jju + 2012   452

Batman and the problem of constituent power | De Dicto
Ultimately, the division between Left- and Right-wing sensibilities turns on one’s attitude towards the imagination. For the Left, imagination, creativity, by extension production, the power to bring new things and new social arrangements into being, is always to be celebrated. It is the source of all real value in the world. For the Right, it is dangerous; ultimately, evil. The urge to create is also a destructive urge. This kind of sensibility was rife in the popular Freudianism of the day: where the Id was the motor of the psyche, but also amoral; if really unleashed, it would lead to an orgy of destruction. This is also what separates conservatives from fascists. Both agree that the imagination unleashed can only lead to violence and destruction. Conservatives wish to defend us against that possibility. Fascists wish to unleash it anyway. They aspire to be, as Hitler imagined himself, great artists painting with the minds, blood, and sinews of humanity.

This means that it’s not just the mayhem that becomes the reader’s guilty pleasure, but the very fact of having a fantasy life at all. And while it might seem odd to think any artistic genre is ultimately a warning about the dangers of the human imagination, it would certainly explain why, in the staid ’40s and ’50s, everyone did seem to feel there was something vaguely naughty about reading them. It also explains how in the ’60s it could all suddenly seem so harmless, allowing the advent of silly, campy TV superheroes like the Adam West Batman series, or Saturday morning Spiderman cartoons. If the message was that rebellious imagination was okay as long as it was kept out of politics, and simply confined to consumer choices (clothes, cars, accessories again), this had become a message that even executive producers could easily get behind.
comics  occupy  superheroes  batman  bane  politics  power  davidgraeber  2012 
january 2017 by jju
Consumer Culture vs. Maker Culture: A Lesson | Coming Soon…
We had a few hiccups, like needing to run to the store to get bigger toothbrushes and batteries that would burn out too quickly. I think the kids were having fun but there were a few parents who were not pleased that the ‘product’ wasn’t working well. We were printing on the Makerbot in an attempt to show the kids how 3D printing worked but it quickly became about the object itself—what ‘toy’ they wanted to take home, not how it worked. The focus shifted, and I didn’t realize it when it was happening. It became about consuming, not creating, partially because I started treating them like consumers.
tsc  makerspace  2012  3dprinting  culture  library 
november 2013 by jju
Duct Tape, 3D Printing, and Libraries of the Future
The same is true of our libraries. The Maker Space concept does not work unless all are involved – librarians, members, experts, children, parents – understand that they are all learning at the same time. If a kid shows up and is trained and treated as a consumer, the Maker Space will fail. No $2,000 MakerBot can match the quality of a store bought lego or toy. No, the trick is to show the child, or parent, or member, that they are part of a learning process and discovering something new – if only it is new to them. They have to be in on the truth that we are all just figuring this out as we go. And if we have it all figured out? Time to try something new.
makerspace  culture  library  tsc  work  2012  consumerism 
november 2013 by jju
The North West London Blues by Zadie Smith | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books
Libraries are not failing “because they are libraries.” Neglected libraries get neglected, and this cycle, in time, provides the excuse to close them. Well-run libraries are filled with people because what a good library offers cannot be easily found elsewhere: an indoor public space in which you do not have to buy anything in order to stay.
library  books  libraries  2012  london  uk 
august 2013 by jju
How to Live Without Irony
Irony is the most self-defensive mode, as it allows a person to dodge responsibility for his or her choices, aesthetic and otherwise. To live ironically is to hide in public. It is flagrantly indirect, a form of subterfuge, which means etymologically to “secretly flee” (subter + fuge). Somehow, directness has become unbearable to us.
hipster  culture  2012  irony 
november 2012 by jju
Connecting in the City - Simon Fraser University
Later Wednesday evening, the Public Square staff is dealing with an overcapacity crowd at Big Ideas for Libraries in Communities. Ten presenters pitch their ideas on the future of libraries to the audience, and while co-winners Shirley Lew and Tara Robertson celebrate their victories, many discuss Justin Unrau’s presentation, "Your Friendly Neighbourhood Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy."

Unrau suggests using libraries as a breeding ground for piracy and information, and while many in the audience are uncomfortable with the notion, it’s the type of conversation that can prompt others to envision outside-the-box ideas, exactly the type of discussion SFU Public Square was designed to produce.
me  sfu  library  shirleylew  tararobertson  2012  piracy  publicsquare  @share 
november 2012 by jju
Literature Is Not Data: Against Digital Humanities
Meaning is mushy. Meaning falls apart. Meaning is often ugly, stewed out of weakness and failure. It is as human as the body, full of crevices and prey to diseases. It requires courage and a certain comfort with impurity to live with. Retreat from the smoothness of technology is not an available option, even if it were desirable. The disbanding of the papers has already occurred, a splendid fluttering of the world’s texts to the winds. We will have to gather them all together somehow. But the possibility of a complete, instantly accessible, professionally verified and explicated, free global library is more than just a dream. Through the perfection of our smooth machines, we will soon be able to read anything, anywhere, at any time.

Insight remains handmade.
literature  meaning  books  data  2012  digitalhumanities  @share 
november 2012 by jju
Most Citizens of the Star Wars Galaxy are Probably Totally Illiterate
In fact most of the surviving characters at the end of the prequels are the bad guys, and they can probably read. The Jedi seem to be the most educated people in the prequels, but that changes when they all get killed. This would be like a real life Empire going and burning down all the colleges and schools and killing all the teachers. The academy, the keepers of literacy would be gone. And once that happens, it’s easy for a tyrannical empire to take over, to control the information.
googlereader  starwars  literacy  library  jedi  fascism  2012  @share 
october 2012 by jju
When It Comes to Children's Technology, Content Is as Important as Design
A step in the right direction for the company would be to partner with people already creating amazing digital content for children. I’m thinking of app developers like PeaPod Labs, Moonbot Studios, Motion Math, Nosy Crow, and many more. Don’t forget, children live in a world where Pixar exists now. Young children play on touch screens. We owe it to them to provide great animation, stories, and learning experiences that go beyond what we know.
tech  children  ios  design  content  2012  apps 
september 2012 by jju
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