Librarian! Rafia!

Aug 20


Aug 19

Twitter was also affected by algorithmic filtering. “Ferguson” did not trend in the US on Twitter but it did trend locally. [I’ve since learned from @gilgul that that it *briefly* trended but mostly trended at localities.] So, there were fewer chances for people not already following the news to see it on their “trending” bar. Why? Almost certainly because there was already national, simmering discussion for many days and Twitter’s trending algorithm (said to be based on a method called “term frequency inverse document frequency”) rewards spikes… So, as people in localities who had not been talking a lot about Ferguson started to mention it, it trended there though the national build-up in the last five days penalized Ferguson.

Algorithms have consequences.

What happens to #Ferguson affects what happens to Ferguson.

” — What Happens to #Ferguson Affects Ferguson: Net Neutrality, Algorithmic Filtering and Ferguson

Aug 05


morning feelings


morning feelings


Jul 31


Happy birthday, Harry Potter!


Happy birthday, Harry Potter!

(via powells)

Jul 18

I came across a quote a few weeks ago—one that so perfectly encapsulates the outdatedness and skepticism surrounding copyright law—that I couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen before: “The 1976 Copyright Act is a good 1950 copyright law.”

It was attributed to someone I didn’t know: Barbara Ringer.

For all that Babs did, it is her vision of the Next Great Copyright Act that stays with me the most. Barbara Ringer said that the public interest of copyright law should be “to provide the widest possible access to information of all kinds.”

” —

The Lost and Found Legacy of Barbara Ringer

Remembering one of the architects of American copyright law—and one of the legal world’s pioneering women


Jul 17


Jul 01

Authors dress up as their favourite characters -

Photographer Cambridge Jones has collaborated with The Story Museum for its latest exhibition which celebrates childhood story heroes and sees well-known authors dress up as their favourite literary characters.

When the The Story Museum approached Cambridge Jones to take pictures for its 26 Characters exhibition, the photographer wanted images that visitors would actually stop and look at.

"Just taking a bunch of authors isn’t going to make people interested - and authors aren’t necessarily outgoing people," he says. "So I thought what if we gave them permission to have fun by asking them who their favourite character from childhood was and let their imagination run free."

Jun 17

“There is a wave going through academia. People are still a little obsessed with getting papers in high-profile journals, but that is changing.”


When the California-based operation launched in September 2008, the idea of freely sharing the fruits of one’s academic labour was a “niche concept”, he says. Advocated for by a community of activists pushing the concept of “open science”, it encompassed the idea that scientific research should be accessible to anyone who wishes to see or use it, regardless of whether they subscribe to a particular journal.

“The general view of the open science community is that openness will win out – it’s just a question of when, not if,” he concludes. “I think this view is spreading from a more niche opinion to being more widely held across academia.”

The reason, he says, is the value one gains from engaging with other academics. “When you publish in journals, you have no idea how many people have read your work.

” —

Sharing is a way of life for millions on

Jun 16

Reisinger is baffled by the behavior of districts like Los Angeles, which rolled out a one-to-one iPad program and then revoked student privileges when kids figured out how to navigate around district filters. “On the one hand we’re handing kids amazing learning devices, perhaps one of the most amazing inventions of the past 100 years, but yet we’re saying don’t learn about it, we don’t want you to understand how it works,” Reisinger said.

Treating devices that way makes students and teachers dependent on programmers for their needs, rather than letting them learn what’s under the hood. Penn Manor teachers assign work on devices to help kids meet learning standards just like teachers everywhere else, but they also have more options to let the kids explore safely.

“While we have the ‘must do’ layer, there’s also that little bit of subversion here, giving kids that little bit of creativity and maybe a ray of hope,” Reisinger said. “I want them to learn that learning is not all about what someone else preordains for you. It’s OK to tinker and play with things.” Penn Manor is as beholden to performing well on state tests as any other school district and its teachers make sure to cover curriculum, even using a few third party software programs to provide remedial help.

” —

Why Aren’t More Schools Using Free, Open Tools?