Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘pessimism

Weekend Links! Tabs Bankruptcy! All Links Must Go!

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* Podcast: What is Irish Science Fiction? I’d also recommend a few new podcasts, Off Book (weekly improvised musical) and What Trump Can Teach Us about Con Law.

Octavia Butler’s Prescient Vision of a Zealot Elected to “Make America Great Again.”

Researchers Just Launched a Prototype of Humanity’s First ‘Interstellar Spacecraft.’

‘Make It So’: Star Trek and Its Debt to Revolutionary Socialism.

* Star Trek: Discovery is the first Trek TV series in over 15 years. Here’s everything we know.

Republicans don’t trust higher ed. That’s a problem for liberal academics.

* Three years after Steven Salaita lost a promised tenured position in American Indian studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign over the tone of his anti-Israel tweets, he’s leaving academe.

How a New Field Could Help Save the Humanities.

Why the Myth of Meritocracy Hurts Kids of Color.

* They’re still fighting at Hypatia.

* “If There’s an Organized Outrage Machine, We Need an Organized Response.” Recovering academic freedom in an age of social media mobbing.

* Any parent could have told you this: Ravens plan better than four-year-olds.

How to raise an optimistic human in a pessimistic world.

Among the dead was a so-called Dreamer, a migrant who had been brought to the United States as a young child. Frank Guisseppe Fuentes, 20, spent much of his life in the U.S. and had crossed the border in an attempt to reunite with family members living in Maryland after he was deported to Guatemala City, Jose Barillas, the Guatemalan consul general in Houston, told Univision. The Mothers Being Deported by Trump. Slain girl’s father, sister denied visas, miss her funeral. A Veteran Agent Speaks Out.

New Jersey raised its smoking age to 21. The change will likely save lives. Honestly, just ban them outright, and soda too.

Wisconsin is paying as much as $1 million per job, which will carry an average salary of $54,000. I’ve thought about it, and I think I’d rather have the iPhone.

The Company Behind Many Surprise Emergency Room Bills.

* Don’t let your employer microchip you! Ever!

A 21st-century form of indentured servitude has already penetrated deep into the American heartland.

Woman turns home into museum after getting sick of black women being ignored by the art world.

* When there was a Lyme disease vaccine.

Snopes Faces an Ugly Legal Battle.

North Dakota’s Norway Experiment.

Reverse Robin Hood: The Historical Scam of Global Development.

* Dungeons and Dragons in America’s dungeons. Dungeons and Dragons and the Left.

* Who invented the high five?

* Hemingway just got beat by four words.

Why there’s no such thing as a gifted child.

* The Bleak Left.

A new Uber-esque school model turns teachers like me into on-demand contractors for the children of the 1 percent.

The Sinclair Revolution Will Be Televised. It’ll Just Have Low Production Values.

* 110/111.

* The next Matt Groening series isn’t just a Futurama-but-fantasy but a joke Futurama already did. But fine I’ll give it a chance.

* A definitive mapping of the decline of The Simpsons. It’s just math, folks.

The attack on Poland’s judicial independence goes deeper than you may think. Here are 5 things to know. Dodged that bullet. Coming soon to a collapsing empire near you!

* On 500 episodes of Comedy Bang Bang.

* When Pokémon Go defeated Milwaukee County.

* Et tu, Roomba? I trusted you.

The World May Have Less Time to Address Climate Change Than Scientists Thought.

* And yet there’s more dicks around than ever before.

* The knife’s edge between utopia and apocalypse: First Human Embryos Edited in U.S.

* #NotAllTVIsDarkAndFullOfTerrors.

* And July 30 can’t come fast enough.


And because Trump is a nightmare from which none of us will ever awake:

We’re Approaching a Major Turning Point in Trump-Era Pop Culture.

* The Scariest Nuclear Threat Is Coming From Inside the White House.

After Pyle’s list of questions wound up on Bloomberg News, the Trump administration disavowed them, but a signal had been sent: We don’t want you to help us understand; we want to find out who you are and punish you. Pyle vanished from the scene. According to a former Obama official, he was replaced by a handful of young ideologues who called themselves “the Beachhead Team.” “They mainly ran around the building insulting people,” says a former Obama official. “There was a mentality that everything that government does is stupid and bad and the people are stupid and bad,” says another. They allegedly demanded to know the names and salaries of the 20 highest-paid people in the national-science labs overseen by the D.O.E. They’d eventually, according to former D.O.E. staffers, delete the contact list with the e-mail addresses of all D.O.E.-funded scientists—apparently to make it more difficult for them to communicate with one another. “These people were insane,” says the former D.O.E. staffer. “They weren’t prepared. They didn’t know what they were doing.”

* The End of State.

* Turtles all the way down: Scott Pruitt wants to hijack the peer-review process to push bad climate science.

* Trump announces an unvetted transgender ban without telling either the White House press office or the Pentagon.

At the Pentagon, the first of the three tweets raised fears that the president was getting ready to announce strikes on North Korea or some other military action. Many said they were left in suspense for nine minutes, the time between the first and second tweet. Only after the second tweet did military officials receive the news the president was announcing a personnel change on Twitter.

Were we ever so young?

* This guy is running communications now! Come on! COME ON!

A Constitutional Crisis Is Inevitable. It’s not too early, or too nutty, to discuss grounds for impeachment. This presidency can’t be saved. A Trump Tower of Absolute Folly. Hot mic. 1 in 4. On the Brink of a Constitutional Crisis, the Nation Goes Numb.

* Psychiatry group tells members they can ignore ‘Goldwater rule’ and comment on Trump’s mental health.

Trump Finds Reason for the U.S. to Remain in Afghanistan: Minerals. Sixteen years. We’ve long lost even the pretense that there is a rational reason for this.

64 years after Korean War, North still digging up bombs.

William Regnery II, a man who inherited millions but struggled in business, tried for 15 years to ignite a racist political movement — and failed. Then an unforeseen phenomenon named Donald Trump gave legitimacy to what Regnery had seeded long before: the alt-right. Now, the press-shy white separatist breaks his silence.

How Breitbart Media’s Disinformation Created the Paranoid, Fact-Averse Nation That Elected Trump.

This is the tradition Ryan Alford sets himself against in Permanent State of Emergency: Unchecked Executive Power and the Demise of the Rule of Law. It is from a position of deliberate disinterest in institutional personality, particularly presidential personality, that Alford builds his account of the lawlessness of US counterterrorism efforts since the 9/11 attacks and charts our country’s official passage across the “threshold between an imperial presidency and an elective dictatorship.”

* Is this fascism?

What if Trump Ordered a Nuclear Strike on China? I’d Comply, Says Admiral. Not great, Bob!

* When you’ve lost the Boy Scouts.

Who Is Killing American Women? Their Husbands And Boyfriends, CDC Confirms.

Trump administration is sitting on tens of thousands of student debt forgiveness claims.

Our Long, Troubling History of Sterilizing the Incarcerated.

* RIP CBO.

* There’s nothing he can’t ruin.

How to put Trump on Mount Rushmore, something he’s never even thought about.

* #Actually Stubbs’s tenure as mayor was deeply problematic.

* John McCain Just Proved He Is the Senate’s Biggest Fraud (Again). Your enemies are human too.

The fact that John McCain would get up off his deathbed to participate in this cruel farce does not make him a hero, it makes him a bad person. He had a perfectly valid excuse to skip the vote. Indeed, he had a perfectly valid excuse to resign his senate seat altogether and wash his hands of this mess. Those would both be understandable human actions. What he chose to do instead was completely gratuitous and cruel, which is comprehensible only as an attempt to bask in the media’s adoration one last time. That motivation is human, and that’s what makes it morally blameworthy. If he were a mystical creature who fed on the praise of journalists, then we could write it off as a survival instinct. Since he is a human being with human moral agency, we are entitled to our equally human moral judgment. And in my judgment, which is my right as a human being, John McCain is an evil man and anyone who is trying to use his unfortunate medical condition to distract from that fact is a fool at best and a fellow villain at worst.

* Chaos. Chaos. Chaos. Chaos. Chaos. Chaos. Chaos.

* Understanding skinny repeal.

* Don’t forget: they win because the system is rigged in their favor. Not that they don’t get a lot of help.

* And yet! Sometimes they don’t. Good for Collins, Murkowski, McCain, and literally every Democrat in Congress, and remember that Trumpcare isn’t truly dead (no matter how many bullets you put in it) until Democrats get a veto point back…

Trapped Inside of LAX with the MKE Blues Again

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* A great Storify from the great @moyabz of the great Octavia Butler conference at the Huntington this weekend. By universal acclamation, one of the best-loved moments. Check out the exhibit of her papers if you’re able to get near there! It’s gorgeous.

* You are living in a death cult.

Every lie Trump has told as president, a very long list by the New York Times.

Obama’s secret struggle to punish Russia for Putin’s election assault.

* Union-busting for God: Catholic colleges and adjunct organizing.

Student Evaluations at Center of American University Tenure Fight. Given the research on the implicit bias of student evaluations and the obvious perverse incentives involved it is incredible to me that any college administration in the country feels empowered to use them for anything.

When the Dean Quashes Your Class: An Interview with Jay Smith.

Major medical groups call for rejection of Senate health bill. This is the biggest pure giveaway to the rich in the Republican health bill. Can’t wait to hear from the centrist Dems why it’s wrong for Bernie to do this. No single payer in Communist-run California, of course.

Trump’s election integrity commission needs to redress voter suppression, not fraud. Counterpoint: it’s a voter suppression commission, that is literally the entire point of it.

Trump says pretending to have Comey tapes “wasn’t very stupid.” The video is stunning even by Trump standards. Still, after this, I’ll probably vote for him.

* Once more with feeling: Never Trump is not a thing.

Forced into debt. Worked past exhaustion. Left with nothing. Indentured servitude in the transportation industry in California.

* Mountain lions have better politics than just about every human being.

* Science isn’t an exact science with these clowns.

* Surely the best ending of any New York Times column ever.

* From the archives! No one goes dark like children’s literature goes dark.

“Personally I am very pessimistic,” Miyazaki says. “But when, for instance, one of my staff has a baby you can’t help but bless them for a good future. Because I can’t tell that child, ‘Oh, you shouldn’t have come into this life.’ And yet I know the world is heading in a bad direction. So with those conflicting thoughts in mind, I think about what kind of films I should be making.”

Anthony Kennedy is the key swing vote to determine whether he is the worst Supreme Court justice ever to serve.

* Every generation gets the folk-hero bandits it deserves: Canada police investigate theft of mummified human toe served in drinks.

* And a great Tumblr mashup: The Weird Adventures of Tin-Tin, by H.P. Lovecraft.

March 1 Links! March 1 Only and Then They’re Gone!

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tumblr_om224d56iq1sqep2mo1_500Contemporary African literature as taught in today’s classrooms is pathetically 20th century. The keepers of those gates overwhelmingly think of contemporary African literature as the three A’s: Achebe, Adichie, Abani. When pressed, they add Habila. It is pathetic, really. The bulk of our literature is on the Internet and ancient professors are still photocopying what Achebe wrote in 1958.

We are possibly witnessing the implosion of American capitalism (i.e., neoliberalism) and hopefully its empire as well. Liberals, those who are protesting today, did not protest the mass incarceration and forceful expulsion of individuals who had been in this country for decades, did not protest the drone wars and illegal killings and fomenting of civil wars and mass displacement under our auspices ever since 9/11. The Obama presidency is destined to go down in history as a footnote; we are simply picking up fascist steam now from where we left off in 2003, before the Iraq War started going awry. The world war that began on 9/11 has resumed. We never left it in the intervening years, because we never sought accountability. The case for moral disengagement from politics in the age of Trump. I found this a brutal, sobering read. Obviously we have to fight in whatever ways we can fight — but I’m sorry to say the predictions laid out here seem much more likely to me than any notion of heroic #Resistance on the part of institutional Democrats or liberals more generally.

* Meanwhile, the media.

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The basic critique of Bruenig et al is right: The leadership of the Democratic Party, nationally and in most states, has resisted acknowledging the failures of the Obama years.

Now seems like a fine time to listen to Kurt Vonnegut’s sermon on nuclear annihilation.

* Keep America weird: Blink-182’s Tom DeLonge wins UFO Researcher Of The Year award.

* The Hunt for the Perfect Sugar.

Why You Can’t Ever Call an Enslaved Woman a “Mistress.”

* This actually raises a ton of questions for me about how C-3PO’s mind works, how protocol droids prioritize their storage resources, and what people in the Star Wars galaxy consider “communication.”

* Some investigative details on the horrifying wave of bomb threats targeting Jewish centers.

* If you’re really asking: yes.

* And it’s not all bad news: Black Holes Devour Stars a Lot More Frequently Than We Thought.

 

Weekend Links! Piping Hot!

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* Don’t forget! The deadline for the SFFTV special issue on the Mad Max franchise is February 1.

* The local beat! The day Milwaukee almost killed the NFL.

Expert says Michigan officials changed a Flint lead report to avoid federal action. Bernie calls on Snyder to resign. This is how toxic Flint’s water really is.

* A Bonus Keyword for the Age of Austerity this week: Meritocracy.

* The end of Al Jazeera America.

NYPD Demands a Mere $36,000 “Copying Fee” for Access to Cops’ Body Cam Footage.

* I don’t want to tell anyone how to do their jobs, but this seems sacrilegious to me.

What a time to be alive.

* Lotteryville, USA.

* Rickman, Bowie, and class mobility.

* David Bowie, Nazi.

* Teach the controversy: thebeatlesneverexisted.com

* The latest from KSR: What Will It Take for Humans to Colonize the Milky Way?

* The game’s afoot! Something Is Killing Off America’s Orange Supply.

The incredible tale of irresponsible chocolate milk research at the University of Maryland.

* A genetic map of the UK.

* Race and the NCAA.

Girl Suspended for 30 Days Because She Lent Her Inhaler to a Gasping Classmate.

* Throw a save against narcissistic self-regard: “Role-playing Gamers Have More Empathy Than Non-Gamers.”

Retired Art Teacher Leaves $1.7 Million to the Detroit Institute of Arts.

* Lead and crime, part 83.

* Immediately greenlit.

* 2016 pessimism watch: Democrats are in more trouble than they think. And changing demographics won’t save them.

For most of human history, the stars told us where we were in space and time. Have we forgotten how to look up?

* My people? 0.0% of Icelanders 25 years or younger believe God created the world, new poll reveals.

* Forever reTumblr.

* And “Late stage capitalism” is the new “Christ, what an asshole.”

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2016 Links!

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20081210* This Man Is Claiming To Be Able To Bring The Dead Back To Life By 2045. That’s good news, because Scientists Say They Can Recreate Living Dinosaurs Within the Next 5 Years. Perhaps relatedly.

* So tragic: These parents cryonically froze their toddler in the hope she might live again.

* Like looking into a mirror.

* More bad news for my particular demographic.

* I’m at MLA this week, giving a paper on Saturday evening on Richard McGuire’s fantastic graphic novel Here for a panel on “The Anthropocene and Deep Time in Literary Studies.”

* The Year of the Imaginary College Student.

Facebook ran experiment to see how long users would wait before giving up and going elsewhere, but people ‘never stopped coming back.’

Can’t Disrupt This: Elsevier and the 25.2 Billion Dollar A Year Academic Publishing Business.

* Keywords for the Age of Austerity 24: Sullen. Also, here’s John Pat’s current syllabus on Innovation: A Cultural History of the Contemporary Concept.

* I think this one is old, but maybe it’s not old to you: Soc 710: Social Theory through Complaining.

This video about the aging pipeline below the Great Lakes should be this summer’s top horror flick.

* That’s when New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman filed an amended lawsuit against the two companies, this time asking for them to give back all the money they made in New York State, to give it back to those who lost money and to pay a fine of up to $5,000 per case.

* In February 1964, then future NS editor Paul Johnson wrote an article attacking the Beatles and all they stood for. It became the most complained-about piece in the Statesman’s history.

I Studied Oregon’s Militia Movement. Here’s 5 Things You Need to Know.

What Writing Shared World Fiction Taught Erin M. Evans About Worldbuilding.

12 reasons to worry about our criminal justice system.

Entire Florida police department busted for laundering millions for international drug cartels.

* David Harvey on Consolidating Power.

No More Statutes of Limitations for Rape.

* Some Last Words on Pessimism.

* I’m finally #ready4hillary.

New Heights (Lows?) in Philosophy Job Application Requirements.

Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 8.05.41 AM* The Far-Out Sci-Fi Costume Parties of the Bauhaus School in the 1920s.

What Could Have Entered the Public Domain on January 1, 2016?

When a prison closes, what happens to the prison town?

* Four years later, Liss-Riordan is spearheading class-action lawsuits againstUber, Lyft, and nine other apps that provide on-demand services, shaking the pillars of Silicon Valley’s much-hyped sharing economy. In particular, she is challenging how these companies classify their workers. If she can convince judges that these so-called micro-entrepreneurs are in fact employees and not independent contractors, she could do serious damage to a very successful business model—Uber alone was recently valued at $51 billion—which relies on cheap labor and a creative reading of labor laws.

* Tufts in the news! Researchers Teaching Robots How to Best Reject Orders from Humans.

* The novelistic sublime: Joseph Heller’s handwritten outline for Catch-22.

* If Google is a school official, I wonder if it’s a mandatory reporter.

* Tom Lutz and the Los Angeles Review of Books.

* Through the looking glass: Game of Thrones author George RR Martin misses last TV deadline for new book.

* On reading Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. On reading Ten Little Indians.

Debunking “The Big Short”: How Michael Lewis Turned the Real Villains of the Crisis into Heroes.

Is the Drive for Success Making Our Children Sick?

The Sherlock special “The Abominable Bride” was terrible. Has this show completely lost its way? My DVR, in a noble effort to save my sanity, opted not to record it.

* It’s all happening again: Infinite Winter. A flashback.

What I learned not drinking for two years.

Lifting the Veil on the New York Public Library’s Erotica Collection.

Harvard’s Find of a Colonial Map of New Jersey Is a Reminder of Border Wars.

What would a technological society look like that somehow managed to side-step the written word?

U.S. Nuclear Weapons Target List From The Cold War Declassified For The First Time. 

This Asian Time Travel Thriller Could Be Next Year’s Breakout Action Movie.

An Appreciation of Chuck Jones’ ‘One Froggy Evening’ On Its 60th Birthday.

When Gene Roddenberry’s computer died, it took with it the only method of accessing some 200 floppy disks of his unpublished work. Here’s how this tech mystery was solved.

Periodic table’s seventh row finally filled as four new elements are added.

* The rising academic field of David Bowie Studies.

* A Brief History of Farting for Money. (via)

* Hybrids. Uncanny Valley. And then there’s the weirdest, most unbelievable SF short film I’ve ever seen.

* Barbasol presents Disney’s James Cameron’s Avatarland.

* And of course there’s always more Star Wars links: The Feminist Frequency Review. Editing The Force Awakens. Listening to Star Wars. The Original Star Wars Concept Art Is Amazing. A Not-So-Brief History of George Lucas Talking Shit About Disney’s Star Wars. Is Han Solo Force-Sensitive? The Bigger Luke Hypothesis. Cross Sections of TFA Spaceships and Vehicles. Most Citizens of the Star Wars Galaxy are Probably Totally Illiterate. Are droids slaves? Rey & BB8. Reading Anakin Skywalker after Jessica Jones. If you want a vision of the future.

heller

Written by gerrycanavan

January 5, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Links from the Weekend!

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* Wes Anderson bingo. Meanwhile, Moonrise Kingdom is setting records.

* Great television contrarianism watch: Neoliberal Holmes, or, Everything I Know About Modern Life I Learned from Sherlock. In which I analyze my allergy to Sherlock.

* David Harvey: The financial crisis is an urban crisis.

* Utopia and dystopia in quantum superposition: New parking meters text you when time’s running out.

Facebook is not only on course to go bust, but will take the rest of the ad-supported Web with it.

* Shaviro reviews Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders. LRB reviews Embassytown. LARoB reviews Railsea. The New Yorker reviews Game of Thrones.

But there is something troubling about this sea of C.G.I.-perfect flesh, shaved and scentless and not especially medieval. It’s unsettling to recall that these are not merely pretty women; they are unknown actresses who must strip, front and back, then mimic graphic sex and sexual torture, a skill increasingly key to attaining employment on cable dramas. During the filming of the second season, an Irish actress walked off the set when her scene shifted to what she termed “soft porn.” Of course, not everyone strips: there are no truly explicit scenes of gay male sex, fewer lingering shots of male bodies, and the leading actresses stay mostly buttoned up. Artistically, “Game of Thrones” is in a different class from “House of Lies,” “Californication,” and “Entourage.” But it’s still part of another colorful patriarchal subculture, the one called Los Angeles.

* Terrible news, state by state:

Louisiana Incarcerated: How We Built the World’s Prison Capital. Via MeFi.

* The Institute for Southern Studies covers North Carolina’s answer to the Koch brothers, Art Pope.

* Detroit shuts off the lights.

* Kansas Republicans reinstitute feudalism, deliberately bankrupting the state.

* Voter purges in Florida, again.

* Contemplating these dreary statistics, one might well conclude that the United States is — to a distressing extent — a nation of violent, intolerant, ignorant, superstitious, passive, shallow, boorish, selfish, unhealthy, unhappy people, addicted to flickering screens, incurious about other societies and cultures, unwilling or unable to assert or even comprehend their nominal political sovereignty. Or, more simply, that America is a failure.

* The New Yorker‘s science fiction issue is live. If you wanted to get me to read New Yorker fiction for the first time in years, well, mission accomplished…

* And we’re still pouring college money down the for-profit drain. Because never learning from your mistakes is the most important thing we have to teach.