Submitted by Blake on October 20, 2018 - 8:00am
Perhaps people living in medieval societies were less preoccupied with the intricacies of other minds, simply because they didn’t have to be. When people’s choices were constrained and their actions could be predicted based on their social roles, there was less reason to be attuned to the mental states of others (or one’s own, for that matter). The emergence of mind-focused literature may reflect the growing relevance of such attunement, as societies increasingly shed the rigid rules and roles that had imposed order on social interactions.
From Why You Should Read Fiction
Submitted by Blake on October 18, 2018 - 11:50am
The Library of Congress just cut the ribbon on the National Screening Room, an online trove of cinematic goodies, free for the streaming.
Given that the collection spans more than 100 years of cinema history, from 1890-1999, not all of the featured films are in the public domain, but most are, and those are free to download as well as watch.
Archivist Mike Mashon, who heads the Library’s Moving Image Section, identifies the project’s goal as providing the public with a “broad range of historical and cultural audio-visual materials that will enrich education, scholarship and lifelong learning.”
From The Library of Congress Launches the National Screening Room, Putting Online Hundreds of Historic Films | Open Culture
Submitted by Blake on October 18, 2018 - 11:50am
The effects were most marked when it came to literacy. Growing up with few books in the home resulted in below average literacy levels. Being surrounded by 80 books boosted the levels to average, and literacy continued to improve until libraries reached about 350 books, at which point the literacy rates leveled off. The researchers observed similar trends when it came to numeracy; the effects were not as pronounced with information communication technology tests, but skills did improve with increased numbers of books.
From Growing Up Surrounded by Books Could Have Powerful, Lasting Effect on the Mind | Smart News | Smithsonian
Submitted by Blake on October 16, 2018 - 10:31am
Submitted by Blake on October 15, 2018 - 11:27am
Submitted by Blake on October 10, 2018 - 11:11am
Libraries Work!, a research report released last month, demonstrates that every dollar invested in Victorian public libraries generates more than four times that value in benefits to the local community.
From Libraries are about democracy, not just books
Submitted by Blake on October 7, 2018 - 4:33pm
The longtime non-profit’s physical space remains easy to comprehend, at least, so Graham starts there. The main operation now runs out of an old church (pews still intact) in San Francisco, with the Internet Archive today employing nearly 200 staffers. The archive also maintains a nearby warehouse for storing physical media—not just books, but things like vinyl records, too. That’s where Graham jokes the main unit of measurement is “shipping container.” The archive gets that much material every two weeks.
The company currently stands as the second-largest scanner of books in the world, next to Google.
From The Internet’s keepers? “Some call us hoarders—I like to say we’re archivists” | Ars Technica
Submitted by Blake on October 5, 2018 - 7:17am
But the message sent to Cerf’s email wasn’t a technical request. And it hadn’t been sent just to him. Instead, an email with the subject line “SF-LOVERS” had been sent to Cerf and his colleagues scattered across the United States. The message asked all of them to respond with a list of their favorite science fiction authors. Because the message had gone out to the entire network, everybody’s answers could then be seen and responded to by everybody else. Users could also choose to send their replies to just one person or a subgroup, generating scores of smaller discussions that eventually fed back into the whole.
About 40 years later, Cerf still recalls this as the moment he realized that the internet would be something more than every other communications technology before it. “It was clear we had a social medium on our hands,” he said.
From In 1979, a chain email about science fiction spawned the modern internet.
Submitted by Blake on September 30, 2018 - 6:01pm
“On November 9th in America, we woke up to a new administration promising radical change,” he wrote. “It was a firm reminder that institutions like ours… need to design for change. For us, it means keeping our cultural materials safe, private and perpetually accessible.”
According to anonymous sources, the Wayback Machine has since become more selective about accepting omission requests.
In a “post-fact” era, where fake news is rampant and basic truths are openly and brazenly disputed, the Wayback Machine is working to preserve a verifiable, unedited record of history — without obstruction.
“If we allow those who control the present to control the past then they control the future,” Kahle told Recode. “Whole newspapers go away. Countries blink on and off. If we want to know what happened 10 years ago, 20 years ago, [the internet] is often the only record.”
From Inside Wayback Machine, the internet’s time capsule
Submitted by Blake on September 27, 2018 - 3:49pm
He was paid a 50,000 euro ($80,000) salary as an archives director in Valencia’s provincial government, would show up to the office every morning at 7:30am to clock in using the fingerprint scanner before heading home, only returning to the office at 3:30pm to clock out.
He kept up the routine for 10 years before colleagues began to raise suspicions. After Spanish newspaper El Mundo broke the story 18 months ago, he was finally sacked, despite his insistence that he had done nothing wrong.
“I have only done what they have asked me to do,” he told the paper in January.
From Spanish public servant who skipped work for a decade gets nine-year ban
Submitted by Blake on September 27, 2018 - 10:43am
Welcome to Web Design Museum
The museum exhibits over 900 carefully selected and sorted web sites that show web design trends between the years 1995 and 2005.
From Web Design Museum
Submitted by Blake on September 27, 2018 - 10:41am
Submitted by Blake on September 15, 2018 - 11:45am
Connie Perry, the president of the trustees of the Morgan County Public Library in Berkeley Springs, W.Va., said Friday afternoon by phone that her town library will carry Bob Woodward’s “Fear.”
Perry said the library board did not know that the library director had refused to accept a donated copy of “Fear” until the issue was raised in media reports.
“The board didn’t know anything about this,” Perry said. “We have corrected that. The book has been accepted — in fact, two of them.”
From The board of a West Virginia library reverses decision to refuse ‘Fear’ - The Washington Post
Submitted by Blake on September 9, 2018 - 6:23pm
But the problem that libraries face today isn’t irrelevance. Indeed, in New York and many other cities, library circulation, program attendance and average hours spent visiting are up. The real problem that libraries face is that so many people are using them, and for such a wide variety of purposes, that library systems and their employees are overwhelmed. According to a 2016 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, about half of all Americans ages 16 and over used a public library in the past year, and two-thirds say that closing their local branch would have a “major impact on their community.”
From Opinion | To Restore Civil Society, Start With the Library - The New York Times
Submitted by Blake on September 7, 2018 - 7:25am
Submitted by Blake on September 5, 2018 - 1:56pm
In my rare calm moments as a curator (when I’m not sending a hundred emails or moving a hundred chairs), I often reflect that the literary world should make greater efforts to reach teenagers, and more high schools should promote contemporary literature by living authors. How else will we build the next generation of literary readers?
Writers need young people. Sigrid Nunez agreed. “I don’t think most people realize how much you can learn about the world from listening to young adults.”
From Every Book Tour Should Include a Public School | Literary Hub
Submitted by Blake on September 4, 2018 - 10:02am
Submitted by Blake on August 31, 2018 - 1:16pm
Anderson, from the beginning, wanted people to have access to the complete collection, and wanted much of it digitized and made available online. So she and Fleming reached out to the performing-arts library, which has extensive music collections and artists’ archives. “We were really impressed with the performing-arts people,” Anderson said.
From Lou Reed’s Archive, Coming to the New York Public Library | The New Yorker
Submitted by Blake on August 31, 2018 - 10:02am
It’s true that tape doesn’t offer the fast access speeds of hard disks or semiconductor memories. Still, the medium’s advantages are many. To begin with, tape storage is more energy efficient: Once all the data has been recorded, a tape cartridge simply sits quietly in a slot in a robotic library and doesn’t consume any power at all. Tape is also exceedingly reliable, with error rates that are four to five orders of magnitude lower than those of hard drives. And tape is very secure, with built-in, on-the-fly encryption and additional security provided by the nature of the medium itself. After all, if a cartridge isn’t mounted in a drive, the data cannot be accessed or modified. This “air gap” is particularly attractive in light of the growing rate of data theft through cyberattacks.
From Why the Future of Data Storage is (Still) Magnetic Tape - IEEE Spectrum
Submitted by Blake on August 31, 2018 - 7:55am
Why is it zero-sum, though? Surely it’s good to be able to skim when needed. Why does one take away from the other?
This is a question that requires a very careful attempt at explanation. It’s not zero-sum, but we have grown used to skimming. People like you and me who spend six to 12 hours a day on a screen are led to use the skimming mode even when we know we should use a more concentrated, focused mode of reading.
It’s an idea I call “cognitive patience.” I believe we are all becoming unable to take the time to be patient because skimming has bled over into most of our reading.
From A neuroscientist explains what tech does to the reading brain - The Verge