Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘mediocrity

#SFRA2017 Links for All Your #SFRA2017 Needs!

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* Watch #SFRA2017 for all the tweets from SFRA2017! I’ll be presenting this afternoon in the 4 PM session: “No, Speed Limit: Hyperspace in the Anthropocene,” mostly talking about John Scalzi’s The Collapsing Empire but also hitting Octavia Butler, Cixin Liu, Kim Stanley Robinson, Margaret Atwood, H.G. Wells, and others.

* And just in time for #SFRA2017, SFFTV 10.2 is now available! A special issue on the SF films of Stephen King.

* From Canavan’s Razor to Kotsko’s Hammer: If you believe that you have caught your enemy in a contradiction, you are mistaken. At best, you have misjudged their real priorities and goals. At worst, you have fallen for a deliberate smokescreen, designed to confuse and distract you.

* CFP: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein at 200 (Science Fiction Studies, Special Issue).

Emma Watson has been hiding copies of Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale around Paris, with a handwritten note inside each one.

The City University of New York picked the worst time to raise the salaries of its top administrators to as much as $402,700 — the same day it cut the operating budgets of its four-year colleges and raised tuition.

* Can’t you see? Star Wars needs mediocrity.

* Return of the travel ban. Return of the lawsuits. The travel ban going into effect would have saved zero lives from terrorist attacks in the last 20 years. It’s going to get worse.

* This seems normal and fine.

Gun Sales Are Plummeting and Trump Wants to Help.

GOP Operative Sought Clinton Emails From Hackers, Implied a Connection to Flynn.

Republican Health Care Bill Cuts Medicaid 24 Percent By 2036. Trumpworld’s push to get a Senate health deal. Senate GOP Health Care Surrender Watch.

* “California decided it was tired of women bleeding to death in childbirth”: The maternal mortality rate in the state is a third of the American average. Here’s why.

The Case for Paying Less Attention to Donald Trump. And Now the Trump Presidency Begins to Fail for Real. MSNBC hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski say President Trump and his White House used the possibility of a hit piece in the National Enquirer to threaten them and change their news coverage.

* Hell yes, Rep. Barbara Lee.

* Normally I’d say “teach the controversy,” but these allegations are simply too serious to treat flippantly: NASA Denies That It’s Running a Child Slave Colony on Mars.

* Cyberattack attacks Chernobyl radiation monitoring station.

* On desistance and detransition.

* Global warming will intensify regional inequality in the United States, according to a revolutionary new economic assessment of the phenomenon.

* Two brothers, two deaths.

Illinois Approaches 3rd Year Without Budget.

US quietly publishes once-expunged papers on 1953 Iran coup.

SCP-3008-1 is a space resembling the inside of an IKEA furniture store, extending far beyond the limits of what could physically be contained within the dimensions of the retail unit. Current measurements indicate an area of at least 10km2 with no visible external terminators detected in any direction. Inconclusive results from the use of laser rangefinders has lead to the speculation that the space may be infinite. SCP-3008-1 is inhabited by an unknown number of civilians trapped within prior to containment. Gathered data suggests they have formed a rudimentary civilisation within SCP-3008-1, including the construction of settlements and fortifications for the purpose of defending against SCP-3008-2.

* Just what is happening at Disney?

* Rick and Morty season three, at last, by God.

And Jurassic Park but with the dinosaurs from the 90s TV show Dinosaurs, forever and ever amen.

Thursday Links, Inc.

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* University, Inc.

* Like Kirk said, don’t let them promote you: Rising to Your Level of Misery at Work.

* Best American Poetry Pseudonyms.

* All the Sensible Progressives agree: The Clinton email scandal is over, over, so over.

Big-Name Plan B’s for Democrats Concerned About Hillary Clinton. I guess I’ll get started on Plan C.

* The Hal Salive Science Fiction and Fantasy Collection at the University of Otago in New Zealand.

* At long last, the billionaires have come for their ancient enemy, UNC’s English department.

Rutgers Faculty Union Urges Inquiry Into Football Coach.

Cooperation or Collusion? Lawsuit Accuses Duke and UNC of Faculty Non-Poaching Deal. I think they bought themselves a whole lot of legal trouble here.

* Amid all the weirdness of the U Iowa president hire, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Gotta spend money to make money. University of Iowa Faculty Senate votes ‘no confidence’ in Board of Regents. “We’re just getting started.”

* Some good news in Wisconsin: MATC announces free tuition for low-income students.

Here’s the truth: academia is an amazing sector with some of the best features of any job, even if it also has substantial problems. Folks on the way out might feel like they’re biting their thumb at something, and those still “stuck” on the inside of this troubled-but-terrific career might feel some welcome-if-temporary solidarity. But after that, it’s just more fodder for legislators, corporations, and the general public to undermine the academy. It helps nobody in the long run. No One Cares That You Quit Your Job.

* Mediocrity is the secret key that explains everything. Moving beyond the early focus on conformity, we propose that the threat of status loss may make those with middle status more wary of advancing creative solutions in fear that they will be evaluated negatively. Using different manipulations of status and measures of creativity, we found that when being evaluated, middle-status individuals were less creative than either high-status or low-status individuals (Studies 1 and 2). In addition, we found that anxiety at the prospect of status loss also caused individuals with middle status to narrow their focus of attention and to think more convergently (Study 3). We delineate the consequences of power and status both theoretically and empirically by showing that, unlike status, the relationship between power and creativity is positive and linear (Study 4). By both measuring status (Studies 2 and 3) and by manipulating it directly (Study 5), we demonstrate that the threat of status loss explains the consequences of middle status.

Researchers have discovered a better way to wait in line, and you’re going to hate it.

Half of Americans have diabetes or pre-diabetes. This is framed as good news: “…after two decades of linear growth, the prevalence of diabetes in the United States has finally started to plateau.”

Words about slavery that we should all stop using.

* “Prison gets rich looking up preschoolers.”

* “Author says parent from Tennessee is confusing ‘gynaecology with pornography’ over description of Lacks discovering a lump in her cervix.”

* The next Charles Darwin?

* Kim Davis has defeated us all. Related: Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis Never Should Have Gone to Jail.

The Final Discworld Book Is Bittersweet For Many Reasons. I haven’t read one of these in decades, but I’m still sad he’s gone.

Brooklyn College’s Longtime Janitor Is Also Its Cocaine Dealer, Police Say.

* An interview with Ursula K. Le Guin.

Salman Rushdie’s Bewilderment at Snapchat Inspired Him to Write Science Fiction.

The Joy Machine: Stephen Colbert, Satire, and Faith.

The High Burden of Low Wages: How Renting Affordably in NYC is Impossible on Minimum Wage.

One lawyer’s crusade to defend extreme pornography.


Washington’s Football Team Is the Donald Trump of the NFL.

* Negging and neoliberalism.

* Wifework and the university.

* And Boots lives. I anticipate that this will make Zoey’s entire year.