Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘math

Monday Morning Links (The Kind You Don’t Take Home to Mama)

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* CFP: The Evolution of Evil in Fantasy and Science Fiction, Academia Lunare.

But the other thing that strikes me – we were talking early on about the history of modernity as connected in a structural way to the history of slavery, of capitalism, to histories of ordering and wasting – when I read that long history, a striking thing is capitalism’s impulse to abolish limits. From a capitalist’s standpoint, there are simply no limits. In regard to almost anything and everything, limitlessness is the law. Another striking thing is that capitalism aims to abolish some of the key dualisms without which the very idea of society as we understand it would have been unimaginable. To some extent, capitalism is the only religion without taboos humans have ever invented.

The way it works is that, once the first settlers on a new planet demonstrate that they won’t die horribly from allergies, pathogens, or getting buried under the excrement of herds of titanosaurs, they then spread out to build mining settlements all over the planet, high-grade all the most accessible mineral deposits, drill for oil, and grow the infrastructure needed to build starships. With starhips built and trade links established, they grow into a mature colony over the course of a few centuries, all the while founding as many daughter colonies on new planets as possible. Eventually, they run into serious pollution problems, loss of usable mineral deposits, changing climate (both natural through the equivalent of Milankovich cycles, and anthropogenic), and a biosphere that coevolves to exploit the colony, because that’s just what life does (think pesticide resistant bugs, coyotes, superweeds…). At that point, the colony starts to fall apart. Interstellar trade shifts away from it (after all, whatever’s causing them to collapse them might be contagious). Ultimately the survivors hang on to become a truly resilient indigenous population in a backwater world–or all die horribly as their critical infrastructure fails. Their fate doesn’t matter to our interstellar civilization, because it has literally already moved on to new frontiers, boldly going where no man has gone before. So long as they can find new worlds to conquer, they can go on forever.

Hard to argue with this reading of Harry Potter, honestly.

“Eco-Philosopher Fails Hurricane Test, Crawls Under Rock.”

* Scenes from the trade war.

* A mere couple of hours away till the end of America, get excited.

* MSNBC is bad for you.

* Still, God help me, I can’t get enough of this stuff: What if Donald Trump has been a Russian asset since 1987?

Madeleine Albright: ‘The things that are happening are genuinely, seriously bad.’ Yeah, that’s what I keep saying!

* America is catastrophically incapable of holding its elites responsible for their crimes, and that’s supposed to be the good news.

* Meanwhile, the Trump Foundation was a comically illegal slush fund and it just doesn’t matter.

* A Mexican couple was turned over for deportation this week when they tried to visit a New York military base to celebrate the Fourth of July with their son-in-law, who is an army officer. They had lived in Brooklyn for decades. More here.

The couple’s son-in-law is a sergeant in the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division. According to the family, the Department of Defense won’t let him intervene in the case.

“Most worrying is the fact that both parents have recently undergone surgery and need medication,” the report said. “The Silvas say they have gotten calls from their mother, who said she was denied her medication. They say they have not heard from their father.”

This is a different army base in Brooklyn than the one that called ICE on a pizza delivery guy a few weeks ago.

* ICE has kidnapped a journalist in retaliation for his negative coverage of the Memphis Police Department.

Trump admin won’t reunite all migrant families, will place some kids in foster care.

Illinois governor profits off ICE detention center contracts.

The Power of “Abolish ICE.”

* Not for nothing. Of course you’ve heard me sing this song before.

* Notes from the Ocasio-Cortez campaign.

* Even “being drunk” is culturally specific.

Introducing the Marvel Curriculum: A look at film history via the MCU.

* What if HBO, but super, super creepy?

How Much Does Being a Legacy Help Your College Admissions Odds?

* Elon Musk’s submarine is nonsense. Meanwhile.

* Brexit vs. Gibraltar. Brexit vs. Britain. Brexit vs. the Tories. Brexit vs. Brexit.

* Privileging the lie.

I happened to listen to NPR for a few hours this morning, and I heard three stories that are very much connected to climate change without anyone on the radio mentioning climate change even once.

U.S. Opposition to Breast-Feeding Resolution Stuns World Health Officials.

* Like Pizzagate but it actually happened.

* 150 Cheers for the 14th Amendment.

* Killing all the whales and turtles to own the libs.

* Zero, explained.

* Actually existing media bias watch: 1, 2.

* Siri: show me fragile masculinity.

* And the headline reads: “Fake sultan was scamming a Miami billionaire. Then he ate pork.”

Weekend Links!

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* Clear your calendars for the An und für sich Star Trek: Discovery blog event, beginning Monday!

* A student project from my Tolkien class gets a great writeup at Marquette’s Digital Scholarship Lab.

* KSR’s next book has a cover.

* The MCU vs. America. What Black Panther can teach us about international relations. Weapons of Black Panther. And Žižek shows up two weeks late with a Killmonger-was-right take.

* The science of late sleepers.

* Why I’m Writing Captain America (And Why It Scares the Hell Out of Me).

* Mueller news you can use: almost all the Mueller leaks are from witnesses and tell us little or nothing about the true scope of the investigation or its likely outcomes.

* Hardware Wars: A People’s History.

* Wildcat teachers’ strike in West Virginia (but not on MSNBC). Onward to Oklahoma!

* Phew! Lucky coincidence.

Too Big to Tax?

* Buying a gun around the world. How Defective Guns Became the Only Product That Can’t Be Recalled. The Florida legislature’s push to arm teachers, explained.

* “The vast majority of healthcare wonkery is brainstorming new ways to rescue private insurers from collapsing every time they’re asked to do the one thing they exist to do.”

Public schools have been re-segregating for decades.

Florida Public School Teacher Has A White Nationalist Podcast.

NASA releases time-lapse of the disappearing Arctic polar ice cap. The age of climate migration.

* LEGO in the Anthropocene.

* Homelessness in the Magic Kingdom.

* Hitchhiker’s, back again.

Consumers Are Revolting Against Animal Cruelty — So the Poultry Industry Is Lobbying for Laws to Force Stores to Sell Their Eggs.

* This is you.

* Great story about retirees who cracked the lottery.

Brooklyn man wins nearly $1M lawsuit after NYPD cop tried to frame him on DWI charge.

* I’m Gen X again, maybe for good.

* I predicted this would happen: There is no psychohistory, and there never will be.

* I’ve used this as a hypothetical in class for years; let’s say I’m skeptical.

* The last word in Firefly fan physics: The Ultimate Solar System.

A right-wing online “university” is on track for a billion views in 2018, its professors are some of the best-known conservatives in media, and its founder wants to put it in real schools. So how come you’ve never heard of it?

* Memory is a virus.

* And your micro-game of the week: Post/Capitalism.

First Week of School Links!

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* Harvey. Hell and High Water. Houston has been hit with a 100-year flood — a rainstorm that, going by previous records, has a 1 percent chance of happening in one year — in 2015 and in 2016. Now in 2017 it’s enduring what will probably be the worst flood in the city’s history. Hurricane Harvey Probably Isn’t a 500-Year Event Anymore. The trouble with living in a swamp: Houston floods explained. 9 Trillion Tons. ProPublica’s report on how zoning made this even worse. “No one could have predicted.” Why Houston wasn’t ready for Hurricane Harvey. Hurricane Harvey Could Also Be a Major Pollution Disaster. FIRST-UG 102: Critical Disaster Studies. Here’s how to help.

* CFP: “200 Years of the Fantastic: Celebrating Frankenstein and Mary Shelley,” ICFA 39, March 14-18, 2018.

* “Teaching first-years today? Here are some things my son, starting college today, was never taught.” And from the archives: Shadow Syllabus.

Mothering While Brown in White Spaces, Or, When I Took My Son to Octavia Butler’s Exhibit.

Announcing the Brittle Paper Literary Awards: The Shortlists.

* I hope someone is optioning “That 70s Suitcase” for a film trilogy. Here’s the creator’s answer. Via MeFi.

* The university in ruins.

* William Gibson on living in the retrofuture.

* Gene Roddenberry, megalomaniac.

Alexander: Are there any subjects that you haven’t tackled on The Next Generation that you would like to?

Roddenberry: There are subjects, yes, but I will keep them secret, because you have to wait until a certain level of thinking permits these things to be thought about openly and in writing. I have many thoughts which, if I were to voice them now, would turn many people against me. People would think, “My God, behind this is such inequity!” [Laughter.]

Alexander: People would be surprised at how big a revolutionary you really are? [Laughter.]

* Fan fiction in the New Yorker.

* When you come at the young-adult-literature community, you best not miss.

* Because you demanded it: a Tolkien biopic.

Try to imagine a society with no need for confinement, with no one being locked up after a brutal act, and it is difficult not to feel one has lapsed into utopianism. Yet, try to determine what socially useful purpose prisons have fulfilled, sift through the wreckage looking for a residual ‘good’ prison system, and it is hard not to feel you’re wasting your time on a pointless abstraction. For and against abolitionism.

* Well, this barely lasted a week: Why I’m glad the generals are in control in the Trump administration.

It’s Time: Congress Needs to Open a Formal Impeachment Inquiry.

We’ve been covering Joe Arpaio for more than 20 years. Here’s a couple of things you should know about him… Another Arpaio thread. The Joe Arpaio I knew. The year I spent in Joe Arpaio’s tent jail was hell. He should never walk free. Trump has realized that he can use his pardon power to bypass the lawyers and judges and investigators he so despises. Arpaio was a test run. Now he will know it works. Trump’s Pardon of Joe Arpaio Is an Impeachable Offense. President Trump Should Be Impeached for Pardoning Joe Arpaio.

Leaked Chats Show Charlottesville Marchers Were Planning for Violence. University officials say white supremacists are recruiting their students. Brandeis U. Is Closed After Receiving Email Threats. We’re Tracking Confederate Monuments. Tell Us What’s on Your Campus.

Fearing Trump Administration Crackdown, Immigrants May Stay in Hurricane Harvey Zone. ICE Left 50 Immigrant Women And Kids Stranded At A Bus Station Before Hurricane Harvey Struck. ICE detains DACA-protected immigrant trying to post bail for someone else. ABQ woman jailed after ATF informant lured her into drug deals. Salvadoran asylum seeker with brain tumor seized from Texas hospital. After ICE arrests in Saratoga Springs, some migrant workers fear showing up for racing season. I’m a DACA Student and I’m Praying ICE Doesn’t Pick Up My Parents.

* After all this mere tax gimmicks seems almost innocent.

* Yes, Icahn.

* Trump Tower Moscow.

* The End of the Goldwater Rule.

White House Sets Rules for Military Transgender Ban. All but promising to end DACA.

* Stories that already seem a thousand years ago and a million miles away: Special Counsel Examines Possible Role Flynn Played in Seeking Clinton Emails From Hackers. How are we ever going to find time to be angry about Mnuchin misusing public funds to get a better view of the eclipse? I’d forgotten this one even happened and it was last week.

* They’re not even pretending they think he’s competent.

* A whole lot of people with absolutely nothing to hide.

Law and protest in Durham.

Trump order could give immigration agents a foothold in US schools.

* An intimate history of antifa.

Can Anyone Stop Trump From Launching Nuclear Weapons?

* In the richest country that has ever existed in human history: “She eats out of dumpsters so she can afford long-term care for her husband.”

Most Americans live paycheck to paycheck.

* Fired for unexpected periods.

* The Upper Midwest is terrible for racial inequality, and Wisconsin tops the list.

* A solid B-. Not bad.

Boomers are news-illiterate couch vegetables stuck in front of their yelling, ad-saturated TVs.

There’s a reason you won’t find many monuments in the South to one of Robert E. Lee’s most able deputies.

3,700-year-old Babylonian tablet rewrites the history of maths – and shows the Greeks did not develop trigonometry.

There is no such thing as western civilisation.

* Understanding abiogenesis.

* The Monsanto of marijuana.

* WHAT YEAR IS IT

* Instagram Africa.

Given the enormous amount of data to support these findings, and given the field in question, one might think male scientists would use these outcomes to create a more level playing field. But a recent paper showed that in fact, male STEM faculty assessed the quality of real research that demonstrated bias against women in STEM as being low; instead the male faculty favored fake research, designed for the purposes of the study in question, which purported to demonstrate that no such bias exists.

* Stories like this one were why I thought supporters of Title IX (like myself) needed to get ahead of the problem and reform it while we still could. Almost certainly too late now.

* The water you just drank was filled with self-replicating nanobots. Understanding Noah’s Ark. Be careful what you wish for.

We talk about broad-strokes when assessing the slogan “Make America Great Again,” but what if — alongside the racism and toxic nostalgia — there is a more intimate way people are hearing it: make my children love and respect me again, make my community a place where people don’t automatically want to leave and never come back again, make America a place where getting ahead in life isn’t synonymous with dissociating yourself from me. Right-wing media — and here I am thinking of Trump fundamentally as a media phenomenon, which is how our parents experience him — has exploited this situation in a despicable and probably unfixable way, but they didn’t create the underlying dynamic. In other words, ultimately Fox News isn’t what’s tearing families apart, but it’s profiting from the fact that they’re already being torn apart by the geographic concentration of wealth and opportunity.

* Why no one can say Trump lost the election. Democrats’ 2018 gerrymandering problem is really bad.

Nuclear missiles were once ready to launch from Milwaukee’s suburbs.

* Profiles in courage getting out ahead of the story.

* Your mandatory Game of Thrones wrap-ups: Why Game of Thrones has become so incoherent. Every city in the world is built on wildfire. 27 questions (about last week’s episode). Game of Thrones’ Drive to the Finish Line Is Crippling Its Ability to Tell a Story. Game of Rewrites. Maps and fantasy. I’d watch at least a few episodes of a George R.R. Martin-helmed Star Trek series. And sure to be squashed fan theories we can believe in: Is Bran Stark the Night King?

In the wake of the Game of Thrones finale, indulge in the nostalgia of Dragonlance. Are you listening, TruTV?

* And this is the only prestige TV I need.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 29, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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I’ve Closed Every Tab I Had Open and I’m Not Sorry Links

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* There are no links now. There is only the Orb.

* Twilight of the NEH.

* Chelsea Manning is free.

* CFP: Suvin Today?, A Roundtable Discussion, The Society for Utopian Studies (November 9-12, 2017 in Memphis, TN).

* CFP: In Frankenstein’s Wake.

Queer Artist Transforms Octavia Butler’s ‘Parable of the Sower’ Into Opera.

* Great literature, by the numbers. The Bachelor/ette, by the numbers.

But if you read Spencer’s three-pronged narrative as Sam Wilson’s story, it looks very different. It becomes the story of an impeccably qualified black hero whose time in the spotlight is abruptly cut off by the return of an old white man who once had his position and of a public so thirsty for the moral certainty of the Greatest Generation that it can’t see the nightmarish perversion of it that’s right in front of them until it’s too late.

* Utopia in 2017.

* LARB on the unionization struggle at Yale. A Case for Reparations at the University of Chicago. Crisis at Mizzou. Two sets of universities, two countries, two futures.

The engine of irrationality inside the rationalists. Why the “Conceptual Penis” Hoax is Just a Big Cock Up. Some Work Is Hard.

* The Ethos of the Overinvolved Parent: Colleges are adjusting to increasing contact with adults who are more ingrained in their children’s lives than ever.

* A brief history of Esperanto.

Science fiction’s new golden age in China.

* Science fiction doesn’t predict the future, it influences it.

The Secret History of William Gibson’s Never-Filmed Aliens Sequel.

Feds use anti-terror tool to hunt the undocumented. Arrests of Undocumented Immigrants Without Criminal Records Spikes 150%.

The camp is the end of the liberal order, the end of the post–World War II world, the end of human rights.

* Felony charges against inauguration protesters represent ‘historic crossroads.’ The airport lawyers who fought Trump’s Muslim ban are facing a Justice Dept. crackdown.

* Horror in Manchester. Terror in Kansas.

I thought I understood racism and mass incarceration. But nothing prepared me for what I saw in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

* The Death of the Suburban Office Park and the Rise of the Suburban Poor.

Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Centre.

Sheriff Clarke leaving Milwaukee County for position with Department of Homeland Security. Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr.’s departure will be good for department and Milwaukee County. Plainly, indisputably unfit. But not so fast!

* Downward spiral: Special Prosecutor? Independent Counsel? Special Counsel? What’s the Difference? Meet Bob Mueller. A forgotten lesson of Watergate: conservatives may rally around Trump. Did Trump Commit a Crime in Sharing Intelligence With Moscow? Trump Gave Russians Secrets News Orgs Are Being Asked To Withhold. Trump’s disclosure endangered spy placed inside ISIS by Israel, officials say. Trump aides were in constant touch with senior Russian officials during campaign. Notes made by FBI Director Comey say Trump pressured him to end Flynn probe. Trump straight-up told the Russians he fired Comey to obstruct justice and it just. doesn’t. matter. ‘He Looks More and More Like a Complete Moron.’ Even while I was just trying to put this post together more bombshells dropped: Michael T. Flynn told President Trump’s transition team weeks before the inauguration that he was under federal investigation for secretly working as a paid lobbyist for Turkey during the campaign, according to two people familiar with the case. And this one! Flynn stopped military plan Turkey opposed – after being paid as its agent. And this one! It sure seems like Michael Flynn lied to federal investigators about his Russia ties.  Shot. Chaser. Donald Trump has committed the exact offense that forced Richard Nixon to resign. Have Trump’s Problems Hit a Breaking Point? Articles of Impeachment for Donald J. Trump. “Don’t See How Trump Isn’t Completely F*cked.” Presidential impeachments are about politics, not law. This is the exact situation impeachment was meant for. Let’s hurry up. Nate Silver runs the numbers. When Will Republicans Dump Trump? Oh honey. But why not him?

* Meanwhile, on Fox News.

* Understanding the self-pardon.

* This seems fine. This seems fine. This seems fine. This seems fine. This seems fine. This seems fine. This one really does seem fine. This seems fine. This is definitely not fine.

* You think?

* Here at the end of all norms.

Trump Team Stands by Budget’s $2 Trillion Math Error.

Any Half-Decent Hacker Could Break Into Mar-a-Lago.

* Can the Anti-Trump Resistance Take the Philadelphia DA Office?

* SNL and the profiteers. Trump and the Hall of Presidents.

* MSNBC replaying its Bush-era history note for note.

* I think maybe I want to trade with the Netherlands.

* At least we can still laugh.

* Star Trek: Discovery is definitely bad. This single photo proves it! Honestly, though, I thought that aside from the strong leads the new trailer looks cheap and bad, with terrible-looking secondary characters and a narrative I have very little interest in. I was very glad when The Incomparable explained to me that none of this had anything to do with the actual plot of the show.

If The Last Jedi Really Has the Biggest Reveal in Star Wars History, What Could It Be? I’m hoping the poster is wrong, rather than (the only possibility) they’re making Luke bad.

* On Twin Peaks.

* The Secret History of Dragonlance.

Jordan Peele’s Next Project Is a Terrifying Lovecraftian Story About Race in 1950s America.

* Today in making fascism fun: 1Password’s new Travel Mode.

Arctic stronghold of world’s seeds flooded after permafrost melts. The end of the penguins. Miles of ice collapsing into the sea. Scientists say the pace of sea level rise has nearly tripled since 1990. The Greening of Antarctica.

* Millennials and their damned avocados.

Don’t Like Betsy DeVos? Blame the Democrats.

It wasn’t just petty infighting that tanked Hillary Clinton’s campaign. It was the lack of any coherent program for the country. But don’t worry! There’s a plan.

* Laura Kipniss is apparently being sued for Unwanted Advances. The book seemed to be absolutely begging for a lawsuit; if the publisher wasn’t absolutely scrupulous it was extremely negligent.

A Very High Degree of Certainty in Future Military Operations: H.R. McMaster and the tragedy of American empire.

* Being Timothy Zahn.

* Maybe let’s not gene-sequence human intelligence.

* Can capitalism survive the rise of the machines?

* Statement of Teaching Philosophy. And on the pedestal these words appear. The circle of life. One fear. So you want to write a book. Why work so hard.

* Listen to what science teaches us, people!

* And the circus is (finally) closed.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 24, 2017 at 1:51 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Wednesday Links!

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* Great episode of I Was There Too today starring Ahmed “Jar Jar Binks” Best, a genuinely fascinating figure in the Star Wars culture industry. I link this great EW profile of Best every few years. They talk about the Aftermath scene I didn’t like, and Best gives a nice explanation of why the treatment of Jar Jar as a character is so regrettable from a storytelling perspective in the context of defending the otherwise execrable Darth Jar Jar Theory.

* There’s an unexpected bonus episode of the Hello from the Magic Tavern spinoff Offices and Bosses out today, too. Truly, nothing can stop me now.

* A nice writeup of Buffy at 20 from the Marquette Tribune.

* Also at Marquette Wire: Marquette’s Live Poets Society breaks the silence with their poems on mental illness and suicide.

* Strange Horizons on “Kirk Drift.”

* Margaret Atwood, The Prophet of Dystopia.

I Thought I Understood the American Right. Trump Proved Me Wrong.

* How to tell if you’re a pervert.

* United’s stock falls 1.1%, wipes out $255 million off the airline’s market cap. Maybe they should have offered people $2000 to give up their ticket? Just a crazy thought. Now they’re sorry. Does The Fine Print In United’s Contract Prevent Kicked-Off Passenger From Suing Airline? The Corporation Does Not Always Have To Win. And from the archives: The black art of overbooking. The Landing: Fascists without Fascism.

* Jeff Sessions Prepares DOJ For Crackdown On Unauthorized Border-Crossers.

Sessions painted the matter in stark terms, saying that gangs and cartels “turn cities and suburbs into war zones, that rape and kill innocent citizens, and who profit by smuggling poison and other human beings across our borders.”

“Depravity and violence are their calling cards, including brutal machete attacks and beheadings,” Sessions said in prepared remarks. “It is here, on this sliver of land, where we first take our stand against this filth.”

When he delivered the speech, Sessions did not use the word “filth,” saying only “where we first take our stand.”

Sounds like the rivers will be running red with the blood of the unclean soon. #MAGA!

Another Day, Another Charter Scandal.

* The rule is you don’t talk about politics on the trail. The truth is you can’t talk about diversity in the outdoors without talking about politics, since politics is a big reason why the outdoors look the way they do. From the park system’s inception, Jim Crow laws and Native American removal campaigns limited access to recreation by race. From the mountains to the beaches, outdoor leisure was often accompanied by the words whites only. The repercussions for disobedience were grave. Hiking the Appalachian Trial while Black.

* Superbabies don’t cry.

We want a SuperRace because we want to eradicate absolutely everything that terrifies us. We want SuperHumans so we can transcend that thing we are: human. But a SuperHuman would lack that crack in everything through which, as Leonard Cohen sang, the light gets in. There’s something in our suffering that we need. We’ve known this for millennia, and we make it clear in the stories we keep telling. The Buddha gave up his palace and meditated beneath a tree for a week. Jesus of Nazareth said yes to a cross. Our ache is our unfortunate, undeniable doorway. Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, says the copper lady with the torch. When we walk into our pain, we sometimes find ourselves on the other side, freed of what we once thought we needed to feel free.

* They saved MST3K’s brain.

* The ACLU filed a lawsuit Friday against the city of Maplewood, Missouri, over a policy that allegedly evicts domestic violence victims and banishes them from the St. Louis suburb if they call police for help more than twice in six months.

* Laurie Penny says The Expanse is perfect…ly fine. I haven’t been able to muster the enthusiasm a lot of other people seem to have for the series, though I liked the first season well enough; I haven’t even started the second season yet.

* The DC Cinematic Universe turns to the only hero who could possibly save it: The Rock. The Rock can make anything good, but there are limits. There are limits.

Let’s scrape together The Shining epilogue that Stanley Kubrick destroyed.

* And Some Math Problems for English Majors.

An English major explains his career options to three mechanical engineers for fifteen minutes. How many beers will the English major drink in explaining that, really, he has it figured out as he’s applying to eighteen grad schools, and after the PhD, maybe become a professor, or go for a post-doc, maybe? What if he’s trying to impress someone? What if that someone’s also a mechanical engineer?

Live from a Hotel Room in Philadelphia – Saturday Links!

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* Climate work and despair. It’s a tough problem in the classroom, too. Climate change conflicts somehow with an assumed, mandatory pedagogical optimism; the lack of a solution or even a “hope spot” often leaves the class feeling somehow incomplete.

* Today our president was trolled on Twitter by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Vicente Fox.

* Ted Chiang in the New Yorker. Great piece.

Beyond this narrow Wikipedian territory, Chiang is reluctant to venture. Although he is amiable and warm, he is also reticent and does not riff. Over several conversations, I learned, in addition, that he owns four cats, goes to the gym three times a week, and regards a small cylindrical seal made of hematite sometime around 1200 B.C. as one of his most treasured possessions—it was a gift from his sister, a reference to “Tower of Babylon.” He told me that, when he was a child, his family celebrated Christmas but wasn’t religious. When I asked Chiang if he had hobbies, he said no, and then, after a long pause, admitted that he plays video games. He refused to say what he eats for breakfast. Eventually, I sent him an e-mail with twenty-four questions that, I hoped, might elicit more personal details:

Do you have a favorite novel?
There isn’t one that I would want to single out as a favorite. I’m wary of the idea of a favorite anything.

You’ve spent many years living near the water. Do you like the sea?
Not particularly. I don’t actually spend much time on the coast; it’s just chance that I happened to move here.

What was the last work of art that made you cry?
Don’t know.

Do you consider yourself a sensitive person?
Yes.

Required Reading: 50 of the Best Sci-Fi Comics.

A Sober Utopia.

* Conspiracy theories we can believe in: the 19A0s, the suppressed decade between the 1970s and 1980s whose memory has been repressed.

Can We Really Measure Implicit Bias? Maybe Not. This article certainly supports my implicit bias against these sorts of studies.

* Trumpism: The Devil We Know.

* Today in the hopeless search for some Trump upside: the end of the campus sex bureaucracy.

* How could it possibly get worse? Oh.

* Tilikum has died.

* From December: UN opens formal discussions on AI-powered autonomous weapons, could ban ‘killer robots.’

* Dogs! In! Space!

* Wisconsin, no. Bad.

I Can’t Answer These Texas Standardized Test Questions About My Own Poems.

* In a society that profits from your self doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act.

A Practical Guide to Teaching Children Basic Math Concepts Using LEGO Bricks.

* Vegetarianism and mood.

* And meanwhile, in the other universe…

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Friday Links!

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* Speaking of which! This Saturday morning! Infinite Jest at 20! Join us!

* In my mailbox: Fueling Culture: 101 Words for Energy and the Environment. I’m a contributor; my word was “addiction.”

Four Futures: using science fiction to challenge late stage capitalism and Thatcher’s “no alternative.”

* CfP: The 14th Annual Tolkien Conference at University of Vermont.

* Rebekah Sheldon: Save Us.

* How did the Soviet Union imagine 2017?

When Colleges Rely on Adjuncts, Where Does the Money Go?

Another Big Drop in History Majors.

* Make College Football LD Again.

A mystery player causing a stir in the world of the complex strategy game Go has been revealed as an updated version of AlphaGo, the artificial-intelligence (AI) program created by Google’s London-based AI firm, DeepMind.

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* GOP legislators in Wisconsin basically want line-item approval over syllabi at this point.

Obama Leaves the Constitution Weaker Than He Found It.

Registered Voters Who Stayed Home Probably Cost Clinton The Election.

* James Joyce and the Jesuits.

* Republicans want to kill the mortgage interest deduction. So I’m bankrupt now, I think.

House Republicans revive obscure rule that allows them to slash the pay of individual federal workers to $1.

But while cinephiles have long become used to shelling out their hard-earned wonga to watch the same movie several times over, a new interview with the editors of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hints that Hollywood’s habit of regurgitation goes further than we imagined. It reveals the film’s initial “cut”, designed to map out the movie before any shooting took place, was cobbled together by editor Colin Goudie using footage from hundreds of other existing films.

George Lucas Can’t Give His $1.5 Billion Museum Away.

Princess Leia Was Going to Play a Large Role in Star Wars: Episode IX.

* Some details on the supposed twelve-movie plan for Star Wars I’d never seen before.

* On chicken intelligence.

* Today in “virtually”: The storage chamber would be much deeper than Lake Huron and the company says there is virtually no chance of radioactive pollution reaching the lake, which is less than a mile away. This is a nice variant on the theme: Democrats to Fight Almost Any Trump Supreme Court Nominee: Schumer.

* Teaching the controversy: MIT Researchers Say 2016 Didn’t Have More Famous Deaths Than Usual. Give 2017 some exciting room to expand.

We don’t, in fact, know what works in teaching composition. This one was more polemical, but good too I thought: The costs of social capture.

Among other things, whiteness is a kind of solipsism. From right to left, whites consistently and successfully reroute every political discussion to their identity. The content of this identity, unsurprisingly, is left unexamined and undefined. It is the false foundation of the prototypically American model of pseudo-politics.

The Troublesome Women of Sherlock.

* Modularity and the Seinfeld theme.

* A horrific hate crime in Chicago.

* Drugs and the spirit of the times.

* Trump vs. the CIA: whoever wins, we lose. Donald Trump’s Twitter Account Is A Security Disaster Waiting To Happen. And then there’s this.

* How in Milwaukee’s cold hell did we only get #7?

* And the Monty Hall Problem, explained.

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Written by gerrycanavan

January 6, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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