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Written by kimlacey

July 6, 2013 at 8:31 am

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Do you Guru?

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I am happy to announce that I am the new Mind Guru for Guru Magazine, the first all-digital lifestyle science magazine! Check out more!

Written by kimlacey

June 8, 2011 at 8:58 am

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Building v. Sharing

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Mark Sample’s recent blog post continues the conversation started back at the MLA convention in January. What do the digital humanities do? Are we digital humanists if we don’t build anything? These questions were in the air this past weekend, too, at Computers and Writing. In fact, Saturday’s town hall was devoted to the question of what defines a digital humanist. All these conversations are so interesting and important, especially since we HASTAC-ers are in the crux of it all. We come from different fields, different techie talents and interests, and we are arguably very in-tune with what’s going on in conversations about the digital. In response to Sample’s post, we here at HASTAC are a group of “sharers”–we talk about, repost, link to, and make new connections. We don’t, necessarily, build things. The recent Code forum delt with many of these issues–can we talk about software studies if we don’t know (how to) code? What are the limitations of not knowing code if we’re trying to understand the usability of technologies? We need people to make digital spaces, just as much as we need people to think through these spaces and applications. So, who gets to be a digital humanist? Why are we so interested in naming who is and who isn’t? Isn’t one of the benefits of this field its cross-disciplinarity? Can’t we be builders and sharers?

Written by kimlacey

June 2, 2011 at 9:04 am

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Interview with Daniel Reetz, founder of the DIY Bookscanning project

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Daniel Reetz, founder of the DIY Bookscanning project, was kind enough to take the time to speak with me about the start of his project and what he sees as the future of DIY Bookscanning.  What started out as a brilliant way to overcome a difficult situation has really branched into a worldwide project taking many forms.  Back in 2008, Reetz realized that by using cheap cameras, he could build high-speed book scanning equipment to use on his textbooks.  He purchased two cameras, gathered some supplies from a dumpster for his photo shoot, and photographed an entire textbook. Surprised that this technique worked right out of the box, Reetz knew he had something big on his hands. After writing some software to scan the books you already own, Reetz published the first DIY Bookscanning instructable in early 2009. It immediately became an internet phenomenon. In fact, the first person to copy the instructions was a village official in Indonesia who hoped to scan documents that were important to his region and unlikely to hit Googles radar. Reetz explains that there is no commercial solution for what people, like the village official, want: Its not that its too expensive, its that its not available.

However, making the DIY Bookscanners available is one of Reetzs main goals. Not every person needs her own DIY Bookscanner, but Reetz suggests that maybe one in a local library or even an apartment complex is enough. Reetz hopes that hacker communities will latch onto DIY Bookscanners, and even make them available at their public nights. For instance, rather than constructing your own scanner, you could use your groups DIY Bookscanner to scan a book or two you have on your shelf. By making the scanning a communal effort, more books could be digitized and made available.  Reetz also stressed that DIY Bookscanning is a slow growth idea, meaning that the idea is to use the existing technology until it doesnt work any more and then expand it.  There is no rush to expand, no necessity for explosive growth. One of the more interesting and recent trends in DIY threads is that users are now posting images of their scans noting that, this is what such-and-such camera can produce with no processing.  Such threads, Reetz notes, have been started organically entirely from the community of DIY users; a lot of people had questions about quality, and the community responded by posting pictures.

As for the future of DIY Bookscanning, Reetz recognizes that it is a self-sustaining process: Its not me helping people, but people helping themselves. I love that. Because DIY is different than other scanning efforts like Googles, people can scan all sorts of interesting, and personally meaningful objects (the contents of your drawers, for example) and documents (such as rifle repair manuals or even your grandmothers diary). For Reetz, these random nooks and crannies are profoundly interesting things, and were at a level of technology where DIY Bookscanning is achievable with off-the-shelf equipment.  There is a recognizable gap between the poor quality, but inexpensive, flatbeds and the excellent quality, but pricey, scanners. Reetz and his project is the remedy:  I want to fill that gap with open-source, freely available technology so it can function in places where nothing else will.

Written by kimlacey

June 2, 2011 at 9:03 am

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Rip, mix, burn

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I’m reading Alexander Reid’s The Two Virtuals and I really think he’s articulated the concept of “rip, mix, burn” really well.  Especially for my interest in memory studies, “r,m,b” is especially helpful.  Here it is:

Rip: the initial act of pulling something from somewhere, either from personal experience or from an external source

Mix: sending the ripped material into the rhizome/distributed consciousness.  This distribution causes new, inventive experiences/compositions because they were spread among other already existing experiences/compositions.

Burn: (re-)distributing the new material across the network

I’ve been trying to find a good example of creative memory, and this is it!

Written by kimlacey

September 22, 2010 at 12:13 pm

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Back in action

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Four months and three chapters later, I’m back!

Written by kimlacey

September 19, 2010 at 10:14 am

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FPOTW

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From Licklider’s “The Computer as a Communication Device”

A very important part of each man’s interaction with his on-line commu- nity will be mediated by his OLIVER. The acronym OLIVER honors Oliver Selfridge, originator of the concept. An OLIVER is, or will be when there is one, an “on-line interactive vicarious expediter and responder,” a complex of computer programs and data that resides within the network and acts on behalf of its principal, taking care of many minor matters that do not require his personal attention and buffering him from the demanding world. “You are describing a secretary,” you will say. But no! Secretaries will have OLIVERS (39).

Written by kimlacey

May 12, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Posted in Uncategorized