A woman from the audience asks: ‘Why were there so few women among the Beat writers?’ and [Gregory] Corso, suddenly utterly serious, leans forward and says: “There were women, they were there, I knew them, their families put them in institutions, they were given electric shock. In the ’50s if you were male you could be a rebel, but if you were female your families had you locked up.
Stephen Scobie, on the Naropa Institute’s 1994 tribute to Allen Ginsberg (via thisisendless)
I’m just frozen. Absences of women in history don’t “just happen,” they are made.
^could not cosign that thought harder as an historian
reblogged this before, would reblog again
Before you died I dreamed
of cocktail parties in your Harlem
apartment where you’d bring all our dead kin
back to life, for me! I was old enough
to drink with you, to wear a cocktail dress.
Like the best movies, the dream was black
and white, except for my grandmother’s
lipstick, which was red.
—Elizabeth Alexander, from “After”
Photography Credit Robert Frank
How do you organize all the world’s information?
A decision made by the editors in charge of Wikipedia’s newest, biggest project reveals the difficulty of such a task.
Wikidata is the newest project from the Wikimedia Foundation, the organization which runs Wikipedia. As Becca wrote here last year, Wikidata promises a single, shared infrastructure of knowledge beneath Wikipedia in every language. This underlying data layer, which is Wikidata, can be read by both humans and machine, and it propagates changes from one language’s version of Wikipedia to other languages. If Canada, for instance, gets a new finance minister, and someone edits Wikipedia in English to reflect that change, then Wikidata will propagate that information to Wikipedia in other languages.
That’s a relatively straightforward use of Wikidata, though. Its promise is machine analysis of the Wikipedia body of knowledge in a complex, ongoing, holistic way — and for computation like that, its macro-organizational system matters.
Imagine a live visualization of the entire Wikipedia system, organized partly by the subject matter of article. What system needs to exist to make that possible?
Read more. [Image: Glyn Lowe]