Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Kylo Ren

Wednesday Links!

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* Some current calls for papers: Science Fiction and Communism. Beyond Humanism. Sesame Street at 50.

* Coming soon to Marquette! The Center for the Advancement of the Humanities will host Adam Kotsko on Feb. 15th at 3:30 p.m. in Marquette Hall 105, as he discusses “Animated Nihilism: RickandMorty, BoJackHorseman and the Strange Fate of the Adult Cartoon.”

* My favorite weird found-poetry I’ve discovered on this trip: in Switzerland and Germany first-person shooters are called “ego shooters.”

* My favorite thing on the Internet in a long, long time: Rey and Kylo set to just about every song you’ve ever heard of.

* Star Trek: Discovery is exciting, but not much else.

To put it another way, if this was just called Discovery, if the serial numbers were filled off and this was just another science fiction show with aliens and parallel universes and FTL drives, I doubt we’d be talking about it. It would be significantly less annoying in some ways (my brain would appreciate not having to fit any of this into continuity, that’s for damn sure), but it would be far more forgettable—a pretty, messy piece of nonsense with some decent performances and occasionally unexpected story twists. Hell, maybe we’d like it more, if only because our standards would be lower and it would still be possible to convince ourselves that someday, this would all make sense.

io9 was even harsher, if anything. I’m still a fan of the series but the extremely poor plotting of the second half of season one has made complete hash of their very promising initial setup. It’s much harder for me to argue the series is genuinely good, as opposed to liking it because it is Star Trek and I like pretty much everything Star Trek.

* Advice from a Contingent Faculty Member on Career Directions for PhDs in English.

* Sam and Max Hit the Road: The Design Document. What a great game that was.

* “A fascinating new kind of job that only a human can do: robot babysitter.”

The myth of America’s immigration problem.

* Beautiful Coal and Disastrous Droughts.

* Seen accurately. American collapse is a catastrophe of human possibility without modern parallel . And because the mess that America has made of itself, then, is so especially unique, so singular, so perversely special — the treatment will have to be novel, too. The uniqueness of these social pathologies tell us that American collapse is not like a reversion to any mean, or the downswing of a trend. It is something outside the norm. Something beyond the data. Past the statistics. It is like the meteor that hit the dinosaurs: an outlier beyond outliers, an event at the extreme of the extremes. That is why our narratives, frames, and theories cannot really capture it — much less explain it. We need a whole new language — and a new way of seeing — to even begin to make sense of it. Why We’re Underestimating American Collapse: The Strange New Pathologies of the World’s First Rich Failed State.

* If your highest value is the preservation of American institutions, the avoidance of “dysfunction,” the discourse of norm erosion makes sense. If it’s democracy, not so much. Sometimes democracy requires the shattering of norms and institutions. Democracy, we might even say, is a permanent project of norm erosion, forever shattering the norms of hierarchy and domination and the political forms that aid and abet them.

* What does living in a dictatorship feel like?

* Cixin Liu and Chinese science fiction, in the London Review of Books.

* The Voynich Manuscript has been cracked again. Everybody take a drink!

* Sic semper: Twilight of Chief Wahoo.

* Huge, if true: some millennials think James Bond could be sexist.

* Emma, the fifteen-second horror movie.

* Here’s What One Day In The Dysfunction Of Restoring Puerto Rico’s Electricity Looks Like. FEMA To End Food And Water Aid For Puerto Rico.

* ICE Deports Palestinian Man Living In The U.S. For Almost 40 Years Despite Outcry. Father detained by ICE after dropping 4-year-old off at daycare. 2 dads nabbed by ICE as they drop off kids at NJ school; 3rd takes shelter in church. Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown is a recipe for national decline.

* Even By Our Awful Standards, Americans Have Basically Stopped Saving Money.

* CES Was Full of Useless Robots and Machines That Don’t Work.

* An ER visit, a $12,000 bill — and a health insurer that wouldn’t pay.

* Baltimore Cops Kept Toy Guns to Plant Just in Case They Shot an Unarmed Person.

* The future just ain’t no good.

* “In honor of the new Mr. Rogers biopic, here’s his Marquette Commencement address from 2001.”

* A new life awaits you in the off-world colonies.

* #DontCallItAComejack.

* What does it mean to die?

Why Reddit’s face-swapping celebrity porn craze is a harbinger of dystopia.

* The life of the mind. Working at university in 2016. Statement of teaching philosophy.

* Of course you had me at a Civilisation V mod about the risk of superintelligent AI.

* And happy birthday, old friend.

Mother’s Day Links!

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* Happy Mother’s Day! You Will Hate Your Husband After Your Kid Is Born.

* Humbled to be a finalist for a 2017 Locus Award.

I’d like to apologize in advance, but after consulting with my colleagues in other departments at Reality Publishing Corporation, I’m afraid we can’t publish your book, Zero Day: The Story of MS17-010, as things stand. However, I’d like to add that it was a gripping read, very well written, and we hope to see more from you in future! The World Is Getting Hacked. Why Don’t We Do More to Stop It?

It is the iPad that sits on a counter at the entrance, with a typed little note: “Here is a glimpse of what you’re missing over at the main terminal right now.”

* A pair of provocatively negative takes on Donna Haraway’s recent work.

Meet The Techno-Libertarians Praying for Dystopia.

Genetically engineered humans will arrive sooner than you think. And we’re not ready.

Transforming deaf culture at Gallaudet.

* The future is here, it just hasn’t been properly risk assessed yet.

* Teeth and the class struggle.

Why Milwaukee is among top cities for sex trafficking, what’s being done about it.

* Exploitation and Abuse at the Chicken Plant.

When Will Republicans Stand Up to Trump? Will they even ever criticize him on the record? Oh honey. No one in politics has less courage or shame than Paul Ryan. But the real heart of anti-anti-Trumpism is the delight in the frustration and anger of his opponents. Mr. Trump’s base is unlikely to hold him either to promises or tangible achievements, because conservative politics is now less about ideas or accomplishments than it is about making the right enemies cry out in anguish. How Worried Should I Be? And just in case you need the reminder: The FBI Is Not Your Friend.

* Cuomo 2020!

At 3 a.m., NC Senate GOP strips education funding from Democrats’ districts.

In Wisconsin, ID law proved insurmountable for many voters. Meet Trump’s voter suppression task force.

“The Rent Eats First”: Fighting Gentrification in California.

* Gaslighting and Dolezal/Tuvel (and academia more generally).

* Abolish Jeff Sessions.

Jason Chaffetz Has Been Telling House Republicans He Will Join Fox News. There should be a ten-year ban on politicians and political staff going to media (and vice versa), like with lobbying and the military.

* Man who doesn’t understand the first thing about diabetes says diabetics deserve to be sick.

For 15 years, Pixar was the best on the planet. Then Disney bought it.

Depletion of dissolved oxygen in our oceans, which can cause dead zones, is occurring much faster than expected, a new study finds.

New York Times publisher sends personal appeal to those who canceled over Bret Stephens, then publishes garbage column by Erick Ericsson for some reason. Six Ways The New York Times Could Genuinely Make Its Op-Ed More Representative of America.

* As far as I’m concerned they should do the whole movie this way.

* No! That’s not true! That’s impossible!

Yale History’s Major Comeback.

* The future looks bright. Hunt Tories, not foxes. Fandom, or, academia. Still one of my favorite sets of images on the Internet. Tumblr, perfected.

* And at least there’s something to look forward to.

Remember, Sunday Is Procrastination Day, Always Procrastinate Safely

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* CFP: The Science Fiction Research Association Annual Conference, June 2016, Liverpool, England. I’ll be there, talking in some way or another about the world of the great Wisconsin SF writer Clifford D. Simak.

* CFP: In More’s Footsteps: Utopia and Science Fiction.

* #altac: Seattle to pay poet to live in a bridge.

The poet cannot actually live in the bridge… the room where the “living” would take place is not well heated and there is no running water.

* The very weird Dem primary is really heating up. Face It: A Vote for Hillary Clinton Is a Vote for War. That Clinton hasn’t easily put away Sanders should be very worrying for the people assuming she can defeat anyone the Republicans put up.

* Elsewhere on the 2016 election beat.

2007 is when the human species accidentally invented telepathy (via the fusion of twitter, facebook, and other disclosure-induction social media with always-connected handheld internet devices). Telepathy, unfortunately, turns out to not be all about elevated Apollonian abstract intellectualism: it’s an emotion amplifier and taps into the most toxic wellsprings of the subconscious. As implemented, it brings out the worst in us. Twitter and Facebook et al are fine-tuned to turn us all into car-crash rubberneckers and public execution spectators. It can be used for good, but more often it drags us down into the dim-witted, outraged weltanschauung of the mob.

* Kylo Ren, undercover boss.

How These 5 Famous Billionaires Are Dismantling Black Public Schools.

NASA Has Opened a Planetary Defense Office to Protect Earth from Cosmic Collisions.

* The New Marvel Universe and Afrofuturism.

* I think I’d rather it was Hellcat, but I’ll take it.

* Springsteen covers “Rebel, Rebel.” Returning a favor, as he says in the video: The real find for that link is probably the Bowie cover of “It’s Hard to Be a Saint in the City.”

* And another one I fear I may have done before: The Soviet Hobbit (1976).

hobbit-1