Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘parasites

Wednesday Night Links: 8,000 Barrels, 0.000025%, 3,387 Men, $100 Bills, and More

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Over a longer time span, say a decade, we would expect about 19 spill incidents with an aggregate spill volume of about 8,000 barrels, enough to fill about half of an Olympic-sized swimming pool.  We would expect about 1.3 of these spills to be “large,” which means that on average we would expect a “large” spill to occur about once every 8 years or so.  Clearly, based upon reported historical industry performance, spills in general and large spills in particular would not be a rare occurrence for the proposed pipeline.

* Elsevier’s behavior is so egregious that it has provoked a boycott from academics who refuse to write or review papers for its journals. But to focus on one malefactor elides a larger question: Why should academic knowledge — largely produced by academics at public and nonprofit universities and often with government grants — be turned into private property and kept from public dissemination?

Dartmouth College Cancels Classes After Sexual Assault Protesters Receive Rape Threats. More at Student Activism.

* Piranhas are a very tricky species: On Gift Horses and Trojan Horses: The Proposed Aquatics Center.

* Tumblr of the day: Little Girls Are Better at Designing Superheroes Than You.

Women Writers take heed, you are being erased on Wikipedia. It would appear that in order to make room for male writers, women novelists (such as Amy Tan, Harper Lee, Donna Tartt and 300 others) have been moved off the “American Novelists” page and into the “American Women Novelists” category. Not the back of the bus, or the kiddie table exactly–except of course–when you google “American Novelists” the list that appears is almost exclusively men (3,387 men).

“I love to paint. It is — painting has changed my life in an unbelievably positive way,” the unprosecuted war criminal said.

Mad Men’s Misery Problem And How TV Can Handle Characters Who Never Change.

Right Wing Media Exploit Boston Bombings To Attack Government Assistance Programs. West Virginia Republican: Make Kids Work As Janitors For School Lunches.

Feds spend at least $890,000 on fees for empty accounts. That’s a crushing 0.000025% of the federal budget going to WASTE.

Holding Corporations Responsible for Workplace Deaths. And then there’s Matt “Proud Neoliberal” Yglesias.

Rhode Island Becomes 10th State To Approve Marriage Equality.

* A Slavoj Žižek Text Adventure.

* Monster.com bans unpaid internships.

* You majored in STEM? And you thought you’d get a job after graduation? Why didn’t you major in something useful?

* And the new $100 is awful. Good thing I’ll never actually have one.

‘Parasites and Vultures’

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While not a MOOC, Minerva is like MOOCs in that they encourage the “best of the best” among faculty to perform the same function that faculty at other schools already fulfill. All told, it’s not really half the professoriate killing the other half for free. It’s more like 1% of the professoriate dropping a nuclear bomb on the rest of us. Then we pay the MOOC providers to rebuild on top of the debris.

Jonathan Rhees isn’t mincing words: Parasites and Vultures.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 14, 2013 at 9:03 pm

Wednesday!

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* Duke’s Jebediah Purdy has the solution to the problem of animal-rights muckrakers I blogged about yesterday: 

Fairness and safety are real issues. So is transparency, and that is why we should require confined-feeding operations and slaughterhouses to install webcams at key stages of their operations. List the URL’s to the video on the packaging. There would be no need for human intrusion into dangerous sites. No tricky angles or scary edits by activists. Just the visual facts. If the operators felt their work misrepresented, they could add cameras to give an even fuller picture.

On what grounds could the slaughterhouse industry possibly object to that? Via DotEarth’s post on the personhood of non-humans.

* All told, over the last five fiscal years, the Education Department has generated $101.8 billion in profit from student borrowers, thanks to low borrowing costs for the government and fixed interest rates for students, budget documents show.

Student loan interest rates are scheduled to double on July 1, from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. Congress extended the lower rate on federal student loans for a year in an effort to control the nation’s formidable student debt crisis, but will now have to decide whether or not to cancel the interest rate hike once again. Interests Diverge on Interest Rates.

Every meaningful resistance to neoliberalism must be a feminism.

* Kitchen Sink Socialism.

Now, however, the City College of San Francisco might pay a heavy price for its faculty-oriented ethos: being shut down.

Parasitic on the prestige of the academy, while doing precious little to contribute to it, the MOOC is starting to look a lot more like a mooch.

* The L.A. Times pans the New University of California.

Millions of Americans have grown up with a defining family immigration story. But while our families may have endured hardship coming to America, the simple fact is that most of our immigration stories would not be possible at all under today’s immigration laws. Great idea for a site.

The 2012 VIDA statistics have been out for some time now, so I won’t linger over the current and quantifiable inequity—yes, even in this magazine—in the frequency with which male and female writers are reviewed today, five years after the past was deemed “gone.” It’s a proven fact, backed by simple math even my first grader can understand: the number of reviews of books by men is greater than the number of reviews of books by women; the number of male reviewers is greater than the number of female reviewers. Men, in other words, are still the arbiters of taste, the cultural gatekeepers, and the recipients of what little attention still gets paid to books.

* Scenes from the class struggle in the future: Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium.

Animated Renderings of America After 25 Feet of Sea Level Rise.

They f*ck you up, your mum and dad. / They may not mean to, but they do.

* Trends in Instructional Staff Employment Status, 1975-2011.

AAUP_Trends_In_Professor_Employment-thumb-570x421-118600

* Moonrise over LA.

* And xkcd considers the mise-en-Adobe.

MOOC as Open Parasite

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The idea is to scoop up those students who are being shut out, whether it’s a smart American kid who has to opt for a solid state school when they had their heart set on Brown, or the child of a well-to-do family in Beijing, by offering them a great education and a worldwide network of contacts. Minerva will admit applicants based on their academic chops alone — jocks need not apply — and students would live in urban dorms scattered across the globe’s great cities. They’ll take online courses designed by highly esteemed professors from other established institutions. Meanwhile, tuition would cost “less than half” the price of the standard Ivy league sticker price (so somewhere around $20,000 or below). That, anyway, is the plan. 

I believe I can provide the Minerva experience at a fraction of this cost. Call me, venture capitalists!