Archive for November, 2011
“The Wiphala (Quechua pronunciation: [wɪˈpʰɐlɐ]) is a square emblem, commonly used as a flag, representing the native peoples of all the Andes that include today’s Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and parts of Argentina, Chile and Colombia. It exists in several modern varieties, which represent the Inca Empire (Tawantin Suyu) and each of its former four regions (suyus).”
Pixels = Everyone.
Feels like I’ve been absent from these parts longer than the calendar suggests.
There were Circumstances.
But now I am home, and I have been doing, if not all, at least many of, the things.
Got a haircut.
Color is now perilously close to my natural color, which it has not been in Some Time.
Took a carload of things to Goodwill, and immediately thereafter acquired not-quite-a-carload from the inimitable Rerun, including these glorious Prada (!) shoes, which I like to think were previously owned by a drag queen:
Organized two closets and a shelving unit within a 24 hour period. Here is one of the closets:
Yes, I am using a skirt hanger to organize gloves. In another closet, not pictured, I am using a belt hanger to organize necklaces. I know it’s obsessive. OBSESSIVELY AWESOME.
Also: I devoured Delia Sherman’s The Freedom Maze in a single sitting, downloaded and have begun to enjoy the delightfully dramatized audiobook version of Ellen Kushner’s Swordspoint, and tomorrow I will retrieve my preordered copy of Colleen Mondor’s The Map of My Dead Pilots from Powell’s. More to come.
“a student pulled out a projector and began to screen images of police officers beating civilians on…”
- Protester Stages Surprise Police Brutality Slideshow for NYPD Commissioner
xintra: RT @Studio360show: Cintra Wilson (@xintra), #fashion cop. Her style = “a bar-fighting nun. The best clothing inspires fear.” http://t.co …
“The three 5ft-high (1.5m) robots involved in the prison trial have been developed by the Asian Forum for Corrections, a South Korean group of researchers who specialise in criminality and prison policies. It said the robots move on four wheels and are equipped with cameras and other sensors that allow them to detect risky behaviour such as violence and suicide.”
Yesterday's BU lecture was very enjoyable (special thanks to the Light Reading fan, a BU Core alum, who came up afterwards to say hello!), and I've had the chance to catch up with various friends, but I am now completely behind on my normal end-of-semester school responsibilities and will collapse into my desk chair at home with a sigh of relief late this evening...
(Thursday and Friday this week are very busy, as are the next two weeks more generally, but I should be able to hole up this weekend and read the first of the two dissertations I need to get through this month. I am desperate for (a) some down time and (b) clear mental space to revise my novel!)
Have had virtually no time to read, but I did enjoy Jacqueline Carey's Santa Olivia sequel Saints Astray and Marcus Sakey's At the City's Edge. Halfway through Michael Lewis's Moneyball and enjoying it a good deal (it's free through the Kindle Lending Library if you have Amazon Prime): I saw the movie with B. last week, and it struck me then as ideal Hollywood fare, but the book is inevitably considerably better due to its having much greater quantities of information and analysis!
There’s an ongoing theme in library programming: trying to find stuff that isn’t the stuff that’s already been done. While there are aspects of “Just play the hits, man” in a lot of the work we do, that doesn’t mean we can’t find new, original and/or interesting things to do with the huge amount of local cultural content that we have at our fingertips but that might not be common knowledge in our larger communities. The Library as Incubator Project is a site full of great ideas, lovely photographs, sharp writing by three UW-Madison School of Library and Information Studies (and guest bloggers) outlining ways that libraries and artists can work together. Good ideas, well-presented.
several plates spinning
* Tomorrow, I’ll be in Durham, North Carolina, performing at the Duke Coffeehouse.
* Friday Nettle will make our D.C. debut at a special edition of Africa Is Not A Country hosted by DJs Bent and Mothersheister! We have new songs to play, a new album to sell, and hope to see you.
* Saturday, Nettle returns to Brooklyn for an intimate show at Williamsburg gallery space Vaudeville Park. We have four hundred candles and Ian keeps talking about tapestries and/or pillows. ATTENDANCE MANDATORY, NEW NEW YORK. Lamin Fofana will DJ.
* Then on Monday December 5th– the action never stops, does it? — you are invited to Spectacle Theater in south Williamsburg for a live broadcast of my WFMU radio show. Thanks to everyone who made our inaugural 100% Arabica Spectacle broadcast a success. Live FM from our favorite underground theater!
[Nass El Ghiwane]
The December 5th radio show will be built from a YouTube selection of my favorite Moroccan tracks, and will be followed by a screening of Ahmed El Maanouni’s gripping and poetic Nass El Ghiwane documentary film, TRANSES (1981). Nass El Ghiwane, a group of working class musicians from Casablanca, revolutionized Maghrebi music in the 1970s and remain Morocco’s most important band. TRANSES captures them at the height of their power.
[self-portrait in my Transes poster]
Here is an oft-compiled Nass El Ghiwane track, Mahmouma. This version comes from Stern’s epic 18-CD “Africa 50 years” box set (“The most comprehensive compilation of African music ever achieved. . . 183 classic recordings by 183 important artists from 38 countries in North, South, East and West Africa.”)
Sterns cut Mahmouma down to half its length, but the mastering is good:
[John Francis Peters - Meryem by the sea in Casablanca]
And last but not least, head to Time Magazine’s Lightbox to see “Insha’Allah”, a photoessay by John Francis Peters, taken in Morocco as part of our Beyond Digital project.
We would like to take a break from our daily posting to thank this month’s sponsors. These are the organizations and companies that keep us publishing, so be sure to check them out! If you are interested in being a sponsor of Rhizome, please get in touch with Nectar Ads, the ad network for art.
Artspace offers limited editions and original works from the most recognized artists to rising stars for sale online, at affordable prices. Artspace curators collaborate with top museums, galleries and cultural institutions to provide the best collection of contemporary art in the world.
Sign up for a free Artspace membership today and get access to upcoming Private Sales of artist Billy Sullivan on November 29 and Kenny Scharf on December 6.
NYU Steinhardt‘s undergraduate and graduate art programs foster imaginative art-making, intellectual exchange and career preparation. Their program for studio artists offers courses in painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, digital media, video, performance, printmaking, craft media, installation, and design. Their professional program also prepares students for rewarding visual arts careers as teaching artists and art educators, art therapists, administrators, curators, art advocates and consultants.
Fred Torres Collaborations is an artist management and project space founded in 2005 that collaborates with artists, galleries and museums in producing and promoting exhibitions in New York and around the world.
Fred Torres Collaboration is currently showing new paintings, drawings and photographs by the Los Angeles based artist Gretchen Ryan until January 7, 2012 and will be featured inPULSE Miami 2011, which is open from December 1 – 4.
The School of Visual Arts is proud to introduce their MA program in Critical Theory and the Arts. The program is an intensive yearlong study for students with an edgy involvement in the problems and questions of making art today.
To request additional information about the new MA Program Critical Theory and the Arts and receive a printed copy of their brochure, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fountain Art Fair is an exhibition of avant-garde artwork and performance art in New York during Armory week, Miami during Art Basel Miami Beach and Los Angeles during Pacific Standard Time weekend. Founded in 2006 as an attempt to leverage support for smaller independent galleries to gain access to larger collectors and critics, Fountain represents over 20 international avant-garde galleries and projects.
Fountain lands in Miami from December 1 – 4 for this year’s Art Basel Miami Beach. VisitFountainArtFair.com or Fountain’s Facebook page for the latest updates on participating exhibitors, sponsors and musical guests as December 1st approaches.
Dia:Beacon houses the Dia Art Foundation’s collection of art from the 1960′s to the present and features installations of works by some of the most significant artists of the last half century, as well as special exhibitions, new commissions and public and education programs.
Opus+One, the first solo exhibition by Paris-based artist Jean-Luck Moulene in the US, opens on Dec 17th at Dia:Beacon concurrent with a new work by the artist at the Dan Flavin Art Institute.
Public Art Fund is New York’s leading presenter of artists’ projects, new commissions and exhibitions in public spaces. For more than 30 years, Public Art Fund has been committed to working with emerging and established artists to produce innovative exhibitions of contemporary art throughout New York City.
Make sure to visit Public Art Fund’s exhibition Sol LeWitt: Structures, 1965-2006 in City Hall Park in NYC before it closes on December 3rd. Download Public Art Fund’s free iPhone appand visit them on Facebook.
Artsystems‘ objective is to provide and support the most efficient, comprehensive and powerful software tools for fine art and antiques management. Through its software and services, Artsystems strives to dramatically improve its customers’ productivity and help them analyze and utilize their information to best achieve their goals.
Emily Carr University of Art + Design, based in Vancouver, BC, is one of Canada’s premier, post-secondary universities specializing in undergraduate and graduate art and design education and research. Emily Carr University offers four-year Undergraduate Degrees in art and design that merge critical theory with studio practice as well as a two-year professional Master of Applied Arts program that prepares students to engage in the expanding fields of design, media and visual arts within the cultural and creative industries.
Prospective students should bring their portfolios to Emily Carr’s National Portfolio Dayrecruitment event on December 3rd from 11am – 3pm. Representatives of the National Portfolio Day Association will review art work and offer critical feedback. National Portfolio Day is free and open to the public, on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The University of Technology Sydney’s School of Design, Architecture and Building fosters a design culture through openness, flexibility and focus, at the dynamic centre of Sydney’s creative industries precinct. Undergraduate and postgraduate programs are available in Animation, Fashion and Textiles Design, Industrial Design, Interior and Spatial Design, Photography and Situated Media and Visual Communication.
Rhizome provides an invaluable resource to the world of new media and digital art as an archive, exhibition space and daily blog. Our sponsors know that too. Once a month we introduce our sponsors to our readers and let them know a little more about who they are and what they do.
Interested in becoming a sponsor? To find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities visit Nectar Ads, the ad network for art.
Imagine, if you will, a Venn Diagram composed of the following sets: Coders. Musicians. Marine Biologists. Paul Winter. Leonard Nimoy. Your high school English teacher. And Ishmael.
The sole resident of the intersecting set would be, of course, a whale.
Or perhaps the whale’s trace, in the form of a song.
In a mellifluous blend of technology, art, and nature, Whale.fm, a project of Scientific American and Zooniverse, invites the general public to help track and analyze whale songs, gathered from numerous whales around the world. Using embedded recordings, paired with greyscale spectrograms as background/timelines, users can play a whale song, then click through grouped, similar recordings to decide which one best matches.
The songs vary widely, from fairy-like cries, to deep bellows, to almost-mechanical clicks and whistles. We still don’t know what they are saying. But using field recordings, we can compile their first dialect dictionaries. And the spectrograms are striking, a translation of noise and data into a unique, greyscale images, signing the sounds with a visual data flourish.
The wild requires that we learn the terrain, nod to all the plants and animals and birds, ford the streams and cross the ridges, and tell a good story when we get back home.
— Gary Snyder, The Practice of the Wild
Like other citizen scientist endeavors profiled on HiLobrow, such as SETI@Home, Weather@Home, and Project NOAH, Whale.fm harnesses the power and reach of the internet to source data to the crowd. And it’s no mere publicity stunt or pop-tech bubble: there are simply too many notes, and not enough marine scientists to listen. Human ears, not digital data, are needed for the relevant arguments from analogy.
[The Hunt for Red October, dir. John McTiernan, 1990; with Courtney B. Vance as Seaman Jones]
In a process that gestures towards the origin of the term, people are invited to turn back into computers. You are a node in a very large analogue array, processing the sonic data in parallel with your fellow global citizens. If computers enable us to become more like them, a process that is often as limiting as it is cynical, then surely projects like this are features, to counterbalance the manifold bugs.
[Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, dir. Leonard Nimoy, 1986]
And since so much of our time is spent using, depleting, corraling, over-sentimentalizing, killing, or otherwise seriously annoying the other residents of the animal planet, it’s nice that, for once, we’re listening.
[Leonard Nimoy reads Moby Dick, from Whales Alive!, by Paul Winter]
I found this on the Dangerous Mind website. What attracted me is that this was filmed in 1926, the year of my Father's birth. And second, the images are beautiful. All hand-tinted and almost like a faint memory of life better lived.
xintra: “Defense Authorization Bill” sees me 24/7 and knows if I’ve been bad or good via Homeland satellite surveillance. Is he #TheRealSantaClaus?
Odd Clauses Watch: How Do the States Stack Up In the First-Ever (We Think) Original Jurisdiction Standings?
Jay Wexler is the author of The Odd Clauses: Understanding the Constitution Through Ten of Its Most Curious Provisions. Wexler is a professor at the Boston University School of Law; prior to teaching he worked as a clerk to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the U.S. Supreme Court, and then as a lawyer in the Office of Legal Council at the Department of Justice. He has published nearly twenty academic articles, essays, and reviews, as well as nearly three dozen short stories and humor pieces, in places like The Boston Globe, Spy, Mental Floss and McSweeney's. This post originally appeared on his blog.
One of my favorite constitutional provisions that I talk about in my book The Odd Clauses is the so-called Original Jurisdiction Clause of Article III, which says that “In all cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction.” Usually (by which I mean almost always, maybe 99% of the time), the Supreme Court hears cases under its appellate jurisdiction, which means that it hears a case that has already been heard by lower courts, and its role consists of reviewing the decisions of those courts. But when the Supreme Court exercises its original jurisdiction, it is the first and only court to hear the case. This is very strange, because the Supreme Court is not set up, as is a trial court, to hear evidence and witnesses and make factual determinations and the like; usually all it does is decide pure legal issues.
Although the Constitution provides for a few different kinds of cases that the Court can hear in its original jurisdiction, Congress has provided by statute that almost all of these kinds of cases can also be heard by the federal trial courts. As a result, even almost all of the cases that would fall under the Court’s original jurisdiction end up being heard in the first instance by a lower court. As it turns out, then, pretty much the only cases that the Supreme Court ever considers in its original jurisdiction are cases in which one state sues another state (or states). For these state vs. state cases, the Supreme Court is the only court that has the objectivity necessary to provide for a fair hearing to both states. If Nebraska were to sue Iowa, for instance, over where their border should be drawn, where else would it sue? It wouldn’t want to sue in Iowa. And Iowa wouldn’t want it to be able to sue in Nebraska. The framers understood this problem, and so they gave the Supreme Court original jurisdiction over these difficult cases to prevent interstate conflict and even war, which at least at the time of the founding, was by no means an impossibility.
Every year the Supreme Court hears somewhere between zero and three of these cases; the cases don’t, in other words, make up much of the Court’s docket. The Court has yet to list an original jurisdiction case for this term yet, for instance. Last term the Court decided one case, a water rights dispute between Montana and Wyoming. The most notable thing about the opinions in that case was Justice Scalia’s attempt to rename the people of Wyoming, a stunt that led me to open up a poll asking readers to vote on their preferred moniker for Wyoming citizens. (The winner was “Wyomans.”)
Most original jurisdiction cases involve some type of border or water rights dispute. Some involve tax issues of some sort of another. A few involve interstate pollution issues, like when Missouri sued Illinois at the turn of the 20th century, claiming that Illinois’ decision to reverse the flow of the Chicago River had spread disease downstream to St. Louis (Missouri lost). The most famous recent original jurisdiction case involved New York and New Jersey arguing over who owns Ellis Island. The Court, much to the dismay of many New Yorkers, held for New Jersey.
Although the Supreme Court could, if it wished, hold actual trials in these cases, in which presumably the justices would decide as a group on the thousand nitty gritty issues of evidence and whatnot that come up during your average trial, it almost never does this (I think maybe it’s done it three times in its history). Instead it appoints somebody called a “Special Master” to sort through the evidence, hold a trial, and issue a report that makes recommendations about what the Court should do. The Court then reviews those recommendations and decides whether to adopt them. Special Masters are generally chosen from the elite bar. I, for example, am unlikely to be appointed as a Special Master.
In my book, I explain that I love these State vs. State cases in part because their names (Oklahoma v. Texas, Arizona v. California, etc.) sound like college football games. I also mention that while writing the book I had considered analyzing all these cases and reporting on the win-loss records of all the states, to see which states have fared the best and the worst in these interstate disputes. Also in the book I mention that I did not have time to actually do this because I have a “family” and because my editor was a real stickler with her deadlines, etc. etc.
I am happy now to announce, however, that over this past summer, my crack team and I (by which I mean my very smart and conscientious research assistant Dave Hatton, working under my haphazard and oft-distracted supervision) completed this important, shall I say pathbreaking research (yes, I shall), by looking at every original jurisdiction state versus state case decided since 1900 (we had to leave some further research to those who follow in my scholarly footsteps) and coming up with the win-loss records of each state. Now, I should make a couple of disclaimers before reporting on the data. For one thing, some of these cases are hard to call, and reasonable minds may differ as to who won and who lost. We simply made the best judgment we could. For another thing, I explicitly told Dave that his other tasks were more important and that he shouldn’t knock himself out analyzing the cases, and that if he missed something or otherwise got sick of trying to get to the bottom of something, he should just make a decision and get on with it because, let’s face it, none of this makes any difference.
Anyway, without any further ado, I present the following two lists–the first is an alphabetical list of all the states with their win-loss records, and the second is a list of all states judged to have participated in five or more cases, in order of their winning percentages. As you’ll see, the big winners here are Minnesota and Michigan. The states that have fared the worst are Tennessee and Louisiana. Here is the first list:
And here is the second list:
|Minnesota||5-0 (winning percentage 100%)|
|New Mexico||7-3 (70%)|
|New York||7-4 (64%)|
|New Jersey||3-3 (50%)|
There you have it, folks. The first ever, as far as I know, original jurisdiction standings. Of course, there’s a lot more to be done with this data, for those so inclined. Like, maybe breaking up the analysis into how well states do when they are plaintiffs as opposed to defendants, for example. Or devising a board game called State versus State where the goal is to successfully sue as many states as possible to increase your borders, access the most water, and get the most tax revenues. In any event, I’m happy to take questions on how I got these numbers if anyone cares, and I’m definitely happy to adjust the numbers if it turns out I mischaracterized a decision or missed a decision or whatever. Until then, enjoy.
Musicbox business cards, for the musical duo Ritornell. More at CDM.
This Week on Rhizome Community Boards: The East Japan Earthquake Archive, New Jobs, Events, and More
“The East Japan Earthquake Archive (3D Photo-overlays of The East Japan Earthquake)” is a mash-up content to understand the real state of affairs of the Japan Earthquake that cannot be understood by inspecting individual photographs. Users can view over 100 photographs from New York Times and others using google earth, and compare sceneries before / after the earthquake. All photographs are overlapped with three-dimensional geographical features, so the damage situation of the Sendai airport and the Fukushima nuclear power plant and others can be understood three-dimensionally. And also, Google’s imagery update of Japan is included, users can switch latest and past satellite image by radio-buttons. We will add more photographs as much as possible.
- TRANSART INSTITUTE seeks independent, inquisitive and imaginative artists for its low-residency MFA program. Deadline: December 1st, 2011.
- Culturia in Berlin posts an open call for residency for artists and researchers. Deadline: December 5, 2011
- In Tokyo, 3331 Arts Chiyoda has a residency for May, June, October, November and December 2012. Deadline: December 30, 2011.
Call for Submissions:
- The Cube Prize 2012 will be awarded for the first time during the Le Cube Festival to the best creation in digital art by a young artist under age 35. Deadline: January 31, 2012
- Rhizome is accepting applications for spring Editorial Fellow.
- Stony Brook University’s Department of Art is hiring an Assistant Professor in Photography
- The University of North Texas (UNT) seeks an accomplished interdisciplinary artist or an artist-scientist for an Interdisciplinary Faculty Position. The university is also hiring a Faculty Position in Physical Computing and the Arts
- Massachusetts College of Art and Design has an open tenue track position for a contemporary media artist.
- Furtherfield presents Moving Forest 500 Slogans workshop at Victoria & Albert Museum. Dec 2, 2011 in London.
- Saturday, Dec 3. An artist talk with Nina Katchadourian and Krzysztof Wodiczko in New York
- Critical Information, Mapping the Intersection of Art and Technology. SVA Graduate Students Conference Dec 3, 2011.
- The Métamatic Research Initiative artist talk with Brigitte Zieger in Amsterdam. Dec 6, 2011.
- Exit Art: Printed Histories opens Dec 16th at Exit Art
- We’ve been Re-Distributed is Ryan Hughes’ first one-person presentation in the UK. Artist Talk: Tuesday 6th December 12pm in ARTicle, Birmingham City University.
Adam and the Ants’ “Ant Rap” single came out November 30, 1981. Here’s the original video.
Cabaret Voltaire’s “Eddies Out” single came out November 30, 1981.
Heading out to take the dog for a last spin of the neighborhood last night, I swept the door open to confront a quiet storm of moths, diffuse and disordered, strobing in the kitchen’s ambient glow. I reached out and shut off the lights right away; we’ve learned that unless we plunge the room into darkness the moths will bustle in like a flock of Christmas carolers, early and unwelcome.
[A version of this post appeared on Gearfuse on December 1, 2010.]
In a few short years, the winter moth has become a signal phenomenon of the turning of the year in New England. Operophtera brumata is an invasive species in North America, having made its way to Massachusetts since appearing in Nova Scotia in the 1930s. Each year around the end of November, when proper insects seem to have died or shut themselves away in holes, the winter moths rise from bark and leaf litter—a shabby, slow-motion snow flurry in reverse, color of the grim slush that will soon rime the streets. The fliers are males; females are wingless. They meet to mate on the bark of trees a few feet from the ground; the eggs they produce now will hatch in the far-off warmer months, and the caterpillars—green apostrophes indistinguishable from the inchworms that are the offspring of many related moths—will spin a shaft of silk and sail off on the wind to make nuisances of themselves in the orchards, chewing up the new foliage.
Batting at the phantom moths, I hurried down the stairs with the dog skittering along behind, only to be brought short by a pair of eyes like two black holes bored in my neighbor’s lamplit woodwork. They belonged to a moonlight-hued opossum perched on the narrow rail of a wrought-iron front-porch banister. Glossy and still, it regarded me coolly. I knew that if I approached its eyes would pinch shut, its lips would flare in a beleaguered, toothy rictus, and it likely would fall right off its perch to the brick steps below.
The dog might have enjoyed the spectacle, but I would have felt guilty. Instead we turned away, moths swarming, dog companionating, possum watching, and me wondering and dreaming connections—all of us following the evolved signals of our several natures.
—image by entomart via Wikimedia.
Eleventh in a series reprinting FEED Dailies written by the author in 1999-2000.
FEED (March 9, 1999): However depressing, it wasn’t much of a shocker when the news broke last month that everybody’s favorite online bookseller has been fixing their “complete Amazon.com editorial review treatment” of new books, including a listing in the popular, staff-driven “What We’re Reading” category, based on bribes from the publishers. Of course, reviewing in general has long ceased to be anything but a mutant appendage of the PR industry, but the very idea of the “authoritative” book review handed down from on high is so old media. Meanwhile, as critics have been decrying the crooked interbreeding of search engines, advertising, and book reviews, and as Amazon struggles to cope with the damage wrought by the recent iceberg of bad publicity, a bizarre example of digital-age poetic justice has broken out below decks, in the Customer Reviews section.
Anyone familiar with the typical Amazon.com Customer Review — of, say, Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho — is all too used to reading sentences like this one: “With Manhattan as a backdrop, all of Patrick Bateman’s good looks, shiatsu massages, Evian, Comme des Garcon facial products, and unbeliveable [sic] wardrobe will not be enough to stop him from becoming a monster in his spare time who enjoys tourchering [sic] Sharpeis, and all sorts of other human pets.” Sickened by this kind of insipid commentary, a revolutionary cadre of Amazon.com denizens has infiltrated the Customer Reviews bulletin board for Daddy’s Cap is on Backwards, a collection of Bil (“Family Circus”) Keane’s strips, and applied every radical interpretation imaginable. In recent weeks, the underemployed post-grad subculture has been abuzz with the news; e-mails with the subject line “Check this out before Amazon gets wind of it!” have been flying back and forth across the country.
“Keane has been following the same outdated left-wing intellectual formula since the start of the Cold War. Each of his one panel cartoons are so filled with subtexts and post-Leninist commentary in the decay of capitalism that you are almost compelled to shout, ‘Hey, get with the rest of the world! Socialism is dead!’” cried one hard-line critic. Others read Keane’s banal, family-friendly comic strip as a “dramatic, painful portrait of the American family, caught in the jaws of the bear-trap that is 20th century capitalism,” “an amazing pastiche of modern angst,” and a masterpiece in the genre of “burb noir.” As if these examples were not already excellent proof that the web-business mantra “Content good, free content better” is a fallacy, there’s more. Keane is a “stubborn iconoclast of a nearly Kantian refusal to deny subjectivity any positionality other than a rather liminal objectivity,” insists one acolyte. Another muses on the elderly cartoonist’s ability to follow “the travails of a country without mystery, without science, without theatre; through a morass of deeply etched black dotted lines.”
This kind of tongue-in-cheek expression of hermeneutic vertigo is harmless enough, but the self-referential bulletin board activity has began to mushroom into unwieldy metalevels. Most gleefully subversive are those mock Customer Reviews of Daddy’s Cap is on Backwards which ape the authentic ones. One “patrickbateman” penned a reappropriated review of American Psycho in which Keane becomes “a literary authority on the lives of the infinitely wealthy,” and his creation Jeffy becomes a misogynistic serial killer. Another disparages the “cash-and-carry theory crowd” for making light of such an important text. But while all this reviewer mutiny may just end up getting squirreled away in the Amazon archives, it exemplifies just the sort of democratic activity that could restore to the medium — and by extension, to Amazon — its anarchic integrity.
READ MORE essays by Joshua Glenn, originally published in: THE BAFFLER | BOSTON GLOBE IDEAS | BRAINIAC | CABINET | FEED | HERMENAUT | HILOBROW | HILOBROW: GENERATIONS | HILOBROW: RADIUM-AGE SCIENCE FICTION | HILOBROW: SHOCKING BLOCKING | THE IDLER | IO9 | N+1 | NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW | SEMIONAUT | SLATE
Joshua Glenn’s most recent book is The Wage Slave’s Glossary, co-authored with Mark Kingwell and illustrated by Seth.
your host - "Social Media Workshop"
your host - "Face Control"
your host - "Social Media Workshop (ii)"
your host - "Occupy Siberia"
social media expert (Sean Cole) - "the Truth about Social Media" http://www.wfmu.org/playlists/shows/42876
your host - "Social Media Workshop"
your host - "Face Control"
your host - "Social Media Workshop (ii)"
your host - "Occupy Siberia"
social media expert (Sean Cole) - "the Truth about Social Media" http://wfmu.org/playlists/shows/42876
City of Work: unemployment
“Rhizome’s blog is essential reading for anyone interested in the present, past and future relationship of art and technology. There is no other publication, online or elsewhere, so fully and deeply dedicated to this crucial topic.” – Ed Halter
Ed Halter is a critic and curator living in New York City. He is a founder and director of Light Industry, a venue for film and electronic art in Brooklyn, New York, and is currently curating the film and video program for the 2012 Whitney Biennial.
If you're out driving in Los Angeles this coming Friday, December 2, consider using the second lane from the left, heading south on I-15 immediately after the 91 Freeway interchange and before the East Ontario exit: artist Susanna Battin's new work, Window, will be on display on a digital billboard overlooking the highway, and will be best viewed from that lane. There, "Los Angeles freeway commuters [will] briefly witness the billboard transform into a window," Battin explains, in "an attempt to repair the visually severed mountain range" beyond. Battin's elevated digital image also accounts for "thirteen of San Bernardino’s varying smog conditions," so the overlap will hopefully work by blending in with the local weather.
Here's a map of where to be.
Meanwhile, I'm curious if you could achieve something vaguely similar, but without the digital billboard—something like the optical effects of Felice Varini, but applied at a particular curve in the freeway, using different overlapping space frames partially installed on different rooftops, or various painted outlines distributed across other billboards and facades. They would all lock together for a brief and fleeting instant, from one very specific angle, perhaps even too fast to notice, and thus "repair" the surrounding landscape. I suppose, in some mythical world where insurance liability is not an issue, Felice Varini, Susanna Battin, and Caltrans could team up to make the California highway system itself into a massive and perceptually instantaneous optical installation, visible in full effect only at certain exact velocities and angles.
In any case, if you see the installation, and don't risk crashing your car, consider taking a picture and sending it in; I'd love to see if this works.
On Sunday December 11, the Mudd Up Book Clubb returns to Manhattan, to discuss Lauren Beukes’ 2010 novel Zoo City. If you wanted to throw genre signifiers at it, you could say that it’s new African urban fantasy sci-fi noir with a strong musical component. There is even an accompanying soundtrack , released on African Dope records:
As I wrote in my August post on Zoo City, “It’s weird noir, set in contemporary Johannesburg, featuring an ex-junkie protagonist named Zinzi December and her magic sloth. The unconventional pair is caught in a web of intrigue involving murder, 419 email scams, and a missing kwaito/afropop teen star. In short, it sounds like a book specifically engineered for my peer group.” Check out the full post for more thoughts on Zoo City, or join us on December 11th in New York City for realtime talk.
Past Book Clubb selections:
November 2011 NYC edition: Samuel R. Delany Times Square Red, Times Square Blue
September 2011 Tangiers edition: Juan Goytisolo – Exiled from Everywhere
August 2011: Madrid edition: Cesar Aira – How I Became a Nun
June 2011: Casablanca edition: Maureen F. McHugh – Nekropolis
Where did it come from?
Emma Manette, Notes on Stalking my Ex-Boyfriend’s Last.fm Account
Red Hook is a new online journal that originates at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, NY. The new journal considers online readership on a number of levels, such as its self-reflexive discussions on what an online journal on curating could be, its consideration of other online platforms, and its relationship to the online image.
In his text for the journal, Ed Halter, visiting faculty at Bard’s Electronic Arts Program (and Rhizome contributor) recalls the early days of Usenet, a collection of internet discussion boards, and focuses on alt.cult-movies, an active film discussion board. The essay looks into the character of Cosineve, an unknown writer who appeared on the discussion board, writing reviews under numerous online identities but in a consistent style. Cosineve’s texts, about twenty in all, spanning between 1996 and 1999, are faux film reviews, the titles of which all used the word “fish,” and—as Halter points out—may have referenced real movies.
Halter surveys a certain culture of online cult followings before it had permanent homes that “domesticated” these phenomena on dedicated (more or less so) websites:
I was not the only fan of Cosineve’s work. Within days of Cosineve’s first flurry of posts in October 1996, responses began to appear from other readers. Following up a review of Death Fish, one user asked “Does anyone else think this guy’s actually way ahead of his time, and is spouting something that we, as mere mortals, just can’t comprehend?” “He’s definitely on the *Cutting Edge* (of something) and should be encouraged to continue,” replied another. “He could be the next Tarantino, for all we know.” A self-described “recent convert” suggested that “there should be a separate newsgroup for the fans of the fish to discuss these deep works.” A user at the newsgroup misc.writing noted that “there is an amusing fellow named cosineve who writes stories about a very strange fish […] He’s developed something of a cult following over on alt.cult-movies.” Readers were chatting about Cosineve’s work as late as 1998.
“On Cosineve” is an account of the early days of online prose. Halter pastes full texts by Cosineve into the essay, marking the distinct difference between his own writing and the style of these online personae. Other readers of alt.cult-movies followed Cosineve’s prose, bringing up the work of James Joyce and Samuel Beckett, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs as possible precedents of Cosineve’s style, and discussing ideas of authorship in the then-nascent type of online prose. (Halter interestingly ties this interest of the discussion board’s participants in the politique des auteurs to their cinephilia which resulted in the constant application of ideas of authorship.)
Cosineve’s mysterious origins are masked by multiple screen names and identities, each given the status of a fictional character within his own stories. His emergence on Usenet brings to mind the qualities of the old Internet, before social networking took hold, when online personae were much more loosely connected to their real-world authors.
Halter does not attempt to retrace who Cosineve was, except for a number of entertaining traits. Nor is that interesting in this context. This early example of online narratives is compelling for its specific context, its early adaptation of forms that echo in online culture to this day, and its fantastic interposition of the possibilities that online culture offers to writers, Halter and Cosineve alike.
When we get there, will we remake Mars in our image? And if so, what image is that?
[Returned Soyuz astronauts don traditional Kazakh costumes for press conference in Kostanay, by Shamil Zhumatov/AFP/Getty Images for The Guardian]
It’s been a busy week in the Martian Chronicles. In the latest Extraterrestrial Extra, a new rover has launched, while over in the Class-M Metropolitan section, we find the Russians have landed.
Curiosity, the rover in question, is NASA’s new Martian surface probe, following in the diligent wheels of Spirit and Opportunity. As big as an earth-bound Mini Cooper, it has shed its decorative carapace in favor of a more skeletal utility, arrayed with antennas, collection tools, a weather station and a laser, along with a 3D camera designed by James Cameron.
This time we won’t be dropping it onto the surface encased in space bubble wrap, but will attempt a more controlled descent with a combination jet-pack-and-tether system. Curiosity will comb the Gale Crater, searching for signs of once and/or ancient life. If it finds any, it will presumably shoot them. Whether with camera or laser will undoubtedly depend.
Wait — what was that about the Russians?
[The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming, dir. Norman Jewison, 1966]
It’s all true, dear reader, the Russians have landed. That is, Mars500 has landed, the pre-enacted simulation flight to and from the red planet, conducted in full in a parking lot outside Moscow. “Launched” in June 2010, the international, all-male crew of simulnauts entered the capsule, and committed to remain inside, in order to research the psychological effects of confinement during a months-long space journey, briefly profiled here on HiLobrow.
In-flight, they conducted scientific experiments, worked out, ate MREs, and communicated in short bursts with the proper signal delay encoded in advance. Mid-journey, in February 2011, they were allowed out to explore the surface (the parking lot), then bundled back inside for the return journey. Earlier this month, the Russian Parking Lot Martians then successfully returned to earth (the parking lot) and exited the capsule, reportedly none the worse for wear. There is no confirmation on the presence of Mock Apple Pie at the successful completion of the mock-up.
Proto-martians, like the rovers and the Russian simulnauts, have been selected, like their cosmo- and astronaut comrades on the animal planet, for unflappability and laser-like focus to the task at hand. But if this becomes a regular thing, who do you think is really going to go out there? Will it be ranks of rational Glenns, dutifully transforming our neighbor into a compatible Class-M planet? Will it be a humanized version of the Laika-less rovers, a nexus of cyborg technology perhaps, extracting natural resources and maintaining machinery in Tayloresque perfection?
[John Glenn, space model]
It’s another planet. It’s a rock. Never mind water, we’d have to bring our own air. We’d have to love naked mole rat-like social compression, then equally love the vast space tundra, without a sound or a sight from home. We’d need to be hypersocial and domestic, then flip a switch to cowboy-loner, so alienated as to not even feel the absence of an open range. How many experiments in isolation do you really think you can do? How would you manage your social media addiction, which only intensifies as the distance and gaps prevent its easy pursuit? When do you start idly scanning the perimeter for animate anomalies? When do you start hoping to see them?
That does not describe a rational landscape, either outer or inner. What it describes is something closer to — crazy.
[William Shatner in Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, Twilight Zone, 1963]
HiLobrow salutes outer and inner explorers everywhere, as well as the embedded irrationality in our rational agencies.
[This essay first appeared in the July-August 1996 issue of Utne Reader.]
As I pulled up in my rented car to the historic red brick house in Barnesville, Ohio, on April 13 for the portentously titled Second Luddite Congress, my expectations weren’t very high. After all, the only neo-Luddites I’d ever run across were either publicity-seeking intellectuals who typed their pro-simplicity manifestos on laptop computers as they jetted from one conference to the next or fumble-fingered technophobes enraged by the complexity of their digital watches. And, of course, seeing the mug of Unabomber suspect and neo-Luddite legend Ted Kaczynski plastered on newspapers everywhere and having to listen endlessly to Weird Al Yankovic’s spoof “Amish Paradise,” which was in heavy rotation on the radio, wasn’t helping. Every stinky back-to-the-lander in the country is going to be here I thought as I rounded the corner of the building… and froze, stymied by a vista that confirmed my worst fears.
My God, what an unruly collection of beards! Ratty Quest for Fire beards, free-flowing Deadhead beards, tousled Walt Whitman beards, kooky Kaczynski beards, hipster goatees circa San Francisco 1958, and dozens of untrimmed, Quaker “peace” beards affected by the most studiously “plain” folk in the crowd. Also, everyone — from the punk who was so pierced he seemed perforated to the serenely bonneted Quaker women — was wearing those little round John Lennon glasses, not to mention a depressingly practical assortment of hike-the-Appalachian-Trail-and-construct-a-cow-barn-in-your-spare-time shoes. My own urban-chic, hopelessly ironic look — smooth chin, Malcolm X tortoise-shell glasses, bilious maroon suede Converse All-Stars — was out of place here. I had seen neo-Luddite utopia, and it was sensibly shod, nearsighted, and hirsute.
All the beards had gathered in Barnesville to lay the framework for the congress itself, which would convene two days later — exactly 184 years to the day after the original Luddites, a ragtag band of weavers and artisans who tried unsuccessfully to undermine the Industrial Revolution, held their first and only convention in Nottinghamshire, England. The purpose of the second congress, which was being sponsored by the publishers of the pro-simplicity Plain magazine, was to come up with the neo-Luddite Statement of Means, a manifesto on how to reduce the overwhelming power of technology over our lives.
In general, I was surprised by how commonsensical and moving the opening session’s speeches were, but as the participants began to respond, it seemed that everybody had an ax to grind. The audience grilled self-appointed neo-Luddite spokesman Kirkpatrick Sale about which machines he’d used to write and publish his books, challenged bioregionalist author Stephanie Mills and Thoreauvian farmer-essayist Gene Logsdon on whether just living off one’s own land is enough, and excoriated writers David Kline and Art Gish, who live in “plain” Christian communities, for the perceived sexism and exclusivity of their lifestyles. Agnostics grumbled at the Christian rhetoric of some of the speakers (mild though it was); political activists mocked do-it-yourselfers; and city dwellers scoffed at farmers. Only midwife Judy Luce, publisher Bill Henderson, and the Internet-skeptical physicist Clifford Stoll escaped attack, but that may have been because they all spoke just before the breaks. The fact that four of the morning session’s five male speakers wore beards — three of them peace beards — left me wondering whether I was just being brainwashed.
At dinner that evening, after chatting with a Philadelphia man who encourages religious congregations to “anoint the boiler” of their place of worship (in an effort to promote energy consciousness), I decided that, despite some obvious ideological differences, there was one thing that united everyone in the building: fear of hypocrisy. Apparently, we had all internalized the prevailing cultural attitude that it is selling out to voice even the slightest concern about the encroachment of technology without simultaneously having your electricity shut off. (This point of view is eloquently demonstrated by the mainstream media coverage of the congress, by the way.) Everybody seemed to be eyeing his or her neighbor’s Simple® brand clogs and thinking, “Well, how did you get here, Mister Luddier-than-Thou? Walk? I don’t think so!”
But a mutual edginess about the H-word is not enough to unite a movement. How on earth were all these prickly individualists supposed to arrive at a single Statement of Means? The congress, like almost every other activist event I’ve ever attended, seemed futile, and I began to long for my hotel room back in Wheeling, West Virginia, and the TV with unlimited cable channels.
Just before we broke for the evening, author Bill McKibben urged us all to go back to our hotel rooms and hang a cover over the television. “The only subversive thing you can do in a society without limits is to have more fun than everybody else,” he insisted, to a great deal of applause. “And whatever the purpose of human life may be, it can’t be channel surfing!”
Later, as I watched a couple hours of I Love Lucy reruns on Nickelodeon, I wondered if a TV-less revolution based on self-restraint, spirituality, and fun might just be feasible. But then that great episode in which Tallulah Bankhead moves next door to the Ricardos, and Lucy makes Fred and Ethel pretend they’re her servants, came on, and…
Next morning, I was ready to get out into the bright spring air of Wheeling, an old mining town I’d been dying to explore. But I couldn’t help noticing that A Change of Habit — an Elvis movie which I’d probably already seen 15 times — was just starting on the Movie Channel, so I spent the entire morning sitting around the hotel room swilling a Mountain Dew “Big Slam” and rooting for Mary Tyler Moore to pick the swingin’ inner-city doctor over Jesus Christ. By the time I screeched onto the meeting house lawn at 1:00, just in time to wolf down a turkey sandwich, Scott Savage, the editor of Plain, was about to take the stage. This was the first time I’d ever laid eyes on the man, even though I had talked to him on the phone several times. In fact, it was Scott who persuaded me to attend the conference, not so much with his agenda but with the serene and good-hearted way he assured me that we needed to speak face to face.
As he took the podium, he was dressed in a sober black suit, a farmer’s straw hat, and — yes — John Lennon glasses. “Although Quaker Friends have historically been very active in issues ranging from abolition to the status of women, they have always done the opposite of the activist model,” he began with a sly smile. “Friends use the ‘technology’ of sitting, the ‘dialectic’ of waiting, and the ‘activist platform’ of listening. This is the country of the disembodied brain, and a Quaker-style meeting this morning may be able to help us come back to our bodies. So sit close together.”
Warm laughter greeted Scott’s words. There was something so intriguing about this middle-aged man with cherubic features and a flyaway peace beard devilishly baiting activists, New Agers, simplicity-craving yuppies, and the press in a strange mix of pop culture-speak and humble Christian piety. I knew he was a person deeply concerned with technology, not in the abstract, but how it directly affects his family. Every time we spoke on the phone, it seemed, he had just rid himself of another modern convenience that I considered indispensable: his television, his computer, his car. The day after the conference, I later learned, he even moved the telephone out to the barn, with his new horse and buggy.
After Scott finished talking, everyone sat quietly for the next two hours watching sleepy wasps bang against the tall windows of the meeting house, trying not to speak unless we were prompted to do so by something beyond our egos, and struggling to have faith in one another. Although some people did get up, on occasion, to voice their concerns about conflicts that had arisen the day before, the fact that no one was refuting anyone else, and that there were long stretches of contemplative silence, led me to see that this — not the speeches or the debates — was the reason we’d been brought together.
After that interlude, many participants began to drop their agendas and make practical suggestions for nonviolent resistance to technology: “Don’t buy anything, anything,” said one man, “unless you call up the company that made it and ask ‘What are the working conditions for the people who assembled this? How were natural resources used in its manufacture? How long will it last? And can I maintain it myself?’”
“Let’s get rid of streetlights,” piped up the Philadelphia man. “Stop signs are safer for a community because they force people to use their judgment; streetlights just encourage us to drive faster.”
“Young people should create a scene where it’s cool to be plain,” suggested an Urban Outfitters-clad teenager. “Punks already have their vegan scenes and their straight-edge scenes. How about an anti-technology scene?” Visions of “plaincore” bands — sans amplifiers — screeching Lutheran hymns in dingy clubs danced in my head.
That evening, Savage and McKibben both told inspiring stories and then counseled everyone to stop looking for institutional or technological fixes and to use the imagination as a subversive weapon. At the end of the day, the delegates gathered in the kitchen to put together a rough draft of the Statement of Means. I stuck around, hoping — as I imagined journalists were supposed to — that I’d catch a glimpse of the real neo-Luddites, unmasked at last: Stephanie Mills and Charles Siegel and Kirkpatrick Sale grimly battling for control of the document. Oddly enough, the delegates turned out to be a uniformly decent and deeply conscientious bunch who put together the draft without any problems. No story here, I thought.
That night at the hotel, still under the neo-Luddites’ spell, I hung my jacket over the television and started reading a Jules Verne novel I’d picked up in Barnesville. Over the next couple of hours, no matter how often my hand involuntarily snatched the TV remote control and my thumb stabbed at the power button, it was to no avail.
The book, Five Weeks in a Balloon, which Verne wrote in 1862, 50 years after the original Luddite uprising, included a character who prophesied that “if men go on inventing machinery, they’ll end by being swallowed up in their own machine. I’ve always thought that the last day would be brought about by some colossal boiler, heated to three thousand atmospheres, blowing up the world.”
The next morning I eluded the TV without much difficulty, and made it to the meeting house before anyone else. Strolling around the campus of the nearby Quaker school, I bumped into Savage, and we finally had our face-to-face conversation. I told him that many of the ideas I’d heard reminded me of Abbie Hoffman’s irreverent, counterintuitive brand of revolution, and Scott proved to have a thorough understanding of Yippie tactics. “Part of the reason those guys used so much obscenity,” he said, “was that they were deeply concerned about the power of big business and the media to co-opt the trappings of any anti-establishment movement. They figured that curse words, at least, couldn’t be sold back to them. That’s part of what’s so subversive about simplicity. You can’t sell it!” I didn’t have the heart to tell him what was really happening in the world of commerce. All of a sudden, thanks in part to the neo-Luddites, plain is hot. (But he probably knew that.)
As it turned out, the Big Event was anticlimactic. Despite some disagreement over the language — loaded terms such as guilty, nonviolence, and even family raised hackles, for instance — the assembly seemed to agree more than it disagreed. Cheers went up when the clerk of the meetinghouse read the final Statement of Means — which included entries such as “We believe that the needs of people exceed the needs of the machines” and “We affirm the importance of… times of rest, times of fasting from production and consumption; time spent in solitude, listening and waiting.”
In my mind, however, the real business of the congress had already happened the day before. There we’d been: Mennonite farmers, professional agitators, pagan grandmothers, journalists, and lots of ordinary folks, squeezed together onto narrow wooden benches without the mediation of technology, practicing self-moderation and pacifism and building some kind of funky, diverse — if temporary — community in the process. Later, as I rushed back to the airport in Pittsburgh, struggling most of the way with my car’s power windows, and reflected on what had transpired, it struck me that when we followed the example of the Quakers, whose meetings are about joy and trust as opposed to politics, we had, in a small way, already succeeded in our purpose. We had shown that doing less, which seems so un-American, was an essential “means” to overcoming the most out-of-control, damaging technology of all: the complicated circuitry of the self.
READ MORE essays by Joshua Glenn, originally published in: THE BAFFLER | BOSTON GLOBE IDEAS | BRAINIAC | CABINET | FEED | HERMENAUT | HILOBROW | HILOBROW: GENERATIONS | HILOBROW: RADIUM-AGE SCIENCE FICTION | HILOBROW: SHOCKING BLOCKING | THE IDLER | IO9 | N+1 | NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW | SEMIONAUT | SLATE
Joshua Glenn’s most recent book is The Wage Slave’s Glossary, co-authored with Mark Kingwell and illustrated by Seth.
If you want to go to Ascendio (and who doesn't with me as the fabulous Minister of Magic? I ask you) then get thee to your browser and REGISTER NOW to take advantage of the special price -- it goes away at the end of Cyber Monday, which means in just a couple hours!
In case you're wondering whether it will be awesome, observe Percy Weasley singing "Summer Lovin'" with Gwendolyn Grace at Azkatraz 2008. He will be coming back!
I would also post pictures of how I drank the biggest alcoholic drink I have ever seen in my life with Young Tom Riddle and about fifteen other people at Infinitus, but that is another story!
My Keepon Official TV Spot - Yellow Dancing Robot (by WowStuffOnline)
In the night sky, at certain seasons when the Inner Moons are on the other side of our primary and the starry skies are clear, I can (I fancy) see the earth. A remote and insignificant spark of blue fire it seems from this distance; a tiny point of light lost amid the blackness of the infinite void. Can it truly be that I was born and lived my first twenty-four years on that blue spark—or was that life but a dream, and have I spent all of my days upon this weird world of Thanator? It is a question for the philosophers to settle, and I am but a simple warrior. —Lin Carter, "Jandar of Callisto" (at Grognardia)
Text Kittens (via How They Wear: Animal-Print Coats)
“Hill explained it is nothing suspicious or revelatory. China was already known to operate spy satellites, and many other countries (including the United States) do so as well. He added the calibration targets are larger than might have been expected, what that means is the satellite cameras they are being used to calibrate have surprisingly poor ground resolution.
The satellite image above is a calibration target for the Corona spy satellites, was built back in the 1960s, down in Casa Grande, Ariz., [at coordinates] 32° 48′ 24.74″ N, 111° 43′ 21.30″ W.”
(via Google Maps “Mystical Structure” No Longer A Mystery » M.I.C. Gadget)
The Utah teapot is a 3D model created in 1975 by Martin Newell which has become a standard reference object in the computer graphics community. It is a simple, round, partially concave mathematical model of an ordinary teapot. The objective of Utanalog by Unfold is to return the iconographic teapot to its roots as a piece of functional dish-ware while showing its status as an icon of the digital world.
(via @bashford and Dries Verbruggen)
TO satisfy our ever-growing need for computing power, many technology companies have moved their work to data centers with tens of thousands of power-gobbling servers. Concentrated in one place, the servers produce enormous heat. The additional power needed for cooling them — up to half of the power used to run them — is the steep environmental price we have paid to move data to the so-called cloud.
The paper looks at how the servers — though still operated by their companies — could be placed inside homes and used as a source of heat. The authors call the concept the “data furnace.”
I’ve been reading articles for the past few days talking about the ongoing debate between LibLime/PTFS and the Koha community working on a different version of the same software. Here is an article from Linux Weekly from last year describing the forking issue, the point at which LibLime/PTFS started independently developing their own version of the open source ILS Koha. Recently LibLime was granted the use of the trademark Koha in and around New Zealand according to their press release though it’s not entirely clear if a Maori word can even be trademarked. The Koha community centered around the original code at the Horowhenua Library Trust is concerned that PTFS will not make a good faith effort to do what it says it’s interested in doing: transferring the rights to the trademark back to the community. They are concerned that there will be a legal fight and are requesting donations and other support. Meanwhile LibLime appears to have lost significant ground to other versions of Koha according to the Library Technology Guide’s ILS turnover chart for last year. Seems like a good point in time for the libraries who are using LibLime/PTFS’s version of Koha to step up and make sure that their own vision of the open source community and their products is being respected and upheld by the companies who they are paying. Further reading on this topic is available at this Zotero group.
Michael Bronski was named one of the Out100 by Out Magazine. (Be sure to check out the full spread--some amazing photos!)
Wondering about the Letters of Marque clause? Jay Wexler talks about the Odd Clauses with New Hampshire Public Radio.
Spirituality and Practice gives a great review to See Me Naked by Amy Frykholm.
My friend Jay Michaelson, my go-to guy for all matters of Jewish learning, is speaking in Madison this Thursday evening about his new book God vs. Gay?: The Religious Case for Equality. Recommended for all who care what feist left-wing observant Jews have to say about religion and sex. Which is everyone, right?