what kind of free is speech online?

Reposted from Inside Higher Ed. Image courtesy of JwvanEck. A Pew Research has just published a fascinating in-depth report titled “The Future of Free Speech Online.” (The PDF version of the study is 75 pages – there’s a lot to it.) Lee Rainie, Janna Anderson, and Jonathan Albright surveyed a number of tech experts to…

commonplace newsletter #2

Image courtesy of Ken Douglas. I think I’m getting the hang of this Newsletter plugin for WordPress. It sent out a nicely-formatted email yesterday – April Fool’s Day, appropriately enough, given that the common thread of the links I selected was what we talk about when we talk about “fake news.” (One think I’ve learned…

How Information Is Organized

I like to point out, whenever possible, how library systems encode bias just as newer algorithmic search systems literally encode it while seeming blissfully, mechanically, inhumanly incapable of being anything but neutral. I’m reminded of something one of our faculty members said when discussing what critical concepts about information our students should grasp. Information has…

practicing freedom for the post-truth era

This is the text of a talk I gave at the University of New Mexico last week sponsored by the Marjorie Whetstone Ashton endowment and the university library instruction team. Thanks, team! A PDF version can be downloaded from my library’s institutional repository or from Humanities Commons. Abstract: Why do we encourage students to read…

Cosign

This full-page ad was in today’s New York Times. I’m rarely thrilled by ads, but this one got to me. Good show, gray lady!

a reminder . . .

Milo lost his gig at CPAC. He was forced to resign from Breitbart. He lost his book deal and probably a lot of the speaking gigs that would have come with it. This is not censorship. To put it in classic XKCD terms:

matter of facts

Reposted from Inside Higher Ed; image courtesy of Martin Sommer Remember “truthiness”? Stephen Cobert, in his parodic role of a brash conservative talk show personality, coined it in 2005 and it seemed to nail a fact of political life: politicians often said things that seemed true, that felt true, that appealed to an audience as…

commonplace newsletter #1

This has been one hell of a week. I suspect there will be many more like it. The bad news is that we’re this close to a coup led by nihilistic Nazi, Steve Bannon. The good news is that a lot of people are taking to the streets. We are not alone. We are not…

a Woody Guthrie moment

photo by Al Aumuller, courtesy of Wikimedia and the Library of Congress. Woody Guthrie famously had a sign on his guitar: THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS. I’ve been thinking about that line a lot in the past week, this strange new world in which a man-child signs orders written by a nihilistic Nazi, throwing the world…

burning Issues for Operation 451

Reposted from Inside Higher Ed. A lot of people were disgusted when they heard Simon & Schuster will publish a book by Milo Yiannopoulos, a notorious right-wing troll who makes a career of offending people and hounding his chosen enemies through mass intimidation. He has even been banned from Twitter, which is incredibly difficult to…