This page aggregates some of the notes and digital residue of my interests.
- Algorithmic Test ProctoringRead 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 1934I’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 2019Though 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 ThoughtsHold 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 CARLNeed 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 thingsHere 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 TimeTalking 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 2019The 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 SoulsRemembering, 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 DisplayThere’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 BalletThis 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 PastThe 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 TypewritersThis 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 OceanThe 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 ManuscriptI 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 PopularityQuite 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 ToolThis 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-techTechniques 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 DayWe 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 ...
- AI ruined chess. Now it’s making the game beautiful againjchalifour shared this story from Ars Technica. Enlarge (credit: Dimitri Otis | Getty Images) Chess has a reputation for cold logic, but Vladimir Kramnik loves the game for its beauty. “It’s a kind of creation,” he says. His passion for the artistry of minds clashing over the board, trading complex but elegant provocations and counters, […]
- Made in Taiwan? How a Frenchman Fooled 18th-Century Londonjchalifour shared this story from The Public Domain Review. Benjamin Breen on the remarkable story of George Psalmanazar, the mysterious Frenchman who successfully posed as a native of Formosa (now modern Taiwan) and gave birth to a meticulously fabricated culture with bizarre customs, exotic fashions, and its own invented language.
- 5 open source activities for kids to try this weekendjchalifour shared this story from Opensource.com. During the last six months or so, my family and I have enjoyed a slower pace of life. With few museums and parks open, we’ve stayed safer at home together or going on outdoor excursions. My young children are pretty good at creating their imaginary worlds where they could […]
- What Is a Museum? A Dispute Erupts Over a New Definitionjchalifour shared this story from Arts. An international effort to update the definition of what museums are has been met with resignations and political intrigue.
- The Unreality of Timejchalifour shared this story from The Paris Review. © Allen / Adobe Stock. I was listening to an episode of the BBC podcast In Our Time, on which a group of English scholars was discussing the French philosopher Henri Bergson, when one of them mentioned an essay called “The Unreality of Time,” originally published in […]
- 4 Canadians with terminal cancer win the right to try magic mushroomsjchalifour shared this story from CBC | Canada News. On Tuesday, Laurie Brooks of Abbotsford, B.C., received the news she’s waited more than 100 days to hear — she now has the legal right to use magic mushrooms.
- Gardens nourish body and soul during pandemicjchalifour shared this story from National Observer. Gardening is a powerful and symbolic medicine for what ails us during the pandemic, mental health experts say.
- Listening to silence: why we must protect the world’s quiet placesjchalifour shared this story from National Observer. As more people push into once-remote areas, truly quiet spots — devoid of the noise of traffic or crowds of tourists — have become increasingly scarce. Now, a coalition of activists, scientists, and park officials are trying to preserve the last quiet places on the planet.
- Surprise circus performances to brighten up streets of Montreal this weekjchalifour shared this story from CBC | Montreal News. While the 11th edition of the Completment Cirque festival is technically cancelled due to COVID-19, the spirit of circus persists with a series of secret, surprise performances in Montreal neighbourhoods.
- Knowledge and equity: analysis of three modelsjchalifour shared this story from Sustaining the Knowledge Commons / Soutenir les savoirs communs. Abstract: The context of this paper is an analysis of three emerging models for developing a global knowledge commons. The concept of a ‘global knowledge commons’ builds on the vision of the original Budapest Open Access Initiative (2002) for the potential […]
- Research summary: Lexicon of Lies: Terms for Problematic Informationjchalifour shared this story from Montreal AI Ethics Institute. Summary contributed by Khaulat Ayomide Abdulhakeem (@khaulat_ayo), Machine Learning Researcher at For.ai. *Author & link to original paper at the bottom This article seeks to explain the terms used to describe problematic information. They could be inaccurate, misleading, or altogether fabricated. The terms we use in describing information […]
- Noam Chomsky on post-Covid-19 society: Trump is worse than Hitler, but the peasants are coming with pitchforksjchalifour shared this story from National Observer. Chomsky avoids the trap of blaming America's woes on a single politician, no matter how destructive and venal.
- These Canadian species are found nowhere else on Earthjchalifour shared this story from CBC | Canada News. What species are more Canadian than moose or beavers? We now have an answer. A new report has catalogued 308 species, sub-species and varieties of plants and animals found in Canada — and nowhere else on Earth.
- 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.
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.