Vice: Inside an Early 1900s Attempt to Catalogue all of the Information on Earth. “A short train ride from Brussels, in the sleepy university town of Mons, Belgium, is an inconspicuous white building that houses a relatively obscure testament to humanity’s thirst for knowledge. Called the Mundaneum, the building houses an early-1900s attempt at collecting and cataloging the entirety of the world’s information, nearly a century before sites like Google and Wikipedia made access to such repositories easily accessible from anywhere with a Wi-Fi signal.”
Internet Policy Observatory: Researching ICT companies: A field guide for civil society researchers. “In this white paper, we outline some of the challenges we have identified as being particularly acute for policy researchers, as well as strategies for working through (and around) those issues. Advocating for civil society, human rights, and democratic values today often requires understanding the role played by ICT companies in deciding what kinds of speech are allowed (or not) on various platforms, in complying (or not) with government requests to restrict content or for user information, and in lobbying governments to enact (or not) various laws and regulations. Under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, companies are expected to respect human rights even as nation-states retain primary responsibility for protecting human rights. As is true of many UN norms, the Guiding Principles lack a formal enforcement mechanism, so other, often soft measures have been employed in order to enact results, or even to simply gain information.” ICT stands for Information, Communications, and Technology companies. You can get more information in this article from Michaelsons.
LMT Online: U of I team studying spread of information on social media. “University of Illinois researchers are using a $4 million grant to study how information moves across social media, affecting people’s beliefs and shaping events. Computer Science Professor Tarek Abdelzaher (TAR’-ek AHB’-del-zah-hair) is leading a team that received a five-year grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The team has been modeling information spread on Instagram and Twitter and will study other platforms.”
The Atlantic: All of Human Knowledge Buried in a Salt Mine. “Martin Kunze wants to gather a snapshot of all of human knowledge onto plates and bury it away in the world’s oldest salt mine. In Hallstatt, Austria, a picturesque village nestled into a lake-peppered region called Salzkammergut, Kunze has spent the past four years engraving images and text onto hand-sized clay squares. A ceramicist by trade, he believes the durability of the materials he plies gives them an as-yet unmatched ability to store information. Ceramic is impervious to water, chemicals, and radiation; it’s emboldened by fire. Tablets of Sumerian cuneiform are still around today that date from earlier than 3000 B.C.E.”
From Pew (PEW PEW PEW PEW!): The ‘gadget poor’ feel the stresses of information more than the ‘gadget rich’. “Those who have more pathways to access digital information express fewer concerns about information overload.” The funny thing is if you accept the FCC definition of broadband, I only have one of the three paths as defined by the survey.