LibrarianShipwreck

Libraries, Archives, Technology, Impending Doom

Category Archives: Culture

Understanding Fascism – making sense of dark times – a reading list (expanded 10/20/17)

“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

October 20, 2017 · 3 Comments

The future looks expensive

When times are grim, and menacing clouds literally gather on the horizon, it can be immensely reassuring to have some event that restores faith in the future. All that is … Continue reading

September 13, 2017 · Leave a comment

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 · 3 Comments

Who moderates the moderators? On the Facebook Files

Speculative fiction is littered with fantastical tales warning of the dangers that arise when things get, to put it amusingly, too big. A researcher loses control of their experiment! A … Continue reading

May 23, 2017 · 5 Comments

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 · 9 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 · 6 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

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

Loving Technology – Regardless of the Era (or Error)

Spending an afternoon at a Renaissance Festival presents an individual with the opportunity to indulge in a mythologized version of the past without having to worry about contracting any diseases … Continue reading

September 22, 2015 · 2 Comments

There’s an Apparatus for That – Reflections on Vilém Flusser’s book Post-History

Critiquing this or that aspect of society can be an invigorating experience. One simply selects a specific topic and sets about excoriating it, methodically ripping it apart with a mixture … Continue reading

September 10, 2015 · Leave a comment

Google learns the Alphabet

“You still have to learn the ABC. The ABC says: They will get you down.” – Bertolt Brecht The way to spell “Google” has changed, and now the way to … Continue reading

August 13, 2015 · 2 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

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

A Dark, Warped Reflection – An Analysis of Black Mirror

Editor’s Note: what follows is an analysis of the first two seasons of Black Mirror. An analysis of  the third season has also been posted. Depending upon which sections of … Continue reading

February 12, 2015 · 12 Comments

(Libraries and/or Archives) + fire = bad

While playing the somber game of “what is posing an existential threat to libraries and archives this week?” it can be easy to focus on slow destructive forces such as … Continue reading

February 5, 2015 · Leave a comment

On Broken Glass

Depending on one’s personal stance, the news that Google is halting production of its polarizing product Glass is either cause for celebration, disappointment, or – for most people – simply … Continue reading

January 21, 2015 · 9 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

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

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

November 19, 2014 · 1 Comment

#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

November 4, 2014 · 2 Comments

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

Back to School…With Much to Learn

Even if the first day of autumn is still several weeks away, the passing of Labor Day always seems to signify that summer has come to a close. And with … Continue reading

September 2, 2014 · 1 Comment

LIS WTF

Hold onto your hats, librarians, you’re hardly going to believe these two bits of news. Yes, they are that busted. ***** First, comes the saga of the Evanston, IL, public … Continue reading

August 6, 2014 · 1 Comment

To Do List

I’m told Holler If Ya Hear Me, the Broadway musical based on Tupac Shakur’s music, is very good, but it is closing Sunday after poor box office returns. If you’ll be … Continue reading

July 17, 2014 · Leave a comment

If You Want to See the Sharing Economy…Go to the Library

The value of sharing is one instilled in us from a young age: from the parental injunction to share with our siblings to the early socialization received in kindergarten. Sharing … Continue reading

July 10, 2014 · 7 Comments

Or is it? – a review of Astra Taylor’s “The People’s Platform”

Imagine not using the Internet for twenty-four hours. Really: no Internet from dawn to dawn. Take a moment to think through the wide range of devices you would have to … Continue reading

May 20, 2014 · 9 Comments

To-Do List, Volume Next

Join NYC Anarchist Black Cross at the Base for a May Day card-writing night on Tuesday, April 29. Send notes to political prisoners & eat pizza, what could be better? Word … Continue reading

April 25, 2014 · Leave a comment

World’s Oldest Procession

Short notice, bookish types, but if you’re not doing anything this evening & are within shouting distance of Brooklyn, you should definitely join friend of the Shipwreck Melissa Gira Grant … Continue reading

March 12, 2014 · Leave a comment

Fighting Fire with Arsonists

As the sun set on March 7th a diffuse band of marathoners began an arduous trek: the “National Day of Unplugging.” From sundown on the 7th to sundown on the … Continue reading

March 11, 2014 · 10 Comments

Does Your Phone Care About Privacy? Behold: The Blackphone

One way to know with relative certainty that contemporary society is taking a problem seriously is when a market solution, a personal consumptive choice, appears to assuage the mounting concerns. … Continue reading

February 24, 2014 · 4 Comments

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