Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘the kids aren’t all right

Weekend Links!

leave a comment »

610temp.new_7.gif.CROP.promovar-mediumlarge.new_7* Nice treat: my LARoB piece got namechecked in an Unexpected Stories review at NPR.

* If you want a vision of the future, imagine the polar vortex making it unseasonably cold, forever.

New Data Says Huge West Virginia Chemical Spill May Have Been More Toxic Than Reported. But don’t worry: Freedom Industries has been fined a whopping $11,000.

* The OECD says the party’s over.

These are that growth will slow to around two-thirds its current rate; that inequality will increase massively; and that there is a big risk that climate change will make things worse.

* Here’s what the world would look like if we took global warming seriously.

A Brief History of the Humanities Postdoc.

* On the huge screwed-uppedness of “studies show.”

* An oral history of LucasArts.

* A feature of oligarchy is the dynastic ascension of new leaders, children who rise to positions of power and wealth simply by the luck of birth. We welcome Chelsea Clinton to the club.

* What disapproving friends don’t understand about cesarean births.

If A Man Takes Paternity Leave, His Coworkers Will Probably Take It Too.

* For years we’ve been telling kids to sit still and pay attention. That’s all wrong.

Analysis: Over Half of All Statements Made on Fox News Are False. I sincerely hope they included statements like “I’m Bill O’Reilly” and “You’re watching Fox.”

* Five Thirty Eight and screwing up predictions.

The measurement error in the World Cup case was simple: FiveThirtyEight and other sites had marked Brazil as having a strong defense, and a solid offense anchored by its star, Neymar, as measured by a statistical amalgamation called Soccer Power Index. In reality, Brazil had been aggressively fouling its way as a means of defense, elbowing and kicking its way, and not getting called for it by referees. I’m not just making this up as a day-after-big-loss armchair analysis: pretty much most punditry on soccer had been clear on this before the game.

In other words, the statistics were overestimating how good a team Brazil really was, and the expert punditry was fairly unified on this point.

In other words, this time, the hedgehogs knew something the fox didn’t. But this fox is often too committed to methodological singularity and fighting pundits, sometimes for the sake of fighting them, so it often doesn’t like to listen to non-statistical data. In reality, methodological triangulation is almost always stronger, though harder to pull-offs.

* What happened to the super-rich of yesteryear?

If today’s corporate kvetchers are more concerned with the state of their egos than with the state of the nation, it’s in part because their own fortunes aren’t tied to those of the nation the way they once were. In the postwar years, American companies depended largely on American consumers. Globalization has changed that—foreign sales account for almost half the revenue of the S&P 500—as has the rise of financial services (where the most important clients are the wealthy and other corporations). The well-being of the American middle class just doesn’t matter as much to companies’ bottom lines. And there’s another change. Early in the past century, there was a true socialist movement in the United States, and in the postwar years the Soviet Union seemed to offer the possibility of a meaningful alternative to capitalism. Small wonder that the tycoons of those days were so eager to channel populist agitation into reform. Today, by contrast, corporate chieftains have little to fear, other than mildly higher taxes and the complaints of people who have read Thomas Piketty. Moguls complain about their feelings because that’s all anyone can really threaten.

Let this AskMe post from an academic spouse ruin your morning!

* College Graduates and the Great Recession by The Numbers.

* Over Duke U.’s Protests, Estate of ‘the Duke’ Asks Court to Approve Use of ‘Duke.’

* The next-generation F-35, the most expensive plane ever built, may be too dangerous to fly. Why is Congress keeping it alive? What could possibly explain it!

* “Superhero stories are really about immigrants.”

* Who Does Your College Think Its Peers Are?

* Change.org petition inviting Department of Labor investigation into adjunct labor. I’m very skeptical there’s anything actionable here, unfortunately.

* Having Your Sleep Interrupted May Be As Bad As Not Getting Any at All.

Losing to Germany Wasn’t Actually the Worst Thing to Happen to Brazil This World Cup.

* Colorado’s legal pot market is bigger than anyone anticipated. First person to legally purchase pot in WA fired after being seen on local news buying it.

* DEA Officials Responsible For Nearly Killing College Student, DOJ Watchdog Finds. Daniel Chong is the entirely predictable result of dehumanizing drug offenders.

In ‘sexting’ case Manassas City police want to photograph teen in sexually explicit manner, lawyers say. You’ll be glad to know police have withdrawn the request.

Two hundred years into the social experiment of modern imprisonment, and 40 years into the expansion of what is frequently called “mass incarceration,” America’s system of jails and prisons arguably constitutes the most prodigious system of torture the world has ever seen.

* …while Swartz’s death was a mistake, destroying him as a lesson to all of us wasn’t a mistake. It was policy.

* Tough Louisiana Catholic Church case goes to the heart of mandatory reporting law.

* The Atlantic has a challenging piece on helping intersex children, albeit with an absolutely terrible headline.

* What the Potato Salad Kickstarter Campaign Says About Tech, Silicon Valley, and Modern Life.

* On giving Title IX teeth. It does surprise me that no school has ever received a Title IX sanction for its approach sexual violence.

* SMBC on kind aliens. XKCD on a wraith called Timeghost. The adventures of Process Man.

* Predicting the end of Game of Thrones from George R. R. Martin’s repeated requests for a big-budget epic finale.

* Ideology at its purest is ripe for disruption: “Inside tech’s latest management craze.” Meanwhile: Silicon Valley wage fixing: Disney, Lucas, Dreamworks and Pixar implicated.

* Westerners are so convinced China is a dystopian hellscape they’ll share anything that confirms it.

16-Year-Old’s Rape Goes Viral Because Human Beings Are Terrible. Awful story.

* Close magnet schools?

* Syfy orders a pilot for its adaptation of Lev Grossman’s The Magicians.

* The wisdom of markets: Social Network With No Revenue or Assets Somehow Worth $4.75 Billion.

When asked whether it was possible to think too much upon the Holocaust, Sebald said, “No serious person thinks of anything else.” On still trying to come to terms with the Holocaust.

* Trigger warning: breakfast. A confessional comic about the night after the artist’s rape.

A Webcomic About A Time Traveler Trying To Comprehend Terminal Illness.

A Field Guide To Unusual (And Hilarious) Harry Potter Patronuses.

The Emmys Don’t Matter But Hypothetically If They Mattered They Should Not Have Snubbed Orphan Black.

* Mail-Order Mysteries: Exploring the Outlandish Gizmos Advertised in the Back of Comic Books During the 1960s-1970s.

* And Ian McKellan just won’t leave any franchise un-awesomed. He simply won’t!

Written by gerrycanavan

July 11, 2014 at 9:42 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday!

leave a comment »

wglix3anizobjgyyidd1A bounce house flew away with three children inside. Unreal.

* Also unreal: Homeless Football Player Can’t Receive Fans’ Aid Due To Criminal Cartel’s Insane, Abusive Rules. Here are the salaries the administrative staff of Boise State athletics will be making while their unpaid employee is homeless.

* Think of the NCAA as a cheering squad, that gets all up into your personal life. Former Oklahoma center Gabe Ikard is a courtside fixture at Thunder games with his girlfriend. He stated in a radio interview with WWLS’ the Morning Animals that Oklahoma’s Compliance Dept. made his girlfriend sign an affidavit their relationship was legitimate and was not a ruse to provide extra benefits to an Oklahoma football player. Ikard was one of the players embroiled in “Pastagate,” where Oklahoma self-reported a secondary violation and ordered him to pay $3.83 to charity for excessive pasta consumption.

* I didn’t realize until I spoke to Rebecca Schuman about her Amherst-banning-frats piece how misguided it was. Without explicit exceptions for emergencies and assault-reporting this kind of blanket ban is obviously unworkable, and almost certainly not Title IX compliant.

 Hey, fellow educators! It’s your cousin, Gerry. You know that consolation you’ve been taking that at least your life’s work is meaningful? Well, listen to this!

* Vigilante feminism at Columbia.

* The Washington Post assigns five reporters to chase down a lie Karl Rove just made up on the spot.

Sandy Hook ‘Truther’ Tells Victim’s Mother Her Daughter Never Existed.

Arguing that school closures in cities across the country disproportionately affect African American students, community activists filed three federal civil rights complaints Tuesday challenging closures in Newark, New Orleans and Chicago and called on the Obama administration to halt similar efforts elsewhere.

Boosting school funding 20 percent erased the graduation gap between rich and poor students.

Cell Phone Video Shows Police Choking, Kicking 6th Graders.

* Fox greenlights “last man on Earth” premise it must know will get canceled immediately. They must know.

* io9: The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan.

* Game of Mushrooms.

“I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions, and that the return of this information to the public marks my end. I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon, and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed for even an instant. If you seek to help, join the open source community and fight to keep the spirit of the press alive and the internet free. I have been to the darkest corners of government, and what they fear is light.

“You mention in your book that Snowden’s moral universe was first informed by video games.”

* Today in academic journals: Board Game Studies.

* Spurious Correlations. The truth is out there!

* Back to the top of the order: How artificial intelligence is about to disrupt higher education.

* And the Pope gets deep into my wheelhouse, says the Church would baptize aliens.

Speaking during the homily at his daily morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta inside Vatican City where he lives on Monday, he told his mostly clerical audience that they should keep an open mind to anyone—or anything—seeking God. “If—for example—tomorrow an expedition of Martians came, and some of them came to us, here… Martians, right? Green, with that long nose and big ears, just like children paint them… And one says, ‘But I want to be baptized!’ What would happen?” he asked parishioners. “When the Lord shows us the way, who are we to say, ‘No, Lord, it is not prudent! No, let’s do it this way…’”

gerrycanavan.com Is Pleased to Offer This Sunday Reading Experience

with 2 comments

* 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.

6a00d8341c464853ef01a73d9013e7970d-800wi

Monday Night Links

with one comment

Florida develops innovative solution to problem of students unprepared for college.

* We’re all to blame for MOOCs. (Hey! Speak for yourself. I just got here.) A second chance to do the right thing. Online college course experiment reveals hidden costs.

“I get this call from San Jose State: ‘Uh, we have a problem,'” recalled Mark Ryan, superintendent of the Oakland Military Institute, a public school set up on a military model.

It turned out some of the low-income teens didn’t have computers and high-speed Internet connections at home that the online course required. Many needed personal attention to make it through. The final results aren’t in yet, but the experiment exposed some challenges to the promise of a low-cost online education. And it showed there is still a divide between technology-driven educators and the low-income, first-generation college hopefuls they are trying to reach.

To make it work, the institute had to issue laptops to students, set aside class time for them to focus on the online course, and assign teachers to make sure they stayed on task.

* Inside the no-confidence vote at NYU. CUNY Faculty Votes No Confidence in Curriculum Overhaul.

* In disaster after disaster, the fear returns that people — under stress, freed by circumstance from the bonds of authority — will turn on one another. The clear consensus is that this has no basis in reality.

* Where do greenhouse gases come from? Links continue below the graph.

tumblr_mntmlx1y5N1ql6jblo1_1280

* Mother Jones reports nobody has a good place to fix student debt.

* A generation of voters with no use for the GOP. Can the GOP somehow manage to throw away another chance at the Senate?

* Facts as ideology: women’s fertility edition.

…this wealthiest of all wealthy nations has been steadily falling behind many other nations of the world. Consider just a few wake-up-call facts from a long and dreary list: The United States now ranks lowest or close to lowest among advanced “affluent” nations in connection with inequality (21st out of 21), poverty (21st out of 21), life expectancy (21st out of 21), infant mortality (21st out of 21), mental health (18th out of 20), obesity (18th out of 18), public spending on social programs as a percentage of GDP (19th out of 21), maternity leave (21st out of 21), paid annual leave (20th out of 20), the “material well-being of children” (19th out of 21), and overall environmental performance (21st out of 21).

* Comics Beat’s 16-part history of Marvelman ends with one question: who owns Marvelman?

* Sony wants to sell DVDs of Dan Harmon watching Community Season Four.

Perhaps the most intriguing news: “Sony said they’re very interested in recording me watching it as a commentary track” for the Season 4 DVD set, he said. His co-host for the evening, Rob Schrab, asked if the DVD commentary could also include a visual in the corner of the screen of Harmon’s facial expressions as he watches the season he was aced out of.

* Assange v. Google.

Ben & Jerry’s Will Stop Using Genetically-Modified Ingredients, Company Says. Soylent Green’s apparently going to be a real thing now.

* The Today Show has confirmed that the “disabled guide” Disneyland thing is actually happening.

* And a headline that seems like it must have been generated by a fake headline generator, and yet: Update: Was Pablo Neruda Murdered By a CIA Double Agent Working for Pinochet?

Sunday Afternoon Links: Marx at 193, The Kids Aren’t All Right, The Sixth Season of the Wire, and More

leave a comment »

* ‘Employers have feasted on despair’: The War Against Youth.

In the early 1980s, 3 percent of college grads had had an internship. By 2006, 84 percent had done at least one. Multiple internships are common. According to a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, more than 75 percent of employers prefer students who have interned or had a similar working experience.

There’s some boilerplate tenure bashing in there too, but one can’t have everything.

Marx at 193.

It’s hard not to conclude from these selected sentences that Marx was extraordinarily prescient. He really did have the most astonishing insight into the nature and trajectory and direction of capitalism. Three aspects which particularly stand out here are the tribute he pays to the productive capacity of capitalism, which far exceeds that of any other political-economic system we’ve ever seen; the remaking of social order which accompanies that; and capitalism’s inherent tendency for crisis, for cycles of boom and bust.

* The bomb in the garden: Matthew Butterick on the slow death of the Web.

Someone’s already tweeting—“Butterick is an idiot. He doesn’t know that information wants to be free.” You know, I have heard that. But I also know that 99.99% of people who mention this line forget to talk about the first and last parts of it.

“What? There’s a first and last part?” Yeah, yeah. The whole line goes like this:

“Information wants to be expensive, because it’s so valuable … On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower … So you have these two fighting against each other.”

* Seconding @BCApplebaum: Washington Post publishes sixth season of The Wire. There really should have been a season devoted to the prison-industrial complex. There’s still time, Simon!

* And a trailer for the indie film version of Mario Brothers. I think I might have linked to this before, but either way I’d watch the hell out of this.

Friday Night Links

leave a comment »

An analysis by Thomson Reuters in association with Times Higher Education shows startling levels of gender inequality in research-intensive universities across the world. The gap persists not just in emerging nations but also in some of the world’s most highly developed countries – where the fight for women’s rights and equality has gone on for decades.

Georgetown U. Adjuncts Vote to Unionize.

Over the last 12 years, the United States has gone from having the highest share of employed 25- to 34-year-olds among large, wealthy economies to having among the lowest.

* EPA whistleblower says the West, Texas, disaster is a criminal matter.

A new report out from the National Council of Teachers of English criticizes the practice of using machine scoring for writing assessments.

Falling Men: On Don DeLillo and Terror.

* And in local news: Responding to a complaint filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, the U.S. Department of Justice warned voucher schools in Milwaukee to stop excluding, counseling out, or otherwise discriminating against students with disabilities.

Wednesday Is Friday and the Living’s Easy

leave a comment »

Half the professoriate will kill the other half for free.

In other words, while a few already well-paid superprofessors get their egos stroked conducting experiments that are doomed to fail, “second- and third-tier universities and colleges, and community colleges” risk closing because Coursera and its ilk have sent higher education price expectations through the floor and systematically devalued everybody else’s work. And they get to do all this while dispensing a produuct that they know is inferior! Jay Gould would be proud.

The irony, of course, is that “business” logic can kill its own host, like any parasite. When taken as an end in itself, it destroys everything — and then there’s nowhere else to invest, no more areas producing real values that can be syphoned off into the giant pool of money. The imaginary values that finance has racked up then become the object of a game of hot potato, furiously churning through the system until the point when they simply disappear (i.e., lose all their value). That’s what running everything “like a business” does — it trades real value for imaginary value that is then destroyed.

* Just because it’s totally ineffective doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it: A study by the Pew Charitable Trust in 2011, which looked at school closures in six US cities, found that school districts end up saving less than had been predicted. But think of all the other advantages school closings offer!

A University of Chicago study focusing on schools closed between 2001 and 2006 found that only six percent of displaced students ended up in high-performing schools.

And 42 percent of students continued to attend schools with ‘very low’ achievement levels. A year after changing schools, students’ reading and math abilities were not any better or worse.

Students who did go to better-performing schools also had to travel an average of 6km to get there – which critics say risks the safety of students who have to go through neighbourhoods containing rival gangs.

Entire library journal editorial board resigns, citing ‘crisis of conscience’ after death of Aaron Swartz.

* The Barbed Gift of Leisure.

And here, at the limit of life that idling alone brings into view in a nonthreatening way, we find another kind of nested logic. Call it the two-step law of life. Rule No. 1 is tomorrow we die; and Rule No. 2 is nobody, not even the most helpful robot, can change Rule No. 1. Enjoy!

Junot Diaz Talks Superman As An Undocumented Immigrant On The Colbert Report.

The Essential Verso Undergraduate Reading List. Makes me think I really need to start including more theory on my syllabi.

* MOOCs we can believe in? One of the most remote outposts of Jesuit higher education is tucked away in dusty northwest Kenya, in a place whose name means “Nowhere” in Swahili. There, at Kakuma Refugee Camp, a small group of students — refugees from several neighboring African countries, including Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia — are enrolled in online courses taught by 28 Jesuit colleges, mostly in the United States. The course is part of the Jesuit Commons project.

* Unexpected: SCOTUSblog now thinks there’s at least five judges who will vote to strike down DOMA. Meanwhile, McCaskill seems to have triggered Hagan to announce her support of marriage equality.

* Ripped from the stuff Fox News usually just has to make up: Gov. Rick Scott of Florida has stepped into the fray over an offensive classroom exercise at Florida Atlantic University in which students were asked to stomp on a sheet of paper with “Jesus” written on it.

Boston College threatens disciplinary action against students distributing condoms.

Boston College officials sent a letter to students on March 15 demanding an end to student-run “Safe Sites,” a network of dorm rooms and other locations where free contraceptives and safe sex information are available.

Students living in the “Safe Sites” were told in the letter that the distribution of condoms is in conflict with their “responsibility to protect the values and traditions of Boston College as a Jesuit, Catholic institution.”

Mexican town finds more security by throwing out the police.

* Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal considers the Singularity.

* xkcd considers the past as another country … with an outdated military and massive oil reserves.

* And making the rounds again: The 50 Most Perfectly Timed Photos Ever.

soldier-yawning-perfect-timing

Lots of Thursday Links! The University in Ruins, How to Predict the Future, Lesbian Science Fiction, and More

with 2 comments

Five Katrinas A Decade? Warming Projected To Boost Extreme Storm Surges Ten-Fold.

* Cause of windfarm sickness identified: it’s spread by human mouth.

“If our universe was a simulation you could totally tell. There’d be things like a fastest possible speed or a smallest possible size or a lowest possible temperature, or events wouldn’t actually be computed until they were observed by a player (you know, for computational efficiency).”

* Nicola Griffith recommends good lesbian science fiction novels.

* How to Predict the Future.

“During a summer in the late 1960s I discovered an easy and certain method of predicting the future. Not my own future, the next turn of the card, or market conditions next month or next year, but the future of the world lying far ahead. It was quite simple. All that was needed was to take the reigning assumptions about what the future was likely to hold, and reverse them. Not modify, negate, or question, but reverse.”

The number of Purdue administrators has jumped 54 percent in the past decade—almost eight times the growth rate of tenured and tenure-track faculty. “We’re here to deliver a high-quality education at as low a price as possible,” says Robinson. “Why is it that we can’t find any money for more faculty, but there seems to be an almost unlimited budget for administrators?”

Recent Deep State Higher Education Cuts May Harm Students and the Economy for Years to Come.

Wayne State University and the University of Michigan could lose 15 percent of their state funding if the schools ratify new union contracts that bypass Michigan’s new right-to-work law under a House Republican budget proposal introduced Tuesday.

Backroom Financial Dealings of a Top University.

It’s true that the university, for whatever reason, offered provisional admission to some students with lower test scores and grades than Fisher. Five of those students were black or Latino. Forty-two were white.

* In this sense, frighteningly, the MOOC seems like the next logical frontier in the increasing contingency and “adjunctification” of labor in higher education. Faculty unions in California are already arguing that MOOCs might do some serious damage to collective bargaining agreements, as some faculty have already agreed to assemble MOOCs for free. But to get even more apocalyptic than that, it seems like this specter of the cyberteacher – emerging from the shadows of the murky MOOC lagoon – is some dystopian icon of the brave new cost-cutting educational future. What better way to cut labor costs in higher education than to simply replace human educational laborers with software?

“I believe we’re in the best basketball conference in the country right now. If you look at the history of the schools, the original seven plus the new three, it’s obviously an elite group,” Father Pilarz said. “The new conference offers a tremendous opportunity for all 16 of Marquette’s athletic programs to compete against mission-driven and like-minded institutions.” 

* The Most Accurate Map of NCAA College Basketball Fandom. Brackets with just the colors and logos. An Oral History of Beating Duke. The NCAA: Poster Boy for Corruption and Exploitation.

A minimum wage worker in California must toil about 130 hours a week in order to feasibly  afford a two-bedroom rental, a new report found.

* Life after Steubenville.

Photos of Children From Around the World With Their Most Prized Possessions.

But journalists deserve a share of the blame, too—and not only for the failure to question more skeptically the Bush Administration’s claims about Saddam’s non-existent WMD. Journalists failed, above all, to show the war as it was. Americans who did not serve may think that they have some idea of what the war in Iraq was like, but they’re wrong. The culprit here is a culture of well-intentioned self-censorship that refuses to show the real conditions of modern warfare.

* Klein doesn’t think a state invaded another state; he thinks “we” went to war. He identifies with the state. Whether he’s supporting or dissenting from a policy, he sees himself as part of it. He sees himself on the jeeps with the troops. That’s why his calls for skepticism, for not taking things on authority, ring so hollow. In the end, he’s on the team. Or the jeep.

* Communist Monopoly.

The goal of the game, which will officially be launched on Feb. 5, is to show how hard and frustrating it was for an average person to simply do their shopping under the Communist regime in Poland. The game has been developed by the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN), a Warsaw-based research institute that commemorates the suffering of the Polish people during the Nazi and Communist eras.

* Life advice from the OnionFind The Thing You’re Most Passionate About, Then Do It On Nights And Weekends For The Rest Of Your Life.

The New Yorker Rejects Itself: A Quasi-Scientific Analysis of Slush Piles.

* Feedback from James Joyce’s Submission of Ulysses to His Creative Writing Workshop.

* The kids aren’t all right: In Survey, Professors See a Lack of Professionalism Among Students

Professional wrestling fans, we who are “smart marks” especially, are in many ways more sophisticated than the political junkies who populate political blogs and web sites (what are really fan boy and fan girl mark hangouts) like the Free Republic or The Daily Kos. They know that professional wrestling is a work and a game.

Bradbury’s fan letter to Heinlein.

How Viable Is Rand Paul for 2016?

* And Dear Television considers the finale of Girls.

More Monday Night Links

with 2 comments

* “Too few questions were asked, too many assumptions were allowed to go unchallenged, too many voices of doubt were muffled or rejected in a toxic atmosphere of patriotism, ignorance and political fear.” No, he’s not talking about the Obama administration’s current policy of ubiquitous drone-backed assassination! He’s talking about Iraq.

Slaughter critically reviews the history of the AAUP, and finds that since its inception in 1915, it has failed either to claim in theory, or to defend in practice, a concept of academic freedom sufficiently robust to ensure even the basic civil liberties of faculty in the “danger zone” of politically sensitive scholarship in the social sciences, let alone their ability to develop research in these fields without fear of politically motivated reprisals. Even one AAUP president, William Van Alstyne, has stated that the AAUP’s standards of professional accountability for public statements restrict faculty utterances in ways that would be unacceptable in the context of the constitutional law of civil liberties. Slaughter also argues that the AAUP has placed excessive emphasis on tenure, bargaining away other aspects of academic freedom to obtain job security, and that the tenure-review process itself is the principal mechanism by which conservative biases in the faculty are perpetuated, particularly in times of financial exigency when the refusal to grant tenure to young radical faculty can be rationalized as non-political.

* Former Running Back Brian Westbrook On Concussions, Football’s Rule Changes, And The Future Of The NFL.

“I think about it,” Westbrook said Friday. “I think everybody has their own personal battles, own personal demons. So I think Junior was not only dealing with concussions but he was also dealing with other things. But I often wonder the long-term effects of everything — playing with the bad knee, playing with the ankle, and of course the concussion situation. I think about it all the time, every time I wake up and can’t remember the name of someone I once knew. I always think about it.”

* Nate Silver has solved the NCAA tournament. You’re welcome. More here.

Marquette, meanwhile, is almost certainly the weakest No. 3 seed this year, and has about a 35 percent chance of being upset by No. 14-seeded Davidson in its opening game. Instead, a Round of 16 game against No. 4 Syracuse in Washington could be Indiana’s toughest test.

You bastard.

* Coming of Age, Slowly, in a Tough Economy.

* Idea for a movie in which aliens invade the Earth and fix the economy.

* World successfully hypnotized into thinking that Cyprus really is unique.

* Sometimes the most radical ideas are those which at first sound most banal. For example, when Detroit Emergency Manager (EM) Kevyn Orr and Michigan governor Rick Snyder describe the citizens of Detroit as “customers,” it barely registers as a platitude. At first glance, it’s just another example of how marketing-speak has encroached on the language of politics; similar to how a candidate for higher office might say that government ought to be run like a business, or compare the president to a CEO.

But the description of citizens as customers—an analogy repeatedly invoked by Snyder to justify suspending the powers of Detroit’s local government and putting the city under Emergency Management—is different. It refers not only to citizens, but to the fundamental character of the government’s relationship with its citizens.

* Steubenville, actually existing media bias, and the view from nowhere. The Egregious, Awful and Downright Wrong Reactions to the Steubenville Rape Trial Verdict. Steubenville and the misplaced sympathy for Jane Doe’s rapists. Steubenville Shows the Bond Between Jock Culture and Rape Culture. On Rape, Cages, and the Steubenville Verdict. Why Does Steubenville’s Football Coach Still Have His Job? What the hell is wrong with CNN?

Lawsuits Over Job-Placement Rates Threaten 20 More Law Schools.

* Gates McFadden’s Beverly Crusher Action Figure Tumblr. I can’t even begin. Via MetaFilter.

* You don’t know all the secrets of Buffy the Vampire Slayer yet.

The United States government totally collapsed during season 4. At least, that’s what a prop newspaper created for use during “Hush” claims — apparently the United States House and Senate both dissolved as governing bodies, replaced by a shadowy group known only as “The Surviving Members of Queen.” Even though Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon and “digitally enhanced voice samples of Freddie Mercury” might not actually have U.S. citizenship. Meanwhile, then-President Clinton faced another scandal after he tested positive for presidency-enhancing drug Crovan.

* Alyssa Rosenberg is doing a Veronica Mars viewing club.

* 12 Very Special ‘Very Special Episodes.’

* And the RNC autopsies what went wrong.

Wednesday Morning Links

leave a comment »

* I’ll be at SCMS 2013 in Chicago tomorrow, talking about War and Science Fiction in Battle: Los Angeles. I have to be back in Milwaukee that evening and Friday, but I’m hoping to meet up with some people while I’m there.

How to Turn Higher Education into an Engine of Inequality.

* The Nation on the Legacy of Hugo Chávez. At FAIR. At the New Yorker (c. 2008).

Women may be overrepresented in the growing sectors of the economy, but those sectors pay poverty wages. The public sector job cuts that have been largely responsible for unemployment remaining at or near 8 percent have fallen disproportionately on women (and women of color are hit the hardest). Those good union jobs disappear, and are replaced with a minimum-wage gig at Walmart—and even in retail, women make only 90 percent of what men make. Trickle-Down Feminism.

The technocrats are akin to conspiracists in that they both claim a monopoly on the sorts of political facts that should sway policy. Both groups come equipped with their own body of experts and studies to vouch for their prescriptions. And both Jones and Klein derive their legitimacy from having, through their supposed diligence and uniquely sharp analytical minds, privileged access to some set of truths of political significance. Both assume that answers to factual questions will make the necessary political action irrefutable. All that divides the conspiracist from the technocrat is the nature of the facts they fetishize.

There’s no direct analog to statistical analysis in baseball. But where Congress and the White House are concerned, what if the press put much greater emphasis put on “the sausage” and much less on the sausage-making? What if we judged legislators on their votes, Obama on what legislation he signs and vetoes, and left it at that?

* Jeb Bush disagrees with own book released yesterday.

A Day in the Life of a Freelance Journalist—2013. The Atlantic responds. Some commentary.

* If People Talked About Seinfeld Like They Talk About Girls.

* Gawker is shitty, but Amy Poehler makes it all okay.

“Aw, I feel bad if she was upset. I am a feminist and she is a young and talented girl. That being said, I do agree I am going to hell. But for other reasons. Mostly boring tax stuff. “

* Civilization with a global warming focus. Climate change will open up surprising new Arctic shipping routes. Los Angeles Aims To Be Coal-Free In 12 Years.

* China experiments with arcologies.

* Ralph Macchio finally old enough for long-awaited Karate Kid sequel.

12-Year-Old Victim of Bullying Dead After Being Attacked At School.

* Breaking: men aren’t actually better at math than women. Gasp!

drudgesirendrudgesirendrudgesirendrudgesirendrudgesiren

* Leaked Princeton rape survey from 2008 reveals one in six women on the campus have been sexually assaulted during their time there.

Jon Stewart Is Taking the Summer Off to Make a Movie About Iran. John Oliver will guest host for 8 of the 12 weeks he’s gone; I hope Jessica Williams takes the other four.

“If she had said elephants, I would have said elephants.” How does that make it better?

This time, Judge Nina N. Wright Padilla asked all 12 to approach so she could shake their hands.

“I hope you continue your work in a law-abiding way,” said Padilla. “I must say you are the most affable group of defendants I’ve ever come across.” Jury acquits Occupy protesters.

New Elevators Segregate Rich from Poor.

* Every f*cking website.

* Another new twist on the zombie genre: zombie rehab.

* And the only news around here that people really care about.

Tuesday Morning!

leave a comment »

* The kids aren’t all right: on being 29 in 2013.

* Remaking the University: What’s bad for students has been good for Wall Street.  The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that “Student-Loan Securities Stay Hot” even as student default rates climb.  “Demand for the riskiest bunch” of student-loan backed securities sold last week by SLM Corp, formerly known as Sallie Mae, “was 15 times greater than the supply.”  The riskiest securities have the highest yields, but investors don’t have to care, given the special impossibility of defaulting or erasing student loan debt.  Meanwhile, the New York Fed reports that 90-day delinquency rates have risen from 24 to 31 percent since 2008, and that student debt nearly tripled in the last eight years.  When the Fed breaks out the numbers for Intern Nation–graduates of the past eight years–they found that “the delinquency rate jumped to 35% last quarter from 26% in 2008.” Student Debt Is Perfectly Following the Financial Meltdown Script. Whose fault is the big student loan bubble?

But I am fascinated by the contrasting rhetoric between the rapid-boil fervor over MOOCs and the barely simmering apathy for open-access policies, especially at the institutional level.

The implicit assumption of any peer grading arrangement is that students with minimal direction can do what humanities professors get paid to do and I think that’s the fatal flaw of these arrangements.

* Spider Robinson, rape culture apologist. Well.

* TNR rockets back to the top of the worst-things-ever-published sweepstakes.

But there’s a group that should be equally irate about “We Saw Your Boobs”: admirers of bare breasts. Because MacFarlane’s is exactly the type of frat-boy behavior that leads so many American women to keep their breasts hidden from public view for fear of just such humiliation.

FINALLY, SOMEONE SAID IT.

* Male and female authors reviewed, book reviewers, and bylines at major magazines.

* And the groovy socialist world of 1970s Soviet futurism.

original

Neoliberalism Triumphant

with 2 comments

A new generation of parents is taking solutions from the workplace and transferring them to the home. From accountability checklists to branding sessions, the result is a bold new blueprint for happy families.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 11, 2013 at 11:26 pm

Thursday Already?

leave a comment »

List of children killed by drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen.

* Adam Kotsko calls for more specificity and rigor in discussing the student loan crisis.

It is hard for me to avoid the conclusion that the sensationalism surrounding the “student loan bubble” stems from the fact that the majority of writers for progressive publications are either relatively recent college graduates or people with vivid memories of their own student debt. Hence they jump on the issue, making themselves and people like them the center of attention — while ignoring the vast wave of proletarianization that is beginning to make the United States a major competitor in the global sweepstakes to attract capital with low wages (and in fact, many self-styled progressive writers seem to buy into Obama’s incoherent view that greater access to college will in itself somehow help with inequality and wage stagntation).

A comprehensive new Harvard University report on Americans under 30, the so-called Millennials, shows that the economy is having a crushing impact, with just 62 percent working, and of those, half are toiling at part-time jobs.

* Malcolm Harris reviews Haneke’s Amour, in the new TNI.

* This Tumblr post does a good job explaining what’s appealing about the Harmontown podcast while unhappily bracketing the racism and misogyny that can sometimes make the show a challenging listen.

* Also in Community news: Alison Brie and Gillian Jacobs hype the new season of Community, starting tonight. Gillian Jacobs on Comedy Bang Bang. Yvette Nicole Brown on the Nerdist podcast, where she reveals her secret past as a member of the East Coast Family.

* Walter Bishop as the villain in Star Wars 7? Oh, all right.

* Airline mergers seem hard, y’all.

* Stephen King points out a Shining prequel is a really dumb idea. Alas, his Shining sequel doesn’t sound great, either.

* Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal vs. Valentine’s Day.

* Of course you had me at time travel web comic: Paola-4.

* And spotted on Facebook: Postcolonial Space Explorer.

203_ops_collins_strip

The Future Is Already Here—It’s Just Not Very Evenly Distributed

leave a comment »

Almost 40 percent of young adults between the ages of 19 and 29 did not have health insurance at some point in 2011, according to a new report from the Commonwealth Fund.

The report also found that more than one-third (36 percent) of young adults had medical bill problems or were currently paying off medical debt. Of those individuals, 43 percent faced serious financial troubles, 32 percent couldn’t make their student loans or tuition payments, 31 percent put off education or career plans, and 28 percent couldn’t afford essentials such as food, heat or rent because of medical bills.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 8, 2012 at 5:01 pm