Some things read this week, 2 – 8 December 2007

Sunday, 2 Dec

Brantley, Peter. “The Traditional Future.” O’Reilly radar 17 Sep 2007.

Recommended in a comment by Nathan on a weekly reading post in mid-Oct., esp. for the Abbott article mentioned by Brantley. Have that saved in the “print me at GSLIS” folder (38 p.) for reading later.

Thanks, Nathan. There are some interesting things in that post and its comments.

Lots of my own stuff from this blog over the past year.

Hjørland, Birger. 2004. Domain Analysis: A Socio-Cognitive Orientation for Information Science Research. Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 30, no. 3 (March): 17-21. (accessed September 19, 2007).

Re-read for bibliography.

LC Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control Draft Final Report. Read a tad more.

This Week

Slogging and re-slogging through lots of stuff for my bibliography.

Finished the LC Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control Draft Final Report.


Actually, during the last 2 years of high school my nickname (given to me by others) was Cookie Monster.

Found at The Itinerant Librarian.

You’re sweet (but not too sweet) and you fill other people’s lives with tasty bits of awesomeness. You’re no perfectionist – in fact, you’re a bit disorganized – but your friends find your easygoing personality irresistible. You’re so popular and loveable that even when you’re having a bad day, people still like having you around.

This is kind of funny because it is representative of me in some ways, but also wrong in so many others. Perhaps this misperception is what led to last week’s weirdness. 😉

And where the heck are the walnuts on top of that cookie?

Productively non-productive

Thanks to all my friends for sending their condolences in various venues. I am uplifted by your care. I’m a right proper heathen but if your views run differently and you can spare a thought for my aunt’s family right now that’d be awesome.

She was a rock for that family. For a very long time.

[I apologize for any odd paragraph formatting below as WordPress is screwing with me relentlessly on this.]

I think or, at least, I hope that I was productively non-productive yesterday. I didn’t do anything directly related to my bibliography, although, perhaps, that could be argued.

I read lots of my own stuff (and comments) from this blog over the past year. While I did, I did lots of electronic annotations in Zotero, copied and pasted anything useful written about articles or books by Hjørland or Harris (or related) into my draft bib, noted blog posts that will be useful when I come to write my bib essay and the CAS paper as a whole in my wiki, and other minor related tasks. This morphed out of the books read in 2007 delaying tactic I was on primarily Saturday.

Late in the evening, I took the content of my 2 posts on Hjørland’s “Semantics and Knowledge Organization” ARIST chapter [part 1, part 2]and got them re-formated into a Word doc with any redundancies removed and internal and external citation lists merged for both at the end. Printed out it’s 11 pages solid. Now I’ve got to put that work—and an awful lot of unanswered questions, some very big—to even more work. Still. This is mostly CAS paper stuff primarily; although, this is the paper with the one Harris reference. Hmmm. Definitely bib material.

I’ve been varyingly unhappy, perhaps unsatisfied is better, with my blog for quite a while. Can’t quite put my finger on what exactly about it that bugs me. But I do know that it’s various, and varying.

Part of it is not being able to cover everything I’d like as deeply and/or as broadly as I’d like. But that’s just life. I do wish that my “Some things read this week…” posts were better. Better in the sense of more fleshed out entries for far more of the things read. Some wrap-up thoughts, etc. “Progress” is important but this is a prime area where I could employ some goals towards Slow Reading. [Please ignore that “progress.” I wrapped way too much up in that term.]

Speaking of John Miedema, there was an interesting post and comments at a recent post, “Have you set an end-date for your blog?” [BTW, there are frequently interesting things to read at Slow Reading.]

Have you set an end-date for your blog? Interesting question, and idea. For the right reasons, it is a grand idea.

In a comment, John writes:

Hi Peter, I’ve put one blog to “sleep” so far ( It was my first public blog, had the usual first blog characteristics — wandering mission, odd mix of personal and professional — and was a real learning experience.

Well, I guess—nope, didn’t put it to sleep but gave it a new manifestation and expression, and name—that is fairly similar to me. It explains my 1st blog pretty well, and it explains this one, too.

wandering mission, odd mix of personal and professional — and was a real learning experience

Well, my mission wanders no more than I do so not really applicable, although all output probably evidences differently as far as appearance to others. But an intentional “odd mix of personal and professional,” certainly. And it remains forever—hopefully—a learning experience.

I know John wasn’t implying that these “usual first blog characteristics” are anathema to every blog. Perhaps just those he’d prefer to write. 😉

Hell, I’d love to be able to write a highly focused topical blog or two. And that’s also a part of my non-satisfaction with this blog. But writing those blogs is not me. Or, at least, not me right now.

And based on what I read yesterday, it has been highly focused for a while now. It’s just highly spotty, and not really intended to be so focused.

End date? Sure. It’ll definitely have one. I’m just in no position to set one right now, unsatisfied as I may be. Let’s hope I don’t just disappear it, though. 🙂


Life. What the fuck is that anyway? How do we know if we’re living it?

Mama I’m strange
The thoughts and the wants are the locks on the back of my brain

Melissa Etheridge. “Mama I’m Strange.” breakdown.

Last week ended … weirdly. In a flattering way mind you, but nonetheless weirdly. One could do with more of (parts of) that.

Friday was a very slow day with a few hours to make up due to weirdness.

Last night I really slept like crap. I had multiple bad headaches. I could and did manage to find another “place” in my mind/head every so often but in every place I found another, different, bad headache. I should have went to bed way sooner than I did.

Stayed up too late, and watched a movie.

Now I’ve been sitting at this computer almost all day and I’m very tense. And if not at the computer(s), then I’ve still probably been sitting. Been freezing rain and stuff outside. Thankful I am for online public library renewal.

And, as one will notice based on further reading, I’ll be sitting at the computer(s) for a while now.

Aunt Wanda

Thursday my mom called to tell me that my Aunt Wanda had had an operation and that at some point she started fighting for her life. Mom called this morning to let me know that Aunt Wanda had passed earlier this morning.

… and i really don’t know how it happened so fast
how we all grew so old
how we fell out of touch …

Eva Hunter. “Cold Shivers.” Fancy Prairie.

I will most likely be attending a funeral in St. Louis in the next several days. Eva’s son, thankfully, does not tell the entire story.

I got to (re)know my Aunt just a few years ago. Unlike when I was a kid, I found her very comforting to be around and my view of our relationship and her importance in my life [mostly] from a very early age was dramatically shifted to the better. I am so glad for that. I haven’t seen her in a few years either now since last spending some quality time with her. I am so very sad about that.

I accidentally left a very important (personal meaning) knee pillow at her house the last time I was there. I knew it was safe.

Do I wear a uniform? How in the hell do I begin to answer that question now?

What I should be doing

Should be seriously focusing on bibliography. Need annotations (lots of re-reading), lots of synthesis (lots of re-readings), well-crafted essay on the connections between Harris and Hjørland and due fairly soon. Need drafty thing real soon. Finished in two weeks, perhaps.

Also have class in the rare book room Wed. AM to see 2oth century fine press books.

Only thing left in Dave’s class (Python) is a lecture next Thur. and then a take-home final which I’ll have a week for. Unfortunately during prime bibliographical essay writing time.

I have a draft of my CAS paper proposal (for Spring) out for comment. Awaiting feedback. Won’t make registration during Fall but want to be ready to register as soon as it re-opens at start of Spring.

As I hope any library-type reading this knows, the LC Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control Draft Final Report came out. Comments are only open until 15 Dec. Comment link on the previous link.

I began reading this Friday morning but haven’t gotten very far. This is very important in my opinion but the timing really sucks for academics (and many others) whose semesters will be wrapping during and until the deadline.

I hope I have time to comment on this. If I am tight on time (“if” haha.) then I may concentrate on the educational part 5. But maybe something else will really capture my thoughts as I read it, so who knows?

Little time to be as engaged in this as I would like. See my various comments re CommentPress version of this.

What I am doing

thinking I should clean my apartment. dead give-away.

books read in 2007 data collection. primarily this, but am also generating data for related things so I’m annotating in various ways as note-taking and data verification. But not on anything imminently critical. [did a lot of this earlier in the day.]

calling my brother-in-law for his birthday, Christmas-time arrangments discussion.

looking/listening for linguistically-related song snippets for use as epigraphs. no time to explain.

dreaming about going beyond what I need to be doing in the present re my CAS project. Doing what needs to be done soon is important, and it is a part of what needs to be doing overall, and a time to reflect, consider, synthesize, and present some of that coherently. All critical. Yet, still, I want to go on questing.

thinking about my aunt, and a funeral.

not thinking about the topic of my bibliography.

reading a bit more of the Working Group report. dreaming about what I’d love to do with it but simply cannot. We need a CommentPress version. Quickly.

writing blog posts. [across all of day.]

Recent life before now

I went to Columbus, OH to be with Sara, Max, and others for Thanksgiving.

Monday afternoon I went to Bloomington-Normal for a dental appointment. Saw my friends Mo & Chris and a few others. Ended the evening not feeling very well.

Slept like crap (not as bad as last night). Was sick on Tuesday. Unfortunately, where it was all overcast when I didn’t want to climb out of bed at 6 AM on Monday, on Tuesday when I didn’t climb out bed for a couple hours it was all bright out.

Need to make that missed time up during break.

Wednesday through the present, thinking & scribbling about (scholarly) annotation tools [began in the context of MDRT discussion pt. 2 on OAI-ORE.

A non-wrap up

So work towards my bibliography is most crucial and not getting done. Not capable of much sustained, coherent thought at the moment it seems. And the only serious reading I am trying at the moment is the LC Working Group report.

Life cares not a whit for good timing.

This is still confused and/or confusing, in an odd order, evasive, etc. Little of that is actually intended. Sorry.

Some things read this week, 25 November – 1 December 2007

NOTE: CommentPress version of LC Working Group Draft Final Report needed

Please see last entry. We really need a CommentPress install of the LC Working Group’s Draft Final Report. Can anyone do this service quickly?

Sunday – Tuesday, 25 – 27 Nov

Winograd, Terry and Fernando Flores. Understanding Computers and Cognition: A New Foundation for Design. Reading, Mass: Addison-Wesley, 1987.

  • Ch. 5: Language, listening, and commitment
  • Ch. 6: Towards a new orientation
  • Ch. 7: Computers and representation
  • Ch. 8: Computation and intelligence (Mon)
  • Ch. 9: Understanding language (Mon)
  • Ch. 10: Current directions in artificial intelligence (Tue)
  • Ch. 11: Management and conversation (Tue)
  • Ch. 12: Using computers: A direction for design

A very interesting book that is frequently recommended by Hjørland in his writings.

This is at least the 24th book I have read so far this year. I have also re-read 3 of these 24 for a 2nd time this year, too, i.e., read 3 of them 2x this year. I have (at least) 5 more that are in various states of being finished. This is a lot more books than last year, which I am happy about, but it also means that I have read fewer articles. Trade-offs are plentiful in life.

Sunday – Wednesday, 25 – 28 Nov

Borgmann, Albert. Crossing the Postmodern Divide. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992.

  • Ch. 4: Hypermodernism (Sun)
  • Ch. 5: Postmodern Realism (Wed)

This book has done a lot to change my views on postmodernism. I still do not like the word at all, but this book contains some good ideas on how to overcome the postmodern condition, how to move forward positively as a society as we recover from the failures of the modern project.

Sunday, 25 Nov

Hjørland, Birger. Read half a dozen or so book reviews, encyclopedia articles and letters to the editor.

Tuesday, 27 Nov

Harel, David. Computers Ltd.: What They Really Can’t Do. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. [for LIS452]

  • Ch. 2: Sometimes we can’t do it

Hjørland, Birger. “Documents, Memory Institutions and Information Science.” Journal of Documentation 56.1 (2000): 27-41. 14 September 2007.

Stewart, Todd. “Topical Epistemologies.” Metaphilosophy 38(1), January 2007: 23-43.

This was mentioned in the list of faculty publications in the ISU Philosophy Dept. Alumni Newsletter Fall 2007 that I received today. I thought perhaps it might have something to add to the epistemological work that Hjørland recommends so highly for our field; which I agree with. I’m not sure though. Todd is focusing on something different than most of the epistemological work we need to do as librarians; although, it might well apply to the work we need to do within our own field.

…when we engage in the study of a topical epistemology what is called for is the application of our best analyses of epistemic concepts to specific subjects or, alternatively, the development of a substantive rather than a conceptual account of whether and why it is that beliefs about a specific topic are justified or unjustified. What is called for is an explanation of whether and why it is that beliefs about a particular topic are actually or possibly justified or unjustified (24-25).

An interesting issue, which I cannot address here, is that the development of a topical epistemology may be rather fruitless prior to some sort of an agreement about the correct semantic or ontological analysis of concepts or objects as they apply to a topic… (26). [Amen!!]

If you believe in the epistemological project of librarianship as much as Hjørland, myself and, hopefully, others you may find this an interesting read. Again, I see it as more applicable applied to the topics within our own field where we are allowed to, and should, pass judgement on the epistemological status of our beliefs.

Metaphilosophy was available online via the UIUC ORR. While perusing the 2007 issues of Metaphilosophy online I also found a few more interesting looking articles, including one on “intelligent collegiate depression” (ICD) that I will definitely be reading and reporting on.

Wednesday, 28 Nov

Harris, Roy. “The Semiology of Textualization.” In Harris, Roy, and George Wolf, eds. Integrational Linguistics: A First Reader. 1st ed, Kidlington, Oxford, UK: Pergamon, 1998: 227-240.

(Re-)Read another article for the 3rd time. Walrod one from MDRT.

Thursday, 29 Nov

Double, Richard. “Value and Intelligent Collegiate Depression.” Metaphilosophy 38(1), January 2007: 111-121.

American universities can be unhappy, alienating places for many students who are brighter, more sensitive, or less conformist than most of their peers (opening sentence, 111).

This one is pretty good, although I was hoping for a bit more somehow. I do think the author has a pretty good grasp of the depressive mind. I think his reply to “The Immensity of the Cosmos Objection” is pretty faulty, though. Luckily I don’t use that one myself.

If you are interested in what might well be termed “rational” responses to depression—or more generally—then please do check out this article. Do not let the journal title put you off at all; it is actually quite accessible.

Bibliographic Ontology Specification – found via this post on CSL at darcusblog. Hmmm. Interesting. I was looking at some of this stuff back in Spring 2006. I really need to learn more about RDF and be more serious about this kind of thing.

Friday – Saturday, 30 Nov – 1 Dec

LC Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control Draft Final Report.

Since I was moving so slowly (and late) Friday morning I was able to go by GSLIS and print this nicely and double-sided automatically. Started reading it at my late lunch. Read the Letter from the Working Group on the bus ride in around noon.

Read more tonight.

I have a few comments and questions, but I am liking much of what I’m reading. About halfway through it.

What we really need is a CommentPress installation of this. I really wish I could do this now, but no way possible.

I’m thinking the report must be in the public domain. LC produced. No markings on report page or report itself. If my assumption is correct then it should be allowable to do so.

I see from a comment on the Installation page by Ben Vershbow that one still needs to have a WP 2.2 install, not 2.3 yet. A comment by on paragraph 2 on 6 Nov says so.

It would so rock if someone could get the report (rapidly) into a CommentPress install. Comments are due on/before 15 December. Two weeks. Not much time.

But think of the value and it could be—should be—archived.

Anyone willing? And can. I’m willing but cannot possibly in the time before comments are due. 🙁

I really need to work with Blake (cause he rocks) and get myself a CommentPress install, but as a 2nd “blog.” There’s a couple of things that can (and should) be done. I may not be the proper one but someone must get things started. That’s for the future, though, whenever that arrives.