Unread Books, Unused Resources, and Unknown Possibilities: a Need for Libraries

In a short article expressing the need for libraries, Nigel Warburton traces the value of Umberto Eco’s unread books to Richard Ovenden‘s description of libraries as a dynamic process. I appreciate how the article understands that what exists within the library should not be appraised on a transactional basis. It explicitely calls out libraries as symbols of a commitment to the common good. I would add ... continue reading

Access to Info Day

Today is the International Day for Universal Access to Information (September 28). The right to have access to information is important for free expression, the free press, being well-informed citizens, improving our institutions as well as keeping them accountable, improving our societies, and much more. Learn more from this UNESCO calendar of events. ... continue reading

Engaging with the Force of Stupidity

This essay from Garret Keizer delivers so many insights into the phenomenon of people embracing stupidity. I appreciate points such as considering “…the need to ‘rise above’ whatever one finds too daunting to bear.” when reflecting on the feeling of being immersed deep in what you don’t know. Continue reading “Engaging with the Force of Stupidity” ... continue reading

Manguel’s Library as Wishful Thinking

Read 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 imaginati ... continue reading

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 understan ... continue reading