Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘my scholarly empire

Saturday Morning Links!

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* SFRA 329 is out! And it includes my candidacy for the SFRA presidency.

* Amazon’s new Lord of the Rings ‘cannot use much of Tolkien’s plot. Amazon’s Lord of the Rings Isn’t Allowed to Make These Changes to Canon. The Tolkien estate can veto pretty much anything in Amazon’s Lord Of The Rings.

“The Lord of the Rings” as Lodestone: On Dome Karukoski’s “Tolkien.”

* The New School has cleared a professor of charges of racial discrimination for quoting literary icon James Baldwin during a classroom discussion. The university reversed course late Wednesday after the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education intervened on behalf of professor Laurie Sheck’s academic freedom rights.

* Academic job watch: Histories of Slavery, Emancipation, and the Afterlives of Slavery.

* Critically Acclaimed Horror Film of the 2010s, or Your PhD Program?

* When your field is their hobby.

* The Legacy of Toni Morrison.

* The inhumanity of academic freedom.

Inside the Sudden, Brutal Death of Pacific Standard.

America’s Most Socialist Generation Is Also Its Most Misanthropic.

The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction is the Best Place on the Internet.

* Art Spiegelman, the legendary graphic novelist behind Maus, has claimed that he was asked to remove criticism of Donald Trump from his introduction to a forthcoming Marvel book, because the comics publisher – whose chairman has donated to Trump’s campaign – is trying to stay “apolitical”.

* No shit, video games are political. They’re conservative.

* One giant leap for Indian cinema: how Bollywood embraced sci-fi.

* “We all recommend this.”

* The one almost-good thing Truman did with the bomb.

* The Arrogance of the Anthropocene.

Until we prove ourselves capable of an Anthropocene worthy of the name, perhaps we should more humbly refer to this provisional moment of Earth history that we’re living through as we do the many other disruptive spasms in Earth history. Though dreadfully less catchy, perhaps we could call it the “Mid-Pleistocene Thermal Maximum.” After all, though the mammoths are gone, their Ice Age is only on hold, delayed as it is for a few tens of thousands of years by the coming greenhouse fever. Or perhaps we’re living through the “Pleistocene Carbon Isotope Excursion,” as we call many of the mysterious global paroxysms from the earliest era of animal life, the Paleozoic. Or maybe we’re even at the dawning of the “Quaternary Anoxic Event” or, God forbid, the “End-Pleistocene Mass Extinction” if shit really hits the fan in the next few centuries. But please, not the Anthropocene. You wouldn’t stand next to a T. rex being vaporized 66 million years ago and be tempted to announce to the dawning of the hour-long Asteroidocene. You would at least wait for the dust to settle before declaring the dawn of the age of mammals.

* Extreme climate change has arrived in America. Here are America’s fastest warming places.

Yes, climate change can be beaten by 2050. Here’s how.

* U.S. Significantly Weakens Endangered Species Act. Alaska’s hottest month portends transformation into ‘unfrozen state.’ These are the places in the world that have no water access. In the future, only the rich will be able to escape the unbearable heat from climate change. In Iraq, it’s already happening. The North Atlantic ocean current, which warms northern Europe, may be slowing. Plastic trash discovered in ‘pristine’ Arctic snow. How One Billionaire Could Keep Three Countries Hooked on Coal for Decades. Climate Change Threatens the World’s Food Supply, United Nations Warns. How to understand the new IPCC report. Hurricane Maria’s legacy: how the rise of nationalism creates climate victims. Eco-socialism or eco-fascism. ABC News spent more time on royal baby in one week than on climate crisis in one year.

* Onward to Greenland! How much would it cost?

Coal miners in KY have stopped a train carrying the coal they mined until they get paid $5 mill in backpay owed to them. Dept of Labor backs them up using a provision that can halt movement of goods for which workers haven’t been paid. In Teen Vogue.

Eating meat will be considered unthinkable to many 50 years from now.

* A truck drove into ICE protesters outside a private prison. A guard was at the wheel. Moments after the truck incident, several other prison guards approached the protesters and pepper-sprayed them. The Business of Cruelty. Trump nominates advocate of ‘ethnonationalism’ for judgeship. “I need my dad.”

The World That Made the El Paso Mass Shooter.

First Graders Picked Up Gun Intended to Protect Ohio School.

* It’s not the “newspaper of record.” It’s a rag for the East Coast rich.

Alaska’s governor and officials of the University of Alaska system announced an agreement Tuesdaythat will blunt — but not avert — a budget crisis that had in recent weeks become a national symbol of the defunding of public higher education.

* From the nice work if you can get it file: Presidential Tenures Are Getting Shorter. Why Are the Payouts So Large?

If the Tuition Doesn’t Get You, the Cost of Student Housing Will.

The Long Road to the Student Debt Crisis. At This Rate, It Will Take 100 Years to Pay Off America’s Student Debt. More Private Colleges Are Cutting Tuition, but Don’t Expect to Pay Less.

* Behold: the meta-major!

* Abolish the business major!

Sexism in the Academy.

* Jane Austen’s income: insights from the Bank of England archives.

* The National Popular Vote interstate compact is a doomed strategy that is just never going to work.

* That’ll solve it: Biden allies float scaling back events to limit gaffes. You don’t have to do this, Joe.

* The sad fact is that this sort of thing will always make blanket debt forgiveness impossible. It doesn’t matter if it’s good policy or it makes sense — there’s too much bitterness and moralism and regret to help those who need help.

* Epstein corner! Jeffrey Epstein Conspiracies and the Mysterious Deaths of the Rich and Ruined. Jeffrey Epstein’s death and America’s jail suicide problem. American flags on Jeffrey Epstein’s private islands lowered to half-staff. Epstein’s Broken Hyoid Bone Doesn’t Tell Us Much. Jeffrey Epstein’s Death Was On 4Chan Before Officials Announced It — And Authorities Had To Look Into It. Epstein’s Death Has a Simpler Explanation. Why are so many people dying in US prisons and jails? Thirty-Two Short Stories About Death in Prison. Epstein’s scientist “friends” should have known better than to associate with a crackpot transhumanist. The Real Jeffrey Epstein Scandal Has Unfolded In Front of an Indifferent Public For Decades. Just read the whole MetaFilter thread for every twist and turn.

* Even fixing Wisconsin’s Foxconn deal won’t fix it, says state-requested report.

* How YouTube Radicalized Brazil.

* Understanding the escape room.

* A heck of an act, what do you call it? The Hunt’s cancellation and Hollywood’s history of self-censorship, explained.

* The Uber delusion (forever and ever amen). Uber and Lyft finally admit they’re making traffic congestion worse in cities. And some bonus delusion: Self-Driving Cars Are Still Years Away. That’s Probably A Good Thing.

Loot Crate goes bust owing $20 million to customers.

Boundaries of Taste: Perfection, performance, and the allure of the kids’ menu.

Bond markets are sending one big global recession warning. Danish bank offers mortgages with negative 0.5% interest rates—here’s why that’s not necessarily a good thing.

Insurance Companies Are Paying Cops To Investigate Their Own Customers.

* Won’t you be my neighbor? An anti-hate pop culture syllabus.

* Towards a Cruelty-Free Syllabus.

* Fact-Check the Physics of Captain America Hammering Thanos.

* Elsinore smartly imagines Hamlet with Ophelia as the hero.

* It’s true: The House of X series is doing some pretty interesting things with the X-Men.

Plunging Into the 1970s’ Altered States of Awareness.

Newly discovered organ may be lurking under your skin.

* N.Y.P.D. Detectives Gave a Boy, 12, a Soda. He Landed in a DNA Database.

* Judge Calls NYPD’s Handling Of Precarious Civil Forfeiture Database ‘Insane.’

* Students with a $20 lunch debt won’t get a school lunch, N.J. district proposes.

A California school district agreed to desegregate its schools on Friday, after an investigation found that the district had “knowingly and intentionally maintained and exacerbated” racial segregation and even established an intentionally segregated school.

The Great Land Robbery: The shameful story of how 1 million black families have been ripped from their farms.

* This is so maddening: Drinking bleach will not cure cancer or autism, FDA warns.

A tiny Alaskan island faces a threat as deadly as an oil spill—rats.

Why Amazon’s Twitter Ambassadors Are So Sad.

* “Amazon’s Rekognition software can now spot fear.”

Smart ovens have been turning on overnight and preheating to 400 degrees.

Hands-free phone ban for drivers ‘should be considered.’

* Will Wisconsin Let Milwaukee Save Itself?

* Major breach found in biometrics system used by banks, UK police and defence firms.

* Miracles and wonders: Ebola is now curable.

Women who love ‘Star Trek’ are the reason that modern fandom exists.

* Batman, year by year.

Our Galaxy’s Black Hole Suddenly Lit Up and Nobody Knows Why.

‘Dicey Dungeons’ Will Help You Understand the Best New Genre in Games.

Nearly half of you are utterly inscrutable to me.

* Have you seen me lately?

* Google. Don’t let the Gen Xers run the world. Know your Flat Earths. Neophilosophy.

* And good grief, It’s Jaws, Charlie Brown.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 17, 2019 at 9:50 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Monday Morning Links!

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* Now this I’d watch.

* Extrapolation 60.2 is up, with articles on Wonder Woman and feminism, rape culture and fantasy, the various versions of The Three-Body Problem, and a symposium on the state of science fiction studies for the journal’s 60th anniversary. My contribution turned out to be a little bit of a rant.

* MOSF Journal of Science Fiction 3.2: Disability Studies Special Issue.

* That time of year again: 5 Easy Fixes for a Broken Faculty Job Market.

Relax, English Majors. You’re Still Plenty Employable!

Should You Go into Debt for an MFA? The crucial contribution is Kelly Link’s nightmare thread about the debt load some people have coming out of more predatory programs.

* Marine Todd wept: A long-term study run by a Republican finds no evidence professors are discriminating against their conservative students.

Demand for disability accommodations for schoolwork and testing has swelled. But access to them is unequal and the process is vulnerable to abuse.

How the Wealthy and Well Connected Have Learned to Game the Admissions Process.

Warning That Their ‘House Is on Fire,’ Alaska President Urges Regents to Act Quickly on Budget Crisis. But there’s always money in the banana stand.

The Amazon is approaching an irreversible tipping point. Greenland’s Melting: Heat Waves Are Changing the Landscape Before Their Eyes. The terrible truth of climate change. How an accelerated warming cycle in Alaska’s Bering Sea is creating ecological havoc. Arctic Ice Is Crashing, and That’s Bad News For Everyone. Charred forests not growing back as expected in Pacific Northwest, researchers say. Burn. Build. Repeat: Why Our Wildfire Policy Is So Deadly. Chevron spills 800,000 gallons of oil and water in Kern County canyon. Lost Cities and Climate Change. Stopping Climate Change Will Never Be “Good Business.” Irish Teenager Wins Google Science Award for Removing Microplastics From Oceans. 1/11th of the Pentagon’s annual budget, not counting the separate Overseas Contingency Operations fund. We could fund the transition to green energy with 10-30% of the world’s fossil fuel subsidy. Environmental activist murders double in 15 years. Philippines is deadliest country for defenders of environment. Back to Paradise. And the Times is ready to face the serious challenges of our time.

* There is no document of civilization which is not at the same time a document of disruption innovation entrepreneurism progress.

On a momentous day for Tribal Nations, Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-WY), the House Republican Conference Chairwoman, stated that the successful litigation by tribes and environmentalists to return the grizzly bear in Greater Yellowstone to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) “was not based on science or facts” but motivated by plaintiffs “intent on destroying our Western way of life.”

Trump’s Racism Is a National Emergency. Where Taking the Concerns of Racists Seriously Has Gotten Us. They’re still stealing kids. An American Middle Schooler, Orphaned by Deportation. Death as ‘Deterrence’: the Desert as a Weapon. Editorial: Why No Borders? Because the latest mass shootings are opening a tiny crack of a conversation about white supremacy in the United States, remember that climate change and white supremacy are also connected. And from the archives: Larry Niven Tells DHS to Spread Organ Harvesting Rumors.

About every 7 months, Uber loses the equivalent of the cost of building a subway from UCLA to the San Fernando Valley. “A flaming Lyft vehicle is somehow a fitting symbol for investors’ worst fears about ride-hailing. Lyft and Uber Technologies Inc. are asking investors to trust that they will someday stop figuratively setting on fire hundreds of millions of dollars or more a quarter.”

* Somewhat relatedly—and this is the important part—Elon Musk has also said all Teslas will be fully capable of self-driving and can serve as robotaxis by next year. So if that’s true, why human-driven cars for the CES tunnel in 2021?

* Another way to describe these efforts is what the U.S. security establishment has long referred to as “pushing out the border.” It’s not a project that’s new to the Trump administration, and it’s not one that’s unique to the United States, as journalist Todd Miller expounds in his latest book, “Empire of Borders: The Expansion of the U.S. Border Around the World.”

* A panel of federal judges dismissed Wisconsin’s high-profile redistricting lawsuit on Tuesday after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last week determined claims against partisan gerrymandering are beyond the reach of federal courts. They might award the GOP court fees! Why let Democrats in Wisconsin vote at all?

* The Wisconsin veto has always been a deranged executive power, but it too only becomes a problem when a Democrat is governor.

* The weird contracts of the Fast and Furious franchise, which legislate who is allowed to ever lose a fight.

* Phone farms and late capitalism.

* Can young white men be saved? Cloudflare severs ties with 8chan in the wake of shootings: site has become “a cesspool of hate.” Video games don’t cause violent crime; research indicates that, if anything, it’s the opposite.

* Andrew Yang 2020: The world is fucked, you’re on your own, take some money, head to higher ground.

* Marianne Williamson isn’t funny. She’s scary. Get your house in order Vox.

* Pete Buttigieg had the most important answer at the Democratic debate.

* Biden, Inc.

* Wow, not a good look, Ronald Reagan.

* Meet the people working to kick Chicago out of Illinois.

* The story of Native American dispossession is too easily swept aside, but new visualisations should make it unforgettable.

* Americans aren’t as terrible as their leaders.

* Wild ride: “Jeffrey Epstein Hoped to Seed Human Race With His DNA.” Doesn’t he know you only get what you give?

* a day late / a buck short / I’m writing / the report

* Quentin Tarantino curated a 4-hour playlist of songs from his own movies, just for you.

* Aaron Bady endorses The Boys.

* In search of lost time: nostalgia gaming.

Hunting Dinosaurs in Central Africa.

* American novelists as Simpsons screens, an occasional thread.

* Charles Manson was a Republican.

* Shuen’s flagrant disregard for consent was motivated not by malice but by greed. He was taking advantage of peculiarities in OHIP’s billing system, which encourage all sorts of chicanery that, while not always illegal, can tempt doctors into bending the rules.

* Should Board Gamers Play the Roles of Racists, Slavers and Nazis?

Online, the many horrified reactions to the clip only crystallized how younger Americans appear to feel about yelling in general—namely, that it’s no longer a signifier of dominance, power, or authority but, instead, a mortifying and old-fashioned display of toxic masculinity. What was once associated with a degree of toughness or vigor, and perhaps suggested some hard-earned power—a boss might yell, or a military general—is now considered aggressive and domineering, an odious side effect of hubris and privilege. People who lose control and start screaming are received only with consternation and embarrassment. It is simply not something a serious person should do.

8chan Is a Normal Part of Mass Shootings Now. The El Paso Shooting and the Gamification of Terror. Unwritten: On Richard Seymour’s The Twittering Machine.

Social media tends to lend itself more towards a politics of isolation and generalized antagonism. Social media lends itself to stochastic terrorism because its entire model of influencing is stochastic, processing tendencies through algorithms that intensify and cultivate existing sentiments, pushing them to something only social media can satisfy. The stochastic nature of social media works with the inchoate nature of contemporary anger, racism, and misogyny always threatening to tip the latter over into the violent actions the punctuate daily life. As Seymour writes, “Fascist terror is ‘stochastic’ because fascism is still fractal: the armed shitstorm, a material possibility of the medium ever bit as much as the meatspace troll, has yet to materialize. But these are early days for the networked fascism of the twenty-first century.”

* Rituals of Childhood.

The United States has institutionalized the mass shooting in a way that Durkheim would immediately recognize. As I discovered to my shock when my own children started school in North Carolina some years ago, preparation for a shooting is a part of our children’s lives as soon as they enter kindergarten. The ritual of a Killing Day is known to all adults. It is taught to children first in outline only, and then gradually in more detail as they get older. The lockdown drill is its Mass. The language of “Active shooters”, “Safe corners”, and “Shelter in place” is its liturgy. “Run, Hide, Fight” is its creed. Security consultants and credential-dispensing experts are its clergy. My son and daughter have been institutionally readied to be shot dead as surely as I, at their age, was readied by my school to receive my first communion. They practice their movements. They are taught how to hold themselves; who to defer to; what to say to their parents; how to hold their hands. The only real difference is that there is a lottery for participation. Most will only prepare. But each week, a chosen few will fully consummate the process, and be killed.

* How do the Handmaids reach Ontario?

OK, we hear you complaining that we’re just overanalyzing stuff that isn’t meant to be taken too literally. But does all this just feed into common American preconceptions that Canada is really just an extension of the United States with a few tweaks? And, from an environmental history perspective, does the show undermine how integral the water border is between the two countries?

* They’re doing something weird with the X-Men again.

* If anything, this ADA suit from Domino’s is even more egregious than UC Berkeley’s.

* The Autistic Self Advocacy Network has ended its partnership with Sesame Street.

* Shock of shocks: Cancer patients are being denied drugs, even with doctor prescriptions and good insurance.

The Abandoned, Apocalyptic Architecture of One Bold 1970s Retail Chain.

* Did someone say my name?

* A four-hour Netflix cut of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood?

* Bookmarked for the fall: An annotated “Frankenstein” brings lessons for today.

* Quantum computing.

* Self-help.

* And I must say again that we in the Gerry community do not find this amusing: It’s here. GERRY. A font created by your congressional districts. Log on toUglyGerry.com and use the font to tell congress how happy you are that your vote doesn’t matter.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 5, 2019 at 2:10 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Summer Syllabus: “21st Century Comics”

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It’s been hectic enough around here that I’ve neglected to post the syllabus for my comics class this summer, rebranded this time around as “21st Century Comics” due to some repeat students in the class. Check it out! Here’s the week-by-week reading schedule:

DATE READINGS AND ASSIGNMENTS
M 5/20 Introduction to the Course

Action Comics #1 (in class)

T 5/21 Scott McCloud, Understanding Comics, chapters 1-4
W 5/22 The Silver Age

Superboy #1 [D2L]

Umberto Eco, “The Myth of Superman” [D2L]

Fantastic Four #1, Tales of Suspense #39, X-Men #1, and Hulk #1 [D2L]

Th 5/23 The Bronze Age and the Dark Age

The Amazing Spider-Man #121 and Iron Man #128 [D2L]

Saul Braun, “Shazam! Here Comes Captain Relevant” [D2L]

Spencer Ackerman, “Iron Man vs. the Imperialists” [D2L]

Watchmen (film clips) (in class)

Batman v. Superman, The Marvel Cinematic Universe, etc. (in class)

M 5/27 MEMORIAL DAY—NO CLASS
T 5/28 Warren Ellis and John Cassady, Planetary, Book One (first half)
W 5/29 Warren Ellis and John Cassady, Planetary, Book One (second half)
Th 5/30 Warren Ellis and John Cassady, Planetary, Book Two (whole book)
M 6/3 Mark Millar and Dave Johnson, Superman: Red Son (first third)
T 6/4 Mark Millar and Dave Johnson, Superman: Red Son (whole book)
W 6/5 G. Woodrow Wilson and Adrian Alphona, Ms. Marvel, vol. 1
Th 6/6 G. Woodrow Wilson, Jacob Wyatt, and Adrian Alphona, Ms. Marvel, vol. 2
Sat 6/8 TAKE-HOME MIDTERM EXAMS DUE BY 5 PM
M 6/10 Chris Ware, Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth (first half)
T 6/11 Chris Ware, Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth (second half)
W 6/12 Chris Ware, Building Stories (workshop)
Th 6/13 Chris Ware, Building Stories (discussion)
M 6/17 Ben Passmore, “Your Black Friend”

Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis 1 (first half)

T 6/18 Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis 1 (second half)
W 6/19 Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis 2 (whole book)
Th 6/20 David Mazzhuchelli, Asterios Polyp (first third)
M 6/24 David Mazzhuchelli, Asterios Polyp (second third)
T 6/25 David Mazzhuchelli, Asterios Polyp (whole book)
W 6/26 Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon, Daytripper (first half)
Th 6/27 Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon, Daytripper (second half)

Thierry Groensteen, “Why Are Comics Still in Search of Cultural Legitimization?”

Sat 6/22 TAKE-HOME FINAL EXAMS DUE BY 5 PM

Written by gerrycanavan

May 22, 2019 at 9:00 am

Tuesday Links, Plus a Very Canavan Podcast!

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There’s No Sheriff on This Planet: A Conversation with Kim Stanley Robinson. The latest in my irregular series of conversations with KSR. The transcript is just the highlights — for the full effect you’ll have to listen.

* Extrapolation 60.1 is out! Articles on rape motifs in contemporary fantasy, Japanese print SF, and Nihād Sharīf’s The Conqueror of Time.

* Endgame ephemera! Avengers: Endgame, or, why this is all your fault. Avengers and the Endgame of Liberalism. And the Russo brothers are on a quest to make sure you know that Endgame being good had nothing to do with them.

* The Night King? Never happened. It will shock you how much it never happened. Bonus appearance by the coffee cup! If these are the final two choices, the only way to win the Game may be not to play.

* “Like Groundhog Day — and while we’re at it, like The Good Place — Russian Doll is Kafka played on easy mode.”

* Watch The Wandering Earth on Netflix!

* Ted Chiang has a new book, why haven’t you bought it yet?

* A new climate change story from Paolo Bacigalupi at MIT Technology Review. Killer ending.

* Human society under urgent threat from loss of Earth’s natural life. One million species at risk of extinction, UN report warns. Humans Are Speeding Extinction and Altering the Natural World at an ‘Unprecedented’ Pace. An open letter to David Wallace-Wells. We are ruled by psychopaths.

* Greta Thunberg, autism, and climate activism.

* For roughly 18 months, AirPods play music, or podcasts, or make phone calls. Then the lithium-ion batteries will stop holding much of a charge, and the AirPods will slowly become unusable. They can’t be repaired because they’re glued together. They can’t be thrown out, or else the lithium-ion battery may start a fire in the garbage compactor. They can’t be easily recycled, because there’s no safe way to separate the lithium-ion battery from the plastic shell. Instead, the AirPods sit in your drawer forever. AirPods Are a Tragedy.

It’s time to speak about batshit jobs.

Today, batshit jobs are more widespread than ever. You’re likely doing a batship job if you’re working in advertising trying to maintain mass consumption, in air traffic, industrial farming and forestry, in mining, in the car industry, and first of all if you’re working in oil drilling, fracking, coal mining.

To become dilligent batshit workers we have to be trained, and we have to be able to block out the harm that our work participates in. The beauty of the school strikes is that a generation of young people are preparing themselves to refuse batshit work.

*  It seems to me that anyone who considers this for more than ten minutes has to recognize that “student demand” is a construct: it is the product of a pervasive, cross-institutional pedagogy in social and educational value in which students are immersed from (at least) primary school onward.  If students are demanding STEM in record numbers, this is a because they have been systematically invited to embrace a number of interlocking beliefs: that

  1. STEM fields matter to the welfare and future of human societies more than other fields — that social problems respond best to technocratic solutions; 
  2. college is a course of career training; 
  3. college is an investment that ought to be maximized in order to yield the highest possible return in the form of lifelong higher income;
  4. STEM fields represent areas of continuing high-growth, recession-proof employment. 

“Student demand” is a fact insofar as it reproduces these assumptions, which are already endemic to the privatized, market-driven university.  Other forms of “student demand” (for example, demands for a more racially and ethnically diverse faculty that better reflects regional and national demographics) are routinely ignored.

* Marquette Academic Senate calls for administration neutrality on unionization.

* Measuring the tenure-track success of pre-2009 Ph.D.s is like measuring the ice stability of Greenland’s glaciers before industrialization. Researcher’s suicide reflects bleak prospects for post-Ph.D. life. Adjuncts and Freelancers: Reading Signs of Eventual Destruction.

* Turning Point USA’s dark coup on college campuses.

A lot of older academics will point to the 1970s or the 1990s to say that crisis has always been the default, and there’s truth to this. But they didn’t have the same debt loads back then.

* “Second Chance: Life without Student Debt.”

* For Colleges, Climate Change Means Making Tough Choices.

* People Are Clamoring to Buy Old Insulin Pumps.

What Happened After My 13-Year-Old Son Joined the Alt-Right. As capitalism starts to crumble, hate finds a familiar foothold.

Liberalism: the other God that failed. The Senate is a much bigger problem than the Electoral College. Here’s how many millennials get help from their parents to pay rent and other bills. Twitter users answer the question: “When did you become radicalized by the U.S. health care non-system?” 42% of Americans are at risk of retiring broke.

* America smartly sets its sights on the one flaw in the Constitution the Founders actually bothered to fix.

* If the president does it, it’s not obstruction.

* This seems heathy. This too! Things are great.

The forgotten history of how Abraham Lincoln helped rig the Senate for Republicans.

* Dialectics of Milwaukee: ‘It’s clear that the secret is out about Milwaukee,’ increased tourism spending shows. There seems to be a surge of unsettling things happening on the Milwaukee education landscape, some of them just more of the same (low student achievement, divisive politics) and some of them not so typical (corruption). Glendale would provide $37 million to help redevelop struggling Bayshore — with $57 million debt paid off.

Sandra Bland, It Turns Out, Recorded Her Own Video of Traffic Stop Confrontation. ICE provides local police a way to work around ‘sanctuary’ policies, act as immigration officers.

* On April 30, my Liberal Studies class, framed as Anthropology and Philosophy of Science, was the site of a horrific event. Two of my students were killed while four more were injured.

Study: Therapy dogs reduce children’s fear, anxiety during dentist appointments.

Aging baby boomers are about to push Alzheimer’s disease rates sky high.

The Saga Of ‘Star Citizen,’ A Video Game That Raised $300 Million—But May Never Be Ready To Play.

* Dystopia watch: Oh Good, a Subway System Is Making Riders Stare at Ads Before They Can Buy a Ticket. Amazon’s staffing up a news vertical full of crime stories designed to scare you into buying a spying, snitching “smart” doorbell. We’ve lived so long that the founding of Amazon Prime is something we can be nostalgic about now.

* Let’s just go with a daily reminder that Philip K. Dick wrote a novel where all films were just called disneys.

* Who Owns the Moon Watch: Why the Moon Is Suddenly a Hot Commodity.

* How angry pilots got the Navy to stop dismissing UFO sightings.

* And the biggest danger about an asteroid strike? Lawyers.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 7, 2019 at 12:31 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Saturday Links! Maybe It’s Won’t Be a Month Between Linkposts Every Time!

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* CFP (Journal of Futures Studies): “When is Wakanda? Afrofuturism and Dark Speculative Futurity.”

* Summer Course! ENGL 4717: “Twenty-First Century Comics”! Fall Courses! ENGLISH 3000 (“Magic and Literature”) and ENGLISH 6820/8282 (“Monsters of Theory”)!

All the Dem candidates as Michael Scott is the most accurate thing I have ever seen.

But a couple of scientists who study Mars are trying to burst that hermetically-sealed, oxygen-recirculating, radiation-shielded bubble. If a new analysis is correct, conditions on Mars make it impossible for existing technology to turn it into a garden of Earth-like delights.

* Trump Is Trying To Change The Meaning Of Instructor, And It’s Not Good.

* Flooding at an Air Force Base Exposes a Growing Threat to the US Military. The Midwest floods are going to get much, much worse. Terrifying map shows all the parts of America that might soon flood.

Interviewers are increasingly making absurd demands on applicants’ time. Here’s what to do if you’re asked to work for free.

* Struggling to stay alive: Rising insulin prices cause diabetics to go to extremes.

* ‘I made $3.75 an hour’: Lyft and Uber drivers push to unionize for better pay.

* liberalism.jpg

* politics.jpg

First leaks coming out now from the Mueller report and it’s not looking good.

* And Barbara Streisand has some of the most odious opinions on any subject I’ve ever seen. I’m still floored hours later.

New Summer Course Description! “21st Century Comics”

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ENGLISH 4717/5717: Comics and Graphic Narrative
MTWTh 9:45 AM – 11:20 AM

Thematic Title: 21st Century Comics

Course Description: This course surveys the history, reception, and artistic form of comics and graphic narrative, with particular focus on comics published in the last twenty years. How have comics shifted from their origins as a predominantly American, predominantly male fixation on the superhero towards an increasingly popular international art movement crossing gender, class, and ethnic lines? What are comics today, in 2019, and who are they for—and why, as Thierry Groensteen has pointedly asked, are comics still in search of cultural legitimization? As in previous instances of the course, we will consider science fictional and superheroic comics alongside high literary novels and confessional autobiographies to gain a full understanding of the medium and its possibilities.

Readings: The reading list is still being finalized (and open to suggestions!) but books could include (on the science fictional side) The Walking Dead, Superman: Red Son, Planetary, and Ms. Marvel, and (on the literary/autobiographical side) Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, David Mazzucchelli’s Asterios Polyp, Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá’s Daytripper, and Chris Ware’s Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth. Students can expect to read about one graphic novel per week, so around six in all.

Assignments: class participation and presentations, weekly D2L posts, take-home midterm, take-home final

Written by gerrycanavan

March 8, 2019 at 9:30 am

A Million Billion Links, Forever and Ever

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* I don’t think I’ve even seen anything that sums up academic labor as well as this image.

* I’ve been deposed, but SFRA soldiers on: SFRA Review #327 is out, this time with a special devoted to papers from the Worlding SF conference last December.

* I’d also suggest you very urgently check out Polygraph 27: “Neoliberalism and Social Reproduction.”

* My entry on Kim Stanley Robinson for the Oxford Research Bibliography in American Literature has gone live.

* Along with some of my colleagues I’ll be presenting at the Center for the Advancement of the Humanities conference this weekend; schedule here!

* Call for applications for the R.D. Mullen fellowship.

* Please support the AAUP-WSU Strike Fund.

* Do Catholic Universities Still Have a Value Proposition? Gee, I hope so.

Describing a UW System in transition with campuses facing falling enrollment and declining tuition dollars, its president, Ray Cross, said in a wide-ranging panel discussion Wednesday that the UW is not abandoning the humanities.

Thompson said among neighboring states, the condition of Wisconsin highways was rated “not only the worst, but it was worse by a gaping margin.”

* Nice work if you can get it: Dale Whittaker, who resigned amid controversy last week as president of the University of Central Florida, could collect $600,000 as part of a proposed severance package.

The End of the Remedial Course.

* Our in-house student satisfaction survey has found that every department scored 97%. However, within this, we have identified three groups: – Green: 97.7-97.99% – Amber: 97.4-97.69% – Red: 97.0-97.39%. As you can imagine, this is cause for concern.

* N.K. Jemisin’s preface to the new edition of Parable of the Sower. As of date, the Octavia E. Butler papers are the most circulated and accessed collection at the Huntington. What a potent reminder of the significance of her words, more than a decade after her passing. And a TED Talk from Ayana Jamieson and Moya Bailey: Why should you read sci-fi superstar Octavia E. Butler?

There’s No Severing Michael Jackson’s Art From His Obsession With Children.

* A 1983 EPA report titled “Can We Delay a Greenhouse Warming?”

* Climate change in Bolivia: a thread.

* America’s Northernmost City Is Having a Weird, Hot Winter. Homes lose $15.8 billion in value as seas rise, Maine to Mississippi. Extreme Weather Can Feel ‘Normal’ After Just a Few Years, Study Finds. Iceberg twice the size of New York City is set to break away from Antarctica. In the Mariana Trench, the lowest point in any ocean, every tiny animal tested had plastic pollution hiding in its gut.

Renewable hydrogen ‘already cost competitive’, say researchers. Lake Erie just won the same legal rights as people. The tick that gives people meat allergies is spreading. He’s on to us.

White Settlers Buried the Truth About the Midwest’s Mysterious Mound Cities.

* Tenure and promotion letters — a thread.

* Writers love to hate creative writing programs, graduates of them most of all. In 2009, literature scholar Mark McGurl published The Program Era, in which he declared the rise of creative writing “the most important event in postwar American literary history.” For an academic book full of graphs and terms like “technomodernism,” it reached a wide audience, prompting reviews and editorials from publications like The New York Times Book Review and The New Yorker. While McGurl steered clear of either celebrating or condemning the creative writing program — seeking “historical interpretation,” not valuation, he emphasized — his reviewers did not. Charles McGrath, the former editor of the NYTBR, called creative writing a Ponzi scheme. Chad Harbach, a founding editor of n+1, suggested that the MFA program had transformed books from things to be bought and read into mere “credentials” for professors of creative writing. Literature scholar Eric Bennett wrote that the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, his alma mater, discouraged all writing that wasn’t either minimalist, conversational, and tenderhearted, or magical realist. Junot Díaz, a Cornell alum, argued that the creative writing workshop secured the whiteness of American literature. And the attacks keep coming, not that they have slowed applications. Some 20,000 aspiring writers apply to MFA programs every year, and the numbers continue to rise.

The range of writers who come out of graduate programs in creative writing make it difficult to argue that the MFA has somehow flattened literature, that T. C. Boyle, Sandra Cisneros, and Denis Johnson all write with something called “Iowa style.” The world of creative writing isn’t homogeneous, and for a lot of writers it offers time rather than instruction, two years to complete a book-in-progress rather than two years to mimic their advisor’s prose or verse. But creative writing also didn’t come out of nowhere. It emerged from a long-since-forgotten philosophical movement that instituted creative writing as a discipline for learning about yourself rather than the wider world.

* When you definitely didn’t do any crimes in 2006.

* Never tweet: Elon Musk Faces U.S. Contempt Claim for Violating SEC Accord. Seems like the jig may almost be up.

* New horizons in cheating to win.

* Really saying the quiet part loud here.

* News from a failed state: At issue is the number of hours the armed teachers and staffers would have to train, the 27 in the district’s policy or the more than 700 required of peace officers. Pater said his reading of the statutes doesn’t require school staff to be treated as security personnel requiring 700-plus hours of peace officer training.

* Living with Type 1 Diabetes When You Can’t Afford Insulin.

Every parent with a disability could benefit from a friend like Carrie Ann. The fact that she is no longer in our world just enrages me more now. The fact that the systems that should be in place to maintain the care and wellbeing of people with disabilities and their families, killed her. The fact that her insurance company thought that the medication she needed to recover from a lung infection was too expensive and instead approved a drug that would lead to her loss of speech and her eventual death. Carrie Ann Lucas died to save $2000, even though it ended up costing the insurance company over $1 million to try and salvage their error.

* Oh no, not my stocks! “Health Insurers Sink as ‘Medicare for All’ Idea Gains Traction.”

* As Doctors, It Is Our Responsibility to Stop Racism in Medicine.

* Why White School Districts Have So Much More Money.

Texan Determines It’s Cheaper to Spend Retirement in a Holiday Inn Than a Nursing Home.

* “Mom, When They Look at Me, They See Dollar Signs.” How rehab recruiters are luring recovering opioid addicts into a deadly cycle.

* Maybe not the strongest argument, but… You Don’t Have to Like Bernie Sanders to Like Bernie Sanders.

* The U.S. war in Afghanistan has been going on for so long that the newest recruits weren’t alive when it started. Drafting Only Men for the Military Is Unconstitutional, Judge Rules. Clothes, violence, war, and masculinity. Would you like to know more?

* Then ruin them!

* Solving homelessness by giving people homes.

Concrete: the most destructive material on Earth.

When Morrison and Millar Almost Had Professor X Destroy the Universe.

Under the terms of the deal, science fiction novels would be periodically interrupted by scenes in which the characters would drop everything and start eating Maggi soups, smacking their lips and exclaiming over just how delicious they were. It actually sounds at least as well as achieved as the interruptive ads in comics.

We gradually become less attentive as we age—and not just because we stop giving a damn. The phenomenon is due to a shrinking “useful field of view,” the feature of visual attention that helps us recognize at a glance what’s important to focus on. Studies show that kids have a similarly limited field of view, hindering their ability to register the complete visual world around them.

* Toxic parenting myths make life harder for people with autism. That must change.

China blocks 17.5 million plane tickets for people without enough ‘social credit.’

* Upsetting subplot.

California keeps a secret list of criminal cops, but says you can’t have it.

Thousands of migrant youth allegedly suffered sexual abuse in U.S. custody.

* Late abortion: a love story.

* What is the Global Anglophone, anyway?

* Superheroes and traumatic repetition compulsion.

* Whoever wins, we lose.

* A Brief History of the Grawlix.

* I might have done this one before, but: video games as pulp novel covers.

* Still a bit long honestly.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Wants the Country to Think Big.

* And I’ve weirdly become a complete sucker for this category of photography: Winners of the 2019 Underwater Photographer of the Year Contest.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 28, 2019 at 4:20 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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