Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘the recession

Liiiiiiiiinks

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* frieze asked me to write them an end-of-decade reflection on franchise culture, so here it is: “Disney’s Endgame: How the Franchise Came to Rule Cinema.” It bounces off the Scorsese brouhaha, but with an eye towards what I see as the key problematic there (monopoly), as opposed to fretting about spectacle or sequels as such. Check it out!

* Had an amazing time doing the keynote at the UC Speculative Futures Collective Symposium on Speculative Futures and Education this week. Look for more from this group soon!

* I was also on the Gribcast podcast talking about Parable of the Talents, something we’d planned for nearly a year before finally making it happen.

* I was elected president of the Science Fiction Research Association last week, too. It’s been weird!

* CFP: Ecopedagogies for the Anthropocene. CFP: Midwestern Science Fiction and Fantasy. CFP: AU: Alternate University.

* The agrocapitalist sublime: The first map of America’s food supply chain is mind-boggling.

These 8 Men Have As Much Money As Half The World.

* Ken Liu in the Times: How Chinese Sci-Fi Conquered America. The China Science Fiction Research Institute.

* ASAP Journal has a cluster on Latinx SF.

Accelerationism: how a fringe philosophy predicted the future we live in. Come for the SF-fueled theory, stay for the celebration of Mark Fisher…

* Now, novelty is to be found in the refusal of communicative capitalism’s false promises of smoothness. If the nineties were defined by the loop (the ‘good’ infinity of the seamlessly looped breakbeat, Goldie’s “Timeless”), then the 21st century is perhaps best captured in the ‘bad’ infinity of the animated GIF, with its stuttering, frustrated temporality, its eerie sense of being caught in a time-trap.

* The humanities in ruins.

My university is dying. And soon yours will be too. The end of Title IX. The other college debt crisis: Schools are going broke. Academe as the Dystopian Workplace. My god, UNC. One of the smartest and most prescient things I’ve read about current higher education was written in 1974, by the great education editor Fred Hechinger, who predicted splitting aid by income would create a “class war over tuition.” -22.8% per student, inflation adjusted. As Universities See State Funding Threatened, Will They Be Less Outspoken About Climate Change? A strike at Harvard. I told my mentor I was a dominatrix.

* 63 Up.

* Are podcasts a disaster waiting to happen?

Was ‘Oumuamua a cosmic dust bunny?

* Farming and the United Federation of Planets.

Climate tipping points — too risky to bet against. Nine climate tipping points now ‘active,’ warn scientists. A Grave Climate Warning, Buried on Black Friday. ‘Bleak’ U.N. Report on a Planet in Peril Looms Over New Climate Talks. Global Warming Prediction Sounds Alarm for Climate Fight. Climate Change Is Accelerating, Bringing World ‘Dangerously Close’ to Irreversible Change. Even 50-year-old climate models correctly predicted global warming. I decided to do a bit of a close read of one particular part of a 1965 report sent to Lyndon Johnson, on atmospheric carbon dioxide. Because I hate myself, you see.

‘It is raining plastic’: Microplastics found in Colorado rainwater. US may face French fry shortage due to poor potato crop: report. Forget ‘developing’ poor countries, it’s time to ‘de-develop’ rich countries. California bans insurers from dropping policies in wildfire zones. Will Buffalo become a climate change haven? Meet Julian Brave NoiseCat – the 26-year-old shaping US climate policy. Exxon and the carbon tax. And what could possibly go wrong? This Bill Gates-funded chemical cloud could help stop global warming. The Failure of the Adults.

* Indict Jair Bolsonaro over indigenous rights, international court is urged.

Border Patrol threw away migrants’ belongings. A janitor saved and photographed them.

* ICE set up a fake university, then arrested 250 people granted student visas. Truly the worst of these cases I’ve seen, no public good rationale whatsoever.

* This gets reported every few months as if it were new or shocking information: DHS never had technology needed to track separated migrant kids.

Inside the Cell Where a Sick 16-Year-Old Boy Died in Border Patrol Care.

* Today in the Forever War.

How “people of color” evolved from a gesture of solidarity and respect to a cover for avoiding the complexities of race.

A staggering one-in-three women, experience physical, sexual abuse.

What is going on? Fears of school shootings hit eight Wisconsin high schools in three days.

* Wisconsin Republicans can completely transform the state’s system of governance on the fly, but the Foxconn deal is sacred writ now and forever.

Trump’s Turkey Corruption Is Way Worse Than You Realize. I predicted Trump would win in 2016 — and I’m predicting the same for 2020. Here’s why liberals don’t understand what he represents. How Trump could lose by 5 million votes and still win in 2020. And it will always get worse: Trump Tells Allies He Wants Absolved War Criminals to Campaign for Him.

If you want to beat Trump, be honest about Biden.

* McKinsey in the news!

* Waiting for Obama. Let’s hang ourselves. The Real Barack Obama Has Finally Revealed Himself.

* Anthony Weiner and the butterfly effect.

* The case for Bernie Sanders.

* ‘A distinctly American phenomenon’: Our workforce is dying faster than any other wealthy country, study shows. It’s Not Just Poor White People Driving a Decline in Life Expectancy. Income inequality in America is the highest it’s been since Census Bureau started tracking it, data shows. Unemployment is low only because ‘involuntary’ part-time work is high. Nearly 700,000 SNAP Recipients Could Lose Benefits Under New Trump Rule. In a small Vermont city: heroin, bullets, and empathy.

* Why Rent Control Works. Highways Give Way to Homes as Cities Rebuild. Against self-driving cars. Today’s Socialist Revival Began on the Streets of Seattle 20 Years Ago. Welcome to the Global Rebellion Against Neoliberalism. Even rich kids need free college.

Millennials weren’t the only ones gutted by the recession. Gen X has never recovered.

* True crime: Indiana manipulated report on Amazon worker’s death to lure HQ2, investigation says. Google fires four employees at center of worker organization efforts. Away’s founders sold a vision of travel and inclusion, but former employees say it masked a toxic work environment. Uber Office Had Separate Bathrooms for Drivers and ‘Employees.’ Uber’s new loan program could trap drivers in cycles of crushing debt. Uber Says 3,045 Sexual Assaults Were Reported in U.S. Rides Last Year.

* “Nearly every Revver who spoke with The Verge said they were exposed to graphic or troubling material on multiple occasions with no warning. This includes recordings of physical and verbal abuse between intimate partners, graphic descriptions of sexual assault, amateur porn, violent footage from police body cameras, a transphobic rant, and, in one instance, “a breast augmentation filmed by a physician’s cell phone, being performed on a patient who was under sedation.” Transcribers for the gig economy service Rev hate the recently slashed rates, but the disturbing content they deal with is even worse.

Watched “The Irishman” and wondered, hey, what happened to those Teamsters pension funds in the end? Turns out that once Rudy Giuliani made a big splash getting the mob out, he handed management over to Wall Street with no oversight, and they wrecked it.

* The final word on should you go to grad school, from 1987.

* But his bosses didn’t like him, so they shot him into space.

* Starlink vs. the stars. Even more here!

Airlines damage or lose an average of 26 wheelchairs a day, report finds.

* What happens after you abandon an entire amusement park?

* You can’t have it both ways.

* This stabs me twice.

* Give it up for Tom Gauld.

* This is a mistake and we should not accept it.

* New book claims Albert Camus was murdered by the KGB.

* The color of the year is… blue. Just — blue.

* Wish I’d been quicker on the blogging trigger to include this Thanksgiving classic in time for the holiday.

* Pretty sick dude. The prequels were close to a good story. I did stand-up last night as “1990s Jerry Seinfeld Doing Bits About His 17-Year-Old Girlfriend.” It Happened to Me: Sinclair Bought My Hometown News Channel and Now It’s Deranged. Bleakest shit I’ve ever seen. The Fire Was Good, Actually. That’s good content. That’s my secret. Inigo Montoya’s Guide to Networking Success. The self care serial killer. Every city has a “guy” they all know about. Give me fucking strength.

Mikhail Gorbachev’s Pizza Hut Thanksgiving Miracle.

* Why Elsa from Frozen is a queer icon — and why Disney won’t embrace that idea.

* The Incendiary Aims of HBO’s Watchmen. HBO’s Watchmen Reveal Unmasks Homophobia and Fetishization. Move over, Joker – it’s time for the OG Superman.

* So the new Ghostbusters sequel follows in the classic franchise legacy mold and is about the original generation of Ghostbusters failing to prevent a disaster that destroyed New York. I really feel like our culture needs some therapy.

* Hands down one of the worst living Americans, virtual lock he’ll be president someday.

* I too can’t wait for December 20th.

* Mark Z. Danielewski drops three new House Of Leaves teleplays, is definitely up to something.

In 1969, a group of boys played a Thanksgiving football game. 50 years later, they’re still at it.

* “There Is An Entity That Cannot Be Defeated”: Former Go champion beaten by DeepMind retires after declaring AI invincible.

* And rest in peace, D.C. Fontana. There’s almost no one more directly responsible for what Star Trek became than her.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 6, 2019 at 2:12 pm

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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Monday Links

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19 Regional Words All Americans Should Adopt Immediately.

* Take the New York Times‘s dialect quiz.

* CFP: Graphic Treatment: Zombies, Medicine, and Comics.

The point is truth and beauty, without which our lives will lack grace and meaning and our civilization will be spiritually hollowed out and the historical bottom line will be that future epochs will remember us as a coarse and philistine people who squandered our bottomlessly rich cultural inheritance for short-term and meaningless financial advantage. And that is why you should major in English.

* Wisconsin ranks #1 in the country for our rate of incarcerating African Americans.  The state’s incarceration rate is 12.8%, meaning that one in eight black men are currently in state prison.  In Milwaukee, the numbers are even more stark.  More than half of the black men in Milwaukee have been incarcerated at one point or another, leaving them virtually unemployable as more and more employers run routine background checks.  2/3s of them are in the cities 6 poorest zip codes.

* Rebecca Schuman v. Riverside.

* Remember Black Mountain SOLE, the big MOOC U experiment? No one could have predicted it would turn out to be a complete sham.

Our research confirms that there is a direct correlation between institutional prestige and candidate placement. If we consider the highest ranked programs, the three tied at #1, we find that Harvard University has successfully placed 239 political scientists at 75 institutions—including twelve at Harvard. Princeton has successfully placed 108 political scientists at 62 institutions—including five at Princeton. Stanford has successfully placed 128 political scientists at 51 institutions—including three at Stanford. The highest ranked public university, The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor (ranked number four overall), has successfully placed 141 political scientists in 61 institutions—including seven at Michigan. These four schools contribute 616 political scientists; roughly twenty percent of the total tenure-track lines in the discipline at research-intensive programs. The median institutional ranking for the 116 institutions covered is eleven, which implies that eleven schools contribute 50 percent of the political science academics to research-intensive universities in the United States. Over 100 political science PhD programs are graduating students that will contest the remaining 50 percent of openings. More links below the chart.

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On the ASA Boycott and Its Backlash.

The Ivory Ceiling of Service Work.

Peer review or smear review? Reflections on a rigged system.

* George Zimmerman discovers secret loophole to becoming a successful artist.

* Oh, New Jersey.

* Interactive graphic: median income across the US.

These 2 Cities Are Now Exclusively For Rich People.

Write A House Is Giving Writers Free Homes In Detroit.

The bedroom tax was designed not just to reduce the welfare bill, but to make an example of those whose benefits were cut. Britain has a housing shortage and a costly welfare state, due to high unemployment, chronic low wages, and an unresolved global economic crisis for which British banks are partly to blame. The bedroom tax sharpens a structural economic problem into a attack on the poor and sick, who are now to be considered lazy, luxuriating in more space than they need in some of the most crowded cities on earth. It’s not just about the money. It’s about making sure people with disabilities and mental health problems no longer get the basic space to live.

Across the country, public schools employ about 250,000 fewer people than before the recession, according to figures from the Labor Department. Enrollment in public schools, meanwhile, has increased by more than 800,000 students. To maintain prerecession staffing ratios, public school employment should have actually grown by about 132,000 jobs in the past four years, in addition to replacing those that were lost, said Heidi Shierholz, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington.

FBI agent tries to copyright super-secret torture manual, inadvertently makes it public.

Elf advocates are successfully delaying Icelandic road projects due to concerns over the possibility of elf nesting habitats in rural lava fields. Concerns over the “hidden folk” are central to Icelandic culture — according to a 2007 poll, 62 percent of Icelandic residents think it’s at least possible that elves exist.

* Bloomberg, Dasani, and the undeserving poor at Christmas.

* Compulsory monogamy in The Hunger Games.

Why The Desolation of Smaug Is Peter Jackson’s Phantom Menace.

* How the New Yorker covered the Moon landing.

* Comedians and depression.

More simply, as they say in the article, “the Republican Party has engaged in strategic demobilization efforts in response to changing demographics, shifting electoral fortunes, and an internal rightward ideological drift among the party faithful.” Those demobilization efforts are targeted towards black voters in particular, minority voters in general, as well as the poor, all of whom tend to vote Democratic, while they seek to avoid impacting elderly (white) voters who tend to vote Republican. It’s also worth noting that both the efforts and the research is not limited to voter ID laws, but includes proof of citizenship requirements, registration restrictions, and absentee and early voting restrictions. There is a tendency, even among liberals, to dismiss such efforts as simply a legitimate effort to ensure that people have ids. Leaving aside that this still can be a barrier to exercising a fundamental right, such arguments obviously don’t apply to all these restrictions. While they found a small influence for accusations of “voter fraud” this is dwarfed by these other considerations. Targeting the Right To Vote.

* Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal runs an op-ed just straight out calling for a return to white male rule. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Big Monday Links

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(some links stolen from the great zunguzungu)

* It’s bad enough that I’ll never be asked to reboot Back to the Future—but it’d be utterly intolerable if the gig goes to two guys I went to high school with. Jon says it’s all a big misunderstanding but you know he’s just trying to throw me off the scent.

* There is no fresh start: The Return of Mad Men and the End of TV’s Golden Age. A metafictional reading of the series. And for fun: The Foreign Language of Mad Men: Do the characters really talk like people from the ’60s?

Let us start with the obvious: in the entire decade or so of airport security since the attacks on America on September 11th 2001, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has not foiled a single terrorist plot or caught a single terrorist.

* Arundhati Roy: “Capitalism: A Ghost Story.”

* In his novel “2066: Red Star Over America,” Han, China’s premier science-fiction writer, depicts a disturbing future. It is the year 2066. China rules the world while the U.S. festers in financial decline and civil war. A team has been sent to America to disseminate civilization through the traditional Chinese board game Go. But during the critical Go match held at the World Trade Center, terrorists strike. The seas around New York rise, the Twin Towers crumble and the U.S. is plunged into pandemonium. You had me at “Go.” Via io9.

* Do professors get paid too much for too little work? Obviously. More here.

* Related: “College Professors Demand Right to Be Mean.”

* Facebook asserts trademark on word “Book.” Can’t see that being controversial.

* It must be an election year, because suddenly the Obama administration is talking about the environment.

Extreme weather events over the past decade have increased and were “very likely” caused by manmade global warming, a study in the journal Nature Climate Change said on Sunday. “Scientists at Germany’s Potsdam Institute for Climate Research used physics, statistical analysis and computer simulations to link extreme rainfall and heat waves to global warming,” Reuters reports. “It is very likely that several of the unprecedented extremes of the past decade would not have occurred without anthropogenic global warming,” said the study. Why didn’t anybody warn us!

Government spending is good in a recession? Why didn’t anyone tell us!

* Why is horseracing even allowed? Via MeFi.

Rules: This is a very specific contest. Don’t tell us why you like meat, why organic trumps local or why your food is yours to choose. Just tell us why it’s ethical to eat meat.

* If They Directed It: The Hunger Games. I don’t think anything I’ve written on Twitter has gotten as many retweets as my brief reading of series as a utopia.

* Imagining The Wire Season Six.

* On not calling Rich Santorum “crazy.”

* Jeffrey Jerome Cohen writes up his visit to the wonderful conference I was at last weekend, ICFA 2012.

A highlight of ICFA was China Miéville’s talk “On Monsters.” I am a fan of Miéville’s work; The City and the City is one of my favorite books. His narratives are always beautifully written as well as philosophically challenging. Besides possessing an astonishing vocabulary (he sends me to the dictionary, and makes me wonder how they ever gave me a PhD), he is a writer widely read in theory — though his books never turn into allegories for lit crit. They always trace problems, and stay away from anything easy. Miéville brought up Quentin Meillassoux and speculative realism, for example, during his paper (dismissively: he is not a fan of SR or object oriented philosophy, which surprised me). China’s presentation started off as straightforward account of how the uncanny might be broken into various subcategories: the ab-canny, the sur-canny, the sub-canny, the post-canny, the para-canny, and onwards. His account began seriously but spiralled into a proliferative joke. His point was that classification is not analysis, and that such a “taxonomic frenzy” (as he called it) mortifies: “the drive to translate useful constructs into foundations for analysis is deadly,” because it violently takes away the potency and possibility of the terms it organizes. What was interesting to me, though, is that China’s talk performed something, um, para-canny (right beside itself, there but unseen) that I’ve also learned from studying medieval encyclopedists: taxonomic frenzy might produce a desiccated system of emplacement in which everything gets filed into a cabinet and drained of its vitality. Or it might actually be so creative in its proliferative energy and so limned by the necessity of its own failure that it undermines its own rigidity in the very process of articulation, becoming an envitalizing and innovative act — an act of writing — rather than a system of deadening inscription. China’s multiplication of canniness had a power that he walked away from, I think: why abandon your monster like that?

* Honoring the 20th anniversary of Apollo 18 the only possible way: interactive fiction.

* This American Life: What kind of ideology?

* “He Was a Crook”: Longform.org remembers Hunter S. Thompson’s obituary for Richard Nixon.

* Haiti: Where did the money go?

* Support for Afghan War falls. Support for NC anti-gay amendment rises.

A recent Elon University poll found that 58 percent of North Carolinians oppose the amendment, with 38 in favor of it. That poll surveys adults statewide, while the WRAL News poll includes the results only of likely voters.

Despite the broad amendment support in the WRAL News poll, only 37 percent of voters said same-sex couples deserve no legal recognition in North Carolina, according to the poll.

So you have no idea what you’re voting for and won’t bother to find out. Got it.

* Because the 2012 campaign hasn’t been tedious enough: 2016.

* Trayvon Martin and the history of lynching. The Corporations Behind the Law That May Let Trayvon Martin’s Killer Go Free. On Trayvon Martin as innocent victim.

Why Obama’s Healthcare Law Is Constitutional. Absolutely everything you need to know about health reform’s Supreme Court debut. What the Supreme Court Could Do About Obamacare, Explained. Legal experts: Court won’t strike down ‘Obamacare.’

* If I didn’t know better I’d say this little video has some sort of message.

* MLA Job Information List data back to 1965.

* Infographic of the night: Doomsday Predictions Debunked.

* The headline reads, “UC review backs use of pepper spray on protesters.” Huh! I really thought they’d give themselves hell.

Referring to pepper spray, he wrote: “A few focused applications on the crowd that blocked the officers near the row of bushes would likely have cleared that area very quickly, with few additional baton strikes.”

You’re a university, for Christ’s sake. My god.

* What could possibly go wrong? Has Obama put us on a permanent war footing, even in peacetime?

* And what could possibly go wrong? Tacocopter could be the unmanned future of food delivery. Some should have read more Jenny Rhee.

Cleveland vs. the Recession

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Across America, recession-fueled foreclosures and plummeting home values have left countless properties abandoned and vulnerable to looting. As Scott Pelley reports, the problem has gotten so bad in Cleveland, Ohio, that county officials have demolished more than 1,000 homes this year – and plan to demolish 20,000 more – rather than let the blight spread and render nearby homes worthless.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 19, 2011 at 11:03 am

Thursday Roundup

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* In sum, nobody — and I mean nobody — was talking about how weak the presidency supposedly is before Barack Obama was inaugurated: neither in the domestic nor foreign policy realm. Greenwald is debating Scott Lemieux from Lawyers, Guns, and Money, whose posts on the subject are here and here.

* Over my friend Traxus’s objections, Elizabeth Warren will run for Senate. Sorry bro.

* In CounterPunch: Who Will Save Libya From Its Western Saviours?

* “The man sitting in front of you is not a so-called statesman, but a completely normal person”: Mikhail Gorbachev at 80.

* Chart of the day: paid vacation in the developed world.

* Never forget: Economic contraction is a policy choice.

* Tom Coburn forgets how dog whistles are supposed to work.

* Peter Singer: The Troubled Life of Nim Chimpsky.

* Coco Chanel, Nazi spy?

* And two months from now it will have always been appropriate for lawyers to call themselves “Dr.” Looking forward to it.