Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Portal

2020 Links for 2020

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* I had another short book review at Los Angeles Review of Books the other week, on Chris Ware’s Rusty Brown, a book of this arbitrary amount of time if ever there was one: “Does Chris Ware Still Hate Fun?” When you’re done with that, check out these: “Bedlam and Baby: Parables of Creation in Jack Kirby and Chris Ware” and “’Red People for a Red Planet’: Acme Novelty Library #19, Color, and the Red Leitmotif.”

* And just yesterday at this very site I was hyping the CFP for the relaunch of the World Science Fiction Studies series at Peter Lang, which I am now co-series-editing!

* CFP: SFFTV Call for Reviewers 2020. CFP: Creature Features & the Environment. CFP: English and American Studies in the Age of Post-Truth and Alternative Reality. CFP: Current Research in Science Fiction 2020. CFP: Imagining Alternatives.

It’s 2020 and you’re in the future.

Public Domain Day 2020.

* The 2010s, the decade of sore winners. Will the 2020s Be the Decade of Eugenics?

The most insightful vision of the future at CES came from HBO’s ‘Westworld.’

* The only word on the coming Iran war. Stop the War. Stop US Empire.

I Read Airbnb Magazine So You Don’t Have To.

The Subterranean Press edition of Unexpected Stories will be its first print edition, with a newly-commissioned introduction by Nisi Shawl, and an afterword by Butler’s longtime agent and literary executor, Merrilee Heifetz.

* Visual art and film and TV list from the World Science Fiction course at Bowdoin. A climate fiction syllabus. Rain, Rivers, Resources & Ruin: A Critical Analysis of the Treatment of Resources​ in Ecocritical Science Fiction [cli-fi] Works from 1965 to 2015.

Dr. Manhattan is a Cop: “Watchmen” and Frantz Fanon. Black, White, Blue: To Understand Where HBO’s Watchmen Succeeded, We Need to Understand How Moore’s Watchmen Failed. Project for the TV Criticism of the Future.

Read an English translation of new Cixin Liu short story, 2018-04-01.

* The problem with bringing back blogs is.

* The past five years are the five warmest years on record, the past six the warmest six, the past nine the warmest nine. Oceans are warming at the same rate as if five Hiroshima bombs were dropped in every second. Thousands Flee to Shore as Australia Fires Turn Skies Blood Red (Video). Trump Rule Would Exclude Climate Change in Infrastructure Planning. The Concession to Climate Change I Will Not Make. This is fine.

* Maybe we should look at doing something about the rest of the air, too.

* Meet the Obamog(ho)uls.

Prime Minister Of Iceland Calls For Prioritizing “Well-Being” Of Citizens Over GDP. Finlands Sanna Marin: 4-day-week and 6-hour-day could be the next step. Taiwan’s single-payer success story — and its lessons for America.

* Meanwhile: the High Cost of Having a Baby in America.

* …one of the strongest cases for Bernie isn’t just what he’ll be able to achieve, it’s what he’ll refuse to do (cannot imagine him signing a grand bargain weakening Social Security, for instance).

* One Year in Washington.

* The Palace of the Future Is Nearly Complete.

* By itself, fascist infotainment might just be the hobby of millions, alone together, silently despairing of their lives, sporadically generating ‘lone wolf’ murders and occasional armed shitstorms. “We are living in the middle of a fascist takeover.” NPR’s sanitizing of Trump’s Milwaukee rally shows how he’s broken the media.

* Three shifts at the Scrabble factory.

* Take a look at F-Stop, the Portal sequel you’ll never play.

* The Walking Sim Is a Genuinely New Genre, And No One Fully Understands It.

Inside the College Football Game-Day Housing Boom.

Higher Ed’s Dirty-Money Problem.

The 100 Worst Ed-Tech Debacles of the Decade.

The MLA Started Publishing Job-Searching Advice More Than 50 Years Ago. Here’s How Things Have Changed.

* Liberal Arts Pay Off in the Long Run: A liberal arts education may not have the highest returns in the short run, but a study finds that after 40 years, liberal arts institutions bring a higher return than most colleges.

University of Iowa associate dean appointed weeks after arrest.

Student debt increased by 107% this decade, Federal Reserve data shows.

* Fresh from its laundering pedophile money scandal, MIT welcomes ICE.

* Being black at UW.

* The Catholic Church as organized crime family.

* The rise of the permanent protest.

* This is probably dumb — though maybe 1919 had a lot of bonus fraud in it, would be cool to study — but I have immediately and permanently internalized its lessons nonetheless.

Gen Zers vs. Millennials in the Workplace. Why an internet that never forgets is especially bad for young people. Why Are Young Americans Killing Themselves? Falling without a net. Baby boomers face more risks to their retirement than previous generations. Almost none of the S&P 500’s blockbuster rally in 2019 can be pegged to rising earnings, and that’s a problem.

* When your abuser is a cop.

Med Students Are Doing Vaginal Exams on Unconscious, Non-Consenting Patients.

* Welcome to the Era of the Post-Shopping Mall.

* Colin Trevorrow’s Episode 9 script is better in some ways and worse in others, as you might expect. Star Wars Fans Furious JJ Abrams Gave Role to Dominic Monaghan Over a Soccer Bet. Star Wars: What Went Wrong?

* Jeri Ryan’s latest Picard interview makes me worried that I accidentally wrote the Picard series bible.

* When AI runs the entertainment industry.

* When business people run the Olympics.

* DC and Marvel vs politics.

* The Okorafor century! ‘Binti’ Adaptation From Michael Ellenberg in the Works at Hulu (Exclusive).

* Bad news y’all, seven more years of winter.

* Being Larry David.

* Slaughterhouse-Five is getting a graphic adaptation, and Sami Schalk has been reading the new Parables graphic novel on Twitter.

* Time travel baby. Coffee baby. Babies baby. Memory baby.

* Asimov, groper.

How Negativity Can Kill a Relationship. Come for the life advice, stay for the weirdly unethical psychological research!

* The decolonization of Miles Morales.

* Despite Scorsese’s attacks on superhero films, what links his film (and Tarantino’s) with the various superhero movies is a certain mood: nostalgia. As the theorist Svetlana Boym once put it, “nostalgia is a sentiment of loss and displacement, but it is also a romance with one’s own fantasy.” This is true of all of these films. Boym continues, noting that, “nostalgia appears to be a longing for a place, but it is actually a yearning for a different time — the time of our childhood, the slower rhythms of our dreams.” Tarantino has explicitly mentioned that the year 1969 — when he was six — was the year that “formed” him; Tarantino sees his latest film as a sort of “love letter” to the year (for another, quite different, perspective on this period, see The Stooges classic “1969”). The yearning for childhood should require no explanation in the case of superhero films, but it might require a bit more explanation in the case of The Irishman. Turning to that film allows me also to frame the exact way in which I want to pursue my discussion of Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood.

* Lord of the Rings appendices alignment chart. Alignment chart alignment chart.

‘We are not alone’: Confirmation of alien life ‘imminent and inevitable.’ Top-Secret UFO Files Could ‘Gravely Damage’ US National Security if Released, Navy Says. A list of solutions to the Fermi paradox.

* @ me next time

* One of my favorite archives to think about and teach: nuclear semiotics.

* Lord Byron used to call William Wordsworth “Turdsworth,” and yes, this is a real historical fact.

* And Christopher Tolkien departs for the Grey Havens.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 16, 2020 at 2:11 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Saturday Morning Links!

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* All jokes work the same way.

Protecting UW-Madison faculty from poaching cost $8 million. I realized just now though that these retention leaks are ultimately about trying to put a dollar sign on detenurization, as well as shift responsibility for the changes from the admin who forced them to the “star” faculty who acceded to them.

* What is love to a scab? Hillary Rodham, Bill Clinton, and the 1971 Yale Strike.

Travelling to work ‘is work’, European court rules. This has been on my mind lately as I’ve heard of multiple Marquette employees being struck by cars in recent weeks as they walked from the parking garage to their offices.

The Lives and Lies of a Professional Impostor.

* The Locksmith Scam.

An Obscure Law From the ’70s Is Being Used to Toss Innocent People Out of Their Homes.

An obscure law from the 1970s is being used by the NYPD to boot people from their homes and businesses when they are suspected of crimes, often in cases where no charges are ever filed. The move is called a “nuisance abatement,” and there are more than 1,000 such actions a year, nearly half of them residential and many that are permanent evictions, according to an investigation by the New York Daily News and ProPublica.

How an 1830s Children’s Magazine Taught Hard Truths About Slavery.

Meet the Black Architect Who Designed Duke University 37 Years Before He Could Have Attended It.

‘Jim’ll Paint It’ Is The Best New Service On The Internet.

* The 27 Worst Things about Going to Stock Photo University.

* Lesbian SFF Recommendation Master List.

* The end of history.

*  Portal Meets 2001.

* And the arc of history is long, but female British Airlines employees may now wear pants to work.

Thursday Links!

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* I have a short piece up at the Cambridge UP blog: “We’re Sorry, the Final Frontier is Closed.” It talks a bit about the recent revival of space frontier and space opera fantasy in big-budget films like Jupiter Ascending, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Interstellar…

Scientists determine the nation’s safest places to ride out a zombie apocalypse.

Woodland ‘fairy door’ tradition ‘out of control.’

Now the trustees of Wayford Woods have announced ‘fairy control’ methods which will curb the “profusion of elfin construction”.

Trustee Steven Acreman said the trend was “in danger of getting out of control” but stressed he was not “anti-fairies”.

“It’s a very complex situation and nobody’s admitting that they’re evicting the fairies,” he said.

“These beliefs persisted into recent times,” says Butler. “For example, in 1895 Michael Cleary convinced his family and community that his wife, Bridget, was a changeling. This was confirmed by a traditional fairy doctor, who attempted a herbal cure. When that didn’t work, they threatened her with fire, doused, and finally burned her to death.” Well, that’s certainly less charming.

So by all means, criticize teachers when it is warranted. But resist education reformers at all costs, particularly when they rationalize their reforms as a way to address the problems of the teaching force. Education reformers, no matter their intentions, are the enemies of a unionized teaching force. They are the enemies of public education.

Sweet Briar’s Sudden Closure Plans Leave Students and Employees Scrambling.

“The faculty and staff,” Mr. Brown said, “are feeling traumatized by this—not just by the loss of the institution, but by the way it has been handled. They seem to have no answers about anything, and that is what feels so deeply troubling.”

I hadn’t even thought about how impossible it will be for Sweet Briar faculty to sell their homes. What a nightmare.

Who Gets the Endowment? I really hope higher ed media watches the dispersal of Sweet Briar’s endowment and property very closely.

* And of course Forbes has a handwavey plan to save Sweet Briar by firing all the faculty and replacing them with MOOCs.

The Woman Behind #NAWD.

* Neoliberalism and magic.

Indeed, at the heart of the standard capitalist narrative is magic, as if the will to realize the abstract ideal of a cornucopia for all will itself — through fervent wishing and belief that can only be called religious — bring about the imagined state. It is the “invisible hand” idea from Adam Smith — the conviction that there really is a hidden force that given free rein sets everything aright. It is the God meme in capitalism and its writings, Smith’s among them, that is to capitalism what the Torah is to Judaism, the Gospels to Christianity, and the Koran to Islam: holy texts whose authenticity and reality must not be challenged or questioned unless as an adolescent moment of doubt, eventually subsumed by the re-embrace of total belief.

* I’ve always wanted a Trek anthology series. And with the ever-lowering cost of CGI effects it could be finally be done…

* In the short term, the contract faculty who teach the majority of courses at York University are striking for higher wages. In the long run, contract teaching needs to be abolished.

* The Unintended Consequences of Borrowing Business Tools to Run a University.

In some cases, regulation, not deliberative choice, has led campus leaders to rely on business advice. For example, the Taxpayer Bill of Rights II, signed into law in 1996, requires many of us to hire compensation consultants to ensure that “disqualified persons”—presidents, provosts, vice presidents for finance and administration, etc.—have not received an “excessive benefit” such as inappropriate compensation.In all situations that I have observed, this process has had unintended consequences. Using sophisticated tools developed for industry, the consultants have demonstrated that many higher-education leaders are undercompensated.

GASP! NO ONE COULD HAVE PREDICTED! I wonder if a “compensation consultant” has ever, in history, determined that a CEO was receiving “excessive benefit.”

Raped on Campus? Don’t Trust Your College to Do the Right Thing. I’d see the story about Oregon’s admin raiding the campus health center for ammo to use against its own students, but I’d never seen the outrageous legal justification for it before now.

If you are a student and seek counseling at your college’s counseling center, your medical records are most likely not protected by the typical medical-privacy laws, otherwise known as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Instead, they fall under the aegis of Ferpa, just as Oregon said. And compared with Hipaa, Ferpa is about as protective as cheesecloth.

This Is What It’s Like To Go To Court In Ferguson, Missouri. DOJ Finds Ferguson Police Routinely Discriminate. Ferguson Police Tolerate Sexual Harassment of Female Officers. What Is Wrong With the Ferguson Police Department? Particular lowlights from the DoJ report.

* Ferguson, Inc: The city’s protest movement tries to find a path forward.

What’s happening here is fundamentally simple: the surveillance state enforcing surveillance as the normative form of care. The state cannot teach its citizens, because it has no idea what to teach; it can only place them under observation. Perfect observation — panopticism — then becomes its telos, which is justifies and universalizes by imposing a responsibility to surveil on the very citizens already being surveilled.

Lao Science Fiction On the Rise.

* 1906 novel predicted what New York would be like in 2015 exactly.

CSU profs: Stagnant pay pushing us out of middle class.

American Airlines To Phase Out Complimentary Cabin Pressurization.

* More Companies Are Run By Men Named “John” Than By Women. Just lean in!

Writers Block: TV Writers’ Rooms Have Even Fewer Women, Minorities Than Last Year.

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Douglas Adams made me a writer: Neil Gaiman salutes his friend and inspiration.

The power of play: The effects of Portal 2 and Lumosity on cognitive and noncognitive skills.

Lots of Cases of Synesthesia Are Based on Alphabet Magnets.

Where’s The Funding For Women’s Soccer?

* Why Don’t Men Kick Each Other in the Balls?

Stop Calling Children’s Gun Deaths “Accidental.”

* A singular event that has never happened in history before: Kenosha officer admits to planting evidence in homicide case.

* 2016 watch: Bernie’s Reasons Why Not.

* And Boing Boing has your gallery of Star Trek comic book covers.

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J.J. Abrams Is Your Master Now

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Written by gerrycanavan

February 6, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Thursday Night Links

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Having a monetary value tied to human incarceration and justice creates a deeply perverse incentive that should not exist in the world of commerce. When the for-profit prison industry places the iron fist of criminal justice in the invisible hands of the market and sells it as a cost-cutting measure, it is hard not to interpret as anything but the predatory capitalism of a self-perpetuating slave state.

* Law school skips right past adjunctification and non-monetary compensation all the way to a pay-to-work scheme.

* Just end the filibuster. This is a no-brainer.

What Will It Take to Solve Climate Change?

Gorilla Sales Skyrocket After Latest Gorilla Attack.

Following the events of last week, in which a crazed western lowland gorilla ruthlessly murdered 21 people in a local shopping plaza after escaping from the San Diego Zoo, sources across the country confirmed Thursday that national gorilla sales have since skyrocketed.

“After seeing yet another deranged gorilla just burst into a public place and start killing people, I decided I need to make sure something like that never happens to me,” said 34-year-old Atlanta resident Nick Keller, shortly after purchasing a 350-pound mountain gorilla from his local gorilla store. “It just gives me peace of mind knowing that if I’m ever in that situation, I won’t have to just watch helplessly as my torso is ripped in half and my face is chewed off. I’ll be able to use my gorilla to defend myself.”

* 56 Up now playing in the US. I can’t wait.

How To Fix Maternity Leave.

For the fiscal year, which for most schools ends this June, 18% of 165 private universities and 15% of 127 public universities project a decline in net tuition revenue. That is a sharp rise from the estimated declines among 10% of the 152 private schools and 4% of the 105 public schools in fiscal 2012.

* Turns out the brain isn’t very much like papyrus after all.

* Google will now translate into Flanders. (Not really-a-doodly.)

* Ezra Klein plays Biden  ’16 make-believe. At least he’s making sense on the platinum coin.

* What’s your preferred gender pronoun?

* Horrifying: On zombie foreclosure.

* And on the science fiction beat: Joss Whedon Directing SHIELD Pilot Right Now, Already Working On Scripts For Later In The Series. Christopher Nolan’s next movie is called Interstellar. For the 50th anniversary, five Doctors and a cavalcade of Companions will reunite…on an audio specialFan hopes science will prove tragic Firefly death never happened. And Y: The Last Man has a director: the unknown fan director of that Portal fan film.

If They Could Get the Physics Engine Right, It’d Make a Pretty Good Game

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Short film of the night: Tempo.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 19, 2012 at 10:39 pm

Somebody Made This at Home in Their Spare Time

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If you watch only one Portal fan video tonight, make it this one.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 12, 2012 at 11:26 pm