Remember Emma Yang’s name — she has a bright future ahead of her (x)
After Darsh’s photo was used in an Islamophobic “joke,” the internet rallied around him in love and respect. His response on MSNBC is the definition of poise and rising above the hate.
Gabriella Coleman, the anthropologist whose first book, Coding Freedom, explained hacking culture better than any book before or since; and whose second book, Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy, told the inside story of Anonymous with technical and social brilliance, appeared on the Theory of Everything podcast (MP3) to discuss the ways that free software hackers and the more business-friendly open source world have fought, reconciled and fought again.
As with all of Coleman’s expositions, this interview gets to the human, ethical core of the technical discussion, fusing the technological and the anthropological in a way that makes it clear that they should never really be discussed separately from one another.
“Linguists who study endangered languages have identified a few early warning signs,” writes Mayyasi. “One is when a prominent language like English or French replaces a native language for a specific function like literature or commerce. Another is when a native language is seen as dated by younger generations.”
In the 2013 paper Digital Language Death, researcher András Kornai investigated the dangers to existing languages caused by a move to the digital realm, by applying the same methods of “language vitality assessment” that are used for regular languages. At the end, Kornai concludes that, at best, only 5% of the world’s languages are “digitally ascending.” That is, 95% of languages are not vital, thriving, or even borderline viable online.
The problems are complex. For instance, even if a language has a good online presence, it doesn’t mean that it has a community that uses it in any meaningful way (Kornai cites Klingon as an example of this). Also, thanks to the way content hangs around online forever, a language can still exist and be dead at the same time. “Wikipedia is a good place for digitally minded speakers to congregate,” writes Kornai, “but the natural outcome of these efforts is a heritage project, not a live community.”
Black Scientists in the Movies
Octavia Spencer plays Mathematician Dorothy Vaughan in the film Hidden Figures, that comes out Jan 17 2016. Who was Dorothy Vaughan?
Full Name:Dorothy Johnson Vaughan
Birthdate:September 20, 1910
Birthplace:Kansas City, MO
Education:BA, Mathematics, Wilberforce University 1929
Center:Langley Research Center
Work Dates:1943 - 1971
Position(s):Computer; Section Head, West Area Computers; Mathematician, ACD
Group(s):West Computers; ACD Specialties:Flight paths; Scout Project; FORTRAN programming
Dorothy Vaughan came to the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory in 1943, during the height of World War II, leaving her position as the math teacher at Robert Russa Moton High School in Farmville, VA to take what she believed would be a temporary war job. Two years after President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8802 into law, prohibiting racial, religious and ethnic discrimination in the country’s defense industry, the laboratory began hiring black women to meet the skyrocketing demand for processing aeronautical research data. Urgency and twenty-four hour shifts prevailed– as did Jim Crow laws which required newly-hired “colored” mathematicians to work separately from their white female counterparts. Dorothy Vaughan was assigned to the segregated “West Area Computing” unit, an all-black group of female mathematicians, who were originally required to use separate dining and bathroom facilities. Over time, both individually and as a group, the West Computers distinguished themselves with contributions to virtually every area of research at Langley. MORE
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CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS: A Tumblr Book
co-editors: Allison McCracken, American Studies, DePaul University; Louisa Stein, Department of Film and Media Culture, Middlebury College; Alexander Cho, University of California Humanities Research Institute
We’re putting together a book to identify ways in which Tumblr has had an important social and industrial impact, both as a digital platform and a cultural forum. This volume will be multi-vocal and accessible to a broad audience, representing a variety of Tumblr users and commentators, including scholars, public intellectuals, activists, and fans. We are particularly compelled by Tumblr’s status as a social media platform known for fostering spaces for socially marginalized users, including youth, people of color, queer people, the disabled, and the poor.
This publication will be in English, but we are committed to exploring non-Western perspectives and others beyond the US/UK. We are soliciting contributions that focus on various aspects of the platform, including any combination of:
- Tumblr’s affordances and limitations as an interface/platform and as a cultural space
- Aesthetic and linguistic traditions on Tumblr, including hashtags, gifs, images, and notes
- History and development, including the Yahoo acquisition
- Industry presence, marketing practices and goals
- Creative production and/or critical analysis
- Intersections of race, gender, sexuality, class, age, and ability
- Community development and support
- Politics and activism (including the “social justice warrior” discourse)
- Identity formation and affirmation
- Education and mentoring networks
- Transnational/transcultural studies
- Tumblr within the transmedia landscape
- Fan cultures and activities
- The centrality of sexually explicit content (“nsfw”), pornography, and pleasure
- Teaching, therapy and other professional uses (such as “social media director”)
- Ethical concerns
We welcome proposals that address any of the aforementioned topics of analysis, and we are looking for work in a range of formats, including traditional academic essays, shorter think pieces, personal testimonies, interviews, video essays, art, GIF essays, and group discussions. This book will combine hard copy and digital components in order to incorporate multimedia contributions. For example, we are interested in community histories and activities (written by individuals or groups), critical discourses and discussion (including specific examples of such), and creative production we can reference in the book and publish digitally (such as fan art). We will use both illustrations and written excerpts with artist and author permission. It is very important to us to feature a variety of voices; please feel free to contact us for help in developing a proposal, especially if you are not familiar with the publication process but have an idea of something you’d like to contribute.
Written work should generally fall between 2,000 and 7,000 words. Inclusion in the book will be based on abstracts of between 300-500 words and, for full consideration, they should be received by September 30, 2016. Contributors can use their tumblr or public names or remain anonymous. Please send this abstract and any questions or concerns you have to firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit http://a-tmblr-book.tumblr.com for more information.