Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Ted Chiang

Tuesday Links, Plus a Very Canavan Podcast!

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There’s No Sheriff on This Planet: A Conversation with Kim Stanley Robinson. The latest in my irregular series of conversations with KSR. The transcript is just the highlights — for the full effect you’ll have to listen.

* Extrapolation 60.1 is out! Articles on rape motifs in contemporary fantasy, Japanese print SF, and Nihād Sharīf’s The Conqueror of Time.

* Endgame ephemera! Avengers: Endgame, or, why this is all your fault. Avengers and the Endgame of Liberalism. And the Russo brothers are on a quest to make sure you know that Endgame being good had nothing to do with them.

* The Night King? Never happened. It will shock you how much it never happened. Bonus appearance by the coffee cup! If these are the final two choices, the only way to win the Game may be not to play.

* “Like Groundhog Day — and while we’re at it, like The Good Place — Russian Doll is Kafka played on easy mode.”

* Watch The Wandering Earth on Netflix!

* Ted Chiang has a new book, why haven’t you bought it yet?

* A new climate change story from Paolo Bacigalupi at MIT Technology Review. Killer ending.

* Human society under urgent threat from loss of Earth’s natural life. One million species at risk of extinction, UN report warns. Humans Are Speeding Extinction and Altering the Natural World at an ‘Unprecedented’ Pace. An open letter to David Wallace-Wells. We are ruled by psychopaths.

* Greta Thunberg, autism, and climate activism.

* For roughly 18 months, AirPods play music, or podcasts, or make phone calls. Then the lithium-ion batteries will stop holding much of a charge, and the AirPods will slowly become unusable. They can’t be repaired because they’re glued together. They can’t be thrown out, or else the lithium-ion battery may start a fire in the garbage compactor. They can’t be easily recycled, because there’s no safe way to separate the lithium-ion battery from the plastic shell. Instead, the AirPods sit in your drawer forever. AirPods Are a Tragedy.

It’s time to speak about batshit jobs.

Today, batshit jobs are more widespread than ever. You’re likely doing a batship job if you’re working in advertising trying to maintain mass consumption, in air traffic, industrial farming and forestry, in mining, in the car industry, and first of all if you’re working in oil drilling, fracking, coal mining.

To become dilligent batshit workers we have to be trained, and we have to be able to block out the harm that our work participates in. The beauty of the school strikes is that a generation of young people are preparing themselves to refuse batshit work.

*  It seems to me that anyone who considers this for more than ten minutes has to recognize that “student demand” is a construct: it is the product of a pervasive, cross-institutional pedagogy in social and educational value in which students are immersed from (at least) primary school onward.  If students are demanding STEM in record numbers, this is a because they have been systematically invited to embrace a number of interlocking beliefs: that

  1. STEM fields matter to the welfare and future of human societies more than other fields — that social problems respond best to technocratic solutions; 
  2. college is a course of career training; 
  3. college is an investment that ought to be maximized in order to yield the highest possible return in the form of lifelong higher income;
  4. STEM fields represent areas of continuing high-growth, recession-proof employment. 

“Student demand” is a fact insofar as it reproduces these assumptions, which are already endemic to the privatized, market-driven university.  Other forms of “student demand” (for example, demands for a more racially and ethnically diverse faculty that better reflects regional and national demographics) are routinely ignored.

* Marquette Academic Senate calls for administration neutrality on unionization.

* Measuring the tenure-track success of pre-2009 Ph.D.s is like measuring the ice stability of Greenland’s glaciers before industrialization. Researcher’s suicide reflects bleak prospects for post-Ph.D. life. Adjuncts and Freelancers: Reading Signs of Eventual Destruction.

* Turning Point USA’s dark coup on college campuses.

A lot of older academics will point to the 1970s or the 1990s to say that crisis has always been the default, and there’s truth to this. But they didn’t have the same debt loads back then.

* “Second Chance: Life without Student Debt.”

* For Colleges, Climate Change Means Making Tough Choices.

* People Are Clamoring to Buy Old Insulin Pumps.

What Happened After My 13-Year-Old Son Joined the Alt-Right. As capitalism starts to crumble, hate finds a familiar foothold.

Liberalism: the other God that failed. The Senate is a much bigger problem than the Electoral College. Here’s how many millennials get help from their parents to pay rent and other bills. Twitter users answer the question: “When did you become radicalized by the U.S. health care non-system?” 42% of Americans are at risk of retiring broke.

* America smartly sets its sights on the one flaw in the Constitution the Founders actually bothered to fix.

* If the president does it, it’s not obstruction.

* This seems heathy. This too! Things are great.

The forgotten history of how Abraham Lincoln helped rig the Senate for Republicans.

* Dialectics of Milwaukee: ‘It’s clear that the secret is out about Milwaukee,’ increased tourism spending shows. There seems to be a surge of unsettling things happening on the Milwaukee education landscape, some of them just more of the same (low student achievement, divisive politics) and some of them not so typical (corruption). Glendale would provide $37 million to help redevelop struggling Bayshore — with $57 million debt paid off.

Sandra Bland, It Turns Out, Recorded Her Own Video of Traffic Stop Confrontation. ICE provides local police a way to work around ‘sanctuary’ policies, act as immigration officers.

* On April 30, my Liberal Studies class, framed as Anthropology and Philosophy of Science, was the site of a horrific event. Two of my students were killed while four more were injured.

Study: Therapy dogs reduce children’s fear, anxiety during dentist appointments.

Aging baby boomers are about to push Alzheimer’s disease rates sky high.

The Saga Of ‘Star Citizen,’ A Video Game That Raised $300 Million—But May Never Be Ready To Play.

* Dystopia watch: Oh Good, a Subway System Is Making Riders Stare at Ads Before They Can Buy a Ticket. Amazon’s staffing up a news vertical full of crime stories designed to scare you into buying a spying, snitching “smart” doorbell. We’ve lived so long that the founding of Amazon Prime is something we can be nostalgic about now.

* Let’s just go with a daily reminder that Philip K. Dick wrote a novel where all films were just called disneys.

* Who Owns the Moon Watch: Why the Moon Is Suddenly a Hot Commodity.

* How angry pilots got the Navy to stop dismissing UFO sightings.

* And the biggest danger about an asteroid strike? Lawyers.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 7, 2019 at 12:31 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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So Here’s Everything You Missed While You Were Paying Attention to the Election Links

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* It was an absolutely crazy month trying to get the final proofs locked down, but The Cambridge History of Science Fiction has an Amazon page and a publication date: November 30, 2018. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this massive undertaking! Obviously $175 is a hefty price tag, so talk to your public and university library about science fiction today…

* SFRA Review #326 is up with my last vice president’s note (sniff).

* I think I forgot to hype my review essay in the latest Science Fiction Film and Television on Arrival and parenting. Consider it hyped!

* I was also lucky enough to participate in the symposium for the new issue of Science Fiction Studies on climate crisis. (The end of my contribution for those who can’t get past the preview.)

* Wired has a profile of KSR in honor of Red Moon, which I’m meant to be reviewing for LARB one of these days…

* Ted Chiang’s second collection, Exhalation, is finally coming out in May 2019. An absolute must-buy.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s Final Posthumous Book Is Published.

* It’s been too long since I last posted and this CFP is out of date now, but it looks like a great event at Madison next year: CFP: Childhoods of Color.

* At least the Post45 CFP is still active! And this one! Transgressions: McGill University’s 25th Annual English Graduate Conference.

* CFP: The Sanzed Empire on Fire: A Panel on N.K. Jemisin’s The Broken Earth Trilogy.

* Call for Papers: Insecurity Conference (Spring 2019). At UWM’s Center for 21st Century Studies.

* Another thing I missed in a month of not posting: Jaimee’s first review for the Rumpus. It’s a good one!

* Monsters vs. Empire: Mark Bould vs. the Space Force.

* Nine sci-fi subgenres for understanding what’s to come.

* Race and Halloween in Milwaukee.

* A special issue of the Canadian Journal of Canadian Studies: Black Lives, Black Politics, Black Futures—An Introduction.

Why I’m Fighting To Get Rid Of The “Baby Graveyard” At Marquette University.

* Jesuits to release names of accused priests in the west. This is going to hit Catholic higher education like a sledgehammer.

* Superstar-professor-industrial complex. Academia as cult.

* How to read Infinite Jest.

* Let the children sue.

* Monsters of climate change.

Architectural history in an era of capitalist ruin.

What if I told you one of the largest ever undertakings in American historic preservation was happening not through the graces of any large institution, but through the autonomous participation of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of individuals across the country, who are collectively stitching together their own narrative of architectural history?

The “Kmart” group on the photo-sharing website Flickr has amassed a staggering twenty-five thousand photos of its subject, a struggling American discount store. It hardly matters that, against the grain of the high-architectural image factory, many of these photos could not be called artistic—a number of them appear to have been taken with shaky cell phones, or from the wrong side of a speeding car. The production of high-gloss photography is not the purpose of this group. It’s purpose is to document a slow extinction.

* “I’m about to hit the ground but the bottom of my shoes were melting. I … prayed to God, ‘Please, don’t let me die like this,'” said nurse Nichole Jolly. Nurses fleeing fast-moving Camp Fire scramble to save patients — and themselves.

Microplastics found in 90 percent of table salt. Insect collapse study ‘one of the most disturbing articles I have ever read,’ expert warns. Humanity has wiped out 60% of animal populations since 1970, report finds. Entire cities evacuate as hellish wildfires whip through California. Here’s Where the Post-Apocalyptic Water Wars Will Be Fought. As the Antarctic Peninsula heats up, the rules of life there are being ripped apart. Alarmed scientists aren’t sure what all the change means for the future. Geoengineering as a weapon of war. Left-wing climate realism and the Trump climate change memo. Weather 2050: See how your city’s weather will be different in just one generation. Capitalism torched the world, fascism rose from the ashes. No Empires, No Dust Bowls Ecological Disasters and the Lessons of History. Best prepare for social collapse, and soon. Climate Change Is Already Damaging American Democracy. Climate Change is Already Drastically Altering the World’s Climate Zones. High Tide Socialism in Low Tide Times. Disaster socialism. Billionaires Are the Leading Cause of Climate Change. The end of the world is over. Now the real work begins.

The Wandering Earth could be China’s breakout sci-fi blockbuster film.

How Marvel and Corporate Comics Are Failing the ‘Vulnerable’ Creators Behind Their Superheroes. The case of Chuck Wendig.

* Citation as gratitude. Should Scholars Avoid Citing the Work of Awful People? Over time all cultural work asymptotically approaches the condition of Twitter.

* The NCAA is gaslighting you. The secret betrayal that sealed Nike’s special influence over the University of Oregon. Scandal at Maryland. Nearly 100 More Women Accuse USC Gynecologist George Tyndall of Abuse.

Going Hungry at the Most Prestigious MFA in America.

* Secretive Campus Cops Patrol Already Overpoliced Neighborhoods.

Meet the UW professor who just killed the death penalty.

* When you wake up this morning from unsettling dreams, you find yourself changed in your bed into a monstrous vermin. You Are Jeff Bezos.

Politics corner!

* It’s been so long since I posted that this caravan of bloodthirsty women and children isn’t even attacking the US anymore.

* Years too late, the end of Scott Walker. Wisconsin’s $4.1B Foxconn Boondoggle.

* Back to this. No asylum. These Companies Are Helping Trump Wage ‘Technological Warfare’ Against Immigrants. Amazon is helping ICE track, detain and deport immigrants, report say. Migrant Children in Search of Justice: A 2-Year-Old’s Day in Immigration Court. The Five-Year-Old Who Was Detained at the Border and Persuaded to Sign Away Her Rights. The war inside 7-11. How A Massive ICE Raid Changed Life In One Small American Town. ICE Is Imprisoning a Record 44,000 People. ICE Is Sending Separated Children Home With No One To Pick Them Up.

Swedish student who stopped deportation flight of Afghan asylum seeker to be prosecuted.

* The President personally and directly violating election law is like a page 6 story. And this one. And this one!

I know the vast amount of focus is on the immediate future of the Mueller probe, but it’s also wild that Whitaker, with this resume, is now the chief law enforcement officer in the country. ‘He’s a F*cking Fool.’

* The political theology of Trump.

* Florida. Why is it always Florida?

The Gerontocracy is Driving America into the Ditch. The rigging of American politics.

* What would you say about abolishing the Supreme Court? It’s a start. Resisting the Justocracy.

* Rule of law watch: Promise not to kill anyone? After losing election, TX judge wholesale releases juvenile defendants.

* Elsewhere in Texas: Now we see the violence inherent in the system.

* Periodic unhappy reminder that stochastic terrorism is a term you’re going to want to familiarize yourself with.

Pittsburgh Shooting Was Straight Out of White Power Movement. Law enforcement can’t and won’t fight them. More on that won’t.

Fascism Is Not an Idea to Be Debated, It’s a Set of Actions to Fight.

* Brazil. One key lesson from Brazil’s lapse into fascism: Don’t trust liberals. This Is How We Radicalized The World.

* Classic Obama move to punish a bank for its crimes and make sure not to tell anyone.

* There are so many constitutional crises going on right now that it’s hard to remember where they all are. This from West Virginia was less than a month ago.

Three Months Inside Alt-Right New York.

Five Principles for Left Foreign Policy.

* Why are we in the Middle East?

* The Senate is a huge problem for Democrats. America needs a bigger House. The Democrats’ Existential Battle: Achieving Real Democracy.

* And Wisconsin’s even worse.

* Trans rights are human rights.

Victims of School Shootings From 1946–2018, in Their Own Words.

Death or Debt? National Estimates of Financial Toxicity in Persons with Newly-Diagnosed Cancer.

* Oops! Our bad!

But Neel makes the unifying, underlying dynamics hard to deny — dynamics of dwindling state resources, growing demands stemming from unfolding climate catastrophe and rising superfluity, and deepening threats to government capacity and legitimacy. This is stark terrain that too few scholars glimpse with any clarity. Its implications are massive.

A pandemic killing tens of millions of people is a real possibility — and we are not prepared for it.

Tell Me It’s Going to be OK.

What is the evolutionary advantage of death?

* Training our self-driving cars to be fascists.

* If #Bitcoin were to cease trading tomorrow, 0.5% of the world’s electricity demand would simply disappear – which would cover one year’s worth of the carbon emission cuts required to limit temperature rises this century to 2C.

Miscarrying at Work: The Physical Toll of Pregnancy Discrimination.

A $21,634 bill? How a homeless woman fought her way out of tow-company hell.

* I want to believe! Welcome ‘Oumuamua.

* How to revise Lovecraft.

How Jennifer’s Body went from a flop in 2009 to a feminist cult classic today.

Maryse Condé Wins an Alternative to the Literature Nobel in a Scandal-Plagued Year.

* The cruelest optimism: Large-scale humanities Ph.D. tracking effort finds most would do it all over again, if given the choice, and that these Ph.D.s believe their programs prepared them for diverse career paths, especially after the first few years following graduation.

* The Singularity. Rebelling. By the time he realizes he’s agreed to teach high school English, it’ll be too late. Kafkaesque. The Literary Turning Test. What I ought to want, what I actually want, what I behave like I want. Fermi problems. Fun facts. Autocomplete. Lifecycle of the academic. Mental health. Amalekites.

* Fuck yeah.

“Do you want to turn your notifications off?” Twitter asked.

Is There Such A Thing As Ballet That Doesn’t Hurt Women?

* The story of a serial SWATter.

The idea that the ancients disdained bright color is the most common misconception about Western aesthetics in the history of Western art. “He started poking around the depots and was astonished to find that many statues had flecks of color: red pigment on lips, black pigment on coils of hair, mirrorlike gilding on limbs. For centuries, archeologists and museum curators had been scrubbing away these traces of color before presenting statues and architectural reliefs to the public.”

* So many people have had their DNA sequenced that they’ve put other people’s privacy in jeopardy.

The Strand, New York City’s largest independent bookstore, is owned by a millionaire — and the booksellers who work there are all broke.

* In defense of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

* The Making of The Empire Strikes Back.

* Twilight of Apu.

Ross MacDonald is a creator of fake period paper props – books, documents, packaging etc – for use in movies and television.

* The Sears catalog and Jim Crow. How vulture capitalists ate Sears. Eddie Lampert not only ran the company; he was also its largest creditor and the guy who sold major Sears assets to … Eddie Lampert.

* I’m sorry my parrot is so racist.

* Friction-free racism: Surveillance capitalism turns a profit by making people more comfortable with discrimination. An AI lie detector will interrogate travellers at some EU borders. Twilight of the Racist Uncles. We Are All Research Subjects Now.

* Losing Laura.

* This seems fine.

* Looking for the helpers: Turning the reassuring line for children into a meme for adults should make everyone uncomfortable.

The Possessed: Dispatches from the Third Trimester.

A British baby who was born at exactly 11 a.m. on the great day was christened Pax. At the age of twenty-one, he would be killed in the next war. The obligatory Vonnegut.

* 2018 in headlines: Man run over by lawn mower while trying to kill son with a chainsaw, police say. Loggers Accidentally Cut Down World’s Oldest Tree in Amazon Forest. Was Tony The Tiger Driven Off Twitter By Unbelievably Horny Furries?

* Nothing gold can stay: Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch puppeteer Caroll Spinney announces retirement.

* And if you want a vision of the future, imagine increasingly unnecessary sequels to any cultural production that strikes any sort of chord in anyone, forever. I don’t know how I’m managing to maintain a good attitude about the Picard show given that every piece of available evidence demonstrates it’ll be just another cynical cash grab.

* Same exact joke but about people trying to adapt Foundation.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 12, 2018 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Christmas Eve Eve Links Links

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* There’s a lovely review of my Butler book by Nisi Shawl in the new Women’s Review of Books. It’s not available online so you’ll have to take my word for it, unless your library subscribes…

* And I’m so happy to report that Extrapolation 58.2-3 is finally out, the special issue on “Guilty Pleasures: Late Capitalism and Mere Genre” I edited with Benjamin Robertson. Check out the intro to see what it’s all about, and then check out articles on Dragonlance, the Star Wars and Star Trek expanded universes, Sweet Valley High, Blondie, The Hunger Games, and Game of Thrones and fantasy roleplaying games…

CFP: Academic Track at the 76th World Science Fiction Convention, San José, California. CFP: Punking Speculative Fiction. CFP: Histories of the Future: Proto-Science Fiction from the Victorian Era to the Radium Age. CFP: Chapter Proposals for “Ecofeminist Science Fiction.” CFP: Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards.

An Incomplete Timeline of What We Tried.

* I thought this was great.

* Consider: Who pursues their goals with monomaniacal focus, oblivious to the possibility of negative consequences? Who adopts a scorched-earth approach to increasing market share? This hypothetical strawberry-picking AI does what every tech startup wishes it could do — grows at an exponential rate and destroys its competitors until it’s achieved an absolute monopoly. The idea of superintelligence is such a poorly defined notion that one could envision it taking almost any form with equal justification: a benevolent genie that solves all the world’s problems, or a mathematician that spends all its time proving theorems so abstract that humans can’t even understand them. But when Silicon Valley tries to imagine superintelligence, what it comes up with is no-holds-barred capitalism. Ladies and gentlemen, the great Ted Chiang.

Science fiction when the future is now. With appearances from Kim Stanley Robinson, Ken Liu, and Lauren Beukes.

* The best anti-Last-Jedi piece I’ve seen is Alyssa Rosenberg’s at the Washington Post. And the best pro-Last-Jedi piece from Dan Hassler-Forest at LARB. Somewhere in the middle is Abigail Nussbuam’s excellent piece at Asking the Wrong Questions.

* Lightsabers, by the numbers. Secret history of the porgs. Star Wars from below. Thank goodness somebody realized how terrible this would be. The Last Jedi and the necessary disappointment of epilogues. The films that inspired The Last Jedi. Behind the scenes. In defense of Canto Blight. Anti-nostalgia and anti-salvation. Star Wars without the Empire. How to Read Star Wars.

* Winter Is Coming: Climate Change in Westeros.

* How the Sesame Street Puppeteers Play Their Characters. It was only a year or three ago that I realized that on a basic level I’d still believed Big Bird was real; I had never thought or processed the fact that his lips were being moved by a puppeteer’s hands.

* So old I can remember when Sweet Briar was an inspiring story about a college being saved.

* On faculty and mental illness.

Study finds humanities and social science Ph.D.s working outside academe are happier than their tenure-track peers.

* Podcast alert: how does Samuel R. Delany work?

* Bang. Pow. To the Moon.

* Comedy writers name their most influential episodes: 1, 2.

* SHOCK REPORT: The tax bill is bad.

This Congress’s clear priorities: corporations, not children.

* It’ll also tax large endowments. Meanwhile in the academy: We Will Not Be Your Disposable Labor: Graduate Student Workers’ Fight Goes Beyond the GOP Assault. ‘A Complete Culture of Sexualization’: 1,600 Stories of Harassment in Higher Ed.

* Defund every agency that had any part in this. Murder Convictions Overturned, Two Men Are Immediately Seized By ICE. What happens to children whose parents are deported? 92 Somali immigrants deported in “slave-ship” conditions. ICE is abusing immigrant detainees with strip searches and threats. Shock of shocks, it turns out legal immigration is bad too.

The majority of US workers live in “employment monopsonies” where there is little or no competition for workers.

Why Doug Jones’s narrow win is not enough to make me confident about American democracy.

* Ghosts of 2012.

* First #J20 defendants found not guilty.

* The media wealth of African Americans in Boston is $8.

* People are using Uber instead of ambulances.

* The New York Times oddly reports on a Harry Reid boondoggle in a way that makes it sounds like aliens might be real.

* The Fred Moten century.

The Adult Bodies Playing Teens on TV.

* Monopolies are bad, no matter how much you like the brands involved. Avengers vs. monopoly.

“Neoliberalism” isn’t an empty epithet. It’s a real, powerful set of ideas.

* The madness of prison gerrymanders.

* Desegregation never happened.

* Climate refugees in Louisiana. Disability and disaster response in the age of climate change. Losing the wilderness.

* The FoxConn boondoggle gets worse and worse.

* The Next Crisis for Puerto Rico: Foreclosures.

* Revising agricultural revisionism.

* Against optimism.

* Against being born.

* On the sadcom.

Your Favorite Superhero Is Probably Killing the Planet.

* Professor X Is a Jerk!

* The Daily Stormer’s style guide.

* Opoids and homelessness. 3,000,000 pills to 3,000 patients in two years. The Opioid Crisis Is Getting Worse, Particularly for Black Americans. What happens after an American city gives a homeless person a one-way ticket out of town.

* The US gymnastics scandal somehow gets worse and worse.

‘The World’s Biggest Terrorist Has a Pikachu Bedspread.’

* The Forgotten Life of Einstein’s First Wife.

* The Ghost Economy.

* WHAT YEAR IS IT: How to prepare for a nuclear attack.

Lumberjanes’ Noelle Stevenson is Rebooting She-Ra for Netflix. Sir Ian McKellen Would Totally Play Gandalf In Amazon’s TV Tolkien Adaptations. The Next Bechdel Test.

* “Paradox,” by Naomi Kritzer.

* The Journal of Prince Studies.

* 80% of workers think managers are unnecessary. The other 20% mistakingly think they are managers.

* It’s not a perfect system, but it’s the one our Founders built: The Donald Trump droid is live at Disney World’s Hall of Presidents.

‘Trump, Trump, Trump!’ How a President’s Name Became a Racial Jeer. 55 Ways Donald Trump Structurally Changed America in 2017. Fascism has already come to America. Life expectancy declines for the second straight year. On brand.

* Heartbreaking interview with Heather Heyer’s mother.

* Jordan Peele, auteur.

* Dilbert: A Reckoning.

Still, it does make you ponder all the ways this industry works in service of power, and by extension those who abuse it. So many of comedy’s institutions are, at their core, PR machines. Branded content is Funny Or Die’s bread and butter. Every week SNL promotes someone’s new movie or TV show or album. Late night talk shows, with few exceptions, use jokes to bookend celebrity press tours. Comedians host awards shows because otherwise we might see them for the rituals they are—the wealthy and famous celebrating their own wealth and fame. Comedy normalizes power; it’s so successful at normalizing power that it feels weird to even write that as a criticism. Well, what’s wrong with normalizing power? Lots of things, but to start it lets monsters play the straight man in comedy sketches. It makes them relatable, which makes them less threatening. But power is always a threat, even more so when it seems innocuous, even more so when it seems… funny.

* 2018 is already terrible: there’ll be no more Zelda DLC.

* And remembering the reason for the season: Behold the official policy for destroying the head of Chuck E Cheese.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 23, 2017 at 10:06 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Tuesday Morning Links!

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* CFP: Disasters, Apocalypses, and Catastrophes: PCA/ACA 2018.

* When Universities Swallow Cities.

UC Davis’ Katehi will teach one course per quarter, conduct research in $318,000 position. Ah, so the standard rate.

What appears to be still difficult, even as it gets told in ever finer detail, is the simple and immense situation that America and Nazi Germany are two instantiations of a single history of white supremacist rule.

* The Last Days of New Paris is China Miéville’s novella about a surrealist Paris magically overlapping with our realist Paris. At the back of the book, Miéville offers endnote citations of the surrealist art that inspired his writing. I corralled all the art in this post.

* SF, Down Under.

* Liking What You See will be an AMC series. Interesting!

* Khaaaaaaaaan!

This Is the Way the College ‘Bubble’ Ends.

* I don’t like this: U.C. Irvine Rescinds Acceptances for Hundreds of Applicants. If Admissions guesses wrong it seems to me the college should have to bear the burden of solving the problem.

Border Agency Set to Jumpstart Trump’s Wall in a Texas Wildlife Refuge.

* The Fifty Year Ache: The Milwaukee Housing Marches.

* We seem to be entering a terrifying new moment of Trumpism. This October, Trump Will Try to Start a War with Iran. A Few Reasons to Impeach the President, Just From Today. How the Trump Administration Broke the State Department. You think? The Presidency in Exile. Kleptocracy. Here comes the pivot.

* RNC PR BS — no more! Inside the end of the Priebus era.

* This guy is on-brand. Aaaaaaand he’s gone. It’s gone to be a record.

* A good day for bad guys getting what’s coming to them.

* Has Jeff Flake really, truly had enough? I bet it’s bluster, and perhaps defensive, but we’ll see…

* All these “ha ha loser POTUS” pre-mortems forget that Trump hasn’t faced a crisis not of his own making yet.

* I thought this Russia subplot was over.

* No exit.

Immigrant mother of three with no criminal record to be deported.

Trump’s travel ban keeps orphan kids from US foster families.

Bawitdaba da bang da bang diggy diggy diggy.

The Academic “Success Sequence” – Get Lucky at Birth, Mostly.

* Left with Rage: What Happens When Trump Is Gone.

Democrats Will Do Anything To Win…Except Change. Democrats Can Abandon the Center — Because the Center Doesn’t Exist. Guys, they’ve got this.

Dogs probably domesticated us, not the other way around.

Oakland gives pot convicts first chance to open marijuana businesses as part of reparations for war on drugs.

* And I say 137 years is too good for ’em!

* Oh, so that’s what happened.

* Amazon and anti-trust.

Why millennials cheat less than their parents.

* Class action?

* Of course you had me at pop culture detritus illustrated as abandoned, overgrown ruins.

Close roads so children can play in the street like their parents did, say public health experts.

The Ultimate Playlist Of Banned Wedding Songs.

* A brief history of speedrunning.

* All these worlds are yours, except…

* And I have just one piece of advice for you.

Sunday Morning Links!

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* Somehow this one dropped out of the link post yesterday, but you know it hits all my buttons: Senate Parliamentarian Challenges Key Provisions of Health Bill.

* itshappening.gif. Democrats should be prepared to litigate pardons on every level, in advance. This is good too: Can the President Be Indicted? A Long-Hidden Legal Memo Says Yes. We’re on the Brink of an Authoritarian Crisis. The Crisis Is Upon Us.

Five poll numbers that should make Democrats uneasy. The fire next time. Signs of sanity from Chuck Schumer of all people, who’s been saying such things lately. 6 Months in, Is Trump’s America Living Up to Liberals’ Worst Fears? If Clinton Had Won.

Connecticut mother facing deportation seeks sanctuary in local church.

My Daughter Was Murdered in a Mass Shooting. Then I Was Ordered to Pay Her Killer’s Gun Dealer.

* The Millennials Are the American Earthquake.

* The year is 2525. All life on Earth is extinct. Jared Kushner has just submitted a final corrected SF-86.

* Presenting Anthony Scaramucci’s deleted tweets. Inside Hunt & Fish, where beauties trawl for sugar daddies. One last time. And of course.

* Why does DC Comics hate Superman? It’s bizarre.

Game of Thrones’s Medieval Crap.

* Rhapsody for the Anthropocene.

The Unacknowledged Costs of Academic Travel. Against Academic Conferences. I’m a long-married introvert who doesn’t drink, so if they outlawed conferences I’d probably come out pretty far ahead of the game — but I will say that #notallconferences are like what Matthew describes here: when I give a talk at the specialist conferences I usually go to there’s usually at least 20-30 people in the audience at each panel. (Maybe not at the early morning slot, but…) If panels are being that poorly attended as a rule, it’s likely a problem with the organization of the conference itself. I know my career has benefited a lot from finding out early which conferences were the right ones for me to be attending, and all of the opportunities that have made my career what it is came out of them. So it’s tough for me to say they’re not worth doing.

* I Studied the Humanities, and Now…

Is the person naming these colors of yarn okay?

* CPS and the New Jane Crow.

Mapped: the United States and Canada at the same latitudes as Europe.

* Cool world history visualization project at chronas.org.

* Adam Roberts previews what everyone says is the best European SF no one in America has ever heard of, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.

* Die old and leave an incredible story.

From this point of view Strange is perhaps the first postcolonial superhero, the first who taught the youth to ‘provincialise the West’, to paraphrase Dipresh Chakrabarty’s slogan.

* 29 minutes from New York to DC is a thing that is never going to happen.

Chipotle Suffers Another Setback As Rats Fall From Restaurant Ceiling. Still, when you’re in the mood, Chipotle can really hit the spot.

* 7 Black Alt-History Projects That Would Be Better Than Confederate.

21 Today: The Rise of Speculative Fiction in Africa, year by year.

* Comic-Con seemed fun this year: Star Trek! Westworld! Stranger Things! Thor! Infinity War! Ready Player One! Ted Chiang! Flashpoint? Even Justice League looks reasonably competent. This seems… important for the sequel? And the dream of the 90s is alive in Captain Marvel.

* Lean in.

#OEBStudies for All Your #OEBStudies Needs

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* I’m at the Huntington Library in Pasadena, presenting as part of the Octavia Butler studies conference here. Here’s a great writeup from the organizers, Ayana Jamieson and Moya Bailey. Hashtag #OEBStudies!

* Lumenscent Threads: Knowing Octavia Butler through a Community That Loved Her.

* I also got in a big Twitter to-do with Noah Berlatsky about the Oankali, if you want some extra bonus OEB content.

* Then next week I’m back in California for the Science Fiction Research Association conference at Riverside, giving a talk called “No, Speed Limit: Hyperspace in the Anthropocene” (and doing a bunch of SFRA executive committee stuff too I guess).

* “Rakka,” a nightmarish SF film from Neill Blomkamp, narrated by Sigourney Weaver. Seems almost like proof of concept for the Alien sequel they won’t let him do…

* And why not? Here’s an Irish one.

* The Han Solo prequel film, like every other Star Wars followup Disney has attempted, has encountered problems that have crashed production. This time they’ve fired the directors and brought in Ron Howard to attempt to salvage the project.

Jon Ossoff’s Georgia special election loss shows Democrats could use a substantive agenda. Nonsense! They’re doing great. Why Jon Ossoff’s loss is bad news for Democrats’ 2018 hopes. Keep hope alive.

* Memo shows what major donors like Goldman Sachs want from the Democratic Party. Class struggle in America doesn’t look exactly like you think.

* Who Is Getting Rich Off the Secret Health-Care Overhaul?

Senate Health Bill Gives Huge Tax Cuts to Businesses, High-Income Households. G.O.P. Health Plan Is Really a Rollback of Medicaid. A helpful chart of the differences between the Senate and House bills and the status quo. The Senate health bill is a recipe for a death spiral. Wheelchairs and zip ties. The littlest lobbyist: a 6-year-old, whose life depends on ACA, heads to Capitol Hill. There will be deaths.

Going on Fox News cost me my job, professor claims.

Don’t Trust a Republican Just Because He Hates Trump.

* Corey Robin on China Miéville’s October.

* The Pittsburgh Fairy Tale: Pittsburgh’s much-touted revival has remade the region for the wealthy while leaving workers and the poor behind.

* Twilight of the CEOs. Uber doesn’t even currently have a CEO, COO, CFO, or CMO, “in addition to other open positions.”

* What if the Watchmen adaptation that shouldn’t have happened in the first place happened again, but more so?

* Ted Chiang was right! Attractive Students Get Higher Grades.

* “The Castile case reminds me of a weird pattern we always see in the inevitable defenses of police who’ve shot innocent people.”

* Probably the only good thing that has ever happened on Twitter.

Hunting for Antibiotics in the World’s Dirtiest Places.

* To even begin to defend Kipnis’s actions requires some serious leaps of logic, but Kipnis gamely tries.

* The New Free Speech is a right-wing grift, part 29.

“North Carolina is the only state in U.S. where no doesn’t mean no.”

* “Bill Cosby to Teach Young People How to Avoid Sexual Assault Charges.”

* But it’s not ALL deranged misogyny! N.H. Republicans Accidentally Approved a Bill Allowing Pregnant Women to Commit Murder.

* Looks like the marketing team have had a word.

* This seems fine: Elections officials outgunned in Russia’s cyberwar against America.

* #TheResistance.

* Sega!

Summer Classes Syllabi! “Science Fiction” (Sophomore Survey) and “The Law of Genre” (Grad Level)

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This weekend marks the tragic end of my research leave — I’m teaching two summer classes beginning Monday, a newly revamped version of my sophomore survey on science fiction (swapping in Never Let Me Go for Slaughterhouse-Five, Black Mirror for Avatar, and Ted Chiang for basically everything else) and a new graduate-level course on genre studies. I’m excited about both, but especially the grad course, which is laser-focused on books I find interesting.

I pulled back a bit on the writing assignments compared to last year because I think there’s a bit more reading, but some of that reading is deliberately structured as “secondary” so hopefully it won’t feel excessive. Main texts after some reshuffling are Never Let Me Go, The City and the City, Beloved, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Lolita, with guest appearances by Get Out, the Kubrick Lolita, The Twilight Zone, and Donald Barthelme…

Here’s the week-by-week:

M May 22 Introduction to the Course

viral video: “Too Many Cooks” [YouTube]

T May 23 Daniel Chandler, “An Introduction to Genre Theory” [D2L]

Donald Barthelme, “The Joker’s Greatest Triumph!” [D2L]

W May 24 Darko Suvin, “On the Poetics of the Science Fiction Genre” [D2L]

China Miéville, “Cognition as Ideology” [D2L]

(in class) The Twilight Zone: “The Eye of the Beholder” [Netflix]

 

secondary:

Gerry Canavan, “The Suvin Event” [D2L]

Th May 25 John Rieder, “On Defining SF, or Not: Genre Theory, SF, and History” [D2L]

Ted Underwood, “The Life Cycle of Genres” [D2L]

M May 29 MEMORIAL DAY—NO CLASS
T May 30 Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (Part One)
W June 1 Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (Part Two)
Th June 2 Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (Part Three)

 

secondary:

film trailer: The Island [YouTube]

Martin Puchner, review of Never Let Me Go [D2L]

 

LESSON PLAN #1 DUE

M June 5 Carl Freedman, “Marxism, Cinema, and Some Dialectics of Science Fiction and Film Noir” [D2L]

China Miéville, The City and the City (first half of Part One)

T June 6 China Miéville, The City and the City (second half of Part One)
W June 7 China Miéville, The City and the City (Part Two)
Th June 8 China Miéville, The City and the City (whole book)

China Miéville, “Notes on Walls” [Web]

 

secondary:

Carl Freedman, “From Genre to Political Economy: Miéville’s The City & The City and Uneven Development” [D2L]

China Miéville, “Unsolving the City” [Web]

S June 10 THINKPIECE #1 DUE BY 5 PM
M June 12 Toni Morrison, Beloved, pgs. 1-63
T June 13 Toni Morrison, Beloved, pgs. 63-165
W June 14 Toni Morrison, Beloved, whole book

 

secondary:

Carl D. Malmgren, “Mixed Genres and the Logic of Slavery in Toni Morrison’s Beloved” [D2L]

Grady Hendrix, “Beloved: The Best Horror Novel the Horror Genre Has Never Claimed” [D2L]

Elizabeth B. House, “Toni Morrison’s Ghost: The Beloved Who Is Not Beloved” [D2L]

Th June 15 film: Get Out

 

secondary:

Steven Thrasher, representative Get Out thinkpiece [Web]

 

LESSON PLAN #2 DUE

M June 19 Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale (first half)
T June 20 Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale (second half)

Charlotte Sturgess, “The Handmaid as a Romance Heroine” [D2L]

W June 21 Margaret Atwood, “Historical Notes on The Handmaid’s Tale

Margaret Atwood, “The Road to Ustopia” [Web]

 

secondary:

John McAdams, “Marquette Gender and Sexuality Resource Center: Demonizing Men” [PDF ON D2L]

Margaret Atwood, “What The Handmaid’s Tale Means in the Age of Trump” [Web]

Lili Loofburouw, “How Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale succumbed to the feminist curse” [Web]

The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu series)

Th June 22 READING/WRITING DAY—NO CLASS
M June 26 Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita: “Foreword” and Part One, Chapters 1-22
T June 27 Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita: Part One, Chap. 23, through Part Two, Chap. 22
W June 28 Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (whole book, including “On a Book Entitled Lolita”)

Stanley Kubrick, Lolita [Netflix]

Th June 29 VIRTUAL SYLLABUS WORKSHOP DAY! POST YOUR SAMPLE SYLLABUS AND COURSE NARRATIVES ON D2L AND SHARE QUESTIONS, SUGGESTIONS, AND OTHER HELPFUL COMMENTS!
S July 1 THINKPIECE #2 DUE BY 5 PM