Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Pentagon

Saturday Night Links! Apologies to Anyone Who Actually Tries to Read This Post!

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* CFP: “New Worlds of Speculation.” CFP: Star Trek Novel Worlds. CFP: Slowness. CFP: SFRA News associate editors. And in case you missed it: SFFTV is finally looking for book, DVD, and video game reviewers again.

* Speaking of SFRA: The 2020 conference will be held at Indiana University from July 8-11, 2020.

* Tenure-track job: Assistant Professor, Disability Studies Program.

* As If: Alternative Histories from Then to Now.

* Syllabus: Philosophy of Middle-Earth. Microsyllabus: Animal Studies.

* Collateral Journal has a special issue on the weird, mostly focused on Vandermeer.

* For my “Jesuits in Space!” syllabus: Why do Catholic priests keep popping up in sci-fi? Science Fiction and Catholicism: The Rise and Fall of the Robot Papacy.

* What South Asian SF can tell us about our world.

* What will Palestine be like in 2048? Writers turn to sci-fi for the answer.

* From Black Panther to Tade Thompson: why Afrofuturism is taking over sci-fi.

* ‘Guilty’ Pleasures? No Such Thing.

* Brexit vs. Roko’s basilisk.

* Let’s talk about peeing in space.

* Utopia for realists: The case for a universal basic income, open borders, and a 15-hour workweek.

* Another starry-eyed young writer discovers that Columbia School of the Arts is a scam. Still angry after all these years!

* College and the future of work. The Humanities as We Know Them Are Doomed. Now What? ‘Dire Financial Straits’: A Portrait of a Desperate University That Made All the Wrong Bets. ‘Better, Not Bigger’: As Private Colleges Hunger for Students, One University Slims Down.

* This historic map of 6 million syllabi reveals how college is changing.

* Chaos theory as career counseling. And on a more down to Earth level: 8 Tips to Improve Your CV.

How Should Professors Cite Their Transgender Colleagues’ Work Produced Under Past Identities? Academe Is Trying to Figure It Out.

All Along the Ivory Tower.

Generous Worlds: Rethinking the Fate of the American University.

Securing a better future almost certainly means working outside established institutional and administrative power channels. That means labor unions and persistent collective action by the people who actually allow the university to function day to day, and by the publics that surround it. Fitzpatrick has little to say about such action, aside from some late, quick references to the recent wave of K–12 teachers strikes. Taken to its logical conclusion, this would entail a fundamental restructuring of schools, running them like truly democratic, far less hierarchical collectives, and that runs counter to their institutional history. Undoing our present system would be a massive undertaking in both material and conceptual terms, and I fail to see how anything less than union action would make it possible. There is reason for hope, though, as unionization is beginning to win victories for adjunct faculty across the United States.

‘Everybody Is Panicking’: Thousands of Alaska Students Scramble With Scholarship Money in Jeopardy. Alaska Lawmakers Fail to Avert Sweeping Cuts to the University System. Here’s What Happens Next. Facing unprecedented state cuts, faculty members at one branch of the University of Alaska system assert that another campus should absorb most of the financial pain. Its peers aren’t pleased. Despair, rage.

* UC Berkeley Removed From US News College Rankings For Misreporting Statistics.

But how did we get to the point where the idea of education as a human right and a public good is back on the table, and where free college and debt cancellation on a mass scale are being advanced by members of Congress, including a top presidential candidate? One answer is grass-roots organizing by people who have been fighting on this front for years, including members of an organization that I helped to co-found, the Debt Collective.

* The Alaska village where every cop has been convicted of domestic violence.

* Part two of the great ESPN expose on kids sports: Under the knife: Exposing America’s youth basketball crisis.

* America is warming fast. See how your city’s weather will be different in just one generation. This Year’s Wild, Wet Spring Is Feeding Massive Blobs of Toxic Algae. ‘Toxic Stew’ Stirred Up by Disasters Poses Long-Term Danger, New Findings Show. We Were Already Over 350 ppm When I Was Born. All-time temperature records tumble again as heatwave sears Europe. Climate Change Is a Humanitarian Crisis. Climate change and hurricanes. California’s Wildfires Are 500 Percent Larger Due to Climate Change. Huge swathes of the Arctic on fire, ‘unprecedented’ satellite images show. Beautiful, isn’t it. 3M admits to releasing toxic chemicals into the Tennessee River for over a decade. How Can You Tell When a Glacier Is Dead? Who needs food, anyway? Every movie is a climate change movie. Climate change is making people suicidal. Open Borders Must Be Part of Any Response to the Climate Crisis. “I spend my billions on space because we’re destroying Earth.”

To take one step back: the climate already is hotter than ever before in our species’ history. The entire history of human evolution (the development of agriculture, of civilization, of everything we take as familiar facts of our social interactions, our political systems, our cultural inheritance, our biological processes) all developed under climate conditions that no longer pertain. It’s now as if we’ve collectively landed on a different planet, and we need to figure out how many things that we’ve brought with us can survive in this new world, and how many of them will have to be remodeled or remade. Now add on top of that the fact that so far we only have reached 1.1 degrees of warming. We should expect to see at least two (probably three, and maybe four) times as much warming still this century. So our lives will get dramatically different even from where we find them right now. Everything we still take for granted actually will come up for question.

Cybergothic Acid Communism Now.

* Mr. Rogers and radical theology.

* How America Got to ‘Zero Tolerance’ on Immigration: The Inside Story. Six officials at nonprofit Southwest Key, which runs migrant child shelters, earned more than $1 million in 2017. Trump’s Border Patrol Chief Was In Secret, Racist Facebook Group. Autopsy Offers Jarring New Details About the Death of a 16-Year-Old Guatemalan Boy. A Border Kept Him From His Daughter. He Came Only in Time to Say Goodbye. The Man Killed In An Attack On An ICE Jail Said He Was Fighting “Against The Forces Of Evil.” A Border Patrol Agent Reveals What It’s Really Like to Guard Migrant Children. Migrants Shout “No Shower!” as Pence Tours Overcrowded, Foul-Smelling Detention Center. Video. More video. AOC in impassioned testimony: Children were separated from parents ‘in front of American flags.’ Thousands of unaccompanied migrant children could be detained indefinitely. What separation from parents does to children: ‘The effect is catastrophic.’ More. 3-Year-Old Asked To Pick Parent In Attempted Family Separation, Her Parents Say. On her first day in office Elizabeth Warren pledges to start a commission to investigate “crimes committed by the United States against immigrants.” Immigration Judges Are Railing Against A Plan To Replace Court Interpreters With Videos. Trump Seeking to Effectively Outsource Asylum Seekers to Guatemala. U.S. consulates around the world are “blatantly abusing their discretion” to stop legal immigration, lawyers say. A Dallas-born citizen picked up by the Border Patrol has been detained for three weeks, his lawyer says. Held in a cramped space with 60 men, he’d lost 26 pounds and been denied showers. ICE dragged a man out of his car after breaking the window and threatened to shoot a nearby witness who asked for their warrant. Border agent in Clint accused of harassing mother of 12-year-old migrant who was in custody. Expedited removal to be expanded to apply everywhere within the U.S. (not just 100-mile border zone) and to anyone not in the U.S. more than two years. ‘Never again means close the camps’: Jews protest ICE across the country. More on this one. The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s decision to speak out against Holocaust analogies is a moral threat. 70 Catholics arrested in D.C. protest over Trump immigration policies. Bishops back Catholics arrested at Capitol for protesting treatment of immigrant children. Ahead of ICE raids, Miami advocacy groups set up secret shelters for immigrants in fear. ICE agents back down in Nashville after neighbors, activists link arms to help man, boy avoid feds. ICE has taken 35 of 2,000 people they were trying to deport into custody. They are blaming community defense efforts for their lack of success. Keep it up y’all. Autopsy report for a sixteen year old who died in a CBP shelter. Now that’s what I call the Anthropocene™.

https://twitter.com/saladinahmed/status/1149375043182505985

* Cops can do anything. Really, anything. St. Louis police union asks officers to post Punisher logo in solidarity with cops under investigation.

Penguins ignore police, return to sushi shop.

Democrats Continue Search For The Smoking Gun They Already Have. On The Mueller Report, Vol. 1: How they got away with it. Nancy Pelosi Has Lost Control.

It’s funny when people say the Democrats have no spines. You guys, they are a bunch of millionaires whose campaigns are financed by other millionaires. They have spines, it’s just that their job isn’t to stand up to the Republicans, it is to stand up to you.

 

* The world’s saddest, most pathetic losers.

What Jane Mayer Gets Wrong About Al Franken. Al Franken Really Wants You to Know How Clumsy He Is. Al Franken did the right thing by resigning.

* Trump’s Electoral College Edge Could Grow in 2020, Rewarding Polarizing Campaign.

How 13 Rejected States Would Have Changed The Electoral College.

* How a fractured family may have changed the course of American politics.

For those interested in the extreme rightward drift in the GOP, this podcast is a must. It delves into the activities of WA-GOP state representative Matt Shea. If the party will tolerate this guy, it’ll tolerate pretty much anything.

* The future of Trumpism is more erudite — and just as frightening.

* ‘If others have rifles, we’ll have rifles’: why US leftist groups are taking up arms.

Trump claims the Constitution allows him to do whatever he wants. He’s not wrong!

* The end of the Supreme Court.

* If the South didn’t exist, the North would have to invent it. How segregation keeps poor students of color out of whiter, richer nearby districts.

* Teenage pricks.

The Socialist Network: Inside DSA’s struggle to move into the political mainstream. Sanders and Warren voters have astonishingly little in common. The Billionaires Are Against Bernie — and the Rest of Us. Why Did Millennials Turn Left?

* 76 billion opioid pills: Newly released federal data unmasks the epidemic. A remote Virginia valley has been flooded by prescription opioids. Louvre Removes Sackler Family Name From Its Walls.

* The Epstein files: Jeffrey Epstein paid $350K to ‘influence’ possible co-conspirators: prosecutors. Jeffrey Epstein’s High Society Contacts. How Jeffrey Epstein Used the Billionaire Behind Victoria’s Secret for Wealth and Women. Jeffrey Epstein found nearly unconscious in NYC jail cell after possible suicide attempt. Jeffrey Epstein Taught at Dalton. His Behavior Was Noticed. How a Predator Operated in Plain Sight.

In this way, pedophile conspiracies act as a sort of propaganda of the counterrevolution, a fun-house reflection of the real threats to the social order. This is what connects QAnon and Pizzagate to McMartin to the witch hunts of the Middle Ages to the dawn of major religions. The demons may take different forms, but the conspiracy is basically the same: Our house is under attack.

* Today in the staggering efficiency of capitalism.

* MLMs are cults that prey on moms, Mormons and the military.

* Twilight of Netflix. Perhaps we won’t miss it.

Netflix’s metrics-driven approach shows up in other ways. For instance, it now routinely ends shows after their second season, even when they’re still popular. Netflix has learned that the first two seasons of a show are key to bringing in subscribers—but the third and later seasons don’t do much to retain or win new subscribers. Ending a show after the second season saves money, because showrunners who oversee production tend to negotiate a boost in pay after two years.

* Nothing gold can stay dead.

* Peak America: “Emmett Till memorial in photo of gun-toting Mississippi students will be made bulletproof.”

* Unless it’s this one: a school district refusing donations to double-down on its threat to take people’s children over unpaid lunch debt.

* Look, there’s a lot of Peak America to go around.

MAGA Bomber’s Lawyers Blame Trump, Sean Hannity for His Radicalization.

* Colorado abuse hotline emails went unchecked for 4 years.

Turning 26 Is A Potential Death Sentence For People With Type 1 Diabetes In America.

Trump Administration Moves to End Food Stamps for 3 Million People.

* My Frantic Life as a Cab-Dodging, Tip-Chasing, Food App Deliveryman. DoorDash Is Proof of How Easy It Is to Exploit Workers When Their Boss Is an Algorithm.

* Apple contractors ‘regularly hear confidential details’ on Siri recordings.

Inside the Wildly Popular Forum Where Landlords Plot to Screw You Over.

* “A high school gave 336 students fake AP exams when the district didn’t have funding to pay for the real ones. Students didn’t find out until real scores were posted online.”

* “Farmers’ Markets Have New Unwelcome Guests: Fascists.”

The lesson from the ruins of Notre Dame: don’t rely on billionaires.

* When the Soviet Union Paid Pepsi in Warships.

Remains of 9,000-year-old Neolithic settlement unearthed outside Jerusalem.

* Using salt circle motor runes to trap car AI.

* Kodak and the cold war.

* Ending period ‘taboo’ gave USA marginal gain at World Cup.

* Meth-gators in Alabama!

* And elsewhere on the gator beat. More gators! More!

* You say “brain-eating amoeba” like it’s not a big deal!

* Conspiracy corner: House orders Pentagon to say if it weaponized ticks and released them.

* Hacking the insulin pump.

* Dystopia now: Instacart Hounds Workers to Take Jobs That Aren’t Worth It.

* How the retweet ruined the Internet.

Archaeology of the 99%.

* The Millennial nuns.

* Marvel got Natalie Portman to come back! Dr. Strange 2 sounds bonkers! Star Trek: Picard sounds… good? Call no movie woke till you’ve actually seen it. I’m not ready to predict anything about Watchmen either.

* Giving Tawny Newsome both Lower Decks and the official Star Trek podcast is a truly shameless bid for my attention.

* Stranger and stranger: Quentin Tarantino just might go out on a Star Trek movie. I’m now fully convinced it will rule. I haven’t been able to see Once Upon a Time in Hollywood yet (that’s Monday night), but I have been enjoying Quentin Tarantino’s Feature Presentation.

A Different Handmaid’s Tale: On Joanne Ramos’s “The Farm.”

* How Japanese RPGs Inspired A New Generation Of Fantasy Authors.

How Inmates Play Tabletop RPGs in Prisons Where Dice Are Contraband.

* Duncan Jones talks Moon, ten years on.

* When the Sims was(n’t) queer.

* Sexism and the car crash dummy.

Away Day: Star Trek and the Utopia of Merit.

* There is only one professor of future crime, and that is I, DOCTOR CRIME!

It’s interesting to imagine a world where humanity never invented the transistor and therefore never had a digital revolution. In that world, the obvious interpretation of economic history would be that the discovery of fossil fuels gave humanity a one-time growth spurt. More on the return of Malthus.

Opening Day at Disneyland: Photos From 1955.

* “I was owed more than $5,000 from late-paying publications.”

I was a fast-food worker. Let me tell you about burnout.

The Ultra-Rich Are Ultra-Conservative.

* He did.

* And the good news is: We can’t lose!

Written by gerrycanavan

July 27, 2019 at 4:55 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Thursday Links

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fchimero_2014-Aug-13

* Call for Applications: The Le Guin Feminist Science Fiction Fellowship.

* American SF and the Other. Ursula K. Le Guin, 1975.

This tendency has been remarkably strong in American SF. The only social change presented by most SF has been towards authoritarianism, the domination of ignorant masses by a powerful elite—sometimes presented as a warning, but often quite complacently. Socialism is never considered as an alternative, and democracy is quite forgotten. Military virtues are taken as ethical ones. Wealth is assumed to be a righteous goal and a personal virtue. Competitive free-enterprise capitalism is the economic destiny of the entire Galaxy. In general, American SF has assumed a permanent hierarchy of superiors and inferiors, with rich, ambitious, aggressive males at the top, then a great gap, and then at the bottom the poor, the uneducated, the faceless masses, and all the women. The whole picture is, if I may say so, curiously “un-American.” It is a perfect baboon patriarchy, with the Alpha Male on top, being respectfully groomed, from time to time, by his inferiors.

* Pentagon preparing for mass civil breakdown. Gee, you don’t say.

* Who rules America? The answer may surprise you!

* Abolishing the Broken US Juvenile Justice System.

Pentagon weaponry in St. Louis County. Those sound cannons were supposed to be for speeders. The Militarization of the Police. These Photos Prove Just How Chaotic The Situation In Ferguson Has Become. Ferguson, Missouri, August 13, 2014. There’s a police coup going on right now in Ferguson, Mo. Even the liberal Matt Yglesias. Even CNN’s pro-police witness describes an execution. They even arrested an alderman. “The Obamas danced nearly every song. A good time was had by all.” In Defense of the Ferguson Riots“Hands up, don’t shoot” spreads beyond Missouri. The Death of Michael Brown and the Search for Justice in Black America. You have a right to record the police.

* Editorial: Governor must let Ferguson be where better begins.

Step One: St. Louis County Police To Be Withdrawn From Duty After Ferguson Protests.

* 4 Unarmed Black Men Have Been Killed By Police in the Last Month. LAPD shooting of mentally ill man stirs criticism, questions.

5 Issues (Among Many) on Which Libertarians Are On Your Side.

America Is Not For Black People.

* Climate change is here: Cataclysmic flooding in Detroit and Baltimore. Meanwhile: Democrats are attacking Mitch McConnell for not liking coal enough.

* How discounting tuition drives college admissions. Really eye-opening.

When Noel-Levitz takes on a client, it takes the school’s admissions and retention data, scrubs it clean and uses the results to tell the school who’s coming, who’s going and who might be enticed to stay with a few more aid dollars or certain enhancements to student life. Their formulas might show the benefits of giving four well-heeled applicants with high SAT scores a 10% discount from its $50,000 tuition–rather than give one high-achieving, lower-income applicant the $20,000 scholarship she needs. The award of an extra $5,000 to rich kids might provide an ego boost that moves the needle–and bring in four students sure to pay the remaining $45,000 each year. That same $20,000 generated an additional $150,000 in relatively stable net tuition revenue. “One of the things that’s a hallmark of this company is we don’t fly around and give our opinion,” Crockett notes. “We always will back that opinion with data points.”

* Reading Salaita in Illinois—by Way of Cary Nelson. Nearly 300 Scholars Declare They Will Not Engage With the University of Illinois.

In fact, gender was one of the best predictors of whether an article would be cited or not. Walter writes that women authors received “0.7 cites for every 1 cite that a male author would receive.” Untenured women were the least likely to be cited.

* Classified as neither workers nor students, many graduate students have inadequate protections against sexual violence.

* IHE blog post argues that basically all academic hiring is illegal on age discrimination grounds. Talking about this on Twitter yesterday I was directed to this brief indicating such claims would be unlikely to prevail in court, though in each of the named cases the college settled rather than let it go that far.

* Another great post in Adam’s continuing exegesis of Star Trek: Why a Star Trek film would never work.

The deepest irony here, of course, is that the “messianic” blockbuster plot is ultimately a story about white privilege, a fantasy set up to present it as deserved. No matter how hard anyone else works, the white hero always has that “special something” everyone else lacks — and his close friendship with the meritocratic rival always turns crucially on that rival’s acknowledgment of the white messiah’s right to be in charge and save the day. In contrast to this overtly white-centered paradigm, the Star Trek franchise has always been marked by diversity in casting, and over the years, it showed a profound interest in imagining alien cultures, sometimes in great depth (Klingons above all, but also Ferengi, Vulcans, Trill, and even the Borg). To start the reboot by actually destroying the alien culture most important to Star Trek, and in the process making Spock more human, is a profound betrayal on this level.

* Also from Adam: Genocide vs. War.

* Atomic Tests Were a Tourist Draw in 1950s Las Vegas.

* 10 Of The Most Bizarre Books Ever Written.

* A woman has won the Fields medal for the first time. Meanwhile: “Local Mom Decides Important Sports Case.”

* BPA-Free Plastics are probably poison too.

First Nation Will Evict Mining Company After Massive Spill Contaminated Area Water.

* The Martian, but on Earth: Antarctic Halley Station lost power and heat at -32C.

* Scenes from the class struggle at Columbia University.

* Can the state legitimately force you to give your children food? Opinions differ!

* NYCABC has a list of Amazon wish lists for American political prisoners, which includes a name that might be familiar to you if you went to Randolph High School in the late 1990s.

The 1979 “Rockford Files” Episode that Inspired “The Sopranos.”

* Some people just see further and farther: Comcast put customer on hold until they closed.

* Dueling Aquamen.

* RNC Condemns AP Exam’s ‘Radically Revisionist View’ Of U.S. History.

“Instead of striving to build a ‘City upon a Hill,’ as generations of students have been taught, the colonists are portrayed as bigots who developed ‘a rigid racial hierarchy’ that was in turn derived from ‘a strong belief in British racial and cultural superiority,'” the letter reads. “The new Framework continues its theme of oppression and conflict by reinterpreting Manifest Destiny from a belief that America had a mission to spread democracy and new technologies across the continent to something that ‘was built on a belief in white racial superiority and a sense of American cultural superiority.'”

* BREAKING: 2016 is going to be a real bummer. But don’t worry: there’s definitely no hope.

* Evolution proves there’s no such thing as ghosts. QED.

* Ice-T’s Dungeons & Dragons Audiobook is Out, and it’s Free!

* Are the kids all right? Are Millennials Compatible With U.S. Military Culture?

* Twitter vows to “improve our policies” after Robin Williams’ daughter is bullied off the network.

* Speaking my language: Multiversity Turns the DC Universe Into a Quantum-Theory Freakfest.

* And everything you want, in the worst way possible: Veronica Mars will return as an in-universe, Ryan-Hansen-scriped sequel for The-Comeback-style web series Play It Again, Dick.

jaredbkeller_2014-Aug-14

Written by gerrycanavan

August 14, 2014 at 11:08 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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It’s Always Mischief Night Somewhere Links

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* You can now order the special Paradoxa issue on “Africa SF.” The testimonials indicate that Samuel Delany has at least heard of something I’ve written, so there’s that…

* Those who do not study history will have their wise decision ratified by bean-counting administrators: One of the 17 University of North Carolina campuses could stop offering degrees in physics, history and political science. If you read that sentence and thought to yourself, “gee, I bet that’s a historically black college,” give yourself a prize!

MLA Reports Modest Decline in Job Ads Posted in 2012-13. The State of the Academic Job Market, by Discipline.

‘I Wish I Were Black,’ and Other Tales of Privilege.

* The Logic of Stupid Poor People.

What The U.S. Would Look Like If It Mirrored The Main Characters On Prime-Time Network Television.

-Half the population would be white men.
-Five percent of the population would be black men.
-Just 1.9 percent of the world would be Asian or Latino men.
-Overall, 57 percent of the population would be men.
-34 percent of the world would be white women
-3.8 percent would be African-American women
-And 3.8 percent would be Latino or Asian women
-31.8 percent of the population would work for the police or some sort of federal law enforcement agency.
-9.7 percent of us would be doctors.
-2.6 percent of us would be criminals.
-1.9 percent would be supernatural creatures or robots.

What they are defending is a system in which wealth is passed off as merit, in which credentials are not earned but bought. Aptitude is a quality measured by how much money you can spend on its continual reassessment.

Students whose parents pay tens of thousands for SAT tutors to help their child take the test over and over compete against students who struggle to pay the fee to take the test once. Students who spend afternoons on “enrichment” activities compete against students working service jobs to pay bills – jobs which don’t “count” in the admissions process. Students who shell out for exotic volunteer trips abroad compete with students of what C Z Nnaemeka termed “the un-exotic underclass” – the poor who have “the misfortune of being insufficiently interesting”, the poor who make up most of the US today.

* …a recent Twitter thread started by a popular feminist blogger examines a dark side of that cliché in real-life academe, one in which professors’ advances – intellectual and otherwise – feed a need for validation and flattery, and at times cross the line into sexual harassment.

By the numbers: Sex crimes on campus.

Get Ready for Big Ed.

* The New York Times spends 36 hours in Milwaukee.

A collective narrative of trying to make it on $17,000 a year: bargaining testimony from a UCSC student-worker.

Colorado Counties Ban Sale of Marijuana, Want Share of Proposed State Sales Tax Anyway.

* Obama’s going to be super-mad when he finds out about the nonsensical security state procedures his administration has been using in lieu of actual oversight. And breaking into Yahoo! and Google? Why didn’t anyone tell him!

* Ripped from the pages of Philip K. Dick! Pentagon weighs future of its inscrutable nonagenarian futurist.

Pennsylvania law protects pregnant women from unwanted belly rubbing.

* The Chronicle follows up on last year’s PhD-on-food-stamps, who is now in a TT position at Martin Methodist College.

How Not To Take The GRE With a Non-Standard-English Name.

* The richest country in history: The Number Of Homeless Students In The United States Hits A Record.

“Riots always begin typically the same way”: Food stamp shutdown looms Friday.

* Perry Anderson accidentally writes a whole issue of New Left Review.

* 20th Century Headlines, Rewritten to Get More Clicks.

How the Koch Brothers laundered illegal campaign contributions.

* They’re marketing the Veronica Mars movie as a love triangle. This is my skeptical face.

* Sesame Street parodies Homeland.

* The chart that explains the world.

Change-in-real-income-between-1988-and-2008-at-various-percentiles-of-global-income-distribution-calculated-in-2005-international-dollars-Branko-Milanovic

* What’s W.R.O.N.G. with ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’? A.L.M.O.S.T. E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.

* No accidents, comrade: The New Inquiry considers Cold War nostalgia and Twilight Struggle.

People Who Live Downwind Of Alberta’s Oil And Tar Sands Operations Are Getting Blood Cancer.

* BREAKING: Student Debt Is Making All Your Life Choices Worse.

Matt Zoller Seitz completes his series on video essays on Wes Anderson films. Bring on The Grand Budapest Hotel!

PRINCETON, N.J., Nov. 27: Princeton’s freshmen again have chosen Adolf Hitler as “the greatest living person” in the annual poll of their class conducted by The Daily Princetonian.

* Pope Francis, PR Wizard.

* The coming Terry McAuliffe landslide as proof the GOP brand is in serious disrepair.

* And it looks like they’ve finally (almost) proved that Darth Vader wasn’t always going to be Luke Skywalker’s father. Gotcha Lucas! You can run but you can’t hide.

Literally Every Weekend Link There Is

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* It’s official: J.J. Abrams will ruin Star Wars (more).

* More drone fiction, please. Tweets not bombs. Lip-syncing the poetry of empire.

Žižek vs. Zero Dark Thirty.

Imagine a documentary that depicted the Holocaust in a cool, disinterested way as a big industrial-logistic operation, focusing on the technical problems involved (transport, disposal of the bodies, preventing panic among the prisoners to be gassed). Such a film would either embody a deeply immoral fascination with its topic, or it would count on the obscene neutrality of its style to engender dismay and horror in spectators. Where is Bigelow here?

* Anti-war activism at the University of Wisconsin, c. 1940.

* Stunning read on living as a victim of child abuse from the New York TimesThe Price of a Stolen Childhood.

* David Foster Wallace and depression, in the Los Angeles Review of Books.

* Steve Benen and Maddowblog has been all over the Republican vote-rigging scheme, even going so low as to cite one of my tweets. What The 2012 Election Would Look Like Under The Republicans’ Vote-Rigging Plan. Scott Walker, of course, is rigging-curious. And a delicious little bit of schadenfreude.

It is a sin against the new world of mediocrity to be distinct or distinguished.  We are in the chain-store, neon-lighted era.  Almost every city looks the same.  The same people all dress the same – kids as Hopalong Cassidy, men with loud sportshirts and Truman suits, women in slacks.  Sometimes you can tell whether a trousered individual is a man or a woman only by the width of the buttocks.  Only a few cities have individuality.  They are the seaports, New York, New Orleans and San Francisco.  Boston reeks of decay, and is not genteel.  The rest are all Cleveland.

* Today in legal hyperformalism.

Would you believe me if I told you that President Obama is in constitutional trouble—with hundreds of decisions of the National Labor Relations Board from the last year now potentially invalid—over the meaning of the word the?

* When The Shining had an optimistic ending.

* So we’re going to destroy the world: Australian shale oil discovery could be larger than Canada’s oilsands.

* The trouble with English.

None of these past challenges compares with the one under way now. While other humanities disciplines—philosophy, linguistics, and modern languages, for example—have relied upon a range of foundational practices at the modern mass university, many English professors have depended on literature (narrowly defined), written discourse, and the printed book as the primary elements in teaching and scholarship. But hidebound faculty members who continue to assign and study only pre-computer-based media will quickly be on their way toward becoming themselves a “historical” presence at the university.

That’s why I specialized in iPad-2-era Twitter-based fan-fiction, and frankly I’ve never looked back.

* Mainstreaming MOOCs.

* Open, New, Experimental, Aspirational: Ian Bogost vs. “The Bill of Rights and Principles for Learning in the Digital Age.”

* New research indicates tuition has little correlation with educational outcomes.

If markets are efficient and if markets make things better, then there is no explanation for why we have the worst media in the world rather than the best. The problem is that markets don’t really make things better or more efficient. They make things cheaper and they’re responsive. That’s why we get the news we want rather than the news we need.

Child labour uncovered in Apple’s supply chain.

* n+1 visits MLA.

* Defending freedom: A St. Paul man who recently purchased an assault rifle out of fear of an impending gun ban threatened his teenage daughter with it because she was getting two B’s in school rather than straight A’s, according to a criminal complaint filed Friday.

For The Sixth Time In One Week, Man Shot At Gun Show.

* Adam Mansbach: My fake college college syllabus.

* Copy Of The Scarlet Letter Can’t Believe The Notes High Schooler Writing In Margins.

* Debunkng the “the Soviets used a pencil” gag. The more you know!

* Occam’s Razor suggests it must be Cory Booker who is putting these people and animals in danger in the first place.

* More on the Arizona “loyalty oaths” issue, with a religious freedom focus.

* New Mexico Bill Would Criminalize Abortions After Rape As ‘Tampering With Evidence.’ Republicans, honestly, we have to talk.

* Seriously, though, I could fix the whole damn system if they’d listen to me.

* Even the Pentagon doesn’t know what the the point of the draft is supposed to be.

* Xavier and Magneto Heading to Broadway for Waiting For Godot.

* And a little something just for the Harmenians: “I wanted a memorable Harmontown show in Kansas City, and for my sins they gave me one.” Dan Harmon predicts pain.

Lots of Wednesday Links

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* It’s damn cold in Chicago: water is freezing to the sides of burning buildings.

* The reality of being an adjunct. MOOCs for Credit. Why We Should Talk About the Football Coach’s Salary When Faculty are Let Go. Please consider not doing a PhD.

  • According to this link (which has information I cannot independently verify), the athletic budget for 2011 was $16 million, a 9.2% increase over the previous year. $9 million of that budget came from student fees.
  • The reduction in faculty is expected to save $5.2 million.

* Lynda Barry’s course at the University of Wisconsin. I should be taking this.

Liberal pundits and Republican congressmen agree: Barack Obama’s second inaugural was the most liberal speech of his presidency. They may be right. But just what kind of liberalism is this?

Obama’s speech was a far cry from the message of the modern Republican Party. But much of it would fit snugly in a handbook from Human Relations: Discrimination will not be tolerated. Active citizenship is everyone’s responsibility. Work harder.

Dr. King would be proud to see our Global Strike team – comprised of Airmen, civilians and contractors from every race, creed, background and religion – standing side-by-side ensuring the most powerful weapons in the US arsenal remain the credible bedrock of our national defense. Would he, though? Would he really?

* Cheat to win: Virginia wants to rig the Electoral College too.

In addition to disenfranchising voters in dense areas, this would end the principle of “one person, one vote.” If Ohio operated under this scheme, for example, Obama would have received just 22 percent of the electoral votes, despite winning 52 percent of the popular vote in the state…

It’s also worth noting, again, that this constitutes a massive disenfranchisement of African American and other nonwhite voters, who tend to cluster near urban areas. When you couple this with the move on Monday to redraw the state’s electoral maps — eliminating one state senate district and packing black voters into another, diluting their strength — it’s as if Virginia Republicans are responding to Obama’s repeat victory in the state by building an electoral facsimile of Jim Crow.

Brain scans performed on five former NFL players revealed images of the protein that causes football-related brain damage — the first time researchers have identified signs of the crippling disease in living players. The impending death of pro football. See also: Junior Seau’s Family Is Suing The NFL.

There’s a gold rush going on right now. Man is breaking the earth, looking for natural gas — just as we always have. It’s a mad scene, with hucksters on every side of the issue. And that’s just on the surface. You won’t believe what’s happening underground. Thank You for Fracking.

U.S. scientists will retire most research chimps.

House Republican Leader Blames Gun Violence On ‘Welfare Moms.’

* Searching for Star Wars artifacts in the California desert.

* Rejected movie ideas: Age-Reversed Home Alone Reboot.

* Internet argument perfect storm: The woman who hired a hitman to murder her abusive husband.

* Happy Objectify A Man in Tech Day.

* Supreme Court upholds radical notion that the Environmental Protection Agency has the right to protect the environment.

* Loyalty oaths in Arizona high schools.

How it feels to be stalked.

* War machine decides blood is blood: Pentagon Lifts Ban on Women in Combat.

* The LA that never was.

* And from the too-good-to-check file: The Fascinating Business Cards of 20 Famous People.

martin2

Still OoT But With Unexpected Hotel Wifi Links

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* Ripped from the pages of Infinite Jest, a playable version of Eschaton. (via)

* Via Pete Lit, federal government to use its immense buying power to benefit society.

By altering how it awards $500 billion in contracts each year, the government would disqualify more companies with labor, environmental or other violations and give an edge to companies that offer better levels of pay, health coverage, pensions and other benefits, the officials said.

This looks to me like perhaps a first case of the end-runs Obama will have to make around our broken legislative institutions if he hopes to avoid a failed presidency. Another good sign: the final embrace of sidecar reconciliation to finish the job on health care.

* Of course, that headline in the New York Times gets it wrong, as Steve Benen has been desperately trying to explain to anyone who will listen: Democrats don’t need to pass health care via reconciliation because health care already passed through the regular order. Regardless, the Republicans are promising a full-on freakout if reconciliation is used; what might they do?

* “Pentagon fesses up to 800 pages’ worth of potentially illegal spying, including peace groups and Planned Parenthood.” Hey, thanks for admitting it! Of course we won’t prosecute you; you were just protecting the homeland!

* Eliza Dushku to ruin another Joss Whedon production.

* The pornography of infinity: China Miéville on J.G. Ballard.

* J.D. Salinger v. Raiders of the Lost Ark.

* Wikipedia’s list of landings on other planets. Did the Soviets think there was life on Venus? They certainly seem to have thought there was something there. Via Boing Boing.

* Secret origins of the cellar door line from Donnie Darko.

* FantasySCOTUS.

* Really good reading of the U.K. version of The Office that focuses on Gervais’s critique of celebrity culture to explain, among other things, how David Brent could possibly have won a promotion on a 5-2 vote of the company board or been hired by a consulting firm—as well as why the U.S. version, in dropping this thematic angle, will always be intrinsically inferior.

* If I were a Brigham Young student, here’s the process I would have to undertake to grow my beloved beard.

* Students at the University of Mississippi want Admiral Akbar as their new mascot. I wholeheartedly endorse this effort.

* Also Via MeFi: Personal pop-culture rules. “No Robin Williams” and “anything involving dinosaurs” are two I think I follow.

* And Matt Yglesias selfishly takes a stand against one of our most-beloved cultural institutions. No special rights for late-in-the-alphabet people!

America Loves Tuesdays (And So Do I)

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* The Obama method: One way to deal with that kind of bad-faith opposition is to draw the person in, treat them as if they were operating in good faith, and draw them into a conversation about how they actually would solve the problem. If they have nothing, it shows. And that’s not a tactic of bipartisan Washington idealists—it’s a hard-nosed tactic of community organizers, who are acutely aware of power and conflict. It’s how you deal with people with intractable demands—put ‘em on a committee. More on the summit idea from Benen. I’m willing to be proven wrong, but I must say that I am deeply skeptical that this method, however effective on the local scale, can work on the national stage. In fact I have come to think that Obama’s (frankly naïve) belief that bipartisanship is possible, much less good or necessary, will stand as the first cause of most of his presidency’s eventual failures. After 2009, he still thinks this. When the mortal enemy who has proven himself beyond redemption time and time again is finally on the ground, don’t help him up! Finish the job.

* The headline reads, ‘Pentagon Looks to Breed Immortal “Synthetic Organisms,” Molecular Kill-Switch Included.’ What could possibly go wrong?

* You really can’t please everyone: ‘Is Barack Obama killing too many bad guys before the U.S. can interrogate them?’ As Matt explains, the problem here seems to be that the Foreign Policy author believes torture is not only a regrettable necessity but is, in fact, an affirmative moral good.

* Can the EPA actually regulate carbon effectively? It’s looking more and more like they’ll have to, so hopefully the answer turns out to be yes. Related: all about cap-and-dividend, the carbon-control system no one talks about.

* DC giving Superman to Chris Nolan? If they won’t give him to me, I guess that makes as much sense as anything else. Nolan, take note: The Death of Superman, Red Son, All-Star Superman, and any number of other perfectly good stories are just sitting there waiting to be adapted for the screen. Please, don’t use the Lex Luthor, Evil Real Estate Agent thing again.

* GOP extremism from A to Z.

* Today in horror clichés: the mirror scare.

* And our long national nightmare is finally over: Shelby has called off the shakedown.