Photo by Shannon Litt on Unsplash

It’s easy to feel hopeless given the state of the world. Not only are there tons of bad things happening out there, but we have to keep hearing about them. For those of us who want to make the world a better place, this is a tragic situation — what Luciano Floridi calls the Tragedy of the Good Will in his 2013 book The Ethics of Information.

The Tragedy of the Good Will arises from an imbalance between information (what we know) and power (what we can do about it). On one hand, our information technologies and global connections increase…


The following article is a transcript of this video. Read or watch, as you prefer!

Donald Trump always has an answer. Over the past four years, we have gotten the impression that this man has never once paused for a moment to think about anything.

I was struck by this fact recently when Kanye West gave a series of interviews. As you may know, he was running for president in 2020 — or walking, as he said. When asked a question to which he didn’t have a ready answer, he stopped to think, or even pray, and there’s silence. Confronting…


Photo by Nestoras Argiris on Unsplash

“Some one who was living was almost always listening. Some one who was loving was almost always listening.” — Gertrude Stein, “Ada,” 1922

Today we are being called to listen. To listen to the stories of those whose voices have not been heard, to listen to each other as we determine what future to build. In this sense, listening isn’t only about hearing; it’s just as much about seeing and feeling. It’s about being open to what the world is trying to show you.

Listening is difficult, and we are not very good at it. Perception seems to be rooted…


I recently made bigos, a hearty Polish stew, using the recipe I got from my friend’s mother. I’ve loved bigos ever since I first had it at her house, back when I was studying abroad in Warsaw. The recipe has three ingredients: sauerkraut, ham hocks, and dried mushrooms. But bigos is a kind of kitchen-sink dish; you can add whatever you’ve got wilting in the fridge that you need to use up. Bigos really hits the spot for me, especially on cold winter days. But I wouldn’t call it pretty.

As the bigos was cooking, I texted my partner. We…


Photo by Johan Mouchet

“We’re living to document our lives,” wrote Mark Fischetti in Scientific American. With smartphones in our pockets, always with us, it seems we can’t really help it. We take pictures of our food, record the places we go and the routes we take, make posts about our joys and travails—and, of course, share photos of our faces.


Misinformation may appear rather simple to define. As Wikipedia says, “Misinformation is false or inaccurate information.” But we use the term information in a variety of ways, and perhaps there’s more than meets the eye here.

Information scientist Michael Buckland has written that the various ways we use the word information boil down into three main senses:

  1. as knowledge, or mental content
  2. as a thing, or a physical object
  3. as a process

Buckland points out that information systems can only deal with information in the “thing” sense. Consonantly, efforts to design automated systems for misinformation detected rely on a conception…


To make Digital Shroud the best publication we can, here are some guidelines.

Getting Started

If you’re new to Medium, first have a look at this “Write a post” post, which will help you get your bearings.

Next, check out this three-minute guide for best practices to writing on Medium. A few key takeaways: try to communicate clearly; emphasize your post’s original insight; and include an interesting image.

Another note on images: Check out this post to make sure you’re getting the most out of images.

I’d also encourage you to make use of the formatting possibilities on Medium. Embed links, use…


This publication is authored by members of the class Introduction to Ubiquitous Computing (Info 150) at Drexel University, taught by Tim Gorichanaz. Here we will be exploring the scope and capabilities of ubicomp, its history and potential, and the challenges and risks of innovating with digital technology.

“Shroud” is a term in ubicomp introduced by Gregory Abowd. While we are quite familiar with the ubicomp vision of the “crowd” (as in crowdsourcing) and the “cloud” (where we keep most of our data), the shroud is newer and more elusive.

Course Description

This course introduces the field of ubiquitous computing (ubicomp), which refers…


Like all of northern China, Lanzhou has central heating — the heat turns on for everyone on November 1, no matter the temperature. It’s October 28. The students wear their winter coats in the classroom.

Waiting for my turn, they call out numbers in a random order.

Lanzhou is dusty. A car left for a few hours will look like it’s been off-roading. There’s the sand, coming from the mountains and desert, suspended in the dry air. There’s the pollution, the dark clouds that rove across the country making some days hard to breathe. And then there’s the construction dust…

Tim Gorichanaz

Prof in information science at Drexel. Runs a lot. Researches and teaches at the intersection of information technology, ethics, and art+design.

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