Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Soviet Union

Monday Morning Links (The Kind You Don’t Take Home to Mama)

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* CFP: The Evolution of Evil in Fantasy and Science Fiction, Academia Lunare.

But the other thing that strikes me – we were talking early on about the history of modernity as connected in a structural way to the history of slavery, of capitalism, to histories of ordering and wasting – when I read that long history, a striking thing is capitalism’s impulse to abolish limits. From a capitalist’s standpoint, there are simply no limits. In regard to almost anything and everything, limitlessness is the law. Another striking thing is that capitalism aims to abolish some of the key dualisms without which the very idea of society as we understand it would have been unimaginable. To some extent, capitalism is the only religion without taboos humans have ever invented.

The way it works is that, once the first settlers on a new planet demonstrate that they won’t die horribly from allergies, pathogens, or getting buried under the excrement of herds of titanosaurs, they then spread out to build mining settlements all over the planet, high-grade all the most accessible mineral deposits, drill for oil, and grow the infrastructure needed to build starships. With starhips built and trade links established, they grow into a mature colony over the course of a few centuries, all the while founding as many daughter colonies on new planets as possible. Eventually, they run into serious pollution problems, loss of usable mineral deposits, changing climate (both natural through the equivalent of Milankovich cycles, and anthropogenic), and a biosphere that coevolves to exploit the colony, because that’s just what life does (think pesticide resistant bugs, coyotes, superweeds…). At that point, the colony starts to fall apart. Interstellar trade shifts away from it (after all, whatever’s causing them to collapse them might be contagious). Ultimately the survivors hang on to become a truly resilient indigenous population in a backwater world–or all die horribly as their critical infrastructure fails. Their fate doesn’t matter to our interstellar civilization, because it has literally already moved on to new frontiers, boldly going where no man has gone before. So long as they can find new worlds to conquer, they can go on forever.

Hard to argue with this reading of Harry Potter, honestly.

“Eco-Philosopher Fails Hurricane Test, Crawls Under Rock.”

* Scenes from the trade war.

* A mere couple of hours away till the end of America, get excited.

* MSNBC is bad for you.

* Still, God help me, I can’t get enough of this stuff: What if Donald Trump has been a Russian asset since 1987?

Madeleine Albright: ‘The things that are happening are genuinely, seriously bad.’ Yeah, that’s what I keep saying!

* America is catastrophically incapable of holding its elites responsible for their crimes, and that’s supposed to be the good news.

* Meanwhile, the Trump Foundation was a comically illegal slush fund and it just doesn’t matter.

* A Mexican couple was turned over for deportation this week when they tried to visit a New York military base to celebrate the Fourth of July with their son-in-law, who is an army officer. They had lived in Brooklyn for decades. More here.

The couple’s son-in-law is a sergeant in the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division. According to the family, the Department of Defense won’t let him intervene in the case.

“Most worrying is the fact that both parents have recently undergone surgery and need medication,” the report said. “The Silvas say they have gotten calls from their mother, who said she was denied her medication. They say they have not heard from their father.”

This is a different army base in Brooklyn than the one that called ICE on a pizza delivery guy a few weeks ago.

* ICE has kidnapped a journalist in retaliation for his negative coverage of the Memphis Police Department.

Trump admin won’t reunite all migrant families, will place some kids in foster care.

Illinois governor profits off ICE detention center contracts.

The Power of “Abolish ICE.”

* Not for nothing. Of course you’ve heard me sing this song before.

* Notes from the Ocasio-Cortez campaign.

* Even “being drunk” is culturally specific.

Introducing the Marvel Curriculum: A look at film history via the MCU.

* What if HBO, but super, super creepy?

How Much Does Being a Legacy Help Your College Admissions Odds?

* Elon Musk’s submarine is nonsense. Meanwhile.

* Brexit vs. Gibraltar. Brexit vs. Britain. Brexit vs. the Tories. Brexit vs. Brexit.

* Privileging the lie.

I happened to listen to NPR for a few hours this morning, and I heard three stories that are very much connected to climate change without anyone on the radio mentioning climate change even once.

U.S. Opposition to Breast-Feeding Resolution Stuns World Health Officials.

* Like Pizzagate but it actually happened.

* 150 Cheers for the 14th Amendment.

* Killing all the whales and turtles to own the libs.

* Zero, explained.

* Actually existing media bias watch: 1, 2.

* Siri: show me fragile masculinity.

* And the headline reads: “Fake sultan was scamming a Miami billionaire. Then he ate pork.”

Saturday Morning Post-SFRA Links! All! Tabs! Closed!

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* SFRA is over, but ICFA season has only just begun! The theme for ICFA 2019 is “Politics and Conflicts” and the special guests are Mark Bould and G. Willow Wilson.

* And keep saving your pennies for SFRA 19 in Hawaii! Stay tuned for more information soon.

* Ben Robertson put up his SFRA talk on the MCU and abstraction as well as his opening statement for the Avengers vs. Jedi roundtable (which coined the already ubiquitous term “naustalgia”). My opening statement was this image, more or less…

* Other piping hot SFRA content at #SFRA18! It was a great conference.

The Economics of Science Fiction.

* A book I’m in won a Locus Award: Check out Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia E. Butler! Congratulations to Alexandra and Mimi.

* Black Women and the Science Fiction Genre: an interview with Octavia E. Butler from 1986.

* CFP: TechnoLogics: Power and Resistance. CFP: Childhoods of Color.

The early career academic: learning to say no.

The Humanities as We Know Them Are Doomed. Now What? Jobs Will Save the Humanities.

* Revised Course Evaluation Questions.

Essentially total victory for John McAdams over Marquette at the WI Supreme Court. I don’t talk about “Marquette stuff” on here because of the slippery nature of my status as an agent of the university, but noted for history. More here. Marquette “agrees to comply” but doesn’t concede wrongdoing.

“The undisputed facts show that the university breached its contract with Dr. McAdams when it suspended him for engaging in activity protected by the contract’s guarantee of academic freedom,” states the ruling, written by Justice Daniel Kelly.

Things that happen in Silicon Valley and also the Soviet Union. So good.

Since it isn’t, a simple question arises: where’s all the fucking money? Piketty’s student Gabriel Zucman wrote a powerful book, The Hidden Wealth of Nations (2015), which supplies the answer: it’s hidden by rich people in tax havens. According to calculations that Zucman himself says are conservative, the missing money amounts to $8.7 trillion, a significant fraction of all planetary wealth. It is as if, when it comes to the question of paying their taxes, the rich have seceded from the rest of humanity.

* If Elon Musk can save the trapped Thai soccer team though I’ll definitely forgive him for everything else, for at least a couple weeks. In the meantime… 

* Trump’s ethnic cleansing operation is blowing past boundaries that would have been considered utterly sacrosanct only a few years ago. The Trump administration just admitted it doesn’t know how many kids are still separated from their parents. “In hundreds of cases, Customs agents deleted the initial records in which parents and children were listed together as a family with a “family identification number,” according to two officials at the Department of Homeland Security.” The teenager told police all about his gang, MS-13. In return, he was slated for deportation and marked for death. Toddlers representing themselves in court. USCIS is Starting a Denaturalization Task Force. Trump’s Travel Ban Has Torn Apart Hundreds of Families. Trump’s catch-and-detain policy snares many who have long called U.S. home. At 9 He Lost His Mom to Gang Violence. At 12 He Lost His Dad to Trump’s Immigration Policies. After being released from custody in El Paso on Sunday, the parents have now learned the whereabouts of their children, a shelter director said. But there are more hurdles before they’re reunited. Lawful permanent resident freed nearly three weeks after arrest. Sick Child Couldn’t Walk After U.S. Took Him From His Mom. Painful memories of Michigan for immigrant girl, 7, reunited with mom. The Awful Plight of Parents Deported Without Their Children. From behind bars, a father searches for one of the 2,000 kids still separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. Dad, I’m Never Going to See You Again. Feds failing to put migrant parents in touch with separated kids. Former Seattle Chief Counsel sentenced to 4 years in prison for wire fraud, aggravated identity theft scheme. “At night, Andriy sometimes wakes up screaming in the bunk bed he shares with his mother and baby brother.” “My Whole Heart Is There.” “My son is not the same.” “Are You Alone Now?” There was a pilot program. Transport Fees. A Migrant Mother Had to Pay $576.20 to Be Reunited With Her 7-Year-Old Son. Letters from the Disappeared. Listen. Border Agent Threatened to Put Immigrant’s Daughter Up for Adoption, ACLU Says. A New Border Crisis. Separated Parents Are Failing Asylum Screenings Because They’re So Heartbroken. A Twitter Bot Has Joined the Immigration Battle to Fight ICE With Facts. A Twitter Bot Is Posting the Names and Locations of Immigrant Detention Centers Across the U.S. Over the course of three weeks, a major U.S. defense contractor detained dozens of immigrant children inside a vacant Phoenix office building with no kitchen and only a few toilets. The Immigrant Children’s Shelters Near You. Supreme Court just wrote a presumption of white racial innocence into the Constitution. The Trump administration is not answering basic questions about separation of migrant families. Immigration Attorney Says ICE Broke Her Foot, Locked Her Up. This is what Trump and ICE are doing to parents and their children. A practice so cruel that the United States ended it for a quarter-century. It’s only going to get worse. Torn apart. Don’t you know that we hate you people? (Only) 17 states sue Trump administration over family separations. News outlets join forces to track down children separated from their parents by the U.S. We might not even have ever known. New 1,000-Bed ICE Lockup Set to Open on Site of Notorious ‘Tent City’ in South Texas. Potemkin camps. Research suggests that the family of Anne Frank attempted to escape to the U.S., but their efforts were thwarted by America’s restrictive immigration policy. Exclusive: Trump administration plan would bar people who enter illegally from getting asylum. We’re Going to Abolish ICE. Woman Climbs Statue of Liberty to Protest Family Separations, Island Shut Down. How to Abolish ICE. And just for fun: ICE Training Officers in Military-Grade Weapons, Chemical Agents. Dogsitting.

The Central American Child Refugee Crisis: Made in U.S.A.

I’ve Been Reporting on MS-13 for a Year. Here Are the 5 Things Trump Gets Most Wrong.

* I feel pretty confident the buried story here is that Trump blackmailed Anthony Kennedy by threatening to destroy his son’s life; I suppose it’ll all come out during Truth and Reconciliation in the 2040s. Anyway this is just about the final end of America, buckle up.

* Down we go.

* All of American history fits in the life span of only three presidents.

Trump Confidant Floats Crazy RBG-For-Merrick-Garland SCOTUS Swap. I am a huge proponent of this deal but you’ll have to confirm Garland first. You understand.

* How democracy ends.

* There’s no returning to a golden age of American democracy that never existed. Donald Trump, the resistance, and the limits of normcore politics.

* What can we learn from 1968?

* Trump Inauguration Day rioting charges against 200+ people abruptly dropped by U.S.

* A major Republican leader in the House has been accused of facilitating the sexual abuse of huge numbers of children in his previous career as a wrestling coach. No, not him, this is a new guy.

* Clown car.

Farmers in America are killing themselves in staggering numbers.

Been Down So Long It Looks Like Debt to Me.

* In the richest country in all of human history.

* A country of empty storefronts.

* $117,000/year is now considered low income in San Francisco. Class and America.

* How Flint poisoned its people.

* The thing about peace.

* ‘A way of monetizing poor people’: How private equity firms make money offering loans to cash-strapped Americans. With special appearance by Obama Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner!

* Onward to Venezuela!

* Sure, why not.

* Twilight of UW.

* Rosa Parks’s Arrested Warrant.

The Beautiful, Ugly, and Possessive Hearts of Star Wars.

* Every parent’s secret suspicion confirmed: She was worried how a ‘teacher of the year’ treated her 5-year-old son. So she made a secret recording.

Lows of 80 degrees and higher, now commonplace, were once very rare. They occurred just 26 times from 1872 to 1999 or about once every five years. Since 2000, they’ve happened 37 times or twice every year on average. Probably nothing.

It’s So Hot Out, It’s Slowing Down the Speed of Stock Trades.

* Flood insurance is completely broken.

Companies buying back their own shares is the only thing keeping the stock market afloat right now.

* @jack is a collaborator.

* Facebook destroyed online publishing, then quit the business.

The US Left Has Only Four Tendencies.

Students in Detroit Are Suing the State Because They Weren’t Taught to Read.

* Doesn’t seem like a great sign, no.

* A great ideas as long as you know nothing about either writing or computers.

Turns out that’s an easy question to answer, thanks to MIT research affiliate, and longtime-critic of automated scoring, Les Perelman. He’s designed what you might think of as robo-graders’ kryptonite, to expose what he sees as the weakness and absurdity of automated scoring. Called the Babel (“Basic Automatic B.S. Essay Language”) Generator, it works like a computerized Mad Libs, creating essays that make zero sense, but earn top scores from robo-graders.

To demonstrate, he calls up a practice question for the GRE exam that’s graded with the same algorithms that actual tests are. He then enters three words related to the essay prompt into his Babel Generator, which instantly spits back a 500-word wonder, replete with a plethora of obscure multisyllabic synonyms:

“History by mimic has not, and presumably never will be precipitously but blithely ensconced. Society will always encompass imaginativeness; many of scrutinizations but a few for an amanuensis. The perjured imaginativeness lies in the area of theory of knowledge but also the field of literature. Instead of enthralling the analysis, grounds constitutes both a disparaging quip and a diligent explanation.”

“It makes absolutely no sense,” he says, shaking his head. “There is no meaning. It’s not real writing.”

But Perelman promises that won’t matter to the robo-grader. And sure enough, when he submits it to the GRE automated scoring system, it gets a perfect score: 6 out of 6, which according to the GRE, means it “presents a cogent, well-articulated analysis of the issue and conveys meaning skillfully.”

Winners of the 2018 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest.

* Pruitt 2024!

* Utter lawlessness.

In 1934, an American professor urged that Jews be civil — to the Nazis.

* California reconsiders felony murder.

* Scholarship for dark times.

William Shatner kicks off July 4th by implying that UW-Madison & Penn should consider firing 2 kid lit professors for disagreeing with him about whether it’s appropriate to note racism in Little House of the Prairie.

* Six decades after being told her mother was dead, she found her — 80 minutes away and 100 years old.

Between 1984 and the mid-1990s, before better HIV drugs effectively rendered her obsolete, Ruth Coker Burks cared for hundreds of dying people, many of them gay men who had been abandoned by their families. She buried more than three dozen of them herself, after their families refused to claim their bodies. For many of those people, she is now the only person who knows the location of their graves.

* How Universities Facilitate Far-Right Groups’ Harassment of Students and Faculty.

* Video games and fatphobia.

* A location scout’s view of California.

* Not all heroes wear capes: How an EPA worker stole $900K by pretending to be a CIA agent.

How Pixar’s Open Sexism Ruined My Dream Job (Guest Column).

* Reality Winner pleads guilty.

* When copyright goes wrong, EU edition.

* Academic minute: Geoengineering.

Anglo-Saxon Studies, Academia and White Supremacy.

* The Millennial Socialists Are Coming. How Ocasio-Cortez Beat the Machine. A Conversation with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Fights the Power. Next: Julia Salazar Is Looking to Land the Next Blow Against the New York Democratic Machine. The socialists are coming! But huge, if true.

The clearest lesson, which holds now as it did then, is that to rearrange international order in an egalitarian way, you need an egalitarian and internationally oriented domestic politics in the richest and most powerful countries. Otherwise, your best-laid plans can be scuttled by something like what happened then—the neoliberal revolt of capital, the crushing of the labor unions, the turn to the construction of the current international regime of relatively free flow of goods, services, and capital, but not people. Today’s nationalist revolts, most notably the catastrophe in the United States, are another body blow to progressive internationalist aspirations. Ironically, they are directed in part against some of the pieties of the neoliberal order—although certainly not in any constructive or progressive direction.

A Subreddit Dedicated to Thanos Is Preparing to Ban Half of Its Users at Random.

* lol

* Hard pass, thanks.

* The UK is committing national suicide to satisfy a laughably illegitimate referendum that never should have happened in the first place and no one is going to stop it.

Finally, the CEO of a brokerage house explained that he had nearly completed building his own underground bunker system and asked, “How do I maintain authority over my security force after the event?” The wealthy are plotting to leave us behind.

* If there is hope, it lies with the Juggalos.

* Luke was a Boomer.

It is tragic. I’m not a method actor, but one of the techniques a method actor will use is to try and use real-life experiences to relate to whatever fictional scenario he’s involved in. The only thing I could think of, given the screenplay that I read, was that I was of the Beatles generation—‘All You Need Is Love’, ‘peace and love’.

I thought at that time, when I was a teenager: ‘By the time we get in power, there will be no more war, there will be no racial discrimination, and pot will be legal.’ So I’m one for three. When you think about it, [my generation is] a failure. The world is unquestionably worse now than it was then.

* The first superhero movie is more than 100 years old.

* Rest in peace, Harlan Ellison. Rest in peace, Steve Ditko.

* Anatomy of a superhero.

NASA’s Policies to Protect the Solar System From Contamination Are Out of Date. We’re not going to is the thing.

Space is full of dirty, toxic grease, scientists reveal.

Man suspected of killing 21 co-workers by poisoning their food.

* There could be as many as 7000 tigers living in American backyards.

“When I Was Alive”: William T. Vollmann’s Climate Letter to the Future.

* Remembering Google Reader, five years on.

* Very cool: If you use Gmail, know that “human third parties” are reading your email.

* A classic edition of “our brains don’t work”: that’s because your freaking visual system just lied to you about HOW LONG TIME IS in order to cover up the physical limitations of those chemical camera orbs you have on the front of your face.

* Sports corner! The Warriors Are Making A Mockery Of The NBA Salary Cap. A Literary Lineup for the World Cup. We Timed Every Game. World Cup Stoppage Time Is Wildly Inaccurate. Catching “the world’s most prolific criminal fixer of soccer matches.”

* Physics says that our perception of smoothly flowing time is a cosmic accident. So why do we think the future always comes after the past?

* A Dunbar number for place: At any point in life, people spend their time in 25 places.

* Some monkeys in Panama may have just stumbled into the Stone Age. Don’t do it, guys, it’s not worth the hassle.

I was basically my own editor for 25 years at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. And then the publisher decided he didn’t like what he saw.

* Life as a professional dungeon master.

* Naked Japanese hermit forced back into civilization after 29 years on deserted island.

* An Oral History of ASSSSCAT.

* Peyton Reed (director of Ant-Man and the Wasp) remembers writing Back to the Future: The Ride.

* The Roxy, West Hollywood, CA, July 7, 1978.

* Readystolen.

* Someone in the club tonight is stealing my ideas.

* The arc of history is long but seriously they really took their time with this.

* What should we read if we want to be happy?

* And Incredibles 3 looks wild. Don’t miss Old Man Incredible! I’m here for it.

Written by gerrycanavan

July 7, 2018 at 11:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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If You Scroll Down Far Enough on This Linkpost You May Eventually Reach Content That Won’t Cause Immediate Existential Despair

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* Call for Papers: Polygraph 28, Marxism and Climate Change. Call for Papers: Speculative Souths.

* Transformative Works and Cultures 27: Tumblr and Fandom.

* The Trump administration separated thousands of children from their families over a crime the justice system penalizes with a $10 fine. What’s Really Happening When Asylum-Seeking Families Are Separated? Hell is this audio. Photos. Summer Camp at the Nightmare Factory. Toxic stress. For a 6-Year-Old Snared in the Immigration Maze, a Memorized Phone Number Proves a Lifeline. The Heartbreaking Case Of The 3-Year-Old Boy In Immigration Court. U.S. officials separated him from his child. Then he was deported to El Salvador. Mothers in a New Mexico Prison Who Do Not Know How to Find Their Children. Torn from immigrant parents, 8-month-old baby lands in Michigan. Families divided. Hundreds. 1,995. 3,700. Over ten thousand. Trump administration could be holding 30,000 border kids by August, officials say. “She had to teach other kids in the cell to change her diaper.” “I have no information about your child.” “I Can’t Go Without My Son.” “These aren’t our kids.” Where are the girls? This is bad. History. Here Are Some of the Democrats Who Paved the Way for the Family Separation Crisis. The outrage over Trump’s heartless family separation policy provides an opportunity to reverse the bipartisan consensus that has long victimized immigrants. Protesters Flock to La Guardia to Support Immigrant Children. Protest held outside Bay Area ICE facility over immigration controversy. After Six Days, Portland’s ICE Blockade Is a City of More Than 80 Tents. First Step to Helping Children Sent to New York: Find Them. Governors won’t send Guard units to border if family separation continues. Governor orders probe of abuse claims by immigrant children. On the tarmac. Flight attendant: I won’t work flights that separate immigrant kids from families. Fundraiser to reunite immigrant families shatters Facebook record. Tender age. Kids Taken From Their Parents At The Border Get Their Toys Confiscated Too. Senate Candidate Arrested For Delivering Toys To Children’s Internment Camp. Substandard Medical Care in ICE Detention is Killing Immigrants, Endangering Lives. Poor Medical Care in ICE Custody Is Fatal. More Immigrants Died in Detention in Fiscal Year 2017 Than in Any Year Since 2009. Code red. Torture. Deputy sexually assaulted child, threatened undocumented mom if she reported it. Teens Describe Life Inside A US Detention Center. ICE detention of unaccompanied minors in New York is up more than 500%, city says. Boston Public Schools Superintendent Chang has resigned after it was revealed that BPS has been providing student info to ICE to help deport migrant schoolchildren. Businesses have made millions off Trump’s child separation policy. The corporation that deports immigrants has a major stake in Trump’s presidency. Private Prison Stocks Are Soaring Amid the Trump Administration’s Immigration Crisis. Ex-CIA Contractor Makes Millions Flying Immigrant Kids to Shelters. Southwest Key 1, 2, 3, 4. Betsy DeVos cashes in. Migrant children sent to shelters with histories of abuse allegations. Nearly Half of Funding for Child Migrant Care Went to Shelters With Histories of Abuse. Immigrant children forcibly injected with drugs, lawsuit claims. Unspeakable cruelty. The D&D thread. Even Laura Bush. ‘They are coming crying, almost hysterical.’ The chaotic effort to reunite immigrant parents with their separated kids. No plan. The courts must award damages to families torn apart by the policy. Some migrant family separations are permanent. There’s no migration crisis. 3 Charts That Show What’s Actually Happening Along The Southern Border. For the ages. The real hoax about the border crisis. Checkpoints in New Hampshire. Jogger Accidentally Crosses U.S. Border From Canada and Is Detained for Two Weeks. The Trump administration changed its story on family separation no fewer than 14 times before ending the policy. Trump’s Executive Order Turns Family Separation Into Family Incarceration. “There is a policy now on the part of our government for the Office of Refugee Resettlement to share information with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. That’s as new as four days ago.” Nothing but lies. The next phase. 120,000. The plans are ready. Simple from here. Malice aforethought. If only. American fascist party membership application, Atlanta, 1930. ICE detention centers in your state.

* Newsflash: they’ll support anything.

We Owe Central American Migrants Much More Than This.

* Whiteness is the crisis.

The buses came right into the camps, in the middle of the courtyard there was a place separated by barbed wire, and the buses came into this area very fast. The children were told to leave the bus because one bus followed the next at great speed, and they had to make way for the buses behind them.

And so these unfortunate children were completely disorientated and at a loss; they left the buses in silence. They were taken in groups roughly corresponding to the numbers in each bus – there were sometimes fifty, sixty, eighty children.

The older ones held the younger ones by the hand, no one was allowed to go near these children apart from a few people amongst us, including myself, who had special permission. They were taken into rooms in which there were no furnishings but only straw mattresses on the ground – mattresses which were filthy, disgusting and full of vermin.

Question: Mr Wellers: Did all these children know their own names?

Answer: No, there were many infants two, three, four years old who did not even know what their names were. When trying to identify them, we sometimes asked a sister, an older brother – sometimes we simply asked other children if they knew them, in order to find out to find out what they were called.

As the American detainee crisis deepens, Australia’s own immigration catastrophe points to a bleaker future.

Hitler goes west: The secret plans for Nazi America.

How to sleep at night when families are being separated at the border.

We’re Not Better Than This. But We Can Try to Be.

Former Border Patrol Agent To Current Agents: Refuse Orders To Separate Children.

* Takei: “At Least During the Internment…”

States of Emergency: Imagining a politics for an age of accelerated climate change.

* White supremacy after Vietnam.

Forty-Five Things I Learned in the Gulag.

1. The extreme fragility of human culture, civilization. A man becomes a beast in three weeks, given heavy labor, cold, hunger, and beatings.

* Boomers, man.

Trump’s Military Drops a Bomb Every 12 Minutes, and No One Is Talking About It.

Meanwhile, Trump’s cabinet is corruption central.

Melania Trump Plays the Role of Medieval Queen.

* That D&D thread above linked up nicely with this vintage SMBC that popped across my feed this morning.

Engineered for Dystopia.

In times like these it is important to remember that border walls, nuclear missiles, and surveillance systems do not work, and would not even exist, without the cooperation of engineers. We must begin teaching young engineers that their field is defined by care and humble assistance, not blind obedience to authority. Without this crucial first step, organizing engineers’ labor in Silicon Valley and elsewhere may only yield counter-productive results. After all, police have benefited from some of the most powerful union representation and that has not proven liberatory for anyone. It is only after the engineering profession takes its place among other professions—ones that recognized their power and created systems of independent review and accountability—and comes to terms with its relationship to ethics and morals, can it be trusted to organize. Only then can we trust them to leave the siege engines behind and join us in building something new.

* Summoning the Future: The story of the British National Health Service, one of the twentieth century’s great working-class achievements.

* Auditioning for the Supreme Court: Republican judge orders the entire Consumer Financial Protection Bureau eliminated.

* Possible environmental factor for type-2 diabetes identifies: a chemical found in teeth-whitening toothpaste. Here’s the study.

* Another round of images from the Bodleian’s Tolkien art exhibit.

* Desistance and detransitioning stories value cis anxiety over trans lives.

Shots Not Fired: A new Oregon law takes guns from people who may do harm.

* An oral history of “Because the Night.”

The fall of New York and the urban crisis of affluence.

These stores, like so many others in my neighborhood, have not been replaced. They are simply . . . gone. In an informal survey of Broadway, from 93rd Street to 103rd, I recently counted twenty-four vacant storefronts—many of them very large spaces, enough to account for roughly one third of the street frontage. Nearly all of them have been empty now for months or even years.

* Time travel on the blockchain.

A history of modern capitalism from the perspective of the straw.

Amazon Workers Demand Jeff Bezos Cancel Face Recognition Contracts With Law Enforcement. Microsoft, under fire for ICE deal, says it’s ‘dismayed’ by family separations at border. A Cloud Is Not Just a Cloud.

* Subscribe, you loathsome, miserable worms. Historical New York Times tweets.

* National Enquirer sent stories about Trump to his attorney Michael Cohen before publication, people familiar with the practice say.

When platforms that aggregate, distribute and monetize news — Apple, Google, Facebook — share revenues with publishers, maybe they should check against a provenance service to find out whether they’re rewarding someone who did original journalism, or someone who’s simply chasing clicks. Perhaps one or more platform would end up sharing revenues between the publisher that captured the clicks and the one that initially sponsored the investigation.

* A study exploring the impact of lecture capture availability and lecture capture usage on student attendance and attainment.

The possibility of vacuum decay has come up a lot lately because measurements of the mass of the Higgs boson seem to indicate the vacuum is metastable. But there are good reasons to think some new physics will intervene and save the day.

We have hints of a theory beyond quantum physics.

With the Switch, the 130-year-old gaming giant has once again turned reports of its demise into Nintendo Mania. The Legend of Nintendo.

* Office classics.

* The case against the case for the humanities, Stanley Fish edition.

So is there anything left once the justifications I have surveyed prove to be at best partial and at worse delusional? Well, what’s left is the position articulated by Oakeshott, a position I have always held, a position Small names the “intrinsic value” or “for its own sake” position. This position has the great advantage not of providing a justification but of making a virtue of the unavailability of one. Justification is always a mug’s game, for it involves a surrender to some measure or criterion external to the humanities. The person or persons who ask us as academic humanists to justify what we do is asking us to justify what we do in his terms, not ours. Once we pick up that challenge, we have lost the game, because we are playing on the other guy’s court, where all the advantage and all of the relevant arguments and standards of evidence are his. The justification of the humanities is not only an impossible task but an unworthy one, because to engage in it is to acknowledge, if only implicitly, that the humanities cannot stand on their own and do not on their own have an independent value. Of course the assertion of an independent value and the refusal to attach that value to any external good bring us back to the public-relations question: How are we going to sell this? The answer is. again, that we can’t.

Here’s How That Tablet On The Table At Your Favorite Restaurant Is Hurting Your Waiter.

* There could be as many as 7000 tigers living in American backyards.

* RIP, Koko. More here and here.

Needle exchanges have been proved to work against opioid addiction. They’re banned in 15 states.

* “Falling Out of Love With the Nerdist Podcast: The allegations against Chris Hardwick mark the end of a complicated era.

MIT Clears Junot Díaz to Teach.

* The end of Starbucks.

* Hyperexploitation at the laugh factory.

Why are game companies so afraid of the politics in their games?

* Black Panther and the Black Panthers.

* A Brief History of Soviet Sci-fi.

* Octavia Butler Google Doodle.

* For one brief, shining moment, the Star Wars anthology films were being cancelled.

* Don’t give me good news, I’m too depressed.

* And here comes the Space Force. Would you like to know more?

Written by gerrycanavan

June 24, 2018 at 10:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Sunday Morning Links!

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Because Saturday Night Links just weren’t enough.

Catching Up With the Next Generation of Sci-Fi Writers at the Village Voice.

My name is Wil Wheaton. I Live With Chronic Depression and Generalized Anxiety. I Am Not Ashamed.

* Diversify your workforce the Marvel way!

“We’re 100 percent committed to diversity…Marvel is the world outside your window and we want not only our characters but our creative talent to reflect that world and it hasn’t been an easy road to be honest with you. Going back to the 60s when Marvel were created it was created by a number of white men here in New York City who were working in our studio… But now, we do not have any artists that work in Marvel. All our writers and artists work — are freelancers that live around the world so our talent base has diversified almost more quickly than our character base has.”

Accountancy used to be boring – and safe. But today it’s neither. Have the ‘big four’ firms become too cosy with the system they’re supposed to be keeping in check? The financial scandal no one is talking about.

The implications of this authority are breathtaking. Trump, in their view, has unlimited control to open or close any federal investigation. Meanwhile, they keep openly admitting obstruction, and nothing matters.

During one December 2013 hearing, still available online, Scott questioned an applicant about illegally voting after his release from prison. When the man replied he voted for Scott, the governor chuckled and, seconds later, granted his voting rights.

* I used to be a 911 dispatcher. I had to respond to racist calls every day.

Families of Four of Eight Students Killed in Santa Fe Shooting Are Suing Gunman’s Parents.

* Hacking the mosquito.

* “The most common complaint I receive from students and faculty members is that we don’t have enough administrators.”

“All of the theoretical work that’s been done since the 1970s has not produced a single successful prediction,” says Neil Turok, director of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Canada. “That’s a very shocking state of affairs.” Say what you will about critical theory in the humanities, it’s predicted just about everything that’s happened since…

The one thing that we can I think be sure of is that if we get a signal, we will know it’s an artificial signal [and not from an astronomical source]. And then we’ll know that we are not alone. Will we ever be able to understand it? I don’t know. The researchers who study alien linguistics.

The Soviets’ secret map of Seattle tells a lot about us.

* Itsa me!

* And I’d at least give it a watch.

Monday Afternoon Links!

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* A prediction: China will produce some of the world’s most interesting scholarship on American literature within a generation. A secondary effect of this production will be a boost for the humanities, if from a most unexpected quarter.

* The Meta-Anthropocene: Was There a Civilization On Earth Before Humans? A look at the available evidence.

* The Anthropocene and the Theater of Disappearance.

* Dialectics of Jacobin: The Socialist Case against the SAT.

* Language in a time of climate change.

* The cruel optimism of college football.

5 Takeaways From Turning Point’s Plan to ‘Commandeer’ Campus Elections.

Here’s to Unsuicide: An Interview with Richard Powers.

* Making the rounds again, but worth rereading: The Invisible Labor Of Minority Professors.

How Soviet Artists Imagined Communist Life in Space.

Mark Carney warns robots taking jobs could lead to rise of Marxism.

* James Comey is not a hero. (UPDATE: Seriously.)

In Racine County, neatly maintained homes and dream houses are being designated ‘blighted’ to make way for Foxconn.

* 10 years after the Wire.

First, socialism – the belief that the earth belongs to labor – is my moral being.  In fact it is my religion, the values that anchor the commitments that define my life.  Second, ‘old school’ implies putting in work year after year for the good cause.  In academia one runs across people who call themselves Marxists and go to lots of conferences but hardly ever march on a picketline, go to a union meeting, throw a brick or simply help wash the dishes after a benefit.

Alexa Is a Revelation for the Blind.

How Much Is a Word Worth?

The narrative that will become widely understood is that Donald Trump did not sit atop a global empire. He was not an intuitive genius and tough guy who created billions of dollars of wealth through fearlessness. He had a small, sad operation, mostly run by his two oldest children and Michael Cohen, a lousy lawyer who barely keeps up the pretenses of lawyering and who now faces an avalanche of charges, from taxicab-backed bank fraud to money laundering and campaign-finance violations. Michael Cohen and the End Stage of the Trump Presidency.

So to recap: the most terminally insecure president ever sits in the White House, advised by one of the most war-crazy hacks in the history of federal service, at the outset of a fully avoidable proxy war with an enemy that possesses thousands of lethal thermonuclear warheads aimed directly at us.

The history of the left in the United States is in large part a history of betrayal: of the repeated embrace of imperial ventures for the sake of shortsighted aims, always coming back to haunt the left and the empire’s victims. It is a history blighted by the self-serving conceit that the domestic and the foreign, or what was once the interior and the frontier, can be understood apart from each other. And until very recently, it was a history forged by white elites too sheltered from the racial consequences of their choices to anticipate the havoc they would unleash.

Avoid Gulf stream disruption at all costs, scientists warn. Probably will work itself out.

* Too real.

* And this is arguably what went wrong with humans too: The Lebowski theorem: No superintelligent AI is going to bother with a task that is harder than hacking its reward function.

The Terrible Serenity of a Browser with Every Tab Closed

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What are we waiting for, assembled in the forum? The barbarians are due here today.

We Reversed Our Declining English Enrollments. Here’s How.

* CFP: Exhaustion: Tired Bodies, Tired Worlds. Graduate conference at the Department of English, University of Chicago, this November.

* When machine learning is astonishing – I collected some highlights from a paper on algorithmic creativity. Great Twitter thread.

* Butler Mons honours Octavia E. Butler, the first science fiction writer to win a MacArthur fellowship, and whose Xenogenesis trilogy describes humankind’s departure from Earth and subsequent return. And on the second season finale of Levar Burton reads: “Childfinder.”

‘Describe Yourself Like a Male Author Would’ Is the Most Savage Twitter Thread in Ages.

* The Prequel Boom.

Climate Change, Revolution And ‘New York 2140.’

* Dic Lit.

* Dictators are always afraid of poets. This seems kind of weird to a lot of Americans to whom poets are not political beings, but it doesn’t seem a bit weird in South America or in any dictatorship, really.

* Post-Soviet science fiction and the war in Ukraine.

* Eighty Years of the Futurians’ Vision.

* A Radical Idea about Adjuncting.

* I didn’t really understand how unjust the academic system was for career advancement for women until I had children. What It’s Like to Be a Woman in the Academy.

* The 2018 Hugo Finalists.

* Teach the controversy, Hell edition.

What It’s Like to Watch Isle of Dogs As a Japanese Speaker. Orientalism Is Alive And Well In American Cinema.

* Junot Díaz on the legacy of childhood trauma.

* The Breakfast Club in the age of #MeToo.

* Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One” is not a video-game-centered dystopian teen adventure but a horror film, a movie of spiritual zombies whose souls have been consumed by the makers of generations of official cultural product and regurgitated in the form of pop nostalgia. The movie, framed as a story of resistance to corporate tyranny, is actually a tale of tyranny perpetuated by a cheerfully totalitarian predator who indoctrinates his victims by amusing them to death—and the movie’s stifled horror is doubled by Spielberg’s obliviousness to it.

Milwaukee students of color say it’s time to talk about the school-to-prison pipeline.

* A Syrian man has been trapped in a Malaysian airport for 37 days.

The Fog of War and the Case for Knee-jerk Anti-Interventionism.

15 Years. More Than 1 Million Dead. No One Held Responsible.

* America should just stop all bombing.

* ‘Star Wars’ and the Fantasy of American Violence.

* Justice Dept. to halt legal-advice program for immigrants in detention. Amid deportations, those in U.S. without authorization shy away from medical care. ICE Won’t Deport the Last Nazi War Criminal in America.

* This proposal, requiring worker seats on corporate boards, is commonly referred to as “codetermination.” A number of European countries require worker representatives to be included in corporate boards, or for councils of workers to be consulted in appointing board members. The emerging plan to save the American labor movement.

* Liberals and the strike.

* Eviction in America.

* There is no humane border regime, just as there is no humane abortion ban. The border will always tear parents from children, carers from charges, longtime residents from the only communities they’ve ever known. It may do it faster or slower, with ostentatious brutality or bureaucratic drag, but it will always do it. Trump is gambling that Americans will embrace the brutal version, as they’ve done so many times in the past. If they do, will we be enough to stop them? Liberals constantly rediscover the violence at the heart of their politics, but can never learn a thing from it.

* Zombie liberalism.

* When an algorithm cuts your health care.

How the American economy conspires to keep wages down.

* Nice work if you can get it.

* Uncle Sam’s largest asset.

Universities Use the Specter of ICE to Try to Scare Foreign Grad Students Away From Unionizing.

Why Your Advice for Ph.D.s Leaving Academe Might Be Making Things Worse.

* King Of Kong’s Billy Mitchell has been stripped of all his high scores, banned from competitive gaming.

* The definitive explanation of why Bitcoin is stupid.

* The new debt colonies.

* Faces of Auschwitz.

* Wisconsin in the news: Suspected White Supremacist Died Building ISIS-Style Bombs.

* I predicted this: Apple orders its most ambitious TV series yet: An adaptation of Asimov’s Foundation.

* More than half your body is not human.

* Learning styles as a myth.

* Stan Lee needs a hero. Sounds like the sooner the better.

* Neanderthals cared for each other and survived into old age.

* Star Wars is RUINED.

* The oceans’ circulation hasn’t been this sluggish in 1,000 years. That’s bad news. Dangerous climate tipping point is ‘about a century ahead of schedule’ warns scientist. Greenland Ice Sheet is Melting at its Fastest Rate in 400 years.

The greatest environmentalist of postwar America wasn’t a scientist or a wonk. He didn’t even finish high school.

* Atheism and the alt-right.

* Amazon and/against Tolkien.

Tony Gilroy on ‘Rogue One’ Reshoots: They Were in “Terrible Trouble.”

* Catholic Colleges and Basketball.

* A people’s history of the Undertaker.

* John Carpenter: The First Fifteen Years.

* Only young people do revolutionary mathematics.

* Political correctness strikes again! MIT cuts ties with company promising to provide digital immortality after killing you.

The Working Person’s Guide to the Industry That Might Kill Your Company.

* I was going to watch it anyway, but: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Season 2 Casts Tig Notaro.

* A Jar, a Blouse, a Letter: The story of Julia Kristeva.

Facebook is unfixable. We need a nonprofit, public-spirited replacement. Mark Zuckerberg’s 15-year apology tour.

Why several trainloads of New Yorkers’ poop has been stranded for months in Alabama.

Unusual forms of ‘nightmare’ antibiotic-resistant bacteria detected in 27 states.

* The best news I’ve heard in years: Fireball Island is coming back.

* That’s a relief! Don’t worry, the US would win a nuclear war with Russia.

* And no one’s hands are clean.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 14, 2018 at 6:09 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Monday Night Links!

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Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Star Trek’ Will Be R-Rated: ‘The Revenant’s Mark L. Smith Frontrunner Scribe. Patrick Stewart would play Picard again, but only for Tarantino. Still pretty firmly on board.

* Pretty strong contender for the moment the Singularity happened: an AI teaches itself chess in four hours and beats the strongest human-designed AI that exists, which itself can beat any human. AI is now so complex its creators can’t trust why it makes decisions.

It is significant that it is women of colour, a doubly marginalised group, who are at the forefront of finding new ways to figure uneven development during this, our time, of successive systemic crises. Imbalances between cores and (internal and external) peripheries appear in the novels of Nalo Hopkinson and Nnedi Okorafor that also brought Caribbean, Yoruba, and Igbo folk culture into the core of genre sf at the same time as working to explode it. More recently, N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth novels (2015-2017) feature a fantasy world repeatedly wracked by cataclysmic geological upheavals that can easily be read as a metaphor for anthropogenic climate change. But as their coded commentary on #BlackLivesMatter, hardened borders, and refugee-panics indicate, these profound shocks are also those to which capitalist cores expose their internal and external peripheries. From world sf (via, if we must, World Sf) to world-sf.

* The short story phenomenon that’s sweeping the world: Men React to “Cat Person.” Based on the original short story by 

* Dragon debris.

* When an algorithm writes science fiction.

André 3000 lands big role in sci-fi film, ‘High Life’ — about convicts sent on a mission to a black hole, penned by Zadie Smith.

* One of my graduate students, Brian Kenna, has a terrific review of the new Tolkien publication Beren and Lúthien in the Los Angeles Review of Books, focusing both on Tolkien and gender as well as the weird inaccessibility of Christopher Tolkien’s editorial decisions. Check it out!

Every English major joke is a small concession to the same logic that leads administrators to trim humanities programs, or leads lawmakers to strike the NEA and NEH from the budget as wasteful, though these offices claim at best fractions of fractions of our larger national expenses. Humorless Man Yells at English Major Jokes. Facing My Own Extinction.

* How to Teach a Cyborg.

* Stony Brook Professor Detained in Cameroon.

8 Grad Students Are Arrested Protesting the GOP Tax Bill on Capitol Hill. College and the End of Upward Mobility. How Harvard’s Hypocrisy Could Hurt Your Union. Private Colleges Had 58 Millionaire Presidents in 2015. Charles Koch Gave $50 Million To Higher Ed In 2016. What Did He Buy?

* In the richest country in human history. How Big Medicine Can Ruin Medicare for All. Girl has blunt message for Aetna after her brain surgery request was denied.

Drug trial shows promising results to fight Huntington’s disease. This is a very promising finding: whether or not this particular treatment becomes “the cure” or not, the fact that you can shut off huntingtin production without negatively impacting the adult brain suggests some version of this treatment could diminish or entirely prevent the emergence of the disease. “I really think this is, potentially, the biggest breakthrough in neurodegenerative disease in the past 50 years.”

* Here’s what happens when noble, determined people win — and find themselves in an unwinnable situation.

After Trent Franks, men worry if asking subordinates to bear their child is still okay. For Female Lobbyists, Harassment Often Accompanies Access. Al Franken’s selfish, damaging resignation speech. Time POTY more or less gets it right for once. The Unsexy Truth about Harassment. Weinstein as Crime Boss. As More College Students Say “Me Too,” Accused Men Are Suing For Defamation. Dirty Old Men on the Faculty. Over two thousand entries on a Google doc detailing sexual harassment in the academy. Our Professors Raped Us.

“You can have my vote if you have sex with me,” Ms. Alarid recalled the lawmaker saying, although he used cruder language for sexual intercourse. He told Ms. Alarid she had the same first name as his wife, so he would not get confused if he called out in bed. Then he kissed Ms. Alarid on the lips, she said.

Shocked, Ms. Alarid, who was 32 at the time, pushed him away. Only after he was gone did she let the tears flow.

When her bill came up on the floor of the New Mexico House of Representatives the next day, March 20, 2009, it failed by a single vote, including a “No” by the lawmaker, Representative Thomas A. Garcia.

As Ms. Alarid watched from the House gallery, she said, Mr. Garcia blew her a kiss and shrugged his shoulders with arms spread.

Official Toll in Puerto Rico: 64. Actual Deaths May Be 1,052. Just one story of thousands: Lives at Risk Inside a Senior Complex in Puerto Rico With No Power.

‘Holy crap’: Experts find tax plan riddled with glitches. The Republican tax bill: four takeaways. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act lets corporations loose to do what they will—and then imposes pain to make the numbers work. And inevitably.

The first wintertime megafire in California history is here. California’s wildfires are not “natural” — humans made them worse at every step. Incarcerated women risk their lives fighting California fires. It’s part of a long history of prison labor. California Is Running Out of Inmates to Fight Its Fires.

* The ‘poisoned landscapes’ we leave behind. As the climate changes and seas swell, coastal colleges struggle to prepare. Fracking Is a Huge American Money Pit.

Don’t blame the election on fake news. Blame it on the media.

* thisisfine.jpg

* “Here are the keys, Don, gas is in the tank.”

Pilots stop 222 asylum seekers being deported from Germany by refusing to fly. Deportation under Trump.

Millennials now biggest voting group in U.S., 2-1 Democratic.

Dem lawmaker calls for extra protections to ‘safeguard’ Senate pages if Moore is elected. That’s MILWAUKEE’S OWN Dem lawmaker Gwen Moore.

* “Lest I be misinterpreted, I emphatically affirm that education confers some marketable skills, namely literacy and numeracy.” Don’t give an inch, brother!

How our housing choices make adult friendships more difficult.

* “‘Ambiance and atmosphere models’ contractually obligated to pretend they’re party guests are in record demand from local agencies.”

*An exclusive analysis of data from the 50 largest local police departments in the United States shows that police shoot Americans more than twice as often as previously known.

Bodycam footage of the incident, released after the verdict, showed Mr Shaver on his knees asking officers not to shoot him just before he was killed.

Subsequently, The Intercept, working with the ACLU of Texas, obtained several DPS dashcam videos that show immigrants being detained on the road for trivial violations and then carted away by the Border Patrol.

Mark Hamill Made Up an Absurdly Grim Backstory for Luke Skywalker Ahead of The Last Jedi. The “True Nature of the Force” is More Complicated Than You Think. I made the “the Force is the villain” prediction way back in 2015, too, and still think some version of it is going to land. Star Wars vs. the Nazis. The First Impressions for Star Wars: The Last Jedi Are Overwhelmingly GoodAnd the only review I needed from the only voice I trust.

An extremely petty breakdown of everything dumb in the Jurassic World 2 trailer.

The Hollywood Drama Around Annihilation Shows Why We Can’t Have Smart Things.

How Facebook Figures Out Everyone You’ve Ever Met.

* Very 2017 Headlines: Why are America’s farmers killing themselves in record numbers?

* Modern politics.

* LEGO politics.

* No one makes a living on Patreon.

* Dial B for Blog is back! Again!

* Podcasts have truly arrived: they’re being turned into superhero movies.

* Tis the season: reference-writing guidelines for avoiding gender bias.

* The fascinating history of the first commercial jetliner.

A classified government document opens with “an odd sequence of events relating to parapsychology has occurred within the last month” and concluded with an alarming question about psychics nuking cities so that they became lost in time and space. If this sounds like a plot out of science fiction, it is – but it’s also a NSA memo from 1977.

A New Optical Illusion Was Just Discovered, And It’s Breaking Our Brains.

* A female translator reckons with The Odyssey.

* When a DNA test tells who your daddy isn’t.

* Stalk your friends the Wired way.

* From Zoey’s eyeballs to megabucks: This 6-year-old made $11 million on YouTube in one year.

* And Slaughterhouse-Five is coming to TV. Can’t wait to see what they cook up for season two…

Written by gerrycanavan

December 11, 2017 at 4:52 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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