Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Patton Oswalt

Thank God It’s Monday Links

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* I have a pair of appearances in the new Eaton Journal of Archival Research in Science Fiction: one the transcript of the archival research panel at the last ICFA, and the other a writeup of the Octavia E. Butler papers at the Huntington. Boing Boing liked it, so should you!

Islam and Science Fiction: An Interview with Muhammad Aurangzeb Ahmad.

* Deadline extended: “In More’s Footsteps: Utopia and Science Fiction.”

* There’s only 37 stories, and we tell them over and over.

* The reason for the season: China Miéville: Marxism and Halloween – Socialism 2013.

* African American Review has a special issue devoted to Samuel R. Delany.

The layoffs and program reductions will save Rider close to $2 million annually once the changes take effect next school year, the university said. The university has a $216 million operating budget and faces a current deficit of $7.6 million, a school spokesman said.

In the Midst of Union Battle, Duquesne University Just Laid Off All but One of Its English Adjuncts.

* O Adjunct! My Adjunct!

The Philosophy of Adjuncting: A Syllabus.

“This is going to be like a combination of fantasy football and which body part can you live without.”

* There is no college bubble.

Study on online charter schools: ‘It is literally as if the kid did not go to school for an entire year.’

* A Florida college will force job applicants to bid salary.

* What I Learned From Cutting 300 Pages Out Of My Epic Trilogy.

* The Secret Lives of ‘Star Wars’ Extras.

School and prison, school as prison, yes. But the most troubling possibility, I think, is school or prison. By using this locution, I don’t intend to invoke the uplift narrative that posits education as a means of avoiding criminality or, really, criminalization—a narrative that the “school-to-prison pipeline” concept has already undone. The or of my “school or prison” marks not a choice between alternatives but an identity produced through the indifferent interchangeability of functions.

* Arbitration is terrible.

The more unequal your society is, the more your laws will favor the rich.

* Haruki Murakami’s Monopoly. And why not: Selections from H.P. Lovecraft’s Brief Tenure as a Whitman’s Sampler Copywriter.

How J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis Revived Modern Myth-Telling. The Catholic Fantasies of Chesterton and Tolkien.

“It Follows”: Contemporary Horror and the Feminization of Labor.

53 years after his firing, college professor gets apology.

Penny booksellers are exactly the sort of weedy company that springs up in the cracks of the waste that the Internet has laid to creative industries. They aren’t a cause; they’re a small, understandable result. Penny booksellers expose the deep downside to efficiency capitalism, which is that everything, even literal garbage and rare high art, is now as easy to find and roughly as personal as a spare iPhone charging cable.

The Winner of the Latest GOP Debate Was, Hands Down, Patton Oswalt.

We must resist the market forces destroying our universities.

George Romero digs up a lost scene from Night Of The Living Dead.

* Teach the controversy: “The destruction of Alderaan was completely justified.”

* And while we’re at it: Jar Jar Binks was a trained Force user, knowing Sith collaborator, and will play a central role in The Force Awakens.

This Chart Shows How The US Military Is Responsible For Almost All The Technology In Your iPhone.

* Chimera watch: A Man is His Son’s Uncle, Thanks to a Vanished Twin.

* Crisis in the ACC.

Google, Tesla, others wait for DMV’s self-driving rules.

Bikini islanders seek US refuge as sea levels threaten homes. But it’s not all bad news! No, Climate Change Won’t Make the Persian Gulf “Uninhabitable.”

* It really depends what the meaning of “interdisciplinary” is.

* I’ll allow it, but listen, you’re on very thin ice: Wes Anderson would like to make a horror movie.

Things My Newborn Has Done That Remind Me of the Existential Horror of the Human Experience.

After 40 Years, Dungeons & Dragons Still Brings Players To The Table.

* Really now, don’t say it unless you mean it.

* Huge if true: Milwaukee County Sheriff Predicts Black Lives Matter Will Soon Join Forces with ISIS.

* Ethics 102.

* And there’s nothing sweet in life.

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Written by gerrycanavan

November 2, 2015 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Friday Night Links

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* Thickness of the ice sheets at various locations 21,000 years ago compared with modern skylines.

* Ian Bogost has a great piece on MOOCs in an otherwise totally skippable LARoB feature on the subject.

MOOCs are a financial policy for higher education. They exemplify what Naomi Klein has called “disaster capitalism”: policy guilefully initiated in the wake of upheaval.  The need to teach more students with fewer resources is a complex situation. It’s partly caused by hubris, especially the blind search for higher institutional status through research programs, and it’s exacerbated by the tax base crises of the ongoing and seemingly permanent Great Recession. MOOCs offer the next logical step in this process of “cost containment.” But those who would call current funding models “unviable” and offer MOOCs as a convenient alternative fail to admit that the very need for an alternative presumes that we want to abandon public education in favor of a corporate-owned infrastructure in the first place.

MOOCs are an academic labor policy. As a consequence of the financial policy just described, MOOCs are amplifying the precarity long experienced by adjuncts and graduate student assistants, and helping to extend that precarity to the professoriate. MOOCs encourage an ad-hoc “freelancing” work regime among tenured faculty, many of whom will find the financial incentives for MOOC creation and deployment difficult to resist. This is particularly true of public institution faculty who have gone years without raises. Many institutions offer tens of thousands of dollars of direct compensation for MOOC development and teaching. And, in some cases, MOOCs offer direct access to student tuition and direct competition among faculty for those new resources, extending the “entrepreneurial” institutional politics of professional schools (and corporate life more generally) to all disciplines.

MOOCs are speculative financial instruments. The purpose of an educational institution is to educate, but the purpose of a startup is to convert itself into a financial instrument.The two major MOOC providers, Udacity and Coursera, are venture capital-funded startups, and therefore they are beholden to high leverage, rapid growth with an interest in a fast flip to a larger technology company or the financial market. The concepts of “disruption” and “innovation,” so commonly applied to MOOCs, come from the world of business. As for EdX, the MOOC consortium started by Harvard and MIT, it’s a non-profit operating under the logic of speculation rather than as a public service. If anything, it will help the for-profits succeed even more by evangelizing their vision as compatible with elite non-profit educational ideals.

It is telling that elite professors and universities who design MOOCs aren’t using them for their own students. Those of us who value education and its role in fostering both literacy and democracy should pass on them too.

* Patton Oswalt: A Closed Letter to Myself about Thievery, Heckling, and Rape Jokes.

* Sarah Kendzior vs. the prestige economy. Good interview.

* Obama wants you to believe he’s really truly going to get serious about the climate next month. Really! Meanwhile, they’ve found another methane time bomb in the permafrost.

There are nearly six times as many showings of Man Of Steel alone as there are of all the films about women put together.

The Seinfeld theme slowed down by 1,200 percent is horrifying.

* High-ranking SS commander found living in Minnesota.

* John Oliver really is a much better host of the Daily Show than Stewart’s been since the Bush years.

The investigation was ongoing, but Undersheriff James Szczesniak said there was no evidence yet that Martino “had any ill intent.” There could be a dozen perfectly legitimate reasons why he’d have 30 to 40 pipe bombs in his apartment.

 Transgender People Can Now Change Their Social Security Record’s Gender Identity.

What’s more important: a college degree or being born rich? The answer will totally not surprise you!

* And the time has come at last to raid Detroit’s pensions in the name of bankers’ profits.

Wednesday Deux

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screen-capture* CFP: Queerness and Games at UC Berkeley.

* AMC passed on Red Mars, but then greenlights this? Those idiots.

Minimum Wage Machine (Work in Progress).

The minimum wage machine allows anybody to work for minimum wage. Turning the crank will yield one penny every 4.97 seconds, for $7.25 an hour (NY state minimum wage). If the participant stops turning the crank, they stop receiving money.

* Gabrielle Giffords op-ed on the Senate’s minority-rules rejection of gun control.

What started out as a case about whether corporations could be held accountable in U.S. courts for human rights violations abroad now turned into a case about whether anyone can be held accountable. And on Wednesday, a five-justice majority of the U.S. Supreme Court held that the answer is, mostly, no.

Mellon Foundation awards grant to develop new careers for humanities Ph.D.s. At the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Disney Says New ‘Star Wars’ Films Will Open Every Summer Starting in 2015. The internet has spoken: put Patton Oswalt in charge.

Sunday Night

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Sunday night.

* Patton Oswalt says if you didn’t like The Watchmen you should just shut up. Fair enough, but you know, that’s not really the title… (via Bill, who promises via Twitter both a blog post and a Poli-Sci-Fi Radio podcast on this soon)

* We all want to flee to the Cleve: a new Bruce Springsteen exhibit opens at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 1. (Thanks, Brent!)

* Science fiction set in 2009. The Postman and Dark Angel are legit picks—but when your list needs three movies from the last two years, Family Matters, and an episode of Charmed to work, it’s time to rethink.

* Is the global economy a Ponzi scheme, are we all Bernie Madoffs, and what comes next?

Written by gerrycanavan

March 8, 2009 at 11:08 pm