A bright Sunday morning to you.
Despite being buried in schoolwork the past week, I’ve somehow managed to accumulate a fair number of interesting links.
- The coronavirus increasingly seems to be a thing. I have little to offer but the following: don’t dismiss the virus because you’re outside the populations likely to die from it (e.g., the elderly, those with weakened immune systems, and so on)—those folks are still people who may suffer a great deal; start thinking about the communities of care through which you might support others who are impacted by the virus (or receive support yourself). And here are two no-nonsense pieces I’ve found helpful: James Hamblin on why the virus may stick around; Zeynep Tufecki on why preparing for the virus is the least we owe to those around us.
- DataLabTO visualized residential zoning in five major Canadian cities to help understand the debate around detached-home-only zones. (Such zones discourage density, encouraging sprawl and everything that comes with it. I’m looking at you, unwalkable cities eating up good farmland.)
- Waldo Jaquith of 18F went to Michigan’s State Appropriations Committee to demystify government software procurement. It’s forty minutes of straightforward best practices and myth debunking, teaching government officials how to buy software that works, without breaking the bank. It’s a verbal version of 18F’s very excellent technology budgeting handbook—working in this space, I’ve found little better explanation for how to approach these issues. (Unrelated, but Waldo has a blog with posts going back to 1999. Awesome.)
Now for three sets of links related to archives! (Dork hat on.)
- The UK National Archives have a great website. Not only does it seem to work well for browsing collections, it’s attractive and friendly to boot (if a website can be friendly)! Their search tool, Discovery, is impressive, allowing you to search across 2,500 different UK archives. If you’re looking up the East India Company, for example, you can see that its records are distributed across at least seven different archives. Union catalogues are so cool. (The National Archives also have a great blog—you can read rich behind-the-scenes updates on designing and developing Discovery. Yay for detailed blogging from public institutions!)
- Speaking of archives, my friend recently showed me the Smithsonian Archives of American Art’s collection of oral histories. Almost 1,500 oral histories—many with transcripts—with significant figures in American graphic design and art, including Ray Eames and Massimo Vignelli. (Don’t let my linking to two figures from a particular era of American design fool you—there’s a huge array of folks interviewed in this collection. Be sure to browse by name, occupation, topic, or theme.)
- Okay, speaking of archives one last time (for today), did you know that Salman Rushdie’s archives include his personal computers, which you can browse in-person? You can’t use the original hardware, but you get to use emulated versions that include the operating system, software, and all the files that he had on his computers when he donated them. So cool! (I’m thinking a lot about access to born-digital archival records, hence my stumbling on this story.)
Last night, I watched a performance of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner at Ottawa Little Theatre, and finished A Man Called Ove. Both, in their own way, reminded me of something I’d like to pass along: don’t just say right; do right. (Oh, and love your neighbours.)
With that, I’m off for the day. All the best for the week ahead!