Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Philip K. Dick

Tuesday Afternoon Links!

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* SFFTV 12.2 is here, with articles on Afrofuturism, time-travel surveillance cinema, Avatar, and the Anthropocene…

* CFP: Tolkien/Whedon.

* A people’s history of New Coke.

* The Atlanteans and the Middle Passage.

Stonewall, Before and After: An Interview with Samuel R. Delany.

Are we living in a simulated universe? Here’s what scientists say. Scientists are trying to open a portal to a parallel universe.

* Ugly academic war ends with unprecedented apology from USC, $50-million settlement.

* The California coast is disappearing under the rising sea. Our choices are grim. Alaska is having an environmental and political meltdown. Alaskan glaciers melt at fastest pace in centuries. Trump Administration Is Suppressing Science and Public Opinion to Drill the Arctic Refuge. Six shocking climate events that happened around the world this week. Are parts of India becoming too hot for humans? A Ferocious Heat in Delhi. India staring at a water apocalypse. All Mississippi Beaches Close Due To Toxic Algae Bloom. The Internet Is Drowning. Fish die-offs in Wisconsin expected to double by 2050, quadruple by 2100, report says. Breaching a ‘carbon threshold’ could lead to mass extinction. And sure let’s go back to killing all the bees while we’re at it.

 

* Fear of immigration raids looms as plans for ICE ‘family operation’ move forward. FBI, ICE find state driver’s license photos are a gold mine for facial-recognition searches. (81% of ‘suspects’ flagged by Met’s police facial recognition technology innocent, independent report says.) Hungry, Scared and Sick: Inside the Migrant Detention Center in Clint, Tex. ‘It’s a Terrible Existence’: The Crisis of Emergency Dialysis Care for Undocumented Immigrants. ICE deports dozens of Cambodian refugees. Officials expect Trump to try and add citizenship question to the census via executive action this week — an idea officials say was not a serious one as recently as Wednesday. Attorney General Barr tells SC reporters he’s found a legal recourse on Census question. Trump Lied to the Supreme Court, and Four Justices Don’t Care. Whatever’s coming, the career folks couldn’t abide.

On the migrant crisis, European governments are failing the first test of climate change.

The Postcolonial Case for Rethinking Borders.

Amazon Workers Plan Prime Day Strike at Minnesota Warehouse.

* Democratic candidates’ school integration plans, explained.

* Democrats will never allow the system to be reformed.

* But this time around, I don’t think 2007–8 produced anything. The resulting policies were, if anything, even more neoliberal. But the problem is that neoliberalism has lost its attractiveness and legitimacy, so is now enforced by authoritarian and right-populist means.

The Millennial Condition: History, Revolution, and Generational Analysis.

To see how the Koch brothers’ free-market utopia operates, look no further than Corpus Christi.

* I’ve always been cold on Russiagate, but I’ll believe any conspiracy theory you have to sell me about Jeffrey Epstein. Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender who is friends with Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, explained. The Mystery Around Jeffrey Epstein’s Fortune and How He Made It. How a future Trump Cabinet member gave a serial sex abuser the deal of a lifetime. Epstein indictment renews questions about earlier case handled by Trump Cabinet official. When Jeffrey Epstein Joked About Sex Abuse. DA knew Jeffrey Epstein was a dangerous pedophile when arguing for leniency. Flashback to 2003. Inside Epstein’s $56 Million Mansion: Photos of Bill Clinton, Woody Allen and Saudi Crown Prince. Barr won’t recuse, again.

* So much corruption you can’t even keep it all straight: Investigation Intensifies Into Top Trump Fund-raiser.

Nancy Pelosi Has Chosen Her War, and It’s With Her Own Party’s Future.

* Haunted by the Reagan era.

Progressive Boomers Are Making It Impossible For Cities To Fix The Housing Crisis.

* The Bernie-Warren Suicide Pact to Save America.

Americans Shouldn’t Have to Drive, but the Law Insists on It. Don’t Count on U.S. Regulators to Make Self-Driving Cars Safe for Pedestrians.

* MSP troopers blow through stop sign, arrest driver that ran into them.

* Most Americans like to think of their country as a meritocracy, a system that rewards hard work and intelligence over privilege. But if you look at how things actually work, @sarahrlnrd argues, it’s clear the U.S. is more of an aristocracy…

* Far from Home saving the MCU from itself.

MLMs Are A Nightmare For Women And Everyone They Know.

One woman quits coloring her gray hair and investigates the human and environmental costs of this contentious female beauty standard.

When Philip K. Dick turned to Christianity.

* Chernobyl and Russiagate.

Stranger Things and Nostalgia Now.

* Full circe.

* When a car crashed outside of tiny Tonopah, Nevada, volunteer EMS workers raced to the scene in minutes. But ever since Tonopah’s hospital closed, the town is now hours away from the nearest emergency room.

* Another animal intelligence roundup.

* Zoos Called It a ‘Rescue.’ But Are the Elephants Really Better Off? Despite mounting evidence that elephants find captivity torturous, some American zoos still acquire them from Africa — aided by a tall tale about why they needed to leave home.

* Principal Refused to Call the Holocaust a Fact. Five seconds later: Principal Who Tried to Stay ‘Politically Neutral’ About Holocaust Is Removed.

Digital Jail: How Electronic Monitoring Drives Defendants Into Debt.

* Damn, that’s dark.

On average, older adults spend over half their waking hours alone.

* A retired teacher found some seahorses off Long Beach. Then he built a secret world for them.

The Rise of the Professional Dungeon Master.

* Baseball has a home-run problem.

Will Impossible Burgers be the norm for Gen Z?

* And if aliens call, what should we do? Scientists want your opinion.


Written by gerrycanavan

July 9, 2019 at 12:20 pm

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Take a Long Lunch on Me with these Monday Afternoon Links

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* CFP: Paradoxa 32, Comics and/or Graphic Novels.

* CFP: Energy Pasts and Futures in American Studies.

* The Museum of the Moving Image Announces a Series on Latin American Science Fiction Cinema of the 21st Century.

* A City on Mars Could Descend Into Cabin Fever and Nationalism. Just because that’s what happened on Earth doesn’t mean it would happen on Mars!

Philip K. Dick’s Unfinished Novel Was a Faustian Fever Dream.

* Some timely content for my games class: can colonialism and slavery ever be game mechanics?

* Reading ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’ in Baghdad: What Vonnegut taught me about what comes after war.

One of his legacies is a famous passage in “Slaughterhouse-Five.” It’s about planes flying in reverse, where shrapnel flies out of people, back into the bombs and the planes take off backward from their runways, and so on, until everyone is just a baby again.

Vonnegut is saying it would be nice if the wisdom learned from a war could be used to reverse engineer the entire thing and keep it from happening at all. That is a nice thought.

* The bargaining phase of climate crisis: why don’t you just move to Duluth?

This Is How Human Extinction Could Play Out.

* Matthew Dean Hindman is reporting from the neoliberal gutting of the University of Tulsa.

* Faculty, students and community members rally for unionization at Marquette. More from Wisconsin Public Radio.

* How College Professors Turned Into Uber Drivers.

* Low-Income Students Told Brown U. That Textbook Prices Limited Their Choices. Here’s What the University Is Doing About It.

* A new study confirms that fraternity men and athletes are committing more sexual assaults than are those in the general student population — and that repeat offenders are a major problem.

I have a hunch, which is that professors are considerably less good at teaching than they think they are. And the hunch is based on the fact that we don’t train teaching assistants to teach, that we select and hire professors without any regard to their ability or potential as teachers, and that we don’t then give them further training or professional development. A hunch you say.

* Georgetown Students Agree to Create Reparations Fund.

* Faced with an unprecedented moral emergency in the Trump presidency, the Democrats have wisely decided to… play chicken with their base.

* Meanwhile. Meanwhile. Meanwhile. Meanwhile. Meanwhile. Meanwhile. Meanwhile. Meanwhile. Meanwhile.

* ‘Fox News brain’: meet the families torn apart by toxic cable news.

* Yemeni bodegas boycott New York Post over attacks on Ilhan Omar.

* Inside One Woman’s Fight to Rewrite the Law on Marital Rape.

* David Perry talks about antidepressant withdrawal.

* In Grand Rapids, Michigan, an unidentified man, age 40 is suing his parents for $87,000 for dumping his porn collection.

* Anti-beardism: the last acceptable prejudice?

* LARB considers Born in the USA.

* Can we build non-sexist and non-racist cities?

Bird scooters last less then a month and each one costs the company an average of $300.

* Played as anything but a goof, Quidditch is incredibly dangerous.

* The Dunbar number is probably wrong.

He Helped Wrongfully Convict a Vegas Man. Two Decades Later, His Daughter Worked on a Law to Make Amends.

* Today in dialectics: Are Plastic Bag Bans Garbage?

* Today in 21st century news: How to Scan Your Airbnb for Hidden Cameras.

* How Do Hospitals Stop the Spread of Drug-Resistant Superbugs Like C. Auris?
By ripping out floor tiles, reconfiguring pipes, and maybe deploying a hydrogen peroxide–spraying robot. Plus, a lot of bleach.

* I have a little scoop today: Pepsi says it wants to monetize the night sky by using satellites to project an artificial constellation that’ll advertise an energy drink.”

* Online trolls are harassing a scientist who helped take the first picture of a black hole. And you’ll never guess why!

* YouTube and racism, part a million.

* Hmm, weird, but I’m sure it’s fine.

* “Fewer clearer examples of Mark Fisher’s assertion that capitalism now only exists to block the emergence of common wealth than the fact that Google have apparently digitised every book in the world, and made them accessible to everyone, only with half the pages missing.”

* How ‘Game of Thrones’ linguist David J. Peterson became Hollywood’s go-to language guy.

* Now that’s commitment to a bit.

* And I have a bad feeling about this.

(and so on)

Written by gerrycanavan

April 15, 2019 at 11:03 am

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Monday Morning Links!

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* Discovery vs. the canon. All of these so-called violations can be solved with creative thinking, you cowards!

* The day Star Trek: The Next Generation was truly invented.

This is not the dystopia we were promised. Philip K. Dick and the Fake Humans.

* I really think every person who has anything to do with assessment knows it is completely meaningless but fears some other actor in the system who they think truly believes in it. Great piece from the Chronicle on just how bad it is.

* Natalie Portman on being 13 in Hollywood. Five strategies of sexual harassers.

* Monopsony in America.

* Today in the NYPD.

* Kalamazoo doctor detained by ICE after forty years in the US. ICE looks to be targeting Niec, despite a permanent green card, due to some misdemeanor property damage convictions from 17 years ago.

* Rethinking Truman.

We remember Truman primarily as the person who was president when the atomic bombs were first used. We should also remember him, as I have argued before, as the person who ordered that the atomic bombs stop being used. And the person who, over the course of his presidency, did the most to establish that atomic bombs were not weapons to be deployed lightly ever again. One might see this as irony, but in my interpretation, it is not: it the reaction of someone who realized he had been badly out of the loop once, and wore that on his conscience, and determined it would not happen again.

* What it’s like to be a convicted felon.

* The Corruption Thesis, dystopia, and authoritarianism.

Invasion of the German Board Games.

I say all this because I think it’s important to bear in mind when considering the substantial subset of UCB that doesn’t get paid for its labor: the improvisors, stand-ups and sketch comics who perform nightly at its theaters. All of them work for free, and often at a loss. To perform on a UCB house team, you must complete UCB’s core curriculum, or four courses at $450-500 apiece. You must also be approved for study in an Advanced Study course—another $450-500. (Through its diversity scholarships, UCB waives these fees for 175 students each year). That’s at least $2,250 and at most $2,500 simply to be eligible to audition for UCB’s flagship Harold and Lloyd teams. If you make it, which you probably won’t, the costs continue to accrue. Members of UCB’s house teams are required to pay their coaches, and many also pay for rehearsal spaces and props. They do not recoup these costs.

Republicans want to make it easier to kill whales and dolphins.

* As metaphors go, it’s a little on the nose.

* And the New York Times asking the tough questions: Formidable tail weaponry is nearly absent in living animals. Scientists have an explanation for what happened to the clubbed tails of the ankylosaurus or the spikes on a stegosaurus.

Spring Syllabi! Animals! Television! Animals!

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It’s Week One of Year Zero and I’m Declaring Total Tab Bankruptcy

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gauld-declutteringvertical-panel_-1-010617* CFP: SFRA 2017. CFP: 14th Annual Tolkien at UVM Conference. CFP: Toxic Fans. CFP: Whiteness and the American Superhero. CFP: The Gibson Critics Don’t See. Call for Applications: R.D. Mullen Fellowships. CFP for MLA 2018: Creative Economies of Science Fiction. And also at MLA 18, the science fiction panel I’ll be chairing: Satire and Science Fiction in Dystopian Times.

* This thread on Gene Roddenberry and Grace Lee Whitney makes some flat assertions that are actually just well-supported speculations, but is nonetheless is a shocking and dispiriting revisionist history of Trek that’s well worth considering.

gauld-declutteringvertical-panel_-4-010617* The part I was born to play.

Race and Zootopia.

* Rick & Morty and theodicy.

* Calling Bullshit in the Age of Big Data.

* The novel in the age of Obama.

* The Life-Changing Magic of Decluttering in a Post-Apocalyptic World.

Aid in reverse: how poor countries develop rich countries.

* From my colleague Rebecca Nowacek: Don’t Retreat. Teach Citizenship.

* Student evaluations: still bad.

* Keywords for the Age of Austerity: Alternative.

* I’m not normally one to defend college admin, but: Trade school fires president after he let homeless student stay in library during sub-zero weather.

* Without communism, there’s something missing from dystopian stories.

* Junot Diaz remembers Octavia Butler.

Legislation in two states seeks to end tenure at public colleges and universities. Missouri Lawmaker Who Wants to Eliminate Tenure Says It’s ‘Un-American.’

* The university as asylum. The university and the class system.

* The Changing English Major. The collapse of history as a discipline. A liberal arts college without English majors? Massive cuts at the University of Alberta.

* MLA Rejects Israel Boycott. MLA by the numbers (from the right).

* When a school hires adjuncts, where does the money go?

UBI already exists for the 1%.

* 26, 171.

* Shockingly enough, legalizing murder means more murders.

Bill Perry Is Terrified. Why Aren’t You?

Somali refugee in Milwaukee publishes book.

* When the homeless die, it’s up to forensic investigators to find their families.

* The End of the Rural Hospital.

* Secrets of my success: Cracking a Joke at Work Can Make You Seem More Competent.

* The FBI has been using the Geek Squad as all-purpose informants.

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Trump Promised to Resign From His Companies — But There’s No Record He’s Done So. Congress moves to give away national lands, discounting billions in revenue. Mark Hamill, National Treasure. Searching for Time-Travelers on the Eve of the Trump Inauguration. Donald Trump, David Foster Wallace, and the hobbling of shame. A mere 34. It would be crazy not to impeach him. Keep America Great. Oh, you think? The DeVos Democrats. That’ll solve it. Here’s What You Can Do to Beat Trump. Preventing 2017 America from becoming like 1934 Germany: A watchlist. Philip K. Dick vs the Time of Trump. Here’s what Sci-Fi Can Teach Us About Fascism. Stop making sense, or, writing in the age of Trump. The stories coming out of this White House are bananas. Watch this story. And this one! How jokes won the election. This is fine. This is fine. This is fine. This is fine. This is fine. This is fine. This is fine. This is fine. This is fine. This is fine. This is fine. This is fine. This is fine. UPDATE: This is fine.

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* Seems legit.

* This one too.

* But this one takes the cake.

* Meanwhile, the 2020 Dem frontrunner…

* But Jeet Heer thinks we can do even worse.

* Democrats in the Wilderness. Oh, they’ve got this.

* The Electoral College Is Even Worse Than You Think. But it can always be worse.

tumblr_ojwjs8g2yh1romv9co1_500What Would Happen in the Minutes and Hours After North Korea Nuked the United States?

* The Obama speeches. A politics that surrenders every level of government to its opposition cannot win the future. It has already lost the present. But this was good.

Want to Raise Successful Boys? Science Says Do This (But Their Schools Probably Won’t).

* Teachers who drink and drinkers who teach.

Bumblebee is first bee in continental US to be listed as endangered.

The Suburbanization of the US Working Class.

You Can Write a Best-Seller and Still Go Broke.

Thousands of Skittles end up on an icy road. But that’s not the surprising part.

Forced to watch child porn for their job, Microsoft employees developed PTSD, they say. The people behind the AI curtain.

* Ha ha ha, he’s the sheriff of my county, what a character, this is not frightening at all.

* Lessons from Octavia Butler: Surviving Trump.

* I still think every adult who let this get to trial should be utterly ashamed of themselves.

MST3K is that for me. It saved my life, at least twice. There’s no hyperbole in that declaration.

Sherlock‘s bizarrely self-aware problem with women.

* About that biometric password you’re born with and will never be able to change.

Women only said 27% of the words in 2016’s biggest movies.

Most primate species are now threatened with extinction.

* Neanderthals were people too.

When a Video-Game World Ends.

* Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich.

* Twilight of the cruelty factory circus.

* “We Will Miss Antibiotics When They’re Gone.”

* “Genderless Nipples account frustrates Instagram.”

* Disability and as-seen-on-TV.

Wolf-Sized Otters Prowled the World Six Million Years Ago.

Not all that long ago, as the editor in chief of Gawker.com, Daulerio was among the most influential and feared figures in media. Now the forty-two-year-old is unemployed, his bank has frozen his life savings of $1,500, and a $1,200-per-month one-bedroom is all he can afford. He’s renting here, he says, to be near the counselors and support network he has come to rely on lately.

* I still believe in Arrested Development Season Five.

* Your blast from the past: Prodigy Online’s MadMaze.

* Superheroes and the kids today.

* Episode 8 has a name.

* Autism causes vaccines.

* And RIP, Mark Fisher. A memorial fund for his wife and son. His piece on depression.

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Written by gerrycanavan

January 24, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Christmas and/or Fascism Megapost Forever and Ever Links – Part Two!

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(here’s part one)

* The story behind the Christmas Truce of 1914, simultaneously the most and least utopian thing that’s ever happened.

* Now that’s running it like a sandwich: College Can’t Prove It Taught 16,000 Online Students.

* Shockwave: A Syllabus for the End Times.

* Addressing the myths of academic job market.

* Arrival and the end of the academy.

* This was not called execution. It was called retirement.

* Colleges should invest in career services.

The Oakland Fire Tragedy and Higher Education.

* Inside the Bob Dylan Archive.

* Afrofuturism: The Next Generation.

* Rewriting Rogue One. And more.

* Rogue One: An Engineering Ethics Story. The Death Star and poor design.

* Rogue One: The Jacobin seal of approval.

* High praise: The Man in the High Castle season 2 is the worst TV show of the year.

* Buck Up, Democrats, and Fight Like Republicans. Team Bernie: Hillary ‘F*cking Ignored’ Us in Swing States. Building a Mass Socialist Party.

* Cabinet of Deplorables: Rex Tillerson. Rick Perry. An Intellectual History. Trump and the Late Deciders. Yes, Pence is preferable to Trump. The supermanagerial reich. The Age of Anger. Frightened by Donald Trump? You don’t know the half of it. What do you do when your reporter is personally attacked by the President of the United States? Twitter, Trump’s Ring of Power. This is fine.

* tfw your research collapses and it’s too late to rewrite the book

Politics got weird because neoliberalism failed to deliver.

* Their fake news, and ours.

The trail of painkillers leads to West Virginia’s southern coalfields, to places like Kermit, population 392. There, out-of-state drug companies shipped nearly 9 million highly addictive — and potentially lethal — hydrocodone pills over two years to a single pharmacy in the Mingo County town.

* Scientists are frantically copying U.S. climate data, fearing it might vanish under Trump.

A sense of ennui and overdetermination binds the audience of NPR podcasts together in a bloc of obnoxious explainerism.

* The End Is Always Near: The New Inquiry reviews Peter Frase’s Four Futures.

* The Perfect Weapon: How Russian Cyberpower Invaded the U.S.

What Was James Comey Thinking? James Comey never should have been FBI director in the first place.

* Horrors in Aleppo. What Is Aleppo?

* The Business of Institutionalization.

* Michigan search for welfare fraud has a mere 93% failure rate.

* Cover Letter to the Search Committee from My Shadow Self. Eight Excuses I Have Told My Son to Use for His Failure to Hand in English Homework, Excuses I Have Learned Are Acceptable During a Thirty-Year Career in Journalism, Books, and Film.

* Climate change, meet your apocalyptic twin: oceans poisoned by plastic. Real-time interactive map shows the pollution engulfing Earth. The Greater New York City Region Must Plan for “Permanent Flooding.”

* Google and the death of knowledge.

* There’s no safe space for kids anywhere: 368 gymnasts allege sexual exploitation.

* Hey, let’s all fight about Shakespeare again.

Living with Exploding Head Syndrome: This is what it feels like to hear gunshots in your mind.

* United Nations to Wonder Woman: Drop Dead.

We Want To See All the Scifi Movies on the 2016 Black List.

* Sold in the room: New Star Trek Comic Imagines a World Where the Romulans Made First Contact With Earth.

* Norm Macdonald: A Raw and Uncensored Interview.

* Anne Frank may not have been betrayed to Nazis, study finds: Raid that led to her arrest could have been part of investigation into illegal labor or falsified ration coupons.

* Talk to your kids about quantum mechanics — before someone else does.

* By the numbers: the technosphere now weights 30 trillion tons.

The CIA Is Celebrating Its Cartography Division’s 75th Anniversary by Sharing Declassified Maps.

Mr. Thompson confronted the officer in command of the rampaging platoon, Lt. William L. Calley, but was rebuffed. He then positioned the helicopter between the troops and the surviving villagers and faced off against another lieutenant. Mr. Thompson ordered Mr. Colburn to fire his M-60 machine gun at any soldiers who tried to inflict further harm. RIP.

My Life With the Thrill-Clit Cult.

* Billy Joel is really leaving money on the table.

* And dystopian film is never going to be able to keep up with the present.

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 20, 2016 at 3:03 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Catching Up on My Open Tabs After an Incredibly Slow News Week in Which Nothing World-Historically Bonkers Happened

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* CFP: And Now for Something Completely Different: Critical Approaches to Monty Python.

* CFP: The Films of Wes Anderson.

* Three on Dylan, Nobel Laureate. The Guardian reports.

After much consideration my position on this event is that I’m formally opposed, but nonetheless personally delighted.

* Barack Obama for first president of the Federation.

* Le Guin in the Post, the Nation, and the New Yorker.

* PKD and the Problem of 2-3-74.

* An adjuncting career, by the numbers.

Idiots Who Run Harvard Let Their Low-Wage Workers Go On Strike.

* 4 Professors Involved in Philosophy Brawl Find Feces in Their Mail.

With Campus Carry in Place, Some Texas Grad Students Make Bars Their Offices.

* Why a Controversial Palestinian History Class at Berkeley Was Cancelled, Then Reinstated.

* I make a brief appearance at the end of this CBS58 story on Marquette’s incredible Tolkien collection. I also pop up in this review of the first few episodes of Westworld.

* The Trouble with Thanksgiving.

This schedule creates a natural mid-semester break. And if adopted soon, that break would occur next week. Let’s get to work. I don’t think it’s too late.

* Arrested Development Season Five (not really). Women Are Defeating Donald Trump. All of Donald Trump’s Accusers: A Timeline of Every Alleged Grope and Assault. Gerrymandering helped Republicans take control of Congress, but now it’s tearing them apart over Trump. A Trump collapse could give Democrats back the House. Here’s the math. Inside the Bunker. Inside the Meltdown. How One 19-Year-Old Illinois Man Is Distorting National Polling Averages. Trump, the GOP, and the Fall. Let’s never forget what a terrifying thing we almost did. Your Surgeon Is Probably a Republican, Your Psychiatrist Probably a Democrat. I guess I need a new surgeon. If professors made $500k/year, would they be Republicans? U.S. government officially accuses Russia of hacking campaign to interfere with elections. The Evan McMullin Century. A GOP strategist explains why the Republican Party is about to break in two. Even the Humane Society. Teach the controversy. Thank you for your idea about a political thriller but unfortunately we find the plot preposterous. Michelle Obama for President. And because we’re all still asking: What Happens If Trump Drops Out?

* Citizens United, all class.

* Eugenics in America.

As a national prison strike enters its second month, the Department of Justice says it will investigate conditions in Alabama prisons. And some corrections officers are expressing support.

Louisiana isn’t letting immigrants get married.

New Jersey Transit, a Cautionary Tale of Neglect.

“We’d at least like to have it said of us that we tried”: Marvel and the civil rights movement.

How Rock and Roll Became White.

* Atlanta’s lost Afrofuture.

* Brutalism is back.

* “When her best friend died, she rebuilt him using artificial intelligence.”

* Department of Precrime, CIA edition.

* The search for a true blue M&M.

* Whatever this is for, I am so completely in.

* Meanwhile, the Fantastic Beasts expansion of the Harry Potter franchise will top out at an economical and reasonable five films.

* Star Trek explained by epic poetry.

* The four types of board games.

Golden Girls Action Figures Are Here.

* Life with migraines.

* I was pregnant, and then I wasn’t.

* Generation Adderall.

* Poet at work.

* The end of Devin Faraci and the end of The Canon podcast (for now). There’s more at the Mary Sue.

* Huge, if true: Tech billionaires convinced we live in the Matrix are secretly funding scientists to help break us out of it.

And on the subject of deranged tech madmen: Simpsons did it.

Liquid assets: how the business of bottled water went mad.

The reaction that would give us clean fossil fuels forever.

The coming fight over “nonlethal neuroweapons.”

What’s the Longest Humans Can Live? 115 Years, New Study Says. Challenge accepted.

* Now, I may have to move first.

* The kids are all right: Only 1 in 5 Millennials Have Ever Tried a Big Mac.

* On Delany’s Dark Reflections.

* App of the week: Really Bad Chess.

* The Perils of Becoming a Meme.

* The LEGO Yellow Submarine.

* Finally my condition has a name.

* And I told you, Mom: Science Says the First Born Child Is the Most Intelligent.

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Written by gerrycanavan

October 14, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Tuesday Links! Just for You

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* My review won’t appear in The New Inquiry for a couple weeks, but Liu Cixin’s Death’s End is finally out today. I read it this summer and it’s great. Go get it!

* A local talk I’ll be giving this Saturday afternoon at the Milwaukee Public Library: 150 Years of H.G. Wells in Milwaukee.

* Elsewhere on the Milwaukee Public Library beat! Milwaukee Public Library to forgive fines for patrons who visit the library.

* CFP: Flannery O’Connor and Popular Culture. CFP: Modern Fiction Studies: The Anthropocene: Fiction and the End(s) of Human Ecologies. CFP: Essays on the Evil Dead Anthology. CFP: ICFA 2017.

Star Trek: Discovery Has Been Delayed Until May 2017. I never saw how they’d make January, even before it was nearly October and they didn’t have a cast yet.

‘It’s like hitting a painting with a fish’: can computer analysis tell us anything new about literature?

Good News Liberal-Arts Majors: Your Peers Probably Won’t Outearn You Forever.

* Professor Cottom’s Graduate School Guidance.docx

How to Do a Better Job of Searching for Diversity.

Too Much and Too Little: A History of David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King.

With outcomes so uneven, it is no wonder that MFAs are the bastard children of English departments.

* Victory at LIU.

* Saint Louis University must pay $367,000 in damages to a former professor who alleged she was denied tenure because of her gender. That’s what a Missouri court decided late last week following a trial by jury. The university says it’s “disappointed” in the verdict and is reviewing its options.

Dozens of higher education institutions in New York state will stop asking applicants whether they have past criminal convictions.

What does it cost to run a department at UCLA for a year? or, who will pay the salary of the English department?

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This book is dedicated to the Soviet Space Dogs, who played a crucial part in the Soviet Space program. These homeless dogs, plucked from the streets of Moscow, were selected because they fitted the program’s criteria: weighing no more than 15 pounds, measuring no more than 14 inches in length, robust, photogenic and with a calm temperament.

New York’s Attorney General Has Opened An Inquiry into Donald Trump’s Charity.

Haitian-American Roxane Gay Becomes First Black Woman Writer for Marvel Comics.

* From 2014: The Future According to Stanisław Lem.

* Parenting and moral panic, 2016.

If You Change a Baby’s Diaper in Arizona, You Can Now Be Convicted of Child Molestation.

* “Very pessimistic.” The idea that they could actually somehow manage to blow the lead they’d built up over the summer is horrifying.

* It Sure Seems Like Hillary Clinton’s Tech Guy Asked Reddit for Email Advice.

* The law, in its majestic equality: Defendants who can’t afford bail more likely to plead guilty as a way out, studies show.

Police Accidentally Record Themselves Conspiring to Fabricate Criminal Charges Against Protester. After court threat, state of Michigan removed Flint’s power to sue. WashPost Makes History: First Paper to Call for Prosecution of Its Own Source (After Accepting Pulitzer). 37 Years in Solitary Confinement and Even the State Can’t Explain Why. Nation’s largest police union endorses Trump. And right here in Milwaukee: An Inmate Died Of Thirst In A Jail Run By A Loudly Pro-Trump Sheriff.

* A Prison Literature Syllabus.

* The total U.S. budgetary cost of war since 2001 is $4.79 trillion, according to a report released this week from Brown University’s Watson Institute. That’s the highest estimate yet.

How the failed politics of “humanitarian intervention” were born in 1980s Afghanistan.

Neither Zuckerberg nor the Pope, but international digital socialism.

* Twilight for C.M. Punk.

* The Fall of Chyna.

* Romeo and Juliet in Wisconsin.

The strange story of how internet superfans reclaimed the insult ‘trash.’

“I await an apology from Chancellor Dirks, and Dean Hesse,” explained Hadweh. “The university threw me under the bus, and publicly blamed me, without ever even contacting me. It seems that because I’m Palestinian studying Palestine, I’m guilty until proven innocent. To defend the course, we had to mobilize an international outcry of scholars and students to stand up for academic freedom. This never should have happened.”

I Published My Debut Novel to Critical Acclaim—and Then I Promptly Went Broke.

* The Woman Who Is Allergic to Water.

* Feral Cats and Ecological Disaster.

* Never talk to journalists.

The name of the character in the excerpt, GBW Ponce, comes actually from the Ponzi scheme, among other things. There’s a Thomas Frank piece that I once read somewhere (I think it was Harper’s), where he said that civilization is basically a gigantic ponzi scheme. With our obsession with data and with predicting the future, it’s as if we were trying to cancel the future and its uncertainties, in order to make the present feel safer. The IMF has projections for the growth of EVERY economy on the planet which stretch to two-three-four and even more years: why let reality run its course when we can model it and predict it, right? So, the idea behind that character was that by “scientifically” predicting every inch of life, it’s as if we borrowed against our unknown future to live the present with fewer uncertainties and anxieties. But that’s precisely what causes more anxiety, this idea of a life that could fit entirely in an Excel spreadsheet.

Moderator Announces Topics for First Presidential Debate.

* Definitely, definitely, definitely aliens.

All 314 Bruce Springsteen Songs, Ranked From Worst to Best. Shame to get all the way through 312 and then swap #1 and #2…

* Elsewhere in the numerical sublime: Every He-Man and the Masters of the Universe action figure, ranked.

* Teach the controversy! “Peter Thiel Would Make A Great Supreme Court Justice.”

* Booze against pot.

The Bonkers Real-Life Plan to Drain the Mediterranean and Merge Africa and Europe.

Someone Removed The Music From ‘Dancing In The Street’ And I Can’t Stop Laughing.

* Run it like a sandwich: After Texas high school builds $60-million stadium, rival district plans one for nearly $70 million.

The luxury suites in modern stadiums are reminders that capitalist society values elite consumption over public enjoyment.

Class size matters a lot, research shows.

Is Artificial Intelligence Permanently Inscrutable?

* Page B13: Arctic death spiral: Icebreakers reach North Pole as sea ice disintegrates.

* Don’t tweet your heroes.

* And never forget that the Monkees are DCU canon.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 20, 2016 at 8:32 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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New Fall Syllabus #1: Alternate History!

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I’m teaching three classes this semester, ENGLISH 4615/5615 (“Infinite Jest”), ENGLISH 2010 (“Alternate History”), and HOPR 1953 (“Video Game Culture”) (one-credit, pass/fail, now with Pokémon Go!). I’m very excited about all three. The Infinite Jest course is one I’ve wanted to do for a very long time — I came up with the whole idea of adding the new 4615/5615 course number to the Marquette English just so I could do this course — and the alternate-history course has been puttering around in my brain as a pedagogical opportunity for just about as long.

I got a lot of help from folks on Twitter and Facebook with the alternate history novel course, both at the level of generating texts but also at the level of conceptualizing the course a little different so it could be more inclusive, and I’m really grateful for that. I was finally sold by Alexis Lothian on the idea that I was being silly by being resistant to stories like The Lathe of Heaven and “The Book of Martha,” for instance, and that the practical effect of that resistance was to make the class much whiter and much maler than it really needed to be. Now, the course is still pretty white and very male, but the genre itself is, and somehow or another that’s something I want to start to talk about as the semester progresses. The excellent suggestion of Karen Joy Fowler’s story “Game Night at the Fox and Goose” will really help me make that pivot, I think, as will In the United States of Africa (a great novel I couldn’t believe I forgot to include until it was pointed out to me I’d forgotten to include it, I think by Aaron Bady).

A few other things I was very sad to lose:

  • I was originally going to do “an alternate history of an alternate history” thing to end the semester, Superman: Red Son, but it just didn’t make sense the way the course took shape. I held on to the idea way too long, and only cut the book two days ago. Sorry, bookstore!
  • The whole original point of all this was to use the course as an excuse to teach The Years of Rice and Salt, a book I love which seems just too long too teach in any other context. And it still seems too long to teach (at least at the sophomore level). I had to give it up, and wasn’t able to include even any excerpts because I crammed in too much other stuff. Someday!
  • Another thing that fell out of the course was a group presentation structure in which individual groups researched the actual history of the hinge point of each divergence and reported on it. I realized that with the newer, more expansive idea of the course this wasn’t going to work very well for at least half the books, and probably would have been reductive and overdetermined our conversations in practice, so it had to be abandoned as well.
  • I really, really wanted to include a Ted Chiang what-if-religion-were-empirically-verifiable story like “Hell Is The Absence of God,” but, again, it seemed just a bit far too off the mark this time.
  • I am, indeed, doing literally just one page from The Plot Against America, fulfilling my perverse desire to do so.
  • There were many other great suggestions for books that I wasn’t able to use. A few that I really struggled over:
    • Life After Life: a Replay-style reincarnation novel about World War I;
    • Replay itself, which is just too time-travel-ish for this (though I’ve always really liked it);
    • I likewise ruled out some other really good alternate-timeline stories because they were really time travel stories, from my puritanical perspective;
    • Something longer from Butler, perhaps Wild Seed (again, just too far afield generically for what I’m hoping to do);
    • Something truly (“merely”) generic, like Turtledove or Bring the Jubilee;
    • Lion’s Blood, Atomik Aztex, The Indians Won, The Bird Is Gone, The Heirs of Columbus, etc. I was so hung up on the idea of doing The Years of Rice and Salt that it crowded out this space for me (and then I added In the United States of Africa instead, to take on this question from a different direction). Next time.
    • Swastika Night, 1984, Handmaid’s Tale, Battle Royale: all good suggestions but didn’t hit the sense of “pastness” required by my conception of alternate history as a genre, as they were all future histories in their original moment of production;
    • District 9: only (re-)occurred to me at the last second because I was talking about it to somebody in another context, and didn’t have time to do it because the syllabus was (again) too crammed with too much other stuff. Someone had suggested Born in Flames to me as well, which also would have been great.
    • I also really wanted to play some board games like Twilight Struggle, Risk, Axis and Allies, and Chrononauts, but it seemed like it would be unwieldy and pointless with 35 students in the room. I think Civilization could scratch the same itch, though…

All right, with all those caveats, apologies, and thanks, here’s the week by week schedule (and full syllabus with all course procedures)! Three papers, the first two “traditionally scholarly,” the third one with a creative option, as well as a few creative micro-assignments here and there. If there’s anything more I should explain or you have any questions about the decisions I made, feel free to ask in the comments!

M Aug. 29 FIRST DAY OF CLASS

in-class writing exercise: “What If…”

W Aug. 31 class discussion: “What If…”
UNIT ONE: ALTERNATE WORLD WAR IIs
F Sep. 2 Kim Stanley Robinson, “The Lucky Strike”
M Sep. 5 LABOR DAY—NO CLASS
W Sep. 7 Kim Stanley Robinson, “A Sensitive Dependence on Initial Conditions”
F Sep. 9 FIRST PAPER GUIDELINES DISTRIBUTED

Star Trek: “The City on the Edge of Forever” (discussion only; watch it on your own!)

criticism: H. Bruce Franklin, “Star Trek in the Vietnam Era” [D2L]

M Sep. 12 Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle, chapters 1-3
W Sep. 14 Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle, chapters 4-6
F Sep. 16 Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle, chapters 7-9
M Sep. 19 Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle, chapters 10-13
W Sep. 21 Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle (whole book)
F Sep. 23 The Man in the High Castle (2015 Amazon pilot) (discussion only; watch it on your own!)
M Sep. 26 Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds (discussion only; optional screening date and time TBA)
W Sep. 28 Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds (discussion continues)

·      review: Ben Waters, “Debating Inglourious Basterds” [Web]

·      review: Michael Atkinson, “The Anti-Blockbuster” [Web]

·      review: Lee Siegel, “Tarantino’s Hollow Violence” [Web]

·      review: Jeffrey Goldberg, “Hollywood’s Jewish Avenger” [Web]

F Sep. 30 Lauren Davis, “Quentin Tarantino’s Spin Through Alternate History” [io9.com]

 

creative writing: Draft a short flash fiction [500-1000 words] or create an artifact, document, or image set in the 2016 of the world of Inglourious Basterds

 

Philip Roth, The Plot Against America (excerpt) [D2L]

UNIT TWO: OTHER HISTORIES
M Oct. 3 FIRST PAPER WORKSHOP

Bring in at least your introductory paragraphs, main claim, and an outline of your paper.

W Oct. 5 Sid Meier’s Civilization

videos: Civilization V timelapse gameplay videos [YouTube]

post: Trevor Owens, “Sid Meier’s Colonization: Is It Offensive Enough?” [Web]

thread: Lycerius, “I’ve Been Playing the Same Game of Civilization for Almost Ten Years. This Is the Result” [Reddit]

F Oct. 7 Sid Meier’s Civilization

criticism: Kacper Pobłocki, “Becoming-State: The Bio-Cultural Imperialism of Sid Meier’s Civilization”

 
M Oct. 10 FIRST PAPER DUE

SECOND PAPER GUIDELINES DISTRIBUTED

Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” [D2L]

W Oct. 12 Karen Joy Fowler, “Game Night at the Fox and Goose” [D2L]
F Oct. 14 criticism: L. Timmel Duchamp, “Playing with the Big Boys: (Alternate) History in Karen Joy Fowler’s ‘Game Night at the Fox and Goose’” [Web]
M Oct. 17 Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
W Oct. 19 Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton

thinkpiece: Jennifer Schuessler, “Hamilton and History: Are They in Sync?” [Web]

interview: Rebecca Onion and Lyra D. Monteiro, “A Hamilton Skeptic on Why the Show Isn’t As Revolutionary As It Seems” [Web]

F Oct. 21 FALL BREAK—NO CLASS
M Oct. 24 Terry Bisson, Fire on the Mountain, pgs. 1-66
W Oct. 26 Terry Bisson, Fire on the Mountain, pgs. 67-119
F Oct. 28 Terry Bisson, Fire on the Mountain (whole book)
M Oct. 31 Abdourahman A. Waberi, In the United States of Africa (part one)
W Nov. 2 Abdourahman A. Waberi, In the United States of Africa (whole book)

criticism: Justin Izzo, “Historical Reversibility as Ethnographic Afrofuturism: Abdourahman Waberi’s Alternative Africa”

F Nov. 4 CONFERENCES—CLASS CANCELLED
UNIT THREE: DREAMING OF DIFFERENCE
M Nov. 7 Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (chapters 1-4)
W Nov. 9 Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (chapters 5-6)
F Nov. 11 Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (chapters 7-9)
M Nov. 14 SECOND PAPER DUE

FINAL PROJECT GUIDELINES DISTRIBUTED

Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (chapters 10-13)

W Nov. 16 Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (chapters 14-16)
F Nov. 18 Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (chapters 17-19)
M Nov. 21 Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (whole book)

Martin Puchner, “When We Were Clones” [D2L]

W Nov. 23 THANKSGIVING BREAK—NO CLASS
F Nov. 25 THANKSGIVING BREAK—NO CLASS
M Nov. 28 Ursula K. Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven (chapters 1-4)
W Nov. 30 Ursula K. Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven (chapters 5-8)
F Dec. 2 Ursula K. Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven (whole book)
M Dec. 5 Octavia E. Butler, “The Book of Martha”

creative writing: Imagine God comes to you with the same offer he/she/it brings to Martha. What one change would you make to the world, and why?

W Dec. 7 Octavia E. Butler, “The Book of Martha” (discussion continues)

creative writing: Draft a flash fiction [500-1000 words] or create an artifact, document, or image set in the world that exists sometime after the end of “The Book of Martha.”

 

Octavia E. Butler, “Afterword to ‘The Book of Martha’”

Gerry Canavan, Octavia E. Butler (excerpt) [D2L]

F Dec. 9 FINAL PROJECT WORKSHOP

LAST DAY OF CLASS

F Dec. 16 FINAL ASSIGNMENT DUE BY 12:30 PM
     

 

 

Submitted for Your Approval, Wednesday Links

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* CFP with a Monday deadline: Paradoxa 29, “Small Screen Fictions.” And relevant to my current courses: CFP: The Man in the High Castle and Philosophy.

Application period now open for 2016-17 Le Guin Feminist Science Fiction Fellowship.

Yet we still have not thought seriously about what it means when a private investigative project—bound by no rules of procedure, answerable to nothing but ratings, shaped only by the ethics and aptitude of its makers—comes to serve as our court of last resort.

* Tor has an excerpt from Cixin Liu’s Death’s End, which is amazing (and which I’ll be reviewing for The New Inquiry, by and by).

Just in the nick of time, the United States’ newly minted Solar Forecasting Center was able to convey the true cause of the radar jamming: a rash of powerful solar flares.

* On Pokémon Go and Psychogeography (and Philip K. Dick).

Submitting (SFF) While Black.

* Trump, Second Amendment people, and stochastic terrorism. Could this actually be rock bottom? Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are not two sides of the same coin but libidinally necessary for one another. The horror of Trump manages to create the ultimate liberal fantasy of post-partisanship, consensus and respect for the discourse.

How the Trumps Got Rich.

Remember When Hillary Clinton And Donald Trump Were Maybe Forced To Pose Nude In College?

* Coming soon to a university near you: We’re implementing new general education requirements without having first figured out how we want to deliver it or even what it is we’re trying to deliver, on a model where all the previous examples we can think of have failed.

The US government will track killings by police for the first time ever.

Justice Department to Release Blistering Report of Racial Bias by Baltimore Police. Should shock even the most cynical.

Chicago Police Can’t Explain Why Their Body Cameras Failed At The Moment Of Unarmed Black Teen’s Death. I suppose it will always be a mystery.

A generation of lawyers has been wiped out in Quetta, and it will leave Baluchistan, in more ways than one, lawless.

Oneida: The Christian Utopia Where Contraception Was King.

Israel’s supreme court has ruled that Franz Kafka’s manuscripts are the property of the National Library of Israel, ending a lengthy legal battle, judicial sources said in Monday.

Keywords for the Age of Austerity 26: Bootcamp.

Finally, there’s a good way to play Dungeons & Dragons online.

* The debate over who should be allowed to compete as a woman has more to do with ethics than endocrinology.

An unsettling thing happened at the Olympic diving pool on Tuesday: the water inexplicably turned green, just in time for the women’s synchronized 10-meter platform diving competition.

* Exceptionalism: More and more women are now dying in childbirth, but only in America.

* Nailing it: We’ve Devoured a Year’s Worth of Natural Resources in Just Seven Months.

* DCTVU Watch: This is a bad idea and they shouldn’t do it, though they will.

* Harley Quinn and sexism by committee. All the Ways Suicide Squad Could Have Been Much, Much Better.

* Trailers! Luke Cage! Story of Your Life Arrival! Even an improvised Rick and Morty mini-episode!

* And a friendly reminder to always look on the bright side of life.

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Written by gerrycanavan

August 10, 2016 at 8:06 am

Start Monday Off Right with Monday Links, Half-Price for the Entire Month of August with Offer Code CANAVAN

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* Things are bad all over: No new novel cracked the top 20 print bestsellers in the first half of 2016.

* Stranger Things thinkpiece roundup! The Solution to Our Political Problems Lies in ‘Dungeons and Dragons.’ Homophobia Is the Real Monster in Stranger Things. The Problem of Barb. This Stranger Things supercut shows how meticulous the show’s ’80s references really are. And the inevitable remix.

* Elsewhere in 80s nostalgia: a brief history of The Thing.

* Teach the controversy: Was Philip K. Dick a Bad Writer? Meanwhile, it turns out there is no Man in the High Castle!

* Reports: 2 Professors at American U Afghanistan Abducted.

Several private universities are boosting stipends and benefits ahead of a federal ruling that could clear the way for graduate students to form unions. To some grad students, it’s an attempt to persuade them that they don’t need collective bargaining to get a raise.

Curated by Mohammad Salemy and a team of researchers from The New Centre for Research & Practice, Artificial Cinema is a large collaborative effort which explores the history of science fiction cinema and its potentials for arriving at a synthesized vision for the future of art. The exhibition traces a trajectory away from “Anthropocinema” — human-centered cinema — towards more open and complex collaborations between humans and machines.

* Online fandom isn’t all smiles and rainbows.

How Katie Ledecky became better at swimming than anyone is at anything.

* Abandoned Olympic venues from around the world.

UpshotNYT_2016-Aug-07One central fact about the global economy lurks just beneath the year’s remarkable headlines: Economic growth in advanced nations has been weaker for longer than it has been in the lifetime of most people on earth.

A start-up’s race to harvest the moon’s treasures.

The American Psychiatric Association issues a warning: No psychoanalyzing Donald Trump. They’re working for Putin too! And so is George P., looking for the Bush family’s revenge some dark day a decade from now.

Make America Austria Again: How Robert Musil Predicted the Rise of Donald Trump.

* Trump’s shrinking electoral map.

* Send First-Gen Students to Grad School.

Defending the humanities in a skills-obsessed university.

* The last word on cargo shorts and neoliberalism.

* Can Brazil Be Saved?

* It’s George R.R. Martin’s media ecology, we just live in it.

* The fight over H.M.’s brain.

* Teaching in the Age of Trump.

Suicide Squad Sets Box Office Record Because We Don’t Deserve Better Movies. Allow me to recommend Improv4Humans #251, Mattman v. SupArmen, which is better than anything this incarnation of the DC Universe has put out so far.

Six years ago, the world’s biggest library decided to archive every single tweet. Turns out that’s pretty hard to do.

Where are the Natives in Hamilton?

* Ideology disguises itself as common sense, as what everybody already knows.

* Academic Olympics.

* And a helpful questionnaire.

31. Do you take on extra work because you are concerned that it won’t otherwise get done?
32. Do you take on extra work because you do not believe other people can do it as well?
33. Do you underestimate how long a project will take and then rush to complete it?
34. Do you delay beginning a project and experience a surge of adrenaline as you prepare at the last minute or go forward unprepared?
35. Do you believe that it is okay to work long hours if you work for justice?
36. Do you get impatient with people who have other priorities besides work?
37. Are you afraid that if you don’t work hard you will be a failure?
38. Is the future a constant worry for you even when things are going well?
39. Do you feel that others are not doing enough?
40. Do you feel that you are not doing enough?

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Monday Night Links!

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* I had two short pieces come out this weekend: a review essay on Star Trek: Beyond at LARB and a flash review of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child right here at WordPress.

* CFP: Vector Special Issue: Science Fiction and Music. The Man in the High Castle and Philosophy.

* Point: Earwolf has a new Hamilton podcast, seemingly along the lines of The Incomparable’s but with higher profile guests. Counterpoint: You Should Be Terrified That People Who Enjoy “Hamilton” Run Our Country.

To Learn About ‘Hamilton’ Ticket Bots, We Wrote Our Own Bot.

* “So Below”: A Comic about Understanding Land.

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 1.49.24 PM

* Peak Thinkpiece? “Centuries ago, explorers like Columbus and Vasco da Gama played a real-life version of Pokémon Go.” When colonialism is a game. Pokémon Go: Who owns the virtual space around your home? Werner Herzog: Would You Die for the Pokémons? Would You Kill?

A new genre of leftist literature arose between the wars, urging the young to build a brave new world. In the first of two articles, a forgotten dream is remembered. Here’s part two.

* The Huntington has put up some of Butler’s notes on writing Kindred.

Antiblack Racism in Speculative Fiction.

The modern research university has unfortunately become increasingly susceptible to value monism, the belief that there is only one right way to advance, only one correct form of knowledge.

* Bouncy houses OF DEATH.

* The Cosby Next Time: Former Fox News Booker Says She Was Sexually Harassed and ‘Psychologically Tortured’ by Roger Ailes for More Than 20 Years.

* Crisis Theory: The Game!

* Underearners Anonymous.

* #unschooling

* Teasing Arrested Development season five, and the long-rumored recut of season four, at TCA.

* The good news is, we’re all going to live. Here’s the bad news.

6 Human Activities That Pose The Biggest Threat To The World’s Drinking Water. America Has Never Seen a Hot Weather Outlook Like This. And an upcoming conference at Marquette: Public Policy and American Drinking Water.

Early Animals Could’ve Caused Earth’s First Mass Extinction Simply By Existing.

How One Colorado Man Disappeared While Hunting For Hidden Treasure.

What Are Young Non-Working Men Doing?

* What Happened to Wikileaks?

Is Rolling Stone about to get throttled in court over UVA rape report?

* How the other fifth lives.

Ableism, Mass Murder, and Silence.

* Race and dermatology. Space and cardiology.

The Stranger Guest: The Literature of Pregnancy and New Motherhood.

Zombie bacteria that awaken from old corpses might sound like the stuff of an “X-Files” episode. The premise is far from a complete fiction, however.

* Metaphors too on the nose: rise of the corpse flowers.

* Elsewhere on the zombie beat: The Walking Dead Comic Nearly Ended a Lot Sooner Than Anyone Expected. That’s sort of amazing, honestly.

Apps like Seamless and Yelp listen in on our adult lives, then speak to us like children.

J.K. Rowling Says Harry Potter is Done After Cursed Child.

The Lobster: Debt, Referenda, and False Choices.

* Trans* identity will be reclassified by the WHO.

* Being Dazzler.

* Black Art Matters: A Roundtable on the Black Radical Imagination.

* News you can use: How to land a passenger jet without any flight controls.

* Hell Is A Very Small Place: Voices from Solitary Confinement. How Prisons Overtook Schools as the Foremost American Institutions. Why Preschool Teachers Struggle To Make Ends Meet.

* This Rick and Morty clip reading from an actual trial transcript shows what how weirdly perfect the two voices work as a comedic duo, independently of any narrative context.

* I say the teach the controversy.

* How to do sex research.

* The Syllabus as a Contract: How do you deal with clever students who find loopholes you didn’t intend?

College learning takes 2.76 hours/day.

I grew up thinking journalism was just for rich white people. I was mostly right.

* Ghostbusters and liberal feminism. The Spiritualist Origins of Ghostbusters.

* This time the nostalgia industry is trained on my heart like a laser.

* Self-identified Jedi and political atheism, yes really.

* The end of the bulldog.

* Austerity nostalgia.

More Than 50 Animals Starve to Death in Venezuela’s Zoos as the Nation Endures Devastating Food Shortages.

* Automation and the end of liberal democracy.

* They told me capital was a vampire, and man, they nailed it.

As an artist, what can I consider if I want to de-objectify and add power to female characters?

* Politics roundup! State roll calls: What RNC and DNC delegates want you to know. Electoral Map Gives Donald Trump Few Places to Go. Trump’s Likeliest Path to Victory May Be an Electoral College Tie. Bounce! Disability Rights at the DNC. Seven Minutes. The GOP’s Dilemma: How Low Can He Go? Why does it matter that Donald Trump is not a novelty? All the same, a pretty incredible chart. From the archives: Norman Mailer Goes to the RNC. How And Why Trump Will Try to Ditch the Debates. Donald Trump as a One Man Constitutional Crisis. An Anti-Trump Electoral Strategy That Isn’t Pro-Clinton. Revenge of the Ghostwriters. A Historic Dud.  Obscene Media Spectacle. American Horror Story. Is Donald Trump OK? “Hegel remarks somewhere,” Marx wrote, “that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.” We are the 5%. And we’re still allowed to vote.

* And the kids are all right: Trump, Clinton more disliked by millennials than Voldemort.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 1, 2016 at 3:35 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Wednesday Wega-Links!

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* Ken Burns presents: The Humanities.

* My Pop Culture Series might have to be all Harry-Potter-themed this fall: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child comes out in July, then the Fantastic Beasts screenplay in November…

* I was hoping the other magic schools wouldn’t have four houses. But just tell me which one is Ravenclaw and get it over with.

* Something happens to you out there: Astronauts and the Overview Effect.

* On The Fall of the Faculty.

…administrators have effectively developed a hidden curriculum that they exclusively control to further sideline the faculty. Never mind that the courses offered in this hidden curriculum focus on life skills and various types of political indoctrination related to race, gender, and ethnicity, subjects that the deanlets and deanlings are hardly qualified to teach. Add to this, speech, civility and anti-harassment codes, which administrators use with great effectiveness to silence faculty and student critics who interfere with administrative designs. These same administrators often rely upon outside agencies and licensure groups to discipline the faculty with outside assessment measures, threatening the faculty with the school’s possible loss of accreditation. Administrators often interfere with well-running programs, attempting to change their structure to the point of ensuring their failure.

Banned instructor sues Inver Hills Community College, saying he was defamed. Just incredible.

* Political science department chair Eric Schickler said in an email that there was no longer a bond of mutual trust between faculty and the administration. He added that there were concerns among faculty that major donors were being steered toward supporting the Berkeley Global Campus project in Richmond rather than core campus research and teaching missions. “Shared governance requires a shared vision and shared trust between faculty and those at the top,” Schickler said. “Many of us believe that the chancellor’s poor decisions have eroded that trust to the breaking point.”

Call for Provocations: Stealing from the University – extended deadline.

This is our first call for provocations that demand we go beyond familiar complaints and challenge ourselves to organize. Recent student-led uprisings at Missouri, Ohio State, Duke, Appalachian State, and UC Davis, among many others, open up possibilities of re-purposing university-based resources for radical movements. How can we take the relay from these uprisings to expand insurgent practices of studying-in-movement?

* And it looks like it’s that time of the semester again: “Should I go to grad school in the humanities?”

* Dark Posthumanism: The Weird Template.

When Teller directed The Tempest.

* Today in exciting political developments: Trump Selects a White Nationalist Leader as a Delegate in California. At least nothing else incredibly dangerous and destabilizing is happening!

West Virginia is neither a secret socialist stronghold nor a racist fever-dream. It is one of several bleeding edges of a sharply unequal country, where people who never had much are feeling as pressed as they can remember ever being. Some are bigots. Many are not. Some, no doubt, find that Trump’s cocktail of arrogance and disgust, grievance and triumphalism, reassuringly resembles their own psychic survival strategies, blown up into world-historical dimensions. Others are voting for the socialist for the same reason they voted for the Chicago community organizer: a desire for a more equal society, born out of the lived experience of inequality. Maybe future organizing and leadership, like the decades-long fight that first built the unions and the Democratic party in the coalfields, will show that they are not alone in that. What West Virginia Is Saying.

* Data visualization in the Anthropocene.

5_9_16_Andrea_TempSpiralEdHawkins

One in five of world’s plant species at risk of extinction. Sea Level Rise Is Here, And Is Gobbling Up Islands.

* Sold in the room: Philip K. Dick Is Getting an Anthology Show, Courtesy of Bryan Cranston and Ronald D. Moore. Elsewhere in TV news: Locke & Key! Uh, Wheel of Time, I guess? Krypton, really?

* And elsewhere in PKD news: One of the TAs in an Artificial Intelligence Class Was Actually an A.I.

How Do You Put Out A Subterranean Fire Beneath A Mountain Of Trash? Stop me if you’ve heard it.

* How Marvel did it.

* Oof.

* And oof.

Our Awful Prisons: How They Can Be Changed.

The one thing rich parents do for their kids that makes all the difference. The answer may shock you!

This GIF of pre-CGI superhero jumps proves actors are just okay at jumping. The best thing on the Internet this year.

* The law, in its majestic equality: Poor People Don’t Stand A Chance In Court.

* Huge, if true: School principal: ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Lord of the Rings’ cause brain damage.

* Someone’s been watching too much Game of Thrones: “Ultimately, There Is No Narrative without Death.”

Why So Many Smart People Aren’t Happy.

If Philosophy Won’t Diversify, Let’s Call It What It Really Is. A reply.

If those text reproduce ideology, and therefore reproduce empire’s projects of conquest, enslavement, and colonialism, then we can’t just say “nothing is intrinsically wrong.” We in fact have to be open to the notion that these texts are entangled in the most violent, destructive ideas in world history. That they are rooted in whiteness and what whiteness meant in those moments: the right to murder and steal and subjugate.

Civilization 6 Has Been Announced And It’s Out This Year.

The Vision and the Scarlet Witch Have Had Marvel Comics’ Most Fucked-Up Superhero Romance.

* And all hail the Childlike Empress.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 11, 2016 at 2:59 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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New Course Descriptions for Fall 2016: “Alternate History” and “INFINITE JEST”

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So, this is what I’ll be teaching in the fall.

I’m a little swamped this morning so I can’t do the longer post on the Alternate History course I’ve been meaning too, but I wanted to thank the people on Twitter and Facebook who gave me such good ideas for additional texts in the course and really helped me expand my vision of what was possible. I’ll have a post about that sometime in the next couple of weeks, I hope…

ENGLISH 2000: LITERATURE AND GENRE

Course Title: Alternate History
Course Description: What if Hitler had never taken power? What if the United States had never dropped the atomic bomb on Japan? What if the 9/11 terror attacks had been foiled? What if Gore had beat Bush? What if slaves in the American South had successfully revolted, or China had discovered the New World, or the Black Plague had killed 99% of Europeans instead of only 25%? What if cloning had been invented and perfected in the 1970s? What if Superman’s rocket ship had landed in the Ukraine instead of Kansas? Is history made by Great Men, or by social movements, or by technological progress, or by random chance? Does history follow some set of laws or rules, or is it all just a bunch of stuff that happens? This course will explore all these topics and more through dedicated exploration of the literary genre typically called “alternate history”: stories of worlds that are exactly like ours, until some historical event, big or small, goes another way…
Readings: This course will explore the alternate history genre through a wide variety of media forms including prose fiction, film and television, comics, and games, but major readings for the course will include Mark Millar’s Superman: Red Son, Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, Abdourahman Waberi’s In the United States of Africa, Terry Bisson’s Fire on the Mountain, Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Lathe of Heaven, and Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle, among others.
Assignments: two 4-6-page papers; one 6-8-page final paper; online discussion forum; active class discussion; presentations

 

 

ENGLISH 4615/5615: TEXT IN CONTEXT

Course Title: Infinite Jest
Course Description: I had a teacher I liked who used to say good fiction’s job was to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable. I guess a big part of serious fiction’s purpose is to give the reader, who like all of us is sort of marooned in her own skull, to give her imaginative access to other selves.… We all suffer alone in the real world; true empathy’s impossible. But if a piece of fiction can allow us imaginatively to identify with a character’s pain, we might then also more easily conceive of others identifying with our own. This is nourishing, redemptive; we become less alone inside. —David Foster Wallace

This course explores the literary, cultural, and intellectual legacy of David Foster Wallace (1962-2008), widely considered by admirers and detractors alike to be among the most influential and important writers of his generation. In particular we will study his magnum opus, Infinite Jest (1996), twenty years old this year, a book which not only continues to speak with shocking relevance and delightful irreverence to our present, but which seems, in many ways, to have accurately predicted it. Slowly and carefully reading Wallace’s epoch-defining novel together will open up a window on the last twenty years of American life, letters, entertainment, and art, while the unavoidable shadow cast by his 2008 suicide will raise important questions for us about literary celebrity, biographical criticism, and the often troubled relationship between public personae and the real, lived lives of writers and artists.
Readings: David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest; coursepack
Assignments: seminar paper (12-15 pages); two “thinkpiece”-length “mini-papers”; online reading journal; active class participation; presentations

Wednesday Night Links

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* The Utopia symposium in the new issue of Science Fiction Film and Television is especially good, if I do say so myself. Featuring Raffaella Baccolini, Troy Bordun, Catherine Constable, L. Timmel Duchamp, Carl Freedman, Lisa Garforth, Dan Hassler-Forest, Veronica Hollinger, Alexis Lothian, Roger Buckhurst, Tom Moylan, Sharon Sharp, Steven Shaviro, Debra Benita Shaw, Rebekah Sheldon, Imre Szeman, Phillip E. Wegner, and Rhys Williams…

Afrofuturism Reloaded: 15 Theses in 15 Minutes.

Fear of an Ill Planet: On the Importance of Sickness and the Demands of Otherness.

* I think maybe every literally academic I know has been talking about this story.

Houstongun

* The Scalia obituaries keep coming: 1, 2, 3.

* Huge cuts to ethnic studies at SFSU.

The Troubled Academic Job Market for History.

* Never in my worst dreams about the future of the university could I have imagined such a thing was possible: Chicago State University Cancels Spring Break.

David Milch, the storied mind also behind ‘Deadwood,’ changed television. Now, according to a lawsuit, the racetrack regular has lost his homes, owes the IRS $17 million and is on a $40-a-week allowance. Still, his supporters stay close: “He’s brilliant.”

* Yay, Bernie Sanders’s radical past. Booooooo, Bernie Sanders’s radical past. In any event.

* Drip, drip, drip…

Hillary Clinton Made More in 12 Speeches to Big Banks Than Most of Us Earn in a Lifetime.

* “There no longer are any rules in the Supreme Court nomination process.” I’ll do you one better!

* Usually this sort of mythologizing isn’t caught fast enough to be traced: The Evolution of the Myth of the Sanders “English Only” Chant.

* Social media, the new mind control.

* Polls and Trump’s Supporters. My word.

* Elsewhere in dystopian backstory: The Virginia Senate has passed legislation that would transform all law enforcement agencies in the commonwealth into secret police, quite literally, a dangerous step in the direction of unaccountable and non-transparent government. No other state has gone as far as the Senate bill would take Virginia into the realm of secrecy where it concerns state and local police.

When the Public Defender Says, ‘I Can’t Help.’

* Nobody, but nobody, can trip over their own feet like Obama.

* The Huntington Tumblr has a few pictures up from one of Octavia Butler’s horse stories.

* The contested legacy of Stan Lee.

* A People’s History of #CancelColbert.

* Nice work if you can get it: Rutgers president gets a $97,000 bonus.

The Oscars Forgot to Nominate The Force Awakens For Best Picture.

Why Professor Indiana Jones Never Published His Research.

* Ok, sold: Margaret Atwood’s Next Book Is a Prison-Bound Take on The Tempest.

* Well, that doesn’t sound so bad… Seas Are Rising at Fastest Rate in Last 28 Centuries.

Humans will be extinct in 100 years says eminent scientist.

* On the plus side, we are living through a golden age of theme parks.

Rosemary G. Feal will step down as executive director of the Modern Language Association next year after 15 years in that job, the group announced on Wednesday.

* Fermi Paradox watch: maybe life is that rare.

But mostly Fuller House evokes a smut-free porn parody, with sexualized adult versions of characters who, in the collective psyche, are frozen in amber as children. Elsewhere on the Onion‘s Full House porn parody beat.

“Dogs and Certain Primates May Be Able To See Magnetic Fields.” Tell no one my secret.

* Breastfeeding is probably really not that big a deal.

* Winning the lottery can also bankrupt your neighbors.

* Twilight of saying “Aycock” at Duke and UNCG.

* KSR coverage in American Literature: “Forms of Duration: Preparedness, theMars Trilogy, and the Management of Climate Change.”

Why Is Inver Hills Banning Union Activist From Campus?

The Problematic, Sexist Subtext of Laughing at Hitler’s Alleged Micropenis.

* Debt and subjectivity.

* Lev Grossman on Narnia and grief.

* The best news I’ve gotten all year: Milwaukee’s Air and Water Show postponed until 2017.

* 888-NEED-SCI.

* Blade Runner 2 is an abomination that should never have been made, but I am interested to see how they deal (or don’t) with the Deckard/replicant issue.

* Like Uber, but for…

* And Philip K. Dick is just straight-up writing our reality now.