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David Weinberger

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Latest Blogs from David Weinberger
Keynote presentation software has what seems to be a needless limitation on how large you can scale an object using their animation capabilities: you can take it up to 200% and no larger. A few years ago I poked around in the xml save files and manually increased the scaling on an obje...
I remember well the first time I heard the word “attitude” used to mean “negative attitude.” It was shortly after John Lennon had been killed. I was in a mall and the poster shop was selling some crappy Lennon memorial posters at jacked up prices. I was devoted to Lennon, and muttered ...
In my continuing series “How to Be an Idiot,” here’s what not to do when installing a new hard drive into your MacBook Pro. I started off right. I had everything prepared: a new 500gB hybrid drive, a fresh Time Machine backup, and an 8gB USB stick with the Mac Mountain Lion installer o...
Dave Winer addresses a perception I hadn’t realized was common: Boston stayed inside a week ago Friday because we were afraid to go outside. Nope. I’ll speak for myself, but I actually have good reason to think that I’m talking for many others. I stayed inside because the mayor and gov...
Amanda Filipacchi has a great post at the New York Times about the problem with classifying American female novelists as American female novelists. That’s been going on at Wikipedia, with the result that the category American novelist was becoming filled predominantly with male novelis...
Hat tip to Reddit.
It’s apparently “Pokarekare Ana,” a popular Maori love song. (Hat tip to DailyKos)
I’m a sucker for ads that comment on the dishonesty of ads. For example, I laughed at this one from Newcastle Brown Ale: I also really liked this one as well: I do have a duck-rabbit disagreement with Piper Hoffman’s reading of it at BlogHer. I took the ad as a direct comment on the [....
I wrote a piece in the early afternoon yesterday about what we can learn from watching how we fill in the blanks when we don’t know stuff…in this case, when we don’t know much about Suspect #1 and #2. It’s about the narratives that shape our unserstanding. For example, it turns out tha...
I’m very proud to announce that the Harvard Library Innovation Lab (which I co-direct) has launched what we think is a useful and appealing way to browse books at scale. This is timed to coincide with the launch today of the Digital Public Library of America. (Congrats, DPLA!!!) StackL...
Everything happens by ones. Each step Each cobble Each mile Each leg crossing a line. Then in a moment we close our eyes and remember how the sea’s front edge paws at its shore. April 16, 2013 Please remember that according to the official Rules of Blogging, on the Web we must forgive ...
I had both CNN and Twitter on yesterday all afternoon, looking for news about the Boston Marathon bombings. I have not done a rigorous analysis (nor will I, nor have I ever), but it felt to me that Twitter put forward more and more varied claims about the situation, and reacted faster ...
From MOillusions.com I’d be blogging more, but I keep writing stuff and then realizing it’s wrong. I’d like to believe that that simply means I’m in a creative period, but it’s far more likely than I’m just wronger than usual, or possibly righter in recognizing my usual level of wrongn...
Derek Khanna is giving a Berkman talk on trying to connect the dots so that policy-makers “get it.” “How do we even frame discussions about the economy and innovation?” Copyright law hasn’t been re-assessed in at least 15 yrs, he says. He begins with his bakcstory: He’s from Mass. Work...
I liked the Mendeley guys. Their product is terrific — read your scientific articles, annotate them, be guided by the reading behaviors of millions of other people. I’d met with them several times over the years about whether our LibraryCloud project (still very active but undergoing r...
Al Jazeera asked me to contribute a one-minute video for an episode of Listening Post about how McLuhan looks in the Age of the Internet. They ultimately rejected it. I can see why; it’s pretty geeky. Also, it’s not very interesting. So, what the heck, here it is:
Anil Dash is giving a Berkman lunchtime talk, titled “The Web We Lost.” He begins by pointing out that the title of his talk implies a commonality that at least once was. NOTE: Live-blogging. Getting things wrong. Missing points. Omitting key information. Introducing artificial choppin...
The latest podcast in the Digital Campus series focuses solely on the current state of the Digital Public Library of America. The discussion includes Dan Cohen who has just accepted the position of Executive Director of the DPLA, which is just wonderful news. Not only does he have a ra...
Let me remind you young whippersnappers what looking for knowledge was like before the Internet (or “hiphop” as I believe you call it). Cast your mind back to 1982, when your Mommy and Daddy weren’t even gleams in each other’s eyes. I had just bought my first computer, a KayPro II. I b...
Ashley Bradford of Critique-It describes his company’s way of keeping review and feedback engaging. NOTE: Live-blogging. Getting things wrong. Missing points. Omitting key information. Introducing artificial choppiness. Over-emphasizing small matters. Paraphrasing badly. Not running a ...
Andy Wasklewicz and Jeff Austin from Entwine [twitter:entwinemedia] describe a multi-institutional project to build a platform-agnostic tool for enriching video through note-taking, structured annotations, and sharing. It uses HTML 5, and allows for structured tagging, time-based annot...
Jonah Bossewich and Mark Philipsonfrom Columbia University talk about Mediathread, an open source project that makes it easy to annotate various digital sources. It’s used in many courses at Columbi, as well as around the world. NOTE: Live-blogging. Getting things wrong. Missing points...
Phil Desenne begins with a brief history of annotation tools at Harvard. There are a lot, for annotating from everything to texts to scrolls to music scores to video. Most of them are collaborative tools. The collaborative tool has gone from Adobe AIR to Harvard iSites, to open source ...
Paolo Ciccarese begins by reminding us just how vast the scientific literature is. We can’t possibly read everything we should. But “science is social” so we rely on each other, and build on each other’s work. “Everything we do now is connected.” NOTE: Live-blogging. Getting things wro...
Neel Smith of Holy Cross is talking about the Homer Multitext project, a “long term project to represent the transmission of the Iliad in digital form.” NOTE: Live-blogging. Getting things wrong. Missing points. Omitting key information. Introducing artificial choppiness. Over-emphasiz...
Rob Sanderson [twitter:@azaroth42] of Los Alamos is talking about annotating Medieval manuscripts. NOTE: Live-blogging. Getting things wrong. Missing points. Omitting key information. Introducing artificial choppiness. Over-emphasizing small matters. Paraphrasing badly. Not running a s...
I’m at a workshop on annotation at Harvard. Philip Desenne is giving one of the keynotes. NOTE: Live-blogging. Getting things wrong. Missing points. Omitting key information. Introducing artificial choppiness. Over-emphasizing small matters. Paraphrasing badly. Not running a spellpchec...
Dan Gillmor is giving a Berkman lunchtime talk about his Permission Taken project. Dan, who has been very influential on my understanding of tech and has become a treasured friend, is going to talk about what we can do to live in an open Internet. He begins by pointing to Jonathan Zitt...
Note that in the following, I’m figuring out something that is probably obvious to everyone except me. The other day I found myself expostulating, “How can anyone think people choose which sex they’re attracted to???” (Yes, with three question marks. I was expostulating.) I followed th...
I am a delicate little flower. If my body temperature goes up 1%, I lose the ability to understand anything more complex than the Spartacus* series on Starz. I enter a recovery state that can only properly be called “wallowing.” I have something a bit flu-like. It hit full force on Thu...
I read first Larissa MacFarquhar’s New Yorker article on Aaron Swartz too quickly. But it doesn’t skim well. I found that encouraging. I finally sat down to read it thoroughly a couple of days ago, and liked it very much. It’s beautifully written. More important, she does not have an h...
The Tunisian newspaper Tunis Afrique Presse ran a story on the four priorities announced by that country’s new prime minister. It’s a straightforward story, and it is told in a factual, straightforward way. But now I want to understand it. I know that some of the people involved in the...
First a disclaimer: Facts matter. The world is one way and another. It is entirely possible to be wrong. Not all statements are true. The statement “That is true for your but not for me” is almost always nonsensical. Ok? Can we proceed? In an argument, facts — or, more precisely, state...
The always thoughtful Terry Heaton [twitter:TerryHeaton] has posted a provocative thesis, which is expressed in the post’s title: “How Brands Can Behave as People (And Why They Should).” Terry writes: Futurist Stowe Boyd believes that we’ve entered a stage of “social business” in which...
Cliff Lynch is giving talk this morning to the extended Harvard Library community on information stewardship. Cliff leads the Coalition for Networked Information, a project of the Association of Research Libraries, that is “concerned with the intelligent uses of information technology ...
I’ve been listening to the wonderful Emma Smith lectures/podcasts about Shakespeare. Wow, is the world better because we can take for granted that there is a supply of such wonders that a full lifetime could not experience them, all available for free. But what I meant to say is she ma...
CNN.com has posted my op-ed about why where you work is not about the quality of your life so much as about the substance of it. Judging from some of the reaction, I should emphasize that if the only way to save Yahoo were to require everyone to come to work every day, that would [...]
Steve Coll has a good piece in the New Yorker about the importance of Al Qaeda as a brand: …as long as there are bands of violent Islamic radicals anywhere in the world who find it attractive to call themselves Al Qaeda, a formal state of war may exist between Al Qaeda and America. The...
I was steeling myself a couple of days ago to say something in a talk that believe but don’t want to: We shouldn’t feel guilty about relying on sources with whom we agree to contextualize breaking news. It’s ok. It’s even rational. For example, if the Supreme Court hands down a ruling ...
How many birds do domestic cats in the United States kill every year? You win if your answer is within an order of magnitude in either direction. However, you don’t actually win anything. The answer comes from the journal Nature Communications as reported here To reveal the answer, sel...