Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Vermont

Thursday Links!

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* I have a short piece up at the Cambridge UP blog: “We’re Sorry, the Final Frontier is Closed.” It talks a bit about the recent revival of space frontier and space opera fantasy in big-budget films like Jupiter Ascending, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Interstellar…

Scientists determine the nation’s safest places to ride out a zombie apocalypse.

Woodland ‘fairy door’ tradition ‘out of control.’

Now the trustees of Wayford Woods have announced ‘fairy control’ methods which will curb the “profusion of elfin construction”.

Trustee Steven Acreman said the trend was “in danger of getting out of control” but stressed he was not “anti-fairies”.

“It’s a very complex situation and nobody’s admitting that they’re evicting the fairies,” he said.

“These beliefs persisted into recent times,” says Butler. “For example, in 1895 Michael Cleary convinced his family and community that his wife, Bridget, was a changeling. This was confirmed by a traditional fairy doctor, who attempted a herbal cure. When that didn’t work, they threatened her with fire, doused, and finally burned her to death.” Well, that’s certainly less charming.

So by all means, criticize teachers when it is warranted. But resist education reformers at all costs, particularly when they rationalize their reforms as a way to address the problems of the teaching force. Education reformers, no matter their intentions, are the enemies of a unionized teaching force. They are the enemies of public education.

Sweet Briar’s Sudden Closure Plans Leave Students and Employees Scrambling.

“The faculty and staff,” Mr. Brown said, “are feeling traumatized by this—not just by the loss of the institution, but by the way it has been handled. They seem to have no answers about anything, and that is what feels so deeply troubling.”

I hadn’t even thought about how impossible it will be for Sweet Briar faculty to sell their homes. What a nightmare.

Who Gets the Endowment? I really hope higher ed media watches the dispersal of Sweet Briar’s endowment and property very closely.

* And of course Forbes has a handwavey plan to save Sweet Briar by firing all the faculty and replacing them with MOOCs.

The Woman Behind #NAWD.

* Neoliberalism and magic.

Indeed, at the heart of the standard capitalist narrative is magic, as if the will to realize the abstract ideal of a cornucopia for all will itself — through fervent wishing and belief that can only be called religious — bring about the imagined state. It is the “invisible hand” idea from Adam Smith — the conviction that there really is a hidden force that given free rein sets everything aright. It is the God meme in capitalism and its writings, Smith’s among them, that is to capitalism what the Torah is to Judaism, the Gospels to Christianity, and the Koran to Islam: holy texts whose authenticity and reality must not be challenged or questioned unless as an adolescent moment of doubt, eventually subsumed by the re-embrace of total belief.

* I’ve always wanted a Trek anthology series. And with the ever-lowering cost of CGI effects it could be finally be done…

* In the short term, the contract faculty who teach the majority of courses at York University are striking for higher wages. In the long run, contract teaching needs to be abolished.

* The Unintended Consequences of Borrowing Business Tools to Run a University.

In some cases, regulation, not deliberative choice, has led campus leaders to rely on business advice. For example, the Taxpayer Bill of Rights II, signed into law in 1996, requires many of us to hire compensation consultants to ensure that “disqualified persons”—presidents, provosts, vice presidents for finance and administration, etc.—have not received an “excessive benefit” such as inappropriate compensation.In all situations that I have observed, this process has had unintended consequences. Using sophisticated tools developed for industry, the consultants have demonstrated that many higher-education leaders are undercompensated.

GASP! NO ONE COULD HAVE PREDICTED! I wonder if a “compensation consultant” has ever, in history, determined that a CEO was receiving “excessive benefit.”

Raped on Campus? Don’t Trust Your College to Do the Right Thing. I’d see the story about Oregon’s admin raiding the campus health center for ammo to use against its own students, but I’d never seen the outrageous legal justification for it before now.

If you are a student and seek counseling at your college’s counseling center, your medical records are most likely not protected by the typical medical-privacy laws, otherwise known as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Instead, they fall under the aegis of Ferpa, just as Oregon said. And compared with Hipaa, Ferpa is about as protective as cheesecloth.

This Is What It’s Like To Go To Court In Ferguson, Missouri. DOJ Finds Ferguson Police Routinely Discriminate. Ferguson Police Tolerate Sexual Harassment of Female Officers. What Is Wrong With the Ferguson Police Department? Particular lowlights from the DoJ report.

* Ferguson, Inc: The city’s protest movement tries to find a path forward.

What’s happening here is fundamentally simple: the surveillance state enforcing surveillance as the normative form of care. The state cannot teach its citizens, because it has no idea what to teach; it can only place them under observation. Perfect observation — panopticism — then becomes its telos, which is justifies and universalizes by imposing a responsibility to surveil on the very citizens already being surveilled.

Lao Science Fiction On the Rise.

* 1906 novel predicted what New York would be like in 2015 exactly.

CSU profs: Stagnant pay pushing us out of middle class.

American Airlines To Phase Out Complimentary Cabin Pressurization.

* More Companies Are Run By Men Named “John” Than By Women. Just lean in!

Writers Block: TV Writers’ Rooms Have Even Fewer Women, Minorities Than Last Year.

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Douglas Adams made me a writer: Neil Gaiman salutes his friend and inspiration.

The power of play: The effects of Portal 2 and Lumosity on cognitive and noncognitive skills.

Lots of Cases of Synesthesia Are Based on Alphabet Magnets.

Where’s The Funding For Women’s Soccer?

* Why Don’t Men Kick Each Other in the Balls?

Stop Calling Children’s Gun Deaths “Accidental.”

* A singular event that has never happened in history before: Kenosha officer admits to planting evidence in homicide case.

* 2016 watch: Bernie’s Reasons Why Not.

* And Boing Boing has your gallery of Star Trek comic book covers.

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Ain’t No Sunday Like an MLA Sunday Links

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* In case you missed them: the syllabi for my spring classes, which start tomorrow.

* Meanwhile MLA saves its best panel for last: 759. Guilty Pleasures: Late Capitalism and Mere Genre. Today at 1:45!

On March 11-12, 2015, the Humanities Division at Essex County College will host its Spring 2015 Conference, “Speculative Humanities: Steampunk to Afrofuturism.” This two-day conference offers space for writers, musicians, artists, and academicians to explore, expand upon, and rethink the implications of speculative humanities. This year’s conference will feature a special emphasis on the life, work, and influence of Octavia E. Butler.

* #MLA: An Economist’s Critique of Job Market for English Ph.D.s.

* The MLA should give Jonathan Goodwin a Lifetime Achievement Award for this post about midcentury MLA job ads. Check out his Twitter feed for more.

* Really, though, huge shoutout to all the literary critics heading home today.

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* #FreeCommunityCollege. Did Obama Just Introduce a ‘Public Option’ for Higher Education? Angus is happy. Who Has a Stake in Obama’s Free Community-College Plan? Of course, it’s a Republican plan. And there’s a catch. Or two.

Contingent Faculty and #FreeCommunityCollege.

$18 billion in job training = lots of trained unemployed people.

* The logic of the increment.

Sometimes you don’t get a sales pitch. It’s none of your business, it’s reactionary to even ask the question, it’s an assertion of privilege, something’s got to be done and what have you been doing that’s better? Sometimes you get a sales pitch and it’s all about will and not about intellect: everybody has to believe in fairies or Tinkerbell will die. The increments sometimes make no sense. This leads to that leads to what? And what? And then? Why? Or perhaps most frustrating of all, each increment features its own underlying and incommensurable theories about why things happen in the world: in this step, people are motivated by self-interest; in the next step, people are motivated by basic decency; in the next step, people are motivated by fear of punishment. Every increment can’t have its own social theory. That’s when you know that the only purpose is the action itself, not the thing it’s trying to accomplish.

Securitization, risk management, and the new university.

Administrators, Authority, and Accountability.

Militancy, Antagonism, and Power: Rethinking Intellectual Labor, Relocating the University.

As leverage, Silvia Federici outlines the two-part process of demanding a wage for previously uncompensated labor. The first step is recognition, but the ultimate goal is refusal. “To say that we want money for housework” she says, “is the first step towards refusing to do it, because the demand for a wage makes our work visible, which is the most indispensable condition to begin to struggle against it, both in its immediate aspect as housework and its more insidious character as femininity” (Wages Against Housework). Another way to say this is: it is only with the option of refusal that not-publishing is meaningful.

It is clear that “publish or perish” is undergoing a speedup like all other capitalist work. We must all struggle for a re-valorization of living labor. And in the first step against publication’s command over living labor, we agree with Federici, who demands that “From now on we want money for each moment of it, so that we can refuse some of it and eventually all of it” (Wages Against Housework).

* Lessons from Vermont: What does Vermont’s failed single-payer plan tell us about future reform efforts?

* Exclusive: Prosecutor in Serial Goes On the Record.

The U.S. has more jails than colleges. Here’s a map of where those prisoners live.

* Scenes from the class struggle inside the National Radio Quiet Zone.

* Debt collection as autoimmune disease.

Male Senators Banned Women From Senate Pool So They Could Swim Naked. Until 2008.

* Wow. F.B.I. and Justice Dept. Said to Seek Charges for Petraeus.

“It’s clear he hasn’t been very lucky with the ladies the last few months,” West said of his client.

* Nightmare terror attacks in Nigeria using ten-year-old girls as suicide bombers.

* Run, Bernie, run?

* Clocks Are Too Precise (and People Don’t Know What to Do About It).

* Great moments in matte paintings, at io9. I had no idea the warehouse from Raiders was a matte either, though in retrospect of course it was.

New research is first to identify which reserves must not be burned to keep global temperature rise under 2C, including over 90% of US and Australian coal and almost all Canadian tar sands.

* Rave drug shows great promise in treating depression once thought resistant to drug therapy. I hope they found some way to control for the curative effects of glowsticks.

How Wes Anderson’s Cinematographer Shot These 9 Great Scenes.

* Here comes Wet Hot American Summer: The Prequel Series.

* The kids aren’t all right: Millennials Are Less Racially Tolerant Than You Think.

* “Men, what would you be willing to give up to live a couple decades longer?”

* Dad creates drawings based off of quotes from his toddler daughter.

* How LEGO became the Apple of toys.

We Wish These Retrofuturistic Versions Of American Cities Had Come True.

* Every episode of Friends at the same time.

* And exciting loopholes I think we can all believe in: “He was doing research for a film,” said Sherrard. “It’s not a crime; it’s artwork… He’s an intellectual.”

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Written by gerrycanavan

January 11, 2015 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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All Your Christmas Eve Eve Links

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* De Blasio and the police. Some amazing stuff in there.

According to a former de Blasio aide, during the general election campaign in 2013, de Blasio’s team was even convinced that members of his police detail were eavesdropping on his private conversations in his city-assigned car. Things got so bad that de Blasio, according to the staffer, would step into the street to make sure he was out of earshot of plainclothes officers.

NYPD Union President Patrick Lynch Is Completely Nuts: A History.

The NYPD Shooter Had A History Of Mental Health Issues And Violence Against Women. Slimy Baltimore FOX Affiliate Caught Faking “Kill a Cop” Protest Chant. The absolute bad faith of blaming protestors.

Die-ins demand that we bear witness to black people’s fears that they’ll be next.

* “The Cossacks were never funny. Cops never are. I invite you to imagine the international outrage and American horror, had one of Putin’s police choked an innocent man to death on camera for the crime of selling loose cigarettes.”

* For Tamir, who was stolen.

* Ex-Milwaukee Cop Who Shot Unarmed Man 14 Times Will Not Be Charged. The National Guard has been on alert for the city since the weekend. A statement from the ACLU. “It may out-Ferguson Ferguson”: Why Milwaukee’s police violence will horrify you. And at HuffPo: Why I Was Arrested Standing Up for Dontre Hamilton in Milwaukee.

“Ya’ll Ain’t Hearing Me”: White Liberalism and the Killing of Aura Rosser.

Charges Expected To Be Filed Against MOA Protest Organizers.

* The idea of “police reform” obscures the task. Whatever one thinks of the past half-century of criminal-justice policy, it was not imposed on Americans by a repressive minority. The abuses that have followed from these policies—the sprawling carceral state, the random detention of black people, the torture of suspects—are, at the very least, byproducts of democratic will. Likely they are much more. It is often said that it is difficult to indict and convict police officers who abuse their power. It is comforting to think of these acquittals and non-indictments as contrary to American values. But it is just as likely that they reflect American values. The three most trusted institutions in America are the military, small business, and the police.

* Which is not to say that the security state isn’t somehow finding ways to stretch even the long leash it’s been given.

* And W. Kamau Bell has a one-off podcast on Earwolf called “Coptalk.”

Sorry, I know that was a lot of police links today. Some other stuff I’ve been looking at:

The National Labor Relations Board issued a ruling last week that could clear the way for much more unionization of faculty members at private colleges and universities.

There Is No Higher Ed Bubble. Yet. I think I’d maybe like to hear more about how “eventually artificial intelligence will basically wipe out the demand for higher education completely” before I sign on to this part of the proposition all the way.

* Facts are stupid things: New Congress Dumping CBO Chief To Clear Way For Special GOP Budget Math.

How Vermont’s single-payer health care dream fell apart.

* Jacobin looks ahead to the new Cuba.

* Markets in everything: Rare book investment trust believed to be Ponzi scheme.

Which Jobs Have the Highest Rates of Depression?

* What 2000 Calories Looks Like.

* 101 Critical Theory Books That Came Out in 2014. As a society we probably could have gotten away with just the clean one hundred.

* An empirical study of heterosexual college sex practices based on a six-year survey.

* The Sony hack has cancelled what I bet would have been a great comic adaptation of Guy Delisle’s Pyongyang. At least I’ll have this in my back pocket the next time I teach it.

* Meanwhile: A Lot of Smart People Think North Korea Didn’t Hack Sony. Let’s not let caution get in the way of a good prank war.

* That’s solve it: MLA Will Discuss How to Deal With Controversial Issues.

The night before filming begins, however, I get this new script and it was shocking. The character was gone. Instead of coming in at the very beginning of the movie, like page 8, the character came in on page 68 after the Ghostbusters were established. His elaborate background was all gone, replaced by me walking in and saying, “If there’s a steady paycheck in it, I’ll believe anything you say.” So that was pretty devastating.

* The FBI saw the film. They didn’t like it. Stick around for a nice little factoid about copyright!

The Year Having Kids Became a Frivolous Luxury.

The Best New Webcomics Of 2014.

* These Ant-Man rumors suggest Marvel really is going to go all the way with its “Civil War” plan for Phase 3.

* The Malfoys, after the war.

* No More Tony Starks: Against “The Smartest Man in the Room.”

Perhaps this is a good time to notice that when Anders says the Smartest Guy in the Room provides “wish-fulfillment for reasonably smart people” her examples go on to demonstrate that by people she happens always to mean only guys and even only white guys. She does notice that the Smartest Guy does seem to be, you know, a guy and provides the beginnings of a gendered accounting of the archetype: “the ‘smartest guy’ thing confirms all our silliest gender stereotypes, in a way that’s like a snuggly dryer-fresh blanket to people who feel threatened by shifting gender roles. In the world of these stories, the smartest person is always a man, and if he meets a smart woman she will wind up acknowledging his superiority.”

That seems to me a rather genial take on the threatened bearings of patriarchal masculinity compensated by cyborg fantasizing, but at least it’s there. The fact that the Smartest Guy keeps on turning out to be white receives no attention at all. This omission matters not only because it is so glaring, but because the sociopathic denial of the collectivity of intelligence, creativity, progress, and flourishing at the heart of the Smartest Guy in the Room techno-archetype, has the specific and catastrophic counterpart in the white racist narrative of a modern technological civilization embodied in inherently superior European whiteness against which are arrayed not different but primitive and atavistic cultures and societies that must pay in bloody exploitation and expropriation the price of the inferior. The Smartest Guy in the Room is also the Smartest Guy in History, naturally enough, with a filthy treasure pile to stand on and shout his superiority from.

* Star Trek as anti-Smartest-Guy fiction.

* And speaking of Star Trek: they’ve chosen a new director to ruin 3tar Tr3k 3. Kudos to all involved. Meanwhile Adam Kotsko is pitching the Star Trek anthology series I’ve always wanted to the unfeeling Philistines at the Daystrom Institute. Unrecognized in his own time…

Bottomless Thursday Links, No Refills

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Cheryl Abbate has decided to leave Marquette. Marquette has apparently decided to suspend John McAdams, though who knows for how long. As an untenured junior faculty member (who has, incidentally, been a subject of McAdams’s unsubstantiated attacks in the past, as has nearly every other professor I know on campus), I feel somewhat constrained speaking about all this, and so I won’t — but I’m unhappy about the first and queasy about the second, and will be free to discuss this all at length with you in a mere four or five years. It’ll still be relevant then, I’m sure: I expect this whole tangled mess to be a go-to example on Academic Freedom and Repellent Speech for many years to come, not to mention the lawsuits. It’s a very complicated and miserable situation that seems like it just got a whole lot more complicated and miserable. I’m sorry for a campus and for the students that are going to be dealing with the fallout from this situation for a long time.

* CFP at Milwaukee’s Own C21: “Indigeneities.”

* Climate change comes to Shishmaref, Alaska. Arctic is warming at twice the rate of anywhere else on Earth.

* Hugely disappointing news from Vermont: they’ve giving up their plan for single payer. I really thought this was how it would finally come to America.

* The word you’re looking for is “racism.” Just say racism.

* But dead men loot no stores. Property-based ethics.

* Financial aid and class struggle.

* In defense of “hands up.”

In recent weeks and months, the power of the gesture has never been clearer: “hands up” transforms the visual sign of surrender into one of political resistance. Nevertheless, it’s worth looking at the complex cultural and historical work the move engages—the multiple moves it makes. As my students register, “hands up” isn’t quite the Black Power salute, given that it rehearses a moment of full-body interpellation by the police. But as one student observes, part of its force is rooted in this very repetition. To throw one’s hands up in the stadium, in the street, and (perhaps most powerfully) for the camera is to convert that gesture of surrender into something else: a shared performance that makes visible the deeply historical and split-second choreographies of power in which bodies deemed criminally other—deemed threatening, which is to say deemed black—become the objects of state violence. “Hands up” cites and reroutes these choreographies, a physical disruption not unlike playing dead in solidarity with the dead, a form of protest to which it is closely aligned.

Police Investigating Texas Officer For Tasing 76-Year-Old Man. Ohio Detective Berated Girlfriend of Black Man Shot and Killed by Cops. California Cop Tweets That He Will ‘Use (His) God Given And Law Appointed Right To Kill’ Protesters. Wesleyan University Forced to Pay Police Overtime for Protesting Police Brutality.  UPenn President Criticized For Joining Protesters’ ‘Die-In.’ Cops Off Campus.

“There is an unbroken line of police violence in the US that takes us all the way back to the days of slavery.”

Supreme Court Says Ignorance Of The Law Is An Excuse — If You’re A Cop.

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the same standard doesn’t necessarily apply to police. In a splintered 8-1 ruling, the court found that cops who pulled over Nicholas Heien for a broken taillight were justified in a subsequent search of Heien’s car, even though North Carolina law says that having just one broken taillight is not a violation of the law.

Policing is a Dirty Job, But Nobody’s Gotta Do It: 6 Ideas for a Cop-Free World.

* Capitalism and Eric Garner.

Of course Americans are OK with torture. Look at how we treat our prisoners. The Luxury Homes That Torture and Your Tax Dollars Built. They Said ‘No’ to Torture: The Real Heroes of the Bush Years. Skinny Puppy demands $666,000 in royalties from U.S. government for using their music in Guantanamo torture.

* This is one of the better readings of Sorkinism and its worship of white masculinity I’ve seen.

* Need to learn to think like an administrator? There’s a retreat for that.

* Socialize Uber.

* ASU English goes 5/5 — without a pay increase. ASU English by the Numbers. Meanwhile, you’ll never guess.

The Arizona Board of Regents on Friday approved a 20 percent raise in base pay for Arizona State University President Michael Crow that pushes his total annual compensation to nearly $900,000.

The $95,000 raise is his first increase in base pay since 2007, before the recession, and could be enough to place him back among the top 20 earners for public-college presidents.

Straight Talk About ‘Adjunctification.’ Come for the one or two sensible points, stay for the nightmare flame war…

The ‘Job Market’ That Is Not One.

* Meanwhile meanwhile: According to a report from the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, citing anonymous sources, U-M offered Harbaugh $8 million per year to coach the Wolverines.

* Gasp! The secret to the Uber economy is wealth inequality.

The Judicial Ethics of Serial.

This risk of bias is not a reason to question content like Serial that draws attention to the problems inherent in our criminal justice system. It’s a reason to question a system of judicial elections that makes judges vulnerable to their influence.

The Elf on the Shelf is preparing your child to live in a future police state, professor warns. Yeah. “Future.”

Teach For America could miss recruitment mark by more than 25 percent.

* Both I Was Gang Raped at a U-VA Frat 30 Years Ago, and No One Did Anything and Jackie’s Story and UVA’s Stalinist Rules, working from opposite directions, suggest that universities should just not be in the business of adjudicating sexual assault claims at all.

This Is Why One Study Showed 19% Of College Women Experience Sexual Assault And Another Said 0.6%.

* Trigger warnings and law school.

Five Stories About Addiction.

Oberlin College denies requests from students to suspend failing grades after protests.

This past Friday, over 1,300 Oberlin students signed a petition for college administrators asking for understanding and “alternative modes of learning” as they continue to cope with what’s happening across the country.

They asked for the normal grading system to be “replaced with a no-fail mercy period,” and said “basically no student …especially students of color should be failing a class this semester.”

This actually really threw me. I think I must be getting old.

* Surveilling students, 21st century style.

* Scientists Are Using Twitter Data To Track Depression.

* It’s unclear how many people changed their views in the course of the yearlong debate. And questions remain. The most obvious one is whether the boycott has had any effect. In one specific sense, no. The ASA said it would not work with any Israeli universities, but it has not yet had any offers to do so. On a broader level, though, the vote has left an indelible mark. “We got into the mainstream press and triggered a number of conversations not visible before about Israel-Palestine,” says the ASA’s president, Lisa Duggan, a professor at New York University. “In that sense we had done what we wanted to do.”

* And they say there’s no accountability: Top Financier Skips Out On Train Fare, Gets Barred From His Profession For Life.

The Cuomo administration announced Wednesday that it would ban hydraulic fracturing in New York State, ending years of uncertainty by concluding that the controversial method of extracting gas from deep underground could contaminate the state’s air and water and pose inestimable public-health risks.

* Cuba’s cool again. Please be advised.

Werner Herzog Inspirationals.

* Parks & Rec is SF now.

All The Scenes That Could Have Been Cut From The Hobbit Trilogy.

* Oh, so now Tim Burton doesn’t think it’s cool to make the same movie over and over.

Father Makes Son Play Through Video Game History, Chronologically.

18 Badass Women You Probably Didn’t Hear About In 2014.

* The Racket would have been insane.

* Reading the gospel of New Athiesm leaves you with the feeling that atheism is simply a reprimand — a stern “hush hush” to the querulous children of faith. But the problem with this view is that it drains atheism of the metaphysical force of its own position. What makes atheism so radically different from agnosticism is precisely its desire to meet the extraordinary truth claims of religion head-on with rival propositions about the world. Hitchens’s claim that “our belief is not a belief” could not be more wrong. On the contrary, as the literary critic James Wood writes, “atheism is structurally related to the belief it negates, and is necessarily a kind of rival belief.” He claims being an agnostic would be “a truer liberation” since it would mean disregarding the issue altogether. The atheist, on the other hand, is always trapped in a kind of negative relationship to the God whose existence she denies in the first place, but whose scandalous absence she is forever proclaiming — a paradox memorably captured by Samuel Beckett’s Hamm when he exclaims, “The bastard! He doesn’t exist!”

The One Character JK Rowling Regrets Killing—It’s Not Who You’d Expect.

* Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal explains evolution.

* Congratulations, Bitcoin, the worst investment of 2014.

* And you had me at let’s bring Star Trek back to TV. Yes, let’s! Maybe we can just skip Star Tr3k altogether.

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 18, 2014 at 8:52 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Weekend Links! Some Especially Really Good Ones This Time I Promise

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* ICYMI, some single-serving posts from the last few days: How to Grad School and KSR’s The Lucky Strike. You may have also noticed that I’ve put a link to The Cambridge Companion to American Science Fiction pre-order page. Please alert all interested parties and institutional book-orderers!

* Hyping a project I have nothing to do with: you should also check out the Science Fiction BFI Film Classics series at Palgrave Macmillan, with monographs on Alien, Brazil, Solaris, Dr. Strangelove, and more.

* The final frontier of Star Trek fan canons: what if the Abramsverse universe is the Prime timeline? Read all the way to the end for some nice metacommentary on the project.

* According to a financial plan obtained by Crain’s Chicago Business, UChicago faces operating deficits of $5 to $30 million a year through 2018, and “ratings agencies could downgrade the university’s credit by as many as two notches.” In comparison, the pay increases detailed above would constitute 8 to 50 percent of the projected deficits, and the eight administrators’ overall pay would constitute 20 percent to 120 percent of the deficits.

* Unpacking the Myths of Financial Aid.

Why would the university award aid in this way? Couldn’t it just adjust the ratio of merit aid to need-based aid? Unfortunately, the “high tuition/high aid” model only “works” when it’s organized like this. That’s because, for many university administrators, financial aid is not so much a form of charity as it is an instrument for maximizing tuition revenue.

* The liberal discourse on gentrification has absolutely nothing to say about finance or prison, the two most salient institutions in urban life. Instead, it does what liberal discourse so often does: it buries the structural forces at work and choreographs a dance about individual choice to perform on the grave. We get tiny dramas over church parking lots and bike lanes and whether 7-11 will be able to serve chicken wings. Gentrification becomes a culture war, a battle over consumer choices: gourmet cupcake shop or fried chicken joint? Can we all live side by side, eating gourmet pickles with our fried fish sandwiches? Will blacks and whites hang out in the same bars? wonders Racialicious. Liberalism and Gentrification.

In Philadelphia, education reformers got everything they wanted. Look where the city’s schools are now. How to Destroy a Public-School System.

Democracy is not, to begin with, a form of State. It is, in the first place, the reality of the power of the people that can never coincide with the form of a State. There will always be tension between democracy as the exercise of a shared power of thinking and acting, and the State, whose very principle is to appropriate this power.

* Once more unto humanitarian intervention.

* …disaster relief and the “disaster narrative” is central to the development of the American welfare state.

* This is a very provocative critique of framing consent as a legal category: You Can Take It Back: Consent as a Felt Sense.

If you accept the premise that someone’s experience of sexual violation “counts” as rape, regardless of whether they granted verbal permission beforehand, then in order to avoid being accused of rape you’ll have to shift your mindset from, “I’d better make sure I was told it was okay to do this first,” to “I’d better make damn sure this person isn’t going to wake up tomorrow and feel like I raped them.” The latter is a standard requiring much more communication, understanding, and compassion from the people involved than the former, especially in situations with near-strangers like one-night stands, hook-ups, or play partners you might meet at a club.

I don’t know anything about the author, and I think from an argumentative perspective the writing of the piece could definitely be stronger, but all the same it’s an idea I’ll be thinking about a while. There’s a thought experiment in a later post that is illuminative: trying to identify the precise last moment that one can “withdraw” consent.

* “Presenteeism afflicts all business sectors, but some more than others.” The Case for Staying Home from Work.

* An evaluation of course evaluations. This is an above average meta-evaluation for sure; you could really tell how much he cared about the material.

* The women I pretend to be: on working in a male-dominated industry. #4, the Victim, is especially disheartening:

I remember one particularly bad day at a games conference. The event was, as is typical, about 10 percent female. At the start of the day, one of those “I’m just really touchy-feely” men put his hands where I had not invited them when we were crushed together in a crowded corridor. Then, in a talk, one dude took it upon himself to give a very detailed and enthusiastic account of a “rape game” he’d invented—where you had to stare deeply into the eyes of the “other player” while describing to them how you’re going to rape them, until they tell you to stop. It was genuinely traumatizing to hear the glee in his voice as he talked about it. Shaken, I went to sit in a quiet, empty room to regain my composure. A well-built man at least a foot taller than me came in, sat between me and the door and said: “You know, I messaged you on OKCupid but you never messaged me back.” By this point I genuinely felt too afraid to tell him to just fuck off. So I played nice and smiled and apologized.

* New Media watch: the rise of the podcast network.

* The case against the Supreme Court.

* Those benefitting most from the secure property rights might be forgiven for conceptual ignorance – introspection being a scarce commodity amongst the wealthy – but the vociferous and cynical denial of the asymmetric benefits of securing property rights, both intra- or inter-generationally, whether due to some combination of attribution bias, feigned religious belief, or simple greed is less excusable. In a new gilded age, the idea that the rule of law is vastly underpriced by those who benefit most should be anything but contentious.

* Corey Robin on the emerging “right to be forgotten.”

Mentally Ill Inmate In Solitary Confinement Died Of Thirst, Autopsy Finds.

* With Red Mars finally actually happening, Y: The Last Man is my new I-can’t-believe-they-haven’t-made-a-series-of-this-yet text.

* That’s they’re actually making The ExpendaBelles is the actual literal end of culture. Mark it down.

* Provocation: It’s not crazy for Mitt Romney to run for president again.

* Peace in our time: Marvel and the Kirby estate have settled.

* SMBC on proof by induction.

* The only link from this list you really need: There’s A Life-Size Game of Mouse Trap in Milwaukee.

* And has any social media network gone from hype to big backlash as quickly as (Vermont’s own!) Ello? Any faster and the entire social network would be goodbye-cruel-world manifestos…

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Friday Links!

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* Inauguration Day at Marquette.

* Chess! Catch the fever!

I am novelist David Mitchell, AMA.

* Retaliation against unionizing adjuncts at Mills College?

* UC regents award 20 percent pay raises to fix executive ‘injustices.’

Heralding what the University of California regents promise will be a new era of pay increases at the public university, the governing board gave 20 percent raises Thursday to their three lowest-paid chancellors – with some regents expressing regret that they could give so little.

* Who’s Paying the Pro-War Pundits?

The Promise of Socialist Feminism.

* Jersey represent: A New Jersey borough council candidate dropped out of the race on Wednesday after reports surfaced that he mooned patrons at a local diner while yelling racial slurs, according to NJ Advance Media.

* Thomas Frank remembers Occupy.

* Also at the BafflerU2, Apple, and the Strip-Mining of Punk Rebellion.

* 75 iconic photos from the 21st century, nearly all of them keyed to violence or war.

* The Earth could have 11 billion people by 2100. Looks like the good news on overpopulation was premature.

* 30 Photos of Wisconsin That Will Make You Want To Move There. Catch the fever!

* “That first scene, where he’s in the temple and he’s replacing that statue with a bag of sand – that’s what looters do,” Canuto says, grinning. “[The temple builders] are using these amazing mechanisms of engineering and all he wants to do is steal the stupid gold statue.”

* Teacher Who Learns More From Her Students Than She Teaches Them Fired.

* The New Way Insurers Are Shifting Costs To The Sick. You incorrigible scamps!

* Harvard is better at admitting low-income students than the University of Wisconsin.

Innocent People In New York Who Can’t Afford A Lawyer Are Pretty Much Doomed.

* Texas court throws out ‘paternalistic’ ban on ‘upskirt’ photos. Ludicrous outcome.

* Elsewhere in the rule of law: Judge: Hobby Lobby Decision Means Polygamous Sect Member Can Refuse To Testify In Child Labor Case.

* SMBC: Do You Ever Fear Death?

* I too have now played all of season two of The Walking Dead and I too can confirm it’s totally great. I’m going to use it in my video game course next semester for sure.

* Student evaluations: still terrible.

* I can’t wait to find out if we’re going to send ground troops back to Iraq or if we’re very reluctantly, with all due caution and great care, going to send ground troops back to Iraq.

* What could possibly go wrong watch: arming Syrian rebels to fight ISIS, who are also Syrian rebels, but listen, this is all going to turn out great.

* I only pray we can construct the border wall across the Great Lakes in time.

* They say we don’t believe in the future enough to embark on generational projects anymore, but they’re going to try to clean the bathrooms at the Port Authority.

* The kids are a little bit frightening: A Milwaukee teen charged in a string of armed robberies last week told police he was trying to do as many crimes as he could before he turned 18 on Sept. 11.

* Scotland will stay.

What Europe Would Look Like If All the Separatist Movements Got Their Way.

* And Slate covers the exciting return of Vermont secessionism.

Thursday Links!

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* In case you missed it from the weekend: a CFP for a Science Fiction Film and Television special issue on “Star Trek at 50.”

* Call for submissions: Accessing the Future.

* Today’s twenty-first-century political weirdness is the Scotland referendum on independence. The Guardian. MetaFilter. The economic case. Schroedinger’s Kingdom. John Oliver. Why Scotland thinks it can survive as an independent country. I’m Guardian editor Matt Wells. Got questions on Scottish independence? Ask away!

* Alison Bechdel, certified genius. Some professors won too.

* Postdoc of the year: “The Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University invites applications for its 2015-2016 Postdoctoral Fellowship program. The successful candidates will couple their own research and publishing agenda with their contributions to the Center’s Collective Memory Project, a wide ranging oral history of the George W. Bush Presidency.” Friend, do I have a story for you.

* “Debates about the future of the humanities frequently revolve around the suspicion that the humanities might not have one.”

* Chris Ware is serializing a novella in the Guardian: “The Last Saturday.”

* Unpopular opinions watch: Carceral progressivism.

More Weird Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About The Original Star Trek.

Roddenberry believed there was no chest hair in the future.

The dream never dies.

* A day in the life of a data mined kid.

This Is What Happens To Transgender Kids Who Delay Puberty.

The Time I Spent On A Commercial Whaling Ship Totally Changed My Perspective On The World.

* World War II and the creation of the paperback industry.

* Cruel optimism watch: Are More MLA Faculty Jobs on the Way?

* Reporting rape at UNC.

* The madness of crowds: Wealthy L.A. Schools’ Vaccination Rates Are as Low as South Sudan’s.

* Despite all evidence to the contrary, blaming black culture for racial inequality remains politically dominant. And not only on the Right.

* Hamburg wants to be the best city in the world in 20 years.

* Burlington nipping on its heels.

* Calvinball in Wisconsin: the rules on voting just changed again.

* Lone Wolf returns!

* Study: 30 percent of former NFL players will get dementia or Alzheimer’s.

* Don’t look now, but the US prison population is growing again.

* The University of California is just literally a hedge fund now.

What Are the Real Odds That Your Birth Control Will Fail? Pretty frightening.

* A King Kong prequel, because we haven’t even come close to hitting bottom yet.

* Do Animals Cry?

* BREAKING: Naomi Klein Is Right, Unchecked Capitalism Will Destroy Civilization.

In decades of public debate about global warming, one assumption has been accepted by virtually all factions: that tackling it would necessarily be costly. But a new report casts doubt on that idea, declaring that the necessary fixes could wind up being effectively free. The price is too high!

* BREAKING: Immigrants aren’t stealing your jobs.

* A feminist history of Wonder Woman.

Every panel of Watchmen, sorted by average lightness, ascending.

* Understanding the Tortoise and the Hare.

* Because you demanded it: “Play It Again, Dick,” the weird quasi-Veronica-Mars nega-sequel, is finally here.

* Necrocapitalism in the Anthropocene: Govt may do away with tribal consent for cutting forests.

* Why we can’t have nice things: Thievery marring Little Free Libraries.

Anti-monuments in Milwaukee and beyond.

* May 2015 can’t come fast enough.

* And no one could have predicted: Apple releases U2 album removal tool.

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