Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘video games

February 28 Links! All the Links You Need for February 28

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sfftv-2017-10-issue-1-cover* Science Fiction Film and Television 10.1 is out, with articles on the suburban fantastic, the work of art in the age of the superhero, utopian film, review essays on The Martian and Terminator: Genysis, and my article on apocalyptic children’s literature. At long last, the world can discover why The Lorax is actually bad…

* My Octavia Butler book was discussed on the most recent episode of GribCast, on Parable of the Sower. (They start talking about me about 59ish minutes in, and especially around 1:30.) Meanwhile, later this spring: Octavia E. Butler’s Archive on View for First Time.

* If you knew our friend Nina Riggs, here is the donation page for John and the boys. And here’s the Amazon page for her book, which comes out this June.

* Instrumentalizing Earthseed.

Fast Forward #289 – Interview with Kim Stanley Robinson.

* CFP: “Crips In Space: Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Futurism.” And there’s still one day to submit to the SF exec group’s guaranteed MLA 2018 session on Satire and Science Fiction in Dystopian Times.

* Presenting the Nebula finalists.

Inside the Brutal World of Comedy Open Mikes.

* The Melancholy of Don Bluth.

* Comics studies comes of age.

The Capitalocene.

* Purging Iowa’s universities. The Campus Free Speech Battle You’re Not Seeing.

* NEH, NEA, Americorps.

* How Trump’s campaign staffers tried to keep him off Twitter. In Trump’s Volleys, Echoes of Alex Jones’s Conspiracy Theories. Asylum seekers take a cold journey to Manitoba via Trump’s America. We Are Living In the Second Chapter of the Worst-Case Scenario. How to lose a constitutional democracy. Silence of the hacks. Trump’s Tlön. The Trumpocene. Untranslatable. Neurosyphilis?

We can imagine a person slowly becoming aware that he is the subject of catastrophe.

Hear Something About An Immigration Raid? Here’s How To Safely Report It. On ICE. Is ICE Out of Control? ICE detainee with brain tumor removed from hospital. Deportation ruses. What It’s Like to Be a Teen Living in an Immigration Detention Center. Ten Hours in Houston. Abolish ICE.

Donald Trump is unpopular enough that Republicans could lose the House, but there’s a lot of uncertainty.

On the Milo Bus With the Lost Boys of America’s New Right. 4chan: The Skeleton Key to the Rise of Trump.

* On the deep state. Ditching the deep state. The Deep State, the Media, and the Crisis of Legitimacy.

Indeed, both sides are equally illegitimate on the popular level. Both sides are pushing agendas with no constituency. No one outside a small hardcore of party insiders and hack pundits wants either “smart” technocracy or nihilistic faux-libertarianism. The Democrats have been electorally devastated, but the Republicans are in the awkward position of being given the keys to the kingdom and yet realizing that they are advocating things that no one wants. They probably will push through more of their destructive idiocy, just because that’s who they are, but it’s mainly happening because they’ve set up the system so that it’s nearly impossible for them to get voted out — an interesting counterpoint to the other major institutional structures (the Deep State and news media) that we absolutely can’t vote out of office.

The only rallying point for genuine popular legitimacy right now is a desire to remove Trump and, in the meantime, humiliate and impede him as much as possible. And I’ll be clear: those are goals I share. The danger is settling for that goal, in such a way as to finally close the door on democratic accountability altogether.

* On North Carolina’s Moral Mondays.

* Space news! Nearby Star Hosts 7 Earth-Size Planets. SpaceX plans to send two people around the Moon. Mars needs lawyers!

The Relevance of Biopunk Science Fiction.

* Preserving video games.

* Like domesticity, segregation had to be invented.

Do voter identification laws suppress minority voting? Yes. We did the research. The Trump Administration’s Lies About Voter Fraud Will Lead to Massive Voter Suppression.

* Income inequality and advertising. That link is probably the good news.

* Guys I think the FBI might be bad.

* Even Trump’s fake terror arrests are worse.

* Anyway we’re all going to die. And pretty soon!

* Rule by algorithm. An Algorithm Is Replacing Bail Hearings in New Jersey.

* Why facts don’t change our minds.

* Visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

* The Secret Lives of Tumblr Teens.

* Checking in with SMBC: The Problem of Good. The Path of a Hero. How to Solve a Physics Problem. On the Etiology of Fuckers. Paging r/DaystromInstitute. Solving Sophie’s Choice. Gifts from God. And now to insult my core demographic. And that’s why I invented cancer. Don’t you dare stop scrolling, not now, not ever.

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* The radical argument of the New Oxford Shakespeare.

The Rise and Fall of the Socialist Party of America. After more than a half-century in the wilderness, the socialist left reemerges in America.

Teen suicide attempts fell as same-sex marriage became legal.

* The ACLU sues Milwaukee over stop-and-frisk.

* The last days of Standing Rock.

‘Alternative’ Education: Using Charter Schools to Hide Dropouts and Game the System.

Grad student Zachary Turpin discovers a long lost Walt Whitman novel, about a year after he discovered a long lost Whitman self-help treatie.

* “For decades they hid Jefferson’s relationship with her. Now Monticello is making room for Sally Hemings.”

Now Arizona has responded with a new — and some say bizarre — solution to this quandary: Death row inmates can bring their own execution drugs. The state’s manual for execution procedures, which was revised last month, says attorneys of death row inmates, or others acting on their behalf, can obtain pentobarbital or sodium Pentothal and give them to the state to ensure a smooth execution.

* And I say $100/day is too good for ’em!

Scientists Say They’ve Discovered a Hidden Continent Under New Zealand. Probably ought to invade just to be on the safe side.

* Huge, if true: Millennials aren’t destroying society — they’re on the front lines against the forces that are.

Fighting Gerrymandering With Geometry.

* Radical feminism finds a way.

This is what Earth will look like if when we melt all the ice. Is It Okay to Enjoy the Warm Winters of Climate Change? Milwaukee temperature hits 66 degrees, shatters record. Wednesday marks 67 consecutive days since the City of Chicago logged an inch of snow.

Up to 16% of hydraulically fractured oil and gas wells spill liquids every year, according to new research from US scientists.

* This interview with Peter Singer makes it very hard to see his work as anything but horrifyingly eugenic. What seemed to begin several decades ago as a thought experiment about animal intelligence has shifted into very disturbing ableism.

* Andrew Cuomo is so obviously the worst possible Democrat for 2020 I don’t see how they can possibly do anything else.

* In an age without heroes, there was the Boss.

* In search of Forrest Fenn’s treasure.

* The kids are all right.

* I hate this more than the discovery that the Death Star flaw was engineered. I don’t like much of this either. Bring back the old EU!

* This one’s okay.

20 Brutally Hilarious Comics For People Who Like Dark Humour. You had me at hello!

What Are the Chances? Success in the Arts in the 21st Century.

* Zombie cities of the Chinese Rust Belt.

The nation’s only deaf men’s college basketball team, on the verge of its first March Madness. Meanwhile, UVM is undefeated.

* Uber is doomed.

* And you can’t fool me: this one was already a Black Mirror episode.

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Written by gerrycanavan

February 28, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Every Last Weekend Link

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Alas, Fizban.

* The sugar conspiracy.

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

Questions for the #4c16 crowd.

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Harvard and eugenics.

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

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

The Future Happened 56 Million Years Ago.

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

At this Florida jail, the inmates are also zookeepers.

How to Write a History of Video Game Warfare.

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

* Firefly Fluxx.

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

Bernie Sanders Is Even Less Competitive Than He Appears.

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

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

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

surfacage-comic5* This makes me sad.

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

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

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

* Swim. Bike. Cheat?

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

* This seems pretty plausible, honestly.

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

Written by gerrycanavan

April 9, 2016 at 8:30 am

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Tuesday Links!

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* Reminder: the deadline for abstracts for SFRA 2016 is the end of the month. MLA CFP: Science Fiction Comics. CFP: “Academic Insecurities: Precarious Labour and the Neoliberal University.”

* Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Sara Goldrick-Rab, the outspoken University of Wisconsin-Madison professor who vowed after tenure protections were changed by state lawmakers last year to leave Wisconsin, announced on her blog Monday night that she has accepted a job at Temple University and will start July 1.

* Black Study, Black Struggle.

* The end of Houston.

* Huge, if true: Universities Run Into Problems When They Hire Presidents From The Business World.

Ten Theses In Support of Teaching and Against Learning Outcomes.

* Why Do Colleges Still Use Grades?

* No other discipline of comparable size in the humanities is as gender-skewed as philosophy. Women still receive only about 28% of philosophy PhDs in the United States, and are still only about 20% of full professors of philosophy — numbers that have hardly budged since the 1990s. And among U.S. citizens and permanent residents receiving philosophy PhDs in this country, 86% are non-Hispanic white. The only comparably-sized disciplines that are more white are the ones that explicitly focus on the European tradition, such as English literature.

* Northwestern University students who qualify for financial aid no longer will have to borrow to pay for their education, part of a plan announced Thursday to make the school more affordable and prevent students from being saddled with debilitating debt.

* How Has the MFA Changed the Contemporary Novel?

* Rowling explores the magical history of America.

* My deep wound is video games. In the same way Bell “pretended to be someone else whenever [he] stepped outside of the house” and learned “to never talk about computer games in class or on the school bus,” I learned that my love for video games was excessive and embarrassing. I was swept away by those worlds in a way that nobody else seemed to be, and I walked around with my head full of pixels and quests and ideas. Video games made me very happy and very lonely.

Dilbert creator Scott Adams tells Fox News Trump “isn’t just changing politics, he’s changing the human condition.”

* Case Western in the ne– oh.

This isn’t the first time that an idea in psychology has been challenged—-not by a long shot. A “reproducibility crisis” in psychology, and in many other fields, has now been well-established. A study out last summer tried to replicate 100 psychology experiments one-for-one and found that just 40 percent of those replications were successful. A critique of that study just appeared last week, claiming that the original authors made statistical errors—but that critique has itself been attacked for misconstruing facts, ignoring evidence, and indulging in some wishful thinking.

* Marquette in the — oh come on.

* Milwaukee in the etc.

* How a mistranslation made you think your tongue had ‘taste zones.’

* This simulation helps show you what it’s like to have dyslexia.

* Maps Show Where Bloomberg Aides Thought He Would Have Been Competitive.

* Meritocrats and Egalitarians.

* Reparations isn’t a political demand.

* Some Birds Are Just As Smart As Apes.

* The Future Of Telltale Games.

* “Some supporters of Rubio say bad strategy, poorly run campaign killing his chances.” What do the rest of them think is killing his chances?

* Meanwhile: Report Raises New Questions About Trump’s Ties To N.J. Mob-Linked Figure. Yes, Mitt Romney Could Actually Become The Republican Presidential Nominee.

* The remarkable persistence of the Green Man.

* Dang. Too real.

* “What I wish I’d known before I had gender-affirming surgery.”

* Daughter of Civil War vet still getting a pension.

* Actually existing media bias: The Washington Post ran 16 negative stories about Bernie Sanders in 16 hours. Going for the record!

* The Problematic Rape Reporting On ‘This American Life.’

* We want dead bodies to be in the right place. Caring for the dead is a foundational human activity, and so the wrong dead body in the wrong place, or bodies abandoned or desecrated, is considered an affront to the moral order. Why We Need the Dead.

* Mr. Spock and the autism spectrum.

Is Luke Skywalker Gay?

* This is for you: an oral history of The Golden Girls.

* Abolish homework.

* Rise of the hiking game: The Witness and Firewatch.

* What could go wrong? U.S. military spending millions to make cyborgs a reality.

* On Poverty.

The neoliberal university will grind us down until there’s nothing left. Choose solidarity.

Three Thoughts on Westerosi Political Economy.

* Slavoj Žižek and The Twilight Zone.

* And I don’t know about the other two law, but the third law of politics here is pretty much literally the predicament academia and most other public institutions find themselves in in 2016:

The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 8, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Thursday Morning Link Transmission!

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* American says no to MOOCs. So does SFSU.

* Meanwhile, Florida Polytechnic University says no to tenure.

“We want to be a leading university, and we wanted to attract faculty who think out of the box, and who are ambitious and creative,” said Ghazi Darkazalli, vice president of academic affairs. “We don’t want them to be worrying within the first five or six years whether they’re going to be tenured or not.”

Far better for them to spend those five or six years trying to get a TT job at another school.

* The Impact of Gender on the Review of the Curricula Vitae of Job Applicants and Tenure Candidates: A National Empirical Study.

* Scenes from the Fitness Palace at Purdue.

* In practice, however, that doesn’t happen. The scholarships go towards “merit aid”, which is often, dismayingly enough, a polite way of saying that the college is helping to pay for wealthy kids to attend, even if they’re not particularly smart. Some 20% of students with GPAs below 2.0, for instance, receive merit aid. And at the same time, the “need aid” is carefully calibrated so that poor kids won’t take the colleges up on their offers… See also: Colleges Soak Poor U.S. Students as Aid Funneled to Rich.

* The Troubling Viral Trend of the “Hilarious” Black Neighbor. And its equally unhappy, equally exploitative shadow.

* Elizabeth Warren wants to cut student interest rates to near zero.

* Food service workers in St. Louis have gone on strike. So might adjuncts in Chicago. Amazon workers sue over mandatory post-shift search. Cooper Union Students Occupy President’s Office To Protest Tuition.

* Why Cops Bust Down Doors of Medical Pot Growers, But Ignore Men Who Keep Naked Girls on Leashes.

* NYC Considering Allowing Non-Citizens To Vote. Good!

* “Demolishing the Competition: The Longitudinal Link Between Competitive Video Games, Competitive Gambling, and Aggression,” a new study that will appear in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, found that aggressive behavior is tied to competition, not violence, in videogames and gambling, according to Forbes.

* Scientists also say that guns are bad, glass is not a liquid, and the Toba catastrophe may not have happened.

* This 17-Year-Old Coder Is Saving Twitter From TV Spoilers (Spoiler: She’s a Girl).

* Here’s another example — I’ve watched every episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation (several times) and I never noticed that Riker doesn’t know how to use a chair. When the guy sits down he pulls the chair back and dramatically slings his leg over the back of it like he’s mounting a freakin’ horse. He apparently does this all the time, regardless of the situation. It’s nuts.

* Is Limbaugh finished?

* Lucas wanted Indiana Jones 2 to be a dinosaur movie. I honestly can’t decide if this is the best or the worst idea I’ve ever heard.

Happy Canada Day

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Happy Canada Day. Let’s celebrate with links.

* SEK considers Infinite Summer’s weird morbidity (yes, it is weird), as well as the murky fluidity that constitutes literary “generations.” Despite the many other projects that already threaten to consume July I’ve decided to halfheartedly participate in this, and may even post about once I’ve caught up to where I’m supposed to already be in the book.

* “Pseudo-Liveblogging Tenure Denial”: just reading the headline is enough to fill me with dread.

* Richard Dawkins helps fund the world’s least-fun summer camp.

* Following up on my post about Ricci and originalism from earlier in the week, in which as usual the comments are better than the post, here’s Chuck Todd on MSNBC calling out the judicial activism to a speechless Joe Scarborough.

* Wal-Mart on the side of the angels? The monolith has endorsed an employer mandate in health care.

* Video games as murder simulators? The same claim can be made about just about any immersive media experience (and has been), with the existence of negative effects always taken as obvious but never actually demonstrated. (via /.)

* I have only vague memories of the original Alien Nation, though it’s been in my Netflix queue for a while—so I’m glad to see rumors of a sequel series helmed by Angel‘s Tim Minear. More at Sci-Fi Wire.

* Sainthood in America: the Archdiocese of Baltimore may soon recommend a local 19th-century priest to the Vatican for canonization. I found it an interesting look at the balancing act that must now be played when looking for miracles in an age of science:

“Something worked very well,” said Dr. Larry Fitzpatrick, chief of surgery at Mercy Medical Center, who will serve as medical expert on the archiocesan committee.

Preparing for his committee role, Fitzpatrick spoke to specialists at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

“They’ve all got a few stories like this,” he said. “Is this woman really any different from these, what I would call ‘statistically improbable’ cases? The outcome is very unusual, but it’s not the only one.”

Fitzpatrick said his role on the panel is to be the scientist, to “be the Doubting Thomas,” but as a Catholic, he says, he must entertain the possibility of a supernatural cause.

What method could one possibly use to divide what is merely “statistically improbable” from what is “genuinely miraculous”?