Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘nerds

Thursday Night Links!

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(Slight format change: with the return to teaching, increased professional responsibilities, and my kids getting older [too fast!] I’m having real trouble keeping up with the level of linkblogging I’ve previously done. I’m not hanging up the blog, quite yet, but it’s definitely going to continue to be more irregular and more tightly focused on stuff I find particularly interesting and/or might someday need for research. Sorry! Please simply take it as read that Trump sucks, everything he does sucks, and everyone who supports him sucks.)

* This week I have a review of John Scalzi’s newest book, The Collapsing Empire, up at LARB: “No, Speed Limit.” Buy it! It’s good!

* For the more academic minded among you I’ve also got a review of Anthony Lioi’s Nerd Ecology up at ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment. I tweeted an excerpt from it too not long ago:

* Must have: Monograph by Chris Ware.

* Humanitarian catastrophe in Puerto Rico. Puerto Ricans are living climate change right now. Here’s how they describe it. He rattled off a list of what he could not find: bottles of water, gas canisters to light stoves, food.

* Isle of Dogs looking like a strong contender for the first Wes Anderson movie I don’t like.

* Harrowing read: Student survives three days in a cave after college spelunking group leaves him behind.

* Futurism’s blind spot.

* Revolutionary Possibility: Henry Farrell on China Miéville’s October.

* Farah Mendlesohn is crowdfunding her Robert Heinlein book, which proved too long for its original publisher.

* Great review of the (excellent) Star Trek: Discovery pilot from Aaron Body at LARB. I’m very pleased, and a little shocked, by how good it is! Star Trek Spec Scripts That Never Saw the Light of Day. And yes, of course it is.

Humanities, universities and sustainability. Facing poverty, academics turn to sex work and sleeping in cars. And doing my part: Amid Professors’ ‘Doom-and-Gloom Talk,’ Humanities Ph.D. Applications Drop.

From a public relations perspective, accepting the terms of a right-wing narrative about supposedly illiberal campuses by bending over backwards to subsidize an already well-financed right-wing assault on the university may do more to confirm the erroneous claims of that narrative than to change them. That narrative has become a crucial element in the arsenal of weapons used to attack our democracy. Make no mistake: the groups that attacktransgender people, Muslims, people of color, women, legal immigrants as well as undocumented students, are also those that attack science, and feel no obligation to hold their views to academic standards of evidence or coherence. We, therefore, urge the administration to creatively and courageously confront the way free speech is being deployed against our academic freedom, and—in deciding what can take place on our campus — to prioritize the conditions that enable teaching and research.

* Meanwhile, across campus. How Much Is Your College Football Team Worth?

* The nightmare state of Thomas the Tank Engine.

Democrats, for all their self-conception as architects of a progressing world, possess no such singular purpose. Their plan, even when they are in office, consists largely of defending the paltry welfare state already in place against the vastly more disciplined forces of reaction. Their ambition — when they have the opportunity to realize one — is just to tweak. Sometimes they tweak for the better. Sometimes they call their tweaking “welfare reform.”

* The Senate’s Military Spending Increase Alone Is Enough to Make Public College Free. Forever and ever amen.

* centrism.biz.

* How She Lost.

* Wendy Brown on apocalyptic populism.

* Head Geek Is Head Creep.

War With North Korea Starts to Look Inevitable.

* The Madness of Donald Trump.

We’re not going to fix American democracy until we can explain why the GOP went crazy.

The Resegregation of Jefferson County.

Whites Have Huge Wealth Edge Over Blacks (But Don’t Know It).

* No rights which the white man was bound to respect.

The latest way tech companies have promoted their questionable self-image as the antithesis of old, evil corporations has been to open their offices not to unions, but to dogs. Capitalism with a Fluffy Face.

* Nice work if you can get it.

ICE violates own policy by locking up pregnant women, complaint alleges. ICE Is Using Prostitution Diversion Courts to Stalk Immigrants. The American citizens illegally detained by ICE. Immigrant taken by ICE from Austin courthouse was killed in Mexico. Undocumented Parents Arrested at Children’s Hospital While Awaiting Their Infant Son’s Surgery. Two Women Say They Lost Pregnancies In Immigrant Detention Since July. Government policies funneling illegal immigrants into more dangerous crossing areas have contributed to fatalities. A cancer patient desperately needs a stem-cell transplant. But the U.S. won’t grant the donor a visa. ICE attacks sanctuary cities, arrests 450.

Trump Administration Rejects Study Showing Positive Impact of Refugees.

Failing Charter Schools Have a Reincarnation Plan: Converting into private schools — and using voucher programs to thrive on the public dime.

* In the richest country in human history.

By age 3, inequality is clear: Rich kids attend school. Poor kids stay with a grandparent.

According to a Department of Education report, black students nationally were three times more likely to be suspended than whites in 2012. Suspensions occur most commonly in secondary schools, but black children were more than twice as likely to be suspended from preschool as well.

* When that day comes, Anthony Levandowski will be firmly on the side of the machines. In September 2015, the multi-millionaire engineer at the heart of the patent and trade secrets lawsuit between Uber and Waymo, Google’s self-driving car company, founded a religious organization called Way of the Future. Its purpose, according to previously unreported state filings, is nothing less than to “develop and promote the realization of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence.”

* Today’s don’t-say-climate-change term of art: mega-heat dome. Australia’s record-breaking winter beats average highs by 2C, Climate Council says.

Although the uncertainty of each prediction in Fig. 4 is considerable, all scenarios for cumulative uptake at the century’s end either exceed or are commensurate with the threshold for catastrophic change.

One of the clearest signs of climate change in Hurricanes Maria, Irma, and Harvey was the rain.

* What would a flood-proof city look like?

* When Bad DNA Tests Lead to False Convictions.

What happens after a defendant is found not guilty by reason of insanity? Often the answer is involuntary confinement in a state psychiatric hospital—with no end in sight.

* Notes towards a trans reading of Severus Snape.

Gerrymandering on Trial.

* The New York Times reviews N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy.

* Jordan Peele gets it.

* The secret history of Dune.

* A people’s history of Dunkin Donuts.

Sci-Fi Roots of the Far Right—From ‘Lucifer’s Hammer’ to Newt’s Moon Base to Donald’s Wall.

* It’s officially too late to save Title IX.

* You had me at hello: Each successive video takes on a new video game and goes into incredibly granular detail on the speed-running history associated with it.

* Your time-travel short of the moment: Cradle.

* Is the Pope Catholic?

* This is a beautiful thing.

Up Against the Centerfold: What It Was Like to Report on Feminism for Playboy in 1969.

* And finally a reason to start drinking: Arcade games return to Milwaukee bars.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 28, 2017 at 4:56 pm

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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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Monday Morning Links!

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* Permanent addition to the sidebar: Resources for planning a trip to the Octavia E. Butler Archives at the Huntington. Send me anything I’ve missed!

* CFPs I have going: Women and Science Fiction Media (SFFTV Special Issue). Buffy at 20 (April conference at Marquette).

* My friend and colleague Dan Hassler-Forest has been composing a Trump Film Studies Syllabus: 1, 2, 3, 4.

* Political Economy of Fascism Syllabus.

* So you think you elected an autocrat.

* Dr. Strange and the Trump Presidency. 

Trump poised to violate Constitution his first day in office. Not even the same scandal: Donald Trump Pauses Transition Work to Meet with Indian Business Partners.

* Electoral College fan fiction getting good now.

* This seems fine. Disabled People Will Die Under Trump. Trumpwatch. Trump’s big infrastructure plan? It’s a trap. Charles Schumer and Nancy Pelosi Have a Plan to Make President Trump Popular. @EveryTrumpDonor. Trump vs. neoliberalism, #whoeverwinswelose. Racism with No Racists. Garbage In, Garbage Out. The Man in the High Castle. After Trump. Being Mike Pence.

* It can’t happen here. It probably can’t happen here. It probably won’t happen here. Okay but that was a long time ago. George Takei.

Successful propaganda, O’Shaughnessy argues, does not traffic in outright falsehoods, but trades on half-truths and innuendos and depends on “people’s ability to perform a great deal of selective perception, and to edit out the unpleasant.” So propaganda is bullshit — in the philosophical sense.

* Don’t normalize this. Don’t ever, ever normalize this.

* We’ll be talking about this question for a long time, whether we like it or not: The End of Identity Liberalism. Why Social Media Is Terrible for Multiethnic Democracies. And yet: Blame Trump’s Victory on College-Educated Whites, Not the Working Class.

* Close Reading Hamilton: “What’d I Miss?” I only did two days on Hamilton in my class this time around and wound up focusing a lot on these two songs myself.

* Obviously I’m still a Kanye supporter but he’s going to have to find a way to right the ship before the 2020 debates begin next fall.

* Abolish Chuck Schumer. Abolish the Presidency.

More than 100 campus leaders urge Trump to take more forceful stand against “harassment, hate and acts of violence.” Campuses Confront Hostile Acts Against Minorities After Donald Trump’s Election. Wesleyan declared sanctuary campus.

* It doesn’t matter how effective a deterrent it is — it’s cruel and unusual and we need to act.

* Only the superrich can save us… oh forget it.

Meet the Professor Who’s Trying to Help You Steer Clear of Clickbait.

Michigan fights court order to give Flint residents bottled water.

* Keep an eye on North Carolina.

* A Brief History of Fascism in the Pacific Northwest.

When a Sibling Goes to Prison.

* The Limits of Gossip: Informal system of warning colleagues about senior scholars who engage in inappropriate behavior doesn’t really protect anyone, study finds.

The Alphabet That Will Save a People From Disappearing.

* A Mere 12,000 US Schools Are Within a Mile of a Hazardous Chemical Facility.

* Science proves the rich really are different.

* The four types of writing.

* We might be done with climate change, but climate change is not done with us.

It’s official: NASA’s peer-reviewed EM Drive paper has finally been published.

* The arc of history is long, but it bends towards justice.

* What Was the Nerd?

Though sports culture continues to be a domain of intense patriarchal production and violence — rape jokes are just locker room talk, after all — these days jocks in the news are just as likely to be taking a knee against American racism in the image of Colin Kaepernick. The nerds, on the other hand, are shit-posting for a new American Reich. The nerd/jock distinction has always been a myth designed to hide social conflict and culturally re-center white male subjectivity. Now that the nerds have fully arrived, their revenge looks uglier than anything the jocks ever dreamed.

* And because you demanded it…

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Written by gerrycanavan

November 21, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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2016 Links!

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20081210* This Man Is Claiming To Be Able To Bring The Dead Back To Life By 2045. That’s good news, because Scientists Say They Can Recreate Living Dinosaurs Within the Next 5 Years. Perhaps relatedly.

* So tragic: These parents cryonically froze their toddler in the hope she might live again.

* Like looking into a mirror.

* More bad news for my particular demographic.

* I’m at MLA this week, giving a paper on Saturday evening on Richard McGuire’s fantastic graphic novel Here for a panel on “The Anthropocene and Deep Time in Literary Studies.”

* The Year of the Imaginary College Student.

Facebook ran experiment to see how long users would wait before giving up and going elsewhere, but people ‘never stopped coming back.’

Can’t Disrupt This: Elsevier and the 25.2 Billion Dollar A Year Academic Publishing Business.

* Keywords for the Age of Austerity 24: Sullen. Also, here’s John Pat’s current syllabus on Innovation: A Cultural History of the Contemporary Concept.

* I think this one is old, but maybe it’s not old to you: Soc 710: Social Theory through Complaining.

This video about the aging pipeline below the Great Lakes should be this summer’s top horror flick.

* That’s when New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman filed an amended lawsuit against the two companies, this time asking for them to give back all the money they made in New York State, to give it back to those who lost money and to pay a fine of up to $5,000 per case.

* In February 1964, then future NS editor Paul Johnson wrote an article attacking the Beatles and all they stood for. It became the most complained-about piece in the Statesman’s history.

I Studied Oregon’s Militia Movement. Here’s 5 Things You Need to Know.

What Writing Shared World Fiction Taught Erin M. Evans About Worldbuilding.

12 reasons to worry about our criminal justice system.

Entire Florida police department busted for laundering millions for international drug cartels.

* David Harvey on Consolidating Power.

No More Statutes of Limitations for Rape.

* Some Last Words on Pessimism.

* I’m finally #ready4hillary.

New Heights (Lows?) in Philosophy Job Application Requirements.

Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 8.05.41 AM* The Far-Out Sci-Fi Costume Parties of the Bauhaus School in the 1920s.

What Could Have Entered the Public Domain on January 1, 2016?

When a prison closes, what happens to the prison town?

* Four years later, Liss-Riordan is spearheading class-action lawsuits againstUber, Lyft, and nine other apps that provide on-demand services, shaking the pillars of Silicon Valley’s much-hyped sharing economy. In particular, she is challenging how these companies classify their workers. If she can convince judges that these so-called micro-entrepreneurs are in fact employees and not independent contractors, she could do serious damage to a very successful business model—Uber alone was recently valued at $51 billion—which relies on cheap labor and a creative reading of labor laws.

* Tufts in the news! Researchers Teaching Robots How to Best Reject Orders from Humans.

* The novelistic sublime: Joseph Heller’s handwritten outline for Catch-22.

* If Google is a school official, I wonder if it’s a mandatory reporter.

* Tom Lutz and the Los Angeles Review of Books.

* Through the looking glass: Game of Thrones author George RR Martin misses last TV deadline for new book.

* On reading Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. On reading Ten Little Indians.

Debunking “The Big Short”: How Michael Lewis Turned the Real Villains of the Crisis into Heroes.

Is the Drive for Success Making Our Children Sick?

The Sherlock special “The Abominable Bride” was terrible. Has this show completely lost its way? My DVR, in a noble effort to save my sanity, opted not to record it.

* It’s all happening again: Infinite Winter. A flashback.

What I learned not drinking for two years.

Lifting the Veil on the New York Public Library’s Erotica Collection.

Harvard’s Find of a Colonial Map of New Jersey Is a Reminder of Border Wars.

What would a technological society look like that somehow managed to side-step the written word?

U.S. Nuclear Weapons Target List From The Cold War Declassified For The First Time. 

This Asian Time Travel Thriller Could Be Next Year’s Breakout Action Movie.

An Appreciation of Chuck Jones’ ‘One Froggy Evening’ On Its 60th Birthday.

When Gene Roddenberry’s computer died, it took with it the only method of accessing some 200 floppy disks of his unpublished work. Here’s how this tech mystery was solved.

Periodic table’s seventh row finally filled as four new elements are added.

* The rising academic field of David Bowie Studies.

* A Brief History of Farting for Money. (via)

* Hybrids. Uncanny Valley. And then there’s the weirdest, most unbelievable SF short film I’ve ever seen.

* Barbasol presents Disney’s James Cameron’s Avatarland.

* And of course there’s always more Star Wars links: The Feminist Frequency Review. Editing The Force Awakens. Listening to Star Wars. The Original Star Wars Concept Art Is Amazing. A Not-So-Brief History of George Lucas Talking Shit About Disney’s Star Wars. Is Han Solo Force-Sensitive? The Bigger Luke Hypothesis. Cross Sections of TFA Spaceships and Vehicles. Most Citizens of the Star Wars Galaxy are Probably Totally Illiterate. Are droids slaves? Rey & BB8. Reading Anakin Skywalker after Jessica Jones. If you want a vision of the future.

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Written by gerrycanavan

January 5, 2016 at 9:00 am

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Wednesday Night Links!

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* How Bad Was It? Mitch McConnell Triumphant. Losers, not unlucky. And they probably managed to pre-lose the Senate in 2016 in the bargain. If you want a vision of the future. Decision 2014: The Higher-Ed Outlook. The biggest loser in this election is climate (as always). President Obama Has Earned Our Disapproval.

* Amazon wants to give you ten dollars: Spend $45 or More on Select Amazon Gift Cards, Get a $10 Promotional Credit for Yourself.

* I’ve seen some really polarizing opinions on this piece today: Confessions of a Young, Prolific Academic. I understand why people aren’t on board, but all the same I’m attracted to pieces that present the joyful side of academic work.

* Ecotopia today: Esteemed evolutionary biologist E. O. Wilson believes the only way we can avoid a catastrophic mass extinction is to set aside half of the planet in permanently protected areas for the 10 million other species who live on Earth.

* 21 Photos Of Nature Winning The Battle Against Civilization.

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Writing the future: A timeline of science fiction literature.

It seems like every 30-something couple has an embarrassing financial secret: their boomer parents are covering their mortgages, child-care costs and other expenses. The Bank of Mom and Dad: confessions of a propped up generation.

New Bill Watterson Comic Is A Simple But Perfect Celebration Of Comics.

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* Alone as a queer, young, black sci-fi nerd: then I discovered Samuel Delany.

* Why Banksy Is (Probably) a Woman.

* Uber defends price surge that charged Durham man $455 on Halloween.

* Prequelism infects David Chase. There is still no cure. Won’t you give what you can today?

* Why Isn’t Hogwarts Using All That Magic To Explore Space? It’s a Kind of Magic. Like Methods of Rationality minus the cult (and one page instead of ten thousand).

And Dartmouth Professors Vote to Abolish Greek System. Nonbinding, purely symbolic, but points for trying…

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Friday Morning Links

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Tuesday!

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* C21’s book on Debt is finally almost out. My essay draws on the bits of the Polygraph introduction I wrote and is about ecological debt.

* Syllabus minute: I have W.H. Auden envy.

MOOC Completion Rates: The Data.

* How neoliberal universities build their football stadiums.

Some projections showed Athletics might not be able to make payments starting in the 2030s when the debt service balloons. The debt is structured so that for the next 20 years, Cal only needs to make interest payments on the debt. The principal kicks in in the early 2030s, resulting in payments between $24 million and $37 million per year.

Look, if it’s good enough for an idea man who settled out of court on securities fraud, it’s good enough for me.

* Kent State fires adjunct who built their journalism master’s.

* Ian Morris, psychohistorian.

* What If? on The Twitter Archive of Babel. The Twitter Archive of Babel contains the true story of your life, as well as all the stories of all the lives you didn’t lead….

Proud Species Commits Suicide Rather Than Be Driven To Extinction By Humans.

* A People’s History of “Twist and Shout.”

PPP: Russ Feingold Poised For Comeback, Could Top Scott Walker Next Year.

* Michael Chabon: Dreams are useless bodily effluvia. Nicholson Baker: Dreams are all we have.

* You and I are gonna live forever: 72 is the new 30.

* Settling nerd fights of the 1990s today:  Is This the Smoking Gun Proving Deep Space Nine Ripped Off Babylon 5?

* The Star Wars Heresies: Star Wars and William Blake. Tim Morton’s essay in Green Planets has a similar impulse with respect to Avatar.

* And in even more insane mashup news: WWE Keeps Pressure On Glenn Beck.