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What the Smithsonian needs in a leader - The Washington Post
"The next secretary of the Smithsonian will face serious challenges including a decaying campus of buildings that needs major renovation and fundraising concerns that may complicate the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. And then there are the perennial issues: maintaining relations with Congress, keeping budgets intact, negotiating the cultural politics of the 21st century, and redefining the institution for new generations with an insatiable appetite for digital interaction and spectacle.

And yet ask around, and when people think about what kind of person should replace G. Wayne Clough as the next secretary, they don’t talk in terms of skill sets, or professional background. Business prowess and fund raising skill aren’t even on the list, indeed, after years of wanton commercialization of the institution, they are in bad odor. What matters now, after a string of desultory and sometimes disastrous secretaries, is finding someone with three essential personal qualities: boundless curiosity, courage and generosity."



"The problems Clough inherited weren’t just a string of embarrassments from a venal leader. Small brought an ugly ethos to the Smithsonian, staffed its top leadership with people who shared it, and generally infected the place with the idea that the only bottom line was the bottom line. Old ideals about scholarship and the “increase and diffusion of knowledge” were discarded."

...

"For all his institutional prowess and his deft touch with the moneyed and political classes, Ripley is remembered primarily as a man who loved knowledge. Among the many things that rankle about Clough is his having paid more than a million dollars to a “brand experience” firm to come up with the tawdry tagline “Seriously Amazing.” Ripley would never have done that, mainly because his entire life was spent living out the founding idea of the best-branded institution in American cultural life, a Smithsonian devoted to the “increase and diffusion of knowledge.”



So it’s a troubling possibility that not only do men like Ripley not exist anymore, but that the world they mastered doesn’t exist anymore. Even more troubling, however, is the possibility that America is no longer producing leaders of this intellectual caliber. We may now be seeing the long-term impact of the fragmentation of knowledge, the contempt for art and the redefinition of accomplishment in exclusively commercial or entrepreneurial terms."



"The search committee’s choice will be scrutinized in light of a recent report by the American Academy of Arts and Letters that detailed an international trend away from education and funding for the liberal arts and social sciences, a potentially disastrous slight of things the authors says are “essential for the inventiveness, competitiveness, security, and personal fulfillment of the American public.” The next secretary may or may not be from the humanities (Ripley was a scientist), but he or she will have to love them deeply and without condescension, and be able to negotiate the intersection of art and science without trivializing the former or fetishizing the latter."
via:straup  2013  smithsonian  museums  culture  us  gwayneclough  lawrencesmall  sdillonripley  jcarterbrown  curiosity  generosity  knowledge  intellect  education  priorities  institutions  legacy 
december 2013 by robertogreco
tmcw/biggie · GitHub
"biggie is the last mile of big. It turns Markdown into slides, and slides into a website, and even posts it online for you with the magic of bl.ocks.org and gist."
via:straup  presentations  markdown  slides  gist  big  biggie 
june 2013 by robertogreco
TapTapSee - Blind & Visually Impaired Camera for iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad on the iTunes App Store
"TapTapSee is designed to help the blind and visually impaired identify objects they encounter in their daily lives.

Simply double tap the screen to take a photo of anything and hear the app speak the identification back to you."
via:straup  cameras  iphone  ios  blindness  objectrecognition  sensors  assistivetechnology  roboteyes 
june 2013 by robertogreco
Rent-seeking - Wikipedia
"In economics, rent-seeking is an attempt to obtain economic rent by manipulating the social or political environment in which economic activities occur, rather than by creating new wealth, for example, spending money on political lobbying in order to be given a share of wealth that has already been created. A famous example of rent-seeking is the limiting of access to lucrative occupations, as by medieval guilds or modern state certifications and licensures. People accused of rent seeking typically argue that they are indeed creating new wealth (or preventing the reduction of old wealth) by improving quality controls, guaranteeing that charlatans do not prey on a gullible public, and preventing bubbles."

"A simple definition of rent seeking is spending resources in order to gain by increasing one's share of existing wealth, instead of trying to create wealth. The net effect of rent-seeking is to reduce total social wealth, because resources are spent and no new wealth is created. It is important to distinguish rent-seeking from profit-seeking. Profit-seeking is the creation of wealth, while rent-seeking is the use of social institutions such as the power of government to redistribute wealth among different groups without creating new wealth.

Rent-seeking implies extraction of uncompensated value from others without making any contribution to productivity. The origin of the term refers to gaining control of land or other natural resources. An example of rent-seeking in a modern economy is political lobbying for government benefits or subsidies, or to impose regulations on competitors, in order to increase market share.
Studies of rent-seeking focus on efforts to capture special monopoly privileges such as manipulating government regulation of free enterprise competition.[2] The term monopoly privilege rent-seeking is an often-used label for this particular type of rent-seeking. Often-cited examples include a lobby that seeks tariff protection, quotas, subsidies[3], or extension of copyright law.[4]"
motive  finance  community  greedheads  rent-seeking  wealth  access  economics  manipulation  politics  leeches  selfishness  greed  guilds  certification  licenses  via:straup  resources  capitalgoods  economicgrowth  growth  allocationofresources  efficiency  monopolies  monopolyprivileges  competition  regulation  ownership  productivity  subsidies 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Now Featuring Neighborhoods in Global Places - Factual Blog
"We’ve used Flickr Neighborhoods to tag our places. This data is in turn based on the Yahoo Geoplanet dataset, which takes a liberal attitude towards what constitutes a ‘neighborhood’ — basically any informal, local geography. We’re fans of this resource because its use does not impose upstream license encumberances on our users, it increases discoverability of the data, and, lastly, it is not tessellated (the neighborhoods overlap), which we think better reflects the situation in the real world."
flickr  api  factual  clustr  whosonfirst  neighborhoods  maps  mapping  geotagging  geography  via:straup 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Images as Maps - macwright.org
"The question comes up surprisingly often: how does one create fictional maps – like World of WarCraft maps – in a modern cartography system like TileMill?

I’ve made non-geographical maps before, but never anything with raster data or properly dodging the distortion of projections and their distortions…"
maps  mapping  webdev  images  macwright  via:straup  webdesign 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Trevor Paglen: I COULD TELL YOU BUT THEN YOU WOULD HAVE TO BE DESTROYED BY ME
"This webpage is an online supplement to my book about patches, emblems, and insignia from "black" military projects. You can look here to find information about the book, images and patches that aren't in the book, and updates and corrections to the book.

I am still collecting patches! If you have any patches, challenge coins, or other memorabilia you think I might be interested in, don't hesitate to contact me. I'm always game to trade, buy, or simply enjoy these things. I'm interested in anything that relates to "black" military projects, DoD/NRO space programs and operations, and anything relating to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. "
design  military  via:straup 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Twitter Cards | Twitter Developers
"You'll notice that Twitter card tags look similar to OpenGraph tags, and that's because they are based on the same conventions as the Open Graph protocol. If you're already using OpenGraph to describe data on your page, it’s easy to generate a Twitter card without duplicating your tags and data. When the Twitter card processor looks for tags on your page, it first checks for the Twitter property, and if not present, falls back to the supported Open Graph property. This allows for both to be defined on the page independently, and minimizes the amount of duplicate markup required to describe your content and experience.

Note that while Open Graph requires specifying the "og:" prefix via <html prefix="og: http://ogp.me/ns#">, no such markup is required for Twitter cards or the "twitter:" prefix. OpenGraph also specifies the use of property and content attributes for markup (<meta property="og:image" content="http://example.com/ogp.jpg"/>) while Twitter cards use name and value. Twitter's parser will fall back to using property and content, so there is no need to modify existing OpenGraph markup if it already exists in your page."

<-- there's the hook/reason, ladies and gentlemen
twitter  facebook  semweb  twittercards  opengraph  protocols  via:straup 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Finding Humans « hellofosta
"Now I’m no sentimentalist, and there are clear technical requirements to remove rogue elements from electronic assemblies, but is there space for a little more provenance in mass produced electronics? In the face of a market shift, the mass food industry began adding the name of the farmer to its milk packaging. Is there a simple equivalent in technology production? I’m not interested in a world of ‘artisanal’ or ‘fair trade’ technology, but is there room for a nod of acknowledgement that these things are the products of human beings, not simply of machines?"
via:straup 
june 2012 by robertogreco
The 86-Year-Old Firm that Designs Your In-Flight Experience | Design Decoded
"I like to say that every seat is a window seat on the Dreamliner,” Dowd gently boasts. Windows on the 787 are 65 percent larger than on a standard airplane, and mounted higher in the fuselage. Whereas normally the top of the window is flush with the seat, Dreamliner windows rise seven inches above it, so that even from the aisle, you can see out. The windows are also shade-free—embedded instead with an electrochromic material that takes the window itself from transparent to opaque."
boeing  airplanes  design  dreamliner  2012  via:straup 
may 2012 by robertogreco
James Bridle – Waving at the Machines | Web Directions
"These are sculptures by Shawn Smith. There’s going to be an ongoing problem with this, that if you sit way at the back, you might not see quite how pixelated these things are. There’s a whole different art-​​historical dissertation about what that means, the distance of the viewer."

"James Bridle’s closing keynote from Web Directions South 2011 was a a terrific end to an amazing couple of days, but don’t despair if you weren’t there. You can watch a full length video, read a transcript with the bonus of all the links James refers to, or even listen to a podcast.

So sit back, relax and enjoy Waving at the Machines."

[Video also at: http://vimeo.com/32976928 ]
newaesthetic  stml  artisyourfriend  vantagepoints  via:straup  art  future  robotflaneur  hawk-eye  gta  gregkessler  jenhesse  renderghosts  imaginaryplaces  carinaow  shawnsmith  maloescouture  minecraft  andygilmore  coll-barreau  gerhardrichter  helmutsmits  douglascoupland  beforeandafter  architecture  2011  fashion  camouflage  pixelization  waysofseeing  humans  design  8-bit  satelliteimages  googleearth  googlestreetview  tomarmitage  tomtaylor  thenewaesthetic  jamesbridle  jenshesse  marloescouture  gehardrichter  grandtheftauto 
december 2011 by robertogreco
Twitter / @dcurtisj: I choose to think of this ...
"I choose to think of this as the world's first political defection by a robotic military asset"
americaland  drones  iran  via:straup 
december 2011 by robertogreco
Institutional memory and reverse smuggling | wrttn
"At the end of the project someone should've been commissioned to write a book, "What This Goddamn Plant Is: And, How It Works". That book is effectively being written now, only by archaeologists."
engineering  documentation  process  archeology  knowledge  via:straup  institutionalmemory  memory  legacy  tcsnmy  lcproject  2011  via:blech  scale  scaling  bureaucracy  archaeology  reversesmuggling  institutionalarchaeology  institutions  business  reverse  culture  values  posterity  corporateespionage  reversecorporateespionage  organizations  recordkeeping  companies  management  sharing  via:tealtan 
december 2011 by robertogreco
discontents - It’s all about the stuff: collections, interfaces, power and people
"‘What changes’, Hitchcock asks, ‘when we examine the world through the collected fragments of knowledge that we can recover about a single person, reorganised as a biographical narrative, rather than as part of an archival system?’ ... People with passions, people with dreams, people who are just annoyed and impatient, don’t have to wait for cultural institutions to create exactly what they need. They can take what’s on offer and change it."
museum  archives  communitiesofauthority  timhitchcock  narrative  biographicalnarrative  passion  collections  interface  via:straup 
december 2011 by robertogreco
Warren Ellis » Tomorrow’s World: The Near Future Of Pop
"Not that my sixteen year old daughter knows anything about that. The thing about an early-stage networked culture where everything is available on demand means that you have to know about it to demand it. It’s why companies like last.fm, and most social networks, have always put “music discovery” towards the top of their priorities. They know that common culture has been fractured by the internet and the remains bought and paid for by scum. But my daughter has a t-shirt that reads OF COURSE I’M NOT ON FUCKING FACEBOOK. She uses YouTube playlists, and her friends’ tastes, and even music magazines, and plots her own course through pop.

And she doesn’t know, or care to be told, what her favourite pop bands owe to the Pixies or Bowie or Velvet Underground. Atemporality means nothing to her. This is hers, and that’s how it should be. And pop, in relation to the wreckage of mainstream media, has gone underground, and perhaps that’s how it should be too. Underground and everywhere, at the speed of light."
warrenellis  music  spacetime  whosonfirst  popculture  atemporality  nearfuture  adolescence  film  youtube  facebook  socialnetworking  socialnetworks  via:straup  2011  last.fm  discovery  lastfm 
november 2011 by robertogreco
Paris gets its first 24-hour baguette dispenser – feel le pain | World news | The Guardian
"Bread is partially cooked before being put in the machine, then finished off when ordered and delivered crisp and hot – for €1"
technology  food  france  paris  baguettes  bread  vendingmachines  via:straup  2011 
august 2011 by robertogreco
Flickr: LA Historic-Cultural Monuments
"The City of Los Angeles has over 500 designated "historical-cultural monuments" that define the cultural heritage of this city. A complete list of the Historic-cultural monuments is contained in the book: Landmark L.A (http://www.lfla.org/cgi-bin/store/8967.html ) or online (http://cityplanning.lacity.org/complan/HCM/HCM.CFM ).

Help create a photo database of historic-cultural monuments in Los Angeles. Please follow the groups format: Namber of building or place as the title and the HCM number as the subtitle. You will have to look up the HCM number at one of the above references."
via:straup  losangeles  landmarks  history  culture  architecture  database  monuments  flickr  photography  heritage 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Playoff beard - Wikipedia
"A playoff beard is the practice of a National Hockey League player not shaving his beard during the Stanley Cup playoffs. The player stops shaving when his team enters the playoffs and does not shave until his team is eliminated or wins the Stanley Cup. The tradition was started in the 1980s by the New York Islanders.[1][2] After the Islanders dynasty ended in 1984, the playoff beard tradition was lost[citation needed] but then was brought back in 1995 by the New Jersey Devils who used the beards. After the Devils won the Stanley Cup, the beard has been used ever since. The tradition is also practiced by nearly all North American hockey leagues, to include high school leagues and the NCAA hockey teams, as well as minor league affiliates.[3] The tradition has also spread to hockey leagues in Europe and is practiced by many fans as well."
hockey  beards  superstition  tradition  via:straup 
january 2011 by robertogreco

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