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Toward Humane Tech — Medium
"If you make technology, or work in the tech industry, I have good news for you: we won."

"We’re not nerds, or outsiders, or underdogs anymore. What we do, and what we make, shapes culture and society, deeply influencing everything from artistic expression to policy and regulation to the way we see our friends, family and selves.

But we haven’t taken responsibility for ourselves in a manner that befits the wealthiest and most powerful industry that’s ever been created. We fancy ourselves outlaws while we shape laws, and consider ourselves disruptive without sufficient consideration for the people and institutions we disrupt. We have to do better, and we will.

While thinking about this reality, and these problems, I’ve struggled with all the different dimensions of the challenge. We could address our profound issues around inclusion and diversity but still be wildly irresponsible about our environmental impact. We could start to respect legal processes and the need for thoughtful engagement with policy makers but still be cavalier about the privacy and security of our users’ data. We could continue to invest in design and user experience but remain thoughtless about the emotional and psychological impacts of the experiences we create. We could continue to bemoan the shortcomings of legacy industries while exacerbating issues like income inequality or social inequity.

I’m not hopeless about it; in fact, if there’s one unifying value that connects everyone in tech, no matter how critical or complacent they may be, it’s an underlying vein of optimism. I want to tap into that optimism, but direct it toward making sure we’re actually making things better, and not just for ourselves.

So I’m going to start to keep some notes, about the functional, pragmatic things we can do to make sure our technologies, and the community that creates those technologies, become far more humane. The conversation about the tech industry has changed profoundly in the past few years. It is no longer radical to raise issues of ethics or civics when evaluating a new product or company. But that’s the simplest starting point, a basic acknowledgment that what we do matters and actually affects people.

We have to think about inclusion, acceptance and diversity, to start. We need to think deeply about our language and communications, and the way we express what technology does. We need to question the mythologies we build around concepts like “founders” or “inventions” or even “startups”. We need to challenge our definitions of success and progress, and to stop considering our work in solely commercial terms. We need to radically improve our systems of compensation, to be responsible about credit and attribution, and to be generous and fair with reward and remuneration. We need to consider the impact our work has on the planet. We need to consider the impact our work has on civic and academic institutions, on artistic expression, on culture.

I’m optimistic, but I think this is going to continue to require a lot of hard work over a long period of time. My first step is to start taking notes about the goal we’re working toward. Let’s get to work."
anildash  2016  technology  siliconvalley  inclusion  inclusivity  diversity  acceptance  gender  language  communication  compensation  responsibility  attribution  environment  privacy  security  inequality  incomeinequality  law  legal  disruption  culture  society 
january 2016 by robertogreco
"How could The New Yorker’s fact-checking department fail catch all this? How could an editor see the detail in Gladwell’s descriptions and not ask for backup? There are only two plausible answers here. The first is this: Gladwell may have said that he was describing well-documented events and that the quotes and details had “escaped their source.” Indeed, as reported by the Columbia Journalism Review’s Edirin Oputu, the fact-checking director at The New Yorker, Peter Canby, has used this exact defense in the past.

This past April, a New Yorker article by Elizabeth Kolbert quoted the following from chemist F. Sherwood Rowland, without attribution:
“What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?”

The quote, Oputu noted, had originally appeared in a 1986 New Yorker piece by Paul Brodeur. “The New Yorker,” she wrote, “had effectively plagiarized itself.” In response, Canby said that the quote was “so widely used without attribution that it has effectively escaped its authorship.”

But that defense simply doesn’t pass the sniff test here. Almost none of the quotes – not those from Tesler or Jobs, or those from the Troy-Greenfield railroad promoters, or those of the participants in the Greensboro sit-ins – have reached escape velocity and broken free from the need for attribution. It’s almost impossible to find any of them before they appeared in Gladwell’s articles. And it’s not just the quotes that haven’t escaped their original, obscure sources – the vast majority of the details used by Gladwell haven’t, either.

So is this on The New Yorker’s factcheckers? As former New Yorker factchecker Jon Swan wrote in reply to the Rowland incident, “surely the checker is not alone at fault for this breach of journalistic ethics. Editor and author are involved in the process. Did the editor ask for verification? Did the author know where the quote had originated?” In this case, probably not. As we’ve seen demonstrated by Fareed Zakaria, as well as the initial protection of both Lehrer and BuzzFeed’s “deeply original” Benny Johnson, sometimes an outlet’s superstar gets a little more leeway."

[See also: ]
malcolmgladwell  ethics  journalism  newyorker  2014  plagiarism  jonahlehrer  attribution 
december 2014 by robertogreco
The Confidence Gap in Academic Writing | Vitae
[Sad and discuoraged that 1 & 2 are advice for academic writing.]

"1. Search for red flags in your writing. When you read your drafts, look for words that hedge your argument: maybe, possibly, perhaps, suggest, could, might, may, appears, seems, seemingly. Circle them to see if you’re overusing them. If you are using them to couch your argument, get rid of them. You don’t need to signal that you’re not sure about what you’re arguing. If your argument is unsound, you’ll get comments back from reviewers that say so.

2. Don’t hide behind other authors or texts, no matter how amazing they are. There’s a fine line between using Judith Butler’s arguments to bolster your own and simply restating what she has said while adroitly avoiding making your own claim. I’ve seen a lot of essays with so many citations and paraphrases that the reader has a hard time figuring out where the author’s own voice begins and the famous theorist’s ends. (This is, sometimes, at the heart of the problem of finding one’s voice – see my earlier column for tips on locating yours.) Revise your chapters and articles so that your own argument takes center stage; everyone else is in a supporting role.

3. When you receive comments on a draft, read them and then put them away for at least a day. I recommend a full week. In that time, remind yourself that criticism of your arguments, your structure, or your evidence is not criticism of you as a person. Your work is completely separate from your self-worth. The comment, “This needs work. Your argument is weak,” does not mean: “You need work. You are weak. You are too dumb to write this.” Learn to spot the difference between what is being conveyed in the comments on the page and your distorted interpretation of what isn’t being said. Don’t read between the lines. Only rely on concrete evidence. Until someone tells you, explicitly and directly, “You aren’t good/talented/smart enough to do this,” proceed in good faith that you are.

4. Finally, don’t quit for the wrong reasons. Don’t quit writing or avoid working on your dissertation or book or article because you think you’re not a good enough writer, or you can’t find your argument or structure, or you think everyone else is having an easier time of it. I promise you that you are, you will, and they aren’t. Really. Just write."
writing  academia  2014  howwewrite  confidence  gender  attribution  references 
october 2014 by robertogreco
Evgeny Morozov: Author of the Quixote?
" With just 4,000 words at his disposal in the New Yorker Morozov was generous to spend two of them evaluating Medina’s work in passing as an “entertaining history.” Two words might not sound like much, but The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (revised edition) summed up Earth and everyone on it as “mostly harmless.” Heck, I’ve seen posters for really bad movies that blew up fainter and shorter praise in huge letters (“Energetic!” Some guy you’ve never heard of – Huffington Post). Despite this clear signposting in the tenth paragraph some dimwits did not grasp that the piece was a book review. With what little respect might be due to them, this is clear their fault, not his. He simply did not have enough space “to repeat what was already obvious.” Let me observe in passing that Morozov is wasting his new piece on Tumblr. With a little editing it too could be published in the New Yorker. I suggest the “Shouts & Murmurs” section.

I have particular sympathy for Morozov as a glance at his Twitter feed over the past month shows that he is beset with idiots on all sides. People with paralyzed brains in startups. Events “about bullshit.” The silliness of Marshal McLuhan. The “stupidity” of Checky. The dullards who retweet him without recognizing his sarcasm. Bravest of all, a tweet observing “Got nothing to say? Add the word ‘ontology’ to it – at least, it will get published.” Perhaps he had, at that very moment in his research, come across Peter Galison’s classic paper “The Ontology of the Enemy: Norbert Weiner and the Cybernetic Vision.” His books tell a similarly moving story. As the only person in the world who is both intelligent and principled he puts a succession of idiots, hacks, and corporate shills to shame. It’s the lot of the genius to be unappreciated in his own lifetime.

His plight is captured eloquently by his twitter tagline, “There are useful idiots. Look around.” Let’s do that right now. All of you line up. Look left. Look right. One of you is an idiot. Probably that guy on your left. I think he’s drooling, but it’s hard to tell with the light down here. The woman on the right doesn’t look too sharp either. Chances are that they’re both idiots. Hell, I wouldn’t be shocked if all three of you are idiots. Some of you don’t even go to Harvard.

So, implausible as this might seem, here’s why I think Morozov is being unduly modest about his own immense potential. Over the past six months I’ve been conducting my own unpublished, unwritten, research project on a little known figure of the early twentieth century: Pierre Menard. Menard is remembered a prolific yet minor scholar, author of five monographs and a number of articles on a range of topics. Like Morozov he spread his talent widely.

Yet Menard’s true, and little acknowledged, genius lay in an entirely separate project. He was attempting a supremely audacious literary feat: reproducing Don Quixote without, and here comes the hard part, having read it since early childhood. He did not want to compose another Quixote —which is easy— but the Quixote itself. Needless to say, he never contemplated a mechanical transcription of the original; he did not propose to copy it. His admirable intention was to produce a few pages which would coincide—word for word and line for line—with those of Miguel de Cervantes. By the time of his death years of meticulous research had allowed Menard to independently reproduce significant portions of the text. He was one of the forgotten greats of world literature.

Menard’s challenge was more formidable that Cervantes’, just as Morozov faced a more difficult task than Medina. As Menard wrote, “To compose the Quixote at the beginning of the seventeenth century was a reasonable undertaking, necessary and perhaps even unavoidable; at the beginning of the twentieth, it is almost impossible. It is not in vain that three hundred years have gone by, filled with exceedingly complex events. Amongst them, to mention only one, is the Quixote itself.”

Looking side by side at identical passages from Menard and Cervantes it is clear that Menard’s was the greater accomplishment. To write in an alien tongue, three centuries later and still produce the same words was a remarkable and subtle triumph. Since Menard’s death none have dared to take up this challenge, but given his remarkable talent as a replicator of research I think Morozov might be able to finish the job. There are other parallels. Menard was drawn to Don Quixote as “an entertaining book.” Morozov’s research began with Medina’s “entertaining history.” Both authors transcended their sources by reproducing them.

They also share working methods. Menard spent sleepless nights scribbling thousands of draft pages, which he meticulously destroyed. As he noted, “the philosophers publish the intermediary stages of their labor in pleasant volumes and I have resolved to do away with those stages.” Only the brilliant end product remains. Morozov tweeted to an admirer that his method was “old school: most of is (sic) in my head and occasional notes in Open Office. I am blessed with good memory.”

Morozov’s ability to repeat interviews with Medina’s oral history subjects to reproduce the same quotes she used in her book is the surest sign of his readiness for this awesome challenge. Morozov mentions interviewing Flores and Brian Eno, but again his modesty is deceptive. I’m sure that he also interviewed Ángel Parra (quote p. 133) and Tomas Kohn (quote p. 132) to independently reproduce the remarks from their 2008 interviews with Medina that appear both in her book and in his article. He showed particular ingenuity in discovering that a quote Medina incorrectly attributed to a 2006 interview she conducted with Raul Espejo (quote p. 186 fn. 53, p. 288) was actually something that “one of Cybersyn’s directors remarked at the time.” Contemporary remarks are more historically reliable that those given decades later, so this is another way in which Morozov’s is a more profound historical contribution than Medina’s.

As Jorge Luis Borges noted in “Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote,” an entertaining history article, Menard believed that “Every man should be capable of all ideas and I understand that in the future this will be the case.” We live in that future, and Evgeny Morosov is our champion. It would be a crime for him to spend years working on a Ph.D. thesis with footnotes and the other accoutrements of mediocrity. Let him instead do what only he can do: take up the project of Menard and complete the Quixote.

There must be no more grumbling against this great and humble scholar. Cabal dismissed."
borges  evgenymorozov  satire  thomashaigh  2014  academia  writing  plagiarism  attribution  cybersyn  quixote  thenewyorker  research  footnotes  memory  pierremenard  edenmedina  donquixote  humor 
october 2014 by robertogreco
Gratitude and Its Dangers in Social Technologies
"How do our designs change when we start emphasizing people and community and not just the things they do for us? Over the next year of my research, I'm exploring acknowledgment and gratitude, basic parts of online relationships that designers often set aside to focus on the tasks people do online.

In May of last year, Wikipedia added a "thanks" feature to its history page, enabling readers to thank contributors for helpful edits on a topic:


The Wikipedia thanks button signals a profound change that's been in the making for years: After designing elaborate social practices and mechanisms to delete spam and maintain high quality content, Wikipedia noticed that they, like other wikis, were becoming oligarchic (pdf) and that their defense systems were turning people away. Realizing, this Wikipedia has been changing how they work, adding systems like "thanks" to welcome participation and encourage belonging in their community.

Thanks is just one small example of community-building at Wikimedia, who know that you can't create a welcoming culture simply by adding a "thanks" button. Some forms of appreciation can even foster very unhealthy relationships. In this post, I consider the role of gratitude in communities. I also describe social technologies designed for gratitude. This post is part of my ongoing research on designing acknowledgment for the web, acknowledging people's contributions in collaborations and creating media to support community and learning.

Why does Gratitude Matter?

People who invest time in others and support their communities describe their lives through a lens of gratitude. Dan McAdams at Northwestern University studies "generativity," the prosocial tendency of some people to see themselves as a person who supports their community: donating money, making something, fixing something, caring for the environment, writing a letter to the editor, donating blood, or mentoring someone. After asking them to take a survey, McAdams asks them to tell the story of their lives. Highly generative people often describe their lives through a lens of gratitude. People who give back to their community or pay it forward often think of things in exactly those terms: talking about the people, institutions, or religious figures who gave them advantages and helped them turn difficult times into positive experiences (read one of McAdams's studies in this pdf).

Gratitude that becomes part of our life story builds up over time. It's the kind of general gratitude we might direct toward a deity, an institution, or a supportive community. McAdams argues that this gratitude is an important part of the stories we tell ourselves about who we are: the person who loses his job and reimagines this tragedy positively as more time for family. A thankful perspective has also been linked to higher well being, mental health, and post-traumatic resilience (Wood, Froh, Geraghty, 2010 PDF)

Can we cultivate gratitude? Aside from my personal religious practice, I'm most often reminded to be grateful by Facebook posts from Liz Lawley, a professor at RIT who participates in the #365grateful movement. Every day in 2014, Liz has posted a photo of something she's grateful for. It's part of a larger participatory movement started by Hailey Bartholomew in 2011 to foster gratitude on social media:

[video: "" ]

The Economy of Thanks

… signals an understanding …

Expressions of gratitude can dramatically increase the recipient's pro-social behaviour…

Expressions of gratitude are a significant factor in successful long-term, collaborative relationships.…

…the link between reciprocity and thanks…

…commercial employee recognition technology for managers…

… expressions of thanks are signals of exchange within a relationship…

The Dark Side of Thanks

Gratitude or its absence can influence relationships in harmful ways by encouraging paternalism, supporting favoritism, or papering over structural injustices. Since the focus of my thesis is cooperation across diversity, I'm paying close attention to these dark patterns:

Presumption of thanks misguides us into paternalism…

… gratitude can support favoritism. …

Gratitude sometimes offers a moral facade to injustice.…

Mechanisms of Gratitude and Acknowledgment

In design, gratitude and thanks are often painted over systems for reputation, reward, and exchange. The Kudos system offers a perfect example of these overlaps, showing how a simple "thank you" can become freighted with implications for someone's job security, promotion, and financial future. As I study further, here are my working definitions for acts in the economy of gratitude:

Appreciation: when you praise someone for something they have done, even if their work wasn't directed personally to you. This could be a "like" on Facebook, the "thanks" button on Wikipedia, or the private "thanks" message on the content platform


Thanks: when you thank another person for something they have done for you personally. This is the core interaction on the Kudos system, as well as the system I'm studying with Emma and Andrés.

Acknowledgment: when you make a person visible for things they've done. This is closely connected to Attribution, when you acknowledge a person's role in something they helped create. I've already written about acknowledgment and designed new interfaces for displaying acknowledgment and attribution. I see acknowledgment as something focused on relationships and community, while attribution is more focused on a person's moral rights and legal relationships with the things they create, as they are discussed and shared.

Credit: when you attribute someone with the possibility or expectation of reward. Most research on acknowledgment focuses on credit, either its role in shaping careers or its implications in copyright law.

Reward: when you give a person something for what they have done. For example, the Wikipedia Barnstars program offers rewards of social status for especially notable contributions to Wikipedia. Peer bonus and micro-bonus systems such as add financial rewards to expressions of thanks, inviting people to add even more bonuses toward the most popular recipients.

[video: " Peer-to-peer employee recognition made easy" ]

Review: when you describe a person, hoping to influence other people's decisions about that person. Reviews on "reputation economy" sites like Couchsurfing are often expressed in the language of thanks, even though they have two audiences: the person reviewed as well as others who might interact with the subject of your review. In 2011, I blogged about research by Lada Adamic on reviews in the Couchsurfing community.

Designing for Gratitude, Thanks, and Acknowledgment

Gratitude is a basic part of any strong community. Thanks are the visible signal of a rich economy of favors and obligations, a building block in relationship formation and maintenance. Gratitude is common in the life stories of people who give back to their community, and it's the hallmark of the most successful long-term collaborative relationships. Despite the importance of gratitude, processes for collaboration and crowdsourcing much more frequently focus on rewards, reviews, and other short-term incentives for participation. Gratitude does have a dark side when it overrules consent, fosters favoritism, and even hides systemic injustices.

If we're going to design for community (civic technologies, I'm looking at you), we need to focus on relationships, not just the faceless outputs we want from "human computation." Across the academic year, I'll be posting more about the role of acknowledgment in cooperation, civic life, learning, and creativity, accompanied by more in-depth data analysis. I'll also write more about Wikipedia's initiatives for online collaboration that aim for greater inclusivivity."

[Cached version: ]
natematias  gratitude  socialmedia  wikipedia  learning  community  communities  communitymanagement  wikimedia  2014  thanks  appreciation  nathanmatias  visualization  journalism  kudos  lizlawley  socialnetworks  socialnetworking  civics  rewards  attribution  paternalism  peerbonus  acknowledgement  prosocial  cooperation  creativity  favoritism  injustice  presumption  facebook  365grateful  haileybartholomew  twitter  seneca  relationships  communication  generativity 
august 2014 by robertogreco
it’s history, not a viral feed | Wynken de Worde
"Feeds like @HistoryinPics make it impossible for anyone interested in a picture to find out more about it, to better understand what it is showing, and to assess its accuracy. As a teacher and as someone who works in a cultural heritage institution, I am deeply invested in the value of studying the past and of recognizing that the past is never neutral or transparent. We see the past through our own perspective and often put it to use for our own purposes. We don’t always need to trace history’s contours in order to enjoy a letter or a photograph, but they are there to be traced. These accounts capitalize on a notion that history is nothing more than superficial glimpses of some vaguely defined time before ours, one that exists for us to look at and exclaim over and move on from without worrying about what it means and whether it happened.

But history is not a toy. It’s not a private amusement. And those of us who engage with the past know how important it is and how enjoyable it can be to learn about it and from it. These accounts piss me off because they undermine an enterprise I value.  Historical research—indeed, humanistic inquiry as a whole—is being undermined by the constant plugging of economic value as a measure of worth, the public defunding of higher education, and the rampant devaluing of faculty teaching.

And so @HistoryInPics makes me angry not for what it fails to do, but that it gets so many people to participate in it, including people who care about the same issues that I do. Attribution, citation, and accuracy are the basis of understanding history. @HistoryInPics might not care about those things, but I would like to think that you do. The next time you come across one of these pictures, ask yourself what it shows and what it doesn’t, and what message you’re conveying by spreading it.

And so as to not leave you on an angry note, I leave you with the following recommendations. Want some old pictures to laugh at? @AhistoricalPics is a hilarious, spot-on mockery of the trend. Looking for a twitter feed that will call attention to interesting historical tidbits while also providing accurate information and reliable attributions? @SlateVault, curated by actual historian Rebecca Onion, is a vault of treasures indeed. If those don’t give you enough outlet for your whimsy, try @libraryofaleph, which tweets verbatim the captions of images in the Library of Congress, allowing your imagination to run wild and then letting you search the Library of Congress yourself.

Follow these accounts and resist the others. You’ll thank me in the long run."
attribution  copyright  history  2014  sarahwerner  twitter  @HistoryInPics  @HistoricalPics  @History_Pics  mattnovak  truth 
february 2014 by robertogreco
@HistoryInPics, @HistoricalPics, @History_Pics: Why the wildly popular Twitter accounts are bad for history.
["“I know what this is!” vs “I wonder what this is about?” - @rebeccaonion on shallow history vs historical discovery."

"We need more things in this world that make us end our sentences in question marks instead of exclamation points." ]

"These caveats aside, Werner’s cry—“These accounts piss me off because they undermine an enterprise I value”—resonates deeply with me. Lack of attribution for the artists who took the photos these accounts use is only the beginning of the problem. By failing to provide context, offering a repetitive and restricted view of what “history” is, and never linking to the many real historical resources available on the Web, these accounts strip history of the truly fun parts: curiosity, detective work, and discovery.

"Attribution, meanwhile, isn’t just about giving credit to a creator. A historical document was produced by somebody, at some time, under certain conditions. To historians these details, and the questions they provoke, are what give historical documents dimension. As John Overholt, the curator of early modern books and manuscripts at Harvard’s Houghton Library (and an avid Twitterer and Tumblrer), said to me via email:
Every image is also an artifact—it has a creator, a context, and, in the era of film photography at least, a physical original that sits in a repository somewhere. Divorced from all that metadata, a stream of historical images is always going to be a shallow experience.

By not linking to sources or context, history pic accounts create an impression of history as a glossy, impervious façade."

"When she posted her rant on the history-pics phenomenon, the Folger’s Sarah Werner received pushback on Twitter, and was accused of being “against fun.” But a critique of this mode of history-on-Twitter is actually the opposite of elitist schoolmarmery. By posting the same types of photographs over and over and omitting context and links, these accounts are robbing readers of the joy of the historical rabbit hole—and they’re taking a dim, condescending view of the public’s appetite for complexity and breadth of interest.

In my capacity as blogger for the Vault, I spend a lot of time in (free!) digital archives, on the blogs of libraries and museums, and on sites produced by historians working inside and outside of the academy. A delirious pleasure of historical inquiry, on- and offline, lies in the twists and turns: You think you’re writing about children’s encyclopedias from the 1920s, and at the end of the day you’re researching the primatologist Robert Yerkes. This joy is easier than ever for anyone to experience, given the ever-growing body of linked information and original documents available on the Web.

I’m under no illusion that every blog reader follows the links I include to the archives where I find documents, or that every Twitter follower clicks on the links I put in @SlateVault tweets. But if they do, and they land in a digital archive or on a blog, they might see a slider pointing to related documents, a right rail with links to intriguing past posts, or an appealing subject heading. Or, they might decide to plug some of the information they find into Google Books, and see whether anything fun surfaces.

My hope is that I’m providing a starting point, not an end point, with each post. I never know for sure if what sparks my own curiosity will kindle a similar fire with readers, but if it does, I want readers to be able to pursue the subject beyond the confines of my short posts and tweets. The history-pics accounts give no impression of even knowing this web of legitimate, varied historical content exists. Given their huge follower counts, this is a missed opportunity—for their readers, and for the historians and archivists who would thrill to larger audiences for their work."
2014  history  curiosity  rebeccaonion  sarahwerner  @HistoryInPics  @HistoricalPics  @History_Pics  johnoverholt  questioning  askingquestions  attribution  context  mattnovak  truth  twitter  alexismadrigal  discovery  learning  complexity  artifacts  bestpractices  tumblr  research  howweshare  internet  web  online  questionasking 
february 2014 by robertogreco
The CSS-Tricks License | CSS-Tricks
I don't give two hoots what you do with any of the design or code you find here.

Actually, I do. I hope you take it and use it, uncredited, on a super commercial website and get wicked rich off it. I hope you use it at work and your boss is impressed and you get a big promotion. I hope it helps you design a website and that website impresses somebody you think is super hot and you get married and have smart, chill babies. I hope you use the code in a blog post you write elsewhere and that website gets way more popular and awesome than this one.

If you feel like telling me about it, cool. If not, no big deal. If you feel better crediting it, that's cool. If not, don't sweat it.

If you copy an entire article from this site and republish it on your own site like you wrote it, that's a little uncool. I won't be mad at you for stealing, I just think you're better than that and want to see you do better. I'm not going to come after you though. I'd rather play ball with my dog. The only time I'll be mad at you is if you go out of your way to try and hurt me somehow. And again I probably won't even be mad, just sad. Unless I'm having a bad day too, in which case I apologize in advance for my snarky replies.

I want the web to get better and being all Johnny Protective over everything doesn't get us there. I understand other people feel differently about this and might have semi-legit reasons for protecting certain code, design, writing, or whatever. I work on some closed-source projects myself. CSS-Tricks isn't one of them. Go nuts."
via:maxfenton  css-tricks  sharing  attribution  code  opensource  copyright  licensing  creativecommons 
november 2013 by robertogreco
"Hello, I’m Golan Levin. Today I’d like to talk about getting better results from your informatics researchdivision. You know: -- all those people that you employ in your R&D; department? The ones working on the development of new algorithms for computer vision, computational design, cultural informatics. And new artistic applications of these technologies. To judge from your some of your recentadvertising campaigns, you must’ve hired a bunch of PhD’s, huh?


For those of you who saw Evan Roth’s talk at E.T.A. last year [2011] -- my talk today issimilar. And the reason for this, is that certain problems have not only persisted, but, inways, gotten worse.



dishonesty  inequity  adagencies  partnerships  evanroth  culturalinformatics  informatics  r&d;  credit  thievery  ads  2012  golanlevin  attribution  newmediaart  newmedia  opensource  advertising 
october 2012 by robertogreco
You know I love a good mystery « Keri Smith
"I received an email from a reader who suggested that “The Rules” by Corita Kent (which I cited a few posts back) was actually written by John Cage. This same reader (who asked to remain anonymous) claims to have seen in person, this list of rules in typewritten copy on the bulletin board at the Cunningham Studio (very cool).

And so there begins a little investigation on my part…"

[See also: ]
2010  kerismith  attribution  rules  sistercorita  johncage  coritakent 
september 2012 by robertogreco
Snark and bile and something worse « Snarkmarket
[Why Robin is such a class act…]

"When people complain about the relentless snark and bile of the internet, I never get it. Maybe I’ve just feathered too comfortable a nest for myself in Reader, on Twitter, and here on the Sesame Street of Snarkmarket. Whatever the case, the complaint just never rings true. It never corresponds to my actual experience of the internet.

Tonight, it does…

[Jim Romenesko issue of attribution on his Poynter Institute blog]

But even so, I’d like to think I’m arguing something general and reasonable here. Simply put, it’s this:

YES to public reasoning rooted in real values.
NO to cruelty. NEVER to cruelty."
cruelty  robinsloan  2011  levelheadedness  conversation  snarkmarket  poynterinstitute  jimromenesko  choiresicha  juliemoos  disagreement  behavior  reasoning  publicreasoning  attribution  thoughtfulness  journalism  discourse  argument 
november 2011 by robertogreco
?¿ src-img
"Src Img is a bookmarklet that interfaces with Google™ Image Search to help you find the creators of images you see on blogs that are too lame cool for attribution.

How do I use it?

Drag the following link to the bookmarks bar in your browser.

?¿ src-img
Then click it when you are on a page with images you want to track down."
bookmarklet  bookmarklets  tumblr  source  attribution  blogging  shouldnotbenecessary  images  search 
november 2011 by robertogreco
Jamie McKelvie - On reblogging
"Posting other people’s images without credit when you know who created it is not cool.

Reblogging the work of artists/photographers/writers & actively removing their credit is even worse.

The set-up of Tumblr encourages this somewhat - it’s easy to instantaneously reblog w/out giving much thought to where an image came from. And it seems to have led to the rise of a culture of people who just reblog things they think are cool as if to say “look how good my taste is”. Which, you know, that’s up to you, that’s fine, but consider this; each image you’re reblogging was created w/ love & time & hard work. The person who made it deserves to have their hand in its creation acknowledged and respected. If they’ve added some text along with the image, chances are because that is part of how they want to present the work…"
tumblr  etiquette  netiquette  attribution  coolness  reblogging  respect  howitshouldbedone  jamiemckelvie 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Descartes didn’t say that « Snarkmarket
"I like that description, too! Kotkin liked it so much, he put it in his book. I like it so much, I wanted to find out where it came from.

And it turns out Descartes didn’t say that. And the phrase doesn’t mean what Kotkin thinks it does. But there’s a reason both the philosopher and the new meaning got mixed into it.

Get the genealogical-detective lowdown in a Storify by my Twitter-co-archeologist Wilko von Hardenberg after the jump. (I really like his idea that this would make for a great game/exercise in the classroom.)

Also, if you missed it, see why Martin Luther King and Mark Twain didn’t say what you might think they did either. Similar psychology at work here, too. And it shows that it isn’t just the cut-and-pasters on the interwebs who make these mistakes."

[See also: AND ]
psychology  cities  twitter  quotes  descartes  joelkotkin  timcarmody  snarkmarket  attribution 
may 2011 by robertogreco
Giving our feelings a name
"One of the many things that fascinated Freud about jokes was that they passed around from person to person without an author. This is why they were interesting - they showed the unconscious uncensored, in public. (This is a big part of what Wit and its Relation to the Unconscious is about.)

When we (mis)attribute a joke or quote, we're doing something different: we're giving our unconscious an author, and leaning on the author's authority. Just like with jokes, it's an acceptable way to let our nervous feelings out, without having to completely own them ourselves. We just co-sign."
psychology  twitter  networks  feelings  mlk  pennjillette  timcarmody  quotes  authority  jokes  freud  attribution  misattribution  social  marktwain  osamabinladen  2011  clarencedarrow  meganmcardle  jessicadovey  drewgrant  martinlutherkingjr 
may 2011 by robertogreco
A List Apart: Articles: Orbital Content
"Attribution is authorship metadata that is bound to content. No matter how far and wide a piece of content spreads, it never forgets who created it and where it’s from. Despite its importance, web attribution is already in shambles. A quick review of Tumblr blogs or the image stream at FFFFound! will show just how difficult it is to find the original sources for most content. This lack of attribution means that content creators receive neither financial nor reputational gains when others spread their work. As good citizens of the web, we have to be vigilant in retaining authorship as we liberate and share content.

If we can keep attribution firmly in place, content collections and orbital content offer publishers new opportunities for both financial and reputational gain. Traditionally, site owners monetize their content by generating traffic to get as many “eyeballs” in front of their advertisements as possible…"

[via: ]
content  web  publishing  online  internet  alistapart  attribution  orbitalcontent  ffffound  tumblr  onlinepublishing  monetization  reputation  sharing  open  api  instapaper 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Network | better taste than sorry.
"One of my most favorite quotes is by George Bernard Shaw. It displays my motivation why I contribute to the web.

“If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.”

And just imagine what could happen if we all share our ideas with each other…Exchange and sharing are two of the most important aspects within blogs. And there are several people who are constantly giving me inspiration. Basically better taste than sorry would not be the same without these people. And I want to take the chance to feature them right here. (the listening doesn’t follow any rule or special order, just like it came into my mind)"
georgebernardshaw  learning  networks  networkedlearning  design  community  twitter  howwelearn  sharing  ideas  markusreuter  manyminds  inspiration  web  online  attribution  listening  conversation  blogs  blogging  exchange 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Nauli's daily dose
"As we don't own most of the photos posted here and often believe in sources given from others, please let us know, if there is anything wrong or you want us to remove a photo you own." [This is one way to do it.]
attribution  tumblr  tumbling  copyright  permission  sharing  source 
february 2011 by robertogreco
"The problem: Creative Commons licensed content is awesome, but attributing it properly can be difficult and confusing. The first rule for re-using openly licensed content is that you have to properly attribute the creator. There are specific requirements for what needs to go into that attribution, but those requirements can be confusing and hard to find.<br />
The solution: A simple tool everyone can use to do the right thing with the click of a button. That’s why we’re building Open Attribute, a suite of tools that makes it ridiculously simple for anyone to copy and paste the correct attribution for any CC licensed work. These tools will query the metadata around a CC-licensed object and produce a properly formatted attribution that users can copy and paste wherever they need to.<br />
<br />
Open Attribute is a Mozilla Drumbeat project born at the “Learning, Freedom and the Web” Festival in Barcelona."
copyright  creativecommons  cc  mozilla  licensing  attribution  openattribute 
february 2011 by robertogreco The New Who Thing
"That’s what was so compelling, I think, about the first few waves of blogs. By and large, they weren’t just venues for the publication of content. They also served as outposts for your identity, a representation of who you were on the World Wide Web. By contrast, Tumblr blogs often seem more like something dishonest — well, dishonest is too strong a word. But when I browse through many of these tumblelogs, they feel as if their authors are trying to get away with something, trying to sneak something past somebody. There’s a sense of evasiveness, or vagueness, of no one really standing behind what’s been published, or no one being sufficiently committed to the content to offer up their name."
tumblr  khoivinh  identity  critique  blogging  simplicity  popularity  attribution  culture  webdesign  webdev 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Daring Fireball: Tynt, the Copy/Paste Jerks
"All of this nonsense — the attribution appended to copied text, the inline search results popovers — is from a company named Tynt, which bills itself as “The copy/paste company”.
daringfireball  usability  seo  spam  copypaste  attribution  javascript  webdev  publishing  wastingourtime  copyright  chrome  ads  internet  web  advertising  webdesign 
may 2010 by robertogreco
Twitter Support : Reposting others' content without attribution [This exists.]
"Twitter provides a platform for users to upload and share ideas and content. Users may share Tweets posted by others using features such as Retweeting.

As a policy, we do not intervene in personal disputes between users. If you believe your Tweet has been posted without proper attribution and the situations below are inapplicable to your case, you can use an @reply or direct message to contact the other user."
twitter  termsofservice  tos  attribution  spam  rules  content  retweets  copyright 
february 2010 by robertogreco
TinEye Reverse Image Search
"TinEye a reverse image search engine. You can submit an image to TinEye to find out where it came from, how it is being used, if modified versions of the image exist, or to find higher resolution versions."
searchengine  search  images  photography  copyright  attribution  online  recognition  tineye 
january 2009 by robertogreco
STANFORD Magazine: March/April 2007 > Mind-set Research > Parenting Tips
"# Listen to what you say to your kids, with an ear toward the messages you’re sending about mind-set. # Instead of praising children’s intelligence or talent, focus on the processes they used. Example: “That homework was so long and involved. I really admire the way you concentrated and finished it.” Example: “That picture has so many beautiful colors. Tell me about them.” Example: “You put so much thought into that essay. It really makes me think about Shakespeare in a new way.”
education  learning  children  psychology  creativity  management  attribution  cognitive  intelligence  parenting  coaching 
november 2008 by robertogreco » How to find the original Flickr Photo URL and User from a Static Flickr Image URL/Permalink (My priceless Flickr Tip)
"Got a link like and want to find out which user posted it, more images by that user, see the full-size version, etc? Seek no longer, the answer is very simple!

The image we found

From the URL you’ve got take extract the image name (2177060015_258bcfaff9_m.jpg) and split it on the underscore. The first part is the photoID, the second part is the hash/salt and (if there) the third part the size (Full format: photoId_hash_size.jpg).

Now append that photoId to and *MAGIC* there you have it, the Original Flickr Photo URL (and the user) :) The example above would be transformed to "
flickr  attribution  hacks  api  howto  photography 
november 2008 by robertogreco
ffffound and attribution - Vox
"ffffound doesn't really try to tie these images together, or to do anything to limit the duplication. Admittedly, sites like don't either, and variant URLs on the same site can lead to as much duplication as the quoting (and reuploading) of i
ffffound  attribution  blogging  context  copyright  web  via:blackbeltjones 
january 2008 by robertogreco
A New Sheriff in Town? (
"Attributor splits up the world between sites that exhibit extensive copying (more than half of an article, for instance, and just some copying. It shows which sites have linked back to the original source and which have not."
copyright  attribution  writing  content  publishing  services 
november 2007 by robertogreco

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