Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Snowpiercer

After a Quiet Month in Which Absolutely Nothing Happened: The Return of Saturday Morning Links!

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* In case you missed it: Grad School Vonnegut #5! Harrison Bergeron! It’s also bad! Next week is Bluebeard, and then Sirens of Titan, so we’re back to Good Vonnegut for a bit…

* And once you’re done with that, listen to Octavia’s Parables!

* I also had a review essay in the latest American Literature on some of the new work being done in comics studies: “Comics Grow Up.”

* Someone made a YouTube explainer essay of my Snowpiercer necrocapitalism essay, weirdly sponsored by a luxury watch change…

* It’s been a bit since I’ve recommended anything, so let me give two very quick game recommendations for those with ears to hear: Ori and the Blind Forest is a terrific Metroidvania game for the Nintendo Switch (among other platforms), and Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion is a terrific DM-less D&D engine for your meatspace tabletop. More recommendations will emerge as circumstances warrant.

* Proposals invited! 2021 Peter Lang Young Scholars Competition in Science Fiction Studies.

* CFP: Decolonising Science Fiction. CFP: Taco Bell Quarterly. CFP: The Labour of COVID section of Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labour.

* In light of the mass protests across the United States and around the world, the executive committee of the Science Fiction Research Association asserts unequivocally that Black Lives Matter. IAFA Statement on BLM.

* The kids are all right: Pentagon War Game Includes Scenario for Military Response to Domestic Gen Z Rebellion.

An Open Letter to Marquette University. Your Black Colleagues May Look Like They’re Okay — Chances Are They’re Not.

* Aware that the gatekeepers will never agree, this admirer of George Saunders, Michael Chabon, Colson Whitehead, Jonathan Lethem, Junot Diaz, Elif Batuman, and Jonathan Franzen who’s been less impressed by, for instance, Denis Johnson, Lorrie Moore, and Jennifer Egan has come to regard Kim Stanley Robinson as the greatest living American novelist.

* Ten Minutes with Kim Stanley Robinson. Is This A Unique Time for Science? We Ask Sci-fi Writer Kim Stanley Robinson. The Climate Case for a Jobs Guarantee. Imagining American Utopia.

* Penguin Classics Launches Science Fiction Series. Zones of Possibility: Science Fiction and the Coronavirus. This American Life on Afrofuturism. We Are Living in the Retrofuture. Announcing the 2019 Nebula Awards Winners.

* Academic Publishing: An Odyssey.

* Read it and weep, my friend.

Minneapolis Had This Coming. The Minneapolis Uprising in Context. America is a tinderbox. When Police View Citizens as Enemies. The Thick Blue Line. Tribute to Breonna Taylor. Scenes from the struggle in Philadelphia. If you’re not getting any fouls, you’re not working hard enough. Confessions of a Former Bastard Cop. Just weeks after the shooting, Weirton and the Police Department did something almost unheard-of in America’s long and troubled history of police shootings: They quickly fired one of the officers for his actions in the fatal encounter. From the archives: On Social Sadism. Then: A Bullet to the Eye Is the Price of Protesting in Chile. Now: A Bullet to the Eye Is the Price of Being a Journalist in America. The American Nightmare. Getting killed by police is a leading cause of death for young black men in America. US police fail to meet basic human rights standards. The Deep Amnesia of Our National Conscience. The Black Lives Matter movement could be the vaccine the country needs. The End of White Supremacy, An American Romance. Neoliberal Capitalism Depends on White Supremacy. This is fascism. The liberal attachment to previous movements as peaceful, nonviolent, and respectable obscures the historical efficacy of riots, blockades, and looting as legitimate forms of revolt. Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police. Abolish these police departments. Imagining the nonviolent state. The Supreme Court Broke Police Accountability. Now It Has the Chance to Fix It. Why Was a Grim Report on Police-Involved Deaths Never Released? Policing and the English Language. The Pandemic Is the Right Time to Defund the Police. The president of the Minneapolis City Council says the city’s Police Dept. will be dismantled and replaced with a “transformative new model of public safety.”

 

Cop Shows Are Undergoing a Reckoning—With One Big Exception. Amid George Floyd protests, is it time for cop TV shows to be canceled for good? Video Games Have To Reckon With How They Depict The Police.

Black Bereavement, White Condolences. How Moderate Teachers Perpetuate Educational Oppression. #ImagineBlackFreedom.

Police Erupt in Violence Nationwide. The Police Are Rioting. We Need to Talk About It. Police turn more aggressive against protesters and bystanders alike, adding to disorder. Cops Love to Falsely Claim People Have Messed With Their Food. Cops and the Culture War. Vehicle Attacks Rise As Extremists Target Protesters. Far-Right Extremists Are Hoping to Turn the George Floyd Protests Into a New Civil War. How The Antifa Fantasy Spread In Small Towns Across The US. The Trump effect: New study connects white American intolerance and support for authoritarianism. Something terrible is happening.

* A third of Americans now show signs of clinical anxiety or depression, Census Bureau finds amid coronavirus pandemic. The unluckiest generation in U.S. history.

* Sorry Roosevelt — ya cancelled.

When Will Capitalism End?

* Sometimes the mask slips right off. We Need a Class War, Not a Culture War. The Insecurity Machine. How the Criminal Justice System Preys on the Poor. Trump Team Killed Rule Designed To Protect Health Workers From Pandemic Like COVID-19. An ‘Avalanche of Evictions’ Could Be Bearing Down on America’s Renters. A Tidal Wave of Bankruptcies Is Coming. Warning signs of the coming catastrophe. The Real Economic Catastrophe Hasn’t Hit Yet. Just Wait For August. Another Crash Is Coming. Weird coincidence.

* Welcome to the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone. “A Political Form Built Out of Struggle”: An Interview on the Seattle Occupied Protest. Get In The Zone: A Report From The Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone In Seattle. CHOP Residents Are Working Out a New Footprint With the City.

* It’s not obesity. It’s slavery. COVID-19 Deaths by Race and Ethnicity in the US. ‘All the psychoses of US history’: how America is victim-blaming the coronavirus dead.

* Now they tell us: Asymptomatic spread of coronavirus is ‘very rare,’ WHO says. A Devastating New Stage of the Pandemic. America’s Patchwork Pandemic Is Fraying Even Further. The world is putting America in quarantine. The Covid-19 virus attacks like no other ‘respiratory’ infection. Neurological and neuropsychiatric complications of COVID-19 in 153 patients. Some things mankind was not meant to know. The Climate Crisis and COVID-19 Are Inseparable. Ah, memories. How the Virus Won. The coronavirus surge is real, and it’s everywhere. A Devastating New Stage of the Pandemic.

* Market Logic Is Literally Killing Us. 100% facemask use could crush second, third coronavirus waves. Reopening too soon: Lessons from the deadly second wave of the 1918 flu pandemic. What past disasters can teach us about how to deal with covid-19. Who Are We Reopening For? Reopening the Economy Will Send Us to Hell. I miss restaurants. That Office AC System Is Great — at Recirculating Viruses. How the coronavirus spreads in those everyday places we visit. C.D.C. Recommends Sweeping Changes to American Offices. People Don’t Trust Public-Health Experts Because Public-Health Experts Don’t Trust People. Parties — Not Protests — Are Causing Spikes In Coronavirus. These 20-Somethings Survived Coronavirus, But Their Symptoms Won’t Go Away. Social Distancing Is Not Enough. Humans are not meant to be alone. The Coronavirus Is On Track to Be the Fastest Ever Developed. Coronavirus may never go away, even with a vaccine. We Don’t Even Have a COVID-19 Vaccine, and Yet the Conspiracies Are Here. The U.S. Has Officially Unflattened the Curve With Its Worst Day of the Coronavirus Pandemic Yet. The next 100 days.

Masculinity As Radical Selfishness: Rebecca Solnit on the Maskless Men of the Pandemic.

The best COVID-19 response in the world.

* Covid-19 Makes Things Tricky For Haunted Houses.

* Žižek vs. the virus.

* From the no-such-thing-as-good-news files.

* Meanwhile: In Some States This Fall, Masks at Public Colleges Will Be ‘Encouraged’ but Not Required. Text games that simulate the fall semester from the perspective of students and faculty. Large number of LSU football players placed in quarantine. Simulations of classrooms don’t bode well.

* Unions are once again anti-doctrinal. Massive cuts at U Alaska. Colleges say campuses can reopen safely. Students and faculty aren’t convinced. How the Pandemic Will Change Teaching on Campus. Principles for a Post-COVID University. The Existential Threat to Higher Education is Not What You Think. Faculty Are Not Cannon Fodder. University Leaders Are Failing. Zoom and Gloom: Universities in the Age of COVID-19. Welcome to the Socially Distanced Campus. Off campus. A coalition of unions representing 20,000 workers is organizing to reject Rutgers’s austerity response to the pandemic. Disaster capitalism on campus. Extinction Event. The Case for Liberal Arts Education in a Time of Crisis. How to stop the cuts. And just to stick the knife in.

The Results Are In for Remote Learning: It Didn’t Work.

What Is College Worth?

For Colleges, Protests Over Racism May Put Everything On the Line.

Principal warns NYC parents about potential chaos next school year. U.S. schools lay off hundreds of thousands, setting up lasting harm to kids. Student Trauma Won’t Just Disappear In the Fall, Counselors Warn. 70 cases of COVID-19 at French schools days after reopening. Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction releases guidelines for reopening schools in the fall. Wisconsin schools should expect coronavirus threat for next 18 months, according to new state guidance. We’re homemakers, stay-at-home parents and paid workers. All at the same time. This Summer Will Scar Young Americans for Life. Pandemic Reveal: Heterosexual Motherhood is a Hostage Situation. The Next Pandemic: Homesickness. Covid-19 Is Straining the Concept of the Family. Let’s Break It.

John Chisholm is the district attorney for Milwaukee, where homicides were double the normal rate during the first five months of 2020; Chisholm estimates that a quarter of these were related to domestic violence, including an incident on April 30th in which a man with a history of domestic abuse killed five members of his family, four of them teen-agers. Chisholm told me that there’s no set date for when courts will be fully operational again. “The backlog concerns me the most,” he said. “It’s going to stretch our protective services, and we will have more people with unresolved cases still circulating in close proximity to the victims.”

* Bosses in the US Have Far Too Much Power to Lay Off Workers Whenever They Feel Like It. The Coronavirus Is Exposing Wall Street’s Reckless Gamble on Bad Debt. The Looming Bank Collapse.

The 1918 Flu Pandemic Changed Literature More Than You Think.

* Before the End.

J.K. Rowling and the Echo Chamber of TERFs. The Harry Potter book series helped me realize I’m nonbinary. Now I know that had nothing to do with J.K. Rowling. I’m A Trans Harry Potter Fan, And There Are A Few Things I Want J.K. Rowling To Know. Generation X and Trans Lives.

* All the signs were there.

* Meanwhile: Transgender Health Protections Reversed By Trump Administration.

* ‘She just started blooming’: the trans kids helped by a pioneering project.

Biden’s Disability Policy Plan Is Surprisingly Good.

Mail-in Voting Triggers an Unhinged Trump Rant. House adopts bill to make DC 51st state; Senate GOP opposes. Will he go? And a little bit of old eve-stakes speculation: Famed Democratic pollster: Warren as VP would lead to Biden victory.

* The Prophecies of Q.

* Facebook researched the affect of its own platform on polarization and found that “Our algorithms exploit the human brain’s attraction to divisiveness,” and then largely shelved its study, the WSJ reports.

The authors found that the 6-hour-forecast errors were smaller for the revised model than for a version of the model without the cloud-microphysics revisions. Hence, instead of being able to discount estimates of high sensitivity, as Rodwell and I had done, their result provides some of the best current evidence that climate sensitivity could indeed be 5 °C or greater. Climate change and redlining. Climate change threatens U.S. mortgage market. Gulp.

* Facebook markets their Slack alternative by showing how it can suppress unionization.

* Profiles in Things That Almost Look Like Courage: Mad Dog Denounces Trump.

How Bill De Blasio Lost New York City.

* U.S. Border Patrol migrant camp from above.

* Turns out if you give people money then they aren’t as poor anymore.

Disney fans say Splash Mountain, a ride inspired by ‘Song of the South,’ should be re-themed. And Disney agrees!

* The end of the Forrest Fenn treasure hunt.

* The queerness of Bruce Springsteen.

* Rumors of Goonies 2.

* Who Framed Roger Rabbit: An Oral History. Street Fighter: The Movie — What Went Wrong. Queer Empire: On the 40th Anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back. How to Miss What Isn’t Gone: Thoughts on Modern Nostalgias While Watching “The Office.”

* Humanity against Cards against Humanity.

* Racism and the porn industry.

* How Deadpool Found His Way Into a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Mural.

D&D is trying to move away from racial stereotypes. America is going to recognize the common humanity of orc and drow before it does black people.

* Deeply unpleasant Lord of the Rings character combination chart.

* Never ask questions about Animal Crossing lore. Ever.

“What’s Actually Happening”: Looking for History in Jordan Peele’s “Get Out.”

Comics Are for Everyone: Rethinking Histories of Comics Fandom.

Warren Ellis Accused of Grooming Young Women for Decades.

‘Watchmen’ Writer Cord Jefferson on Black Superheroes & The Tulsa Massacre. ‘Watchmen’ Writer on Trump in Tulsa, Bad Cops, and America’s White Supremacy Problem.

John Boyega is doing what Star Wars wouldn’t.

* How racist was Flannery O’Connor?

* The Long Battle Over ‘Gone With the Wind.’

* The arc of history is long, but NASCAR has banned the Confederate flag.

Berlin authorities placed children with pedophiles for 30 years.

* She Gets Calls And Texts Meant For Elon Musk. Some Are Pretty Weird.

There Is No Writer Quite Like Arundhati Roy.

I think during the discussions about The Last Jedi I pointed out that the Holdo Maneuver is such a radical reconsideration of how physics works in Star Wars that it will necessarily become a preoccupation of all future entries in the series, and, well: The Inciting Incident of Star Wars‘ High Republic Is a Horrifying Technological Disaster.

Boots Riley’s ‘Dark, Absurd’ Next Project Will Star Jharrel Jerome as a 13-Foot-Tall Man.

* How Coronavirus Will Change Board Games (7 Guesses).

*  I figured out the precise chronological order of all the MCU movies (so far) by scene.

* Forty years for me but still I’m putting up huge numbers.

* The Case against Mars.

Recreating the ‘Left Behind’ Books From Memory.

* fMRIs (still) don’t work.

* Hitler’s alligator escapes justice.

* What-Is-Genre Hedgehog sees his shadow, another six years of “What is genre?”

* US states but every state is named like West Virginia.

When UCB Tried To Pay Workers In Money They Could Only Spend At UCB.

* Civil War ends.

* Scientists say most likely number of contactable alien civilisations is 36. I can call the first six if someone else can take over the phone tree from there.

* My Little Pony Fans Are Ready to Admit They Have a Nazi Problem.”

* This is how you get Skynet.

* And 2020, man, I just don’t know.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 27, 2020 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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612 Frozen Hellscape Links for All Your Frozen Hellscape Needs

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* In case you missed it, I posted my syllabi for the spring last week: Classics of Science Fiction, Game Studies, and Methods of Inquiry: The Mind. And just in time for my games course: Marquette announces that esports — competitive video gaming — will be a varsity sport next year.

* Another just-in-case-you-missed-it: I was on the most recent episode of Random Trek talking about Voyager episode 7.18, “Human Error.”

* I was interviewed for this Octavia E. Butler audio documentary at the BBC, though it’s geolocked at the moment and even I can’t listen to it…

* Polygraph 22 (“Ecology and Ideology”), coedited by me, Lisa Klarr, and Ryan Vu in 2010, has been put up in its entirety at the Polygraph site. Some sort of retrospective involving the three of us is coming in Polygraph 25 on Marxism and climate change…

* And you can read our introduction to The Cambridge History of Science Fiction for free at CUP! Put in a purchase order with your institutional library today!

* CFP: Marxism and Pornography.

* CFP: Canadian Science Fiction.

* CFP: After Fantastika.

* Science Fiction and Social Justice: An Overview.

* Special issue: Queerness and Video Games.

Speculative Anthropologies.

* Absolutely worst week of weather since we moved to Wisconsin. Ancient Plants Reveal Arctic Summers Haven’t Been This Hot in 115,000 Years. Sea levels could rise by metres amid record Antarctic ice melt, scientists warn. And meanwhile, in Australia.

* For and against hopepunk.

* The hope in dystopia.

* The radical hope of Octavia E. Butler.

* Snowpiercer was a documentary.

Fantastic Beasts and Muggles: Antihumanism in Rowling’s Wizarding World.

* The next Cixin Liu: Supernova Era.

Red Moon, Red Earth: the radical science fiction of Kim Stanley Robinson.

* A year-end (oops) roundup post about great science fiction stories from 2018.

The Largest J.R.R. Tolkien Exhibit in Generations Is Coming to the U.S.: Original Drawings, Manuscripts, Maps & More.

* At its core was an algorithm so powerful that you could give it the rules of humanity’s richest and most studied games and, later that day, it would become the best player there has ever been.

* What’s a dirty secret that everybody in your industry knows but anyone outside of your line of work would be scandalized to hear?

* The University in Ruins: Colleges Lose a ‘Stunning’ 651 Foreign-Language Programs in 3 Years. The life and death and life? of the English major. Getting Students to Study Literature.

Proceedings Start Against ‘Sokal Squared’ Hoax Professor. Landmark controversy could determine once and for all whether journal editors are people.

* The MSU autopsy.

Being Poor in America’s Most Prestigious M.F.A. Program.

The median salary for a full-time writer in America is $20,300.

* When you kill the humanities, you kill the sciences’ revenue stream.

4. The real analogy to make here is how many monuments do you see to, say the “genocidal regime” in Germany? Are there statues of Hitler at the University of Berlin? Of course not. There are “historical remnants” across Germany. But that is different than erecting monuments.

Racism and the Wisconsin Idea. And while we’re beating up on Wisconsin: Mandela Barnes Is First African-American In Decades To Hold Statewide Office In Wisconsin.

How Ph.D.s Romanticize the ‘Regular’ Job Market. Okay, y’all, let’s talk quick about what my experience was getting an #altac job. And from the archives: Alt-Ac Isn’t Always the Answer.

* Federal judge allows to proceed a suit in which white student says an admissions officer told her she might improve her odds of getting into medical school by discovering Native American or African American lineage.

* Baby Boomers to steal college from their grandchildren, again.

* Hampshire College struggles to stay afloat.

* College of Theseus.

* The university at the end of the world.

How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation. Generation Layoff.

A $21,000 Cosmetology School Debt, and a $9-an-Hour Job.

Not lazy, not faking: teaching and learning experiences of university students with disabilities.

In this context, diversity banners are not evidence of Maoism on the march. They are evidence of an institution whose ideals are at odds with its social function. Few in higher education want to work in a laundering operation that exchanges parental capital for students’ social capital so that they can turn it back into material capital again.And yet…

The Data Colleges Collect on Applicants. Chinese schools are using ‘smart uniforms’ to track their students’ locations.

* Journalism in ruins. What will Google and Facebook do when they’ve killed off every industry they’re parasitic on? BuzzFeed’s Unpaid 19-Year-Old Quiz Genius on Her Tricks, the Layoffs, and Jonah Peretti. Do You Still Have A Job At BuzzFeed?

* How to build a Medicare-for-all plan, explained by somebody who’s thought about it for 20 years.

* The Foxconn deal just gets worse and worse.

Whiteness in 21st century America has an endgame, and it is this: to divest itself from the shame of its power, while working to revive the fear it needs in which to thrive.

In the face of climate apocalypse, the rich have been devising escape plans. What happens when they opt out of democratic preparation for emergencies? Call me crazy but the horse may have left the barn on this one.

Our national amnesia and insouciance is so advanced (sort of like those of our president) that we have already forgotten that Malibu burned down this fall and the celebrities had to flee, many losing their multimillion-dollar mansions. Ocean Warming Is Accelerating Faster Than Thought, New Research Finds. Billionaire Miami Beach Developer Dismisses Rising Sea Levels as ‘Paranoia.’ Ancient Plants Reveal Arctic Summers Haven’t Been This Hot in 115,000 Years. The Democrats are climate deniers. What It’s Like to Be a High School Senior and Lose Everything in the Worst Fire in California History. Managed retreat. This is what extinction feels like from the inside. Everything is not going to be okay.

* Consider de-extinction.

Soy boom devours Brazil’s tropical savanna.

* The end of the monarch butterfly.

Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest person, would have to pay $4.1 billion in the first year under U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s proposed wealth tax, based on his current net worth of $137.1 billion. Article never quite gets around to mentioning that that’s about three weeks of Bezos’s earnings.

* Meanwhile: Hospitals Are Asking Their Own Patients to Donate Money. The wallet biopsy.

* Politicians have caused a pay ‘collapse’ for the bottom 90 percent of workers, researchers say.

* Joe Manchin’s Daughter Was Responsible For Increasing EpiPen Prices By 400%.

* “If True, This Could Be One of the Greatest Discoveries in Human History”: The head of Harvard’s astronomy department says what others are afraid to say about a peculiar object that entered the solar system.

Mysterious radio signals from deep space detected.

Surely You’re a Creep, Mr. Feynman.

* Surviving R. Kelly.

The Bulletproof Coffee Founder Has Spent $1 Million in His Quest to Live to 180.

J’Accuse…! Why Jeanne Calment’s 122-year old longevity record may be fake.

CBS All Access playing with fire with my precious baby wants to create the next generation of Trekkies with multiple animated Star Trek series. On the plus side, Michelle Yeoh is good. On the down side, she will be playing a fascist, and the show will be poorly lit.” Star Trek 4.

* Trump scandal watch 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

* What even is Fox News?

* The ACLU made the Border Patrol reveal its terrifying legal theories.

* Face it, tiger, you just need a new Constitution.

* Twilight of the UCB.

* Bandersnatch stats. The Illusion of Free Will: On “Bandersnatch” and Interactive Fiction. The biggest thing missing from Black Mirror: Bandersnatch’s horror story about a career in games. Paging the Reddit detectives.

* Ainehi Edoro on the New Image of Africa in Black Panther.

* I have a problem with Black Panther: Anyone committed to an expansive concept of Pan-African liberation must regard ‘Black Panther’ as a counterrevolutionary film.

Was Jane Jetson a Child Bride?

Dozens of college-age men dead from ‘accidental’ drownings—but a team of retired detectives say the boys were drugged and killed by a shadowy gang with a sinister symbol.

The year was 2005. That same year, National Book Award-winning author George Saunders traveled to Kathmandu to meet Bomjon, or “Buddha Boy” as the Western press had dubbed him. Saunders trekked deep into the unruly jungle that’s shadowed by the distant Himalayas and recalled his adventure for GQ, reporting back that he felt as though he’d experienced a miracle. A divine presence. Dark Secrets of Nepal’s Famous Buddha Boy.

‘Nobody Is Going to Believe You.’ How is Bryan Singer still working?

* Sex after Chernobyl.

Winners of the 2018 Ocean Art Underwater Photo Contest. There’s more posts after the links, I just liked a bunch of these.

* Uber and Lyft singlehandedly wipe out US transit gains.

* AAVE and court stenography.

General Strike: Fierce Urgency of Now.

Research shows that encouraging all women to breastfeed comes with serious risks. Will our perception of it ever catch up?

* The end of forever: what happens when an adoption fails?

* When Isaac Asimov predicted 2019.

* The United States of Rage.

Facebook knowingly duped game-playing kids and their parents out of money.

How The Lord of the Rings Changed Publishing Forever.

* Maybe fixing schools isn’t actually about cutting budgets down to nothing and calling it a day.

* Automation at Amazon. Automation everywhere.

* The future is here, it just isn’t very evenly distributed: Wielding Rocks and Knives, Arizonans Attack Self-Driving Cars.

The Fascinating ’80s Public Access Films Produced by a California UFO Cult.

“Black babies in the United States die at just over two times the rate of white babies in the first year of their life,” says Arthur James, an OB-GYN at Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University in Columbus. When my daughter died, she and I became statistics.

How Sears Was Gutted By Its Own CEO. Sears bankruptcy court OKs $25 million in bonuses for top execs.

Math against crimes against humanity: Using rigorous statistics to prove genocide when the dead cannot speak for themselves.

* The Future of the Great Lakes.

The Owner of One of the Biggest Comedy Clubs in the Country Tells Us Why She Said No to Booking Louis CK. Walking away from Louis C.K.The end.

* Fake-porn videos are being weaponized to harass and humiliate women: ‘Everybody is a potential target.’

I Was A Cable Guy. I Saw The Worst Of America.

2018: The Year In Ideas: A Review Of Ideas. What Will History Books Say About 2018?

* The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda.

* 538 really covering its bases: How Kamala Harris Could Win The 2020 Democratic Primary. How Pete Buttigieg Could Win The 2020 Democratic Nomination.

* This Is What Happens When You Try to Sue Your Boss.

Tesla chief Elon Musk’s corporate jet flew more than 150,000 miles last year, or more than six times around the Earth, as he raced between the outposts of his futuristic empire during what he has called “the most difficult and painful year” of his career, according to flight records obtained by The Washington Post.

In the time it has taken for a child to grow up in Chicago, city leaders have either closed or radically shaken up some 200 public schools — nearly a third of the entire district — a comprehensive new tally by WBEZ finds. Boston’s economy is booming, but schools seem cash poor. Why? Hidden crisis: D.C.-area students owe nearly half a million in K-12 school lunch debt.

* Yes, there are online preschools. And early childhood experts say they stink.

Gym Class Is So Bad Kids Are Skipping School to Avoid It.

* The end of tag.

* The generation gap in the age of blogs.

Why a Medieval Woman Had Lapis Lazuli Hidden in Her Teeth.

AI Algorithm Can Detect Alzheimer’s Earlier Than Doctors.

* The secret of my success: A small literature demonstrates that names are economically relevant. However, this is the first paper to examine the relationship between surname initial rank and male life outcomes, including human capital investments and labor market experiences. Surnames with initials farther from the beginning of the alphabet were associated with less distinction and satisfaction in high school, lower educational attainment, more military service and less attractive first jobs. These effects were concentrated among men who were undistinguished by cognitive ability or appearance, and, for them, may have persisted into middle age. They suggest that ordering is important and that over-reliance on alphabetical orderings can be harmful.

Waukesha college helps answer ‘What’s next?’ for people with autism.

* Today in dark, dark headlines: Female veterinarians committing suicide in record numbers.

We’re Working Nurses to Death.

* Grifts in everything: GoFundMe Provides Refunds To Donors Duped By Viral Campaign.

* The DNA grift.

* “Look, a lot of Twitter is bad. No question. But only Twitter can take you on a journey like this. What a website.”

It is one of the neoliberal commandments that innovation in markets can always rectify any perceived problems thrown up by markets in the first place. Thus, whenever opponents on the nominal left have sought to ameliorate some perceived political problem through direct regulation or taxation, the Russian doll of the [neoliberal] thought collective quickly roused itself, mobilized to invent and promote some new market device to supposedly achieve the ‘same’ result. But what has often been overlooked is that, once the stipulated market solution becomes established as a live policy option, the very same Russian doll then also rapidly produces a harsh critique of that specific market device, usually along the lines that it insufficiently respects full market efficiency. This seemingly irrational trashing of neoliberal policy device that had earlier been emitted from the bowls of the [neoliberal thought collective] is not evidence of an unfortunate propensity for self-subversion or unfocused rage against government, but instead an amazingly effective tactic for shifting the universe of political possibility further to the right.

* And a tiny fraction of the genius Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal has been laying down day after day after day while I’ve been gone: When sociologists make movies. Pickup lines. I couldn’t live without you. Domestication. Can video games be art? Honestly, Frank, that sounds like conspiracy theory territory. On Framing. I come from the future. Econ 101. Do you think humans are capable of suffering? Machine ethics.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 30, 2019 at 12:03 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Closing Every Tab Not In Anger But In Disappointment Links

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* I have a new essay out on zombies and the elderly in this great new book on zombies, medicine, and comics: The Walking Med: Zombies and the Medical Image. And if you’re interested in my Octavia Butler book, podcaster Jonah Sutton-Morse (@cabbageandkings) is going through it piece by piece on Twitter with #mmsfoeb. Also, check out this LARB interview with Ayana Jamieson on her work in the Butler archives!

* CFP: Comics Remixed: Adaptation and Graphic Narrative, University of Florida. CFP: ASLE 2017 (Detroit, MI). CFP: Special Issue of Green Letters on Crime Fiction and Ecology. CFP: Global Dystopia.

* Maybe the best thing you’ll read this year: Clickhole’s Oral History of Star Trek.

* Wes Anderson made a Christmas commercial. Updated Power Rankings coming soon!

‘Feast or Famine’ for Humanities Ph.D.s.

Las Vegas is a microcosm. “The world is turning into this giant Skinner box for the self,” Schüll told me. “The experience that is being designed for in banking or health care is the same as in Candy Crush. It’s about looping people into these flows of incentive and reward. Your coffee at Starbucks, your education software, your credit card, the meds you need for your diabetes. Every consumer interface is becoming like a slot machine.”

Jesuit university presidents issue statement supporting undocumented students. Catholic college leaders pledge solidarity with undocumented students. Dissent on sanctuary cities.

* Public universities and the doom loop. UW-Madison drops out of top five research universities for first time since 1972. Student visas, university finances, and Trump.

* Stealing it fair and square: In split decision, federal judges rule Wisconsin’s redistricting law an unconstitutional gerrymander. And so on and so on.

The 13 impossible crises that humanity now faces.

How Stable Are Democracies? ‘Warning Signs Are Flashing Red.’ Maybe the Internet Isn’t a Fantastic Tool for Democracy After All. Postelection Harassment, Case by Case. Here are 20 lessons from across the fearful 20th century, adapted to the circumstances of today. Making White Supremacy Acceptable Again. Trump and the Sundown Town. No one can stop President Trump from using nuclear weapons. That’s by design. If only someone had thought of this eight years ago! A time for treason.

screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-8-20-00-am* Texas Elector Resigns: Trump Is Not Qualified And I Cannot Vote For Him. Trump and the End of Expertise. On Taking the Electoral College Literally. Some Schmittian reflections on the election. Stop Calling the United States a Banana Republic. Potential Conflicts Around the Globe for Trump, the Businessman President. Emoluments. A running list of how Donald Trump’s new position may be helping his business interests. A billionaire coup d’etat. Wunderkind. Voting under the influence of celebrity. We have an institution that could stop this (no not that one), but it won’t. Wheeeeee! Wheeeeeeeeeeee!

* And I’m afraid the news only gets worse.

If you were designing a political strategy with the goal of long-term defeat, I don’t think you could do better than actual existing Democrats. 

* “I would rather lose than win the way you guys did,” Ms. Palmieri said.” Respectfully disagree! The Myth of the Rust Belt Revolt. Who Lost the White House? Careful! We don’t want to learn anything from this.

* I was reminded recently of this post from @rortybomb a few years ago that, I think, got the Obama years right earlier and better than just about anyone. And here he is on the election: Learning from Trump in Retrospect.

* Maybe America is simply too big.

Inside the bizarre world of the military-entertainment industry’s racialized gamification of war.

* Trump’s already working miracles: Dykes to Watch Out For is out of retirement.

The Nitty-Gritty on Getting a Job: The 5 Things Your English Professors Don’t Teach You.

* Remembering Scott Eric Kaufman.

Huge Cracks In the West Antarctic Ice Sheet May Signal Its Collapse.

* Marx as food theorist.

* Four Futures: Life After Capitalism review – will robots bring utopia or terror?

* The Mobility Myth.

* I Was a Teenage Nazi.

If I developed a drug and then tested it myself without a control group, you might be a bit suspicious about my claims that everyone who took it recovered from his head cold after two weeks and thus that my drug is a success. But these are precisely the sorts of claims that we find in assessment.

A world map of every country’s tourism slogan. Here Are the Real Boundaries of American Metropolises, Decided by an Algorithm.

* The youth concussion crisis.

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Cheating at the Olympics Is at Epic Levels.

* Pardoning Edward Snowden.

Mr. Plinkett and 21st-Century Star Wars Fandom. An addendum.

* Moana before Moana. This one’s pretty great by the way, my kids loved it.

* From the archives: Terry Bisson’s “Meat.”

* Stanislaw Lem: The Man with the Future Inside Him.

* The genetics of success?

U.S. Military Preps for Gene Drives Run Amok.

* Fidel Castro: The Playboy Interview.

* Cap’n Crunch presents The Earliest Show.

* Coming soon: Saladin Ahmed’s Black Bolt. Grant Morrison’s The Savage Sword of Jesus Christ.

Parker Posey Will Play Dr. Smith and Now We Suddenly Care a Lot About Netflix’s Lost in Space. TNT fires up a Snowpiercer pilot. Behind the scenes of the new MST3K. The Cursed Child is coming to Broadway.

“Magneto Was Right”: Recalibrating the Comic Book Movie for the Trump Age.

* Now my childhood is over: both Florence Henderson and Joe Denver have died.

* Of course you had me at “Science fiction vintage Japanese matchbox art mashup prints.”

* A brief history of progress.

* The first, last, and only truly great object of our time.

* And say what you will about OK Go, this one’s pretty damn good.

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 2, 2016 at 12:30 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Weekend Links!

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* New journal: Series: The International Journal of TV Serial Narratives.

* The full syllabus for my upcoming summer science fiction course is finished, if you’re interested. I’ve also updated the “online articles” section of my website with a link to Marquette’s online repository of my articles, which has some stuff people have been asking for (like my Snowpiercer essay).

* So why is TPP the only thing Obama has ever bothered to fight for?

“The hardest things are the title and the name of the girl.” Oh, so it’s ridiculously easy.

Judge finds probable cause for murder charge against officer who killed Tamir Rice.

Judge orders University of Illinois to release Steven Salaita emails.

* The only thing anyone can talk about.

Every Single Federal Employee’s Social Security Number Was Hacked: Report. Incredible. I almost wonder if this breach could actually be so large that the government has to shift responsibility for fraud away from individual consumers.

At its worst, however, Left Forum is Comic Con for Marxists—Commie Con, if you will—and an absolute shitshow of nerds and social rejects.

On the heels of last week’s shocking news that the Transportation Security Administration has a whopping 95 percent failure rate at finding bombs and weapons, we are now learning that the TSA further failed to identify 73 airport workers with links to terrorism.

‘Debt-Free College’ Is Democrats’ New Rallying Cry.

The Milwaukee Bucks bailout and Gov. Scott Walker’s questionable math.

Why are so many companies spending record sums of money buying back their shares instead of reinvesting more of their profits in their business and their workers? What could possibly explain it?

I thought homeschooling my kids would be simple. I was wrong.

* “If she disobeyed, they had told her, they’d cut off her hair.”

Barbasol’s inclusion was mostly a fluke — the movie’s art director, John Bell, said he grabbed it off a prop shelf with little thought; in the book, smugglers used Gillette — but the shaving-cream maker now calls it one of its biggest victories: John Price, a marketing vice president for parent company Perio, called it “one of the most recognized brand integrations of all time.”

Here’s how much it would cost to build Jurassic Park.

One phenomenon that has so far flown under the radar in discussions of peer-to-peer production and the sharing economy but that demands recognition on its own is one for which I think an apt name would be crowdforcing. Crowdforcing in the sense I am using it refers to practices in which one or more persons decides for one or more others whether he or she will share his or her resources, without the other person’s consent or even, perhaps more worryingly, knowledge. While this process has analogs and has even itself occurred prior to the digital revolution and the widespread use of computational tools, it has positively exploded thanks to them, and thus in the digital age may well constitute a difference in kind as well as amount.

* I know Reason is the enemy and all, but their report on this mishandled sex assault case at Amherst is genuinely stunning.

* New, large study confirms that approximately 1 in 5 women suffer sexual assault at college.

A program designed to help female college freshmen resist sexual assault is creating a lot of buzz among victims’ advocates and college educators. Most were encouraged to learn that incidents of rape had been cut in half among participants in a Canadian study of the program, which involved four three-hour sessions in which the women learned to recognize the danger of coercive situations and to fight back, verbally and physically.

* Scenes from the class struggle at god Reddit is awful.

* Counterpoint: Anne Frank’s Diary Should Have Been Burned.

* RT @SaintRPh: Guy lives next to airport. Painted this on roof to confuse passengers as they fly overhead. He lives in Milwaukee.

* Secrets of the Milwaukee Accent.

* Reality is weird: Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron hated each other, but their stunt doubles got married.

22 Incredible Facts About The Life and Career Of Sir Christopher Lee.

Thanks, global warming: Now polar bears are devouring dolphins.

* Twilight of the Tweeters.

* The end of Michigan.

Nearly Half of Senior Tenured Professors Want to Delay Retirement. Yeah, you’ll never get rid of me.

* Some people just want to watch the world burn.

* Future really getting weird now.

* But sometimes the future gets it all right.

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Sunday Morning Links!

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* One might, it’s true, wonder how cultural capital has survived the last half century’s apotheosis of pop, the rollback of the old patrician-bourgeois culture of the West, postmodernism’s putative muddling of low and high. But the sociologists have gone and checked, and the answers are not hard to find: Fancy people are now more likely to consume culture indiscriminately, that is, to congratulate themselves on the expansiveness of their tastes; indistinction has become distinction. They are more likely to prefer foreign culture to their own, at least in some who-wants-takeout? kind of way. And they are more likely to enjoy culture analytically and ironically, belligerently positing a naïve consumer whose imagined immersion in the object will set off everything in their own approach that is suavely arms-length and slaunchwise. Such, point for point, is the ethos of the new-model English department: of cultural studies, new media, the expanded canon, of theory-courses-without-objects. To bring new types of artifacts into literature departments is not to destroy cultural capital. It is merely to allow new things to start functioning as wealth. Even here, the claim to novelty can be overstated, since it is enough to read Bourdieu to know that the claim to interpret and demystify has always been an especially heady form of symbolic power. The ingenious reading confers distinction, as do sundry bids to fix the meanings of the social. Critical theory is cultural capital. Citing Judith Butler is one of the ways in which professional people outside the academy understand and justify their own elevation. Bickering recreationally about the politics of zombie movies is just what lawyers and engineers now do.

* The Kindle edition of The Best of Kim Stanley Robinson is (still) on sale for $1.99. Here’s the LARoB review!

* Meanwhile, LARoB also reviews Paradoxa 26, which has my essay on Snowpiercer in it.

* Extrapolation 56.1 is now available.

Sherryl Vint, “Skin Deep: Alienation in Under the Skin
Isiah Lavender, “Reframing Heart of Darkness as Science Fiction”
Sharon DeGraw, “Tobias S. Buckell’s Galactic Caribbean Future”
Karen May and David Upton, “‘Ser Piggy’: Identifying an Intertextual Relationship between William Golding’s Lord of the Flies and George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones
Lee Braver, “Coin-Operated Doors and God: A Gnostic Reading of Philip K. Dick’s Ubik”

Nepal After the Earthquake.

* Baltimore after Freddie Gray.

* The good inequality. Policy debate in the age of neoliberalism.

* Gene Wolfe, sci-fi’s difficult genius.

* The slow apocalypse and fiction.

* Can you fix the NBA draft?

In the meantime, we will all have to cope with the fact that education technology has just become weaponized. Arizona State is now the first predator university. They are willing to re-define what education is so that they can get more students from anywhere. If they don’t kill other universities by taking all their students with a cheap freshmen year, they’ll just steal their fish food by underselling 25% of the education that those schools provide and leaving them a quarter malnourished. The result is that schools which stick to reasonable standards with respect to the frequency and possibility of teacher/student interaction now have to fear for their very existence.

Contingency and Gender.

The Invented History of ‘The Factory Model of Education.’

The obvious corollary is that, in order to stem the tide of tuition increases, we should seek to stabilize or increase state funding and curb the power of administrators.

Why They Hate Cornel West.

* I’m seeing it mostly mocked and dismissed, but I think the Columbia case (K.C. Johnson summary at Minding the Campus) will be important flashpoint in Title IX law. My sense is that the wind on this is really changing strongly against the feminist left; we’re going to see many of the received truths of campus anti-rape policies coming under serious challenge. It’s going to be difficult, and it’s going to require some unpleasant reconsideration of the way we talk about this issue.

New Simulation Shows How The Pacific Islands May Have Been Colonized.

Incredibly, the percentage of parents throughout the state who engaged in the civil disobedience of refusing the test for their kids is higher than the 15 percent of eligible voters who cast a ballot for Andrew Cuomo in the low-turnout election last year.

* All of the juniors at Nathan Hale High School refused to show up for state testing this week.

* Against the creative economy.

* What if Man of Steel was in color?

* Gasp! The Apple Watch May Have a Human Rights Problem.

Microsoft Word Spells the Names of Game of Thrones Characters Better Than You Can.

Nine Months After He Filmed Eric Garner’s Killing, the Cops Are Trying to Put Ramsey Orta Behind Bars.

“We must disband the police: Body cameras aren’t enough — only radical change will stop cops who kill.”

* Meanwhile.

* Yes please: Telltale is making some kind of Marvel game.

The Feds Say One Schmuck Trading From His Parents’ House Caused a Market Crash. Here’s the Problem.

* See, Dad? I knew you could survive on girl scout cookies.

* There’s always money in the banana stand: The Fed’s Cold War Bunker Had $4 Billion Cash For After The Apocalypse.

* Won’t you give? What you can? Today? Poetry is going extinct, government data show.

* I believe any crazy story with China in the headline. That’s my policy.

* Kid, I’ve flown from one side of this galaxy to the other, and I’ve seen a lot of strange stuff, but I’ve never seen anything to make me believe that there’s one all-powerful Force controlling everything.

It’s Time To Stop Treating Childhood as a Disease.

* And you thought The Dark Knight Strikes Back was bad.

Playing Monday Catch-Up Links

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* Jaimee finally has a webpage! You can see all her online poems here.

Announcing the Tobin Siebers Prize for Disability Studies in the Humanities.

* Reminder: Mullen fellowship applications are due April 1.

Relativism: The spontaneous ideology of the undergraduate.

* The trolley and the psychopath.

Tired of the same old dystopias? Randomized Dystopia suggests a right that your fictional tyranny could deny its citizens!

What if we educated and designed for resistance, through iterative performance and play?

* A good start: The University of Phoenix has lost half its students in the last five years.

I began pursuing a Ph.D. in English at the University of Michigan in the Fall of 2006. My incoming cohort had nine students–seven in English Language and Literature, two in English and Women’s Studies. When we entered the program, all of us aspired to the tenure-track. The last of us just defended her dissertation this January, making ours the first cohort in several years with a 100% completion rate. Nine years out, only one of us has a tenure track professorship.

* #altac: Northeastern University seeks an intellectually nimble, entrepreneurial, explode-the-boundaries thinker to join the Office of the President as Special Assistant for Presidential Strategy & Initiatives. This job ad truly is a transcendent parody of our age, down to the shameless sucking up to the president of the university that constitutes 2/3 of the text.

* Budget cuts kill The Dictionary of American Regional English.

The Long, Ugly History of Racism at American Universities.

I Saw My Admissions Files Before Yale Destroyed Them.

Confessions of a Harvard Gatekeeper.

The Unmanageable University.

What NYU Pays Its Top Earners, And What Most Of Your Professors Make.

“There is no point in having that chat as long as the system is mismanaged,” said Steven Cohen, president of the Congress of Connecticut Community Colleges, which represents most faculty. Cohen pointed to central office costs that are rising as faculty numbers decline.

Letter from Amsterdam.

The war against humanities at Britain’s universities.

On NYU and the future of graduate student unionism.

I teach philosophy at Columbia. But some of my best students are inmates.

Why Is So Much of Our Discussion of Higher Ed Driven by Elite Institutions?

It’s Time to End Tuition at Public Universities—and Abolish Student Debt.

* Following up on the future of rhetoric and composition. I also liked this one from Freddie: “It’s that mass contigency– the dramatic rise of at-risk academic labor like adjuncts and grad students– that creates the conditions that Cooke laments on campus. In the past, when a far higher portion of college courses were taught by tenured professors, those who taught college courses had much less reason to fear reprisals from undergraduates.”

There is certainly an important and urgent conversation to be had about academic freedom and whether that is being constrained by trigger warnings and the like, but the discourse of students’ self-infantilization misdirects us from the larger picture. That, I think, is definitely not a story of student-initiated “cocooning,” but rather the transformation of the category of “student” into “consumer” and “future donor.”

How Sweet Briar’s Board Decided to Close the College. But don’t worry, there’s a plan: Faculty Propose Sweet Briar Shift Focus to STEM.

Law School Dean Average Tenure Is 2.78 Years, An All-Time Low.

* #disrupt morality: “America’s business community recognized a long time ago that discrimination, in all its forms, is bad for business.”

3 Cops Caught On Tape Brutally Beating Unarmed Michigan Man With No Apparent Provocation. Private Prison Operator Set To Rake In $17 Million With New 400-Bed Detention Center. Teen Was Kept In Solitary Confinement For 143 Days Before Even Facing Trial. Inside America’s Toughest Federal Prison.

* What are your chances of going to prison?

Dollars, Death and the LAPD.

The officers sued the LAPD for discrimination for keeping them in desk jobs. Last week a jury awarded them $4 million. In other words, the refusal to let them go back to the streets to shoot more people is, in the eyes of our court system, worth more than four times as much as the life of an innocent man. Much more than that when you consider that they drew and continue to draw near six figure salaries for sitting at a desk.

* Tolkien and surveillance.

* The TSA Checklist.

The Radical Humaneness of Norway’s Halden Prison.

UN erects memorial to victims of transatlantic slave trade.

* Inside Firefly.

* World’s most honest headline watch: Wall Street welcomes expected Chuck Schumer promotion.

Antarctica Recorded Hotter Temperatures Than They’ve Ever Seen This Week.

Framing China as an environmental villain only serves to excuse American inaction.

Even with California deep in drought, the federal agency hasn’t assessed the impacts of the bottled water business on springs and streams in two watersheds that sustain sensitive habitats in the national forest. The lack of oversight is symptomatic of a Forest Service limited by tight budgets and focused on other issues, and of a regulatory system in California that allows the bottled water industry to operate with little independent tracking of the potential toll on the environment.

Too Bad, That Rumor About A New Star Trek TV Show Is Absolutely False. But it’s not all bad news: they may have tricked Idris Elba into playing a Klingon.

The True Story of Pretty Woman’s Original Dark Ending.

* The Deadly Global War for Sand.

* SMBC vs. the Rebus. And vs. modernity.

I Started Milwaukee’s Epic Bloody Mary Garnish Wars.

* Photographer Johan Bävman documents the world of dads and their babies in a country where fathers are encouraged to take a generous amount of paternity leave.

Dean Smith Willed $200 to Each of His Former Players to ‘Enjoy a Dinner Out.’ You’ll never believe what happened next. But!

* Teaching human evolution at the University of Kentucky.

* Being Jason Shiga.

Scientists Discover the Reason That Indian Food Tastes So Good and How It Differs From Western Cuisine.

We Should Be Able To Detect Spaceships Moving Near The Speed Of Light.

* Snowpiercer forever: Russia unveils plan for superhighway from London to Alaska.

Kapow! Attack of the feminist superheroes.

* The future is now: Miles Morales and Kamala Khan join the female Thor and Captain “The Falcon” America as Avengers post-Secret Wars.

Things Marvel Needs to Think About for the Black Panther Movie.

Marxists Internet Archive: Subjects: Arts: Literature: Children’s Literature.

Ruins found in remote Argentinian jungle ‘may be secret Nazi hideout.’

15 Secrets Hiding in the World of Game of Thrones.

Listen to part of Carlin’s Summerfest 1972 show — before he got arrested.

This 19th Century ‘Stench Map’ Shows How Smells Reshaped New York City.

* The ethics of playing to lose.

* Today in ultimate selfies.

* And make mine del Toro:

You say horror is inherently political. How so?

Much like fairy tales, there are two facets of horror. One is pro-institution, which is the most reprehensible type of fairy tale: Don’t wander into the woods, and always obey your parents. The other type of fairy tale is completely anarchic and antiestablishment.

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Written by gerrycanavan

March 30, 2015 at 8:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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A Very Special Second Helping of Friday Links

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* A new Kelly Link story at McSweeney’s. It’s a very Merry Christmas indeed.

Serial decided when it would end, so it could continue. What’s the Verdict? Racism and the Case against Serial. More on That Later: The Truth about Serial. I don’t want to brag guys but I solved this whole thing yesterday in just one tweet:

* Silent Spring: Autism linked to 3rd trimester pollution exposure.

Why Many Inner City Schools Function Like Prisons. School Segregation, the Continuing Tragedy of Ferguson.

Over the past two weeks, I have fluctuated between anger and grief. I feel surrounded by Black death. What a privilege, to concern yourself with seeming good while the rest of us want to seem worthy of life.

Your Waitress, Your Professor.

My perhaps naïve hope is that when I tell students I’m not only an academic, but a “survival” jobholder, I’ll make a dent in the artificial, inaccurate division society places between blue-collar work and “intelligent” work.

* The best thing on the Internet today: Pulp Nintendo 1, 2, 3.

* You’ll never get me into one of those things: the transporter is real. 

* John Protevi has another good post on the situation at Marquette for those following this story on which I am not commenting (am not commenting, AM not commenting, am NOT commenting…):

As to Marquette’s current course of action, I find it troubling, but I would hazard a guess at to their motivations, based on a presumption that university administrations use a risk management rationality: MU may think that their risk of losing a Title IX suit or OCR complaint claiming that they did nothing when a student was subject to the creation of a hostile work or education environment was greater than the risk of their losing a wrongful discipline case by McAdams, as well as the cost to their reputation if people cast this as an academic freedom issue and the cost to their donor base by alums who take McAdams’s side.

The above is an explanation, not a justification. The university’s risk management calculations might converge with normative values if one feels that a claim of academic freedom does not excuse the creation of a hostile environment for a student.

* Gritty Realism, Snowpiercer, and the Tedious Trauma of the Real. I’m just glad we’ve finally found a scenario where rotating enslavement of children is the progressive solution.

* Who do you think would win if Batman fought Superman?

* And Merry Christmas, just kidding: Santa’s real workshop: the town in China that makes the world’s Christmas decorations.

Christmas decorations being made at a factory in Yiwu city, Zhejiang province, China - 15 Dec 2014

Wednesday Links! Some Especially Good Ones!

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* Paradoxa 26, “SF Now,” is on its way, and has my essay on Snowpiercer and necrofuturism in it. Mark Bould and Rhys Williams’s introduction to the issue is online.

* Extrapolation‘s current call for reviewers.

* UCR is hiring: Jay Kay and Doris Klein Science Fiction Librarian.

* African SF: Presenting Omenana 1.1. Of particular note: “The Unbearable Solitude of Being an African Fan Girl.”

* Nnedi Okorafor, Ytasha Womack, Isiah Lavender, and Sigal Samuel discussion #BlackStormTrooper.

NASA Officially Announce Plans To Put Humans On Mars With Orion Space Capsule.

* UAB shuts down its football program. Of course, the reason is austerity:

“The fiscal realities we face — both from an operating and a capital investment standpoint — are starker than ever and demand that we take decisive action for the greater good of the athletic department and UAB,” Watts said in a statement released by the university. “As we look at the evolving landscape of NCAA football, we see expenses only continuing to increase. When considering a model that best protects the financial future and prominence of the athletic department, football is simply not sustainable.”

We just can’t afford to throw bricks at students’ heads any more — not in these tough times.

* Teaching fellows strike at the University of Oregon.

* “Hypereducated and On Welfare”: The adjunct crisis hits Elle.

* Stefan Grimm and academic precarity: 1, 2.

* Meanwhile: College Hilariously Defends Buying $219,000 Table.

* Work, the welfare state, and what counts as “dignity.”

* It really pains me to say it, because I think the consequences for anti-rape activism will be dire, but significant questions have been raised about Rolling Stone‘s UVA story that neither the journalist nor the magazine have good answers to. It’s a good day to think carefully about what Freddie deBoer says here: “…it’s an inevitable result of associating the work of progressive politics with having a hair trigger, with demonizing those who ask us to be careful and restrained, and of treating overwhelming digital character assassination as a useful political tool.”

Imagine a World Without Prisons: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Superheroes, and Prison Abolition.

* Against New Atheism: The “New Atheists” have gained traction because they give intellectual cover to Western imperialism.

* The mass transit system Milwaukee didn’t know it needed. Now, if you could just snake another couple lines up the lake side… More links below the map.

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* The Ferguson PD victory lap continues: Ferguson Police investigating whether Michael Brown’s stepfather intended to incite a riot.

How Police Unions and Arbitrators Keep Abusive Cops on the Street.

How One Woman Could Hit The Reset Button In The Case Against Darren Wilson.

Utah’s Insanely Expensive Plan To Seize Public Lands. “…a price tag that could only be paid if the state were able to increase drilling and mining.” Oh, so not insane, then, just evil.

* There are boondoggles and there are boondoggles: Federal prosecutors subpoenaed dozens of records and documents relating to the Los Angeles Unified School District’s iPad program, including emails, proposals and score sheets dealing with the bids that led to a multi-million Apple contract with the district.

* For $5 I promise not to orchestrate this situation, and for $25…

* Why I Am Not Coming In To Work Today.

* Keeping Kayfabe.

* And the market for Girl Scout cookies is about to be disrupted. I gained ten pounds just reading this story.

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 3, 2014 at 10:54 am

Saturday Morning Links!

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* In case you missed it: I had a mini-reading of Snowpiercer yesterday, focusing on liberal guilt.

* Chicago’s Harold Washington College refused to hire a 66-year-old woman full-time because of her age, according to a federal lawsuit filed Thursday by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. I’m stunned people aren’t talking more about this; irrespective of the merits, this has the potential to completely upend academic labor practices if EEOC wins. What long-term adjunct couldn’t present a similarly compelling case of being “passed over” for a younger, less experienced candidate?

* Government agents ‘directly involved’ in most high-profile US terror plots.

The Historic Proof Obamacare Foes Are Dead Wrong On Subsidies. Well, they’re sure to abandon this specious line of malicious bullshit now!

* 5 media mistakes in the Halbig debate.

Capitalism and Slavery: An Interview with Greg Grandin.

California Is Now Experiencing Its Most Severe Drought Ever Recorded.

* Democracy Now tackles the question of whether the Iron Dome is real.

* For 17 years, James Doyle was a nuclear policy specialist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Then he wrote an article that made the case for getting rid of nuclear weapons. After that, his computer was seized, he was accused of releasing classified information, and then he was fired. What happened?

* The so-called “Swedish model” banning the purchase but not the sale of sex is catching on in Europe. But does it work? And for whom?

A Brief History of Shakespeare Criticism.

* The Woman Behind Guardians of the Galaxy, on Writing an Unexpected Blockbuster.

There’s An Idea For A Galaxy Quest Sequel. Sold!

* And Happy 50th Birthday, Adam Duritz.

Guiltpiercer

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I wanted to Storify my back-and-forth with my friend Aaron Bady (and a few other people, but mostly him) on the question of guilt and complicity in liberal politics, which was prompted by his Texas Stands With Gaza post and ultimately looped around, as all things must, to Snowpiercer.

Aaron is right that I’m using Snowpiercer (along with Pacific Rim, Beasts of the Southern Wild, and some other recent Anthropocene science fictions) in a piece of academic writing I’m working on, so I’ll hold off on doing a full reading of the film here for now. But I think the film actually figures this debate we’re having in a pretty direct way. The people on the train are all “guilty” and “complicit” with the Snowpiercer system, albeit in different ways and to different degrees; like any necropolitical survivor, they are all alive while/because someone else has died. Even on the level of character development, much of the movement of the film is directed towards making Chris Evans’s character Curtis feel as though he is worthy of great things despite the guilt he carries with him; characters frequently say this to him explicitly, even, most notably, the character he once tried to eat as a baby and who he later abandons in the name of the larger mission! In fact this guilt, in properly liberal terms, is indistinguishable from his worthiness to lead, with the final act of the film culminating in Curtis being offered the position of the Wizard of Snowpiercer. The Curtis plot in the film is more or less a familiar liberal drama about coming to terms with your own guilty complicity in the system, a process which as if by baptismal magic thereby makes you worthy to run the whole thing as if you’d never been guilty or complicit in the first place.

Aaron’s reading on the film insists that this is the only trajectory open to us, even as he repeatedly turns to Kang-ho Song’s Namgoong as the voice of alterity, rejecting his plan as nonviable. Namgoong knows the train is a horror and knows the train is doomed by its own entropic breakdown, rejects guilt or complicity as a frame, and instead works to blow open the doors and escape. (And this is the position Curtis ultimately settles into as well, having finally hit an encounter of guilt which he can’t autoredeem his way out of in the form of the children in the engine.) Here then we see one version of the Canavan position: guilt is a way of becoming re-trapped, linked back into the atrocity engine, while refusing to identify with the system and its terms opens up the horizon of the future. Neither Namgoong nor Curtis survive the derailment of the train (“there is hope, infinite hope, but not for us”), but their protégés do, and in the final shot of the film see a live polar bear moving outside the train, indicating that life of some kind persists outside the train and that therefore there is something like hope after all.

Now, Aaron rejects all of this — “it’s too cold out there! they have no skills or supplies! that polar bear will probably just eat them!” — and of course he’s right to do so on the level of cold realism; like most such apocalyptic scenarios, the situation is too far gone to allow any sort of genuine renewal. (I always think of the way the Matrix sequels had to confront this, ultimately having the heroic rebels make a truce with the monsters they were supposed to slay because the world is too far gone to actually free anyone anymore.) But this is where Aaron’s flattening of Jameson’s theory of utopia hurts him a bit — because the kernel of the Jamesonian reading of the film is not to imagine it as a practical alternative to the present so much as to figure the ongoing exist alternative in an era that, at every turn, loudly insists there isn’t one.

For it is the very principle of the radical break as such, its possibility, which is reinforced by the Utopian form, which insists that its radical difference is possible and that a break is necessary. The Utopian form itself is the answer to the universal ideological conviction that no alternative is possible, that there is no alternative to the system. But it asserts this by forcing us to think the break itself, and not by offering a more traditional picture of what things will be like after the break. (Archaeologies 232)

Snowpiercer, it seems to me, is pretty plainly about this effort of the imagination; neither the setup nor the climax is really amenable to any sort of realistic analysis about the practicalities of the situation. It’s preposterous from start to finish. The point of the film is to disrupt our guilty comfort and our comforting guilt about a system we all know is terrible (“those crooked fuckers”) but think we can’t oppose, only picket and sigh about and be more beautiful than (“oh, we guilty sinners, oh this fallen world”). So of course the film is an allegory after all; what it figures isn’t the actual situation of capitalism but the hopeless prospects for people who can’t see any way to stop the train, other than a crash, and who perhaps for that very reason have come to believe they’re the ones who are driving it.

Wed!nes!day! Links!

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* The greatest Tumblr of all time forever: Wes Anderson’s X-Men. Above: Bill Murray as sad Professor X.

* A Snowpiercer Thinkpiece, Not to Be Taken Too Seriously, But For Very Serious Reasons.

* Ours is truly an age of miracles: How to cut a bagel into two interlocking rings.

* Now we see the violence inherent in the system: Cheered by tourists, tolerated by regulars, feared by those who frown upon kicks in the face, subway dancers have unwittingly found themselves a top priority for the New York Police Department — a curious collision of a Giuliani-era policing approach, a Bloomberg-age dance craze and a new administration that has cast the mostly school-age entertainers as fresh-face avatars of urban disorder.

Visionary Vintage Children’s Book Celebrates Gender Equality, Ethnic Diversity, and Space Exploration.

* Feminist Science Fiction Is the Best Thing Ever.

* BREAKING: Law school is the absolute worst.

When and how did modern governments decide to outsource all operational aspects of geopolitical strategy to marauding gangs of robbers and murderers?

* The Ebola epidemic has reached Lagos. That’s horrifying.

* How NCAA’s Concussion Deal Affects Current, Former, and Future Athletes.

* Spending Shifts as Colleges Compete on Students’ Comfort.

The University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth owes $200,000 in damages to a professor of English who says she was denied a promotion based on her race and gender, a state equal opportunity board has ruled. That’s on top of the board-ordered back pay and promotion the university has already awarded Lulu Sun.

Can World of Warcraft Save Higher Education? Can it? Can it?

* Write Your Own Irish Memoir!

* Yes we can: Sonic Cannons Are Going To Wreck US East Coast Ecology In Search Of Oil.

* There is ‘No Constitutional Right Not to Become an Informant.’

* The net affect of the ordinance is that most of Milwaukee is off-limits to sex offenders.

* Over the past few weeks the stories of child refugees fleeing unspeakable violence in Central America, as well as their uncertain fate in the hands of U.S. policymakers, has been the focus of headlines around the country. What has been more difficult to follow is what is happening to the influx of refugee mothers who have recently fled to the U.S. with their children, many just toddlers and babies. I went down to Artesia, New Mexico last week to see for myself what has become of these vulnerable families.

* On sticking to your guns: Hess’s Triangle.

* Kapitalism, With Kim Kardashian.

* And, alas, it’s not all good news: BP Oil Spill Is Much Worse Than People Think, Scientists Say.

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These Are Monday Links; There Are Many Like Them, But These Are Mine

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* If you’ve been following Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, there’s a new chapter out.

* A One-Item List For Tenure-Track Faculty: Do the job you were hired to do.

* The next wave of Afrofuturism.

* Kim Stanley Robinson: Science Fiction and the Realism of Our Time.

* Bring on the Snowpiercer thinkpieces! 1, 2, 3, 4.

* When we peer into the fog of the deep future what do we see – human extinction or a future among the stars?

* Even the liberal George Will: “We ought to say to these children, ‘Welcome to America, you’re going to go to school and get a job and become Americans,’” Will implored. “We have 3,141 counties in this country. That would be 20 per county. The idea that we can’t assimilate these eight-year-old criminals with their teddy bears is preposterous.”

* Identifying the bodies of those who tried to cross the border illegally.

* Halbig, King, and the Limits of Reasonable Legal Disagreement.

* There is a lizard sex satellite floating in space and Russia no longer has it under control. UPDATE: Russia Regains Control of Gecko Zero-G Sex Satellite.

* If you want to know how I do it. More links below the image!

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* Iron Man Should Move to Cleveland, Not San Francisco.

* A friend said it best: Ricky Gervais is scripting Congress now.

* Star Fleet uniforms: not OSHA-compliant.

* The mask slips: Tax agency says ‘preventing poverty’ not allowed as goal for charity.

* Slave Leia is a bummer.

* “Our bad!” It Turns Out Hamas Didn’t Kidnap and Kill the 3 Israeli Teens After All.

* Cupcake fascism.

* This is horrible: First case of ebola reported in Africa’s most populous city Lagos.

* When Tonga Was a Vast Empire.

* The Five Most Overrated Weapons of War.

* On “Bad Feminism.”

* Community colleges and the art of the hustle.

* A lawsuit may determine whether “Happy Birthday” is really still under copyright, which is a bananas notion to begin with.

* Scientists: Rich People, Poor People May Have Shared Common Ancestor.

* BuzzFeed Writer Resigns In Disgrace After Plagiarizing ‘10 Llamas Who Wish They Were Models.’

* Blastr teases Grant Morrison’s Multiversity.

* Giving up beef will reduce carbon footprint more than cars, says expert.

* If I major in philosophy, what are the career prospects?

* Ascension sounds… pretty good?

The deadliest Ebola outbreak in recorded history is happening right now. And now the Liberian government has confirmed that a senior doctor working to fight the disease, Samuel Brisbane, has died, the Associated Press reports. That makes him the first Liberian doctor to die of Ebola in the current outbreak.

In addition, an American doctor has been infected. Keith Brantly, a 33-year-old working for American aid organization Samaritan’s Purse, has been treated and is in stable condition, according to USA Today.

This news comes just days after an announcement that the top Ebola doctor in Sierra Leone, Sheik Umar Khan, had been infected.

* And before there was The State, there was You Wrote It, You Watch It.

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