canon: The 50 greatest movies by black directors.

Jessica Valenti: my life as a ‘sex object.’

* How an industry helps Chinese students cheat their way into and through U.S. colleges.

Nearly half of young black men in Chicago out of work, out of school. All told, over that same 14-year stretch, Chicago’s black population decreased by an estimated 200,000 residents, or nearly 19 percent. Illinois now has the highest unemployment rate in the United States.

If you were designing the worst place to be poor in decades ahead, you’d come up with a low-density, auto-dependent, aging and declining suburb.

* AP FACT CHECK: Clinton misstates key facts in email episode. Hillary Clinton vs. Herself. Hillary Clinton Remains the Most Likely 45th President of the United States.

After Being Called Out, Trump Hastily Donates the Veterans’ Aid Money He Said He’d Already Donated. Meet David French: the random dude off the street Bill Kristol decided will save America from Trump.

* This is good fun but pretty seriously slanders Magneto and the Joker.

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The Republicans’ Military Budget Could Make Every Homeless Person In America A Millionaire.

The Male Gaze in a Math Book.

* Coming from Pixar, 2022: Swarm of bees follows woman’s car for two days to rescue their queen.

* The paralogisms of pure dismissal.

* Fandom Is Broken. A Retort. I’m mostly just impressed with how hard I nailed it.

* Baby abandoned at SF State now one of its grads.

Quitting Your Job to Pursue Your Passion is Bullshit.

* Timeline maps.

* Hyperattention and hyperdistraction.

* Not a Review of Neoreaction a Basilisk. I for one welcome our artificially intelligent overlords. I’d like to remind them that as a trusted writer and educator, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground zinc caves.

* Make Bayesianism Work for You.

A Renegade Muscles In on Mister Softee’s Turf.

“Let me tell you about this business,” Adam Vega, a thickly muscled, heavily tattooed Mister Softee man who works the upper reaches of the Upper East Side and East Harlem, said on Wednesday. “Every truck has a bat inside.”

A Fascinating Video Essay Explores the Key Reason Why Calvin and Hobbes Remains So Beloved Today.

* This is a little old, but DC has basically gone ahead and made it real, so…

David Mitchell buries latest manuscript for a hundred years.

Algorithms: The Future That Already Happened.

Judith Butler on the Value of the Humanities and Why We Read.

* Time to panic about Rogue One.

* I still can’t believe The Cursed Child is a real thing. Even photographs can’t convince me.

[somberly drags FerrisBueller.privilege.Salon.docx to the trash can]

Business Of Disaster: Insurance Firms Profited $400 Million After Sandy.

* Over a third of coral is dead in parts of the Great Barrier Reef, scientists say.

* And to imagine the ocean of the future: picture a writhing mass of unkillable tentacles, forever.

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Written by gerrycanavan

June 1, 2016 at 8:31 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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First Tuesday after the First Monday in November Links!

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

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

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

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

A Manifesto for the Freelance Academic.

* Colorado Community College Faculty Bill of Rights.

* Is academic science still sexist? No! Yes!

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

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

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

* The end of the Red Cross.

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

* My Grandma the Poisoner.

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

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

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

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

* Cancel the midterms! There’s still time!

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

* 2016 and imperial feminism.

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

* They’re Still Redlining.

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

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

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

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

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

* Nudes and female corporal ownership.

Hollaback and Why Everyone Needs Better Research Methods.

* How Racism Stole Black Childhood.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Bruce Springsteen by the book.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Secret Fantasies of Adults.

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

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

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

* Stephen King: The Rolling Stone Interview.

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

Written by gerrycanavan

November 4, 2014 at 7:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Monday’s Links Has Learned to Tie Its Bootlace

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* Wes Anderson’s The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders.

A billion-year storage medium that could outlive the human race.

New drugs could extend cancer patients’ lives—by days. At a cost of thousands and thousands of dollars. Prompting some doctors to refuse to use them.

* Friendship Is Magic: Malcolm Harris on branding the left.

Maryville, Missouri Is a Lawless Hellhole, And Other Things You Can’t Say About Small Towns.

* The rich are different: Filthy Lucre.

* The wisdom of markets: Pinterest is now valued at $3.8 billion after its most recent round of fundraising generated $225 million. It’s an impressive feat for a company without any revenue. Note: that’s not no profit. That’s no revenue whatsoever.

Milwaukee police use-of-force reports more than double.

A City Or A Swamp? One Year Later, Hoboken Still Struggling With Sandy.

With a $100 million endowment and annual revenues approaching $300 million, TFA is flush with cash and ambition. Its clout on Capitol Hill was demonstrated last week when a bipartisan group of lawmakers made time during the frenzied budget negotiations to secure the nonprofit its top legislative priority — the renewal of a controversial provision defining teachers still in training, including TFA recruits, as “highly qualified” to take charge of classrooms.

* Abolition never happened: There could be slaves in the supply chain of your chocolate, smartphone and sushi.

* Decadence watch: Mixed Martial Arts for kids.

Malcolm Gladwell’s New Book Asks Us To Pity the Rich.

* Editorial: F**k Jared Diamond.

* Douglas Hofstadter, The Man Who Would Teach Machines to Think. The Rapid Advance of Artificial Intelligence. Why We Should Think About the Threat of Artificial Intelligence.

More Than 15 Million Americans Now Live Within One Mile Of A Fracking Well. Nearly 300 Oil Spills Went Unreported In North Dakota In Less Than Two Years.

* Someone should put this guy in charge of a hypertrophic, paranoid security state. He’d do great.

* A California woman who received a life sentence for killing her abusive pimp at age 17 will be released after a mere 19 years in prison.

How to Turn Robert’s Rules Into a Force for Good.

* And RIP, Lou Reed. The Neil Gaiman interview.

Late Night Sunday B-B-B-Bonus Links! May Cause Depression!

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* Alternet, against charter schools: Why the Racist History of the Charter School Movement Is Never Discussed.

* Cops in Baton Rouge arresting people under a sodomy law overturned a decade ago. The police officers who are participating in this ought to be thrown in jail.

Could a Private University Have Made a Difference in Detroit? It’s an interesting thesis but requires a bit more data than just a spitball.

Reuters’ Climate Coverage Slashed Under “Skeptic” Editor. White House warned on imminent Arctic ice death spiral. Does Lake Michigan’s record low mark beginning of new era for Great Lakes?

New Jersey Nightmare: A Mind-Boggling New Proposal Could Make The Next Superstorm Even More Deadly And Destructive. This is honestly insane:

Now, in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, as coastal communities are still in the rebuilding process, Governor Chris Christie has a bill on his desk, S2680, that would give the green light to development on piers — all of which are now classified as high-hazard V-zone areas, according to FEMA’s new post-Sandy flood insurance maps.

* That’s one lesson delivered by San Jose State, though it’s unclear whether the school knows it. Of the $150 the students paid for each online course, the university kept only $40, with the rest going to Udacity.

* Competitive no-pay fellowship at Bard Graduate Center. (Don’t) apply today!

* But it’s not all bad news! Fast food workers will strike in seven cities tomorrow, including Milwaukee.

* An end to Limbaugh and Hannity? Where’s the anti-Kickstarter for this?

* After having bananas thrown at her during a political rally, Cécile Kyenge, Italy’s first black minister, told reporters that she would continue doing her job and that protesters should stop “wasting food.” Bananas. (Marc) Marone.

* And Randal Monroe has finished “Time.”

Sunday Night Links

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* Pay student athletes: Louisville’s Kevin Ware suffers gruesome leg injury. Will Ware be stuck with the bill?

Louisville sophomore Kevin Ware’s injury today in the Midwest Regional finals of the NCAA tournament will likely be remembered alongside Joe Theismann’s career-ender as one of the most tragically gruesome in sports history. But that’s not the only tragic and gruesome part of this episode, because unlike Theismann, who was working under a guaranteed contract, Ware was an NCAA athlete helping to generate millions of dollars for the NCAA, but not even guaranteed a four-year education scholarship. As in so many other similar cases, that means his injury in service to the NCAA’s multimillion-dollar machine could spell the end of his financial aid and massive healthcare bills to boot.

* Why conservatives hate college.

* The hunt for Herman Melville.

* From the comments on this New York Times piece on the forgotten legacy of slavery in American capitalism: During college at UNC I studied slavery often in my English major classes but it was never mentioned during an Economics course.

The idea that men are naturally more interested in sex than women is ubiquitous that it’s difficult to imagine that people ever believed differently. And yet for most of Western history, from ancient Greece to beginning of the nineteenth century, women were assumed to be the sex-crazed porn fiends of their day.

* Is it fair to force low-income children to bear the burden of fiscal adjustment? According to data available on the economist Emmanuel Saez’s invaluable Web site, from 1993 to 2011, average real income for the bottom 99 percent of the population (by income) rose by 5.8 percent, while the top 1 percent experienced real income growth of 57.5 percent. The top 1% captured 62% of all income growth over this period, partly owing to a sharp rise in returns to higher education in recent decades. (On average, those with only a high school education or less have few good income prospects.)

* The angels have lost their desire for us: Hurricane Sandy has cost Ocean and Monmouth counties more than $5 billion in property taxes tax ratables. (ED: Whoops.)

* BREAKING: Everything got worse in 1981.

* The Los Angeles Review of Books considers George R. R. Martin.

* Brian K. Vaughn teases Under the Dome.

* There’s got to be a better way! Scenes from infomercials.

* And just because: How to make a “Bells of St. John” wifi name.

Lots of Thursday Links! The University in Ruins, How to Predict the Future, Lesbian Science Fiction, and More

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Five Katrinas A Decade? Warming Projected To Boost Extreme Storm Surges Ten-Fold.

* Cause of windfarm sickness identified: it’s spread by human mouth.

“If our universe was a simulation you could totally tell. There’d be things like a fastest possible speed or a smallest possible size or a lowest possible temperature, or events wouldn’t actually be computed until they were observed by a player (you know, for computational efficiency).”

* Nicola Griffith recommends good lesbian science fiction novels.

* How to Predict the Future.

“During a summer in the late 1960s I discovered an easy and certain method of predicting the future. Not my own future, the next turn of the card, or market conditions next month or next year, but the future of the world lying far ahead. It was quite simple. All that was needed was to take the reigning assumptions about what the future was likely to hold, and reverse them. Not modify, negate, or question, but reverse.”

The number of Purdue administrators has jumped 54 percent in the past decade—almost eight times the growth rate of tenured and tenure-track faculty. “We’re here to deliver a high-quality education at as low a price as possible,” says Robinson. “Why is it that we can’t find any money for more faculty, but there seems to be an almost unlimited budget for administrators?”

Recent Deep State Higher Education Cuts May Harm Students and the Economy for Years to Come.

Wayne State University and the University of Michigan could lose 15 percent of their state funding if the schools ratify new union contracts that bypass Michigan’s new right-to-work law under a House Republican budget proposal introduced Tuesday.

Backroom Financial Dealings of a Top University.

It’s true that the university, for whatever reason, offered provisional admission to some students with lower test scores and grades than Fisher. Five of those students were black or Latino. Forty-two were white.

* In this sense, frighteningly, the MOOC seems like the next logical frontier in the increasing contingency and “adjunctification” of labor in higher education. Faculty unions in California are already arguing that MOOCs might do some serious damage to collective bargaining agreements, as some faculty have already agreed to assemble MOOCs for free. But to get even more apocalyptic than that, it seems like this specter of the cyberteacher – emerging from the shadows of the murky MOOC lagoon – is some dystopian icon of the brave new cost-cutting educational future. What better way to cut labor costs in higher education than to simply replace human educational laborers with software?

“I believe we’re in the best basketball conference in the country right now. If you look at the history of the schools, the original seven plus the new three, it’s obviously an elite group,” Father Pilarz said. “The new conference offers a tremendous opportunity for all 16 of Marquette’s athletic programs to compete against mission-driven and like-minded institutions.” 

* The Most Accurate Map of NCAA College Basketball Fandom. Brackets with just the colors and logos. An Oral History of Beating Duke. The NCAA: Poster Boy for Corruption and Exploitation.

A minimum wage worker in California must toil about 130 hours a week in order to feasibly  afford a two-bedroom rental, a new report found.

* Life after Steubenville.

Photos of Children From Around the World With Their Most Prized Possessions.

But journalists deserve a share of the blame, too—and not only for the failure to question more skeptically the Bush Administration’s claims about Saddam’s non-existent WMD. Journalists failed, above all, to show the war as it was. Americans who did not serve may think that they have some idea of what the war in Iraq was like, but they’re wrong. The culprit here is a culture of well-intentioned self-censorship that refuses to show the real conditions of modern warfare.

* Klein doesn’t think a state invaded another state; he thinks “we” went to war. He identifies with the state. Whether he’s supporting or dissenting from a policy, he sees himself as part of it. He sees himself on the jeeps with the troops. That’s why his calls for skepticism, for not taking things on authority, ring so hollow. In the end, he’s on the team. Or the jeep.

* Communist Monopoly.

The goal of the game, which will officially be launched on Feb. 5, is to show how hard and frustrating it was for an average person to simply do their shopping under the Communist regime in Poland. The game has been developed by the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN), a Warsaw-based research institute that commemorates the suffering of the Polish people during the Nazi and Communist eras.

* Life advice from the OnionFind The Thing You’re Most Passionate About, Then Do It On Nights And Weekends For The Rest Of Your Life.

The New Yorker Rejects Itself: A Quasi-Scientific Analysis of Slush Piles.

* Feedback from James Joyce’s Submission of Ulysses to His Creative Writing Workshop.

* The kids aren’t all right: In Survey, Professors See a Lack of Professionalism Among Students

Professional wrestling fans, we who are “smart marks” especially, are in many ways more sophisticated than the political junkies who populate political blogs and web sites (what are really fan boy and fan girl mark hangouts) like the Free Republic or The Daily Kos. They know that professional wrestling is a work and a game.

Bradbury’s fan letter to Heinlein.

How Viable Is Rand Paul for 2016?

* And Dear Television considers the finale of Girls.

Weekend Links

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Tolkien Class At Wis. University Proves Popular. Marquette English hits the big time.

A decade-long spending binge to build academic buildings, dormitories and recreational facilities — some of them inordinately lavish to attract students — has left colleges and universities saddled with large amounts of debt. Oftentimes, students are stuck picking up the bill.

* Legal systems and/as the history of imperialism and colonialism.

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* The New York Times drops its oppo research on Cory Booker.

When snow blanketed this city two Christmases ago, Mayor Cory A. Booker was celebrated around the nation for personally shoveling out residents who had appealed for help on Twitter. But here, his administration was scorned as streets remained impassable for days because the city had no contract for snow removal.

Last spring, Ellen DeGeneres presented Mr. Booker with a superhero costume after he rushed into a burning building to save a neighbor. But Newark had eliminated three fire companies after the mayor’s plan to plug a budget hole failed.

* California judge declares that women’s bodies can prevent rape. Don’t worry, folks — he’s already been admonished. Still a sitting judge, but admonished.

* American Exceptionalism: The Shootings Will Go On.

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* So it’s okay when he says it: “The truth of the matter is that my policies are so mainstream that if I had set the same policies that I had back in the 1980s, I would be considered a moderate Republican.”

* Glenn Greenwald has seen Zero Dark Thirty.

The fact that nice liberals who already opposed torture (like Spencer Ackerman) felt squeamish and uncomfortable watching the torture scenes is irrelevant. That does not negate this point at all. People who support torture don’t support it because they don’t realize it’s brutal. They know it’s brutal – that’s precisely why they think it works – and they believe it’s justifiable because of its brutality: because it is helpful in extracting important information, catching terrorists, and keeping them safe. This film repeatedly reinforces that belief by depicting torture exactly as its supporters like to see it: as an ugly though necessary tactic used by brave and patriotic CIA agents in stopping hateful, violent terrorists.

More from the New Yorker.

* This time Obama is totally going to keep his promises about drug enforcement.

Why race matters after Sandy.

* UC surrenders, zunguzungu named chancellor.

* China Miéville vs. science fiction.

* Twenty-seven-year-old single mother of three sentenced to life imprisonment for bag holding the same day HSBC declared officially above the law. Outrageous HSBC Settlement Proves the Drug War is a Joke.

School cafeteria worker fired for helping needy student. You know, Christmastime.