End of the Semester Links, Fall 2018

Nuclear and Environmental

Fourth National Climate Assessment.

Deconstructed, “Will the US Ever Give Up Its Nukes?”

“Trump Says US Will Withdraw from Nuclear Deal with Russia.”

Wilfred Wan, “The Nuclear Threat Is Rising: Europe Cannot Just Stand and Watch.”

Will Steffen, et al, “Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene.”

Kate Aronoff, “‘Hothouse Earth’ Co-Author: The Problem Is Neoliberal Economics” and “With a Green New Deal, Here’s What the World Could Look Like for the Next Generation.”

Kim Stanley Robinson, “To Slow Down Climate Change, We Need to Take On Capitalism.”

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A Few More October Links

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).

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

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.

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May Links

Digital Culture

Conor Friedersdorf, “The Strangest Interview Yet With the Outgoing Head of the NSA.”

And here’s John Oliver’s interview with General Keith Alexander, outgoing head of the NSA.

Adam Kirsch, “Technology is Taking Over English Departments: The False Promise of the Digital Humanities.”

Nilay Patel, “The Internet is Fucked.”

Mark Sample on torture in videogames, “Sites of Pain and Telling.”

An interview with Brian Tomasik, who thinks killing videogame characters is immoral.

On work in videogames: Steven Poole, “Working for the Man.”

Rey Junco, “Beyond ‘Screen Time’: What Minecraft Teaches Kids.”

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Super Bowl Sunday Links

Nuclear

Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal (2000) and the recent Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Incident, and the Illusion of Safety (2013, a book that is on my shortlist of things to read right now), has a couple of interesting things in The New Yorker on Dr. Strangelove: “Almost Everything in Dr. Strangelove Was True,”  “Deconstructing Dr. Strangelove,” and Kubrick’s alternative titles to the film.

In other hard-to-believe nuclear news, Josh Harkinson reports in Mother Jones that a “Nun Faces up to 30 Years for Breaking Into Weapons Complex, Embarrassing Feds.”

Torpedoes and the military industrial complex.

 

NSA

Angry Birds and ‘Leaky’ Phone Apps Targeted by NSA and GCHQ for User Data.”

The Blackphone. “A Phone for the Age of Snowden.”[1]

And an older op-ed piece from The New York Times on “Edward Snowden, Whistleblower.”

 

Environment and Disaster

Another disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Atlanta snow “storm,” and the devastating effects of two inches of snow when coupled with suburban sprawl:

More than any event I’ve witnessed in two decades of living in and writing about this city, this snowstorm underscores the horrible history of suburban sprawl in the United States and the bad political decisions that drive it. It tells us something not just about what’s wrong with one city in America today but what can happen when disaster strikes many places across the country. As with famines in foreign lands, it’s important to understand: It’s not an act of nature or God—this fiasco is manmade from start to finish. But to truly get what’s wrong with Atlanta today, you have to look at these four factors, decades in the making.

“Climate Change is Already Causing Mass Human Migration.”

And an interview with Fredric Jameson on capitalism, the infernal machine.

And a journey to the end of a world that may have no end.

 

Humanities and Higher Ed

“What STEM Shortage? Electrical Engineering Lost 35,000 Jobs Last Year.”


[1] It’s also of note that we are in the “Age of Snowden” (rather than the age of the NSA, or control, or surveillance, or whatever).

Nuclear Reactions

From the blog Nuclear Reactor, someone has built a nuclear reactor in Minecraft and had it explode.

In real world nuke reactor news, Europe is set to dismantle 150 nuclear reactors over the next 20 years: for the Washington Post, Brad Plumer reports on the difficulties of decommissioning nuclear reactors, both financial (400 million — 1 billion dollars per plant) and logistical in “How Hard is it to Dismantle 150 Nuclear Reactors? Europe’s About to Find Out.”

And some nuke reactor pics:

3 Mile Island