Sad News for Comedy

As an American in Britain, I have found one of the most endearing traits of Britons, and people living in Britain generally, is their ability to laugh at themselves. They don’t take themselves so seriously that they can't see “what fools" we "mortals" can be. So how sad to learn in today’s paper that “Mock … Continue reading Sad News for Comedy

A. Michael Noll Reflects on Two Art Exhibitions

TWO EXHIBITIONS: THE PAST – THE FUTURE A. Michael Noll August 4, 2022 [The following commentary is authored by A. Michael Noll, and posted with the permission of the author. Michael was a pioneer in computer art in the 1960s, when the very idea of computer art might have been inexplicable.] In 1968, two exhibitions … Continue reading A. Michael Noll Reflects on Two Art Exhibitions

Time Management in Academia

I was in an online workshop for early career academics at the July 2022 Social Media & Society conference @SocMediaConf. One of the key questions was around time management. As a senior (old) academic, I can’t say I have solved that problem - at all, but I have some tips helpful to my own decision-making. … Continue reading Time Management in Academia

Implications of the War in Ukraine on Internet and Society

The destruction of cities, infrastructures, including telecommunication and media, and deaths of thousands resulting from the Russian Federation's invasion of Ukraine from 24th February 2022 are increasingly well documented. Cyber-attacks have been one aspect of this larger war that have undermined the public and private sectors, as well as individuals. Nationally and globally, it might … Continue reading Implications of the War in Ukraine on Internet and Society

Raising Awareness of Social Media for Positive Social Change

My colleagues and I involved with the World Internet Project (WIP) are looking for some inspiring initiatives in the use of the internet and social media for effecting positive social change. A thesis by Ms Emilia Askari in the College of Education at Michigan State University alerted me to this potential, and discussions within WIP … Continue reading Raising Awareness of Social Media for Positive Social Change

A Message to the Russian People from Ukraine

[The following is an email message on 1 March 2022 from a colleague in Ukraine, which she received from a former doctoral student now living in Kyiv. While English is not the writer's first language, I'll post this with very little editing to convey its more personal experience of being in Ukraine during the 2022 … Continue reading A Message to the Russian People from Ukraine

History Lessons: 250 Years of the IT Industry in Britain

Question Time Panel at 'Learning from History', BCS, 17 February 2022 The Archives of IT (AIT) held a two-hour seminar on 17 February 2022 in collaboration with the British Computer Society (BCS) and the Computer Conservation Society (CCS). It was entitled ‘Learning from History: Reflections on the past and future of the British IT Industry’. … Continue reading History Lessons: 250 Years of the IT Industry in Britain

Problems with British Broadcasting – Not Just the BBC

There are serious problems with broadcast news in the UK, reflecting trends in public communication across other nations, that merit far more discussion and more systematic research. In many respects, the coverage of ‘partygate’ and new developments around the BBC License Fee highlight these issues, but could also narrow the discussion if focused only on … Continue reading Problems with British Broadcasting – Not Just the BBC

Hobbesian World of TV News in Britain

The Hobbesian World of Broadcast TV News in Britain As an American, I often find broadcast TV news in Britain to be completely out of character with my expectations. For example, as I would expect, BBC World Service is almost always polite, civilized, correct, and informative, while also entertaining. In contrast, all too often, BBC … Continue reading Hobbesian World of TV News in Britain

Private Emails Are Not (Yet) a Thought Crime

Private Emails? A Personal Perspective on Politicizing Norms of Communication In Orwell’s 1984, Winston Smith opens himself up to accusations of thought crimes for walking onto a street with a shop where he could buy pen and paper. In 2021, politicians and even the UK’s Information Commissioner wonder if ministers are guilty of some criminal … Continue reading Private Emails Are Not (Yet) a Thought Crime