Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

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Tuesday Links, Plus a Very Canavan Podcast!

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There’s No Sheriff on This Planet: A Conversation with Kim Stanley Robinson. The latest in my irregular series of conversations with KSR. The transcript is just the highlights — for the full effect you’ll have to listen.

* Extrapolation 60.1 is out! Articles on rape motifs in contemporary fantasy, Japanese print SF, and Nihād Sharīf’s The Conqueror of Time.

* Endgame ephemera! Avengers: Endgame, or, why this is all your fault. Avengers and the Endgame of Liberalism. And the Russo brothers are on a quest to make sure you know that Endgame being good had nothing to do with them.

* The Night King? Never happened. It will shock you how much it never happened. Bonus appearance by the coffee cup! If these are the final two choices, the only way to win the Game may be not to play.

* “Like Groundhog Day — and while we’re at it, like The Good Place — Russian Doll is Kafka played on easy mode.”

* Watch The Wandering Earth on Netflix!

* Ted Chiang has a new book, why haven’t you bought it yet?

* A new climate change story from Paolo Bacigalupi at MIT Technology Review. Killer ending.

* Human society under urgent threat from loss of Earth’s natural life. One million species at risk of extinction, UN report warns. Humans Are Speeding Extinction and Altering the Natural World at an ‘Unprecedented’ Pace. An open letter to David Wallace-Wells. We are ruled by psychopaths.

* Greta Thunberg, autism, and climate activism.

* For roughly 18 months, AirPods play music, or podcasts, or make phone calls. Then the lithium-ion batteries will stop holding much of a charge, and the AirPods will slowly become unusable. They can’t be repaired because they’re glued together. They can’t be thrown out, or else the lithium-ion battery may start a fire in the garbage compactor. They can’t be easily recycled, because there’s no safe way to separate the lithium-ion battery from the plastic shell. Instead, the AirPods sit in your drawer forever. AirPods Are a Tragedy.

It’s time to speak about batshit jobs.

Today, batshit jobs are more widespread than ever. You’re likely doing a batship job if you’re working in advertising trying to maintain mass consumption, in air traffic, industrial farming and forestry, in mining, in the car industry, and first of all if you’re working in oil drilling, fracking, coal mining.

To become dilligent batshit workers we have to be trained, and we have to be able to block out the harm that our work participates in. The beauty of the school strikes is that a generation of young people are preparing themselves to refuse batshit work.

*  It seems to me that anyone who considers this for more than ten minutes has to recognize that “student demand” is a construct: it is the product of a pervasive, cross-institutional pedagogy in social and educational value in which students are immersed from (at least) primary school onward.  If students are demanding STEM in record numbers, this is a because they have been systematically invited to embrace a number of interlocking beliefs: that

  1. STEM fields matter to the welfare and future of human societies more than other fields — that social problems respond best to technocratic solutions; 
  2. college is a course of career training; 
  3. college is an investment that ought to be maximized in order to yield the highest possible return in the form of lifelong higher income;
  4. STEM fields represent areas of continuing high-growth, recession-proof employment. 

“Student demand” is a fact insofar as it reproduces these assumptions, which are already endemic to the privatized, market-driven university.  Other forms of “student demand” (for example, demands for a more racially and ethnically diverse faculty that better reflects regional and national demographics) are routinely ignored.

* Marquette Academic Senate calls for administration neutrality on unionization.

* Measuring the tenure-track success of pre-2009 Ph.D.s is like measuring the ice stability of Greenland’s glaciers before industrialization. Researcher’s suicide reflects bleak prospects for post-Ph.D. life. Adjuncts and Freelancers: Reading Signs of Eventual Destruction.

* Turning Point USA’s dark coup on college campuses.

A lot of older academics will point to the 1970s or the 1990s to say that crisis has always been the default, and there’s truth to this. But they didn’t have the same debt loads back then.

* “Second Chance: Life without Student Debt.”

* For Colleges, Climate Change Means Making Tough Choices.

* People Are Clamoring to Buy Old Insulin Pumps.

What Happened After My 13-Year-Old Son Joined the Alt-Right. As capitalism starts to crumble, hate finds a familiar foothold.

Liberalism: the other God that failed. The Senate is a much bigger problem than the Electoral College. Here’s how many millennials get help from their parents to pay rent and other bills. Twitter users answer the question: “When did you become radicalized by the U.S. health care non-system?” 42% of Americans are at risk of retiring broke.

* America smartly sets its sights on the one flaw in the Constitution the Founders actually bothered to fix.

* If the president does it, it’s not obstruction.

* This seems heathy. This too! Things are great.

The forgotten history of how Abraham Lincoln helped rig the Senate for Republicans.

* Dialectics of Milwaukee: ‘It’s clear that the secret is out about Milwaukee,’ increased tourism spending shows. There seems to be a surge of unsettling things happening on the Milwaukee education landscape, some of them just more of the same (low student achievement, divisive politics) and some of them not so typical (corruption). Glendale would provide $37 million to help redevelop struggling Bayshore — with $57 million debt paid off.

Sandra Bland, It Turns Out, Recorded Her Own Video of Traffic Stop Confrontation. ICE provides local police a way to work around ‘sanctuary’ policies, act as immigration officers.

* On April 30, my Liberal Studies class, framed as Anthropology and Philosophy of Science, was the site of a horrific event. Two of my students were killed while four more were injured.

Study: Therapy dogs reduce children’s fear, anxiety during dentist appointments.

Aging baby boomers are about to push Alzheimer’s disease rates sky high.

The Saga Of ‘Star Citizen,’ A Video Game That Raised $300 Million—But May Never Be Ready To Play.

* Dystopia watch: Oh Good, a Subway System Is Making Riders Stare at Ads Before They Can Buy a Ticket. Amazon’s staffing up a news vertical full of crime stories designed to scare you into buying a spying, snitching “smart” doorbell. We’ve lived so long that the founding of Amazon Prime is something we can be nostalgic about now.

* Let’s just go with a daily reminder that Philip K. Dick wrote a novel where all films were just called disneys.

* Who Owns the Moon Watch: Why the Moon Is Suddenly a Hot Commodity.

* How angry pilots got the Navy to stop dismissing UFO sightings.

* And the biggest danger about an asteroid strike? Lawyers.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 7, 2019 at 12:31 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Just Another Saturday Night Linkdump

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CFP: Medical Humanities and the Fantastic. CFP: Edited Collection, Fan Studies: Methods, Ethics, Research. CFP: Reclaiming the Tomboy: Posthumanism, Gender Representation, and Intersectionality. CFP: Special Issue on Indigenous and Sovereign Games. CFP: The Age of the Pulps: The SF magazine, 1926–1960. CFP: Productive Futures: The Political Economy of Science Fiction, Bloomsbury, London, 12-14 September 2019.

* Awesome #altac job watch: Humanities Editor at Minnesota Press.

* The second half of the Women’s Studies issue on Octavia E. Butler, featuring my article of Parable of the Trickster, is now officially out. Check it out!

* Find out when someone started crying during Endgame, and you’ll find out who they’ve lost. (Really, though, it doesn’t make any sense.) “Avengers: Endgame” is not just the culmination of the 22-movie Marvel Cinematic Universe. It also represents the decisive defeat of “cinema” by “content.” In Praise of Poorly Built Worlds. The Avengers are the heroes of ‘Endgame,’ but Disney was the villain all along. But this time, we’re talking about a tragedy beyond what could possibly be commemorated through memorial sites. It would land somewhere closer to mass suicide and total infrastructural collapse–and where Endgame is concerned, there are no tragedies, there is only Marvel. Eco-Villains: Thanos and the Night King. To put it bluntly, and in Deleuze’s terms, superhero films are action films for people who no longer believe in action, for whom the capacity to act has been overtaken by the spectacle. It’s probably the best version of what an Avengers movie can be. And even that turns out to be silly, sloppily written, and to require massive amount of suspension of disbelief. Is it really too much to hope that Marvel stops debasing its characters and stories with events that can never live up to the MCU’s individual pieces? Interview With A Local Man Returning After Thanos’ Snap.

* MCU continuity enters its “fuck you, that’s why” period.

An analysis of both side’s tactics in the Battle of Winterfell, from a military strategist. A counterpoint.

* Hate to agree with Ross Douthat, but it really does seem to be the case that hype aside Martin is just warmed-over Tolkien, but worse in every particular. Bonus Twitter thread goodness on GoT and colonialism.

* America is a horror: on Jordan Peele’s Us.

* Vox celebrates the great James Tiptree Jr. (Alice Sheldon).

* Keeping company with my Audible app over lunch, I’ve come to see it as the buddy our tech overlords have granted me in the isolation that they help to impose. I feel this way about podcasts.

* Report Realism: Tentative Notes on Contemporary Kenyan Writing.

Genres that strain realism—the gothic and neo-gothic, fantasy, science fiction, horror, romance, and so on—are conspicuously absent in Kenyan writing, even as they are incredibly well represented in Kenyan book consumption. We are not writing what we are reading; even the very popular Christian-themed fiction about fighting demonic forces, which is really a variation of the horror novel, remains relatively sparse in terms of what we write or, perhaps more accurately, what we choose to make public of our writing. The believable and the realistic are bounded by NGO narratives and perspectives. And too many writers believe that the only writing worth anything is the believable and the realistic: to be a “committed” writer requires adhering to report realism.

Report realism believes in the power of “truth,” whether contemporary or historical, with a faith that borders on fundamentalism. In report realism, the truth will set us free. Report realism confirms objective NGO reports and affirms what Kenyans feel to be the truth of a particular condition. In report realism, for instance, the Kenyan prostitute is always a morally degraded figure looking for a way out to a respectable moral life. This realism is celebrated and supported by the NGO organizations who fund writing competitions and publish winning entries devoted to describing the real Kenya and by mainstream publishers who have the conservative mission of producing appropriately moral literature.

* ‘It drives writers mad’: why are authors still sniffy about sci-fi?

* The saddest story ever told, beating Hemingway out by one word: Esports Part-Time Online Instructor.

Yes, you will get a job with that arts degree. With that history degree, too!

Storm Clouds Over Tulsa: Inside the academic destruction of a proud private university.

6 Majors Were Spared the Ax at Stevens Point. But the Damage Might Be Done.

* Students and (not) doing the reading.

* How to Be a Better Online Teacher.

Getting a Game Studies PhD: A Guide for Aspiring Video Game Scholars. Game Boys: The “gamer” identity undermines the radical potential of play.

Sexual harassment is pervasive in US physics programmes.

The Disciplines Where No Black People Earn Ph.D.s. Being a Black Academic in America.

‘It’s an Aristocracy’: What the Admissions-Bribery Scandal Has Exposed About Class on Campus.

Swarthmore Fraternities Disband.

* Marquette faculty, students and community members rally for unionization. Unionization effort at Marquette leaves organizers, administration in a stalemate.

The University Is a Ticking Time Bomb. A Moral Stain on the Profession.

* “Student loan debt is crushing millions of families. That’s why I’m calling for something truly transformational: Universal free college and the cancellation of debt for more than 95% of Americans with student loan debt.”

Anxiety ‘epidemic’ brewing on college campuses, researchers find.

* Stanford keeps Stanford University Press alive… for one year.

Charles Koch gave $25m to our university. Has it become a rightwing mouthpiece? George Mason University’s Donor Problem and the Fight for Transparency.

Grad Students at Private Colleges Were Cleared to Unionize 3 Years Ago. Here’s What’s Changed.

* How America’s College-Closure Crisis Leaves Families Devastated.

* Meanwhile every teacher in the country is constantly confronted with the possibility that they’ll be asked to die for their students.

All Literature Is Climate Change Literature. The Green New Deal Costs Less Than Doing Nothing. Ecuador Amazon tribe win first victory against oil companies. ‘Death by a thousand cuts’: vast expanse of rainforest lost in 2018. Vietnam just observed its highest temperature ever recorded: 110 degrees, in April. ‘Decades of denial’: major report finds New Zealand’s environment is in serious trouble. Alaska’s in The Middle of a Record-Breaking Spring Melt, And It’s Killing People. The Folly of Returning to Paradise, California. Policy tweaks won’t do it, we need to throw the kitchen sink at this with a total rethink of our relationship to ownership, work and capital. Only rebellion will prevent an ecological apocalypse. “You did not act in time.” We Asked the 2020 Democrats About Climate Change (Yes, All of Them). Here Are Their Ideas. The Billionaire’s Guide to Hacking the Planet. What if air conditioners could save the planet? The collapse of the industrial economy is, in all likelihood, the only remaining way to prevent the mass destruction of life on Earth. ‘The Time To Act Is Now,’ Says Yellowing Climate Change Report Sitting In University Archive. A Message from the Future with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Names and Locations of the Top 100 People Killing the Planet. Between the Devil and the Green New Deal. Five years. And here comes eco-fascism.

* Down and Out in the Gig Economy: Journalism’s dependence on part-time freelancers has been bad for the industry—not to mention writers like me.

But for most of us, freelance journalism is a monetized hobby, separate from whatever real income one earns. The ideal relationship for a freelance journalist to their work becomes a kind of excited amateurism. They should hope for professional success and acceptance but always keep a backup plan or three in mind. They will likely not be welcomed past the gates of full-time employment. By year five or six, they might be rebranding themselves as “editorial consultants” or “content strategists,” realizing that any genuine fiscal opportunity lies in shepherding corporate content to life.

* ‘Two-Tiered Caste System’: The World of White-Collar Contracting in Silicon Valley. The Future of Unions Is White-Collar. We Just Remembered How to Strike.

These five charts show how bad the student loan debt situation is.

* “I am a woman and I am fast.” The ongoing harassment of Caster Semenya is simply incredible.

* Ten years later, police lies about Oscar Grant come to light. And elsewhere on the police beat: We found 85,000 cops who’ve been investigated for misconduct. Now you can read their records. New York City’s DAs Keep Secret Lists Of Cops With Questionable Credibility. Virginia police sergeant fired after being linked to white supremacy.

Border Patrol Holds Hundreds of Migrants in Growing Tent City Away From Prying Eyes. Emails Show Trump Administration Had No Plan to Track and Reunite Separated Families. Militia in New Mexico Detains Asylum Seekers at Gunpoint.

TSA Agents Say They’re Not Discriminating Against Black Women, But Their Body Scanners Might Be.

* Against prison.

* France Debates How to Rebuild Notre-Dame, Weighing History and Modernity. An art historian explains the tough decisions in rebuilding Notre Dame. How Digital Scans of Notre Dame Can Help Architects Rebuild the Burned Cathedral. The billionaires’ donations will turn Notre Dame into a monument to hypocrisy.

* Researchers Made 3,900-Pound Boulders They Can Move by Hand, Giving More Insights Into Ancient Engineering.

* Mental health minute: Researchers say there’s a simple way to reduce suicides: Increase the minimum wage. The challenge of going off psychiatric drugs. The kids are not all right.

* The Rise of Useless Health Insurance. High-Deductible Health Policies Linked To Delayed Diagnosis And Treatment. American Prescription Drug Prices Are Out of Control. One Man’s Furious Quest to Get to the Bottom of It.

* Rich guys are most likely to have no idea what they’re talking about, study suggests.

Half of England is owned by less than 1% of the population.

* A new Gallup poll says that America is home to some of the most stressed people in the world, reporting extraordinary levels of anger and anxiety that could be cause for concern, say doctors.

Workers Should Be in Charge.

I Work With Suicidal Farmers. It’s Becoming Too Much to Bear.

* On crunch time in the games industry.

Instagram Memers Are Unionizing.

* How Dungeons & Dragons somehow became more popular than ever.

Fantastic Autistic: Neurodiversity, Estrangement and Playing with the Weird.

* Re-reading the Map of Middle-earth: Fan Cartography’s Engagement with Tolkien’s Legendarium.

Why Won’t Twitter Treat White Supremacy Like ISIS? Because It Would Mean Banning Some Republican Politicians Too.

* Believe them when they say they want to kill us.

* Children of the Children of Columbine.

* My parents didn’t tell me they skipped my vaccines. Then I got sick.

* How a mall dies, Milwaukee edition.

* The hunt for rocket boosters in Russia’s far north.

* Job-hunting will only get worse.

* Of course I believe in hell. I vote for Democrats.

* Biden biden biden biden

* The gamification of fascism.

* Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, fandom, and anti-fandom.

* My feckless Googling had reaped a monstrous reality that I knew was going to haunt me for the rest of my life. I asked myself: Is there something righteous in facing reality, or would it have been better to stay ignorant? A surfeit of ugly knowledge is a feature of our age, a result of the internet carrying to our doorstep, like a tomcat with a dead rat, all manner of brutal information. How many others have flippantly Googled an old friend and discovered something ghastly? This was not knowledge as power; it was knowledge as sorrow.

* “Australia Is Deadly Serious About Killing Millions of Cats.”

* The oldest known tree in Wisconsin.

* A Video Game Developed To Detect Alzheimer’s Disease Seems To Be Working.

* Decolonizing Oregon Trail.

* How “Liberal” Late-Night Talk Shows Became A Comedy Sinkhole.

Men Have No Friends and Women Bear the Burden. Women suffer needless pain because almost everything is designed for men. What Good Dads Get Away With.

When Measles Arrives: Breaking Down the Anatomy of Containment.

* Despite being legally required to conduct audits since the early 90s and holding a staggering  2.2 trillion in assets, the Pentagon held its first-ever audit this week — which it, unsurprisingly, spectacularly failed.

* I have so little faith in the holders of the Star Trek IP I can’t greet any of this news with pleasure. Even the realization that Discovery is (finally) going to do something truly original in its third season just fills me with dread. And I don’t know how to feel about this at all: Star Trek: Picard Series May Not Reunite TNG Cast. Star Trek: Discovery’s Depiction of Captain Pike’s Disability is a Betrayal of Roddenberry’s Utopian Vision. My mini-tweetstorm on the subject.

* Sundown on Deadwood: David Milch, battling Alzheimer’s, finally finishes his TV Western.

* Professional obligation watch, god help me.

Jeopardy Wasn’t Designed for a Contestant Like James Holzhauer.

* Tolkien estate disavows forthcoming film starring Nicholas Hoult.

* John Lennon’s 15 year old report card.

* Colonizing Condiments: A (Very) Short History of Ketchup.

Women my age weren’t called ‘autistic’ growing up. We were awkward or ‘rude.’ And we missed out on services.

* “We are not interested in the reason for why the people are killed,” he wrote. “But if she is your wife or some family member, we can do it in your city as well.”

The Stolen Kids of Sarah Lawrence.

* Obituary corner: Gene Wolfe Was the Proust of Science Fiction. Before the Labyrinthine Lore of ‘Dark Souls,’ There Was Gene Wolfe.

Before Gamergate, before the 2016 election, they launched a campaign against Twitter trolls masquerading as women of color. If only more people had paid attention.

* Medicine is magical and magical is art / The boy in the bubble / And the baby with the baboon heart.

* Scientists Restore Some Function In The Brains Of Dead Pigs.

* The Great Pornwall of Britain Goes Up July 15.

* The United States of Conspiracy: An Interview with Anna Merlan.

* ok ok I’ll bite what’s coal

* what piece of cosmo sex advice most haunts your waking hours

* If you want a vision of the future: Netflix ‘buys 50 literary projects in last year.’

* It was in autumn that the happy face arrived. Death of a Salesman. No mathematics, no science can ever predict the human soul. Where do you want to eat tonight?

2019 National Geographic Travel Photo Contest.

* And only mass surveillance can save us now! Rough news day for Oxford if you ask me.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 4, 2019 at 6:42 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Wednesday Morning Links!

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I see this kind of entrapment everywhere in the neoliberal order. In my own field of academia, I think of how we tell students that college is the only path to a liveable life, leading them to ‘freely choose’ to take on impossible debt loads that they can never escape. We recognize that an injustice has happened here, but a lot of people find it hard to resist saying, essentially, ‘Well, you should have thought of that before you took out the loans….’ They chose it, therefore they should bear the consequences.

And that is one of the least sinister cases – for instance, think about how blacks are entrapped into criminality and then punished disproportionately. Again, we recognize an injustice, but in the mainstream discourse the instinctive reaction is: ‘Well, they had a choice.’ Under neoliberalism, our free choice doesn’t exist to give us room for creativity and exploration – we can seemingly only ever choose wrongly. Free will is a means to generate blameworthiness, to tell us that we deserve what we get.

* The Future of Work, at Wired.

Common Good, Not Common Despair.

We don’t often talk of the formative nature of debt in the same way we do in regard to other educational experiences. But just as education is about more than funneling information into students’ brains, indebtedness is about more than the transfer of money. Universities rarely address the aspect of higher education that may most powerfully shape students’ futures: the debt they take on to finance it. A Debt to Education: Universities can shape their students for life – in more ways than one.

But we can do better. As educators, we need to lead the way and design our pedagogical approaches for the students we have, not the students we wish we had. This requires approaches that are responsive, inclusive, adaptive, challenging, and compassionate. And it requires that institutions find more creative ways to support teachers and prepare them for the work of teaching. This is not a theoretical exercise — it is a practical one.

* Universities watchdog threatens fines over grade inflation.

Professor hired mercenaries to rescue student from ISIS in Iraq after he said he wouldn’t finish his thesis.

Citizenship v. The Surveillance State.

I now conceptualize the society I came from and the war to which I went as part of the same grotesque amusement park ride. If I have discovered anything since my homecoming, it is not that I never came home. It is not that my soul resides in Afghanistan. It is that my home has lost its peaceful veneer, stripped bare, like Twentynine Palms. An American who leaves for war never leaves America. The war that is America, rather, comes to the American. The war is the society and the society is the war, and one who sees that war sees America.

Star Wars is Really a Cautionary Tale About Devoting All Technological Advancements to Death.

* What I Learned from Reading 1,182 Emergency Room Bills.

A Father’s Version Of A Guatemalan Girl’s Trip To The US Raises Questions About The Border Patrol’s Account. Guatemalan girl likely died of ‘sepsis shock’ after crossing border, hospital officials said. Medical Help Was Hours Away for Migrant Girl Who Died in U.S. Custody. “I just left the tent city at Tornillo. It is a child prison camp. They refused our request to speak with the children who are held there.”

* “You are not mature enough to tell it like it is. Even that burden you leave to us children.”

Mounting legal threats surround Trump as nearly every organization he has led is under investigation. Trump agrees to shut down his charity amid allegations that he used it for personal and political benefit. How Donald Trump Got Caught in a Legal Vise. Quick thread on the only recorded criminal arrest of a sitting U.S. president—made by a D.C. Police offering for speeding, a century and a half ago.

* The Future of Ultrahigh-End Space Travel.

* The UNC shitshow continues.

How Scandal and Severance Enrich Private-College Presidents.

The New York Times Just Published an Unqualified Recommendation for an Insanely Anti-Semitic Book. A Brief, Depressing Compendium of Alice Walker’s Apparent Conspiratorial Beliefs.

* On Tolkien and race.

* The Brexit Breaking Point. Government gives Britain’s 6 million businesses 101 days to prepare for a No Deal Brexit.

* After Kavanaugh.

* Here’s the list of workout clothes you should buy if you don’t want to be complicit in global slavery.

* Everything old is new again! Forever and ever amen.

A Texas Elementary School Speech Pathologist Refused to Sign a Pro-Israel Oath, Now Mandatory in Many States — so She Lost Her Job.

* I’ve polled Twitter and it’s officially okay to take pleasure in the suffering of these Trump voters whose property is going to wind up on the wrong side of the wall.

* Some superstitious divination rituals may have spread because they functioned as adaptive randomization devices in contexts where people otherwise would have used decision procedures worse than chance.

The rapper who allegedly received Dorsey’s facial hair, I’m very excited to share, was Azealia Banks. She tweeted about this exchange in 2016, writing that Dorsey “sent me his hair in an envelope because i was supposed to make him an amulet for protection.”

* The PewDiePie century.

* Facebook has abused your data and your trust in literally every way it is possible for them to do so.

The Cities Where The Cops See No Hate.

* Basically every actress you liked in the early 2000s who disappeared by 2010 was blackballed for speaking out against powerful abusive men.

* A method for creating extremely convincing fake faces.

Trans Teenager Claims Teacher Demanded He ‘Prove’ He Was a Boy In Bathroom.

As an intellectual historian, I’ve found it puzzling that no one has scanned Ross Douthat’s writings from the Harvard Salient, 1998-2002. So I checked out as much of it as I could and there’s some pretty good stuff.

“We have six people on board,” one pilot said a few minutes later, according to an audio recording available via LiveATC.net. “Airplane is completely uncontrollable.”

Metroid’s Samus Aran is a Transgender Woman. Deal With It.

* Are we living with the Chickenocene?

* When you fit the description.

* Ambient cruelty.

* Well you tell me how you’d make baby powder without asbestos.

* Well you tell me how they’re supposed to attract top-flight talent to a company that no longer exists.

* Wild story from the animal beat: An Officer Placed a Retired Police Dog in a Shelter. Now He’s Been Demoted.

An Atlas of American Gun Violence.

* Today in the best $____ I ever spent: top surgery.

* What’s the greenest way to travel? We built a sim of world’s climate battle – here’s what happened when delegates played it at COP24. Inside the most destructive fire in American history—and why the West’s cities and towns will keep on burning. Weather 2050.

* Starting to think Woody Allen might be a bad guy.

* Springsteen on Broadway on Netflix: The Interview.

* Being Chris Hayes.

Why We Still Don’t Know How Many NFL Players Have CTE.

The Artful Propaganda of Soviet Children’s Literature.

How To Make Beer With Only What You Can Grow On A Generation Ship.

* Malls of the 21st Century.

* The ‘Weird Events’ That Make Machines Hallucinate.

* Tech and the supernatural.

* Journey of an American Bomb.

* DC must have heard about my Graz talk: they’re making a Swamp Thing show. Meanwhile, another followup from Graz: Aquaman, From Super Friend To Surfer Dude: The Bro-Ification Of A Hero.

* And I know it’s my fault for seeing the double entendre in everything, but sometimes I really think they’re doing it on purpose.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 19, 2018 at 9:09 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Week-Old Links at Two-Weeks-Old-Link Prices

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* The San Bernardino mystery. Disband MSNBC. The story of the first mass murder in U.S. history. From the archives: The Making of a Rampage Murderer: What the Brutal Life of Oakland Shooter One L. Goh Says About America. So There’s Just Been a Mass Shooting. The Breaking News Consumer’s Handbook. Your tweets are not helping.

* YOU CAN’T KNOW THAT

The story, called “The Princess Steel,” was discovered by scholars Adrienne Brown and Britt Rusert, who write about it in the new issue of the Modern Language Association journal. We May Have Just Found W.E.B. Du Bois’ Earliest Science Fiction Story.

The CIA’s WWII Guide to Creating Organizational Dysfunction Perfectly Describes Your Toxic Workplace.

* Crank watch: What No One Is Telling You About Mark Zuckerberg Donating 99% Of His Fortune To “Charity.” The Philanthropy Hustle.

Tickets go on sale Friday, Dec. 11.

* Elsewhere on the local beat: The Transformation of the Milwaukee Art Museum.

* I teach practical, marketable skills that will serve my students their entire lives.

* Jury duty.

Four tough things universities should do to rein in costs. Four tough things columnists should do before writing about universities.

Are most academic papers really worthless? Don’t trust this worthless statistic.

College athletic departments are paying themselves to lose money.

* The future is a nightmare, and Purdue is ready.

* Self-driving cars will be the worst. Hopefully this particular problem is mostly solved by the elimination of private car ownership altogether.

* The hunt for Vulcan.

Catholic University Declares 1st Amendment Right To Ignore Catholicism.

* Sports Corner: Stephen Curry Is The Revolution.

* Meanwhile it is stunning to have my prejudices confirmed so wholly: New Study Finds ‘Surprising’ Correlation Between Degenerative Brain Disease And Amateur Athletics.

* Cruel Optimism and the NFL, or, Life in the Factory of Sadness.

* Let us be precise: Donald Trump Is Not a Liar.

Leaked Documents Show Alabama Police Department Planted Drugs On Black Men For Years. Meanwhile, in Chicago. UPDATE: There may be less to that Alabama story than meets the eye.

Spoiler Alerts: Three Books on Trash.

* The 24 Most Embarrassing Dungeons & Dragons Character Classes.

Assuming a round figure of two and a half billion years of beak-sharpening, and assuming (a BIG assumption, to be sure) about three days per iteration of the Doctor, you can figure, based on a solar year of 365.25 days, that there have been approximately three hundred and four billion, three hundred and seventy-five million and twelve Doctors.

* And speaking of the Doctor: I’m not even sure who #2 would be.

* Behold the Jessica Jones backlash.

* Study suggests Type 2 diabetes can be cured by weight loss — specifically the loss of half a gram of fat from the pancreas.

* What they give with one hand they take with the other: Research Points To Mental Health Risks Associated With Meatless Diet.

* This is neat: The Third Amendment to the Constitution — the one that bans the quartering of soldiers in homes without the owner’s consent — is sort of the Pete Best of the early American legislative experiment. While the other amendments have had all sorts of play at the highest levels of legal rulings, there has never been a Supreme Court decision primarily based on the Third Amendment. Clearly the Founders had a goal, wrote it down, and we haven’t had too many questions about the matter since. Nice work, Founders. Anyway, there’s an idea bubbling among legal theorists to use the Third Amendment to counteract domestic spying from the NSA — a branch of the Department of Defense — and while it may not be 100 percent there, it’s interesting.

* Our bad: U.S. Holds Yemeni Man at Guantanamo Bay for 13 Years in Case of Mistaken Identity.

Starting work before 10am isn’t just soul crushing, this scientist says it’s equivalent to torture.

* Why Education Does Not Fix Poverty.

* Rape in the porn industry.

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* Of One and the Other: Humans and Animals.

* Know your branches of economics.

State sues prisoners to pay for their room, board.

“This is the best declining mall review I’ve ever read.”

* Teach the controversy: Will Our Descendants Survive the Destruction of the Universe?

* Magnifique! In Photos: Anarchists Clash With Riot Police During Climate Summit Protest in Paris.

* When the Onion goes dark, there’s still no one better: Frustrated Gunman Can’t Believe How Far He Has To Drive To Find Nearest Planned Parenthood Clinic.

Female-Authors-Only Philosophy of Science Syllabus.

* There’s no such thing as a male or female brain, study finds.

Florida Woman’s Car Turned Her in for a Hit-and-Run.

Mom Who Overslept While Son Walked to School Could Get 10 Years in Prison.

* General election watch: Democrats are fiercely committed to the proposition of nominating a perhaps fatally compromised candidate whom basically no one likes. And from Amber A’Lee Frost: My Kind of Misogyny. Wheeeeeeeeee!

* Philosophy Corner: Is there a principled difference between having a gun and just having a button that when pressed kills the person standing in front of you?

* Abolish TIAA-CREF.

Was Star Wars’ Empire on the brink of financial ruin?

This company believes it can resurrect humans in the next 30 years.

* Kill the Santa Claus in your head.

From Climate Crisis to Solar Communism. World’s Most Vulnerable Islands Are Hoping Paris Will Bring an Impossible Climate Miracle. India Holds the Planet’s Fate in Its Hands. That’s Great News.

Def Sec Carter To Open All Combat Jobs To Women In Historic Change.

How to Be an Anticapitalist Today.

Soviet erotic alphabet picture book, 1931.

Yes, I did write a fixfic based on the “Wait—all the stories are true?” line from the new Star Wars trailer. I’m not sorry.

* There but for the grace of God go we: Man arrested with 51 turtles in his pants.

* And of course you had me at Rare 40-Year-Old Star Trek Comics Are Finally Being Released In the U.S.

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 5, 2015 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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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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The Prophecy Was True: More Tuesday Links

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* Eight short science fiction stories.

* On running an arcade in 2015.

Dear Dad, Send Money – Letters from Students in the Middle Ages.

The University of Iowa’s new president has no experience, no ideas, and flubbed his own résumé.

Keywords for the Age of Austerity 22: Collaboration (1 of 2).

NCTE Statement Affirming #BlackLivesMatter.

Wes Craven gentrified the exploitation genre, but by the end of his career he was priced out himself.

* The past is another country: the town where Emmett Till was lynched is disappearing.

* “I’m a public defender. It’s impossible for me to do a good job representing my clients.”

* Wage theft in America.

Here’s What I Saw in a California Town Without Running Water.

Refugees are the price we pay for a globalised economy in which commodities – but not people – are permitted to circulate freely. The idea of porous borders, of being inundated by foreigners, is immanent to global capitalism. The migrations in Europe are not unique. In South Africa, more than a million refugees from neighbouring states came under attack in April from the local poor for stealing their jobs. There will be more of these stories, caused not only by armed conflict but also by economic crises, natural disasters, climate change and so on. There was a moment, in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, when the Japanese authorities were preparing to evacuate the entire Tokyo area – more than twenty million people. If that had happened, where would they have gone? Should they have been given a piece of land to develop in Japan, or been dispersed around the world? What if climate change makes northern Siberia more habitable and appropriate for agriculture, while large parts of sub-Saharan Africa become too dry to support a large population? How will the redistribution of people be organised? When events of this kind happened in the past, the social transformations were wild and spontaneous, accompanied by violence and destruction. Slavoj Žižek on the refugee crisis.

* “On Queer Privilege.” Postcolonial theory has faced versions of this dilemma from time to time.

A Comprehensive List of Every Rick and Morty Universe So Far.

* Why Maria Left Sesame Street.

* Netflix to continue the best SF show of the decade? Yes please.

10 of Dr. Bunsen Honeydew’s best Muppet Labs experiments, rated for scientific accuracy.

Superhero Comics for Little Superheroes: Caped crusaders are not just not just for kids anymore.

* Ashes to ashes, mall to mall.

* And for your consideration: the greatest gif in world history.

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Closing All My Tabs Before I Flee The Country Links

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* The new issue of Extrapolation is out! This one was put together before I was an editor, but it’s still really great stuff.

* CFPs: Current Research in Speculative Fiction 2015. Tolkien at the University of Vermont. The Marquette Undergraduate Humanities Conference.

* Dear English Major: A 7-Step Guide to Your Final Semester as an English Major.

* It’s syllabus prep week at universities all across America. Here’s a provocative one from Vanderbilt: PHIL 213: Police Violence and Mass Incarceration.

* #MLA: Every Time You Fly, You Trash The Planet — And There’s No Easy Fix.

Solidarity without Affect: The MLA Subconference Enters Its Second Year. Via Freddie deBoer.

* Give me the child at 18 or so, and I will give you the man: Nine Percent of 114th U.S. Congress Are Alumni of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.

Inside a Chinese Test-Prep Factory.

California colleges see surge in efforts to unionize adjunct faculty. Washington University adjunct faculty vote to form a union.

Is depression a kind of allergic reaction?

* Why we can’t have nice things, 2015 edition: The Senate’s 46 Democrats got 20 million more votes than its 54 Republicans.

Pot Tax Adds $40+ Million To Colorado’s Economy: Crime, Traffic Deaths And Unemployment Are Down.

The Economics (and Nostalgia) of Dead Malls.

* Great moments in headcanon, Guardians of the Galaxy edition.

* I say teach the controversy: “Creationist: Aliens Will Go to Hell and Not Even Jesus Can Save Them.”

* Actual Supreme Court decisions: To remain silent, one must first speak.

* Dog bites man: 2014 Was The Hottest Year On Record Globally By Far.

On the 60th anniversary of Vladimir Nabokov’s “Lolita,” the Los Angeles Review of Books has assembled a group of female authors, artists and performers who, dedicated to examining the faces, bodies and voices of the young girl, consider the significance of Nabokov’s pubescent protagonist as both a literary conceit and an object of patriarchal fetish.

* The process used is ridiculous and would result in termination if used.

As a growing movement of unschoolers believe, a steady diet of standardized testing and indoor inactivity is choking the creativity right out of our kids. The alternative: set ’em free.

Here’s a comic strip about children dying of preventable diseases.

* Horrible attack on a satirical magazine in Paris.

A Colorado NAACP Office Was Bombed Today. A gasoline can near the bomb, apparently intended as a firebomb, failed to ignite.

People diagnosed with serious mental illness — schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or severe depression — die 20 years early, on average, because of a combination of lousy medical care, smoking, lack of exercise, complications of medication, suicide, and accidents. They are the most discriminated-against and neglected group in the U.S., which has become probably the worst place in the developed world to be mentally ill.

In Defense of Prince Hans.

Tangled, Brave, and Frozen All Made the Same Critical Mistake.

* How doctors die.

Nestle CEO: Water Is Not A Human Right, Should Be Privatized.

The Suburbanization of the US Working Class.

Few things we criminalize because they are ‘harmful’ are anywhere close as harmful as prison.

How White Liberals Used Civil Rights to Create More Prisons.

Ferguson Grand Juror Sues Prosecutor To Lift Gag Order.

“The little girl come to my door,” 71-year-old Larry Wilkins told NBC News. “She told me that her mom and her dad were dead, and she was in a plane crash, and the plane was upside down. She asked if she could stay here.”

“I’m no longer watching television in which middle-aged men figure out how to be men. I’d rather watch shows about teenaged girls figuring out what it means to be a monster.”

* Gender, blah, blah, blah.

A team of researchers at the New York State Psychiatric Institute surveyed 43,000 Americans and found that, by some wide margin, the rich were more likely to shoplift than the poor. Another study, by a coalition of nonprofits called the Independent Sector, revealed that people with incomes below 25 grand give away, on average, 4.2 percent of their income, while those earning more than 150 grand a year give away only 2.7 percent. A UCLA neuroscientist named Keely Muscatell has published an interesting paper showing that wealth quiets the nerves in the brain associated with empathy: If you show rich people and poor people pictures of kids with cancer, the poor people’s brains exhibit a great deal more activity than the rich people’s. (An inability to empathize with others has just got to be a disadvantage for any rich person seeking political office, at least outside of New York City.) “As you move up the class ladder,” says Keltner, “you are more likely to violate the rules of the road, to lie, to cheat, to take candy from kids, to shoplift, and to be tightfisted in giving to others. Straightforward economic analyses have trouble making sense of this pattern of results.”

Our New Politics of Torture.

The Cost of US Wars Since 9/11: a mere $1.6 Trillion.

The CIA has to approve every script for spy drama The Americans.

* Here’s what’s in the new issue of The Journal of Puerile Mathematics.

* Preach! Scientists Agree Work Makes You Wake Up Too Early.

United States Passes Old Soviet Union For Largest Prison System In History.

“Police Shoot, Kill [X].”

Visibility As Violence On Social Media.

‘Bullsh*t jobs’: Guerrilla posters welcome commuters back to work.

In Preventing Trans Suicides, ‘We Have Such A Long Way To Go.’

The True Cost of Teach For America’s Impact on Urban Schools.

* I can’t believe I’d never read this before: the original script to Back to the Future is wonderfully bananas, including the “nuke the fridge” scene from Crystal Skull thrown in as a sweetener.

* Peak neoliberalism: eventheliberal Kevin Drum says an AI revolution that will be “pretty brutal for the 90 percent of the population that occupies the middle classes and below” will be a “basically positive” development.

* PS: Drum might have been overestimating the timetable here. In 10 years, your job might not exist.

The paper makes no claims about in-person classes or very large online courses, but says that the study’s findings provide “the first evidence that increasing class sizes in the online context may not degrade the quality of the class.” And the paper says that “these results could have important policy and financial implications.”

‘Philosophy is for posh, white boys with trust funds’ – why are there so few women?

What To Do When You Discover Your Co-Worker Writes Erotic Hulk Fanfic.

Anti-terror plan to spy on toddlers ‘is heavy-handed.’ Well, that’s debatable.

67 Science Fiction And Fantasy Movies To Watch Out For In 2015.

The 20 Worst Films Of 2014.

The 10 Most Insignificant Wars in History.

A Nuclear Plant Leaked Oil Into Lake Michigan For Two Months Straight.

* Our Animal Hell.

Police say at least 30 people are sleeping permanently in Madrid airport’s terminal 4 but the number goes up in winter.

In 1997 the Swedish parliament wrote into law a “Vision Zero” plan, promising to eliminate road fatalities and injuries altogether. “We simply do not accept any deaths or injuries on our roads,” says Hans Berg of the national transport agency. Swedes believe—and are now proving—that they can have mobility and safety at the same time.

* Cell Phones Don’t Seem to Cause Brain Cancer.

We lost our son to football and brain disease. This is our story.

They Might Be Giants, Again: The Adult Comeback of a Cult Band. Even Dial-a-Song is back.

* Science fiction poetry: “Sci-Fi Violence.”

Most Citizens of the Star Wars Galaxy are Probably Totally Illiterate.

* Star Trek: The Next Generation in forty hours.

* It’s good to get ahead of things: Should Martians Pay U.S. Taxes?

“Hold for release till end of the world confirmed.”

* And the winner of the Worst Thing Written in 2015 has been announced. Thank you for your interest and we hope to see you again in 2016.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 7, 2015 at 8:30 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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