JOHO the Blog

David Weinberger

Subscribe to David Weinberger: eMailAlertsEmail Alerts
Get David Weinberger: homepageHomepage mobileMobile rssRSS facebookFacebook twitterTwitter linkedinLinkedIn


Latest Blogs from David Weinberger
At Medium.com I have a short piece on what progress looks like on the Internet, which is not what progress used to look like. I think. I wrote this for the Next Web conference blog, but they haven’t posted it yet. (I’m keynoting their Dec. conference in NYC.)
(cc) Creative Commons – attribute, share-alike
Talk about “civility” on the Internet always makes me a little nervous. For a bunch of reasons. First, I generally try to be civil, but I’d hate to see a Net that is always and only civil. Some rowdiness and rudeness is absolutely required. Second, civility as a word ...
Maxim Weinstein responded in an email to my post about what the social structure of the Internet looked like before Facebook, making the insightful point that Facebook meets the four criteria Clay Shirky listed for social software in his 2003 keynote at eTech. Here are the four with Ma...
The Web was social before it had social networking software. It just hadn’t yet evolved a pervasive layer of software specifically designed to help us be social. In 2003 it was becoming clear that we needed?—?and were getting?—?a new class of application, unsurprisingly called “social ...
Time for another in my series of occasional posts over-explaining simple programming tasks that took me longer to figure out than they should have. Let’s say you’re writing a bit of JavaScript and want to fade the text of a component out, change the text, and fade it in. As...
Despite the claims of some — and unfortunately some of these some run the companies that provide the US with Internet access — there are n reasons why we need truly high-speed, high-capacity Internet access, where n = everything we haven’t invented yet. For example...
This week there were two out-of-the-park posts by Berkman folk: Ethan Zuckerman on advertising as the Net’s original sin, and Zeynep Tufecki on the power of the open Internet as demonstrated by coverage of the riots in Ferguson. Each provides a view on whether the Net is a failed...
Because it’s August and I’m at a lake: The great blue is such an ungainly bird that “heron” should be an explainly word. It flaps so slow as it takes to the air I could beat it by climbing stairs. It’s great, it’s blue, it’s a little absurd. A ...
I admired Robin Williams even though he wasn’t exactly my cup of tea as a comedian. But, he was obviously brilliant, and by all reports was humble and kind. We need to celebrate people who turn down every opportunity to act like assholes. Here’s just one example. Robin Will...
Dan Brickley points to this incredibly prescient article by Tim Berners-Lee from 1992. The World Wide Web he gets the bulk of the credit for inventing was thriving at CERN where he worked. Scientists were linking to one another’s articles without making anyone type in a squirrely...
I find this recycling of culture to be fascinating. Or, to be more precise, the recycling of culture is culture. No recycling, no culture. Anyway, I’m mainly blogging these because each is fun in its own way. These are in chronological order, but you might want to start out by go...
“Prescription Painkillers Kill More Than Heroin and Cocaine … Combined” [Liberty Voice] “The U.S. spent more on defense in 2012 than the countries with the next 10 highest budgets … combined.” [NBC News] “Apple Now Worth More Than Microsoft, Go...
I read in my alumni magazine today that one of my old teachers, Douglas Sturm, died on May 6. The freshman seminar I took with Prof. Sturm modeled for me what intellectual discourse could be like. It set me on my course. Prof. Sturm was sharp as a tack but never used his analytic skill...
The Register just posted one of the most ridiculous pieces of clickbait trolling I’ve ever seen. They’re claiming that by posting the parody video below, the UK’s Open Rights Group is comparing people who defend their copyright to Hitler: It helps to know a few things...
Ethan Zuckerman has a great post that begins with a recounting of his youthful discomfort with the way the CEO of his early social media company, Tripod, was treated by the media as if he had done it all by himself. Hearing me rant about this one too many times, Kara Berklich, our head...
This is one of the most amazing examples I’ve seen of the complexity of even simple organizational schemes. “Unicode Collation Algorithm (Unicode Technical Standard #10)” spells out in precise detail how to sort strings in what we might colloquially call “alphab...
The debate over whether municipalities should be allowed to provide Internet access has been heating up. Twenty states ban it. Tom Wheeler, the chair of the FCC, has said he wants to “preempt” those laws. Congress is maneuvering to extend the ban nationwide. Jim Baller, who...
My blogging has gone way down in frequency and probably in quality. I think there are two reasons. First, I’ve been wrapped up in trying to plot a new book. I’ve known for about three years the set of things I want to write about, but I’ve had my usual difficult time ...
In case anyone has forgotten what honesty sounds like:
Well, here’s what I would do if I were Shakespeare & Co., a theatre company in Lenox, Massachusetts of which I am inordinately fond, as consistent readers of this blog know (hi, Mom!). Yesterday my wife and I went to an open rehearsal of a scene from Henry IV, Part 2, Scene ...
We saw Shakespeare & Co.\’s Julius Caesar last night. What a rich production! And certainly not because of its production values: the performance was in the tiny Bernstein Theatre with a cast of just seven and an almost bare stage. The acting was up to the company\’s hi...
I finally got Bob Dylan’s triple pun. Sure, everybody must get stoned because that’s the price of being a non-conformist. Or maybe we all fail to conform to someone’s idea of normal. And, obviously we all should get stoned, high, baked, whatever. (Stay in school, kids...
Thank you, Gravity, for keeping the water — most of it — in the lake, and for making sure it reaches all the way to the bottom.
During this seemingly-endless interregnum when we have e-books that suck at letting us take notes, I buy paper books when I’m doing research. I have a complex little application I’ve endlessly developed over the years that lets me type notes into a plain text editor or OPML...
I was writing a long-ish tutorial about how to use LibraryCloud that refers to bunches of Javascript. I wanted a way to refer to that code in the HTML document. So I wrote a converter that turns Javascript code (and maybe others) into HTML tables you can just plunk into your document. ...
I have an op-ed/column up at CNN about the Facebook experiment. All I’ll say here is how struck I am again (as always) about the need leave out most of everything when writing writing goes from web-shaped to rectangular. Just as a quick example, I’m not convinced that the F...
I’m at a Government as Platform session at Aspen Ideas Festival. Tim O’Reilly is moderating it with Jen Pahlka (Code for America and US Deputy Chief Technology Officer ) and Mike Bracken who heads the UK Government Digital Service. Mike Backen begins with a short presentati...
I’m at an early Sunday morning (7:45am) session on re-imagining libraries with John Palfrey of the DPLA, Brian Bannon (Commissioner of the Chicago Public Library), and Tessie Guillermo (Zero Divide) . It’s moderated by Sommer Mathis (editor of CityLab.com. My seat-mate tell...
At the Aspen Ideas Festival, Michael Eisner is interviewing the creator of House of Cards, Beau Willimon. I’m not going to attempt to do comprehensive live-blogging. NOTE: Live-blogging. Getting things wrong. Missing points. Omitting key information. Introducing artificial choppi...
I’m at the Aspen Ideas Festival . It’s chockablock with interesting people and sessions, but because it’s the sort of event that expects you to take notes in a moleskin notebook, I won’t be doing a lot of liveblogging — there are fewer outlets than in a 19...
This video remembers just a small part of the price we all paid for the Voting Rights Act that the Supreme Court gutted a year ago: My brother Andy was one of the college kids who participated back then in registering voters in the South, one of the many things I’ve long admired ...
To begin with, I love the title of this novel. I’ve never heard the name “Oradell”, and the “at sea” is appropriately ambiguous. What I actually should begin with is that Oradell at Sea is a novel by my sister-in-law, Meredith Sue Willis, an accomplished a...
On Friday I was part of the This Week in Law vidcast, hosted by my it’s-been-too-long friend Denise Howell [twitter: dhowell], along with Nina Paley [twitter: ninapaley]. (Nina’s work is gorgeous + righteous. You must see it. That is an order.) It was a non-lawyerly discuss...
According to an article in PC Games (August 2014, Ben Griffin, p. 12), two people from the Danish Ministry of the Environment “have recreated Denmark on 1:1 scale” in Minecraft. Although the idea came from observing their children playing the game, the construction required...
According to an article in PC Gamer (August 2014, Ben Griffin, p. 10), Epic Games’ Unreal Tournament 2014 will make “Every line of code, evert art asset and animation…available for download.” Users will be able to create their own mods and sell them through a pr...
YouTube is planning on banning indie music labels from their site? That can’t be right. Despite the headlines, it probably isn’t. After running a misleading article, the Guardian has published a good clarifier. As far as I can tell, the initial headlines left out a big FROM...
Jill Lepore has an excellent take-down in The New Yorker ofof Clay Christensen’s The Innovator’s Dilemma. Yet I am unconvinced. I thought I was convinced when I read it. It’s a brilliantly done piece, examining Christensen’s evidence, questioning his methods, an...
Here’s a humor thing of the sort I sometimes write. You know, the sort that isn’t bery funny. Enjoy Reservations A restaurant with three Michelin stars is now trying to up its customer service game by Googling its customers before they arrive. According to a report from Gru...
Google self-driving cars are presumably programmed to protect their passengers. So, when a traffic situation gets nasty, the car you’re in will take all the defensive actions it can to keep you safe. But what will robot cars be programmed to do when there’s lots of them on ...