robertogreco + digitization   21

On Bullsh*t Jobs | David Graeber | RSA Replay - YouTube
"In 2013 David Graeber, professor of anthropology at LSE, wrote an excoriating essay on modern work for Strike! magazine. “On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs” was read over a million times and the essay translated in seventeen different languages within weeks. Graeber visits the RSA to expand on this phenomenon, and will explore how the proliferation of meaningless jobs - more associated with the 20th-century Soviet Union than latter-day capitalism - has impacted modern society. In doing so, he looks at how we value work, and how, rather than being productive, work has become an end in itself; the way such work maintains the current broken system of finance capital; and, finally, how we can get out of it."
davidgraeber  bullshitjobs  employment  jobs  work  2018  economics  neoliberalism  capitalism  latecapitalism  sovietunion  bureaucracy  productivity  finance  policy  politics  unschooling  deschooling  labor  society  purpose  schooliness  debt  poverty  inequality  rules  anticapitalism  morality  wealth  power  control  technology  progress  consumerism  suffering  morals  psychology  specialization  complexity  systemsthinking  digitization  automation  middlemanagement  academia  highered  highereducation  management  administration  adminstrativebloat  minutia  universalbasicincome  ubi  supplysideeconomics  creativity  elitism  thecultofwork  anarchism  anarchy  zero-basedaccounting  leisure  taylorism  ethics  happiness  production  care  maintenance  marxism  caregiving  serviceindustry  gender  value  values  gdp  socialvalue  education  teaching  freedom  play  feminism  mentalhealth  measurement  fulfillment  supervision  autonomy  humans  humnnature  misery  canon  agency  identity  self-image  self-worth  depression  stress  anxiety  solidarity  camaraderie  respect  community 
january 2019 by robertogreco
crap futures — constraint no. 4: education
"We hesitated a bit before tackling this one, because education is such a vast and complex subject. But as far as constraints on possible futures go, education is impossible to ignore. Skill sets and thought paths are determined at an early age, shaping and constraining future possibilities for entire generations of pupils. (It is worth rediscovering Ken Robinson’s 2008 talk on changing paradigms in relation to educational constraints.) There are serious consequences to enforcing the constraint of economic utility on education, drastically narrowing curricula to what are considered core subjects, replacing older - not to say obsolete or useless - technologies with newer ones in the classroom, and so on. Maslow’s evocative maxim, often attributed to Mark Twain for reasons unknown, comes to mind: ‘It is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.’ Today this might be paraphrased as: ‘Give a child a computer, and everything has to be coded.’ Or 3D printed. Or laser cut. Or CNC machined. Obviously the more of these tools girls and boys are given, the better for them and the country they live in.

Unfortunately, recent educational trends in the UK paint a rather bleak picture where constraints are concerned. An article from the BBC on the rise of 3D printing in schools states: ‘the key inspiration … has been what is loosely termed the “digital maker” movement’. But why digital maker movement and not simply maker movement? The article goes on to tell us that ‘"Fab lab" stands for a “fabrication laboratory”, where digital ideas are turned into products and prototypes.’ Again, why digital ideas and not just ideas? What is it about a fablab that needs to be wholly digital and not a hybrid of materials and practices? (Some spaces and curricula do seek to fuse the old ‘shop’ class with the new computer lab, but other concerns may arise - as in the case a few years ago of controversial DARPA military funding to put a thousand DIY workshops in US high schools.)

A UK Government report, meanwhile, that lays out the agenda on 3D printing in education there, includes the following ‘points to consider’: ‘Who will use it? What will it be used for?’ These are good questions, too seldom asked. As for the questions that were not asked, they might include: ‘What will happen to the old machines?’, ‘What will happen to the old knowledge?’ and ‘What is lost in the headlong rush to full digitalisation?’ 3D printing holds an enormous amount of potential, as boundary pushing movements like 3D Additivism demonstrate. But the 3D printer and the laser cutter shouldn’t be the only tools in the box, and deskilling leads to a narrowing of possibilities for everyone.

Roland Barthes, writing in the 1950s about the sudden shift from traditional wooden toys to plastic ones, observed:
Wood makes essential objects, objects for all time. Yet there hardly remain any of these wooden toys…. Henceforth, toys are chemical in substance and colour; their very material introduces one to a coenaesthesis of use, not pleasure. These toys die in fact very quickly, and once dead, they have no posthumous life for the child.

A word of warning to those who would abandon old areas of knowledge and useful materials too quickly."
crapfutures  2016  rolandbarthes  wood  education  children  durability  materials  time  slow  plastic  future  futures  3dprinting  digital  digitization  3dadditivism  fablabs  darpa  diy  making  makermovement  economics  purpose  additivism  fablab 
january 2016 by robertogreco
Museums: The endangered dead : Nature News & Comment
"The billions of specimens in natural-history museums are becoming more useful for tracking Earth's shrinking biodiversity. But the collections also face grave threats."

"Some scientists see applications for collections beyond documenting new species and studying biodiversity. The Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum collection in Honolulu, for example, contains millions of mosquito specimens, which might tell virologists about the dynamics of mosquito-borne pathogens. Ten years ago, says Norris, researchers assumed that preservatives would have degraded the DNA of any pathogens in a specimen. But studies are showing that it is possible to recover and analyse viral DNA from museum specimens. In 2012, researchers were able to study the evolution of a retrovirus by extracting viral DNA from 120-year-old koala skins and comparing it with DNA found in skins from the 1980s4.

Norris says that the same could be done with bats to help track diseases such as Ebola. (Researchers strongly suspect that bats triggered the recent outbreak in West Africa.) “You could go into museum collections and you could prospect for viral DNA,” says Norris. The AMNH alone has more than 125,000 bat specimens from around the world. “I guarantee there is something out there that is probably more scary than Ebola that we haven't encountered yet.”

But thoughts of deadly diseases are far from the mind of Moratelli as he bends to his work at the Smithsonian, calipers in hand. He carefully measures another bat, enters the data into his spreadsheet and places the animal onto a tray. Measure and repeat. In cabinets within reach, he has yet more specimens on loan from museums in Pennsylvania, Louisiana and California.

Last year, while at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Moratelli discovered what appeared to be a specimen of an unknown species of Guyanese bat. He will know for certain later this year when he travels to Canada to compare the specimen to a large collection of several hundred bats from Guyana.

A few years ago, he travelled to the French National Museum of Natural History in Paris to inspect just two specimens. In the months ahead, Moratelli will repeat the measurement process thousands of times, and he knows he will discover new species. For some of these — critically endangered bats with dwindling habitats — his findings might help to avert extinction.

For others, it is already too late."
naturalhistory  museums  archives  2015  collections  biodiversity  research  specimens  digitization  repositories 
february 2015 by robertogreco
More than just text
BOOKS may appear to inhabit a flat, monochromatic space. But Sarah Werner, a director at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, stresses that they carry a wealth of information which pours out only on close inspection, by looking, touching or even smelling a physical copy. They also change over time. This richness cannot—at least not yet—be captured in book-scanning projects.
She turns to a page with a handprint on it. The stain had to be that of a printer's devil, as a young shop assistant was known in those days. The handprint extends into the binding (see picture), so it must have been made before the book was still in large sheets (called signatures) and before it was folded and bound, she explains. In "Incipit textus Sententiarum", a book printed in Basel in 1482, she shows your correspondent a similar handprint on an outer margin. That was probably smeared at a later stage, possibly by a reader.
The assembly is important. Previous centuries treated books and manuscripts interchangeably, Dr Werner says, and some books were delivered as loose pages that were folded, sewn and bound. Books had their covers and bindings removed at times, and were rebound into new forms that suited the owner.
books  technology  digitization  waggledance  via:tealtan 
may 2012 by robertogreco
Rob Walker: Questions About 'The New Aesthetic': Observers Room: Design Observer
"Stumbling into other peoples' back yards is good, as it helps to define one's own territory. I'm realising I'm more interested in the communicative and psychological effects that living with these technologies produces, the cross-fertilisation between technology and culture and the normalisation of those cross-overs—as well as the sheer temporal vertigo it can produce."

"The New Aesthetic is not criticism, but an exploration; not a plea for change, rather a series of reference points to the change that is occurring. An attempt to understand not only the ways in which technology shapes the things we make, but the way we see and understand them."
jamesbridle  robwalker  crossdisciplinary  crosspollination  interdisciplinary  thenewaesthetic  machine-readableworld  dataobjects  bernhardrieder  digitization  technology  noticing  change  nearfuture  2011  newaesthetic  from delicious
november 2011 by robertogreco
the serendipity of the unexpected, or, a copy is not an edition » Sarah Werner
"The best thing about old books, I think, is their longevity and the traces of the history that they carry with them. Inscriptions, marginalia, doodles, vandalism, erasures, cutting out images and leaves–none of those are captured if your focus is solely on the text, and all of them have something to tell us about how a book was used."
unexpectedencounters  serendipity  marginalia  books  history  digitization  2011  socialtransactions  sarahwerner  intangibles  print  printing  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
Tile we Meet Again - Longbored Surfer - Blog
"The other day, Cabel Sasser (@cabel) (of Panic, fireworks displaying, and snack hunting), tweeted about some tile work uncovered in a building undergoing renovations (I'd love to know the building's name). Five days later, he tweeted again showing the unfortunate destruction of that same tile work. I thought it'd be a shame if that tile didn't get more attention/rememberance, and spent the time to digitize it.

Here is the base hexagonal pattern, and a modification using Panic's (and their awesometastic FTP application Transmit's) colors: [image]

Additionally, I've gone and created a full-sized desktop picture (perfectly fits my 27" iMac)."
tiles  digitization  cabelsasser  portland  oregon  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
Do School Libraries Need Books? - Room for Debate Blog -
"Keeping traditional school libraries up to date is costly, with the constant need to acquire new books and to find space to store them. Yet for all that trouble, students roam the stacks less and less because they find it so much more efficient to work online. One school, Cushing Academy, made news last fall when it announced that it would give away most of its 20,000 books and transform its library into a digital center.
education  learning  technology  schools  internet  future  online  books  research  libraries  digital  digitization  reading  ebooks  advocacy  debate  library2.0  nicholascarr  lizgray  williampowers  jamestracy  cushingacademy  matthewkirschenbaum 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Prelinger Library
"Though libraries live on (and are among the least-corrupted democratic institutions), the freedom to browse serendipitously is becoming rarer. Now that many research libraries are economizing on space and converting print collections to microfilm and digital formats, it's becoming harder to wander and let the shelves themselves suggest new directions and ideas. Key academic and research libraries are often closed to unaffiliated users, and many keep the bulk of their collections in closed stacks, inhibiting the rewarding pleasures of browsing. Despite its virtues, query-based online cataloging often prevents unanticipated yet productive results from turning up on the user's screen. And finally, much of the material in our collection is difficult to find in most libraries readily accessible to the general public."

[via: ]
sanfrancisco  education  history  art  books  research  tovisit  libraries  databases  serendipity  ephemera  archives  reference  public  resources  film  digitization 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Codex Sinaiticus
"Codex Sinaiticus is one of the most important books in the world. Handwritten well over 1600 years ago, the manuscript contains the Christian Bible in Greek, including the oldest complete copy of the New Testament. Its heavily corrected text is of outstanding importance for the history of the Bible and the manuscript – the oldest substantial book to survive Antiquity – is of supreme importance for the history of the book"
codexsinaiticus  manuscripts  online  history  greek  ancient  digitization  classics  christianity  bible  religion  archives 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Alumni Try to Rewrite History on College-Newspaper Web Sites -
"As the papers have begun digitizing their back issues, their Web sites have become the latest front in the battle over online identities. Youthful activities that once would have disappeared into the recesses of a campus library are now preserved on the public record, to be viewed with skeptical eyes by an adult world of colleagues and potential employers. Alumni now in that world are contacting newspapers with requests for redaction. For unlike Facebook profiles — that other notable source of young-adult embarrassment — the ability to remove or edit questionable content in these cases is out of the author's hands." via:
digitalfootprint  education  privacy  newspapers  digitization  consequences  lifeonline  online  internet  web  uncoveredpasts 
may 2009 by robertogreco
World Digital Library
"The World Digital Library (WDL) makes available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world.
education  art  culture  online  history  books  research  media  maps  information  visualization  reference  world  international  archives  libraries  unesco  resources  digitization  images  classideas  latinamerica  middleeast  asia  europe  us  northamerica  caribbean  africa  timelines  timeline  primarysources  mapping  interactive 
april 2009 by robertogreco
TED | TEDBlog: Building a free digital library for the world: Brewster Kahle on
"Brewster Kahle is building a truly huge digital library -- every book ever published, every movie ever released, all the strata of web history ... It's all free to the public -- unless someone else gets to it first. At the 2007 EG conference, he talks through the challenges, especially, of converting printed books to scanned pages (call it the "10-cent problem")."
books  ebooks  olpc  digitization  opensource  ted  libraries  education  knowledge 
december 2008 by robertogreco
The Library in the New Age - The New York Review of Books
"As a citadel of learning and as a platform for adventure on the Internet, the research library still deserves to stand at the center of the campus, preserving the past and accumulating energy for the future."
libraries  books  google  history  future  digitization  academia  research  information  printing  library2.0  knowledge  literacy  media  newspapers  culture  democracy  technology 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Long Views » Blog Archive » World’s Largest Audio-Visual Archive
"means that archivists must re-copy or auto-refresh existing digital archives on ongoing basis – in parallel w/ creating archives from original formats. Until cost-effective, ultra-long-term digital storage is achieved, “re-archiving the archives” w
archiving  audio  video  film  audiovisual  kevinkelly  digitization  automation 
march 2008 by robertogreco
The new LA school | icon 52 | October 2007 - ICONEYE
"The new LA school is a band of digital revolutionaries. Obsessed with form and technique, this generation of young architects is milking the city’s resources – from Hollywood to the aerospace industry – to redefine how architecture is made."
academia  architecture  sciarc  digitization  future  design  losangeles 
december 2007 by robertogreco
if:book: the really modern library
"The goal of this project is to shed light on the big questions about future accessibility and usability of analog culture in a digital, networked world."
culture  books  art  digitization  digital  ebooks  future  libraries  literature  media  technology  trends  accessibility  usability  freedom  access 
october 2007 by robertogreco
New Freedom Destroys Old Culture: A response to Nick Carr. Many-to-Many:
"The constraints of print were not a product of “emergent maturity.” They were accidents of physical production."
digitization  culture  constraints  change  newspapers  production  socialsoftware  freedom  future  internet  music  media  publishing  technology  digital  criticism 
august 2007 by robertogreco
Dopplr Blog » Slides from the Reboot talk
"Travel and Serendipity: How personal informatics are engineering coincidence, lowering environmental impacts and forging a new golden age of travel"
dopplr  serendipity  travel  yearoff  change  perspective  human  technology  web  online  tools  cities  urban  sustainability  green  globalization  digitization  digital  international  world  flights  personal  place  footprint 
june 2007 by robertogreco

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