Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Nnedi Okorafor

Wednesday Links!

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* CFP: Embodiment in Science Fiction and Fantasy Interdisciplinary Conference, May 2018. CFP: The Future of Fandom. CFP: J. G. Ballard and the Sciences.

The Rise of Brittle Paper: The Village Square of African Literature.

* The Library of America’s Story of the Week is an Ursula K. Le Guin classic, “The Day Before the Revolution.”

Four book series that are shaping the future of science fiction on television. Butler! Okorafor! Jemisin!

* The next eclipse.

We all know it is ending.

Trump is not an aberration. There will be no “return to normal.” The damage has been done. America is over.

For years, Richard Florida preached the gospel of the creative class. His new book is a mea culpa.

* Something has gone wrong with our atheists.

The Ludicrous Prepper Plans of the Super Rich.

* Today’s “dominant cultural elite”—those Currid-Halkett has labeled “the aspirational class”— “reveal their class position through cultural signifiers” instead of material possessions, as was the custom during the golden age of conspicuous consumption. Ownership of relatively luxurious products (large electronics, SUVs) is now so widely accessible that the new elites eschew material things not because they’re reluctant to publicly display their affluence but because material goods no longer offer enough distinction. The hottest commodity for this group, whose members range from “partner[s] in a law firm” to “unemployed screenwriter[s],” is participation in a value system with the imprimatur of moral excellence: the conviction that they are living in the best (most responsible, most mindful, most objectively right) ways. These consumers are united by “shared cultural capital” as opposed to similar financial standing. “This new elite,” she contends, “is not defined by economics.”  

How Mic.com exploited social justice for clicks, and then abandoned a staff that believed in it.

Soviet Pseudoscience: The History of Mind Control.

The Mind-Set List, Faculty Edition.

* What is antifa? Who are the antifa?

Psychologists surveyed hundreds of alt-right supporters. The results are unsettling.

* Down the Breitbart hole.

* Now you can see what Donald Trump sees every time he opens Twitter. Inside Trump’s obsession with cable TV. A bizarre memo by an administration official suggests why Trump was so hesitant to blame white nationalists for the fatal violence in Charlottesville. Trump and his party continue to creep ever closer to a destination that once seemed unthinkable. And three and a half years of his term remain. Optimist. McConnell, in Private, Doubts if Trump Can Save Presidency. The President of Blank Sucking Nullity. “We tried to stop him.” Losing Mitt. If you want a vision of the future.

7 things Republicans could do to check Trump without ditching conservative policy.

* Was it worth it, America? Was it?

* No thanks.

* Forever and ever amen. How the Forever War Brought Us Donald Trump. Trump’s Afghanistan buildup is revealing a rift among Democrats.

* Whose heritage? Lee comes down at Duke.

How Trump Ruined My Relationship With My White Mother.

Catholic priest steps down after revealing he was a Ku Klux Klan member decades ago.

I Used To Be a Neo-Nazi. Charlottesville Terrifies Me.

* If you’re one of the more than 140,000 people doing time in a Texas state prison, you’re not allowed to read books by Bob Dole, Harriet Beecher Stowe or Sojourner Truth. But you’re more than welcome to dig into Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” or David Duke’s “My Awakening.”

Leaving town at rush hour? Here’s how far you’re likely to get from America’s largest cities.

* “Buffy at 20″ will have to find some way to reckon with Joss Whedon at 53. Joss Whedon was never a feminist. Joss Whedon and the Feminist Pedestal: A Reading List.

* Infographic of the far future.

* Machine learning and misogyny.

* Afrofuturism has finally been gentrified.

The CEOs Won’t Save Us.

* This deal is getting worse all the time. Because you demanded it.

* Not to be outdone.

Marvel’s Black Panther Has Been Fighting White Supremacists For Decades and He’s Not About To Stop.

Marvel Superheroes Who Basically Only Protect New York City, Ranked.

* In the future every franchise will be revived for fifteen minutes.

* Game of Thrones is definitely collapsing under its own weight. Bady and Mesle. Game of Thrones has become a terrible show. “Straining plausibility.” Game of Thrones‘ “Instantaneous Westeros Travel” Fallacy Is Driving Me Insane. Game of Thrones’ Drive to the Finish Line Is Crippling Its Ability to Tell a Story.

Dogs Are Turning Blue in India for the Saddest Reason.

Astronaut Pee and Sweat Could Be the Key to Getting Humans to Mars.

* RIP, Village Voice.

* RIP, Brian Aldiss.

The Moana syllabus.

A Future of Genetically Engineered Children Is Closer Than You’d Think.

Family Jumps Rising Drawbridge in Car, Lands on Other Side.

* A bonus episode of Thor: The Lightning and the Storm for your listening pleasure.

* These are grim times.

* And the arc of history is long, but Chuck E. Cheese is phasing out its animatronic bands.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 23, 2017 at 8:15 am

I May Have Committed A Little Light Treason Links

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* thisisfine.jpg: An iceberg the size of Delaware has broken off Antarctica. My kids are three and five. Just 90. And you’re a little late.

Blogger completely debunks claim Amelia Earhart was a Japanese prisoner.

* CFP: The George Slusser Conference on Science Fiction and Fantasy, University of California, Irvine, on April 26–29, 2018. CFP: Eaton Journal of Archival Research in Science Fiction. And our deadline was extended a month with the rest of the SUS: Suvin Today?, A Roundtable Discussion, The Society for Utopian Studies (November 9-12, 2017 in Memphis, TN).

Nothing now would better serve the maturity and the invigoration of the Democrats than to give up any hope of sound advice or renewal from Bill or Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. They were pleasant to think about, but their politics have turned out wrong, and there’s nothing they can do for us now. The Age of Detesting Trump.

* Fredo, Fredo, Fredo. I tried to warn you: These revelations—and the possibility that more is yet to come—have made it increasingly untenable for Trump’s supporters to argue that there is nothing to the collusion story. And so, many have now begun to argue that even if there was collusion of the kind suggested by the Times, it wouldn’t be a crime—or even all that out of the ordinary. Some Trump loyalists are even making the case that it was smart and savvy for the campaign to pursue help from the Russians. Trump supporters know Trump lies. They just don’t care.

* Too many Fredos.

* Fredo deserves better.

* I mean the wheels are really coming off.

* Trump still hasn’t resigned from his businesses like he promised, either.

* Meanwhile, ladies and gentlemen: The Democrats! The Democrats Are Eisenhower Republicans.

* The attempt to stay faithful to the actual facts of the world that would make this impossible tanks the piece, but the overall message — that our political elites are soulless monsters without any hint of integrity or principle — is absolutely sound: What If Trump Had Won As a Democrat?

Democrats should take the class warfare message to upscale suburbs.

* Science Fiction and Dystopia in the Age of Trump.

Could a Robot Be President?

* What happens to America if Anthony Kennedy retires?

Cancer researcher was held at Boston airport. Now he is being sent back to Iran.

23 emotions people feel, but can’t explain.

Space colonization, faith, and Pascal’s Wager.

In St. Louis, America’s nuclear history creeps into the present, leaching into streams and bodies.

Between 2009 and 2011 more than 1 in 8 Milwaukee renters experienced a forced move. Rent Is Affordable to Low-Wage Workers in Exactly 12 U.S. Counties.

* Stage four credentialing. The Library of Heaven.

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) garnered more than 3,000 complaints regarding the uniforms. They conducted their own tests and found concerning evidence: a short-sleeved jacket had levels of cadmium, a highly toxic chemical, that were above the acceptable textile industry standard. The tests also found traces of formaldehyde, nickel, and tetrachlorophenol, all of which can cause major irritations. Formaldehyde, for instance, is even on the American Cancer Society’s list of known human carcinogens. What’s more, in 2011, Alaska Airlines experienced a very similar problem after issuing uniforms from Twin Hill. Around 10 percent of employees reported reactions and that airline issued a recall. Despite this damning evidence, American Airlines maintains that their uniforms are safe.

* Looking forward to this movie: Chicago Library Seeks Help Transcribing Magical Manuscripts.

* Gotta love a headline that has the courage of its convictions: CRISPR gene editing technique is probably safe, study confirms.

We were driving away from Hedgesville when the third overdose call of the day came, for a twenty-nine-year-old male. America leads the world in drug overdose deaths — by a lot. Trump-Loving Sheriff Won’t Let Deputies Carry Overdose Antidote. Small-Town Police Officer’s War on Drugs.

* The Klan comes (back) to Charlottesville.

Drones keep dropping drugs and porn into prisons.

* No! No! No!

* Yes! Yes! Yes! And I’m especially all in for this: Quentin Tarantino’s Next Movie Will Be About the Manson Family.

* Makes you think.

* Dark Stock Photos.

* Remembering Milwaukee’s Own Cordwainer Smith.

* Mizzou, two years later.

* The mass defunding of higher education that’s yet to come.

* Jeff VanderMeer Amends the Apocalypse. Russia 1917: You Are There. Nor Secret Griefs Nor Grudges: Laura Kipnis’s Unwanted Advances. Cottage Industry.

The racial daring of Sundance’s Cleverman gives it an edge most superhero stories can’t match.

* The main reason for the contemporary evasion of Arendt’s critique of careerism, however, is that addressing it would force a confrontation with the dominant ethos of our time. In an era when capitalism is assumed to be not only efficient but also a source of freedom, the careerist seems like the agent of an easy-going tolerance and pluralism. Unlike the ideologue, whose great sin is to think too much and want too much from politics, the careerist is a genial caretaker of himself. He prefers the marketplace to the corridors of state power. He is realistic and pragmatic, not utopian or fanatic. That careerism may be as lethal as idealism, that ambition is an adjunct of barbarism, that some of the worst crimes are the result of ordinary vices rather than extraordinary ideas: these are the implications of Eichmann in Jerusalem that neo-cons and neoliberals alike find too troubling to acknowledge.

As you can probably tell by looking around, every employee at our startup is 23 years old. On the morning of your 24th birthday, the barcode on your employee ID stops working and you can no longer enter our building. We do this to ensure our company has a ceaseless, youthful energy. We believe old people are displeasing to look at and also, bad at ideas.

The relationship between the Internet and childhood memory, or generational memory, is a strange one that hasn’t yet been sufficiently chronicled or really thought through.

* Nightmare jobs I’d never even though about: Rape Choreography Makes Films Safer, But Still Takes a Toll on Cast and Crew.

* Cyberpunk lives!

* First object teleported to Earth’s orbit.

* Make Margaret Atwood Fiction Again! Junot Diaz and Margaret Atwood in conversation.

* Wakanda and Zamuda: A Comparative Analysis.

* And sure, I can pick up tacos on the way home.

Written by gerrycanavan

July 12, 2017 at 6:43 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Return of the Son of Occasional Linkblogging

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With new and unexpected obligations in the last few months it’s become very hard for me to keep up with the link-blogging. Sorry! It’s bad enough that I’m considering putting this function on the blog on (likely permanent) hiatus. But, for now at least, some links…

* Wordless, but one of the best things about parenting I’ve ever read: Dan Berry’s “Carry Me.” Made me cry each time I read it.

For the night, which becomes more immense /and depressing and utter / and the voices in it which argue and argue. / For this conflict with the stars. / For ashes.  For the wind. / For this emergency we call life. All-Purpose Elegy.

* This is really good too: “the best Spider-Man story of the last five years.”

* CFP: Utopia, now!

Class, Academia, and Anxious Times. From Duke’s Own Sara Appel.

* Hugo nominations 2017! How well did the new rules do against the Sad Puppies? Meet the Hugo-Nominated Author of Alien Stripper Boned From Behind By the T-Rex.

* The African Speculative Fiction Society holds the Nommo Awards to celebrate the year’s greatest speculative fiction written by African authors.

* A list of contributors has been announced for Letters to Octavia, which has been renamed Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia Butler (which I’m in, by the way — I’m the rascal writing about “whether we should respect Butler’s wishes about not reprinting certain works”). I’m also a small part of the Huntington’s current exhibit of the Butler archives, presenting at the associated research conference in June.

* I wrote a small encyclopedia article on “Science Fiction” for the Oxford Research Encyclopedia, which is live now…

* And some lovely, kind words for my Butler book on the latest episode of “The Three Hoarsemen”, around an hour thirty in!

Desperation Time: Visions of the future from the left.

‘Doomsday Library’ Opens In Norway To Protect The World’s Books From Armageddon.

The 43 senators who plan to filibuster Gorsuch represent 53 percent of the country.

* The history of all heretofore existing society is the history of archery dorks. Evidence that the human hand evolved so we could punch each there.

* Check out my friend David Higgins on NPR’s On Point, talking dystopias.

* War, forever and ever amen. What We Do Best. Trump’s bombing of Syria likely won’t be met with a wall of “resistance,” certainly not within the halls of power. That’s because for nearly all liberal and conservative pundits and politicians, foreign wars — particularly those launched in the name of “humanitarianism” — are an issue where no leader, even one as disliked as Trump, can ever go wrong. The Syrian Catastrophe. A Solution from Hell. Profiles in courage. There are no humanitarian wars. 7 Charities Helping Syrians That Need Your Support. The only answer is no.

* Incredible story: Hired Goon Drags Man Off United Flight After He Refuses to Give Up Seat. More details here. It’s only going to get worse.

Trump Conspiracy Tweetstorms Are The Infowars Of The Left. It is shocking how these things erupt through my timeline day after day, then evaporate utterly as if they’d never happened.

* This week in the richest country that has ever existed in human history.

Being Wealthy in America Earns You 15 Extra Years of Life Span Over the Poor.

New York will no longer prosecute 16 and 17 year olds as adult criminals.

* I loved this story about the connections that expose us: This Is Almost Certainly James Comey’s Twitter Account.

* We did it guys, we did it. But let’s not lose our heads yet.

* On Becoming a Stepmother.

* When Women Negotiate.

What Happens When Your Internet Provider Knows Your Porn Habits?

* Activism we can all believe in: Protesters raise more than $200,000 to buy Congress’s browsing histories.

* Democrats Against Single Payer.

How to Survive the Next Catastrophic Pandemic.

* An epidemic of childhood trauma haunts Milwaukee. An intractable problem: For the last half-century, Milwaukee has been caught in a relentless social and economic spiral. Milwaukee celebrates groundbreaking of new Black Holocaust Museum site.

Dolphins beat up octopuses before eating them, and the reason is kind of horrifying.

* Wild situation in X-Men Gold #1. The artist’s statement.

* If nothing else, Operation Blue Milk had me at “Nnedi Okorafor.” Everything Cut from Rogue One. The Final Star Wars Movie Will Include The Late Carrie Fisher.

* The Minnesota Eight Don’t Want to Be Deported to a Country They’ve Never Lived In. Abolish ICE. Abolish ICE Yesterday.

* 7 Tips for Writing a Bestselling Science Fiction Novel.

* Can the Great Lakes Be Saved?

Does This Band Name Start With The? A Quiz.

America’s first female mayor was elected 130 years ago. Men nominated her as a cruel joke.

Diabetes is even deadlier than we thought, study suggests.

The Biggest Employer in Each US State. Look at all those universities we don’t need!

* Already old news, but worth noting: whether out of general interest or revenge Joss will be doing Batgirl. If I had Joss’s ear I’d pitch about 20-30 minutes of kung-fu action girl Batgirl and then have her paralyzed and do the Oracle plot instead. It’d be something different in this genre and something different for Whedon too, as opposed to something we’ve frankly seen from him a few too many times by now.

* Pedagogy watch: Why won’t students ask for help?

* More on the history of sleep: Why Do We Make Children Sleep Alone?

* When Every Day Is Groundhog Day: The Danny Rubin Story.

* No thanks: Disney Could Go Westworld With New Patent Filing for Soft ‘Humanoid’ Robots.

* There are dozens of us! Dozens! The Life Aquatic might not be Wes Anderson’s best film. But it is his greatest: The director’s misunderstood classic knows that sadness can’t be defeated, only lived with.

* Star Trek: Discovery ZZzzzzzzZZzzzzzZzzzz.

* Joe Hill (son of Stephen King): In the late 1990s I asked my Dad how to write a cover letter for my short fiction submissions. He was glad to help out.

* I always call Chuck Schumer the worst possible Democrat at the worst possible time, but Rahm Emanuel really gives him a run for his money.

Margaret Atwood is dropping hints about a Handmaid’s Tale sequel. She even wrote a little bit extra, just in time for me to teach it this summer!

* KSR talks NY2140. KSR talks world building. KSR in conversation with Adam Roberts and Francis Spufford.

* Geoengineering watch. Sadly, this is probably our civilization’s only hope.

These Are the Wildly Advanced Space Exploration Concepts Being Considered by NASA.

* If you want a vision of the future.

Tyrannosaurus rex was a sensitive lover, new dinosaur discovery suggests.

* PS: Conservatives and liberals united only by interest in dinosaurs, study shows.

The proliferation of charter schools, particularly in areas of declining enrollment and in proximity to schools that have closed, is adding financial stress to Chicago’s financially strapped public school system, a new report co-authored by a Roosevelt University professor shows.

How Uber Uses Psychological Tricks to Push Its Drivers’ Buttons.

* Where the Water Goes.

Great Barrier Reef at ‘terminal stage’: scientists despair at latest coral bleaching data.

The Original Ending of Alien Was Both Terrifying and a Huge Bummer.

* Fuck You and Die: An Oral History of Something Awful.

* The arc of history is long, but New York now has more Mets fans than Yankees fans.

* Congratulations to North Carolina.

* OK. OK. But I’m watching both of you.

Teach-Ins Helped Galvanize Student Activism in the 1960s. They Can Do So Again Today.

* The kids are all right.

* The Uses of Bureaucracy. Browser Plug-In Idea. A Brief History of Theology. To thine own self be true. Stop me if you’ve heard it.

* Politics. Democracy. Art. #2017. Submitted for Your Approval. We lived happily during the war. Five years later. Pretty grim. Any sufficiently advanced neglect is indistinguishable from malice. How to tell if you are sexually normal. Juxtaposition of wish fulfilment violence and infantile imagery, desire to regress to be free of responsibility… Join the movement. Know your sins.

* And even in the darkest times, there is still hope: Spiders could theoretically eat every human on Earth in one year.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 10, 2017 at 5:53 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Weekend Links!

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* My upcoming Studies in Genre course has been cancelled because it has been rendered superfluous.

* I realized I’d never gotten around to adding Paradoxa 28 to the sidebar. Check it out, if you haven’t yet!

tumblr_olklhhyinn1romv9co1_540* Cuban highlighted English, philosophy, and foreign language majors as just some of the majors that will do well in the future job market. “The nature of jobs is changing,” Cuban said.

* Love as Political Resistance: Lessons of Audre Lorde and Octavia Butler. Parable Of The Sower – Not 1984 – Is The Dystopia For Our Age.

* Wikipedia vs. the deletionists.

* Style guide: the look of white supremacy.

* This was beautiful: Coed CYO hoops team defies archdiocese order to kick girls out, forfeits season.

“Is your decision to play the game without the two young ladies on the team, or do you want to stay as a team as you have all year?” asked parent Matthew Dohn. “Show of hands for play as a team?”

Eleven hands shot up in unison. No one raised a hand when asked the alternative.

Assistant coach Keisha Martel, who is also the mom of one of the girls, Kayla Martel, reminded the team of the consequences. They had been told that playing the girls would mean the rest of the season would be forfeited.

“But if the girls play, this will be the end of your season. You won’t play in the playoffs,” she warned.

“It doesn’t matter,” one boy replied and others echoed, before the team began to chant, “Unity!”

In the crowd, supporters cheered along. Several parents began to cry.

* Scenes from the Day without Latinos in Milwaukee.

* What It Feels Like When Your World Ends: Rebecca Evans on Black Wave.

* How many pounds do you need to be able to life to teach a literature class?

The Trump White House Is Screwed, Big League. Justice Department warned White House that Flynn could be vulnerable to Russian blackmail, officials say. Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence. Warren v. Flynn. Taking a Step Back. The Fog of Trump. What a Failed Trump Administration Looks Like. Republicans Won’t Stand Up and Stop President Trump. So you want to brief the president. That’s a hell of an act. Democrats Demand Mar-A-Lago Membership List. As Presidents Live Longer, Doctors Debate Whether To Test For Dementia. Authoritarian government watch: 6/10. The Great Government Breakdown Has Begun. A New Breakthrough in the History of the “S—gibbon.” Trump Official Obsessed Over Nuclear Apocalypse, Men’s Style, Fine Wines in 40,000 Posts on Fashion Style. The press conference from Hell. Is It Time to Call Trump Mentally Ill? Admit it: Trump is unfit to serve. ‘President Supervillain’ Puts Trump’s Quotes in Red Skull’s Mouth, and It’s Disturbingly Perfect.

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* Pitting class against race in the Age of Trump. Shadow of the Plantation.

Before the Flood: Karel Čapek and the Destructive Drift of History.

* Fantasies of the deep state.

* Rise and Fall of a K Street Renegade.

* Russia has secretly deployed a new cruise missile that American officials say violates a landmark arms control treaty, posing a major test for President Trump as his administration is facing a crisis over its ties to Moscow.

* ICE detains a woman at a courthouse receiving an order of protection, likely after receiving a tip from her alleged abuser. ICE shows up at a women’s shelter. ICE Agents Arrest Men Leaving Alexandria Church Shelter. Why Did ICE Arrest & Imprison a 23-Year-Old DREAMer and DACA Recipient Living Legally in the U.S.? Trump Considering Using National Guard for Immigration Raids. How new is this? Is ICE Out of Control?

* Well this all seems in order: EPA nominee Scott Pruitt won’t say if he would recuse himself from his own lawsuits against the agency. He’s since been confirmed, of course.

* Geoengineering LA.

* DIY to Mars.

Hillary Clinton should absolutely not run for president in 2020. And Democrats should stop her if she tries.

* Shocked, shocked to find gambling in the casino: Maybe College Isn’t the Great Equalizer. (More here.)

* Same joke but new study confirms that voter ID laws are very racist.

* Academics, your moment is here: Depression Is an Unlikely Advantage in the Fight Against Fascism.

The Campus Free Speech Battle You’re Not Seeing.

* Why American airports suck.

* I’ll allow it: There’s Going to Be a Mystery Science Theater 3000 Comic Book.

* So preoccupied with whether they could, etc: Woolly mammoth on the verge of resurrection, scientists say.

* Though this one is pretty good too.

* The LEGO commandments.

tumblr_olklhhyinn1romv9co2_1280What We Talk About When We Talk About a Women’s Strike.

* What if we pretended something that was obviously an effect of wealth were biological? I think it might look a little something like…

Obamacare Repeal Could Cripple Efforts To Combat The Opioid Epidemic. Paul Ryan wants to bring back lifetime limits. Millions now rely on these plans, and we should defend them until we can win something better. But we also shouldn’t entertain any illusions: the ACA marketplaces rest on a flawed health care ideology that tellingly attracts many adherents on the Right, including Ryan.

* News you can use: The 8 Most Inaccurate Depictions of Mars Ever Put on Film.

The surgeon who wants to perform a head transplant by 2017.

* Marquette in the news! Marquette Law alum chosen as the first black Bachelorette.

Lost Essay Reveals Winston Churchill Was Almost Certain Aliens Exist. He met the Daleks! It’s canon.

* On dogs and justice.

* Is it really time to teach 1984?

* “I understand that they feel like that is their body,” he said of women. “I feel like it is a separate — what I call them is, is you’re a ‘host.’ And you know when you enter into a relationship you’re going to be that host and so, you know, if you pre-know that then take all precautions and don’t get pregnant,” he explained. “So that’s where I’m at. I’m like, hey, your body is your body and be responsible with it. But after you’re irresponsible then don’t claim, well, I can just go and do this with another body, when you’re the host and you invited that in.”

* Another apocalypse: The oceans are losing oxygen.

The New Star Wars: Aftermath Novel Reveals the Pitiful Fate of Jar Jar Binks. This bummed me out a lot, actually.

* Incredible: Suspect in North Korea killing ‘thought she was taking part in TV prank.’

* Of course you had me at “Squid Communicate with a Secret, Skin-Powered Alphabet.”

* And the reviews are in.

stephenfrug_2017-feb-17

Written by gerrycanavan

February 18, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Fall Break Links!

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* CFP: The Fourth Annual David Foster Wallace Conference, June 2017. CFP: The Marxist Reading Group 2017.

* Tolkien news! Beren and Lúthien coming in 2017. Elsewhere in things from my childhood that I’ll almost certainly repurchase: Inside the new D&D Monster Manual.

* “Whoa,” said the gangster/minotaur, awed at how close he’d just come to losing his forearm. He was beginning to understand that this wasn’t the relatively straightforward world of street-level dope dealing anymore; this was Dungeons and Dragons.

* I’m glad somebody finally paged KSR: “Why Elon Musk’s Mars Vision Needs ‘Some Real Imagination.'”

* Forget Mars. Here’s Where We Should Build Our First Off-World Colonies.

“People worry that computers will get too smart and take over the world, but the real problem is that they’re too stupid and they’ve already taken over the world.” This is how computer scientist Pedro Domingos sums up the issue in his 2015 book The Master Algorithm. Even the many researchers who reject the prospect of a ‘technological singularity’ — saying the field is too young — support the introduction of relatively untested AI systems into social institutions.

* TFW you cut down a 600-year-old tree.

* On translating Harry Potter. Harry Potter by the Numbers. And did you know Harry Potter was nearly a major cultural phenomenon?

* On The Strange Career of Steve Ditko.

* If you want a vision of the future.

* Mistake on a Lake: In Michigan, privatization and free-market governance has left 100,000 people without water.

* One teaching artist sees it differently. “There will always be bad artists with a lot of money who want to go to art school,” she said. On the Future of the MFA.

* The Professor Wore a Hijab in Solidarity — Then Lost Her Job.

2016_1018b_2* The Secret History of Leftist Board Games.

* There’s More to Life Than Being Happy: On Viktor Frankl and Man’s Search for Meaning. Relatedly: The World’s Happiest Man Wishes You Wouldn’t Call Him That.

Degree programs in French, geology, German, philosophy and women’s studies are suspended, effectively immediately. Eight additional majors within existing departments, six teaching programs and four graduate programs have been shut down. The university is planning a teach-out program for currently enrolled students. Tenured faculty members in affected programs will be reassigned to different departments. The future of the campus’s nursing, dental education and medical imaging programs is still under discussion. Degree programs in environmental geology and environmental policy were cut previously, in July.

* Advice for how to use Twitter as an academic. Of course, as everyone knows, the only winning move is not to play.

* From David M. Perry: “My non-verbal son communicates through ‘Hamilton.'”

* From Adam Kotsko: From his rebellious debut to modern day, the devil has always been a political figure.

* Dylan, Christ, and Slow Train Coming. Teaching the controversy: Kurt Vonnegut in 1991: “Bob Dylan Is the Worst Poet Alive.” Imperialism-in-Artistry: Bob Dylan’s Nobel Win Is Proof Adichie Is Right about Beyonce. Local Boy Makes Good. But not too good: The Nobel Prize Committee Have Given Up on Trying to Get in Touch with Bob Dylan.

* Game of Thrones is even whiter than you think.

* The self-driving car, Baudrillard, and America.

* On the history of fantasy scholarship.

* Free speech and the kids.

* David Letterman and his beard.

* My friend Sam.

* The LSAT and class struggle.

* Interview With a Woman Who Recently Had an Abortion at 32 Weeks. ‘What Kind of Mother Is 8 Months Pregnant and Wants an Abortion?’ No, There Are No Ninth Month Abortions.

The notion that American literature might have an imperial bent—that it might be anything other than a string of lightly co-influential works of “imaginative power,” and might itself reflect our national desire to dominate—is lost on its critics, both right and left.

* America dreams of rivers.

* Another gerrymandering primer. I’m inclined to make a joke about Obama’s proceduralism even ruining his post-presidency but this really is a major issue worth throwing his weight against.

* Texas?

In The Hollow: The changing face of Appalachia—and its role in the presidential race.

Derek Black, 27, was following in his father’s footsteps as a white nationalist leader until he began to question the movement’s ideology.

* The Anthropocene and Empire.

* How Trump’s Casino Bankruptcies Screwed His Workers out of Millions in Retirement Savings.

* Atlas Obscura: The Land of Make Believe.

* A People’s History of John Stewart, Green Lantern.

Fear of a Feminist Future.

* And then there’s this one: Earlier this October, at a ceremony at the Royal Courts of Justice, London paid its rent to the Queen. The ceremony proceeded much as it had for the past eight centuries. The city handed over a knife, an axe, six oversized horseshoes, and 61 nails to Barbara Janet Fontaine, the Queen’s Remembrancer, the oldest judicial position in England. The job was created in the 12th century to keep track of all that was owed to the crown.

* Breastfeeding as captivity narrative.

* The Fear of Having a Son.

* Joss supports Spuffy.

* I’ll allow it, but know that you’re all on very thin ice.

By 2050, it’s likely that plastic in the oceans will outweigh all the oceans’ fish. Some reports predict 850-950 million tons of plastic (the equivalent in weight of 4.5 million blue whales).

* Thank god the Mac version isn’t ready yet: Civ VI is out.

* A dark, grittier Captain Planet: Leonardo DiCaprio wants to make a Captain Planet movie.

* Hungerford makes Infinite Jest represent how commercial publishers and their enablers in the mainstream media engineer a novel into a canonizable success. The market is corrupt, she says. But is it any more corrupt or distasteful than the publication and marketing of her university press book? “Post 45” is a scholarly association; Hungerford is one of nine Board members. Two other Board members are the series editors for the “Post 45” imprint. The “Advance Praise” for Making Literature Now includes effusive comments by two people whom Hungerford praises in the book, a blurb by a former colleague at Yale, and other comments so hyperbolic that they appear to have been written under the influence of laughing gas. Hungerford put out a misleading trailer for the book in the Chronicle, excising the misogyny charge that’s essential in her closing chapter, perhaps because she feared anyone who had read Infinite Jest would see through that charge and not order Making Literature Now. Her title is grandiose because her data is extremely limited. Rather than the survey that the title implies, Making Literature Now is literary tourism combined with two takedowns.

* Nonsense paper written by iOS autocomplete accepted for conference.

* Student writing in the digital age.

* Live long and trick or treat.

* I’m telling you, the simulation is crashing.

* And ours is truly a fallen world.

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Written by gerrycanavan

October 22, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Last Weekend Before the Semester Links!

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* ICYMI: My new syllabi for the fall! Infinite Jest and Alternate History. There’s also a new version of my “Video Game Culture” class, set for a new eleven-meeting schedule and with a “Capitalism” week added centered on Pokémon Go (what? oh, that thing). Relatedly: Milwaukee County Parks are trying to remove Pokemon Go from Lake Park.

* The NLRB has ruled that graduate students at private universities can unionize. How letting grad students unionize could change the labor movement and college sports. The NLRB Columbia Decision and the Future of Academic Labor Struggles. The Union Libel: On the Argument against Collective Bargaining in Higher Ed. But elsewhere in academic labor news: Adjuncts in Religious Studies May Be Excluded From Religious College Unions.

* Are PhD Students Irrational? Well, you don’t have to be, but it helps…

The point, then, is that a rational choice theory of PhD pursuit is self-sealing: by allowing the job market, and the job market only, to police our understanding of what’s rational, we’re ignoring that doctoral study is a way of accomplishing what the market typically cannot — a long-term, self-directed research project.

* Colleges hire more minority and female professors, but most jobs filled are adjunct, not tenure track, study finds.

* This morning everyone’s fighting about academic freedom and trigger warnings at the University of Chicago.

* I thought I was the only prof who didn’t really care about deadlines. But apparently there are dozens of us!

* That’ll solve it: Replace college instruction with Ken Burns movies.

A New Academic Year Brings Fresh Anxiety at Illinois’s Public Colleges.

Poor and Uneducated: The South’s Cycle of Failing Higher Education.

* Actually, I’m teaching these kids way more than they’re teaching me.

* I’ve dreamed about this since I was a kid: An Epochal Discovery: A Habitable Planet Orbits Our Neighboring Star. Time to teach The Sparrow again…

* Philosophical SF.

* CFP: Futures Near and Far: Utopia, Dystopia, and Futurity, University of Florida.

Cuban science-fiction redefines the future in the ruins of a socialist utopia.

Puppies, Slates, and the Leftover Shape of “Victory.” On that Rabid Puppies thing and my Hugo Award-winning novella Binti.

It was a long time before anyone realized there was something not the same about her.

From all indications, the next X-Men movie will hew closer to Claremont’s original Dark Phoenix story than the previous cinematic effort. But any sense of authenticity it achieves will only arouse and prolong the desire for closure of the loss not only of a treasured character who might have lived endlessly in the floating timeline, but also of the very narrative finitude in which this loss could only happen once. Comic Book Melancholia.

* Bingewatching vs. plot.

* A new book series at Rowman and Littlefield explores Remakes, Reboots, and Adaptations.

Hot Tomorrow: The Urgency and Beauty of Cli-Fi.

Do Better: Sexual Violence in SFF.

* The real questions: How Long Would It Actually Take to Fall Through the Earth?

How did an EpiPen get to costing $600? Earned every penny. A Case Study in Health System Dysfunction. But, you know, it’s all better now.

* Amazing study at Duke: Virtual Reality and Exoskeleton Help Paraplegics Partially Recover, Study Finds.

The Epidemic Archives Of The Future Will Be Born Digital.

How One Professor Will Turn Wisconsin’s Higher-Ed Philosophy Into a Seminar.

* Becoming Eleven. Concept Art Reveals Barb’s Original Stranger Things Fate and It Will Depress You. We Will Get ‘Justice for Barb’ in a Second Season of Stranger Things. This Stranger Things fan theory changes the game.

Arkansas City Accused Of Jailing Poor People For Bouncing Checks As Small As $15. An Arkansas Judge Sent A Cancer Patient To ‘Debtors’ Prison’ Over A Few Bounced Checks.

* And elsewhere: Drug Court Participants Allegedly Forced To Become Police Informers.

The times of year you’re most likely to get divorced. Keep scrolling! We’re not done yet.

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Are these the best films of the 21st century? I’m not sure I enjoyed or still think about any film on this list more than I enjoyed and think about The Grand Budapest Hotel, though There Will Be Blood, Memento, Caché, and Children of Men might all be close.

CBS is bound and determined to make sure Star Trek: Discovery bombs.

Dr. Strangelove’s Secret Uses of Uranus.

* An Instagram account can index depression.

* After neoliberalism?

* Parenting and moral panic.

How Screen Addiction Is Damaging Kids’ Brains.

The technical language obscured an arresting truth: Basis, which I had ordered online without a prescription, paying $60 for a month’s supply, was either the most sophisticated fountain-of-youth scam ever to come to market or the first fountain-of-youth pill ever to work.

* Nazis were even creeps about their horses.

tumblr_nc27oekkA11t3cxt2o1_500* The Republicans were right!

* Mapping the Stephen King meganarrative.

* Good news for Dr. Strange: Dan Harmon wrote on the reshoots.

* My colleague Jodi Melamed writes in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel on white Milwaukee’s responsibility.

The Man Who Stole Himself: The Slave Odyssey of Hans Jonathan. Translated from the Icelandic.

* Saddest postjournalism story yet: “Vote on the topic for a future Washington Post editorial.”

Katherine Johnson, the human computer.

* I arrived at my friend’s party. A few hours later she died, exactly as planned.

* Uber loses a mere 1.2 billion dollars in the first half of 2016. Can there be any doubt they are just a stalking horse for the robots?

* It’s been interesting watching this one circulate virally: Giving up alcohol opened my eyes to the infuriating truth about why women drink.

William Shatner Is Sorry Paramount Didn’t Stop Him From Ruining Star Trek V. Apology not accepted.

Hillary Clinton will likely have a unique chance to remake the federal judiciary. How the first liberal Supreme Court in a generation could reshape America.

Many donors to Clinton Foundation met with her at State. You don’t say… 4 experts make the case that the Clinton Foundation’s fundraising was troubling.

* Does he want a few of mine? Donald Trump Used Campaign Donations to Buy $55,000 of His Own Book.

Curt Schilling Is the Next Donald Trump. Hey, that was my bit!

* Oh, so now the imperial presidency is bad.

* Good news, everyone!

At least Democrats are currently on track to retake the Senate.

* Scenes from the richest country in the history of the world: Texas has highest maternal mortality rate in developed world, study finds. Raw sewage has been leaking into Baltimore’s harbor for five days, city says. It appears aquatic life — the moss that grows on rocks, the bacteria that live in the water and the bugs that hatch there — are the unexpected victims of Americans’ struggle with drug addiction. Ramen is displacing tobacco as most popular US prison currency, study finds.

No Man’s Sky is like real space exploration: dull, except when it’s sublime.

A.J. Daulerio, bloodied but unbowed. How Peter Thiel Killed Gawker. Never Mind Peter Thiel. Gawker Killed Itself. Gawker Was Killed by Gaslight. And if you want a vision of the future: A Startup Is Automating the Lawsuit Strategy Peter Thiel Used to Kill Gawker.

* Greenlit for five seasons and a spinoff: The astonishing story of how two wrestling teammates from Miami came to oppose each other in the cocaine wars — one as a drug smuggler, the other as a DEA agent.

* Also greenlighting this one.

* The legacy board games revolution.

25 1/2 gimmicky DVD commentary tracks.

The millennial generation as a whole will lose nearly $8.8 trillion in lifetime income because of climate change. The children of millennials will lose tens of trillions.

* When Icon fought Superman.

* Do not take me for some conjurer of cheap tricks.

An Exciting History of Drywall.

* Title IX: still under serious threat.

* And it’s not a competition, but Some Turtles See Red Better Than You Do.

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Written by gerrycanavan

August 26, 2016 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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In Milwaukee, I lived two lives. On the East Side was the liberal Catholic school I attended for nine years; on the North Side was everything else. Dateline Milwaukee: Affluent and Black, and Still Trapped by Segregation. Some Lesser Known Justice Facts about Milwaukee and Wisconsin. And a more positive Milwaukee profile: How Milwaukee Shook Off the Rust: The Midwestern hub reclaimed some of its industrial glory by doing a surprising thing. It cleaned up.

Google’s response to inquiries was chilling: “Google News Archive no longer has permission to display this content.” Entire Google archive of more than a century of stories is gone. Why?

A narrow street dead-ends at the Detroit River, where a black-and-white boat bobs in the water, emblazoned with a Postal Service eagle. This is the mail boat J.W. Westcott II, the only floating ZIP code in the United States.

Hugo Awards Celebrate Women in Sci-Fi, Send Rabid Puppies to Doghouse. Special congratulations to N.K. Jemisin, whose The Fifth Season I’ve been meaning to read for a while, and to Nnedi Okorafar, whose “Binti” I have read already and is fantastic. Relatedly, Abigail Nussbaum asks: Do the Hugos actually need saving?

In Conversation With Colson Whitehead.

* This seems like a pretty big deal: Justice Department Says Poor Can’t Be Held When They Can’t Afford Bail.

U.S. Army only fudged its accounts by mere trillions of dollars, auditor finds.

An Indiana City Is Poised To Become The Next Flint.

* Trump’s Empire.

* Another late-summer syllabus: Problems in Posthumanism. #WelfareReformSyllabus. And a study guide for a world without police.

* “It’s ridiculous—we are talking about the biggest retailer in the world. I may have half my squad there for hours.”

Ranking the Most (and Least) Diverse Colleges in America. Marquette sneaks in at #86, while my alma mater Case Western is a surprisingly high #40 and Duke gets #32.

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* The strangeness of deep time.

* How to make an R2-D2.

“The jobs that the robots will leave for humans will be those that require thought and knowledge. In other words, only the best-educated humans will compete with machines,” Howard Rheingold, an internet sociologist, told Pew. “And education systems in the US and much of the rest of the world are still sitting students in rows and columns, teaching them to keep quiet and memorize what is told to them, preparing them for life in a 20th century factory.” Nothing can stop Judgment Day, but with the liberal arts you just might have a chance of surviving it…

98 personal data points that Facebook uses to target ads to you.

* Hot.
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Only about a hundred groups of isolated indigenous people are believed to still exist, with more than half of them living in the wilderness that straddles Peru’s border with Brazil. Fiona Watson, the field director of the tribal-people’s-rights group Survival International, told me that the situation was dire for the region’saislados, as isolated people are called in Spanish. In a cramped London office, Watson laid out satellite maps to show me their territory, small patches in a geography overtaken by commerce: arcs of slash-and-burn farmland; huge expanses where agribusinesses raise cattle and grow soy; mining camps that send minerals to China; migrant boomtowns. Some of the indigenous groups were hemmed in on all sides by mining and logging concessions, both legal and illegal. One tribe in Brazil, the Akuntsu, had been reduced to four members. Near them, a man known to anthropologists only as the Man of the Hole lives in a hollow dug in the forest floor, warding off intruders by firing arrows. He is believed to be the last of his tribe.

The poet and activist June Jordan once wrote that “poetry means taking control of the language of your life.” Solmaz Sharif does just that in her excellent debut collection, “Look,” pushing readers to acknowledge a lexicon of war she has drawn from the Defense Department’s Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms. Language, in this collection, is called upon as victim, executioner and witness.

Mr. Robot and Why TV Twists Don’t Work Anymore.

* Pittsburgh and the birth of the self-driving car.

* Iceland and revolution.

While people around the world will no doubt continue to project various fantasies onto the tiny island republic, the fact remains that Iceland has yet to see any surge in left mobilization comparable to that in Portugal and Greece — or even the more modest adjustments being made inside the two trans-Atlantic establishment left-liberal parties in the form of the Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn campaigns.

This brilliant map renames each US state with a country generating the same GDP.

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88 College Taglines, Arranged as a Poem.

* The movie you’ve already completely forgotten about will indeed have a sequel bound to disappoint you.

Lang will reprise his role as Colonel Miles Quaritch, Avatar’s villain who appeared definitively dead at the end of the film after taking several huge Na’vi arrows through his chest. Despite that setback, Quaritch is expected to be resurrected in some way and will appear in all the remaining sequels.

Eywa* save us all.

* Reader, I googled it.

* Lovecraft and suburbia and Stranger Things.

* Anyway, the point I’d like you to take away from this is that while it’s really hard to say “sending an interstellar probe is absolutely impossible”, the smart money says that it’s extremely difficult to do it using any technology currently existing or in development. We’d need a whole raft of breathroughs, including radiation shielding techniques to kick the interstellar medium out of the way of the probe as well as some sort of beam propulsion system and then some way of getting data back home across interstellar distances … and that’s for a flyby mission like New Horizons that would take not significantly less than a human lifetime to get there.

I Went on a Weeklong Cruise For Conspiracy Theorists. It Ended Poorly.

* My new favorite Twitter bot: @dungeon_junk.

* Viacom is hemorrhaging money, in part on the basis of the struggling Star Trek (and Ninja Turtles, and Ben Hur) reboot franchises.

Friend acquires a lot of cheese. What to do with it?

* And of course you had me at Historic Midcentury Modernist Motels of the New Jersey Coast.

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Written by gerrycanavan

August 22, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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