Posts Tagged ‘mad science’
* Coetzee: There is nothing wrong with arguing that a good humanistic education will produce graduates who are critically literate, by some definition of critical literacy. However, the claim that only the full apparatus of a humanistic education can produce critical literacy seems to me hard to sustain, since it is always open to the objection: if critical literacy is just a skill or set of skills, why not just teach the skill itself? Would that not be simpler, and cheaper too?
…in the end, I believe, you will have to make a stand. You will have to say: we need free enquiry because freedom of thought is good in itself. We need institutions where teachers and students can pursue unconstrained the life of the mind because such institutions are, in ways that are difficult to pin down, good for all of us: good for the individual and good for society.
* If you can’t make a case for a discipline on the basis of the actual objects studied by that discipline, it’s doomed. The field needs to have confidence in the things it takes as its subject matter.
* Not for the first time, vandals are wreaking havoc in central Europe. Russian police say they’re looking for the intellectually minded miscreants who graffitied “Kant is a moron”—along with a flower and heart—on the philosopher’s home outside Kaliningrad.
* Keywords for the Age of Austerity 16: Flexibility. Special appearance by Plastic Man.
* The New York Times ran the Duke story—a story about the internal politics of an English department—on its front page.
* Everything’s different in Denmark: Porn belongs in the classroom, says Danish professor.
* What could possibly go wrong? The Scientist Who Wanted To Bring A Death Row Inmate Back From The Dead.
* Rise of the Gender Novel: Too often, trans characters are written as tortured heroes. We’re more complex than that.
* I’m Al Lowe and I created a series of games called Leisure Suit Larry for Sierra back in the ’80s and ’90s along with another 20 games and titles back in that period. I was with Sierra from 1982 until 1998 when it — well, it was the poor victim of a hostile takeover by criminals. How about that for an opening?
* Did Terry Brooks save epic fantasy? Given the years involved if anything did it seems more likely to me that it was Dungeons and Dragons, but it’s a nice remembrance of the franchise regardless.
* I’m good for five seasons at least: Bridgeport Priest Who Ran Meth Ring Pleads For Leniency.
* Really bad idea watch: Sherlock Goes Old-School For Its Christmas Special.
* You had me at fully automated luxury communism (FALC).
* And because you demanded it! Sam Jones Says New Flash Gordon Is A Sequel.
* Shit and Curses, and Other Updates on the Steven Salaita Affair. Return of the blacklist? Cowardice and censorship at the University of Illinois. Academic Freedom, Except When I Disagree. Bérubé on Salaita. The national AAUP’s statement. Cary Nelson, the AAUP, and the privilege of bestowing academic freedom. Cary Nelson’s Case. John K. Wilson. The definition of academic freedom, for many, does not accommodate dissent. The University of Illinois Is Not an Island. A Love Letter to Twitter. A New Birth of Academic Freedom.
* One of the ironies of college is that the impossibility of reading your way out of the modern predicament is something you learn about, as a student, by reading. Part of the value of a humanistic education has to do with a consciousness of, and a familiarity with, the limits that you’ll spend the rest of your life talking about and pushing against. So it’s probably natural for college students to be a little ironic, a little unsettled. It’s time, meanwhile, to admit that the college years aren’t for figuring out some improvised “sense of purpose.” They’re more like a period of acclimatization—a time when realizations can dawn. If you’re feeling uneasy about life, then you’re doing the reading.
* Matthew Cheney has a call to read Survivor over Octavia Butler’s objections, inspired in part by my recent series at LARoB.
* The University of Colorado is moving to fire a tenured faculty member after the Boulder campus paid $825,000 this week to settle a graduate student’s allegations that the philosophy professor retaliated against her for reporting she was sexually assault by a fellow student.
* Watch NJ cop go rogue: Since Obama ‘doesn’t follow Constitution, we don’t have to.’
* Oh, there’s your problem, your culture produces monsters: Telling white people the criminal justice system is racist makes them like it more.
* On not being cynical enough: LeBron James just leapt from one carefully constructed superteam to another. Of course I’m talking about you; I was always cynical about this. #cynicprivilege
* The painting refers to the old custom of punishing insubordinates by shoving them off a ship and onto an island. But these days, you can also view “Marooned” as a curiously precise description of the Delaware Art Museum. It, too, has been ostracized by its peers. In June, it was formally sanctioned by the Association of Art Museum Directors, which has asked its members not to lend artwork to Delaware or assist with its exhibitions.
* An interview on death and mourning with Thomas Laqueur, from the great TNI issue on mourning I was hyping the other day.
* “Ole Miss Struggles to Be a New Miss.” On trying to rebrand.
* “Punk archaeologists” explain why they dug out the Atari landfill. I should have been a punk archaeologist.
* Lost in Lost in La Mancha: Terry Gilliam trying to make Don Quixote again, which is now about trying to make Don Quixote.
* There’s only one thing Disney/Marvel loves more than money, and that’s not making inclusive superhero movies.
* Perhaps most importantly to everyone outside of Broadway, this production basically puts the kibosh on any new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm—at least until it’s over. David said he “hadn’t ruled out” doing more Curb, but that he’s “not going to mentally do that to myself right now.” Also, if he did do another season, “this play would push that schedule back.” So we’d say that if he did do a ninth season, it could be about how Larry David starring in a Broadway show ends up irritating everyone else. But of course, he already did that.
* The arc of history is long, but bends towards justice: Cops no longer desire photo of teenager’s erection.
* The headline reads, “Experts Split If Robots Will Usurp Human Workers By 2025.”
* Google Saved by the Bell Truth. Wake up sheeple.
* And SMBC presents: The Darwinist!
* Real-life trolley problem: programming a self-driving car to decide what to aim at in the event of a crash.
* As one of the first full-time faculty members at Southern New Hampshire’s online college, Ms. Caldwell taught 20 online courses last year: four at a time for five terms, each eight weeks long. The textbooks and syllabi were provided by the university; Ms. Caldwell’s job was to teach. She was told to grade and give feedback on all student work in 72 hours or less.
* The digital humanities bubble has popped. Climb on board the science fiction studies bubble before it’s too late!
* March Madness: The University of Oregon and the local district attorney’s office appear to have colluded to prevent a rape accusation from interfering with basketball. What a mess. “I thought, maybe this is just what happens in college,” she told police, “… just college fun.”
* Go ahead, make your jokes: Harvard Faculty Members Approve College’s First Honor Code.
* “The Day I Started Lying to Ruth”: A cancer doctor on losing his wife to cancer.
* The CPB also usefully charts the changing funding fortunes of higher education and corrections. As they remind us (4), there has been an effective reversal in the priorities placed on higher education and corrections since the early 1980s. In 1980-81 2.9% of the General Fund was spent on corrections; in 2014-2015 the Governor proposes 9%. In 1980-81, 9.6% of the General Fund was spent on higher education; in 2014-2015 the Governor proposes 5.1%. Actually the reversal is worse than the CPB indicates since Brown’s General Fund budget does not include the spending being sent to counties for realignment. This has allowed him to appear as if he is cutting back on correctional spending when he is not.
* Portland Committee Reviews Arrest of Nine-Year-Old Girl. Give them time! They really need to think through if arresting kids is really a good idea!
* Atrocious: The Globe and Mail wants its management to the have the right to assign editorial employees to write and edit advertorial copy as part of their regular duties, according to this union bulletin.
* RIP, Community. For now!
* I’m a little surprised we don’t already have a few trillionaires lying around. Get to work, capital! You’re slacking.
* Iowa Secretary of State makes voter fraud his signature issue, pours a ton of money into finding it, comes up with 117 illegally cast votes and gets six convictions. Typical voter turnout in Iowa is around one million people.
* Stress Gives You Daughters, Sons Make You Liberal. Well, that about solves all the big questions forever.
* And bell hooks vs. Beyoncé: whoever wins, we… Well, look, Beyoncé’s going to win. Let me start over.
* ‘Fallen’ Disney Princesses. The Ariel, Belle, and Jasmine ones are the best, I think.
* Scientific Paper of the Night: Could we blow up the sun?
I’d like to suggest that given the significance of bureaucracy as an administrative stronghold, the arena of bureaucracy is worth intervening in if and only if the legitimacy of governance by upper administration is negated by the intervention. A professor who agrees to be on a committee thinking that from that position she’ll be able to limit damage and fearing that if she is not on it things will be even worse is not negating the legitimacy of the administration, so that should not be done.
But a resolution introduced in the Academic Senate, or issued by an individual department, stating that the Regents should not be allowed to set the salaries of upper administrators would reject their legitimacy and would be worth doing, not least because it would be news…
* Thank a Boomer: the North Pole is now a lake.
* College enrollment fell 2 percent in 2012-13, the first significant decline since the 1990s, but nearly all of that drop hit for-profit and community colleges; now, signs point to 2013-14 being the year when traditional four-year, nonprofit colleges begin a contraction that will last for several years. Better hire some new assistant under-deans to tackle this problem.
* Why would CPS throw more money into recruiting recent college graduates with five weeks of training and no teaching certificates into the district when it lets go of highly-qualified, certified, veteran teachers? What’s the Difference Between Teach For America, and a Scab Temp Agency?
* “Summer Vacation Is Evil”: the ultimate #slatepitch.
* Today in coffee-is-good-for-you news: Coffee drinking tied to lower risk of suicide.
* And tonight’s poem: “Rape Joke,” by Patricia Lockwood.