Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Students for a Democratic Society

Just a Few for Friday

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* The draft program for SFRA 2018 is available. See you in July!

But that promise is part of what makes the movie’s sins so egregious. In the course of illuminating some of Han’s most famous exploits, including his record-setting Kessel Run and his acquisition of the Millennium Falcon, “Solo” turns into one of the most frenetic “Star Wars” movies. It whips us around so fast, though, that it’s impossible to see much; it’s less storytelling or world-building than the shallowest kind of tourism. Most disappointing of all is the trip that “Solo” takes into its hero’s head. Instead of making that journey and emerging with something rich and complicated that explains how Han became one of the great characters of the blockbuster era, and one of the most intriguing men in modern movies, “Solo” comes back mostly with treacle.

* But nevermind all that! The Boba Fett movie will solve everything!

Under The Skin: Why That ‘Arrested Development’ Interview Is So Bad. Jason Bateman Showed How “Family” Is Used To Excuse The Inexcusable.

Anguish at Southwest border as more immigrant children are separated from parents. Even more here. ‘We’re closed!’: Trump vents his anger over immigration at Homeland Security secretary. The feds lost – yes, lost – 1,475 migrant children. 

* Keeping climate change to 1.5°C relative to 2°C could cost $300 billion but save $20 trillion. Of course we’re not going to do it, but.

* SDS serves as a warning about the fragility of political ideas in the abstract, and how quickly they can be remade when history comes knocking.

* “There’s a reason Uber would tune its system to be less cautious about objects around the car,” Efrati added. “It is trying to develop a self-driving car that is comfortable to ride in.”

* And today in unprecedented shocking developments: N.J. Democrats loved the idea of taxing the rich — until they actually could do it.

Wednesday Links!

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* Marquette English’s course offerings for summer and fall 2015, including my courses on Science Fiction as Genre, J.R.R. Tolkien, and American Literature after the American Century.

* Speaking of my courses, this is such an incredible answer to the last few weeks of my cultural preservation course I almost feel as though I somehow made it up.

* An amazing late comment on my Universities, Mismanagement, and Permanent Crisis post, including some great commentary on the Simple Sabotage Field Manual.

* My review isn’t coming for a few months, but I really loved Kim Stanley Robinson’s Aurora. I can’t wait to talk to people about it. I don’t want to spoil anything so I’ll keep my mouth shut for now.

* If you want a vision of the future: Sweet Briar College, Citing ‘Financial Challenges,’ Will Close Its Doors in August. (More, more.Clarkson U., Union Graduate College Explore Merger. It’s Final: UNC Board of Governors Votes To Close Academic Centers. Jindal cuts higher ed by 78%.

Where has all the money gone? The decline in faculty salaries at American colleges and universities over the past 40 years.

* It’s always “the end of college.”

* “De-tenure.” Don’t worry, it’s just another regrettable drafting error!

Why we occupy: Dutch universities at the crossroads.

The academic-fraud scandal at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has focused largely on how fake undergraduate classes helped athletes maintain their eligibility to compete. In an article in The News & Observer over the weekend, a former UNC official says athletics officials also sometimes asked the university’s graduate school to bend the rules to admit athletes in order to extend their eligibility.

* This is the best Dean of Eureka Moments post yet. Maybe literally the best possible.

* College admissions and former inmates.

* Nine out of ten startups fail, which is why every institution in society should be converted to the startup model immediately.

The Search for a Useable Past: An Interview with Paul Buhle on Radical America.

* The politicization of even the idea of knowledge.

Michigan Frat’s 48-Hour Rager Wrecks Resort, Causes $430,000 in Damages.

* Le Guin vs. Ishiguo: “Are they going to say this is fantasy?”

* The United States of Megadrought: If you think that California is dry now, wait till the 2050s.

US sea level north of New York City ‘jumped by 128mm.’

A Major Surge in Atmospheric Warming Is Probably Coming in the Next Five Years.

* Vox considers the end of American democracy: 1, 2.

* Against the West Wing.

* Against “learning styles.”

Hillary Clinton Used Personal Email Account at State Dept., Possibly Breaking Rules. Hillary Clinton’s personal email account looks bad now. But it was even worse at the time.

* …whose frown / And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command / Tell that its sculptor well those passions read / Which yet survive, stamp’d on these lifeless things…

Why aren’t the seven witnesses to Dendinger’s nonexistent assault on Cassard already facing felony charges? Why are all but one of the cops who filed false reports still wearing badges and collecting paychecks? Why aren’t the attorneys who filed false reports facing disbarment? Dendinger’s prosecutors both filed false reports, then prosecuted Dendinger based on the reports they knew were false. They should be looking for new careers — after they get out of jail.

When A Newspaper Gave Blade Runner‘s Replicant Test To Mayor Candidates.

* “An ode to Juiceboxxx, a 27-year-old rapper from Milwaukee no one’s ever heard of.”

* “When Your Father Is the BTK Serial Killer, Forgiveness Is Not Tidy.”

Scott Walker Wants To Stop Funding Renewable Energy Research Center. Of course he does.

Defense Bill Passes, Giving Sacred Native American Sites To Mining Company.

The forgotten masterpieces of African modernism.

Man gets life in prison for selling $20 worth of weed to undercover cop.

* Justice department determines Ferguson is a terrible place.

* Wrong way Obama?

* The Americans and austerity.

* Two ways of looking at income inequality.

* How a French insurer wrote the worst contract in the world and sold it to thousands of clients.

* Teach students about consent in high school.

Vermont Town May Allow 16- And 17-Year-Olds To Vote In Local Elections.

* Crunching the numbers: How Long Can A Spinoff Like ‘Better Call Saul’ Last?

What Marvel Characters End Up Being Called In Other Languages.

Panpsychism’s Labyrinth.

* Careers of the future: professional dumpster diver.

* It’s where those parallel lives diverge, though, that might provide a lasting new insight. Beginning on the day in 1968 when Jack was drafted and Jeff was not, Jack suffered a series of shifts and setbacks that his brother managed to avoid: two years serving stateside in the military, an early marriage, two children in quick succession, a difficult divorce, and finally, in the biggest blow of all, the sudden death of his teenage son. After these key divergences in their lives, Jack went on to develop not only Parkinson’s but two other diseases that Jeff was spared, glaucoma and prostate cancer. The twins place great stock in these divergences, believing they might explain their medical trajectories ever since. Scientists are trying to figure out whether they could be right.

* The globalist sublime.

Mars One colonists better off eating frozen pizza than local veggies.

Local Lab In Berkeley Accidentally Discovers Solution To Fix Color Blindness.

Things I Can Say About MFA Writing Programs Now That I No Longer Teach in One.

How the MFA Glut Is a Disservice to Students, Teachers, and Writers.

But there’s another breed of MFA program out there, proliferating constantly. These programs have nearly 100% admittance rates, fund zero percent of their students, collect outrageously high tuition, and often pay their instructors very little. And because there are so many people (rightly or wrongly) clamoring for MFAs, they have no incentive for standards, either—no incentive to reject any person, no matter how badly they write. One person’s money is as green as the next, after all. If you’ve received an undergraduate degree and can type on a computer, you’re in.

10-Year-Old Math Genius Studying for University Degree.

* The Last Man on Earth really shouldn’t work. And yet…

Officials at Arizona State University probably weren’t expecting the full Stormfront treatment when its English department advertised a spring semester class exploring the “problem of whiteness.”

No shades of grey in teaching relationships.

* Pendulum keeps swinging: Now Americans Should Drink Much More Coffee.

* But not Keurig.

* It’s been so long so I posted one of these I haven’t even linked to anything about the dress yet.

In 1971, William Powell published The Anarchist Cookbook, a guide to making bombs and drugs at home. He spent the next four decades fighting to take it out of print.

* Why Americans Don’t Care About Prison Rape.

Robear: the bear-shaped nursing robot who’ll look after you when you get old. What could possibly go wrong?

* The invention of blue.

In the 1800s, Courts Tried to Enforce Partnerships With Dolphins.

* The 16 Strangest Dragons In Dungeons & Dragons.

* Mark your everythings: Community comes back March 17.

* First the gorilla who punched the photographer, now this.

* Wes Anderson’s X-Men.

* Abra kazam.

* LLAP.

* And the arc of history is long, but: North Carolina Legalizes Call Girls For Politicians.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 4, 2015 at 8:00 am

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Student Uprisings

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Students at the New School have occupied the Graduate Faculty building in protest of administrative mismanagement, especially a lack of transparency and adequate funding. An excerpt from their statement:

The university is being treated as a profit-making venture at whose altar the requirements of scholarship are routinely sacrificed. We have been systematically stripped of the most basic resources necessary for academic excellence, including adequate funding, spaces in which to study and engage with each other, and a working library. We demand more opportunities for student funding, and we are willing to work for them. We need public spaces in which to foster a public sphere and an academic community. The absence of a serious library and its related resources for reserach is absolutely unacceptable and should not even be an issue of contention in an academic institution.

Academic planning and budgeting should be directed by individuals with a deep understanding and commitment to academic excellence and free inquiry.

We do not have adequate resources and we are not told why.

We have no hand and no say in our fates or the collective fate of our institution.

We desire meaningful and inclusive education that sees us as more than cash cows and treats us with respect as serious scholars, artists, musicians, designers, philosophers, writers, and most importantly, future educators. We are tired of being told by an out of touch administration what our needs are, and we are no longer willing to idly sit by while our education and our futures are gambled away. We want a university that is known for the quality of its students and faculty, not for its logo or the crimes of its leadership. It is time for change. We desire a better world, and we are willing to fight to achieve it.

(Thanks Fiona)

Written by gerrycanavan

December 18, 2008 at 5:48 am

Slackblogging

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As you can see, I’ve been slack blogging the last day or so—I’ve been catching up with other things. Here are a few Friday links to keep us busy:

* I’ve got a short review in the Indy of Harvey Pekar’s new book on the history of Students for a Democratic Society.

* Joseph Romm of Climate Progress has an article at Salon arguing “it won’t be easy but we can fix our oil and climate problems at the same time.”

Thus we come to one of the biggest questions of our time: Is humanity wise enough not to pursue carbon-intensive alternative fuels, even though pretty much all of them are economically profitable at current oil prices?

Wisdom! Curses! Our one weakness!

* A judge has ruled that Wal-Mart doesn’t have a trademark on the smiley face.

* Also at Boing Boing, a bed that will protect you from the terrorists.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 28, 2008 at 1:01 pm

‘If we appear to seek the unattainable, as it has been said, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable’

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Things coming across my radar screen this morning: the Port Huron Statement (compromise second draft).

Our work is guided by the sense that we may be the last generation in the experiment with living. But we are a minority–the vast majority of our people regard the temporary equilibriums of our society and world as eternally functional parts. In this is perhaps the outstanding paradox; we ourselves are imbued with urgency, yet the message of our society is that there is no viable alternative to the present. Beneath the reassuring tones of the politicians, beneath the common opinion that America will “muddle through,” beneath the stagnation of those who have closed their minds to the future, is the pervading feeling that there simply are no alternatives, that our times have witnessed the exhaustion not only of Utopias, but of any new departures as well. Feeling the press of complexity upon the emptiness of life, people are fearful of the thought that at any moment things might be thrust out of control. They fear change itself, since change might smash whatever invisible framework seems to hold back chaos for them now. For most Americans, all crusades are suspect, threatening. The fact that each individual sees apathy in his fellows perpetuates the common reluctance to organize for change. The dominant institutions are complex enough to blunt the minds of their potential critics, and entrenched enough to swiftly dissipate or entirely repel the energies of protest and reform, thus limiting human expectancies. Then, too, we are a materially improved society, and by our own improvements we seem to have weakened the case for further change.

Some would have us believe that Americans feel contentment amidst prosperity–but might it not better be called a glaze above deeply felt anxieties about their role in the new world? And if these anxieties produce a developed indifference to human affairs, do they not as well produce a yearning to believe that there is an alternative to the present, that something can be done to change circumstances in the school, the workplaces, the bureaucracies, the government? It is to this latter yearning, at once the spark and engine of change, that we direct our present appeal. The search for truly democratic alternatives to the present, and a commitment to social experimentation with them, is a worthy and fulfilling human enterprise, one which moves us and, we hope, others today. On such a basis do we offer this document of our convictions and analysis: as an effort in understanding and changing the conditions of humanity in the late twentieth century, an effort rooted in the ancient, still unfulfilled conception of man attaining determining influence over his circumstances of life.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 4, 2008 at 3:15 pm