Chastened by the negative effects of social media, Mark Zuckerberg says he will tweak his service and upgrade society in the process. Should any company be that powerful? READ MORE: We Need More Alternatives to Facebook – MIT Technology Review
Library workers at Western University’s Graduate Resource Centre in London, Ontario, had a workshop from Alison Macrina, the library organiser whose Library Freedom Project won a battle with the US DHS over a library in New Hampshire that was offering a Tor exit node as part of a global network that delivers privacy, censorship resistance, and anonymity to all comers. Western’s librarians were so taken by Macrina’s presentation that they’ve turned on Canada’s first library-based Tor node. There is no clear law in Canada about libraries and Tor, and Macrina and the Western library folks say they’re spoiling for a fight. READ: First-ever Tor node in a Canadian library | Boing Boing
Homeland Security “does not make policy determinations for local communities.” READ MORE: Library’s Tor relay—which had been pulled after feds noticed—now restored | Ars Technica
First Library to Offer Anonymous Web Browsing Stops Under DHS Pressure | Gizmodo
A library in a small New Hampshire town started to help Internet users around the world surf anonymously using Tor. Until the Department of Homeland Security raised a red flag.
Local Governments Crack Down On The Monstrous Evil of Tiny Free Lending Libraries | io9
It’s good to know that people are focusing on what’s really important. Local governments in a few different U.S. cities and towns have looked past the problems of homelessness, crumbling city services and displacement, to tackle the real crisis: people are putting up tiny “take a book, leave a book” libraries. This is clearly a major crisis in our culture, and one that can only be addressed by the full busy-bodiness of local busybodies.
A worrying trend. A way for ordinary citizens to challenge ignorance, censorship, intellectual freedom and freedom of speech is simply to stay informed and be aware of recent events:
- Satellite images confirm major temple destroyed in Syria’s Palmyra: U.N | Reuters Canada
- Why it’s all right to be more horrified by the razing of Palmyra than mass murder | The Guardian
- Beheaded Syrian scholar refused to lead Isis to hidden Palmyra antiquities | The Guardian
- Terrifying Archives | Annoyed Librarian | Library Journal
- British Library turns down Taliban archive because of UK terror laws | The Telegraph
- Twitter Is Shutting Down Even More Government Transparency Accounts | Gizmodo
- When will Russia stop trying to re-write history? | The Telegraph
- Russian publisher prints books about Putin under names of western authors | The Guardian
- Harper Government Trashes Another Federal Science Library |
Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada | MarketWired
- The Race To Digitize Iraqi History Before ISIS Can Get To It | Gizmodo
- Facing Islamic State threat, Iraq digitizes national library | Associated Press
- UNESCO mobilizes the international community to end cultural cleansing in Iraq | UNESCO.org
- Destruction of Antiquities by ISIS Militants Is Denounced | New York Times
- What the Islamic State’s Destruction of Antiquities Means to Archaeologists | New Republic
- Iraq, the Ultimate War Crime: Erasing the History of Mesopotamia. The Destruction of Nineveh | Global Research
- Lost libraries and broken Buddhas: war, iconoclasm and social media | The Art Newspaper
- A Moscow library containing rare UN documents, ancient Slavic texts, and 14 million books is on fire | Quartz
- UNESCO alarmed by news of mass destruction of books in Mosul | UNESCO.org
- National Museum Of Iraq Reopens As ISIS Threat Casts Dark Shadow | Co.Design
- Search Russia Bans Cursing in Movies, Books, Music and Media | Mashable
- Bosnia-Herzegovina fire feared to have destroyed Ottoman archives | The Guardian
- Museums And Heritage Sites In Syria Are Under Siege | Co.Design
- How the Harper Government Committed a Knowledge Massacre | Huffington Post
- Secret Memo Casts Doubt on Feds’ Claims for Science Library Closures | The Tyee
- Thousands of books, manuscripts torched in fire at historic Lebanese library (PHOTOS) | RT
For some members of the Class of 2019, the choice of “Fun Home” as a summer reading book was anything but fun. Several incoming freshmen decided not to read “Fun Home” because its sexual images and themes conflicted with their personal and religious beliefs. Freshman Brian Grasso posted in the Class of 2019 Facebook page July 26 that he would not read the book “because of the graphic visual depictions of sexuality,” igniting conversation among students. The graphic novel, written by Alison Bechdel, chronicles her relationship with her father and her issues with sexual identity. READ MORE: Freshmen skipping ‘Fun Home’ for moral reasons | The Chronicle.
Last week, The New Statesman ran an essay by Liz Lutgendorff, wherein she describes reading every book on NPR’s reader-selected list of the top 100 science fiction and fantasy books, and finding them to be “shockingly offensive” in their “continued and pervasive sexism.” In the course of proposing “a Bechdel test for books,” Lutgendorff launches broadsides at a variety of authors, some of whose work is indeed genuinely awful (step forward, Piers Anthony), and questions why these works remain so respected.
It’s an interesting essay, and makes some valid points about the weight of nostalgia on this particular corner of genre fiction. But it also falls into a pattern that’s worryingly prevalent these days in the world of criticism, particularly when it gets to the topic of rape and sexual assault in fantasy. It’s at this point that Lutgendorff’s argument falls into the trap of confusing a depiction of something in a work of fiction for an endorsement of that thing (at least, in any instance where there’s an absence of explicit, unequivocal condemnation of it). READ MORE: In Defense of Uncomfortable Subject Matter in Genre Fiction | Flavorwire.
Children’s books about being raised by same-sex parents, including one about a pair of “gay” penguins bringing up a chick, are to be banned in Venice’s schools, as a new mayor stamps a more conservative mark on the World Heritage city. READ MORE: Gay parenting books to be banned from Venice schools | Telegraph.
Illustrator Mary Engelbreit has made many fans for her work in stationery, home goods, and children’s books for over 30 years. [S]ome of those fans are not so happy with anti-racist artwork she’s posted on her Facebook as a tribute to Michael Brown, who was killed nearly a year ago. READ MORE: A Children’s Illustrator Is Losing Fans Because Of Her Anti-Racist Art | BuzzFeed
One woman is on a mission to demystify the realities of abortion — using illustrations. Writer and artist Leah Hayes created an illustrated book, Not Funny Ha-Ha: A Handbook for Something Hard, which takes readers through the thought processes of two women who choose to have abortions — one medical, the other surgical. She hopes the book will chip away at the stigma that often surrounds abortion. READ MORE: A Woman Made A Comic Book About Abortion And It’s Awesome | Huffington Post