reading

Error message

  • Deprecated function: The each() function is deprecated. This message will be suppressed on further calls in _menu_load_objects() (line 579 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/menu.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type int in element_children() (line 6600 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).
  • Deprecated function: implode(): Passing glue string after array is deprecated. Swap the parameters in drupal_get_feeds() (line 394 of /var/www/drupal-7.x/includes/common.inc).

Are Your Students Doing The Reading?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 17/02/2024 - 1:04am in

And if they’re not, what can be done to get them to do it? Or is that the wrong way to think about it?

[Note: This was originally posted on February 16, 2024, 9:04am, but was lost when a problem on February 17th, 2024 required the site to be reset. I’m reposting it on February 18th with its original publication date, but I’m sorry to report that the comments, many of which contained helpful suggestions, may have been lost; I’m looking into the matter.]

These questions come up in response to a recent piece by Adam Kotsko (North Central College) at Slate. He writes about the “diffuse confluence of forces that are depriving students of the skills needed to meaningfully engage” with books:

As a college educator, I am confronted daily with the results of that conspiracy-without-conspirators. I have been teaching in small liberal arts colleges for over 15 years now, and in the past five years, it’s as though someone flipped a switch. For most of my career, I assigned around 30 pages of reading per class meeting as a baseline expectation—sometimes scaling up for purely expository readings or pulling back for more difficult texts. (No human being can read 30 pages of Hegel in one sitting, for example.) Now students are intimidated by anything over 10 pages and seem to walk away from readings of as little as 20 pages with no real understanding. Even smart and motivated students struggle to do more with written texts than extract decontextualized take-aways. Considerable class time is taken up simply establishing what happened in a story or the basic steps of an argument—skills I used to be able to take for granted.

Kotsko anticipates one kind of reaction to this complaint:

Hasn’t every generation felt that the younger cohort is going to hell in a handbasket? Haven’t professors always complained that educators at earlier levels are not adequately equipping their students? And haven’t students from time immemorial skipped the readings?

He reassures himself with the thought that other academics agree with him and that he is “not simply indulging in intergenerational grousing.” That’s not a good response, because the intergenerational divide is not as relevant as the divide between academics and non-academics (i.e., nearly all of their students): professors were not, and are not, normal.

Still, I’m a professor, too, and despite my anti-declinist sentiments and worries about my own cognitive biases, I can’t help but agree that students do not seem as able or willing to actually do the reading, and as able or willing to put in the work to try to understand it, as they have in the past (though I probably don’t think the decline is as steep as Kotsko thinks it is).

Kotsko identifies smartphones and pandemic lockdowns as among the culprits responsible for poor student reading, but acknowledges we “can’t go back in time” and undo their effects. Nor does he offer any solutions in this article.

Are there any solutions? What can we do? What should we do? What do you do?

Related:
How Do You Teach Your Students to Read
The Point and Selection of Readings in Introductory Philosophy Courses
Why Students Aren’t Reading

 

The post Are Your Students Doing The Reading? first appeared on Daily Nous.

State of Mind

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 03/02/2024 - 10:35pm in

Tags 

reading, Travel

Gurdjieff wearing a fez
George Ivanovich Gurdjieff

I have been slowly replacing the rotten timbers on our front veranda. Broken Hill summer is making the work hot and cooking my brain. It has been especially warm in the afternoons. Yesterday I escaped to the couch with the swampy cooling the house and watched Gurdjieff in Armenia.

I have been re-reading Meetings With Remarkable Men by . This book was an early inspiration for me to go traveling.
YouTube also turned up an old (1979) film version of Meetings With Remarkable Men which I’ve not watched yet.

I enjoy Gurdijieff’s stories but his mystical philosophy gets a bit stretched. His allusions to great hand-wavy mysteries are just onanistic subjective truth. The book is better taken as just stories with a pinch of myth. Perhaps he was a victim of his ‘truth’-seeking audience. Intelligence is overrated.

The best bookshops in the Dodecanese Islands, Greece

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 23/11/2023 - 9:56pm in

In this bookshop guide, Angeliki Tzampazi takes us to three of the Dodecanese Islands in Greece, Rhodes, Pátmos and Astypalea, and highlights some of their best independent bookshops. If you have bookshops you’d like to recommend in a particular city, further information about contributing follows this article.

Makris Bookshop, Rhodes

In classical history, Rhodes was a maritime power and the site of the Colossus of Rhodes, which was dedicated to the sun god Helios. The island was famous as a centre of painting and sculpture and had a noted school of eclectic oratory at which Julius Caesar was a student. The Crusader Knights of Rhodes (Knights of Malta) acquired Rhodes in the 13th century and built the ‘Old City’, which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988. Ottoman Turks came to power in the early 16th century, influencing the island with Islamic religious architecture. In 1912 Rhodes was taken from Turkey by Italy, who were eager to build the ‘New City’. The Germans occupied the island from 1943 to 1945. Under the Allied peace treaty with Italy in 1947, the island was awarded to Greece.

If you’re visiting Rhodes, Makris (located at Geor. Mavrou 5, Rodos, no social media) is a unique bookshop, though it is well-known among Rhodians. The shop has no social media or website, but word of mouth is enough to make it a popular and beloved destination. Since 1957, the source of its success and committed customers has been the importance the owners place on interpersonal relations and the its intergenerational continuity; it is now it is run by the godson of the founder, Georgios Makris. Visitors can find little gems in the bookshelves and rare editions of books, and a few of the books are old enough that you can still see the pricing in Greek drachma (the currency Greece had before swapping to the euro in 2001); but don’t worry, you’ll pay in euros. During the final two years of high school (which are preparatory for national exams to enter university), my dad used to shop every Saturday at the local farmers’ market, and I would visit Makris, exploring and discovering new fiction and poetry. We still repeat this ritual when I’m at home: a comforting reminder that some things remain unchanged.

Windmill Library, Astypalea

According to Greek mythology, Astypalea and Europe were the daughters of Finikos and Perimidis. A mosaic from the 1st to 2nd centuries CE at the Archaeological Museum of Gaziantep, symbolises the union of Poseidon, god of the sea, with Astypalea. During the Hellenistic period (323 to 31 BCE), Astypalea was an important naval base of Ptolemy of Egypt and remained as such until the Roman period. The castle of Saint John, one of the most famous attractions, was built during the Byzantine years. The Venetians occupied the island from 1207 to 1269 and later on the sovereignty of Astypalea passed on to the noble Querini family of Venice, who had a great influence on the island.

Astypalea’s Windmill lending library (located at Epar.Od. Livadia-Vathis, no social media) is a must-see for any book-loving visitor to the island. The collection is made up of foreign-language books donated by public institutions, tourists and other visitors, residents and students. The library is run by by volunteers including Stella, a wonderful lady who teaches in both Astypalea’s college and high school. She is the main custodian of the lending library and volunteers much of her time assisting visitors with books. If you happen to visit Astypalea, don’t miss this the opportunity to visit Windmill!

Koukoumavla, Pátmos

Compared to neighbouring islands, Pátmos received scant mention by ancient writers. Under the Romans it was a place for exiles, the most noted of whom was Saint John the Apostle, author of the Fourth Gospel and the Book of Revelation, who, according to tradition was sent there about 95 CE. Most of the island’s inhabitants live in the elevated town of Khóra (Pátmos) in the south and in the harbour village of Skála in the island’s centre. The monastery, cave, and town of Khóra were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999.

Koukoumavla Artshop+Books, located in Khóra, is an alternative bookstore and art shop in the island of Pátmos. Its colourful bookshelves, green walls, black-and-white flooring and handmade decorations make you feel that you have stepped into Alice in Wonderland. Instead, you are entering the world of owner Despina, who has evidently put so much love and creativity into the space and makes everyone feel welcomed. Visitors can find little treasures such as second-hand and new books. It’s a bookstore that kids as well as adults can enjoy – we all deserve to let the imagination of our inner child free, and Koukoumavla can certainly assist in that!

Note: This bookshop guide gives the views of the author, and not the position of the LSE Review of Books blog, or of the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Banner Image Credit:George Papapostolou on Shutterstock

Text Image Credit: Angeliki Tzampazi

Do you know a place with great bookshops? If there’s a city or town with bookshops that you think other students and academics should visit, then this is your chance to tell us all about it.

As part of a regular feature on LSE Review of Books, we’re asking academics and students to recommend their favourite three or four bookshops in a particular city, with the aim of building an exciting online series for our book-loving community of readers the world over.

Bookshops could be academic, alternative, multilingual, hobby-based, secret or underground institutions, second-hand outlets or connected to a university. We’d like to cover all world regions too and are particularly keen to feature cities outside of Europe and North America.

If something comes to mind, we’re looking for a brief introduction about the city and around 150 words per bookshop, detailing why each one is a must-see. Our editorial team can then find suitable photos and links to accompany the piece, though you’re welcome to supply these too. We only ask that you focus on just one city or region, and three or four bookshops within it.

Email us if you’d like to contribute: lsereviewofbooks@lse.ac.uk

Boost Your Learning Through Effective Note-Taking

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 01/11/2023 - 8:12pm in

Tags 

reading

In How to Take Smart Notes, author Sönke Ahrens makes the case that note-taking is not just for capturing information but for clarifying and generating thoughts. Ahrens provides insights and techniques to use notes as a tool to truly enhance learning.

The book in three sentences

  • The book outlines slip-boxing, a note-taking workflow where you store condensed literature notes and your own permanent notes all in one central place.
  • This linked system boosts learning by helping you synthesize ideas across sources, capture fleeting thoughts, and develop concepts through writing.
  • Author Sönke Ahrens makes the case that taking quality notes promotes thinking and creativity rather than just capturing information.

Extended Summary

For those seeking to optimize their learning and research efficiency through writing, How to Take Smart Notes is an indispensable guide. The techniques offer a simple yet transformative approach to enhancing thought through effective note-taking practices. It provides clarity on how to distill meaningful concepts both from sources and your own mind.

Ahrens introduces an effective note-taking framework based on slip-boxing, where you store notes in a central place to connect ideas over time. This system boosts creativity by linking notes, saving context, and developing ideas in writing. The focus is not on the quantity of notes but on quality.

Ahrens advocates for slip-boxing, based on ideas by Niklas Luhmann. In this system, you take literature notes on source material, then develop your own fleeting ideas and permanent notes to store in a centralized slip-box. By linking thoughts across notes, you derive key insights and concepts from sources.

The book outlines methods for distilling what you read into your own words and connecting it to other ideas. Ahrens recommends writing notes by hand to better retain information. He provides templates for different types of notes and strategies for relating notes for synthesizing concepts.

The slip-box system promotes developing, rather than just recording, your ideas via writing. It provides your brain with external scaffolding to enhance creativity and learning. Ahrens believes this workflow leads to meaningful connections between disciplines.

Who Should Read

How to Take Smart Notes is ideal for students striving to improve their learning methods and anyone undertaking academic writing or research projects. It provides a roadmap to streamline reading, thinking, and writing.

Key Points

  • Effective note-taking aids thinking and clarity rather than just capturing information.
  • A centralized and linked slip-box allows you to synthesize ideas over time.
  • Writing notes helps flesh out vague thoughts into concrete concepts.
  • Literature notes, permanent notes, and fleeting thoughts are key components.

About the Author

Sönke Ahrens is a writer, speaker, and researcher focusing on introducing slip-boxing and other productivity techniques to students and academics.

If you’d like to stay on top of areas like this, you should be reading my weekly newsletter. You can follow here or on Substack.

The post Boost Your Learning Through Effective Note-Taking first appeared on Dr. Ian O'Byrne.

A few tickets available for this week …

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 25/10/2023 - 12:43am in

Thanks very much to everyone who braved the elements to come and see me in Banbury, Stamford, Pocklington, Liverpool and Otley last week. Your dedication is to be much admired.

This week I’m mainly in Wales – in Caerphilly on Thursday and Crickhowell in the Brecon Beacons on Friday. There are a few tickets left for both shows. If you fancy coming along, then ticket info can be found through this link: https://brianbilston.com/upcoming-events-and-shows/

I’m then heading to Clevedon on Saturday before popping home to do my laundry.

Also, apart from one more return trip to Liverpool next month, that’s the end of my shows in the north of England this year. If you didn’t get a chance to get a ticket – or fancy coming along to a brand new show next year, then I’ll be heading to Leeds, Salford, Sunderland, Ilkley, Leek and Nottingham with Henry Normal – and doing a few solo shows in Scarborough, Chester and Lincoln*.

*Please note, other shows are available.

The best bookshops in Montreal, Canada

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 16/10/2023 - 9:42pm in

In this bookshop guide, Rémy-Paulin Twahirwa takes us on a tour of some of the best independent bookshops in Montreal, Canada. If you have bookshops you’d like to recommend in a particular city, further information about contributing follows this article.

Bonjour, hi! Montreal is known for its vibrant cultural life, including the Montreal International Jazz Festival held annually in the Latin Quarter, one of the largest winter festivals in the world (Montréal en Lumière and Igloofest)–bring your best ski outfit to dance all night and have a “poutine” with your mulled wine, and being home of many renowned internationally renowned musicians (Kaytranada, Arcade Fire, Patrick Watson, Men I Trust,  Chiiild, Pierre Kwenders, etc.) and various other artists. Referred to as the “Paris of North America”, the city is also home to multiple bookstores, including the well-known comic bookstore Drawn & Quarterly located in the Mile-end. Follow me for a quick tour of two other lesser-known (by tourists) independent bookstores in Montreal!

Located in the Rosemont district, a stone’s throw from Beaubien metro station, Racines (which translate as “roots”, a reference to the cult American television miniseries and book) is on the famous Plaza St-Hubert, a shopping street with over 400 shops. Founded by young owner Gabriella ‘Kinté’ Garbeau, who is deeply involved in Montréal’s cultural scene, the bookshop aims to be one of the few cultural community spaces created by and for Montreal’s indigenous and minority populations. Although the catalogue is mainly in French, it is not uncommon to find books in English, Haitian Creole, Spanish, Yoruba or Indigenous languages, reflecting the ethnic, linguistic, national and cultural diversity that makes Montreal so charming. The bookshop regularly organises and hosts cultural activities, including talks, film screenings and ‘BBQ cookouts’.

While you are here, don’t hesitate to visit Ausgang Plaza, a show venue and pop-up store next door. You can also buy a cute outfit at PONY, a shop owned by the illustrator Gabrielle Laïla Tittley (known as “Pony”).

Photo of the interior of Racines bookshop in Montreal showing women shopping for booksRacines bookshop on Rue St-Hubert, Montréal. Photo credit: Racines.

Feminist movements were very important for Quebec’s political and cultural revolution in the 1970s. However, Montréal didn’t have a bookstore fully dedicated to feminist literature until the opening of L’Euguélionne (in honour of Louky Bersianik’s book of the same name published in 1976, considered Quebec’s first feminist novel) in 2016. The queer and feminist librarie can be found in what is locally known as the Gay Village. Founded by a collective of women in the form of a cooperative (more than 2,000 members to this day), the bookshop sells mainly titles written by and for women and/or sexual or gender minorities. Like Racines, L’Euguélionne is a community space, hosting regular cultural and literary events for a clientele that is often under-represented in mainstream bookshops. The bookshop’s catalogue ranges from comics, graphic novels and novels to essays, poetry and children’s books.

The storefront of Librairie l'Euguélionne, rue Beaudry, Montréal,The storefront of Librairie l’Euguélionne, rue Beaudry, Montréal. Photo credit: Lëa-Kim Châteauneuf on Wikimedia Commons.

Your stop at L’Euguélionne will also allow you to visit the Gay Village, which features several LGBTQIA+ restaurants, bars and entertainment venues. Don’t hesitate to stop for a cocktail at Bar Renard, renowned for being the most stylish and appreciated gay bar in Montréal (believe me, you won’t regret it!).

The interior of Librairie l'Euguélionne, rue Beaudry, Montréal,The interior of Librairie l’Euguélionne, rue Beaudry, Montréal. Photo credit: Lëa-Kim Châteauneuf on Wikimedia Commons.

Note: This bookshop guide gives the views of the author, and not the position of the LSE Review of Books blog, or of the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Banner Image Credit: R.M. Nunes on Shutterstock.

First Image credit: Illustrated artwork for Racines bookshop, courtesy of Racines.

Do you have a favourite bookshop? If there’s a bookshop that you think other students and academics should visit, then this is your chance to tell us all about it.

As part of a regular feature on LSE Review of Books, we’re asking academics and students to recommend their favourite three or four bookshops in a particular city, with the aim of building an exciting online series for our book-loving community of readers the world over.

Bookshops could be academic, alternative, multilingual, hobby-based, secret or underground institutions, second-hand outlets or connected to a university. We’d like to cover all world regions too and are particularly keen to feature cities outside of Europe and North America.

If something comes to mind, we’re looking for a brief introduction about the city and around 150 words per bookshop, detailing why each one is a must-see. Our editorial team can then find suitable photos and links to accompany the piece, though you’re welcome to supply these too. We only ask that you focus on just one city or region, and three or four bookshops within it.

Email us if you’d like to contribute: lsereviewofbooks@lse.ac.uk

Bending the Rules: A Review of Bruce Schneier’s Insightful Book ‘A Hacker’s Mind”

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 24/09/2023 - 11:58pm in

Quick Summary

In his latest book “A Hacker’s Mind: How the Powerful Bend Society’s Rules, and How to Bend Them Back“, security expert Bruce Schneier explores how people with power, influence, and technical skills can exploit systems for their own gain. He provides insight into the hacker mindset and how regular people can fight back against such exploitation.

Extended Summary

“A Hacker’s Mind” examines how hackers, cybercriminals, and others with technical expertise find weaknesses in political, economic, and technological systems and use them for personal advantage. Schneier argues that we need more “civic-minded hackers” to identify and close these loopholes and empower ordinary citizens to fight back against the powerful interests that seek to control society for their own benefit.

The book opens with examples of how hackers have managed to rig elections, manipulate markets, and otherwise exploit flaws in important systems for profit or power. Schneier argues that the hacker mindset—seeing rules as obstacles meant to be circumvented—is increasingly shaping our world as technology advances.

Schneier profiles both black-hat and white-hat hackers, examining their motivations, goals, and methods. He looks at recent examples like the 2016 US election hacking, the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal, and ransomware attacks. A key theme is how concentrations of power and lopsided information access enable this hacking and exploitation.

To fight back, Schneier advocates fostering more civic hackers who use their skills for the public interest. He lays out principles on how to close loopholes, improve transparency, strengthen oversight, and empower average citizens against special interests. The book ends with calls for updates to policies, norms, and laws for the digital age.

Who Should Read This Book

“A Hacker’s Mind” is most relevant for policymakers, regulators, technology companies, security professionals, and engaged citizens who want to ensure fair, secure, and equitable use of technology. The book provides valuable perspectives on both defending against malicious hacking and exploiting and using hacking for social good.

Key Points

  • A hacking mindset exploits flaws in rules and systems for power and profit
  • Advancing technology expands possibilities for exploitation
  • We need more civic-minded hacking to close loopholes and inform the public
  • It is critical to update policies and laws to match today’s technological realities
  • Concentrated power enables small groups to exploit at scale
  • Public-interest hacking can check power and open access

About the Author

Bruce Schneier is an internationally renowned computer security and cryptography expert. He is a lecturer at Harvard University and the author of 14 books, including “Click Here to Kill Everybody” on the risks of connected technologies. A frequent public speaker, Schneier also publishes the popular blog and newsletter “Schneier on Security“.

If you’d like to stay on top of areas like this, you should be reading my weekly newsletter. You can follow here or on Substack.

The post Bending the Rules: A Review of Bruce Schneier’s Insightful Book ‘A Hacker’s Mind” first appeared on Dr. Ian O'Byrne.

A Thoughtful Look at How New Technologies Are Reshaping Our World

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 16/09/2023 - 10:45pm in

Quick Summary

Radical Technologies: The Design of Everyday Life provides a nuanced examination of how emerging technologies like AI, cryptocurrencies, and self-driving cars are impacting society. Author Adam Greenfield analyzes the complex ethics, economics, and psychology involved.

Extended Summary

The proliferation of new technologies is fundamentally changing how we live, work, and interact. In his book Radical Technologies: The Design of Everyday Life, author Adam Greenfield examines the opportunities and challenges presented by technologies like artificial intelligence, virtual reality, cryptocurrencies, and more.

Greenfield adopts a measured, nuanced perspective. He doesn’t portray technology as wholly positive or negative but rather aims to understand its complex effects. The book covers a diverse range of technologies, from the familiar (social media) to the futuristic (augmented reality). Throughout, Greenfield thoughtfully analyzes how each technology may impact society, human psychology, and power structures.

One of the key insights of the book is that technology is never neutral; it always reflects the values and priorities of its creators. As Greenfield writes, “Technologies are never just neutral tools; they embed in them strong assumptions about relations of power.” We must carefully consider, then, how new technologies may alter economic and social divides. Greenfield uses self-driving cars as a case study here, examining how they could reshape cities, employment, and accessibility.

Greenfield also spotlights issues of data privacy and security. As more daily tasks involve the internet, we generate ever-increasing amounts of data about ourselves. How this data is collected, managed, and used has profound ethical implications. Radical Technologies prompt important questions about how to protect privacy in an age of surveillance.

While thoughtful, the book is also engaging and accessible. Greenfield weaves in colorful examples, from high-frequency trading algorithms to the socioeconomics of Uber. He translates complex technical concepts into clear, easy-to-grasp explanations. The book effectively balances depth with readability.

In exploring the promises and perils of emerging technologies, Greenfield avoids both techno-utopianism and doomsaying. The book takes a balanced perspective and is never simplistic in its judgments.

Who Should Read This Book

Radical Technologies is essential reading for anyone interested in emerging tech and its impact on society, including general readers, specialists, business leaders, policymakers, academics, and technology professionals. Its thoughtful approach is appropriate for a wide audience.

Key Points

  • Technology embodies the values and priorities of its creators.
  • We must consider how technology could alter economic and social divides.
  • Issues of data privacy and security are critical.
  • Taking a balanced perspective on technology avoids utopianism and doom-saying.

About the Author

Adam Greenfield is a writer, urbanist, and critic exploring the intersection of technology and everyday life. He has authored numerous books, including Radical Technologies and Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing.

The post A Thoughtful Look at How New Technologies Are Reshaping Our World first appeared on Dr. Ian O'Byrne.

Paddington

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 03/05/2023 - 8:53pm in

Tags 

Travel, reading, London

Paddington Station
Waiting for my train

I’m sat here at Costa Coffee in Paddington waiting for the 10:30 to Totnes.

I walked a good few miles yesterday exploring the back-alleys, greenways, footpaths and canal paths from Muswell Hill through Hornsey and down along the Regent Canal. I just love walking in London or any city of culture and contrasts. Once I started to wain in the arvo I took a break in Manchester Square and had a look at the Wallace collection. I remembered stumbling across it about 30 odd years ago back when I was a lazy art student.

Mayfair, like much of London was festooned with union jacks and coronation shite. I really dislike Mayfair. Wall to wall with moronic object shops for the ultra-rich. A ridiculous Ferrari, matt-black with huge rhinestone tyres blatted their engine up to the back bumper of another car. I suspect any damage or injuries they caused would be blamed on the victim. That soured my mood a little. King Charles the turd and his rich prick hangers-on can go hang.

Daunt bookshop on Marylebone High St restored my faith in humanity and I picked out a Susan Coopers Greenwitch. It is never too late to finish reading the Dark is Rising Sequence. That’ll keep me distracted on the train to Totnes which I really should go catch …

Nameless Book

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 16/01/2023 - 5:05pm in

Tags 

reading

a much loved old bicycle of mine from 2010
Bicycles I have loved

During the early 90s I read a biographical account by a young man who journeyed around the world on his bicycle. Like all my favourite books I gave it away at some point and have regretted it ever since. I cannot remember the name of the book or the author. The author was possibly a Canadian french speaking chap who had written the book in english. Travelling alone he developed a deep relationship with his bicycle. He of course named the bike, I forget what. The book had a few scratchy line drawings illustrating particular aspects of his bicycle. In one of the ‘stans he had an encounter with bandits on camels shooting ancient rifles.

Years ago I trawled the internet with what I could remember of the book. I found the author living in the french countryside. I thought I would send him a letter to confirm if he was one and the same. I didn’t and I regret it. I just had another look but can no longer find him, nor a clue to the name of the book.

Books, like bicycles, are like old friends. I miss them and regret their loss.

Pages