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William Pattison's Blog

Archive America 2017
by William Pattison | 2017/02/02 |

  Russel Neiss and Charlie Schwartz employed the Twitter platform to list the German passenger vessel manifest of the MS St. Louis . Carrying Jewish refugees, America refused entry causing a return to home port. @Stl_Manifest scrolls by passengers killed, in the form: "Fran Schmidt. The US turned me away at the border in 1939. I was murdered at The Netherlands.” Tweets add photographs of passengers too.

  This is a truly nouvelle and innovative way to make archival content relevant by democratizing access through public-private partnerships.  Social media sites like Instagram and Pintrest

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are offering a glimpse of archival futures.


  Tools like Optical Character Recognition (OCR), facial recognition, and Meta-data readers as well as an in-progress AI revolution are spurring our first baby steps into a transhuman civilization.   (Do NOT confuse this with a Nietche-fuelled, fascist dystopic Superman.  In transhuman philosophy, technology provides the means for all to succeed regardless of our disadvantages.)  Pinterest crowdsources the sharing, saving, listing, indexing, and tagging of every picture, map, drawing, and paper in history.  20 billion human minds by the end of the century will conquor many distributed computing problems.  Indeed, those that don't, can have some AI elbow grease added to our magic brain solution in order to capture the prize.

  While Twitter isn't the archive yet, form and function drift ever closer, blurring traditionally set lines.   How long until Blogster buys all of John Adams' ledgers and hosts them as an online journal or YouTube streams video walk-throughs for every public building?  


  btw, i am back following 2 years in hospital.  died 2x & lost both legs and infinitely glad to be home and working.  ty to all who called and wrote


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