Allison's bookmarks (tagged history)

Most recent

Pankaj Mishra · The Shoah after Gaza

"Technology and the rational division of labour had enabled ordinary people to contribute to acts of mass extermination with a clear conscience, even with frissons of virtue, and preventive efforts against such impersonal and available modes of killing required more than vigilance against antisemitism."

politics history

Chorus: The Modern Media Stack

"I was happy to see that on its way out the door the editorial folks managed to write and publish an 'oral history' of Buzzfeed News. I guess I had been out of the game just long enough to be surprised, and a little hurt, when I realized the story was being told entirely from the editorial perspective. It's a perspective I value, but I can't help but feel a little bit sad that a product came and went... and I still have no idea who was involved in making that, what difficulties they had, what successes they celebrated."

software media history

About - West

"a linked collection of poems that respond to a Chinese elegy carved into the walls of the Angel Island Immigration Station... translat[ing] this elegy character by character through the lens of Chinese and other transcontinental railroad workers’ histories" grand, ambitious work of elit/epoetry

elit poetry history politics

The internet is already over - by Sam Kriss

"The only reliable source of profits is in the extraction of raw materials: chiefly, pulling the black corpses of trillions of prehistoric organisms out of the ground so they can be set on fire. Which means that the feudal rulers of those corpselands—men like King Salman, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques—ended up sitting on a vast reservoir of capital without many productive industries through which it could be valorised. So, as a temporary solution, they stuck it in the tech sector."

internet culture history

America’s Gambling Addiction Is Metastasizing - The Atlantic

"Gambling relies on addiction for its business model to function; everybody knows that. But addiction is also the business model for a huge chunk of Silicon Valley. Gambling ruins lives by way of soul-crushing debt; everybody knows that too. But so do the American educational system and the health-care and real-estate markets, which have been rigged by the people at the top to extract as much as possible from the suckers otherwise known as regular people. For most Americans, to participate in the economy in the most basic ways requires engaging in existential risk."

politics economics history sports

Creative Computing and Network Culture ~ Joachim Despland-Lichtert

"Imagine you go back in time to the 1970s to change the history of the internet to your own liking. Based on the events described in the reading, how would you do it? How much funding would you need to achieve the changes you seek? Where do you get that funding from at the time, and how difficult is it to obtain? What does your answer to these questions say about the “great man theory” of history?"

internet history culture technology web syllabus

Storming the Ivory Tower: The NFT Rube Goldberg Machine, or, Why is NFT Art So Lazy?

"The turn towards process is also a good thing; everyone should have the opportunity to create art. From that perspective, it's true that Suum Cuique Labs infringe nothing with these pieces. From an art perspective, though, that's sort of beside the point. They cynically take advantage of open culture to enclose it again, aspiring to use blockchain to create Supercopyright with ludicrously high buy-in. And more to the point perhaps, this free ganking is a tacit acknowledgement that the artists they got were simply not good enough to achieve anything other than a bad copy of a dead black artist's style."

crypto art history criticism

Why did the web take over desktop and not mobile? - by Gordon Brander - Subconscious

"The basis of performance shifted from small binaries to smooth interaction. [...] Navigation shifted from keyboard to springboard. [...] Log-in disappeared completely. [...] Discovery shifted from search to app store. [...] Engagement shifted from links to icons. [...] Business models expanded to IAP, subscriptions, and app purchase. [...] Security shifted from sandbox to app review...."

software web history internet

New Tendencies - Monoskop

"The organizers of NT initially sought to consciously accompany and form the historical transition in which the computer was perceived as medium of artistic creation. They set computer generated works in relation to Constructive and Kinetic art (1968/69) and to Conceptual art (1973). The arts of the electronic media were not considered as an isolated phenomenon but rather incorporated into the history and discourse of fine-and performing arts."

newmedia technology art computation history

Four Steve Jobs Myths about Pixar

"In short, the look and feel and vision of Pixar all came from inside and predated Jobs by at least a decade. Steve Jobs was a crucially important money man for the company, and later a business dealmaker of the first order for it. He was responsible for the look and feel and vision of Apple, but not of Pixar. The marketing message seems to have been crafted to make it seem that what was true for Apple was also true for Pixar - one genius fits all - but that was not the case as the details make clear."

history film animation pixar computing graphics

LEO (computer) - Wikipedia

"One of its early tasks was the elaboration of daily orders which were phoned in every afternoon by the shops and used to calculate the overnight production requirements, assembly instructions, delivery schedules, invoices, costings, and management reports. This was the first instance of an integrated management information system."

computers history


"But the smartest and most effective move the industry made (the aforementioned measures wouldn’t work without it) was to push people from My to Me. To introduce forms that would motivate people to see themselves as the main – and then the only – content of what they do online. I’d like to stress that although early web pages (or home pages) are remembered as personal, the person who made it was not the initial content; that turn took place later."

web culture history hypertext politics

Halt and Catch Fire Syllabus - Halt and Catch Fire Syllabus

'This site features a curriculum developed around the television series, Halt and Catch Fire (2014-2017), a fictional narrative about people working in tech during the 1980s-1990s. The intent is for this website to be used by self-forming small groups that want to create a “watching club” (like a book club) and discuss aspects of technology history that are featured in this series.' really thoughtful and thorough!

pedagogy syllabus technology history culture tv

Never Be New Again - Valley of the D

'Slowly, slowly we reconnect the threads that connect me typing at my laptop in 2021 CE London backwards in time... to the dawn of the written word in the fertile crescent, when the gala priestesses of Inanna, who spoke only in the women’s tongue, sang in praise of her, “To turn a man into a woman and a woman into a man are yours, Inana” nearly four thousand years ago.'

history trans gender culture publishing politics

Democracy’s Afterlife | by Fintan O’Toole | The New York Review of Books

"In all the noise of the 2020 election, it was easy to miss the signal that was not being sent. The incumbent president made no effort even to go through the motions of presenting a future open to deliberation by citizens. He had no policy agenda for a second term—the GOP merely readopted its platform from 2016, without even bothering to delete its multiple attacks on “the current president.” Why? Because arguments about policy are the vestiges of a notion that Trump has killed off: the idea that an election is a contest for the support, or at least the consent, of a majority of voters. Such arguments implicitly concede the possibility that there is another, equally legitimate choice. That is precisely what the posthumous Republican Party cannot and does not accept."

politics democracy history

modernity coloniality syllabus

"a reading seminar and survey course looking into the constitution, scale, and many dimensions of the modern\colonial world-system. The texts here are merely a tiny fraction of the work done by non-Anglo-European, non-white scholars and activists in articulating the origins, development, and hegemony of the modern world-system, and yet my hope is that these will act as sparks for curious minds and a place within which to situate oneself and start from."

culture history decoloniality

Memex #001

"The father/daughter team of Trevor F. Smith and Sparks Webb have gathered all available documentation about the memex and carefully fabricated the Memex #001 to match Dr. Bush's specifications."

computation hypertext history text poetics

What Lies Beyond Capitalism? A Christian Exploration by David Bentley Hart

'[W]e can certainly identify which political and social realities must be abhorrent to a Christian conscience: a cultural ethos that not only permits but encourages a life of ceaseless acquisition as a kind of moral good; a legal regime subservient to the corporatist imperative of maximum profits, no matter what the methods employed or consequences produced; a politics of cruelty, division, national identity, or any of the countless ways in which we contrive to demarcate the sphere of what is rightfully “ours” and not “theirs.”' via

religion politics history

Muslims lived in America before Protestantism even existed | Aeon Essays

"The popular misunderstanding, even among educated people, that Islam and Muslims are recent additions to America tells us important things about how American history has been written. In particular, it reveals how historians have justified and celebrated the emergence of the modern nation-state. One way to valorise the United States of America has been to minimise the heterogeneity and scale – the cosmopolitanism, diversity and mutual co-existence of peoples – in America during the first 300 years of European presence." also "‘New England’s business is cod not God!’"

history politics religion

We Need to Talk About Social Practice | Art Practical

"Social-practice artworks with a commitment to sociopolitical change have the inexplicable potential to be valued as morally good works, regardless of the impact of the project as measured by the community’s criteria. They allow sociopolitical issues to be subsumed into aesthetic issues, such that a work can fail a community but still be considered good art. [...] Perhaps the takeaway is: The limited attention span for art is not enough. Do the work, and do it whether it’s in the context of art or not. Don’t pretend that doing good as part of a creative practice is better than just doing good. And definitely don’t pretend that good intentions make inherently good acts."

art practice history culture politics