| Pausing, reading, writing
andi argast, digital literacy, reading, technology
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10 Jun Pausing, reading, writing

It’s been a challenging few months on both the personal and the professional fronts. I’m not going to delve into the personal stuff–those who know, know–but the “transition” of Framework and the subsequent cessation of the digital literacy program I was running are public knowledge. (Long story short: lack of funds; board decision; staff laid off.) It’s hard to see something you believe in, care about, and have worked incredibly hard at, fizzle out just as it was gaining momentum. The social good sector has far to go in its effective use of technology: so much potential, so little time. And money. It’s idealistic, but I think the program could have made a difference. Maybe further down the road I’ll be able to revisit these ideas and find out.

And so after a brief period of stewing, I’m back into the swing of things: job hunting, taking free workshops, meeting people, and working on various ODI Toronto projects.

I’ve also been going through my lists of articles flagged “to-read” (and never read) and the various resources I’ve saved to comb through at a later date. Well, that day is now. Below are excepts from a few old and new articles I’ve read over the past week; it’s a sundry assortment.

On the Leftist illusion of technology
We must not mistake the “computer revolution” for anything like a political revolution as various leftist traditions have understood it. The only way to achieve the political ends we pursue is to be absolutely clear about what those ends are. Putting the technological means for achieving them ahead of clear consideration of the ends is not merely putting the cart before the horse; it is trusting in a technological determinism that has never been and will never be conducive to the pursuit of true human freedom.
Community informatics meets the Leap Manifesto
The early vision of the Internet as the foundation for a distributed economy, as a platform for an egalitarian society and as the means for structuring a broad-based participative democracy directly parallels (and to a degree I would suggest influences) the Leap Manifesto vision. Regrettably, overpowering commercial forces have to a very considerable degree over-powered and largely obliterated that vision, but the technologies themselves still are such as to afford and even promote such possible outcomes.
The evocativeness of podcasts
And so it goes, for each word and concept as it is added to the narrative flow, as the brain adds and alters layers of networks: A living internal reality takes over the brain. That kaleidoscope of activation certainly feels intuitively right to anyone who’s been utterly lost listening to a good yarn.

– Benedict Carey, This is Your Brain on Podcasts

Levees and lessons on infrastructure
Even events as dramatic as the failure of flood control systems in New Orleans or the current water crisis in California’s Central Valley do not disrupt American river policy. For what is the alternative? Contemporary environmental imperatives such as sea level rise, climatic volatility, drought, subsidence, and hypoxic oceans challenge the basic logic of levees. But how do we critique or reimagine an infrastructure that is so deeply embedded in society?

– Richard L. Hindle, Levees That Might Have Been

Image by the always amazing Death to Stock.

  • Unk Jo
    Posted at 14:40h, 15 June

    I am fan….Rock & Write Andrew!