Reading Notes

Weekly updates on the nonfiction I’m reading


The feudal information age


I should start this with the disclaimer that I’m no expert on what life was like during Europe’s feudal age.

In Present Shock, an assessment of today’s information-saturated culture subtitled “When everything happens at once,” Douglas Rushkoff occasionally talks about the transitional period between the feudal system of the Middle Ages in Europe…


Analog isn’t broken


I can only imagine how strange it must feel to be a living famous author (first of all) whose donated archival collection is now the subject of multiple scholarly reflections. Most of us have the freedom to be our own life’s historians and experts.

I read with interest Mark L. Sample’s “Unseen and Unremarked On: Don DeLillo and the Failure of the Digital


Magic, dissected


I didn’t start off well with Jason Benlevi’s Too Much Magic, a 2011 book subtitled “Pulling the plug on the cult of tech: Secrets they won’t tell you about your digital life.”

I should have known better with a sensationalist title like that. I’m only a few chapters in, and much of the early material takes a predictable us-versus-them stance that panders to…


On (not) saving things


This idea came up in the Prelingers’ interview about types of archival collection development. On one end of the spectrum are the archivists who feel compelled to save everything. (I’ve unkindly referred to this type as “functional hoarders” in the past. I guess I just did it again.) On the other end, where the Prelingers’ own strategy lies, are the archivists who…


The uncanny valley of content reuse


Deane Barker takes content management to a level I’d been previously oblivious to in her piece, “Content Reuse and the Problem of Narrative Flow.” As a human writer, I suppose it’s useful for me to gain a rounded sense of what my future competition might be.

I didn’t, however, expect something quite like this. Barker’s article begins…


Smart systems, past and future


Among the articles I should have read in 2012 but only got around to this past week, we have Mark Boulton’s excellent and perceptive Adaptive Content Management.

This turned out to be another one of those times when I read an article directed towards content strategists, and I think to myself that it’s something a lot of librarians should…


Ian Bogost, “The Turtlenecked Hairshirt”


“Not for the easily offended,” cautioned the tweet linking to “The Turtlenecked Hairshirt,” Ian Bogost’s essay for Debates in the Digital Humanities. I considered the source of the tweet: DC area, government-employed. You can make a career out of risk avoidance in a place like that.

Reading Notes
Reading Notes

Weekly updates on the nonfiction I’m reading

More information

Followers