Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Malthus

A Few for Friday

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I had a ton of links late last night in case you missed it, but here’s a few more for this morning:

Ginsberg’s view is Malthusian. Administrators breed unless checked.

* Are all adjunct contracts illegal? Seems worth looking into…

If the White House wants to pay attention to something important, they might start there rather than embracing the hope that market forces will automagically deploy the MOOC to finally relieve the technocrats of the burden of maintaining and extending public goods.

Elsevier is a commercial firm that publishes some of the leading journals in many academic fields. In recent weeks, it has sent takedown notices to the academic social media network Academia.edu, as well as to the University of Calgary, the University of California-Irvine, and Harvard University. Why would Elsevier pick a fight with Harvard? That seems suicidal. Harvard could start up a nonprofit publishing firm for academic journals and not even notice the money was gone.

* When “Life Hacking” Is Really White Privilege.

Top court strikes down Canada’s ‘overly broad’ anti-prostitution laws. Wow.

* This Guy Thinks All Pro Sports Are Rigged. I thought everyone knew this now…

* Obama suddenly dropping pardons. Thirteen! Just a few million to go.

* BREAKING: The point of voting is to build and maintain hegemony.

* And your tumblr of forever: 70sscifiart.tumblr.com.

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Six for Monday Morning

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* The United Nations has completed the first-ever global assessment of the state of the planet’s land resources, finding in a report Monday that a quarter of all land is highly degraded and warning the trend must be reversed if the world’s growing population is to be fed.

*  A Few Unexpected Subjects of Class Struggle – Notes on Recent University Strikes.

* Greg Packer, “All the Angry People.”

* Elena Kagan profile (and bonus ACA-pregaming) from Dahlia Lithwick.

* Flight of the Conchords movie could happen. No spoilers for the uninitiated, but there’s at least one song in The Muppets that’s pretty much already big-screen Conchords.

* And Alex Callinicos on life after capitalism.

The Rise and Fall of Mouse Utopia

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In 1972, John B. Calhoun detailed the specifications of his Mortality-Inhibiting Environment for Mice: a practical utopia built in the laboratory. Every aspect of Universe 25—as this particular model was called—was pitched to cater for the well-being of its rodent residents and increase their lifespan. The Universe took the form of a tank, 101 inches square, enclosed by walls 54 inches high. The first 37 inches of wall was structured so the mice could climb up, but they were prevented from escaping by 17 inches of bare wall above. Each wall had sixteen vertical mesh tunnels—call them stairwells—soldered to it. Four horizontal corridors opened off each stairwell, each leading to four nesting boxes. That means 256 boxes in total, each capable of housing fifteen mice. There was abundant clean food, water, and nesting material. The Universe was cleaned every four to eight weeks. There were no predators, the temperature was kept at a steady 68°F, and the mice were a disease-free elite selected from the National Institutes of Health’s breeding colony. Heaven… Via MeFi.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 18, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Infinite Politics Thursday

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Infinite linkdump Thursday, just politics.

* The Mark Sanford story grows stranger by the day, with 19 South Carolina politicians now on the record calling for his resignation. (TPM reports that Senators DeMint and Graham have gone to Sanford to prevail on him to resign.) Today he backed off a pledge to release his travel records, which suggests more trouble may be brewing for him.

* Who could have imagined that Exxon-Mobil would lie about its continued support for climate-change “skepticism” advocacy groups?

* Highlights from the first day of the Al Franken Century.

* Democrats can now “hijack elections at their whim”: just another responsible, measured, and most of all empirically provable claim from RNC chairman Michael Steele, truly our country’s finest elder statesman.

* But it’s not all craziness: Michele Bachmann is facing criticism from the GOP for her weird lies about the Census.

* What caused the financial crisis? Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone (via MeFi) points to bubble economies nutured and created by giant investment firms, pointing the finger especially at Goldman Sachs. An Oklahoma lawmaker says it was “abortion, pornography, same sex marriage, sex trafficking, divorce, illegitimate births, child abuse, and many other forms of debauchery.” I report, you decide.

* Malthusianism and world history: a chart from Conor Clarke.

It’s clear these growth trends can continue forever.

* Ezra Klein has a new Washington Post column on the politics of food.

Polygraph 22: Call for Papers

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Polygraph 22—Call for Papers
http://www.duke.edu/web/polygraph/cfp22.html

Special Issue: Ecology and Ideology

The contemporary moment abounds with speculation concerning our ecological future. Specialists in a variety of fields forecast immanent catastrophe, stemming from a combination of climate change, fossil-fuel depletion, and consumer waste. The recent bestowal of the Nobel Peace Prize on a group of scientists studying climate change indicates the degree to which "peace" has come to signify ecological balance; even the declaration by the Vatican of a new set of "7 Deadly Sins for the modern age" includes pollution in an attempt to grapple with the potential of individuals to inflict ecological damage on a global scale.

In the name of an impending crisis felt to be collectively shared, new political, cultural, and intellectual alignments are being forged, just as seismic shifts in the flow of global capital once again threaten to "redistribute" the world’s resources and people. Ecological crisis has become a 24/7 media event, canvassing the planet in the imagery and rhetoric of disaster. From the halls of research and policy to activist documentary and apocalyptic fantasy, at the news desk, podium, pulpit, classroom, and computer monitor alike, all channels are united by a single underlying conviction: the present ecological catastrophe has humanity as its cause.

Precisely because the answer seems so obvious, we want to know: why now? Where are the points of antagonism in the midst of such apparent consensus, and what is at stake in their difference?

The Polygraph Editorial Collective invites papers concerning any aspect of ecology’s relationship to ideology, both interrogating ecology as a location for critique of global capitalism and analyzing the ways in which ecology functions as an ideology in its own right.

Potential areas of interest include:

Political Ecology
Globalization and ecology
Marxism and ecology
"Environmental accounting" as a challenge to the free market
Ecology and capital / consumerism
Ecology as growth market

Eco-Disaster
Peak oil and climate change
Biofuels and the food crisis
Overpopulation and Neo-Malthusianism
Ecology as a rhetoric of control
Figurations of eco-disaster in popular culture

Religion and Ecology
Green apocalypticism and green evangelism
Ecology and world religion

Ecology and gender
Recent articulations of eco-feminism
Eco- & transnational feminisms
Women’s work and the global chain of production
Agricultural work and reproduction

Ecologies against ecologies
"Light" vs. "dark green" environmentalism (i.e. deep ecology)
Primitivism and technofuturism
The status of international Green movements

Polygraph welcomes work from a variety of different disciplines, including critical geography, cultural anthropology, political economy, political theology, science studies, and systems theory. We also encourage the submission of a variety of formats and genres: i.e. field reports, surveys, interviews, photography, essays, etc.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE
December 31, 2008

ISSUE EDITORS
Gerry Canavan
Lisa Klarr
Ryan Vu

CONTACT
polygraph22cfp@gmail.com