This page aggregates some of the notes and digital residue of my interests.
- Algorithmic Test Proctoring Read Shea Swauger’s article, Our Bodies Encoded: Algorithmic Test Proctoring in Higher Education. It identifies deep concerns about algorithmic test proctoring. Right now, with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing everyone to quickly adapt to different ways of doing things, students are facing their final exams. Within universities, I know many people at all levels that are working incredibly hard to find ways to support students and help them successfully complete what they set ...
- Paul Otlet et l’internet + visioconférence 1934 I’m a fan of the work accomplished by Paul Otlet and his colleagues. This Google online exhibit is an ejoyable look into this (en français).
- Greta Thunberg’s Speech to the UN Climate Action Summit, September 2019 Though always well-considered, Thunberg’s recent speech powerfully conveys the urgency in which we all (every person and government) needs to act. https://youtu.be/u9KxE4Kv9A8 Transcript here
- Hold the Opinions, Sit, and Care for Your Thoughts Hold the opinions, sit, and care for your thoughts. Matthew Beard writes about how we engage with media, about our fast trading of opinions, and we ought to sit with things more. I appreciate this thinking.
- Updated Canadian Author Addendum to Publication Agreement from CARL Need help negotiating open access publishing rights (or simply retaining your authorial rights) for your article? The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) released an update of its Canadian Author Addendum to Publication Agreement. Their web site also has links to a guide on how to use it and how to negotiate with publishers.
- Arundhati Roy, her writing in the context of things Here is Arundhati Roy’s Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture. It’s an abridged version but still, she covers a lot. Indian politics to forms of writing that don’t fit nicely into popular categories, to characters in her books, and the way things may play out against those most hurt by our climate catastrophe.
- “The Blue of Time” – Underland and Deep Time Talking about the ice in Greenland, Robert Macfarlane explains how it records all manner of things for millennia and does it in a sincerely beautiful style. Read this “The Blue of Time” excerpt from his book “Underland” about deep time.
- Mozilla’s new Internet Health Report for 2019 The latest Internet Health Report from Mozilla is organized around assessment themes, which include privacy & security, openness, digital inclusion, web literacy, and decentralization. https://internethealthreport.org/2019/
- Read “Sometimes a whole day” This poem from Anna Swanson in Maisonneuve magazine was just right with my second morning coffee on the second real day of sunlight this year.
- Letter to Ministers Regarding the New NAFTA / USMCA & “Intellectual Property” This morning, upon learning of the newly negotiated NAFTA or as it seems to be called now USMCA, I sent the following letter to ministers of the current Canadian government.
- Reminiscing on Those Bastard Souls Remembering, I guess a night in 1996. Without expectations, a friend and I saw Those Bastard Souls open at a small venue in San Francisco. They were one of three bands, not headlining, and their performance stood out. I bought their “Twentieth Century Chemical” CD on the spot. Over 20 years later, whenever I occasionally play it, I remain impressed at how perfectly it hits the mark. Yet they seem to have ...
- Mordecai Richler’s Typewriters on Display There’s a great Mordecai Richler display at the Concordia Library right now! It includes items from our special collections and I especially like that it includes his typewriters! There’s also more information about his office here (it’s on the sixth floor of the library building).
- Snail Ballet This about a brilliant, six-hour snail ballet. Too bad I can’t go to the full performance, maybe I’ll just play this clip on a loop for a day.
- Hearing the Ephemeral Sounds of Device Interactions Past The Conserve the Sound Project has recordings of the sounds produced while interacting with a large variety of old devices. For example, typing on a typewriter, inserting an audio cassette, opening the lid of a laptop. I’m glad that people have thought to pay attention to, and capture these otherwise ephemeral sounds. Aside from the pleasure of hearing them, I think it adds an important dimension to understanding their context in use ...
- Some References on the “Art of Walking” It can sound a bit pointless to say I love walking—most of us walk. But a lot of times people just walk for function, missing the pleasure in it. I love reading essays, etc. on walking too. This article mentions an “audio-walk” by Janet Cardiff (among other things), which I feel I need to try now.
- Literati Bookstore and Its Typewriters This brief article tells a good story about the Literati Bookstore and what happened when they made a Smith-Corona typewriter available for customers to use.
- When the Autonomous Bus Drove off the Cliff into the Ocean The worst thing is when you pull back the peel of a banana to reveal a waterlogged, bloated face. Actually if the whole bunch is that way and you recognize some of the faces, it’s worse. If not the worst, it’s high on my list.
- Visualization and Dominant Perspectives? This article “What can data visualization learn from feminism?” brings up great points on the “view” of data–it’s not without some sort of perspective. This also reminds me of what is sometimes raised in discussion of archives–dominant or privileged perspectives tend to be what we see and it takes effort to go beyond that (like this example of decolonizing Canadian archives).
- New Approach to Deciphering the Voynich Manuscript I can’t resist news about the Voynich Manuscript. A computer science researcher at the University of Alberta has tried a new approach using AI to help decipher the manuscript. It seems the manuscript may have been written in Hebrew plus uses various techniques to complicate a simple translation.
- Dealing with the Art of Monsters? Read this essay by Claire Dederer about dealing with multifold feelings and thoughts concerning great art when you know that the person behind it did or said abhorrent things. Every few paragraphs have an ounce of the unexpected, leaping into complex, interesting views.
- Current German Philosophy and its Popularity Quite a read on the Financial Post about the present state of German philosophy. It tends to present a drive to make philosophy popularly accessed as problematic to profundity. In the end, the article offers examples showing that commercial success doesn’t necessarily indicate a lack of profundity. I tend to think there is room for both. We need much more of a general drive for people to want to think critically and ...
- The Typewriter As a Drawing Tool This person, Keira Rathbone, creates some really impressive art using a typewriter. The video shows her rolling the paper back-and-forth while striking keys harder or softer to create different layers of subtlety. The end results look a little like a cross between computer-made ASCII art and a hand-drawn sketch.
- Humanities Disciplines and High-tech Techniques and rigour in thinking as well as a more interconnected approach toward understanding humanity remains necessary in high-tech. Simple, good read from the Harvard Business Review. I like this sentiment from the article “We should be careful not to let interdisciplinary jockeying make us cling to what we know best.”
- Vigilance: World Press Freedom Day We need to always be vigilant for even the smallest restrictions or alterations to our freedom of expression and our essential rights. If we lapse we lose because hard-won successes in creating a good society don’t automatically remain. Without constant vigilance and maintenance our rights will erode, somewhat like our physical surroundings over time. Except, here we must be vigilant to those people that would trade our freedoms for short-sighted interests, perverse ...
- What the heck happened with .org?jchalifour shared this story from The Mozilla Blog. If you are following the tech news, you might have seen the announcement that ICANN withheld consent for the change of control of the Public Interest Registry and that this had some implications for .org. However, unless you follow a lot of DNS inside baseball, it might […]
- NDRIO and the Canadian Digital Research Infrastructure Strategyjchalifour shared this story from Open Scholarship Policy Observatory. Lisez-le en français This observation was written by Caroline Winter. At a glance: TitleDigital Research Infrastructure StrategyCreatorGovernment of Canada, Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) CanadaPublication Daten/aKeywordsCanadian government, data management, open data As reported in “How the 2018 Federal Budget Impacts Research in Canada,” the Government […]
- Epistemic Humility—Knowing Your Limits in a Pandemicjchalifour shared this story from Behavioral Scientist. “Ignorance,” wrote Charles Darwin in 1871, “more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.” Darwin’s insight is worth keeping in mind when dealing with the current coronavirus crisis. That includes those of us who are behavioral scientists. Overconfidence—and a lack of epistemic humility more broadly—can cause real harm. In […]
- Amid a critical shortage, pandemic ventilator inventor makes his design open sourcejchalifour shared this story from CBC | Canada News. Retired respiratory therapist John Strupat said he decided to make his design open source after he failed to get any kind of serious consideration to make the life-saving device for Canadian or U.S. governments.
- Here's how you can help your fellow Quebecers most hurt by COVID-19 restrictionsjchalifour shared this story from CBC | Montreal News. Quebecers are being urged to stay in their homes as much as possible — but just because people can’t be physically near one another doesn’t mean they can’t help out in so many ways.
- Team finds origins for building blocks of lifejchalifour shared this story from Futurity. Researchers have discovered the origins of the protein structures responsible for metabolism. The simple molecules that powered early life on Earth could serve as chemical signals that NASA could use to search for life on other planets. The study predicts what the earliest proteins looked like 3.5 billion to […]
- 'We've seen some weird stuff': Scientists release 1st findings from Mars InSight missionjchalifour shared this story from CBC | Technology News. Thanks to several instruments on the Mars InSight lander, scientists are discovering more about our planetary neighbour that will help them better understand what future explorers might expect living on the red planet.
- Ordinogramme du domaine public au Canadajchalifour shared this story from :: culturelibre.ca ::. Le Bureau du droit d’auteur de l’University of Alberta a lancé en janvier une nouvelle version de son ordinogramme (J’aime cette traduction pour flow chart) pour déterminer si toute oeuvre sujette au droit d’auteur se retrouve dans le domaine public (c’est à dire que le droit de […]
- What usage restrictions can we place in a free software license?jchalifour shared this story from Planet GNOME. Growing awareness of the wider social and political impact of software development has led to efforts to write licenses that prevent software being used to engage in acts that are seen as socially harmful, with the Hippocratic License being perhaps the most discussed example (although the JSON license's […]
- Boredom is but a window to a sunny day beyond the gloomjchalifour shared this story from Aeon. What, exactly, is boredom? It is a deeply unpleasant state of unmet arousal: we are aroused rather than despondent, but, for one or more reasons, our arousal cannot be met or directed. These reasons can be internal – often a lack of imagination, motivation or concentration – or external, […]
- Humanity under threat of "perfect storm" of crisesjchalifour shared this story from National Observer. Climate, extreme weather, biodiversity, food and water crises could lead to ‘systemic collapse’
- What Lichens Can Teach Usjchalifour shared this story from Scientific American Blog Posts. A new IMAX film highlights their beauty and resilience -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
- Humanity is closer than ever to annihilation, Doomsday Clock saysjchalifour shared this story from National Observer. Failure to act on the climate crisis and renewed nuclear escalation have left the world the closest it's ever been to man-made global catastrophe, the scientists behind the Doomsday Clock said on Thursday.
- World's richest 2,000 people hold more than poorest 4.6B combined: Oxfamjchalifour shared this story from CBC | World News. The world's richest 2,153 people controlled more money than the poorest 4.6 billion combined in 2019, while unpaid or underpaid work by women and girls adds three times more to the global economy each year than the technology industry, Oxfam said on Monday.
- New Quebec audio guide shows how to correctly pronounce Inuktitut place names in Nunavikjchalifour shared this story from CBC | Montreal News. Quebec's toponymy commission worked with the Avataq Cultural Institute to develop the online audio registry, to help non-Inuktituk speakers correctly pronounce place names that have been used by the people of Nunavik for generations.
- W. W. Denslow’s Illustrations for the Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)jchalifour shared this story from The Public Domain Review. The strange, unhappy life of W. W. Denslow, the illustrator of L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
- Concentrate!jchalifour shared this story from Aeon. The challenge of chess – learning how to hold complexity in mind and still make good decisions – is also the challenge of lifeBy Jonathan RowsonRead at Aeon
- Academic Publishers Get Their Wish: DOJ Investigating Sci-Hub Founder For Alleged Ties To Russian Intelligencejchalifour shared this story from Techdirt.. We've written plenty about Sci-Hub over the years. The service, which was set up to allow free and easy access to academic research that is all-to-often hidden behind insanely expensive paywalls (often, despite being paid for with public funds), is the bane of academic publishers, though the hero to […]
- I Invented the World Wide Web. Here’s How We Can Fix It.jchalifour shared this story from World Wide Web Foundation. This op-ed was written by Web Foundation co-founder and inventor of the web Sir Tim Berners-Lee. It was originally published in The New York Times. My parents were mathematicians. My mother helped code one of the first stored-program computers — the Manchester Mark 1. They taught […]
- Our Book, “Creative Commons for Educators and Librarians,” Is Now Availablejchalifour shared this story from Creative Commons. We’re happy to announce that our collaboration with the American Library Association (ALA) to create the print companion to the CC Certificate has finally come to fruition! The book, Creative Commons for Educators and Librarians, is now published under CC BY and offers an additional way to access […]
Chalifour, Joshua, and Eun Park. “La subjectivité dans la numérisation : les perspectives des professionnels.” Translated by Bruce Henry. Archives 47, no. 1 (2017): 31–58. https://doi.org/10.7202/1041825ar.
Chalifour, Joshua. “Subjectivity in Digitization.” Montréal, QC, Canada: McGill University School of Information Studies, December 15, 2014. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1312201.