Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Vandermeer

Monday Morning Links That *Will* *Not* *Make* *You* *Sad*

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Caroll Spinney, puppeteer who gave life to Big Bird of ‘Sesame Street,’ dies at 85. My own mini Twitter thread. Meanwhile, in the other universe…

Such was the appeal of Big Bird that NASA asked Mr. Spinney to fly into orbit in costume, to interest young people in space exploration. Mr. Spinney agreed to go, but it was ultimately determined that the space shuttle was too small to accommodate the Big Bird suit. A New Hampshire teacher, Christa McAuliffe, went in his stead and was killed along with the rest of the crew when the Challenger shuttle exploded in 1986.

And from the archives…

* Ali Sperling: On Futurity and Futility: Jeff VanderMeer’s Dead Astronauts.

So, what does it mean to fight for a future you know may already be lost? In such a context, questions underlying our relation to futurity become less about whether or not one can maintain hope for a failing planet and its deeply corrupted social and political structures; instead, the novel explores other forms of responses to the problem of the Anthropocene. One could argue that this isn’t a book about any particular future at all; instead, it’s about a present that has already come to pass. For many, there is already no other option but to fight fate, an imperative that suggests the strange paradox that structures both Dead Astronauts and the seemingly impossible political and ecological challenges faced at this moment around the world. The novel suggests that even something broken can be useful: “They had failed in the last City, and the one before that, and the one before that. Sometimes that failure pushed the needle farther. Sometimes that failure changed not a thing. But perhaps one day a certain kind of failure might be enough.”

* CFP: Posthuman Global Symposiums.

* AI Dungeon 2.

* ‘I’m working until I’m 75’: Factory worker describes family’s student debt nightmare.

* The Class of 2000 ‘Could Have Been Anything’: The high school yearbook is a staple of teenage life. But for some, it reflects the devastating toll of the opioid crisis.

* Tinder, but for the master race.

* Why US is still bad for working parents.

It’s not thanks to capitalism that we’re living longer, but progressive politics.

* Biden! Biden! Biden! Buttigieg! And my global take on politics, more or less.

* Service, and sacrifice and heritage.

* “Blackness is a superhero origin story.” The Performative Horniness of Dawn of X.

* Counterpoint: every city, town, village, and hamlet in the United States is a universe unto itself.

* Disney warns Episode 9 may have an epilepsy risk.

* And I too just learned about this letter K.A. Applegate wrote to fans about the end of Animorphs, and it is indeed good.

Friday Train Ride Links!

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* I accidentally said something that went viral and now Twitter is absolutely useless to me.

Seven-year-old Guatemalan girl dies of dehydration after being arrested by US Border Patrol. ICE Arrests 170 Immigrants Trying To Save Babies From Baby Jails. Trump is pushing Vietnam to accept deportees who have lived in the US for over 20 years.

The New Authoritarians Are Waging War on Women.

Is a Green New Deal Possible Without a Revolution?

* ‘Carbon removal is now a thing’: Radical fixes get a boost at climate talks. Earth on course to match climate from 3 million years ago by 2030, UW study says. You, Too, Are in Denial of Climate Change. 40 million Americans depend on the Colorado River. It’s drying up. Harvard Quietly Amasses California Vineyards—and the Water Underneath. Urban Flooding Is Worryingly Widespread in the U.S., But Under-Studied. Welcome to the Eocene, where ice sheets turn into swamps. ”You are not mature enough to tell it like it is. Even that burden you leave to your children.”

* University of California System is playing hardball with Elsevier in negotiations that could transform the way it pays to read and publish research. But does the UC system have the clout to pull it off?

* Can the liberal arts survive neoliberalism? Serving at Cross’s Purposes.

* Wall is good. Build wall!

* We can’t pull down statues of slaveowners, while out there they’re pulling down statues of Gandhi.

* Got to have some mixed feelings.

* Over the last decade or so it seems like very police forensic technology has been revealed to be complete and utter bullshit, which people believe in simply because they believe whatever cops say.

* Nice work if you can get it: insider trading is legal when you’re in Congress.

* Employers should have to bear the costs of at-will employment if they want to reap the benefits, so to the extent that this “ghosting” is actually happening that is very, very good.

* Elsewhere in hyperexploitation: Uncompensated Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (one-year term).

How The US Left Failed Brasil. You’re not going to pin this on me!

* Teach the controversy: It’s ridiculous that it’s unconstitutional for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to run for president.

* Why women have better sex under socialism, according to an anthropologist.

There’s some wild shit going on in the far corners of the Game Of Thrones map.

* Totally normal.

* Fossils of the 21st century.

* Union solutions / management solutions.

* Twilight of Netflix.

* We did it!

* And it was 20 years ago (yesterday).

Fall Syllabus #2: Environmental Protection!

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My other course is also super exciting: a version of the “Material Cultures” course I developed with an NEH grant a few years back devoted to “Environmental Protection.” Some of the assignments are pulled from the ecologically focused modules of the old Cultural Preservation course, others are new to this one.

Again, below you can find the course description and week-by-week schedule; full syllabus is here…

Recently, “sustainability” has become a powerful concept in both academic discourse and popular debate; however, since the time of Heraclitus in Ancient Greece philosophers have recognized that change is inevitable and that there is always tension between what we should preserve and what is disposable. This course will use interdisciplinary scholarship to probe the central question underlying all environmental protection: what should we value enough to pass on to future generations? It will ask students to confront this dilemma by interrogating what precisely makes a natural resource sufficiently valuable to cherish and keep. In our time, the concept of “value” is dominated by economic language, but this view is crucially incomplete: what gives objects value is not their exchangeability but the fact that humans care about them and are willing to preserve and maintain them. A park is just open land, after all, until someone declares it worthy of protection. Establishing and asserting these sorts of non-economic values has long been a defining characteristic of study in the humanities, which have always appreciated how shared heritage links us to the past, creates meaning and relevance in the present, and allows us to shape our collective future. In that spirit we will examine a wide variety of political, philosophical, and aesthetic questions around sustainability, and environmental protection, and develop a framework for engaging pressing contemporary debates about the preservation of our shared natural heritage.

T Aug 28 FIRST DAY OF CLASS
Charles Stross, “Designing Society for Posterity” (Web)
Th Aug 30 Naomi Oreskes and Eric M. Conway, The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future(Chapters 1-3, plus epilogue)
T Sep 4 Johan Rockstrom et. al, “Planetary Boundaries” [D2L]
John Bellamy Foster, “Ecology against Capitalism” [D2L]
Naomi Klein, “Climate Rage” [Web]
Th Sep 6 Nathaniel Rich, “Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change” [Web]

Responses to Rich from Robinson Meyer, Naomi Klein, Alyssa Battistoni, and Matto Mildenberger and Leah C. Stokes [Web]

T Sep 11 Ernest Callenbach, Ecotopia (first half)
Th Sep 13 Ernest Callenbach, Ecotopia (second half)
T Sep 18 S.B. Banerjee, “Necrocapitalism” [D2L]
Arundhati Roy, “The Greater Common Good” [Web]
Vandana Shiva, “Earth Democracy” [Web]
Th Sep 20 Clare Kendall, “A New Law of Nature” [Web]
Mihnea Tanasescu, “When a River Is A Person” [Web]
Manuela Picq, “Can the Law Prevail Over Chinese investments in Ecuador?” [Web]
T Sep 25 case study: Mars

Kim Stanley Robinson, Red Mars2-3, 94-96,133-158, 168-179 [D2L]
Chris McKay, “Does Mars Have Rights?” [D2L]

Th Sep 27 Daniel Quinn, Ishmael (first half)
T Oct 2 Daniel Quinn, Ishmael (second half)
Lisa Wells, “The Blaze” [Web]
FIRST PAPER MINI-WORKSHOP
Th Oct 4 CLASS CANCELLED FOR MILWAUKEE COUNTY ZOO TOUR
T Oct 9 Kathy Rudy, “Where the Wild Things Ought to Be” [D2L]
Kim Stanley Robinson, “Empty Half the Earth of Its Humans. It’s the Only Way to Save the Planet” [Web]
FIRST PAPER DUE
Th Oct 11 FALL BREAK—NO CLASS
T Oct 16 Dipesh Chakrabarty, “The Climate of History” [D2L]
McKenzie Wark, “Critical Theory after the Anthropocene” [Web]
film (in class): Ramin Bahrani, “Plastic Bag”
Th Oct 18 Daniel Hartley, “Against the Anthropocene” [Web]
Margaret Atwood, “Time Capsule Found on the Dead Planet” [Web]
Ted Chiang, “The Great Silence” [Web]
T Oct 23 Richard McGuire, Here
Th Oct 25 Richard McGuire, Here
SECOND PAPER MINI-WORKSHOP
T Oct 30 Graeme Wood, “Re-Engineering the Earth” [Web]
Eduardo Porter, “To Curb Global Warming, Science Fiction May Become Fact” [Web]
Adam McGibbom, “There Is No Quick Fix for Climate Change” [Web]
Phil Torres, “Engineering the atmosphere: Is it possible? And would it prevent catastrophe, or cause it?” [Web]
Alexander C. Kaufman, “The King of Climate Fiction Makes the Left’s Case for Geoengineering” [Web]
Peter Frase, “Geoengineering for the People” [Web]
Th Nov 1 case study: refreezing the Arctic
Robin McKee, “Could a £400bn plan to refreeze the Arctic before the ice melts really work?” [Web]
SECOND PAPER DUE
T Nov 6 Kim Stanley Robinson, introduction to Future Primitive [D2L]
Ernest Callenbach, “Chocco” [D2L]

99% Invisible, “Ten Thousand Years” [Web]
Sarah Zhang, “The Cat Went Over Radioactive Mountain” [Web]
Alan Bellows, “This Place Is Not a Place of Honor” [Web]
WIPP Exhibit, “Message to 12,000 A.D.” [Web]

Th Nov 8 Ursula K. Le Guin, Always Coming Home
T Nov 13 Ursula K. Le Guin, Always Coming Home
Th Nov 15 Ursula K. Le Guin, Always Coming Home
T Nov 20 Ursula K. Le Guin, Always Coming Home
Th Nov 22 THANKSGIVING BREAK—NO CLASS
T Nov 27 Jeff Vandermeer, Annihilation
Th Nov 29 Jeff Vandermeer, Annihilation

FINAL PAPERS/PROJECTS MINI-WORKSHOP

T Dec 4 Jeff Vandermeer, Annihilation
film (out of class): Annihilation
LAST DAY OF CLASS
Th Dec 6 CLASS CANCELLED DUE TO INSTRUCTOR TRAVEL
W Dec 12 FINAL PAPERS/PROJECTS DUE BY 10 AM VIA D2L DROPBOX

 

Just 300 or So of the Most Important Links for This Friday Morning

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SFFTV 11.2 is out, a special issue on Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, and women and sf, guest-edited by up-and-comers Mark Bould and Sherryl Vint! Check it out.

CFP: Religious Practices and Ideology in the Works of Octavia Butler, Edited Volume.

* Spencer Ackerman explains Jay and Miles X-Plain the X-Men.

* Inside the (ultimately successful) campaign to recall the judge of the Brock Turner trial.

* Another report from the looting of Toys R Us.

Norman, the world’s first psychopath AI.

* Water missing opportunity not to be wet.

Mapping the Movement to Dismantle Public Education.

My research suggests that those concerns are real, and millennials really are building wealth more slowly than the other working generations. But they are not insurmountable—as long as millennials are willing and able to work longer than their parents and grandparents did. Great can’t wait.

A Professor Brought His Guns to Protect Protesters at White-Supremacist Rallies. Then His Troubles Started.

Solo: A Star Wars Story & The Problem With Prequels. We need to talk about the woke droid. I Have No Mouth and I Must Solo. ‘Solo’ gets one thing right: The droids in ‘Star Wars’ are basically slaves. What Solo could have learned from My Friend Dahmer. Disney manages to learn $50M on a Star Wars movie. Kelly Marie Tran has deleted all the posts off her Instagram due to months of harassment she has received for her character Rose in The Last Jedi. Racism, Misogyny & Death Threats: How Star Wars Fans Turned to the Dark Side. What if Star Wars never happened?

Colonial Hottie: Gal Gadot, Wonder Woman and Brand Israel.

Trump keeps making it harder for people to seek asylum legally. The Awful Spectacle of 200 Immigration Officers Raiding a Couple of Garden Stores. Former DACA recipient murdered in Mexico after deportation. The Heartache of a Migrant Boy Taken From His Father. Mom and 4 children forced to separate after seeking asylum in US. Cops are called when a senator tries to see kids taken from their immigrant parents. Yet another nightmare child separation story from the Chris Hayes podcast. ICE Agent Decides He Wants Kids After Seeing Incredible Love And Devotion Of Parents Begging Him Not To Take Their Child. Feds Deport Uncle of Six Orphans Whose Parents Died Fleeing ICE. UN office calls on US to stop separating families at border. U.S. sending 1,600 immigration detainees to federal prisons. Pizza Delivery Man Arrested By ICE Is Scheduled to Be Deported This Monday. A GoFundMe for Pablo and His Family.

* Jordan Peterson isn’t a good psychologist, either.

University tutor died after ‘silently struggling’ with workload. Content warning: suicide.

Taxi-Driver Suicides Are a Warning.

* How the media covers celebrity suicides can have life-or-death consequences.

* Death of a gig worker.

What gets muddled in this telling of the gig economy is the idea of control. An Uber driver can pick her hours, yes. But is she really her own boss, or is the boss the company’s algorithm? The algorithm, after all, determines where the driver will head next, who she’ll pick up, and how much she’ll be paid for that trip. In other words, many important features of the job are outside the driver’s control.

* Trump administration tells court it won’t defend key provisions of the Affordable Care Act. The Trump administration believes Obamacare’s preexisting conditions protections are now unconstitutional.

Down With the Copay.

Justice Department Secretly Accessed New York Times Reporter’s Email and Phone Records to Find Government Leaker.

* Literally just letting coal barons write the laws.

* Huge, if true: America Is a Spiraling Corporate Contract Dystopia.

* Trump’s Right-Hand Troll.

* Gaming it out: Would a Former President Get Secret Service Protection in Prison? Just kidding, Democrats are on the case. Meanwhile.

* David Hogg SWATted.

* Questions on Michigan’s Investment Tactics.

Recent scrutiny of investment practices by the University of Michigan is raising concerns about conflicts of interest and ethical lapses at colleges and universities seeking to increase their endowments.

Questions about Michigan’s investment practices were prompted by an investigation by the Detroit Free Press, which found that a large portion of the university’s nearly $11 billion endowment is invested in private equity, hedge and venture capital funds, and real estate investment firms run by top university donors and alumni investment advisers.

Dystopian Bodies: Barbara Ehrenreich Attacks the Epidemic of Wellness.

* Scott Pruitt, GOAT.

Poor road conditions cost Wisconsin drivers $637 each year.

The Post has mapped more than 52,000 homicides in major American cities over the past decade and found that across the country, there are areas where murder is common but arrests are rare.

‘Clear-sky’ flooding worsens across U.S. as sea levels rise, report says.

* Below are the two main written versions of Sojourner’s speech, the original, on the left, was delivered at the Woman’s Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio on May 29, 1851. The full text of each speech follows the synopsis below so you can see the differences line by line. I have highlighted overt similarities between the two versions. While Frances Gage changed most of the wording and added the southern slave dialect to her 1863 version, it is clear the origin of Gage’s speech comes from Sojourner’s original 1851 speech.

* Hard pass: Howard Schultz steps down at Starbucks, may consider run for president.

* Without Interpreters, California’s Deaf Prisoners Are Getting Stuck Behind Bars.

* A major physics experiment just detected a particle that shouldn’t exist.

The first hints these elusive particles turned up decades ago. But after years of dedicated searches, scientists have been unable to find any other evidence for them, with many experiments contradicting those old results. These new results now leave scientists with two robust experiments that seem to demonstrate the existence of sterile neutrinos, even as other experiments continue to suggest sterile neutrinos don’t exist at all.

The Enlightenment’s Dark Side.

Rebuilding the Antinuclear Movement. How a little “working group” stopped Oakland from becoming a mini-fusion center for the Department of Homeland Security. Tech Workers Versus the Pentagon.

The District of Columbia is considering legislation to lower the voting age to 16 (something some localities already allow for local elections only). Bills are pending in California, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Puerto Rico to lower the voting age to 17 for primary or general elections.

Your schedule could be killing you.

Nazis brauchen keinen Badespaß.

* Schopenhauer, come on. You promised to keep it together.

Time’s Up, Bill.

Volkswagen Vows to End Experiments on Animals.

Marvel’s Women Problem: Not A Single MCU Film Has Female Characters on Screen for More Than 40 Percent of Runtime.

* Drones taught to spot violent behavior in crowds using AI. “The work has questionable accuracy rates, but it shows how AI is being used to automate surveillance.”

* Ways brands can celebrate Pride Month.

Hacked: 92 Million Account Details for DNA Testing Service MyHeritage.

It’s Ulysses! No, it’s Finnegans Wake! Who Can Tell?!

* Books Just for Grownups.

The Art and Activism of the Anthropocene, Part II: A Conversation with Jeff VanderMeer, Zaria Forman, and Gleb Raygorodetsky.

* Lovely Twitter thread on Dr. Apgar, who probably saved my daughter’s life, and maybe yours too.

Body Positivity Is a Scam. “How a movement intended to lift up women really just limits their acceptable emotions. Again.”

* It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right; I hope you had the time of your life.

And these recently declassified NSA posters make our authoritarian dystopia seem fun.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 8, 2018 at 10:58 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Saturday Morning Links!

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* Great piece at n+1 on the late Daniel Quinn. I think this persuaded me to teach Ishmael this fall; I’ve been thinking about doing it for years and the time seems right. I really loved the book when I was 18, and think about it a lot even now.

* Kim Stanley Robinson at the Center for Values in Medicine, Science, and Technology: Science Fiction Is the Realism of our Time.

* And a bonus podcast: my friend Isiah Lavender on Minister Faust’s podcast, talking about the pan-African response to Black Panther. (Isiah’s actually in the extended edition, available for free on Faust’s Patreon.)

* Wauconda forever.

The science fiction of this century is one in which great existential threats are known: they are real, and terrible. Something is terribly wrong. Will we listen?

* A decade ago, The Wire series finale aired. The show was a Marxist’s idea of what TV drama should be.

Sweet Jesus, Will the NYT’s Conservatives Ever Write About Anything but the “Intolerant Left” Ever Again?

* Artificial intelligence has a hallucination problem.

* Turns out they already made a Sopranos prequel.

It’s Time to Abolish ICE.

There Is No Case for the Humanities.

There Is No Campus Free Speech Crisis: An Unreasonably Long Thread.

* “‘Schools will stay closed until we get what we are asking for,’ Oklahoma teachers union president says.” And next: Arizona?

* “Foreigners could ease Japan’s labor shortage, but Tokyo prefers robots.”

Deputy sheriff jails ex-wife after she complained on Facebook about him. This should be an automatic firing, followed by prosecution.

Trump’s Latest Pardon Shows The Best Way To Get One: Go On Fox News.

*  How do 11 people go to jail for one murder?

* Buckle up.

New evidence the Stormy Daniels payment may have violated election law.

* Rules for Reading Jordan Peterson.

* Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

In conclusion, Area X is a land of many contrasts.

Thursday Links!

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* Marquette English’s course descriptions are up for Summer and Fall 2018! I’m teaching in both, including a new graduate course devoted to twenty-first-century literature…

* Palantir Has Been Secretly Using New Orleans to Test Its Predictive Policing Technology.

* A trip to the hospital that leads to a prison suicide is just the tip of the iceberg of this sickening story about the richest country in human history.

* Your work is cut out for you, Ta-Nehisi.

Wife of 7th Special Forces Group vet faces deportation under tighter immigration rules.

After handing them their suicide capsules, Norwegian Royal Army Colonel Leif Tronstad informed his soldiers, “I cannot tell you why this mission is so important, but if you succeed, it will live in Norway’s memory for a hundred years.” Operation Gunnerside: The Norwegian attack on heavy water that deprived the Nazis of the atomic bomb.

* The Strange and Twisted Life of Frankenstein.

The Grim Box Office Fate Of ‘Annihilation’ Was An Inevitable Tragedy.

* “After watching my mother die, I read her notebooks.” Aaron Bady remembers his mom.

Supreme Court Ruling Means Immigrants Could Continue To Be Detained Indefinitely. Don’t forget to thank Obama for appealing this decision in the first place.

* The sheer level of clownishness from this White House is impossible to keep track of. I mean honestly.

* Bias and algorithmic culture, search engines edition.

* “They aren’t really going to arm teachers. It’s just a distraction.” Inserting guns into classrooms with the stipulation that they be used for only one purpose and against only one (very rare) target — active school shooters — is delusional.

* Doesn’t this seem like an exemplary topic for a course? I’d love a smart, extended look at the history of impeachment and its application to the current situation. What’s outrageous to me is that SDSU openly sells credits in this absurd format.

* My next course is on a topic nearly as controversial: Are Groot and Baby Groot the same person?

* Bad news for Zefram Cochrane: Proxima Centauri probably a no-go.

* We thought George Lucas created Star Wars. The truth was more complicated.

* Profile of Ryan Coogler at 21. Unreal that this was just ten years ago.

* A hundred years ago, the United States adopted daylight savings time in order to extract more profit from labor. How would we organize time differently if we were free from the demands of capitalism? The latest from Mika Tokumitsu at Jacobin.

* I was bashing Ross Douthat on Twitter just yesterday, but I like this one: The Rise of Woke Capital.

But of course so long as this same Republican Party remains itself pro-corporate in its economic ideology — as the Trumpified G.O.P., despite his populist forays, has determinedly remained — the corporate interests themselves stand to lose little from these polarizing trends. Their wokeness buys them cover when liberalism is in power, and any backlash only helps prop up a G.O.P. that has their back when it comes time to write our tax laws.

* The Silence of Sherman Alexie.

An alarming heatwave in the sunless winter Arctic is causing blizzards in Europe and forcing scientists to reconsider even their most pessimistic forecasts of climate change.

* And what happens if you give an AI control over a corporation? Exactly what happens when you put a person in charge, it looks like…

Monday Night Links!

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Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Star Trek’ Will Be R-Rated: ‘The Revenant’s Mark L. Smith Frontrunner Scribe. Patrick Stewart would play Picard again, but only for Tarantino. Still pretty firmly on board.

* Pretty strong contender for the moment the Singularity happened: an AI teaches itself chess in four hours and beats the strongest human-designed AI that exists, which itself can beat any human. AI is now so complex its creators can’t trust why it makes decisions.

It is significant that it is women of colour, a doubly marginalised group, who are at the forefront of finding new ways to figure uneven development during this, our time, of successive systemic crises. Imbalances between cores and (internal and external) peripheries appear in the novels of Nalo Hopkinson and Nnedi Okorafor that also brought Caribbean, Yoruba, and Igbo folk culture into the core of genre sf at the same time as working to explode it. More recently, N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth novels (2015-2017) feature a fantasy world repeatedly wracked by cataclysmic geological upheavals that can easily be read as a metaphor for anthropogenic climate change. But as their coded commentary on #BlackLivesMatter, hardened borders, and refugee-panics indicate, these profound shocks are also those to which capitalist cores expose their internal and external peripheries. From world sf (via, if we must, World Sf) to world-sf.

* The short story phenomenon that’s sweeping the world: Men React to “Cat Person.” Based on the original short story by 

* Dragon debris.

* When an algorithm writes science fiction.

André 3000 lands big role in sci-fi film, ‘High Life’ — about convicts sent on a mission to a black hole, penned by Zadie Smith.

* One of my graduate students, Brian Kenna, has a terrific review of the new Tolkien publication Beren and Lúthien in the Los Angeles Review of Books, focusing both on Tolkien and gender as well as the weird inaccessibility of Christopher Tolkien’s editorial decisions. Check it out!

Every English major joke is a small concession to the same logic that leads administrators to trim humanities programs, or leads lawmakers to strike the NEA and NEH from the budget as wasteful, though these offices claim at best fractions of fractions of our larger national expenses. Humorless Man Yells at English Major Jokes. Facing My Own Extinction.

* How to Teach a Cyborg.

* Stony Brook Professor Detained in Cameroon.

8 Grad Students Are Arrested Protesting the GOP Tax Bill on Capitol Hill. College and the End of Upward Mobility. How Harvard’s Hypocrisy Could Hurt Your Union. Private Colleges Had 58 Millionaire Presidents in 2015. Charles Koch Gave $50 Million To Higher Ed In 2016. What Did He Buy?

* In the richest country in human history. How Big Medicine Can Ruin Medicare for All. Girl has blunt message for Aetna after her brain surgery request was denied.

Drug trial shows promising results to fight Huntington’s disease. This is a very promising finding: whether or not this particular treatment becomes “the cure” or not, the fact that you can shut off huntingtin production without negatively impacting the adult brain suggests some version of this treatment could diminish or entirely prevent the emergence of the disease. “I really think this is, potentially, the biggest breakthrough in neurodegenerative disease in the past 50 years.”

* Here’s what happens when noble, determined people win — and find themselves in an unwinnable situation.

After Trent Franks, men worry if asking subordinates to bear their child is still okay. For Female Lobbyists, Harassment Often Accompanies Access. Al Franken’s selfish, damaging resignation speech. Time POTY more or less gets it right for once. The Unsexy Truth about Harassment. Weinstein as Crime Boss. As More College Students Say “Me Too,” Accused Men Are Suing For Defamation. Dirty Old Men on the Faculty. Over two thousand entries on a Google doc detailing sexual harassment in the academy. Our Professors Raped Us.

“You can have my vote if you have sex with me,” Ms. Alarid recalled the lawmaker saying, although he used cruder language for sexual intercourse. He told Ms. Alarid she had the same first name as his wife, so he would not get confused if he called out in bed. Then he kissed Ms. Alarid on the lips, she said.

Shocked, Ms. Alarid, who was 32 at the time, pushed him away. Only after he was gone did she let the tears flow.

When her bill came up on the floor of the New Mexico House of Representatives the next day, March 20, 2009, it failed by a single vote, including a “No” by the lawmaker, Representative Thomas A. Garcia.

As Ms. Alarid watched from the House gallery, she said, Mr. Garcia blew her a kiss and shrugged his shoulders with arms spread.

Official Toll in Puerto Rico: 64. Actual Deaths May Be 1,052. Just one story of thousands: Lives at Risk Inside a Senior Complex in Puerto Rico With No Power.

‘Holy crap’: Experts find tax plan riddled with glitches. The Republican tax bill: four takeaways. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act lets corporations loose to do what they will—and then imposes pain to make the numbers work. And inevitably.

The first wintertime megafire in California history is here. California’s wildfires are not “natural” — humans made them worse at every step. Incarcerated women risk their lives fighting California fires. It’s part of a long history of prison labor. California Is Running Out of Inmates to Fight Its Fires.

* The ‘poisoned landscapes’ we leave behind. As the climate changes and seas swell, coastal colleges struggle to prepare. Fracking Is a Huge American Money Pit.

Don’t blame the election on fake news. Blame it on the media.

* thisisfine.jpg

* “Here are the keys, Don, gas is in the tank.”

Pilots stop 222 asylum seekers being deported from Germany by refusing to fly. Deportation under Trump.

Millennials now biggest voting group in U.S., 2-1 Democratic.

Dem lawmaker calls for extra protections to ‘safeguard’ Senate pages if Moore is elected. That’s MILWAUKEE’S OWN Dem lawmaker Gwen Moore.

* “Lest I be misinterpreted, I emphatically affirm that education confers some marketable skills, namely literacy and numeracy.” Don’t give an inch, brother!

How our housing choices make adult friendships more difficult.

* “‘Ambiance and atmosphere models’ contractually obligated to pretend they’re party guests are in record demand from local agencies.”

*An exclusive analysis of data from the 50 largest local police departments in the United States shows that police shoot Americans more than twice as often as previously known.

Bodycam footage of the incident, released after the verdict, showed Mr Shaver on his knees asking officers not to shoot him just before he was killed.

Subsequently, The Intercept, working with the ACLU of Texas, obtained several DPS dashcam videos that show immigrants being detained on the road for trivial violations and then carted away by the Border Patrol.

Mark Hamill Made Up an Absurdly Grim Backstory for Luke Skywalker Ahead of The Last Jedi. The “True Nature of the Force” is More Complicated Than You Think. I made the “the Force is the villain” prediction way back in 2015, too, and still think some version of it is going to land. Star Wars vs. the Nazis. The First Impressions for Star Wars: The Last Jedi Are Overwhelmingly GoodAnd the only review I needed from the only voice I trust.

An extremely petty breakdown of everything dumb in the Jurassic World 2 trailer.

The Hollywood Drama Around Annihilation Shows Why We Can’t Have Smart Things.

How Facebook Figures Out Everyone You’ve Ever Met.

* Very 2017 Headlines: Why are America’s farmers killing themselves in record numbers?

* Modern politics.

* LEGO politics.

* No one makes a living on Patreon.

* Dial B for Blog is back! Again!

* Podcasts have truly arrived: they’re being turned into superhero movies.

* Tis the season: reference-writing guidelines for avoiding gender bias.

* The fascinating history of the first commercial jetliner.

A classified government document opens with “an odd sequence of events relating to parapsychology has occurred within the last month” and concluded with an alarming question about psychics nuking cities so that they became lost in time and space. If this sounds like a plot out of science fiction, it is – but it’s also a NSA memo from 1977.

A New Optical Illusion Was Just Discovered, And It’s Breaking Our Brains.

* A female translator reckons with The Odyssey.

* When a DNA test tells who your daddy isn’t.

* Stalk your friends the Wired way.

* From Zoey’s eyeballs to megabucks: This 6-year-old made $11 million on YouTube in one year.

* And Slaughterhouse-Five is coming to TV. Can’t wait to see what they cook up for season two…

Written by gerrycanavan

December 11, 2017 at 4:52 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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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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I May Have Committed A Little Light Treason Links

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* thisisfine.jpg: An iceberg the size of Delaware has broken off Antarctica. My kids are three and five. Just 90. And you’re a little late.

Blogger completely debunks claim Amelia Earhart was a Japanese prisoner.

* CFP: The George Slusser Conference on Science Fiction and Fantasy, University of California, Irvine, on April 26–29, 2018. CFP: Eaton Journal of Archival Research in Science Fiction. And our deadline was extended a month with the rest of the SUS: Suvin Today?, A Roundtable Discussion, The Society for Utopian Studies (November 9-12, 2017 in Memphis, TN).

Nothing now would better serve the maturity and the invigoration of the Democrats than to give up any hope of sound advice or renewal from Bill or Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. They were pleasant to think about, but their politics have turned out wrong, and there’s nothing they can do for us now. The Age of Detesting Trump.

* Fredo, Fredo, Fredo. I tried to warn you: These revelations—and the possibility that more is yet to come—have made it increasingly untenable for Trump’s supporters to argue that there is nothing to the collusion story. And so, many have now begun to argue that even if there was collusion of the kind suggested by the Times, it wouldn’t be a crime—or even all that out of the ordinary. Some Trump loyalists are even making the case that it was smart and savvy for the campaign to pursue help from the Russians. Trump supporters know Trump lies. They just don’t care.

* Too many Fredos.

* Fredo deserves better.

* I mean the wheels are really coming off.

* Trump still hasn’t resigned from his businesses like he promised, either.

* Meanwhile, ladies and gentlemen: The Democrats! The Democrats Are Eisenhower Republicans.

* The attempt to stay faithful to the actual facts of the world that would make this impossible tanks the piece, but the overall message — that our political elites are soulless monsters without any hint of integrity or principle — is absolutely sound: What If Trump Had Won As a Democrat?

Democrats should take the class warfare message to upscale suburbs.

* Science Fiction and Dystopia in the Age of Trump.

Could a Robot Be President?

* What happens to America if Anthony Kennedy retires?

Cancer researcher was held at Boston airport. Now he is being sent back to Iran.

23 emotions people feel, but can’t explain.

Space colonization, faith, and Pascal’s Wager.

In St. Louis, America’s nuclear history creeps into the present, leaching into streams and bodies.

Between 2009 and 2011 more than 1 in 8 Milwaukee renters experienced a forced move. Rent Is Affordable to Low-Wage Workers in Exactly 12 U.S. Counties.

* Stage four credentialing. The Library of Heaven.

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) garnered more than 3,000 complaints regarding the uniforms. They conducted their own tests and found concerning evidence: a short-sleeved jacket had levels of cadmium, a highly toxic chemical, that were above the acceptable textile industry standard. The tests also found traces of formaldehyde, nickel, and tetrachlorophenol, all of which can cause major irritations. Formaldehyde, for instance, is even on the American Cancer Society’s list of known human carcinogens. What’s more, in 2011, Alaska Airlines experienced a very similar problem after issuing uniforms from Twin Hill. Around 10 percent of employees reported reactions and that airline issued a recall. Despite this damning evidence, American Airlines maintains that their uniforms are safe.

* Looking forward to this movie: Chicago Library Seeks Help Transcribing Magical Manuscripts.

* Gotta love a headline that has the courage of its convictions: CRISPR gene editing technique is probably safe, study confirms.

We were driving away from Hedgesville when the third overdose call of the day came, for a twenty-nine-year-old male. America leads the world in drug overdose deaths — by a lot. Trump-Loving Sheriff Won’t Let Deputies Carry Overdose Antidote. Small-Town Police Officer’s War on Drugs.

* The Klan comes (back) to Charlottesville.

Drones keep dropping drugs and porn into prisons.

* No! No! No!

* Yes! Yes! Yes! And I’m especially all in for this: Quentin Tarantino’s Next Movie Will Be About the Manson Family.

* Makes you think.

* Dark Stock Photos.

* Remembering Milwaukee’s Own Cordwainer Smith.

* Mizzou, two years later.

* The mass defunding of higher education that’s yet to come.

* Jeff VanderMeer Amends the Apocalypse. Russia 1917: You Are There. Nor Secret Griefs Nor Grudges: Laura Kipnis’s Unwanted Advances. Cottage Industry.

The racial daring of Sundance’s Cleverman gives it an edge most superhero stories can’t match.

* The main reason for the contemporary evasion of Arendt’s critique of careerism, however, is that addressing it would force a confrontation with the dominant ethos of our time. In an era when capitalism is assumed to be not only efficient but also a source of freedom, the careerist seems like the agent of an easy-going tolerance and pluralism. Unlike the ideologue, whose great sin is to think too much and want too much from politics, the careerist is a genial caretaker of himself. He prefers the marketplace to the corridors of state power. He is realistic and pragmatic, not utopian or fanatic. That careerism may be as lethal as idealism, that ambition is an adjunct of barbarism, that some of the worst crimes are the result of ordinary vices rather than extraordinary ideas: these are the implications of Eichmann in Jerusalem that neo-cons and neoliberals alike find too troubling to acknowledge.

As you can probably tell by looking around, every employee at our startup is 23 years old. On the morning of your 24th birthday, the barcode on your employee ID stops working and you can no longer enter our building. We do this to ensure our company has a ceaseless, youthful energy. We believe old people are displeasing to look at and also, bad at ideas.

The relationship between the Internet and childhood memory, or generational memory, is a strange one that hasn’t yet been sufficiently chronicled or really thought through.

* Nightmare jobs I’d never even though about: Rape Choreography Makes Films Safer, But Still Takes a Toll on Cast and Crew.

* Cyberpunk lives!

* First object teleported to Earth’s orbit.

* Make Margaret Atwood Fiction Again! Junot Diaz and Margaret Atwood in conversation.

* Wakanda and Zamuda: A Comparative Analysis.

* And sure, I can pick up tacos on the way home.

Written by gerrycanavan

July 12, 2017 at 6:43 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Weekend Links!

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* Extrapolation 58.1 is out! With articles on Octavia Butler, Aldous Huxley, Neal Stephenson, and Celu Ambsterstone. I’ll give a special endorsement to  Donawerth and Scally’s Butler article, which is not only the first article to cite my book (that I know of) but also a truly great study tracing Butler’s footsteps research Kindred in Maryland. Check it out!

* CFP: Utopia, Now!

* Jeff VanderMeer in conversation with Cory Doctorow.

* William Gibson after Trump.

The result is “Agency,” Mr. Gibson’s next novel, which Berkley will publish in January. The story unfolds in two timelines: San Francisco in 2017, in an alternate time track where Hillary Clinton won the election and Mr. Trump’s political ambitions were thwarted, and London in the 22nd century, after decades of cataclysmic events have killed 80 percent of humanity.

Mr. Gibson never set out to write a sequel, but the plots of “Agency” and “The Peripheral” converged unexpectedly last fall. He had spent about a year writing “Agency” when the 2016 election rendered the fictional world he had created obsolete. “I assumed that if Trump won, I’d be able to shift a few things and continue to tell my story,” he said. But when he tried tinkering with the draft, he realized that the world had changed too drastically for him to plausibly salvage the story. “It was immediately obvious to me that there had been some fundamental shift and I would have to rebuild the whole thing,” he said.

The difference between utopia and dystopia isn’t how well everything runs. It’s about what happens when everything fails. Here in the nonfictional, disastrous world, we’re about to find out which one we live in.

Wes Anderson’s latest, Isle Of Dogs, gets a release date and poster. Warm up your power rankings now!

* I’m Wes Anderson, and I’m Directing This FBI Investigation into Russia and the Trump Campaign.

* If the police do it, it isn’t murder: Inmate’s water cut off for 7 days before his death in the Milwaukee County Jail.

* Purdue Has Bought Kaplan — for $1. The weird fall of Burlington College. Rand Paul Stealing My Bit. When 51 Years Experience Isn’t Good Enough.

* CBS is apparently fully committed to ruining Star Trek: Discovery in every possible way.

* More on the Cal audit that reveals massive administrative blight.

* Tracking White Collar Crime Zones.

* The March for Science wasn’t.

* Charter schools as corporate perk.

* What’s the matter with Nintendo?

* Apple’s Promise to End Rare Earth Mineral Mining Is ‘100 Percent Unattainable Today.’ Haters! Apple can do anything.

25 percent of young Britons have lied about reading Lord Of The Rings, poll reveals. I want to know how many have said they didn’t read it when they did!

Corbynism or barbarism. Inside Corbyn’s Office.

We May Have Uncovered the First Ever Evidence of the Multiverse.

* Trump Wants to Send a Man to Mars During His Presidency. The next launch window isn’t until the 2030s, so this is a worrying declaration indeed. Here’s the plan.

Record-breaking climate events all over the world are being shaped by global warming, scientists find. What will Earth look like when all the ice melts?

* I Got Hacked So You Don’t Have To.

Artist attaches Trump’s quotes about women to sexist 1950s ads and they fit too well. Into the shadows in Trump’s America. A GOP Lawmaker Has Been Revealed As The Creator Of Reddit’s Anti-Woman ‘Red Pill’ Forum. How the Ivy League Collaborates with Donald Trump. Killing Obamacare, Again (with an asterisk). In the richest country that has ever existed. We all gonna die. And the worst news yet: US considers cabin laptop ban on flights from UK airports.

We Asked ICE About the Prank Calls to Their Anti-Immigrant Hotline and They Kind of Lost Their Shit. 100 Days of Democratic Rage. Donald Trump Has Made Socialism Cool Again. Trump supporters are the most overrated force in American politics. The Anatomy of Liberal Melancholy. Could Your Teen’s Meme Be a Red? Texas Is The Future.

To clarify: it is perfectly possible that some collusion between Trump’s agents and Russian hackers did indeed occur. But at this point, the empirical question of whether or not it happened is secondary to the deeper psychological need for media pundits, policy wonks, and the professional-managerial strata to maintain their sense of self when the objective historical conditions in which they flourished are being actively dissolved. For liberals, the continued libidinal investment in the drama of the as-yet invisible Trump-Russia scandal actively blocks any realization that the neoliberal order they are trying to restore is already dead on its feet, and that Trump is the uniquely bizarre American expression of a visible worldwide trend: the virulent, deepening nationalist backlash against a financially-integrated global economy based on the relatively free movement of commodities and people. His ascent is a death knell for an entire era and the basic assumptions about economic and political life that shape the worldview of contemporary liberals.

* Organize. Syllabus prep. The Tenure-Track Professor. Should I Go to Grad School? Ikigai. Legolas, what do your elf eyes see?

* Against buckraking. But what does Obama’s willingness to take the money in the first place say about progressive centrism, if we stipulate (as I think MY would likely agree) that Obama is probably as good as progressive centrists are likely to get? The left neoliberal hit against standard liberal-to-left politics in the 1980s was that it fostered sleazy interest groups and tacit or not-so-tacit mutual backscratching between these interest groups and politicians. If the very best alternative that left neoliberalism has to offer is another, and arguably worse version of this (Wall Street firms, unlike unions, don’t even have the need to pretend to have the interests of ordinary people at heart), then its raison d’etre is pretty well exploded.

* Disney will just take all your money, thanks.

* How Marvel Killed Marvel.

* Building blocks of our weird future: artificial wombs.

* Warner Brothers Might Have to Pay $900 Million If It Can’t Prove Ghosts Are Real.

* The AI Cargo Cult.

* More bad press for United. It’s like they’re trying to go bankrupt.

* “Twitter” is an oversimplification. There are many twitters, which is also part of the problem: my twitter and yours are different, but they can come into contact with each other and overlap, and do. We can each think the other person is a holographic projection into our living room, and the rooms are similar enough that we can overlook the ways they are different (and then blame the other person for coming into our house and acting like an asshole). But this also means that talking about what “twitter” is or isn’t, or does, or doesn’t, is a similar exercise in polemic misunderstanding. If the underlying structure of the program is a constant, the conversational norms and practical methods we bring to it will vary, radically and dramatically. Some of the problem is the latter thing: people not only use twitter differently, but they sometimes regard other people’s use of it as illegitimate or wrong. Policing other people on twitter can become particularly heated and vicious, if a police from one jurisdiction comes into another, without knowing it, and attempts to apply one set of laws to someone who thinks they’re operating in another. It rarely ends well. And yet if we keep pretending that there is one twitter (ours), we’ll keep crashing into each other and insisting that it’s the other car that came into my lane. Twitter road rage.

* Great Artists at 8.

* Oh, I see the problem: Americans don’t read.

* And I know things seem dark, darker than they’ve ever been, but Illinois fixed it. Kudos.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 28, 2017 at 2:26 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Liiiiiiiiiiiiiiinks!

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* Once more, with feeling: Should You Go to Graduate School?

* CFP: Not Reading: University of Chicago English Graduate Conference.

* What are Muppets, anyway? Monsters from an evolutionary perspective.

* No.

* The Fictions and Futures of Transformative Justice: A conversation with the authors of Octavia’s Brood.

* The Elements of Bureaucratic Style.

Yikes! New Behind-the-Scenes Book Brutalizes the Clinton Campaign. More. More.

* Dungeons and Dragons and the class system.

* Bruno Latour: The New Climate.

* Which country shall we bomb today?

* Notes on Walls.

* Against “Fearless Girl”: 1, 2, 3. And a counterpoint.

* The Secret at the Heart of A.I.: No one really understands how it works.

Movie written by algorithm turns out to be hilarious and intense.

* How artificial intelligence learns to be racist.

* The new Star Wars theme park seems like a place my kids will completely love.

The Nightmare Scenario for Florida’s Coastal Homeowners.

* The Retail Apocalypse Is Suburban.

California State University cannot justify administrative growth, manager raises, audit says.

The coming British bloodbath.

* The fake news long con: The Anne Frank Center.

The United States of Work.

* Inside Every Utopia Is a Dystopia.

* “I always have SO MANY QUESTIONS about the economies of post-collapse fictional societies.”

* The Ugly Duckling.

* Every Sci-Fi Star Map. Keep scrolling, we’re not done yet!

* Why the FBI Kept a 1,400-Page File on Einstein.

American energy use, in one diagram. 410. There hasn’t been a cool month in 628 months. A closer look at how rich countries “outsource” their CO2 emissions to poorer ones. Countries Need to Move to Zero-Carbon Energy Now–Here’s Why.

* Are zoo animals happy?

* Who Speaks for the Trees?

Ancient stone carvings confirm how comet struck Earth in 10,950BC, sparking the rise of civilizations.

“Somewhere at Google there is a database containing 25 million books and nobody is allowed to read them.”

* Why are doctors giving anti-psychotic drugs to toddlers? Kids Who Use Touchscreen Devices Sleep Less at Night. Let the children play.

* A New Study Confirms What You’ve Long Suspected: Facebook Is Making People Crazy.

* History as a never-ending struggle to delay the Nazi takeover of the world.

* Star Trek: Discovery delayed again, again. Ian McShane says a Deadwood movie script’s made its way to HBO. Every New (and Returning!) Development Thrawn Brings to the Star Wars Universe. ‘Locke and Key’ Pilot From Carlton Cuse Set at Hulu. Can Batman Beyond save the DCEU? And because you demanded it!

Mystery of why shoelaces come undone unravelled by science.

* What’s the most American movie ever made?

NASA announces one of Saturn’s moons could support alien life in our solar system. NASA Considers Magnetic Shield to Help Mars Grow Its Atmosphere. Space Leaves Astronauts Partially Blind, and We May Finally Know Why. Simulation suggests 68 percent of the universe may not actually exist.

* Recycling is in trouble — and it might be your fault.

* Why United Was Legally Wrong to Deplane David Dao. How Much Money Will David Dao Make From United Airlines?

* Moderate drinking is good for you, if you don’t control for wealth.

* Nintendo doesn’t want you to be happy.

* Jeff VanderMeer amends the apocalypse.

* It might be easier to make a list of who isn’t working for Putin.

The Landmark Sexual Assault Case You’ve Probably Never Heard Of.

* Put a rainbow on it.

* There’s just one story and we tell it over and over.

Editing the Constitution: Wisconsin conservatives are pushing for a constitutional convention. What are their motives? Oh, I bet it’s fine.

* Fifteen Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror Film and TV Projects with Black Talent to Get Excited About.

* First protected DREAMer is deported under Trump.

* Was Tamerlan Tsarnaev a federal informant?

Trustees of the Whittier Law School said on Wednesday that it would close down, making it the first fully accredited law school in the country to shut at a time when many law schools are struggling amid steep declines in enrollment and tuition income.

* If you want a vision of the future. The thing is though. The hero’s journey.

* And just in case you haven’t heard: Capitalism is violence.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 24, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Weekend Links!

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tumblr_ol5we0t6ty1romv9co1_500* Are you at AWP? Or in DC generally? Jaimee is! She’ll be doing a book signing at the Waywiser Table at 12:30 Saturday and then reading at the Waywiser reading at 7:30 PM at the Den.

* I’ll be giving a short workshop on Octavia Butler and Kindred at the Stanford Humanities Center next Thursday, if that’s convenient to you!

This is so outrageous. 21 years in the US, arrived at 14, two US citizen children, arrested at a scheduled check-in with ICE. You could hardly find more compelling proof that this is entirely and exclusively about cruelty.

* “Pentagon journal explores what could happen if a president called for Muslim internment camps.” Gee, I wonder.

Meanwhile, in another classic authoritarian maneuver, the outsized ego at the heart of the Trumpist seizure of power has surrounded himself with an obliging retinue of enablers and quisling yes-men. Trump likes to divide people between “haters and losers”—a cheap shot that is actually a fairly useful way to categorize his own team. It’s Already Happened Here. How to Stop an Autocracy. Profiles in Courage: Rand Paul, Civil Libertarian.

* Every day. Something crazy happens every day.

* The history of this era is going to be so, so unbelievable.

* Neither Nordstrom nor Ivanka but International Socialism.

* Of course…

* It’s getting to the point where you can’t even call for the wanton slaughter of students without some PC SJW raising a stink about it.

tumblr_ol51udr3fd1romv9co1_500How Political Fear Works. Beware of Self-Censorship. Who Benefits From Trump’s Chaos? What’s in it For The Collaborators? There Are No Good Reasons Not To Fight.

* Obama’s Lost Army: When Obama Killed OFA.

* I liked this: The Meitheal Manifesto: Thirteen Agreements to Save the World.

* Some rare good news on the climate.

* Darkest thing I’ve ever seen, first for one the one reason and then for the other.

* The arc of history is long, but Mac malware is slowly catching up to its Windows rivals.

Solitary Confinement Is a Great American Shame.

* Remembering Richard Rorty on Trump (and the reformist left) (again).

* No one is reading those reference letters. “Truly, this is the single easiest fix in academic culture.”

* Science education in the time of Trump.

2m8vd28

* You can’t argue with facts, little brother.

* Bees aren’t endangered anymore! Surprisingly easy fix actually.

Everything is hot now and getting hotter. Everything seems off or wrong and it is hard to get your bearings because so few of the old landmarks remain. It is hard to believe that some things ever happened, that certain places ever existed. Sometimes I am convinced my memory is wrong or fooling me. The idea that there might be a United States. The idea that this vast and unruly countryside, these ruined cities, these endless refugee camps, might have once been something else. If no one invades us now and only some countries send food and aid, it is only because they too are under stress. Or because we are so fucked up and so many of us have so many weapons. Somewhere in the lost places, there are still nukes, too. Jeff VanderMeer’s “Trump Land.”

* SF Cities Beyond Blade Runner.

* Graverobbing the Star Wars Expanded Universe.

* Source map from the first great comic book crossover.

* TGIF!

* Oh, this was so brutal to read. There but for the grace of God go I at least for now.

Here are my vitals: I have more than $200,000 in student loans and $46,000 in credit card debt—all accumulated during my B.A., M.A., and Ph.D., and then search for a tenure-track job. My annual salary translates to a little more than $3,000 in monthly take-home pay. I pay $800 a month in rent, $1,100 in credit card bills (paying only the monthly minimums), $350 in student loans, and have $285 a month car payment. I also pay the usual insurances, utilities, groceries, gas, et al. I don’t have cable. Or a kitchen table. Or blinds on any of my windows. I’ve cancelled all magazine and newspaper subscriptions—an actual dilemma for a journalism professor. For my first year in Bangor I didn’t even have a bed. Instead I slept on a Target air mattress until it lost its breath; then I moved to the couch (which I had purchased on credit), until my back finally demanded I buy a bed (credit, again).

* And of course you had me at A New Deep Space Nine Documentary Reveals What Would Have Happened in Season Eight. Here’s another good writeup.

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Wednesday Links!

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* Some CFPs I posted yesterday: Buffy at 20! SFFTV Call for Reviewers! And Paradoxa 28: “Global Weirding” has officially appeared in the world as well; see a table of contents and our introduction, and then get one of your very own…

* I’m still gathering the loooooing list for the Pioneer Award — so let me know if you know of a peer-reviewed edited collection in SF studies broadly conceived, published in 2016, or a peer-reviewed article on SF published in a non-SF-studies journal, also in 2016!

* Visiting MLA 2017? Can I interest you in #s444?

444. Infinite Jest at Twenty

Saturday, 7 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., 112A, Pennsylvania Convention Center

A special session

Presiding: Gerry Canavan, Marquette Univ.

1. “Infinite Jest‘s Near Future,” Lee Konstantinou, Univ. of Maryland, College Park

2. “Aesthetics of Trauma in Infinite Jest,” Carrie Shanafelt, Fairleigh Dickinson Univ., Teaneck

3. “No Year of Glad: Infinite Jest after 9/13/2008,” Gerry Canavan

Responding: N. Katherine Hayles, Duke Univ.

* I shared that one, so here’s the debunking: The Bad Research Behind the Bogus Claim That North Carolina Is No Longer a Democracy. I guess I relied on the journalistic summaries (classic blunder) didn’t realize how bad the base research was. North Carolina is still not a legitimate democracy, though.

* And while we’re on the subject: The Constitution has strangled American democracy for long enough. We need a constituent assembly.

Drexel, Twitter and Academic Freedom.

* Oh boy: A Turning Point in the Campus Culture Wars? For Some, Trump Raises Hopes.

* Rethinking the legacy of writers who worked with the CIA.

Why saving the congressional ethics office isn’t as big a victory as it seems. At least it was a win!

* Here’s How We Prepare to be Ungovernable in 2017. Six policy ideas that can lay the groundwork for a more progressive America.

Why liberals need to get a grip on Russia.

The coming restaurant crash.

The End of Progressive Neoliberalism.

Rogue One editors reveal which scenes were part of reshoots. Women’s Health and the Fall of the Galactic Republic.

An Interactive Visualization of Every Line in Hamilton.

The 16 Black Panthers Still Behind Bars.

* Twilight of the curly quote.

47% of Jobs Will Disappear in the next 25 Years, According to Oxford University.

* Counterpoint: Why Star Trek: Discovery Belongs on CBS All Access.

* An oral history of the Sokal hoax.

* Towards an abolition ecology.

* Darkest timeline watch: Wisconsin Senate leader says he’s open to toll roads.

* And with 2016 over, a toddler has now shot a person every week in the US for two years straight. We did it, everyone. We did it.

Christmas Hangover Links!

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

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

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

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

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

* The Christmas archives: Home Alone! Die Hard!

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

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

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

* Ted Chiang talks adapting Arrival.

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

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

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

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

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

* Neo-Nazi March Planned for Whitefish, Montana.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Elsewhere in the rise of the machines.

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

* BREAKING: All pro sports are bad.

* Actually, my speciality is evil ethics.

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

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

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

* Meanwhile, in Japan: Can the Emperor abdicate?

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

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 26, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Thursday Night Links!

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tumblr_ohvslqjhdo1romv9co1_500* My brilliant colleague Ainehi Edoro was chosen as one of the most 100 influential Africans.

* The Octavia Project. And elsewhere in the VanderMeers’ vast empire…

* CFP: Octavia E. Butler at ALA 2017.

* More fighting over tenure and post-tenure review at Wisconsin.

* Victory at Standing Rock.

* Cixin Liu: As a science-fiction writer, it’s my duty to warn the human race that the robot revolution has begun — even if no one has noticed yet.

* Teaching the controversy: Listening While Feminist: In Defense of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”

* We’re gonna need a better gerrymander: If Democrats want to solve the problem of legislative maps that are biased against them they need to pursue a strategy that is more likely to produce maps that compensate for geography.

“It is striking to see how committed they are to allowing this train wreck to occur,” he said. “And more surprisingly, how little careful attention has been given (at the top at least) to just how vulnerable—given Bush v. Gore—the current (system for counting votes in the) electoral college is.” But wait! There’s more! Why I Will Not Cast My Electoral Vote for Donald Trump.

* Trump vs. conflicts of interest: Maybe the Answer Is That He Can’t Divest.

How Many Generals Is Too Many? I think the number is worrying, but agree with Kevin that the central issue is that he has chosen an extremely popular, recently retired general for DoD. Civilian control of the military is an important value, or it used to be.

* This is bad: Trump Launches Tweet Attack on Carrier Steel Union Boss for Fact-Checking Him. (UPDATE: This is what happens when Donald Trump attacks a private citizen on Twitter.) This is bad: Hardee’s, Carl’s Jr. CEO Tapped as Labor Secretary. This is bad: Trump Considers FDA Chief Who Says People Should Use Medicines “At Their Own Risk.” This is bad: Trump to be part-time president, keep lucrative job with Celebrity Apprentice. This is bad: Does Donald Trump Believe Nuclear War Is Inevitable?

* This one though I do approve of: Chris Christie has the lowest approval rating one pollster has ever found for a state governor.

* There are no second acts in American life, they said.

* Point/Counterpoint: How Sci-Fi and Fantasy Can Save the World. What Can Artists Do to Oppose Trump? Nothing.

* That’ll solve it! Or, if you prefer, only the super-rich can save us now.

* Worst Game of Thrones spinoff ever.

* …and the portions are too small!

* The Swing-O-Matic: Change the settings to see how shifts in party preference and turnout by different demographic groups would affect the 2016 presidential election.

* We need to admit that right-wing harrassment and conspiracy theories are baked into the business model of social media at this point. And with right-wing political hegemony for the foreseeable future, it will only get worse, because the range of “acceptable opinion” will shift even further to the right. Asking nicely and filling out all the proper paperwork will not change this underlying material reality.

* The tricky part is that many expect the expert agency’s views to change shortly after January 20th, when Trump’s O.C.R. is installed. (Dear Colleagues: Never mind, we take it back.) Come January, advocates of transgender rights, who have enthusiastically supported judicial deference to O.C.R., will have reason for an extreme pivot, given that the new O.C.R. is unlikely to view “sex” as an “internal sense of gender.” It is awkward now for Grimm’s lawyers to argue zealously for the notion that the agency knows best, when only weeks from now, and in coming years, that doctrine is more likely to harm than to help transgender students.

Inside President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal antidrug campaign in the Philippines, our photojournalist documented 57 homicide victims over 35 days. And in case you’ve forgotten.

Located in the city’s Girangaon (Village of the Mills) neighborhood, Trump Tower Mumbai illustrates every pathology of the neoliberal turn away from comprehensive city planning.

* What happens if someone dies on Mars?

* Uber as Ponzi scheme.

* The arc of history is long, but New Jersey Will No Longer Seek to Collect Loans from Families of Dead Students.

* Check ignition, and may God’s love be with you.

* Harvard will not be a sanctuary campus. It’s for your own good, kids!

* Ugh, maybe it actually is.

* Disney ought to pay this former employee for the movie rights to this AMA.

* Today in news from the mysteriiiiiiiious Orient: Japan’s sex problem is so bad that people are quitting dating and marrying their friends.

* Trump propaganda game getting real.

* Chimpanzees See Butts Like We See Faces.

* The ultimate fear isn’t of the second coming of Hitler: history never repeats itself so obviously, and a sense of shame over the Nazi past remains pervasive in all corners of German life. No, the fear is that the present antidemocratic wave may prove too strong even for Germany—the only country in the history of the world that ever learned from its mistakes. From The New Yorker‘s “The Frankfurt School Knew Trump Was Coming.”

* If Black Mirror Had a Showroom.

* The suit asks that the embryos be transferred to Mr Loeb so that they can be born and receive their inheritance.

* This might be the worst science journalism piece I’ve seen in years.

* Goddamnit, Pixar.

* Scientists Think the Speed of Light Has Slowed, and They’re Trying to Prove It.

Paradox Girl Is One of the Best Time Travel Series We’ve Read All Year. I bought these tonight on this recommendation and I can confirm it’s super fun.

* And this makes me feel worse about both extinction-level events and car crashes.

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 8, 2016 at 8:01 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,