It’s Ideology, Stupid! Climate Change Denial and Other Links

Nuclear and National Security State

Mark Strauss, “Failed Nuclear Weapons Recycling Program Could Put Us All in Danger.”

Lauren Gambino, New York Review of Books Slams CIA with Twitter Attack.”

 

Climate Change

It’s sad that we even see articles like this one. Allison Kopicki, “Is Global Warming Real? Most Americans Say Yes.” Argh.

Lori Montgomery, “In Norfolk, Evidence of Climate Change Is in the Streets at High Tide.”

Paul Krugman: it’s not big business lobbying against environmental protections, it’s ideology, stupid!

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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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Digging Up the Archive

One of the biggest apocryphal tales in videogame history involves the reported burying of thousands of copies of E. T. the Extraterrestrial (Atari Inc., 1982) after its historic flop. The game, a poorly designed and nearly unplayable mess, such a mess that E. T. has become shorthand for many of the things wrong with the videogame industry now and then, was initially rushed to stores by the holiday shopping season to capitalize on the success of Spieleberg’s film by the same name. The sales of the game were so bad that supposedly Atari had nearly a million copies left unsold, which disappeared and rumors circulated that many of these unsold cartridges were buried. And they were! reports on Microsoft’s uncovering of these buried games in “30 Years Later, Microsoft Uncovers Buried E. T. Cartridges,” which has been done in coordination with making a documentary about the search for this buried archive. Next up, Microsoft will try to find Jimmy Hoffa.

ET-Well

The Dark Side of the Digital Humanities and Other Links

This winter’s special issue of differences, “In the Shadows of the Digital Humanities,” is looking like a must read for anyone interested in the subject. A number of important essays appear in the journal by a group of notable scholars, including an introduction by Wendy Hui Kyong Chun and Lisa Marie Rhody, and articles by Matthew Kirschenbaum, Richard Grusin, Adeline Koh, Alexander R. Galloway, David Golumbia, Patrick Jagoda, and many others.

And more on “relatable”: a very interesting piece by Lucy Ferriss, “I’m Relatable, You’re Relatable,” and an older one by Kit Nicholls, “The ‘Relatable’ Fallacy.”

The 2014 Hugo Awards have been announced, and Robert Jordan’s (and Brandon Sanderson’s) Wheel of Time got the nod. (I have a few brief words on the end of the series.) Note the exception to the Hugo rules that allow The Wheel of Time‘s nomination. . . .

Chay Close on Jazzpunk (Necrophone Games, 2014), “All Videogames Are a Joke.” Looks like I have something else to add to my summer indie game program.

More from the DFW-industry: Thorin Klosowski, “David Foster Wallace’s Best Productivity Tips.” Really?

Paul Barnwell, “My Students Don’t Know How to Have a Conversation.”

Tim Wu, “Goodbye, Net Neutrality; Hello, Net Discrimination,” and Kevin Drum, “Net Neutrality Finally Dies at Ripe Old Age of 45.”

Rebecca Schuman on student evaluations.

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:

End of the Year Links

As I have been lax in posting things, yesterday I posted a bunch of links on recent stories regarding the NSA. Today I’m posting links of more general interest. I’ve tried to organize them by category.

 

Iran

The biggest story I have not had time to address were the diplomatic talks regarding Iran’s nuclear program. So here are some links to that.

On 5 November 2013 Reuters reported that Iran, Israel, and Middle East countries “took part in a meeting two weeks ago about prospects for an international conference on banning nuclear weapons in the Middle East.”

Temporary nuclear pact.

UN nuclear inspectors in Iran.

“Iran, from Enemy to Ally.”

Right on the verge of a nuclear agreement, perhaps the biggest event in nuclear nonproliferation in my lifetime, Bob Mendez fights Obama on imposing new sanctions on Iran, as do fifteen other democrats. More here.

Though from today: progress in nuclear talks.

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