Posts Tagged ‘Nabokov’
* NOAA just released its summer outlook, predicting which areas are going to see unusually hotter temperatures this year. Unsurprisingly for those who have been watching the string of heat records that have been falling like dominoes, almost every area of the United States is included. Things Have Gotten Much Worse Since An Inconvenient Truth.
* Scenes from the class struggle at Oberlin. A reasonably good ethnographic study of a subject which seems to have become utterly impossible to talk about dispassionately.
* And speaking of “impossible to talk about dispassionately”: The canon of English literature is sexist. It is racist. It is colonialist, ableist, transphobic, and totally gross. You must read it anyway.
* The Baylor board of regents fired school president Ken Starr on Tuesday amid the sexual assault scandal involving the Bears football team, according to HornsDigest.com. Baylor not commenting on reports of President Kenneth Starr’s firing.
* The terms “World Science Fiction” or “Global Science Fiction” are becoming legitimate fields of interest at a time where human life is indistinguishable from technological interference and scientific thought. We are technology. We are post-human. And we understand both the “global” and “world” adjectives only through the eyes and screens technology has afforded us. If we loosely understand science fiction as the imaginative exercise with which we deal with science and technology, then it becomes a major tool in understanding a reality that increasingly grows less believable and more fragile, in which crisis has become our quotidian condition. We are desperately looking for others because, in a globalized culture and economy, they might not exist anymore. We might have exterminated them, and we fear our genocidal complicity.
But if the extremely wealthy, under a veil of secrecy, can destroy publications they want to silence, that’s a far bigger threat to freedom of the press than most of the things we commonly worry about on that front. If this is the new weapon in the arsenal of the super rich, few publications will have the resources or the death wish to scrutinize them closely.
* Here’s the thing: from where I live, the world has drifted away. We aren’t precarious, we’re unnecessary. The money has gone to the top. The wages have gone to the top. The recovery hasgone to the top. And what’s worst of all, everybody who matters seems basically pretty okay with that. The new bright sparks, cheerfully referred to as “Young Gods” believe themselves to be the honest winners in a new invent-or-die economy, and are busily planning to escape into space oracquire superpowers, and instead of worrying about this, the talking heads on TV tell you its all a good thing- don’t worry, the recession’s over and everything’s better now, and technology is TOTES AMAZEBALLS!
* The Do Not Call list was supposed to defeat telemarketers. Now scammy robocalls are out of control. What happened?
* Which Rock Star Will Historians of the Future Remember?, or, “Johnny B. Goode in the Anthropocene.”
But it did guarantee that one rock song will exist even if the earth is spontaneously swallowed by the sun: “Johnny B. Goode,” by Chuck Berry. The song was championed by Ann Druyan (who later become Sagan’s wife) and Timothy Ferris, a science writer and friend of Sagan’s who contributed to Rolling Stone magazine. According to Ferris, who was the album’s de facto producer, the folklorist Alan Lomax was against the selection of Berry, based on the argument that rock music was too childish to represent the highest achievements of the planet. (I’m assuming Lomax wasn’t too heavily engaged with the debate over the Sex Pistols and “Saturday Night Fever” either.) “Johnny B. Goode” is the only rock song on the Voyager disc, although a few other tunes were considered. “Here Comes the Sun” was a candidate, and all four Beatles wanted it to be included, but none of them owned the song’s copyright, so it was killed for legal reasons.
* And presenting Reverse CAPTCHA.
* SFFTV 8.3 is out! With:
Kathleen McHugh, “Seeking a film for the end of the world”
Mark Young, “Xenochrony: aural media and neoliberal time in Shane Carruth’s Primer”
Lars Schmeink, “Frankenstein’s offspring: practicing science and parenthood in Natali’s Splice”
J.P. Telotte, “Sex and machines: the ‘buzz’ of 1950s science fiction films”
* Great stuff coming from the UCR Sawyer Seminar on Alternative Futurisms:
October 6: Panel on Asian American Speculative Fiction
October 16-17: Revising the Past, Remaking the Future Conference
* And elsewhere on the academic job market watch: how long am I marketable?
* USC has an exciting fix for contingent employment in academia: contingent employment in academia.
* Steven Salaita: Why I Was Fired.
* I just had to do one of these with my daughters’ preschool. The twenty-first century is awful.
* DraftKings Employee With Access To Inside Info Wins $350K At FanDuel. This is an insane story.
* Our economy is broken. Could a universal basic income, child allowances, and worker-owned cooperatives fix it? I’m so old I can remember when “New New Deal” was Obama’s brand.
* “Whole Foods To Stop Profiting From Prison Labor.” You know, in these tough times, most companies would be happy to just break even with prison labor.
* Noncitizens and the census. This is a really interesting problem for which the proper solution — let noncitizen permanent residents vote — is of course entirely off the table.
* Justine Siegal Becomes First Female Baseball Coach In MLB History. That’s… recent.
* Tesla’s new Model X has a ‘bioweapon defense mode’ button. “This is a real button,” Musk says.
* NASA Has Already Hired Someone To Make Sure We Don’t Destroy Mars, Too. Teach the controversy: does Mars even exist?
* Here comes the gender-bent Twilight. I’m actually fascinated by this project.
* The Algorithm and the Watchtower: “The form of power that Big Data employs is not so much panoptic as it is pan-analytic.”
* Tonight! DC! 6:30! Resolved: Technology Will Take All Our Jobs!
* Michael Bérubé and Jennifer Ruth: Time for a Teaching-Intensive Tenure Track.
* The problem is that the IRB system is so fundamentally misconceived that it is virtually a model of how to regulate badly.
* Teen got arrested after cop tried to pick her up, failed. Warrants issued for people who cheered at Senatobia graduation. In the last seven years at least 29 police K-9s have sweltered to death after officers left the dogs inside hot patrol vehicles.
* Sepp Blatter resigns. Something something joke about George Lucas character names.
* Alternative Idea for Resolving Sexual-Assault Cases Emphasizes Closure. “Administrators promised to keep her charges confidential and to protect her from retaliation.” For what it’s worth, I had some general thoughts on Title IX earlier this week that I Storified on the off-chance anyone is interested. I don’t think the outlook is good.
* Draft, uh, let’s say Bloomberg.
* And the arc of history is long, but Arrested Development season five will air in spring 2016.