Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

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Tuesday Night Links!

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* AHCA/BCRA is dead but Obamacare repeal is still alive. The past 24 hours in health care, explained. They’ve already moved past “repeal and delay” to let make Obamacare fail.”

* Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s treasury secretary, is hurtling toward his first fiasco. Second when you remember Batman v. Superman.

* Trump, Putin had second, undisclosed talk at G-20. Donald Trump Jr. Met Russian Accused of Laundering $1.4 Billion.

* Even Wormtongue’s looking for the exits: Christie: ‘Probably against the law’ to get opposition research from Russia.

* Trump’s Air War Has Already Killed More Than 2,000 Civilians. 12 civilians a day.

“Neoliberalism” isn’t an empty epithet. It’s a real, powerful set of ideas. Very good piece, as is to be expected from Rortybomb.

Bernie Sanders needs a protégé.

What happens to local news when there is no local media to cover it?

The city needs to do more to minimize arrests. District attorneys can take the lead by refusing to prosecute most, if not all, of these cases.

* Aaron Bady on Game of Thrones as it enters its final stretch.

This is a problem that afflicts Westeros as a whole. In a world where “everywhere…they hurt little girls,” as Cersei reminded Oberyn, the limits to rational knowledge are something only those who have been hurt seem to understand. Sansa doesn’t know the military stuff—her father never allowed her to learn—but she knows what Jon seems not to, that Cersei is a nightmarish vortex of danger for them, and that she will find a way. Jon is complacent about the south, but Sansa knows what he doesn’t: the Lannisters might be broke and outnumbered and beset on all sides, but the machinations of the plot will not allow them to fall, not yet. (And she is right, they will). Meanwhile Cersei knows what her brother doesn’t seem to know, that troop numbers and logistics and gold are not so important in a world where Euron Greyjoy can have his best ships stolen but still somehow show up with an armada of a thousand ships. But it’s not because they’re women that they know something that men don’t know, or not precisely that: having had their worlds destroyed around them—having had the unthinkable and unspeakable happen to them—they have brought out of their experiences a useful skepticism about the things that people think they know, in their security. It’s because Jon and Jaime only know what they know, and are satisfied with it, that their knowledge has limits. The world makes sense to them, as the patriarchy does for patriarchs.

* Iron Man says Ultron is an existential threat to humanity.

* The Rise and Fall of F. Lee Bailey, the Lawyer Who Set O.J. Simpson Free.

* 355 issues of sci-fi golden age magazine Galaxy are now available at The Internet Archive.

* The cure came too late for me, alas.

* Being Jar Jar Binks.

* No.

* A new study of harassment of graduate students by faculty members suggests that the problem is worse — both in level of offense and prevalence of repeat offenders — than many believe.

* And No One Looks Good in the Ugly Drama Surrounding Kermit the Frog’s Firing. No, I don’t expect anyone would…

Friday Links Are Just a Party and Parties Aren’t Meant to Last

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51yLZieyZIL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_* Out today, a project very close to my heart: my edited 2016 rerelease of Darko Suvin’s Metamorphoses of Science Fiction. Here’s the Amazon order page, for you or your favorite academic library!

* The Ever-Tightening Job Market for Ph.D.s. The Mobile Academic.

The strange story of Hugo Gernsback, who brought science fiction magazines to America.

* Just in time for finals! MLA Eighth Edition: What’s New and Different.

* At LARoB Rebecca Evans reviews the reissue of Kim Stanley Robinson’s Science in the Capital series, Green Earth. David Perry reviews The Secret Life of Stories. Against Star Wars. Inside the Coetzee Collection.

* My desire to see The Twilight Zone has boomeranged on me in the most ironic possible way.

* An independent researcher claims to have discovered a lost civilization in China.

Existential Depression in Gifted Children.

* Mourning Prince and David Bowie, who showed there’s no one right way to be a man. Buzzfeed’s The Most Powerful Writing about Prince. Nation Too Sad To F*ck Even Though It’s What Prince Would Have Wanted.

The Secret Life of Novelizations.

The Hidden Economics of Porn.

Five Hundred Years of Utopia.

Harriet Tubman once staged a sit-in to get $20. The Treasury just gave her all of them. You have no idea how hardcore Harriet Tubman really was.

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The smug style in American liberalism.

* How Chicago elites imported charters, closed neighborhood schools, and snuffed out creativity.

How Seattle Gave Up on Busing and Allowed Its Public Schools to Become Alarmingly Resegregated.

How to Blow $9 Billion in 6 Months.

* Nearly half of Americans would have trouble finding $400 to pay for an emergency. I’m one of them.

Why America’s Schools Have A Money Problem. Related: 25 Best Wisconsin High Schools: U.S. News Rankings 2016.

Against Activism.

For forty years, liberals have accepted defeat and called it “incremental progress.” Bernie Sanders offers a different way forward. How Sanders fell short. The real scandal.

12 Reasons Not to Write Lord of the Rings.

I Talked to the Kid Whose Mom Used Craigslist to Find Him a Feminism Tutor, and It Got Weird.

* Do Honeybees Feel? Scientists Are Entertaining the Idea. Insects Are Conscious and Egocentric.

* Our foundation of Earth knowledge, largely derived from historically observed patterns, has been central to society’s progress. Early cultures kept track of nature’s ebb and flow, passing improved knowledge about hunting and agriculture to each new generation. Science has accelerated this learning process through advanced observation methods and pattern discovery techniques. These allow us to anticipate the future with a consistency unimaginable to our ancestors. But as Earth warms, our historical understanding will turn obsolete faster than we can replace it with new knowledge. Some patterns will change significantly; others will be largely unaffected, though it will be difficult to say what will change, by how much, and when.

Details arise about U.S. Bank robbery in the Alumni Memorial Union.

* Behold, the Hasbro Cinematic Universe.

* The Tragic History of RC Cola.

U.S. Suicide Rate Surges to a 30-Year High.

Hamilton just won the Pulitzer for drama. Here’s why it matters for American musicals. And congrats to Emily Nussbaum!

This map shows every place in the US that has ever had a woman in Congress.

The Average 29-Year-Old.

* Milwaukee’s Appeals, Vibrant and Cheap.

First Criminal Charges Handed Down After Flint Water Crisis.

* A man once described as a “perfect donor” at an August, Georgia sperm bank and who fathered at least 36 children around the world is actually a mentally ill felon whose lies on his donor forms went undiscovered for more than a decade.

We owe Rey and Finn’s friendship to Harrison Ford’s broken leg.

Love It Or List It sued over shoddy renovations, ridiculous falsehoods.

As A Father Of Daughters, I Think We Should Treat All Women Like My Daughters.

* Hello, from the Magic Tavern watch! There’s two noncanonical podcasts from Foon-16 over at One Shot. There’s also a band new, slightly less… rigorous improv podcast from some of the principals involved called Siblings Peculiar.

The U.S.’s Best High School Starts at 9:15 a.m.

Lab Mice Are Freezing Their Asses Off—and That’s Screwing Up Science.

New Evidence Suggests That Limbs and Fins Evolved From Fish Gills.

* How to Shakespeare.

* Cards Against Humanities.

* And rejoice, comrades! Twilight Struggle has come to Steam.

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Written by gerrycanavan

April 22, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Tuesday Is Soylent Green Day Links

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* Exciting news! My book, Octavia E. Butler (the latest in the University of Illinois’s Modern Masters of Science Fiction series) has a November 1 publication date and a pre-order page on Amazon!

* Some upcoming events at Marquette English this month: “Resume Doctor and Interview Bootcamp” and a Pop Culture and Pizza Night on Hamilton: An American Musical. There’s also MuHuCon this weekend and the Marquette/UWM joint conference next weekend.

* And speaking of HamiltonGoogle Hamilton truth! A little more from LGM and William Hogeland.

* A relation of cruel optimism exists when something you desire is actually an obstacle to your flourishing.

* Though the rumors are that they may actually have learned something from their mistake.

Kim Stanley Robinson’s Next Book, New York 2140, Will Feature a Half-Submerged Manhattan.

* On Xeno-Colonialism.

This Church Believes Humans Can Live Forever on Earth. Sold!

We’re running out of water, and the world’s powers are very worried.

University of Kansas Acquires 1,000 Zines from a Defunct Radical Library.

This Is What Really Happens to Your Brain When You’re Tripping on LSD.

* In a case showing the reach of college sports corruption, a former head men’s basketball coach at the University of Southern Mississippi instructed his assistants to complete junior college course work for recruits.

The Creative Writing of the Internet’s Premier White Supremacist Forum.

* Welcome to Night Vale: Two percent of humans can hear the Hum, a mysterious, low rumble in the distance. It might exist. It might be imaginary. It might be both.

* Diabetes watch: Are full-fat dairy foods better for you after all?

* Can this election get stranger? How Gen. James Mattis could become the unlikeliest U.S. president in history. I don’t know anything about Mattis, and doubt that he’s the guy, but I still think sabotaging the Electoral College by running one or more regional candidates in order to throw the election to the House is the only GOP strategy left that has any chance of success.

No matter how you measure it, Bernie Sanders isn’t winning the Democratic primary.

Scientists Unveil New ‘Tree of Life.’

Louis C.K. Has Millions in Debt Thanks to “Horace and Pete.”

Attawapiskat declares state of emergency over spate of suicide attempts.

* The most and least meaningful jobs.

This Is How Long Sex Should Actually Last. Science.

* The finding that launched a thousand sexist jokes: Men May Be Able to Avoid Dementia by Marrying Intelligent Women, Researchers Say.

* “I think that porn has the power to do what Bruce Springsteen can’t”: Porn Site Bans North Carolina Users Due To State’s Anti-LGBT Laws.

No one knows why they remained healthy, Friend said. But DNA from such people could one day provide insight into ways to prevent or treat such catastrophic disorders. “Instead of looking at people with disease, you need to look at people who should have gotten sick,” said Friend.

There’s an insanely well-hidden Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! Easter egg.

How precious is a longtime family dog? As valuable as an heirloom vase or family photographs? A Wisconsin appeals court says no.

* Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others: After 50 years of animal-welfare legislation, rats and mice are still left out in the cold.

A major perk of the job for New York State corrections officers may soon be off the table: The ability to be as brutal as they’d like with prisoners without having to worry about facing any serious consequences.

Last winter two bodies were found in Norway and the Netherlands. They were wearing identical wetsuits. The police in three countries were involved in the case, but never managed to identify them. This is the story of who they were.

Why Hollywood studios are taking a stand against an anti-revenge-porn bill.

* I want to believe: The Warriors Have A 93 Percent Chance Of Hitting 73 Wins.

* Huge, if true: Planet X to really cause mass extinction this month?

* And I know I say this a lot, but sometimes a thing really is ideology at its purest.

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Written by gerrycanavan

April 12, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Wednesday Links: Part 2: The Return

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* Someone needs to check their Save the Cat: Video shows CEO kicking puppy in elevator.

Elites spent months arguing we should attack Syria to dislodge Assad. Now these same elites want to intervene in the war on his behalf. “What’s the harm of bombing them at least for a few weeks and seeing what happens?”

* Poverty Capitalism. Campus Safety Capitalism.

* The 14 Best National Universities According To Washington Monthly has Case at #9 and UC Riverside at #2. Arbitrary college ranking systems forever!

* How to Game the College Rankings.

* Brian Leiter on the Salaita case: 1, 2, 3.

In addition to his constitutional claims, Salaita has an almost textbook version of a contract law claim under the doctrine of “promissory estoppel” (the classic case on the subject is Red Owl).  The basic idea is simple:  even if there is no formal contract between two parties (my expectation, as noted, is the court will find no contract between Salaita and Illinois), if one party reasonably relies on the promises and representations of the other, and then the other reneges, the injured party is entitled to compensation to the extent of his reasonable reliance.  It was clearly reasonable for Salaita to rely on an offer letter from the Dean–an offer letter that specifically mentioned the academic freedom protections the University of Illinois affords faculty!–even with a clause saying the appointment was subject to approval by the Board of Trustees (after all, there does not appear to be a case in the last half-century in which the Board failed to approve a tenured appointment that went through the normal university channels, as Salaita’s did).  Indeed, the reasonableness of Salaita’s reliance is enhanced by the fact that the University scheduled his classes this fall and even referred to him in public as a faculty member.

The harder question will be Salaita’s damages.  At a minimum, he should recover for the costs of relocation, his housing costs this year (since he rented his prior home), the cost of insurance and related expenses, and his salary for this academic year; but he has a strong claim for asking for compensation for having relinquished tenure and his job and salary at Virginia Tech, i.e., for several decades worth of salary and benefits.  In other words, I would expect Salaita’s lawyers to ask for several million dollars in lost wages and benefits extending over a career.  Now there is always a duty in contract cases to “mitigate” damages–to take steps to prevent the unnecessary growth of damages–which here would mean seeking other academic employment.  If Salaita can not secure such appointment–and given the smear campaign against him, aided and abetted now by the University of Illinois, it is hard to see a public university, vulnerable to the same political pressures, being able to hire him–then he has a claim for his lost wages and benefits as a professor for the next (roughly) thirty-plus years.

* I was on the front lines of the violence in Ferguson. Militarized police caused the chaos.

* The Parable of the Unjust Judge.

That respectability politics is the narrative of the oppressor digested and regurgitated by the oppressed is obvious. But we shouldn’t dismiss it without understanding its allure and durability: it reframes the terms of power, restoring agency into black hands. For the black upper class, it is the parable that allows them to rationalize their privilege as a sign of their own worthiness, while simultaneously giving them cover to righteously withdraw concern from the plight of the less fortunate of their race. It’s no coincidence that the black people advocating for blacks to somehow be cleansed of their blackness by bathing in the waters of post-racial healing are many of the same complaining that “we” don’t pay attention to “black on black crime”. For the black middle class, respectability becomes an aspirational fable, a promise that they, too can be free of racism if they become successful enough to transcend their race. For the black underclass, it becomes a morality tale that explains their own destruction. Respectability politics is a false narrative, but it maintains its power because, like so many powerful lies, it sits adjacent to the truth and set slightly askew: they are looking for a way to turn you into a nigger, and if necessary, they will find one. You will never leave a body pure enough to not be judged complicit in its own destruction.

MA Police Apologize After Accusing Man Of Faking Photo Of Trooper’s Racist Bumper Sticker. Police trampled the makeshift memorial built by Michael Brown’s mom. That is to say: Police Drove Over Michael Brown Memorial, Let Dog Piss on It.

* Meanwhile: Ben Stein has awful opinions and should be ashamed.

* Bring down Big Sugar.

* There is no way this is true: Milwaukee, Madison drivers among the nation’s safest. Real talk: Milwaukee drivers are some of the absolute worst drivers I have ever encountered.

* More scenes from the struggle between Uber and Lyft.

* Obscure Words and Phrases Everyone Suddenly Becomes Very Familiar With, 1995-2040.

* Did Tony die at the end of The Sopranos? Yes, and David Chase knows it.

* Elsewhere on the front lines of culture: Is Hello Kitty a cat? How dare you. How dare you.

* LEGO really, really letting down its fans. I knew I should have loaded up on the female scientist sets when I had the chance.

* Why we can’t have nice things: Americans strongly agree: You shouldn’t stop people from reclining on planes.

* New Discovery Cuts Brainwashing Time in Half.

Ohio lawmakers want to limit the teaching of the scientific process.

* When J.J. Abrams set out to make the absolute worst Superman movie possible. It would have been amazing.

* And/but/so Warner Brothers simply does not understand the superhero business at all.

Thursday Links!

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* Here Are the 55 Schools Currently Under Federal Investigation for Sexual Assault. Behind Focus on College Assaults, a Steady Drumbeat by Students.

* There have been violent threats, angry screeds, Twitter flame campaigns and an entire website predicated on the putative hideousness of Dan Kane’s existence. Someone sent Kane an email wishing him a lingering death by bone cancer. Someone else tweeted him a photograph of a noose. Emotions can run amok when you take on something as sacrosanct as the athletic program at the University of North Carolina, as Kane, 53, has found in the last few years…

* All The Times Science Fiction Became Science Fact In One Chart.

* On valuing the Humanities at MIT.

* So if you’re a college president overseeing a portfolio of lucrative, heavily marketed, largely unaccountable terminal master’s-degree programs that offer little or no financial aid and charge market prices financed by debt, congratulations: You, too, own a for-profit college!

On the other hand, Coursera’s “Global Translator Community” offers a new model for corporations looking to expand their exploitation of uncompensated skilled labor, and perhaps ultimately replace nearly all paid labor with unpaid “volunteering”: 1) The mission of the company, regardless of its for-profit status, is defined in exclusively philanthropic terms; 2) A gigantic blitz of media hype provided by sympathetic journalists and columnists leads the public to associate the company exclusively with its world-saving charitable priorities; 3) Workers are persuaded to contribute their labor to the company through an appeal to their desire to “change the world” and “become part of a global community” of similarly idealistic souls.

* Automated-grading skeptic uses Babel to expose nonsense essay.

* What if Everyone in the World Became a Vegetarian? Yes, fear not, Slate makes sure this is a Slate pitch.

If the world actually did collectively go vegetarian or vegan over the course of a decade or two, it’s reasonable to think the economy would tank.

* “Smaller classes in the early years can lift a child’s academic performance right through to Year 12 and even into tertiary study and employment,” Dr Zyngier said.

* You can prove anything with facts: States That Raised Their #MinimumWage in 2014 Had Stronger Job Growth Than Those That Didn’t.

* A not-so-brief history of LEGO’s wonderful “Space” line of products.

* You may be done with the past, but… Waddington’s pulls child’s blood-stained tunic from auction gallery.

* Amazing what a little organized labor can accomplish.

* What we talk about when we talk about trigger warnings.

* Thomas Piketty and his Critics.

* Striking Down Wisconsin Voter ID Law, Judge Finds ‘No Rational Person Could Be Worried’ About Voter Fraud.

* L.A’.s Most Arrested Person Is a Homeless Grandmother. Execution nightmare in Oklahoma. Louisiana About To Make It Illegal For Homeless People To Beg For Money. Woman Loses Her Home For Owing $6.

Lawsuit: Penn denied prof tenure for taking child-care leave.

* Area man changes opinion on Obamacare after it literally saves his life.

* MFA vs POC.

* This is a sad day for the Gerry community.

Marquette recognized as green college by Princeton Review.

* They say he’s a lame duck, but Obama is still out there, pounding the pavement, looking for things he could still make just a bit worse than they are now.

* The coming antibiotic resistant hellscape.

* The coming SyFy TV hellscape.

* Congratulations, Zoey!

* Babies cry at night to prevent siblings, scientist suggests.

* Your close reading of the Star Wars Episode 7 cast photo.

* America is Hungry, Let’s Eat.

* Springsteen’s “Born to Run” First Draft to Be Displayed in Perkins Library.

* Even mice are terrified of men.

* And rest in peace, Bob Hoskins.

Saturday!

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* Malala Yousafzai charms Jon Stewart, confronts Obama, advocates socialism.

* Just another massive early-autumn blizzard in South Dakota, nothing to see here.

* New drug could prevent cell death from Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s.

This Is Your Brain On Poetry.

* Professors and Adjuncts Unite, Win Raises, Job Security in First Contract.

Boy, 15, kills himself after ‘facing expulsion and being put on sex offender registry’ for STREAKING at high school football game.

There’s No Crying at the Pee Wee Super Bowl: The Rigors of Youth Football. High School Football Coach Encourages Player To Shake Off Cognitive Impairment.

* Finally: House Members Announce New Path Forward to Open the Government through a Discharge Petition. Shutdown’s Quiet Toll, From Idled Research to Closed Wallets. But the first thing we do, let’s kill all the mice.

* Old continuity or I crash the economy: Bob Orci is reportedly talking to CBS about a new Star Trek TV series.

Comedian pranks TedX at Drexel University.

France’s Ban On Fracking Is ‘Absolute.’

South Carolina Man Gets Off Thanks To ‘Stand Your Ground’ After Shooting And Killing Innocent Bystander.

Living Man Told He Is Legally Dead By Court.

I got hired at a Bangladesh sweatshop. Meet my 9-year-old boss,.

While we celebrate the ghouls and goblins of October, Elaine M. Will’s webcomic Look Straight Ahead depicts a different sort of horror. High school senior Jeremy loses his connection with reality as he falls into the grips of bipolar disorder.

…for the true and democratically minded critic, “technology” is just a slick, depoliticized euphemism for the neoliberal regime itself. To attack technology today is not to attack the Enlightenment – no, it is to attack neoliberalism itself.

* I’m taking a quick break from ignoring Glenn Beck to note how terrible a person Glenn Beck is.

* And a New California Law Will Allow Children More Than Two Legal Parents. As long as none of the parents is Glenn Beck, I’m on board.

Thursday Night Links

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* Thank a Boomer: the North Pole is now a lake.

Three-Quarters Of Young, Independent Voters Describe Deniers As ‘Ignorant, Out Of Touch Or Crazy.’

* Scientists discover what’s killing the bees and it’s worse than you thought.

* MOOCs enter the “Sure, they’re a complete disaster, but what if they weren’t?” phase of the hype cycle.

* College enrollment fell 2 percent in 2012-13, the first significant decline since the 1990s, but nearly all of that drop hit for-profit and community colleges; now, signs point to 2013-14 being the year when traditional four-year, nonprofit colleges begin a contraction that will last for several years. Better hire some new assistant under-deans to tackle this problem.

* Why would CPS throw more money into recruiting recent college graduates with five weeks of training and no teaching certificates into the district when it lets go of highly-qualified, certified, veteran teachers? What’s the Difference Between Teach For America, and a Scab Temp Agency?

* What’s the Matter With North Carolina? Meanwhile, Eric Holder tries to reignite the preclearance provision of the VRA under Section 3.

* Scientists believe they have successfully implanted a false memory into a mouse.

* Sleep is a standing affront to capitalism.

* There’s no such thing as black-on-black crime.

* Ally-phobia: On the Trayvon Martin Ruling, White Feminism, and the Worst of Best Intentions. White People Fatigue Syndrome.

* “Summer Vacation Is Evil”: the ultimate #slatepitch.

* Today in coffee-is-good-for-you news: Coffee drinking tied to lower risk of suicide.

* A unique defense: Lance Armstrong says it doesn’t count if everyone should have known you were lying.

* And tonight’s poem: “Rape Joke,” by Patricia Lockwood.