Via jennimi

I’m a Mandarin!

You’re an intellectual, and you’ve worked hard to get where you are now. You’re a strong believer in education, and you think many of the world’s problems could be solved if people were more informed and more rational. You have no tolerance for sloppy or lazy thinking. It frustrates you when people who are ignorant or dishonest rise to positions of power. You believe that people can make a difference in the world, and you’re determined to try.

Talent: 26%
Lifer: 41%
Mandarin: 74%

Take the Talent, Lifer, or Mandarin quiz.

Amusing book titles

Long ago in another library far, far away . . .

OK, only several years ago and an hour away . . . I swore I was going to compile a list of all the humorous, insane, non-PC, and otherwise entertaining book titles that I came across handling hundreds of books every day in Circulation and Reserves. Unfortunately, I never did so which means some real doozies have escaped from the steel jaws of my sieve-like mind. 🙁

But today when I was checking a call no. for uniqueness before assigning it to the book in hand I found this lovely gem, complete with exquisitely humorous LCSHs, too:

Ethics of spying: a reader for the intelligence professional.

  • Spies–Professional ethics
  • Espionage–Moral and ethical aspects

These are not the order of the headings in the record, nor is it all of them. It is just the order in which I find them the most humorous. The others are just derivative or simply not funny:

  • Espionage, American–Moral and ethical aspects
  • Intelligence service–blah, blah (x2)
  • Political ethics–United States
  • Military interrogation–United States–Moral and ethical aspects

See what I mean? Those last two not so funny.

Nonetheless, thanks to recent additions, such as Dildos and Strap-on sex (both of which may be subdivided Geographically) [see Jessamyn and Thingology], and now stumbling across Spies–Professional ethics, LC is certainly making life far more interesting.

Hehehe. Jessamyn makes a funny about “authorities” and strap-on sex in her post title. I think one could do the same with Dildos and Strap-on sex and Thingology. You blew it, Tim. Oops, wrong metaphor perhaps. 😉

Personally, I can’t wait to be able to use this new one from the same list:

Period (Punctuation) [May Subd Geog]

Some things read this week, 21 – 27 October 2007

Note: Not much read due to being at the ASIS&T Annual Meeting in Milwaukee until Wed. evening.

Wednesday, 24 Oct

Shepherd, Simon. “Concepts and architectures for next-generation information search engines.” International Journal of Information Management 27(1), Feb 2007: 3-8.

This is a short, but interesting article in a copy of a journal I picked up for free at ASIS&T. While the prototype has great sounding potential the article is a bit too upbeat for me, e.g., “…future search engines will be able to solve the problems of both synonymy and polysemy” (3, emphasis in original).

In his description of Google PageRank he states “… due to its ability to present Web pages in a rank order that puts the pages the user is most likely to want to see at the top of the list” (3, emphasis in original). So I should trust someone who cannot get this correct? Google most certainly does not put pages in an order that the user will most likely want to see first. It puts the pages in an order that a typical user may want to see first. These are two entirely different beasts altogether! One is a real flesh-and-blood user with a real query while the other is a statistical fiction with no means whatsoever of expressing, much less having, an information need.

The theoretical problems for small-scale examples have been solved and the basic mathematics is understood. It remains to implement the algorithms “in anger” on real databases (5).

So scalability is not an issue at all? Perhaps he ought to read Harel (see below).

We have achieved Latent Semantic Indexing which seeks to identify semantic links between documents even where such links are by no means obvious even to a human reader, …” (6).

I realize that the key word here is going to be “obvious,” but this statement makes absolutely no sense to me. I can parse it out in English well enough. I just find it completely meaningless unless one really waffles about their use of “by no means” and “obvious.” If a human cannot identify the semantic links then are they there? It is humans that construct meaning. Can a machine specify meanings between items when it cannot even recognize meaning in the first place?

Again, it looks interesting. I also have no doubt that it would be an improvement over Google. The idea of backlinks is intriguing also, although I have questions around what constitutes a “reference” to another document (it can also work on the local computer). But no algorithm can solve synonymy and/or polysemy! That is not how language works. Perhaps with a large enough text corpus these algorithms (if scalable?) can do an amazingly good job at addressing both of these issues. But solve them?

Thursday, 25 Oct

Harel, David. Computers Ltd.: What They Really Can’t Do. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

  • Ch. 3: Sometimes we can’t afford to do it [for LIS452]

Tonkin, Emma (2007) Signal and Noise: Social Construction and Representation. In Lussky, Joan, Eds. Proceedings 18th Workshop of the American Society for Information Science and Technology Special Interest Group in Classification Research, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. [Word doc available at DLIST]

Zelle, John M. Python Programming: An Introduction to Computer Science. Wilsonville, Or: Franklin, Beedle, 2004.

  • Ch. 13: Algorithm Design and Recursion

Friday, 26 Oct

Davis, Hayley and Talbot J. Taylor, eds. Redefining Linguistics. London: Routledge, 1990.

  • Ch. 1: Davis, Hayley G. Introduction.
  • Ch. 2: Harris, Roy. On Redefining Linguistics.

Danskin, Alan. “Tomorrow never knows”: the end of cataloguing? World Library and Information Congress: 72nd IFLA General Conference and Council, 20-24 August 2006, Seoul, Korea. [pdf] Found via Cataloging Futures. [Oops. Wrong link. Thanks, Chris!]

A much more positive view of changes needed in the cataloging arena. Lays out the current challenges to traditional cataloging and then answers the question whether cataloging is relevant in the short- to medium-term and in the long-term. Argues that cataloging is about establishing a context for each resource, despite the horrible failure of the OPAC to make use of this navigational potential.

While I agree, this is one of those areas where it is not so much the OPAC designers fault. Some portion of it is, of course, but more of the problem resides in our rules systems; AACR2, MARC21, etc. Have a look at Barbara Tillett’s work on bibliographic relationships and especially the following Vellucci article:

Velluci, Sherry L. “Bibliographic relationships.” In: Weihs, Jean, ed. The Principles and future of AACR: Proceedings of the International Conference on the Principles and Future Development of AACR, Toronto, Canada, Oct. 23-25, 1997: 105-146. [pdf available here, thanks to Irvin for the link]

I agree that this is an important argument to make but we are in such an awful situation to make it currently. I wonder to what extent this is being fixed in RDA. I’m not too hopeful really. Tillett’s relationships made it into the RDA to FRBR mapping and they say a mapping of RDA to FRAD is due.

But these sorts of relationships and mappings cannot be afterthoughts if they are to work as they should; they must be integral to the system from the beginning. Even if they are being added mid-way that is not the same. JSC documentation says that they considered FRBR from the beginning. Perhaps. But the main problem is that FRBR (as a complete E-R model) is not complete. Both FRBR and RDA is being done piecemeal. And we are to get a coherent system from that process?

Friday – Saturday, 26-27 Oct

Davis, Hayley and Talbot J. Taylor, eds. Redefining Linguistics. London: Routledge, 1990.

  • Ch. 3: Love, Nigel. The Locus of Languages in a Redefined Linguistics.

ASIS&T 2007 Annual Meeting Sessions, part 2

Monday, 22 Oct

Oops, I forgot the Alumni Reception in the evening. They had awesome food this year. Kudos!

Tuesday, 23 Oct

Poster Session III

Those of most interest to me:

Searching for Books and Images in OPAC: Effects of LCSH, TOC and Subject Domains. Youngok Choi, Ingrid Hsieh-Yee and Bill Kules (Catholic U of America)

Tagging and Findability: Do Tags Help Users Find Things? Margaret Kipp (U of Western Ontario)

Browsing with a Metadata Infrastructure for Events, Periods and Time. Ray R. Larson and Michael Buckland (UC-Berkeley)

I had a very nice conversation with Ingrid Hsieh-Yee and was able to thank her for her LC report generated as an action item from the previous “future of bib control” conference. See here for my initial comments on this report and a link to it. [If there had been wifi at the conference I could have looked this up and discussed some of these questions with the author.]

Larson and Buckland have presented on their project a couple times and it is a wonderful example of what can be done if we were to have vocabularies and authorities widely available.

Took a trip to Downtown Books for a fairly priced, used copy of the 2 v. set of John Lyons’ Semantics. I also picked up a copy of Borgmann’s Crossing the Postmodern Divide for a really good price. I’m pretty surprised that carrying those books around in the same bag for several hours didn’t result in a rift in the fabric of space-time. Hat tip to Tom for alerting me to Lyons availability in Downtown Books.

Social Computing, Folksonomies and Image Tagging: Reports from the Research Front. Samantha Hastings (moderator), Hemalata Iyer (SUNY-Albany), Diane Neal (NCCU), Abebe Rorissa (SUNY-Albany), and JungWon Yoon (USF).


  • User supplied image category labels. Thinks prototype theory is applicable to tagging.
  • In social tagging group labels tend to be superordinate. Individual labels = more Related Terms/non-hierarchical associative terms.
  • Not much structure; is structure desirable?
  • Influence of the 1st tagger is great – thus initial tags by author or professional. [Excuse me? Why the desire for control?]
  • Further exploration of prototypes and basic level needed in tag research.

Neal – PhotojournalsmAndUADs geotagged:ASSSIST2007MilwaueWI topresent [title; misspellings on purpose]


  • There is no single model, nor any single method.
  • Change Ranganathan’s 2nd law to “Every user his or her overview of the document collection.”

Yoon – Semantics of User-Supplied Tags

Awards Lunch – sat with Christina

Tagging and Social Networks: The Impact of Communities on User-Centered Tagging. Heather D. Pfeiffer (NMSU), Edward M. Corrado (College of NJ), Margaret Kipp (Long Island U/UWO), Qiping Zhang (Long Island U), Heather Moulaisen (??) and Emma Tonkin (U of Bath).

Corrado – Social Tagging: Community Tagging or Personal Tagging in Communities? Tried to answer the question, “Are people really tagging socially?” by looking at the code4lib community.

Kipp – Patterns in Tagging: Collaborative Classification Practices in Social Bookmarking Tools. Looked at, Connotea and CiteULike.

Zhang – Social Tagging in China (co-researcher is Zhenzhong Sheng). Is looking at cross-cultural patterns in tagging in the long-run. This work reported on their attempt to answer what tagging is and how it is viewed in China.

Moulaisen – Social Tagging in France: The Evolution of a Phenomenon. Looked at the Tecktonic killer (dance) phenomenon among some French youth on YouTube and how tagging is used in that context.

Tonkin – Community in User-Centred Tagging.

  • Characteristics of tags depend on: interface, use case, user population, user intent/motivation for tagging.
  • Assertion: tags = ‘language-in-use.’ Informal, transient, intended for a limited audience, implicit
  • What’s in a tag? Marshall’s dimensions of annotation. [The Future of Annotation in a Digital (Paper) World, Catherine C. Marshall]
  • Participatory mechanisms in language development
  • Speech/discourse community
  • The ‘C’ words: Context, Community, Confusion … ?
  • Caution: seeing named social entities in a dataset may reflect preconceptions…

This was a very coherent panel. More folks who should be well funded if we want any answers.

Dinner with a large group of students from assorted places at the Water Street Brewery.

SIGCON. Quite a different attitude than last year regarding tagging. This year it was sanctioned and even the tools were provided and yet I saw very little of it happening. Last year a small handful of us illicitly made it happen. And call me bitter, if you will, but a little bit of props for SIGTAG would have been in line, not to mention intellectually honest.

I know I’m about the only one who doesn’t find LOLCats humorous. But that was not funny at all.

And what is it about IS/librarian-types that they have to pick on others in their humor? Is it because we feel so powerless ourselves? Sorry but I do not find it funny for librarians to diss paraprofessionals. In fact, it is unprofessional. Last year it was picking on the disabled.

Can I just say that I enjoyed myself far, far more last year. No disrespect meant to my friends that I sat with this year, but last year my posse was all new to me and we were actively involved.

Wednesday, 24 Oct

SIG HFIS (History and Foundations of IS) breakfast meeting. Breakfast and conversation with Marcia Bates, Michael Buckland, Toni Carbo, Trudi Hahn, Thomas Haigh, Barbara Kwasnik, Kathryn La Barre, Julian Warner, Cheryl Knott Malone, Howard White and Margie Avery. Business meeting after breakfast.

Plenary, Clifford Lynch. For a recap suggested by Dorothea see this one at RSS4Lib.

Lunch at The King and I with Christina Pikas, Jack Vinson and Jordan Frank.

Headed home after lunch. Without driving through Chicago during rush hour on a Friday night it was a 4.5 hour trip.

For me, ASIS&T is all about the people. Seeing and talking with the luminaries, seeing “old” friends and making new ones. And finding oneself surprised by what one finds interesting that could not have been predicted; such as, Megan Winget’s score annotations work. “That so rawked!” as my buddy jennimi might say.

You were missed deeply and by many, my dear friend. I hope you caught some of the healing love sent your way.

And, Ben, we talked about you too, boy. Missed, indeed, you were.

18th Annual SIG/CR Classification Research Workshop, 20 Oct 2007, Milwaukee, WI

This was an all-day workshop focusing “on the enduring aspects of classification/subject analysis and the presence of those aspects in commonly used methods, especially those we encounter in our daily lives” (program). Papers are available in DLIST.

Welcome from Joan Lussky, Program Chair.

Keynote, Hope Olson, “Cultural infrastructure: the story of how classification came to shape our lives.” [Word doc available at DLIST]

3 main features of classification:

  • mutually exclusive categories
  • teleology
  • hierarchy

Mutually exclusive categories

  • began (traceably, at least) with Parmenides – “what is is, what is not …”
  • Jean d’Alembert – Preliminary Discourse to the Encyclopedie – impenetrability
  • Durkheim & Mauss – determined lines of demarcation

Teleology – Plato

  • not sure of the direct connection on this one as got caught up in her loose use of “teleology” and made no notes here. People are certainly free to do what they want with words, but if they are going to take a technical word from one domain and use it differently in another then they ought to carefully explain what they mean by it. Dr. Olson uses “teleology” frequently but with what meaning exactly? If she means that all classifications have a purpose then that is, no doubt, very true and important to remind people of. But that use is vastly broader than what Plato meant and would be much more clearly conveyed by simply saying that all classifications have and serve a purpose. This kind of (mis)attribution of a newer use of a term or phrase to someone previous is something Dr. Olson perfected in The Power to Name. It is also what caused me to stop reading a bit over halfway through.

Bacon – Hegel – Harris – Dewey

Aristotle – Hierarchy via Syllogism

more on hierarchy

classificatory tentacles reach beyond philosophy

Classification is ubiquitous – lots of interesting stuff on planetary classification, hurricane classification(s), race and vital statistics, the ICD, American Time Use SUrvey’s Activity Lexicon, etc.

Where next?

  • non-bibliographic classifications give insight to classificatory structure
  • some research has already begun, e.g., Cheryl Knott Malone on the NAICS


Barbara Kwasnik – planets – instances vs. classes

Dagobert Soergel – mutual exclusivity is almost always artificial. (Amen!)

Cherly Knott Malone – planet example is great in relation to Hope’s early work, i.e., the “classical planets” are those from Earthling’s perspective

Morning lead speaker, Emma Tonkin, “Signal and noise: Social construction and representation.” [Word doc available in DLIST]

Em had to rush through her presentation in spots and there is much on language in it so I will sit down and give it a close reading before commenting on it. Based on the presentation I can and will recommend it.

Pengyi Zhang, “Supporting sense-making with tools for structuring a concept space: A proposal for design and evaluation.” [Word doc available from DLIST]

Not much to say on this one based on the presentation. Could be a good idea but we are a long way and several design cycles away from anything that does better than just getting in the way. And what about non-web-based sources?

Tiffany Smith, “Cataloging and you: Measuring the efficacy of a folksonomy for subject analysis.” [Word doc available at DLIST]

Compared LCSH versus top tags for 5 books in LibraryThing.

Five minute madness – descriptions of the posters and why we should be interested in them

Hur-Li Lee, et. al. “Reflecting and shaping world views: Historical treatments in classification.” [Word doc available at DLIST]

Erik Mitchell, “Organization as meta-literacy: Evaluating student use of metadata and information organization principles in the classroom.” [Word doc available in DLIST]

Bradley Wade Bishop, “Organizing geographic information: the creation of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure.” [Word doc available in DLIST]

Melinda Whetstone, ” Status of health information classification for consumer information retrieval.” [Word doc available in DLIST]

Lunch and posters

Thomas Dousa, “Everything old is new again: perspectivism and polyhierarchy in Julius Otto Kaiser’s theory of systematic indexing.” [Word doc available at DLIST]

Excellent paper and presentation that shows the value of a century old view of indexing that has much relevance for today due to its view of perspectivism and polyhierarchy.

Mikel Breitenstein, “Push and pull in ‘the attention economy.'” [Word doc available in DLIST]

While interesting, what was the connection? Sure, on one description we do live in an attention economy. But seeing as it was pointed out that this view “presents a questionable world social model” and that it “separates need from want,” that is, the “poor need attention” and the “wealthy want attention,” why should we in IS consider it a valid model in any respect? And, again, what is the connection to classification?

Afternoon break

Afternoon lead speaker, Corinne Jörgensen, “Image access, the semantic gap, and social tagging as a paradigm shift.” [Word doc available at DLIST]

Semantic gap takes many forms – her use is as the difference between the description of an object in different languages, e.g., a picture of an apple vs. a histogram of the image. [Except while a photograph may qualify as a description of the object photographed, it is debatable. In what way can a histogram of a photograph be said to be a description of the apple?]

Images are multivalent

While I am not a physicist by any means, uses “entropy” in a way completely counter to my understanding, and to the use by Bates in her 2005 and 2006 articles on the definition of information. Is this another case of people expropriating concepts from other domains and then using them in ways in which they were not meant to be used. My guess is that her use comes via or through the Shannon model of communication and gets torqued in that way.

Caroline Beebe, “Bridging the semantic gap: exploring descriptive vocabulary for image structure.” [Word doc available in DLIST]

Disconnect between the:

  • physical data (binary code)
  • conceptual interpretation (intellectual code of the searcher)

Cheryl Knott Malone, “When more is better: a counter-narrative regarding keyword and subject retrieval in digitized diaries.” [Word doc available in DLIST]

“Just read it.” Well, no. Read it and think about it.

Wrap-up: Lussky, Jörgensen, Olson, Tonkin

Jörgensen: Due to entropy, the organization of information causes loss of information [see my comment above on her paper]. What are the limits of each technique?

Olson: Two themes:

  • Context (social, cultural, individual, disciplinary)
  • Structure, or lack thereof

So, “how are context and structure related?”

All in all, an interesting day.

ASIS&T 2007 Annual Meeting

It’s Sunday morning and I’ve been in Milwaukee since Friday evening. Had a longish, but nice drive up with fellow student Tom Dousa. Lots of great conversation and if I could only remember 10% it would be most useful. Of course, the most useful 10% would be even better. Tom is incredibly brilliant and is interested in many of the same, or overlapping, things as me.

Yesterday was the 18th Annual SIG/CR Classification Research Workshop and then the Happy Hour at the Historic Turner Restaurant. Free drinks and great company. I hung out with Christina Pikas, Amy (UIUC LEEP), Jacob (UW), Tom (UIUC), Linda (Kent?) and other people who popped in an out. After a couple drinks, Christina, Linda, Amy, Tom and I went to Mader’s for German food where we continued the wonderful conversation.

I only have one complain so far and that is there no free wireless on the conference floor! The conferences title this year is “Joining Research and Practice: Social Computing and Information Science.” Social Computing? What versions of social computing thrive without internet access. One can supposedly rent a wireless card for $10/day from the conference hotel, but I also heard that they ran out of wireless cards. This is during the pre-conference; just wait for everyone to get here for the main conference!

I love you ASIS&T but this is simply inexcusable! Luckily we have a free wired connection in our hotel room (not the main conference hotel) although it is spotty. Glad to have it though.

All of the papers/presentations from SIG/CR CRW are supposed to end up in DLIST and they have certainly started showing up there.

Oh. One more complaint which has nothing to do with ASIS&T proper is that my camera shutter (outer one) broke yesterday so I won’t be getting many pictures. 🙁 This is the same problem that the previous one! Grrr! I’m pretty sure this one ought to still be under the extended warranty so Staples will be seeing me when I get back. Unfortunately, that means almost no pics from the conference or Milwaukee.

Well, that’s enough blather for now. I’m going to head over to the main conference hotel and hang out and maybe see some folks.

Some things read this week, 14 – 20 October 2007

Saturday, 13 Oct

Goody, Jack. The Interface Between the Written and the Oral. Cambridge [Cambridgeshire]: Cambridge University Press, 1987.

  • Preface
  • Ch. 1: The historical development of writing (Sat-Sun)

Highly recommended by Dr. Hjørland in several places.

Chen, Hsinchun. “Semantics Issues for Digital Libraries.” In Harum and Twidale, Eds. Successes & Failures of Digital Libraries. 35th Annual Clinic on Library Applications of Data Processing, 1988: 70-79. [Not yet in IDEALS, but will be.]

Sunday, 14 Oct

Zelle, John M. Python Programming: An Introduction to Computer Science. Wilsonville, Or: Franklin, Beedle, 2004. [LIS452 text]

  • Ch. 11: Data Collections

Downey, et. al. How to Think Like a Computer Scientist (2nd ed). at Open Book Project. [Text for LIS452]

  • Ch. 14: Classes and methods
  • Ch. 15: Sets of objects
  • Ch. 16: Inheritance
  • Ch. 8 List

Hjørland, Birger and Karsten Nissen Pedersen. “A substantive theory of classification for information retrieval.” Journal of Documentation 61(5), 2005: 582-597. doi: 10.1108/00220410510625804

Assorted draft standards and proposals for standards as part of my ASIS&T Standards Committee work.

Sunday – Monday, 14 – 15 Oct

Goody, Jack. See above.

  • Ch. 2: Literacy and achievement in the Ancient World (Sun-Mon)
  • Ch. 3: Africa, Greece and oral poetry
  • Ch. 4: Oral composition and oral transmission: the case of the Vedas
  • Ch. 5: The impact of Islamic writing on oral cultures
  • Ch. 6: Literacy and the non-literate: the impact of European schooling

Monday, 15 Oct

Downey, et. al. How to Think Like a Computer Scientist (2nd ed). at Open Book Project. [Text for LIS452]

  • Ch. 9: Tuples
  • Ch. 10: Dictionaries

Love, Nigel. “The Fixed-Code Theory.” In Harris, Roy, and George Wolf, eds. Integrational Linguistics: A First Reader. 1st ed, Kidlington, Oxford, UK: Pergamon, 1998.

Tuesday, 16 Oct

Goody, Jack. See above.

  • Ch. 7: Alternative paths to knowledge in oral and literate cultures
  • Ch. 8: Memory and learning in oral and literate cultures: the reproduction of the Bagre

Hjørland, Birger. “The Concept of ‘Subject’ in Information Science.” Journal of Documentation 48(2), June 1992: 172-200.

Wednesday, 17 Oct

Santana Martinez, Pedro. “Some comments on the relations between organised knowledge and language: Rhetorical devices and the role of semantics.” In Inchaurralde, Carlos (Ed.) Perspectives on Semantics and Specialised Languages. Universidad de Zaragoza, Departamento de Filología Inglesa y Alemana, 1994: 147-153.

Book as a whole cited in this book by Hjørland in “Domain analysis in information science: Eleven approaches — traditional as well as innovative.” Journal of Documentation 58(4), 2002: 443 re semantics and specialized languages.

Goody, Jack. See above.

  • Ch. 9: Writing and formal operations: a case study among the Vai (with Michael Cole and Syliva Scribner)
  • Ch. 10: The interface between the sociological and psychological analysis of literacy (Wed-Thu)

Dillon, A. (2007). “LIS as a research domain: problems and prospects.” Information Research, 12(4) [Available at]

Found via Caveat Lector.

Friday, 19 Oct

Goody, Jack. See above.

  • Ch. 11: Language and writing
  • Ch. 12: Recapitulations

As I said above, this book is highly recommended by Dr. Hjørland in several places. I concur. I must say that the last few chapters, especially those read this morning, have resonated greatly with me. Perhaps this is due to my reading them after making a comment at Pegasus Librarian‘s post, “Desperately Seeking Search Boxes,” earlier this morning.

There are clearly other reasons, too. Some personal. Some due to much overlap I see between Goody, Hjørland and Harris. I may well need to re-read this book with a definite view to issues such as the Googlelization of search, IM, Twitter, and so on.

Hjørland, Birger. “Nine Principles of Knowledge Organization.” Knowledge Organization and Quality Management (3rd ISKO Conference, 20-24 June 1994). Advances in Knowledge Organization v.4, 91-100.

This article also resonated deeply with me re my comments at Iris’ place and on the “one search box to rule them all” phenomenon. I’ll pull out a few quotes that directly and/or indirectly address this issue.

For practical purposes, knowledge can be organized in different ways, and with different levels of ambition: … (93).

Any given categorization should reflect the purpose of that categorization. It is very important to teach the student to find out the lie of the land and apply ad hoc classifications, pragmatic classifications or scientific classifications when each kind of classification is most appropriate. … It is very important that you teach how to exploit subject-information already at hand, … (94, emphasis in original).

Different approaches, “paradigms” have different implication for categorization. There is no “a priori” scientific method of classification/categorization (96, emphasis in original).

The concept of “polyrepresentation” is important (96, emphasis in original).

To a certain degree different arts and sciences could be understood as different ways of organizing the same phenomena (97, emphasis in original).

It seems as if the priorities become more and more short-sighted, that less efforts are made to develop long-sighted, well-organized and well-cared for bodies of knowledge and literature (98).

Instead, IS much have a much more limited and humble scope: help facilitate the fruitful principles of knowledge organization and avoid the unfruitful ones by analyzing the different criteria for knowledge organization developing in all kinds of human activities, as well as their implicit or explicit goals, functions and consequences (99).

All of these address fundamental issues with the “let’s just give ’em one search box ala Google” approach, especially in the context of higher education. If we are not going to require that students learn something about the ways in which knowledge is structured, and why, then why are we allowing them into colleges and universities? Why are we even continuing such an institution if this is not a, and perhaps the, fundamental goal of said institution?

And, yes, I would argue that this needs to happen at a much earlier stage of education. We are a long way from that desiderata, though, so it seems to me that this should be the main idea to be imparted by a college education.

Some things read this week, 7 – 13 October 2007

Saturday, 6 Oct

Harris, Roy, and George Wolf, eds. Integrational Linguistics: A First Reader. 1st ed, Kidlington, Oxford, UK: Pergamon, 1998.

  • Ch. 9: Hutton, Christopher. “Meaning and the Principe of Linearity.”

Sunday, 7 Oct

Green, Rebecca, Carol A. Bean and Michèle Hudon, “Universality and Basic Level Concepts.” In López-Huertas, Mariá, and International Society for Knowledge Organization. Challenges in knowledge representation and organization for the 21st century : integration of knowledge across boundaries : proceedings of the seventh international ISKO conference, 10-13 July 2002,. Würzburg: Ergon-Verlag, 2002 [Advances in Knowledge Organization v. 8]. (311-317).

Hjørland, Birger. “Principia Informatica: Foundational Theory of Information and Principles of Information Services.” In Bruce, Harry, et. a. (Eds.), Emerging Frameworks and Methods (CoLIS4), Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Conceptions of Library and Information Science, Seattle, WA, July 21-25, 2002: 109-121.

Hjørland, Birger. “Social and Cultural Awareness and Responsibility in Library, Information, and Documentation Studies.” In Nordic-International Colloquium on Social and Cultural Awareness and Responsibility in Library, Information, and Documentation Studies. Aware and Responsible: Papers of the Nordic-International Colloquium on Social and Cultural Awareness and Responsibility in Library, Information, and Documentation Studies (SCARLID). Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press, 2004: 71-91.

Harris & Wolf, Eds. See above.

  • Ch. 10: Toolan, Michael. “On Inscribed or Literal Meaning.”

Monday, 8 Oct

Hjørland, B. (2007). “Arguments for ‘the bibliographical paradigm’. Some thoughts inspired by the new English edition of the UDC” Information Research, 12(4). (Soon to be Now available at [ – link and availability updated thanks to Dr. Hjørland’s comment]

Re-read; 1st read 24 Sep 2007. This and his “Semantics and Knowledge Organization,” ARIST 41 serve as the foundation for his Research Fellow Lecture, Tuesday, 9 Oct.

Monday – Saturday, 8 – 13 Oct

Hjørland, Birger and Hanne Albrechtsen. “Towards a New Horizon in Information Science: Domain-Analysis.” JASIS 46(6): 1995, 400-425.

Thanks to all the events of the week this article took much longer to read than it should. I have, though, marked it as a “key document.” As such it will get a much closer re-reading and documenting.

If you are at all interested in domain-analysis I highly suggest reading this paper.

Somewhere during the week I also read some chapters of Zelle and Downey, et. al. for LIS452. I’m not going to worry about recording them for this week.

Not sure if I missed anything else. I am assuming that I did. I know I started a few things here and there that aren’t in here. All in all, this does capture most of my reading for this week, though.