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.

“It’s a metaphor, if you know what I mean”: DDC’s fundamental flaw

you could always hear the rub squeaking
of those two tree limbs
’til one day one of them came down
taken down by the wind
but on the one that’s still there
you can still see where the bark was
rubbed bare
it’s a metaphor
if you know what i mean

Ani DiFranco ¤ “how have you been” ¤ out of range

Today I discovered a, perhaps the, fundamental flaw in DDC. There is (practically) no concept of metaphor.

I was cataloging a German book on Metapher which had no Dewey number in the record so I turn to the Relative Index and flip to m…e…t…a…p…h…o. Uh. Huh? Wait. “m” “e” “t” “a” “p” “h” “o”. Blink. Turn away and look back. Try again. Question my sanity and/or my spelling. And slowly realize that metaphor just ain’t to be found in the Relative Index (print DDC22). Knowing full well that this concept has been around for a day or two, I fire up WebDewey to see if there is something more up-to-date. In the Relative Index I find zip, nada, zilch. Try in the Schedules. I think I got 3 possibilities, all of which are possibilities but not necessarily good ones.

Head over to ClassWeb and put the LCSH “Metaphor” into the LCSH–DDC mapper and get 10 possible numbers. Much better, although many of those were only slight variants. Looking at these actual numbers in the Schedules, in most cases, still left one with no idea they were looking for the concept metaphor.

Now, I am well aware that metaphor would (should) show up in many places in the DDC Schedules based on the way DDC is constructed. But there is practically no explicit mention of it anywhere.

While it may be possible that we could have natural language without metaphor, it would certainly not resemble anything humans know as language for the last 2 millennia or more. Nor is classification even possible without metaphor.

Yes, my claim as to the, or even a, fundamental flaw may be a tad strong, but I still find this immensely disturbing.

Another disturbing thing I noticed today was the wholehearted amoral stance DDC takes on occasion. For instance, see this sequence:

304.6 Population
304.66 Demographic effects of population control efforts
304.663 Genocide (Class here ethnic cleansing)

On what level exactly is genocide a population control effort? (except in a very euphemistic sense)

Of course, there are 1000s more of these sorts of things that are amiss, along many dimensions.

Some days and for some items DDC and LCSH work just fine. But on other occasions the utter failure of being able to adequately express a topic in one or the other (or both) is incomprehensible and frustrating.

I do love cataloging and classification. I just wish we had some better tools, much better rules, and systems that took advantage of the work we do and did amazing things to present our resources to our users after they had (reasonably) easily found them.

Book, music, communication, content, social

This post is technically only for me, but feel free…. It is, in effect, a manually constructed “ post” to collect the comments that I have made in the last day or so on issues of language. Oh, and some added-on self-analysis and rumination.


See Also…, A study of scanning habit : a couple of comments

Pegasus Librarian, The Book-ish-ness of Books : a couple of comments

Life as I Know It, A Book Is A Book Is A Book – Or Is It? : a couple of comments and an email exchange. Thanks, Jennifer! And I apologize for making your “head heart.” 😉


Pegasus Librarian, The Book-ish-ness of Books : a couple of comments (but the same as above under Books)

Communication, Content, Social

Stephen’s Lighthouse, Internet Activity Index – From communication to content

Other word issues from last couple days

On Assumptions about language use in tagging : my own post and especially my multiple comments on it.

Before I get to my self-analysis prompted by much of this discussion, I would like to say that:

All I can say is that I hope I have been reasonably coherent across this discussion, that I am thankful to everyone for making me think, and for participating in this conversation. I also hope that whether folks agree with me or not that they see that I think there is an important difference in these two (allowed) uses of book and that I am not just being pedantic.

Sorry, ripped myself off from my own comment at Jennifer’s place.

[All the below is really just me talking to me. Read it if you must. Perhaps it’d be better not being here. I don’t know. Perhaps it’ll do someone some good to see that others have serious questions in their own lives, too.]

I am not trying to be a pedant. I am not trying to be an ass. I am not trying to tell others how to use language.

I am trying to show that it might matter how they do, and why it does.

I am at an odd place in my life and in my career. For many reasons, I do not know “my place” in either. I have some vision(s) of how I might fit into the profession, but it is a difficult position. In fact, it is a position that I seem to be adopting along many axes. Bridge; boundary object.

I am not a good researcher, and quite likely never will be. I am (at the moment) not a good practitioner. That, I full well know, can be remedied. I have been an extremely good practitioner; in this field and others. But at the moment I am a neophyte struggling with a complex form of practice; one which some people would argue that I, and people like me, can never really succeed at. I even accept that argument; at least, in the best of all possible worlds. But we do not have that world; so I struggle to become a good descriptive and subject cataloger, be that traditional cataloging or metadata. [I was telling Tracy just today that things would be better if I could just be Candide….]

But I do, in many ways, by bent and education, sit in the middle of practice and research. I am reasonably good at seeing how each matters for the other. Kind of hard to make a living at that, though. And one always runs the risk of becoming a thorn in the side of both camps. C’est la vie!

This is one of the biggest splits in our field I feel. Perhaps I’ll have to learn to accept a measure of success as something along the line of 1-2 helped in their thinking and/or navigating the theory-practice divide to 10-12 regretting that they even heard of this particular thorn.

Praxis (in the Donald Schon sense) is what I want to affect and effect.

Kathryn and I had a discussion of something I might do in the realm of knowledge organization research today. It seems to fall into the middle ground as above. Pauline said she expects me to do important work. Bridging this divide, or more importantly, helping others do so, is important work. She didn’t say it’d be easy work. And I’m sure she didn’t mean so either.

But as your girl says:

and the woman who lives there can tell
the truth from the stuff that they say
and she looks me in the eye
and says would you prefer the easy way
no, well o.k. then
don’t cry

i do it for the joy it brings
because i’m a joyful girl
because the world owes me nothing
and we owe each other the world
i do it because it’s the least i can do
i do it because i learned it from you
and i do it just because i want to
because i want to

Ani DiFranco ¤ Joyful Girl ¤ Dilate

Or, for the other view:

come on kids, let’s all hold hands
and pretend we’re having a good time

so just suck up and be nice

cuz i’m a pixie
i’m a paper doll
i’m a cartoon
i’m a chipper cheerful free for all
and i light up a room
i’m the color me happy girl
miss live and let live
and when they’re out for blood
i always give

Ani DiFranco ¤ Pixie ¤ Little Plastic Castle

Jesus, my friend, how did we get here again?

I’m a small honeybee
I drown in the water
you are my hand in the well.

Bif Naked ¤ Hold On ¤ Purge

Musical construction and judgement

[Yes, I realize that is a British (or alternative) spelling of judgment. I prefer it. It looks stupid to me otherwise.]

I know that many of you could care less, but I have added a section on many of my musical compilations to my web site. Perhaps I should stipulate that I mean since the era of CD recording, and, more importantly, the era of CD recording in my life.

I have made assorted compilations since at least 1979. All of these were meaningful to me in some sense. But beginning in 1999 and the experience of my divorce I began recording these more as musical diaries. As I say on the main music page:

The following is a list of the CDs that I have recorded mostly for myself, often for others. I got my audio CD recorder in mid-1999 about the time of my divorce because there were too many CDs to split. Seeing as that is also about the time I came back to life in a very real sense I naturally started recording compilation CDs – but from now on they’d serve in a more symbolic way. They became about the construction, deconstruction, reconstruction, delineation, and judgment of the world in which I find myself, and the one I would like to see realized… In other words, they are, in a sense, my diary. I’d like to issue a hearty caveat lector though. Do not read too deeply into any particular lyric, concept, etc. In some cases I have captured the mood better than in others, in some I can no longer recall the original meaning, sometimes I can but it has a different one now… These are all consequences of, or are they data, or maybe premises for, my theory of music.

You may notice that they start losing titles near the end. Lack of finished liner notes happened even sooner. This is a real shame as there is really no way to go back and do them. Meanings shift or are forgotten. The last several were recorded under some of the worst conditions of my life. I was recovering from severe clinical depression and the realities of the world in which I found myself—and in particular, my job—had me completely unbalanced and highly suicidal. Those last few rarely are listened to anymore; they are too painful.

The page ends kind of abruptly about this time in 2003. That is the last CD compilation—as diary—that I made. I did record a 2-disc compilation for jennimi in the very early days of this year based somewhat on another binary set that are “deeply” meaningfully named Cataloging Music and Cataloging Music 2. Thankfully I did a better job naming the compilations I sent her. Those are the only compilations I have recorded since August 2003. Grad school, even as ridiculously easy as an LIS education is, got in the way.

I would love to get back to the recording of music that is deeply meaningful to me. I am—again—trying to be better about journaling. Blogging has had a serious negative impact on keeping a journal of things not said out loud and publicly. Hopefully there is some meaning in those things I do say “out loud and publicly,” but there is far more in what is not said.


well, I am an idiot walking a tightrope of fortune and fame
I am an acrobat swinging trapezes through circles of flame
If you’ve never stared off into the distance, then your life is a shame
and though I’ll never forget your face,
sometimes I can’t remember my name

Counting Crows – Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby – This Desert Life


I once thought I knew what this meant. I once thought I had a modicum of it.

Now, I’m not so sure of either of those.

There has been a lot of talk in the biblioblogosphere about balance. Walt Crawford, in particular, has devoted a couple of words to the subject here and there [buy his book]. During all of these discussions I felt that I had a decent balance in my life, or at least as much as I could based on my circumstances.

But I think I was drastically wrong. First off, deciding whether one has balance in a certain situation is vastly different from deciding one actually has balance in one’s life. That was my 1st mistake.

Mistake number 2 was perhaps lying to myself. Maybe I did; maybe I didn’t. Either way, I think I have changed my mind.

Despite taking time to relax, enjoying reading for pleasure, watching movies, going to the bar, hanging with friends, coming to accept much about the productivity of being a graduate student, and so on, I have been and am repeatedly ill. Physically, in particular. But also existentially.

I have been to the doctor and she has been unable to determine anything wrong.

Despite all the things I do to amuse (or is it to distract?) myself, my life seems to revolve around school and related-educational/professional experiences. Unfortunately, I am becoming less comfortable with formal education. I absolutely love parts of it, and parts of it I despise (the production aspect and semester system, primarily). This is a problem on several fronts. It is a definite problem in light of what a very dear friend of mine wrote to me recently:

I think it’s because you’re afraid that you might find Life post-school as disappointing (wrong word, but I can’t quite get the right one this morning) as you found it before you started back in education. You’re used to your role in the classroom and are unsure how you’ll find your role as a librarian.

I think she makes a very valid point. I have elided the exact context of our discussion, but it is a part of my current issues.

I truly need to discover what balance is for me in my life. Then I need to pursue it. A large part of my recent problems are related, if not directly causally-related, to this issue of balance. A large part of the problem, besides needing to come to an acceptance of this truth, is that I feel like I have little control over much of the things I lack. A second large problem is that to get to a point where I am able to remedy some of these issues requires successfully negotiating myself through some of the things that I dislike the most in life. The primary reason I ended up in the Army so many years ago had to do with avoiding some of these same issues.

Some of the things I need in life are mostly out of my control (see, I was good and did not say completely). I try to go places where I might meet people/someone but I cannot simply conjure up discussion partners nor a companion. Perhaps there is more I could do all along this spectrum of companion-seeking. I have had a few suggestions from some folks, some of which I try, some I do not. Doesn’t mean they are bad suggestions but just that they don’t sit right with me, or at least not now.

There are things I could (theoretically) do and that I could possibly work harder at. I have a couple of folks who would love to have in-depth conversations about some of the topics of prime interest to me, which is one of the main things lacking in my life. And, bless their hearts (Jodi, primarily), they keep trying, but our prime communication mechanism is email.

Call me a Luddite, or non-L2, or whatever you like, but serious conversation is almost impossible for me in a non-face-to-face setting. I am looking for full-blown, full-on conversation and not some pale specter of it that can happen in email, blogs and other electronic means. Because, well, I already have that. I am not claiming that such is impossible by any means. It happens (for me) on rare occasions. But it is vastly too hard for me to accomplish via these means generally; it is too hard for me and takes far more time than I would like. It takes forever to clarify terms and fine points, which leads to leaving some of them unglossed, which, in turn, leads to needless argument over things which are in actuality agreed on. Knowing that I have folks who’d like to converse with me and being unable to do so effectively just adds to my issues.

Things that I want very much to do do not get accomplished. Things that I tell others I will do drop by the wayside. Luckily, so far nothing of major significance that I have promised anyone else has slipped. But, for example, when I tell Jodi I will write a post on a certain conference program then I should. I know she understands, and I even understand, but whether it has to be or not, the “failure” increases the feeling of unbalance, amongst other feelings.

The kid could really use a vacation. I could be wrong, but the last real vacation I remember having was in 1984 or 1985 when my mom and her man came to visit me in Belgium and we traveled around Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland.

Sure, I’ve had things called vacations since. But when I was in the Army most of my vacations happened when things at home got so backlogged that I had to take time off to deal with domestic chores. When we have taken a vacation as in going somewhere it was usually for more ulterior motives even if there was a bit of amusement and relaxation mixed in. Right before I left the Army the whole family took a trip to Illinois to visit colleges for both Jeremy and me. On the way up from Texas we stopped at the Cotton Bowl to see a Major League Soccer game and fireworks. It was the 4th of July.

Vacations as a student have been for the exact same reason. There is so much to do around here; always.

I’ve been to visit family in DC at some point early in this century and while it was quite relaxing I don’t exactly consider visiting family to be a vacation. And considering that my apartment was invaded by a large number of mice which ended up making me deathly ill for the next 6 months, well, not so vacation-like in the end.

The last couple conferences I went to were in many ways vacation-like but they were not vacations. They were conferences.

So I ought to just take a vacation, you say? Right. Drop me a line in my comment form and I’ll tell you where you can mail the check.

I do not know what any of this means. Not as regards my life; other than things need to change. Not as regards school. Not as regards job hunting. And not as regards this blog or my other adventures in cyberspace.

I won’t say that I’m going away because I don’t think that’s true. I may be fairly quiet for a while, both here and in commenting on others’ blogs. Or I may not. I will try and accept that my weekly reading lists may be most of what I do for a while. I have had a few people tell me that they find them useful. Feeling useful is a nice feeling for me. As for anything else I cannot say. I have no doubt that on occasion something will exercise me past the point of silence.

I am not avoiding anyone and I most certainly do not want my friends to think they must or should avoid me. My friends know the various means to get a hold of me and I am thankful that they do use those means, and I hope that they will continue to.

I have some very big, and to me terrifying, changes to face in the near future all the while attempting to deal with the issue of identifying and incorporating some balance in my life. I have no idea how I’ll fare. But I go into it knowing that I have many people who care about me, some deeply. This knowledge, in the fullest sense of the word, can only help.

…we drove out to the desert
just to lie down beneath this bowl of stars…

Counting Crows – Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby – This Desert Life

Now wouldn’t that be nice…

Monica Del Castillo

Thursday evening I was going to head out for some beers at The Blind Pig when I got a MySpace message that Kayla Brown would be at Aroma Cafe at 8 with Mike Ingram. There was to be another act also, coming down from Chicago. I don’t get to see Kayla often enough due to the timing of her shows so I put off the beers and went to Aroma for some outdoor summer music.

Monica Del Castillo and Dan Ornduff opened and they were awesome. Dan plays beautifully but very understated and Monica just has an incredible spirit. They mostly play in and around Chicago, but I see from Monica’s tour page that she’s been to Wisconsin and Minneapolis recently. You really should check her out if you get a chance. [And check out Kayla, too, of course. But where’s that damn CD, kid?]

I got a nice 6 song EP for $7. This is my favorite song on the EP and perhaps of the evening:

But I keep my distance from these fairy tales
Cuz I really don’t need anyone to hold
And if it takes a lifetime I will wait for someone who

Who dissolves into my smile
And gets swallowed in my eyes
Well I don’t expect that you would understand

You Would Understand – Monica Del Castillo

8 supposedly random things about me

Not tagged as far as I know but will play along anyway.

1. Having recently been “syndicated” in 2 places (that I’m aware of) [1][2], I don’t really know how I feel about this.**
[My last name is misspelled at one of them, but that is anything but random.]

2. I need an interview suit.

3. I really dislike shaving. And I don’t care much for beards.

4. The top 3 artists in my collection by number of CDs are: Ella Fitzgerald, Ani DiFranco, and Lambchop.

5. I dislike the orthography of “dependant.” I know the dictionary says it’s fine, but I still think it looks ugly.

6. I had an hour-long massage today. Been way too long.
btw, my massage therapist has been doing this a long time and she considers my back to be the toughest she has ever met. Not exactly a compliment. 🙁

7. Went to a meeting. Did my duty and wrote it up. Got invited to be on a “hot topic” panel at ALA. Pretty random.

8. If I wasn’t going to be out of town this Friday I could have had lunch with somebody I said I wanted to punch.
[That was just a metaphorical punch, btw. Oh well, hopefully soon. Eat your heart out, Tracy. 😉 ]

** In my quest for brevity I wasn’t as clear as I’d have liked to be. I am honored to be included with many of the folks on both of these lists. It’s just that I don’t think of my blog as a “cataloging blog” or a “coder blog” or even a “library blog.” It’s just (part) of me and, as some of you know, I am trying to stitch my life together. You will find shades of all sides of me here: the goofball, the word lover, the philosopher, the cataloger, the desirer, the depressive, the patriot, the protester, the father, the student, the reader, the music lover, the friend, the “32 flavors and then some.” Seeing as I’m still not sure how I feel about blogging, it’s pretty simple that I don’t know how I feel about being in other places. But I do appreciate it.

Some things read this week, 22 – 28 April 2007

Seems I snuck a bit more reading in yesterday; although I’ll leave the things I re-read out. I did manage to finish FRAD.

Saturday, 21 Apr 2007

Levinson, Jerrold. “What a musical work is.” The Journal of Philosophy 77 (1), Jan.. 1980: 5-28. (JSTOR)

Keep in mind that this is only my opinion and that I could be completely wrong. Also, honestly, I have little education in music. That said, this is one of the worst articles that I have ever read. It is surely the worst I have read that was published in The Journal of Philosophy. There were perhaps two actual claims in this article with which I could agree, and one I had to qualify.

I almost gave up reading this article several times last night. I literally had to force my way through it as I repeatedly reminded myself of the moral obligation I had to my class (Ontologies). Except for the fact that I respect my classmates and our guest lecturer this week, Dave Dubin, I would not have read past the first couple pages. And, honestly, I want the hour or so it took me to read it back.

Levinson makes it clear that he is restricting his discussion to what he calls, “that paradigm of a musical work, the fully notated “classical” composition of Western culture, for example, Beethoven’s Quintet for piano and winds in E-flat, Opus 16″ (6). One of his aims is to retain the concept of composing as a truly creative act. While this is a noble aim, which accords with our commonsense notion of artistic creation, one should not end up with such a ridiculous theory just to support commonsense.

I will primarily try to keep my mouth shut in class while we discuss this, but I also know that that will be impossible. I do have a few specific questions, though. My main one will be along the lines of, “Do we speak of textual works like this?” “Is it the case that the reception of, interpretation of, and experience of a textual work are part of what defines it as a work?

I do think Levinson is explicating some important concepts about music here. I just don’t think that he is discussing works as the same concept as, say, FRBR, or Svenonius, Tillett, Smiraglia, or Vellucci does. And if, in fact, it is work that he is discussing then it is an extremely narrow and elitist notion of work. It is in no way a commonsense notion of work at all, even if he has saved some commonsense notions of artistic creation.

His logic is also incoherent at times, or, perhaps, I ought to say that the implications of his logic are incoherent. He seems to choose what he uses logic for and which implications he wants and which he can ignore.

A complete waste of my time. I am not looking forward to discussion of this article.

Update: Discussion went pretty well, actually. I am certainly no more enamored of Levinson’s theory, but several people including the class musicologist seemed to think that Levinson would gladly accept my contention that under his theory he has not heard any works of Beethoven, but only performances of … what I don’t know. They also agreed that this theory leads to an explosion of entities. Whether or not this is good or bad, or can be handled by catalogs elicited vastly different responses. All in all, I was proud of myself during discussion despite my utter uselessness for this piece for the purpose of which it purports. Again, I think Levinson is discussing some important issues in music, and broader, but it is not the concept of works.

Saturday – Monday, 21 – 23 Apr 2007

Khoo, Christopher S. G. and Jin-Cheon Na. (2006). “Semantic relations in information science.” Annual Review of Information Science and Technology 40 Medford, NJ: Information Today, p. 157-228.

This is an excellent article that I first read last December while working on my paper for 590TR Information Transfer and Collaboration in Science. My paper was a “representative literature review on the topic of mapping different thesauri and the uses of such for the organization of information to meet the needs of interdisciplinary scientists.” As such, some article I read—now lost to me—pointed me to this article by Khoo and Na. Many of the articles I was reading on mapping thesauri raised the issue of whether or not inter-concept relationships within a single thesaurus could truly carry over into a multiply-mapped thesauri, especially in the context of multilingual thesauri. I was considering my problem of mapping across scientific domains to be very similar to “true” multilingual mapping, thus, I decided this might be a highly relevant piece to read. I ended up finding it fascinating!

It is also the piece which put me on to Bean & Green and Rebecca Green, period. For that I shall be ever grateful. I re-read it as I work on my presentation on relationships for RO this Wednesday morning.

I highly recommend this piece to all and sundry. Since it is a lit review you could certainly skip over the parts you aren’t so interested in, although I seriously recommend the entire piece. To tempt you, here is an outline based on the section, subsection headings:

    • Overview
    • What are Semantic Relations
      • Semantic Relations in Language and Logic
      • The Psychological Reality of Semantic Relations
      • Semantic Relations in Semantic Memory
    • Types of Semantic Relations
      • Overview
      • Lexical-Semantic Relations
      • Case Relations
      • Relations Between Larger Text Segments
    • Selected Semantic Relations
      • Hyponym-Hyperonym Relation
      • Troponymy Relation
      • Meronym-Holonym Relation
      • Synonymy
      • Antonymy
      • Cause-Effect Relation
    • Semantic Relations in Knowledge Structures
      • Semantic Relations in Thesauri
      • Semantic Relations in Indexing Languages
      • Semantic Relations in Ontologies
    • Automatic Identification of Semantic Relations
      • Overview
      • Automatic Identification of Semantic Relations Using Pattern Matching
      • Automatic Construction of Extraction Patterns
      • Text Mining for Semantic Relations
      • Automatic Construction of Case Frames
    • Semantic Relations in Information Retrieval
      • Overview
      • Semantic Relations in Query Expansion
        • Query Expansion Using Term Association
        • Query Expansion Using Lexical-Semantic Relations
      • Relation Matching for Precision Enhancement
      • Question-Answering with Full-Text Documents
      • Semantic Relations in Automatic Text Summarization
    • Conclusion
    • References (approx. 20 pages)

Sunday, 22 Apr 2007

Sanger, Larry. “Who says we know: On the new politics of knowledge.” Edge (The Third Culture column, 2007.

This could be a bit old by now as it was the Library Link of the Day yesterday and I find them to be a bit behind on many things (and, of course, I’m not posting this for almost a week).

Reasonably interesting article from one of the co-founders of Wikipedia, and founder of Citizendium.

[Somewhere this week I saw a link to an article taking on Sanger, but I have no idea where anymore.]

Smith, Barry. “John Searle: From Speech Acts to Social Reality.” In: John Searle. Cambridge University Press, 2003. pp 7-35. [pdf]

Read for Ontologies this week.

Searle, John. “The Structure of the Social Universe: How the Mind Creates an Objective Social Reality.” In: John Searle. Mind, Language, and Society Basic Books 1998. pp. 111-134.

Also for Ontologies this week.

Monday, 23 Apr 2007

Hjørland, Birger. “Library and information science and the philosophy of science (Introduction to the Special Issue).” Journal of Documentation 61 (1), 2006: 5-10.

Cited by Lee, Renear and Smith. (2006). “Known-item search: Variations on a concept.” Read 3 Mar 2007. Available at E-LIS.

Hovy, Eduard. “Comparing sets of semantic relations in ontologies.” In Green, Bean and Myaeng, eds. The Semantics of relationships: An interdisciplinary perspective. Information Science and Knowledge Management series, v. 3. Dordrecht: Kluwer, 2002: 91-110.

Is an attempt to develop a method for comparing ontologies, both at a general level and at the level of terms and relationships.

Friday, 27 Apr 2007

Lancaster, F. W. and Virginia Gale. (2003). “Pertinence and relevance.” Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science.

Does a good job disambiguating the differences between pertinence and relevance and their applicability to information retrieval. Differentiates the following components of an information retrieval request and their interrelationships: Information need, Recognized need, Request statement (expressed need), Search strategy, Documents, and Representations of documents. Covers some of the literature on relevance (and pertinence). While the article goes to pains to point out the transience of pertinence decisions, it fails to cover many of the variables that affect these decisions. For a better explication of such see Green (2001) and Bean & Green (2001) [See here for the 2nd citation, Green is the overview article in the same book].

Thursday – Saturday, 26 – 28 Apr 2007

Beghtol, Clare. “Bibliographic classification theory and text linguistics: Aboutness analysis, intertextuality and the cognitive act of classifying documents.” Journal of Documentation 42 (2), June 1986: 84-113.

Distinguishes between a document’s aboutness and its meaning and then utilizes the text linguistic theory of T. A. van Dijk to suggest a theory of the cognitive process of classifying documents. Discusses two forms of intertexuality: “that between documents classified in the same class of the same classification system; and that between the classification system as a text in its own right and the documents that are classified by it” (84). Describes an experimental study that could be used to test the model presented. Also comments on the uses of text linguistics for theories of bibliographic classification.

This is a fairly complex article which bears close reading and, in truth, deserves a second reading. I did find, though, that it offers the best explication that I’ve seen so far as to what it is I am doing when I classify items. Should be required reading in all advanced cataloging classes, and perhaps late in the semester of intro classes.

The first several sections would also be usefully read in conjunction with Lancaster and Gale (2003, see above), and Bean & Green (2001) or Green (1995) and Green & Bean (1995) regarding “relevance.” [See here for full cites to these 3 articles.]

Highly recommended, but deserves some effort.

Cited in Beghtol, Clare. (2001) “Relationships in classificatory structure and meaning.” In Bean & Green, Relationships in the Organization of Knowledge. 99-113.

Saturday, 28 Apr 2007

Coates, E. J. “Classification in information retrieval: The twenty years following Dorking.” Journal of Documentation 34 (4), December 1978: 288-299.

Traces the developments in both classification theory and practice in the approximately twenty year period since the 1957 International Study Conference on Classification for Information Retrieval held at Dorking. Considers developments in both syntactic and semantic issues, along with implementation.

Two overarching trends are: (1) the lack of fundamental progress in classification theory at a fundamental level compared to earlier work by Ranganathan, and (2) a amazing output of new, and updating of previous, classifications, and indexing tools. Progress on the theoretical side included a refinement of concept of facets analysis, and, more importantly, “the realization that facets are themselves essentially the functions or superficial manifestations of relations between concepts belonging to different facet categories” (290).

Relational indexing schemes, such as those by Farradane, SYNTOL, Kergèvant, and Perreault are discussed. The work of the Classification Research Group on a new general classification that was abandoned, but eventually led to PRECIS is discussed.

Impressive developments in practice that were finally catching up to theory are brought out. Bliss Bibliographical Classification (BC2) is hailed as a major success on that head. One major disaster in classification is also discussed; that of the British National Bibliography (BNB) highly supplemented and faceted version of DDC 14 for an unsupplemented DDC 18. PRECIS, UDC, and BSO are also discussed; BSO primarily in the context of a switching language and for its accord with current theory.

A very interesting discussion, perhaps of serious import today, is a discussion of the initial impact of computerization on classification. The final topic is “Classification under fire,” which takes on suggestions of the day that “classification for information retrieval is obsolete or of dubious utility” (298).

Although this article is rapidly approaching 30 years of age, it is of extreme relevance today. In many ways, it points to the lack of further progress on the practical, implementation side of indexing languages writ large. It is also instructive in its final sections of the mistaken calls for classifications obsolescence in the face of full-text indexing and keyword indexing.

Highly recommended for both its succinct historical overview and for its applicability towards issues of the day in 2007. Should be required reading in advanced cataloging and indexing classes.

Cited in Beghtol, Clare. (2001) “Relationships in classificatory structure and meaning.” In Bean & Green, Relationships in the Organization of Knowledge. 99-113.

I’ve also done some re-reading of things for my annotated bibliography on relationships, as some of these are for it. But it’s time to post this as I doubt I’ll be reading anything else new tonight.

Unfortunately no decision to be made

Last weekend I heard that the 24th Annual Insect Fear Film Festival is tonight. I did not go the last 2 years because I was in no mood to go by myself, but I promised myself that I was going this year.

Then on Monday I got an email that my friend, Eva Hunter, and her band are playing in Bloomington tonight after a several month hiatus.

Damn! What to do? I’ve been torn all week.

Well, the weather has answered for me. Neither, is the answer. [Power just popped off and back on. Glad I have the stereo and computers on UPSs!]

It’s been precipitating all day—freezing rain and sleet. So with Ice Storm Warnings and Flood Watches in effect until midnight I’m not going anywhere; even “just” to campus.

I guess I ought to be happy that I don’t have to choose, but still, “Damn!”