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David Weinberger

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Latest Blogs from David Weinberger
I’ve posted a podcast interview with Dan Cohen, the executive director of the Digital Public Library of America about their proposal to the FCC. The FCC is looking for ways to modernize the E-Rate program that has brought the Internet to libraries and schools. The DPLA is proposing DPL...
Karim Lakhani of Harvard Business School (and a Berkman associate, and a member of the Harvard Institute for Quantititative Social Science) is giving a talk called “How disclosure policies impact search in open innovation, atopic he has researched with Kevin Boudreau of the London Busi...
Facebook has announced that it’s going to start adding to your newsfeed stories that you don’t know about but that are on the same topic as ones you follow. As their post puts it: Now, when a Page tags another Page, we may show the post to some of the people who like or follow […]...
For $3 at a library book sale I picked up a copy of Releasing an Independent Record, revised 4th edition, by Gary Hustwit, published in 1994 by Rockpress Publishing Co. The short review is: Times have changed. Gary’s advice is that if you want to get your music out, don’t go to one of ...
I’ve been meaning to try Medium.com, a magazine-bloggy place that encourages carefully constructed posts by providing an elegant writing environment. It’s hard to believe, but it’s even better looking than Joho the Blog. And, unlike HuffPo, there are precious few stories about side boo...
A small anecdote in a “Talk of the Town” article by Michael Schulman in this week’s New Yorker (Feb. 17 & 24, p. 36) struck me harder than I would have thought. The article — “Get me rewrite” — tells of the controversy when a private middle school decided to perform the musical “Thorou...
I’ve posted [pdf] a terrible scan that I made of a talk given by Joseph P. Fell in Sept. 1970. “What is philosophy?” was presented to a general university audience, and in Prof. Fell’s way, it is both clear and deep. Prof. Fell was my most influential teacher when I was at Bucknell, an...
Christian Sandvig has a fun post that looks back at his home page from 20 years. (Your “home page” was a place where you could express yourself to others on the World Wide Web.) Unfortunately, the earliest versions of my home page (hperorg.com/evident.com) and of my newsletter site (hy...
The latest from the Schmoyoho Bros is awesome in every direction. I love it as political satire, but I think it’s pretty great just as a piece of music. And then keep in mind that the Gregory Brothers (the family behind the pseudonym) have pretty much invented a new form of music and s...
I’m just out of the first meeting of the three universities participating in a Mellon grant — Cornell, Harvard, and Stanford, with Cornell as the grant instigator and leader — to build, demonstrate, and model using library resources expressed as Linked Data as a tool for researchers, s...
Here are two old films of city streets. (Thank you, Andrew Weinberger! And, yes, he is my brother.) San Francisco, 1906: London, 1927, in color, thanks to Claude Friese-Greene : (Wikipedia explains that Friese-Greene exposed each alternate frame through two different color lenses.)
I know I’m late to the love fest, but I’ve been under the flu. I read Pope Francis’ Message for World Communication Day when it was issued on Jan. 24, and I only get happier upon re-reading it. NOTE please that I am outside of my comfort zone in this posting, for two reasons. First, […...
I am just emerging from what I will call “the flu,” even though I have no idea what it was, but to call it “a cold” would be to disrespect it. Flu, suh! I am, of course, a delicate flower (i.e., a man) so I lay on my back and moaned for several days. Today […]
Like most people (I assume), when a YouTube I want to watch begins with a 30-second, I switch to another tab until it’s safe to come back. So, could I please have a plug-in that will instead show me an ad-free video that I wouldn’t have come upon otherwise? Preferably something that wi...
Axel Arnbak has aggregated some papers about Snowden and the NSA revelations that you might find useful. It nicely does not include only US sources and interests.
A friend is looking into the best way for a city to publish its codes and ordinances to make them searchable and reusable. What are the best schemas or ontologies to use? I work in a law school library so you might think I’d know. Nope. So I asked a well-informed mailing list. Here’s w...
The experts I follow on the topic of Net Neutrality were pretty convinced that the FCC’s tepid NN policy would be struck down for just the reasons that it was. I have a few reactions: 1. Ack! The access providers (who have confused themselves with the Internet itself) are now free to b...
To commemorate the old days of blogging, and because we still like one another, we’re going to have a bloggers’ dinner in London this Saturday (Jan. 18) at 7pm. We think we have room for another 8 or 9 people. (This will be a pay-for-what-you-consume affair.) So, if you’re interested, ...
William McGeveran [twitter:BillMcGev] has written an article for University of Minnesota Law School that suggests how to make “frictionless sharing” well-behaved. He defines frictionless sharing as “disclosing “individuals’ activities automatically, rather than waiting for them to auth...
At a recent Fellows Hour at the Berkman Center the topic was something like “Whatever happened to blogging?,” with the aim of thinking about how Berkman can take better advantage of blogging as a platform for public discussion. (Fellow Hours are private. No, this is not ironic.) They a...
I saw it on New Year’s Eve and liked it a lot. But, I think it’s best taken as a series of brilliant set pieces. String them together and you have a fairly predictable narrative arc, and a thematic point ( [SPOILER] Greed is bad) that isn’t going to change anyone’s mind. But the set […...
Gary King [twitter:kinggarry] , Director of Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science, has published an article (Open Access!) on the current status of this branch of science. Here’s the abstract: The social sciences are undergoing a dramatic transformation from studying prob...
It’s been a disappointing year for those of us who enjoy Top Ten Top Ten lists. Last year I found an arguable ten or so for my Top Ten top Ten Top Ten list. This year, my Top Ten Top Ten Top Ten lists contains only four: Top Ten Best of 2013 Lists of 2013 […]
I’ve been spending TV time taking digital photographs of every page of our family photo albums. Sure, it’d be better to digitize each one individually, but it turns out that what I’m doing is way better than never getting around to doing it right.
The history of Western philosophy usually has a presumed shape: there’s a known series of Great Men (yup, men) who in conversation with their predecessors came up with a coherent set of ideas. You can list them in chronological order, and cluster them into schools of thought with their...
I know it’s the day after the day after Christmas, but I’m still going to give you a gift. A gift of Schiff. I heard Andras Schiff on the radio a couple of days ago and it reminded me how much I’ve enjoyed his discussions of Beethoven’s piano sonatas before he’s performed them. He play...
I had a chance to talk with Dan Brickley today, a semanticizer of the Web whom I greatly admire. He’s often referred to as a co-creator of FOAF, but these days he’s at Google working on Schema.org. He pointed me to the work Schema has been doing with online datasets, which I hadn’t bee...
Here’s a recipe for a Manhattan cocktail that I like. The idea of adding Kahlua came from a bartender in Philadelphia. I call it a Bogotá Manhattan because of the coffee. You can’t tell by looking at this post that it’s marked up with Schema.org codes, unless you View Source. These cod...
So, some guy on a TV show I never saw said some stuff I don’t agree with about homosexuality. He thinks it’s a sin akin to a whole bunch of other sex-related sins. After the affair blew up, he responded, “I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from m...
Peter Cappelli has written an excellent post at HBR that falls simultaneously into the “Well, Duh” and “Needs to Be Said” bins: “It’s Not OK That Your Employees Can’t Afford to Eat.” Well, duh! It’s amazing that it even needs to be said. (Note that the Duh belongs not to Peter but to w...
Jeff Atwood [twitter:codinghorror] , a founder of Stackoverflow and Discourse.org — two of my favorite sites — is on a tear about tags. Here are his two tweets that started the discussion: I am deeply ambivalent about tags as a panacea based on my experience with them at Stack Overflow...
Reddit shows us how to introduce changes in a site’s user agreement. The agreement itself is admirably minimally jargony, but the discussion with the community is a model of honesty and respect.
Here’s the summary from a new Pew Internet & American Life survey of 6,224 Americans 16 years and older: Some 90% of Americans ages 16 and older said that the closing of their local public library would have an impact on their community, with 63% saying it would have a “major” impact. ...
The Bogota National Library has been bringing in speakers this year to talk about the future of libraries, the relation of digital and cultural worlds, and library innovation, partially sponsored by the U.S. State Dept. through our local embassy. Friday was my turn. What a privilege! A...
Jérôme Hergeux is giving a Berkman lunch talk on “Cooperation in a peer prodiuction economy: experimental evidence from Wikipedia.” He lists as co-authors: Yann Algan, Yochai Benkler, and Mayo Fuster-Morell. NOTE: Live-blogging. Getting things wrong. Missing points. Omitting key inform...
Glenn Greenwald mounts a mighty and effective defense against the charge leveled by Mark Ames at Pando.com that Greenwald and Laura Poitras are “monopolizing” and “privatizing” the 50,000-200,000 NSA documents entrusted to them by Edward Snowden. Unlike Greenwald, I do think “it’s a qu...
I think half the questions I ask a certain set of people are of the sort “Wait, which ‘he’?” or “Sheila or Marg?” All pronouns do is introduce ambiguity, error, and irked moods. We’d be better off without them, by which I mean without pronouns. Worse, in some languages pronouns force u...
I spent some time this morning happily browsing advice from famous writers on how to write, thanks to Maria Popova’s [twitter:BrainPickings] own writings on those writers writing about writing. Here’s Maria’s latest, which is about Anne Lamont’s Bird By Bird, an excellent (and excellen...
I’m at re comm 13, an odd conference in Kitzbühel, Austria: 2.5 days of talks to 140 real estate executives, but the talks are about anything except real estate. David Eagleman, a neural scientist at Baylor, and a well-known author, is giving a talk. (Last night we had one of those com...
Noam Chomsky and Barton Gellman were interviewed at the Engaging Big Data conference put on by MIT’s Senseable City Lab on Nov. 15 when Prof. Chomsky was asked what we can do about government surveillance. He reiterated his earlier call for us to understand the NSA surveillance scandal...