The dramatic rise in the public’s use of the web and social media to document events presents tremendous opportunities to transform the practice of social memory.
Web archives can serve as witness to crimes, corruption, and abuse; they are powerful advocacy tools; they support community memory around moments of political change, cultural expression, or tragedy. At the same time, they can cause harm and facilitate surveillance and oppression.
As new kinds of archives emerge, there is a pressing need for dialogue about the ethical risks and opportunities that they present to both those documenting and those documented. This conversation becomes particularly important as new tools, such as Rhizome’s Webrecorder software, are developed to meet the changing needs of the web archiving field.
Thursday, March 15, 2018
I wanted to draw attention to what looks like a very interesting conference, Rhizome's National Forum on Ethics and Archiving the Web, March 22-24 at the New Museum in New York:
Tuesday, March 13, 2018
I'm preparing for a meeting next week at the MIT Library on the "Grand Challenges" of digital curation and preservation. MIT, and in particular their library and press, have a commendable tradition of openness, so I've decided to post my input rather than submit it privately. My version of the challenges is below the fold.
Tuesday, March 6, 2018
Last November I wrote Techno-hype part 2 on cryptocurrencies and blockchains, reviewing David Gerard's excellent book Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain: Bitcoin, Blockchain, Ethereum & Smart Contracts. A lot has happened since, so its time for an update. Below the fold, I look at three examples of how far these technologies are from being "ready for prime time":
- The Lightning Network, which is supposed to allow Bitcoin to scale to billions of transactions.
- IOTA, which is supposed to be a blockchain capable of supporting the Internet of Things.
- Ethereum, which is supposed to be the infrastructure for "smart contracts".