First SOTA activation
About a month ago, I got my ham radio license, and soon after I got pretty curious about Summits on the Air (SOTA), an award scheme focused on safe and low impact portable operation from mountaintops. While I like to hike, I’m arguably a pretty casual hiker, and living in California provides a surprising number of options within 45 minutes driving time for SOTA newbies.
Over and in response to the last few months, I’ve been reflecting about intentionality, and how I spend my time creating things. I have tried to improve the indiewebbiness of my site, and understanding what it means to “scratch my own itch”. This resonates particularly lately because it’s leading me to mull over which parts should be hard and easy. Unsurprisingly, much of that is personal preference, and figuring out how I want to optimize from the perspective of user experience. Friction in UX can be a powerful tool, part of what I’m trying to find is where I want to retain friction as it helps me remain intentional.
A Hugo shortcode for embedding Mirador
I spent a little time over the last day or so trying to bodge together a shortcode for Hugo to embed an instance of Mirador. While it’s not quite as simple (or full-featured) as I’d like, it’s nonetheless a starting point. The shortcode generates a snippet of HTML that gets loaded into Hugo pages, but (unfortunately) most of the heavy lifting is done by a separate static page that gets included as an
<iframe/>within the page. That page parses URL parameters to pass some of the parameters when Mirador gets instantiated.
Getting a consistent way to load multiple IIIF manifests, either into comparison view or for populating a resource list also needs some work, which also led me to grapple with thinking through the IIIF Content State API spec, which will require some more attention, too.
BesiegedI have spent the last four and a half months feeling like everything is slipping from my grasp – personally, professionally, and in between. The torpor of life under a pandemic and a world wracked with pain has led me to feel like I am stuck in slowly-drying glue. Planning too far ahead seems nearly pointless. And yet, every day, we are asked to undertake haruspicy, to speculate about how our organizations and ourselves should respond to the remaining uncertainty, ideally with precision. The world keeps turning and we are asked to keep up, while taking care of family members, grieving our losses, or dealing with other challenges amplified by the present circumstances. At the same time, I feel myself slowing down, or at least to continue trying to slow down. I have not read anything more substantial than an article since February, despite getting a stack of books out of the library in preparation for more time at home. The cognitive load of mailing packages can sometimes be too much.
Comments on revisions to SAA statement on Diversity and Inclusion
The SAA Council has issued a call for comments on the SAA Statement on Diversity and Inclusion. As noted in the announcement, the revision includes changes to expand the statement to cover equity as well. Comments are open on the revisions until March 12, 2020, and what follows are the comments that I’ve submitted.
Books read, January-February 2020
I’m trying to do a better job tracking what I’ve been reading. Here’s a start.
Solidarity, logistics, and infrastructure on Prime Day
July 15 and 16th are “Prime Day,” Amazon’s attempt to drive up sales and artificial demand around things we don’t need at prices they’ve convinced us that we can afford. Thanks to Mar Hicks, many of us heard that workers at a Shakopee, Minnesota fulfillment center are holding a six-hour work stoppage on one of the busiest days of the year. Alongside, many have called for a boycott on Amazon and its subsidiaries (Whole Foods, Goodreads, Twitch, etc.), and others have called for a general strike to protest Amazon’s collaboration with Palantir in aiding ICE. With all of this in mind, I’ve been reflecting on what larger scale industrial actions could look like when we look at Amazon’s simultaneous leveraging of centralization and unreliability of single resources to provide critical infrastructure for the IT sector and its own operations.
2018: a year in gratitude
This year was largely complicated and often felt like a massive garbage fire to myself and my crew. I didn’t accomplish a number of my goals and was inconsistent about others, so recapping awesome things I did doesn’t feel appropriate and also happens to be a soft reminder of either failure or things not going as planned. I also tend to hate “best of the year” lists but I find them helpful to remember about where I found joy or the ability to connect to something outside of myself. I suppose this is an attempt to reconcile those things, or perhaps more in line with the end of year spirit, a way to articulate gratitude to the people and things around me that impacted me.
When basil has gone to seed: contemplative pesto
We are growing three kinds of basil in our garden: “regular” basil, purple basil, and Magic Mountain basil. The regular basil and Magic Mountain basil have been thriving quite a bit; the purple basil, less so, as it is growing at the base of the regular basil plant. But the other two, my goodness. The regular old basil was going to seed, though, much to the chagrin of my partner. I’d promised for weeks on end to do something with all that basil, as the stems grew woodier, and as the flowers turned from brilliant white to the brown of kraft paper. Meanwhile, the Magic Mountain basil also grew tall and bushy, went to flower, but only because that’s what it’s supposed to do.
Evidence of Them: Digitization, Preservation, and Labor
This is a lightly edited version of the presentation I gave as part of as a part of Session 507: Digitization IS/NOT Preservation at the 2018 Society of American Archivists Annual Meeting. The session was overall pure fire, with thoughtful, funny, provocative, and challenging presentations by Julia Kim, Frances Harrell, Tre Berney, Andrew Robb, Snowden Becker, Fletcher Durant, Siobhan Hagan, and Sarah Werner. My heart goes out to all of them. All of the images used in the presentation were adapted from The Art of Google Books.