Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Moby-Dick

Saturday Night Links!

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* Writing Advice to My Students That Would Also Have Been Good Sex Advice for My High School Boyfriends.

* CFP: The Handmaid’s Tale: Gender, Genre Adaptation – a one-day symposium. Race and The Handmaid’s Tale. Margaret Atwood Annotates Season 1 of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’

* A Dangerous Business: Being a Female Professor.

* Two Americas: Those Who Leave Home, and Those Who Stay.

A Brief History of Violence Against Members of Congress. The start of a disturbing new chapter.

But now we have legislation that will change the lives of millions, and they haven’t even summoned the usual suspects to explain what a great idea it is. If hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue, Republicans have decided that even that’s too much; they’re going to try to pass legislation that takes from the poor and gives to the rich without even trying to offer a justification. More at Vox.

American Health Care Tragedies Are Taking Over Crowdfunding.

The Senate health care bill is expected to allow states to relax the Affordable Care Act rules only on benefits, not on pricing as the House bill does. But that change could impact people far beyond those states, according to anew analysis by the liberal Center for American Progress — because it could lead to a return of annual and lifetime benefit limits, and not just in the states with the waivers. Don’t stop working those phones.

* Trump buckles on the Dreamers. But: Border Patrol Arrests Immigrants Seeking Medical Care During Desert Heat Wave. Trump’s move to deport Iraqi Christians stirs outcry. ICE nabs teenager hours before his senior prom, days before his graduation ceremony.

Trump is likely to get much, much worse. Here are a few big things to watch for.  A Very, Very Dangerous Situation. The WaPo Obstruction Blockbuster and the World of Hurt To Come. Robert Mueller chooses his investigatory dream team. Here we go.

Donald Trump’s Cabinet members, ranked by their over-the-top praise of Trump.

* Now That’s What I Call #TheResistance.

* It’s very slowly happening here.

That’s part of a far broader story: Republicans have a coherent and awful vision, while Democrats have a better but confused vision. Republicans want to cut taxes all the time; Democrats want to sometimes cut some taxes and certainly aren’t committed to raising taxes on principle. Republicans want to ban all abortions; many Democrats favor certain restrictions on abortion, depending. The ur-Democratic legislation is Obamacare, which undoubtedly improved the status quo but which is a tangled mishmash of public and private and which does not offer anything like a simple and coherent policy like “Medicare for all.” Republicans are the party of small government; Democrats are the party of jury-rigged quasi-entitlements via convoluted tax credits. Is it any wonder conservatives win so often? An evil but directly and unapologetically stated policy platform beats a better but cowardly and convoluted one any day, politically.

If social compacts without any leeway for idiosyncrasy or dissent tend toward dictatorship, untrammeled individualism tends toward nihilism. The once-again great America Trump envisages is a fusion of the worst of both, and you can’t say our movies didn’t predict him. Wherever America’s right stuff now elusively resides, its wrong stuff in right-stuff disguise is on display for all the world to see—at multiplexes everywhere, not just on Fox News.

* This is fine.

* This though I’m not crazy about: Brain-Eating Parasites Thrive As Global Warming Heats Up U.S. Lakes.

“People who claim we’re in the sixth mass extinction don’t understand enough about mass extinctions to understand the logical flaw in their argument,” he said. “To a certain extent they’re claiming it as a way of frightening people into action, when in fact, if it’s actually true we’re in a sixth mass extinction, then there’s no point in conservation biology.” But that doesn’t mean we can’t still get there if we all just chip in.

Number of people serving life in US prisons is surging, new report says.

US credit card debt to surpass $1 trillion this year, report says.

* A scholar of the Ku Kux Klan explains how the KKK used the same trolling tactics as the alt-right.

Five officials will face manslaughter charges for Flint water crisis. PA supreme court: was illegal to steal elderly woman’s home because her son sold $140 of weed. Revealed: reality of life working in an Ivanka Trump clothing factory.

Robot puts all of humanity to shame by achieving perfect score in Ms. Pac-Man.

This New Museum Imagines a World Where Capitalism Is Dead.

* If there is no real economic recovery forthcoming—and there is not—and if the university cannot be restored without one, do any possibilities remain? They do. We would have to imagine a world that did not peg public funds to private profits. Our current understanding of “public” presupposes a thoroughgoing privatization of the world that shortly preceded the appearance of the modern university. There is no going back. But if there is to be something ahead, an emancipation of learning, it will not be discovered in the hearts and minds of administrators and legislators persuaded to see the error of their ways, but in a transformation of the society beyond the edges of campus. Who Can Save the University?

For graduate students fighting to unionize, time is running out.

* Salvage on Corbyn.

Today’s horrific fire in London’s Grenfell Tower is a symbol of a deeply unequal United Kingdom.

* Bob Dylan, Nobel Prize Winner.

Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cars R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.

Ok, I’ll try this: 1 like = 1 unusual condition for killing the big baddy at the end of your book/movie/game.

Why is TV awash in afterlives, hells, and purgatories?

* There’s just one story, and we tell it over and over.

Witchcraft and dueling are now legal in Canada.

Meet the First Woman to Draw Wonder Woman: “I Never Ever Gave Her Breasts That Were Bigger Than Her Head.”

* Abolish Netflix.

* Abolish the trucking industry.

Why It Was Easier to Be Skinny in the 1980s.

* Estimated Number of Injuries and Reported Deaths Associated with Inflatable Amusements, 2003-2013.

* Retconning Guardians.

* Duck Tales, woo ooh.

Bruce Springsteen is headed to Broadway.

* I’m sorry, I don’t think I understand the objection.

* Presenting the best of Hello from the Magic Tavern.

Salo University is a friendly cloud space for thinking about Kurt Vonnegut and why his writing matters today.

* What real words are actually valid CSS HEX colors?

Alarm clock dropped inside wall still going off daily after 13 years.

* Why Bill Cosby Walked Free.

Why It’s Impossible to Indict a Cop.

* “Rakka” is the first sci-fi short film by Oats Studios, directed by Neill Blomkamp (District 9 and Chappie), featuring the aftermath of an alien invasion that has enslaved millions of humans. The free 22-minute film, which features the amazing Sigourney Weaver, is available to stream for free on Steam, YouTube and the Oats Studios website.

* And guys, it’s official: I’m a bestseller.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 17, 2017 at 4:27 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Infinite Sunday Infinite Reading

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* From last week, a rare “actual content” post: White Male Critic Asks Why If Wonder Woman Is Really So Great Why Didn’t She Prevent the Holocaust.

* Princess Buttercup Became the Warrior General Who Trained Wonder Woman, All Dreams Are Now Viable. The Strange, Complicated, Feminist History of Wonder Woman’s Origin Story. Who mourns for the space kangaroos? I’m Pretty Sure Steve Trevor Lied About His Dick Size in Wonder Woman. Classic DC.

* Black Panther next! Everything We Learned From the Black Panther Teaser Trailer.

Why you should go to the Octavia Butler sci-fi conference at the Huntington. I’ll be there!

Bob Dylan Delivers His Nobel Prize Lecture, Just in Time.

* Scenes from the class struggle at Evergreen.

* Evergreen headlines: Humanities Majors Drop.

Eight reasons why universities can’t be the primary site of left organizing.

* Academics at UNC want to know what was wrong with plans for a class dealing with athletics scandals, including one at Chapel Hill.

UWSP student asks court to force poetry professor to give her an A.

The Poverty of Entrepreneurship: The Silicon Valley Theory of History.

* Fifty years of One Hundred Years of Solitude. No Magic, No Metaphor.

* Apple’s new HQ is a retrograde, literally inward-looking building with contempt for the city where it lives and cities in general.

* Corbynmania! How Labour Did It. Why Corbyn Won. Theresa May’s desperation could undo peace in Northern Ireland.

* Excerpts from James Comey’s Opening Statement to the Senate Intelligence Committee or from Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day? The Comey testimony was riveting reality TV. I asked 6 legal experts if Trump obstructed justice. Here’s what they told me. Trump Can Commit All the High Crimes He Wants. Republicans Aren’t Going to Impeach Him. How Donald Trump Shifted Kids-Cancer Charity Money into His Business. Trump’s DOJ says Trump can still get paid. Our A.I. President. A Noun, a Verb, and Vladimir Putin. All this and Trumpcare isn’t even dead. What Will Happen to Us? Four Cartoonists on A Life Without the Affordable Care Act.

Reporter Covering Inauguration Protests Now Faces 75 Years in Prison.

* I think we may have had the Russians all wrong.

* Noam Chomsky explains the twentieth century.

What if Your Cellphone Data Can Reveal Whether You Have Alzheimer’s?

* What’s really warming the world?

* Candidate opposing Steve King drops out of race citing death threats and a possible inability to get health insurance. America!

* Twilight of the comics direct market.

Before I go: A mother’s hopeful words about life in its waning moments.

The toddler survived with some scar tissue—but not everyone who gets Powassan, POW for short, is so lucky. With no treatment available, half of all people who contract the virus suffer permanent brain damage; 10 percent die. And while POW is nowhere near as prevalent as that other tick-borne summer scourge—Lyme—it is starting to show up more often.

People tend to avoid sick people, even if they don’t consciously now that they are sick, according to a new study published in PNAS.

* The addicts next door. Drug Deaths in America Are Rising Faster Than Ever. In one year, drug overdoses killed more Americans than the entire Vietnam War did. The last words of a ‘heroin junkie’: There seems to be no escape.

* Not only will this happen in your lifetime — this tweet has accelerated the process.

* Shock finding: Tax evasion is shockingly prevalent among the very rich.

* On dying alone.

On Aug. 15, 1977 at 10:16 p.m. ET Ohio State University’s Big Ear radio telescope detected a curious signal from deep space. Nearly 40 years later, we finally know what caused it and, sadly, it’s not aliens.

* Donald/Donald. Don’t stop till you find the panda. How to succeed. Now my story can be told. Should we be concerned about that? What’s the problem with Florida? Can I interest you in a war on non-transport accidents? If you want a vision of the future. The state is that human community that (successfully) claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory. Zoos.

* In tiny Townville, S.C., first-graders are haunted by what they survived — and lost — on a school playground. Gut-wrenching.

How Bostonians Defeated the Olympics.

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

* The Myth of General Lee.

* Peanuts and the Civil Rights Movement.

‘Life or death for black travelers’: How fear led to ‘The Negro Motorist Green-Book.’

* For the first time ever, a video game has qualified for an Academy Award.

* When David Fincher nearly directed a Star Wars sequel trilogy.

I always thought of Star Wars as the story of two slaves [C-3PO and R2-D2] who go from owner to owner, witnessing their masters’ folly, the ultimate folly of man…

How Wookieepedia Tackles the Insanely Difficult Task of Chronicling the Entire Star Wars Universe.

* This week in the richest society in human history.

At $75,560, housing a prisoner in California now costs more than a year at Harvard.

* Make this movie!

* Compatibilism: A Parable.

* I’ve always known this is how it will end for me.

* Everett Hamner will be recapping Orphan Black season five for LARB.

* Some economies just can’t be disrupted. Grilled cheese for instance.

* Pinball’s back, baby!

* So is — Mary Poppins? Fine, I guess.

C. L. R. James in the Age of Climate Change.

The Unexpected Afterlife of American Communism.

* Al Franken was a great guest on Marc Maron, if you missed it. Crazy to say it, I think he might actually run for president. Then again, why not him?

* RIP, My Batman.

West’s Batman/Bruce Wayne is, and will always remain, the single most important screen incarnation of the character, for better or worse: For better because it was the most surprising, at times confounding, interpretation of the Caped Crusader, feather-light and hilarious precisely because of the character’s seeming lack of self-awareness; for worse, in the eyes of some fans, because it encouraged millions of people who had never picked up a Batman comic, or any comic, to be amused by the sight of adults dressing up in wild outfits and pretending to punch each other in the face. Every subsequent, high-profile reinvention of Batman, whether in Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s The Killing Joke, Tim Burton’s alternately perverse and sincere Batman and Batman Returns, Christopher Nolan’s operatic trilogy, and Zack Snyder’s funereal Batman vs. Superman, is, first and foremost, a reaction against the Adam West–driven Batman series.

* And the bad news never stops: Sleeping In Is Deadly, Popular People Live Longer, Adolescence Lasts Forever, and So Does High School.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 11, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet, Look at what I put on the Internet

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Thursday Links!

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* In case you missed it from the weekend: a CFP for a Science Fiction Film and Television special issue on “Star Trek at 50.”

* Call for submissions: Accessing the Future.

* Today’s twenty-first-century political weirdness is the Scotland referendum on independence. The Guardian. MetaFilter. The economic case. Schroedinger’s Kingdom. John Oliver. Why Scotland thinks it can survive as an independent country. I’m Guardian editor Matt Wells. Got questions on Scottish independence? Ask away!

* Alison Bechdel, certified genius. Some professors won too.

* Postdoc of the year: “The Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University invites applications for its 2015-2016 Postdoctoral Fellowship program. The successful candidates will couple their own research and publishing agenda with their contributions to the Center’s Collective Memory Project, a wide ranging oral history of the George W. Bush Presidency.” Friend, do I have a story for you.

* “Debates about the future of the humanities frequently revolve around the suspicion that the humanities might not have one.”

* Chris Ware is serializing a novella in the Guardian: “The Last Saturday.”

* Unpopular opinions watch: Carceral progressivism.

More Weird Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About The Original Star Trek.

Roddenberry believed there was no chest hair in the future.

The dream never dies.

* A day in the life of a data mined kid.

This Is What Happens To Transgender Kids Who Delay Puberty.

The Time I Spent On A Commercial Whaling Ship Totally Changed My Perspective On The World.

* World War II and the creation of the paperback industry.

* Cruel optimism watch: Are More MLA Faculty Jobs on the Way?

* Reporting rape at UNC.

* The madness of crowds: Wealthy L.A. Schools’ Vaccination Rates Are as Low as South Sudan’s.

* Despite all evidence to the contrary, blaming black culture for racial inequality remains politically dominant. And not only on the Right.

* Hamburg wants to be the best city in the world in 20 years.

* Burlington nipping on its heels.

* Calvinball in Wisconsin: the rules on voting just changed again.

* Lone Wolf returns!

* Study: 30 percent of former NFL players will get dementia or Alzheimer’s.

* Don’t look now, but the US prison population is growing again.

* The University of California is just literally a hedge fund now.

What Are the Real Odds That Your Birth Control Will Fail? Pretty frightening.

* A King Kong prequel, because we haven’t even come close to hitting bottom yet.

* Do Animals Cry?

* BREAKING: Naomi Klein Is Right, Unchecked Capitalism Will Destroy Civilization.

In decades of public debate about global warming, one assumption has been accepted by virtually all factions: that tackling it would necessarily be costly. But a new report casts doubt on that idea, declaring that the necessary fixes could wind up being effectively free. The price is too high!

* BREAKING: Immigrants aren’t stealing your jobs.

* A feminist history of Wonder Woman.

Every panel of Watchmen, sorted by average lightness, ascending.

* Understanding the Tortoise and the Hare.

* Because you demanded it: “Play It Again, Dick,” the weird quasi-Veronica-Mars nega-sequel, is finally here.

* Necrocapitalism in the Anthropocene: Govt may do away with tribal consent for cutting forests.

* Why we can’t have nice things: Thievery marring Little Free Libraries.

Anti-monuments in Milwaukee and beyond.

* May 2015 can’t come fast enough.

* And no one could have predicted: Apple releases U2 album removal tool.

AURORA_KIM_STANLEY_ROBINSON

Sink All Coffins and All Hearses to One Common Pool

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Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee. Sink all coffins and all hearses to one common pool! and since neither can be mine, let me then tow to pieces, while still chasing thee, though tied to thee, thou damned whale! Thus, I give up the spear!

There Are Whales Alive Today Who Were Born Before Moby Dick Was Written.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 16, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Sunday Links

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* I left for Thanksgiving travel in a rush and wasn’t able to post a link to my traditional Thanksgiving post.

* What happens to turkeys that are pardoned?

“The birds are then, in proverbial fashion, said to live happily ever after. In reality, however, they are usually killed within a year and stand-in turkeys are supplied. This goes on year after year. The chosen birds are killed because they have been engineered and packed with hormones to the point that they are unfit for any other purpose than their own slaughter and consumption. They are fast-forward turkeys. Presidential turkey caretakers have explained that most succumb rather quickly to joint disease—their frail joints simply cannot bear the weight of their artificially enhanced bodies. The sturdiest survivors may live a little more than a year. But the birds are always finally put out of their growing misery. Then they are buried nearby in a presidential turkey cemetery—the ritualistic significance of which remains to be explored. (May the archaeologists of the future excavate it!)”

The reason that these turkeys are so ill suited for their lives of freedom is that they are supplied by the National Turkey Federation. They are products of industrial farms, bred to grow fat quick rather than live long. Much could be said about the fact that corporate lobby’s interests trumps even the symbolism of the ceremony, making even the pardon itself a lie within a lie.

To pardon, after all, is to forgive. And, if we’re talking about a turkey, it becomes difficult to discern what criminal or immoral behavior on the bird’s part may be said to establish the necessary preconditions for its forgiveness.

What we have here is a situation where a company offered a wage in the marketplace and couldn’t get any workers to accept it. Consequently, it went out of business.

* David Mitchell on how they filmed his unfilmmable novel.

* What Would Combat in Space Be Like?

* All about Münchausen syndrome.

Farmers Told To Buy Insurance If They Don’t Want To Get Sued By Monsanto.

If Walmart were a country, its GDP (US$443.9bn) would be greater than that of South Africa’s ($422bn). Visa would be bigger than Zimbabwe, Wells Fargo dwarfs Angola, and eBay, Amazon, Costco, Proctor & Gamble would swamp Madagascar, Kenya, Sudan and Libya respectively.

* A Roundtable Discussion featuring Jacqueline Dutton, Daniel Heath Justice, Kim Stanley Robinson and Lorenzo Veracini.

I am very reluctant to speak of “climate change adaptation” in this connection, because I feel that that phrase is a seized term, like “sustainable development,” and both are coded ways of saying “business as usual” or “capitalism must endure no matter the damages.” Because of that I think we should still be insisting on “climate change mitigation” as the appropriate task for our time. Ultimately, however, the entire biosphere will be adapting to the new physical conditions we are creating by our impacts, and we are going to have to get involved with that adaptation to make the best of it, meaning keeping the number of extinctions to a minimum, and trying to steer the biosphere toward best outcomes for all the species on the planet. This is necessary, because all the species together form one single supra-organism, and the health of all together determines the health of any individual species, including ourselves. Because of that reality, inhabiting the Earth successfully in the centuries to come will necessarily be a utopian project. It’s become a case of utopia or catastrophe.

* Year-to-date Temperature Anomalies for Contiguous US.

* Outstanding achievements in bullshitting: John Podhoretz.

Chevy Chase Is Leaving Community, Effective Immediately. Bring back Dan Harmon? It’s not too late!

Alicia Keys Sings the Gummi Bears Theme Song.

* Action Philosophers has a digital exclusive issue 13 at Comixology.

* And finally: Zissou vs. the whale.

Tuesday Links

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* David Graeber teaches my superheroes module in one long go at the New Inquiry.

Affirmative action and the fantasy of “merit” comes to the Supreme Court. Buckle up.

* The wisdom of markets: Mysterious Algorithm Was 4% of Trading Activity Last Week.

The main victim of the ongoing crisis is thus not capitalism, which appears to be evolving into an even more pervasive and pernicious form, but democracy — not to mention the left, whose inability to offer a viable global alternative has again been rendered visible to all. It was the left that was effectively caught with its pants down. It is almost as if this crisis were staged to demonstrate that the only solution to a failure of capitalism is more capitalism.

* Annals of Canadian crime: Canada cheese-smuggling ring busted – policeman charged.  Maple syrup seized in N.B. may have been stolen in Quebec.

* Illiteracy and Star Wars.

* Obama makes a strong pitch for my particular demographic.

* Are drones illegal? Well, we’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality, so…

* Let six-year-olds vote: Afghan war enters twelfth year. And onward! And onward!

* The maintenance of civil order in society rests on the foundation of family discipline. Therefore, a child who disrespects his parents must be permanently removed from society in a way that gives an example to all other children of the importance of respect for parents. The death penalty for rebellioius children is not something to be taken lightly. The guidelines for administering the death penalty to rebellious children are given in Deut 21:18-21… You know what? Let me stop you right there.

* “Man who defaced Tate Modern’s Rothko canvas says he’s added value.” And he’s probably right!

* Community not coming back on schedule is/is not a catastrophe. I’ll just go ahead and assume that they need more time to bring Dan Harmon back.

* Louie on hiatus until 2014.

* Why do Venezulans keep reelecting Hugo Chávez?

To understand why Chávez’s electoral victory would be apparent beforehand, consider that from 1980 to 1998, Venezuela’s per capita GDP declined by 14%, whereas since 2004, after the Chávez administration gained control over the nation’s oil revenues, the country’s GDP growth per person has averaged 2.5% each year.

At the same time, income inequality was reduced to the lowest in Latin America, and a combination of widely shared growth and government programs cut poverty in half and reduced absolute poverty by 70%—and that’s before accounting for vastly expanded access to health, education, and housing.

Oh.

The Rise and Fall of the Cincinnati Boner King.

Admitting that scientists demonstrate gender bias shouldn’t make us forget that other kinds of bias exist, or that people other than scientists exhibit them. In a couple of papers (one, two), Katherine Milkman, Modupe Akinola, and Dolly Chugh have investigated how faculty members responded to email requests from prospective students asking for a meeting. The names of the students were randomly shuffled, and chosen to give some implication that the students were male or female, and also whether they were Caucasian, Black, Hispanic, Indian, or Chinese.

Campus officer kills naked freshman at University of South Alabama.

* The Ohio Statue University marching band pays tribute to video games.

* Johnny works in a factory. Billy works downtown. / Terry works in a rock and roll band looking for that million dollar sound. / Got a job down in Darlington. Some nights I don’t go. / Some nights I go to the drive in. Some night I stay home. On “The Promise.”

* digby imagines what would happen if we tried to ban lead today.

* Like Darth Vader at the end of JediRidley Scott ends his career a hero.

* Behind the Scenes of the Planet of the Apes.

* And get ready for competing Moby Dick projects! Who says Hollywood is out of ideas?

Friday Morning!

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* Waste your weekend the Manufactoria way. This is one of the best flash games I’ve ever played, I think—it hits the same sweet spot of manic focus for me as doing discrete math problems did back in college. (Thanks, Neil!)

* xkcd finds an impressive new angle on the ancient killing-Hitler time-travel gag.

* Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal has a clever about a cliched political metaphor.

* Photos of People Riding Invisible Bikes.

* Superhero photobombs. (Thanks, Lindsey!)

* Tom Chatfield interviews China Miéville.

Tom: Today, of course, you go online, and you can see that the Wikipedia entries for something like Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes are higher quality, better-referenced, longer and better-researched than many entries about the Second World War. You have this strange inversion in collective belief and emphasis, which ends up generating a lot more material a lot more confidently around the small stuff than the big stuff.

China: This is one of the bad things about the geekocratic moment. Even speaking as someone who loves geek culture at its best, nevertheless I think the sense of priorities is often skewed to the point of being demented.

Tom: Passion is very distorting. If the only reference you have is the strength of your own feeling, and you don’t temper it with something like a sense of social good or importance…

China: Yes, if you don’t contextualize it, it becomes disaggregated from totality—and ultimately it’s totality that one is interested in, social totality.

* The Two Guys from Andromeda are on Kickstarter looking for funds for what sounds like an unofficial Space Quest sequel.

* And in a rare bit of good news: Justice Department Demands Florida Stop Purging Voter Rolls.