Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘The Vision

New Year’s Links!

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* A nice endorsement of Octavia E. Butler from Steve Shaviro. Some bonus Shaviro content: his favorite SF of 2016. I think Death’s End was the best SF I read this year too, though I really liked New York 2140 a lot too (technically that’s 2017, I suppose). I’d also single out Invisible Planets and The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2016, both of which had some really good short stories. In comics, I think The Vision was the best new thing I’ve seen in years. There’s a lot I bought this year and didn’t have time to look at yet, though, so maybe check back with me in 2019 and I can tell you what was the best thing from 2016.

* Kindred: The Graphic Novel.

* Introducing the David Foster Wallace Society, including a CFP for the inaugural issue of The Journal of David Foster Wallace Studies.

Call for Papers: The Poverty of Academia.

* Oh, fuck this terrible year.

30 essential tips for succeeding in graduate school.

* The University in the Time of Trump.

Making the grade: a history of the A–F marking scheme.

* Who’s Afraid of the Student Debt Crisis?

Duke warns professors about emails from someone claiming to be a student, seeking information about their courses — many in fields criticized by some on the right. Some Michigan and Denver faculty members have received similar emails but from different source.

* The age of humanism is ending.

The New Year and the Bend of the Arc.

* The Front of the Classroom.

Marina Abramović and Kim Stanley Robinson perform “The Hard Problem.”

Osvaldo Oyola reads Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Black Panther.

* Leia Organa Solo: A Critical Obituary.

* Trump’s Arrival.

* Let them drink blood.

* BREAKING: There Is No Such Thing as “White Genocide.” Academic Freedom, Again. Buffalo skulls.

* I don’t think Children of Men was ever actually “overlooked” — and I’m shocked it was considered a flop at a time — but it certainly looks prescient now.

From Tape Drives to Memory Orbs, the Data Formats of Star Wars Suck. Remembering Caravan of Courage, the Ewok Adventure Star Wars Would Rather You’d Forget. Anti-fascism vs. nostalgia: Rogue One. How to See Star Wars For What It Really Is. And a new headcanon regarding the Empire and its chronic design problems.

Good News! Humans No Longer Caused Climate Change, According to the State of Wisconsin.

* How did A&E let this happen?

* On fighting like Republicans, or, the end of America.

* Scenes from the class struggle in Berkeley. And in Chillicothe, Ohio.

The seduction of technocratic government—that a best answer will overcome division, whether sown in the nature of man or ineluctable in capitalist society—slides into the seduction in the campaign that algorithms will render rote the task of human persuasion, that canvassers are just cogs for a plan built by machine. And so the error to treat data as holy writ, when it’s both easier and harder than that. Data are fragile; algorithms, especially when they aggregate preferences, fall apart. Always, always, power lurks. The technocrats have to believe in mass politics, believe for real that ordinary people, when they organize, can change their own destinies. Whether that happens depends on the party that gets built, and the forces behind it.

Four Cabinet nominations that could blow up in Donald Trump’s face. Fighting Mass Incarceration Under Trump: New Strategies, New Alliances. Why Donald Trump Might Not Be All That Good for Art. How Journalists Covered the Rise of Mussolini and Hitler. This all certainly seems on the up-and-up. And today in teaching the controversy: Nuclear diplomacy via Twitter is a bad idea.

* Democrats: Time to Win! Why the Democrats’ 2017 comeback dream is like nothing we’ve seen before.

The Russia Conundrum: How Can Democrats Avoid Getting Entangled in a Losing Issue?

House Republicans will ring in the new year with a plan to permanently cripple government.

Characters Are Not A Coloring Book Or, Why the Black Hermione is a Poor Apology for the Ingrained Racism of Harry Potter.

The Great Harvard Pee-In of 1973.

* Against jobs.

* Against Batman.

The UBI already exists for the 1%.

* The arc of history is long, but Google Search will not longer return Holocaust-denying websites at the top of page one.

* Same joke but about not being allowed to ban plastic bags in Michigan anymore.

The Champions of the 401(k) Lament the Revolution They Started.

* “It was a pleasure to cull.”

* Geoengineering could ruin astronomy.

* Haiti and the Age of Revolution.

* A Utopia for the Deaf in Martha’s Vineyard.

Why the ‘Ghost Ship’ Was Invisible in Oakland, Until 36 Died.

Nine charts that show how white women are drinking themselves to death.

* The American bison is the new U.S. national mammal, but its slaughter was once seen as a way to starve Native Americans into submission.

* It wasn’t just your imagination: more famous people did die in 2016.

* How long can Twitter go on like this?

* The Porn Business Isn’t Anything Like You Think it Is. The Attorney Fighting Revenge Porn.

* Special ed and the war on education.

My Little Free Library war: How our suburban front-yard lending box made me hate books and fear my neighbors.

* Becoming Ugly.

* Happy Public Domain Day 2017.

Intricate Star Trek Klingon Warship Using 25,000 LEGO Bricks.

* And the scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.


Written by gerrycanavan

January 3, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Wednesday Wega-Links!

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* Ken Burns presents: The Humanities.

* My Pop Culture Series might have to be all Harry-Potter-themed this fall: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child comes out in July, then the Fantastic Beasts screenplay in November…

* I was hoping the other magic schools wouldn’t have four houses. But just tell me which one is Ravenclaw and get it over with.

* Something happens to you out there: Astronauts and the Overview Effect.

* On The Fall of the Faculty.

…administrators have effectively developed a hidden curriculum that they exclusively control to further sideline the faculty. Never mind that the courses offered in this hidden curriculum focus on life skills and various types of political indoctrination related to race, gender, and ethnicity, subjects that the deanlets and deanlings are hardly qualified to teach. Add to this, speech, civility and anti-harassment codes, which administrators use with great effectiveness to silence faculty and student critics who interfere with administrative designs. These same administrators often rely upon outside agencies and licensure groups to discipline the faculty with outside assessment measures, threatening the faculty with the school’s possible loss of accreditation. Administrators often interfere with well-running programs, attempting to change their structure to the point of ensuring their failure.

Banned instructor sues Inver Hills Community College, saying he was defamed. Just incredible.

* Political science department chair Eric Schickler said in an email that there was no longer a bond of mutual trust between faculty and the administration. He added that there were concerns among faculty that major donors were being steered toward supporting the Berkeley Global Campus project in Richmond rather than core campus research and teaching missions. “Shared governance requires a shared vision and shared trust between faculty and those at the top,” Schickler said. “Many of us believe that the chancellor’s poor decisions have eroded that trust to the breaking point.”

Call for Provocations: Stealing from the University – extended deadline.

This is our first call for provocations that demand we go beyond familiar complaints and challenge ourselves to organize. Recent student-led uprisings at Missouri, Ohio State, Duke, Appalachian State, and UC Davis, among many others, open up possibilities of re-purposing university-based resources for radical movements. How can we take the relay from these uprisings to expand insurgent practices of studying-in-movement?

* And it looks like it’s that time of the semester again: “Should I go to grad school in the humanities?”

* Dark Posthumanism: The Weird Template.

When Teller directed The Tempest.

* Today in exciting political developments: Trump Selects a White Nationalist Leader as a Delegate in California. At least nothing else incredibly dangerous and destabilizing is happening!

West Virginia is neither a secret socialist stronghold nor a racist fever-dream. It is one of several bleeding edges of a sharply unequal country, where people who never had much are feeling as pressed as they can remember ever being. Some are bigots. Many are not. Some, no doubt, find that Trump’s cocktail of arrogance and disgust, grievance and triumphalism, reassuringly resembles their own psychic survival strategies, blown up into world-historical dimensions. Others are voting for the socialist for the same reason they voted for the Chicago community organizer: a desire for a more equal society, born out of the lived experience of inequality. Maybe future organizing and leadership, like the decades-long fight that first built the unions and the Democratic party in the coalfields, will show that they are not alone in that. What West Virginia Is Saying.

* Data visualization in the Anthropocene.


One in five of world’s plant species at risk of extinction. Sea Level Rise Is Here, And Is Gobbling Up Islands.

* Sold in the room: Philip K. Dick Is Getting an Anthology Show, Courtesy of Bryan Cranston and Ronald D. Moore. Elsewhere in TV news: Locke & Key! Uh, Wheel of Time, I guess? Krypton, really?

* And elsewhere in PKD news: One of the TAs in an Artificial Intelligence Class Was Actually an A.I.

How Do You Put Out A Subterranean Fire Beneath A Mountain Of Trash? Stop me if you’ve heard it.

* How Marvel did it.

* Oof.

* And oof.

Our Awful Prisons: How They Can Be Changed.

The one thing rich parents do for their kids that makes all the difference. The answer may shock you!

This GIF of pre-CGI superhero jumps proves actors are just okay at jumping. The best thing on the Internet this year.

* The law, in its majestic equality: Poor People Don’t Stand A Chance In Court.

* Huge, if true: School principal: ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Lord of the Rings’ cause brain damage.

* Someone’s been watching too much Game of Thrones: “Ultimately, There Is No Narrative without Death.”

Why So Many Smart People Aren’t Happy.

If Philosophy Won’t Diversify, Let’s Call It What It Really Is. A reply.

If those text reproduce ideology, and therefore reproduce empire’s projects of conquest, enslavement, and colonialism, then we can’t just say “nothing is intrinsically wrong.” We in fact have to be open to the notion that these texts are entangled in the most violent, destructive ideas in world history. That they are rooted in whiteness and what whiteness meant in those moments: the right to murder and steal and subjugate.

Civilization 6 Has Been Announced And It’s Out This Year.

The Vision and the Scarlet Witch Have Had Marvel Comics’ Most Fucked-Up Superhero Romance.

* And all hail the Childlike Empress.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 11, 2016 at 2:59 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Every Last Weekend Link

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* Food for Marquette English’s Hamilton event later this month: A Hamilton Skeptic on Why the Show Isn’t As Revolutionary As It Seems. And another: Hamilton, Inc.

Broadway can be a very poor investment, but when shows hit, they really hit. The most successful of them dwarf the revenues of even the biggest Hollywood blockbusters. “Hamilton” could easily run on Broadway for a decade or more. In September, the first road production will open in Chicago, and it will be a “sit down” show, meaning it is intended to stay there for a year or more. Ultimately, there may be as many as seven “Hamilton” companies, in addition to the one on Broadway, performing at the same time in multiple American and international cities. Ticket revenues, over time, could reach into the billions of dollars. If it hits sales of a mere $1 billion, which “Hamilton” could surpass in New York alone, the show will have generated roughly $300 million in profit on the $12.5 million put up by investors. (There are many eye-­popping numbers to contemplate, but maybe the most striking one is this: The show is averaging more than $500,000 in profit every week.)

* Call for Papers: Faulkner and Hemingway conference at the Center for Faulkner Studies at Southeast Missouri State University. I was just down there to give a talk and had a fantastic time.

* New digital journal, thresholds, co-edited by Fran McDonald and Whitney Trettian. Here’s the CFP for the debut issue:

The debut issue of thresholds will focus on the theme of the extraneous. We seek manuscripts that deal with the extra, the foreign, or the strange from any angle. We welcome contributions that combine the creative and critical in their approach, and are eager to consider work that is experimental in both content and form. Final submissions will be comprised of a short piece (a maximum of 7000 words) accompanied by a series of fragments. Please submit 400-word abstracts and a brief bio to no later than May 15, 2016. Final essays will be due July 31, 2016.

* Elsewhere on the Duke alum beat: Huge congrats to Ainehi Edoro and Brittle Paper, which is now part of the Guardian!

* Protest and Power at Duke. Duke Students End Sit-In in President’s Office. A Lawsuit, Unmet Demands, and Coloring Books: Inside Duke’s Sit-In. A Guide to the Allen Building Takeover Collection, 1969-2002.

The point is to implement an authority structure that can control public universities under permanent austerity and in the absence of a growing and rising middle-class.  Culture wars are good for discrediting particular sources of sociocultural knowledge like ethnic studies, feminist studies, or Middle Eastern Studies.  Budget cuts are good for taking the whole public university sector down a few notches.  But to reengineer a static enterprise, after decades in which their boards failed to maintain the state revenues on which the system was built, public university governors need the audit and assessment practices that Europeans have long called New Public Management (NPM).

* In a case showing the reach of college sports corruption, a former head men’s basketball coach at the University of Southern Mississippi instructed his assistants to complete junior college coursework for recruits.

* Jacob Brogan reviews the first issue of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Black Panther. And here’s not the only one!

If you’re not, you should really be reading The Vision.

* Alas, Fizban.

* The sugar conspiracy.

* Can you imagine, just for a moment, being a Chancellor of a university—a position with an enormous amount of responsibility to an incredibly wide range of stakeholders—and have someone interrupt you with a ‘No Whining!’ sound effect while you are trying to describe how many staff members you’ve had to lay off and what programs you’ll be cutting, with no end in sight? Would you have an existential moment of crisis where your inner voice conceded, “Oh my god, I’m an adult”? Well, I guess the ‘flexibility’ everyone wants for Chancellors doesn’t apply to their actually speaking without permission and an approved message.

Questions for the #4c16 crowd.

How Two Grad Students Uncovered An Apparent Fraud — And A Way To Change Opinions On Transgender Rights.

To begin answering these questions, we Googled our way to 8,000 screenplays and matched each character’s lines to an actor. From there, we compiled the number of lines for male and female characters across roughly 2,000 films, arguably the largest undertaking of script analysis, ever.

* Incredible narrative about a professor allowed to return to their job at UCLA after egregious sexual harassment. And it’s not even the most unbelievable story of an unrepentant predator allowed to walk free with no significant punishment I’ve read this week.

Yes, apparently Zack Snyder has the same carte blanche to make Justice League, even after turning the first-ever movie starring three of the biggest, most popular superheroes in the world into a film that analysts believe won’t even make a billion dollars worldwide. Maybe that still sounds like a lot of money, but you know what actually made a billion bucks? Tim Burton’s needless 2010Alice in Wonderland film. If you put Batman and Superman and Wonder Woman together in a live-action movie for the first time ever, don’t you think that movie should probably outgross Iron Man 3?

My sense is that militarized drones, those machines for remote seeing and killing known in military jargon as “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles,” should be understood to signify an end of empire in two senses. First, an end as in conclusion, or terminus. Hannah Arendt argued that proliferating death is not a sign of an emerging or persisting hegemony but its waning: “rule by sheer violence,” she notes, “comes into play where power is being lost.” This means that the assassinations proliferating in the name of the American phase of accumulation are the sign not of its strength but its incipient weakness; never mind autumn, we could say that drone war is a sign of the coming winter. Second, I mean an end in the Aristotelian sense of telos, or purpose. If we take seriously the fact that empire is best understood not as a culture or as a discourse but as the monopoly on putatively legitimate violence—the stretching of the state’s power over life and death past the boundaries of its “own” populace—then the power of sovereign decision crystallized in globally operated, remote assassination machines is the very essence of empire: its telos, or end. President Obama’s now-infamous “kill list meetings” sharpen to an obscene purity the American state’s power of judgment over life and death beyond its own citizenry and constitute the distillation of imperium as such.

* Never say never again: ‘Speedy Gonzales’ Eyed As Animated Feature At Warner Bros.

* Harvard and eugenics.

New Jersey University Was Fake, but Visa Fraud Arrests Are Real. Fake New Jersey University Established by Cops to Catch Visa Fraud Has Pretty Good Job Placement. Fake, real, real, fake, let’s not quibble — are they hiring?

* The ideology of the future: Kiplinger’s presents 20 Amazing Ways Life Will Be Different in 2030.

The Future Happened 56 Million Years Ago.

Plants Taking Over New York City Is What Will Happen When the World Ends.

At this Florida jail, the inmates are also zookeepers.

How to Write a History of Video Game Warfare.

* Prestige TV is a nightmare from which we are all struggling to awake: Dexter return to television confirmed.

* Firefly Fluxx.

* My next screenplay: Radioactive boars are running wild and breeding uncontrollably in the northern region of Japan contaminated by the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Bernie Sanders Is Even Less Competitive Than He Appears.

Bruce Springsteen Cancels North Carolina Concert in Protest of Anti-LGBT Bathroom Bill.

* Our prayers answered, Paul F. Tompkins was finally on Harmontown. I’ve also really been loving the back catalogue of Hello, from the Magic Tavern and (at long last) Welcome to Night Vale after a sojourn through It’s That Episode. Non-podcast news after the link!

* Now more than ever, it’s time for Animaniacs.

surfacage-comic5* This makes me sad.

* So does this: The Warriors Are Now Long Shots To Win 73 Games.

* Saddest of all: The New Jersey Swamp Dragons? It almost happened.

* Not for me, but maybe for you: LARB has a Grantland-style sports spinoff.

* Swim. Bike. Cheat?

* Grant Morrison was right! Science Says Superman Should Be Black.

* This seems pretty plausible, honestly.

* And I don’t need to tell you what’s coming. Every Cool Detail We Spotted in the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Trailer.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 9, 2016 at 8:30 am

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Monday Links! Quite a Few!

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* I had a review of Cixin Liu’s The Dark Forest in The Los Angeles Review of Books last week. Can’t wait for Death’s End.

* “Star Trek style teleportation would take billions of years.” Not if you reverse the polarity of the inertial dampeners, you nitwits!

* The same website has a piece hyping cryonics, so you know it’s legit.

* Meanwhile: AI ‘could leave half of world unemployed.’

Trek at 50: The quest for a unifying theory of time travel in Star Trek.

* The Discovery of Gravitational Waves. Gravitational Waves and Neoliberalism.

* The Mount St. Mary’s situation is even more astounding than you’d think when you refocus attention back on the “culling” survey itself. A Violation of Trust. From embarrassing to appalling to surreal. Twenty-first-century legal paradoxes: You can’t re-hire me, I wasn’t legally fired.

Cleveland Files Claim Against Tamir Rice’s Family For Unpaid EMS Bill.

Fathers and Childless Women in Academia Are 3x More Likely to Get Tenure Than Women With Kids.

* The Crisis Facing America’s Working Daughters.

For gifted children, being intelligent can have dark implications.

* Antonin Scalia, in memoriam.

* The end of SCOTUS. Laying out the recent vote totals like that really does give credence, alas, to the idea that Democrats started it and now Republicans are going to finish it.

* Term Limit the Supreme Court. Don’t Term Limit the Supreme Court. No, I Mean It, Term Limit the Supreme Court.

* The end of Louisiana. Worth it for, what, fourteenth place in the GOP primary?

* The end of Berkeley.

* A Rallying Cry for A Second-Chance School: The Fight to Save Chicago State.

Antitrust Case Against Duke and UNC May Move Forward.

Schools Are Doing a Terrible Job Teaching Your Kids About Global Warming.

* Climate and Empire. (Sounds like a book Asimov would write today if he were still alive.)

* On Killing Dogs.

How this company tracked 16,000 Iowa caucus-goers via their phones.

* “Killing a million people was just the sort of thing a superpower had to do.”

* Bernie Sanders and Palestine. The Washington Post found a political scientists who thinks he wouldn’t get blown out. Could Superdelegates Really Stop Bernie Sanders? Clinton now managing exceptions in Nevada, and has shockingly few staffers in South Carolina. And it’s fine. It’s fine. 

* Clinton Foundation Donors Got Weapons Deals From Hillary Clinton’s State Department. To be fair, though, those don’t seem super hard to get.

* The skills gap: still a fraud to lower labor costs.

* The Internet ruins everything, even Jeopardy!.

* From the nice-work-if-you-can-get-it files: Concordia executive gets $235,000 in severance after 90 days on the job. No public bidding on major University of Nebraska contracts. Michigan Coach’s jet travel valued at more than $10,000 a day.

* Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina: They found BoShek. Hyperspace Maps, Graphs, and Trees.

* Are you an academic superhero?

* Adjuncts and/as freelancers.

Why So Few American Indians Earn Ph.D.’s, and What Colleges Can Do About It.

When Is Campus Hate Speech No Longer Protected Speech?

The Coen Brothers and the defeat of the American left. I knew it was them.

Marvel’s The Vision Is Telling a Story Unlike Any Superhero Comic I’ve Ever Read.

* Day late, buck short: Suffragette valentines.

The EPA calls it the most severe exposure to a hazardous material in American history. The only people in Libby, Montana, who didn’t see it coming were the victims, who are dying to know if it’s really possible to poison an entire town and get away with it.

“I’m too old to do things I don’t enjoy”: An interview with Margaret Atwood.

* And SMBC catches on to my philosophical method.


Written by gerrycanavan

February 15, 2016 at 12:06 pm

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