"An abstraction can only give you one facet of a complex reality. Things get bad when those abstractions become the terms your mind uses to consider the thing itself—you mistake the map as the territory. And it’s funny how those maps begin to mold your understanding of the world around you."



(Photo courtesy of Illinois Public Media)

When Pop Up Archive was born, our goal seemed simple: to help audio producers organize their archives and create searchable sound. As we launch Pop Up Archive publicly, our goal has grown much bigger.

Read the press release here.

We want to make it easy for all storytellers to find and reuse recorded sound. Now, anyone can visit popuparchive.org to make audio findable through auto-transcription, auto-tagging, and easy-to-use sound management tools. As we onboard audio collections large and small, we’re gathering thousands of hours of sounds from around the world — and they’re all waiting to be discovered.

Among the voices:  Buster Keaton explains silent film captioning to Studs Terkel in an age of entertainment far removed from today’s digital marketplaces. And a simple search across the public archive for a term such as “future” turns up results that span a Y2K apocalypse-centric radio broadcast from WBUR in 1999, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel telling a local reporter about his plans for the city, and a recent California Report episode on the future of the online currency Bitcoin.

But we can’t do it alone. We started out as aspiring journalists — but we found our calling making tools to help journalists. Since winning the Knight News Challenge in 2012, we’ve built lasting partnerships with some of the most exciting, forward-thinking media organizations in the country. With the Public Radio Exchange, our co-conspirators and the best source of technical expertise we could hope for, we’ve made thousands of hours of sound searchable from an inspiring variety of media producers and oral history collections.


But let’s pause (pun intended, please forgive us) for a moment. Who cares about sound, anyway? Isn’t radio in its death throes?

Read More


Career Highlight: I was walking in a blizzard, on a mountaintop several thousand feet above Tehran, when this guy shouts: “I love your Facebook page!”

(Tehran, Iran)


9 Ways Halloween Is Different After College

In college, picking out a costume was like. Now you go back to visit and you’re like. In college, you went out on Halloween like. Now you’re like. In college, you and your friends make awesome group costumes. Now you’re like. In college, when you…

This blog makes me finally and completely accept forever that Buzzfeed was also behind horse_ebooks. 

can’t you see it? 

"Now you’re like. Now you’re like. Now you’re like. WE’RE FABULOUS. Now."

I wanna RT it already.

I love this. Also, I had to google Orchid Thief. Which somehow makes this all even better. 


A conversation on iChat, beginning at 11:52 AM on September 24, 2013 (netw3rk’s idea, I should mention):


a weird thing happened on the internet today and i was thinking it’d be fun to try and explain it to you and publish our conversation


would you be willing to participate?


Everybody ever involved in creating Ruby on Rails, one of the primary frameworks for building web applications. 

This is why I’m teaching myself to code as fast as I can. The idea that entire (programming) languages were developed by dudes astounds me. Kind of mind-boggling considering how much these things define our daily interactions online. 

I am very into this idea, except for the all caps part. Wouldn’t it be great if Gmail let you include tags in sent emails? Kind of like labels, but metadata that’d travel to the recipient. 


Over the past 2.5 months I’ve been to parts of Asia 5 times for work. That’s a lot of travel. More on why later.

All this travel has forced me to manage a lot more by email than I would normally prefer.

It has also led me to develop a new system for inbound and outbound email…

(via betashop-deactivated20140509)


I just signed out “NPR News, Dakar.” Never have I felt like such an imposter.

"For 75 years, Finland’s expectant mothers have been given a box by the state. It’s like a starter kit of clothes, sheets and toys that can even be used as a bed … 

It’s a tradition that dates back to the 1930s and it’s designed to give all children in Finland, no matter what background they’re from, an equal start in life.”

Bonus: It’s correlated with a reduction in infant mortality rates!

Why Finnish babies sleep in cardboard boxes [BBC]