CEA announces Declaration of Technology Independence

CEA ANNOUNCES DECLARATION OF INNOVATION INDEPENDENCE
Presents Six Principles to Guide Intellectual Property Debate

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) issued today [Mar 16] a Declaration
of Innovation Independence. The document provides a series of
principles to ensure that fair use, home recording rights and
innovation are protected in legislative, judicial and regulatory
debates regarding the protection of intellectual property (IP)).

"For too long, the content community has been allowed to define the
terms of the IP debate. Today we reassert our independence," said CEA
President and CEO Gary Shapiro. "We reassert our independence from the
content community’s stranglehold on determining the language of the
debate. We reassert our independence to counter their efforts to
inhibit the democratization of creativity enabled by digital
technology. And we reassert our independence to ensure that legal
activities conducted by consumers remain legal and are not inaccurately
labeled as ‘piracy.’ The principles we present today are designed to
protect the critical American values of innovation and creativity while
preserving basic consumer rights."

I know I’m a little late on this one, but I haven’t seen much on it yet.   It does have implications for the library world to say the least.  I imagine Walt will probably have something intelligent to say on it.  Go read the whole press release.  It’s short.  So is the accompanying article in their house organ, Vision, Our Declaration of Technology and Independence.  This is actually better than the press release. 

WHEREAS, The Supreme Court in 1984 held that it is legal under the copyright law
to sell a product if the product has substantial non-infringing uses.

This Betamax holding paved the way for the introduction of revolutionary technologies
enabling recording, storage and shifting of content in time and space without
the prior permission of the copyright holders.

Technologies such as MP3 encoding, the PC, the Internet and digital and audio
recorders have supported a creative renaissance that has enriched the content
community, empowered consumers and helped establish the United States as the world’s
economic leader.

Our nation attracts the world’s smartest and most innovative people because
our society embraces and encourages entrepreneurship. Our nation of immigrants
has created the world’s largest technologies and communication systems.
Currently, our leadership in innovation is being threatened by the content industry’s
misguided attempts to protect intellectual property.

The recording and motion picture industries have often resisted, opposed or sought
to stifle new technologies and products, despite the fact that these technologies
transform markets and create new avenues for profitable content creation and distribution.

The influential content lobby has in many respects shaped the current state of
copyright law. Copyright terms have been unreasonably extended so that the reporting
of history itself is subject to permission. Makers of pioneering technologies
are now routinely subject to expensive and time-consuming lawsuits that discourage
innovation and impede U.S. companies from competing globally.

Moreover, false equations have been drawn between intellectual property and real
property, noncommercial home recording and commercial piracy, and national creativity
and sales of particular products and formats, such as CDs.

THEREFORE, as Americans concerned about preserving our rights of freedom of expression
and striving to be leaders in advancing creativity, and who understand that new
technologies promote and enhance creativity, communication and our national welfare,
we hereby ask policymakers to:

Recognize that our founders instituted copyright law to promote creation, innovation
and culture rather than to maximize copyright holders’ profits, and that
it can do this only if new technologies are not stifled and fair use rights are
upheld;

Reaffirm the Betamax holding that a product is legal if it has significant legal
uses;

Resist pleas by big content aggregators for new laws, causes of action, liabilities
and ways to discourage new product introductions;

Re-establish the fundamental rights of consumers to time-shift, place-shift and
make backup copies of lawfully acquired content, and use that content on a platform
of their choice;

Re-examine the length of the copyright term and explore avenues for content to
be reliably available for creative endeavors, scholarship, education, history,
documentaries and innovation benefiting society at large; and

Realize that our nation’s creativity arises from a remarkable citizenry
whose individuality, passion, belief in the American dream and desire to improve
should not be shackled by laws that restrict creativity.

I know that there must be some sort of down-side to the hardware manufacturers taking on the content providers in the fight over fair use, but I sure can’t think of one off the top of my head!  I just can’t help thinking how conflicted Sony must be.  HeHeHe!

The Electronic Frontier
Foundation (EFF), the American Conservative Union (ACU), the Home
Recording Rights Coalition (HRRC) and the American Library Association
(ALA) are all co-sponsors. 

Even Lessig doesn’t have anything in his blog…?  Guess I’ll check EFF and ALA.  Be right back.

Wow, and double wow!  Nothing that I could see at either
organization in their press rooms.  I really wish I wasn’t so burnt out
at the far end of Spring Break because maybe I could say something
interesting.  Oh well.  I really do hope that Walt writes something
about this.   Maybe I’ll just be gutsy and email him.  I checked his
‘blog’ too, subscribed while there. 

I believe I found out about this from Intellectual Freedom news /
IFACTION Digest 1256.  Not sure how broadly this is distributed, or if it is completely local to us, but we get it frequently on our Announcements bulletin board.  They pointed to this article,
but I decided to go to the CEA site from there.   I actually get much
of the sources I blog about from the links in IFACTION Digest.

This seems a very balanced declaration.  If you actually read and
think about its claims you can see that they actually understand some
very real nuances of the debate.   I used to be a  lot more invested
(intellectually; I have been fiscally for several decades now) in the
consumer electronics industry, but I have thought for a long while that
they had abandoned me.  Sure, they wanted me to buy their newest and
best products but that was all they wanted.  They really didn’t seem to
care what they were giving me for my money either.  Then, often lately,
it seemed as if they were in cahoots with content providers as to how I
could use the products of my culture.  Bless their hearts!  And Thank
You!  Now start making the kinds of products I actually want.  You know
I will give you money for good products that do a few things
exceedingly well.  Take it easy on the convergence, will you?  Sure,
make all the converged products you want and can sell.  Just make some
non-converged and I guarantee they will sell too.

Well, I haven’t really said anything particularly intelligent here
regarding the possible implications of this declaration for libraries,
but I hope to discuss it with some intelligent library-types at ACRL in
early April.

As a final comment [in this post anyway] I absolutely love this
sentence, "Copyright terms have been unreasonably extended so that the
reporting of history itself is subject to permission."

 

The story that I could not tell for Storytelling

Here is the story that I wanted to relate for my 2nd story in Storytelling, but was unable to do so.  This is the slightly revised text of a letter that I wrote to one person on 18 Oct 2004 who I thought might understand.  She encouraged me to try and communicate these feelings to a larger audience.  Thanks Taylor!  I have been trying; here they are finally.


I spent over 20 years in the Army.  I recently learned that my son, Jeremy, who has been in most of a 6 year enlistment, just reenlisted and is due to return to Iraq in Oct. with the 4th Infantry Division.  This is the same unit he went with the last time; the same division I retired from.

I really don’t know what to say about my son.  Part of it is the normal father-son disconnect that frequently afflicts men.   Why is that?  What is it about our culture that constructs our world so we can’t even talk to those who need us most?  And yes, I do have a few ideas but they are merely explanations, not true answers.

Maybe I made his deployment harder on myself than I needed to; I don’t know.  He knows how hard it was on me and it is probably one reason he doesn’t discuss much about it; although while he was deployed he looked forward to being able to tell me things he couldn’t at the time.  I don’t ask because I don’t want him to see how much it hurts me or for him to think that he’s the one hurting me—so we just don’t talk about it.   We haven’t really had many occasions for that kind of discussion either; but that’s just a rationalization.  I wonder how it hurts him?

This whole thing is very psychologically complex for me, and no
doubt, for him.  I do know though that there is a look in his eyes that
was certainly never there before.

I was a 10-year old boy the summer we 1st landed on the
moon.  I am a child of technoscience and a child of the Cold War.  As a
few of you may have also done in school, we practiced climbing under
our desks and putting our heads between our knees (the closer to kiss
our rear ends…?).  Bomb shelters were prolific, although we didn’t have
one.  I was no a-bomb expert but it all just seemed pointless and a bit
surreal long before I had any idea what surreal even was.

My 1st full-time job was in the Army at a Nike-Hercules missile
battery, 1978-81.  I will never forget sitting on a nuclear missile
site in Western Germany at the height of the Cold War, with access to
the unlock codes, with a new and pregnant wife, and then child  and
learning all about Soviet planes, battle tactics, equipment and so on
and being further indoctrinated into the “us/them, they are the enemy”
meme thinking how all those people aren’t my enemy and I sure hope they
believe the same and if we can just keep our politicians under
control…and now I  wake up and it’s 2004.

I never did believe these folks were my enemy!  But it is hard to
resist the indoctrination that goes on to make a force capable of
fighting the sorts of war we were prepping for; not that today’s is any
less dehumanizing.  I have such a bipolar sort of relations to all of
this.  I am proud of my service, but I am so disturbed, depressed and
outraged at the country I live in.  What happened to the Constitution I
was swearing my life to protect and defend?  If I had any idea this is
where we’d be I’d have found something more productive, and set a
different example for my son.

When my baby boy was 10 he got chicken pox and had to stay home from school during the initial phases of the 1st
Gulf war.   I was away at a 4-month school and he watched CNN when he
wasn’t in bed.  I watched Neil Armstrong walk on the moon; he watched
CNN broadcast the 1st real-time, televised technowar.  Now
he has seen it for real!  I know that I couldn’t have done anything
about this, its just life; but I feel so utterly betrayed by my country
and by most of my fellow citizens!

While Jeremy was deployed I wore a ribbon on my shirt everyday he
was gone.  I got so many varied looks from people during that time.  It
was very interesting to have the State Farm corporate-types look at me
and nod or smile like they knew we were in agreement when I just wanted
to scream at them or vandalize their SUVs.  It was even more painful to
have many of the more radical folks on campus or around town look at me
like I was the enemy, as if I had ordered the invasion myself, when all
I wanted was a hug while I had another crying spell.  Luckily, I knew a
few of the “kids” and did get a few hugs and truly caring questions
about my son.

I went to a few anti-war sorts of meetings, and many of the folks
there had loved ones deployed, but I just couldn’t do it more than a
few times.  I didn’t participate in any protests because my son was
deployed and I simply could not work out what I was supposed to do for
either him or myself.  Near the end of that horrific string of
Blackhawk downings, I went to one meeting and introduced myself as
having a son deployed.  Near the end a woman came up to me and asked
about Jeremy as I had said he worked on helicopters.  I told her that
he was an Apache repairman with 4th ID and she gave me a knowing look,
and then told me that her son was also deployed to Iraq and that he was
a Blackhawk crew chief.  I didn’t know what to do—my heart just broke
for that mother.  All I could think of—I did not say another word, for
once in my life—was to give her a hug.  We embraced each other for a
minute or so like we were both trying to somehow bring the four of us
into one big hug.  I do not know if her son ever made it home, or if
he’s since gone back. 

Another major mind job about the whole affair is that Jeremy went to
war with the same division I retired from.   While I was there is when
we were doing the Task Force XXI Advanced Warfighting force
restructuring process, which was the final testing of the Army’s change
to 21st century warfighting.  I “went to war” with this
division for 6 weeks in the Mojave and we got our butts destroyed under
highly artificially constrained conditions, constrained in our favor!
Somehow it was packaged to the media as a great triumph by us and the
division was fielded and became mobile over the next couple years…and
now Jeremy’s in it.  Plus, 4th ID was going in under an intense
microscope being finally fully fielded as our highest tech fighting
force.  It would have been a fratricide bloodbath just like in the
Mojave; this time for real. 

Then there was the complete surreality of going to the commissary
and BX (Scott AFB) during his deployment.  There were these constant
ads over the PA system about how all of us family members— mothers,
fathers, brothers, sisters, grandma…— all "are heroes at this time.  We
are all critical to the success of the mission; are America’s heart and
soul, bread and butter…."  It was downright disturbing and insulting.
Of course, most folks there were comforted by it all.  I sometimes
noticed the propaganda during my years in the service, but it is so
easy to see now.  Of course, I got family support group newsletters and
newsletters from the regiment and the division and it was the same sort
of thing.  I understand the need for it for most people, the forced
upbeat-ness; but it is still a lie.  Certain stories must be told for
various reasons, and sometimes the methods may be nefarious but the
message is important—but then that message obscures other important
messages, too.

On a related note, the ribbons I wore (and there is still one on my
backpack) came from the family support group for Jeremy’s company.  His
Mom ordered the 1st batch and I ordered the 2nd batch.  Mary (my ex)
works at Wal-Mart and every one there including many shoppers wanted
one and were willing to pay for them, while I gave away about 5 to my
closest friends and co-workers at Milner Library.  Only 2 wore them for
any length of time.  That there were differences did not surprise me,
but the possible reasons for the vastly different reactions in Wal-Mart
or a med-size university library were intriguing to me.   When I was
ordering another batch from Jeremy’s company commander’s wife I made
the mistake of mentioning it to her.   Her immediate interpretation was
along the lines of “Yes, Wal-Mart patrons are honest-to-goodness
Americans while academics are questionable at best.”  I did not bother
to explain that wasn’t what I saw or meant at all, but luckily realized
that there was no place for her to stand to see it any other way, at
least not in mine.  I am sure she is a wonderful woman but she had to
see the world as constructed in a certain way or it would be more than
she could bear.

I have no idea how to discuss any of this with most people and have
only discussed small parts with a very few special friends.  The
problem is there is no way to discuss this with most people.  I guess I
now know how my folks may have felt on occasion for over 20 years.

Most people in this country have no idea the psychological damage
that has been done to so many people because of this escapade. 

Thank you people of Turkey, I will never forget your courage in
standing up to your leaders when we couldn’t be bothered to stand up to
ours.

I’m sorry!  There is so much more that I could say—some of which I
won’t be able to say until sometime in the future, if ever.   I really
just want to thank you for listening.

Melissa says “I Wish This Fit On A Car Bumper.”

My entire comment from yesterday at Sivacracy.net has been posted by Melissa as an entry entitled I wish this fit on a car bumper.

Thanks Melissa!  I am working on telling this story.  It is very difficult for me though.  I tried to do something along these lines for my Storytelling class this semester but the prof and I decided it was unfair to the other students since I would not be able to get through it without crying on occasion.  I have written about it a little for one or two people, and I do talk to people about it on the individual level, although they still get censored versions of it.  There is so much more to say and I am desperately attempting to learn how to say it so that others will listen.  I only hope it isn’t too late when I do figure it out.  And my heathen soul is continually praying that I learn how to talk with my son again!

I wish I could fit my sentiments and ideas on a bumper too, but for now I struggle just to communicate it at all.

Another commentator seemed somewhat offended by my comment that "After giving over 20 years of my life to "support and defend the
Consitution" of the US I feel completely and utterly betrayed by my
nation and its citizens."  Well, I do.  Sorry ’bout dat!  For those who are sorry for having sent my son and tens of thousands of others to fight and die I apologize.  I don’t mean it personally on the individual level.  Matter-of-fact, just like most of the other thoughts and feelings, it is very convoluted.  I sometimes wish that I could divide the world up into so much black-and-white but…

Looked through the paper.
Makes you want to cry.
Nobody cares if the people
Live or die.

And the dealer wants you thinking
That it’s either black or white.
Thank God it’s not that simple
In My Secret Life.
Leonard Cohen – In My Secret Life

[Funny, my 1st 'test' blog on Bloglines was titled "My Secret Life" after this song.]

As for my final sentence that: "If you are going to send others off to kill and die in your name then you owe it to them  to seriously question why."  I do not think this implies any sort of logical connection to others’ behavior.  I do think it is an ethical and moral issue.  My "you owe it to them" is an ought.  Oughts can rarely be arrived at by logic.  And although this is a case where one could easily construct a logical arrival at the ought, it still would have no real motivating force in the life of others.

Selection vs. Censorship; Asheim vs. Atkinson

NOTE:  Part of response to readings for week 6, Oct 1st 2004, LIS 501 (1 of 2 required courses) last fall.

On the issue of selection vs. censorship I’d like to make a few observations, primarily referencing the "Ortega Revisited" slide. [I am working on a reproduction of the slide to link to.]  When I first saw the Asheim quote "they should never prescribe," I immediately thought that he must not be a fan of bibliotheraphy. I also agreed with him, taking ‘prescribe’ in a prescriptive sort of sense. [I reserve personal judgement on bibliotherapy at this time.] I also agree with Atkinson’s conclusion that the resulting exclusion is "inevitably a form of prescription;" taking ‘prescription’ in a limiting sense. As a philosopher, I’ve been thinking about this sort of dichotomy arising from the use of "prescribe." Why is it that I can agree with both so easily? Yes, I know I’m using the word in two different senses, but how different are they? I consulted my Oxford American Dictionary and finding little definitive solace  I turned to the OED. It, of course, was eminently helpful, but also had the potential for much complication. The OAD gives us gives us two possible relevant definitions: The first involves advising use of, particularly as beneficial; the second involves authoritative imposition. I believe Asheim would possibly agree to using it in the first sense; but it was the second which he was claiming we should not do. But where is the narrowing sense I use to interpret Atkinson’s use? The OED gives us eight definitions with the fourth being exactly what I want. " 4. trans. To limit, restrict, restrain; to confine within bounds." [The etymology is interesting and this use is almost as old as the others I've mentioned.] This sense of narrowing or "confining within bounds" is  exactly the sense I  use to interpet Atkinson, while also accepting Asheim. If Atkinson intends to use it in one of its more authoritative senses, then I do not agree with him. I take Asheim to represent one good philosophy for addressing this issue of selection vs. censorship; while I take Atkinson to be making an interesting philosophical, and in one sense correct, argument. But, Atkinson addresses the reality of our efforts in a negative sense, that is, he reminds us of social reality and human fallibleness; while not providing any positive insight into a better philosophy. One reason it is important  for one to know which sense of ‘prescribe’ they use in this realm of selection vs. censorship is that it carries with it a connotation that may well influence intention and action on one’s part. Approaching one’s job of selector as one of narrowing or constraining the information universe, but not of banning is entirely different than considering oneself to be  laying down the law, or of ‘proscribing.’

Personally, I prefer a new to me, although obsolete, sense of ‘prescribe.’ "To inscribe on the front or forepart." I use it metaphorically to describe what it is selectors do. Selection is the process of choosing what to provide  either physical or virtual access to (inscribing), which is then placed  in a physical or virtual library. The library can only provide access to small portions of the information universe; but it serves as the "front or forepart" to much more of the information universe. Asheim gives us a much more pragmatic use of the idea to positively guide us as we select.

I believe that this quote from the ALA site "Lester Asheim in Cyberspace" sums up exactly the attitude and action that Asheim is claiming is the job of the selector:

  "The major characteristic which makes for the all-important difference seems to be this: that the selector’s approach is positive, while that of the censor is negative," Asheim said. "The aim of the selector is to promote reading, not to inhibit it; to multiply the points of view which will find expression, not limit them; to be a channel for communication, not a bar against it. . . . Selection seeks to protect the right of the reader to read; censorship seeks to protect—not the right—but the reader himself from the fancied effects of his reading. The selector has faith in the intelligence of the reader; the censor has faith only in his own."
 

Citations

Asheim, Lester. "Ortega Revisited." Library Quarterly. 52 (Jul 1983): 215-226. (My source: Week 6 slides)

Atkinson, Ross. "Library Functions, Scholarly Communication, and the Foundation of the Digital Library: Laying Claim to the Control Zone." Library Quarterly. 66 (1996): 239-265. (My source: Week 6 slides)

Pinnell-Stephens, June. "Lester Asheim in Cyberspace:
  A Tribute to Sound Reasoning." ALA Intellectual Freedom Issues. 2004. ALA. 7 Oct. 2004 <http://www.ala.org/ala/oif/ifissues/issuesrelatedlinks/lesterasheim.htm>.

Good Friday, or so they say…

EDUCATION / LIBRARIANSHIP

For various reasons I am beginning to lean towards something in cataloging & classification vs. reference.  I am only in my 1st semester of cat & class I realize, so to help decide I am trying to get a practicum in cataloging this summer.  I am willing to commit to a serious pursuit of cataloging & classification, considered on a very broad scale, but I want to know that I can even stand it.

I have an interview with the head librarian of a small special library and her head of technical services on Tuesday about the possibility of doing a practicum this summer.  I really hope this works out.  I need to get some experience at something other than what I know; especially considering I don’t want to do what I did for 6 years.  Getting some primary reference responsibilities would be a nice experiment too, but I don’t know if that’s going to happen. My current job requires some reference work, but not primarily. 

I have been working on an educational plan that has me staying and doing a Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS); working on a good education in cataloging & classification.  There are so many things I could do to learn much of this on my own, but there is no time to learn more currently, and there’s not much that can go either.  So to really dig into folksonomies, taxonomies, ontologies, metadata, cat & class II, knowledge representation, and so on I may just have to stay and do another 40 hours.  More on all this to come…

I heard back from Dorothea today.  Thanks for the kind words!  See you at ACRL.

IPOD

I got my iPod today!  Aside: Let me tell you about getting packages delivered when you live alone and are at school/work all day…  It’s charging right now and I’ve installed the software on my computer. 

EASTER

I had several folks ask me what I’m doing for Easter, or JCs day, or chocolate bunny day, and other cuteness.  Well, really nothing special, BUT, for me it is.  I’ll be visiting my state university library on Easter Sunday.  Out of the previous 6 Easters, I worked 4, and possibly 5, of them over at Milner Library.  As a student, and later as staff, I worked all the weird open days when the library was the only thing open on campus.  This year it is my heathen privilege to swap roles and be the patron.  God bless us heathens that can keep a great research library open on Easter weekend!

So, it has been a kind of Good Friday for me for once.  Nice and quiet at work and got to work with good people.  I didn’t get told no outright on the practicum.  I’m excited that I may have found a direction for my education. [Wow, that sentence needs a couple of paragraphs to unpack!]  I heard from Dorothea.  I got my iPod.  And I have a plan for a library adventure on Easter.  Hopefully almost no one will be back from Spring Break yet, please, please,…

What does “Support the Troops” mean?

Nice attempt at starting a conversation on the topic of the meaning of "Support the Troops" at Sivacracy.net entitled "A Deadhead Sticker on a Cadillac."  Thanks, Melissa.  I posted a comment with some of my thoughts to try and continue it. 

Walking to work today I saw, at a red light, two SUVs, one a Lexus,
the other a Mountaineer, sporting yellow "Support the Troops” magnets.
Just how lacking in a sense of irony do you have to be to buy a magnet
for $1.50 at your local Target and slap it on your gas-guzzling SUV?

These magnets bother me. First, there is the fact that they are
magnets. I guess the manufacturer felt stickers are too permanent an
expression of deeply held convictions.

But here’s the real reason they bother me. And it is not that I
think the people who slap them on are falsely patriotic. I am sure they
love America just as much as I do.

It is that I am highly suspicious that all these people are actually
doing anything more than displaying a ribbon to support the troops. In
a country where so few of us vote in huge, important elections, I don’t
think I am being paranoid.

Excerpt of my comment:

What I would like to see as support for the troops is for an actual
conversation in the national media with the parents and other loved
ones of our troops. There really are a lot more of us that feel
differently than what is generally portrayed as being quite happy with
the sacrifices our loved ones have gone through for George W’s
principled plans. I, for one, am quite disgusted at the sacrifices my
son and our family were "asked" to make for this country.

Addendum (3/26/05): Here’s a link to an excellent article on the same topic of the meaning of supporting the troops by Sean Gonsalves over at AlterNet.org.

In other words, supporting troops means more than writing letters to soldiers abroad, flying the flag and putting a yellow ribbon around the old Oak tree.

As you read these words, there are veterans in VA hospitals paying for their meals while the president’s budget, among other things, would more than double the co-payment charged to many veterans for prescription drugs, and would require some to pay a new fee of $250 a year to use government health care.

Why? To pay war bills while giving disproportionate tax cuts to those who least need it.

Took the iPod plunge

Well, I sure hope this was a good idea because it was a costly one.  I ordered myself an iPod today—an iPod photo 30 GB with charger and case.

Me, a guy who has a whole 6 songs on my computer and no digital camera.  I have been lugging around a Walkman and CDs for awhile now though.  Getting kind of tiresome.  Spent a little time thinking about this—yes, I know it was probably just a couple months ago I said I’d have no need—and did more research than I do on most things.   I looked all over Apple’s site, talked to a few people (thanks Garrett)  and used a few ‘primary’ resources as guides to my thoughts.

The 1st thing I used was this piece by Michael Stephens at Tame the Web: Picking Your Pod which I had saved in my aggregator since Mar 12th after reading the article at Playlist magazine that it points to, Pickin Your ‘Pod: Which iPod is right for you? by Christopher Breen.  Since Michael just presented a link and no commentary I am assuming he intended this as quality advice.

Next, and I forgot how I found this one, but there’s this wonderful post by Morgan Wilson at explodedlibrary.info called the iPod zombie trance.  I sympathize with Morgan’s thoughts and the Times of London article by Andrew Sullivan.  I had these concerns about losing touch with daily life as soon as I bought and started carrying my Walkman a few years ago.  I sometimes even feel rude, although that is never my intent.  But sometimes we just need a relief from the everyday noise around us. 

Wilson:

It’s possible that iPods and other mp3 players are creating a world
where people are unaccustomed to silence and where abundance of music
is taken for granted as just a background.

It doesn’t have to be like this. It’s also possible that the option
of having constant music will help us appreciate deliberate silence.

Sullivan:

Technology has given us a universe entirely
for ourselves — where the serendipity of meeting a new stranger,
hearing a piece of music we would never choose for ourselves or an
opinion that might force us to change our mind about something are all
effectively banished.

Atomisation by little white boxes and cell phones. Society
without the social. Others who are chosen — not met at random. Human
beings have never lived like this before. Yes, we have always had
homes, retreats or places where we went to relax, unwind or shut out
the world. But we didn’t walk around the world like hermit crabs with our isolation surgically attached.

I am well aware of the concern Mr. Sullivan has—hell, I’ve written sentences like these—but I am also very aware that "There’s a world out there. And it has a soundtrack all its own."  I often choose that soundtrack; but when I have no control over it, and I don’t like what I’m being forced to listen to (grocery store, bus…), I want to change it to something better than tolerable instead of intolerable. 

Well, I definitely hope I like it and can figure it out.  Honestly, I’m worried it’ll be too simple for me to learn easily—intutitive in a way that’s non-intuitive to me.  Got to love it or make it work because I got it engraved and there’s  no returning it.  Would love to  give the story on what I had engraved but that would defeat the small security of only me knowing.   

I’m pretty stoked about this too.  I’m just trying not to get too excited before I get to play with my new toy.

This is your 2nd chance Apple.  I hope you make better decisions this time.

You just might be a graduate student if…

You just might be a graduate student if…

» you can analyze the significance of appliances you cannot operate.

» your office is better decorated than your apartment.

» you have ever, as a folklore project, attempted to track the progress of your own joke across the Internet.

» you are startled to meet people who neither need nor want to read.

» you have ever brought a scholarly article to a bar.
(repeatedly)
» you rate coffee shops by the availability of outlets for your laptop.

» everything reminds you of something in your discipline.

» you have ever discussed academic matters at a sporting event.

» you have ever spent more than $50 on photocopying while researching a single paper.

» there is a microfilm reader in the library that you consider "yours."

» you actually have a preference between microfilm and microfiche.

» you can tell the time of day by looking at the traffic flow at the library.

» you look forward to summers because you’re more productive without the distraction of classes.

» you regard ibuprofen as a vitamin.

» you consider all papers to be works in progress.

» professors don’t really care when you turn in work anymore.

» you find the bibliographies of books more interesting than the actual text.

» you have given up trying to keep your books organized and are now just trying to keep them all  the same general area.

» you have accepted guilt as an inherent feature of relaxation.

» you find yourself explaining to children that you are in "20th grade".

» you start referring to stories like "Snow White et al."

» you often wonder how long you can live on pasta without getting scurvy.

» you look forward to taking some time off to do laundry

» you have more photocopy cards than credit cards

» you wonder if APA style allows you to cite talking to yourself as "personal communication"

Mark’s additions:

» your Spring Break plans look like my previous post.
» you bring scholarly books/literature to movie theatres and bars. (constantly, I took Paine’s Common Sense to Bride & Prejudice Sat.)

Not the kind of thing I will normally post but I found it entertaining.  As an "extra" feature I made each line that applies to me this color.  I tried to find a proper citation but that turned into a nightmare real quick thus I hope no one minds.  If you believe this is your material please let me know; or if you can provide accurate citation info.

I’m actually taking time off to do laundry and dishes tonight; balanced the check books the other day.  Small steps….

Spring Break

Woohoo!  It’s Spring Break!  I need a break, even after the mental health day earlier this week on Tuesday.  I’m off work until Thursday and Friday.  Cool!

I have so much stuff to do; even without thinking about things that could be done around here—like finishing moving in, taking stuff to storage, throwing stuff out, filing…. 

  • Email Janalyn
  • Email Dorothea
  • Email Dr. MacDonald re 590HCP paper (could possibly see her Tuesday)
  • Email Molly & Dennis re LIS590LI Legal Issues in LIS for Summer II
  • Taxes – took a 1st look on Sun
  • Car serviced – make appt – Wed
  • Cataloging exercise
  • 2 book reviews for 590HCP
  • 590HCP paper — do I have a workable topic?  If so, get busy; if not,…
  • Change dentist appointment (Day Gorman visits)
  • Reading for classes
  • Reading for 2 discussion groups
  • ACRL chapter website fine-tuning and cross-browser checking (working on)
  • Posts for Storytelling (songs & poems)
  • Next story?
  • Housing for ALA Annual
  • Hang curtain rod
  • Relax (at some point) – may go see Bride and Prejudice (recently read Austen & I’ve seen 2 Bollywood movies that I really liked so why not?)

Tuesday I’m probably going to Normal to go to lunch with my good friend.  Wednesday at 3 I’m getting an hour-long massage.  That is all I have planned for now.  Woohoo!  How darn exciting.

Update: The list gets longer and longer, but I did get 1 thing accomplished before 11 AM on Saturday.

Effervescing Elephant Storytelling update

This morning I posted an update to the information on my class bulletin board regarding the story I told on Monday.  Just noticed a few things and thought I should comment on them:

Slightly interesting update (to me anyway):

As I was working
Mon evening, parts of my story were repeatedly going through my
mind—even if I didn’t want them to.  I later realized that these were
some of the trickier parts.  Once in a while I’d try shifting to the
beginning or some other part but my mind would just work through what
it wanted to.

Walking home last night (Tue) I was able to tell
my story perfectly four times in a row, all the while playing with
pacing, voice characterization, phrasing (put silly in), and so on.  I’m
clearly a long way from being great at it, but I think I know this one.
Now I just have to learn a very few appropriate gestures for various
audiences.

Anyway, just thought I’d add a little comment about the learning process that happened this time after the class telling.

Told it to myself decently a few times today too.  So I should really be able to make this mine soon.  But, more importantly in the short-term, what am I telling next?  I’d like to do a personal narrative, but what?  There’s so many things I need to but cannot yet say, not in that format anyway.  18 Apr is my next one—whoa, that’s a month!  I need to find something soon, learn it, practice, practice with people—there’s Dave and Ingbert, or Lisa and Kristen…  I want to be a lot more comfortable beforehand this time.