Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘simulation argument

Tuesday Afternoon Links!

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* SFFTV 12.2 is here, with articles on Afrofuturism, time-travel surveillance cinema, Avatar, and the Anthropocene…

* CFP: Tolkien/Whedon.

* A people’s history of New Coke.

* The Atlanteans and the Middle Passage.

Stonewall, Before and After: An Interview with Samuel R. Delany.

Are we living in a simulated universe? Here’s what scientists say. Scientists are trying to open a portal to a parallel universe.

* Ugly academic war ends with unprecedented apology from USC, $50-million settlement.

* The California coast is disappearing under the rising sea. Our choices are grim. Alaska is having an environmental and political meltdown. Alaskan glaciers melt at fastest pace in centuries. Trump Administration Is Suppressing Science and Public Opinion to Drill the Arctic Refuge. Six shocking climate events that happened around the world this week. Are parts of India becoming too hot for humans? A Ferocious Heat in Delhi. India staring at a water apocalypse. All Mississippi Beaches Close Due To Toxic Algae Bloom. The Internet Is Drowning. Fish die-offs in Wisconsin expected to double by 2050, quadruple by 2100, report says. Breaching a ‘carbon threshold’ could lead to mass extinction. And sure let’s go back to killing all the bees while we’re at it.

 

* Fear of immigration raids looms as plans for ICE ‘family operation’ move forward. FBI, ICE find state driver’s license photos are a gold mine for facial-recognition searches. (81% of ‘suspects’ flagged by Met’s police facial recognition technology innocent, independent report says.) Hungry, Scared and Sick: Inside the Migrant Detention Center in Clint, Tex. ‘It’s a Terrible Existence’: The Crisis of Emergency Dialysis Care for Undocumented Immigrants. ICE deports dozens of Cambodian refugees. Officials expect Trump to try and add citizenship question to the census via executive action this week — an idea officials say was not a serious one as recently as Wednesday. Attorney General Barr tells SC reporters he’s found a legal recourse on Census question. Trump Lied to the Supreme Court, and Four Justices Don’t Care. Whatever’s coming, the career folks couldn’t abide.

On the migrant crisis, European governments are failing the first test of climate change.

The Postcolonial Case for Rethinking Borders.

Amazon Workers Plan Prime Day Strike at Minnesota Warehouse.

* Democratic candidates’ school integration plans, explained.

* Democrats will never allow the system to be reformed.

* But this time around, I don’t think 2007–8 produced anything. The resulting policies were, if anything, even more neoliberal. But the problem is that neoliberalism has lost its attractiveness and legitimacy, so is now enforced by authoritarian and right-populist means.

The Millennial Condition: History, Revolution, and Generational Analysis.

To see how the Koch brothers’ free-market utopia operates, look no further than Corpus Christi.

* I’ve always been cold on Russiagate, but I’ll believe any conspiracy theory you have to sell me about Jeffrey Epstein. Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender who is friends with Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, explained. The Mystery Around Jeffrey Epstein’s Fortune and How He Made It. How a future Trump Cabinet member gave a serial sex abuser the deal of a lifetime. Epstein indictment renews questions about earlier case handled by Trump Cabinet official. When Jeffrey Epstein Joked About Sex Abuse. DA knew Jeffrey Epstein was a dangerous pedophile when arguing for leniency. Flashback to 2003. Inside Epstein’s $56 Million Mansion: Photos of Bill Clinton, Woody Allen and Saudi Crown Prince. Barr won’t recuse, again.

* So much corruption you can’t even keep it all straight: Investigation Intensifies Into Top Trump Fund-raiser.

Nancy Pelosi Has Chosen Her War, and It’s With Her Own Party’s Future.

* Haunted by the Reagan era.

Progressive Boomers Are Making It Impossible For Cities To Fix The Housing Crisis.

* The Bernie-Warren Suicide Pact to Save America.

Americans Shouldn’t Have to Drive, but the Law Insists on It. Don’t Count on U.S. Regulators to Make Self-Driving Cars Safe for Pedestrians.

* MSP troopers blow through stop sign, arrest driver that ran into them.

* Most Americans like to think of their country as a meritocracy, a system that rewards hard work and intelligence over privilege. But if you look at how things actually work, @sarahrlnrd argues, it’s clear the U.S. is more of an aristocracy…

* Far from Home saving the MCU from itself.

MLMs Are A Nightmare For Women And Everyone They Know.

One woman quits coloring her gray hair and investigates the human and environmental costs of this contentious female beauty standard.

When Philip K. Dick turned to Christianity.

* Chernobyl and Russiagate.

Stranger Things and Nostalgia Now.

* Full circe.

* When a car crashed outside of tiny Tonopah, Nevada, volunteer EMS workers raced to the scene in minutes. But ever since Tonopah’s hospital closed, the town is now hours away from the nearest emergency room.

* Another animal intelligence roundup.

* Zoos Called It a ‘Rescue.’ But Are the Elephants Really Better Off? Despite mounting evidence that elephants find captivity torturous, some American zoos still acquire them from Africa — aided by a tall tale about why they needed to leave home.

* Principal Refused to Call the Holocaust a Fact. Five seconds later: Principal Who Tried to Stay ‘Politically Neutral’ About Holocaust Is Removed.

Digital Jail: How Electronic Monitoring Drives Defendants Into Debt.

* Damn, that’s dark.

On average, older adults spend over half their waking hours alone.

* A retired teacher found some seahorses off Long Beach. Then he built a secret world for them.

The Rise of the Professional Dungeon Master.

* Baseball has a home-run problem.

Will Impossible Burgers be the norm for Gen Z?

* And if aliens call, what should we do? Scientists want your opinion.


Written by gerrycanavan

July 9, 2019 at 12:20 pm

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Wednesday Morning Links!

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* Coming soon! Star Wars and the History of Transmedia Storytelling. I have a short piece in this one ruminating on Rogue One and the problems of multiple authorship in contemporary franchise production.

The computer simulation hypothesis reveals how the American liberal elite questions everything except the insufficiency of liberalism itself.

Seriously, what I find far more ominous is how seldom, today, we see the phrase “the 22nd century.” Almost never.

The Trump administration is preparing to redirect resources of the Justice Department’s civil rights division toward investigating and suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies deemed to discriminate against white applicants, according to a document obtained by The New York Times.

Not half-light, not dimness, not relative dark: total, pitch darkness. Darkness so dark you can’t see your hand in front of your face, or even be sure whether your eyes are open or closed. Lost within an ancient cave, the man and woman started off separate and alone, confronting mind-bending isolation that played tricks on their senses and produced ever-more-disorienting hallucinations. Fumbling and crawling, never sure which next step might break their necks or worse, they navigated through an alien environment marked by vermin, severe cold, tight confines, sudden drops, yawning pits, and sharp rocks. Eventually, they found each other deep below the earth, then painstakingly made their way to the surface. And the entire time, circling silently about them in the darkness, intimately near yet incredibly far away, has been a crew of producers and camera operators documenting their every move.

By the time Noura Jackson’s conviction was overturned, she had spent nine years in prison. This type of prosecutorial error is almost never punished.

After the trial, Weirich spoke to the local news media. ‘‘It’s a great verdict,’’ she said. Noura was sentenced to a prison term of 20 years and nine months. Weirich’s victory helped start her political career. In January 2011, she was appointed district attorney in Shelby County, after the elected district attorney left to join the administration of Gov. Bill Haslam. Weirich, a Republican, became the first woman to hold that post. She then won election in 2012 and 2014 with 65 percent of the vote, running on a law-­and-­order message against weak opponents. A friend said her husband, who is also a lawyer, began talking about moving the family into the Governor’s Mansion one day.

Universities and colleges struggle to stem big drops in enrollment.

* A soccer star from Gaithersburg won a college scholarship. But ICE plans to deport him.

* 18 Texas sheriffs sign up to join forces with federal immigration officers.

All U.S. Catholics are called to oppose mass deportations under Trump. Here’s why.

‘The moment when it really started to feel insane’: An oral history of the Scaramucci era.

The Rise and Fall of the “Freest Little City in Texas”: How a libertarian experiment in city government fell apart over taxes, debt and some very angry people.

Coast Guard ‘will not break faith’ with transgender members, leader says.

* The fire next time.

* The president of golf.

* The chaos, legislative fumbling, and legal jeopardy should not obscure the ways that the administration is remaking federal policy in consequential ways. Evergreen headlines: The Past Week Proves That Trump Is Destroying Our Democracy.

Trump helping his son draft a misleading statement could be witness tampering.

* Always, always: unreal that it’s still this high.

* Cory Booker gets one right.

America’s former envoy to Afghanistan says the war can’t be won. Is there even a strategic goal at this point?

* The plate tectonics of Middle-Earth.

* White Capital, Black Labor. We don’t need a TV show about the Confederacy winning. In many ways, it did.

* This has got to be illegal.

* Squishy sentience.

With one dietary change, the U.S. could almost meet greenhouse-gas emission goals.

* And happy birthday, Brittle Paper!

Catching Up on My Open Tabs After an Incredibly Slow News Week in Which Nothing World-Historically Bonkers Happened

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* CFP: And Now for Something Completely Different: Critical Approaches to Monty Python.

* CFP: The Films of Wes Anderson.

* Three on Dylan, Nobel Laureate. The Guardian reports.

After much consideration my position on this event is that I’m formally opposed, but nonetheless personally delighted.

* Barack Obama for first president of the Federation.

* Le Guin in the Post, the Nation, and the New Yorker.

* PKD and the Problem of 2-3-74.

* An adjuncting career, by the numbers.

Idiots Who Run Harvard Let Their Low-Wage Workers Go On Strike.

* 4 Professors Involved in Philosophy Brawl Find Feces in Their Mail.

With Campus Carry in Place, Some Texas Grad Students Make Bars Their Offices.

* Why a Controversial Palestinian History Class at Berkeley Was Cancelled, Then Reinstated.

* I make a brief appearance at the end of this CBS58 story on Marquette’s incredible Tolkien collection. I also pop up in this review of the first few episodes of Westworld.

* The Trouble with Thanksgiving.

This schedule creates a natural mid-semester break. And if adopted soon, that break would occur next week. Let’s get to work. I don’t think it’s too late.

* Arrested Development Season Five (not really). Women Are Defeating Donald Trump. All of Donald Trump’s Accusers: A Timeline of Every Alleged Grope and Assault. Gerrymandering helped Republicans take control of Congress, but now it’s tearing them apart over Trump. A Trump collapse could give Democrats back the House. Here’s the math. Inside the Bunker. Inside the Meltdown. How One 19-Year-Old Illinois Man Is Distorting National Polling Averages. Trump, the GOP, and the Fall. Let’s never forget what a terrifying thing we almost did. Your Surgeon Is Probably a Republican, Your Psychiatrist Probably a Democrat. I guess I need a new surgeon. If professors made $500k/year, would they be Republicans? U.S. government officially accuses Russia of hacking campaign to interfere with elections. The Evan McMullin Century. A GOP strategist explains why the Republican Party is about to break in two. Even the Humane Society. Teach the controversy. Thank you for your idea about a political thriller but unfortunately we find the plot preposterous. Michelle Obama for President. And because we’re all still asking: What Happens If Trump Drops Out?

* Citizens United, all class.

* Eugenics in America.

As a national prison strike enters its second month, the Department of Justice says it will investigate conditions in Alabama prisons. And some corrections officers are expressing support.

Louisiana isn’t letting immigrants get married.

New Jersey Transit, a Cautionary Tale of Neglect.

“We’d at least like to have it said of us that we tried”: Marvel and the civil rights movement.

How Rock and Roll Became White.

* Atlanta’s lost Afrofuture.

* Brutalism is back.

* “When her best friend died, she rebuilt him using artificial intelligence.”

* Department of Precrime, CIA edition.

* The search for a true blue M&M.

* Whatever this is for, I am so completely in.

* Meanwhile, the Fantastic Beasts expansion of the Harry Potter franchise will top out at an economical and reasonable five films.

* Star Trek explained by epic poetry.

* The four types of board games.

Golden Girls Action Figures Are Here.

* Life with migraines.

* I was pregnant, and then I wasn’t.

* Generation Adderall.

* Poet at work.

* The end of Devin Faraci and the end of The Canon podcast (for now). There’s more at the Mary Sue.

* Huge, if true: Tech billionaires convinced we live in the Matrix are secretly funding scientists to help break us out of it.

And on the subject of deranged tech madmen: Simpsons did it.

Liquid assets: how the business of bottled water went mad.

The reaction that would give us clean fossil fuels forever.

The coming fight over “nonlethal neuroweapons.”

What’s the Longest Humans Can Live? 115 Years, New Study Says. Challenge accepted.

* Now, I may have to move first.

* The kids are all right: Only 1 in 5 Millennials Have Ever Tried a Big Mac.

* On Delany’s Dark Reflections.

* App of the week: Really Bad Chess.

* The Perils of Becoming a Meme.

* The LEGO Yellow Submarine.

* Finally my condition has a name.

* And I told you, Mom: Science Says the First Born Child Is the Most Intelligent.

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Written by gerrycanavan

October 14, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Every Possible Monday Link

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8 Quick Thoughts on the Emmett Rensin Suspension. 21st Century Blacklists in New York.

* The second issue of the MOSF Journal of Science Fiction.

* Huge, if true: Ongoing Weakness in the Academic Job Market for Humanities.

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The university-as-such is a criminal neoliberal and neocolonial institution. It cannot be reformed. It must be abolished and reinvented.

* 13 Ways of Looking at the Humanities.

* Apparent murder of a professor follows a day of terror on campus and reflects a kind of violence that is rare but feared. Hundreds gather to honor slain UCLA professor. Police Say UCLA Shooter Mainak Sarkar Also Killed Woman in Minnesota.

* Decolonizing Yale English.

Brigham Young professor told not to give fake urine to his students to drink.

When universities try to behave like businesses, education suffers.

* Nobody knows how to torpedo their own brand like a university outreach office.

Looks Like We Were Wrong About the Origin of Dogs.

* Who Gives Money to Bernie Sanders? Understanding Sanders voters. Bernie Sanders Has Already Won California.

“I don’t think anybody had figured out how to win when we got in,” said senior strategist Tad Devine. “It was ‘How do we become credible?’ ”

* Interesting trial ballon: Reid reviews scenarios for filling Senate seat if Warren is VP pick.

* Miracles and wonders: Stanford researchers ‘stunned’ by stem cell experiment that helped stroke patient walk.

Here Is The Powerful Letter The Stanford Victim Read Aloud To Her Attacker. The Stanford Rapist’s Father Offers An Impossibly Offensive Defense Of His Son.

* Report: Milwaukee conducted deceitful water testing for lead. Chicago residents take action to be rid of lead pipes as fear of toxic water grows.

These findings are very preliminary, but they support a decades-old (and unfortunately named) idea called the hygiene hypothesis. In order to develop properly, the hypothesis holds — to avoid the hyper-reactive tendencies that underlie autoimmune and allergic disease — the immune system needs a certain type of stimulation early in life. It needs an education.

* Genes Are Overrated.

SFMOMA Visitor Trips, Falls Into $82 Million Warhol Painting.

* Being Peter Thiel.

This Is How Elon Musk Wants Government to Work on Mars. Elon Musk believes we are probably characters in some advanced civilization’s video game.

What’s the Matter with San Francisco: How Silicon Valley’s Ideology Has Ruined a Great City.

* The Case Against America.

In the scope of the scheming, corruption, and illegality from this interim government, Temer’s law-breaking is not the most severe offense. But it potently symbolizes the anti-democratic scam that Brazilian elites have attempted to perpetrate. In the name of corruption, they have removed the country’s democratically elected leader and replaced her with someone who — though not legally barred from being installed — is now barred for eight years from running for the office he wants to occupy.

Claypool: Without State Funding Chicago Public Schools Won’t Open in Fall. Total system failure.

UC paid billions in fees to hedge funds that only mirrored stock market. Kean U. Broke Law in Purchasing $250,000 Table, State Office Says.

* Jay Edidin on how to be a guy.

* The case for abandoning Miami.

* Huge, if true: Game of Thrones’ Dany/Dothraki storyline doesn’t make any sense. Is Dany the villain? But the real villain is the one you never see coming: Game Of Thrones Season Seven May Be Seven Episodes Long.

Call for Contributors: Fan Phenomena: Game of Thrones.

The media have reached a turning point in covering Donald Trump. He may not survive it. Why Trump Was Inevitable. Why Donald Trump Is Flailing. Why Trump Will Lose. Donald Trump Does Not Have a Campaign. Why Trump Is Losing. Clinton’s case.

The Amazing Origins of the Trump University Scam. State attorneys general who dropped Trump University fraud inquiries subsequently got Trump donations.

Donald Trump rallies are only going to get more dangerous for everyone.

* Alas, Babylon: David French won’t run.

* Steph Curry and the Future of Basketball.

* The Amazing Story of Rio’s All-Refugee Olympic Team.

* The CW Century.

* In Praise of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

* In a panic, they try to pull the plug: A bug in Elite Dangerous caused the game’s AI to create super weapons and start to hunt down the game’s players. It’s hard not to think Skynet won’t view this as a provocation.

* “Researchers Confirm Link Between High Test Scores In Adolescence And Adult Accomplishments.”

* Legal trolling: One of the Leaders of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement Has Been Charged With Lynching.

A Goldsboro, North Carolina woman bought her neighbor’s used freezer for $30, not realizing it contained frozen parts of the seller’s dead mother.

Also unbelievable is that someone would purchase a used, $30 freezer without opening it first.

* No one wants year-round schooling. The Families That Can’t Afford Summer.

* Department of Precrime, Chicago edition.

Sometimes only minutes after the gunshots end, a computer system takes a victim’s name and displays any arrests and gang ties — as well as whether the victim has a rating on the department’s list of people most likely to shoot someone or be shot.

Police officials say most shootings involve a relatively small group of people with the worst ratings on the list. The police and social service workers have been going to some of their homes to warn that the authorities are watching them and offer job training and educational assistance as a way out of gangs.

Of the 64 people shot over the weekend, 50 of them, or 78 percent, are included on the department’s list. At least seven of the people shot over the weekend have been shot before.

For one man, only 23 years old, it is his third time being shot.

The surprisingly petty things that people shot each over last month.

* Power and the typo.

* The Chinese government and science fiction.

Star Trek reboots and the merchandising game.

Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Race: Time-travel narratives and bygone bigotry in “11.22.63” and ‘Back to the Future.’

Uber and the sub-prime auto business.

* What’s it like to work construction on a skyscraper?

* Liberate late sleepers.

* Louis on Maron convinced me to finally buy Horace and Pete. The Julia Louis-Dreyfus half of the episode is great too.

* Well, this seems questionable at best: Catholic Church spent $2M on major N.Y. lobbying firms to block child-sex law reform.

* Now we see the violence inherent in the system.

* Science finally proves I was right all along: it’s better to be right than happy.

* Rich people, y’all.

* A Shakespearean Map of the US.

* Tornado Town, USA.

* The Weird Not-Quite-Afterlife of Harry Potter.

* In praise of the punctuation mark I abuse more than any other: the dash.

Every Californian Novel Ever.

* Suits getting started on ruining Story of Your Life early.

* And RIP, Ali. Being Ali’s personal magician. Watching Rocky II with Muhammad Ali.

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Written by gerrycanavan

June 6, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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What Day Is It? Links

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* Later today, at UC Davis: Environments & Societies: Gerry Canavan, “Science Fiction and Utopia in the Anthroposcene.”

Marquette Protest on Diversity, University Seal.

The LAO and Permanent University Austerity.

* Proclaims British economist Noreena Hertz, who recently surveyed more than 1,000 teenage girls in the United States and England: “This generation is profoundly anxious.”

* Failing the entire class.

* Rebirth of the Research University.

* Our research indicates children learn 4% more efficiently when being slowly boiled alive.

* Natalia Cecire on resilience and unbreakability.

2015-04-29 12.20.23 amThe Brutality of Police Culture in Baltimore. The Mysterious Death of Freddie Gray. Nonviolence as Compliance. Images of the Unrest in Baltimore. “I Blame The Department.” “Those Kids Were Set Up.” The Baltimore Riots Didn’t Start the Way You Think. In Freddie Gray’s Baltimore neighborhood, half of the residents don’t have jobs. Why Baltimore Rebelled.

How Often Do Officers Lie Under Oath?

Police Cadet Turns in Cop for Turning Body Cam Off Just Before Pummeling his Victim.

Sneaky crosswalk law in Los Angeles is a tax for the crime of being poor.

How Photography Was Optimized for White Skin Color.

The disturbing differences in what men want in their wives and their daughters.

* It was a group assignment for four of them, but one of them did any actual work.

The Shining, Retold as an Atari 2600 Game.

If a bug in a slot machine says you’ve won $41.8m, can you claim it? Not in the case of Pauline McKee, 90, denied the payout after Iowa’s supreme court sided with the house.

* I didn’t become a doctor for the money.

* Netflix’s numbers are much less impressive than you would have thought.

I will burn this fucking place to the ground before I get rid of that mirror.

* The struggle is real: Zoo Keeper Helps Constipated Monkey Pass Peanut By Licking Its Butt For An Hour.

* Your Tumblr of the day: Samplerman.

* “Sucralose, better known as Splenda, and acesulfame potassium, which is often called Ace K”: parent, talk to your kids about drugs.

Men Accused of Sexual Assault Face Long Odds When Suing Colleges for Gender Bias.

Jane Goodall Says SeaWorld ‘Should Be Closed Down.’

* Wisconsin’s roads are the third-worst in the nation. That’s pretty grim: how could two different states possibly be worse?

* Sounds like Age of Ultron will disappoint you twice.

* Scenes from the class struggle in California.

Who created Caitlin Snow on #TheFlash? According to @DCComics, nobody.

* And why not him? The Bernie Sanders Decade.

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Weekend! Links!

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*  Program for the 2014 MLA Subconference, January 8-9 at Columbia College Chicago.

* CFP for “Joss Whedon: A Celebration” at DePaul University this May.

* The New Yorker considers Kim Stanley Robinson: Our Greatest Political Novelist?

Depending on your own politics, this may sound like millennia-overdue common sense or a bong-fuelled 3 A.M. wish list, but there’s no arguing that to implement it in the real world circa 2013 would be, literally, revolutionary. My own bet would be that either your grandchildren are going to be living by some of these precepts, or else they won’t be living at all.

It is an open question as to whether academics today, in their heart of hearts, still realize that the choice between the employability agenda or the death of universities actually means the death of universities through the employability agenda.

Our football team here at Purdue went 1-11, losing the final ten games in a row by an average of almost 25 points and going 0-8 in Big Ten play, including a 20 point blowout to arch-rival Indiana. The lone victory on the season came through a nail-biting 20-14 performance against Indiana State… an FCS school… who themselves went 1-11. If beating the doormat team of the Missouri Valley Conference is the highlight of your season, it’s perhaps time for a reevaluation of priorities. After ranking 122nd in points scored a game and 114th in points against a game, making a legitimate case for being the worst team in FBS football, the campus is buzzing about how long a rebuild will require and whether first-year coach Darrell Hazzell is the man to lead it. With the season’s “One Brick Higher” slogan now seeming like a sad joke, my message to the Purdue community is simple: don’t rebuild. Retreat. The best path forward for Purdue University is to dismantle its football program altogether. 

* I also liked Freddie’s piece on how the permanent squabble between tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty plays directly into the hands of administrators.

* This Thousand-Year Institution Could Really Learn Something from These Fly-By-Night Scams: Forget Academia. Startups Are the Future of Knowledge.

Invisible Rituals: Pre-Graduate School Programs and Developing Diversity.

Rise of the Lady Adjuncts.

* “If you haven’t been in a hen plant, you don’t know what hell is”: Animal rights activists vs. the agribusiness industry in Rolling Stone.

Liberalism is a game the rich play with themselves. They Pretend to Think, We Pretend to Listen: Liberalism in the tank.

Aaron Bady considers Mandela, all of him.

If you’re a president, it probably feels good to think about this, about how a revolutionary came to defend the stability of the society he once threatened to overturn. It probably also feels good to think of him as historical, as past: like Nkrumah or Lumumba, he is no longer our problem, no longer our responsibility. Instead of a defiant refusal to stop short of victory and a refusal to compromise or negotiate on principles, he can represent the passing away of that very thing.

Want the best person for the job? Don’t interview.

Why Don’t Supreme Court Justices Ever Change Their Minds in Favor of the Death Penalty?

Jackson’s Hobbit II so little resembles the book, it may as well be called Some Further Adventures in Middle-earth. The Hobbit 2 Is Bad Fan Fiction.

Here’s Every Time Paul Rudd Has Shown the Same Movie Clip on Conan.

* Jaws retold as Peanuts comic.

* Everything in the oceans is dying.

The Economy Looks Good Because The Data Has Been So Bad For So Long.

No Civilian Leadership for NSA After All.

Ph.D.s With and Without Jobs.

* Please excuse Davontaye, he suffers from povertenza.

Belgium took a big step on Thursday to becoming the first country to allow euthanasia for incurably ill children, after the upper house of Parliament voted by a large majority to extend to minors a 2002 law legalizing the practice for adults.

A national study being released today in book form found that those who are attractive in high school are more likely than those with just average or below average looks to go on to earn a four-year college degree.

* Take that, conventional wisdom! Study: Long Distance Relationships Can Work.

* Whether you agree with the ASA’s boycott of Israeli state institutions or not, I think we can all agree that to boycott Larry Summers.

The U.S. government lobotomized roughly 2,000 mentally ill veterans—and likely hundreds more—during and after World War II, according to a cache of forgotten memos, letters and government reports unearthed by The Wall Street Journal.

* America, 2013: No charges after man pulls gun on ‘b*tch’ with disabled kid over Walmart parking delay.

Your odds of winning the jackpot used to be 1 in 176 million. As of Oct. 22, those odds changed to 1 in 259 million. The Lottery Is a Predator and You Are Its Math-Illiterate Prey.

* Space Race back on! China lands on the Moon!

* Hollywood finally goes too far.

* And Physicists To Test If Universe Is A Computer Simulation. Overflow Error: Abort, Retry, Fail….

Thursday Links!

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Apocalypse, New Jersey: Matt Taibbi reports from Camden. Camden has been like this for decades — while the discourse in the state is always about whether Newark and Jersey City can be “saved,” Camden is simply and permanently written off.

“The countervailing voices of this notion that student-athletes are being taken advantage of has been the dominant theme and had played out pretty loudly in a variety of outlets,” Emmert said. “The reality is schools are spending in between $100,000 and $250,000 on each student-athlete.” Good news, everyone, I just figured out a really painless way to solve university budget crises!

* The academy as pyramid scheme.

* NYU re-unionizes. And Cooper Union blinks?

* Jason Segal to play David Foster Wallace in you know what I give up.

* Hopkins has a plan to recalibrate graduate school with larger stipends and summer funding with new faculty cohorts that will “lean junior” and “lean adjunct.”

New Data Show Articles by Women Are Cited Less Frequently.

A privileged childhood as tragic disability.

Prosecutors were hoping to send Couch to jail for up to 20 years, but the defense made the case for why Couch should be let go with just an ankle bracelet and a court order to go to rehab for a while. Their main line of argument was that Couch was actually a victim too. His parents enjoyed a life of wealth and privilege and due to that never bothered to teach Couch that actions had consequences, an expert brought in to defend Couch dubbed the condition “affluenza.”

* BREAKING: Dissent isn’t Possible in a Surveillance State.

* That reality TV show that wants to send a group of people to go die on Mars is really making of go of acting like they’re serious about it.

UW-Madison ranks as eighth ‘best value’ among public colleges.

* Dark horse apocalypses: Yellowstone supervolcano ‘even more colossal’ that previously thought.

* The Desolation of Smaug is basically Tolkien fan fiction, and Salon says that’s just fine.

* Meanwhile, The New York Post publishes some spicy Obama/Thorning-Schmidt slash fic.

* Draw feminist inspiration from this Pantene ad. No, really!

Megyn Kelly Wants Kids At Home To Know That Jesus And Santa Were White.

Simulations back up theory that Universe is a hologram.

* And science proves Mitochondrial Eve was killed by a really scary spider: Phobias may be memories passed down in genes from ancestors. And not to mention: Fear of Snakes Drove Pre-Human Evolution.