Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Washington D.C.

Labor Day Weekend Links!

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20121130* Aliens! Aliens! Not really. But it’s never too early to panic.

* This truly is the darkest timeline: Marquette signs new contract with Pepsi for on-campus beverage services.

Some Of The Best PC Games Ever Made Hit Steam This Week. Quest for Glory! Police Quest! Wow. Waiting now for the Mac port.

* Star Trek: Discovery really will follow Number One. Relatedly: The 2000s-era Star Treks we never saw. Star Trek Beyond, Reviewed by Tim Phipps.

Science Fiction World Building in a Capitalist Society: An Interview with Dan Hassler-Forest (Part One).

* The Exemption Packet.

Jason Scott Talks about Preserving Games with the Internet Archive.

* Be a rebel; major in English. A decent discussion of the fact-free moral panic involving choice of major, clickbait headline aside.

The Peculiar Success of Cultural Studies 2.0.

* How to Write an Effective Diversity Statement for a Faculty Job Application.

Mandatory Trigger Warnings at Drexel?

* Lockout at LIU.

* Symposium: Why Monster Studies Now?

* Nicholson Baker, substitute teacher. Welcome to Terror High.

The most important lesson to take from all this is that there is no way to confront the climate crisis as a technocratic problem, in isolation. It must be seen in the context of austerity and privatisation, of colonialism and militarism, and of the various systems of othering needed to sustain them all.

* Improv as self-help philosophy, as scam, as fad, as cult. (via) I’ve never taken an improv class, but my nonstop consumption of improv-based comedy podcasts has seriously helped my teaching by helping me see the importance of adopting the yes-and stance in the classroom.

Professor hunger strikes against denial of tenure.

Islam and Science Fiction, the long-running website dedicated to “fill[ing] a gap in the literature about Muslims and Islamic cultures in Science Fiction,” has just published Islamicates: Volume I, as a free-to-download release.

Check Out These Amazing Soviet Maps Of D.C.

That’s a serious charge, worthy of being considered seriously. Although easy access to inexpensive Mexican food would be a boon for hungry Americans, what would the inevitable presence of those trucks do to the American economy? How could our country accommodate an explosion of trucks at that scale? The national economic implications of a taco truck on every corner.

* Stranger Things and the spirit of play.

Here’s why: it’s about play. We have good reasons to overthink TV shows, to take them too seriously: it helps us reclaim from them all that they take for granted, all the ideology in which we find ourselves implicated as we enjoy works produced by a capitalist, patriarchal, racist culture, etc. If your fave is problematic, it’s worth thinking about why, not because you or it are bad and should feel bad, but because our world is fallen and all is vanity and what does humanity gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun, etc. Or something like that. Art has baggage; criticism is about rummaging through that bag to see what’s inside, and what you want to do with it.

* Girls feel Stranger Things, too.

Fortunately, those of us who grew up in the 80s also experienced the 90s, where Dana Scully and Buffy Summers awaited us. But with its flawlessly staged setting and piled-up homages to 80s movies, Stranger Things has performed a kind of time travel: it has reached back into my memories,Total Recall-like, and inserted characters who now seem as though they were there all along. Nancy, the nerd-turned-monster killer who can like more than one boy at once. Barb, the buttoned-up babygay whose best friend won’t let her be disposable. Eleven, the terrifying, funny, scared, brave, smart weirdo whose feelings could save the world.

Global Capitalism, Fan Culture, and (Even) Stranger Things. The Strange Motivations of Stranger Things. Sticking a tough landing: Stranger Things Season Two Will Add New Characters, New Settings, and Sequel Sensibility.

* Teasing the Fall 2016 Pop Culture series at Marquette: Harry Potter, Tarantino, and (yes) Stranger Things.

* $600,000 humanities endowment account at CUNY turns out to be a mere $599,924 dollars short.

* Learn to Write the Vandermeer Way. Keep scrolling!


Virtually every decision made by Warner Bros. with regards to its DC superhero movies has been bad. But it’s been so desperate to recreate Marvel’s success that it keeps running forward, trying to constantly course correct, when what it really needs to do it take a break, a deep breath, and start over from scratch with a long-term plan that it will actually stick to.

Jack Kirby’s long-lost, incomplete “The Prisoner” comic book.

The Myth of the Millennial as Cultural Rebel.

Apartment Broker Recommends Brooklyn Residents Spend No More Than 150% Of Income On Rent.

Airlines are surprisingly ill-equipped to handle accusations of sexual assault on their planes.

This small Indiana county sends more people to prison than San Francisco and Durham, N.C., combined. Why? Yes, the word “oxy” appears in the first sentence.

Creepy Clown Sightings in South Carolina Cause a Frenzy.

* Tracing the history of the phrase “office-involved shooting.”

How Fox News women took down the most powerful, and predatory, man in media. Why Isn’t It a Bigger Deal That Trump Is Being Advised by Sadistic Pervert Roger Ailes?

Democrats really might have a shot at taking the House. Here’s the math.

* Because you demanded it! CBS is developing a scripted drama based on the life of Judge Judy. It’s also graciously decided to allow you to pay extra for an ad-free experience on its subscription service.

* Ah, the good old days. Still not done yet!


Meet Moya Bailey, the black woman who created the term “misogynoir.”

* Dialectics of Superman: The Old Lois Lane Really Doesn’t Like the New Lois Lane. The Rise and Fall of Axiom.

* Math is cool: The absent-minded driver’s paradox.

Solar Power Plant Can’t Figure Out How to Stop Frying Birds.

Georgetown University Plans Steps to Atone for Slave Past. Georgetown’s slavery announcement is remarkable. But it’s not reparations.

Deep in the Swamps, Archaeologists Are Finding How Fugitive Slaves Kept Their Freedom.

* “A short story in English is a story in which the letter e occurs no more than 5715  times.”

* How far are you from an In N Out Burger?

* Works for academic papers too.

* RIP, Gene Wilder.

Debating the Legality of the Post-9/11 ‘Forever War’ at the Council on Foreign Relations.

* Whiteness without white supremacy?

Football and the Buffalo both owe some of their survival today to Teddy Roosevelt, who loved them both because they were accessories to one of his first loves: violence, which he and others of his time and a lot of people living right now believe tempers men into steel.

Avengers: Full House.

* Sold in the room: Alison Brie Will Star in Netflix’s ’80s Lady-Wrestling Series G.L.O.W. And that’s before I even found out Marc Maron would be on it too.

* I’m also excited to option this one: Bizarre ant colony discovered in an abandoned Polish nuclear weapons bunker.

* The L.A. Times is running a six-part story on that framing of a PTA mom in California.

* Screens in Schools Are a $60 Billion Hoax.

* Socialize the EpiPen.

* The critics are saying Arrival (née Story of Your Life) is the real deal.

* The art of Biff Tannen.

* Breaking: Warner Brothers wants another five billion dollars.

Few baseball fans have heard of the tiny Pacific Association, an independent league founded in 2013. But in 2015, during the Stompers’ sophomore season, the team fielded pro baseball’s first openly gay player, Sean Conroy. Then, in the off-season, the filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola approached the team to talk about making his Virginia Dare Winery, based in nearby Geyserville, one of its sponsors. That proposal came with another: he wanted the team to recruit female players.

* Understanding Prenatal Depression.

* It’s weird that 911 has an off switch, isn’t it?

* Web comic of the week: Ark.

* Short film of the week: Movies in Space. Chris and Jack’s other stuff is pretty great too.

The New York Times Reassures Parents That Their Sons’ Penises Are Probably Totally Fine.

* And I really think just one more year ought to do it.


Written by gerrycanavan

September 3, 2016 at 8:43 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Every Possible Monday Link

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8 Quick Thoughts on the Emmett Rensin Suspension. 21st Century Blacklists in New York.

* The second issue of the MOSF Journal of Science Fiction.

* Huge, if true: Ongoing Weakness in the Academic Job Market for Humanities.


The university-as-such is a criminal neoliberal and neocolonial institution. It cannot be reformed. It must be abolished and reinvented.

* 13 Ways of Looking at the Humanities.

* Apparent murder of a professor follows a day of terror on campus and reflects a kind of violence that is rare but feared. Hundreds gather to honor slain UCLA professor. Police Say UCLA Shooter Mainak Sarkar Also Killed Woman in Minnesota.

* Decolonizing Yale English.

Brigham Young professor told not to give fake urine to his students to drink.

When universities try to behave like businesses, education suffers.

* Nobody knows how to torpedo their own brand like a university outreach office.

Looks Like We Were Wrong About the Origin of Dogs.

* Who Gives Money to Bernie Sanders? Understanding Sanders voters. Bernie Sanders Has Already Won California.

“I don’t think anybody had figured out how to win when we got in,” said senior strategist Tad Devine. “It was ‘How do we become credible?’ ”

* Interesting trial ballon: Reid reviews scenarios for filling Senate seat if Warren is VP pick.

* Miracles and wonders: Stanford researchers ‘stunned’ by stem cell experiment that helped stroke patient walk.

Here Is The Powerful Letter The Stanford Victim Read Aloud To Her Attacker. The Stanford Rapist’s Father Offers An Impossibly Offensive Defense Of His Son.

* Report: Milwaukee conducted deceitful water testing for lead. Chicago residents take action to be rid of lead pipes as fear of toxic water grows.

These findings are very preliminary, but they support a decades-old (and unfortunately named) idea called the hygiene hypothesis. In order to develop properly, the hypothesis holds — to avoid the hyper-reactive tendencies that underlie autoimmune and allergic disease — the immune system needs a certain type of stimulation early in life. It needs an education.

* Genes Are Overrated.

SFMOMA Visitor Trips, Falls Into $82 Million Warhol Painting.

* Being Peter Thiel.

This Is How Elon Musk Wants Government to Work on Mars. Elon Musk believes we are probably characters in some advanced civilization’s video game.

What’s the Matter with San Francisco: How Silicon Valley’s Ideology Has Ruined a Great City.

* The Case Against America.

In the scope of the scheming, corruption, and illegality from this interim government, Temer’s law-breaking is not the most severe offense. But it potently symbolizes the anti-democratic scam that Brazilian elites have attempted to perpetrate. In the name of corruption, they have removed the country’s democratically elected leader and replaced her with someone who — though not legally barred from being installed — is now barred for eight years from running for the office he wants to occupy.

Claypool: Without State Funding Chicago Public Schools Won’t Open in Fall. Total system failure.

UC paid billions in fees to hedge funds that only mirrored stock market. Kean U. Broke Law in Purchasing $250,000 Table, State Office Says.

* Jay Edidin on how to be a guy.

* The case for abandoning Miami.

* Huge, if true: Game of Thrones’ Dany/Dothraki storyline doesn’t make any sense. Is Dany the villain? But the real villain is the one you never see coming: Game Of Thrones Season Seven May Be Seven Episodes Long.

Call for Contributors: Fan Phenomena: Game of Thrones.

The media have reached a turning point in covering Donald Trump. He may not survive it. Why Trump Was Inevitable. Why Donald Trump Is Flailing. Why Trump Will Lose. Donald Trump Does Not Have a Campaign. Why Trump Is Losing. Clinton’s case.

The Amazing Origins of the Trump University Scam. State attorneys general who dropped Trump University fraud inquiries subsequently got Trump donations.

Donald Trump rallies are only going to get more dangerous for everyone.

* Alas, Babylon: David French won’t run.

* Steph Curry and the Future of Basketball.

* The Amazing Story of Rio’s All-Refugee Olympic Team.

* The CW Century.

* In Praise of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

* In a panic, they try to pull the plug: A bug in Elite Dangerous caused the game’s AI to create super weapons and start to hunt down the game’s players. It’s hard not to think Skynet won’t view this as a provocation.

* “Researchers Confirm Link Between High Test Scores In Adolescence And Adult Accomplishments.”

* Legal trolling: One of the Leaders of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement Has Been Charged With Lynching.

A Goldsboro, North Carolina woman bought her neighbor’s used freezer for $30, not realizing it contained frozen parts of the seller’s dead mother.

Also unbelievable is that someone would purchase a used, $30 freezer without opening it first.

* No one wants year-round schooling. The Families That Can’t Afford Summer.

* Department of Precrime, Chicago edition.

Sometimes only minutes after the gunshots end, a computer system takes a victim’s name and displays any arrests and gang ties — as well as whether the victim has a rating on the department’s list of people most likely to shoot someone or be shot.

Police officials say most shootings involve a relatively small group of people with the worst ratings on the list. The police and social service workers have been going to some of their homes to warn that the authorities are watching them and offer job training and educational assistance as a way out of gangs.

Of the 64 people shot over the weekend, 50 of them, or 78 percent, are included on the department’s list. At least seven of the people shot over the weekend have been shot before.

For one man, only 23 years old, it is his third time being shot.

The surprisingly petty things that people shot each over last month.

* Power and the typo.

* The Chinese government and science fiction.

Star Trek reboots and the merchandising game.

Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Race: Time-travel narratives and bygone bigotry in “11.22.63” and ‘Back to the Future.’

Uber and the sub-prime auto business.

* What’s it like to work construction on a skyscraper?

* Liberate late sleepers.

* Louis on Maron convinced me to finally buy Horace and Pete. The Julia Louis-Dreyfus half of the episode is great too.

* Well, this seems questionable at best: Catholic Church spent $2M on major N.Y. lobbying firms to block child-sex law reform.

* Now we see the violence inherent in the system.

* Science finally proves I was right all along: it’s better to be right than happy.

* Rich people, y’all.

* A Shakespearean Map of the US.

* Tornado Town, USA.

* The Weird Not-Quite-Afterlife of Harry Potter.

* In praise of the punctuation mark I abuse more than any other: the dash.

Every Californian Novel Ever.

* Suits getting started on ruining Story of Your Life early.

* And RIP, Ali. Being Ali’s personal magician. Watching Rocky II with Muhammad Ali.


Written by gerrycanavan

June 6, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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End of the Semester Fire Sale: Every Link Must Go

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* Another galaxy is possible: Toshiro Mifune turned down Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader roles.

* CFP: Current Research in Speculative Fiction 2016.

The Secret History of One Hundred Years of Solitude.

* Huntington’s disease and engineered humanity.

* A little on-the-nose, don’t you think? USS Milwaukee breaks down at sea.

* Elsewhere on the Milwaukee beat: Millennials: They’re Just Like Us!

College Football Coaches Are Making Millions Off A Useless Metric.

* AAUP calls UI search a ‘crude exercise in naked power.’

Report Highlights Faculty Conditions at Jesuit Colleges.

We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to publish internationally bestselling author Kim Stanley Robinson’s first stand-alone short story in twenty-five years.

* The Marquette Tribune did a short followup on my magic and literature class, returning this spring.

* 95,000 Words, Many of Them Ominous, From Donald Trump’s Tongue. How Will the Professors Act When Fascism Comes to America? I asked 5 fascism experts whether Donald Trump is a fascist. Here’s what they said. Understanding Trumpism the Scott Adams Way. And here’s where things get wild: GOP preparing for contested convention. Trumpism would be the perfect ideology for a third party.

When Popular Fiction Isn’t Popular: Genre, Literary, and the Myths of Popularity.

* On English studies and ennui. Gee, I wonder why a cohort of people who have discovered too late that they have committed themselves to an imploding profession might feel a little bit depressed.

* On the plus side: More Useless Liberal Arts Majors Could Destroy ISIS.

* The College of Saint Rose has laid off a number of tenured faculty, among them Scott Lemieux.

* Another mass shooting was over. The country had moved on. But inside one house in Oregon, a family was discovering the unending extent of a wound.

* Every year, roughly 40,000 people die in Minnesota. For some, it’s weeks or months before anyone finds them. Meet the crew who comes in to clean up the mess.

Amazing Graphics Show How Much Fruits Have Changed Since Humans Started Growing Them.

* At least five police officers present during a shooting that was captured on a video that has created a firestorm of protest in this city supported a discredited version of events told by the officer who fired the fatal shots, newly released records show. Laquan McDonald and police perjury: a way forward. The U.S. Department of Justice unit that investigates civil rights violations by police departments has only about 18 employees who work on such investigations full-time. According to a former head of the unit, a forthcoming probe into the Chicago PD could overwhelm its “ridiculously small” staff. Good luck to them! Meanwhile, Rahm tries to hold on to power despite a clear need to resign.

* Here’s how Las Vegas police halted a trend in excessive force.

* In the 1950s, a group of scientists spoke out against the dangers of nuclear weapons. Should cryptographers take on the surveillance state. 

* How the Democrats flubbed San Bernardino. The worst part is most them seem not to have noticed.

* Nice work if you can get it: Top 20 billionaires worth as much as half of America.

* An Isochronic Map of the World from London, c. 1914. More links after the map!


* The geography of student debt.

* UBI in Finland — though it looks a bit like stealth social safety net cuts to me.

* On Jane Vonnegut.

Does America Deserve Malala?

* @Batman66labels.

* Obama scandal watch: This one does seem pretty corrupt, actually.

* Abandoned America: the Hershey Chocolate Factory.

* God save Title IX from its champions: ‘Hunting Ground’ Filmmakers to Harvard Law Profs: Criticizing Our Film Could Create a ‘Hostile Climate.’ When the core belief is that accusers never lie, if any one accuser has lied, it brings into question the stability of the entire thought system, rendering uncertain all allegations of sexual assault. But this is neither sensible nor necessary: that a few claims turn out to be false does not mean that all, most, or even many claims are wrongful. The imperative to act as though every accusation must be true—when we all know some number will not be—harms the over-all credibility of sexual assault claims. Relatedly, Newsweek has an article covering “the other side” of campus rape investigations.

* Telltale will make a Batman game.

* Two strikes against the next Wes Anderson movie: “…it’s a Japanese story and I’m playing a dog.”

* The Last Dalai Lama?

Servicemen Contradict Military’s Account Of Attack On MSF Hospital In Afghanistan.

* The arc of history is long, but Red Mars is finally going to series.

* Last year carbon emissions dropped while the economy grew for the first time in history.

* On anorexia.

* Public history at UNC: tracing the history of building names.

Reading Flannery O’Connor in the Age of Islamophobia.

* ACA collapse watch: The lone health insurance cooperative to make money last year on the Affordable Care Act’s public insurance exchanges is now losing millions and suspending individual enrollment for 2016.

* The Sports Bubble Is About to Pop. Don’t Let Kids Play Football. It’s Time To Take The Warriors’ Chances Of Going 73-9 Seriously. Golden State Warriors: best team in NBA history? The last team to start 20-0 like the Warriors was so good that its league folded.

* Being A Girl: A Brief Personal History of Violence.

All The Items Of Clothing Women Have Been Told Not To Wear In 2015.

This Supercut of All the Non-Leia Female Dialogue in the Original Star Wars Trilogy Will Astound You.

* The Founders and Islam.

* These People Took DDT Pills In the 1970s to Prove it Was Safe.

Being a good looking man could hinder your career, study finds. Happiness Doesn’t Bring Good Health, Study Finds. Stonehenge may have been first erected in Wales, evidence suggests.

* Why didn’t anyone stop Doctor Hardy?

* Latinx.

* Vice got the Rachel Dolezal profile.

Fractal Problems in Comparative Domestic Policy.

* How D.C. spent $200 million over a decade on a streetcar you still can’t ride.

* Kill Bill 3, please.

* Serial‘s back y’all. UPDATE: And it’s already super irritating!

UFO truthers want to make Roswell an issue for 2016. Meet their lobbyist.

Ron Howard says Arrested Development season 5 is in the writing stage.

* Teach the controversy: Building the Death Star Was an Economic Catastrophe.

* Pretty grim America: Gun Rights Groups to Hold Fake Mass Shooting at UT This Weekend.

* Just another here’s-what-happens-when-you-adopt-a-chimp story.

FDA Approves Device That Can Plug Gunshot Wounds in 15 Seconds.

The Definitive Guide to Sci-Fi Drugs Was Produced by the Government in the 1970s.

Why are so many toddlers being put on heavy psychiatric drugs?

* All right, I’m in: Margaret Atwood Is Writing A Part-Cat, Part-Owl, Part-Human Superhero Comic.

* xkcd explains the Three Laws of Robotics.

* Well, at least now we know.

* I’ve had dreams like this.

* And in an age without heroes, there was Matt Haughey.


Written by gerrycanavan

December 12, 2015 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Thursday Links, Inc.

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* University, Inc.

* Like Kirk said, don’t let them promote you: Rising to Your Level of Misery at Work.

* Best American Poetry Pseudonyms.

* All the Sensible Progressives agree: The Clinton email scandal is over, over, so over.

Big-Name Plan B’s for Democrats Concerned About Hillary Clinton. I guess I’ll get started on Plan C.

* The Hal Salive Science Fiction and Fantasy Collection at the University of Otago in New Zealand.

* At long last, the billionaires have come for their ancient enemy, UNC’s English department.

Rutgers Faculty Union Urges Inquiry Into Football Coach.

Cooperation or Collusion? Lawsuit Accuses Duke and UNC of Faculty Non-Poaching Deal. I think they bought themselves a whole lot of legal trouble here.

* Amid all the weirdness of the U Iowa president hire, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Gotta spend money to make money. University of Iowa Faculty Senate votes ‘no confidence’ in Board of Regents. “We’re just getting started.”

* Some good news in Wisconsin: MATC announces free tuition for low-income students.

Here’s the truth: academia is an amazing sector with some of the best features of any job, even if it also has substantial problems. Folks on the way out might feel like they’re biting their thumb at something, and those still “stuck” on the inside of this troubled-but-terrific career might feel some welcome-if-temporary solidarity. But after that, it’s just more fodder for legislators, corporations, and the general public to undermine the academy. It helps nobody in the long run. No One Cares That You Quit Your Job.

* Mediocrity is the secret key that explains everything. Moving beyond the early focus on conformity, we propose that the threat of status loss may make those with middle status more wary of advancing creative solutions in fear that they will be evaluated negatively. Using different manipulations of status and measures of creativity, we found that when being evaluated, middle-status individuals were less creative than either high-status or low-status individuals (Studies 1 and 2). In addition, we found that anxiety at the prospect of status loss also caused individuals with middle status to narrow their focus of attention and to think more convergently (Study 3). We delineate the consequences of power and status both theoretically and empirically by showing that, unlike status, the relationship between power and creativity is positive and linear (Study 4). By both measuring status (Studies 2 and 3) and by manipulating it directly (Study 5), we demonstrate that the threat of status loss explains the consequences of middle status.

Researchers have discovered a better way to wait in line, and you’re going to hate it.

Half of Americans have diabetes or pre-diabetes. This is framed as good news: “…after two decades of linear growth, the prevalence of diabetes in the United States has finally started to plateau.”

Words about slavery that we should all stop using.

* “Prison gets rich looking up preschoolers.”

* “Author says parent from Tennessee is confusing ‘gynaecology with pornography’ over description of Lacks discovering a lump in her cervix.”

* The next Charles Darwin?

* Kim Davis has defeated us all. Related: Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis Never Should Have Gone to Jail.

The Final Discworld Book Is Bittersweet For Many Reasons. I haven’t read one of these in decades, but I’m still sad he’s gone.

Brooklyn College’s Longtime Janitor Is Also Its Cocaine Dealer, Police Say.

* An interview with Ursula K. Le Guin.

Salman Rushdie’s Bewilderment at Snapchat Inspired Him to Write Science Fiction.

The Joy Machine: Stephen Colbert, Satire, and Faith.

The High Burden of Low Wages: How Renting Affordably in NYC is Impossible on Minimum Wage.

One lawyer’s crusade to defend extreme pornography.


Washington’s Football Team Is the Donald Trump of the NFL.

* Negging and neoliberalism.

* Wifework and the university.

* And Boots lives. I anticipate that this will make Zoey’s entire year.

Wednesday Links!

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* Cura personalis: Whereas Arnold hoped culture would replace religion, Deresiewicz, though not religious himself, wonders if religion might rescue culture: Students are no longer “equipped to address the larger questions of meaning and purpose … that come so inevitably in young adulthood. Religious colleges, quite frankly—even obscure, regional schools that no one’s ever heard of on the coasts—often do a much better job in that respect.”

* Catholic Colleges Greet an Unchurched Generation.

* Alien vs. Predator: Harvard University says it can’t afford journal publishers’ prices.

Video Gamers Are Having A Bizarre Debate Over Whether Sending Death Threats To Women Is A Serious Issue Or Not. #Gamergate Trolls Aren’t Ethics Crusaders; They’re a Hate Group. The Future Of The Culture Wars Is Here, And It’s Gamergate. Anita Sarkeesian has canceled a planned talk at Utah State University after university officials refused to secure the venue following a mass shooting threat. In which gamers yell at a dumb chat bot from 1966 that someone wired up to twitter, because they think it’s a woman.

* Another Obama triumph: Since 2008, the District’s homeless population has increased 73%.

* The Americas in 1491. 9 reasons Christopher Columbus was a murderer, tyrant, and scoundrel. The Real Christopher Columbus. And it gets worse: The Sopranos only ever made one bad episode and it was all Christopher Columbus’s fault.

* It’s Columbus Day. Let’s talk about geography (and Ebola).

* Ebola threatens world chocolate supply.

What if Columbus had sailed off the edge of the world? How would that have affected U.S. history and economic growth?

* White People Are Unironically Talking About the White Experience in New PBS Documentary.

For Indigenous nations to live, capitalism must die. And for capitalism to die, we must actively participate in the construction of Indigenous alternatives to it.

Where Should We Bury the Dead Racist Literary Giants?

* Quick, everybody switch positions about civility and academic freedom.

* The Gates Foundation has a plan to save higher education through creating artificial enrollment crises exciting new efficiency metrics!

* The For-Profit College That’s Too Big to Fail.

George Mason Grad Students Release Adjunct Study.

* The National Science Foundation has awarded grants of $4.8 million to several prominent research universities to advance the use of Big Data in the schools. Your dystopian term of art is “LearnSphere.”

Uber Calls Woman’s 20-Mile Nightmare Abduction an “Inefficient Route.”

What Do We Do With All These Empty Prisons? Oh, I’m sure we’ll think of something.

Cops Charge 10-Year-Old Boy as Adult in Slaying of 90-Year-Old Woman. Accused of Stealing a Backpack, High School Student Jailed for Nearly Three Years Without Trial. South Carolina Prosecutors Say Stand Your Ground Doesn’t Apply To Victims Of Domestic Violence. Why Are Police Using Military-Grade Weapons in High Schools?

* There’s always money for murder and torture, but we need to crowdfund Ebola research.

* Jimmy John’s has noncompete clauses. Jimmy John’s.

Comic Books Are Still Made By Men, For Men And About Men.

* SF short of the night: Forever War.

* The Kids These Days Know More Than You Probably Think. The meat of the post is about a bogus “declining vocabulary” test that is used to fuel critics of schools.

* The nation’s largest union of flight attendants took the Federal Aviation Administration to court on Friday, arguing that the agency should have upheld a ban on the use of smartphones and tablets during takeoff and landing. Lawyers for the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA argued that the devices distracted passengers from safety instructions and could fly out of their hands, becoming dangerous projectiles, the Wall Street Journal reports.

* Freddie de Boer against carceral feminism: The burden of expanding the police state’s power to prosecute sex crimes will fall on the poor and the black.

* Meanwhile, in utterly inexplicable results that will probably always be a mystery: Income is more predictive than race for early college success.

* We don’t even know which way solar panels should be facing.

* Naughty Marvel: It’s Tragic and Disappointing That Marvel Is Canceling Fantastic Four.

* Nice Marvel: And with Robert Downey Jr. signing on it sounds like Captain America 3 will be Civil War. I’d never have guessed that the Captain America movies would be the ones that really connected with me, but here we go…

* David Lynch’s Los Angeles.

* We are become old.

* Milwaukee’s incredible shrinking art scene.

* Karen Russell on the greatness of The Martian Chronicles.

[Stephanie Palumbo]: How does Bradbury use human activity on Mars as a metaphor?

KR: He’s writing against patriotism during the Cold War. Humans land on Mars and then destroy it. Not much time elapses between landfall on Mars and the annihilation of all Martians.

SP: There’s a haunting image in one story, where a little boy is playing with a white xylophone that turns out to be a Martian ribcage.

KR: The planet is basically wiped clean of its indigenous people. I was shocked by the descriptions of these ancient, bone-white cities on Mars, and it took me an embarrassing length of time to recollect that people can visit ruins anywhere on our planet, too. It’s a case where sci-fi holds up a funhouse mirror to our own history. In case we have amnesia about the horror of the frontier, here we see another frontier and xenophobia, paranoia, aggression, madness. But we see people be really good to each other too. Bradbury seemed to be such a humanist at the same time that he is calling us out on our most despicable qualities.

* And being the indispensable shining city on the hill is confusing. If you ask me we should just let the biker gangs handle this.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 15, 2014 at 8:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Weekend Links!

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* I liked this brief addendum to my academic job market as “game” piece from the other day.

One thing I might add is that the game metaphor also helps us see the job market as something that could be improved. If we view the market as a system of pure luck, then there’s nothing we can do to fix it. And if we think of it as a meritocracy, then we don’t have any reason to. But if the job market is a game, structured, as Canavan says, by “a set of rules that may not make sense, much less be desirable, rational, or fair,” then those in positions of power in the academy (including people on hiring committees) could work to change the rules. In large and small ways they could work to make it a more rational and fair game.

I agree the game framing suggests change is possible in a way that neither merit nor lottery does. I’d hoped I made that point at the end (“make alliances, change the rules, overturn the table”) but perhaps I could have put more emphasis on it.

* I’ve always been really skeptical of Rolling Jubilee, so I’m a sucker for any time Naked Capitalism dumps on it.

So while it is impressive to hear of the large amounts of debt being forgiven, the fact is that the people who are finding their debts erased more than likely won’t care much because they are either no longer under any legal obligation to pay the note and have long since forgotten about it, or never intended to pay the note in the first place, and never would! So these borrowers won’t likely be gushing with praise and thanks, and frankly won’t be helped much if at all by the repurchase of the debt. I suspect that people learning of their debt being purchased and erased were, instead of relieved and grateful, were more perplexed as to why anyone would go to the trouble of clearing up debt that they themselves had forgotten about long ago! By far, the happiest participant in these transactions, are the banks/collection companies who are thrilled to get anything for the loans!

* But the elusive nomads who wander that desert say California was once a paradise.

Courts do not give justice, because they do not try. They follow a formal procedure, at best.

* Run the university like a business, you know, have such radically lax oversight that one person can steal $700,000.

* When I was talking the other day about the similarities between my childhood plan to become a priest for the free housing and lifetime tenure and my current profession as a secular monk performing textual exegesis at a Catholic school, 1, 2, 3, 4, I guess I didn’t think you’d take it so literally.

The Pharmacy School Bubble Is About to Burst.

Cutinella is the third high school football player to die in less than a week.

* On the life of PhDs working outside the US and Europe.

* Capitalism in 2014: “Payment is on an unpaid basis.”

* At least they got to waste all that money first: MOOC fever has broken.

* A gender-neutral pronoun is taking over Sweden.

* Elsewhere in the-Scandinavian-kids-are-all-right: How Finland Keeps Kids Focused Through Free Play.

Maps Of Modern Cities Drawn In The Style Of J.R.R. Tolkien. No Milwaukee, but he did do Cleveland, Boston, and DC. Many more links below the image; you’re not getting off that easy.


* Damn, Interstellar.

* I can’t figure out if Ascension is let’s-do-BSG-with-a-competent-showrunner or let’s-do-BSG-on-the-cheap. Mad Men in Space, though, so fine.

* Museum of Science Fiction Selects Design for Preview Museum.

We Still Don’t Know If This Tribe Discovered In The ’70s Was Real.

* An Apple Store employee has written the follow-up to I Am Legend.

* Ideology watch: “Let. Her. Go.” movie supercut.

* America was founded as a white supremacist state. You’ll never believe what happened next.

* Here’s a lawsuit that seems deliberately calibrated to freak everybody out: Black sperm incorrectly delivered to white lesbian couple.

Talking White: Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

* D.C. Attorney May Use FBI Headquarters As Leverage In Statehood Lawsuit.

* People are saying Homeland might be good again, but don’t you believe it. That’s exactly what they want us to think.

* Elsewhere in ideology at its very very purest. Mad Men: Lady Cops.

* The White Women of Empire.

* BREAKING: Startup Funding Is Given Almost Entirely To Men.

* Just imagine what England might accomplish if it ever gets a second actor.

* Right-wingers tend to be less intelligent than left-wingers, and people with low childhood intelligence tend to grow up to have racist and anti-gay views, says a controversial new study. Controversial, really? Can’t imagine why.

* Freedom’s just another word for a $1200 machine that lets anyone manufacture a gun.

* Human civilization was founded as a human supremacist state. You’ll never believe what happened next.

* Earth crosses the walrus threshold.

* Paid leave watch: Florida cop placed on leave after using taser on 62-year-old woman.

Today, former Chicago police commander Jon Burge, who was convicted of lying about torturing over 100 African-American men at stationhouses on Chicago’s South and West Sides, will walk out of the Butner Correctional Institution, having been granted an early release to a halfway house in Tampa, Florida.

* Please be advised: Jacobin 15/16 looks especially great.

* Even baseball knows baseball is dull.

* And a UF study suggests peanut allergies could soon be a thing of the past. That’d be pretty great news for a whole lot of people I know.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 3, 2014 at 7:52 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Thursday Links

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* IQ ‘a myth,’ study says. You mean almost everybody who lived a hundred years ago wasn’t learning disabled by contemporary standards?

Among the study’s other findings:

• While aging has a detrimental effect on reasoning and short-term memory, it leaves verbal abilities “completely unimpaired.”

• Smoking has a negative impact on verbal abilities and short-term memory but does not affect reasoning skills.

• People who play video games performed “significantly better” in terms of both reasoning and short-term memory.

• Products that are advertised to improve brain function aren’t effective. “People who ‘brain-train’ are no better at any of these three aspects of intelligence than people who don’t,” Owen said.

* Big MetaFilter post on Chris Ware’s Building Stories.

* We need DNA tests before you can vote: Iowa’s GOP Election Official Has Found Only 6 Examples Of Voter Fraud Out Of 1.6 Million Votes Cast.

* Why Nate Silver is Not Just Wrong, but Maliciously Wrong.

* Joe Lieberman’s last act as a senator is surprisingly not all that malicious or destructive.

* Somewhere in Portland, there’s a very old building, and that very old building has a very, very old basement. An incredible basement, a video-game-level basement, a set-decorator’s dream basement.

* Dinosaur Comics creator’s Choose-your-own-adventure Hamlet beats all Kickstarter publishing records.

* And Jerry Seinfeld Intends to Die Standing Up.