"Remember, the customer doesn’t even pay a driver, the payment goes through Uber. What are these drivers going to do when Uber totally controls the market? Sue? Ha, not if they want the algorithm, I mean the market pricing, to ‘reward’ them. And let’s be clear, when a company offers low cost financing for capital investment for independent contractors and controls all aspects of the transaction and customer relationship, these are no longer independent contractors. They are employees. Only in this case, they are employees who have taken on debt to work for Uber. Uber has figured out that it is cheaper to trick people into thinking they are independent contractors and get them to risk their capital. Then Uber can happily take the profits. I guarantee you, if Uber thought its capital would be best used to run a fleet of cars, it would simply hire people straight out to be drivers. That it’s not doing that suggests something."

Uber’s Algorithmic Monopoly: “We are not setting the price. The market is setting the price. We have algorithms to determine what that market is.” (via iamdanw)

(via emergentfutures)


I would like to join the ranks of librarians who are kind of annoyed about being asked what is sexy about our jobs. I follow humansofnewyork and can vouch they never really ask other people what is sexy about their jobs. I get it is supposed to be cute and is a way to talk about what librarians and paraprofessionals do. I think there is just a lot more that could have been said if they asked a different question.

I actually stopped following humansofnewyork a long time ago because they were sometimes asking people gross questions.  I can’t remember the specifics though. 

Being asked “What is sexy about your job?” insinuates that you either are, or are supposed to be, sexy.  Considering how society judges people’s value based on their jobs, saying I need to prove my profession’s value by positioning it as “sexy” is saying I (as a woman) need to prove my worth by being sexy.  Which obviously implies women need to be sexy to have value.  This sends up creeper flags. 

If you re-phrase the question it becomes more obvious how the “sexy” part is totally unnecessary, except maybe insofar as the question-asker wants to throw their subject off-guard: “What is important about your job?”  “What is meaningful about your job?” “What is appealing to you about your job?”

tl;dr creepy creepy creepy

Tags: librarians

You should punch people who talk in lecture because it’ll make your memory bad.


Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behaviour, McMaster University

"The impact of perceptual interference on recognition memory"

Oh, I know who this person’s supervisor probably is. They were one of my references to get into my MLIS program.  I have fond memories of my undergrad in the Memory & Attention lab, too bad I never get to use any of that knowledge any more.

"Why do some libraries insist on developing website content that is not being used? There’s no doubt it would be great if library users came to our sites to read book reviews, listen to podcasts, and calculate the value that the library delivers to them. We want to be a valuable resource. We want people to trust our opinions and rely on us for guidance. But just because this would be wonderful doesn’t mean it is going to happen."

Aaron Schmidt, Give them what they want: the user experience | LibraryJournal (via thepinakes)

Man oh man, what I could tell this guy about committees.  Library websites aren’t really about what the user wants, it’s about letting everybody who works in the library feel special and included and valued.  You want to know why image carousels exist? Because everybody wants their stuff on the front page, above the fold, looking flashy.  They’re terrible for UX and we still love them because nobody wants to tell Sam from ILL that patrons don’t care about how ILL works.

My favourite (academic) library website is Seneca Libraries.  I show this to some librarians and they’re like “Wow! That’s amazing!”, but most librarians say “But where is all the content? Why don’t they have separate pages for their branches? Is that really it?” etc.  And sure, it makes me a bit itchy to assume 0 page clicks = delete, but wouldn’t it be interesting, as Schmidt says, to get rid of everything and then see what people ask for?  Patron-drive acquisitions, anyone? 

I would argue that libraries do not have bad websites because they don’t understand usability, but because of poor management and internal politics.

(via afrofuturistlibrarian)


Biscay Statutory Library in Bilbao, Spain

Photos by Åke E:son Lindman

Via ArchDaily

(via chembrarian)


PCL began circulating the 4G mobile hotspots to enable Internet access in neighborhoods with low rates of home broadband service. The program allows patrons to borrow the hotspots for up to a week. The hotspots can accommodate up to eight users or Wi-Fi devices at a time, with no bandwidth usage limits.

(Source: groundsforthought)


how do i pack up my entire life in two weeks this is terrifying

I’ve moved six times in the past seven years. Key tip: get rid of as much stuff as you can. Get rid of anything you don’t use all the time and anything you can easily replace.  And you will always need more boxes than you think you need. 

Tags: real life

Congrats to everybody who has just finished their MLIS! Yey, you did it!

"If you build a city that is great for an eight-year-old and for an 80-year-old, then you build a city that is going to be great for everybody. They’re like an indicator species. We need to stop building cities as if everybody in them is 30 years old and athletic."

Gil Penalosa, the "pied piper for sustainable transportation," quoted in a Globe & Mail profile. 

Photo: The Atlantic Cities

(via plantedcity)

(via thisbigcity)

(Source: emergentfutures)