Open sourcing the 19th century

They focus on Google in this article (and they deserve recognition in this regard), but my emphasis is that this is an open source success that is surrounded by walled-garden failure.

In a way, the experience of using Google to access the 19th century has enriched our ability to work in the physical archives and libraries that many of us still consider to be the epicenter of scholarship. I am constantly moving between my Victorian online experience and the far richer evidence available at some brick-and-mortar libraries.


We have the answers: Managing global warming with taxes

I love Planet Money and I could probably just link you to every single episode, but I won’t. However, I found this episode especially compelling. The answer to managing (I won’t say “fix”) global warming, you’ve heard it before, is a carbon tax, but I had never thought of it as replacing a bad tax with a good one.

Kenyan Goths

In high school, I vaguely understood goths as advocates of the devil (because I was deep in crazy-town Christianity) and listeners of Marylin Manson, White Zombie and other music that I secretly enjoyed but never mentioned (like all good Christians). These days it makes no sense to me at all, but I’ve never understood fashion. Although the mainstream reaction in Kenya seems to be the same as North America, the growing/evolving goth subculture in Kenya is not tied to the same pillars of music.

Also worth noting is the moniker of “Nairobbery” because of the crime rate in Nairobi. I giggled.

Visualize Gmail metadata with Immersion

I love the idea of visualizing data as a means of reflection. We can build the tools to make us better, but we probably won’t. The news and governments say that not much can be learned from metadata, but in a matter of seconds this accurately connected relationships and routines. If you use Gmail, you should try out Immersion. You can immediately disconnect/delete your account at the end.

The Act of Killing

I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a more compelling or terrifying trailer for any film, but as a documentary I wonder if I will be able to even watch this film?

In this chilling and inventive documentary, executive produced by Errol Morris (The Fog of War) and Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man), the filmmakers examine a country where death squad leaders are celebrated as heroes, challenging them to reenact their real-life mass killings in the style of the American movies they love. The hallucinatory result is a cinematic fever dream, an unsettling journey deep into the imaginations of mass murderers and the shockingly banal regime of corruption and impunity they inhabit. Shaking audiences at the 2012 Toronto and Telluride Film Festivals, The Act of Killing is an unprecedented film and, according to the Los Angeles Times, “could well change how you view the documentary form.”