Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘post-Fordism

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* I have a review out today of Aurora and Seveneves (both great!) in The Los Angeles Review of Books. My review actually has a lot in common with two other reviews they’ve run recently, one from Tom Streithorst on Mad Max: Fury Road and the other from Sherryl Vint on Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Water Knife.

* I always said the point of the five-year Ph.D. was “produce more adjuncts,” but UC Irvine has gone and formalized it.

* RT @cnewf: USC fundraising staff: 450. USC TT faculty in Arts & Sciences:460.

* Scenes from the class struggle at Arizona State.

University of Iowa Receives 18,000 Volume Science Fiction Library.

* The Toast interviews @AfAmHistFail.

* On working dads.

#charlestonsyllabus

* Sweet Briar lives. Joy Over Sweet Briar’s Reopening Is Tempered by Questions About the Road Ahead. Lessons from Sweet Briar. Sweet Briar Savors the Promise of Revival, but Fund-Raising Challenge Is Vast. Sweet Briar’s ‘No Nonsense’ New President Faces a Tall Task. Reinventing Sweet Briar. I just want someone to look into all their weird investment losses and figure out what was happening there.

How to Teach Your White Kids to Fight Racism.

* The flag might actually come down.

* For every “justifiable” gun homicide, there are 34 criminal gun homicides, 78 gun suicides, and two accidental gun deaths.

Rhodesia and American Paramilitary Culture.

The cell phones in the pockets of the dead students were still ringing when we were told that it was wrong to ask why.

* CCC, call your PR office.

The brutal truth is that most of American political history is an experiment in seeing what will happen if national political elites agree not to offend white supremacist Southern white men.

* “Sanders surge is becoming a bigger problem for Clinton.”

According to the RealClearPolitics average of polls, she leads Sanders by 47 percentage points.

Surge!

But set Obama’s impressive electoral victories aside and the Democrats look less like an emerging majority and more like a party in free fall: Since Obama was sworn in six years ago, Democrats have suffered net losses of 11 governorships, 30 statehouse chambers, more than 900 statehouse seats, and have lost control of both houses of the U.S. Congress. They’re certainly finding every possible way to blow it.

* Scenes from the charter school scam: Milwaukee Public Schools edition.

For as long as women have been doing time, prisons have had to contend with the children they carry.

The Martian Author Andy Weir Explains All the Ways Mars Wants to Kill You.

* Erasmus Darwin, supervillain.

* Think Progress on suicide and trans* identity.

* Use/Mention distinction really hits the big time.

* What happens when the sea swallows a country?

* It’s just impossible to elect anyone who is actually on the left. Look what happens.

* It is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of McDonalds.

* Amazon developing exciting new ways to destroy publishing.

Clash of Clans is made by the Finnish game studio Supercell. It launched in August 2012 and rapidly became one of the top five highest-grossing titles in Apple’s App Store. In 2013, when Yao and his invitation-only clan, North44, were at their peak, Clash of Clans helped create $555 million of revenue for the company. The next year, Supercell’s revenue tripled to $1.7 billion — a seemingly inexplicable sum produced by a roster of games that, like Clash, are free to download and can be played without spending a dime. So how is Supercell generating all that money? By relying on players who don’t simply want to enjoy the game but who want to win. Players who, like Yao, are willing to spend a great deal of cash.

* Against porn. May have spoken a bit too directly to me given that I read it while watching the Rashida Jones documentary Hot Girls Wanted, which is utterly, soul-crushingly depressing.

‘Star Trek’ Fan Invited to Pitch ‘Star Trek Uncharted’ TV Series to Paramount. The best part: it actually sounds like a good idea.

* And the arc of history is long, but Walter White From ‘Breaking Bad’ Will Appear in a Future Episode of ‘Better Call Saul.’

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June 23, 2015 at 7:53 am

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All the Weekend Links!

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* A lengthy update from IHE on the outrageous attacks on Marquette University graduate student Cheryl Abbate.

* Ursula Le Guin gave a great speech at the National Book Awards this week.

I think hard times are coming when we will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now and can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine some real grounds for hope. We will need writers who can remember freedom. Poets, visionaries—the realists of a larger reality.

* It’s quite a bit better than the other thing that happened that night, though Handler is trying to making amends.

* Kirkus Reviews on the radical Joanna Russ.

* A Sokal hoax we can all believe in.

* Dialectics of Serial.

* Roofs are caving in in Buffalo after a week of truly insane November storms. The temperature is projected to be 60 degrees on Monday, which means this could all melt in one day and cause a whole new set of problems.

* CFP: Hostile Intelligences and The General Antagonism.

The purpose of this conference is to organize and proliferate the material heresies that are the basis for what Matteo Pasquinelli has called “hostile intelligences” and what Fred Moten and Stefano Harney have described as “the general antagonism.” Pasquinelli writes, in “The Labour of Abstraction,” “Marx’s tendency of the rate of profit to fall has to find eventually its epistemic twin.” For him, forms of knowledge and subjectivity play a prominent role in his theory of anti-capitalist revolution. Hostile intelligence is one imaginary in which the recently formed Accelerationists conceive such an epistemic twin. Moten and Harney’s category, “the general antagonism,” is no doubt the epistemic twin of “the general intellect”, and powerfully indicates a generalized disidentification with white-supremacist, capitalist culture that is an extant part of the fugitive practices of what they eloquently call “The Undercommons.”

* Program of the 2015 MLA Subconference.

While the Regents claim to negotiate on behalf of those who use the university–students, staff and faculty–their new gambit instead shows the difference between the Regents and higher Administration, on one hand, and “those who use” the university on the other. UCOP’s Failed Funding Model.

* A Communiqué from the UCSC Occupation of Humanities 2.

What the students were doing in 2010, and what they’re doing today, is defending art, science and philosophy against a regime that believes none of these things are of any value except as a means to wealth and power. They are quite literally defending the values of civilisation from those who have abandoned them.

* Jacobin: Higher education should be free. But we can’t just copy the flawed European model.

In Response to Pending Grad Strike at U. Oregon, Administration Urges Faculty to Make Exams Multiple Choice or Allow Students Not to Take Them.

Do you want to be responsible for something that’s gonna paint UVA in a bad light? Horrifying report in Rolling Stone about a young woman’s experience being attacked at a UVA fraternity and then reporting it. Please note that the description of what happened to her is quite graphic and very disturbing.

* Bill Cosby and the rape accusers: stop looking away and start believing women.

Inside Yucca Mountain, incomprehensibly long time scales clash with human ones—pairing the monumental and the mundane.

The repository would need some kind of physical marker that, foremost, could last 10,000 years, so the task force’s report considers the relative merits of different materials like metal, concrete, and plastic. Yet the marker would also need to repel rather than attract humans—setting it apart from Stonehenge, the Great Pyramids, or any other monument that has remained standing for thousands of years. To do that, the marker would need warnings. But how do you warn future humans whose cultures and languages will have evolved in unknown ways?

Public officials once operated for profit. Now that system has returned with a vengeance. Mike Konczal reviews The Teacher Wars and Rise of the Warrior Cop.

* Academics sometimes seek to make the world a better place, and the Chronicle is ON IT.

* Seven years in, Twitter finally puts in what you’d think would be one of its most basic features.

* Bangkok cinema chain cancels Hunger Games screenings over salute protest.

* 400 Things Cops Know Is the New Bible for Crime Writers. By MU English Alum Plantinga!

* The Singularity Is Here: 5-foot-tall ‘Robocops’ start patrolling Silicon Valley.

* NYPD Officer ‘Accidentally’ Shoots and Kills Unarmed Man in Brooklyn. Why would police officers have their guns drawn as a matter of course? How can that be protocol?

What To Do About Uber?

* Late capitalism and the viral imagination.

* Surprise: Humanities Degrees Provide Great Return On Investment.

* Exhibit A? U. of Colorado Will Pay Philosophy Professor $185,000 to Resign.

* Mass hysteria at the Department of Education.

* Now we see the violence etc: In a blow to schoolchildren statewide, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled on Nov. 7 the State of Michigan has no legal obligation to provide a quality public education to students in the struggling Highland Park School District. The law, in its majestic equality…

First Grader Was Told ‘Guess What, You Can’t Have Lunch’ Because His Family Was In Debt.

* Being bullied physically changes kids’ brains.

The Horrific Sand Creek Massacre Will Be Forgotten No More.

* When My Mom Was an Astronaut.

Often they have rich back stories. A motivational mantra, a swipe at the boss, a hidden shrine to a lost love, an inside joke with ourselves, a defining emotional scar — these keepsake passwords, as I came to call them, are like tchotchkes of our inner lives. Passwords are the new poetry.

* Accrediting commission says UNC ‘not diligent’ in exposing academic scandal. Let the stern finger-wagging commence!

Lunatic: Keystone Pipeline Will Teach Men “What it Is to Be a Man.” Literally toxic masculinity.

It’s one reason we’re poorer than our parents. And Obama could fix it—without Congress. Whatever Happened to Overtime? I’m sure he’ll get right on it.

* ‘Text neck’ is becoming an ‘epidemic’ and could wreck your spine.

A new analysis by PunditFact found that of every statement made by a Fox News host or guest, over half of them were flat-out false. What’s more, only a measly 8% could be considered completely “true.”

In a Shift, Obama Extends U.S. Role in Afghan Combat.

* No, Your Ancestors Didn’t Come Here Legally.

* Neuroscience Is Ruining the Humanities.

The enduring legacy of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer writers’ room.

* The Ghostbusters 3 we’ll never see.

* The Empire Strikes Back we’ll never see.

This One-Page Comic Explains Why Batman Never Seems To Die.

From this vantage, the efficient society that terrorizes and comforts Codemus, and enfolds him in the straitjacket of a diffused, technologized fascism, resembles the experience of many workers today. Increasing numbers of people receive their instructions from, and report back to, software and smartphones.

* Flatland, at last, is truly two-dimensional.

And this Deceptively Cute Animation Illustrates The Horrors Of My Addiction to Coca-Cola.Won’t you give what you can, please, today? The case for treating sugar like a drug.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 22, 2014 at 10:44 am

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Wednesday Links!

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Your Face and Name Will Appear in Google Ads Starting Today. Instructions on how to opt out at the link.

* The state of work in the age of anxiety.

* A Living Death: Life without Parole for Nonviolent Offenses. Such a category plainly shouldn’t exist.

* Studies in the Fermi Paradox: How Self-Replicating Spacecraft Could Take Over the Galaxy.

After 30 Years of Silence, the Original NSA Whistleblower Looks Back.

Rutgers University has introduced a new theology course—with Bruce Springsteen as God. At least the facts check out.

* Afrofuturism exhibit in Harlem.

* The early Obamacare enrollment numbers are a disaster. So are the Democrats’ poorly thought-out quick fixes.

* The one thing obscuring the abject awfulness of US democracy is the fact that barely any races are competitive in the first place.

Climate Change Is Messing With Rainfall Across The Entire Planet.

Priscilla Wald on the Slow Future of Scholarly Publishing.

Hawaii legalizes gay marriage.

Craig Cobb, a white supremacist trying to establish a ‘whites-only’ enclave in North Dakota, appeared on NCBU’s The Trisha Show and agreed to take a test to determine his genetic ancestry. The test results were aired at the taping. Cobb’s genetic makeup is 86% European, and 14% sub-Saharan African.

* How to win every game on The Price is Right.

* Poll watch: PPP is the worst.

* An update from Rolling Jubilee.

* Inside the Unification Church.

And Prada presents “Castello Cavalcanti,” by Wes Anderson.

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!

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* “We need to hire a 22-22-22,” one new-media manager was overheard saying recently, meaning a 22-year-old willing to work 22-hour days for $22,000 a year. Perhaps the middle figure is an exaggeration, but its bookends certainly aren’t. According to a 2011 Pew report, the median net worth for householders under 35 dropped by 68 percent from 1984 to 2009, to $3,662. Lest you think that’s a mere side effect of the economic downturn, for those over 65, it rose 42 percent to $170,494 (largely because of an overall gain in property values). Hence 1.2 million more 25-to-34-year-olds lived with their parents in 2011 than did four years earlier. “Willing” is certainly doing an awful lot of work in that first sentence. Welcome to the age of the permanent intern.

* The Singularity Already Happened; We Got Corporations: Capitalism as Evil AI.

“Have prisons and jails become the mass housing of our time?”

* New York Times shuts down its Green blog. In other news, every spectator sport has its own blog at NYT.

* The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has isolated twelve criteria for determining if individuals qualify as legally “hopeless.” The following pamphlet is a brainstorm: it considers what steps a debtor might take in order to persuasively claim the mantle of hopelessness. Rather than examine softcore options, we explore the potential of self-inflicted tragedy.

* Massively Open Online Test Proctoring. MOOC as “mass psychosis.”

* Shockingly, saving the world usually involves using Silicon Valley’s own services.

* Federal education spending accounts for just 3 percent of the $3.5 trillion the government spent in 2012.

pope-500x800* Algorithmic Rape Jokes in the Library of Babel. Wow.

* How a bizarre email from BachelorsDegreeOnline.com exposed the sleazy side of for-profit college recruitment.

* UCLA medical school and Herbalife.

On Argo and bullshit.

* Marvel Comics presents The Life of John Paul II.

New Study Finds ‘The Onion’ Has Never Been More Popular, More Beloved, Or More Respected.

* “On the development of companion robots in Japan.”

And Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing will close out the Wisconsin Film Festival. I’d really, really like to make this.

Sunday Links

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Suff1(some shamelessly borrowed from you-know-who)

* Britain paid reparations for slavery? That’s fantast–oh god.

The true scale of Britain’s involvement in the slave trade has been laid bare in documents revealing how the country’s wealthiest families received the modern equivalent of billions of pounds in compensation after slavery was abolished.

Fathers matter, but so do grandfathers and great-grandfathers. Indeed, it may take as long as 300-500 years for high- and low-status families to produce descendants with equal chances of being in various parts of the income spectrum.

* The Ambition Gap: When researchers have studied the ambition gap, they’ve discovered something peculiar: It’s not there. Women do ask for more. They just aren’t rewarded for it. Via Feminéma.

7 Obscure Children’s Books by Authors of Grown-Up Literature. Joyce! Twain! Woolf! Eliot! Shelley! Tolstoy! Wilde! 7 (More) Obscure Children’s Books by Famous “Adult” Lit Authors. Huxley! Stein! Thurber! Sandburg! Rushdie! Fleming! Hughes!

* Actually existing media bias: Glenn Greenwald on what’s become of MSNBC.

I wonder: does someone who goes from being an Obama White House spokesman and Obama campaign official to being an MSNBC contributor even notice that they changed jobs?

* Mentoring and cruel optimism.

* Race and the cuts at Emory.

* Rehabilitating Zero Dark Thirty.

Susan Sontag once wrote that every mass art form is practiced and experienced as “a social rite, a defense against anxiety, and a tool of power.” Zero Dark Thirty’s critics, unwilling to understand themselves as the film’s intended audience, instead imagined that “real Americans” were being made tools of power through one of their most important social rites: moviegoing. What these critics did not confront was their own need to fend off anxiety. For Maya, as for many Americans, the anxiety has to do with the inadequacy of Osama bin Laden’s death as consolation for all of the disasters that preceded it. How else to explain the manic focus on proving that torture did not contribute to the search for bin Laden? It suggests a kind of desperation, a desire to hold up just this one episode as separate and different from the rest of the war. This desire is Zero Dark Thirty’s true subject, as well as the object of its critique.

‘Welcome to Dystopia’: We Are ‘Entering A Long-Term And Politically Dangerous Food Crisis.’

The Princess and the Trolls: The Heartrending Legend of Adalia Rose, the Most Reviled Six-Year-Old Girl on the Internet. People are the worst. Jesus Christ.

* Texts from Pride and Prejudice. Texts from Don Quixote.

* Ten Little Suffragettes.

* George Saunders, lapsed Catholic.

* Papal Conclave 101.

Perhaps the classic expression of this idea belongs to none other than the outgoing pope, Benedict XVI, who as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was asked on Bavarian television in 1997 if the Holy Spirit is responsible for who gets elected. This was his response:

I would not say so, in the sense that the Holy Spirit picks out the Pope. … I would say that the Spirit does not exactly take control of the affair, but rather like a good educator, as it were, leaves us much space, much freedom, without entirely abandoning us. Thus the Spirit’s role should be understood in a much more elastic sense, not that he dictates the candidate for whom one must vote. Probably the only assurance he offers is that the thing cannot be totally ruined.

Then the clincher:

There are too many contrary instances of popes the Holy Spirit obviously would not have picked!

* Hayley Schafer chose her dream job at the age of 5. Three years later, her grandmother told her that if she wrote it down, the dream would come true. So she found a piece of blue construction paper and scrawled on it with a pencil: “Veterianian.” “No one told me how to spell it,” she remembers. “They just said, ‘Sound it out.’ ”

At the age of 30, she still has the sign, which is framed on her desk at the Caring Hearts Animal Clinic in Gilbert, Ariz., where she works as a vet. She also has $312,000 in student loans, courtesy of Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts. Or rather, $312,000 was what she owed the last time she could bring herself to log into the Sallie Mae account that tracks the ever-growing balance.

* The Cost of Prison.

* A brief history of the car cup holder.

* Oscar voters overwhelmingly white, male.

* Oscar Pistorius and the Media. The curious case of Reeva Steenkamp’s boyfriend. Inspiration porn and compulsory able bodiedness.

* Stay Free or Die Tryin’: Scenes from the student protests at Cooper Union.

Hidden behind a false wall and a fast-food restaurant, large black and brown images depict the faces of seven UCLA alumni, symbolizing the struggle of social activism and black history.

* Could a president use drones to kill journalists?

* Being David Bowie.

But what I wanted to talk about is the way that the Harlem Shake meme seems perfectly designed for the workplace.

Saturday Morning Links

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* Foreman Says These Jobs Are Going Boys, and They Ain’t Coming Back: Bob Dylan Lays Off 2,000 Workers From Songwriting Factory.

“This is a rapidly evolving industry, and frankly, there’s no way we can compete by relying on equipment and a manufacturing process that haven’t changed much since the 1970s,” said Valentine, noting that Watchtower’s board of directors had already broken ground on piano and Hammond organ facilities in Taiwan. “Despite our best efforts to continue assembling songs the old-fashioned way, we can’t overlook the increased efficiencies offered by fully automated symbolism generators and the use of mass-produced chorus components.”

* Toxic lies about culture are afoot in Silicon Valley. But I suspect other industries will recognize themselves in this discourse too.

We make sure to hire people who are a cultural fit
What your culture might actually be saying is… We have implemented a loosely coordinated social policy to ensure homogeneity in our workforce. We are able to reject qualified, diverse candidates on the grounds that they “aren’t a culture fit” while not having to examine what that means – and it might mean that we’re all white, mostly male, mostly college-educated, mostly young/unmarried, mostly binge drinkers, mostly from a similar work background. We tend to hire within our employees’ friend and social groups. Because everyone we work with is a great culture fit, which is code for “able to fit in without friction,” we are all friends and have an unhealthy blur between social and work life. Because everyone is a “great culture fit,” we don’t have to acknowledge employee alienation and friction between individuals or groups. The desire to continue being a “culture fit” means it is harder for employees to raise meaningful critique and criticism of the culture itself.

* Michelle Obama and the evolution of Mom dancing.

* A brief history of marketing, from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.

* Star Wars we can believe in: LucasArts rumored to be developing a Knights of the Old Republic film.

* And a Montana Bill Would Give Corporations The Right To Vote. Not an Onion link! Not an imaginary story!

MOOCs, Progress, and Player Piano

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Most important, once the faculty converts its courses to courseware, their services are in the long run no longer required. They become redundant, and when they leave, their work remains behind. In Kurt Vonnegut’s classic novel Player Piano the ace machinist Rudy Hertz is flattered by the automation engineers who tell him his genius will be immortalized. They buy him a beer. They capture his skills on tape. Then they fire him. Today faculty are falling for the same tired line, that their brilliance will be broadcast online to millions. Perhaps, but without their further participation. Some skeptical faculty insist that what they do cannot possibly be automated, and they are right. But it will be automated anyway, whatever the loss in educational quality. Because education, again, is not what all this is about; it’s about making money.

David Noble’s “Digital Diploma Mills” (1998), via iterating toward openness.