Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘NPR

Train Travel Day, Which Means A Whole Trainload of Links

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* Two talks down, two to go! My Worlding SF keynote is archived at Facebook Live, but my “Superheroes vs. the Climate” talk got pulled down due to the Funny or Die video I played during my presentation and will need to be edited and reposted. You can also get some coverage from Austrian Public Radio and the Superscience Me podcast (which was there all weekend reporting on the conference). If you’re dying for more Worlding SF content, there’s always the #WorldingSF hashtag on Twitter!

* I was also briefly interviewed for GlacierHub’s latest blogpost tracing the impact of ice sheets in science fiction.

* CFP: Science Fiction and Communism Conference 2019. CFP: Call for Papers: ANGUISH graduate conference at Georgetown University. CFP: The Midwest Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference, on “Artifice.” CFP: Glasgow International Fantasy Conversations, Mapping the Mythosphere, 23rd-24th May 2019. CFP: The 2019 Academic Conference on Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy, June 7-8, 2019.

* Paradoxa 30 is out, on Latin American Science Fiction.

* Terrific short film inspired by Richard McGuire’s Here.

* Margaret Atwood is officially writing a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale. All is proceeding precisely as I have foreseen.

* 2018 Hubble Space Telescope Advent Calendar. Of course there’s many, many, many more links below the image…

* Isn’t the most important response to the question “how do we get students to value the humanities” this: how do we get the humanities to value students?

Lies About the Humanities — and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them.

What We Hire in Now: English by the Grim Numbers.

“While humanists are often skeptical of measuring a major through debt, salaries, or employment after graduation, other fields that have not already seen extensive declines probably have more to fear from an honest accounting of salaries than we do.”

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has paid $424,000 to insure itself against a significant drop in tuition revenue from Chinese students.

* UNC announces exciting plan to return Silent Sam to campus for a mere $5 million up front and $800,000 every year. (Over the past ten years, taxpayers have directed at least $40 million to Confederate monuments.) They’ve got some other great ideas, too!

* UNC TAs go on strike in protest. More here.

* I mean it’s only half (up front) what they’re paying their basketball coach not to coach basketball anymore.

Louisiana School Made Headlines for Sending Black Kids to Elite Colleges. Here’s the Reality.

Graduate School Can Have Terrible Effects on People’s Mental Health.

* The Insect Apocalypse Is Here. How A Shorter Sea Ice Season Is Changing Life In The Arctic. U.S. Climate Report Warns of Damaged Environment and Shrinking Economy. The Nobel Prize for Climate Catastrophe. How Extreme Weather Is Shrinking the Planet. Here’s How Climate Change Is Already Impacting The US. How Climate Change Is Challenging American Health Care. Climate May Force Millions to Move and U.S. Isn’t Ready, Report Says. America’s Last-Ditch Climate Strategy of Retreat Isn’t Going So Well. Reindeer in Sweden usually migrate in November. But there’s still no snow. Huge if true. Democrats get on board with Manchin for energy committee post. When the survival of the planet is at stake, calls for moderation and compromise aren’t a mark of adult politics — they’re a threat to civilization. But Mr. Burns and the plot of Snowpiercer have a plan.

* Parable of the Sower was a documentary.

* Imagine a better world: Forests are the most powerful and efficient carbon-capture system on the planet.

* Not even Pantone is safe. More geoengineering, coral reef edition.

* 150 Minutes of Hell: Inside the Carr Fire Tornado.

* Meanwhile, Brexit, am I right?

* Welcome to Our Modern Hospital, Where If You Want to Know a Price You Can Go Fuck Yourself.

The steady erection of a system of minority rule that Republicans are implementing is not as dramatic as a populist putsch. But it’s actually happening before our eyes. And it’s led not by the rabble-rousing president or the unwashed masses who thrill to his rallies, but by the elite network of donors, operatives, and politicians who run the Republican Party and the conservative movement.

* How do they do it, every single time?

* Russians! Surprise! Trump was blackmailing everybody.

* When I was closing tabs I found this story about the Moscow Trump Tower project, which was like three unindicted crimes ago already.

* The notion that a) the constitution absolutely forbids charging the sitting president for crimes, and b) the statute of limitations for those crimes *still runs while he’s in office* so he might never face charges, shows how fatuous the constitutional analysis was to begin with.”

* Trump officially ruining books, too.

Trump Ramped Up Drone Strikes in America’s Shadow Wars. No Bush, No Trump.

* When George H.W. Trump ruined a kid’s life for a five-second TV bit. Why Do Political Journalists Think It’s Their Job to Portray George H.W. Bush as America’s Benign, Saintly Grandpa?

Samuel Oliver-Bruno, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, didn’t need to leave the Durham church where he’s been taking sanctuary for eleven months Friday morning. He knew stepping foot outside the church risked arrest and deportation, but he chose to, in good faith, get a biometric screening to comply with part of his pending asylum petition. At about 8:45 a.m., Oliver-Bruno entered the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in Morrisville, where he was thrown on the ground by ICE officers and arrested, according to Viridiana Martinez of Alerta Migratoria. He was taken outside and placed in a beige van with dark tinted windows.

* Migrants Tear Gassed at US Border. Families are still being separated at the border, months after “zero tolerance” was reversed. This is what the world looks like to kids in the caravan. US nixed FBI checks for teen migrant camp staff. ICE To Release Asylum-Seeker After 2 Years In Detention. Trans woman beaten to death in ICE custody. Making President Trump’s Bed: A Housekeeper Without Papers.

Holocaust Survivors Recall Exact Day Holocaust Started Right Out Of The Blue.

* Meanwhile, the Democrats.

* Same joke but meanwhile, NJ Democrats.

What the Cult of Ruth Bader Ginsburg Got Wrong.

The Pentagon’s Massive Accounting Fraud Exposed.

The New Republican Myth of California Voter Fraud. Meanwhile, in NC-09.

* How Democracy Works.

* Coups in WI, MI, NC, and WV. The suffocation of democracy.

* The lame duck session is a deranged, obviously terrible institution.

Overall, the experiences of Central European countries suggest that when left-leaning parties turn their backs on working people, other parties will willingly step up to channel their frustration.

40 million people with diabetes will be left without insulin by 2030, study predicts. Insulin is a cheap and easy to manufacture drug invented 100 years ago, deliberately entered into the public domain by its creators to prevent precisely this situation.

* U.S. Life Expectancy Declines Again. Suicides are at the highest rate in decades, CDC report shows.

* “Is curing patients a sustainable business model?”

Billionaires Made So Much Money Last Year They Could End Extreme Poverty Seven Times.

Unemployment Is So Low Some People Have 2 or 3 Jobs.

* Sign here to lose everything.

He won Powerball’s $314 million jackpot. It ruined his life.

* Generational analysis isn’t great, and yet.

* The violent theft of land and capital is at the core of the U.S. experiment: the U.S. military got its start in the wars against Native Americans.

GM gave out $25b in dividends etc last 5 yrs; its auto biz is now worth just $14b, yet financiers want more. Financialization grinds real industry into the dirt.

* Police chief gets three years for a wide-ranging conspiracy to frame black people for crimes. When Brooklyn juries gentrify, defendants lose. How Incarcerated Parents Are Losing Their Children Forever. Now we see the violence inherent in the system.

An interview with the managing editor at one of the country’s most widely read prison newspapers.

* I’ve been collecting an archive of attempts to bolster the police state by leveraging people’s sympathies for dogs. It’s such a bizarre phenomenon but it happens over and over.

* Meet the Stuntwomen.

* Meet the 90s nonwhite character actors.

You Probably Owe Jennifer’s Body An Apology. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie marketed so catastrophically badly.

About 137 women killed by someone they knew every day in 2017. More here.

* Rape by deception apparently isn’t illegal in Indiana.

* Neil deGrasse Tyson under investigation after accusations of sexual misconduct.

* The Miami Herald has been diving deep into the Jeffrey Epstein case.

* The Socialist Memelords Radicalizing Instagram.

@ChuckWendig yo, can you help me out

* Minneapolis becomes the first American urban area to ban single family housing.

School turns students’ lunch debt over to collection agency.

* Welcome to the Good Place: China’s plan to judge each of its 1.3 billion people based on their social behavior is moving a step closer to reality, with Beijing set to adopt a lifelong points program by 2021 that assigns personalized ratings for each resident.

* What could go wrong? Chinese scientists say they’re creating CRISPR-edited babies.

Millennials in China Are Using Nudes to Secure Loans.

* In less sensationalistic, Orientalist news, approximately one million Uighurs have been put in concentration camps in China.

* Surveillance in everything.

* The Palm Oil Catastrophe.

* Some deep dives into the Sentinelese, among the most isolated people in the world. A Twitter thread.

* Tumblr’s porn bad reveals who controls what we see online.

* How an army of temps produces NPR.

* A people’s history of He-Man.

* Remembering Square One.

* CNN, Palestine, and actually existing media bias.

* Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the politics of digital intimacy.

* N.K. Jemisin:  “I’m writing about dragons as a black woman, and it’s fucking political.”

* Kim Stanley Robinson and Anthropology.

‘Oumuamua goes into stealth mode in preparation for attack.

Gods of Fiction: African writers and the fantasy of power. Ainehi Edoro’s Essay on the God Complex of African Writers Sets Off Social Media Reaction.

* Good poets borrow, great poets steal, but not like that.

* Dialectics of Fortnite: Fortnite Addiction Is Forcing Kids Into Video-Game Rehab. Fortnite as third space.

How one man’s quest to spread Christmas cheer led to a miserable four-year war with his neighborhood.

* Uber is a “bezzle,” doomed to disappoint the suckers who buy into its IPO.

If you flip every word in “manic pixie dream girl” you get “depressive demon nightmare boy” and you think “well thank goodness THAT’S not a thing at least-“ but then you…

* Millennials are brokest generation. Doing my part!

* Jigsaw puzzle mashups.

* Huge — IF true.

In East Germany, a gamer scene emerged just before the fall of communism. Teenagers met at a computer club to swap and play C64 games. The state watched with interest.

* I’ve been rereading the series with my kids at bedtime and this is definitely canon.

* Six french fries? In this economy?

Written by gerrycanavan

December 11, 2018 at 7:15 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet, Look at what I put 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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Monday Morning!

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330740_v1* Vote all you want. The secret government won’t change.

* Notes on “Stop Hillary.”

* Smartly realizing that nothing is going to change on the climate change beat, NPR guts its environmental reporting.

* Epigrams for my research agenda: That’s to say nothing of the fact that the people involved in GamerGate that Grieco defends are, in fact, not poor bullied kids. They are, overwhelmingly, employed, educated, privileged adult men, many of whom work for some of the most powerful and profitable industries in our economy. Their beloved sci fi and comic books and fantasy genres and media– those aren’t reviled and disrespected properties that people are ashamed to like. They’re economically dominant and critically lauded, and given the way the internet makes culture spread more broadly and intensely than ever before, are probably the most powerful force in the history of the arts.

* Different Bodies & Different Lives In Academia: Why The Rules Aren’t The Same For Everyone.

* Teacher spends two days as a student and is shocked at what she learns.

6 Brilliant Art Projects That Ruin Classic Kids’ Characters.

* Turn Your Princess-Obsessed Toddler Into a Feminist in Eight Easy Steps.

* All The Wealth The Middle Class Accumulated After 1940 Is Gone.

Top Health Official Warns That Ebola Quarantines Could Backfire. And yet.

* Spock was right: Concern for equality linked to logic, not emotion.

* National insanity watch: Students at a Nebraska High School Can Now Pose With Guns in Their Senior Portraits.

I want to talk about how badly we’re failing the boys who can’t see their way out of a totally lethal, totally toxic distortion of masculinity — the kind that says that if boys aren’t manly, or gentlemanly, they can be gunmanly.

Forty percent of mass shootings start with the gunman targeting his wife, girlfriend, or ex. And access to firearms makes it seven times more likely that a domestic abuser will kill his partner.

* Yes, Mass Shootings Are Occurring More Often.

* Elon Musk: Developing artificial intelligence would be as dangerous as ‘summoning a demon.’

The “Southern Belle” Is a Racist Fiction.

* LARoB interviews David Mitchell.

* Why Google wants to replace Gmail. They should have nationalized Google fifteen years ago.

* Now we see the violence, &c: Wisconsin cops deploy armored vehicle to collect fines from 75-year-old man for messy land.

“The city’s new budget includes $25,000 to buy one-way bus tickets for homeless people.” “Hawaii even passed a measure that offers paid flights off the state to homeless people.” (via)

* Law Lets I.R.S. Seize Accounts on Suspicion, No Crime Required.

* Building a Better Panopticon: The Wire as melodrama.

The Wire extends and elaborates melodrama in remarkable ways. But, as Williams says, melodrama remains a broadly liberal medium — and as Williams doesn’t say, liberalism and neoliberalism are not especially distant cousins. Liberalism can critique neoliberalism for its inequities, its cruelties, and its callousness. But to neoliberalism’s call for data and surveillance, liberalism can only respond with a call for better data and more nuanced surveillance; to neoliberalism’s doctrine of individuality as sameness, liberalism can only offer a deeper individuality subsumed within a deeper sameness. The Wire is undoubtedly one of the greatest melodramas extant, and an object lesson in how powerful the form can be. Its limitations aren’t a failure on the part of its creators so much as an indication that melodrama, having gotten us to this particular liberal democratic impasse, is unlikely, on its own, to get us out.

* Hackers of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

* And I learned today that Star Trek secondary canon features a running subplot where an unfrozen Wall Street guy slowly takes over the Federation. This is going in the Khan essay for sure…

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Tuesday Night

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* Post-Apocalyptic Book List. Awesome.

* Slavoj Žižek: The Wire, or, the Clash of Civilisations in One Country.

* Back From Yet Another Globetrotting Adventure, Indiana Jones Checks His Mail And Discovers That His Bid For Tenure Has Been Denied.

* Final Polls Say Michigan Primary as Close as Possible. Rush Limbaugh says Romney stinks, Santorum’s dirty tricks are just fine. Romney says no brokered convention. Exit polls show Romney winning the rich. McCain on the GOP primary: “This is like watching a Greek tragedy.” How they did it to themselves.

* Which persona is real? Neither. Romney’s soul isn’t in the five minutes he spent as a pro-lifer in that interview, or in the two seconds he spent as a pro-choicer. It’s in the flux, the transition between the two roles. It’s in the editing of his record, the application of his makeup, the shuffling of his rationales. Romney will always be what he needs to be. Count on it.

* Wisconsin working hard to make us feel just a little bit more welcome when we arrive this summer.

* Meanwhile, Olympia Snowe has unexpectedly retired, dealing a serious blow to Republican hopes of retaking the Senate.

* Dow Jones Closes Above 13,000 For The First Time Since May 2008; Obama-Style Communism Responsible.

* NPR says it’s going to try to be “fair to the truth” rather than report the lies of both sides equally. Blasphemy!

* Colorado looks to legalize it. Vermont’s on board.

* I was very disappointed to have actually read none of the 10 Weird Science Fiction Novels That You’ve Never Read.

* “In 1994, the Air Force proposed a magic bomb designed to turn foes into gay vampires with bad breath.”

* The New Yorker has your secret history of Mormonism.

* Ze Frank has your insanely successful Kickstarter project. Almost $100,000 in 24 hours!

* Netflix takes another big hit.

One big difference between patents and other kinds of intellectual property, like copyrights and trademarks, is that patent-holders who want to sue someone for infringement don’t have to show that their patents or their products were actually copied by the defendant.

* This conspiracy theory is pretty byzantine, but I bet it could be more byzantine: Rep. Issa Says President Obama Wants To ‘Convert’ The Constitution ‘To Some South African Constitution.’

* And your ecology minute: Will the EPA’s new climate rules get killed in court? Scientists: Global Warming Played ‘Critical Role’ In Snowpocalypse Winters. NYRoB: Why the Global Warming Skeptics Are Wrong.

Just Another Sunday Links

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* I hate to condemn poor Aaron to a life spent gathering links for me, but his Sunday Reading series has rapidly become a core part of my Internet experience. I’d never lie to you; some of the links below I stole from him. We just need to get him that intern and we’ll be all set.

* David Foster Wallace on 9/11 (from 2007): “Just Asking.”

* Read Catherine Liu: Disaster capitalism keeps creating a wealth of opportunities for entrepreneurial education reformers. David Sirota just wrote a powerful piece on public education: The Shock Doctrine Comes to Your Classroom . Sirota’s thesis is that the financial crisis has been a golden opportunity for rapacious for-profit companies in the education industry to divert public education funds into their own swollen pockets. Instead of paying teachers and building school infrastructure, administrators are spending more and more of their budgets on standardized tests and other instruments that produce big profit margins, but little pedagogy. The New York Times has recently taken note of what critics of education reform have been repeating over and over again: radical reforms and gadget fetishism do not produce measurable improvements in classroom learning. Sirota focuses on the darker side of the technophile narrative in public education: even as public education budgets are shrinking, the share that goes to high tech and for profit testing companies keeps growing.

* Profiles of the Jobless: The ‘Mad As Hell’ Millennial Generation.

* Matt Taibbi on the coming civil war.

I’ve always been queasy about piling on against the Republicans because it’s intellectually too easy; I also worry a lot that the habit pundits have of choosing sides and simply beating on the other party contributes to the extremist tone of the culture war.

But the time is coming when we are all going to be forced to literally take sides in a political conflict far more serious and extreme than we’re used to imagining. The situation is such a tinderbox now that all it will take is some prominent politician to openly acknowledge the fact of a cultural/civil war for the real craziness to begin.

Most people aren’t thinking about this because we’re so accustomed to thinking of America as a stable, conservative place where politics is not a life-or-death affair but more something that people like to argue about over dinner, as entertainment almost. But it’s headed in another, more twisted direction. I’m beginning to wonder if this election season is going to be one none of us ever forget – a 1968 on crack.

* According to this report, NPR has no idea who is right. It cannot provide listeners with any help in sorting through such a dramatic conflict in truth claims. It knows of no way to adjudicate these clashing views. It is simply confused and helpless and the best it can do is pass on that helplessness to listeners of “Morning Edition.” Because there is just no way to know whether these new rules try to make life as difficult as possible for abortion providers, or put common sense public policy goals into practice in Kansas. There is no standard by which to judge. There is no comparison that would help. There is no act of reporting that can tell us who has more of the truth on their side. In a word, there is nothing NPR can do! And so a good professional simply passes the conflict along. Excellent: Now the listeners can be as confused as the journalists.

* North Carolina as swing state. That’s a good electoral map for the Democrats, but somewhat unexpected; you’d expect Obama to be doing significantly worse here than he is.

* The Darker Side of Blogging.

I lost some friends because of these difficulties, especially when I could not convince some whom I trusted and who knew this person that a problem existed that was worth being concerned about. It now seems self-dramatizing to write all of this down, mainly because nothing “real” came of the threats other than unwanted contact. Yet when someone is sending email that involves your family, that makes it clear he has researched property records and knows the acreage your house was built upon, you tend to worry about the crossing of lines. I also wonder if in now revisiting these episodes from the past, I will trigger another outbreak. I realize that if my objective is to ensure that something so unpleasant never unfolds again, silence is my best strategy. Yet I have always felt that remaining taciturn makes it seem as if the events never happened. It also leaves me alone with them. The stalking occurred, and it changed my relation to the internet.

Having gone through something quite similar (twice) in my own blogging past—both times much less frightening than Jeffrey’s experience—I really related to this.

* And is Exit Through the Gift Shop “real”? Ron English says it is. Problem solved.

Midday Thursday Mostly Nuclear Links

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Five for Tuesday

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* Headline of the day: Georgia GOP Raising Taxes On Girl Scout Cookies While Cutting Taxes On Foreign Corporations

* Alignment chart: The Muppet Show. I really feel like Dr. Bunsen Honeydew is getting a bit of a bad rap here.

* Military ranks of the British invasion.

* Visit Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Other Detroit.

* And for reasons unknown, the media is still paying attention to James O’Keefe.