jju + @share   46

Hope in the Age of Looming Authoritarianism
The greatest threat to social justice and democracy is the disappearance not only of critical discourses that allow us to think outside of and against the demands of official power but also those spaces where politics can even occur, where people can learn and assert a sense of critical agency, embrace the civic obligation to care for the other and refuse to take "shelter where responsibility for one's actions need not be taken by the actors."
public  hope  politics  2013  authority  @share  neoliberalism 
december 2013 by jju
Google cars versus public transit: the US’s problem with public goods
Google can feel like a public good – like a library, it’s free for everyone to use, and it may have social benefits by increasing access to information. But it’s not a public good – we don’t have influence over what services Google does and doesn’t provide, and our investment is an investment of attention as recipients of ads, not taxation.
infrastructure  transportation  tech  future  usa  politics  2013  @share 
october 2013 by jju
Representin’ - Action Librarian
Julie also brings up the point that librarianship tends to put more value on the opinions and antics of male librarians, over the work of female librarians. I would certainly agree and I would add that our professional obsession with everything tech has a good deal with that. Technology has long been seen as a “Man’s World” while conversely, the librarian role has been “female dominated”. Technology and tech services are automatically given greater value over the traditional library services, i.e. working with children, helping people on a one-on-one basis and other nurturing and feminine coded services. Even though librarianship is “female dominated” we are no stranger to the patriarchy. Men are over represented in administration roles across the board and their voice is louder in professional development roles. How many times have male librarians spoke over female librarians on subjects they have no practical experience in? How many of those men are considered to be “The Experts” on subjects in the profession when there are hundreds of female librarians who have the same experience or more?
library  feminism  tech  youthservices  2013  @share 
january 2013 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
How Not To Write Comics Criticism // Dylan Meconis
Imagine if a critic wrote (of a prose novel) that “the straightness of the lines of text reflect the narrator’s matter-of-fact perception of the word, and the ordering of the letters from left-to-right functions as a subtle reference to his growing political conservatism as he comes of age over the course of the novel.”

This would be silly. Likewise, a painting executed on a rectangular canvas is not automatically assumed to be commenting on the nature of the rectangle. There are plenty of formalist experimenters in comics (pick up a Chris Ware title and watch him go). However, the odds are that the book you’re reading is one of the other 95%, the kind of work that uses standard formal elements as a vehicle for subject matter beyond the borders of the medium itself. The form is meant to become invisible, or at least not draw more attention to itself more than is necessary to enjoy and understand the work.
essay  comics  criticism  2012  writing  dylanmeconis  @share 
september 2012 by jju
The First Knight of Ramadan: A Muslim Nerd's Dilemma (video) - Boing Boing
Aman Ali, one of the guys behind "30 Mosques," tells Boing Boing, "Instead of doing a roadtrip this year, we're releasing short films."

I love this one. In it, a Muslim nerd "is excited for the new Dark Knight movie," but it releases on the first night of Ramadan.
muslim  culture  islam  batman  2012  video  @share 
july 2012 by jju
On Comics in the Classroom. // Dylan Meconis
At a certain age and after a certain amount of exposure, kids are sophisticated enough to recognize lameness. They are sophisticated enough to recognize when they’re not being taken seriously, and when the people preparing material for them are doing so by rote, or under the assumption that kids will like anything that has bright colors. Or that the publishers are taking advantage of the fact the teachers who select materials for students won’t be able to distinguish “genuinely engaging” from “suited to the latest trends.”

As a kid in the late eighties and nineties, I read every comic book I came across. Good, bad, didn’t matter. There were so few of them (compared to prose books) that I functionally loved them all until I got old enough to gain access to and read all the “grownup” comic books and take a proper sounding of the depths. If I were a child now, I think I’d be a lot pickier, because I’d have so much more to choose from. The more there is to encounter, the quicker a kid will form their own taste, and learn to tell the real thing from the ersatz.

Thus the kids who read comic books are more likely to perceive the difference between a book made with love and skill and enthusiasm by dedicated creators, and a book commissioned by an indifferent and underpaid editor with a set of publishing guidelines designed to exclude the possibility of any genuine interest or fun (lest a parent complain), subsequently foisted upon even more desperately underpaid artists and writers toiling under extremely unfavorable terms and hating every moment of the rotten gig.
comics  education  library  children  2012  @share 
july 2012 by jju
The Business Model is Broken. Pay for Stuff Anyway
I said above that we should pay for content and I stand by that. However, I don’t feel that we should passively accept restrictions on the use of that content. For example: I have a large collections of Kindle books that I have purchased from Amazon. While breaking technological protection measures is technically a violation of the DMCA, I’ve learned how to break those measures and I’ve learned how convert my kindle format books to .epub (an open ebook standard) that will work on other devices. Also, while I pay a ton of money each month for a TV package with many premium channels, if the DVR metadata is screwed up (it often is) and my shows don’t record; I’ve learned how to find the .torrent files for these shows and download them.

Respecting the creator’s right to make a living off of their work is not the same thing as passively accepting the restrictions put in place by Big Content. For example, region restrictions on DVD/Bluray discs are stupid. If I want to buy British TV shows, they should allow me to. Back in the day, I bought a DVD player and hacked it to be region agnostic. Then I could buy my Spaced, Black Books, and Long Way Round episodes from amazon.co.uk and watch them. I’ve decided to empower myself to choose when and how I access my media and content. One legitimate use of region codes is to allow content to be sold at different prices in different markets. So I don’t choose to buy cheap discs from the third world to play on my region-agnostic player. I’ve decided to draw the line at using this power to cut through silly restrictions, but not to do an end run around paying the creators for their work.
copyright  tech  ethics  music  art  economics  2012  @share 
july 2012 by jju
How Basketball-Reference Got Every Box Score
I don't care about basketball, but crazy lone archivists intrigue me.
@share  basketball  sports  history  boxscore  1940s  2012 
february 2012 by jju

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