Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘immortality

The Terrible Serenity of a Browser with Every Tab Closed

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What are we waiting for, assembled in the forum? The barbarians are due here today.

We Reversed Our Declining English Enrollments. Here’s How.

* CFP: Exhaustion: Tired Bodies, Tired Worlds. Graduate conference at the Department of English, University of Chicago, this November.

* When machine learning is astonishing – I collected some highlights from a paper on algorithmic creativity. Great Twitter thread.

* Butler Mons honours Octavia E. Butler, the first science fiction writer to win a MacArthur fellowship, and whose Xenogenesis trilogy describes humankind’s departure from Earth and subsequent return. And on the second season finale of Levar Burton reads: “Childfinder.”

‘Describe Yourself Like a Male Author Would’ Is the Most Savage Twitter Thread in Ages.

* The Prequel Boom.

Climate Change, Revolution And ‘New York 2140.’

* Dic Lit.

* Dictators are always afraid of poets. This seems kind of weird to a lot of Americans to whom poets are not political beings, but it doesn’t seem a bit weird in South America or in any dictatorship, really.

* Post-Soviet science fiction and the war in Ukraine.

* Eighty Years of the Futurians’ Vision.

* A Radical Idea about Adjuncting.

* I didn’t really understand how unjust the academic system was for career advancement for women until I had children. What It’s Like to Be a Woman in the Academy.

* The 2018 Hugo Finalists.

* Teach the controversy, Hell edition.

What It’s Like to Watch Isle of Dogs As a Japanese Speaker. Orientalism Is Alive And Well In American Cinema.

* Junot Díaz on the legacy of childhood trauma.

* The Breakfast Club in the age of #MeToo.

* Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One” is not a video-game-centered dystopian teen adventure but a horror film, a movie of spiritual zombies whose souls have been consumed by the makers of generations of official cultural product and regurgitated in the form of pop nostalgia. The movie, framed as a story of resistance to corporate tyranny, is actually a tale of tyranny perpetuated by a cheerfully totalitarian predator who indoctrinates his victims by amusing them to death—and the movie’s stifled horror is doubled by Spielberg’s obliviousness to it.

Milwaukee students of color say it’s time to talk about the school-to-prison pipeline.

* A Syrian man has been trapped in a Malaysian airport for 37 days.

The Fog of War and the Case for Knee-jerk Anti-Interventionism.

15 Years. More Than 1 Million Dead. No One Held Responsible.

* America should just stop all bombing.

* ‘Star Wars’ and the Fantasy of American Violence.

* Justice Dept. to halt legal-advice program for immigrants in detention. Amid deportations, those in U.S. without authorization shy away from medical care. ICE Won’t Deport the Last Nazi War Criminal in America.

* This proposal, requiring worker seats on corporate boards, is commonly referred to as “codetermination.” A number of European countries require worker representatives to be included in corporate boards, or for councils of workers to be consulted in appointing board members. The emerging plan to save the American labor movement.

* Liberals and the strike.

* Eviction in America.

* There is no humane border regime, just as there is no humane abortion ban. The border will always tear parents from children, carers from charges, longtime residents from the only communities they’ve ever known. It may do it faster or slower, with ostentatious brutality or bureaucratic drag, but it will always do it. Trump is gambling that Americans will embrace the brutal version, as they’ve done so many times in the past. If they do, will we be enough to stop them? Liberals constantly rediscover the violence at the heart of their politics, but can never learn a thing from it.

* Zombie liberalism.

* When an algorithm cuts your health care.

How the American economy conspires to keep wages down.

* Nice work if you can get it.

* Uncle Sam’s largest asset.

Universities Use the Specter of ICE to Try to Scare Foreign Grad Students Away From Unionizing.

Why Your Advice for Ph.D.s Leaving Academe Might Be Making Things Worse.

* King Of Kong’s Billy Mitchell has been stripped of all his high scores, banned from competitive gaming.

* The definitive explanation of why Bitcoin is stupid.

* The new debt colonies.

* Faces of Auschwitz.

* Wisconsin in the news: Suspected White Supremacist Died Building ISIS-Style Bombs.

* I predicted this: Apple orders its most ambitious TV series yet: An adaptation of Asimov’s Foundation.

* More than half your body is not human.

* Learning styles as a myth.

* Stan Lee needs a hero. Sounds like the sooner the better.

* Neanderthals cared for each other and survived into old age.

* Star Wars is RUINED.

* The oceans’ circulation hasn’t been this sluggish in 1,000 years. That’s bad news. Dangerous climate tipping point is ‘about a century ahead of schedule’ warns scientist. Greenland Ice Sheet is Melting at its Fastest Rate in 400 years.

The greatest environmentalist of postwar America wasn’t a scientist or a wonk. He didn’t even finish high school.

* Atheism and the alt-right.

* Amazon and/against Tolkien.

Tony Gilroy on ‘Rogue One’ Reshoots: They Were in “Terrible Trouble.”

* Catholic Colleges and Basketball.

* A people’s history of the Undertaker.

* John Carpenter: The First Fifteen Years.

* Only young people do revolutionary mathematics.

* Political correctness strikes again! MIT cuts ties with company promising to provide digital immortality after killing you.

The Working Person’s Guide to the Industry That Might Kill Your Company.

* I was going to watch it anyway, but: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Season 2 Casts Tig Notaro.

* A Jar, a Blouse, a Letter: The story of Julia Kristeva.

Facebook is unfixable. We need a nonprofit, public-spirited replacement. Mark Zuckerberg’s 15-year apology tour.

Why several trainloads of New Yorkers’ poop has been stranded for months in Alabama.

Unusual forms of ‘nightmare’ antibiotic-resistant bacteria detected in 27 states.

* The best news I’ve heard in years: Fireball Island is coming back.

* That’s a relief! Don’t worry, the US would win a nuclear war with Russia.

* And no one’s hands are clean.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 14, 2018 at 6:09 pm

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Impeach Trump Now (and Other Links)

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* I haven’t done a post like this in a while, so of course you have to catch up with the horrors of America collapsing around our ears. Charlottesville. Charlottesville. Charlottesville. Russia. Russia. Russia. The NSC memo was only last week! Republicans, Remove This Madman From Power.

* And then there was today.

As White Supremacists Wreak Havoc, a University Becomes a Crisis Center.

The Numbers Don’t Lie: White Far-Right Terrorists Pose a Clear Danger to Us All.

* Slouching towards death squads.

* Defense fund for the protestors in Durham who pulled down the Old Soldier last night. A history. Gov. Roy Cooper calls for Confederate statues to come down in North Carolina. “We cannot continue to glorify a war against the United States of America fought in the defense of slavery. These monuments should come down.”

After Obama’s 2008 Win, Indiana GOP Added Early Voting in White Suburb, Cut It in Indianapolis.

Who’s truly rebuilding the Democratic Party? The activists.

Stop Calling Millennials the Facebook Generation. They’re The Student Loan Generation.

8 Times The World Narrowly Avoided A Potential Nuclear Disaster. This is how easy it would be for Trump to start a nuclear war. Averting Annihilation. Notes on Late Exterminism, the Trump Stage of Civilization. The Annihilator. Computer Models Show What Exactly Would Happen To Earth After A Nuclear War. Analysts are trying to work out what happens to the markets they cover in the event of an all-out nuclear war. Nuclear Imperialism and Extended Deterrence. The national security establishment versus the “madmen.” And from the archives.

The underlying logic is quite uncomplicated: unless America is the best and the most powerful, the entire world is forfeit. This is of course the brutish proposition that sustains American hegemony—that has sustained since it since the get-go. It’s the same threat whether it’s mouthed colorfully by Trump, or stated matter-of-factly by a career military officer like Defense Secretary James Mattis, who warned that “the DPRK should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people.” But as with so much else, hearing it laid out so baldly, in yet another unplanned and unvetted Trump ad-lib, has an arresting effect. As out of the mouths of babes, so out of the mouth of our President: the truth brings us up short. We move from an initial, disavowing reaction of “This. Is. Not. Normal” to a nauseous, self-implicating “Oh God, this is what normal always was.”

* Timely! Ava DuVernay is developing Octavia Butler’s sci-fi novel, ‘Dawn’ as a television series.

Now More than Ever, We Wish We Had These Lost Octavia Butler Novels.

The “Weird Thoreau” on ecological fiction and the cult of climate-change denial.

Half the GOP Base Say They Would Support Cancelling the 2020 Elections. The Other Half Won’t Admit It.

* The Women of the Alt-Right.

* Right-leaning media outlets have moral culpability for what is happening, if not legal culpability. They created this. The coming Civil War.

Mom Deported Because She Didn’t Change Lanes.

On Tuesday, they will reluctantly split up their family, flying to Mexico with their 12-year-old son to start a new life, while leaving their three older daughters — who are 16, 21 and 23 — behind in the U.S.

Healthcare workers rally to halt Oakland nurse’s deportation.

* How ICE Is Using Big Data to Carry Out Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Crusade. Private prison companies are saying Trump’s immigration crackdown is looking good for business.

Thank you, Wisconsin, for the beautiful gift. Editorial from the Chicago Sun-Times.

How to Tell If Your Eclipse Glasses or Handheld Solar Viewers Are Safe.

Romance Novels, Generated by Artificial Intelligence.

* Better Business through Sci-Fi.

People in rich countries are dying of loneliness.

The Story of the DuckTales Theme, History’s Catchiest Single Minute of Music. Is it possible to swim through coins, Scrooge McDuck style?

* Where is your god now?

Forever Yesterday: Peering Inside My Mom’s Fading Mind.

* Biohackers encode malware within a strand of DNA.

Side effects kill thousands but our data on them is flawed.

Why do some people get so upset when we talk about how diverse the ancient Greek and Roman societies were? Because if Classical antiquity is the foundation of western civilization and they were multiracial/multiethnic societies, then the idea that western civilization is a white accomplishment based on a history of white superiority is called into question.

* Congratulations to all the Hugo winners! Measuring the slow death of the Rabid Puppies.

The Table of Contents for Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017 has now been revealed, as selected by me (series editor John Joseph Adams) and guest editor Charles Yu.

On Game of Thrones, the Cracks Are Beginning to Show. It’s bad y’all.

* The Soul of the Gamer under Communism.

What are the ethical consequences of immortality technology? To Be a Machine: Adventures Among the Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death.

* When Bill Murray Saw the Groundhog Day musical. UPDATE: Nothing gold can stay.

* Taylor Swift for President.

A map for extraterrestrials to find Earth.

“I came home because I believed what they said about the new system and that it was supposed to be the best in the world,” said Williams, 67. “But now it seems if we get hit by another Katrina, the city will be gone.”

* Learjet Liberalism: Advocates for climate action should stop defending the rich.

* The kids are all right.

* And in a dark time, the eye begins to see.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 15, 2017 at 6:48 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Monday Jr. Links!

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* Who knew my politics has a name?

* How Bosses Are Dictators.

Not Just Being Right, But Getting Free: Reflections on Class, Race, and Marxism. The incredible lost history of how “Civil Rights Plus Full Employment Equals Freedom.” What Was Postraciality?

* Detroit’s Underground Economy: Where Capitalism Fails, Alternatives Take Root.

* What coastal elites don’t get about heartland nihilism.

Trump’s tax cuts would give the poor $40 each and the ultrarich $940,000.

Jeff Sessions wants police to take more cash from American citizens.

The GOP’s moral rot is the problem, not Donald Trump Jr.

* I don’t think there’s even a single human being who thinks Andrew Cuomo should be the Democratic nominee in 2020, and yet somehow he’s already the frontrunner.

* #NotAllFacultyHallways.

The secret life of USC med school dean.

Housing prices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose and San Diego have jumped as much as 75 percent over the past five years.

The Horror Novel You’ll Never Have to Live is getting its dark, gritty reboot.

* Winter is coming going.

An Oral History of The Simpsons’ Classic Planet of the Apes Musical.

* In Heaven, there is no pain.

* This podcast interview with Zeynep Tufecki on persuasion and control is pretty chilling, especially about the dystopian possibilities of microtargeted algorithmic messaging.

* George Lucas finally made a change to Star Wars I approve of.

Weird Radio Signals Detected from Nearby Red Dwarf Star.

But if you’re getting the urge to invoke E.T., temper it: “In case you are wondering, the recurrent aliens hypothesis is at the bottom of many other better explanations,” Mendez wrote.

Get lost, buzzkill! This is happening.

Monday Morning Links!

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* Noah Berlatsky isn’t done talking about the Oankali.

Is Tony Stark the Real Villain in Spider-Man: Homecoming? I think Marvel owes China Miéville a writing credits.

The Short, Unhappy Life of a Libertarian Paradise.

* Medievalism and white supremacy.

* Ban noncompetes.

By June 2011, only 49 of the 3,000 long-term seats had been sold. By December, the school said that they were $113 million short of their goal. Kansas tried a similar long-term seat plan and they abandoned it after it failed spectacularly. Cal tried to pivot away from the seat selling plan by 2013, but by that point, a gaping budget shortfall was staring them in the face, and that was just from paying off the debt. The Bears now owe at least $18 million per year in interest-only payments on the stadium debt, and that number will balloon to at least$26 million per year in 2032 when Berkeley starts paying off the principal stadium cost. Payments will increase until they peak at $37 million per year in 2039, then subside again in 2051 before Berkeley will owe $81 million in 2053. After that, the school is on the hook for $75 million more and will have six decades to pay it off. The stadium might not get paid off until 2113, by which time, who knows, an earthquake could send the stadium back into the earth or football as we know it might be dead.

* Easily one of the worst academic job ads I’ve ever seen, which is saying something.

* Teens Discover The Boston Garden Has Ignored Law For Decades, May Owe State Millions.

Here are the hidden horrors in the Senate GOP’s new Obamacare repeal bill. The Cruz amendment. One vote away.

* Team Trump Excuses for the Don Jr. Meeting Go From Bad to Worse. The Bob Mueller century. Was it a setup? Everything old is new again.

* Trump’s wall vs. the drug trebuchet.

After a Harrowing Flight From U.S., Refugees Find Asylum in Canada. Foreign-born recruits, promised citizenship by the Pentagon, flee the country to avoid deportation. Trump administration weighs expanding the expedited deportation powers of DHS. The corporation that deports immigrants has a major stake in Trump’s presidency.

* US approves oil drilling in Alaska waters, prompting fears for marine life.

* President Trump’s Air War Kills 12 Civilians Per Day.

* FBI spent decades searching for mobster wanted in cop killing. Then they found his secret room.

* When Is Speech Violence?

* When the White House doxxes its critics. And a novel counterstrategy.

* Rest in peace, George Romero, and no jokes.

All 192 characters who’ve died on “Game of Thrones,” in alphabetical order. Interesting interview with Martin on the process of adaptation.

* A New Yorker profile of Dr. Seuss from 1960.

* Like Star Wars, but too much.

* Linguistic drift and Facebook bots.

* Where are they? They’re aestivating.

* We’re still not sure if it’s legal to laugh at Jeff Sessions.

* Alaska Cops Defend Their ‘Right’ to Sexual Contact With Sex Workers Before Arresting Them.

* Dialetics of universal basic income.

* Juking the stats, Nielsens edition.

* Cheek by jowl with nanotechnology is science fiction’s notion of cyberspace as an abstract space, a giant planetary storehouse for information. (The idea comes from William Gibson’s 1984 novel, Neuromancer.) Is it possible that some part of the Web might become so complicated that it comes to life? Might it be hostile to us? Suppose it’s clever enough to take over machines and build Terminator-like creatures to do us battle? Personally I don’t think that’s very likely, but I do think the problem of the 21st century is going to be the problem of misinformation. And we’d better solve it by the 22nd century, or we will have another reason not to entertain much hope for cities—or, indeed, any kind of civilization a millennium hence. Samuel Delany, 1999.

* Cory Doctorow on technological immortality, the transporter problem, and fast-moving futures.

* What Is Your Mother’s Maiden Name? A Feminist History of Online Security Questions.

* I’d listen to every episode: Welcome to My Podcast, In Which I Do a Feminist Analysis of Thundercats and Sob Quietly.

* Kids and trampolines.

* Might as well go ahead and put this on our nation’s tombstone: America’s Lust for Bacon Is Pushing Pork Belly Prices to Records.

* Imagine being so toxic that even a brand doesn’t feel like it has to pretend to like you.

* And Jodie Whittaker Is Doctor Who‘s Next Doctor, meaning this CFP for a special issue of SFFTV is all the more relevant! Don’t be the last to submit your 9000-word exegesis of the one-minute teaser trailer…

Written by gerrycanavan

July 17, 2017 at 9:12 am

Thursday Links!

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Two days before she died, Nina Riggs made a request: Don’t be afraid to read my book.

Hell Is Empty And All the Hedge Fund Managers Are At The Bellagio.

* Indeed, this kind of repression is perhaps more sinister because it ropes you into participating in your own silencing. You become the policeman in your own head. When considering whether to attend a demonstration, the powerful internal suggestion is that, even if you do everything “right”—even if you are being peaceful but just happen to be in the same vicinity as someone who isn’t—you could get caught up in a costly legal battle and face serious fines, even jail time. Your entire life could be turned upside down. You might be left alone. But it’s impossible to know—and the only way to be sure is to stay home. You still have the “freedom” to choose, but fully exercising that freedom amounts to playing Russian roulette with an entity all too eager to take that freedom away if you get caught standing near a smashed window. So, really, how much freedom do you have?

The government is spying on journalists to find leakers.

* Not exactly happily, I found this AAUP unpacking of procedural issues in the recent John McAdams decision pretty persuasive.

* An oral history of “The Inner Light.” The second-best discussion of “The Inner Light” you’ll see this year!

Monopoly vs. the Nazis: How British intelligence used board games to thwart the Germans.

How Jalada Is a “Revolution Uniting African Literature.”

Five current and former U.S. officials said they are aware of classified intelligence suggesting there was some sort of private encounter between Trump and his aides and the Russian envoy, despite a heated denial from Sessions, who has already come under fire for failing to disclose two separate contacts with Kislyak. Congress investigating another possible Sessions-Kislyak meeting. Here’s why the feds are looking at Jared Kushner. More. Sorry. On Kushner, There’s No Innocent Explanation. They’re also looking into Trump’s personal attorney.

* Meanwhile.

Trump Exempts Entire Senior Staff From White House Ethics Rules.

“He now lives within himself, which is a dangerous place for Donald Trump to be,” says someone who speaks with the President. “I see him emotionally withdrawing. He’s gained weight. He doesn’t have anybody whom he trusts.” This is the most relatable Trump has ever been.

* Rise and shine, campers, ’cause it’s coooooold out there today.

* Don’t put ground wasp nest on your vagina to tighten muscles, warns gynecologist.

California Single Payer Is a No-Brainer.

* If you want a vision of every Thanksgiving for the rest of your life.

* SMBC roundup! We discovered a new form of ethical animal consumption. The older you are, the more people you have to deal with, so the number of lies to tends to go up quadratically. The anti-status-quo society. But a strange thing happened. Quantum hypocrisy. Marine biology. Ontology and the barbecue. Neoliberal magic. No funeral. You too.

* Confidence. Never corner a teacher. Flirting and coquettery. Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to ask if they should. Or, Twitter.

The visit is intended to focus attention on the estimated more than 230 military veterans deported from the U.S. and on the need for a more rigorous process to ensure legal residents recruited with promises of citizenship are naturalized.

Man Faces Deportation After Failing to Pay Fare on Minneapolis Light Rail.

* “Fearless Girl” is rapidly becoming an entire syllabus in the theory of art.

More Than One-Third of Teen Girls Have Experienced Depression, Study Finds. When you have numbers like this you have to conclude that the problem isn’t the girls.

In The Refrigerator Monologues, Catherynne M. Valente gives comics’ dead women their voices back. Buy it here!

Suffering Sappho! The Tortured History of Female Superheroes.

* If only there were an appropriate Marx quote for this.

* On taking candy from a baby.

* A vaccine for denialism? I’m skeptical.

* When a trip doesn’t end.

Buffalo launches nation’s first opiate intervention court.

* We Bought a Crack House.

White supremacists love Vikings. But they’ve got history all wrong.

* 1 in every 4 children robbed of their childhoods.

* “Uncle Julius just thought he was doing what he was supposed to do over there.”

The patent and copyright systems are clear examples of how the distribution of income is determined by the rules put in place as opposed to the intrinsic structure of the “free market.” There is nothing about the laws of the economy that says the government has to grant these monopolies, and it certainly was not a natural process through which their length and scope came to be extended in the last four decades.

* So you were buddies with a Nazi.

* The law, in its majestic equality.

* And a smart think piece from the archives: Rickrolling is sexist, racist and often transphobic in context. More relevant now than ever…

Written by gerrycanavan

June 1, 2017 at 1:51 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Memorial Day Links!

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* This weekend I got a chance to read an advance copy of Iain M. Banks, from the Modern Masters of Science Fiction series. It’s great! Highly recommended for fans of the Culture or of space opera more generally. Alfred Bester, which I also read this weekend, was great too!

* Anyway, who’s ready to be a walking blood-bag for an immortal tech lich?

* What Will Kill Neoliberalism? My money is on the managerial class one but with cash-for-sterilization and euthanasia payouts for the poors.

50 años de Cien años de soledad.

* Jared! Jared! Jared! Jared! Jared!

In the United States, the Trump Organization took Mr. Davies’s coat of arms for its own, making one small adjustment — replacing the word “Integritas,” Latin for integrity, with “Trump.”

What Mr. Trump got was a pair of lawsuits: one filed by Ms. Nwanguma and the other by one of Candidate Trump’s most fervent young admirers among the white nationalist movement, Mr. Heimbach.

* This country is officially a global laughing stock. Or worse.

That third bill, the “Michael Davis, Jr. and Danny Oliver in Honor of State and Local Law Enforcement Act,” which appeared in a tweeted photo of White House strategist Steve Bannon’s policy agenda, would see immigration violations traditionally treated as civil infractions transformed into criminal violations, punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Speaking before judiciary committee members Thursday, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said the provision would “turn millions of Americans into criminals overnight.” Nadler added that the legislation was “straight out of the Donald Trump mass deportation playbook.”

* I’m Cory Booker, for #TheResistance.

How low do you have to sink to lose an election in this country? Republicans have been trying to answer that question for years. But they’ve been unable to find out, because Democrats somehow keep failing to beat them.

* Sheriff’s Clarke Definitely Real Medals. Washington Post breaks down Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr.’s pins, to Clarke’s ire.

“Solar power delivers cheapest unsubsidised electricity ever, anywhere, by any technology.” 

The night before the University of California Board of Regents voted to raise student tuition to help cash-strapped campuses, they threw themselves a party at the luxury Intercontinental Hotel in San Francisco and billed the university. The tab for the Jan. 25 banquet: $17,600 for 65 people, or $270 a head.

* In the richest country in human history.

* Three trillion and counting.

* “11 Years Old, a Mom, and Pushed to Marry Her Rapist in Florida.”

* Threads thinking about slavery, history, and ethical reasoning from @zunguzungu and @BigMeanInternet.

* This has got to be one of the misogynistic things the Post has ever published in its long and august history.

* It looks like Trump somehow managed to ruin even Fargo.

* Science fiction, the future that failed. I would buy this self-help book. The law, in its majestic equality. When you’re sad. Social media is ruining everything. White people, no! Shades of Satan!

*This* is how you issue a heartfelt and meaningful apology.

* And Nintendo says I may, someday, have a Switch.

Tuesday Morning Links!

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* The course descriptions for Marquette’s Fall 2017 English classes are up at the department website. Check them out! I’m teaching Tolkien and a grad seminar on utopia. 

* Also in Marquette news! Marquette to host ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ conference in April.

Becoming a parent forces you to think about the nature of the problem — which is, in a lot of ways, the problem of nature […] the realities of aging and sickness and mortality become suddenly inescapable. […] [My wife] said something during that time I will never forget. “If I had known how much I was going to love him,” she said, “I’m not sure I would have had him.” Mark O’Connell on transhumanism and immortality.

* From the great Ali Sperling: Reading Lovecraft in the Anthropocene. And this review of Alan Moore’s Jerusalem from the great David Higgins!

* Adam Roberts reviews New York 2140. Another review, from a climate scientist. And an interview with Stan. My review comes out in LARB this weekend…

The Most Cringeworthy Monuments to Colleges’ Innovation Jargon.

Perverse outcomes: UC Berkeley deletes 20,000 audio and visual lectures in the name of compliance with the ADA.

Speculative Fiction and Survival in Iraq.

* Is it really so hard to understand that when your students go broke just trying to graduate they aren’t exactly moved to donate later?

harcourt_fenton_mudd_2267* The liberal arts at Harvey Mudd College, whose graduates out-earn Harvard and Stanford.

* You-might-be-from-Wisconsin-if at Ask MetaFilter.

President Roosevelt signed the order on February 19, 1942, almost exactly 75 years ago. By spring, American citizens would be arriving at the Fresno and Pinedale camps: our neighbors.

* Wisconsin is apparently harassing trans state employees.

* Chaos, again. This is fine. Even James Comey. Twilight of Reince Preibus. Ten Questions for President Trump. Ten More Questions for President Trump. Remember when it was scandalous that Obama, years before he became a politician, once sold his house?

It is through the Justice Department that the administration is likely to advance its nationalist plans — to strengthen the grip of law enforcement, raise barriers to voting and significantly reduce all forms of immigration, promoting what seems to be a longstanding desire to reassert the country’s European and Christian heritage. It’s not an accident that Sessions, who presumably could have chosen from a number of plum assignments, opted for the role of attorney general. The Department of Justice is the most valuable perch from which to transform the country in the way he and Bannon have wanted. With an exaggerated threat of disorder looming, the nation’s top law-enforcement agency could become a machine for trying to fundamentally change who gets to be an American and what rights they can enjoy.

The emerging effort — dozens more rules could be eliminated in the coming weeks — is one of the most significant shifts in regulatory policy in recent decades. It is the leading edge of what Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, described late last month as “the deconstruction of the administrative state.”

* “Forever war, but too much.”

An Afghan family of five that had received approval to move to the United States based on the father’s work for the American government has been detained for more than two days after flying into Los Angeles International Airport, a legal advocacy group said in court documents filed on Saturday. Profiles of immigrant arrested in Austin. Thousands of ICE detainees claim they were forced into labor, a violation of anti-slavery laws. (Note this lawsuit was filed in 2014.This Stunningly Racist French Novel Is How Steve Bannon Explains The World. And if it were a book, it’d seem laughably contrived: A letter written in 1905 by Friedrich Trump, Donald Trump’s grandfather, to Luitpold, prince regent of Bavaria. Resisting ICE. Here we go again.

* 4chan and the Great Meme War.

* Russia and the Cyber Cold War.

* And while we’re on the subject: The Basic Formula For Every Shocking Russia/Trump Revelation. I think this is a very good reminder of the need to stay calm and detached from the chaos of the news cycle.

Instead, a new model is proposed: the president keeps everyone in a constant state of excitement and alarm. He moves fast and breaks things. He leads by causing commotion. As energy in the political system rises he makes no effort to project calm or establish an orderly White House. And if he keeps us safe it’s not by being himself a safe, steady, self-controlled figure, but by threatening opponents and remaining brash and unpredictable— maybe a touch crazy. This too is psychological work, but of a different kind.

* Democrats keep trusting demographics to save them. It hasn’t worked yet — but maybe this time…

NASA unveils plan to give Mars an ‘Earth-like’ atmosphere.

House Republicans Unveil Bill To Repeal Obamacare. The GOP health bill doesn’t know what problem it’s trying to solve.

Austerity measures don’t actually save money. But they do disempower workers. Which is why governments pursue them in the first place.

* No! It can’t be! Researchers have found strong evidence that racism helps the GOP win.

* Losing West Virginia.

Contrary to What You Learned in Sex Ed, You Can Get Pregnant While Pregnant.

* Mid-decade gerrymander in Georgia.

* Autism and Addiction.

* What We’ve Learned from Giving Dolphins LSD.

In a world first, a teenager with sickle cell disease achieved complete remission after an experimental gene therapy at Necker Children’s Hospital in Paris, researchers say.

* Possible lynching outside Seattle, in 2017.

* The end of suburbia.

* In the richest country in human history, children have “lunch debt.”

The only way in which a game is guaranteed to end is when the player abandons their device. Everything else is game design.

“These devices don’t have emotional intelligence,” said Allison Druin, a University of Maryland professor who studies how children use technology. “They have factual intelligence.” How millions of kids are being shaped by know-it-all voice assistants.

* Finding a jury of your peers in a racially segregated society.

* A colony in a nation.

Divination hasn’t disappeared; it’s taken over the world.

But these second-order obstacles aren’t enough to explain the current collapse of poll-driven political certainty. They’re just excuses, even if they’re not untrue. Something about the whole general scheme of polling—the idea that you can predict what millions of undecided voters will do by selecting a small group and then just simply asking them—is out of whack. We need to think seriously about what the strange game of election-watching actually is, in terms of our relation to the future, our power to choose our own outcomes, the large-scale structure of the universe, and the mysteries of fate. And these questions are urgent. Because predictions of the future don’t simply exist in the future, but change the way we act in the present. Because in our future something monstrous is rampaging: it paces hungrily toward us, and we need to know if we’ll be able to spot it in time.

When I said that opinion polls are sibyls and soothsayers, it wasn’t just a figure of speech. Opinion polling has all the trappings of a science—it has its numbers and graphs, its computational models, its armies of pallid drones poring over the figures. It makes hypotheses and puts them to the test. But polls are not taken for what they are: a report on what a small number of people, fond of changing their minds, briefly pretended to think. Instead, we watch the tracking graphs as if the future were playing itself out live in front of us. The real structure of the electoral-wonk complex is more mystical than materialist: it’s augury and divination, a method handed down by Prometheus to a starving and shivering humanity at the faint dawn of time. Behind all the desktop screens and plate-glass of his office, the buzz of data and the hum of metrics, Nate Silver retreats to a quiet, dark, and holy room. He takes the knife and slits in one stroke the throat of a pure-white bull; its blood arcs and drizzles in all directions. He examines its patterns. And he knows.

There’s a never-ending fount of stories you can write about when someone is breaking away from canon or not, and create many controversies all the way through preproduction and production and even until a movie opens, about whether or not they’re breaking canon. Is it a blasphemous movie or not? At some point, you gotta stop and say, Is there this expectation that it’s like we’re doing Godfather Part I and II, only it’s going to nine movies? And we’re just gonna cut them into this kind of Berlin Alexanderplatz that never ends? We’re gonna suddenly take a moment to really savor the fact that these movies exist in an identical tone? The reality to me is that you can’t have interesting movies if you tell a filmmaker, “Get in this bed and dream, but don’t touch the pillows or move the blankets.” You will not get cinema. You will just get a platform for selling the next movie on that bed, unchanged and unmade. James Mangold on Logan.

* The making of The Silmarillion.

* And we have but one choice: the Ring must be destroyed.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 7, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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