Tag Archives: writing

Guilt Through Algorithmic Association



You’re a 16-year-old Muslim kid in America. Say your name is Mohammad Abdullah. Your schoolmates are convinced that you’re a terrorist. They keep typing in Google queries likes “is Mohammad Abdullah a terrorist?” and “Mohammad Abdullah al Qaeda.” Google’s search engine learns. All of a sudden, auto-complete starts suggesting terms like “Al Qaeda” as the next term in relation to your name. You know that colleges are looking up your name and you’re afraid of the impression that they might get based on that auto-complete. You are already getting hostile comments in your hometown, a decidedly anti-Muslim environment. You know that you have nothing to do with Al Qaeda, but Google gives the impression that you do. And people are drawing that conclusion. You write to Google but nothing comes of it. What do you do?

This is guilt through algorithmic association…

via danah boyd | apophenia

Writers and their Libraries



There’s a long tradition of writers writing about their libraries. Some of the first modern essays—by Michel de Montaigne and Sir Francis Bacon—are on that very subject. Among more recent publications, you might enjoy Anne Fadiman’s collection Ex Libris or Larry McMurtry’s Walter Benjamin at the Dairy Queen. The trouble with people writing about their libraries is, well, every writer has one. It’s like writing about your left hand. Or your M.F.A. program. But McMurtry is a special case. If he had never written Lonesome Dove or The Last Picture Show, he would be famous—at least among collectors—as one of the country’s most respected dealers in used and rare books. When he writes about his library, he always has something interesting to say.

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via Paris Review Daily

Celebrate Poetry!

Edna St. Vincent Millay asked, “To what purpose, April, do you return again?” For National Poetry Month, of course!  National Poetry Month is a month-long, national celebration of poetry.  The concept, according to the Academy of American Poets is “to widen the attention of individuals and the media—to the art of poetry, to living poets, to our complex poetic heritage, and to poetry books and journals of wide aesthetic range and concern.”  Stop by the Todd Library display and reintroduce yourself to the pleasure of reading poetry!poetry