Category Archives: Times They Are A-Changing

Times They Are A-Changing

Looking for Interstellar Monuments – Scientific American

An ancient civilization from a distant star could have created immortal machines to roam the Milky Way and keep its legacy alive

By Avi Loeb on September 11, 2021

Credit: Getty Images

By now I have reached an age at which my birthdays can be thought of as a countdown to the inescapable end.

We live our life without knowing when that end will come. But acknowledging its inevitability encourages us to build monuments of our accomplishments that will outlast us.

Of course, our DNA can give us that sort of longevity through our children. But we often wish to add meaning to the world we leave behind that goes beyond our genetic code.

Source: Looking for Interstellar Monuments – Scientific American

If you care about your privacy, you need to change these browser settings right now – CNET

Google Chrome is the worst privacy offender, but all browsers can use settings tweaks. Make these adjustments ASAP in Chrome, Safari, Edge, Firefox and Brave.

By Rae Hodge Sept. 5, 2021 4:30 p.m. PT

James Martin/CNET
Listen on Spotify

Privacy is now a priority among browser-makers, but they may not go as far as you want in fighting pervasive ad industry trackers on the web.

Here’s a look at how you can crank up your privacy settings to outsmart that online tracking. Problems like Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal have elevated privacy protection on Silicon Valley’s priority list by showing how companies compile reams of data as you traverse the internet.

Their goal? To build a richly detailed user profile so that you can become the target of more accurate, clickable and thus profitable advertisements.

Source: If you care about your privacy, you need to change these browser settings right now – CNET

The Books Briefing: Language Can Build Community—Or Sow Division | The Atlantic

Unique ways of communicating help families grow closer; they’re also a powerful tool for cults: Your weekly guide to the best in books

By Kate Cray, September 3, 2021

Getty; The Atlantic

In the media reporter Brian Stelter’s book Hoax, he shares an anecdote that neatly sums up so much about Fox News and its influence on how its viewers communicate.

A staffer who described a restaurant chain’s decision to offer a vegan burger as an improvement to the menu said they were castigated and corrected: The new option was actually proof of the “war on meat,” a network superior said. Thus, the story was quickly reframed in the channel’s familiar vernacular.

My colleague Megan Garber argued last year that Fox had become a language, one in which a new reality had been manufactured. This dangerous linguistic manipulation extends well beyond TV news.

In fact, language is exactly what cults—and cult-like brands—use to lure in new members, the scholar Amanda Montell writes in her book Cultish.

Attend any class offered by a popular fitness brand like Peloton, CrossFit, or SoulCycle, and the enticing power of their insider-y mantras becomes apparent. On the HBO docuseries The Vow, which is about the cult NXIVM, viewers see how a strange new way of speaking drew people in.

Source: The Books Briefing: Brian Stelter, Amanda Montell, Noah Webster – The Atlantic

An App Called Libby and the Surprisingly Big Business of Library E-books | The New Yorker

Increasingly, books are something that libraries do not own but borrow from the corporations that do.

By Daniel A. Gross, September 2, 2021

Illustration by Seba Cestaro

Steve Potash, the bearded and bespectacled president and C.E.O. of OverDrive, spent the second week of March, 2020, on a business trip to New York City.

OverDrive distributes e-books and audiobooks—i.e., “digital content.” In New York, Potash met with two clients: the New York Public Library and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

By then, Potash had already heard what he described to me recently as “heart-wrenching stories” from colleagues in China, about neighborhoods that were shut down owing to the coronavirus. He had an inkling that his business might be in for big changes when, toward the end of the week, on March 13th, the N.Y.P.L. closed down and issued a statement: “The responsible thing to do—and the best way to serve our patrons right now—is to help minimize the spread of COVID-19.”

The library added, “We will continue to offer access to e-books.”

Source: An App Called Libby and the Surprisingly Big Business of Library E-books | The New Yorker

Podcast: How the L.A. Public Library made libraries cool – Los Angeles Times

Posted Aug. 27, 2021 5 AM PT

Children’s librarian Sara Rebman sorts books in the Los Angeles Central Library.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Welcome, new listeners!

Here’s one of our favorite episodes from this year, with a brand-new segment at the end.

It’s been quite the year for the Los Angeles Public Library — and the COVID-19 pandemic is only part of the story.

Inauguration Day cast a national spotlight on Amanda Gorman, who got her start reading poetry via the L.A. Public Library’s youth program.

And teen punk group the Linda Lindas gained worldwide fame after a concert at the Cypress Park branch of one of America’s largest public library systems.


Source: Podcast: How the L.A. Public Library made libraries cool – Los Angeles Times

From the National Recording Registry: Remembering Don Everly | Now See Hear! | library of congress

From August 25, 2021, by Stacie Seifrit-Griffin

Celebrating Don Everly’s 81st Birthday in Nashville (2018) (left to right) Adelaidia Garza, Michelle Phillips, Stacie Seifrit-Griffin, Don Everly and Adela Everly.

An Evening with Don Everly,
February 1, 1937 – August 21, 2021

It is truly the end of an era with the passing of the talented, charming and iconic Don Everly. The influence The Everly Brothers have had on so many musicians and genres of music is immeasurable.

Don and his brother, Phil, are credited with two songs in the Library of Congress National Recording Registry; “Cathy’s Clown“ inducted in 2013, and their contribution to Paul Simon’s “Graceland” inducted in 2006.

I met Don Everly through Michelle Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas. In addition to being my closest friend and confidant for over 30 years, Michelle was a bridesmaid in my wedding, and we celebrate important milestones in our lives including new jobs, break-ups, my bridal shower, baby showers and many birthday celebrations.

Early in our friendship, we discovered our shared love of travel. We make it a point to schedule at least one trip a year, and during these adventures, it is not uncommon for Michelle to call an “old friend” who happens to live in our destination city. You never know who you will meet when hanging out with Mama Michelle.

Source: From the National Recording Registry: Remembering Don Everly | Now See Hear!