Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Ursula K. Le Guin

It’s Monday Everywhere But In Your Heart Links

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* Very regrettably, SFRA 2020 has been cancelled. The 2020 Science Fictions, Popular Cultures conference at HawaiiCon might be our next chance…

* The Best Solo Board Games, or Welcome to the Gloomhaven Century. And while we’re on the subject: the Frosthaven kickstarter starts this week!

* I’ve been debating about whether to ‘go public’ on having coronavirus – which I kind of did inadvertently this morning. So, now I may as well share my experience(s) with you in order to help those who are worried about it or who are thinking they might have it. Here goes…

‘Since I Became Symptomatic.’

* Teachers’ Herculean Task: Moving 1.1 Million Children to Online School. With Coronavirus Disrupting College, Should Every Student Pass? Marquette goes pass/fail (if you want it). Forced off campus by coronavirus, students aren’t won over by online education. Coronavirus threatens the UW system. If the Coronavirus Collapses State Budgets, What Will Happen to Public Colleges? Will Coronavirus Close Your College for Good? Liberty University once again finds a way to do the worst possible thing. It will only get weirder. After Coronavirus, the Deluge. And I’ll look down and whisper… no.

* How the World’s Richest Country Ran Out of a 75-Cent Face Mask. Pandemics Show How the Free Market Fails Us. The Lockdown Is an Opportunity to Redefine What Our Economy Is For. Coronavirus May Add Billions to the Nation’s Health Care Bill. Canada’s Coronavirus Response Shows Why We Need Medicare for All to Fight This Pandemic. ‘White-Collar Quarantine’ Over Virus Spotlights Class Divide. Rural Towns Insulated From Coronavirus Now May Take A Harder Hit Later. This Crisis Has Exposed the Absurdities of Neoliberalism. That Doesn’t Mean It’ll Destroy It. Workers Are More Valuable Than CEOs.

The Curve Is Not Flat Enough. Illinois reports death of infant with coronavirus. Teachers’ Herculean Task: Moving 1.1 Million Children to Online School. Doctors And Nurses Say More People Are Dying Of COVID-19 In The US Than We Know. Zoochosis. Who’s to blame. Some U.S. Cities Could Have Coronavirus Outbreaks Worse Than Wuhan’s. The U.S. Now Leads the World in Confirmed Coronavirus Cases. 13 Deaths in a Day: An ‘Apocalyptic’ Coronavirus Surge at an N.Y.C. Hospital. Inside a Brooklyn Hospital Right Now. How the Pandemic Will End. A 9/11 Every Day for a Month.

* The World Needs Masks. China Makes Them — But Has Been Hoarding Them.

* Having cancelled the Olympics, Japan discovers that it too is awash in coronavirus.

* Study ‘Clearly Shows’ Putin Did an Amazing Job Secretly Brewing Up the Novel Coronavirus.

* More Americans Should Probably Wear Masks for Protection. Blood from people who recover from coronavirus could provide a treatment.

EPA suspends enforcement of environmental laws amid coronavirus.

People With Intellectual Disabilities May Be Denied Lifesaving Care Under These Plans as Coronavirus Spreads.

A record 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits as the coronavirus slams economy. Record-breaking unemployment claims may be vast undercount. Coronavirus unemployment benefits. Here’s who qualifies and how much they get. How do 3 million newly unemployed people get health care? Why Is America Choosing Mass Unemployment? Coronavirus Shock Is Destroying Americans’ Retirement Dreams. MLMs are using the coronavirus to recruit new sellers. Billionaires Want People Back to Work. Employees Aren’t So Sure. Inside Trump’s risky push to reopen the country amid the coronavirus crisis. Trump Wants to ‘Reopen America.’ Here’s What Happens if We Do. Our Political System Is Hostile to Real Reform.

* Now that’s what I call setting expectations. The Real Donald Trump Is a Character on TV. Inside Joe Biden’s bizarre coronavirus bunker. He’s gonna lose, folks. The amazing thing. The tough choice. Andrew Cuomo’s Coronavirus Response Doesn’t Mean He’s Crush-Worthy. Report: Fox News is worried about legal action after misleading viewers about coronavirus.

* That time Hemingway was quarantined with his sick kid, his wife, and his mistress. Animal Crossing and social distancing. Abbey Road restored to original glory while everybody and their cameras are stuck indoors.

* Coronavirus: The Hammer and the Dance.

* Life after COVID-19.

* Coronavirus pandemic could inflict emotional trauma and PTSD on an unprecedented scale, scientists warn.

* Once is misfortune; twice looks like carelessness.

* A story of the twentieth century.

This is not to say there is no such thing as biopolitics nor any power to make live and let die. Clearly there is; clearly it is this that is wielded by all the Trumps great and small. Nonetheless it is apparent that the sovereign is not sovereign. Rather he is subordinated entirely to the dictates of political economy, that real unity of the political and economic forged by capital and its compulsions. Make live and let die is simply a tool among others in this social order whose true logic, from Trump’s tweet to Dan Patrick to the Senate bill, is the power employed always as a ratio of make work and let buy.

We must take this fact with the utmost seriousness: that Foucault’s new regime of power appears in the late eighteenth century, which is to say, alongside the steam engine and the industrial revolution, which is also to say, alongside the liftoff of anthropogenic climate change. We need to stop fucking around with theory and say, without hesitation, that capitalism, with its industrial body and crown of finance, is sovereign; that carbon emissions are the sovereign breathing; that make work and let buy must be annihilated; that there is no survival while the sovereign lives.

Massive online library project is venturing into uncharted legal waters: Internet Archive offers 1.4 million copyrighted books for free online.

* A sexual assault allegation against Joe Biden has ignited a firestorm of controversy.

* #actually there’s at least one more copy of Data’s engrams still in B4 so this is definitely not over. Elsewhere on the Picard beat: Star Trek: Picard is the dark reboot that boldly goes where nobody wanted it to. Star Trek: Picard, Fancy Sheets, and the Meaning of Home.

* These Researchers Want You to Live In a Fungus Megastructure.

* Rick and Morty Just Released a Short Samurai Film and It’s Awesome.

* The Dispossessed, Part II: May You Get Reborn on Anarres!

* The only good Twitter account is this Third Amendment memes one.

* Polarized Near-Infrared view of Saturn, processed using Cassini data taken in November 2012. NASA Data Shows Something Leaking Out of Uranus.

* And in a time without heroes, people are skipping Zoom meetings by looping videos of themselves paying attention.

Not CoronavirME — CoronavirUS

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* The new SFFTV is out, a special issue on Blade Runner and its legacies. It’s a really good one — check it out! Elsewhere on the SFFTV beat: Congratulations to Joseph Jenner, whose ‘Gendering the Anthropocene: Female astronauts, failed motherhood and the overview effect’ (from #12.1) has just been shortlisted for the British Association of Film, TV and Screen Studies’ Award for best Doctoral Student Article/Chapter!

* This week’s must-read: The fossil-fuel companies expect to profit from climate change. I went to a private planning meeting and took notes.

Apocalypse camp at the dawn of the Great Extinction.

* “Oh My God, It’s Milton Friedman for Kids”: A historian of capitalism exposes how Choose Your Own Adventure books indoctrinated ‘80s children with the idea that success is simply the result of individual “good choices.”

* UC Santa Cruz Fires 54 Graduate Student Workers. UCSC cancels classes, shutters services as demonstrators block roadways. I Believe in the Strike. UCSC, The Fate of Graduate Education, and the Future of the University. After Announcing Firing of Grad Assistants, UC-Santa Cruz Is in Turmoil. “So far UCSC has spent $5.1 million dollars on police rather than meet with striking graduate students; this is nearly 25% of the cost of an annual COLA for all graduate students.” MLA Statement. Donate to the strike fund.

* The Bleak Job Landscape of Adjunctopia for Ph.D.s. The New School of Labor Rights.

* Critical theory represents the power, not the corruption, of the humanities.

* Debtors of the World, Unite!

* First Covid-19 outbreak in a U.S. nursing home raises concerns. The ominous days leading up to the coronavirus outbreak at Life Care Center in Kirkland. ‘We’re gearing up for something extremely significant’: Top hospitals across the US told us how they’re preparing for the coronavirus outbreak. Cronyism and Conflicts of Interest in Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force. ‘To hell and back’: my three weeks suffering from coronavirus. The new normal. To Tame Coronavirus, Mao-Style Social Control Blankets China. Coronavirus Will Test Our New Way of Life. WHO says coronavirus death rate is 3.4% globally, higher than previously thought. Another senior politician has died of coronavirus in Iran, where 8% of the parliament is infected. State by state, we’ve still barely tested anyone. When Purell is Contraband, How Do You Contain Coronavirus? New CDC guidance says older adults should ‘stay at home as much as possible’ due to coronavirus. AIPAC. CPAC. Get ready for live-streamed funerals. Lourdes shrine closes healing pools as precaution against coronavirus. Port of Los Angeles Sees Coronavirus Impact Sharply Reducing Imports. As the coronavirus spreads, one study predicts that even the best-case scenario is 15 million dead and a $2.4 trillion hit to global GDP. CoronaCoin: A coronavirus speculative deathwatch cryptocurrency. ‘If We Don’t Work, We Don’t Get Paid.’ How the Coronavirus Is Exposing Inequality Among America’s Workers. America Is About to Get a Godawful Lesson in Why Health Care Should Never Be a For-Profit Business. The Invisible Hand Wants You Dead. We’re in trouble.

* SXSW Cancelled, Unbelievably. The effect on Austin will be massive. Event Admits It Has No Insurance for Coronavirus Cancellation.

* First U.S. Colleges Close Classrooms as Virus Spreads. More Could Follow. UW, Seattle University classes moving online starting Monday. Stanford too. As Coronavirus Spreads, the Decision to Move Classes Online Is the First Step. What Comes Next? Coronavirus Looms Over March Madness.

* Graphic Novels Your Kid (Probably) Hasn’t Read Yet.

* The insulin years.

What to Say to Your Daughter About Campus Sexual Assault.

To bring the spirit of these lessons into a child’s home, parents can focus on building a relationship with their daughter that teaches her that she is equal to men and has the right to set her own boundaries and see them respected. For dads, a simple thing to try is letting your daughter brush you off sometimes. Let her question your authority, talk back, and leave the room in the middle of an argument. These changes could be especially important if the greatest risk to your daughter comes from an authority figure, but they will apply to her peers too.

* Is Miscarriage Is So Normal, Why Doesn’t Anybody Talk About It? The Diet Industrial Complex Got Me, and It Will Never Let Me Go.

* The race to save Polesia, Europe’s secret Amazon.

* We Re-Ordered The Entire Democratic Primary Calendar To Better Represent The Party’s Voters. Twilight of Chris Matthews. Daily Caller gets one I can’t help but pass along. Bring in the boss? ‘This Was a Grift’: Bloomberg Staffers Explain Campaign’s Demise. America’s black billionaires have no place in a Bernie Sanders world! The Liberal-Conservative-Socialist Case for Bernie Sanders. Elizabeth Warren: A Populist for the Professional Class. Elizabeth Warren, Once a Front-Runner, Drops Out of Presidential Race. ‘Bailey’ vs. ‘blood and teeth’: The inside story of Elizabeth Warren’s collapse. How Elizabeth Warren Lost. It Will Be Hard to Get Over What Happened to Elizabeth Warren. Capitalism Is Rallying Behind Joe Biden. Joe Biden Has a Long History of Giving Republicans What They Want. Democrats Rallying Around Joe Biden Could Alienate Generations of the Party’s Youth Support. Biden can finish Bernie off in Michigan. Who Said It: Trump or Biden? Democrats, You Really Do Not Want To Nominate Joe Biden. Joe Biden’s 2020 Campaign Makes Me Sick with Fear for Our Future. I just remembered Joe Biden is fine. Electability in the time of coronavirus. What if there’s no hope? Sanders campaign hatches comeback plan.

* Lots of my political thoughts have been going viral on Twitter lately, from the proper level of identification with a candidate to the ego protection of despising Bernie Sanders to just straight up rants to a pretty solid sitcom pilot. But nothing approaches a random repost of a meme I saw on Facebook.

* This seems fine: Erik Prince Recruits Ex-Spies to Help Infiltrate Liberal Groups.

* The head of CIS was illegally appointed and it barely even registers.

* The Ursula K. Le Guin Reread gets to The Dispossessed. And from the archives: Sexual Violence in Le Guin’s The Dispossessed: Towards an Interpretation.

* I don’t want to shock you: Why algorithms can be racist and sexist.

* Larry Nassar victims want accountability. Olympic officials offered cash and veiled threats.

Woody Allen Memoir Dropped by Hachette After Staff Walkout.

* Can YouTube Quiet Its Conspiracy Theorists?

*  In a lot of office environments, “bad energy” might be code for “old” or “overweight” or “knows too much about labor law,” but one veteran WeWork employee said Rebekah’s firings were seemingly random and without obvious prejudice. “She was just a spoiled baby,” the employee said.

* Behind the Coors shooting.

* @ me next time

* Hideo Kojima’s Strange, Unforgettable Video-Game Worlds.

* Susana Polo writes for Polygon about her Twitter account, which, year-round, tweets out events in Lord of the Rings on the day that they happened. (via MeFi)

* Now I know you’re just making these up: “the snow firehose.”

* And Shell is now She’ll. Namaste.

Tuesday Afternoon Links!

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* Another project of mine I’d love for you to be a part of (and to spread far and wide): CFP: Science Fiction in the Literature Classroom.

* CFP: Humanities on the Brink: Energy, Environment, Emergency (A Nearly Carbon-Free Virtual Symposium). GoFundMe for the Marquette Graduate Conference on Death and Dying.

* History has tended to sanitize the lives of abolitionists, many of whom were involved in other radical movements as well, including Free Love, which promoted women’s independence and an end to traditional marriage. Britt Rusert on The Radical Lives of Abolitionists.

The Flatness of Blackness: Afro-Pessimism and the Erasure of Anti-Colonial Thought.

* Rethinking “Introduction to Art History” at Yale.

The (Not-So-)Secret Way to Attract Majors to Your Department. Hanging Out — and Hanging On — at the MLA. Why I’m optimistic about the future of the humanities.

Their end goal is not total cancellation of student-loan debt. It’s widespread acceptance of the idea that education in the 21st century is a basic need, and that it’s immoral to force people to go into debt to attain it. 

* Introducing the Ursula K. Le Guin Reread.

* Today in the hell world: Concentration camp memorials seeing rise in far-right visitors.

* That Pro-Gun Rally in Virginia Wasn’t Exactly “Peaceful.” Holding a City Hostage is Peaceful Now?

* Revealed: the true identity of the leader of an American neo-Nazi terror group.

* A student at the University of Minnesota was sentenced to six months in prison in China for tweets he posted while he was studying in the U.S., Axios reported.

* Huge, if true: Crime Shows Are A ‘PR Machine’ For Law Enforcement.

* Liberal environmentalism y’all.

An Avast antivirus subsidiary sells ‘Every search. Every click. Every buy. On every site.’ Its clients have included Home Depot, Google, Microsoft, Pepsi, and McKinsey. Leaked Documents Expose the Secretive Market for Your Web Browsing Data.

* But mostly I thought Twitter would be a nightmare because I could immediately forecast the divide between two groups of people: those who cared that Kobe Bryant committed a brutal sexual assault, and those who did not, at least not right now, but probably not ever. In a world in which the creative bodies of numerous public figures — some more talented than others — have recently been invalidated because they (allegedly or not) committed sexual assaults, I knew that Kobe was going to receive an infinite number of gauzy, heartbroken tributes from strangers glossing over or even ignoring the worst thing he’d ever done. Two Things Can Be True, But One Is Always Mentioned First.

* The absurdity of the neoliberal university. “Do I do research or pay rent?” Grad students in Santa Cruz start a wildcat strike.

* Why Attendance Policies Hurt Disabled and Chronically Ill Students.

* 25 Years of Fan Casting X-Men Movies.

* I’m pretty sure midnight was 35 minutes ago.

* Quentin Tarantino: I am in combat with blockbuster franchises. Wasn’t he going to make a Star Trek movie a few days ago?

* Christopher Tolkien’s Cartographic Legacy.

* Art y’all.

* Celebrating Nancy Drew’s 90th Birthday the Only Way I Know How.

Would you please please please please please please please stop talking?

* I am honestly and truly giving up.

* I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Sara Nelson for President.

* Michael Light, Ellen Dinsmore and Michael Massoglia examined a database of federal criminal felony offenses that includes case type, defendant characteristics, court location, and judge-specific data. They find non-U.S. citizens living in New York and Washington D.C were eight percent more likely to be imprisoned than U.S. citizens after 9/11. The increased likelihood of incarceration for non-citizens in New York and D.C. was evident for a full four years after September 11, 2001. Courts in the Context of Crisis.

* This is the headline CBS decided to write after a police officer shot a man *already in handcuffs* multiple times and killed him.

Puberty blockers can be ‘life-saving’ drugs for trans teens, study shows.

Researchers reached that conclusion by analyzing data from the 2015 US Transgender Survey, involving 20,619 people between the ages of 18 and 36 years old.

* Hey, just like America.

* A few people have been tossing around my old Star Trek essay “We Have Never Been Star Trek” because the Picard launch too.

A Utah Woman Was Charged for Going Topless in Her Own Home. Her Legal Case Is Not Going Great.

* When women fight back.

Inside the secret Twitter rooms where Debra Messing, Don Cheadle, and the rest of the celebrity #Resistance organizes.

* Angry white men have declared war on the planet (again).

* Werner Herzog hears Paul F. Tompkins’ “Yelp Review for Trader Joe’s on Hyperion.”

* Because you might need it.

* What could go wrong? Nuclear waste recycled into diamond batteries with “near-infinite power.”

* At least the vultures are happy.

* @ me next time

* And today in delightful things to learn.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 28, 2020 at 11:32 am

Wednesday Night Links!

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* I had a thread on comics and accessible teaching on Twitter that I found helpful, especially this last contribution.

* Shoot this post into my veins.

* Introducing the Ursula K. Le Guin reread.

* CFP: Speculative Fiction, Curriculum Studies, and Crisis.

The (Not-So-)Secret Way to Attract Majors to Your Department.

* How Star Trek’s Canon Expert Helps Picard Revive Characters and Find the Future. Already hyped for Guinan in season two!

* The Untitled Goose Game and Philosophy.

The real omission from the good-news stories is any honest acknowledgment of Amazon. The company sits comfortably at the peak of its influence, its supply chain built on the back of tax evasion, labor exploitation, corporate lobbying, massive profits from its web-server business, and federal antitrust enforcement that has hovered between lax and corrupt. Amazon’s power has been vast and growing for so long that it’s no longer new or noteworthy in the publishing press, except for the occasional article about its depressing brick-and-mortar bookstores, where endcap displays say things like “Books Most Frequently Highlighted by Kindle Customers.” Amazon’s bookseller origins seem almost quaint now that its blueprint is so vast its delivery vans roaming the streets, piloted by tired and underpaid third-party drivers; its lockers lining the walls of every 7-Eleven; its Echo speakers and touchscreens listening in from your kitchen, your living room, your bedroom, playing songs from Amazon Music and prestige TV from Amazon Prime, placing grocery orders with its recent acquisition Whole Foods. Sadly, publishing will never be as interesting as the complete and total restructuring of society. But with a market share of 45 percent of print books and 83 percent of ebooks, Amazon remains capable of crippling the industry and upending its practices with little more than an algorithmic tweak.

* In a break from tradition, I am endorsing all 12 Democratic candidates. “I’ll kill them all but better” didn’t work in 2004 and it won’t work now. This didn’t work in 2016 and it won’t work now. We Regret to Inform You that Hillary Clinton Is at It Again. ACP Endorses Single-Payer. Just what it says on the tin.

* Mitt Romney gets a puff piece like this at 3:12 PM and has already proved it wrong before dinner. Fun fact!

* Shocked the Schumer isn’t completely blowing it. Good on Warren for promising to make this all right.

* When rich people can’t get along.

* Glenn Greenwald Charged With Cybercrimes in Brazil.

Ronald Reagan’s “October Surprise” Plot Was Real After All.

* N.K. Jemisin in the New Yorker.

* Greta Thunberg’s Remarks at the Davos Economic Forum.

Australia’s Largest Mining Company is Worried Bushfires are Affecting Coal Production.

* Microsoft will be carbon negative by 2030 (it says).

* …we need a science that is decoupled from both poles: from the autonomous circuit of capital as well as from traditional wisdom, a science that could finally stand on its own. What this means is that there is no return to an authentic feeling of our unity with nature: the only way to confront ecological challenges is to accept fully the radical denaturalization of nature.

* The Status Game.

* The Internet of Beefs.

* Houston Is Now Less Affordable Than New York City: A new report finds that, when transportation costs are factored in, Texas’s biggest metros aren’t the bargain they often claim to be.

The Fight for Mom’s House.

* Today in the Chinese Century: Single-use plastic: China to ban bags and other items.

* Whoever leads in artificial intelligence in 2030 will rule the world until 2100. What happens in 2100!

* Your online activity is now effectively a social ‘credit score.’

* The things you learn on Twitter.

* From the archives: The Millionaire Cop Next Door.

* RIP, the rule of law.

* Wendy’s and Child Labor.

* If Your University Administration Ran a Polar Expedition.

* English is the world’s dominant scientific language, yet it has no word for the distinctive smell of cockroaches. What happens though, if you have no words for basic scientific terms? What happens if you have no word for ‘dinosaur.’

* Today in the LEGO sublime.

* The truth is somewhen.

* Today in memes.

* And somehow I always knew it would end this way.

Wednesday Links!

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* A lost eighth continent was recently discovered underneath the Mediterranean region of Southern Europe, but it’s all pretty boring actually.

* How the US built the world’s largest immigrant detention system. A list of companies that contract with ICE.

* Checking in on Duke and UNC under siege.

* 2019 Genius Grant awardees, including Lynda F’ing Barry.

* Only an English major can prepare you with the psychic resilience needed to endure a lifetime under capitalism.

Allegations of white supremacy are tearing apart a prestigious medieval studies group. The Whitesplaining of History Is Over.

* The kids are all right: Students protest demonstration policy, deliver letter to Zilber.

* Student activists at UNC Chapel Hill have created a text alert system that warns the campus when racist groups are nearby.

Wisconsin students make up smallest share of UW-Madison freshman class in at least 25 years. The Great Decline.

* And on the China and college beat: US universities see decline in students from China. China’s Higher-Ed Ambitions Are at Odds With Its Tightening Grip on Academic Freedom.

Impacts ‘accelerating’ as leaders gather for UN talks. Earth’s Oceans Are Getting Hotter And Higher, And It’s Accelerating. ‘Unprecedented Conditions’ Will Rule the Oceans This Century, Striking New Report Finds. The African Congo Is Quietly Being Deforested As The Amazon Rainforest Burns. Scientists Set Out to Drift With Arctic Ice for a Year to Study Climate Change. On white supremacy and green living. The Environmental Movement Needs to Reckon with Its Racist History. This is daytime. Nation Perplexed By 16-Year-Old Who Doesn’t Want World To End. “You’re So Accustomed to the Erasure and the Normalization of Catastrophism.”

It’s called M-Journal, and it will help you convince your professor that you’re citing a real academic source.

* Shoulda been Bruce.

* Can a burger help solve climate change?

The Bible may have a naming discrepancy, and a Duke researcher plans to correct it.

* I might have done this one already, but what the hell: Le Guin’s work is distinctive not only because it is imaginative, or because it is political, but because she thought so deeply about the work of building a future worth living.

* A real “hold my beer” moment for neoliberalism: A doctor and medical ethicist, who happens to be Rahm Emmanuel’s brother, argues life after 75 is not worth living.

* Time travel is real y’all.

* Chris Ware, whose Rusty Brown is finally out, about which I am very excited, celebrates Peanuts.

Epic Disasters: Revisiting Marvel & DC’s 1980s Famine Relief Comics.

* What Ad Astra Gets Wrong About Space Travel, Astronomy, and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life.

* Normal society that is definitely normal and good.

* Autism aesthetics.

* Die a villain, or live long enough to rebound as a hero.

* Will Google’s quantum computing breakthrough change everything?

* The 50 Best Video Games of the 21st Century. Surprisingly solid #1 and #2 picks.

* And I’d like to see Ol Donny Trump wriggle out of this jam! Impeachment step by step.

Fall Syllabus #2: Environmental Protection!

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My other course is also super exciting: a version of the “Material Cultures” course I developed with an NEH grant a few years back devoted to “Environmental Protection.” Some of the assignments are pulled from the ecologically focused modules of the old Cultural Preservation course, others are new to this one.

Again, below you can find the course description and week-by-week schedule; full syllabus is here…

Recently, “sustainability” has become a powerful concept in both academic discourse and popular debate; however, since the time of Heraclitus in Ancient Greece philosophers have recognized that change is inevitable and that there is always tension between what we should preserve and what is disposable. This course will use interdisciplinary scholarship to probe the central question underlying all environmental protection: what should we value enough to pass on to future generations? It will ask students to confront this dilemma by interrogating what precisely makes a natural resource sufficiently valuable to cherish and keep. In our time, the concept of “value” is dominated by economic language, but this view is crucially incomplete: what gives objects value is not their exchangeability but the fact that humans care about them and are willing to preserve and maintain them. A park is just open land, after all, until someone declares it worthy of protection. Establishing and asserting these sorts of non-economic values has long been a defining characteristic of study in the humanities, which have always appreciated how shared heritage links us to the past, creates meaning and relevance in the present, and allows us to shape our collective future. In that spirit we will examine a wide variety of political, philosophical, and aesthetic questions around sustainability, and environmental protection, and develop a framework for engaging pressing contemporary debates about the preservation of our shared natural heritage.

T Aug 28 FIRST DAY OF CLASS
Charles Stross, “Designing Society for Posterity” (Web)
Th Aug 30 Naomi Oreskes and Eric M. Conway, The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future(Chapters 1-3, plus epilogue)
T Sep 4 Johan Rockstrom et. al, “Planetary Boundaries” [D2L]
John Bellamy Foster, “Ecology against Capitalism” [D2L]
Naomi Klein, “Climate Rage” [Web]
Th Sep 6 Nathaniel Rich, “Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change” [Web]

Responses to Rich from Robinson Meyer, Naomi Klein, Alyssa Battistoni, and Matto Mildenberger and Leah C. Stokes [Web]

T Sep 11 Ernest Callenbach, Ecotopia (first half)
Th Sep 13 Ernest Callenbach, Ecotopia (second half)
T Sep 18 S.B. Banerjee, “Necrocapitalism” [D2L]
Arundhati Roy, “The Greater Common Good” [Web]
Vandana Shiva, “Earth Democracy” [Web]
Th Sep 20 Clare Kendall, “A New Law of Nature” [Web]
Mihnea Tanasescu, “When a River Is A Person” [Web]
Manuela Picq, “Can the Law Prevail Over Chinese investments in Ecuador?” [Web]
T Sep 25 case study: Mars

Kim Stanley Robinson, Red Mars2-3, 94-96,133-158, 168-179 [D2L]
Chris McKay, “Does Mars Have Rights?” [D2L]

Th Sep 27 Daniel Quinn, Ishmael (first half)
T Oct 2 Daniel Quinn, Ishmael (second half)
Lisa Wells, “The Blaze” [Web]
FIRST PAPER MINI-WORKSHOP
Th Oct 4 CLASS CANCELLED FOR MILWAUKEE COUNTY ZOO TOUR
T Oct 9 Kathy Rudy, “Where the Wild Things Ought to Be” [D2L]
Kim Stanley Robinson, “Empty Half the Earth of Its Humans. It’s the Only Way to Save the Planet” [Web]
FIRST PAPER DUE
Th Oct 11 FALL BREAK—NO CLASS
T Oct 16 Dipesh Chakrabarty, “The Climate of History” [D2L]
McKenzie Wark, “Critical Theory after the Anthropocene” [Web]
film (in class): Ramin Bahrani, “Plastic Bag”
Th Oct 18 Daniel Hartley, “Against the Anthropocene” [Web]
Margaret Atwood, “Time Capsule Found on the Dead Planet” [Web]
Ted Chiang, “The Great Silence” [Web]
T Oct 23 Richard McGuire, Here
Th Oct 25 Richard McGuire, Here
SECOND PAPER MINI-WORKSHOP
T Oct 30 Graeme Wood, “Re-Engineering the Earth” [Web]
Eduardo Porter, “To Curb Global Warming, Science Fiction May Become Fact” [Web]
Adam McGibbom, “There Is No Quick Fix for Climate Change” [Web]
Phil Torres, “Engineering the atmosphere: Is it possible? And would it prevent catastrophe, or cause it?” [Web]
Alexander C. Kaufman, “The King of Climate Fiction Makes the Left’s Case for Geoengineering” [Web]
Peter Frase, “Geoengineering for the People” [Web]
Th Nov 1 case study: refreezing the Arctic
Robin McKee, “Could a £400bn plan to refreeze the Arctic before the ice melts really work?” [Web]
SECOND PAPER DUE
T Nov 6 Kim Stanley Robinson, introduction to Future Primitive [D2L]
Ernest Callenbach, “Chocco” [D2L]

99% Invisible, “Ten Thousand Years” [Web]
Sarah Zhang, “The Cat Went Over Radioactive Mountain” [Web]
Alan Bellows, “This Place Is Not a Place of Honor” [Web]
WIPP Exhibit, “Message to 12,000 A.D.” [Web]

Th Nov 8 Ursula K. Le Guin, Always Coming Home
T Nov 13 Ursula K. Le Guin, Always Coming Home
Th Nov 15 Ursula K. Le Guin, Always Coming Home
T Nov 20 Ursula K. Le Guin, Always Coming Home
Th Nov 22 THANKSGIVING BREAK—NO CLASS
T Nov 27 Jeff Vandermeer, Annihilation
Th Nov 29 Jeff Vandermeer, Annihilation

FINAL PAPERS/PROJECTS MINI-WORKSHOP

T Dec 4 Jeff Vandermeer, Annihilation
film (out of class): Annihilation
LAST DAY OF CLASS
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Saturday Night Links!

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* CFP: Religious Practices and Ideology in the Works of Octavia Butler, Edited Volume.

* CFP: Darkness.

Never Tell Them Your True Name: Remembering Ursula K. Le Guin.

The Demanding, Essential Work of Samuel Delany: The Atheist in the Attic.

* Games for a Fallen World: On the Legend of Zelda in the Anthropocene.

Why we march: a then and now look at Marquette student’s involvement in protests.

Capital’s Share of Income Is Way Higher than You Think. Amid wage stagnation, corporate leaders declare the end of annual raises triggered by increased profitability. The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy.

* A grim new angle on the intergenerational struggle: Seniors Are More Conservative Because the Poor Don’t Survive to Become Seniors.

Harvard study estimates thousands died in Puerto Rico because of Hurricane Maria.

Is Your University Racist?

Living Homeless in California: The University of Hunger.

The Criminalization of Knowledge.

* A conservative Stanford professor plotted to dig up dirt on a liberal student. Niall Ferguson, amazingly. Niall Ferguson quits Stanford free speech role over leaked emails.

It’s Not Liberal Arts And Literature Majors Who Are Most Underemployed.

Inside the NCAA’s years-long, twisting investigation into Mississippi football.

Colleges Are No Match for American Poverty.

Here’s every Star Wars movie, ranked by female screen time. Should Donald Glover Have Played Han Solo? Disney and Star Wars: An Empire in Peril? The growing emptiness of the Star Wars universe. ‘Solo’ gets one thing right: The droids in ‘Star Wars’ are basically slaves.

* Isaac Cates on Infinity War‘s False Conclusions.

* How Tolkien created Middle-earth.

Inside the Pro-Trump Effort to Keep Black Voters From the Polls. White Americans abandoned democracy and embraced authoritarianism when they realized brown people would soon outvote them. TMZ Goes MAGA. Can the Rule of Law Survive Trump?

* Three tweets on impeachment from Corey Robin.

thread re: how NYT has now basically locked out Congressional Dems from commenting on Trump news. 

Trump’s ‘Forced Separation’ of Migrant Families Is Both Illegal and Immoral. Separated at the border: A mother’s story.

Why Dictators Write.

* After pointlessly groping countless Americans, the TSA is keeping a secret watchlist of those who fight back. Customs stole a US citizen’s life savings when he boarded a domestic flight, now he’s suing to get it back. Southwest wouldn’t let mixed-race family fly until mom “proved” parenthood. This AI Knows Who You Are by the Way You Walk.

Internal company emails obtained by The Intercept tell a different story. The September emails show that Google’s business development arm expected the military drone artificial intelligence revenue to ramp up from an initial $15 million to an eventual $250 million per year. How a Pentagon Contract Became an Identity Crisis for Google.

Symbolic Threats.

American flag-waving obfuscates these and other abuses of power; reveals the state’s protection and definition of a white, hetero socioeconomic class as the legitimate citizen class at the expense of black, brown, Muslim, trans, disabled, or immigrant lives; and is our traditional response to a sense of foreign impingement on “normal American life” (white suburban families). The message goes: Don’t think about the President’s baseless claims about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, don’t think about the imprisonment of Chelsea Manning and, now, Reality Winner, don’t think about the dependence of all power on a disenfranchised, exploited class. Think instead of the firefighters at ground zero, who were certain that America would endure. Think of ordinary citizens, like those depicted in the “Main Street USA” ad, and their faith in this city on a hill. Think instead, “Make America Great Again!” Don’t ask: Who suffers in this society when the state makes better security and freedom for its populace a goal? Freedom for whom? Who does a Muslim ban serve? Who do police serve? On which caskets do we lay the flag?

* In the richest country in the history of the world: Nine year old raises thousands of dollars at lemonade stand to help pay brother’s medical bills.

* Die a hero or live long enough to see yourself agreeing with David Brooks.

Bear’s Dairy Queen ice cream treat earns zoo $500 fine.

Archaeologists uncover remains of man crushed as he fled Pompeii.

* Why Isn’t Asbestos Banned in the US?

Choose-Your-Own-Security-Disclosure-Adventure.

* Tax-funded charter schools textbooks deny evolution, teach human-dinosaur cohabitation, endorse slavery and indigenous genocide.

Meet the Rising New Housing Movement That Wants to Create Homes for All. Tenant and Squatters’ Rights in Oakland.

* We compared Milwaukee police reports on Sterling Brown’s arrest with the video. They don’t match.

Jury Leaves $4 to Family of Man Killed by Sheriff’s Deputy, Along With Many Questions.

* LARB reviews Dirty Computer.

How to Tell a Realistic Fictional Language From a Terrible One. How to Build a World.

Humans will have to leave the Earth and the planet will become just a “residential” zone, according to Amazon boss Jeff Bezos. It’s not the worst idea I’ve heard, but I assume the rivers of meat blood come later.

* A weather report from an alternate universe, in which science is real and people aren’t idiots.

* Climate grief in the classroom.

* Banning straws won’t save the oceans.

* Bet this won’t either: Trump Prepares Lifeline for Money-Losing Coal Plants.

* Summah. Don’t kill your wife with work. If these trends continue. Teach the controversy. Dads & grads. When you’re almost forty.

I Am A Recently Divorced And Laid-Off Middle-Aged Man With A Lot Of Health Problems, And Everything I Say Is Incredibly Depressing. Ask Questions At Me.

* “Says he had to stage his own murder in order to capture someone, apologises to his wife.”

How #MeToo Impacts Viewers’ Decisions on What to Watch.

In 1975, Gary Gygax revealed the Tomb of Horrors module at the first Origins convention, presenting it as a campaign that would specifically challenge overpowered characters who would have to rely on their wits to outsmart incredibly lethal, subtle traps, rather than using their almighty THACOs to fell trash-mobs of orcs or other low-level monsters.

How 1960s Film Pirates Sold Movies Before the FBI Came Knocking.

* The art of the grift in 21st century Manhattan.

* Google jury nullification.

* Shockingly, ‘impossible’ EM drive doesn’t seem to work after all.

* Best travel photos 2018.

* New podcast watch: Why Is This Happening? with Chris Hayes. The Good Place: The Podcast.

* An oral history of the Muppets.

A research question I’ve been pondering for awhile: When, exactly, did the idea that the President — and only the President — was in charge of the decision to use nuclear weapons get turned into real policy? Answer seems to be September 1948, with NSC-30.

* We’re not prepared for the genetic revolution that’s coming.

* And you can’t argue with the facts: Wearing glasses may really mean you’re smarter, major study finds.

people and nature

Written by gerrycanavan

June 2, 2018 at 4:50 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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