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You are being counted

“You very rarely get a glimpse into the reader’s mind,” David Levithan of Scholastic Books says. “With a printed book, there’s no such thing as an analytic. You can’t tell which pages are dog-eared.” A new piece at the Wall Street Journal by Alexandra Alter about how publishers are finally getting …

Reading your own cognitive decline

I recently attended the Digital Humanities section of the annual Canadian academic Congress. Ian Lancashire of the University of Toronto was on my panel and he gave a very moving paper on the correlation between language decline in writers and the onset of alzheimers. His most famous paper on this …

Death of Privacy

So many deaths. I’m thinking of starting a site called “Deathwatch” that monitors the discourse of death around cultural phenomena. This time a review of Lori Andrews’ I Know Who You Are and Saw What You Did (great title btw) which is about social networking and “the death of privacy.” …

The tale of two Kakutanis

A great twitter caper reported at the Daily News’ books blog. Apparently, someone began posting under the name @CriticMichiko making fun of some of the renowned NY Times book critic, Michiko Kakutani’s verbal ticks. Then someone else (or the same person) began posting under a new name @ActualNYTMK to ask the …

The End of Privacy, Part 498

A haunting recent piece in the Times by Hasan M. Elahi, an associate professor at Maryland, who was picked-up by the FBI while traveling after Sept. 11th.  Elahi recounts his interrogation (very bureaucratic, no scary stuff), but also his impulse to share everything in response to the questioning. Elahi eventually …

Sock Puppets

Learned a new word today.  Sock puppets refer to fake online personae that are used to try to manipulate conversations on social media networks. Needless to say a new player in the business is the U.S. military.  Like the old fashioned broadcast forum, Voice of America, which was broadcast on …