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Whenever we zip up a file and send it through the web, we’re compressing data. Part of the theory behind lossless compression is that redundant data gets compacted meaningfully, so that they take up less space but can still meaningfully be re-opened to their original, pre-compression state. It’s a simple strategy that saves time and energy, and, if you’re counting the number of megabytes you can spend on your account, you can save a little money too.
I recently learned about a new compilation of digitized telegraph code books, made available on N. Katherine Hayles’s How We Think website. One of the fascinating aspects of studying the history of communications is how often we repeat the same strategies, and telegraph code is a great example of this. While these days the financial cost of sending a short tweet vs. sending a diatribe of an email is pretty much identical, in the days of Morse code, users had to count each character to make sure it was affordable. (Those of us don’t have unlimited text message plans might understand this sentiment a bit.)
Some of the books are very technical like the private cable code for the timber trade or international radio weather code for ships at sea. Everybody’s Pocket Code offers a simple list of basic phrases and their compressed versions. For instance: “etevu” means “At the following rate of exchange”; “idviz”, on the other hand, means “Why is it not confirmed?” And yes, dear reader, they do have “lolzu”, but in this context it means “Not legal(ly)”, though one could argue that’s somewhat apropos.
There are dozens of books compiled, and though the digitization isn’t always great — many of them are straight-up images, rather than searchable text — it’s well worth a stroll through history.
“Black infants in America are now more than twice as likely to die as white infants—11.3 per 1,000 black babies, compared with 4.9 per 1,000 white babies, according to the most recent government data—a racial disparity that is actually wider than in 1850, 15 years before the end of slavery, when most black women were…
he ownership of images has a long and nuanced legal history, which has evolved dramatically in recent years as cultural standards and photographic technologies have rapidly advanced
The show, which honors the 50th anniversary of an exhibition history once ignored, continues a series of projects documenting Wilmington’s contemporary art scene.
Renty and his daughter Delia. Renty was an enslaved African, kidnapped from the Congo, sold and forced into slave labor on the South Carolina plantation of B.F. Taylor
What is the relation between possessing a person, possessing their image, and dispossessing their progeny
As a scholar of African American history and photography whose work has focused on the status of violent images in museums and archives, I fully support the validity of Ms. Tamara Lanier’s claim and the amicus brief.
Two K-12 art teachers will each receive a $1,000 cash gift and an additional $500 to put toward classroom art supplies. Nominations are due October 31.
The daguerreotypes of Renty Taylor, Delia, Drana, Alfred, Jack, George Fassena, and Jem remained in an unused storage cabinet until 1975, when it was discovered by an employee of the Peabody Museum.
I am writing in support of the amicus curiae brief submitted by Professor Ariella Aïsha Azoulay of Brown University for the full restitution of the daguerreotypes of Renty Taylor and his daughter Delia, currently held by Harvard University, to their familial descendant, Tamara Lanier.
We cannot be indifferent to the long-lasting effects of photography. The photographs at the center of Lanier v. Harvard are relentless in making Renty and Delia Taylor work and perform as slaves. The pain inflicted on them has not ceased. Photography has the capacity to propagate harm, and we have the moral obligation to interrupt…