Using a Book

Originally posted on Digital Technology & Culture 101:
Yesterday the Los Angeles Review of Books posted a book review by Dustin Illingworth that speaks to how readers annotate books. With a nod to one of my favorite book historians, Carla Mazzio, Illingworth points to the late-sixteenth century to make a distinction between reading and using books.…

CFP: “Archives and the Management of Sex”

I will be co-moderator of a panel at PAMLA this fall with Steven Ruszczycky. The call for papers is below. Send us proposals! We’re looking forward to being in Pasadena come November. PAMLA Pasadena, CA November 11-13, 2016 This panel will explore how institutions dedicated to the collection, preservation, and circulation of material knowledge manage … More CFP: “Archives and the Management of Sex”

Otter Threats

Originally posted on Digital Technology & Culture 101. A Tumblr page called Discourse on the Otter started one of my favorite memes. The concept is simple: find a quotable passage that features the word other and substitute otter; then create a macro image meme featuring a cute otter. The blog’s title comes from a book … More Otter Threats

Apple’s Backdoor

Originally posted on The Rhetoric of Information:
If anyone is interested in reading more about the technical details of the recent conflict between Apple and the FBI, there’s a helpful article at Ars Technica. Such disputes over personal devices might seem petty compared to the artificial intelligence revolution that Issac Asimov imagined in I, Robot.…

Ladies Get Information

Originally posted on The Rhetoric of Information:
? Beyoncé’s new single “Formation” calls for ladies to “get in formation” (’cause she slays). Ostensibly the line asks her dancers to get into one of the choreographed dance formations that appear in many of her videos. Against the backdrop of post-Katrina New Orleans and #BlackLivesMatter imagery, however,…

Convenience Reading

Originally posted on The Rhetoric of Information:
Predictions of new media technologies supplanting paper books belong to a legacy that runs well over a hundred years deep. As early as the nineteenth century, Paul Otlet suggested microfilm would displace paper books in his essay, “On a New Form of the Book.” Other prominent thinkers such…

Measuring Snowfall

Originally posted on The Rhetoric of Information:
“It was wet & white & swift and where I am we don’t know.” John Berryman, “Dream Song 28: Snow Line“ Recent weather conditions out east provide an occasion to question the idea of facts—and by extension, information—as simply empirical. According to the Washington Post, the official count…

Digital Culture

Originally posted on Digital Technology & Culture 101:
I teach digital culture because I read and write about the history of information sciences. Some people think of information science as something that only concerns professional librarians. Studying the history of communication technologies, however, makes clear that how we organize and circulate information everyday has much to…