Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘partisan politics

New Year’s Links!

with one comment

* A nice endorsement of Octavia E. Butler from Steve Shaviro. Some bonus Shaviro content: his favorite SF of 2016. I think Death’s End was the best SF I read this year too, though I really liked New York 2140 a lot too (technically that’s 2017, I suppose). I’d also single out Invisible Planets and The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2016, both of which had some really good short stories. In comics, I think The Vision was the best new thing I’ve seen in years. There’s a lot I bought this year and didn’t have time to look at yet, though, so maybe check back with me in 2019 and I can tell you what was the best thing from 2016.

* Kindred: The Graphic Novel.

* Introducing the David Foster Wallace Society, including a CFP for the inaugural issue of The Journal of David Foster Wallace Studies.

Call for Papers: The Poverty of Academia.

* Oh, fuck this terrible year.

30 essential tips for succeeding in graduate school.

* The University in the Time of Trump.

Making the grade: a history of the A–F marking scheme.

* Who’s Afraid of the Student Debt Crisis?

Duke warns professors about emails from someone claiming to be a student, seeking information about their courses — many in fields criticized by some on the right. Some Michigan and Denver faculty members have received similar emails but from different source.

* The age of humanism is ending.

The New Year and the Bend of the Arc.

* The Front of the Classroom.

Marina Abramović and Kim Stanley Robinson perform “The Hard Problem.”

Osvaldo Oyola reads Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Black Panther.

* Leia Organa Solo: A Critical Obituary.

* Trump’s Arrival.

* Let them drink blood.

* BREAKING: There Is No Such Thing as “White Genocide.” Academic Freedom, Again. Buffalo skulls.

* I don’t think Children of Men was ever actually “overlooked” — and I’m shocked it was considered a flop at a time — but it certainly looks prescient now.

From Tape Drives to Memory Orbs, the Data Formats of Star Wars Suck. Remembering Caravan of Courage, the Ewok Adventure Star Wars Would Rather You’d Forget. Anti-fascism vs. nostalgia: Rogue One. How to See Star Wars For What It Really Is. And a new headcanon regarding the Empire and its chronic design problems.

Good News! Humans No Longer Caused Climate Change, According to the State of Wisconsin.

* How did A&E let this happen?

* On fighting like Republicans, or, the end of America.

* Scenes from the class struggle in Berkeley. And in Chillicothe, Ohio.

The seduction of technocratic government—that a best answer will overcome division, whether sown in the nature of man or ineluctable in capitalist society—slides into the seduction in the campaign that algorithms will render rote the task of human persuasion, that canvassers are just cogs for a plan built by machine. And so the error to treat data as holy writ, when it’s both easier and harder than that. Data are fragile; algorithms, especially when they aggregate preferences, fall apart. Always, always, power lurks. The technocrats have to believe in mass politics, believe for real that ordinary people, when they organize, can change their own destinies. Whether that happens depends on the party that gets built, and the forces behind it.

Four Cabinet nominations that could blow up in Donald Trump’s face. Fighting Mass Incarceration Under Trump: New Strategies, New Alliances. Why Donald Trump Might Not Be All That Good for Art. How Journalists Covered the Rise of Mussolini and Hitler. This all certainly seems on the up-and-up. And today in teaching the controversy: Nuclear diplomacy via Twitter is a bad idea.

* Democrats: Time to Win! Why the Democrats’ 2017 comeback dream is like nothing we’ve seen before.

The Russia Conundrum: How Can Democrats Avoid Getting Entangled in a Losing Issue?

House Republicans will ring in the new year with a plan to permanently cripple government.

Characters Are Not A Coloring Book Or, Why the Black Hermione is a Poor Apology for the Ingrained Racism of Harry Potter.

The Great Harvard Pee-In of 1973.

* Against jobs.

* Against Batman.

The UBI already exists for the 1%.

* The arc of history is long, but Google Search will not longer return Holocaust-denying websites at the top of page one.

* Same joke but about not being allowed to ban plastic bags in Michigan anymore.

The Champions of the 401(k) Lament the Revolution They Started.

* “It was a pleasure to cull.”

* Geoengineering could ruin astronomy.

* Haiti and the Age of Revolution.

* A Utopia for the Deaf in Martha’s Vineyard.

Why the ‘Ghost Ship’ Was Invisible in Oakland, Until 36 Died.

Nine charts that show how white women are drinking themselves to death.

* The American bison is the new U.S. national mammal, but its slaughter was once seen as a way to starve Native Americans into submission.

* It wasn’t just your imagination: more famous people did die in 2016.

* How long can Twitter go on like this?

* The Porn Business Isn’t Anything Like You Think it Is. The Attorney Fighting Revenge Porn.

* Special ed and the war on education.

My Little Free Library war: How our suburban front-yard lending box made me hate books and fear my neighbors.

* Becoming Ugly.

* Happy Public Domain Day 2017.

Intricate Star Trek Klingon Warship Using 25,000 LEGO Bricks.

* And the scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.

olclxmwmhibexiplxkwl

Written by gerrycanavan

January 3, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Elite Saturday Links Enter CANAVAN at Checkout for 20% Off

with one comment

toasts

* A version of this xkcd has been running continually in my brain for two years.

* February 26-27 at Duke University: Pleasure and Suspicion: An Interdisciplinary Conference.

* Open access SFFTV! A special issue on The X-Files from 2013.

Louisiana universities are facing the largest midyear cut in state history, Governor John Bel Edwards said in a televised speech last Thursday. Even if the Legislature can find additional revenue, higher education will need to cut $42 million this year. Louisiana’s total higher education budget is $769 million, and if the Legislature cannot raise more revenue, higher education could face a $200 million cut.

* RIP, Umberto Eco. What Is Harper Lee’s Legacy After Go Set a Watchman?

* The New Inquiry reviews The Witness.

The Slow Violence of Climate Change.

* At LARoB: How should we periodize comics?

* I’d been talking just yesterday to a student from my Lives of Animals class about the urban legends involving pigs and pig corpses and the war on terror. I said something like “No politician who wanted a national reputation would talk this way, though. Well, maybe Trump.” And lo, it came to pass.

* Steve Martin Performed Stand-Up Last Night for the First Time in 35 Years.

Chinese travel blogger likes Chicago but loves Milwaukee. Endorsed!

‘Black Sludge’ Pours Out Of Texas Town’s Faucets Days After FBI Arrests Nearly Every City Official.

The Shocking Truth of the Notorious Milgram Obedience Experiments.

The trouble was that this zombie-like, slavish obedience that Milgram described wasn’t what he’d observed.

Hero K is the Highly Anticipated New Novel by Don DeLillo. I’m in.

Half The World Will Be Short-Sighted By 2050? Half of America will be freelancers by 2020?

In an email to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shortly after the U.N. Security Council in March 2011 authorized military intervention in Libya, a former senior State Department official praised her achievement in “turning POTUS around on this.” Meanwhile, America Is Now Fighting a Proxy War with Itself in Syria. So that means we can’t lose, right?

* And elsewhere in smart battles wisely chosen: St. Louis Archbishop Urges Priests To Cut Ties With The Girl Scouts.

In her new book, Elaine Frantz Parsons re-traces the origins of the 19th-century KKK, which began as a social club before swiftly moving to murder.

* Proposals for new chess pieces.

Reds in Space: Socialist Science Fiction.

Beloved: The Best Horror Novel the Horror Genre Has Never Claimed. That’s something I talk about a lot when I teach the novel.

* Seems like a lowball: Husbands create 7 hours of extra housework a week.

The weirdest, best photos I found in an old Bernie Sanders archive. Arrest photo of young activist Bernie Sanders emerges from Tribune archives. Footage Shows 21-Year-Old Bad Boy Bernie Sanders Being Arrested at a Protest.

Clay Shirky: social media turned Dems, GOP into host organisms for third party candidates.

* Bloomberg yes! Bloomberg no!

* Also at Boing Boing: Forced arbitration clauses are a form of wealth transfer to the rich.

The Guardian reports on an accusation by a former Muskegon County, Michigan health official claiming that a Catholic healthcare provider forced five women between August 2009 and December 2010 to undergo dangerous miscarriages by giving them no other option.

* The Singularity’s all right: A 19-year-old made a free robot lawyer that has appealed $3 million in parking tickets.

* We already knew Doc Brown was a monster, but how deep does the rabbit hole go?

* Financialization and the end of journalism.

* “on a scale of luke skywalker to jaime lannister…”

* Just this once.

The universe may have existed forever, according to a new model that applies quantum correction terms to complement Einstein’s theory of general relativity. The model may also account for dark matter and dark energy, resolving multiple problems at once.

* Elsewhere on the deep time beat: What sparked the Cambrian explosion?

The Warriors’ Odds Of Going 73-9. Written before last night’s loss.

* This one misses me, but it may help some of you feel better: Coffee May Reduce The Damage Alcohol Does To Your Liver.

* This one’s a real emotional roller coaster: Chimp Abandoned On Island Welcomes Rescuers With Open Arms.

* From the SMBC archives: Lucy, the football, and existential dread.

* And they said my work was useless.

20101112

Written by gerrycanavan

February 20, 2016 at 12:32 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

First Tuesday after the First Monday in November Links!

leave a comment »

* ICYMI: An edited and expanded meritocracy, lottery, game blog post got republished at Inside Higher Ed yesterday. Here’s a reply suggesting a better metaphor than games might be the casting process.

* Cool stuff happening at Marquette: Conflicting Audience Reception of Tauriel in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit. A student-curated exhibit at the Taggerty. And of course there’s my pop culture group geeking out over The Hunger Games.

A college can’t fire an adjunct professor for criticizing it, so long as the issues raised are matters of public concern and the adjunct has reasonable expectation of continued employment, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled Thursday in a decision regarding Moraine Valley Community College in Illinois.

Walter Benjamin’s Radio Plays. You Know, for Kids.

A Manifesto for the Freelance Academic.

* Colorado Community College Faculty Bill of Rights.

* Is academic science still sexist? No! Yes!

Colleges have no business being vehicles for mass entertainment any more than they have business selling widgets or maintaining a fishing fleet. It is no proper part of a university’s mission to provide quality television programming and year-round gambling opportunities for the rest of the country. That this has become the norm in America’s system of higher education is a monstrous accident of history and of academic neglect, but there it is, and it is not going anywhere, and the only way to do it is simply to make an honest business out of it.

* Gasp! …the average student in a MOOC is not a Turkish villager with no other access to higher education but a young white American man with a bachelor’s degree and a full-time job.

* Cura personalis: The maturation of the student—not information transfer—is the real purpose of colleges and universities. Of course, information transfer occurs during this process. One cannot become a master of one’s own learning without learning something. But information transfer is a corollary of the maturation process, not its primary purpose. This is why assessment procedures that depend too much on quantitative measures of information transfer miss the mark. It is entirely possible for an institution to focus successfully on scoring high in rankings for information transfer while simultaneously failing to promote the maturation process that leads to independent learning.

* The end of the Red Cross.

* The latest from Aaron Bady’s ongoing interview series at Post45: “Not in a million years did I expect some people to be upset about the portrayal of the conquistadors.”

* My Grandma the Poisoner.

* Happy election day! The empty election. The Democrats are doomed. Ginsburg Was Right: Texas’ Extreme Voter ID Law Is Stopping People From Voting. New Voting Restrictions Could Swing the 2014 Election. Black people, white government. Facebook Wants You to Vote on Tuesday. Here’s How It Messed With Your Feed in 2012.

Lawyers, judges, and even journalists tend to have trouble finding people like Eric Kennie—the people who are the most completely disenfranchised by a law like SB14—precisely because such people are, in many areas of life, completely disenfranchised.  If they had the kind of economic and social wherewithal to make their voices heard in political or legal spheres—if they knew lawyers or journalists or legislators or people who knew such people—then they most likely would also have the kind of economic and social wherewithal to obtain the documents SB14 demands.  Their very lack of money, lack of a car, lack of knowledge of how the system works, and lack of options also tend to make them invisible to the more elite actors who, in distant courtrooms and legislative hearing rooms and newsrooms, fight out the disputes that affect whether they can vote.  From the point of view of those more elite actors, looking for Eric Kennie is indeed, as Pilkington puts it, like looking for a vacuum.  It like an anti-social-networking puzzle in our networked age: please find me the people who are the most distant from, the least connected to, me or anyone I know.

* And as if the whole stupid thing weren’t irrational enough: Sense of disgust is ’95 percent accurate’ predictor of whether you’re liberal or conservative.

* Tom Steyer spent $57 million to get voters to care about climate change. It didn’t work. Oh, if only he’d spent $58 million!

* Cancel the midterms! There’s still time!

* Viewpoint Magazine, Issue 4: “The State.”

* 2016 and imperial feminism.

*The dependence of the poor on payday loans is neither natural nor inevitable. It is the result of neoliberal policies. The New Loan Sharks. Payday Loans, You Know, for Kids.

* They’re Still Redlining.

* BREAKING: The stock market is an irrational casino and we have no idea how it works.

* Huge congrats to Obama for triumphing here over a really tough field.

* Bullshit Jobs, the Caring Classes, and the Future of Labor: An Interview with David Graeber.

* Historical Futurology. Check the footnotes for some nice citation of Green Planets!

* The sharing economy has a race problem. The Sharing Economy: 21st Century Technology, 19th Century Worker Protections. The Sharing Economy’s ‘First Strike’: Uber Drivers Turn Off the App.

* Nudes and female corporal ownership.

Hollaback and Why Everyone Needs Better Research Methods.

* How Racism Stole Black Childhood.

* Fracking Wells Abandoned in Boom/Bust Cycle. Who Will Pay to Cap Them?

* Americans Are Working So Hard It’s Actually Killing People.

* The justice system is a monster: Why Innocent People Plead Guilty.

* Finally, someone has put transubstantiation to a rigorous scientific test.

* On Saturday, Brittany Maynard used Oregon’s Death With Dignity law to end her life.

Erwin Chemerinsky read a 500-page biography of Antonin Scalia so you don’t have to. Spoiler alert: he’s the worst.

* In praise of A Canticle for Leibowitz. Really bad third act problems, though.

People can feel lots of different things about Lena Dunham and her body of work. What I’m not comfortable with, and certainly not under the mantle of supporting victims and building a culture of consent, is for people to create a narrative of victimization and abuse for Grace Dunham that she has never claimed for herself.

Losing My Career to Illness: Academia and Parkinson’s Disease.

* Bruce Springsteen by the book.

Cheat-Sheet for a Non (or Less) Colonialist Speculative Design.

* FBI Files on African American Authors and Literary Institutions Obtained through the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.

* Mr. Rogers Talks To The Wicked Witch About Being Misunderstood.

* “The court finds that Secular Humanism is a religion for Establishment Clause purposes,” the ruling read.

* In 2014, countries are still paying off debt from World War One.

* UK cultural institutions leave their WWI cases empty to protest insane copyright.

* Dachau’s notorious ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ gate stolen.

* Secret Fantasies of Adults.

* The legendary comics author Alan Moore has written a million-word novel, tribute to every eternal speck in his universe.

A Melancholy List of Edgar Allan Poe’s Debts, From His Bankruptcy Petition of 1842.

* How to stop global warming, in seven steps. Oh, if only it’d been six steps!

* Stephen King: The Rolling Stone Interview.

* And kiss your free time goodbye: you can now play 900 pre-1996 arcade games online for free.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 4, 2014 at 7:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday Links!

leave a comment »

Six for Friday

with 5 comments

* The dark side of dual enrollment. There’s some interesting stuff here on how testing practices deform learning, too:

We talked a little bit about the class, her performance, and where she should go next. The student explained that my class is not compatible with her “learning method.” She said that she prefers “that multiplying method, you know, where there are letters, A, B, C.”

I said, “You mean, multiple choice?”

“Yes, that’s the one,” she said. “That’s the method where I learn best. I’m good at figuring out which letters aren’t the right ones.”

She said she was good at multiple choice because she has learned to eliminate wrong answers and get the choices down to one or two and then make a good guess. She has transferred into Sam Houston State University with 65 credit hours (two years!) of “college” classes, all earned at a nearby community college. With possibly one exception (part of a math class), all her community-college classes used multiple choice. She said she didn’t learn well with my “method.”

This student spent 15 years of standardized tests learning how to discriminate between pre-presented choices — an utterly useless skill.

* Ideology vs. how random number generators work.

Hollywood misogyny is somehow getting worse.

* Via Facebook: Genocide in South Dakota?

* Perry Anderson in New Left Review with a nice history of the two-party system in America.

* And Business Week has a capitalism-with-a-human-face profile of CostCo.

‘Ordinary People Hate Partisanship, and Elites Hate Ideology; Hence the Elite Is Constantly Attempting to Misrepresent the Latter as the Former’

leave a comment »

The other day I was listening to an NPR call-in show about Occupy Wall Street, and I heard the kind of infuriating caller you often get on these programs, who lamented extremism and polarization and said that we need to work together with Wall Street to solve our problems, blah blah blah. But positions like that are only tenable in the wake of the elite campaign to efface all conflicts of interest or ideology, and replace them with the illusion that there is some technocratic compromise that would equally benefit the 99% and the 1%. Barack Obama’s latest move on behalf of that campaign is his bizarre argument that the democratic socialist Martin Luther King “would remind us that the unemployed worker can rightly challenge the excesses of Wall Street without demonizing all who work there”. But this is no time to shrink from a bit of demonization. The best thing leftists can do to combat this sort of nonsense, then, is to help draw out and clarify the implicit class ideology of the protestors, rather than condemn them for not drawing political demarcations in the way we would prefer; as the young Marx put it, “We do not say to the world: Cease your struggles, they are foolish; we will give you the true slogan of struggle. We merely show the world what it is really fighting for, and consciousness is something that it has to acquire, even if it does not want to.”

As if to respond to Alex’s concerns about the Matt Taibbi piece linked yesterday, Peter Frase argues we must reassert the difference between partisanship and ideology.

By Then It Will Be Too Late for the Rest of Us, Too

with 4 comments

I had a piece on climate change denialism in the local alt-weekly this week reviewing Orrin and Keith Pilkey’s Global Climate Change: A Primer. Here’s a taste:

Particularly crucial are chapters 3 and 4, which temporarily turn away from the science of climate change to what the Pilkeys call “the manufacture of dissent,” detailing the coordinated efforts by Fox News, Koch Industries and other right-wing outlets to generate false doubts about climate science. This, they write, is the true “hoax” involving climate change—a hoax that calls to mind the efforts of tobacco industry lobbyists to obscure the truth about cigarette smoking and which, indeed, is in many cases being perpetrated by exactly the same individuals. The ginning up of the so-called Climategate scandal is one of the best-known examples of this wide-ranging PR strategy; in truth, as the Pilkeys demonstrate, Climategate shows scientists behaving unprofessionally, but not inappropriately, and lends no credence whatsoever to paranoid claims that climate science is being manipulated by some left-wing conspiracy. In fact, the very opposite is true; the actual conspiracy is on the right, is incredibly sophisticated and well-financed, and is implacably dedicated to denialism…

Of course, there’s more at the link.