Beyond sustainability [...]

The idea that sustainability is no longer enough.  We also should now be looking for regeneration.

“For many years, environmental campaigners have focused on the idea of sustainability – that we should be creating systems which use resources at a sustainable rate. For some campaigners, thinking has now shifted towards the idea of regeneration.

Many of our environments and societies are already damaged, so sustaining these in a damaged state makes no sense! What we need is systems that can regenerate damaged environments – by putting back more than they take out.”

Email from ethical consumer

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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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16 ways librarians can protect patron privacy [...]

1.       Default search engine (on public access terminals set the default search engine to one which respects privacy such as Startpage, Duckduckgo, or Oscobo)

2.       Default browser (use a browser such as Firefox)

3.       HTTPS (see https://letsencrypt.org/ for example)

4.       Vendor management: when negotiating licence agreements, make sure that there are robust provisions covering privacy & confidentiality

5.       Ad blocking software

6.       Organise a cryptoparty Read more at libraryprivacyblog

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CardBox:: Equal rights and bias [...]

Magazine asks 8 Tech Companies: Would you help build Muslim registry?
Students take DNA tests in class project on racial bias
Knitting for black liberation: familiar activity opens dialogue

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Perspectives on historic, corrosive iron gall ink changed over time [...]

More than a decade ago a group of primarily Dutch people took the initiative to build a website on iron gall ink and ink corrosion. The Iron Gall Ink Website was born. Iron gall ink is intriguing in many respects. It’s traces are abundantly present within the collections of our worlds museums, libraries and archives.
Like the appearance of historic documents gradually changes with time, ideas about iron gall ink and ink corrosion have developed as well. irongallink.org

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Students take DNA tests in class project on racial bias [...]

At West Chester University:

Asking people to take DNA tests — an idea that has spread to a campuswide effort at this public university — grew out of consulting work [lecturer Anita] Foeman does in race mediation. Instead of a confrontational approach, trying to provoke people into recognizing their own biases, she wanted something that would pull people together, or at least give them a neutral place from which to start to talk. And with racial divides so stark, she wanted to add some nuance and depth.She wondered: What if people started finding out things they didn’t know about themselves? source: Washington Post, 24 Dec 2016

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New at CES: Dystopian Ways to Survive Climate Change [...]

Face masks meant to battle air pollution in urban cities have been around for decades, but never before have they appeared as glitzy, tricked out accessories for urban dwellers. Whatever you think about the environment, they’re a telling capitalistic solution to a problem that’s the fault of capitalism in the first place. (Source)

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Importance of assessing possibility rather than likelihood [...]

“The importance of assessing possibility rather than likelihood is that it puts our collective action at the center, while making confident predictions only encourages passivity.”

Four Futures

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R. Buckminster Fuller on having to earn a living [...]

“We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian-Darwinian theory, he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors & people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school & think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along & told them they had to earn a living.”

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Dad and son visit all of Toronto’s 100 libraries [...]

> Jack Bennett may only be five, but he probably knows the city of Toronto better than you do.  This past year, Jack and his dad, Lanrick, visited all of the city’s 100 library branches in the span of six months. “To me it was really surprising that there were 100. We went to libraries as small as my office right now, [and] to libraries that were behemoth,” says Lanrick Bennett Jr. They discovered that each branch is unique to its community, he says, and feels like a local outpost. source: TVO

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Kansas library offers therapy lights to help with seasonal depression [...]

When librarians discuss how to reach and serve underserved groups, we often think of time-intensive outreach programs to persuade them of the library’s relevance. But the Lawrence Public Library is piloting a simple, low-cost new program for people struggling with depression that isn’t about trying to sell the library to this population, but offering multiple resources to them — many of which are already part of the library or could be borrowed from staff:

[Readers’ services assistant] Gramlich, who has suffered from seasonal depression in the past, recognized a need for a welcoming, nonintimidating outlet for others who may be struggling with the feelings of hopelessness and decreased motivation that often accompany the shorter, darker days of winter. “People can come in, and maybe just being around people would be helpful,” Gramlich says of the lamp area, which library staffers are also stocking with literature on preventing and treating seasonal depression[…]
The message of the library, Gramlich says, is a simple one: You’re not alone. Acquiring and installing the lamps has been a “community effort” in itself, she says, with several library staffers lending their personal lamps to the cause.[…] “It’s not something that anybody talks about. So maybe if a patron comes in and sits down and realizes they’re by a few other people, they might think, ‘I’m not the only one feeling this way.’” (Source)

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As 2016 crashed in flames, libraries were the last good place [...]

Unfortunately, the secret is out. My local branches are packed all the time. One Sunday, I showed up a few minutes before the library opened to find 50 or 60 people milling about outside, and when the doors opened we raced for seats like a Black Friday horde intent on the last microwave.[…] “The library helps you to see, not only that you are not alone, but that you’re not really any different from everyone else,” the late Maya Angelou once told an interviewer from the New York Public Library. source: The Globe and Mail

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The big question of automation [...]

“will new technologies of production lead to greater free time for all, or will we remain locked into a cycle in which productivity gains only benefit the few, while the rest of us work longer than ever?”

Four futures

Monetary policy [...]

Monetary policy is the process by which the monetary authority of a country, like the central bank or currency board, controls the supply of money, often targeting an inflation rate or interest rate to ensure price stability and general trust in the currency.[1][2][3]

Wikipedia

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Fiscal policy [...]

Fiscal policy is the use of government revenue collection (mainly taxes) and expenditure (spending) to influence the economy.

Fiscal policy can be distinguished from monetary policy, in that fiscal policy deals with taxation and government spending and is often administered by an executive under laws of a legislature, whereas monetary policy deals with the money supply, lending rates and interest rates and is often administered by a central bank.
Wikipedia

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Objections to automation [...]

Three broad categories:

  • It’s hype: we’re a long way from replacing human labour
  • It’s ok: new technology brings new types of labour, not mass unemployment
  • It’s a distraction: should focus on investment, stimulus, improved wages and conditions instead

Four futures

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D-CENT [...]

​D-CENT is a Europe-wide project creating open, secure and privacy-aware tools for direct democracy and economic empowerment.

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Worker representation vs automation [...]

Stronger workforce representation can paradoxically lead to more automation of labour.

“… A recurrent capitalist dynamic: as workers become more powerful and better paid, the pressure on capitalists to automate increases.”

“When there is a huge pool of migrant farm labor, a $100,000 fruit picker looks like a wasteful indulgence. But when workers are scarce and can command better wages the incentive to replace them with machinery is intensified”

 “The trend towards automation runs through the entire history of capitalism “

“Why replace a worker with a robot, if the worker is cheaper?”

Four futures, Peter Frase

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