Because all of them are going to be archived at the Library of Congress. The LoC has just acquired the entire archive of Twitter’s public messages and will be storing them digitally for posterity. Research into the human condition can now commence 160 characters at a time. To quote Ars Technica:
The idea is to better understand the context of a time and place, to understand the way that all kinds of people thought and lived, and to get away from an older scholarship that privileged the productions of (usually) elite males.
At least we should be able to better understand frustrating days at work, bad dates and the contents of lunch.
Professor of poetry, author and Literary House Director, Mark Nowak appeared on BBC America’s World News program last night to discuss the current mining disasters in West Virginia and China. Mark, who writes extensively about mines and their employees via his book and blog, Coal Mountain Elementary, was a natural fit for the news segment since he literally calls our attention to yet another mine tragedy from around the globe on a daily basis.
On a personal level, it was extremely surreal watching Mark on the very familiar BBC set that I see every morning and many evenings. Even more unusual to hear him speaking with Matt Frei on our television.
Well, that lasted marginally longer than expected: Google’s services in China are entirely blocked for all intents and purposes. As reported by The Daily Mail, Google’s rerouting of Chinese searches through Hong Kong has officially been blocked by the Chinese government. Users who attempt to access Google now are seeing results that include a reset internet connection and an error message.
This is truly unfortunate as I really thought Google had the clout to make some change to the Great Firewall. Perhaps broader access to unfiltered searches will bring increased awareness of what’s being missed to the Chinese people? Until Round 4…
It seems that, no matter what, public services like libraries, museums, parks and the like are the first to suffer and the hardest hit during budgetary crises. And since we are a nation wracked with deficit after deficit from town to town, we are seeing many, many of these arts, culture and recreation centers shutting their doors. As pointed out by this LA Timesarticle, closing a library will not only cut off access to books but also access to the internet for the low-income users who make use of public computers at library branches.
While the role of libraries has certainly changed over the last few decades, it’s important to remember that these facilities are an important part of any community - town, city, college campus - as they represent a dedicated space for retrieving knowledge no matter what form it takes.
Google has officially closed its google.cn search engine and has begun rerouting traffic to google.hk (Google Hong Kong.) In so doing, Google is attempting to circumvent China’s required censorship measures.
And - as would be expected - China is already making countermoves to block Google’s workaround. Reports are stating that google.hk is being blocked for mainland China’s users.
What will happen next? Google certainly has the resources to come up with yet another move but does the company really want to further upset officials in Beijing just to make a point about censorship. If they did, it would be a highly uncharacteristic move for a corporation (jeopardizing profits for principles.) But, Google is an uncharacteristic corporation and these are strange days…
As Nancy often reminds me, environmentalism is not a new concept. The “green” revolution actually kicked off in earnest in the 1960s and 70s - heard of hippies or Earth Day? Our modern take on environmental activism and awareness is more a rediscovery and reinvigoration of what was already started.
To celebrate this history, Wired Science just posted a story covering the emergence of a digitized version of the first true environmentalism series, Our Vanishing Wilderness. Take a look at a clip:
Google’s Chinese search engine, google.cn, is no longer filtering many previously censored results, according to MSNBC today. Though both government officials in Beijing and Google executives - on not the best of terms after a recent hacking incident - claim nothing has changed, it’s clear that we are witnessing the first showdown between a communist government and a corporate entity. Should be an interesting few days of following this story.