Literati roundup: after all Google’s scan of millions of books has been declared legal…”Digital Islamic Humanities Project…

Google Books, a project that involved scanning tens of millions of books to make them available online, was met with resistance from authors around the world. A group of authors sued Google in 2008 claiming that the project violated copyright and deprived them of money, but today the US Appeals Court has ruled that the service was legal after all.

Digital Islamic Humanities Project

The Digital Islamic Humanities Project at Brown University is pleased to announce its third annual conference, titled “Distant Reading and the Islamic Archive,” which will be held on Friday, October 16, 2015.

Paper abstracts and the full event program may be found on the conference website (

Exiting the Anthropocene

The process of automation that begun with the Industrial Revolution has led to the impoverishment of human skills and knowledge, argues Bernard Stiegler. Never has the need to resuscitate human capabilities been greater than now. has filed a lawsuit against more than 1,000 people who were hired to write fake product reviews.

“100 Science Fiction & Fantasy Books to Read in a Lifetime”


Amazon’s book editors compiled their list of “100 Science Fiction & Fantasy Books to Read in a Lifetime.”

Gamification was not long ago the darling of business talk. Successful initiatives like Volkswagen’s campaign The Fun Theory proved that incorporating elements of games can help achieve tangible goals while increasing customer enjoyment. At some point, when Foursquare had its glory days, it seemed that almost anything could be turned into a game by adding points, badges and rankings. Photo credit: Fun Theory But it turned out that gamification wasn’t a piece of cake. Most gamified systems produced mild results, and some caused the opposite effects to those desired. Early poster children of gamification even started to detach themselves from…

UK film monthly magazine Sight & Sound’s most recent issue is dedicated to “The Female Gaze: 100 Overlooked Films Directed by Women.” The list of 100 films runs some 20 pages, and the edition also collects mini essays from actors like Greta Gerwig, Isabelle Huppert, and Tilda Swinton; directors like Jane Campion and Claire Denis, and critics like Amy Taubin and Camille Paglia, all focusing on female-directed films that deserve a second look.

Scientific Imperialism

“A fundamental law of Netwonian physics applies also to military maneuver: one can achieve overwhelming force by substituting velocity for mass”. (Maj. Gen. Robert H. Scales, 2003)

“Are we to reserve the techniques and the right to manipulate peoples as the privilege of a few planning, goal-oriented and power-hungry individuals to whom the instrumentality of science makes a natural appeal? Now that we have techniques, are we in cold blood, going to treat people as things?” (Gregory Bateson quoted in Price, 2008, pp. 35-36)

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