The Wednesday Four (12/14/16)

Though I am no longer a librarian in my work life, I will always have a soft spot for libraries (and I visit all the time to chat with my old coworkers as well as to check out books). And in the spirit of librarianship, there are two articles one (the Time article) is an old article, but the second (EFF) is recent and reflects certain changing aspects of our society.

  • How Black Lives Matter Went Global: Activists for black, brown, and Indigenous rights around the world have adopted the Black Lives Matter slogan alongside homegrown movements against racism and police brutality. (BuzzFeed)
Blowing snow on the river

Blowing snow on the river (02/14/2-15) © ellenm1

The Wednesday Four (11/30/16)

A mixed bag today, just in time for that awkward few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Enjoy the links.

  • The Rise of Pirate Libraries: Shadowy digital libraries want to hold all the world’s knowledge and give it away for free. (Atlas Obscura)

 

 

The Wednesday Four (05/13/15)

These links are depressing in a variety of ways, except for that first one.

I just want to state, for the record, that I had no idea that the Brontosaurus had stopped existing, as it were, for so long. I thought it, like Pluto losing it’s planet status, was a relatively new thing. Surprise! Who knew? Not me.

Hey Brontosaurus by Roger Jones

Hey Brontosaurus by Roger Jones

The Wednesday Four (04/22/15)

Hey, look, some links!

  • The future of loneliness  As we moved our lives online, the internet promised an end to isolation. But can we find real intimacy amid shifting identities and permanent surveillance? (Guardian)

As someone who has a social life divided by the internet and the physical world, I found the first article to be fascinating, if somewhat ill-informed. I truly believe that friendships you make online are just as real as those you make in person. Actually, I don’t just believe this, I know it. I have several very close friends who I only know through the internet. I’ve met a couple of them in person and I was the bridesmaid in another’s wedding. But there are others who I may never meet, as we live oceans apart. This doesn’t devalue our friendships in any way, shape or form.

I believe the crux of the problem is relying on the idea that followers on social media are the same as tangible friends — the ones you talk to (you may email them every day, or every week, month or even once or twice a year — but they are your friends and not just people you happen to know). I have over 100 followers (each) on twitter, tumblr and on Facebook. I would only consider a handful of these to be actual friends and of those, even fewer who are close friends. If you confuse friendship and followers, then you’re missing two things: the point of social media is not to create a super large group of actual friends and friendships cannot be bound or determined by anything other than the relationship between two people. I feel that the author, at the end of the article, came to realize that it is the quality of the friendships, not the quantity of the ‘friends’ that really matters.

Friday Links

Oddly, I’ve read a bunch of stuff this week. There’s no theme to these articles, they’re covering a variety of topics. Sometimes I include an ‘if you only read one’ but this week, all of them are pretty good.

The Thursday Ten

I’ve decided to try something different. Instead of listing all the links I’ve read and thought were interesting, I’m going to limit it to just ten, with maybe a bonus link or two. This first week of September will be my first week attempting this. Feedback is always welcome.

Onto the links:

  • Pop culture’s newest apocalypse: Visions of a smartphone dystopia Two acclaimed new books show how our smartphone addiction is changing the way we think about the end of the world  (Salon) Note: I have read neither book, but the premises of both are similar to many a YA dystopia — though that’s not a bad thing. I do wish the author was familiar with other dystopian novels, though.
  • Hong Kong’s Democracy Dilemma: On Sunday the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress issued restrictive guidelines for the election of Hong Kong’s next chief executive in 2017. Shorn of its technical details, the proposal in effect gives Beijing the means to control who could run for the top office in Hong Kong: Voters would get to cast a ballot, but only for one of just a handful of candidates pre-selected by the Chinese government. (New York Times)
  • What’s missing in the Ebola fight in West Africa: If the Ebola epidemic devastating the countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone had instead struck Washington, New York or Boston, there is no doubt that the health systems in place could contain and then eliminate the disease. (Washington Post)
  • Shenzhen trip report – visiting the world’s manufacturing ecosystem: Last year, a group of Media Lab students visited Shenzhen with, bunnie, an old friend and my hardware guru. He’s probably best known for hacking the Xbox, the chumby, an open source networked hardware appliance, and for helping so many people with their hardware, firmware and software designs. bunnie is “our man in Shenzhen” and understands the ecosystem of suppliers and factories in China better than anyone I know. (Joi Ito)
  • Death to the Gamer: Tainted by its misogyny and embrace of consumption as a way of life, gamer culture isn’t worth saving. (Jacobin)

Bonus links! Something a little more fun:

 

Links: July 3rd-11th

Tongues take a while to untie. (via Indexed by Jessica Hagy)

Tongues take a while to untie. (via Indexed by Jessica Hagy)

What a Woman’s Choice Means to the Supreme Court and Social Conservatives: A choice isn’t really a choice when you can’t find another job, or when it’s the end of the month and the checking account is empty and the morning-after pill costs $50 without insurance, or when the only approved birth control methods won’t work for you. For decades, activists have invoked a woman’s “right to choose” — choose when it’s the right time for her to have children and when it’s not, and to choose which contraceptive method to use in the meantime. In theory, women are still allowed to make these choices in America. In practice, though, to choose you must have options. Health insurance is one of the things that guarantees options and access. Freedom, as the conservatives say, isn’t free. For a choice to be a true choice and not a default, sometimes we have to subsidize it. (New York Magazine)

Back from the edge: In the 1990s China had one of the highest suicide rates in the world. Young rural women in particular were killing themselves at an alarming rate. In recent years, however, China’s suicides have declined to among the lowest rates in the world. In 2002 the Lancet, a British medical journal, said there were 23.2 suicides per 100,000 people annually from 1995 to 1999. This year a report by a group of researchers from the University of Hong Kong found that had declined to an average annual rate of 9.8 per 100,000 for the years 2009-11, a 58% drop. (Economist)

How not to say the wrong thing: Draw a circle. This is the center ring. In it, put the name of the person at the center of the current trauma. For Katie’s aneurysm, that’s Katie. Now draw a larger circle around the first one. In that ring put the name of the person next closest to the trauma. In the case of Katie’s aneurysm, that was Katie’s husband, Pat. Repeat the process as many times as you need to. In each larger ring put the next closest people. Parents and children before more distant relatives. Intimate friends in smaller rings, less intimate friends in larger ones. When you are done you have a Kvetching Order. (LA Times)

 A Job Seeker’s Desperate Choice: On the morning of March 20, Shanesha Taylor had a job interview. It was for a good job, one that could support her three children, unlike the many positions she’d applied for that paid only $10 an hour. The interview, at an insurance agency in Scottsdale, Ariz., went well. “Walking out of the office, you know that little skip thing people do?” she said, clicking her heels together in a corny expression of glee. “I wanted to do that.”But as she left the building and walked through the parking lot, she saw police officers surrounding her car, its doors flung open and a crime-scene van parked nearby. All the triumphant buoyancy of the moment vanished, replaced by a hard, sudden knot of panic. Hours later, Ms. Taylor was posing for a mug shot, her face somber and composed, a rivulet of tears falling from each eye. A subsequent headline in The Huffington Post said it all: “Shanesha Taylor, Homeless Single Mom, Arrested After Leaving Kids in Car While on Job Interview.” (New York Times)

What Pastel Hair Means For Women Of Color: Our latest obsession here at Refinery29 is probably pretty obvious to you by now: We can’t get enough of pastel hair. So, when Diana and Everdeen, two R29ers, approached us and expressed interest in taking the pastel plunge, we jumped at the chance to put them in touch with celebrity colorist Lena Ott of the salon Suite Caroline. Ott is known for creating vibrant, rainbow-inspired hair colors, making her the perfect person for the job. (R29)

More than rumors drive Central American youths toward U.S.: Some Central Americans feel encouraged by rumors that children who cross into the United States will be allowed to stay. But other fundamental reasons fueling migration have remained unchanged for decades: family unification, hometown violence, inescapable poverty and lack of opportunity. Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, the so-called Northern Triangle of Central America, are among the poorest and most dangerous countries in the hemisphere. Plagued by ruthless street gangs and a growing presence of Mexican drug traffickers, the countries have seen homicide rates grow by 99% over the last decade, with the current rate five times that of the United States, according to a new study by the British-based Action on Armed Violence. (LA Times)

 You Can Delete, but You Can’t Forget: I erased all of my mother’s emails after she died. I want them back. (The Atlantic)

These Park Benches Welcome The Homeless Instead Of Rejecting Them: Instead of being designed to thwart a good sleep, these park benches in Vancouver fold out into miniature shelters. (Fast Company/Co.Exist)

The Next Big Thing In Urban Planning? Backyard Cottages: As the days of suburban sprawl give way to those of urban density in U.S. metros–“smart growth,” most call it–providing sufficient housing remains a challenge. Decades of planning regulations and highway patterns support single-family homes built far outside a city center. Even in areas where big residential towers make sense, developing them takes a long time and costs a lot of money. Manhattan wasn’t built in a day (Fast Company/Co.Exist)

The Best And Worst Design Of The 2014 World Cup: From ugly stadiums to underwear slips to new and improved soccer balls (Fast Company/Co.Exist)