Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘lizard people

Tuesday Night Links

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A Scholarship of Resistance: Bravery, Contingency, and Higher Education.

Dear Professor James, #YOLO :). Riffing on this story, though this one is also in the background somewhere.

Fat profits at NCAA while athletes play for free.

* Against creative writing.

David Simon on America’s war on drugs and The House I Live In. Introduction to TNI‘s marijuana issue.

Open Casting Call for History Based Reality TV Show.

* Plot to rig the mayor’s race in New York City.

* The headline reads, “Pope’s foot-wash a final straw for traditionalists.” Elsewhere on the Catholic beat: A suspended Roman Catholic priest in Connecticut accused of making more than $300,000 in sales of methamphetamines is expected to plead guilty to one of the charges.

* So that’s why they act that way: Refusing to apologize can have psychological benefits.

Did Pacific Islanders reach South America before Columbus?

As Canada scrambles to dig up some of the world’s dirtiest oil, a bush doctor tracks mysterious diseases, poisoned rivers, and shattered lives. From 2008. I’m sure we’ve sorted it all out by now.

* The Atlantic interviews Kim Stanley Robinson.

KSR: With capitalism, we can say that it has very strong residual elements of feudalism. It’s as if feudalism liquefied and the basis of power moved from land to money, but with the injustice of the huge hierarchical feudal differences between rich and poor still intact. What is emergent in capitalism is harder to identify, but there may be something to the idea of the global village, also the education of the entire world population, so that everyone knows the world situation and wants justice, that may be leading the way to a more just global society. Seeing and exaggerating these emergent elements is something utopian science fiction tries to do. So the dichotomy is a sort of x/y graph in a thought experiment.

* One night in the life of a Boston cabbie.

* Game of Thrones renewed for fourth of eighty planned seasons.

Drawing the impossible? Fully dressed Superheroines.

* Wake up, sheeple! Only 4% of voters say they believe “lizard people” control our societies by gaining political power.

* Presenting Adam Kotsko’s grading lexicon.

* Feminism for women who can’t cry at work.

* And your headline of the day: Why I Study Duck Genitalia.

Thursday Night Links: Neoliberalism, The University in Ruins, Is the Pope Catholic?, and More

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* CFP: Ecology and the Environmental Humanities symposium at Rice University.

Rather than enlarge the moral imagination and critical capacities of students, too many universities are now wedded to producing would-be hedge fund managers, depoliticized students, and creating modes of education that promote a “technically trained docility.” Strapped for money and increasingly defined in the language of corporate culture, many universities are now driven principally by vocational, military and economic considerations while increasingly removing academic knowledge production from democratic values and projects. The ideal of the university as a place to think, to engage in thoughtful consideration, promote dialogue and learn how to hold power accountable is viewed as a threat to neoliberal modes of governance. At the same time, higher education is viewed by the apostles of market fundamentalism as a space for producing profits, educating a docile labor force, and a powerful institution for indoctrinating students into accepting the obedience demanded by the corporate order. Neoliberalism and the Politics of Higher Education: An Interview With Henry A. Giroux.

* “We believe the current (higher education) leadership is pursuing a bad model that will decrease affordability for students and parents, eliminate good jobs, increase inequality and reintroduce a class-based system where the rich will receive a good, four-year liberal arts education, and everyone else will get trained for jobs that will last 10 years and then disappear.” The SEIU considers higher education.

The Commercialization of Academia: A Case Study.

This has been the one constant in my experience.  Each of the ten academic years I’ve been at my current institution has been subjected to some fundamental reorganization, to the point where my colleagues have a joke about it: it’s a Mao-esque permanent revolution. In this time, my department has been based in two faculties under four (soon to be five) deans, housed in three (soon to be four) “schools”, with four different heads of school, and my department has had five chairs. The university writ large has seen a massive building program, the consolidation of branch campuses on the main campus, the reduction in faculties from eight, to five, and then a year later four. Physically, my department has moved offices twice in two years, and for some three times. We’re facing yet another physical move in the summer of 2014, as our extant offices are redeveloped into on-campus housing for students. My own major has been reduced to a minor twice; once in 2005, for reasons that remain somewhat mysterious but corresponded with the sacking of two colleagues. Following the byzantine process of validation, which I’ve now achieved a certain proficiency at, it relaunched three years later, only to have it suddenly pulled on that Saturday morning, three years ago.

* Disinvestment watch: State Budgeters’ View of Higher Ed.

nasbo2

72 percent of professors who have taught Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) don’t believe that students should get official college credit, even if they did well in the class. More importantly, these are the professors who voluntarily took time to teach online courses, which means the actual number of professors who discount the quality of MOOCs is probably much (much) higher.

* Walmart “is in the early planning stages of a service that would see in-store customers rent space in their vehicles and their time to the mega-retailer to deliver products it sells online. The move would combat same-day delivery ideas from Amazon and reportedly what’s in the works with Google, which might have already signed on Target for such a service.”

* Idaho teacher investigated for saying ‘vagina’ during biology lesson. What should she have said?

* The group of 12 young people who had their feet washed and kissed by the pope included two young women – the first time a pope included females in the rite. The ceremony has traditionally been limited to men, since all of Jesus’ apostles were men. Via TPM, that “has traditionally been limited” thing appears to have some real force.

* With natural gas production on the rise—it has jumped 26 percent since 2007, chiefly because fracking now makes it economically viable to pursue gas trapped in shale deposits—and unconventional practices such as dewatering ramping up domestic oil development, the wastewater deluge is expected to get worse. Operators are injecting more water than ever into drilling wells, while boring new wells to accommodate the overflow. Yet nobody really knows how all this water will impact faults, or just how big an earthquake it could spawn. In the West, small quakes don’t often cause much damage because of stricter seismic regulations but also because the underground formations—buckled, with younger rock—absorb all but the biggest events. Induced quakes, however, are happening primarily in flatter states, amid more rigid rock, making them more destructive—a stone makes a bigger splash when it’s hurled into a glassy pond than a river of raging whitewater. Fracking’s Latest Scandal? Earthquake Swarms.

* Things you didn’t even know you needed to worry about: Are Exploding Manhole Covers In Washington DC Caused By Shocking Levels Of Leaking Natural Gas?

* Screen Daily teases The Grand Budapest Hotel.

The Grand Budapest Hotel tells of a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars and his friendship with a young employee who becomes his trusted protégé.

The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting, the battle for an enormous family fortune and the slow and then sudden upheavals that transformed Europe during the first half of the 20th century.

* Charlie Stross predicts 2043.

* Contagion was right: How The Meat Industry Is Fueling The Rise Of Drug-Resistant Diseases.

* We’re screwed: Forecasts of global temperature rises over the past 15 years have proved remarkably accurate, new analysis of scientists’ modelling of climate change shows.

* And Billy Corgan is the only rock star from the 1990s brave enough to take a stand against the lizard people.

Three More for Sunday

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Thank you for signing the petition asking the Obama Administration to acknowledge an extraterrestrial presence here on Earth. The U.S. government has no evidence that any life exists outside our planet, or that an extraterrestrial presence has contacted or engaged any member of the human race.

This is as close a confirmation that the lizard people originate from inside the Hollow Earth that we’re ever going to get. I always knew it.

* io9 has your life on other planets primer.

* Happy climate change denial season!

Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

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Like all populists, tea partiers are suspicious of power and influence, and anyone who wields them. Their villain list includes the big banks; bailed-out corporations; James Cameron, whose Avatar is seen as a veiled denunciation of the U.S. military; Republican Party institutional figures they feel ignored by, such as chairman Michael Steele; colleges and universities (the more prestigious, the more evil); TheWashington Post; Anderson Cooper; and even FOX News pundits, such as Bill O’Reilly, who have heaped scorn on the tea-party movement’s more militant oddballs.

A conservative Canadian writer visits the National Tea Party Convention. Via Yglesias.

Within a few hours in Nashville, I could tell that what I was hearing wasn’t just random rhetorical mortar fire being launched at Obama and his political allies: the salvos followed the established script of New World Order conspiracy theories, which have suffused the dubious right-wing fringes of American politics since the days of the John Birch Society.

This world view’s modern-day prophets include Texas radio host Alex Jones, whose documentary, The Obama Deception, claims Obama’s candidacy was a plot by the leaders of the New World Order to “con the Amercican people into accepting global slavery”; Christian evangelist Pat Robertson; and the rightward strain of the aforementioned “9/11 Truth” movement. According to this dark vision, America’s 21st-century traumas signal the coming of a great political cataclysm, in which a false prophet such as Barack Obama will upend American sovereignty and render the country into a godless, one-world socialist dictatorship run by the United Nations from its offices in Manhattan.

Sure enough, in Nashville, Judge Roy Moore warned, among other things, of “a U.N. guard stationed in every house.” On the conference floor, it was taken for granted that Obama was seeking to destroy America’s place in the world and sell Israel out to the Arabs for some undefined nefarious purpose. The names Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers popped up all the time, the idea being that they were the real brains behind this presidency, and Obama himself was simply some sort of manchurian candidate.

A software engineer from Clearwater, Fla., told me that Washington, D.C., liberals had engineered the financial crash so they could destroy the value of the U.S. dollar, pay off America’s debts with worthless paper, and then create a new currency called the Amero that would be used in a newly created “North American Currency Union” with Canada and Mexico. I rolled my eyes at this one-off kook. But then, hours later, the conference organizers showed a movie to the meeting hall, Generation Zero, whose thesis was only slightly less bizarre: that the financial meltdown was the handiwork of superannuated flower children seeking to destroy capitalism.

And then, of course, there is the double-whopper of all anti-Obama conspiracy theories, the “birther” claim that America’s president might actually be an illegal alien who’s constitutionally ineligible to occupy the White House. This point was made by birther extraordinaire and Christian warrior Joseph Farah, who told the crowd the circumstances of Obama’s birth were more mysterious than those of Jesus Christ. (Apparently comparing Obama to a messiah is only blasphemous if you’re doing so in a complimentary vein.) To applause, he declared, “My dream is that if Barack Obama seeks reelection in 2012 that he won’t be able to go to any city, any city, any town in America without seeing signs that ask, ‘Where’s the birth certificate?'”

Conspiracy Theory Conspiracy Theories

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Via Think Progress, Glenn Beck explains how the birther conspiracy theory is a liberal conspiracy to discredit conservativism—which only goes to show how skillfully the liberal conspiracy to promulgate the birther conspiracy theory has been orchestrated by Rupert Murdoch in order to expose the crass opportunism of Obama supporters. Which is exactly what the Gnomes of Zurich and their Reptilian-Illuminati masters have been after all along.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 5, 2010 at 2:05 pm

Linkdump #1

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Lots of saved links today. Here’s the first batch.

* V is a hit. But is Obama an evil lizard for outer space? Acephalous reports.

* Michael Bérubé talks this year’s terrible academic job market.

* North Carolina mayoral races in Charlotte and Chapel Hill are getting some national attention.

* Congratulations, Atlanta, America’s most toxic city.

* What do kids call LEGO pieces? Via Kottke.

* Legal outrage of the day: The Supreme Court has indeed said that prosecutors are immune from suit for anything they do at trial. But in this case, Harrington and McGhee maintain that before anyone being charged, prosecutors gathered evidence alongside police, interviewed witnesses and knew the testimony they were assembling was false.

The prosecutors counter that there is “no freestanding constitutional right not to be framed.” Stephen Sanders, the lawyer for the prosecutors, will tell the Supreme Court on Wednesday that there is no way to separate evidence gathered before trial from the trial itself. Even if a prosecutor files charges against a person knowing that there is no evidence of his guilt, says Sanders, “that’s an absolutely immunized activity.” These innocent men were in jail for twenty-five years; naturally, the Obama administration is backing the corrupt, lying prosecutors who put them there.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 5, 2009 at 12:47 am

Misc.

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Misc.

* The claim that ‘independent researcher’ Dr. John Casson has discovered six new plays by William Shakespeare (alias Sir Henry Neville alias Christopher Marlowe alias “Tony Nuts” alias Queen Elizabeth alias Harvey the Rabbit) is all over the place today—but my proof that Shakespeare/Newfield is a time-traveling Lizard Person born 3000 A.D. remains completely ignored by the fools in the MSM.

* (South) Indian Superman. I love this video.

* Gynomite! has sitcom maps of New York City and the U.S. There’s more from Dan Meth, who started it all off with the trilogy meter from not that long ago.

* WSJ.com has the latest bracketological research into the science of upsets. See also: Nate Silver crunches the numbers on Obama’s shameless bias towards universities in swing states.

* Scenes from the recession, at the Big Picture.

* And a short piece at BBC News considers the science in science fiction. Of the four, Paul Cornell’s gesture towards satire seems by far richest to me, especially with regard to its Darko Suvinian disdain for fantasy:

The mundane movement is challenging writers to drop ideas that once promised to be scientific ones, but are now considered as fantasy – faster than light travel, telepathy etc – and to concentrate on the problems of the human race being confined to an Earth it is using up.

But this is as much an artistic movement as an ethical one. The existence of such a movement, though, suggests that science fiction feels a sense of mission.

Unlike its cousin, fantasy, it wants to be talking about the real world in ways other than metaphorical.

One of the problems is that where once there was a consensus view, broadly, of what the future was going to be like – bases on the Moon, robots etc – post-Cold War chaos leaves everyone thrashing around, having to invent the future anew.

Artificial intelligence, aliens and easy space travel just haven’t shown up. They may never do so.

It’s an exciting moment, but the genre needs to be strong to survive it, and see off fantasy’s vast land grabs of the territory of the stranded human heart.

UPDATE: Paul responds in the comments to this notion of disdain:

Just to be clear: I love fantasy as much as SF, but we asked to talk about some of the current issues facing, specifically, SF. I think fantasy’s done really well lately, and that SF has to respond to match it. No anti-fantasy thing going on there with me at all.