Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Matt Taibbi

Bottomless Thursday Links, No Refills

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Cheryl Abbate has decided to leave Marquette. Marquette has apparently decided to suspend John McAdams, though who knows for how long. As an untenured junior faculty member (who has, incidentally, been a subject of McAdams’s unsubstantiated attacks in the past, as has nearly every other professor I know on campus), I feel somewhat constrained speaking about all this, and so I won’t — but I’m unhappy about the first and queasy about the second, and will be free to discuss this all at length with you in a mere four or five years. It’ll still be relevant then, I’m sure: I expect this whole tangled mess to be a go-to example on Academic Freedom and Repellent Speech for many years to come, not to mention the lawsuits. It’s a very complicated and miserable situation that seems like it just got a whole lot more complicated and miserable. I’m sorry for a campus and for the students that are going to be dealing with the fallout from this situation for a long time.

* CFP at Milwaukee’s Own C21: “Indigeneities.”

* Climate change comes to Shishmaref, Alaska. Arctic is warming at twice the rate of anywhere else on Earth.

* Hugely disappointing news from Vermont: they’ve giving up their plan for single payer. I really thought this was how it would finally come to America.

* The word you’re looking for is “racism.” Just say racism.

* But dead men loot no stores. Property-based ethics.

* Financial aid and class struggle.

* In defense of “hands up.”

In recent weeks and months, the power of the gesture has never been clearer: “hands up” transforms the visual sign of surrender into one of political resistance. Nevertheless, it’s worth looking at the complex cultural and historical work the move engages—the multiple moves it makes. As my students register, “hands up” isn’t quite the Black Power salute, given that it rehearses a moment of full-body interpellation by the police. But as one student observes, part of its force is rooted in this very repetition. To throw one’s hands up in the stadium, in the street, and (perhaps most powerfully) for the camera is to convert that gesture of surrender into something else: a shared performance that makes visible the deeply historical and split-second choreographies of power in which bodies deemed criminally other—deemed threatening, which is to say deemed black—become the objects of state violence. “Hands up” cites and reroutes these choreographies, a physical disruption not unlike playing dead in solidarity with the dead, a form of protest to which it is closely aligned.

Police Investigating Texas Officer For Tasing 76-Year-Old Man. Ohio Detective Berated Girlfriend of Black Man Shot and Killed by Cops. California Cop Tweets That He Will ‘Use (His) God Given And Law Appointed Right To Kill’ Protesters. Wesleyan University Forced to Pay Police Overtime for Protesting Police Brutality.  UPenn President Criticized For Joining Protesters’ ‘Die-In.’ Cops Off Campus.

“There is an unbroken line of police violence in the US that takes us all the way back to the days of slavery.”

Supreme Court Says Ignorance Of The Law Is An Excuse — If You’re A Cop.

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the same standard doesn’t necessarily apply to police. In a splintered 8-1 ruling, the court found that cops who pulled over Nicholas Heien for a broken taillight were justified in a subsequent search of Heien’s car, even though North Carolina law says that having just one broken taillight is not a violation of the law.

Policing is a Dirty Job, But Nobody’s Gotta Do It: 6 Ideas for a Cop-Free World.

* Capitalism and Eric Garner.

Of course Americans are OK with torture. Look at how we treat our prisoners. The Luxury Homes That Torture and Your Tax Dollars Built. They Said ‘No’ to Torture: The Real Heroes of the Bush Years. Skinny Puppy demands $666,000 in royalties from U.S. government for using their music in Guantanamo torture.

* This is one of the better readings of Sorkinism and its worship of white masculinity I’ve seen.

* Need to learn to think like an administrator? There’s a retreat for that.

* Socialize Uber.

* ASU English goes 5/5 — without a pay increase. ASU English by the Numbers. Meanwhile, you’ll never guess.

The Arizona Board of Regents on Friday approved a 20 percent raise in base pay for Arizona State University President Michael Crow that pushes his total annual compensation to nearly $900,000.

The $95,000 raise is his first increase in base pay since 2007, before the recession, and could be enough to place him back among the top 20 earners for public-college presidents.

Straight Talk About ‘Adjunctification.’ Come for the one or two sensible points, stay for the nightmare flame war…

The ‘Job Market’ That Is Not One.

* Meanwhile meanwhile: According to a report from the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, citing anonymous sources, U-M offered Harbaugh $8 million per year to coach the Wolverines.

* Gasp! The secret to the Uber economy is wealth inequality.

The Judicial Ethics of Serial.

This risk of bias is not a reason to question content like Serial that draws attention to the problems inherent in our criminal justice system. It’s a reason to question a system of judicial elections that makes judges vulnerable to their influence.

The Elf on the Shelf is preparing your child to live in a future police state, professor warns. Yeah. “Future.”

Teach For America could miss recruitment mark by more than 25 percent.

* Both I Was Gang Raped at a U-VA Frat 30 Years Ago, and No One Did Anything and Jackie’s Story and UVA’s Stalinist Rules, working from opposite directions, suggest that universities should just not be in the business of adjudicating sexual assault claims at all.

This Is Why One Study Showed 19% Of College Women Experience Sexual Assault And Another Said 0.6%.

* Trigger warnings and law school.

Five Stories About Addiction.

Oberlin College denies requests from students to suspend failing grades after protests.

This past Friday, over 1,300 Oberlin students signed a petition for college administrators asking for understanding and “alternative modes of learning” as they continue to cope with what’s happening across the country.

They asked for the normal grading system to be “replaced with a no-fail mercy period,” and said “basically no student …especially students of color should be failing a class this semester.”

This actually really threw me. I think I must be getting old.

* Surveilling students, 21st century style.

* Scientists Are Using Twitter Data To Track Depression.

* It’s unclear how many people changed their views in the course of the yearlong debate. And questions remain. The most obvious one is whether the boycott has had any effect. In one specific sense, no. The ASA said it would not work with any Israeli universities, but it has not yet had any offers to do so. On a broader level, though, the vote has left an indelible mark. “We got into the mainstream press and triggered a number of conversations not visible before about Israel-Palestine,” says the ASA’s president, Lisa Duggan, a professor at New York University. “In that sense we had done what we wanted to do.”

* And they say there’s no accountability: Top Financier Skips Out On Train Fare, Gets Barred From His Profession For Life.

The Cuomo administration announced Wednesday that it would ban hydraulic fracturing in New York State, ending years of uncertainty by concluding that the controversial method of extracting gas from deep underground could contaminate the state’s air and water and pose inestimable public-health risks.

* Cuba’s cool again. Please be advised.

Werner Herzog Inspirationals.

* Parks & Rec is SF now.

All The Scenes That Could Have Been Cut From The Hobbit Trilogy.

* Oh, so now Tim Burton doesn’t think it’s cool to make the same movie over and over.

Father Makes Son Play Through Video Game History, Chronologically.

18 Badass Women You Probably Didn’t Hear About In 2014.

* The Racket would have been insane.

* Reading the gospel of New Athiesm leaves you with the feeling that atheism is simply a reprimand — a stern “hush hush” to the querulous children of faith. But the problem with this view is that it drains atheism of the metaphysical force of its own position. What makes atheism so radically different from agnosticism is precisely its desire to meet the extraordinary truth claims of religion head-on with rival propositions about the world. Hitchens’s claim that “our belief is not a belief” could not be more wrong. On the contrary, as the literary critic James Wood writes, “atheism is structurally related to the belief it negates, and is necessarily a kind of rival belief.” He claims being an agnostic would be “a truer liberation” since it would mean disregarding the issue altogether. The atheist, on the other hand, is always trapped in a kind of negative relationship to the God whose existence she denies in the first place, but whose scandalous absence she is forever proclaiming — a paradox memorably captured by Samuel Beckett’s Hamm when he exclaims, “The bastard! He doesn’t exist!”

The One Character JK Rowling Regrets Killing—It’s Not Who You’d Expect.

* Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal explains evolution.

* Congratulations, Bitcoin, the worst investment of 2014.

* And you had me at let’s bring Star Trek back to TV. Yes, let’s! Maybe we can just skip Star Tr3k altogether.

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 18, 2014 at 8:52 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Thursday Forever

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* Thursday at C21: Christopher Newfield, “The Humanities in the Post-Capitalist University.” Then, this weekend, elsewhere at UWM: After Capitalism.

* I have a short piece on “WALL-E and Utopia,” pulled from the Green Planets intro, up today for In Media Res’s Pixar week. I also owe SF Signal a post that should go up … eventually that’s also in conversation with the Green Planets stuff (though not cribbed quite so directly).

* The humanities and citation.

* White House petition: abolish the capitalist mode of production.

More acutely, when you consider the math that McKibben, the Carbon Tracker Initiative and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) all lay out, you must confront the fact that the climate justice movement is demanding that an existing set of political and economic interests be forced to say goodbye to trillions of dollars of wealth. It is impossible to point to any precedent other than abolition. Great piece from Chris Hayes.

* College towns and income inequality.

* But, clearly, if we can afford such a massive increase in professional staff, as well as such an increase in executives whose salaries have been escalating very dramatically, the sharp decrease in the percentage of all instructional faculty who are tenured or on tenure tracks is a matter of a dramatic shift in priorities—in the conception of the university.

* Gasp! At Elite Colleges, Legacy Status May Count More Than Was Previously Thought.

* On the disinvestment/reinvestment cycle. Returns to university endowments 1980-2010. The Soul of Student Debt. Against anonymous student evaluation.

* Vice interviews Matt Taibbi on his new book The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap.

* Understanding Wonder Woman, at LARoB.

* When Spider-Man fought misleading sex education.

* Could Mystery Science Theater return?

* The public pension scam.

* How the Super-Rich Really Make Their Money.

* Companies used to borrow in the markets as a last resort finance investment in their business. Now it’s a front for shareholder giveaways.

* Capitalism and Nazism: Now It Can Be Told.

* The school, called Explore + Discover, will be available to children between the ages of 3 months and 2 years. Tuition is $2,791/month for kids who attend five days a week. You can also pay $1,990 for three days a week or $1,399 for two days but don’t you love your child?

In Tuscaloosa today, nearly one in three black students attends a school that looks as if Brown v. Board of Education never happened.

For men, having children is a career advantage. For women, it’s a career killer. University managers believe women themselves are primarily responsible for the gender imbalance in higher education, according to research published today.

There’s Even A Gender Gap In Children’s Allowances.

“Faculty ignored requests from women and minorities at a higher rate than requests from White males, particularly in higher-paying disciplines and private institutions.” Reviewers will find more spelling errors in your writing if they think you’re black.

David Foster Wallace Estate Comes Out Against the Jason Segel Biopic. Meanwhile, this insane Lifehacker piece suggests we bracket the whole “suicide” bummer and take David Foster Wallace as our lifecoach.

* Atheist lawsuit claims ‘under God’ in NJ school’s daily pledge recital harms children. I guess I’m just another survivor.

* Wired goes inside Captain Marvel fandom.

* Woman writes about something traditionally regarded as a male-orientated industry or area of interest; if she’s conveying love, she’s doing it “for attention” (so what?) or “fake” (whatever that means); if she criticizes, she’s insulting, whining, moaning, on her period; if she says anything at all, her argument or point is made invisible because her damn biology is getting in the way.

What’s it like for the first living ex-pope in 600 years to watch from up close as the successor he enabled dismantles his legacy? 

* What That Game of Thrones Scene Says About Rape Culture. George R.R. Martin doesn’t want to talk about it.

* Aaron Sorkin Wants To Apologize To Everyone About The Newsroom.

* Does world government have a future?

* Mars or die.

Texas Prisons Are Hot Enough to Kill You.

* #MyNYPD.

* The great Colbert rebranding begins.

Netflix and Mitch Hurwitz Joining Forces Again.

Nichelle Nichols Talks with Janelle Monae.

* Game of the night: solar system simulator Super Planet Crash.

* Joss Whedon’s New Film Isn’t in Theaters, But You Can Watch It Online for $5.

Gabriel García Márquez on Fidel Castro, the Soviet Union, and creating “a government which would make the poor happy.”

* Forrest Gump, as directed by Wes Anderson.

“The only thing preventing a catastrophe from a ‘city-killer’ sized asteroid is blind luck.”

* Horrific, tragic story out of Rutgers.

Risk of New York City coastal flooding has surged by factor of 20, says study.

* The latest on the big animal personhood case in New York. Dolphins as alien intelligence.

That Time Cleveland Released 1.5 Million Balloons and Chaos Ensued.

* CIA torture architect breaks silence to defend ‘enhanced interrogation.’ Facial recognition and the end of freedom. The end of net neutrality and the end of the Internet. Late capitalist subjectivity and the sharing economy.

Bullied Kids at Risk for Mental Health Problems 40 Years Later.

* And/but/so the kids are all right.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 24, 2014 at 7:20 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Sunday Links!

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* The science fictional sublime: the art of Penguin science fiction.

* From the syllabus of my wonderful Cultural Preservation class: “Can Auschwitz Be Saved?” and “The Myth of the Vanquished: The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.”

* Great moments in the law school scam. Wow.

Fraternity expels 3 linked to statue noose, suspends Ole Miss chapter.

* Where the money goes: what $60,000 tuition at Duke buys you.

duke_exp

* The Definitive Guide to Never Watching Woody Allen Again.

Pedophiles Are Still Tearing Reddit Apart.

The Vampire Squid Strikes Again: The Mega Banks’ Most Devious Scam Yet.

* The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy will launch in 2015.

* Always worth relinking: StrikeDebt’s Debt Resistors’ Operations Manual.

On most policy questions of any importance, there are enough academics doing work to generate far more policy ideas than can seriously considered by our political system. When it comes to systemic risk, we have all the ideas we need–size caps or higher capital requirements–and we have academics behind both of those. The rest is politics. What we really need is for the people with the big megaphones to be smarter about the ideas that they cover.

Milwaukee’s childhood lead poisoning prevention program running out of money. Income inequality grew rapidly in Milwaukee, study finds.

Actually, climate trolls, January ended up being the fourth-warmest on record.

EPA moves to toughen pesticide safety standards for the first time in 20 years.

Scientists are appalled at Nicaragua’s plan to build a massive canal.

South Carolina Legislators To Punish College For Assigning Gay-Themed Fun Home Comic To Freshmen.

* David Graeber explains fun.

A sequel film for Farscape is in the early phases of development.

* NBC officially giving up, bringing back Heroes.

How wrong is your time zone?

Presenting the lowest possible score in Super Mario Brothers.

* The Donkey Knight Returns.

* The Legographer.

* The Amtrak Writers Fellowship.

* And now they’re saying the Voynich Manuscript might not be a hoax after all. Oh, I hope so.

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Friday Links – 2!

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* California in/and Science Fiction, at LARoB.

* The limits of academic freedom: does it include autonomy in grading practices? What about professors’ right to just give everyone an A+?

* The Edward F. Searles Fund is “a nearly century-old endowment given to the UC Regents and used mostly for costs associated with chancellors’ and the UC president’s housing.”

As of July 2013, the value of the fund stands at $188 million, and annual earnings are estimated at $6.5 million per year. The regents typically use the interest earned on the fund, and what is left over is reinvested.

@reclaimUC cruches some numbers.

* Ripping Off Young America: The College-Loan Scandal.

STUDY: High Debt Could Be Harmful To Mental And Physical Health.

Texas A&M Chancellor Slams NCAA Amateurism Rules Amid Johnny Manziel Investigation.

Humanities! Science is not your enemy, it’s a friend who owes you money.

* And Tressie McMillan Cottom says we need to stop condescending to for-profit university students. At Slate, unfortunately. UPDATE: Cottom has a response to MacGillis here.

Toxic Stew

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What we Americans go through to pick a president is not only crazy and unnecessary but genuinely abusive. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent in a craven, cynical effort to stir up hatred and anger on both sides. A decision that in reality takes one or two days of careful research to make is somehow stretched out into a process that involves two years of relentless, suffocating mind-warfare, an onslaught of toxic media messaging directed at liberals, conservatives and everyone in between that by Election Day makes every dinner conversation dangerous and literally divides families.

As the article continues there’s an affirmative proposal:

The campaign should start and finish in six weeks, and there should be free TV access to both candidates. And it should be illegal to publish poll numbers.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 10, 2012 at 8:47 am

Thursday!

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* Let’s Talk about Debt: The Real World Economy versus the Grad School Economy. The Catch 22 of Grad School Economics. Debt & Regret. The Golden Handcuffs of Employment (aka “Public Service”).

* Also making the rounds: The Real Reason I Dropped Out of a PhD Program. This story is very sad, and a large part of what makes it sad extends beyond academia specifically to the failure of the social safety net more generally.

Sarah Lawrence, With Guns: Teaching English at West Point.

* The decisive objection to the quest for original meaning, even when the quest is conducted in good faith, is that judicial historiography rarely dispels ambiguity. Judges are not competent historians. Even real historiography is frequently indeterminate, as real historians acknowledge. To put to a judge a question that he cannot answer is to evoke “motivated thinking,” the form of cognitive delusion that consists of credulously accepting the evidence that supports a preconception and of peremptorily rejecting the evidence that contradicts it. Posner v. Scalia.

* Taibbi v. Bain Capital.

Now your troubled firm – let’s say you make tricycles in Alabama – has been taken over by a bunch of slick Wall Street dudes who kicked in as little as five percent as a down payment. So in addition to whatever problems you had before, Tricycle Inc. now owes Goldman or Citigroup $350 million. With all that new debt service to pay, the company’s bottom line is suddenly untenable: You almost have to start firing people immediately just to get your costs down to a manageable level…

Also in Rolling Stone: The Federal Bailout That Saved Mitt Romney.

* What It’s Like for a Deaf Person to Hear Music for the First Time.

And we all know the rules:

Every president is in the best physical and mental condition they were ever in throughout the course of their presidency. Fatal maladies have been cured, but any lifelong conditions or chronic illnesses (e.g. FDR’s polio) remain.

The presidents are fighting in an ovular arena 287 feet long and 180 feet wide (the dimensions of the [1] Roman Colosseum). The floor is concrete. Assume that weather is not a factor.

Each president has been given one standard-issue [2] Gerber LHR Combat Knife , the knife [3] presented to each graduate of the United States Army Special Forces Qualification Course. Assume the presidents have no training outside any combat experiences they may have had in their own lives.

There is no penalty for avoiding combat for an extended period of time. Hiding and/or playing dead could be valid strategies, but there can be only one winner. The melee will go on as long as it needs to.

FDR has been outfitted with a [4] Bound Plus H-Frame Power Wheelchair, and can travel at a maximum speed of around 11.5 MPH. The wheelchair has been customized so that he is holding his knife with his dominant hand. This is to compensate for his almost certain and immediate defeat in the face of an overwhelming disadvantage.
Each president will be deposited in the arena regardless of their own will to fight, however, personal ethics, leadership ability, tactical expertise etc., should all be taken into account. Alliances are allowed.

Saturday!

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Today, Trina is one of approximately 470 prisoners in Pennsylvania serving life without parole for crimes they committed as teenagers. I was pretty cranky about this the other day on Twitter with respect to the Mitt Romney bullying story (on which subject fellow UNCG MFA alum Steve Almond gets biblical here).

Activists say Argentina now leads the world in transgender rights after giving people the freedom to change their legal and physical gender identity simply because they want to, without having to undergo judicial, psychiatric and medical procedures beforehand. Great!

Brazilian politicians and journalists were not placated. “We’re going to show this gang that they can’t come down here and create whatever environmental mess they want,” Carlos Minc, a co-founder of Brazil’s Green Party and environmental secretary of Rio state, told the newspaper O Globo. “I want to see the CEO of Chevron swim in that oil.” Great!

The free market as more efficient than central planning, case 751.

All of the current administrative solutions are perverse and/or unsustainable.  Public universities cannot solve their financial problems by raising tuition even more quickly in the face of the tuition bubble, the student debt bubble, public anger after decades of similar annual increases at 3-4 times inflation, a pro-education president who is campaigning to punish tuition increases with further funding cuts, and mounting damage to an entire academic generation symbolized by the recent tripling of the number of PhDs on food stamps. 

* Funny how this works: Saying he had no discretion under state law, a judge sentenced a Jacksonville, Florida, woman to 20 years in prison Friday for firing a warning shot in an effort to scare off her abusive husband.

Marissa Alexander unsuccessfully tried to use Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” law to derail the prosecution, but a jury in March convicted her of aggravated assault after just 12 minutes of deliberation.

* Taibbi: Obama versus Romney is the worst reality show on TV since the Tila Tequila days. The characters are terrible, there’s no suspense, and the biggest thing is, it lacks both spontaneity and a gross-out factor.

* A quick note from Jameson about base and superstructure.

* The Lego Lord of the Rings Videogame Is Really Happening. I’ll take one of each applicable video game system, please.

* Wes Anderson Tumblr blogs. It’s early going, but “Directed by Wes Anderson” may eventually be your winner here.

* And I’d have paid good money to see a Maurice Sendak Avengers.

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