Blog Profile / Social Design Notes

Filed Under:Arts / Graphic Design
Posts on Regator:130
Posts / Week:0.2
Archived Since:March 30, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Thresholds of Knowledge

Reading this essay by Jeff Jarvis on the future of newspapers (which encourages, among other things, radical experimentation as community-centric service delivery internet start-ups) I ran into this useful hierarchy of knowledge: knowledge...Show More Summary


“Instead of always thinking that we need to make an app to 'solve' some problem, there are often really strong existing community processes. Wherever community is targeted by oppression, there are often strategies of resistance. TheShow More Summary

NYPD Use of Force Complaints

Below, a visualization of use of force complaints against NYPD officers to the Civilian Complaint Review Board in 2016, via: Flashlight as club: 6 Gun fired: 10 Gun as club: 12 Continue »

Message Boards

The Internet Movie Database is shutting down its message boards. Acquired by Amazon in 1998, ongoing expense of community management and backend maintenance no longer justified itself to the bean counters. Sending it off, Colin Strickland recalls the harrowing days leading up to launch of a rewrite of the software behind the boards in 2001. Show More Summary


I built an SMS bot! Text your postal address to (520) 200-2223 and the bot will text you back names and phone numbers for your state and federal legislative representatives. Here’s the story: I’ve been looking at bots for advocacy and...Show More Summary

In Free Fall

Violence Is Mine, September 26, 2014: "[Hito Steyerl's] video In Free Fall (2010) in particular demonstrates how sites of apparent digital illusion are tied to the real world. She traces a specific Boeing passenger plane that had been...Show More Summary

After Nineteen Eighty-Four

Towards an ironic history of George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, a book about pervasive surveillance and censorship under totalitarianism. Egypt, November 2014: “An Egyptian college student carrying a copy of George Orwell’sShow More Summary

Law Professor's Response to Black Lives Matter Shirt Complaint

A first year law school student wrote a complaint about her professor having worn a Black Lives Matter T-shirt during class. The professor's response is priceless. Continue »

So You Want to Organize a Very Large Protest March

So you want to organize a very large protest march? There's no one better to ask than Leslie Cagan. Leslie has helped organize some of the biggest marches in recent history. To name just a few: he 1967 March on the Pentagon he 1982 anti-nuclear...Show More Summary

Ten Challenges to the Use of Data Visualization in Human Rights

In January 2016, my colleagues and I from an interdisciplinary research group at NYU (#NYUhrviz) asked a group of human rights researchers and advocates about the challenges they face when using data visualization. Mixing formal interviews with informal discussion, we found that responses revealed a few common themes. Show More Summary

What's Wrong with this Picture?

The Ethics Gap in Data Visualization What do ethics have to do with data visualization? Over the years, researchers and lawyers have come up with some rules and best practices to guide the proper collection and use of data, with particular attention on human subject research. Show More Summary

Eat the Nation

National dishes are part of people’s identity and self-image, but sometimes shaped by political or economic policy as much as place: During the age of European empire-building, nations would develop a national cuisine to distinguish themselves from their rivals. Before the 1940s, Pad Thai didn’t exist as a common dish. Show More Summary

From Museum Bot to Catalog Bot

Running a handful of museum bots that post random images to Twitter, one quickly gets a sense of the eccentricities of of various collections and catalogings: the MoMA bot has surfaced many Louise Bourgeoise prints, the Victoria & Albert...Show More Summary

The Uses of Radicalism

This interview with radical historian Eric Foner is full of goodness. The focus is on Reconstruction and its interpretation, and this bit on the function of radicalism speaks clearly to the present: “The abolitionists show you that a very small group of people can accomplish a lot by changing the discourse of the country. Show More Summary

Suicide Rate for Black Children Surges

Three months ago, I read a story in the NY Times with a chilling lede: the suicide rate among black children has nearly doubled since the early 1990s, while the rate for white children has declined. The story haunted me, and when the Harper’s Index repeated the statistic it prompted me to track down the source. Show More Summary


Activist and journalist Leah Borromeo interviews two members of Lapiztola, a street art collective from Oaxaca about the roots of the 2006 uprising and their visual response: You can see more of their work up at

Imagining Worlds

In September 2014, the National Book Foundation awarded Ursula LeGuin its Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters to recognize a lifetime of literary achievement. In her acceptance speech LeGuin had this to say about...Show More Summary

Protests in 2014

A week ago I tweeted a link to a stunning collection of dramatic photos from protests around the world in 2014. It was an amazing year: Ayotzinapa, Bangkok, Catalonia, Euromaidan, Ferguson, Hong Kong, Taksim… But it bugged me that such...Show More Summary

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