The West Antarctic Ice Sheet Collapse and Other Portents of Doom

Climate Change

The New York Times on the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

Paul Krugman, “Points of No Return.”

Eyder Peralta, “New Report Finds Climate Change Already Having Broad Impact.”

Gerry Canavan on “Dystopia, Anti-Utopia, and the End of the World.”

Peter Frase, “Adjusting to the Apocalypse.”

A very interesting piece at Jacobin reflecting on an analogy between abolitionists and environmentalists: Matt Karp, “A Second Civil War.”

Roger Peet, “A Radical Approach to the Climate Crisis.”

Martin Lukacs, “New, Privatized African City Heralds Climate Apartheid.”

Julie Beck on John Oliver’s “Statistically Representative Climate Change Debate.”

Saskia Sassen, “Countdown to Oblivion: The Real Reason We Can’t Stop Global Warming.”

Mike Wall, “To Combat Climate Change, Humanity Must Act Now, NASA Chief Says.”

Brad Plumer, “Five Horrifying Maps of America’s Massive Drought.”

And “Picture This: U.S. Cities Under 12 Feet of Sea Level Rise.” An example:

The Back Bay in Boston under 12 Feet of Sea Level Rise

The Back Bay in Boston under 12 Feet of Sea Level Rise

But don’t fret, “This Couple is Making Roads Out of Solar Panels, and They Actually Work.”

And Michelle Nijhuis, “How to Laugh at Climate Change.”

NSA and National Security State

Coral Davenport, “Climate Change Deemed Growing Security Threat by Military Researchers.”

Glen Greenwald, “‘I Have Been to the Darkest Corners of the Government, and What they Fear is Light.'”

Michael Paterniti on Glen Greenwald, “The Man Who Knows Too Much.”

Democracy Now: “‘The Stuff I Saw Really Began to Disturb Me’: How the U.S. Drone War Pushed Snowden to Leak the NSA Docs.”

Jason N. Breslow, “How Edward Snowden Leaked ‘Thousands’ of NSA Documents.”

Willie Osterweil, “Hollywood’s Love Affair with Surveillance.”


International Affairs

Ioan Grillo, “How Russia Arms America’s Southern Neighbors.”

Mary Beth Quirk, “Europe’s Highest Court Tells Google People Have the ‘Right to be Forgotten.'”


H.R.Giger Art 75

US Culture and Literature

H. R. Giger will be missed.

Bhaskar Sunkara, “Let’s Embrace the End of Food.”

My friend David Letzler is cited in the new Wikipedia entry on the “Encyclopedic Novel.”

Mark Strauss, “A Key Reason Why U.S. Politicians Don’t Understand Science.”

Anthony Lane reviews Godzilla (2014) in “Big Guy” for The New Yorker.

“Super Mario World Meets Game of Thrones.”

Matt Seidel, “The Worst Book Review Ever.”

And more from Salon‘s deluge on irony: Laura Miller, “What Hannah Arendt Understood About Irony that David Foster Wallace Didn’t.” (This is an interesting piece, but I continue to not understand why DFW is being yoked into these discussions, esp. in the title [unless it is to generate hits . . .]. Even a brief traipsing through DFW’s work will reveal his deep understanding of laughter and the need for irony–and indeed, from most people I’ve talked to, Infinite Jest and his short fiction and essays produce that rare gift: laughing out loud from reading. At the end of the day this is really an interesting interview with Marie Louise Knott on Arendt, but again the interviewee understands irony better than the people yoking DFW into their conversation: “Media irony is the result of a society, where people are thought of as consumers, while Arendt’s irony is the contrary. She wants to get closer to reality by overcoming her own impediments of thinking.” Wallace’s own use of irony [not what he says about television and media] seems to accomplish something similar. . . .)

And more! A pretty interesting piece on “normcore.” R. Jay Magill, Jr., “Irony, Sincerity, and Normcore: Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, David Foster Wallace, and the End of Rebellion”: “the specialness of individual rebelliousness is over. The cultural power granted to symbols and accouterments of dissent — signs once referring to the bourgeois person’s cheeky, recalcitrant individuality, his or her deep infusion with modernism — only work when they remain in the margins, when they mean something over and against what everyone else is doing.” (There’s something the Frankfurt School said about this . . . and holy moly I miss the 19990s! Oh Wait.)



Andrew Leonard, “Why the ’90s are Literally Disappearing from History.” Well, there goes my youth.



Mark Strauss, “The Astronomer Who Wanted to Rearrange the Solar System, Using Nukes.”

Clara Moskowitz, “Why Science Could be Close to Solving the Biggest Mystery in the Universe.”

Sarah Charley on Mark Kuse and N. Katherine Hayle’s team-taught class at Duke: “Science Fiction or Science Fact?”


Humanities and Higher Ed

Thomas Frank, “Congratulations Class of 2014: You’re Totally Screwed.”

Rebecca Schuman, “Confessions of a Grade Inflator.”

Colleen Flaherty on the lightning fast dismissal of faculty at Quinnipiac University, “Jobless in Two Days.”

Ollivier Dyens, “How Artificial Intelligence is About to Disrupt Higher Education.”

Michael S. Roth, “Young Minds in Critical Condition.”

Jonathan Gatehouse, “American Dumbs Down.”

Tom Nichols, “The Death of Expertise.”

To end on a note of laughter: A history of Europe through student writing. Anders Henrikkson, “A History of the Past: Life Reeked with Joy.”


And I will soon have two new poems, “Oceanic” and “Survival City,” appearing in the third volume of PELT, a publication of the Organization for Poetic Research.

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