Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘October Surprise

Wednesday Night Links!

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* I had a thread on comics and accessible teaching on Twitter that I found helpful, especially this last contribution.

* Shoot this post into my veins.

* Introducing the Ursula K. Le Guin reread.

* CFP: Speculative Fiction, Curriculum Studies, and Crisis.

The (Not-So-)Secret Way to Attract Majors to Your Department.

* How Star Trek’s Canon Expert Helps Picard Revive Characters and Find the Future. Already hyped for Guinan in season two!

* The Untitled Goose Game and Philosophy.

The real omission from the good-news stories is any honest acknowledgment of Amazon. The company sits comfortably at the peak of its influence, its supply chain built on the back of tax evasion, labor exploitation, corporate lobbying, massive profits from its web-server business, and federal antitrust enforcement that has hovered between lax and corrupt. Amazon’s power has been vast and growing for so long that it’s no longer new or noteworthy in the publishing press, except for the occasional article about its depressing brick-and-mortar bookstores, where endcap displays say things like “Books Most Frequently Highlighted by Kindle Customers.” Amazon’s bookseller origins seem almost quaint now that its blueprint is so vast its delivery vans roaming the streets, piloted by tired and underpaid third-party drivers; its lockers lining the walls of every 7-Eleven; its Echo speakers and touchscreens listening in from your kitchen, your living room, your bedroom, playing songs from Amazon Music and prestige TV from Amazon Prime, placing grocery orders with its recent acquisition Whole Foods. Sadly, publishing will never be as interesting as the complete and total restructuring of society. But with a market share of 45 percent of print books and 83 percent of ebooks, Amazon remains capable of crippling the industry and upending its practices with little more than an algorithmic tweak.

* In a break from tradition, I am endorsing all 12 Democratic candidates. “I’ll kill them all but better” didn’t work in 2004 and it won’t work now. This didn’t work in 2016 and it won’t work now. We Regret to Inform You that Hillary Clinton Is at It Again. ACP Endorses Single-Payer. Just what it says on the tin.

* Mitt Romney gets a puff piece like this at 3:12 PM and has already proved it wrong before dinner. Fun fact!

* Shocked the Schumer isn’t completely blowing it. Good on Warren for promising to make this all right.

* When rich people can’t get along.

* Glenn Greenwald Charged With Cybercrimes in Brazil.

Ronald Reagan’s “October Surprise” Plot Was Real After All.

* N.K. Jemisin in the New Yorker.

* Greta Thunberg’s Remarks at the Davos Economic Forum.

Australia’s Largest Mining Company is Worried Bushfires are Affecting Coal Production.

* Microsoft will be carbon negative by 2030 (it says).

* …we need a science that is decoupled from both poles: from the autonomous circuit of capital as well as from traditional wisdom, a science that could finally stand on its own. What this means is that there is no return to an authentic feeling of our unity with nature: the only way to confront ecological challenges is to accept fully the radical denaturalization of nature.

* The Status Game.

* The Internet of Beefs.

* Houston Is Now Less Affordable Than New York City: A new report finds that, when transportation costs are factored in, Texas’s biggest metros aren’t the bargain they often claim to be.

The Fight for Mom’s House.

* Today in the Chinese Century: Single-use plastic: China to ban bags and other items.

* Whoever leads in artificial intelligence in 2030 will rule the world until 2100. What happens in 2100!

* Your online activity is now effectively a social ‘credit score.’

* The things you learn on Twitter.

* From the archives: The Millionaire Cop Next Door.

* RIP, the rule of law.

* Wendy’s and Child Labor.

* If Your University Administration Ran a Polar Expedition.

* English is the world’s dominant scientific language, yet it has no word for the distinctive smell of cockroaches. What happens though, if you have no words for basic scientific terms? What happens if you have no word for ‘dinosaur.’

* Today in the LEGO sublime.

* The truth is somewhen.

* Today in memes.

* And somehow I always knew it would end this way.

Weekend Links – 3

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Previous links from the weekend here and here.

* Stephen Colbert will have a camero in The Hobbit. My guess is “random person in Lake-Town,” but who knows?

* Democrats giving up hope in my beloved North Carolina.

* John Clute reviews the latest Culture novel, The Hydrogen Sonata.

* Scenes from the future: scientists successfully predict content of dreams from EEG recordings. I think we should probably just pull the plug on this line of investigation right now.

* October Surprise! U.S. Officials Say Iran Has Agreed to Nuclear Talks.

* October Anti-Surprise! How Mitt Romney’s Latest Attack On Libya Is Falling Apart. See also and also.

* If you haven’t gotten enough Looper after Adam and I explained the whole thing, there’s a director’s commentary you can take with you into the theater.

* My friend Dan is teaching the course on David Foster Wallace I’ve been dying to teach.

* And remember, Community fans: October 19th is just a state of mind. (Though, alas, only Dan Harmon can save us from Chevy Chase now.)

Busy Week Ahead

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Busy week ahead, so posting will be comparatively light except insofar as I allow the Internets to distract me from my work. We’ll see how I do.

A few links:

* The U.S. has apparently launched not-at-all-October-Surprise forays into Syria and Pakistan.

* Barack draws a record 100,000+ crowd in Denver. (See photo.)

* NBC numbers man Chuck Todd is having an increasingly difficult time keeping “objectivity” in the face of Obama’s overwhelming advantages; here he is on Meet the Press talking about the early voting explosion and the possibility of African-American voter participation in the neighborhood of 95-100%.

* More early voting buzz: the latest official numbers show Democrats taking a lead over Republicans in the votes already cast, 871,251 to 818,799. As early voting tends to favor Republicans due to the disproportionate absentee balloting of military voters and the elderly, this is good news.

* Jewish voters in Pennsylvania have been warned by the state GOP not to make the same mistake their German ancestors did in the 1930s and ’40s. There is so much wrong with this, I don’t even know where to begin.

* Who will replace Obama as the senator from Illinois? Jesse Jackson, Jr., wants the job, despite fears that he may be unelectable statewide.

* The Ann Arbor News endorses *nobody* for president. Well done, sirs.

* And the Internet has created its most bizarrely Dada meme yet: Robocop on a Unicorn.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 27, 2008 at 12:14 pm

October Surprise

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Written by gerrycanavan

October 14, 2008 at 2:06 pm

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More Politics

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More politics.

* Obama gave a press conference today, too, coming down hard on the Paulson version of the bailout. An anti-bailout consensus seems to have gelled among both elites (more, more) and the general population, with even GOP foot soldiers refusing to fall in line. (Maybe platforms do mean something after all.) Which is not to say the bailout won’t happen—I think it will, if only because the Democrats never met an issue they couldn’t sell out on. But it won’t be the Paulson version of the bailout, at least and it won’t happen at all unless John McCain agrees to sign on and not use Obama’s willingness to put country first against him.

* More bailout: Kevin Drum has the single best chart I’ve seen, while Pandagon points out what I’d suspected all along: poor people and minorities did this to us.

* Schumer, like a lot of people, wants to know what’s the rush.

* Kossacks want to know how long this has been in the works.

* Colorado wants to vote for Obama by a huge margin, with strong evidence that the Palin pick backfired there.

* McCain’s being forced to defend Indiana.

* Alex Greenberg has your conspiracy theory fodder for the day.

Army Unit to Deploy in October for Domestic Operations

Beginning in October, the Army plans to station an active unit inside the United States for the first time to serve as an on-call federal response in times of emergency. The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team has spent thirty-five of the last sixty months in Iraq, but now the unit is training for domestic operations. The unit will soon be under the day-to-day control of US Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command. The Army Times reports this new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to Northern Command. The paper says the Army unit may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control. The soldiers are learning to use so-called nonlethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals and crowds.

* The latest smoking gun on Troopergate is actually fairly damning.

Here’s why this is all so damaging to the governor. It’s one thing to try to get a trooper fired because you believe he is a danger to the public. But using your considerable power as governor to block the benefits of a former family member you have a long-running dispute with moves this scandal into a new realm.

* And my former candidate for president Howard Dean gave a press conference today, too.