Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘intellectuals

Ain’t No Sunday Like an MLA Sunday Links

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* In case you missed them: the syllabi for my spring classes, which start tomorrow.

* Meanwhile MLA saves its best panel for last: 759. Guilty Pleasures: Late Capitalism and Mere Genre. Today at 1:45!

On March 11-12, 2015, the Humanities Division at Essex County College will host its Spring 2015 Conference, “Speculative Humanities: Steampunk to Afrofuturism.” This two-day conference offers space for writers, musicians, artists, and academicians to explore, expand upon, and rethink the implications of speculative humanities. This year’s conference will feature a special emphasis on the life, work, and influence of Octavia E. Butler.

* #MLA: An Economist’s Critique of Job Market for English Ph.D.s.

* The MLA should give Jonathan Goodwin a Lifetime Achievement Award for this post about midcentury MLA job ads. Check out his Twitter feed for more.

* Really, though, huge shoutout to all the literary critics heading home today.

impostor

* #FreeCommunityCollege. Did Obama Just Introduce a ‘Public Option’ for Higher Education? Angus is happy. Who Has a Stake in Obama’s Free Community-College Plan? Of course, it’s a Republican plan. And there’s a catch. Or two.

Contingent Faculty and #FreeCommunityCollege.

$18 billion in job training = lots of trained unemployed people.

* The logic of the increment.

Sometimes you don’t get a sales pitch. It’s none of your business, it’s reactionary to even ask the question, it’s an assertion of privilege, something’s got to be done and what have you been doing that’s better? Sometimes you get a sales pitch and it’s all about will and not about intellect: everybody has to believe in fairies or Tinkerbell will die. The increments sometimes make no sense. This leads to that leads to what? And what? And then? Why? Or perhaps most frustrating of all, each increment features its own underlying and incommensurable theories about why things happen in the world: in this step, people are motivated by self-interest; in the next step, people are motivated by basic decency; in the next step, people are motivated by fear of punishment. Every increment can’t have its own social theory. That’s when you know that the only purpose is the action itself, not the thing it’s trying to accomplish.

Securitization, risk management, and the new university.

Administrators, Authority, and Accountability.

Militancy, Antagonism, and Power: Rethinking Intellectual Labor, Relocating the University.

As leverage, Silvia Federici outlines the two-part process of demanding a wage for previously uncompensated labor. The first step is recognition, but the ultimate goal is refusal. “To say that we want money for housework” she says, “is the first step towards refusing to do it, because the demand for a wage makes our work visible, which is the most indispensable condition to begin to struggle against it, both in its immediate aspect as housework and its more insidious character as femininity” (Wages Against Housework). Another way to say this is: it is only with the option of refusal that not-publishing is meaningful.

It is clear that “publish or perish” is undergoing a speedup like all other capitalist work. We must all struggle for a re-valorization of living labor. And in the first step against publication’s command over living labor, we agree with Federici, who demands that “From now on we want money for each moment of it, so that we can refuse some of it and eventually all of it” (Wages Against Housework).

* Lessons from Vermont: What does Vermont’s failed single-payer plan tell us about future reform efforts?

* Exclusive: Prosecutor in Serial Goes On the Record.

The U.S. has more jails than colleges. Here’s a map of where those prisoners live.

* Scenes from the class struggle inside the National Radio Quiet Zone.

* Debt collection as autoimmune disease.

Male Senators Banned Women From Senate Pool So They Could Swim Naked. Until 2008.

* Wow. F.B.I. and Justice Dept. Said to Seek Charges for Petraeus.

“It’s clear he hasn’t been very lucky with the ladies the last few months,” West said of his client.

* Nightmare terror attacks in Nigeria using ten-year-old girls as suicide bombers.

* Run, Bernie, run?

* Clocks Are Too Precise (and People Don’t Know What to Do About It).

* Great moments in matte paintings, at io9. I had no idea the warehouse from Raiders was a matte either, though in retrospect of course it was.

New research is first to identify which reserves must not be burned to keep global temperature rise under 2C, including over 90% of US and Australian coal and almost all Canadian tar sands.

* Rave drug shows great promise in treating depression once thought resistant to drug therapy. I hope they found some way to control for the curative effects of glowsticks.

How Wes Anderson’s Cinematographer Shot These 9 Great Scenes.

* Here comes Wet Hot American Summer: The Prequel Series.

* The kids aren’t all right: Millennials Are Less Racially Tolerant Than You Think.

* “Men, what would you be willing to give up to live a couple decades longer?”

* Dad creates drawings based off of quotes from his toddler daughter.

* How LEGO became the Apple of toys.

We Wish These Retrofuturistic Versions Of American Cities Had Come True.

* Every episode of Friends at the same time.

* And exciting loopholes I think we can all believe in: “He was doing research for a film,” said Sherrard. “It’s not a crime; it’s artwork… He’s an intellectual.”

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Written by gerrycanavan

January 11, 2015 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Still Wednesday!

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* Troy Davis’s former warden has signed a letter asking corrections officers not to participate in his execution. Twitter has confirmed for me that Obama cannot intervene—not that I believe he would—which makes the situation look pretty hopeless. (UPDATE: Still getting conflicting information on this; apparently DoJ could intervene on a civil rights basis.UPDATE: The Georgia Supreme Court has just rejected Davis’s request for a stay.

* Noam Chomsky: The Responsibility of Intellectuals, Redux.

* The headline reads, “How the US Planned to Destroy Britain Just a Few Years Before World War II.” Via Bitter Laughter.

* Ten Historic Female Scientists You Should Know.

* Making the worst day of someone’s life just a little worse: Miscarriage No Longer Considered “Emergency” For Medicaid Patients In Washington State. If you plan to miscarry, please, make an appointment.

* A news story scientifically calibrated to give you the most mixed feelings possible: Highland Park, Il.-based nonprofit software testing company Aspiritech is pioneering a new business model in the United States that champions the unique concentration and detail-oriented strengths of its 15 employees, all of whom have been diagnosed with disorders on the autism spectrum.

* AIDS Puzzle Solved By Computer Gamers.

* And an Elizabeth Warren video on class warfare has gone viral. Warren ’16?

What Is It, Thursday?

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* Via my once and future roommate Tim: 7 unproduced screenplays by famous intellectuals.

* Meet the Great Atlantic Garbage Patch.

* But let’s be very clear: our legislative process–which allows parochial short-term interests and massive corporate lobbies to undermine the long-term common interests–has proven shockingly inadequate to the monumental task before us: the preservation of the conditions of life for much of the human species.

* Hard to believe we’re still trying to get whaling banned.

* To the future or to the past, to a time when thought is free, when men are different from one another and do not live alone — to a time when truth exists and what is done cannot be undone: From the age of uniformity, from the age of solitude, from the age of Big Brother, from the age of doublethink — greetings! Future generations are reading your tweets.

* Words circled by David Foster Wallace in his American Heritage Dictionary.

* Joss Whedon to rewrite Captain America too? Marvel could definitely put worse people in charge of its film franchise.

* Roger Ebert declares Kick-Ass “morally reprehensible.” I’m pretty sure I have to see it now.

* Zonal Marking: a soccer blog. Highlights here.

* And In Living Color is twenty. I am become old. So old.

Quick Links Part Deux

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* ‘Intellectuals and Their America,’ in Dissent. What’s the matter with progressives? Obama vs. OFA. All links via Bérubé.

* Against declinism. Via Yglesias, who concurs. For whatever reason Matt and Fallows have chosen to overlook the urgency of Peak Oil and ecological crises, material realities that are independent of either ideological pessimism or the business cycle. Decline is not only possible—it’s inevitable, and imminent, to the extent we don’t reorganize our society along ecologically rational lines.

* Related: ‘China overtakes U.S. as world’s biggest car market.’ ‘China produces most of the world’s rare earth metals, and soon it will need all that it produces.’ Both links via MeFi.

* Soon we may not have Michael Steele to kick around anymore.

* Because the networks and the newspapers won’t fact-check GOP talking points, it falls to Steve Benen to compare Bush’s response to the shoebomber to Obama’s response to the underpantsbomber. See also: yesterday’s moment of Zen.

More on Linkblogs

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Candleblog hits back at Warren Ellis following his call for an end to linkblogs. I am mentioned, as is the sorely missed Gravity Lens. Meanwhile, Quark Soup is fed up with blogs altogether:

Stop and consider this in detail: someone afraid to even use their real name asks for an analysis of an extremely complex situation, decades in development, merely because Yglesias spent a few days in the west — and in airy Aspen, at that.

RoboticGhost doesn’t ask any journalist in the southwest who covers the water beat 40 hours a week, or any of a half-dozen writers who have written detailed and thoughtful books about the west and its water, or a thousand administrators whose job it is to ensure as smooth a water flow in the sw as possible. He asks a casual traveler.
And this casual traveler, who has spent his entire life living in apartments on the eastern seaboard, actually thinks he has something valuable to say, because a year ago he spent a few days in a Best Western somewhere in the southwestern US.

With no evident local knowledge whatsoever — even admitting as much — Yglesias nevertheless offers a solution to this enormous, complex problem, a solution based purely on some political theory he read in a magazine somewhere last year and which has absolutely no naunced understanding of the complexity of the true situation on the group or its many years worth of layered complexity or what privatizing water supplies would mean for hundreds of thousands of southwestern ranchers or the million living there facing ever rising water bills.

For what it’s worth, Yglesias concedes the point:

The only thing I have to say to defend myself from those charges is that I don’t think the post was really about why I suck, it was about why the punditsphere as a whole sucks with me just as a prominent example. And he’s right. To gain any worthwhile information about any topic whatsoever, you need to be reading the work of someone with real expertise. To develop real expertise requires years of study, research, etc. And years of study, research, etc. can’t be adequately condensed into a blog post. Thus, blog reading is a completely worthless exercise and nobody should really engage in it. I started writing this blog as a hobby; I thought it would be a fun thing to do. And I not only continue to enjoy writing it, but people pay me to write it. But the mere fact that I’m writing it doesn’t make it a worthwhile thing to read, which is why the overwhelming majority of Americans have never read this blog and never will.

Frankly, this is exactly why I tend to restrict myself to linkblogging. Nobody should expect themselves to be able to come up with The Big Answers after ten minutes of shallow speculation; hell, it’s taken me at least a decade and a half of trying to even start to get a handle on what the questions are.

Curiosity, generosity, honesty, and humility: these are the four pillars for all intellectual labor, and they’re the keys for blogging too.

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…the intellectuals, the lackeys of capital, who think they’re the brains of the nation. In fact, they’re not the brains, they’re the shit.

Lenin and the intellectuals.

Lenin altered the law to permit external exile of the regime’s purported reactionary foes. That outdid the czars, since the state previously had transported enemies only to Siberia and the like. Lenin also mandated that police shoot exiles on sight if they returned to Russia. But he didn’t want to shoot them right away—Western opinion still mattered then.

Like so much else horrific in Russian history, the foul strategy came to pass, abetted by Trotsky and others. Eighty-five years ago this month, on August 16 and 17, the regime arrested scores of intellectuals. On two other dates, September 28 and November 16, the GPU (secret police) ushered more than 60 Russian intellectuals and their families onto German cruise ships in St. Petersburg (then Petrograd). The September ship was the Oberbürgermeister Haken, the November ship, the Preussen. Involuntary passengers included the great Christian existentialist Nikolai Berdyaev, the philosophers Semyon Frank and Nikolai Lossky, and the literary critic Yuly Aikhenvald, who had translated Schopenhauer into Russian.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 15, 2007 at 1:12 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,