This page aggregates some of the notes and digital residue of my interests.
- Manguel’s Library as Wishful ThinkingRead this excellent article, Library as Wishful Thinking, by Alberto Manguel. Aside from including entertaining historical moments, the article culminates in several, very worthwhile points. One of those is that “Any cultural institution entails both the possibility of learning and of imaginative change, and also the duty to understand the use we make of these tools of survival.” Learning and imaginative change are tools of survival, indeed they are.
- Beyond Information Literacy InstructionThis article in The Atlantic has much much more to say than its title (on Librarians vs. QAnon) suggests. There are many thoughts here related to information literacy and its ilk. Take sentence in particular gives much to think about: “We are experiencing a moment that is exposing a schism between two groups: those who have faith that there is a way to arrive at truth using epistemological practices that originated ...
- 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.
Chalifour, Joshua, and Dianne Cmor. “Crowing About Confidence: Technological Self-Efficacy in Academic Libraries.” Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research 15, no. 2 (December 14, 2020): 1–6. https://doi.org/10.21083/partnership.v15i2.5829.
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.