Knitting for black liberation: familiar activity opens dialogue [...]

“As a black woman, you’re invisible,” says Taylor Payne, a member of the [The Yarn Mission]. “But knitting makes people stop and have a conversation with you. If someone asks me what I’m doing, I say, ‘I’m knitting for black liberation.’ Sometimes they respond and sometimes I just get ‘Oh, my grandma knits,’ like the person didn’t hear me. But at least it opens the door to talking about my experiences.” source: The Guardian

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Air & Space Magazine – Media Bias/Fact Checking [...]

Air & Space Magazine
PRO-SCIENCE

These sources consist of legitimate science.  Legitimate science  follows the scientific method, is unbiased and does not use emotional words.  These sources also respect the consensus of experts in the given scientific field and strive to publish peer reviewed science. See all Pro-Science sources.

Notes: Air & Space/Smithsonian magazine is a bimonthly magazine put out by the National Air and Space Museum.

Source: http://www.airspacemag.com/ (Source)

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Work doesn’t equal wage labour [...]

​Sometimes a counter argument to UBI is that work is important and gives is a sense of purpose.  Which may be true, so it’s important to remember: Work  doesn’t equal wage labour. 

“Work doesn’t equal wage labour (repeat, until people understand that basic point) https://t.co/OKCDqybt4u”

“Post-work doesn’t mean the absence of meaningful projects. It means eliminating our dependence on the labour market for survival” https://twitter.com/n_srnck/status/813785503455649792
“What a depressing world we live in that people think meaning must come from working in a cubicle or on an assembly line or stocking shelves” https://twitter.com/n_srnck/status/813786120702009345

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Behind censorship, the need to control and make decisions for others [...]

Interview with Professor Emily J.M. Knox, who studies and advocates for intellectual freedom.

I have an article on how in fact our ideas about intellectual freedom are based in reader response theory, which is that everybody brings their own baggage to reading. You can never know what that baggage is, and it’s not your job as a librarian to infer what someone’s baggage is, to say that “I know what’s best for you.” And also this only happens to certain people. I think this is another way to think about it. There is a lot of material out there for men that is very damaging, but very rarely do we see people get upset about that. It’s generally women and children who seem to have what Cathy Davidson calls an “undisciplined imagination.” They “aren’t able to process what they read as well as men do.” I have never seen a thriller on the banned books list. Ever. No one talks about how violent some of those thrillers can be, and what sort of toxic images they have. It’s only books for certain people that have this designation. source: Hack Library Science

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Networked learning [...]

Networked learning is a process of developing and maintaining connections with people and information, and communicating in such a way so as to support one another’s learning. The central term in this definition is connections. It takes a relational stance in which learning takes place both in relation to others and in relation to learning resources (Source)

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The Information Age [...]

“The Information Age (also known as the Computer Age, Digital Age, or New Media Age) is a period in human history characterized by the shift from traditional industry that the Industrial Revolution brought through industrialization, to an economy based on information computerization. The onset of the Information Age is associated with the Digital Revolution, just as the Industrial Revolution marked the onset of the Industrial Age.”
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_Age

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Social atomisation as a sales strategy [...]

Materialism => isolation => materialism => repeat

“A third paper, published (paradoxically) in the Journal of Consumer Research, studied 2,500 people for six years. It found a two-way relationship between materialism and loneliness: materialism fosters social isolation; isolation fosters materialism. People who are cut off from others attach themselves to possessions. This attachment in turn crowds out social relationships.”

“Perhaps this is one of the reasons an economic model based on perpetual growth continues on its own terms to succeed, though it may leave a trail of unpayable debts, mental illness and smashed relationships. Social atomisation may be the best sales strategy ever devised, and continuous marketing looks like an unbeatable programme for atomisation.”
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/09/materialism-system-eats-us-from-inside-out

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Corporate web [...]

The corporate web, an indieweb term, refers to content silos such as Twitter, Facebook, etc, where the content produced by individuals who use a site is owned by the corporation, and usually used for some financial purposes.

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Materialism and unhappiness [...]

Materialism is often recognised as a symptom of unhappiness.  It may also be a major contributor to unhappiness in the first place.

“There has long been a correlation observed between materialism, a lack of empathy and engagement with others, and unhappiness. But research conducted over the past few years seems to show causation. “
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/09/materialism-system-eats-us-from-inside-out

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CardBox:: Language [...]

Artificial intelligence sheds new light on classic texts
Precision of language: climate change dissenter vs. climate change denier
Ad of Polish man teaching himself English to visit émigré family goes viral

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Pushing for open access deal, about 60 German institutions cancel Elsevier contracts [...]

> Despite its current profit margin of 40 percent, [Elsevier] is still intent on pursuing even higher price increases[…]The Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany rejects Elsevier’s offer (PDF 25 KB). As a consequence, no access to full texts of Elsevier journals is expected to be available from 1 January 2017 on. All participants in this process are aware of the imminent effects this has on research and teaching. However, they share the firm conviction that, for the present, the pressure built up by the joint action of many research institutions is the only way to  to reach an outcome advantageous for the German scientific community. source: SUB Göttingen, published Dec 13, 2016

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Sustainable development [...]

the most common definition was defined by the Brundtland Commission in 1987, who documented the sustainable development definition as: 

“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

This implies that we need to look after our planet, our resources and our people to ensure that we can live in a sustainable manner and that we can hand down our planet to our children and our grandchildren to live in true sustainability.  

http://www.circularecology.com/sustainability-and-sustainable-development.html#.WFuKBVmnzqA

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Software monoculture [...]

An indieweb term.

Monoculture refers to the antipattern of one piece of software dominating (or trying to dominate) its field, often by being limited to communicating with other instances of the same codebase. A monoculture (same software running on servers run by different people) is one step above a silo (same software running on servers run by the same people or organization). (Source)

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Direct democracy [...]

​”Direct democracy (also known as pure democracy)[1] is a form of democracy in which people decide (e.g. vote on, form consensus on) policy initiatives directly. This differs from the majority of modern Western-style democracies, which are representative democracies.” Wikipedia

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Digital Dark Age [...]

Humanity’s first steps into the digital world could be lost to future historians, Vint Cerf told the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual meeting in San Jose, California, warning that we faced a “forgotten generation, or even a forgotten century” through what he called “bit rot”, where old computer files become useless junk.

“When you think about the quantity of documentation from our daily lives that is captured in digital form, like our interactions by email, people’s tweets, and all of the world wide web, it’s clear that we stand to lose an awful lot of our history,” he said.

“We don’t want our digital lives to fade away. If we want to preserve them, we need to make sure that the digital objects we create today can still be rendered far into the future,” he added.

The warning highlights an irony at the heart of modern technology, where music, photos, letters and other documents are digitised in the hope of ensuring their long-term survival. But while researchers are making progress in storing digital files for centuries, the programs and hardware needed to make sense of the files are continually falling out of use.

“We are nonchalantly throwing all of our data into what could become an information black hole without realising it. We digitise things because we think we will preserve them, but what we don’t understand is that unless we take other steps, those digital versions may not be any better, and may even be worse, than the artefacts that we digitised,” Cerf told the Guardian. “If there are photos you really care about, print them out.”

Ancient civilisations suffered no such problems, because histories written in cuneiform on baked clay tablets, or rolled papyrus scrolls, needed only eyes to read them. To study today’s culture, future scholars would be faced with PDFs, Word documents, and hundreds of other file types that can only be interpreted with dedicated software and sometimes hardware too.

The problem is already here. In the 1980s, it was routine to save documents on floppy disks, upload Jet Set Willy from cassette to the ZX spectrum, slaughter aliens with a Quickfire II joystick, and have Atari games cartridges in the attic. Even if the disks and cassettes are in good condition, the equipment needed to run them is mostly found only in museums.

The rise of gaming has its own place in the story of digital culture, but Cerf warns that important political and historical documents will also be lost to bit rot. In 2005, American historian Doris Kearns Goodwin wrote Team of Rivals: the Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, describing how Lincoln hired those who ran against him for presidency. She went to libraries around the US, found the physical letters of the people involved, and reconstructed their conversations. “In today’s world those letters would be emails and the chances of finding them will be vanishingly small 100 years from now,” said Cerf. (Source)

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Platform cooperativism [...]

A more socially beneficially way of providing that which is currently provided by the ‘sharing economy’. So less capitalist ways of doing Uber, Airbnb, et at.

(Source)


Platform capitalism

Sharing economy [...]

The “sharing economy” is the all-purpose term used to describe transactions in which someone in possession of a car, or home, or self-storage space, or commercial real estate, or almost anything else imaginable “shares” it with a stranger.  It is unregulated, tech-enabled, supply-and-demand entrepreneurial capitalism.  Peer-to-peer business is a more accurate term.  See also platform capitalism.

“The “sharing economy” is the all-purpose term used to describe transactions in which someone in possession of a car, or home, or self-storage space, or commercial real estate, or almost anything else imaginable “shares” it with a stranger. But is “sharing” the right word? Sharing is something people generally do out of the goodness of their hearts, and in pretty much all sharing economy scenarios, some money is changing hands. You don’t come across too many listings at airbnb, the godfather of the sharing economy model, posted with a nightly rate of “share and share alike.””

 > “The other popular term for this world, “peer-to-peer” business, seems more accurate, though also more cold-hearted. The latest example of the “sharing economy” phrase seeming like a stretch comes in the form of an app that allows a user to auction off a public parking space for $5, or maybe $20, occupied by his car. If your initial reaction is that this is simply unregulated, tech-enabled, supply-and-demand entrepreneurial capitalism as opposed to “sharing,” you’re not alone.”
[(Source)](http://time.com/money/2933937/sharing-economy-airbnb-uber-monkeyparking/)

Platform capitalism

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Folk politics [...]

> “Folk politics names a constellation of ideas and intuitions within the contemporary left that informs the common-sense ways of organising, acting and thinking politics.” [Inventing the future]

“Against the abstraction and inhumanity of capitalism, folk politics aims to bring politics down to the ‘human scale’ by emphasising temporal, spatial and conceptual immediacy. At its heart, folk politics is the guiding intuition that immediacy is always better and often more authentic, with the corollary being a deep suspicion of abstraction and mediation.”

“In terms of temporal immediacy, contemporary folk politics typically remains reactive (responding to actions initiated by corporations and governments, rather than initiating actions);13 ignores long-term strategic goals in favour of tactics (mobilising around single-issue politics or emphasising process);14 prefers practices that are often inherently fleeting (such as occupations and temporary autonomous zones);15 chooses the familiarities of the past over the unknowns of the future (for instance, the repeated dreams of a return to ‘good’ Keynesian capitalism);16 and expresses itself as a predilection for the voluntarist and spontaneous over the institutional (as in the romanticisation of rioting and insurrection).17” [Inventing the future]

“In terms of spatial immediacy, folk politics privileges the local as the site of authenticity (as in the 100-miles diet or local currencies);18 habitually chooses the small over the large (as in the veneration of small-scale communities or local businesses);19 favours projects that are un-scalable beyond a small community (for instance, general assemblies and direct democracy);20 and often rejects the project of hegemony, valuing withdrawal or exit rather than building a broad counter-hegemony.21 Likewise, folk politics prefers that actions be taken by participants themselves – in its emphasis on direct action, for example – and sees decision-making as something to be carried out by each individual rather than by any representative. The problems of scale and extension are either ignored or smoothed over in folk-political thinking.” [Inventing the future]

“Finally, in terms of conceptual immediacy, there is a preference for the everyday over the structural, valorising personal experience over systematic thinking; for feeling over thinking, emphasising individual suffering, or the sensations of enthusiasm and anger experienced during political actions; for the particular over the universal, seeing the latter as intrinsically totalitarian; and for the ethical over the political – as in ethical consumerism, or moralising critiques of greedy bankers.22 Organisations and communities are to be transparent, rejecting in advance any conceptual mediation, or even modest amounts of complexity. The classic images of universal emancipation and global change have been transformed into a prioritisation of the suffering of the particular and the authenticity of the local. As a result, any process of constructing a universal politics is rejected from the outset.” [Inventing the future]

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Alienation [...]

There’s four different types of alienation: from the world; from the activity of production; from species-being; and estrangement of man-to-man.

Under the economic system of private ownership, society divides itself into two classes: the property owners and the property-less workers. In this arrangement, the workers not only suffer impoverishment but also experience an estrangement or alienation from the world. This estrangement occurs because the worker relates to the product of his work as an object alien and even hostile to himself. The worker puts his life into the object and his labor is invested in the object, yet because the worker does not own the fruits of his labor, which in capitalism are appropriated from him, he becomes more estranged the more he produces. Everything he makes contributes to a world outside of him to which he does not belong. He shrinks in comparison to this world of objects that he helps create but does not possess. This first type of alienation is the estrangement of the worker from the product of his work.

The second type of alienation is the estrangement of the worker from the activity of production. The work that the worker performs does not belong to the worker but is a means of survival that the worker is forced to perform for someone else. As such, his working activity does not spring spontaneously from within as a natural act of creativity but rather exists outside of him and signifies a loss of his self.

The third form of alienation is the worker’s alienation from “species-being,” or human identity. For human beings, work amounts to a life purpose. The process of acting on and transforming inorganic matter to create things constitutes the core identity of the human being. A person is what he or she does in transforming nature into objects through practical activity. But in the modern system of private ownership and the division of labor, the worker is estranged from this essential source of identity and life purpose for the human species.

The fourth and final form of alienation is the “estrangement of man to man.” Since the worker’s product is owned by someone else, the worker regards this person, the capitalist, as alien and hostile. The worker feels alienated from and antagonistic toward the entire system of private property through which the capitalist appropriates both the objects of production for his own enrichment at the expense of the worker and the worker’s sense of identity and wholeness as a human being. (Source)

Difference between weather and climate [...]

 

The difference between weather and climate is a measure of time. Weather is what conditions of the atmosphere are over a short period of time, and climate is how the atmosphere “behaves” over relatively long periods of time.

When we talk about climate change, we talk about changes in long-term averages of daily weather. Today, children always hear stories from their parents and grandparents about how snow was always piled up to their waists as they trudged off to school. Children today in most areas of the country haven’t experienced those kinds of dreadful snow-packed winters, except for the Northeastern U.S. in January 2005. The change in recent winter snows indicate that the climate has changed since their parents were young. (Source)

Neoliberalism [...]

Neoliberalism is an ideology that favours competition and deregulation of the market over everything else.

Neoliberalism sees competition as the defining characteristic of human relations. It redefines citizens as consumers, whose democratic choices are best exercised by buying and selling, a process that rewards merit and punishes inefficiency. It maintains that “the market” delivers benefits that could never be achieved by planning.

Attempts to limit competition are treated as inimical to liberty. Tax and regulation should be minimised, public services should be privatised. The organisation of labour and collective bargaining by trade unions are portrayed as market distortions that impede the formation of a natural hierarchy of winners and losers. Inequality is recast as virtuous: a reward for utility and a generator of wealth, which trickles down to enrich everyone. Efforts to create a more equal society are both counterproductive and morally corrosive. The market ensures that everyone gets what they deserve. (Source)

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Global sea ice levels 2016 [...]

Global sea ice levels appeared worryingly lower than usual in 2016. It was a freak weather event facilitated by climate change.  While it is a weather event, it is still worrying as it could only happen as a result of climate change.

“What’s happening in the Arctic would be impossible without a century of global warming causing a long-term decline in sea ice levels — but it is actually a short-term weather event” (Source)

“What’s happening now is alarming, but it’s not the short-term craziness we should be worrying about. The reason to be alarmed is that this kind of event can happen only because the planet is so much warmer than in pre-industrial times.” (Source)

“New satellite data show the total area of global sea ice dipping wayyy below the National Snow and Ice Data Center’s record for this time of year.” (Source)


A case where it is interesting to be aware of the Difference between weather and climate.

Technological innovation measured by social good [...]

Think about innovation in terms of the common good. If a new technology is not socially beneficial, then don’t call it innovative.

I think there’s also a certain fatigue when it comes to the language of innovation. Is it really all that innovative to build a technology that generates short-term wealth for a small group who will then take that money and fly off to Mars? Or, should we think about innovation in terms of the common good? It’s really not that complicated. Next time you come across a so-called “disruptive technology,” simply put it to the test. Ask how it contributes to the bottom line of the common people. If it doesn’t hold up, we shouldn’t call those technologies innovative. (Source)

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Settings:: Footer [...]

Original content licensed CC-BY-SA. Articles may contain material under different licenses, check the links, history, and other attribution.

Site proudly powered by WordPress.

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Settings:: Publishing [...]

These settings are used by Wikity to determine privacy (openness) and publishing schedule.

Please note that putting “Open” to “No” is an experimental feature, providing “good enough” privacy but not great privacy.

SETTINGS:

OPEN: Yes
RSS DELAY: 5 days

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Neocolonial costs of gadgets [...]

“Every MacBook and iPad, every Kindle and Droid contains the labor of hundreds of invisible workers, uncounted lives foreshortened by poisoned water and air, and a landscape permanently scarred by our voracious scavenging. No matter how sleek and earth-friendly these devices may appear, they rise from the dirt and are mined with sweat and with blood.”
http://www.vqronline.org/editors-desk/price-paperless-revolution

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Environmental impact of e-readers [...]

“But the New York Times recently calculated that the environmental impact of a single e-reader—factoring in the use of minerals, water, and fossil fuels along the manufacturing process—is roughly the same as fifty books. At first that sounds encouraging; after all, even the smallest personal library contains fifty volumes. But the real problems come in lifespan. At present, the average e-reader is used less than two years before it is replaced. That means that the nearly ten million e-readers expected to be in use by next year would have to supplant the sales of 250 million new books—not used or rare editions, 250 million new books—each year just to come out footprint-neutral. Considering the fact that the Association of American Publishers estimates that the combined sales of all books in America (adult books, children’s books, textbooks, and religious works) amounted to fewer than 25 million copies last year, we have already increased the environmental impact of reading by tenfold. Moreover, it takes almost exactly fifty times as much fossil fuel production to power an iPad for the hours it takes to read a book as it would take to read the same book on paper by electric light.”
http://www.vqronline.org/editors-desk/price-paperless-revolution

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Help:: Getting Started / Day One [...]

Most people find that using Wikity to bookmark is a good place to start. The following video shows how you can bookmark with Wikity.

Note that in the video the bookmark says ‘Bkmrk’ but in recent versions says ‘Wik-it’. The editor has also been upgraded

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Settings:: Publishing [...]

These settings are used by Wikity to determine privacy (openness) and publishing schedule.

Please note that putting “Open” to “No” is an experimental feature, providing “good enough” privacy but not great privacy.

SETTINGS:

OPEN: Yes
RSS DELAY: 5 days

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Old Weather [...]

Old Weather is a crowd-sourcing effort to transcribe ship’s logs from the 19th and early 20th centuries. This task can’t be performed by computers because of the diverse and idiosyncratic handwriting.

Data about past weather and sea-ice conditions are vital for climate scientists, while historians value knowing about the course of a voyage and the events that transpired. Since many of these logs haven’t been examined since they were originally filled in by a mariner long ago you might even discover something surprising.

Millions of weather, ocean, and sea-ice observations recorded by mariners and scientists over the past 150 years are being recovered by Old Weather. These data are made freely available in digital formats suitable for climate model assimilation, retrospective analysis (reanalysis), and other kinds of research. The performance of data-assimilating modeling and extended reanalysis systems is greatly improved, the uncertainty of results (especially in sparsely observed regions like the Arctic) is reduced, and new long-period calibration and validation data sets are being created. As the historical data resource is extended farther back in time it will be possible to study a wider range of weather and climate phenomena and to better understand their impact on the Arctic and global environment, now and in the future. (Source)

Interplanetary File System [...]

 

Interplanetary File System, or IPFS, is an open source project that taps into ideas pioneered by the decentralized digital currency Bitcoin and the peer-to-peer file sharing system BitTorrent. Sites opt in to IPFS, and the protocol distributes files among participating users. If the original web server goes down, the site will live on thanks to the backups running on other people’s computers. What’s more, these distributed archives will let people browse previous versions of the site, much the way you can browse old edits in Wikipedia or old versions of websites in the Wayback Machine.

“We are giving digital information print-like quality,” says IPFS founder Juan Benet. “If I print a piece of paper and physically hand it to you, you have it, you can physically archive it and use it in the future.” And you can share that copy with someone else.

Right now IPFS is still just a tool the most committed: you need to have IPFS’s software installed on your computer to take part. But Benet says the team has already built a version of the software in JavaScript that can run in your browser without the need to install any new software at all. If it winds up on everyone’s browsers, the idea goes, then everyone can help back up the web. (Source)


The IPFS white paper provides a deeper view into peer-to-peer systems from which it takes its inspiration. pdf

 

The appropriation of sharing by capitalism [...]

New profit opportunities squeezed from our social life.

The sharing economy’s rise is a reflection of capitalism’s need to find new profit opportunities in aspects of social life once shielded from the market, in leisure time once withdrawn from waged labor, in spaces and affective resources once withheld from becoming a kind of capital. What sharing companies and apps chiefly do is invite us to turn more of our lives into capital and more of our time into casual labor, thereby extending capitalism’s reach and further entrenching the market as the most appropriate, efficient, and beneficial way to mediate interaction between individuals. For the sharing economy, market relations are the only social relations. (Source)

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Techno-overenthusiasm [...]

“One gets the impression that they would be enthusiastic to learn of a self-replicating, carbon-scrubbing machine with the potential to geoengineer the climate – but disappointed to learn this machine is called a forest “
https://thedisorderofthings.com/2015/11/04/postcapitalist-ecology-a-comment-on-inventing-the-future/

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We are not independent from technology [...]

“technology is not an independent “thing” but rather an intersection of multiple human relationships–the interchange with nature, the process of production (and, we might add, reproduction), and culture.”
http://www.peterfrase.com/2010/12/social-science-fiction/

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Predictive models of science fiction [...]

“we can think of a science-fictional world by analogy to a prediction from an existing model, such as a fitted statistical model: any particular point prediction reflects both the invariant properties of the model’s parameters and the uncertainty and random variation that makes individual cases idiosyncratic.”
http://www.peterfrase.com/2010/12/social-science-fiction/

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Mentoring program for new Wikipedia authors [...]

The Mentoring Program is designed to support new and inexperienced users, who are willing to contribute to this encyclopedia, by connecting them with experienced users assisting them during their first steps. If you need some guidance to get along, your personal contact, the mentor, will answer your questions, help to solve problems, and give advise on technical matters. (Source)

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Embedded Open Modular Architecture/EOMA68 [...]

Homebrew computers.

The primary purpose of the EOMA68 specification is to bring end-users the right to upgrade their own mass-produced Computing Appliances. To make end-users lives easier, purchasing decision-making should be made not on technical interface capabilities, neither should they be expected to have significant technological expertise.
EOMA68 products are completely unlike throw-away single-purpose SBCs (Single-Board Computers) and throw-away hermetically-sealed monolithic devices: re-use, re-purposing and upgrading is encouraged, resulting in a greatly-extended lifetime for both Cards and Housings than would normally be expected. It is perfectly reasonable to expect any Card to change hands five or more times during its useful operational lifetime. (Source)

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Google is not ‘just’ a platform. It frames, shapes and distorts how we see the world [...]

> Google’s business model is built around the idea that it’s a neutral platform. That its magic algorithm waves its magic wand and delivers magic results without the sullying intervention of any human. It desperately does not want to be seen as a media company, as a content provider, as a news and information medium that should be governed by the same rules that apply to other media. But this is exactly what it is.[…] And our failure – the failure of our politicians and the mainstream press – to reckon with it makes us an accessory to the crime. We are colluding with it in broadcasting hate speech and lies. Carole Cadwalladr, The Guardian

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Artificial intelligence sheds new light on classic texts [...]

> Such ‘computational folkloristics’ raise a big question: what can algorithms tell us about the stories we love to read? Any proposed answer seems to point to as many uncertainties as it resolves, especially as AI technologies grow in power. Can literature really be sliced up into computable bits of ‘information’, or is there something about the experience of reading that is irreducible? Could AI enhance literary interpretation, or will it alter the field of literary criticism beyond recognition? And could algorithms ever derive meaning from books in the way humans do, or even produce literature themselves?

Aeon: When robots read books

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Pope warns media over ‘sin’ of spreading fake news [...]

> Francis told the Belgian Catholic weekly “Tertio” that spreading disinformation was “probably the greatest damage that the media can do” and using communications for this rather than to educate the public amounted to a sin. source: Reuters

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Precision of language: climate change dissenter vs. climate change denier [...]

On 8 Dec. 2016, the bot “Editing New York Times” documented how the online editors changed the wording of a headline about climate change from “dissenter” to “denier.”

The Berlin Translators’ Stammtisch, an association of German-to-English translations, recently debated this wording, coming to the conclusion that “dissenter” is inappropriate because one dissents from an opinion. Someone who argues against widely accepted facts should be designated as a denier, as in “Holocaust denier.”
Documentation on Twitter

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International Librarians Network facilitates peer mentorships between librarians from around the world. [...]

> The International Librarians Network (ILN) peer mentoring program is a facilitated program aimed at helping librarians develop international networks. We believe that innovation and inspiration can cross borders, and that spreading our networks beyond our home countries can make us better at what we do. (Source)

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Version control for data [...]

The ability to do revisioning and versioning data – store changes made and share them with others – especially in a distributed way would be a huge benefit to the (open) data community. I’ve discussed why at some length before (see also this earlier post) but to summarize:

It allows effective distributed collaboration – you can take my dataset, make changes, and share those back with me (and different people can do this at once!)
It allows one to track provenance better (i.e. what changes came from where)
It allows for sharing updates and synchronizing datasets in a simple, effective, way – e.g. an automated way to get the last months GDP or employment data without pulling the whole file again [<small>(Source)</small>](http://blog.okfn.org/2013/07/02/git-and-github-for-data/)

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noms – decentralized data [...]

> Noms is a decentralized database based on ideas from Git.

Noms is different from other databases. It is:
Content-addressed. If you have some data you want to put into Noms, you don’t have to worry about whether it already exists. Duplicate data is automatically ignored. There is no update, only insert.
Append-only. When you commit data to Noms, you aren’t overwriting anything. Instead you’re adding to a historical record. By default, data is never removed from Noms. You can see the entire history of the database, diff any two commits, or rewind to any previous point in time.
Typed. Every value, dataset, and version of a database has a type, which is generated automatically as you add data. You can write code against the type of a Noms database, confident that you’ve handled all the cases you need to.
Decentralized. If I give you a copy of my database, you and I can modify our copies disconnected from each other, and come back together and merge our changes efficiently and correctly days, weeks, or years later.
source: https://github.com/attic-labs/noms

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dat – decentralized data [...]

Open-source, decentralized data sharing tool that aims to bring to data a style of collaboration similar to what Git brings to source code.

Dat can be used to version data locally, or to share and sync data over the internet. Dat includes an optional peer-to-peer distribution system, meaning that the more widely that a dataset is shared, the faster it is for users to retrieve or sync a copy, and the more redundant that the dataset’s availability becomes.
By building tools to build and share data pipelines, we aim to bring to data a style of collaboration similar to what Git brings to source code. Dat is designed as a general-purpose tool for any data on the Web, with our main priority being to ensure scientific data can be more easily published and archived. Dat is fully open source and is built using JavaScript, Node.js and Electron. (Source)

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Locking the web open [...]

The Decentralized Web Summit took place at the Internet Archive from June 7th – June 9th, 2016. (Source)

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Relationship between RDF, RDFa, Microformats and Microdata [...]

Very briefly:

Microformats A way to use html pages as both a human readable document and machine readable data, without repetition (e.g. sticking CSV in the head element).
RDF A data model designed for the web. Schemaless, uses URLs to name types and relations.
RDFa A way to encode (write) RDF in html, following the style of microformats (i.e. minimising repetition). Works by adding a few attributes to html.
Microdata An alternative to RDFa, using different attributes and a different data model. [<small>(Source)</small>](http://stackoverflow.com/questions/14307792/what-is-the-relationship-between-rdf-rdfa-microformats-and-microdata/14321016#14321016)

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Microformats [...]

Microformats (sometimes abbreviated μF) are simple conventions used to embed semantics in HTML and quickly provide an API to be used by search engines, aggregators, and other tools. These small patterns of HTML are used for marking entities that range from fundamental to domain-specific information, such as people, organizations, events, and locations. (Source)

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Liquid Democracy [...]

> Liquid Democracy combines the advantages of Direct Democracy and Representative Democracy and creates a truly democratic voting system that empowers voters to either vote on issues directly, or to delegate ones voting power to a trusted party. (Source)

Watson for patient diagnosis [...]

Watson’s original purpose was for assisting patient diagnosis.

Source: Four Futures, Peter Frase

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The second machine age [...]

We’re at the start of a second machine age.  The first, the industrial revolution, replaced/magnified human muscle.  The second is about replacing/magnifying human thought.

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Contribution of climate change to conflict [...]

By no means the only factor, but increasingly part of the equation.

“To be clear; there will always be a multitude of drivers behind of social unrest and armed conflict. It would be wrong to say climate change “caused” these conflicts, but equally the evidence suggests it would be wrong to say it didn’t play a contributing role. And, if this is what is possible when average global temperatures have risen less than 1C, then goodness help future generations if/when it reaches 2C, 4C or even 6C”
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/sep/07/climate-change-global-warming-refugee-crisis

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Help:: Getting Started / Day One [...]

Most people find that using Wikity to bookmark is a good place to start. The following video shows how you can bookmark with Wikity.

Note that in the video the bookmark says ‘Bkmrk’ but in recent versions says ‘Wik-it’. The editor has also been upgraded

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Tumblr for librarians: it got one LIS student her first job [...]

Being intimidated by the prospect of a “full-size” blog, I joined Tumblr in February 2011. Since then I’ve shamelessly promoted my “name” and stalked down as many libraries/librarians on the site as I could find. I’ve connected with libraries, librarians, library students, publishers, writers, readers, Doctor Who fanatics, and cat lovers. I even linked up with LJ and got to write my first “Backtalk” piece.
Days later, my now current employer reached out after reading the piece, complimented my writing, and told me about an opening at their company. I was in immediately for an interview, and a week or so after that, received an offer. Just like that, I’m a working librarian. source: Library Journal

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Meme librarian is a real job — and it’s the best one on the Internet – The Washington Post [...]

Brennan’s career in meme librarianism began in graduate school at Rutgers, where she received a master’s in library science […]. But instead of heading to a brick-and-mortar library, Brennan continued documenting online phenomena at Know Your Meme and then at Tumblr, where she solidified her profession as information desk for doge, mmm whatcha say and the other viral Internet sensations in need of classification, categorization and preservation.
I think of the Internet as its own community, and if you want to compare it to a local library, they’re going to catalog all the small things that happened. If you want to know what happened in a part of New York City in the 1700s, I know a library would have cool letters, or maps or something like that. Something like Star Wars Kid, you had to download the video and had to be involved in some weird Internet pocket to see it. But now a viral video gets posted six times and it becomes a vine, it becomes a gif set, and you kind of can’t escape it. I think it’s important to catalog these things because you know the history of the Internet.
I love metadata. I took so many metadata classes. I just love the idea of using tags to add more context. Yes, there’s the traditional metadata of saying, “Yes, this book is about Alexander Hamilton, and history, and World War II.” But when people start adding personal metadata to it, this extra level of — we see that more online than in a traditional library setting. (Source)

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The year “elite” changed its meaning: linguistic developments in 2016 [...]

> Thus, the billionaire New Yorker Donald Trump portrayed himself as an outsider battling against the elite. Similarly in the UK, the pro-Brexit Nigel Farage (who was educated at an expensive private school), condemned the elite, as he attended a party in his honour at the Ritz Hotel organized by his millionaire friends. None of these people, apparently, belonged to an elite. Conversely, those who voted against Brexit – almost half the population – are characterized by their opponents as an elite who are out-of-touch with “real people”. So if I had to nominate a WOTY, it would be elite – not only because its frequency reached new heights during the year, but because it now seems to mean whatever anyone wants it to mean. source: MacMillan Dictionary Blog

emphasis added

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Four Futures – Socialism [...]

One of the Four Futures, socialism has automation but not abundance.  As such we need to organise ways to share the resources we have.  It sounds fairly similar to what Naomi Klein discusses in This Changes Everything.  And probably the most likely of the Four Futures (that we want to happen.)

“Automation exists, but the breakthrough that creates a cornucopia of carbonless energy doesn’t. This means we have to cool the climate the old-fashioned way, through a massive, state-led campaign to radically remake our infrastructure, our landscape and our patterns of consumption. Frase offers some thoughtful proposals on how to organise such an undertaking fairly and efficiently, through mechanisms such as a universal basic income, paired with market planning.”
(Source)

Central Library Creates Online Platform for Berlin’s City Stories [...]

> Im Projekt [Berliner Grossstadtgeschichten] erzählen Berlinerinnen und Berliner an „Collection Days“ ihre ganz eigenen Großstadtgeschichten und digitalisieren ihre Erinnerungsstücke. Verknüpft mit Geoinformationen und schon digitalisierten Beständen der beteiligten Einrichtungen – u.a. den Einträgen der Berliner Telefon- und Adressbücher, historischen Stadtplänen und Fotografien sowie den, noch nicht digitalisierten, „Großstadtgeschichten“ vom Anfang des 20. Jahrhunderts – werden diese in Virtuellen Ausstellungen im Internet veröffentlicht. (Source)

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Ad of Polish man teaching himself English to visit émigré family goes viral [...]

NPR article with video of ad

How many families today are divided by not just borders and distance, but also language? How has this increased over the past decades? Centuries? I have always had close relatives who do not speak the same language as each other, or as me. My mother and her mother in law shared no common languages, my parents and my in-laws barely do.

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New scanner allows nearly 2m-wide scans of Library of Congress’s Panoramic Photo Collection [...]

> The Library first began reproducing the panoramas in the 1990s by taking photographs of overlapping segments and then “stitching” the sections together to show the whole image on laser videodiscs in the Prints and Photographs Division Reading Room. Later, these copy photographs were converted to digital files and re-stitched to make them accessible on the Library’s website. The process was labor-intensive and the panoramas fit nicely on a screen, but it was difficult to see small features. Now, with a recently acquired oversized flatbed scanner, the Library is capturing entire panoramas (up to 6-½ feet long) in a single pass exposure and at higher levels of resolution, so every little detail can be seen clearly.

source at loc.gov

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Public control of water [...]

Appears to be cheaper…

According to data from the Court of Auditors, public management is 18% cheaper and results in losses that are 23% lower and investments that are 18% higher. A comparison of water tariffs in Catalan municipalities indicates that private management is 25% more expensive than public management. (Source)

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Inequality of climate change [...]

Climate change affects some people more than others.  The privileged can avoid its damage.

“Climate change is often framed as a crisis for the human race as a whole. But as Frase explains, this apocalyptic rhetoric obscures the essential fact that climate change affects different groups of people differently. Those who live in less vulnerable latitudes, or who can afford to insulate themselves from extreme heat and weather, will fare much better than the poorer residents of Dhaka or Miami or the Maldives. The question isn’t whether human civilisation will survive – it almost certainly will – but “who will survive the change”.”
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/nov/24/four-futures-life-after-capitalism-peter-frase-review-robots

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Marine debris [...]

A lot of our plastic ends up in the ocean, where it harms sea life.

“Marine debris is usually defined as any persistent, manufactured or processed solid material discarded, disposed of, or abandoned in the marine and coastal environment. Three-quarters of all marine debris is plastic, a persistent and potentially hazardous pollutant, which fragments into microplastics that can be taken up by a wide range of marine organisms.

The most common types of marine debris are: food wrappers, bottle caps, straws, grocery bags, beverage bottles and cigarette butts. Five out of these items are made of plastic. “

https://sq2n5.app.goo.gl/?link=https://www.sdgsinaction.com?news_id=90&ibi=org.un.sdgsinaction.app&ius=org.un.sdgsinaction.app&ifl=https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/sdgs-in-action/id1152939433&apn=org.un.sdgsinaction.app&afl=https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.un.sdgsinaction.app

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What technology do refugees need [...]

The refugee crisis doesn’t need apps. Refugees need access to internet and access to power to charge devices.

The main issue here, the one we don’t want to admit, is that refugees don’t need apps. In my talks to humanitarians, from big international organisations that make sure that each day refugees have a clean bed and a warm shower, to the volunteer community organisers who purchase mobile data access points out of pocket so that people stranded at train stations can WhatsApp their loved ones, there is only one, single, main issue that needs solving with tech: access.
Refugees need access: access to internet, and access to power. By “power” I mean the type that charges your devices, not political power: I have no idea how to change that profoundly embarrassing imbalance.
What we should be doing is making sure they have both in spades. (Source)

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Fake News Or Real? [...]

Fake news stories can have real-life consequences. On Sunday, police said a man with a rifle who claimed to be “self-investigating” a baseless online conspiracy theory entered a Washington, D.C., pizzeria and fired the weapon inside the restaurant.

So yes, fake news is a big problem.

These stories have gotten a lot of attention, with headlines claiming Pope Francis endorsed Donald Trump in November’s election and sites like American News sharing misleading stories or taking quotes out of context. And when sites like DC Gazette share stories about people, who allegedly investigated the Clinton family, being found dead, the stories go viral and some people believe them. Again, these stories are not true in any way. (Source)

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Cancun Declaration [...]

Agreement to meet global biodiversity targets.

More than 190 countries at a major United Nations conference in Mexico have pledged to step up efforts to integrate biodiversity into the policies of their forests, fisheries, tourism and agriculture sectors.

On 3 December, countries adopted the Cancun Declaration, named after the Mexican city where the 13th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), known as ‘COP13,’ is being held. The Declaration represents an unprecedented recognition from the international community that biodiversity protection must involve different governmental and economic sectors and not just environment ministries. (Source)

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The Truth About Internet Search [...]

Are Jews evil? It’s not a question I’ve ever thought of asking. I hadn’t gone looking for it. But there it was. I press enter. A page of results appears. This was Google’s question. And this was Google’s answer: Jews are evil. Because there, on my screen, was the proof: an entire page of results, nine out of 10 of which “confirm” this. The top result, from a site called Listovative, has the headline: “Top 10 Major Reasons Why People Hate Jews.” I click on it: “Jews today have taken over marketing, militia, medicinal, technological, media, industrial, cinema challenges etc and continue to face the worlds [sic] envy through unexplained success stories given their inglorious past and vermin like repression all over Europe.”Google is search. It’s the verb, to Google. It’s what we all do, all the time, whenever we want to know anything. We Google it. The site handles at least 63,000 searches a second, 5.5bn a day. Its mission as a company, the one-line overview that has informed the company since its foundation and is still the banner headline on its corporate website today, is to “organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. It strives to give you the best, most relevant results. And in this instance the third-best, most relevant result to the search query “are Jews… ” is a link to an article from stormfront.org, a neo-Nazi website. The fifth is a YouTube video: “Why the Jews are Evil. Why we are against them.” (Source)

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Rentism [...]

If ownership of the robots is controlled by a small number of people.

“Rentism is where abundance exists, but “the techniques to produce abundance are monopolised by a small elite”. This monopoly is maintained by owning not merely the robots, but the data that tells the robots how to do their job.”
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/nov/24/four-futures-life-after-capitalism-peter-frase-review-robots

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Power for power’s sake [...]

“Having power over others is, for many powerful people, its own reward,” he writes.
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/nov/24/four-futures-life-after-capitalism-peter-frase-review-robots

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Fully automated luxury communism [...]

One possible outcome of mass automation is post-work and post-scarcity future of abundance.

“A communist society is so productive and so egalitarian that nobody has to work to survive, fulfilling Marx’s famous dictum, “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need”. For Frase, this ideal might be realised by robots running on an unlimited clean energy source, providing the material basis for a post-work, post‑scarcity and post-carbon world.”
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/nov/24/four-futures-life-after-capitalism-peter-frase-review-robots

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Never Talked to Taiwan [...]

Claim: Trump’s talking to the Taiwanese President was unprecedented and possibly dangerous.

Claim: True

History

Origin

Propagation

Issues and Analysis

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Magazine asks 8 Tech Companies: Would you help build Muslim registry? [...]

> Facebook: No answer.

Twitter: “No,” and a link to this blog post, which states as company policy a prohibition against the use, by outside developers, of “Twitter data for surveillance purposes. Period.”

Microsoft: “We’re not going to talk about hypotheticals at this point,” and a link to a company blog post that states that “we’re committed to promoting not just diversity among all the men and women who work here, but … inclusive culture” and that “it will remain important for those in government and the tech sector to continue to work together to strike a balance that protects privacy and public safety in what remains a dangerous time.”

Google: No answer.

Apple: No answer.

IBM: No answer.

Booz Allen Hamilton: Declined to comment.

SRA International: No answer.

CGI: No answer.

This isn’t to say that the companies that didn’t reply to a request for comment or declined that request are tacitly endorsing the Trump agenda in general or a Muslim registry in particular. Still, it’s asking very little of today’s tech companies to prompt them to go on record as unwilling to help create a federal list of Muslims — or so one would very much hope. source: The Intercept

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Lemont High School class reading list questioned by parents [...]

Pretty detailed report by a local paper in Illinois on a current effort to ban books by Arundhati Roy and Maya Angelou from English class, quoting residents, administrators, previous statements from the authors, and ALA Intellectual Freedom office.

Resident Rick Ligthart came with a prepared statement of changes he wanted in the district’s policy.
“Regardless of the books, I’m recommending to the board that no literature whatsoever be inclusive of literal metaphorical, figurative or allegorical words for male or female genitals,” he said. Identifying himself as a former tenured school teacher he said, other than exceptions for state-mandated sex ed, “English classes should not be involved in sexuality in literature for our kids. It shouldn’t be in any books. No books.”

Reader comment following article:

“So it’s not acceptable that the kids of pearl-clutchers be excluded by not having to read the novel, but it’s OK for the same pearl-clutchers to prevent ALL the kids from reading it. Suck my literal, metaphorical, figurative, or allegorial word for male or female genitals.” – Matthew Pullman

source: Cook County Chronicle

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Trump staffers from opaque corporate misinformation network [...]

> Over this time, I have watched as tobacco, coal, oil, chemicals and biotech companies have poured billions of dollars into an international misinformation machine composed of thinktanks, bloggers and fake citizens’ groups. Its purpose is to portray the interests of billionaires as the interests of the common people, to wage war against trade unions and beat down attempts to regulate business and tax the very rich. Now the people who helped run this machine are shaping the government.

The fake news we should be worried about is not stories invented by Macedonian teenagers about Hillary Clinton selling arms to Islamic State, but the constant feed of confected scares about unions, tax and regulation drummed up by groups that won’t reveal their interests.

As usual, the left and centre (myself included) are beating ourselves up about where we went wrong. There are plenty of answers, but one of them is that we have simply been outspent. Not by a little, but by orders of magnitude. A few billion dollars spent on persuasion buys you all the politics you want. Genuine campaigners, working in their free time, simply cannot match a professional network staffed by thousands of well-paid, unscrupulous people.
George Monbiot, Opinion, The Guardian

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Fears of Trump prompt Internet Archive to make mirror site in Canada [...]

> “We all hark back to the [ancient] Library of Alexandria as the great library, but it’s best known for not being here anymore,” [Internet Archive founder Brewster] Kahle said. “If they had made another copy and put it in India or China, we would have the other works of Aristotle and the other works of Euripides, so let’s not make the same mistakes of the ancient Egyptians / Greeks.”

Trump’s “statements about privacy and surveillance, net neutrality, freedom of the press, closing up part of the internet — at least we should take him at his word at this point.”
CBC News

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New director brings public library approach to Library of Congress [...]

> Hayden, 64, has a tall order: to bring a library with 3,100 employees, an annual budget of $642 million, and a collection of more than 162 million items, most of which have not yet been digitized, into the digital age.

Unlike her immediate predecessor, James Billington—and all but three of his predecessors—Hayden is an actual librarian by background. After rising through the Chicago Public Library, she spent the last 23 years leading Baltimore’s library system.
Is there one big lesson you’ve learned in your librarian career that’s going to shape the way you do your job?
There’s one thing that has been helpful to be comfortable with: that change is inevitable. Once you become comfortable with the fact that things change, it helps you deal with evolutions in organizations. Libraries have changed over time. Sometimes change is not comfortable, even if it’s good change. Humans are creatures of habit. source: Washingtonian

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Library tech developments free up common space for interaction, coworking, participation [...]

>So formt sich, Schritt für Schritt und analog wie digital, die Bibliothek zur Community of Practice: zu einer Gemeinschaft, in der – so die Definition dieses Begriffs – Wissen konstruiert wird (siehe auch Wikipedia). In der, um es mit anderen Worten zu sagen, miteinander über Rolle und Funktion von Bildung, Wissen und Kultur gesprochen und entschieden wird. [D]ass nun auch deren Nutzerinnen und Nutzer daran verstärkt und uneingeschränkt teilhaben wollen, darf im 21. Jahrhundert wohl als bestes aller Zeichen für die Zukunft von Bibliotheken verstanden werden.

Freie Räume, neue Gemeinschaften
Die Bibliothek als real-digitale Schnittstelle

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Profitability in civic tech [...]

We have to be careful that we don’t always elect civic tech to make money.

This truth is that there are, quite simply, some terrific civic tech ideas out there that will always run at a loss. http://civichall.org/civicist/paying-your-own-way/

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Non-profit motives [...]

No matter what scale they reach, most non-profits don’t or can’t monetise their services or work. Forcing civil-society or social-sector organisations to focus on sustainable revenue – selling the equivalent of Girl Scout cookies to keep the lights on – may distract them from their core mission, and mute the passion the social sector thrives on.
https://www.theengineroom.org/disrupt-your-market/

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Yoism, an open-source religion [...]

Yoism (founded 1994) combines rational inquiry, empiricism, and science with Spinozan or Einsteinian pantheism.[26][27][28] Inspired by the Linux operating system, Kriegman describes his religion as “open-source” and explains that, similar to open-source software projects, participants in Yoism do not owe their allegiance to any leader and that their sense of authority emerges via group consensus decision-making.[1][29][30] Yoism adopted the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike copyleft license for sharing original works in May 2015.[31] (Source)

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Open-source religion [...]

Developing and updating the ideas of a “religion”, in an open-source way.

Open-source religions employ open-source methods for the sharing, construction, and adaptation of religious belief systems, content, and practice.[1] In comparison to religions utilizing proprietary, authoritarian, hierarchical, and change-resistant structures, open-source religions emphasize sharing in a cultural Commons, participation, self-determination, decentralization, and evolution. They apply principles used in organizing communities developing open-source software for organizing group efforts innovating with human culture. New open-source religions may develop their rituals, praxes, or systems of beliefs through a continuous process of refinement and dialogue among participating practitioners. Organizers and participants often see themselves as part of a more generalized open-source and free-culture movement.[2] (Source)

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Help:: Getting Started / Day One [...]

Most people find that using Wikity to bookmark is a good place to start. The following video shows how you can bookmark with Wikity.

Note that in the video the bookmark says ‘Bkmrk’ but in recent versions says ‘Wik-it’. The editor has also been upgraded

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Settings:: Publishing [...]

These settings are used by Wikity to determine privacy (openness) and publishing schedule.

Please note that putting “Open” to “No” is an experimental feature, providing “good enough” privacy but not great privacy.

SETTINGS:

OPEN: Yes
RSS DELAY: 5 days

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What is Civic Tech? [...]

Handy definition of civic tech by Tom Steinberg of mySociety. It encompasses a number of different areas, some citizen focused, some government focused.

Tech that’s all about citizens exerting and obtaining power
Tech that’s all about improving government services

Meetup and mySociety are Civic Tech groups focused on citizen empowerment
Code for America and GDS are Civic Tech groups focused on better digital government
Netroots Nation and Nationbuilder are Civic Tech groups focused on regime changing
Wikileaks and 38 Degrees are Civic Tech groups focused on influencing decisions (Source)

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Robotics for Good [...]

sustainably scale the positive impact of robotics across multiple social good sectors (Source)

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The Engine Room’s Advent Calendar 2016 [...]

Organisational advent calendars – highlighting top findings throughout the year. This one from The Engine Room, inspired by the Wikipedia Advent Calendar.

Counting down to Christmas with some of our top learnings and findings from 2016. (Source)

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guifi.net, DIY Wireless Network [...]

A user owned network for internet access.

guifi.net is a user-owned, open and neutral network in which a growing community of volunteers can connect their computers to form a sort of intranet and, at the same time, share an Internet connection. The non-profit network is free, minus any individual costs for networking equipment, and anyone is allowed to join and use it how they want.
https://rising.globalvoices.org/blog/2013/12/11/guifi-net-spains-wildly-successful-diy-wireless-network/

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Help:: Getting Started / Day One [...]

Most people find that using Wikity to bookmark is a good place to start. The following video shows how you can bookmark with Wikity.

Note that in the video the bookmark says ‘Bkmrk’ but in recent versions says ‘Wik-it’. The editor has also been upgraded

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