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.”



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?”



French Government Dissolved Over Economic Policy.



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.”

Beginning of the Semester Links, Fall 2014

August 24, 2014

Tomorrow I return to the classroom at the University of Pittsburgh for another semester. As I imagine that this will also mean I’m about to be considerably busier, and that this will mean a bit less posting on the ole blog (links or otherwise), some links to mark the occasion.


Disaster and Environmental 

Daniel Politi, “Napa Valley Earthquake Is the Strongest to Hit the Bay Area Since 1989.”



Douglas Williams, “Love Me, Ferguson, I’m a Liberal.”

Alexandra Schwartz, “On Being Seen: An Interview with Claudia Rankine from Ferguson.”

Matt Apuzo and Michael S. Schmidt, “In Washington, Second Thoughts on Arming the Police.”



Cornel West on Barack Obama.

Erick Eckholm, “US Court to Hear Case on Voting Restrictions as Arizona Prepares for Polls.”


Science and Technology

Rose Eveleth, “So What Exactly Is a ‘Killer Robot’?”


Literature and Culture

A review of Ben Lerner‘s new book, 10:04: Parul Sehgal, “Drawing Words from the Well of Art: Ben Lerner Imagines ‘Different Futures’ in his Novel, 10:04.”

Anthony Grafton reviews William Deresiewicz’s Excellent Sheep in “The Enclosure of the American Mind.”

A review of David Mitchell’s new novel, The Bone Clocks: Alexandra Alter, “A Master of Many Universes.”

And I was waiting for this story to break (and it took longer than I thought). One of my favorite bands, Isis, who has been around since 1997, is finally getting some flack about the coincidence of their name’s similarity to ISIS, the group controlling many portions of Iraq right now.


Humanities and Higher Education

And for all my students this semester majoring in the humanities, show your parents this.

More from Ferguson, the Earth Is Doomed in 2880, and Other Links

August 21, 2014

Nuclear and Environmental

Nick Blackborn, “How to Hide a Nuclear Missile.”

Paul Rogers, “California Drought: 17 Communities Could Run Out of Water in 60 to 120 Days, State Says.”

Seth Borenstein, “Recent Glacial Melt Mostly Caused By Man-Made Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Study Finds.”

Jeff Spross, “Meet the First Pacific Island Town to Relocate Thanks to Climate Change.”

Katie Valentine, “The Longest River in the US Is Being Altered by Climate Change.”

Isobel Markham, “Huge Asteroid Set to Wipe Out Life on Earth — in 2880.”



Bob Herbert, “The Fire This Time.”

Gail Sullivan, “How Facebook and Twitter Control What You See about Ferguson.”

“Ferguson Unrest: Egypt Urges US to Show Restraint.”

Nathaniel Downes, “Ferguson Police Busted: Attempt to Defame Shooting Victim Blows Up in Their Face.”

Jamelle Bouie, “Why the Fires in Ferguson Won’t End Soon.”

Jelani Cobb, “A Movement Grows in Ferguson.”

Lanre Akinsiku, “The Price of Blackness.”

Benjamin Wallace-Wells, “The Summer of 2014 and the Return of the Politics of Racism.”

Matthew Yglesias, “Police Are Operating with Total Impunity in Ferguson.”

“Mapping the Spread of the US Military’s Surplus Gear.”

Ashley Yates, “#Ferguson.”



Annysa Johnson and Nina Barton, “Islamic Militants Execute Journalist, MU Grad James Foley.”


Politics and Economics

Bonnie Honig’s “Three Models of Emergency Politics” has been made available by boundary 2.

Rob Horning, “Liquid Authenticity.”



Manuel Abreu, “Incalculable Loss.” “The algorithms that make up Big Data distribute complicity for death across the populations they surveil.”



An interview with Nick Bostrom.


Literature and Culture

Noah Berlasky, “Building a Better Panopticon,” a review of Linda Williams’s book on The Wire (2002-2008).

Some interesting things going on at the University of Arizona, my alma mater: “Transgender Studies Today: An Interview with Susan Stryker.”

Nate Lavey and Jay Kang, “Object of Interest: The Vocoder.”

And an interview with my friend Dave Keaton: “Hey, Why’d You Do That David James Keaton?”


Humanities and Higher Education

America’s coming student loan apocalypse. (I guess anything can be an apocalypse these days.)

Graeme Wood, “The Future of College?” (Ugh.)

“The Adjunct Crisis: A Reading List.”

Ferguson and Other Links

August 19, 2014


The running blog from Fergusons latest: Ben Mathis-Lilley and Elliot Hannon, “Officer Who Stopped Michael Brown Did Not Know He Was a Robbery Suspect.”

Photos from Ferguson.

Robert Stephens II, “In Defense of the Ferguson Riots.”

An open letter from David Simon.

Rembert Browne, “The Front Lines of Ferguson.”

“This Time, For Once, What It Is, It Is.”

Daniel Politti, “After a Day of Calm, Ferguson Reignites: Looting, Clashes with Police and Tear Gas.”

Jack Mirkinson, “Police Threaten to Shoot, Mace Reporters in Ferguson.”

Dylan Scott, “Mayor Defends Police: I Can’t Second-Guess These Officers.”

Jamelle Bouie, “The Militarization of the Police.”

The militarization of US Police.

Sahil Kapur, “House Democrat Unveils Bill to Demilitarize Local Police.”

Rand Paul, “We Must Demilitarize the Police.”

“There’s a Police Coup Going on Right Now in Ferguson, MO.”

Matthew Yglesias, “Enough is Enough in Ferguson.”

Mychal Denzel Smith, “The Death of Michael Brown and the Search for Justice in Black America.”

LaDoris Hazzard Cordell, “Policing the Police.”

Joe Coscorelli, “Obama Treads Lightly, Again, on Ferguson: ‘Listen and Heal,’ Don’t ‘Holler and Shout.'”

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, “The Coming Race War Won’t Be About Race.”

And a must see: John Oliver on Ferguson.


Nuclear and Environment

Laura Bliss, “Atomic Tests Were a Tourist Draw in 1950s Las Vegas.”

Anya Litvak, “Pennsylvania Gas Production Hits Another Peak.”



Helene Cooper and Michael D. Shear, “Militants’ Siege on Mountain in Iraq is Over, Pentagon Says.”



Neil Johnson, “The High-Tech Arms Race That’s Causing Stock Market ‘Tsunamis.'”

Alan J. Lichtman, “Who Rules America?”



Caleb Garling, “Tricking Facebook’s Algorithm.”


Literature and Culture

Mike Miley is going through David Foster Wallace’s archive, reading all the notes Wallace wrote in books.

Grant Morrison’s Multiversity debuts tomorrow! I’ve been chomping at the bit for this one. And the “map” of the multiverse is gorgeous.

Daniel Coluccielo Barber reviews Lessons in Secular Criticism by Stathis Gourgouris at the LARB.

Nathaniel Rich, “The Mystery of Murakami.”

Rebecca Mead, “The Pleasure of Reading to Impress Yourself.”

Steve Almond, “John Oliver Won’t Be Your Therapist: How He Torpedoed the Reassuring Tropes of Fake News.”

Manohla Dargis reviews The Giver in “If You Want to Remember, You Have to Ask the Old Guy.”

Laura Miller, “Portrait of a Self-Published Author: Drac Van Stoller’s Invisible Literary Empire.”

Zach Friedman, “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

More on Robin Williams. Chris Gethard, “The Art of the Obituary.” Alex Pappademas, “Knight Takes King: Remembering Robin Williams, 1951-2014.” Andrew SoClomon, “Suicide, a Crime of Loneliness.” Anthony Lane, “Postscript: Robin Williams, 1951-2014.”

And Gabino Iglesias has an interview with my friend David James Keaton.


Humanities and Higher Education

Ian Bogost, “Academic Paydom: Tactical Lessons from the Steven Salaita Situation.”

Paul Bové, “Steven Salaita–My Letter to the Chancellor.”

An open letter from untenured faculty to Chancellor Wise of UIUC.

Getting some push back: Nicholas Kristof, “Don’t Dismiss the Humanities.”

Colleen Flaherty, “Pulling Rank: Is Northeastern Denying Professors Tenure to Improve Its National Rankings?”

William Deresiewicz, “Spirit Guides,” on the things that teachers can provide that parents can’t.

Robert J. McKee, “The Age(ism) of Diversity.”

On the Death of Robin Williams and Other Links

August 13, 2014

Nuclear and Environment

Sarah Stillman, “Hiroshima and the Inheritance of Trauma.”

McKenzie Wark, “Critical Theory After the Anthropocene.”



Geoff Manaugh and Nicola Twilley, “Ebola and the Fiction of Quarantine.”

Leigh Phillips, “The Political Economy of Ebola.” “Ebola won’t be solved, because it isn’t profitable to do so.”



Mat Honan, “I Like Everything on Facebook for Two Days. Here’s What It Did to Me.”

Six films by Andrei Tarkovsky are now available for free online.

More in The New Yorker making its archive available. “Television in The New Yorker.”


Literature and Culture

Tom Gallagher reviews The Last Magazine by Michael Hastings.

Maureen Corrigan reviews Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher.

George R. R. Martin says that people have already predicted the ending of A Song of Fire and Ice. So why bother?

Its been a sad week in entertainment that saw the loss of both Robin Williams and Lauren Bacall. Williams suicide in particular has resonated with a great number of people. So. Some links. On Williams. Alana Horowitz, “Robin Williams Dead: Beloved Actor Dies in Apparent Suicide.” Jeremy Egner, “Remembering Robin Williams.” A. O. Scott, “Robin Williams, an Improvisational Genius, Forever Present in the Moment.” James Hamblin, “Robin Williams Lived Intensely.” Megan Garber, “The Robin Williams Way of Stardom.” David Weigel, “Calling All Sad Clowns.” And on Bacall. Dana Stevens, “The Designing Woman.” Isabel Wilkinson, “Lauren Bacall Could Teach You a Thing or Two About Style.” Sophie Gilbert, “Lauren Bacall: Never Outshone.”

And Olga Khazan, “Why Names Are So Easy to Forget.” I am so guilty of this.


Higher Education

Brad Wolverton, “How the O’Bannon Ruling Could Change College Sports.”

Charles P. Pierce, “The NCAA Is a Wreck Now.”

Dennis Hayes, “Let’s Stop Trying To Teach Critical Thinking.” Hayes could benefit from a bit of critical thinking himself (along with taking a freshman writing class . . .), as unsupported and unjustified overgeneralizations abound.

I’m Finally on Twitter! (and Other Links)

August 11, 2014

I’ve finally given in and created a Twitter account. You can follow me @BradleyFest.


In other news.


The diary of Mike Kirby, who worked with atomic weapons for years.


Iraq and International

“To the defense of Erbil: this was the main cause that drew President Obama back to combat in Iraq last week, two and a half years after he fulfilled a campaign pledge and pulled the last troops out” (Steve Coll, “Oil and Erbil”).

Rod Nordland and Helene Cooper, “Capitalizing on US Bombing, Kurds Retake Iraqi Towns.”

Conor Friedersdorf, “President Obama Risks Misleading Us Into War.”

Michael Tomasky, “Why Liberals Should Back Iraq Intervention.” Hmm.

On Putin’s current stance toward the US: David Remnick, “Watching the Eclipse.”

And boundary 2 has just made this fascinating article from their newest issue available: “Democracy: An Unfinished Project” by Susan Buck-Morss.


Literature and Culture

Steven Heller, “Writing the Book on Reinventing the Book.”

Caleb Garling, “Tricking Facebook’s Algorithm.”

Mark O’Connel, “Why Tweet About Your Novel?”

How the centers of Western culture migrated over two-thousand years.

And Arcade Fire covers part of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

The Salaita Affair and Other Links (and New Involvement in Iraq)

August 9, 2014

There have been many responses by notable people to the Steven G. Salaita issue. Corey Robin has a ton of links on the issue, including a tweet by Glenn Greenwald, and a piece by Peter Schmidt in The Chronicle of Higher Education. Former president of the MLA, Michael Bérubé, has written an open letter to Chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Phyllis Wise. Cary Nelson, former president of the American Association of University Professors, has written a piece defending Wise’s decision. Some background on Nelson. John K. Wilson has criticized UIUC in “Fighting the Twitter Police.” Sarah T. Roberts, “Steven Salaita: The University of Illinois is not an Island.” And here’s a recent piece by Salaita himself on academic freedom, “The Definition of Academic Freedom, for Many, Does Not Accommodate Dissent.”

In other news:

Dwight Garner seems to think that David Shafer’s Whiskey Tango Foxtrot may be the book of the summer in “Maybe There’s a Whole Other Internet.”

In hyperarchival news, Monte Reel reports on “The Brazilian Bus Magnate Who’s Buying Up All the World’s Vinyl Records.”

And I’m starting to get the itch for the new semester:

Joshua Rothman, “What College Can’t Do.”

“Rogeting: Why ‘Sinister Buttocks’ Are Creeping into Students’ Essays.”

And, just breaking, President Obama has announced that he has authorized airstrikes and humanitarian aid in Iraq. The Washington Post has a transcript of the announcement.


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