Last night, while so many in the city were perched on sofas, watching the Montreal Canadiens avoid elimination from the Stanley Cup Finals, I opted to walk to the Detroit River and catch the sunset.
The last time I had watched the sun descend below the Detroit skyline was three years ago, when my family and I were sitting on lawn chairs among a throng, waiting for it to get dark enough for the Ford Fireworks to begin.
I remember my first moments of 2020. I had slept badly and was up before our room had any sunlight to speak of. In the dark, I reached over to my nightstand and in fumbling for my glasses, pushed them over the edge. From the noise they made when they hit the floor, I knew I had broken my only means to read small print.
I thought, well, I hope that is not an omen telling me how 2020 is going to turn out.
When I retrieved the pieces from the floor, I found that the situation wasn’t as bad…
There is a well-known conservative pundit who doesn’t believe that rap is music. To him, the statement “rap is not music” is a “fact” because he was told by his father — who studied music theory — that music has three elements: harmony, melody, and rhythm. Rap lacks harmony and melody and so ergo, it is not music.
Let’s put aside the absurdity that an application of logic can somehow invalidate the decisions of millions of people who have chosen hiphop to be the soundtrack of their lives. Applying logic to music feels absurd but there is historical precedent for…
On May 2nd, 2016 I had the pleasure of speaking to York University Libraries as part of their Library Futures Series. This is what I said.
The title of my talk today is The City as Classroom vs. The City as Advertising Platform. Despite what the title suggests, I will be talking about libraries and a possible future that libraries could pursue in the present.
More precisely, my talk is about in situ discovery — or, in other words, it’s about discovering information that is enabled by being in a particular place. For most of our history, librarianship has been…