Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘morally odious morons

Closed Some Tabs Today Links

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* Some kinda life.

* The evolving English major.

* The Humanities as Contradiction: Against the New Enclosures.

Colleges Can’t — or Won’t — Track Where Ph.D.s Land Jobs. Should Disciplinary Associations?

* A couple recent novel recommendations, just because I’ve had a bit more time to read lately, and because it’s been a while: I enjoyed both The Freeze-Frame Revolution by Peter Watts and The Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee.

* I thought ranking the 5th through 20th Beatles was an especially good episode of Screw It, We’re Just Gonna Talk about the Beatles, too, while I’m in a recommendin’ mood.

Calling all folks who have a conference paper or short piece they’re not sure what to do with. You’ve got a friend in the SFRA Review!

* Foundation #130 has been published.

An Alternative to the Nobel Prize in Literature, Judged by You. And a deep dive into the ugly scandal that cancelled the Nobel prize.

* N.K. Jemisin’s first short story collection is coming this fall. And elsewhere on the Afrofuturism beat: Nnedi Okorafor will be writing Shuri.

Black AfterLives Matter.

Claremont Graduate University closed its philosophy department and laid off the program’s two main tenured professors this summer, just a year after approving a promising master’s degree-only model for the department.

* Understanding the CV vs the cover letter.

A lost Stanley Kubrick screenplay has apparently been found.

slaveresistance.tumblr.com

* The secret history of Marxist alien hunters.

* Tolkien: Maker of Middle-Earth. Inside J.R.R. Tolkien’s Notebooks, a Glimpse of the Master Philologist at Work. “Saint Tolkien”: Why This English Don Is on the Path to Sainthood.

* From Peter Frase: On the Politics of Basic Income.

* How Should Children’s Literature Deal with the Holocaust?

* The Sci-Fi Sex Scene That Changed My Life: Before I was old enough to fully understand I was transgender, I found Asimov’s The Robots of Dawn.

Who Is Brett Kavanaugh? Inside the Right-Wing History of Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee. To Brett Kavanaugh and Donald Trump, Immigrants Have No Rights. Senators, Don’t Pretend You Don’t Know Where Kavanaugh Stands On Roe. Brett Kavanaugh’s Record on the Rule of Law Is Much Worse Than His Defenders Contend. Yes, Normal Republican Elites Are a Threat to Democracy.

As local newsrooms shrink, college journalists fill in the gaps.

White House Reviewing Plan to Relax Child Labor Laws.

Trial runs for fascism are in full flow.

Family Separations Are Still Happening Along The Border, As This Father’s Case Shows.

* I Know What Incarceration Does to Families. It Happened to Mine.

Cleaning Toilets, Following Rules: A Migrant Child’s Days in Detention.

* Immigrant mothers are staging hunger strikes to demand calls with their separated children. Army abandons legal effort to expel immigrant soldier on path to citizenship. The Army as a whole, and every individual soldier involved, should be ashamed of itself for participating in this nonsense. Judge will temporarily halt deportations of reunited families. Sexual Assault Inside ICE Detention: 2 Survivors Tell Their Stories. After an ICE raid in Postville, Iowa. Two teens wait in Boston after being separated from their father at the border. The prison-industrial complex, ICE edition. Look who’s profiteering now.

The Trump administration’s policies on family separation and abortion are driven by one view: A woman’s pain is fitting punishment.

Most Trump Voters Say MS-13 Is A Threat To The Entire U.S.

What Does It Mean to Abolish ICE?

* Trump and Putin: what we know is damning. It got worse.

* Meanwhile, House conservatives prep push to impeach Rosenstein.

* The borrowed kettle, war on poverty edition.

* Trump has said 1,340,330 words as president. They’re getting more dishonest, a Star study shows.

As the GOP increasingly comes to resemble a personality cult, is there any red line—video tapes? DNA evidence? a war with Germany—President Trump could cross and lose party support? “Very doubtful,” say a dozen GOP members of Congress stuck hard behind the MAGA eight ball.

Records obtained by the Miami Herald suggest that during the tenure of former chief Raimundo Atesiano, the command staff pressured some officers into targeting random black people to clear cases.

* With last charges against J20 protestors dropped, defendants seek accountability for prosecutors.

Nineteen tenants of 18 Kent Ave. in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, contend that Kushner Cos. tried to convert the majority of the 338 apartments in the building from rent-stabilized units to luxury condos starting in June 2015. To do so, Kushner’s firm harassed the rent-stabilized tenants with major construction all over the building, the lawsuit charges. The construction at the Austin Nichols House unleashed dangerous toxins into the air and caused a litany of issues, according to the legal filing. Rent-stabilized tenants allege Kushner Cos. harassed them.

* The woman in the #PlaneBae saga breaks her silence — she says she’s been ‘shamed, insulted, and harassed’ since the story went viral and asks for her privacy. Don’t stalk random strangers for clicks!

* Don’t feed the trolls, and other hideous lies: The mantra about the best way to respond to online abuse has only made it worse.

* A farewell to Twitter.

E.U. Fines Google $5.1 Billion in Android Antitrust Case.

* The Weirdest and Most Wonderful Alternate Dimensions in the Marvel and DC Universes.

* Left Politics Can Win All Over the Country.

In about 20 years, half the population will live in eight states.

* Something is up with Elon Musk. Keep your eye on it. Really!

* All class: MGM Preemptively Sues Victims of Las Vegas Mass Shooting.

* Handmaid’s Tale season two sounds like a real mess. A roller-coaster season – and its mind-boggling conclusion – have left Hulu’s flagship drama with nowhere to go.

Mad as a Mars Hare as the first Vietnam War film.

* The Last Blockbuster.

* A new law makes it illegal to vote if you’re a Democrat. But critics say…

* Why Aren’t We Still Talking About Treasure Planet?

* Another superbug.

Pushback against immunization laws leaves some California schools vulnerable to outbreaks.

* Autism and the tech industry. The World Doesn’t Bend for Disabled Kids (or Disabled Parents).

Health Insurers Are Vacuuming Up Details About You — And It Could Raise Your Rates.

* Today in the charter school scam.

* Trump is so bad that presidency-ending scandals don’t even get any airtime.

* Bad typo.

Could Ancient Humans Have Lived as Long as We Do?

* College-level mathematics.

Wildfires In The U.S. Are Getting Bigger. Orcas of the Pacific Northwest Are Starving and Disappearing. The disturbing reason heat waves can kill people in cooler climates. How Climate Change in Bangladesh Impacts Women and Girls. Global warming could make India literally uninhabitable.

* Reality-based recycling.

Labour HQ used Facebook ads to deceive Jeremy Corbyn during election campaign.

* Stop-and-Frisk Settlement in Milwaukee Lawsuit Is a Wakeup Call for Police Nationwide.

* “Sacha Baron Cohen Tricked Me Into Saying We Should Arm Preschoolers.”

Why isn’t the liberal media focusing on the one good trip?

* Incompetence all the way down.

* Abortion is immoral, except when it comes to my mistress.

In Praise of Incivility: The Appropriate Posture in a State of Emergency.

Historical memory and moral witnessing have given way to a bankrupt nostalgia that celebrates the most regressive moments in US history.

* Nintendo Labo Contest Winners Include A Solar-Powered Accordion And A Teapot Minigame.

The Most Important Video Game on the Planet: How Fortnite became the Instagram of gaming.

* Disney will control about 40% of the annual box office if it buys Fox.

* Money is literally speech, but ‘Access to Literacy’ Is Not a Constitutional Right, Judge in Detroit Rules.

* I’m sure there’s a reason you’d set this story in the Victorian period that wasn’t about smuggling in sexist tropes under the sign of historical verisimilitude, but.

* Venmo’s “public by default” transactions reveal drug deals, breakups, more.

We’ll never know what combination of incentives and forces and genuine beliefs are at play in one person’s shifting positions. And like I said, I welcome the change that is happening today. But I would be less than honest if I didn’t say that I was sometimes unsettled by it. Particularly when it’s unacknowledged.

* In this disorienting moment of hope, despair, and opportunity, it is this vision that must continue to glow, incandescent, as our guiding light. From the archives.

Ocasio-Cortez’s Blueprint for a New Politics. More from the New Yorker. Making the right enemies.

* Raising a child in a doomed world.

* The second civil war just got interesting.

In Town With Little Water, Coca-Cola Is Everywhere. So Is Diabetes.

* An exciting opportunity to read your own kids’ memoir, today.

* Sorry guys, this one is my bad.

* And a plastic straw update: Reason investigation reveals that the coffee giant’s new cold drink lids use more plastic than the old straw/lid combo. Well done, everyone!

Written by gerrycanavan

July 18, 2018 at 10:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Closing All My Tabs Before the Nuclear War Links

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* Welp. Here we go. To Launch a Nuclear Strike, Donald Trump Would Follow These Steps. Could Trump help unleash nuclear catastrophe with a single tweet? As one Republican Hill staffer said to me, “if we get Gorsuch and avoid a nuclear war, a lot of us will count this as a win.” Does Donald Trump Believe Nuclear War Is Inevitable? In North Korea, ‘Surgical Strike’ Could Spin Into ‘Worst Kind of Fighting.’

* Meanwhile, in the war that stopped being fun.

* President Trump has sent private messages to Russia special counsel Robert Mueller. How Will The Mueller Grand Jury Handle Classified Information?

* thisisfine.jpg

* Unlearning the myth of American innocence.

♫ Butterfly in the sky, I can fly twice as high… ♫

The modern suburb in America began as a means of providing abundant and comfortable housing to white Americans and has now evolved into a carefully tuned media surround — replete with ubiquitous screens running alarmist commercial media — that seeks to sustain that apartheid at any cost. But just as the media elevated a man to the presidency only to have him turn around and name it the “enemy of the people,” the built environment of suburbs is riven with contradictions that will ultimately be its undoing.

* It’s so strange to me that anyone talks about anything in The Handmaid’s Tale *but* the epilogue. That’s the whole thing.

* Say it again: The Problem Is Capital.

* Worrying development for academic freedom.

The JCC Bomb-Threat Suspect Had a Client.

Basic Needs Security and the Syllabus.

Can You Distinguish These Real British Places From Fake Ones an AI Made Up?

Automated accounts are being programmed to spread fake news, according to the first systematic study of the way online misinformation spreads.

* Ideology at its very, very purest.

* I’ve said this about movies like Pacific Rim, and I think it’s absolutely the fantasy at the heart of Game of Thrones as well: The ultimate enemy of all humanity is coming—climate change—and we will stop it by dropping a nuclear bomb on it.

* Maybe the media should stop doing free promotion for all the worst creeps in the world.

“Respondent did not realize that advertising a ‘women’s-only’ screening was a violation of discrimination laws,” the theater wrote to the city. “Respondent has a very strict non-discrimination policy in place, but this policy did NOT include a specific prohibition against advertising.”

* Another streaming service you’ll have to subscribe to. What does this mean for the Daredevilverse?

This head-spinning optical illusion will melt your brain.

* American Chess Is Great Again.

* Finally, the movie you can barely remember has four sequels you’ve find incredibly stupid…

Sunday’d Reading!

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* Presenting the International Journal of James Bond Studies.

* On graduate labor and the Yale commencement protest.

A shadowy international mercenary and security firm known as TigerSwan targeted the movement opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline with military-style counterterrorism measures, collaborating closely with police in at least five states, according to internal documents obtained by The Intercept. The documents provide the first detailed picture of how TigerSwan, which originated as a U.S. military and State Department contractor helping to execute the global war on terror, worked at the behest of its client Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the Dakota Access Pipeline, to respond to the indigenous-led movement that sought to stop the project.

“Self-defense” in America safeguards the privileges of white men as possessors of property, arbiters of sexual access, and inflictors of violence.

* Jared! Jared! Jared! Jared! Jared! Jared! Jared! Jared! Jared! Jared! Jared! Jared! Jared!

* Flynn, Sessions, etc.

* So old I can remember when Eric and Donald Jr. were going to run the business and not have a political role. (January.)

* Cool, thanks for looking into it.

* Same joke but with the one of the highest capitalized companies on the planet claiming poverty to avoid not being quite so sexist.

Google has begun using billions of credit-card transaction records to prove that its online ads are prompting people to make purchases – even when they happen offline in brick-and-mortar stores, the company said Tuesday.

Google’s AI Is Now Creating Its Own AI.

The Republicans Broke American Politics, and Media Elites Are Blind to It. A week that reveals how rotten today’s Republican Party is.

The life and death of the Seth Rich conspiracy theory. It’s too late, of course, the cultists will believe in it for all time.

* Horrific hate crime in Portland. Seems to be part of a disturbing trend.

* New Orleans principal loses job after wearing Nazi-associated rings in video. Glowing 2015 profile.

* Meanwhile, in Arizona. In New Jersey.

* New Jersey not doing great in my newsfeed today generally. Though this was good.

* U.S. Airstrike Killed Over 100 Civilians in Mosul, Pentagon Says. The U.S. Is Helping Allies Hide Civilian Casualties in Iraq and Syria.

* ‘Mostly Toddlers’ Among 31 Drowned.

* A spectre is haunting Goldman Sachs.

* Trump going to the mattresses.

How Alleged Russian Hacker Teamed Up With Florida GOP Operative.

* Democrats doing much better, still can’t win a damn thing. The only answer is to keep offering them nothing and telling them they’re stupid, until they finally come around. Wake up, liberals: There will be no 2018 “blue wave,” no Democratic majority and no impeachment. Donald Trump Is A Big Reason The GOP Kept The Montana House Seat.

* The end of Breitbart?

* Remember how terrible the AHCA is?

* Can Trump pardon by tweet?

* Trump and the drug war.

* RNC PR BS but even more so.

* Sheriff Clarke and some totally appropriate, not at all batshit insane behavior.

* A GoFundMe Campaign Is Not Health Insurance.

* A 31-year-old undocumented Honduran bicyclist, Marcos Antonio Huete, was hit by a car in Key West, Florida, on his way to work. The policeman’s camera shows him inquiring about the victim’s immigration status before offering medical assistance. He was later detained by the Border Patrol.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers ate breakfast at a Michigan restaurant, got up, and detained three employees on Wednesday morning.

* “We want you to think Luke is bad” is an awfully large part of Last Jedi hype. I have to think that means they won’t actually do it…

* Title IX Policy shift at the University of Oregon: Faculty members at the University of Oregon will no longer be required to notify campus authorities when students confide in them that they’ve been sexually assaulted or harassed but say they don’t want the information reported.

* Wealth, I realized, is the adult version of magic: an incredibly powerful but ultimately arbitrary resource that transfers primarily through inheritance. It has some logic to it— but also enough randomness that those without can hope for a spontaneous windfall in the form of an improbably lucrative investment or a secret inheritance.

* Disaster: The Game!

* Unexpected and interesting: Joss Whedon isn’t just finishing Justice League; he’s been working on it for a while.

* Not So Random Trek.

* Truly, ours is the darkest timeline.

* Spiders appear to offload cognitive tasks to their webs, making them one of a number of species with a mind that isn’t fully confined within the head.

The average person keeps thirteen secrets, five of which he or she has never shared with anyone else.

* A chance meeting with Mr. Rogers.

* RIP, Denis Johnson.

* Crayola by the numbers.

If you’d bought $1,000 of Bitcoin in 2010, you’d be worth $35M.

* Uber: a cheap scam all the way down.

* Original draft of Revenge of the Sith actually treated Padme as an interesting character.

* Obituaries My Mother Wrote for Me While I Was Living in San Francisco in My Twenties.

* These birds have the right idea.

* This one cuts me. When you’re in your thirties. Call CPS. #TheResistance.

* Everything was connected, and I was fucked.

* Can someone please explain the physics of Casper?

* And N6946-BH1 is all of us right now.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 28, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Tuesday Morning Links!

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Dragons Are for White Kids with Money: On the Friction of Geekdom and Race. Posted in a Facebook thread about this snippet of a review I finished today (which references this immortal Pictures for Sad Children comic).

* Hemingway, or My Mother’s Email?

If We Live Another Billion Years, a Lot of Crazy Shit Is Going to Happen.

* Like this! Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian foreign minister and ambassador. “It’s far worse than what has already been reported.” White House Staff ‘Hiding’ as Russia Chaos Engulfs West Wing.

* Trump to fire everyone? A special prosecutor or an independent commission? Enter the ACLU. 29%. Trump’s Premium on Loyalty Poses Hurdle in Search for FBI Chief. How Trump Gets His Fake News. Republicans who are complicit in Trump’s abuse of power will soon have a big problem. Oh, honey, no. You know, economic anxiety. An all-time great “experts say.” And here’s a bananas story that doesn’t even make the list this week.

* Suddenly relevant: Constitutional Cliffhangers: A Legal Guide for Presidents and Their Enemies.

* If Trump can stop this, though, he deserves a second term.

* Trying in vain to breathe the fire we was born in: Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-My Hometown) ratted a woman out to her boss after she spoke out against him.

* Profiles in courage: Richard Burr.

On at least one occasion, he climbed out of an office window to avoid reporters, while carrying his dry cleaning, according to a senior Republican aide who has spoken to him about the episode.

Racist North Carolina Voting Law Now Permanently Dead.

* There is a fear, among some at MSNBC, that Lack is making programming decisions in an effort to appease the Trump administration (an accusation that has been made of CNN and Fox News), which may lead to more access to the White House and in turn, conservative viewers. O’Donnell was #1 in his timeslot just a few days ago.

* You didn’t think free speech was free, did you?

How Noncompete Clauses Keep Workers Locked In.

Doxing the hero who stopped WannaCry was irresponsible and dumb.

* Twilight of Windows XP.

* Stolen bees recovered in California sting operation.

A Remote Paradise Island Is Now a Plastic Junkyard. Farmers Scramble to Adapt to Volatile Weather. Monumental Hands Rise from the Water in Venice to Highlight Climate Change.

Hearing on UW protest bill shows conflicting views on state of campus speech.

* Klan cosplay in Charlottesville. Disgusting.

* Even as the Trump administration prepares to loosen oversight over immigrant detention facilities, medical care already can be so substandard that cancer is treated with ibuprofen, schizophrenia with Benadryl and serious mental illness with solitary confinement, two new reports found. And if you’re not mad yet: Federal Immigration Agent Allegedly Inquired About 4th Grader At Queens Public School.

* Inside the big wood-paneled downtown library here, a sign spells out the future in four words. Come June 1, “All services will cease.”

* The pension thieves.

* The end of department stores.

Where is North Korea? Here are guesses from 1,746 adults.

The project, called Your Brain Manufacturing, was an extension of Bekking’s Brain Manufacturing project, which explored whether designers can use brain analysis to determine what people really like, rather than what their social conditioning leads them to believe they like. The answer may surprise you!

* Really, DC’s coming desecration of Watchmen just looks so unbelievably terrible. I can hardly stand it.

* What is dead may never die. What is dead may never die.

* Star Trek: Mirror Broken looks good though.

‘Mystery Science Theater 3000’ live tour coming to Milwaukee’s Pabst Theater.

* If it isn’t set on Purge Day, it’s just a documentary.

An A.I. Dreamed Up a Bunch of Dungeons & Dragons Spells. They’re Surprisingly Perfect.

* The arc of history is long, but Nintendo might be making a Legend Of Zelda mobile game. This has my attention, too: Paradox Publishing A “Hardcore” Strategy Game About Mars.

* Science has proved you’re not drunk, you’re just an asshole.

* Also.

* And in a time without heroes, there was @WeRateDogs.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 16, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Friday Links!

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* CFP: In More’s Footsteps: Utopia and Science Fiction.

* CFP: The Comics of Art Spiegelman.

* In case you missed it: the syllabus for my summer science fiction course.

* Your official Mad Men finale odds sheet.

Stop sanitizing the history of the run-up to Iraq War.

In this small suburb outside Milwaukee, no one in the Menomonee Falls School District escapes the rigorous demands of data.

What Makes a University Public?: Privatization, Environmental Racism, and UC Berkeley’s Real Estate Office.

Academic Freedom and Tenure: University of Southern Maine.

* Bérubé and Ruth (and Bousquet) on their plan to convert adjunct positions to teaching tenure.

Everything But The Burden: Publics, Public Scholarship, And Institutions.

Obama’s Catastrophic Climate-Change Denial.

Honeybees (still) dying, situation ‘unheard of.’

* A brief history of the freeway.

Britain is too tolerant and should interfere more in people’s lives, says David Cameron.

* Free market watch: Having everyone’s account at a single, central institution allows the authorities to either encourage or discourage people to spend. To boost spending, the bank imposes a negative interest rate on the money in everyone’s account – in effect, a tax on saving.

In the last academic year, Rutgers athletics generated $40.3 million in revenue, but spent $76.7 million, leaving a deficit of more than $36 million. In other words, revenue barely covered half the department’s expenses.

The crazy idea was this: The United States Army would design a “deception unit”: a unit that would appear to the enemy as a large armored division with tanks, trucks, artillery, and thousands of soldiers. But this unit would actually be equipped only with fake tanks, fake trucks, fake artillery and manned by just a handful of soldiers.

The top 25 hedge fund managers earn more than all kindergarten teachers in U.S. combined.

* I honestly found this a pretty devastating brief, though not everyone on Facebook found it as useful or persuasive as I did: The Progressive Case Against Public Schools, or, What Bleeding Heart Libertarians Should Say.

Disney Spent $15 Billion To Limit Their Audience. But the news gets worse, friends: Disney under fire for fairytale film based on true story of American dad who claimed African land to make daughter a princess.

Here’s Which Humanities Major Makes the Most Money After College.

Jury Acquits Six Philly Narcotics Cops On All Corruption Charges. Wow.

The Texas Prison Rape Problem.

Honolulu Mayor Learns The Hard Way That Criminalization Isn’t The Answer To Homelessness.

* Don’t vote Carcetti.

First Supergirl Trailer Really Does Feel Like An SNL Parody.

The last of the renegade Nazis living in a self-sufficient lunar colony has died, aged 95.

* “It’s about this little girl who finds a little kitten”: Mark Z. Danielewski is back. Did Mark Z. Danielewski just reinvent the novel?

* “TV show apologises for cruel ‘prank’ on girl, 13, who thought she was about to meet her long-lost mother.”

* Russ Feingold announces rematch Senate bid against Ron Johnson in 2016. Fine, but he should have run against Walker, any of the last three times.

* The arc of history is long, but Harry Shearer is quitting The Simpsons.

* Same joke but Alex Garland confirms zombie sequel 28 Months Later is in the works.

* Not since Jewel’s A Night without Armor have we seen a poet like James Franco.

The Agony of Taking a Standardized Test on a Computer.

Bill O’Reilly: America will fall like Rome if the secular “rap industry” has its way.

Georgia Man Arrested for Trespassing After Saving Dog From Hot Car.

Group petitions White House to add Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill.

Dean Featured in ‘Rolling Stone’ Article Sues Magazine for $7.5 Million.

* Behold, Clichéa.

* And it’s not all bad news: Telltale Promise Something ‘Major’ From The Walking Dead Franchise This Year.

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Written by gerrycanavan

May 15, 2015 at 7:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Monday Morning!

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330740_v1* Vote all you want. The secret government won’t change.

* Notes on “Stop Hillary.”

* Smartly realizing that nothing is going to change on the climate change beat, NPR guts its environmental reporting.

* Epigrams for my research agenda: That’s to say nothing of the fact that the people involved in GamerGate that Grieco defends are, in fact, not poor bullied kids. They are, overwhelmingly, employed, educated, privileged adult men, many of whom work for some of the most powerful and profitable industries in our economy. Their beloved sci fi and comic books and fantasy genres and media– those aren’t reviled and disrespected properties that people are ashamed to like. They’re economically dominant and critically lauded, and given the way the internet makes culture spread more broadly and intensely than ever before, are probably the most powerful force in the history of the arts.

* Different Bodies & Different Lives In Academia: Why The Rules Aren’t The Same For Everyone.

* Teacher spends two days as a student and is shocked at what she learns.

6 Brilliant Art Projects That Ruin Classic Kids’ Characters.

* Turn Your Princess-Obsessed Toddler Into a Feminist in Eight Easy Steps.

* All The Wealth The Middle Class Accumulated After 1940 Is Gone.

Top Health Official Warns That Ebola Quarantines Could Backfire. And yet.

* Spock was right: Concern for equality linked to logic, not emotion.

* National insanity watch: Students at a Nebraska High School Can Now Pose With Guns in Their Senior Portraits.

I want to talk about how badly we’re failing the boys who can’t see their way out of a totally lethal, totally toxic distortion of masculinity — the kind that says that if boys aren’t manly, or gentlemanly, they can be gunmanly.

Forty percent of mass shootings start with the gunman targeting his wife, girlfriend, or ex. And access to firearms makes it seven times more likely that a domestic abuser will kill his partner.

* Yes, Mass Shootings Are Occurring More Often.

* Elon Musk: Developing artificial intelligence would be as dangerous as ‘summoning a demon.’

The “Southern Belle” Is a Racist Fiction.

* LARoB interviews David Mitchell.

* Why Google wants to replace Gmail. They should have nationalized Google fifteen years ago.

* Now we see the violence, &c: Wisconsin cops deploy armored vehicle to collect fines from 75-year-old man for messy land.

“The city’s new budget includes $25,000 to buy one-way bus tickets for homeless people.” “Hawaii even passed a measure that offers paid flights off the state to homeless people.” (via)

* Law Lets I.R.S. Seize Accounts on Suspicion, No Crime Required.

* Building a Better Panopticon: The Wire as melodrama.

The Wire extends and elaborates melodrama in remarkable ways. But, as Williams says, melodrama remains a broadly liberal medium — and as Williams doesn’t say, liberalism and neoliberalism are not especially distant cousins. Liberalism can critique neoliberalism for its inequities, its cruelties, and its callousness. But to neoliberalism’s call for data and surveillance, liberalism can only respond with a call for better data and more nuanced surveillance; to neoliberalism’s doctrine of individuality as sameness, liberalism can only offer a deeper individuality subsumed within a deeper sameness. The Wire is undoubtedly one of the greatest melodramas extant, and an object lesson in how powerful the form can be. Its limitations aren’t a failure on the part of its creators so much as an indication that melodrama, having gotten us to this particular liberal democratic impasse, is unlikely, on its own, to get us out.

* Hackers of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

* And I learned today that Star Trek secondary canon features a running subplot where an unfrozen Wall Street guy slowly takes over the Federation. This is going in the Khan essay for sure…

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Thursday Morning Links

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* Your poem of the day: Tracy K. Smith, “Sci-Fi.”

* Philosophical science fiction, 1, 2, 3. Via MeFi.

* Science fiction as white supremacist fantasy.

* Charlie Stross on why he thinks he’ll be writing more urban fantasy than science fiction in the coming years.

* If you want a vision of the future: Tenure-track jobs in YA lit and science fiction studies at the University of Calgary.

Feces on the Philosophy of History! A Manifesto of the MLA Subconference.

* For Safety’s Sake, Get Rid of Campus Cops.

* This is not to diminish the exuberant commitment of the participants. At the same time, we must reckon with the fact that pop culture really likes to be agreeable along with its thrills. It likes to say yes, and makes endless conciliations to do so. It is safer to say yes. Yes can be deeply pleasurable. History is made by those who say no. Extinction Pop.

* David Graeber has published the piece comparing Rojava to the Spanish Civil War that he and I argued about on Twitter the other day. I have to say I find Richard Seymour’s take much more persuasive.

So if we have no way to make the slogan effective, what is it for?  If it is genuinely intended to pressure imperialist states to “arm the Kurds”, then it is at best unthinking sentimentality.  At its most sophisticated, though, the idea could be to ‘intervene’ in an argument taking place in imperialist countries around the region’s uprisings and military intervention, to attack the weak points in the dominant ideology and open a space in which a leftist argument can be made to a popular audience.  In this view, Kobane represents both the most progressive front of struggle in the region at the moment, and the weakest point ideologically for imperialist ruling classes who have no desire to see the PYD/PKK prevail.  In this sense, the demand to “arm the Kurds” is a sort of feint, akin to a ‘transitional demand’ in that it is both seemingly ‘reasonable’ in light of the dominant ideology and also impossible for the ruling class to deliver.

* Malcolm Harris remembers the Milgram experiments.

* Who Why How are trolls?

* On the post-post-colonial.

“Post-post-colonial” — and that’s just because I can’t think of something wittier right now — I think is a new generation of, well, new-ish generation of writers, where we’re not driven by our dialogue with the former mother country [the United Kingdom]. The hovering power for us when growing up in the ’70s and ’80s was not the U.K. It was the States, it was America. And it wasn’t an imperialistic power, it was just a cultural influence. I’m sure if this book was written in the ’70s or the ’60s, the characters would have ended up in London. They wouldn’t have ended up in the Bronx.

For us [as opposed to the post-colonial writers], for example, identity is not necessarily how to define ourselves in the relation of colonial power, colonial oppressor — so now it’s a matter of defining who you are as opposed to who you’re not.

* Remember: Obama cannot fail, he can only be failed.

* BREAKING: Wall Street is still looting the whole country.

* Big news for a small number of academic writers and artists: Judge Overturns IRS on Artist Tax Deductions.

Open-Carrying Guy Has His Brand-New Pistol Stolen at Gunpoint.

* One high school’s insane quest to make students print “Redskins.”

* Football is a death cult.

* Ebola is the CNN of CNN.

* Finding a Video Poker Bug Made These Guys Rich—Then Vegas Made Them Pay.

* The battle to make Tommy the chimp a person.

* Here’s exactly how much monetary damage Calvin and Hobbes did together.

* Here’s the plot, in a nutshell: Sinatoro follows a necronaut who is sent into the afterlife to save Earth from destruction. It draws influences from the western genre and the classic American highway Route 66. It’s something Morrison considers his magnum opus of sorts, and we’re glad he’ll finally get a chance to tell it.

* Thomas Friedman is paid an incredible amount of money to write this dreck.

* This is literally unbelievable: Fracking company teams up with Susan G. Komen, introduces pink drill bits “for the cure.” I find it difficult to even conceive of anything more absurd than this.

* And judging from the resounding crickets that followed this announcement this feels like a year that maybe I really could have won the Nobel Prize in Literature.

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