LibrarianShipwreck

Libraries, Archives, Technology, Impending Doom

Rocks or ticker-tape? A review of Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus by Douglas Rushkoff

Digital technologies are often touted for their transformative potential. The Internet has made a massive amount of information easily accessible to its users, social media provides new ways of connecting, … Continue reading

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What Pokémon can you catch at a library?

Though you might not suspect it, libraries are an excellent place to catch Pokémon! Indeed, libraries are filled with many kinds of wondrous, rare Pokémon that can be found there … Continue reading

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Mars is still very far away – a review of McKenzie Wark’s book Molecular Red

There are some games where a single player wins, games where a group of players wins, and then there are games where all of the players can share equally in … Continue reading

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Things I wish I had known before I applied to PhD programs

Only those in possession of a bizarre sort of personality genuinely enjoy the process of filling out applications. While, I confess, I may not have serious statistical data to back … Continue reading

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AI and Drones and Bio-engineering, oh my! – A Review of A Dangerous Master by Wendell Wallach

Popular culture is lousy with tales of techno-science escaping human control. And as these stories — involving rebelling robots, murderous artificial intelligence systems, and genetically modified chimeras on a warpath … Continue reading

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What Technology Do We Really Need? – A Critique of the 2016 Personal Democracy Forum

Technological optimism is a dish best served from a stage. Particularly if it’s a bright stage in front of a receptive and comfortably seated audience, especially if the person standing … Continue reading

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Prefixes in Uncertain Times: Reconfiguring the Human in the Human-Built World

One could be easily forgiven for thinking that the present is a troubling time to be human. The specter of catastrophic climate change looms larger by the week, rapidly appearing … Continue reading

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Beyond the Prototype: Libraries as Convivial Tools in Action

How important are the technologies found in a library to the actual library? Are libraries simply places where various tools and technologies are used, or can libraries (themselves) be viewed … Continue reading

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You Can’t Spell “Trending Topics” Without Control

Attempting to understand trends can easily give one an unpleasant headache. From fashion to music and from food to news articles – the reasons why a particular thing is trendy … Continue reading

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Evidently, Democracy Disrupts the Disruptors

Anybody who has been watching the 2016 presidential primaries can attest to the simple fact that voting has consequences. Indeed, voters can propel a figure widely dismissed as “never going … Continue reading

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How to Grade Assignments in a Library

At this very moment, legions of students are busily writing papers and studying for their final exams. Indeed, for the end of the semester is upon us! These students will … Continue reading

May 5, 2016 · 1 Comment

Broadcasting Resistance – a review of Low Power to the People by Christina Dunbar-Hester

In trying to build a different tomorrow, activists find themselves using the tools of today. And quite often the tools of yesterday as well. The choice of which tools to … Continue reading

April 28, 2016 · 2 Comments

En Garde! How to Defend Yourself With a Book

“Hungry man, reach for the book: it is a weapon.” – Bertolt Brecht 1. Popular parlance is filled with catchy phrases about the ways in which books can be harnessed … Continue reading

April 21, 2016 · 2 Comments

What to Do When the Internet Stops Working in Your Library

There may come a day when you find yourself happily sitting in a library only to have your pleasant feelings disrupted by the recognition that the Internet has stopped working. … Continue reading

March 17, 2016 · 1 Comment

Facebook Reactions Are No Laughing Matter

Prepare yourself for a not particularly shocking observation: when it comes to interpersonal communication, there are certain types of information that are not conveyed particularly well by information technology. Indeed, … Continue reading

February 25, 2016 · 7 Comments

Apple Is Not the Messiah

There is a lot of money to be made in crafting carefully manicured public relations campaigns for major corporations. Numerous large firms exist solely for the purposes of selling their … Continue reading

February 18, 2016 · 2 Comments

Not Ludd, Just Ludicrous – The Luddite Awards are Absurd

The bestowing of awards often has a rather self-congratulatory aspect. After all, the giving of such honors is an opportunity for an industry to praise itself by touting the fine … Continue reading

January 29, 2016 · 1 Comment

How to Keep What You Are Reading Secret

Is there anything more annoying than being interrupted with the question “hey, what are you reading?” while you are engrossed in a book? Is there anything more frustrating than feeling … Continue reading

January 21, 2016 · 1 Comment

Potential, Power and Enduring Problems – Anarchism and the Critique of Technology

What follows is the introductory section of an article titled “Potential, Power and Enduring Problems – Reassembling the Anarchist Critique of Technology” which I wrote for the journal Anarchist Developments … Continue reading

January 14, 2016 · 2 Comments

When it Comes to Social Media – Is There No Alternative?

In the first weeks of a new year, many people look back on the previous year and dwell upon what they wish they had done differently. And thus inspired, they … Continue reading

January 7, 2016 · 4 Comments

My Favorite Books From 2015

Best of the year lists are as much of a testament to what was missed as to what was actually experienced. For every [insert media format of your choice] that … Continue reading

December 30, 2015 · 6 Comments

Things I Learned During My First Semester of Teaching Undergraduates

Despite having spent a lot of time in classrooms (a heck of a lot of time in classrooms), the fall semester of 2015 may well have been the semester in … Continue reading

December 23, 2015 · 5 Comments

What to Get the Luddite on Your List

‘Tis the season of the mailbox stuffed with catalogs. Regardless of whether or not one participates in the traditions that result in stockings stuffed with tchotchkes or trees bedecked in … Continue reading

December 16, 2015 · 3 Comments

A Charitable Definition of Charity

When the state of the world seems terrible, it becomes all too easy to pine for good news. And if one is to glance at the headlines in recent weeks … Continue reading

December 2, 2015 · 4 Comments

I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night

I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night, Alive as you or me. Says I, “But Joe, you’re ten years dead.” “I never died” says he. “I never died” says … Continue reading

November 19, 2015 · Leave a comment

Will Return Shortly

The Shipwreck has been somewhat quiet of late. This has been a direct result of the Luddbrarian having, in his own words, “too much to do and not enough time … Continue reading

November 8, 2015 · Leave a comment

The Ground Beneath the Screens – A Review of Jussi Parikka’s A Geology of Media and The Anthrobscene

Despite the aura of ethereality that clings to the Internet, today’s technologies have not shed their material aspects. Digging into the materiality of such devices does much to trouble the … Continue reading

October 29, 2015 · Leave a comment

How to Avoid Being Bothered While Working in a Library

There are instances wherein an individual seeks to flee from convivial communication, instead craving that variety of isolation fruitful for concentration and introspection. At such times a person may find … Continue reading

October 15, 2015 · 4 Comments

Friends Don’t Let Friends Join Peeple

Social media can leave a funny taste in your mouth. Legion are the companies declaring that their platform will help you reach full actualization whether this occurs through connecting with … Continue reading

October 7, 2015 · 2 Comments

The Social Construction of Acceleration – A review of Judy Wajcman’s book Pressed for Time

Patience seems anachronistic in an age of high speed downloads, same day deliveries, and on-demand assistants who can be summoned by tapping a button. Though some waiting may still occur … Continue reading

October 1, 2015 · 6 Comments

Ne'er do wells

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libshipwreck

  • “Real dialogue isn’t about talking to people who believe the same things as you.” - Zygmunt Bauman 3 hours ago
  • #Library manager: Why is it so busy today? Me: I was bad in a previous life & the gods are punishing me. Her: Why do I even talk to you? 5 hours ago
  • Remember! You can’t spell “opinion” without “onion!” I am sure this is significant in some mysterious way. 6 hours ago
  • #library patron: Mine? Me: Yes, be warned, it’s heavy. Him: It’s depressing? [lifts & promptly drops the box] Me: I mean it weighs a lot. 6 hours ago
  • I think that this election has clearly proven that Twitter needs an “oy” button in addition to the “like” button. 6 hours ago
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