Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘labor

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.

Wednesday Links!

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* In case you missed it yesterday: the CFP for SFRA 2018 (7/1-7/4 at Marquette)!

“We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art, and very often in our art, the art of words.”  Rest in peace, Ursula K. Le Guin. The art of fiction. Fantastic.

* CFP: Petrocultures 2018 (Glasgow University).

19 Long-Lost Historical Words You Absolutely Need In Your Life.

A new study finds an alarming rise in a novel form of psychological distress. Call it “neoliberal perfectionism.”

But what if forty years of neoliberalism’s violently reiterated dogma that “there is no alternative” has left us incapable of imagining not only better worlds but also worse ones? On dulltopia.

How Twitter Hooks Up Students With Ghostwriters.

* There are some things no man was meant to know: Should vegetarians assume they can eat French fries?

* Right to work vs. the vote.

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, Democrat of Niles, accompanied Amer Othman Adi to immigration headquarters Tuesday morning for what they thought would be a routine meeting. Instead, Adi, 57, was jailed and told he would be held until his deportation, which was over a dispute about the validity of his first marriage to an American in 1979.

* ‘I won’t fly refugees to their deaths’: The El Al pilots resisting deportation. Same sex couple sues State Department over decision on son’s citizenship. Border patrol arrests ASU adjunct who gave food and water to immigrants. ICE deporting its own protestors.

* Stochastic terrorism watch: Man threatened to kill CNN employees.

* Autobiographia literaria.

* facebook.jpg

Tourism to U.S. under Trump is down, costing $4.6B and 40,000 jobs.

* The unpaid intern economy.

* Afghan Pedophiles Get Free Pass From U.S. Military, Report Says.”

The report, commissioned under the Obama administration, was considered so explosive that it was originally marked “Secret/ No Foreign,” with the recommendation that it remain classified until June 9, 2042. The report was finished in June 2017, but it appears to have included data only through 2016, before the Trump administration took office.

A New Jersey college fired a professor, claiming they were “immediately inundated” with complaints of “fear” after she defended a BLM event on Fox News. We sued to look at the complaints. Total number of complaints in the first 13 days: one.

* The future is not good: South Korea, gripped by suicide epidemic, criminalizes suicide-pacts.

What I’ve learned from my tally of 757 doctor suicides.

* Illustrated thought experiments.

* Nintendo headquarters, c. 1889.

* Rate My Professor and the adjunct professorate.

* Know your ethical conundrums. Free will. Scalars vs. vectors. When God closes a door, he opens a window.

And when they knew the Earth was doomed, they built a ship.

Call for Papers: Science Fiction Research Association Annual Conference 2018 (7/1-7/4, Milwaukee, WI)

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SCIENCE FICTION RESEARCH ASSOCIATION ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2018

Sunday, July 1- Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Marquette University (Milwaukee, WI)

Conference Theme: The Future of Labor

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

Peter Frase (author of Four Futures)

Rebekah Sheldon (author of The Child to Come)

The Science Fiction Research Association invites proposals for its 2018 annual conference, to be held on the campus of Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI. In keeping with Milwaukee’s long history as a site of labor activism and union struggle, including the famous Bay View Massacre of protestors striking for the eight-hour-workday and the longest Socialist mayoral tenure in US history—as well as ongoing and increasingly urgent global concerns about the rise of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and autonomous robots—the overarching theme of SFRA 2018 will be “The Future of Labor.” When machines think and work—at speeds and efficiencies humans cannot match, and perhaps can no longer even understand—what will become of human beings?

Possible subtopics might include:

  • artificial intelligence, machine learning, and algorithmic culture;
  • the rise of the machines; automation and labor;
  • the Singularity;
  • drone warfare;
  • automated and robotic care labor;
  • the gig economy and hyperexploitiation;
  • hyperexploitation and technology in the academy;
  • automation and the digital economy;
  • automation and the environment, especially climate change;
  • automation and disability;
  • automation and race, gender, sexuality, and class;
  • nonhuman labor and nonhuman laborers;
  • genetic manipulation, computer prosthesis, and other modes of cognitive enhancement;
  • games, gamificiation, and other brainhacks;
  • universal basic income and other modes of postcapitalism;
  • the politics of artificial intelligence, utopian, dystopian, and otherwise;
  • representations of nonhuman, robotic, artificially intelligent, and postcapitalist labor across the last two centuries of science fiction texts.

Of course we also welcome papers on topics relevant to science fiction research broadly conceived that are not specifically related to the conference theme.

Graduate students are encouraged to apply and attend; as with previous SFRA conferences, the first day of conference programming will include roundtables and workshops devoted to targeted at early-career teachers and researchers working in SF studies and in the study of popular culture more generally.

300-500 word abstracts should be sent to SFRAMilwaukee@gmail.com by March 30, 2018. Notification of acceptance will occur by April 15, 2018. We also welcome submission of preconstituted panels and roundtables.

Questions concerning the call for papers can be directed to SFRAMilwaukee@gmail.com with the subject line “CFP QUESTION,” or to the conference’s local organizers, Gerry Canavan (Marquette University, gerry.canavan@marquette.edu) and Peter Sands (UWM, sands@uwm.edu). 

ABOUT MILWAUKEE

Milwaukee is a lovely summertime destination, a city on a lake with festivals nearly every week, a rich ethnic tradition reflected in architecture, neighborhoods, and foods, and many worthwhile sights and activities within a day’s drive, from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin North to the west, Chicago to the south, and Lake Michigan’s shoreline itself to the east. It is also a perfect site to contemplate labor’s past and future: the city has a long history with the labor movement and civil rights—from the tragedy of the 1886 Bayview Massacre, in which seven people were killed during a demonstration in favor of the eight-hour work day, to the late 1960s marches which led to Milwaukee being called “Selma of the North,” to the longest-running Socialist administration in U.S. cities, one which focused on “sewer socialism” in recognition of the needs for basic infrastructure to support working people. Wisconsin itself was instrumental in the development of the modern union movement and Robert LaFollette’s Progressive movement, but has also been at the bleeding edge of the current anti-union movement troubling labor throughout the United States. A perfect place to labor over labor.

Marquette University is the home of the J.R.R. Tolkien manuscript collection, containing the original manuscripts for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. As a conference bonus, conference attendees will be invited to a lecture on the manuscript collection by the curator of the collection, William Fleiss, which will include a display of some of the collection’s greatest treatures. The conference will also be supported by Marquette’s new interdisciplinary research hub, the Center for the Advancement of the Humanities.

LOGISTICS

Hotel: Due to seasonal and holiday fluctuations in ticket prices, fully furnished, single-occupancy dormitory rooms have been reserved for conference attendees at low cost on Marquette’s campus. These rooms will be significantly cheaper than a traditional conference hotel rate. Attendees who wish to stay at a hotel anyway are advised to make their reservations sooner rather than later due to the proximity of the July 4 holiday and to the “Summerfest” music festival held in Milwaukee during the conference dates.

Travel: Milwaukee is served by an international airport, airport code MKE. Some travelers in search of lower fares and/or direct flights may prefer to search at Chicago O’Hare (ORD), approximately 70 miles away and accessible by train, bus, and rental car. The drive from O’Hare is very easy, on a dedicated highway with very little traffic, and parking will be available on Marquette’s campus for approximately $10/day.

Food: The conference will include two keynote lunches and an awards banquet the last night. Marquette’s campus is a short, safe walk from downtown Milwaukee with many dining options available there; there is also a smaller area closer to campus called “Campustown” with a number of cheap, good restaurants.

Fees: Conference fees are still being formalized but will be commensurate with previous SFRA meetings.

Additional questions concerning logistics or the conference more generally can be directed to the conference email address, SFRAMilwaukee@gmail.com, with the subject line “LOGISTICAL QUESTION,” or to the conference’s local organizers, Gerry Canavan (Marquette University, gerry.canavan@marquette.edu) and Peter Sands (UWM, sands@uwm.edu).

Monday Morning Links!

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* Discovery vs. the canon. All of these so-called violations can be solved with creative thinking, you cowards!

* The day Star Trek: The Next Generation was truly invented.

This is not the dystopia we were promised. Philip K. Dick and the Fake Humans.

* I really think every person who has anything to do with assessment knows it is completely meaningless but fears some other actor in the system who they think truly believes in it. Great piece from the Chronicle on just how bad it is.

* Natalie Portman on being 13 in Hollywood. Five strategies of sexual harassers.

* Monopsony in America.

* Today in the NYPD.

* Kalamazoo doctor detained by ICE after forty years in the US. ICE looks to be targeting Niec, despite a permanent green card, due to some misdemeanor property damage convictions from 17 years ago.

* Rethinking Truman.

We remember Truman primarily as the person who was president when the atomic bombs were first used. We should also remember him, as I have argued before, as the person who ordered that the atomic bombs stop being used. And the person who, over the course of his presidency, did the most to establish that atomic bombs were not weapons to be deployed lightly ever again. One might see this as irony, but in my interpretation, it is not: it the reaction of someone who realized he had been badly out of the loop once, and wore that on his conscience, and determined it would not happen again.

* What it’s like to be a convicted felon.

* The Corruption Thesis, dystopia, and authoritarianism.

Invasion of the German Board Games.

I say all this because I think it’s important to bear in mind when considering the substantial subset of UCB that doesn’t get paid for its labor: the improvisors, stand-ups and sketch comics who perform nightly at its theaters. All of them work for free, and often at a loss. To perform on a UCB house team, you must complete UCB’s core curriculum, or four courses at $450-500 apiece. You must also be approved for study in an Advanced Study course—another $450-500. (Through its diversity scholarships, UCB waives these fees for 175 students each year). That’s at least $2,250 and at most $2,500 simply to be eligible to audition for UCB’s flagship Harold and Lloyd teams. If you make it, which you probably won’t, the costs continue to accrue. Members of UCB’s house teams are required to pay their coaches, and many also pay for rehearsal spaces and props. They do not recoup these costs.

Republicans want to make it easier to kill whales and dolphins.

* As metaphors go, it’s a little on the nose.

* And the New York Times asking the tough questions: Formidable tail weaponry is nearly absent in living animals. Scientists have an explanation for what happened to the clubbed tails of the ankylosaurus or the spikes on a stegosaurus.

Sunday Links!

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* Nintendo Labo looks amazing. I’ve already preordered both kits…

* From the AAUP: A New Reality? The Far Right’s Use of Cyberharassment against Academics.

Among the first-time nominees for the 1967 prize, writes M.A. Orthofer for Literary Saloon, are “future winners Saul Bellow and Claude Simon, as well as Jorge Amado, Jean Genet, György Lukács — and the (as best I can tell) last surviving nominee, Hans Magnus Enzensberger.” Other names on the list include “Auden, Beckett, Ionesco, Kawabata, Mishima, Montale, Moravia, Neruda, Katherine Anne Porter, Anna Seghers, Simenon, and J.R.R.Tolkien.” Also on the list, writes Alison Flood for The Guardian, is “Japanese author Yasunari Kawabata, who would win the following year,” 1968.

The drought-stricken city announced on Thursday that it will begin marking 200 collection points where its 3.7 million residents will be required to queue for a rationed supply of water on “Day Zero” – currently forecast to be April 21. If it happens, Cape Town would become the first major city in the world to shut down entirely the supply of running water in all of its homes.

* After work.

* Kylo Ren destroying the Millennium Falcon in the trailer is a pretty cool idea, I have to admit.

* Break your phone addiction by turning your screen to grayscale.

The sexual assault backlash is coming. Here’s how to respond.

14 on MSU staff got Nassar warnings over 2 decades.

Why Did Two-Thirds of These Weird Antelope Suddenly Drop Dead?

Charter schools can never fail, they can only be failed.

* Too late, Delta tries to put the “comfort animal” genie back in the bottle.

US border patrol routinely sabotages water left for migrants, report says. Deputy shoots, kills 16-year-old boy during scuffle at courthouse. This Is What a White Supremacist Department of Justice Looks Like.

* “Americans like to think we invented freedom, but we really only extended it to an absurd conclusion in the person of Trump.”

Within Reach: The transgender community fights for health care.

New AI System Predicts How Long Patients Will Live With Startling Accuracy.

* A nice reading of one of the better Black Mirror episodes not many people are talking about, “Hang the DJ.”

* Porn and the bomb, by the numbers.

It has been 33 years since the last month that the globe was cooler than normal, according to NOAA.

How Sierra and a Disgraced Cop Made the Most Reactionary Game of the 90s.

* De Witt Douglas Kilgore reviews Race and Popular Fantasy Literature: Habits of Whiteness at LARB.

9 Times People Were Actually Murdered By Their Clothes.

* What radicalized you? Calvin and Hobbes.

* And a happy, happy birthday to the Dax symbiont, born in 2018.

Nothing Changes on New Year’s Day Links

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* Call for Papers: Fantasy and Myth in the Anthropocene.

* People that found their doppelgängers in art museums.

We are often told that we need to articulate the case for the humanities in order to survive the current budgetary and political landscape. Many of us stutter and stumble when confronted with such requests, mumbling some barely audible phrases involving “skills,” “relevance,” “a changing economy,” “engagement,” and “values.” The reason it does not come out as something coherent or articulate, much less compelling, is that the ideas behind the words are just as hollow, and we know it. Somewhere inside we all know that there is no case for the humanities.

* George Ciccariello-Maher Resigns: “We are all a single outrage campaign away from having no rights at all.” Iowa senator proposes bill decried as ‘political litmus test’ for universities. A note to tenured faculty.

Meet the black architect who designed Duke University 37 years before he could have attended it.

* J.R.R. Tolkien, Beyond Good and Evil.

* “The midichlorians are an example of my overarching argument about The Prequels: that they contain a very nuanced story told very, very incompetently.”

* What was Leia supposed to do in Episode 9?

* Teach the controversy: the legend of Mark Hamill’s face.

* Another profile of the worst job on the Internet.

* NANO issue 12, a special issue on The Force Awakens.

* Ada 12, radical speculation and Ursula K. Le Guin.

* What if Parents Loved Strangers’ Children As Much As Their Own?

* Anomie. Quantum Mechanics. Love. Stotting. Zeno. Choice paralysis. Frosty. Melville. Poetry. Keep scrolling!

Unearthing the Capitalocene: Towards a Reparations Ecology.

* There is just no bottom.

* Killed by swatting.

* Why Is a Small Montana Town a Hotbed of Far-Right Activity? Emboldened white nationalists? Look no further than this liberal Oregon college town.

Price of 40-year-old cancer drug hiked 1,400% by new owners.

US nuclear tests killed far more civilians than we knew.

New research suggests that the hidden cost of developing nuclear weapons were far larger than previous estimates, with radioactive fallout responsible for 340,000 to 690,000 American deaths from 1951 to 1973.

* The robots are coming.

Obamacare and the survival test.

How to crush Trump.

How the baby boomers — not millennials — screwed America. Extreme poverty in America. World’s richest 500 see their wealth increase by $1tn this year. The U.S. without pensions. No ‘Easy Answer’ To Growing Number Of Stray Dogs In The U.S., Advocate Says. Long after Trump is gone, we’ll still be fighting him. As Wildfires Raged, Insurers Sent in Private Firefighters to Protect Homes of the Wealthy. Escaping Poverty Requires Almost 20 Years With Nearly Nothing Going Wrong. Death in an Amazon dumpster. The homeless and the coming cashless economy.

* Addiction, Inc.

Why Has Science Only Cured One Person of HIV?

* Same: Young American Men Are Choosing Video Games Over Work in Staggering Numbers. WHO to recognize gaming disorder as mental health condition in 2018.

* I’m starting to take this stuff personally: Poor social skills may be harmful to health.

* I mean really. Why Are Smart People Usually Ugly?

* Academics ‘face higher mental health risk’ than other professions.

* Atheism is caused by poor breath control.

The Rise and Fall of the Racist Right.

* Every Black Mirror. Against SNL. Against Star Wars. Disney Apparently Expects ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ To Bomb. How Star Wars Was Saved in the Edit.

When Michael Jackson Almost Bought Marvel.

Climate Change Is Happening Faster Than Expected, and It’s More Extreme. How We Know It Was Climate Change. And just because there can never be a single moment’s peace from toxic masculinity: Men Resist Green Behavior as Unmanly.

Can humanity make peace with its death?

* Seinfeld: The Point and Click Adventure.

The Most Expensive Mile of Subway Track on Earth.

* A world without prisons.

Private Prison Companies Are About to Cash In on Trump’s Deportation Regime.

* Marquette in the ne — oh no, this again?

Christmas Eve Eve Links Links

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* There’s a lovely review of my Butler book by Nisi Shawl in the new Women’s Review of Books. It’s not available online so you’ll have to take my word for it, unless your library subscribes…

* And I’m so happy to report that Extrapolation 58.2-3 is finally out, the special issue on “Guilty Pleasures: Late Capitalism and Mere Genre” I edited with Benjamin Robertson. Check out the intro to see what it’s all about, and then check out articles on Dragonlance, the Star Wars and Star Trek expanded universes, Sweet Valley High, Blondie, The Hunger Games, and Game of Thrones and fantasy roleplaying games…

CFP: Academic Track at the 76th World Science Fiction Convention, San José, California. CFP: Punking Speculative Fiction. CFP: Histories of the Future: Proto-Science Fiction from the Victorian Era to the Radium Age. CFP: Chapter Proposals for “Ecofeminist Science Fiction.” CFP: Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards.

An Incomplete Timeline of What We Tried.

* I thought this was great.

* Consider: Who pursues their goals with monomaniacal focus, oblivious to the possibility of negative consequences? Who adopts a scorched-earth approach to increasing market share? This hypothetical strawberry-picking AI does what every tech startup wishes it could do — grows at an exponential rate and destroys its competitors until it’s achieved an absolute monopoly. The idea of superintelligence is such a poorly defined notion that one could envision it taking almost any form with equal justification: a benevolent genie that solves all the world’s problems, or a mathematician that spends all its time proving theorems so abstract that humans can’t even understand them. But when Silicon Valley tries to imagine superintelligence, what it comes up with is no-holds-barred capitalism. Ladies and gentlemen, the great Ted Chiang.

Science fiction when the future is now. With appearances from Kim Stanley Robinson, Ken Liu, and Lauren Beukes.

* The best anti-Last-Jedi piece I’ve seen is Alyssa Rosenberg’s at the Washington Post. And the best pro-Last-Jedi piece from Dan Hassler-Forest at LARB. Somewhere in the middle is Abigail Nussbuam’s excellent piece at Asking the Wrong Questions.

* Lightsabers, by the numbers. Secret history of the porgs. Star Wars from below. Thank goodness somebody realized how terrible this would be. The Last Jedi and the necessary disappointment of epilogues. The films that inspired The Last Jedi. Behind the scenes. In defense of Canto Blight. Anti-nostalgia and anti-salvation. Star Wars without the Empire. How to Read Star Wars.

* Winter Is Coming: Climate Change in Westeros.

* How the Sesame Street Puppeteers Play Their Characters. It was only a year or three ago that I realized that on a basic level I’d still believed Big Bird was real; I had never thought or processed the fact that his lips were being moved by a puppeteer’s hands.

* So old I can remember when Sweet Briar was an inspiring story about a college being saved.

* On faculty and mental illness.

Study finds humanities and social science Ph.D.s working outside academe are happier than their tenure-track peers.

* Podcast alert: how does Samuel R. Delany work?

* Bang. Pow. To the Moon.

* Comedy writers name their most influential episodes: 1, 2.

* SHOCK REPORT: The tax bill is bad.

This Congress’s clear priorities: corporations, not children.

* It’ll also tax large endowments. Meanwhile in the academy: We Will Not Be Your Disposable Labor: Graduate Student Workers’ Fight Goes Beyond the GOP Assault. ‘A Complete Culture of Sexualization’: 1,600 Stories of Harassment in Higher Ed.

* Defund every agency that had any part in this. Murder Convictions Overturned, Two Men Are Immediately Seized By ICE. What happens to children whose parents are deported? 92 Somali immigrants deported in “slave-ship” conditions. ICE is abusing immigrant detainees with strip searches and threats. Shock of shocks, it turns out legal immigration is bad too.

The majority of US workers live in “employment monopsonies” where there is little or no competition for workers.

Why Doug Jones’s narrow win is not enough to make me confident about American democracy.

* Ghosts of 2012.

* First #J20 defendants found not guilty.

* The media wealth of African Americans in Boston is $8.

* People are using Uber instead of ambulances.

* The New York Times oddly reports on a Harry Reid boondoggle in a way that makes it sounds like aliens might be real.

* The Fred Moten century.

The Adult Bodies Playing Teens on TV.

* Monopolies are bad, no matter how much you like the brands involved. Avengers vs. monopoly.

“Neoliberalism” isn’t an empty epithet. It’s a real, powerful set of ideas.

* The madness of prison gerrymanders.

* Desegregation never happened.

* Climate refugees in Louisiana. Disability and disaster response in the age of climate change. Losing the wilderness.

* The FoxConn boondoggle gets worse and worse.

* The Next Crisis for Puerto Rico: Foreclosures.

* Revising agricultural revisionism.

* Against optimism.

* Against being born.

* On the sadcom.

Your Favorite Superhero Is Probably Killing the Planet.

* Professor X Is a Jerk!

* The Daily Stormer’s style guide.

* Opoids and homelessness. 3,000,000 pills to 3,000 patients in two years. The Opioid Crisis Is Getting Worse, Particularly for Black Americans. What happens after an American city gives a homeless person a one-way ticket out of town.

* The US gymnastics scandal somehow gets worse and worse.

‘The World’s Biggest Terrorist Has a Pikachu Bedspread.’

* The Forgotten Life of Einstein’s First Wife.

* The Ghost Economy.

* WHAT YEAR IS IT: How to prepare for a nuclear attack.

Lumberjanes’ Noelle Stevenson is Rebooting She-Ra for Netflix. Sir Ian McKellen Would Totally Play Gandalf In Amazon’s TV Tolkien Adaptations. The Next Bechdel Test.

* “Paradox,” by Naomi Kritzer.

* The Journal of Prince Studies.

* 80% of workers think managers are unnecessary. The other 20% mistakingly think they are managers.

* It’s not a perfect system, but it’s the one our Founders built: The Donald Trump droid is live at Disney World’s Hall of Presidents.

‘Trump, Trump, Trump!’ How a President’s Name Became a Racial Jeer. 55 Ways Donald Trump Structurally Changed America in 2017. Fascism has already come to America. Life expectancy declines for the second straight year. On brand.

* Heartbreaking interview with Heather Heyer’s mother.

* Jordan Peele, auteur.

* Dilbert: A Reckoning.

Still, it does make you ponder all the ways this industry works in service of power, and by extension those who abuse it. So many of comedy’s institutions are, at their core, PR machines. Branded content is Funny Or Die’s bread and butter. Every week SNL promotes someone’s new movie or TV show or album. Late night talk shows, with few exceptions, use jokes to bookend celebrity press tours. Comedians host awards shows because otherwise we might see them for the rituals they are—the wealthy and famous celebrating their own wealth and fame. Comedy normalizes power; it’s so successful at normalizing power that it feels weird to even write that as a criticism. Well, what’s wrong with normalizing power? Lots of things, but to start it lets monsters play the straight man in comedy sketches. It makes them relatable, which makes them less threatening. But power is always a threat, even more so when it seems innocuous, even more so when it seems… funny.

* 2018 is already terrible: there’ll be no more Zelda DLC.

* And remembering the reason for the season: Behold the official policy for destroying the head of Chuck E Cheese.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 23, 2017 at 10:06 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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