Sunday, 9 Mar 2008
Smith, L. C. (1981). ‘Memex’ as an image of potentiality in information retrieval research and development In , Proceedings of the 3rd annual ACM conference on Research and development in information retrieval (pp. 345-369). Cambridge, England: Butterworth & Co.
Linda cited this article when talking about her research on a panel discussion we had in our subject access/analysis seminar. Linda Smith, Dave Dubin, and Oksana Zavalina (Ph.D. student) were asked about how “subject” impacts on their research area(s). Oksana was representing the IMLS Digital Collections and Content team.
What modes of subject access they use. Search strategies. Changes they’d like to see. Search and navigation features needed. Differences between human and machine relevance assessments. Etc. We did not get to all of them, but did some interesting deviating from the ones presented to them. It was a nice discussion.
Below is what Linda wrote about her article on the handout she provided. We also discussed it some and this idea of “non-verbal representation of subjects” and “concept symbols” was intriguing.
Cited documents as concept symbols; most citations are the author’s own private symbols for certain ideas he uses; where documents are frequently cited, their use as concept symbols may be shared.
When I first finished it I was disappointed and did not think this is what the article really said, although these claims are made within. After a few days and making some of the known context explicit in my mind, I have relented.
It is interesting in other ways, too. And I have heard Linda mention this article a few other times; usually in the context of Bush, though.
Monday, 10 Mar 2008
Aitchison, J. (2003). Linguistics, Teach yourself. (6th ed), 257. Chicago, Ill: McGraw-Hill.
- Ch. 16 : seeking a suitable framework
- Ch. 17 : trouble with transformations
- Ch. 18 : back to basics (Tue)
- epilogue (Tue)
- further reading (Tue)
Rosenberg, V. (1974). The scientific premises of information science, Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 25(4), 263-269.
Cited by Smith, L. C. (1981) [see above] as “… urges information science researchers to pay more attention to the social, cultural and spiritual aspects of human communication” (353).
Critiques what he calls the “gestalt of the computer.”
Most of the research done to date in information science has been done in what we can broadly call the tradition of Newtonian mechanics. In this tradition the world and man are perceived to be essentially mechanistic (264).
Because information science has been so closely linked to the computer, the device has thoroughly colored our view of what information is and how people use it. Broadly speaking, the computer has caused us to view human information processing as analogous to machine processing. The success of this approach is similar to that Kuhn describes with regard to obsolete paradigms (such as Newtonian mechanics) (264).
He combines these with a behaviorist psychology as “the basic components of the paradigm underlying information science” (265), which he then critiques.
I believe that the essentially reductionist view of man which emerges from the “gestalt of the computer,” is ultimately demeaning to man, is scientifically counter productive, and it is arrogant. Nevertheless, I am not suggesting that all the work that has been done in replicating human intellectual behavior using computers is of no practical value. … However, as a basic principle for understanding, scientifically understanding, the nature of information and its use, the paradigm is of extremely limited value (265-266).
Since I have just stated, with an overweening arrogance of my own, that the fundamental premises on which information science is currently based are all wrong, I must support this conclusion (266, emphasis mine).
The computer carries with it a set of values—scientific values. These values are basically deterministic, reductionist and mechanical. The paradigm specifically inhibits serious consideration of concepts that are social, cultural or spiritual (266).
The problem here is not the direct, tangible harm that the information system does to a specific individual. Rather it is the image of man inherent in it (267).
We must begin to pay more attention to the social, cultural and spiritual aspects of human communication [the point Linda cites]. We must recognize that what a man says or writes is not simply the additive sum of the phonemes or the morphemes, the words or sentences he utters. To deal effectively with the transcendent qualities of human communication we must admit as evidence the intuitive, the subjective, and the experiential (268).
I love this guy! And considering this was published in 1974 I love him even more. I think he is heading to the right point but he isn’t quite there yet. There simply is no communication without the experiential. To communicate is to experience.
Harris, R. (1996). Signs, language, and communication : integrational and segregational approaches. London; New York: Routledge.
- Ch. 1 : The study of communication
- Ch. 2 : Before communication
Tuesday – Wednesday, 11-12 Mar 2008
Park, J. (2007). Evolution of concept networks and implications for knowledge representation, Journal of Documentation, 63(6), 963-983. doi: 10.1108/00220410710836466.
Wednesday, 12 Mar 2008
Abel-Kops, C. P. (2008, January 1). “Just where’s the damn book?,” or, rediscovering the art of cataloging. Retrieved March 10, 2008, from http://eprints.rclis.org/archive/00012940/.
Saturday, 15 Mar 2008
DeLillo, D. (1986). White noise, Contemporary American fiction., 326. New York: Penguin Books.
It’s Spring Break so I began re-reading this.
The encounter put me in the mood to shop. … Babette and the kids followed me into the elevator, into the shops set along the tiers, through the emporiums and department stores, puzzled but excited by my desire to buy. When I could not decide between two shirts, they encouraged me to buy both. … They were my guide to endless well-being. … My family gloried in the event. I was one of them, shopping, at last. (DeLillo, 83).
I shopped for its own sake, looking and touching, inspecting merchandise I had no intention of buying, then buying it. … I began to grow in value and self-regard. I filled myself out, found new aspects of myself, located a person I’d forgotten existed (DeLillo, 84).
I adore this book. This is my first re-read after reading it once and then analyzing its lived morality in an academic essay. I am trying to read it slowly and savor it this time; there is something distinctly not slow about DeLillo’s prose in this work, though.