Posts Tagged ‘nuclear war’
* NOAA just released its summer outlook, predicting which areas are going to see unusually hotter temperatures this year. Unsurprisingly for those who have been watching the string of heat records that have been falling like dominoes, almost every area of the United States is included. Things Have Gotten Much Worse Since An Inconvenient Truth.
* Scenes from the class struggle at Oberlin. A reasonably good ethnographic study of a subject which seems to have become utterly impossible to talk about dispassionately.
* And speaking of “impossible to talk about dispassionately”: The canon of English literature is sexist. It is racist. It is colonialist, ableist, transphobic, and totally gross. You must read it anyway.
* The Baylor board of regents fired school president Ken Starr on Tuesday amid the sexual assault scandal involving the Bears football team, according to HornsDigest.com. Baylor not commenting on reports of President Kenneth Starr’s firing.
* The terms “World Science Fiction” or “Global Science Fiction” are becoming legitimate fields of interest at a time where human life is indistinguishable from technological interference and scientific thought. We are technology. We are post-human. And we understand both the “global” and “world” adjectives only through the eyes and screens technology has afforded us. If we loosely understand science fiction as the imaginative exercise with which we deal with science and technology, then it becomes a major tool in understanding a reality that increasingly grows less believable and more fragile, in which crisis has become our quotidian condition. We are desperately looking for others because, in a globalized culture and economy, they might not exist anymore. We might have exterminated them, and we fear our genocidal complicity.
But if the extremely wealthy, under a veil of secrecy, can destroy publications they want to silence, that’s a far bigger threat to freedom of the press than most of the things we commonly worry about on that front. If this is the new weapon in the arsenal of the super rich, few publications will have the resources or the death wish to scrutinize them closely.
* Here’s the thing: from where I live, the world has drifted away. We aren’t precarious, we’re unnecessary. The money has gone to the top. The wages have gone to the top. The recovery hasgone to the top. And what’s worst of all, everybody who matters seems basically pretty okay with that. The new bright sparks, cheerfully referred to as “Young Gods” believe themselves to be the honest winners in a new invent-or-die economy, and are busily planning to escape into space oracquire superpowers, and instead of worrying about this, the talking heads on TV tell you its all a good thing- don’t worry, the recession’s over and everything’s better now, and technology is TOTES AMAZEBALLS!
* The Do Not Call list was supposed to defeat telemarketers. Now scammy robocalls are out of control. What happened?
* Which Rock Star Will Historians of the Future Remember?, or, “Johnny B. Goode in the Anthropocene.”
But it did guarantee that one rock song will exist even if the earth is spontaneously swallowed by the sun: “Johnny B. Goode,” by Chuck Berry. The song was championed by Ann Druyan (who later become Sagan’s wife) and Timothy Ferris, a science writer and friend of Sagan’s who contributed to Rolling Stone magazine. According to Ferris, who was the album’s de facto producer, the folklorist Alan Lomax was against the selection of Berry, based on the argument that rock music was too childish to represent the highest achievements of the planet. (I’m assuming Lomax wasn’t too heavily engaged with the debate over the Sex Pistols and “Saturday Night Fever” either.) “Johnny B. Goode” is the only rock song on the Voyager disc, although a few other tunes were considered. “Here Comes the Sun” was a candidate, and all four Beatles wanted it to be included, but none of them owned the song’s copyright, so it was killed for legal reasons.
* And presenting Reverse CAPTCHA.
* Teach the controversy: are students cuddly little bunnies to be drowned, or shot with Glocks? This story is actually worse than even the original reporting indicated.
* I’ve argued here before (I think) that probably the greatest thing for-profit colleges could do to scrub the designation “for-profit” of its negative connotation is to win a few sportsball championships. That’s how traditional not-for-profit colleges did it. There was a time when the idea of a residential college for wealthy young men was considered very strange (and also very effeminate). College sports “butched” up college and it also gave the millions who would never in a million years qualify for admission a fictive relationship with a system that is, by design, unequal. Sportsball and For-Profit Legitimacy.
* Chess forbidden in Islam, rules Saudi mufti, but issue not black and white. This part of the history of games I always find fascinating.
* It’s called anthroponuclear multiple worlds theory, and it’s basically my actual cosmology.
* When DoD paid Duke U $335K to investigate ESP in dogs. But more research is required.
* What if not having a beard is nonhygenic? Checkmate.
* Plastic to outweigh fish in oceans by 2050, study warns. Meanwhile, the same headline they run every January, just with all the numbers incremented by one.
* Sold in the room: Orphan Black Writer Making Time-Travel Movie For Netflix.
* A brief history of the Star Wars Expanded Universe. Star Wars Minus Star Wars. Is Luke Skywalker of ‘Star Wars’ inspired by Wisconsin war hero? Star Wars and Jihad. May the toys be with you. Me talking Star Wars at Salon. The only review I read, which seems 100% right to me (very light spoilers).
My suggestion was quite simple: Put that needed code number in a little capsule, and then implant that capsule right next to the heart of a volunteer. The volunteer would carry with him a big, heavy butcher knife as he accompanied the President. If ever the President wanted to fire nuclear weapons, the only way he could do so would be for him first, with his own hands, to kill one human being. The President says, “George, I’m sorry but tens of millions must die.” He has to look at someone and realize what death is—what an innocent death is. Blood on the White House carpet. It’s reality brought home.
When I suggested this to friends in the Pentagon they said, “My God, that’s terrible. Having to kill someone would distort the President’s judgment. He might never push the button.“
* This seems true, at least as FYE as it is usually conceived goes, but all the same it’s not necessarily a great argument for FYE practitioners to make.
* Milwaukee’s Push to Move the Homeless From the Streets Into Permanent Housing. U.S. Department of Justice agrees to review Milwaukee police. Milwaukee to pay $5 million to settle suits over illegal strip searches.
* My life story: Tsundoku.
* Yet another trailer: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
* Where the jobs are(n’t), 2015. The other me who went to grad school in philosophy instead is pretty unhappy right now.
* Another followup, from years back: Cop Who Sought Photos of Teen’s Erection in Sexting Case Commits Suicide Moments Before Arrest.
* I understand why they made the decision they made, but I don’t think this paradigm is really sustainable: All LA Schools Closed After Hoax Threat.
* An Unbelievable Story of Rape. Difficult but very powerful read.
* A record 409 scripted TV series were produced this year, according to FX. Almost too many, don’t you think?
* And your daily dose of total institutional breakdown: Embattled state’s attorney refused to prosecute cop who admitted to perjury. Prosecutors have hijacked America’s criminal justice system while no one was looking. LAPD found no bias in all 1356 complaints filed against officers. And maybe the worst just in sheer audacity: Denmark passes law to seize jewelry from refugees to cover expenses.
* SFFTV 8.3 is out! With:
Kathleen McHugh, “Seeking a film for the end of the world”
Mark Young, “Xenochrony: aural media and neoliberal time in Shane Carruth’s Primer”
Lars Schmeink, “Frankenstein’s offspring: practicing science and parenthood in Natali’s Splice”
J.P. Telotte, “Sex and machines: the ‘buzz’ of 1950s science fiction films”
* Great stuff coming from the UCR Sawyer Seminar on Alternative Futurisms:
October 6: Panel on Asian American Speculative Fiction
October 16-17: Revising the Past, Remaking the Future Conference
* And elsewhere on the academic job market watch: how long am I marketable?
* USC has an exciting fix for contingent employment in academia: contingent employment in academia.
* Steven Salaita: Why I Was Fired.
* I just had to do one of these with my daughters’ preschool. The twenty-first century is awful.
* DraftKings Employee With Access To Inside Info Wins $350K At FanDuel. This is an insane story.
* Our economy is broken. Could a universal basic income, child allowances, and worker-owned cooperatives fix it? I’m so old I can remember when “New New Deal” was Obama’s brand.
* “Whole Foods To Stop Profiting From Prison Labor.” You know, in these tough times, most companies would be happy to just break even with prison labor.
* Noncitizens and the census. This is a really interesting problem for which the proper solution — let noncitizen permanent residents vote — is of course entirely off the table.
* Justine Siegal Becomes First Female Baseball Coach In MLB History. That’s… recent.
* Tesla’s new Model X has a ‘bioweapon defense mode’ button. “This is a real button,” Musk says.
* NASA Has Already Hired Someone To Make Sure We Don’t Destroy Mars, Too. Teach the controversy: does Mars even exist?
* Here comes the gender-bent Twilight. I’m actually fascinated by this project.
* The Algorithm and the Watchtower: “The form of power that Big Data employs is not so much panoptic as it is pan-analytic.”