How a half-educated tech elite delivered us into chaos | John Naughton | Opinion | The Guardian
All of which brings to mind CP Snow’s famous Two Cultures lecture, delivered in Cambridge in 1959, in which he lamented the fact that the intellectual life of the whole of western society was scarred by the gap between the opposing cultures of science and engineering on the one hand, and the humanities on the other – with the latter holding the upper hand among contemporary ruling elites. Snow thought that this perverse dominance would deprive Britain of the intellectual capacity to thrive in the postwar world and he clearly longed to reverse it. Snow passed away in 1980, but one wonders what he would have made of the new masters of our universe. One hopes that he might see it as a reminder of the old adage: be careful what you wish for – you might just get it.
zeitgeist  langsec 
25 days ago
Harassment, assault allegations against Moretti span three campuses | Stanford Daily
One week before he was first publicly accused of sexual assault and harassment by a former graduate student, Emeritus Professor of English Franco Moretti was profiled in The New York Times as a self-proclaimed revolutionary in literary scholarship. Moretti, a founder of Stanford’s Literary Lab, has helped pioneer the growing field of digital humanities, approaching texts as data that can be computationally analyzed en masse. In the process, The Times writes, he has become something of a celebrity in the literary world by “promoting a ruthlessly impersonal idea of both scholarship and literary history itself.” The beginnings of that celebrity loomed large in Kimberly Latta’s account earlier this month of the power dynamic underlying her public accusations of rape and sexual harassment against Moretti, her former professor at UC Berkeley.
zeitgeist  dh  langsec  quantomania 
25 days ago
Smash ILLIAC IV
Poster from student demonstrations against the ILLIAC IV computer designed at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
comphist 
4 weeks ago
On YouTube Kids, Startling Videos Slip Past Filters - The New York Times
Parents and children have flocked to Google-owned YouTube Kids since it was introduced in early 2015. The app’s more than 11 million weekly viewers are drawn in by its seemingly infinite supply of clips, including those from popular shows by Disney and Nickelodeon, and the knowledge that the app is supposed to contain only child-friendly content that has been automatically filtered from the main YouTube site.

Continue reading the main story
But the app contains dark corners, too, as videos that are disturbing for children slip past its filters, either by mistake or because bad actors have found ways to fool the YouTube Kids algorithms.

In recent months, parents like Ms. Burns have complained that their children have been shown videos with well-known characters in violent or lewd situations and other clips with disturbing imagery, sometimes set to nursery rhymes. Many have taken to Facebook to warn others, and share video screenshots showing moments ranging from a Claymation Spider-Man urinating on Elsa of “Frozen” to Nick Jr. characters in a strip club.
cyberlib  langsec 
5 weeks ago
Something is wrong on the internet – James Bridle – Medium
YouTube and Google are complicit in that system. The architecture they have built to extract the maximum revenue from online video is being hacked by persons unknown to abuse children, perhaps not even deliberately, but at a massive scale.
cyberlib  langsec 
5 weeks ago
Coders of the world, unite: can Silicon Valley workers curb the power of Big Tech? | News | The Guardian
Big Tech is broken. Suddenly, a wide range of journalists and politicians agree on this. For decades, most of the media and political establishment accepted Silicon Valley’s promise that it would not “be evil,” as the first Google code of corporate conduct put it. But the past few months have brought a constant stream of negative stories about both the internal culture of the tech industry and the effect it is having on society.

It is difficult to know where to begin. How about the rampant sexual harassment at companies such as Uber, which fired 20 employees in June after receiving hundreds of sexual harassment claims? Or the growing body of evidence that women and people of colour are not only dramatically underrepresented at tech firms, but also systematically underpaid, as three Google employees alleged in a lawsuit last month? Should we focus on the fact that Facebook allowed advertisers to target users who listed “Jew hater” as one of their interests? Or that they and Google have helped clients to spread fake news?

In response to concerns about Russian interference in the 2016 election, politicians are threatening to take action against companies they have long left alone. By late September this year, when the Senate intelligence committee demanded that Facebook, Google and Twitter conduct internal investigations – and those companies admitted that, yes, foreign actors had used their platforms to communicate misinformation that was viewed millions of times by voters in hotly contested swing states – it seemed fair to ask whether democracy could survive them. A New York Times headline on 13 October captured how the mood had shifted: “Silicon Valley Is Not Your Friend.”

It is tempting to turn this shift of mood against Big Tech into a story of betrayal. On 1 November, representatives of Facebook and Twitter will appear before the Senate to testify about divisive political advertising paid for by Russian actors on their platforms. The setting suggests wrongdoing and retribution. But the drama playing out involves more than uncovering specific lies or misdeeds. We are watching an entire worldview start to fall apart.
zeitgeist  cyberlib 
6 weeks ago
How the CIA, FBI, and Foreign Intelligence Recruit Students at America’s Universities
Two trends have converged to create this surge in academic spying. The first is the growing intimacy between U.S. intelligence and academia, driven partly by patriotic fervor and terrorism fears in the wake of the September 11, 2001, attacks. Deterred by student protests and faculty hostility during the Vietnam era, the CIA, FBI, and other security agencies have returned in force, forging a tenuous alliance of spies and scholars.

“September 11 led to a quiet reengagement of a lot of the academy with the national security community,” says Austin Long, who taught security policy at Columbia University. Perhaps more than anyone else, Graham Spanier is responsible for this rapprochement. As president of Pennsylvania State University from 1995 to 2011, he helped establish and chaired the National Security Higher Education Advisory Board, which fosters dialogue between intelligence agencies and universities. He also gave FBI-sponsored seminars for administrators at MIT, Michigan State, Stanford, and other universities, and opened doors for the CIA throughout academia.
langsec  zeigeist  cyberlib 
6 weeks ago
Reading by the Numbers: When Big Data Meets Literature - The New York Times
The publication provides something of a retrospective occasion for Mr. Moretti, 67, who retired last spring from Stanford. But it also prompts a larger question at a time when the broader field of digital humanities is booming: What has the Big Data approach to literature added up to?

It’s a question that draws heated answers. Digital humanities has been accused of fetishizing science, of acting as a Trojan horse for the corporate forces threatening the university, and worse. A recent broadside in The Chronicle of Higher Education called “The Digital-Humanities Bust” took a bludgeon to the field’s revolutionary rhetoric, with Mr. Moretti among those accused of issuing a stream of vague “promissory notes” for results that never arrive.

Mr. Moretti — who prefers to call the lab’s work “computational criticism” — tends to greet such challenges with a mixture of modesty and bravado.

“Our results are not as good as what I had hoped for 10 or 15 years ago,” he said in an interview earlier this month, during a brief trip to New York. “We have not yet created a revolution in knowledge. But how much of literary scholarship is even trying to do that?”
dh  dhcrit  langsec  quantomania  zeigeist 
6 weeks ago
Rebecca Lossin: Against the Universal Library. New Left Review 107, September-October 2017.
Justifications for the digitally expanded library that go beyond the functional or budgetary to include some sort of social vision almost all evince an obsession with a technological—even ahistorical—future and, in addition, an ideal of ‘service’ conceived in terms of blinkered populism. There is an odd linguistic resonance between the prophets of fascism and the proponents of digital preservation and access. For Leo Lowenthal, book-burning by authoritarian and totalitarian societies was a ‘mad attempt to found anew the history of the world, to devise a new creation myth, the genealogy of a new history of salvation, which disowns, destroys and erases all that precedes a new arbitrary calendar’. [18] The logic of contemporary ‘universal libraries’ such as Google Books appears antithetical to such an ideological agenda. But mapped onto the digitization of all the world’s information is the ideology of the information age, which figures itself as a radical break from the past—a paradigm shift of unseen proportions and the very stuff of a future social organization that is horizontal, open, flexible and democratic. The internet and the set of metaphors and practices that have grown up within and around it—the very conviction that this environment is absolutely new—contain a similar urge ‘to found anew the history of the world’, and offer ‘a new history of salvation’.
cyberlib  dh  dhcrit  langsec  zeigeist 
8 weeks ago
The University Is Not a Technology - The Chronicle of Higher Education
Instead, Piper and Wellmon offer data, or rather the idea of it. "The university is a technology," they write. "Let’s treat it like one." One can call any institution one likes — a town hall, an AA meeting, a tri-county soccer league — a "technology," though it’s not clear what’s gained.
zeigeist  langsec  quantomania  dh  dhcrit 
8 weeks ago
Remaking the University: Metrics Noir - Los Angeles Review of Books
All of these scholars are well aware of the value of numbers. Numbers allow for abstract picturing of groups, societies, and cities. They regularize anomalies and exceptions, and allow us access to invisible worlds, social and physical alike. Numbers support distributed cognition and collective intelligence. Both are desperately needed in a world damaged by human stupidity. But quantification in its many forms now operates within a complex metrics culture — a contradictory and contested battleground, as these three books explain. Together, they offer an understory that we could call metrics noir.
zeigeist  quantomania  langsec 
8 weeks ago
How Not to Dismantle the Old-Boy Network - The Chronicle of Higher Education
It is this techno-utopian vision that Piper and Wellmon are peddling; and like all lefty versions of technological salvation, it promises liberation from confining structures like states, universities, disciplines, departments, canons — in short, from the academy. At the moment of liberation, opacity, patrimony, favoritism, patronage, hegemony and all those bad things will have been cast off like shadows and veils and succeeded by the blessed condition of transparency.
zeigeist  langsec  quantomania  dh  dhcrit 
8 weeks ago
The Digital-Humanities Bust - The Chronicle of Higher Education
First came the debacle of the high-priced "Ada" algorithm, the control center of Hillary Clinton’s ill-fated operation. Next ESPN wonk Nate Silver, after flubbing the 2016 election forecast, defended his numbers by claiming that he was not more wrong than every other statistical predictor since 1968. Finally, consider the kerfuffle over Cambridge Analytica, the British company whose "psychographics" method of data modeling and "emotion analysis" claimed to be the Trump camp’s secret weapon — until skeptics recalled that Ted Cruz and Ben Carson had employed their services as well. The dream that algorithmic computation might reveal the secrets of complex social and cultural processes has suffered a very public and embarrassing results crisis. These setbacks have also led to some soul-searching in the university, prompting a closer look at the digital humanities
zeitgeist  langsec  quantomania  dh  dhcrit 
8 weeks ago
Historians Blame Lack of Support for Slow Technology Uptake
While almost all historians said they used library-supported databases, online archives or digital cameras, fewer than one in five said that they used more advanced digital tools such as text mining or statistical analysis software. Most historians said that they only adopted digital tools when they found there was no other way to resolve an issue in their research.
quantomania  langsec  zeitgeist 
8 weeks ago
The CIA’s Favorite College President - The Chronicle of Higher Education
Spanier’s CIA medal, and a similar FBI award a year later, symbolized a reconciliation between the intelligence services and the academy. The relationship has come full circle: from chumminess in the 1940s and 1950s, to animosity during the Vietnam War and civil-rights era, and back to cooperation after the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Their unequal partnership, though, tilts toward the government. U.S. intelligence seized on the renewed goodwill, and the red carpet rolled out by Spanier and other university administrators, to expand not only its public presence on campus but also covert operations and sponsoring of secret research. Federal encroachment on academic prerogatives has met only token resistance.

The two cultures are antithetical: Academe is open and international, while intelligence services are clandestine and nationalistic. Still, after Islamic-fundamentalist terrorists toppled the World Trade Center, colleges became part of the national security apparatus. The new recruiting booths at meetings of academic associations were one telling indicator. The CIA began exhibiting at the annual convention of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages in 2004, as did the FBI and National Security Agency around the same time. Since 2011 the FBI, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the NSA have participated on a panel at the Modern Language Association convention titled "Using Your Language Proficiency and Cultural Expertise in a Federal Government Career."
langsec  zeitgeist 
9 weeks ago
Obama tried to give Zuckerberg a wake-up call over fake news on Facebook - The Washington Post
There has been a rising bipartisan clamor, meanwhile, for new regulation of a tech industry that, amid a historic surge in wealth and power over the past decade, has largely had its way in Washington despite concerns raised by critics about its behavior. [...] “There is no question that the idea that Silicon Valley is the darling of our markets and of our society — that sentiment is definitely turning,” said Tim O’Reilly, an adviser to tech executives and chief executive of the influential Silicon Valley-based publisher O’Reilly Media.
cyberlib  zeitgeist  langsec 
11 weeks ago
SNOBOL4.ORG: CSNOBOL4
An open source port of Macro SNOBOL4 (The original Bell Telephone Labs implementation, written in SIL macros).
Supports full SNOBOL4 language plus SPITBOL, Blocks and other extensions.
ref  proglang-snobol 
12 weeks ago
Snobol3 String Processing Language
Snobol3 Language Implementation in Java (2005)
ref  proglang-snobol 
12 weeks ago
The Growing Backlash Against Big Tech – Talking Points Memo
A decade ago, whatever the reality, very few of us thought of tech as a driver of things that were wrong about the larger political economy. We knew about wage stagnation. Growing wealth inequality was getting more attention. But tech didn’t have anything to do with that. They were just smallish companies with no smokestacks making cool things out in Silicon Valley and outside Seattle. As I’ve noted in a few recent posts, there’s a growing body of policy literature and research which argues that monopolies really are causing many of these ills. It’s not just people being dissatisfied with poor economic prospects and lashing out at what’s big. Nor is this the end of it. You’ll notice that I haven’t even discussed what may be Big Tech’s biggest reptuational black eye: privacy or the lack thereof. Tech is also driving artificial intelligence research which may put countless people out of work. Again, my point here isn’t to litigate the various arguments and claims at play here but only to note the emerging sea change in public perceptions. It’s a vast difference and I suspect it – it being the public opposition to and backlash against Big Tech and other monopolies – will bulk very large in our politics in the coming years.
zeigeist  cyberlib  langsec 
september 2017
There's Blood In The Water In Silicon Valley
The blinding rise of Donald Trump over the past year has masked another major trend in American politics: the palpable, and perhaps permanent, turn against the tech industry. The new corporate leviathans that used to be seen as bright new avatars of American innovation are increasingly portrayed as sinister new centers of unaccountable power, a transformation likely to have major consequences for the industry and for American politics.
zeigeist  cyberlib  langsec 
september 2017
Silicon Valley Courts Brand-Name Teachers, Raising Ethics Issues - The New York Times
Unlike industry influence in medicine, however, the phenomenon of company-affiliated teachers has received little scrutiny. Twitter alone is rife with educators broadcasting their company-bestowed titles. “If medical experts started saying, ‘I’m a Google Certified Doctor’ or ‘I’m a Pfizer Distinguished Nurse,’ people would be up in arms,” said Douglas A. Levin, president of EdTech Strategies, a consulting firm. [...] Some academic medical centers now prohibit their doctors from giving industry-sponsored speeches. And some drug companies have stopped giving doctors swag. But there has been little public discussion about the ramifications of similar tech industry cultivation of teachers.
cyberlib  he-profit  langsec 
september 2017
1 Quick Start Guide for RackUnit
Racket's standard unit testing library
ref 
august 2017
Why Are Coding Bootcamps Going Out of Business?
Within the past week, two well-known and well-established coding bootcamps have announced they’ll be closing their doors: Dev Bootcamp, owned by Kaplan Inc., and The Iron Yard, owned by the Apollo Education Group (parent company of the University of Phoenix).
zeigeist  langsec  quantomania  cyberlib 
july 2017
Many Academics Have Taken Money From Google Without Disclosing It, Report Finds – The Ticker - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education
The tech giant Google has paid academics up to hundreds of thousands of dollars to research topics that support the company’s business practices, according to an investigation by The Wall Street Journal, based on data compiled by the Campaign for Accountability, an advocacy group that has received funding from companies that compete with Google. The newspaper reported that Google at times compiled “wish lists” of academic studies, complete with titles and abstracts, and then searched for academics who were game to write the papers. In many cases, the Journal reported, the authors of the papers failed to disclose that they had received funding from Google. Those studies included research suggesting that collecting user data was a fair trade for the services Google provides or that it hadn’t competed unfairly against market rivals. The article also states that Google has provided the research to lawmakers, and sometimes covered travel costs for professors to meet government officials.
zeigeist  langsec  quantomania 
july 2017
Paying Professors: Inside Google’s Academic Influence Campaign - WSJ
Paying Professors: Inside Google’s Academic Influence Campaign. Company pays grants of $5,000 to $400,000 for research supporting business practices that face regulatory scrutiny; a ‘wish list’ of topics.
zeitgeist  langsec  quantomania 
july 2017
Education Disrupted: How Silicon Valley Pushed Coding Into American Classrooms
The rise of Code.org coincides with a larger tech-industry push to remake American primary and secondary schools with computers and learning apps, a market estimated to reach $21 billion by 2020.
cyberlib  zeitgeist  quantomania  langsec  diglabor 
june 2017
How to Design Programs Teachpacks
Racket / How to Design Programs Teachpacks (libraries)
ref 
may 2017
Quokka.js: Introduction
Editor plugin providing live JS evaluation
ref 
april 2017
Debugging Node.js in Chrome DevTools
Debugging Node in Chrome Devtools via Electron
ref 
february 2017
Nightlight
An embedded editor for Clojure
ref 
january 2017
Graduate Certificate in Digital Humanities - University of Victoria
The Graduate Certificate in Digital Humanities is suspended until further notice. Applications to the Certificate program are not being accepted at present. However, current students will be able to complete the Certificate.
dh  zeitgeist 
january 2017
What [in the World] was Postmodernism? An Introduction | Electronic Book Review
Last month, Brooks Sterritt introduced the gathering "What [in the World] Was Postmodernism?" edited by David Ciccoricco and myself. In this collection, authors have addressed the frailty of the term "postmodernism". Some of this term's antecedents have been identified and recaptured, and the idea of postmodernism as an epoch or movement has been placed under scrutiny. For EBR's editorial team, this particular gathering of essays marks "the official unofficial end" of postmodernism.
he-hum  he-hist  he-cus 
january 2017
Submissions to DH2017 (pt. 1)
I’ll be honest, I was surprised by this year’s submission numbers. This will be the first ADHO conference held in North America since it was held in Nebraska in 2013, and I expected an influx of submissions from people who haven’t been able to travel off the continent for interim events. I expected the biggest submission pool yet. What we see, instead, are fewer submissions than Kraków last year: 608 in all. The low number of submissions to Sydney was expected, given it was the first conference held outside Europe or North America, but this year’s numbers suggests the DH Hype Machine might be cooling somewhat, after five years of rapid growth. We need some more years and some more DH-Hype-Machine Indicators to be sure, but I reckon things are slowing down.
dh  zeigeist  he-hum 
november 2016
Silicon Valley Reels After Trump’s Election - The New York Times
During the Obama years, Silicon Valley came to see itself as the economic and social engine of a new digital century. Smartphones and social networks became as important to world business as oil and the automobile, and Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft rose to become some of the most prosperous and valuable companies on the planet. Mr. Obama, who rode many of these digital tools to the presidency, was accommodative of their rise; his administration broadly deferred to the tech industry in a way that bordered on coziness, and many of his former lieutenants have decamped to positions in tech. Mr. Trump’s win promises to rip apart that relationship. [...] Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft offered no immediate comment about Mr. Trump’s win, or how the new administration’s stated policy goals would affect their businesses. But it seems clear that a shift is in the offing. Leaders of these behemoths have long spoken in ambitious, gauzy sentimentalities about a broadly progressive future. Their goals weren’t simply financial but, they said, philosophical and democratic — they wanted to make money, sure, but they also wanted to make the world a better place, to offer a kind of social justice through code. Theirs was a tomorrow powered by software instead of factories, and offering a kind of radical connectivity that they promised would lead to widespread peace and prosperity.
The deeper worry is that tech is out of step with the national and global mood, and failed to recognize the social and economic anxieties roiling the nation — many of them hastened by the products the industry devises.
zeitgeist  cyberlib 
november 2016
The Manifesto | reclaimingouruniversity
Many kinds of management erode trust, including ‘line management’ and ‘performance management’. Neither has any place in our university, and where they currently operate, we will abolish them.
he-profit  he-sec  zeitgeist  langsec  he-cus  quantomania  he-hum 
october 2016
Project MUSE - What Was “Close Reading”?: A Century of Method in Literary Studies
...the idea or ideal of objective observation, like that of complete data sets (in effect, inspecting every swan before concluding anything about the color of swans), has been effectively challenged by a century of empirical and theoretical work in the history, sociology, and philosophy of science. Jockers is not alone among contemporary literary scholars in his enthusiasm for, but rather old-fashioned view of, “science.” (The persistent singular suggests a dubious conception of these heterogeneous practices as something programmatic and monolithic.) For all the talk of “paradigm shifts” among digital humanists, literary Darwinists, and advocates of cognitive cultural studies, the notion of science to which they appeal tends to be fundamentally pre-Kuhnian.
dh  dhcrit  he-hum  he-hist  he-cus 
october 2016
Doubts About Data: 2016 Survey of Faculty Attitudes on Technology
Unlike last year, however, administrators and faculty members aren’t as certain that investments in and use of educational technology in the classroom have led to significantly improved student outcomes. Last year, the first time these questions were asked, faculty members said by a roughly two-to-one margin that gains in student outcomes justified colleges’ spending on ed tech. This year, faculty members are more evenly divided: 57 percent said yes, 43 percent no. A majority of faculty members (70 percent) still believe technology in the classroom has led to improved student outcomes, but most of them describe the gains as slight rather than significant. Still, the proportion of faculty members who said ed tech hasn’t improved student outcomes at all this year ticked up a few percentage points, rising to 30 percent from 25 percent last year. The decline is more pronounced among administrators. They, like faculty members, also believe ed tech has improved student outcomes (87 percent gave that response), but far fewer of them this year said the gains have been significant (15 percent this year, 35 percent last year).
edtech  socmed  dh  zeitgeist 
october 2016
Faculty Principles for Senior Management Hires ~ Remaking the University
CUCFA's definition of "public" reflects national and international trends that have been slower to develop in California than elsewhere. One is deprivatization. I first heard this term used to describe current changes in Poland's university system, but deprivatization is implicit in the Free College movement launched in U.S. politics by Bernie Sanders. The premise is that people can analyze the effects of privatization, and, if found negative, can lower tuition rather than raise it, raise public funding rather than lower it, reduce student debt rather than increase it, and expand research cost coverage rather than shrink it. Where there's a will there's a way, and the way here is particularly obvious.

A second trend is postmanagerialism--or so I'll call it here. Large private and public organizations now operate under widespread cynicism about their good will and effectiveness. Decreasing proportions of U.S. residents think corporations are on their side. Something similar is happening to public universities, some of which, like UC and CUNY, have tripped themselves up in a series of scandals that shed doubt on their devotion to public service. You don't have to be familiar with the literature about learning organizations to believe that the low-information professor and the cognitively isolated senior manager each undermine universities. Universities need smarter human systems that we have now, and strong shared governance can help bring that about.

A third trend the CUCFA statement reflects is the demand for epistemological diversity, driven in large part by academics working in the global South. Societies are both internally diverse and quite different from each other, and need their university research to reflect variable demands--say for non-GMO pest-resistant crops, or for democratic theory that does not assume constitutional unity or a common language. University diversity has, in recent decades, been undermined by audit culture, which norms universities towards "best practices" represented by the institutions that dominate global rankings, whose template is Anglo-American. As part of its normal operation, audit introduces quantitative management practices that make collaborative governance seem unnecessary: a manager doesn't need to know her faculty and departments and make complex judgments based in large part on informal knowledge, but just have research output measures, impact factors, and rankings of departments and faculty members. Such metrics make personal interactions seem superfluous, and intellectual diversity unnecessary. Such standardization is now being contested and is likely gradually to be pushed aside.
cyberlib  langsec  he-cus  he-hist  he-profit 
october 2016
Marxism and Open Access in the Humanities: Turning Academic Labor against Itself | Golumbia | Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor
Open Access (OA) is the movement to make academic research available without charge, typically via digital networks. Like many cyberlibertarian causes OA is roundly celebrated by advocates from across the political spectrum. Yet like many of those causes, OA’s lack of clear grounding in an identifiable political framework means that it may well not only fail to serve the political goals of some of its supporters, and may in fact work against them. In particular, OA is difficult to reconcile with Marxist accounts of labor, and on its face appears not to advance but to actively mitigate against achievement of Marxist goals for the emancipation of labor. In part this stems from a widespread misunderstanding of Marx’s own attitude toward intellectual work, which to Marx was not categorically different from other forms of labor, though was in danger of becoming so precisely through the denial of the value of the end products of intellectual work. This dynamic is particularly visible in the humanities, where OA advocacy routinely includes disparagement of academic labor, and of the value produced by that labor.
cyberlib  diglabor  he-cus 
october 2016
Elena Ferrante: An Answer?
Until now, the search has been undertaken by literary critics, who sought to use philological techniques and stylistic analysis to compare Ferrante’s work with that of several of the writers proposed as candidates. A decade ago, at the request of Italian writer Luigi Galella, a team of physicists and mathematicians at La Sapienza University in Rome analyzed Ferrante’s books with special text analysis software. They concluded that there was a “high probability” that the books were written by Starnone, Raja’s husband. Along with him, speculation in the Italian press about “possible Ferrantes” has long centered around Raja, the co-owners of Edizioni e/o, Ferri and Ozzola, several other Italian writers, as well as Ferrante’s American translator, Ann Goldstein. A final addition to the list was Marcella Marmo, a professor of modern history at the Federico II University of Naples, who was named by Dante scholar Marco Santagata on the basis of linguistic parallels between her writing and Ferrante’s and because of a connection with the Scuola Normale, the elite university in Pisa where both Lenù, the main character in the Quartet, and Marmo studied.

But none of these theories have been backed by concrete evidence. By contrast, the new financial information leads directly to Raja, while leaving open the possibility of some kind of unofficial collaboration with her husband, the writer Starnone.
langsec  cyberlib 
october 2016
Eulogy for The New York Times R&D Lab – Medium
The New York Times R&D Lab, a groundbreaking department of applied creative technology that helped one of the great institutions of journalism see how it could thrive amidst a changing media ecosystem, died Monday in New York City. It was eleven years old.
cyberlib  zeitgeist 
september 2016
An Education in Community Technology | Civicist
Yes, the civic tech movement should be shelved. It has run its course. The models of hack nights and civic apps and techno-determinist solutions have proven ineffective.

The dominant social movements of the last five years have next to nothing to do with civic tech. Black Lives Matter, the rise of racist Trumpian political ideas, marriage equity—they owe nothing to civic tech.

These forces used consumer-grade technology like Twitter and Facebook to drive their agendas while civic tech people are checking in code to Github.
cyberlib  zeitgeist 
september 2016
Civic Tech’s Act III is beginning. – Medium
We will come to terms with our history, that our collective privilege allowed us to ignore and possibly displace other movements while we were building apps.
zeitgeist  cyberlib 
september 2016
When infinity gets boring: What went wrong with No Man’s Sky | New Scientist
So where does that leave computer-generated games? For Cook, No Man’s Sky marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. “I think the aesthetic of big numbers is dead.”
langsec  quantomania  zeitgeist 
september 2016
The Chomsky Puzzle: Piecing Together a Celebrity Scientist
Chomsky rejects outright Knight’s notion that government funding had any influence whatsoever on his thinking or his behavior. "His main point is based on a total misunderstanding of public funding of research," Chomsky writes. "MIT in those years was about 90 percent funded by the Pentagon. There was precisely zero pressure."
he-cus  langsec  he-hist 
august 2016
The Digital in the Humanities: An Interview with Richard Grusin - Los Angeles Review of Books
[T]he answer is, no, I don’t do digital humanities. To me the role of the digital is as an object of historical and theoretical analysis. [...] [P]rimarily, in terms of my own research, it’s really as an object of critical, historical, and theoretical analysis. [...] I really think the question of mediation is a much more interesting and capacious question than the question of the digital itself. I think the question of the digital in terms of historical, critical, and theoretical analysis is a subset of the question of mediation.
he-hum  dh  dhcrit  he-cus 
august 2016
A Curriculum of Fear — University of Minnesota Press
Welcome to Milton High School, where fear is a teacher’s best tool and every student is a soldier in the war on terror. A struggling public school outside the nation’s capital, Milton sat squarely at the center of two trends: growing fear of resurgent terrorism and mounting pressure to run schools as job training sites. In response, the school established a specialized Homeland Security program. A Curriculum of Fear takes us into Milton for a day-to-day look at how such a program works, what it means to students and staff, and what it says about the militarization of U.S. public schools and, more broadly, the state of public education in this country. Nicole Nguyen guides us through a curriculum of national security–themed classes, electives, and internships designed through public-private partnerships with major defense contractors like Northrop Grumman and federal agencies like the NSA. She introduces us to students in the process of becoming a corps of “diverse workers” for the national security industry, learning to be “vigilant” citizens; and she shows us the everyday realities of a program intended to improve the school, revitalize the community, and eliminate the achievement gap. With reference to critical work on school militarization, neoliberal school reform, the impact of the global war on terror on everyday life, and the political uses of fear, A Curriculum of Fear maps the contexts that gave rise to Milton’s Homeland Security program and its popularity. Ultimately, as the first ethnography of such a program, the book provides a disturbing close encounter with the new normal imposed by the global war on terror—a school at once under siege and actively preparing for the siege itself.
he-hist  he-cus 
august 2016
MLA Journals: The Digital Humanities, Inc.: Literary Criticism and the Fate of a Profession, Vol. 131, No. 2, March 2016 (pp. 324-339)
Abstract: The popularization of the digital humanities and the return to formalism are overdetermined by the perceived crises in the humanities. On the one hand, the new formalism harks back to a professionalizing strategy begun by the New Critics with John Crowe Ransom’s “Criticism, Inc.,” drawing strength from close reading’s original polemic against industrialism. On the other hand, the digital humanities reimagine professional labor in ways that seemingly approximate postindustrial norms. These contradictory but inextricably related visions of professional futures restage a conflict between literature and data, reading and making, that has been misrecognized as a conflict between literature and history. Approaching these tensions by way of historicist critique can illuminate the extent to which the debate between literature and data will define critical practice in the twenty-first century. (AK)
he-hum  he-hist  dh  dhcrit  he-cus 
august 2016
Chapter 19: Returning Arrays
Arrays are ``second-class citizens'' in C. Related to the fact that arrays can't be assigned is the fact that they can't be returned by functions, either; that is, there is no such type as ``function returning array of ...''. In this chapter we'll study three workarounds, three ways to implement a function which attempts to return a string (that is, an array of char) or an array of some other type.
ref  ref-c  proglang  proglang-c 
august 2016
Skimming the Surface: Critiquing Anti-Critique | Benjamin Noys - Academia.edu
I first want to challenge the originality of these forms of "skimming the surface" and to develop the irony, suggested by my opening, that surfaces have been a longer term concern and that various theoretical gestures had already engaged with anti-critique.
he-cus  dhcrit 
august 2016
Matter against Materialism: Bruno Latour and the Turn to Objects | Benjamin Noys - Academia.edu
My point of attack concerns Latour's rehabilitation of matter, primarily in the form of objects, posed against materialism — which is to say posed against broadly Marxist currents that insist on the role of the economic, on the ensemble of social and historical relations, as crucial to the analysis of literature.
he-cus  dhcrit 
august 2016
Amid declining book sales, university presses search for new ways to measure success
Like Michigan, the UNC Press is seeing concerning numbers about ebook sales and use. The press has offered digital editions of its books for almost a decade, and the usage analytics are “not looking great, to be honest,” Sherer said.
he-hum  diglabor  he-socmed 
august 2016
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