LibrarianShipwreck

"More than machinery, we need humanity."

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A Failure of the Imagination – COVID-19 and Catastrophe

“I have published these words in order to prevent them from becoming true. If we do not stubbornly keep in mind the strong probability of the disaster, and if we … Continue reading

May 8, 2020 · 1 Comment

COVID-19, COBOL, and Y2K

One of the grim ironies of a disaster is the way in which it reveals just how little has been learned from past disasters. In some cases, these unheeded lessons … Continue reading

April 7, 2020 · 1 Comment

What studying disasters has taught me about COVID-19

“Civilization, the orderly world in which we live, is frail. We are skating on thin ice.” – Zygmunt Bauman.   For the last several years, when people have asked me … Continue reading

March 26, 2020 · 7 Comments

How not to get sick at the library

There is nothing to be gained from obfuscation, so let us be clear, there is a growing level of concern about the coronavirus COVID-19. There is absolutely no reason to … Continue reading

February 27, 2020 · 3 Comments

The End of the World?

Except  this star there is nothing, I thought, and it Is a wasteland. It is our only refuge and this Is what it looks like. – Brecht   1. First, … Continue reading

January 23, 2020 · 3 Comments

My Favorite Books from 2019

“Hungry one, reach for the book—it is a weapon.” – Brecht Of all the problems with which a person may find themselves constantly wrestling, there are far worse things than … Continue reading

December 19, 2019 · 1 Comment

Who Listens to the Listeners?

It can be kind of fun to look through the record collections of your friends. Whether this collection consists of actual records, cassette tapes, compact discs, or just a lengthy … Continue reading

December 6, 2019 · Leave a comment

General Ludd in the Long Seventies – a review of Matt Tierney’s “Dismantlings”

The guy said, “If machinery makes you so happy go buy yourself a Happiness Machine.” Then he realized: They were trying to do exactly that. – Kenneth Burke, “Routine for … Continue reading

November 26, 2019 · 5 Comments

Facebook ≠ Democracy

‘Who rules here?’ I asked. They said: ‘The People naturally.’ I said: ‘Naturally the people but who really rules?’ – Erich Fried, “In the Capital.”   Mark Zuckerberg would like … Continue reading

October 18, 2019 · 3 Comments

In Defense of Jonah

On December 17, 1972, at the occasion of his receiving the National Book Award, the social critic Lewis Mumford gave a rather odd acceptance speech. It featured many of the … Continue reading

October 8, 2019 · 5 Comments

Hashtags Lean to the Right – a Review of Jen Schradie’s “The Revolution that Wasn’t”

Despite the oft-repeated, and rather questionable, trope that social media is biased against conservatives; and beyond the attention that has been lavished on tech-savvy left-aligned movements (such as Occupy!) in … Continue reading

September 27, 2019 · 2 Comments

How to stay cool in a library

According to numerous scientific studies, as well as ample anecdotal evidence, it is hot in the summer. Furthermore, as recent headlines from around the world attest, this particular summer is … Continue reading

July 11, 2019 · 1 Comment

How to prepare for qualifying exams (or, how to read too many books in seven months)

Few aspects of pursuing a PhD are simultaneously as mundane and as Herculean as preparing for qualifying exams. What makes this task rather unexceptional is that it generally consists of … Continue reading

April 29, 2019 · 1 Comment

My Favorite Books from 2018

Few will mourn the passing of 2018. To be frank, it was a year in which many disastrous and unfortunate things occurred. Granted, it takes a remarkable commitment to looking … Continue reading

December 28, 2018 · 4 Comments

From Megatechnic Bribe to Megatechnic Blackmail: Mumford’s ‘Megamachine’ After the Digital Turn

Without even needing to look at the copyright page, an aware reader may be able to date the work of a technology critic simply by considering the technological systems, or … Continue reading

August 2, 2018 · 3 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

TOR, Libraries, and DHS: fuck that noise

Our dear comrade Alison Macrina at the Library Freedom Project had the fabulous idea to set up Tor relays in public libraries — after all, providing services and assuring patron … Continue reading

September 11, 2015 · 2 Comments

Holding pattern

Dearest pirates. One of us has the flu while writing finals & the other is working their tail off on organizing street politics & jail support. We’ll be back soon, … Continue reading

December 10, 2014 · Leave a 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

To-Do: The Activist’s Guide to Archiving Ephemera

Pirates! My colleague Amy & I are giving a workshop at the Interference Archive here in Brooklyn this weekend: “The Activist’s Guide to Archiving Ephemera.” From Interference’s website, Do you … Continue reading

November 3, 2014 · Leave a comment

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

Shekel’s School for Wayward Librarians

I ran into oneofthelibrarians on the street the other day and apologized for being so delinquent in my posting. She brushed off my apology but said that, if I was … Continue reading

September 7, 2013 · 5 Comments

“I always preferred them stories without the morals,” he added.

Greetings, fellow castaways, cabin boys, and captains! You can call me Shekel, and I’ve been newly press-ganged to write for the Shipwreck. I hope this post serves as a worthy … Continue reading

June 17, 2013 · 1 Comment

Quickie: Chicago & Persepolis

Ddi you hear that silly thing the evil overloards of the public schools in Chicago did late last week? Banning Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novel Persepolis. I’m sure you can imagine … Continue reading

March 18, 2013 · 1 Comment

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