Links: Nell Zink, spamming spammers, Tana French, monogamy’s discontents, and more

* “Enigma Variations: Notes toward a theory of Nell Zink.” I like The Wallcreeper and have no idea what to do with it or say about it.

* Two years spamming spammers back, completely hilarious.

* “Sticker shock in Los Angeles Housing:” or, why you should’ve live in California. Granted I am writing this from NYC, which faces similar NIMBY and cost challenges.

* “Without tenure, professors become terrified sheep.” I think it more accurate to say, “Without market power, professors become terrified sheep.” Tenure distorts the academic market, making it hard for professors to get even one job, which in turn makes them terrified of losing it. See more from me on tenure’s discontents here.

* “The evolution of monogamy in response to partner scarcity,” interesting throughout.

* “Coding is not ‘fun’, it’s technically and ethically complex.” Is that incompatible with fun?

* “Tana French’s Intimate Crime Fiction: In her Dublin Murder Squad series, the search for the killer becomes entangled in a search for self.” I love the first paragraph in particular.

* “Dose of Reality: The Effect of State Marijuana Legalizations.” Short answer: Good all around. Other drugs ought to be next.

* Presidential candidate Gary Johnson: “Take a Deep Breath, Voters. There Is a Third Way.”

* “Why an Exotic Dancer Is (Financially) Just Like Your Hairdresser,” or, how strippers get paid (likely SFW).

2 responses

  1. I write this as someone who has no interest in and no desire to defend Scott Walker or the Koch brothers: giving them one-third of the blame for the demise of tenure—and for that matter, giving shrieking little activists obsessed with identity politics another third—makes little sense to me. In politically “blue” states, with nary a right-winger in sight, colleges and universities have adjunctified to the same extent as in Wisconsin and North Carolina, while the kids who endanger free speech are both not new and the symptom of different problems.

    Her third culprit is weirdly disembodied: “the corporatisation of universities.” The other demons have names; here she cites only “university administrators.” But why aren’t she and her colleagues making the public aware of specific, highly paid university leaders who, say, find money for a new stadium while increasing administrative costs and presiding over continued or even increased adjunctification? Does anyone ever look into the ties many universities have with sports licensing companies, bookstore monopolies, sports cartels, the federal government, and even their own trustees? No one wants to talk about these matters, including overwhelmed parents who prize a college degree, but it would be productive to make the notion of university corruption as commonplace in the mind of the American public as the “plight of the adjunct” theme has started to become. I’ve long thought that “college would be must cheaper, if only schools didn’t…” might be an angle that would gain traction.

    I’ll concede that the timidity of faculty in the face of the corporatisation of the university is, in itself, grounds to argue in favor of the merits of tenure, but decades of timidity by fully tenured faculty surely has something to do with how things got this bad in the first place.


  2. Pingback: Links: Liu Cixin’s SF trilogy, cops, Trump country explanations, Nell Zink, Internet culture, and more « The Story's Story

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