End of the Semester Links, Spring 2016

Nuclear and Environmental

Justin Gillis, “Scientists Warn of Perilous Climate Shift Within Decades, Not Centuries.”

Ross Andersen, “We’re Underestimating the Risk of Human Extinction.”

Matthew Schneider-Mayerson, “On Extinction and Capitalism.”

Robert Macfarlane, “Generation Anthropocene.”

Will Worley, “Radioactive Wild Boar Rampaging around Fukushima Nuclear Site.”

Rebecca Evans, “Weather Permitting.”

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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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Many April Links: Catching Up

Another semester is coming to a close, and I finally have a chance to sit down and sort through the backlog of links that have been piling up over the past few months. So, with no further ado, links.

 

Nuclear, Environment, Ruins

Thomas Erdbrink, “Iran’s Leaders Fall Into Line Behind Nuclear Accord.”

William J. Broad, “Hydrogen Bomb Physicist’s Book Runs Afoul of Energy Department.”

John R. Bolton, “To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran.” Um, no.

Douglas Birch and R. Jeffrey Smith, “South African Nuclear Cache Unnerves US.”

“South Africa Rebuffs US Attempts to Take Over Its Nuclear Material.”

Jon Greenberg, “The Odd Reality of Iran’s Centrifuges: Enough for a Bomb, Not Power.”

Charlie Jane Anders, “Nanotech Could Make Nuclear Bombs Much, Much Tinier.”

Andreas Malm, “The Anthropocene Myth.”

99% Invisible, “Ten Thousand Years.”

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A Miscellaneous Group of Not Very Doomy Links

Surveillance, consent, networks, numbers, the hyperarchival condition of the contemporary: Natasha Lennard writes “Of Being Numerous” for The New Inquiry.

This doesn’t seem like reading at all: the new “speed reading app.”

Rebecca Stoner in The Daily Sophist: “What’s Love Got to Do with Anything? DFW Biographer D.T. Max Speaks on Campus.”

“A Game is Being Beaten” by Leigh Alexander at The New Inquiry: “The trend in video game design is to comment on violence by asking players to perform violence. But could there be pleasure in performing consent?”

“How Benjamin Kunkel Went from Novelist to Marxist Public Intellectual” by David Wallace-Wells at Vulture.

Between Two Ferns: The Selling of the President, 2014.”

A very interesting forthcoming issue of Critical Inquiry.

A(nother) soundtrack for the apocalypse. Track 1 seems especially doomy. (Thanks Michael.)

My good friend Ryan Pierson on The Lego Movie: “On the Nonessential Beauty of Legos.”

And because I saw it yesterday and enjoyed it (though I am a bit confounded by this fact), another: Andrew O’hehir for Salon: The Lego Movie: Plastic Blocks Fight for Freedom!”

German philosophers play Monopoly. (I wonder what would happen if they got a game of Risk [The Game of Ruining Friendships] going.)

And sad news in hyperarchival realism. Google is redoing its Street View for many places in Pittsburgh, and thus Ben Kinsley and Robin Hewlett’s wonderful Street With a View is going away. (Right now it goes from a marching band in the rain to a deserted, sunny street. Uncanny.) Ah, the transitory internet–perhaps it isn’t an archive at all, for really, how do we archive the present in the present. . . .

A short film on Street With a View:

Russia Sends Troops into the Ukraine and Other Links

Things are happening very quickly in the Ukraine. David Remnick reports on the most recent events for The New Yorker in “Putin Goes to War.” He writes:

Vladimir Putin, the Russian President and autocrat, had a plan for the winter of 2014: to reassert his country’s power a generation after the collapse of the Soviet Union. He thought that he would achieve this by building an Olympic wonderland on the Black Sea for fifty-one billion dollars and putting on a dazzling television show. It turns out that he will finish the season in a more ruthless fashion, by invading a peninsula on the Black Sea and putting on quite a different show—a demonstration war that could splinter a sovereign country and turn very bloody, very quickly.

In other news, Luke O’Neil has a piece in Esquire: “The Year We Broke the Internet: An Explanation, an Apology, a Plea.”

From my old neck of the woods, “Say Goodbye to Phoenix–And the American West.”

And a blast from the past. A video for The Faint‘s new single, “Help in the Head,” from their forthcoming album Doom Abuse. I cannot help but see this video as a paranoid reflection on the total surveillance of contemporaneity.

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.”