Culture

Go Read This | The REAL ‘Stuff White People Like’ « OkTrends

I’m lucky enough to know very little about the online dating world or what it can teach us, that said, finding a new source of data about self expressed interests IS a fascinating thing.

The folks at the OKTrends blog from OKCupid have a thoroughly interesting post about the differences between races, as expressed by self selected groups of those races. Very interesting indeed!

As for the interests of white women, you have romance novels, some country music, and a broad selection of Good Housekeeping type stuff. It’s also amazing the extent to which their list shows a pastoral or rural self-mythology: bonfires, boating, horseback riding, thunderstorms. I remind you that OkCupid’s user base is almost all in large cities, where to one degree or another, if you find yourself doing much of any of these things, civilization has come to an end.

via The REAL ‘Stuff White People Like’ « OkTrends.

Go Read This | Sounding the Revolution « The Scholarly Kitchen

This is just one part of a rather great article, but it’s the part that struck me! The whole piece is well worth reading!

In addition to a much faster rate of adoption there is a second important distinction to be made between the print and Internet revolutions. The print revolution was merely a production revolution. We had books before 1455. Gutenberg did not invent a new thing, he simply changed the way an exiting thing is produced. This resulted, eventually, in mass literacy, enabled the creation of new information formats such as newspapers, journals, and magazines, and had other profound consequences—but at the end of the day, we are just talking about a more efficient means of production.

Networked computing has indeed revolutionized the means of production once again. With networked computers we can compose and produce information products far more efficiently than ever before. However, the net also impacts the means of dissemination. One no longer needs to print anything. Publishing, as readers of this blog well know, increasingly does not include paper. This a profound change, and one that impacts publishing to a far greater extent than other industries.

via Sounding the Revolution « The Scholarly Kitchen.

Go Read This | On Wikipedia, Cultural Patrimony, and Historiography | booktwo.org

I’ve long been struck by how, despite the ease of creation, publication and distribution, much digital text, from email to blog posts, is in fact essential ephemeral rather than permanent. James Bridle hits on some of this in a wonderful post today that covers his talk at dConstruct2010 in Brighton. Frankly, I wonder how many times I can call James a genius before it gets embarrassing, but he is one and this is another fine example of his impressive thinking.

Which struck me pretty hard, that bit about atemporality, and the flatness of digital memory, but particularly our lack of awareness of this situation. I talked about the Library of Alexandria, and the Yo La Long Dia, and the National Libraries of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iraq—all examples of cultural destruction caused in part by neglect and willful disregard for our shared patrimony.

These losses, despite their horror, will always happen: but what can we do to mitigate and understand it? In a world obsessed with “facts”, a more nuanced comprehension of historical process would enable us to better weigh truth, whether it concerns the evidence for going to war, the proliferation of damaging conspiracy theories, the polarisation of debate on climate change, or so many other issues. This sounds utopian, and it is. But I do believe that we’re building systems that allow us to do this better, and one of our responsibilities should be to design and architect those systems to make this explicit, and to educate.

via On Wikipedia, Cultural Patrimony, and Historiography | booktwo.org.

Call to pool cultural resources – The Irish Times – Thu, Jul 08, 2010

Nothing to argue with here. in fact I think Irish publishers should heed this most of all. Our native companies are too small to compete properly as trade publishers and unprepared for the changes being wrought by digital technologies.

“We’re very much a small sector and we stand to lose out to other greater economic interests . . . if we don’t come together in the form of coherent strategies to support our industries,” she said.

Call to pool cultural resources – The Irish Times – Thu, Jul 08, 2010.