Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Wisconsin

Thursday Noontime Links!

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* CFP for the Conference on the Global Status of Women and Girls: Intersectionality: Understanding Women’s Lives and Resistance in the Past and Present.

* Recruiting Diverse and Excellent New Faculty.

* UNC Coach: If Football Goes Down, ‘Country Will Go Down, Too.’ Obviously.

* The arc of history is long, about 250 years longer than we said, actually.

Migrants Allege They Were Subjected To Dirty Detention Facilities, Bad Food And Water. Drinking Toilet Water, Widespread Abuse: Report Details ‘Torture’ For Child Detainees. Senators remain frustrated over family reunification efforts after briefing. Cory Booker: I went to the US-Mexico border. What I saw there horrified me.

* Right on schedule: “Citizenship shouldn’t be a birthright.”

Trump Administration Rejects Study Showing Positive Impact of Refugees.

* Deported for doing journalism.

If it’s peculiar that we drink poison, as a society, then there are one of two choices: either it’s a strange and inexplicable practice, or it’s what makes us who we are. It might also, like the word peculiar itself, be a strange and particular combination of both.

* Maria Butina, NRA-linked Russian, pleads not guilty to being Kremlin foreign agent. And from April: Inside the Decade-Long Russian Campaign to Infiltrate the NRA and Help Elect Trump. From the Start, Trump Has Muddied a Clear Message: Putin Interfered. Russiagate Is Far Wider Than Trump and His Inner Circle. Don’t worry, Fox is on it.

On Monday night, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders hosted a live-streamed town hall with five low-wage workers — one each from Amazon, American Airlines, Disney, McDonald’s, and Walmart. The workers sat on one side of the stage, while on the other idled five empty chairs, each emblazoned with the name of an absent CEO. Sanders had invited the executives to participate in the discussion, but none had agreed.

Elon Musk and the Cult of the Celebrity Savior.

* The “do what you want” theory of politics: Why embracing “Abolish ICE” and Medicare-for-all won’t doom the Democrats.

America Can Never Sort Out Whether ‘Socialism’ Is Marginal or Rising.

Amazon Warehouse Strike in Spain Reportedly Results in Police Clashes, Arrests.

* Meanwhile, in the UK: Why do black male graduates earn £7,000 less per year than their white peers?

* I went to try to find some answers about Lane. I discovered that his life leading up to the killing — isolated, dependent, resentful, and ruled by the perverse incentives of internet content production — has much to tell us about the kind of man for whom the new fringes of American life are most dangerous. In his room, online, as a combatant in an endless culture war, Lane found what had eluded him everywhere else in life: a sense of purpose. And then something happened that threatened to take it all away.

* Snikt!

Watching the Best Episodes of Star Trek Makes It Feel as Dark as Black Mirror. I think this is an interesting phenomenon that might have some real explanatory power as to why Star Trek reception/fandom is so screwed up, especially when you factor in the various way(s) Trek is rewatched by its most devoted fans. It extends to other fandoms as well of course: Star Wars fandom has been roiled for decades by the question of whether Empire is paradigmatic of what Star Wars is, or an exception to it…

* Money is speech. It’s better actually.

* What Climate Change Looks Like In 2018. And in remedial science news: What’s Really Warming the World?

Narwhals Are Real, and They Could Be in Real Trouble.

But the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease published a study Tuesday that helps broaden the understanding of who is potentially affected by CTE to include military personnel. And, perhaps more significantly, the study represents a step forward in developing a test for the disease in the living.

Humans Show Racial Bias Towards Robots of Different Colors: Study.

* America’s racism is (still) making basic democracy impossible.

Wisconsin Used to Be Progressive. What Happened?

Putting the “crow” in necrophilia.

At age 25, kids in the longest-running study of same-sex parenting are doing just fine.

* I’d watch it.

How Policing in the U.S. and Security in Israel Are Connected.

* To cash in on Kindle Unlimited, a cabal of authors gamed Amazon’s algorithm.

Nike Says Its $250 Running Shoes Will Make You Run Much Faster. What if That’s Actually True?

Mark Zuckerberg Doesn’t Want to Ban Holocaust Deniers or Sandy Hook Truthers.

* ‘Springsteen on Broadway’ Heading to Netflix.

* For the HST fans: Gonzo Socialism.

* And you really could teach a screenwriting class with this gif. Truly, there is just one story, and we tell it over and over.

Spooooooooky Friday the 13th Links!

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* Exciting new anthology alert! A People’s Future of the United States.

* Cool job at UCSD in Media and Popular Culture.

* Hamilton and Laurens. As I mentioned a bit on Twitter, we actually talked about this quite a bit in my Hamilton class, including how some elements in the show point to queer possibility here and the likelihood that performances in the future will likely play the relationship as explicitly queer. And just for fun, also via Twitter: A countervailing view!

A Theory-Fiction Reading List.

If you were going to teach a class on Russian literature at a juvenile detention center, what would the reading list include?

Medieval studies groups say a major conference is trying to limit the number of diverse voices and topics. The debate is part of a bigger fight over whether medieval studies should remain a fundamentally European field. Whose Medieval Studies?

Unpacking Murad Osmann’s #FollowMeTo Instagram Travel Series.

Facebook Proves It Isn’t Ready To Handle Fake News.

* Peterson’s Complaint.

* As the GOP base tries to find new ways to funnel money to its white, bougie, suburban base, bonkers tax policy like this proposed tax break for gym memberships will become more and more common.

* Marvel has run out of options and is finally going to do a Black Widow movie.

* This franchise keeps getting worse all the time.

* These woodchucks are heroes.

There’s a reason employees stay at the Pantry for a lifetime: it’s one of the few restaurants in Los Angeles where the workers are represented by a union. Peña-Suarez is one of the 23,000 members of Unite Here Local 11, the service-workers’ union behind the Pantry and a number of iconic LA restaurants: Langer’s, Nate ’n Al Delicatessen, Philippe the Original, La Golondrina, and La Scala.

* Solid thread from Corey Robin on the political meaning of Kavanaugh’s debts.

How the New Supreme Court Could Halt Climate Action.

Forty-year-old Efrain De La Rosa, a Mexican national who was held in an ICE detention facility in Georgia, committed suicide and was pronounced dead late Tuesday evening, making him the eighth person in ICE custody to die in the 2018 fiscal year.

* ACLU: Fed Gov’t Not Giving Promised Notice As Immigrant Families Reunited.

* Asylum seekers, even those who do not present themselves at points of entry, are not “illegal”; under international law they are “irregular” and subject to an array of rights and protections, including immunity from punishment.

Today’s US-Mexico ‘border crisis’ in 6 charts.

Hey is it me or does this guy sound like a white supremacist?

Since Trump was elected, more than 1,400 mayors have agreed to shift their cities to 100-percent renewable energy by 2035, in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement. Last fall, St. Louis became one of the biggest cities so far to set that lofty goal. The city of Berkeley, California, went even further recently, declaring an “existential climate emergency” and aiming for net-negative emissions by 2030.

The real reason the sound of your own voice makes you cringe.

* “I refuse to let Hollywood #whitewashout the Thai Cave rescue story.”

* Want to feel old? Jared Kushner still lacks security clearance level to review some of the nation’s most sensitive intelligence in White House role.

* When Trump’s dumb obsession with CNN accidentally leads to good policy.

* Leaked report exposes how unprepared FEMA was for Maria. I want to see the leaked report detailing all the many ways they’ve failed Puerto Rico in the year since the storm.

* Another #TheResistance rando turns out to have serious personality problems, first and foremost a pathological need for attention. Not unrelatedly: Liberals playing detective are missing an opportunity to engage in meaningful politics.

* Plastic straw bans are the latest policy to forget the disability community.

* The latest in the search for humanity’s origins in Africa.

Why freelance writers are a fucking pain in the ass with broken brains.

* Can your god explain it? Marx can.

Dark Horse Is Turning William Gibson’s Alien 3 Script Into a New Comic.

* Dune references signal shared knowledge to those in the know, and that’s about it. Dune fandom is an un-fandom.

* Retirement tips.

* And I linked this yesterday, but do keep your eye on this. I’m officially calling shenanigans.

Thursday Afternoon Links!

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* Mark Z. Danielewski has written a pilot for a potential House of Leaves TV series. It’s good! The question of adapting the novel wound up being a minor subtheme in our discussion of the book in my summer grad class last month, so I was gratified to actually get to see the script — and directly incorporating the novel into the storyworld of the TV series seems like an intriguing solution to the book’s basic unfilmability. I think I hope someone makes it!

* I haven’t had a chance to see Ant-Man and the Wasp yet, so I’m gratified someone went ahead and wrote my triennial rant about franchise fictions and narrative closure on my behalf.

* Texas Studies in Literature and Language has a special issue on Wes Anderson.

* CFP for the SFRA guaranteed panel at ASLE 19. ASLE 19 (in Davis, CA) is a week after the planned dates for SFRA 19 in Hawaii, so if you’re going to the West Coast anyway it could be almost like a two-for-one…

* The second issue of Fantastika Journal is now available.

* That the things that gave my life meaning growing up have all become vectors for recruitment to misogynistic and white nationalist hate groups is the bitterest surprise of my middle age. That and Trump. Two bitterest surprises.

Nominations Are Open for the 2018 Brittle Paper Awards.

Ken Liu Presents Broken Stars, A New Anthology of Chinese Short Speculative Fiction.

* The Fall of Wisconsin. How to win Wisconsin back.

* Shakespeare in the state parks.

* Specialized program for Marquette undergraduates with autism disorders gifted $450,000, set to launch fall 2019.

“In some ways, I now think that one of the primary functions of the university, for the ruling class, is precisely to train a generation in indebtedness, in a state of being in debt.”

The Self-Helpification of Academe: How feel-good nostrums cover up the university’s cruelty.

* Another piece on searching for work outside academia.

* Professor Faces Fraud Charges for False Job Offer. Reading the confession letter just makes me cringe.

His University Asked Him to Build an Emoji-Themed Parade Float. Then It Fired Him.

* Why Donald Trump Nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Brett Kavanaugh Will Mean Challenging Times For Environmental Laws. The Vice Report. The Coming Era of Forced Abortions. The end of net neutrality. The imperial presidency 2.0. Trump’s Supreme Court Pick Could Spell a Fresh Hell for Workers’ Rights. Brett Kavanaugh Ruled Against Workers When No One Else Did. The issue with Kavanaugh is that he seems completely reactionary, bouncing from one indefensible position to another, without applying any judgment whatsoever. Liberal media in full effect. The Liberal Case for Kavanaugh Is Complete Crap. He’s a very normal Republican pick — that’s the problem. Establishment Extremist. What’s coming. It’s bad y’all. Someone investigate precisely how this deal was made and what the terms were. And from the archives: The Three Alitos.

* The Supreme Court: still bad.

* Capitalism is ruining science. The Business Veto: The demise of social democracy shows the precariousness of any project of reform under capitalism.

* Here come the DIY guns.

Inside China’s Dystopian Dreams: A.I., Shame and Lots of Cameras.

Technoleviathan: China, Silicon Valley, and the rise of the global surveillance state. How Artificial Intelligence Will Reshape the Global Order.

Silicon Valley Is Bending Over Backward to Cater to the Far Right.

* How Silicon Valley Fuels an Informal Caste System. Rule-Making as Structural Violence: From a Taxi to Uber Economy in San Francisco.

* It’s amazing that US governmentality has finally crossed the threshold where its obvious illegitimacy can be spoken about in public.

Former Obama Officials Are Riding Out The Trump Years By Cashing In.

* The end of NATO. ‘They Will Die in Tallinn’: Estonia Girds for War With Russia.

* Trump is set to separate more than 200,000 U.S.-born children from their parents. Trump’s Office of Refugee Resettlement Is Budgeting for a Surge in Child Separations. ‘Don’t You Know That We Hate You People?’ ICE is lawless, racial profiling edition. Where Cities and Counties Are Detaining Immigrants. Pregnant Women Say They Miscarried In Immigration Detention And Didn’t Get The Care They Needed. Government Told Immigrant Parents to Pay for DNA Tests to Get Kids Back, Advocate Says. As Migrant Families Are Reunited, Some Children Don’t Recognize Their Mothers. Deported after Trump order, Central Americans grieve for lost children. ‘What if I lose her forever?’ Undocumented Grover Beach mother deported despite community rallying in her support. Facing a Tuesday deadline to reunite about 100 migrant toddlers with their parents, feds say they’ve reunited 2. Inside The Courts Where Some Immigrants Plead Guilty Without Knowing What’s Happening. Now they’re coming for grandmas.

* Woman arrested in assault of 91-year-old Mexican man who was told to ‘go back to your country.’

* Weird coincidence.

There’s been a spate of violent far-right extremism since the 2016 election.

* If you’re anti- antifa, that must mean…

* Andrew Cuomo and ICE.

It’s Not Civil Disobedience if You Ask for Permission.

Liberalism, legitimacy, and loving the Parkland kids.

Eleven Theses on Civility.

Why Marx’s Capital Still Matters.

* Nixon’s $7B carbon tax forms centerpiece of energy agenda.

* The Industrial Age May Have Actually Been Kind of a Bad Idea.

* An interview with Julia Salazar. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, In Her Own Words. Cynthia Nixon: I’m a democratic socialist. Meanwhile our old pal Joe Crowley looks like he’s trying to get away with something.

We Should Embrace the Ambiguity of the 14th Amendment.

* Sure, why not?

* Alan Dershowitz is ALL IN on Trump. But he’s not the only person with some truly around-the-bend ideas of what lawsuits can do.

* Weird science: Girls sometimes inherit almost two full sets of their dad’s genes, which seems to cause rare cancers.

The Art and Activism of the Anthropocene, Part III: A Conversation with Helen Phillips, Amitav Ghosh, and Nathan Kensinger.

An Arkansas man complained about police abuse. Then town officials ruined his life.

* Did… did Milwaukee write this?

Jeff Bezos Is Now $50 Billion Richer Than Anyone Else on Earth.

All 12 Thai Boys Successfully Rescued from Cave after Third Dangerous Mission. The only person unhappy is Elon.

WHO’s Language on Breastfeeding Really Is Flawed. This was our experience with breastfeeding  for sure; I’m sure it’s great for a lot of people but we needed formula as a supplement from the first night on. That said, the corporate forces that promote formula over breastfeeding are utterly gross.

* When the relationship status truly is complicated.

* Nabokov’s dreams.

* Scotland’s official plan if the Loch Ness Monster is found.

* Brexit: It’s bad!

* Being Bobcat Goldthwait.

* Billy Dee is back.

* Japan and the stay-at-home dad.

* Reality Winner and the espionage act.

* My Best Friend Lost His Life to the Gig Economy.

* When your child reveals sexual abuse from your parent.

The Socialist Case for School Integration.

* Factchecking David Brooks.

* Your town tomorrow: Kure residents cut off from outside world due to flooding.

* Nope, no thanks.

* I knew wearing a tie was making me stupid.

* Bad subtitling is a daily problem for deaf viewers.

* Melt Monument Ave.

How swimming pools became a flashpoint of racial tension in America.

* California brings emissions down below 1990 levels. But it’s not all good news.

Feminist Apparel CEO Fires Entire Staff After They Learn He’s An Admitted Sexual Abuser. RIP, Papa John.

There is too much uncertainty in sports; even if you bribe the officials, something unaccounted for could still cause the “wrong” result. It can be a bad idea to gather large crowds opposed to your team (and, by extension, your dictatorship). During Franco’s rule, Barcelona FC’s stadium was the only place the Catalans could wave their flag and sing their songs. Dictators are better off with tyranny and oppression. Football is for people who can accept a loss.

David Graeber’s new book argues that many of us are toiling in dummy jobs with no ostensible purpose. Any poll will show you he has a point. But his thesis is built on scant evidence and dubious claims of a ruling class conspiring to keep us busy. Bullshit jobs exist not due to orchestrated oppression but because of something altogether simpler: bad managers. 

* An even tougher review of a book that seems like a big step down from Debt.

* The SAT, constantly innovating new ways to make teenagers unhappy.

* “I sort of feel like I’m taking the bait on this, but: Can you imagine the copy they *rejected* for this Handmaid’s Tale pinot noir?”

Through such characters, Muluneh’s work explores the layered psychic realms of blackness and womanhood that the African-American science fiction writer Octavia Butler, whom she cites as a major influence, explored through her otherworldly prose. In the process, Muluneh’s work has helped reorient the way black women are perceived. “As women, especially as African women,” Muluneh said, “we forget—and the world forgets—our positioning in history and religion and culture.”

And amusing ourselves to death: 12 theme parks where the danger is real.

Written by gerrycanavan

July 12, 2018 at 1:34 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Saturday Morning Post-SFRA Links! All! Tabs! Closed!

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* SFRA is over, but ICFA season has only just begun! The theme for ICFA 2019 is “Politics and Conflicts” and the special guests are Mark Bould and G. Willow Wilson.

* And keep saving your pennies for SFRA 19 in Hawaii! Stay tuned for more information soon.

* Ben Robertson put up his SFRA talk on the MCU and abstraction as well as his opening statement for the Avengers vs. Jedi roundtable (which coined the already ubiquitous term “naustalgia”). My opening statement was this image, more or less…

* Other piping hot SFRA content at #SFRA18! It was a great conference.

The Economics of Science Fiction.

* A book I’m in won a Locus Award: Check out Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia E. Butler! Congratulations to Alexandra and Mimi.

* Black Women and the Science Fiction Genre: an interview with Octavia E. Butler from 1986.

* CFP: TechnoLogics: Power and Resistance. CFP: Childhoods of Color.

The early career academic: learning to say no.

The Humanities as We Know Them Are Doomed. Now What? Jobs Will Save the Humanities.

* Revised Course Evaluation Questions.

Essentially total victory for John McAdams over Marquette at the WI Supreme Court. I don’t talk about “Marquette stuff” on here because of the slippery nature of my status as an agent of the university, but noted for history. More here. Marquette “agrees to comply” but doesn’t concede wrongdoing.

“The undisputed facts show that the university breached its contract with Dr. McAdams when it suspended him for engaging in activity protected by the contract’s guarantee of academic freedom,” states the ruling, written by Justice Daniel Kelly.

Things that happen in Silicon Valley and also the Soviet Union. So good.

Since it isn’t, a simple question arises: where’s all the fucking money? Piketty’s student Gabriel Zucman wrote a powerful book, The Hidden Wealth of Nations (2015), which supplies the answer: it’s hidden by rich people in tax havens. According to calculations that Zucman himself says are conservative, the missing money amounts to $8.7 trillion, a significant fraction of all planetary wealth. It is as if, when it comes to the question of paying their taxes, the rich have seceded from the rest of humanity.

* If Elon Musk can save the trapped Thai soccer team though I’ll definitely forgive him for everything else, for at least a couple weeks. In the meantime… 

* Trump’s ethnic cleansing operation is blowing past boundaries that would have been considered utterly sacrosanct only a few years ago. The Trump administration just admitted it doesn’t know how many kids are still separated from their parents. “In hundreds of cases, Customs agents deleted the initial records in which parents and children were listed together as a family with a “family identification number,” according to two officials at the Department of Homeland Security.” The teenager told police all about his gang, MS-13. In return, he was slated for deportation and marked for death. Toddlers representing themselves in court. USCIS is Starting a Denaturalization Task Force. Trump’s Travel Ban Has Torn Apart Hundreds of Families. Trump’s catch-and-detain policy snares many who have long called U.S. home. At 9 He Lost His Mom to Gang Violence. At 12 He Lost His Dad to Trump’s Immigration Policies. After being released from custody in El Paso on Sunday, the parents have now learned the whereabouts of their children, a shelter director said. But there are more hurdles before they’re reunited. Lawful permanent resident freed nearly three weeks after arrest. Sick Child Couldn’t Walk After U.S. Took Him From His Mom. Painful memories of Michigan for immigrant girl, 7, reunited with mom. The Awful Plight of Parents Deported Without Their Children. From behind bars, a father searches for one of the 2,000 kids still separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. Dad, I’m Never Going to See You Again. Feds failing to put migrant parents in touch with separated kids. Former Seattle Chief Counsel sentenced to 4 years in prison for wire fraud, aggravated identity theft scheme. “At night, Andriy sometimes wakes up screaming in the bunk bed he shares with his mother and baby brother.” “My Whole Heart Is There.” “My son is not the same.” “Are You Alone Now?” There was a pilot program. Transport Fees. A Migrant Mother Had to Pay $576.20 to Be Reunited With Her 7-Year-Old Son. Letters from the Disappeared. Listen. Border Agent Threatened to Put Immigrant’s Daughter Up for Adoption, ACLU Says. A New Border Crisis. Separated Parents Are Failing Asylum Screenings Because They’re So Heartbroken. A Twitter Bot Has Joined the Immigration Battle to Fight ICE With Facts. A Twitter Bot Is Posting the Names and Locations of Immigrant Detention Centers Across the U.S. Over the course of three weeks, a major U.S. defense contractor detained dozens of immigrant children inside a vacant Phoenix office building with no kitchen and only a few toilets. The Immigrant Children’s Shelters Near You. Supreme Court just wrote a presumption of white racial innocence into the Constitution. The Trump administration is not answering basic questions about separation of migrant families. Immigration Attorney Says ICE Broke Her Foot, Locked Her Up. This is what Trump and ICE are doing to parents and their children. A practice so cruel that the United States ended it for a quarter-century. It’s only going to get worse. Torn apart. Don’t you know that we hate you people? (Only) 17 states sue Trump administration over family separations. News outlets join forces to track down children separated from their parents by the U.S. We might not even have ever known. New 1,000-Bed ICE Lockup Set to Open on Site of Notorious ‘Tent City’ in South Texas. Potemkin camps. Research suggests that the family of Anne Frank attempted to escape to the U.S., but their efforts were thwarted by America’s restrictive immigration policy. Exclusive: Trump administration plan would bar people who enter illegally from getting asylum. We’re Going to Abolish ICE. Woman Climbs Statue of Liberty to Protest Family Separations, Island Shut Down. How to Abolish ICE. And just for fun: ICE Training Officers in Military-Grade Weapons, Chemical Agents. Dogsitting.

The Central American Child Refugee Crisis: Made in U.S.A.

I’ve Been Reporting on MS-13 for a Year. Here Are the 5 Things Trump Gets Most Wrong.

* I feel pretty confident the buried story here is that Trump blackmailed Anthony Kennedy by threatening to destroy his son’s life; I suppose it’ll all come out during Truth and Reconciliation in the 2040s. Anyway this is just about the final end of America, buckle up.

* Down we go.

* All of American history fits in the life span of only three presidents.

Trump Confidant Floats Crazy RBG-For-Merrick-Garland SCOTUS Swap. I am a huge proponent of this deal but you’ll have to confirm Garland first. You understand.

* How democracy ends.

* There’s no returning to a golden age of American democracy that never existed. Donald Trump, the resistance, and the limits of normcore politics.

* What can we learn from 1968?

* Trump Inauguration Day rioting charges against 200+ people abruptly dropped by U.S.

* A major Republican leader in the House has been accused of facilitating the sexual abuse of huge numbers of children in his previous career as a wrestling coach. No, not him, this is a new guy.

* Clown car.

Farmers in America are killing themselves in staggering numbers.

Been Down So Long It Looks Like Debt to Me.

* In the richest country in all of human history.

* A country of empty storefronts.

* $117,000/year is now considered low income in San Francisco. Class and America.

* How Flint poisoned its people.

* The thing about peace.

* ‘A way of monetizing poor people’: How private equity firms make money offering loans to cash-strapped Americans. With special appearance by Obama Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner!

* Onward to Venezuela!

* Sure, why not.

* Twilight of UW.

* Rosa Parks’s Arrested Warrant.

The Beautiful, Ugly, and Possessive Hearts of Star Wars.

* Every parent’s secret suspicion confirmed: She was worried how a ‘teacher of the year’ treated her 5-year-old son. So she made a secret recording.

Lows of 80 degrees and higher, now commonplace, were once very rare. They occurred just 26 times from 1872 to 1999 or about once every five years. Since 2000, they’ve happened 37 times or twice every year on average. Probably nothing.

It’s So Hot Out, It’s Slowing Down the Speed of Stock Trades.

* Flood insurance is completely broken.

Companies buying back their own shares is the only thing keeping the stock market afloat right now.

* @jack is a collaborator.

* Facebook destroyed online publishing, then quit the business.

The US Left Has Only Four Tendencies.

Students in Detroit Are Suing the State Because They Weren’t Taught to Read.

* Doesn’t seem like a great sign, no.

* A great ideas as long as you know nothing about either writing or computers.

Turns out that’s an easy question to answer, thanks to MIT research affiliate, and longtime-critic of automated scoring, Les Perelman. He’s designed what you might think of as robo-graders’ kryptonite, to expose what he sees as the weakness and absurdity of automated scoring. Called the Babel (“Basic Automatic B.S. Essay Language”) Generator, it works like a computerized Mad Libs, creating essays that make zero sense, but earn top scores from robo-graders.

To demonstrate, he calls up a practice question for the GRE exam that’s graded with the same algorithms that actual tests are. He then enters three words related to the essay prompt into his Babel Generator, which instantly spits back a 500-word wonder, replete with a plethora of obscure multisyllabic synonyms:

“History by mimic has not, and presumably never will be precipitously but blithely ensconced. Society will always encompass imaginativeness; many of scrutinizations but a few for an amanuensis. The perjured imaginativeness lies in the area of theory of knowledge but also the field of literature. Instead of enthralling the analysis, grounds constitutes both a disparaging quip and a diligent explanation.”

“It makes absolutely no sense,” he says, shaking his head. “There is no meaning. It’s not real writing.”

But Perelman promises that won’t matter to the robo-grader. And sure enough, when he submits it to the GRE automated scoring system, it gets a perfect score: 6 out of 6, which according to the GRE, means it “presents a cogent, well-articulated analysis of the issue and conveys meaning skillfully.”

Winners of the 2018 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest.

* Pruitt 2024!

* Utter lawlessness.

In 1934, an American professor urged that Jews be civil — to the Nazis.

* California reconsiders felony murder.

* Scholarship for dark times.

William Shatner kicks off July 4th by implying that UW-Madison & Penn should consider firing 2 kid lit professors for disagreeing with him about whether it’s appropriate to note racism in Little House of the Prairie.

* Six decades after being told her mother was dead, she found her — 80 minutes away and 100 years old.

Between 1984 and the mid-1990s, before better HIV drugs effectively rendered her obsolete, Ruth Coker Burks cared for hundreds of dying people, many of them gay men who had been abandoned by their families. She buried more than three dozen of them herself, after their families refused to claim their bodies. For many of those people, she is now the only person who knows the location of their graves.

* How Universities Facilitate Far-Right Groups’ Harassment of Students and Faculty.

* Video games and fatphobia.

* A location scout’s view of California.

* Not all heroes wear capes: How an EPA worker stole $900K by pretending to be a CIA agent.

How Pixar’s Open Sexism Ruined My Dream Job (Guest Column).

* Reality Winner pleads guilty.

* When copyright goes wrong, EU edition.

* Academic minute: Geoengineering.

Anglo-Saxon Studies, Academia and White Supremacy.

* The Millennial Socialists Are Coming. How Ocasio-Cortez Beat the Machine. A Conversation with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Fights the Power. Next: Julia Salazar Is Looking to Land the Next Blow Against the New York Democratic Machine. The socialists are coming! But huge, if true.

The clearest lesson, which holds now as it did then, is that to rearrange international order in an egalitarian way, you need an egalitarian and internationally oriented domestic politics in the richest and most powerful countries. Otherwise, your best-laid plans can be scuttled by something like what happened then—the neoliberal revolt of capital, the crushing of the labor unions, the turn to the construction of the current international regime of relatively free flow of goods, services, and capital, but not people. Today’s nationalist revolts, most notably the catastrophe in the United States, are another body blow to progressive internationalist aspirations. Ironically, they are directed in part against some of the pieties of the neoliberal order—although certainly not in any constructive or progressive direction.

A Subreddit Dedicated to Thanos Is Preparing to Ban Half of Its Users at Random.

* lol

* Hard pass, thanks.

* The UK is committing national suicide to satisfy a laughably illegitimate referendum that never should have happened in the first place and no one is going to stop it.

Finally, the CEO of a brokerage house explained that he had nearly completed building his own underground bunker system and asked, “How do I maintain authority over my security force after the event?” The wealthy are plotting to leave us behind.

* If there is hope, it lies with the Juggalos.

* Luke was a Boomer.

It is tragic. I’m not a method actor, but one of the techniques a method actor will use is to try and use real-life experiences to relate to whatever fictional scenario he’s involved in. The only thing I could think of, given the screenplay that I read, was that I was of the Beatles generation—‘All You Need Is Love’, ‘peace and love’.

I thought at that time, when I was a teenager: ‘By the time we get in power, there will be no more war, there will be no racial discrimination, and pot will be legal.’ So I’m one for three. When you think about it, [my generation is] a failure. The world is unquestionably worse now than it was then.

* The first superhero movie is more than 100 years old.

* Rest in peace, Harlan Ellison. Rest in peace, Steve Ditko.

* Anatomy of a superhero.

NASA’s Policies to Protect the Solar System From Contamination Are Out of Date. We’re not going to is the thing.

Space is full of dirty, toxic grease, scientists reveal.

Man suspected of killing 21 co-workers by poisoning their food.

* There could be as many as 7000 tigers living in American backyards.

“When I Was Alive”: William T. Vollmann’s Climate Letter to the Future.

* Remembering Google Reader, five years on.

* Very cool: If you use Gmail, know that “human third parties” are reading your email.

* A classic edition of “our brains don’t work”: that’s because your freaking visual system just lied to you about HOW LONG TIME IS in order to cover up the physical limitations of those chemical camera orbs you have on the front of your face.

* Sports corner! The Warriors Are Making A Mockery Of The NBA Salary Cap. A Literary Lineup for the World Cup. We Timed Every Game. World Cup Stoppage Time Is Wildly Inaccurate. Catching “the world’s most prolific criminal fixer of soccer matches.”

* Physics says that our perception of smoothly flowing time is a cosmic accident. So why do we think the future always comes after the past?

* A Dunbar number for place: At any point in life, people spend their time in 25 places.

* Some monkeys in Panama may have just stumbled into the Stone Age. Don’t do it, guys, it’s not worth the hassle.

I was basically my own editor for 25 years at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. And then the publisher decided he didn’t like what he saw.

* Life as a professional dungeon master.

* Naked Japanese hermit forced back into civilization after 29 years on deserted island.

* An Oral History of ASSSSCAT.

* Peyton Reed (director of Ant-Man and the Wasp) remembers writing Back to the Future: The Ride.

* The Roxy, West Hollywood, CA, July 7, 1978.

* Readystolen.

* Someone in the club tonight is stealing my ideas.

* The arc of history is long but seriously they really took their time with this.

* What should we read if we want to be happy?

* And Incredibles 3 looks wild. Don’t miss Old Man Incredible! I’m here for it.

Written by gerrycanavan

July 7, 2018 at 11:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Sunday! Morning! Links!

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* CFP: “Hobgoblins of Fantasy: American Fantasy Fiction in Theory,” Special Feature in The New Americanist.

* CFP: Historical Fictions Research Network, “Radical Fictions.”

We are almost certainly underestimating the economic risks of climate change.

* I had suicidal depression. I got better. Here’s how.

My father’s was a textbook case: Depressed white male with gun offs himself in May.

* Manson bloggers and the world of murder fandom.

Nearly 1,800 families separated at U.S.-Mexico border in 17 months through February. 1,358 Children Separated at Border. Torture at the border. ‘The Worst Place Ever’ Is ICE’s Etowah County Detention Center in Alabama. ICE’s Rejection of Its Own Rules Is Placing LGBT Immigrants at Severe Risk of Sexual Abuse. A family was separated at the border, and this distraught father took his own life. Down on the border, a new trail of tears. ‘They just took them?’ Frantic parents separated from their kids fill courts on the border. ICE detainee commits suicide while in transit to home country. Restaurants Boycott Army Base That Called ICE on Pizza Delivery Man. Federal judge temporarily blocks deportation of pizza worker. ICE Deserves Every Bit Of Our Contempt.

In Academia, Professors Coming On to You Is on the Syllabus. Be better than this.

6 current, former MSU employees with ties to Nassar scandal under state licensing inquiries.

Mizzou’s Freshman Class Shrank by a Third Over 2 Years. Here’s How It’s Trying to Turn That Around.

The Rich Are Planning to Leave This Wretched Planet.

* Black Mirror was a documentary.

* Solo vs. The Force Awakens.

* Bold new horizons in cheating to win. Not that they need the help, with Democrats like these…

* Lucky break: Cozy land deals meant big money for Trump family and friends.

* Great moments in government.

Some women “wouldn’t know what masculinity was if it hit them in the face.”

* Twilight of the bots.

White People Are More Likely to Get the Raises They Ask For.

* Stories like the one in this thread are so striking because we live in a society that prevents us from taking care of each other. Defying Prevention Efforts, Suicide Rates Are Climbing Across the Nation.

Mr. Rogers Had a Simple Set of Rules for Talking to Children.

* What is hope for?

The Next Pseudoscience Health Craze Is All About Genetics.

* From the archives: “Sum,” an afterlife fiction.

In the afterlife you relive all your experiences, but this time with the events reshuffled into a new order: all the moments that share a quality are grouped together.

You spend two months driving the street in front of your house, seven months having sex. You sleep for thirty years without opening your eyes. For five months straight you flip through magazines while sitting on a toilet.

You take all your pain at once, all twenty-seven intense hours of it. Bones break, cars crash, skin is cut, babies are born. Once you make it through, it’s agony-free for the rest of your afterlife.

* Despite this, Graeber has convincingly called “bullshit” the nature of work today and reveals how – in his words – “economies have become vast engines for producing nonsense”. To his ideological opponents, convinced of the efficiency of free markets, his most devastating attack is to reveal how inefficient these systems can be. I suspect millions of workers around the world will instantly recognise the nonsense and inefficiency he describes. Whether they do anything about it is another matter. A more lukewarm review at the New Yorker.

* Trump in Singapore.

Wisconsin reeling from tariffs coming from Mexico, Canada, Europe.

Golf is dying, many experts say. According to one study by the golf industry group Pellucid Corp., the number of regular golfers fell from 30 to 20.9 million between 2002 and 2016. Ratings are down, equipment sales are lagging, and the number of rounds played annually has fallen. Dead Golf Courses Are the New NIMBY Battlefield.

ZZZZzzzzZZzzzzzzzZzzz.

Just 300 or So of the Most Important Links for This Friday Morning

with 2 comments

SFFTV 11.2 is out, a special issue on Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, and women and sf, guest-edited by up-and-comers Mark Bould and Sherryl Vint! Check it out.

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

* Spencer Ackerman explains Jay and Miles X-Plain the X-Men.

* Inside the (ultimately successful) campaign to recall the judge of the Brock Turner trial.

* Another report from the looting of Toys R Us.

Norman, the world’s first psychopath AI.

* Water missing opportunity not to be wet.

Mapping the Movement to Dismantle Public Education.

My research suggests that those concerns are real, and millennials really are building wealth more slowly than the other working generations. But they are not insurmountable—as long as millennials are willing and able to work longer than their parents and grandparents did. Great can’t wait.

A Professor Brought His Guns to Protect Protesters at White-Supremacist Rallies. Then His Troubles Started.

Solo: A Star Wars Story & The Problem With Prequels. We need to talk about the woke droid. I Have No Mouth and I Must Solo. ‘Solo’ gets one thing right: The droids in ‘Star Wars’ are basically slaves. What Solo could have learned from My Friend Dahmer. Disney manages to learn $50M on a Star Wars movie. Kelly Marie Tran has deleted all the posts off her Instagram due to months of harassment she has received for her character Rose in The Last Jedi. Racism, Misogyny & Death Threats: How Star Wars Fans Turned to the Dark Side. What if Star Wars never happened?

Colonial Hottie: Gal Gadot, Wonder Woman and Brand Israel.

Trump keeps making it harder for people to seek asylum legally. The Awful Spectacle of 200 Immigration Officers Raiding a Couple of Garden Stores. Former DACA recipient murdered in Mexico after deportation. The Heartache of a Migrant Boy Taken From His Father. Mom and 4 children forced to separate after seeking asylum in US. Cops are called when a senator tries to see kids taken from their immigrant parents. Yet another nightmare child separation story from the Chris Hayes podcast. ICE Agent Decides He Wants Kids After Seeing Incredible Love And Devotion Of Parents Begging Him Not To Take Their Child. Feds Deport Uncle of Six Orphans Whose Parents Died Fleeing ICE. UN office calls on US to stop separating families at border. U.S. sending 1,600 immigration detainees to federal prisons. Pizza Delivery Man Arrested By ICE Is Scheduled to Be Deported This Monday. A GoFundMe for Pablo and His Family.

* Jordan Peterson isn’t a good psychologist, either.

University tutor died after ‘silently struggling’ with workload. Content warning: suicide.

Taxi-Driver Suicides Are a Warning.

* How the media covers celebrity suicides can have life-or-death consequences.

* Death of a gig worker.

What gets muddled in this telling of the gig economy is the idea of control. An Uber driver can pick her hours, yes. But is she really her own boss, or is the boss the company’s algorithm? The algorithm, after all, determines where the driver will head next, who she’ll pick up, and how much she’ll be paid for that trip. In other words, many important features of the job are outside the driver’s control.

* Trump administration tells court it won’t defend key provisions of the Affordable Care Act. The Trump administration believes Obamacare’s preexisting conditions protections are now unconstitutional.

Down With the Copay.

Justice Department Secretly Accessed New York Times Reporter’s Email and Phone Records to Find Government Leaker.

* Literally just letting coal barons write the laws.

* Huge, if true: America Is a Spiraling Corporate Contract Dystopia.

* Trump’s Right-Hand Troll.

* Gaming it out: Would a Former President Get Secret Service Protection in Prison? Just kidding, Democrats are on the case. Meanwhile.

* David Hogg SWATted.

* Questions on Michigan’s Investment Tactics.

Recent scrutiny of investment practices by the University of Michigan is raising concerns about conflicts of interest and ethical lapses at colleges and universities seeking to increase their endowments.

Questions about Michigan’s investment practices were prompted by an investigation by the Detroit Free Press, which found that a large portion of the university’s nearly $11 billion endowment is invested in private equity, hedge and venture capital funds, and real estate investment firms run by top university donors and alumni investment advisers.

Dystopian Bodies: Barbara Ehrenreich Attacks the Epidemic of Wellness.

* Scott Pruitt, GOAT.

Poor road conditions cost Wisconsin drivers $637 each year.

The Post has mapped more than 52,000 homicides in major American cities over the past decade and found that across the country, there are areas where murder is common but arrests are rare.

‘Clear-sky’ flooding worsens across U.S. as sea levels rise, report says.

* Below are the two main written versions of Sojourner’s speech, the original, on the left, was delivered at the Woman’s Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio on May 29, 1851. The full text of each speech follows the synopsis below so you can see the differences line by line. I have highlighted overt similarities between the two versions. While Frances Gage changed most of the wording and added the southern slave dialect to her 1863 version, it is clear the origin of Gage’s speech comes from Sojourner’s original 1851 speech.

* Hard pass: Howard Schultz steps down at Starbucks, may consider run for president.

* Without Interpreters, California’s Deaf Prisoners Are Getting Stuck Behind Bars.

* A major physics experiment just detected a particle that shouldn’t exist.

The first hints these elusive particles turned up decades ago. But after years of dedicated searches, scientists have been unable to find any other evidence for them, with many experiments contradicting those old results. These new results now leave scientists with two robust experiments that seem to demonstrate the existence of sterile neutrinos, even as other experiments continue to suggest sterile neutrinos don’t exist at all.

The Enlightenment’s Dark Side.

Rebuilding the Antinuclear Movement. How a little “working group” stopped Oakland from becoming a mini-fusion center for the Department of Homeland Security. Tech Workers Versus the Pentagon.

The District of Columbia is considering legislation to lower the voting age to 16 (something some localities already allow for local elections only). Bills are pending in California, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Puerto Rico to lower the voting age to 17 for primary or general elections.

Your schedule could be killing you.

Nazis brauchen keinen Badespaß.

* Schopenhauer, come on. You promised to keep it together.

Time’s Up, Bill.

Volkswagen Vows to End Experiments on Animals.

Marvel’s Women Problem: Not A Single MCU Film Has Female Characters on Screen for More Than 40 Percent of Runtime.

* Drones taught to spot violent behavior in crowds using AI. “The work has questionable accuracy rates, but it shows how AI is being used to automate surveillance.”

* Ways brands can celebrate Pride Month.

Hacked: 92 Million Account Details for DNA Testing Service MyHeritage.

It’s Ulysses! No, it’s Finnegans Wake! Who Can Tell?!

* Books Just for Grownups.

The Art and Activism of the Anthropocene, Part II: A Conversation with Jeff VanderMeer, Zaria Forman, and Gleb Raygorodetsky.

* Lovely Twitter thread on Dr. Apgar, who probably saved my daughter’s life, and maybe yours too.

Body Positivity Is a Scam. “How a movement intended to lift up women really just limits their acceptable emotions. Again.”

* It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right; I hope you had the time of your life.

And these recently declassified NSA posters make our authoritarian dystopia seem fun.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 8, 2018 at 10:58 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Monday Morning Links! All of Them! ALL OF THEM

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* Of course you had me at Zelda propaganda posters.

* Special issue of Deletion: Punking Science Fiction.

* Editorial: We Should Create a Honors College to Propagandize on Behalf of the People Who Already Control Everything.

* Victory in Ireland.


* A surprisingly large number of Obama-era ICE and HHS horrors got rediscovered as if they were new to Trump this weekend. This is a case where Trump’s horror truly is as much continuity as break.

* Even despite that continuity, though, we seem to be moving to a new energy state: Taking Children from Their Parents Is A Form of State Terror.

* Fighting spectacle with snores, or why Trump could easily win a second term.

* Is America heading for a new kind of civil war?

* Fascism is back; blame the Internet.

* Genocide in Yemen.

* I was Jordan Peterson’s strongest supporter. Now I think he’s dangerous.

* After a white supremacist killed a protester in Charlottesville in 2017, Facebook pushed to re-educate its moderators about hate speech groups in the US, and spell out the distinction from nationalism and separatism, documents obtained by Motherboard show.

* Wisconsin Prisons Incarcerate Most Black Men In U.S. Milwaukee PD Misconduct Has Cost the City $22 Million Since 2015.

* When a Nashville man named Matthew Charles was released from prison early in 2016 after a sentence reduction, he’d spent almost half his life behind bars. But in a rare move, a federal court ruled his term was reduced in error and ordered him back behind bars to finish his sentence.

* Man, 79, sentenced to 90 days of house arrest in 5-year-old girl’s rape.

* She Went to Interview Morgan Freeman. Her Story Became Much Bigger.

* This has created a problem that has not been seen before: voluntary, intentional, migrating, mobile, functional, litter. The bikes and scooters are disruptive to the locations where they are abandoned and, because they are constantly moving, the issues of abandonment and refuse are constantly cycling (sorry) throughout an urban region. Yesterday’s bike or scooter blight might be around today, or it might move for a few days and then return. In short, the bikes and scooters share a civic pattern similar to that of homelessness. Thus, in an unexpected way, the dockless bikes and scooters are also competing with the homeless for pieces of urban space upon which to temporarily rest.

* Mike Meru, a 37-year-old orthodontist, made a big investment in his education. As of Thursday, he owed $1,060,945.42 in student loans.

* Executives of big U.S. companies suggest that the days of most people getting a pay raise are over, and that they also plan to reduce their work forces further. Also, rich people are going to be needing your blood so they can stay young forever, just FYI.

* Be more like Chipotle, Jerry Brown tells California universities.

* Report Says Rising CO2 Levels Are Ruining Rice. Allergy Explosion Linked to Climate Change.

* For Women of Color, the Child-Welfare System Functions Like the Criminal-Justice System.

Now that’s what I call ideological state apparatus™.

* A new front in the drug war.

* HUGE IF TRUE: Hollywood isn’t on the side of the resistance.

* Teen Vogue and woke capital.

* Antonin Scalia was wrong about the meaning of ‘bear arms.’ I think a better description here is “not even wrong”; originalism is a rhetorical style, not a claim of fact.

* Sexpat Journalists Are Ruining Asia Coverage.

* A People’s History of Superstar Limo, Disney’s “worst attraction ever.”

* Solo crashes and burns, even underperforming Justice League. I haven’t seen it yet, but it certainly sounds like it had it coming. Relatedly: The Ringer takes a deep dive into the now-decanonized Han Solo prequels from the EU.

* Wakanda fans might be interested in the very odd turn the comics have taken. Relatedly: ‘Black Panther’ meets history, and things get complicated.

* Janelle Monáe for President.

* Conducting a posthumous interview with science-fiction author Octavia E. Butler. Your People Will Find You: A Podcast with the Octavia E. Butler Legacy Network. And Ayana Jamieson’s authorized biography of Butler has a Patreon.

* This LARB review of Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland’s The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. made me very interested in reading it.

* Built in 718 AD, Hōshi is the second oldest ryokan (hotel or inn) in the world and, with 46 consecutive generations of the same family running it, is hands down the longest running known family business in history.

* Wendy Brown at UC: What Kind of World Do You Want to Live In?

* Interesting Twitter thread on emergency and the suspension of the law.

* Half the budget, half the fun: A Star Trek World May Be Coming to Universal Studios.

* Power vs. responsibleness. Politics y’all. Existence is objectively good.

* This is an urgent reminder: Mindflayers are not sympathetic.

* As Kip Manley said, this is the flag of the Anthropocene.

* And I want to believe! US aircraft carrier was stalked for days by a UFO travelling at ‘ballistic missile speed’ which could hover above the sea for six days, leaked Pentagon report reveals.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 28, 2018 at 8:15 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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