Friday Five for September 17, 2021

1. Neurocracy: futuristic murder-mystery fiction as told through Wikipedia 

"On first click, Omnipedia feels like the shadow-sister of Wikipedia: empty white space with the occasional image, marked up by slim black text and iconic blue hyperlinks. But we are on a different internet now. This fictional encyclopedia is essentially the narrator of Neurocracy, which is part game, part murder-mystery novella and part postmodern exploration of how we take in stories and information. It is a labyrinth of text – the reader, or player, navigates a 2049 version of our world by clicking hyperlinks. Having done some exploring, I believe it’s best to go in totally blind, though I will say that the central mystery concerns the death of the man who launched Omnipedia in the wake of Wikipedia, a character named Xu Shaoyong." Continue reading.

2. Grow and Eat Your Own Vaccines? 

"The future of vaccines may look more like eating a salad than getting a shot in the arm. UC Riverside scientists are studying whether they can turn edible plants like lettuce into mRNA vaccine factories." Continue reading.

3. Professor aims to put the history of Mexicans in Los Angeles at your fingertips

"Marissa López, professor in the departments of English and Chicana and Chicano and Central American studies, sees a story, one written from the perspective of the mapmaker. That kind of control over the narrative U.S. history has usually rested in the hands of white men. The result has been a history that omits the stories, contributions and perspectives of people of color. In Southern California, that’s meant the erasure of our region’s Mexican roots, and also the history of its indigenous people.

Now, in partnership with Los Angeles Public Library, López is committing to illuminating that long Mexican history of Los Angeles through Picturing Mexican America, a series of digital humanities projects centered around a mobile app. The app, which is currently in development, will display archival images of 19th-century Mexican Los Angeles related to the current location of the user. López and Picturing Mexican America recently collaborated with the 826LA, a nonprofit that teaches and promotes the value of writing, to create a summer workshop where middle and high school students had the opportunity to write and create art based on the history and future of Los Angeles." Continue reading.

4. Register: UCSD Privacy Workshop Sept. 28

"The Privacy 101 Workshop will focus on privacy issues and best methods to protect personal data. Other topics to be discussed include recently-enacted privacy laws and how UC San Diego handles personal data, including data about applicants, faculty and staff, research participants, alumni, online leaders, public databases, etc." Continue reading.

5. The new warrant: how US police mine Google for your location and search histor

“As long as the data exists, all it takes is a creative law enforcement officer to say, ‘Hey, we can get a warrant or we can send a subpoena for this particular subset of the data that’s already being harvested’,” said Caleb Kenyon, the defense attorney who represented McCoy, to the Guardian. “They’re coming up with everything they can to do their job. That’s all it takes for the next type of [reverse] search warrant to come about.” Continue reading.