Links in the Time of Coronavirus, Vol. 5: July 16–August 15, 2020

Black Lives Matter

Ishmael Reed, “America’s Criminal Justice System and Me.”

Anthony Bogues, “Black Lives Matter and the Moment of the Now.”

Colin Dayan, “Police Power and Can’t Breathe.”

Dwight Garner, “Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste Is an ‘Instant American Classic’ about Our Abiding Sin.”

Jane Hu, “The Second Act of Social-Media Activism.”

Jonathan Levinson and Conrad Wilson, “Federal Law Enforcement Use Unmarked Vehicles to Grab Protesters off Portland Streets.”

Shane Harris, “DHS Compiled ‘Intelligence Reports’ on Journalists Who Published Leaked Documents.”

Ken Klippenstein, “The Border Patrol Was Responsible for an Arrest in Portland.”

Katie Shepherd and Mark Berman, “‘It Was Like Being Preyed upon’: Portland Protesters Say Federal Officers in Unmarked Vans Are Detaining Them.”

Charlie Warzel, “50 Nights of Unrest in Portland.”

Conrad Wilson, Dirk Vanderhart, and Suzanne Nuyen, “Oregon Sues Federal Agencies for Grabbing up Protesters off the Streets.”

Gillian Flaccus, “Judge Blocks US Agents from Arresting Observers in Portland.”

Richard Read, “Out of Portland Tear Gas, an Apparition Emerges, Capturing the Imagination of Protesters.”

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Spring 2020 Links (Pre-COVID-19)

A lot of stuff was going on for me this year, both personally and professionally, so I haven’t really had a chance to post links since . . . last summer (!), nine months before the global pandemic was declared. So, to catch up: here’s links from late summer 2019–March 11, 2020 that are, by the very nature of posting them now, rather outdated/anachronistic, a window onto a world that is gone yet still all too present (and excessive), a world that most certainly wasn’t going in the direction of human flourishing and that any nostalgia for may be misplaced. . . . I hope to have “Links in the Time of Coronavirus, Vol. 1” up sometime soon(er than nine months from now . . .).

Donald G. McNeil Jr., “Wuhan Coronavirus Looks Increasingly Like a Pandemic, Experts Say” (February 20, 2020).

 

Nuclear and Environmental

Mary Hudetz, “US Official: Research Finds Uranium in Navajo Women, Babies.”

David E. Sanger and Andrew E. Kramer, “US Officials Suspect New Nuclear Missile in Explosion That Killed Seven Russians.”

Kristin George Bagdanov, “Addressing the Atomic Specter: Ginsberg’S ‘Plutonian Ode’ and America’s Nuclear Unconscious.”

Alyssa Battistoni, “Why Naomi Klein Has Been Right.”

Henry Fountain, “Climate Change Is Accelerating, Bringing World ‘Dangerously Close’ to Irreversible Change.”

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Many September Links

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.”

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

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.

The New Proliferation: Cyber Weapons; or, the Internet is Tubes, its Tubes!

Thanks to Racheal for drawing my attention to the following things. The first is an article from yesterday’s New York Times about the US use of cyberweapons, the virus attacks on an Iranian nuclear facility, and the spiraling proliferation of the militarized internet. Misha Glenny writes in “A Weapon we Can’t Control,” in what sounds very much like digital-nuke-speak rhetoric and quickly maps onto digital destruction rhetoric:

During the cold war, countries’ chief assets were missiles with nuclear warheads. Generally their number and location was common knowledge, as was the damage they could inflict and how long it would take them to inflict it.

Advanced cyberwar is different: a country’s assets lie as much in the weaknesses of enemy computer defenses as in the power of the weapons it possesses. So in order to assess one’s own capability, there is a strong temptation to penetrate the enemy’s systems before a conflict erupts. It is no good trying to hit them once hostilities have broken out; they will be prepared and there’s a risk that they already will have infected your systems. Once the logic of cyberwarfare takes hold, it is worryingly pre-emptive and can lead to the uncontrolled spread of malware.

Hyperarchival parallax indeed.

And Dwight Garner has an interesting review, “He Has Seen the Internet, and it is Us,” of Tubes by Andrew Blum.