Jewish Music, Graphic Design, Catskills Folk Music, More: Friday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, November 30, 2018


New-to-me, from Dartmouth: Dartmouth and Hebrew University Strengthen Jewish Music Archive. “What does Jewish culture sound like? You can find over 100,000 answers in the Dartmouth Jewish Sound Archive (DJSA), an online audio library. The wide-ranging collection includes radio broadcasts at turning points in Israeli history, cantors singing in synagogues, stand-up comedians—’every kind of Jewish recording imaginable,’ says Professor of Middle Eastern Studies Lewis Glinert, who, with Alexander Hartov, a professor of engineering at Thayer School of Engineering, co-founded the archive in 2002.”

Fine Books & Collections: Letterform Archive Launches Membership Program and Online Archive. “Letterform Archive, the nonprofit library and museum dedicated to the history, preservation of and education in graphic design and letterform arts, announces its new membership program and the launch of the Online Archive. Beginning on November 29, 2018, charter participants in Letterform Archive’s membership program will receive access to the online Archive, a digital repository of highlights from the non-profit center’s collection of over 50,000 items related to lettering, typography, calligraphy, and graphic design.” The initial archive will have 1000 items. Membership is $60 a year or half that for students and educators.

HV1: Preserving the Catskill folk songs of Grant Rogers. “Walton native Grant Rogers (1907-1979) didn’t consider himself a folksinger; in 1965 he told Folk-Legacy song collector Sandy Paton that folksingers were ‘fellers like Burl Ives or Pete Seeger,’ and that he was merely ‘a stonecutter that makes up songs.’ Ironic, considering that Rogers was exactly the sort of person whom Seeger would have honored with that description. He was a self-taught guitarist, fiddler, square dance caller, amateur historian and songwriter who made up tall tales about the Catskills and set them to music – among them ‘The Legend of Slide Mountain,’ which attributes the naming of that summit to an ornery, much-married homesteader who chased off her husbands with a shotgun whenever she tired of them, leading eventually to a human landslide when a sheriff’s posse abandoned an ill-considered effort to apprehend her.”


CNET: Taylor Swift named ‘most influential’ person on Twitter in 2018. “Taylor Swift is the most influential person on Twitter this year, despite only tweeting 13 times. Social media analysis company Brandwatch released on Wednesday its annual lists of the top 10 most influential women and top 10 most influential men on Twitter. With an ‘influencer score’ of 98 points out of a possible 100, Swift is the outright winner. ”

Search Engine Journal: WordPress 5.0 Release Date in Limbo?. “WordPress 5.0 was tentatively scheduled for release on November 27th. But that date’s been pushed back with no release date scheduled. WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg opened direct channels for feedback and concerns. Will WordPress be released in 2019?”


Lifehacker: How to See What Twitter Thinks Your Interests Are. “Twitter officially rolled out the way to see your interests (and customize them) in May, but the feature gained a lot of attention this week when people started sharing theirs online.” I took a quick dekko at mine and I must say Twitter got it much more right than Facebook, though it’s weird to have people listed as an interest.


UVA Today: Black Twitter 101: What Is It? Where Did It Originate? Where Is It Headed?. “Meredith Clark was scrolling through her Twitter feed recently when she came across a tweet that made her think back to her childhood in Lexington, Kentucky, and smile. The tweet linked to a video of an African-American woman waving her hands through a running faucet with the caption, ‘This makes the water heat up faster.’ In that instant, Clark, an assistant professor of media studies at the University of Virginia, felt connected to a group of African-American Twitter users – none of whom she knew personally – who were in the midst of a discussion about the video.”

The Verge: People want more than just a photo op at Instagram museums. “What makes you post a photo to Instagram? What space is truly worthy of a post? Are we willing to destroy nature for a good pic? This week on Why’d You Push That Button, Vox’s Kaitlyn Tiffany and I discuss the characteristics that create an Instagram-worthy place. We talk about the old underground restaurants in New York City that have been co-opted by influencers, and we talk about those Instagram playgrounds where adults can take photos of themselves in colorful ball pits. I also spend about 10 minutes talking about my love for pierogi. It comes full circle!” A podcast about an hour long with a transcript.


The Next Web: Scammers target Facebook users with sponsored ads for fake cryptocurrencies. “It appears Twitter has become so saturated with cryptocurrency scams that attackers are finally starting to target other platforms too – like Facebook. Unlike the standard Bitcoin giveaway scams on Twitter, the Facebook scam (as noticed by Hard Fork) is designed to trick users into giving up sensitive data, like their credit card information. As a distraction tactic, the attackers have set up a series of fake pages and call-to-actions, the first one of which is a fake sponsored ad.”


Harvard Business Review: Why We Need to Audit Algorithms . “Algorithmic decision-making and artificial intelligence (AI) hold enormous potential and are likely to be economic blockbusters, but we worry that the hype has led many people to overlook the serious problems of introducing algorithms into business and society. Indeed, we see many succumbing to what Microsoft’s Kate Crawford calls “data fundamentalism” — the notion that massive datasets are repositories that yield reliable and objective truths, if only we can extract them using machine learning tools. A more nuanced view is needed. It is by now abundantly clear that, left unchecked, AI algorithms embedded in digital and social technologies can encode societal biases, accelerate the spread of rumors and disinformation, amplify echo chambers of public opinion, hijack our attention, and even impair our mental wellbeing.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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