🎧 Episode 44: White Affirmative Action (Seeing White, Part 13) | Scene on Radio

Listened to Episode 44: White Affirmative Action (Seeing White, Part 13) by John Biewen from Scene on Radio

When it comes to U.S. government programs and support earmarked for the benefit of particular racial groups, history is clear. White folks have received most of the goodies. By John Biewen, with Deena Hayes-Greene of the Racial Equity Institute and recurring series partner Chenjerai Kumanyika.

Affirmative action is really best framed as White affirmative action…

After listening to most of this series and really appreciating the work that has gone into it, I wish there were an online lecture series version of Deena Hayes-Greene’s work for the Racial Equity Institute. I’d love to hear a longer version of what they’ve done without needing to travel. Ideally it could be done as a paid series of lectures along the lines of what The Great Courses does (perhaps as history/sociology lectures?) or some other similar group that could produce it well with accompanying learning materials, but also done in a way to help underwrite and spread their work. I’d definitely pay for it.

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📖 Read pages 14-30 of 592 of Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi

📖 Read pages 14-30 of 592 of Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi

Chapters 1 & 2 are an overview of prior history of ancient Greece and the “climate theory” of Aristotle and then the Genesis 9:18-29 “curse of Ham” (son of Noah) as the early roots of racism. It then moves into the slave trade of Portugal with Zuarara, Ibn Khaldūn, Las Casas, a Leo Africanus’ writings and their effect on the roots of modern racism.

Given the politics of the day, its curious to note that so many Republican party members would simultaneously be climate deniers on the one hand, and climate believers on the other.

As I look at the title of the forthcoming chapter 3 “Coming to America”, I can’t help but think about the potential ironies of the relationship to the text and the Eddie Murphy film of the same title.

On page 21 Kendi writes:

As strictly a climate theorist, Ibn Khaldūn discarded the “silly story” of the curse of Ham.

Here he references this to The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to History by Ibn Khaldūn, Franz Rosenthal, and N.J. Dawood (Princeton University Press, 1969). I’m curious exactly where the “silly story” portion stems? Is it from Ibn Khaldūn directly in translation or from the more modern book? Given that Ibn Khaldūn lived from 1332-1406 and certainly didn’t write in English, I’m curious about the original translation by which the phrase “silly story” comes about. Silly has an archaic meaning of “helpless; defenseless” (roughly around the time of Shakespeare) prior to its modern definition, and prior to that it derived from the Old English word “seely” which meant “blessed”. Given that the phrase is used to describe a passage from Genesis, it’s entirely possible that the word “silly” held the “blessed” connotation here, but it’s not obvious from the context or the reference which is the proper meaning to take. Certainly taking the modern definition on its face seems like the wrong path to take here. I wonder if Kendi could shed some additional light on his sources to clarify the issue?

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👓 November 3rd, 2018 | Adactio

Read a post by Jeremy Keith (adactio.com)
Picture 1Picture 2 Organising the schedule for Indie Web Camp Berlin. Each session has a hashtag. Fun fact: this is literally why hashtags were invented (tagging sessions at an unconference). cc @ChrisMessina

Wish I could have been there…

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👓 ‘By whatever means necessary’: The origins of the ‘no platform’ policy | Hatful of History

Read ‘By whatever means necessary’: The origins of the ‘no platform’ policy by Dr Evan Smith (Hatful of History)
Recently the concept of ‘no platform’ was in the news again when there were attempts to cancel a talk by Germaine Greer at Cardiff University. While there is no doubt that the use of ‘no platform’ has expanded since its first use in the 1970s, the term is bandied about in the media with little definition and understanding of how it was developed as a specific response to the fascism of the National Front (and later the British National Party). This post looks back at the origins of the term and how it was developed into a practical anti-fascist strategy.

hat tip: Kevin Marks

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👓 What We Learned from Studying the News Consumption Habits of College Students | Dan Cohen

Read What We Learned from Studying the News Consumption Habits of College Students by Dan CohenDan Cohen (Dan Cohen)
Over the last year, I was fortunate to help guide a study of the news consumption habits of college students, and coordinate Northeastern University Library’s services for the study, including great work by our data visualization specialist Steven Braun and necessary infrastructure from our digital team, including Sarah Sweeney and Hillary Corbett. “How Students Engage with News,” out today as both a long article and accompanying datasets and media, provides a full snapshot of how college students navigate our complex and high-velocity media environment.

Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia

Side note: After recently seeing Yale Art Gallery’s show “Seriously Funny: Caricature Through the Centuries,” I think there’s a good article to be written about the historical parallels between today’s visual memes and political cartoons from the past.  

This also makes me think back to other entertainments of the historical poor including the use/purpose of stained glass windows in church supposedly as a means of entertaining the illiterate Latin vulgate masses.
October 22, 2018 at 08:07PM

nearly 6,000 students from a wide variety of institutions  

Institutions = colleges/universities? Or are we also considering less educated youth as well?
October 22, 2018 at 08:08PM

A more active stance by librarians, journalists, educators, and others who convey truth-seeking habits is essential.  

In some sense these people can also be viewed as aggregators and curators of sorts. How can their work be aggregated and be used to compete with the poor algorithms of social media?
October 22, 2018 at 08:11PM

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🔖 Urban Appetites: Food and Culture in Nineteenth-Century New York by Cindy R. Lobel (University of Chicago Press, 2014)

Bookmarked Urban Appetites: Food and Culture in Nineteenth-Century New York by Cindy R. Lobel (University of Chicago Press)
Glossy magazines write about them, celebrities give their names to them, and you’d better believe there’s an app (or ten) committed to finding you the right one. They are New York City restaurants and food shops. And their journey to international notoriety is a captivating one. The now-booming food capital was once a small seaport city, home to a mere six municipal food markets that were stocked by farmers, fishermen, and hunters who lived in the area. By 1890, however, the city’s population had grown to more than one million, and residents could dine in thousands of restaurants with a greater abundance and variety of options than any other place in the United States. Historians, sociologists, and foodies alike will devour the story of the origins of New York City’s food industry in Urban Appetites. Cindy R. Lobel focuses on the rise of New York as both a metropolis and a food capital, opening a new window onto the intersection of the cultural, social, political, and economic transformations of the nineteenth century. She offers wonderfully detailed accounts of public markets and private food shops; basement restaurants and immigrant diners serving favorites from the old country; cake and coffee shops; and high-end, French-inspired eating houses made for being seen in society as much as for dining. But as the food and the population became increasingly cosmopolitan, corruption, contamination, and undeniably inequitable conditions escalated. Urban Appetites serves up a complete picture of the evolution of the city, its politics, and its foodways.

Came across this excellent sounding history of food in New York via the author’s obituary in the New York Times.

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👓 A few words about Cindy Lobel | Recode

Read A few words about Cindy Lobel by Kara Swisher (Recode)
She was part of the Recode family, and her tragic death last week leaves a hole in our lives.

A more personal obituary than the one in the NYT.

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👓 Pompeii is still astounding us with secrets | Quartz

Read Pompeii is still astounding us with secrets by Kabir Chibber (Quartz)
The latest discovery: A depiction of a so-called enchanted garden filled with vivid, incredibly well-preserved frescoes of peacocks, serpents, and a dog-headed man.
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History cannot tell us the origin of wheat

Quoted Les Merveilles de l'Instinct Chez les Insectes: Morceaux Choisis (The Wonders of Instinct in Insects: Selected Pieces) by Jean-Henri FabreJean-Henri Fabre (Librairie Ch. Delagrave (1913), page 242)
History celebrates the battlefields whereon we meet our death, but scorns to speak of the ploughed fields whereby we thrive; it knows the names of king's bastards, but cannot tell us the origin of wheat. That is the way of human folly.

An aphorism which should be more broadly known, particularly as fearmongers begin to attack the public going into election cycles. I thought I’d make an ironic motivational poster out of it.

Hat tip: Jeremy Cherfas’s excellent Eat This Podcast

Photo credit: poppy in wheat field flickr photo by Grey World shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

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🎧 “Bread from the Dead” | Our Daily Bread | Eat This Podcast

Listened to Bread from the Dead | Our Daily Bread 13 by Jeremy CherfasJeremy Cherfas from Eat This Podcast

It’s a good thing the Egyptians believed strongly in an afterlife and wanted to make sure their dead had an ample supply of bread. The bread and the tomb inscriptions tell us something about how grain was grown and bread baked. To really understand the process, however, you need to be a practical-minded archaeologist like Delwen Samuel, who first set out to replicate Egyptian bread.

Photo of a model from the tomb of Meketre, Metropolitan Musdeum of Art, Rogers Fund and Edward S. Harkness Gift, 1920.

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🎧 Tech Was Supposed to Be Society’s Great Equalizer. What Happened? | Crazy/Genius | The Atlantic

Listened to Tech Was Supposed to Be Society’s Great Equalizer. What Happened? by Derek ThompsonDerek Thompson from The Atlantic
In a special bonus episode of the podcast Crazy/Genius, the computer scientist and data journalist Meredith Broussard explains how “technochauvinism” derailed the dream of the digital revolution.

I was excited to hear Dr. Meredith Broussard, a brilliant colleague I’ve met via the Dodging the Memory Hole series of conferences, on this podcast from The Atlantic. I would recommend this special episode (one of their very best) to just about anyone. In particular there’s something to be gained in the people side of what the IndieWeb movement is doing as well as for their efforts towards inclusion.

From a broader perspective, I think there’s certainly something to be learned from not over-sensationalizing artificial intelligence. Looking at the history of the automobile as a new technology over a century ago is a pretty good parallel example. While it’s generally done a lot of good, the automobile has also brought along a lot of additional  societal problems, ills, and costs with it as well.

I hadn’t yet heard about her new book Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World which I’m ordering a copy of today. I suspect that it’s in the realm of great books like Cathy O’Neill’s Weapons of Math Distraction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy  which was also relevant to some of the topics within this podcast.

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👓 8 First Things That Happened During 1966 Rose Queen Reign | ColoradoBoulevard.net

Read 8 First Things That Happened During the 1966 Rose Queen Reign by Carole Cota Gelfuso (ColoradoBoulevard.net)
A 19-year-old student at Pasadena City College, who almost did not make the tryouts because she lost her mom couple of months prior to the event, was named Rose Queen in 1966. Her name was Carole Cota Gelfuso, and that year turned out to be a year of many “firsts”.
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👓 Just a Thought: How Tags Happened at Technorati | Powazek

Read Just a Thought: How Tags Happened at Technorati by Derek Powazek (powazek.com)
It's been six months since we added Tags to Technorati (where I'm Senior Designer), and as it turns out, it was a pretty big deal. So before we get too far away from it, here's the story of how it came about. From my perspective, anyway.

The page was set up to show any post that contained a link to it – in other words, if you linked to that page, then your post appeared on that page.  

Just a rehash of Refbacks? or an early implementation of Webmention?!
October 04, 2018 at 09:19AM

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👓 The Cruelty Is the Point | The Atlantic

Read The Cruelty Is the Point (The Atlantic)
Trump and his supporters find community by rejoicing in the suffering of those they hate and fear.

A searing piece of writing here. A must-read.

This makes a compelling argument about why some humans are so painfully cruel.

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👓 Why History Matters | Audrey Watters

Read Why History Matters by Audrey Watters (Hack Education)
This talk was given today to Eddie Maloney’s class at Georgetown University (specifically, its Learning and Design program) on “Technology & Innovation By Design”
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