Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Locked-In Syndrome

Trumpsday Reading

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tumblr_oknrrm94td1romv9co1_500Trump is targeting up to 8 million people for deportation. Making America Cruel Again. The triumph of cruelty. Inside the White House-Cabinet battle over Trump’s immigration order. 24 Hours at JFK. ‘Breathtaking violation of rights.’ Constitutional crisis. Hero Lawyers. Stop that plane: The frantic race to halt a deportation. A Q&A With the ACLU. Our New Itinerary. Travel ban causes high anxiety for Milwaukee’s international students. The little-noticed bombshell in Trump’s immigration order. Half Of World’s Refugees Are Running From U.S. Wars. Trump’s First Weeks Leave Washington— and the White House Staff—Panting. The leaks coming out of the Trump White House right now are totally bananas. Yes, all this happened. Gasp! Trust Records Show Trump Is Still Closely Tied to His Empire. Ivanka lied about the leaving the Trump organization too. Make War with Mexico Great Again. Trainwreck in Yemen. Even Australia. Onward to Iran! 14 Versions Of Trump’s Presidency, From #MAGA To Impeachment. Trump and the Republicans Are on a Suicide Mission Together. Editing Trump. Authoritarian Government Watch. We just let this one go without even making a big deal about it. And this one was crazy too! A Series of Unfortunate Events. This is fine. This is fine. This is fine. Seems legit. This is not normal. #TheResistance. A Reader for Trumplandia. Trump: A Resister’s Guide. SNL 1, 2, 3. Oh man. The law, in its majestic equality. 4 in 10. A whole year? Jesus. The numbers. A 3,900 percent increase. It takes 3.5% of a population engaged in sustained nonviolent resistance to topple brutal dictatorships. Here’s how much the anti-Trump protests cost, at Trump paid-turnout rates. Disobey.

tumblr_okptgkqlob1romv9co1_500* I had a very brief segment on Wisconsin Public Radio last week discussing 1984 and the Trump administration.

The worst, most terrible things that the United States has done have almost never happened through an assault on American institutions; they’ve always happened through American institutions and practices. These are the elements of the American polity that have offered especially potent tools and instruments of intimidation and coercion: federalism, the separation of powers, social pluralism, and the rule of law. All the elements of the American experience that liberals and conservatives have so cherished as bulwarks of American freedom have also been sources and instruments of political fear. In all the cases I looked at, coercion, intimidation, repression, and violence were leveraged through these mechanisms, not in spite of them.

There is a style of political reasoning which the Trump moment lends itself to, which can be called conspiracism. Against omniscience.

Everyday Authoritarianism is Boring and Tolerable.

* V-Milwaukee!

* Vaughn Prison Uprising.

* Screaming about Trump into a Well: A Text Adventure.

The Democratic Response to Gorsuch Is Easy: Just Say No. Why Democrats Should Oppose Neil Gorsuch. Make Republicans Nuke the Filibuster to Confirm Neil Gorsuch.

Football players at private institutions in college sports’ most competitive level are employees, the National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel stated this week, and will be treated as such if they seek protection against unfair labor practices.

* Chris Ware on George Herriman. A rebuttal.

* The African Speculative Fiction lecture series at the University of London.

* Inside the Disney Vault.

The Hot New Brand of Higher Education.

* Riot at Berkeley. #Milosexual and the Aesthetics of Fascism.

* After-the-Horse-Has-Left-the-Barn Department. Well at least you’re sorry.

Who Cares If the Dow Jones Hit 20,000?

Under A New System, Clinton Could Have Won The Popular Vote By 5 Points And Still Lost.

The U.S. military’s stats on deadly airstrikes are wrong. Thousands have gone unreported.

* Academics boycotting the U.S.

* The end of Locked-In Syndrome… in the Twilight Zone.

* Same.

* The new issue of the SFRA Review is up.

The Youth Group That Launched a Movement at Standing Rock.

* Poker and the machines.

Guns, hostile lawmakers, and professional bigots are more dangerous to academic freedom than left-wing activists are.

* Other Space, the best SF series no one but me watched.

* Against the Constitution. Against the Supreme Court.

Video Game Voice Actor Strike Now Second-Longest In SAG History.

* Zelda map size comparisons.

How a Cult That Believes Cats Are Divine Beings Ended Up in Tennessee.

* How to Kellyanne Conway.

Why the voting age should be lowered to 16.

* February 17 is the next time the general strike isn’t actually going to happen.

In the Trump International Penal Colony and Golf Resort.

* Marquette in the ne — come on, again?

* Also they enslaved and tortured generations of animals, but that’s not important right now.

* no no no no no no no no

* If you want a vision of the future.

* …and now it’s canon.

* Decolonizing Science Fiction.

How an Interstellar Starship Could Actually Explore Alpha Centauri.

How Astronauts’ Brains Are Changed By Spaceflight.

* In the future, everyone will be hated by thousands of strangers for 15 minutes.

* The Milwaukee Bucks Century.

* The war comes to Whitefish Bay.

Pension giant TIAA is leading a global wave of deforestation and the destruction of small farmers’ livelihoods.

The richest society in human history.

* And like Nietzsche said: it is forgetting, not remembering, that makes life possible.


Written by gerrycanavan

February 5, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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* Convinced that the son they know and love is still “in there,” Chris’s parents have spent the past three years searching for a way to bring him back out. So far, their best hope has come from an unlikely source: Ambien. A growing body of case reports suggests that the popular sleep aid can have a profound — and paradoxical — effect on patients like Chris. Rather than put them to sleep, both Ambien and its generic twin, zolpidem, appear to awaken at least some of them. The early reports were so pronounced that until recently, doctors had a hard time believing them. Only now, more than a decade after the initial discovery, are they taking a closer look.

Report: Scientific research on chimpanzees “unjustified,” should be limited.

* DOJ Uncovers Rampant Lawbreaking By Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

* Rest in peace, Joe Simon.

The bill authorizing indefinite detention without trial was co-sponsored by one of the two main 2008 presidential candidates. It will soon be signed by the other main candidate from that election. No matter which of them you supported in 2008, this is what you got.

And the Newtpocalypse has begun.

Monday Misc.

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* Three Mile Island may still be leaking. More at Infrastructurist, which gives the story a strong pro-nuclear slant not really supported by the facts.

* When it rains too much, sewage gets in your drinking water. The stimulus package could have been devoted entirely to infrastructure and green economy programs and that still would have been just a start on the sort of spending that is necessary.

* John Marshall says the public option is now so tiny it is no longer worth fighting for. I like Josh, and I see his point, but I really think this takes too short-term a view; the point is to get any public option in, so that it can subsequently be improved and expanded using the filibuster-proof reconciliation process. And even in the short-term, the progressive left is sufficiently invested in the public option that its loss would be widely understood as (another) demoralizing defeat—which is something we just don’t need right now.

* HASTAC is part of a big Obama administration science and math initiative today.

* The terrifying story of a man trapped in a twenty-three-year coma.

* And via Tim Morton, the Danish journal ReThink has a new section on climate change, with pieces from Morton and Latour among others. Check it out.

Hope for the Locked-In

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Hope for the Locked-In: Amazing story from Esquire about new technology that offers hope to those suffering from Locked-In Syndrome that they may one day be able to communicate again. Just gut-wrenching. Via MeFi.

It’s been six weeks since I first watched Erik do his speech exercises in Dr. Kennedy’s lab, and in that short time he’s become much more adept at making the computer obey his commands. Back in early April, he was having trouble producing a single vowel sound consistently. Now he’s stringing together chains of two, even three vowels at a time, and he’s making far fewer errors. Kennedy asks a research aide to reconfigure the software so Erik can roam around the “vowel space” with total freedom.

“Try uh-ah,” Kennedy says. The cursor jumps around the screen from hut to hat, and the deep computer voice echoes the trembling sound that Erik’s brain is trying to produce.

Next he tries uh-oh and then uh-oo, and makes them both perfectly.

Kennedy puts his face right in front of Erik’s. “You can really do it when you want to,” he says ecstatically. “This time I want you to go from oe to oo and then up to ee.” The hard ee sound is the vowel Erik has been having the most trouble with. To make it, he has to think about spreading the edges of his lips and stretching his cheeks. The part of the premotor cortex that controls the cheeks is right next to the region that controls the lips, tongue, and jaw, where Erik’s implant sits, but Kennedy suspects the cheek neurons may still be too far away for the implant to catch their firing signals. Nevertheless, when Erik practices tying together an oe-oo-ee nine times in a row, he nails it on six, only failing on the other three tests because of a cough or a spasm. It’s hardly speech, but Kennedy and Guenther are now on the verge of introducing their new computational model designed to allow Erik to produce consonants as well, and eventually real, meaningful sentences. But even with just vowels, there is a lot he should soon be able to say. In the 1950s, a Swedish linguist named Gunnar Fant demonstrated that you can string together the sorts of vowellike sounds that Erik can already make to form slurred but comprehensible speech.

Kennedy pulls up a program on his computer screen to show me. It’s the same vowel map Erik has been navigating with his mind, only Kennedy can now control it with his mouse. As he loops his cursor around the screen, a sound comes out of the speaker: “Ow-uuuuuuh-oo. Ai-uuuuuh-oo.” He makes it again, and this time I hear it: “How are you? I love you.” And again:

“How are you? I love you.”

“How are you? I love you.”

“How are you? I love you.”

Dr. Kennedy turns to Erik, who has been watching us the whole time. “I’d like him to be able to say that to his father.”

Erik’s body shivers in one of his regular, and painful, muscle spasms, and then sinks back into his wheelchair. The session is over, but Eddie hasn’t yet returned from his walk. Kennedy plays some Ozzy Osbourne, and the two of us sit in the corner making small talk about the Atlanta traffic. There’s nothing for Erik to do but stare at the wall and listen and wait.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 8, 2008 at 3:11 pm