Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Parable of the Trickster

After a Quiet Month in Which Absolutely Nothing Happened: The Return of Saturday Morning Links!

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* In case you missed it: Grad School Vonnegut #5! Harrison Bergeron! It’s also bad! Next week is Bluebeard, and then Sirens of Titan, so we’re back to Good Vonnegut for a bit…

* And once you’re done with that, listen to Octavia’s Parables!

* I also had a review essay in the latest American Literature on some of the new work being done in comics studies: “Comics Grow Up.”

* Someone made a YouTube explainer essay of my Snowpiercer necrocapitalism essay, weirdly sponsored by a luxury watch change…

* It’s been a bit since I’ve recommended anything, so let me give two very quick game recommendations for those with ears to hear: Ori and the Blind Forest is a terrific Metroidvania game for the Nintendo Switch (among other platforms), and Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion is a terrific DM-less D&D engine for your meatspace tabletop. More recommendations will emerge as circumstances warrant.

* Proposals invited! 2021 Peter Lang Young Scholars Competition in Science Fiction Studies.

* CFP: Decolonising Science Fiction. CFP: Taco Bell Quarterly. CFP: The Labour of COVID section of Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labour.

* In light of the mass protests across the United States and around the world, the executive committee of the Science Fiction Research Association asserts unequivocally that Black Lives Matter. IAFA Statement on BLM.

* The kids are all right: Pentagon War Game Includes Scenario for Military Response to Domestic Gen Z Rebellion.

An Open Letter to Marquette University. Your Black Colleagues May Look Like They’re Okay — Chances Are They’re Not.

* Aware that the gatekeepers will never agree, this admirer of George Saunders, Michael Chabon, Colson Whitehead, Jonathan Lethem, Junot Diaz, Elif Batuman, and Jonathan Franzen who’s been less impressed by, for instance, Denis Johnson, Lorrie Moore, and Jennifer Egan has come to regard Kim Stanley Robinson as the greatest living American novelist.

* Ten Minutes with Kim Stanley Robinson. Is This A Unique Time for Science? We Ask Sci-fi Writer Kim Stanley Robinson. The Climate Case for a Jobs Guarantee. Imagining American Utopia.

* Penguin Classics Launches Science Fiction Series. Zones of Possibility: Science Fiction and the Coronavirus. This American Life on Afrofuturism. We Are Living in the Retrofuture. Announcing the 2019 Nebula Awards Winners.

* Academic Publishing: An Odyssey.

* Read it and weep, my friend.

Minneapolis Had This Coming. The Minneapolis Uprising in Context. America is a tinderbox. When Police View Citizens as Enemies. The Thick Blue Line. Tribute to Breonna Taylor. Scenes from the struggle in Philadelphia. If you’re not getting any fouls, you’re not working hard enough. Confessions of a Former Bastard Cop. Just weeks after the shooting, Weirton and the Police Department did something almost unheard-of in America’s long and troubled history of police shootings: They quickly fired one of the officers for his actions in the fatal encounter. From the archives: On Social Sadism. Then: A Bullet to the Eye Is the Price of Protesting in Chile. Now: A Bullet to the Eye Is the Price of Being a Journalist in America. The American Nightmare. Getting killed by police is a leading cause of death for young black men in America. US police fail to meet basic human rights standards. The Deep Amnesia of Our National Conscience. The Black Lives Matter movement could be the vaccine the country needs. The End of White Supremacy, An American Romance. Neoliberal Capitalism Depends on White Supremacy. This is fascism. The liberal attachment to previous movements as peaceful, nonviolent, and respectable obscures the historical efficacy of riots, blockades, and looting as legitimate forms of revolt. Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police. Abolish these police departments. Imagining the nonviolent state. The Supreme Court Broke Police Accountability. Now It Has the Chance to Fix It. Why Was a Grim Report on Police-Involved Deaths Never Released? Policing and the English Language. The Pandemic Is the Right Time to Defund the Police. The president of the Minneapolis City Council says the city’s Police Dept. will be dismantled and replaced with a “transformative new model of public safety.”

 

Cop Shows Are Undergoing a Reckoning—With One Big Exception. Amid George Floyd protests, is it time for cop TV shows to be canceled for good? Video Games Have To Reckon With How They Depict The Police.

Black Bereavement, White Condolences. How Moderate Teachers Perpetuate Educational Oppression. #ImagineBlackFreedom.

Police Erupt in Violence Nationwide. The Police Are Rioting. We Need to Talk About It. Police turn more aggressive against protesters and bystanders alike, adding to disorder. Cops Love to Falsely Claim People Have Messed With Their Food. Cops and the Culture War. Vehicle Attacks Rise As Extremists Target Protesters. Far-Right Extremists Are Hoping to Turn the George Floyd Protests Into a New Civil War. How The Antifa Fantasy Spread In Small Towns Across The US. The Trump effect: New study connects white American intolerance and support for authoritarianism. Something terrible is happening.

* A third of Americans now show signs of clinical anxiety or depression, Census Bureau finds amid coronavirus pandemic. The unluckiest generation in U.S. history.

* Sorry Roosevelt — ya cancelled.

When Will Capitalism End?

* Sometimes the mask slips right off. We Need a Class War, Not a Culture War. The Insecurity Machine. How the Criminal Justice System Preys on the Poor. Trump Team Killed Rule Designed To Protect Health Workers From Pandemic Like COVID-19. An ‘Avalanche of Evictions’ Could Be Bearing Down on America’s Renters. A Tidal Wave of Bankruptcies Is Coming. Warning signs of the coming catastrophe. The Real Economic Catastrophe Hasn’t Hit Yet. Just Wait For August. Another Crash Is Coming. Weird coincidence.

* Welcome to the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone. “A Political Form Built Out of Struggle”: An Interview on the Seattle Occupied Protest. Get In The Zone: A Report From The Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone In Seattle. CHOP Residents Are Working Out a New Footprint With the City.

* It’s not obesity. It’s slavery. COVID-19 Deaths by Race and Ethnicity in the US. ‘All the psychoses of US history’: how America is victim-blaming the coronavirus dead.

* Now they tell us: Asymptomatic spread of coronavirus is ‘very rare,’ WHO says. A Devastating New Stage of the Pandemic. America’s Patchwork Pandemic Is Fraying Even Further. The world is putting America in quarantine. The Covid-19 virus attacks like no other ‘respiratory’ infection. Neurological and neuropsychiatric complications of COVID-19 in 153 patients. Some things mankind was not meant to know. The Climate Crisis and COVID-19 Are Inseparable. Ah, memories. How the Virus Won. The coronavirus surge is real, and it’s everywhere. A Devastating New Stage of the Pandemic.

* Market Logic Is Literally Killing Us. 100% facemask use could crush second, third coronavirus waves. Reopening too soon: Lessons from the deadly second wave of the 1918 flu pandemic. What past disasters can teach us about how to deal with covid-19. Who Are We Reopening For? Reopening the Economy Will Send Us to Hell. I miss restaurants. That Office AC System Is Great — at Recirculating Viruses. How the coronavirus spreads in those everyday places we visit. C.D.C. Recommends Sweeping Changes to American Offices. People Don’t Trust Public-Health Experts Because Public-Health Experts Don’t Trust People. Parties — Not Protests — Are Causing Spikes In Coronavirus. These 20-Somethings Survived Coronavirus, But Their Symptoms Won’t Go Away. Social Distancing Is Not Enough. Humans are not meant to be alone. The Coronavirus Is On Track to Be the Fastest Ever Developed. Coronavirus may never go away, even with a vaccine. We Don’t Even Have a COVID-19 Vaccine, and Yet the Conspiracies Are Here. The U.S. Has Officially Unflattened the Curve With Its Worst Day of the Coronavirus Pandemic Yet. The next 100 days.

Masculinity As Radical Selfishness: Rebecca Solnit on the Maskless Men of the Pandemic.

The best COVID-19 response in the world.

* Covid-19 Makes Things Tricky For Haunted Houses.

* Žižek vs. the virus.

* From the no-such-thing-as-good-news files.

* Meanwhile: In Some States This Fall, Masks at Public Colleges Will Be ‘Encouraged’ but Not Required. Text games that simulate the fall semester from the perspective of students and faculty. Large number of LSU football players placed in quarantine. Simulations of classrooms don’t bode well.

* Unions are once again anti-doctrinal. Massive cuts at U Alaska. Colleges say campuses can reopen safely. Students and faculty aren’t convinced. How the Pandemic Will Change Teaching on Campus. Principles for a Post-COVID University. The Existential Threat to Higher Education is Not What You Think. Faculty Are Not Cannon Fodder. University Leaders Are Failing. Zoom and Gloom: Universities in the Age of COVID-19. Welcome to the Socially Distanced Campus. Off campus. A coalition of unions representing 20,000 workers is organizing to reject Rutgers’s austerity response to the pandemic. Disaster capitalism on campus. Extinction Event. The Case for Liberal Arts Education in a Time of Crisis. How to stop the cuts. And just to stick the knife in.

The Results Are In for Remote Learning: It Didn’t Work.

What Is College Worth?

For Colleges, Protests Over Racism May Put Everything On the Line.

Principal warns NYC parents about potential chaos next school year. U.S. schools lay off hundreds of thousands, setting up lasting harm to kids. Student Trauma Won’t Just Disappear In the Fall, Counselors Warn. 70 cases of COVID-19 at French schools days after reopening. Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction releases guidelines for reopening schools in the fall. Wisconsin schools should expect coronavirus threat for next 18 months, according to new state guidance. We’re homemakers, stay-at-home parents and paid workers. All at the same time. This Summer Will Scar Young Americans for Life. Pandemic Reveal: Heterosexual Motherhood is a Hostage Situation. The Next Pandemic: Homesickness. Covid-19 Is Straining the Concept of the Family. Let’s Break It.

John Chisholm is the district attorney for Milwaukee, where homicides were double the normal rate during the first five months of 2020; Chisholm estimates that a quarter of these were related to domestic violence, including an incident on April 30th in which a man with a history of domestic abuse killed five members of his family, four of them teen-agers. Chisholm told me that there’s no set date for when courts will be fully operational again. “The backlog concerns me the most,” he said. “It’s going to stretch our protective services, and we will have more people with unresolved cases still circulating in close proximity to the victims.”

* Bosses in the US Have Far Too Much Power to Lay Off Workers Whenever They Feel Like It. The Coronavirus Is Exposing Wall Street’s Reckless Gamble on Bad Debt. The Looming Bank Collapse.

The 1918 Flu Pandemic Changed Literature More Than You Think.

* Before the End.

J.K. Rowling and the Echo Chamber of TERFs. The Harry Potter book series helped me realize I’m nonbinary. Now I know that had nothing to do with J.K. Rowling. I’m A Trans Harry Potter Fan, And There Are A Few Things I Want J.K. Rowling To Know. Generation X and Trans Lives.

* All the signs were there.

* Meanwhile: Transgender Health Protections Reversed By Trump Administration.

* ‘She just started blooming’: the trans kids helped by a pioneering project.

Biden’s Disability Policy Plan Is Surprisingly Good.

Mail-in Voting Triggers an Unhinged Trump Rant. House adopts bill to make DC 51st state; Senate GOP opposes. Will he go? And a little bit of old eve-stakes speculation: Famed Democratic pollster: Warren as VP would lead to Biden victory.

* The Prophecies of Q.

* Facebook researched the affect of its own platform on polarization and found that “Our algorithms exploit the human brain’s attraction to divisiveness,” and then largely shelved its study, the WSJ reports.

The authors found that the 6-hour-forecast errors were smaller for the revised model than for a version of the model without the cloud-microphysics revisions. Hence, instead of being able to discount estimates of high sensitivity, as Rodwell and I had done, their result provides some of the best current evidence that climate sensitivity could indeed be 5 °C or greater. Climate change and redlining. Climate change threatens U.S. mortgage market. Gulp.

* Facebook markets their Slack alternative by showing how it can suppress unionization.

* Profiles in Things That Almost Look Like Courage: Mad Dog Denounces Trump.

How Bill De Blasio Lost New York City.

* U.S. Border Patrol migrant camp from above.

* Turns out if you give people money then they aren’t as poor anymore.

Disney fans say Splash Mountain, a ride inspired by ‘Song of the South,’ should be re-themed. And Disney agrees!

* The end of the Forrest Fenn treasure hunt.

* The queerness of Bruce Springsteen.

* Rumors of Goonies 2.

* Who Framed Roger Rabbit: An Oral History. Street Fighter: The Movie — What Went Wrong. Queer Empire: On the 40th Anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back. How to Miss What Isn’t Gone: Thoughts on Modern Nostalgias While Watching “The Office.”

* Humanity against Cards against Humanity.

* Racism and the porn industry.

* How Deadpool Found His Way Into a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Mural.

D&D is trying to move away from racial stereotypes. America is going to recognize the common humanity of orc and drow before it does black people.

* Deeply unpleasant Lord of the Rings character combination chart.

* Never ask questions about Animal Crossing lore. Ever.

“What’s Actually Happening”: Looking for History in Jordan Peele’s “Get Out.”

Comics Are for Everyone: Rethinking Histories of Comics Fandom.

Warren Ellis Accused of Grooming Young Women for Decades.

‘Watchmen’ Writer Cord Jefferson on Black Superheroes & The Tulsa Massacre. ‘Watchmen’ Writer on Trump in Tulsa, Bad Cops, and America’s White Supremacy Problem.

John Boyega is doing what Star Wars wouldn’t.

* How racist was Flannery O’Connor?

* The Long Battle Over ‘Gone With the Wind.’

* The arc of history is long, but NASCAR has banned the Confederate flag.

Berlin authorities placed children with pedophiles for 30 years.

* She Gets Calls And Texts Meant For Elon Musk. Some Are Pretty Weird.

There Is No Writer Quite Like Arundhati Roy.

I think during the discussions about The Last Jedi I pointed out that the Holdo Maneuver is such a radical reconsideration of how physics works in Star Wars that it will necessarily become a preoccupation of all future entries in the series, and, well: The Inciting Incident of Star Wars‘ High Republic Is a Horrifying Technological Disaster.

Boots Riley’s ‘Dark, Absurd’ Next Project Will Star Jharrel Jerome as a 13-Foot-Tall Man.

* How Coronavirus Will Change Board Games (7 Guesses).

*  I figured out the precise chronological order of all the MCU movies (so far) by scene.

* Forty years for me but still I’m putting up huge numbers.

* The Case against Mars.

Recreating the ‘Left Behind’ Books From Memory.

* fMRIs (still) don’t work.

* Hitler’s alligator escapes justice.

* What-Is-Genre Hedgehog sees his shadow, another six years of “What is genre?”

* US states but every state is named like West Virginia.

When UCB Tried To Pay Workers In Money They Could Only Spend At UCB.

* Civil War ends.

* Scientists say most likely number of contactable alien civilisations is 36. I can call the first six if someone else can take over the phone tree from there.

* My Little Pony Fans Are Ready to Admit They Have a Nazi Problem.”

* This is how you get Skynet.

* And 2020, man, I just don’t know.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 27, 2020 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Just Another Saturday Night Linkdump

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CFP: Medical Humanities and the Fantastic. CFP: Edited Collection, Fan Studies: Methods, Ethics, Research. CFP: Reclaiming the Tomboy: Posthumanism, Gender Representation, and Intersectionality. CFP: Special Issue on Indigenous and Sovereign Games. CFP: The Age of the Pulps: The SF magazine, 1926–1960. CFP: Productive Futures: The Political Economy of Science Fiction, Bloomsbury, London, 12-14 September 2019.

* Awesome #altac job watch: Humanities Editor at Minnesota Press.

* The second half of the Women’s Studies issue on Octavia E. Butler, featuring my article of Parable of the Trickster, is now officially out. Check it out!

* Find out when someone started crying during Endgame, and you’ll find out who they’ve lost. (Really, though, it doesn’t make any sense.) “Avengers: Endgame” is not just the culmination of the 22-movie Marvel Cinematic Universe. It also represents the decisive defeat of “cinema” by “content.” In Praise of Poorly Built Worlds. The Avengers are the heroes of ‘Endgame,’ but Disney was the villain all along. But this time, we’re talking about a tragedy beyond what could possibly be commemorated through memorial sites. It would land somewhere closer to mass suicide and total infrastructural collapse–and where Endgame is concerned, there are no tragedies, there is only Marvel. Eco-Villains: Thanos and the Night King. To put it bluntly, and in Deleuze’s terms, superhero films are action films for people who no longer believe in action, for whom the capacity to act has been overtaken by the spectacle. It’s probably the best version of what an Avengers movie can be. And even that turns out to be silly, sloppily written, and to require massive amount of suspension of disbelief. Is it really too much to hope that Marvel stops debasing its characters and stories with events that can never live up to the MCU’s individual pieces? Interview With A Local Man Returning After Thanos’ Snap.

* MCU continuity enters its “fuck you, that’s why” period.

An analysis of both side’s tactics in the Battle of Winterfell, from a military strategist. A counterpoint.

* Hate to agree with Ross Douthat, but it really does seem to be the case that hype aside Martin is just warmed-over Tolkien, but worse in every particular. Bonus Twitter thread goodness on GoT and colonialism.

* America is a horror: on Jordan Peele’s Us.

* Vox celebrates the great James Tiptree Jr. (Alice Sheldon).

* Keeping company with my Audible app over lunch, I’ve come to see it as the buddy our tech overlords have granted me in the isolation that they help to impose. I feel this way about podcasts.

* Report Realism: Tentative Notes on Contemporary Kenyan Writing.

Genres that strain realism—the gothic and neo-gothic, fantasy, science fiction, horror, romance, and so on—are conspicuously absent in Kenyan writing, even as they are incredibly well represented in Kenyan book consumption. We are not writing what we are reading; even the very popular Christian-themed fiction about fighting demonic forces, which is really a variation of the horror novel, remains relatively sparse in terms of what we write or, perhaps more accurately, what we choose to make public of our writing. The believable and the realistic are bounded by NGO narratives and perspectives. And too many writers believe that the only writing worth anything is the believable and the realistic: to be a “committed” writer requires adhering to report realism.

Report realism believes in the power of “truth,” whether contemporary or historical, with a faith that borders on fundamentalism. In report realism, the truth will set us free. Report realism confirms objective NGO reports and affirms what Kenyans feel to be the truth of a particular condition. In report realism, for instance, the Kenyan prostitute is always a morally degraded figure looking for a way out to a respectable moral life. This realism is celebrated and supported by the NGO organizations who fund writing competitions and publish winning entries devoted to describing the real Kenya and by mainstream publishers who have the conservative mission of producing appropriately moral literature.

* ‘It drives writers mad’: why are authors still sniffy about sci-fi?

* The saddest story ever told, beating Hemingway out by one word: Esports Part-Time Online Instructor.

Yes, you will get a job with that arts degree. With that history degree, too!

Storm Clouds Over Tulsa: Inside the academic destruction of a proud private university.

6 Majors Were Spared the Ax at Stevens Point. But the Damage Might Be Done.

* Students and (not) doing the reading.

* How to Be a Better Online Teacher.

Getting a Game Studies PhD: A Guide for Aspiring Video Game Scholars. Game Boys: The “gamer” identity undermines the radical potential of play.

Sexual harassment is pervasive in US physics programmes.

The Disciplines Where No Black People Earn Ph.D.s. Being a Black Academic in America.

‘It’s an Aristocracy’: What the Admissions-Bribery Scandal Has Exposed About Class on Campus.

Swarthmore Fraternities Disband.

* Marquette faculty, students and community members rally for unionization. Unionization effort at Marquette leaves organizers, administration in a stalemate.

The University Is a Ticking Time Bomb. A Moral Stain on the Profession.

* “Student loan debt is crushing millions of families. That’s why I’m calling for something truly transformational: Universal free college and the cancellation of debt for more than 95% of Americans with student loan debt.”

Anxiety ‘epidemic’ brewing on college campuses, researchers find.

* Stanford keeps Stanford University Press alive… for one year.

Charles Koch gave $25m to our university. Has it become a rightwing mouthpiece? George Mason University’s Donor Problem and the Fight for Transparency.

Grad Students at Private Colleges Were Cleared to Unionize 3 Years Ago. Here’s What’s Changed.

* How America’s College-Closure Crisis Leaves Families Devastated.

* Meanwhile every teacher in the country is constantly confronted with the possibility that they’ll be asked to die for their students.

All Literature Is Climate Change Literature. The Green New Deal Costs Less Than Doing Nothing. Ecuador Amazon tribe win first victory against oil companies. ‘Death by a thousand cuts’: vast expanse of rainforest lost in 2018. Vietnam just observed its highest temperature ever recorded: 110 degrees, in April. ‘Decades of denial’: major report finds New Zealand’s environment is in serious trouble. Alaska’s in The Middle of a Record-Breaking Spring Melt, And It’s Killing People. The Folly of Returning to Paradise, California. Policy tweaks won’t do it, we need to throw the kitchen sink at this with a total rethink of our relationship to ownership, work and capital. Only rebellion will prevent an ecological apocalypse. “You did not act in time.” We Asked the 2020 Democrats About Climate Change (Yes, All of Them). Here Are Their Ideas. The Billionaire’s Guide to Hacking the Planet. What if air conditioners could save the planet? The collapse of the industrial economy is, in all likelihood, the only remaining way to prevent the mass destruction of life on Earth. ‘The Time To Act Is Now,’ Says Yellowing Climate Change Report Sitting In University Archive. A Message from the Future with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Names and Locations of the Top 100 People Killing the Planet. Between the Devil and the Green New Deal. Five years. And here comes eco-fascism.

* Down and Out in the Gig Economy: Journalism’s dependence on part-time freelancers has been bad for the industry—not to mention writers like me.

But for most of us, freelance journalism is a monetized hobby, separate from whatever real income one earns. The ideal relationship for a freelance journalist to their work becomes a kind of excited amateurism. They should hope for professional success and acceptance but always keep a backup plan or three in mind. They will likely not be welcomed past the gates of full-time employment. By year five or six, they might be rebranding themselves as “editorial consultants” or “content strategists,” realizing that any genuine fiscal opportunity lies in shepherding corporate content to life.

* ‘Two-Tiered Caste System’: The World of White-Collar Contracting in Silicon Valley. The Future of Unions Is White-Collar. We Just Remembered How to Strike.

These five charts show how bad the student loan debt situation is.

* “I am a woman and I am fast.” The ongoing harassment of Caster Semenya is simply incredible.

* Ten years later, police lies about Oscar Grant come to light. And elsewhere on the police beat: We found 85,000 cops who’ve been investigated for misconduct. Now you can read their records. New York City’s DAs Keep Secret Lists Of Cops With Questionable Credibility. Virginia police sergeant fired after being linked to white supremacy.

Border Patrol Holds Hundreds of Migrants in Growing Tent City Away From Prying Eyes. Emails Show Trump Administration Had No Plan to Track and Reunite Separated Families. Militia in New Mexico Detains Asylum Seekers at Gunpoint.

TSA Agents Say They’re Not Discriminating Against Black Women, But Their Body Scanners Might Be.

* Against prison.

* France Debates How to Rebuild Notre-Dame, Weighing History and Modernity. An art historian explains the tough decisions in rebuilding Notre Dame. How Digital Scans of Notre Dame Can Help Architects Rebuild the Burned Cathedral. The billionaires’ donations will turn Notre Dame into a monument to hypocrisy.

* Researchers Made 3,900-Pound Boulders They Can Move by Hand, Giving More Insights Into Ancient Engineering.

* Mental health minute: Researchers say there’s a simple way to reduce suicides: Increase the minimum wage. The challenge of going off psychiatric drugs. The kids are not all right.

* The Rise of Useless Health Insurance. High-Deductible Health Policies Linked To Delayed Diagnosis And Treatment. American Prescription Drug Prices Are Out of Control. One Man’s Furious Quest to Get to the Bottom of It.

* Rich guys are most likely to have no idea what they’re talking about, study suggests.

Half of England is owned by less than 1% of the population.

* A new Gallup poll says that America is home to some of the most stressed people in the world, reporting extraordinary levels of anger and anxiety that could be cause for concern, say doctors.

Workers Should Be in Charge.

I Work With Suicidal Farmers. It’s Becoming Too Much to Bear.

* On crunch time in the games industry.

Instagram Memers Are Unionizing.

* How Dungeons & Dragons somehow became more popular than ever.

Fantastic Autistic: Neurodiversity, Estrangement and Playing with the Weird.

* Re-reading the Map of Middle-earth: Fan Cartography’s Engagement with Tolkien’s Legendarium.

Why Won’t Twitter Treat White Supremacy Like ISIS? Because It Would Mean Banning Some Republican Politicians Too.

* Believe them when they say they want to kill us.

* Children of the Children of Columbine.

* My parents didn’t tell me they skipped my vaccines. Then I got sick.

* How a mall dies, Milwaukee edition.

* The hunt for rocket boosters in Russia’s far north.

* Job-hunting will only get worse.

* Of course I believe in hell. I vote for Democrats.

* Biden biden biden biden

* The gamification of fascism.

* Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, fandom, and anti-fandom.

* My feckless Googling had reaped a monstrous reality that I knew was going to haunt me for the rest of my life. I asked myself: Is there something righteous in facing reality, or would it have been better to stay ignorant? A surfeit of ugly knowledge is a feature of our age, a result of the internet carrying to our doorstep, like a tomcat with a dead rat, all manner of brutal information. How many others have flippantly Googled an old friend and discovered something ghastly? This was not knowledge as power; it was knowledge as sorrow.

* “Australia Is Deadly Serious About Killing Millions of Cats.”

* The oldest known tree in Wisconsin.

* A Video Game Developed To Detect Alzheimer’s Disease Seems To Be Working.

* Decolonizing Oregon Trail.

* How “Liberal” Late-Night Talk Shows Became A Comedy Sinkhole.

Men Have No Friends and Women Bear the Burden. Women suffer needless pain because almost everything is designed for men. What Good Dads Get Away With.

When Measles Arrives: Breaking Down the Anatomy of Containment.

* Despite being legally required to conduct audits since the early 90s and holding a staggering  2.2 trillion in assets, the Pentagon held its first-ever audit this week — which it, unsurprisingly, spectacularly failed.

* I have so little faith in the holders of the Star Trek IP I can’t greet any of this news with pleasure. Even the realization that Discovery is (finally) going to do something truly original in its third season just fills me with dread. And I don’t know how to feel about this at all: Star Trek: Picard Series May Not Reunite TNG Cast. Star Trek: Discovery’s Depiction of Captain Pike’s Disability is a Betrayal of Roddenberry’s Utopian Vision. My mini-tweetstorm on the subject.

* Sundown on Deadwood: David Milch, battling Alzheimer’s, finally finishes his TV Western.

* Professional obligation watch, god help me.

Jeopardy Wasn’t Designed for a Contestant Like James Holzhauer.

* Tolkien estate disavows forthcoming film starring Nicholas Hoult.

* John Lennon’s 15 year old report card.

* Colonizing Condiments: A (Very) Short History of Ketchup.

Women my age weren’t called ‘autistic’ growing up. We were awkward or ‘rude.’ And we missed out on services.

* “We are not interested in the reason for why the people are killed,” he wrote. “But if she is your wife or some family member, we can do it in your city as well.”

The Stolen Kids of Sarah Lawrence.

* Obituary corner: Gene Wolfe Was the Proust of Science Fiction. Before the Labyrinthine Lore of ‘Dark Souls,’ There Was Gene Wolfe.

Before Gamergate, before the 2016 election, they launched a campaign against Twitter trolls masquerading as women of color. If only more people had paid attention.

* Medicine is magical and magical is art / The boy in the bubble / And the baby with the baboon heart.

* Scientists Restore Some Function In The Brains Of Dead Pigs.

* The Great Pornwall of Britain Goes Up July 15.

* The United States of Conspiracy: An Interview with Anna Merlan.

* ok ok I’ll bite what’s coal

* what piece of cosmo sex advice most haunts your waking hours

* If you want a vision of the future: Netflix ‘buys 50 literary projects in last year.’

* It was in autumn that the happy face arrived. Death of a Salesman. No mathematics, no science can ever predict the human soul. Where do you want to eat tonight?

2019 National Geographic Travel Photo Contest.

* And only mass surveillance can save us now! Rough news day for Oxford if you ask me.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 4, 2019 at 6:42 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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So I Had A Lot of Tabs Open Links

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* There’s a kind of “deleted scene” from my book out in the new issue of Women’s Studies: “Eden, Just Not Ours Yet: On Parable of the Trickster and Utopia.” It’s in the second half of a special double-issue devoted to Butler, edited by Ayana Jamieson and Moya Bailey.

* I’ll be presenting a little bit of my research at the conference this weekend held by Marquette’s Center for the Advancement of the Humanities. Check it out!

* Thanks to everyone who helped me run ideas for my theory class next semester. Here’s what I went with.

* I really liked The Wandering Earth and I think you should see it in a theater — but if you must see it on Netflix I understand. The Chinese Sci-Fi Epic The Wandering Earth Could Be a Glimpse at the Future of the Blockbuster. And while we’re talking: How Chinese novelists are reimagining science fiction.

* CFP: Special Issue: “Surveilling the Body: Ableism and Anglophone Literature.”

* CFP: Science Fiction and Religion.

* CFP: Contemporary American Science Fiction Film: The Bush, Obama and Trump Years.

* CFP: Global Utopian Film and TV in the Age of Dystopia (a special issue of Science Fiction Film and Television).

* Deadline getting close for SFRA 2019 in Hawai’i.

Marcus Center announces 2019 dates for ‘Hamilton’ in Milwaukee.

* eSports at Marquette and beyond: The booming popularity of esports has started a vociferous debate over whether the NCAA or another entity will regulate the industry for colleges and universities.

‘Now Comes the Hard Part’: 20-Day Strike at Wright State Has Ended.

* Lowbrow Culture and Guilty Pleasures? The Performance and Harm of Academic Elitism.

Multiple UNC Honor System members, including the Graduate and Professional Court’s chairperson and attorney general, will testify at a public hearing Tuesday as graduate student activist Maya Little appeals sanctions brought against her last year.

* It is worse, much worse, than you think. It is absolutely time to panic about climate change. More David Wallace-Wells via MetaFilter. A new simulation finds that global warming could cause stratocumulus clouds to disappear in as little as a century, which would add 8°C (14°F) of extra warming. We broke down what climate change will do, region by region. This map shows you what your city will feel like in 2080 and boy, are we in for a treat. Want to know what your city will feel like in 2080? Look 500 miles south. Use these tools to help visualize the horror of rising sea levels. The Story Behind the Green New Deal’s Meteoric Rise. 7 Reasons Democrats Won’t Pass a Green New Deal. Democrats are climate deniers. This is an emergency, damn it. Climate signs. Polar bears. Who is the Subject of Climate Change? Insurers Worry a Financial Crisis May Come From Climate Risks. Why the White Earth Band of Ojibwe Legally Recognized Wild Rice’s Rights. Massive restoration of world’s forests would cancel out a decade of CO2 emissions, analysis suggests. When Islamophobia, inequality, and climate change collide, well, this is How It Can Happen Here. ‘Moment of reckoning’: US cities burn recyclables after China bans imports. And this January was actually one of the warmest on record, polar vortex and all. But don’t worry, they’ve got this.

How sci-fi could help solve climate change.

For nearly two decades at the Grand Canyon, tourists, employees, and children on tours passed by three paint buckets stored in the National Park’s museum collection building, unaware that they were being exposed to radiation.

Chimpanzees ‘talk’ just like humans. It’s time to realise how similar we are. Rethinking animal cognition. Dolphins Seem to Use Toxic Pufferfish to Get High.

* When you don’t try to solve a problem, it doesn’t get solved.

In the mid-1970s, Jon Armond was traumatized by something he saw on Sesame Street. It was a cartoon about a little girl who encounters creatures formed by the cracks on her bedroom wall—including a horrifying, screaming face who called himself “The Crack Master.”

“Eskimos Have Fifty Words for Snow” is an amazing phrase, because every word in it is wrong. But reversing it—announcing proudly that they don’t—only replicates that wrongness; you can’t say no to a bad question and be right.

* A deep dive into stadium bathrooms.

In this exclusive investigative report from Montreal, Maisonneuve exposes the bid-rigging, violence and sabotage at the heart of an unlikely racket: snow removal.

* All the Bad Things About Uber and Lyft In One Simple List.

* What happens when a school district votes to arm teachers? A Rust Belt educator takes us through the grim realities of training to kill one of his own students. Teachers with Guns.

* Have you ever wondered what goes on in those school shooter trainings your child’s teacher is required to undergo? Vital, must read thread on the nightmare factory that schools have become.

* Rethinking suicide.

* A new history reveals that for female slaveholders, the business of human exploitation was just as profitable—and brutal—as it was for men.

The Rise of the Mega-University.

* U.S. Student Debt in ‘Serious Delinquency’ Tops $166 Billion. Here’s Why So Many Americans Feel Cheated By Their Student Loans. What’s changed about grad school in fifteen years.

* Nearly half of Duke University’s female undergraduates say they have been sexually assaulted since enrolling at the university, a sharp increase from the proportion in 2016, according to a report released on Thursday.

This neuroscientist is fighting sexual harassment in science—but her own job is in peril.

* What is it like to go from a tenured professorship to an hourly wage driving buses? This piece tries to make sense of an unusual transition. An update from Steven Salaita.

Sean Guynes reviews Aimee Bahng’s Migrant Futures: Decolonizing Speculation in Financial Times.

The Bizarre Planets That Could Be Humanity’s New Homes. What would human civilization look like on a tidally locked world?

* Remember Mars One, that company we all knew was a scam but still kinda hoped was real because of how much we liked the movie The Martian? Yeah, it went bankrupt.

* Report Shows ICE Almost Never Punishes Contractors Housing Detainees No Matter How Many Violations They Rack Up.

* 11-Year-Old Arrested After Refusing to Stand for Pledge of Allegiance.

* Some Thoughts on EJ Levy.

Two years in, some people are still expecting one of his scandals to bring him down. I know better. Being Raised by Two Narcissists Taught Me How to Deal with Trump.

* Elizabeth Warren wants to ban the US from using nuclear weapons first. You’re half right!

* Financial Windfalls: 15 Stories of the Money That Changed Everything.

Build your own wealth tax: try your hand at taxing the superrich.

Income inequality is likely worse than before the Great Depression.

A living wage is an antidepressant. It is a sleep aid. A diet. A stress reliever. It is a contraceptive, preventing teenage pregnancy. It prevents premature death. It shields children from neglect.

* Nice work if you can get it.

* When the field gets big, the primaries get weird.

* Hard pass, no thanks.

* The Internet is a nightmare from which I am struggling to awake: The Trauma Floor: The secret lives of Facebook moderators in America. A pediatrician exposes suicide tips for children hidden in videos on YouTube and YouTube Kids. YouTube Kids is just a horror show. The dodgy, vulnerable fame of YouTube’s child ASMR stars. Disney, Fortnite pull YouTube ads amidst concern over a “soft-core pedophile ring” operating in its comments. Apple and Google accused of helping ‘enforce gender apartheid’ by hosting Saudi government app that tracks women and stops them leaving the country. Classroom Technology Is Indoctrinating Students Into A Culture Of Surveillance.

* The past isn’t over, it isn’t even past.

* We need a far more profound conception of white supremacy and how the mainstream press has always been complicit in its maintenance.

The United States Is a Progressive Nation With a Democracy Problem.

State Universities Are Being Resegregated.

Do Racial Epithets Have Any Place in the Classroom? A Professor’s Suspension Fuels That Debate.

* A self-proclaimed white nationalist planned a mass terrorist attack, the government says.

* How neoliberalism normalizes hostility.

* How the United States reinvented empire.

The future is a place where it doesn’t snow anymore, but “snow days” is the term we use for roving service outages caused by striking teachers.

* Pack the court. John Roberts is not your friend.

* Forget Strong Female Characters! We Need Complicated Female Characters Who Screw Up (A Lot).

* The love life of May Parker.

‘It’s eating the world’: Inside the Knicks’ and David Fizdale’s battle with ‘Fortnite.’

Progress in Play: Board Games and the Meaning of History.

* The One Choice You Weren’t Given In Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.

Veale followed the GDPR right of access process to submit his request, and Netflix eventually returned that viewing data through an encrypted email. Veale then posted the results of his request to Twitter for all of us to peruse. The bottom line is that Netflix is recording and storing the choices people make when they watch the episode.

Is Email Making Professors Stupid? I promise it’s not helping.

* Second, someone get this film made.

* Meet me tonight in Atlantic City.

* No, you can’t win.

* Guys, Star Trek is CANCELLED.

* Harvard got so rich it’s even going after Mr. Bartley’s Burger Cottage. Shameful.

* Psychology. Douchey robot bosses. Psyops. Political capital. A Brief History of Life Online. Rapunzel.

* And be warned, traveler: Tetris 99 is extremely very good.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 25, 2019 at 12:14 pm

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…

#SFRA2017-turday Links!

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* Keep watching #SFRA2017! It’s been a great conference. And it contains gems like this. Two other little theoretical highlights from my scattered live-tweeting:

* The audio from last week’s Octavia Butler conference at the Huntington is now up at Soundcloud. I’m track 7!

* American U scholar says provost cherry-picked negative student ratings of her teaching to deny her a promotion.

* Sci-Fi Legend Samuel R. Delany Doesn’t Play Favorites.

Will losing health insurance mean more US deaths? Experts say yes. Republicans Left Ron Johnson for Dead Last Year, Now He Could Kill Their Health Care Bill. Crowdfunding is the Sad, Dark Future of Healthcare.

* Trump’s Twitter and the judgment of history. Bill to create panel that could remove Trump from office quietly picks up Democratic support.

The Internet Is Actually Controlled By 14 People Who Hold 7 Secret Keys.

After the president’s tweet, I must withdraw my support for everything but his agenda.

* Getting closer and closer to the point where Republicans say it was good that Trump colluded with Putin. This is 100% guaranteed and will be the official position of Your Dad in six months.

* More on the voter suppression commission.

The Trump Administration Is Using Immigrant Children as Bait to Deport Their Parents. Afghanistan’s All-Girl Robotics Team Can’t Get Visas To The US.

* Why isn’t Kirsten Gillibrand running for president? Or is she?

* The moral code of Chinese sex workers.

* Training self-driving cars to algorithmically respond to road conditions in Southern California and confusing that for artificial intelligence is going to get people everywhere else killed.

* The Wonder Woman century.

* Twilight of the Internet.

* Political correctness is destroying this country’s cultural heritage.

* When someone says something mean to me. The kids just call it “Twitter.” And I want your secret.

#OEBStudies for All Your #OEBStudies Needs

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* I’m at the Huntington Library in Pasadena, presenting as part of the Octavia Butler studies conference here. Here’s a great writeup from the organizers, Ayana Jamieson and Moya Bailey. Hashtag #OEBStudies!

* Lumenscent Threads: Knowing Octavia Butler through a Community That Loved Her.

* I also got in a big Twitter to-do with Noah Berlatsky about the Oankali, if you want some extra bonus OEB content.

* Then next week I’m back in California for the Science Fiction Research Association conference at Riverside, giving a talk called “No, Speed Limit: Hyperspace in the Anthropocene” (and doing a bunch of SFRA executive committee stuff too I guess).

* “Rakka,” a nightmarish SF film from Neill Blomkamp, narrated by Sigourney Weaver. Seems almost like proof of concept for the Alien sequel they won’t let him do…

* And why not? Here’s an Irish one.

* The Han Solo prequel film, like every other Star Wars followup Disney has attempted, has encountered problems that have crashed production. This time they’ve fired the directors and brought in Ron Howard to attempt to salvage the project.

Jon Ossoff’s Georgia special election loss shows Democrats could use a substantive agenda. Nonsense! They’re doing great. Why Jon Ossoff’s loss is bad news for Democrats’ 2018 hopes. Keep hope alive.

* Memo shows what major donors like Goldman Sachs want from the Democratic Party. Class struggle in America doesn’t look exactly like you think.

* Who Is Getting Rich Off the Secret Health-Care Overhaul?

Senate Health Bill Gives Huge Tax Cuts to Businesses, High-Income Households. G.O.P. Health Plan Is Really a Rollback of Medicaid. A helpful chart of the differences between the Senate and House bills and the status quo. The Senate health bill is a recipe for a death spiral. Wheelchairs and zip ties. The littlest lobbyist: a 6-year-old, whose life depends on ACA, heads to Capitol Hill. There will be deaths.

Going on Fox News cost me my job, professor claims.

Don’t Trust a Republican Just Because He Hates Trump.

* Corey Robin on China Miéville’s October.

* The Pittsburgh Fairy Tale: Pittsburgh’s much-touted revival has remade the region for the wealthy while leaving workers and the poor behind.

* Twilight of the CEOs. Uber doesn’t even currently have a CEO, COO, CFO, or CMO, “in addition to other open positions.”

* What if the Watchmen adaptation that shouldn’t have happened in the first place happened again, but more so?

* Ted Chiang was right! Attractive Students Get Higher Grades.

* “The Castile case reminds me of a weird pattern we always see in the inevitable defenses of police who’ve shot innocent people.”

* Probably the only good thing that has ever happened on Twitter.

Hunting for Antibiotics in the World’s Dirtiest Places.

* To even begin to defend Kipnis’s actions requires some serious leaps of logic, but Kipnis gamely tries.

* The New Free Speech is a right-wing grift, part 29.

“North Carolina is the only state in U.S. where no doesn’t mean no.”

* “Bill Cosby to Teach Young People How to Avoid Sexual Assault Charges.”

* But it’s not ALL deranged misogyny! N.H. Republicans Accidentally Approved a Bill Allowing Pregnant Women to Commit Murder.

* Looks like the marketing team have had a word.

* This seems fine: Elections officials outgunned in Russia’s cyberwar against America.

* #TheResistance.

* Sega!

Octavia E. Butler Archives – Resources

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A sporadically updated list of materials I’ve either written or used or enjoyed on the Octavia E. Butler Archives at the Huntington Library, hopefully useful for other researchers:

* Octavia E. Butler Collection Finding Aid (500+ pages!);

* my general guide:  “The Octavia E. Butler Papers.” (Eaton Journal of Science Fiction);

* The Huntington’s landing page on Butler, including many images of manuscript documents;

Tracing Octavia Butler’s Footsteps: An Interview with Dr. Ayana A. H. Jamieson (a tremendous read!);

Inside The Octavia Butler Archives With L.A. Writer Lynell George; Butler’s notes from writing Kindred; Celebrating Octavia Butler at the Huntington; So Be It! See To It!; #VisitOctaviaButler tag on the Huntington’s Tumblr; “Archives” category at the OEB Legacy Network; Radio Imagination;

* Audio from the June 2017 Octavia E. Butler: Convergences of an Expanding Field conference at the Huntington (as well as a write-up from the organizers, a description of the associated exhibition, and a Storify of tweets from the event);

* Octavia Butler, remembered by her friend Shirlee Smith;

* Pasadena on Her Mind: Octavia E. Butler Reimagines Her Hometown;

* me on Parable of the Trickster“’There’s Nothing New / Under The Sun, / But There Are New Suns’: Recovering Octavia E. Butler’s Lost Parables.” (LARB);

* me (briefly) on the Fledgling sequel(s): Archives Reveal What Octavia Butler’s Next Books Would Have Been Like. (io9);

* me on Reagan in Dawn, Talents, and Paraclete“Making America Great Again with Octavia Butler.” (University of Illinois Press blog);

* and of course the whole kit ‘n’ caboodle: Octavia E. Butler (Modern Masters of Science Fiction, University of Illinois Press);

* and a kind of “deleted scene” from my book in a recent issue of Women’s Studies: “Eden, Just Not Ours Yet: On Parable of the Trickster and Utopia.”

octavia-butler

Short Excerpt from My Book Up at University of Illinois Press: “Making America Great Again with Octavia Butler”

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I never got around to making a long link post this weekend, so just in case you missed it I wanted to flag that a short excerpt from my book (reskinned around the recent election) is up now at the University of Illinois Press blog: “Making America Great Again with Octavia Butler.” While the frame of this version of the material is now about Trump, the real meat of this thing is about Reagan, and about Butler’s special contempt for him not just during his presidency but across the remainder of her life.

I also talk a bit about what is probably my favorite of her unfinished novels, Paracelete. Check it out!

And don’t forget to buy the whole book, which is available now!

Weekend Links!

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610temp.new_7.gif.CROP.promovar-mediumlarge.new_7* Nice treat: my LARoB piece got namechecked in an Unexpected Stories review at NPR.

* If you want a vision of the future, imagine the polar vortex making it unseasonably cold, forever.

New Data Says Huge West Virginia Chemical Spill May Have Been More Toxic Than Reported. But don’t worry: Freedom Industries has been fined a whopping $11,000.

* The OECD says the party’s over.

These are that growth will slow to around two-thirds its current rate; that inequality will increase massively; and that there is a big risk that climate change will make things worse.

* Here’s what the world would look like if we took global warming seriously.

A Brief History of the Humanities Postdoc.

* On the huge screwed-uppedness of “studies show.”

* An oral history of LucasArts.

* A feature of oligarchy is the dynastic ascension of new leaders, children who rise to positions of power and wealth simply by the luck of birth. We welcome Chelsea Clinton to the club.

* What disapproving friends don’t understand about cesarean births.

If A Man Takes Paternity Leave, His Coworkers Will Probably Take It Too.

* For years we’ve been telling kids to sit still and pay attention. That’s all wrong.

Analysis: Over Half of All Statements Made on Fox News Are False. I sincerely hope they included statements like “I’m Bill O’Reilly” and “You’re watching Fox.”

* Five Thirty Eight and screwing up predictions.

The measurement error in the World Cup case was simple: FiveThirtyEight and other sites had marked Brazil as having a strong defense, and a solid offense anchored by its star, Neymar, as measured by a statistical amalgamation called Soccer Power Index. In reality, Brazil had been aggressively fouling its way as a means of defense, elbowing and kicking its way, and not getting called for it by referees. I’m not just making this up as a day-after-big-loss armchair analysis: pretty much most punditry on soccer had been clear on this before the game.

In other words, the statistics were overestimating how good a team Brazil really was, and the expert punditry was fairly unified on this point.

In other words, this time, the hedgehogs knew something the fox didn’t. But this fox is often too committed to methodological singularity and fighting pundits, sometimes for the sake of fighting them, so it often doesn’t like to listen to non-statistical data. In reality, methodological triangulation is almost always stronger, though harder to pull-offs.

* What happened to the super-rich of yesteryear?

If today’s corporate kvetchers are more concerned with the state of their egos than with the state of the nation, it’s in part because their own fortunes aren’t tied to those of the nation the way they once were. In the postwar years, American companies depended largely on American consumers. Globalization has changed that—foreign sales account for almost half the revenue of the S&P 500—as has the rise of financial services (where the most important clients are the wealthy and other corporations). The well-being of the American middle class just doesn’t matter as much to companies’ bottom lines. And there’s another change. Early in the past century, there was a true socialist movement in the United States, and in the postwar years the Soviet Union seemed to offer the possibility of a meaningful alternative to capitalism. Small wonder that the tycoons of those days were so eager to channel populist agitation into reform. Today, by contrast, corporate chieftains have little to fear, other than mildly higher taxes and the complaints of people who have read Thomas Piketty. Moguls complain about their feelings because that’s all anyone can really threaten.

Let this AskMe post from an academic spouse ruin your morning!

* College Graduates and the Great Recession by The Numbers.

* Over Duke U.’s Protests, Estate of ‘the Duke’ Asks Court to Approve Use of ‘Duke.’

* The next-generation F-35, the most expensive plane ever built, may be too dangerous to fly. Why is Congress keeping it alive? What could possibly explain it!

* “Superhero stories are really about immigrants.”

* Who Does Your College Think Its Peers Are?

* Change.org petition inviting Department of Labor investigation into adjunct labor. I’m very skeptical there’s anything actionable here, unfortunately.

* Having Your Sleep Interrupted May Be As Bad As Not Getting Any at All.

Losing to Germany Wasn’t Actually the Worst Thing to Happen to Brazil This World Cup.

* Colorado’s legal pot market is bigger than anyone anticipated. First person to legally purchase pot in WA fired after being seen on local news buying it.

* DEA Officials Responsible For Nearly Killing College Student, DOJ Watchdog Finds. Daniel Chong is the entirely predictable result of dehumanizing drug offenders.

In ‘sexting’ case Manassas City police want to photograph teen in sexually explicit manner, lawyers say. You’ll be glad to know police have withdrawn the request.

Two hundred years into the social experiment of modern imprisonment, and 40 years into the expansion of what is frequently called “mass incarceration,” America’s system of jails and prisons arguably constitutes the most prodigious system of torture the world has ever seen.

* …while Swartz’s death was a mistake, destroying him as a lesson to all of us wasn’t a mistake. It was policy.

* Tough Louisiana Catholic Church case goes to the heart of mandatory reporting law.

* The Atlantic has a challenging piece on helping intersex children, albeit with an absolutely terrible headline.

* What the Potato Salad Kickstarter Campaign Says About Tech, Silicon Valley, and Modern Life.

* On giving Title IX teeth. It does surprise me that no school has ever received a Title IX sanction for its approach sexual violence.

* SMBC on kind aliens. XKCD on a wraith called Timeghost. The adventures of Process Man.

* Predicting the end of Game of Thrones from George R. R. Martin’s repeated requests for a big-budget epic finale.

* Ideology at its purest is ripe for disruption: “Inside tech’s latest management craze.” Meanwhile: Silicon Valley wage fixing: Disney, Lucas, Dreamworks and Pixar implicated.

* Westerners are so convinced China is a dystopian hellscape they’ll share anything that confirms it.

16-Year-Old’s Rape Goes Viral Because Human Beings Are Terrible. Awful story.

* Close magnet schools?

* Syfy orders a pilot for its adaptation of Lev Grossman’s The Magicians.

* The wisdom of markets: Social Network With No Revenue or Assets Somehow Worth $4.75 Billion.

When asked whether it was possible to think too much upon the Holocaust, Sebald said, “No serious person thinks of anything else.” On still trying to come to terms with the Holocaust.

* Trigger warning: breakfast. A confessional comic about the night after the artist’s rape.

A Webcomic About A Time Traveler Trying To Comprehend Terminal Illness.

A Field Guide To Unusual (And Hilarious) Harry Potter Patronuses.

The Emmys Don’t Matter But Hypothetically If They Mattered They Should Not Have Snubbed Orphan Black.

* Mail-Order Mysteries: Exploring the Outlandish Gizmos Advertised in the Back of Comic Books During the 1960s-1970s.

* And Ian McKellan just won’t leave any franchise un-awesomed. He simply won’t!

Written by gerrycanavan

July 11, 2014 at 9:42 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Tuesday Links!

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* One last bit of self-promotion for my Octavia Butler series at LARoB, reviewing the forthcoming eBook Unexpected Stories and the never-to-be-a-book Parable of the Trickster.

* Meanwhile, my new best friend Levar Burton says Octavia Butler is the writer he most wishes he’d met.

* John Oliver for/against the World Cup. Five Thirty Eight’s World Cup Predictions. How to Nerd Out about Soccer. The World Cup and the Corporatization of Soccer.

An itinerary is by no means the only thing required for setting out on a trip. And the itinerary will change along the way. But for a deliberate departure from capitalism, rather than a blind flight, a preliminary itinerary will be necessary. Whatever we think of the term communism, the crossroads Marx and Engels glimpsed in the Manifesto is coming more clearly into view: either a left alternative to capitalism or “the common ruin of the contending classes”.

* The Church of Science Fiction.

* Heinlein and the Right.

* As horrific as recent mass killings have been, the idea of a slide into ongoing domestic terrorism is just  nightmarish.

* Meanwhile: War Gear Flows to Police Departments.

Dads Want To Spend Time With Their New Children, If Only We’d Give Them Paid Leave.

Leaving Homeless Person On The Streets: $31,065. Giving Them Housing: $10,051.

We’re not giving moms credit when we pose them as the decisive factor in a child’s development, we’re sticking them with the bill.

* The Prison-Industrial Complex and Orange Is the New Black.

Temple University is investigating an ethics complaint that two of its professors did not properly disclose funding from the private prison industry for their research on the cost of incarceration.

* Grad Students Could Win Big as Obama Slashes Debt Payments. Understanding the CBO’s bullshitting about how the government doesn’t make money on student loans. Lawsuits and the end of the NCAA. College’s inequality disgrace: Millionaire university presidents and indebted students. In the Near Future, Only Very Wealthy Colleges Will Have English Departments. Yes, the Humanities Are Struggling, but They Will Endure. And Now We Know I’ll Never Be MLA President.

* Emily Bazelon covers the Title IX crisis in American colleges. Taekwondo Is Great but Not the Solution to Campus Rape. U. of Oregon Student Who Alleged Rape by Athletes Writes Open Letter. And then there’s George.

* Jezebel covers Wikipedia’s internal fighting over #YesAllWomen.

* Towards a theory of jerks.

* The case against sharing.

How to drive through all 48 of the contiguous United States in 113 hours.

* The unbearable sadness of Milwaukee tourism videos.

* I thought this was genuinely stunning even by Fox’s already low standards: Fox News Guest Launches Race-Based Attack On Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Waffle House Forces Waitress To Return $1,000 Tip.

* “The way US immigration laws operate is absurd.”

The media warns readers about violent pimps stealing girls from malls, but most victims’ stories are very different. I know this because I was a teen trafficking victim, and my experience reflects much of the research that’s been done with trafficking victims.

* The rise of the noncompete clause.

* A Brief History of the Gendered Pronoun in English. In defense of the singular “they.”

* Yes, Nixon Scuttled the Vietnam Peace Talks.

If We’re Lucky, There’s Going to Be a Clone High Movie–IN MY PANTS.

* Review getting picked up: five stars.

* And 4°C only sounds like no big deal.

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Scenes from My Octavia Butler Book, Part 2: Parable of the Trickster

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Last December I had the improbable privilege to be the very first scholar to open the boxes at the Huntington that contain what Butler had written of Trickster before her death.What I found were dozens upon dozens of false starts for the novel, some petering out after twenty or thirty pages, others after just two or three; this cycle of narrative failure is recorded over hundreds of pages of discarded drafts. Frustrated by writer’s block, frustrated by blood pressure medication that she felt inhibited her creativity and vitality, and frustrated by the sense that she had no story for Trickster, only a “situation,” Butler started and stopped the novel over and over again from 1989 until her death, never getting far from the beginning…

The second part of my Octavia Butler piece is up at Los Angeles Review of Books, all about Parable of the Trickster!

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SFRA/WisCon Talk This Friday on Octavia Butler’s Lost Parables

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For people who’ll be in the area, this Friday at 2:30 PM I’m presenting in the SFRA academic track at WisCon in Madison, giving a short talk titled “‘There’s Nothing New / Under The Sun, / But There Are New Suns’: Recovering Octavia E. Butler’s Lost Parables.” The talk comes out of the research I did last December in the Butler archive at the Huntington Library, which I’ll be following up with a second trip this coming November. I mostly talk about the many, many versions of Parable of the Trickster in this one, though I also talk a bit about God of Clay, the failed Parables book Butler started before Sower featuring a much more sinister Olamina as a middle-aged power broker (who actually orders the assassination of a local politician who crosses her). It’s great stuff! The only reason I’m not saying more here is that I have a piece on the subject circulating that I’m trying to place in a mainstream outlet, which I hope will happen soon.

If you’re at SFRA/WisCon, hope to see you!