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This site aggregates the digital residue of my endeavours, interests, and activities on the Web. I write (unpublished novels), conceived the Adomoc board game, and work as an academic librarian. Connect with me at the social media links below or through this form.

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    • “Vantablack” is the darkest pigment ever made — and there&#82...
      jchalifour shared this story from Clive Thompson. “Vantablack” is the darkest pigment ever made — and there’s a pitched battle between artists over who gets access to it. If you’ve ever wondered hey, where did all the xenon on Earth come from? (and who hasn’t?), here’s your answer: Comets. An exhaustive list of ever lie […]
    • Is the Problem With Tech Companies That They're Companies?
      jchalifour shared this story from The Atlantic: Turn them into co-ops! https://ica.coop/en/what-co-operative -- That's the point of a co-op, fostering the well-being of its community. What news do people see? What do they believe to be true about the world around them? What do they do with that information as citizens—as voters?Facebook, Google, and other […]
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    • Joshua Chalifour 08:53 on 26 June 2017 Permalink
      Tags: career, humanities, tech, university   

      Techniques and rigour in thinking as well as a more interconnected approach toward understanding humanity remains necessary in high-tech. Simple, good read from the Harvard Business Review. I like this sentiment from the article “We should be careful not to let interdisciplinary jockeying make us cling to what we know best.”

       
    • Joshua Chalifour 08:56 on 3 May 2017 Permalink
      Tags: freedom of expression, press freedom   

      We need to always be vigilant for even the smallest restrictions or alterations to our freedom of expression and our essential rights. If we lapse we lose because hard-won successes in creating a good society don’t automatically remain. Without constant vigilance and maintenance our rights will erode, somewhat like our physical surroundings over time. Except, here we must be vigilant to those people that would trade our freedoms for short-sighted interests, perverse power, and neglect of the common well-being. Let’s make sure that we stay aware on World Press Freedom Day. Read more about the UNESCO 2017 themes. You should read this conversation with PEN International’s past president, John Ralston Saul, it says a lot.

       
    • Joshua Chalifour 11:56 on 20 March 2017 Permalink | Reply
      Tags: computer, computer science, logic, philosophy   

      I remember thinking, when studying formal logic in my undergrad philosophy courses, that computer programming was essentially just another flavour of it. Since then, whenever I’ve read articles about the history of computing, I wonder why they invariably neglect to mention its crucial and rich philosophical origins. That’s what I love about this article in the Atlantic. I feel like it nails much of what is usually—and unfairly—missing.

       
    • Joshua Chalifour 08:19 on 6 June 2016 Permalink | Reply  

      Read Richard Polt’s Typology; A Phenomenology of Early Typewriters

      This is a super article on the phenomenology of typewriters. It looks at the evolution of the machine’s design and the way our world breaks down now with the passing of typing (on the typewriter).

       
    • Joshua Chalifour 15:14 on 18 November 2015 Permalink | Reply  

      The Canadian Library Association has posted its new statement on intellectual freedom http://bit.ly/1My5mZd (PDF). I like how they've approached the issue, stating:

      ".. the Canadian Library Association affirms that all persons in Canada have a fundamental right, subject only to the Constitution and the law, to have access to the full range of knowledge, imagination, ideas, and opinion, and to express their thoughts publicly."

      and

      That libraries have core responsibilities to

      "…safeguard and facilitate access to constitutionally protected expressions of knowledge, imagination, ideas, and opinion, including those which some individuals and groups consider unconventional, unpopular or unacceptable."

      "…safeguard and foster free expression and the right to safe and welcoming places and conditions."

      " safeguard and defend privacy in the individual’s pursuit of expressive content."

      and that

      "…libraries resist efforts to limit the exercise of these responsibilities while recognizing the right of criticism by individuals and groups."

       
    • Joshua Chalifour 21:00 on 17 November 2015 Permalink | Reply  

      Photos from today’s strike against QC’s austerity measures. The government needs to wake up and treat education properly. Take a lesson or two from Finland.

       
    • Joshua Chalifour 20:35 on 15 November 2015 Permalink | Reply  

      I've often thought of using phones as sucking us into a different space. Geiger's photos show it

      Filter: photo view all · PHOTOGRAPHY · ART/DESIGN · ANTOINE GEIGER · (+) · buy · Homesick · Dodekanisos · SUR-FAKE · Sous Couverture · Jeff Mills · Louvre · 0000 · Catherine · København. Dominika II · Dominika · recent · hangout · symbiose · details · dos anonymes · portraits anonymes …

       
    • Joshua Chalifour 20:28 on 15 November 2015 Permalink | Reply  

      A trunk of 2600 dead letters that were saved by a 17th century Netherlands postmaster are being digitized at http://brienne.org/. The history for how this came to be is interesting. That we have these now is essentially a side-effect of the delivery system of the time (and one person's ambition).

       
    • Joshua Chalifour 19:22 on 11 November 2015 Permalink | Reply  

      Libraries, supposedly quiet spaces, also produce a great deal of ambient sound, which makes for some pleasing and interesting recordings.

      Library Background Noise for Relaxation has over 150000 views on YouTube. The hour-long audio is, as described by its creator, “just a long audio clip of some background white noise from my recent trip to the library…lots of page flipping, typing, sighing and people doing things near by.

       
    • Joshua Chalifour 19:18 on 10 November 2015 Permalink | Reply  

      I've watched some Sesame Street now as a parent and I think I like it better than when I was a child. The Pox news incident is excellent. 

      The longest-running children’s show in U.S. TV history has raised some eyebrows since its debut on Nov. 10, 1969.

       
    • Joshua Chalifour 17:03 on 6 November 2015 Permalink | Reply  

      Forget privacy or national sovereignty… just sell.

      Opponents of the fine print of the Trans-Pacific Partnership have come out swinging after the full text of the trade agreement, negotiated for years in secrecy, was released. Many are challenging the new Liberal government to decide to what extent, if any, it will throw its support behind the deal.

       
    • Joshua Chalifour 16:36 on 6 November 2015 Permalink | Reply  

      Investor State Dispute Settlement is quite a sick thing with respect to "intellectual property" in the #TPPhttp://www.keionline.org/node/2358

      Yesterday, a month after it was announced that the TPP was “finalized,” the official text was finally released. Immediately after that, USTR (somewhat oddly) reposted the whole thing to Medium — apparently in an effort to appear…

       
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