Weeknote 32

This week I’ve been working on the behind-the-scenes logistics of hiring student IT consultants for the library as well as other projects that are in various stages of un-done-ness. September is approaching so quickly.

§1 OBS is Magic

OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) is free and open source software for video recording and live streaming. OBS Studio is a powerful suite of video tools that I haven’t used yet. It first got on my radar after hearing Dr. Kristopher “The Video Game” Prof speak of its merits on the podcast, Gettin’ Air.

This video reminded that I still need to try OBS Studio when I get the chance:

§2 Today is S. R. Ranganathan’s birthday

§3 I am the only one who remembers when the Harper’s Magazine website was organized by Paul Ford who was inspired by Ranganathan

We cut up the Weekly Review into individual events (6000 of them, going back to the year 2000), and tagged them by date, using XML and a bit of programming. We did the same with the Harper’s Index, except instead of events, we marked things up as “facts.”

Then we added links inside the events and facts to items in the taxonomy. Magic occured: on the Satan page, for instance, is a list of all the events and facts related to Satan, sorted by time. Where do these facts come from? From the Weekly Review and the Index. On the opposite side, as you read the Weekly Review in its narrative form, all of the links in the site’s content take you to timelines. Take a look at a recent Harper’s Index and click around a bit—you’ll see what I mean.

The best way to think about this is as a remix: the taxonomy is an automated remix of the narrative content on the site, except instead of chopping up a ballad to turn it into house music, we’re turning narrative content into an annotated timeline. The content doesn’t change, just the way it’s presented.

Monday, December 1, 2003, A New Website for Harper’s Magazine By Paul Ford

§4 It’s hard to challenge someone’s false beliefs because their ideas come from social networks, not facts

Last week, a group of people who believe that COVID-19 vaccines harm children protested in front of the office of the pediatrician of my children. I love our pediatrician. She is loved by many families in our community. When I think about what she had to confront this week, I go blind with rage.

There are so many diagnoses being given to explain why we are in this current mess when social trust has suddenly given way and a growing number of people choose to embrace new and absurd narratives as a means to confront state power and to attack the already disenfranchised.

There is part of me who wants to create another bibliography in Twine as a means to capture and express the wide-ranging explanations for why we are beset with misinformation and disinformation. One of the works that I would include in this bibliography would likely be this essay from The Conversation, as I found it a model of clarity in writing: It’s hard to challenge someone’s false beliefs because their ideas come from social networks, not facts.

§5 The Dead Dreams Club

About Dead Dreams Club

It all began with a tweet.

There is nothing harder than laboring over a project, program, community connection, or something else in the vast GLAM sector and then… poof. It’s cancelled. It’s defunded. It’s abused and misused until it is no longer what it was meant to be. Or worse yet, you have to leave the institution, voluntarily or involuntarily, and then see how your work is valued as they plan to disburse your personal portfolio of work or just… throw it all away.

Dead Dreams Club is not a club that we ever want someone to claim membership to. It’s a sad place. But as is held in the Jewish tradition, we would like to think of this space as an opportunity to let the memories of your projects or your former role be a blessing. We are here to form a private and inclusive community for folks genuinely interested in supporting one another through it all.

Dead Dreams Club is for the forced out, priced out, and laid off. It’s for the victims of the nonprofit industrial complex and the harmed.

It’s not a club we want you to be a part of and we are sorry to see you. But, since you’re here, welcome to the club.

About Dead Dreams Club: https://deaddreamsclub.com/#text03