Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘leisure

Monday Links!

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* Academic freedom in Wisconsin.

* This is silly, but I confess I found it an interesting wrinkle: Wonder Woman Actor Says Chief Is Actually a Demi-God.

* People shouldn’t live in Arizona.

* Sinofuturism in LARB.

* Why work?

Democrats Don’t Need Trump’s Voters To Retake The House. The overall message of 2017 special elections is that Republicans are in trouble. Why Paul Ryan’s race for Congress next year bears watching, even if he’ll be hard to beat. An Associated Press study of U.S. House races found that Republicans may have gained up to 22 additional seats in the 2016 election due to redistricting. The AP’s analysis also found four times as many states with GOP-skewed state legislative maps as Democratic-skewed ones. Voter suppression is a greater threat to U.S. democracy than Russian election tampering, if you can imagine it.

Bernie and Jane Sanders, under FBI investigation for bank fraud, hire lawyers.

Senate GOP expected to add new penalties for the uninsured into their health bill. Privately, health plan worries Senate bill would “cause most small employers’ premiums to go up.” Coverage Losses Under the Senate Health Care Bill Could Result in 18,100 to 27,700 Additional Deaths in 2026. Crazy waivers: the Senate bill invites states to gut important health insurance rules. Medicaid Cuts May Force Retirees Out of Nursing Homes. You’re Probably Going to Need Medicaid. Pure Class Warfare, With Extra Contempt. Can the moderates save us? Even Ron “Horrible” Johnson: ‘We should not be voting’ on healthcare this week. (But, you know, partial credit at best.) The principled support for the bill is apparently pass it no matter what’s in it just cause Team Red. Trump and Social Darwinism. Keep calling.

What we have just witnessed can, I think, be legitimately referred to as the popping of the Blair-Clinton bubble. That is, the ending of the assumption that a tepid, compromised, market-friendly, bureaucratic centrism that nobody actually liked was the only form left-of-centre politics could take, because everyone was convinced that everyone else thought so.

What It Was Like to Star in the Trump-Themed Julius Caesar.

Centrist Democrats are now the great defenders of social justice? Please.

Trump’s Deflections and Denials on Russia Frustrate Even His Allies.

* Remember when we had laws and dumb stuff like that? God, we were such dorks.

NJ Assembly Passes Bill Requiring Kids Be Taught to Interact With Police. Maybe give some of the same training to off-duty cops next?

Cops Sent Warrant To Facebook To Dig Up Dirt On Woman Whose Boyfriend They Had Just Killed.

* I wasn’t one, but congratulations to all the Locus Award winners!

The Many Lives of the Medieval Wound Man.

* Pale Blue Dot. The Weinersmith Test for Artificial Intelligence. Everything happens for a reason. Hot lava. Markov dating.

Alarmingly, one source speaking to THR claims that upon the announcement to the crew that Ron Howard would step in to take over the film a day after Miller and Lord’s firing, applause broke out. Report: Lucasfilm Was So Concerned About Alden Ehrenreich’s Han Solo Performance It Brought in an Acting Coach. What a mess.

* The race to save Florida’s devastated coral reef from global warming.

* Crimebook noplane freedomhate.

High Court Mostly Revives Trump Travel Ban, Will Hear Appeal.

* High-stakes scenarios and market failure.

The amount of work that once bought an hour of light now buys 51 years of it.

* Everyone, get your guesses in! Last call for Kennedy bets.

* This is no time for optimism.

* Prince Was a Secret Patron of Solar Power.

Flashback: David Bowie’s Failed Attempt to Adapt George Orwell’s ‘1984.’

150 times actors were forced to say the title of the movie they’re in.

* Riot at Disney tonight, details TK.

Superhero Rescues Put Everyone in Danger, Urge Scientists.

* This is why we can’t have nice things. Do not panic; the authorities are in complete control. Bitch I might be. Happy last week of summer school.

* And I’ve said it all along: don’t blame me, blame the world.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 26, 2017 at 12:59 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Wednesday Is Friday and the Living’s Easy

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Half the professoriate will kill the other half for free.

In other words, while a few already well-paid superprofessors get their egos stroked conducting experiments that are doomed to fail, “second- and third-tier universities and colleges, and community colleges” risk closing because Coursera and its ilk have sent higher education price expectations through the floor and systematically devalued everybody else’s work. And they get to do all this while dispensing a produuct that they know is inferior! Jay Gould would be proud.

The irony, of course, is that “business” logic can kill its own host, like any parasite. When taken as an end in itself, it destroys everything — and then there’s nowhere else to invest, no more areas producing real values that can be syphoned off into the giant pool of money. The imaginary values that finance has racked up then become the object of a game of hot potato, furiously churning through the system until the point when they simply disappear (i.e., lose all their value). That’s what running everything “like a business” does — it trades real value for imaginary value that is then destroyed.

* Just because it’s totally ineffective doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it: A study by the Pew Charitable Trust in 2011, which looked at school closures in six US cities, found that school districts end up saving less than had been predicted. But think of all the other advantages school closings offer!

A University of Chicago study focusing on schools closed between 2001 and 2006 found that only six percent of displaced students ended up in high-performing schools.

And 42 percent of students continued to attend schools with ‘very low’ achievement levels. A year after changing schools, students’ reading and math abilities were not any better or worse.

Students who did go to better-performing schools also had to travel an average of 6km to get there – which critics say risks the safety of students who have to go through neighbourhoods containing rival gangs.

Entire library journal editorial board resigns, citing ‘crisis of conscience’ after death of Aaron Swartz.

* The Barbed Gift of Leisure.

And here, at the limit of life that idling alone brings into view in a nonthreatening way, we find another kind of nested logic. Call it the two-step law of life. Rule No. 1 is tomorrow we die; and Rule No. 2 is nobody, not even the most helpful robot, can change Rule No. 1. Enjoy!

Junot Diaz Talks Superman As An Undocumented Immigrant On The Colbert Report.

The Essential Verso Undergraduate Reading List. Makes me think I really need to start including more theory on my syllabi.

* MOOCs we can believe in? One of the most remote outposts of Jesuit higher education is tucked away in dusty northwest Kenya, in a place whose name means “Nowhere” in Swahili. There, at Kakuma Refugee Camp, a small group of students — refugees from several neighboring African countries, including Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia — are enrolled in online courses taught by 28 Jesuit colleges, mostly in the United States. The course is part of the Jesuit Commons project.

* Unexpected: SCOTUSblog now thinks there’s at least five judges who will vote to strike down DOMA. Meanwhile, McCaskill seems to have triggered Hagan to announce her support of marriage equality.

* Ripped from the stuff Fox News usually just has to make up: Gov. Rick Scott of Florida has stepped into the fray over an offensive classroom exercise at Florida Atlantic University in which students were asked to stomp on a sheet of paper with “Jesus” written on it.

Boston College threatens disciplinary action against students distributing condoms.

Boston College officials sent a letter to students on March 15 demanding an end to student-run “Safe Sites,” a network of dorm rooms and other locations where free contraceptives and safe sex information are available.

Students living in the “Safe Sites” were told in the letter that the distribution of condoms is in conflict with their “responsibility to protect the values and traditions of Boston College as a Jesuit, Catholic institution.”

Mexican town finds more security by throwing out the police.

* Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal considers the Singularity.

* xkcd considers the past as another country … with an outdated military and massive oil reserves.

* And making the rounds again: The 50 Most Perfectly Timed Photos Ever.

soldier-yawning-perfect-timing

This One May Be My Bad

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Written by gerrycanavan

July 27, 2010 at 4:29 pm

Geritopia

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Geritopia: the endless war between the Senior Citizens’ Center and the rest of Randolph Township has gone national.

It has become increasingly clear to me that Sun City, the Villages, and thousands of other “voluntary ghettos” around the nation, are neither sustainable nor accountable. Rather, they are a fantasy, the product of a developer’s profit-driven concept of “geritopia.”

Sustainable communities aren’t based on leisure. Living among a community of aging peers and golf courses may be comforting and a lot of fun, but a complex and functioning society demands cooperation between the generations.

No one can live in a bubble, regardless of how pleasant the initial experience may be. As Arizonans may remember, even Biosphere 2 eventually needed oxygen pumped in. Similarly, without new generations and reinvestment, and the constant renewal they bring, it is hard to imagine how these communities will survive, much less prosper over time.

And then there are the rest of us. After defeating 17 school-bond measures in 12 years, de-annexing from the local school system, and all the energy spent evicting “contraband children,” Sun Citians can likely forget relying on the goodwill of their neighbors who often share a reciprocal bounty of distrust, anger and apathy. Shown in this light, Sun City’s claim to fame – community service – rings rather hollow.

Life in the Villages is similarly premised: Seniors have taken control of their county’s political machinery and have already begun closing parks for young families who live outside the gated community. As one Villager proudly told me without a trace of irony, “In the Villages we spend our tax dollars on ourselves.”

Written by gerrycanavan

July 22, 2008 at 2:28 pm