- Wired For Culture | Ideas with Paul Kennedy | CBC Radio
[MW: Intrigued by concept of “cumulative cultural adaptation” & its implications for cultures of #disability]
Human beings have a unique evolutionary history. We are at the mercy of neither biology nor luck. We survive by learning from each other. Evolutionary biologist Mark Pagel tells us humans are successful because we are “wired for culture.” | Wired For Culture: Origins of the Human Social Mind by Mark Pagel is published by Norton.
- Exhibit Explores The Sexier Side Of High-Tech Fashion | Co.Design: business + innovation + design
TECHNOSENSUAL. where fashion meets technology will showcase dozens of garments equipped with electronics and other cutting-edge materials that “combine fashion and technology while expanding the possibilities of contemporary fashion design,” quartier21 says. That includes a dress that purports to increase intimacy between a wearer and those around her by using sensors to transform from opaque to ooh-la-la transparent; neck pieces that pump ink over absorbing fabric; and a slime suit whipped up in real time by Bart Hess, stylist for Lady Gaga.
- Planet of the Blind: Disability, History, and Remembrance 090312
Scott Lissner: “I have always felt history is important and September is a rich month of contrasts, the weather turns from summer to autumn, the academic year replaces summer break; both Elvis Presley (9/9/1956) and Star Trek (9/8/1966) broke into our national consciousness; President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation (9/22/1862) and President Eisenhower ordered the National Guard to enforce racial integration of schools in Little Rock, Arkansas (9/24/1957). | I want to highlight two events related to disability. The culmination of state sponsored eugenics programs with the initiation of Germany’s T4 Program that began eliminating individuals with genetic disabilities to so they and their potential children would not burden the state (9/1/1939) and the passage of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act which was the United States first step in guaranteeing civil rights for the disabled (9/26/1973). Below are summaries and resources surrounding these two events…”
- Facebook Hates Blind People | Nillabyte
[MW: I think the conclusion here is extreme, but it’s a gambit to get Facebook’s attention. I don’t think Facebook *hates* blind people – it just never thinks about them at all. I updated my FB app yesterday, hoping it would solve some of these accessibility issues. After reading this, I won’t be rushing to try it out. It’s a different world (accessible, too) on Twitter. Here that, Facebook?]
Kyle Buckley: “Facebook, though, seems to take the opposite way that other developers take. Each new version of the Facebook app seems to have less and less VoiceOver compliance. I know of several users who have complained to the Facebook team about the app’s blind-user unfriendliness. But Facebook doesn’t seem to care. Today was the tipping point for me. Facebook just released a new version of their app that is supposed to be faster, easier, snappier, less convoluted, magical, revolutionary, evolutionary, fantastically wonderful, and filled with pure awesomeness! I downloaded it on the iPad, opened the app which is filled with wonder and magic, and was not at all surprised to find that it is even more blind unfriendly than before. Why? Why can they not devote just a little bit of time to have a blind user test it out so they can make their app screenreader friendly? I came to one conclusion: Facebook hates blind people.”
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About the Flaneur
I walk through my blindness the way I wander down streets in Paris: unfettered and alive, alert to the raw material of the senses. I am a flaneur. Come along with me. Just don’t try to take my arm, unless I ask. What’s a flaneur? Read the first post, Return of the Flaneur to Galerie Vivienne. After that, try Foot Rage and the Blind Flaneur. Then stay tuned.
Letting Go of Sight
I’ve canoed on Lake Superior for almost as many years as I’ve been losing eyesight. I return year after year like a migrating loon to learn the other side of a slow, uncertain process that we could call “going blind.” After 35 years with the lake as my teacher, I know what lies on the other side. I call it letting go of sight. Read Big Water. See more about the Great Lakes.
Not This PigIf there is an emerging genetic underclass, I could run for class president or class clown. Read more in Not This Pig (2003).
Media in Transition @ MiT
Disabled Americans today have to negotiate for the kinds of accommodations made for FDR, and the caveat “reasonable accommodation” is built into the law. President Franklin Roosevelt did not have to negotiate. He could summon vast resources of the federal government – money as well as brains – to accomplish the work of disability. And it was accomplished with such thoroughness and efficiency that its scale could be called the Accessibility-Industrial Complex had it been directed toward public accommodations and not solely the needs of a single man. Read FDR and the Hidden Work of Disability [MiT8 2013]
Shepard Fairey claimed that his posterization of a copyrighted AP news photo of Barack Obama was a transformative work protected by the fair use doctrine. In other words, it was a shape-shifter. I claim fair use, too, when I reproduce and transform copyrighted works into media formats that are accessible to me as a blind reader. Read Shape-Shifters in the Fair Use Lab [MiT6 2009]
The social engineers who created a system for licensing beggars in New York never imagined that a blind woman had culture or could make culture. She herself may not have imagined it, either. In the moment when Paul Strand photographed her surreptitiously on the street in 1916, he could not have expected that one day blind photographers would reverse the camera’s gaze. Read Curiosity & The Blind Photographer. [MiT5 2007]