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David Weinberger

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Latest Blogs from David Weinberger
NO SPOILERS until the big red notice. Actually, I take it back: BROAD THEMATIC SPOILERS AHEAD. No plot points, however. Breaking Bad has become one of my favorite shows ever. Yours too, probably. But it didn’t start that way for me. The first season was driven by its premise: what woul...
It’s the 40th anniversary of Gateway Arts, a Brookline studio for people with disabilities of all sorts. The best of the work is just wonderful. Gateway provides a warm environment for exploration and growth. And you will never find a community that better embodies acceptance than a co...
There’s a new Pew Internet [twitter: @PewInternet] report on American access to the Internet via mobile phones. Here’s a summary from their PR mailing: The main finding is that 63% of adult cell owners now use their phones to go online, a figure that has doubled since we first started ...
Spoiler for #BreakingBad finale: Walt kills Joffrey. Dexter Kills Walt. Skyler marries Don Draper. — David Weinberger (@dweinberger) September 16, 2013
John Sundman is a heck of an interesting person. He’s been around the technology circuit from the Old Days (we’re peers in the chronological sense) but he also writes damn good fiction, some of which (Cheap Complex Devices [my review][sf site][goodreads]) is pretty sublime. So how does...
Science Friday has posted a brief, phenomenal video about how octopuses and other cephalopods manage to camouflage themselves incredibly quickly. It explains the skin’s mechanism (which is mind-blowing in itself), but leaves open how they manage this even though they’re color blind. (H...
I’m at a Riptide forum at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on the “digital disruption of the news.” The place is packed. Digital Riptide consists of 60 interviews. The panel discussion is with Tim Armstrong, AOL; Caroline Little, Newspaper Association of America; Arthur Sulzberger Jr., The...
I wouldn’t have thought that Net Neutrality would be a particular rich vein for humor. But I was wrong. The Internet Must Die is a Colbert-style satire, with many of the heroes of the Open Internet in it.   A court yesterday heard arguments about whether the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules ...
When I was young man,, when there was a personal tragedy, you went through a grieving period. It was big news when Elisabeth Kübler-Ross introduced the five stages of grief, providing a way of understanding grief as a longer and more complex process. St Kübler-Ross added more stops on ...
Pew Internet has a new study out that shows that most of us have done something to maintain our privacy (or at least the illusion of it) on the Net. Here’s the summary from the report’s home page: A new survey finds that most internet users would like to be anonymous online, but many t...
Yeah, I’m talking to you Scrub-a-dub. Way to corrupt the system.
I made the mistake many years ago of creating a Google Accounts email address in addition to my existing Gmail account. Thus I have been plagued (granted, it’s an excellent example of a First World Problem plague) with two out of sync accounts. Gmail works fine because “self@evident.co...
We just came from a fantastic production of Love’s Labor’s Lost by Shakespeare & Co. in Lenox, Mass. I’ve lauded this company before (often), but this afternoon’s show was among the very best we’ve seen. The second half especially was both hilarious and very touching. At least the way ...
The Countway Library at Harvard Medical School today held a forum/seminar on what they’re working on. What they’re working on is pretty great. NOTE: Live-blogging. Getting things wrong. Missing points. Omitting key information. Introducing artificial choppiness. Over-emphasizing small ...
I’ve started reading Revolution in Time by David Landes, a history of clocks and time. It’s delightful. Landes notes that in the mid-eighteenth century, a clerk to the Chinese Emperor acknowledged that Western clocks were “finer than the old methods used in China.” But, the clerk adds,...
Not since the NFL sent a takedown notification to Wendy Seltzer because she posted the NFL’s copyright notice has a takedown notice been so unknowing. Wendy is a law professor and the head of the Chilling Effects archive of takedown notifications. The new Notification of Unknowingness ...
Valyrian steel spun sparks from the iron shield emblazoned with a red sun pierced by a golden spear. Rhaegar Targaryan pivoted left with the blow, causing the sword to rebound to the earth. Victarion felt his wrists twist with the strain, which only caused him to grasp the mighty two-h...
The FCC’s Open Internet Advisory Committee’s 2013 Annual Report has been posted. The OIAC is a civilian group, headed by Jonathan Zittrain [twitter:zittrain] . The report is rich, but I want to point to one part that I found especially interesting: the section on “specialized services....
Yesterday I clicked on a link to a Forbes.com post and was greeted by a an insterstitial page that said only: Kindness is a language which the deaf and the blind can read. This raised a few questions: What was going through Forbes’ head when it decided to show us this pap? Does Forbes ...
Here’s a photo of Heidegger talking with Husserl in 1921 in St. Märgen. Heidegger was born 1889. He published Sein und Zeit (Being and Time) in 1927.
Hummingbirds come to our capacious feeder, sip for a few seconds, and then leave. But why would they ever leave? Do they have something better to do? If I set a trigger so that every time a hummingbird lands on our feeder, it plays a sound, can I then use that sound to assemble a […]
According to Ross King’s excellent The Judgment of Paris, there was a day in the summer of 1874 when Manet showed up at Monet’s home and painted The Monet Family in their Garden at Argenteuil, a scene of Monet’s wife and daughter, and Monet puttering around in the garden. Later that af...
I am a big fan of Reddit, as a reader, an occasional participant, and as an observer. As a reader, Reddit has gone downhill for me. Or perhaps I should say “as a lazy reader.” I don’t stray much from the home page which shows the top posts from a default set of sub-reddits, i.e., […]...
A mailing list I’m on is discussing GenderAvenger.com. Here’s the text from the home page: Be A Gender Avenger Don’t Accept It. Change It. Panel of all men? Conference with no women speakers? Book of essays with no women authors? Do something, something simple: Point it out. Opportunit...
I’m a little bit proud that Radio Berkman is on The Verge’s list of top 9 technology podcasts. Radio Berkman is produced by Daniel Dennis Jones (twitter: blanket) who does a fabulous job and deserves the credit for this. The podcasts are generally 20-30 mins, although they go longer wh...
Rachel Plotnick has an article in Technology and Culture called “At the Interface: The Case of the Electric Push Button, 1880-1923″[1] that begins by recounting the early reaction to push buttons. She cites a book by “educator and activist Dorothy Canfield Fisher”: Fisher recognized ho...
I love Boston, where I live, but NYC on a good day is beyond words. Here is one very good day in New York, with my wife. Sunday: Amtrak to New York. Library Hotel. Friendly, guest-centric, non-obsequious, relatively mid-priced, well-placed hotel. (I did much better on price by going to...
Hanan Cohen points me to a blog post by a MLIS student at Haifa U., named Shir, in which she discourses on the term “paradata.” Shir cites Mark Sample who in 2011 posted a talk he had given at an academic conference, Mark notes the term’s original meaning: In the social sciences, parad...
Now, as part of the settlement, the school district has agreed to treat the child as a boy. Thus does an entire institution find itself compelled to accept the cultural left’s moral categories and priorities. This is why the Times labels transgender “the next civil rights frontier.” Th...
In my reading, MIT does not come off as cleanly in Hal Abelson’s excellent report as Pres. Reif’s spin suggests. When Pres. Reif writes that MIT’s actions were “reasonable, appropriate and made in good faith” I think we have to ask “Appropriate to what?” To MIT’s interests as a legal e...
In 1960, the academic journal Technology and Culture devoted its entire Autumn edition [1] to essays about a single work, the fifth and final volume of which had come out in 1958: A History of Technology, edited by Charles Singer, E. J. Holmyard, A. R. Hall, and Trevor I. Williams. Ess...
HBR.com has just put up a post of mine about some new guidelines for “paid content.” The guidelines come from the PR and marketing communications company Edelman, which creates and places paid content for its clients. (Please read the disclosure that takes up all of paragraph 4 of my p...
CNN.com has posted my op-ed about the Rolling Stone cover that features Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. It’s not the favorite thing I’ve ever written, but I had about an hour to do a draft. There are two things I know I’d change without even going through the scary process of re-reading it: First, ...
We are on vacation at the lake house I share with my brother and sister. A bald eagle has made its home here. This morning I spotted it high in a pine tree, watching for prey. As I looked at it, it looked down at me. Our eyes caught. In that moment, I felt myself [...]
Yesterday I got to spend the afternoon with friends from the Department of State’s eDiplomacy group and people from the General Services Administration. I was leading a whiteboarding session for a project — a task marketplace — they have underway. The project development work is being ...
A judge has ruled that Apple is guilty of price-fixing in its attempt to get the major publishers to unite against Amazon’s discounting of e-books. Now, that’s not a very helpful — and possibly not entirely accurate — explanation. If you want more, there’s a thread at Reddit that has s...
A few days ago there was a Twitter back and forth between two people I deeply respect: Dan Brickley [twitter:danbri] and Ed Summers [twitter:edsu]. It started with Ed responding to a tweet about a brief podcast I did with Kevin Ford [twitter:3windmills], who is on the team working on B...
Here’s the MadLibs version of the Robert Samuelson paragraph about repealing the Internet. Have fun! If I could, I would repeal                . It is the       adj          marvel of the age, but it is not — as most people imagine — a symbol of progress. Just the opposite. We would be...
Robert Samuelson has an apparently serious op-ed in the Washington Post arguing that we should “repeal the Internet.” He says: If I could, I would repeal the Internet. It is the technological marvel of the age, but it is not — as most people imagine — a symbol of progress. Just the opp...
Jeff Jarvis [twitter:jeffjarvis] has a good post asking us to think about journalism as a service provided to a culture, rather than worrying about who is or is not a journalist: Thanks to the Snowden-Greenwald NSA story, we are headed into another spate of debate about who is and isn’...