Writers, the Library, and the Persistence of Geography

I’m getting to work on a new book. It’s a book I’ve been thinking about vaguely for a while – a book about, at this early stage, the complex consequences of transportation. I wasn’t able to get seriously down to work on it, though, until I discovered my new favorite thing – the Queens Public […]

Deep Trump (Part 1)

Well, that was unexpected – I’ll admit, I went into last night blithely confident we’d have a President Clinton. And I believe that Donald Trump is unstable and, most importantly, inexperienced enough that we’re in for at best a very chaotic few years, and possibly some real long-term damage to American power and prosperity. But […]

Open Access and Ivory Rot

Recently, Phil Cohen, a sociologist studying families, highlighted a statement by the American Sociological Association more or less defending the current academic publishing model against open access, in part because it generates revenue for disciplinary organizations like theirs. As Phil points out (and I’m definitely putting words in his mouth here), that’s utter crazytalk, because […]

Place in Knowledge, Knowledge in Place

“There was no personal or world problem whose solution did not exist in some hexagon.” -Borges, “The Library of Babylon” The 19th century was defined by transportation innovation – the locomotive, the automobile, the airplane. Of course, most of those innovations didn’t reach their full potential until the 20th century, and communication technology, in the […]