Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘new media

Midweek Links!

with one comment

yvtihy4s8ykbvzh00dfa

* Truly, this is the best of all possible worlds: X-Wing, Tie Fighter Are FINALLY Getting Digital Re-Releases. I don’t meant to brag but I was the very very best in the world at this game, back when.

* CFP at the Midwest Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference at UWM. This year’s theme is “the unbearable.” Keynotes by Lauren Berlant and Lee Edelman!

* How Not to Defend the Liberal Arts.

* Higher Education and the New Brutalism.

We live in the age of a new brutalism marked not simply by an indifference to multiple social problems, but also defined by a kind of mad delight in the spectacle and exercise of violence and cruelty. The United States is sullied by a brutalism that is perfectly consistent with a new kind of barbaric power, one that puts millions of people in prison, subjects an entire generation to a form of indentured citizenship, and strips people of the material and symbolic resources they need to exercise their capacity to live with dignity and justice. Academics who speak out against corruption and injustice are publicly demeaned and often lose their jobs. At the same time, the Obama administration criminalizes public servants who expose unethical behavior, the violation of civil liberties and corruption.

* Elsewhere in the richest society in the history of the world: How many homeless S.F. schoolkids? Enough to fill 70 classrooms.

When I was a black woman, I was hated. Now, as a black man, I’m feared.

Priscilla Wald on Media Treatment of Ebola. How Unscientific Ebola Steps in U.S. Could Help Spread Virus Elsewhere.

* Any grad student could have told you: drunk people are better at philosophy.

* Tufts and Unionized Adjuncts.

* Scenes from the competency-based education scam. And the for-profit scam.

* …and the Uber scam.

* UNC-Chapel Hill Should Lose Accreditation.

Free education is not a crazy dream; some countries already have it. We should too, or we face a future where the study of literature or art becomes a luxury available to the rich alone.

* Some things mankind was never meant to see. More links below!

flight-concept-04

* Watch a New York Woman Get Catcalled 108 Times in Less Than One Day.

* You Can Buy This Abandoned CT Town For Less Than A Brooklyn Apartment.

* 30 Philip K Dick Stories That Should Be Movies.

* Voight-Kampff test for college admissions.

* ‘Wasting Time on the Internet’ Is Now an Actual College Class. I’d take that. I know I could teach it.fe

* Someone finally said it: I Don’t Support Feminism If It Means Murdering All Men.

* Yosemite Lifehacks. Recommended.

* There’s no anti-college nonsense so aggressively silly that the Washington Post won’t push it.

* Cura personalis.

* How the culture of assessment fuels academic dishonesty.

US currency reimagined to celebrate ideas, not the dead. Still more links below!

Allbills_SubverseA_verge_super_wideAllbills_ObverseA_verge_super_wide* Reparations for women.

The Race to Nowhere In Youth Sports.

You Can Still Eat This Corgi In Pennsylvania, Thanks To The NRA.

Krypton TV Series In The Works. The CW Is Making A Young Shakespeare Vs. Witches TV Show.

* But it’s not all terrible ideas: I’m cautiously optimistic about Marvel Phase III. Black Panther! Captain Marvel!

* Halfway through this review of William Gibson’s The Peripheral I broke my no-buying-books rule and bought the book.

* Milwaukee hosts first Fantasticon comic convention.

* A brief history of ridiculous things we’ve been asked to believe after famous men were accused of rape.

* The NFL Concussion Settlement Is Pure Evil.

The end result is always the same. You do all this work just to get money. So fuck it: Why not skip everything and just start making currency?

* Could you patent the sun?

* The Dartmouth (America’s Oldest College Newspaper) issues a rare correction.

* Damning every damnable river on Earth: what could possibly go wrong?

* When Russell Brand Met David Graeber.

* Glenn Beck, billionaire.

* Martin Jarvis, professor of music at Charles Darwin University in Australia, claims some of Johann Sebastian Bach’s best-loved works were actually written by his wife.

* And there’s nothing sweet in life: Soda May Age You as Much as Smoking, Study Says.

dams-large__1_.0

Written by gerrycanavan

October 29, 2014 at 7:02 am

Monday Morning Links!

leave a comment »

* I have an essay in Oil Culture, out this week, on “Retrofutures and Petrofutures.” It’s about science fiction framings of fossil fuel use and its eventual supersession. Amazon link!

* Fascinating survey of budget cuts in academia even at colleges that are making more money than ever before.

In other words, these universities unnecessarily reduced the pay of hard-working professionals, and for no other purpose than to say that they did so. The motto of so many university administrators was “leave no crisis behind,” as these administrators used the national economic situation as justification for unnecessary reductions in the compensation of the people who educate our students.

* In academia, conferences matter.

This paper provides evidence for the role of conferences in generating visibility for academic work, using a ‘natural experiment’: the last-minute cancellation — due to ‘Hurricane Isaac’ — of the 2012 American Political Science Association (APSA) Annual Meeting. We assembled a dataset containing outcomes of 15,624 articles scheduled to be presented between 2009 and 2012 at the APSA meetings or at a comparator annual conference (that of the Midwest Political Science Association). Our estimates are quantified in difference-in-differences analyses: first using the comparator meetings as a control, then exploiting heterogeneity in a measure of session attendance, within the APSA meetings. We observe significant ‘conference effects’: on average, articles gain 17-26 downloads in the 15 months after being presented in a conference. The effects are larger for papers authored by scholars affiliated to lower tier universities and scholars in the early stages of their career. Our findings are robust to several tests.

With Voter ID On Hold, Here’s What Wisconsin Republicans Have Planned For Election Day.

* New York as I remember it from day trips growing up: A City Covered in Graffiti.

Ursula K. Le Guin on Being a Man.

* Reduce the deficit, use only female astronauts.

* Maps of the end of the world.

* Ebola in Perspective. Also at Cultural Anthropology: “Ecologies of Empire: On the New Uses of the Honeybee.”

* Pentagon gearing up to bring their famous competence to the war on Ebola (in the US).

* Paul Farmer’s Ebola diary.

* That Time The Reagan White House Press Briefing Erupted With Laughter Over AIDS 13 Times.

* The Dark Market for Personal Data. An interview with Frank Pasquale on his book The Black Box Society.

* Headlines from the apocalypse: NASA Confirms A 2,500-Square-Mile Cloud Of Methane Floating Over US Southwest.

* Something’s gone wrong in America: Police are looking for a group of men who opened fire after losing a game of beer pong.

* Biocapital watch: How a doctor, a trader, and the billionaire Steven A. Cohen got entangled in a vast financial scandal.

* Why we can’t have nice things: a nice demonstration of how 12% of the U.S. population controls 60% of the Senate.

* And science has finally proved I’m not a baby: men really do have weaker immune systems. If anyone needs me I’ll be in bed…

‘We Can’t Design Ourselves Out of the Responsibility for Supporting the Humanities’

leave a comment »

At the LARoB: “Pixel Dust: Illusions of Innovation in Scholarly Publishing” by Johanna Drucker.

To make sure humanities scholarship thrives, it is crucial that we cut through the fog of pixel dust–induced illusion to the practical realities of what digital technology offers to scholarship. Among the prevailing misconceptions about digital production of any kind is that it is cheap, permanent yet somehow immaterial, and that it is done by “machines” — that is, with little human labor. We could add to this another pervasive two-part misperception, that “everything” is digitized and that everything digital is available on Google. Each of these views is profoundly inaccurate. Costs of production and maintenance (or, to use the current grant-required buzzword, sustainability) are much greater with digital objects than print. Every aspect of the old-school publishing work cycle — acquisition (highly skilled and highly valued/paid labor), editing (ditto), reviewing, fact-checking, design, production, promotion, and distribution (all ditto) — remains in place in the digital environment. The only change is in the form of the final production, which becomes a matter of servers, licenses, files, delivery, and platform-specific or platform-agnostic design instead of presses, paper, binding, and so on. The fact that the print object is removed means the single obvious revenue-producing part of the work cycle is eliminated, replaced with a dubious business model of digital sales that as yet doesn’t seem to work well for most authors, and even less well for scholarly monographs.

Not cheap, either, are the costs of ongoing maintenance. A book once finished sits on the shelf, opens without electricity or upgrades to its operating system or to the environment in which it is stored. Five hundred years from now? The complexly layered and interdependent material conditions that support digital storage, access, and use have an unprecedented rate of obsolescence, and half a millennium is unlikely to extend the shelf life of files that aren’t backward compatible across two or three versions of software upgrades. As for permanent — the fact is that every use of a file degrades and changes it, that “bit rot” sets in as soon as a file is made, and that no two copies of any file are ever precisely the same as another. In the archival community, the common wisdom is that “Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe,” (LOCKSS) — a formulation premised on the recognition that permanence is as elusive in the digital world as in the mortal coil. As for human labor, the serious business of digital work (the task of analysis and interpretation that add value in a digital environment) is extremely intensive, demanding, and skilled. It can’t be outsourced, and it can’t be automated — that is, if by “it” we mean tasks such as adding metadata, “mark-up” or other tagging that cross-references the contents of texts, images, sound, and video files, and which add intellectual value and functionality. As for Google, the firewalls, licensing agreements, hidden collections, and un-indexed resources all constitute subjects for treatises about what does not get accessed through that or any other search engine.

These basic myths are merely the fundamentals, the first principles on which a host of other delusions are being built. In the mad rush to throw the humanities into the digital breach, the current trend is to invoke the general rubric of “design innovation” — a confusion of novelties. The much-touted “nonlinear” approach to composition is a choose-your-own-adventure model for grown-ups, and the desktop embedding of multimedia encourages all manner of fantasies about crowdsourced, participatory knowledge generation that would essentially de-professionalize knowledge production: “getting students to do it,” and other naiveties, such as marketing data sets or primary materials, or staging debates among prominent academics using a combination of antique road show and reality show techniques, or fantasies of free online textbooks served up to hordes of formerly disenfranchised youth — every bit of the imaginary bouillabaisse except for the crowning glory, a magnificent engagement with what can only be called magic-onomics: a business model in which publishing thrives without a revenue stream.

Dark Side

leave a comment »

Wednesday Links

leave a comment »

* Tips for the MLA interview.

* ‘Betrayal without remedy’: Hostess bosses didn’t pay into the pension fund like they were supposed to, and it’s legal because rich people that’s why.

Newspapers Don’t Care When Notable Women Die.

* A eulogy for Occupy.

* LOL WARDROBE MALFUNCTION: “Well, it was obviously an unfortunate incident,” she began. “It kind of made me sad on two accounts. One was that I was very sad that we live in an age when someone takes a picture of another person in a vulnerable moment and rather than delete it, and do the decent thing, sells it. And I’m sorry that we live in a culture that commodifies sexuality of unwilling participants, which takes us back to Les Mis, because that’s what my character is.”

* In the wake of a devastating proof of global warming’s severity, 80% of New Jerseys say they are concerned about climate change. In other news, 20% of New Jerseyans are literally incapable of learning.

What Obama Can Do Right Now to End Outrageous Prison Sentences.

* How Homeland glamorizes torture.

* CFP: The Dark Side of the Digital. Milwaukee, WI, May 2-4.

* And you’ll get more Arrested Development than you thought. See? Christmas miracles do come true…

Marxism and New Media Video Files!

leave a comment »

Better late than never, (most of the) video files from the Marxism and New Media 2012 conference we held at Duke this January are finally available at iTunesU.

Marxism and New Media Continues Saturday!

leave a comment »

Marxism and New Media continues at the John Hope Franklin Center at Duke all day Saturday. I’ll be moderating the Games and Virtual Worlds panel at 1:30:

* Stephanie Boluk (Vassar College), “State of Play: Procedural Love and Ludic Labor”
* Alenda Chang (University of California, Berkeley), “Land’s Labors Lost: Farm Games and the Counter-Pastoral”
* Kenneth Rogers (University of California, Riverside), “Technologies of Management: Digital Labor, Human Capital, and the Attention Economy”
* Braxton Soderman (Miami University), “Benjamin and Brecht Play Chess: Critiquing the Industry of Innovation in Contemporary Game Production”

Other panel themes include collective production (9 AM), political economy (10:40 AM), cognitive capitalism (3:30 PM), and of course the keynotes (5:30 PM).

Follow @gerrycanavan and watch hashtag #mnm2012 for periodic updates. Hope to see as many people out today as we had yesterday! It’s been great so far.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 21, 2012 at 8:00 am