Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘This Modern World

Thursday Links!

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* Marquette English Spring 2015 courses! I’m teaching a section of 3000 (our new intro to major — mine is themed around magic) and the second round of my NEH “Cultural Preservation” course. I’m also doing a honors seminar on “video game culture” that I’m really excited about, GamerGate notwithstanding.

* A rare spot of optimism: Lockheed announces breakthrough on nuclear fusion energy.

* But don’t hang on to it: It’s time to push the panic button on the global economy. Markets are panicking again. What’s going on?

Sea Level Rising Faster Than Anytime In 6,000 Years, Study Finds.

* WHO: 10,000 new Ebola cases per week could be seen. The CDC is apparently taking the over. One thing is certain: it’s time to panic.

* Another Obama triumph for the left: let a thousand wage thefts bloom.

The Assassination of Detroit.

* Charter School Power Broker Turns Public Education Into Private Profits. Neoliberalism, Higher Education, and the Rise of Contingent Faculty Labor.

* Identifying The Worst Colleges In America.

* Could Oculus Rift be the next great higher education boondoggle?

* In Taste of Autonomy, Sports Programs Now Battle for Athletes’ Bellies.

The most alarming thing I’ve heard from friends who’ve had miscarriages is their surprise (only upon miscarrying) at hearing about how many of their friends, aunts, cousins, sisters, mothers and grandmothers have had them, too. If miscarriages are so common, why do we hide them behind a wall of shame and silence?

* What It’s Really Like to Have an Abortion.

* The radical teamsters of Minneapolis showed what democratic unionism looks like.

* “Most schools’ internal judicial systems are the worst of both worlds,” Berkowitz said. “They don’t give the accused the protections of the criminal justice system, and they mistreat the victims, too.”

For example, even into the 1980s, some doctors didn’t believe that babies felt pain and so routinely did surgery on them using just muscle relaxants to keep them still. Pain and medicine.

* Guy Debord’s The Muppets. More links below Gonzo.

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* “You had one job” screwup of the week.

* South Carolina governor levels outrageous accusation against the nation’s CEOs, says they’re all white supremacists. Huge if true.

* Study claims that whales and dolphins can speak to one another.

* DC has a bit hit on its hands with The Flash, so of course the smart move here is to recast for the film.

* Father, there’s a gateway to Narnia in the closet!

The Absolute Weirdest Thing Ever To Happen At A Political Debate.

How A California Man Was Forced To Spend 100 Days In Prison For Being An Atheist.

* Next week: Civilization: Beyond Earth.

* Behold! The Counter-Intuitivist!

* And we are all Bartleby now.

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Day-Old Weekend Reading, Still Perfectly Good

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* Deadline getting very close: CFP: Foundation, special issue on Science Fiction and Videogames (30 Apr 2014).

* CFP on Iain M. Banks. CFP for the Journal of Ghosthumanities.

“It Continues Not To End”: Time, Poetry, and the ICC Witness Project.

* The work of torture in video games. Is it immoral to kill video game characters? Video games as ideological training.

* Rare Indian Burial Ground Quietly Destroyed for Million Dollar Houses.

* Chris Newfield goes inside Georgia Tech’s financials to figure out if MOOCs really save any money. You’ll never believe what happened next!

* Is a key piece of Faulkner scholarship a hoax?

* In what English departments is Baldwin falling out of favor? They should lose their accreditation!

“The reason for eliminating the Kindergarten show is simple. We are responsible for preparing children for college and career with valuable lifelong skills.”

* Driver Who Fatally Injured Teen Now Suing Dead Teen’s Family.

It was recently brought to public attention that of the UK’s 18,510 university professors, only 85 are of black origin.

*Amateur sports is a relation that has existed for so long, with the general public’s acquiescence if not outright approval, that it’s hard to imagine an alternative. Even the most rational commentators struggle for another way to do business, not just cartoonish right-wingers like Alexander — a man who’s clearly happy to keep making less than the football coach, but not so enamored with the idea of a Tennessee running back being able to feed himself.

* Neoliberalism and the rise of the sports management movie.

* Tuesday, five former Buffalo Bills cheerleaders filed suit against their own team, alleging that the Buffalo Jills were required to perform unpaid work for the team for about 20 hours a week. Unpaid activities included: submitting to a weekly “jiggle test” (where cheer coaches “scrutinized the women’s stomach, arms, legs, hips, and butt while she does jumping jacks”); parading around casinos in bikinis “for the gratification of the predominantly male crowd”; and offering themselves up as prizes at a golf tournament, where they were required to sit on men’s laps on the golf carts, submerge themselves in a dunk tank, and perform backflips for tips (which they did not receive). The Buffalo Jills cheerleaders take home just $105 to $1,800 for an entire season on the job.

* Alyssa Rosenberg continues her exploration of how the Game of Thrones show differ from the novels, including reference to the improved script for last week’s Jaime-Cersei scene.

* How the Military Collects Data on Millions of High School Students. How Big Data Hurts the Poor.

* 21 Things You Didn’t Know About Rushmore. I must confess I knew nearly all of these.

* Jedediah Purdy reviews Capital in the Twenty-First Century at LARoB.

* Rape culture horror at Brown. At Swarthmore. College Campuses Are Treating Rape Like A Crime Without Criminals.

* Meanwhile, at the Supreme Court.

* As Atwood said: Men are afraid women will laugh at them. Women are afraid men will kill them.

* Scenes from the class struggle at Disney World.

* Studies the charter school scam collapsing in record time.

* The special exemption preventing unionization at religious universities appears to be a thing of the past. The Fight To Unionize College Athletes Could Also Expand Union Rights For Graduate Students. A specter is haunting precarity. End College Legacy Preferences. We Refuse to Accept That Violence Against Us Is Necessary to the Sustenance of Our EducationGive the Customers What They Want.

* The workplace: prison or sanctuary?

* Lawrence & Wishart & the Marxists Internet Archive.

* For North Dakota, drones a possible growth market. But in possible upside news: Kenya’s new drone program could put a virtual end to poaching. How We Read a NYTimes Story on Drone Strikes in Yemen.

* Everybody knows the college debt regime is insane–but is it insane enough? Vox reports.

* Peak Voxplaining: “The real world is marred by terrible killing, including death by drone-fired missile. But it’s much, much better than the world of Game of Thrones.”

* EXPLAINER: Is China a communist country?

* It’s official: Justice League will be a terrible film. Elsewhere in nerd mourning: the Star Wars Expanded Universe is officially dead.

How America’s Leading Science Fiction Authors Are Shaping Your Future.

* Great progressive hope Elizabeth Warren on why she used to be a Republican until ugh just forget it.

* Bring on the mass pardons.

* Fineable Offenses for Naughty 18th-Century Students at Harvard.

* The bleaching of San Francisco.

* “Life: It’s literally all we have. But is it any good?” Spring’s best new comedy is free on YouTube.

* Fascinating. The devices appear to stimulate the reward centers of their tiny brains.

* Google goes back to its core competencies.

* And the Internet is doomed. Enjoy your BUFFERING BUFFERING BUFFERING HAVE YOU TRIED THE NEW KFC DOUBLE DOWN? DOUBLE DOWN ON FUN! BUFFERING week.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 28, 2014 at 9:54 am

More Monday Links!

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Martin Luther King’s Case for a Guaranteed Basic Income. Restoring King. “Letter From Birmingham Jail.” “Beyond Vietnam.”

* Jebediah Purdy: No One’s Job: West Virginia’s Forbidden Waters.

* Well, here’s something interesting from the entrance survey to the “It’s Not a MOOC, It’s a Movement” “History and Future of Higher Education” Coursera course: You are invited to take part in a research study conducted by your instructor, Professor Cathy N. Davidson, and a graduate student from North Carolina State University, Barry W. Peddycord III. The purpose of this study is to assess a tool developed to automatically assess the quality of peer reviews on writing. The tool, called “Automated Metareviewing,” reads the essay and a review of it, and then measures how relevant, helpful, and specific the review was.

* Adam Kotsko has a provocative post today on higher ed and masculinity, reframing the crisis of rape culture on campuses as a byproduct of the hypermasculine spaces of fraternity and athletics colleges nurture for development purposes. In the comments I felt the need to try to extend this observation a little bit to the toxic masculinity that sometimes dominates academic departments themselves.

State Higher-Education Spending Continues Slow Recovery.

* The future, folks: Amazon Wants to Ship Your Package Before You Buy It. Microsoft’s ‘smart elevator’ knows where you’re going.

* It turns out you can get fired as a cop.

* Science has figured out why cold air smells different.

On Thursday, Seay received a $10 off coupon from OfficeMax that was address to “Mike Seay, Daughter Killed In Car Crash, Or Current Business.”

The Air Force has roughly 500 officers in charge of protecting and maybe someday launching America’s arsenal of land-based nuclear missiles. Nearly all of them cheat on every exam they take, at every chance they get, according to three veterans of the force.

* Candy Crush Saga studio claims to own the word “candy” the same way it owns your every waking moment.

* And Tom Tomorrow has your typical day in the governor’s office.

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Monday Morning Links

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* Scenes from the class struggle at CUNY.

* Quiggin’s Razor: If we started any analysis of international relations with the assumption that war will end badly for all concerned, and that the threat of war will probably lead to war sooner or later, we would be right most of the time. Via Kevin Drum.

* The Real Petraeus Scandal: the compelled veneration of all things military. Via LGM. See also Spencer Ackerman: How I Was Drawn Into the Cult of David Petraeus.

* The New Yorker notices that it won’t be long before Texas will be a swing state.

“In not too many years, Texas could switch from being all Republican to all Democrat,” he said. “If that happens, no Republican will ever again win the White House. New York and California are for the foreseeable future unalterably Democrat. If Texas turns bright blue, the Electoral College math is simple. We won’t be talking about Ohio, we won’t be talking about Florida or Virginia, because it won’t matter. If Texas is bright blue, you can’t get to two-seventy electoral votes. The Republican Party would cease to exist. We would become like the Whig Party. Our kids and grandkids would study how this used to be a national political party. ‘They had Conventions, they nominated Presidential candidates. They don’t exist anymore.’ ”

The Republican Party’s electoral map problem.

But even in that silver lining for Republicans, you can see clouds. Arizona and Georgia, both of which Romney carried in 2012, gained seats in 2010 because of fast population growth, but Democratic dominance among Hispanic voters in each is expected to make them potential swing states in 2016 and 2020.

Their Southern politicians problem. The Washington Post‘s lengthy election post-mortem. Politico just can’t imagine where the GOP could be getting all its terrible journalism. Perhaps it will always be a mystery. Tom Tomorrow gets in on the action. “We Just Had a Clas War and One Side Won.” Worst class war ever.

Young voters turned the tide for Brown’s Prop 30.

Walmart Black Friday Strike Being Organized Online For Stores Across U.S. I’m staying home that day because I hate Black Friday and everything it represents in solidarity.

Hurricane Sandy and the Disaster-Preparedness Economy.

It’s all part of what you might call the Mad Max Economy, a multibillion-dollar-a-year collection of industries that thrive when things get really, really bad. Weather radios, kerosene heaters, D batteries, candles, industrial fans for drying soggy homes — all are scarce and coveted in the gloomy aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and her ilk.

* In the winter of 1955, the editors of a newly launched magazine called Sports Illustrated sent William Faulkner to watch an ice hockey game between the New York Rangers and the Montreal Canadiens.

* And Being Elmo makes Kevin Clash out to be a living saint. I hope his version of events turns out to be true. As someone just tweeted at me, I’m probably going to hell for even linking this story at all.

Who Was That Masked Candidate?

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Written by gerrycanavan

August 13, 2012 at 10:17 am

Monday Lunchtime Links

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* You’ve got to wonder how much New Jersey kicked to the Center for Public Integrity to get this surprise least-corrupt accolade.

* Election hacked, drunken robot elected to school board.

* As we face the certain extinction of all life on earth, the question on everyone’s mind is: How will this affect the 2012 presidential race?

* Facts are stupid things: Growth In Government Spending Under President Obama Slower Than During Bush, Reagan Administrations. But don’t worry! The White House’s generous offer for even more cuts is still on the table.

Are video games just propaganda and training tools for the military?

“For decades the military has been using video-game technology,” says Nina Huntemann, associate professor of communication and journalism at Suffolk University in Boston and a computer games specialist. “Every branch of the US armed forces and many, many police departments are using retooled video games to train their personnel.”

Like much of early computing, nascent digital gaming benefited from military spending. The prototype for the first home video games console, the 1972 Magnavox Odyssey, was developed by Sanders Associates, a US defence contractor. Meanwhile, pre-digital electronic flight simulators, for use in both military and civilian training, date back to at least the second world war.

Later, the games industry began to repay its debts. Many insiders note how instruments in British Challenger 2 tanks, introduced in 1994, look uncannily like the PlayStation’s controllers, one of the most popular consoles of that year. Indeed, warfare’s use of digital war games soared towards the end of the 20th century.

“By the late 1990s,” says Nick Turse, an American journalist, historian and author of The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives, “the [US] army was pouring tens of millions of dollars into a centre at the University of Southern California – the Institute of Creative Technologies – specifically to build partnerships with the gaming industry and Hollywood.”

* Daniel Engber at Slate has your Apple apologetics.

But Daisey’s version wasn’t even substantially true. It was substantially false. The version of the story that aired on the radio gave listeners a clear and false impression of the abuses at Foxconn. It inflated the prevalence and massaged the data. How much deeper could the lies have gone?

Apple employees are being mistreated in China, but perhaps not so much or so often that it really matters to most people, harsh as that may sound.

Related: zunguzungu on The McNulty Gambit.

* In Citizens United, the Supreme Court ruled that corporate donations to campaign Super PACs were legal because there was no reason to think they led to “corruption or the appearance of corruption.” This was a remarkably specious argument in the first place, but now we’re apparently going to test it to destruction.

* More on the SCOTUS beat: If you believe that the Court’s conservative majority is itching to strike down Obamacare, then the task is to launder this decision of partisan motivation. The Paul Clement court.

* Still more: Obamacare on Trial: Case of the Century?

* If the hole in the ozone layer were discovered today, we’d let the planet burn.

* A Critical Look at the Future of Zoos.

* Fresh from arguing that the female orgasm doesn’t exist, science now concludes women can have orgasms from exercising. Make up your mind, science!

Fun Facts about Newt Gingrich

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 13, 2011 at 10:56 am