For example, in serving as a hub, Harvard plans to make available to the DPLA by the time of its launch 243 medieval manuscripts; 5,741 rare Latin American pamphlets; 3,628 daguerreotypes, along with the first photographs of the moon and of African-born slaves; 502 chapbooks and “penny dreadfuls” about sensational crimes, a popular genre of literature in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; and 420 trial narratives from cases involving marriage and sexuality. Harvard expects to provide a great deal more in the following months, notably in fields such as music, cartography, zoology, and colonial history. Other libraries, archives, and museums will contribute still more material from their collections. The total number of items available in all formats on April 18 will be between two and three million. —
The National Digital Public Library Is Launched! by Robert Darnton | The New York Review of Books
Harvard is opening up its junk drawer and calling it the Digital Public Library of America,
This is some seriously crazy shit. None of what he’s talking about is within a hundred miles of anything relevant to the gay marriage question. It’s just weird, confused, old-person bitterness, mixed in with the usual obnoxious conservative delusions – like the way fiscal irresponsibility is always poor people buying wide-screen TVs on credit, and never teams of Ivy Leaguers at places like Lehman Brothers running up trillion-dollar balance sheets at 40-1 leverage. — Same-Sex Marriage Makes David Brooks Crazy | Matt Taibbi | Rolling Stone
Letters of Note: Hardcase Survival Pinto Bean Sludge -
In honor of the cooking binge I’ve been on lately, I offer this from my archives.
Why Are Pessimists Ignored? - NYTimes.com -
I have rarely so comprehensively disagreed with anything. Starting by comparing himself to Cassandra, Scruton compares gay marriage, the Arab Spring, and other things to the irrationality which led to World War II. And then appears to blame the twentieth century on Marxists.
Here’s a brief outline of what happened at PyCon and on the web earlier this week.
There’s a good summary here on Ars Technica: "How dongle jokes got two people fired". And a widely cited reaction here: "Adria Richards, PyCon, and How We All Lost"
That’s what happened. I’m trying to wrap my head around the commentary on it. Most of the tech websites that I read have covered this in detail this week. They’ve done a good job with it. It’s the comments on the posts that have me thrown for a loop. I have never seen such a virulent display of sexism, ignorance, and unexamined privilege. And sure, there will be trolls on any controversy. But every place I’ve held my nose and looked at the comments they have been twenty to one dismissive of the woman’s position if not outright hostile. Repeating the same “it’s not a problem, why didn’t she just ask nicely” bullshit. I gotta say, I often don’t speak up about things that bother me because I’m worried people might be mean to me. And I’ve never had a death threat, or a rape threat, or a threat to destroy my business. If any of those were remotely possible I’d pretty much want to bring some friends with me if I were going to compain. Richardson did the digital equivalent of that by posting the picture to her Twitter followers.
Like Blum, I was at the Wordcamp Boston talk Richards gave in 2010 complaining about porn imagery in another presenter’s talk. It was theatrical, and a little overblown (I thought), and more than a little self-promotional. But it struck me as a reasonable use of unconference time: to draw attention to a real problem in the tech community using the tools of that tech community. It’s a valid activist tactic, and threatens no one.
Here’s the thing for me. The self-referential ugliness of almost all of the comments on the sites that are my home on the web makes me ill. And it’s not trolls bringing the ugly, because there are hundreds of responses to posts like this on The Verge "The Thug Mentality". I am not OK with that environment.
It doesn’t matter whether Richards overreacted. Nothing she did warrants threats on her life, her body, or her property.
My thanks to Jason Snell and rjmarsan, a Verge commenter who you can see going toe-to-toe with almost everybody else in the comments on the The “Thug Mentality” post. For reminding me it’s not OK to ignore it and hope it goes away.
The lack of sympathy in my Twitter stream for women in tech and how isolated they feel is not surprising, but saddening. Shame on you.— Jason Snell (@jsnell) March 21, 2013
Two years ago, we launched an experiment: an online image library where we made 2,000 high-resolution images of artworks that the museum deemed to be in the public domain available for download without any restrictions. This week, we’ve exceeded ourselves with the launch of our new collections website, giving away ten times the number of images we offered in the initial image library. Nearly 20,000 high-quality images of art from our collection are available to search, download, and use as you see fit.
What Do Cats Have to Do With It? Welcome to Our New Collections Website
Merry Christmas: we just gave you 20,000 high-resolution images, for free. Now we have just one question: what are you going to do with them?
The LA County Museum of Art is awesome and forward-thinking, and just got added to several of my librarian lists of places to go for great imagery.
Life is hard. Here is someone.: affirm me! -
This is a great piece of writing.
“This is so brave.”
I have started to notice the way people say that when women write memoir-y things. This is a thing people do and it’s annoying but now I can’t stop seeing it. And I like to write these memoiry things, on whatever small scale (does twitter count?). I absolutely have that…
Please reblog if you feel like strangers sometimes try to manipulate you for selfish and personally debasing reasons.
Now, run into traffic on the busiest street you can find while buck-ass naked, heavily-oiled, wearing an elaborate wig made of shrimp- or pork-flavored ramen noodles, and dancing a spastic and deranged Hokey-Pokey as you hopelessly shriek, “I AM THE KWISATZ HADERACH!” to the tune of your favorite sea shanty.
Then, send all the information about your checking account to an exiled Nigerian prince, watch a full season of She’s the Boss, and put half of your clothes back on.
Do NOT, under any circumstances, wash off the oil for one month, or you’ll be cursed with seven years of bad luck and will instantly develop excruciating pus-filled butt shingles.
If you instantly develop excruciating pus-filled butt shingles, please re-reblog.
Speedy Beet - Radiolab -
The metronome was invented in 1817, and Beethoven went back and marked all his symphonies way faster than they’re usually played. The explanations offered for why that can’t be what he meant are my least favorite parts of classical music criticism (“he must have made a mistake, our interpretation cannot be wrong”)…but getting some musicians to experiment with it on the air are my favorite parts. It’s music, folks. It’s play.
A lovely performance at my favorite concert venue, Jordan Hall at the New England Conservatory. Hahn and Cory Smythe, her pianist, played a bunch of really interesting modern stuff, mostly commissioned for her “In 27 Pieces: The Hilary Hahn Encores”. I am delighted by the directness of a star violinist just playing encores. But the way the program was arranged was interesting also. The pieces by Abril and Yun were very modernist (that is, hard to predict, sorta scrapy sounding, and fast), but she transitioned in and out of more traditional stuff. The biggest ovation was for the Bach Ciaconna. But I had an epiphany during Sharp’s Storm of the Eye. I’m a big fan of the baroque and am still learning the traditional set of stuff that’s common culture at concert halls, so modern stuff has often been off-putting for me. But in the context of this performance I realized what the artist and composer were saying is “We can play the traditional stuff very well, thank you, but we’re choosing not to right now. Listen and see what we can do with these instruments.” Once I realized that I relaxed. And the pieces by Ramnath and Lang which followed were my favorites of the show.
In other news, Hahn’s violin case has a Twitter account.
Anton Garcia Abril
Du Yun: When a Tiger Meets a Rosa Rugosa
Arcangelo Corelli: Sonata No. 4 in F Major, Opus 5
Gabriel Fauré: Sonata No. 1 in A Major, Opus 13
Elliott Sharp: Storm of the Eye
Kala Ramnath: Aalap and Tarana
David Lang: Light Moving
JS Bach: Ciaconna, from Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004
James Newton Howard: 133…At Least
Jeff Myers: The Angry Birds of Kauai
Mason Bates: Ford’s Farm