What Iโ€™m reading this week ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ“š โ€œWorld without mind: the existential threat of big techโ€

What Iโ€™m reading this week ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ“š *World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech* by Franklin Foer.

Iโ€™m bracing myself for a deep dive into this book, which is billed as an unflinching look at the dangers tech leviathans Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon pose to human freedom and self-determination. Author Franklin Foer is the former editor of the liberal New Republic magazine. He was hired in that role shortly after the magazine was bought by Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes in 2012. It was a time when clickbait was ascendant and few people understood (or cared about) the extent of personal data collection taking place. The book has its defenders and detractors. Bouncing around the various reviews of the book, pro and con, is not unlike wading through a contentious Facebook comment thread. Iโ€™m looking forward to reading it myself so I can form my own opinion ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ“–

Libraries without borders?

๐Ÿ“š๐ŸŒŽโœˆ๏ธ Here’s an interesting vignette from my day at the library. Recently, a library user in Argentina sent a message to our Facebook page asking us for help with a book she had checked out from us. She had been in the US on a student visa, presumably to pursue her studies at the university. Over the holiday break, she flew back home to Argentina to be with her family. Before she left, she borrowed a library book to read while she traveled. She planned to return to the US before the book came due. But after arriving in Argentina, she learned that her student visa would not be renewed and she wouldn’t be able to return to the US as planned.

She messaged us and asked for advice how she could resolve the issue of the library book she’d borrowed, because she couldn’t bear the thought of not returning her library books. She offered to pay for the book. We said, can you simply mail it back to us? She traveled to the nearest city and inquired about shipping rates, and was told it would cost over $200 USD to ship the book back to the US. Hearing this, she sent us another message offering again to pay for the book, but she also mentioned that her American host family would be meeting with her during spring break, and suggested that her host family could bring the book back with them. We told her that we did not want her to pay so much for shipping, and we would rather have the book back than make her pay for it, so we happily agreed to extend the due date of her book until after spring break when her host family visits her. There are many things about this vignette that provoke thought, but I won’t offer analysis here. I will just say that this young woman’s conscientiousness and sincerity is extraordinary and I hope she is able to resume her studies here soon. ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ“š #library#books#borders

What Iโ€™m reading this week: โ€œMismatchโ€

What Iโ€™m reading this week: โ€œMismatch: How Inclusion Shapes Design,โ€ by Kat Holmes. Iโ€™m looking forward to diving in to this analysis of the many ways that design decisions can inadvertently exclude users from a designโ€™s benefits if they are not included in the design process, and how inclusion can result in better design for all users. ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ“š #library #books #inclusion #design