Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Parable of the Sower

Exactly the Right Number of Finely Curated, Carefully Selected Links from Around the Time My Computer Crashed Last Week to Around the Time I Got It Back This Week

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* CFP: “TechnoLogics: Power and Resistance.” CFP: Blade Runner 2049 and Philosophy.

* I have an essay in this new open-access book, Materialism and the Critique of Energy: “Peak Oil after Hydrofracking.” It’s a bit of a departure from my usual work but I thought it came out well… Check it out!

* Kim Stanley Robinson makes the left’s case for geoengineering. And from Peter Frase: Geoengineering for the People.

* The Buffy Not-a-Reboot: A Bad Idea Whose Time Has Come.

How author Nnedi Okorafor found her identity.

* Fascinating presentation on the SF writing market. Lots to think about here.

Inside the World of Racist Science Fiction. What can we learn from the utopians of the past?

* Why are there so many staircases in space?

* We were halfway through 2018 when the drugs began to take hold.

* Brexit: That Sinking Feeling. This is what a no-deal Brexit actually looks like.

Reading Your Problematic Fave: David Foster Wallace, feminism and #metoo. And a report from the 2018 David Foster Wallace Conference, partially a profile of my college classmate Ryan Edel.

Most academic books aren’t written to be read—they’re written to be “broken.” That should change.

* How to Prepare a Diversity Statement.

* When you’re the only person in your department.

* When your students (might) record you. A good thread on the subject from Angus Johnson.

* Teaching in a red county after Trump.

* Now he tells us! Mea culpa: there *is* a crisis in the humanities.

* I get it.

We now live in a country where it is seen as abnormal, or even criminal, to allow children to be away from direct adult supervision, even for a second. Motherhood in the Age of Fear.

* Nintendo announces Labo Kit #3.

* Astounding finalist images for Astronomy Photographer of the Year.

How an Ex-Cop Rigged McDonald’s Monopoly Game and Stole Millions.

Where the Super-Rich Go to Buy Their Second Passport.

Time to Take Sexism in Post-Secondary Education Seriously.

* So much of our culture has been shaped by predators.

* Federal judge allows emoluments case against Trump to proceed. Trump’s ‘emoluments’ battle: How a scholar’s search of 200 years of dictionaries helped win a historic ruling.

These Three Immigrant Families Were Just Reunited After Months Apart. Here Are Their Stories. A Migrant Boy Rejoins His Mother, but He’s Not the Same. A 6-Year-Old Girl Was Sexually Abused in an Immigrant-Detention Center. A child has died following her stay at an ICE Detention Center, as a result of possible negligent care and a respiratory illness she contracted from one of the other children. Immigrant Youth Shelters: “If You’re a Predator, It’s a Gold Mine.” Deportations take unique toll on blended American families. Hundreds of separated parents potentially deported. Deleted families. ICE agents pressured parents to be deported with their children — then separated them again when they refused. Suicide in ICE Custody. ‘Like I am trash’: Migrant children reveal stories of detention, separation. ICE snatches 25-year Minnesota resident from his family in harrowing video. A Father and Son Were Finally Reunited. Later that Day, the Government Ripped Them Apart Again. ‘Why Did You Leave Me?’ The Migrant Children Left Behind as Parents Are Deported. They were warned. It’s happening here. Don’t doubt it for a second. The Number Of Parents Who Were Deported Without Their Children Keeps Growing. Separated Parents Were “Totally Unaware” They Had Waived Their Right To Be Reunified With Their Children. Baby took first steps, spoke first words while in US custody: report. Florida Cops Ship 24-Year-Old Mom to ICE After She Paid Traffic Ticket. This Immigrant Returned To Her Dangerous Home Country — Where She’d Been Raped — After Having A Miscarriage In A US Detention Center. A mother and her son turned up for a domestic-violence case. Then ICE arrested them. A Philadelphia immigration judge was removed from a high-profile case and replaced with a judge who would order the man in the case immediately deported, a move that smacks of judicial interference by the Trump administration, according to a letter signed by a group of retired judges this week. From Crib To Court: Trump Administration Summons Immigrant Infants. Activist judges up to their old tricks. ICE Raids in New York. Philadelphia won’t share information with ICE in big win for activists. Pizza Delivery Man Pablo Villavicencio Freed From Immigration Detention. Protests and petitions call on universities to end their contracts with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Swedish student stops deportation of Afghan man with protest streamed on Facebook.

The Trump administration is bullying trans kids, and it’s up to us to stop it. Transgender women say the US government is revoking their passports. Documenting the Trans Generation: Kids, Families and the Fight for Rights.

Q is a massively successful, deranged conspiracy/entertainment brand/game with roots in prior vile conspiracies like Pizza- and Gamergate. And many Trump supporters LOVE it. Flashback: What Is QAnon? The Craziest Theory of the Trump Era, Explained.

* I’m stuck in Guantanamo. The world has forgotten me.

* They still haven’t fixed the water in Flint.

* Scenes from the class war in New York City, NYDN edition.

MSNBC has done 455 Stormy Daniels segments in the last year — but none on U.S. war in Yemen.

Brett Kavanaugh’s Legal Opinions Show He’d Give Donald Trump Unprecedented New Powers. Brett Kavanaugh Thinks Undocumented Workers Aren’t Really Employees Under The Law.

The over-under on the Supreme Court’s liberal minority cohort all continuing to draw breath is about five years.

Imagine being a Democratic senator & actually telling yourself you are “playing the long game” by not doing everything you can to stop a lifetime Supreme Court appointment that will shift the entire American judicial system for the rest of everyone’s lives.

* Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone?

* Undaunted Democratic Centrists Ready to Fight Trump and Bernie at Same Time.

The Expressive Function of the Russia Freakout.

* Gasp! Portugal Dared to Cast Aside Austerity. It’s Having a Major Revival.

* Gasp! A New Zealand company that tried 4-day workweeks says people were more creative, more punctual, and more energetic — and they want to keep it going.

* Quiet Skies: Air Marshals are following thousands of random Americans through airports and on planes, for no articulatable purpose.

* Unidentifiable fossils: palaeontological problematica.

* The world’s first trillionaire may be an asteroid miner.

* Science fiction design after cyberpunk.

In all these cases we see a de-saturated view of the world, no longer neon on black, just a pall gray. Gone is the “Coolness” of Cyberpunk, now replaced by the “coolness” of a color palate that ranges from a flat blue to an olive drab with only slightly less than 50 shades of gray in between.

The Architecture of Evil: Dystopian Megacorps in Speculative Fiction Films.

* Sure, 1,000,000% inflation sounds bad.

* Understanding “Kokomo.”

Why ‘Sorry to Bother You’ Is 2018’s Sharpest Political Satire. “Crazy” Anticapitalism.

* The fracking of America.

In 2016, China imported two-thirds of the world’s plastic waste. So when China stopped buying the world’s discarded plastics, it threw markets into turmoil. Meanwhile: The Dirty Truth Is Your Recycling May Actually Go to Landfills.

The Hidden Environmental Cost of Amazon Prime’s Free, Fast Shipping.

The Carr Fire Is Officially One of the 10 Worst Wildfires in California History. California is burning (again). The common thread in California’s wildfires: heat like the state has never seen. If you want a vision of the future. If you want a vision of the future. If you want a vision of the future. How Did the End of the World Become Old News? It’s a big problem.

Climate change is supercharging a hot and dangerous summer. Arctic Circle wildfires rage on as blistering heat takes hold of northern Europe. Crop failure and bankruptcy threaten farmers as drought grips Europe. Scandinavia Is on Fire. In Greece, Wildfires Kill Dozens, Driving Some Into the Sea. Dozens Dead in Japan. Climate change means bigger Arctic spiders — but don’t worry, that could be a good thing.

* I suppose there’s just no one to blame.

Cows, trees, corn, and golf – how America uses its land.

* In America, land votes. More election maps! Emails show Michigan GOP bragged about cramming ‘Dem garbage’ into gerrymandered districts. Why the argument for democracy is now working for socialists rather than against them.

* The Hacking of America.

“Cooking Them to Death”: The Lethal Toll of Hot Prisons.

We’re Living a Constitutional Crisis. And despite this, there’s no way out.

* Libertarianism and white supremacy.

“I’m No Donna Reed”: Postfeminist Rhetoric in Christian At-Home Daughterhood Texts.

It’s hard realizing that you’re the bad guy, because then you have to do something about it. That’s why the most aggressive players on the gory stage of political melodrama act in such bad faith, hanging on to their own sense of persecution, mouthing the plagiarized playbook of an oppression they don’t comprehend because they don’t care to. These people have a way of fumbling through their self-set roles till the bloody final act, but if we can flip the script, we might yet stop the show.

Uber and Lyft Are Overwhelming Urban Streets, and Cities Need to Act Fast. Pave Over the Subway? Cities Face Tough Bets on Driverless Cars. Yes, the scooters are fun, but.

Mortgage, Groupon and card debt: how the bottom half bolsters U.S. economy.

EPA staff worried about toxic chemical exposure — for Pruitt.

NJ governor bought a women’s soccer team to inspire his daughter, but ran it into the ground.

There’s a New Scholarly Take on Mizzou’s Race Crisis, and Its Former Leaders Don’t Fare Well.

A case involving professors at Plymouth State U raises questions about when it’s OK to speak up for colleagues or students accused of sexual misconduct, if ever. In this case, professors defended former student who admitted to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old. The description honestly doesn’t do it justice; these letters of support are completely eye-popping under the circumstances.

* Number of patients suing USC over sex abuse claims tops 300 as faculty push for Nikias’ exit.

* Ex-Trump staffers should not get plum jobs at elite universities.

* Is Elizabeth Warren Running for President?

* How a Swiss Army Knife is made.

* The latest in the stadium scam.

What would motivate a company to give away 52,000 tablet computers for free? Can you crack this case, gumshoe?

* Bet it’s still a bit long.

A new report finds that big companies could have given their workers thousands of dollars’ worth of raises with the money they spent on their own shares. Are Stock Buybacks Starving the Economy?

* Let the computers be the doctors, they said.

* You don’t know me, computer!

* They’re real good at memes though.

* The anarchist roots of writing.

* Today in Sheriff Clarke news.

* Truly the Devil can quote Scripture for his purposes.

She Gave Millions to Artists Without Credit. Until Now.

* The Bayeux Tapestry with knobs on: what do the tapestry’s 93 penises tell us?

Game Studio With No Bosses Pays Everyone The Same.

* WorldCon is crisis (again).

* Twilight of James Gunn.

Conservative Think Tank Says Medicare For All Would Save $2 Trillion.

* Angelo Secchi, the Jesuit father of astrophysics.

* Wariness and wonder at a conference devoted to “Ancient Aliens.”

Conversation is impossible if one side refuses to acknowledge the basic premise that facts are facts. This is why engaging deniers in such an effort means having already lost. And it is why AskHistorians, where I am one of the volunteer moderators, takes a strict stance on Holocaust denial: We ban it immediately.

Locke & Key Has Been Ordered To Series. Flight of the Conchords is coming back. Disney’s Next Heroine Will Be an African Princess. Carrie Fisher Will Appear in Star Wars: Episode IX Via Unused Footage.  Shazam looks 90s-cable-level bad, though maybe I’ve just been persuaded that the character is irredeemable. In the First Trailer for Star Trek: Discovery Season 2, the U.S.S. Enterprise Boldly Arrives. And they’re making a Parable of the Sower graphic adaptation.

Inside J.R.R. Tolkien’s Notebooks, a Glimpse of the Master Philologist at Work.

* Uneven, but finding its voice: @moviegoofs.

* A People’s History of the Greatest Music Video of All Time, Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough.

The Grim Conclusions of the Largest-Ever Study of Fake News.

* A reporter went undercover as a Facebook moderator and was trained not to delete certain racist memes and images of child abuse.

* When factchecking backfires.

* History in an Age of Fake News.

* When a stranger decides to destroy your life.

* Orwell knew.

We must not just ask what a contemporary slave rebellion would look like—we must be on its side.

* A biological intelligence, a machine intelligence, and a god intelligence walk into a bar. Ethics and the self-driving car. Heaven. Can I interest you in a happy ending? From hell’s heart I stab at thee.

* And you may ask yourself.

We’ll probably never know what really makes people happy.

Every Circle In This Image Is The Same Color And It’s Breaking Our Brains.

* Mr. Rogers was my actual neighbor. He was everything he was on TV and more.

* Behold, the thagomizer.

Dungeons & Dragons is having its best year ever, Hasbro CEO says.

* Great thread about New York City’s grid layout, with a great punchline.

Did… did a cat write this?

* The new astrology.

* And the guy who slated classic Star Trek takes was unfazed by the whole thing. It’s a living…

Written by gerrycanavan

August 1, 2018 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Monday Morning Links! All of Them! ALL OF THEM

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* Of course you had me at Zelda propaganda posters.

* Special issue of Deletion: Punking Science Fiction.

* Editorial: We Should Create a Honors College to Propagandize on Behalf of the People Who Already Control Everything.

* Victory in Ireland.


* A surprisingly large number of Obama-era ICE and HHS horrors got rediscovered as if they were new to Trump this weekend. This is a case where Trump’s horror truly is as much continuity as break.

* Even despite that continuity, though, we seem to be moving to a new energy state: Taking Children from Their Parents Is A Form of State Terror.

* Fighting spectacle with snores, or why Trump could easily win a second term.

* Is America heading for a new kind of civil war?

* Fascism is back; blame the Internet.

* Genocide in Yemen.

* I was Jordan Peterson’s strongest supporter. Now I think he’s dangerous.

* After a white supremacist killed a protester in Charlottesville in 2017, Facebook pushed to re-educate its moderators about hate speech groups in the US, and spell out the distinction from nationalism and separatism, documents obtained by Motherboard show.

* Wisconsin Prisons Incarcerate Most Black Men In U.S. Milwaukee PD Misconduct Has Cost the City $22 Million Since 2015.

* When a Nashville man named Matthew Charles was released from prison early in 2016 after a sentence reduction, he’d spent almost half his life behind bars. But in a rare move, a federal court ruled his term was reduced in error and ordered him back behind bars to finish his sentence.

* Man, 79, sentenced to 90 days of house arrest in 5-year-old girl’s rape.

* She Went to Interview Morgan Freeman. Her Story Became Much Bigger.

* This has created a problem that has not been seen before: voluntary, intentional, migrating, mobile, functional, litter. The bikes and scooters are disruptive to the locations where they are abandoned and, because they are constantly moving, the issues of abandonment and refuse are constantly cycling (sorry) throughout an urban region. Yesterday’s bike or scooter blight might be around today, or it might move for a few days and then return. In short, the bikes and scooters share a civic pattern similar to that of homelessness. Thus, in an unexpected way, the dockless bikes and scooters are also competing with the homeless for pieces of urban space upon which to temporarily rest.

* Mike Meru, a 37-year-old orthodontist, made a big investment in his education. As of Thursday, he owed $1,060,945.42 in student loans.

* Executives of big U.S. companies suggest that the days of most people getting a pay raise are over, and that they also plan to reduce their work forces further. Also, rich people are going to be needing your blood so they can stay young forever, just FYI.

* Be more like Chipotle, Jerry Brown tells California universities.

* Report Says Rising CO2 Levels Are Ruining Rice. Allergy Explosion Linked to Climate Change.

* For Women of Color, the Child-Welfare System Functions Like the Criminal-Justice System.

Now that’s what I call ideological state apparatus™.

* A new front in the drug war.

* HUGE IF TRUE: Hollywood isn’t on the side of the resistance.

* Teen Vogue and woke capital.

* Antonin Scalia was wrong about the meaning of ‘bear arms.’ I think a better description here is “not even wrong”; originalism is a rhetorical style, not a claim of fact.

* Sexpat Journalists Are Ruining Asia Coverage.

* A People’s History of Superstar Limo, Disney’s “worst attraction ever.”

* Solo crashes and burns, even underperforming Justice League. I haven’t seen it yet, but it certainly sounds like it had it coming. Relatedly: The Ringer takes a deep dive into the now-decanonized Han Solo prequels from the EU.

* Wakanda fans might be interested in the very odd turn the comics have taken. Relatedly: ‘Black Panther’ meets history, and things get complicated.

* Janelle Monáe for President.

* Conducting a posthumous interview with science-fiction author Octavia E. Butler. Your People Will Find You: A Podcast with the Octavia E. Butler Legacy Network. And Ayana Jamieson’s authorized biography of Butler has a Patreon.

* This LARB review of Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland’s The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. made me very interested in reading it.

* Built in 718 AD, Hōshi is the second oldest ryokan (hotel or inn) in the world and, with 46 consecutive generations of the same family running it, is hands down the longest running known family business in history.

* Wendy Brown at UC: What Kind of World Do You Want to Live In?

* Interesting Twitter thread on emergency and the suspension of the law.

* Half the budget, half the fun: A Star Trek World May Be Coming to Universal Studios.

* Power vs. responsibleness. Politics y’all. Existence is objectively good.

* This is an urgent reminder: Mindflayers are not sympathetic.

* As Kip Manley said, this is the flag of the Anthropocene.

* And I want to believe! US aircraft carrier was stalked for days by a UFO travelling at ‘ballistic missile speed’ which could hover above the sea for six days, leaked Pentagon report reveals.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 28, 2018 at 8:15 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Last Weekend Before Classes Links!

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* CFP: Granfalloon: A Kurt Vonnegut Gathering. MLA 2019 CFP: Stephen King at 45. Call for applications: The S. T. Joshi Endowed Research Fellowship.

* A special issue of Palimpsest on The Life and Work of Octavia E. Butler.

* Staging Octavia Butler in Abu Dhabi. Parable of the Butler as an opera.

Syllabus: Good Grief: Humor and Tragedy in Twentieth-Century U.S. Literature.

There has not in living memory been a better time to be a fascist. We live in a utopia: it just isn’t ours.

American kids are 70 percent more likely to die before adulthood than kids in other rich countries.

* Very nice long read in the Guardian on what depression is and isn’t.

Millions Are Hounded for Debt They Don’t Owe. One Victim Fought Back, With a Vengeance.

* Black Mirror did this one already: Future biotechnology could be used to trick a prisoner’s mind into thinking they have served a 1,000 year sentence, a group of scientists have claimed.

* The 90s, World War II, and the War on Terror. Great little bit of cultural analysis in comic form, derived from a Chris Hayes essay from 2006.

* Tiny books of the resistance.

* Can the humanities be defended? Well, it depends.

The best way to remember 2017 will surely be through the stories it told about what might come after.

The Fierce Urgency of “How.”

Trump’s offshore drilling plan defies ‘wishes of every coastal state, city and county.’ Insurance after climate change. Welcome to West Port Arthur, Texas, Ground Zero in the Fight for Climate Justice. Climate change and the global south. A Radical New Scheme to Prevent Catastrophic Sea-Level Rise.

UBI already exists for the 1%. A Simple Fix for Our Massive Inequality Problem.

5 things to know about Puerto Rico 100 days after Hurricane Maria.

But the most notable difference in the table is political: no public institution with a Democratic governor chose Vance; only one public institution with a Republican governor chose Coates (the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga). Hillbilly Elegy is the kind of book you want parents and politicians to know students are reading to persuade white, Midwestern Republicans to feel good about releasing funds to support higher education. If you are running a flagship state university campus like the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and your Republican governor and legislature have come after funding and tenure, you are more than happy to choose Vance’s book.

* The woman behind the “Shitty Men in Media” list. How I Learned to Look Believable. Why Dan Harmon’s sexual-misconduct confession is actually worth listening to.

* “Every single neighbor I’ve had has died of cancer.” This Town Is So Toxic, They Want It Wiped off the Map.

* This is not to garner pity for sad trannies like me. We have enough roses by our beds. It is rather to say, minimally, that trans women want things too. The deposits of our desire run as deep and fine as any. The richness of our want is staggering. Perhaps this is why coming out can feel like crushing, why a first dress can feel like a first kiss, why dysphoria can feel like heartbreak. The other name for disappointment, after all, is love. On Liking Women.

Justice Department Announces Court Order Revoking Naturalized Citizenship, Citing Fingerprint Issue. Washington state AG sues Motel 6 over giving ICE info on 9,000 guests. 200,000 Salvadorans may be forced to leave the U.S. as Trump ends immigration protection. Trump may deport thousands of Indian H-1B visa holders as they wait for green cards. To fulfill Trump’s vision on immigration, sheriffs are trampling over constitutional principles. The head of ICE is calling for mayors and local city councilmen to be arrested. Private Prison Continues to Send ICE Detainees to Solitary Confinement for Refusing Voluntary Labor. ICE to move forward with deportation of paraplegic boy’s caregiver. When Deportation Is a Death Sentence. Trump Puts the Purpose of His Presidency Into Words. And of course.

* The university after Trump.

This is how nuclear war with North Korea would unfold.

If the President Is Uniquely Dangerous, Treat Him That Way.

* Child protective services and artificial intelligence.

* The Dogecoin century.

* The end of computer security. An amazing coincidence.

* How students pay for graduate school.

* Bringing back indentured servitude. Let’s let kids mortgage their social security while they’re at it.

We Finally Know Why People Are Left- Or Right-Handed.

The case for (and against) the tiger living on LSU’s campus.

College football has the money to pay players. The College Football Playoff proves it.

* North Carolina gerrymander ruled illegal, again.

* Living with Slenderman.

You Won’t Live to See the Final Blade Runner Movie.

* #MeToo, Inc.

Uh Oh—CRISPR Might Not Work in Most People.

* The law, in its majestic equality.

* Roads to nowhere.

* Police departments nationwide agree: guns officially have more rights than people.

* Solo, oh no. Star Wars fatigue is real. Why So Many Men Hate The Last Jedi But Can’t Agree on Why. The Last Jedi and fandom. The best anti-Last-Jedi piece I’ve seen. Poe Dameron apologetics.

* Teaching the controversy the Duke way.

* Marxism and Nintendo? I love my Switch, so anything that keeps me from not feeling too bad about owning it… Nintendo’s Resurgence Was the Best Tech Story of 2017. More at MetaFilter.

* Airline travel has become so safe even I’m barely afraid of it anymore.

Southwest Flips on Big Three Airlines in Cartel Case.

* Boomeranging the boomerang effect.

* Web comic of the month: “Three Jumps.”

* The Handmaid’s Tale after Margaret Atwood.

* Fox (TV) after Disney.

* Flight of the Conchords forever.

* The coping economy.

* Stop speculating about Trump’s mental health.

* Segregation today.

* The end of the Mickey Mouse Copyright Era? We’ll see.

* Hamilton in London. Hamilton in Milwaukee. Next up: Saga, the Musical?

As for the bots themselves, #R2DoubleD and #TripleCPU are indeed a very cool sight to behold but (in my opinion) don’t come close to anything ever approaching “arousing.”

* Carrie Fisher’s private philosophy coach.

* google Uno truth

* Updated rules for Settlers of Catan.

* Choose Your Own Adventure, in graph form. Interactive map of every Quantum Leap time jump.

* What happens to the mind under anesthesia?

* Know your airport codes.

* The rise of the machines.

* In fact, it’s cold as hell.

* And you’ve already seen it, but just for the record. Almost been one year. Trump Has Created Dangers We Haven’t Even Imagined Yet. There’s no way out.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 13, 2018 at 10:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Happy Day after My Birthday to Me Links

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* I’ve had a few pieces come out in the last couple weeks, including a short rumination on memory in the Anthropocene (and Richard McGuire’s Here) for the online journal Deletion. I’m also batting cleanup in a beautiful new volume called Science Fiction: A Literary History, with a piece on “New Paradigms, After 2001.”

The Syllabus: A tribute to the late, great Jim Clark. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen anyone singlehandedly hold a thing together the way Jim held together the UNCG MFA Program.

* The C21 conference for 2018 has a theme: Ends of Cinema. There’s also a promising looking conference happening at McMaster University on Embodiment in Science Fiction and Fantasy. CfP: Fandom—Past, Present, Future, DePaul University, Chicago, IL. And a cool postdoc at Madison: Postdoctoral Fellowship on the Plantationocene.

* I loved this episode of The Lit Review podcast on Octavia Butler’s Earthseed books, with Adrienne Maree Brown. Highly recommend!

Angry Optimism in a Drowned World: A Conversation with Kim Stanley Robinson.

The Anthropocene is that moment in which capitalist expansion can no longer expand, and you get a crush of the biophysical system – that’s climate change – and then you get a crush of the political economy.

31 Essential Science Fiction Terms And Where They Came From.

A Timeline for Humanity’s Colonization of Space.

* If China Makes First Contact.

* Science Fiction and the Arab Spring.

8 Sci-Fi Writers on Where Star Trek Should Go Next.

* The Uncanny Resurrection of Dungeons and Dragons.

* Critical Perspectives on Waluigi.

* Welcome to the future, time traveler!

The House Just Voted to Bankrupt Graduate Students. The GOP Tax Plan Will Destroy Graduate Education. Grad Students Are Freaking Out About the GOP Tax Plan. They Should Be. I would expect a massive wave of college closures in 2018 and 2019 if this goes through.

* I’m very excited to read Malcolm Harris’s book on millennials, which is getting rave reviews. Here’s an excerpt from the New York Times.

Unions aren’t just good for wage workers. Students can use collective bargaining, too. The idea of organizing student labor when even auto factory workers are having trouble holding onto their unions may sound outlandish, but young people have been at the forefront of conflicts over police brutality, immigrant rights and sexual violence. In terms of politics, they are as tightly clustered as just about any demographic in America. They are an important social force in this country, one we need right now.

It’s in students’ shared interest to seek later start times for the school day to combat the epidemic of insufficient sleep among high schoolers. It’s in their shared interest to improve their mental health by reducing competition. They could start by demanding an end to class rank or a cap on the number of Advanced Placement courses each student can take per year. It’s in their shared interest to make life easier and lower the stakes of childhood in general. Only young people, united, can improve their working conditions and end the academic arms race.

The excerpt from Harper’s was really good, too!

By looking at children as investments, it’s possible to see where the product of children’s labor is stored: in their human capital. It’s a kid’s job to stay eligible for the labor market (and not in jail, insane, or dead). Any work beyond that adds to their résumé. If more human capital automatically led to a higher standard of living, this model could be the foundation for an American meritocracy. But millennials’ extra work hasn’t earned them the promised higher standard of living. By every metric, this generation is the most educated in American history, yet its members are worse off economically than their parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents. Every authority from moms to presidents told millennials to accumulate as much human capital as they could; they did, but the market hasn’t held up its end of the bargain. What gives?

* The Uncounted.

* Documenting bias against married women in junior faculty searches. What It Looks Like When a University Tries to Revoke a Professor’s Tenure. The University and Debt: Thinking About Neocolonialism in the United States. The Great College Loan Swindle. The Finger-Pointing at the Finance Firm TIAA. Public Higher Ed Skews Wealthy. University History Departments Have a Race Problem. Public engagement is a two-way street.

What Flannery O’Connor’s College Journal Reveals.

It’s Official: ‘Lord of the Rings’ TV Series Gets Multiple-Season Commitment at Amazon. With Christopher Tolkien stepping down as executor of the estate I really think they should have waited to try to get the rights to The Silmarillion (which would work much better on television than in cinema). Trying to do the Jackson trilogy on a shoestring is just not going to hold up. Elsewhere in Tolkien news: an earnest effort to see him named a saint in the Catholic Church.

* Honestly Amazon just should have done Prydain.

* I’ve been saying it since the 1990s: Bill Clinton should have resigned. And Al Franken, who I thought better of, should now.

* My dream of one day being a federal judge remains alive.

Almost all the US jobs created since 2005 are temporary. Americans Are Retiring Later, Dying Sooner and Sicker In-Between. World’s witnessing a new Gilded Age as billionaires’ wealth swells to $6tn. Weaponizing the tax code. The coming retail apocalypse.

* This is one of the sickest deportation stories yet.

* Two murder convictions for the same shot.

Sexual Harassment Will Change Your Career Forever. Someone is editing all the bullshit out of celebrity sexual assault apologies. The Myth of the Male Bumbler. Let this flood of women’s stories never cease.

* Why Are There No Great Female Werewolves?

* In a time without heroes…

Portrait Of An American Mass Shooting.

* Malice for malice’s sake.

Scientist recalls training Laika for space.

* Mapping Quantum Leap.

Oh No, I Got Sucked Into the X-Wing Tabletop Game.

* The nightmare that is children’s YouTube culture.

* In a historic move I’m limiting myself to just one “we’re all going to die” link: Democrats Are Shockingly Unprepared to Fight Climate Change.

* Remembering that it is in fact possible to solve difficult environmental problems with deliberate intervention and international cooperation.

The truth about Easter Island: a sustainable society has been falsely blamed for its own demise.

* Japan, are you okay? I was worried and wanted to reach out.

* And I’ve been on the record saying this for years! Universe shouldn’t exist, CERN physicists conclude.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 17, 2017 at 1:47 pm

Fall 2017 Syllabi! Tolkien! Utopia! Hamilton!

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I’ve put the syllabi for my fall classes up at my professional site:

HOPR 1953: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton

ENGLISH 4610: J.R.R. Tolkien

ENGLISH 6700: Utopia in America

The Hamilton class is new, a one-credit pass/fail seminar for the honors program. The Tolkien class and the Utopia class are both revised a lit from the last times around; for the grad class, I’ve swapped in two Kurt Vonnegut and two Octavia Butler books for Utopia, Sula, and Man in the High Castle, in part due to known student interest and in part because I have some ideas about sequelization and utopia that I want to start exploring. For the Tolkien class the changes were much more minor; by moving a few things around and not going on as many trips this semester I was able to squeeze out about an extra week, which I devoted to more time to discussing the ending(s) of Return of the King and more time on The Silmarillion (the second change strongly desired by some of the students last time!). I also changed some of the language I used around the final assignment, including adding a creative option, and added a bit more architecture to the syllabus regarding suspense and spoilers. I thought the class worked great last time around but this will give me a chance to structure the initial discussions in the class a little more inclusively than I did last time (I hope).

Really looking forward to the next couple months…

Weekend Links! Tabs Bankruptcy! All Links Must Go!

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* Podcast: What is Irish Science Fiction? I’d also recommend a few new podcasts, Off Book (weekly improvised musical) and What Trump Can Teach Us about Con Law.

Octavia Butler’s Prescient Vision of a Zealot Elected to “Make America Great Again.”

Researchers Just Launched a Prototype of Humanity’s First ‘Interstellar Spacecraft.’

‘Make It So’: Star Trek and Its Debt to Revolutionary Socialism.

* Star Trek: Discovery is the first Trek TV series in over 15 years. Here’s everything we know.

Republicans don’t trust higher ed. That’s a problem for liberal academics.

* Three years after Steven Salaita lost a promised tenured position in American Indian studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign over the tone of his anti-Israel tweets, he’s leaving academe.

How a New Field Could Help Save the Humanities.

Why the Myth of Meritocracy Hurts Kids of Color.

* They’re still fighting at Hypatia.

* “If There’s an Organized Outrage Machine, We Need an Organized Response.” Recovering academic freedom in an age of social media mobbing.

* Any parent could have told you this: Ravens plan better than four-year-olds.

How to raise an optimistic human in a pessimistic world.

Among the dead was a so-called Dreamer, a migrant who had been brought to the United States as a young child. Frank Guisseppe Fuentes, 20, spent much of his life in the U.S. and had crossed the border in an attempt to reunite with family members living in Maryland after he was deported to Guatemala City, Jose Barillas, the Guatemalan consul general in Houston, told Univision. The Mothers Being Deported by Trump. Slain girl’s father, sister denied visas, miss her funeral. A Veteran Agent Speaks Out.

New Jersey raised its smoking age to 21. The change will likely save lives. Honestly, just ban them outright, and soda too.

Wisconsin is paying as much as $1 million per job, which will carry an average salary of $54,000. I’ve thought about it, and I think I’d rather have the iPhone.

The Company Behind Many Surprise Emergency Room Bills.

* Don’t let your employer microchip you! Ever!

A 21st-century form of indentured servitude has already penetrated deep into the American heartland.

Woman turns home into museum after getting sick of black women being ignored by the art world.

* When there was a Lyme disease vaccine.

Snopes Faces an Ugly Legal Battle.

North Dakota’s Norway Experiment.

Reverse Robin Hood: The Historical Scam of Global Development.

* Dungeons and Dragons in America’s dungeons. Dungeons and Dragons and the Left.

* Who invented the high five?

* Hemingway just got beat by four words.

Why there’s no such thing as a gifted child.

* The Bleak Left.

A new Uber-esque school model turns teachers like me into on-demand contractors for the children of the 1 percent.

The Sinclair Revolution Will Be Televised. It’ll Just Have Low Production Values.

* 110/111.

* The next Matt Groening series isn’t just a Futurama-but-fantasy but a joke Futurama already did. But fine I’ll give it a chance.

* A definitive mapping of the decline of The Simpsons. It’s just math, folks.

The attack on Poland’s judicial independence goes deeper than you may think. Here are 5 things to know. Dodged that bullet. Coming soon to a collapsing empire near you!

* On 500 episodes of Comedy Bang Bang.

* When Pokémon Go defeated Milwaukee County.

* Et tu, Roomba? I trusted you.

The World May Have Less Time to Address Climate Change Than Scientists Thought.

* And yet there’s more dicks around than ever before.

* The knife’s edge between utopia and apocalypse: First Human Embryos Edited in U.S.

* #NotAllTVIsDarkAndFullOfTerrors.

* And July 30 can’t come fast enough.


And because Trump is a nightmare from which none of us will ever awake:

We’re Approaching a Major Turning Point in Trump-Era Pop Culture.

* The Scariest Nuclear Threat Is Coming From Inside the White House.

After Pyle’s list of questions wound up on Bloomberg News, the Trump administration disavowed them, but a signal had been sent: We don’t want you to help us understand; we want to find out who you are and punish you. Pyle vanished from the scene. According to a former Obama official, he was replaced by a handful of young ideologues who called themselves “the Beachhead Team.” “They mainly ran around the building insulting people,” says a former Obama official. “There was a mentality that everything that government does is stupid and bad and the people are stupid and bad,” says another. They allegedly demanded to know the names and salaries of the 20 highest-paid people in the national-science labs overseen by the D.O.E. They’d eventually, according to former D.O.E. staffers, delete the contact list with the e-mail addresses of all D.O.E.-funded scientists—apparently to make it more difficult for them to communicate with one another. “These people were insane,” says the former D.O.E. staffer. “They weren’t prepared. They didn’t know what they were doing.”

* The End of State.

* Turtles all the way down: Scott Pruitt wants to hijack the peer-review process to push bad climate science.

* Trump announces an unvetted transgender ban without telling either the White House press office or the Pentagon.

At the Pentagon, the first of the three tweets raised fears that the president was getting ready to announce strikes on North Korea or some other military action. Many said they were left in suspense for nine minutes, the time between the first and second tweet. Only after the second tweet did military officials receive the news the president was announcing a personnel change on Twitter.

Were we ever so young?

* This guy is running communications now! Come on! COME ON!

A Constitutional Crisis Is Inevitable. It’s not too early, or too nutty, to discuss grounds for impeachment. This presidency can’t be saved. A Trump Tower of Absolute Folly. Hot mic. 1 in 4. On the Brink of a Constitutional Crisis, the Nation Goes Numb.

* Psychiatry group tells members they can ignore ‘Goldwater rule’ and comment on Trump’s mental health.

Trump Finds Reason for the U.S. to Remain in Afghanistan: Minerals. Sixteen years. We’ve long lost even the pretense that there is a rational reason for this.

64 years after Korean War, North still digging up bombs.

William Regnery II, a man who inherited millions but struggled in business, tried for 15 years to ignite a racist political movement — and failed. Then an unforeseen phenomenon named Donald Trump gave legitimacy to what Regnery had seeded long before: the alt-right. Now, the press-shy white separatist breaks his silence.

How Breitbart Media’s Disinformation Created the Paranoid, Fact-Averse Nation That Elected Trump.

This is the tradition Ryan Alford sets himself against in Permanent State of Emergency: Unchecked Executive Power and the Demise of the Rule of Law. It is from a position of deliberate disinterest in institutional personality, particularly presidential personality, that Alford builds his account of the lawlessness of US counterterrorism efforts since the 9/11 attacks and charts our country’s official passage across the “threshold between an imperial presidency and an elective dictatorship.”

* Is this fascism?

What if Trump Ordered a Nuclear Strike on China? I’d Comply, Says Admiral. Not great, Bob!

* When you’ve lost the Boy Scouts.

Who Is Killing American Women? Their Husbands And Boyfriends, CDC Confirms.

Trump administration is sitting on tens of thousands of student debt forgiveness claims.

Our Long, Troubling History of Sterilizing the Incarcerated.

* RIP CBO.

* There’s nothing he can’t ruin.

How to put Trump on Mount Rushmore, something he’s never even thought about.

* #Actually Stubbs’s tenure as mayor was deeply problematic.

* John McCain Just Proved He Is the Senate’s Biggest Fraud (Again). Your enemies are human too.

The fact that John McCain would get up off his deathbed to participate in this cruel farce does not make him a hero, it makes him a bad person. He had a perfectly valid excuse to skip the vote. Indeed, he had a perfectly valid excuse to resign his senate seat altogether and wash his hands of this mess. Those would both be understandable human actions. What he chose to do instead was completely gratuitous and cruel, which is comprehensible only as an attempt to bask in the media’s adoration one last time. That motivation is human, and that’s what makes it morally blameworthy. If he were a mystical creature who fed on the praise of journalists, then we could write it off as a survival instinct. Since he is a human being with human moral agency, we are entitled to our equally human moral judgment. And in my judgment, which is my right as a human being, John McCain is an evil man and anyone who is trying to use his unfortunate medical condition to distract from that fact is a fool at best and a fellow villain at worst.

* Chaos. Chaos. Chaos. Chaos. Chaos. Chaos. Chaos.

* Understanding skinny repeal.

* Don’t forget: they win because the system is rigged in their favor. Not that they don’t get a lot of help.

* And yet! Sometimes they don’t. Good for Collins, Murkowski, McCain, and literally every Democrat in Congress, and remember that Trumpcare isn’t truly dead (no matter how many bullets you put in it) until Democrats get a veto point back…

I’ve Closed Every Tab I Had Open and I’m Not Sorry Links

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* There are no links now. There is only the Orb.

* Twilight of the NEH.

* Chelsea Manning is free.

* CFP: Suvin Today?, A Roundtable Discussion, The Society for Utopian Studies (November 9-12, 2017 in Memphis, TN).

* CFP: In Frankenstein’s Wake.

Queer Artist Transforms Octavia Butler’s ‘Parable of the Sower’ Into Opera.

* Great literature, by the numbers. The Bachelor/ette, by the numbers.

But if you read Spencer’s three-pronged narrative as Sam Wilson’s story, it looks very different. It becomes the story of an impeccably qualified black hero whose time in the spotlight is abruptly cut off by the return of an old white man who once had his position and of a public so thirsty for the moral certainty of the Greatest Generation that it can’t see the nightmarish perversion of it that’s right in front of them until it’s too late.

* Utopia in 2017.

* LARB on the unionization struggle at Yale. A Case for Reparations at the University of Chicago. Crisis at Mizzou. Two sets of universities, two countries, two futures.

The engine of irrationality inside the rationalists. Why the “Conceptual Penis” Hoax is Just a Big Cock Up. Some Work Is Hard.

* The Ethos of the Overinvolved Parent: Colleges are adjusting to increasing contact with adults who are more ingrained in their children’s lives than ever.

* A brief history of Esperanto.

Science fiction’s new golden age in China.

* Science fiction doesn’t predict the future, it influences it.

The Secret History of William Gibson’s Never-Filmed Aliens Sequel.

Feds use anti-terror tool to hunt the undocumented. Arrests of Undocumented Immigrants Without Criminal Records Spikes 150%.

The camp is the end of the liberal order, the end of the post–World War II world, the end of human rights.

* Felony charges against inauguration protesters represent ‘historic crossroads.’ The airport lawyers who fought Trump’s Muslim ban are facing a Justice Dept. crackdown.

* Horror in Manchester. Terror in Kansas.

I thought I understood racism and mass incarceration. But nothing prepared me for what I saw in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

* The Death of the Suburban Office Park and the Rise of the Suburban Poor.

Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Centre.

Sheriff Clarke leaving Milwaukee County for position with Department of Homeland Security. Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr.’s departure will be good for department and Milwaukee County. Plainly, indisputably unfit. But not so fast!

* Downward spiral: Special Prosecutor? Independent Counsel? Special Counsel? What’s the Difference? Meet Bob Mueller. A forgotten lesson of Watergate: conservatives may rally around Trump. Did Trump Commit a Crime in Sharing Intelligence With Moscow? Trump Gave Russians Secrets News Orgs Are Being Asked To Withhold. Trump’s disclosure endangered spy placed inside ISIS by Israel, officials say. Trump aides were in constant touch with senior Russian officials during campaign. Notes made by FBI Director Comey say Trump pressured him to end Flynn probe. Trump straight-up told the Russians he fired Comey to obstruct justice and it just. doesn’t. matter. ‘He Looks More and More Like a Complete Moron.’ Even while I was just trying to put this post together more bombshells dropped: Michael T. Flynn told President Trump’s transition team weeks before the inauguration that he was under federal investigation for secretly working as a paid lobbyist for Turkey during the campaign, according to two people familiar with the case. And this one! Flynn stopped military plan Turkey opposed – after being paid as its agent. And this one! It sure seems like Michael Flynn lied to federal investigators about his Russia ties.  Shot. Chaser. Donald Trump has committed the exact offense that forced Richard Nixon to resign. Have Trump’s Problems Hit a Breaking Point? Articles of Impeachment for Donald J. Trump. “Don’t See How Trump Isn’t Completely F*cked.” Presidential impeachments are about politics, not law. This is the exact situation impeachment was meant for. Let’s hurry up. Nate Silver runs the numbers. When Will Republicans Dump Trump? Oh honey. But why not him?

* Meanwhile, on Fox News.

* Understanding the self-pardon.

* This seems fine. This seems fine. This seems fine. This seems fine. This seems fine. This seems fine. This one really does seem fine. This seems fine. This is definitely not fine.

* You think?

* Here at the end of all norms.

Trump Team Stands by Budget’s $2 Trillion Math Error.

Any Half-Decent Hacker Could Break Into Mar-a-Lago.

* Can the Anti-Trump Resistance Take the Philadelphia DA Office?

* SNL and the profiteers. Trump and the Hall of Presidents.

* MSNBC replaying its Bush-era history note for note.

* I think maybe I want to trade with the Netherlands.

* At least we can still laugh.

* Star Trek: Discovery is definitely bad. This single photo proves it! Honestly, though, I thought that aside from the strong leads the new trailer looks cheap and bad, with terrible-looking secondary characters and a narrative I have very little interest in. I was very glad when The Incomparable explained to me that none of this had anything to do with the actual plot of the show.

If The Last Jedi Really Has the Biggest Reveal in Star Wars History, What Could It Be? I’m hoping the poster is wrong, rather than (the only possibility) they’re making Luke bad.

* On Twin Peaks.

* The Secret History of Dragonlance.

Jordan Peele’s Next Project Is a Terrifying Lovecraftian Story About Race in 1950s America.

* Today in making fascism fun: 1Password’s new Travel Mode.

Arctic stronghold of world’s seeds flooded after permafrost melts. The end of the penguins. Miles of ice collapsing into the sea. Scientists say the pace of sea level rise has nearly tripled since 1990. The Greening of Antarctica.

* Millennials and their damned avocados.

Don’t Like Betsy DeVos? Blame the Democrats.

It wasn’t just petty infighting that tanked Hillary Clinton’s campaign. It was the lack of any coherent program for the country. But don’t worry! There’s a plan.

* Laura Kipniss is apparently being sued for Unwanted Advances. The book seemed to be absolutely begging for a lawsuit; if the publisher wasn’t absolutely scrupulous it was extremely negligent.

A Very High Degree of Certainty in Future Military Operations: H.R. McMaster and the tragedy of American empire.

* Being Timothy Zahn.

* Maybe let’s not gene-sequence human intelligence.

* Can capitalism survive the rise of the machines?

* Statement of Teaching Philosophy. And on the pedestal these words appear. The circle of life. One fear. So you want to write a book. Why work so hard.

* Listen to what science teaches us, people!

* And the circus is (finally) closed.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 24, 2017 at 1:51 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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