LibrarianShipwreck

Libraries, Archives, Technology, Impending Doom

Category Archives: Society

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

Amazon is hungry for more

Here is a joke: Question – Why did the online retailer renowned for its super cheap prices buy a brick and mortar grocery chain known for its ridiculously high prices? … Continue reading

June 21, 2017 · 2 Comments

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

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 · 4 Comments

It’s ok if you want to cry…

If a message were to suddenly appear on your computer screen informing you that all of your material had been encrypted and that you would have to pay a ransom … Continue reading

May 16, 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

Back to school…with much to learn…

Regardless of the particular month, it is always the right time to learn. Nevertheless, as it marks the beginning of the school year, the end of August/start of September stands … Continue reading

August 31, 2016 · 1 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

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

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

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 · 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

Back to School…

School has an odd effect upon the seasons. While summer may not truly end until the autumnal equinox, in late September, the start of the school year often seems like … Continue reading

September 3, 2015 · 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

The Robots are Coming! – A Review of Rise of the Robots by Martin Ford

Armies of metallic soldiers attacking fleeing humans, monotone machines refusing to open air lock doors, malfunctioning androids on murderous rampages – popular culture has done much to disseminate anxiety inducing … Continue reading

August 19, 2015 · 4 Comments

Ashley Madison and the Internet’s “Original Accident”

The news that a website, retailer, or famous individual has been the victim of hackers has, at this point, become not particularly sensational. It’s the type of revelation that still … Continue reading

July 21, 2015 · Leave a comment

Blame the Humans

When something goes wrong with a machine, it is easier to blame human error than it is to blame the machine itself. Such blame shifting is a wonderful sleight of … Continue reading

July 1, 2015 · 4 Comments

A Reality (g)Rift

Reality is a mess. To make this claim is to do little more than confirm the subtext of most newspaper headlines whether they speak of ongoing injustices, student debt, economic … Continue reading

June 12, 2015 · 3 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

The Illusion of “There’s an App for that”

With some quick movements, a little panache, and perhaps a few silly words a skilled illusionist can make a person appear out of nowhere and disappear again just as quickly. … Continue reading

May 28, 2015 · 4 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

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 · 11 Comments

Pat Skarda, Professor Emerita & Spinster Aunt to Thousands

I don’t always read my undergraduate college’s alumnae [do stop checking my Latin, though I’ve never studied it, I promise all the feminine declensions are correct] magazine, but I do … Continue reading

January 30, 2015 · 8 Comments

The Speed of Snow

Snow has a remarkable ability to turn a speedy city into a stationary one. The societal imperative to always be on the move collapses when government officials start issuing warnings … Continue reading

January 28, 2015 · 1 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

Ne'er do wells

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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 42 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