Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Marx

Surprise! Thursday Links!

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* I’m in something of an unusual situation, uniquely poised to obsessively explore the game while I’m on medical leave, but I’ve really been enjoying Gloomhaven. Reading D&D sourcebooks to yourself because you have no friends to play with never felt so good! If it’s even remotely your thing, check it out.

* Reading Marx on Halloween. UPDATE: Forgot this one! China Miéville: Marxism and Halloween.

* Can’t believe I have to wait for April for this: Revealing The Doors of Eden, a New Novel from Adrian Tchaikovsky.

The Doors of Eden takes the evolutionary world-building I used for Children of Time and Children of Ruin and applies it to all the ‘What ifs’ of the past. It’s a book that feeds on a lot of my personal obsessions (not just spiders*). The universe-building is perhaps the broadest in scope of anything I’ve ever written. At the same time, The Doors of Eden is a book set in the here and now, and even though there’s more than one ‘here and now’ in the book, I spent most of a summer trekking around researching locations like a film producer to try and get things as right as possible. Sometimes, when you plan a journey into the very strange, it works best if you start somewhere familiar.

Writing the book turned into a very personal journey, for me. It’s the culmination of a lot of ideas that have been brewing away at the back of my mind, and a lot of obsessions that have had hold of me for decades. I have quite the trip in store for readers, I hope.”

(*Book not guaranteed to be entirely free of spiders.)

* There are six seasons, not four. Kurt Vonnegut explains.

* CFP: Society for Utopian Studies 2020: Make, Unmake, Remake. CFP: The Peter Nicholls Essay Prize 2020 at Foundation. CFP: The Midwest Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference 2020: Rendition.

* A space anthropologist warns inequality gets worse on Mars.

* Afrofuturism and solarpunk.

* I may have gotten to mention that the new issue of Science Fiction Film and Television is out, with articles on Charlton Heston’s SF films, the Anthropocene politics of outer space media, and a partial report from the franchise fiction roundtable at ICFA 40.

* After Deadspin.

it’s a real feeling, to watch people you admire – entire crews of them – get fucked again and again by parasitic industries and self-important executives whose pockets are as deep as they themselves are shallow

University of Chicago projected to be the first U.S. university to cost $100,000 a year.

The “We” in WeWork was the customers working in the offices, living in the apartment buildings, and learning in the schools—not the people determining where any of this was built, and in what quantity. If money is indeed piling up on the balance sheets of large corporations and in the coffers of the Saudi Treasury as proceeds for burning the planet—and if that money is ultimately at the disposal of a farseeing Japanese cell phone mogul—one might ask if it could be managed differently if it were in the hands of, well, “We,” instead of flooded into commercial real estate for the purpose of acclimatizing office workers to ever smaller workspaces. Getting a better grip on the capital stocks and flows that enable WeWork and its mutant cousins may require a “mission to elevate the world’s consciousness,” but there’s an older and simpler word for it, too.

* Inside the Kincade Fire: Within Feet of the Flames. California’s Wildfires Are the Doom of Our Own Making. PG&E power outage could cost the California economy more than $2 billion. The Toxic Bubble of Technical Debt Threatening America.

Explaining to my children why the world is burning.

* ‘The climate doesn’t need awards’: Greta Thunberg declines environmental prize.

* Man who has personally ordered scores of assassinations has intense appreciation for moral nuance.

* …telling graduate students to eschew public-facing writing and outreach in favor of “impressive” or “legitimate” publications is the wrong advice for the many job candidates who will end up employed outside of the select circle of wealthy institutions.

* If Virginia ratifies the ERA next year, it would go back to Congress for what would be an utter shitshow fascinating vote.

* Pete Buttigieg, unfrozen caveman Democrat.

* Game of Thrones somehow manages to choose the more boring of its two boring prequel options. That’s commitment to a bit.

Dynamic Underwater Photos Look Like Dramatic Baroque Paintings.

* I should write a piece about how my attitudes about piracy have turned around in the last 5 years. Now I feel like anybody who circulates files of classic cinema is the equivalent of people in Ray Bradbury‘s Fahrenheit 451 who keep literature alive by memorizing & reciting it.

Cops aren’t liable for destroying home of innocent people, 10th Circuit rules. They were looking for a shoplifter.

His expenses to rebuild the house and replace all its contents cost him nearly $400,000, he said. While insurance did cover structural damage initially, his son did not have renter’s insurance and so insurance did not cover replacement of the home’s contents, and he says he is still in debt today from loans he took out.

“This has ruined our lives,” he said.

“Half our customers are drunk and vaping like mo-fos, who the fuck is going to notice the quality of our pods,” the former CEO allegedly said. Juul says the lawsuit is “baseless.”

* To die well, we must talk about death before the end of life.

Why I Haven’t Gone Back to SCOTUS Since Kavanaugh. Some things are worth not getting over.

* The algorithm predicted black patients would cost less, which signaled to medical providers that their illnesses must not be that bad. But, in reality, black patients cost less because they don’t purchase healthcare services as much as white people on average. New York is investigating UnitedHealth’s use of a medical algorithm that steered black patients away from getting higher-quality care. This is like the (likely apocryphal) story about the algorithm trained to find tanks in pictures, only to identify instead which days were sunny and which days were cloudy — only here we decide to listen to the computer and redefine what a tank is.

* From the archives: David Bowie explains that the internet is an alien lifeform.

* Take the blue pill, and…

Saturday Morning Links!

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* Sci-Fi Author Ted Chiang on Our Relationship to Technology, Capitalism, and the Threat of Extinction.

So intelligent species burn out too quickly to make intergalactic headway—I have to ask, do you think that’s what will happen to us?

I don’t know. We used to think that the biggest threat we faced as a species was nuclear war. Now it looks like it’s global warming. If we survive that, it’d be tempting to think that it’ll smooth sailing afterwards, but any consideration of this question is primarily a reminder of how much we don’t know.

A math equation that predicts the end of humanity.

* America is crumbling.

The struggling US media industry is facing its worst year for job layoffs in a decade as news organizations continue to cut staff and close shop, according to a new survey. And this is before the coming recession hits.

* University Of Alaska Readies For Budget Slash: ‘We May Likely Never Recover.’ Alaska Isn’t a Bellwether. It’s a Swan Song.

Two professors at Miami University are suddenly at risk of losing their jobs over a plant that has been in their collection for over a decade.

* Remembering the strike that brought teachers unions back from the dead.

* A brief history of busing.

* Defeated in the courts, Trump may issue an executive order to try to rig the Census. There are no laws in America, only power.

The anger and hate that spews from 8chan is not a conscious extension of the anger and hate of its creator – though he had plenty – but an inevitable byproduct of the dark structure he built. The story of 8chan’s founder, Fredrick Brennan, is a perfect expression of this: born with a profound disability and shuttled in and out of foster care, his creation of the site was born not out of cold calculation or political ambition, but from a need to find community in loneliness. 8chan is a monster, but its creator had no idea what it would become. He was just a kid.

These profiteers and bureaucrats of the immigration-industrial complex were fresh from the 2019 Border Security Expo—essentially a trade show for state violence, where law enforcement officers and weapons manufacturers gather, per the Expo’s marketing materials, to “identify and address new and emerging border challenges and opportunities through technology, partnership, and innovation.”

* Former ICE Chief Counsel Gets 4 Years In Prison For Stealing Immigrants’ Identities.

* Border officials had known about the secret Facebook group for up to three years, according to a Homeland Security official.

* Meet the people fighting for health care access for disabled kids detained at the border.

DHS watchdog details dangerous conditions for migrants at border centers. What a Pediatrician Saw Inside a Border Patrol Warehouse. The Treatment of Migrants Likely ‘Meets the Definition of a Mass Atrocity.’ “The Whole Facility’s Culture Is Rotted From the Core”: What Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Saw Inside the El Paso Camps. The department is seeking 20-year leases for most of the sites, signaling they don’t expect challenges to fade.

Trump administration ending in-person interpreters at immigrants’ first hearings.

The Exceptional Cruelty of a No-Hugging Policy.

Drawings by migrant children in detention show them in cages.

* ICE Threatens Immigrant in Sanctuary in Chapel Hill With $314,000 Fine.

At a crowded Mexican shelter, migrants wait months to claim asylum. Some opt to cross the river instead.

* “Seth Donnelly was one of the many inmates Texas prison officials use as prey for dog hunts. He died from heatstroke after collapsing on the job in Abilene.” I’m gonna need you to start from the top.

Scholars Push Back on Holocaust Museum’s Rejection of Historical Analogy.

* Happy 4th! Here are some readings on concentration camps.

What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?

Europe’s Bold Plan for a Moon Base Is Coming Together. How will we deal with squatters on the Moon?

* World’s most full of shit people nearly terminally full of shit.

* Scientists warn that losing another fifth of Brazil’s rainforest will trigger the feedback loop known as dieback, in which the forest begins to dry out and burn in a cascading system collapse, beyond the reach of any subsequent human intervention or regret. This would release a doomsday bomb of stored carbon, disappear the cloud vapor that consumes the sun’s radiation before it can be absorbed as heat, and shrivel the rivers in the basin and in the sky.

* If I knew the world would end tomorrow, I’d plant a tree today.

* “Plan to ban seagulls from the sea suspended.”

* Deep-sea mining to turn oceans into ‘new industrial frontier’.

* Heatstroke warnings in Anchorage.

* Your map to Twitter.

 

How Washington’s Elite Learned to Love Policy Wonks.

* When your email spies on you.

* The arc of history is long, but.

This week, a new law went into effect in Mississippi. The state now bans plant-based meat providers from using labels like “veggie burger” or “vegan hot dog” on their products. Such labels are potentially punishable with jail time. Words like “burger” and “hot dog” would be permitted only for products from slaughtered livestock. Proponents claim the law is necessary to avoid confusing consumers — but given that the phrase “veggie burger” hasn’t been especially confusing for consumers this whole time, it certainly seems more like an effort to keep alternatives to meat away from shoppers.

Scientists are searching for a mirror universe. It could be sitting right in front of you.

Geoengineer the Planet? More Scientists Now Say It Must Be an Option.

* Netflix vs. storytelling.

* Here, the truth is made plain: the childlike nature of corporate branding isn’t a random trend, but part of the mindset that consumers ought to be treated like children. Details are the sinister machinations of faceless authority figures; friendly colors and geometric letters like those on a toddler’s building blocks are comforting by contrast. That each brand looks more or less like the next is only for the better: the world is a little smaller that way, less likely to confuse or frighten. As Jesse Barron wrote for Real Life magazine in 2016, “We’re in the middle of a decade of post-dignity design, whose dogma is cuteness.” Cuteness, employed as these companies do, talks down to you without words.

The Impact of a World Without The Walking Dead.

* The Harry Potter franchise is going to take another crack at a prequel.

* What’s missing in Spider-Man: Far from Home.

* Another take: Far from Home as metafiction.

* And nothing gold can stay: The end of MAD.

Spooooooooky Friday the 13th Links!

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* Exciting new anthology alert! A People’s Future of the United States.

* Cool job at UCSD in Media and Popular Culture.

* Hamilton and Laurens. As I mentioned a bit on Twitter, we actually talked about this quite a bit in my Hamilton class, including how some elements in the show point to queer possibility here and the likelihood that performances in the future will likely play the relationship as explicitly queer. And just for fun, also via Twitter: A countervailing view!

A Theory-Fiction Reading List.

If you were going to teach a class on Russian literature at a juvenile detention center, what would the reading list include?

Medieval studies groups say a major conference is trying to limit the number of diverse voices and topics. The debate is part of a bigger fight over whether medieval studies should remain a fundamentally European field. Whose Medieval Studies?

Unpacking Murad Osmann’s #FollowMeTo Instagram Travel Series.

Facebook Proves It Isn’t Ready To Handle Fake News.

* Peterson’s Complaint.

* As the GOP base tries to find new ways to funnel money to its white, bougie, suburban base, bonkers tax policy like this proposed tax break for gym memberships will become more and more common.

* Marvel has run out of options and is finally going to do a Black Widow movie.

* This franchise keeps getting worse all the time.

* These woodchucks are heroes.

There’s a reason employees stay at the Pantry for a lifetime: it’s one of the few restaurants in Los Angeles where the workers are represented by a union. Peña-Suarez is one of the 23,000 members of Unite Here Local 11, the service-workers’ union behind the Pantry and a number of iconic LA restaurants: Langer’s, Nate ’n Al Delicatessen, Philippe the Original, La Golondrina, and La Scala.

* Solid thread from Corey Robin on the political meaning of Kavanaugh’s debts.

How the New Supreme Court Could Halt Climate Action.

Forty-year-old Efrain De La Rosa, a Mexican national who was held in an ICE detention facility in Georgia, committed suicide and was pronounced dead late Tuesday evening, making him the eighth person in ICE custody to die in the 2018 fiscal year.

* ACLU: Fed Gov’t Not Giving Promised Notice As Immigrant Families Reunited.

* Asylum seekers, even those who do not present themselves at points of entry, are not “illegal”; under international law they are “irregular” and subject to an array of rights and protections, including immunity from punishment.

Today’s US-Mexico ‘border crisis’ in 6 charts.

Hey is it me or does this guy sound like a white supremacist?

Since Trump was elected, more than 1,400 mayors have agreed to shift their cities to 100-percent renewable energy by 2035, in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement. Last fall, St. Louis became one of the biggest cities so far to set that lofty goal. The city of Berkeley, California, went even further recently, declaring an “existential climate emergency” and aiming for net-negative emissions by 2030.

The real reason the sound of your own voice makes you cringe.

* “I refuse to let Hollywood #whitewashout the Thai Cave rescue story.”

* Want to feel old? Jared Kushner still lacks security clearance level to review some of the nation’s most sensitive intelligence in White House role.

* When Trump’s dumb obsession with CNN accidentally leads to good policy.

* Leaked report exposes how unprepared FEMA was for Maria. I want to see the leaked report detailing all the many ways they’ve failed Puerto Rico in the year since the storm.

* Another #TheResistance rando turns out to have serious personality problems, first and foremost a pathological need for attention. Not unrelatedly: Liberals playing detective are missing an opportunity to engage in meaningful politics.

* Plastic straw bans are the latest policy to forget the disability community.

* The latest in the search for humanity’s origins in Africa.

Why freelance writers are a fucking pain in the ass with broken brains.

* Can your god explain it? Marx can.

Dark Horse Is Turning William Gibson’s Alien 3 Script Into a New Comic.

* Dune references signal shared knowledge to those in the know, and that’s about it. Dune fandom is an un-fandom.

* Retirement tips.

* And I linked this yesterday, but do keep your eye on this. I’m officially calling shenanigans.

Tuesday Links!

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* Eric Schneiderman will probably have resigned by the time this post goes up. (UPDATE: He did!)

She likened the National Collegiate Athletic Association to overseers of a system similar to slavery or prison. Those are the only other models in which laborers aren’t compensated for their work, Carter said. The NCAA and its member institutions buy the talents of athletes but don’t let them share in the money, she said.

Is the US Border Patrol Committing Crimes Against Humanity?

Climate-Change Deniers Are a Cult.

A battle is brewing between Milwaukee and paint industry over lead poisoning of Milwaukee children.

Privacy Is Dead. Here’s What Comes Next.

A death. A cover-up. An immigrant meets a terrible end in the Bronx.

* Making America great again.

* Bank error in your favor.

* Don’t spy on your students.

‘Hamilton: The Exhibition’ by Lin-Manuel Miranda and his team will debut in Chicago in November.

This recut of Groundhog Day from Andie MacDowell’s perspective is weird as hell.

* Alas, Groot!

* Mimi Mondal, India’s first Hugo nominee.

* Snikt.

* Nintendo Switch launches the cloud service it should have had all along, but shut up and take my money anyway.

* You might say I’m the reverse.

* And gas up the #problematic hashtag: Arrested Development returns at the end of the month.

Monday Morning Links!

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Mary Karr Reminds the World That David Foster Wallace Abused and Stalked Her, and Nobody Cared.

* “I would just like to say that my inbox is full of accounts of Díaz’s behavior right now. And I mean full.”

They Revealed Harassment Claims Against a Professor, and Were Disciplined.

* Leaving Herland.

The Real Free-Speech Crisis Is Professors Being Disciplined for Liberal Views, a Scholar Finds.

* Bullshit Jobs in academia.

* Identification, Investigation, and Understanding of Ritualistic Criminal Activity (February 4, 1989).

Millennials Are Way Poorer Than Boomers Ever Were.

America’s teachers on strike: ‘We are done being the frog that is being boiled.’

The think piece doesn’t so much diminish art as render it wholly incidental. The mere existence of a work—and the contemporary proliferation of work after work after work—is enough to justify the think piece. The fundamental problem with so much  contemporary criticism is that the prospective critic is structurally encouraged to not care, to treat the value of one-or-another book/TV episode/movie as wholly irrelevant to the task of writing about it. Sontag wrote that desperate, interpretive searches for meaning constitute “the compliment that mediocrity pays to genius.” (One thinks of Henry James’s yearning lit-crit protagonist.) The think piece effectively inverts this formulation. Now it is more common to see genius (or perhaps “genius,” the work of people who, to nip a phrase from the controversial and cuttingly mean critic Armond White, “think they think”) pay compliments to mediocrity. The clarity of critical judgment alights on every rotten movie, grating pop singer, or paperback book written for awkward adolescents alive in the throes of their protean horniness, and dissolves, ultimately, into a sprawling field of meaninglessness. It’s not that, following Sontag, erotics has replaced bloodless hermeneutics. It’s that we’re now subject to soft, dopey forms of both. Enormously erudite and intelligent expositions about extremely stupid things have degraded both the standard for writing about serious things and the seriousness of those serious things themselves.

* Yeah, you better run: China bans Peppa Pig because she ‘promotes gangster attitudes.’

University apologizes to Native American students detained on college tour.

* The man who cracked the lottery.

Misreading the manufacturing statistics.

The key to reading paeans to McCain is realizing that they’re really just love letters from normative centrist militarism to itself.

* On lunar hay fever.

* RIP, Killmonger’s mom.

A team of scientists undertakes an ambitious experiment which could change thinking about welfare.

* “In America, you can be too poor to die.”

* And if you follow me on Facebook, you know that I’ve been raving all weekend about Nintendo Labo. Believe the hype! It’s truly great. Like Calvin’s magic cardboard boxes came to life. It’d buy three more kits if they were available, and might eventually buy a second robot one so my kids can play the Vs mode….

Thursday Links!

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Two days before she died, Nina Riggs made a request: Don’t be afraid to read my book.

Hell Is Empty And All the Hedge Fund Managers Are At The Bellagio.

* Indeed, this kind of repression is perhaps more sinister because it ropes you into participating in your own silencing. You become the policeman in your own head. When considering whether to attend a demonstration, the powerful internal suggestion is that, even if you do everything “right”—even if you are being peaceful but just happen to be in the same vicinity as someone who isn’t—you could get caught up in a costly legal battle and face serious fines, even jail time. Your entire life could be turned upside down. You might be left alone. But it’s impossible to know—and the only way to be sure is to stay home. You still have the “freedom” to choose, but fully exercising that freedom amounts to playing Russian roulette with an entity all too eager to take that freedom away if you get caught standing near a smashed window. So, really, how much freedom do you have?

The government is spying on journalists to find leakers.

* Not exactly happily, I found this AAUP unpacking of procedural issues in the recent John McAdams decision pretty persuasive.

* An oral history of “The Inner Light.” The second-best discussion of “The Inner Light” you’ll see this year!

Monopoly vs. the Nazis: How British intelligence used board games to thwart the Germans.

How Jalada Is a “Revolution Uniting African Literature.”

Five current and former U.S. officials said they are aware of classified intelligence suggesting there was some sort of private encounter between Trump and his aides and the Russian envoy, despite a heated denial from Sessions, who has already come under fire for failing to disclose two separate contacts with Kislyak. Congress investigating another possible Sessions-Kislyak meeting. Here’s why the feds are looking at Jared Kushner. More. Sorry. On Kushner, There’s No Innocent Explanation. They’re also looking into Trump’s personal attorney.

* Meanwhile.

Trump Exempts Entire Senior Staff From White House Ethics Rules.

“He now lives within himself, which is a dangerous place for Donald Trump to be,” says someone who speaks with the President. “I see him emotionally withdrawing. He’s gained weight. He doesn’t have anybody whom he trusts.” This is the most relatable Trump has ever been.

* Rise and shine, campers, ’cause it’s coooooold out there today.

* Don’t put ground wasp nest on your vagina to tighten muscles, warns gynecologist.

California Single Payer Is a No-Brainer.

* If you want a vision of every Thanksgiving for the rest of your life.

* SMBC roundup! We discovered a new form of ethical animal consumption. The older you are, the more people you have to deal with, so the number of lies to tends to go up quadratically. The anti-status-quo society. But a strange thing happened. Quantum hypocrisy. Marine biology. Ontology and the barbecue. Neoliberal magic. No funeral. You too.

* Confidence. Never corner a teacher. Flirting and coquettery. Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to ask if they should. Or, Twitter.

The visit is intended to focus attention on the estimated more than 230 military veterans deported from the U.S. and on the need for a more rigorous process to ensure legal residents recruited with promises of citizenship are naturalized.

Man Faces Deportation After Failing to Pay Fare on Minneapolis Light Rail.

* “Fearless Girl” is rapidly becoming an entire syllabus in the theory of art.

More Than One-Third of Teen Girls Have Experienced Depression, Study Finds. When you have numbers like this you have to conclude that the problem isn’t the girls.

In The Refrigerator Monologues, Catherynne M. Valente gives comics’ dead women their voices back. Buy it here!

Suffering Sappho! The Tortured History of Female Superheroes.

* If only there were an appropriate Marx quote for this.

* On taking candy from a baby.

* A vaccine for denialism? I’m skeptical.

* When a trip doesn’t end.

Buffalo launches nation’s first opiate intervention court.

* We Bought a Crack House.

White supremacists love Vikings. But they’ve got history all wrong.

* 1 in every 4 children robbed of their childhoods.

* “Uncle Julius just thought he was doing what he was supposed to do over there.”

The patent and copyright systems are clear examples of how the distribution of income is determined by the rules put in place as opposed to the intrinsic structure of the “free market.” There is nothing about the laws of the economy that says the government has to grant these monopolies, and it certainly was not a natural process through which their length and scope came to be extended in the last four decades.

* So you were buddies with a Nazi.

* The law, in its majestic equality.

* And a smart think piece from the archives: Rickrolling is sexist, racist and often transphobic in context. More relevant now than ever…

Written by gerrycanavan

June 1, 2017 at 1:51 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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