A Few More October Links

October 16, 2014

Hyperarchivalism

Jason Schreier, “It Took Two Years To Make Final Fantasy VII‘s Midgar in Minecraft.”

It Took Two Years To Make Final Fantasy VII's Midgar In Minecraft

And more in huge fantasy worlds created in Minecraft: Laura Hudson, “How Fans Created Game of Thrones in a Minecraft Map the Size of LA.”

And I think this may very well be the death-knell of the age of superhero blockbusters (but also a megatext I’ll be writing about in, say, 2022): Dee Lockett, “DC Announces 10 New Superhero Films in Next Six Years, Including Wonder Woman (and Suicide Squad [!?] and Shazam [!?] and Cyborg [!?] . . . this can’t go well).

 

Literature and Culture

Sarah Brouillette, “Literature Is Liberalism: The Nobel Prize’s Wish to Separate Literature from Politics Isn’t Just Misguided. It’s Impossible.”

Zachary Loeb, “Program or Be Programmed,” a review of Wendy Chun, Programmed Visions: Software and Memory (MIT Press, 2013).

LM Sacasas, “Our Very Own Francis Bacon,” a review of Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future.

In news revolving in a Pynchonian orbit: Markus Krajewski, “The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy.” The Phoebus cartel engineered a shorter-lived lightbulb and gave birth to planned obsolescence. (Poor Byron.)

Ian Bogost, “Why Anything But Games Matters: On Isolationism in Game Development.”

Kyle Wagner, “The Future of the Culture Wars Is Here, and It’s Gamergate.”

Nick Wingfield, “Feminist Critics of Video Games Facing Threats in ‘GamerGate’ Campaign.”

Briana Wu, “No Skin Thick Enough: The Daily Harassment of Women in the Game Industry.”

The abandoned mall in Gone Girl (dir. David Fincher, 2014).

Tampon Run.

Adriana E. Ramirez reviews Ghosts in the Machine: A Short Story Anthology.

And my colleauge at Pitt, Dana Och, and others debate the return of Twin Peaks.


October Links

October 12, 2014

Hyperarchivalism and Big Data

Evgeny Morozov, “The Planning Machine: Cybersyn and the Origins of the Big Data Nation.”

Frank Pasquale reviews Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century: “Capital’s Offense: Law’s Entrenchment of Inequality.”

Nathan Jurgenson, “View From Nowhere: On the Cultural Ideology of Big Data.”

Cathy O’Neil, “Who Big Data Thinks We Are (When It Thinks We’re Not Looking),” a review of Christian Rudder’s Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking).

Julia Prescott, “We Saw the World’s First Throne Made Out of Jerry Macguire VHS Tapes.”

And Torie Rose DeGhett, “The War Photo No One Would Publish.”

 

Literature and Culture

Carolyn Kellog on Patrick Modiano Winning the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature.

A short story from Haruki Murakami, “Scheherazade.”

Tracy K. Smith, “Sci-Fi.”

Michael Nordine, “Muted Golden Sunshine: David Lynch’s Los Angeles.”

Alison Flood, “Creative Writing Courses Are Killing Western Literature, Claims Nobel Judge.” (Someone needs to read Mark McGurl’s The Program Era [2009].)

Forrest Wickman, “The Honest Trailer for Transformers 4 Is a Masterpiece.”

Alexandra Alter, “Literary Biography of Jonathan Franzen to Appear Next Year.”

Manhattan Projects no. 24 has one of the more bizarre takes on the JFK assassination I’ve ever seen.

And Lauren Williamson, “The Alternate-Reality Games That Teach Kids the Cause and Effect of Their Circumstances.”

 

Humanities and Higher Education

Lynn O’Shaughnessay, “Where to Get a Free College Degree.”


The Trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson’s Adaptation of Pynchon’s Inherent Vice and Other Links

October 6, 2014

Life has been quite busy, so I don’t even have that big of a backlog of links, but there’s been some interesting things afoot and I’m way behind on some of this stuff. So, without further ado. . . .

The trailer to Paul Thomas Anderson’s forthcoming adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice (2009) should be required viewing:

Logan Hill, “Pynchon’s Cameo, and Other Surrealities: Paul Thomas Anderson Films Inherent Vice.”

And a reflection on the trailer from some of the people at Grantland.

 

Environment and the Future

The sixth extinction event . . . Damian Carrington, “Earth Has Lost Half of Its Wildlife in the Past 40 Years, Says WWF.” !!!

Ian Bogost, “Future Ennui.”

 

International

Arif Dirlik, “Crisis and Criticism: The Predicament of Global Modernity.”

David Golumbia and David Simpson begin a conversation about drones.

Tom McKay, “Here’s the Ingenious Way Protesters in Hong Kong Are Organizing Themselves.”

Andrew Jacobs, “Chinese Web Censors Struggle with Hong Kong Protest.”

 

Science

“Rethinking the Origins of the Universe.”

 

Literature and Culture

Joyce Carol Oates, “The Death Factory: Martin Amis’s The Zone of Interest.”

Zachary Loeb, “All Hitherto Existing Media,” a review of Christian Fuchs, Social Media: A Critical Introduction.

Vauhini Vara, “Ello’s Anti-Facebook Movement.”

Jay Caspian King, “ISIS’s Call of Duty.”

Michael Agger, “The Minecraft Parent.”

“The White Women of Empire.”

Joe Fassler, “David Mitchell on How to Write: ‘Neglect Everything Else.'”

Jillian Steinhauer, “Why Artworks Are Like People.”

Sasha Simic, “A Critique of the Gotham Programme: Marxism and Superheroes.”

Peter Frase, “In Defense of Gamers.”

The Modernist Studies Association Conference is coming to Pittsburgh.

Steph Roman, “Final Fantasy XV’s All-Male Cast: Why This Is Problematic.”

And this is about the most adorable/punk rock thing ever: a fifth grader on The Dead Kennedys.

 

Humanities and Higher Education

Rebeccas Schuman generates some controversy with “Why Your Cousin with a PhD Is a Basket Case.” Because, as I posted a while ago, Amanda Ann Klein already basically wrote this (part 1 and part 2) at Judgmental Observer.

David Francis Mihalyfy, “Higher Education’s Aristocrats.”

Danny Dorling, “Tuition Fees: A Bonanza for the 1%.”

Jon Wu, “A Generic College Paper.”


Organism for Poetic Research Launches Volume 3 of PELT in NYC

September 23, 2014

PeltLaunch

For anyone in New York (I’m not, sadly), go check out the launch of volume 3 of PELT, a journal published by the Organism for Poetic Research, in which I have two poems. This volume of PELT is a special issue on “Sci-Pulp Poetics.” The launch will be accompanied by a reading at Wendy’s Subway this Friday, September 26th at 7:00 pm. Wendy’s Subway is at 722 Metropolitan Avenue, 2nd Floor, Brooklyn, New York 11206 and can be reached by taking the L train to Graham Ave.

There will be readings and performances by:
The Organism for Poetic Research
Anna Gurton-Wachter
Tiziana LaMelia
& Morgan Vo
Film Screenings by Amie Robinson (Nykur) and Sonia Levy (Pôle)
& more

The movie begins in this flat, journalistic style. A universe with a long natural history, spotted with strange and alluring artifacts of various ‘forerunner’ species. Plaster slides from the walls in the house it rains inside of; he feels for the tissue of sci-fi without the story. So, we invite the dystopian poetics of paranoia and ESP-powered feline-hybrids. “It is as if a cleavage, time, had opened in the floor.”


A Couple More September Links (Spoiler, the US Still Has Nukes in Europe)

September 18, 2014

Leigh Phillips, “Four European States Host US Nuclear Bombs, WikiLeaks Reveals.”

Gregory Fried, “The King Is Dead: Heidegger’s ‘Black Notebooks.'”

Cory Doctorow, “Stephen Harper Sells Canada: China Can Secretly Sue to Repeal Canadian Laws.”

boundary 2 has made available Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht’s “The Future of Reading? Memories and Thoughts toward a Genealogical Approach.”

Maya Rhodan, “Nearly 5 Million Google Passwords Leaked to Russian Site.”

Simon Parkin, “Zoe Quinn’s Depression Quest.”

Podcast: Reading Marx’s Capital with David Harvey.

And Carolyn Kellogg on Alison Bechdel and Terrance Hayes receiving MacArthur Fellowships.


Many September Links

September 17, 2014

As predicted, I have been quite busy indeed and have not had a chance to post anything over the past couple of weeks. A bunch of fascinating stuff has been happening, a bunch of interesting books are coming out, etc., so I’m sad that I’ve been remiss in my duties. Hopefully this large batch of links will make up for that.

 

Apocalypse and After

George Dvorsky, “Have Humans Already Conquered the Threat of Extinction?”

Or not. Graham Turner and Cathy Alexander, “Limits to Growth Was Right: New Research Shows We’re Nearing Collapse.”

One of the first reviews of Naomi Klein’s new book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate.

Jessica Corbett and Ethan Corey, “5 Crucial Lessons for the Left from Naomi Klein’s New Book.”

Eric Holthaus, “New Study Links Polar Vortex to Climate Change.”

Eugene Thacker on Radiolab.

And who knows where to put this one: Alison Flood, “Margaret Atwood’s New Work Will Remain Unseen for a Century.”

 

Hyperarchival

Matt Frassica, “The Revolution Has Been Digitized.” The digitization of the modernist “little magazine.”

Randy Kennedy, “Digitizing Warhol’s Film Trove to Save It.”

Glen Fleishman, “An Algorithm to Figure Out Your Gender.”

Patricia Hernandez, “Meet the Guy Who Spent Seven Months Killing Everyone in Fallout 3.”

Tatiana Danger, “Drone Discovers Abandoned Renaissance Faire Deep in Virginia Woods.” (I’d been wondering where I misplaced my Renaissance faire.)

Nicholas Carr, “The Manipulators: Facebook’s Social Engineering Project.”

History and Economics

Hector Tobar reviews The Half Has Never Been Told.

Tim Cassidey, “Historians Who Look Too Much.”

 

International

Masha Gessen, “The Dying Russians.”

Slavoj Žižek, “ISIS Is a Disgrace to True Fundamentalism.”

Michael Muhammad Knight, “I Understand Why Westerners Are Joining Jihadi Movements Like ISIS. I Was Almost One of Them.”

The Atlantic has a bunch of striking pictures in “Afghanistan: The Long Withdrawal.”

 

Literature and Culture

“Pittsburgh Poet Terrance Hayes Named MacArthur Fellow.”

Jonathan Arac, The American Jeremiad after Thirty-Five Years.”

And indeed, Common-Place 14, no. 4, has a whole roundtable on Sacvan Bercovitch‘s American Jeremiad.

Andrew Culp, “From the Decision to the Digital,” a review of Alexander R. Galloway’s new book, Laruelle: Against the Digital.

Alex Ross, “The Naysayers: Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, and the Critique of Pop Culture.”

James Wood, “Soul Cycle,” a review of David Mitchell’s Bone Clocks.

The Los Angeles Review of Books interviews William T. Vollmann.

An interview with Ben Lerner at The Believer.

Alexander Norcia reviews Ben Lerner’s 10:04.

Dwight Garner reviews 10:04 in “With Storms Outside, Inner Conflicts Swirl.”

Another 10:04 review: Christian Lornetzen, “Back to the Present.”

And another. Joe Fassler, “Envision the Novel Like a Museum.”

Tiffany Gibert reviews Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven.

On the scourge of “creativity”: Joshua Rothman, “Creativity Creep.”

Thomas Pynchon’s edits to his Simpsons script.

Chris Rodley, “Post-structuralism Explained with Hipster Beards.”

Matt Uford, “People vs. the NFL.”

Adam Atkinson and my colleague at Pitt, Dawn Lundy Martin, both have poems in issue 45 of Evening Will Come: A Monthly Journal of Poetics in its “NSFW” special issue, edited by the incomparable Lara Glenum.

My friend Rachel Nagelberg has work in issue 5 of Impossible Voice.

My friend David Letzler has a new essay in Hypermedia Joyce Studies: “Redundancy, Modernism, and Readers’ Expectations: An Experiment in Joyce Prediction.”

 

The Gaming Controversy

TNI Syllabus: Gaming and Feminism.”

Ian Williams, “Death to the Gamer.”

David Auerbach, “Gaming Journalism Is Over.”

Patrick Miller, “Why I’m not a ‘Gamer.'”

Daniel Carlson, “The Insidious Rise of the Blockbuster Videogame.”

Peter Frase, “Gamer’s Revanche.”

And a roundup of the explosive month in videogames.

 

(Digital) Humanities and Higher Education

Brian Lennon, “The Eversion of the Digital Humanities.” A review of The Emergence of Digital Humanities by Steven E. Jones.

Lee Skallerup Bessette, “This Is Not an Essay.”

Malcolm Harris, “Not for Teacher,” a review of Dana Goldstein’s The Teacher Wars.

Debra Leigh Scott, “How Higher Education in the US Was Destroyed in Five Basic Steps.”

Jeffrey L. Butler, “The Two Cultures of Higher Education in the Twenty-First Century and Their Impact on Academic Freedom.”

Former Pitt teacher Cathy Day, “The Magic Building Where English Majors Work: Making Sense of Creative Writing’s Job Problem.”

Christy Thornton, “Students at the Barricades.”

Amanda Ann Klein, “Understanding Your Academic Friend: Job Market Edition, Part II.”

Mark Follman, “Idaho Professor Accidentally Shoots Himself While Teaching Class.”

And Mallory Ortberg, “Every Type of Email College Students Send to Their Professors.”


End of August Links

August 31, 2014

Environment and Apocalypse

Hamilton Nolan, “Doom Draws Nearer.”

Daniel Cech, “How the Apocalypse Would Happen if Heaven Were a Small Nonprofit.”

Robert O. Self, “Cataclysm in Suburbia: The Dark, Twisted History of America’s Oil-Addicted Middle Class.”

Emma Hansen, “From Nuclear Bombs to Killer Robots: How Amoral Technologies Become Immoral Weapons.”

 

Hyperarchival

Annalee Newitz, “The First College in the US to Open without any Books in its Library.”

Bill Chappell, “Bookless Public Library Opens in Texas.”

Ben Jurney, “2014: A Facebook Odyssey.”

Robinson Meyer, “There Still Isn’t One Good Way to Represent the Internet in Art.”

Becky Sullivan, “For The First Time, Real Tattoos Make Their Madden Debut.”

Danielle Kurtzleben, “How Facebook is Clearing Clickbait from Your News Feed.”

The Eternal September of the No Laptop Policy.

And Adam Gopnik, “Does It Help to Know History?”

 

International

French Government Dissolved Over Economic Policy.

 

Politics

Nicki Lisa Cole, “The Ferguson Syllabus.”

Jelani Cobb, “Bullets and Ballots.”

Christian Parenti, “Reading Hamilton from the Left.”

 

Literature and Culture

Maggie Nelson review Ben Lerner’s 10:04 in “Slipping the Surly Bonds of Earth: On Ben Lerner’s Latest.”

Steven Shaviro reviews Peter Watts’s Echopraxia in “Ferociously Intellectual Pulp Writing.”

My friend Carolyn Kellogg reviews David Mitchell’s Bone Clocks.

Michiko Kakutani review David Mitchell’s Bone Clocks in “A Lifetime Watching the World Devolve.”

Sean J. Kelly, “Adventures in Reading the American Novel.”

Diana Clarke on Bill Morris’s Motor City Burning: “The Idea of Detroit.”

Maria Popova, “Maurice Sendak’s Rare, Sensual Illustrations for Herman Melville’s Greatest Commercial Failure and Most Personally Beloved Book.”

Michael Finkel, “The Strange and Curious Tale of the Last True Hermit.”

William S. Burroughs Sends Anti-Fan Letter to In Cold Blood Author Truman Capote: “You Have Sold Out Your Talent.”

Imaginaries of the Future: Historicizing the Present.

The death of the “gamer.”

Sage Ashford annotates Multiversity, no. 1.

And an eleven year old and his father recreate scenes from Infinite Jest in Legos.

 

Humanities and Higher Education

Understanding Your Academic Friend: Job Market Edition.

Corey Robin, “What Would Mary Beard Do? Bonnie Honig on How a Different Chancellor Might Respond to the Salaita Affair.”

Brock Read, “Who’s Getting the Tenure Track Jobs? It’s Time to Find Out.”

Mitch Daniels, former Governor of Indiana and current president of Purdue University, is teaching a class this fall. Steven Stofferahn asks, “What Value in Prof. Daniels’s Class at Purdue?” The same Mitch Daniels who just wanted to prevent kids from reading Howard Zinn.

Well now. Catherine Stukel, “Is That Whining Adjunct Someone We Want Teaching Our Young” and “Teaching Cadence.”

And Adam Heiderbrink-Bruno, “Syllabus as Manifesto: A Critical Approach to Classroom Culture.”


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