Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Sam and Max Hit the Road

Wednesday Links!

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* Some current calls for papers: Science Fiction and Communism. Beyond Humanism. Sesame Street at 50.

* Coming soon to Marquette! The Center for the Advancement of the Humanities will host Adam Kotsko on Feb. 15th at 3:30 p.m. in Marquette Hall 105, as he discusses “Animated Nihilism: RickandMorty, BoJackHorseman and the Strange Fate of the Adult Cartoon.”

* My favorite weird found-poetry I’ve discovered on this trip: in Switzerland and Germany first-person shooters are called “ego shooters.”

* My favorite thing on the Internet in a long, long time: Rey and Kylo set to just about every song you’ve ever heard of.

* Star Trek: Discovery is exciting, but not much else.

To put it another way, if this was just called Discovery, if the serial numbers were filled off and this was just another science fiction show with aliens and parallel universes and FTL drives, I doubt we’d be talking about it. It would be significantly less annoying in some ways (my brain would appreciate not having to fit any of this into continuity, that’s for damn sure), but it would be far more forgettable—a pretty, messy piece of nonsense with some decent performances and occasionally unexpected story twists. Hell, maybe we’d like it more, if only because our standards would be lower and it would still be possible to convince ourselves that someday, this would all make sense.

io9 was even harsher, if anything. I’m still a fan of the series but the extremely poor plotting of the second half of season one has made complete hash of their very promising initial setup. It’s much harder for me to argue the series is genuinely good, as opposed to liking it because it is Star Trek and I like pretty much everything Star Trek.

* Advice from a Contingent Faculty Member on Career Directions for PhDs in English.

* Sam and Max Hit the Road: The Design Document. What a great game that was.

* “A fascinating new kind of job that only a human can do: robot babysitter.”

The myth of America’s immigration problem.

* Beautiful Coal and Disastrous Droughts.

* Seen accurately. American collapse is a catastrophe of human possibility without modern parallel . And because the mess that America has made of itself, then, is so especially unique, so singular, so perversely special — the treatment will have to be novel, too. The uniqueness of these social pathologies tell us that American collapse is not like a reversion to any mean, or the downswing of a trend. It is something outside the norm. Something beyond the data. Past the statistics. It is like the meteor that hit the dinosaurs: an outlier beyond outliers, an event at the extreme of the extremes. That is why our narratives, frames, and theories cannot really capture it — much less explain it. We need a whole new language — and a new way of seeing — to even begin to make sense of it. Why We’re Underestimating American Collapse: The Strange New Pathologies of the World’s First Rich Failed State.

* If your highest value is the preservation of American institutions, the avoidance of “dysfunction,” the discourse of norm erosion makes sense. If it’s democracy, not so much. Sometimes democracy requires the shattering of norms and institutions. Democracy, we might even say, is a permanent project of norm erosion, forever shattering the norms of hierarchy and domination and the political forms that aid and abet them.

* What does living in a dictatorship feel like?

* Cixin Liu and Chinese science fiction, in the London Review of Books.

* The Voynich Manuscript has been cracked again. Everybody take a drink!

* Sic semper: Twilight of Chief Wahoo.

* Huge, if true: some millennials think James Bond could be sexist.

* Emma, the fifteen-second horror movie.

* Here’s What One Day In The Dysfunction Of Restoring Puerto Rico’s Electricity Looks Like. FEMA To End Food And Water Aid For Puerto Rico.

* ICE Deports Palestinian Man Living In The U.S. For Almost 40 Years Despite Outcry. Father detained by ICE after dropping 4-year-old off at daycare. 2 dads nabbed by ICE as they drop off kids at NJ school; 3rd takes shelter in church. Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown is a recipe for national decline.

* Even By Our Awful Standards, Americans Have Basically Stopped Saving Money.

* CES Was Full of Useless Robots and Machines That Don’t Work.

* An ER visit, a $12,000 bill — and a health insurer that wouldn’t pay.

* Baltimore Cops Kept Toy Guns to Plant Just in Case They Shot an Unarmed Person.

* The future just ain’t no good.

* “In honor of the new Mr. Rogers biopic, here’s his Marquette Commencement address from 2001.”

* A new life awaits you in the off-world colonies.

* #DontCallItAComejack.

* What does it mean to die?

Why Reddit’s face-swapping celebrity porn craze is a harbinger of dystopia.

* The life of the mind. Working at university in 2016. Statement of teaching philosophy.

* Of course you had me at a Civilisation V mod about the risk of superintelligent AI.

* And happy birthday, old friend.