Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘uplift

Weekend Links!

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* Coming soon in DC: Anthony Thwaite and Jaimee Hills.

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2015 was awarded to Svetlana Alexievich “for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time.” The MetaFilter thread is almost always the best resource for these things. And here she is on Chernobyl.

Please, though, don’t champion work. That is, not a sense of academic life as just work. Work is everywhere in the age of neoliberalism. Advocate for something bigger. Push for community.

* Don’t believe what you read at the Wiki or at the Chroniclethere are basically zero fake searches.

* CFP: Paradoxa 29: “Small Screen Fictions.”

Who Speaks at Meetings? Find Out with GenderTimer.

Third Annual MLA Subconference: Between the Public and Its Privates.

* Coming this month to the Milwaukee Ballet: Dracula.

* …the incarcerated population, if viewed as a single community, would be the fourth-largest city in the United States.

You Are Still Being Lied To: Howard Zinn’s “Columbus and Western Civilization.”

* How gentrifiers gentrify.

Wisconsin legislature takes its eye off the dumpster fire that is the regional economy to focus on the real problems.

This isn’t a fairy tale. Economic historians call the post-war years, 1950 to 1973, the Golden Age because those were the years the US and world economy grew faster than ever before or since. Neoliberalism’s dirty secret is that its policies don’t work that well. It isn’t just since the financial crisis that growth has been stagnant. Even the boom was mediocre. The best year since the election of Ronald Reagan was 1999, when the economy grew an impressive 4.8 percent. Sounds good until you realize that economic growth was higher in 1950, 1951, 1955, 1959, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1972, 1973, 1976, and 1978. Even the 1970s, a byword for stagflation and economic turmoil, saw better growth than any decade since.

Miserablism and Resistance at the American Studies Association.

* Great story for my Lives of Animals class: Uplift, Inc.

Here’s Why Sea World in San Diego Can’t Breed Killer Whales Any Longer.

The Secret History Of Myers-Briggs.

* Matt Yglesias: Hillary Clinton Is Our Cheney, and That’s Okay. More on this subject here. In some sense I don’t even disagree with him; American democracy really is doomed, and the project of the liberal-left at this moment (as I’ve said before!) should be actively and deliberately seeking to build its replacement through the construction of a new constitution.

* The problem with the Old Republic was the lack of a strong minority party. No, the problem with the Old Republic was the Jedi.

What Does My Brain Tumor Mean for My Life as a Mother?

Months after winning a national title, Harvard’s debate team has fallen to a group of New York inmates.

* Rick Moranis Isn’t Retired (He Just Doesn’t Know How to Change His Wikipedia Page).

Beautiful study of UFO sightings from ancient history.

* Jacobin: Want to improve animal welfare? Focus on bettering the conditions of the people who work with them.

She was checking on her sons — then ages 11, 9 and 5 — by looking out the window every 10 minutes, she said. But when a passer-by saw the Felix kids, along with a 9-year-old cousin, she assumed they were unsupervised and called the state’s Department of Children and Family Services hotline.

Class action lawsuit filed against DraftKings and FanDuel. How Daily Fantasy Is Changing the Game. You Aren’t Good Enough to Win Money Playing Daily Fantasy Football. Why I’m Quitting Fantasy Baseball.

Playing in the Dark: On Gaming’s Blind Protagonists.

* Unsung songs of the Golden Age of Television: Space Ghost Coast to Coast.

Study Links Fracking To Premature Births, High-Risk Pregnancies.

How Video Games Are Becoming University-Approved Sports.

* I want to believe: Fargo season two.

New Civilization: Beyond Earth Expansion Finally Feels Like Sciene Fiction.

* What financializing pensions hath wrought: California Teachers Have Been Financing Evictions.

* And forever and ever amen.

Monday

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* As I discuss in my presentation for SLSA next week, Octavia Butler predicted it: Huntington’s mutation can improve learning before symptoms arrive.

* How to fight a nuclear war: Jimmy Carter had a plan.

* Stuyvesant, Harvard, people are alike all over: the psychology of cheating.

* “In Plain View”: How molesters get away with it.

* Meta poll-of-polls analysis shows the Romney campaign is in serious trouble.

What Erikson and Wlezien did is rather remarkable: They collected pretty much every publicly available poll conducted during the last 200 days of the past 15 presidential elections and then ran test after test on the data to see what we could say about the trajectory of presidential elections. Their results make Romney’s situation look very dire.

For instance: The least-stable period of the campaign isn’t early in the year or in the fall. It’s the summer. That’s because the conventions have a real and lasting effect on a campaign.

But the most surprising of Erikson and Wlezien’s results, and the most dispiriting for the Romney campaign, is that unlike the conventions, the debates don’t tend to matter. There’s “a fairly strong degree of continuity from before to after the debates,” they write. That’s true even when the trailing candidate is judged to have “won” the debates. “Voters seem to have little difficulty proclaiming one candidate the ‘winner’ of a debate and then voting for the opponent,” Erikson and Wlezien say.

Massachusetts looks to be reverting to the mean, too.

* Underselling it a bit: “Potentially unsafe” rat meat is being sold illegally in London marketplaces. Remember, it’s only potentially unsafe. Who among us can really know anything for sure?

* Also at io9: George Dvorsky takes the recent rheseus monkey brain-implant study as a hook for another ride on the what-could-possibly-go-wrong merry-go-round about uplifting animals.

* The Los Angeles Review of Books visits the comics.

* And just because it’s Monday: Ben Folds vs. the Fraggles.

Wednesday Links

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Wednesday links.

* Scandal at UConn! The Plank says the story is peanuts; this sort of corruption is endemic to the NCAA.

* Cover Stories From the Most-Requested Back Issues of The American Prognosticator (1853–1987).

* Duke University professor and civil rights icon John Hope Franklin has died.

* Upright Citizens Brigade parodies Wes Anderson. Bastards!

* A 93-year-old Japanese man has become the first person certified as a survivor of both U.S. atomic bombings at the end of the Second World War.

* The first unambiguous case of electronic voting machine fraud in the U.S.?

* Solitary confinement as torture.

* Roman engineers chipped an aqueduct through more than 100 kilometers of stone to connect water to cities in the ancient province of Syria. The monumental effort took more than a century, says the German researcher who discovered it. How could the Romans think in terms of centuries but we can’t think past a single business cycle?

* Lots of people are linking to this letter from an AIG bonus recipient. The merits of the contracts aside—I’ve said before they should be enforced unless fraudulent or predicated on fraud—but I don’t think he helps his case much when he puts a number on it. His one-time after-tax “bonus” is more than I would have made in thirty years of adjuncting.

* David Brin wants to “uplift” animals, i.e., make them sentient. This is exactly why people don’t take science fiction seriously; it’s totally crazy, pointless, and cruel and it wouldn’t even work…