Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Noam Chomsky

For His Unwavering Devotion to Weekend Links, Gerry Canavan Has Been Awarded the Nobel Prize for Linkblogging

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* Every so often the Nobel Committee accidentally picks a genuinely deserving, genuinely inspiring recipient of the Peace Prize. This year was one. A 2013 profile of Malala Yousafzai. A speech to Pakistani Marxists. What did one Nobel laureate say to the other?

* Every so often the Supreme Court accidentally makes a good decision. Last night’s overturning of Wisconsin’s voter suppression law was one.

* What would the twentieth-century history of English studies look like if we had thought to preserve the records of our teaching? How could that history be different if we had institutional archives of syllabi, student notes, lecture drafts, handouts and seminar papers, just as we have archives of journal articles, drafts of novels, recordings of performances, and committee meeting minutes? What if universities had collected classroom documents alongside other records and traces of the knowledge they create and culture that they value?

* Another lovely Chomsky rant on the university.

So the university imposes costs on students and on faculty who are not only untenured but are maintained on a path that guarantees that they will have no security. All of this is perfectly natural within corporate business models. It’s harmful to education, but education is not their goal.

* Recent cuts have unfortunately made future cuts inevitable: The University of Wisconsin System is about to do some wholesale, strategic belt-tightening, according to its president. But it’s not all absolutely miserable news:

Regent Janice Mueller noted that of the $1.6 billion total paid to unclassified staff on UW campuses, faculty accounted for $550 million, leaving more than $1 billion going to non-faculty. “That seemed a little out of whack to me,” Mueller said. “I would think faculty salaries would be the larger share.”

I didn’t think Regents were allowed to notice things that like.

* A new law that more strongly prohibits discrimination against pregnant graduate students could be coming to a state near you.

The Excessive Political Power Of White Men In The United States, In One Chart.

* Phil Maciak on the greatness of Transparent.

* Why we need academic freedom: On Being Sued.

* Neoliberalism is the triumph of the state, not its retreat. The case of Mexico.

On the cultural ideology of Big Data.

It Would Actually Be Very Simple To End Homelessness Forever.

* It seems that all of Pearson’s critical foundational research and proven classroom results in the world couldn’t get the question 3 x 7 x 26 correct.

* Federal spending was lower this year than Paul Ryan originally asked for. Ha, take that Republicans! Another Obama-led triumph for the left!

* But things will be different once Obama finally becomes president. Obama Plans to Close Guantanamo Whether Congress Likes It Or Not.

* Nightmares: Could Enterovirus D68 Be Causing Polio-Like Paralysis in Kids?

* NYC airport workers walk off job, protesting lack of protection from Ebola risks.

* SF in everything: Malware needs to know if it’s in the Matrix.

* Lady Ghostbusters will be a reboot, almost assuredly a terrible one.

I love origin stories. That’s my favorite thing. I love the first one so much I don’t want to do anything to ruin the memory of that. So it just felt like, let’s just restart it because then we can have new dynamics. I want the technology to be even cooler. I want it to be really scary, and I want it to happen in our world today that hasn’t gone through it so it’s like, oh my God what’s going on?

* It’s happening again: Vastly Different Stories Emerging In Police Shooting Of St. Louis Teen. The Associated Press is On It:

* Baton Rouge officer who texted about ‘pulling a Ferguson’ allowed to retire, can still work as a cop.

* Teenagers in prison have a shockingly high suicide rate.

* Roger Ebert: The Collected Wikipedia Edits.

* The many faces of capitalism.

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* The University of Wisconsin at Madison Police Department issued an apology Wednesday after a list of safety tips posted to the department’s website was criticized for appearing to blame victims of campus crimes, particularly survivors of sexual assault.

* What We Talk About When We Talk About Trigger Warnings.

* Today in theology: Europe’s history of penis worship was cast aside when the Catholic Church decided Jesus’s foreskin was too potent to control.

By the 15th century, the Holy Prepuce had become the desirous object of many mystics’ visions. Bridget of Sweden recorded the revelations she received from the Virgin Mary, who told the saint that she saved the foreskin of her son and carried it with her until her death. Catherine of Siena, the patron saint of Italy, imagined that her wedding ring—exchanged with the Savior in a mystical marriage—had been transmuted into the foreskin. In her Revelationes (c. 1310), Saint Agnes Blannbekin recounts the hours she spent contemplating the loss of blood the infant Christ must have suffered during the circumcision, and during one of her contemplative moments, while idly wondering what had become of the foreskin, she felt the prepuce pressed upon her tongue. Blannbekin recounted the sweet, intoxicating taste, and she attempted to swallow it. The saint found herself unable to digest the Holy Prepuce; every time she swallowed, it immediately reappeared on her tongue. Again and again she repeated the ritual until after a hundred gulps she managed to down the baby Jesus’ cover.

* LEGO, against oil.

* Two Bad Tastes That Taste Bad Together: The US Doesn’t Have Enough Railroads to Keep Up With the Oil Boom.

* For some unfathomable reason somebody handed Cary Nelson another shovel: A Civility Manifesto.

* Science proves that in female-dominated societies men have to work twice as hard to destroy everything with their bullshit.

* Another piece on the law and Tommy the Chimp.

* Trick or treat.

* And maybe there are some doors we just shouldn’t open: I’m Slavoj Žižek, AMA.

20141010

Sunday Morning Links

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* Call for applications: The 2015-16 postdoc seminar at Rice, “After Biopolitics.”

In the absence of sparrows: the front page story says you’ve been missing since / November 22, 2012. Everything else it doesn’t say. / In the absence of sparrows: you simply wandered off, past the Sunoco, pockets stuffed. / The door to your apartment is open still—

Together, these forums, initiatives, and spy teams constitute a sustained effort to suppress meaningful resistance to the university’s privatization program by placing strict boundaries on dissent. Policing Civility.

* Elsewhere in campus civility: The Pentagon Is Giving Grenade Launchers to Campus Police.

Hence I propose that, roughly speaking, one’s privilege level correlates with the likelihood that expressing anger will make people take your concerns more seriously rather than less — or at the very least, that it will prompt a reaction to you as an individual rather than triggering an immediate generalization about your demographic profile. This is one of the most intimate and insidious things about privilege dynamics: even the right to express perfectly natural and justified human emotions can’t be taken for granted.

* The Paris Review interviews Ray Bradbury.

If I’d lived in the late eighteen hundreds I might have written a story predicting that strange vehicles would soon move across the landscape of the United States and would kill two million people in a period of seventy years. Science fiction is not just the art of the possible, but of the obvious. Once the automobile appeared you could have predicted that it would destroy as many people as it did.

* …and translates Umberto Eco.

They affect us because we realize that if they are monsters it is because we, the adults, have made them so. In them we find everything: Freud, mass culture, digest culture, frustrated struggle for success, craving for affection, loneliness, passive acquiescence, and neurotic protest. But all these elements do not blossom directly, as we know them, from the mouths of a group of children: they are conceived and spoken after passing through the filter of innocence. Schulz’s children are not a sly instrument to handle our adult problems: they experience these problems according to a childish psychology, and for this very reason they seem to us touching and hopeless, as if we were suddenly aware that our ills have polluted everything, at the root.

* God, I wish these J.G. Ballard books for children were real.

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* Previously unknown final chapters of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

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Detroit’s Under-Funded Fire Departments Use a Soda Can For a Fire Alarm.

* Gape in amazement as The New Yorker‘s famous fact-checkers seriously drop the ball.

* Vox gets nostalgic for the 1994 AT&T “You Will” ad campaign.

As fast-food workers demonstrate nationwide for a $15 hourly wage, and congressional Republicans fight off a $10 federal minimum, little SeaTac has something to offer the debate. Its neighbor, Seattle, was the first big city to approve a $15 wage, this spring, but that doesn’t start phasing in until next year. SeaTac did it all at once. And, though there’s nothing definitive, this much is clear: The sky did not fall.

i.chzbgr* The way we live now.

* Profiles in courage: Obama to delay his big move on immigration until after election.

* Saving some time before the next invasion.

* Not really how it’s supposed to work: An atheist airman at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada was denied re-enlistment last month for refusing to take an oath containing “so help me God,” the American Humanist Association said Thursday.

* Peace activism vs. environmental activism.

* Geographers prove no one likes the Jets.

* “I’ve decided to ignore economic data and assume the challenges facing your generation are the same as those mine faced.”

* A marathon for Milwaukee?

* The gig economy won.

Apple Wants You To Pay For Things With An iPhone — But There’s One Nagging Problem, It’s an Obviously Terrible Idea That No One Would Ever Want.

* Female privilege is real: Sharks nine times more likely to kill men than women, study says.

* The eight white identities. I’m not 100% clear on the daylight between White Traitor and White Abolitionist, but otherwise it seems to taxonomize approaches to white supremacy I see on the Internet all the time.

* Could it be possible that police departments are lying when they say suspects handcuffed behind their backs are shooting themselves in the chest with hidden weapons that were somehow not found when they were searched? Truly, a bold provocation. Perhaps it will always be a mystery.

* Exhausted Noam Chomsky Just Going To Try And Enjoy The Day For Once.

* And: you fools: every day is Bill Murray Day.

20140906

Some Weekend Links

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In this future, if MOOCs are the route to a credential, they may initially retain some of the popularity that traditional higher education currently holds. But as people realize that the real opportunities continue to accrue to those who are able to attend whatever traditional colleges and universities that remain, they will go to even greater lengths than today to secure those spots. Meanwhile, those for whom access to this opportunity is impossible will be left even further behind.

* Tampering with powers mankind was never meant to know: The U.S. military has developed a pizza that stays edible for years.

Socialism is not a flight from the human condition; it’s a direct and unsentimental confrontation with that condition.

* Anyway, the point is this: maybe the exhaust port wasn’t the problem.

Faculty on Strike.

* Reclamations Special Issue: Securitization and the University.

Can The Government Stop The Comcast/TWC Monstrosity? Comcast must be stopped. Preach.

A Florida town is attempting to repeal its ban on homeless people using blankets and other means of shelter and comfort. That’s good, I gue–wait, you banned what?

* Not only does the state’s proposed law allow private businesses to discriminate against same-sex couples; it permits state employees to deny them basic services. WHAT?

* Another NFL cheerleader files suit against her team. This one details the copious amounts of clothing and body discipling for a job that pays $90 a game.

* Noam Chomsky, stealing my bit.

* Now playable! Sesame Street Fighter.

* Ellen Page comes out.

Is the AA system of addiction recovery too unscientific to work?

The Blum Center Takeover Manifesto.

Why not cast Chiwetel Ejiofor as Doctor Strange? I’m on board.

* Because somebody had to: Debunking Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld.

The problem with the thesis is that in setting out their claim, the authors ignore the more obvious explanation for differences in group success: history. To be specific, in their quest to make it all about culture, the authors either ignore or strongly discount the particular circumstances of a group’s first arrival, and the advantages enjoyed by that first wave.

Then he said I want you to develop a plan to invade Ir[aq]. Do it outside the normal channels. Do it creatively so we don’t have to take so much cover [?]

But Truman’s famously crisp sentence did encapsulate a recurrent American attitude toward the fearsome weapons the United States developed: they came to us almost accidentally, inadvertently, “found” in that cornucopia which modern science and technology provided.

Leaks benefit the government, the author argues, in many ways. They are a safety valve, a covert messaging system, a perception management tool, and more.  Even when a particular disclosure is unwelcome or damaging, it serves to validate the system as a whole.

The Word You Are Searching for Is Rape.

Wendy Davis Is Pretty Much Fine With the Abortion Ban She Filibustered.

* Another Day, Another Train Derails In Pennsylvania, Spilling Up To 4,000 Gallons Of Oil.

A recent analysis found that rail cars spilled more than 1.15 million gallons of oil in 2013, more than was spilled in the previous four decades combined. Still, some companies are looking to expand their oil-by-rail transport: expansion plans for oil-by-rail projects on the West Coast could mean that as many as 11 fully loaded oil trains would travel each day through Spokane, Washington. A Senate subcommittee was scheduled to hold a hearing Thursday on rail safety, but it had to be rescheduled due to bad weather that forced the closure of the federal government.

* STAMOS! Remembering The LEGO Movie Directors’ Wonderful TV Show, Clone High.

The (almost) entire run of Gargoyles is streaming legally on YouTube.

* Say I’m the Only Bee in Your Bonnet: A People’s History of “Birdhouse in Your Soul.”

* Facebook has added fifty alternative gender options.

Texas Appeals Court: State Must Recognize Transgender Identities In Marriage.

* And in breaking news: Internet trolls are seriously bad news. The more you know…

Tuesday Night Links!

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Everything Is Sad on Tuesday Night

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* Oh, Carolina, you’re better than this. Durham County results: For 22359 (30%), Against 51591 (70%).

* But perhaps that’s not depressing enough for you tonight.

“I think that one of the greatest mistakes America made was to allow women the opportunity to vote,” Peterson says. “We should’ve never turned this over to women. And these women are voting in the wrong people. They’re voting in people who are evil who agrees with them who’re gonna take us down this pathway of destruction.”

* My new city becomes ground zero for the Walker recall.

Gay Teen Who Fired Stun Gun in the Air to Scare Away Menacing Bullies Expelled from School. True confession: When I was thirteen I hid a kitchen knife by the front door in case some other kids followed me home from the bus stop like they’d promised they would. I was hopeless, alone, and didn’t know what else to do.

Schools that defend bullies and punish their victims make me want to homeschool my kid.

* A Maurice Sendak profile. Spiegelman and Sendak.

* Atrios has your news from 2022.

The last time the an administration did the supposedly responsible thing, the fiscal “hawks” suddenly decided that the worst possible thing was no longer a deficit, but a surplus, and that therefore it was necessary to have massive tax cuts for rich people.

And they will, of course, do it again.

Nobody cares about the deficit. Those who claim to the most care the least.

* The Comics Crier: 36 Pages of Comics That Aren’t Comic.

* Hardt and Negri have a new electronic pamphlet out on occupation and encampment. So does Chomsky.

When Illness Makes a Spouse a Stranger.

The Politics of Competitive Board Gaming Amongst Friends.

* “Spoiler,” a police procedural that takes place post-zombie apocalypse.

* And Paul F. Tompkins has a new web series on what appears to be the world’s worst website. Check it out anyway.

Still Wednesday!

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* Troy Davis’s former warden has signed a letter asking corrections officers not to participate in his execution. Twitter has confirmed for me that Obama cannot intervene—not that I believe he would—which makes the situation look pretty hopeless. (UPDATE: Still getting conflicting information on this; apparently DoJ could intervene on a civil rights basis.UPDATE: The Georgia Supreme Court has just rejected Davis’s request for a stay.

* Noam Chomsky: The Responsibility of Intellectuals, Redux.

* The headline reads, “How the US Planned to Destroy Britain Just a Few Years Before World War II.” Via Bitter Laughter.

* Ten Historic Female Scientists You Should Know.

* Making the worst day of someone’s life just a little worse: Miscarriage No Longer Considered “Emergency” For Medicaid Patients In Washington State. If you plan to miscarry, please, make an appointment.

* A news story scientifically calibrated to give you the most mixed feelings possible: Highland Park, Il.-based nonprofit software testing company Aspiritech is pioneering a new business model in the United States that champions the unique concentration and detail-oriented strengths of its 15 employees, all of whom have been diagnosed with disorders on the autism spectrum.

* AIDS Puzzle Solved By Computer Gamers.

* And an Elizabeth Warren video on class warfare has gone viral. Warren ’16?

Saturday Links

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* Unpopular opinions, number one: Yes, colleges should absolutely ban fraternities. I feel certain that at many schools donor flight is the only thing keeping the frats open.

* Unpopular opinions, number two: I think Campos and Chomsky are assuming facts not in evidence when they assert that bin Laden was targeted for assassination rather than killed while resisting arrest. There have been multiple contradictory reports of what exactly happened in the compound, and second-guessing the SEALs at this point seems really premature and ill-advised. Chomsky’s piece in particular is pretty terrible; it comes shockingly close to Trutherism in its opening paragraphs and completely elides the important legal distinction between state violence and terrorist violence in its middle. Only the last paragraphs provide something approaching a useful comment on the bin Laden arrest:

Same with the name, Operation Geronimo. The imperial mentality is so profound, throughout western society, that no one can perceive that they are glorifying bin Laden by identifying him with courageous resistance against genocidal invaders. It’s like naming our murder weapons after victims of our crimes: Apache, Tomahawk… It’s as if the Luftwaffe were to call its fighter planes “Jew” and “Gypsy.”

* BREAKING: Obama bans the American flag! It’s exhausting to try and dialogue with people this stupid.

* Judge Gives Immigrant in Same-Sex Marriage a Reprieve From Deportation. According to my Facebook feed this is the first time this has been granted. Very promising sign.

* And Huckabee speaks the truth: St. Ronald himself couldn’t win the Republican nomination today.