Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘workers

Christmas Eve Eve Links Links

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* There’s a lovely review of my Butler book by Nisi Shawl in the new Women’s Review of Books. It’s not available online so you’ll have to take my word for it, unless your library subscribes…

* And I’m so happy to report that Extrapolation 58.2-3 is finally out, the special issue on “Guilty Pleasures: Late Capitalism and Mere Genre” I edited with Benjamin Robertson. Check out the intro to see what it’s all about, and then check out articles on Dragonlance, the Star Wars and Star Trek expanded universes, Sweet Valley High, Blondie, The Hunger Games, and Game of Thrones and fantasy roleplaying games…

CFP: Academic Track at the 76th World Science Fiction Convention, San José, California. CFP: Punking Speculative Fiction. CFP: Histories of the Future: Proto-Science Fiction from the Victorian Era to the Radium Age. CFP: Chapter Proposals for “Ecofeminist Science Fiction.” CFP: Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards.

An Incomplete Timeline of What We Tried.

* I thought this was great.

* Consider: Who pursues their goals with monomaniacal focus, oblivious to the possibility of negative consequences? Who adopts a scorched-earth approach to increasing market share? This hypothetical strawberry-picking AI does what every tech startup wishes it could do — grows at an exponential rate and destroys its competitors until it’s achieved an absolute monopoly. The idea of superintelligence is such a poorly defined notion that one could envision it taking almost any form with equal justification: a benevolent genie that solves all the world’s problems, or a mathematician that spends all its time proving theorems so abstract that humans can’t even understand them. But when Silicon Valley tries to imagine superintelligence, what it comes up with is no-holds-barred capitalism. Ladies and gentlemen, the great Ted Chiang.

Science fiction when the future is now. With appearances from Kim Stanley Robinson, Ken Liu, and Lauren Beukes.

* The best anti-Last-Jedi piece I’ve seen is Alyssa Rosenberg’s at the Washington Post. And the best pro-Last-Jedi piece from Dan Hassler-Forest at LARB. Somewhere in the middle is Abigail Nussbuam’s excellent piece at Asking the Wrong Questions.

* Lightsabers, by the numbers. Secret history of the porgs. Star Wars from below. Thank goodness somebody realized how terrible this would be. The Last Jedi and the necessary disappointment of epilogues. The films that inspired The Last Jedi. Behind the scenes. In defense of Canto Blight. Anti-nostalgia and anti-salvation. Star Wars without the Empire. How to Read Star Wars.

* Winter Is Coming: Climate Change in Westeros.

* How the Sesame Street Puppeteers Play Their Characters. It was only a year or three ago that I realized that on a basic level I’d still believed Big Bird was real; I had never thought or processed the fact that his lips were being moved by a puppeteer’s hands.

* So old I can remember when Sweet Briar was an inspiring story about a college being saved.

* On faculty and mental illness.

Study finds humanities and social science Ph.D.s working outside academe are happier than their tenure-track peers.

* Podcast alert: how does Samuel R. Delany work?

* Bang. Pow. To the Moon.

* Comedy writers name their most influential episodes: 1, 2.

* SHOCK REPORT: The tax bill is bad.

This Congress’s clear priorities: corporations, not children.

* It’ll also tax large endowments. Meanwhile in the academy: We Will Not Be Your Disposable Labor: Graduate Student Workers’ Fight Goes Beyond the GOP Assault. ‘A Complete Culture of Sexualization’: 1,600 Stories of Harassment in Higher Ed.

* Defund every agency that had any part in this. Murder Convictions Overturned, Two Men Are Immediately Seized By ICE. What happens to children whose parents are deported? 92 Somali immigrants deported in “slave-ship” conditions. ICE is abusing immigrant detainees with strip searches and threats. Shock of shocks, it turns out legal immigration is bad too.

The majority of US workers live in “employment monopsonies” where there is little or no competition for workers.

Why Doug Jones’s narrow win is not enough to make me confident about American democracy.

* Ghosts of 2012.

* First #J20 defendants found not guilty.

* The media wealth of African Americans in Boston is $8.

* People are using Uber instead of ambulances.

* The New York Times oddly reports on a Harry Reid boondoggle in a way that makes it sounds like aliens might be real.

* The Fred Moten century.

The Adult Bodies Playing Teens on TV.

* Monopolies are bad, no matter how much you like the brands involved. Avengers vs. monopoly.

“Neoliberalism” isn’t an empty epithet. It’s a real, powerful set of ideas.

* The madness of prison gerrymanders.

* Desegregation never happened.

* Climate refugees in Louisiana. Disability and disaster response in the age of climate change. Losing the wilderness.

* The FoxConn boondoggle gets worse and worse.

* The Next Crisis for Puerto Rico: Foreclosures.

* Revising agricultural revisionism.

* Against optimism.

* Against being born.

* On the sadcom.

Your Favorite Superhero Is Probably Killing the Planet.

* Professor X Is a Jerk!

* The Daily Stormer’s style guide.

* Opoids and homelessness. 3,000,000 pills to 3,000 patients in two years. The Opioid Crisis Is Getting Worse, Particularly for Black Americans. What happens after an American city gives a homeless person a one-way ticket out of town.

* The US gymnastics scandal somehow gets worse and worse.

‘The World’s Biggest Terrorist Has a Pikachu Bedspread.’

* The Forgotten Life of Einstein’s First Wife.

* The Ghost Economy.

* WHAT YEAR IS IT: How to prepare for a nuclear attack.

Lumberjanes’ Noelle Stevenson is Rebooting She-Ra for Netflix. Sir Ian McKellen Would Totally Play Gandalf In Amazon’s TV Tolkien Adaptations. The Next Bechdel Test.

* “Paradox,” by Naomi Kritzer.

* The Journal of Prince Studies.

* 80% of workers think managers are unnecessary. The other 20% mistakingly think they are managers.

* It’s not a perfect system, but it’s the one our Founders built: The Donald Trump droid is live at Disney World’s Hall of Presidents.

‘Trump, Trump, Trump!’ How a President’s Name Became a Racial Jeer. 55 Ways Donald Trump Structurally Changed America in 2017. Fascism has already come to America. Life expectancy declines for the second straight year. On brand.

* Heartbreaking interview with Heather Heyer’s mother.

* Jordan Peele, auteur.

* Dilbert: A Reckoning.

Still, it does make you ponder all the ways this industry works in service of power, and by extension those who abuse it. So many of comedy’s institutions are, at their core, PR machines. Branded content is Funny Or Die’s bread and butter. Every week SNL promotes someone’s new movie or TV show or album. Late night talk shows, with few exceptions, use jokes to bookend celebrity press tours. Comedians host awards shows because otherwise we might see them for the rituals they are—the wealthy and famous celebrating their own wealth and fame. Comedy normalizes power; it’s so successful at normalizing power that it feels weird to even write that as a criticism. Well, what’s wrong with normalizing power? Lots of things, but to start it lets monsters play the straight man in comedy sketches. It makes them relatable, which makes them less threatening. But power is always a threat, even more so when it seems innocuous, even more so when it seems… funny.

* 2018 is already terrible: there’ll be no more Zelda DLC.

* And remembering the reason for the season: Behold the official policy for destroying the head of Chuck E Cheese.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 23, 2017 at 10:06 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Closing Every Tab Because My Computer Will Barely Work Right Now Links

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Sorry I’ve been so quiet! Between summer teaching and wrapping up a few big projects it’s been a very busy couple of weeks. Here’s every tab I had open!

* CFP: Hamilton: A Special Issue of Studies in Musical Theatre.

* 2016 World Fantasy Award Finalists and Shirley Jackson Award Winners.

Marquette one of five universities in nation selected for the 2016 Higher Education Civic Engagement Award.

Graduate students in literary studies may often feel despair, even deadness and meanness, but an excess of cool seems like an especially implausible explanation. Far more damaging are bad mentoring, crippling overwork, social and geographic isolation, and the absence of opportunities to join the profession after spending a decade training. For too many graduate students, whether critical or postcritical, earning a PhD is the end — not the beginning — of a promising academic career. The skepticism that threatens graduate students and young faculty members results, therefore, not from the skepticism of academic theorists but from the skepticism of legislatures, administrators, donors, austerity-loving think tanks, and taxpayers. The Hangman of Critique.

* Jeff Vandermeer: Hauntings in the Anthropocene.

The Legendary Ted Chiang on Seeing His Stories Adapted and the Ever-Expanding Popularity of SF.

The Year’s Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories Have Been Determined.

100 African Writers of SFF.

* The Best of Science Fiction (1946) and The Big Book of Science Fiction (2016).

* Cleveland Police Are Gearing Up for Mayhem at the GOP Convention. Case Western in the News: Changes to campus operations during RNC. What’s a University For? Meet the Student Fighting Case Western U. for Shutting Down Campus to House 1,900 Police Officers.

* At least the convention went great.

* “Secretary Clinton Is A Different Person Than Donald Trump,” Says Bernie Sanders in Ringing Endorsement. GOP Establishment Relieved After Conventionally Abhorrent Beliefs Make Way Onto Presidential Ticket.

* Clinton has 945 Ways to Win. Trump Has 72.

* A Brief History of Turkey and Military Coups. The view from inside the bunker. Turkey ‘suspends 15,000 state education employees’ after attempted coup, including 1,577 deans at all universities.

US air strike in Syria kills nearly 60 civilians ‘mistaken for Isil fighters.’

* Bleeding the poor with fees and fines, Virginia edition.

* The end of Roger Ailes. The Drudge Era.

* Now, Baton Rouge. A 538 Special on Gun Deaths in America. The Tamir Rice Story: How to Make a Police Shooting Disappear. “One group is responsible for America’s culture of violence, and it isn’t cops, black Americans, Muslims or rednecks.” No lives matter. And from the archives: A Manifesto from People Reluctant to Kill for an Abstraction.

* Donald Trump’s Deals Rely on Being Creative with the Truth. Donald Trump Heads Into The Convention With Barely Any Campaign At All: Many of the numbers listed for his state offices don’t even work. Did you ever have to make up your mind? Donald Trump’s Announcement of Mike Pence in 18 Tweets. “Trump’s campaign logo mocked on Twitter.” He’s Really Pretty Bad at This. Being Honest about Trump. Jeb! We Play the Trump Board Game So You Don’t Have To. Republicans Keeping Their Dignity.  Teach the controversy: Is Trump Working for Russia? Understanding Trump Supporters: The Machine of Morbius. Back to the Future in Cleveland. The Last GOP President?

Won’t it be great when Donald Trump becomes president because you wrote a fucking BuzzFeed article daring him to run? Confessions of Donald Trump’s Ghostwriter.

Donald Trump Said Hillary Clinton Would ‘Make a Good President’ in 2008. Donald Trump should talk about Hillary Clinton’s email all the time. Here’s why. Pollster Frank Luntz: GOP has ‘lost’ the millennial generation.

There are about 20 households where she now lives. Like Susie, most of the residents in Snowflake have what they call “environmental illness”, a controversial diagnosis that attributes otherwise unexplained symptoms to pollution.

* Newborn Ducklings Judge Shape and Color.

* Small Arms, Long Reach: America’s Rifle Abroad.

Education Department’s proposed rule for student debt forgiveness could threaten traditional colleges as well as for-profits, particularly over its broad view of what counts as misrepresentation. College and the Class Divide. Wicked Liberalism.

As a result, in one of the richest countries that has ever existed, about 15 percent of the population faces down bare cupboards and empty refrigerators on a routine basis.

* Dying in America, Without Insurance.

* When Not to Get Married: Some 19th Century Advice.

* The Ontology of Calvin and Hobbes.

* Understanding Cousin Pam.

The Fight Between Berkeley’s Academics And Its Football Team Is Getting Ugly.

* A Modest Proposal: Eliminate Email.

Black Dishwasher at Yale University Loses Job After Shattering “Racist, Very Degrading” Stained-Glass Panel. Yale Rehires. Broken window theory: Corey Menafee and the history of university service labor.

* Ghostbusters (2016) and The Fan. Fake Controversy, Terrible Comedy. Ghostbusters‘ nostalgia problem. And from the archives!

Ghostbusters more than any other film highlights the growing devaluation of public-sector jobs at the hands of privatized for-profit entities operating for mercenary reasons. The protagonists of this movie spend their time removing unwanted, unpaying residents from spaces they occupied their whole lives (and longer) and placing them into a form of prison at the behest of the current owners who can get more rent from more affluent persons and don’t like the neighborhood being ‘brought down’ by those now-undesirable who lived there first. Not only that, but budget cuts have forced the New York Public Library to retain the dead as current employees, cutting into what should have been their final retirement, and the entire crux of the film comes from belittling and mocking elected officials’ uselessness in the face of corporations who can solve the city’s problems for cash and without all the useless regulation tying up the mayor, firefighters and police. Ghostbusters is essentially Blackwater for the dead, cleaning up the town of its unwanted past, making life safe for the corporate oligarchies.

* A Zero Star Review of The Secret Life of Pets.

‘Pokémon Go’ and the Persistent Myth of Stranger Danger. If Pokémon Go could resemble the best of childhood, it might have some value. What it actually does is very different.

* We Are All Queer Now.

* Did Wes Anderson Design North Korea?

How Sexual Harassment Halts Science.

Why rich parents are terrified their kids will fall into the “middle class.”

* Prepare to cry: Appleton teen makes heartbreaking decision to die.

To recap, the idea behind the Reverse Turing Test is that instead of thinking about the ways in which machines can be human-like we should also think about the ways in which humans can be machine-like.

* “He noted that further research is needed”: Women Wearing Low-Cut Tops In Application Photos Are 19 Times More Likely to Land a Job Interview.

* Penn State Football really should have gotten the NCAA death penalty.

* Am I a man, dreaming he is a Pokémon, or am I a Pokémon dreaming he is a man? Here’s All the Data Pokémon (Was) Leeching From Your Phone. Resist Pokémon Go. And as Adorno said: To catch Pokémon after Auschwitz is barbaric.

* OK, just take my money: Nintendo’s next assault on nostalgia is a mini-NES with 30 built-in games.

* Canon Police: Sulu’s Sexuality. But, you know, let’s not lose our heads. J.J. Abrams Won’t Re-Cast Anton Yelchin’s Role in ‘Star Trek’ Movies. For Some Baffling Reason, This Star Trek Beyond TV Spot Spoils the Big Twist. But the next one will be good, we swear.

* That piece I’m writing on Star Wars and canonicity will just never, ever be finished: Grand Admiral Thrawn Joins Rebels and the New Star Wars Canon.

* The headline reads, “Gonorrhea may soon be unbeatable.”

* Cancer, or, death by immortality.

Hacking the brain in Silicon Valley.

This blind Apple engineer is transforming the tech world at only 22.

Comic Books Are More Popular Now Than They’ve Been in 20 Years.

* Presenting the Apollo 11 Code.

* 67 Years of LEGO — by the numbers.

legos-are-graying

Darwin’s Kids Doodled All Over His “Origin of Species” Manuscript.

Neanderthals Ate Each Other and Used Their Bones as Tools.

* The Films Rian Johnson had the Episode 8 Cast Watch.

* This sizzle reel from Rogue One is the best.

* Treaty loophole might let someone claim ownership of the Moon.

Should You Quit Your Job To Go Make Video Games?

* Understanding endings.

A civil servant missing most of his brain challenges our most basic theories of consciousness.

* And Mightygodking pitches the dark, gritty Sesame Street reinterpretation you didn’t know you needed.

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Written by gerrycanavan

July 22, 2016 at 4:10 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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