Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘lawyers

Submitted for Your Approval, Wednesday Links

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* CFP with a Monday deadline: Paradoxa 29, “Small Screen Fictions.” And relevant to my current courses: CFP: The Man in the High Castle and Philosophy.

Application period now open for 2016-17 Le Guin Feminist Science Fiction Fellowship.

Yet we still have not thought seriously about what it means when a private investigative project—bound by no rules of procedure, answerable to nothing but ratings, shaped only by the ethics and aptitude of its makers—comes to serve as our court of last resort.

* Tor has an excerpt from Cixin Liu’s Death’s End, which is amazing (and which I’ll be reviewing for The New Inquiry, by and by).

Just in the nick of time, the United States’ newly minted Solar Forecasting Center was able to convey the true cause of the radar jamming: a rash of powerful solar flares.

* On Pokémon Go and Psychogeography (and Philip K. Dick).

Submitting (SFF) While Black.

* Trump, Second Amendment people, and stochastic terrorism. Could this actually be rock bottom? Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are not two sides of the same coin but libidinally necessary for one another. The horror of Trump manages to create the ultimate liberal fantasy of post-partisanship, consensus and respect for the discourse.

How the Trumps Got Rich.

Remember When Hillary Clinton And Donald Trump Were Maybe Forced To Pose Nude In College?

* Coming soon to a university near you: We’re implementing new general education requirements without having first figured out how we want to deliver it or even what it is we’re trying to deliver, on a model where all the previous examples we can think of have failed.

The US government will track killings by police for the first time ever.

Justice Department to Release Blistering Report of Racial Bias by Baltimore Police. Should shock even the most cynical.

Chicago Police Can’t Explain Why Their Body Cameras Failed At The Moment Of Unarmed Black Teen’s Death. I suppose it will always be a mystery.

A generation of lawyers has been wiped out in Quetta, and it will leave Baluchistan, in more ways than one, lawless.

Oneida: The Christian Utopia Where Contraception Was King.

Israel’s supreme court has ruled that Franz Kafka’s manuscripts are the property of the National Library of Israel, ending a lengthy legal battle, judicial sources said in Monday.

Keywords for the Age of Austerity 26: Bootcamp.

Finally, there’s a good way to play Dungeons & Dragons online.

* The debate over who should be allowed to compete as a woman has more to do with ethics than endocrinology.

An unsettling thing happened at the Olympic diving pool on Tuesday: the water inexplicably turned green, just in time for the women’s synchronized 10-meter platform diving competition.

* Exceptionalism: More and more women are now dying in childbirth, but only in America.

* Nailing it: We’ve Devoured a Year’s Worth of Natural Resources in Just Seven Months.

* DCTVU Watch: This is a bad idea and they shouldn’t do it, though they will.

* Harley Quinn and sexism by committee. All the Ways Suicide Squad Could Have Been Much, Much Better.

* Trailers! Luke Cage! Story of Your Life Arrival! Even an improvised Rick and Morty mini-episode!

* And a friendly reminder to always look on the bright side of life.

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Written by gerrycanavan

August 10, 2016 at 8:06 am

Big Tuesday Links!

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* Sadly always relevant: How the Media Inspires Mass Shooters. So There’s Just Been a Mass Shooting. I bought an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle in Philly in 7 minutes.

Since, in fact, we lack the ability to realise even a single one of these demands in the foreseeable future, and since all other apparent solutions are unavailing, the unwelcome thought begins to insinuate itself — we are going to live in a world with Daesh and its massacres no matter what we do.

* Presenting The Bee. Exciting new “Beyond Criticism” project from Lili Loofbourow.

* Along the way to a world of driverless cars there are many potential roadblocks: infrastructure issues, different technical standards, restrictive state licensing policies, and more. But something more problematic might be the one most likely to derail this important technology: excessive lawsuits. To avoid the chilling effect that excessive litigation might have on this life-saving innovation, Congress may need to provide a certain amount of legal immunity for creators of driverless car technologies, or at least create an alternative legal compensation system for when things go wrong. 

* There are no ifs, maybes or caveats allowed in American sports and now in American culture—you’re either a champion or you’re a loser: a nothing.

We Finally Know Why Birds Are So Freakishly Smart. The tragedy of the pit bull. Fugitive capybara captured in Toronto park 19 days after zoo escape.

* I thought Captain America: Civil War held together reasonably well until I considered the movie from Baron Zemo’s point of view.

The Ecstatic Experience: “Hamilton,” “Hair,” and “Oklahoma!” “Hamilton” and History’s Darkened Rooms.

* Keep El Centro, CA weird.

Moving as a child can change who you are as an adult.

Aldermen call for hearings on lead in water at Chicago schools.

* The Blacklist: Here are the media outlets banned by Donald Trump.

Sad! These three campaign gurus for Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have had some time to reflect on their loss to The Donald. And do they ever have stories to tell.

The case for, and the case against, Elizabeth Warren as Clinton’s VP pick. Democrats vs Democrats. Clinton running even in Utah.

* Curb returns. So does Clementine.

* The VR X-Wing experience.

* Harrison Ford is moving to one of the five or six cities I call home: Burlington, Vermont.

* Not all heroes wear capes: Traveler sues TSA for missed flight.

* Abolishing Daylight Savings Time in California.

* If you want to understand the contemporary moment. Why Trump Now? It’s the Empire, Stupid.

Mongolia will become a global pioneer next month, when its national post office starts referring to locations by a series of three-word phrases instead of house numbers and street names.

For example, the White House, at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, becomes sulk.held.raves; the Tokyo Tower is located at fans.helpless.collects; and the Stade de France is at reporter.smoked.received.

Why, it couldn’t be simpler!

* Porn and the future.

* First, let’s vote out all the lawyers.

* Video is terrible, is almost certainly the future of everything.

* And the future just isn’t very stable: Carbon nanotubes have been pegged as the wonder material that could finally allow us to build a space elevator. A discouraging new study suggests these microscopic strands aren’t as resilient as we thought—and all it could take is a single misplaced atom to bring the whole thing crashing down.

 

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Weekend Links!

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* C21 2015 call for papers: “After Extinction.”

* More 2014 postmortems: The Democrats Have Two Choices Now: Gridlock or Annihilation. And in Michigan: Democrats Get More Votes, Lose Anyway. Davis Campaign Marked by Failed Tactics, Muddled Messages. Stop denying the truth: The Democrats got walloped. What happened to that Democratic turnout machine? Game Change ’14. What Does It Mean for Hillary? Stop Whining About Young Voters, You Jerks. Shockingly, my call to abolish the Constitution altogether has received little traction.

* Thankfully, it’s not all bad news: I was about to hype up a Scott Walker 2016 run. Then I watched his victory speech.

* Elsewhere in the richest, most prosperous society ever to exist in human history: Ninety-year-old man faces jail for giving food to homeless people.

* The 85 richest people on the planet now have as much money as the poorest 3.5 billion.

* It’s Cheaper to Buy a Judge Than a State Senator.

* Uber Is Pushing Drivers Into Subprime Loans. If you want a vision of the future: Amazon Is Beta-Testing Uber to Deliver Packages.

What I’m not concerned with here is achieving some final and total harmony between the interests of each and the interests of all, or with cleansing humanity of conflict or egotism. I seek the shortest possible step from the society we have now to a society where most productive property is owned in common – not in order to rule out more radical change, but precisely in order to rule it in.

Why Poor Schools Can’t Win at Standardized Testing. Flipping Schools: The Hidden Forces Behind New Jersey Education Reform. Massachusetts Committed to Chasing Teachers Away.

* Are We Forgiving Too Much Student-Loan Debt? CHE is ON IT.

* What could possibly go wrong? Obama Vows to Work With Republicans on College Costs.

* Oh, right, thatBanks Urge Investors To Buy For-Profit College Stocks Now That The GOP Is Taking Back Congress.

B1i4ZGTCMAAO3IW.jpg-large* Seems like a great bunch of guys: For-Profit Groups Sue to Block Gainful Employment Rules. The estimate is that 65% of for-profit students are enrolled in programs that wouldn’t pass.

* Six years after the crisis that cratered the global economy, it’s not exactly news that the country’s biggest banks stole on a grand scale. That’s why the more important part of Fleischmann’s story is in the pains Chase and the Justice Department took to silence her.

* R0y Lichtenstein’s “Whaam!” painting is based on one of my panels from an old DC war comic. Roy got four million dollars for it. I got zero.

Violence Is Currency: A Pacifist Ex-Con’s Guide To Prison Weaponry.

* How GamerGate Is Influencing MIT Video Game Teachers. I’m wrestling with how much this needs to take over the syllabus of my “Video Game Culture” seminar next semester.

* It’s hard to study Scientology.

“For those of us born in a post-Reagan America, having operated within this system our whole lives, there can be no doubt that Michel Foucault’s thinking describes our present.”

* In search of oil realism. I’ve just submitted an abstract for a chapter title “Peak Oil after Hydrofracking,” so this is definitely on my mind.

* NYC pastor: Starbucks is flavoured with the semen of sodomites. It’s called pumpkin spice, sir.

* My evil dad: Life as a serial killer’s daughter.

* Scenes from the class struggle in the legal industry.

* Star Wars 7 has a name.

I actually don’t think this sounds terrible. I like the hint of menace I hear in “The Force Awakens,” as if the Force itself could be the enemy in the new trilogy. Who put this unelected energy field in charge of everything, anyway? Abolish the Force.

* Abolish the CW: Physicists determine that being rescued by The Flash is worse than being hit by a car.

* If you want a vision of the future: Disney announces Toy Story 4. More below the hilarity.

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* I regret to inform you the ideology at its purest contest has closed. Thank you for your submission, but we have a winner.

* In a era without heroes, his website was our last hope: Meet the Mysterious Creator of Rumor-Debunking Site Snopes.com.

* The original version of Being John Malkovich, which I have fond memories of, would have been almost completely unwatchable.

The Slow Unveiling of James Tiptree Jr.

* About 200,000 years ago, it was determined that spaceships could be powered by ennui.

* The Innocence Project was the last thing I believed in. Now I’m finally purged of hope.

* And just in time.

* And they say this society can no longer achieve great things: Reality TV’s New Extreme: Being ‘Eaten Alive’ by a Giant Anaconda Snake.

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Written by gerrycanavan

November 7, 2014 at 8:37 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Monday Links

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I have recently asked my colleagues at UCSD questions such as: How many adjunct/contingent/non-tenure track faculty are there in your department? Can you name them? Have you met any adjuncts for coffee or lunch on campus? Are they invited to the homes of ladder rank faculty? Do they have office space? Do they have any voting rights in your department? Should they? Do you know how they are evaluated? Should they be rewarded for publishing? Should ladder-rank faculty with poor teaching evaluations be assigned to courses ahead of adjunct colleague with excellent teaching evaluations? Should campus charters be changed to extend representation to adjuncts in the Senate?

The results of the informal survey have been so depressing that I would like to survey faculty at UCSD to draw attention to the cooperation that ladder-rank faculty give to the corporatizaton of their home institutions. We should be forging firm bonds with the fastest-growing category in our midst instead of setting ourselves apart from and above them. We are all aware that our fate is tied to the fate of adjuncts and that our separate futures would be far more pleasant if we stand firm with them now. But I think we know that we will not. Better to burnish our progressive self-image by baying at the moon (on this and other list servs) even as we help campus administrators slip the dagger between our collective ribs.

“Families bring their children in bright and early because they want them to learn,” she said, “not because they want them to be test dummies.” Related: How Michelle Rhee Misled Education Reform.

Rhee simply isn’t interested in reasoning forward from evidence to conclusions: conclusions are where she starts, which means that her book cannot be trusted as an analysis of what is wrong with public schools, when and why it went wrong, and what might improve the situation. The only topics worth discussing for Rhee are abolishing teacher tenure, establishing charter schools, and imposing pay-for-performance regimes based on student test scores. We are asked to understand these measures as the only possible means of addressing a crisis of decline that is existentially threatening the United States as a nation and denying civil rights to poor black people.

Two recent reports by a prominent researcher purport to challenge Academically Adrift’s underlying conclusions about students’ critical thinking gains in college, and especially the extent to which others have seized on those findings to suggest that too little learning takes place in college. The studies by the Council for Aid to Education show that students taking the Collegiate Learning Assessment made an average gain of 0.73 of a standard deviation in their critical thinking scores, significantly more than that found by the authors of Academically Adrift.

* The flying monkeys of Burlington, Vermont.

Getting everyone high is a great, if potentially lazy, plot device to exploit narrative inconsistency. There are no metaphors needed here: These characters—and by extension, this episode—is literally on speed. Did we, as viewers, complain that Weiner’s show felt like it was dragging on, or growing recursive? Did we whine that nothing really ever happened, or that Don was being glorified beyond his due? “The Crash” not only brought its awareness of such complaints to the fore, but it brought them at a speed usually reserved for those little explosions (slapstick, campy, or abject) that only interrupted the visually austere or pristine environment that defined “Mad Men.”

Rare, amazing original prospectus for Disneyland.

* LARoB on the lawyer bubble.

* TV show rankings, science style.

Some cosmetics companies that were cruelty-free for many years have changed their policies on animal testing so that they may market to China where animal testing is required.

* Ignoring the memory of the over 1,100 factory workers that passed away at the Rana Plaza Factory collapse in Savar, Bangladesh last month, at least 14 major North American retailers have declined to sign the Accord on Fire and Building Safety, an agreement that would have entailed a five year commitment from all participating retailers to conduct independent safety inspections of factories and pay up to $500,000 per year towards safety improvements.

Proposal gives Scott Walker administration more power to sell state property.

Proceeds would be used to chip away at the state’s $8 billion debt, but the state entities that formerly owned the properties might not see any benefit from the sales. So, a dorm built with student fees could potentially be sold to pay down the debt for a highway expansion, or vice versa.

What’s Next For Kaitlyn Hunt, The Teen Charged With A Felony For Same-Sex Relationship With Classmate.

VA GOP’s Attorney General Nominee Wanted Women To Report Miscarriages To Police Or Face Jail Time.

* And winter is coming: HBO May Reveal Game of Thrones Ending Before the Books Can.

Tuesday Links

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* “‘The best way to interview is nonpregnant and ringless,’” that respondent said, adding she was only able to land a job after she kept her family secret during the interview process.

* Cheating on a quiz I can understand, but cheating in a quiz bowl? Oh, Harvard.

* Mad Men characters reimagined as Muppets.

* Ideology and fact-checking at the New Yorker.

As I pointed out in “Anderson Fails at Arithmetic,” this allegation misleads the reader in two ways. Inequality has been reduced enormously under Chávez, using its standard measure, the Gini coefficient. So one can hardly say that in this aspect, Venezuela remains the “same as ever.” Making Anderson’s contention even worse is the fact that Venezuela is the most equal country in Latin Americaaccording to the United Nations. Anderson’s readers come away with exactly the opposite impression.

* The Jobs Crisis at Our Best Law Schools Is Much, Much Worse Than You Think: At some top tier schools, more than a fifth of students are underemployed.

Investigators say Wilson County Deputy Daniel Fanning on Saturday was showing his weapons to a relative in a bedroom of his Lebanon home when the toddler came in and picked up a gun off the bed. Sheriff Robert Bryan says the weapon discharged, hitting 48-year-old Josephine Fanning. She was pronounced dead at the scene. 

* High school students in Newark will walk out of classes today at noon, marching to Rutgers Law School to attend a State Assembly budget hearing on education funding.

* NCAA heroically prevents influence of money from corrupting college sports, bans Louisville men’s team from flying to see women’s team.

Marvel Phase 3: Ant-Man and Doctor Strange.

* The Argument from Batman.

* Dr. Seuss’s Evil Dead.

* The end of Bobby Jindal.

* Pink vs. Blue.

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Links for the Weekend

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What Search Committees Wish You Knew. This is a reasonably good article with one piece of deeply terrible advice. Do not tell a search committee anything about your personal life or your relationships that will harm your chances until after you have received a written offer. Being open and honest about your two-body problem will not help you in the least. UPDATE: When I posted this on Twitter, @academicdave had a much harsher take, and found the piece pretty wanting. I don’t know. I think it’s useful for applicants to try to humanize their imagination of the search committee a bit (which can be hard). And then of course once you’ve done that you have to put brakes on that impulse, because they’re still not your friends, and they don’t really care about you much at all.

* Ads without Products has a great pedagogical post on teaching writing and critical perversity. I think I’m going to steal some of this language for my course next semester.

So how do I teach “practical criticism”? In the seminar groups that I lead, I model and encourage the following “flow chart” of thought: Anticipate what other intelligent readers of this piece might say about it. Try to imagine the “conventional wisdom” about it that would emerge as if automatically in the minds of the relatively well-informed and intelligent. And then, but only then, figure out a perverse turn that you can make within the context of but against this conventional wisdom. “Of course that seems right, but on the other hand it fails to account for…” “On first glace, it would be easy and to a degree justifiable to conclude that…. But what if we reconsider this conclusion in the light of….”

Students tend to demonstrate resistance, early on, to this practice. For one thing, especially in the first year, they don’t really (and couldn’t possibly) have a fully developed sense of what the “conventional wisdom” is that their supposed to be augmenting, contradicting, perverting. At this early stage, the process requires them to make an uncomfortable Pascalian wager with themselves – to pretend as though they are confident in their apprehensions until the confidence itself arrives. But even if there’s a certain awkwardness in play, it does seem to exercise the right parts of the students’ critical and analytical faculties so that they (to continue the metaphor) develop a sort of “muscle memory” of the “right” way to do criticism. From what I can tell, encouraging them to develop an instinct of this sort early measurably improves their writing as they move through their degree.

But still (and here, finally, I’m getting to the point of this post) there’s a big problem with all of this. I warn the students of this very early on – generally the first time I run one of their criticism seminars. There’s a big unanswered question lurking behind this entire process. Why must we be perverse? What is the value of aiming always for provocative difference, novelty, rather than any other goal?  Of course, there’s a pragmatic answer: Because it will cause your writing to be better received. Because you will earn better marks by doing it this way rather than the other. Because you will develop a skill – one that can be shifted to other fields of endeavour – that will be recognised as what the world generally calls “intelligence.” But – in particular because none of this should simply be about the pragmatics of getting up the various ladders and depth charts of life – this simply isn’t a sufficient response, or at least is one that begs as many questions as it answers. What are, after all the politics of “novelty”? What are we to make of the structural similarity between what it takes to impress one’s markers and what it takes to make in “on the market,” whether as a human or inhuman commodity? What if – in the end – the answers to question that need (ethically, politically) answering are simple rather than complex, the obvious rather than the surprising?

* A possible example of critical perversity from Deadspin: Everything You Need To Know About Pennsylvania’s Lawsuit Against The NCAA (And Why You Should Support It). Though frankly I’m pretty sympathetic to the claim that the NCAA has no jurisdiction over criminal conspiracies, much less that it followed a rational procedure to adjudicate competing claims in this case.

Bousquet asked the audience why police departments are far more diverse than English departments, by and large. Noting the silence in the audience following his question, Bousquet noted, “We have made it too difficult for those who are not advantaged” to enter the profession. Asked whether he believes faculty diversity is a priority for elite institutions, such as the one he now teaches at, Bousquet said such institutions are “constantly trying to work on the question of diversity.

“For me, the question is why do they fail so much, despite all of those efforts. And I think one of the reasons, amongst many, is the irrationalism of faculty compensation.” Bousquet adds, “Eighty percent of faculty are working like for $15,000 a year” taking into account adjuncts and graduate students.

* “Sustainable Teaching Fail”: The conditions of non-tenure-track faculty are setting us up to be failures as effective pedagogues.

* Lincoln explains the modern GOP.

“Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events.”

* But don’t worry! There’s a hack for that! The self-evident Calvinball lunacy of this trillion-dollar-coin thing is all the proof I need that our system is broken and our elites are insane.

Politicians Should Learn Bigger Lessons From Their Pet Causes.

But too many politicians, and this especially includes self-described fiscal conservatives, simply can’t draw the obvious conclusion from all this: namely that you shouldn’t support help for the poor and the sick and elderly only if you personally happen to know someone who’s poor or sick or elderly. All of these people exist whether or not they happen to be family members.

* Blue Mars: What Mars would look like with oceans and life.

* A California appeals court has found that raping a sleeping woman isn’t illegal if she’s unmarried. I swear to God, I don’t even know where to begin with this bullshit anymore.

* Elsewhere in rape culture atrocities: Basically an entire town colludes to protect their football team from rape prosecution.

House GOP lets the Violence Against Women Act expire for first time since 1994. I mean really.

* Inside Chernobyl’s Abandoned Hospital.

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* More Evidence Shows That Pro Sports Teams Don’t Boost The Economy.

* There Are Two Law School Grads for Every Lawyer Job.

* The Original Star Wars Trilogy As Maps.

Commander Riker lorem ipsum.

* Everything that’s wrong with football, in ten seconds. WHAT A HIT! I’M SO EXCITED I CAN’T EVEN WAIT TO SEE IF THE PLAYER HAS BEEN HURT OR KILLED! VIOLENCE! EXCITEMENT! YELLING!

* Google is not an illegal monopoly, so they can go on ruining all their products with dumb attempts to monetize your data. Hooray!

* And George Saunders Has Written the Best Book You’ll Read This Year. Sold!

Links from the Weekend

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