Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘swing states

Christmas and/or Fascism Megapost Forever and Ever Links – Part One!

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* I had a great time as the guest on this week’s Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy talking about my Octavia Butler book, which has gotten some nice attention lately, including an interview in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel last weekend as well. I was also on Radio Free Marquette this week, talking Rogue One

* Another great Butler piece making the rounds right now: My Neighbor Octavia.

* A New Inquiry syllabus on Speculating Futures. Wired‘s first-ever science fiction issue.

Monday’s Electoral College results prove the institution is an utter joke. Original Sin: The Electoral College as a Pro-Slavery Tool. The Left and Long Shots. Trump Is Unambiguously Illegible to be President. Meanwhile, on the lawlessness beat: Gingrich: Congress should change ethics laws for Trump. Amid outcry, N.C. GOP passes law to curb Democratic governor’s power.

* Hunter S. Thompson, the Hell’s Angels, and Trump. Look, all I’m saying is let’s at least give Nyarlathotep a chance. The Government Is Out of the Equality Business. When tyranny takes hold. Now, America, You Know How Chileans Felt. It’s Trump’s America now. Time to get over our attachment to facts. And on that note: Too good not to believe.

* Not that we’re doing much better over here: Vox and the rise of explaintainment.

How to Defeat an Autocrat: Flocking Behavior. Grassroots organizing in the Age of Trump.

* Against Ivanka.

* The worst possible Democrat at the worst possible time, forever and ever amen. What the Hell Is Wrong with America’s Establishment Liberals? Of course they are. The Year in Faux Protests. And no, I’m not over it yet: The Last 10 Weeks Of 2016 Campaign Stops In One Handy Gif. How Clinton lost Michigan — and blew the election.

* My President Was Black. The Problem With Obama’s Faith in White America.

* I am terrified about where all this seems to be heading, on every level.

Colby-Sawyer Eliminates Five Majors to Stay Afloat. English was on the list.

* More on Hungerford and not-reading. Elsewhere at LARB: Graham J. Murphy on the Ancillary Justice trilogy.

* How Bad Was Imperial Cybersecurity in Rogue One? Why Jack Kirby is (Probably) the Forgotten Father of Star Wars and Rogue One. The Obscenely Complex Way the Rebels Stole the Death Star Plans in the Original Star Wars Expanded Universe. And behold the power of this fully operational alt-right boycott.

* More and more I find the unpublished and unwritten versions of stories as interesting or more interesting than the published versions — which is as true of Harry Potter as anything else.

* Dear tech community: your threat model just changed.

You were never actually accomplishing anything by watching the news.

You won’t believe how many Girl Scouts joined the Polish underground in WWII.

Milo Yiannopoulos at UWM.

In 2010, renowned string theory expert Erik Verlinde from the University of Amsterdam and the Delta Institute for Theoretical Physics proposed that gravity is not a fundamental force of nature, but rather an “emergent phenomenon.” And now, one hundred years after Einstein published the final version of his general theory of relativity, Verlinde published his paper expounding on his stance on gravity—with a big claim that challenges the very foundation of physics as we know it. Big question is whether gravity is a bug they haven’t patched yet, or if gravity is the patch.

TNT decides that a modern-day Civil War show doesn’t sound like fun anymore. But a show humanizing the KKK, sure….

* There’s only one story and we tell it over and over, sitcom edition.

* History in the Anthropocene.

* EPA: Oh, yeah, we were lying before.

Arms Control in the Age of Trump: Lessons from the Nuclear Freeze Movement. And some timely clickbait: How would you know if a nuclear war started?

* The end of Roe v. Wade.

* Trump and oxy.

* Understanding Chicago Dibs.

* Spoilers: What Really Happens After You Die?

* Fitter. Happier. More Productive. Comfortable. Not drinking too much. Regular exercise at the gym (3 days a week).

* More news from the future: Feds unveil rule requiring cars to ‘talk’ to each other.

* It can get worse, DC Cinematic Universe edition.

* Academic papers you can use: Where does trash float in the Great Lakes?

* And the war has even come to the Shire: Whitefish Bay to trap and remove coyotes.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 20, 2016 at 11:44 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Almost Too Many Thursday Links, Really, If You Ask Me

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* Extrapolation is seeking essays for a special issue on Indigenous Futurism, edited by Grace L. Dillon, Michael Levy and John Rieder.

* Designing for The Grand Budapest Hotel.

* No state worse than Wisconsin for black children, says new national study. The Fight for Wisconsin’s Soul. Other People’s Pathologies.

* Why UWM Matters.

* Life and debt.

* Coffee pods and ecology.

* University of California graduate students explain why they’re striking. Students Occupy Dartmouth President’s Office. Coaches Make $358,000 In Bonuses For Reaching NCAA Tournament Final Four. Emory University Eradicates its Visual Arts Department. Dear Harvard: You Win.

* A Brief Report from the University of Southern Maine. Armed guards at faculty meetings.

Major attack on academic freedom in Michigan.

* Academia Under the Influence.

* Surveillance, Dissent, and Imperialism. NSA Surveillance and the Male Gaze.

* The secret history of Cuban Twitter. If this tweet gets 1000 favorites Castro’s beard falls out.

Kingdom Prep is one of dozens of basketball academies that have popped up in recent years to cater to “postgrad” players—recent high-school graduates who need to improve their standardized-test scores to meet the NCAA’s academic requirements.

* Just when I thought I was out: Marquette hires Duke associate head coach Steve Wojciechowski.

* The really rich are different from the rich, who are different from you and me.

* An heir to the du Pont fortune has been given probation for raping his three-year-old daughter because you know damn well why.

* What Can You Do With a Humanities Ph.D., Anyway?

* Documents filed with the Department of Labor and dated December 2012—three months after the company’s owners filed their lawsuit—show that the Hobby Lobby 401(k) employee retirement plan held more than $73 million in mutual funds with investments in companies that produce emergency contraceptive pills, intrauterine devices, and drugs commonly used in abortions. Hobby Lobby makes large matching contributions to this company-sponsored 401(k).

* Libertarian Police Department. Koch Brothers Quietly Seek To Ban New Mass Transit In Tennessee.

* Detroit: Then and Now.

* A new study shows how Lake Tahoe might serve as a mammoth reservoir that could significantly mitigate California’s chronic water shortages without tarnishing the lake’s world-renowned beauty. What could possibly go wrong?

* The geographic sublime, from the Rural Assistance Center.

* How to Think About the Risk of Autism.

* Sepinwall vs. How I Met Your Mother.

* How To Negotiate With People Around The World.

* Gasp! CIA misled on interrogation program, Senate report says.

* Gasp! Torture Didn’t Lead to Bin Laden.

* New G.O.P. Bid to Limit Voting in Swing States.

* Who’s afraid of Suey Park?

* You once said: “I’m part-android.” Has that revelation haunted you?

* The kids are all right: Talking With 13-Year-Old Leggings Activist Sophie Hasty.

* Bourbon and Girl Scout Cookie Pairings.

* How to Improve Aquaman.

* The Definitive Ranking Of Robin’s 359 Exclamations From ‘Batman.’ 25 Weird Batman Comic-Book Covers.

* Fan work: Labor, worth, and participation in fandom’s gift economy.

* Norman Lear, Archie Bunker, and the rRise of the BBbad Fan.

Original Star Trek II: Wrath Of Khan VFX Storyboards Are A Visual Feast.

* The greatest, richest, freest country in the history of the world.

* The wisdom of markets: Walmart Realizes It’s Losing Billions Of Dollars By Denying Workers More Hours.

* Classic good news / bad news situation: Television Without Pity Archives Will Stay Online. Panel’s Warning on Climate Risk: Worst Is Yet to Come.

* Weird science: Gunshot victims to be suspended between life and death.

* On Moretti-ism: Knowing is not reading.

* The New Inquiry’s “Money” issue is out with some great pieces, including one on China that really highlights a key contradiction in American ideology, which simultaneously holds that capitalism is the only possible economic system and that the future belongs to China. And Rortybomb’s piece on human capital is super chilling: basically dystopian literature, and it’s pretty much already real. And then the freedom piece! And the egg donation one! Great issue all around.

A person may be free because she can choose among a broad range of possibilities, or she may be free while she undertakes some action about which she has no choice at all, but whose compulsion she deems legitimate. Or she may be free when she faces a range of options, one of which is clearly superior to the alternatives, so that her behavior is perfectly predictable despite a formal freedom to choose. Freedom is not, at bottom, about the range of possibilities one faces but about the degree of consent one offers for the action to be taken or the circumstance to be endured.

Japan Ordered To Stop Killing Antarctic Whales For “Science.”

* Teen Wins $70,000 Settlement After School Demanded Her Facebook Password.

* Is being thin more deadly than being obese? Take that, skinnies!

*  I’ve had this dream: Student claims college instructor spent months teaching class the ‘wrong’ course.

* I dream of the day that Seattle and Portland can get along.

* And please don’t make me say it again.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 3, 2014 at 7:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Monday Morning Links

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* Scenes from the class struggle at CUNY.

* Quiggin’s Razor: If we started any analysis of international relations with the assumption that war will end badly for all concerned, and that the threat of war will probably lead to war sooner or later, we would be right most of the time. Via Kevin Drum.

* The Real Petraeus Scandal: the compelled veneration of all things military. Via LGM. See also Spencer Ackerman: How I Was Drawn Into the Cult of David Petraeus.

* The New Yorker notices that it won’t be long before Texas will be a swing state.

“In not too many years, Texas could switch from being all Republican to all Democrat,” he said. “If that happens, no Republican will ever again win the White House. New York and California are for the foreseeable future unalterably Democrat. If Texas turns bright blue, the Electoral College math is simple. We won’t be talking about Ohio, we won’t be talking about Florida or Virginia, because it won’t matter. If Texas is bright blue, you can’t get to two-seventy electoral votes. The Republican Party would cease to exist. We would become like the Whig Party. Our kids and grandkids would study how this used to be a national political party. ‘They had Conventions, they nominated Presidential candidates. They don’t exist anymore.’ ”

The Republican Party’s electoral map problem.

But even in that silver lining for Republicans, you can see clouds. Arizona and Georgia, both of which Romney carried in 2012, gained seats in 2010 because of fast population growth, but Democratic dominance among Hispanic voters in each is expected to make them potential swing states in 2016 and 2020.

Their Southern politicians problem. The Washington Post‘s lengthy election post-mortem. Politico just can’t imagine where the GOP could be getting all its terrible journalism. Perhaps it will always be a mystery. Tom Tomorrow gets in on the action. “We Just Had a Clas War and One Side Won.” Worst class war ever.

Young voters turned the tide for Brown’s Prop 30.

Walmart Black Friday Strike Being Organized Online For Stores Across U.S. I’m staying home that day because I hate Black Friday and everything it represents in solidarity.

Hurricane Sandy and the Disaster-Preparedness Economy.

It’s all part of what you might call the Mad Max Economy, a multibillion-dollar-a-year collection of industries that thrive when things get really, really bad. Weather radios, kerosene heaters, D batteries, candles, industrial fans for drying soggy homes — all are scarce and coveted in the gloomy aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and her ilk.

* In the winter of 1955, the editors of a newly launched magazine called Sports Illustrated sent William Faulkner to watch an ice hockey game between the New York Rangers and the Montreal Canadiens.

* And Being Elmo makes Kevin Clash out to be a living saint. I hope his version of events turns out to be true. As someone just tweeted at me, I’m probably going to hell for even linking this story at all.

Weekend Links

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* All in the game: 16-bit The Wire.

* Star Trek: Settlers of Catan? Oh, all right. Meanwhile: Michael Dorn Developing Wildly Ill-Conceived Captain Worf TV series.

19th century British slang for “sex.” Via Bitter Laughter.

* Captain Jack Harness is coming to Milwaukee.

* Polls are reporting signs of a big DNC “bounce” for Obama. Meanwhile, Romney’s ad buys suggest he thinks he needs to run the table.

The fresh crop of post-secondary students filing into the classroom this week could be in for a shock when they realize they could be paying for their education an average of 14 years after they graduate.

* Actually existing media bias: Why won’t CNN air its own award-winning documentary on Bahrain?

* Can You Die from a Nightmare?: Life with Night Terrors.

* Cory Doctorow, against science fiction film.

Teletubbies as Radical Utopian Fiction.

* You demanded it, now here it is! A Christmas Story 2. This film looks so terrible it hardly even seems real.

* Secrets of the Avengers!

3. The Hulk has no penis.
They modeled every part of the Hulk, except for one. “When the maquette came in, it’s just a Barbie doll,” said Jason Smith.

* David Foster Wallace in Recovery. Via MeFi. And for all your Infinite Jest needs: Infinite Atlas.

Meet Paul Ryan

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Meet Paul Ryan. 12 Things You Should Know About Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan. Strategically, I really can’t see how a Ryan pick makes much sense. He’s an incredibly easy target, doesn’t change the electoral map in any way (except possibly throwing Florida to Obama), and marries Romney to a much more radical policy agenda than he wants or needs.

If I were Romney I’d have picked a crucial-swing-state veep like Portman, McDonnell, or Rubio for sure. Like Steve Benen says, picking an August is a sign of significant weakness in a candidate.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 11, 2012 at 11:23 am

Sunday!

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* Suppose you were alive back in 1945 and were told about all the new technology that would be invented between then and now: the computers and internet, mobile phones and other consumer electronics, faster and cheaper air travel, super trains and even outer space exploration, higher gas mileage on the ground, plastics, medical breakthroughs and science in general. You would have imagined what nearly all futurists expected: that we would be living in a life of leisure society by this time. Rising productivity would raise wages and living standards, enabling people to work shorter hours under more relaxed and less pressured workplace conditions.

Why hasn’t this occurred in recent years? In light of the enormous productivity gains since the end of World War II – and especially since 1980 – why isn’t everyone rich and enjoying the leisure economy that was promised? If the 99% is not getting the fruits of higher productivity, who is? Where has it gone?

* Corey Robin and Adam Kotsko on violence and “national security.” Here’s Adam:

To me, this is the ultimate disproof of the secular liberal contention that religion is the biggest possible cause of violence. Literally nothing could be more rigorously secular than “reasons of state,” and yet this principle has led to millions upon millions of deaths in the 20th Century alone. Of course, one could always fall back on the same dodge that allows one to get around the deaths caused by International Communism, for instance — “yes, they may have been officially atheistic, but in the last analysis Stalinism and Maoism are really religious in structure” — in order to define away abberant forms of “national security.”

And I think this typical dodge shows why the notion of religion as chief cause of violence has such a powerful hold — what “religion” signifies in such statements isn’t a body of beliefs and rituals, etc., but irrationality itself. It’s this irrationality that makes “religious violence” violent, not the body count. Within this framework, then, when rational people — for example, legitimate statesmen calculating the national interest — use violence for rational ends, it is not, properly speaking, violence. It is simply necessity.

(That’s the same reason why my typical rejoinder to “religious violence” rhetoric — “ever heard of money?” — also doesn’t work: the profit motive is rationality itself and could never be violent.)

Birth to 12 years in 2 min. 45.

* Undocumented Immigrants Paid $11.2 Billion In Taxes While GE Paid Nothing.

* Whistleblower Reveals Widespread Bribery By Walmart In Mexico.

* Swing States Are Swinging Toward Obama. But how will voters react when it comes out that PROSTITUTION!!!!

Wisconsin’s Planned Parenthood suspends non-surgical abortions.

* Against lotteries: Taking money from people who have little and are powerless against even the slightest chance of escaping poverty is the kind of activity usually associated with the Mafia and street gangs. State governments are more than happy to play the part though, and they’ve gone far beyond anything organized crime ever did in terms of exploiting the desperation of the poor and selling them false hope with terrible odds. Lotteries that take their money for the explicit purpose of giving it to people who are financially better off is evidence of how completely our governments – particularly here in the South – have abandoned even the pretense of holding the moral high ground. They’ve identified the victims of an exploitative system and chosen to use that to their advantage. More here.

Here’s an interesting wrinkle I’ve encountered in a few places. Many scholars sign work-made-for-hire deals with the universities that employ them. That means that the copyright for the work they produce on the job is vested with their employers — the universities — and not the scholars themselves. Yet these scholars routinely enter into publishing contracts with the big journals in which they assign the copyright — which isn’t theirs to bargain with — to the journals. This means that in a large plurality of cases, the big journals are in violation of the universities’ copyright. Technically, the universities could sue the journals for titanic fortunes. Thanks to the “strict liability” standard in copyright, the fact that the journals believed that they had secured the copyright from the correct party is not an effective defense, though technically the journals could try to recoup from the scholars, who by and large don’t have a net worth approaching one percent of the liability the publishers face.

Senator Frank Church – who chaired the famous “Church Committee” into the unlawful FBI Cointel program, and who chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee – said in 1975:

“Th[e National Security Agency’s]  capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide.  [If a dictator ever took over, the N.S.A.] could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back.“

Now, the NSA is building a $2 billion dollar facility in Utah which will use the world’s most powerful supercomputer to monitor virtually all phone calls, emails, internet usage, purchases and rentals, break all encryption, and then store everyone’s data permanently.

* And Mark Stone was an undercover anarchist.

Lots of Thursday Links

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* The unpredictable Republican presidential race has taken another surprising turn as recent numbers show Mongol warlord Genghis Khan seizing the lead in national polls of likely GOP primary voters.

* Santorum leading in Ohio. Obama leading everywhere.

* You had me at hello: Soviet Space Propaganda Posters.

* Part two of Boston Review‘s interview with David Graeber is up.

DJ: In my most cynical days as an academic, I thought of a professorship as the carrot that the establishment offers to make sure that smart people don’t run amok. “Give them a nice little office and a job that’s very stable, and put them in the ivory tower, and they won’t cause any trouble.”

DG: Did you ever read C.B. Macpherson’s theory of the university? It’s similar to that, and it’s actually quite clever. He makes the argument that universities have traditionally fulfilled a kind of court jester role. What is the problem you have if you’re the guy in charge, if you’re a king? It’s that you’re surrounded by yes-men. So there’s nobody there who’s going to tell you if you have a really bad idea. They’ll agree with anything you say. So you need someone who will actually point out when you’re going off the tracks. You’ll also need to make sure that person isn’t taken seriously. So you get a hunchbacked dwarf to tell you a silly rhyme, telling you why your plan is idiotic. And you get to know that your plan is idiotic and think about it, and everybody else says, “OK, hunchbacked dwarf, you talk to the king, that’s fine.” Universities are pretty much the same thing. They’re there to come up with all the reasons why current policies are misguided, why, you know, the current economic systems might not be ideal. They come up with all the alternate perspectives, but they frame it in a way that nobody takes it particularly seriously or can even understand it.

* Life Lessons from The Lion King.

2) The rest of us should be happy to be ruled over by a group of predatory overlords who will devour us whole should we become sick or weak. Someday, eventually, in a vague and symbolic manner, karma will even things up.

3) Physical strength and charm are the defining characteristics for a leader; someone smart is probably just evil anyway. Don’t listen to them.

* The Angel Problem. Via MeFi.

* Ever since I taught The Sheep Look Up last week I see something Brunner predicted in the news nearly every day. Today’s depressing entry: Air Pollution Linked to Cognitive Decline in Women. Now, the dataset was all women, so it’s probably really “air pollution linked to cognitive decline in everyone.” Enjoy your weekend!

…over the past year, the Obama administration has quietly unleashed a multi­agency crackdown on medical cannabis that goes far beyond anything undertaken by George W. Bush. The feds are busting growers who operate in full compliance with state laws, vowing to seize the property of anyone who dares to even rent to legal pot dispensaries, and threatening to imprison state employees responsible for regulating medical marijuana. With more than 100 raids on pot dispensaries during his first three years, Obama is now on pace to exceed Bush’s record for medical-marijuana busts. “There’s no question that Obama’s the worst president on medical marijuana,” says Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project. “He’s gone from first to worst.”

* New Jersey expected to approve gay marriage; Christie vows veto.

* “All-male House GOP leadership gets all-male witness panel to agree that all-male Catholic hierarchy should set contraceptives policy.”  More here, here, here…

* The Wisconsin Uprising, One Year Later.

* And the Telegraph profiles the Boss.

He does, however, see cause for optimism. “The Occupy Wall Street movement has been powerful about changing the national conversation. The Tea Party set the conversation for a while but now people are talking about economic equality. That’s a conversation America hasn’t had for 20 years.”

There is also a religious dimension to Springsteen’s latest songs. The album shifts towards the spiritual uplift of gospel music in its rousing finale, evoking Jesus and the risen dead. “I got brainwashed as a child with Catholicism,” joked Springsteen, who says biblical imagery increasingly creeps into his songs almost unbidden. “Its like Al Pacino in The Godfather: I try to get out but they pull you back in! Once a Catholic, always a Catholic.”