Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘parenting

Don’t Fall Behind, Spring Ahead with These Sunday Morning Links

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* The R.D. Mullen Fellowship is calling for applications. The deadline this year is April 2, 2018.

Fully Automated Luxury Socialism: The Case for a New Public Sector.

* For Your Consideration: African Speculative Fiction Society Nommos 2018.

I had a few bad parents during my time in One Hour, One Life but only one of them outright abandoned me. Most of them, even if they could barely care for themselves, tried to keep me alive. “We’re going to die,” one mother told me when I spawned into the game with her in the middle of a barren wilderness. We did, but she carried me with her every step of the way through our brief lives. ‘One Hour, One Life’: This Game Broke My Heart and Restored My Faith in Humanity.

We Must Cancel Everyone’s Student Debt, for the Economy’s Sake.

* Solarpunk: Against a Shitty Future.

Despite their claim to be the champions facts, reason, and evidence the right-wing and alt-liberal figures have failed to understand a simple fact about universities: they’re not actually left-wing places at all.

* Fewer foreign students exacerbate financial challenges for some U.S. universities.

* 99 Problems in Academia.

* What passes for intellectualism on the right.

* Unpaid internships are back.

All The Movies I Didn’t See.

My guess is, having elected, much to their surprise, a lunatic as the most powerful man on the planet, a man who boasts of ‘his’ nukes being bigger than Kim Jong-un’s, a man who could actually be crazy enough to unleash a nuclear warhead on millions, the Americans are sorely missing a time when the white man did something right.

* A slow, cerebral, Miracleman depiction of Barry Allen losing all touch with his humanity Dr.-Manhattan-style seems like the only way for The Flash to proceed from here.

* Black Panther crosses $1 billion.

* “President Trump would be able to dispatch Secret Service agents to polling places nationwide during a federal election, a vast expansion of executive authority, if a provision in a Homeland Security reauthorization bill remains intact.”

* Echoes of the Fugitive Slave Act in today’s immigration debate.

We’ll Never See This Politically Themed Black-ish Episode Because of ‘Creative Differences.’

* How to Lose Your Job From Sexual Harassment in 33 Easy Steps.

This Is What Happens When Bitcoin Miners Take Over Your Town.

YouTube, the Great Radicalizer.

* Super Mario as it was meant to be experienced.

* The legend of Kelly.

* The Singularity in theory and practice.

* If you want a vision of the future.

I Felt Despair About Climate Change—Until a Brush With Death Changed My Mind. “Leukemia and climate change have more in common than you might think.”

* Remembering The Hobbit: The Text Adventure.

* love 2 post on social media

* And a much-too-long-delayed Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal roundup: The oceans are warming. It’s altering turtle reproduction so that the vast majority of offspring are female. It was mistake to drop acid with Neil Degrasse Tyson. Pure evil. I’ll do anything for a good grade. Dear science. Dr. Bees. On sequels. I have this nightmare where a giant monster chases me. I’m going to give you a pill that’ll double your intelligence. Welcome to robot heaven. Penguin have a much happier version of the Titanic story. Finegan’s Wake. You are watching The Nihilist Channel. Where do you think all these fossils come from? Get me a scientist! Purposelessness is the only real super villain. Daddy, can I ask you something? The fundamental kid utility function. And my whole life has been one string of failures. Please send help.

All Your Friday Links!

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* The Star Trek: Discovery event is underway! Star Trek: Discovery Is Optimism, But Not for Us. “Can you bury your heart”? Having feelings about Discovery. Star Trek: Discovery as the End of Next Generation Triumphalism.

* CFP: Activist Speculation and Visionary Fiction (MLA 19).

* Jaimee Hills is officially a dangerous woman.

* The Male Glance.

* The university in ruins: UW Stevens Point. The administration clearly doesn’t even understand what it’s proposing:

When releasing the plan, university officials said that English majors for teacher certification would continue. But Williams said that under the state Department of Public Instruction’s certification criteria, a person looking to become an English teacher has to have been an English major.

“They just both have to exist, or both have to be eliminated,” Williams said. “One depends directly on the other.”

Professors earn about 15 percent less than others with advanced degrees, finds a study circulated Tuesday by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Though perhaps some of us make it up in job satisfaction (really).

* It’s gotten so bad in the humanities even the Yale grads don’t get jobs handed to them as soon as they graduate.

Why Creative-Writing Programs Have Been Havens for Harassment.

It has taken me two and a half decades to recognize that my experience of having a senior male nominal adviser and a female (usually more junior) actual adviser is common throughout academe. On Ghost Advising.

* Abusers and enablers in faculty culture.

* 5% raises in West Virginia. Onward to Oklahoma.

* Marquette vs. Trauma.

Snowflake students claim Frankenstein’s monster was ‘misunderstood’ — and is in fact a VICTIM.

On the Blackness of the Panther.

* Loved this from Barbara Ehrenreich: Body Work: The curiously self-punishing rites of fitness culture.

If anything, the culture of fitness has grown more combative than when I first got involved. It is no longer enough to “have a good workout,” as the receptionist at the gym advises every day; you should “crush your workout.” Health and strength are tedious goals compared to my gym’s new theme of “explosive strength,” achieved, as far I can see, through repeated whole-body swinging of a kettleball. If your gym isn’t sufficiently challenging, you might want to try an “ultra-extreme warrior workout” or buy a “home fitness system” from P90X, which in 2016 tweeted a poster of an ultra-cut male upper body, head bowed as if in prayer, with the caption “A moment of silence please for my body has no idea of what I’m about to put it through.” Or you could join CrossFit, the fastest-growing type of gym in the world, and also allegedly the most physically punishing. The program “prepares trainees for any physical contingency,” the company boasts, “not only for the unknown, but for the unknowable, too. Our specialty is not specializing,” and the latter category includes the zombie apocalypse. The mind’s stuggle for mastery over the body has become a kind of mortal combat.

* Too big to tax.

In this economy you’re either burned out, or you’re boxed out.

* The Secret NYPD Files: Officers Can Lie And Brutally Beat People — And Still Keep Their Jobs.

A prosecutor who obtained a wrongful conviction that sent a Houston man to death row for nearly 10 years didn’t just withhold evidence but also denied under oath that he had information that supported Alfred Dewayne Brown’s alibi, court records show.

* Twilight of the cult film.

Could Trump get a White House job if he weren’t president? Didn’t we already know Trump couldn’t get a loan before he was president?

Beware Liberal-Baiting “White House in Chaos” Stories. Trump’s Position Is As Solid As It’s Ever Been.

* Gratuitous cruelty by Homeland Security. Lying to the immigrant soldiers you promised citizenship.

A Dozen Democrats Want To Help Banks Hide Racial Discrimination In Mortgages.

Guess Who’s Not Coming To America? International Students.

* Kobe Steel’s Chief to Step Down as It Discloses Wider Quality Problems Fifty-Year Conspiracy to Defraud Customers.

* Toddler feelings helpline.

— If you still feel pretty messed up about how they were just going to burn the Velveteen Rabbit, please mash all of the keys but mostly 2.

* White flight remains a reality.

* Liberate our schools.

‘50 or 60. If I get lucky maybe 150.’

* The grim reality of job hunting in the age of AI.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe only really makes sense when you remember Captain America is a trans man.

Wait, what exactly was Luke Skywalker’s plan in Return Of The Jedi?

* The opioid crisis has become an “epidemic of epidemics.” Meanwhile, a new study suggests opioids are no better than Tylenol for treating some kinds of pain.

* Kentucky’s ‘child bride’ bill stalls as groups fight to let 13-year-olds wed.

* U.N. Report On Magical Realism Warns Of Increased Incidences Of Women’s Tears Flooding The Entire World.

False news stories travel faster and farther on Twitter than the truth.

* There’s no idea so terrible there isn’t someone in favor of it.

York University philosophy professor and team submit brief supporting chimpanzee personhood.

* Ok, but you’re on a very short leash.

Her name was Kanga and she was trouble.

* I Am the Very Important Longread Everyone Is Talking About.

* The United States of Middle-earth.

* Understanding Fight Club.

* And the arc of history is long, but.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 9, 2018 at 11:39 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Monday Morning Links!

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* If you only read one Star Trek: Discovery postmortem this week, it’s got to be Abigail Nussbaum’s. But if you read too, here’s mine at LARB! No Follow-Through.

* Then this one #3: In Its First Season, Star Trek: Discovery Asked Hard Questions It Never Really Wanted the Answers to.

Original pitch for Star Trek: The Next Generation had a hologram captain. Fake Research Paper Based on Star Trek: Voyager‘s Worst Episode Was Published by a Scientific Journal.

Science Fiction Film and Television 11.1 now available! With a special section on the science fiction of Scarlett Johansson, essays on District 9 and dating simulators, and a review essay on Get Out! 

* A CFP for the “Worlding SF” event in Graz, Austria, next December, with keynotes from Mark Bould, Cheryl Morgan, and me…

* Meanwhile, the 2019 CFP for the MLA’s speculative fiction discussion group, of which I am now the immediate past chair:

Activist Speculation and Visionary Fiction

How “visionary fiction” (Walidah Imarisha’s term for stories imagining “newer, freer worlds”) contributes to speculative fiction theory, pedagogy, practice. 200-word abstract, CV by 16 March 2018 to Alexis Lothian (

* I got the chance to watch this documentary on Flannery O’Connor last week as part of a Marquette English event. It was great! Can’t wait for it to find a home.

* Nothing but respect for my president.

Horrified Florida students beg the adults: Please, do something about guns.

I have a thing to say about growing up after tragedy.

* On the imperative of content. No one knows.

The goal was to create “products,” which could then be monetized, but according to Leslie, who took over oversight of the institute in 2015, “There was not the foundation of a business plan” at the institute’s inception. This is perhaps not surprising, given that the “Framework for Excellence” which midwifed the Institute was literally dreamed up in two days by Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa and his advisors and passed by the regents “without asking a single question.”

* We should just create “incentive” / punishment structures that force college presidents to retire at 64 1/2, just like they all did to faculty.

When the White Supremacists Come to Campus.

* When the suits killed Barnes and Noble.

* The august sport of (checks notes) curling may never be the same.

* Male privilege is having never thought about this possibility.

Ban The United States From The Olympics.

* Cleaning products as bad for lungs as smoking 20 cigarettes a day, scientists warn.

* How banks block people of color from homeownership.

* ICE really doubling down. Man who called 911 about suspected burglary detained by ICE. He can’t get proper HIV treatment in Venezuela. But he’s being deported anyway. ICE Arrests in the Pacific Northwest Increased 25 Percent in 2017. Washington officials gave activist’s info to ICE. Refusing an interpreter to a deaf detainee. How ICE Works to Strip Citizenship from Naturalized Americans. ICE Arrests Man at a Green Card Interview. Tearing families apart.

* Know your immigration law.

* Like Uber but for human trafficking.

Westchester School Leaves Behind Disabled Students in Fire Evacuation.

This List of Every Reason Banner Hulks Out in the Classic Hulk TV Series Is Hilarious.

  • Receiving a lethal injection, and then having the person say, “Oh. I just gave you a lethal injection. Sorry, David.”
  • Wandering around in the service ducts of a hotel (predating Bruce Willis) only to accidentally yank several of the pipes loose and get a full blast of hot steam
  • Being tied up and fed soup by an elderly Japanese woman who doesn’t
    understand words like “You’ve GOT to cut me loose!”
  • Being thrown under a New Orleans Mardi Gras parade float by a mean guy in a gorilla suit who gives David a few kicks for good measure
  • Receiving a speeding ticket
  • Wandering around inside a carnival funhouse, only to have someone turn on the machinery so that David is somehow caught in a rolling tumbler and flipped over a few times and then thrown down a convenient slide

‘Minecraft’ Data Mining Reveals Players’ Darkest Secrets.

* When Fonzie time-traveled.

* How should we talk about Trump’s brain?

The Security Clearance Situation in the White House Is Bonkers.

* The case for impeaching Clarence Thomas.

Here’s What Critics Are Saying About Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs.

New York Federal judge rules that embedding tweets can violate copyright law.

* Black Panther killed it. Black Panther and the Invention of Africa. Black Panther Is Not the Movie We Deserve. The Man Who Made Black Panther Cool.

Winners of the 2018 Underwater Photographer of the Year Contest.

The Donkey Kong Timeline Is Truly Disturbing.

Debullshitifying Uber’s financial statement reveals a hemorrhaging fountain of red ink with no path to profitability.

* Let kids have a sense of control over their own lives. The research is clear, let’s ban homework. In Defense of Picky Eating.

First ship crosses Arctic in winter without an icebreaker as global warming causes ice sheets to melt. Miami could be underwater in your kid’s lifetime as sea level rise accelerates.

* A History of the United American Socialist Republics.

Here’s All 290 Star Wars Movies Officially in Production Right Now.

* I loved this read of “The Voice of the Dolphins” at LARB, but it’s odd that the piece never notes the very strong suggestion in the story that the entire dolphin project was a hoax.


* What was only a trial run was taken seriously.

* And in a time without heroes: Cow escapes on way to slaughterhouse, smashes through metal fence, breaks arm of man trying to catch her then swims to safety on island in lake.

First Day of School Links!

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* Some late but very nice press for my Octavia Butler book: I was on an episode of the nationally syndicated radio show Viewpoints Radio this week, and the book had a lovely review in LARB!

CFP: Artificial Life: Debating Medical Modernity (April 19-21, UC Riverside).

* $75 million dollars to philosophy at Johns Hopkins.

* And on the pedestal these words appear.

12 People Face Misdemeanor Charges for Giving Food to The Homeless in El Cajon.

A girl-power moment for Medieval Times, where a woman has the lead for the first time. I have wanted to take my kids to Medieval Times ever since listening to the Doughboys episode about it a few months ago.

* Like the story about the sexual assaults of the US gymnastics team, there is something about Eliza Dushku’s story of being abused as a child by adults who were trusted with her care that is just so heartbreaking.

* Meanwhile, McKayla Maroney is facing a $100,000 for violating her NDA with USA Gymnastics.

A list of the teen-sex movies that I grew up on in the late 1970s/ 1980s. Keep in mind: Every one of these was considered a *comedy.*

‘Every day I am crushed’: the stateless man held without trial by Australia for eight years.

* ICE Keeps Raiding Hospitals and Mistreating Disabled Children. Feds planning massive Northern California immigration sweep to strike against sanctuary laws. DHS and DOJ Want to Arrest Mayors of Sanctuary Cities.

How one employee ‘pushed the wrong button’ and caused a wave of panic. America’s emergency notification systems were first built for war, and then rebuilt for peace. A false alarm in Hawaii shows that they didn’t anticipate how media works in the smartphone era. These are fascinating but I still have every confidence that the explanation we have been given for this event is bullshit and that the truth will come out in a decade or so. Pandemonium and Rage in Hawaii.

* “Wisconsin school apologizes for slavery homework assignment.”

* Foxconn boondoggle nearing $4.5 billion.

* “Almost 35 years ago, she let a stranger hold her newborn. It has haunted her ever since.”

Activists charged with Confederate statue toppling no longer face felonies.

Chelsea Manning files to run for U.S. Senate in Maryland.

The True History of Luke Skywalker’s Monastic Retreat.

Tea if by sea, cha if by land: Why the world only has two words for tea.

How the Female Stars of The Breakfast ClubFought to Remove a Sexist Scene, and Won.

* Tired of winning. So tired.

* And of course you had me at “Gorgeous Images of the Planet Jupiter.”

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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Nothing Changes on New Year’s Day Links

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* Call for Papers: Fantasy and Myth in the Anthropocene.

* People that found their doppelgängers in art museums.

We are often told that we need to articulate the case for the humanities in order to survive the current budgetary and political landscape. Many of us stutter and stumble when confronted with such requests, mumbling some barely audible phrases involving “skills,” “relevance,” “a changing economy,” “engagement,” and “values.” The reason it does not come out as something coherent or articulate, much less compelling, is that the ideas behind the words are just as hollow, and we know it. Somewhere inside we all know that there is no case for the humanities.

* George Ciccariello-Maher Resigns: “We are all a single outrage campaign away from having no rights at all.” Iowa senator proposes bill decried as ‘political litmus test’ for universities. A note to tenured faculty.

Meet the black architect who designed Duke University 37 years before he could have attended it.

* J.R.R. Tolkien, Beyond Good and Evil.

* “The midichlorians are an example of my overarching argument about The Prequels: that they contain a very nuanced story told very, very incompetently.”

* What was Leia supposed to do in Episode 9?

* Teach the controversy: the legend of Mark Hamill’s face.

* Another profile of the worst job on the Internet.

* NANO issue 12, a special issue on The Force Awakens.

* Ada 12, radical speculation and Ursula K. Le Guin.

* What if Parents Loved Strangers’ Children As Much As Their Own?

* Anomie. Quantum Mechanics. Love. Stotting. Zeno. Choice paralysis. Frosty. Melville. Poetry. Keep scrolling!

Unearthing the Capitalocene: Towards a Reparations Ecology.

* There is just no bottom.

* Killed by swatting.

* Why Is a Small Montana Town a Hotbed of Far-Right Activity? Emboldened white nationalists? Look no further than this liberal Oregon college town.

Price of 40-year-old cancer drug hiked 1,400% by new owners.

US nuclear tests killed far more civilians than we knew.

New research suggests that the hidden cost of developing nuclear weapons were far larger than previous estimates, with radioactive fallout responsible for 340,000 to 690,000 American deaths from 1951 to 1973.

* The robots are coming.

Obamacare and the survival test.

How to crush Trump.

How the baby boomers — not millennials — screwed America. Extreme poverty in America. World’s richest 500 see their wealth increase by $1tn this year. The U.S. without pensions. No ‘Easy Answer’ To Growing Number Of Stray Dogs In The U.S., Advocate Says. Long after Trump is gone, we’ll still be fighting him. As Wildfires Raged, Insurers Sent in Private Firefighters to Protect Homes of the Wealthy. Escaping Poverty Requires Almost 20 Years With Nearly Nothing Going Wrong. Death in an Amazon dumpster. The homeless and the coming cashless economy.

* Addiction, Inc.

Why Has Science Only Cured One Person of HIV?

* Same: Young American Men Are Choosing Video Games Over Work in Staggering Numbers. WHO to recognize gaming disorder as mental health condition in 2018.

* I’m starting to take this stuff personally: Poor social skills may be harmful to health.

* I mean really. Why Are Smart People Usually Ugly?

* Academics ‘face higher mental health risk’ than other professions.

* Atheism is caused by poor breath control.

The Rise and Fall of the Racist Right.

* Every Black Mirror. Against SNL. Against Star Wars. Disney Apparently Expects ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ To Bomb. How Star Wars Was Saved in the Edit.

When Michael Jackson Almost Bought Marvel.

Climate Change Is Happening Faster Than Expected, and It’s More Extreme. How We Know It Was Climate Change. And just because there can never be a single moment’s peace from toxic masculinity: Men Resist Green Behavior as Unmanly.

Can humanity make peace with its death?

* Seinfeld: The Point and Click Adventure.

The Most Expensive Mile of Subway Track on Earth.

* A world without prisons.

Private Prison Companies Are About to Cash In on Trump’s Deportation Regime.

* Marquette in the ne — oh no, this again?

Christmas Eve Eve Links Links

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* There’s a lovely review of my Butler book by Nisi Shawl in the new Women’s Review of Books. It’s not available online so you’ll have to take my word for it, unless your library subscribes…

* And I’m so happy to report that Extrapolation 58.2-3 is finally out, the special issue on “Guilty Pleasures: Late Capitalism and Mere Genre” I edited with Benjamin Robertson. Check out the intro to see what it’s all about, and then check out articles on Dragonlance, the Star Wars and Star Trek expanded universes, Sweet Valley High, Blondie, The Hunger Games, and Game of Thrones and fantasy roleplaying games…

CFP: Academic Track at the 76th World Science Fiction Convention, San José, California. CFP: Punking Speculative Fiction. CFP: Histories of the Future: Proto-Science Fiction from the Victorian Era to the Radium Age. CFP: Chapter Proposals for “Ecofeminist Science Fiction.” CFP: Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards.

An Incomplete Timeline of What We Tried.

* I thought this was great.

* Consider: Who pursues their goals with monomaniacal focus, oblivious to the possibility of negative consequences? Who adopts a scorched-earth approach to increasing market share? This hypothetical strawberry-picking AI does what every tech startup wishes it could do — grows at an exponential rate and destroys its competitors until it’s achieved an absolute monopoly. The idea of superintelligence is such a poorly defined notion that one could envision it taking almost any form with equal justification: a benevolent genie that solves all the world’s problems, or a mathematician that spends all its time proving theorems so abstract that humans can’t even understand them. But when Silicon Valley tries to imagine superintelligence, what it comes up with is no-holds-barred capitalism. Ladies and gentlemen, the great Ted Chiang.

Science fiction when the future is now. With appearances from Kim Stanley Robinson, Ken Liu, and Lauren Beukes.

* The best anti-Last-Jedi piece I’ve seen is Alyssa Rosenberg’s at the Washington Post. And the best pro-Last-Jedi piece from Dan Hassler-Forest at LARB. Somewhere in the middle is Abigail Nussbuam’s excellent piece at Asking the Wrong Questions.

* Lightsabers, by the numbers. Secret history of the porgs. Star Wars from below. Thank goodness somebody realized how terrible this would be. The Last Jedi and the necessary disappointment of epilogues. The films that inspired The Last Jedi. Behind the scenes. In defense of Canto Blight. Anti-nostalgia and anti-salvation. Star Wars without the Empire. How to Read Star Wars.

* Winter Is Coming: Climate Change in Westeros.

* How the Sesame Street Puppeteers Play Their Characters. It was only a year or three ago that I realized that on a basic level I’d still believed Big Bird was real; I had never thought or processed the fact that his lips were being moved by a puppeteer’s hands.

* So old I can remember when Sweet Briar was an inspiring story about a college being saved.

* On faculty and mental illness.

Study finds humanities and social science Ph.D.s working outside academe are happier than their tenure-track peers.

* Podcast alert: how does Samuel R. Delany work?

* Bang. Pow. To the Moon.

* Comedy writers name their most influential episodes: 1, 2.

* SHOCK REPORT: The tax bill is bad.

This Congress’s clear priorities: corporations, not children.

* It’ll also tax large endowments. Meanwhile in the academy: We Will Not Be Your Disposable Labor: Graduate Student Workers’ Fight Goes Beyond the GOP Assault. ‘A Complete Culture of Sexualization’: 1,600 Stories of Harassment in Higher Ed.

* Defund every agency that had any part in this. Murder Convictions Overturned, Two Men Are Immediately Seized By ICE. What happens to children whose parents are deported? 92 Somali immigrants deported in “slave-ship” conditions. ICE is abusing immigrant detainees with strip searches and threats. Shock of shocks, it turns out legal immigration is bad too.

The majority of US workers live in “employment monopsonies” where there is little or no competition for workers.

Why Doug Jones’s narrow win is not enough to make me confident about American democracy.

* Ghosts of 2012.

* First #J20 defendants found not guilty.

* The media wealth of African Americans in Boston is $8.

* People are using Uber instead of ambulances.

* The New York Times oddly reports on a Harry Reid boondoggle in a way that makes it sounds like aliens might be real.

* The Fred Moten century.

The Adult Bodies Playing Teens on TV.

* Monopolies are bad, no matter how much you like the brands involved. Avengers vs. monopoly.

“Neoliberalism” isn’t an empty epithet. It’s a real, powerful set of ideas.

* The madness of prison gerrymanders.

* Desegregation never happened.

* Climate refugees in Louisiana. Disability and disaster response in the age of climate change. Losing the wilderness.

* The FoxConn boondoggle gets worse and worse.

* The Next Crisis for Puerto Rico: Foreclosures.

* Revising agricultural revisionism.

* Against optimism.

* Against being born.

* On the sadcom.

Your Favorite Superhero Is Probably Killing the Planet.

* Professor X Is a Jerk!

* The Daily Stormer’s style guide.

* Opoids and homelessness. 3,000,000 pills to 3,000 patients in two years. The Opioid Crisis Is Getting Worse, Particularly for Black Americans. What happens after an American city gives a homeless person a one-way ticket out of town.

* The US gymnastics scandal somehow gets worse and worse.

‘The World’s Biggest Terrorist Has a Pikachu Bedspread.’

* The Forgotten Life of Einstein’s First Wife.

* The Ghost Economy.

* WHAT YEAR IS IT: How to prepare for a nuclear attack.

Lumberjanes’ Noelle Stevenson is Rebooting She-Ra for Netflix. Sir Ian McKellen Would Totally Play Gandalf In Amazon’s TV Tolkien Adaptations. The Next Bechdel Test.

* “Paradox,” by Naomi Kritzer.

* The Journal of Prince Studies.

* 80% of workers think managers are unnecessary. The other 20% mistakingly think they are managers.

* It’s not a perfect system, but it’s the one our Founders built: The Donald Trump droid is live at Disney World’s Hall of Presidents.

‘Trump, Trump, Trump!’ How a President’s Name Became a Racial Jeer. 55 Ways Donald Trump Structurally Changed America in 2017. Fascism has already come to America. Life expectancy declines for the second straight year. On brand.

* Heartbreaking interview with Heather Heyer’s mother.

* Jordan Peele, auteur.

* Dilbert: A Reckoning.

Still, it does make you ponder all the ways this industry works in service of power, and by extension those who abuse it. So many of comedy’s institutions are, at their core, PR machines. Branded content is Funny Or Die’s bread and butter. Every week SNL promotes someone’s new movie or TV show or album. Late night talk shows, with few exceptions, use jokes to bookend celebrity press tours. Comedians host awards shows because otherwise we might see them for the rituals they are—the wealthy and famous celebrating their own wealth and fame. Comedy normalizes power; it’s so successful at normalizing power that it feels weird to even write that as a criticism. Well, what’s wrong with normalizing power? Lots of things, but to start it lets monsters play the straight man in comedy sketches. It makes them relatable, which makes them less threatening. But power is always a threat, even more so when it seems innocuous, even more so when it seems… funny.

* 2018 is already terrible: there’ll be no more Zelda DLC.

* And remembering the reason for the season: Behold the official policy for destroying the head of Chuck E Cheese.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 23, 2017 at 10:06 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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