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Category Archives: Books

Living well in the technosocial world – a review of Shannon Vallor’s Technology and the Virtues

When new technologies are unveiled the conversation is usually dominated by excited comments regarding all of the things for which these newfangled devices or platforms will be good. This new … Continue reading

August 24, 2017 · 2 Comments

It’s time to fix things – a review of “Move Fast and Break Things”

When the topic of monopoly is raised the first person that many people will think of is Rich Uncle Pennybags – that icon of monopolistic wealth accumulation – with his … Continue reading

June 29, 2017 · 3 Comments

My Favorite Books from 2016

There are many piles of books that exist in my life. Many. But the most notable of these are “the books I’ve read” versus “the books that I want to … Continue reading

December 22, 2016 · 3 Comments

How to gut a book

Here is a problem: there are too many books to read and not enough time in which to read them all. What is one to do? Obviously, this is the … Continue reading

September 22, 2016 · Leave a comment

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

How to move a large quantity of books

“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.” – Groucho Marx Regardless of what you may have heard to … Continue reading

August 16, 2016 · 3 Comments

An island of reason in the cyberstream – on the life and thought of Joseph Weizenbaum

The juxtaposition between the potential of technology and its actual manifestation can be rather jarring. Tools that promise to make tasks easier are used to automate people out of their … Continue reading

July 27, 2016 · 10 Comments

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

July 21, 2016 · 1 Comment

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

July 7, 2016 · 1 Comment

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

June 23, 2016 · 1 Comment

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

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 · 3 Comments

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 · 2 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 · 7 Comments

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 · 5 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 · 7 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

How to Organize Your Library

“The acquisition of books is by no means a matter of money or expert knowledge alone. Not even both factors together suffice for the establishment of a real library, which … Continue reading

August 5, 2015 · 8 Comments

Now Hear This! – A review of Thus Spoke the Spectacle

We know that the images flashing at us from the multitude of screens that surround us are trying to tell us something. To a certain extent the meanings are quite … Continue reading

June 8, 2015 · 3 Comments

“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

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

Reference Desk: 50 Sh…ut up, that book is terrible.

By now we all know that 50 shades of grey, its sequels, and its movie adaptation are all the worst, and have no redeeming value, literary, moral, or otherwise, beside … Continue reading

March 2, 2015 · 2 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

How to Read a Large Book on Crowded Public Transit

At some point in your life you may find yourself waiting for some mode of public transit to arrive. When the aforementioned public conveyance finally comes you may feel a … Continue reading

January 14, 2015 · 9 Comments

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

November 24, 2014 · Leave a comment

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

November 13, 2014 · 22 Comments

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

October 23, 2014 · 9 Comments

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 · 18 Comments

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