Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘sex

Supersized ICFA Weekend Links!

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* Hey, ICFAites! I’m posting this too late to hype yesterday’s talk on Black Panther and Wakanda as Nation, but there’s still time to hype my Rogue One roundtable at 8:30 and the Modern Masters of Science Fiction book signing at 12:30…

* One week from today! Buffy at 20!

* I really appreciated The New Inquiry‘s most recent issue on prison abolition, including this piece on home monitoring, this one on deaf inmates, and this one on bureaucratic malice.

* Awesome IndieGoGo success story: Nimuno LEGO tape.

Every attempt to manage academia makes it worse.

* Teach the controversy: Did the CIA really astrally project to Mars in 1984?

* Neat project I’m coming late to: Young People Read Old SFF.

“Mr. Thursday.” By Emily St. John Mandel.

* Starfleet or bust.

* The Gig Economy and Working Yourself to Death.

What Happens If a Nuclear Bomb Goes Off in Manhattan? How to survive a nuclear blast.

Other genres merely represent everyday life. Science fiction hopes to change it.

* Humans, on brand.

New Zealand river granted same legal rights as human being.

The Existential Hokiness of Rick & Morty.

Purplish Haze: The Science Fiction Vision of Jimi Hendrix.

“Comrade, Can You Paint My Horse?” Soviet Kids’ Books Today.

* Being Kim Stanley Robinson. After the Great Dithering.

Julia muppet
Credit: Sesame Workshop

* Sesame Street’s newest puppet is a four-year-old with autism.

Disabled Americans: Stop Murdering Us.

* “Let’s talk about the weird psychosexual energy in Beauty and the Beast.”

* “The monsters of Kong: Skull Island are as brilliantly rendered as its politics are muddled and queasy.”

* “Humpback whales are organizing in huge numbers, and no one knows why.”

Animal rights lawyer says zoos are solitary confinement for animals. No animals have all the attributes of human minds; but almost all the attributes of human minds are found in some animal or other. The beginning of the end of meat. Scientists are messing around with 3-D printed cheese.

* Great news: Authorities believe they’ve captured the individual responsible for most of the JCC bomb threats. The Slip-Up That Caught the Jewish Center Bomb Caller.

With a 10-day supply of opioids, 1 in 5 become long-term users. Drugs are killing so many people in Ohio that cold-storage trailers are being used as morgues.

With Trump Poised to Change the Legal Landscape, the Clock May Be Ticking on Graduate Unions. The shamelessness with which college administrations have courted this outcome is amazing, even by college administration standards.

How One Family Is Beating the NCAA at Its Own Game.

Here’s the Important Stuff That Happens in Iron Fist So You Don’t Have to Watch It. Netflix and Marvel’s Iron Fist is an ill-conceived, poorly written disaster. The Iron Fist TV Series Is Marvel and Netflix’s First Big Failure. Five Comments on Iron Fist.

* Paranoia in the Trump White House. Trumpism and academia. Trump’s Cuts. A day in the life of a poor American under Trump’s proposed budget. North Korea. The Incredible Cruelty of Trumpcare. Trumpcare goes down. Democrats Will Filibuster Neil Grouch’s Nomination. What to ask about Russian hacking. New York Attorney General Steps Up Scrutiny of White House. Why they voted Trump. r/Donald. It’s a better time to be doing any kind of leftist politics than it was a decade ago. Well, we’ll see…

* It’s hard in all this mess to pay attention to the little things, but man.

* My fascism will be big, beautiful, and sustainable, or it will be bullshit.

Overall, Obama’s performance in office looks like most American presidencies since Reagan, not altering all that much at home while pressing ahead with imperial tasks abroad—in effect, a largely conventional stewardship of neo-liberal capitalism and military-diplomatic expansionism. No new direction for either society or empire emerged under him. Obama’s rule was in this sense essentially stand-pat: business as usual. On another plane, however, his tenure was innovative. For he is the first celebrity President—that is, a politician whose very appearance was a sensation, from the earliest days of his quest for the Democratic nomination onwards: to be other than purely white, as well as good-looking and mellifluous, sufficed for that. Catapulted into the White House on colour charisma and economic crisis, and commanding the first congressional supermajority since Carter, Obama in office continued to be an accomplished vote-winner and champion money-raiser. But celebrity is not leadership, and is not transferrable. The personality it projects allows no diffusion. Of its nature, it requires a certain isolation. Obama, relishing his aura and aware of the risks of diluting it, made little attempt to mobilize the populace who cast their ballots for him, and reserved the largesse showered on him by big money for further acclamation at the polls. What mattered was his personal popularity. His party hardly counted, and his policies had little political carry-through.

What If Students Only Went to School Four Days a Week?

Austerity measures don’t actually save money. But they do disempower workers. Which is why governments pursue them in the first place.

* Body cameras and the nightmare state.

* When corporations colonize academia.

White, Irish, and undocumented in America.

Children as young as 3 detained 500 days — and counting — in disgraceful immigrant prisons. Rape Victims Aren’t Seeking Help For Fear Of Deportation, Police Say. Banking on Deportation. There was an Africa trade meeting with no Africans because all their visas got denied.

Sheriff David Clarke’s jail forced a woman to give birth while in shackles. The newborn died.

* The long now: A Computer-Generated Coliseum that Will Disintegrate for 1,000 Years.

Scientists Brace for a Lost Generation in American Research.

* A special issue of Orbit devoted to David Foster Wallace.

* Functional illiteracy in Detroit.

* Why Does Mt. Rushmore Exist?

Everybody in the NBA is obsessed with PB&J sandwiches.

* Missing Richard Simmons turned out super gross. Don’t listen.

Congress Moves to Strike Internet Privacy Rules From Obama Era.

* I’ve been really interested in this: A major study finding that voter ID laws hurt minorities isn’t standing up well under scrutiny. A follow-up study suggests voter ID laws may not have a big effect on elections.

* Are we raising racists? Pay attention to what your kids watch on their screens.

* Tomb of Santa uncovered in Siberia.

* Educational attainment in America.

The Peter Parker/Mary Jane Watson Marriage Will Never Ever Return “Up To Infinity” Says Dan Slott.

* Or a tweet. Probably a tweet.

A Tale Which Must Never Be Told: A New Biography of George Herriman.

Trans, Disabled, And Tired Of Fighting To Get Into Bathrooms.

* Appliances used to last decades.

A year in Eden: Remaining cast of TV show finally leave their remote Highland home.

Now the remaining cast of a TV show have finally left their remote home – to virtual anonymity.

Instead of being crowned reality TV celebrities and fought over by agents, the 10 who made it through the 12 months have learned that only four episodes have been shown – the last seven months ago.

* Mr. Rogers vs. the Ku Klux Klan.

* Andy Daly reviews Review.

* CFP: Chuck Berry in the Anthropocene.

* The Rise of Bowie Studies.

* SNL quick change, Jeff Sessions to mermaid.

* I still believe in a place called Duckburg.

* No.

* Respectfully disagree.

* Action Lad and the Living Sword!

* And the arc of history is long, but there’s an Attack from Mars pinball machine remake coming later this year.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 25, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Tuesday Links!

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* FiveThirtyEight has been doing a great series on Mars colonization. Today’s entries are all about space sex. Also: Everything About Mars Is The Worst.

* Also at FiveThirtyEight: The Odds You’ll Fill Out A Perfect Bracket.

* TRAPPIST-1 seems like a no-go for humanity, but three of the worlds are close enough for life to hop between them.

New York 2140 vs. The Collapsing Empire: Which New Sci-Fi Novel Is for You?

* ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ Turns 20, from my Buffy at 20″ co-organizer James South.

* On the coming apocalypse (and other’s people’s babies).

* What if Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Had Swapped Genders?

* From the archives: Snow Days Under Socialism.

No, big snowstorms like this aren’t normal.

* America elected a parasite. Let’s take away health insurance from 24 million people. Or 26 million, who’s counting. This Level of Corruption Is Unprecedented in the Modern History of the Presidency. Gotta save money to steal money. “Senate Democrats prepare for spring battle over Trump’s border wall.”

Remember the People America’s Healthcare System Has Already Killed.

* The university in ruins, Trump edition.

* The Party of Eugenics. They both are, honestly, but the GOP is just so much more vulgar about it.

At every moment when Trump might have been stopped, when he might have been forced into bankruptcy, had his credit denied, had his loans called in, his licenses revoked, at every juncture where he might have been convicted of a crime or sent to jail—and, again, this is well before he makes his successful bid for the White House—some unplanned and unintended conspiracy of economic reason and political lowlifery mobilizes to protect him. (And it really is unplanned and unintended. The genius of the American system is how the Invisible Hand works to produce systemic vice rather than incidental virtue.)

* Must be nice.

* We’re heading towards something very ugly: Employers can ban staff from wearing headscarves, European court rules.

* American Empire: The Reboot.

Seeing red: Membership triples for the Democratic Socialists of America.

* The Onion struggling to lampoon Trump.

* Museums and activism.

* Violent video games found not to affect empathy, again.

* The hype for Logan seems to be reaching comical proportions, but still, you’d be hard-pressed to find another recent superhero movie that was worth emulating.

* Behold, the super-agers.

Should a Chimpanzee Be Considered a Person?

* MMMBop: Hanson announces 25th anniversary tour as your death rapidly approaches.

The economics of airline classes.

Bowie impersonates other singers like Springsteen, Lou Reed. Everything has been bullshit since Bowie died.

* Because you demanded it! Young Sheldon.

* USA Today discovers Hello from the Magic Tavern. They’ve hit a real stride lately as story events have allowed them to move away from their standard format — and they were great before.

Every Author on Your English Syllabus, Summed Up in a Single Sentence.

It’s Donald Trump’s Fault Iron Fist Is Bad, Not Marvel’s, Says Star Finn Jones. If you say so.

* A People’s History of the Marvel Universe. Via Abigail Nussbaum’s second Hugos post.

* And a nation turns its lonely eyes to Veep.

Sunday Night Closing All My Tabs

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* My review of Kim Stanley Robinson’s (excellent!) New York 2140 is finally up at the Los Angeles Review of Books: Utopia in the Time of Trump.

Where most contemporary histories of the future imagine climate change as either an annoying irritation or else the end of history — the disaster that will end civilization — in New York 2140 Robinson cuts more of a middle path. Climate change does indeed prove utterly catastrophic in this novel, laying waste to the coastal cities where a startling percentage of the world’s population currently lives, and devastating a huge amount of infrastructure and fixed capital, costing trillions of dollars — but humans are incredibly versatile problem-solvers, and we adapt. Technical solutions like sea walls and skybridges are really only the start of what would be necessary in a flooded Manhattan. Think of the immense social changes, the legal, economic, and architectural structures that would need to be innovated when huge areas of major cities are permanently underwater, or indeed become part of the intertidal zone. Even by 2140, nearly 100 years after the start of the crisis, the long work of retrofitting civilization to rising sea levels goes on, and not all of it is even that unhappy; it’s no secret that the capitalists use the same phrase to denote both crisis and opportunity, creative destruction….

* Don’t worry, kids, it’s just a story.

* More Hugos lists! Octavia E. Butler is actually listed on a few of these! Keeping my silly Hugo dream alive.

* Also at LARB: A Mark Fisher memoriam and a review of his last book, The Weird and the Eerie.

* Getting ready for Marquette’s big Buffy at 20 conference: Every episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, ranked. Buffy the Vampire Slayer video games, ranked from best to worst. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a feminist parable for everyone – including Anthony Stewart Head. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the greatest show in the history of television. The Enduring Legacy. Genocide of the Vampires. How Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Most Hated Season Became Its Most Important. On “The Body.” Twenty years later, the world needs Buffy more than ever. A few more at MeFi. And from the archives, David Graeber.

* CFPs at Science Fiction Studies on climate change fiction and Frankenstein.

* And don’t sleep on the CFP for SFRA 2017, due at the end of the month.

* Marquette: a university on the… grow?

* Want To Know About Racially Motivated Policing? Ask Literally Any Person of Color in Milwaukee.

Data Draws Link Between Metro Milwaukee’s Segregation and Poverty.

* 50th Anniversary of the Milwaukee Fair Housing Marches.

* #4.

* This isn’t a complete picture — it is too nostalgic for a lost age of exclusion, and misses completely the despair caused by the total collapse of the profession — but all the same I found it a powerful critique of the university today: Our Hallways Are Too Quiet.

* Probably the best piece of art criticism ever written: Appraising the Brady Bunch’s Art Collection.

* More Lovercraft from the great Ali Sperling! H.P. Lovecraft’s Weird Body.

* The New York Times reviews Lower Ed by the great Tressie McMillan Cottom.

* Sold! Wild New Theory Suggests Radio Bursts Beyond Our Galaxy Are Powering Alien Starships.

Think Twice About Escaping Earth to an Exoplanet. Trappist-1 is already ruined.

In Arctic Siberia, Russian scientists are trying to stave off catastrophic climate change—by resurrecting an Ice Age biome complete with lab-grown woolly mammoths.

* On zeitgeist: Ozymandias statue found in mud.

* What will the 25th Century Call the 21st?

The Handmaid’s Tale in the Age of Trump.

* The Hamilton Hustle.

* Stop grading and testing.

* A Women’s Strike Syllabus. And another.

U.S. Colleges: Where Does The Money Go?

Rutgers also diverted $11 million in student fees and $17.1 million from its general fund to cover the athletic shortfall. The average undergraduate now pays more than $300 in activities fees exclusively for the university’s N.C.A.A. teams.

* Gotta spend money to explain why you aren’t spending money.

* Bodies on the Gears at Middleburg. And from the right: Middlebury Reckons With a Protest Gone Wrong. From Mother Jones to Middlebury: The Problem and Promise of Political Violence in Trump’s America.

* Ideology of the March for Science.

* Are the Democrats totally screwed? The Democratic Party Seems to Have No Earthly Idea Why It Is So Damn Unpopular. Outsmarted: on the Liberal Cult of the Cognitive Elite. There Really Was A Liberal Media Bubble. The SEIU at the end of the world.

* Trump can’t even do a standard thing like firing all the US Attorneys without turning it into a train wreck. But here’s how he can turn it around. Why the Russia Story Is a Minefield for Democrats and the Media. Descent into Liberalism. Fantasizing about President Pence. Of no fixed address. Here’s How Much ‘Trumpcare’ Fucks You, Based On How You Get Your Insurance Now. Who wins and who loses under the Republicans’ health care plan. A Trumpcare flashback. Truly, freedom isn’t free.

Then, before you know it, the Wall Street Journal is an oracle of truth. You’re rooting for Cold War II. The FBI is your BFF. You’re a Democrat.

* This is so evil: Bill Would Let Employers Demand Workers’ Genetic Tests.

* In the future, everyone will publicly beg for health care for 15 minutes.

* If you want a vision of the future.

The Perils of the New, Shiny George W. Bush.

The Revolutionary Force of Stupidity: A Conversation with Matt Taibbi.

Enemies of the People: How hatred of the masses bridges our partisan divide.

* Trump’s Mar-a-Lago is heaven — for spies!

* The Great Lakes Are Sicker Than You Think. Editorial: Don’t slash funding for the Great Lakes.

It is long past time to save this world; the task now is to end it. To begin anew seems like the only realistic way out.

* Towards a Unified Theory of Why Men Send Dick Pics. Obviously, more research is required.

* Neonazis! I hate these guys. Indiana Jones and the Okay Fine We’ll Try Again.

Why Dentistry Is Separate From Medicine.

* Twenty-First Century Headlines: Radioactive Boars in Fukushima Thwart Residents’ Plans to Return Home.

* Our Miserable 21st Century.

Brain activity recorded as much as 10 minutes after death.

* West Virginia county sues drug distributors over opioid crisis.

* Scholars behind bars.

* Today in the massive screwed-uppedness of American democracy.

* George Republicans Pass Mid-Decade Re-Gerrymander Just in Case.

Purple America Has All But Disappeared.

Every semi-competent male hero has a more talented female sidekick. Why isn’t she the hero instead?

* Star Trek: Discovery announces exciting “the captain is probably evil and in any event will die at the end of the season” arc.

* Knives out for Marvel: they finally made a mistake big enough to be noticed. More from Noah Berlatsky.

Study: Hillary Clinton’s TV ads were almost entirely policy-free.

Officials with Alberta’s environment agency inspected the water lines on Tuesday afternoon and proclaimed it safe, while the town completed the required repairs by the end of day. Town’s Water Turns Pink In Horrifying Ghostbusters Throwback. 

* Requiem for a Dil. We’re Looking for People with Management Potential. An Experiment to Determine if Rats Can Be Made to Hate Thanksgiving. It’s Not So Bad. Sad Truths: Mythological Creatures Edition. I wish human beings were as peaceful and loving as bonobos. We all have our struggles.

Silicon Valley’s Secretive Alt-Right Followers.

* Review is back, thank heaven.

* Nostalgia for the childhood you never had: The Japanese opening for the X-Men Animated Series.

Inside the cruellest RollerCoaster Tycoon park ever created.

* The arc of history is long, but Rookie Doctors Will Soon Be Allowed To Work Up To 28 Hours Straight.

* The Psychedelic Miracle: How some doctors are risking everything to unleash the healing power of MDMA, ayahuasca and other hallucinogens.

Aliens, Antisemitism, and Academia.

“King Kong” and American Cultural History.

20 million at risk of starvation in world’s largest crisis since 1945, UN says.

* Interesting: The New Avatar Theme Park Is a Giant Spoiler.

In an interview conducted inside the park, Cameron said that the park is set in a timeline after the five movies. A time when the war between humans and Na’vi is over. A time when the Na’vi have begun to welcome humans onto their planet with opens arms.

Eighteen hundred former NFL players say their teams had them popping addictive painkillers like candy, to keep them from being sidelined by injuries.

How the 20,699-word iTunes T&Cs became this year’s hottest graphic novel.

Should California lower its voting age to 17? Yes.

* And dibs on the screenplay: Right now, in a vault controlled by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, there sits a 752-pound emerald with no rightful owner. This gem is the size of a minifridge. It weighs as much as two sumo wrestlers. Estimates of its worth range from a hundred bucks to $925 million. Over the past 10 years, four lawsuits have been filed over the Bahia emerald. Fourteen individuals or entities, plus the nation of Brazil, have claimed the rock is theirs. A house burned down. Three people filed for bankruptcy. One man alleges having been kidnapped and held hostage. Many of the men involved say that the emerald is hellspawn but they also can’t let it go.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 12, 2017 at 4:19 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Tuesday Morning Links!

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* The course descriptions for Marquette’s Fall 2017 English classes are up at the department website. Check them out! I’m teaching Tolkien and a grad seminar on utopia. 

* Also in Marquette news! Marquette to host ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ conference in April.

Becoming a parent forces you to think about the nature of the problem — which is, in a lot of ways, the problem of nature […] the realities of aging and sickness and mortality become suddenly inescapable. […] [My wife] said something during that time I will never forget. “If I had known how much I was going to love him,” she said, “I’m not sure I would have had him.” Mark O’Connell on transhumanism and immortality.

* From the great Ali Sperling: Reading Lovecraft in the Anthropocene. And this review of Alan Moore’s Jerusalem from the great David Higgins!

* Adam Roberts reviews New York 2140. Another review, from a climate scientist. And an interview with Stan. My review comes out in LARB this weekend…

The Most Cringeworthy Monuments to Colleges’ Innovation Jargon.

Perverse outcomes: UC Berkeley deletes 20,000 audio and visual lectures in the name of compliance with the ADA.

Speculative Fiction and Survival in Iraq.

* Is it really so hard to understand that when your students go broke just trying to graduate they aren’t exactly moved to donate later?

harcourt_fenton_mudd_2267* The liberal arts at Harvey Mudd College, whose graduates out-earn Harvard and Stanford.

* You-might-be-from-Wisconsin-if at Ask MetaFilter.

President Roosevelt signed the order on February 19, 1942, almost exactly 75 years ago. By spring, American citizens would be arriving at the Fresno and Pinedale camps: our neighbors.

* Wisconsin is apparently harassing trans state employees.

* Chaos, again. This is fine. Even James Comey. Twilight of Reince Preibus. Ten Questions for President Trump. Ten More Questions for President Trump. Remember when it was scandalous that Obama, years before he became a politician, once sold his house?

It is through the Justice Department that the administration is likely to advance its nationalist plans — to strengthen the grip of law enforcement, raise barriers to voting and significantly reduce all forms of immigration, promoting what seems to be a longstanding desire to reassert the country’s European and Christian heritage. It’s not an accident that Sessions, who presumably could have chosen from a number of plum assignments, opted for the role of attorney general. The Department of Justice is the most valuable perch from which to transform the country in the way he and Bannon have wanted. With an exaggerated threat of disorder looming, the nation’s top law-enforcement agency could become a machine for trying to fundamentally change who gets to be an American and what rights they can enjoy.

The emerging effort — dozens more rules could be eliminated in the coming weeks — is one of the most significant shifts in regulatory policy in recent decades. It is the leading edge of what Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, described late last month as “the deconstruction of the administrative state.”

* “Forever war, but too much.”

An Afghan family of five that had received approval to move to the United States based on the father’s work for the American government has been detained for more than two days after flying into Los Angeles International Airport, a legal advocacy group said in court documents filed on Saturday. Profiles of immigrant arrested in Austin. Thousands of ICE detainees claim they were forced into labor, a violation of anti-slavery laws. (Note this lawsuit was filed in 2014.This Stunningly Racist French Novel Is How Steve Bannon Explains The World. And if it were a book, it’d seem laughably contrived: A letter written in 1905 by Friedrich Trump, Donald Trump’s grandfather, to Luitpold, prince regent of Bavaria. Resisting ICE. Here we go again.

* 4chan and the Great Meme War.

* Russia and the Cyber Cold War.

* And while we’re on the subject: The Basic Formula For Every Shocking Russia/Trump Revelation. I think this is a very good reminder of the need to stay calm and detached from the chaos of the news cycle.

Instead, a new model is proposed: the president keeps everyone in a constant state of excitement and alarm. He moves fast and breaks things. He leads by causing commotion. As energy in the political system rises he makes no effort to project calm or establish an orderly White House. And if he keeps us safe it’s not by being himself a safe, steady, self-controlled figure, but by threatening opponents and remaining brash and unpredictable— maybe a touch crazy. This too is psychological work, but of a different kind.

* Democrats keep trusting demographics to save them. It hasn’t worked yet — but maybe this time…

NASA unveils plan to give Mars an ‘Earth-like’ atmosphere.

House Republicans Unveil Bill To Repeal Obamacare. The GOP health bill doesn’t know what problem it’s trying to solve.

Austerity measures don’t actually save money. But they do disempower workers. Which is why governments pursue them in the first place.

* No! It can’t be! Researchers have found strong evidence that racism helps the GOP win.

* Losing West Virginia.

Contrary to What You Learned in Sex Ed, You Can Get Pregnant While Pregnant.

* Mid-decade gerrymander in Georgia.

* Autism and Addiction.

* What We’ve Learned from Giving Dolphins LSD.

In a world first, a teenager with sickle cell disease achieved complete remission after an experimental gene therapy at Necker Children’s Hospital in Paris, researchers say.

* Possible lynching outside Seattle, in 2017.

* The end of suburbia.

* In the richest country in human history, children have “lunch debt.”

The only way in which a game is guaranteed to end is when the player abandons their device. Everything else is game design.

“These devices don’t have emotional intelligence,” said Allison Druin, a University of Maryland professor who studies how children use technology. “They have factual intelligence.” How millions of kids are being shaped by know-it-all voice assistants.

* Finding a jury of your peers in a racially segregated society.

* A colony in a nation.

Divination hasn’t disappeared; it’s taken over the world.

But these second-order obstacles aren’t enough to explain the current collapse of poll-driven political certainty. They’re just excuses, even if they’re not untrue. Something about the whole general scheme of polling—the idea that you can predict what millions of undecided voters will do by selecting a small group and then just simply asking them—is out of whack. We need to think seriously about what the strange game of election-watching actually is, in terms of our relation to the future, our power to choose our own outcomes, the large-scale structure of the universe, and the mysteries of fate. And these questions are urgent. Because predictions of the future don’t simply exist in the future, but change the way we act in the present. Because in our future something monstrous is rampaging: it paces hungrily toward us, and we need to know if we’ll be able to spot it in time.

When I said that opinion polls are sibyls and soothsayers, it wasn’t just a figure of speech. Opinion polling has all the trappings of a science—it has its numbers and graphs, its computational models, its armies of pallid drones poring over the figures. It makes hypotheses and puts them to the test. But polls are not taken for what they are: a report on what a small number of people, fond of changing their minds, briefly pretended to think. Instead, we watch the tracking graphs as if the future were playing itself out live in front of us. The real structure of the electoral-wonk complex is more mystical than materialist: it’s augury and divination, a method handed down by Prometheus to a starving and shivering humanity at the faint dawn of time. Behind all the desktop screens and plate-glass of his office, the buzz of data and the hum of metrics, Nate Silver retreats to a quiet, dark, and holy room. He takes the knife and slits in one stroke the throat of a pure-white bull; its blood arcs and drizzles in all directions. He examines its patterns. And he knows.

There’s a never-ending fount of stories you can write about when someone is breaking away from canon or not, and create many controversies all the way through preproduction and production and even until a movie opens, about whether or not they’re breaking canon. Is it a blasphemous movie or not? At some point, you gotta stop and say, Is there this expectation that it’s like we’re doing Godfather Part I and II, only it’s going to nine movies? And we’re just gonna cut them into this kind of Berlin Alexanderplatz that never ends? We’re gonna suddenly take a moment to really savor the fact that these movies exist in an identical tone? The reality to me is that you can’t have interesting movies if you tell a filmmaker, “Get in this bed and dream, but don’t touch the pillows or move the blankets.” You will not get cinema. You will just get a platform for selling the next movie on that bed, unchanged and unmade. James Mangold on Logan.

* The making of The Silmarillion.

* And we have but one choice: the Ring must be destroyed.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 7, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Weekend Links!

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c5zayqzuwailjt1* Angela Davis at Marquette, March 29.

CFP: From Sanctuary to Sabotage: Fighting the Fascist Creep at and beyond Universities.

“Virtually nothing about our standard model of sleep existed as we know it two centuries ago.”

* Modern love.

20 Years Ago, Starship Troopers Showed Us What Happens When Fascism Wins.

11 things I learned about academia by analysing 14 million RateMyProfessor reviews.

tumblr_om94ksmnrs1romv9co1_250* Remember that Iowa lawmaker who wanted to purge universities of Democrats? Guess what!

* When the CIA read Foucault.

* Nice, low-key interview with Kim Stanley Robinson on Flash Forward TV.

Abigail Nussbaum walks you through her Hugo short fiction nominations.
* Trump and the Myth of Nuclear Flexibility.

* Trump, Putin, and the New Cold War.

* My alma mater in the news!

* America divided into states with the population of California. Which is to say, if we allow ourselves a crudely democratic understanding of what representative democracy should be, there would only be 16 senators in a Senate that fairly represented people living in California.

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America has locked up so many black people it has warped our sense of reality.

* Exiting the Roach Motel, or, What’s the Matter with the Democratic Party?

The Democratic Party is a roach motel for leftists. We go in full of vision and energy, like the Sanders kids, like the Ellison supporters, and we get crushed and stuck in the slime. Sanders and Ellison had to play by the rules and call for continuing support for the Dems after their losses. Having played the game, they were stuck with the rules in the roach motel. Once you go in, you may never come out.

* Slavery and the academy.

* Twilight of the meritocrats.

* Palantir and ICE. Freeze on H-1B Visas. Customs Giving Literacy Tests At JFK Is A Thing Now. Deportation fears impacting criminal case. Don’t Get Your Undocumented Friends in Trouble: A How-To. Are you listening, SXSW?

* White House aide Sebastian Gorka said Wednesday that objections to President Donald Trump’s creation of a new office to highlight crimes committed by undocumented immigrants are “un-American.” All right, then, I’ll go to Hell….

* “Accompanied by his wife Jessica, a U.S. citizen who is six months pregnant with their first child.” Trump administration considering separating women, children at U.S.-Mexico border. Detained after a press conference, Daniela Vargas was seven when she came to the U.S. A 13-Year-Old Girl Sobbed While Recording Her Immigrant Father Get Arrested By ICE Agents. ICE Plans To Deport Oregon Immigrant With 5 Children, No Criminal Background. Immigration agents deport Houston father of two who previously held immigration reprieve. After Decades In The U.S., NY Immigrant With Years-Old Pot Misdemeanor Faces Deportation. Does even a single person with a conscience work for this administration?

* Kushner and Flynn. Two other Trump advisers also spoke with Russian envoy during GOP convention. Your cheat sheet to four potential investigations of Russia and President Trump. Mysteries of Jeff Sessions. Recusal is not enough. Isn’t it pretty to think so? The Innocent Explanation. Why Trump Sounding ‘Presidential’ Only Makes Him More Dangerous. Style and Substance. Trumpism and heroism. You Cretins Are Going To Get Thousands Of People Killed. This one broke while I was tagging the post.

* Hard to blame them: European Parliament votes to end visa-free travel for Americans.

* Four mosques have burned in seven weeks. Nearly half of the country’s Jewish community centers have received bomb threats in 2017. Today’s arrest (an apparent copycat) covered less than 10% of that.

* Destroying the planet is too important to let a silly little thing like national borders get in the way. The end of the Great Lakes. Gutting the Chesapeake Bay. Massive Permafrost Thaw Documented in Canada, Portends Huge Carbon Release. Antarctica hits record high temperature at balmy 63.5°F.

* The rich are different: they control everything.

* Adam Roberts rereads The Time Machine.

* The Feminist Bookstore Movement.

* Fascinated by this: Price of Lab-Grown Burger Falls from $325K to $11.36.

* A rough stat from up the street: Only 1 in 5 black students enrolled at UW-Milwaukee graduates in 6 years.

* Team Plagiarizes Golden State Warriors. Team Is Undefeated.

* Could different borders save Europe?

“We concluded that Ms. Conway acted inadvertently and is highly unlikely to do so again,” he wrote. “Ms. Conway has acknowledged her understanding of the standards and has reiterated her commitment to abiding by them in the future.”

* A diabetic boy’s parents ‘didn’t believe in doctors.’ Now they’re guilty of his murder.

* Are the Yuuzhan Vong coming back?

After oil was discovered on their Oklahoma reservation, the Osage Nation became the richest people per capita in the world. Then they began to be murdered off mysteriously. In 1924 the nascent FBI sent a team of undercover agents, including a Native American, to the Osage reservation.

* 69 Cock Lane is yours for £449,950, but is it Britain’s naughtiest address?

* Study: half of the studies you read about in the news are wrong (And yes, this could be one of them).

* This is the future liberals want. Though of course the meme is good too.

* But not this one: “basically a Fitbit for your man bits that tracks thrust speed and velocity.”

* Disney is super proud of itself for this incredibly progressive leap forward. Next: Scar, Ursula, and Captain Hook were all gay, too!

* There’s nothing sweet in life: Protesting Dr. Seuss Week.

* Nobody hates college more than the people who run colleges.

A transgender boy just won the Texas girls’ state wrestling championship.

* No More Saturday Marches. While the Iron Is Hot: The Case for the Women’s Strike.

* The line must be drawn — here!

* Ethical zoo.

* A People’s History of Daria.

These colleges are better than Harvard at making poor kids rich.

* George W. Bush, with the soul of an artist.

* Massive Open Online Rubber Arrow through the Head.

* You know what? Fine.

* Statement of teaching philosophy.

* This week’s I Was There Too interviews someone I’ve always wondered about, the actor who replaced Crispin Glover in Back to the Future Part Two. The Biff episode was good too though if you follow Back to the Future arcana you’ve probably heard a lot of it before.

* Trump’s worst crime is forcing me to agree with David Frum.

* Neoliberalism in everything: “Ark Encounter doesn’t live up to economic promise.”

* NASA’s about to learn a valuable lesson about the Internet.

* And the positive reviews have done it: I’m going to ruin my career and buy a Nintendo Switch so I can play the new Zelda.

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Written by gerrycanavan

March 4, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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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

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Live from a Hotel Room in Philadelphia – Saturday Links!

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* Climate work and despair. It’s a tough problem in the classroom, too. Climate change conflicts somehow with an assumed, mandatory pedagogical optimism; the lack of a solution or even a “hope spot” often leaves the class feeling somehow incomplete.

* Today our president was trolled on Twitter by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Vicente Fox.

* Ted Chiang in the New Yorker. Great piece.

Beyond this narrow Wikipedian territory, Chiang is reluctant to venture. Although he is amiable and warm, he is also reticent and does not riff. Over several conversations, I learned, in addition, that he owns four cats, goes to the gym three times a week, and regards a small cylindrical seal made of hematite sometime around 1200 B.C. as one of his most treasured possessions—it was a gift from his sister, a reference to “Tower of Babylon.” He told me that, when he was a child, his family celebrated Christmas but wasn’t religious. When I asked Chiang if he had hobbies, he said no, and then, after a long pause, admitted that he plays video games. He refused to say what he eats for breakfast. Eventually, I sent him an e-mail with twenty-four questions that, I hoped, might elicit more personal details:

Do you have a favorite novel?
There isn’t one that I would want to single out as a favorite. I’m wary of the idea of a favorite anything.

You’ve spent many years living near the water. Do you like the sea?
Not particularly. I don’t actually spend much time on the coast; it’s just chance that I happened to move here.

What was the last work of art that made you cry?
Don’t know.

Do you consider yourself a sensitive person?
Yes.

Required Reading: 50 of the Best Sci-Fi Comics.

A Sober Utopia.

* Conspiracy theories we can believe in: the 19A0s, the suppressed decade between the 1970s and 1980s whose memory has been repressed.

Can We Really Measure Implicit Bias? Maybe Not. This article certainly supports my implicit bias against these sorts of studies.

* Trumpism: The Devil We Know.

* Today in the hopeless search for some Trump upside: the end of the campus sex bureaucracy.

* How could it possibly get worse? Oh.

* Tilikum has died.

* From December: UN opens formal discussions on AI-powered autonomous weapons, could ban ‘killer robots.’

* Dogs! In! Space!

* Wisconsin, no. Bad.

I Can’t Answer These Texas Standardized Test Questions About My Own Poems.

* In a society that profits from your self doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act.

A Practical Guide to Teaching Children Basic Math Concepts Using LEGO Bricks.

* Vegetarianism and mood.

* And meanwhile, in the other universe…

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