Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘outsourcing

Monday Morning Links!

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Mary Karr Reminds the World That David Foster Wallace Abused and Stalked Her, and Nobody Cared.

* “I would just like to say that my inbox is full of accounts of Díaz’s behavior right now. And I mean full.”

They Revealed Harassment Claims Against a Professor, and Were Disciplined.

* Leaving Herland.

The Real Free-Speech Crisis Is Professors Being Disciplined for Liberal Views, a Scholar Finds.

* Bullshit Jobs in academia.

* Identification, Investigation, and Understanding of Ritualistic Criminal Activity (February 4, 1989).

Millennials Are Way Poorer Than Boomers Ever Were.

America’s teachers on strike: ‘We are done being the frog that is being boiled.’

The think piece doesn’t so much diminish art as render it wholly incidental. The mere existence of a work—and the contemporary proliferation of work after work after work—is enough to justify the think piece. The fundamental problem with so much  contemporary criticism is that the prospective critic is structurally encouraged to not care, to treat the value of one-or-another book/TV episode/movie as wholly irrelevant to the task of writing about it. Sontag wrote that desperate, interpretive searches for meaning constitute “the compliment that mediocrity pays to genius.” (One thinks of Henry James’s yearning lit-crit protagonist.) The think piece effectively inverts this formulation. Now it is more common to see genius (or perhaps “genius,” the work of people who, to nip a phrase from the controversial and cuttingly mean critic Armond White, “think they think”) pay compliments to mediocrity. The clarity of critical judgment alights on every rotten movie, grating pop singer, or paperback book written for awkward adolescents alive in the throes of their protean horniness, and dissolves, ultimately, into a sprawling field of meaninglessness. It’s not that, following Sontag, erotics has replaced bloodless hermeneutics. It’s that we’re now subject to soft, dopey forms of both. Enormously erudite and intelligent expositions about extremely stupid things have degraded both the standard for writing about serious things and the seriousness of those serious things themselves.

* Yeah, you better run: China bans Peppa Pig because she ‘promotes gangster attitudes.’

University apologizes to Native American students detained on college tour.

* The man who cracked the lottery.

Misreading the manufacturing statistics.

The key to reading paeans to McCain is realizing that they’re really just love letters from normative centrist militarism to itself.

* On lunar hay fever.

* RIP, Killmonger’s mom.

A team of scientists undertakes an ambitious experiment which could change thinking about welfare.

* “In America, you can be too poor to die.”

* And if you follow me on Facebook, you know that I’ve been raving all weekend about Nintendo Labo. Believe the hype! It’s truly great. Like Calvin’s magic cardboard boxes came to life. It’d buy three more kits if they were available, and might eventually buy a second robot one so my kids can play the Vs mode….

‘People Need to Get Past Thinking That Grading Must Be Done by The People Who Are Teaching’

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In the rush to perfect robo-grading, have we overlooked a more elegant solution?

The graders working for EduMetry, based in a Virginia suburb of Washington, are concentrated in India, Singapore, and Malaysia, along with some in the United States and elsewhere. They do their work online and communicate with professors via e-mail. The company advertises that its graders hold advanced degrees and can quickly turn around assignments with sophisticated commentary, because they are not juggling their own course work, too.

The company argues that professors freed from grading papers can spend more time teaching and doing research.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 5, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Friday Night

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* Kevin Drum throws some cold water on the notion that the payroll tax cut is a GOP Trojan horse. Be careful, though—unlike Obama the GOP really does play 11-dimensional chess.

* But while we debate the tax policy compromise, the Obama White House moves boldly on to its next preemptive capitulation.

* Is Bernie Sanders still talking?

* Salon asks whether the time has finally come for the rich to just outsource the entire country. Charlie Stross has an even more promising cognitive framework:

We are now living in a global state that has been structured for the benefit of non-human entities with non-human goals. They have enormous media reach, which they use to distract attention from threats to their own survival. They also have an enormous ability to support litigation against public participation, except in the very limited circumstances where such action is forbidden. Individual atomized humans are thus either co-opted by these entities (you can live very nicely as a CEO or a politician, as long as you don’t bite the feeding hand) or steamrollered if they try to resist.

In short, we are living in the aftermath of an alien invasion.

* Five science fiction books for children.

* And Conan O’Brien vs. lesser-known DC superheroes.

Jetlag Links

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* Before you stop admitting Ph.D. students, please, read Marc Bousquet. The typically annoying discussion about this can be found at MetaFilter.

* Nonissue watch: The new Siena Poll finds that New Yorkers (everyone in the state) oppose the mosque by a 63-27 margin; they defend the constitutional right to build it by a 64-28 margin. Very sad to see Howard Dean of all people joining the wrong side of history on this:

I believe that the people who are trying to build the mosque are trying to do something that’s good, but there’s no point in starting off and trying to do something that’s good if it’s going to meet with an enormous resistance from a lot of folks.

I want my country back! But not, you know, if it’s going to be a whole big thing.

* At least someone has finally identified the real terrorists: people with COEXIST bumper stickers on their cars.

* Mission accomplished: The last combat troops left Iraq today. But don’t get too excited; 50,000 noncombat troops remain.

* Deconstructing the Twinkie. At left: FD&C Yellow #5.

* Save the words.

* In the future, all teenagers are deaf.

* Change we can believe in: the Obama administration is quietly making it easier to visit Cuba.

* And not exactly the direction we were hoping things would go: Call centre workers are becoming as cheap to hire in the US as they are in India, according to the head of the country’s largest business process outsourcing company.