Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘teenagers

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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Closing Every Tab Not In Anger But In Disappointment Links

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The 13 impossible crises that humanity now faces.

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Maybe America is simply too big.

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

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

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

* Remembering Scott Eric Kaufman.

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

* Marx as food theorist.

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

* The Mobility Myth.

* I Was a Teenage Nazi.

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

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

* The youth concussion crisis.

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Cheating at the Olympics Is at Epic Levels.

* Pardoning Edward Snowden.

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

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

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

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

* The genetics of success?

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

* Fidel Castro: The Playboy Interview.

* Cap’n Crunch presents The Earliest Show.

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

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

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

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

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

* A brief history of progress.

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

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

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 2, 2016 at 12:30 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Tuesday Links!

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* CLIR-DLF Postdoctoral Fellow in Data Curation for Medieval Studies at UWM.

* By characterizing millennials as lifestyle innovators, the class that owns the media can rebrand living with less as a cool trend for the kids.

David Bowie’s New Video Is 10 Minutes of Sci-Fi Creep.

Mœbius & Jodorowsky’s Sci-Fi Masterpiece, The Incal, Brought to Life in a Tantalizing Animation.

Why science fiction matters to life in the post colony.

* MTA: kind of overdoing a bit, don’t you think?

* A people’s history of yoga. But maybe this story isn’t being reported properly.

* A brief history of suicide.

* From the Wisconsin files: Teen dressed as clown raises concerns in Waukesha.

OK, it’s out of control now. When a major-party presidential frontrunner says this kind of bone-chilling stuff, the joke is over. Friends, I have some terrible news. Trump Tweeted Fabricated Murder Stats From A Neo-Nazi And This Is How The Media Reported It. The media has no idea how to deal with Donald Trump’s constant lying. PS: Trump Built a Monument to a Fake Civil War Battle on His Golf Course. This is all burying the lede, though: Donald Trump has superpowers.

Five people shot near Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis.

Pakistanis target drones with giant posters of child victims.

* Thomas Jefferson is next. I’m amazed he’s emerged unscathed thus far.

* How to escape a dying universe.

* Seems legit: The US Government is Being Sued for Losing a Critical JFK Assassination Film.

Yet no group is more impressed with Edward Snowden than American college students. Even skeptical or indifferent students change their opinions of him when they hear him speak — by Skype — in packed college auditoriums.  

* And the new MST3K is trying really hard to be good. I agree with the commenter who suggested that she should have the Joel/Mike role — and Jonah Ray would be better off as the Mad…

Wednesday Links!

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* CFP: Imaginaries of the Future. The Futures Industry.

* The Center for 21st Century Studies calendar for the fall looks amazing; I’m especially excited for the visits from Paul Jay, Wendy Brown, and the MLA Subconference organizing committee. Tom Gunning’s talk on “Title Forthcoming” should also be really illuminating.

Who’s Getting Tenure-Track Jobs? It’s Time to Find Out.

* The Right Things to Do vs. the State of Florida.

* The most and least under-employed majors.

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Occupations of College Humanities Majors Who Earned an Advanced Degree.

* Ferguson: The Syllabus. Eighty Years Of Fergusons. The economics of Ferguson. Two Ferguson Cops Accused of Hitting, Hog-Tying Children. “The City of Ferguson has more warrants than residents.”

Here is the NYT description of Michael Brown compared with NYT description of Unabomber. With the Boston Marathon bomber. “No Angel.”

* Police often provoke protest violence, UC researchers find.

* As soon as Prosecutors saw this video, they dismissed all of the charges against Jeter. Interesting to note, an investigation by Bloomfield PD’s scandal plagued internal affairs division had found no wrongdoing by officers.

* Perhaps it will always be a mystery: According to a coroner’s report obtained by NBC News, Victor White, a 22-year-old black man, committed suicide in the back of a police car by shooting himself in the chest while his hands were cuffed behind his back. The report contradicts the official police account, which said White shot himself in the back.

* Tenth Circle Added To Rapidly Growing Hell.

* Attack on Kiska: Untouched Relics from a Baffling WWII Battle.

* Animal personhood watch: Oregon Supreme Court Rules Animals Can Be Considered Victims.

Just Six Months After the Olympics, Sochi Looks Like a Ghost Town.

* Can’t we, as a society, come together and finally end seat reclining on planes?

* “He thought David Sedaris was just okay.”

* Selfcare as warfare.

The Rise of Neoliberal Feminism.

American teenagers, rejoice! The American Academy of Pediatrics wants all US schools attended by children aged 10 to 18 to delay their opening times to 8.30 am or later. It’s crazy that more school districts won’t make this switch.

* Christian Parenti in Jacobin proposes we rethink Alexander Hamilton.

* The Washington Post says war today, war tomorrow, war forever. The Fun of Empire: Fighting on All Sides of a War in Syria.

* Wisconsin’s nightmare spiders could be coming to your town.

* Gasp! Faulty red light cameras produced thousands of bogus traffic tickets.

* “The Cold War mode of knowledge production was so pervasive that, for a short while, it was literally invisible.”

* Prepare yourself for a dark, gritty Full House sequel. Only the literal end of the entire damn world can save us.

* Such a sad story: Plane Crash Claims Lives of 4 Students at Case Western Reserve U.

* And there’s never been anything that showed what the inside of my brain is like as closely as this xkcd. My blessing; my curse…

gerrycanavan.com Is Pleased to Offer This Sunday Reading Experience

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* The schedule for the final third of my Cultural Preservation course. This has been one of the best teaching experiences I’ve ever had; I’m hoping things go as well next spring when I do it all again.

* Starting out with two strikes with this guy and he hasn’t even found out where I work yet.

The institution of the faculty wife is alive and well in academic culture. She’s an adjunct.

* Nietzsche was right: it turns out without forgetting it is quite impossible to live at all.

* “It seems to me that St. Patrick’s Day expresses the fundamental nihilism at the heart of American life.”

* Elsewhere in the American nihilism files: NASA study concludes it’s not just you, we really are doomed.

* Meanwhile, we can’t even agree on the incredible, undeniable, world-historical usefulness of vaccines. One map sums up the damage caused by the anti-vaccination movement.

* Surely we’ll start the school day later, when every bit of science backs this up… Oh.

* Unreal: Malaysian investigators conclude missing airliner hijacked. Could the Passengers Still Be Alive?

* Don’t be evil: Google’s anti-copyright stance is just a way to devalue content.

* There’s no escape from the corporate-NSA surveillance network.

* Five Cops Beat Innocent, Unarmed Father to Death Outside Cinema.

* No one could have predicted a completely unregulated peer-to-peer hotel network would lead to bad outcomes. Next up: Hey, Uber, your unregulated taxi was just some random creep’s unsafe car!

* Being Terry Gilliam.

* For the true believers: A Brief History of the Quidditch World Cup.

It’s not Mortal Kombat we should fear; it’s Candy Crush Saga and FarmVille.

50,000 Activists Demand Sexual Assault Reform At Dartmouth After Student Publishes A ‘Rape Guide.’

* On the spell-binding catastrophic collapse of the Juan Pablo season of The Bachelor.

* Thinking big: “I very well may be president of the United States in 2020, but for right now I am supporting some pro-White candidates from the American Freedom Party,” he said.

* If we make the world a paradise where everyone is immortal, will we still be able to have all these awesome jails? Aeon Magazine reports.

Car Dealers Are Terrified of Tesla’s Plan to Eliminate Oil Changes.

* Kim Stanley Robinson is all over the ASU “Thoughtful Optimism” project.

As of 2010-2011, the most recent year with available data, recent humanities and liberal arts majors had 9 percent unemployment. That’s right about on par with students in computer and math fields (9.1 percent), psychology and social work (8.8 percent), and the social sciences (10.3 percent). And it’s just a bit above the average across all majors of 7.9 percent. The larger problem, as always, is that there’s still not enough work for young people post-recession.

Pussy Riot launches a prisoners rights center in Russia, demands freedom in Wisconsin.

* Promisingly specific: Projecting ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ in Theaters Requires Special Instructions.

* Game of the Weekend: 2048, an addictive simplification of Threes!, in your browser.

* And good news for fans of medieval maps.

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Wednesday!

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* It isn’t the law that is struggling to catch up to drone technology; it’s us. Like it or not, the NextGen computerized autonomous national airspace is coming. It’s not a joke, and it’s not science fiction. Coming to terms with that is important. Disbelief won’t help at this point. The coming shift in our national airspace will push our boundaries. We’ll be able to mount legal challenges against particularly egregious uses of the technology — it’s unlikely that the sheriff of Montgomery County, Texas, will get much mileage out of his wet dream of a remote-controlled aircraft armed with tear gas and rubber bullets — but we won’t be able to imagine every permutation this technology will take. This is going to be some Minority Report–level shit.

* James Cameron: Avatar was always imagined as a six-picture hexalogy. Stick around for a fun Doctor Who spoiler/rumor if that’s your thing.

* Rethinking depression in teenage girls: “Depression? Really? How About Anger and Powerlessness?”

* No! No! I won’t believe it! Military expert says there’s no way Batman’s TDKR ‘Bat’ could fly.

* Battle Royale is an obvious can’t-miss hit for a post-Hunger-Games, post-Walking-Dead TV landscape. Just about the only way it could miss is if network executives changed it so the kids weren’t killing each other, just beating each other up…

* And you can take it to the bank: Human immortality could be possible by 2045, say Russian scientists. Guaranteed!

Tuesday Night!

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* Hard to say which is more shocking: that a male worker born in 1973 retiring at age 70 can expect to live a full year less than the expected length of retirement for a worker born in 1912, or that Richard Shelby apparently has evidence that by 2025 “America will be burned … and a lot of us will be dead.”

* Catholic Church approves iPhone confession app. Not an Onion hotline…

* Paul Campos tries to read Laurence Tribe’s mind.

* The Tea Party Movement has driven out Colorado state party chairman Dick Wadhams. Because I am an adult, I will leave the man’s absurd name out of this, and just bid him adieu…

* Behold the Malcolm Gladwell Book Generator.

* Wolverine or 2 Batmen: a duckrabbit for our time.

* Academic Cliche Watch: “I want to argue that . . .”

* Fox News draws ever closer to its Fort Sumter moment.

* HuffPo’s Achilles Heel: Search engine optimization won’t work forever.

* Provocative claim of the day:I find myself slightly gratified that one consequence of the now-dying post-Thatcher free-market consensus is that it made nuclear power development in the Anglosphere more or less economically impossible.

* And a quick note on how beer commercials work.

Beer commercials are designed around certain dominant themes, but the people who sell the beer would prefer that the dominant themes be misunderstood. What are beer commercials about? The two central premises are these: 

1. Beer—cheap, common, domestic beer—is a rare commodity that drives men mad with the desire to have it, at any cost.

2. Women are the great obstacle between men and the fulfillment of this desire.

Taken literally, this is baffling. Beer is cheap and easy to find. The only cost should be $6.99 for a six pack, at any convenience store. And rather than hiding from women to drink their beer, many single adult heterosexual men seek out female company when they’re drinking. “Drink our beer and avoid contact with women!”—who could possibly be the target for that pitch?

But it makes perfect sense if the target audience is—and it is—16-year-olds.

The girls aren’t really girls; they’re Mom. And Mom is the first hurdle in the thrilling obstacle course that makes up the world of the teenage beer drinker.