Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Kurt Vonnegut

Surprise! Thursday Links!

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* I’m in something of an unusual situation, uniquely poised to obsessively explore the game while I’m on medical leave, but I’ve really been enjoying Gloomhaven. Reading D&D sourcebooks to yourself because you have no friends to play with never felt so good! If it’s even remotely your thing, check it out.

* Reading Marx on Halloween. UPDATE: Forgot this one! China Miéville: Marxism and Halloween.

* Can’t believe I have to wait for April for this: Revealing The Doors of Eden, a New Novel from Adrian Tchaikovsky.

The Doors of Eden takes the evolutionary world-building I used for Children of Time and Children of Ruin and applies it to all the ‘What ifs’ of the past. It’s a book that feeds on a lot of my personal obsessions (not just spiders*). The universe-building is perhaps the broadest in scope of anything I’ve ever written. At the same time, The Doors of Eden is a book set in the here and now, and even though there’s more than one ‘here and now’ in the book, I spent most of a summer trekking around researching locations like a film producer to try and get things as right as possible. Sometimes, when you plan a journey into the very strange, it works best if you start somewhere familiar.

Writing the book turned into a very personal journey, for me. It’s the culmination of a lot of ideas that have been brewing away at the back of my mind, and a lot of obsessions that have had hold of me for decades. I have quite the trip in store for readers, I hope.”

(*Book not guaranteed to be entirely free of spiders.)

* There are six seasons, not four. Kurt Vonnegut explains.

* CFP: Society for Utopian Studies 2020: Make, Unmake, Remake. CFP: The Peter Nicholls Essay Prize 2020 at Foundation. CFP: The Midwest Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference 2020: Rendition.

* A space anthropologist warns inequality gets worse on Mars.

* Afrofuturism and solarpunk.

* I may have gotten to mention that the new issue of Science Fiction Film and Television is out, with articles on Charlton Heston’s SF films, the Anthropocene politics of outer space media, and a partial report from the franchise fiction roundtable at ICFA 40.

* After Deadspin.

it’s a real feeling, to watch people you admire – entire crews of them – get fucked again and again by parasitic industries and self-important executives whose pockets are as deep as they themselves are shallow

University of Chicago projected to be the first U.S. university to cost $100,000 a year.

The “We” in WeWork was the customers working in the offices, living in the apartment buildings, and learning in the schools—not the people determining where any of this was built, and in what quantity. If money is indeed piling up on the balance sheets of large corporations and in the coffers of the Saudi Treasury as proceeds for burning the planet—and if that money is ultimately at the disposal of a farseeing Japanese cell phone mogul—one might ask if it could be managed differently if it were in the hands of, well, “We,” instead of flooded into commercial real estate for the purpose of acclimatizing office workers to ever smaller workspaces. Getting a better grip on the capital stocks and flows that enable WeWork and its mutant cousins may require a “mission to elevate the world’s consciousness,” but there’s an older and simpler word for it, too.

* Inside the Kincade Fire: Within Feet of the Flames. California’s Wildfires Are the Doom of Our Own Making. PG&E power outage could cost the California economy more than $2 billion. The Toxic Bubble of Technical Debt Threatening America.

Explaining to my children why the world is burning.

* ‘The climate doesn’t need awards’: Greta Thunberg declines environmental prize.

* Man who has personally ordered scores of assassinations has intense appreciation for moral nuance.

* …telling graduate students to eschew public-facing writing and outreach in favor of “impressive” or “legitimate” publications is the wrong advice for the many job candidates who will end up employed outside of the select circle of wealthy institutions.

* If Virginia ratifies the ERA next year, it would go back to Congress for what would be an utter shitshow fascinating vote.

* Pete Buttigieg, unfrozen caveman Democrat.

* Game of Thrones somehow manages to choose the more boring of its two boring prequel options. That’s commitment to a bit.

Dynamic Underwater Photos Look Like Dramatic Baroque Paintings.

* I should write a piece about how my attitudes about piracy have turned around in the last 5 years. Now I feel like anybody who circulates files of classic cinema is the equivalent of people in Ray Bradbury‘s Fahrenheit 451 who keep literature alive by memorizing & reciting it.

Cops aren’t liable for destroying home of innocent people, 10th Circuit rules. They were looking for a shoplifter.

His expenses to rebuild the house and replace all its contents cost him nearly $400,000, he said. While insurance did cover structural damage initially, his son did not have renter’s insurance and so insurance did not cover replacement of the home’s contents, and he says he is still in debt today from loans he took out.

“This has ruined our lives,” he said.

“Half our customers are drunk and vaping like mo-fos, who the fuck is going to notice the quality of our pods,” the former CEO allegedly said. Juul says the lawsuit is “baseless.”

* To die well, we must talk about death before the end of life.

Why I Haven’t Gone Back to SCOTUS Since Kavanaugh. Some things are worth not getting over.

* The algorithm predicted black patients would cost less, which signaled to medical providers that their illnesses must not be that bad. But, in reality, black patients cost less because they don’t purchase healthcare services as much as white people on average. New York is investigating UnitedHealth’s use of a medical algorithm that steered black patients away from getting higher-quality care. This is like the (likely apocryphal) story about the algorithm trained to find tanks in pictures, only to identify instead which days were sunny and which days were cloudy — only here we decide to listen to the computer and redefine what a tank is.

* From the archives: David Bowie explains that the internet is an alien lifeform.

* Take the blue pill, and…

Fall Break Links! Every Tab I Had Open Is Closed!

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* New open-access scholarship: Star Wars and the History of Transmedia Storytelling. My contribution is on Rogue One and the crisis of authority that seems to have plagued all the post-Lucas Star Wars productions. Check it out!

* Science Fiction Film and Television 10.3 is also available, a special issue all about Mad Max and guest-edited by Dan Hassler-Forest, including a great piece by one of my former graduate students, Dr. Bonnie McLean!

* My book was reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement! That’s wild. There’s a really nice review coming in the next issue of Science Fiction Studies, too, though I don’t think its online yet…

* By far the absolute best thing I’ve found on the Internet in years: Decision Problem: Paperclips.

* Call for Papers: Critical Disaster Studies.

* It’s been so long since I’ve posted that it’s still news Kazuo Ishiguro won the Nobel Prize. With all due apologies to Margaret Atwood.

* Tom Petty was still alive then. Puerto Rico wasn’t in ruins, then. The worst mass shooting in American history perpetrated by a single individual hadn’t happened then. California wasn’t on fire quite to the apocalyptic extent that it is now then. I still had hope for The Last Jedi. And the GOP wasn’t all-in for Roy Moore.

* There are no natural disasters. The Left Needs Its Own Shock Doctrine for Puerto Rico. Disaster socialism. Many Trump voters who got hurricane relief in Texas aren’t sure Puerto Ricans should. After the Hurricane. Someday we’ll look back on the storms from this year’s horrific hurricane season with nostalgia.

* Page of a Calvin and Hobbes comic found in the wreckage of Santa Rosa, California.

This is the horror of mass shootings. Not just death that comes from nowhere, intruding upon the status quo—but a death that doesn’t change that status quo, that continues to sail on unchanged by it. You may be a toddler in a preschool in one of the richest zip codes in the country; a congressman playing baseball in Alexandria, Virginia; a white-collar office worker in a business park; a college student or professor on some leafy campus; a doctor making your rounds in a ward in the Bronx; a country music fan enjoying a concert in a city built as a mecca for relaxation and pleasure: the bullet that comes for you will not discriminate. It knows no racial bias, imposes no political litmus test, checks no credit score, heeds no common wisdom of whose life should or shouldn’t matter. It will pierce your skin, perforate your organs, shatter your bones, and blow apart the gray matter inside your skull faster than your brain tissue can tear. And then, after the token thoughts and prayers, nothing. No revolutionary legislation or sudden sea change in cultural attitudes will mark your passing. The bloody cruelty of your murder will be matched only by the sanguine absence of any substantive national response. Our democracy is riven by inequality in so many ways, but in this domain, and perhaps in this domain alone, all American lives are treated as equally disposable.

Having achieved so many conservative goals — a labor movement in terminal decline, curtailed abortion rights, the deregulation of multiple industries, economic inequality reminiscent of the Gilded Age, and racial resegregation — the right can now afford the luxury of irresponsibility. Or so it believes. As we have seen in the opening months of the Trump presidency, the conservative regime, despite its command of all three elected branches of the national government and a majority of state governments, is extraordinarily unstable and even weak, thanks to a number of self-inflicted wounds. That weakness, however, is a symptom not of its failures, but of its success.

* Freedom of speech means professors get fired for their tweets while universities rent their facilities to open Nazis for $600,000 below cost. Meanwhile, college administrations continue to look to Trump to save them from their graduate students.

The science of spying: how the CIA secretly recruits academics.

Death at a Penn State Fraternity.

* UPenn humiliates itself.

* Octavia Butler: The Brutalities of the Past Are All Around Us.

* African Science Fiction, at LARB.

* The new issue of Slayage has a “Twenty Years of Buffy” roundtable.

Image Journal Exclusively Publishes Flannery O’Connor’s College Journal.

* Honestly, I prefer it when the NCAA doesn’t even bother to pretend.

* One of the classic signs of a failing state is the manipulation of data, including its suppression.

* Internal emails show ICE agents struggling to substantiate Trump’s lies about immigrants.

* ICE Detainee Sent to Solitary Confinement for Encouraging Protest of “Voluntary” Low Wage Labor.

This Is What It Looks Like When the President Asks People to Snitch on Their Neighbors.

A 2-year-old’s kidney transplant was put on hold — after his donor father’s probation violation.

* The arc of history is long, but Federal Judge Rules Handcuffing Little Kids Above Their Elbows Is Unconstitutional.

Body cameras and more training aren’t enough. We need to divert funding for police into funding for human needs.

“Childhood trauma is a huge factor within the criminal justice system,” said Christopher Wildeman, a sociologist at Cornell University and co-director of the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect. “It is among the most important things that shapes addictive and criminal behavior in adulthood.”

They thought they were going to rehab. They ended up in chicken plants.

When Colleges Use Their Own Students to Catch Drug Dealers.

* The Democratic district attorney of Manhattan openly takes bribes, and he’s running unopposed.

Here’s How Breitbart And Milo Smuggled Nazi and White Nationalist Ideas Into The Mainstream.

How We Found Tom Price’s Private Jets.

What DNA Testing Companies’ Terrifying Privacy Policies Actually Mean.

Rigged: How Voter Suppression Threw Wisconsin to Trump. Counterpoint: The case that voter ID laws won Wisconsin for Trump is weaker than it looks.

* Conflict in literature.

‘Our minds can be hijacked’: the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia. Close that barn door, boys!

Mass Shootings Are A Bad Way To Understand Gun Violence. The stats are clear: the gun debate should be one mostly about how to prevent gun suicides. 1,516 mass shootings in 1,735 days.

* The secretive family making billions from the opioid crisis.

* University of Hawaii’s creepy email subject line to students: “In the event of a nuclear attack.”

* Marvel’s movie timeline is incoherent nonsense, too.

We have a pretty good idea of when humans will go extinct. No spoilers!

* Tokyo Is Preparing for Floods ‘Beyond Anything We’ve Seen.’

* Cape Coral, Florida, was built on total lies. One big storm could wipe it off the map. Oh, and it’s also the fastest-growing city in the United States.

An Oral History of Batman: The Animated Series.

* Why is Blade Runner called Blade Runner?

* How free porn enriched the tech industry — and ruined the lives of actors.

Middle-Earth: Shadow of War Is the Bleakest Lord of the Rings Fan Fic I’ve Ever Seen.The best way to beat Shadow Of War’s final act is not to play it. Are Orcs People Too? And a trip down memory lane: How ‘Hobbit Camps’ Rebirthed Italian Fascism.

* The Digital Humanities Bust.

We can’t eliminate the profit motive in health care without eliminating copays.

* Twitter as hate machine.

* They’re good dogs, Brent.

* Burn the Constitution.

* Violence. Threats. Begging. Harvey Weinstein’s 30-year pattern of abuse in Hollywood. Study finds 75 percent of workplace harassment victims experienced retaliation when they spoke up. Collective action is the best avenue to fight sexual harassers like Harvey Weinstein. Will Fury Over Harvey Weinstein Allegations Change Academe’s Handling of Harassment?

* A tough thread on ethical compromise under conditions of precarity and hyperexploitation. I think many academics will relate.

* Major study confirms the clinical definition of death is wildly inadequate.

Death just became even more scary: scientists say people are aware they’re dead because their consciousness continues to work after the body has stopped showing signs of life.

That means that, theoretically, someone may even hear their own death being announced by medics.

Dolphins recorded having a conversation ‘just like two people’ for first time.

Here Are the Best Wildlife Photos of 2017.

Meat eaters are destroying the planet, says report.

The moon blew up without warning and for no apparent reason.

In A Post-Weinstein World, Louis CK’s Movie Is a Total Disaster.

Let this battle herald a return to our roots: tax the rich so much that they aren’t rich anymore — only then can the rest of us live in a decent world.

* Civil-Rights Protests Have Never Been Popular.

Every Rick and Morty Universe So Far.

* Ready for #Vexit.

The world’s first “negative emissions” plant has begun operation—turning carbon dioxide into stone.

I Have Been Raped by Far Nicer Men Than You.

* They’re bound and determined to ruin Go.

I think I’m on my way. I’ve deposited my first check in a savings account and, as and if I sell more, will continue to do so until I have the equivalent of one year’s pay at GE. Four more stories will do it nicely, with cash to spare (something we never had before). I will then quit this goddamn nightmare job, and never take another one so long as I live, so help me God. On Vonnegut’s “Complete Stories.”

An Anatomy of the Worst Game in ‘Jeopardy!’ History.

* Is your D&D character rare?

* Tolkien’s Map and the Perplexing River Systems of Middle-earth.

The Worst Loss In The History Of U.S. Men’s Soccer.

The Rise And Rise Of America’s Best-Kept Secret: Milwaukee!

* Galaxy brain.

* And RIP, John Couture. A tremendous loss for Marquette English.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 21, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Fall 2017 Syllabi! Tolkien! Utopia! Hamilton!

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I’ve put the syllabi for my fall classes up at my professional site:

HOPR 1953: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton

ENGLISH 4610: J.R.R. Tolkien

ENGLISH 6700: Utopia in America

The Hamilton class is new, a one-credit pass/fail seminar for the honors program. The Tolkien class and the Utopia class are both revised a lit from the last times around; for the grad class, I’ve swapped in two Kurt Vonnegut and two Octavia Butler books for Utopia, Sula, and Man in the High Castle, in part due to known student interest and in part because I have some ideas about sequelization and utopia that I want to start exploring. For the Tolkien class the changes were much more minor; by moving a few things around and not going on as many trips this semester I was able to squeeze out about an extra week, which I devoted to more time to discussing the ending(s) of Return of the King and more time on The Silmarillion (the second change strongly desired by some of the students last time!). I also changed some of the language I used around the final assignment, including adding a creative option, and added a bit more architecture to the syllabus regarding suspense and spoilers. I thought the class worked great last time around but this will give me a chance to structure the initial discussions in the class a little more inclusively than I did last time (I hope).

Really looking forward to the next couple months…

Saturday Night Links!

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* Writing Advice to My Students That Would Also Have Been Good Sex Advice for My High School Boyfriends.

* CFP: The Handmaid’s Tale: Gender, Genre Adaptation – a one-day symposium. Race and The Handmaid’s Tale. Margaret Atwood Annotates Season 1 of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’

* A Dangerous Business: Being a Female Professor.

* Two Americas: Those Who Leave Home, and Those Who Stay.

A Brief History of Violence Against Members of Congress. The start of a disturbing new chapter.

But now we have legislation that will change the lives of millions, and they haven’t even summoned the usual suspects to explain what a great idea it is. If hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue, Republicans have decided that even that’s too much; they’re going to try to pass legislation that takes from the poor and gives to the rich without even trying to offer a justification. More at Vox.

American Health Care Tragedies Are Taking Over Crowdfunding.

The Senate health care bill is expected to allow states to relax the Affordable Care Act rules only on benefits, not on pricing as the House bill does. But that change could impact people far beyond those states, according to anew analysis by the liberal Center for American Progress — because it could lead to a return of annual and lifetime benefit limits, and not just in the states with the waivers. Don’t stop working those phones.

* Trump buckles on the Dreamers. But: Border Patrol Arrests Immigrants Seeking Medical Care During Desert Heat Wave. Trump’s move to deport Iraqi Christians stirs outcry. ICE nabs teenager hours before his senior prom, days before his graduation ceremony.

Trump is likely to get much, much worse. Here are a few big things to watch for.  A Very, Very Dangerous Situation. The WaPo Obstruction Blockbuster and the World of Hurt To Come. Robert Mueller chooses his investigatory dream team. Here we go.

Donald Trump’s Cabinet members, ranked by their over-the-top praise of Trump.

* Now That’s What I Call #TheResistance.

* It’s very slowly happening here.

That’s part of a far broader story: Republicans have a coherent and awful vision, while Democrats have a better but confused vision. Republicans want to cut taxes all the time; Democrats want to sometimes cut some taxes and certainly aren’t committed to raising taxes on principle. Republicans want to ban all abortions; many Democrats favor certain restrictions on abortion, depending. The ur-Democratic legislation is Obamacare, which undoubtedly improved the status quo but which is a tangled mishmash of public and private and which does not offer anything like a simple and coherent policy like “Medicare for all.” Republicans are the party of small government; Democrats are the party of jury-rigged quasi-entitlements via convoluted tax credits. Is it any wonder conservatives win so often? An evil but directly and unapologetically stated policy platform beats a better but cowardly and convoluted one any day, politically.

If social compacts without any leeway for idiosyncrasy or dissent tend toward dictatorship, untrammeled individualism tends toward nihilism. The once-again great America Trump envisages is a fusion of the worst of both, and you can’t say our movies didn’t predict him. Wherever America’s right stuff now elusively resides, its wrong stuff in right-stuff disguise is on display for all the world to see—at multiplexes everywhere, not just on Fox News.

* This is fine.

* This though I’m not crazy about: Brain-Eating Parasites Thrive As Global Warming Heats Up U.S. Lakes.

“People who claim we’re in the sixth mass extinction don’t understand enough about mass extinctions to understand the logical flaw in their argument,” he said. “To a certain extent they’re claiming it as a way of frightening people into action, when in fact, if it’s actually true we’re in a sixth mass extinction, then there’s no point in conservation biology.” But that doesn’t mean we can’t still get there if we all just chip in.

Number of people serving life in US prisons is surging, new report says.

US credit card debt to surpass $1 trillion this year, report says.

* A scholar of the Ku Kux Klan explains how the KKK used the same trolling tactics as the alt-right.

Five officials will face manslaughter charges for Flint water crisis. PA supreme court: was illegal to steal elderly woman’s home because her son sold $140 of weed. Revealed: reality of life working in an Ivanka Trump clothing factory.

Robot puts all of humanity to shame by achieving perfect score in Ms. Pac-Man.

This New Museum Imagines a World Where Capitalism Is Dead.

* If there is no real economic recovery forthcoming—and there is not—and if the university cannot be restored without one, do any possibilities remain? They do. We would have to imagine a world that did not peg public funds to private profits. Our current understanding of “public” presupposes a thoroughgoing privatization of the world that shortly preceded the appearance of the modern university. There is no going back. But if there is to be something ahead, an emancipation of learning, it will not be discovered in the hearts and minds of administrators and legislators persuaded to see the error of their ways, but in a transformation of the society beyond the edges of campus. Who Can Save the University?

For graduate students fighting to unionize, time is running out.

* Salvage on Corbyn.

Today’s horrific fire in London’s Grenfell Tower is a symbol of a deeply unequal United Kingdom.

* Bob Dylan, Nobel Prize Winner.

Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cars R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.

Ok, I’ll try this: 1 like = 1 unusual condition for killing the big baddy at the end of your book/movie/game.

Why is TV awash in afterlives, hells, and purgatories?

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

Witchcraft and dueling are now legal in Canada.

Meet the First Woman to Draw Wonder Woman: “I Never Ever Gave Her Breasts That Were Bigger Than Her Head.”

* Abolish Netflix.

* Abolish the trucking industry.

Why It Was Easier to Be Skinny in the 1980s.

* Estimated Number of Injuries and Reported Deaths Associated with Inflatable Amusements, 2003-2013.

* Retconning Guardians.

* Duck Tales, woo ooh.

Bruce Springsteen is headed to Broadway.

* I’m sorry, I don’t think I understand the objection.

* Presenting the best of Hello from the Magic Tavern.

Salo University is a friendly cloud space for thinking about Kurt Vonnegut and why his writing matters today.

* What real words are actually valid CSS HEX colors?

Alarm clock dropped inside wall still going off daily after 13 years.

* Why Bill Cosby Walked Free.

Why It’s Impossible to Indict a Cop.

* “Rakka” is the first sci-fi short film by Oats Studios, directed by Neill Blomkamp (District 9 and Chappie), featuring the aftermath of an alien invasion that has enslaved millions of humans. The free 22-minute film, which features the amazing Sigourney Weaver, is available to stream for free on Steam, YouTube and the Oats Studios website.

* And guys, it’s official: I’m a bestseller.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 17, 2017 at 4:27 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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March 1 Links! March 1 Only and Then They’re Gone!

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tumblr_om224d56iq1sqep2mo1_500Contemporary African literature as taught in today’s classrooms is pathetically 20th century. The keepers of those gates overwhelmingly think of contemporary African literature as the three A’s: Achebe, Adichie, Abani. When pressed, they add Habila. It is pathetic, really. The bulk of our literature is on the Internet and ancient professors are still photocopying what Achebe wrote in 1958.

We are possibly witnessing the implosion of American capitalism (i.e., neoliberalism) and hopefully its empire as well. Liberals, those who are protesting today, did not protest the mass incarceration and forceful expulsion of individuals who had been in this country for decades, did not protest the drone wars and illegal killings and fomenting of civil wars and mass displacement under our auspices ever since 9/11. The Obama presidency is destined to go down in history as a footnote; we are simply picking up fascist steam now from where we left off in 2003, before the Iraq War started going awry. The world war that began on 9/11 has resumed. We never left it in the intervening years, because we never sought accountability. The case for moral disengagement from politics in the age of Trump. I found this a brutal, sobering read. Obviously we have to fight in whatever ways we can fight — but I’m sorry to say the predictions laid out here seem much more likely to me than any notion of heroic #Resistance on the part of institutional Democrats or liberals more generally.

* Meanwhile, the media.

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The basic critique of Bruenig et al is right: The leadership of the Democratic Party, nationally and in most states, has resisted acknowledging the failures of the Obama years.

Now seems like a fine time to listen to Kurt Vonnegut’s sermon on nuclear annihilation.

* Keep America weird: Blink-182’s Tom DeLonge wins UFO Researcher Of The Year award.

* The Hunt for the Perfect Sugar.

Why You Can’t Ever Call an Enslaved Woman a “Mistress.”

* This actually raises a ton of questions for me about how C-3PO’s mind works, how protocol droids prioritize their storage resources, and what people in the Star Wars galaxy consider “communication.”

* Some investigative details on the horrifying wave of bomb threats targeting Jewish centers.

* If you’re really asking: yes.

* And it’s not all bad news: Black Holes Devour Stars a Lot More Frequently Than We Thought.

 

Seven Pounds of Sunday Links in a Three-Pound Bag

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cr2zpcrw8aa7gey* If you missed it, my contribution to the thriving “Star Trek at 50″ thinkpiece industry: “We Have Never Been Star Trek.” And some followup commentary on First Contact and the Rebootverse from Adam Kotsko.

* Elsewhere: To Boldly Imagine: Star Trek‘s Half Century. 13 science fiction authors on how Star Trek influenced their lives. 50 Years of Trekkies. Women who love Star Trek are the reason that modern fandom exists. What If Star Trek Never Existed? In a World without Star Trek The Star Trek You Didn’t See. How Every Single Star Trek Novel Fits Together. What Deep Space Nine does that no other Star Trek series can. Fighter Planes vs. Navies. Fifty years of Star Trek – a socialist perspective. Star Trek in the Age of Trump. Star Trek Is Brilliantly Political. Well, It Used To Be. Sounds of Spock. A Counterpoint. Catching Up with Star Trek IV’s Real Hero. The Workday on the Edge of Forever. A few of the best images I gathered up this week: 1, 2. And of course they did: CBS and Paramount Royally Screwed Up Star Trek‘s 50th Anniversary.

* And some more Star Trek: Discovery teasing: Time to rewatch “Balance of Terror.” And Majel might even voice the computer.

Deadline Extended for the 2016 Tiptree Fellowship. The Foundation Essay Prize 2017.

* CFP: Speculative Finance/Speculative Fiction. Editors David M. Higgins and Hugh Charles O’Connell. Call for Chapters: Transmedia Star Wars. Editors Sean A. Guynes and Dan Hassler-Forest.

* Not a CFP, but I’m glad to see this is coming soon: None of This is Normal: The Fiction of Jeff VanderMeer.

* Polygraph #25, on sound and the modes of production, is now available.

* Tolkien once said that fantasy can’t work on stage. Katy Armstrong argues that The Cursed Child only works on stage. Harry Potter and the Conscience of a Liberal.

* On Utopia and Reaction.

* Poetry and Class Struggle.

* This LARB essay on scholars fighting about King Lear is as spellbinding as everyone said.

Here is a list of things that I am including in this book. Please send me my seven-figure advance. An Easy Guide to Writing the Great American Novel.

Concerns Over Future of UMass Labor Center.

Lockout at LIU. The Nuclear Option. Unprecedented. This is the first time that higher-ed faculty have ever been locked out. Lockout Lessons. Students Walkout. As Lockout Continues at Long Island U., Students Report Meager Classroom Instruction. This has been, to say the least, an amazing story.

Decline of Tenure for Higher Education Faculty: An Introduction.

Salaita’s Departure and the Gutting of American Indian Studies at the University of Illinois.

Inmates Are Planning The Largest Prison Strike in US History. ‘Incarcerated Workers’ stage nationwide prison labor strike 45 years after 1971 Attica riot. Your Refresher on the 13th Amendment.

The long, steady decline of literary reading. History Enrollments Drop. Werner Herzog Narrates My Life as a Graduate Student. My dirty little secret: I’ve been writing erotic novels to fund my PhD.

Quebec’s massive student strikes emerged from an organizing model that constantly trains new generations of activists.

Retirement Plan Roulette.

* The First Trans*Studies Conference.

* Donna Haraway: “Tentacular Thinking: Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Chthulucene.”

The unfinished Chthulucene must collect up the trash of the Anthropocene, the exterminism of the Capitalocene, and chipping and shredding and layering like a mad gardener, make a much hotter compost pile for still possible pasts, presents, and futures.

A bit more here.

* Elsewhere in the Anthropocene: Montana declares state of emergency over pipeline spill, oily drinking water. The Gradual Atlantis (and see Dr. K.S. Robinson for more). Fast Fashion and Environmental Crisis. The Planet Is Going Through A ‘Catastrophic’ Wilderness Loss, Study Says. The Oceans Are Heating Up. A Monument to Outlast Humanity. New genus of bacteria found living inside hydraulic fracturing wells. And from the archives: Louisiana Doesn’t Exist.

The Joyful, Illiterate Kindergartners of Finland. What Should a Four-Year-Old Know? How to Raise a Genius.

* Michael R. Page on the greatness of The Space Merchants. Bonus content from University of Illinois Press: Five Quotes from Frederik Pohl.

The problem with this reasoning, at least as it relates to graduate students, is that we have had fifty years to find out if unions destroy graduate education. They don’t.

How Unions Change Universities. Scabbing on Our Future Selves.

Of Moral Panics, Education, Culture Wars, and Unanswerable Holes.

The Death of ITT Tech, Part One: What Happened?

* Audrey Watters on the (credit) score.

* Clemson’s John C. Calhoun Problem. And Jack Daniels’s.

* Welcome to Our University! We’re Delighted to Have You, But If You Think We’re Going to Cancel the Ku Klux Klan Rally, You’ve Got Another Think Coming. Cashing in on the Culture Wars: U Chicago.

* The things English speakers know, but don’t know they know.

* Raymond Chandler and Totality.

* Writing Like a State.

Slapstick, Fordism and the Communist Avant-Garde.

Capitalist Saboteurs.

Why ‘The Stranger’ Almost Didn’t Get Published.

It’s Getting Harder and Harder to Deny That Football Is Doomed.

After Richmond Student Writes Viral Essay About Her Rape Case, the University Calls Her a Liar.

* Milwaukee vs. Pikachu. The World’s Most Dangerous Game: Pokémon’s Strange History with Moral Panics.

Weapons of Math Destruction: invisible, ubiquitous algorithms are ruining millions of lives.

British artist Rebecca Moss went aboard the Hanjin Geneva container ship for a “23 Days at Sea Residency.” But the company that owns the ship went bankrupt on August 31, and ports all over the world have barred Hanjin’s ships because the shipping line is unable to pay the port and service fees. Artist-in-residence stuck on bankrupt container ship that no port will accept.

* Christopher Newfield talks his new book on the collapse of the public university, The Great Mistake.

Bill de Blasio’s Pre-K Crusade.

* The Plight of the Overworked Nonprofit Employee.

* FiveThirtyEight: What Went Wrong?

The Lasting Impact of Mispronouncing Students’ Names.

* The law, in its majestic equality: Black Defendants Punished Harsher After A Judge’s Favorite Football Team Loses.

* Fred Moten on academic freedom, Palestine, BDS, and BLM.

* Being Nadja Spiegelman.

* The Night Of and the Problem of Chandra.

The Book of Springsteen. Relatedly: Bruce Springsteen’s Reading List.

* Defining Unarmed.

New research suggests that humans have a sixth basic taste in addition to sweetness, sourness, saltiness, bitterness, and umami. It’s starchiness.

* Against Theory.

Differently from philosophy, which functions under long, frustrating timings, and very rarely reaches any certainty, theory is quick, voracious, sharp, and superficial: its model is the “reader,” a book made to help people make quotations from books that are not read.

* The largest strike in world history?

* The Walrus has an absolutely wrenching piece on stillbirth.

How to Tell a Mother Her Child Is Dead.

“Science thought there was one species and now genetics show there are four species,” Dr. Janke said. “All zoos across the world that have giraffes will have to change their labels.”

The Mysterious Ending of John Carpenter’s The Thing May Finally Have an Answer.

* Teach the controversy: No Forests on Flat Earth.

* The clash of eschatologies.

Wisconsin appeals Brendan Dassey’s overturned conviction.

* Abolish the iPhone. How Apple Killed the Cyberpunk Dream. It’s not much better over there.

* Atwood and comics.

The NEH’s chairman, Bro Adams, tries to make a case for the humanities. Is anyone listening?

* Britain isn’t doing a super great job with Brexit.

* No other image has better captured the struggle that is simply living every day: Drunk Soviet worker tries to ride on hippo (Novokuznetsk, in Kemerovo, 1982). Yes, there’s still more links below.

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* The DEA vs. Kratom. Why Banning the Controversial Painkiller Kratom Could Be Bad News for America’s Heroin Addicts.

*Never-Ending Election Watch: How Donald Trump Retooled His Charity to Spend Other People’s Money. Trump pays IRS a penalty for his foundation violating rules with gift to aid Florida attorney general. A Tale of Two Scandals. That Clinton Foundation Scandal the Press Wants Exists, But they Won’t Report it Because it’s Actually About the Trump Foundation. Inside Bill Clinton’s nearly $18 million job as ‘honorary chancellor’ of a for-profit college. No More Lesser-Evilism. And Vox, you know, explaining the news.

* Dominance politics, deplorables edition.

* And put this notion in your basket of deplorables: Darkwing Duck and DuckTales Are in Separate Universes and This Is Not Okay.

How Fox News women took down the most powerful, and predatory, man in media.

* Yes, Here Comes Trump TV.

* Corporal Punishment in American Schools.

* Black Teachers Matter.

* I say jail’s too good for ’em: US library to enforce jail sentences for overdue books.

Bugs Bunny, the Novel, and Transnationalism.

* Understanding Hellboy.

* The Perilous Lure of the Underground Railroad. The Atlantic Slave Trade in Two Minutes.

* What’s the Matter with Liberals?

* Alan Moore Confirms Retirement from Comic Books. An interview in the New York Times where, lucky for me, he talks a lot about David Foster Wallace.

The Need For Believable Non-White Characters — Sidekicks, Included.

What Your Literature Professor Knows That Your Doctor Might Not.

Geologic Evidence May Support Chinese Flood Legend.

Fully Autonomous Cars Are Unlikely, Says America’s Top Transportation Safety Official.

* Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal roundup: The Clockmaker. Science Journalism. I Am No Longer a Child. Teach a Man to Fish. How Stress Works. On Parenting. You haven’t hit bottom yet. Keep scrolling!

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* Today in unnecessary sequels: Mel Gibson confirms Passion Of The Christ sequel. And elsewhere on the unnecessary sequel beat: We Finally Know What the Avatar Sequels Will Be About.

* At least they won’t let Zack Snyder ruin Booster Gold.

* Poe’s Law, but for the left? Inside the Misunderstood World of Adult Breastfeeding.

* The Revolution as America’s First Civil War.

* Mike Konczal on Eviction.

* What Happens When We Decide Everyone Else Is a Narcissist.

45,000 Pounds of Would-Be Pennies Coat Highway After Delaware Crash.

* ‘Illegal’ Immigration as Speech.

* Second Thoughts of an Animal Researcher.

* Conspiracy Corner: Obama and the Jesuits.

On Sept. 16 the opera “Happy Birthday, Wanda June,” based on Vonnegut’s play, will have its world premiere in Indianapolis. A dayslong celebration of, and reflection on, the best-selling author’s works called Vonnegut World will precede it.

* The Unseen Drawings of Kurt Vonnegut.

* The Science of Loneliness. Loneliness can be depressing, but it may have helped humans survive.

* Once more, with feeling: On the greatness of John Brunner.

* Let us now praise Let Us Now Praise Famous Men.

* Look Upon My Works, Ye Mighty, and Despair: Man Dies, Leaving Behind a Sea Of Big-Boobed Mannequins. Yes, it’s a Milwaukee story.

Play The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Video Game Free Online, Designed by Douglas Adams in 1984.

* Taking a Stand at Standing Rock. Life in the Native American oil protest camps.

* Earth First: The Musical.

The Subtle Design Features That Make Cities Feel More Hostile.

* Hitchens wept.

* Rebel propaganda. All the Ewoks are dead.

* Finally.

* Salvador Dali Illustrates Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

* Where the Monsters Are. The Wonderful World of Westeros.

* And I’ll be bookmarking this for later, just in case: A lively new book investigates the siren call—and annoying logistics—of death fraud.

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Written by gerrycanavan

September 11, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Quittin’ Time Links

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tumblr_o62a9nqZo81romv9co1_500* Canamania 2016: Just another reminder that Metamorphoses of Science Fiction (out now!) and Octavia E. Butler (out this November!) appear this year.

* And speaking of Octavia: a previously lost interview from 1995 has resurfaced.

* Call for Papers: Disability and Superheroes.

* A landmark special issue of Extrapolation (if I do say so myself) on Indigenous Futurisms, ed. by Grace Dillon, Michael Levy, and John Rieder.

The Managerial University: A Failed Experiment. 

How Janelle Monáe turned Harriet Tubman’s legacy into an Afrofuturist sci-fi epic.

“Culturally and geographically, EMU football will simply never succeed from an attendance and financial standpoint,” faculty member Howard Bunsis, who helped prepare the report, said in a presentation to the Board of Regents on Friday. “It is a losing proposition – always has been, and always will be. We hardly raise any money for football, and our attendance is the lowest in the country. Some of you believe that we are close to succeeding, if we just throw more money at the situation. This proposition is insane.

* Eleven Theses for the Bernie Sanders Generation.

* Being Melissa Click.

* Wrongthink watch: The Tools of Campus Activists Are Being Turned Against Them. When Slogans Replace Arguments.

* “Literature about medicine may be all that can save us.”

* …but marketplace feminism has simply embraced a mediagenic vision of leadership, most notoriously in the new women’s conference industry, where, Zeisler writes, attendees can “access and sell a certain kind of female power at a comfortable distance from the less individualistic and far less glamorous reality of the majority of women.” These conferences come with a hefty price tag to hear inspiring celebrities and CEOs’ tales about bootstrapping their way to the top and kicking sexism in the rear in stiletto heels. It’s a vision that, she notes, “erases the presence of anyone who isn’t empowered in the most crucial sense of the word—financially…” Feminism, Inc. is big business.

Global warming has made the weather better for most in U.S. — but don’t get used to it, study says. But it’s not all bad news: Chicago is better poised to survive climate change than New York or LA .

Living Near A Highway Is Terrible For Your Health. 1 In 10 Americans Do It.

* Too good to check: Tabloid says it has proof: Ted Cruz’s father is mystery man in Lee Harvey Oswald photo.

Suicide Rates Are Up, But the Most Obvious Explanations Are Probably All Wrong.

The Arctic Suicides: It’s Not The Dark That Kills You. Milwaukee suicide rates lower than rest of US.

Study of exceptionally healthy old people fails to trace their well-being to specific genes.

The Rise of Pirate Libraries.

A Scientific Guide to the Fantastical Predators in Game of Thrones.

* Abolish Neil deGrasse Tyson. But he’s got the right idea here.

* Is there God after Prince? The rejected Simpsons script Conan O’Brien wrote for Prince. Musician’s secret vault reportedly contains ‘thousands’ of unreleased songs. Prince and Springsteen duet, one night only. Springsteen covers “Purple Rain.”

Companies are becoming adept at identifying wealthy customers and marketing to them, creating a money-based caste system. No! It can’t be! That’s impossible!

EVE Online Could Become a Television Show. I’d watch at least a few!

How does a porn parody get made? And elsewhere on the porn beat: Child Porn Is Being Hidden in Legal Porn Sites and It Could Land You in Trouble.

* The new Doctor Who companion has been announced and I’m already annoyed because [felled by assassin’s bullet]

You Should All Be Reading These Criminally Underrated Comics Right Now.

Superman v. capitalism.

The Case Against Reality.

* Twilight of the New York Times.

* The end of literature.

* HBOnarok.

* Clean, safe, and too cheap to meter.

* Chernobyl as an Event: Thirty Years After.

* I never should have agreed to appear on the cover of American Legion Magazine.

* Will America’s Worst Wildfire Disaster Happen in New Jersey?

Kurt Vonnegut, Our Reluctant, Agnostic, Hippy Guru. I taught Galápagos for the first time in years this month and fell in love with it all over again — and I’m presenting on it at a meeting of the Vonnegut Society at ALA in May.

* I’ve been saying it for years: Oxford Scientist Confirms Starting Work, School before 10 AM is Torture.

Kids Play in Backyard While Mom Does Dishes. An Investigation Ensues.

Marijuana is kosher for Passover, leading rabbi rules.

* A recent experiment suggests dolphins may speak to one another in a type of holographic language that may be understood by humans.

* Snitchr.

* Definitely evidence of galactic civilization watch: A Dozen Black Holes Are Mysteriously Spewing Energy In the Same Direction.

Remembering Google Reader.

* But maybe everything dies someday comes back: Ecto Cooler returns.

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Written by gerrycanavan

April 25, 2016 at 5:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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