… and number one is fleshing out these dreams of mine.

Atlanta’s a distant memory
Montgomery a recent blur
and Tulsa burns on the desert floor
like a signal fire

I got Willie on the radio
a dozen things on my mind
and number one is fleshing out
these dreams of mine

Cowboy Junkies — 200 More Miles

A little over a week ago I wrote to a handful of those I consider myself close to to tell them of a recent decision of mine. It was quite gratifying and reaffirming to hear back from many of them over the next couple of days, and by a half dozen of them within an hour of sending them my message! My friends are amazing!

Those locally I have been trying to catch up with personally, although I have missed a couple due to Spring Break happening this past week. [Sara, I’ve been looking for you.]

Perhaps, though, I should start at something like the beginning.

I have been at this university education thing for a very long time. For the last ten and a half years I have been at it mostly full-time. All the while I have been employed at least half-time and often more. There was a 3-year period, sort of in the middle, where I worked full-time and went to school half-time for the fun of it … and because the university paid for it, I was able to take classes with people I really cared to learn from, and it kept my loans in deferment.

I have actually been in and out of the higher ed classroom for far longer seeing as I entered Illinois State in 1998 with 118 hours of accepted transfer credit (90 of which I could apply) accumulated during my time in the Army.

Over those 10+ years of mostly full-time schooling I have “progressed” in the ways in which I deal with the joys and stresses of the classroom and, even more so, with the kinds of work students are expected to generate so that their learning can be codified and graded. It started out being fairly difficult and while it (the product) always remained difficult to produce the ways in which it is difficult changed such that at some point the process actually became quite easy such that producing products which demonstrated my learning was easy. Difficult work, but easy nonetheless [I hope that makes some sense].

I seem to be long past that point anymore. I have loved my time at GSLIS for many reasons, but for a long time now I have been increasingly unhappy with the process of higher education. I have often complained of the semester system—here on this blog and elsewhere—and especially lately have complained of the need come the end of the semester to produce something which an instructor can grade. Have not my efforts to learn, to challenge myself, my classmates and the instructor already been amply demonstrated throughout the semester?

Simply put. I am burnt out.

This was to be my final semester and I was going to end it with a 3rd Mother’s Day graduation. My only real task was to write my CAS paper and defend. After consultation with my advisor, GSLIS admin, and my employer I have decided to put myself on a non-academic “sabbatical.” That is, I am taking an incomplete and doing other things for a while.

I shall not go into all of the details of the thought process or situation but the only negative thing that can honestly be said is that I won’t be “done” in May. Theoretically, I need to finish before the start of next Spring semester.

I am still working my 2 assistantships at 60% time. Thus, I haven’t really freed up much time. I will still attend the seminar on subject access/analysis, although I have unfortunately not been attending Allen’s ontologies class for several weeks now [Remember, I am just sitting in on these classes].

I m still applying for jobs although I am seeing very few that are appealing or which I feel qualified for. There are many other sorts of jobs I would consider but the ones in those lines of work (terminologies) which show up in the places I am looking seem to mostly be massively corporate or government, mostly defense.

Yes, I am applying for jobs. I have had an MLS for almost 2 years now. While I would have preferred to be finished with my CAS before taking a job there is really no reason to do so. As far along as I am now will only require me to come back—if I leave—for one day to defend; everything else can be done electronically.

My goal is to focus my energies elsewhere for a while—large portions of my life have been on hold for most of these past 10 years. What little time I gain by not actively working every free moment on my paper will be easily filled. I already have a list of projects, some major, and I haven’t even had to put any effort into identifying them.

I have finally figured out a system for organizing all those photocopied or printed out articles, book chapters, etc. that will work for me for now and which is flexible enough to grow and change with me and my interests. Many of you probably can’t even begin to imagine the amount of paper I have in folders, folders in boxes, and so on. Let’s just say that it is a lot. So I am entering them into Zotero, frequently backing up Zotero, and physically organizing them. Will I ever get finished? Not likely, no. But if I can get most of the important and more recent ones organized I will be happy.

I’d also like to try and fix many of the broken links in this blog that exist due to the migration from Typepad to my own domain. I haven’t started on that yet and I have concerns about how it might affect people’s feeds but we’ll just have to see. I doubt I can or even want to fix every link but there are quite a few I do want fixed.

Most all of my books now reside in my apartment and not in storage anymore so I would like to get more of them into my LibraryThing catalog.

I also still need to find an email and a feed reader solution to my current woes.

There are, of course, a million other things I could add; some more pressing than others. Asking someone out on a date is near the top of the list. Unfortunately, I know of no prospects at the moment. But perhaps a little more engagement with the wider world will present one. 🙂

Lest you think my CAS paper has evaporated, I can assure you that it has not. My plan is to primarily focus on other things for a while, perhaps even through summer. I am in the process of reading two books directly related to my topic but I have put them to the side for a bit. I hope to pick those up soon and work through them a bit more slowly than I have been. Basically, I have been cramming things into my mind non-stop since last May when I more or less came to my topic. No time to think, no time to muse, and certainly nothing approaching slow reading.

A short five years ago I was able to read DeLillo’s White Noise once and then produce a 14-page analysis of the lived morality as presented in the novel which actually impressed one of the professor’s I most admire in the world. Part of that may be due to lots of exposure to thinking about morality—both academically and as experienced in daily life—over the years. But part of it is where I was in my progress of academic productivity [pretty much in top form at that point].

My CAS paper has taken me into a realm where I have little formal education and where much lay thinking is mistaken due to two millennia of Western culture and education. Thus, I have had to work extra hard trying to come to grips with what I want to “produce.” Now that it is time to do so my mind has rebelled.

At first, when I floated the idea of perhaps delaying this a bit it was lovingly suggested that I “just do it” and then I could relax and follow this more where I want to take it as I further develop my research agenda [something I can actually say I have now]. I had to concur that that would be lovely. But I left that meeting feeling quite apprehensive. A week later when I went back to re-discuss my options it was readily agreed that my current plan is what is needed and it was immediately supported.

There are many reasons why the wise woman who is my advisor agreed a week later after trying to nudge me forward a week earlier. The reasons are no doubt complex, but when I asked her why she knew now that this was the right decision I was told that, “You turn gray. Today you aren’t gray and thus I know this is the right decision.” And here I always thought it was simply metaphor.

the sky is grey
the sand is grey
and the ocean is grey

and i feel right at home
in this stunning monochrome
alone in my way

ani difranco — grey — reckoning

This past Thursday when I told this story to one of my best friends ever—and my boss during what was probably the worst couple years of my life—she just looked at me funny for a few seconds. And then she said, “Of course you do!”

I guess all I can say is, “Here’s to learning to radiate all the colors of the spectrum!”

My intention regarding my paper is to distract my mind for a bit, dabble some directly on topic (soon), dabble on the periphery, let the mind do its own thing on its own time in the background, have conversations with others which will force me to be able to say what I want, and to finally get on it “full-time” come the start of the fall semester with the goal of defending at the end of fall.

I have received an enormous amount of support and validation from my advisor, other profs, GSLIS admin, the folks I work with at the Library, and especially from my friends and family. This, more than anything else, means the world to me. Thank you.

Sometimes I see myself fine, sometimes I need a witness.
And I like the whole truth,
but there are nights I only need forgiveness.
Sometimes they say, “I don’t know who you are
but let me walk with you some.”
And I say, “I am alone, that’s all,
you can’t save me from all the wrong I’ve done,”
But they’re waiting just the same,
With their flashlights and their semaphores,
And I act like I have faith and like that faith never ends
But I really just have friends.

Dar Williams — My Friends — End of the Summer

Some things read this week, 3 – 9 February 2008

Monday, 4 Feb 2008

Portrait: Charles Taylor by Ben Rogers. Prospect.

At the heart of Taylor’s thought is a critique of “naturalist” modes of thinking, whether manifest in philosophy, social science, economics or psychology. For Taylor, naturalism is the view that all human and social phenomena, including our subjectivity, are best understood on the model of natural phenomena, by using scientific canons of explanation. So wherever possible, apparently complicated social entities should be reduced to their simple component parts; social and cultural institutions and practices explained in terms of the beliefs and actions of individuals; value judgements reduced to brute animal preferences; the physical world to sense data; sense data to neurological activity and so on. Taylor believes that in the last 400 years, naturalism has fundamentally reshaped our individual and collective self-understanding. Seeing the limits of this mode of thought promises to give us a critical purchase on ourselves and our culture.

Taylor’s critique starts from the belief that you can’t understand human actions unless you make an imaginative leap into the worlds of the agents—a leap which has no counterpart in natural science. You can’t understand ethical or aesthetic values on the model of animal preferences because all human cultures give central place to some version of the distinction between “lower” appetites and higher goals by which appetites should be judged and regulated. Taylor argues, in short, that narrowly scientific, reductive approaches to the human world always prove “terribly implausible.”

I really need to look into Taylor’s views on naturalism because as much as I am a child of Big Science I, too, believe that naturalism ala Taylor is not an unmitigated good and, in fact, is quite dangerous. Science cannot, nor should it try, to explain everything.

 

Harris, Roy. 2005. The Semantics of Science. London: Continuum.

 

Re-read ch. 7: Science and common sense.

 

Brachman, R.J. 1983. What IS-A Is and Isn’t: An Analysis of Taxonomic Links in Semantic Networks. Computer 16, no. 10:30-36.

 

For Ontology Development. This article gave me the giggles in so many places; especially in the context of my current work. With this many facets of what it is to be an IS-A relationship, much less the combination of those facets, it simply boggles the mind to think we’ll ever be able to globally represent these relationships in our statements about the/our world(s).

There are several axes along which IS-A links can vary:

 

  1. type of conceptual entity that a node can represent (description, set, predicate)
  2. basic syntactic function of the link (sentence-forming vs. description-forming)
  3. for sentence-forming ones:
    • quantifier (e.g., universal vs. default)
    • modality (necessity vs. contingency)
  4. does the link make an assertion (33).

Highly recommended. Not as difficult as one might think.

Tuesday – Wednesday, 5 – 6 Feb 2008

 

 

MacDorman, Karl F. 2007. Life After the Symbol System Metaphor. Interaction Studies 8, no. 1:143-158.

 

Found at Wikipedia via UIUC Language Evolution Group wiki back in late Sep 2007.

 

Wednesday, 6 Feb 2008

 

 

Bates, Marcia J. Hjørland’s critique of Bates’ work on defining information. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

 

Sent my way by Christina.

Thursday – Friday, 7 – 8 Feb 2008

 

 

Harris. The Semantics of Science. [see above]

Re-read ch. 8: Supercategory semantics.

Saturday, 9 Feb 2008

 

 

Wright, Lawrence. The Spymaster. The New Yorker. Jan. 21, 2008: 42-59.

 

Given to me by Pauline Cochrane as a possible job opportunity.

Zotero

I am really loving the newest update to Zotero. I can now drag-n-drop citations directly from Zotero into WordPress. Talk about a serious reduction in work flow! Previously I was exporting a citation as HTML, opening the web page, viewing the source, copying the piece of HTML I needed, and then pasting it into the Code view of WordPress. Now I just drag-n-drop a citation right out of Zotero into the WYSIWYG editor of WordPress and it is automatically formatted and includes the COinS metadata. Woohoo!!

The only issue at the moment is some slightly wonky formatting in WordPress. I’m not sure if it is WordPress or Zotero causing it though. I need to play with other citation formats and see if they cause the same issues. It could be WordPress though as they seem to have changed some of their HTML formatting in the version I upgraded to last week.

Nonetheless, this is a massive improvement in functionality and will probably encourage me to actually input more stuff into Zotero in the first place.

Interests and the pursuit thereof

One of my co-workers is upset with me due to their perceiving a lack of interest on my part in their little corner of the world. This person’s little corner of the LIS world is even something which ought to be of interest to me since it is beginning to show up on more and more job descriptions.

The problem is that this is of interest to me. But the larger problem is someone else inferring my interest or not based on their perception of my overt actions. Please do not do this. Anyone. Do any of you readers assume that I’m not interested in anything I don’t write about here? [purely rhetorical]

As my “subtitle” says, I am a habitually probing generalist. There isn’t all that much that I am not interested in, at some point. I have never had, nor will I ever have, enough time to pursue everything of interest to me. I imagine many people are like this. But some of us are worse than others.

So, the way I say it, getting petulant with me because your feelings are hurt due to your perception on whether or not I am interested in your stuff is, at best, egotistical, and at worst, seriously disdainful of the amount of things I also do in the world and of the breadth of my interests. Even those in my own field and area/focus of interest are enough to fill my time while there is ever more to be actively interested in.

If you want to claim that I am currently actively interested in some thing over another, or even just observe that this is so (that inference still isn’t fully de-clawed), then fine. I am happy to justify my current business and why there is no overt time for our overlapping areas; I also feel no real need to do so either.

I have no time for petulancy. That is not one of my interests, active or otherwise.

Books Read in 2007

Late last year I decided to participate in a reading challenge (2007 TBR) that I found at Joy Weese Moll’s blog, Wanderings of an online librarian. I generally don’t do these sorts of things but when I had looked back over 2006 at the hundreds of article I had read I found that I had read something like 13 books. My post linked above lists the books that I chose as possibilities. Maybe I didn’t follow the rules exactly (Yay me!) and I don’t care as I read more than 3x as many books as I did last year; although I also read far fewer articles.

So how did I do? Of my “(probable) definites” I read 3 and most of a 4th, and of my “possibilities” I read half of 1. Perhaps not so good, all in all. But I do not care. I read far more books and I found new interests. And all of the books that I did not get to are still on my to be read list.

The numbers seem to come out at 33 books read, 3 of those read a 2nd time, and 9 books and one online proceedings mostly read.

I’m thinking that I won’t undertake any such challenge for 2008 as I will be focusing on my CAS paper for the first 4+ months of the year. Towards that endeavor I will be re-reading some of the books from this year. I will certainly try to keep track of what I read next year, but I see no reason to set myself a goal that only causes me frustration and guilt.

In late January of 2007 I wrote a post that listed some of the things I had read that weekend, “Things read this weekend.” With that post a habit was about to be born. I know that some of you would rather I didn’t write these “Some things read …” posts, but I have gotten enough positive comments and discussion generated from them that I will probably continue for a while.

The 1st full “Some things read this week …” post came for the week 29 Jan – 3 Feb where I discussed the possibility of continuing the practice while knowing that some things of merit would get missed.

It was quite a year of reading.

Books read in 2007

Dates are the dates I read the book.

very late Dec 06 – 7 Jan 07
The Art of Living : the Classic Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness / by Epictetus (1995), 1st ed. [WorldCat]

Ambient Findability / by Peter Morville. [WorldCat]

14-19 Jan 2007
Humanism and Democratic Criticism / Edward W. Said [WorldCat]

10-12 Feb 2007
Declamation on the Nobility and Preeminence of the Female Sex / Henricus Cornelius Agrippa ; translated and edited with an introduction by Albert Rabil, Jr. [WorldCat]

12-16 Feb 2007
Silas Marner : the Weaver of Raveloe / by George Eliot, David Carroll and Q. D. Leavis. [WorldCat]

17 Feb 2007
Life of Pi : a novel / Yann Martel. [WorldCat]

  • Yes. I read this one in one day. I did enjoy this although the epilogue (or whatever that thing at the end was supposed to be) really put a massive damper on the story and the “feel” of the story.

Jan – 15 Feb 2007
The Archaeology of Knowledge ; And, The Discourse on Language / by Michel Foucault. [WorldCat]
Discourse – read 14-15 Mar

  • The Discourse was much better than Archaeology, which was a real slog.

mid-Jan – 17 Feb 2007
Relationships in the Organization of Knowledge / edited by Carol A. Bean and Rebecca Green. [WorldCat]

This book was highly productive for, and influential on, me. Highly recommended!

18 Feb 2007
It’s Not Easy Being Green And Other Things to Consider / Jim Henson, the Muppets, and friends ; with drawings by Jim Henson ; edited by Cheryl Henson [WorldCat]

8 Mar – 20 Dec
Break, Blow, Burn / Camille Paglia. [WorldCat]

This book was as hard to slog through as Raber’s The Problem of Information. At least with that book I knew that there was a point. Oh. That sounds wrong. I don’t mean a point in a rational sense. Not sure how to say it.

I read a great review of this book a couple years back and knowing I needed to broaden my extremely limited exposure to poetry I added it to my wishlist. My daughter gave it to me as a present and I finally got to reading it earlier this year.

I think I would have enjoyed it much better if I had just read the poems and ignored all of Paglia’s commentary. Sometimes she had something enlightening to say but often as not she was also condescending to the reader. My main issue with her commentary is that she has serious issues with sex and God. I was amazed yesterday when a poem finally cropped up in which she had nothing to say about God, sex, or even God and sex. I could be wrong but I believe it to be the only one out of 43 to have the honor of not being defiled by often forced references to either. That poem is May Swenson’s ‘At East River.”

Am I now more attuned to poetry than I was before reading this book? Unfortunately, I don’t think so. I am willing to try again, though. As long as Paglia isn’t involved!

18 – 20 Apr
Atheism : a Very Short Introduction / Julian Baggini. [WorldCat]

18-22 May
The Language Machine / by Roy Harris. [WorldCat]

23-25 May
Balanced Libraries : Thoughts on Continuity and Change / Walt Crawford. [WorldCat]

26-30 May
The Language-Makers / Roy Harris. [Re-read 28 Oct – 10 Nov] [WorldCat]

2-4 Jul
The Successful Academic Librarian : Winning Strategies from Library Leaders / edited by Gwen Meyer Gregory. (most of it anyway) [WorldCat]

4 – 7 Jul
The Semantics of Science / by Roy Harris. [WorldCat]

7 – 12 Jul
The Language Myth / by Roy Harris. [WorldCat]

14 Jul – 15 Dec
Peace is Every Step : the Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life / by Nhat Hanh, Thich [WorldCat]

16 – 19 Jul
First Have Something to Say : Writing for the Library Profession / Walt Crawford. [WorldCat]

? 22 Jul – 25 Aug
The Problem of Information: An Introduction to Information Science / by Douglas Raber. [WorldCat]

Despite my many (and valid) complaints about this book, it was a very productive book for me. If one looks closely at my “Some things read …” posts while and after I read this book you will see a multitude of sources cited by Raber. There are still some I acquired and haven’t read and many more I “need” to acquire.

I really, really wish it was edited better. The topic is so very important. It deserves an excellent book and not one that the reader has to slog through thanks to poor editing and a style that could use a bit of tweaking so that the reader knows which arguments are the author’s and those of others’ which he is presenting for consideration.

19 Aug – 30 Aug
Library Juice Concentrate / edited by Rory Litwin — mostly [WorldCat]

23 Aug – 7 Sep
Definition in Theory and Practice : Language, Lexicography and the Law / Roy Harris and Christopher Hutton. [WorldCat]

9-16 Sep
Introduction to Integrational Linguistics / by Roy Harris. [WorldCat]

17-21 Sep
The Language Connection : Philosophy and Linguistics / by Roy Harris [Re-read 10-20 Nov] [WorldCat]

21 Sep – 19 Dec
Integrational Linguistics: a First Reader / Edited by Roy Harris and George Wolf. [WorldCat]

Contains many highly interesting chapters. Divided into 6 parts: Language and Communication, Language and the Language Myth, Language and Meaning, Language and Discourse, Language and Writing, and Language and Society.

23-28 Sep
Synonymy and Linguistic Analysis / Roy Harris. [WorldCat]

28 Sep – 5 Oct
Words : an Integrational Approach / Hayley G. Davis. [WorldCat]

13-19 Oct
The Interface Between the Written and the Oral / Jack Goody. [WorldCat]

26-28 Oct
Redefining Linguistics / Edited by Hayley G. Davis and Talbot J. Taylor. [WorldCat]

28 Oct – 10 Nov
Harris, The Language Makers [Re-read, see 26-30 May]

5 – 12 nov
Introduction to Integrational Linguistics / Roy Harris. [Re-read. See 17-21 Sep]

10 – 20 Nov
The Language Connection : Philosophy and Linguistics / by Roy Harris [Re-read]

15 – 28 Nov
Crossing the Postmodern Divide / Albert Borgmann [WorldCat]

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.

20 – 24 Nov
Language, Saussure and Wittgenstein : How to Play Games with Words / Roy Harris. [WorldCat]

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.

24 – 27 Nov
Understanding Computers and Cognition : a New Foundation for Design / Terry Winograd, Fernando Flores. [WorldCat]

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

9 – 13 Dec
The Foundations of Linguistic Theory : Selected Writings of Roy Harris / Edited by Nigel Love. [WorldCat]

I had read a few of these pieces before as a couple are excerpts from other things, but many of them were new. All in all, I found this to be an excellent volume and overview of Harris’ thought.

Partial

18 Feb – [mid May] present
Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things : What Categories Reveal about the Mind / George Lakoff. – not finished [WorldCat]

about 2/3rds of the way through it, but no progress since mid-May

19 Mar – 7 May
The Semantics of Relationships : an Interdisciplinary Perspective / edited by Rebecca Green, Carol A. Bean, Sung Hyon Myaeng. – not finished [WorldCat]

2/3rds through; read all of Part I and III, III left.

5 – ? Jun (most of this proceedings, online)
NASKO 2007

Re-read several chapters (about half) of Svenonius early in the year.

24 – 25 Feb
The Power to Name: Locating the Limits of Subject Representation in Libraries / Hope Olsen. [WorldCat]

I had to give this up because the methodology is reprehensible. I have long had a draft post on this book and several of Olsen’s articles waiting to be finished but more important issues are and have been attracting my attention.

McIlwaine, I. C., ed. Subject retrieval in a networked environment : Proceedings of the IFLA Satellite Meeting held in Dublin, OH 14-16 August 2001 and sponsored by the IFLA Classification and Indexing Section, the IFLA Information Technology Section and OCLC. München: K. G. Saur. 122-128. [WorldCat]

Much of it.

23 Aug – 26 Oct
Python Programming : an Introduction to Computer Science / John M. Zelle. [WorldCat]

Read 12 out of 13 chapters in this book.

Fall semester
Computers Ltd. : What Computers Still Can’t Do / David Harel. [WorldCat]

Read almost 2/3rds of this.

27 Sep, 13 – 20 Nov
Information Seeking and Subject Representation : An Activity-Theoretical Approach to Information Science / Hjørland, Birger.

Halfway through it; need to get back to it soon.

13 – 29 Dec
Toolan, Michael J. 1996. Total Speech: An Integrational Linguistic Approach to Language. Durham, N.C: Duke University Press.

Halfway through it; my currently most active book.

Author-Date Bibliography [COinS data]

Agrippa von Nettesheim, Heinrich Cornelius, and Albert Rabil. 1996. Declamation on the Nobility and Preeminence of the Female Sex. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Baggini, Julian. 2003. Atheism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bean, Carol A., and Rebecca Green, eds. 2001. Relationships in the Organization of Knowledge. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

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

Crawford, Walt. 2003. First Have Something to Say: Writing for the Library Profession. Chicago: American Library Association.

———. 2007. Balanced Libraries: Thoughts on Continuity and Change. Morrisville, NC: Lulu.

Davis, Hayley G. 2001. Words: An Integrational Approach. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon.

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

Eliot, George, and David Carroll. 2003. Silas Marner : the Weaver of Raveloe. London; New York: Penguin Books.

Epictetus., and Sharon Lebell. 1995. The Art of Living : the Classic Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness. [San Francisco]: HarperSanFrancisco.

Foucault, Michel, and Michel Foucault. 1972. The Archaeology of Knowledge ; and, The Discourse on Language. New York: Pantheon Books.

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

Green, Rebecca, Carol A Bean, and Sung Hyon Myaeng, eds. 2002. The Semantics of Relationships: An Interdisciplinary Perspective. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Gregory, Gwen Meyer, ed. 2005. The Successful Academic Librarian: Winning Strategies from Library Leaders. Medford, N.J: Information Today, Inc.

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

Harris, Roy. 1973. Synonymy and Linguistic Analysis. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

———. 1980. The Language-Makers. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

———. 1981. The Language Myth. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

———. 1987. The Language Machine. Ithaca, N.Y: Cornell University Press.

———. 1988. Language, Saussure and Wittgenstein: How to Play Games with Words. London: Routledge.

———. 1990. The Foundations of Linguistic Theory: Selected Writings of Roy Harris. Ed. Nigel Love. London: Routledge.

———. 1996. The Language Connection: Philosophy and Linguistics. Bristol, U.K: Thoemmes Press.

———. 1998. Introduction to Integrational Linguistics. Kidlington, Oxford, UK: Pergamon.

———. 2005. The Semantics of Science. London: Continuum.

Harris, Roy, and Christopher Hutton. 2007. Definition in Theory and Practice: Language, Lexicography and the Law. London: Continuum.

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

Henson, Jim. 2005. It’s Not Easy Being Green: And Other Things to Consider. New York: Hyperion.

Hjørland, Birger. 1997. Information Seeking and Subject Representation: An Activity-Theoretical Approach to Information Science. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press.

Lakoff, George. 1987. Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things: What Categories Reveal About the Mind. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Litwin, Rory, ed. 2006. Library Juice Concentrate. Duluth, Minn: Library Juice Press.

Martel, Yann. 2001. Life of Pi: A Novel. New York: Harcourt.

McIlwaine, Ia, ed. 2003. Subject Retrieval in a Networked Environment: Proceedings of the IFLA Satellite Meeting Held in Dublin, OH, 14-16 August 2001 and Sponsored by the IFLA Classification and Indexing Section, the IFLA Information Technology Section and OCLC. München: K.G. Saur.

Morville, Peter. 2005. Ambient Findability. Sebastopol, Calif: O’Reilly.

Nhat Hanh, Thich. 1991. Peace is Every Step : the Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life. New York N.Y.: Bantam Books.

Olson, Hope A. 2002. The Power to Name: Locating the Limits of Subject Representation in Libraries. Dordrecht [The Netherlands]: Kluwer Academic.

Paglia, Camille. 2006. Break, Blow, Burn. New York: Vintage Books.

Raber, Douglas. 2003. The Problem of Information: An Introduction to Information Science. Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press.

Said, Edward W. 2004. Humanism and Democratic Criticism. New York: Columbia University Press.

Svenonius, Elaine. 2000. The Intellectual Foundation of Information Organization. Ed. W.Y. Arms. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Toolan, Michael J. 1996. Total Speech: An Integrational Linguistic Approach to Language. Durham, N.C: Duke University Press.

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

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

Some things read this week, 11 – 17 November 2007

Sunday, 11 Nov

Harris, Roy. The Language Connection: Philosophy and Linguistics. Bristol, U.K: Thoemmes Press, 1996. [Re-reading]

  • Introduction
  • Ch. 1: Questions about language

Rheingold, Howard. “The First Hacker and His Imaginary Machine” from Tools for Thought. [For LIS452]

Miksa, Francis. “The Genius of Library Cataloging and its Possible Future.” An Address for the ALA Lecture, GSLIS, UIUC, 6 March 2006.

Audio for this lecture is on the Lecture Archives page. Scroll down to the 2nd from the bottom of 2006. Notice lots of other interesting things on the way.

I do know of a link to this paper as a Word doc but I do not know if I can share it. If you are particularly interested let me know and I will inquire. Or a search may just turn it up. [Sorry! It cannot be shared, although hopefully Fran will be publishing it. Listen to the lecture which is pretty close to the paper.]

Discusses “the genius of cataloging,” which is the creation of an intellectual space. Also discusses the thicket of our current system, how we got here, and describes that system as “the one given system.” Other topics include Charles Amni Cutter, “full-bore cataloging,” informational objects, informational object users, and informational object systems and agencies. Then takes a look at the present day and what can be done to revitalize our catalogs via a revitalization of cataloging.

Highly recommended.

Monday, 12 Nov

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

  • Ch. 5: Language and Writing
  • Ch. 6: Language and Society
  • Postscript

Bentley, Jon. “Thanks, Heaps.” programming pearls column in Communications of the ACM 28(3), March 1985: 245-250.

Tuesday, 13 Nov

Harris, Roy. The Language Connection: Philosophy and Linguistics. Bristol, U.K: Thoemmes Press, 1996. [Re-reading]

  • Ch. 2: Speech and its Parts

Sturgeon, Roy L. “Laying Down the Law: ALA’s Ethics Codes.” American Libraries November 2007:56-57.

A low quality article that complains about the lack of attention paid to professional ethics in our literature. If many of them are like this one that is a good thing. Actually, though, I could suggest a few decent ones.

One of the worst things about this article is not the author’s fault. It just ends mid-sentence. If the article is continued on another page we get no indication from AL.

Haha. This article is listed under “Professionalism.” Irony is what gets me out of bed every morning.

Hjørland, Birger. Information Seeking and Subject Representation: An Activity-theoretical Approach to Information Science. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 1997.

  • Ch. 1: Introduction: Information Seeking and Subject Representation [re-read]
  • Ch. 2: Subject Searching and Subject Representation Data

Wednesday, 14 Nov

Van de Sompel, Herbert and Carl Lagoze. “Interoperability for the Discovery, Use, and Re-Use of Units of Scholarly Communication.” CTWatch Quarterly 3(3), August 2007.

For Metadata Roundtable today.

Wednesday- Thursday, 14 – 15 Nov

Harris, Roy. The Language Connection: Philosophy and Linguistics. Bristol, U.K: Thoemmes Press, 1996. [Re-reading]

  • Ch. 3: One-Dimensional Speech [Wed.]
  • Ch. 4: Logical Loopholes [Thur.]

Hjørland, Birger. Information Seeking and Subject Representation: An Activity-theoretical Approach to Information Science. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 1997.

  • Ch. 3: Subject Analysis and Knowledge Organization

Thursday, 15 Nov

Bigge, Ryan. “The Official Typeface of the 20th Century.” Pertinent & Impertinent at The Smart Set. Found via 3 Quarks Daily.

Beauchamp, Gorman. “Apologies All Around: Today’s tendency to make amends for the crimes of history raises the question: where do we stop?” The American Scholar, Autumn 2007. Found via 3 Quarks Daily.

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

  • Ch. 1: Closure and Transition.
  • Ch. 2: Modernism

Friday, 16 Nov

Harris, Roy. The Language Connection: Philosophy and Linguistics. Bristol, U.K: Thoemmes Press, 1996. [Re-reading]

  • Ch. 5: Wordy Redefinitions
  • Ch. 6: Conveying Thoughts
  • Ch. 7: The Plain Truth

Saturday, 17 Nov

Thagard, Paul. “Coherence, Truth, and the Development of Scientific Knowledge.” Philosophy of Science 74(1), January 2007: 28-47.

An attempt to rehabilitate the relationship between truth and coherence. Having spent a decent amount of time on one of the proponents of a coherence theory of truth [Word doc] amongst many other discussions of truth over the course of a degree in philosophy I found this interesting. Based on my understanding of current philosophy of science, and the parts which I accept, I would have to say that something along these lines is correct.

It is nice to have it spelled out but, in my opinion, it is sort of anti-climactic. That is, it seems to be inherent in the current definitions of truth, theory and related concepts within philosophy of science.

My one main disagreement with Thagard is with his assumption “that natural science is the major source of human knowledge” (29). A broader view of knowledge would probably not affect his theory, but it would make it more inclusive. He does allow for “people’s ordinary knowledge” (44) but this kind of labeling I find demeaning. If you really have a view of knowledge that draws a vast gulf, or at least makes qualitative judgements, between so-called scientific and “ordinary” knowledge then suck it up and declare them to be different and find new terms for one or the other, or both. But as long as you allow people to have ordinary knowledge then I must question on what possible grounds one can claim “that natural science is the major source of human knowledge” (29)?

The journal Philosophy of Science is frequently of great relevance to our field. This issue, 74(1), January 2007, alone also has articles on “Evolution and the Explanation of Meaning,” how models represent by allowing “surrogative reasoning,” pragmatic classification, and scientific realism.

Long before reading any Hjørland I was of the opinion that much of philosophy, in particular issues in epistemology, is of direct import to all areas of librarianship. Reading Hjørland has only deepened that belief.

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

  • Ch. 3: Postmodernism.

The (im)possibility of ethics in the information age (article commentary)

I read the following last night and while it will be included in this week’s “Some things read this week” post I wanted to comment on it now.

Introna, Lucas D. “The (im)possibility of ethics in the information age.” Information and Organization 12, 2002: 71-84.

Cited by Kemp (NASKO 2007) “Classifying marginalized people, …”, p. 59, but I was really more drawn to it by its title and not by its use as a citation.

Wow!

This article is amazing. I agree with much of it, although I would use different theoretical commitments to come to the same conclusions [Stivers. Todorov, Baumgartner, … (see below)].

Although I do agree with much, it still seems overly deterministic. While 3 years ago I might have bought the implications of this view wholesale I can no longer do so.

This paper is concerned with the possibility that the ethical claim of the other, that sense of being bound to the other, may becoming more and more difficult to experience as information technology increasingly mediates our social being. … This paper will argue that electronic mediation is inducing a sense of hyperreality into our world (Baudrillard). It will argue that this hyperreality is making our ethical sensibility nebulous to the point that we are not coming face to face with our obligations. … The paper argues that we do not need more codes, imperatives or moral arguments, as such. Rather we need to keep our lives at the resolution, of faces and proper names—if obligation happens this is where it is likely to be (abstract, 71)

1 Introduction

“It seems as if the ethical resources available to the ordinary person is rapidly becoming fragemented, distributed and ambiguous. … At the same time ethical dilemmas confronting the citizens of the information society are rapidly expanding locally and globally” (72). If this is the case, what is a proper response? A ‘veil of ignorance’ (Rawls), the categorical imperative (Kant), Jesus’ sermon on the mount, the writings of the Buddha? Proposing and implementing more moral imperatives? (73)

The answer to these questions is “No.”

However, proposing these imperatives, principles and codes with enthusiasm and vigour does not release the sense of uneasiness within. The question remains: do we respond to actual obligations in factual life because we apply an imperative, principle or code? Or, do we rather find ourselves dragged into obligations by something that grabs us from within the event, situation, or disaster? Is the source of obligation in the code or in the particulars, the facticity, of the disaster? (73)

2 Obligation, disaster and proper names

Introna argues

that it is possible to know ethical responsibilities through ethical discourse. However, they are experienced in the facticity of the situation—when facing a face in a disaster. To know my obligations may be necessary but it is not sufficient for me to enact them. To enact them I need to experience them in the facticity of the situation (74).

I fully agree with Introna here. While some might parse out various meanings of “know” and “experience” to claim that this is a simple tautology I would, not beg but, insist on differing.

These claims in no way are tautological, although they can be made so via wordsmithing. But aren’t you brilliant for being able to do so? I insist on the difference between knowing and experiencing (feeling) due to a fully lived experience while coming out of the deepest depths of depression where I knew full well that there were many people who loved me and cared about me but I could not, in any way, feel (or experience) it. There are certainly other examples that could be used to parse out the difference Introna is pointing out, but this one clinches it for me. Perhaps it doesn’t for you. Spend a few minutes thinking about it and I have no doubt you can come up with an example where you know something but do not experience it. Even a mundane example will give you a foot into the door of understanding this.

Introna argues ala Don Caputo that “obligations happen to us” (75). Caputo (cited in Introna) says

If an obligation is ‘mine’ it is not because it belongs to me but because I belong to it. Obligation is not one more thing that I comprehend and want to do, but something that intervenes upon and disrupts the sphere of what the I wants, something that troubles and disturbs the I … (75).

What is this “disaster”? It is an economic notion “of excessive cost,” a “sheer loss” (75). I’m not so sure if I like this notion of disaster but I’m willing to allow that it is doing some useful theoretical work until something better can be found. There is much more on this concept of disaster in the paper.

“Obligation consorts with disasters, it is a matter of being bound (ligare) to, grabbed by, a disaster in-the-world” (75). But the claim of obligations cannot be forced or made to stick (76-77). Attempts to strengthen the claim of an obligation can be undertaken but, “in ‘sounding the alarm’ we must be careful not to turn disasters into meanings, categories and themes” (76).

Disasters are about particular bodies not meanings (such as law and order, the struggle, freedom, the people, the Law, the Faith, and so forth). Disasters have a face and a name, a proper name. The currency of obligations is proper names, particular individuals (76).

Meanings hide disasters and make them fit our systems of cost accounting (76-77).

Proper names are the locale and limit of obligations. Proper names are the im/possibility of obligations (77).

What happens when faces become representations, images, through electronic mediation? (77)

This section is required reading for a proper understanding of Introna’s argument. I’m still uneasy with the term “disaster” and its economic reading, but it’s working for now. I think this view of obligations (or something very close) is the correct one, and it fits in well with Todorov’s theory of the “ordinary virtues.”

3 Obligation, information technology and the hyperreal

This is the section where I would probably find completely different theoretical foundations. Nonetheless, I support its basic conclusions, at least in general. More on what I find lacking later.

Relies on Baudrillard (the hyperreal) and Taylor and Saarinen (the Simcult) to explicate a view of information technology that presents to us, but does not involve us. Large parts of me—experientially and theoretically—agrees with this. I just wouldn’t get there in such postmodernist ways, and I’d hopefully be a bit more nuanced.

It is my supposition that electronic media with its hyperreal effect—even if we do not take it to its Baudrillardian extreme—is turning disasters into hyperreal events and proper names into meaningless electronic representations; hyperreal events and representations that come before us, but do not involve us. In hyperreality we are less and less likely to meet our obligations face to face (80).

4 Obligation, hyperreality and Nick Leeson

As an example of the hyperreal acting to divorce someone from their obligations to individuals—proper names—Introna uses the case of Nick Leeson. Leeson was the derivatives trader for Barings Bank who lost an estimated £830 million of very real people’s money.

It is my supposition that he could not blink because he could not see those faces. He was wholly unable to come face to face with obligation (82).

In the (re)presentations, the images on the screen, the voices of the other become faint and disappear. It is my contention that electronic mediation distances us from the face of the other—we remain undisturbed in our uncertainty (83).

The author’s choice is interesting in that Leeson worked in a very hyperreal world, in several senses. Ultimately, though this may have had some impact on Leeson’s decisions and actions, and I think it did, it still fails.

It is not (only) the hyperreality that leads to this disconnection from one’s obligations. Whether or not it is technology and/or hyperreality that is mediating between the faces of one’s obligations and oneself I would claim that it is the distance between them that is the real issue. It matters not whether it is time, physical distance, social stature, bureaucracy, or hyperreality that mediates. They all (amongst other things) distance oneself from real relationships with the other, with proper names.

I do think, though, that hyperreality can and often does aggravate this distancing.

5 What now?

Introna sees the various efforts to encode ethical obligations as “a non-sensible response. … Obligation needs a face and a proper name. We must experience it not merely know it” (83).

In confronting hyperreality, we do not need rules, principles and arguments. I believe we need to get faces and proper names together, break through mediation—mediation of categories, principles, concepts, representation, commodities, to name a few. We must get those who command, construct, recommend, and so forth to meet face to a face with those who will be affected by their commands, constructions and recommendations. Let flesh meet flesh. We do not need codes. We need to become involved in the world, it is in being—in that we will experience our being bound—to (83).

Mark’s Further Comments

While I agree with the author that many attempted codifications of ethical rules are senseless and wrongheaded, I also feel that often they are needed as a first step towards knowing one’s obligations. If our ethical world is becoming fragmented and less available while our ethical dilemmas are expanding, and I do agree with both premises, then helping people to know their obligations is a good first step; if handled well, which is a whole ‘nother can of worms.

I think the biggest problem is not with information technology and hyperreality, although I do agree that these can seriously exacerbate the problem. The biggest problem is the distance between one person and the next, one proper name to another proper name. There are many forces of mediation between individuals in our society that work to diminish the experience of obligation to the other individual.

There are many people whom I know primarily mediated through information technology. Some of these I feel little obligation to other than in a general human rights sort of way. Others—like Walt, Meredith, and Jenica, for instance—I feel much more of an obligation to. One could argue that it is because I have actually met these folks. This is true and probably has some influence. In reality though, the longest I have spent with any of them is a dinner with one of them and 6 other people. In total, there has been at most a few minutes here and there during one event with each of them (dinner with one, and the 1st OCLC Blog Salon for the others).

Then there is someone like jennimi. I still know her mostly via electronically mediated forms of communication, but I also have spent several hours over several occasions now with her, face to face. We have had serious and personal (and seriously personal) conversations. I feel my obligations far more intensely in this instance.

But now the kicker. One of the best friends that I have ever had I have never met. She is not a face to me (at least in a direct sense). We chat primarily via IM and across our and sometimes others’ blogs. But. She is a proper name, a known proper name and an experienced proper name and all that goes with it.

How can this be if hyperreality is the dominant factor in disconnecting one from one’s obligation to the other? My ethical obligations to my friend are deep and felt, that is experienced.

I would modify Introna’s thesis to state that, yes, hyperreality and mediation through information technology can have a profound impact on our ability to experience our obligations to another, but they do not preclude it. Many other mediating forces also have this ability; it is more that it is just another one of these kinds of forces.

The difference lies in the fact that through various electronically mediated forms I have come to know these people. They are proper names to me; they are faces with which I am face to face. Through their blogs, Flickr streams, Facebook noodlings, etc. I have been allowed to see them as people and, more importantly, as generally whole people. It is by being allowed into various portions of their lives that I have come to know them.

Now I fully agree that this is still a limited exposure to the other. Clearly, and hopefully, some things are being left out of the account. But this is the case when face to face with others also. I doubt that very few (if anyone) has another that they would tell every single thought and/or experience to. We constantly self-select what we present to others whether it is our mothers, our partners, the loan guy at the bank, or whomever. This is an important skill and, like many, can be used for good or ill.

Thus, in my view, it is the direct, unmediated (by any force) access to the other, to the proper name, to their face, to their voice that provides the best exposure to the experience of obligation to the other. The more mediation between that name/face/voice, the less the felt obligation to them. This brings me to my next point, “professionalism.”

I think this discussion addresses a point regarding “the professional” vs. “the person,” both in general and particularly here in the blogosphere. “The professional” is at best one (very limited) side of a person. By presenting only this side of oneself it is hard for the other to feel much real obligation towards you. Perhaps this is one of the reasons for so many codified statements of “professional ethics.” As a professional, one will (re)present only a limited view of themselves to their clients/patrons, their fellow professionals, and perhaps to the world at large. This limited and often distanced profile of one’s face allows little for obligation to hook into.

Recently, a friend of mine changed her electronic “profile.” I fully support her decision in this based on the seeming reality of today’s “professional” library environment. But I worry that along with this change it will impact how others experience their obligations toward her.

This is only a small example and perhaps as badly chosen as the author’s use of Leeson. My point is that the (attempted) separation of the professional from the personal is destructive to this process of being able to experience one’s obligations to another, amongst other things.

The very fact that I feel an obligation to Walt, Meredith, Jenica, jennimi and Iris is because of their voices, because of their faces, because of their proper names. Without the mediating influence of information technology I would hardly be able to recognize those voices, faces, and names. In one case, I would not even know that she exists!

Introna’s article is highly recommended and although I am quite sympatico with much of it I think one should just think a little broader than the author himself seems to. I think it can give us all cause for reflection on how we interact with the other in the world.

I particularly feel that it can offer much to ponder in this seemingly endless fragmentation into “the professional” and “the personal.” Going (too far) down that road is madness.

“Rather we need to keep our lives at the resolution, of faces and proper names—if obligation happens this is where it is likely to be” (abstract, 71) Strict, standoffish “professionalism” is not at the resolution of faces and proper names, in my view.

Sources cited by Introna

Sources cited by me

  1. M. P Baumgartner, The Moral Order of a Suburb (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988).
  2. Richard Stivers, The Culture of Cynicism: American Morality in Decline (Oxford, UK: Blackwell, 1994).
  3. Richard Stivers, Technology As Magic: The Triumph of the Irrational (New York: Continuum, 1999).
  4. Richard Stivers, Shades of Loneliness: Pathologies of a Technological Society (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2004).
  5. Tzvetan Todorov, Facing the Extreme: Moral Life in the Concentration Camps (New York: Metropolitan Books, 1996).

Note: I have used these authors repeatedly on this blog, often in the service of discussing “professionalism,” fragmentation and other moral and ethical issues. I’m feeling too sick to hunt down the links but a search on fragmentation, moral minimalism, Stivers, Todorov, or Baumgartner ought to find most of them.

Note: It appears Zotero is embedding COinS when I export as HTML, and it appears that so far WP is not stripping them out. Yippee! Now if I only had the time to experiment some more. 🙁

A little Friday irreverence – Mr. Deity

You won’t often find me linking to internet video because I don’t watch much of it. But if it were all this funny—luckily it’s not—I’d get no work done at all.

This is some of the absolutely funniest stuff I’ve ever seen in my life. “Swear by mr.deity.”

To my friends who don’t appreciate religious humor, well, don’t watch it.

mr.deity

I think Episode 7 (Mr. Deity & the Tour de Hell) may be my favorite, although they all have moments of brilliance. All I’m saying is adulterers deserve the Hokey Pokey.

There’s even a free podcast available via the iTunes store or a RSS feed available.

Check it out. Absolutely brilliant!

Originally found at sivacracy.net

Dystopia, Libraries, and a small apology

For the possibly two of you awaiting the rewrite of my critique of the Coyle and Hillmann article in D-Lib, and particularly for the wonderful folks who provided feedback so that I could do a better job, I am sorry. I do not know when (or perhaps even if) it is coming.

For many reasons—most of which I am not prepared to go into right now—I am currently experiencing another “crisis of faith,” if you will, regarding my chosen field of endeavour. I am fully despairing for the future of libraries, not for any of the reasons generally thrown around like not changing fast enough, changing too much, no cultural relevance, lack of ability to compete with the likes of Google or Amazon, or …. No, my despair is for, and because of, librarians.

This perception does not come from the biblioblogosphere alone and, with any luck, not even mostly. [Warning: upcoming generalization and reification] I say that because the biblioblogosphere is an entity unto itself; a self-important entity that has far less impact than it seems to believe it should. It is also a highly divided, fractious entity.

No, my despair is based on journal reading, to include a historical perspective, multiple mailing list “discussions,” face-to-face discussions formally, semi-formally and informally, and other assorted places/venues.

I do not have the energy right now to even attempt to be the chronicler of what I see. As much as I enjoy being a philosophical and cultural gadfly, I first need to find some inspiration again. Maybe when I actually have a little hope again I can spare the energy to be the critic. Notice, I did not say that I have lost all hope. Yet.

I fully expect the academic/practitioner divide. I even expect some of the other divides as they are historical. But I am seeing far more division than I used to. The state and future of libraries, and hence librarians, is a very murky thing right now. Thus, some fractiousness is to be expected, I guess. And maybe that is all it is. But I fear it is worse. And even if it isn’t all that I perceive, I still want to know how we are to make any forward progress with so much division amongst us.

One thing I am doing for myself is to seriously cut back on many of my sources of information and “keeping up.” I have slowly started to prune my Bloglines account, and after I give a presentation for our ASIST student chapter in eight days on blogs that students might want to follow I am going to seriously reduce the clutter and chatter.

I am also seriously questioning the current value of AUTOCAT to me. After it recently changed hands (ownership), it has become a kinder and gentler list, but the chatter has also gone up significantly, and daily message counts have doubled.

I am going to try and weed a lot of sources out of my current reading/browsing routines and when I have found a little breathing room I will add in a few things of value that I am not currently engaged with. This is the plan anyway.

I want to be excited. I want to be engaged. I want to contribute to my field. I need to have hope.