LibrarianShipwreck

Libraries, Archives, Technology, Impending Doom

Category Archives: Activism

Against the “anti-technology” strawman

Have no doubts about the one who tells you he is afraid But be afraid of the one who tells you he has no doubts – Erich Fried 1) Somewhere … Continue reading

July 20, 2017 · 2 Comments

The Apocalyptic Turn

It is a desperate deed to upbraid despair for despair makes our life what it is. It thinks out what we flee from. – Erich Fried 1) Thinking about apocalyptic … Continue reading

July 11, 2017 · 1 Comment

The users and the used

Woe be unto the tech company or platform that rolls out a new product or update and claims that it is in response to its users’ demands. For such action … Continue reading

June 16, 2017 · Leave a comment

“Thinking ad pessimum” – Notes Towards a Productive Pessimism

Even the Flood Did not last for ever. There came a time When the black waters ebbed. Yes, but how few Have lasted longer. – Brecht (“Reading Horace”)   1) … Continue reading

June 1, 2017 · 3 Comments

When real life emulates dystopia…it isn’t a good sign…

“If people are not aware of the direction in which they are going, they will awaken when it is too late and when their fate has been irrevocably sealed. Unfortunately, … Continue reading

March 31, 2017 · 3 Comments

The world according to Facebook

The majestic plural, the royal “we,” is deployed by individuals in high positions seeking to cast their own opinions as the views of a much larger group for whom they … Continue reading

February 17, 2017 · 10 Comments

Well…that happened – reflections on a joke

The guileless word is folly. A smooth forehead Suggests insensitivity. The man who laughs Has simply not yet had The terrible news. – Brecht (“To Those Born Later”) Sometimes one … Continue reading

January 27, 2017 · 1 Comment

Understanding Fascism – making sense of dark times

“No other method exists for acquiring knowledge about the human heart than the study of history coupled with experience of life, in such a way that the two throw light … Continue reading

January 20, 2017 · 2 Comments

And the technophiles scramble…

“You still have to learn the ABC. The ABC says: They will get you down.” – Bertolt Brecht 1. The folksinger Woody Guthrie was known for putting the words “This … Continue reading

January 12, 2017 · 3 Comments

A Pessimistic Resolution

Every new year brings with it the promise of a fresh start, the promise that this year, unlike last year, we can finally get things right. Thus, the resolution-industrial complex … Continue reading

January 5, 2017 · 1 Comment

Prescience and Pessimism

Truly, I live in dark times! The guileless word is folly. A smooth forehead Suggests insensitivity. The man who laughs Has simply not yet had The terrible news. – Brecht, … Continue reading

November 10, 2016 · 18 Comments

Into and out of the woods – a review of Captain Fantastic

Supermarkets, strip malls, smart phones, school – for many, such are the unexceptional features of daily life. And though some people may occasionally experience dissatisfaction with the society in which … Continue reading

August 22, 2016 · 4 Comments

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

June 16, 2016 · 13 Comments

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

May 26, 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 · 4 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 · 3 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 · 2 Comments

Treat Your Personal Library…Like a Library

Have you ever found yourself at a gathering at which a speaker says something along the lines of “it’s important to read”? Or perhaps you’ve found yourself at a gathering … Continue reading

August 27, 2015 · 3 Comments

Has General Ludd been seen in France?

General Ludd has recently been sighted in France. At least that is what one might be led to believe based on stories about French taxi drivers protesting against Uber. After … Continue reading

July 8, 2015 · 1 Comment

To Do: Digital Rights in Libraries

[Hi, pirates. The following is a press release from our dear comrade Alison Macrina of the Library Freedom Project. If you are going to ALA, or live near the Bay … Continue reading

June 4, 2015 · Leave a comment

Laws Expire, Surveillance Remains

The technological landscape of today is quite a bit different from what it was in the fall of 2001. This point is so obvious as to be banal, but to … Continue reading

May 21, 2015 · 1 Comment

“Walking Makes the Road” and the Library

It can be easy for librarians to take space for granted. After all, there are many issues with which libraries must contend, but generally the physical building itself can be … Continue reading

May 14, 2015 · 2 Comments

But on the other hand…it’s a really nice day

“I do not believe that things will turn out well, but the idea that they might is of decisive importance.” – Max Horkheimer 1. Nice days can be disorienting. The … Continue reading

April 22, 2015 · 4 Comments

AK Press Needs Your Support

Fire and books are not a good combination. For it is not just the flames that pose a threat to the pages but also the smoke and the water that … Continue reading

March 27, 2015 · 1 Comment

Where Are They Now? The People’s Library Today

For many librarians the experience of reminding patrons to “please, return the books when you’re finished with them” is fairly common. After all, the idea of a person returning a … Continue reading

March 19, 2015 · 2 Comments

Confused about Copyright and Fair Use? That’s Understandable…

The folk singer Woody Guthrie would frequently attach a serious warning regarding copyright to copies of his lyric sheets. This sobering statement informed one and all that: “This song is … Continue reading

February 26, 2015 · 3 Comments

Cultivating Reform and Revolution – A Review of The Fragility of Things

Mountains and rivers, skyscrapers and dams – the world is filled with objects and structures that appear sturdy. Glancing upwards at a skyscraper, or mountain, a person may know that … Continue reading

February 19, 2015 · Leave a comment

Warding off General Ludd – The Absurdity of “The Luddite Awards”

Of all the dangers looming over humanity no threat is greater than that posed by the Luddites. If the previous sentence seems absurdly hyperbolic, know that it only seems that … Continue reading

January 7, 2015 · 8 Comments

Resolve to Remember 2014

Not many people will lament 2014 coming to a close. Certainly, as with any year, there are numerous individuals who experienced moments of great joy and personal fulfillment over the … Continue reading

December 30, 2014 · 2 Comments

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

December 17, 2014 · 1 Comment

Ne'er do wells

Archive

Categories

Creative Commons License

libshipwreck

  • Impending doom: 3 weeks ago: nuclear war 2 weeks ago: climate change Last week: climate change This week: nuclear war Next week: meteor 15 minutes ago
  • Hey @SenBobCasey The Graham-Cassidy bill would be bad for PA & bad for the country. Oppose it, back Medicare-for-all instead! - A PA voter 32 minutes ago
  • Hey @SenToomey, The Graham-Cassidy bill would be bad for PA and bad for the country. Show some backbone and oppose it! - a voter in PA 43 minutes ago
  • To whom it may concern, Failing leaders embrace disastrous military exploits to appear strong. Sincerely, History twitter.com/nickkristof/st… 1 hour ago
  • Talk like a pirate day is meant as a grim joke about how sea levels are rising and how Waterworld is a vision of the future, right? Right. 1 hour ago