Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘New Year's

NYE Links!

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* Finally, my moment has arrived: Smuggling LEGO is the new smuggling diamonds.

The New Brand of Jesuit Universities.

* On Optimism: Looking Ahead to 2015.

* From climate denialism to climate cashing-in with nothing in between. Are We Approaching the End of Human History?

Thanks to energy drilling operations, northern New Mexico is now covered by “a permanent, Delaware-sized methane cloud.”

* Serial, episode thirteen: 1, 2, 3 coming today or tomorrow I think. A sort-of out-there blog post on what it could all mean: The Serial Podcast: The Possible Legal Implications of Jay’s Interview for Jay & Adnan.

UI Chancellor Responds To Salaita Report. This is actually a fairly significant walk-back of Wise’s position — I think she’s actually more progressive on academic freedom than Cary Nelson now — though since she’s still pretending Salaita wasn’t actually hired it doesn’t do much good for him.

Professors are teaching less while administrators proliferate. Let’s find out how all that tuition is being spent. Colleges Need a Business Productivity Audit. Of course the actual text of the article zeroes in on instruction first, which is not the source of the problem…

* It’s the original sin of college football, and you’ll never guess what it is. In Harbaugh hire, excessive pay would send wrong message. How one former coach perpetuated a cheating scheme that benefited hundreds of college athletes. Shut down middling college football programs and shift the money back to instruction.

* The arc of history is long, but: New Michigan Law Bars College Athletes From Unionizing.

* Another angle on the growing Title IX mess: Mothers of accused college rapists fight back.

Rise of the Simulations: Why We Play At Hard Work.

* Brent Bellamy reviews Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway’s The Collapse of Western Civilization.

* 538 profiles the best damn board game on the planet, Twilight Struggle.

* Really interesting idea from Bleeding Cool about what might be happening with Marvel’s sliding timescale. I could honestly see them doing this, or something like it, at least until they start getting some rights back.

Profit from Crisis: Why capitalists do not want recovery, and what that means for America.

Anthropology and the rise of the professional-managerial class.

Is Wisconsin destined to be a Rust Belt backwater?

Why Idris Elba Can’t Play James Bond.

* Seriously, though, sometimes you can’t just switch the skin tones and have the story turn out the same.

* Brands saying “Bae.”

Seven ‘great’ teaching methods not backed up by evidence.

.* BREAKING: Twitter Reaction to Events Often at Odds with Overall Public Opinion.

* Counterpoint: Black and African writers don’t need instructions from Ben Okri.

* To Discipline and Punish: Milwaukee Police Make Late Night Visits.

* I say teach the controversy: Kids and Jails, a Bad Combination.

High School Basketball Team Banned From Tournament Over ‘I Can’t Breathe’ Shirts.

* This Deadspin piece has really made me regret softening my anti-Vox stance in recent months.

* Sounds like the Afghanistan war has ended again. This is #3 or #4 at least, right?

* How to destroy a city: just build a highway.

* The CDC is saying we’re all going to get the flu.

* And as if the IMF wasn’t bad enough.

“Why should the legality of a sale of secrecy depend entirely upon who initiates the transaction? Why is bribery legal but blackmail not?”

* Stop Kidding Yourself: The Police Were Created to Control Working Class and Poor People.

No Charges for Police Chief Who Used Badge to Try and Intimidate Teen into Posing Nude.

* …but believe it or not it is possible for a cop to get fired over a fatal shooting.

LAPD Launches Investigation Into ‘Dead, Dead Michael Brown’ Song Sung at Retired Cop’s Party.

The labor movement should rally against police violence, whether police unions like it or not. I think we should let this whole work stoppage thing play out personally.

* Emails and Racist Chats Show How Cops and GOP Are Teaming Up to Undermine de Blasio. The headline actually undersells the severity of a story where they talk about planting drugs on his daughter.

Horrifying civil liberties predictions for 2015.

* Elsewhere in the richest city in the richest nation ever in the history of the world.

Military Turns To Prison Labor For $100 Million In Uniforms — At $2-Per-Hour Wages.

What Stalled the Gender Revolution? Child Care That Costs More Than College Tuition.

* North Dakota to eliminate taxes because fracking fracking fracking forever fracking. What could go wrong?

* Real life Alien vs. Predator: Cuomo vs. the New York State Legislature.

But Cuomo has insisted he would agree to a pay hike only if the Legislature addressed a long series of criminal and ethical charges against many of its members by passing several reforms, such as a limit on outside incomes earned by lawmakers and a system of publicly financed campaigns.

The legislative leaders, however, responded that Cuomo was making demands he knew were unacceptable in a politically motivated effort to appear as a reformer because he’s under federal investigation for dismantling his anti-corruption Moreland Commission panel.

“Before we did this study, it was certainly my view that the dark net is a good thing.”

* Streetcars, maybe not so great?

* Heartbreaking story of a trans teen’s suicide, based on a suicide note that went viral. Now go hug your kid.

* Exciting new pioneers in research:

A Few Goodmen: Surname-Sharing Economist Coauthors
ALLEN C. GOODMAN (Wayne State University)
JOSHUA GOODMAN (Harvard University)
LUCAS GOODMAN (University of Maryland)
SARENA GOODMAN (Federal Reserve Board)

We explore the phenomenon of coauthorship by economists who share a surname. Prior research has included at most three economist coauthors who share a surname. Ours is the first paper to have four economist coauthors who share a surname, as well as the first where such coauthors are unrelated by marriage, blood or current campus.

* Company selling brain poison offers free public transportation on Brain Poison Day to prevent brain-poison-related driving mishaps.

* Bat-Kierkegaard: The Dark Knight of Faith.

* Want to feel old? This Is What the Cast of Doug Looks Like Now.

* For its first Star Wars spinoff Disney has selected the impossible task of recasting Harrison Ford. They chose… poorly.

* Austerity in everything: Science proves once-in-a-lifetime moments will just make you more depressed.

* And there’s more! You’re more likely to die on your birthday.

Living at a high altitude may make people 30% more likely to commit suicide.

* “Deputies said the shooting appears accidental”: Idaho toddler shoots and kills his mother inside Walmart.

* Wake up, sheeple! Back to the Future predicted 9/11.

* From io9Physics students at the University of Leicester claim to have calculated the amount of energy required to transform water into wine.

* Speaking in front of a white supremacist organization is what I did, but it’s not who I am. Those aren’t the values in my heart.

Celebrities That Look Like Mattresses.

* And I guess I always knew I’d die on a roller coaster.

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 31, 2014 at 7:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Monday Links!

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* Somebody thinks 2015 could be a doozy: Treasury Department Seeking Survival Kits For Bank Employees.

* Trends We Can Work With: Higher Ed in 2015.

* Remembering the reason for the season: During Holiday Season, City Erects Cages To Keep Homeless People Off Benches.

Christmas Eve Document Dump Reveals US Spy Agencies Broke The Law And Violated Privacy.

But, are they more likely to precipitate police violence?  No. The opposite is true. Police are more likely to kill black people regardless of what they are doing. In fact, “the less clear it is that force was necessary, the more likely the victim is to be black.”

Ending excessive police force starts with new rules of engagement.

What Does It Mean to Be Anti-Police?

How to Survive a Cop Coup: What Bill de Blasio Can Learn From Ecuador.

“It has been alleged that Officer Kattner has used his position as a peace officer to contact known female prostitutes and compel them to perform sexual acts while working an extra job.”

And whether or not people accept it, that new normal—public life and mass surveillance as a default—will become a component of the ever-widening socioeconomic divide. Privacy as we know it today will become a luxury commodity. Opting out will be for the rich.

“Enhanced interrogation” is torture, American style. Exceptional torture. Torture that insists it is not torture. Post-torture? This uniquely American kind of torture has six defining characteristics.

* “The Greatest Trick the Devil Ever Pulled”: In praise of The Usual Suspects.

* Decades of Bill Cosby’s shadow ops.

Justice Denied to Steven Salaita: A Critique of the University of Illinois Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure Report. This was my reaction as well.

* Anti-intellectualism is taking over the US.

* Are ideas to cool the planet realistic? Meanwhile: Pope Francis Could Be Climate’s Secret Weapon Next Year.

The architecture of dissent.

* The red state economic miracle that wasn’t.

* Airlines want you to suffer.

* Games are ancient, and they are not going anywhere anytime soon. But their stock is not rising at the rate that their fans’ Twitter streams and Web forums might suggest. Instead of a ludic age, perhaps we have entered an era of shredded media. Some forms persist more than others, but more than any one medium, we are surrounded by the rough-edged bits and pieces of too many media to enumerate. Writing, images, aphorisms, formal abstraction, collage, travesty. Photography, cinema, books, music, dance, games, tacos, cats, car services. If anything, there has never been a weirder, more disorienting, and more lively time to be a creator and a fanatic of media in all their varieties. Why ruin the moment by being the one trying to get everyone to play a game while we’re letting the flowers blossom? A ludic century need not be a century of games. Instead, it can just be a century. With games in it.

* Death toll among Qatar’s 2022 World Cup workers revealed. Migrant World Cup workers in Qatar are reportedly dying at alarming rates.

* Enterprise, TOS, and “the scent of death” on the Federation.

* How Kazuo Ishiguro wrote The Remains of the Day in four weeks.

I am no fan of the North Korean regime. However I believe that calling out a foreign nation over a cybercrime of this magnitude should never have been undertaken on such weak evidence.

* Longreads best crime reporting 2014.

A Drone Flew Over A Pig Farm.

The black and African writer is expected to write about certain things, and if they don’t they are seen as irrelevant. This gives their literature weight, but dooms it with monotony. Who wants to constantly read a literature of suffering, of heaviness? Those living through it certainly don’t; the success of much lighter fare among the reading public in Africa proves this point. Maybe it is those in the west, whose lives are untouched by such suffering, who find occasional spice and flirtation with such a literature. But this tyranny of subject may well lead to distortion and limitation.

* I’m a pretty big fan of “Jean & Scott”: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

* A profile of David Letterman from 1981.

How Colonel Sanders Became Father Christmas in Japan.

* The Song of Saruman.

The filmmakers’ cartoonishly evil vision of Saruman is unfortunate, as it deprives a fascinating narrative of its complexity, while also being untrue to Tolkien’s own vision. Jackson and his team seem incapable of imagining that a person can be wrong without also being evil. For example, the Master of Lake-town in The Hobbit was greedy, but he was an elected official, generally well regarded by the community (at least until he absconds with the municipal funds, a fact revealed only on the last page of the book); in the film The Desolation of Smaug, he is a murderous tyrant who opposes even the idea of elections. An even worse example is the case of Denethor, Steward of Gondor, who in the books has been driven mad by grief and despair, partly owing to the cruel machinations of Sauron himself; in the film (The Return of the King), he is made so irredeemably evil that Gandalf actually attacks him, while we the viewers are expected to cheer. If this is what Jackson does to weak and pitiable characters, what must he do to Saruman, who is a legitimate “bad guy” in The Lord of the Rings?

Quiz: Find out how your salary stacks up against other American workers. You know, fun.

L.A. studio to restore venerable ‘King’s Quest’ to its gaming throne.

* Is the anti-vax movement finally dying?

* You can’t beat the media at its own game.

* America’s own 7 Up: Johns Hopkins’s Beginning School Study.

* Sober People against New Year’s Eve SuperPAC.

* And of course you had me at Grant Morrson’s All-New Miracleman Annual #1.

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Friday!

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Adjuncts and theories of politics.

  1. Attack the tenured and those on the tenure track.
  2. ???
  3. Profit.

* New Year’s Resolutions and cruel optimism.

* The tyranny of data: Neflix’s 76,897 genres. No more, no less!

Slate’s Embarrassing Middle-Earth Error.

Given this it makes the most sense, and would in some sense be most accurate, to understand both Aragorn and Arwen as half-Elvish who chose the fate of Men, though even then few citizens of Gondor would think of Aragorn as anything but a Man. (Indeed Aragorn, descended from Elros, who chose mortality, is not even given the choice of identifying as an Elf, in the sense that his bloodline does not give him access to Aman.) What none would do is think of Arwen as “3/16 human.” Attempting to force this kind of “scientific” racialism, obsessed with fractional bloodline, on to Middle-earth and Arda is a sort of cultural imperialism: It’s just not how Elves or Men (or Valar) understand race.

Dan Harmon Is Still Pretty Torn Up About Everything. Joel McHale on the return of Community.

* Science! Dogs align their bodies along a North-South axis when they poop.

Our Trash Has Become A New Ocean Ecosystem Called “The Plastisphere.” How climate change will starve the deep sea.

* What could possibly go wrong? The United States Is Now the Most Unequal of All Advanced Economies.

* But there’s good news too! Lightning strikes killed fewer Americans than ever in 2013.

How many of your health supplements are actually snake oil?

* It’s not just your imagination: mass shootings are increasing.

10 Films That Passed the Bechdel Test in 2013. There were ten?

And Walmart Recalls Tainted Donkey Meat from Chinese Stores. “It’s actually fox meat, regulators say.”

1/2 Links

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tumblr_mypo84vnXR1qz6f9yo1_500* Preach it.

All years are terrible years; the predicament of being human tends towards the negative. We read the news and are left feeling nothing more noble than “only I have escaped to tell thee.” A given year can be pronounced good only in a solipsistic sense.

* This headline seems like it was generated by some dystopian headline generator: Yakuza Gangsters Recruit Homeless Men for Fukushima Nuclear Clean Up.

* And then there’s this one: Climate Change Vastly Worse Than Previously Thought.

If you want to understand how people will remember the Obama climate legacy, a few facts tell the tale: By the time Obama leaves office, the U.S. will pass Saudi Arabia as the planet’s biggest oil producer and Russia as the world’s biggest producer of oil and gas combined. In the same years, even as we’ve begun to burn less coal at home, our coal exports have climbed to record highs. We are, despite slight declines in our domestic emissions, a global-warming machine: At the moment when physics tell us we should be jamming on the carbon brakes, America is revving the engine.

* And then there’s this: Drone Testing Sites Announced In Six States.

“Diversity is something that’s being marketed,” Pippert says. “They’re trying to sell a campus climate, they’re trying to sell a future. Campuses are trying to say, ‘If you come here, you’ll have a good time, and you’ll fit in.’ “

How the Tenured are to the Job Market as White People are to Racism. Waving The White Flag On Tenured Vs. Adjunct.

At the Ivies, It’s Still White at the Top.

History Jobs Down 7.3%.

The drop follows two years of modest gains, but even those gains hadn’t come close to returning to the level of openings before the economic downturn hit in the fall of 2008. This year, the AHA posted 686 jobs, and the pre-recession total was 1,064.

Handed up by an Orange County, N.C., grand jury, the indictment charged Nyang’oro with “unlawfully, willfully and feloniously” accepting payment “with the intent to cheat and defraud” the university in connection with the AFAM course — a virtually unheard-of legal accusation against a professor. It’s simply incomprehensible to me how the alleged behavior could have been accomplished by just one person acting alone.

* The philosopher posited chains and a key.

* Asimov predicts 2014 in 1964 (and 1997 in 1977).

“In 1969 the median salary for a male worker was $35,567 (in 2012 dollars). Today it is $33,904. So for 44 years, while wages for the top 10 percent have continued to climb, most Americans have been caught in a ”Great Stagnation,” bringing into question the whole purpose of the American capitalist economy. The notion that what benefited the establishment would benefit everyone, had been thoroughly discredited.”

Outrageous HSBC Settlement Proves the Drug War is a Joke.

* 10 Separatist Movements to Watch in 2014.

The 124 states of America: What would the U.S. look like if all of the secession movements in U.S. history had succeeded?

* Spied On from My iPhone: NSA has “backdoor access” to iPhones.

* RIP, James “Uncle Phil” Avery.

* Ernesto: A Quick RPG.

Edward Snowden, Whistle-Blower.

* And now an annual tradition: What Could Have Entered the Public Domain on January 1, 2014?

2014whatcouldhavebeencollage

End of 2013 Mega Link Dump – All Links Must Go!

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This gentleman violently inserted his finger into dozens of victims’ anuses. Sometimes his friends held guns to the victims’ heads to force them to comply. Why was he sentenced to just two years in prison? Because he was an officer with the Milwaukee police department! Officer who forced dozens of anal cavity searches for fun gets only 2 years in prison.

* I wonder if it worked: The Soviet Union spent $1 billion on mind-control program.

* Utah solving homelessness problem by giving the homeless places to live. Madness!

* Once you insist that lives that are worth respecting are the lives that are most devoted to pecuniary gain, you have reached a road that has no ending, and a particularly strange one for humanists to walk.

* Against fraternities.

Rhetoric and Composition: Academic Capitalism and Cheap Teachers.

* The humanities are saved! Brain function ‘boosted for days after reading a novel.’

Using detailed publication and citation data for over 50,000 articles from 30 major economics and finance journals, we investigate whether network proximity to an editor influences research productivity. During an editor’s tenure, his current university colleagues publish about 100% more papers in the editor’s journal, compared to years when he is not editor. In contrast to editorial nepotism, such “inside” articles have significantly higher ex post citation counts, even when same-journal and self-cites are excluded. Our results thus suggest that despite potential conflicts of interest faced by editors, personal associations are used to improve selection decisions.

* Woody Guthrie’s New Year’s Resolutions are the still the only ones you need. More links below!

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* Skeleton thought to be Etruscan prince is actually a princess. Prehistoric cave prints show most early artists were women.

* A Gender-Neutral Pronoun (Re)emerges in China.

* Academia is a war zone.

* Towards critical humility.

* We still don’t really know how bicycles work.

* But it’s a lie. Winning does not scale. We may be free beings, but we are constrained by an economic system rigged against us. What ladders we have are being yanked away. Some of us will succeed. The possibility of success is used to call the majority of people failures.

* In this article, we develop and empirically test the theoretical argument that when an organizational culture promotes meritocracy (compared with when it does not), managers in that organization may ironically show greater bias in favor of men over equally performing women in translating employee performance evaluations into rewards and other key career outcomes; we call this the “paradox of meritocracy.”

* Gasp! California Attorney General: Legalizing Marijuana Would Save Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars A Year.

* Gasp! Benghazi was a nonsense story cynically hyped up by a flailing presidential candidate for cheap heat the whole time!

* Gasp! Some highly specialized, technical, non-outsourceable work is still well paid, and the New York Times is ON IT.

* Huffington Post blogger argues just straight-up ripping off your babysitter because, I don’t know, freedom or something.

* And then we robbed all the pensions also because freedom I guess.

* Cancel all the unemployment insurance because freedom! North Carolina Shows How to Crush the Unemployed.

10 Reasons That Long-Term Unemployment Is a National Catastrophe.

* The life of a fast food striker.

If you thought Southern California mansions could hardly get more outlandish, consider the latest must-have feature: A moat encircling the property.

* One Weird Old Trick to Undermine the Patriarchy: My five-year-old insists that Bilbo Baggins is a girl..

* It’s Kwanzaa everywhere but Paul Mulshine’s heart.

* Twee fascism. Cupcake fascism.

* I’m beginning to think some of these university presidents are not all that serious about defending academic freedom.

* Another scene from the war on education in Chicago. Subtract Teachers, Add Pupils: Math of Today’s Jammed Schools. Silicon Valley techno-wizards sending their kinds to a tech-free school.

* Worst people in the world watch: But over the past decade, the number of “hospice survivors” in the United States has risen dramatically, in part because hospice companies earn more by recruiting patients who aren’t actually dying, a Washington Post investigation has found. Healthier patients are more profitable because they require fewer visits and stay enrolled longer.

* Just kidding, the worst person in the world is Andrea Peyser.

*  How Doctor Who Betrayed Matt Smith.

* The death of the alt-weekly.

* lolmythesis.

* Are dolphins intelligent? Well, they get high.

* Previewing World Cup 2022: The Qatar Chronicles.

* Having already inaugurated full communism, radical De Blasio turns his pitiless mayoral gaze to horse-drawn carriages.

* Looking for a New Year’s Read? Magical realism/surreal books by women.

* And only Vermont-style communism can save us now.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 31, 2013 at 7:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

‘Meanwhile, the Holiday-Industrial Complex Has Expanded to Fill the Entire Last Third of the Year’

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Whereas previously Thanksgiving was a kind of warm-up for Christmas, inaugurating the holiday season, we now have to contend with a new abomination: Halloween as a holiday for adults.

The regressive childishness that the adult Halloween encourages serves to reinforce the sentimentality surrounding Christmas, while the emphasis on “sexy” costumes reproduces one of the most oppressive aspects of Christmas, namely, the degree to which it totally and utterly sucks to be single during the holiday season. For most of the year, one has a normal reaction to a state of singleness — perhaps it’s a welcome break, perhaps it leaves one feeling lonely, etc. — but during the holiday season, one invariably feels like a failure. The sexualization of a childhood activity lays the groundwork for these feelings by reinforcing the link — which has always struck me as strange and creepy — between the childhood nostalgia of Christmas and the imperative of romance.

The inclusion of Halloween into the holiday season also brings the oppressive spectacle of New Year’s Eve more sharply into focus. Not only are we obligated to have fun on that night — ensuring that we won’t — but the hapless single person gets one last kick in the teeth, as they ring in the New Year with no one to kiss.

Building off Natalie Cecire’s piece on Scroogism and reproductive futurity that I linked yesterday, Adam Kotsko has some thoughts on the expansion of the Holiday-Industrial Complex:

One can already see efforts to bring Thanksgiving more fully within the orbit of the holiday-industrial complex. The creation of a new quasi-holiday known as “Black Friday” out of what was formerly known as “the day after Thanksgiving” certainly helps here, but even more insidious is the sense that the “thanks” we should be “giving” is owed to “the troops” — integrating nationalism more firmly into the celebrations. This element of nationalism is obviously also present in the summer “eating” holidays that otherwise share many of the desirable attributes I’ve pointed out in Thanksgiving, but the gesture toward the troops is often superficial. The advantage of eliciting such feelings on Thanksgiving is that it is folded into the totalitarian atmosphere of the holidays, where sentiments must be sincerely present or, at worst, their absence must be explicitly marked by replacement feelings of guilt.

One should probably expect troop-focused piety to increasingly characterize Thanksgiving in coming years, and it is likely that “Black Friday” shopping will also come to encroach more and more on Thanksgiving Day itself — I wouldn’t be surprised if we even learned that shopping is a great way to work off those Thanksgiving calories. Those of us seeking low-key holidays with simple and clear obligations will have to wait until summertime, when we can enjoy our grilled meats and fireworks without feeling guilty for not loving our family enough or not having found true love or not having enough fun.

Love Everybody, Make Up Your Mind, Wake Up and Fight

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 19, 2011 at 3:05 pm