just as it began
in an Alley
… with my thoughts.
mrl 25 August 2008
Uh, not you. Me. Or maybe you but you have to take the scientific test to find out.
Found at the Academic Librarian, of all places, because even ALs need to have a little fun.
You Are Sexually Powerful
Your attitude toward sex is healthy, safe, and sane.
You enjoy sex as much as (or possibly even more than) the average person.
You’re open minded, intelligent, and adventurous when exploring your sexuality.
And while you never take things too far, you take them far enough!
No comment on whether or not this one is accurate.
But for those who may not get the results they desire I’ll just say that life can change one in the most intriguing ways. Youth is not necessarily all that it is cracked up to be.
This amazing creature posed for me as I was heading to lunch today. There are quite a few more pictures of him in my Flickr stream; each with their own point of view and areas of focus.
Ensure you have a look at the largest size for all of the detail.
Thank you so very much, butterfly, for bringing so much joy and beauty into my life today!
Taking a cue from someone else’s post which I saw a month or so back here is a list of the books which I have read in the 1st half (plus) of 2008. I imagine I missed recording one or two and I know I failed to record one or two which were re-reads. I also have a few books in progress which were started sometime earlier but aren’t finished yet.
Doing this now will make it simpler come the end of the year.
As anyone who knows me only (or primarily) through this blog can see, my reading took somewhat of a turn this year so far. As it stands I am about to return to something more like the back half of last year and first month or two of this as of today. Summer is fast winding down and it is time to concentrate on finishing my CAS paper and prepping for the panel I am on at ASIS&T (Oct.).
Before we get to the list, though, I’d like to mention a conversation I had with my friend the other day. We were discussing my love of [much of] our literature and she expressed some concern over my ability to find something to read for edification and enjoyment when I am done with my degree and school.
I assured her that that is not in any way an issue. Just because I am done with school won’t mean I am done reading the literature of my profession. There are too many gems from the last 100+ years waiting to be read (and critiqued). I also have hundreds of non-fiction and a score or two fiction books to be read already in my possession. There are 1000s more I do not own. There are books to re-read. And there are genres which I have barely even begun to consider, such as poetry; of which she has a decent collection to get me started.
My reading habits—especially whether I can find something to read once I back off some on the LIS stuff—should not concern anyone. There is too much too know to not be able to find something to read, and after almost a lifetime of actively avoiding literature there is much to make my own.
Some of these were talked about, or at least mentioned, here earlier in the year but I am far too lazy to try and link them now.
So far there’s 29 books read, 3 of which were re-reads. There is poetry, fiction, literature, philosophy, and assorted non-fiction, most of which is language and communication, and LIS.
Harris, Roy. 1978. Communication and Language. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Harris, Roy. 1998. Introduction to Integrational Linguistics. 1st ed. Language & communication library series. Kidlington, Oxford, UK: Pergamon.
14 January – 11 February [re-read]
Harris, Roy. 2005. The Semantics of Science. London: Continuum.
25 – 30 January
Harris, Roy, and International Association for the Integrational Study of Language and Communication. 2006. Integrationist Notes and Papers : 2003-2005. Crediton, Devon, England: Tree Tongue. http://www.librarything.com/work/details/26156294.
10 – ? February
Maxwell, Robert L. 2008. FRBR: A Guide for the Perplexed. Chicago: American Library Association.
18 – 21 February
Harris, Roy, and Indian Institute of Advanced Study. 2003. History, Science, and the Limits of Language : an Integrationist Approach. Shimla: Indian Institute of Advanced Study.
Richards, Jennifer. 2008. Rhetoric. New critical idiom. London: Routledge.
2 – 10 March
Aitchison, Jean. 2003. Linguistics. 6th ed. Teach yourself. Chicago, Ill: McGraw-Hill.
15 – 23 March [re-read]
DeLillo, Don. 1986. White Noise. Contemporary American fiction. New York: Penguin Books.
Shiga, Jason. 2007. Bookhunter. Portland, Or.: Sparkplug Comic Books.
16 – 28 March
Swift, Jonathan. 1996. Gulliver’s travels. Unabridged [ed.]. Mineola N.Y.: Dover Publications.
31 March – 4 April
Critchley, Simon. 2001. Continental philosophy : a very short introduction. Vol. 43. Very short introductions . Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press.
9 – 28 April
Austin, Michael W, ed. 2007. Running & Philosophy: A Marathon for the Mind. Ed. Michael W Austin. Malden: Blackwell Pub.
20 – 24 April
Lodge, David. 1992. Changing Places: A Tale of Two Campuses. New York: Penguin Books.
28 – 30 April
Forster, Michael N. 2008. Kant and Skepticism. Princeton monographs in philosophy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
8 January / 1 – 10 May
Wilson, Patrick. 1968. Two Kinds of Power : an Essay on Bibliographical Control. Librarianship 5. Berkeley: University of California Press.
4 April – 12 May
Budd, John. 1992. The Library and Its Users: The Communication Process. Vol. 71. Contributions in librarianship and information science. New York: Greenwood Press.
approx. 6 – 13 May
Barnes, Bill. 2007. Read Responsibly: An Unshelved Collection. Seattle, Wash: Overdue Media LLC.
19 – 30 May
Chia, Mantak. 1997. The Multi-Orgasmic Man: Sexual Secrets Every Man Should Know. 1st ed. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco.
27 – 30 May
Kressley, Carson. 2004. Off the Cuff: The Essential Style Guide for Men and the Women Who Love Them. New York: Dutton.
Dubberley, Emily. 2006. Sex for busy people : the art of the quickie for lovers on the go. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Stone, Ruth. 2002. In the Next Galaxy. Port Townsend, Wash: Copper Canyon Press.
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. Task Force on Guidelines for OPAC Displays. 2005. Guidelines for Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) Displays: Final Report May 2005. Recommended by the Task Force on Guidelines for OPAC Displays. Approved by the Standing Committee of the IFLA Cataloguing Section . Vol. 27. IFLA series on bibliographic control. München: Saur.
29 March – 3 April / 4 June – 14 July
Budd, John. 2008. Self-Examination: The Present and Future of Librarianship. Westport, Conn: Libraries Unlimited.
14 – 25 July
Bright, Susie, ed. 2008. The Best of Best American Erotica 2008. Ed. Susie Bright. London: Simon & Schuster.
Gardner, John. 1976. Gudgekin, the Thistle Girl, and Other Tales. New York: Knopf.
?? – 5 August
Carlson, Ron. 2002. At the Jim Bridger: Stories. 1st ed. New York: Picador USA.
5 – 8 August
Foskett, D. J. 1984. Pathways for Communication: Books and Libraries in the Information Age. London: C. Bingley.
Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr Isaevich, and H. T. Willetts. 2005. One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Foskett, D. J. 1984. Pathways for Communication: Books and Libraries in the Information Age. London: C. Bingley.
I read this lovely little book [128 pages] last week. In many ways it has a lot in common with John Budd’s Self-examination and with Patrick Wilson’s Two Kinds of Power. All in all, it falls in a sort of middle ground. Budd’s book is both broader and narrower, and certainly far longer, while Wilson’s is much narrower and about the same length. Oddly, this book, though 16 years more recent than Wilson’s essay, feels far more dated. More on that in a bit.
Its chapters are entitled: Information and understanding, Communication and chronicles, Communication and society, Information and the psychology of users, Keepers and finders, Technology and culture, Theory and practice, Memory and anticipation, Looking for answers, and A reading society.
As I said above, this book feels a bit dated. Strange things is, though, I did not read that book. Early on when I noticed its datedness I asked myself what would Foskett say about that in the context of today? And somehow I managed to do that throughout the book. In fact, I got so good at it that I often just seemingly read what I think that answer would be. Thus, I may not even be qualified to comment on the book as such since that is seemingly not the book that I read.
In that regard, I think this is an important and an excellent book. Or, at least it is for one who can also manage a similar trick. For the unimaginative who can only read what is printed on the page then perhaps the book would be less valuable. I will say that if I ever teach an LIS course where some or all of this book would fit it will be assigned reading with the explicit goal of having the students update Foskett’s views; that is, apply Foskett’s criticisms and analysis to the contexts in which we find ourselves today. That, I venture to bet, would be a valuable exercise for all but the most dull among us.
Much of this book spoke to me regarding debates, discussions and contexts in which the profession finds itself today. One of Foskett’s primary critiques is that of confusing means for ends. One particular piece which I happened to note [and wish I had marked others] was the following:
The opposite of progress will occur if our effort are stultified by nonsensical theories leading to stupid practice. If ‘information’ becomes reified into a commodity subject to the laws and forces involved in commodity production and distribution, there is a real danger that quality will be sacrificed to quantity, and the information industry will produce and process large quantities of rubbish in order to prove what vast quantities it can process. We do not belong to the dismal and defeatist school of ‘more means worse’ if we wish to oppose the apparently attractive but actually meretricious school of ‘we must do it because we can’. Once more, means are in danger of becoming ends (111-112).
Communication, that is, human communication, looms large as the title would suggest.
There is also a lot of reference to the ‘paperless society,’ as that was a leading concept of the time. But it also one which still has pundits and while the term is rarely explicitly referenced anymore nonetheless it has significant impact on the thinking of many.
Another theme is the danger of contrasting the ‘librarian’ and the ‘information officer.’ In essence, they both deal with knowledge of source materials, whether or not their favored sources are physical objects.
As dated as this book may seem to some, I maintain that it is of immense relevance atill as the opening of the chapter, ‘Theory and practice,’ demonstrates:
The headlong progress of computer technology over recent decades has carried along all those of us engaged in communication at an exhilarating pace. Learned societies, publishers, librarians, have all become convinced of the necessity of making publicly available every last thought, no matter how commonplace or trivial, so that it may be indexed, abstracted, put into machine-readable form, and displayed on a visual display unit.
The benefits of the new technology are indeed not to be denied, and it would be foolish to try to keep it out of libraries. But if technology is not to become the master, then library and information science requires an advance in its theoretical foundations, and this must play an important part in the preparation of future members of the profession (75).
As I said, perhaps I did not even read the book in front of me; I read a different book. I am not sure how or why I managed to read this book far more forgivingly than many others I have read. But read it I did. I also recommend it as a valuable exercise for those who can generously apply Foskett’s critique to a more up-to-date context.
I highly recommend this book but with the caveat that you attempt to read it as if it were written today. And with that, I want to leave you with one more quote, this time from the final chapter.
What is much more dangerous is that the whole concept of Information Technology in this narrow sense means the development of a society which is thoroughy superficial in its attitude to knowledge, and which has no stability because its existence depends, not on the security of the shared points of view which add up to a cultural heritage, but on a continuous flow of separate bits of information. The individual will have no time or opportunity to digest and assimilate all these separate bits, or to build them into a coherent and integrated structure. Society will become a behaviourist paradise, and human beings will behave as if they were machines only able to act in response to external stimuli. Power will reside in those who provide the stimuli, and unless they have the time and the will to form considered judgements, progress in the global village will consist in a succession of crisis responses to the latest bits of information, no matter what their source or validity (123).
Wednesday I finally submitted my first book review for publication. Thanks, Walt, for recommending me to the editor. The book I reviewed is:
Budd, John. 2008. Self-Examination: The Present and Future of Librarianship. Westport, Conn: Libraries Unlimited. [WorldCat]
The short version of the review I would have liked to write is this:
Read. Discuss. Rinse. Repeat.
With serious emphasis on the discuss and repeat. I just hope the review is acceptable. I am reasonably satisfied with it but it was harder than I thought and certainly took longer than I expected.
To reward myself I went and bought a new computer, which I have been thinking about for a while now. But the first stop was to get a new phone since my 2-year contract was expiring with Verizon.
My new phone is a LG enV2. A fairly basic phone has served me well for the last 4 years (actually 2 different basic phones) but now I have someone to text with and normal phone keypads really suck for even the simple messages I send and I generally refuse to “speak” in text-ese.
New computer and iPod Touch. Got a MacBook with 4GB of RAM to replace my desktop PC. My thinking is that if/when the PowerBook dies I will already have a laptop to replace it.
Seeing as the Apple Education Store is giving rebates on either iPod Touches or Nanos ($199 = base 8GB Touch) I got myself a 16GB Touch.
Today I went back to the Apple Store and picked up an external keyboard and mouse, an AirPort base station, and a 1TB LaCie d2 quadra external drive for backing up both Macs.
I, unfortunately, needed a new wireless router since mine got fried along with most everything else in the signal path a couple months back in lightning storm. Perhaps I need to get an uninterruptable power supply/surge suppressor with coax connectors for the signal. My current, otherwise excellent, UPS only has CAT5 connectors.
Pictures to follow at some point once I get my workflows restructured.
Today, 1 August 2008, is also the 10th anniversary of my “retirement” from the Army. I think “retirement” is a crazy word to use—wrong sense, at a minimum—as it doesn’t even come close.
Nonethless, whatever it’s called some truly amazing things have happened in the last 10 years.