* Job ad (probably best for Midwest-located scholars): Visiting Assistant Professor of English (3 positions), Marquette University.
* There’s a new issue of SFFTV out, all about the Strugatskiis.
* CFP: Octavia E. Butler: Celebrating Letters, Life, and Legacy – February 26-28, 2016 – Spelman College.
* Episode 238 of the Coode Street Podcast: Kim Stanley Robinson and Aurora.
* The weird worlds of African sci-fi.
* Afrofuturism and Black Panther.
* To save California, read Dune.
* All episodes of I Was There Too are great, but last week’s Deadwood-themed episode was especially so.
* Jameson’s essay on Neuromancer from Polygraph 25 (and his new book The Ancients and the Postmoderns: On the Historicity of Forms) is available at Public Books.
* “My college has had five deans in the last 10 years. They want to make their mark. That’s fine, but the longer I’m in one place as a faculty chair, I see why faculty are cynical and jaded,” Dudley said. “Every time there is turnover, there is a new initiative. There is a new strategic plan. So many faculty are just at the point where they say ‘just leave us alone.’ “
* Pomp and Construction: Colleges Go on a Building Tear.
* 6 Ways Campus Cops Are Becoming More Like Regular Police.
* Diversity and the Ivy Ceiling.
* What academic freedom is not.
7) Academic freedom is not a gratuitous entitlement for privileged faculty but essential in achieving societal progressivity. Those with academic freedom are more likely to produce higher quality research and effective teaching that benefits society, if not always the ruling elites. I frequently state in class: “If I am not free, you aren’t free! For me to do my job, I must speak freely and teach outside the lines to help you expand your frame of knowledge and question your world.” There may not be “a” truth, however earnest the search, but the attempt to find it must be unfettered. Society spends billions of dollars on higher education, and the investment is more likely to reap dividends if revisionism, and not orthodoxy, prevails.
* Why Is It So Hard to Kill a College? Why do you sound so disappointed?
* An LSU associate professor has been fired for using curse words and for telling the occasional sexually-themed joke to undergraduate students, creating what university administrators describe as a “hostile learning environment” that amounted to sexual harassment.
* Josh Marshall: Here’s an (fun in a surreal, macabre way) article about a recent example of how Twitter has dramatically increased the velocity at which bullshit is able to travel at sea level and at higher altitudes. In fact, the increase is so great that Twitter has become a self-contained, frictionless bullshit perpetual motion machine capable of making an episode like this possible. This is the story of Zandria Robinson, an African-American assistant professor of sociology at the University of Memphis who made some that were both genuinely outrageous and also a peerless example of jargony academic nonsense-speak, became a target of right-wing media and twitter-hounds, then got fired by the University of Memphis because of the controversy, thus making the University a target of left-wingers on Twitter and driving Twitter to cross-partisan paroxysms of outrage and self-congratulation. Except that she wasn’t fired and actually wasn’t even an employee of the University of Memphis in the first place. Thanks, Twitter.
* Supreme Court to Consider Case That Could Upend Unions at Public Colleges.
* Adjuncting is not a career, TIAA-CREF edition.
* Keywords for the Age of Austerity 19: Resilience.
* Fraternities, man, I don’t know.
* Right-wing SF and the Charleston attack.
* Fusion is mapping the monuments of the Confederacy. Why do people believe myths about the Confederacy? Because our textbooks and monuments are wrong.
* Tomorrow’s iconic photos today.
* There’s a dark side to everything: the secret history of gay marriage.
* Andrew Sullivan’s victory lap.
* Gay rights in America, state by state (updated 26 June 2015).
* The Y2Gay Problem.
* How do you tell a person to choose between having food to eat and getting married?
* When docents go rogue.
* When image recognition goes rogue.
* Greece just defaulted, but the danger is only beginning.
* Puerto Rico and debt.
* Now We Know Why Huge TPP Trade Deal Is Kept Secret From the Public.
Let that sink in for a moment: “[C]ompanies and investors would be empowered to challenge regulations, rules, government actions and court rulings — federal, state or local — before tribunals….” And they can collect not just for lost property or seized assets; they can collect if laws or regulations interfere with these giant companies’ ability to collect what they claim are “expected future profits.”
* The Rise and Fall of LSD.
* How FIFA Ruined Soccer.
* Rape on the night shift.
* Self-driving cars and the coming pro-driving movement.
* Class and the professorate.
* “I’ve been a boy for three years and I was a girl for six.” Frontline on growing up trans.
* Why are colleges investing in prisons in the first place? Don’t answer that.
* The view from over there: 38 ways college students enjoy ‘Left-wing Privilege’ on campus.
* How to Avoid Indoctrination at the Hands of ‘Your Liberal Professor.’
* Against students.
* You Were Right. Whole Foods Is Ripping You Off.
* “You have the wrong body for ballet.”
* The toy manufacturing sublime.
* Barack Obama is officially one of the most consequential presidents in American history. I really don’t think going on WTF is that big a deal.
* What Went Wrong: Assessing Obama’s Legacy. [paywalled, sorry]
* Debating polygamy: aff and neg (and more).
* Alex Hern decided not to do anything for a week – unless he’d read all the terms and conditions first. Seven days and 146,000 words later, what did he learn?
* Philip K Dick’s only novel for children to be reissued in UK.
* Postcapitalist Posthumans.
* Preschool justice.
* The World Without Work. The Hard Work of Taking Apart Post-Work Fantasy.
* The Sweatshop Feminists.
* Keita “Katamari Damacy” Takahashi is still making the best games.
* The Assassin Who Triggered WWI Just Got His Own Monument.
* Every state flag is wrong, and here is why.
* US military admits it carried out secret race-based experiments to test impact of mustard gas on US soldiers.
* Don Featherstone, Inventor of the Pink Flamingo (in Plastic), Dies at 79.
* A people’s history of the Slinky.
* How to fix science.
* J.K. Rowling Announces “Not a Prequel” Play About Harry Potter’s Parents. There’s just no way we’re not going to get an official “next generation” sequel series in the next few decades.
* Court Affirms It’s Completely Legal To Swear Loudly At Police.
* Oh, but we have fun, don’t we?
* They’re making a sequel to Lucy, more or less just for me.
* Kotsko flashback: Marriage and meritocracy.
If in the Mad Men era the mark of success was the ability to essentially ignore one’s family while enjoying access to a wide range of sexual experiences, now the situation has reversed: monogamy and devotion are the symbol of success. And the reason this can make sense as a symbol of elite arrival is that the trappings of a bourgeois nuclear family can no longer be taken for granted as they were in the postwar heyday of the “traditional family” — they are the exception rather than the norm. In the lower and working classes, successful marriages are increasingly difficult to sustain amid the strain and upheaval that comes from uncertain employment and financial prospects (a problem that is compounded by the systematic criminalization of young men in minority communities). While marriage is still a widely-shared goal, the situation now is similar to that with college: a relatively small elite get to really enjoy its benefits, while a growing number of aspirants are burdened with significant costs (student debt, the costs of divorce) without much to show for it.
* I used to lead tours at a plantation. You won’t believe the questions I got about slavery.
* When police kill the mentally ill.
* Despair bears
* A broken bail system makes poor defendants collateral damage in modern policing strategies.
* Drug cops took a college kid’s savings and now 13 police departments want a cut.
* The 20 Best Lines From the Supreme Court Dissent Calling to End the Death Penalty.
* Inside Rikers Island.
* Someone is turning the Saved By The Bell Wiki into a thing of beauty.
* Dystopia now: “Predictive Policing.” You’re being secretly tracked with facial recognition, even in church. Air pollution and dementia. Rivers of death. The dark future of ‘Advantageous’: What happens when the difference between child-rearing and job training collapses?
* Plus, there’s this creepy shit.
* If you want a vision of the future, imagine Abramsverse Star Trek sequels, forever.
* No one else apply for this.
* And they said my English major would never be useful.