LibrarianShipwreck

Libraries, Archives, Technology, Impending Doom

Seeing Each Other in the Candle’s Light

There is a Yiddish folk-tale that tells of a foolish man who gets lost in the woods during Chanukah: Having hoped to make it back to his home before sundown … Continue reading

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Awaiting the Other Shoe

Patience ranks high amongst the virtues that are commonly celebrated. It seems to represent the coming together of a host of other vaunted values: selflessness, calmness in the face of … Continue reading

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Holding pattern

Dearest pirates. One of us has the flu while writing finals & the other is working their tail off on organizing street politics & jail support. We’ll be back soon, … Continue reading

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The Moral of the Story

When surveying the news of recent days, weeks and months it can be a rather troublesome exercise to ask the question: what is the moral of this story? Granted, not … Continue reading

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#GivingTuesday

Let’s see. Yesterday was Cyber Monday, and I’m not quite sure what that meant, but none of y’all submitted naughty comments, so. Before that was Sunday, and I don’t even … Continue reading

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Looking for the Best Deals on Black Friday? (try the library!)

Regardless of what the barrage of advertisements tells you to the contrary – you will not find the best deal in any store or on any website this Black Friday. … Continue reading

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Looking Up, With Our Feet Still On the Ground

It is important to look up. Not just from whatever it is that is occupying our attention at any given moment, but to look up as in “way up” – … Continue reading

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How to Avoid Ruining a Book

“The club had a lending library. I was delighted by a poster that described in detailed words and in pretty colored pictures how many ways there were to avoid ruining … Continue reading

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Archiving for Activists: Resources

Or for anyone, really, who wants to arrange & describe their own collection of papers, ephemera & memorabilia. On Sunday night Amy & I gave a workshop at Interference Archive; … Continue reading

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#teamharpy, Ghomeshi, and What We Know

[Content Note on all the below for discussion of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape.] A Canadian media personality, Jian Ghomeshi, has been making news over the last week or … Continue reading

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Facing Reality – Reflections on the IFG’s Techno-Utopianism Teach-In

Occasionally, an acronym does the work of an entire argument. Case in point: FRED, which stands for Facing the Reality of Extinction and Doom. A good acronym need not be … Continue reading

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Between the Scythe & the Reaper Drone – A review of Nicholas Carr’s “The Glass Cage”

Here is a thought experiment: reflect back on the last forty-eight hours of your life, how often did you find yourself relying on computerized technology for performing a function that … Continue reading

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Emma, Utah, You, and Me

Pirates! One of your faithful librarian got laid off last Thursday, so you will probably be hearing more from me, as I try to fill the hours and days of … Continue reading

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Accustomed to the Unacceptable – Harassment 2.0

There are few types of praise that have not been directed at the Internet at one point or another. Such accolades range from the prosaic to the promising, but at … Continue reading

November 6, 2014 · 2 Comments

To-Do: The Activist’s Guide to Archiving Ephemera

Pirates! My colleague Amy & I are giving a workshop at the Interference Archive here in Brooklyn this weekend: “The Activist’s Guide to Archiving Ephemera.” From Interference’s website, Do you … Continue reading

November 3, 2014 · Leave a comment

The Good Life or “the Goods Life” – The Thought of Lewis Mumford

Possessing tremendous foresight is not always an uplifting attribute. Likewise, a keen sense of hindsight may provide as much of an education in ruins as in woebegone romance. Yet it … Continue reading

October 19, 2014 · 3 Comments

Program and Be Programmed – A Review of Wendy Hui Kyong Chun’s Programmed Visions

Type a letter on a keyboard and the letter appears on the screen, double-click on a program’s icon and it opens, use the mouse in an art program to draw … Continue reading

October 16, 2014 · Leave a comment

On Telling Time

I. The very idea of an heirloom quality computer seems amusingly absurd. And yet this does not mean that any concept of passing pieces of technology across generations is laughable. … Continue reading

October 14, 2014 · 4 Comments

With Great Technological Powers…What of Responsibility?

Who amongst us has not entertained a fantasy of possessing powers beyond those held by most mere mortals? The ability to fly, to be able to heal quickly, to be … Continue reading

October 9, 2014 · 1 Comment

Corrupting “The Corruption of Liberalism” – Brooks gets Mumford Wrong

The thought of public intellectuals may easily outlive their mortal bodies, their work enduring past the point at which they can still command much claim to a public. The work … Continue reading

October 6, 2014 · 1 Comment

A Question of Priorities

Human ingenuity has been a source of all manner of creations that have filled people with awe. Yet, this awe has just as often been awful as it has been … Continue reading

October 3, 2014 · 2 Comments

To-Do: Western Mass, NYC, Chicago

A pal brings this event, in Amherst, MA, to our attention: The publication of Hampshire College librarian Alana Kumbier’s book Ephemeral Material: Queering the Archive will be celebrated on Oct. … Continue reading

October 2, 2014 · Leave a comment

Tilting at Windmills

To be critical of a society is to invite a variety of staid, boorish, and simply hostile responses. Common amongst these retorts are those that do not attempt to engage … Continue reading

September 30, 2014 · 3 Comments

All Hitherto Existing Social Media – a review of Christian Fuchs’s “Social Medial: a Critical Introduction””

Legion are the books and articles describing the social media that has come before. Yet the tracts focusing on Friendster, LiveJournal, or MySpace now appear as throwbacks, nostalgically immortalizing the … Continue reading

September 25, 2014 · Leave a comment

Read Banned Books – Support Your Library

Displays of challenged, or banned, books generally provoke rather predictable responses: one group contentedly observes that somebody is speaking up against such filth, another group stares in bemused shock that … Continue reading

September 23, 2014 · 3 Comments

“The Courage to Be Afraid”

Of the various emotions that we are alternately encouraged or discouraged from feeling – fear is one that occupies an odd position. After all, fear is a very powerful emotional … Continue reading

September 19, 2014 · 4 Comments

Books Through Bars Fundraiser

Hey, real quick, pirates. Here in NYC Books Through Bars, “a non-profit community group and collective which sends free donated books to people in prison,” is having their annual bingo fundraiser … Continue reading

September 18, 2014 · Leave a comment

Not all Apples are Biodegradable

Buried within the excited announcement of a new model of a popular device is the dirge for the generation of devices that have just been made obsolete. Granted, there is … Continue reading

September 16, 2014 · 3 Comments

Placing Bets and Asking Questions

Though there was not terribly much question about it, there is now clear confirmation that “wearable technology” will be the next major front in technological society. While there had been … Continue reading

September 12, 2014 · 3 Comments

Speeding Towards a Slowdown

When things change quickly an appropriately speedy response may be warranted – especially in cases where delaying for too long may result in the opportunity to act being missed. The … Continue reading

September 9, 2014 · 2 Comments

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libshipwreck

  • It seems that people are still confusing freedom of speech with freedom from consequences. They are not synonymous. 1 day ago
  • "We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity." Chaplin eviscerates authoritarianism: youtube.com/watch?v=QcvjoW… 1 day ago
  • Another great satire that enraged authoritarians is the Marx Brothers' Duck Soup. "If you think the country's bad off now, just wait..." 1 day ago
  • Looking for a brilliant satirical movie about an authoritarian dictator? Watch Chaplin's The Great Dictator. The final speech is stunning. 1 day ago
  • #library colleague: They'll be paging during the holiday party? Me: Exciting. Her: You live dangerously. Me: It's why I became a librarian! 1 day ago
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