Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘primitivism

Christmas Eve Eve Links Links

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* There’s a lovely review of my Butler book by Nisi Shawl in the new Women’s Review of Books. It’s not available online so you’ll have to take my word for it, unless your library subscribes…

* And I’m so happy to report that Extrapolation 58.2-3 is finally out, the special issue on “Guilty Pleasures: Late Capitalism and Mere Genre” I edited with Benjamin Robertson. Check out the intro to see what it’s all about, and then check out articles on Dragonlance, the Star Wars and Star Trek expanded universes, Sweet Valley High, Blondie, The Hunger Games, and Game of Thrones and fantasy roleplaying games…

CFP: Academic Track at the 76th World Science Fiction Convention, San José, California. CFP: Punking Speculative Fiction. CFP: Histories of the Future: Proto-Science Fiction from the Victorian Era to the Radium Age. CFP: Chapter Proposals for “Ecofeminist Science Fiction.” CFP: Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards.

An Incomplete Timeline of What We Tried.

* I thought this was great.

* Consider: Who pursues their goals with monomaniacal focus, oblivious to the possibility of negative consequences? Who adopts a scorched-earth approach to increasing market share? This hypothetical strawberry-picking AI does what every tech startup wishes it could do — grows at an exponential rate and destroys its competitors until it’s achieved an absolute monopoly. The idea of superintelligence is such a poorly defined notion that one could envision it taking almost any form with equal justification: a benevolent genie that solves all the world’s problems, or a mathematician that spends all its time proving theorems so abstract that humans can’t even understand them. But when Silicon Valley tries to imagine superintelligence, what it comes up with is no-holds-barred capitalism. Ladies and gentlemen, the great Ted Chiang.

Science fiction when the future is now. With appearances from Kim Stanley Robinson, Ken Liu, and Lauren Beukes.

* The best anti-Last-Jedi piece I’ve seen is Alyssa Rosenberg’s at the Washington Post. And the best pro-Last-Jedi piece from Dan Hassler-Forest at LARB. Somewhere in the middle is Abigail Nussbuam’s excellent piece at Asking the Wrong Questions.

* Lightsabers, by the numbers. Secret history of the porgs. Star Wars from below. Thank goodness somebody realized how terrible this would be. The Last Jedi and the necessary disappointment of epilogues. The films that inspired The Last Jedi. Behind the scenes. In defense of Canto Blight. Anti-nostalgia and anti-salvation. Star Wars without the Empire. How to Read Star Wars.

* Winter Is Coming: Climate Change in Westeros.

* How the Sesame Street Puppeteers Play Their Characters. It was only a year or three ago that I realized that on a basic level I’d still believed Big Bird was real; I had never thought or processed the fact that his lips were being moved by a puppeteer’s hands.

* So old I can remember when Sweet Briar was an inspiring story about a college being saved.

* On faculty and mental illness.

Study finds humanities and social science Ph.D.s working outside academe are happier than their tenure-track peers.

* Podcast alert: how does Samuel R. Delany work?

* Bang. Pow. To the Moon.

* Comedy writers name their most influential episodes: 1, 2.

* SHOCK REPORT: The tax bill is bad.

This Congress’s clear priorities: corporations, not children.

* It’ll also tax large endowments. Meanwhile in the academy: We Will Not Be Your Disposable Labor: Graduate Student Workers’ Fight Goes Beyond the GOP Assault. ‘A Complete Culture of Sexualization’: 1,600 Stories of Harassment in Higher Ed.

* Defund every agency that had any part in this. Murder Convictions Overturned, Two Men Are Immediately Seized By ICE. What happens to children whose parents are deported? 92 Somali immigrants deported in “slave-ship” conditions. ICE is abusing immigrant detainees with strip searches and threats. Shock of shocks, it turns out legal immigration is bad too.

The majority of US workers live in “employment monopsonies” where there is little or no competition for workers.

Why Doug Jones’s narrow win is not enough to make me confident about American democracy.

* Ghosts of 2012.

* First #J20 defendants found not guilty.

* The media wealth of African Americans in Boston is $8.

* People are using Uber instead of ambulances.

* The New York Times oddly reports on a Harry Reid boondoggle in a way that makes it sounds like aliens might be real.

* The Fred Moten century.

The Adult Bodies Playing Teens on TV.

* Monopolies are bad, no matter how much you like the brands involved. Avengers vs. monopoly.

“Neoliberalism” isn’t an empty epithet. It’s a real, powerful set of ideas.

* The madness of prison gerrymanders.

* Desegregation never happened.

* Climate refugees in Louisiana. Disability and disaster response in the age of climate change. Losing the wilderness.

* The FoxConn boondoggle gets worse and worse.

* The Next Crisis for Puerto Rico: Foreclosures.

* Revising agricultural revisionism.

* Against optimism.

* Against being born.

* On the sadcom.

Your Favorite Superhero Is Probably Killing the Planet.

* Professor X Is a Jerk!

* The Daily Stormer’s style guide.

* Opoids and homelessness. 3,000,000 pills to 3,000 patients in two years. The Opioid Crisis Is Getting Worse, Particularly for Black Americans. What happens after an American city gives a homeless person a one-way ticket out of town.

* The US gymnastics scandal somehow gets worse and worse.

‘The World’s Biggest Terrorist Has a Pikachu Bedspread.’

* The Forgotten Life of Einstein’s First Wife.

* The Ghost Economy.

* WHAT YEAR IS IT: How to prepare for a nuclear attack.

Lumberjanes’ Noelle Stevenson is Rebooting She-Ra for Netflix. Sir Ian McKellen Would Totally Play Gandalf In Amazon’s TV Tolkien Adaptations. The Next Bechdel Test.

* “Paradox,” by Naomi Kritzer.

* The Journal of Prince Studies.

* 80% of workers think managers are unnecessary. The other 20% mistakingly think they are managers.

* It’s not a perfect system, but it’s the one our Founders built: The Donald Trump droid is live at Disney World’s Hall of Presidents.

‘Trump, Trump, Trump!’ How a President’s Name Became a Racial Jeer. 55 Ways Donald Trump Structurally Changed America in 2017. Fascism has already come to America. Life expectancy declines for the second straight year. On brand.

* Heartbreaking interview with Heather Heyer’s mother.

* Jordan Peele, auteur.

* Dilbert: A Reckoning.

Still, it does make you ponder all the ways this industry works in service of power, and by extension those who abuse it. So many of comedy’s institutions are, at their core, PR machines. Branded content is Funny Or Die’s bread and butter. Every week SNL promotes someone’s new movie or TV show or album. Late night talk shows, with few exceptions, use jokes to bookend celebrity press tours. Comedians host awards shows because otherwise we might see them for the rituals they are—the wealthy and famous celebrating their own wealth and fame. Comedy normalizes power; it’s so successful at normalizing power that it feels weird to even write that as a criticism. Well, what’s wrong with normalizing power? Lots of things, but to start it lets monsters play the straight man in comedy sketches. It makes them relatable, which makes them less threatening. But power is always a threat, even more so when it seems innocuous, even more so when it seems… funny.

* 2018 is already terrible: there’ll be no more Zelda DLC.

* And remembering the reason for the season: Behold the official policy for destroying the head of Chuck E Cheese.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 23, 2017 at 10:06 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Sunday Links!

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* CFP: Economics and SF.

* DACA at Marquette. Editorial: Marquette must support diversity by declaring sanctuary campus.

* Marquette to create new race and ethnics studies program.

Pillars of Academia: The colleges that produce the most altruistic students, by state.

* We are not responsible.

* On a Twitter account called @Shitty_Future, you can find, according to the feed’s anonymous authors, “the future we deserve.”

On Dec. 20, 2011, Stockley attempted to stop Smith after a suspected drug transaction. When Smith did not stop, a high-speed chase began. The then-officer shot at Smith’s car during the chase, apparently screaming, “I’m going to kill this motherfucker, don’t you know it!”

 

* The Case against Civilization.

* How do you feed a zoo during a disaster?

The NASA Team That Kills Spacecraft.

* I watched my patients die of poverty for 40 years. It’s time for single-payer.

Today, almost every piece of software comes with a disclaimer on its user license that basically says that the product may not work as intended and that its maker may stop supporting it at any time, and that’s the user’s problem. It’s a wonder companies don’t insert “nyah nyah nyah nyah” into the tiny-print legalese. Equifax’s Maddening Unaccountability.

* Also works as the control structure for academia: the game.

A Deep Dive Into BoJack Horseman’s Heartbreaking Dementia Episode.

More opioid prescriptions than people in some California counties.

* “Every morning at about 5 o’clock, we do the audit and we push a button and it sends it to ICE.” Widow of victim in suspected Kansas hate crime faced deportation after husband’s death. U.S. Army kills contracts for hundreds of immigrant recruits. Some face deportation. White House Weighs Lowering Refugee Quota to Below 50,000.

* On Clinton’s book, just one.

* College admins behaving badly.

* But Harvard takes the prize, twice over.

* Berekely a close second. Kudos to the Daily Californian for working out that this is likely all a scam. Failure to confirm.

* Bosses behaving badly all over.

Trump Inc: Inside the president’s not-so-blind trust.

No matter how he leaves the White House, we’ll never be rid of Trump—and all that he represents about America. #AlwaysTrump.

ICE agents dressed in plainclothes staked out a courthouse in Brooklyn and refused to identify themselves.

* Being Colin Kaepernick.

Flying Coach Is So Cramped It Could Be a Death Trap.

Teachers in U.S. paid nearly 60 percent less than other professionals, report finds.

* It Cinematic Universe Correct Viewing Order.

Suicides peak in middle age. So why do we call it a young person’s tragedy?

Former Sheriff David Clarke must revise thesis or risk losing degree, docs reveal.

No Apology, No Explanation: Fox News And The Seth Rich Story.

* Durham’s heroes.

Facebook Enabled Advertisers to Reach ‘Jew Haters.’ Twitter Says It Fixed Feature ‘Bug’ That Let Marketers Target People Who Use the N-Word.

The Best Look at the Future of the Star Trek Universe Comes From a Video Game. Meanwhile, not a great sign: CBS Won’t Allow Any Reviews of Star Trek: Discovery Before It Airs.

* Actually a pretty fun issue, even if this approach to R2-D2 has always pissed me off.

* Return of the J.J. And yet another delay.

* Jor-El is bad (again) (apparently).

* Another EVE Online scam for your rubbernecking pleasure.

* What to Bring.

* The secret history of FEMA.

* The great nutrient collapse.

* Big Oil Will Have to Pay Up, Like Big Tobacco.

Background Checks for Voting? But their emails.

* Solving the mystery of the internet’s most beloved — and notorious — fanfic.

Sign language interpreter used gibberish, warned of bears, monsters during Hurricane Irma update.

Happy anniversary to the most important Twitter exchange of all time.

* Watchmen spinoffs really getting out of hand now.

* And Nintendo decides maybe it wants that license to print money after all.

Monday! Morning! Links!

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* With respect to the Mad Men finale, kudos to Eileen Sutton and Todd VanDerWerff. And to this guy too.

Davis stayed with the agency for 19 years as a music director, creative concept writer, composer and producer, rising to senior vice president. He would popularize and create new “song-form” advertising that won every award the industry offers. He wrote Coca-Cola songs which are some of the most popular advertisements in existence today, including, “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing,” “It’s the Real Thing,” “Have a Coke and a Smile,” “Mean Joe Green,” “Coke Is It” and “Country Sunshine.” He also wrote songs for Miller Brewing Company (“If You’ve Got the Time”), Campbell’s Soup and Sony.

* Meanwhile last night’s Game of Thrones was prurient and horrible.

* Nnedi Okorafor on magical futurism.

A Duke University professor has reportedly been placed on leave after posting racist comments online that included talk of “the blacks” and “the Asians.”

Why Salaita Was “Un-Hired”: The Missing Facts in the AAUP and CAFT Reports.

* Marquette in the ne…. oh come on. (UPDATE: Actual Journal-Sentinel story here.)

* Early men and women were equal, say scientists. Stealing the illustration directly from the Guardian:

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* “But Game Of Thrones goes to absurd lengths to present full-frontal female nudity.”

“People would look at us and say, ‘Oh, so you’re gay Amish?’ ” Johannes said.

Sweden is not a member of NATO and spends a relatively small amount on its military. How could it hope to deter the Russian navy on its own? The answer, according to one Swedish group, is simple: The Swedes must send out gay propaganda via Morse code.

“It is the strangest of bureaucratic rituals,” write two New York Times reporters. “Every week or so, more than 100 members of the government’s sprawling national security apparatus gather, by secure video teleconference, to pore over terrorist suspects’ biographies and recommend to the president who should be the next to die.” In Washington, this weekly meeting has been labeled “Terror Tuesday.” Once established, the list of nominees is sent to the White House, where the president orally gives his approval to each name. With the “kill list” validated, the drones do the rest.

The Forgotten Female Shell-Shock Victims of World War I.

* Can there be a feminist world?

* Death of a Yuppie Dream: The Rise and Fall of the Professional-Managerial Class.

Columbia Examines Its Long-Ago Links to Slavery.

Seattle’s unbelievable transportation megaproject fustercluck.

* Reviving the female canon of philosophy.

* Meet the Glam SAHMs.

* Special issue of Contexts on the sharing economy. Via (as always!) Sunday Reading.

How Many Americans Are Married To Their Cousins?

* I can’t help it: I just love reading about EVE Online.

Dramatic photos from around the globe record mankind’s destruction of the planet from wasteland forests to slaughtered wild animals and oceans overflowing with garbage.

* And stop me if you’ve heard this one before: The GOP Is Dying Off. Literally.

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Happy Happy Monday Monday Links

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I just draw it for myself. I guess I have a gift for expressing pedestrian tastes. In a way, it’s kind of depressing. TCJ: The Bill Watterson Interview (1989).

* “Nada”: The comic adaptation of the short story that inspired They Live!

ScreenShot2013-10-10at4.58.38PM* The PhD Deluge.

Jared Diamond: We Could Be Living in a New Stone Age by 2114. Taking the “over” on whether there’ll still be human beings alive in a hundred years, I guess…

* Anthropocene or Capitalocene?

It was the final night of Uncivilization, an outdoor festival run by the Dark Mountain Project, a loose network of ecologically minded artists and writers, and he was standing with several dozen others waiting for the festival’s midnight ritual to begin.

* Terrible New York Times article on a fascinating topic: the “year zero” project of cultural destruction in Mali.

* Aboriginal rights a threat to Canada’s resource agenda, documents reveal.

After Holding Mentally Disabled Man Hostage for 34 Years, Texas Rules He Conspired to Keep Himself in Jail.

In order to pay for his son Cole’s life-saving surgery, he transported meth. But he got caught. Eighteen years later, his family, and the man who prosecuted him, are still working to set him free.

* Women prisoners sterilized to cut welfare costs in California. Of course it was illegal.

Half of New York City Teens Behind Bars Have A Brain Injury, Study Finds.

* Every once in a while Matt Yglesias still writes something good: The case for confiscatory taxation.

* Carceral leftism: jail time for wage theft?

* Piketty reviews from James K. Galbraith and Doug Henwood.

Synanon’s Sober Utopia: How a Drug Rehab Program Became a Violent Cult.

* Inside the “certified miracle” that will make Pope John Paul II a saint.

The Case for Drawing and Doodling in Class. Can’t we just medicate this impulse away?

* The liberal version of unskewing the polls is declaring victory in election cycles that are years away. We’ve got them right where we want them!

* College is probably cheaper than you think, though that’s not saying much.

I Ran the Pyongyang Marathon.

* Powdered alcohol: what could possibly go wrong?

* Your personal information is worth just $0.16.

* Coming out as a porn star. From Vox, the site dedicated to explaining the news with clarity and specificity traditional news outlets can’t afford.

* Meanwhile, at a traditional news outlet: Can the Klan rebrand? They’ve tried before. Kudos, CNN, you remain the absolute worst.

* Hugo nominees 2014. If you know who Vox Day is, you know how messed up things are about to get.

Criminal Cab Driver Mastermind (Allegedly) Evaded 3,000 Tolls.

* Antonin Scalia, Patriot.

* Abandon all hope watch: “The Democrats have a mega-donor problem.” Why can’t these naive billionaires see that Democrats who won’t support good policy are better than Republicans who oppose good policy!

On a crisp morning in late March, an elite group of 100 young philanthropists and heirs to billionaire family fortunes filed into a cozy auditorium at the White House, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

There’s A Hidden Timebomb In The Senate Rules That Will Go Off If A Supreme Court Justice Retires. But don’t you dare suggest anyone retire now to avoid disaster.

* Life is not a game. Neither is Candy Crush.

* Tumblr of the week: They Get It.

* This was the story of the Hurricane. Hurricane Carter’s dying wish. 

* Marek Edelman: Last surviving leader of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto uprising against the Nazis.

I told that student they are much better off being a B student in computer science than an A+ student in English because it signals a rigor in your thinking and a more challenging course load. If you can’t tell that an A+ student in anything is doing singularly impressive work I don’t think “rigor” is your strong suit.

* Beyond the quantum computer: temporal computing.

Nebraska School Gives Most Idiotic Advice Ever to Deal with Bullies. Don’t defend yourself, don’t ask for help…

* Paging Margaret Atwood: Drug that wipes out vultures may cause an EU eco-disaster.

* The Farscape movie is happening.

* Why did the TV version of Game of Thrones change Jaime Lannster into a rapist? More here. I’d gotten the impression that Jaime’s arc in the novels goes from “does the worst possible thing imaginable in very first appearance” to “kind of heroic?”’; last night’s episode makes that reading seem impossible.

All of which is build-up to pointing out that in the book, the reunion between Cersei and Jaime is seen from Jaime’s point of view. And once we consider that, those moments when Cersei has questions of propriety in the middle of their love making can take on a more sinister tone. What if we’re being kept from the true horror of what Jaime’s doing because we’re inside his head? 

The inventor of the American suburban shopping mall was a socialist. Could his creation have been saved?

* The politics of the liberal arts nanny.

* And the 26 Best Cities In The World To See Street Art. Below: Philadelpia.

o-ART-900

Written by gerrycanavan

April 21, 2014 at 7:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Friday Links

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* Mother Jones on “the White House’s private outrage at former Secretary of Energy Steve Chu’s impromptu decision to talk about climate change while visiting an island nation uniquely threatened by it.” How dare he…

* Six women filed a federal complaint with the U.S. Department of Education on Thursday alleging that Vanderbilt University, a prestigious school in Nashville, has failed to adequately respond to incidences of sexual assault on campus.

Boston Adjuncts Ask: Is There Life After Bentley U.?

Contingency and the Psychic Wage.

Baby Sent to Foster Care for 57 Days Because Parents Are Blind.

* Here come the ACA scammers. Meanwhile, in Obamacare follies: the “administrative fix.” The shorthand explanation for what’s going on here is that everybody — the insurance companies, members of Congress, and Obama — is bullshitting.

There is plenty of violence in the world of hunter-gatherers, though it is hardly illuminated by resorting to statistical comparisons between the mortality rates of a tiny tribal war in Kalimantan and the Battle of the Somme or the Holocaust. This violence, however, is almost entirely a state-effect. It simply cannot be understood historically from 4000 BC forward apart from the appetite of states for trade goods, slaves and precious ores, any more than the contemporary threat to remote indigenous groups can be understood apart from the appetite of capitalism and the modern state for rare minerals, hydroelectric sites, plantation crops and timber on the lands of these peoples. Papua New Guinea is today the scene of a particularly violent race for minerals, aided by states and their militias and, as Stuart Kirsch’s Mining Capitalism shows, its indigenous politics can be understood only in this context. Contemporary hunter-gatherer life can tell us a great deal about the world of states and empires but it can tell us nothing at all about our prehistory. We have virtually no credible evidence about the world until yesterday and, until we do, the only defensible intellectual position is to shut up.

Should your child play football? Poll: 40 Percent Say Tackle Football Should Be Banned Before High School. Former KU fullback Chris Powell sues NCAA over head trauma.

* The Eighth Doctor finally gets his sendoff in a prequel to the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special.

* Malcolm Harris against the unpaid internship for credit. I think there’s still a place for educational internships, but at nothing like the rates we see today, and it should never be used to displace waged workers or make the company money.

* The lives and deaths of hard drives.

* Shocked that Google Books is fair use. College and university administrators, take note!

How to Talk to Your Daughter About Her Body.

* And I took so long posting this link dump the latest Andy-Kaufman-is-alive hoax has already fallen apart.

Quote of the Day: Interplanetary Archeologists of the Future

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“Cultural Man has been on earth for some 2.000.000 years; for over 99% of this period he has lived as a hunter-gatherer. Only in the last 10.000 years has man begun to domesticate plants and animals, to use metals, and to harness energy resources other than the human body (…) To date, the hunting way of life has been the most succesful and persistent adaptation man has ever achieved. Nor does this evaluation exclude the present precarious existence under the threat of nuclear annihilation and the population explosion. It is still an open question whether man will be able to survive the exceedingly complex and unstable ecological conditions he has created for himself. If he fails in this task, interplanetary archeologists of the future will classify our planet as one in which a very long and stable period of smallscale hunting and gathering was followed by an apparently instanteneous efflorescence of technology and society leading rapidly to extinction. ‘Stratigraphically,’ the origin of agriculture and thermonuclear destruction will appear as essentially simultaneous.”
—Richard B. Lee and Irven DeVore, Man the Hunter (1973).

Against Civilization

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Aristotle, Socrates, and Plato all talked about how the world is being destroyed by agriculture — the soil was washing down the hills into rivers and killing the rivers. This is as old as civilization because that’s what civilization is. We are not the first people to realize this. We talk about the oceans — two-thirds of all animal breaths are made possible by the plankton that the oceans produce, and the plankton populations are collapsing now, because the oceans are dying. If the oceans go down, we go down with them. There will not be life on land if the plankton go. This is what we are facing now, and it does require a solution that is commensurate with the problem. So all of this withdrawal into your own backyard garden is not in any way going to address the fact that the plankton are collapsing, and that is why we need a resistance, not a withdrawal. Personal solutions aren’t political solutions, and it is only through political solutions that we can take apart the political institutions that are actually murdering our planet.

Alternet has an interview with Aric McBay, Lierre Keith and Derrick Jensen, authors of Deep Green Resistance. Via LGM.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 7, 2011 at 8:30 pm

More Stuff

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* Whoa: The UN international climate change conference is in chaos as the G77, which represents 130 developing countries “pulled the emergency plug” suspending the talks over wealthy countries’ reluctance to discuss a legally binding emissions treaty. I hope this is just a negotiating tactic in response to the so-called “suicide pact” and not a true collapse of the talks.

* If anyone tries to tell you that uncertainty about climate change is a reason for inaction, he’s either a fool or a scoundrel. Probably a bit of both.

* Two from ChartPorn: an interactive map showing the estimated effects of a 4 Celsius degree change in global temperatures and Climate Anomalies, 2007-09.

* Now we see the violence inherent in the system: Hundreds of billions in crime money knowingly laundered by banks during credit crunch.

The Observer reports that an estimated $352bn of drug and mafia money was laundered by the major banks at the peak of the credit crunch, while regulators turned a blind eye, since the highly liquid criminal underworld was the only source of the cash necessary to keep the banks’ doors open.

* ‘In the lawless mountain realms of Asia, a Yale professor finds a case against civilization.‘ Via MeFi.

In Zomia’s small societies, with their simple technologies, anti-authoritarian tendencies, and oral cultures, Scott sees not a world forgotten by civilization, but one that has been deliberately constructed to keep the state at arm’s length. Zomia’s history, Scott argues, is a rejection of the mighty lowland states that are seen as defining Asia. He calls Zomia a “shatter zone,” a place where people go to escape the raw deal that complex civilization historically has been for those at the bottom: the coerced labor and conscription into military service, the taxation for wars and pharaonic building projects, the epidemic diseases that came with intensive agriculture and animal husbandry.

* Nicholas Stephanopoulos on phasing out the filibuster. Via Matt Yglesias, who notes the real problem with this proposal:

If we actually were in a situation where Democrats were clamoring for a restoration of majority rule and Republicans were blocking it, then I think a clever compromise would be just what the doctor ordered. But as best I can tell only Tom Harkin has any real interest in doing this. A few public option stalwarts, like Sherrod Brown, have pressed for the use of reconciliation to do health care. But even on this proponents of majority rule seem to be a minority of the Democratic caucus. Which is to say that the issue is less that Republicans are insisting on the filibuster in order to preserve their ability to block legislation than it is that Democratsare insisting on a supermajority rule in order to preserve each individual member’s ability to make demands.

* And I’ve used this precise argument from xkcd many times with regard to both climate change and evolutionary biology. It’s logically sound, but, alas, gets few results.

Eco-Monday!

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Eco-Monday.

* “It’s not as safe, it’s bad for our planet and it’s clearly more expensive”: Why can’t we just stop drinking bottled water?

* Climate change ‘faster and more extreme’ than feared.

* A specter is haunting American environmentalism – the specter of failure. All of us who have been part of the environmental movement in the United States must now face up to a deeply troubling paradox: Our environmental organizations have grown in strength and sophistication, but the environment has continued to go downhill, to the point that the prospect of a ruined planet is now very real. How could this have happened?

* And according to Peter Salonius, a Canadian soil biologist, “humanity has probably been in overshoot of the Earth’s carrying capacity since it abandoned hunter gathering in favor of crop cultivation (~ 8,000 BCE).”

* This week’s icon is eco-tastic too—it’s a Greenpeace poster labeled “Stop the catastrophe” I found at grinding.be. The rejoinder in the tag is borrowed from Tim Morton: The catastrophe has already happened.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 20, 2008 at 2:55 pm

Derrick Jensen’s ‘Endgame’

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Premise Ten: The culture as a whole and most of its members are insane. The culture is driven by a death urge, an urge to destroy life.

The premises and other excerpts from Derrick Jensen’s anarcho-primitivst tract Endgame are online, a polemic that quickly leapfrogs past the ecotage tactics of groups like ELF to essentially call for open, final warfare against capitalism.

I think we all know that goes.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 21, 2008 at 12:00 pm

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Olduvai Theory

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Named for Africa’s Olduvai Gorge, Olduvai theory predicts that industrial/technological civilization is a “transient pulse” between periods of stable global equilibrium, with the period of highest modernization lasting only approximately 100 years (1930-2030).

Written by gerrycanavan

July 7, 2008 at 5:45 am

Polygraph 22: Call for Papers

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Polygraph 22—Call for Papers
http://www.duke.edu/web/polygraph/cfp22.html

Special Issue: Ecology and Ideology

The contemporary moment abounds with speculation concerning our ecological future. Specialists in a variety of fields forecast immanent catastrophe, stemming from a combination of climate change, fossil-fuel depletion, and consumer waste. The recent bestowal of the Nobel Peace Prize on a group of scientists studying climate change indicates the degree to which "peace" has come to signify ecological balance; even the declaration by the Vatican of a new set of "7 Deadly Sins for the modern age" includes pollution in an attempt to grapple with the potential of individuals to inflict ecological damage on a global scale.

In the name of an impending crisis felt to be collectively shared, new political, cultural, and intellectual alignments are being forged, just as seismic shifts in the flow of global capital once again threaten to "redistribute" the world’s resources and people. Ecological crisis has become a 24/7 media event, canvassing the planet in the imagery and rhetoric of disaster. From the halls of research and policy to activist documentary and apocalyptic fantasy, at the news desk, podium, pulpit, classroom, and computer monitor alike, all channels are united by a single underlying conviction: the present ecological catastrophe has humanity as its cause.

Precisely because the answer seems so obvious, we want to know: why now? Where are the points of antagonism in the midst of such apparent consensus, and what is at stake in their difference?

The Polygraph Editorial Collective invites papers concerning any aspect of ecology’s relationship to ideology, both interrogating ecology as a location for critique of global capitalism and analyzing the ways in which ecology functions as an ideology in its own right.

Potential areas of interest include:

Political Ecology
Globalization and ecology
Marxism and ecology
"Environmental accounting" as a challenge to the free market
Ecology and capital / consumerism
Ecology as growth market

Eco-Disaster
Peak oil and climate change
Biofuels and the food crisis
Overpopulation and Neo-Malthusianism
Ecology as a rhetoric of control
Figurations of eco-disaster in popular culture

Religion and Ecology
Green apocalypticism and green evangelism
Ecology and world religion

Ecology and gender
Recent articulations of eco-feminism
Eco- & transnational feminisms
Women’s work and the global chain of production
Agricultural work and reproduction

Ecologies against ecologies
"Light" vs. "dark green" environmentalism (i.e. deep ecology)
Primitivism and technofuturism
The status of international Green movements

Polygraph welcomes work from a variety of different disciplines, including critical geography, cultural anthropology, political economy, political theology, science studies, and systems theory. We also encourage the submission of a variety of formats and genres: i.e. field reports, surveys, interviews, photography, essays, etc.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE
December 31, 2008

ISSUE EDITORS
Gerry Canavan
Lisa Klarr
Ryan Vu

CONTACT
polygraph22cfp@gmail.com

‘Running on Empty’

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It used to be that only environmentalists and paranoids warned about running out of oil. Not anymore. One of the sadder ironies of our situation is that our civilization’s two major existential threats are in some very specific ways orthogonal to each other, insofar as many of the “solutions” to Peak Oil that are currently technological/economically/politically feasible only make the climate change problem worse, and vice versa. Lenin touches on this difficulty (among others) in a recent apocalyptic rant over at the Tomb, calling (it would seem) for a worldwide revolution in the name of return to primitivism:

It is our viability as a species that is in question. Perhaps the best solution is to rely on the people who gave us colonialism, the arms race, the arms industry, death squads, aerial bombardment, genocide and nuclear annihilation to come up with a neat market-based solution to our imminent demise. Perhaps we should wait and see if they can develop a technological solution. Bear in mind that, as with pharmaceuticals, they may be more interested in giving us something that can help us live with our horrible condition for a while rather than curing the problem. I don’t know if it wouldn’t be better to just take over the whole system ourselves and see what we can do about it. If it calls for a reduction in economic output, then I’m sure we can handle it. If Lafargue’s ‘right to be lazy’ becomes a duty, I can’t imagine too many complaints. Why not?

Written by gerrycanavan

April 27, 2008 at 5:42 am

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‘The Original Affluent Society’

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Hunter-gatherers consume less energy per capita per year than any other group of human beings. Yet when you come to examine it the original affluent society was none other than the hunter’s – in which all the people’s material wants were easily satisfied. To accept that hunters are affluent is therefore to recognise that the present human condition of man slaving to bridge the gap between his unlimited wants and his insufficient means is a tragedy of modern times.

Cultural criticism from Marshall Sahlins, author of Stone Age Economics.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 22, 2007 at 12:55 am

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