Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘The Three-Body Problem

July 3 Links! Maybe Our Biggest July 3 Post EVER!!!

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* I have a new review up at LARB: We Are Going on an Adventure: On Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Children of Ruin. Read these novels!

* Marquette gets some very good press: it has one of the top ten highest post-graduation employment rates in the country. Also on the Marquette beat: Marquette goes test optional.

* The university in ruins: Alaska edition.

* CFP: University of Nebraska Press is looking for proposals for its new comics studies series.

When at last the aliens spoke to us, the first thing they did was apologize.

* Another KSR podcast appearance, this time on The Imaginaries. And some more piping hot KSR content: Picturing a Way Forward: Climate change, science fiction, and our collective failure of imagination. The Genre of the Near Future: Kim Stanley Robinson’s New York 2140. Kim Stanley Robinson Built a Moon Base in His Mind.

* It’s been a while since we did a good old fashioned Flash game, so please enjoy Magirune.

In Koopa mythology, Mario is both Satan and a specter of death, and him and Bowser are brothers. Luigi was a later Christian revision. Best thing I’ve read in ages.

Toy Story 4’s Forky Has Haunting Metaphysical Implications for the Toy Story Universe.

The Grand Cultural Influence of Octavia Butler.

* Liu Cixin’s War of the Worlds. Producers Behind The Wandering Earth Want to Bring Cixin Liu’s Three-Body Problem to TV.

* What Slaughterhouse-Five Tells Us Now.

* The Medea Hypothesis.

* Hindsight is 20/20 I guess.

* Conservative Philanthropy in Higher Education. Documents show ties between university, conservative donors. Corporate Wolves in Academic Sheepskins, or, a Billionaire’s Raid on the University of Tulsa.

* 2008 killed the university, but not in the way most people think.

* How to Chair an Academic Committee.

* How College Professors Are Fighting for Their Lives. Revenge of the Poverty-Stricken College Professors.

Meritocracy’s Discontents. ‘To succeed in America, it’s better to be born rich than smart.’

* Why can’t everyone get As?

* Another free speech mystery.

* Wild decision at Oberlin.

* When The University Of Wisconsin Persecuted Gay Students.

* ‘Your Heritage Is Taken Away’: The Closing of 3 Historically Black Colleges.

* The Closure.

The Surreal End of an American College.

‘Everything Must Go!’: A Rash of College Closures Keeps This Liquidation Firm Busy.

* Outcomes-based graduate school.

* Nice work if you can get it!

CSU secretly stashed away $1.5 billion surplus, auditor says.

* When you really mess up the lit review.

* Warren to Introduce Student Debt Cancellation Bill. Bernie doubles it. Something’s coming.

Rick Snyder’s Harvard Fellowship and the Limits of Civility.

There would be a cartoon, like for kids. Or it might also have been a prime-time cartoon, actually. The situation was fluid, but consider the growth potential. Honestly, the whole notion was exceedingly hazy and changed a lot, but, as it got pitched among the corps of cold-calling salespeople to potential investors in a company named Premiere Publishing Group, the plan was this: There was going to be a cartoon, on television, that would feature Donald Trump jetting around and solving various problems.


There Are People in Concentration Camps. Why Aren’t We in the Streets?

One reason I think we’ve been arguing about the name of the camps is that life in the shadow of concentration camps is not supposed to be worth living. “Never again” doesn’t mean “Don’t commit genocide” or even “Oppose ethnic cleansing”; the phrase implies a permanent obligation to resist in the Dale Smith sense—stop the camps—or risk being the equivalent of all those Good Germans. The presence of concentration camps should be intolerable, and yet here we are, tolerating it. Either they aren’t camps or we aren’t who we said we were. There has got to be a better way to reduce our cognitive dissonance than playing with definitions.

* Behold as the New York Times reports on an anti-immigrant movement in St. Cloud, Minnesota, entirely from the perspective of the racists. ‘Guats,’ ‘Tonks’ and ‘Subhuman Shit’: The Shocking Texts of a Border Patrol Agent. Inside the Secret Border Patrol Facebook Group Where Agents Joke About Migrant Deaths and Post Sexist Memes. An Expert on Concentration Camps Says That’s Exactly What the U.S. Is Running at the Border. There are concentration camps in America. They Are Concentration Camps — and They Are Also Prisons. ‘Some Suburb of Hell’: America’s New Concentration Camp System. ‘There Is a Stench.’ ‘Children Were Dirty, They Were Scared, and They Were Hungry.’ Torture facilities. Ticking time bomb. Report: 1,000 new migrant adults detained at U.S. border weekly, “serious risk of exceeding safety standards on a regular basis.’ Children as young as 7 and 8, many of them wearing clothes caked with snot and tears, are caring for infants they’ve just met.Toddlers without diapers are relieving themselves in their pants. Teenage mothers are wearing clothes stained with breast milk. How Families Separated at the Border Could Make the Government Pay. Mark Morgan, a man who claimed on Fox News to be able to identify “soon-to-be MS-13” gang members by looking child migrants in the eye, will now head an agency that has thousands of child migrants in its care. Lawyer Draws Outrage for Defending Lack of Toothbrushes in Border Detention. In El Paso, Border Patrol Is Detaining Migrants in ‘a Human Dog Pound.’ 4 Severely Ill Migrant Toddlers Hospitalized After Lawyers Visit Border Patrol Facility. We found the youngest known child separated from his parents at the border under President Trump. He was only 4 months old. Hung jury for Scott Warren. Italy Arrests Captain of Ship That Rescued Dozens of Migrants at Sea. The Trump Administration Has Let 24 People Die in ICE Custody. ICE Stopped Updating Its List of ‘Deaths in ICE Custody.’ No limits. An Open Letter to the Director of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. The concentration camp next door. Even (some) ICE agents are losing patience (but not for great reasons). And in a darker register: “Bodies and minds are breaking down”: Inside US border agency’s suicide crisis.

The people who are supposed to save us from the fascists don’t have the stomach to fight for longer than a weekend. It’s pathetic.

The Insanity in Oregon Is a Glimpse of Our Very Dark Future.

Joe Biden will never give up on the system, because it never gave up on him.

* The 2020 democratic candidates as dril tweets.

The Courts Won’t End Gerrymandering. Eric Holder Has a Plan to Fix It Without Them. Focus on Wisconsin in this piece, which is so gerrymandered and voter-suppressed at this point that Democrats may never recover the legislature no matter how big they win.

 

* Redlining in Milwaukee.

The Devastating Oddness of E. Jean Carroll’s Trump Accusation.

AOC’s Generation Doesn’t Presume America’s Innocence.

* Who Owns Tomorrow?

* Ta-Nehisi Coates resists the case for reparations.

* Where does money come from?

* Capitalist Workplaces Set Bosses Up to Be Authoritarian Tyrants.

Better Schools Won’t Fix America.

It’s so hot in Spain that manure self-ignited, sparking a 10,000-acre wildfire. It’s 112 degrees in France. 118 in India. Europe has had five 500-year summers in 15 years. Hell is coming. 40 degrees above normal. The poisons released by melting Arctic ice. A city of 9 million people loses water. Mexico Hailstorm Blankets Western Areas Under 3 Feet of Ice. Heatwave cooks mussels in their shells on California shore. Wildfires, heat waves foreshadow what could be a perilous summer across the globe. ‘A major punch in the gut’: Midwest rains projected to create near-record dead zone in Gulf. US military is a bigger polluter than as many as 140 countries. “We may find ourselves living shortly in a world that even just a few years ago we would’ve found completely unacceptable and not even be disturbed by it.” Only 60 Years of Farming Left If Soil Degradation Continues. The Climate Crisis Is Mind-Boggling. That’s Why We Need Science Fiction. Global warming may reduce fish and other sea life by 17% by the year 2100. When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez met Greta Thunberg: ‘Hope is contagious.’ “Batshit jobs” – no-one should have to destroy the planet to make a living. In the kids’ climate lawsuit that is slowly progressing, the US Department of Justice argues that there is “no right to a climate system capable of sustaining human life.” The World Is a Mess. We Need Fully Automated Luxury Communism. Confessions Of A Climate Activist: Don’t Blame Yourself, Go After The Criminals Who Sold Out Humanity For Profit.

 

Jim Jarmusch’s new movie is an accusation aimed at his audience: As the world plummets toward an ecological catastrophe, we still shamble through our former existences, brainless, as though the end of the world hasn’t already been written.

* The pocket of East Texas that Keilan calls home is among the state’s regions hit hardest by suicide. The most recent federal data show that in Gregg County, which includes Longview, 335 people died by suicide from 1999 to 2017. The county had a suicide rate of 15 deaths per 100,000 people in that time period, compared to the average state rate of 11.4. Several nearby, more rural counties — including Marion and Morris counties, just north of Gregg — have even higher suicide rates.

Humans Can’t Watch All the Surveillance Cameras Out There, So Computers Are.

* Fifty years ago 180,000 whales disappeared from the oceans without a trace, and researchers are still trying to make sense of why. Inside the most irrational environmental crime of the century.

Canada’s Parliament has passed legislation banning whales, dolphins and porpoises from being bred or held in captivity — a move that was hailed by animal rights activists.

* Trump administration quietly makes it legal to bring elephant parts to the U.S. as trophies.

* Carbon emissions from energy industry rise at fastest rate since 2011.

* The Six-Year Struggle to Regain Ownership of the ‘This Is Fine’ Dog.

* Ravelry bans Trump support.

* Writing Iceman at Marvel.

* Alanis at 45.

* “I babysit for the one percent.”

* You just can’t win: Canada to ban single-use plastics as early as 2021. Plastic Bag Bans Might Do More Harm Than Good. Your cotton tote is pretty much the worst replacement for a plastic bag. Your bowl of rice is hurting the climate too.

Americans’ plastic recycling is dumped in landfills, investigation shows.

* Your Business Casual Attire Is Destroying the Planet.

* Americans are terrifyingly supportive of nuking civilians in North Korea. What is the probability of a nuclear war? Why don’t we make movies about nuclear war anymore?

* The Uber delusion. Uber’s path of destruction. Uber Wants Your Next Big Mac to Be Delivered by Drone.

* Training a single AI model can emit as much carbon as five cars in their lifetimes.

How 9 People Built an Illegal $5M Airbnb Empire in New York.

* How to Speak Silicon Valley.

* The day the music burned.

* The latest study of depression and PTSD in social media moderators.

* Sunoco in Philly.

* We either buy insulin or we die.

According to the UN the chance of a 15-year-old boy dying by the age of 50 is now higher in America than in Bangladesh.

* Amazon will pay $0 in taxes on $11,200,000,000 in profit for 2018.

* The FoxConn scam, one year later.

* Would you like to know more?

Grim New Report Shows Rent Is Unaffordable In Every State.

* Here’s What It’s Like To See Yourself In A Deepfake Porn Video.

* A shocking number of women are harassed, ignored, or mistreated during childbirth.

Phoenix Police Threaten to Shoot a Pregnant Woman After Her Daughter Reportedly Stole a Doll.

Alabama woman loses unborn child after being shot, gets arrested; shooter goes free.

Alabama court forces rape survivor to allow rapist to have visitation with children.

* He Cyberstalked Teen Girls for Years—Then They Fought Back.

Since January, when Bradley Austin learned that his ex-wife was using chlorine dioxide on their sons, he’s been trying to stop her. (He’s also exploring fighting for guardianship of his sons.) But the local police, the state’s division of adult protective services and a medical doctor treating Jeremy have all declined to intervene. A police spokesman said there wasn’t enough evidence that chlorine dioxide was dangerous; a caseworker with the Kansas Adult Protective Services told police that she didn’t see the situation as serious enough for the state to take action.

* Ali Stroker’s #TonyAwards2019 win marks the first time a wheelchair user has won a Tony Award (she was also the first wheelchair user on Broadway & the first nominated for a Tony). Tonight there was no ramp for her to get to the stage to accept her award.

* Ghost networks of psychiatrists make money for insurance companies but hinder patients’ access to care.

* It sucks to go to the doctor if you’re trans.

Bad braille plagues buildings across U.S., CBS News Radio investigation finds.

* The war to free science.

* ‘Horns’ are growing on young people’s skulls. No they’re not!

The accreditation of the University of Maryland, College Park, is in jeopardy a year after a football player died following a preseason workout. News outlets report the accrediting Middle States Commission of Higher Education on Friday announced it has placed the school on warning after finding “insufficient evidence” that it is complying with governance, leadership and administration standards.

* The latest MH370 deep dive.

America Is Stuck With a $400 Billion Stealth Fighter That Can’t Fight.

What the World’s Most Sociable People Reveal About Friendliness.

Dogs’ Eyes Have Changed Since Humans Befriended Enslaved Them.

The Surprising Reason that There Are So Many Thai Restaurants in America.

Do you consume a credit card’s worth of plastic every week?

* If you want a vision of the future: Netflix’s The Edge of Democracy charts the slippery slope from democracy to authoritarian rule.

* wHy DOn’T YOu JuSt SAvE sOMe MOneY

America’s Collapsing Because it’s the World’s First Poor Rich Country.

* Whoa.

* 63 Up.

* No frills.

* Today in dystopia.

* This one too: A cancer patient from Montgomery, Illinois, has been sentenced to four years in prison for ordering a 42-pound package of chocolate marijuana edibles to self-medicate. The day after he pleaded guilty, the state legalized recreational marijuana.

* They finally found the monolith.

* sold

* my brain hurts a lot

* got another capitalism greatest hit. i will give you one hundred thousand dollars if you can guess the brand by the end

* just another classic canavan viral tweet

* Smash that bridge king.

* The mindfulness conspiracy. On the other hand: Two-hour ‘dose’ of nature significantly boosts health – study. Neuroscience shows that 50-year-olds can have the brains of 25-year-olds if they sit quietly and do nothing for 15 minutes a day.

* The Strange World of Sorority Rush Consultants.

* broke: McMansion woke: McTomb bespoke: multi-family housing

* The Empty Storefront Crisis and the End of the American Dream.

Can the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre Survive?

* Tetris forever.

* Mario Royale.

* Games Have Always Tried to Whitewash Nazis as Just ‘German Soldiers.’

* On Jameson and genre.

* Futureshock, turn of the century edition.

* Really though, what would the world be like without the Beatles?

A team of researchers found a way to make money legally from online bookies. But then their troubles began.

* Whiteness 101: A Reading List to Abolish the Problem.

Every Post-Credits Scene in the Masters of the Universe Cinematic Universe, Explained.

* Marvel Comics in the 80s: Not Just for Kids Anymore.

A Brief History of the Movie-Summarizing End-Credits Rap.

* Dark Phoenix and the end of the dream.

* Worlds without Men.

* #cancelculture just #cancelled a very big fish.

* I’ve been reading The Walking Dead since the beginning and am not surprised at all it’s ending with #193, given what happened in #192.

* I’m so depressed I can’t even get worked up about this. No, not even this!

The long march of artificial intelligence puts Bastani’s timeframe for communist transition in the shade. But there is a further problem with his vision, which strikes at the core of any proposal for full automation and the introduction of universal social services, as commendable as it may be. This is the possibility that capitalism might not be intelligent after all. Indeed, what if capitalism, on whose technological revolution Bastani’s FALC depends, were stupid? What if capitalism were to prove substantially deaf, dumb, and blind to sound appeals to common sense or rational thinking in the face of ongoing climate breakdown and its related miseries? What would communism or any form of “post-capitalism” look like from this perspective?

* Eventual perverts. Teaching. Moms. Parenting. We thought we had mastered passive aggression. The evolution of consciousness. Self-aware.

* And some personal news: Super Mario Maker 2 rules.

Written by gerrycanavan

July 2, 2019 at 4:30 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Holy Thursday Links!

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* Our brains don’t work.

* William Strampel, Nassar’s former boss at MSU, charged with criminal sexual conduct. MSU Spent Half A Million Dollars Monitoring Nassar Victims’ And Journalists’ Social Media Accounts. Every single member of the upper administration at MSU must resign.

According to MLive, investigators in February found dozens of photos of nude women as well as pornographic videos and a video of Nassar with a young patient on a computer in Strampel’s office.

* Sexuality, childhood, and spanking as sexual assault.

* UW-Stevens Point may reconsider proposed humanities cuts after student protests.

A new report by the Brennan Center for Justice suggests that congressional races are so heavily rigged in favor of Republicans that the United States can barely be described as a democratic republic. The upshot of their analysis is that, to win a bare majority of the seats in the U.S. House, Democrats “would likely have to win the national popular vote by nearly 11 points.”

Who Foots Most of the Bill for Public Colleges? In 28 States, It’s Students.

* “Student Loans Are Too Expensive To Forgive.”

This is a strike to save higher education.

* Oklahoma teachers say they’re going on strike next week.

* Fred Walker’s Career May Not Be Over. But His Presidency Is.

* I heard you like obstruction so I got you some obstruction in your obstruction.

* ‘Deeply weird and enjoyable’: Ursula K Le Guin’s electronica album.

Here’s how Popular Science covered ‘Star Trek’ in 1967.

Civilization Player Gets Space Race Victory In 90 AD.

* A Scheme to End the World’s Worst Acid Trip.

* Race, Gender, and Disability in Black Panther and A Wrinkle in Time.

* Stormy Daniels Directed a Cyberpunk Porn Thriller That Predicted Our Current Dystopia.

* The Vikings got a billion dollar stadium, and tax payers paid half of that cost. And now…

Something Happened on Television.

A California sheriff is posting inmate release dates to help ICE capture undocumented immigrants. ICE gained access to Santa Clara County inmates, breaching sanctuary policies.

* Whatever the potential merits of the arguments might be, it’s tortuous, to say the least, to read anguished warnings about “fake news” from someone who was in the West Wing during the heyday of Saddam Hussein’s imaginary weapons of mass destruction, fictitious attempts to buy refined uranium from Niger, and completely nonexistent alliance with Al-Qaeda; to hear about the threats posed by presidential incompetence from a former staffer of the same White House that so brazenly let New Orleans drown; to be lectured on the perils of executive belligerence and polarizing rhetoric from the man credited with coining the phrase “Axis of Evil”; or to be subjected to sermons about kleptocracy and calls to decency, honor, and the rule of law from someone whose former political boss spent eight years oozing nationalist machismo to champion torture, extrajudicial detention, and aggressive war and who possibly became president in 2000 because his brother just so happened to be the governor of Florida.

* The Newest Frontier in American Jurisprudence Is Trump’s Twitter Feed.

* Hey, Wired — leave those kids alone.

* It shows just how far a man of means will go to get something he can’t buy: the right to carry a concealed firearm anywhere in America.

* A Detective Is Torn Between Two Worlds in the New Trailer for the BBC’s The City and The City Adaptation.

* Seems pricy, but I’ll allow it.

* Advertising will destroy the auto industry next.

* Scientists say they’ve discovered a new human organ. Behold the interstitium!

* Well, when you put it that way.

* Bulgaria Alleges Julia Kristeva was State Security Agent.

* Who Are The Other 00s?

* Deep Sports Nine.

* I feel personally attacked.

* And sure, I’m into this.

Wednesday Links!

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* Some current calls for papers: Science Fiction and Communism. Beyond Humanism. Sesame Street at 50.

* Coming soon to Marquette! The Center for the Advancement of the Humanities will host Adam Kotsko on Feb. 15th at 3:30 p.m. in Marquette Hall 105, as he discusses “Animated Nihilism: RickandMorty, BoJackHorseman and the Strange Fate of the Adult Cartoon.”

* My favorite weird found-poetry I’ve discovered on this trip: in Switzerland and Germany first-person shooters are called “ego shooters.”

* My favorite thing on the Internet in a long, long time: Rey and Kylo set to just about every song you’ve ever heard of.

* Star Trek: Discovery is exciting, but not much else.

To put it another way, if this was just called Discovery, if the serial numbers were filled off and this was just another science fiction show with aliens and parallel universes and FTL drives, I doubt we’d be talking about it. It would be significantly less annoying in some ways (my brain would appreciate not having to fit any of this into continuity, that’s for damn sure), but it would be far more forgettable—a pretty, messy piece of nonsense with some decent performances and occasionally unexpected story twists. Hell, maybe we’d like it more, if only because our standards would be lower and it would still be possible to convince ourselves that someday, this would all make sense.

io9 was even harsher, if anything. I’m still a fan of the series but the extremely poor plotting of the second half of season one has made complete hash of their very promising initial setup. It’s much harder for me to argue the series is genuinely good, as opposed to liking it because it is Star Trek and I like pretty much everything Star Trek.

* Advice from a Contingent Faculty Member on Career Directions for PhDs in English.

* Sam and Max Hit the Road: The Design Document. What a great game that was.

* “A fascinating new kind of job that only a human can do: robot babysitter.”

The myth of America’s immigration problem.

* Beautiful Coal and Disastrous Droughts.

* Seen accurately. American collapse is a catastrophe of human possibility without modern parallel . And because the mess that America has made of itself, then, is so especially unique, so singular, so perversely special — the treatment will have to be novel, too. The uniqueness of these social pathologies tell us that American collapse is not like a reversion to any mean, or the downswing of a trend. It is something outside the norm. Something beyond the data. Past the statistics. It is like the meteor that hit the dinosaurs: an outlier beyond outliers, an event at the extreme of the extremes. That is why our narratives, frames, and theories cannot really capture it — much less explain it. We need a whole new language — and a new way of seeing — to even begin to make sense of it. Why We’re Underestimating American Collapse: The Strange New Pathologies of the World’s First Rich Failed State.

* If your highest value is the preservation of American institutions, the avoidance of “dysfunction,” the discourse of norm erosion makes sense. If it’s democracy, not so much. Sometimes democracy requires the shattering of norms and institutions. Democracy, we might even say, is a permanent project of norm erosion, forever shattering the norms of hierarchy and domination and the political forms that aid and abet them.

* What does living in a dictatorship feel like?

* Cixin Liu and Chinese science fiction, in the London Review of Books.

* The Voynich Manuscript has been cracked again. Everybody take a drink!

* Sic semper: Twilight of Chief Wahoo.

* Huge, if true: some millennials think James Bond could be sexist.

* Emma, the fifteen-second horror movie.

* Here’s What One Day In The Dysfunction Of Restoring Puerto Rico’s Electricity Looks Like. FEMA To End Food And Water Aid For Puerto Rico.

* ICE Deports Palestinian Man Living In The U.S. For Almost 40 Years Despite Outcry. Father detained by ICE after dropping 4-year-old off at daycare. 2 dads nabbed by ICE as they drop off kids at NJ school; 3rd takes shelter in church. Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown is a recipe for national decline.

* Even By Our Awful Standards, Americans Have Basically Stopped Saving Money.

* CES Was Full of Useless Robots and Machines That Don’t Work.

* An ER visit, a $12,000 bill — and a health insurer that wouldn’t pay.

* Baltimore Cops Kept Toy Guns to Plant Just in Case They Shot an Unarmed Person.

* The future just ain’t no good.

* “In honor of the new Mr. Rogers biopic, here’s his Marquette Commencement address from 2001.”

* A new life awaits you in the off-world colonies.

* #DontCallItAComejack.

* What does it mean to die?

Why Reddit’s face-swapping celebrity porn craze is a harbinger of dystopia.

* The life of the mind. Working at university in 2016. Statement of teaching philosophy.

* Of course you had me at a Civilisation V mod about the risk of superintelligent AI.

* And happy birthday, old friend.

July the 5th Be With You Links

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* Coming attractions.

* I have spent the entirety of my academic career so far watching the intensified hollowing-out of my profession. The destruction is not limited to those friends and grad-school colleagues whose “job hunt” turned up nothing—or turned up academic jobs which make the same demands as the tenure track without the same job security. The harm can be counted, too, in the numberless person-hours every academic I know has spent tailoring job application materials, drafting custom syllabuses, and performing all the other rituals of applicant abjection. If you care about the work scholars do, the atmosphere is demoralizing. It is, to be sure, worse in worse jobs: when I was a part-time adjunct, I found the isolation particularly depressing, and I liked my “individualized” health insurance plan even less. But even in a good job with outstanding colleagues and students all around, something eats away at the ordinary routines of my academic life: all the day-to-day work of simply doing the job (teaching the students, carrying on the research, going to the meetings, the meetings, the meetings) takes on more than a tinge of denial, something for the few of us who have good academic jobs to do while we wait for the last curtain to fall on professional scholarship. Nor is it encouraging to witness the parade of more active forms of denial: bad-faith solutions, illusory comforts, and intellectualized excuses for selfishness. But mostly I regret the good work that could have been done by all of us in a better, more just system. 

Mills College Lays Off Five Tenured Professors.

Prerequisites: “You will need to have seen Star Wars (episode four: A New Hope) and read The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien.” The syllabi of Junot Díaz.

Space is the Place: A Crash Course in the Sounds of Afrofuturism.

* A call for applications: Foundation is looking for a book review editor.

happyfourthofjulyThe International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts Announces its 12th annual Jamie Bishop Memorial Award for a critical essay on the fantastic originally written in a language other than English.

* The “mass graves” story I linked yesterday was fake. Thanks to a longtime reader for the tip. I wonder what the point of making this up was; the best I could come up with was that it was for research about how news spreads on the left and on the right.

Why Afghanistan? Why Now?

* Batman and 1960s America.

* 25 at 50. The 25th amendment is a fantasy.

* Not our Independence Day. Toward a Marxist Interpretation of the US Constitution. Capitalism and Slavery.

This woman’s name appears on the Declaration of Independence. So why don’t we know her story?

* CTRL-F “rape” CTRL-F “slave” CTRL-F “Hemings”

* Speaking of which: Sally Hemings’s slave quarters have been discovered at Monticello. And from the archives: The Monster of Monticello.

Dear TNI Contributors,

 Our August issue theme is PATRIOTS. 

Seize the Hamptons. Probably should take a look at seizing the governor’s mansion in New Jersey, too.

In sum, here’s what they found: If you’re going to die via an asteroid, it will be the wind and shockwave that gets you.

Why Roman concrete still stands strong while modern version decays.

* America’s future is Texas.

* Mother charged with child endangerment for leaving her ten-year-old in the LEGO store unattended.

* Horrifying story: Authorities have charged a former Ph.D. candidate with kidnapping a visiting scholar at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Yingying Zhang, originally from China, is now presumed dead.

‘Beta Males’ Want To Kill Women Because They Can’t Get Laid.

The Democrats Are Eisenhower Republicans. Even that seems too kind a description for Rahm Emanuel.

What does opposition do that resistance doesn’t? It offers a positive agenda for a better social contract, embedded in institutional transformations. Like, for example, everything that Dems don’t ever propose: real universal healthcare, public media, public higher education, debt relief, real safety nets, and so on. A social contract — whole and full and true.

* But don’t worry folks; we’ve got this.

It’s called Win the Future, and Pincus is even courting potential WTF candidates like the frontman of ’90s rock band Third Eye Blind.

This Is Why Antarctic Sea Ice Crashed This Year.

U.S. judge finds that Aetna deceived the public about its reasons for quitting Obamacare.

* Never forget: America didn’t die, they murdered it.

New justices usually take years to find their footing at the Supreme Court. For Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, who joined the court in April, a couple of months seem to have sufficed. His early opinions were remarkably self-assured. He tangled with his new colleagues, lectured them on the role of the institution he had just joined, and made broad jurisprudential pronouncements in minor cases.

* Some lesser-known spells.

UK cops routinely raided police databases to satisfy personal interest or make money on the side.

Greetings, E.T. (Please Don’t Murder Us.) Check your privilege, NYT. You don’t speak for me.

A stressed, sleep-deprived couple accidentally invented the modern alien abduction phenomenon.

* Always money in the banana stand: Congressional panel puts plans for a US Space Corps in 2018 defense budget.

* Journalism in America in 2017.

* Kafka’s joke book.

Why did the chicken cross the road?

It had been crossing so long it could not remember. As it stopped in the middle to look back, a car sped by, spinning it around. Disoriented, the chicken realized it could no longer tell which way it was going. It stands there still.

* Nice work if you can get it: Controversial U of T professor making nearly $50,000 a month through crowdfunding.

* When basic common sense seems radical: Civilians shouldn’t have to de-escalate police.

* Forget the blood of teens. This pill promises to extend life for a nickel a pop. Forget the blood of teens? Screw you, Wired, you don’t speak for me either!

* And a few Fourth of July links from my Tumblr: Check out Captain Woke. What have you done to keep liberty alive? Untitled (Questions). Don’t Tread on Me. Brain expansion meme. Spang!

Written by gerrycanavan

July 5, 2017 at 9:00 am

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Monday Morning Links!

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* On Saturday night the SFRA announced its award winners. Congrats to all! And here’s a Storify of the weekend’s #SFRA2017 tweets.

Civilizations in Crisis: Chinese Speculative Fiction. And at the New Yorker Radio Hour: The Cultural Revolution and the Alien Invasion.

* The Jobless Utopia of La Zarzuela.

SF, Pulp & Grit.

‘Seat 14C’ short stories imagine a 20-year time warp – and now you can hop on board.

As one of the four finalists for the Edward Said Chair, I returned from the campus interview to experience a prolonged waiting period. When the news was finally delivered, I did not learn whether I had gotten the position or not. Rather, the email informed me that the position had been cancelled altogether, due to unforeseen administrative issues.

Constructing the cyber-troll: Psychopathy, sadism, and empathy.

* President Trump appears to have sourced his CNN wrestling tweet from a racist troll on Reddit.

Let us instead critique liberal multiculturalism and liberal feminism, while advancing a socialist-feminist, anti-racist, anti-capitalist vision. And let us try to leave behind the sectarian divisions that have hampered us and seize the opportunity to build a new left.

* Proponents insist that the emails, as deranged as they might seem, work. Critics argue that the tactic has a short shelf life and is deceptive. But Their Emails.

D.C. police are investigating whether patrol officers struck an 11-year-old bicyclist with their cruiser Thursday night in Northwest Washington’s Park View neighborhood and drove away without reporting the incident.

* Did Trump break the law over alleged Morning Joe National Enquirer blackmail threat? Oh honey. The Time I Got Recruited to Collude with the Russians. Trump’s CNN Tweet Linked To Reddit User HanAssholeSolo.

* Democrats completely around the bend.

How handsome is Mike Pence? We asked the experts.

* Once we dispense with the pragmatic-compromise explanation for the MSPRA, it’s much easier to understand what CAP is doing. They are proposing a “bipartisan” patch on Obamacare, not because they think they can win through compromise, but because they largely agree with what Republicans want to do. They are promoting market-based healthcare instead of embracing popular support for single payer because they do not want to see single payer succeed. There’s no counter-intuitive chess game going on here; liberals are telling the left exactly what they want, and we would do well to take them at their word.

* Generation Catalano rebrands again, again.

University of Melbourne Associate Professor of Sociology Dan Woodman—who, probably not coincidentally, was born in 1980—says the “Xennial” label applies to those born between 1977 and 1983. It’s a unique demographic group, he argues, because Xennials spent a significant chunk of their childhoods without access to computers—and indeed, will someday be among the last people on Earth to remember a time before the internet—but experienced the internet revolution early enough to still become early adopters of new technologies. People who were actually college aged when Facebook came out, in other words.

* Another one: Generation Space.

The forgotten cyberspace of the Neuromancer computer game.

* Okja and translation.

* Iran’s temperature hit 127 degrees yesterday.

* Being James Thomas Hodgkinson’s widow.

* Methadone for social media addiction.

As Cost Of Opioid Epidemic Rises, One City May Consider Not Reviving Addicts Who Repeatedly Overdose.

* How valuable is Stephen Curry?

Phone Sex Operators Say They Are Making Less Than Minimum Wage.

Escaped elephant takes a stroll through Wisconsin neighborhood.

* Ancestry.com presents: Descendents of the Founding Fathers.

* disappointedspringsteen.gif. I mean really.

* Debt and the future.

* McConnell’s nearing a deal. Don’t sugarcoat this. Trump just called for 32 million people to lose health coverage.

* A Muslim doctor in Trump country.

New Florida law lets any resident challenge what’s taught in science classes.

* ‘Terrorism’ misspelled on bench at Indiana war memorial.

Mass Grave Of Dozens Of Tortured Black Men Found In Deceased KKK Leaders Estate. UPDATE: This was a fake story.

* Personally, I think teaching is improv.

* Against Gorsuch. Against Gorsuch. Against Gorsuch.

* Fascinating analysis: The newspaper offered no definitive answer, but the question itself points to a broader issue that tends to be underexplored in the context of wrongful convictions: what typically happens with respect to the underlying crime—and, by implication, the cause of justice and of public safety—when the person found legally responsible for committing it later is determined not to be.

A Brutal Intelligence: AI, Chess, and the Human Mind.

Privilege and responsibility are the words we call on when the dream of a society organized by individual merit runs up against the hard world of systematic and intractable inequality.

In Honoring Enslaved Laborers, Colleges Seek to Blunt the Force of Their Pro-Slavery Icons.

* Wikipedia as Text Adventure.

* The Hardest Job in the World. I’m like an X-Man with psychic attack powers. Time Management: A Guide for Busy Moms.

* Factionalism / small talk. All things carry yin and embrace yang. Look for the helpers.

Horror is the only film genre where women appear and speak as often as men.

* Never meet your heroes.

* And I consider this a canonical part of Zefram Cochrane’s backstory.

Written by gerrycanavan

July 3, 2017 at 9:00 am

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Monday Morning Links!

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* A personal announcement: I’ll be the Vice President of the Science Fiction Research Association for the next three years. Thanks for the vote of confidence!

* CFP: “Purple Reign: An interdisciplinary conference on the life and legacy of Prince.”

* Huge, if true: Reading Literature Won’t Give You Superpowers. And meanwhile: What’s Wrong With Literary Studies? Some scholars think the field has become cynical and paranoid. Only some?

Use Data to Make a Strong Case for the Humanities.

* They did it: Army Corps of Engineers Statement Regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline. More from Vox.

* Is there any branch of literature so insecure, so uncertain of its own status, as science fiction?

Inside the world of Chinese science fiction, with “Three Body Problem” translator Ken Liu.

gerrycanavan_2016-dec-04* Marquette in the ne– oh come on.

* Dan Harmon’s story circle at YouTube.

* Trouble in the Heartland: Listening to Springsteen in Wisconsin in 1979.

* Well, that seems fine: GOP rep: Trump has ‘extra-constitutional’ view of presidency. Donald Trump risks China rift with Taiwan call. BREAKING: US President-elect Trump told Rodrigo Duterte that Philippines was conducting its drug war “the right way.” That’s bad. Trump’s education pick says reform can ‘advance God’s Kingdom.’ What the Nazis were doing was not describing what was true, but what would have to be true to justify what they planned to do next. A People’s History of the Third Reich: How Great Man theory allows us to abdicate collective responsibility. Facts are stupid things: Here’s Where Donald Trump Gets His News. Trump and the coming failed state. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Now Is The Time To Talk About What We Are Actually Talking About. Another visit from the goon squad. Trump and the Bush Legacy.

New SPLC reports reveal alarming pattern of hate incidents and bullying across country since election. Note the category just labeled “Trump —  general.”

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* Identity politics and the alt-right.

Premised on the possibilities of political struggle, here was the Douglass Option: “a party in the Southern States among the poor.”

* Seems like this guy is Trump’s very worst pick, clearing a very tough field:

During a tense gathering of senior officials at an off-site retreat, he gave the assembled group a taste of his leadership philosophy, according to one person who attended the meeting and insisted on anonymity to discuss classified matters. Mr. Flynn said that the first thing everyone needed to know was that he was always right. His staff would know they were right, he said, when their views melded to his. The room fell silent, as employees processed the lecture from their new boss.

Flynn also helped promulgate the “Pizzagate” hoax that nearly led to a mass shooting today.

Google, democracy and the truth about internet search.

* Steve Bannon, on the other hand, is winning me over.

It’s true that racism is a powerful and durable force in our politics. But it is also true that Donald Trump is an incompetent clown who ran an amateurish campaign rife with mistakes. The Democrats should have won this election in a landslide. They did not, and there is no nobility or reassurance for them in a narrow loss in the electoral college or a win in the popular vote. And continuing to insist that a Donald Trump win was either some kind of strange fluke or completely inevitable is a recipe for repeated defeat.

* When the Democrats didn’t like monopolies. On not going high when they go low.

* Can the good parts of Obamacare survive Trump?

* Stealing North Carolina.

* Italy votes no.

Friedman just got finished telling us that a black elephant is half black swan, and half elephant in the room that will inevitably become a black swan. But now that half-swan, half swan-within-an-elephant is being contrasted with a black swan: in the near future, things that are really black elephants will be misidentified as black swans.

* Understanding survivorship bias.

* Podcast idea of the week: Like Random Trek, but for Rod Serling.

Which Famous Actor Hustled Chess Games in New York City?

* Life after Seinfeld.

* Fidel without Illusions.

* What does elephant taste like?

Here’s Why You Should Be Watching Netflix’s Brazilian Sci-Fi Series 3%. And on the SF kick: Aaron Bady explains Westworld.

* there is no reason to assume Uber’s obliteration of local competition across the planet will create a sustainable business in the long term. Costs are costs, even if you’re a monopoly. As long as people have cheaper alternatives (public transport, legs), they will defect if the break-even price is higher than their inconvenience tolerance threshold.

Trump could face the ‘biggest trial of the century’ — over climate change. But really, show’s over, folks.

* The trans brain and gender dysphoria.

This is brilliant and I’m shocked it took the good guys this long to figure it out.

* Some grim news.

* America is already great.

* Kazuo Ishiguro on the coming race of super clones. Never Let Me Go 2: The Revenge.

* Every villain is the hero of their own story.

* And this is pretty much my actual teaching philosophy.

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 5, 2016 at 9:00 am

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I Have (Not a Joke) 300 Tabs Open and This Afternoon I Am Closing Them All: Election Night Links!

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I’ve been so ridiculously busy I haven’t been able to tend to my open tabs at all. There’s over 300 — and I’m not leaving this room until I’ve closed them all. Let’s go!

* Really, I’ve been so busy I haven’t even been able to shamelessly self-promote: I missed announcing my trip to Atlanta for SLSA 2016 and my presentations on “Literary Studies after Blackfish” and the upcoming almost-almost-done issue of Paradoxa on “Global Weirding,” as well as my New Inquiry review of the (fantastic) end to Liu Cixin’s (fantastic) Three-Body trilogy. My new essay on “Geriatric Zombies” from The Walking Med was namechecked as part of a larger zombie news report in the Seattle Times. Most importantly I haven’t been able to hype my Octavia Butler book, which is printed and apparently shipping. I’ve even held one in my hands!

* Meanwhile, here’s my guess for tonight’s final results, just to get it out of the way: 340-198.

* CFP: Letters to Octavia Butler. CFP: The Comics of Alison Bechdel. CFP: English Studies in Ruins? CFP: The World of Harry Potter.

* A new issue of the Eaton Journal in Archival Research in Science Fiction is out, including a piece from Larisa Mikhaylova on Star Trek fandom in Russia.

French town upholds law against UFOs.

Invisible Planets / Invisible Frameworks — Assembling an Anthology of Contemporary Chinese SF. I’ve been reading the Invisible Planets collection and it’s great.

* Why we should lower the voting age in America.

Žižek on the lesser evil. Jameson on fascism, but not yet. Study Confirms Network Evening Newscasts Have Abandoned Policy Coverage For 2016 Campaign. Americans, Politics, and Social Media. Stop Calling the United States a Banana Republic. Yes, Trump Really Is Saying ‘Big League,’ Not ‘Bigly,’ Linguists Say. The 282 People, Places and Things Donald Trump Has Insulted on Twitter: A Complete List. No, “we” are not collectively responsible for anything. Journey to the Center of the Alt-Right. Ivanka is the real threat. A Reading Guide for Those in Despair About American Politics. And did someone order a Constitutional crisis with a 4-4 Supreme Court?

* What Happens if You Vote and Die Before Election Day? Too late for all of us, alas.

In contrast to the Fordist society observed by Gramsci, power now seeks to circumvent the public sphere, in order to avoid the constraints of critical reason. Increasingly, it is non-representational codes—of software, finance, human biology—that mediate between past, present and future, allowing society to cohere. Where, for example, employee engagement cannot be achieved via cultural or psychological means, increasingly business is looking to solutions such as wearable technology, that treat the worker as an item of fixed capital to be monitored physically, rather than human capital to be employed. The key human characteristics are those that are repeated in a quasi-mechanical fashion: footsteps, nightly sleep, respiration, heartbeat. These metronomic qualities of life come to represent each passing moment as yet another one of the same. The New Neoliberalism.

“We are all Thomas More’s children”: 500 years of Utopia. And at LARB.

It isn’t every day that a street criminal—a high-school dropout with two felony convictions—is accused of stealing a centuries-old violin worth as much as $6 million. But nothing about the heist of the Lipinski Stradivarius, which galvanized the music world last winter, was normal, or even logical.

How America Outlawed Adolescence. The Cognitive Benefits of Being a Man-Child.

Inside the NSA’s For-Sale Spy Town. The Indiana Town That Modernism Built.

* Where Ph.D.s Work. IPFW Community Shocked by Restructuring Recommendations. Last month’s strike at Harvard. And its results. A City Clerk Opposed an Early-Voting Site at UW–Green Bay Because ‘Students Lean More Toward the Democrats.’ Saudi college student in Wisconsin dies after assault. Johns Hopkins threatens to close its interdisciplinary Humanities Center, sparking outcry from students and faculty members. San Diego State University tuition, 1959. How State Budget Cuts Affect Your Education.

* Cornell looks for ways to cut time professors spend on administrative requirements, as opposed to teaching and research.

The Heterodox Academy Guide to Colleges rates America’s top 150 universities (as listed by US News and World Reports) and will soon rate the Top 50 Liberal Arts Schools according to their commitment to viewpoint diversity.

The American Association of University Professors has launched an investigation focused on the dismissal of Nathanial Bork, who had taught philosophy courses at the college for six years before he was dismissed. The AAUP says that his dismissal raises concerns both because of the issues he raises about rigor and also because he was fired shortly after he complained about the situation to the Higher Learning Commission, the college’s accreditor. Further, Bork was active in efforts to improve the working conditions of adjuncts at the college.

mapmapampA More Accurate World Map Wins Prestigious Japanese Design Award. Love this.

* Borges and maps.

* “University Paid for Bigfoot Expedition.”

* Dig this Beatnik glossary.

* Starship Troopers coming back just as documentary footage of 2016. A darker, grittier Muppet Babies, for a tragic time.

Quentin Tarantino still insists he’s going to stop at 10 movies.

Playing with History: What Sid Meier’s Video Game Empire Got Right and Wrong About ‘Civilization.’

* “Capitalism Broke Earth, Let’s Protect Mars.”

Inside Magic Leap, The Secretive $4.5 Billion Startup Changing Computing Forever.

The video for Soul Asylum’s 1993 smash hit featured real missing kids. Some eventually came home; some never did.

Her toddler suddenly paralyzed, mother tries to solve a vexing medical mystery. Football Alters the Brains of Kids as Young as 8. Why treating diabetes keeps getting more expensive. The Other Sister: Returning Home to Care for an Autistic Sibling.

Inmates Explain How They’d Run Prisons.

* If Women Wrote Men the Way Men Write Women.

* Zork in your browser.

Russia Reveals ‘Satan 2’ Nuclear Missile Capable of Destroying Texas in One Blow. Bathroom air freshener causes emergency response at nuclear site.

* Why can’t the Star Trek timeline advance?

* The end of butterflies.

The Venom From This Snake Will Make Your Life a Living Hell.

Inside The Strange, Paranoid World Of Julian Assange.

* Ruin chic.

Why Did This Guy Collect 500 Screenshots of Soda Machines in Video Games? Because He’s a Genius. And elsewhere on the Jacob Brogan science beat: Everyone Poops. Some Animals Eat It. Why?

* Thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, Thumb U.N. won’t intervene.

* Now Is The Perfect Time For The Indians To Quietly Abandon Chief Wahoo.

* Deep time’s uncanny future is full of ghostly human traces. How the Concept of Deep Time Is Changing.

* The Average American Melts 645 Square Feet of Arctic Ice Every Year.

In rural North Dakota, a small county and an insular religious sect are caught in a stand-off over a decaying piece of America’s atomic history: The Pyramid at the End of the World.

Penn State Fined Record $2.4 Million in Jerry Sandusky Case.

* Dibs on the screenplay: Yellowstone’s “Zone of Death.” And I’ll take this one too: The Canadian Military Is Investigating a Mysterious Noise In the Arctic.

How Doctor Strange went from being a racist Asian caricature to a magical white savior.

* A new favorite poem:

* Animal minds: the new anthropomorphism.

* You weren’t educated, you were trained.

Twenty-first century Victorians.

* Remembering Tom Hayden.

How We Tell Campus Rape Stories After Rolling Stone.

* Native lives matter. Tribe vows to fight North Dakota pipeline through winter. The world watches. A Standing Rock Syllabus.

* Superheroes and sadness. Pixar and sadness.

* Presenting The Black Mirror Expanded Universe.

* Wildlife numbers more than halve since 1970s in mass extinction. Inside the Frozen Zoo That Could Bring Extinct Animals Back to Life.

* The secret history of Teaching with Calvin & Hobbes.

* A bad idea, but fine: The Adventures of Young Dumbledore.

Kardashev Type III Societies (Apparently) Do Not Exist.

* And frankly you had me at LEGO, but I like the rest too: LEGO’s New Line of Female Superheroes Is the Toy We Deserve.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 8, 2016 at 3:52 pm

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