End of the Semester Links Spring 2014

It’s been a busy end of the semester and I haven’t been able to post anything for a bit. So, now that I have a bit of time before the semester wraps up, here’s a bunch of stuff that has been happening the last few weeks. My apologies if I’m a bit late on some of these things.

Nuclear and Disaster

Laura Miller reviews Craig Nelson’s The Age of Radiance: The Epic Rise and the Dramatic Fall of the Atomic Age.

John Metcalfe, “What Famous Old Paintings Can Tell Us About Climate Change.”

Only .02% of published research rejects global warming.

Adam Weinstein, “Arrest Climate Change Deniers.”

Humanities and Higher Education

Robert N. Watson, “Bottom Line Shows Humanities Really Do Make Money.”

Not student debt, but the driving force of institutional debt in higher ed: “Revenue at Any Cost: Institutional Debt and the Crisis of U.S. Higher Education.”

More on institutional debt.

Something I wish all my students would read: Rebecca Onion, “The Awful Emptiness of ‘Relatable.'”

The University of Pittsburgh is twenty-second on this list of schools in terms of academic performance.

Derek Thompson, “Which College–And Which Major–Will Make You Richest?” Ugh. And “These U.S. Colleges and Majors Are the Biggest Waste of Money.” Double ugh.

Football players at Northwestern granted the right to unionize.

Elizabeth Segran, “What Can You Do with a Humanities Ph.D., Anyway?”

Professors are busy.

“Why Teaching Poetry is So Important.”

What’s wrong with the common core.


National Security State

Charles Savage, “Obama to Call for End to N.S.A.’s Bulk Data Collection.”

Daniel Schwartz, “Drone-Speak Lexicon: From ‘Bugsplat’ to ‘Targeted Killing.'”

Catherine Crump and Matthew Harwood, “Big Brother is Coming: Google, Mass Surveillance, and the Rise of the ‘Internet of Things.'”

David A. Graham, “Rumsfeld’s Knowns and Unknowns: The Intellectual History of a Quip.” And I’m actually teaching Alexander R. Galloway’s thoughts on “unknown unknowns” tomorrow.

Jon Queally, “Anger, Disbelief as Obama Defends US Invasion of Iraq.”

The painting of W. And more painting of W.

Why you should be worried about Heartbleed.

Bloomberg reports that NSA has used Heartbleed for years.

What Heartbleed has hit.

President Jimmy Carter calls America the #1 warmonger.

Russia and China are going to decouple trade from the dollar.

US Navy to use seawater as fuel.


US Literature and Culture

A must watch: Fredric Jameson’s radical solution for imagining a life after capitalism. I’m still mulling this over.

Martin Paul Eve, “Thomas Pynchon, David Foster Wallace and the Problems of Metamodernism: Post-Millenial Post-Postmodernism?,” from the first issue of C21: Journal of 21st Century Writings.

DFW predicted selfie anxiety.

More on DFW and irony.

Andrew Hartman’s Great Books in US Intellectual History.

Jason Diamon, “2014 Will Be the Year of Lynne Tillman.”

The fifty science fiction novels you must read.

A study says Facebook is about to lose 80% of its users.

Derek Thompson, “How You, I, and Everyone Got the Top 1 Percent All Wrong.”

Evelyn Barish, from her new book on Paul de Man.


N. Katherine Hayles, Patrick Jagoda, and Patrick LeMieux on their Alternate Reality Game, Speculation. And there’s more here.

Jesse Stommel, “Toward an Interactive Criticism: House of Leaves as Haptic Interface.”

My colleague at Pitt, John Taylor, “Using Rodney Dangerfield to Rethink Masculinity in Reagan-Era Hollywood.”

“The Culture of Shut Up.”

The Postmodernism Generator: “Thus, the subject is contextualised into a precultural semioticist theory that includes narrativity as a totality.” How postmodern to have an algorithm that generates postmodernism.

A review of Jane Gregory’s My Enemies (2013) by Charles Altieri.

On Monument Valley (2014).




Annalee Newitz, “It Seems More and More Certain That we Live in a Multiverse.”

What happens when you stick your head in a particle accelerator.

A hidden ocean on Enceladus.



My friend Debra Lam is doing great work as Pittsburgh’s first Chief of Innovation and Performance, and received a glowing writeup in Next.

And seriously, check out Pittsburgh.

I wonder how this might effect our reading of David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, “The Pseuo-Science of Alcoholics Anonymous: There’s a Better Way to Treat Addiction,” by Dr. Lance Dodes and Zachary Dodes.

Edwin Lyngar, “I lost My Dad to Fox News: How a Generation Was Captured by Thrashing Hysteria.”

Goat Simulator.

“Dungeons & Dragons & Philosophers.”

Have you read this!!!?

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