June 2015 Links

National Security State

Edward J. Snowden, “The World Says No to Surveillance.”

The Guardian, “View on Surveillance after Snowden: An Outlaw Rewrites the Law.”

David Cole, “Reining in the NSA.”

Dan Froomkin, “USA Freedom Act: Small Step for Post-Snowden Reform, Giant Leap for Congress.”

Don Franzen interviews Erwin Chemerinsky, “The Legal Legacy of Citizen Four.”

Anne Richardson, “That Fine Line Between Hero and Traitor: What Can We Learn from the Snowden Disclosures?” review of After Snowden: Privacy, Secrecy and Security in the Information Age, edited by Ronald Goldfarb.

Glenn Greenwald, “Did Max Boot and Commentary Magazine Lie About Edward Snowden? You Decide.”

David Dayen, “The Scariest Trade Deal Nobody’s Talking About Just Suffered a Big Leak.”

Bryan Magers, “The War in Africa the US Military Won’t Admit It’s Fighting.”

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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.”

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Big News in Science and Other Links

Science

The first evidence for cosmic inflation–i.e., the Big Bang–was discovered this week.

Megan Garber at The Atlantic, “What It’s Like to be Right About the Big Bang?”

The search for Flight MH370 is revealing one thing: the ocean is filled with garbage.

Kim Stanley Robinson alert: Paul Rosenfeld, “Would You Take a One-Way Ticket to Mars?”

And as part of his forthcoming 3 million page novel, Breeze Avenue (2015), Richard Grossman has buried a crystal ball deep inside of Princeton Mountain in Colorado. The ball, “made of synthetic sapphire, which is almost as indestructible as diamond,” has the Ten Commandments inscribed on it in Hebrew, and in “20 million years, as a result of natural forces carefully calculated by the geologists, the Torah Ball will emerge from its eroded resting place and bear the Ten Commandments down the mountain.” Hyperarchivalists of the deep future rejoice!

Richard Grossman, The Torah Ball (Synthetic Sapphire, Princeton Mountain, 20 Million Years of Erosion, 2011).

Richard Grossman, The Torah Ball (Synthetic Sapphire, Princeton Mountain, 20 Million Years of Erosion, 2011).

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Labor Day Links

Lois Weiner has a very interesting piece in Jacobin, “This Labor Day, Thank a Teacher,” on how teacher’s unions are revitalizing the labor movement.

The levels of radiation leaking out of Fukushima are considerably higher than was previously reported.

And there may be a bigger surveillance system then PRISM, as reported on in The New York Times by Scott Shane and Colin Moynihan in “Drug Agents Use Vast Phone Trove, Eclipsing the N.S.A.’s.”

Hyperarchival Realism, Surveillance, and the Control Society

Christine Jun for Dazed Digital has posted an  A-Z list of some incredible contemporary art that engages with technologies of surveillance in “The dA-Zed Guide to Surveillance: Drones in the Sky, Whistleblowers in Jail: How Art is Responding to Big Brother’s Watch.” Of especial note is Robin Hewlett and Ben Kinsley‘s Street with a View, which was done a number of years ago while both were pursuing Master’s of Fine Arts degrees at Carnegie Mellon University, just down the street from me. I have met Ben a few times and had the opportunity to talk with him about this project while he was working on it. A pic (and a link to the Street with a View at Google maps):

Street with a View

I especially appreciate Hewlett and Kinsely’s hyperarchivally realist work here for integrating the archival processes of contemporaneity, the all-surveilling  eye of Google and their maps, the social and local residents of the area, and what in the end is pretty high-concept performance art. Simply wonderful. (And that they somehow got Google to come out and take part, all the better. I also probably should have posted something about Street with a View years ago, but I’m glad being pointed toward Dazed Digital‘s A-Z list reminded me of how excellent this happening was.)

Fukushima, Apple, The Manhattan Project, and The Anthropocene

A bunch of interesting stories today:

“Water Leaks on the Fukushima Plant Could Contaminate Entire Pacific Ocean.”

The Faces of Project Y: the security badges for those working on the Manhattan Project.

And in further news from the Orwellian security state: “Apple has patented a piece of technology which would allow government and police to block transmission of information, including video and photographs, from any public gathering or venue they deem ‘sensitive,’ and ‘protected from externalities.'”

The Atlantic has amazing time-lapse satellite images showing the massive changes to the human-built world. An archive of disaster.

A conversation with Leigh Phillips, Gwyneth Jones, Marge Piercy, Ken MacLeod and Kim Stanley Robinson.

And from The Chronicle of Higher Education: “The National Institutes of Health announced on Wednesday that it had reached an agreement to give the family of Henrietta Lacks, an African-American woman who died of cervical cancer in 1951, some control over researchers’ access to the genomic data of cells derived from her tumor, according to The Wall Street Journal.”