Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘lies my teacher told me

Friday Friday

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This is the fourth installment of a continuing series in which American events are described using the tropes and tone normally employed by the American media to describe events in other countries: America’s Annual Pilgrimage Begins.

Massasoit was an adroit politician, but the dilemma he faced would have tested Machiavelli. About five years before, most of his subjects had fallen before a terrible calamity. Whole villages had been depopulated. It was all Massasoit could do to hold together the remnants of his people. Adding to his problems, the disaster had not touched the Wampanoag’s longtime enemies, the Narragansett alliance to the west. Soon, Massasoit feared, they would take advantage of the Wampanoag’s weakness and overrun them. And the only solution he could see was fraught with perils of its own, because it involved the foreigners—people from across the sea. The Indians who first feasted with the English colonists were far more sophisticated than you were taught in school. But that wasn’t enough to save them.

The National Security Agency has been gathering records of online sexual activity and evidence of visits to pornographic websites as part of a proposed plan to harm the reputations of those whom the agency believes are radicalizing others through incendiary speeches, according to a top-secret NSA document.

SeaTac $15 Minimum Wage Barely Passes In Final Vote Tally, Recount May Follow.

* Marissa Alexander has been released from jail.

* Self-censorship and repressive regimes.

* The horror of scale: What scared H. P. Lovecraft.

* And okay, I’ll check it out: As presidents leave office, they also leave a letter for their successors. In Oni Press’ new comic Letter 44, the newest president is taken aback when he reads the letter from the man who preceded him — a man who seemed to tank the economy and embroil the nation in needless wars — but was actually secretly preparing America for an imminent alien invasion.

A British Teacher’s Archive of Confiscated Toys.

* K Punk watches Catching Fire.

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about  the Hunger Games is the way it simply presupposes that revolution is necessary. The problems are logistical, not ethical, and the issue is simply how and when revolution can be made to happen, not if it should happen at all. Remember who the enemy is – a message, a hailing, an ethical demand that calls out through the screen to us …. that calls out to a collectivity that can only be built through class consciousness ….

* Judith Butler defends the humanities.

* And the New Yorker profiles David Graeber, “Robin Hood for the Debt Crisis.”

Friday Night!

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* At long last: A third Bill & Ted movie? I hope they motion-captured George Carlin.

* Progressives catch a break: Obama has put Elizabeth Warren in charge of setting up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

* Wikipedia’s massive list of misconceptions. Via AskMetaFilter.

* Grist and the Los Angeles Times interview Matthew Kahn, author of Climatopolis: How Our Cities Will Thrive in the Hotter Future. Spoiler alert: the market will fix everything.

Q. You seem to see this all as a market problem. To me, 10 million Bangladeshis who can’t feed themselves anymore and are crossing the border into India where they’re not wanted — that’s a humanitarian and political problem. How does an entrepreneur innovate for that?

A. In India, many households benefit from access to cheap labor. Migrants to India will move to those cities where they will have the greatest opportunities. One could imagine a win-win, where the growing Indian middle class is actually happy to see many of these Bangladeshis if they need help with household chores.

But I agree with your point that adaptation in the developing world is the trickiest. My magic bullet is economic development. The Nobel laureate Tom Schelling contrasts malaria in Singapore and Malaysia. These countries are very close and have the same geographic conditions. Yet one [Malaysia] has much more malaria than the other. Schelling argues that economic development helps to mitigate environmental challenges through things like better diets and better access to medical care.

In some ways stage three climate denial is the worst.

* And this year’s must-attend conference: Galileo Was Wrong: The Church Was Right: First Annual Catholic Conference on Geocentrism. More here. Via Alex and MeFi.