Sunday, 18 Nov
Norman, Richard. “Holy Communion.” Eurozine [First published in New Humanist 6/2007].
Discusses New Wave Atheism and how it is aggressively antagonistic to religion, which is the wrong way to proceed. I most certainly agree with this.
When recent books by Dawkins, Hitchens and others began coming out I was excited at first. It was good to see that intellectuals were once again engaging with the issues of the day. But as soon as the reviews started appearing I was more appalled than anything. The overly simplistic argumentation, the selective choice of examples, and the tack taken was wrong, for many reasons.
I am what many would call an atheist. I much prefer the term agnostic, though, as that is the best I can epistemologically claim. If you like, I have faith that there is no god (or gods), except those which we create in our own likeness. But I cannot know this.
Whatever our beliefs, be they atheism, humanism, Hinduism, Catholicism, some form of Protestantism, Islamism, etc., we are all in the same boat. Many of us have the same beliefs and goals about how others ought to be treated or how the world could be. We need to work together toward these. Clearly, there are differences between people and groups of people, but aggressive differentiation serves no useful purpose.
Hjørland, Birger and Jeppe Nicolaisen. “Bradford’s Law of Scattering: Ambiguities in the Concept of “Subject.” In F. Crestani and I. Ruthven (Eds.). CoLIS 2005: Context: Nature, Impact, and Role; Lecture Notes in Computer Science 3507: 96-105.
Hjørland, Birger. “Towards a Theory of Aboutness, Subject, Topicality, Theme, Domain, Field, Content . . . and Relevance.” Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 52.9 (2001): 774-778.
Sunday – Tuesday, 18 – 20 Nov
Hjørland, Birger. Information Seeking and Subject Representation: An Activity-theoretical Approach to Information Science. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 1997.
- Ch. 4: The Concept of Subject or Subject Matter and Basic Epistemological Positions
Monday, 19 Nov
Harris, Roy. The Language Connection: Philosophy and Linguistics. Bristol, U.K: Thoemmes Press, 1996. [Re-reading]
- Ch. 8: Metalinguistic Improvements
- Ch. 9: Metalinguistic Mistakes
- Ch. 10: Metalinguistic Illusions
Monday – Tuesday, 19 – 20 Nov
Hjorland, Birger. “Information Retrieval, Text Composition, and Semantics.” Knowledge Organization 25.1/2 (1998): 16-31.
Argues for a broader—and different—view of semantics within LIS. Primarily contrasts Wittgenstein’s early “picture theory” with his later “theory of language games,” but has several useful touchpoints for shifting to a more integrationist theory.
Tuesday, 20 Nov
Harris, Roy. The Language Connection: Philosophy and Linguistics. Bristol, U.K: Thoemmes Press, 1996.
Tallis, Raymond. Escape from Eden. New Humanist 118(4), Nov/Dec 2003. Found via The End of Cyberspace blog.
I know what I said—and I stand by it—about link posts but I’ve gotten more interesting links from Alex Soojung-Kim Pang’s link posts than everyone else combined.
By the way librarians, have you seen his post from 17 Nov, “Libraries as space 2.0…and early indicators of social IT trends?” He ends with the following:
But if I’m not mistaken, librarians started talking about information commons around 2001– well before Friendster, LinkedIn, and all the rest of Web 2.0 happened. I wonder what librarians are talking about these days?
Perhaps some of you can help him out with that question.
From the Tallis article which is a discussion of how it is that humans are more than just the animals that we are.
Criticising the language of the biologisers is not, however, enough. Defenders of human exceptionalism must, given our undoubted biological origins, find a ‘biological’ basis for our unique escape from biology and a ‘biological’ explanation of how we acquired the ability to run our lives as opposed to being run by genes that happen to delude us into believing that we are running our lives. Given the relative triviality of the genotypical and phenotypical differences between ourselves and our closest primate cousins, this may seem a tall order.
Harris, Roy. Language, Saussure and Wittgenstein: How to Play Games with Words. London and New York: Routledge, 1988.
- Ch. 1: Texts and Contexts (Tue)
- Ch. 2: Names and Nomenclatures (Tue-Wed)
- Ch. 3: Linguistic Units (Thu)
- Ch. 4: Language and Thought (Fri AM)
- Ch. 5: Systems and Users (Fri)
- Ch. 6: Arbitrariness (Fri)
- Ch. 7: Grammar (Sat)
- Ch. 8: Variation and Change (Sat)
- Ch. 9: Communication (Sat)
- Ch. 10: Language and Science (Sat)
Despite the differences between Saussure’s and Wittgenstein’s later thoughts on language they are remarkably similar. In this book, Harris explicates the games analogy that both used.
Saturday, 24 Nov
Winograd, Terry and Fernando Flores. Understanding Computers and Cognition: A New Foundation for Design. Reading, Mass: Addison-Wesley, 1987.
- Ch. 1: Introduction.
- Ch. 2: The rationalistic tradition.
- Ch. 3: Understanding and Being.
- Ch. 4: Cognition as a biological phenomenon.