Earlier this year, I read Susanna Moore’s novel, The Life of Objects. It’s an interesting book—spare in its prose, sharp in its focus, devastating in its author’s willingness to describe the horror and terror faced (for once, at least in my reading history) by “regular” Germans living under Nazi…
Really great essay on the flow of time and the constant flux of being
To read list for the week.
Return to Sender
David Marinos Skin (2012)
When gay communist Didier Eribon came out of the closet, it wasn’t as a gay man or a communist. The French sociologist came out as working-class
The term “intersectionality” was coined in 1983 by UCLA law professor Kimberlé Crenshaw, in a paper she wrote examining women of color in Los Angeles who had suffered domestic violence and rape. The term encapsulated Crenshaw’s argument: the experiences of these women could not be understood solely through the lens of sexism, nor solely through the lens of racism. Instead, they had be understood through the intersection of these two forms of oppression. Crenshaw’s paper posed an implicit challenge to mainstream feminism, dominated as it was by middle- and upper-class white women who frequently misunderstood or ignored the experiences of women of color. (Thirty years later, little has changed in this regard.) In response to this challenge, mainstream feminism balked, dithered, and generally embarrassed itself: as the concept of intersectionality was eagerly taken up by feminists of color and radical scholars, many mainstream feminists decried it as divisive or overly academic.
Must read list
The term “radical inclusion” stopped me. I recognized it from the summer of 1998, when I had gone to Burning Man, the hedonistic-fire-worshipper-art-festival that occurs every summer in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. Radical inclusion is one of the event’s “Ten Principles.” When I mentioned this, Warner’s eyes lit up. He dug into his t-shirt and pulled out a shining Burning Man medallion. “Dude,” he said, grinning in the firelight. “This is a Burner bar.”
Warner’s entire team—which he called, in all seriousness, the Synergy Strike Force—had just attended Burning Man that summer. He himself had been attending annually since 2002. And the bar, it turned out, was his bar.
To read list
I disagree with the idea that Clinton is anything close to a vulnerable candidate, but this is worth a read for a glimpse into the very real fissures in the Democratic Party.
To read list
British Library: Go Forth and Remix
Via the British Library:
We have released over a million images onto Flickr Commons for anyone to use, remix and repurpose. These images were taken from the pages of 17th, 18th and 19th century books digitised by Microsoft who then generously gifted the scanned images to us, allowing us to release them back into the Public Domain. The images themselves cover a startling mix of subjects: There are maps, geological diagrams, beautiful illustrations, comical satire, illuminated and decorative letters, colourful illustrations, landscapes, wall-paintings and so much more that even we are not aware of.
Now check out the British Library’s next steps:
We plan to launch a crowdsourcing application at the beginning of next year, to help describe what the images portray. Our intention is to use this data to train automated classifiers that will run against the whole of the content. The data from this will be as openly licensed as is sensible (given the nature of crowdsourcing) and the code, as always, will be under an open licence.
The manifests of images, with descriptions of the works that they were taken from, are available on github and are also released under a public-domain ‘licence’. This set of metadata being on github should indicate that we fully intend people to work with it, to adapt it, and to push back improvements that should help others work with this release.
There are very few datasets of this nature free for any use and by putting it online we hope to stimulate and support research concerning printed illustrations, maps and other material not currently studied. Given that the images are derived from just 65,000 volumes and that the library holds many millions of items.
Image: Detail, page 331, “L’Alsace et des Alsaciens à travers les siècles,” via the British Library on Flickr. Select to embiggen.