Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Lolita

In a Dark Time, The Blog Begins to Linkpost

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* My chances have never been better.

* One of the highlights of my trip to ICFA this year was my exposure to some truly bonkers viral digital horror texts, like Doki Doki Literature Club! and Normal Porn for Normal People.

Grooming Style: A conversation on how the Alt Lit scene’s documentation of sexual violence became a style of supposed sincerity. Infinite Jest isn’t mentioned but the critique seems potentially valid here as well.

How Chinese novelists are reimagining science fiction. How Imagination Will Save Our Cities. When Science Fiction Comes True. Stacey Abrams, Star Trek Nerd, Is Traveling at Warp Speed.

* Climate Fiction: A Special Issue of Guernica.

* Sci-fi literature university seeks degree granting authority.

* Terrific video essay from Dan Golding on Hollywood franchises, nostalgia, and climate change. I’ve already been using it in presentations!

* The Pattern Podcast, from the masters of the OEB Legacy Network, Ayana Jamieson and Moya Bailey.

In two new books, 45 AI experts grapple with a field on the verge of something big, and possibly scary.

Galaxy Simulations Offer a New Solution to the Fermi Paradox.

* Fantasy’s Widow: The Fight Over The Legacy Of Dungeons & Dragons.

* U.S. Army Assures Public That Robot Tank System Adheres to AI Murder Policy. Phew, that’s a relief.

* Why Self-Checkout Is and Has Always Been the Worst. Robot Workers Can’t Go on Strike But They Can Go Up in Flames.

* Twilight of the elites, college admissions edition. The College Admissions Ring Tells Us How Much Schoolwork Is Worth.

* How UT-Austin’s Innovation Boondoggle Went Belly Up.

* Seemingly deeply flawed study suggests trigger warnings have little effect.

* A bigger scandal at colleges — underpaid professors.

* Colleges gave their students’ work to TurnItIn and now it’s worth $1.75B. Why a Plagiarism-Detection Company Is Now a Billion-Dollar Business.

* Academic freedom clearly protects stealing student research and defrauding the university of millions.

* I can’t wait to explore all the exciting exceptions to this free-speech proclamation.

* The costs of academic publishing are absurd. The University of California is fighting back.

A new white paper suggests that the Tolstoy rule may not apply when it comes to at-risk small colleges: they’re all basically unhappy in the same way.

* Talk to your families about the academic job market, or they’ll just find out about it on the street.

The group described training exercises in which “four teachers at a time were taken into a room, told to crouch down and were shot execution style with some sort of projectiles — resulting in injuries.”

The “terrified” teachers, ISTA added, were then instructed to not tell their colleagues what was in store for them. “Teachers waiting outside that heard the screaming were brought into the room four at a time and the shooting process was repeated.” We rehearse the coming trauma because we cannot stop it.

* Tonight, an appeal panel at Vanderbilt University found “no irregularities” in the reversal of #MeTooSTEM founder BethAnn McLaughlin’s tenure recommendations.

Rutgers faculty members authorize union to call a strike.

‘Change Is Closer Than We Think.’ Inside Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Unlikely Rise.

* Let 16-year-olds vote.

* On Star Trek: Voyager and Trumpism.

The neo-Nazi plot against America is much bigger than we realize. There’s No Such Thing as Nationalism Without Ethnic Cleansing. The Making of the Fox News White House. It’s time — high time — to take Fox News’s destructive role in America seriously. 78% of GOP Fox News Viewers Say Trump Is Best President Ever. Counties that hosted a 2016 Trump rally saw a 226 percent increase in hate crimes.

* How a black man says he ‘outsmarted’ a neo-Nazi group and became their new leader.

Why Donald Trump could win again, by Dave Eggers. I’ve gathered that some people don’t like this piece for various reasons but if you don’t think Donald Trump is a very strong threat for reelection I think you are very wrong. He has a floor of 40% and seems utterly immune to negative press, plus a ton of Republicans who sat it out or got squeamish will come home. He “looks like a president” now, and will be completely unprincipled in abusing his position. It’s not a gimme. How Trump is on track for a 2020 landslide. Or, if you prefer: Republicans resigned to Trump losing 2020 popular vote but confident about Electoral College.

* Not to mention that Democrats managed to completely break their own nomination process and no one seems to care.

* Meanwhile, he gets to poison all our water.

* In this, the best of all possible countries, in this, the best of all possible worlds.

* Among NYC Students, 1 In 8 Is Homeless Before 5th Grade: Study.

Leaked Documents Show the U.S. Government Tracking Journalists and Immigration Advocates Through a Secret Database. 4 women fined, sentenced to probation for leaving water for migrants crossing US-Mexico border. 12 detained babies have been released from ICE custody in Dilley, Texas. Immigrant Miscarriages in ICE Detention Have Nearly Doubled Under Trump. ICE Is Detaining 50,000 People, an All-Time High.Young US Citizen Detained at Border Gave ‘Inconsistent Info,’ CBP Says. US government uses several clandestine shelters to detain immigrant children. Supreme Court rules, 5-4, you can hold an immigrant indefinitely for jaywalking.

* The demobilization of the resistance is a dangerous mistake. If Trump is a national emergency, it’s time for Democrats to act like it. The Cowardice of the Cover-Your-Ass Memo. Understanding Ilhan Omar. The Obama Boys.

* Activists will never design good strategy on the basis of bad history. The reality is that the Good Sixties civil rights movement was most successful when it operated with a de facto diversity of tactics. Francis Fox Piven has noted that civil rights progress only really occurred when self-defense against white incursions escalated into black aggression against the symbols and agents of white domination—notably the white police, merchants, and landlords. 

* Activism and the Catholic tradition.

* Nihilist in chief: On Mitch McConnell.

* How to Hide an Empire.

Children of the Industrocene. Students share motivations ahead of Youth Climate Strike. The Hip New Teen Trend Is Leading the Climate Movement to Save the World. Climate Change Is This Generation’s Vietnam War. Study shows IPCC is underselling climate change. The Climate Change Paper So Depressing It’s Sending People to Therapy. The Rapid Decline Of The Natural World Is A Crisis Even Bigger Than Climate Change. Sharp rise in Arctic temperatures now inevitable. Non-survivable humid heatwaves for over 500 million people. It’s raining on Greenland’s ice sheet. That’s a big problem. Scientists aboard the Nathaniel B. Palmer watch a 25-mile-wide section of ice crumble into the sea. The Arctic’s ticking ‘carbon bomb’ could blow up the Paris Agreement. Plummeting insect numbers ‘threaten collapse of nature.’ The Other Kind of Climate Denial. Climate Change Is Here—and It Looks Like Starvation. California’s Wildfires Burn Through America’s Climate Illusions. Nebraska floods have broken records in 17 places across the state. A Light Installation in a Scottish Coastal Town Vividly Shows Future Sea Level Rise. Coastal Flooding Is Erasing Billions in Property Value as Sea Level Rises. That’s Bad News for Cities. Climate change scientists look to Māori and other indigenous people for answers. Indigenous knowledge has been warning us about climate change for centuries. Rethink Activism in the Face of Catastrophic Biological Collapse. Here’s How Much Climate Change Could Cost the U.S. Bill To Keep Coal Plants Open Nears Finish Line.

Far-Right Climate Denial Is Scary. Far-Right Climate Acceptance Might Be Scarier.

* The WWF’s secret war: The World Wide Fund for Nature funds vicious paramilitary forces to fight poaching.

* The End of Recycling.

* Chimpanzees Are Going Through a Tragic Loss: By fragmenting forests and killing off individuals, humans are stopping the flow of ideas among our closest relatives.

What We Owe a Rabbit.

We Know How to Cut Child Poverty in Half. Will We Do It? Oh, honey.

* Against Garrett Hardin.

* Nice work if you can get it.

Life in Prison for Selling $20 of Weed.

* The rich are different! Massive study finds strong correlation between “early affluence” and “faster cognitive drop” in old age.

* Only 7 Black Students Got Into Stuyvesant, N.Y.’s Most Selective High School, Out of 895 Spots.

* Ramsey Orta filmed the killing of Eric Garner. The video traveled far, but it wouldn’t get justice for his dead friend. Instead, the NYPD would exact their revenge through targeted harassment and eventually imprisonment — Orta’s punishment for daring to show the world police brutality.

Judges Plead Guilty in Scheme to Jail Youths for Profit.

* Roughly 60 years after the abolition of slavery, anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston made an incredible connection: She located the last surviving captive of the last slave ship to bring Africans to the United States.

* Understanding privilege: a thread.

In 1998, I helped convict two men of murder. I’ve regretted it ever since.

* On Disability and on Facebook? Uncle Sam Wants to Watch What You Post.

* A new study finds a potential risk with self-driving cars: failure to detect dark-skinned pedestrians.

* A room of one’s own white colleagues.

* The Max-8 chronicles: The world pulls the Andon cord on the 737 Max. Doomed Boeing Jets Lacked 2 Safety Features That Company Sold Only as Extras. Pilot Who Hitched a Ride Saved Lion Air 737 Day Before Deadly Crash. Essentially, this plane could try to crash itself because of a single faulty sensor. Aviation Experts Have Predicted Automation Will Lead to Disasters Like the Boeing Max Crashes for 15 Years.

US citizens will need to register to visit parts of Europe starting in 2021.

* How The Very Hungry Caterpillar Became a Classic.

* Suicide contagion and the MPAA.

* More from the Michael Jackson revision beat: Is Pedophilia a Crime or an Illness?

* Netflix’s Bright Future Looks A Lot Like Television’s Dim Past.

As a professional television critic, I am living there already. Netflix is now effectively my whole field of coverage. It’s increasingly difficult for me to place coverage of non-Netflix shows; all but the biggest “event” shows on other networks are passed over for regular reviews, and those on rival streaming services are afterthoughts at best. This is true even of Amazon Prime, the TV and film branch of the mind-bogglingly lucrative corporation after which New York Governor Amazon Cuomo was named. (Don’t feel too bad for Amazon, though: “Netflix Delivers Billions of Content Globally by Running on Amazon Web Services.”)

If you write about television the way I mostly do, which is through reviews—recaps, if you insist—of individual episodes, even Netflix is difficult to write about. Netflix’s own business model ensures this. Weekly shotgun blasts of full seasons of half a dozen different shows are just how it operates, but it makes deciding what will hit and how and when to cover it absolutely maddening for every TV editor I’ve talked to. By design, Netflix shows are consumed in one or two sittings, within 72 hours of their small-hours Friday release. They are to be discussed intensely on Monday and Tuesday, and then swept aside by the next torrent of programming to come down the Netflix Original Sluice by the end of the week.

Meet the bald Norwegians and other unknowns who actually create the songs that top the charts.

White Settlers Buried the Truth About the Midwest’s Mysterious Mound Cities.

* Marvel corner! Who’s the Baddie? Captain Marvel in the Age of American Empire. You’re blowing my mind, dude. Like so many characters in the MCU, Fury’s coolness only makes sense if you limit your perspective. And the arc of history is long, but.

As a result, the movie poses questions it can’t answer. When we see her show up in the present — played by the same actor who is the same age — do we ask what Captain Marvel has been doing for the last twenty-four years? What she has done and learned? How she has grown and changed? If she approves of Nick Fury’s “Avengers Initiative,” and of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Did she watch Captain America: The Winter Soldier where an American super-soldier with the name “Captain” discovered that the good guys had been secretly infiltrated by the bad guys since the beginning? There are obvious and inescapable political allegories here, but what is her position on the two-state solution, the right of return, and does she have any thoughts on Ilhan Omar? Who, precisely, are the Skrulls and the Kree meant to be?

If these are ridiculous questions, it’s because this is a Marvel movie, whose episodes always gesture at resolutions that the big team-up movies will cannibalize. Thor: Ragnarak ended with the population of Asgard become a rootless diaspora searching for a new home — an extremely resonant image — but when Avengers: Infinity War began, five minutes later, Thanos had already killed half of them, offscreen, and the MCU seemed to have completely lost interest in that story, as comprehensively as it does when Black Panther’s triumphantly concluding Afrocentrism becomes Infinity War’s “sure, we’ll sacrifice Wakanda, why not.” The ending of Captain Marvel gives us the same feeling of closure — she has stopped being a soldier who kills civilians and become the kind of soldier who saves them — but the MCU’s narrative engine will never sustain this transition; the real amnesia of this franchise is how single-character episodes discover things about their protagonists that have to be forgotten.

* What happens once Uber and Lyft kill off public transit.

The product sheet is clear: Any claim against a dysfunctional nuclear event detector must be made within 90 days.

Hundreds of motel guests were secretly filmed and live-streamed online.

* Well, when you’re right, you’re right: “If someone is the enemy, it’s okay to kill endless numbers of them,” he continued. “Lord of the Rings is like that. If it’s the enemy, there’s killing without separation between civilians and soldiers. That falls within collateral damage. How many people are being killed in attacks in Afghanistan? The Lord of the Ringsis a movie that has no problem doing that [not separating civilians from enemies, apparently]. If you read the original work, you’ll understand, but in reality, the ones who were being killed are Asians and Africans. Those who don’t know that, yet say they love fantasy are idiots.” Hayao Miyazaki Seems To Hate Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones And Hollywood Movies.

* Counterpoint: I love playing pretend with my kids and the knowledge that someday they won’t want to do it anymore breaks my soul.

* Toxic parenting myths make life harder for people with autism. That must change.

The real “Momo Challenge” is the terror of parenting in the age of YouTube. Here’s the truth of what we know.

* Gut-wrenching story about parents using Nebraska’s short-lived safe-haven law to institutionalize their children.

* When r/DaystromInstitute just nails it.

* What we call a win-win: People in states where marijuana is legal are eating more cookies and ice cream.

* Automated reception kiosks are a security dumpster fire.

* Here are the data brokers quietly buying and selling your personal information.

Amazon and YouTube Are Making Money From the Dangerous QAnon Conspiracy Theory.

Wisconsin’s nightmare roads cost drivers $6.8 billion each year, study says.

* An oral history of the greatest episode in television comedy history.

* Duke’s gonna Duke.

J.K. Rowling was always this terrible.

* Lolita, My Love, the Musical Too Dark to Live.

* Minnesota couple Michael and Jack McConnell are now thought to be the longest-married, same-sex couple in the U.S.

* Finally, a job worth applying for.

Could Walmart Be a Model for a Socialist Future?

* Singularity watch: Harvard University uncovers DNA switch that controls genes for whole-body regeneration.

* H.I.V. Is Reported Cured in a Second Patient, a Milestone in the Global AIDS Epidemic.

Scientists Say They Can Recreate Living Dinosaurs Within the Next 5 Years. Can’t see any harm there.

* Even catching up on lost sleep is bad for you!

* On the value of education. On heartbreak. On friendship. On the value of never clicking.

* Just in time for my fall class: Netflix has acquired the rights to Gabriel García Márquez’s masterpiece “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and will adapt it into a series.

* The Suffering Game (for 3+ players).

* Race, Asia, and Dungeons and Dragons.

* And Lord, make me outgrow Quentin Tarantino, but not yet.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 22, 2019 at 12:47 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Summer Classes Syllabi! “Science Fiction” (Sophomore Survey) and “The Law of Genre” (Grad Level)

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This weekend marks the tragic end of my research leave — I’m teaching two summer classes beginning Monday, a newly revamped version of my sophomore survey on science fiction (swapping in Never Let Me Go for Slaughterhouse-Five, Black Mirror for Avatar, and Ted Chiang for basically everything else) and a new graduate-level course on genre studies. I’m excited about both, but especially the grad course, which is laser-focused on books I find interesting.

I pulled back a bit on the writing assignments compared to last year because I think there’s a bit more reading, but some of that reading is deliberately structured as “secondary” so hopefully it won’t feel excessive. Main texts after some reshuffling are Never Let Me Go, The City and the City, Beloved, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Lolita, with guest appearances by Get Out, the Kubrick Lolita, The Twilight Zone, and Donald Barthelme…

Here’s the week-by-week:

M May 22 Introduction to the Course

viral video: “Too Many Cooks” [YouTube]

T May 23 Daniel Chandler, “An Introduction to Genre Theory” [D2L]

Donald Barthelme, “The Joker’s Greatest Triumph!” [D2L]

W May 24 Darko Suvin, “On the Poetics of the Science Fiction Genre” [D2L]

China Miéville, “Cognition as Ideology” [D2L]

(in class) The Twilight Zone: “The Eye of the Beholder” [Netflix]

 

secondary:

Gerry Canavan, “The Suvin Event” [D2L]

Th May 25 John Rieder, “On Defining SF, or Not: Genre Theory, SF, and History” [D2L]

Ted Underwood, “The Life Cycle of Genres” [D2L]

M May 29 MEMORIAL DAY—NO CLASS
T May 30 Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (Part One)
W June 1 Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (Part Two)
Th June 2 Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (Part Three)

 

secondary:

film trailer: The Island [YouTube]

Martin Puchner, review of Never Let Me Go [D2L]

 

LESSON PLAN #1 DUE

M June 5 Carl Freedman, “Marxism, Cinema, and Some Dialectics of Science Fiction and Film Noir” [D2L]

China Miéville, The City and the City (first half of Part One)

T June 6 China Miéville, The City and the City (second half of Part One)
W June 7 China Miéville, The City and the City (Part Two)
Th June 8 China Miéville, The City and the City (whole book)

China Miéville, “Notes on Walls” [Web]

 

secondary:

Carl Freedman, “From Genre to Political Economy: Miéville’s The City & The City and Uneven Development” [D2L]

China Miéville, “Unsolving the City” [Web]

S June 10 THINKPIECE #1 DUE BY 5 PM
M June 12 Toni Morrison, Beloved, pgs. 1-63
T June 13 Toni Morrison, Beloved, pgs. 63-165
W June 14 Toni Morrison, Beloved, whole book

 

secondary:

Carl D. Malmgren, “Mixed Genres and the Logic of Slavery in Toni Morrison’s Beloved” [D2L]

Grady Hendrix, “Beloved: The Best Horror Novel the Horror Genre Has Never Claimed” [D2L]

Elizabeth B. House, “Toni Morrison’s Ghost: The Beloved Who Is Not Beloved” [D2L]

Th June 15 film: Get Out

 

secondary:

Steven Thrasher, representative Get Out thinkpiece [Web]

 

LESSON PLAN #2 DUE

M June 19 Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale (first half)
T June 20 Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale (second half)

Charlotte Sturgess, “The Handmaid as a Romance Heroine” [D2L]

W June 21 Margaret Atwood, “Historical Notes on The Handmaid’s Tale

Margaret Atwood, “The Road to Ustopia” [Web]

 

secondary:

John McAdams, “Marquette Gender and Sexuality Resource Center: Demonizing Men” [PDF ON D2L]

Margaret Atwood, “What The Handmaid’s Tale Means in the Age of Trump” [Web]

Lili Loofburouw, “How Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale succumbed to the feminist curse” [Web]

The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu series)

Th June 22 READING/WRITING DAY—NO CLASS
M June 26 Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita: “Foreword” and Part One, Chapters 1-22
T June 27 Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita: Part One, Chap. 23, through Part Two, Chap. 22
W June 28 Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (whole book, including “On a Book Entitled Lolita”)

Stanley Kubrick, Lolita [Netflix]

Th June 29 VIRTUAL SYLLABUS WORKSHOP DAY! POST YOUR SAMPLE SYLLABUS AND COURSE NARRATIVES ON D2L AND SHARE QUESTIONS, SUGGESTIONS, AND OTHER HELPFUL COMMENTS!
S July 1 THINKPIECE #2 DUE BY 5 PM

Wednesday, Wednesday

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p0hzpqghfzua11sjdckyNOAA just released its summer outlook, predicting which areas are going to see unusually hotter temperatures this year. Unsurprisingly for those who have been watching the string of heat records that have been falling like dominoes, almost every area of the United States is included. Things Have Gotten Much Worse Since An Inconvenient Truth.

Love in the time of climate change: Grizzlies and polar bears are now mating.

How highways wrecked American cities.

The amount of money it would take to eliminate extreme poverty is now lower than the amount of money spent on foreign aid every year.

Is Donald Trump’s Hair a $60,000 Weave? A Gawker Investigation.

* The Democratic primary has entered its Gnostic phase.

The Marijuana Industry’s War on the Poor.

* Scenes from the class struggle at Oberlin. A reasonably good ethnographic study of a subject which seems to have become utterly impossible to talk about dispassionately.

* And speaking of “impossible to talk about dispassionately”: The canon of English literature is sexist. It is racist. It is colonialist, ableist, transphobic, and totally gross. You must read it anyway.

Diversity as a Tenure Requirement?

The Baylor board of regents fired school president Ken Starr on Tuesday amid the sexual assault scandal involving the Bears football team, according to HornsDigest.com. Baylor not commenting on reports of President Kenneth Starr’s firing.

Enrollments Slide, Particularly for Older Students.

The terms “World Science Fiction” or “Global Science Fiction” are becoming legitimate fields of interest at a time where human life is indistinguishable from technological interference and scientific thought. We are technology. We are post-human. And we understand both the “global” and “world” adjectives only through the eyes and screens technology has afforded us. If we loosely understand science fiction as the imaginative exercise with which we deal with science and technology, then it becomes a major tool in understanding a reality that increasingly grows less believable and more fragile, in which crisis has become our quotidian condition. We are desperately looking for others because, in a globalized culture and economy, they might not exist anymore. We might have exterminated them, and we fear our genocidal complicity.

Soviet Brutalist Architecture, Photographed By Frederic Chaubin.

* Some truly crazy news about Peter Thiel and Gawker today.

But if the extremely wealthy, under a veil of secrecy, can destroy publications they want to silence, that’s a far bigger threat to freedom of the press than most of the things we commonly worry about on that front. If this is the new weapon in the arsenal of the super rich, few publications will have the resources or the death wish to scrutinize them closely.

Here’s the thing: from where I live, the world has drifted away. We aren’t precarious, we’re unnecessary. The money has gone to the top. The wages have gone to the top. The recovery hasgone to the top. And what’s worst of all, everybody who matters seems basically pretty okay with that. The new bright sparks, cheerfully referred to as “Young Gods” believe themselves to be the honest winners in a new invent-or-die economy, and are busily planning to escape into space oracquire superpowers, and instead of worrying about this, the talking heads on TV tell you its all a good thing- don’t worry, the recession’s over and everything’s better now, and technology is TOTES AMAZEBALLS!

* Twitter’s death drive.

* The end of passwords.

* Freddie Gray verdict: US police officers who kill rarely get punished, but they might get rich.

The Do Not Call list was supposed to defeat telemarketers. Now scammy robocalls are out of control. What happened?

* Understanding intelligence.

Would the U.S. Drop the Bomb Again?

* John Scalzi has a new space opera.

Which Rock Star Will Historians of the Future Remember?, or, “Johnny B. Goode in the Anthropocene.”

But it did guarantee that one rock song will exist even if the earth is spontaneously swallowed by the sun: “Johnny B. Goode,” by Chuck Berry. The song was championed by Ann Druyan (who later become Sagan’s wife) and Timothy Ferris, a science writer and friend of Sagan’s who contributed to Rolling Stone magazine. According to Ferris, who was the album’s de facto producer, the folklorist Alan Lomax was against the selection of Berry, based on the argument that rock music was too childish to represent the highest achievements of the planet. (I’m assuming Lomax wasn’t too heavily engaged with the debate over the Sex Pistols and “Saturday Night Fever” either.) “Johnny B. Goode” is the only rock song on the Voyager disc, although a few other tunes were considered. “Here Comes the Sun” was a candidate, and all four Beatles wanted it to be included, but none of them owned the song’s copyright, so it was killed for legal reasons.

The Pitch Meeting for Animaniacs.

How One in Ten Humans Could Be Wiped Out Within the Next Five Years.

The Business of Too Much TV.

On the Trail of Nabokov in the American West.

* And presenting Reverse CAPTCHA.

5-70

Star Wars Day Links! Yay! Episode II Attack of the Procrastination

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(episode one, the procrastination menace)

* Apropos of what I was saying before about Return of the Jedi: When Luke confronts the idea that his father is his enemy and that he is doomed to become him unless he can somehow accept him, it’s a thunderbolt as true and clear as any Jungian/Freudian missive can be clear. It’s not complicated, but Luke’s refusal at the end to murder his own shadow is underestimated as a watermark in the panoply of generally vengeful, bellicose popular entertainments. What Disney movie, for instance, ends with the embrace of the villain at something other than the tip of a righteous sword? No matter the degree that Lucas’s blinkered populism cripples Return of the Jedi, what remains is this guide to better living. Hard work is good. Courage in the face of entropy is good. Loyalty to your friends is good. Fear is bad. So is self-interest. This basic codification of rules resonating as it does is, after all, only what good cults do: provide a template, easy to follow, of commandments. May the Force be with you.

sw_final.0Every Star Wars movie, according to its colors.

Star Wars medical merch from Scarfolk, the horror-town stuck in the 1970s.

Beloved media property from my childhood coming back, what could go wrong?

* China Miéville, “On Social Sadism.”

How austerity destroyed Europe’s economy, in one graph.

* A case study in the notion that academic freedom is not a blanket excuse for any and all antisocial behavior: College Moves To Fire Sandy Hook Truther For Allegedly Harassing Victim’s Family.

The rich-poor divide on America’s college campuses is getting wider, fast.

The question is why humanists have not been able or willing to recognise their own sustained success.

* “Speechbros” vs. The left should support speech rights because the left is weak. In my old age I’m really becoming more and more of an absolutist on this, alas, despite disliking absolutism and also liars, fools, and knaves.

* “Harvard placemat serves up social justice for Christmas.” Sorry for the Campus Reform link, I couldn’t find anything better.

* And another article on its contemporary reception for the next time I teach Lolita: Men Explain Lolita To Me.

Monday! Morning! Links!

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* Jaimee’s lesson on the letter L, “Lo Lee Ta,” is up at Red Paint Hill.

How to prepare your campuses for a queen sacrifice: a handy guide from Connecticut.

From Inside Higher Ed and excellent reporting by Colleen Flaherty, we start with a series of proposals to cut back faculty autonomy and increase administrative power over instructors.  The central, multi-campus administration can fire tenured profs more easily, and also move them to other campuses in the system:

tenured faculty members may be moved to another regional university without their consent, without the guarantee of tenure there. Tenured faculty members could be terminated, not just in cases of financial exigency, as is now the case, but if the administration “believes economic or programmatic conditions exist” for retrenchment. And tenured faculty members also could be fired without the chance to appeal for breaking any local, state or national law, ethical standard or policy statement…

Moreover, “faculty members would have to be ‘professional’ and ‘collegial,’” i.e.,, more easily disciplined. Additionally, a significant union-managed faculty grant program would end, making professors more dependent on the administration.

On Campus, Older Faculty Keep On Keepin’ On. Far out man.

Maryland Debacle Shows Why We Must Get Football Out Of Our Universities.

Cheat-Sheet for a Non (or Less) Colonialist Speculative Design.

The Voice Trap: On the Perils of Authorial Parochialism.

* Disaster citizenship.

Just 158 families, along with companies they own or control, contributed $176 million in the first phase of the campaign, a New York Times investigation found. Not since before Watergate have so few people and businesses provided so much early money in a campaign, most of it through channels legalized by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision five years ago.

* Profiting from the “cop cloud.” From TNI‘s “Cops 2” issue.

* “It is my conclusion that Officer Loehmann’s use of deadly force falls within the realm of reasonableness under the dictates of the Fourth Amendment.”

* Inspiring.

Inside the Intense, Insular World of AOL Disc Collecting.

See the Sketches J.R.R. Tolkien Used to Build Middle-Earth.

* Malicious defamation lawsuit against Mother Jones ends in exoneration, $2.5 million dollar legal bill.

Pretty vacant: the glory of abandoned spaces. Bonus: photos of empty Chinese amusement parks.

There is a long tradition in the West of dancing on the Soviet grave in order to celebrate Western values, and so it comes as no surprise that the focus on Soviet historical artifacts is a focus entirely on the dead and decaying.

* Bring on the climate trials.

* But don’t worry, a bioethics professor at NYU has the solution: stunt child growth to use fewer resources. Got it in one.

* BREAKING: Slavery in America was much worse than you probably imagined.

* Designing the space suit to explore Mars.

* RESPECTFULLY DISAGREE.

Hope Is the Enemy: Caring for a patient suffering from dementia means coming to terms with the frustrating paradoxes of memory and language.

We’re flushing all these antidepressants into our water. How big is the problem?

* From the mammography files.

Masculinity Is an Anxiety Disorder.

Donald Trump Reviews The Lord of the Rings.

* Happy Columbus Day everybody. Here’s your roundup.

* The two Sacagaweas.

* Oh, I don’t know that I’d say that I’m a genius.

* I’ll allow it, but you’re on thin ice: Wes Anderson’s Next Project Is a Stop-Motion Movie About Dogs.

* And the last alphabet you’ll ever need.

Tuesday Links!

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* Events coming up at Marquette English: tomorrow’s Mad Max: Fury Road discussion and next week’s reading from visiting poet Carolyn Forché.

* SFFTV 8.3 is out! With:

Kathleen McHugh, “Seeking a film for the end of the world”
Mark Young, “Xenochrony: aural media and neoliberal time in Shane Carruth’s Primer
Lars Schmeink, “Frankenstein’s offspring: practicing science and parenthood in Natali’s Splice
J.P. Telotte, “Sex and machines: the ‘buzz’ of 1950s science fiction films”

* Great stuff coming from the UCR Sawyer Seminar on Alternative Futurisms:

October 6: Panel on Asian American Speculative Fiction

October 15: Science Fiction Studies symposium on Retrofuturism(s)

October 16-17: Revising the Past, Remaking the Future Conference

* Nightmare in Oregon. Nightmares everywhere.

Make. Good. Work. (or, On the Academic Job Market).

* And elsewhere on the academic job market watch: how long am I marketable?

The Humanities at the End of the World.

* Humanities majors’ salaries, by the numbers.

* USC has an exciting fix for contingent employment in academia: contingent employment in academia.

How pregnant women and mothers get hounded out of higher education.

* Steven Salaita: Why I Was Fired.

Marina Warner on the history of the fairy-tale.

* The Amazing Inner Lives of Animals.

* The Uses of Orphans.

The Decline of Play and Rise in Children’s Mental Disorders.

* Reading Lolita at 12.

* A Centre for Laziness Studies.

* Conversely, my research indicates you should never text your students.

* I just had to do one of these with my daughters’ preschool. The twenty-first century is awful.

* Ranking Milwaukee: The 6th Most Dangerous City in America, and the #1 Worst for Black People.

* The politics of the campaign mixtape.

DraftKings Employee With Access To Inside Info Wins $350K At FanDuel. This is an insane story.

* The return on the tontine.

MSF Response to Spurious Claims That Kunduz Hospital Was “A Taliban Base.”

* Toshi Reagon’s Parable of the Sower.

What Happens When a Super Storm Strikes New York?

* Well here’s a story I’m certainly hoping is a hoax.

* First, they came for my assault rifle.

* Nihilistic password security questions.

* The end of the Perkins loan.

* “Few forces are better positioned to fight the corporate university than graduate student workers.”

* Ta-Nehisi Coates leads diverse group of MacArthur ‘genius’ grant recipients. Academics Win MacArthur ‘Genius’ Fellowships.

* On Rules, Cheating, and Deflategate.

‘Workers’ or slaves? Textbook maker backtracks after mother’s online complaint.

* The end of Moore’s Law?

* The end of UNC?

Our economy is broken. Could a universal basic income, child allowances, and worker-owned cooperatives fix it? I’m so old I can remember when “New New Deal” was Obama’s brand.

* If it’s good enough for Zappos…

* Generation Debt.

These students were ruined by predatory colleges. Now they’re getting even.

* “Whole Foods To Stop Profiting From Prison Labor.” You know, in these tough times, most companies would be happy to just break even with prison labor.

This is the official signal that a nuclear war could be about to break out.

An Environmentalism for the Left. Environmentalism as a religious idea.

The Plot Against Student Newspapers.

* Weird coincidence: Alabama, Which Requires ID to Vote, Stops Issuing New Licenses in Majority-Black Counties.

* Marquette v. Cosby.

* Noncitizens and the census. This is a really interesting problem for which the proper solution — let noncitizen permanent residents vote — is of course entirely off the table.

It’s been 4 years since Stephen Colbert created a super PAC — where did all that money go?

* Recycling may not be worth it. “Plastic Bags Are Good for You.”

Justine Siegal Becomes First Female Baseball Coach In MLB History. That’s… recent.

Breathtaking The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings illustration by Jian Guo.

This Abandoned Wasteland Was Once America’s Largest Mall.

* Hydrofracking ruins everything.

* “Bangalore’s lake of toxic foam – in pictures.”

Someone bought Google.com for $12 and owned it for a literal minute.

Research shows that in Pennsylvania’s public schools skin color, not economics, determines how much money districts get.

End zero-tolerance school discipline.

A tumor stole every memory I had. This is what happened when it all came back.

* The law, in its majestic finality…

* Masters of the Universe: An Oral History.

Tesla’s new Model X has a ‘bioweapon defense mode’ button. “This is a real button,” Musk says.

NASA Has Already Hired Someone To Make Sure We Don’t Destroy Mars, Too. Teach the controversy: does Mars even exist?

* Here comes the gender-bent Twilight. I’m actually fascinated by this project.

Ethiopian Post-Apocalyptic Sci-Fi Film ‘Crumbs’ Is Headed To Theaters.

* Uber, but for canceling Comcast.

* Yelp, but for destroying the very concept of sociality.

* The Algorithm and the Watchtower:The form of power that Big Data employs is not so much panoptic as it is pan-analytic.”

As the American people got fatter, so did marmosets, vervet monkeys and mice. The problem may be bigger than any of us.

* If you want diabetes, pal, you’ve got to pay for it.

* What’s the most American ______ ever made?

* “We’re one step closer to a working lightsaber.”

* And I don’t want to take all the credit, but…

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Written by gerrycanavan

October 6, 2015 at 3:01 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Thursday Night Links!

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* Did you know Jaimee Hills’s incredible How to Avoid Speaking has started to ship? Buy it today! Hear her on Lake Effect!

* Presenting the MOSF Journal of Science Fiction.

The Founders misread history and established a dysfunctional system of government. A case for a little less reverence. Will “decoherence” be the doom of American democracy?

The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration. Race Is Always the Issue.

The False Science of Cryonics: What the nervous system of the roundworm tells us about freezing brains and reanimating human minds. A Dying Young Woman’s Hope.

* The Caine Prize after “emergence.”

* The Nine Dumbest Things in the Rutgers Report on Kyle Flood.

* The Internet after Ad Blocking. Welcome to hell: Apple vs. Google vs. Facebook and the slow death of the web.

Inside the Brains of Happily Married Couples.

* Friends don’t let friends write clickbait confessionals.

The feminist think piece industrial complex.

* Twilight of the Elites and the rise of a global left. Even Yglesias is on board!

We enter into something of a contract as a faculty member: we trade income for autonomy and security. If we do not use the latter, we enter a fool’s bargain. This is why I stay, and why being ready to quit is an important part of staying.

Inside the Battle for Cooper Union.

* Doing the Lord’s work at GOG.com.

Every Single Movie That Jimmy Carter Watched at the White House.

* 30 Questions to Ask Your Kid Instead of “How Was Your Day?”

These 25 schools are responsible for the greatest advances in science. Go Spartans! #11.

If you like Return Of The Jedi but hate the Ewoks, you understand feminist criticism.

* Tased at the Harris Teeter. After an often torturous tenure at the helm of the Durham Police Department—including, most recently, last week’s controversial Tasering of an unarmed black man at a Durham Harris Teeter—Chief Jose Lopez Sr. is out.

* How Languages Die.

* Fraternities are pretty bad.

* The Opposite of Hoarding.

“I don’t expect them to understand everything I do,” Dr. Xi, 57, said in a telephone interview. “But the fact that they don’t consult with experts and then charge me? Put my family through all this? Damage my reputation? They shouldn’t do this. This is not a joke. This is not a game.”

The NFL and the military: a love affair as strange and cynical as ever.

* God save Title IX from its champions.

Memo to Clinton-world: It might be time to start panicking.

Ahmed Mohamed and the “Freedom to Tinker.”

* How to screw up the Muppets in one easy step.

A spoiler-free example: The Miss Piggy-Kermit relationship has always worked because of how unfathomable it is, both in terms of species and temperament. These people don’t belong together, but somehow they’ve formed a decadeslong pairing, one that always felt buoyed by Miss Piggy’s stronger affections and a submissive aspect to Kermit. But discovering that Kermit is dating another pig now, perhaps a slightly more docile pig, inverts the whole dynamic of the relationship. Now Kermit just has a fetish, so has he always been playing hard-to-get with Piggy as part of some role-playing that we haven’t previously established? Once you open the window a crack, you’re gonna have to throw open the doors eventually. And within the same dynamic, Miss Piggy’s affections for Kermit, even affections tempered by occasional abuse, have always been a key softening factor for Miss Piggy. We tolerate her awfulness because of her love for Kermit and the love we believe Kermit has for her. Without that core, the risk of Miss Piggy spiraling into an untenable sty of callus words and consistent mistreatment of subordinates is all too real.

* What’s it like to take Jim Henson’s place?

Don’t Have Sex With Robots, Say Ethicists.

* Nemo iudex in causa sua, but, you know, the opposite.

* How to D&D.

* Against Lolita.

* Utilitarianism, y’all. Also: the Singularity.

What Happens When A Parent’s Grief Goes Viral?

At WeWork, an Idealistic Start-Up Clashes With Its Cleaners.

Banksy and the Problem With Sarcastic Art.

“The Long Emancipation” offers a useful reminder that abolition was not the charitable work of respectable white people, or not mainly that. Instead, the demise of slavery was made possible by the constant discomfort inflicted on middle-class white society by black activists.

Students’ Requests for Trigger Warnings Grow More Varied. Higher Education’s Internet Outrage Machine. How Salaita Was Fired: One Year Later. Gaps in Earnings Stand Out in Release of College Data. Enrollment in Humanities Ph.D. Programs Declines as More Graduate Schools Slim Down. Colleges Flush With Cash Saddle Poorest Students With Debt. No Child Left Behind Goes to College. Is College Tuition Really Too High? The Uberification of the University. The Rise and Coming Demise of the Corporate University. Tacit knowledge and graduate education. Can’t afford to eat at a college sitting on over $9 billion? There’s an app for that. The Whistleblower Effect. The entire Japanese public university system attempts a massive queen sacrifice. There Is No Excuse for How Universities Treat Adjuncts. Are College Lectures Unfair? Microaggressions and good manners. The coming human capital contract nightmare.

In 1997, the ETS announced that the SAT could not properly be labeled a scholastic assessment test, either; the initials now stand for nothing.

* Maybe the best description of what it is I think I’m doing I’ve ever seen: He said that his best professors “took texts that seemed complicated, made them look simple, and then made them complex again.”

“We couldn’t imagine Oregonians’ turning their backs on higher education, but they did.”

Some have called Harvard a Hedge Fund with a school attached, because it has over $36 billion in its endowment, but the UC holds over $100 billion in its retirement funds, endowments, and working capital funds.  This large amount of money can be used for good, or it can be used for darker purposes, but one thing for sure, it makes the university an important global finance player.  Of course, we should all ask what it means when a public university enters global finance.

Jerry Brown’s University of California Perma-Temp Problem.

Keywords for the Age of Austerity 22: Collaboration (part 2 of 2).

* The rise of the woman comic book buyer.

* Studies in Cruel Optimism, Bernie Sanders campaign edition.

* Yes. Yes. Embrace your hate.

* This week, the site enabled hosts of events to determine who has actually seen the Facebook invites they’ve sent out but not replied, making the simple act of viewing of your notifications a horrifying social contract you can’t escape.

* Nice work if you can get it: How I Felt After 70 Days of Lying in Bed for Science.

If We Burn All the World’s Fossil Fuels, We’ll Melt Antarctica & Flood the Earth. Right, that’s the plan. Climate Apocalypse and/or Democracy. PS: Almost Half of the World’s Ocean Life Has Died Off Since 1970.

* Markets in everything! Refugees bring in big business in Europe.

* The arc of history is long, but.

* And some news you can use: The IRS Will Refuse Checks Greater Than $100 Million Beginning In 2016.

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Written by gerrycanavan

September 17, 2015 at 6:47 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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